I Renew My Correspondence With Adam


Dear Adam [Director of Promotion, Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino]:

Another season of baseball is rapidly approaching, and you have yet to release the promotional schedule because your boss, GM Joe, is too busy basking in his accolades (Cal League Executive of the Year) to crack that whip. It seems like just yesterday that the 66ers led the league in attendance, thanks largely to Mike Trout’s rehab and Cesar E. Chavez Middle School, but pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than a month, and I have no clue when the bobblehead nights will be.

I am sure there will be one of my likeness this year because of all the money I have spent on beer at the ballpark over the years, and I am San Bernardino’s favorite adopted son. I will even accept one with a macrobeer sponsor on it because we all know I am not picky when it comes to beer. I appreciate you keeping what profile of my likeness you will using a surprise; the anticipation is great, almost like the lead up to Christmas. That reminds me, I bet Bernie holiday inflatables would be a top seller in the team store. Hell, I might buy one for everyone on my street.

But I digress. Look, I know most of your season ticket holder base has no travel plans over the summer because they can barely find their way out of bed in the morning, but I always have places to go and people to see. Miles to go before I sleep isn’t a poem to me; it is a lifestyle. I need that promotional schedule to plan. My wife thinks it is absurd that our summer travel plans revolve around minor league giveaways, but a man has to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

Speaking of travel, did you know that Frontier Airlines does not offer wifi on domestic flights? That is partly why I am writing you as I am bored out of my mind and the drink cart is so, so slow on the flying coffin. They charge for snacks and soda also, which means I am just going straight to the bourbon neat.

Hey, remember a few years ago when you guys jacked up beer prices, and I led the protest, and all of a sudden a bunch of Berdoo hobos walked into the bathrooms and tried to flush the toilets at the same time to create enough pressure to blow the pipes? Boy, GM Jo was cross about that one, even though it didn’t even work. Well, I was finishing my business in the men’s room at Ontario International Airport this morning when BOOM, the toilet turned into a magnificent fountain. I didn’t really have time to appreciate its glory as my jeans were getting soaked, but now that I am somewhere over New Mexico and my jeans have dried, I must say it was a sight to behold, and reminds me that San Manuel Stadium really needs a water feature in beyond the outfield walls. Get on that, ok?

Well, Adam, the waitress in the sky is saying I must put away my electronic devices even though the runway is far, far away. so I better cut this short. However, her tone made me remember something: is Kill a Nazi Night still a go this year? I sure hopes so. I know GM Joe steers away from political promotions, but killing Nazis really isn’t political. It is one of those rare occasions where civic duty meshes nicely with good, clean fun. Oh, and let me know about Take a Hobo To Your Boss’s House For Dinner Night also.

Your friend in baseball,

Bads85

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If Bads85 Had a HOF Vote


I started hanging out on Twitter recently because that is where muses go to die, fed into a wood chipper and spat out into an echo chamber like a wet fart. I immediately ran into baseball writers with whom I used to be familiar before I faked my own death and began laying low in the California League until the steroid debates subsided. Just when it looked like it was safe to stick my head out again, Joe Morgan decided to write a letter about steroid users, and the internet lost its mind again, rehashing subjective arguments that were tired fifteen years ago, and I remembered why I walked away from those discussions over a decade ago.

But since everyone, including random strangers in shopping centers, has been asking me who I would vote for on this year’s Hall of Fame Ballot, here goes:

Jim Thome

Barry Bonds

Mike Mussina

Roger Clemens

Chipper Jones

Trevor Hoffman

Larry Walker

Manny Ramirez

Edgar Martinez

Scott Rolen

The glaring omission is Curt Schilling, who certainly had a slam dunk HOF career. I didn’t leave him off because he can’t stop saying stupid things. Because you can only cast ten votes a ballot, I had to make room, and he is the odd guy out. He has stronger credentials than some guys on the list, but he isn’t going to fall off the ballot, say like Scott Rolen. Larry Walker is running out of time, and perhaps that would be a wasted vote because he probably is not going to make it, but he hasa a very solid HOF case. Vlad and Sheffield do also, but they can’t crack that top ten.

