July 2009

Suppress Thy Sore Loser, Loser

alfonso soriano.jpgFor those of you Cubbie-lovin’ pipedreamers out there who still believe in that wretched mantra of “this is our year” — a mantra disproved over and over and over again — then I got another nugget of fact to help bring you down from that dark cloud of praise.

Paul Sullivan, of the Chicago Tribune, writes:

When manager Lou Piniella spoke to [Alfonso] Soriano last week in Pittsburgh and told him he would be
giving him a few more days off, Soriano said he understood. But Soriano
was miffed when he learned his name wasn’t in the starting lineup
Wednesday after he had a pair of hits Tuesday night.

“That’s why I’m mad,” Soriano said. “If he had told me yesterday, then I wouldn’t come today ready to play.”

Wow.

Did he really say that?  Let’s look again:

“If he had told me yesterday, then I wouldn’t come today ready to play.”

Yep.  He said it.  And yes, this proves it: Alfonso Soriano is an idiot.

Call me loopy, but if I were making $17 million a year to show up, ready to play baseball every day, then you could bet your behind I would be ready to play baseball — every day.  Starter or sub, leading off or in the eight-hole, you’re a goddamn professional baseball player, Alfonso Soriano.  You’re living a dream.  Okay, you’re living a nightmare, but still, it’s a dream and you should treat it as such.

Goats, black cats, Steve Bartman, decking Michael Barrett, Sori’s hop, Big Z’s hot head, Dempster’s celebratory broken toe, Zambrano vowing to lollygag, the defunct abomination that is Milton Bradley…

Is it any wonder that the Cubs continue to disappoint?

I know, I know.  Even I am beginning to think my Cub-bashing agenda has become hackier than hack.  Still, what has to be said has to be said because the pain is now inching into my personal life.

My nephew is almost one year old now.  While his mother (my sister and devout Cardinal fan) tries the best she can, still, having a Cub fan as a father has already begun to affect him with serious, damaging, negative results. 

Here’s what he looks like when his mom dresses him in Cardinals gear:

P1000865.JPGAnd when his Cub-lovin’ daddy takes over?  Much different story:

downsized_0709091926.jpgIn this devastating world of hurt, do yourself a favor and try to smile a little bit, my plebeian brethren.  See the light, wear the STL.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Death by Chocolate

dual_willy_wonka.jpgThe events of the past couple weeks have obviously left me thinking quite a bit about the idea of mortality. Not my own, of course, as I don’t ever plan on dying. But rather the idea of mortality in a philosophical sense. There are so many different ways that one can shuffle off this mortal coil and it’s a topic we’re so obsessed with but, at the same time, we know next to nothing about it.

Some people make a grand exit, whether it be Reagan’s processional farewell, Michael’s tear-strewn send-off or Ted Williams’ bizarre, cryogenically frozen head. And some people just sneak away. Maybe there’s a small obituary, maybe even a large one if they were well-known, but the exit itself is quiet and unassuming.

However, sometimes the end is simultaneously quick and disturbingly bizarre. A case in point is  Vincent Smith, Jr. and his recent cocoa related misadventures. I mean, we expect strange things out of New Jersey but dying in a vat of chocolate?

So, as we head into the All-Star break and you start to realize that your team is either on life support or has already been declared DOA (I’m looking at you, Nats’ fans), remember that it could be worse. At least they didn’t die in a huge vat of chocolate.

-A

An Inconvenient All-Star

an inconvenient truth.jpgI really haven’t had that exciting of a life. There
are a lot of things I wish I would have done, instead of just sitting
around and complaining about having a boring life. So I pretty much
like to make it up. I’d rather tell a story about somebody else.


Kurt Cobain (1964-1994)

Instead of complaining about who isn’t going to the All-Star Game, I’d like to tell you a story about someone who is going to the All-Star Game:

Me.

