Ryan Zimmerman: the team

May 13, 2009

Washington National Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-game hit streak came to an end today, but at least he can take solace in the fact that his team won the game. Right?

Wrong. At 11-21, Washington is the worst team in the majors. A hitting streak by its franchise player is just about the only thing it had or will have going.

The only thing the Nationals organization can do to retain any significance and/or dignity, in my eyes, is to release everyone on the team, clone Ryan Zimmerman 23 times, and start an entire roster of Zimmermans. The 25th roster spot would be held by pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who, although he spells his name slightly differently, is still a Zimmerman at the end of the day. And just to cement it, Jordan should be willing to legally change his name to Zimmerman. There’s not really a need for that extra ‘n’, anyway. It doesn’t add anything. It’s dead weight. Like the previous two sentences.

In this scenario, Ryan Zimmerman would occupy every spot in the lineup except for every fifth game, when Jordan would give it a go. Can you imagine eight, or possibly nine, players in your lineup who are all on 30-game hit streaks? It would be exceptional. It would more than make up for the fact that Ryan Zimmerman would be playing defensive spots like center field and catcher, in addition to pitching, both as a starter and a reliever. So what if he gives up a bunch of runs? They’ll be balanced out by all the hits.

At this point, you can no longer logically call the team the Nationals. You’d have to change the name of the team to the Ryan Zimmermans. And yes, they may play in Washington, but as far as I’m concerned, that town is Ryan Zimmerman’s and we’re all just living in it. (I don’t actually live in that town. In fact, a majority of the people on this planet don’t live in that town. But let’s go with it). So instead of calling it Washington, we’ll call it Ryan Zimmerman.

So we’ve got the Ryan Zimmerman Ryan Zimmermans, consisting of twenty-four Ryan Zimmermans and one Jordan Zimmermann, who now goes by Jordan Zimmerman.

Who should make up the managerial staff? Let’s keep Manny Acta in there, simply because I think “Manny Acta” is a cool name. If you say it really fast, it sounds like it could be a province in Spain. Maniacta. The bench coach would be Ryan Zimmerman, as would be the hitting instructor (obviously). The pitching coach would be Joe Biden. First base coach is Nelly Furtado, and the third base coach is a random guy in a Jon Arbuckle costume. The bullpen coordinator is Ryan Zimmerman.

Sounds like a formula for success!

Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

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Manny tested positive for something else, too

May 7, 2009

Los Angeles Dodger Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, but that’s only half the story. The other half of the story is that he also tested positive for heroin, which is decidedly a performance decreasing drug. When you combine the two, they balance each other out, so technically, Manny has been operating at a normal level of play. My contention is that Manny should either be allowed to continue playing baseball or sent to a rehabilitation clinic. But he shouldn’t have been suspended, because he has no advantage whatsoever over other players.

You might think it’s pretty dumb of Manny to have taken performance enhancing drugs. After years of trials and accusations over whether or not players formerly took steroids (in an era when such thing was typical), a player would have to be a real moron to get caught for currently using. And somehow, Manny managed to let that happen. He’s really being a nimwit here. Or maybe he’s just being Manny. I still don’t know what that means. Of course Manny is going to be Manny. Who else is he going to be? Livan Hernandez?

But give Manny a break. Obviously, he wouldn’t have ever taken the PEDs if he wasn’t also addicted to heroin. And while performance enhancing drugs are looked down upon in baseball, Jose Canseco never pointed out people who were hooked on heroin. And if Jose Canseco isn’t trying to make money off it, it probably isn’t very significant.

So who cares if Manny took some steroids? If you were on heroin, could you play baseball without steroids? Fuck, if you were on heroin, could you play baseball even with steroids? Let alone, play baseball as well as Manny Ramirez? Hell no, you couldn’t. I’d be surprised if you could even get up off the couch. Shit, I’d be surprised if you were even on the couch. You’d probably be lying in a corner somewhere, zoning out and thinking how cool it would be if you hadn’t just shot yourself up with heroin, because now you’re probably addicted, but damn, this feeling is sort of worth it. No, it’s totally worth it. There’s a baseball game on the television, but you can’t lift your head up enough to really see it. If only you had some steroids, then maybe you could perform a normal function like slightly lifting your head up in order to see the television.

