America has given so much to the world. This Friday, I want all of our readers to just sit back as RSBS leads you through the awsomeness that is American history. We start, as is our wont, at the beginning….
“It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.”
—Mr. Allen Krause, March 9, 2011
In the above quote my gruff and oft extraneous colleague, Mr. Krause (also pictured above), says a bunch of stuff without really saying a bunch of stuff. Like a politician jockeying for the attention of the masses, he assumes that by stuffing some multisyllabic extra-credit words in your face, that you will just trust he knows what he’s talking about, that you will quietly nod and accept his worldview even though it has no basis in reality (ironically, this is exactly what evangelicals are famous for, the very people Mr. Krause was thwarting all along).
For ye are the dear readers of RSBS — a vast realm of learned baseball folks who can’t be hoodwinked by a mere impostor of authority! We demand truth! We demand beauty! We demand beer!
In fact, you know what Mr. Krause does when he’s not writing about baseball, solving the world’s socio-political problems or pipedreaming about a World Series trophy among the rubble also known as the Motor City?
He’s busy bein’ a YouTube sensation, that’s what. Maybe you’ve seen this special performance of his…
Take it away, Al!
Yeah, it would be nice if my coauthor had the intestinal fortitude to eschew cliche bubble-gum lyrics and an equally horrifying jazz-hand infested dance routine, but hey, I’m not the boss of him.
So hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Detroit Tigers Spring Training Watch*
Miguel Cabrera has been in camp almost a week now without slurring his words or asking anyone “Do you know who I am!?!?!?!” Hot dog!!!
When Jeff and I discuss our views on the past, present and future of baseball, we often disagree but rarely allow the dissent to become mean-spirited. Sure, there may be the occasional ad hominem attack comparing the other person to Neville Chamberlain but it’s all in good fun. Baseball, like most aspects of life, evolves over time and as choices get made, we see how those choices affect the game and debate the effects.
What happens when your debate can never be settled, though? For instance, what happens when the the debate itself is grounded in faith and a belief that things work one way or another in the afterlife? I’m not talking about zombies here, because we (and others) have already made preparations for that. If and when the zombie apocalypse comes, the fact of whether or not we were ready will be easily observable.
Instead, I’m talking once again about religion and what happens when someone challenges the orthodoxy. For Galileo, it meant facing the Inquisition. For Martin Luther, it meant excommunication. For Rob Bell, no one knows as of yet. That doesn’t mean the religious establishment hasn’t automatically turned their guns on him, though.
For me, the argument is moot since I don’t believe in god. But the fact that Mr. Bell has decided to address the sticky question of what happens to those who don’t believe in the christian god but also never heard about him, exhibits a little less disingenuous thought than one commonly expects from the hardcore evangelicals. It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.
And no, silly, this has nothing to do with Estonia joining the Eurozone, though I do admit, that Eurozone has a lot more going for it than just a snazzy name now that Estonia is in the mix! Look out European Union, ‘cuz y’all haven’t seen oil shale til you’ve seen Estonia!
No, what I actually want to tell you about is something I am still rather reluctant to report: I’ve… I’ve been watching… basketball.
I know, I know, I know… I gave up on basketball back before Charles Barkley ate Jabba the Hutt and I never, EVER, had any regrets. It’s an individual sport. A natural obsession for those with ADHD. An abomination of the thinking man’s game.
Yes, I still believe all of the above is true… but, it was a long, arduous baseball offseason for me and I got antsy and I was just begging for something — anything! — to get me to Spring Training and that’s when I saw…
I saw something… something special… something… MAGICAL.
His name is Derrick Rose.
Now I’m not going to go all John Kerry and flip-flop on y’all… but I am going to admit that I am willing to work with this here NBA thing a little bit longer. Because while the Kobe Bryants and LeBron James and Chris Boshes of the world may leave a sour taste in the mouth of public opinion, Derrick Rose is not just a budding superstar beginning to dominate the entire league, but he is also (as far as I can tell) a genuinely nice guy.
People like him. He’s cool. He’s just a kid having fun.
And I was at a game earlier this season where he did this:
I saw that and I just knew. I just knew, this kid is gonna kill the competition. And if you haven’t been paying attention to the NBA this year (again, I don’t blame if you haven’t), he is doing just that. In fact, I liken his domination to that of Albert Pujols: when I watch him play, I feel like I am watching one of the greatest who ever lived.
Soon, real baseball games will begin and my full attention will be focused on the boys of summer; but I can honestly say, for the first time since the Clinton administration, I will definitely be checking in on the Bulls’ playoff progress.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
PS, If you want to see three minutes and forty-four seconds more of Derrick Rose magic, check out this vid!
