May 2010

That’s Kwame!

kwame_kilpatrick.jpgThe best thing about being from Michigan is that you never know what’s coming next and, as a result, you always have something to look forward to.  Michigan football goes down the crapper but Michigan State basketball makes two impressive and improbable runs in successive years.  The Lions are consistently terrible but the Red Wings are consistently good.  The Pistons miss the playoffs after a terrible season but the Tigers are quietly putting together a decent season on the backs of a bunch of young guys.

And if there’s one guy who personifies the ups and downs of the state, it’s former Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.  The guy just goes from one extreme to the other.

Detroit may not be the city it used to be but you still have to have some clout to become mayor.  Believing that same clout will then keep you out of trouble for cheating on your wife?  That’s Kwame.

Losing your job but then managing to avoid jail and landing a plum job that requires nothing but showing up to work makes for an impressive second act.  Pissing off the court by violating probation and getting yourself thrown in jail for five years?  That’s Kwame.

And who knows what comes next?  We could hope for economic recovery but that’s so blase.  Me, I want to see the former mayor flee to Canada and become a grizzly bear wrestling champion under an assumed name.  The Michigan Wolverine.  That’s Kwame.

-A

The Filibuster

You guys seem to have an opinion on most everything.  So tell me, what
do you think about the Reds, the Rays and the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico?  Any chance they’re related?

Evan
Sandusky, OH
____________________________________


Us?  Have an opinion?  Ya don’t say!  Shall we?

dusty baker reds.jpgSubject: The Cincinnati Reds
Like oil spills, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Does a team led by a professional arm-killer who says “dude” way too often despite his old age have what it takes to stay in contention all year long?  Probably.  I mean, Dusty Baker has done it before.  But just like before, this team too will eventually find a way to sink back down towards expectations.  Let’s face it: the only reason the Reds are atop the Central Division right now is because the Cardinals are faltering… but they won’t for long.
Opinion: Overrated, destined to fail, not worth your time

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgSubject: The Tampa Bay Rays
Gee whiz!  If ever there were a case for the evangelical loonies to get involved with Major League Baseball (not counting Josh “I love Jesus when he lets me do body shots” Hamilton) then this rise to the top for the Tampa Bay Rays is certainly it.  Who knew that the only key to success for this once hapless franchise was to remove the word “devil” from their name?  Any guesses for when the Yankees will try to follow suit by removing “New York” from theirs? 
Opinion: Playoff Bound

chase utley oily hair.jpgSubject: BP Oil Spill
Like the Cincinnati Reds, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Oh… wait, did I already use that line?  That must’ve been Johnnie Walker talking.  Unfortunately, no amount of whisky will make this terrible accident and its disastrous effects go away anytime soon.  Not since Chase Utley last removed his cap has the planet been exposed to such oil laden horrors; I expect clean-up efforts will require immense patience, determination and confidence… which, coincidentally, is also the recipe for surviving a summer in Philadelphia.  Not everyone makes it out alive.
Opinion: This really sucks

Now… are they related you ask?

In as much as these events and situations are all taking place on the planet earth, in the month of May, two years before our imminent destruction predicted by the Mayans… yes, they are related.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much. 

So 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. 

***A lock from Jayson Werth’s now shaven beard also welcome… Al is weird like that.


When You’re Having Trouble Scoring

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 Seattle Mariners!

Let’s see, he’s about 1 for 7 and even the 1 was kind of a bloop.  Yep, definitely on par with the Mariners.

Happy Saturday!

-A

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Coming to Terms with the sCrUBS

hot cubs chick 3.jpgAs a Cardinals fan living in the Chi, the baseball season never really begins for me until St. Louis comes to town and I get my first taste of blood as I camp out at Wrigley for a weekend.  Black eyes, sprained ankles, hoarse voice… all welcome reminders of just how deep (and serious) this rivalry can be.

But the older I get, the clearer I see, which is why I can say with brutal honesty that the Chicago Cubs are the absolute best rival a fan could ask for.

Yep.  That’s right.  They’re the best.  Because they don’t… win… championships.

Think about it.  Yankees fans, remember how awful you felt when the Red Sox overcame in 2004?  And what about having to watch Papelbon’s antics during the 2007 run?  Reverse that and imagine the utter malcontent suffered by the Red Sox for eons while the Yankees ran up the World Series trophy count.

Giants fans must’ve been sick watching Kirk Gibson’s shot in 1988.  And likewise, those Dodgers fans who saw Willie Mays’ catch seal the deal in 1954 couldn’t have been too happy.

hot cubs chick 2.jpgAnd don’t even get me started on the Mets/Phillies rivalry.  Talk about carnage… wow.

