January 2011

The Yankees PR Machine Could Use a ‘Lil Ron Daahl

brian cashman bad hair day.jpgOh my, oh my, oh my.  Who coulda thunk it?  Who would’ve thought the Yankees’ public image would be so tainted after just one offseason of not signing Cliff Lee, not signing Carl Crawford, not (yet) signing Andy Pettitte and not listening to their GM who was supposedly off courting — *GASP* — Carl Pavano of all people!!!???

Okay.  Well, the Yankees have had a bad winter.  So what?  They’re the Yankees.  They’re still among the best; and I’m positive, they will survive.

But just in case they need to run some interference on all the current bad press, I suggest they employ the services of one magnificent Ron Daahl.

Who is Ron Daahl you ask?

Why don’t ya see for yourself:

Ron Daahl from Charles Grodin on Vimeo.

Ron Daaaaaaaaaaahl!

MAGIC!

Happy Friday!

Jeff

*Special thanks to the Charles Grodin crew! If you’re ever in the Chi, go see their shows! They will make you pee your pants they’re so funny!

Living with the Double Tap

middle_school_dance.jpgBased on what I read on the internets, America faces two main problems today.  The first problem involves many moving parts but as far as I understand it, Islamo-fascists (not really a word) want to use the new health-care bill to further cement their hold on America at which point they plan to hold us hostage with new taxes, the UN and their control over our apparently non-American and strongly Muslim president.  Yep, that’s definitely a problem.  Once their evil plan comes to fruition, we’ll all end up like kids at a middle school dance.  And by “kids” I mean Somali villagers.

However, based on internet commentary alone, this problem pales in comparison to the enormous question facing all Americans.  One space or two?  This argument hits home very strongly for me because I used to be a one spacer.  That’s right, until a year or two ago, I only hit the space bar once after each period.  But then my punctuation obsessed partner pointed this fact out and began a subtle campaign of ridicule in an attempt to force me to change.  I am sad to say that I did give in and now find it hard to imagine going back to the single space.

I’d like to say that this renewed debate over spacing has given me the confidence to return to my single space ways but the truth is that I have grown comfortable in the double tap.  I have too much invested in the double space post period so I simply avoid the debate and rest safe in my ignorance.  Which, apparently, is what a large percentage of the US population has decided to do as well.  Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

-A

Mysteries of the Universe

Carl-Sagan1.jpgMy insatiable quest for knowledge is rooted in the works of that dapper fella pictured here to the right.  That’s Carl Sagan.  You can call him Mr. Awesome if ya want.  I do.

I was but a child when I first watched his infamous Cosmos series — a series that, for the very first time, made me realize that the mysteries of life, of the universe, of existence as we know it are far more grand and far more expansive than anything I could ever understand in my lifetime. 

But, more importantly, it taught me to always ask questions. 

And that’s what I’m doin’ today… ‘cuz some of this shizzo just doesn’t make any sense. 

Let’s take a look at some contemporary mysteries of the universe, shall we?

Kyle Farnsworth Has a Job. Gregg Zaun Has a Job. Jermaine Dye Does NOT Have a Job. Again.

How does this work?  How does a bonafide game-yacker who cries a lot get paid $3 plus million a year while Jermaine Dye sits at home drinking scotch, watching NBA League Pass and surfing the 900 channels?  And Gregg Zaun?  Isn’t he an AARP officer?  The dude’s knees must be concrete by now!  Dye had what it takes to play last year and no one gave him a deal because he supposedly wanted too much money.  Well, I’m sorry, but I’d rather pay Dye decent money to do his thang rather than throw it at the above two fellas knowing the bad days have a good chance of outweighing the good.

General Electric No Longer Holds Majority Ownership of NBC

WHAT?!?  What is Jack Donaghy gonna pimp now?  Skin-a-max?  Oh, wait… that’s not such a bad idea!

Armando Gallaraga’s Very Bad… Life

He went from rookie sensation (2008) to minor league road block (2009) to work-in-progress (2010) to the imperfect game… THEN… in just a matter of hours went from agreeing to a $2.3 million contact to being DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT! DFA’D YO!!! That’s the sort of thing that happens to the Wilson Betemits of the world, not someone who had a perfect game ripped from his reach!

