October 2009

The Filibuster

question_mark.jpgThings seem a little topsy-turvy so far in the MLB playoffs. We still
have a long ways to go but I’m feeling a little confused as to who is
doing what and why. It helped me a little when I read Allen’s playoff
preview but I still find myself wondering who will actually come out on
top. So, what do you think Jeff? And considering your Cardinals aren’t
looking too good, I want to hear the truth, not your hopes.

Cheryl
Toledo, OH
____________________________________

Okay, Cheryl.  It’s the truth you want, is it?  You want the truth?  Ha!

Neither can I.

That’s why I’ve been conducting a little research into one of my favorite adult beverages: Kalamazoo’s very own Bell’s Oberon beer.  And this is what I’ve discovered:

It would take 17 bottles of Bell’s/Kalamazoo Oberon to kill me

Created by Bar Stools

Either that or getting swept in the National League Division Series.

As I sip on this here 16th bottle, let me disclose *burp*… the er… um… *hiccup*… thissdsk is whaat I knoooow.

  • Yankees… good
  • Angels goooooooooooooder…
  • Dodgers *hiccup*, er… I djslamurss… Padilla is uuuuuugly!!!
  • Rockies… brrrrr… remember Dante Bichette?

So there… you *burp*, have it, Chhhhhheryl.  Maybe it’s not as *hiccup* articulified and edumacated as Mr. *burp* Krause’s baseball-politico sex romp of an essay (ha! I allllmost wrote “Ese!” like “Hola vato! Que hay de nuevo!?”)…

… but… er… it’ll do.  I’ll sleep this off and be back to my normal, blathering, pedantic ssssself tomorrow.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m schnnnnnockered, Cheryl, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m not Vicente “I AM FLOPSWEAT” Padilla.

Bottoms up,

Jeff

The Oracle at Oslo

Nobel_medal.jpgStrange things happen in October. I could probably go so far as to say that strange things are normal for October. Anything can happen. Chris Duncan can turn into an evil spirit and invade other people’s bodies. The Angels can jump all over the Red Sox. And the still new President of the United States can win the Nobel Peace Prize before having done, well, anything.

But it’s not as though events like President Obama’s stunning win are without precedent. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the preseason 2008 Detroit Tigers. Many people, including myself, looked at that lineup and had them penciled in for the AL World Series slot. But, come October, the Tigers were sitting very pretty in last place.

I don’t mean to say that Mr. Obama will fail like the Tigers did but it’s a lot of pressure. It’s kind of like the Nobel committee said, “Hey, Obama. We’re going to give you this prize so that you can go out and achieve something. Now, prove us right.” That’s a tall order to fill in a country who’s political process runs at a snails pace during the best of times.

Look, I don’t understand why this happened just like I don’t understand how the Tigers were so awful last year or how they managed to lose the division on the last day of the season this year. But if it gives the president the political capital to pull off some stunning successes with respect to health care and US foreign policy, we’ll all be able to sit back and admit that the Nobel committee is a modern Delphic oracle. If not, well, we’ll just say they’re a lot like me circa February 2008.

-A

Why I Want to Die…

…because Chris Duncan somehow invaded the body of Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals broke my wounded heart.

Sorry, dear readers, but I have nothing else to say about that.

It is Friday… and we like to make people smile on Fridays… but I haven’t the ability; so please go peruse the message boards of B3TA for a good laugh.

If you need me, I’ll be under a rock.

Jeff

P.S. Matt, you know I still think you’re the man, but throwin’ you under the bus is the only thing keeping me from lying down in front of one myself right now.  I know you understand.

(*Shout out to Miller Park Drunk for the image link — click it if you dare)

Allen’s 2009 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview

mlb_logo.jpgIt’s that time of year again. October, when football has started, hockey is probably being played somewhere in Canada and the WNBA season is over. Assuming there’s still a WNBA. Anyway, all that aside, October is also notable for being the only month when it is worth visiting the state of Michigan and for the glorious event known as the MLB playoffs. And in honor of those playoffs, even though I’m a day late, it’s time to dust off another time honored tradition and bring you my second annual Post-Partisan Playoff Preview: TV pundit edition.

NATIONAL LEAGUE:
foxnews.jpg

After starting with the American League last year, I felt it only fair to begin with the National League this time around. That’s right, the National League, the right-leaning denizens of Major League baseball. Their’s is a more conservative style of play, well suited to the talking heads who avail themselves on Fox News at any and all hours of the day. Designated hitter? No, thank you. We like having an automatic out every 9 batters. Home runs? Nah, we prefer letting our guys linger on base. Government intervention? Only when it helps out our stock portfolios.

