May 2009

Ozzie Would Have Caught that Sausage

homer_epic_failure.jpgThis season has been rough on quite a few teams already. However, that played itself out in a rather amusing fashion (for me at least) for two different teams in the last couple days.

We begin (as we often do when it comes to failure) in our nation’s capitol where the former Montreal Expos put on an exposition all their own the other evening. I could explain the premise of the story but I think this one quote just about sums it up: “…if there’s one thing we all can agree upon, it’s that exploding hot dog buns are high comedy indeed.” How can you top that? Well, maybe by spelling the name of your own team incorrectly on your jersey. But seriously guys, please keep it coming.

However, the farcical comedy stylings of the Washington Nationals pale in comparison to the tragi-comedy of the Chicago White Sox. Sure, they play in a mediocre division so they’re never really going to be out of it but they took a beating and a half yesterday afternoon. It all started when the Twins plated 20 runs to the Sox’ one and just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the always eloquent Ozzie Guillen’s managed to jinx the impending Jake Peavy trade. Let me refresh your memory. Following the loss Guillen said, “I hope Peavy didn’t watch the scoreboard today. He might say no.”

Well Ozzie, you sure nailed that one. Maybe Peavy watched the scoreboard and maybe he didn’t but either way, he won’t be suiting up in Chicago pinstripes anytime soon.

So that’s where we stand as May slowly draws to a close. But don’t worry, the Nationals are still out there and it’s only a matter of time before they manage to outdo themseleves once again. My guess? Teddy Roosevelt gets decapitated in the President’s Race on Kid’s Day at the ballpark. Once again ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Washington Nationals!

-A

Credits:
-Thanks to SLK for the link to the Nats story.

Adding Insult to Insult

Cuck the fardinals Nothing says Cub fans like Old Style beer, bleacher bums and t-shirt hawkers on Clark and Addison trying to make a buck off of half-baked pseudo-profanity.

Long live the US American dream!

First there was “Cuck the Fardinals”.

Then there was “Cardinals take it in their Pujols”(which wittily showed a disenfranchised redbird being sodomized by a Louisville slugger).

And then there was the Cub faithful support of the racist “Horry Cow” featuring an Asian rendition of the late great Harry Caray… all part of the warm 2008 Chicago welcome to Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome.

But like all things, dear readers, even racism gets old.  So while the new fad in Wrigleyville attire may be a t-shirt that reads “Pujols Mows My Lawn”, I think it’s time we all grow up and act like adults.  First Asians, now Latinos… what’s next?  A crack at how Ryan Franklin looks like a neo-Nazi? (He does

Of course, this sharp razor of racism is double sided.  Vendors outside of Busch sell similar duds; in fact, they started the lawn care business with “Zambrano Mows My Lawn”, to which I couldn’t help but ask: how in the world does he have time for that?!?

Yet in all seriousness, this passé barrage of back-and-forth t-shirt warfare is all a bit lame in my opinion.  Can’t we just do drive-bys like they do in L.A. and S.F.?  Or why not just beat the crap out of each other like Red Sox and Yankees fans?

I boldly volunteer to throw the first punch… but, if I win the fight… you have to mow my lawn.

Horry Cow!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A New All-Star Team

There comes a point in the season where we sit back, take a deep breath and wonder why baseball doesn’t have cheerleaders. I mean, the WNBA has cheerleaders, why not MLB? But never fear, faithful readers. After much deliberation and some top of the line work by the interns, we have a special gift for you: the RSBS all-star cheerleading team.

milano_zito.jpgAlyssa Milano
Since the squad is created to further our love for and appreciation of baseball, it seems only natural that Ms. Milano, the black widow herself, would lead this team. Just keep her far, far away from Justin Verlander. We don’t need him to go Barry Zito on us.

stokke_cal.jpgAllison Stokke
Despite Ms. Stokke’s tangential at best relation to baseball, we give her a position on our team because, well, because she’s pretty and we like looking at her. Do I really need more of a reason than that?

erin_andrews_cinco_de_mayo2.jpgErin Andrews
Although not a choice that I would normally make, Ms. Andrews makes the team out of respect to my friend, Mr. Lung. And at least we can point out that her relationship to baseball is well-documented and ongoing. Welcome to the team.

jane_heller.jpgJane Heller
Although a bit of a dark-horse contender, Ms. Heller routinely establishes her bona fides, especially after the Yankee Stadium program dust-up earlier this year. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also the top ranked MLBlogs fan blogger and that counts for something in our book. We’ll just have to ignore the fact that she’s a Yankee lover.

