June 2011

A Good Reason to Feature Insanity

The Major League schedule makers must have known the Cubs were going to be awful this year.  Why else would they schedule two endlessly touted matchups (the Cards/Cubs series in May and the upcoming Crosstown Classic Sox/Cubs contest) for weekdays when crowd turnout tends to be much higher on the weekends?

Whatever the reason, the White Sox and Cubs will kick off the work week by going at each other’s throats, which means I finally have a legitmate reason to share (again, I know) the greatest worst rap video of all time:


Seein’ Sweet Lou shake his rump like that makes me wanna throw up and laugh hysterically in a corner all by myself.

Which leaves an awful, awful mess.

Hate me ‘cuz I got that song stuck in your head, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

What’s more impressive?  3,000 hits or 600 saves?

Aaron
Hammond, IN
___________________________________

Before really getting into it, I just want to make it perfectly clear.  Either 3,000 hits or 600 saves merit you getting into the Hall of Fame.  However, now that I’ve put that out there, let’s get into the comparison.

To get to 600 saves, you need to average 30 saves a year over the course of 20 years or 40 saves a year over 15 years.  Either one of those numbers is pretty gaudy but that’s just the number of actual saves recorded over a 162 game season.  There are also non-save opportunities for closers and the occasional blown save.  There’s also that rare occasion when you come in to record a 4 or 5 out save.  So let’s assume you’re playing about 24 weeks a season, this means that you’re making a minimum of 2 to 3 appearances a week and pitching an inning at a time.  Those numbers add up, especially when you include all the warm ups and the up and down in the bullpen as you get ready to enter.

That being said, 3,000 hits over a 20-year career works out to 150 hits a year, almost a hit a game.  The more likely scenario is a 15-year career and that means averaging 200 hits a year.  But you’re not just getting at-bats, you’re also playing on a regular basis.  Although hitting takes a toll on a player, a much greater physical price is exacted by the daily grind of playing a position.

This question takes on added significance this year with Jeter almost certain to pass the 3,000 hits plateau and the possibility that Rivera could make it to 600 saves.  Both men are gifted athletes and both will most likely be first ballot hall of famers.  So, which one is more impressive?

This question gets muddied a little with Jeter’s dip in production over the last season and a half but let’s face it.  The guy has held down shortstop for the Yankees full-time since 1996.  I’m not sure there’s a more stressful position in MLB.  And while Rivera has also held a full-time position on the Yankees since 1997, there’s a reason that Jeter is the captain.

That’s the long non-answer.  The short answer is that although comparing the two things is not all that different from comparing apples and oranges, at the end of the day you do have to make a decision between the two.  I can’t tell you exactly why and I don’t necessarily have the stats to make an open-and-shut case but I happen to think that 3,000 career hits is pretty damn impressive.  You can always find a closer.  You rarely find a Jeter.

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Have you been wondering how Jeff knows so much about the love lives of earthworms?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

All That Glitters Ain’t Always Gold

Outside those of the Yankees and Cardinals, I have to say the Los Angeles Dodgers uniform is one of the smartest, snazziest and most iconic uniforms in all of baseball history.  Admiring that crisply clean white jersey hosting an artfully playful blue cursive script and resplendent red digits, it’s hard not to fall in love with its glamor.  Throw in the Hollywood factor and it just becomes that much more impressive.

But if we’ve learned anything about the Dodgers in the last year, it’s that looks can be deceiving.  The team is in dire financial straits, they’re not playing very well, and to make things worse: they owe Hall of Fame fraud Manny Ramirez over $8 million.

Um… awkward?

Meanwhile… tall, lean and handsomely square-jawed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney looks… great.  I mean, dude is Ronnie Reagan 2.0 with more money and better ideas.  In fact, if Republicans didn’t know any better, they might think Mitt leans a bit to the left.  His liberal domestic policies and urgency to end U.S. participation in the Afghan war against the Taliban are perfect examples.

However, like the L.A. Dodgers, when we actually pull back the curtain on the swaggering Republican politico, we find something a bit… um… awkward:

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Rules: Michigan Edition

I come from Michigan and there are a few things we take deadly seriously back home.

Number One:

The inalienable right to drive a car whether you’re traveling 100 feet or 100 miles.  You can pry the steering wheel from my cold, dead hands.

Number Two:

Deer hunting season begins November 15.  You can pry the hunting rifle from my cold, dead hands.

Number Three:

All recreational sports deserve to have leagues–and rules–associated with them.  You can pry the wiffleball bat from my cold, dead hands.

Please keep these rules in mind as you plan your trip to the Great Lakes state.

-A

Block Party: sCrUBBIE Style

Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune featured the following snippet:

The Cubs announced the first Wrigleyville Block Party will be held Friday to Sunday on the west side of the ballpark during the Yankees series.  The event is free and features bands, food and drink booths and “interactive” entertainment for families.

