February 2010

The Filibuster

Is baseball becoming a small man’s game?  Frank Thomas is retired,
Jermaine Dye can’t find a new home.  Even Ryan Howard didn’t seem to be
quite the same dynamo last season as he was the year before.  Joe
Mauer and Albert Pujols, while not necessarily small, definitely
aren’t monsters like McGwire and Bonds.  And let’s not forget Dustin
Pedroia’s MVP win from a year ago.  With all the focus on multi-tooled
players, is there still a place for a big man with a big stick?

-Levi J.
Peru, IN
____________________________________

ryan howard pimpin.jpgBelieve me, dear readers, when I put an entire year’s salary on the table and bet on the fact that from now until the end of time, in this grand game of ours there will always be a place for a big man with a big stick.

(That’s what she said.)

That and I will obviously continue to have the self-restraint of a 14 year old.

But that doesn’t matter.

Sure, the game changes.  It morphs to suit the times, needs.  In the nineteen-aughts the emphasis was on the fundamentals — moving the runner over, taking the ball the other way, sliding cleats up.  The Ruthian era saw the longball gain importance.  The 60s saw pitching dominate.  The game of the 80s stressed the need for speed.  The steroid era killed all of that, making it easy for old, overweight has-beens to resuscitate their careers while inflating the record books at the same time, thus exaggerating the homerun to cult status.

And now, after all of that, indeed we are seeing another theme take form and that theme is: athleticism.  Five tooled players are the hottest commodity.  Weight consciousness abounds.  The current goal is to be well-rounded and excel at every part of the job.  The more a player can do, the more valuable he becomes and we are experiencing a real shift in the athletic zeitgeist of Major League Baseball. 

What a wonderful thing! 

Instead of waiting for the juiced-up meat-head to play the 3-run homer waiting game, now we get to see hitters expand the strike zone and hit to all fields.  The running game is in renaissance and we get to experience the art of the steal, which in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful facets of any baseball game.  And now managers manage more: hit and runs, double steals, sacrifice bunts.  They’re all results from this new found shift towards athleticism.

Baseball is rewarding itself with pure, stealth athletes.

Yet fear not, homer lovers, for the game will always need its big men.  The premier archetype, George Herman Ruth, made baseball what it is today; and without that powerful mystique and consistent threat from the “slugger”, baseball would not remain as our US American pastime. 

So while the bones of the league may shift more towards athleticism and overall skill, I assure you that there will always be room for Dave Kingman and Frank Thomas and Ryan Howard. 

Like they say all over the internets, chicks certainly do dig the long ball.

And contrary to everything you know, chicks run the universe.

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. 

***Photo collages of Tiffani Amber Thiessen circa 1992-1996 also welcome.

The RSBS Digest: Clothing

As baseball season quickly approaches, we turn to an oft forgotten topic: appropriate dress for a baseball game.  We all know how hard it is to pick the right clothes early on in the season when temperatures might range 30 degrees over the course of a game.  Even when it gets really hot out, decorum still insists on a certain minimum level of covering.  That’s why RSBS always encourages layering.

However, sometimes people refuse to heed warnings and find themselves in very uncomfortable predicaments.  Although the situation presented in this video may not be entirely applicable to baseball spectatorship, it’s an important reminder that wearing the right clothing can save you a load of mental and physical discomfort later on.

No need to thank us.  We’re just doing our job.

Happy Saturday!

-A

They Said the Same Thing When the Expos Left

canada health care.jpg
And boy, you showed ‘em who’s boss, right, Washington?!?!?

Happy “Health-Care-Less” Friday!

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of BuzzFeed)

Black Hole Happenings

black hole.jpgOver the last few days and the last couple blog posts I became worried about my friend, Jeff.  No matter how I tried to reason with him, it seemed as though my proffered logic went in his ears but nothing coherent came back out.  I couldn’t understand why all I heard was a pulsating message, “The Tigers will lose.”

However, I had some time to ponder these events today and I realized that I needed to think bigger than just some perceived personal slight.  And as I started to assemble the pieces a horrible truth slowly dawned on me.  Jeff’s head has turned into a black hole.

It all makes sense.  All those hours watching the MLB Network.  All those baseball statistics.  The Cardinals 2006 World Series win.  As all of these elements slowly expanded Jeff’s head, it was inevitable that a point of no return would come and the laws of physics would demand a reckoning.  That day has come.  Maybe it was a reanalysis of the Cardinals probable opening day pitching rotation.  Maybe it was a second look at last year’s AL Central standings followed by a reassessment of this year’s predictions.  Whatever it was, it was the final straw and with it, Jeff’s head began to collapse inward on itself.

