The Emotion of Baseball

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So if you weren’t sitting with two boxes of Kleenex last night during the Say Good-Bye to Mariano Rivera segment of Yankees-Rays, you’re a heartless bastard with no feelings or emotions.  At least that was the consensus on social media last night.

No doubt it was a special moment at Yankee Stadium last night when Rivera came in to pitch for the last time at home (or anywhere) and I watched and thought it was great but did it punch my emotional buttons? No. Did I get misty eyed with Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter came out to remove Rivera from the game? Nope, sorry. Did I think it was a nice moment? Sure.

Mariano Rivera is without a doubt the greatest closer in baseball history. He is a sure first ballot Hall of Famer –he won’t be a unanimous first ballot honoree because we all know some shithead from the BBWAA will leave him off their ballot in “a look at me moment”-but  since he was not a New York Met, then my emotions stayed in check.

Sorry if that pisses off the ultra-sensitive types but I save my baseball tears for the New York Mets, both happy and sad occasions.

I don’t get why the baseball writing eggheads get so bent out of shape over events on the field that fall under the “unwritten rules” of baseball. Seriously, what is it about this code of conduct that baseball players have amongst themselves that pisses you off? Is it that it doesn’t fall under your view of baseball through the eyes of statistical analysis? This is no way a knock at the analytic work done by many of these folks, if you are a MLB organization that doesn’t have a fully staff analytic department, then you’re in the working in the dark ages. I love how  baseball execs have so much data to look at and study to make help make important decision in player personnel to help achieve the ultimate goal of winning the World Series.  You still have to take the human side into account as well.    

When Brain McCann waited at home plate for Carlos Gomez to arrive after putting on an embarrassing display of being an ass hat when he hit a home run of Paul Maholm, I thought it was one of the best on field statements I’ve seen in baseball in a long long time. McCann just standing there explaining to Gomez just what an asshole he was and daring him to go through him to touch home plate showed me that McCann was standing up for his pitcher, his teammates and his organization. He should be applauded. Sadly some folks didn’t see it the same way I did and to tell you the truth I was a bit surprised by some of the reaction.

As I said, it was mostly the people who seem to be the baseball intellectual types that thought McCann was a jerk.  None of the McCann bashers mentioned that Gomez was still holding a grudge from being hit by a pitch from Malhom (who throws about 85 mph tops and that’s with a running start) earlier in the year. The first pitch of the at bat, Gomez nearly swung himself out of his uniform as he wanted to hit the pitch to Buckhead . He damn near succeeded on the next pitch which he hit a towering home run. Gomez stood and admired the shot then glared at Maholm to which Freddie Freeman screamed at him and he yelled back at Freeman while he leisurely strolled the base paths like he was out for a constitutional on the deck of the Queen Mary. As Gomez went down the 3rd base line, staring into the Braves dugout, he was startled by McCann standing in his way of touching home plate, a destination Gomez never arrived at. At that point the benches emptied and the Braves went after Gomez and any Brewer that stood in their way.     

Now why anyone who watches, covers or has played baseball was surprised at McCann’s actions baffles me. It’s the same way I can’t understand people getting upset when Tiger Woods curses after he hits a bad shot.  Those people have obviously never been on a golf course, same with the folks who are appalled by baseball player’s behavior on the field.  

What do they think happens on the field and in the dugout and clubhouse? This may come as a shock to some of the finger sandwich and high tea crowd but baseball players use very bad language at times, in fact they use the bad language a lot on the umpires. Ball players (I hope I don’t offend anyone here) also spit nasty tobacco juice and sunflower seed shells and (hold on to your pearls Francis) blow their nose without a tissue. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. The floor of a dugout is as nasty as a subway platform.

As much as baseball has to go forward using statistical analysis in decision making it also cannot forget the on field emotion of the game as well. I don’t know about you but my love of baseball didn’t come from a calculator it came from first watching it, then playing it , then embracing the camaraderie of being on a team. There’s no better feeling than being on a team that has each other’s back. There’s no better feeling than playing on a team that wins. There is no better compliment in baseball than “he plays the game the right way”.  If you can’t understand that, then I have pity on you, you’re missing a great game.

