January 2011

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 17: The Lifestyles Hall of Fame Hot Tub Special… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 5.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The Hall of Fame, PEDs and the suggested fondness of Phil Rogers is all it takes to get Jeff and Johanna attempting to kill each other.  Allen probably wished at least one of them would have succeeded… but you’ll have to decide for yourself as the fellas discuss all things controversial and racy (almost like ‘sexy’ but less sexual).  Keith Hernandez gets a mention.  And the Kirk Gibson story… well ya need to just hear it… all to make you Sir or Madame Smilesalot!

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 experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  Keith is a hot topic right now!  Not only is he filming that cool baseball doc, but now he’s got some commercial gigs from the Undercast, so go check it out!

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Recorded Saturday, January 8, 2011

 

Collective Bargaining for Dummies

abe_lincoln_riding_a_grizzly_by_sharpwriter.jpgIt’s rare but sometimes two sides that can’t seem to agree on anything actually get it right.  Obviously I’m not talking politics here.  And based on most of the news I read, I’m not talking about the NFL either.  It turns out that maybe MLB has learned its lesson and gotten down to the dirty business of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement well in advance of its due date.  If things go as planned, there will be no rehashing of the 1994 stoppage that almost killed the game.  Sure, there are sticking points but both the players and the owners are attempting to get out front of the differences before they shut things down.

It’s too bad we can’t say the same thing of the government.  Instead of making tough decisions on real problems, we get grandstanding and gridlock.  Look, I’m no professional political analyst but I can tell you that the Obama healthcare plan isn’t going away.  So, instead of trying to score political points through a repeal vote that will lead nowhere, let’s figure out how to make it more workable and then figure out how to pay for it.

Same thing goes for Wall Street.  Yes, I understand that you’re angry with all those “fat-cats” and their fat bonuses but the simple fact of the matter is that America doesn’t work without Wall Street.  You wouldn’t have that fancy PS3 or the computer (or smartphone or iPad or…..) where you’re reading this blog either if it wasn’t for Wall Street and the American financial model.  More than that, until Wall Street gets healthy, your unemployed @$$ won’t be getting a job.

Here’s the deal.  Just like the ’94 MLB strike took baseball to its nadir, the government shutdown the following year brought American faith in the Congress to one of its lowest points.  Democrats don’t want to see that happen again and the Republicans in control of the House can ill afford it since they’re the ones who will ultimately take the blame. 

Both sides know they have a lot to lose and hopefully this will make them realize they have to work together.  Hey, if the MLB players and owners can finally wrap their heads around that idea, there must be hope for the politicians as well.  And if not, well, there’s always Abe Lincoln on a mother-f****n’ grizzly bear.

-A

*Image courtesy of Sharpwriter

Embarrassed By My Species

head in hands.jpgSociety reeks of the weak.

They might not be everywhere all the time, but the stench of just one weak minded individual has the ability to stamp out all that is good in any given arena, be it physical or mental.

Sometimes the weak throw beer on ballplayers from the bleachers, sometimes they issue fatwas because someone exercised creative license in regard to an archaic lifestyle, and sometimes they walk into Safeway and murder people in droves.

While such instances might not seem like everyday occurrences, let me assure you, they are.  We might not hear about every instance, every day, from every corner of the planet; but it seems that the inability to exact rational thought is something that has hindered mankind since… well… since even before we were called ‘mankind’.

Okay, then, what the hell can we do about it?  What is the solution?  The problem is easily identified, but how do we even begin the process of fixing it?

I don’t have the answer. 

Apparently, no one does.

Tragedy continues to strike at the sloppy hands of the weak.

We may not have the answers yet, but if we make a stronger effort to think, to listen, to have compassion for our fellow man — on an individual level — maybe progress can be made.

At the very least, making a personal vow to do the above is a proactive step.  And as a species, we need to be as proactive as we possibly can, before it’s too late.

Peace,

Jeff

Squishy Apocalypse

Independence_Day.jpgPeople worry about the end of days arriving in 2012.  I mean, the Mayan calendar is a well accepted authority on all things eschatology related.  I pretty much depend on it and my readings of the movie Independence Day for all major life decisions.

But what if we’re off by a year on the date?  Our calendar is based on a virgin birth some 2000 odd years ago.  That’s pretty squishy as dating systems go.  In fact, if you really want to base your system on a virgin birth, you could have reset it any time while I was in high school.  We had at least three different girls who got pregnant and swore they had never been with a guy.

