Josh "Randy" Sullivan is a Cardinals fan and the author of the wildly offensive and little-read Twitter feed Birds On Bats. But you might recognize him from this photograph, taken at an Iraq War counter-protest in 2004, which shortly thereafter became an internet sensation.
I met Randy at Busch Stadium earlier this season. After some prodding, he agreed to an interview on the condition that I buy him two KFC Famous Bowls™.
Randy's opinions are his own and do not reflect those of SB Nation or the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization.
Randy, thanks for talking with me. First off, let's get some background. Where are you from, and what do you do?
I'm from Decatur, Illinois, born and raised. And until a few months ago, I worked at the local corn sugar factory.
As I'm sure you know, the photograph of you at the‒
‒I can't talk about that. I'm in the process of suing that photographer and a bunch of internet people, if I can find a lawyer who'll represent me. [To tape recorder] If anyone listening to this is a lawyer or an attorney, please contact my twitter so I can sue somebody.
Decatur is roughly equidistant from St. Louis and Chicago. Why the Cardinals and not the Cubs or White Sox?
Why do birds take to the sky? Why do fish swim in the water? It's simply the only option.
You can follow a team that has what I call "a winning mentality," with players who play the game the right way and speak our official language, or you can follow those loser franchises that don't do "the little things." That's something I came up with a while back, "the little things." It's the little things that win championships.
What do you mean by "the little things"?
For a perfect example, just look at one of the greatest teams ever assembled: the 2006 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. That team had David Eckstein, Yadier Molina, So Taguchi, and Aaron Miles. That's a Jew [sic], a Mexican [sic], a Chinaman [sic], and a regular American. It was a variable [sic] "League of Nations" of doing the little things. They hustled like all get out, they bunted all the time, and they weren't afraid to move the runner over. And most important, they got it done in the clubhouse, by which I mean, they created something I refer to as "a winning atmosphere."
I lived and died with that team from the moment they got into the playoffs until they brought home ring number eleven. Do I watch every game? No. But do I check the box score every single day to see where they're at? Also, no. I know they'll do what it takes to get the job done, and they don't need me breathing down their neck!
What makes the Cardinals different from other teams?
Three things: The fans, the fans, and the fans. We truly are the best and most knowledgeable fans of any team in baseball. If you don't believe me, you can ask the players. Well, the current ones, anyway.
Cardinal fans absolutely demand excellence and success. The only stat we care about is W's. Sorry, nerds!
So you support the team no matter what?
Well, put it this way. If we're unhappy we'll leave the game early to show our displeasure. Also, we might not even show up at all if we're not in first place. That sends a clear message to Jocketty that we demand players who are what I like to call "True Cardinals."
What is a "True Cardinal"?
A "True Cardinal" does not coast on his natural ability. In fact, I don't want anyone with any kind of natural ability wearing the "birds on bats." I would sooner take someone that drives a Ford F-150, speaks clearly, and runs out every grounder over any so called "five-tool player." The only tool I care about is Tulowitzki, who I think has the potential to be a "True Cardinal." And I've tried to tell that to Mr. Jocketty, but I can't find his email address on the Cardinals website.
There's talk that Albert Pujols may sign with another team next year, maybe even the Cubs.
How do you respond to the criticism of Tony La Russa, that he has a history of enabling steroid users, both in Oakland and St. Louis?
He has a history of enabling your mom. Interview over!