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Thanks NY Mets……For Nothing

Dear New York Mets,

Thanks for nothing or maybe I should say thank you for making me out to be a horse’s ass.  Yes that’s sarcasm as I really need no help most days to be a horses ass but by you taking four games from the hated NY Highlanders, well in had me intoxicated in a way I haven’t been in a long time while overdosing on the euphoria of the four game sweep and not to mention the fabulous May 28th win against Mariano Rivera that had me go into work the next day draped in blue and orange  and enter the office like Ric Flair screaming out “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IF YA WANT TO BE THE MAN…….YOU GOT TO BEAT THE MAN……..WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”. From there I did my best Flair strut to my cubicle withstanding the cat calls of “Shut The Fuck Up” Oh but there was no shutting me up, oh no.

As I mention I was intoxicated with Mets success, it’s not that I ask for championships, although they are fantastic and give me not better feeling as a fan, no all I want is for the Mets to be competitive. All I ask is for a summer of following the Mets and watching the rest of the division as well. How does a Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Marlins loss effect my Amazin’ Mets. I thought after the final win at The Shopping Mall of the South Bronx, there would be a kick start to the season, a season where if Matt Harvey is not on the list of probable pitchers for the day, it’s well, just another day.  

So with the momentum of a 5 game win streak and the schedule saying the Mets must go to Miami and collect 3 more wins all I thought about was an 8 game win streak headed to Washington and an underachieving Nats team, could this be? Could the Mets now be the “uh-oh” team?

This is where me being a horses ass comes in, what the hell was I thinking?  The Mets are not a good team nor are they a team that builds off positive momentum. How stupid was I?   

I’ve learned my lesson and learned it the hard way. Now I slink into work and to the local bagel store and even to church where yesterday I made sure to stand under the statue of Mary when Highlander  fans I know wanted to ridicule and make fun of me and the baseball team I love but couldn’t as I pointed above my shoulder and said “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be”  

I’m making a vow not to get all excited again this year, not even when Zack Wheeler arrives (I don’t know if you know but Wheeler’s call up could happen at any time, it’s all over the internet I tell ya) I’m just going to suppress my enthusiasm until next year, 2014:The Resurrection of the NY Mets.  At least that’s what I heard.

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Tejada? Nada Hi Q and What up Gee?

So now that we have something to cheer about in what has been a less than enjoyable baseball season, the voices of sports squawk radio and those who feel they’re the conscious of Mets fans tells us not to get too giddy over this unexpected four game win streak that includes three against the Bronx Bastards. To them I say go piss in someone else’s pool. I’ll revel in whatever joy this team gives me, it could all turn to shit very quickly.

So while we can say we root for the best baseball team in NYC, there is still danger in the summer moon above.

If anything disturbs me it’s the indecision on the front office’s part on what to do with Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada. It seems that brain trust is divided on what to do with both of these underachievers.  Reports are that Terry Collins gave them both what for before Tuesday’s game and that the both were saved a trip to Sin City by the Mets win as everyone in the Mets clubhouse had on party hats and were swinging at Piñatas and enjoyed ice cream after the Mets beat the Highlanders and Mariano Rivera, with the kids all having a good time no one had the heart to tell Davis and Tejada they were moving away from their friends. Kids are quite vulnerable you know.

But now it seems Ike Daivs is pulling a Hulk Hogan, when just when you think the 3 count will get him, he raises that finger on the count of two, waves that index finger, gets up and puts the big boot in the opponents face.  Tejeda did the organization a favor by straining a quad muscle and will be out for the season, well, not really but he’s on the 15 day DL, and by Tejada status means it will take him a month to heal and then his rehab then the obligatory minor league starts at Brooklyn, we looking at, oh I don’t know, Labor Day for Tejada? That’s okay as we have the man we want in Omar Quintanilla, back to play stellar D and get some big hits, or so we hope.

Nothing beats having completion on a team for jobs. The word on Tejada was he was getting very complacent thinking he had civil service status as a Met and a trip to Vegas would take him down a notch or two, let’s hope he doesn’t sit around eating Hagen Das while lounging on the beach during his recovery.  

