December 2009

2009: A Year in Review (Pt II)

Thumbnail image for RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgEverybody knows that baseball is a team sport — a team
sport where success hinges on the individual’s performance.  If you
don’t believe me, just ask Walter Johnson… or Ernie Banks… or
Willie Mays Hayes.

Likewise, RSBS wouldn’t be RSBS without the BS
*ahem* — as in “Blue State”, represented in high definition by our
very own misanthropic Tiger fan, Mr. Allen Krause.  Yesterday, Mr.
Krause (who also happens to be one of my best friends in all the world)
adequately summed up 2009 as only RSBS can; and while he was at it, he kindly featured some of my better pieces from the year.

Well, dear readers, what fun is life without reciprocation?

There’s
no better way to wrap up the decade than to highlight my friend’s best
work… so let us take a gander at some real Krausian masterpieces!

2nd Honorable Mention:
Being There (Part 1Part 2)
Historic, epic, monumental… I like to believe that most people were
able to set their political affiliations aside while our nation’s grip
on racism slipped.  There will only be one first non-white
presidential inauguration and Allen Krause was there.  He lent us his
senses.  He gave us some play-by-play.  Then he rejoiced that the
“unwashed hordes” were finally leaving his city.  Bravo!

Honorable Mention:

Nietzsche Was Right
Pessimistic as he may be, Mr. Krause still knows how to hit a homerun. 
This has never been more evident than in his simple line:
“you should all know that god is dead and the devil has won.” 
Referencing the Ghostbusters alongside Colbert and Nietzsche
was just icing on the existentialist cake.

2nd Runner Up:
A-Rod at the Plate
If you ever feel like pissing Allen off, mention any one of these
things with high praise: Notre Dame, Glenn Beck, the Yankees, Bud
Selig… but if you really want to get him in a tizz, you should talk
up Alex Rodriguez.  Still, unlike most folks, Al has a savvy way of
chiding fallen poster-boys.  This parody of Casey at the Bat is, in a
word, brilliant.

1st Runner Up:

RSBS Presents: Your Health
Hi-effing-larious.  Dude.  Seriously.

And the number one Allen Krause penned piece of the year is…

A Magical Mystery Tour (Part 1 & Part 2)


This sultry trip through PED-opolis, Politicotopia and Pujols-ville may
have been a sneaky way of insulting my obsessions and undermining my
sexual orientation (Jesus Christ, I’m not GAY! I like chicks! YOU
UNDERSTAND?!?!)… but the idea of there even being a
Pujols-ville where Albert hangs out in a kiddie pool full of tapioca is
oddly titillating enough to make this my favorite (albeit two-parted)
post of the year.  I hope that doesn’t make me a sicko.

And with that, my good pal Al and I would like to thank you, dear
readers, for making 2009 a fantastic experience.  This community is all
about like-minded baseball lovers; and it wouldn’t be any fun with out
the tethered creativity of Princes, She-Fans, Ranters, Deconstructors,
Phanatics, Renegades and everyone else in between.

Much success to all of us in 2010!

Now, go get drunk!

Peace,

Jeff

**Please drink responsibly… y’know… don’t drive drunk… or kill anyone… or I’ll kick your ^ss**

2009: A Year in Review (Pt I)

RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgIt’s hard to know where to begin in a year that saw both halves of RSBS turn 30. 30? I was supposed to be a multi-millionaire by now. What happened with that?

But that doesn’t mean it was all bad. Jeff came to visit me in DC and we wound up with high roller seats at a Nationals game. Or should I say Natinals? And I also made it to Chicago to film the immediately iconic video, “Crush,” with Jeff. By the time October rolled around and the Tigers came within a game of making the playoffs, it felt like a pretty full year.

As Dickens said, “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.” And it sure was. The blog, just like our personal lives, had its fair share of ups and downs. Being the guy that he is, Jeff especially liked to catch people when they were down and give ‘em one more kick, just to help them stay down. Don’t believe me? Ask Milton Bradley, Brad Lidge or the entire Cubs organization.

However, this is the time of year when we spend some time celebrating the ups. And what better way to celebrate than by breaking down my favorite Jeffery Lung authored posts in list format?

2nd Honorable Mention:

Blocked by Barry

Jeff loves the interwebs and this love led to many memorable moments brought to us by Google and Coco Crisp. But if there was one internet interlude that could be defined as the paragon, it had to have been when Jeff was blocked from Barry Zito’s Twitter account by…..Barry Zito!

