February 2011

Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Revolution!

american patriot.jpgHark! 

Dear readers galore, my salient and oft ornery colleague Mr. Allen Krause may have called you to arms, to take up that proverbial weapon of action, to boycott Opening Day in a move to overthrow the Major League powers that be; but ne’er forget:

The shots of la resistance can ne’er be reversed.

Ne’er.

And Opening Day is too important an event to just… swat away with the hopes of passing a message up the chain to get King Bud out of the commissioner’s office.

STOP THE INSANITY!

Look, I don’t like Bud Selig either.  A simple skim over the thousand+ RSBS entries will yield a Bud-bash… or fifty.  And I agree with Mr. Krause’s (and, obviously the public’s) perception of the man; but my friends, he’s going to retire in 2012He is MOST DEFINITELY going to RETIRE in 2012.

We’ve put up with the shenanigans this long… another year or two won’t kill us.

Indeed, it will make us stronger.

And knowing that we baseball fanatics need our baseball, need our Opening Day pomp and circumstance, well, that just makes it that much more insane to consider giving it up.  Trust me… I have personally experienced a similar dilemma:

While delusions of Erin Andrews’ golden locks and Kim Kardashian’s bangin’ booty may entertain most of my non-baseball related thoughts, the real me needs some real attention too.  BUT, the dating world is a cruel, mean, awful and disgusting place.  It whips you.  It slaps you.  It sticks your teeth on a curb and stomps on your head.

I know this.

But I need women… and if it means I gotta wade through muck to get at ‘em, well, then that’s just the way it has to be.  I can’t just BOYCOTT them.  That would be… that would be…

DEATH.

The same goes for baseball and especially Opening Day.  I already got the whole event planned, from sunrise to sunset.  And Bud Selig ain’t gonna get in the way of that.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Welcome to Ground Zero!

bud_selig_dictator.jpgWelcome to the year of the revolution!  Not yet 1/6 of the way through 2011, we have already seen dictatorships toppled in Tunisia and Egypt while other autocrats stumble to shore up support by various means.  But what about back here in America?  We watch the news and post Facebook messages in support of Egyptians and Tunisians but ignore the totalitarians in our midst.  I for one think it time that we stand up and take back what is rightfully ours.  And like all revolutions, we need to start by chopping off the head of the snake.  Bud Selig must go!

To this end, I offer up the RSBS Twitter feed as ground zero in the revolution.  When Selig takes down the blog to help protect his ill-gotten gains, we still have a rallying point.  And make no mistake, he will try to silence the revolution.  Take a look at the facts. 

At this point Selig has been in power for almost 20 years, two decades in which he fiddled while baseball burned during the ’94 strike and ignored the nearly fatal excesses of the steroid era.  He has reaped the rewards of a fundamentally flawed system even as the popularity of baseball wanes in the face of challenges from the NFL and Nascar (check out Bill Maher’s recent explanation here).  King Bud has abdicated his duty and for that he must go.

Revolution is not simple and sacrifice is required.  However, our sacrifice can also hit Selig and his cabal of cronies where it really hurts: the pocketbook.  How do we do this?  Well, imagine no one showing up on Opening Day, leaving the ballparks were empty while fans mill around outside chanting “Bud must go!”  Sure, it sounds far-fetched but two months ago so was the idea that Hosni Mubarak would be chased out despite holding the reins of the state police and the military in his iron fist.

We know Bud’s sins.  We don’t need WikiLeaks because it’s all out there, plain as day.  We just need the spark that will ignite this conflagration.  That spark is coming and in six weeks it ignites the revolution.  March 31, 2011.  Baseball’s Independence Day.

-A

Well, We’ll Always Have This…

albert and stan.jpg

Two legends:

One with the birds-on-the-bat forever, being relished with the Medal of Freedom, still the subject of myriad barbershop tall tales.

And one who has a lot of thinking to do. 

If it’s those damn MLBPA bullies makin’ it hard for ya, AP, dontcha worry.  Me and Maddux got yer back.

Regardless, everyone will shut their traps if you just go out and win it all in 2011.

So yeah.  Go and… uh… do that.

Thanks.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Tiger, Mickey and Wilt Walk Into a Bar…

mickey_mantle.jpgIn our ongoing exploration of all the reasons we love baseball, I like to occasionally return to the audacity exemplified by some of the players of the past century.  And, like it or not, I also have to give grudging respect to the Yankees in this category.  We have already discussed Pete Rose’s stirring tribute to Joe DiMaggio so it’s only fair that we now pay tribute to alcoholic extraordinaire Mickey Mantle.