And in this fray, we begin with the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies, our Rush Limbaugh. Still the undisputed champion, just like Rush, the Phillies have been showing the cracks that come with age and being at the top for so long. The Oxycontin that is Brad Lidge could spell the end for the Phils when it comes to close games but there’s no doubt that they’ll move on from the first round.

And the main reason they’ll move on is because they’re face to face with the Glenn Beck of the NL playoffs, the Colorado Rockies. No one is denying that they’ve got star quality but both Glenn and the Rockies are missing something. For Glenn, maybe it’s those tears or the fact that he can’t spell. For the Rockies, maybe it’s that they never seem to be able to play well until it’s almost too late. But either way, they’ll both continue playing second fiddle to the guys above them.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers are almost as slick as their preview stand-in, Bill O’Reilly. Show him the facts and he’ll show you something completely unrelated. Everything is tangential in “The No-Spin Zone” and tangential is a great way to describe how the Dodgers play. 15 game lead? Hm, maybe we can get one of our guys suspended for 50 games and play like we’re all on Ambien to tighten this thing up. But at the end of the day, they get the job done. And whether you like it or not, there’s too much talent there to be ignored.

And that’s why we bid adieu in the first round to our Sean Hannity, the St. Louis Cardinals. Things are pretty easy when you’re beating up on a guy like Alan Colmes, you know, kind of like playing in the NL Central this year. But when the chips are down, good luck against real competition.

AMERICAN LEAGUE:
cnn.jpgOn the other side, the American League, things sort out a little bit more easily. There are those who belong and those who just make you sit up and go “hm?” The National League has definitely been ascendant the last few years, winning 2 out of the last 3 World Series but the American League has a stranglehold on the All-Star Game. Whatever that’s worth.

On this side, we start at the bottom, with the Alan Colmes of the the American League, the AL Central champion Minnesota Twins! Really, you’re not excited either? Yeah, it’s pretty hard to get excited about someone who snivels in the corner while getting the snot beat out of them. No one likes a bully but no one really likes the guy who’s bleeding all over after getting beat up by the bully either. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Minnesota Twins!

Out west we check in with the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) as they do their best Rachel Maddow impression. It’s not that anyone dislikes the Angels (or Maddow) or that they wish them ill. It’s just more that they don’t matter. Kind of like the AL West and MSNBC.

And the reason they don’t matter is because they’re going to get beat by our Wolf Blitzer, the Boston Red Sox (of Boston). Although maybe not a pundit in the traditional sense, Wolf does manage to insert his personal views into the conversation. And he sure does espouse a righteous anger when explaining how CNN is the only network you can trust. But it’s just a lot of noise from someone who used to matter and really doesn’t so much anymore. Yep, kind of like the Boston Red Sox.

Which only leaves us with the flatulent faded glory of our Larry King doppleganger, the New York Yankees. You know what, we’ve won 26 championships so what do you know? Hey, I’ve been on TV since it was invented so what do you know? They both have an excuse but something smells a little funky. Which isn’t to say that they can’t get nasty from time to time. Best to give them a wide berth.

WORLD SERIES:
And this brings us to the answers you have all been seeking. I’d love to see Hannity and Colmes reunited in the World Series but since they both go down in the first round, that’s going to be kind of hard. Instead, Bill O’Reilly finally claims the coveted conservative mantle from Rush as the Dodgers avenge last year’s loss and knock off the Phillies in the League Championship Series. Meanwhile, Wolf and Larry make it an all CNN final in the American League as the Yankees square off against the Red Sox. And, true to form, the Yankees
win the pennant.

But, the way things stand in the world today, even with a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, the left leaning punditocracy just can’t hang in there against the overpowering noise of the right wingers. And as left coast meets right in a broadcast and advertising orgasm, the old Yankee manager knocks off the new one. Just make sure you don’t miss the inevitable sucker punch because when the pundit-o-sphere is involved, you can be sure it’s coming.

-A

Unraveling the Wrath of New York

yankees on fire.jpgForget about Iran and its escalating nuclear capabilities.  Pay no attention to Iraq and its still undiscovered weapons of mass destruction.  If you wanna start a war, piss off a Yankees fan.

That’s exactly what my socially fledgling and oft baseball addled colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, did over the weekend.  With this one simple quote…

With the lineup they have at the plate and a ridiculous cast of pitchers, the pennant is theirs to lose.  But lose it they will.

