Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Conversations on the Corner: The NL East

This, our latest endeavor to produce ongoing features stacked with staunch journalism and in-depth sports coverage, is "Conversations on the Corner," where we chat with a few Major League Baseball first basemen about their counterparts in the bigs. We've selected a duo of glovers from each league, and each will help us breakdown the other first basemen in their respective divisions. Then they'll collaborate on the leftovers. It promises to be skewed, highly inacccurate, and include and a ton of material over which we'd like to not be accused of libel. So dig in. (Editor's Note: The HoG spared no expense in this project, so, if the inclination arises, don't stifle it. Donations can be sent in the form of multi-packs of Big League Chew, or in American dollars. Click here to inquire about the House of Georges corporate office/mailing headquarters.)

We thought we'd start off the feature with the crappiest division in baseball, the National League East. Here to help us break down this fivesome are the Chicago Cubs' Derek Lee, and the Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton.

Bankmeister: One, two, three...Hey!Look at Mr. Leeeeeee! Three, F--
Derek Lee: Knock it off.
B: Sorry. Thanks for being with us.
DL: Fine. No singing, no problem.
B: Right. So, the, uh, Cubs, eh? Wrigley Field? Pretty cool stuff, there. Lots of history.
DL: Yeah.
B: Don't know much about his-to-ry! Don't know much bi--
DL: (groans) Dude...
B: Just joshin', D-Lee. Chill.
DL: Only my friends call me that, man.
B: Right. So, uh...(shuffles papers), you aren't still mad at Steve Bartman, are you?
DL: I didn't play here then.
B: Of course not. You were with the uh...(taps pencil), Devil Rays back then.
DL: Marlins, man. The Marlins.
B: Marlins, Marlins. Marlins, indeed. Just makin' sure you got your years straight, brotha'-man. You guys knocked off the Yankees that year. That was awesome.
DL: We talkin' about first basemen today, or what?
B: You bet we are. We're going to start with the last-place Washington Nationals, and their glovemaster Nick Johnson. What do you think about that guy?

Todd Helton: Fag.
B: Whoa, Todd Helton. You'll get your turn, sir. Sit tight.
DL: He's alright, I guess. Kinda looks like one of them Garbage Pail Kids in the face, but he's got a pretty mean swing when he's healthy.
B: He ever try the old fake-throw-back-to-the-pitcher-and-try-to-tag-you-out when you've been on first against him?
DL: What?
B: You know. After a pickoff attempt from the mound.
DL: No.
B: You ever think that you should move to the American League so that you can play DH, D-L?
DL: (chuckles) Nah, man.
TH: Dumbass.
B: (gives Helton a menacing look) D-Lee, you ever think Nick Johnson's checking out your ass when you lead off?
DL: Well, yeah. I mean, I haven't stolen a ton of bases in the last couple years, but yeah. He be lookin'.
TH: Fag.
B: He's hitting .263 right now with five doubles and five RsBI. You think he'll pull it together?
DL: It's only the second week of April, man. Shit. You crazy.
TH: NickJohnson'saloser.
B: Fair enough. Every one gets a second chance, I guess. You know he's got a baby?
DL: Who?
B: Nick Johnson.
DL: No. Why would I know that?
B: Thought you were the stats master, man. She just turned two. You know what her name is?
DL: No.
B: It's (tries to sound like Stevie Nicks)Bri-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-na.
TH: Douche.
DL: Dude, isn't it "Rhiannon"?
B: C'mon, dog. No black guy's ever called out a white dude on Fleetwood Mac trivia.
B: Mr. Helton -- your thoughts on Nick Johnson?
TH: No comment.
B: Alright then. Moving on. The fourth-place Atlanta Braves employ a guy by the name of Mark Teixeira--
TH: Tex.
B: He, uh...right, Todd. Some folks call him 'Tex'. Todd, did you ever find Tex trying to scrape your face with his glove when you dove back into first?
TH: Never been on base against him.
B: Um...are you sure about that?
TH: No.
B: Right. Well, how about when you get a good jump -- he ever get a late pickoff throw from the mound and try to peg you in the back on your way to second?
TH: Never get the green light. Thanks, Hurd'.
B: Alrighty, then. Mr. Lee, have you ever sensed that Teixeira has (throws up finger quotes) accidentally let go of the bat in the batter's box while you're on first, and say, it (quotes) happened in your direction?
DL: Man, what the fuck kind of question is that?
B: Hey, man, it happens. Happens all the time.
TH: (coughs very indiscreetly) Bullshit!
B: Nice, dude. That's like, older than your entire franchise.
TH: Dick.
B: Anyway. The New York Mets also happen to have a first baseman on their roster. He goes by the alias of Carlos Delgado, or, as they say in Mexico, "Charles Skinnyman."
(DL chuckles)
TH: Beanpole.
B: Todd, you've been around Carlos a time or two. You ever thought he might try to pickpocket one of your batting gloves and spit in it while you're on first?
TH: Quirk says "run with gloves in hands; won't break fingers."
B: Mm. Hmm. How 'bout you D-Lee?
DL: Dude. For real. Stop callin' me "D-Lee." And, no. I've only batted bare-handed against the Mets. I'm superstitious like that.
B: Ah, so you're like one of those black dudes that gets all weirded out when people accidentally take a broom across your shoes? Some kinda Haitian voodoo shit, that is. Right?
DL: What the... (doesn't finish/keeps shaking head)
TH: Stay away from my rum, Joe Boo.
B: Nice. Anyway, so are you scared of Puerto Ricans, D-Lee?
DL: What the hell are you talking about?
B: Carlos Delgado, bro. Everyone knows he's from (obnoxiously rolls Rs) Puerto Rico.
DL: Sure. Sure, we all do--
TH: Livin' la vida loca!
DL: This dude... (shakes head) No, man. It's Shea Stadium that weirds me out. Not the Mets' first baseman.
B: Aw, that's too bad. Much better story if it'd been an all-Carlos batting-gloves story. Either way, Carlos has already struck out (tries to impersonate Principal Ed Rooney from the hit movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off") nine times.
DL: Ye--
B: Niiine times.
DL: Yeah, man. I heard you. Like I said, it's early in April. Dude'll be fine.

