March 2009

Can We Get Bear Stearns in on This, Too?


In case you hadn’t noticed recently, things are a little rough out there in the world. When organizations like “Cash for Gold” are advertising during the Superbowl, well, you know that it’s going to hurt when we finally hit bottom. But how will this frantic fusillade of FUBAR affect the teams we really care about? And when I say “teams we really care about,” I’m using the ESPN definition which means Boston, the two New York teams and occasionally Philadelphia.

Well, the news is mixed. Boston appears to be sitting pretty and Philly just wrote and directed a hit World Series so they aren’t sweating it. But, considering that this is a “financial crisis” and the financial capital of our fair country is New York, one would expect the Big Apple to be hit extra hard. And one would be correct.

With both teams set to move into new stadiums this year and with the accompanying ticket price mugging, it’s not a good time to be a marketer for the Yankees or Mets. Those bankers just aren’t throwing the cash around like they used to. Perhaps it’s because their new day jobs don’t allow for such wanton displays of consumption.

But the big question is, what happens to the new stadiums themselves? I’m sure the new Yankee Stadium won’t be affected but what about the Mets’ new ballpark where the main sponsor is now almost half-owned by the government? If this is the future of CitiBank (NSFW):

…then what is the future of Citi’s deal with the Mets? Is it this? Or should we believe this? It probably doesn’t help when you’ve managed to catch the attention of some boisterous politicians, either. Just ask former ambassador Charles Freeman about that one.

At this point, though, no one knows what is going to happen. Maybe the Mets will do like the Astros following the Enron debacle and find a new sponsor. Welch’s Grape Juice, perhaps? And maybe Citi will go ahead and decide that plowing part of their Federal stimulus money into some ego-stroking m^sturbation is just what the doctor ordered. All I know is that I’ll be busy melting down my class ring and wondering how much Ed McMahon will give me for it.


Vexing Developments Explode Inside Cramped Locker-room Havens: Jeff’s Spin

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Don’t hate
me ‘cuz I’m right.





Vexing Developments Explode Inside Cramped Locker-room Havens: Allen’s Take

team_usa_wbc.jpgA loaded topic like this can really only take us in one direction: The weirdness that is the World Baseball Classic. Pedroia and Jeter trotting off the field together after a put-out at second base? That just doesn’t look right. Wright and Rollins manning the left side of the infield? Did I miss something?

Now, I realize that this weirdness can also happen during the All-Star Game but that’s a once a year freak-fest where the players wear odd uniforms and the outcome has taken on a disproportionate level of importance.

This is the World Baseball Classic, the World Cup of Baseball. I want drama. I want to watch MLB teammates like Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez whip themselves up into a nationalistic fervor so intense that they come to blows and then both demand trades. I want Jeter to talk about the toxic environment created by the presence of Red Sox players and former Yankees. I want David Wright and Jimmy Rollins to use this forum as an excuse to decide the NL East crown in the most logical fashion possible, pistols at dawn on the pitcher’s mound.

But no. Instead we get stories like this, where injured players are sticking around and other players are happy to sit the bench or take limited playing time just for the honor of being part of this team. Where’s a T.O. or a Latrell Sprewell when you really need them? Can we really allow this love fest to continue unabated?

However, there is still hope for the Scrooges among us. So far the US team has made congeniality easy by eking out a win over Canada and then pounding Venezeula. But what happens when they are faced with real challenges by way of Puerto Rico or Japan? Only then will we see what these players are really made of and what happens when vexing developments explode inside cramped locker-room havens.

But until that time I’m going to swallow my bile and cheer like a pre-pubescent girl at an early 90’s New Kids on the Block concert as the announcers rattle off the Pedroia to Jeter to Youkilis inning ending double-play. USA! USA! USA!


March Madness

In case you haven’t already seen it, YES! Network’s The Max blog is doing their own version of March madness, pitting the top 64 MLB fan blogs against each other in a winner take all bracket.

Now, we don’t want to tell you that you should go vote for us whenever our matchups come up but we would be remiss if we didn’t at least suggest that you check in over there from time to time to see how things are going. And if you wanted to vote for RSBS at the appropriate time, well, we won’t stop you.


RSBS TV: 2009 AL East Preview

Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.

Special thanks to Theo Roll.

Very special thanks to Alex Rodriguez for giving MLBloggers blog fodder for life.

(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)

– – – –

**Programming Note**

Tuesday and Wednesday’s posts will both be the result of a small experiment between Mr. Lung and Mr. Krause.  The title for each post will be the exact same and was co-created by each constituent in an odd writing exercise known to literary dorks as “build-a-sentence”.  Mr. Lung wrote a word, then Mr. Krause wrote a word, Mr. Lung wrote a word, etc., until there was a complete sentence that sorta made sense. 

Stay tuned and see the true difference between these two baseball-politico minds and find out just where that co-created title will take them, whether it be down the same jaded street or off into themes yet undiscovered like Red Sox fans who never complain about anything (yeah right, like there is such a thing).

You know what we mean.

The Filibuster

alex rodriguez.jpg
A-Rod just can’t seem to get out of the news. However, the problem this
time is that after a back and forth between he, his brother, and the Yankees’ front office, Rodriguez is finally opting for the surgery that will put him out of action for ten weeks.  So,
the question is, do you think A-Rod has a real crush or just a
man-crush on Jeter?

— Allen

that this question ultimately forces one to examine the intricacies of
a non-romantic man-love between two of the best players in the game
today.  Because if RSBS knows anything, it knows what it means to harbor such a serious crush.

whether that crush pertains to a lowly Joe Six-Pack fan like myself
longing for the return of the game that moves him so or an
honesty-challenged third baseman’s relationship with his revered elder
statesman shortstop, the important thing to remember is: this stuff matters.

