Breaking Now, Fantasy, Foul Ball

Behaving Badly – No Biggie?

*Please note that this post was written yesterday (Sunday, the 15th) as I was watching my Fantasy opponent make a Royals (circa 2014-2015) style comeback on me. Also, the Rangers/Blue Jays brawl (which I’ll get to) happened while I was writing this. …What a crazy f*ckin’ day.

So yeah-

MY GOD, it’s been awhile since my last post &, you might’ve guessed it, Fantasy’s to blame…

I’ve reached the point where I need someone to check me into Fantasy rehab (& it’s only week 6!) but I’d also never be able to speak to that person again… & I’m finally at a place in my life where I like everyone I know. :/

Oh well, it’s my problem, & I’ll deal with it, right after I check on today’s games…


F*ck. Why’d I stream Devenski??? Damn rookie pitchers… They’re like virgins, you have to wait for them to get really good &, in Fantasy, where time crawls, ain’t nobody got time for that sh*t. At least, I don’t. Been there. Done that. Over it. Totally dropping Devenski, dropping him so hard, just like I dropped Berrios.


…Yes, I’m a monster, but this is sports, so, as Aroldis Chapman and Jon Jones can tell you, a little monstrosity is no biggie (as long as you keep playing the game well.)

That’s right, Aroldis Chapman is back from his 30 game suspension & he is throwing heat with the same powerful hands that got him suspended (‘according to a police report, he placed his hands around his girlfriend’s neck during an argument and fired a gun eight times.’)

‘Chapman’s case was one of three investigated by MLB this offseason as part of the new domestic violence policy. The others involved Jose Reyes of the Colorado Rockies and Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers.’

Reyes, it turns out, will also be suspended.

Frankly, it’s about damn time the MLB started cracking down on domestic violence… but are they going far enough?

I mean-

Chapman was an original draft pick in my 6 person Fantasy league, even with the suspension, because when it comes down to it, in baseball, a 30 game suspension is no biggie…

Meanwhile, my bestie (now to be referred to as my bestie again & not as ‘LameFace McGillicuddy’) was forced to drop Dee Gordon, who was suspended 80 games for using PEDs, from his Fantasy roster. It’s a tough loss for him (&, I suppose, for the Marlins as well.) 😛

My point is-

Shouldn’t Chapman have been suspended at least as many games as Gordon for scaring his girlfriend so bad that she ‘hid in the bushes outside his home while she phoned police dispatchers for help.What an *sshole, right?

…So, why aren’t people judging him the way they’re judging Dee Gordon?

Probably because most people don’t know what ‘domestic violence’ actually means.

What I mean by that is-

When I asked some fantasy baseballers I know if they knew exactly what Chapman did to get suspended, none of them knew. All they knew was that he’d been suspended for ‘domestic violence’ & now he’s back & throwing fast fastballs. (Well yeah, the dude is strong…)

I can only assume that if he’d been given a longer suspension, more people would know the details of what he did-

& that matters.

(Say what you want about Dee, but at least he risked his own life.)

…So, as long as we’re on the subject of *ssholes, let’s talk about someone who I’ve become more & more convinced is an *sshole-

Jon Bones Jones.

In 2015, Jones ‘pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from a hit-and-run crash in April that injured a pregnant woman.’ (He served no jail time for the hit-and-run.)

Before that, ‘he was involved in four previous documented incidents, ranging from driving with a suspended license to running his car into a utility pole.’

…The part where he was stripped of his UFC title?

No biggie-

He’s fighting to reclaim it AT UFC 200 IN THE MAIN EVENT SPOT.

What I find troubling is that, according to Jones, he never actually lost the title or the belt:

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 11.23.59 AM

While it’s true that Cormier didn’t beat him for the belt in the octagon…

Cormier also never tested positive for cocaine or fled the scene of a hit-and-run.

I was rooting for Jones when he defended his title against Cormier at UFC 182, but I’ll be rooting for Cormier at UFC 200, because

I believe Jon Jones deserves to feel like a loser

&

If Cormier could give him the gift of his first real loss in the octagon, that would be a biggie-

A biggie, like Conor McGregor NOT fighting in UFC 200 (Jon Jones got his spot after Conor failed/refused to meet his press obligations.)

Basically, Conor’s saying he’s a big enough star that he’s literally earned ($$$) the right to dictate his own terms for fighting- but the UFC said, nope.

Conor has built his UFC career on being confrontational & ostentatious…& winning (till recently.) So, it makes sense that he’d take on Dana White with the same cocksure-ity he’s employed against his opponents in the octagon…

But you can’t knock out Dana White… or win by decision when your opponent is the decider.

So, what was/is Conor thinking?

 Who knows? It’s possible that Conor may well be a little too intoxicated with his own McGregor, but this fight with Dana White does raise a good question:

With the UFC more popular than ever & no UFC union, what are the limits of the UFC’s powers’ ?

Here’s another one-

Is Bryce Harper MLB’s Conor McGregor?

Yup. They’re quite a pair of shrinking violets, aren’t they?

But-

Love them or hate them, swagger is good for business… & they’ve got it in spades.

