October 2010

The Non-Baseball Fan Guide to the Playoffs

Jeff and Allen have been very busy all season long and with the playoffs in full swing, they thought it might be nice to bring in some relief writers.  Today their friend from college, Jordan, gives us his take on the playoffs.
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Man, it really is great to see Tommy Lee out there thrilling the crowd again.  And this time instead of sticking it to Pam Anderson, he’s sticking it to the Yankees, picking up right where he left off last year.  I’m happy for the guy, though.  It’s a real achievement and hopefully it makes up for taking all that crap from Nikki Sixx for all those years.  And playing for the Mariners.  Now that’s a motley crew, right?  Right?

Meanwhile Henry Rollins found an ideal moment to get back into form.  Sure, he’s had a rough season and the last couple years weren’t the same with the injuries and all.  But hey, what do you expect when you go from fronting Black Flag to playing shortstop for the Phillies?

But the Phillies also made the bold move of picking up Matt Holliday and turning him into a pitcher.  It’s like the anti-Rick Ankiel.  Considering that first round no-hitter he threw, it appears the Phillies get the last laugh.  In all honesty, I didn’t see it coming either.

And of course the Yankees are loaded from top to bottom.  Is Roger Clemens still playing?  No?  Uh, ok.  Well, at least they still have Kung Fu Panda, Chien Ming Wang.  I think that’s his nickname.  He is Chinese after all.  Or is he Korean?  I always get them mixed up.

Anyway, the point is, I love the baseball playoffs and they’re even more exciting than usual this year with all these familiar names and faces in new places.  I’m still a little bummed that my Twins didn’t do better but really, they just haven’t been the same since Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek left.

-Jordan

Um… Okay, So Did You Want a Cookie?

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Tony LaRussa will be back at the Cardinals’ helm in 2011.

Great.

Seriously.

No, really.

I’m happy about that.  I’m just as happy about that as I am happy that I still have all my teeth.  And believe me, I like having all my teeth.

But I think I’m in the majority of Cardinals fans who really is over the glamour (if you can call it that) associated with Tony LaRussa.  Is he a fantastic manager?  Indeed.  Is he one of the best ever in the history of the game?  You bet.  But… Mr. LaRussa, what on earth have you done for me lately?

Not that much.  Unless, of course, you consider alienating our number one prospect doing something productive.

Look, y’all, it is not my intent to get all privileged and Yankeefied here, to whine about continued success and be an annoying voice of nag; because I know what it feels like to lose.  I’m not seeing this for something it’s not.  But let’s face it: a team that features both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the lineup and Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the starting rotation, must be in the playoffs.

Must.

MUST.

2011 is an all-in year for the Cards.  They better throw every dollar, every asset, every rosin bag in to winning the whole damn thing.

Anything less will be a complete failure — and probably the last of TLR’s tenure with St. Louis.

Believe that.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Attention They Don’t Deserve

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In all the furor that erupted over certain remarks the editors of RSBS made concerning the Evil Empire in the past couple weeks, other remarks made by public figures missed getting the attention they deserve.

For instance, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, Carl Paladino, ignited a not-so-small firestorm when he told a gathering that “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and
much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t
want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally
valid and successful option — it isn’t.”  Granted, this wasn’t quite as incendiary as what was omitted from the speech but it didn’t do much to help his popularity.  It also didn’t help that the only people who came to his defense were a whacky rabbi and Ann Coulter.  Not exactly expanding his base with those two.

Meanwhile in Belgium, he head of the country’s Catholic church described AIDS as “a sort of inherent justice.”  Really guy?  That line of argument didn’t play well for Falwell after 9/11 and it’s not like it has gotten any better since then:

You know what?  I think I’d rather just go back to talking about the Yankees.  At least there you can chalk up the crazy to fandom and blame any absence of logic on the eight dollar beers.  This is just sad.

-A

Too Late to Run for Governor?