Luckily, one of my best friends is a Cardinals season ticket holder.  And besides being the proud owner of Quincy, IL’s finest bar and grill (a place where even Mike Shannon has been known to drink) he also has a kind heart and agreed to take me along for all of the All-Star thrills, including acting as my official wing-man in my misguided quest for Erin Andrews glory.  Yes, that is still going on.  Admittedly, overcoming such built-in adversity will not be an easy assignment; it will be easier than overcoming the struggle against Nazi Germany (don’t tell Al Gore) but, dear readers, it will not be easy – especially since so many deserved, albeit inconvenient, All-Stars will not be present. 

Yet that does not mean they should not be recognized for their All-Starredness, no matter the capacity… so here are your RSBS All-Star snubs of 2009 whom I will proudly represent in St. Louis next week:

Mark Reynolds
Just like that frat guy named Hunter and his impervious flesh pursuit at the bar on $5 pitcher night, yeah, he strikes out an awful lot.  But he also surprises you every once in a while and hits some big-time bombs… or bombshells, whichever the case may be.

Mark Sanford

Stealing bases is one thing.  Stealing taxpayer money to bankroll an 8-year long international affair?  Now that’s All-Star material… because, well, it takes balls.  Balls of steel.

Stephen Strasburg
Being the most popular man in Major League Baseball without ever having played a Major League Baseball game is certainly something to tip your cap towards.  Just wait until you see the kind of velocity he can generate with those ears! I promise you: he is the best pitcher EVER in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD!

Sarah Palin

No one likes a quitter, but unlike Manny Ramirez, at least Palin looks good while doing it.

And finally…

Milton Bradley
As an unabashed Cardinal fan, there are about about 30 million reasons why this guy is a true All-Star.  Obviously, not one of them includes playing good, fundamentally sound baseball.

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 Allen shot-gunning Old Styles also welcome.

Like Water on ‘Staches

robert_mcnamara.jpgAlthough I hate to be the bucket of cold water on the porn ‘stache discussion that has been heating up our personal interweb for the past day, it felt necessary that I write a small tribute to the most recent passing amongst our ongoing rash of celebrity deaths. In fact, you could say that there might not even be a Red State Blue State without the contributions of this person because many of the decisions he made led directly to the epic divide that has come to define our country.

I consider it fair to say that the Vietnam conflict was a watershed event in US history and the domestic response to it created a fault line that still divides the red from the blue states. Each presidential election since that time has been a refighting of the battle and even much of the argument about Iraq recycled the same terminology used in discussions of Vietnam. And no one was more instrumental in creating those discussions, arguing those arguments and fighting those battles than Robert McNamara.

There’s no reason to go all that in depth because if you really want to get an idea of the man, there’s no better place to go than Errol Morris’ 2003 documentary, The Fog of War, where you can hear McNamara describe what happened in his own words. Nearing ninety at that point, McNamara’s lucidity and razor-sharp reasoning are almost stupefying. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that he ain’t no dummy.

So, despite the ambivalent feelings Mr. McNamara may inspire and despite his troubled legacy, we still salute him. He is at least as responsible for RSBS as Al Gore is for the internet.

-A

All Hail the Porn ‘Stache King

keith hernandez smoking.jpgWhile the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting rotation enjoys the type of success only attributable to their communitarian growing of porn mustaches, I think it is paramount that we remember and tribute the original porn ‘stache advocate and universal party animal: Keith Barlow Hernandez.

Of course, odes to the mustachioed have long been a staple of the RSBS platform; yet singling out the lone ranger of ‘stache stylings has always seemed too daunting a task — yes, even for us, for how does one further praise the coolest man to ever wear a uniform without coming off as… er, weird?  Luckily, some smart guys with lots of time on their hands made a movie about him, and we proudly re-present it here.  It’s about 20 minutes long, so be prepared to go deep inside the awesomeness that is/was Keith Hernandez… and remember, the average cocaine high only lasts about 20 minutes, so you may want to plan accordingly:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=4288854&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

I’m Keith Hernandez from water&power on Vimeo.

