July 2009

RSBS TV: “Jesus Hates the Cubs”

The world premier… of an RSBS original…

Produced, shot and edited by Theo Roll.

Directed by Jeffery Lung.

Starring James Tierney as Jesus.

Performed by Mauf Tauk

Mauf Tauk is Jeff and Theo.

**Pass it on, folks. Let’s get the word out.  Please send this link to everyone you know. We make this thing go viral and more RSBS baseball-related hilarity will certainly flourish.**

Want more RSBS TV?  Try Crush.  Or if you prefer talking heads, check *these* out.

*Note: Kirk Gibson won the MVP in ’88, but it doesn’t rhyme and we’re cool like dat so get over it.

The Filibuster

joe_biden.jpgYou guys are kind of crazy, so let me ask you, does it make any sense
when Biden says we “have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt”
as a nation? I figured you might understand that more than me since you
seem to have that politician air about you. I mean, Allen lost a bet to
Jeff like three or four weeks ago and still hasn’t paid up like he
promised.  Read my lips…

George
Wentzville, MO


__________________________________________

Not to go about this backwards but I need to address an important issue. Yes, it’s true that I have not yet written about my, uh, “love and respect” for the Cardinals nor have I posted the promised photo of myself wearing Cardinals paraphernalia. But, to be fair, I am dealing with some extenuating circumstances and the problem should be resolved in the next couple of weeks. Next couple of weeks, I promise. Read my lips.

As for Biden, well, he never really has been known for the ability to bite his tongue. I mean, you do remember what ended his presidential run, right? A little fuzzy on it? Maybe this will help:

Yeah, “clean” and “articulate.” So, when Biden makes a statement like this one, well, you kind of have to take it with a grain of salt.

But when I say a grain, I mean no more than that. The fact is, despite Biden’s hyperactive jaw muscles and his unique ability to completely mangle a message, there’s some truth in what he says.

During the Great Depression, government spending was what eventually led to us working our way back to productivity and higher employment. I’m not saying that we’re in quite the same fiscal predicament as 1929 but with unemployment heading to double digit figures nationally, something has to be done. As my grandma likes to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground,” and there are no hands that are more idle than a bunch of twenty-something, straight out of college, over educated and underemployed vagabonds. Or twenty-something, never been to college, undereducated and no longer employed vagabonds for that matter.

Biden does not have the same golden throat as the president and no one is ever going to accuse him of being smooth. But, despite those seeming faults, he does have one thing going for him and I’m pretty sure it’s the reason Obama chose him as vice-president. Biden says the stuff the rest of us think but will never say out loud. We may not like to hear it and it may not always sound right but someone eventually has to point out the truth about the emperor’s new clothes.

So, think about it this way, George. When you go out to your job tomorrow morning working on that new interstate spur near Kansas CIty, why do you think it is that your job exists? Who’s paying for that spur to be built? Looks like that spending is also keeping more than just the nation from going bankrupt.

-A

It Takes a Special Kind of Delivery

barack obama white sox cap.jpgAttacking our Commander in Chief for his administration’s slow recovery from eight long years of poor GOP policy is one thing; attacking him for his pitching mechanics is another and, frankly, I find it to be an undermining, un-American, unnecessary derision of the US American psyche.

I mean, this is not Barry Zito we’re talking about here.  This is the President of the United States of America!

Yet it didn’t take long for Chicago Tribune writer Rick Morrissey to launch an offensive on Barack Obama’s ceremonial first pitch from the 2009 All-Star Game, highlighted by his glib crack which stated “he throws like someone who hardly has played sports” and “If I’m North Korea, I attack right now.”

Wow.  Hope you got a bunker, Rick.  You’re gonna need it.

Seeing President Obama walk out on the field was a special treat for me; and while from my right field vantage point I did notice somewhat of an awkward arc to his ball, I would never say it looked like an nonathletic toss.  Verily, Albert Pujols saved him from bouncing one in front of the plate; but believe me, I have seen much, much worse.

Mayor Mallory anyone?

Of course, when it comes to stellar ceremonial first pitches and beyond fantastic form, it would be exceptionally difficult to beat the Japanese:

Take note bottom-dwelling, low-drawing, aesthetically-challenged Major League Baseball clubs: get this gal to throw all of your ceremonial first pitches and watch the magic unfold (or just watch her chest through that low cut pinstriped top).