TH: Freakshow.
B: You know that dude's like almost 35? Whew. That is old.
DL: That is not that old. I'm only a couple years behind him. Bet you we both play 'til we're at least 40.
TH: Shoney's discount.
B: You're on. But don't be vexin' me with your Haitian witchcraft when I win.
DL: Dude, I am not from Haiti.
TH: Cu-bano!
B: Alright. Up next is Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies.
TH: Fag.
B: Todd, you think Ryan Howard likes men?
TH: No comment.
B: Oh-kay. D-Lee, you ever sense that Ryan was gonna pull his glove away at the last second of a pickoff throw and let the ball club you in the noggin?
DL: Dude. I never thought anything like that of any play I've ever been a part of.
B: Bummer. How 'bout you, Todd?
TH: Every time.
B: Every time a Phillies pitcher has tried to pick you off at first, you've thought Howard wanted to give you a temple shot?
TH: Not-a-once.
B: (stares at TH in disbelief) Y-yeah.
TH: Every time.
DL: I agreed to do this interview under the guise of answering baseball questions. Don't you have any?
TH: Whiny bitch.
DL: Helton, don't make me come over there and choke your crazy ass.
TH: Like to see it.
B: Alright, guys. Settle down. D-Lee, how many jacks -- hint: he already has three --does Howard hit this season?
DL: Shoot. I dunno. (pauses) Forty-nine.
TH: Not a chance.
B: Todd, you think he'll hit for fewer?
TH: Nineteen.
B: That's it? (simultaneously asks as DL says "Shit.")
TH: Sixty-day DL, head injury from an errant Jeff Francis-pickoff attempt.
B: Wow. Okay. And last, but not least, is some clown named Mike Jacobs, who plays for D-Lee's former club -- and might I add first-place -- Florida Marlins. He's shown us that, uh, he can (shuffles papers)...uh, strike out a lot. Think he tops the century mark again in Ks, Todd?
TH: Nope.
B: Uh, why not?
TH: Plays lots of teams with bad pitching.
B: Okay. D-Lee?
DL: Yeah. I say he fans a buck-twelve.
B: Ooo. A career high? I like it. Do the Marlins stay on top in the east?
TH: Dead last.
B: Interesting. D-Lee?
DL: Third. Just above Washington and Atlanta, but below Carlos' Mets and Ryan's Phils.
B: Alright, guys. Thanks for your time and good luck this season.
TH: Douche.

Check back later in the week as we comb over the rest of the NL, and work our way into the American League, too.