Friday, June 26, 2009

MLB tributes to Jacko

Yes. I'm going there.

I was vacillating all day between whether or not I was going to tap into a new level of crassness---which for me really says something---and go ahead and make puerile Michael Jackson jokes the day after this sick, twisted man-child/pedophile died; or whether I was going to take the high road, conduct myself with a modicum of class and professionalism, display something akin to human decency, and let these jokes remain festering in the recesses of the warped mind of my imaginary sportwriter alter-ego.

So the decision has been made, and at the risk of inciting and alienating, perhaps, half of my nine readers (I'm pretty sure my wife, Liz, will not leave me over this, although there are hundreds of other good reasons ready for her to pluck), I now present to you, dear Reader, "The Imaginary Sportswriter's Suggestions for Ways Major-League Baseball Can Honor the Memory of The Moon Walker":

1. An expansion team called The Never-Never Land Underoos. They'll build a stadium on Michael's old ranch, and obviously, boys under 12-years-old get into every game for free. The uniforms will consist of classic underoos---The Hulk, Batman, Spiderman, etc.---and no one on the roster can be over the age of 19-years-old (manager included). Instead of a Rally Monkey or a Green Monster named Wally, the mascot will be An Elephant Man named John, who wears a canvas hood over his head and freaks out the little boys in the crowd. During the seventh inning of each game, aspiring musicians will perform "Bad" in falsetto, and I'm also envisioning a giant cutout of Michael Jackson, a sentry watching over the right field fence, and if a home run knocks the cutout in the area where the nose should be, the hitter wins a free pair of parachute pants. The Underoos, however, will probably struggle nightly with the decision of whether to pitch or catch. Yup. I went there.

2. A silver-sparkling batting gloves. When I think of a player to pilot the batting glove, only one name comes to mind: A-Rod. It would also allow umpires to get a good look at any of bitch slaps as he prances down the first-base line. Also, it would be a fitting tribute if players spun around and yelled "Oeow!" each time they adjust their cup in the batter's box.

3. The Michael Jackson Award. They seem to have post-season honors for everything. Why not a Michael Jackson Award for one player in either league, who has an exceptional statistical season and is noteworthy in one or more of the following criteria: A.) Was both mentally and physically fucked up by their old man, pushed so hard as a kid that the game is no longer enjoyable for them B.) Racial ambiguity C.) Displays bizarre, often baffling behavior on and off the field (although a 50-game suspension would have a severe impact when it comes down to the voting, Manny) D.) Has been acquitted of a felony they're clearly guilty of committing (perjury counts, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds) or E.) Dates/marries a celebrity female as a smokescreen for their true sexuality (um, Jeter). This award will not be voted on by the sportswriters, rather the imaginary sportswriters, i.e. ME!

Note: I now have nine people who follow my blog, conveniently the same number of players on a baseball field. I will, however, be giving special recognition to the tenth person who joins my blog. Seeing this is a baseball blog, you will the recipient of The Nate Graziano Imaginary Sportswriter Tenth Man Award. So quick. Join. Be a winner.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A formal apology to Nick Green

Dear Nick Green,

I'm so sorry and I would like to take this space on my blog to offer a formal, heartfelt apology to you for certain libelous and sophomoric remarks I made in post dated May 17, 2009, titled "Nick Green the Dick Machine." In fact, I'd like to address my offenses individually and beg your forgiveness.

1. You are NOT, as I said in the title of the post, a "dick machine." The reason I called you a "dick machine" was largely because of the rhymes with your name ("Nick" and "dick"/"Green" and "machine"). It was immature and completely meaningless. I mean, what is a "dick machine"? I've seen some contraptions on X-rated websites that might fit that bill, but they are certainly not you, Nick. I'm sorry.

2. You are NOT responsible for the Bruins and The Celtics losing in their respective rounds of the playoffs, thus ending their seasons. I know that now.

3. I do NOT believe you are a "clandestine operative" working for the Yankee organization to infiltrate the Boston Red Sox. I still think David Wells was, but I don't believe you're currently on the Yankee payroll. Sorry about that.

4. You NOT "a stinking bag of dogshit on the doorstep of fortune." Again, I was going for the alliterative effects. Whether you know it or not, Nick, I've been known to try my hand at poetry every now and then, but Robert Frost, I am not.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Isn't it strange that this imaginary sportswriter's letter coincides with my walk-off bomb against Atlanta on Father's Day." First, I don't know whether or not you're a father (I have two kids), but if you are, Happy Father's Day, Nicky. Do you mind if I call you "Nicky"? If you're not a father yourself, I'd like to wish your father, Mr. Green, I presume, a felicitous day full of peace and relaxation. Hell, he must be having a great fucking Father's Day, watching his boy play the role of "Hero of New England." He must be proud, and I'm proud of you, too.

Again, I am profoundly sorry and embarrassed for the egregious and flatly erroneous comments I made in my prior idiotic post. I was trying to be funny, and I was definitely, undoubtedly, NOT funny. In fact, I'm never funny, Nick. I'm just trying to compensate, rather overcompensate, for some deep-seeded personal insecurities and anxieties. I have issues, Nick. Some serious issues. It's best to pay no attention to me whatsoever.