Manny snorting a line off his bat before a game

Manny snorting a line off his bat before a game

Now imagine you’re Manny Ramirez. Chilled out on dust, trying to react to a 94mph fastball quick enough to hit a home run. Kinda hard, right? Not with steroids! It balances out the china white to the point where you have enough energy to overcome the uber relaxed nature of a heroin high, but not to the point where you’d hit a home run on a pitch you wouldn’t have hit a home run on if you weren’t on heroin in the first place.

So leave Manny alone. When it really comes down to it, he’s not doing anything illegal at all.


Basketball as a filibuster

April 30, 2009

Tonight, the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics went to overtime for the fourth time in six games in the first round of the 2009 NBA playoffs. This game was particularly overtimish, reaching 3OT before the Bulls, who were down in the series 3-2, won by a point to force a decisive Game 7. This is ridiculous. It has come to the point where I’ve begun believing that the two teams have concocted some sort of outlandish agreement to play as many periods of basketball as they can before one team is sent home for the summer.

Let’s face it. Neither team wants to be knocked out of the playoffs. They both would like to continue playing basketball, but they know that that can’t happen. One team is going to lose. It’s a harsh reality. However, there have now been seven overtime periods, each equalling five minutes. That’s thirty-five minutes of extra basketball. If Game 7 goes into triple overtime to bring the grand total to fifty minutes, then the Bulls and Celtics will have managed to play a full extra game than they otherwise would have. Plus two minutes!

It really is a clever scheme these guys have created. I’m convinced that even in the two games that ended after regulation, the intent was to force overtime. But sometimes in basketball, things don’t work out the way you want, and you have to settle for normalcy.

To prove my theory that there’s some fishy business going on here, I urge you to take a look at Tyrus Thomas.

Thomas, completely devoid of effort and intensity

Thomas, completely devoid of effort and intensity

Look at this photograph from Game 1 and tell me something. Does that look like a man who is putting any effort into the game? Or does it look like a guy who is simply lollygagging on the court, waiting patiently for the clock to run out so that he may play some more basketball? Don’t even bother answering. It’s the latter. There just isn’t any heart. His face is riddled with boredom. Where’s the intensity? For all I know, Thomas would rather be knitting a sweater vest. You might notice that his body is dangerously close to the prone position. To me, that indicates that he’s practically sleeping! Is he wearing pajamas? I honestly can’t even tell. He might as well be. If only he would dive for that ball, sacrifice his body a little bit for the good of the team, then he could probably make a great play. But instead, the Boston/Chicago Accord of ’09 rears its ugly, selfish head.

This could have been one of the greatest playoff series in the history of the NBA, but instead it’s nothing more than an athletic tea party. And that’s a shame.


Right fielder Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse

April 22, 2009

I am sad today, because the Florida Marlins baseball team, of which I am a diehard fan, was swept in a three game series by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I’m not necessarily surprised, because for some inexplicable reason, the Marlins have played pretty badly at PNC Park in recent years. I am, however, amused. Amused that while my baseball team played the Pirates of Pittsburgh, a pirate of Somalia cried in court in New York City.

A lot of people are asking what should be done about this pirate, who charged the Maersk Alabama at gunpoint and eventually took Richard Phillips captive. Should he be tried as an adult or a juvenile? It’s unclear whether he is actually 18. It’s unclear of whether he was forced into piracy to begin with. One defense is that the pirate is a victim himself. If convicted, what should happen to him? Should he spend the rest of his life in an American prison?

I’m in shock that the answer isn’t as apparent to everyone else as it is to me.

Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse is a pirate.

There is a baseball team in Pittsburgh called the Pirates.

That baseball team has not had a winning season since 1992. Playing for that team, in front of a daily attendance that’s even less than that of my beloved Marlins, is a punishment in itself.

