The View Through The Nolan Ryan Jowl-Cam

David Roth: Before this World Series is over, I really hope we can find out what Tony La Russa could’ve said over the phone to Derek Lilliquist that would’ve sounded like “Marc Zep-chinski.” There is really nothing that sounds like that, except maybe for some long-simmered Ukrainian hoof-and-potato stew

David Raposa: Wait, he was asking for Rzep and got Lynn? I’m not sure there are enough wine coolers west of the Mississippi for TLR to plausibly mush-mouth “Jason Motte” into “Lance Lynn.”

David Roth: I think he wanted Motte to pitch to Napoli? Or I’m assuming as much, because you’d have to be a fraudulent Seagrams-7-cured Just For Men box-model of a hunch-humping goofus to let a lefty—or anyone but his best reliever—face Mike “Va Fa” Napoli in the most important moment of the World Series to that point. So I’m sure that it was probably just a bad connection is all. Because La Russa doesn’t dye his hair and his hunches are more certain than what you and I call “facts.”

David Raposa: Right. Nothing a highly skilled phone technician and some Q-Tips can’t fix.

David Roth: Have you enjoyed this World Series? I have enjoyed it.

David Raposa: I have, especially when (dead horse alert) I remember that I can put Fox on mute.

David Roth: Can you still hear McCarver talking about bunts when your TV is on mute? I can. I also hear McCarver talking about batting average right before I go to sleep. I think I should probably call my doctor about that.

David Raposa: I think my tinnitus makes McCarver’s belabored ramblings sound like a dog whistle to me. Which means that a Fox World Series broadcast and “Loveless” sound about the same to me, but I deal.

David Roth: Once I decided to start thinking of Tim McCarver as my dad, he got easier to take.

David Raposa: I did like hearing Buck go up on his call of Pujols’ third homer.

David Roth: Yeah, he had some moments in the blowout when he was astonishingly lifelike.

David Raposa: It was like watching Jimmy Fallon lose his shit during a Debbie Downer skit.

David Roth: In the sense that someone you think is bullshit was suddenly acting human?

David Raposa: Something like that, but in a less flattering sense. I think the Cardinals connection—which you’ve mentioned in previous Yaks—is the reason Joe’s been rising to the occasion. Even if Excitable Joe is still barely above emotional sea level.

David Roth: The thing I think I dislike most about the Series is how FOX it has been. Just how tacky and promotional and branded-out and leveraged everything is. The Jennie-O Turkey Burger Pitching Changes. The Ron Washington Slo-Mo Dance Cam brought to you by Monster Energy Drink. The Nolan Ryan Jowl Cam, brought to you by Citterio guanciale and Jim Beam Red Stag.

I do like the seamless transitions, following the final out, from Ken Rosenthal’s post-game interview with the star of the game to the Chevy Truck Nutz Post-Game Show featuring Ken Rosenthal’s post-game interviews with other key players.

David Raposa: I do like the seamless transitions, following the final out, from Ken Rosenthal’s post-game interview with the star of the game to the Chevy Truck Nutz Post-Game Show featuring Ken Rosenthal’s post-game interviews with other key players. And Eric Karros’ angry coif.

David Roth: That’s a Hemi transmission transition. It’s an American Classic. /”Like A Rock” by Bob Seger plays.

David Raposa: I’m just glad Stephen Lang refuses to do in-crowd cameos.

David Roth: They need to get more “Terra Nova” in the broadcast. In the same way I Stockholm Syndrome-d myself into liking “Franklin and Bash” during the NBA Playoffs, I think I now want to find out how someone can commit murder by dinosaur. So more of that, for sure.

David Raposa: Have Jason O’Mara and a T-Rex double-team “God Bless America”?

David Roth: Just have a T-Rex announce half an inning. With Derek Holland doing his Harry Caray voice as the play-by-play guy.

David Raposa: Was it Holland that aped Wash after Game 4? About Wash saying he could stay in if he begged for it?

David Roth: Yup. I did see their long, emphatic conversation on the mound. I can’t really help liking Washington. I am mostly sure he’s a lousy manager. Napoli hitting eighth makes me very sure.

