May 2011

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 23: Buster’s Broken Body… and Other Stuff

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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna join forces in what is secretly designed as an intervention for Allen and his anachronistic memory.  The three of them then launch into some raunchy debates over this young MLB season, including but not limited to double headers, home plate collisions, “offensive” t-shirts and much, much more… all to make you smile for berry berry long time!


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Recorded Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fleeing the Earth

As a fan of Michigan sports and especially University of Michigan football, I can’t help but experience an inordinate amount of glee in the problems currently roiling the Ohio State football program.  You can say I’m a bad person for feeling this way but if you ask a Buckeyes fan, I’m sure they’ll admit to feeling the same way when Gary Moeller was forced out as the coach at Michigan.  Sure, you’d like to be able to beat a team on their own terms but when they’ve got your number, it’s a little satisfying to see the person responsible for that get the boot.

And it’s not just football.  With the Tigers playing in the same division as the Indians and the Indians currently whipping everyone’s butts, it’s just one more reason to dislike Ohio.  But maybe I should be a little more empathetic and feel sorry for Ohio.  After all, there must be some truth to this graphic:

So, Ohio, I’m going to go easy on you.  You’ve had a rough year with LeBron leaving town and Tressel’s sweater vests hiding a growing laundry list of sins.  But when the dust settles and Tressel gets forced out, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to have a drink to celebrate.  Same goes for when the Indians come back to earth.


The Filibuster

If you had to choose between watching the Heat and the Mavericks in the NBA Finals or the Cubs and the Pirates playing a mid-week series, what would you choose?

Mechanicsburg, PA

Hold on a second here, Henry.  I know where you’re going with this and believe me, the old me would high-five you, pat you on the back for representin’ the greatest game on earth and laugh in the face of all those suckas entranced by David Stern’s tamed down version of the WWE.  The problem is, a funny thing happened to me during the baseball offseason, and now I too can be considered a cog in the NBA machine.

This is not a bad thing!

To me, baseball still sits atop the professional sports world.  It simply can’t be beat.  If you are looking for an exact explanation as to why I feel this way, just check the over 1100+ posts in our RSBS back catalogue, consider my socially-backwards tendencies of staying home on Friday and Saturday nights so I can watch five straight hours of baseball undisturbed and you should be drunk with the RSBS brand of baseball championing.

But there’s something subtly intoxicating about the NBA this year too, from the LeBron disaster to the fall of the Lakers to the bright futures of Westbrook, Rose and Durant… I mean, watching those guys drive to the hoop over 7 foot monsters is pretty close to watching a suicide squeeze late in a tight ballgame.  And I can appreciate this electrifying comparison — finally, after a self-imposed decade long hiatus from basketball fandom — because this year I had my very own private NBA tutor walk me through what I have missed (the storylines, the heroics, the defeats — it’s all very soap  opera-ish), to explain what “pick and pop” means, to show me the entire floor for a full understanding of the sport.

So to answer your question, Henry… I will be watching Heat/Magic on Tuesday.  You bet.  I wouldn’t miss Dirklicious schoolin’ the most hated man in all of sports.  Of course, I’ll be watching it!  But, like all the other games before it, I will be watching with one caveat: that my laptop is running four live baseball games and my finger is set to scroll my MLB Extra Innings package during all commercial breaks.

Who said a man can’t have his cake and eat it too?


Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.



Fear the Beard? I Fear the “Womb Broom” a Little More

No sport has better mustaches than baseball.  From guys like Rollie Fingers up through Brian Wilson today, facial hair has that Samson-esque quality that propels good players to another level.  And it’s not just baseball where this is true.  How about guys like Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds?

Now, I have a soft spot in heart for Selleck because, like Jay-Z with the Yankees, he made the Tigers hat more famous than a Tiger can.  Selleck’s baseball ties go even deeper than that with his appearance in the film Mr. Baseball.  As much as Selleck’s mustache may have allowed him to take things to that next level, it’s still nothing in comparison to Reynolds, though.

