Monday, August 28, 2017

Not that it's a bad thing, but the media is about to anoint Houston as America's feel good team

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, it was only a matter of time before the NFL came to the rescue. As everybody knows, it took five years, but the Saints finally won a Super Bowl, healing the city of all its woes. It had to happen. Joe Buck demanded it. An American city had nearly drowned, and the only true CPR was the Lombardi Trophy. The nation rejoiced, with or without a repaired system of levies, and we all moved on, thanks to the spiritual magic of Roger Godell.

Last year, America celebrated the Cubs' long journey, ending the "Curse of the Billy Goat." You know the Curse of the Billy Goat, right? We all received a crash course. It's a curse, involving - well - a billy goat. Everybody cheered when it ended... just as humankind frolicked when plucky, courageous Boston defeated the dreaded "Curse of the Bambino," or, later, when the plucky, courageous Redsocks healed the nation following the bombing of the Boston Marathon.  

The great American media narrative goes this way: When a city or a region endures a catastrophe, its pro sports team becomes a spiritual beacon, leading everybody out of the darkness. 

What drivel. 

Today, we are stunned at the devastation in southeastern Texas. Dear God, it's horrible. Let me be the millionth person to state the obvious: Our nation must pull together to do whatever it takes to save and restore our people. I mean, if we can't help our fellow Americans, what the hell have we become? But... listen... 

It doesn't mean the Houston Astros must win the World Series.

Baseball won't heal the loss of one home. It won't rebuild any factory or fill the absence of a loved one. It won't do a goddamn thing. But mark these words: the media will soon start pushing that insufferable narrative -- the Astros are playing to save the soul of a tortured city, carrying the people of Houston on their backs.

This will come about because, as a marketing campaign, it works - even when it doesn't. Notlong ago, the Tigers were hailed as the psychic savior of economically stricken Detroit, until they were swept in the post-season. Oh, well... if they had won a world series, not one factory job would have been saved, not one uptick in the manufacturing base would have occurred. Nothing would have changed. But by then, the media would have moved on, anyway. 

Brace yourselves: The narrative machine will soon kick in. Houston - a generally loathsome billionaire's toy franchise, which has been built by coming in last for almost a decade, cheaply capturing high draft picks - is about to become Cinderella. The Astros have by far the best lineup in the American League - good grief, they drafted first three years in a row (2012-14) and second in 2015: How can you NOT build a winner? - and now they'll have Fox Sports in their corner.
     
Okay, I realize that this looks cruel. If I sound cynical, maybe it's because the only time in our lives that New York City wore the media's bloody shirt - after 9-11 - we collapsed in that final inning against Arizona and then listened to that creepy sand flea franchise mock us by playing "New York, New York" on its stadium p.a. system. Yes, they did. Yes, we remember.

Boston has lost four in a row. Dare we start believing? Either way, this isn't about destiny, or God's plan, or saving a region's soul. It's about pitching, pitching, pitching. That's all, folks. Two in the loss column. Two. And fuck the billy goats.

5 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Orioles have given up the most runs of any AL East team. The missing Britton has hurt them (and he was unable to pitch in yesterday's 2-1 win).

Yet in the past 3 games vs. Boston (in Fenway, of all places) -- 3, 0, 1 scored by the evil Sox. A good omen?

Astros? They were 54-27 at close of play June 30. Now 78-50. Record in July and August = 24-23.

(The Yankees are 27-23 in the same time period).

I am a geezer, have lived thru many seasons, and I realize: ALL OF THE ABOVE MEANS NOTHING.

However, with Headley and TFrazier taking turns making errors at 3B, I am in need of reasons for optimism.....

JM said...

"Fuck the billy goat" doesn't really seem like exactly the right way to phrase it. Just saying.

13bit said...

The alleged race - this false narrative about the team formerly known as "The Highlanders" - and an alleged pennant race are really a distraction. It's a false flag operation to distract from the fact that we have abandoned our long-term strategy of building a dynasty. It's not easy to stay the course. Just look at Napoleon in Russia. Look at Ghengis Khan. Look at my grade school report card in math and science. Anyway, I know the cause is lost. Everybody here, all my compadres who I thought were so steady about rebuilding, "holding on to prospects," and not getting sucked into the complete fantasy of the one-game wildcard playoff - all of you fellows (and the few females that I just KNOW must lurk here, taking deep whiffs of the fading testosterone) - all of the people who have kept this run-on sentence going for so long - well, you are all just smoking that Kool-Aid, drinking that crack, smelling the roses through rose-colored goggles. We still have what may turn out to be a potent lineup in 2018 and moving forward, especially if we can ditch Ellsbury and Mod Todd Frazier. We do NOT have playoff - or any other kind of - pitching that we can count on this year. And our "closer?" Do you really think the JuJu gods will let us win anything so long as El Crapo roams the mound? Don't point to Chicago. That was a complex karmic multi-level event that the Juju gods orchestrated for their own pleasure and to clear a few psychic ledgers. Chapo was an unwitting pawn in that one. Meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. They blew some fairy dust and brimstone up his butt for a month or two, used him like a voodoo rag doll, then tossed him back to the zombie-eyed Cashman, who is another unwitting pawn in their grand strategy. A few major Yankee players need to exit off of Stage Left before the next dynasty begins. If my blessed Greek grandmother. Well, they were both Greek, but the one who read coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup, if she were here today, she'd say "Meh..." Then she'd raise her right hand and Chapo would be pitching for the Mariners, Miller would return, Bettances would get a decent contract, our new manager would be playing ONLY the young guys, and Randy Levine would be tethered to the top of a tall tree, floating like a big balloon on a string, talking to the pigeons.

Alphonso said...

"How can you not build a winner ? " ( with three consecutive number one picks, followed by a number two pick?)

I maintain that Cashman could easily fail to build a champion, even with these selections. Were it football, Jerry Reese could do it without even blinking.

Easy.

Note to 13bit...man, I love your grandmother.

Anonymous said...

WE CAN WIN THIS DIVISION.

BOSTON HAS SALE, AND POMERANZ (AND POMERANZ IS NO BIG DEAL)...... DONE.

WE HAVE SONNY BOY, TANAKA, SEVY, AND OUR DARK HORSE WHO WE INCREDIBLY SENT DOWN, MONTY.

.....AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE THE BETTER BULLPEN. (JUST ELIMINATE CHAPPY FROM CLOSING)..... IT'S DELLIN NOW.

WITH CASTRO AND BIRD BACK, EVEN WITH JUDGE STRUGGLING, WE CAN MAKE A BIG MOVE HERE.

..... BUT WE NEED BE BE TACTICALLY SOUND AND SHREWD NOW. (PROBLEM-GIRARDI).

LINEUP NEEDS CONTINUITY.

JUDGE MUST BE DROPPED DOWN.

MONTGOMERY MUST COME BACK NOW. (STARTING GARCIA TOMORROW IN HIS PLACE IS MORONIC).

FUCK THE TRAINING WHEELS, BIRD HAS BEEN RESTING FOR 2 YEARS NOW....LET HIM PLAY!!!

.....AND WE NEED THE FIRE, HUSTLE (AND TIMELY HITS), OF ONE CLINT FRAZIER.

THE SHINE IS COMING OFF HICKS QUITE A BIT....

GET CLINT INVOLVED, AND SOON.

CAN GIRARDI SEE ANY OF THIS?....CAN HE IMPLEMENT ANY OF IT?

HE PROBABLY HAS A WAY DIFFERENT MINDSET THAN I DO.

I'M JUST GOING BY WHAT I'M SEEING, AND FEELING.

WTF DO I KNOW?