August 2011

A Brief Pause for Insanity

If CNN’s Alex Castellanos hadn’t compared Michele Bachmann to Margaret Thatcher on CNN the other day, I wouldn’t have said anything because the crazies, the Brits and the delusionoids have been saying as much for a while now.  But when something that maniacal is aired to millions of susceptible US Americans, I can’t help but holla some common sense back into the universe.

WISE UP!  GET A GRIP!  DRINK SOME WATER!

Comparing Bachmann to Thatcher is like comparing Wilson Betemit to Babe Ruth!  Seriously!  The only thing Michele Bachmann and Margaret Thatcher have in common is that they both have vaginas!

Bachmann is STUPID.

Bachmann is DELUSIONAL.

Bachmann is a HOMOPHOBE.

She is a clear and present danger to liberty and to even mention her name in the same conversation as Margaret Thatcher’s (did you know she was a chemist by trade?) should be a crime.

And I just couldn’t hold that in, so I didn’t.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Rules: Cardinals v. Brewers Edition

Much has changed since the Runnin’ Redbirds met Harvey’s Wallbangers, but make no mistake: this rivalry is taken VERY seriously.  And there are some rules.

Number One:

Somebody’s gonna get thrown at.  The Brewers are gonna miss location up and in, the ball is gonna sail over someone’s head.  The Cards are gonna get pissed and a Brewer’s gonna get drilled in the back.  All part of the game.  Bring yer tough suits.

Number Two:


Tony’s going to get angry.  Whether it’s because someone plunks his horse or because Skip slides safely into home but is called out by the ump, TLR will go off.  After he puts down the animals.

Number Three:


One can never tire of “Prince Fielder is fat” jokes.  Because he is.  And it’s funny.

That’s what makes this series special.

Hate me.  It’s all good.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 26: Willow, R2D2 and Other Famous Midgets

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”

After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball.  Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!

And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter.  Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!

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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. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast.  And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!

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Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011

When Disparity Knocks

While some major sports leagues have actively sought parity, others have decided to content themselves with a talent and success gap that keeps getting greater all the time.  At the American club level (i.e. MLB), baseball has seen fit to follow this approach.  Sure, teams like the Pirates may threaten for a short period but ultimately these kind of calls go against them and the season quickly follows.

This disparity also exists on the global level but it tends to work in our favor a lot of the time.  Sure, we don’t have a monopoly on the baseball talent and we’re sorely lacking when it comes to soccer.  But if you want to see true inequality, consider basketball.

Let me lay it out in more concrete terms.  Here are the national teams from Bahrain and Kuwait playing a recent match:

Aside from an almost supernatural ability to instantly turn into an unwieldy mob, there’s not a whole lot of talent there.

Now, take Derrick Rose:

I’m pretty sure D-Rose could take on either of those teams by himself and come away with a W.  I also think there’s only one thing left to say here.  USA!  USA!  USA!

-A

The Filibuster

Stephen Strasburg is pitching again!  He might even be back in the Majors by the end of the season!  How excited are you for Stras-mas part 2?

Jeremy
Burr Oak, MI
___________________________________

Just see those fastballs zipping,
slide-step sinking too…
Come on, it’s lovely weather
for a Stras-mas endeavor with you!

Admittedly, there’s nothing quite like the joys of Stras-mas.  Last year, his comeuppance was the stuff of dreams, turning an otherwise midseason blah-blah Pirates v. Nationals contest into one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen.  In the Year of the Pitcher he became — after just one game — the Pitcher of the Year (in my book at least).

Stras-mas is special.  Stras-mas is magical.  Stras-mas is everything a baseball nerd like me dreams of.

Which is why it would be a SHAME and a TRAVESTY if the Nationals bring him back to pitch this season.

DON’T DO IT, RIZZO!  DON’T DO IT OR I’LL GUT YOU LIKE A FISH.

A bit harsh?  Yes.  I admit.  But remember, this kid is the future of a bruised and battered franchise.  And selling a few more tickets at the end of a going-nowhere season just to make a quick buck is not worth throwing away the future, throwing away Stras-mas.  Possibly forever.

Let the dude rehab, but don’t put him in any game action.  I know 11 months is the typical timeframe in which getting back to facing Big League hitters is deemed acceptable for those who’ve had the Tommy John surgery.  But this isn’t a typical situation.  This is Jesus with a 37 on his back.