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Prognosticatory Predilections

nostradamus.jpgI couldn’t help but notice that all the sports networks as well as the interwebs are abuzz as the second half of the baseball season commences. And with all the chatter comes the multitude of predictions. Can the Yankees overtake the Red Sox or will Tampa Bay make another run at the crown? Can the Tigers hold on in the mediocre AL Central? And who will come out on top in the equally mediocre NL Central?

Now, I know that commentators get paid for these prognostications and we’d probably whine if they didn’t do it but it also seems kind of pointless. I mean, the reason the games are played is because we have no idea who’s going to come out on top. And not knowing is half the fun. How else are we supposed to lose years off of our lives as a tie ballgame enters the ninth inning?

Sometimes, though, it’s good to think about the future and specifically about the problems we might face. For instance, after seeing this video I now know never to talk to a robot.

Happy Friday!

-A

Sometimes in July

It happens on a regular basis, this gathering of young talent and grizzled veterans. The two sides (with input from the people of course because, after all, this is America) pull the brightest stars from their respective firmaments, bring them together and then allow them duke it out. And it seems like each time the result plays an increasingly ambiguous role in what eventually happens in November. Yep, that’s what the nominating conventions are all about.

Political_convention.jpgOh, I’m sorry. Did you think I was talking about the All-Star game?

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 010.jpgIt’s no coincidence that baseball and politics have so much in common. The two are intertwined in American history. Even now, Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jim Bunning terrorizes opponents from his seat in the US Senate just like he used to do from his spot on the mound.

And as I was watching the Minor League All-Star game the other day, I was reminded again of how fleeting fame can be to both baseball players and politicians. Each and every one is fighting for a chance to reach the big time, to really stand out. But it’s hard to know who has what it takes.

A year ago there was talk of Mark Sanford as a possible McCain running mate and it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would be in the thick of things when the next election cycle began. Now, he’s an also-ran, an afterthought, a cautionary tale. A teary-eyed Alex Rodriguez but with no more comeback.

Or take Sarah Palin, the politician’s equivalent of Sammy Sosa. Both had talent but made it as far as they did for all the wrong reasons. Now they’re little more than whipping boys, examples of all that’s wrong with a broken system.

However, it’s better to focus on the positives at this time of year, on people like Brandon Inge and Tim Wakefield who finally got a little respect even if things didn’t play out exactly the way they might have hoped. Because, for all the ridiculousness associated with the All-Star game or with political conventions, they really are a good show and you aren’t going to find anything like ‘em except in the good ol’ US of A.

Welcome back from the All-Star break!

-A

All-Starred Out

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 055.jpgIt was one of the most exciting three days I have ever experienced — being there, participating in the focal point of the entire baseball world, sharing with like-minded folks who love the game just as much as I do.  The memories will last forever; yet even I — a man with a unique ability to alienate any intelligent conversation with my critical case of baseballitis — yes, even I could use a break. 

Now back in Chicago, I plan to use my free afternoon to reflect on the staggering, inspirational, communitarian adventures I was privileged to have… and of course, pay tribute to the baseball gods who made it happen.

The National League lost.  Oh well.  I am not crying about it because it really means nothing to me.  Despite the final score, the game was noteworthy for its cleanliness, its quickness, and how aside from a couple fielding errors (and only two walks — one intentional — if I remember correctly) it was one of the most correctly played games I’d ever witnessed live.

But even I am easily star-struck, and for me, perhaps the neatest thing was being able to see so many gifted athletes on one field, at one time, playing together.  I have to say that from our right field bleacher seats, watching Ichiro Suzuki was a true pleasure.  I have never seen one man do so much stretching in such a uniformed and regulated fashion.  Before I knew it, my attention was solely focused on number 51.

Leading up to the game, I couldn’t help but fall in love with my country all over again.  The tribute to the troops, the hometown all-stars, the President’s pitch and that wicked cool SR71 flyover are still giving me goosebumps. 

Now, on with the photos…

The Ticket:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 001.jpgReason #164 why Missouri’s relaxed open container laws create jobs in the street-cleaning service industry:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 010.jpgAbsolute highlight of the night: having the privilege of being photographed with these fine young soldiers who risk everything on my behalf:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 011.jpgThose same soldiers, later bearing the flag:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 039.jpgStill feeling patriotic:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 022.jpgThe Obama-tron:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 038.jpgSleeping Banding with the enemy (if only for one day):

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 023.jpgMy idea of Heaven:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 049.jpgI didn’t take many pictures during the game as I was intent on taking it all in, sans technology.  I turned off the phone, put the camera away, avoided Bud Light and simply became a kid again.

It was something I will never forget.

