"That’s our TV. It sucks," one of the homeowners says.
I believe this is a landmark moment in our lives, when "sucks" is elevated from elementary school taunt and derisive stadium chant to mainstream conversation. Now I’m sure we’ll hear some senator break out with "sucks" during the Supreme Court justice confirmation hearings.
I’m not saying this is good. It’s just what it is.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the poster children of suck.
So we need to take an official inventory of things that in fact do suck and things that do not. And we have to be careful not to overuse the word. There is a big difference between the truly heinous and things that suck. For example, the Yankees are evil but the Devil Rays suck — unless they’re beating the Yankees again, in which case they are my second-favorite team.
So here is a list of things that suck, and feel free to offer suggestions:
1) Beaning Mike Piazza.
Throwing at the coconut of any Mets player is a dastardly deed, but why does it always seem to be poor Mike Piazza? And if Roger Clemens isn’t bonking one off Mike’s helmet he’s hurling bat shards his way. And this week Mike makes his return from the disabled list, launches a bomb and Julian Tavarez nails him in the noggin.
Of course, not all skullings suck. Nailing Derek Jeter is appropriate in many situations. First base open? Blast 'em. Up by a couple runs? Valid. Having a bad hair day? Someone's gotta pay, might as well be Jeter. It's just the right thing to do. I could watch this happen three, four times a game.
2) All-Star Games that end in a tie.
Don’t tell me it’s just an exhibition game. The only thing on exhibit at the 2002 Milwaukee fiasco was the cluelessness of Commissioner Bud Selig and mismanagement of Joe Torre and Bob Brenley.
For goodness sakes, it’s one of the game’s showcase events. Don’t tell me the pitchers would have been at risk if they threw an extra inning or two. Can you imagine a warrior like Bob Gibson coming out of a game like that? And because Bud screwed that up, we’re forced to endure the "This time it counts" nonsense that gives the AL the home field advantage in every World Series. Not even the NHL, the most mis-managed of all major sports, wouldn’t let this happen. And considering that this league allowed someone to name a team after an Emilio Estevez movie, that’s saying something.
Jar Jar sucks, but the whole movie can't be blamed on him.
3) The Phantom Menace
Man, did this movie suck. Going after Jar Jar is to easy. How come Natalie Portman is the queen, but she’s a teen-ager? She’s the queen and she doesn’t have enough money to buy a part so the kid has to win a race to get enough money? Darth Maul was a great-looking character. So why not give him a line of dialogue or two? You can’t just design a costume, let the guy wander into a couple frames and call it a day. Naboo?
The worst ballpark not in the Bronx. No wonder the team moved.
4) Olympic Stadium.
OK, so the tarp-like roof is going to get pulled into the leaning tower by these little cables. The shock here is not that the contraption didn’t work. It’s that somebody thought it would ever work in the first place. This was hands-down, the worst ballpark not in the Bronx.
It's not gray, it's "graphite." And it sucks.
5) Blue Jays uniformsThe tragedy here is that the Jays used to have nice uniforms with an identity unique to the team and it’s Canadian roots. Now they have "graphite" colored caps, and a team with "blue" in its name and a severe lack of blue in its uniforms. The Padres uniforms suck, too. But the Padres have always had sucky uniforms, so it’s more of a tradition at this point and they have no choice.
6) Rockies vests
Since we’re venting about uniforms, what’s the point of having a black vest if you’re going to wear black undershirts? The only thing worse is when they wear the purple undershirts. And what’s with the stripes around the arm holes. Can you imagine the recruiting trip for a free-agent pitcher? "Well, you have to pitch in a stadium that will inflate your ERA by a run and flatten your curveball. Plus, you have to wear a clown suit. But the schools are good." They’re not all as dense as Mike Hampton.
No ring, no love...how's that working for you, Alex?
7) Team-hopping Alex Rodriguez
Freaking A-Rod could have been a Met. Then he could have been a Red Sox. Instead he allows himself to get lured over to the Dark Side and join the Skanks, where he plays second fiddle to the aforementioned Jeter. And he's probably going to lose another MVP, this time to a designated hitter from a team he spurned. Bad kharma, Alex. It's coming back to haunt you. I'd rather have David Wright.
8) An occasional Mets player
A rule of thumb is that anything connected with the Mets can’t suck. Call it blind loyalty. Braden Looper doen’t suck, he’s just not being used properly. Kaz Ishii doesn’t suck, he’s just control challenged. Mike Stanton used to suck, then he became an overused reliever. Now he sucks again. There’s one exception. Jose Offerman sucks. After that monumental screw-up in a close game the other night, he shouldn’t be coming to the ballpark without a ticket ever again.
After Thursday's disaster, I now have to conclude that Braden Looper does indeed suck.