The Bag Skate – Sox I don’t hate, Cubs fans need to stop it

Posted: July 20, 2012 by Tony Leva in Baseball, Columns, MLB, The Bag Skate

by: Tony Leva

The Sox are trying to win me over

If you know me, you know I’m the furthest thing from a White Sox fan.  It’s a tale I’ve told before and it’s not really relevant at this stage of the story.  Suffice to say, since 1985, I’ve been adamantly opposed to all things Sox.  When they’ve had players I liked, it was only a couple at a time….Carlton Fisk, Robin Ventura, Ozzie Guillen.  Just kidding…Ozzie has always been a loudmouth prick that I couldn’t stand.  But I could stomach rooting for a player or two as long as the Sox sucked.  I recall being at a game where Ventura hit a walk-off grand slam and cheering like mad.  I’m a baseball fan and that was a great moment to see live.  But there’s something afoot on the South Side these days….they have a bunch of players I like and I’m confused as all hell by it.

Right now, there are FOUR players on the Sox that I really like.  It’s tough rooting for these guys and hoping they succeed and hoping the Sox lose every damn game as well.  It’s almost mathematically impossible for these things to dovetail over and over again.  Let’s take a look at who I hope doesn’t get hotel food poisoning every road trip…

Adam Dunn, the king of the 3 outcome players is the first.

Dunn is simply fantastic theatre. What I mean by a “3 outcome player” is that most of his at-bats result one of three ways….a base on balls, a titanic strikeout or a complete and utter fucking BOMB of a homer. His walks are fun to watch….he works the count in a professional hitter way and intimidates the pitcher into staying away from him is how it usually goes. I like that because intimidation is not easy to do. His strikeouts are fun because that big bastard doesn’t get cheated when he swings and misses. I swear you can feel the breeze when he whiffs, even on TV. I haven’t seen monster hacks like those since the last Friday the 13th movie. And there, of course, are his homers. Keep fingers crossed that the link works….

That’s just sexy. How a guy can hit a ball that far and majestically is beyond me. I love guys like this…scary-good. Scary-good is an adjective that describes my next guy….

Chris Sale and his video game stuff.

One thing that makes baseball great is the constant infusion of new talent. Sometimes it lasts for a player’s whole career and sometimes it burns bright for a spell, then fades away like it was too good to be true in the first place. Time will tell where Chris Sale will end up, but for now, he’s one of the best pitchers in the game and watching him deal is a thing to behold this season. When I referred to his “video game stuff”, it’s about his electric fastball and insane breaking stuff that looks like you’re playing on a console with a guy whose speed and movement attributes you’ve adjusted to 99 each and set him loose on your TV. But Sale is all too real right now and it’s fun to watch him demolish lineup after lineup. Baseball needs all the young talent it can get right now and Sale, an All-Star this season, is a top talent right now. I love guys like this. My next Sox player is also the newest one…

Kevin Youkilis, Greek God of Walks

First things first. Youkilis is not Greek…he’s Jewish. But being called The Hebrew Walkmaster doesn’t have any sort of ring to it, nor does The Strolling Shylock (Yeah, yeah, not PC, but I don’t take that crap seriously. Don’t get your panties all wadded over it). His nickname is one of the coolest to come down the baseball pike in decades. Back in the old days, cool nicknames were as common as Kardashian jokes….The Yankee Clipper, The Iron Horse, Teddy Ballgame, Stan the Man, The Say Hey Kid, etc. We needed some new cool ones and The Greek God of Walks is balls awesome. Pun intended.

The other cool things about Youk are his odd batting stance….

and his attitude and approach to the game.

