December 2010

Arsenic and Old Lace

Babe_Ruth.jpgJason Giambi and Babe Ruth wore the same uniform.  Babe probably weighed a little more but they both played relatively the same role.  Their job was to smack the hell out of a baseball.  There’s no denying that Babe was much better at this job but you also wonder if Giambi were magically transported back in time, would he have had the same type of career.

The point here is that evolution makes comparison difficult.  Jim Thorpe was a great running back.  But would he even be competitive in today’s game?  Technology, nutrition, education.  All of these aspects contribute to the evolution of the game and I believe it’s safe to say that they contribute to our own personal evolution as well.

Sometimes evolution takes a scary turn, though.  For instance, in football the evolution of the game has led to increased speed and power but our skulls haven’t gotten any thicker and our brains haven’t developed any more cushioning.  Sure, helmet technology has mitigated some of the risk but the increased incidence of concussions and the NFL’s crackdown on hits to the head shows that sometimes evolution has downsides.

It’s also a little scary when evolution decides to use the fundamental building blocks at hand and go in a totally different direction.  There are more benign instances like the devolving paths taken by baseball and cricket.  But there are also truly frightening paths like when organisms decide to incorporate previously deadly substances into a new recipe for survival.

I’m not saying that this is the end of life as we know it any more than a pitcher throwing the ball 105 MPH is the end of baseball as we know it.  Evolution and adaptation require a long-term view, not some sort of immediate, knee-jerk reaction.  But I sure hope the arsenic monsters don’t come after me.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 15: Varitek’s Lotto Numbers… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 7.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

The hot stove is so hot that we had to add more fuel to the sizzlin’ fire!  Jeff, Allen and Johanna are joined by Second City’s Mark Piebenga and Red Sox loyalist Troy Jagodowski to get down and dirty on all the offseason drama.  Discussion topics include but are not limited to: what Theo Epstein was smokin’ when he re-signed Varitek, the end of Troy Tulowitski, the continued morphing of the Hall of Fame, the A-Gon deal and much, much more… all to make you laugh that milk right through your nose!

Holla!

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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!

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Recorded Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lookin’ Good in Yankeeland

sexy-yankee-fan.jpgWHOA! Looking back at the weekend, I sat down to try and understand firsthand what offseason life must be like as a Yankees fan.  I got into it.  And I got sorta aroused. 

Mo’s back.

Jeter’s back.

And…

I found the picture to the right on a Google image search, hoping to find something that could illustrate just how arousing the above arrangement actually is.

If there were a hell, I’d be the president of it.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Hallelujah!

I love snow.  I love Christmas.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because I’m from Michigan.  December isn’t just the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also the time of the year when the Lions finish up and we can pretend that the next season will be better. 

Sure, there’s also plenty of baseball news and as a Tigers’ fan I can’t help but be happy because of the Victor Martinez news.  But, since there are only a couple of weeks until Christmas, I think I’ll just focus on that.  And here’s my opening salvo for the season:

-A

A Tip of the Cap to ‘Ole Number 10

ron santo card.jpgWhile lambasting the Chicago Cubs and their myriad follies has become as synonymous with my persona as injecting gratuitous images of beautiful women into everyday baseball-politico essays, let it be known:

I am not an animal.

Which is why I reach out and put my hand on the collective shoulders of Cubs fans everywhere who are mourning the loss of the late, great Ron Santo.

Many things can be said about Mr. Santo — some good, some bad, some somewhere in between.  But no one can deny this:

Ron Santo was the Chicago Cubs.

And no one loved them more than he.

From Cardinals Nation and the rest of the RSBS crew, we tip our caps to you, Number 10.

May you rest in peace,

Jeff

Temperature Rising

thermometer.jpgAverage temperature of most major US cities during the month of June:

Mid 80’s Fahrenheit

Average temperature in Doha, Qatar during the month of June:

106 degrees Fahrenheit

Why is this important?  It’s important because Qatar just beat out the US to host the 2022 World Cup and that event is usually held in June. 

Now, I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine running around for five minutes in that kind of heat, much less over the course of two 45-minute halves.  How hot does it get in that area of the world?  Well, when world-class swimmers are dying in the water, you can say it’s pretty dang hot.

So, what happens to soccer players who don’t even have the water?  I’ve been in a ballpark in the States in June and it’s no joke.  If I wasn’t able to continuously replace the water I lost through sweating with beer, I would have been in trouble.  And I was only sitting there, not moving around.  Add 20 degrees and a lot more physical exertion and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I know that Qatar has been developing air conditioned stadiums and all that jazz but this just seems like a phenomenally bad idea.  Or maybe it’s just that I’m American and can’t understand why you’d ever say no to us.  Maybe we forgot to say “Pretty please”?

-A

Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor

ryan theriot.jpgUm… okay.  So this is what happens when Brendan Ryan becomes better known for a poorly marketed pornstache than his actual comeuppance as an everyday St. Louis Cardinals shortstop.  Oh, wait.  No comeuppance?  He sucks?  My bad.

Which is sorta why I haven’t really said much this offseason about my dearly beloved Redbirds.  What’ s there to say?  Jake Westbrook signed?  Okay.  Cool.  We traded Blake Hawksworth for Ryan Theriot?  M’kay… nice.  I guess.  Can we guarantee that Skip Schumaker won’t take another step backwards?  How about facing the fact that closer Ryan Franklin really ain’t cut out to be a closer?  And then…???

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still haven’t really gotten over the crapfest that was the second half of the 2010 season.  No one likes a sore loser, but goddamn it if I ain’t still sore as hell!  Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter… YADIER MOLINA. 

Friends, Romans, Cubs fans… those names command a division title.

COMMAND IT!

And that’s what I want.  At the very least, we ought to be slaying the Reds, the Cubs and whatever other foe floats carelessly towards the top. 

Does Ryan Theriot magically make that happen?  Uh… no.  In fact, as a hitter, Baseball Reference has Theriot matched up with the likes of Aaron Miles, Jason Bartlett and former St. Louis Brown, Ernie Johnson.  And while Bartlett had one good year, let’s not get too excited over these comparisons; ‘cuz frankly, there’s little that breeds excitement.

Yes, maybe Theriot will solve the leadoff problem that has crippled the Cardinals in recent years.  Then again, he probably won’t.  He’s gotta beat out Brendo and Skippy for a job first, which for us anticipating fans, is sorta like having to vote from a pool of John Kerry, George W. Bush and a bowl of potato salad.

Which one is the bowl of potato salad?  I’ll leave that up to you.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m still bitter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

You Can’t Take That Away From Me

The other day my good friend Mr. Lung pointed out the greatest tragedy facing those of us born in the mitten.  Do we choose to root for our Lions or do we turn our back on the state and find a team that occasionally, uh, wins?  For most of us, the obvious answer is the former and the results are inevitable.  Each year we face new lows in terms of records set and experience new embarrassments in terms of ways of losing.

But, there is one reason we can all be proud to be Lions’ fans.  His name is Barry Sanders and, as The Onion pointed out, although he will always be associated with the awfulness that is the Lions, that perhaps makes his accomplishments shine even more brightly.  Observe:

We may have nothing to show for it but you can never take the Barry away from us

-A

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