The BarristerFuck. Yes.
We'll probably have some sort of hastily slopped together piece on the nonsense that is the Bills on TNF tonight at some point later this afternoon. But, frankly, I'd be a shitty Mets fan and human being if I didn't take a moment to breathe this great news in here at the Deeg. RA Dickey. Cy Young.I am pretty used to sports disappointing
me. This is a Buffalo problem, of course, but is also a sports problem more generally. These games we love rarely provide the kind of joy we're looking for - the kind that comes with championships and being able to walk into work with the "my team is the fucking best" rushing to roll off your tongue. Sports are built on the majority of teams and players and, by extension fans, falling short with "there's always next year" as the sole remaining brightside. This is, as an aside, why the NHL lockout hurts us as much as it does; the loss of a "next year" looms large for teams and fans who haven't had much by way of success and who realistically need every chance they can get to win it all. Even though our stake in a CBA is infintesimal, we can't help but feel cheated out of a season of opportunity (however slight) to set everything right with a championship.I'm not sure I really have an opinion as to how much days like this can make up for a season like, say, the Mets had this year. Lord knows that I don't feel a whole lot better about the four consecutive Super Bowl losses the Bills handed us just because Jimbo and Thurman and Marv and Ralph
and Bruce are in the Hall of Fame. In fact, it almost makes me angrier - especially with Ralph being there, since he's a vicious turdburger - since I'm forced to come to terms with what should
have been with a team lucky enough to have some of the best players there ever were. Certainly, there's little joy in walking into work saying "Jim Kelly is a Hall-of-Famer" when the instant rebuttal to that will make me break out into a cold sweat and hives. After all, the Mets were bad this year. Sure, they were good at one point - very good, in fact. But, they were terrible in the end, in the only way that really matters.
Their season was only positive when compared to the prevailing wisdom about what kind of season they should have had when writers were making their predictions in March. In the midst of their craphole of a season, of course, was Robert Allen Dickey and his twenty wins. He averaged nearly a strikeout per inning pitched, he won nearly two thirds of the games he started (only six of them being his losses), and - with a team of, basically, losers - he managed to keep his ERA to a low 2.73. He was the
reason to watch the Mets down the stretch, when playoff hopes were in the toilet and Johan was long-since placed on the IR. In the season where the Mets had their first no-hitter EVER, Santana's win on June 1st became a distant afterthought to the kind of season that Dickey put together. Now, he has a Cy Young.
Dickey wrote, in the piece I linked to above, about how this isn't just an award for him, but that it's for his family and his team and his fans - all of whom supported him during the recent years of his improbable journey from apparent bust to All-Star and Cy Young winner. This is the typical thing to say when you win an award like this, and more often than not it does little to lift my spirits following a season like the one we just had. Yet, with this guy - this success story arising out of failure, this player who inexplicably inspires me in a universe of sport I so often find disheartening... with this guy, and this award, I'm loving today. So, Bills - do your worst, as I'm sure you'll do. Dickey's going to have me smiling for a while yet.
If you’re a sports fan, weekends can be a magical/utterly depressing time as you get to enjoy/loathe your teams without the burdens of work (presumably), only to have Monday come around with your outlook on the week unreasonably shaped by how things played out. When the Bills beat the Pats last September, work was great, if very hungover, on Monday morning. Anything seemed possible. On the other hand, when the Sabres drop a back-to-back against the Leafs over a weekend (I’m sure it’s happened at some point, probably several times), Monday feels like garbage. Everything is lost.
Living in New York City helps with this a bit, since I can blend in with the plebeian masses and keep my more hideous sports allegiances hidden for a few days if need be. But, pathetic, emotionally-wrecked mess of a human that I am, I tend to wallow a little.
This weekend was a mixed bag, with the Mets winning a pair, the Bills looking like a hot turd sandwich with a side of miscommunicated routes, and both Liverpool and the Red Bulls leaving two points on the pitch with depressing draws. All of which is to say that I’ve certainly felt worse on a Monday, but, as you'll see after the jump, I still don’t feel at all close to good.
Are you fucking serious?
Lost in the haze of last night's epic USMNT win at the Azteca was the circus, clown shoes shenanigans of Dusty Baker, as the Reds manager chose gamesmanship over common sense, and gave Mets fans another reason to hate his stupid, fat face.
Up 1-0 in the second inning against my lowly Mets, Baker successfully prodded the umpire to instruct RA Dickey to remove two bracelets from his wrist. Two bracelets that had been given to him by his daughters before he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last winter, and which he has worn in every one of his magical starts this season - not to mention his All Star Game innings earlier this summer. Dickey complied - how couldn't he - later conceding that, well, rules are rules. Dickey would go on to give up three homers and the Mets lost 6-1.
Advantage DB, I guess.