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If I’m a Californian, I’m not too excited about the two gubernatorial choices jockeying for my November vote.  Jerry Brown?  More like Jerry Boring.  Meg Whitman?  Uh… you invented eBay, Meg, not the actual internet (Al Gore did that), so don’t be so proud of yourself.

To be honest, I don’t think most Californians even know there’s an impending gubernatorial race going on.  With so many distractions, like the Kardashians and Alex Smith and The Hills… when does one have time to care about politics?

You needn’t worry, California.  Your man — though barely known just a few weeks ago — is Cody Ross.

Trust me.

After being fed to the waiver wire in August, Ross was reluctantly picked up by the Giants; his timely bat and quiet confidence has since turned into the bargain of the year.

He banged one out against Derek Lowe to break up a no-hitter in the NLDS.

He banged TWO out against Roy Halladay in Game One of the NLCS.

He banged ANOTHER out against Roy Oswalt in Game Two of the NLCS.

That’s a lot of friggin’ bangin’…

And for a state that’s known to bang, I think Cody Ross should get a shot.

Hate me ‘cuz I think outside the box (and occasionally use tired cliches), just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

First Allen picks the Yankees to win it all, then Jeff becomes a “Yankee
fan”?!???  What’s in the RSBS kool-aid or is this just the
people-pleasing part of politics you’re following?

Ramon
Chicago, IL

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Whoa there, Ramon.  When you start talking all crazy like that, it sounds like somebody wants to be sedated.  The answer, like usual, comes down to a much simpler calculus.  For Jeff, he is a down-on-his-luck esort who regularly sells his services to the highest bidder.  In this case, he lost a challenge with Jane Heller and, as escorts do, he has to put out.  Nothing to be ashamed of.  It is the world’s oldest profession after all.

On my side the answer is even easier.  I’m a realist.  I don’t like the Yankees.  I don’t want them to win.  But when I sit down and do the math, the numbers say they win anyway.

I was having this argument with a coworker recently.  He’s a big Twins fan and took offense at my saying they weren’t a legitimate playoff team.  In fact, he wanted me to post a retraction.  But the sad fact of the matter is that while one or two guys off the Twins might be able to start for the Yankees, pretty much everyone in the Yankees’ lineup could have started for the Twins.  When you’re overmatched like that, it may be inspiring to go ahead and fight against the odds.  And who knows, you might even come out on top from time to time.  But those odds also say that you’re probably going to fail.

Here’s the straight truth, Ramone.  The Yankees have no reason not to win the World Series.  They have the most loaded team in baseball.  But I’d love to see them fail.  I’d love to be wrong.  I also would love to see the Lions go to the Superbowl for once but that’s not going to happen either.

So, politics aside, here’s a quick breakdown of what is happening at RSBS.  Allen understands reality, Jeff lost a challenge.  You can be sure that both of us are secretly (and not so secretly) cheering for whoever the Yankees are playing, though.

-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. 

***Photographic evidence of Jeff dressed up in what he likes to call “Jane Heller drag” always welcome.

RSBS Undercover: Jeff as a Yankees Fan, Day 5

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Oh, man, these last few days living the life of a bonafide Yankee fan have been some sort of trip!  Jeesh, the amount of work that goes into it… it’s just… staggering.

But overall, the sense of entitlement, inflated ego and blabbering-slandering mouth I’ve picked up have helped me transition.

Just to prove my ability, if you haven’t noticed, the Yankees still have 27 trophies.  Still have iconic pinstripes.  Still tout the achievements of the Babe.

Also,
we won Game 1 of the ALCS.  Ha!  Jesus may be on Josh Hamilton’s side,
but underneath that purple robe and thistle crown, Jesus flashes
pinstripes.  Believe that!

Of course, not everything about being a
Yankee fan is easy… which is why I want to share with you my biggest
test yet: enduring Suzyn Waldman.

Jeff as a Yankees Fan, DAY 5:

7:30 a.m.
My
Yankee posse overloads me with a heavy ear workout, forcing me to
listen to the worst broadcasters ever known: Chip Caray, Hawk Harrelson,
Joe Buck.  My coaches insist this is necessary.  I have to build up my
tolerance.  Because I won’t have the option of turning off the radio,
even though I will most certainly want to.