Peace,

Jeff

Expos Jersey = Instant Notoriety

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 038.jpgI am not so full of myself that I believe everyone wanted
a piece of me during yesterday’s All-Star festivities; but wearing
throwback gear from a team long dead certainly gave me an edge.  As a
walking memory, representing Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Delino
Deshields with porn ‘stache swagger, I was definitely drawing
attention.  Unfortunately, the security people holding me back at field
level, blocking my attempts at getting a word with Erin Andrews did not
find me as irresistible.

“I need to talk to Erin Andrews.” I told them with confidence.

“Why?”

“Because, it’s my destiny.”

“Get the hell outta here before I throw you the hell outta here.”

‘Nuff said.

Oh
well.  Had to keep my head up.  I was part of the Homerun Derby.  Busch
III was electric.  And despite all the partying, I was somehow still
alive.

The Derby?  Well, it was what I thought it’d be: very
exciting for the first half hour, then pretty boring after that. 
Several balls came close to us in our right field seats, but one guy –
the SAME GUY — caught two balls (one from Ryan Howard and one from Joe
Mauer) and after standing for the three hour event and being
shot down by Erin’s handlers before I even had a chance, I ended up
leaving Busch III ball-less… well, sorta.  Anyway, here are some pics
from Fanfest and the evening’s homerun contest.  Click on them for
closer view.

The ticket:

Thumbnail image for All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 001.jpg
Big Balls:

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 005.jpg

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 027.jpg
Three of the ten World Series trophies the Cardinals have brought home.  Read ‘em and weep, sCrUBBIE fans:

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 008.jpg
Me and Jackie’s duds:

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 011.jpgMy best impression of an irate Cub:

Thumbnail image for All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 026.jpgThe ‘Lou:

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 031.jpgSome random guy excited to see me… gee, I wonder why?

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 043.jpgThe view from our seats:

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 068.jpgConcentration or solace in my futile attempts at meeting Erin?

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 053.jpgJ.W. and I… still sober?  What’s wrong with this picture!?!?!

All Star Weekend 7.13.2009 066.jpgOkay, y’all.  I’m gearing
up for the big game tonight, Molina jersey on my back, praying the that
the National League doesn’t embarrass me… again.  This would be as good
a time as any for us to win this thing (not that I really care) and I
have a feeling I’ll have a better shot at meeting President Obama than
I will Ms. Andrews.

She doesn’t know what she’s missing.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m here, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Buzzing with Testosterone Fueled Accoutrements

lady killer.jpgI did it.  It’s done.  It’s bad^ss.

Keith Hernandez, say hello to the Lady Killer.

Gotta admit, since crafting the ‘stache, I creep myself out every time I catch my reflection, but I fit right in here at the All-Star festivities in St. Louis.  An old man in a Mets hat even asked me for my autograph (he thought I was Thomas E. Dewey until his caretaker reminded him that Dewey died in the early ’70s).  So I did the right thing, lied and told him I was Dewey’s son.

That was a stellar start to what turned out to be a pretty disappointing day. 

Because after only three outs were recorded in the Futures Game the sky turned black, thunder cracked and it rained… and rained… and rained…

A lot.

After walking the concourse for four hours, drinking my weight in beer and buying more overpriced All-Star trinkets than one person will ever need, me and my buddy decided to book.

So we met some friends, went to a bar and watched the Cardinals beat the Cubs.

Good friends, good game, good times.

And today is gonna get even better.  Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of the Homerun Derby.  Watching it on TV is about as boring as watching Nascar: boring!  But I have a feeling that being there, in right field, in prime homerun territory, it’s going to be something to remember — especially if I snag some homers using the swagger and intimidation factor of my new accoutrement: the Lady Killer ‘stache.

Watch out!

In order that my aging father can find me easily during and camera shots of right field, I’ll be donning my 1980s era Montreal Expos jersey and cap — making this a special occasion indeed.

So here we go, folks… All-Star fun in full effect!  I will fight my way down to get a word with Erin… and in case you missed that Lady Killer, here are some more photos:

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 009.jpg

The ticket for Sunday’s events was more entertaining than the actual Sunday events (which included mostly rain):

Thumbnail image for All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 006.jpgThe Stan Musial statue is quite stubborn and refuses to allow “FOX” to be shown in its entirety:

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 010.jpgPirates prospect, Brad Lincoln, signs autographs while secretly pouting that he’s in the Pirates organization:

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 027.jpgUS America rocked by St. Louis Cardinal hats… very cool:

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 031.jpgA kid fighting to stay on his feet… and dry:

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 037.jpgMe, rockin’ the ‘Spos cap with my friends Brian (left) and J.W. (right).  As I write this, Brian is heading out to Iraq for another tour.  Keep he and his family in your thoughts.