At RSBS, we’re critical of the things that go on around us. We’re critical of the things going on in baseball (especially Bud Selig’s machinations and the continued but completely baffling employment of Kyle Farnsworth), we’re critical of events in the world at large and we’re critical of the turn our country has taken in the past couple years. But make no mistake, just because we’re critical doesn’t mean we love our country any less.
I spend a lot of my time outside the US and each time I come back, I’m reminded of how great it is. In fact, I don’t think you can truly appreciate the US until you’ve spent some time outside. One of the things that strikes me each time I return is how accepting we are. I have never visited another country where people of all different religions, ethnicity, socio-economic class and so on and so forth live next to each other, work with each other and generally get along with each other.
But recently I’ve begun to wonder what’s going on. For a country that accepts so many different people and allows these people to express themselves in so many different ways (even when it’s tasteless and abominable), why have we all of a sudden decided to focus so much hatred on one group? Take a look:
And it would be easy to say that this is just one isolated incident but it isn’t. As I’ve said before, the people who blow themselves up or go on some ridiculous rampage represent Islam about as much as Timothy McVeigh represents Christianity. Which is to say that they don’t. I’m not a religious person myself but the Constitution, the document many of these people claim as their justification, codifies the right of any person to worship as they will. You don’t have to like that but you can be civil about it. Civil doesn’t mean picketing and ruining their events, for instance. Do they show up and drink all your wine during mass or or run around naked during your Knights of Columbus dinner?
Anyway, I just wanted to make sure I put that out there. The USA is a great country. In my opinion, it’s the greatest country in the history of the world. It would be nice if these douchenozzles could stop attempting to prove otherwise.
Note: Apparently the video has been taken down due to a copyright claim by George Collins. We’ll keep looking for a new version so you can see it. In the meantime, here’s a brief background on what happens in the video.
What a coincidence, dear reader Henry! For just the other day I was telling my crestfallen and oft flustered colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, that the only surefire way to take over the world is to get a bunch of followers to trust in some cliche, universal proverbs with some fairy tales thrown in for fun. And hot dog if you didn’t just poke me to share!
First, allow me to correct you on the title. Mr. Lung is my pop’s name. This here lil book is called The Holy-Cow Canon of Jeff. It is presented in three parts, or books as you shall see.
The Book of Baseball
Respect. Not sayin’ you have to love the hell out of baseball like I do, but you gotta at least respect it. You must recognize the fact that those of us who worship the game and revere the diamond as our sanctuary tend to be wiser, more patient, and definitely more prone to bouts of combustible love rooted in our collective ability to cherish the good and to quickly forget all that is bad.
From The Book of Baseball, Chapter 28, Verse 5:
“Smith corks one into right, down the line! It may go . . . Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”
The Book of Womenz
Basically, the moral of this book (the largest of the three, naturally), is to always admire and respect beauty — whatever that means to you. For me, that means Erin Andrews’ choice wardrobe selection, Kim Kardashian’s bangin’ bum, Jenna Fischer’s girl-next-door allure, Allison Stokke’s athletically gifted physique and Lucy Liu’s dominatrix potential. (If it’s menz you’re into, then simply substitute “menz” for “womenz”. If it’s non-humans you’re into, then I can’t help you, but maybe these folks can).
From The Book of Womenz, Chapter 43, Verse 12-14:
“The girls is all jockin’ at the other end of the bar, havin’ drinks with some no-name chump, when they know that I’m the star. So I got up and strolled over to the other side of the cantina, I asked the guy ‘Why you so fly?’, he said ‘Funky Cold Medina’.” (via Deacon Loc)
The Book of the Golden Rule
Just like in modern day Christianity, you can skip the other books of this canon if you want and just focus on this last and most important one. It’s fairly simple and you heard it in kindergarten (maybe you haven’t learned it yet) but you’ve definitely heard it: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Got it? Don’t want someone to beat you up and take your money? Then don’t beat people up and take their money. Don’t want strangers dictating to you what you should and shouldn’t believe? Then don’t dictate to strangers what they should and shouldn’t believe. Like living in peace without bombs being dropped on your house? Then live in peace and don’t friggin’ drop bombs on other people’s houses!!!
It’s really that easy!
There’s only one verse in this book, so let me repeat it, The Book of the Golden Rule, Chapter 1, Verse 1:
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU.
Thank you and good night.