See, here’s the thing.  Mayans are cool and all but I like to rely on America.  And American sources tell us that the Rapture is actually coming this year.  May 21, 2011 to be precise.  So what if she’s right and we’ve been living as though we had to make it one more year but really it’s only 4.5 more months.  Yeah, kind of makes you rethink NOT taking that last shot of tequila on New Year’s Eve, huh?

We here at RSBS want to encourage you to get out there and live every day like it’s your last.  Because it might be.  Has anyone checked out the Zoroastrian calendar recently?

-A

Being 180 Degreeable

180 degrees.jpgTo quote a local legend who has as many haters as he does supporters, “sit back, relax and strap it down!” because I’m about to do something I don’t ever do.  Ever.

That’s right, folks.  I’m gonna admit to some mistakes. 

Three of them.  To be exact.

Now since such an occasion is as rare as Amy Winehouse is sober, y’all might wanna bookmark this for future reference (I’m sure my perverse and oft headstrong colleague, Mr. Krause, has already done so).  The truth is, in order to be a true progressive — someone who is always striving to be, to do, to get better, at any and everything — one must be able to call out his own mishaps, learn from them, and then grow from them.

After being a slave to nicotine for 12 long years, on December 30, 2009, I had an epiphany (not to mention a scary heart palpitation) which forced me to quit smoking — cold turkey — forever and ever.  That 180 degree turnaround inspired me to get healthy, to learn about nutrition, to educate myself on how to feel good.

And it worked.  Physically and emotionally, I have never felt better in my life!

One year ago, as we stewed over the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot, I was quite adamant in my belief that Roberto Alomar didn’t qualify as a lock for the Hall.  My reasoning had nothing to do with the spit-take sitch, and everything to do with my memory of how bad he was in a Mets uniform.  Unfair as that assessment is/was, I went back and looked at his numbers and came to the realization that he was one of the best second basemen of all-time.

natalie portman photo.jpgWhoopsie!

And after years of being bullied by my rowdy college mates for not seein’ what they saw in Natalie Portman as Queen Amidala during those Star Wars prequel disasters, I finally realized what the problem was: my first and lasting impression of sweet Natalie was as a 13 year-old girl engaging in strange and subtle sexual tension with a scruffy lookin’ Jean Reno.  How could I be turned on by that?!?!

Of course, then there was this… and then, there was THIS.

So yeah, me and my manliness can both attest to a completely deserved and sexified 180 turn around in that regard.  Just in time too, now that Natalie is off the market and devoted to makin’ babies

Oh well.  There’s always Padme’s body double!!!

keira knightley.jpgHate me ‘cuz the Constitution still allows it, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Practical Predictions for 2011

We’ve spent quite a bit of time the past week looking back over 2010.  But the start of a new year is also a chance to look ahead and imagine what might be.  Sometimes those predictions are way off, like when I (and almost every sportswriter) thought the Tigers would be unstoppable in 2008.  Sometimes those predictions are a little more accurate, like when people predicted the Democrats would lose seats in 2010.  Sometimes the predictions are eerily prescient, like this:

So, I guess I want to build on that and take this opportunity to make a couple predictions for 2011. 

First, I predict that Obama will pull an Obama and find a way to mediate between the extreme craziness of the Tea Partiers and the extreme idiocy of the crazies in his own party.  I also predict that even though he will do this in a very different way than Bill Clinton, it will still be continuously compared to Clinton’s own recovery following devastating midterms.

Secondly, I predict that hiring will pick up by the 4th quarter of this year and people will be amazed.  All this despite the fact that we have seen time and time again how the economy is cyclical and it was really only a matter of time before things turned around.  I also predict that both sides of the aisle will claim that their actions are the only reason things got better. 

Finally, I bet that 2011 will see many instances of Mr. Lung maligning the Tigers and Cubs whilst opining the Cardinals.  He will also ask you many times not to hate him.

Hey, I didn’t say my predictions would be earth-shattering.  I’m not a betting man.  If I’m going to predict something, I like to know that I’m going to be right.  And in that same vein, here’s another one you can take to the bank.  Apple will release a new version of the iPad that includes either Flash compatibility or a camera and then release another version several months later that includes the upgrade they decide to forgo in the 2nd generation.

Just remember, you heard it here first.  Now get out there and start spending your upcoming tax breaks.  Like your girlfriend, this economy ain’t gonna stimulate itself.