Reynolds wasn’t just Smokey (or the Bandit, not really sure which one), he was also a testosterone fueled sex-symbol of the 70’s.  You don’t have to believe me, the proof (in all its heinous glory) is out there and fully searchable on the interwebs and includes pictures.  I’d copy some of the quotes but I’m pretty sure they’d get censored out so it’s better if you just go take a look on your own.  Suffice it to say, Reynolds’ mustache could probably eat Brian Wilson and his beard whole.


A Convenient Inconvenience

Did you know that “the Situation” from Jersey Shore might make more than $5 million this year?  Have you heard that Snookie from the same show had a NY Times best-selling book?  And just in case it wasn’t already clear that the NY/NJ area is going to hell, did you read about the NYC based political strategist who recently managed to place herself at the center of a “too fat to fly” controversy?

I understand what’s going on with the Jersey Shore kids.  We have a fascination with things that disgust us and they definitely fall into that category.  More than that, self-promotion is a time-honored American trait so why not take advantage of your 15 minutes of fame before it ends.  Sadly, the fat lady falls into both of these categories, too.

I know, I’m as shocked as you that an overweight weight-loss blogger would somehow manage to find herself smack dab in the middle of a weight-based controversy.  It’s almost unthinkable.  Granted, it is America and I give her props on the self-promotion.  But as someone who flies somewhat frequently and who has sat next to people who clearly needed to purchase two seats, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for her.

You can make the argument that as long as the person fits between the two armrests they should be able to fly.  However, when you suck in, you can usually fit yourself anywhere for a limited amount of time.  I can think of a few times I’ve been seated next to someone who “fit” between the armrests but as the flight continued and their paunch began to drift, the armrest magically began levitating.  We paid the same price for the ticket.  You should not be taking up half of my seat.

Here’s my take on it, Ms. weight-loss blogger.  I’m happy you’re losing weight and I hope you continue.  I’m sorry if Southwest announced a little too loudly that you needed to buy an additional ticket to make up for your girth (although not really).  I also don’t mind that you’re attempting to make a little moolah off the whole deal.  But I also really hope I never have to sit next to you on a plane, at least not until you’ve got that heft down under 2 C’s.  The Jersey Shore kids may be annoying but at least they don’t spill into my seat.


Someone Please Save Buster Olney from Himself

My general distaste for all-things Buster Olney is about as well known as LeBron James is tirelessly pompous.


So after Buster Posey’s devastating injury suffered during a home plate collision with Florida Marlin Scott Cousins Thursday night, I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Olney would come out with some stupidly fandangled approach to squash any potential collision-based injuries.

Ban home plate collisions?  What are you talking about, Buster?  It was a freak accident.  Ban home plate collisions!?!

Why don’t we ban pitching inside too!?!

And we should ban breaking up the double play on a hard slide into second!?!

How about we ban walk-off celebrations and ban beer in the grandstands, JUST FOR FUN!?!


No one likes to see people get hurt.  No one.  But guess what: it happens.  People get hurt playing baseball all the time.  Sometimes they get seriously hurt.  It sucks.  There’s no denying it.

But that still doesn’t make it okay to go off and make drastic rule changes to the game, just because you and your worldwide leader in smut want blog traffic.

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



PS.  Things might be different had you not “broken” that story on Ryan Howard for Pujols a while back.  You lost all respect from me — and many other knowledgeable baseball folk, I imagine — after that.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast miscreant, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Quips a la Johanna

Went 3 for 3 last night. Scored 1 run, had 2 assists and no errors. I’m a goddamn kickball savant.

Alien invasion or zombie apocalypse?

I think Arnold impregnated a wildebeest. Between him and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, its been a bad week for the help.

Great morning! Had a light jog and did some tranny hooker window shopping!

After living on scurvy and rum, how are most Pirates’ hand/eye coordination? Can they play Mario Cart?

You can follow Johanna’s tweets *HERE*

–Johanna Mahmud


Taking advantage of race for personal gain is a time honored tradition in the United States.  Sometimes it’s nefarious like the slavery thing or the use of Asian immigrants in building the railroad.  Occasionally it’s purely political like the recent anti-immigrant law in Arizona.  Sometimes it just weird.