&, really-

How can you *not* want to ‘make baseball fun again?’

Sometimes, however, a fun little bat flip

Leads to-

(Read more about the Rangers/Blue Jays brawl here.)

When it comes to the Rangers vs. the Blue Jays, I think the Rangers might be the *ssholes…

…which isn’t to say Rougned Odor doesn’t have a mean right hook. He does…

But he’s probably going to be suspended for a balls’ age

 (&, of course, I have him in Fantasy.)

Maybe, there’s a place for him in the UFC?

(…Too soon?)

Trying to stay out of trouble till next time, your grl on base.

Standard
Breaking Now, Fantasy, Playing Defense, State of the Union

When Fantasy & Reality Collide…

Fantasy Vs. Reality?

Today, I choose Reality. The Reality is- it’s a beautiful Saturday morning & just last night, my husband & I had a fantastic date night… that ended with us naked …in bed …making fun of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Awesome Friday Night.

(The Reality is also that we were coming off of an emotional Thursday night, during which I must’ve lost half my body-weight in tears.

It was a classic little-thing-blowing-up-quickly scenario, like the walk that leads to a ‘four-homer, nine-run seventh.’)

So-

It was also a Recovery Friday Night & it started with a date…

When Reality sucks, I choose Fantasy… Baseball. My husband, accepting this, took me to a bar where the Dodgers game was on (I have BOTH Kershaw & Bumgarner in Fantasy) & got some whiskey & wings in me (& that is how you get me naked.)

What was awesome for me in Reality, was not awesome for me in Fantasy

I was expecting double-digit Ks (a category I was losing) from both starters… & that is not what I got.

There’s the rub, but that’s the game.

In the after-math, I’m left leading in Ks… but barely …& my opponent has Wainwright & Price starting today.

Who do I have starting today & tomorrow? NOBODY.

…& we’re tied, 5 -5…

So, with two days of games left, it’s time for some lady-balls-

Are there any SPs I can add that’ll be available & starting tomorrow? Yes.

Is one of them, the O’s very own, Mike Wright? Yes.

Was he sort of sh*tty his last time out? Yes.

Is the other Wright (Steven Wright) maybe a better option? Yes.

But-

Do I just have a feeling about this guy? Yes.

DID I JUST DROP STARLIN CASTRO & PICK UP MIKE WRIGHT FOR TOMORROW?!

YES.

&-

Why the hell not put my lady-balls to the wall & go with my heart? The O’s ARE WINNING!

(Let’s face it-

Any time the O’s are winning it’s a Fantasy turned Reality.)

So-

With Schoop, Trumbo, & Rickard all in for today,

if I go down this week- I go down the honorable way.

 I mean-

In Reality & Fantasy this week, I’ve made some mistakes-

Like shutting a door at the wrong time & benching SO MANY PLAYERS WHEN THEY’VE HOMERED (hilariously leaving me perpetually 1 HR behind my opponent.)

Still-

I’ve have had some high-highs…

Like trading-

Not just Salvador Pérez & Victor Martinez for Matt Wieters & Andrew Miller

But also-

Watching that crazy 7th inning when we got home from the bar last night for going to bed with my husband.

Best Trade Ever.

So now-

I pray

&

plug back in

(I set my lineup early this morning & have opted to write this post without checking the status of the games.)

Just in time for-

The O’s, getting back at it, in just a few short hours…

Once again-

FullSizeRender

Cheers, your grl on base.

Standard
Breaking Now

A Linky Piece Linking Baseball, & Cuba, & Trump! (Oh My!)

Did you watch the ‘Brothers in Exile – 30 for 30’? I did.

Now, a new pair of ball-playing Cuban brothers are in the news:

Yulieski Gourriel, 31, and his brother, Lourdes Gourriel Jr., 22, defected this month, hoping to make the jump to the major leagues.

While I’m curious where they’ll end up, I found myself more intrigued by where they came from –a place President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama plan to visit in March, ‘marking the first time in more than 80 years a sitting U.S. president will visit the country.’

Since Obama announced in December of 2014 that “the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba,” the US and Cuba have re-opened embassies and commercial air traffic has been restored.

As a framer, I’ve had the privilege of seeing some incredible art that Americans who have recently traveled to Cuba have brought back.

As a baseball enthusiast, I’ve wondered what this change in our relationship with Cuba has meant and will mean for Major League Baseball. Judging from the countless articles I’ve found online, I’m not the only one.

A New York Times’ article about the Gourriel brothers’ defection states: ‘The Gourriels’ apparent defections come as Major League Baseball and Cuba’s baseball federation seek a working relationship that would allow Cuban players to leave their country legally to play in the major leagues.’

…It also included this insane stat: ‘According to the website OnCuba, a record 150 ballplayers left Cuba in 2015, leaving many to lament a dropping level of play, as younger players have been called on to fill the rosters of the 16 domestic league teams.’

The 2016 exhibition game (against the Tampa Bay Rays) scheduled to take place during spring training next month was also addressed: ‘Plans for that game are still on, M.L.B. has said, but whether the apparent defections of the Gourriels will affect those plans remains to be seen.’

