March 2011

Baseball’s Building Blocks

lego_baseball.jpgAs if the official opening of the baseball season wasn’t enough, the Star Wars Miniland at LegoLand California also opens today!  And what could be more American than baseball and Legos?  Both involve the assembly of complex structures from seemingly small and interchangeable building blocks.  Both are incredibly overpriced.  Both are better with beer.

Over here at RSBS, we couldn’t be happier about the start of the season.  Maybe it’s the hellish winter that still hasn’t quite let go.  Maybe it’s the fact that thinking about football also means thinking about the all but imminent work stoppage.  Maybe it’s just that baseball and spring go together like apples and pie.  Whatever it is, baseball is back and from now until November, you can bet that we’ll be letting you know what we think.

So without any further ado, play ball!

-A

Setting the Mahmud: Johanna on Quade V. Silva

johanna mahmud.jpgRSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Loverboy, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Well….. The first Mike Quade tirade is over. Carlos Silva is gone and I couldn’t be happier. In the offseason, as we learned more about Quade and his pastoral fishing trips, thoughts about fly-fishing technique and bait and tackle strategery, I began to wonder what would happen when there needs to be a time to put the hammer down. I got my answer this weekend. When Silva had his tirade earlier in the season over a perceived lack of effort from Aramis Ramirez and other players in a meaningless spring training game, it soon became apparent that his teammates in the locker room had just about enough from this untradeable giant throbbing male member. By the way, this horrible pitcher had a 10.9 ERA in spring training and is a complete a$$bag.

Another thing we’ve learned from tirades in baseball (or maybe it’s just me) is that stupid, childish behavior gets you nowhere. No one ever got better at baseball by being yelled at to be “better”, or try “harder”.

In basketball, you can achieve better results on defense with more energy on that side of the ball, but primarily defense is a team objective. Football is almost entirely a team sport with thousands of moving parts. In baseball, which is an individual game, players don’t get better by being yelled at to try harder. Defense is improved over practicing fundamentals and years of adjustments, like how and when to get to a certain part of the field.

carlos silva cubs.jpgI loved when Carlos Zambrano last year called out (gold glove first basemen), Derek Lee, that he wasn’t giving enough effort on a line drive up the line, when in actuality, Zambrano used Lee as a scapegoat for his ineptness and temperamental issues. After the line drive Lee missed, Z gave up a 3 run bomb.

If I could make people better at baseball by yelling at them, I would have my own instructional video a la Johnny Bench. And it would be called “Listen you f**ktw*t, piece of s*** kid: Be better at baseball right the f*** now or go die inside a dying elephant’s rectum. Please?” I think this could work and be very effective to young aspiring baseball players. It’s like saying guys at the plate need to try harder. Plate aptitude is based on concentration, patience and HOURS AND YEARS of practice. Not try. There is no try.

The best parts of these player on player rants is that it always comes out that the accusing player ALWAYS admits eventually that they were just venting because they were mad at themselves.

Now that Silva has been released, the right pitcher for the future is Andrew Cashner. He has been promoted, Mateo moves to the bullpen and Quade can move on. When Silva talked behind Quade’s back to the media; that was the last straw for him. Jim Hendry, for once did the right thing and finally removed the team and the fans from the original blunder that got us here in the first place with the indefensible signing of Milton Bradley. Which, by the way, 29 other GMs in the league looked at like we lost our damn fool minds and laughed and laughed….and…laughed when as predicted, he colossally blew up in the Cubs’ face.

Mike Quade and the Cubs can move on now in his young inaugural season which is already strife with all the usual Cub plight we’re used to. One hundred years of bad memories, horrible contracts, bad paper, bad karma. Soriano…….(enough said)… Can Ramirez bounce back after hitting .190 for most of the year last season? On and on again.

cock_fight_jean_leon_gerome_combat_de_coqs.jpg
If Mike had to deal with Silva staying and walking on Quade’s sack day in and day out and more second guessing, it would be totally unnecessary. Quade seems to say and do all the right things so far, (especially for a guy that’s been waiting his whole life for this and paid every due imaginable).  But when the initial scuffle happened in early March, he said that some infighting could be good for a team. POPPYCOCK.

All it did was confirm what we’ve been hearing for a while; that Silva was not only a replacement level pitcher but also an undeserving malcontent. Eating the money sucks ($8.5 million), but we basically knew that would happen after about two weeks of jagbag Milton Bradley.

Quade finally let him have it this weekend.

Ozzie style and I’m happy. 

–Johanna Mahmud

Saying “No” to the Nineties

tight_roll_jeans.jpgDo you remember what you were doing in the 90′s?  Specific moments stick out, like the first time I saw the internet, an incident that also went down as the first time the internet ruined the outcome of a sporting event (’96 Olympics).  Specific music, like Pearl Jam, Guns n’ Roses and Nirvana, provided the soundtrack.  Tragic events also play a role, like when I realized that my tight-rolled jeans were no longer socially acceptable.