Matt Drudge’s Recent Lapse in Calling President Obama a Socialist

drudge homepage 1.18.11.JPG

Oh… wait.  Nevermind.  Mystery solved because there is no mystery.  He just went two days without a dig.  That’s… strange, but not mysterious.

And finally… one of the universe’s biggest mysteries…

prince fielder hungry 2.jpgHow Many Donuts Can Prince Fielder’s $15.5 Million Contract Really Buy?

As far as I know, vegetarians can eat donuts. 

And that’s a whole lot of donuts.

Yet I do not doubt Prince’s ability to devour them all.

Hate me ‘cuz I went a whole week without a Prince-Fielder-Is-Fat joke, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Bambi Strikes Again

bambi.jpgThe attempted (and partially successful) assassination in Arizona has once again brought the gun control debate to a boil.  Both sides have trotted out their usual arguments for and against gun possession and, of course, both sides refuse to admit that their opponents have anything intelligent to say on the subject. 

The bleeding hearts on the left want to make sure that no one kills Bambi, conveniently ignoring the fact that when Bambi mates, he produces a bunch of little Bambis whose subsequent population explosion wreaks havoc on farmers’ produce and speeding vehicles alike.  Meanwhile, the gun-toting NRA folk are dead-set against giving up their right to assault rifles, extended magazines and dum-dum bullets. 

Luckily, RSBS is here to explain things a little better and offer some rational solutions.

First of all, guns do kill.  I just want to put that out there.  In fact, this is why guns were invented.  You can argue until you’re blue in the face that someone has to pull the trigger but the fact is that a gun’s sole purpose is meting out death.  Anyone who says differently is willfully ignorant at best.  It’s like saying that batting in baseball is defensive because really what you’re trying to do is prevent the ball from making it into the catcher’s mitt.  No, you’re trying to put the ball in play by hitting it.  When you buy a gun, although you may not have the intention of killing anything, its only power, even as a deterrent, is in the fact that you can kill if you want.

Second, some people should not be allowed to own guns.  History of mental problems?  You shouldn’t have a gun.  Even the army won’t accept you?  Probably shouldn’t have a gun.  What is so hard about this concept?  We don’t allow people with Alzheimer’s to drive cars.  Why can that same person purchase a weapon?  I’m just saying that maybe we should use a little common sense here and regulate firearms at least as carefully as we regulate motor vehicles.

Third, guns are fun.  Have you ever shot a gun?  It’s awesome, once you get past that first moment of insane fear.  I grew up around guns and I grew up respecting them and learning how to use and care for them properly.  Responsible gun ownership, like responsible car ownership or responsible use of alcohol, shouldn’t be open to debate.  But if both sides don’t get together and start coming up with some responsible compromises, we’re going to continue with this mishmash of worthless gun laws that irresponsibly sit on the books today.

I’m a realist.  I don’t actually hold out any hope that this senseless act of violence will force people to come to their senses.  In fact, I have a feeling that after the first few moments of kumbaya, we’re going to see even more of the fingerpointing and polarization that created the climate where this act was possible.  But hey, it’s 2011.  We may not have flying cars, time machines or even a freakin’ hoverboard but at least we can hope for rational regulation.

-A

Waiting for the Machine

waitingforguffman.jpgGodot and Guffman got nothin’ on the MACHINE.

Nothin’.  Nada.  ZE-RO.

Which is why waiting is so hard.  Sure, we all knew the day would come when Albert Pujols would reach free agency and have the opportunity to test the free agent market — a market that would surely reward him with a plus $30 million a year contract.  But we’ve also known that his underlying, true desire is to remain a Redbird.  For life.  To work it out.

We think.

AGGGGHHHH!!!

I can’t take it, dear readers!  It’s too disturbing an unknown to just let it be and hope for the best, especially now that a timely gauntlet the size of Barry Bonds’ forehead has been thrown down.  To be honest, until a deal has been struck and Albert’s mug is securely tied to the birds on the bat forever and ever, I probably won’t get much non-beer-aided sleep.