If anything tonight’s game in the South Bronx is not just about sweeping the Highlanders and having their fans jump like rats from a sinking ship, it’s about Dillon Gee pitching for his spot in the rotation. Gee needs to step up big time tonight to keep a spot in the rotation. By next week the rotation will be Harvey-Niese-Marcum-Wheeler and either Gee or Hefner. I’m rooting for Gee to bounce back and keep the 5th spot in the rotation I just feel Hefner is best suited for the bullpen and as the old timey spot starter.

 

 

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From Niese-ly Done to Matt-tastic Harvey

 

Some observations after last night’s Mets 2-1 win over the NY Highlanders:

I was quite perturbed that there wasn’t a pre-game show on SNY.  As the day went on yesterday I was really getting revved up for this game. But I switched on SNY at 6PM looking forward to Chris (Uncle Fester) Carlin and my main man, Bobby Ojeda to hit me up with some knowledge before the game.  Instead I got the insufferable Beer Money. Total failure by SNY to not have a pre-game show even with the telecast on PIX-11. Speaking of PIX-11

Since Ch 11 was televising the game it seems they were given the opportunity to have a pre-game show on WPIX but instead of a pre-game show Mets fans were treated to a television train wreck. There was some guy named Mario Diaz who was teamed up with Art Shamsky, who by the way has been pushing this book of his for what seems like an eternity. Really Art, enough already, that damn tome is sitting on a shelf down at the Dollar Tree give it a rest. So now this Diaz guy throws it to another guy I never heard (and if I’m lucky will never hear of him again) Dyrol Joyner. Joyner was so tongue tied and unprepared that I went from mocking him from my living room to actually feeling sorry for the dude. It was bad enough calling Mariano Rivera “Mario” but he kept stumbling and bumbling over his words, it was quite an embarrassment. Then they went to some young lady who must have just re located here to the NY area because she was reading traffic and transit report right off a script and never lifted her eyes to look into the camera. There was an on field interview with Jeremy Heftner that focus on his family during the Oklahoma tornado which happen last week, the same time Hefner addressed the effect on his family, and an interview with Matt Harvey where he was asked if he ever met Julia Roberts since she stared in Mystic Pizza filmed in the town where Harvey is from.  Oh and good news, Mr. Diaz said they will all be back on Thursday from the Bronx. Someone in the Mets organization needs to put a stop to that.

It’s amazing how Mets fans are such creatures of habit as soon as it was realized that Gary Cohen was off and Kevin Burkhardt was handling the play by play, Mets Twitter was in a dither. It wasn’t the smoothest broadcast of all time that’s for sure. First off, Keith Hernadez had a major brain fart calling Daniel Murphy’s broken bat a “dead solider” on Memorial Day no less and there was way too much Highlander love and way, way, way too many shots of Pee Wee Cashman sitting in the stands. You have to know your audience is made up of not just die hard Mets fans but also die hard Highlander haters.

There is no two ways around it, those camo unis suck and if I never see them again that would be swell. Although John Buck, Bobby Parnell and John Niese looked like they could wear the camo’s every day.

I don’t know why people get their panties in a bunch over the attendance numbers at ball parks. What the Mets and the rest of professional sports have to understand is with the advent of high definition televisions and the high ticket, parking and concessions prices, fans are finding that staying home in the living room or den with their big screen TV with full fridges of food and their favorite beverage of choice is winning out over fighting traffic, long lines to eat and pee and  watching a bad product on the field. The NFL realizes this and is trying to figure out how to make fans want to leave home and experience football in a live environment rather than staying home and watching on TV.

Great start from Jon Niese as he had total command of his especially an effective cut fastball.  This is exactly what is expected and needed from Niese 6-7 solid innings each start.

After getting robbed of a 2 run homer by Brett Gardner, Daniel (#ImWith28) Murphy comes up big with a clutch single to center to score JV1 with what proved to be the winning run.

How about Ruben Tejada in that 8th inning ? Every time he puts the ball in play recently it’s in the air for a can of corn out, yesterday when the Mets needed a fly ball to get Mike Baxter home from first, he hits it on the ground and Baxter was out at the plate. Total frustration.