Also, the above chapter and verse can be ignored when it comes to Chicago sCrUBS bashing, which is vehemently encouraged and allowed.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m makin’ moves, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
– – –
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In an attempt to present the nuanced coverage of Muammar Gaddafi that the rest of the internet seems to be lacking, RSBS has recently focused on the softer side of the good Colonel. Sure, he may be batshit insane and the Michael Jackson of despots (bleached skin, disturbed children, etc.), but there’s also a softer side to the guy. It’s clear that Mr. Gaddafi puts some thought into the face he presents the world.
But, as we’ve seen this past week, at least the Colonel is in good company. In fact, it’s just about impossible to tell him apart from somebody like Charlie Sheen. Granted, Charlie hasn’t killed anyone (yet), but the way he’s going it’s probably only a matter of time. So, Charlie, Muammar. I’d like to dedicate this Saturday to you. If nothing else you’ve given Jeff something to focus on besides Wainwright’s broken elbow. That’s no small feat.
Two years ago, in order to quell our insatiable desire for all-things baseball prior to Opening Day, my woebegone and oft curt colleague (Mr. Allen Krause) and I decided to get our baseball fill through glorious song. Said gloriousness was achieved by lip-syncing “Crush” by David Archuleta.
It was da bomb.
And it played a major role in making RSBS a household MLBlog name.
Everything was perfect…
Sony had the video blocked. About a year ago. They claimed we shouldn’t be able to post the material because it was not our music. We acknowledged that — DUH — but retorted that ours fell under parody law, that we made no claim that it was our song. We gave credit where it was due and only asked that our interpretation of Archuleta’s hit be given a chance to thrive, because other baseball beserkers would find it consoling during the antsy prelude to the long season.
Somehow, the baseball gods were appeased. And “Crush” is back online.*
For all of our dear readers — new, old, barely breathing — please, enjoy the show!
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**Apparently, some folks outside the US may still have it blocked. So, uh… guess you better move to ‘Merica so you can see it.
I often mix up Micky Mantle and Roger Maris. I think it has something to do with the similarities between the names, the fact that they both played for the Yankees and that I wasn’t alive when either one of them was playing. Admittedly, this isn’t much of an excuse and I should probably feel pretty bad even admitting that this is true but if you can’t be honest on the internet, where else can you go?
However, as bad as my mix-up may be, it’s nothing compared to the mistake Republicans have made for the past 30 years. Whoops!
Ok, before you comment, yes, I do realize that the Onion is a satirical newspaper even if this distinction is not always apparent. But the beauty of the Onion is that its articles often contain a particularly trenchant social commentary. For someone who has become the touchstone for the US brand of conservatism, Reagan was not particularly conservative. He wasn’t a religious man, he spent taxpayer money like Plaxico Burress at a strip club and, on top of that, more and more evidence has surfaced to show that the Alzheimer’s which completely debilitated him later in life had already set in during his tenure in the White House. So why has Reagan remained the conservative hero instead of Ike, a true war hero, a brilliant tactician and a well-liked President?
If you ask me, I think it’s because Ike was bald. People are afraid of the bald. Ok, fine, maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s something even simpler. Maybe it’s the fact that Ike warned against the growing military-industrial complex while Reagan actively supported it.
Or maybe it’s the fact that many of today’s Republican leaders are just plain and simple insane. Seriously, Michele Bachmann isn’t fit to lead a PTA, much less be a spokesperson for the conservative vanguard. I actually like some of Ron Paul’s ideas but ultimately his obsession with killing the Fed and completely disengaging from the world are dangerous at best and probably closer to sociopathic in reality.
Sure, I admit that I get people mixed up. But usually it’s because either their names are similar or they look kind of the same. This attribution of Eisenhower’s ideals to Reagan and their further transformation into the current pseudo-Reagan conservatism is an entirely different ballpark. And unlike my mix up which simply gets me ridiculed by baseball fans, the conservative shell game might just leave the country insolvent. It’s almost enough to drive Mickey Mantle to drink.
When it comes to teams I really wish I could get behind, it starts and ends with the Seattle Mariners. Yes, I admit: my heart really goes out to the city of Seattle and its long moribund baseball team. Since that magical 2001 season, things haven’t been too bright in the Emerald City.
They lost their NBA basketball team. Their football team is… well, it has had its ups and downs, (mostly downs). And the M’s… well, let’s just say that maybe Safeco Field would be better suited to host the Ichiro Show than an actual full nine every day.
In fact, Ichiro is to Kim Kardashian’s bum as the Mariners are to Kim as a whole. The bright spot in Kim’s persona is that beautiful backside, whereas Kim the person, is pretty much an embarrassment to human development. As soon as she opens her mouth and begins talking, it is instantly evident that no matter what she says, listening to her is a colossal waste of time, each word acting as an individual assassin of brain cells.
And I’m totally okay with that.
So don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.