My feelings that Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak would not have offered Matt Holliday the sort of contract he received unless they had a plan for re-signing Pujols longterm remain intact.  No front office would be so stupid as to waste Albert’s money on a guy who dropped the 2009 NLDS ball.  I think.

I hope.

I WANT.

I’ll KILL!!!!!!!!!

Excuse me.  Sorry.  Won’t happen again (today).

Of course, I’m no dummy.  And I do realize that signing Albert to the kind of multi-year contract his ability commands would probably bankrupt the team’s flexibility to build a solid supporting cast around him in the future… but I, like many naive Cardinal maniacs out there, still cling to the idea that Albert would be hip to such a situation and be an active part in deferring funds so that a full team could be assembled, to win.

‘Cuz after all, that’s what Albert really wants.

He wants to win.

And so do I.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to concentrate on that desire until this contract situation is over.

You have 27 days, boys.  27 days.

Get ‘er done.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Ask RSBS

For some reason, I seem to find myself continuously waking up in strange places (aviaries, botanical gardens, Neverland Ranch) every weekend and just wanting to get out of there and go home.  However, I’ve usually partied really hard and even if I can find my car, I’m not sure it’s safe for me to be driving.  Any help?

J.L.
Chicago, IL

__________________________

It’s Sunday and like many Sundays, a large number of people are driving home either incredibly hung over or still drunk from the night before.  If you, like J.L., find yourself in this situation, we here at RSBS would like to offer you this piece of advice: rent a SkyJack.

SkyJack:  It’s not just for changing lightbulbs anymore.

-A

**************
If you would like to see the
RSBS team address any concerns that you may have in some future column, please post your question in the comments or email it to us at kraulung@gmail.com.  After all, if you can’t turn to your favorite baseball/political blog to answer the tough questions in life, who can you trust?

Gratuitous Good Wishes!

little allen.jpgGrab a beer, put on a funny hat and get out the birfday cake, y’all, ‘cuz today is Mr. Krause’s 3rd annual 29th birthday!

That’s right… 29 years and 1095 days ago, my crotchety and oft curt colleague, Mr. Krause, came into the world wielding a Chet Lemon inscribed Louisville Slugger and a Kirk Gibson mustache (at least, that’s how the story goes).

And since Mr. Krause is always giving me a hard time for posting gratuitous pics of scantily clad beauties on a baseball-politico blog, I thought I would take some time to post gratuitous pictures that he would like:

galaraga imperfect game.jpg
magnumpi.jpgYep.  Looks about right to me.

And let us not forget… if it has reason behind it, it ain’t that gratuitous, which should give me a free pass to post pictures of hot chicks here for as long as I deem necessary. 

I think.

Anyway, holla at Al.  Tell him you love him (if you love him, that is).  And make sure you dig on that gnarly photograph I recently snagged from his folks’ place.

Hate me.  Don’t hate Al.  Not today anyway.

Peace,

Jeff

The Difference Between Crepes and McMuffins

fat_american.jpgUntil recently, the only thing the French had on us was their seeming inability to accept obesity.  This was a good thing.  Not only has America become fat, we’ve also decided to accept it.  Don’t take this the wrong way.  I still fully support American attempts to inject bacon or bacon flavoring into any and every thing.  However, that doesn’t mean you need to sit around all day and let the grease coagulate in your veins.

This difference exists in part at a cultural level.  For instance, American sports tend to celebrate obesity, whether it be literal or clinical.  Although I love the guy and wish he could have been on the Tigers at some point, David Wells didn’t exactly seem like someone who ever matched up the idea of “baseball” with that of “conditioning.”  And although it’s easy to see the extra weight a 300-pound lineman is carrying, even running backs and linebackers tend to be obese by clinical definitions.

In contrast, think of the typically French sports or sports where they have done well.  Soccer, rugby, sex.  These ideas may be completely foreign to us but the one thing they all have in common is lots of cardio.  Even the more sedentary French sports, like boules and drinking wine, tend to have unforeseen positive health impacts.

So why is it that even the French are now celebrating being overweight?  Ok, maybe she isn’t fat but I like my models the same way I like my crepes: thin and slathered in Nutella.  If we can’t count on the French to enforce these standards, where else can we go?