Alex.  He just cannot catch a break.  While he has been off
gallivanting and spinning different stories relating to his hip and his
just-won’t-go-away-steroids issue, his arch-nemesis/biggest proponent
has been looking good in the stars and stripes uniform, helping his
team edge out Canada in an unprecedented early March nail-biter that got this fan (me) up on his feet, proud to be a US American.

Three cheers for Derek Jeter!

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And I ain’t no Yankees fan, folks.  Everyone knows this.  But seeing
Jeter captain the U.S. team and leave yesterday’s game early with grace
and style and poise… I mean, WOW!  How can one not have a
man-crush on this guy?!?  Sure, Jeter is no Pujols… but one cannot
deny that the man certainly knows how to woo the masses with his sweet
swing and smooth air of class.

Can I get a “U-S-A, U-S-A!”?

let us not ignore Mr. Krause’s hidden agenda here.  It seems as if his
question was meant to lead me down that winding road of slander,
forcing me to acknowledge and perhaps sling unfounded accusations that
there may be some hidden homoerotic tension between A-Rod and the


We all know about A-Rod’s sexual exploits
And when you can land ladies like that, I think it is pretty clear what
his true feelings for Jeter are: man-lust, man-crush, man-envy.

at Derek Jeter — the perfect storm of athletic ability and aesthetic
allure — it is impossible for any self-respecting, hard-working, apple
pie-eating male to not man-love and man-crush on good ‘ol number 2.  
Especially when he wears the “U.S.A.” across his chest.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



Wrestlers, Prophets and Rush

rush_limbaugh.jpgMuch of the political uproar over the past week centered on Rush Limbaugh’s address at CPAC in which he reaffirmed his desire to see President Obama fail. Understandably, many people are up in arms over this statement but some of them seem to be upset for all the wrong reasons. Obama is not the messiah and he will have policy failures. The sooner we accept that inevitability, the better.

But there is another reason why Rush’s words should have incensed us. Not only is his naive desire to see our country’s problems worsen ignorant at best, it also goes against everything we’ve been led to believe. America is a country built on dreams, MLK’s dream, the American Dream, even Obama’s dreams from his father, and failure, although sometimes an intermediate result, is never a goal. That’s where Rush gets it so wrong.

In America, we love dreams and we love seeing people pull through when everyone else is sure they’re going to fail. Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series. Willie Mays’ catch. The Tampa Bay Rays’ run to the pennant. No one gave any of them a chance but somehow they managed to overcome failure and succeed beyond their (and our) wildest imagination. When failure is an end instead of a means, dreams die and you become irrelevant.

Rush’s problem and, by extension, the problem of the Republican Party is that their actions have begun to cast them as irrelevant to the national debate. Wishing failure on your opponents doesn’t make you a seer. It makes you a streetcorner prophet, carrying your cardboard sign and sleeping on a park bench at night. It doesn’t signal engagement but rather disengagement.

The real issue and what Rush is afraid to say is that it’s not so much that he disagrees with Obama as it is that he has no solution of his own. After the experiment of the past eight years proved morally and financially bankrupt, how could he? However, the purview of the streetcorner lunatic has always included yelling louder than everyone else and making sure that yours is the voice that stands out. In that respect, Rush can truly claim, “Mission Accomplished.”


We Figured Out Manny

How is it that such a high profile ballplayer is able to become invisible whenever he feels like it?

How is it that such a high profile ballplayer is able to cause mayhem wherever he goes?

How is it that such a high profile ballplayer had his heart set on California and only California?

We figured it out, folks:

manny ramirez 99.jpgOf course, this also explains why he bleeds neon green, why he makes guttural nonsensical noises and why he appears so alien to the rest of the world.

But in the end, dude can play baseball.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



(**Manny image courtesy of the Associated Press**)

When “The Man” Really is the Man

As the dust has settled following President Obama’s not quite State of the Union Address and the subsequent Republican self-defenestration, it appears that a new order has taken hold in the DC corridors of power. On the one one hand we have Kenneth, I mean Bobby, and his earnest yet misguided attempts at speaking truth to power:

…while on the other we have the perpetual outcasts, the “Defeat-ocrats,” the party of Mondale, in the ascendancy, finally sitting courtside as the cool kids are wont to do:

obama-beer.jpgBut, you’re probably asking yourself, what does this mean for me, a baseball loving, god fearing, jerky chewing, rough living SOB? Well, I’ll tell you what it means. It means it’s time to hit as many Nationals’ games as possible in hopes of sending our Commander in Chief a Ben’s half-smoke with all the fixin’s. And that ain’t no euphemism. The man has taste.


Words, Words, Words

shakespeare.jpg“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
                              — Everyone’s Mother

How very un-American our mothers are!

Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American.  Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis.  (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)

Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about.  And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals: 

Curt Schilling
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays.  Okay.  Fair enough, Curt.  You are a gamer.  You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level.  Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for?  And why the ultimatum for those two teams?  Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs?  This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.

jabba the hut.jpgRush Limbaugh
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.”  I do not think anyone would have a problem with that.  The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that.  He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”

Go eat yourself to death, Rush.

steve phillips.jpgSteve Phillips
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts.  In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it.  But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing.  He said:

“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”

Hmm.  Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one.  Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.


Rod Blagojevich
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book!  Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know.  Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say.  From my vantage point, that ain’t happening.  We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders.  Big difference.

Ryan Dempster
I know, I know.  Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet.  But he will.  That is what he does.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season.  That is classy.  No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy.  Believe that.