A Letter to Jim Rome
Dear Mr. Rome,
Earlier this week you welcomed a new affiliate in Boston to your radio show, "The Jungle." Over the last four days you have constantly said that the listeners in Boston may not "get you" at first, but that they should give you a week or two to get accustomed to the show, and then they'll probably find that they actually enjoy it. I have listened to your show for a year now, and I must say: "I hate you and I hate your show."
"Why do you keep listening to my crap factory....ERRRR...show, then?" you ask.
I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. But make no bones about it, your show flat out reeks. Listening to a bunch of dorks pretending that they actually know something about sports, all the while cracking Tina Yothers jokes, and worshiping you (the head dork) diminishes my faith in humanity every day that I hear your show.
Although you don't seem like it on your show, perhaps you are indeed a rational man. Hoping so, I have compiled a list of things I don't like about you, in order for you to fix your shitty, shitty show.
- You gave yourself the nickname "Pimp in the Box." 1)Not only is it immature and irresponsible to give yourself a nickname, I'm pretty sure it's illegal in most states. 2) At least make your nickname something that make's sense. "Pimp in the Box?" What does that even mean? I'll go ahead and give you a new nickname: "Ham Sandwich on a Hot Day." Doesn't make sense either, does it? At least you didn't give it to yourself.
- Occasionally, you land a decent interview. Morgan Ensberg, however, is not a huge interview. Good third baseman? Yes. Decent dude? Sure. Highly sought interview? No. Earlier today, you asked me to stay tuned for a big Rob Schneider interview. The following are oxymorons: Jumbo shrimp, Classy RVs, and a big Rob Schneider interview.
- Your constant barrage of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson jokes. Seeing Jim Everett treat you like the girl that you are was a great television moment back in 1994. Also in the news that year: The O.J. Simpson murders. While they weren't especially funny then, they are unbelievably not funny eleven years later. But that doesn't stop you from bringing it up every week, does it Jim? Of course not. You're Jim Rome and you'll do whatever the hell you want.
- Clones. Yes, the people who call into your show often imitate your style of talking. That is because they are idiots. They enjoy your unique blend of over pronouncing words and dead air. I do not.
- The E-Mails that you read on the air. Every fucking E-Mail, same god damn format: "Dear Jim, something stupid. Signed, Ironic celebrity name." Clever. Real fucking clever. What really upsets me is when you read an E-Mail (which I'm pretty sure you, yourself, actually write) and then claim to be offended by it. How about this: Read it to yourself first and if it truly is inappropriate, don't read it aloud. You do know how to not read aloud, don't you? That would explain some things.
- You have a goatee. Two types of grown men are allowed to have goatees: professional athletes and movie villains. You, Jim, are neither. Your facial hair would not upset me so much if you didn't go the pussy rout and steal Gary Oldman's look. You claim to be extreme, Romey, then let's go ahead and get you an extreme goatee, too.
- Jim Rome is Burning on ESPN. You're lucky that First and Ten is on right before that piece of shit you call a show. After sitting through a half hour of Skip Bayless crying about god knows what, you are almost watchable. But not quite. How many TV shows have you had now, Jim? Three? Four? I can't imagine why your shows don't have any staying power. Oh, wait... yes I can. No matter what format you use on television, as long as you are on the show, chances are high that it will fail. After all, you can't polish a turd, Jim. You just can't polish a turd.
In conclusion: You suck out loud.
PS. Go bang your monkey, Jim.
The Legend of Mike Laga
The year was 1986. A young nation learned how to grieve after the tragedy of losing the Challenger Space Shuttle. Perfect Strangers made it's debut on ABC, starting a Mypos-tinged pop culture explosion which (unfortunately) quickly fizzled out. Bon Jovi made us look deeper inside of ourselves then we ever had before. Perhaps, in fact, we actually did give love a bad name.
And on September 15, 1986, Mike Laga of the Saint Louis Cardinals became the first, and to this date the only, baseball player to hit a ball literally out of Busch Stadium. Although the ball was foul, Laga still received a standing ovation from the crowd, thus beginning a love affair between Cardinals Fans and standing ovations which continues to this day (Last Friday my buddy Dave gave David Eckstein a standing-o for "having a decent at bat.")
This is a great story that's passed along amongst generations of Cardinals fans. A story about a marginal at best baseball player with limited power (the man hit 19 home runs in 9 seasons) who once mustered together all his strength and in his one shining moment, hit a ball out of the cavernous ashtray that is Busch Stadium.
I have only one problem with this story: I have never met, nor spoke with, any human being who remembers seeing Laga's accomplishment first hand. Nobody seems to have any footage of the at bat.
I want proof that this once happened.
I NEED proof that it happened.