Speaking of frustration, Lucas Duda with RISP has hit (can you really call it that) a buck twenty-five with ZERO home runs and a paltry 6 Rib Eye Steaks .

As for Ike Davis, just a hat trick last night 3K’s in 3AB’s

Prediction for tonight 3 hit complete game shutout for Matt Harvey #HappyHarveyDay      

 

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Dear Mets Diary, It’s Been Awhile………….

Dear Mets Diary,

WOW, it has been a while since I’ve written to you. How ya been? Me? I’ve been very busy with two kids graduating and going on to college and high school and moving my office from Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn (just a 15 minute walk to the Barclay Center which if Walter O’Malley had his way would have been a fifteen minute walk to Ebetts Field II) then add in getting entrenched in the Celtics-Knicks playoff series (I hope the C’s didn’t leave all they had left on the court yesterday) and the NY Rangers getting ready to battle for the Stanley Cup (nice to see the Blueshirts in full “jam” mode but getting the hottest team in the NHL in the Caps and that prick with ears Ovechkin is going to be a rough series I know it) I’ve kind of neglected my duties of writing about the Mets. Problem is, there’s not much to write about.

I’m not saying I’m not following my beloved Amazin’s but other than the days/night Matt Harvey starts (by the way Happy Matt Harvey Day) there really isn’t much to get overly excited about this team. In fact after a month of the season, they are still as bad as they were the last half of last year and what’s worse I don’t see how they can improve?

With yesterday’s loss to the Phuck Phaces (4th loss in a row) the Mets will now have FIVE consecutive losing months since July of last season.  The bullpen has been beaten up this first month and though it looks bad on paper, they reason the pen has been so ineffective is the Mets use about 4 relievers a game. Unless the pen consists of Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers  and the 1990 Cincinnati Reds Nasty Boys, no bullpen can withstand that type of work load. Add in that Terry Collins and Dan Warthen have an awfully tough time knowing when and who to go to in relief situations, you have the big time mess the Mets are in now. It would be nice if the Mets starting pitching could go more than 5-6 innings a start as well as it would take the pressure of the beleaguered  bullpen and also take the strategic thinking out of the minds of Collins and Warthen.   

The offense is pathetic too. I wish I knew what the hell is wrong with Ike Davis, is he just in a slump or are the rumblings of him being uncoachable true?  Or is it too many people telling Ike what to do that he has a sensory overload on how to hit? The answer is probably a little bit of both. Right now the best move the Mets could make is to bring up Josh Satin to be Ike’s 1st base partner in a straight platoon. In 24 AB’s vs. LHP in Triple A Satin has a slash line of .333/.429/.583 sure it’s a very small sample size but ask yourself this, would it be better to have Josh Satin on the big club roster or Marlon Byrd?

It seems that Juan Lagares is now the flavor of the week in centerfield as the Mets it seems haven’t a clue on how to put the outfield together. The only constant is Lucas Duda who has shown, shall I say, Confidence, at the plate and has put together a very nice April, although those 8 Rib Eye Steaks don’t look very meaty. Lagares can cover tons of turf in the centerfield which is a big help to The Big Lebowski in left and in right Mike Baxter has not looked too good in the outfield this season but he seems to have that Hawk Harrelson TWTW factor which I agree with Hawk you need and it’s something that sabermetrians can scoff at and ridicule but it is something that is sorely lacking in this team. The Will To Win. I see it in Baxter and most definitely in Matt Harvey and Captain David and #IMWITH 28 as well but collectively as a team I’m not feeling it.  

It doesn’t seem as if the fan base is feeling it either. The social media soap box known as #MetsTwitter has been abuzz the last few days with wonderment over not if Terry Collins will be relieved of his managerial duties but when it will happen and who will take over.  I would like to say this kind of talk is premature and that Collins can only work with the lousy hand he’s been dealt but I have to admit the last 48 hours has me thinking that change may do the Mets some good.  

This team needs some kind of a shakeup, and by the way has anyone seen or heard from Sandy Alderson? Remember when Fab Freddy Skill Sets opened up his yap after Michael Bourn signed with the Tribe to proclaim that the team has the financial wherewithal to spend on players to make the club better?  If that’s the case then why is the GM bouncing players from Vegas to NY? How about some good ol’ fashion GM’ing by making a deal that will bolster not only the team on the field but the fans in the stands? Why should the Mets fan care about this team if management and ownership don’t seem to?

