February 2011

Imagining Life Without Pujols

sad boy.jpgIf the 13+ year friendship with my gloomy and oft perfunctory colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has taught me anything, it has taught me that the pipe dreaming, star chasing default drive of my youth would be better served with a hard, double dose of good old fashioned realism.

Because despite my enthusiasm, the reality of the situation is this:

Erin Andrews isn’t going to sit on my lap.  Lucy Liu isn’t going to give me a full body massage (with a whip).  And Albert Pujols might not be a Cardinal forever.

I hate it.

I hate all of it.

I want what I want ‘cuz I’m human and needy and, from time to time, self-serving.  I don’t want to be that way, but sometimes I just can’t help it.

The hard truth right now is that negotiations between the St. Louis front office and Albert Pujols’ representatives aren’t going too well.  Or, to be more accurate, they’re not going… at all.

And in times of realistic despair it’s best to take a step back and assess the situation:

What can I, Jeff, the Cardinals fan, do about any of this? 

Nothing.  I can do absolutely nothing.  Sure, I can wait anxiously and dream and hope and yearn… but in the end, I can really do nothing that will have any affect on the outcome. 

I can only control myself.  No one else.  That’s it. 

And the most successful, most respected people I have come to know in this life all seem to have a pretty good grasp of that idea — that the only thing you can control is you yourself.

I know this: I was a Cardinal fan before Albert Pujols.  And I’ll sure as hell be a Cardinal fan after Albert Pujols, whether his number is retired on the Busch Stadium wall or hanging high at Wrigley Field on a background of Cubbie blue pinstripes.*

So with that admittedly uncalled for bit of uberpessimism, I implore you, fellow Redbird crazies, join me… take a deep breath… and picture a hole at first base.  Pretend the baseball gods are drunken a$$h0les and Chris Duncan somehow made it back to the ‘Lou… his Lurchian frame is manning first base.  Every.  DAY.  Yeah.  It’s true.  Picture it… see it… cry about it for a while (I will)… but know that it won’t be the end of the world… we are the St. Louis Friggin’ Cardinals and our birds-on-the-bat laundry is worth more to me, to you, to the entire city of St. Louis, then one single person.  That interlocking “S.T.L.” incorporates a lifetime of emotions.  It has always been there for me.  Like a good parent, or a best friend, it has never let me down, because it always shows up and it always gives its best. 

And if the greatest player I’ve ever laid eyes on can’t be a part of that anymore… then, so be it.

Like any tough breakup, it will hurt like holy hell.  And I mean really, really hurt.  But… life will go on, time will numb the pain, and something better might even come along.

I hope.

Otherwise I’m gonna look like a real dick.

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

Peace,

Jeff

*Yes, I vomited. Many, many times after writing that sentence.

RSBS Presents: Truly Terrible Management

Alan Trammell takes a lot of heat for the Tigers’ 119-loss season in 2003.  Since then, he has coached in the Majors but no one seems willing to give him a second shot at managing.  And that’s probably not completely unfair.  Sure, the teams he managed in 2004 and ’05 may have rebounded from the record in ’03 but they were still 20 or so games under .500.  That doesn’t exactly get you very far in baseball.

However, as bad of a manager as Trammell may have been with the Tigers and no matter how much blame he deserves for that horrible 2003 season, Tram barely even rates a mention when it comes to the truly bad managers.  More than that, in order to truly put his record into context, RSBS takes you on a trip through truly terribly management.

Zine El Abdine Ben Ali
ben_ali.jpgOur journey begins with the recent events in Tunisia.  Now, although the other half of RSBS only knows Tunisia as Tatooine in Star Wars, the country is a real place and it really did just drive out its leader of 30 years.  Mr. Ben Ali took an interesting approach to his position as a footnote in history.  Instead of contenting himself with just looting the riches of his country, he also referred to his fellow Tunisians as “terrorists” for daring to denounce him and then decided to shoot up some of them just to prove his point.  In the end, it didn’t turn out so well and Mr. Ben Ali is now cooling his heels (although probably not literally) in the wonderfully tolerant Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Bud Selig
bud selig picking nose.jpgCome on, did you think I could make it through a post on bad management without mentioning Selig?  The guy’s record speaks for itself.  From the lameass decision to have the All-Star game count for home-field advantage in the World Series to his incredibly arrogant approach to and mismanagement of the steroids era, Selig stands for everything that is wrong with baseball today.  I wish I had something nice to say about the guy just so I could change things up a bit but I’d only be lying to our readers and to myself.  I’m not willing to do either and so Mr. Selig once again finds himself on an RSBS list.