Honorable Mention:

The Modern Era All-Corrupt Baseball-Politico Team

Although Chicago has never lacked political corruption scandals, Rod Blagojevich may have set a new standard for brazenness. Or maybe you thought he did until this year’s team of All-Star corrupt politicos was unveiled. Sure, he’s brazen. But is he Marion Barry brazen?

2nd Runner Up:

All-Starred Out

Moving from All-Corrupt to All-Star, RSBS was lucky enough this year to have a presence at the All-Star Game played in St. Louis. Jeff may not have come through on his bet to get a date with Erin Andrews but he more than made up for it in pictures. Especially pictures of his porn-stache.

1st Runner Up:

What Joe Carter Taught My Dad About His Son

Some people may question other people’s love of baseball. But after reading this entry, you’ll never question Jeff’s. Even if it does sometimes lead to weird quasi-international incidents, we now know that there’s one thing that can bring a boy and his father or Americans and Canadians together and his name is Joe Carter.

And the Winner is……:

RSBS TV: “Jesus Hates the Cubs”

Could it really have been anything else? The sheer audacity of suggesting that the messiah/prophet/best-selling author has it in for Chicago’s lovable losers re-cemented Jeff’s status as one of the pre-eminent Cubs haters in the country. And the fact that Jesus showed up for the shoot just proves the thesis.

So, that’s about it for another year here at RSBS. It’s cold now but pitchers and catchers will be reporting soon and we’ll be there to welcome them back.

A

A Triumvirate of Candidates to Succeed King Bud

lenin mickey mouse jesus.jpgBy now everyone knows that the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball will get a fresh face in 2012 (conveniently, that is the year we’re all gonna die anyway).  But just in case those thousand year old destruction theories are not accurate, let us start to think about who might be able to save baseball from another passive, tyrannical reign after King Bud Selig has gone fishing.  Because as my oft cantankerous colleague, Mr. Krause, points out, King Bud dropped the ball.

To me, there are only three viable candidates.  They are presented here (above right).  In bronze.  I think.

Two of them are dead and one of them is forever young (albeit in 2-D).

Verily, they would all be adequate replacements at the top of the grandest game on earth.

- – -

Candidate #1:
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Bolshevik Leader, Marxist, Revolutionary, Head of State

What’s wrong, Matt Holliday?  Five years guaranteed at $16 million ain’t enough?  Fine then.  Mr. Holliday, you’ll be making the same salary as Wilson Betemit… if Wilson even has a job.  Luxury tax?  There ain’t no luxury tax.  Proposed salary cap?  Yeah, propose this: everybody makes the same amount of money.  No matter what.  You don’t like it?  Then die.  Die.  Just die!

- – -

Candidate #2:
Mickey Mouse
Talking Rodent, Steamboat Captain, World Icon, Clubhouse Leader

Woo-hoo!  Baseball!  Woo-hoo!  Baseball!  Woo-hoo!  Pine tar!

- – -

Candidate #3:
thumbs up jesus.jpgJesus of Nazareth
Son of “God”, Hipster, Smooth-Talker, a.k.a. The Christ

What shall it profit a man if he gains the homerun record but loses his soul to ‘roids?  For everyone who refrains from untucking his shirt after winning a game (talkin’ to you, Brewers) himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  I say, I’ve fed his sheep. Now I’ll tend to them, … tend to my sheep.

- – -

Tend… these… sheep.  Somebody.  King Bud didn’t do a great job at tending his sheep.  Somebody.  Somebody just tend these goddamn sheep!

Please.

And while you’re at it, don’t hate me.

‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Top image courtesy of Transgressor)

Waffle House

Belgian_Waffles.JPGAfter spending the last three days in Brussels, it isn’t a stretch to say I have waffles on the brain. Frites and moules, too, of course, but mainly waffles. I mean, if you can’t get a good waffle in Belgium, where can you find one?

Well, after further consideration of that question, there are two answers that pop into my head. Major League Baseball and American politics. Let’s start with politics.

Of course we all remember the 2004 election and John Kerry’s famous non-answers that led to his being described as a waffler. I’m no fan of George Bush but right or wrong or just plain misguided, at least the guy could give you an answer. Kerry was so far inside his own head he practically turned inside out.