Anyway, although it’s a small squad, we think you’ll agree that it’s also a very impressive group. And we really hope that our honorees take it in good fun because honestly, we’re really just jealous of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date Barry Zito? Well, as long as he didn’t Tweet about it.

-A

Big Lay-Z

the big z.jpg“I’ll be running nice and easy, just taking my time, not hustling.  I apologize to the Cubs fans.”
 — Carlos Zambrano, on how he’ll play upon his return from the disabled list
 (Chicago Tribune Article)

The good news is Carlos Zambrano doesn’t have to take the fall for this mope wreck of a statement.  The chain of command comes from up high and the Chicago Cubs suits are proving that not only do they not know how to win when it matters, but they also don’t know how to manage the public image of their players.

So, the really bad news is that baseball has openly lowered its standards.  You don’t have to hustle anymore, folks — especially if you’re a ticking time-bomb with a slingshot arm and a once-sore hammy that has now fully healed, leaving no pain.

Indeed, Cy Young is rolling in his grave.

Okay, so I gotta ask:  If Zambrano feels no pain then why won’t he be hustling on the field? 

In the wake of steroids, with pandemic doubt blanketing the game from New York to Los Angeles to Los Angeles of Anaheim, the last thing we (and especially Cubs) fans need is to know that some players aren’t giving it their all and that management is okay with that.  If you’re not healthy enough to play the game the way the game is supposed to be played, then you shouldn’t be playing the game… I don’t care how talented you are.

Note to Cubs: either sew Zambrano’s mouth shut or hire a new P.R. person.  I got just the guy for you too — even colored his hair to match your duds:

perez hilton.jpgDon’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Golden Guys

RSBS works hard for you, dear readers.  We toil.  We sweat.  We drink a lot of beer.

And last night was no different.

Utilizing my entire working catalogue of international sleuthery, I managed to catch up with Randy Johnson and Gary Sheffield for a fantastic photo opportunity prior to the start of the Mets/Giants game:

old people baseball.jpgThis thing, it’s… friggin’ golden…

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

Players across the sports spectrum seem to be feeling their oats the
past couple weeks. The Lakers-Rockets NBA series has turned into a
brawl and baseball has seen several ejections and suspensions handed
down over the last several days. Are we seeing the effects of over (or
under) officiating or are players really more on edge these days?

–Allen
__________________________________________

ryan_ventura.jpgMy unwieldy colleague and line straddling co-author, Mr. Krause, the spin-doctor extraordinaire, has done it again, folks.  Surprise, surprise.  He just doesn’t get it.

Suspensions, brawls, warnings, headhunters, beanballs, ejections… these are all integral tenets of the sports we love.  Without them, the stakes would be as dramatic as an afternoon pinochle tournament at your local retirement home (and even those can turn violent without  proper supervision).

Personally, I could care less about what the Los Angeles Lakers of Los Angeles are fighting about with the Houston Rockets (those are basketball teams, right?).  But perennial crybaby and major league fire-starter Milton Bradley?  Foot-in-mouth Bobby Jenks?  Two-packs-a-day Jimmy Leyland?

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Indeed, the cast of characters may change from year to year, but the subtle game of intimidating your opponent and firing up your team with guts, fists and butt-busting fastballs hasn’t.  Ty Cobb anyone?

No matter what the era, baseball players have always found a harmonious balance of edge and competitiveness.  When your livelihood is on the line, you bet you’re gonna go out and stand up for yourself.  Those who don’t… well, they end up like Mr. Krause, pushing pencils and checking email forty times a day.

Now I don’t propose an increase to the level of violence on the field; but hell, don’t peel it back.  I need that respite of poorly timed right hooks (see Shields v. Crisp, 2008), knee-buckling vengeance (see Bradley v. The World, 2007) and knuckles-to-skull contact (see Ryan v. Ventura, 1993).  Anyone who says he/she doesn’t is a liar.

Baseball does not suffer from under or over officiating.  It’s doing just fine the way it is.  Fights, ejections, suspensions… they’re all just a part of the game.  When it becomes bedlam…

… well, then we might have to reevaluate.

Until then, just keep on hating me.  But don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Pictures of hot chicks also welcome.

Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

mc_hammer.jpgCelebrity fans are an important part of sporting life. The Knicks have Spike Lee, Jack Nicholson is a courtside fixture for the Lakers and the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles are lucky enough to have Alyssa Milano. Who shows up at your games and who roots for you tells you something about a team’s psyche. So, what am I to take from the fact that MC Hammer was not only present at last night’s Tigers game but was also supposed to throw out the first pitch?