Mobutu Sese Seko
mobutu.jpgGoing back to Africa but a little ways south of Tunisia, we find the monstrous and monstrously mismanaged country of the Belgian Congo…I mean Zaire…I mean the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  From the escapades of the Belgians to a never-ending civil war, the Congo has much to offer in the way of mismanagement.  However, if you want to single out just one person, you’d have to go with Mobutu.  And if there’s one small little tidbit that encapsulates his mismanagement of the country and its enormous wealth of natural resources, it would have to be this: Mobutu built a landing strip at his personal home near the tiny town of Gbadolite and made sure it was long enough to accommodate a Concorde.  He then proceeded to charter the Concorde on a regular basis to ferry he and his family around the world.

Matt Millen  
millen.jpgAlthough Matt Millen never killed anyone directly, he was a terrible general manager.  In fact, he may be the worst manager ever.  Since the inception of the Superbowl the Lions have
never been a great franchise, but he still managed to take them to new lows. 
And, although he was no longer around when it happened, that 0-16 season
was the real fruit of his handiwork.  Sure, when compared to guys like Mobutu and Ben Ali, Millen may not seem so bad.  Even in comparison to Selig and his giant ears Millen may seem tame in comparison.  But it’s just a ruse.  Bad management aside, the man is evil incarnate and the fact that he still has a job anywhere just proves that the greatest lie the devil ever told was convincing the major networks to put him on the air.

And there you have it.  I’m not saying this list is by any means exhaustive but it has been pretty exhaustively researched and vetted, just like everything else I post here.  And all that aside, you know it must be true because it’s on the internet.

-A

“Think About It… Think About It Deeply”

yap.jpgRegardless of who wins the Super Bowl, we, the people, the Joe Plumbers and Jane Six-Packs of the world, will most definitely be subjected to interview after interview after interview of big dummies with fat paychecks who don’t actually say… anything.

This is nothing new, dear readers.  The gene pool is ridiculously consistent in its distribution policies.  Sure, I can’t throw a football 60 yards on a line to a moving target, but I can speak three languages.  I can’t hit a curveball over the left field wall, but I can read books and formulate coherent thoughts through the power of writing.

It’s a balance thang.

And though I often harp on my dislike of hearing my favorite professional athletes speak (Albert Pujols and his non-stop Jesus mouth comes to mind), I sure as hell hope Big Ben or Aaron Rodgers will follow South African rugby star Brendan Venter’s lead:

By the way, Mr. Venter is a medical doctor too.

Yah.

Believe it.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Super and Superer

With tomorrow being the Superbowl and all, not many people care to focus on the happenings of the baseball world.  Well, when in Rome….

I think the best place to begin is with an idea that seems antiquated in and of itself: white running backs.  Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are.

But, as good as those guys may have been, they can’t hold a candle to this:

We miss you, Barry.  Detroit isn’t the same without you, even though you definitely deserved better.

Happy Superbowl Weekend!

-A

Headshot!

headache.gifThree whole baseball absent months have gone by, I’ve spent the last three days digging myself out of mountains of snow and Albert Pujols still doesn’t have a new contract.

I need a beer.

Or ten.

‘Cuz my head hurts.

Of course, it could always be worse… like, 35 times worse.

On second thought, everybody in that vid looked like they were having fun.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

All the Wrong Reasons

kim_cattrall.jpgIn general, we here at RSBS have taken a hard line on the issue of PED’s.  Although I can understand why the athletes feel pressure to partake in banned substances, they really have no place in the game.