A day removed from taking LeBron to task for being a gigantic shit burger (despite also being an incredible player), it seems fitting that I'd get to stay up for a late, west coast Mets game and watch the antithesis of that on the mound. In a league with no cap, there's this guy who makes $3.9 million a year - less than Derek "Tossed Salad Roy" and Ville "The Finnish Rusty Trombone" Leino - and who is, inexplicably, right now, the best at what he does. He's so dominant that hitters laugh when they swing at his stuff. Laughing, somehow, an appropriate response because the only other logical reaction would be a temper tantrum. And no one really wants that.
I kind of fell out of love with baseball during the steroids era, as many did, and when I got brought back in to watch my family rejoice at the 2004 Red Sox win, only to find some of its heroes - Curt Schilling, for example - to be humongous dicks, I grew wary again. Sure, the Mets have been an exception, but even that has been a marriage of convenience in a sense, offset by their awful play, sometimes tough to take fan base and felonious ownership.
I was tempted to title this post "The Hero Baseball Needed?" but thought against it because it probably would have shown my ignorance to many great stars across the league - ones who perform at a high level while also being eminently likeable. Dickey, though, is certainly the hero I needed in baseball. I said it earlier this season, and it's only becoming more true - this Mets team has got me going all in.
And Robert Allen Dickey is reason #1.
He's 12-1, his ERA is 2.15, he averages just under 9 strikeouts a game, and four years ago, few of us had ever heard of him.
Unlike some stars who get pulled into the hype machine of the Network, almost forcing us to despise the guy at the center of it all out of principle, there's nothing to not like about what we're getting out of R.A. He's, comparably, vastly underpaid, he's well-liked by anyone and everyone, and he licensed his image to be on one of the best tshirts ever made.
So, if you're on the fence about baseball and need a reason to watch and have, apparently, been living under a rock during his recent dominance, start watching the Mets every five games and see the best hitters in the game get straight up befuddled at what this 37 year old knuckler does.
Sad. And adorable.
The Barrister, feat. The Scizz
It was a rainy, misty, shitty day in New York City on Thursday. The perfect setting for our second installment of Infinite Sadness, one of the peripheral cogs in the Deeg Podcast Industries. Scizz, still sitting in the solitude of his sobriety, and I, still sitting in my own sweat and overworked misery, got together via Skype to discuss some of the more recent sports news that makes us infinitely sad.
While the arc of our conversation is often tangential, we touch on the NHL playoffs and how it's been to watch hockey suddenly get big in the big market of NYC, and then have a reflective discussion on how unsurprised we are to see that the Buffalo Sabres have not invited us and our stockpile of dick jokes to attend next month's Blogger Summit. Hint: It's Scizz's fault. Second Hint: It's also Alex Sulzer's fault.
This was a ton of fun to make, as always, and includes musical interludes from Incubus, Ben Folds Five and Biggie Smalls. Enjoy by streaming or downloading below.
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It's been a rough morning. I blame whomever invented Crown Royal.
Wow. That game was a shit show. Mostly as with respect to me, as I'm pretty sure that I was only semi-conscious of the world around me. Which isn't to say I didn't know what was going on with the game - it was pretty easy to follow, as most baseball games are - but, boy, I must have been a sight to behold stumbling around the outfield concessions area, trying to put a straight face on while buying another beer.
It all started with a boat ride. A wonderful, drunken boat ride.
If you live in New York City, or travel here for baseball games during the summer, the NYC Water Taxi is a freakin' gift from heaven. The company, which typically runs ferry services/boat trips out of South Street Seaport, has been offering free - FREE!! - trips to all NY baseball game - Yankees and Mets - for a few years now. I've never taken the Yankee boat, as I'm sure it's filled with "special" fans from Staten Island, and I prefer to avoid those folks as often as I can. But, the Mets boat, filled with only the classiest of sports fans, has been a favorite of mine for a couple years. So, when Scizz, Apologist and I agreed that we'd check this game out, catching the water taxi was my first choice. Added benefits include forcing me to leave work right at 5 pm, rather than a 6 pm departure to get me to the field via subway, and the $5-$6 beers sold on the boat . While Aps had to opt out of the boat trip due to work, Scizz and I - as well as a dear friend of mine - found our way to the boat for the 5:40 departure.
Sidebar: Incidentally, this friend prefers to remain nameless in this post - which I can certainly appreciate - so, I agreed to find her a suitable nickname from amongst the characters in She-Ra: Princess of Power. I've settled on Madame Razz, who was apparently the witch on the show? Who the fuck knows. This line from the wikipedia page sealed it: "Madame Razz is very absent-minded, and frequently mispronounces spells or forgets them completely.." After my friend's performance last night, this seems about right.
Madame Razz: Life-long Mets fan and vehement hater of David Wright.
Anyway....putting aside by recent obsession with childhood television, back to the details of our night.
