August 2009

When Did the White Sox Forget They’re from Chicago?

ozzie guillen zip it.jpg“I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’, and I can prove it.” 
– Ed “Butch” Panczko, ruthless Chicago gangster

It is the year 2009, dear readers, and I would think that by now, every single one of us has seen enough cop dramas on television to know that you never, ever, ever tell on yourself.  You just don’t do it.  Big Papi knows this.  So does Roger Clemens.  Why is it then that the Chicago White Sox — who reside not far from the famed warehouse district were body after lifeless body went to disappear forever — do not understand this golden rule of foul play? 

First we watched as Bobby Jenks told the whole world that he purposely threw at Ian Kinsler — which netted him a $750 fine and a watchful eye from MLB brass — and now we have Ozzie Guillen himself blabbing to anyone who will listen that he’s out to bean anyone whom he suspects of throwing at his guys.  What next?  Kenny Williams owns up to jaywalking?  Check.

Look, it’s one thing to protect your team and head-hunt in retaliation.  Hell, in this game, it’s expected!  But to openly admit that you are going to throw at people, to announce to everyone that you intend on hurting someone, to alert the league that you’re going to send a message… well, that is just plain irresponsible.  And dumb.

al capone.jpg“I have always been opposed to violence.  I want peace, and I will live and let live.”  — Al Capone

Yep.  Tell a story.  Do the opposite.  Leave ‘em guessin’. 

That, my friends, is the Chicago way.

Even political nimrod figurehead Rod Blagojevich knows this.

And he’s a Cubs fan

What’s your excuse, White Sox?

Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Ozzie Guillen’s grill image courtesy of Da Bronx Bombers)

Coco Crisp = Comedy Gold, Part 3: The Day the Comedy Died

coco crisp royals.jpgDuring this summer of über celebrity deaths and disturbing political failures, I have been very reluctant to address the most disappointing development of the 2009 Major League Baseball season.  But alas, my faith (and patience) has finally come to a vitriolic end; and I have no other choice than to accept it:

Dear readers, the comedy genius of Coco Crisp is dead.

Perhaps it was always too good to be true — that the perfect storm of a fledgling, Twitter-happy, center fielder with the intelligence of a midge and a hapless baseball team touting the skills of Kyle Farnsworth would be enough to entertain me from now until October. 

Indeed, it was good while it lasted.  With his nonsensical, grammatically-challenged rhetorical tweets, Coco succeeded in technocracy where he failed as a Royal.  But then he went on the disabled list and, finally, had season-ending surgery.

He tweeted a few times after he hung it up for the year; but sadly, he has not tweeted since June 24th and the absence of his familiar incoherency has left us all grieving. 

On this day, Coco, we remember your last golden quip:

OK i officially
have a new (baseball) disease called PPA (Piss Poor Aim). Everytime i
hit a ball hard PPA kicks in. There has to be a cure.

There is no cure, Coco.  If there were, well, you would’ve done much better than .228.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**We tweet. And we like to think we can pick up the Coco-comedy slack. Follow us! @RSBS

The Filibuster

man in pain.jpgWhat is it and how is it cured?

Mike
Montgomery, TX

____________________________________

Wow.  And somehow I thought I was the only one who spoke in cryptic non sequiturs.  Since that is obviously not the case, let me go ahead and assume that the “it” in this curious question must be that big Prince Fielder-like elephant in the room — that thing that I have avoided all season long, that embarrassing premonition that makes me, well, makes me look like a fool…

Because it is no lie that before the 2009 season even started, I had written off the Cardinals’ chances of competing all together.  Due to the stagnant off season — an off season where General Manager John Mozeliak did very little except to add a few journeymen relievers and a .220 hitting Jeff Spicoli lookalike shortstopI was sure that the Redbirds were destined for the bottom of the NL Central.

Oh how I overlooked the perennial abomination that is the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Still, after watching the St. Louis bullpen blow nearly 30 late inning leads in 2008, how was I to expect that they would somehow find a way to be this good this quickly?  I am simply a man of reason and reason said to make other plans for October.  And now, as we sit atop the NL Central at 61-51, clearly the front-runners in the division despite the Cubs’ second half surge, I think it is time for me to do something that is rarely ever necessary:

I must admit that maybe… just maybe… I was wrong.

Indeed, Mike in Montgomery, TX, “it” is my disdainful pessimism for my favorite baseball team and it can only be cured by them performing well — from here til the end.

meatonahook_1.jpgThen again, “it” might just be pork; and in that case you just rub some salt on it and let it sit for a while.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Man in pain image courtesy of All About Alcoholism — don’t ask)

***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 sober Sidney Ponson also welcome but we’re pretty sure those don’t exist.