-A

A Well-Timed Hall of Fame Opus

keith hernandez badass.jpg
A damn shame.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The United State of Potential

The year is still young and full of potential.  This could be the year that the Tigers return to the World Series and finish what they started in 2006.  This could be the year when the Lions approach .500.  This could even be the year when the University of Michigan finally ends its travesty of an experiment with Rich Rodriguez and hires someone who actually knows how to coach. 

But before we sail off into the sea of “what might be,” I want to take one more look at “what was” in the best way I know how.  Through the immortal words of Usher, Enrique and Ke$ha:

Hey, where’s the Bieber?

-A

The Graphic Truth: Ways to Strikeout Alfonso Soriano

While eschewing the seasonal “will the Cardinals be able to sign Albert Pujols” question, I stumbled across this gem among some old game notes and strategies for getting out Cubs.
graphic truth soriano.JPG

Ah, nothin’ hurts more than the truth.

At least he’s only signed for four more years at *gulp*, $18 million a year.

Uh… yah.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I know bad math when I see it.  And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

2010: A Year in Review (Pt II)

RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpg2010 offered a little something for everyone.  There were elections in the US, implied succession in the DPRK and in between all that, we even found time to play a little baseball.  2010 was also special because the Krause-Lung powerhouse accomplished a feat that had not even been attempted in many years.  That’s right, we got to hang out on two separate occasions!

In the world of RSBS, we provided the hard-hitting analysis and cheap shots you’ve come to expect.  Cheap shots.  You know, like not once but twice writing on David Paterson and making puns about blindness in both titles.  Luckily we could always fall back to classy topics, like in the tenth edition of the Podcast when the idea of sprinkling AIDS on Bud Selig’s salad somehow slipped out. 

Although Mr. Lung’s interests are legion, he always makes sure to come back to sure-fire crowd pleasers, like the Cubs.  Or pictures of half-naked women.  However, this year Mr. Lung managed to take things to an entirely new level by combining both his hatred of the Cubs AND his love of gratuitous, scantily-clad women.

Ultimately, we kept doing what we have been doing since 2008.  Red State Blue State gets out there and addresses the issues and topics you want to know about, just like the following top five Jeffery Lung bylined entries of 2010:

2nd Honorable Mention:

RSBS Undercover: Jeff as a Yankees Fan, Day 1

Sure, we aren’t the biggest fans of the Yankees over here at RSBS.  But you can’t say we don’t make an effort to be fair.  Mr. Lung took this sense of fair play to a previously unheard of level when he spent several days towards the end of the season as a Yankees’ fan.  To get the full picture you’ll have to read the other two parts but Day 1 sets the tone and sets Mr. Lung on a path that few others have dared to tread.

Honorable Mention:

All Teams Dissed Equally

That famous RSBS sense of fairness also flared up back in March when Jeff addressed the notion that we were biased for or against certain teams and players.  He then proceeded to take the piss out of all 30 teams showing once and for all that bias is only in the eye of the beholder.  Unless you’re talking about the Cardinals in which case, “Guilty as charged.”

2nd Runner Up:

RSBS Sits Down with Ken Griffey, Sr.


2010 was notable for RSBS in the we got the chance to sit down and talk to several Hall of Famers.  The series kicked off with Jeff’s interview of Ken Griffey, Sr. in which Jeff and Ken (can I call you Ken?  Mr. Griffey?  Mr. Griffey, Sr.?) discussed a topic close to all three of us, prostate cancer.  Between the Griffey interview and Strasmas, the end of June turned out to be quite eventful.

1st Runner Up:
This Took 18 Years!?!?

Despite the irreverent tones, RSBS takes both its baseball and its politics seriously.  So when the Congress finally overturned the abomination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell just before Christmas, it was inevitable we’d have something to say.  Mr. Lung met the challenge head on and delivered an impassioned defense of all that makes America good.

And the Winner is…:

RSBS Sits Down with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith

There are certain moments that mark us all.  Certain events rest forever in our memories and fundamentally alter our psyches.  I’m guessing Jeff’s interview with Ozzie Smith was one such moments.  Put aside the fact that the guy is a Hall of Famer and one of the best shortstops to have played the game.  Forget that generations of Cardinals’ fans look at his career as the second coming of Christ.  Jeff got to sit down with his childhood hero and talk to him one on one.  That, my friends, is something special.

So, there you have it.  The Year in Review, RSBS style.  And stay tuned as we roll into another year.  There will be baseball.  There will be politics.  And evidently, if Mr. Lung has anything to say about it, there will be gratuitous scantily clad women.

-A

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