It was a perfect night for a boat trip, and a great way to pregame any baseball game in the City. Especially since, after consulting with Scizz and Razz, and being the boy scout that I am, I packed for our trip...mini bottles of Crown, Jack and Ketel. Because, really, what's a boat ride along the East River without shots? Don't anyone tell you that I don't think ahead. Unless they're referring to the choice to drink two of those bottles during the boat ride, in which case, yes, my forward thinking may need a little tweaking. But I digress.
Three beers and two shots later, we arrived at Citi. I was in reasonably good shape then - certainly enough to manage a friendly hello to the local fuzz directing traffic, and enough to purchase a couple tickets at the booth. Tickets in hand we met up with the dear Apologist by the Big Apple outside the park, and walked in. A special thank you to the wonderful security at Citi Field, by the way. Concentrating your efforts on guns and bombs, rather than the items actually in my pockets (including two of those aforementioned mini bottles), makes me feel much more positive about this nation's choices with respect to security at large-scale events. Seriously, good work.
One of the themes of the night, aptly summed up by the Apologist as we walked out at the end of the game, was that we were going to simply enjoy this game no matter what. As Aps said, baseball is great because you can go to a game, chat freely with your friends while only partly paying attention, but never feel that you're missing anything. Sure, maybe you turn your head or are in the bathroom for a big home run, but - if we're being honest - rarely do you see a home run that is any way materially different from the thousands you've seen before. Baseball, a sport that is, by its nature, repetitive, doesn't ask a lot of the fans that come out to catch a game. Which may be why I had no problem piling on delicious Goose Island IPA as the game wore on, and why Madame Razz and I had loads of laughs standing on Shea Bridge, discussing the career of Lastings Milledge
- who, incidentally, is not on the Pirates anymore, despite our semi-racist, semi-drunk tendency to think that this guy
was Mr. Milledge in disguise, some covert effort to re-enter the league free of his reputation for being an all-around fuck-up. It took Razz a solid 8 innings to be convinced otherwise.
In addition to being the site of offensive comparisons of Milledge and McCutchen, Shea Bridge's girders double as a drum. Gotta have some percussion when those bats fall silent.
So, yeah, I went to the game and was much more interested in drinking and laughing with friends than I was about the play happening on the field. With the Mets these days, though, that's how I roll.
Which isn't to say that I didn't watch, particularly as the night wore on. The Mets' bats were pretty quiet all night. Continuing a recent trend, the team got a small-ball run in the first inning, but failed to put any more guys across, leaving Dickey high and dry as he battled hard and kept the Pirates scoreless through 7 innings. In short, Dickey pitched a fucking gem, and I can't much fault Terry Collins for leaving him in for the 8th inning - he was NASTY all night, and I can only assume that Dickey thought his stuff was still good. Though, why Dickey remained in after giving up the tying run was a weird move. Knuckleballers are hard to manage, I'm sure, since you don't necessarily see the drop off in velocity in late innings - or, at least, any decrease in speed would be pretty irrelevant, since the speed isn't how he's getting guys out anyway. So, again, I can't really blame Collins for keeping him in for the 8th...but, things got real wacky during that inning - a tough hit batsman call, an inexplicable throw from Carlos Beltran which allowed a runner to advance, and then a center field single that put the game away. These things were typical Mets baseball, and it was bizarre to see Dickey - who's also been dealing with foot issues - stay in there through it all, if only because the previous seven innings might have earned him the right to take a seat and not suffer through any more of the disaster playing out on the field.
That being said, I don't blame Collins, and I don't blame Dickey, for what went down last night. The Mets need to score more than one run to win a game, and they didn't do it. Pure and simple. If the score is 4 or 5 going into the 8th inning, maybe Dickey doesn't need to stay in, maybe the Pirates don't bother showing some late fire, and maybe I feel a little better about the lingering hangover I still have. I know that, right now, this team is full of rookies and call-ups, but they still have some decent hitters in the lineup, and those guys have to step up against teams like the Pirates.
So, there you have it. Next trip to Citi will, with any luck, include the Yachtsman as well, and maybe even Megsie, so we're hoping for a more complete DGWU Crew later this summer. If you follow us on twitter, you know that I was none too kind with the Yachter last night, and was definitely lacking in sympathy for the fact that he had just moved, was working, and didn't want to hear my shit about him not coming to the game. Sorry, bud. Such is life when your friends drink too much and resort to twitter during the boring moments of a ballgame. Next time, show up and tell me to eff myself to my face. We'll all be better off.
The plan was to leave you with my theme song of the night - "Sunglasses at Night" by Corey Hart - but I just watched the video on YouTube and it really fucking blows. I may have been a douche and worn my sunglasses throughout the entire evening, but that's no excuse to subject all of you to such a crap song. So, instead, I give you some Buffalo Expat hip-hop from Rabbi Darkside, alum of City Honors, now hailing from Brooklyn. Enjoy.
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