October 2010

More Than a Double Rainbow

Sometimes you capture more than you expect.  Like Steve Bartman.  He just wanted a souvenir ball.  Instead, he became the posterboy for the well-intentioned but completely clueless fan.

It’s not always bad, though.  Sometimes you capture something magical, something that only comes around once in a lifetime.  This happened last week at the Ryder Cup when a photographer snapped an already iconic shot:

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But then you look a little more closely and you realize there’s more.  So much more:

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It’s just too beautiful.  It’s the double rainbow of golf photos.  And then your mind explodes as your world comes full circle:

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Happy Columbus Day!  Go discover something.

-A

The Filibuster

Once again the wild card teams come out of the east and once again
there’s a good chance we’ll have an all east coast World Series.  Don’t
you get sick of watching the same teams over and over?
 
Larry

Cleveland, OH
_______________________________


east coast living.jpg

Achtung, dear readers!  Once again, Larry presents us with a classic case of can’t-live-with-‘em-can’t-live-without-em-itis — a taxing condition so prevalent that it has infected the hearts and minds of rural and metro US Americans left of the east coast for over a century!

Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla…

Yes, it’s annoying.  I know.  Except that this year it’s not Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox bla bla bla.

It’s the Rays!  It’s the Braves!  And no Red Sox!

So
what if the Yankees are in there?  And the Phillies.  Hell, the
Phillies are the best team in baseball right now.  Post season
no-hitters?  Crushing offense?  Isn’t that what we want?

Placing
all biased pride aside, do you remember how many people were watching
the 2006 World Series that featured two historic midwestern teams?  What
about the 2002 pairing of two California clubs?  Or how about the
mostly-forgotten 1997 classic featuring your very own Tribe? 

Exactly.

People (the same collective “people” who seem to think Armageddon
is “great film”) don’t remember, because people (the same “people” who
define NASCAR as an actual sport) don’t care; and people (yes, the same
“people” who consider McDonald’s to be authentic American cuisine) don’t
care, because no one has told them that they should care.

Which brings us to the main culprit: a centralized power of all-things media, also known as mind control, rooted in New York.

Through
tecnocratic ways not yet fully understood, New York has convinced we
the people that if New York isn’t involved, then it’s not worth caring
about.  So, naturally, our press reflects that. 

No east coast clubs?  Fine.  No glitz.  No pomp.  Barely a modicum of circumstance.

Personally, I’m okay with that.  Because such buzz, it breeds emotion.  Gets people talking.  Forces people to care.

And for a sport lovingly labeled as our national pastime — one that has
had plenty of public relations gaffes threaten its integrity over the
last few decades — caring about the game is all that really matters.

Like
most non east coast elite, I have no love for the headline-hoggin’ high
profile teams that tend to bandwagon in October; but I know that their
existence is nothing but good for the game.

We need the Yankees.  We need the Red Sox. 

The post season needs the east coast elite.

Because US America needs an enemy.

yankees on fire.jpg

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. 

***Photographic evidence of Mr. Krause casting a Tea Party vote also welcome (it’s possible).

Come With Me and Escape

So, your team isn’t doing so hot in the postseason.  Or maybe your team didn’t even make it.  Sometimes you just want to get away from it all.  You could go hiking but there are certain risks.  You could try and start a friendly game of soccer with some world leaders but that’s not as safe as it used to be either.

Honestly, maybe you should just turn off the TV and use that ESPN or MLB.com tab for something new.  Like this.

Hey, it works for me.  Sure, the Tigers may have finished at an even .500 but that doesn’t matter when you’re staring at a highway in rural Japan or a neighborhood in Ibhayi, South Africa. 

So go ahead and make your escape.  Just make sure you uncheck North America or you may end up looking at this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=Great+American+Ball+Park,+Cincinnati,+OH,+United+States&sll=44.98268,-93.276865&sspn=0.00815,0.018582&ie=UTF8&hq=Great+American+Ballpark&hnear=Great+American+Ballpark,+Cincinnati,+Ohio+45202&ll=39.097186,-84.506324&spn=0.020783,0.038418&layer=c&cbll=39.097522,-84.508716&panoid=V1xZu982lMhpupQbn4z7pw&cbp=12,101.76,,0,-9.52&output=svembed
View Larger Map

That’s not escape.  That’s just mean.

-A

Still Don’t Have a Horse in this Race? RSBS is Here to Help!

reds.jpg
hot phillies.jpg
giants.jpg
braves.jpg
rangers.jpg
rays.jpg
twins.jpg
yankees.jpg

Things should be much, much clearer now.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

No Whiskey but a Wicked Curve

doc_holliday.jpg

In the old Wyatt Earp legends, you never knew what Doc Holliday had left in him.  That’s why he was so dangerous.  Sure, he was tubercular.  Sometimes those coughing fits made you sure he already had one foot in the grave.  But when a man no longer fears death because he’s stared it straight in the face and then made a gentleman’s agreement, you’d sure rather have him on your side at that point.