In the weird category, we have the Cubs’ failed Fukudome experiment which also created the Fukudome unlicensed t-shirt controversy.  If you’ve already forgotten, let me refresh your memory:

I think we can all agree that the t-shirt was tasteless but somebody made a boat-load of money off of it before it got shut down.

More recently we have Congressman Dan Adler who is running in California.  I’m not sure if his recent ad is racist, ridiculous or possibly just undefinable.  Take a look and decide for yourself:

Does it make it better that he’s a Jew married to a Korean?  I think I’m just really confused.  Does it help his campaign?  Well, it is California so your guess is as good as mine.

Ultimately the Fukudome t-shirt got yanked off the market and definitely received much more negative than positive press.  Adler seems to be faring about as well and with this ad, he may have just cemented his position as also-ran:

Hm, maybe using race for personal gain isn’t such a good plan after all.  Using Patty Duke might fall in that same category, too.


I See Your True Colors

Being the iconic bastion of worldly intelligentsia that I am, humbly speaking, it is no wonder that my peers see my representation of Cardinals Nation and project it on the populous as a whole.

I like to think that my fan image boosting is just me doing my civic duty; for anyone who truly knows the depth of the average St. Louis Cardinal fan’s psyche, reality may be a cumbersome sidekick.

Sure, we may be one of the smartest baseball-minded fanbases in the Major Leagues, but, to the unknowing, casual bystander, that intelligence can still leave a lot to be desired.

Like… a lot.

Unfortunately, the below reality outweighs my grassroots, ad hoc movement:

We Are Cardinal Nation from on Vimeo.

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



*Special thanks to the blokes at Joe Sports Fan for the vid tip.

The Filibuster

Do you agree with Jim Leyland that interleague play has run its course?

Somerville, NJ 


LEYLAND_card Jim Leyland is a smart guy. He’s been in baseball since back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. So when Jim Leyland says “I think it’s had its purpose, and it’s probably, in some case, served its purpose. But it’s run its course,” me, I take notice.

And Leyland has a point. Interleague has gone beyond its original intent and occasionally constitutes more than 10% of a team’s schedule. This means that a team might end up playing 18 games against interleague opponents to the detriment of of the divisional schedule. Sure, this might be nice for the occasional fan who only comes out once or twice a year but it’s bad for the teams and for the division.

I don’t necessarily think that baseball should abolish interleague play but I do think they need to rethink how it is scheduled. Most importantly, it should be limited to a home and home series every year. It’s worth seeing the Mets and Yankees play. It’s fun putting the Cubs and White Sox up against each other. San Francisco and Oakland deserve the chance to earn bragging rights each year. But beyond that, enough is enough.

This presents a separate problem because the NL and AL don’t have the same number of teams. To that I propose two possible solutions. First, rotate two NL teams who won’t play interleague in a season. Or second, move an NL team to the AL. It’s been done before and wouldn’t be so bad.

Interleague play has helped revitalize baseball and there’s no denying that the parks are packed for rivalry series like the Cubs and White Sox. But in all the focus on Leyland’s interleague comments, a more important point may have been missed. Leyland also said, “at some point, we have to get baseball back to the same set of rules, and I don’t know why more people don’t talk about it. … I don’t care what they do. I just think that they should synchronize it. Whichever way they decide to go is fine with me.”

Here Leyland is specifically referring to the DH and the problems it creates during interleague play. And again, the man has a point.  For an AL team playing two consecutive road series against an NL team, the regular DH is either going to sit for a week or be forced to platoon with one of the regular starters to get some at-bats. Either way, it’s not an ideal situation and baseball needs to address it. Granted, limiting interleague play to one home and one away series a year would help solve the problem but it would be nice to see some consistency between the two leagues.

I can’t say that I agree one hundred percent with Leyland but I do think there’s merit to what he says and it bears consideration. As entertaining as interleague may be, when it affects divisional matchups and a team’s ability to compete, some reconsideration may be in order. Has interleague play run its course? Not necessarily. Does it need to be reconsidered? Definitely.