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 041.jpgAlright y’all… hate me ‘cuz I’m gonna catch a homerun tonight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right (even when I’m wrong).

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for pujolsandlidge.jpgIt’s recently occurred to me that Albert [Pujols] is on pace to challenge Maris’
single season HR mark.  If he does this he becomes the first player NOT
implicated in steroids or other PED’s to do so.  Should baseball make a
bigger deal out of this?  I kind of doubt MLB would (it would look like
they were admitting Bonds and Sosa’s and McGwire’s big home run years
were illegitimate), but baseball fans should be rejoicing in what has
quietly become a potentially historic season.
Your thoughts?

Ted
Chicago, IL
__________________________________________

As arrogant and scapegoating as MLB’s front offices are,  we would be much better off betting our 401k’s that Sarah Palin will become the next president than we would on MLB making any mention of this highly inconvenient fact.  But that does not mean we, the fans, and other knowledgeable folks can’t start stirring up some serious crap.

And who shall be our leader in this sanctimonious crusade?

bob costas.jpgBob Friggin’ Costas.

For those of you who tuned into the MLB Network on Thursday night to watch the Mets get blown out by the Dodgers, you already know what I’m talking about.  For the rest of you, let me fill you in…

Inspired by the overhyped drama of Manny’s first series in New York after his embarrassing steroid reveal, Bob Costas came out to his colleague Jim Kaat and declared that McGwire’s record, Bonds’ record and the rest of those monumentally tainted blips of prestige could be thrown out and dismissed entirely by any Joe Fan — any human being capable of understanding how marred the game had become during the ‘steroid era’ — and that according to such logical folks, Roger Maris’ 61 and Hank Aaron’s 755 still stood as the true records — the unclouded, inarguable, uncontested homerun records of Major League Baseball.

MLB won’t ever tell you anything like that.

Bob Costas will.

And did.

Is it fair to knock Major League Baseball for doing what is really the only logical thing they can do given the circumstances?  No.  Probably not. 

But fair is a relative concept — one no one (including me, I admit) had the balls to contest when guys like Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro and Paul Lo Duca were raking dingers like I chug Bud Light on the weekends.

Still, as a lowly MLBlogger, I adhere to my spawning necessity to stir up a bunch of crap for no good reason, hoping someone will actually take notice, even if I do contradict my own penned tirades from time to time.

But, Ted, let me tell ya, I’m rejoicing, man.  And in my world, Roger Maris is at the top (except for that one moment back in ’98 when McGwire took Steve Trachsel deep at Busch II) and Hank Aaron is tops too because I simply cannot stand Barry Bonds, his runaway forehead, or his smug crybaby I’m-the-victim routine.

Alleluia!

I’m a US American!  It’s in my blood to flip-flop; it’s in yours too and you know it. 

So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m a greasy s***talker, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***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 a scantily clad Courtney Cox circa 1998 also welcome.

Who Are You?

erin andrews surprised.jpgWe almost lost another one on Wednesday night. While people were busy mourning the death of Michael, Erin almost slipped away. But more importantly, with her would have slipped away Jeff’s chances of ever getting his date with Erin Andrews. See, this is the weekend when it all happens. This is the weekend when Jeff, if he manages to stay sober and focused, will finally make good on a quest he was given by god. Well, a god of the MLBlogosphere, at least.

And that chance was almost taken away. I just hope that this event serves as a reminder to my friend that he must take nothing for granted while….questing. Times change and if we don’t adjust, we lose out. For instance, my friend likes to remind me of how the final out of the 2006 World Series involved Brandon Inge swinging wildly outside of the strike zone. But now that same man is representing the American League and Detroit in his first All-Star appearance.

Perhaps we will see a similar change in Jeff this weekend as he stop swinging wildly and finally embraces the porn-stache over which he waxed so eloquently the other day. Perhaps this testosterone fueled accoutrement could provide the same luck for him that it showered on Keith Hernandez.

Or perhaps this weekend will be just one more of those odd “what just happened” events where we try to forget all about it and hope to god that no one ever brings it up over dinner.

The choice rests in one man’s hands. So tell us Mr. Lung, what will it be? Are you Keith Hernandez or are you the woman with a squirrel between her breasts? The world needs to know.

-A

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