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Keeping Omar Vizquel Out of the Turkey This Thanksgiving


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is time to prepare for that awful inlaw who wants to disrupt the meal by talking politics. Or worse – drunk, mean Uncle Ernie who wants to loudly discuss Omar Vizquel’s Hall of Fame chances. Before you resort to smashing Uncle Ernie’s head into a sweet potato pie and effectively ruining Thanksgiving, here are some deflections that might save the holidays:

When Uncle Ernie makes his opening argument, ask him why the Indians gave up the fewest manufactured runs in 2017 with just 90. The next closet team was the Dodgers with 102. What was going on, Uncle Ernie, what was going on? If he counters with, “Well, Young ‘en, the Indians were ahead by s large often so often, that the other team didn’t result to small ball”, you counter with the Indians were in approximately the same amount of blow outs as the league average, so what gives? That might send Uncle Ernie back to his awful, cheap Canadian whisky, or he might reply, “Team Manufactured Runs are highly dependent on Team Strikeouts, and the Indians led the Majors in that category. WTF is wrong with you?”

At that point, your posterior is going to be back up against the cranberry sauce, and your kid is going to be looking at you like you are some sort of loser because Uncle Ernie is beating your ass in a stats fight, so it is time to drop the pertinent HOF stats before your weird Aunt Ester tries to slip your wife the tongue. Go directly to WAR and state, “Look, Vizquel only earned 45.3 WAR over his career, despite it lasting forever and a day. The average HOF SS earned 66.7 WAR, so your precious Vizquel isn’t even close. Jimmy Rollins and Miguel Tejada has more career WAR than that. Hell, Tony Fernandez, who blew the 1997 World Series, had about as much career WAR as Vizquel. When Uncle Ernie starts bitching about WAR and whether or not it is context driven, you remind him that it is the year 2017, and he can go find Bill James on Twitter if he wants to argue that shit, but it is time to move forward to the future. If he says anything about using Win Shares for fun, you tell him the great Colin Wyers said, “There is nothing fun about Win Shares. Win Shares are like “The King In Yellow”—to read the text is to touch the heart of madness and to take it into yourself. Win Shares leave scars.” That should shut up Uncle Ernie and his Win Shares.

Uncle Ernie will probably come back at you with “Oh yeah, well Vizquel has more WAR that Maranville, Jennings.Tinker, and Rizzuto”, so you should answer with “Do you really want to die on that hill with those old timers because even they had much better peaks that Vizquel and his seven year WAR of 26.7? Hell, Jhonny Peralta’s peak was better than that.”

Uncle Ermie will probably at some point try to drop in Vizquel’s 2877 career hits as if they mean something, and you say, “Big fucking deal, the dude had a career OPS+ of 82, which sucks balls.” Uncle Ernie will be getting mad now, and start with the greatest AL defense SS bullshit, and that is when you tell him the only good narrative Vizquel has is that Jose Mesa hit him all those times because Vizquel broke the player code in his autobiography, which might have been the very worst baseball book ever written. Tell him Cleveland didn’t air too many out of town games back then, especially NL games, so just how the fuck would he know what a all time great defensive shortstop looked like, especially since he was still fawning over Bernie Kosar and Frank Minnefield at the time.

He will say something like “Vizquel was the AL version of Ozzie Smith”, and when you crush him with laughter and the difference in their Defensive WAR (43.4 to 28.4), he is going to say something about Astroturf because people in Cleveland never really understood Astroturf always stayed green. You will know then that this is coming to a close, so you allow him a chance to save face by saying Jim Thome should be a lock. He will either respond gratefully, or say that Jim Thome struck out looking too much to be a Hall of Famer. At that point, no court in the world will convict you for bludgeoning him with a drumstick, and the family can get on with the business of living and shopping for gifts.

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A Natural Progression


Chief Wahoo’s funeral procession should end at Cleveland Browns Stadium, oh wait, excuse me, FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns. The funeral procession can transition to a pyre when good ol’ Mayor for Life Frank Jackson lights the stadium afire with an AGM-114 Hellfire missile fired from the USS Cod that not only sends Wahoo to hell, but eradicates the city of Cleveland from its other albatross, the Cleveland Browns. Sure, one missile won’t send the horrible past packing easily, so the entire stadium will be pack with high explosives to ensure our Canadian neighbors think Russia has finally bombed the sovereign U.S.

Sure, some Cleveland traditionalists forever mired in the past will object to the idea, and will ask, “Where will we tailgate now?”, but the rest of the city will recognize that the citizens is no longer going to tailgate for losers and take its first steps into the future since the post-World War II era of industrial dominance. “See you this Sunday, my ass” will become the city greeting as a happier unemployed workforce greets the day. “We might not have jobs, but we got the monkey off our backs!” will be the official tattoo of Cuyahoga County. The Truckstop Carpet Bagger can take his lousy football team with ugly uniforms to London, and the NFL can award Cleveland a new expansion team because life in Cleveland without the NFL is just crazy.

This time, Cleveland won’t have unrealistic expectations based on the first preseason win upon the team’s return and the signing of some broken Ohio State player. More importantly, the new stadium won’t be another near the shore of Lake Erie because whoever thought playing football next to a frozen Great Lake was a good idea? Mayor for Life Frank will extort the Canadians to pay for the new stadium through reparations for when the visiting Blue Jays’ fans shit the bed just like their hero, Jose Bautista.

Best of all, the team will play in the NFC North so the toothless Steelers’ fans won’t migrate to city once a year. Again, Cleveland traditionalists might object, but the Steelers/Browns rivalry died when Art Model moved the team to Baltimore. The past is dead; time to move on. Leave the grieving widows by the food trucks; they will eventually find their way home. A new team shall be borne because no phoenix can rise from the ashes of the Browns. Model did the city a favor when he took his moribund band of underperformers out of here; the team had been terminally ill since he sent Paul Brown packing. 1999 Cleveland was not ready for a clean break, but after seventeen years of complete ineptitude, the 2016 Cleveland is.

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Bury Wahoo.


Hey Cleveland fans,

Draymond Green owns your souls. You have no one to blame but yourself for running your damn fool mouths last summer after the Cavs came back from a 3-1 game deficit. When the Indians tripped on their dicks and fell into the gaping hole of Mike Napoli batting fourth in the lineup, squandering a 3-1 game lead, Draymond was there to take what you had unwittingly offered when you behaved like angry Shriner clowns who were talking smack to the Free Masons about the number of tires in their parade. Paybacks are a bitch, Sunshine, and you will carry this debt to the grave. Your claims that basketball is a different sport, so 3-1 means something different when talking about hoops sound like a white privileged kid defending the use of the word niggardly on his blog. Counting is fundamental. Once again, Cleveland is the butt of jokes across the nation, and once again, Cleveland’s only response is stammering, “But, but, our Metroparks are great! At least we aren’t Toronto! We had a championship parade while they had to settle for a NBA All Star game!”

Cleveland couldn’t even fill their stadium with Indians’ fans as many sold their tickets to Cubs fans so they could finally purchase that ’78 Camaro, or pay their kid’s tuition at St. Mark’s. Look, I know that money talks, but every man has a price, and yours was pretty low. At least downtown was able to recoup some revenue from that GOP convention, a small price to pay for the scab being ripped of the city’s insecurities, exposing them to the world. Meanwhile, Draymond Green gets the last laugh. Good going, Cleveland fans. The nation is laughing at you (again), and suddenly CLEVELAND AGAINST THE WOLRD rings hollow – don’t start a land war in Asia!

The only way to atone for this travesty is finally embrace adulthood and bury Chief Wahoo. He is not some benevolent drawing; he represents almost seventy years of losing. Don’t give me your bullshit about how the Chief is some sort of bond to your parents or grandparents; Chief Wahoo is handcuffed to losing, and that sadomasochist bastard enjoys it and wants to include you in his suffering. The current Wahoo wasn’t around in 1948; the TRULY RACIST WAHOO was. Don’t tell me your emotional investments with a cartoon; what is your return on those investments after almost seventy years of losing? No wonder you had to sell your World Series tickets to cover your ass. Daddy drank when you were a child because you were bad; I don’t want to hear any nostalgia about how great your childhood was. Besides, he isn’t even a chief; his one feather indicates he is a brave.

Before anyone accuses me of being a Social Justice Warrior, I am not advocating that Wahoo be buried for politically correct reasons, I want him gone because he is a loser, and you know what, fuck losers. If Cleveland fans want him around for nostalgic reasons, they can put up his image in their garages or dens. Wear Wahoo pajamas to be before you have sexy times with your significant other; just keep that loser off the field, and maybe the baseball team would not keep blowing 3-1 postseason leads. In case you forgot, the 2007 Indians did the same damn thing in the ALCS. In fact, the 2001, 1999, and 1998 teams all were up in the series after three games and went on to lose while wearing that loser on their hats.