Oh, really?

Folks, let me be blunt.  Unless clogged streets of drunken youths and bands of impatient motorists with horn-happy hands represent the ideal, outside of hosting an actual baseball game, there is very little family-friendly about Wrigleyville.  Remember, this the same Wrigleyville where I was assaulted by a blabbering drunk because I was… *gasp*… wearing a pink shirt.

So, curious as to what sort of block party events the Cubs front office planned for the neighborhood, the RSBS interns were sent out on an important reconnaissance mission, and this is what they found:

Pin the Tail on Rats Big as Pigs
In this fun event, lucky participants are encouraged to hunt down Wrigley rats.  What they catch, they can keep.  Extra points are rewarded for doing it while talking in an exaggerated Ozzie Guillen accent (“rats as beeeg as peeegs”).

The Racist Frozen T-Shirt Game
Pay $10 and you can compete against your peers to see who can put the frozen “Horry Kow” t-shirt the fastest.  If anti-Asian ain’t your style, try the “Pujols Mows My Lawn” tee!  Fun for the whole family!

Annoying Fan Photo Op
Fork over $25 and you can choose to have your picture taken with world famous Cubs fans Rod Blagojevich, Denise Richards or… Ronnie Woo Woo!  Then again, you can also take that $25 and burn it; it’s essentially the same thing.

The Drink Overpriced Horse P!ss Booth
At this funfest, you can drink $7 Old Styles until you a) get sick b) go broke or c) start rooting for the Cardinals!

And finally… the most exciting event of them all…

The Write a Bad Contract Raffle
Participants empty their bank accounts and hand everything over to Jim Hendry, who will then do what he does best: waste money on bad baseball players.

It’s a good thing the Yankees are in town, otherwise Wrigleyville would be a complete mess.

Hate me ‘cuz I kick ‘em when they’re down, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Have You Seen This Man?

Subject: Johanna Mahmud

Age: Unknown

Occupation: Trombonist, Rockstar, RSBS Writer/Collaborator

Last seen doing odd things to Bernie Brewer, Mr. Mahmud is rumored to be considering a legal separation from his beloved Cubbies.  In fact, the Cubs faithful fear they may have lost one of their more ornery contemporaries to the luxuries of… not being a Cubs fan.

“Look at these people,” he said, staring at a sea of Brewers fans, “these people… they’re… happy.”

If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Mr. Mahmud, please inform RSBS officials, or, at the very least, kindly notify Ronnie Woo Woo, who desperately wants his sequined Sandberg Cubbie thong back.

Chillin’ with the Enemy

Rubbin' a little Bernie Brewer belly... because I can.

For those of us caught up in the modern technocratic lifestyle, establishing a clear line between friend and foe makes life a bit simpler (albeit unpleasant at times).  When prompted for an opinion, we often don’t have time to think; we must know, must be ready to jump on a topic and run.  And this is where established distinctions are helpful (even if detrimental to peace — sorry!).

It’s 2011 and enemies abound.  In the NBA, LeBron is the antithesis of good.  In politics, we have Sarah Palin.  In humanity, it’s Charlie Sheen.

But what do we do when our “enemies” aren’t that bad at all?

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that not only caused a bit of embarrassment for me and my fellow bird fanatics, but also knocked the Cardinals out of first place all together.  Am I angry?  Do I want to hold my breath and take a hammer to my digits?  Am I going to hurt someone?

No, of course not.  It’s June and the NL Central race has barely begun.  But I must say, even if it does come down to St. Louis and Milwaukee in October, I will have a hard time hating on the Brewers like I do the sCrUBBIES.

On Saturday, I went to Miller Park for the very first time and I have to say: it’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people genuinely enjoying our beautiful sport.  Have you ever seen a sea of tailgaters for a baseball game?!?  I mean, everyone was so… nice!  And the park experience was so… pleasant… and the atmosphere was so… positive!

Prior to this excursion, my understanding of the Brewers organization could be summed up in three sentences: Beat you in ’82.  Bud Selig was a better owner than a commish.  And Prince Fielder is HONGRY.

But really, after taking in the Miller Park experience I have to update my mental Rolodex.  It’s not every day you visit a rival ballpark and are welcomed with a smile and a handshake.  And as often as I’ve donned my ’06 WS patched Yadier Molina jersey into enemy territory, only at Miller Park was I stopped and commended on my team’s run of that year.  And did I mention the cheese curds!?

Oh what heaven!!!

Don’t worry, dear readers, I ain’t gettin’ soft.  I’ll box a Brewer if I gotta; but in a world where negativity rules the infoway, I find it refreshing to give credit to those who are pretty cool folks.

