November 2010

The WikiLeaking of Major League Baseball

wikileak.jpegVigilantes! Whistle-blowers! And spies!

Oh my!

Don’t worry, dear readers, RSBS is on it.  Sure, the WikiLeaks crew seems to be focusing their efforts on outing wrongs and ending wars, but don’t forget: a lot of these folks are US Americans (I think?) and after they solve enough military crises and torture pandemics, they’re gonna turn their attention to what really matters:

Baseball.

Luckily, for you, we have the inside track.  Of course, such sensitive information doesn’t come easily, and It is important to remember that many RSBS interns perished in order to bring you the truth.

Please.  Be respectful of that.

And do with it what you will.  After reading the following information, I advise you to lock all the doors, close all the windows and drink some beer.  You’ll feel better.

Maybe.

- – - WIKILEAKS CONFIDENTIAL; MLB FACTION – - -

Derek Jeter is being courted by the Red Sox.  And he is listening.

The Expos are not dead. They’re frozen in carbonite until the Quebecois can be fooled into thinking they’re watching hockey. Almost there.

Peter Gammons is Gepetto. For real.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1979 uniform combos were designed by embedded Russian spies hoping to kill the American public with ugliness. They almost succeeded… if it weren’t for that damn Sister Sledge!!!

Contrary to popular belief, Desmond Jennings is NOT Carl Crawford. The Rays are making a mistake.

Jon Hamm loves the Cardinals. (Oh, that’s not a secret? Of course not… everyone should love the Cardinals!)

The Cubs remain in a perpetual state of misery… because they can. Cubs fans keep coming back. For more.

Prince Fielder is prone to eating himself if left alone for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Yorvit Torrealba’s name spelled backwards is Ablaerrot Tivory, which looks like a Prussian hybrid name. But it’s not. It’s Spanish. Backwards. Try it. You’ll see.

And finally…

We know what Jayson Werth did last summer… and it wasn’t Chase Utley’s wife!!!

- – - END CONFIDENTIALITY – - -

Hate me ‘cuz I get the facts.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

God is Screwing With Us

The events of this past holiday weekend finally confirmed a suspicion I had harbored for a while.  God is screwing with us.

Oh yes, I know this is blasphemy.  And to make a statement like this during the advent just adds fuel to the bonfires already being stoked for heretics like myself.  But it doesn’t make it any less true.  Look at the facts.

Fact #1:
On Saturday Michigan lost to The Ohio State University for the seventh time in a row.  And it wasn’t even close.  Consecutive defeats would be bad.  Four in a row is unimaginable.  But seven straight times?  That’s ludicrous.  Terrelle Pryor will graduate (or at least leave OSU) never having known the stinging scorn of the Ohio State fans because of his performance in a loss to the Maize and Blue.  Sure, the Tigers may have picked up Victor Martinez and stolen a little bit of Ohio’s soul in the process.  But seven straight losses?  By comparison, that almost makes this palatable:

Fact #2:
No god that actually liked us would let Leslie Nielsen die on Thanksgiving weekend.  That’s not funny.  That’s just mean.  Sure, Nielsen may not have done anything recently but his work with OJ in the Naked Gun movies made him a legend.  To die at this point instead of at the very capable hand of Mr. Simpson just seems cruel.

Fact #3:
This all leads us to the final and indisputable fact which proves without question that god is screwing with us.  He purposely messed up an NFL game yesterday.  Yeah, really.  It would be easy to believe that Johnson just plain and simple dropped the ball.  Just like it would be easy to believe that a 14-year old virgin gave birth to a kid a couple millennium ago.  But the truth is, it’s just god screwing with us.

Anyway, get out there and live it up this week.  Have fun, go crazy, don’t stop.  And if something does go wrong, just remember that it’s probably god screwing with you.

-A

So Far to Kazuo

kazuo matsui astros.jpgBillboards in New York City touted his valiant arrival.  Buzzing baseball elite charged that he would revolutionize the Mets.  Everyday fans scurried to find a suitable nickname for their new best player they’d never heard of. 

It was the Spring of 2004 and if you asked me to speak some Japanese, even I probably would’ve said: Matsui-san. Kazuo Matsui-san.

Because I, too, joined the hype.

But why?  Why was the baseball world so enamored with an import player whom no one knew anything about?  Why did we allow his persona to be so pumped up with pomp, such expectation, sight unseen?

