Welcome to Yakkin' about Baseball with David Roth and David Raposa. It's Friday and we're, uh, yakkin' about baseball, and also kind of weirdly a lot about pro wrestling. Join us.
David Raposa: He is limping, but he is risen. Let us praise Eric Thames, savior of baseball. Bless him for meeting some dumb PED speculation nonsense head-on this week, although I guess also bless the Reds for having an awful pitching staff. But let's especially bless John Lackey for playing the "cartoonishly evil white man in a blaxploitation film" role with such mouth-agape gusto.
David Roth: Your man needs a much bigger hat and honestly I would have preferred to see a young Joe Don Baker in this role. Although I guess I am kind of seeing a young Joe Don Baker in this role?
David Raposa: This is some sub-sub-sub-standard wrestler promo nonsense I can do without, though. Either allow Thames to crash the presser to chuck a folding chair at Lackey's dome and make out with Lackey's stage wife, or dress Lackey up like Goldust while he's saying this nonsense, or just stick to the usual hollow inoffensive Bull Durhamisms and stay out of it.
David Roth: I'd watch a wrestling promo that was cut by a baseball guy who Respected The Game so much that he didn't raise his voice and kept saying "it is what it is." Weird that no wrestler has picked "Literally Brian McCann" as a gimmick.
David Raposa: "Thames 3:16 means, 'I just inside-outed your best pitch and took you 10 rows deep.'"
David Raposa: Also, speaking of which, and in the interest of addressing this week's biggest baseball story:
David Roth: I miss the era when the best players in baseball looked like kind of ambiently horny middle manager types.
David Raposa: Now even the middle-manager aged players look like dad-hot cover-band bassist types, for the most part. Praise be to Bartolo.
David Roth: Enough with the Bowflex Dads. More Vogelbachs. Big boys only. True galoots only.
David Raposa: I am just now learning Vogelbach was a Cub farmhand.
David Roth: He and Kyle Schwarber were in the same system. Rowdiness levels not yet seen in all of human history. Just romping around with peanut butter all in their goatees.
David Raposa: I imagine Vogelbach and Schwarbs were split up because of all their rowdy horseplay. Too many tag-team hotfoots. Or that trick where you kneel behind a mark and your buddy pushes them over. Some real seed-spitting Clooney/Pitt shit.
David Roth: A parkbench with 80-grade power. Strong men have died from less.
David Raposa: That maneuver has an actual name?
David Roth: That's the New Jersey name for it, anyway.
David Raposa: Up in New England, it's called the tea kettle. (It isn't.)
David Roth: Usage: "Vogelbach and Schwarbs teakettled Matt Szczur so hard that he had to go on the 60-day DL. Didn't mean no harm, those boys just love to roughhouse."
David Raposa: How will the kangaroo court handle these two big boys engaging in a harmless old teakettle?
David Roth: John Lackey's sentence of seven-to-ten years in a state penitentiary seemed harsh to me. But he's the judge.
David Raposa: Lackey in a black robe and powdered wig, banging the gavel, wearing his patented "I think this oncoming fart might be a dump" face.
David Roth: Just to circle back, here's the thing about Eric Thames: he fucking owns. I love that this dude is doing what he's doing. I want to believe that every quad-a rando who becomes The Laser Genious in Korea or Japan could do Thames things if given a shot over here.
David Raposa: Or at least get their own songs.
David Roth: Yes lord. If there was a way I could watch Korean baseball, or somehow upload a deep knowledge of it into my mind instantly, I'd absolutely do it. It's like Arena Baseball.
David Raposa: Now there's the Matrix reboot Hollywood's clamoring to do.
David Roth: Jeff Manship in the Keanu role. Bullet time but for Nick Evans repeatedly blasting line drive triples.
David Roth: I will say that I don't believe Thames is on PEDs because his is very much a baseball body type. Eric Thames Diesel is as much a baseball way of being as Todd Coffey Boston Creme is.
David Raposa: The sad thing is he'd need to look like post-prime John Kruk to not raise suspicion.
David Roth: What is the suspicion, even? That he keeps beating up big league pitchers? Dude looked like fucking Spawn when he went over there. The Jays just kept opting for Travis Snider.
David Raposa: Better the worm killer you know, I guess, than some goldurn FOREIGNER trying to TAKE a honest-paying JOB away from an AMERICAN.
David Roth: They have power to all fields, they sign below-market contracts, and some of them, I assume, are good people.
David Raposa: While we are speaking about capitalism in the dumbest possible way, Please Clap for Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter possibly maybe if they find a billion dollars in their collective couches becoming the new owners of the Miami Marlins.
David Roth: I'd read that Eric Byrnes and Mike Huckabee were the leading bid. Weird.
David Raposa: Pouring one out for Oscar Azocar and, uh, former Arizona governor Fife Symington III.
David Roth: J2B! Or JE2! I don't know. I don't know anymore.
David Raposa: Do you think, if this actually occurs, something Jeterian is going to happen to that automated Technicolor yawn out in CF?
David Roth: The fish on it will be replaced by sporty Ford Edges with cool moonroofs.
David Raposa: We open on Derek Jeter in that blazer, shaking hands with Jeb as the deal is finalized. Then we cut to palm trees and a Miami Subs storefront. Then we cut to the title card—"Miami Baseball: You Should Really Check It Out!" Then we cut to Adeiny Hechavarria swinging at a ball four feet outside the strike zone. Then: PROFIT!
David Roth: That is quite an image. Jeter looks like one of the PA's on Robert De Niro's variety show in Casino.
David Raposa: If only he was dressed like an Ace Rothstein dancer.
David Roth: "Mr. Rothstein, I've taken all the pineapple out of your fruit cup. Do you want me to re-sift your cocaine?"
David Raposa: Oh, for A-Rod to be the James Woods of this scenario. (Jeb's the Sharon Stone, obviously.)
David Roth: There's a lesson for baseball, here. Embrace the sleaze, roll out the weird coke-y Devo Rolling Stones covers. Or, anyway, lean into the buttheadedness. Like, admit that the Madison Bumgarner Dirtbike Injury is funny. Don't get sour or serious about it. Put some Hoyt Axton Dukes Of Hazard narration over it.
David Raposa: Was Bum actually dirt biking, by the way? I'm holding out hope he was, like, resorting his comic book collection by assistant editor, or trying to open the packaging for a set of overpriced A/V wires and made this up to keep up appearances.
David Roth: We may never know how high up this goes.
David Raposa: BLACK OPS!