But aside from super Yankeedom and liver transplants, Mantle exhibited another important aspect of super athletedom that only shows up in a select few per generation.  Our generation has Tiger Woods.  The previous one had Wilt Chamberlain.  But before Wilt and Tiger, there was Mantle

mantle_letter.jpgSure, it might have just been Mantle making an ironic statement on the Yankees’ exploitation of his fame and status but I prefer to think that this little event really happened one sunny afternoon under the bleachers. And if I have to pick just one favorite part, I’d go with the fact that he signs the letter “Micky Mantle, All-American Boy.”  The irony alone almost makes me want to become a Yankees fan.  Almost.

-A

**Special Programing Note**

The start to the new season means we at RSBS are
ready to rev up the Filibuster machine once again!  Please send your
Filibuster questions, hot topics and all around tomfoolery to us by
emailing to kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Holla!!!
 

Valentine’s Schmalentine’s

ryne sandberg dream.jpg

It’s on y’all!!!

PITCHERS.

and

CATCHERS

have reported.

Peace,

Jeff

**Special Programing Note**

The start to the new season means we at RSBS are ready to rev up the Filibuster machine once again!  Please send your Filibuster questions, hot topics and all around tomfoolery to us by emailing to kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Holla!!!

Just Like Brian Wilson Did

Today is an auspicious day for RSBS.  Three years ago today we wrote our first entry.  Funny enough, that first post, penned by yours truly, ended with a catch-phrase that has come to be associated with my colleague, Mr. Lung, “Don’t hate me cuz I’m right, hate me because I’m beautiful.”  But that’s the great part about writing this blog together.  We get to steal from each other, rip on each other and generally make fools of ourselves, together.

That’s why I think it’s only fitting that this post end with the brilliance of Brian Wilson.  No, not the Beach Boy.  The pitcher.  If anyone exemplifies the foolish brilliance to which RSBS aspires, this would have to be it:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/tegwebapps/tbs/tbs-www/cvp/tbs_432x243_embed.swf?context=lopez_embed_offsite&videoId=241512

If you keep reading, we’ll keep writing.  Just like Brian Wilson did.  Yes, this time I mean the Beach Boy.

-A

Shrinking the World through Major League Baseball

jeff lung and randy stern.jpgTomorrow, February 13, 2011, will mark RSBSthird year anniversary!  And, dear readers, I can honestly say that the pure joy associated with co-writing this little corner of the MLBlogosphere knows no limit. 

Perhaps the most soothing lesson I have learned the last three years is that I am not alone.

The world is full of baseball dorks!

And the interwebs make them easy to find.

Where once I was shunned, asked to change the subject, to curb my obsessive-compulsive instincts for all things baseball, now I have found solace and freedom and ecstasy knowing that I’m just one of many brilliant baseball fanatics eager to share his voice.  To borrow a line from Chico Escuela, “beisbol (and technocracy) has been berry good to me.”

And this shrinking of the universe is no more relevant then when attending MLBlog summits like the one I had earlier this week with displaced Dodger fan turned Minnesota Twins supporter, Randy Stern, author of The Heirloom.  Though we had never officially “met”, our mutual understanding of one another was immediately apparent as our conversation dipped and turned and shimmied all-things-MLB.  Hell, we’ve been reading each others’ work for a couple years now… and if you can’t get a good grasp of who someone is through his/her writing, then something ain’t right.  (Maybe you need reading glasses?)

So on this lazy Saturday afternoon before Big League camps open up to start another exciting season, take a second to reflect on the beauty that is this MLB online community; and know that if you’re ever in the Chi, you got a friend in me!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!  Especially today!

Peace,

Jeff

Irreplaceable

steve_young.jpgImagine being the guy who has to take over first base from Pujols when he leaves the Cardinals.  Sure, like Jeff says, life will go on but imagine being that guy.  It doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re always going to fall short.  It’s kind of like Steve Young.  He was a great quarterback but I don’t think that many people would claim he was better than Joe Montana.  It’s hard being a replacement.

Steve Young aside, replacements often leave much to be desired.  Maybe it’s because the original is irreplaceable.  Maybe it’s because the original has a special place in our hearts.  Maybe it’s both.  But the fact is, being a replacement is an unenviable task.

It’s even worse when you have to replace a classic.  The Daily Show pointed this out recently:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Mark Twain Controversy
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:370709
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Sure, the original is full of crass and vile vernacular but that’s the reality of our history.  When you try to replace it, it just comes off as hackneyed and simplistic. 

Huck Finn, for better or worse, represents a specific time in American history, a time that we don’t necessarily have to be proud of but that we should remember.  Albert Pujols represents the other end of that spectrum for Cardinals fans and he’s going to be just as irreplaceable.  And when they try, it’s going to feel just as awkward as the new version of Huckleberry Finn.

