Monday, October 01, 2007

A Royal mistake

The baseball playoffs begin Wednesday. Although it will probably be impossible to top the Rockies' win over the Padres to claim the NL Wild Card. Wow. Congratulations to all eight teams that made it (although, God, I’m so sick of the Yankees) and my deepest condolences to Mets fans. Maybe the worst collapse since AfterMASH premiered with a 49 share and ended with a 19 share (back in the days when there was just three networks and no cable). How I ever got work after that I can't imagine.

I know a lot of my readers could care less about baseball, especially those in Djibouti and Miami, but in honor of the playoffs I thought I’d share a humorous baseball story I bet you’ve never heard.

Rush Limbaugh once worked for the Kansas City Royals. When he wasn’t trying to convince Bombo Rivera and Onix Concepcion that they should register Republican, he was in the front office – “Promotions Director on loan from God” might’ve been his title. Anyway, among his responsibilities was organizing the daily first-pitch ceremony.

One night he escorted a whole group of church children onto the field. It wasn’t until he got them settled on the mound that he realized he had forgotten a ball. So he called into the Royals dugout asking if anyone had a spare baseball.

Big mistake.

From out of the dugout came hundreds of balls. Players emptied the batting practice bucket. It was like a hail storm. The excited kids all broke ranks and scurried after the rolling souvenirs. The result was absolute pandemonium. The game was delayed fifteen minutes. Ushers and the grounds crew scrambled desperately, trying to wrangle the frenzied youngsters and baseballs.

The incident caused quite a stir and to my knowledge, Rush Limbaugh was never heard from again. So take heed Mets fans (and now Padres fans) – baseball can be a cruel cruel sport.


Dave said...

I'm sick of the Yankees and the Red Sox. The East Coast media keep trying to shove that "rivalry" down the throats of the American public, and only about ten people west of the Hudson care about it.

That said, I'd like to see a Cubs/Sox series.

Scott said...

I was sick of the Yankees for many years until the obnoxious, bandwagon 'Red Sox nation' knuckleheads started coming out of the woodwork. Now I root for the Yankees out of spite.

l.a. guy said...

Ken Levine's 2007 Baseball Picks

So you nailed 2 out of 8. To be perfectly honest I would have picked about the same teams. No one would have picked Arizona to win the NL West and of course the Mets should have won the NL East. I knew Cleveland had a good team but considering the Tigers, Twins and White Sox are in the same division, I wouldn't have picked them either.

So here's you chance to redeem yourself. Let's hear your post season predictions. I'll play too:

✦ Angels over Red Sox
✦ Indians over Yankees
✦ Cubs over Arizona
✦ Phillies over Rockies

✦ Angels over Indians
✦ Cubs over Phillies

World Series
✦ Angels over Cubs

Did I mention I'm a delusional Angels fan? Cleveland scares me the most, but I think the Angels have deeper pitching.

Let the games begin!

Ken Levine said...

Yes, what baseball fan with any knowledge of the game wouldn't have picked Colorado to get into the playoffs. If ever there was a lock from day one!

Red Sox over the Angels. Angels are banged up, Matthews likely out, Vlad-daddy a DH, shaky middle relief. A key could be Colon. If used in the pen he could get a very key out late in a game which saves the Angels. Escobar having a good outing was very encouraging. But I like the Sox. A three man rotation, Manny back and hitting, experience, etc. But it'll be a tough series.

Cleveland over the Yankees -- Indians are just on a roll.

Cubs over the D-Backs if everyone plays to their potential. You can never count out the D-Backs because of their pitching, so that one is going to be close.

Philadelphia over Colorado -- I think the Padres game took a lot out of the Rox and also burned their bullpen. Now a red eye to Philly to face a team that is on fire.

Beyond that I'll wait and see.

Chris said...

so if Rush had been a competent employee of the Royals we could have been spared 20 years of his bilious bloviating?? thanks KC!

windy city fans said...

We don't care who wins so long as it's da Cubs...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the Indians rip the Yankees. Yeah baby.


Carla said...

I wish that were true, the part about Rush Limbaugh never being heard from again.

Smelvis said...

Indians vs. Cubs = world peace.

Anonymous said...

Nothing about the home plate ump?...the delayed call?...Holliday's failure to touch the plate?

I couldn't care less which team won (as an Orioles fan my season ended last week) but were I a Houston fan I'd be livid.

Please notice that I used the phrase "couldn't care less" correctly...something I learned from Rush.

Anonymous said...

San Diego, not Houston

VP81955 said...

As a Nationals fan, I was delighted to see Jamey Carroll (who was a popular member of the 2005 Nats) deliver the game-winner.

However, I think it's going to be a Phillies-Cleveland World Series -- 10,000 losses vs. "Major League."

Oh, and before I root for the Cubs in the postseason, I want assurances from their North Side fan base that, if they win it all, they will act with the same relative humility their South Side brethren showed in 2005. The last thing we need to create is Red Sox II.

CJB said...

Rush used the down time to cook down the powder from the rosin bag, then shot up for some sweet relief and a hellabuzz.

I can't muster any sympathy for the Mets, maybe a couple of the players individually...but not the Mets. They deserve it.

It is good for baseball to have at least one team spend a bunch of money on salary and then come up short...and if that team is the Mets every year, I'm fine with that.