Drugs are bad.  Porn ‘staches are good.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Special thanks to Hugging Harold Reynolds for bringing this film to our attention)

The Filibuster

Since you guys are always putting politics in baseball, why didn’t you
try to get out the All-Star vote? Not one post about voting for your
favorite all-star?  I was shocked.

Kellen
Macomb, IL

__________________________________________

St_Louis_Gateway_Arch.jpgWell, Kellen, in what may have been the largest oversight since the creation of this blog, neither Jeff nor myself exploited this wonderful forum as a bully-pulpit for some sort of get-out-the-vote crusade. However, in typical politico fashion, I am going to refuse to admit to any sort of mistake and instead claim that this was all planned.

See Kellen, despite our obvious strong feelings toward our favorite teams and players, Jeff and I are also of the belief that the political process needs to proceed unfettered. And when I say unfettered, I mean that the same 18 guys should be voted onto the team every year because of their geographic location and attendant fan base. Is Derek Jeter the best shortstop in the AL? Uh, no. But he plays for the Yankees and that means he’s going to be representing the AL anyway.

Now, I could have gotten out there and exhorted you to vote for Adam Everett instead but would you have listened? No. You would have been more than happy to follow the crowd and vote your straight Red Sox, Yankees or Mets ticket. Or, in your case Kellen, probably a straight Cardinals ticket. Seriously, Rick Ankiel as an All-Star?

But we have more important questions and issues to face. Like what could possibly be going through Sarah Palin’s head? Or why have so many famous people died in the past 10 days? My best guess so far for both questions is Swine Flu.

Don’t get me wrong, Kellen. I appreciate your question and perhaps in the future one or the other of us (by which I obviously mean Jeff) will stoop to that level and cravenly demand your vote. But until that moment, RSBS will strive to remain above the fray because *cue patriotic music* America’s game demands American democracy.

And in that spirit Kellen, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to stuffing the virtual ballot box to make sure Brandon Inge makes it in to the game. Speaking of stuffing ballot boxes, any news on Mark Sanford?

-A

Fireworks!!!

miss teen south carolina.jpgNothing says US American like a cute, dumb, South Carolinian teenager proclaiming our need to help the “education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as”… well, I mean, nothing says US American like that and fireworks.  Of course.

And boy are the fireworks a flyin’.

Satiating our drama-seeking souls, Placido Polanco provided plenty of fireworks after getting clipped in the nuts by a foul tip in last evening’s 16-inning game against the Twins.  He took a long, painful breather before getting back in the batter’s box and hitting the game-winning single right back up the middle.

In Cincinnati, Albert Pujols — BASEBALL GOD INCARNATE — made a strong case for his being walked with the bases loaded.  Instead, David Weathers (whom Albert owns) threw one right down central.  Pujols wasted no time in hitting his fourth grand slam of the season.

Still, these on the field heroics have nothing on the fireworks Sarah Palin shot off Friday by announcing her resignation as governor of the great state of Alaska.

We put our faithful RSBS interns on the beat and they discovered the following reasons behind Palin’s controversial gubernatorial departure:

  • Thumbnail image for sarah_palin.jpgAlaska is boring
  • wants to move to Canada, where people actually know what a “hockey mom” is
  • needs more time to combat pro-choice, but only in cases involving middle to upper class white people
  • Todd Palin is tired of being shown up by his librarian-hot wife
  • the Washington Nationals are holding tryouts and she’s been working on a knuckle ball
  • wants to hunt down Katie Couric, shoot her and feed her to bears
  • Lorne Michaels offered her a permanent role on SNL as the new reincarnation of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady (Tina Fey’s position as Palin will not change)
  • experimenting with new medical procedure that will allow her to “grow a pair”
  • embarrassed she misunderstood the TransCanada Pipeline project did not involve weed
  • earmarked billions to provide maps to US Americans out there in our nation who don’t have maps, which will eventually aid the education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as so everyone can plainly see that the “bridge to nowhere” does go to a town with a population of 50 people, all of whom desperately need maps to find that $442 million bridge

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Happy 4th, my fellow US Americans!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Letting Our Flag Fly

Many places in the States begin their Independence Day festivities with some sort of celebration the night before. And we here at RSBS are no different. We love America and we aren’t afraid to let the stars and stripes fly freely. We may not be able to supply fireworks (unless you count the sparks that fly when Jeff and I get to talking about the 2006 World Series) but we try to make up for that in other ways.

