Breaking Balls: My New Year’s Resolutions


Shameless plug alert!

Happy New Year to all of you who read my column – the casual readers, those lured here by Google searches and even the creepy ex-girlfriends who are just checking in to see how I’m doing, but it’s not a big deal because you are totally over me and you’re totally okay with me moving on without you.

Last year was a doozie for me; 2012 made 2011 look like 2010. This column and my other weekly column, The Hot Corner, have continued to grow in popularity and readership regardless of how inane their content is. I won my first few professional awards last year. No, obviously not for my baseball writing, but thanks for being so quick to point that out.

[Warning! Shameless plug!] The awards were for my humorous political documentary feature film Fools on the Hill. Yes, “humorous.” Yes, “political.” Yes, “documentary.” … And you thought I was just some slacker who rambled on about baseball and the Real Housewives.

And it just so happens that my award-winning movie is just now available on iTunes. So, you can go buy it or rent it to learn about the United States’ governmental silliness in a way that I guarantee will entertain and inform you. Just to be clear, when I say “guarantee,” I’m not really talking about reimbursing money, but I do have some signed Ed Begley, Jr. headshots I could give you. [End shameless plug]

Okay, back to baseball and the Real Housewives. Last year, I started things off with a New Year’s Resolution column that was quite fun and, more importantly, very easy to write. Columns with lists don’t require complex throughlines, so I can just blurt out random jibberish and nobody really knows the difference.

To be clear, my resolutions are actually about what other people should do differently and not at all about how I could become a “better person” or “nice” or “tolerant of others in even the slightest way.” And before we look forward to 2013, I think it’ll be fun to look back and see how some of last year’s resolutions worked out. Or didn’t.

Ryan Braun: Here’s looking at you, Jed.


Ryan Braun – Be a little more careful

After winning an almost-deserved MVP Award in 2011, Ryan had a positive drug test. Then there were the herpes rumors. Then there was the loophole that negated the positive test. He had an outstanding year and passed all his drug tests – though his (alleged) herpes are forever (unallegedly). Accomplished!

All professional athletes – Stay away from Kim Kardashian

Nice job, professional athletes. You kept away just long enough for Kanye West to get interested. But if you feel you’ve missed out, don’t fret. There are plenty of other women out there who have literally never done anything productive in their lives and are still available. Accomplished!

Carl Crawford – Don’t be worse than last year

I sarcastically joked that he couldn’t be any worse. Boom! I couldn’t have been more wrong. He was even worser. But now he’s on the Dodgers, and I think we’ve all sort of forgotten that he exists. Failed!

Derek Jeter – Put a ring on it

Oh, boy. I thought when he and Minka got back together that they were going to work it all out. But that was probably just a publicity stunt for some TV show she was on or something. Derek has a new sweetheart, but he should know that if he wants to settle down, he could have any Yankee fan … and the women, too. Failed!

Lindsay Lohan – Slow it down

She is continuing her living art interpretation of an out-of-control train. And she is quite possibly setting the new gold standard for disappointment. Hard to believe that’s even possible in a world where there are so many Kardashians, Real Housewives and Jersey Shore-ists. Failed!

Frank McCourt – Go away

Who? That’s right! Frank is becoming a distant memory. He’s gone, and it turns out that if you own one of the most successful sports franchises in the world and you aren’t up to your eyeballs in debt and siphoning off cash from the organization, there’s actually plenty of money to go around. This one makes up for all the resolutions that came up short on my list, and for you and everyone you know. Accomplished!

Okay, now it’s time to look forward and make some decisions about the coming year.


Stephen Strasburg – Go the distance

Before we get started, I want to lodge a complaint with the Department of Human People Names about this whole Stephen/Steven business. What have we become as a society when people are allowed to think that “ph” makes a “v” sound? It doesn’t. It makes an “f” sound. You don’t hear people saying, “Hi, my name is Stevanie.” Fix this. Anyway, last year, Stefen – possibly the best pitcher in the game – ended his year early to possibly protect his possibly delicate pitching arm. And then his team – probably the best in the National League – got knocked out of the playoffs early. Okay, so lessons learned for everyone involved, and let’s have 2013 include a full season of pitching for Stephenn.

Miguel Cabrera – Don’t take things that don’t belong to you

Yes, it’s been a couple months and I’m still quite put out that Miguel Cabrera won the MVP Award over the more-deserving Mike Trout. I have written almost two full unpublished columns expressing my displeasure at this whole thing – which makes me think that not only is there something wrong with the awards-voting procedure, but there is probably something very wrong with me. Well, there’s nothing any of us can do about me, so let’s go after something that can be changed: the archaic logic behind sportswriters who vote based on which player turns them on the most (or whatever other arbitrary measure that was used).

MVP Voters – Remove thine heads from thine butthole

Yeah, I’m still talking about this. As the awards were getting closer to being announced, there was a sense that Cabrera would win because he a pulled off the statistical “triple crown” – even though two statistics of the “triple” are considered somewhat antiquated. Trout also led the league in three different arbitrarily chosen categories, so he was also a “triple crown winner.” Sportswriters decided that this was the year they would take a stand against the “stat nerds” who were destroying the majesty of the game by providing more accurate tracking of player performance than the traditional throbbing bursitis in Joe Oldtimey’s right knee.

Marlins fans hope Loria gets McCourted.

Orioles fans – Proceed with caution

2012 was a heck of a year for Baltimore baseball – including one of the luckiest and most expertly managed run of extra-inning games that I’ve ever seen. But luck does tend to run out, as it did in the playoffs for the Orioles, and I don’t want you guys to take it too hard. It’s bad enough that you have to live in Baltimore. But at least you’re not in Detroit.

Marlins Ownership – Go away

Congratulations, Jeffrey Loria! You and your fellow Marlins owners are this year’s recipients of the Frank McCourt Award for Horribleness in Team Ownership (FMAHTO). It’s hard to do absolutely everything the worst possible way – but you make it look easy.

Mother Nature – Chillax

Maybe Mother Nature was just trying to freak everybody out about the whole Mayan calendar ending. She can have a pretty dry sense of humor – even when she’s making everything wet. (Yep, professional writer, folks.) Let’s go for a 2013 without anything like Hurricane Isaac (which sounds like a cocktail served on The Love Boat) or Hurricane Sandy (which has ruined the life of every ill-tempered office manager named Sandy).

Taylor Swift – Figure it out

Speaking of natural disasters! Taylor, girl, you need to slow down and maybe stop to think about what it is you’re looking for in a relationship … besides publicity. Finding the right person in your life can really make a difference for you and help you achieve happiness that you’ve only heard about in other people’s songs. Also, you’re a role model to young women everywhere who have already had their minds poisoned by the sex-based media hell-bent on destroying their sense of morality, so, there’s no need for you to teach them that you should swap out boyfriends when the first of the month comes around.

You – Make a difference

I hope you don’t mind, but I actually have a New Year’s resolution for all of you reading this: make yourselves aware of what’s going on in the world and get active doing something about it. There’s probably no easier way to do that than by buying or renting the award-winning humorous political documentary Fools on the Hill by filmmaker Jed Rigney – who I can assure you is a lot less abrasive than sportswriter Jed Rigney.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this coming year. Last year, I was about 50/50 on my resolutions – which ain’t so bad. Heck, the Mayans were 0/100 on theirs. Ha ha! Suck it, primitive cultures!

So, let’s hope some of these resolutions happen this year (especially the one about conveniently buying or renting Fools on the Hill). And let’s hope 2013 is a better year all the way around. And that’s what I want for everyone (almost everyone – you know who you are).

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