May 2011

Une Complainte Familiers

It’s interleague weekend, y’all.  According to King Bud, this is when I’m supposed to get excited about made-up rivalries with catchy names like the I-70 Series, the Ohio Cup and the Battle of the Beltway.

Um… no?

Battle of the Beltway?!?!?  STOP IT!  JUST STOP IT!

Don’t you know that every time you hark on some fantasy-driven nostaliga concerning the Washington Nationals, my Expos-missin’ heart suffers more unquantifiable pain?!?

That damn Molière was right: “You only die once, and it’s for such a long time.”

But let us not forget, dear readers.  Instead, let us continue to pour out our liquor, to writhe in sweet Youppi memories, to saver Denny Martinez pitching a perfect game in baby blue pajamas.

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

Peace,

Jeff

A Pleasant Peninsula

I’m proud to be from Michigan.  We’ve got four of the five Great Lakes and really, how great is Lake Ontario anyway?  Without Michigan, you don’t get Kid Rock or Ted Nugent and how many other states let you show people where you live just by holding up a hand?

However, I’m not always proud of Michigan.  Sure, it’s a great state but there are some issues.  You know, like the fact that half of Detroit is functionally illiterate.  Seriously, half.  Even Togo does better than that.

Some of our other citizens don’t fare much better either.  You could call it a blond thing, you could call it a Michigan thing.  All I know is that it doesn’t say anything good about us.

There are two things that give me hope, though.  First is the fact that we still have Justin Verlander and that’s like money in the bank.  The second thing?  Actually, it’s the hand thing.  Come on, that’s pretty cool.

-A

Judge Lest Ye Be Judged

Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.

Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.

Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person.  I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy.  But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.

So here ya go.  Let the judging begin!

Yankees fans, I’m judging you.  You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?!  When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”.  And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.

Mitt Romney, I’m judging you.  Come on, dude.  How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!?  Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?

National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you.  Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?!  Good grief!  Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime?  You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal.  Just ask Whitney Houston.

Donald Trump, I’m judging you.  The birther thing, well, I can see past that.  But your hair.  Seriously.  It’s not funny anymore.  It’s disturbing.  I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.

And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…

MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you.  If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size.  Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

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

Your Weakness Is Strong

The Pirates never stop being pathetic. After eighteen years of suckitude, it’d be refreshing for the fans if their ownership had some sort of a sense of humor about this sailing sloop of crap.

DAAAARRRRR!!!

If I were a fan, I’d be the first to stick my peg leg in their rumholes. Incest sounds more fun than Pirate baseball, church a more rewarding experience for me.

A bar in north Pittsburgh, in a bit of high comedy, has offered a special on pitchers of beer. For every Bucs loss, the bar will take a nickel off the pitcher price.

Pirates brass has asked that fans boycott this bar. The executives should be ashamed of themselves. It’s already been documented that the team has been ripping off fans for years, but now this? The private yachtsmen who own this team are a joke and should shut the eff up if a bar of REAL fans is having a little bit of fun dwelling in misery with a bucket of cheap@$$ beer, otherwise the most fun Pirate fans have to look forward to is the Rapture!!!

Come on! Don’t do Michael Keaton like that! The man’s only worked like twice in the last ten years.

–Johanna Mahmud

And While We Were Gone…

Our recent recess from tickling the baseball-politico world’s underbelly did not go without major achievement.

In fact, my factious and oft riot-mongering colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, spent several days salivating over the baseball awesomeness that has been the Detroit Tigers of late.

Quite contrary to that bit of Utopia, I spent several days wondering why my dear St. Louis Cardinals suffer from incurable performance anxiety syndrome when facing their rival Cincinnati Reds.

And meanwhile, RSBS special correspondent and podcast heavyweight, Mr. Johanna Mahmud, spent several days… well, perhaps it’s just best if I show you what he’s been up to:


Hate me ‘cuz I got the interns to spy on our friend, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Getting Off the Milton-go-Round

do not enter.jpgI’m a stubborn person.  When I get an idea in my head, I latch on and I won’t let it go until I know for sure that it isn’t going to work.  This has led to occasional successes in my life but has also ended in disaster.  A two and a half year relationship that should have ended at six months is a prime example.

For all my mistakes, at least I can say that I’m not as bad as MLB and their unwillingness to give up on Milton Bradley.  There’s no denying that he’s a talented athlete and could have been something special.  Just like any awful relationship, though, managers focused on the flickers of brilliance and ignored all the warning signs. 

Maybe that has finally come to a close.  When the Mariners ended their MB experiment and designated him for assignment, we may have witnessed the end of an era.  At the same time, I’m sure most baseball fans experienced the subconscious reaction, “God, I hope my team doesn’t decide to be the next to take a ride on the Milton-go-round.”  After enough failed attempts trying to help Bradley get his head right, common sense says there aren’t going to be any other takers.

But you never know.  Kyle Farnsworth has a career and continues to achieve new milestones in mediocrity every year.  For instance, just the other day Prince Sobs-a-lot issued the first walk-off walk of his storied career.  I know, right?  I’m as surprised as you are.

Most of Farnsworth’s damage comes from his ability to put runners in scoring position (and then push them across) and the danger that his press-conference tears will leave water-marked tables.  Bradley, meanwhile, has proven himself to be nothing less than a clubhouse cancer.  Let’s hope he stays in remission.