Hours of scouring the internet in hopes of finding video, a picture, ANYTHING which could definitively offer me proof that Mike Laga once did the impossible have been in vain, instead leaving me with a lower credit score and a chafed penis. But no proof.
Rather, I run into brainwashed Cardinals fans who sit around Paddy O's, raising their 24 ounce cans a Budweiser's to the sky and praise Mike Laga as if he was Bill Brasky ("TO MIKE LAGA!!! HE ONCE HIT A BASEBALL OUT OF BUSCH STADIUM!!! TO MIKE LAGA!!! HIS POOP IS USED AS CURRENCY IN ARGENTINA!!!")
To these people I say "Don't be so naive. And you can't pee there. And, no, I don't think the beer-girl wants to 'eff' you."
As Josh Bacott at JoeSportsFan pointed out to me "Maybe Laga was the one who started this rumor and no one has ever been able to prove otherwise."
As the Cardinals play out the remainder of their final season at the soon to be torn down Busch Stadium, sentiment and ardor are at an all time peak. And that's saying something. Scott Cooper used to get standing ovations for putting the donut on the right end of his bat while he was in the on-deck circle.
It seems as if everywhere I turn people are discussing their favorite Busch Stadium memories. And every time, right near the top of that list, sits Mr. Mike Laga, hitting a ball out of Busch, whether they actually saw it or not.
I opened up this morning's Saint Louis Post Dispatch to find a Mike Laga poster on the back page of the Sports section. Conveniently enough, there is not a picture of the ball actually leaving the stadium, but a picture of Laga's "reaction" after he hit it.
Real responsible journalism, Post Dispatch. Instead of spending the money and manpower to find out exactly what happened that September night (Perhaps there was a momentary change in gravity that science could explain? Was David Copperfield in attendance that night and feeling more illusion-y then usual?) the Post just throws in a Laga poster, celebrating what I believe could never have happened.
My fascination with Mike Laga is beginning to ruin my life. Most of my waking hours are now spent thinking about him. I've created a scale model of Busch Stadium and have been working on geometric equations hoping to prove that it is truely impossible to hit a ball out of the stadium. My girlfriend left me last Monday night, after I screamed "LAGA!" when I orgasmed and demanded that she did the same.
Damn you, Laga. Damn you to hell.
Hopefully my skepticism will help me redeem myself. The way I see this whole thing going down, is at the final regular season game at Busch Stadium, Mike Laga will be brought out to throw the ceremonial first pitch.
On the Jumbo-Tron in right field, a grainy video from September 1986 will begin to air. The crowd will see Mike Laga at bat, he swings at the first pitch, it's a long foul ball! As the fans get worked up into a fever pitch, readying themselves to give Mike Laga a standing ovation for a foul ball he hit 19 years earlier.
On the Jumbo-Tron the ball rises higher and higher...The video suddenly cuts off.
Five seconds of silence have passed.
"Technical difficulties" everyone in attendance assumes.
Wrong, Busch Stadium.
Suddenly appearing on the Jumbo-Tron, it's everyone's arch nemesis. Perhaps the most hated man in America. The man who made me stop wearing mesh hats. Ashton Fucking Kutcher.
That's right, Busch Stadium, Mike Laga never hit a ball out of the stadium.
"Saint Louis...Ya'll just got Punk'd "
The 2005 Cardinals: Year of the "WHO?"
Outfielders John Rodriguez, Skip Shumaker, and John Mabry! Third Base Man Scott Seabol! Short Stop Abe Nunez! Second Baseman Hector Luna! Catchers Mike Mahoney and Einar Diaz!
Wait a second... who the fuck are these guys?
I had been meaning to write some sort of "Cardinals season-so-far" review for quite some time, and I thought about just changing some names and dates from last year's column, but I decided after last night's weird loss to Hammerin' Henry Blanco and the Cubs that this strange cast of characters now carrying the burden of the broken down superstars warrants a definite mentioning.
So here we go...a run down of the less-talented, less-injury prone role players who are propelling the Cardinals to what looks like another National League Central Championship:
Skip Shumaker- He came up for a cup of coffee in May, then was immediately sent back down to AAA Memphis, probably to never be heard from again. I have no idea why.
Mike Mahoney- For a catcher, the ability to call a game might be the most valuable skill one can have. And Einar Diaz might call the worst game this side of Cody McKay (FYI... Aside from Fernando Ramsey, Cody McKay is arguably the least talented player in the history of Major League Baseball. Just warrants mentioning.) If it wasn't for that, Mike Mahoney would not be in the big leagues. On the plus side: His name reminds me of Steve Gutenberg in Police Academy and if you Google " Mike Mahoney", you get this guy, who really likes bowls.
John Rodriguez- Nice fucking nickname. "J-Rod?" Real effing original. How about we just call you "Cocky Ass Douche-bag" until you erase your contrived, already-jumped-the-shark nickname off the backs of your shoes. Other than that, lightning in a bottle. Keep it up, dude.