I think more than anything I’m just afraid that the French will become so much like us that we’ll no longer be able to make fun of them.  That is not a world I want to live in.  Who would we turn to for our jokes?  Canadians?  They’re too nice.  No, I want a world that makes sense, a world where the French inspire simultaneous hatred and jealousy.  Take note, France.  This plus-size model thing?  It simply will not do.

-A

Let’s Leave Carrie Out of It, Shall We?

sexy carrie underwood.jpgThere is no question: walk-up music is power. 

Oh, don’t pretend like you haven’t thought about what your walk-up music would be.  Me?  Depends on the mood, but right now it’d be the first few bars of Cats, Van, Bags, or anything by Slayer.

For others, it may be something more tributary.  I fondly remember getting out of my seat and dancing every time Eli Marrero came to the plate with his uptempo salsa music blasting the stadium.  And how could I forget my first Adam Dunn walk-up?  Allen was there with me.  We were both in awe by his slow Phil Collins inspired saunter!

But I just plain don’t like it when politicians try to adopt songs from pop culture.  I didn’t like Bill Clinton’s use of what was once a great Fleetwood Mac song (mostly because of how it affected Al and Tipper, which subsequently made me throw up in my mouth, a lot) and I am not very fond of the current GOP’s outlandish claim to the Carrie Underwood song “Undo It”.

Undo what?

Health care?

Um…

Hold on a sec…

* * *

Okay, I’m back.  I had to go break some s***.

Undo it!?!?!?!?  How about you undo the notion that the previous band of politicians wasn’t fairly elected to make some big @ssed decisions that we — the friggin PEOPLE — asked them to make.

This whole running a country thing… it isn’t a game.  It’s not something to be taken lightly.  So I propose that the new majority spend less time thinking about what they want their walk-up music to be, and more time finding out how to pay for health care; because I think I broke my hand a minute ago breaking some s*** and now I need to go to Urgent Care.

Also, Carrie Underwood is too damn sexy to be associated with… Glenn Beck.

Ew.

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

Peace,

Jeff

I Sing the Body Politic

white_sox_attack.jpgJeff and I often disagree on baseball.  He thinks the Cardinals deserved to win the ’06 Series and I believe they only won because the Tigers gave it away.  He would like to see the Astros wearing wool in the middle of the summer and I think breathable fabrics are a welcome addition to the game.  Despite these disagreements, I’m pretty sure they won’t lead Jeff to punch me in the face.

Same thing goes for Jeff and our podcast collaborator, Johanna.  Jeff and Jo get into some pretty heated arguments over the Hall of Fame but that doesn’t mean that Johanna is going to show up outside of Jeff’s local grocery store one day and attempt to mow him down along with a bunch of innocent bystanders. 

For all its lunacy and despite what you may believe after watching The Natural, baseball doesn’t often lead to death.  And when it does, it’s usually a fluke play as opposed to a chillingly conceived plan.  So why is it that politics seems to inspire the crazies to take things to the next level?

This past weekend’s shooting of a representative in Arizona illustrates just how out of hand the situation has become.  Sure, there are legitimate differences of opinion out there between Americans of every stripe.  But that’s the beauty of democracy.  If you don’t like the way someone governs, you can either vote against them or go out and run for office yourself.  You have options.  Shooting the person and killing a nine-year old girl in the process is the refuge of the weak and ignorant.

The only good thing that seems to be coming of the incident so far is that people are truly focusing on the toxic political environment and its role in the events.  Let me say this.  I don’t think the Tea Party had any more to do with this than did the Sierra Club.  I think this was the work of one unhinged person who couldn’t deal with life and didn’t get the help he needed.  But there is something to be said for a space in which you can draw legitimate lines between what people have said and how that might have contributed to his conclusions.  And this goes for both sides of the aisle.

I don’t have a solution.  And I’m pretty sure that the wave of goodwill between the parties will give way when Congress gets back to business next week.  But hope springs eternal and if Jeff and I can overcome our differences, usually through peace offerings of alcohol or books, maybe the American body politic can do the same.

-A

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