N.L. State of Mind is a weekly column written by one Andy Paschen. Any attempts to reproduce, rebroadcast or redistribute without expressed written permission by Andy Paschen, Midwest Swing or N.L. State of Mind is strongly encouraged.
Good people, March is a time when we all must lay down our differences and join together in a feeling of mutual love and adoration. It is a time when foes become friend, cats and dogs living together — pandemonium! Why? Because March Madness is here, and though this might be a N.L. Central baseball blog A. March Madness is totally kick ass and B. Your 2009 Missouri Tigers could be big players in the science that is bracketology.
Which brings up to N.L.SoM’s Player of the Week: The Missouri basketball Tigers! They have a #3 seed and a date with Cornell something-or-others, but I’m not going to look up their name because it doesn’t matter. Cornell is going down, even if their mascot was the Truman the Tiger. But the road to Mizzou’s seed was not without challenge and … wait … scratch that, it was absolutely without challenge.
N.L.SoM’s Player of the Weak: The Big XII Conference. Mizzou was a number three seed, and the only high ranked seed to win after their first-round bye. #1 Kansas? Lost to Baylor and their 5-11 conferece record. #2 Oklahoma? Bounced by 9-7 Okie St. (this would be where Stuart Scott would say they put the Okie doke on them. Conincidentally, that would also be the time where I would stick knitting needles in my ear.) Even #4 Kansas St. took one in the loss column.
Now I’m not saying that Oklahoma and Kansas can’t make some noise in the big dance, but talk about an entire conference crapping the bed from top to bottom — yeesh. Beating Texas Tech, Oklahoma St. and Baylor en route to a power conference title is just kind of sad.
Old and busted vs. New hotness:
Old and busted: Cold Weather.
New hotness: Springtime.
Cold weather is fun from December 1st to January 2nd. If you’re celebrating Christmas with no snow on the ground, you have been robbed of a simple joy in life. But it’s March. Move it along God! Plus, March in Chicago is about as confusing as Synedoche, New York. 20! 70! -2! 63! What is going on!? Maybe this is why people put up with hurricanes in Florida and douchebags in Southern California.
What to do on your off day: Don’t play soccer in Iraq. Better yet, don’t play soccer in any country that’s considered 3rd world. Unless you are an 18-year-old phenom using your home-countries professional league to hightail it to Europe, your chances of being murdered, shot at, stabbed or being in a headline that includes the world “deadly” and “machete” are just too high to play “the beautiful game.” Shit, even if you make it to Europe you still have a pretty good chance of succombing to mob brutality between the neo-Nazis, racists and English hooliganism. Listen, we all love the perks of international football, but really, how many of us are going to reach that level before the stray bullet might?
Lets go shopping! From the team that plays like dirt comes … dirt! Who wouldn’t want to take home the playing surface who hasn’t had a winning record in 16 years? Plus, what in Taylor Swift hell does “game used dirt” mean? Is there other dirt that’s used in PNC Park that isn’t used during the games? Would this non-game used like like soil from plants in the concourse, or like the dirt spread around first base when the Pirates are up to bat? (Got ’em!)
Really, if your buying this little item for the reasonable price of $29.99, you’re doing it for the display case. Now, if there was only someway to get that pesky dirt out of there and put something in of real value, like a piece of game used Sidney Crosby gum.
The “at-bat song of the week”: It’s time to introduce a name that is being touted as the potential messiah of Pittsburgh baseball: Pedro Alvarez. Even though he’s hit .444 this spring and mashed a manly 440-foot dinger, he won’t be playing for the big boys on opening day and was sent to A Lynchburg. Maybe it had to do with showing up to minicamp overweight and out of shape, maybe they just don’t want to rush him.
But, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing Pedro Alvarez sooner than later, and in honor of that sentiment his batting song will be Hannah Montana’s Miley Cyrus’ “See you again.” Look, it’s pretty simple: Pedro’s young, Miley’s young. Miley makes granola bars, Pedro eats granola bars — match made in heaven.
Those poor eating habits? Don’t worry — His best friend Leslie said, “That’s just Pedro being Pedro.” (Rimshot!)