Scott Seabol- He seems like a nice guy. Good citizen. Quiet. Keeps to himself mostly. Nobody ever suspected that he paid Hee-Seop Choi $15,000 to ruin Scott Rolen's shoulder.
Abe Nunez- You're telling me this guy couldn't start on nearly any other team in the bigs? Balderdash, I say. Abe Nunez is a pimp. If there was a math equation to describe him it would be: Hustle+Base Hits+tilde=Nunez.
Hector Luna- Hector enjoys cooking, reading romance novels, and traveling. Also, he really likes pinch-running and scoring. And I really like him doing that.
John Mabry- Another guy who could probably start on half the teams in the bigs, Johnny, as always, has been a steady contributor all season. Johnny Baseball also can hit opposite field triples, apparently. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.
Einar Diaz- I'm going to do a compliment sandwich on this one. Einar, 1) Your name is really fun to pronounce, especially when I've been drinking. 2)You suck. You never know what pitch should be thrown and the pitchers can't read your signs, anyway. 3) I gave you a standing ovation when you hit that home run a week or two ago. I had a good time, you did a curtain call, good times were had by all.
There you are, kids. Those are the unsung heroes. God speed, gentlemen.
I considered doing a quick rundown of the bullpen, but I'm really fucking tired of hypertexting.
Nearly The Best Game That I Have Ever Seen
Start the top of the ninth. I had never realized this before, but Jason Isringhausen does not have any entrance music. Now, if the movie "Major League" has taught us anything (other than "I wouldn't leave that rum around this crew") it's that a bad ass closer needs a bad ass theme song to jog on to the field to. Something along the lines of Ram Jam's "Black Betty" or Radiohead's "Anyone Can Play Guitar." Izzy? He's got the fucking cap dance playing in the background on the god damn jumbro-tron. Real fucking intimidating.
As you can probably guess, Izzy blows the save. I wasn't exactly schocked, nor was anyone else in the stadium. He is a very good closer, I will give him that, but the Izz is not exactly great..and that's what Cardinal fans expect right now...greatness.
We were heading towards extra innings.
Now, I should probably inform you that I attended the game with three very good buddies. My roommates Matt and Andy (Andy's uncle actually got us the tickets, which were phenomenal) and our buddy Matt.
Both Andy and Buddy Matt are Cubs fans. And while Andy enjoys a good baseball game and knows what's going on, Matt is the prototypical Cubs fan (ie. Used to live in Chicago, Lincoln Park in particular; always had fun getting drunk at the bar that is Wrigley Field, and equates watching a good baseball game to seeing Sammy Sosa hit a dinger and then getting a hummer in the bathroom of Murphy's Bleachers post-game.) So, by the sixth inning it was obvious that he (Matt, not Sammy Sosa, or the slut in the bathroom at Murphy's Bleachers) was ready to leave...two teams, whom he knew absolutely nothing about...entrenched in a pitcher's dual. My heaven. His hell.
Unfortunately for me, he drove us in his car to the stadium. After the end of the tenth, he decided that we needed to leave, claiming that he had a headache. I wasn't happy about leaving while there was still a game being played, per se, but I left willingly anyway since I just had this gut feeling that the Cards weren't going to pull it out.
We went home. He went to his girlfriends (apparently "I have a headache" equals "I want sex".) I ended up with a Bud in my hand and a Camel Light in my mouth as I watched Albert Pujols hit a walkoff homer in the thirteenth inning in what ended up being the Cardinal's second most exciting game of the season (Mulder v. Clemens being easily the best game played so far.)
And I did rejoice after Alberts walkoff, giving my roommate Matt a slightly homo-erotic double-hi-five/chest bump while he was topless, I wish I would have been there at Busch to truly rejoice.
The lesson: I hate Cub fans, their floppy hats, and their fake headaches more than ever.
Fuck the Little Bears. Go Redbirds.
Freedom of the press? Check.
Freedom to assemble? Check.
Freedom of speech? Check.
Freedom to drink 16 Natural Lights while playing RBI Baseball with a buddy? Not so fast
Now, I'm not here to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, but if you're a true American, like Mr. Eric Laverriere, you will support his cause.
Write to the Chief of Police in Portland, Maine, or to the U.S. District Court in Boston, fuck man, do something.
Because if a man can't get black-out drunk in the privacy of his own home, then I'm afraid that the terrorists have already won.
They've had an album out for a month and a half and I didn't know about it?
Check 'em out right now, then come back and continue reading this post...
As disappointed as you may be in me for not recomending these guys sooner, I can honestly say that I am 20 X more disappointed at myself.
For shame, Mr. Fritz, for shame.