December 2008

Tough Questions and Premature Answers

kennedy_coiff.jpgAnd here I thought this was supposed to be the slow point in the RSBS year. The elections are over (well, mostly) and baseball is still a couple months away from pitchers and catchers reporting. What could we possibly have to debate or comment on? Luckily, though, this is not your normal year. Thank god for shoe-throwing Iraqis, Kennedy-coiffed Illinois pols and baseball’s winter meetings.

With all of the problems facing the United States right now, it’s important that we ask the important questions. Like, is shoe chucking an attention getting scheme or a legitimate critique of American foreign policy? (Here’s a hint on that one. Anyone who actually understood the Middle East would not claim that the act was just about attention. Throwing your shoe is a mortal insult. If a shoe had been thrown at Zinedine Zidane, he would have head-butted the thrower.)

Or, with the city of New York involved in a free agency bubble that rivals the housing bubble and internet bubble combined, have the Mets become as evil as the Yankees or is their dauphin status chronic?

However, if we aren’t willing to answer these questions or concentrate on the imminent and necessary demise of the Big Three and the impending credit card crisis, there’s really only one other place we can go for solutions: the demented but brilliant mind of Andy Samberg.

Seriously, if that’s not a critique of US foreign policy, I don’t know what is.

-A 

Pay-Rod: MSNBC’s Liberal Use of Famed MLB Moniker Proven Inaccurate

rod blagjojevich.jpgMSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews led off its December 15th
broadcast with the teaser line “Pay-Rod” next to a photo of a
disgruntled, egomaniacal Rod Blagojevich — a clear shot at the
shortcomings of Blago’s esurient character aimed to compare him to
Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez.  The joke here is obvious: pay to play.  But MSNBC got this baseball-politico comparison wrong and as the de facto authority on such surreptitious simile, allow me to tell you why:

alex rodriguez.jpgCall him greedy, call him seedy, call him needy: A-Rod (aka “Pay-Rod”) still produces results (*post-season not included in this study).

He
demands and receives big money because he is arguably the best player
out there; simple supply-and-demand economics only follow suit. 

Blago,
however, does not.  His record low approval rating (even prior to
Patrick Fitzgerald’s accusations) rivaled only that of our Dear Leader
Bush.  His refusal to live in Springfield has long angered tax-payers
and politicians alike.  His swashbuckling appropriations of state funds
caused him to be a Chicago Tribune target.  And let’s face it: his
hairdo sucks.

But the most appalling of all Blago character traits is his cocky swagger, his self-righteous talking points, his relentless refusal to come clean — to face the Federal music and tell the public what exactly is/has been going on.

In other words…

Rod Blagojevich is the Barry Bonds of politics.

Just as…

Marion Barry
is the Josh Hamilton…. and…

David Duke is the Ty Cobb… and…

Barney Frank is the Billy Bean

If we’re going to throw out catchy baseball player references in
relation to controversial politicians, MSNBC, let’s make sure they’re
accurate, shall we?

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Yankees Broaden Scouting Map

Initial scouting report:

Good velocity.  Decent movement.  Has control issues.

Temper is sporadic but fixable.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,
Jeffy

Ron Santo’s Hall of Fame Caveat Has Helmet-Hair

ron santo rod blagojevich.jpg

Perhaps the Veterans Committee knows something we don’t…

This is Illinois.  This is Chicago, Illinois.

And in the Second City anything is possible.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Ill Winds in December

sword in the stone.jpgCan I take just a minute to gloat here? No, not about that. That’s more humbling than anything. No, I want to gloat because I got an early Christmas present! That’s right, Kyle Farnsworth is leaving Detroit and heading off to beautiful Kansas City! My only real question is, did he cry this time? So long and good riddance.

But, that being said, I would like to thank all of our readers for coming back, even on days when I was writing instead of Jeff. I know my manner of arranging words and sentences into (somewhat) coherent thoughts may not be as silky smooth as Jeff’s Ozzie Smith-like turns of phrase but it’s still gratifying to check in and see that people are actually commenting. In fact, I’ll say right here and now that one of my New Year’s resolutions is to occasionally respond to those comments. It might even happen, too.