It's the curse of Ray Knight, and the most feminine and undeserved celebratory run to home plate in the history of baseball.

And, not all of my grudges are 20 years old...the Mets also beat my Reds in the LAST one game playoff. The game was played in the afternoon, after the Reds were up until 4am battling the Brewers and rain in Milwaukee. At least that's how I remember it. The best grudges expand and fester over the years.

Jim Endecott said...

Another season for the Mariners who go out with a whimper and take their place among the storied northwest teams that can't get it done.

We do get to see +200 million dollars worth of Yankee roster get dismantled so that is a decent consolation prize.


Doug Walsh said...

I want an Indians - Rockies World Series -- go small-market teams!!!

But I digress. I'd like to personally thank the Mets for making me feel better about the way the Mariners played down the stretch. The M's were one game out of first when they proceeded to lose 15 of 17 straight games. That was bad. But losing a 7 game lead in the last 17 days? Yeah, I feel much better now. Thanks Mets!

Mike Barer said...

I say what Carla says!

VP81955 said...

doug, we're glad we made it all possible (Nats took five of six from the Mets down the stretch, including a three-game sweep in the final week at Shea).

Wally said...

Thank you for the kind thoughts for broken-hearted Mets fans like me.

Richard Marcej said...

If you believed the Yankees/Red Sox network.., er I mean ESPN, there are only two teams in the MLB. I have no idea what those other groups of men dressed in uniform and playing in 28 other cities are.

Please, if there's a baseball god in heaven, dispatch these over hyped over blown franchises quickly in the playoffs.

A Cleveland / Colorado World Series would be fun to watch.

Tim W. said...

I thought you were going to say that one of the pitchers threw a fastball out of the dugout, nailing Rush in th head, killing him instantly. Then I remembered, I'm not in that timeline.

benson said...

Hey, gang, let's not lose our minds here. It's still the Cubs, and somehow, someway, another Bartman type disaster will emerge. And all will be right in the world.

Mary Stella said...

and my deepest condolences to Mets fans. Maybe the worst collapse since AfterMASH premiered with a 49 share and ended with a 19 share

I feel bad for the Mets fans, too, but only up to a point. Hey, I'm a Phillies fan. Sue me. Now maybe people will stop citing the 1964 Phillies as the worst collapse in history.

Anonymous said...

Are the Cubs in the Play Offs? I don't belive it!!!

John Pearley Huffman said...

While the Rockies/Padres Wild Card game will go down in history as a classic, I'm totally bummed that it ended on a bad call.

Padres catcher Michael Barrett did an absolutely brilliant job covering the plate on that final play -- his foot clearly knocked Matt Holliday's end off the rubber. It was a classic, beautifully executed defensive play. And Holliday was clearly vulnerable to a tag out after it.

So the ump says Holliday swiped the bag. No dang way. Sure it would have been a less ambivalent call if Barrett had caught the ball. But Barrett and the Pods were rooked anyhow.

Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

Todd Mueller said...

Very enjoyable teleconference, Dan and Ken.

Can I put my clothes back on now?

Jim Endecott said...

As much as I hate to say it MLB is in dire need of a salary cap. The payroll tax is not solving the problem.

When Santana goes on the market baseball salaries are going to exceed obscene.


benson said...


In an odd sort of way, it may also be sweet for Cub fans, whose team blew the '69 East Division title to the miracle Mets. (And that '69 team-that never won anything-is still talked about in Chicago ad nauseum)

VP81955 said...

In an odd sort of way, it may also be sweet for Cub fans, whose team blew the '69 East Division title to the miracle Mets. (And that '69 team-that never won anything-is still talked about in Chicago ad nauseum)

Yeah, but the margin turned out to be eight games; it's not as if they blew the lead in the final week of the season. Realistically, the Cubs that year were similar to the '77 "South Side Hit Men" White Sox owned by Bill Veeck, who also faded with a few weeks left to go in the season.

benson said...


Agreed, but having been force fed a steady diet of the video of the black cat at Shea, and Jim Qualls, and Cub fans wouldn't let it die. Of course, then along came Bartman, and now that's all you see.

I know it's the South side inferiority chip on my shoulder, but the '67 White Sox should've won the AL pennant and blew it, too. But you don't hear a peep about that (for the next 30 years).

Meanwhile, the Sox won the World Series. (Sorry, couldn't help myself. Old rivalries die hard.)

Go Phillies! (Cheering for Rowand and Iguchi)

Trench Programmer said...

I just wanted to let you know that there is at least KC reader here who really appreciates the fact that you understand that middle America isn't just flyover country.

We WERE setting trends in baseball back in the late 80s. I think we had the highest payroll of any baseball team back then. Kansas City!

However, after the 80s for baseball, and after Marty left in the 90s for football, sports have been pretty damn crappy here in KC. You warm my heart when you mention us.

KCBossJock said...

Likewise on what trench programmer said.
We were way ahead back in those days, as a matter of record, the Royals had one of the first major baseball drug scandals in that time frame also. In all those when the NFL fans of Chicago were celebrating the "Refrigerator", we were touting the Kansas City Royals "Coke Machine".

First time checking in here, Ken, but I've been a fan of yours for a long time.