Breaking Bad is an awesome show. It’s so awesome in fact, that when the Cardinals get stuck on Sunday Night Baseball, I will miss an hour of their game just to make sure that I watch Walter White and company do that thing they do so well. Season 5 has been one awesome season of television and the Cardinals have had one awesome season of baseball. And now, with the magic number down to one with three games to go against the lowly Chicago Cubs, I have decided to take it on myself to mimic old school Bill Simmons and hand out quotes from the greatest season of television as awards to one of the greatest Cardinal teams of my lifetime.
No one asked me to do this; I’m just that nice.
Walter: [to Saul] We're done when I say we're done.
One of the strongest one-liners of the season goes to this year’s strongest season by a Cardinal Starter. Adam Wainwright, as of today (he may still start on Saturday or Sunday) has walked 34 batters in 33 starts. He’s been a beast, a beast who, at least twice this year was prematurely pulled from games only to wind up having his bullpen earn the loss for him. Manager Mike Matheny has since learned his lesson, and now knows exactly how to figure out when Waino is done: he listens to Waino.
Mike: You...are trouble. I'm sorry the kid doesn't see it, but I sure as hell do. You are a time bomb, tick-tick-ticking. And I have no intention of being around for the boom.
One of the most ominous lines from season five goes to Oscar Taveras, the golden boy the majors never quite got to see thanks to a high ankle sprain. Hopefully, next year, Major League Baseball fans everywhere will get to be around for the boom.
Saul: He's okay? He said he was going to break my legs. And don't tell me he didn't mean it, okay? 'Cause he gave me the dead mackrel eyes. He meant it. Walter: Saul, Mike threatened me. He threatened Jesse. He probably threatened someone before breakfast this morning. It's what he does. C'mon. Grow a pair.
One of the funnier exchanges of Season 5 of Breaking Bad goes to one of the funniest exchanges of the season: the What-the-hell-is-wrong- with-Kyle-Lohse moment from early this summer. For whatever reason (possibly because he was upset by bunting), the now-Brewers starter skipped out on the first pitch of an at-bat, choosing to jaw with a Cheshire-cat-grin-wearing Yadier Molina. Probably the hardest I laughed at a baseball game this year.
Walter: See this watch? It’s a birthday present. The person who gave me this wanted me dead, too. Not that long ago, he pointed a gun right between my eyes right here and he threatened to kill me. He changed his mind about me, Skyler. And so will you.
To Pete Kozma. I only hope I get yet another chance to change my mind about the struggling shortstop.
Saul: So you bring him here? Come on! The three of us? We're the Three Amigos! All for one, one for all! We don't need a Fourth Amigo!
To Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller, three rookies who have shined in their roles this season. As for the fourth amigo? Well I don’t think anyone would mind if Carlos Martinez joined this list of impressive Cardinal young arms with success in defined roles. But for now, this is good enough.
Mike: OK, Lydia, if you ever needed to give the performance of a lifetime, it's now.
To David Freese. Postseason success seems built into his contract and woven through his legend and may be the only thing that gets him on the roster next year.
Todd: [to Jesse, about shooting an unarmed child] Man, shit happens, huh?
To Allen Craig, who may not get an opportunity to bat in a post-season game this year thanks to fracturing a foot while trying to avoid an umpire. Shit happens to everyone, from boys on motorcycles to grown men on first base. What can you do?
Mike: No. Walter, the last thing I need to do is listen to you. Now sit down.
To Mitchell Boggs, who couldn’t quite make sense of anything this year.
Walter: A better high means customers pay more. A higher purity means a greater yield. That’s $130 million of profit that isn’t being pissed away by some sub-standard cook. Now you listen to me. You’ve got the greatest meth cook in Am – no, the two greatest meth cooks in America – right here. And with our skills, you’ll earn more from that 35% than you ever would on your own.
The most practical lines of season 5 go to the most practical front office in all of baseball. Bill DeWitt knows what he’s doing trusting John Mozeliak and everyone in the organization is getting richer as a result.
Mike: Shut the fuck up and let me die in peace.
My favorite line of the season goes to my favorite move of the season: releasing Ty Wigginton. I wonder what five million dollars smells like when it burns.
Skyler: This is it. This is what you've been working for. I rented this place and I started bringing it here, because...I didn't know what else to do. I gave up counting it. I mean, I had to. It was just so much, so fast. I...I tried weighing it. I figured one bill of any denomination weighs a gram. There are 454 grams to a pound, but...there's a variety of denominations. So...
To the best fans in baseball. Every year, we make it possible for a small market team to play big market ball. The amount of cash Walt buried in the desert isn’t even one half of a season of profit for the Redbirds. And they’re welcome to it.