Indeed, Ichiro Suzuki changed the landscape of Major League Baseball — allowing for the mysteriously effective small-ball game to reinject itself into the big boppin’ steroidfest it had become.  His mannerisms, his character, his magnetism — on and off the field — were a throwback to the baseball heroes of old.  Marveled by his talent, we the US American public accepted and celebrated Ichiro for resurrecting respect in a league where little remained.

So I get it.  I understand why we started to get excited about the Japanese baseball contention.

But, the fact is: for every Ichiro Suzuki there’s a Kosuke Fukudome, a So Taguchi, or worse, a Kaz Matsui.  For every Hideo Nomo, a Kei Igawa, Hideki Irabu, Daisuke Matsuzaka. 

And while it makes a good headline that the A’s and Twins are going out and bidding top dollar for the rights — yes, just the rights — to negotiate with Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Nishioka respectively, I still can’t help but feel sorry for the failure both are being set up for in the future.

American, Dominican, Venezuelan, Canadian, Japanese… there’s only one Ichiro.

And as proved by Kazuo Matsui’s silent saunter back home this offseason, expecting anything but is a guarantee for disappointment.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Rockstars and Revisionism

sarah palin going rogue.jpgAlthough we tend to compare baseball and politics here and find the areas where they intersect, the truth of the matter is that sometimes it doesn’t work.  Baseball box scores tell stories and those stories are comprised of facts.  Either a guy gets on base or he doesn’t.  Either a team wins a game or it doesn’t.  It’s hard to revise baseball history, at least when it comes to the games and the records.

Politics is another matter.  Not only can history be revised, it happens regularly.  Abraham Lincoln came close to losing his party’s nomination for a second term but is now regarded as one of our greatest Presidents.  George H. W. Bush lost a second term because of the economy but his foreign policy now seems eerily prescient.  In fact, I even think there’s a good chance that down the road Iraq will once again become a stable, functional country and W will be somewhat vindicated for his actions.

But there’s one thing I have a really hard time believing.  I really don’t see how it’s possible that Sarah Palin could ever be considered a legitimate leader.  Sure, in an era of anti-elitism, she’s a rockstar.  But I like my leaders to be a little elite.  Why would I follow one of my peers?  I want someone who knows more than me but I also want someone who considers their options and makes an informed decision.  Based on what we’ve learned previously and seen over the past week, Ms. Palin fits neither bill.

Even if the midterms signal the start of the campaign 2012 is still a ways away.  A lot can happen in that amount of time.  Between now and then, I’d love to see Ms. Palin simply fade away.  The country has real problems and we need real leaders with real solutions to address them.  But if this is too much to ask for, maybe I’ll just wish that the Lions could win a road game in that amount of time.  Or maybe we could just retroactively decide that the Tigers won the ’06 Series.  Revisionist baseball.  Think about it.

-A

Keepin’ It Real with Mr. Krause

Thumbnail image for Allen Krause.jpgIt’s Friday!

And for most of us, Friday = Fun day!

But then there are some of us, like my loquacious and oft-curt colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, for whom Friday = yesterday was a bad day.  Again.

Let me explain:

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t know pain like a Lions fan knows pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

P.S. Al loves Matt Millen.

Half of an RSBS Thanksgiving

thanksgiving.jeff.allen.jpgSince it’s Thanksgiving, I’m not going to be here very long today.  But I want to take a couple minutes and add on to what Mr. Lung had to say yesterday

Without a doubt we are very thankful to have readers who come visit us day after day.  Without you, there wouldn’t be much point to what we do. 

And despite the fact that this will inevitably be taken as a weakness and exploited by my friend and co-blogger in the very near future, I’m very thankful to have a buddy like Mr. Lung in my corner.

But as we work our way painfully through another NFL season and watch the Lions add to their incredible record of futility, I’m thankful for the Tigers and their ability to at least give us Michiganders a little hope.  Victor Martinez may not be Pudge but maybe he’s the missing piece the Tigers have been lacking the past couple seasons.  Point is, he’s hope.  And hope is something in short supply these days, both in Michigan and the US.

So, enjoy your turkey and be careful as you navigate family that comes around once a year.  Despite the potential landmines, it really is the start of the most wonderful time of the year.