But we Cardinals fans… seriously, what the hell do we have to be sick about?  We have the best player in baseball, we have arguably the best manager in baseball, and our arch rivals haven’t won jack scheisse in over 100 years.

With that in mind, as I prepare for the annual battle that is Cubs v. Cards, this year I’m gonna focus on the fact that this rivalry is a lame duck rivalry — that I can be confident my team will be better.  Therefore I am going to focus on the visual pleasantries that (surprisingly) can be found in abundance at the Friendly Confines.

Y’feel me?

Good.

Now, wish me luck.

Hate me ‘cuz I try to see all the angles, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

– - -
Also…

Make sure you check out the all-new, all-awesome RSBS
Podcast
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via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

The Anti Captain Planet

Rima_Fakih.jpgIf the right-wing blogosphere is to be believed, America is about to fall into the hands of Islamo-fascist terrorists who will forever alter our country and turn it into a new Islamic theocratic outpost.  How do they know this?  Because an Arab-American just won Miss USA.

I’m still a little unclear but the theory goes something like this.  It all starts at the top with Barack Obama who is a secret Muslim.  There’s a small disconnect here but then we pick up the next strand which is that Hizballah and other groups secretly bankrolled the campaign of Rima Fakih and rigged the voting so she could become Miss USA.  And I guess that with their combined powers, Obama and Fakih will form some sort of anti-Captain Planet.

Yeah, there really does seem to be something missing there.  Maybe the point is that a Muslim Miss USA will make other little girls think that they should be Muslim too?  Or maybe she’s the Manchurian contestant and at some point we’re going to find out that someone else is pulling the strings and using her immense powers to their own benefit?

Or perhaps the crazies have just missed the boat once again and need to get off their nativist high horses.  Yep, she’s a Muslim.  But, she also poses onstage in a bikini.  Sounds like she takes her religion about as seriously as Carrie Prejean.  As I’ve mentioned before, Islam is no more a monolithic religion than is Christianity so the only thing this really shows is that there are degrees of adherence.

Me, I think it’s great she won.  First off, it’s great to have people talk about Islam because of something other than terrorism.  And second, she’s from Michigan.  This state needs something good.  And if you take another look at her picture, I think you’ll agree that she is very good.  Hm, I wonder if she’d want to hit a Tigers’ game with me?

-A

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Make sure you check out the all-new, all-awesome RSBS Podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast by clicking *HERE*

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via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 1: Hanley’s Lollipop… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo.jpg

Click me to listen!!!

The virgin voyage, y’all!

Okay, so you knew this was gonna happen eventually… just enjoy it.  We did!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff introduces Chicago rock phenom and avid Cubs fan, Johanna Mahmud to the RSBS family.   When not front-manning the intoxicating alt-rock group, Meqqa, Johanna manages to drink Jeff’s beer and fantasize about a team made up of twenty-five Alfonso Sorianos.  Okay.  That second part may be a lie… but this part ain’t: when these two guys start talkin’ baseball, it’s all fun and games.  Among the topics of discussion: Roy Oswalt’s bulldozer, Lou Piniella’s preggers look, the Brendan Ryan pornostache hysteria, Hanley’s lollipop and much, much more.

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

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*Special thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and all-around sound guru.  He always knows where Ryne Sandberg is.  Always.

For more on Meqqa, please visit their website *CLICK ME!*

Recorded Saturday, May 22, 2010

To the Victor, the Spoils

the_victor.jpgHistory is written by the victors and sometimes those victors feel the need to clean up mistakes.  That’s why 2006 isn’t known as the year that the Tigers finally turned it around from an embarrassing 119 loss season a couple years earlier.  Instead, it’s the year that a mediocre Cardinals team managed to slip into the playoffs and then finally put the pieces together.

The results of a baseball season are pretty small potatoes, though, when it comes to comparison with the mother lode.  The struggle to rewrite American history is an ongoing battle and one that has been going rather poorly lately for those of us who are fans of this separation of church and state idea.

There are two sides in this argument.  One side says that despite the Constitution’s lack of any mention of god, the founders actually meant for America to be a theocracy.  On the other hand are those who argue that the founding fathers were actually a bunch of Masonic heathens who had followed Nietzsche to the abyss and seen for themselves that god was dead.  The truth, as it usually does, lies somewhere in between.