Black holes are dangerous things, people, and I only bring this to you because I care about Jeff and don’t want him to hurt anyone.  Just remember, if you hear him saying irrational things and read more of his illogical arguments, it is not Jeff the man doing it.  It’s Jeff the black hole.  And, as we all know, what happens in a black hole SHOULD stay in a black hole.  Apparently this one has wi-fi in it, though.

-A

Credit:
-Image via Skull Swap

Trickery Generally Comes with a Smile

allen krause inauguration day.jpgBefore you put all your faith in that pretty little sheep who wants to walk you home, perhaps you should ask for a closer look at its teeth… ‘cuz they might just eat you… as may the fledgling accusations of my vitriolic and oft misguided colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, who yesterday painted me as the type of man who joyously spreads inaccurate information throughout the interwebs, with no regard for reason.

Well, phooey, ‘cuz that’s a load of crap and everyone knows it.

Believe me, I spent almost 15 minutes researching the many reasons why the 2010 Tigers are more than set to stink up the AL Central.  If Mr. Krause cannot accept the brutal truth because he is blinded by his unmatched loyalty to the stylized “D”, then that is on him.

But I don’t think it’s fair to twist words and trick the masses as he did with this proclamation which aimed to maim my original point:

“Are the Tigers worse off than the White Sox, Indians, Royals or even the Twins?  No.”

Ah ha!  Did you catch that?  He asked (then answered in the negative) if the Tigers were worse off than all of the other teams in the division.  While in actuality, we all know it only takes one or two teams to be better than the Tigers to see their season sunk; and I assure you, dear readers, the White Sox and Twins will both rest well on top of the Tigers this season.

Come on now, Al, did you really think I’d let you get away with that?

Such lame and smile-stamped trickery is reminiscent of one Bill O’Reilly announcing to the world that he is writing a new book on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln — a fresh history book that will take the reader “into Ford’s Theater and into the mind of Lincoln’s assassin, John
Wilkes Booth, and on the manhunt to find and bring to justice the
killer of one our greatest presidents.”

Of course, in the same misleading vein as Mr. Krause above, Mr. O’Reilly fails to remind us that that book has already been written… quite well actually… by James L. Swanson.

I imagine O’Reilly could only muck it up.

Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Amazing Prophet Jeffery

prophet_joseph.jpgJust because something gets printed doesn’t mean it’s true.  And that’s a good thing, when you stop and think about it.  Some of what you come across on the internet is just plain crazy.  I’m no fan of Bush but insinuating that he was partially behind the 9/11 attacks?  That’s stupid.

However, there are also less bombastic claims that are nevertheless just as ridiculous.  For instance, my friend Mr. Lung has explained exactly why it is that the Tigers will fail this upcoming baseball season.  And he does make some good points.  But making a prediction like that at this point makes no sense.  Are the Tigers worse off than the White Sox, Indians, Royals or even the Twins?  No.  Are they a noticeably better or worse team than the one that went to the World Series in 2006?  No.  So how do you make a prediction like that?

This whole prognostication business is beyond silly.  Watching Mel Kiper play with his big board every year before the NFL draft really only leads to one logical conclusion.  With that hair and board, he’s obviously compensating for something else.  Listening to Glenn Beck talk about the failure of our monetary system and the need for his listeners and viewers to go out and buy up gold really only leads to one logical conclusion.  He obviously is holding a substantial position in the gold market.  And hearing Jeff lambaste the Tigers’ chances before training camp has really even started only leads to one logical conclusion.  He has no idea what he’s talking about and just wants to start a fight.

So, once again, I am forced to take the high road and refuse to yield to his illogical intimations.  We’ll let this play out the same way it has for more than 100 years: On the field.  If the Tigers’ pitchers throw like they did in ’06 and their hitters connect like they used to, we’ll do well.  If not, Jeff will claim he knew it all along.  That’s the beauty of making nonsensical predictions.  50% of the time you’re right all of the time.

-A

These Aren’t the Tigers You’re Looking For

fake tigers.jpgThe Detroit Tigers may have signed Johnny Damon, but I am here to remind all Ye Olde English “D” apologists: on this team you will find no Denny McLain.

On this team, there is no Al Kaline.  There is no Kirk Gibson.  No Jack Morris, no Trammell, no Whitaker.

Heck, this ain’t even the ultimately disappointing club that was supposed to win the 2006 World Series.  No, sir.  That squad is now but a bitter memory… and after a series of motor city slips and gaffes including but not limited to Jurrens for Renteria, the brutal rape of their farm system by the merciless Florida Marlins, and a handful of awful contracts best represented by Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis, the 2010 Detroit Tigers seem to be more of the weak, purring variety than anything else.

