Thursday, August 7, 2014
The Player Haters Guide To The Second AL Wild Card Spot
It's August and the Toronto Blue Jays are sitting in a playoff spot.
Pinch yourselves, folks.
We're less than a month away from Meaningful September Baseball (tm), and with 47 games left on the calendar the Jays and their fans find themselves in the unfamiliar spot of fending off teams with designs on sneaking into the one-game crapshoot.
There's an important step that needs to be taken from going to fans of an also-ran to fans of a serious playoff contender. That step is hate. Hate, hate, hate.
To help guide you through the next month and a half of pure seething hatred towards the rest of the sopping garbage juice that is the other AL Wild Card hopefuls, here is a handy guide to properly hating the other five contenders.
Tampa Bay Rays (5.5 games back)
Team hate: Fuck their student housing toilet bowl quality stadium and nonexistent garbage fans. They more than likely are not going to have enough juice down the stretch to make a serious run, but at the same time making an unexplainable late run has become the calling card of this fucking franchise over the last half decade. This is the team that completely shit all over every excuse Jays fans have been making about not being able to compete in the division and nothing would be worse than them trading away David Price and then going on a big run thanks to Genius Joe Maddon.
Player hater: Evan Longoria. The smiling, happy, definitely always having more fun than you poster boy for the efficient and effective Rays franchise. He's the guy you knew that did well in school and did well in sports and did well with women, and you really couldn't feasibly hate him because he was always nice to you even though nobody in school knows who you are. Just because you shouldn't hate him doesn't mean you can't.
Former Jay to hate: Yunel Escobar. Fuuuuuuuck this guy, honestly. Do I have to explain it? I really don't think I do.
Cleveland Indians (3.5 games back)
Team hate: First of all the team name is the Indians. Second of all the city of Cleveland added LeBron James and Johnny Manziel in the last three months. Throw in Terry Francona and the fact that only one starter on the entire staff has pitched enough innings to qualify as a league leader and the very question of "How the fuck is this team even in the race?" and you have enough to hate them for hanging around this long. Go to hell, American League Central.
Player hater: Nick Swisher. Let's see... Which picture of Nick Swisher do I use to illustrate my point here? This one? Or this? You know what? You're a clever person. You can probably find it yourself.
Former Jay to hate: Yan Gomes. Given away for absolutely nothing so that the Jays could give a historically-bad catcher an insane amount of at-bats, Yan Gomes is best viewed while audibly grinding your teeth and reminding yourself that there's a pretty good chance that nobody has any idea what the fuck will happen with any given prospect.
New York Yankees (1 game back)
Team hate: Gee whiz, how could ANYONE hate the Yankees? Oh, I know, because this is the type of team that will gladly pay Martin shitbag Prado who gives a shit amount of money per year, which is not only stupid but also makes fans of other teams wonder why their club won't pay fuckbags like Prado unbelievable amounts of money to provide minimal amounts of anything. You're ruining everything for everyone, Yankees. Just like you always have.
Player hater: Derek Sanderson Jeter. Herecy? Probably a little. But be sure to T1P your C4P as a sign of RE2PECT to the C4PT41N. Make sure to thank him for being at the middle of the franchise that has been kicking your team's teeth in and making it impossible for any other franchise to compete for the last 15+ years. Please, Y4NK335, 2UCK MY B4LL2.
Former Jay to hate: Other than Esmil Rogers there are no former Jays on the roster and is Esmil Rogers worth hating? Instead, I suggest picking one or more of these players formerly of other teams to shine your hate on: Brandon McCarthy, Brian McCann, Stephen Drew, Chase Headley, Mark Teixeira, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, or Brendan Ryan. It's easy, really.
Seattle Mariners (1 game back)
Team hate: Is it hard to hate a team that plays so far away? No, no it is not. While the Mariners do boast the eternally likeable Felix Hernandez, the rest of the roster can unquestionably get fucked. No matter what you do, don't forget that you hate Fernando Rodney, and that you hate Logan Morrison, and that you only hope for bad things to happen to Kendrys Morales. Don't hold back or feel guilty. If you feel yourself softening, remember that Seattle was the scene of the crime where Travis Snider was pulled off the field mid-game to be traded. Let the anger and hate flow through you. Good, good.
Player hater: Robinson Cano. Just because he signed to be represented by Beyonce's husband / chauffeur / opening act doesn't mean that he has automatically been granted "Get out of Yankee stink free" card. We're all happy as shit for you that you're allowed to grow facial hair and laugh now, but don't believe for a second that we've ever moved from hatred to begrudging respect.
Former Jay to hate: There are none in the immediate vicinity, so go ahead and give that hate to Austin Jackson, who has spent his whole career being on other teams that you hate.
Kansas City Royals (0.5 games back)
Team hate: Part of you is thinking hey, these guys understand our plight. They are our kindred spirits in suffering. As long as one of our two teams makes it than we have proven that the second wild card spot is a good thing and gives fan bases hope for their pitiful organizations. No, no, NO. I can't in good conscience sit here and let a team that plays Raul Ibanez at DH and inspired that Lorde song to take food out of Jays fans' mouths. If you're old enough and feeling soft on them, remember that this team turned George Brett into a demigod.
Player hater: James Shields. I shouldn't even need to nudge you about how much you probably hate Big Game James. No matter his performance on the year-to-date, it always seemed like the Lion was ready to shove a middle finger directly into the face of Toronto every time even the slightest tinge of momentum came up. If "I can't hate him just because he's good" is your cup of tea, then feel free to get jaded at the idea that he's exactly the kind of guy we all wish was in the Jays rotation, except he probably never will be.
Former Jay to hate: Scott Downs. It came down to Downs, Jason Frasor, or Erik Kratz. I can't in good conscience lay waste to Frasor, who admittedly takes forever and is paint-dry boring, and I can't imagine anyone anywhere having feelings in either direction about Erik Kratz. Alas, the lefty specialist is the only one left to draw ire. And honestly, is it really that hard? He's 38-years-old and having a terrible year, having already been DFA'd once. That makes this likely your last opportunity to hate him. I suggest you savor it.
Toronto Blue Jays (0 games back)
Team hate: Yes, you have to hate yourself before you can hate others. Pockets out and hat-in-hands, woe the poor little major market team with the largest company in the country at the helm. An organization that has driven us to such high levels of jade that fans are upset they didn't splurge on hot trash such as Martin Prado or Chase Headley. Just give us anything to believe in, you fucks. Because we are who we are, we will continue doubting them while simultaneously believing that a big waiver deadline move is coming as long as the team stays in the playoff hunt. Sure, man. Sure.
Player hater: R.A. Dickey. The cliff-like drop between "We're excited he's coming to town because he's so well spoken and good at writing!" and "Every time he pitches I can only watch through my fingers in fear" was a sharp and a Garfoosian one. The WestJet commercials are not helping. Seriously man do you think you deserve to get bumped to a window seat and can make that happen without even saying a word just because you came to the airport in full uniform? And not a single person is afraid enough of catch a knuckleball that you can use it to talk trash. I will give credit where credit is due: He is somehow the better of two the actors in the Who's On First fiasco of a parody.
Former Jay to hate: Hrmmm this category doesn't quite make sense here, does it? Oh well, either way the answer is Kyle Drabek.
There you have it, friends. A complete cheat-sheet to sullying the good name of several professionals at or near the top of their craft. Here's hoping the Jays can continue clawing forward and maybe shock the world. If not, take solace in the fact that the Angels will trash all these other shitbag franchises like the fuccbois they are.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go put water in Martin Prado's mama's dish.