March 2011

RSBS Presents: Being Right

gop_elephant.jpgI’ll be the first to admit that we point a lot of fingers over here without always recognizing people who are doing a good job.  For instance, Bud Selig, although old, ugly and responsible for some of the worst excesses in the game of baseball’s long history, has also helped several teams secure the funding they needed to build new stadiums and has so far managed to avoid contraction.

The same thing goes for the government.  It’s easy to focus on the guys who show up on MSNBC and Fox News to spout whatever partisan talking points have been approved for the day but we tend to hear a lot less about the guys who stand up and give it to us straight or who quietly support something they believe in personally even if it doesn’t necessarily follow the party line.  So here’s a few guys with whom I generally disagree but who deserve some respect anyway.

William Gates
This one is pretty easy because Gates has actually been a very effective and post-partisan Secretary of Defense.  However, he recently brought it to another level as he took Congress to task for wasteful defense spending and then spoke his mind in front of the graduating class at West Point.  Gates is on his way out so it’s a little easier for him to call it like he sees it but it’s still something worth mentioning.

Samuel Alito
Alito is a conservative’s conservative.  Even when he does something I agree with, it’s usually for a completely different reason than why I would have done it.  However, when he voiced the sole dissent with the Court’s opinion in the Westboro Baptist Church case, you had to feel a little twinge of pride.  Sure, I don’t agree with his legal reasoning and the court made the right decision in light of the First Amendment.  However, Alito expressed what pretty much all the rest of us were thinking when he wrote “In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and
vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of
innocent victims like petitioner. I therefore respectfully dissent.”  I respectfully concur.

Dick Cheney
Yep, he made the list, too.  And honestly, generally Dick is a dick.  But like any parent, when you mess with his kids, you wake up a giant.  You don’t want to do that, especially when it’s a giant who shot his own friend in the face with a shotgun.  So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise to find out that Dick does not toe the party line when it comes to gay marriage, especially since one of his daughters is gay.  Cheney even famously parted ways from his Commander in Chief when it came to the issue of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  Hey, maybe he’s not such a dick after all.

Lindsey Graham
Being a Senator means that sometimes you get to be above the fray.  In general, it’s a contemplative body that acts as a check on the hot-headedness of the House.  So in an era when disentangling the US from any sort of foreign involvement has become the mantra of the Right, it’s nice to see a Senator from the Right stand up and say that what we need is a more robust and intelligent foreign involvement.  You tell ‘em, Lindsey.

Sure, Graham and Gates tend toward the more moderate positions so maybe this isn’t all that bold of a list.  But I still think it’s important to give credit where it’s due.  More than that, it’s nice to see some politicians show some balls.  Too bad the Democrats can’t do it from time to time.

-A

The Filibuster

If you could spend the day with any non-Cardinal baseball player
currently playing in the majors, who would it be and what would you do?

Melissa
Sandusky, OH
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writing_letter.jpg
Is it just me or am I constantly being set up by my friends and dear readers to expound on my favorite baseballers in a way that encourages embracing a certain, subtly disclosed homoerotic undertone?

Or, maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

I dunno.

Okay, Melissa, so you take away my number one and two options by canceling out the Cards; but let me assure you, the number three spot is also a no-brainer.  For me, anyway.  Of course, you may be shocked to hear it but for this hypothetical man-crush date (is it a man-crush date or did I make that part up too?) I’m going with the one, the only:

Stephen James Strasburg.

stephen strasburg fastball grip.jpg
WHAT!?!?

Exactly.

Here’s how our date day will go…

9 a.m. Workout
I pick Stephen up and we head to the Nats’ training facility.  I am Stephen’s shadow.  I do very little talking and a whole lot of observing.  I don’t wanna make this strange for the 22 year old phenom, so I just go with the flow.  I know Stephen is out for the season, recovering from Tommy John surgery, but a man’s still gotta stay in shape and I wanna know how he does it. (Also, when no one is looking, I coat Nyjer Morgan’s supportive equipment with government grade Tiger Balm.)

12 p.m. Lunch

We eat a healthy, protein-packed lunch that will fire our fast twitch muscle fibers so we recover faster, to become stronger.  I now start asking questions, overly aware of how annoying I can be when given free reign to discuss all-things baseball.  Eventually, these questions lead to hitter preparation science, so off we go to…

2 p.m. Video Room
I want to get inside the head of Stephen Strasburg.  So I present to him a reel of the Major League’s best hitters: Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto.  I want to know how he is going to approach them.  I want to see him point out their holes.  Stephen, of course, is as calculated as he is modest, and he ain’t givin’ up too many secrets.