We haven’t talked as much about the outside chicanery that sometimes makes its way into the game.  Although it may be harder to get a gadget onto a basketball court or a football field, baseball is rife with examples of players trying to gain the upper hand.  From the spitball to nail files to Kenny Rogers’ alleged goop, pitchers constantly seek out new ways to make the ball do things it shouldn’t.  And batters combat that with innovations like Sammy Sosa’s infamous corked club.

However, all of these baseball shenanigans pale in comparison to Dubai’s current scandal.  No, not Sex and the City 2.  Something even more disturbing than Kim Cattrall thinking she’s still a sex symbol.  Robot jockeys with tasers.

First of all, it’s bad enough that we’ve given up our jockeying privileges to robots.  But then providing those robots with tasers?  Yes, I’m sure the animal rights people are in an uproar (and I’m equally sure the Emiratis couldn’t give two sh—s) but there’s a much more fundamental issue here.  Seriously, have you people not seen Terminator?  SkyNet is just looking for an opportunity.  Providing it with weapons, even stun guns, doesn’t help the situation.

I think we can all agree that tasers do not belong in the metallic hands of robot jockeys.  Let’s put our tasers back in the hands of those who actually deserve them: security guards on college campuses.

 

-A

How Many Second Chances Make Too Many Second Chances?

Charlie_Sheen.jpgMy father’s words may have been cliche when he told me, “It’s not about whether or not you fall down, Jeff, it’s about whether or not you get back up”, but no words could have been more uplifting to my beaten, battered soul.

At the time, I was in the lowest place I had ever been. 

Defeated.  Destroyed.  Desolated. 

To say I had lost the will to live, that I didn’t care about anyone or anything anymore — including myself — can not be overstated. 

I was, literally, done.

Until I started to believe — really, truly believe – that the cliche was right, that I could measure myself by my ability to get back up, that deep down inside, I had guts.

My situation proposed two options: give up and be nothing forever or fight like hell to be the best Jeffery Lung I could possibly be.

One second chance was all I needed.  And I didn’t waste it. 

It definitely wasn’t easy.  It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I f***ing did it.  And I’m proud as hell to say I f***ing did it.

Of course, not everyone has the guts to get back up.  And, somehow, those somebodies often find themselves with third and fourth and fifth chances.

But how many chances is too many chances, Charlie Sheen?  How long before we ought to just give up on you like you’ve given up on yourself, Milton Bradley?  Destructive behavior is destructive behavior, whether it’s a lifestyle, an addiction or anger management issues; and if one is not willing to help himself, then, in my opinion, he isn’t worth helping.  Period.

There are too many other issues that the world and its resources should be concerned about.  I think it’s time we send the Charlie Sheens of the world a message: we don’t care about you or your problems anymore.  If you screw up, you’re done.  No more chances, no more tries, no more fake mea culpas. 

It didn’t work for Steve Howe.*

And after twenty plus years of insanity, I highly doubt it’s gonna work for a silver-spooned brat who just doesn’t get it (and by “it” I mean, life, in general).

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

Peace,

Jeff

*Steve Howe is dead now. He died in a car wreck. He was strung out on meth at the time.

New York, New York

grover_cleveland.jpgWhen Eliot Spitzer left the political arena in a blaze of infamy, New York laughed at the “reformer’s” comeuppance.  When Rudy Giuliani showed his true colors by announcing his intended divorce during a press conference, New York barely payed attention.  And when David Paterson showed that he knew how to get around even better than the other two guys, New York couldn’t have been surprised.

In fact, if history is any guide, New York shouldn’t really be surprised by any of these events.  The only thing that has changed is that it’s no longer as easy to escape from politically perilous pursuits as it used to be.  Grover Cleveland fathered an illegitimate child by a New York socialite but still got himself elected President.  And a recent discovery shows just how easy it was for 18th century New Yorkers to experience similar carnal delights.

So, I’ve decided that for this upcoming season, I am going to give all New York ballplayers a free pass when it comes to sexual shenanigans.  Sure, they aren’t politicians but they’re world ambassadors for the game so they deserve the same concessions as the true politicos.  Beside that, I think it’s what Grover Cleveland would want me to do.

-A

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