However, despite all the good cheer in the air, an ill wind blows in from Mordor on the Hudson carrying with it the stench of sulfur and brimstone. This must mean it’s the time of year when the Steinbrenners open up their checkbook and start wheeling and dealing. But there’s a peculiar, additional scent this time and an odd baseball shaped head that haunts my dreams. Yes, the Mets have created their own version of Hades out in Queens and the wailing you hear is the sound of MLB GMs wondering where they are going to find relief for sagging bullpens.

Is there a hero who can save us? Will our white knight prevent this Gotham centered frenzy? Well, I’m not sure yet but here at RSBS we will be tirelessly tracking down the answers and looking out for some minor-league prospect who can pull the sword from the stone and slay these dragons. Hopefully they can also get rid of some these mixed metaphors because they’re killing me.

-A

Humble Handshakes & Fiery Fistbumps: RSBS from the Top

obama fist bump.jpgVenerable MLBlogocrat and de facto Dear Leader, Mark Newman, announced yesterday that Red State Blue State sits atop the 2008 MLBlogosphere as the number one fan blog in the… well… in the entire universe.  With that, I’d like to say that Kanye West is full of crap. 

It ain’t lonely at the top.

Because this honor would not have been possible without you, Dear Readers.  Ravenously hungry for the special RSBS blend of baseball and politics only available through the uncensored blabberings of me and my colleague, the oft jaded Mr. Allen Krause, we humbly tip our hats to you for making this dream a reality.

In lieu of this special occasion, I, personally, would like to take a moment and sincerely thank each and every one of you in the MLBlogosphere: the bloggers, the commentors, the administrators, the techie nerds behind the curtain and of course MLB.com

Any regular RSBS patron knows that our unique brand of blasphemy and argumentative analysis would simply not be possible without all of the above.

In addition, I would also like to thank:

Mom — for birthing me and everything else ;-)
The St. Louis Cardinals — for giving me a reason to live every spring
The Chicago Whitesox — for being in my neighborhood and luring me in with Connie’s pizza
Dad — for teaching me that I didn’t have to become a Major Leaguer to be successful (though it would’ve certainly helped)
The Chicago Cubs — for dreaming the impossible dream and providing blog fodder galore
Barack Obama — for convincing people that “Yes, We Can”
2007 Ms. Teen South Carolina — for being my US American muse
The Prince of New York – for being my must-read blog of the day, every day
Allison Stokke — for being hot

…and finally…

Mr. Allen Krause — for being a dear friend willing to take my hyperbolic haymakers and verbal vanquishings without being too much of a baby about it.

Recent news has shown us that, indeed, Lord Acton was right: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

But you don’t have to worry about us… we’re just a couple of twelve-year olds trapped in thirty-year old bodies who don’t have the know-how to wield power or even consider being corrupt. 

We love baseball.

And when you really think about it, isn’t that enough?

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Golden Parachutes

dupre photo.jpgThis is awesome! And of course by “this,” I’m referring to Illinois Governor Rod Blago-“trailer hitch” being arrested. What this means is that the past nine months have seen the downfall of the the governors of two of the nation’s most populous states. Now, I think that Blago-“I have an itch” definitely takes the cake because you need cojones to straight up extort money in return for a seat in the Senate.

But, Eliot Spitzer’s now well-known sexual preferences are nothing to sniff at. And, unlike former President Clinton, at least Spitzer went for a good looking girl (even if he did have to pay for it). Now, the one thing that could make this year complete is if we found out that Arnold Schwarzenegger has been having secret Nazi orgies in one of his California mansions. Europe is already all over this one but there are still 3 weeks left. C’mon, Arnie! Give us the trifecta. We’ve earned this!