David Raposa: But it worked! Just like he planned it! The eight-hole is second clean-up! Why do you think La Russa would bat Woody Williams there?

David Roth: This is a good point. But all my objections in re: Wash are overwhelmed by his weird String Cheese Incident jam-band dances and the sense that he treats his players like men. So I’ll file batting the hottest hitter on earth (and presumably “Terra Nova”) eighth under “wheels within wheels within wheels.” Except I suspect all of those wheels are covered in fudge. And they’re triangular.

David Raposa: Oh God—I saw a Golden Corral commercial offering future heart attack recipients a chocolate fountain for dessert.

David Roth: Me too. I did NOT appreciate the eroticizing of the fountain. That is gross enough without some non-union Isaac Hayes guy ad-libbing over it. Also everyone needs to stop fucking sticking strawberries in that thing. Just wait for the plumber/FEMA to arrive and let them handle the situation. Don’t be a hero.

David Raposa: Yeah, I’m hoping it’s one fudge spigot per table, because if that shit’s communal, the travel and FX budgets for Contagion II just got cut by 75%.

David Roth: They should shoot it at Golden Corral. Albert Pyun directs, Tom Sizemore shows up for 15 minutes to cash a check.

David Raposa: If you squint at this IMDB page the right way, Pyun already made his disease epic.

David Roth: Scott Paulin is Officer Brick Bardo! Al Pyun does not belong in this chat, but this is my favorite movie cast of all time, by the way. Nas and Sizemore have some nice scenes together.

David Raposa: I missed Nas! Which is bound to happen when you’re sandwiched between Jaime Pressly and 1/3rd of TLC.

David Roth: And when you’re playing a character named Art “Fuzzy” Rice.

David Raposa: That’s Detective Rice to you, scumbag.

David Roth: My point is that Golden Corral did well to hire Pyun to direct the commercials—I’m just going to keep on pretending they did, if you’re cool with it.

David Roth: So I’m belatedly getting caught up on the Michael Young-love going on in the Lamestream Sports Media. Gregg Doyel, who is what would happen if hemorrhoids could type and really lacked perspective, has weighed in. And even he couldn’t bring himself to troll all the way on it.

David Raposa: I believe he does mention Moneyball, though, so it looks like he was going for a quality-over-quantity kind of trolling. Yes, Gregg, it’s a book that prevents people from truly appreciating a perfectly average and nondescript infielder. And never mind the guy’s multiple (and vociferous) trade demands. Because how dare he move over during the back end of his career to make room for a more athletic rookie and/or a much better 3B.

David Roth: BUT HIS BATTING AVERAGE, DAVID.

David Raposa: I hate it when the MSM makes me hate a player that’s really not deserving of any hate.

David Roth: Me too. He’s totally decent in the way he’s totally decent. That is as a guy who hits singles and doubles and never walks and fields poorly. That he bitches regularly inna passive-aggressive macho stylee is the most Jeterian aspect he’s got. Jeter’s underminer-y quotes are way underappreciated. “I think it’s cool that Brett’s so great about hitting ninth. I feel like that sort of attitude is so rare these days, and could really help him prolong his career.”

David Raposa: “I’m Alex’s biggest fan. I brag on him so much that my teammates are sick of me talking about him.” That’s supposedly an actual quote, though you know he added that extra special Edge to it.

David Roth: The guy has one.

David Raposa: We should look into getting kickbacks from Ford, given how many times we’ve talked about the Edge. (I will NASCAR the shit out of these chats.)

David Roth: I am covered in decals as I write this. Smithfield Ham Co. is going to buy me a place in Virginia, if Johnsonville doesn’t make me a better offer. Monetize the pork-talk, comrade.

David Raposa: You’re saving up for that Rocky IV robot, right?

Can you deal with seeing Nolan Ryan and George W. Bush high-five if the Rangers win the World Series? I am already steeling myself for it.

David Roth: It’ll talk with Jon Miller’s voice, but yeah.

David Raposa: So: I don’t think we’ve talked enough about Mike Napoli. Who deserves all the good press in the world. And an ownership share of the Rangers. And the option to turn down any Bush family cookout invites. Even though I’m still pissed because of what he made me to do my fantasy team.