In closing, well-done today, Nicky...I mean, Nick...I mean, Mr. Green (that includes your father, who, as I said, I hope has had a wonderful Father's Day). It looks like you're starting to really settle into your spot at shortstop, thus keeping that uber-douche Lugo in his rightful place collecting ass-splinters on the bench.

I love you, Nicky, in a platonic, manly way; although your Roman-esque good looks makes it very easy for me to understand how someone of the female persuasion would find you stunningly attractive.

Again, great job today, Nick.

Nate Graziano

Friday, June 19, 2009

Watermelon vomit, or why I'm still agnostic

Dear God,

I realize the necessity of dichotomies. Without evil, we have nothing by which to measure Your infinite goodness; without abject ugliness, we have no lens by which to view Your unimaginable beauty. However, God, there is no way for me to comprehend, rationalize, or philosophically legitimize the existence of this abomination of mankind. Because of this, I remain an agnostic, teetering on atheism. Because of this, I have been inexplicably spewing watermelon for the past two weeks.

Why, God? Why Pink Hats? If you exist, give me a sign. Make a Pink Hat wearing this exact atrocity spontaneously-combust in the right field bleachers tomorrow night.

Please. God. Why?

Yours truly,

Nate Graziano

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baseball musings (and other ephemera)

  • Since the sweep of a certain group of luxuriantly loathsome peckerheads in pinstripes, thus bringing the season series to 8-0 (but who is counting, right?), I've felt buoyant and elated. That's the only way to describe it: buoyant and elated, like this guy above. And I'll feel like him until August, at least. Look at him. That's me.

  • Just an observation I made after watching the Interleague games: The National League is clearly not as competitive as the AL. The Phillies are decent. The Mets are all right, and I guess the Dodgers are pretty good, but all of those teams would be eviscerated in the AL East. Sorry, Karl.

  • The Sox are moving to a six-man rotation, and I'm suspicious. There was a time in baseball when teams went with four-man rotations. They gave the pitcher a baseball and let him throw until he was tired. The only other job I can think of where you can get that much time off is...well, teaching. Nevermind.

  • Sammy Sosa tested positive for steroids? No! Sammy Sosa! The next thing you know, we're going to find out The Bush Administration lied to American public when building their case to go into Iraq. Get out of town!

  • Donte Stallworth got off light with a 30-day sentence for manslaughter. Very true. Let's face it: The American judicial system is unfair, elitist, prejudice, and often unjust, but I'd still rather be tried here than in Saudi Arabia. At least we're not beheading each other for farting in restaurants, or something similarly insane.

  • Japan should be paying at least half of Dice-K's salary this year. And maybe Scott Boris can make up the difference. Whatever happened to the Dice-K who looked like he was going to impale himself with a samurai sword at his locker after losing a game? I liked him better.

  • The Red Sox sold out at Fenway Park for the 500th consecutive game. Whoopee. It hard to remember the time before The Pink Hats and the fair-weather rich ran up ticket prices and chased out the old-school fans with the blessings of one Mr. Henry. Jesus, it sounds like a Dickens novel.
  • I don't dance. When people ask me to dance, at weddings or bars or hoedowns in barns, I reply with "I don't dance." There are no exceptions. It saves me the pain and humiliation of trying to dance and others the trauma of having to watch it.

  • By my count, the Yankees have at least two legitimate douche bags, according to the definitions laid out on the Hot Chicks with Douche Bags website. Congratulations Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon. You're both big douches. Big surprise.

  • If you've voted The MLB All-Star Ballot more than three times, you should probably get thee to a therapist. Quick.

  • If you're not happy with our life right now, try more fiber in your diet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why I hate the Yankees (Part II)

With the Sox's knees currently planted firmly on the Yankees' chests, as they smack them around like Ralphy taking it to Scott Farkus in The Christmas Story, blissfully beating on "Bitch Tits" Rodriguez and the circle-jerkers for seven games in a row now (yes, I realize BT was only part of two of those), you might consider this an odd time to proceed with my probe into my innermost loathings.

No, stupid! Now is the time to ratchet up the hatred, pile it on, embrace it, feel the rough rush of disgust in my blood and really spit venom. When people seeing me walking down the street, I want to be the guy who people will point at and say, "That dude really, really hates the Yankees."

However, if you happen to be one of my now six readers and remember my last imaginary sports column, I vowed to attempt to make some "rational and logical sense of these emotions." Therefore, my readers, I must confess to playing with you a bit. Those first two paragraphs of this column were somewhat histrionic, my case and point leading into my next segment.

II. A medical explanation

It recently occurred to me that I, and many fellow pinstripe-haters, may very well have an allergy to the New York Yankees. In other words, this is a condition that we cannot control, much like an allergy to mold or dust mites or peanuts. While most people with allergies need to either medicate or take measures to avoid the allergen, as a Sox fan, I can't avoid the Yankees, and when I'm exposed to them, I start to experience physical and emotional discomfort, reacting in strange and often unpredictable ways.