-A

******
RSBS will be taking a break for the next few days as one of the sites where we post gets some upgrades.  In the meantime, enjoy this video celebrating the brilliance of Will Ferrell:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/tegwebapps/tbs/tbs-www/cvp/teamcoco_dynamic_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&videoId=250226

-Jeff and Allen

Setting the Mahmud

death-at-a-funeral-3.jpg

Making Sense out of Static

static.jpgEarly in the baseball season, it’s hard to separate the contenders and the pretenders.  Kansas City regularly sits somewhere near the top of the AL Central after the first couple weeks and sometimes even holds on through the first couple months.  Last year even the lowly Pirates looked decent for the first month or two.  Unfortunately for both teams, it’s a lot better to be in first place at the end of the season then at the beginning.

It’s not all the much different in the political world.  It’s pretty safe to assume that Obama will get the Democratic nod heading into the next Presidential election but the Republican field is wide open.  A prime example is Donald Trump’s “candidacy.”  This is a man who’s really only famous for being famous and who, despite his reality TV shows and real estate empire, still managed to go bankrupt.  Yet somehow he and a decent number of Republicans think he can steer the country through it’s current financial straits.  Let’s see what Donald actually looks like on the trail:

http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf

He may be on to something.  I’m sure the Gettysburg Address would have been much more memorable if Lincoln could have dropped a couple F-bombs in there.

Granted, there are also serious contenders.  Like him or not, Mitt Romney has the pedigree and the record to make a serious run.  Jon Hunstman looks a lot like the 2010 Giants or Rangers and everybody loves a dark horse.  When you figure in the Tea Party contingent and their sway in the primaries, there’s just no telling where the race will end up.

What is apparent at this point, though, is that with the economy apparently picking up jobs and OBL slowly disintegrating in the Indian Ocean, Obama is enjoying a momentary upswing.  If the economy continues to pick up, he might end up like the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, an inevitability if there ever was one.  After all, let’s face it.  The man is as cool as the day is long.  This performance at the Press Corps Dinner took place hours after he made the decision to take down Bin Laden and hours before the raid happened:

Admit it, if you were in the same position you would have been sitting in an empty room, rocking back and forth and staring at a blank wall.

It’s still early in the season.  There’s a lot of ball to be played.  But despite all the speculation and analysis, no one has any idea what’s going to happen.  Don’t worry, though.  You keep coming back this way and we’ll make sure you stay up to date.

-A

Team of Rivals

Cardinals cubs rivalry
Yankees/Red Sox.  Reagan/Gorbachev.  Lindsay Lohan/Sobriety.

Rivalries make otherwise routine matchups a bit more interesting.  They breed adrenaline.  They invite ingenuity.  They spark passion, no matter how dormant.

But, as we witnessed earlier this year in the case of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, baseball rivalries have also been known to get out of hand.

Admittedly, there was a time when I allowed my flippancy towards Chicago Cubs fans to reach a critical point.  In the summer of 2007, fresh off a World Series crowning but at a time when my Cardinals weren’t playing too well, a few too many Old Styles found their way in my system and what started out as simple boasts of pride for my interlocking “STL” and redbirds-on-the-bat garb soon turned into a verbal shouting match with a gang of pinstriped kids from DePaul.  Throughout the game, my taunting parried with their rage (they too weren’t quite sober) and it escalated when I found myself surrounded by them in a Wrigley field restroom. 

Instead of shutting up, I just got louder.

And before I knew it, I was at the bottom of a pile of angry, angry feet.

I learned my lesson that day: sports aren’t any fun when you’re literally getting your @$$ beat.

So I don’t do that sort of thing anymore.  I smile.  I nod.  I tip my cap to good plays and keep my nose buried in my scorecard (or beer). 

And that’s how I’m going to enjoy my Redbirds coming to town on Tuesday.

Also, I’m taking my pal, Johanna Mahmud — Cubs fan extraordinaire.  He’s scary looking… good for keeping the riff-raff at bay.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Mother’s Day is this weekend. Do your moms support your baseball nerdiness?

Sharron
O’Fallon, MO

____________________________________

Pink_bats First, I think we need to walk this question back a bit.  How about we just ask, “Do your moms support baseball?”  To that, I would say, “I’m pretty sure my mom knows that baseball is a sport and if that constitutes support (the recognition of it’s existence and it’s right to exist), then yes, my mom supports baseball.” 

Not to get too mushy here, but my mom’s support of baseball never really had much to do with anything related to the game itself.  My mom always supported me and that was what mattered.  She may not understand the finer points of the game, like innings and stuff like that, but she was always in the stands when I was playing little league and she yelled everytime I made contact while at the plate.  Just for the record, that worked out to about five yells per season.  I was a really awful hitter.

The other part of your question presupposes that both of us are in fact baseball nerds.  Unfortunately, this just plainly and simply isn’t true.  I am a baseball fan.  I can speak intelligently about baseball but when it gets into the weeds, I’ll be hitting the internets for the answer nine times out of ten.  I’m what people like to call a dilettante.  I have lots of interests, baseball being one of them, and I can talk about it, even with fans, up to a certain point.

Once the event horizon between baseball fandom and baseball nerdiness gets breached, though, well, you’ll only find one out of the two of us still trucking along.  Jeff can quote you stats on Ozzie Smith’s lifetime on-base percentage and not feel weird using the term “OBP” in a sentence.  I can tell you that Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker were a great double-play combination and then quickly steer the conversation towards less technical subjects, like why Chet Lemon is a great name for a baseball player.

I think I can speak for Jeff here, though, when I say that what matters is that, nerd or not, our moms have always supported us and always will.  Sure, Jeff’s mom may struggle accepting his man-crush on Albert Pujols and my mom may not understand why baseball players circle the bases counter-clockwise instead of clockwise but they’re still two of the best moms in the world.  Although my mom is obviously the best.

Happy Mother’s Day!

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout a stunning glimpse into Jeff’s world as he performs “Man in the Mirror” wearing a halter top and hot pants?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

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