As different forces grow in power, they rewrite texts so their side gets to tell the story their way.  The current conflict in Texas is only an example, even if it is one of the more important reminders due to the state’s influence on the entire education market.

But, that’s how the game is played.  There’s a reason the official name of the our country’s most brutal conflict is the Civil War and not the War of Northern Aggression.  The victor gets the right to call things as they will.  However, that doesn’t mean I won’t still claim that the real story of 2006 was the Tigers’ climb back from infamy.

-A

Hey, Baseball Gods, WTF Did You Do to the White Sox?

white sox crypt.jpgThey’re dead.
They even suck at playing the keyboards.

Frankly, they’re stinkin’ up the joint.

So don’t hate me.

‘Cuz I’m right.

And seriously, I don’t know how to explain the early season abomination that is the Chicago White Sox except to say: they aren’t who we thought they were.

Yet.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

It’s that time of year again. Interleague play. I seem to remember you
guys aren’t big fans of it. Is that still true?

Matt
Trenton,
NJ

____________________________________

Evil_Eye.jpgInterleague play is a weird phenomenon but after surviving more than a decade, I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s here to stay.  And this is probably a good thing.

Jeff is the hardcore traditionalist out of the two of us.  He still makes the sign of the cross and spits to ward off the evil eye whenever he hears the words “Live Ball Era.”  Me, I’m a realist.  Maybe interleague play belongs only to the World Series but baseball survives because people are willing to spend money on coming to games.  And the reason they come to games is to be entertained.

Let’s face it, interleague play is entertaining.  Outside of the artificial milieu of the All-Star game, it’s our only chance to see how the two leagues match up against each other.  It allows for natural rivalries that we probably wouldn’t get to see otherwise.  When is the next time the Reds and Indians are going to face each other in a World Series?  Yeah, not freakin’ likely.

Like I said earlier, baseball runs on money and interleague play definitely makes money.  There are special jerseys, commemorative bric-a-brac and god knows what else to go along with these series.  Add in all the hype from places like ESPN who are practically falling over themselves to broadcast the Mets and Yankees and you have the recipe for some serious dough. 

So I say keep it coming.  Sure, it takes away from important divisional games and maybe it distorts the full effect of the World Series.  But it also pays for the Nationals to put in Ben’s Chili Bowl at their ballpark and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

-A

“But I Don’t Wanna Be a LOLstro… Waa Waa Waa”

roy oswalt houston.jpgYeah, Roy, I don’t blame ya.  You get no run support.  Your team owner has laughable baseball sense.  Ed Wade is but a slave to the errant desires of said laughable baseball sense.  Yeah.  I wouldn’t wanna be a LOLstro either.  But if I were in your position, you sure wouldn’t hear me cryin’ about it.

Believe that.

Unlike Roy Halladay’s situation of a year ago, when he quietly went to his GM requesting a trade — a request that the Blue Jays inherently blew out of proportion and blabbed to the media thus causing a tailspin of rumors that hurt everyone involved — Roy Oswalt’s recent proclamation via his agent to the press is more than just a bit off-putting.

Look, I know I have the reputation of bein’ old school.  I don’t like interleague.  I don’t like the DH.  I don’t like players wearing the long pants.  And in this case, I don’t like prima donna pitchers placing themselves above all others (even if performance warrants some discretionary leeway).

On the sandlots of Quincy, IL, if you took your ball and went home, we didn’t give a sh!t.  We just got a new ball.  We didn’t have time for whining, complaining, crying.  And if you tried to come back and cause problems, you might go home with a few less teeth… and no ball.

Do you think Bob Gibson would ever cry to the media about being on a losing team?  Koufax?  Seaver?  Hell, even recent phenoms like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez.  Those men were men.  Okay.  Your team isn’t playing well.  It happens.  Deal with it.  You’re making millions of dollars playing the greatest game in the land, you’re the envy of every 30-something sitting behind a desk (me), and all you want to do is complain about it?

I understand that it sucks playing for a losing team… that being in an organization as backwards as the Astros have been the last few years must take a damaging toll on one’s psyche… but to b^tch and complain about it to the press rather than take it behind closed doors like a respectable ballplayer… that just rubs me the wrong way…. it even causes me to be lazy and use tired cliches (see this run-on sentence).

Take your ball and go home, Roy. 

Unless you want to sign with the Cardinals, then, by all means, come on over, grab a jersey and let’s go.  I’ll even give ya a hug!

Hate me ‘cuz I’m old-school, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

P.S. Rumor has it the Cubs have an eye on Oswalt… to bring him in and make him a set-up man.

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