And even more recently, Joe Lieberman seems to have taken up the mantle with his seeming indecision on the necessity of a “public option” in the health care bill. Despite proposing a de facto public option in the past, he said he couldn’t vote for the bill this time around with the plan in it. Of course he attempted to parse his words in true Clintonian fashion but at the end of the day we all saw him for what he was. A waffler.

Those two guys don’t have anything on Bud Selig, though. He has been getting away with murder on his watch. Like a modern-day Nero, he’s fiddling (or waffling) as MLB is burning. The whole PED debate? It never should have been a debate. If MLB under Selig’s not-so-watchful eye had simply instituted a testing program similar to what other pro sports were doing, there’s no way that guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa would have ever gotten away with their shenanigans. And more than that, we wouldn’t have to argue about the inclusion of asterisks in the record book.

Here’s what it all comes down to. Waffles may be delicious, especially when topped with whipped cream, strawberries and hot chocolate sauce, but they aren’t so great when they affect our lives and the things we care about. I’m pretty sure even a Belgian could agree to that.

-A

Merry Hanukkha, Happy Christmas… and All That

santa smoking.jpgThe RSBS interns are off playing with their tax-payer purchased stocking stuffers (hookers presumably), the hot stove has cooled to a Holliday simmer (would ya just make up your friggin’ mind) and sleigh bells are ring-ring-jinglin’ like the fat pockets of China’s national treasury

So, my uber-nefarious colleague Mr. Krause and I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday — whatever that means to you.

To me, it means once again pondering that age old question: Is the universe expanding?  Or contracting?

Okay, so that’s two questions.

In any case, it’s beer thirty… for at least 48 hours in a row, so Al and I are gonna carpe diem by taking a couple days off.  Hopefully when we get back we’ll both have some great holiday stories to share that don’t involve waking up with no shoes under an overpass five miles off the Vegas strip with 35 cents in my pocket, a raging headache, blurred vision and a My Little Pony tattoo on my inner thigh.

Jeff and Allen are cool.jpgHappy Holidays!

Jeff & Allen

Hey Pittsburgh, India Worked for Jingle Bells

rinku and dinesh.jpgNo offense, Buccos, but Akinori Iwamura (as decent a middle infielder as he is) isn’t quite the fella you build a franchise around.  Octavio Dotel?  Please.  And while the Yankees and Red Sox use their loud coin purses to court free agent princes yearning for a shot at a crown, the lowly Pirates do… well, they do nothing.

Chris Bootcheck, Vinnie Chulk, Tyler Yates…

Uh, okay. 

So, I know it’s early and all, but if I were self-loathing enough to be a Pirates fan, I’d at least want to know that there will be something interesting to see at the ballpark in 2010 — an aged veteran past his prime… a blockbuster trade for a superstar player… those two Indian dudes named Rinku and Dinesh.

Yes, I think I’d take the two Indian dudes.

Because if Indian culture can do half as much for the Pittsburgh Pirates as it did for Jingle Bells, then the Steelers and Penguins better move on over, ‘cuz Title Town just became Pittsburghgoa.

Jeen-guh-luh-bale-HEY!

Hate me ‘cuz you got that song stuck in your head now, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Vid link from BuzzFeed)

Before I go….

santa_reaction.jpgThe days leading up to Christmas aren’t all that different than the days leading up to the start of the baseball season. There’s a lot of anticipation, a lot of expectation but no matter whether you approach it calmly or with your hair on fire, you don’t have a whole lot of control over it. It’s best just to sit back and enjoy the ride.

And speaking of rides, I’m going to be heading out of here in a couple hours for a little vacation which means Jeff is going to be manning RSBS all alone. Not that this is anything out of the ordinary. Now, I’m sure everyone will be kind to him but just remember, Santa travels fast enough to go backwards in time so if you aren’t nice, there’s a good chance a fat man in a red suit will be arriving at your door and punching you in the face for something you did in the future.

Either that or Uncle John just got schnockered on eggnog again and still thinks you’re responsible for driving his Winnebago into that abandoned quarry three Christmases ago. Sheesh, Uncle John. Lighten up already. It’s not like you didn’t have insurance. And how was I supposed to know cousin Ned was napping in the back?