His stance is not what you’d teach a young hitter. Holding the bat with an odd split-grip, with his top hand almost pinching the bat, Youk slides his hand down and moves his whole body into the swing. It’s hard for me to describe, but it’s really cool to watch such an individual approach at the dish. Whatever works for you is what you use. As for his attitude, he’s long been known as a team player who’d die for his teammates. Boston had a solid young player to move into Youk’s spot and Bobby Valentine didn’t do him any favors by dicking with such a respected veteran. The Sox picked him up for two guys who can’t play in the big leagues and made out like bandits. My last Sox guy isn’t a player, but he’s an important cog in the machine and has been pne of the most pleasant surprises of the baseball season.

Robin Ventura, Manager of the Year?

I couldn’t resist posting that pic. But that’s not why I like Ventura. As a player, he was a power-hitting, smooth-fielding 3rd baseman who was a class act and hard worker, coming back from one of the most horrific ankle injuries I’ve ever seen. When the Sox tabbed him as their next manager this past off-season, most people thought they made a huge mistake and were upset that Ventura would be set up for such a glorious shot at failure. Not just failure….EPIC failure. The type of failure that would have Sox fans calling for his head by the time the All-Star break rolled around. Somehow, it didn’t happen.

The Sox hit the break in first place and Ventura’s calming influence (read: he’s not a colossal prick in the ass like Ozzie was) has been a big factor in the Sox’s place in the standings. He’s shown an aptitude for setting a lineup and has been learning on the job in other aspects, like handling a pitching staff. Having 8 rookies on a pitching staff isn’t common, but the team has been pulling it off so far. It may crash and burn as the season wears on, but Ventura has been doing a bang-up job with what he’s been given. I can’t root against him the way I did Ozzie. Like Mick once said…”You can’t always get what you want”.

Cubs fans are fucking stupid again

In retrospect, I should have seen this coming. It should have been glaringly obvious. It really was a no-brainer. After being as many as 24 games under .500 this season, the Cubs have had a nice run where they’ve won 13 of 18 and have rocketed all the way up to a mark of 38-53 at the moment. Any sane fan would be enjoying this brief run of success in a sea of bad baseball, all the while knowing the inevitable shitty month of games is going to follow. Not some of these morons.

Apparently, this recent wave of not sucking total ass has some in Cubs nation thinking this team is now a contender. Never mind that no team that was as many as 18 games under .500 has come back to actually finish .500. The 1991 Brewers were 17 games under at one point and finished 83-79, good for finishing 8 games behind division champ Toronto. The Cubs were 7 games worse than those Brewers, or roughly 30% worse than them. So let me get this straight, you collection of baseball retards…..the Cubs are going to re-write the history books and demolish the standing record of coming back from the most games under .500 AND catch the division leader? Cincinnati is the current NL Central leader with a 52-40 record, good for a .565 winning percentage, which projects to 91.5 wins. With me so far?

To finish with a projected needed win total of 93 wins, the Cubs would need to go 55-16, which translates to a winning percentage of .775. Consider that NO team has EVER played a full season at that pace. I’m quite certain that a team or two may have played at a comparable pace over a similar number of games, but those teams weren’t 24 games under .500 at any point in their seasons. This Cubs team, filled with holes and bad players, isn’t going to be the first. We need to see this team for what is was before the season and what it still is…a work in progress. Just because The Riz is here, (I had to work him in somewhere this week) doesn’t mean we’re good all of a sudden.

Anyone who thinks we have a chance needs to call or email me. I have some beachfront property in my backyard you might be interested in. It’s time the entire fanbase smartens up and stops idiotic shit like saying, “WE’RE STILL ALIVE!!” because we’re now here near alive. Get over yourselves and get a clue about baseball.

  1. Jim L. says:

    Two things about Carlton Fisk a baseball fan should never forget: 1975, Game 6 waving the ball into fair territory and admonishing Deion Sanders, ironically wearing Yankee pinstripes, to run out a ground ball – even donning the White Sox license plate jersey doesn’t diminish him in my eyes.

  2. Tony Leva says:

    Agreed Jim. Can’t hate a guy who played like that. He’s one of the guys it’s a real shame that he never won anything.

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