In case you missed it, Bob Netherton over at the blog On the Outside Corner absolutely made every attempt to paint the black yesterday on a great hot button topic. It’s a must-read before you finish this piece. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Maybe he caught the corner, and maybe he threw a few just a bit outside. It does not matter one single iota. He’s a Picasso among color-by-numbers bloggers. He’s the Stradivarias violin to my kazoo. He also happens to be the unofficial storyteller of Cardinal Nation, and I’m honored and flattered to call him a friend.
More after the break….
That said, he may have been Maddux in a 2-hour zone, but he missed a few opportunities to throw some chin music or leave a few in the dirt. Maybe that’s why he asked me to prepare a rebuttal. Bob knows that I am not afraid to bring the high and inside heat or break off a nasty curve that bounces at around the 59′ mark.
Unlike Bob, I had no equivalent to his kindly yet slightly misguided neighbor, Mr. Ferguson. I didn’t grow up around any Cubs, Reds or Brewers fans. I started life in a town so small that the local school consisted of 2 rooms which accommodated 1st-8th grades. Cosmopolitan it was not. Regardless, children were taught all the important values in life. Do unto others, reap what you sow, never eat the yellow snow, and the Cubs absolutely suck. In spite of what Bob may express, there is no such animal as a “good” Cubs, Reds or Brewers fan. No man has ever committed to history evidence that such a mythical group or single entity exists. I’m unconvinced, and Bob has not changed my mind.
1. Decide on and implement a social contract
Twitter should be all about obsessive, half-crazed fans calling each other names that would make a maritime employee blush. Like Schindler’s List, it isn’t for the faint of heart. Gather your courage if you must, but abandon all hope ye who enter the Twitter realm. Give no quarter and expect none to be given. If you insist on following fans of the “enemy”, please understand that you are simply collateral damage in a pixelated ether-world.
Search for every possibly negative piece of information about every player, coach, manager, front office person, secretary, clubhouse attendant, and family member of the opposing team. Copy room duplicates of someone’s butt from the office Christmas party are totally acceptable. Be prepared to use anything. Consider this the updated version of “Your mom” jokes from decades past. Make ready all available pieces of technology. A keyboard may be broken in a fit of 6-4-3 madness. A smartphone may be propelled across a living room at high speed.
Oh, and about the social contract Bob mentioned, do not fear. A “social contract” is a lot like the pirate’s code. The rules aren’t exactly strictly adhered to, because the rules are really more like “guidelines”. Get over it.
2. Brandon Phillips is a douchebag.
Who cares if he plays the game hard, has loads of talent, deserves to be listed among the top 6-7 guys at his position, and seems like a great guy on Twitter and in the media? That matters not. The important thing is that he may have done 1 thing to spite your beloved Birds on the Bat, and he has earned your distrust if not outright hatred for all of eternity (or until we all forgot our names in 50 years). Ignore the facts here, please.
Same rules/guidelines apply for Ryan Braun of the Brewers. Brewers fans are still confused at not finding a “DH” in the lineup every night, so we can cut them an infinitesimally small amount of slack. That’s all they are allowed. Rooting for someone who may or may not have used PEDs makes them all bad people. That makes complete sense, because Cardinal fans never, ever rooted for anybody who may or may not have used PEDs. We are not a collective of hypocrites. In fact, we represent the moral majority, and we could never defend a cheater. I mean, we might if he hit something like 70 home runs in a season, but that’s completely different. It’s not like he led his team to the playoffs or anything. I mean, if we are speaking hypothetically and such.
3. Carpenter, Cueto and Morgan
Bob gets credit here for harkening us all back to that magical game 7 of the 1982 World Series. Of course, Brandon Phillips was like all of 1 when that game was played. Nyjer Morgan was about 2, so we’re talking ancient history in the annals of baseball, but that’s fine. It still does not excuse going “one flap down” around anything. Ever. Faking out a fan by pretending to throw a ball to a kid or an adult is beyond mean. It’s pure evil.
Let’s keep the discussion current for the sake of relevancy. The Reds and probably the Brewers have no love lost for Chris Carpenter. That’s Chris Carpenter – 1 time Cy Young winner and 2 time World Series champ, mind you. Who cares? Has Carpenter tapped anybody’s shin guards? Has he kicked anybody in the back of the head and ended their career? Has he created a Twitter account with a handle “TheRealTPlush”? Nope. The Redbird cherub that is Carp wouldn’t dream of such a thing. He’s practically overflowing with effuse praise for his opponents. He speaks glowingly of NL Central rivals. He darn nearly fell over himself giving teammate Brendan Ryan a hug in the hallway to the dugout. Such a wonderful man.
4. A Difference of Opinions is not Whining (as long as you are a Cardinals fan)
Forget about Dusty Baker. I’m already on record stating that Baker gets to have a say in the All-Star selection process as soon as he leads his team somewhere other than a sweep in the NLDS. Actually, he needs to take the Reds to the World Series, but he couldn’t find playoff success with a treasure map, Dora’s backpack, and an alien invasion fleet.
The fans had nothing to do with Lance Lynn being voted into the All-Star Game. The fans had nothing to do with Zach Greinke or Johnny Cueto not getting voted into the game by the players/coaches/people who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. If anything, the members of Cardinal Nation wanted so badly to see both guys in the game. It counts or something this time, or so I’ve heard 1 million times or more. Why wouldn’t we want the best in the game? The Cardinals won a World Series in 2011 with home field advantage.
Just accept that the selection process is flawed and get over it. Fans don’t vote for the pitchers. Cueto is scheduled to start on Sunday and wouldn’t be able to even play in the game. This is much ado about nothing. Stop with the whining and just accept reality for once. Cueto and Greinke are not there, because other players hate them.
5. How to Find good Brewers and Reds Tweeps
You don’t. No matter how many trailer parks you visit, it won’t happen. It’s like finding a microscopic needle in a haystack the size of Texas. You would have a better chance of winning the lottery, dunking on LeBron James, and getting hit by a falling ACME piano in the same day. Your time would probably be better spent trying to invent a perpetual motion machine or something truly useless like a flying car that runs on carbon dioxide. You will get better odds on winning a Nobel Prize for establishing world peace than of finding a good Brewers or Reds fan among the Twitterati. They are not typical human beings just like us. They are genetic mutations with an inexplicable love for teams that frequently are geographically the closest. They can be differentiated from us using what one court decision famously determined is “an immutable characteristic determined solely by the accident of birth” (Craig vs Boren, US Supreme Court). They are outsiders in the land of milk and honey.
And keep this in mind the next time you read something containing the word “ReBUTTal” in the title. Whether you agree with the contents or not, there is a decent chance that someone is trying to pull your chain (figuratively).