Things I Shouldn’t Have to Do

albert pujols.jpgApparently my heartfelt tribute to the Cardinals rang hollow in some quarters of the interwebs. And it hurts me to see that while I am on vacation I have to check in to see such vitriol pointed in my general direction. So, because I want to be the bigger man, I decided to write another little ode to the Cardinals. However, this time I will do it in limerick form.

Albert: Another grand slam
McGwire: A forgotten man
     Why keep on pitchin’
     When Pujols is itchin’
And balls just wind up in the stands?

Is that better, Mr. Lung? Are we square now? Or do you plan to continue denigrating my good faith efforts?

At least there is one thing we can agree on. We may not be number one but it still feels pretty good to be number two. Actually, that just sounds wrong.

Happy Saturday!

-A

That Thing No One Cares About

mark prior.jpgYep.  You guessed it.  I am talking about none other than Mark Prior.

Remember him?  He was the player touted as having the most perfect pitching mechanics ever, the guy who was going to break every pitching record ever, the man who would redefine pitching forever!

Yeah.  Not so much.

And now, after not making a Major League appearance since August 10, 2006, the San Diego Padres have officially relieved him of his services (or general lack thereof).

Dear readers, when the Padres organization doesn’t have any faith in your abilities, then let’s face it: you do not have any abilities.

Blame Dusty Baker.  Blame the Cubs curse.  Blame global warming.

He just didn’t have it.

To illustrate, please enjoy this visual representation of Mark Prior’s Major League career:

Are you paying attention, Stephen Strasburg?

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

Happy Friday!

Peace,

Jeff

Wooing the Wacky

bill clinton kim jong il.jpgIn baseball, the very best players fail seven times out of ten.  With defeat as the understood underwriter of the game, we as fans tend to not flip every time a batter makes himself an out.  Instead, we get over it, move on, and wait for the next opportunity.

The tentacled world of international diplomacy, however, does not feature such a luxurious background.  So when it was announced that former president Bill Clinton was to head the rescue mission of two American journalists imprisoned in the mysteriously wacky, pro-proletariat North Korea, I breathed an ecstatic sigh of relief.

Because if anyone can woo the pants off a frail, old, tyrant dictator who fancies Don King hair and Elvis sunglasses, Bill Clinton certainly can.

And like Albert Pujols at the dish with 2 outs, bases loaded and the entire game, season, legacy on the line, Slick Willy delivered.

BAM!

Of course, while he was there, he did do Al and I a favor by getting Kim’s personal thoughts on Red State Blue State, which Kim supposedly reveres despite his having to ban it in North Korea due to its “flamboyant content” and “excessive skin service“:

kim jong il.jpgHard to hate a guy who knows what the hell he’s talkin’ about when it comes to baseball.  Am I right?

Yep.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.  That’s all I ask.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Images courtesy of the Associated Press)

Illusionary Tactics

illusion.jpgYesterday, my unequivocally nefarious and visually challenged colleague, Mr. Krause, finally posted his two-month late debt which required him to pose for the camera while proudly donning St. Louis Cardinals merchandise accentuated by a bright, broad smile across his face.  Obviously, there is little doubt as to how disingenuous the smile was; but I must admit that even I was shocked at just how low Mr. Krause stooped to eschew what would be considered by everyone else in the world to be a rightly just punishment.

Here is the picture:

allen_cards_bet.JPGSure.  On the surface, everything seems in order… until we zoom in a little closer (thanks for the assist, Jonestein):

Allen in hat close up.jpgHmm.  Is that a photocopy of the regal S-T-L taped on your cap, Al?  And what is that underneath the pasted cover-up?  Is… is that… is that a Washington Nationals cap!?!?!?! (click *here* for reference to that same Natinals cap)

*Rich white people in the suburbs of Detroit whail in painful disgust.

Congratulations, Al, on not only embarrassing me and Cardinals fans worldwide, but for also abandoning your own people during a playoff race.  Nice.  Indeed, you are the Sarah Palin of baseball fandom!

But Allen’s experiment with the not-so-magical isn’t the only thing causing the masses to rub their eyes today.  Note to all Major League managers not named Tony LaRussa: If Albert Pujols steps in with the bases loaded, for Lord’s sake walk the man!  Last night, Jerry Manuel found out rather quickly what everyone else seems to already know when he decided to have Sean Green pitch to Albert, only to see Pujols launch yet another grand slam, which ultimately led the Cardinals to victory.  For the record, in 2009, Albert is a disgustingly sick 7-9 with the bases loaded, including five (YES, FIVE!) grand slams.  If you think you’ll get A.P. to swing at something stupid in that situation then you deserve to be beaten.

And while we’re on the subject of idiocy…

obama joker.jpgThis photo has been dancing around the interwebs faster than Kevin Gregg can blow a 9th inning lead; but let me tell ya, just like Al’s photo above, this is all wrong.  I’m not talking about the actual lampooning of our president as a joker — that’s all fair game as far as I’m concerned — what bothers me is that the word “SOCIALISM” appears below the Obama-as-Heath-Ledger-as-the-Joker image.