Today was extra special for us as it also saw our return to #2 on the MLBlogs leaderboard after a recent exile. And we have some surprises in store that we hope will keep y’all coming back to visit. However, for now, let me just say a happy early Fourth of July and, more importantly, America, f**k yeah!

-A

Stirring Up Crap

pudding.jpgIn recent weeks, much ado has been made about the ongoing interweb scuffle between bloggers and “real” journalists.  From JRod’s mental wanderings on Raul Ibanez to Geoff Baker’s self-serving opus dei to Hugging Harold Reynoldspublic flaying of Jay Mariotti, everyone seems to be getting in on the controversy — creating it even.

I’m sure JRod is pretty pleased, if for nothing else than for being noticed (albeit harshly).  As sports bloggers, isn’t that all we really want?  To be noticed? 

Apparently, this is the best way to go.  Stir up some real crap.

So I’m gonna.

The following are very, very, very TRUE:

  • Vegetarian or not, Prince Fielder is fat
  • In my “fantasies”, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols always fan me with palm tree leaves from the side while I… y’know, do my thing
  • The color orange is on steroids!!!!
  • Rush Limbaugh is also fat… and annoying
  • Babe Ruth was only awesome because he had to overcome and compensate for the fact that he had a girl’s last name (and breasts)
  • Barack Obama is a smoker. Deal with it, yo!
  • Bud Selig is as good at being commissioner of baseball as the Washington Nationals are at being champions of baseball
  • I spent a lot of money on Cardinals games during the summer of 1998, in awe of Mark McGwire, realizing that something fishy might be going on, but, like you, didn’t care that much about it ‘cuz it was friggin’ awesome. Like Selig, I too, looked the other way; but I would still make a much better commissioner of baseball than he because this All-Star Game’s “this time it counts” thing is absolutely ridiculous.
  • Our earth is flat; gravity is just some bulls*** made up by Communists
  • Manny Ramirez is Predator… and a cheater and annoying; but in a few days no one will remember that he got popped for taking a banned substance… and just in case you’re wondering, no, Manny is not fat — just big-haired.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m a fire-starter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Wide and Broad is the Way to Brooklyn

brooklyn_bridge.jpgI’m a little relieved today and it’s not entirely because I found out that Tito and Jermaine are still with us. In fact, it’s not even just because the Tigers found a way to beat the increasingly pathetic Oakland Athletics. No, I’m relieved because I finally know why the US has fallen on such hard times.

See, up until now, I had been thinking that the sometimes insane drive to be bigger, faster and stronger had led to the economic downturn. It’s kind of like how the same focus created the steroid era in baseball. But it turns out that I was wrong. In reality, the economic crisis, much like Katrina, 9/11 and probably Bud Selig, is the result of something much simpler: Our immorality.

If we could just sin a little less and elect more Republicans, this whole thing would turn around in a jiffy. At least according to Oklahoma representative Sally Kern, that is. Despite the fact that Obama was elected president in large part because of the downward spiralling economy, it turns out that when he “Refused to uphold the long held tradition of past presidents in giving recognition to our National Day of Prayer,” he inadvertently set the United States on a path to economic ruin. And the only way we can turn away from this wide gate and broad way is to follow the admonitions of Ms. Kern and her cohorts.

So there you have it, dear readers. If you continue to watch HBO and use contraceptives, you have no one but yourself to blame when your 401k loses 40% of its value. And you’re probably also responsible for Barry Bonds’ enormous head because if you hadn’t continued to buy tickets, he never would have used those PEDs. Oh, and before I forget, if you’re looking to invest in some real estate, I have a bridge up in Brooklyn that you might be interested in. Let me know.

A

 

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