May 2009

Spring Awakenings

The birdsongs and pollen currently filling the air in our nation’s capitol have led to the unleashing of a slightly more nefarious force as well. That’s right, as spring slowly turns into summer Dick Cheney has emerged from his sarcophagus (conveniently designed to look like a man-sized safe) and taken to the airwaves. His reason? Newly minted President Obama is making the US less safe.

Now, I love Dick, Cheney that is, as much as the next guy but this is a little out of control. Guy won’t talk to anyone for 8 years, even goes so far as to have his residence removed from Google maps, but now he’s showing up on every news program between here and Utah. What gives?

Listening to Cheney’s arguments is like a less funny version of this:

But, on the bright side, he gets it about as right as the Cleveland announcer on Friday night who called Sizemore’s shot gone. Oops.

-A

The Apocalypse Wears Number 21

dontrelle willis.jpgMaybe Dick Cheney is right.  We’re all gonna die.  And soon.

Dear readers, the end-time omens are racking up: the Toronto Blue Jays are atop the AL East; Wanda Sykes is somehow relevant; and Dontrelle Willis is back in the big leagues.

That’s right, folks.  D-Train (or “Big Black Baby Jesus” as my Tiger-lovin’ colleague, Mr. Krause, likes to call him) has crawled his way back into Detroit’s starting rotation.  And on Wednesday, we will all get the chance to see (and perhaps mock) the pitcher he has become after his long soul searching journey to recapture the glory days of 2003 and 2005.

In other words: we are all going to die.

Because, in my humble yet accurate opinion, Willis lost it a long time ago.

Remember last year when he went 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA and walked half of US America?

I do.

Okay, so he’s gone 25 2/3 innings with a 3.85 ERA in the minors this year.  Well, lahdy frickin’ dah.  If Willis really has rediscovered himself, he should be putting up lights out numbers against the young’ins down on the farm.  Instead, Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland is calling him up because:


“He’s throwing pretty much around the plate all the time…”
 (MLB Story Link)

Pretty much around the plate.  Hm.  Okay.  Well, that sounds like a perfectly good reason to throw him back into the lions den and, you know, hope for the best.  I mean, Rick Ankiel threw “pretty much around the plate” during the 2000 playoffs.  So did I during my legion ball days of the mid 90s.  Hell, my little sister could throw “pretty much around the plate” if it had a picture of Zac Efron on it.

At least D-Train has the right lackadaisical attitude going into his first start of the year:


“There are worse things than playing baseball, you know?”
(Morning Call Story Link)

Yes, you are correct, Dontrelle.  There are worse things than playing baseball… like not being able to find the strike zone while playing baseball or doing shots with Amy Winehouse at an open bar or admitting that Dick Cheney may have a point.

In this case, I’m going to hope that I’m wrong… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

Obviously this week’s headlines have been dominated by the Manny Ramirez saga.  It now appears that his people are trying to persuade the public that his positive test was rooted in medication he was taking for “personal health issues” (translation: erectile dysfunction), even though science tells us HCG is a drug predominantly used by men coming off steroid cycles.  My question to you is this: if a man makes $25 million a year, what difference does it make if the plumbing works or not?

–Jeff
__________________________________________

jeff lung.jpgOnly a few things in life are more emasculating than needing “performance enhancing drugs” in the bedroom. For instance, wearing a pinky ring and owning a Microsoft Zune. Seriously man, all you need is a Zima in your other hand and you’d have the trifecta. Getting back to the point, though, if Manny is telling the truth and he was prescribed HCG for that reason, it makes sense that he would have tried to keep it on the DL. I mean, if you’re watching baseball one day and decide that Cialis is right for you, you probably aren’t going to keep that bottle of prescription pills in the medicine cabinet next to the Benadryl and Preparation H.

The problem with this new Manny saga is that it’s hard to know what he is thinking. Or if he is thinking. The man is an enigma, a mystery wrapped in a riddle. Could he be telling the truth? Of course. Could he have been knowingly juicing and covering it up? Of course. It’s not like A-Rod where momentary disbelief gave way to “Yeah, he’s kind of a d!ck and that doesn’t really surprise me.”

manny_being_manny.jpgBut, to go back to your original question, does an immodest amount of money make up for impotence, I think the answer is pretty clear when you consider that the treatment of ED has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Clearly there’s a need, manufactured or not, and clearly corporations are doing all they can to market to that need. When Mike Ditka schills for you on national television, you have obviously filled a very specific niche.

However, I think the more important question is, what does this new revelation do to the game of baseball? And at this point, I think it’s difficult to know. For me, it doesn’t really have much of an affect. Manny’s enigmatic personality allows me to put off making hard decisions like that. Obviously he shouldn’t have been taking a banned substance but, like he said, he’s also passed 15 drug tests over the past few years. Is it really possible that every single one of them could have missed something this big?

