We here at CryingBirds_Asks have always prided ourselves in producing a product of high quality and made from only the choicest of brain wavenings. But sometimes the technology does not cooperate. CryingBirds_Asks presents this transcript of Episode 3, recorded on February 14th.
The audio files were unfortunately lost in a violent computer fire at The Place a few days later. To get the full effect of this episode, make sure you listen to the soundtrack as you read this. Don't start reading until the 0:28 mark has played.
Crying_Birds: Welcome back to CryingBirds_Asks, a show devised when the mouse wheel on my brain gears was being rolled at a particularly high rate. I do the Asks’ing because questions are easier than answers.
Tonight I’m joined by El Maquino. Normally we record these things live in a closet at the Birds House, but today Maq specifically requested we record in the front seat of his car. It’s cool outside tonight and Maq ran out of gas, so we’ve rolled up the windows and I pulled my Tuesday Can of Sterno out of my back pocket to light for warmth.
Maq, how’s it going today?
El Maquino: Okay, man.
Crying_Birds: Maq has, along with Cardinals baseball itself, been the catalyst for my continued use of social media. I’ve found him to be idealistic, opinionated and insightful. Let’s talk baseball, Maq.
El Maquino: Okay, man.
Crying_birds: I don’t follow any teams other than the St. Louis Cardinals. What team hope do you look forward to experiencing for concerns 100 percent out of baseball?
El Maquino: Honestly, I just watch the Cardinals because of twitter now. I’m out of market, so I bought MLB.tv and there’s really been no reason to watch one team since my guy Albert (Pujols) left. I don’t know, I guess I’m from KC, so I watch the Royals for social reasons.
I’m actually for the first time ever putting some money on the Rays to win the World Series this year, so I’ll be watching them a lot for non-baseball reasons. I think if they stay healthy they can probably finish high-80s win total, so that’s not too bad for 100 to 1 odds. If nothing else, that gives me a team to follow intently, which I haven’t had in quite a while.
I hope those count as non-baseball reasons.
Crying_Birds: They do. Gambling culture is interesting to me because I never know what any of those numbers mean. I once went to the horse track and had to be told by a child holding a toy pistol how to collect my randomly-picked winnings. How do they even choose those numbers? Was that little kid the person that determined odds? I have so many damn questions.
Maq, you have at any time over the years advocated reducing the number of baseball teams to enhance the quality of the game. The reason being, I think: There are not enough players to fill quality lists. If looking through the lens of the viability of market or Disdain General, what teams do you believe are the must-cut?
El Maquino: You could just look for the weakest markets, but then we’re talking about getting rid of Cleveland and Oakland and the Cincinnati and the White Sox and I really don't love that.
I think the cleanest and fairest way I can think to do it would be to just get rid of the four most recent expansion teams. See, I figure all those are less ingrained, only with the pants go with in the history of the sport and it's also convenient through all of those teams have their own problems and are not perennial contenders.
I just don't think baseball plays in the mountains like it's supposed to. And building a team, they're finding out there, to accommodate for the fact that breaking pitches don't do what they're supposed to….
I just don't know if pro sports work in Florida, in general. I guess my four picks are the Rockies, D-Back, X-rays, and Marlins. See? That’d be 3 in the N.L. and 1 A.L.
So you could go back to the old system of four divisions of six in the N.L. and two of seven in The A.L., if you're into the divisions.….I’m not, really…..
Crying_Birds: Of those teams you’d cut, which of the players’ contracts would be the Cardinals smart to consider whether to buy?
El Maquino: You know what? Let's skip the big dogs, those superstars, and guys under team control. That’s too easy. But get my God Zack Greinke if nothing else, for sure.
Dee Gordon at second (base) would be badass. He's like if Kolten Wong is what if people say about Kolten Wong was true.
Wilson Ramos at catcher, once he got healthy, would be awesome.
Brad Ziegler could replace Seth Maness, I guess. You really could just sign everybody in the Rockies Bullpen. Just bring them all in. Ottavino can come back home.
Birds, I think we need to ventilate the car.
Crying_Birds: That’d be fine if I hadn’t broken off the window-roller handles.
El Maquino: I have power windows.
Crying_Birds: That’s incredible. You want air, you figure it out. I’m not the guy with the answers, clearly. Speaking of power: While being realistic about people seeking power and influence, what does the perfect sports team owner look like to you?
El Maquino: The perfect team owner to me would be a worker's counsel of the players with no single owner and maybe some oversight by the local government. Barring that, I think Mike Ilitch-- the Tigers owner that just died-- I think he did it right for the most part.
If you’re going to buy a baseball team, do it for the fun or the legacy of owning a team and winning a trophy, because if you own a team, you don’t need it for the investment. You don’t need the money, so treat it like the toy that it is and lose money if you have to.
If you don’t think of holding that trophy up every winter, then just get out the game for somebody who does.
Crying_Birds: Move past the Rob Manfred Florp Experiment Comedy Hour. Will more people hate Rob Manfred or Bud Selig at the end of the everything?
El Maquino: Manfred’s an idiot, but he’s also a coward. Every stupid idea he floats out to the media, it usually just gets obliterated and he backs off, so I’m not super concerned about him, honestly. He gets that the strike zone is a problem, and that’s all I need him to get.
Selig, though. He’d be tough to beat. He just spent decades robbing people, be it collusion- the three different cases that caused the ‘94 strike- or threatening to move teams if their cities won’t pay for stadiums… or actually moving the Expos and the Pilots… or favoritism to Wilpon and Loria….or turning a children’s game into a Congressional crisis and then acting like he’s Joseph McCarthy to fix it after the fact.
I can’t imagine Manfred gets the chance to be as bad as Selig was. Easily, besides Landis, the worst commissioner we’ve ever had.
Crying_Birds: In episode 2, I asked Mr. Six that, in him, good baseball managers exist that are garbage to hear speak words. Regarding this, Mr. Six spoke a lot, including the projection of Tommy's personal brand as a starting point about the trouble of Tommy Lasorda. I'm sure that you can see where that leads! Joe Maddon! What can each of us do to make sure that we us not to listen to idiotic Maddon-isms for the next 15 years?
El Maquino: Nothing. There’s nothing we can do. The 2016 World Series was The Free World against Joe Maddon and we lost. It’s over and he will never go away.
Crying_Birds: ...so now we’re all wandering around, mouths agape, searching for meaning in the meaningless. For merciful relief from reality, let's park our bikes in the Temple Of Pop Culture. Culture me, Maq. Give me one hip hop record from the last 12 years that's worth hearing.
El Maquino: Last twelve years, so that’s what? ‘06, ‘07? I guess my go-to is "My Name Is My Name". Push(a T) is probably my favorite guy right now. But people have probably heard that.
"The Mouse And the Mask" is a fun one. It’s not particularly serious, just rapping about cartoons, but I think that was ‘06, so I think that’s within twelve years. It’s kind of fun, it sounds good, it’s a good gateway drug into Doom’s stuff. I think he’s an all-timer, so listen to that.
Crying_birds: Listen to those tonight. They’ll distract you adequately.
That’s the end of Episode 3. Thanks to Maq for joining me in this car. I’m going to walk home now.
El Maquino: Okay, man.