And now that fan favorite Curtis Granderson has been kicked out of the cage, finding fault with this Dave Dombrowski mess is a lot easier than it used to be.

You have Jim Leyland?  Yes, and you also have Jim Leyland cut off from nicotine.

You have athlete extraordinaire, Brandon Inge?  Yes, and you also have his strikeouts.

You have Johnny Damon?  Yes, but you overpaid… and did he come with his wheelchair?

I dunno.  It’s not like I hate the Tigers or anything.  I mean, I have nothing personal against Detroit save hearing about them ad nauseum via my cantankerous and oft negligent colleague Mr. Allen Krause; but that doesn’t affect my judgment.  I simply report the facts, interpreted in my own special way.

And that special way offers this declaration: the Tigers are in for a world of hurt in 2010.

But shhhh.  Don’t tell Al.  Or Johnny Damon. Or Detroiters, all three or four of them.

And whatever you do, please don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

PS. If you think I offer something like this just to p!ss off RSBS‘ other half, then you are absolutely correct… and almost as diabolically undercutting as I.

*fist bump*

The Filibuster

Hey guys! This offseason left a lot of older free agents without work.
Jermaine Dye still doesn’t have a job.  Joe Crede, Hank
Blalock and many others still don’t have jobs either. Would you blame
this on the poor economy or do you think there’s a stronger emphasis on
youth in today’s game? Nice to see the Filibuster come back!

Jared K.
Wentzville, MO


____________________________________

elway_autonation.jpgJermaine Dye doesn’t have a job?  Neither does Joe Crede or Hank Blalock?  You know what I have to say to that?  La di freakin’ da.  Who cares?  If they were worth anything, they’d have found a new team.  Cream always rises to the top and since they haven’t been skimmed off, well, I guess that tells all you need to know about them.

You want to hear about tragedy, I’ll give you tragedy.  Somehow RSBS is still not getting paid.  Yeah, the adoration of millions is nice and all but where’s the money?  However, even that’s nothing compared to the picture I’m about to paint for you.

Imagine a man, a man who has one thing in the world he truly loves.  And now imagine what happens to this man when that one thing is torn away from him.  Not only does this rending cause physical and psychological torture beyond all understanding, it also fundamentally alters the core of his being. 

Yes, I’m talking about the fact that Jim Leyland will not be allowed to smoke at Comerica Park.

Trust me, Jared, I’m as horrified at the thought as you are.  Leyland without a cigarette is like a Frenchman without a beret.  Exactly.  It boggles the mind.  It’s inconceivable.  It’s ludicrous.

Joe Crede without a job?  That’s just natural selection.  Good luck in baseball’s Darwinian afterlife, my friend.  Maybe you can do like Elway and open a car lot.

-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. 

***Your snarky comments regarding Elway in pleats also welcome.

That’s What “Z” Said!

michael scott.jpgSpring training is underway, folks, and that means it’s time for a Chicago Cub to say something outlandishly stupid!

In 2007, Carlos Zambrano predicted the Cubs would win the World Series.

They did not.

In 2008, Ryan Dempster predicted the Cubs would win the World Series.

They did not.

In 2009, Milton Bradley predicted the Cubs would win the World Series.

They did not.

So who will it be this year?  Will it be cockfighter extraordinaire Aramis Ramirez?  How about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Soto?  What about newcomer Marlon “Gee, I Hope the Bleacher Bums Don’t Give Me the” Byrd?  And what if everyone keeps their mouths shut?!?

Worry not, dear readers, for staff “ace” (I guess being fat, lazy and hot-headed constitutes as being an “ace” even if you only win nine games) Carlos Zambrano got a head start on the stupid train last September when he vowed he would retire after 2010 if he had yet another poor season.

Uh… yeah.  Okay.  And Alfonso Soriano can hit a breaking ball low and away. 

Something tells me that even if “Z” does have another poor season (and I sincerely hope he does), he still isn’t that stupid to leave a guaranteed $55 million on the table, to walk away from the game.
 
carlos zambrano crazy.jpgThen again, this is Carlos Zambrano we’re talking about. 

So hate me haters ‘cuz ya love to hate, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I”m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Valentine Continues

This week has become an ongoing ode to RSBS‘ love for the game of baseball.  And not wanting to be responsible for ending the lovefest, today we bring you something that belongs to bars from Queens to San Diego just as much as it does to the British bar where it’s set.  Punt away the soccer ball at the end, toss in a baseball and you’ll find it hard to disagree.

Happy Friday!

-A

Credit:
-Video via 9GAG

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