If the Cleveland baseball team wants to retain the Indians as their nickname, well, that is their choice. However, I am not sure why organizations fell compelled to choose nicknames of groups of people who came up on the losing end of history. In the year 2016, you certainly aren’t honoring their traditions by plastering them on your sports laundry. Plus, the original Indians in the Cleveland area were such an odious lot that they were eradicated by other tribes. I am not sure that is what an organization should strive for when choosing a nickname, but let’s face it, what the hell else is the team going to be called, “The Shuttered Steel Mills”? “Little Orange Barrels”? “The Sir Albert Belles”?

Cleveland can have a big ceremony to put Wahoo to rest. Instead of a victory parade, there can be a funeral procession along the Cavs parade route. Everyone can come out to pay their respects and behave like it is St. Patrick’s Day. Old players can be invited to attend, and this time Chuck Finley will not be slighted. He is just hanging out in malls in Southern California anyway, just wanting to talk baseball with strangers. Omar Vizquel and Jose Mesa can patch things up in Carlos Baerga’s limo. At the end of the long night, Cleveland could finally put the past behind them and look towards the future, a future in which complete dominance of Toronto sports will still be a thing.

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From The Cactus League


So yesterday in the Cactus League things got a little chippy between Angels’ fans and Royals’ fans, mainly because Royals’ fans were acting like entitled jerks. Their team win one World Championship, and the fan base flocks to Arizona for spring training, forgetting that their all tile great player is most famous for hemorrhoids and pine tar. The Angels don’t really have an all time great players, so no ice breakers there!

Some dude in front of me was wearing a crown and blue cape even though it was DESERT HOT. Someone shouted, “Sit down, Gandalf!” He replied Gandalf wears white. Technically, he was correct. At least he wasn’t rude like many of his fellow brethren. One Royals’ mom was moaning about having to wait in the concession line, as if we were supposed to get out of her way. An Orange County housewife turned to her and said, “Honey, you’d probably be much happier if your husband paid for a lift.”

Around the seventh inning, things started to get particularly nasty because beer had been flowing. Just as things were about to GET PHYSICAL, so dude in a Toronto Blue Jays’ fan jersey walked by – a dark blue Donaldson one, which is a violation of at least three Cactus League taboos. As much as I wanted to see a RUMBLE, I could not avoid a peacemaking opportunity.

“Look, everyone,” I shouted. “A Canadian Snowbird! Them’s good eats! Let’s throw him on a spit!” This brought laughter from the blood thirsty crowd, and tension was released. The Blue Jays’ fan was bewildered, so I said, “Tell us how the 2016 NBA All Star Weekend was the greatest of the modern era!”

“It wasn’t,” he stammered. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

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Cesar E. Chavez Middle School/IE 66ers Career Pathways Proposal


The Inland Empire 66ers and Cesar E. Chavez Middle School seek to enrich their partnership by creating a Career Pathways project that will allow Chavez students to explore possible careers in certain sports related vocations while also developing the valuable skills necessary for many vocations. The 66ers will graciously allow Chavez students to shadow certain employees on low attendance game nights and perform job tasks. The 66ers will also mentor the Chavez students through an internship program, and allow the Cesar Chavez Video Production (CCVP) team to record pre and post game activities and also record game time activities. CCVP will use their own equipment for these purposes, and will only use this video footage for instructional purposes at Chavez Middle School and not broadcast any footage. The Career Pathways project will create enduring programs that future students will be able to utilize also. The following career pathways will be available:

 Sports Journalism

 Print/Digital

  1. Game recaps (beat reporter)
  2. Photos
  3. Scouting reports/statistical analysis

Broadcasting

  1. play by play of games (video and audio)
  2. pre/post game reports
  3. interviews

Marketing

  1. Long term game promotions (print/digital/video)
  2. Between inning promotions (create audio and video ads for sponsors)
  3. Social media
  4. Sound effects/video bytes
  5. Group sales promotions
  6. Music integration

Print/Graphic Design

  1. Team history/photo archive (graphic recreations)
  2. Bernie’s Children Books
  3. Video log

Public Relations/Customer Service

  1. Greeting customers
  2. Customer assistance
  3. Community Service

Sports Medicine

  1. First aid
  2. Trainer shadowing

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