-A

Behold! The Tea Party Review!

tea.party.patriots.jpgAmidst the Pujolsian panic terrorizing the otherwise somber pre-spring training minds of baseball fanatics worldwide, we at RSBS nearly lost sight of an extremely exciting development inside the raucous Tea Party movement.  That’s right, folks!  The Tea Party is publishing their very own magazine!

And don’t worry, dear readers… as you have come to expect, we are a step ahead.  In fact, our loyal RSBS interns have already managed to infiltrate the teabagging ranks to bring us a sneak peak at some of the headlines from the inaugural issue!

Enjoy…

How to Incite Armageddon So We Can All Go Back to Sitting on Jesus’ Lap In Heaven
By Mark Williams
Monkey god, go home!  You can’t put a mosque next to or around the corner from a US American institution like McDonald’s!  That’s against God’s plan, to make everyone fat and die so they can go be with him again…

The Whosie-Whats-Its of Duping America

By Sarah Palin
Some people call it smoke and mirrors, I call it using catchphrases that hockey moms will be able to repeat after their husbands have beaten them for the night.  A bridge to nowhere… lamestream media… road to ruin… See!  If I can do it, anyone can, even Republicans…

How to Use the Term “Teabagging” to Your Advantage
By Pat McGroin, Kraven Moorehead & Howie Feltersnatche
First of all, work “teabagging” into your everyday lexicon. If we all teabag the way we should and are devout in our teabagging, the phrase will simply lose its funny connotation, especially if you’re teabagging your mother who might be teabagging your neighbor who might teabagging himself…

And finally, the feature article…

An Introduction to Hate: The N-Word, The F-Word and All Around Bigotry
By Dale Robertson
If it’s different than you, if it don’t look like you, if you don’t like it ‘cuz it ain’t you… hate it! That’s all ya gotta do. Holler at it and bark at it and scream at it and gobdabbit just hate it hate it hate it…

- – –

Not sure what the cover price is going to be, but I am sure that it won’t ever be forked over from my wallet.

Hate me ‘cuz Dale Robertson says to, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

On Common Ground

pujols_smith.JPGPeople on the same side often find they disagree on the specifics.  Let’s take Jeff and his love of the Cardinals.  There are plenty of other St. Louis fans out there who will immediately agree with Jeff that the Cardinals are the best and most wonderful team in the history of baseball.  However, when Jeff then confesses his undying love for Albert Pujols, one of these guys might tell him to hold up a second because obviously Ozzie Smith is much more loveable than Prince Albert.  This will then devolve into a heated discussion on how facial hair should be worn and that will quickly be followed by a fistfight.  But they both still love the Cardinals.

What matters is that both sides ultimately coalesce around a common enemy.  Although both Jeff and this other Cardinals’ fan truly believe that they are right, and although they may believe that the other person is an idiot for even voicing another opinion out loud, the argument gets easily forgotten when faced with the scourge that is the Chicago Cubs.  If there’s one thing they can agree on, despite their insistence on the correct style of facial hair for a true Cardinal, it’s the fact that the Cardinals are much, much, much better than the Cubs.  Everything else pales in comparison.

For this same simple reason, I don’t take all that much joy in the current imbroglio within the GOP.  Sure, there may be a significant difference in ideology that leads Glenn Beck to think that the US should stand by Mubarak to the bitter end while Bill Kristol believes in supporting democracy even when it turns messy.  I’m sure if you sat the two of them down at a table they would argue all day long about who’s right.  (On a side note I’m also pretty sure that Kristol would end up punching Beck in the nose because Beck’s absolute inability to apply simple logic in an argument would eventually push Kristol over the edge.)

However, the reason why I take no joy in any of this is because it doesn’t matter.  Sure, the two men may fundamentally disagree on a subject that one could claim is the heart and soul of their party’s current identity but ultimately, just like Jeff and the other Cardinals’ fan, they share a more important common enemy.  Even if the argument about the fate of Egypt continues indefinitely, both Beck and Kristol will be voting for whoever runs against Obama in 2012.

In some ways, this is the beauty of politics and sports.  Despite our disagreements, we can find common ground.  In the days following the 2000 election, both sides accused each other of bad faith and cheating.  But a year later, the entire country immediately coalesced around President Bush when faced with a much greater common enemy. 

Like Jeff or Bill Kristol, I may not agree with many things that my fellow Michiganders believe.  But we can still watch the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings together and share a common ground for a short little while.  Well, until someone tries to tell me that Billy Sims was better than Barry Sanders, at least.  Then it all goes out the window.

-A

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers