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Five Things That Really Grind My Gears

August 7, 2009 - John Whittaker

I have no idea if it's the extra strong Columbian Dark Roast coffee this morning (because you can't get just a regular coffee-flavored coffee in this town between 7:30 and 8 a.m.) or the 72 viewings of Denis Leary's two comedy specials in the last two weeks while the News Gal and I were waiting for the cable to get turned on in our apartment, but I'm wound up.
And, since the News Wife is probably getting tired of my rants and I don't really want to be divorced less than six months after the wedding, I thought I'd get it out of my system with you, my loyal readers. So, here are five things that really grind my gears.
1. For starters, Ken Singleton should be kicked in the jimmies for not sticking up for Yankees pitcher Mark Melancon during last night's rout of the Red Sox. In case you missed the game, with the Yankees ahead by nine runs, Melancon lost control of a fastball over Dustin Pedroia's head. Then, he hit him on the shoulder. Of course, Pedroia, suffering from yappy dog syndrome, has to let Jorge Posada, Melancon, the home plate umpire and the peanut vendor in the nosebleed section know what he thought.
That's fine. Be ticked off. Your team's getting killed, and a rookie pitcher hit you with a pitch.
Here's my problem with it.
Ken Singleton, who had all of a mochachino with the Yankees, starts ripping on Melancon and taking Pedroia's side in the incident. Um, Kenny, WRONG ANSWER. Who pays you? Remember when Pedro Martinez, Mr. Hall of Fame, Mr. Best Pitcher on the Planet, Mr. Dominican Sandy Koufax, drilled Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter, in back-to-back at-bats, in the wrist, knocking them both out of action? Remember Jeter and Alex Rodriguez getting hit with impunity for, oh, about eight years, when the only pitchers on the Yankees with the cojones to retaliate were Scott Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain and Roger Clemens? How about something like, and I'm not making this up, three hit Yankees for every one hit Red Sox, since the Sox always hit first, before the umpires warn both teams and then you're faced with an ejection if you hit a batter. Meanwhile, the Yankees best players are getting drilled like Jenna Jameson.
Singleton needs to stick up for a rookie who was having control problems and, frankly, someone in the Yankees' booth needs to remind Pedroia, whose mouth never stops running, that the Red Sox have about 20 more of these coming as paybacks for all the times they've drilled the Yankees star players. We might be even sometime in the 2015 season. And, if Melancon did hit him and throw over his head on purpose, GOOD. Keep it up.
Wow, I feel so much better right now. I think I'll keep going.
2. Does anybody really care what brand of beer Barack Obama drank with Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley? Would you seriously change your vote if he drank anything other than Schlitz or Pabst Blue Ribbon? Would it cost or gain him votes if he ordered a can of Beast Light? Why is this on CNN? Is this what our news stations are reduced to -- reporting on the domestic policy implications of a beer?
Forget that the story is dumb, anyway, and shouldn't have risen to the level of presidential politics. Forget for a minute that both sides were wrong and neither will ever admit it. Forget for a minute that we had to have our president take time away from fixing the economy, trying to resolve a health care debate older than Bob Dole and maybe catching a White Sox game to have a beer with two meatheads who just can't leave well enough alone.
We're talking about beer. That's right, beer. Let that sink in. People wonder about the health of the mainstream media, and CNN is wasting its time asking people what type of beer President Obama should order at a bar and wondering if it will upset people if he gets, of all things, a Budweiser? Great googly moogly, what happens if he ordered a Heineken? Would we all of a sudden have gotten a new trade pact with the Germans? Would we have annexed Puerto Rico if he ordered a Dos Aqui? What would we have been importing from Jamaica if he'd have ordered a Red Stripe?
Holy crap - I think I'm seeing plaid. (If you don't get the Spaceballs joke, you're not cool enough to keep reading this blog. Just move on…)
3. In case you missed it, Gidget, the Taco Bell chihuahua, died a couple of weeks ago. She had a 15-inch obituary written by an Associated Press staff writer, who wrote that she was pampered like a princess, and coverage on all the major TV news outlets. How happy are you that the Taco Bell dog does the following: A. Lived a better life than most of us live; or B. Has a lot longer obituary than most of us ever will; or C. Made more money than I'll make in 10 years. What a country.
