The Esteban German Algorithm

by David Roth and David Raposa

David Roth: Did you hear that “Let’s Go Motte!” chants the Cardinals fans were doing in Game 1? Where do they come up with this stuff?

David Raposa: The Best Fans In Baseball continue to surprise and amaze with their improvisational alacrity. You cannot stop The Best Fans In Baseball. You can only hope to distract them with around-the-clock nonsense about how trading an up-and-coming center fielder for a fourth starter and some back-end bullpen arms is A Good Thing.

David Roth: I don’t know that much about St. Louis. I know Fernando Vina was in a Nelly video and that they have tasty Italian-style sandwiches and that they’ve got what you might call a “murder problem.” But are they really protective of La Russa? I am worried that I’ll start talking about him with a Cardinals fan and they’ll be like “No, you are a Zombie Bruce Jenner bunt-aficionado with a hard-on for ethnic-white utility humps.” And then, if they’re really St. Louis-y, they’ll shoot me in the face.

David Raposa: I just got a text message from Eli Roth; he’d like to either sue you for intellectual property theft or have you script-doctor his upcoming feature, No Pepper.

David Roth: Did you see the slo-mo of Holliday and Jon Jay botching a leaping high-five?

David Raposa: As with failed suicide squeezes and making the first out at third base, it’s the thought that counts.

David Roth: I feel like So Taguchi would’ve had that one.

David Raposa: So Taguchi would’ve karate-kicked Holliday’s hand. And put him on the DL.

David Roth: RACIST. Also accurate as regards Holliday but come on man.

David Raposa: I regret nothing except everything. Rick Perry is the co-pilot of my conscience.

David Roth: It’s worth noting that Joe Buck sounds not merely awake, but intermittently interested during the World Series. During the ALCS, it seemed like he was listening to an audiobook and watching the game at the same time. I mostly say this because he kept mentioning stuff from The Help when he was supposed to be talking about Jhonny Peralta. I know book groups are important, but you have to move that meeting or read before the game starts, you know?

David Raposa: I honestly can’t tell the difference between Regular Joe Buck and Joe Buck Zero. Both of them have the same vacant stare and glossy dental veneer. And both give me gas.

David Roth: I think when the Cardinals are involved and/or when a Flashy Black Wide Receiver does something DISGUSTING, Beck cares. Otherwise he’s watching Hulu during the game and eating Ambien like they’re Mike and Ike’s.

David Raposa: Look, are you going to turn down free pharmaceuticals when McCarver’s just give them away? He’s only semi-human! As far as other Fox TV dudes, what I want to know is: who the hell is Eric Karros pissed off at? Besides A.J. Pierzynski. I can’t recall ever seeing a talking head impart received-wisdom observations with such red-ass intensity.

I sense Fox told Pierzynski and Karros to “tone it down” with the hair in the World Series. “This is the Fall Classic, you guys, so no more fucking around. Karros: it’s called Dep Ultra Hold, look into it..”

David Roth: I sense Fox told Pierzynski and Karros to “tone it down” with the hair in the World Series. “This is the Fall Classic, you guys, so no more fucking around. Karros: it’s called Dep Ultra Hold, look into it. Pierzynski, do something about that frosted-tip bathmat on your head. Just get it shortened or mowed or something. Jesus.”

David Raposa: “Five letters: L-A-L-O-O-K-S.” To be fair, I kind of tuned out the in-game banter after the 38th pitching change. Why is it always the AL managers that seem to indulge in NL-worthy managerial excesses?

David Roth: You know how I feel about La Russa — that is that he’s a defective Canadian Club-pickled jerk-gherkin with bad politics, but he did kind of rope-a-dope Washington in Game 1. Poor Wash tried to do the La Russa matchup-computation thing and wound up with glove-collecting Triple-A doofus Esteban German at the plate at a critical juncture in the game. That means the algorithm isn’t working.

David Raposa: Ron Washington would double switch twice and run a wheel play with no one on base, if he could. Though given that pinch-hitting is the ultimate crapshoot (when Lenny Harris or Pat Tabler aren’t available), why not go with the guy that hasn’t seen any playing time in nearly a month? Roll those dice!