9:50 a.m.
My
ears, sore as can be, can’t take another minute of awful announcing…
so I am forced to endure a thousand papercuts on each lobe instead.

1:00 p.m.
It’s
lunch time.  I’m starving.  And instead of a good healthy meal full of
the necessary proteins and vitamins I will need before game time, I am
presented a platter of fatty, fried foods.  “What’s this?” I ask. 
“Standard pre-Yankee game meal, Jeff” says the chef. “We gotta get you
full of s*** so you fit in tonight.”

4:15 p.m.
I take a nap.  I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former Yankees and
the sons of former Red Sox will be able to sit down together at a
table of brotherhood and —– what the — damn, that was a stupid dream.

8:05 p.m.
Game time. I f****** HATE the Rangers.  Go Yankees!

8:06 p.m.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Suzyn Waldman’s voice… it’s… at
game time it’s even worse than… no… three more hours of… I gotta
listen to this crap for three more –

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!


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9:45 p.m.
Are we winning?  Are we losing?  I can’t stop my ears from bleeding.  Damn you, Suzyn Waldman. Damn you!!!

11:15 p.m.
It’s all over now.  It’s been over.  We won.  But wow… it was not
easy.  I never thought I’d say this, because I find him to be a perfect
example of everything that’s wrong with modern day broadcasting, but
thank the baseball gods for John Sterling…

Now, does anyone know a good ears, nose and throat guy?

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To be continued…

Something to Say

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We all have something to say.  The difference is in how and when we choose to say it. 

The nice thing about blogging is that we get to say it when we want to and, with the exception of a few words that our hosts choose to censor, we get to say what we want. 

The Freedom of Speech guaranteed under the Bill of Rights is arguably the most powerful right we have as Americans.  It’s the reason Orel Hershiser can thank god after winning a game and the reason why I can tell him that god doesn’t exist.  It’s the reason A-Rod and his agent can announce a contract extension during the middle of a World Series in which he isn’t playing and it’s also the reason why I can say that I think A-Rod and his agent are both worthless kangaroo placentas. 

Around this time of year the debate over what constitutes free speech ratchets up another level, though.  Political adversaries regularly find a way to push their constitutional freedoms to illogical extremes.  It’s not enough to say you disagree.  If you can’t figure out how to disagree and simultaneously accuse your opponent of raping and/or clubbing baby seals, you’re just not doing your job.

That’s why I choose to stand aside from name-calling and ad hominem attacks this post-season and political season.  I will not mention the Yankees’ illegal dog-fighting ring in which they set underfed terriers against various members of the Royals’ bullpen unless I have proof.  And I refuse to talk about Joe Biden and Christine O’Donnell’s secret Wiccan connection until no doubt remains in my mind to its veracity.

Additionally, I call on my co-blogger, Mr. Lung, to publicly announce his willingness to toe this line.  That is, if he’s not too busy fantasizing about he and Albert Pujols holding hands while clubbing and/or raping baby seals.

-A

Getting to Know the Man Who May Kill Us All

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Baseball’s short rest before what looks to be a dramatic pair of League Championship Series affords us the opportunity to focus on the fact that, as long as North Korea is allowed to do whatever North Korea wants, baseball (and life as we know it) may not have much of a future.

Yep. 

If Mayan intuition doesn’t see us all dead by 2012, then we can always look to the ill-serving secretiveness of the DPRK, knowing that its dear leader shall not hesitate in blowing up the planet, provided he has the resources to do so.

In light of such awful truth, RSBS is dedicated to informing the public, no matter the cost; which is why Mr. Krause and I did not hesitate in sending some interns on a mission to learn more about who this heir-apparent, Kim Jong-un, actually is.  Here are some of their findings:

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Fact #12:
The 26 or 27 or 28 year old Kim Jong-un may or may not have been educated in Switzerland or somewhere else under his own name or maybe not under someone else’s name but perhaps his own or maybe with or without an alias or maybe a pseudonym or something like that.