That being said, I hope the Brewers lose every one of their games from here until the end of the season.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Johanna and I posin' prior to first pitch.

The Iron Lady and the Americans

Last week was a rough week for the Republican presidential contenders.  Or maybe I should say “contenders.”  Both Gingrich and Palin suffered setbacks but this seems to have become the norm for these two.  Gingrich had already started off his campaign with his foot in his mouth, talking off the cuff about Paul Ryan’s budget plan.  And Palin had watched her ratings tank after an inventive retelling of Paul Revere’s ride.

But this past week took them to new lows.  Gingrich disappeared to Greece after his initial gaffe but was forced to resurface when most of his senior campaign staff resigned on Thursday.  I don’t know how closely you follow politics but it’s very difficult to run a campaign when all of your top advisers quit.

I’m sure it’s hard not to take it personally when your closest aides leave your campaign but you can at least try to chalk it up to a business decision.  Palin didn’t have quite that luxury when Margaret Thatcher’s staff not only refused Palin’s attempt to visit the former Prime Minister but also said “Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”

So yeah, you could say it’s been a rough week for the Republicans.  Although you could probably also argue that it has been a great week for candidates like Mitt Romney and John Huntsman who can continue campaigning in quiet while their opposition self-destructs.  Slow and steady often wins the race.  Just ask last year’s World Series champions.

-A

The Filibuster

Lot of talk about weiners, Weiners and Weiner’s weiner the past couple weeks.  This is nothing new in the sports universe, though, especially in the NFL.  However, which MLB player do you think will most likely find himself involved in some sort of similar scandal?

Eric
Big Rapids, MI
___________________________________

As is the case with most famous weiner (and Weiner) related exposés, the following will certainly be an exercise in self-restraint, as I think we all know the immense public propensity to go for the easy male-member joke.  But the easiest joke here, as far as I can tell, is that the Rep. Anthony Weiner scandal is even a scandal at all!

I am not saying we should give the guy a medal of honor or anything, but, what exactly did he do to warrant a public scandal of such magnitude?  So he donned a swaggering internet persona and talked dirty to some chicks online… and then didn’t have sexual relations with any of them?  Um, okay, if this illegal then somebody come lock my @$$ up!!!

Yes, Rep. Weiner is a creepazoid.  So what?  Aren’t most politicians?  From my vantage point, Weiner didn’t break any laws.  He didn’t physically hurt anyone.  He is only guilty of being stupid — of being aloof and naive a la John Edwards to mistakenly think the interwebs are a completely private domain and that interacting with folks in a lewd manner outside of his marriage would never be revealed by the parties involved.

Like our future 45th president alludes, the online lust-quest has become common for modern man; and this “scandal” is really something that should be left between Rep. Weiner and his wife.  Unless he’s Marv Albert-ing these women or wasting tax dollars on callgirls, I don’t see how any of this is of public interest.

But since you asked, Eric, what MLB player would most likely find himself in the same Weinerific situation, I gotta say, right now, it would have to be Adam Dunn.

I mean, come on… SOMETHING is eating at the Big Donkey and it ain’t Ozzie Guillen!  When a perennial homerun monster like Dunn suddenly lives under the Mendoza line with only a handful of bombs while playing his home games at launching-pad Sox Park,  and it’s mid-June, something ain’t right.

Hmm… you thought I was gonna say A-Rod, didn’t ya? Well, A-Rod probably does take lewd photos of his “attributes” with intentions of sending them out to virtual partners; however, I think his tenacious love for himself would force him to keep such images for his eyes only.

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

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout coaxing Allen to go back to living as a woman?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Going Big

Sometimes, when you feel like your stuck in a Groundhog’s Day, you have to do something big to break yourself out of the situation.  Taking a week’s vacation, volunteering at a homeless shelter or sucking down a forty after work can help alleviate the soul-crushing numbness for a brief period of time but when you come back and face reality all over again, the darkness just pulls you that much further in.

That’s why sometimes you have to go big.  A few years ago I got myself stuck in one of these cycles.  I didn’t like the town where I was living, I wasn’t a big fan of the girl I was dating and I couldn’t stand the job I went to everyday.  I tried the vacation route and it helped for the time I was gone but I realized that if I didn’t want to accept this fate, it was time to do something serious.

So, I joined the Peace Corps.  Leaving your job and going to Africa for a couple years, I felt that counted as going big.

But going big can mean different things to different people.  Quitting a job you hate and sending out a ridiculous cover letter to get that new job that you do want, that’s going big.  Moving overseas on the half-promise of a job, that’s going big.  And if you’re a baseball fan, daring a lifetime ban from the park of the team you support, that’s going big.  You know what’s even better than that, though?  Succeeding.

Happy Saturday!

-A

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