So is it any surprise that, despite being worked like a plow-horse for the last several years and staring the death of his dreams in the face while playing in Toronto, our modern-day Doc Halladay has proven just as dangerous as his namesake?

This is why the Phillies went out and got him.  A mercenary gunslinger with something to prove but nothing to lose makes for a great story.  And with a second no-hitter under his belt this season and the first one in the playoffs since Larsen did it up back in the day, Halladay’s story sounds almost as good as the Tombstone legend.

The Phillies have plenty more to look forward to, too.  Doc Holliday managed to stay alive all the way to ripe old age of 36.  Hey, three more years of baseball is practically a career, at least if you’re Mark Prior.

-A

Jeff Interviews a Robot

Jeff interviewed a robot

About the world series.

cleverbot screenshot.JPG

And what we learned is…

Robots cannot be trusted.

Allen’s 2010 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview

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Every year about this time a magical transformation takes place.  Normally sane people go stark, raving mad as they cheer their favorites to the finish.  The coolness in the air mirrors the coolness in neighbors’ stares as some new item of support gets unfurled in the yard.  Promises get made only to be broken soon thereafter.  And that’s just in the world of politics.

We are truly a blessed country because every fall we not only get the insanity of the baseball playoffs, we also get the truly mind-numbing inanity of the November elections.  But this year is extra special because in addition to the antics of Democrats and Republicans, we also get the often unbelievable but usually entertaining shenanigans of the Tea Party.

Over here at RSBS we’ve made a tradition of putting together our annual playoff preview and this year is no exception.  But each edition needs a theme and this year, in honor of our Teabagger friends, the theme just kind of put itself out there.  Let’s get to it.

National League

green_tea.jpg

Like the NL, green tea has pomp, circumstance and history.  The Chinese have been drinking the stuff since Europeans were letting blood to cure sickness and avoiding baths in the belief that water would kill you.  Although it may have never gone away in the Asian world, the green stuff has experienced quite a renaissance in the West with the discovery of all it’s anti-oxidant properties.  Likewise, with the NL finally in the driver’s seat after winning home field advantage at the All-Star game, you have to think they’re feeling a little renaissance of their own is due.  But renaissance in what flavor?

Starting in the east (naturally, since we are talking about tea), we have the two-time defending league champion Phillies, the Japanese green tea of our preview.  It’s classic, you know it and you know you’re probably going to see it again.  Not only that, it just makes sense.  Seriously, how would your bento box taste without the tea accompaniment?  It belongs.

Meanwhile, the Lipton green tea of the NL, Atlanta’s own Braves, somehow found a way to get Bobby Cox back into the playoffs.  Sure, it may not have been your first choice but it will get the job done.  However, it’s also only going to get you so far.  More on that later.

In the heartland, the Reds find representation in the classic Gunpowder variety of green tea.  No one is quite sure how the tea got its name, maybe because it’s rolled into little pellets, maybe because it expands explosively when it hits the water.  But there’s one big problem here.  The way you know the quality is from the size of the balls.  Smaller balls, better quality.  Dusty Baker and his team aren’t exactly known for their small balls.  Do you remember that brawl with the Cardinals?  The Reds, their balls are a little too big.

Finally, out west we find the Giants, the Moroccan mint tea of the baseball world.  It tastes good, there’s a lot to like but something’s a little off.  Maybe it’s not strong enough, maybe there’s too much sugar but for whatever reason, it’s only good in small doses.  That’s probably all right, though, since all we’re going to get from the Giants is a small dose when they exit during the first round.

American League

black_tea.jpg

Black tea found a home in the west but purists still sniff at its lack of tradition.  Sure, it may have more caffeine, it may keep you going but where’s the ceremony?  Now the fans of black tea will argue that theirs is still a noble tradition and despite their blends and flavors and addition of milk, the tea is still central.  You’re not going to have any luck sliding that argument by the tea dogmatists, though.

Since black tea is a western thing, we’ll start out west with the preview as well.  That means we dive straight into a steaming cup of Irish breakfast tea, also known as the Texas Rangers.  Nolan Ryan owns the team and you don’t get much more Irish than that.  However, in the land of black tea, the English reign supreme.  Sorry, Nolan.  It just wasn’t meant to be.

This leads us to Minnesota where the Twins find themselves represented by….wait a minute!  That’s not tea.  That’s herbal tea!  C’mon guys.  I can steep dirt in water and call it tea but everyone is going to know it’s just mud.  Herbal tea is nice when you have a cold but it’s not “tea.”  Hm, I guess that’s kind of fitting since the Twins are a “playoff team” but aren’t really a playoff team.  Or at least won’t be for very long.