3 p.m.  Practice Field [For this part, let us forget that Stephen can't pitch right now, shall we?]
Luckily, I brought along my catcher’s equipment from high school (it all still fits!), including my over sized mitt.  I take my place behind the plate and ask Stephen to go easy on me.  In high school I think the fastest fastball I ever caught was in the 70 mph range.  After three Strasburg change-ups, I lose all feeling in my catching hand.  But this is Stephen Friggin’ Strasburg, so I man up, take the pain and ask for more.  Watching his yacker yack and his fastball bite, wow… just, wow.

5 p.m. My Crib
All my best friends (Mr. Krause, Johanna Mahmud, Yadier Molina) come over to my place.  We got beer.  We got wings.  We got pizza.  We also got a big screen HD TV showing the very first Strasmas ever: June 8, 2010 — the greatest single regular season game that didn’t mean anything, ever played, in the history of my universe.  Ever.  We watch in amazement as Stephen talks us through each at-bat, each pitch, each hair raising moment. 

After three plus hours of pizza, wings, beer and Strasmas in my very own living room, I am finally able to sit back on my couch, relax, and wait to die.

It’s been a splendid day.

Life is good.

Don’t hate me.

‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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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. Krause look as silly as Mario Lopez hosting a television show (trust us, it ain’t hard)?  Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Venezuela’s T&A Problem

miss_venezuela_dayana_mendoza.jpgWith everything going on in North Africa, the Middle East, Japan and the US, it has been a while since we took a look south to see what’s happening in that infamous incubator of Ms. Universes, Venezuela.  Turns out we picked the right moment to look that way because Hugo is once again bringing the crazy.

Most of the time when we have a bone to pick with El Presidente, it has something to do with his politics.  Sure, we may lean to the left here at RSBS but I’m pretty sure I speak for both of us when I say that we see very little value in nationalizing companies. No matter which side of the political spectrum you hail from, though, Hugo may have finally gone too far this time around.

At this point I’m sure you’re getting a little curious to know what it is that the leader and founder of the Bolivarian revolution has done.  Did he club a baby seal?  Has he proclaimed cashmere to be a tool of the capitalist devils?  Did he proclaim red to be the new black?

No my friends, it’s something much worse.  Mr. Chavez declared a new public enemy number one in Venezuela: Breast Lifts.  That’s right, in a country facing rising import prices, a greatly decreased oil production capacity due to state mismanagement and the specter of sovereign default, somehow Venezuela’s greatest problem is poor women getting breast implants.

Let’s face reality, Hugo.  At this point in time Venezuela has exactly two things going for it: its exportation of baseball players to the US market and its spectacular track record in winning Ms. Universe contests.  Do you really want to attack the industry that makes the latter possible?  And what’s next?  Decrying the use of precious natural resources in the making of baseball bats? 

Although we here at RSBS are from being economic experts I hope we can be so bold as to propose a simple solution.  At a point in time when crude is still selling at over 100 dollars a barrel, maybe instead of focusing on silicon and saline you should instead figure out how to increase oil production capacity.  And if that fails, you can always turn your rage towards butt lifts.

-A

Nursing that Irish Hangover

ireland hangover.jpgWhat, exactly, is an Irish hangover you might ask?

For most people, it’s the same as a regular hangover (dehydration, vomiting, possibly waking up next to a bearded lady), only the sun is still up ‘cuz you started partying at ten in the morning.

OR…

In my case, it mostly concerns dealing with a slew of sore face muscles caused by laughing too much.  The following video will do that to ya:

I know this vid is old, but hell, it ain’t stoppin’ Mr. Krause and I from grabbin’ our firearms to join the hunt.  Besides, the mystery of this southern leprechaun is as funny as Kyle Farnsworth is terrifying.

And believe me, that’s a lot.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Luck O’ The RSBS

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I wrote this post last night while I was drunk.  It just seemed correct in the spirit of the event.  Not all that surprisingly, it actually came out more coherent than most of my posts.
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There’s something to be said for tradition.  For instance, the tradition of celebrating St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland by getting tanked on Guinness and Irish whiskey.  Over here at RSBS we have a slightly different tradition when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day.  It doesn’t involve drinking because drinking still hasn’t been perfected over the internets.  However, it does involve that other famous Irish pastime, singing.  So, pick up your glass and join Mr. McLung and Mr. O’Krause in a tribute to their shared Irish (or Scottish, but who’s counting?) heritage.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 20: Utley’s Multiple Meniscuses… and Other Stuff

betty white and alf podcast photo.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The proverbial (and literal) gloves come off in this verbal masquerade of utter ridiculousness and yes, injuries do occur (though mostly to Johanna and, since they are mental in nature, hardly noticed).  Among the topics of conversation one will find: Jeff’s wandering Forever 21 eyes, Zack Greinke’s ribs, the difference between a half and a full nelson, Cameroonian baseball, Bud Selig-bashing take 47 and much, much more… all to make you smile, laugh and play!