Baseball has been suffering since the A-Rod story broke. And Manny’s suspension and positive drug test are not going to help. But there are also so many positive story lines in baseball and so much to enjoy that I find it hard to concentrate on the negatives. I mean, I know you saw Verlander’s 2-hit gem and Granderson’s catch the other night. That’s what baseball is all about. And if Manny has to sit 50 games in order for us to refocus on that, well, that’s life. Hopefully that’s enough time for him to go see a real doctor and get some Viagra.

-A

Get Your Own League

roid rage.jpgIn 2001, the king of crap conglomerates and no-holds-barred entrepreneurship, Vince McMahon, teamed up with NBC to create a new world order football league deftly named the XFL.  The league featured ‘roid-raging castaways with unfettered guts and brawn who considered the actual rules of the game nothing more than a bothersome set of circumstances meant to be ignored – all in the holy name of entertainment.

Personally, I have had enough of the steroid scandal in baseball; and in an effort of compromise between giving the fans what they want and keeping Major League Baseball clean, I propose we gather up all the Mannys, Barrys, Alexes and Marks, give them to Vince McMahon, throw a ton of money at marketing and licensing and let them hit the hell out of the ball all they want in a rule-breaking utopia known as the XBL.

No drug tests.  No suspensions.  No questions.

Period.

And who better to get this league off the ground than Rafael “What the Heck Is Stanozolol Anyway” Palmeiro?

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

What Goes Around, Comes Around

As a born and bred Michigander, I know better than most that what goes around, comes around. The Pistons win it all a couple times in a row and then Michael Jordan comes along. Tigers go to the World Series one year and find themselves finishing behind the Royals two years later. And the Lions? Well, let’s not even start with that.

But sometimes going around and coming around can be a good thing. Griffey starts off with the Mariners and now he comes back to the Mariners. Cecil Fielder belts some home runs and now Prince Fielder (occasionally) does the same. However, I think I found something that epitomizes the upside of what goes around, comes around.

Happy Friday! Hope I didn’t just blow your mind.

-A

Credits:
-Video via The Daily Dish

Ban, Ban, Everywhere a Ban

banned.jpg

Having barely recovered from my colleague’s audacious yet titillating post from yesterday, which featured the buxom awesomeness of one Erin Andrews, I am sure you can imagine how exhausted I was this afternoon.  I was so worn out that I almost didn’t even have the energy to be shocked at the following news stories:

  • United Kingdom Bans Michael Savage for Being a Ranting A-Hole

  • University of Illinois at Chicago Bans Students from Shaking Hands (thanks a lot, swine flu, how are the kids gonna hook up now?)
  • MLB Bans Manny Ramirez for Testing Positive for PEDs

Okay, I admit, that last one isn’t really all that shocking considering the myriad priors of Manny Ramirez buffoonery.  Still, to be banned for 50 games?  Now that is saying something!  Kudos to Major League Baseball for throwing the hammer at a big-time rule-breaker not named J.C. Romero!

While the entire social networking world is going wild over this steroid ban by Tweeting and Facebooking and MySpacing and Moshpitting opinions at lightning speed, let us not lose sight of the fact that there is an awful lot of banning going on in the free world — some warranted (Manny), some not (UIC students).

And like most things trendy, tired and trite, RSBS strives to get in on the action.  So here is a short list of things that must be banned in the very near future:

BANNED: Paula Abdul’s Sobriety!!!
Wonder why American Idol ratings are down?  You think Adam Lambert and Simon Cowell can carry the show?  Ha!  Think again, squarepants.  Give me a whacked out loopy Paula and I’ll show you some damn ratings!

BANNED: Kyle Farnsworth’s Glasses!!!
They are not helping!  A 7.56 ERA?  Opponent BA of .314?  Somebody get this guy some steroids!  Stat!

BANNED: Paying Attention to Rod Blagojevich!!!
Seriously, does anyone really care anymore?

BANNED: Space-Ball!!!
Now that Virgin is revolutionizing space travel, just think of how many asterisks we will need once baseball is being played there!  Stop it now while we can!

And finally…

BANNED: The Yankees’ Ability to Beat the Red Sox!!!

Oh, wait, we already did that.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

To My Friend, Mr. Lung, on a Rainy Day in May

Dear Jeff,

I don’t know if it’s just DC but this week has been a little tough. I think a lot of it has to do with the general rainy dreariness that seems to have settled in over the area. However, the one thing I know is that no matter how rainy and dreary it might be here, it can only be worse in Chicago.

The other thing I know is that you, my friend, cannot get enough of the older of the two Andrews sisters. So, in order to send a little love your way (and perhaps earn a little karma for myself) and knowing that your recent reliance on the MLB Network has left you going through serious EA withdrawal, here is my hump day present to you (and to others who also appreciate such things).

erin_andrews_cinco_de_mayo2.jpgOh, and Kyle Farnsworth still sucks.

-A

P.S. Here’s another. Should make for some even better karma.

erin_andrews_cinco_de_mayo.jpgCredits:
-Photos via Deadspin


If There Were Crying in Baseball, Yankees Would Be Doing Lots of It

derek jeter crying.jpgDuring my high school days there was this kid who caused quite a bubble of interest everywhere he went.  A by all means normal, good-lookin’ dude, this guy was the essence of cool, the poster-child of charm, the cliche of class.