Fact #28:

Kim Jong-un is a fan of Michael Jordan.  He is also a fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme.  These two facts combined unilaterally make him a man, also defined as a fan of womanizing and boozing. 

Fact #41:
Based on Fact #28, Kim Jong-un appears to be a man like any other man… except for the fact that he lives a delusional existence in which he is revered by a brainwashed, ignorant public as a literal god.

Fact #59:

Kim Jong-un was recently appointed as a four-star general in the Korean People’s Army, which, ironically, could care less about the actual people of Korea.

And…

Fact #75:
If Kim Jong-un wants to change the fate of “his people”, he might want to take a hint from his southern brethren, and introduce baseball along with these fine ambassadors of hope:

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Hate me ‘cuz you’re ronery, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*The above facts may or may not be true… or not.

No More Drama

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With the exception of the Rays and Rangers, the division series didn’t exactly pack in a whole lot of excitement.  Sure, there were great individual moments and Halladay’s no-no immediately went down in baseball history as a post-season moment you’ll tell your kids about one day.  But even with one series going the distance, none of the matchups inspired much drama. 

There is hope as we move on.  The Yankees and Phillies look practically unstoppable but sometimes drama comes from unlikely places.  It’s like how things in politics can go from being a sure thing to suddenly tightening or how a baseball game can go from brutal clash to blowout with a single error.  Often it’s the simplest little things on which events turn.  Swiftboating, an errant throw from a pitcher.  You just never know.

However, if you’re Charlie Crist, you just have to hope that all the drama of the Florida Senate election doesn’t end up hinging on this:

C’mon Charlie.  Farnsworth is already out of the playoffs.  No need to pay homage.

-A

RSBS Undercover: Jeff as a Yankees Fan, Day 1

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Yeah, I got a big mouth.

Sometimes it gets me in trouble.  Sometimes it gets me… opportunity.

So that’s why when I told Confessions of a She-Fan author, Jane Heller, that I would throw all my postseason fandom towards the Evil Empire as long as she celebrated series clinchers with pics of she boozin’, I didn’t even think to… well, think.  At least, not too much anyway.

But what’s done is done.  And now I’m in.  With the Reds eliminated, I don’t have anything to lose this postseason… so gimme an interlocking “NY” and watch me chamelonize into a slithering, spoiled, seedy Yankees fan…

Jeff as a Yankees Fan, DAY 1:

7:30 a.m.
I put aside my normal breakfast of greek yogurt and blueberries for an authentic New York Jewish bagel. It’s so authentic, it insults me and tells me to go back to Hobboken.

9:45 a.m.
I tune into Sportscenter and am pleasantly surprised to see my newfound team featured in every, single, friggin’ segment.  Yeah, son! Yeah!

1:35 p.m.

Riding the bus, I see some chumwad in a Red Sox cap.  I am brought to my knees with an overwhelming sense of disgust, nausea and uncontained anger.  I march right up to him and say, “Hey, buddy, how’s the number 27 sound to ya? Huh? Yeah! Eat it, son! Eat it!”  Then the bus stops and I get off as fast as I can.

4:45 p.m.
The office manager was able to send out five faxes, five emails and five phone calls to our customers — all within one work day!  So I showed him I cared by giving him a shaving cream pie in the face.

6:15 p.m.
I turn on Sportscenter and am pleasantly surprised to see my pinstripers featured in every, single, friggin’ segment!

9:30 p.m.
Some jape wearin’ a Twins cap walks by my house so I yell out “Go Yankees!” and he flips me off so I moon him then he throws a rock at my window and then I shoot him.  In the face.

10:45 p.m.
Ohhhhhh what a day.  This Bronx Bomber stuff is really taxing; but it is good to go to sleep knowing that I rest on top of the sports universe — that all professional sports franchises in all corners of the known galaxy must look up at me, in my great big pinstriped bed.  Happy and relaxed, I flip on the t.v. and let Sportscenter and its endless Yankee-love-fest woo me to slumber.

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To be continued…

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