In case you need a refresher, MC Hammer was the chocolate cookie to Vanilla Ice’s white cream in the Oreo that was the early 90’s radio-friendly rap scene. However, while Vanilla decided to try and remake his image and attempt a more hard-core sound, Hammer got busy throwing his money away on amenities like a dishwasher in his bedroom and soon found himself bankrupt and careerless.

Why does this story sound familiar? Oh, right. Because it kind of sounds like the ’08 and ’09 Tigers. $12 million on a broken down Dontrelle Willis? Why not. Similar money for Edgar Renteria? Sure thing.

Unfortunately, I guess it’s fitting that Hammer was supposed to be on hand to witness this team in all it’s glory. It’s probably even more fitting that he didn’t get to throw the first pitch because of a rain delay. But maybe we’ll get lucky. Maybe the Tigers’ pitching staff will look past the bankruptcy and personal failing and reach for something deeper, an anthem to prop up their recently inflated ERA. Three words: Can’t touch this.

-A

Paunch ‘Em Out!

If you are an MLB.TV subscriber, you may have noticed that between innings you will see the occasional commercial now.  Most likely it will be an annoying five dollar foot long spot.  But if you’re lucky, you’ll get a poorly produced advertisement for a Major League Baseball umpiring school!

Nevermind the reality that you have a better chance becoming a Major League baseball player than you do an umpire, because that, dear readers, is not important here.

What is important is that you know umpiring is sexy now.  And anyone can do it.  Hell, Don Denkinger did it and he su<ked!

So go for it!  Just make sure you come prepared and look the part… no friggin’ skinnies allowed!

umpire school.jpg

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Metamorphoses

dontrelle_willis.jpgLast year I made the mistake of placing my faith in the savior apparent of the Detroit Tigers, a man I lovingly referred to as my big, black baby Jesus. He rewarded my faith by issuing more free passes than a scalper outside a Washington Nationals game. But after some time in the minors and a stint on the DL for an “anxiety disorder,” Dontrelle Willis finally made it back to the big leagues last night. And didn’t do a whole lot to allay our fears.

It’s rare that we see our heroes crumble into dust and then reemerge as a better version of themselves. Al Gore and Andre Agassi are good examples of how that works out at it’s best but, unfortunately, the Dontrelle Willis route is much more common. Something happens, something disappears and suddenly the person is a shell of their former self. It’s like the final episode of Seinfeld. We recognize it as being Seinfeld but its essential Seinfeldness wasn’t there.

That’s why I especially appreciate it, though, when heroes of my childhood reemerge in a better if not stronger form. Sergei Fedorov leads the Red Wings for years and then plays his heart out for the Washington Capitals. Kirk Gibson lays it on the line for the ’84 Tigers and then comes back and provides the spark for the ’88 Dodgers as well. But if I have to choose only one hero who has come back better, stronger and faster, well, I think this video will explain:

Willie Tanner: a poor man’s Eraserhead.

-A

The (Semi-Sober) View from My Couch

al bundy.jpgYeah, I wear a pinky ring.  So what?  I’m a made man and it’s the “company” rule.

And yeah, I have a Microsoft Zune… and no witty excuse other than to say, well, I got a good deal.

Yet to challenge my masculinity based on these attributes, Mr. Krause, is quite uncharacteristic, even for a flip-flopping self-loathing nihilist Tiger fan like yourself.

2006, my friend.  2006.

Still, this low blow to my sexuality got me wondering: do I really come off as a pansy?

So on Tuesday night I bought myself a case of MGD, stuck my hand in my shorts and plopped down on the couch to watch six hours of baseball.  I even avoided eating and shaving — two things I try to do at least once a week.

And this is what I learned:

Brandon Phillips doesn’t care how many times Miguel Montero says “mercy”; he’s still beatin’ that dude’s ^ss:

brandon phillips miguel montero.jpgIf Gabe Kapler expects to catch the Oriole Bird, he will need a bigger glove (or a machete):

gabe kapler.jpgNo matter what the situation, Prince Fielder always looks ready to eat you:

prince fielder hungry.jpgCarlos Lee’s lamaze classes are finally paying off:

carlos lee pregnant.jpgAnd the most important thing…

Ignorance is bliss… unless you have no business being naked in public; that’s just plain cruel (and stereotypical Met fan behavior):

mets fan streaker.jpgNow who’s the man!?!  Eh?  I am a manly man… grrrr… and now that I have proven my masculinity, please excuse me; I have to catch up on The Hills.

Hate me ‘cuz I wear the pinky rings; just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

(Images courtesy of the Associated Press and Getty Images)

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