In a perverse way, I hope the Marlins take 3 straight from the Mets (sorry Matt Harvey maybe you lose 1-0 in a complete game where you strike out 15 walk none and the only hit you give up is a Giancarlo Stanton HR) as then maybe Sandy Alderson will make some kind of move.

The Mets have been given a pass in the media so far as the New York Sports fan is in fully engulfed in the Knicks playoff run and the always entertaining sitcom, The Jets of Florham Park, but eventually Mets fans are going to start to rumble and the media is going to need something on an off day to write about and as we all know in NYC nothing sells papers and makes ratings rise like a catastrophe and the Mets are headed in a catastrophic direction.

Sometimes those Yogi-isms are so true and make a ton of sense. The Mets are headed for the fork in the road, where will they take it? Also it does get late early and after five consecutive losing months the sun made be setting on the Mets.

So Mets diary I have bared my soul, I hope I can write to you more frequently and in a more optimistic way as well. I have to confess the losing is getting to me. I’m so tired of blown late inning leads and multi game losing streaks God-awful at bats and 3 error games. Right I’m not confident there will be a positive turnaround for a while.

Lets Go Rangers!!!!

 

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GIVE IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY, GIVE IT AWAY NOW……..

This should be played in the Texas Ranger P.A. system

Someday, when that someday will be I don’t know, but someday a big league manager is going to have the brains and the confidence to do away with the role of the closer. Maybe that day will be when Mariano Rivera retires, which may not be for another ten years but I hope that whoever is hired by the Mets makes on of his first command decisions that the day of saving your best arm for just the ninth inning is over. The only team that can still say they have a legitimate  pitcher to finish a game are  the Highlanders and until mangers like Texas’ Ron Washington, get this though their thick skulls, they just might win more baseball games than they lose.

If Nolan Ryan is going to be the new tough guy in the Rangers front office when he claims that it’s time to re-evaluate the way bullpens are used and develop starting pitchers who should be conditioned to pitch deep into their starts, he might like to have a little sit down with Washington today before game two and let him know, when the game is on the line and you feel you’ve gotten all you can out of your starter, bring in the best arm you have in the pen.

I’m not looking to kill Ron Washington here as he managed the way every big league manager would have in that eighth inning, plus Darren Oliver and Darren O’Day needed to step up and how in the world does Ian Kinsler have a brain fart in the eighth getting picked off?

The Rangers had the Highlanders on the ropes and bleeding but they lacked that killer instinct, that solid knockout punch, hopefully they can turn the page and go out today and tattoo Phil Hughes, if not, the who gives a shit what Cliff Lee does in Game 3?

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DAVID WRIGHT HAS MOURNING SICKNESS

Sorry for the late post but I was conferring with my attorneys, to see is we Mets fans can file a grievance against the MLBPA for filing a grievance against the Mets in the Mets v. K-Rod case.

I did not watch any of the Mets-Astros game last night and I’m glad I didn’t as it seems the play of the field made people wretch.

Rod Barajas will be activated some time today and word is Josh Thole’s spot is safe. So the Mets will go with 3 players out of 25 who play catcher. Then they have a pitcher who may as well sit in the bullpen in a Snuggie with a bowl of pop corn as he never gets to see the light of the pitchers mound. Now you know why the Mets organization is baseball’s equivalent of the person coming out of the bathroom with toilet paper sticking out the back of their pants.

I  have my doubts about people like Tony Dungy, who is one of  these holier

 than thou types, than I do about a guy like Rex Ryan. In fact, I would trust Rex Ryan more than I would Dungy. 

Matthew Cerrone thinks Bobby Parnell should be the Mets closer now and next year in the event that Francisco Rodriguez is gone from the team. Hard to argue that point in fact I’ve been saying for awhile the most overrated position in sports is the closer, with the exception of Mariano Rivera.

If you haven’t heard my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN show with Howard Megdal, it’s well worth your while, also don’t forget to vote of Howard for Mets GM right here.