David Roth: What was that, exactly? Feel bad about cutting him and keeping Jeff Mathis? I WILL NEVER GET TIRED OF THAT. Mike Scioscia opts for the frankly un-tangible intangibles over the guy who does not totally suck at defense and hits homers.

David Raposa: To quote ESPN: “Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday that personality conflicts with catcher Mike Napoli had nothing to do with the January trade that cost the Angels one of the most powerful hitters in the American League and saddled them with the onerous contract of Vernon Wells.”

David Raposa: And from Scioscia hisself, after he dismisses the personality-conflict claims: “Mike had to work on stuff that didn’t come naturally to him, more so than other catchers who maybe do it more naturally.” Well, maybe when the guy hits like a first baseman, you put up with the growing pains and give the guy some burn.

David Raposa: “We played him a lot more than Texas has this year over his career with us.” Translate this bit of Scioscia-ism for me.

David Roth: “I am a stubbornly retrograde mortadella in stirrup socks.” I hope that helped.

David Raposa: Is he actually claiming that the Angels played Napoli more in his four-plus years with the team than the Rangers have in their one season with him? I’m all for higher math, but come on.

David Roth: That’s baseball math. Count deez RBI, etc. Napoli isn’t as good as he has been this season. Check out his BABIP. (Says the guy who gives himself a wedgie for typing that.)

David Raposa: Yeah, I’ve a feeling this is some career-year/change-of-scenery serendipity for Naps.

David Roth: Which is fine because he is still very good!

David Raposa: Exactly. Instead of being the best in the league, he’ll be behind Brian McCann, a healthy Joe Mauer (if that ever happens again), and, um, young Jorge Posada?

David Roth: For all I know, Napoli is a terrible jerk with toxic gas who insists on listening to Savage Nation over the PA during batting practice. But if he isn’t, Scioscia was small-minded about the thing and hurt the team. When will the plague of Italian-American Catcher on Italian-American Catcher Violence end? Someone needs to record a benefit song.

David Raposa: The Situation and Skrillex are on the case!

David Roth: Can you deal with seeing Nolan Ryan and George W. Bush high-five if the Rangers win the World Series? I am already steeling myself for it. I think I like it more than La Russa writing a book on Leadership And Genius with Bobby Knight and Buzz Bissinger if the Cards win.

David Raposa: Whatever—that “rooting for Bush vs. rooting for La Russa” stuff is nonsense.

David Roth: Oh, I don’t know. To a certain extent, but also I don’t like seeing George W. Bush on TV looking happy. It’s just rude of him. He should just give everyone a few decades off from his face.

David Raposa: Sure, the guy might’ve resided over the collapse of the US economy and two unjustifiable wars, mismanaged one of the country’s worst natural disasters, tried to legalize bigotry on a national level, and appointed at least one asshat to the Supreme Court…

David Roth: … but he does love his baseball.

David Raposa: Exactly? (God, don’t make me root for the Cardinals.)

David Raposa: It’s just a shame that Obama’s a White Sox fan. Thinking of him getting down with some “cans of corn” and “he gones” is almost as disappointing as thinking of his presidency.

David Roth: Dinner parties with Bill Ayers and Hawk Harrelson. And Oney Guillen and Scott Podsednik. HOLD UP, I NEED TO WRITE A MOVIE.

David Raposa: So who’s Sizemore playing? (Please say Reverend Wright.)

David Roth: Bobby “Fuzzy” Jenks?

David Raposa: Oh boy, I can see Luis Guzman waddling out to the mound to call for him, stretching his arms out as far as he can in super-slo-mo as the Requiem For A Dream theme kicks in.

David Roth: If we can get this movie out before Blockbuster goes out of business, we are going to be rich. Let’s buy the Florida Marlins!

David Raposa: As if you need to be rich to do that.



David Roth co-writes the Wall Street Journal‘s Daily Fix, contributes to the sports blog Can't Stop the Bleeding and has his own little website. And he tweets!

David Raposa writes about music for Pitchfork and other places. He used to write about baseball for the blog formerly known as Yard Work. He occasionally blogs for himself, and he also tweets way too much.

Photo by Keith Allison.