When it comes to things that are not awesome, though, this year’s Detroit Lions would have to rank right up there. Yes, like Mr. Lung said, I am a Lions fan. I have always been a Lions fan. Just like I was and remain a Tigers fan, even when they came perilously close to setting a modern day record for futility. The sun is shining in MoTown, though. Matt Millen has left Ford Field and if the Lions can copy the Tigers’ story, in about 3 years we should finally see a Lions team that makes it to the Super Bowl! It’s bittersweet since history tells us that the Lions will then get destroyed as a result of their quarterback (Graham Harrell? Nate Davis? Scott Mitchell?) fumbling several times leading to back-breaking scores. However, at least we will finally be able to say we played in a Super Bowl!

No, when it comes down to it, things could be much worse. No matter how bad things may appear, at least the Feds don’t have you on tape saying:

“I’ve got this thing and it’s f***ing golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for f***in’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there.”

Nice work, Rod. That’s some kind of golden f***ing parachute.

-A

The Ron Santo Crybaby Camp Overshadows An Otherwise Respectable Career

chicago aerial.jpgAs a Chicagoan, I am expected to accept and endure the following three basic tenets of Chicago life, otherwise known as the Three C’s:

1.  Crappy weather

2.  Corrupt politicians

3.  Crybaby Cub fans

Because I love this fair second city and all the headaches associated with its underground, battled, scar-bearing character, I generally acquiesce and forego my impetus to break bones and punch walls in reaction to the ceaseless bombardment and annoying abundance of those Three C’s

But on a day like today, when it’s 30-some degrees outside with a steady, sloppy rain pouring down… when our dear Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich is arrested at his Northside home on federal corruption charges… when the Ron Santo camp is hogging headline space by going through its annual crybaby routine… when all three of these things converge on the same day in one unforgiving onslaught of discomfort, I am left exhausted, irked and very, very thankful that I am anti-gun.

It’s just too much for one man to take.

The weather, yeah.  Like an unwanted pregnancy, it happens.  We deal with it.

rod blagojevich.jpgBlagojevich, yeah.  I think we all knew he was a crook.  I met him at the 95th Street/Dan Ryan Expressway CTA station on election day 2006.  He smiled, shook my hand, patted me on the shoulder.  Five minutes later, as I was left admiring the indescribable solidity of his hair, I realized my wallet was gone.

But when it comes to the Hall of Fame hopes of one Ron Santo, I have absolutely had enough.  Enough!

I mean, when a woman says “no”, she means “no”, stupid.  If you ignore that you’re a rapist.

ron santo.jpgLikewise, when the Hall of Fame, whether it be the BBWAA, the Veterans Committee or the Baseball Gods themselves say “no” for twenty-five years, they mean “NO!!!!!… and stop bugging us.”  Because just like the yearly lament of “this is our year”, the we-were-robbed cries for Ron Santo routine is getting extremely old and intensely aggravating. 

Rick Morrissey, of the now bankrupt Chicago Tribune, cried out to his drones of readers, “What don’t Hall voters see in Santo?”

They don’t see a Hall of Famer, that’s what, Rick.  If doing the same thing over and over and over again while expecting different results is insanity then the crybaby Santo camp is absolutely DERANGED!

Get over it.

Ron Santo was a great baseball player.  He wasn’t one of the greatest of all time but he was better than average, better than good, better than what Cub fans have turned him into over the last several years: a whiny, sore losing, crybaby.  It’s not Ron’s fault.  Leave him alone.  He’s on your side.  Quit making him look like the fat kid in gym class that no one wants on his team.

You have a stronger case with Andre Dawson so go cry about that for a few decades, will ya?  By then Blagojevich might be ready to enter a work-release program cleaning up the beaches that will surround the then island of Chicago (it’s a polar ice cap melting thing).

So yeah, go ahead.  Hate me.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Can We Talk About the Lions?

detroit lions.jpgTo say that we at RSBS aren’t both touched and appalled at the desire for our dear readers to find out how “wemen hit mens’ balls” by perusing our plentiful pages of posts would not only be a mistake — it’d be completely false.  In fact, we do care.  We want to help in whatever way possible; it’s just that we’re US Americans.  We have short attention spans.