David Raposa: I should do a study to see how many teams with three catchers won the World Series. I got a bad feeling Matt Treanor’s going to play a key role in this series. Besides being used as an excuse to post Misty May pics.

David Roth: I feel like Ron Washington and Tony La Russa should be on the cover of a Kashi Good Friends cereal box after the World Series, win or lose. Their relationship is inspiring.

David Roth: The prospect that it could become a trend to pull starters early so as to get Lance Lynn/Scott Feldman into the game earlier is at least amusing to me. In the abstract. I would love to have a real reason to write/think, “That was just WAY TOO MUCH FELDMAN for Pujols right there.”

David Raposa: Is it too late to pitch NBC on a surreal buddy-cop sitcom starring Corey Feldman as Corey Feldman and Rob Schneider as Corey Haim’s teeth?

David Roth: Also I considered trying to get #2MuchFeldman trending on Twitter during Game 1, but it was way more work than I was up for at the time.

David Raposa: The ultimate: Lance Lynn pitching to Scott Feldman! In a 0–0 game! In the 19th inning! (After four rain delays!)

David Roth: McCarver would be openly hallucinating. “What is a bunt, if you think about it? It has feathers, and I think it’s mostly nougat but what is it?” Also Joe Buck was replaced by Paula Abdul in the 11th. She pauses every fourth word and cries a lot and gets into (and loses) a heated argument with a bag of Combos she thinks isn’t respecting her.

David Raposa: Imagine the ratings bonanza if one of the WS games was played at L.A. Reid’s house. I’d offer some Rothian fictionalizing, but all I have in my notebook are Randy Jackson riffs. (Sorry, dog.)

David Raposa: So: soon to be overrated baseball folk hero — David Freese or Michael Young?

David Roth: Oh boy. Freese seems trendier.

David Raposa: I’m going with Young, since Freese hits too many homers, and some enterprising early adapter has already played the Derek Jeter Card on him.

David Roth: Oh wow. Whenever the Jeter Edge is introduced, it’s definitely on. I liked Freese being discussed as a potential batting champion during Game 1.

David Raposa: How many hitting coaches have used that line? “Stop pulling off the ball and go the other way! You could be the next Freddy Sanchez!”

David Raposa: I wonder if scouts ever got punchdrunk and filed reports with lines like, “When Cory Snyder gets control of the strike zone, I can see him hitting a cool .250.”

David Roth: “There’s nothing I see that says Ken Phelps couldn’t be a Triple Crown guy in the right situation.” That is, he could order the Golden Brown Triple Crown at a Golden Corral somewhere, whenever he wanted.

David Raposa: What is the Golden Brown Triple Crown — a Monte Cristo, a flash-fried turducken, and Baked Alaska?

David Roth: And a side of ranch, but yeah. I worry… well, about a great many things. But I worry about how well our generation’s know-it-all SABR-Doof routine is going to age.

David Roth: Because I’m youngish and fairly febrile-brained at the moment, and every time I hear McCarver talking about What A Smart Bunt That Was or whatever, I become a little rage-geyser. And someday, lord willing, I will be old and pissed-off all the time. Because years of excessive scotch/sausage consumption will have left me gouty and bilious. I shudder to think about how unbearable I will be about meaningless matchup-playing and bunt-humping at that point.

David Raposa: But you’ll be bilious and right!

David Raposa:And speaking of questionable playoff hairdos…

David Roth: The La Russa bedhead-mohawk. I knew this was coming.

David Raposa: TLR is totally biting on Joe Maddon’s steez. If Maddon is The Postal Service, then La Russa is total Owl City. (Wash is, of course, LMFAO.)

David Roth: You know he’ll never get Maddon’s One-A-Day vitamin spokesmanager gig. I’m amazed they’re doing that after Centrum Silver’s bad experience with Larry Bowa. “Fucking fistful of these every day and I’m swinging around an erection you could use to mow wheat. So all you sons of bitches out there: eat a bunch of these! /sudden, awkward smile into camera.”

David Raposa: I heard that’s why he switched to Bushmills; the Centrum/Johnny Walker Red mix turned his pee black.

David Roth: “The combination made my eyes bleed.” — Tommy Lasorda

David Raposa: Ron Roenicke saw Lucky Charms purple diamonds in his dreams for four weeks after quitting the generic brand cold turkey. He’s now strictly popping fish oil pills.