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.  Keith is all over the interwebz killin’ it.  You should definitely check out his crew and their subsequently hilarious podcast at Undercard Films.  And keep your eye out for what’s next.  Dude’s makin’ a movie!

- – -

Recorded Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shutting it Down

shutdown.jpgImagine you’re the general manager of a baseball team.  Now imagine that your ownership team is split between two separate factions who can’t stand each other.  They so disagree on the direction the team should take that they won’t even tell you how much money you have to field your baseball team.  In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have to shut down in a couple weeks.  Only until things can be sorted out, of course, and then you have to get back to business as usual.

Yeah, exactly.  That would never fly.  The same thing is true if you were talking about a major corporation or even a small business.  But after going through a government shutdown 17 years ago, we’re heading that way again.

Here’s the thing, though, when a baseball team shuts down, the players can either rely on their millions in endorsements or help from the union fund.  No such luck when you work for the government.  In fact, if you’re working for some agencies, you might not only be staring a work stoppage in the face, you might also be looking at getting your pay cut

Now, I’m a realist.  I understand that both parties are content to just let this play out until someone flinches.  And with next year being an election year, neither side wants to come out looking like the bad guy or looking soft.  In the end we’ll probably get some sort of mishmash of a bill that doesn’t solve any of the long-term problems we face yet both sides will claim victory while simultaneously talking about how the other guys screwed the American public.  It’s just sad that we can’t get some good leadership there in Washington.  You know, like Bud Selig.

-A

Killin’ It In 140 Characters or Less

oliver perez mets tweet.jpg
And thus continues the neverending sobfest that is the post-2008 season New York Metropolitans.

They just… haven’t been the same. 

And now with the Madoff fallout hindering the club financially, I expect we will be hearing a lot of vitriolic critiques, like the one above on Ollie.  Oh Ollie…

I don’t feel sorry for him.

Still, rather than sling crud at those who cannot defend themselves, we at RSBS prefer to just hit below the belt every once in a while.  As long as we draw a laugh out of ya, all is fair.

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

Peace,

Jeff

*Oh yeah, if you’re not already, follow us on Twitter yo!

The Filibuster

Do you think Jeter will pass Pete Rose as the all-time hits leader?

Mark
Canton, IL

____________________________________

derrick rose simeon.jpgDamn, I knew Derrick Rose was gifted but the all-time hits leader at his age?  That’s just straight up impressive.  I didn’t even know they counted hits in basketball!  Is that like a non-foul or something?

Oh, Pete Rose.  Whoops.  Sorry about that one.  Oh yeah, I was just joking.  Of course I knew what you meant.  And as for your question….

I’m not sure.  I think we’ll know a lot more at the end of this upcoming season.  See, here’s the thing.  It depends on which Derek Jeter shows up in 2011.  If the Derek Jeter of 2009 shows up, he has a fighting chance assuming he can continue that form.  Rose played 23 seasons and Jeter, at 36 with 15 seasons under his belt, could probably put in another 5 or so.  Assume he goes 6 seasons and can stay consistently around 200 hits a year, he has a decent chance of catching Rose.  If 2010 Jeter takes his place, let’s just say it’s not very likely and leave it at that.

But this leads us to a larger question.  Derek Jeter is a sure-fire Hall of Famer.  At this point in his career, he’s in a league by himself.  But he’s still chasing Pete Rose, a man who is banned from the Hall despite holding some of the most important records in baseball.  Yes, Rose hurt the game of baseball and desecrated his own name with his actions.  But denying him a place in the Hall cheapens baseball.

At this point in the discussion, I’m sure some people will insert the Barry Bonds argument but the two have nothing to do with each other.  Rose bet on games, maybe even threw a few despite the fact that he denies it.  However, you can’t deny his dominance as a player and the fact that he did it through his own abilities.  Despite Bonds’ very real abilities without the juicing, you can’t say the same of him.  Sadly, the real difference is that Bonds could still make it into the Hall despite his well-chronicled use of PEDs but Rose is barred for life.  This is plainly and simply a disservice to the game and a disservice to the Hall.

So that’s a long, rambling and completely underwhelming answer to your question, Mark.  If you just want my opinion on whether Jeter will pass Rose, though, I’d say no.  But Jeter will still be in the Hall and Rose will still be outside looking in.

A
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**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just seeing Mr. Lung with mud on his face?  Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

We Heart Japan

i love japan.jpgSometimes it’s hard to find the right words, but these pretty much sum it up for us.

And since Japan has provided us with the talents of Hideo Nomo, Akinori Iwamura, So Taguchi, Ichiro Suzuki and many, many more, we would just like to remind them and everyone else touched by the recent disasters in the Far East that we definitely got their backs — that the power of many is stronger than the power of one.

The rebuilding process will be slow, but together we can get ‘er done.

For more information on how you can help, please visit The Huffington Post and examine its list of charitable foundations.

Peace,

Jeff & Al

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