For example, last weekend my wife, kids and I were at the party store shopping for decorations for Paige's sixth birthday party this Sunday---in case you're wondering, the theme is princesses and plastic silver tiaras were purchased for Paige, her friends, and Alex Rodiguez, if he accepts the invitation. So I was walking through the party store and saw a t-shirt, my four-year-old son's size, that read Yankees Yuck, retailing for a whopping $13. Now, a rational person without an allergy would not even consider spending $13 for about two-square feet of cheap fabric. But my eyes lit up. I pictured my son, my boy, standing proudly in his new Yankee-hater t-shirt during this week's series and suddenly money became no object. Of course, I didn't buy the t-shirt because my wife was there, and rational, but I thought about it.

Compounding this uncontrollable medical condition is a Tourette's-like symptom that comes over me, exacerbated by alcohol, during Red Sox/Yankee games. When I tell you that I can't control the next word out of mouth during these contests, I mean I can't control the next word out of my mouth during these contests. Another example, if Johnny Damon were coming up to bat, I might yell out, "Traitor, douche-dick, donkey-fucking ass-tool" without even realizing what I said. It's a spasm, a baffling paroxysm. Now, I ask you, would someone without a legitimate medical condition (or psychological condition) behave like that? Would they?

While there is myriad of explanations for it, this all boils down to quite a simple concept, and as I entertain the possibility of yet-another sweep of the Spankees at The Fens tonight, I'm both anxious and elated. However, regardless of tonight's results, the simple fact remains: I hate the fuckers. A lot.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why I hate the Yankees (Part I)

I hate the Yankees.

And when I say "I hate the Yankees," it is not something that's said frivolously. I mean, I really hate the Yankees. It's an enmity fueled by so much raw emotion and passion that I sometimes find these feelings confusing, if not a little embarrassing. With the Pinstriped Pricks coming to town on Tuesday, this physical and spiritual loathing is, again, coming to a head. This time, however, as an imaginary sportswriter, I'm feeling the need to try and make some rational and logical sense of these emotions that are, quite frankly, confounding. I'm going to attempt to look at this academically, as opposed to my usual "A-Rod (a.k.a. Bitch Tits) is a cheater/Jeter is a homo, etc..." cum rants.

So here it is, folks, my probing examination of my antipathy through a historical, political, medical, and self-analytical lens.

I. An historical, regional and socio-economic explanation

I've often struggled with the concept that I may possibly hate the Yankees more than I like the Red Sox. It's an interesting thesis. When the Sox won the ALCS in 2004, I actually derived more pleasure in watching the television shots of Yankee fans in the midst of their misery and humiliation than I did in watching the Sox doused in Bud Light during the locker room celebration. Does this make me a sadist? There's another idea that I can't entirely disregard.

However, growing up and living almost my entire life in New England, where Yankee-hating is a part of our culture, almost a sport in itself, it's possible that it is a learned behavior, nurtured in me, an undetectable nutrient in New England mothers' breast milk. My father hates the Yankees. His father hated the Yankees, and someday, I pray, my own son will make his papa proud and also hate the Yankees. While we try to teach our children not to hate, to teach them to empathize and try to understand, there's a caveat in New England to this life-lesson: Don't hate anyone, kids, unless it's the Yankees.

But this still doesn't explain why. Since I clearly don't have a life and I've had an abundance of time to ponder the issue the past couple of days, while trying to figure how I'll keep my pulse in check (without the use of prescription sedatives) for the upcoming three-game series, it occurred to me that this disdain for The Evil Empire may, in fact, have its roots in Marxism. The New York Yankees, with their historical disregard for salary caps and penchant for signing overpaid All-Stars, wear the mark of the bourgeoisie, the elite, and the resentment may stem from the frustrations of the proletariat. To me, George Steinbrenner---the first douche, as opposed to his equally douchey sons---single-handedly ruined the game of baseball and is largely responsible for the sickly state of the game today, the ridiculously inflated player-salaries, and, consequently, the obscene ticket prices that prevent guys like myself from being able to take his family to a ball game. Has John Henry, who I've realized bears more than a passing resemblance to the crypt-keeper from Tales from the Crypt, and the current Red Sox ownership followed Steinbrenner's douche suit? You bet. They're responsible for The Pink Hats and the affluent socialites filling the seats of Fenway with golden sticks up their collective asses these days. But I digress.

The reason I want every team in baseball to thrash the Yankees in head-to-head games is the same reason I root for Rocky to knock out Apollo, for Daniel-san to land that Crane Kick and beat Johnny and that asswipe sensei of the The Cobra Kai; it's David and Goliath, the story of the underdog, the plight of working-class. The Yankees are, and always will be, Apollo (in the first two movies), Drago, Goliath, The Cobra Kai, the guys in the black hats, the arrogant bosses, the bullies, the bastards who date the hero's one and only true love. Is it any coincidence that the team The Indians beat in the 1989 cinematic classic Major League (oh, Corbin Bernsen, where art thou these days?) was, none other than, The New York Yankees?

Regardless, there is still the irrationality of my hatred that needs to be addressed, which can only be explained as a medical condition.