Come on now.  Socialism?  Look, the Joker was an anarchist.  There was nothing social about the Joker at all.  The closest he ever came to socialism was wanting to kill everyone for no reason other than to just kill everyone.  So if you’re gonna roast the Prez then at least make sure you get your metaphors — visual and contextual — correct.

“Fool me once… shame on… shame on you.  Y’fool me y’can’t get fooled again.”

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

What I Mean When I Talk About the Cardinals

i_love_albert.jpgDizzy Dean. Stan Musial. Bob Gibson. Ozzie Smith. Albert Pujols. Some of those names still strike fear in the heart of Tigers’ fans. And for good reason. Gibson almost single-handedly won the 1968 World Series for the Cards. Dizzy Dean pretty much did several years earlier. And Albert Pujols? Well, whether I like it or not there’s no denying that he is the most dominant force in the game today.

Interleague play has kind of done away with the idea of a true AL-NL rivalry but for teams that may not share a city, a state or a league, Detroit and St. Louis have created a memorable rivalry. The sad fact of the matter, though, is that the Tigers usually come out on the losing end of that competition. Somehow the Cards just find a way to win the close games and the games that matter.

The most recent meaningful matchup, the 2006 World Series, had the Tigers almost all but certain to blow away the lowly Cards who limped into the playoffs barely over .500. But just like they had done all season, the Cards found a way to win and walked off with the real hardware when it was all said and done.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this. Jeff, I know this is late but your team won and proved again that when it matters, be it the World Series or an interleague series, you have the better team. So here it is, the picture I promised. I won’t say I’m proud of it but I will say that I’m good on my word.

allen_cards_bet.JPG
-A

__________________________________

I will be away for the next couple weeks. I may pop in from time to time as I can but be nice to Jeff as he holds down the fort. And don’t forget to send us your filibuster questions!

Why Is Clint Hurdle Orange?

Clint Hurdle.jpgLong a bothersome subject of the baseball world, RSBS and our talented staff of interns have finally decided to delve into this curiously confounding query: Why is Clint Hurdle orange?  While the definitive answer may elude us still, we continue to take great pride in narrowing it down to the following reasons:

Finally realized Matt Holliday wasn’t safe

He’s actually part Oompa loompa

Wished the Cash for Clunkers program existed when looking to trade in Danny Ardoin and J.D. Closser for the $145.64 they were worth

Just read Ann Coulter’s blog

Being shown up by Jim Tracy caused him to overcompensate by excessive tanning

But in the end, we are all fairly certain that the actual reason that Clint Hurdle is orange is because:

He’s addicted to Tang.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Looks like the Tigers made a deal.  Will Washburn be our savior now or is Jake Peavy the nail in the coffin for the White Sox?

Mandy
Farmington Hills, MI

__________________________________________

piniella_angry.jpgGreat
question Mandy. And it’s pretty amusing that Peavy ended up on the
White Sox after all those rumors about him going to the Cubs. Man,
Piniella must be spittin’ mad right about now. But I digress. You asked
about Washburn and to Washburn we will go. And the simple answer is, I
don’t know.

See, starting pitching really hasn’t been the
Tigers’ problem this year. They have Verlander and Jackson in the
rotation and both of them are All-Stars.
Washburn does improve the rotation but that isn’t going to matter much
if the Tigers’ hitters continue coming up short and if the bullpen
can’t hold a lead. Zumaya is out for the rest of the season, Lyon has
been a bust and Rodney may be converting most of his save opportunities but
he’s shaky enough that you almost wish Todd Jones was still there.
Almost.

The main problem with your question, Mandy, is that it’s
irrelevant. I don’t say that to be mean, it’s just that the American League central, and, by extension, your question, is
irrelevant. Whether the Twins, Tigers or White Sox take the crown, they
can’t possibly measure up against a loaded Angels club or the Red Sox and
Yankees. The talent, like the rivers, flows from the continental divide to the coasts and,
despite occasional flukes, there’s a reason that the same teams from
the same cities tend to be in the hunt every year.

Does Peavy
make the White Sox better? Sure. Does Washburn make Detroit better? Of course.
But does it matter when the Red Sox already have a stacked pitching
staff and then added Victor Martinez behind the plate? Or how about
the Phillies with the addition of Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez?

Now Mandy, don’t get me wrong. I think the rest of the season in the AL Central should be a dogfight and it will probably go right down to the wire. The couple of wins that a Peavy or a Washburn can get you might make all the difference. But that difference doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when you get to the playoffs and face these other teams.

There is good news, though. Although it sometimes seems like everything is going wrong and the Tigers’ chances are as barren as nonagenarian cloistered sister, I always have someplace I can turn. And that, Mandy, is worth it’s weight in gold.

-A

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