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The Ballad Of Ricky-Bobby (And Z.W.): The World Series, Tony La Russa, Mike Napoli And The Future Of Chicago Baseball

Today the boys discuss the World Series and the future of the Cubs. Z.W. kind of hates Tony La Russa.

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Back when us three bloggers were at T.U.P., Ricky and Bobby would do something called "The Ballad of Ricky-Bobby." It was basically a souped-up email exchange between bros talking sports. Bobby would throw up some pics, mess around in MS Paint, and the next thing you knew, The Ballad turned into one of T.U.P.'s best features. Plus, the title was so obviously ripped off from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, it immediately was hysterical without further review. It also made me super jealous that I wasn't allowed in on it.

Thus, I decided to start it up again with a twist -- ME! It's a bit abridged compared to the original, but still rocking very hard. Each week, one of us three will ask the other two some questions about the sports world around us. The other two will answer the best they can. It will be super grand. Anywho, without further ado:

Rbpinglogo_medium AND Z.W.!


Ricky O'Donnell (@TUP_Ricky):

The Cardinals are in the brink of elimination, and so is this baseball season:

At least 2/3's of TUP harps on baseball's many glaring faults with annoying regularity, but an old saying tells us you never really know what you have until it's gone. Mike Napoli moved us one step closer to the MLB off-season last night when he helped key a Rangers win to give Texas a 3-2 lead in the World Series over the Cardinals.

Chicago baseball left everyone included feeling cold and apathetic in 2011, but there seems to be some mild excitement heading into the off-season. The Sox and Cubs each will have new managers, and the North Siders made a huge splash by luring Boston's brightest executive away from the Red Sox. Elsewhere, mashers Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder will become free agents.

So, let's talk baseball. What are your impressions of this World Series? Where are the Cubs and Sox headed. What are we to make of Ron Washington's hair? Lemme know.


Z.W. Martin (@ZWMartin):

If there is one thing the 2012 MLB season taught us; there is no such thing as a brink. That is, until you blow double digit game leads in the final month; on the last day of the season. (It really was the best night of baseball ever. Well, sort of, Tony La Russa made the playoffs. That part sucked.) So saying this World Series is over is like saying there will never be another Batman movie of any kind.

Regardless, this truly has been a really fun World Series. Outside of the blowout game that STILL featured some amazing feats (I'm of course talking about Pujols' 5-for-6 night and those three mammoth bombs), each game has been uberclose with drama and La Russa doing so many LOLZ and pitching changes and double switches, it really makes a September Red Sox/Yankees game on ESPN seem very reasonable. But more importantly, there is a clear narrative (at least amongst our generation): La Russa is a terrible person, annoying manager and total, complete douche. Those are undeniable facts. Where Ron Washington is fun, energetic and, best of all, not white. It's quite refreshing. Just check out the following two .gif's. It explains everything: Washington/La Russa.

We talk about this a lot, but an MLB manager's job is to not fuck shit up. La Russa is doing that masterfully -- fucking shit up, that is. Blaming his bullpen coaches for not hearing his pitching moves is so overwhelmingly LaRussa, it simply confirms everything we already knew. Remember, it is NEVER La Russa's fault. EVER. This must be clear. His strategies are perfect. It is OTHER people at fault when they fail. This is at the heart of La Russa's smugness, the La Russa hate and why America is cheering for the same fucking team George W. Bush roots for. In OUR eyes, La Russa is somehow worse.

Anyway, this all came to a headway when La Russa could not get Jason Motte up in time to face our hero, Mike Napoli. A two run, game winning double ensued. It was glorious. Rangers win 4-2. Rangers up 3-2. God may exist.

As for the Cubs/Sox.... Man, the Sox are gonna be bad for awhile. Well, so will the Cubs, but at least it seems the Cubs KNOW this, hence their moves to bring Theo, Hoyer and Co. Read these fine words by Kenny:

"We have a nice young, kind of youthful movement," said Williams. "[Players acquired in trades] would have to fit into that. Not A-ball players, Double-A type. They would have to be Major League ready and potential impact players."


He cited Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers, Alejandro de Aza, Brent Morel, and Gordon Beckham as the team's young core.

A power hitter without any defensive ability. A triple-A catcher. A slap hitter. A corner infielder with no hitting abiliity. And a former first round pick who has digressed each year in the bigs.

I dunno, man. I think Kenny sometimes forgets that players actually do develop in the minors. Or at least should. I guess he's right, in a sense. The Sox system is so terrible (Jim Callis called it by far the worst in MLB), that what other options do they have? Plus, if everything goes perfect, -- think Dunn and Rios go off -- this team could be good. I give the White Sox two months next season before they go all nuclear if they are sucking.

The Cubs are finally poised to run a front office intelligently. Using all available data to build a farm system and a well-thought out major league team. Still, they will be bad in 2012. They just don't have any pitching. They have some cool pieces (Cashner, Castro and, er...), but they are so far away at so many spots. This team is no picnic. Saying that, I wouldn't be totally shocked if they went after Prince Fielder, either. The Cubs have huge cash coming off the books the next three straight years, so they can build from the outside-in until their farm system is ready.

I have really typed a lot of words. I am sorry. I like baseball and stuff.


Bobby Loesch (@bobbystompy):

I have never heard of Mike Napoli until just now. As a White Sox fan, the Ventura signing had me about 20% excited, but that's since tapered off to about... 2% excited. Which really means I'm pretty much not excited at all. Ron Washington is cool. As someone completely fascinated by rooting interests, it's surprised me how much I've switched back and forth betwen these two teams in the World Series. While I've leaned mostly toward the Cards (Cubs fans hate them, I know a lot of great Cards fans, and I don't know any Rangers fans), Texas has still had their moments. I think Dirk Nowitzki's Twitter has also helped pull me toward Ranger camp. I love Dirk. I love the NBA. RIP, NBA.

Anyway, I also didn't know Nick Punto was on STL until Game 1 or 2 of the World Series. That, to me, is unacceptable. Again, as a White Sox fan, I'm pretty scared of the Theo signing. I feel how I felt when the Cubs signed Sweet Lou and all those dudes and looked super poised to make a run at it (which they somewhat did). It's hard for me to shake the feeling that the Cubs are positioning themselves for a long-term, upward trajectory, while the White Sox are making shortsighted moves (Williams hiring Ventura to have an easier day-to-day GM experience) focused more on preservation than perseverance. But what do I know? I just want to watch the T'Wolves play -- this should really void my opinion on about every issue.