What?

Exactly.

This is why I feel the need to address Mr. Krause’s 800 pound gorilla (and no, I am not talking about his sister).  For those of you who pay attention, you already know that Mr. Krause not only roots for his lackluster, underachieving, overpaid Tigers, but he is also stringently aligned with the laughingstock of the NFL: the Detroit Lions.

And in case you live in a Cold War era bomb shelter like the one underneath my grandma’s house with all the amenities of a North Korean disco party, you know the Lions are 0-13 with just three games left on their already light schedule.  That’s right.  No wins.  Just losses… and a lot of them.  If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought that Chris Berman, Shannon Sharpe, Dan Marino, James Brown and every other NFL pregame analyst working the networks yesterday was actually rooting, hoping, wishing that the Lions go on to become the first team ever in the history of the National Football League to not win a single game the entire season.

You can count me in on that wish too.

Because it’s funny.

All joking aside, it is no secret that I love football; but this is a classic example of why baseball, in my humble yet nearly one hundred percent accurate opinion, is a far superior game.

Even the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, holders of the worst record in baseball history, won 20 games to their 134 losses.  Twenty times that year they could walk off the field with their heads held high, knowing that — just for a day — they were winners.  Likewise, the ’60s era New York Mets (before ’69), as terrible, as awful, as atrocious a team as they were, still won 30 percent of their games.  They were never completely void of victory; that tiny taste of winning perhaps propelled them towards their miraculous season of ’69.  And of course, who could forget the late-season heroics of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who in the face of breaking the ’62 Mets’ record for most losses in a season, went on a torrid streak and won five out of their last six games to avoid ultimate infamy.

The key ingredient in all of these poor baseball teams’ legacies is the fact that despite how terrible they all were, they still won some of the time. 

But when your season is only sixteen games long the room for error shrinks; and in a game like football, you can forget all about mercy.

Hang in there, Mr. Krause.  Don’t cry.  Remember, the 1988 Baltimore Orioles started the season 0-21 and even though they finished as winners of 34% of their games, they still had a big fat zero for a considerable, oft uncomfortable amount of time.  Put in that perspective, 0-16 doesn’t seem all that bad, eh?  Besides, it could be worse, Al: Kyle Farnsworth could be your quarterback.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Fire Sales and Ball Busters

Since I am not the same erudite fount of loquaciousness as my friend Mr. Lung, I’m going to keep this brief. Really, all I have is two questions.

farnsworth cries.jpgNumber one, when did the Padres become the Florida Marlins? At least the Marlins won a couple championships before their fire sales. Seriously guys, Jake Peavy and Khalil Greene? I prefer to look on the bright side with this, though. What I’m hoping is that the Padres will decide to replenish by adding some dead weight from the Tigers. No more Trevor Hoffman? How about some Kyle Farnsworth in lieue? Too bad Renteria is already heading to San Fran or you could have him, too.

The other although no less important question is, how does a search for “wemen” in any form lead back to this blog? I’ll grant you that we talk a lot about women. Erin Andrews, Alison Stokke, Hillary Clinton. All three of these names receive a lot of press in the baseball/political forum that is RSBS. But wemen? I don’t know even know what that means.

gong_li.jpgNow, I have no answer for the first question although I hope that my scenario plays out because I really can’t stand the thought of Farnsworth coming out of the Detroit bullpen with tears in his eyes all next season. The second question needs a little more thought, though, mainly because of what these “wemen” are doing.

Why do people come here looking for men being hit in the balls? Granted, Jeff and I may bust each others’ balls from time to time but hitting them is another matter all together. That’s just wrong.

But the more important piece of this keyword search enigma is the “Attractive Chinese Wemen” aspect, namely, where are they and why was I not made aware of this? If there are attractive Chinese females being hidden within the RSBS universe, I feel I should be privy to this information. So, Mr. Lung, time to come clean, eh? No more secrets. Otherwise, I might have to send some of these “wemen” after your balls.

-A

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