My suggestion is that Muse play baseball for Pittsburgh. Sure, that might make the team worse, considering everyone on the team has played baseball their whole lives while all that Muse has done his whole life is pillage peaceful foreign vessels in the Indian Ocean. But who cares? Nobody actually likes that team. It would be a great way for Muse to understand and ultimately bond with Westerners. And if he strikes out a lot, or misjudges a fly ball in right field, or doesn’t run out a pop up, we can all just laugh and say, “Oh, that silly pirate!”

Muse, en route to Sports Authority

Muse en route to Sports Authority

Side note: This would make a good sitcom.


The truth about Kenyan distance runners

April 21, 2009

Yesterday was the 113th Boston Marathon, and the men’s top ten finishers included five fellas from Kenya and four from Ethiopia (one of which was the overall winner). It’s no surprise that the results were so Kenthiopia-slanted, as Ethiopians and particularly Kenyans are renowned for their ridiculous ability to run very long distances in very short quantities of time. What is a surprise, however, is that nobody questions this bizarre fact.

Why exactly are Kenyans so fast? It’s not like there’s something inherent about Kenya that makes a person born in that geographical region so prone to speed. Right?

Wrong. I have taken the day to research Kenya, and what I’ve found is a shocking and downright terrifying reality. Kenyan babies are injected with speed. No, not meth, you asshole, but speed. Literal speed, in a physical manifestation. It comes in a formula quite similar to what we in the Western world know as breast milk. Basically, a Kenyan teet is bursting with a liquid that is specifically designed with marathon domination in mind. The lil’un suckles the nip and instantaneously transforms into a full-grown long-distance running man. Those Kenyans who finished in the top ten in yesterday’s race? They’re each only a day old. All born yesterday. They were in fact born on the airplane on the flight from Nairobi to Boston. As soon as they stepped foot onto the ground, they were already done with the marathon… despite it not having yet even begun!

Upon further investigation, the reason these teets are so magical is because on December 13, 1963, a mere day after Kenya declared independence from the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom said, “Fuck that!” and bombed the entire nation (and accidentally part of Ethiopia) with radioactive poop. It sounds implausible, I know, but believe me, it’s true. I don’t make shit up for the sake of imaginative blog material. So quit with the fucking accusations. Anyway, the poop served two purposes: 1) a far too literal “Oh yeah, you gonna declare independence? Well take THAT shit!” and 2) to induce speedy deaths for the dissenting Kenyans. Unfortunately, the UK scientists, though getting the “speedy” part correct, misappropriated that attribute to the mamas’ breasts, and it inexplicably showed up in marathon pace.

So there you have it. It’s a strange truth, but it had to be revealed. The Kenyans are indeed quick simply due to being born in Kenya. They don’t have to train. They don’t have to eat right. They don’t even have to be more than a day old. They just have to be born.


Jackie Robinson 42

April 15, 2009

Today, every uniformed member of every major league baseball team wore the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, who broke the sport’s color barrier in 1947. That’s a beautiful tribute. In fact, it’s just the latest in an escalating series of tributes to the man over the past many years. First, there was the simple act of wearing a “42” patch on the jersey sleeve. Then came the baseball-wide retirement of the number 42, with each organization displaying the number proudly on its stadium walls. This year, as stated above, every single player and coach wore the number instead of his own.

Next year, however, I say we do bigger. Next year, I say we do better. Next year, I say everyone should change his name to Jackie Robinson. And I’m not just talking about players going around saying, “My name is Jackie Robinson today.” I’m talking legal name changes. Documents, government, paperwork. Everyone’s name will officially be Jackie Robinson. And I’m not just talking about those involved in the sport of baseball, either. I’m talking literally everyone. You, me. Obama. Ahmadinejad. Regis. Rachel Robinson. Jackie Rubinson. I don’t care who you are, your name will now be Jackie Robinson. Birth certificates changed, passports. New social security numbers issued. Mortgages. Assets. And not just for the day. I’m talking forever. On your tombstone it will say Jackie Robinson. On the tombstones of people who are already dead, it will say Jackie Robinson. I don’t care if you just died or if you’ve been dead since the Middle Ages; if you’ve got a grave marker, it’s gonna say JR42.

Now that’s a tribute.