…Mr. Krause ignited the unbridled anger of Bombers fans across US America.  For example:

Some troll who goes by “kb24″ commented:

“Jeff Lung and Allen Krause are f***** a** losers! Have fun when the
Yankees win the World Series a**holes!”

You can reach said troll by emailing him with your own expletive laden rants at supermanredblue@hotmail.com, the address he uses to log into MLB.com.

rr257 said:

“So, the Yankees will lose again, like they always do? You should
probably follow roller derby, or another sport with a shallow
history…where people who write Blogs don’t have to know that the team
they are calling “losers” are the winningest team in sports history.”

Hey dude, how’d you know Al loves roller derby?  I am quite pleasantly surprised you had the time to investigate this little nugget of fact after your demanding schedule of Erin Andrews stalking.  Keep up the good fight!

And then, a guy (I assume it’s a guy, or perhaps a three-toed sloth who lives off Monster Energy Drink, ramen noodles and goodnight kisses from Mommy) who goes by Lukepiewalker121 emailed us with this quip of superior baseball knowledge:

“Ha, say what you want about the Yankees choking in past years. We live
in the present not the past. Go cry your butt off when they win the
World Series and A-Rod wins MVP of World Series now that he doesn’t
have all the pressure with Teixeira with him . . . . . loser live in
the present not the past!”

Now, now, Lukepiewalker121@aim.com, let’s not be so vicious in our ill thought retorts, shall we?  First of all, who the hell uses AIM anymore?  This ain’t 2003, buddy!  Join the living!  Stop — as you say — LIVING IN THE PAST!  Once you take your own advice and stop living in the past, I assume you and and your Yankee-lovin’ brethren will kindly stop reminding me and everyone else who has any aural abilities whatsoever that your beloved Bombers are the “winningest team in sports history” because, well, y’see, those 26 trophies are all in the past, pal.  Them days is over.  Move on.  Indeed, Lukepiewalker121, we live in the Yankees-Tend-To-Overpay-Free-Agents-and-Blow-It-In-the-Playoffs-Era; and just in case you haven’t noticed, the Yanks have been doing plenty of playoff choking in recent years, which is why my colleague made the brash statement that he did in the first place.

jim.leyland.jpgFeel good about this, Yankees fans who hate Allen Krause: Mr. Krause’s Detroit Tigers just put the finishing touches on one of baseball’s most prolific and grandiose epic fails of all time.

And know that I don’t always (or ever) agree with Mr. Krause, but in this case, he makes a valid (albeit sloppy) point.  If the Yanks follow their recent history, they’re due to disappoint. 

So, my dear Yankee fan readers, I will bare the olive branch with this bit of truce:

If the Yankees do win the World Series, I will take Lukepiewalker121’s advice and “cry my butt off”. 

Hate me ‘cuz I unravel the reasoning behind the phrase Evil Empire, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right… if ya don’t believe me, ask cubluvr1995, the last childish, ranting, wrathful dear reader to bite the proverbial RSBS dust.

Peace,

Jeff

One Big Bag of Weird

delay_ burke_dancing_with_the_stars.jpgThere are a lot of different kinds of weird. There’s the weird of realizing what had to happen between your parents to make you. There’s the weird of managing to be all tied up after 162 games. But then there’s the weird that, as my old Sunday school teacher would say, transcends all understanding. That’s right, I’m talking about the weird of watching Tom Delay on Dancing With the Stars.

Tom Delay. The Hammer. The man who was able to achieve a veritable cat-herding feat by first organizing the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives and then by keeping them in line. The man who helped redistrict Texas to such an extent that no Democrat will ever win outside their existing district for the next generation. And now he’s doing the rumba.

Let me explain this in layman’s terms. It’s like Ty Cobb quitting baseball to lead a civil rights campaign. Ok, maybe it’s not that extreme but it’s also not that far off. Perhaps it’s more like A-Rod leaving his gorgeous wife to date an over-the-hill pop star. Yeah, that sounds about right.

However, all of this oddness led me to an almost stunningly brilliant idea for another long-serving representative. Picture it: Nancy Pelosi leaves the Congress to lead a b-boy pack that takes America’s Best Dance Crew by storm. Hey, weirder things have happened. Just ask your parents.

-A

We Interrupt this Playoff… to Bring You Monday Night Football

brett favre vikings.jpgAs human beings, it is really easy to get sidetracked.