Skinny Pete: … why do you think McCoy never liked to beam nowhere? 'Cause he's a doctor, bitch! Look it up, it's science!
One of the more ridiculous assertions of the season (that one could look up the technical breakdown of a fictional teleportation device) goes to the Cardinals for backing up the ridiculous assertion that they would work on and improve their timely hitting. This team may very well finish in the top five ALL TIME for batting average with runners in scoring position. I have no idea how they did it but they did it. I like to think there’s some kind of scientific formula to the success and if so, I hope they never reveal it.
Saul: Well, have you given any thought to, um, sending him to a trip to Belize? Walter: Belize? Saul: Yeah, Belize. You know, where, um, where Mike went to. Off on a trip to, um, Belize. Walter: Saul, you better not be saying what I think you're saying. Saul: It's just conjecture on my part. Walter: Hank is family. Saul: Okay, it's an option that my– Walter: You understand that? Saul: It's an option that has worked very well for you in the recent past. Walter: Jesus, what is wrong with you? Saul: My mistake. Family. Off limit. Of course. I'm just throwing thoughts out there. This is a safe room, right? Walter: Jesus, send him to Belize. I'll send you to Belize.
That exchange was probably the first time Saul Goodman ever felt threatened by the likes of Walter White and therefore goes to Chris Carpenter. No, he has not been available all year; yes, his career may be over and he may never pitch again. Nevertheless, I have to imagine that if any of these next few games yields a brawl, he’ll be the first one out of the dugout and the only one genuinely scaring the piss out of all 25 guys on the other team’s roster.
Saul: Agent Schrader. Beat any good suspects lately? [to the two detectives] Hey, tall and taller, ask him his history with my client. He knocked the poor kid unconscious last time they were alone together. So what'll it be, gentlemen, a civil rights lawsuit the size of Montana? 'Cause I'll oblige you. [Hank starts to leave] Oh, so long, Rocky. Keep your left up. Detectives, I'm inviting you to leave.
One of the few comforting moments of the Breaking Bad season, Saul swooping in and temporarily freeing Jesse from harassment, goes to the most comforting moments of the Cardinals’ 2013 season: the hugs and smiles of Molina and Wainwright, two team leaders with their intensity and work ethic guiding youngsters, yet still taking time to dance and smile and hug. This is a happy team again.
Jesse: Look– look, you two guys are just… guys, okay? Mr. White... You know, he is– he is smarter than you, he is luckier than you. Whatever– Whatever you think is supposed to happen– I’m telling you, the exact reverse opposite of that is gonna happen, okay?
To Yadier Molina. We all see what happens when he’s not in the game and we’ve all run out of ways to describe how awesome he is but one thing is for sure, he is smarter than you, no matter what position you play or what team you play for.
Hank: My name is ASAC Schrader. And you can go fuck yourself.
One of Hank’s super-awesome last lines goes to Matt Carpenter, who doesn’t owe anyone any explanations. He is the starting leadoff hitter and starting second baseman, perhaps the best at both this season despite doing neither last season, and any team that has a problem with it will have to figure out how to deal with said problem while Marp stands on second base with a metaphorical middle finger waving at the pitcher.
Saul: I hate to be a downer here, but there are two DEA agents missing, presumed dead. You think the Feds are gonna just let that go 'cause you hit the ejector seat? First thing they're gonna do, they will RICO your wife and kids out of the house. That condo is gone. Your bank accounts, they're frozen. Her picture's probably on TV right now, next to yours. Who's gonna hire her?
To Edward Mujica, who deserved better after an awesome year of closing for the Birds. Maybe he still has something left in the tank, and I hate to be the downer here, but well, this last month of baseball probably cost him millions of dollars. At least he won’t have to work as a taxi dispatcher in the offseason.
Saul: Hey, I'm a civilian. I'm not your lawyer anymore. I'm nobody's lawyer. The fun's over. From here on out, I'm Mr. Low Profile, just another douchebag with a job and three pairs of Dockers. If I'm lucky, a month from now – best case scenario – I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.
To Victor Marte; he knows what he did.
Kuby: We’re here to do a job, not channel your inner Scrooge McDuck.
The funniest sight gag of Breaking Bad Seaon 5 goes to Matt Holliday, whose huge contract still seems worth about every penny when measured by bWAR or fWAR. No matter what Cardinal fans say about him, at least he didn’t grab that money and head off to Mexico.
Walter Jr.: Will you just– just leave us alone? You asshole. Why are you still alive? Why don’t you just– just die already? Just– just die.
To the Pittsburg Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, who just won’t go away.
It’s fitting to me that the Cardinals play their last regular season game the same day Breaking Bad plays its series finale. Both are polished, professional, surprising and genuinely awesome and I hope both go down in history as the greatest of 2013.
I am the one who playoffs!
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)