It’s fascinating to look at Cuba through the lens of baseball, which is so quintessentially American, but also so quintessentially Cuban.

In light of recent events, I’ve created a timeline of baseball in Cuba:

Nemesio1864- Nemesio Guilló* brings back Cuba’s 1st baseball bat and ball after studying at Springhill College in Alabama.

1868- Nemesio and his brother, Ernesto, found the Habana Base Ball Club and baseball begins to spread in Cuba.

October, 1868 The Ten Years’ War, the 1st of 3 liberation wars that Cuba fought against Spain, begins. The Spanish colonial government outlaws baseball, telling the island’s athletes to take up bullfighting instead, which is basically the same thing, right?

Baseball becomes a symbol of freedom.

1878- The Ten Years’ War ends in Cuban rebel defeat—But! The colonial government lets Cuba have its baseball and the Cuban League is founded. Nemesio’s Habana Club becomes a charter member of the league. Nemesio played the first few seasons, then retired, but his team, later known as the Habana Reds, went on to become the Yankees of Cuba.

Jump to- 1898- The Spanish-American War– The US intervenes in the Cuban fight for freedom from Spain and declares war. In December, the US and Spain sign the Treaty of Paris, which recognized Cuban independence.

1899- The All Cubans, a team of Cuban League players, become the first Latin American team to tour the US.

1900- The Cuban League starts admitting black players. Eventually, players from the Northern American Negro Leagues start going to Cuba to play baseball in the winter.

1902–05- The All Cubans return to the US, ‘exposing players to major league and minor league scouts and introducing black Cuban players to competition against the Negro leagues. Later, Negro league teams included the Cuban Stars and the New York Cubans, which were stocked mostly with Cuban or other Latin American players.’

Baseball takes off in Cuba…

1940’s-1950’s- ‘Amateur baseball’ thrives in Cuba. ‘Many of the leagues were composed of factory or businesses workers who represented their individual companies. … Cuban males were inclined to participate in the amateur leagues because they were an outlet from the everyday stresses they experienced in both work and family life. The passion of amateur play was not controlled by money or international recognition.’ (Black players ‘were excluded from amateur baseball and had to play for the semiprofessional teams.’)

‘…The growth of education in Cuba led to the decline of amateur baseball. As the players became more educated, they attempted to bypass the amateur level of ball and head straight for the Professional leagues… Opportunities the Professional leagues offered players gave them the option of playing for US teams and making more money…’

1961- Fidel Castro outlaws professional sports following the Cuban Revolution and new amateur baseball leagues are formed in place of the former professional system. ‘The revolutionary government made baseball a symbol of excellence and used it to encourage nationalism.’ Under the new system, players experienced a considerable cut in pay. ‘The reorganization aimed to organize the sport based on a socialist model of sports driven by national ideals rather than money. Revolutionary officials believed that under capitalism sport is corrupted by the profit motive.’

1991- The dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s main trading partner, hits Cuba’s economy hard. Many players, including Orlando and Livan Hernandez, defect in the 1990’s.

1999- The Cuban national baseball team plays in a two-game exhibition series against the Baltimore Orioles! (The O’s won the 1st game in Havana, the Cuban national team won the 2nd game in Baltimore.)

2014- Obama announces: “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.”

2015- Let me just copy & paste that stat from earlier: ‘a record 150 ballplayers left Cuba in 2015.’ Also: ‘a delegation of major leaguers made a goodwill visit to Cuba in December… In a show of progress, the Cuban government allowed several major leaguers who were defectors — including Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers — to take part.’

2016- President Obama plans to travel to Cuba in March & the M.L.B. has plans for an exhibition game (also scheduled to take place in March.)

With all this progress being made- I can’t help but turn a critical eye to the current Presidential race.

Democratic nominees, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both actively supported normalized relations between the US and Cuba.

Meanwhile, Republican nominees, Ted Cruz  and Marco Rubio, both Cuban-American, have rejected Obama’s efforts toward a better relationship with Cuba.

‘The 2016 Republican candidates ‘have it backward,’ Clinton (has) said. ‘Engagement is not a gift to the Castros, its a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession, it’s a beacon.’’

Then, there’s the incomparable Donald Trump, everyone’s favorite racist, not to mention Cruz and Rubio’s main competition, who said in 2015: “The concept of opening with Cuba is fine.”  Wow, ok, cool? Then, just a few days ago, he offered up this gem: “Maybe in our deal with Cuba, we get them to take it over and reimburse us, because we’re probably paying rent. We’re going to keep it open, but we’re going to get the cost down, because that’s ridiculous.”  The linked article went on to clarify, ‘the United States does not pay Cuba anything to operate the Guantanamo Bay base.’

What a world we live in… and what will 2017 bring for Cuban ball players hoping to find opportunity in the major leagues? The answer to that question seems to be as uncertain as -yet inextricably linked to- who will win the race for the White House.

*It just so happens, I have also been reading The League of Outsider Baseball, an awesome gift from an even awesomer brother-in-law. It’s where I got just about all my facts on Nemesio Guilló (see picture!)

Till next time, your grl on base.

Standard