What I'm having trouble understanding is the increasing importance of animals in our country and the decreasing importance of humans. (I can feel my e-mail inbox flooding as we speak, and that PETA van had better just start driving away from my house right now before I call the cops). Abusing animals is horrible. It really is. I love animals, I'm a dog lover, my wife has an adorable cat named Tommy (after Tom Brady, of course) and anyone who abuses animals should have their genitals cut off and fed to a rabid wolf.
With that said, how can a man kill a human being while driving drunk and high and get 24 days in jail, while a man kills dogs (albeit in a heinous and inhumane way) and goes to prison for 18 months? I'm not saying Michael Vick shouldn't have gone to jail, but, seriously, what are we saying about our society when a man isn't as important as animals? Aren't we higher on the food chain? Should we have animal auditions? (click on this Denis Leary link, let the video load and fast forward to the 9:11 mark. Or, if you like Leary, just enjoy.)
We had a story in the paper last week about a boy from Frewsburg who raised two pigs, named Kurt and Ben, after the two quarterbacks in last year's Super Bowl. At the end of the article, he said they planned to butcher the pigs. Nobody said one word. Not one. And, rightly so, because I love bacon, and I am very hungry. Yet, other animals, we're incredibly sensitive about. The animal audition idea makes more sense the more I think about it.
Just food for thought. God, I'm good….
4. So, now that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were linked to the positive 2003 steroid tests, can we just save the bombshells for the guys who weren't on steroids? We'd damned sure save everybody a lot of time and newsprint reporting this crap. David Ortiz was on steroids. Really? He'd need steroids just for his schnozz - have you ever seen that thing up close? He's got a Guatemalan village living inside that thing, and yet, we're shocked that he was on something other than Nasanex?
And, isn't it just the high point of hypocrisy that the player's union won't release the names of the rest of the players who tested positive because the results are confidential, but are doing nothing to stick up for the guys whose names have leaked out? Aren't they union members too? What, did Alex Rodriguez not pay his dues? Was he caught having an affair with Donald Fehr's wife?
Rather than steroids tests, they should give these guys an IQ test. Listening to the union that almost singlehandedly killed baseball as we know it with the 1994 strike is brilliant, and they're even more brilliant by leaving their stars twisting in the steroid wind in favor of sticking up for the probably 50 third string catchers or bullpen fillers who were caught. And, how did these guys get caught? The tests were announced! They might as well have put a billboard up in centerfield during spring training a week before they made the players pee in a cup, for Pete's sake. We knew the players were going to be tested. It wasn't a secret. And, yet, some of the best players in the Major Leagues still failed. Hey guys, just a reminder - don't forget to breathe. Kids shouldn't look up to athletes not because they're bad role models, but because they're idiots. Dipsticks
5. I want to know more about Kim Jong Il's man-crush on Bill Clinton. Seriously. After eight years, the man Kim Jong Il wanted to deal with from the United States was Bill Clinton? Is it an Arnold Schwarzenegger/Danny Devito thing? Is there a screwball comedy, and does Bill Clinton end up pregnant, like Baby Mama crossed with Twins? Do they have the same taste in women, and isn't that a little weird? Are there really good brothels in North Korea that Bill had to hit while he was there? Good marijuana to be smoked? Does Kim Jong Il have a dictatorial stash?
I honestly don't get it. Clinton is one of my favorite presidents, and he kept the late-night comedy business going in the 1990s, but this is like the Chewbacca defense. It does not make sense.
Was this Bill's way of showing Hillary who wears the pants in the family? Is there a Bill Clinton political comeback in the offing, or, even better, a late night talk show? Could he possibly be worse than Jimmy Fallon? Wouldn't Clinton be the best late-night talk show host ever? What guest could turn him down. Even better, film Clinton and the guests hanging out backstage - you know there would be copious amounts of booze, hookers and drugs around. How could this miss. Show the talk show on NBC, put the back stage stuff on Cinemax (hey, you never know).
The Whitless Wonder demands answers, and he demands them now, along with a short stack of pancakes and maple syrup.
UMMMM, syrup…..


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Look at the size of that nose, and tell me David Ortiz never took steroids. It's an airplane carrier, for God's sake.