David Roth: Most team doctors just recommend amphetamines for these guys. Bowa has been on the players’ coffee for so long that his body would shut down if he switched to Taster’s Choice.

David Raposa: Greenies mixed in Folger’s Instant is truly the breakfast of champions. This is now Yakkin’ About 70s Coffee Brands.

David Roth: Taster’s Choice’s spokespeople were Joyce DeWitt and Rollie Fingers, right?

David Raposa: I’m pretty sure it was actually Cathy Lee Crosby and Joe Rudi.

David Roth: That whole era doesn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t even weird to see Dave Kingman driving around in a Maserati with Tom Snyder and Dan Fogelberg. John Ritter was in the Senate.

Everyone watched Bull Durham the wrong way. Except Tony Plush, because someone switched out his copy with Ichi The Killer.

David Raposa: I want to say I saw an episode of “Scooby Doo” where The Banana Splits did lines of coke in the back of the Mystery Machine. But I was probably too distracted by sticking Weebles in my ears and rubbing Aquafresh on my belly to pick up on the salient plot points of Hanna-Barbera fare.

David Raposa: Here’s a Sophie’s Choice for you: Ken Rosenthal’s bowties or Craig Sager’s entire wardrobe.

David Roth: Sager’s suits just make me sad. They’re from the Brian Wilson “Hey Look At Me And What I’m Doing” collection.

David Raposa: #BLACKOPS

David Roth: And Sager’s suits are all cut for Steve Harvey. Dexter Manley shoulder pads, everything’s the color of a cran-something drink. Simon Doonan cries fat tears.

David Raposa: I only wish MLB players were as hip to Sager’s jive as NBA players.

David Roth: Man, are baseball player interviews ever the worst. “I was surprised to see the baseball there, but I hit it with this bat.”

David Raposa: Everyone watched Bull Durham the wrong way. Except Tony Plush, because someone switched out his copy with Ichi The Killer.

David Roth: At least Kevin Garnett will take a break from his permanent audition for the role of Evil Pharaoh in a direct-to-DVD Mummy sequel to goof on Sager. I miss Tony Plush and how off-message he was.

David Raposa: I only wish Nyjer was in the World Series, so Joe Buck would have to explain to America what that lump in his mouth was.

David Roth: What exactly was that? I read somewhere (that is, I am trying to start the rumor) that it was a six-inch Italian BMT from Subway, which he changes between innings. Was it just a fistful of tobacco?

David Raposa: That, or his gum-chewing skills are next level. He just puts the Bubblicious between his jaw and lower lip, and lets saliva and gravity bring the deliciousness to his taste buds. Though now I can’t use the word “deliciousness” without thinking of #BLACKOPS.

David Roth: Do you think there’s anything we can do about those Brian Wilson Taco Bell commercials? I called my congressperson. She says she’s already on it.

David Raposa: The only way the Obama Jobs Plan would pass the House is if it were a rider on a bill to ban Brian Wilson from any and all TV work.

David Roth: I have this feeling Wilson came in with his own handwritten script. “I’m thinking I really shouldn’t blink during this. Also, while I totally get the central conceit of these ads, which is that there is too much garbage-meat inside these pitiably translucent husks for most people to eat without getting a case of the soul-barfs, I’d still like to pretend to call Chuck Norris on this giant portable phone. Also can a graphic that reads ‘#winning’ flash while I’m talking? Because if it can’t you can just go hire Heath Bell or something.” (Or whatever: this is funnier)

David Raposa: I know for a fact he brought in that beard scratcher.

David Roth: Oh I’m sure. Might be too inside, but I’d love to see a version of that commercial in which Tony La Russa walks out halfway through Wilson’s rant, pats him on the shoulder, and puts in Guillermo Mota to eat two bites of chalupa.

David Raposa: Jesse Orosco is available. And I’m sure he’d do the commercial, too.

David Roth: Is that racist?

David Raposa: I prefer to think of myself as “inscrutable.

David Roth: Full circle to Taguchi. We’re done here.

David Raposa: Let’s Go Motte!

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 Matt Trommer, via Shutterstock.