Anywho, thanks for sticking with us this year. We have a couple nice year-end surprises waiting for you so make sure you check back after you’re done stuffing yourself with Christmas goose. And although it goes without saying, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

-A

Credit:
-Photo courtesy of Skull Swap

Dan “The Sac” Plesac on Darren Oliver = WIN

dan plesac.jpgNo, no, no.  Not on him, sicko.  I mean, Dan Plesac talking about Darren Oliver and his new job equals WIN (how’s my hip internet lingo? pretty good? is this thing on?).

Dear readers galore already know that if I’m in front of a television, I’m in front of the MLB Network.  And after news broke of journeyman southpaw Darren Oliver signing with the Texas Rangers, the Network crew went to work on the analysis.

Most of the guys were scratching their heads at this move but nobody quite summed it up as adroitly as “The Sac”:

“Darren Oliver… I like this move… is he a great starting pitcher?  No.  Is he a great reliever?  No.  But I like what they’re doing…”

Thank you, Dan Plesac.

You… are… AWEsome.  Like, y’know, you’re full of some awe. 

And I ain’t kiddin’. 

Which just proves my longstanding point that you can take the Darren Oliver out of the Texas Rangers, but ya can’t take the Texas Ranger out of Darren Oliver.

And that is on the internets so it is fact.  Therefore, don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A Miracle on Capitol Hill

nancy_mrT.jpgWhile the east coast continues to dig out from the 20 inches of snow that fell over the weekend, Congress is doing its part by expelling as much hot air as possible to aid in the recovery. This isn’t exactly something new for our esteemed parliamentarians but debates like this ongoing health care discussion seem to bring out even more bloviation than usual.

The worst part is that we all know it’s just a dog and pony show since the bill is going to pass once Joe Lieberman finishes lobotomizing it. And when it’s all said and done, it will be up to President Obama to gloss over the facts and say that this lump of coal given him by a Congress all dressed up in a Santa suit is exactly what he had on his Christmas list.

If it was me sitting on this pseudo-Santa’s lap, I’d turn and punch him right in the face. This isn’t Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street replacing a drunk Santa Claus and making a little girl believe in Christmas. This is Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa getting drunk, pissing himself and all but sodomizing little children. Come to think of it, that’s not too far off the mark when it comes to describing Congress anyway.

So, how about it ladies and gents of the Congress? This could be our Christmas miracle. America wants it, you can make it happen and more than that, wouldn’t it be nice to give your constituents some sort of assurance that if they get sick, they will be taken care of? Too bad that instead you seem hell-bent on making the same kind of joke out of health care that Nancy Reagan made out of drugs.

-A

Having Fun with Pete LaCock

pete lacock.jpgA few days ago I was at a Christmas party thrown by a client of my employer, and just like at any other social event, I tried to curb my baseball talk as much as I could because, well, not everyone is as enthusiastic about baseball as I.  Some people even think I’m a weirdo.

Whatever.

But then I got to talking to a high school kid — a kid who has drawn attention in the Chicago area for perhaps having what it takes to someday get to the big leagues — and before long we were discussing the finer points of pitching.  Like the Cardinalphile that I am, I had no choice but to reference the gutsiness of one Bob Gibson.

“Who?” the kid asked.

It took a lot out of me to not deck this kid in the face for not knowing who Bob Gibson was, but I took a deep breath and decided to educate him on the Hall of Famer the best I could: by telling a story.

“By 1975, Gibson had already lost much of what made him the baddest, scariest, most dominating pitcher in the National League, but he still had guts.  Still had pride. 

“The last batter he ever faced in the big leagues was a pinch hitter by the name of Pete LaCock.  The Cardinals were playing the Cubs and LaCock came in with the bases loaded.

“LaCock hit a grand slam.

“Years later, in an old timer game, Gibson is on the mound and guess who comes to the plate to face him.  Yep.  Good ‘ol Pete LaCock.

“Gibson drilled him in the back.”

I finished my story and looked at the kid, waiting to see what kind of reaction I’d get, knowing that I had just hit a homerun in conveying what kind of bad^ss Gibson really was.

But the kid was laughing — a snicker at first, then a chuckle, then an all out cackle.

“What?” I asked.  “What’s so funny?”

“Dude,” said the kid, “That guy’s name was LaCock?!  LaCock!  Hahaha!  LaCOCK!”

Gotta admit: I snorted a little when I joined in the laughter. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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