From here we find ourselves back east again with two very different teams.  We start with the Rays, the Massala Chai of the baseball world.  There are a lot of flavors going on there, it’s new, it’s hip.  And it definitely works for awhile.  The question is, when the chips are down and you have to pick just one, do you go for the spicy stuff or something proven?

And what could be more proven than the English breakfast tea that is the Yankees.  Personally, I don’t like the stuff but a lot of people do.  Not only that, it’s strong and it gets the job done.  Sure, the tradition may not go as far back as the NL but when you can throw around names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Yogi Berra, you got something going on.

World Series
So what happens next?  Well, it’s pretty simple.  We line them up and see who lasts the longest.  I apologize to everyone who lives west of the Mississippi but when I read the leaves, their fortunes don’t look good.  Texas, Minnesota, San Fran and Cincy all go down in the first round leaving us an east coast finale in both leagues.  I’m sure this doesn’t bother the broadcasters who will be reading tea leaves of their own and I’m sure they’ll be even more happy when the Yankees and the Phillies emerge to once again do battle in the World Series.

So, it comes down to this.  Japanese green tea vs. English breakfast tea.  The fact of the matter is, anyplace else in the world the green tea wins hands down.  But this is America and the Anglo-Saxons decided to let all their chips ride on black a couple hundred years ago.  Good thing they did because the Yankees win again.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 11: Atlanta’s Triumphant Cox… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 7.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna clink Tanqueray and tonics over a (not-so) serious discussion of Atlanta’s rerise to fame, Sweet Lou’s gunt, Feliz Hernandez’s magical ways and much, much more… including a special guest appearance by comedy genius Tracy Morgan!  Get out the Kleenex, y’all, ‘cuz tears of joy are on the way!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and all-around sound guru.  Check out his Undercast podcast and visit his movie-making website Undercard Films if you know what’s good for you.  I mean, Keith got invited to the Hall of Fame for Pete Hill’s re-induction ceremony.  Talk about bein’ connected…

- – -

Recorded Saturday, October 2, 2010

 

The Filibuster

What playoff pitcher would you least want to face?

Shannon
Euclid, OH

_______________________________

grandma_pitch.JPG

I may have mentioned this before but I write about baseball because of how poorly I play.  I wasn’t terrible in the field but I couldn’t even hit those 45 MPH fastballs that kids were throwing in 6th grade.  I could blame the astigmatism or my parents for the genes that created these terrible eyes but the fact of the matter is that I just can’t hit.

So when it comes to facing any playoff pitcher I have to say that I’d prefer to not be up against any of them.  I guess Aroldis Chapman might be the scariest because I don’t even want to know what a 105 MPH fastball looks like.  The fact of the matter is, I’m pretty sure I’d strike out bunting against any starter or reliever on any of the eight playoff teams. 

But wait.  Maybe there is one guy I wouldn’t mind going up against.  If the Braves can pull it together, that means my old buddy Kyle Farnsworth will be along for the ride.  Hey, it’s not my fault they decided to go out and repeat that mistake.  And I’ll bet you good money that he’ll end up burning them in the postseason.  I’d still go there, though.

Here’s the thing.  Chances are that Farnsworth would smoke me.  He’s a professional being paid way too much money for something that he doesn’t do as well as he should.  If he can’t put it by me, he’s a bum.  And if he does, he’s still a bum.  I’m a 31 year old desk jockey.  What business do I have facing down a professional athlete?  Yeah, that’s the one guy I would like to go up against.

I think the chances of MLB inviting me in to face a big-league pitcher are pretty slim.  I’m also not really sure if the results would be more embarrassing to me or the league.  But if they feel like pulling in Farnsy for a few pitches, I’m all there.  

In fact, I’ll even sweeten the pot a little.  If you make this happen and Farnsworth can put ten strikes by me without my even touching them, I’ll never write another word about him in these pages.  If I can get the bat on just one of them, even just barely nicking it, I get his salary for the week.  And if I put one in play, he has to quit baseball forever.  Now that sounds like a pretty good contest to me.

What do you say, Mr. Farnsworth?

-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. 

***Pictures of Farnsworth begging Jason Heyward for an autograph “for my kids” also welcome.  Yeah right, Farnsy.  Nice try.

Beyond Non Sequitur VI

For as long as I can remember I’ve doubted my capabilities as a parent.  I’m not a parent, so that’s okay… but I still think about it: how my selfish lifestyle would make parenting difficult, how much I dislike diapers, how just the faintest scent of vomit makes me wanna die.

Then I was watching T.V. one day and realized that people like me can be parents too:

In that mom’s defense, she put the mac-n-cheese on the table.  She should be able to eat as much of it as she wants.

BAM!

Hate me ‘cuz it’s the popular thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Now go get ready for dem playoffs yo!

Jeff

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