Alex Belth has touched on a great subject at his Bronx Banter site, film crews in NYC. Where my office is located downtown we have crews for the now off the air Ugly Betty, Law and Order, and Rescue Me. There is nothing funnier than a crew trying to shoot a scene and telling pedestrians to please wait before crossing a street and having New Yorkers telling to go fuck themselves and keep walking.    

Now that the Mets are done for the year, are you following any other team that’s on the march to the post season? I always have a soft spot for the Giants so I like to watch their run (even though they’ve dropped 4 of 5 to the Padres and Phillies, two teams that if they needed to beat) for the NL West or Wild Card and the watching the White Sox-Twins series has been a thrill. So tell me is their a team your following or are you just waiting for football season?

Don’t forget to check out my NO PSL REQUIRED Fantasy Football League as there are some spots remaining.

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RAG ARM RELIVERS SHOULD NOT SPEAK

Who the fuck is Brian Bruney and who gave him permission to speak? How about waiting until you’ve done something in th ebig leagues besides hold Mariano Rivera’ wam up jacket before you open your pie hole about another player, especially a guy who could pitch better with his left arm than you do with your right. Bruney is still an understudy and he has the brass balls to comment on Frankie Rodriguez a bona fide All Star reliever. I like how Frankie handled it when he said if Bruney had something to say then when the Highlander’s come to $iti Field say it to his face. Yeah , like that will ever happen Bruney will probley find a way to go back to his favorite spot the DL. Now go help A J Burnett make whip cream pies douche bag!

I should thank Brunet and the Highlanders though because with all the injuries and bad play of late my enthusiasm is running a bit low but with the win yesterday and Bruney’s big mouth and the team rallying around Castillo and David Wright kicking ass, I’m one stoke Mets fan and from reading stories n the fish wraps this morning a win today with Johan and the Mets could just become the darlings of New York.

As I type this checking out Twitter, David Lennon reports that Frankie Rodriguez just went after Brian Bruney to give him an ass kicking Now we got something here. With Johan pitching could we see a bench clearer?

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WOW IT REALLY IS PORT ST. LONESOME, WHERE IS EVERYONE?

At some point, Omar, Tony B, or J-Man need to grab Jeffey Skill Sets by his little neck and tell him to stop being a lackey for the Used Car Salesman. If it’s not slotting players in the draft, it’s not going over payroll to pay the luxury tax and now it’s this pain in the ass WBC that the Mets have sent 15 players to including Fernando Tatis as a fill in for the Tragically Hip Alex Rodriguez. Enough! Lets do what right for the NY Mets instead of following orders of the Whacky Professor. 

 

WOW our Pro Baseball Central show from this past Wednesday night has struck up major debate in the Mets-Phillies rival as Bill Bear of  Crashburn Alley got our “Irish up” when Joe and I  went on a positions by position comparison of the two NL East front runners. Check out Bill’ site for his mathematical break down of the two teams then listen to the show as Joe and I spit tobacco juice (sorry Bill that some of it got on your shoes)   and tighten the belt on our flannel uniforms and use old school thinking. Just hearing me defend Mariano Rivera is worth listening to. Yeah, that’s right I had to defend a Highlander and I’m pissed that Bill made me do that!

 

I’m not worried about John Maine even with him not feeling comfortable on the mound yesterday. Maine feels it his mechanics that are off and being that it’s early in spring and he’s coming off surgery to his wing as ling as he’s not hurting it’s just a matter of time before he gets his feel back on the mound.   

 

Ryan Church fouled a pitch off his knee. It hurt. He put ice on it. It feels better. In other words, keep moving nothing to see here.

 

Tommy LaSorda says “You pinko, pussy, sons of bitch’s better be rootin’ for the good ol’ U S of A in the WBC or you’re a fuckin traitor” “and buy a fuckin’ shirt or cap too”

 

Who? Santana? Nah, nobody here by that name.

 

I am very very much bummed out that Life On Mars is getting booted off ABC but my mood has brightened  considerably by word that Curb Your Enthusiasm with the cast of SEINFELD making appearances on the show as well is back in production and will return to TV in the fall. Just hearing the shows theme song makes me giddy! (wish I could link it but shhhhhhhhh I’m at work)

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