Honestly, I have no desire to relive most of these events.  If I want to listen to a little GnR, I download them on iTunes.  Tight-rolling has gone the way of beanie babies and grunge.  And although the internet still manages to find ways to spoil things:

spoiler.jpg…it has also found ways to redeem itself.

This is why I ask the question, why would people choose to relive the 90′s?  Because apparently it’s happening even as we speak:

Oregon isn’t all bad and I’m sure that many wonderful people live there.  But why choose Portland?  Go north and you’ve got Seattle and their Mariners.  Go south and you have San Francisco and their world champion Giants.  Portland?  Trailblazers.  Although if you’re still living in the 90′s, I guess that means you also have Clyde Drexler and a shot at the NBA Championship.  Hope this doesn’t come as a spoiler guys, but you’re going to lose to both the Pistons and the Bulls.  Damn internets!

-A

Keep ‘Em In the Closet

scott powers locked in closet.jpgBefore you start jumping to conclusions, dear readers, let me just say that I don’t think Vice President Joe Biden’s aides were in the right for locking Orlando Sentinel reporter, Scott Powers, in the closet during a recent Alan Ginsburg-paid soiree to raise money for the 2012 election campaign.  If Biden’s aides are as sexy and savvy as the RSBS interns, then they surely had a good reason for keeping Mr. Powers confined to a small space for such a long time.*

As a bonafide megafortified soused-out baseball fanatic, I can honestly say that I’d like to keep a few players in the closet for the entire 2011 season, so that I can concentrate on the games being played rather than the asinine soap-operatic subplots of the whiny and perpetually irritating.

Who shall we keep locked up this season you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you:

NYJER MORGAN

This is a tough call because Nyjer’s antics often result in beanball wars and Jeff Lungian smackdowns — both staples of maintaining my healthy psyche.  But, when a player constantly runs his mouth and ends up getting his teammates hurt, then I think it’s time to get out the jaw-wiring.  Besides, Morgan’s a Nat Brewer.  No one will even notice he’s gone.

LUKE SCOTT

He’s an idiot.  He’s a birther.  He’s an Oriole.  And all of those things make him… irrelevant.  A perfect candidate to be closeted.  For the season.  All of it!

And finally, if we’re going to be throwing folks in the closet for the season, let us not leave out…

MILTON BRADLEY

I know that being a Seattle Mariner inherently keeps Milton’s whining out of the headlines (few people care to read the perils of such a slogging team), but this dude isn’t just a baby.  He isn’t just a clubhouse cancer.  He’s also a wife-beater.  Not only that, but the man is not a good baseball player.  He had one decent year, got paid and then went back to being a snake.

To the closet they go!

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

Peace,

Jeff

*This is also how Mr. Krause’s parents shielded him from the temptations of adolescence.

The Filibuster

So what are you guys looking forward to the most this season?

Tim H.
Bowen, IL

____________________________________

baseball.jpgI don’t know what to do with 2011.  First off, it’s a prime number.  Ok, I’m not completely sure on that and I don’t really feel like doing the math to check but I feel pretty safe in saying that it’s prime.  Prime numbers just generally give me the creeps so I’m feeling a little unsettled.

In other arenas, 2011 is shaping up to be kind of blah.  Sure, Jeter will probably get his 3,000th hit and that’s pretty impressive.  But, the best case scenario only moves him up into the top 20 all time, which, although an exemplary accomplishment, still leaves him well south of Pete Rose. 

As far as overall baseball records go, Mariano Rivera could surpass Trevor Hoffman’s still warm saves record but if I can be perfectly blunt, who cares?  Again, yes, it’s impressive but when you trot out of the bullpen two or three times a week to get a couple outs, you’re not exactly the heart and soul of the team.  Closers are like field-goal kickers.  People know who you are and you have an important role on the team but no one really cares until you blow one.

So what does that leave?  There are no meaningful elections this year so that’s not an option.  Strasburg is going to miss the season so the game’s newest and greatest draw isn’t even going to be on the field.  Sure, I’m hoping the Tigers will make a good run this season but that’s just one team.  So what is there to look forward to?

I guess I’m looking forward to baseball without the bulls–t.  Sure, stories will come up and issues will be invented as the season moves on but at this point, it’s just 30 teams trying to make it to and win the World Series.  Ok, 29 because I’m pretty sure we can go ahead and count out the Pirates.  But the fact remains, at this point, a few days before the season begins, everyone has the same record and no one knows who might be this year’s 2006 Tigers, 2007 Rockies or 2010 Rangers.  Who knows, they might even push it a step further and actually win the thing like the 2010 Giants.

So that’s what I’m looking forward to.  No labor issues, no steroid scandals, no imperfectly-called perfect games.  Just baseball.  Throw in a little sunshine and some beer and I think we got ourselves a winner.

-A

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**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just making Mr. Lung row, row, row his boat, gently down the stream? 
Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

In Case You Need Another Reason to Get Excited About 2011 Baseball

You don’t have to be a White Sox fan to let this badass commercial affect you:

Of course, if you are a White Sox fan, you probably feel a little more charged than those who aren’t but still, the theatrics of it all are pretty universal.  Baseball is coming.