-A

Thanksgiving Eve Thanks

michael jackson and two midgets.jpgHolla, y’all!  It’s Thanksgiving eve!

Dear readers, I can hardly wait to jump in the car and spend four deadlocked hours sitting on the southbound on I-55 while night falls on my west-central Illinois family as they talk as much s*** about me as they can before I get there.  Oh, if only every day could be so special!

We at RSBS don’t ever want to be trite; but hell, it’s Thanksgiving, so we gotta give thanks.  Thanks to you (for reading).  Thanks to my parents (for making me, even if it was in the backseat of a car at a run down Motel 6 outside of Disneyland).  Thanks to the Cardinals (for making me think my team has a chance every year).

That stuff is easy.

But life is much more complex than that, and so too are the abstracts that must be recognized, appreciated and acknowledged.

For example, the picture at the top right of this article.  Yes.  That is Michael Jackson.  And yes.  He is chugging some nasty vodka while flanked by two midget groupies.  See, he’s not as weird as you thought.  Back in the early days, when he was just raising tigers and being best friends with monkeys and sleeping in souped-up tanning beds, he was pretty friggin’ chill.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

On the political tip, where it takes quite a bit of searching to find anything worth my thanks, I am pleased that the new majority leaders are actual human beings and not blood-sucking money-hungry lobbyist-lovin’ big-business-bailin’-out corporate-drone-piggin’ bible-belt-thumpin out-of-touch neanderthals Americans.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Mike Scioscia arguing.jpgAnd, yes, I know we have a long way to go before pitchers and catchers report, but let me just say: I am very thankful that I am a whacked out baseball nut and not married to any of the other sports.  Don’t get me wrong, I love football; but I don’t LOOOOOOOOVE football.  It’s just not tangible.  I respect what they do, but it’s a team sport divided by uncontrollable personalities.  Elaborate celebrations in the end zone when your 2-7 team is down by 20 points in the 4th quarter?  Taunting your opponent ‘cuz you FINALLY got a first down, after 13 consecutive failures?  Spitting in a guy’s face?  Please.  I’d like to see Brandon Marshall or Vince Young or Albert Haynesworth talk crazy to Mike Scioscia. 

Puh-lease…

And…

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

For those of you counting, there’s only 146 more days til Spring Training 2011!

Have a very thankful and reflective holiday.  And please, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Something We Can All Get Behind

jeter_draft.jpgNo reader of this blog wonders about my feelings towards the Yankees.  My opinions have been as unequivocally clear as they are opaque when it comes to my politics.  But even I can still be surprised by the depths to which the Evil Empire will sink.

Now, admittedly I take this a little more personally because, despite my distaste for his team, Derek Jeter hails from the same part of southwest Michigan where I grew up.  I won’t say I like the guy but I respect him as a baseball player and I respect anyone who can escape from that particular corner of hell.  To go from the cornfields of Kalamazoo to dating Esquire’s sexiest woman alive, well, that means something.

In general, I support baseball’s modernization.  Free agency, although
it means players move around a bit, hasn’t killed the game.  But if this Steinbrenner ploy leads to Jeter
wearing something other than pinstripes?  Even I think that’s wrong.  However, if
it were to drive a wedge between him and Minka and somehow send her my
way, I guess I could get behind that.

Minka_Kelly_Esquire_Sexiest_Woman_Alive.jpgYep, behind that.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 14: Ryne Sandberg’s Phlight… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 8.jpg

 

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

…the fullest, rawest, most awe inspiring podcast yet, RSBS convenes as Jeff, Allen, Johanna and special guest Mark Piebenga from Second City all come together for one rip-roarin’ time!  Among the topics of conversation (sponsored by Lifestyles and encouraged by Miller Lite) are strains to one’s right glute, burning one’s hand on the hot stove, hiding one’s pain with the NBA… and much, much more! 

All to make you smiley face!

Holla!

- – -

For more on Mark’s work on RSBSNinemen’s Morris series, check out this story then click on the Ninemen’s Morris tag at the bottom for more early 20th century hilarity!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  You can check out Keith’s wicked podcast and his subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  The dude has mad skillz, so you might wanna pay attention.  Do it!  Now!

- – -

Recorded Wednesday, November 17, 2010

 

Oakland A’s Fans React to Losing Rajai Davis

Yeah.  Hate me.

Whatevs.

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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