I spent Labor Day in Kansas City. There’s really no more American place to spend it, I learned, tossing a baseball around the sun-scorched blacktop of the Kauffman Stadium parking lot. This was my first visit to the field more famous for its waterfalls than its players. Wow, that place is beautiful.
The Royals played the Rangers. Yu Darvish took the hill for Texas and promptly retired the first 17 batters he faced before barely walking Johnny Giavotella and giving up a bloop single to David Lough. He would have done it too, you know, that thing we’re not supposed to talk about, had Ralph the seating usher had not approached us Ranger-cap-wearing kids in the fifth and jinx the whole damn thing. People, and I’m talking a lot of them, drove all the way up from Texas for this game. I don’t know why, but they were there, waving signs and everything. Think about those people, Ralph. Those people that you so courteously assist to their knot-sprouting seats. They could have seen history had it not been for you. And don’t come back smiling and cracking jokes after the Royals get on the board. We’re pissed, bro.
Texas won 8-4 thanks to straight-up stupid bombs from all their best cannon-ballers. Hamilton, Beltre, Cruz and even good ol’ Michael Young all went deep. Geovany Soto homered too, but come on. Nobody goes to a game to see Geovany Soto do anything. Click “Read More” for the complete photo gallery.
Recently Mani and I did something we don’t normally do. We got into a fight.
It wasn’t fist-driven; we are thousands of miles away, as we usually are. Instead this beef was sparked by an idea, as most beefs are, and when strong personalities have conflicting ideas chaos can result.
It all started as most baseball-inspired beef these days does: with Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. I, personally, tend to lean towards Harper in the whole who-will-have-a-better-career-overall-comparison. I also personally tend to like his style, his flash, his swing, and his attitude. I like to see him piss on the baseball and I like to see him run. People have seemed to forget all the things he does well lately as his batting average slips closer and closer to Jeff Francour’s.
But the fight wasn’t even about Harper. It sprouted out of everyone who knows me’s assumption that any Mike Trout bashing I do stems from the fact that he is the rookie being heralded like I think the other should. Like I’m jealous, for Bryce Harper, which is ludicrous. So I said I didn’t think Mike Trout should be the AL MVP. So, what?
|1||56-38||Even with a series loss to the Angels, the Rangers are back on top thanks in large part to a Yankees collapse in Oakland. Pitching woes are starting to pile up, however, and Texas could be in the running for some big names before the Trading Deadline hits.||2|
|2||57-38||They still hold the best record in the league, but Oakland proved that pitching is all you need to take the Bombers down. The Yanks figure to be players at the Deadline as well, especially in the form of an above-average outfielder.||1|
|3||55-40||The Reds probably expected to be at the top of their division, but I don’t think they envisioned fighting hard against the Pirates. Nonetheless, they hold a slim lead over Pittsburgh and are being propelled by young arms like Cueto and Chapman.||5|
We live in an age of flow.
Today, in the over-individualistic, judgment-fleeing 21st Century, people are finding it easier than ever before to express themselves in whatever way they want, often by making themselves look however way they want. There is no embarressment or shame in having a hefty beard; instead T-Shirts get made. Dreadlocks? You’re team will sell wigs at the stadium. Just look at Bryce Harper. When he broke into the bigs, his butchered faux-hawk was almost as big of a story as his play. It’s a testament to the intense scrutiny players are under today and their ascending status as not only athletes, but as celebrities and objects of desire in our societal hierarchy.
So what have we been missing under the helmets and caps? Get ready for the best hair in baseball.
Sunday MLB will announce the 2012 All-Star teams. They will announce every player: starter, reserve and wuss who will back out faking an injury alike. With players getting hurt, pitchers pitching too soon before the game, and the Final Vote, the smart money is on the actual rosters eventually looking a lot different than the ones that will be announced tomorrow.
Mike Napoli was leading the fan vote at catcher at last check. He’s hitting .237. Napoli’s unfair selection will take the roster spot of someone who’s had a much better first half. There will be other snubs too, you can guarantee that. Here’s whose names should be called out tomorrow.