And it’s gonna rock our worlds.

In the second grade, I was asked by my teacher where I wanted to live when I grow up.  While most most kids in the class answered with a city name, or, next to their parents’ house, I calmly replied: “anywhere that is walking distance to a ballpark.”

Well, I certainly made that dream come true.  It may not be St. Louis’ Soulard, but Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood (where I make my home) is definitely a great place to live, especially in the summer time.  There really is nothing like coming home for work, changing into comfortable shoes and walking down to New Comiskey to scalp some tickets to take in a game on a whim. 

And ya never know… ‘cuz in any given game, anything could happen. 

Anything.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. 

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS Digest: Badass

bat_catch.jpgI think that picture just about says it all.  Catch flying bat in one hand, gyroscopically protect beer in other.  There’s a pretty good chance he impregnated the woman in front of him during the process, too, because when you’re that badass, nothing can stop you.

You know what else is badass?  Tigers.  Sure, you can make all the jokes you want about the 2008 team that started off losing way too many games to the Royals or the 2003 team that lost 119 games.  The fact of the matter is, Tigers are badass.  You want proof?  How about a tiger killing a lion.  Yeah.  You don’t get much more badass than that.

Good journalism, though, means looking at both sides of an argument.  I have presented you with my understanding of badass but it’s hard to judge badassness unless you have seen its inverse as well.  You know, something that is not badass.  For instance, this:

Jeff & Allen 2.2009 019.jpgAnd with that I think we are all in agreement on what does and does not constitute badass.

Enjoy your weekend!

-A

Understanding Ozzie

ozzie guillen crazy.jpgWhether he’s hawking random expletives, labeling Jay Mariotti as “a garbage” or mumbling Spanglish idioms no one understands during the World Series on Fox, Ozzie Jose Guillen is always entertaining.

And while his latest project may be getting Jake Peavy to respect his own body (regarding injury, not that Jesusy “your body is a temple” stuff), we should all certainly stop to thank the baseball gods that, despite his busy schedule, Ozzie still has time to tweet.

Oh yes. 

Ozzie tweets.

It’s just that… sometimes, his tweets… they’re not easy to comprehend.  And that’s where RSBS and our faithful interns get to work!

Let us enter the interwebs to analyze some of Ozzie’s latest…

My dog dh needs a gf he want to be charlie sheen he is desperate lol
March 3, 2011
Translation: I think it’d be funny if my dog did a bunch of coke, assaulted hookers and got fired from the best job in television, ‘cuz let’s face it: self-destruction is hilarious.

Very nice day off great golf 89 finnaly play good any cuestion ask oney lol yesssss
March 15, 2011
Translation: Punctuation?  Spelling?  I don’t need no stinking punctuation or spelling!  Ask one of my delinquent sons!

Nice shot james lol

February 24, 2011
Translation: Bet you wish you had a Derrick Rose, right, LeBron?!?!  (this tweet came during one of the Bulls’ three victories over the Heat — right after LeBron threw up a humiliating BRICK towards the end of the game.)

Open a jack in the box in chicago please
February 24, 2011
Translation: I have an E Coli addiction and I need a fix!  Stat!

And, finally…

Getting ready to watch bruno the movie lol… Joey cora favorite movie
March 19, 2011 (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2)
Translation: Joey Cora is gay.

Folks, this is but a small sampling of the logorrheic ramblings Ozzie spews on a daily basis, which is definitely cause to celebrate technocracy.  Just imagine if Earl Weaver had a twitter… oh boy.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Living in the Post-WikiLeaks World

We live in a post-WikiLeaks world.  Or at least that’s what I keep hearing.  From what I can gather, basically this means that nothing you say or do can ever be assumed safe.  Make a racist comment, someone somewhere probably overheard it and recorded it.  Record a sex tape or even take a few racy photos and you can be sure they will make their way to the internet.  Overstay your welcome at a friend’s house and wait for the video recreation on YouTube.  That last one gets extra interesting when it’s meta-post-WikiLeaks:

By the way, try saying that five times fast.  Meta-post-WikiLeaks… Meta-post-WikiLeaks… Menopause-we-gleeks… damn.

There are solutions to this problem.  For instance, you can avoid Facebook, stop posting on Twitter and shut down your blog.  But where’s the fun in that?  If there’s no Twitter then there’s no hilariosity from Barry Zito.  And of course no blogging means no RSBS.  Heaven forbid!

Of course there’s always the simple solution.  Don’t allow jackwads like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning access to your stuff, especially if it’s secret.

-A

Cubs Already Reach Midseason Form

cubs mike quade.jpg
It may still be spring training, but the sCrUBS are already movin’ along at their regular pace.  I was able to catch that feeling during Saturday’s spanking from the, er, lowly San Diego Padres.

Quade is the man for the job alright.

Any man who can sit through a butt-whoopin’ like that and not lose his cool definitely has what it takes to sit through another 80 or so butt-whoopins before the long, back-breaking season is over.

Hate me ‘cuz I point out the obvious, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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