He had money.  Nice car.  Designer jeans.

Yet despite all of those wonderful attributes — both material and physical — no matter how hard he tried, the kid just couldn’t get right.

He failed school.  He drove under the influence.  He burned down his own house.

Nowadays, at 30 years old, you can find him living in his parents’ basement, driving his half-totaled IROC-Z with T-Tops back and forth to a running jape of part-time service industry jobs which require little more than a heartbeat.

And every time I see the Yankees, dear readers, I can’t help but think of him.

Because no matter how hard they try, the New York Yankees just can’t get right.

Excessive amounts of money, $1.5 billion new stadium, marquee pitching… and still, those damn Yankees can’t beat the Red Sox, best the Royals’ win total or avoid the onslaught of negative press that follows Alex Rodriguez around like Jose Molina does an all-you-can-eat buffet.

It is sad, folks, really sad when the most positive headlines from the Yankees’ young season include the following:

  • Nick Swisher as Offensive Powerhouse
  • Damaso Marte Injured; Physically Unable to Allow His Typical 5 Runs per Appearance
  • Joe Girardi’s Excuse: I Am as Dumb as I Look

Jimmy Dugan may have said “there’s no crying baseball”, but he didn’t say jack about burning down your own house.  And so far, the Yanks are doing a mighty fine job of that!

I mean, don’t get me wrong, a 13-12 record ain’t all that bad, but in the Evil Empire, you might as well be winless.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

A.A. Milne, Spinning in His Grave

As the hysteria over swine flu (H1N1 as those in the biz call it) recedes but before it evaporates entirely, I’d like to point something out. The Kansas City Royals are the flu’s baseball equivalent.

For the past couple years the Royals have started off red hot. Like the heat that was generated by all the pundits jabbering away about the possible pandemic. It’s kind of the same thing. People think that this is finally the one, finally the year when it happens. And both have all the markings and possibilities of pulling through.

For instance, they say great pitching wins championships and no one is pitching better than Zack Greinke right now. The Royals have great young talent just like the swine flu has a great new genetic makeup. And as if there weren’t already enough eerie similarities, the Royals haven’t really had any success since the mid-80’s while the swine flu last came a knockin’ in the mid-70’s.

But the sad part (or happy, depending on which one you’re talking about) is that soon enough, just like the flu, the Royals are going to be shown up for the hyperbolic hoax that they are. It’s not their fault. Small market teams, like poor little Piglet in the picture below, really just can’t compete in the current market.

pooh_swine_flu.jpg
If you ask me, Pooh is pretty much dead on. And soon enough, someone is going to follow his suggestion and put the poor Royals out of their misery. However, there is a bright side and I think that’s where we should focus. Bacon anyone?

-A

The Filibuster

This weekend we saw a series pitting the team with the best record in
the league against the team with the worst record. At what point in the
season do you think we’ll see this again and which teams will take part
the next time around?

–Allen
__________________________________________

Bush_Nats.jpgAs long as the Washington Nationals continue to be a baseball franchise (sorta), you can be quite sure that this scenario will pop up once again.  Will they be playing the MLB best Cardinals next time?  The Dodgers?  The Blue Jays in June during interleague play?

The truth is: I have absolutely no clue.

Because so far nothing this season has been on my radar: that the Cardinals’ piecemeal bullpen could hold itself together through April… that the Blue Jays would find a way to win in the AL East… that no one wants Pedro Martinez…

But in the end, one thing will always remain certain: The Washington Nationals are a national joke.

After some hardcore number-crunching analysis, one might conclude that their suckage is rooted in their inherent identity crisis:
 

  • Are we the Expos?
  • Are we the Senators who are now the Twins?
  • Are we the Nationals who were the Expos?
  • Are we the other Senators who are now the Rangers?

Or perhaps it stems from their dizzying closet of uniform combinations:

washington nationals uniforms.jpgWho knows? Maybe the Nats are an embarrassment because they find this food stand inside Nationals Park to be a family-friendly establishment:

senators sausages.jpgDear readers, I could go in a million different directions with that snafu of a baseball bodega — none of them good — but I will save you (and myself) from the certain discomfort and unpleasant visualization it would cause.

Whatever the reason for the Nationals’ lack of success, I must admit how sad it was for me — as a baseball fan — to see such a beautiful ballpark only a quarter full for a Friday night game.  It was disappointing too that there were more Cardinal fans in attendance than Nats fans and that the loudest cheers I heard all weekend were in response to the Capitals vs. Penguins playoff hockey game — the favorable D.C. score of which was posted on the jumbotron in between innings, thus rousing Washingtonians into a fervent coup d’etat aimed towards building a bigger hockey arena while at the same time finding a more thirsty suitor for the oh-so-lowly Nats, all of their prior nicknames, logos and dysfunctional sausages.

So far, no takers.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

(Senators Sausages image courtesy of Wonkette)
(Uniform image courtesy of Wikipedia)

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