Like the other day when I got mixed up in a drinking contest with two Irishmen and a professional female bodybuilder from Greece when I should’ve been at home paying my bills.  I paid for it.  Literally and figuratively.

Or like our president, who, under pressure, danced off to Europe championing an Olympic bid that was as busted as Octo Mom’s fallopian tubes (fellow Chicagoans, we know we couldn’t have pulled it off) while he should’ve been here dealing with the health care debate war.  Chicago lost.  And we US Americans are nowhere even close to having a functional proposal on the table.

And now, instead of watching a one-game playoff between the equally doomed Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins tonight at the Metrodome, we have to wait until Brett Favre makes his highly touted debut against his former team.

Well, okay, so not all interruptions are created equally (y’feel me, Kanye?).

Personally, I welcome this NFL intrusion because, let’s face it: neither the Twins nor the Tigers are going to make much of an impact in the playoffs (believe that!) anyway; and, more importantly, nothing brings me more satisfaction than knowing my misanthropic and oft blasphemous colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has one more idle day of sweatin’ and shakin’ and spittin’ himself silly knowing that it’s win or go home for his beloved Tigers.

I’m guessing it will be ‘go home’.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m a smarmy callous of a man, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Image courtesy of “anonymous” on the interwebs; I just found it on a message board with no source listed though I’m sure one exists somewhere)

The Filibuster

joba_bugs.jpgAfter a one year absence, the Yankees are back in the playoffs. Can we
expect to see another big name big money fail from A-Rod and company
again this year? Please say ‘yes’.

Emily
Cape Girardeau, MO

____________________________________

Yes.

Oh, you want me elaborate? Yes, Emily.

More than that? Man, you sure are demanding.

Here’s how I see it. The Yankees are good. I mean, really good. After being manhandled by the Red Sox the last couple years, Jeter and company owned them the second half of this season. With the lineup they have at the plate and a ridiculous cast of pitchers, the pennant is theirs to lose.

But lose it they will. Somehow they always find a way. Remember the bug game with Joba Chamberlain in Cleveland a couple years ago? Or how about that epic fail against the Tigers in 2006? There’s just something a little off about the Yankees. You can buy all the pieces but you can’t buy the chemistry that brings it together. It’s like owning a rebuilt Maserati, only it has been reassembled by Jeff.

Now Emily, I plan to address this whole question much more in depth later this week with the return of Allen’s Post-Partisan Playoff Preview. And who knows, I may even change my mind. But, at this point in time, let me just say once again, that yes, the Yankees will fail and once again A-Rod will fail to deliver in the postseason. You heard it here first.

-A

***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. 

***Superior cornbread recipes also welcome.

Getting Ahead

ted_williams_moxie.jpgThe playoff races are all but decided at this point. Baseball fans are settling in for a postseason with many of the usual suspects. There aren’t a whole lot of surprises at this point and there isn’t much reason to get angry…..or is there?

If you have become complacent due to the lack of baseball excitement in your life, boy, do I have something for you. Some dude has been using Ted Williams’ frozen head for batting practice. Seriously, man. Ted Williams. I mean, the guy might have been a bit of a kook but still, that’s no reason to be batting around his frozen head with a monkey wrench. That’s like using Warren G. Harding’s petrified liver as a hockey puck. It just isn’t done.

In a few days we can go back to worrying about playoff baseball but, for the time being, maybe you should use this downtime to write your congressman. Unless it’s Jim Bunning. If his senate career is any indication, he probably would have thrown at Williams’ head. Monkey wrench, baseball. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Happy Saturday!

-A

If the Mets Were a Futon…

david wright big helmet.jpgAs the 2009 regular season comes to a close, so too do the pains suffered by most Major League clubs (unless you’re the Phillies, of course, who will have to endure a flat bullpen through at least three playoff games) and no team has bled out more publicly than the New York Mets.

I haven’t said a whole lot about the Mets’ woes because, well, everybody else has done quite an adequate job of ripping them apart, feasting on their mishaps, devouring their disastrous misfortune.

Then I found a futon.

On the interwebs.

Duh.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 New York Mets (played by an inanimate metal futon frame shot with a hand held digital camera):

http://embed.break.com/MTQwMzgwMQ==
EMBED-Throwing Futon Out Window Goes Wrong – Watch more free videos

Yep.  It’s broke.

Either just leave it there, dead on the ground, or start all over again fresh with a new, shiny, expensive futon that can take a beaning or two.  Put a great big kiddie helmet on it if ya like.  I’m cool with that.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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