Please, I implore the Washington Nationals front office: WAKE UP and STOP BEING STUPID.  You have a goldmine for YEARS in that newly improved Strasburgian right elbow.  He threw 96 mph from the slide step before, he may throw 101 underhanded now.

Do the right thing.  Make 2012 the Year of the Neverending Stras-mas.

Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Milwaukee (and America’s) Best

Like Amy Winehouse’s death and taxes, sad but inevitable, the US finally lost its AAA debt rating.  Sure, it’s only S&P that followed through on the cut but it’s not like we didn’t see this coming.  At least 7 US companies have more cash on hand than the US government.  Apple has a market capitalization larger than America’s.  Not to have seen this coming is to have been willfully blind at best and ignorant at worst.  But, not all hope is lost.

The thing is, the US has a very potent tool in its arsenal.  It’s something that basketball and football figured out long ago, something that baseball is starting to figure out and something that the beer companies have been taking advantage of for years.  It’s something that even the Russian government is using to its advantage.  Sex.

And it sells.  There’s a reason we use nubile young men and women to fire that t-shirt cannon at baseball games instead of throwing Jeff out there:

There’s a similar reason for putting dancing girls on court during breaks in NBA games.  It turns the experience into a multi-sensory orgy of entertainment.

One of the worries with the S&P downgrade of US long-term debt is that investors will now demand higher returns.  But maybe they just want more in general.  My thought is that instead of offering more attractive interest rates, we should consider gathering up the hottest women in the country (these ones will work for a start), convincing them that they need to do this for their country and then putting them up on stage for US bond and treasury auctions.  Hey, we may not be able to give you a better interest rate but look at all these hot women!!  I think this could work.

-A

I Can Haz an 11-Run Homer?

One reason why I’ll never tire of my inanimate life partner (her name is baseball) is because every time I watch a game, I have the chance to see something I’ve never seen before.  Or, as was the case Wednesday night at Sox Park, I might see 18 somethings I’ve never seen before.

The Yankees were in town.  My buddy Mike had sweet tickets on the 100 level.  And I was craving the sort of breeze only Adam Dunn’s wiff-n-miss bat can provide.

It didn’t take long for the game to get out of hand.  In fact, the game STARTED with something I have NEVER seen before: back-to-back bunt basehits, thanks to Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter.

In fact, Jeter went 5 for 6 in the game, only the fourth time he has ever collected five hits in one game (the third being his epic 3K performance just last month) and yes, that’s something I’ve never seen before.

I have also never seen a White Sox pitcher (Brian Bruney) enter a game, record ZERO outs, give up 2 hits and 2 earned runs and still not be the worst performer of the night.  Like my buddy Mike said: “When you put Will Ohman in in the third, it’s already a disaster.”

And, of course, nothing spells disaster like the 2011 version of Adam Dunn.

But hark!  Baseball games always offer something new; and I hadn’t been to a Sox game all season where Adam Dunn didn’t strike out at least once, BUT, lo and behold, Dunn went 1 for 4 with NO strikeouts!  Hallelujah!  Champagne for errrrrrrybody!

Dude still can’t hit an 11-run homer though.  At this moribund point, I’m thinking that might be the only thing that could save his career.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Sox scorecard. (Click to enlarge)

The Yanks scorecard. Notice all the black diamonds.

Good Vibrations

Baseball, as any fan can tell you, is a game of amazing highs and unthinkable lows.  For every Kirk Gibson fistpump around the bases in the World Series there’s an Ugandan little league team that didn’t qualify for visas to the LL World Series.  Which means there’s no sense in wasting time worrying about the bad stuff.  It’s much more important to make the most of the good stuff.  If there’s one man in baseball who embodies that spirit, it’s Brian Wilson.

Now, I understand that not everyone likes Wilson.  However I find the guy hilarious.  His sea captain routine on the Jimmy Kimmell show was a brilliant piece of performance art.  Honestly, he is to baseball what Lady Gaga wishes she was to music.  If that was ever in doubt you need only refer to the Espy’s:

Even more than that, though, an interview he did with Cheap Seats cemented his status for me:

But like other Brian Wilsons before him, I think it makes more sense to let the guy express his thoughts using his own words.  What do you say to that, Brian? “I’m a professional baseball player in my 20′s. I’m not gonna speak monotone then wake up, be 35 and the games over and I didn’t have any fun.”  Amen.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

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

“Wait a minute! I’m having a thought. Oh, yes. I’m gonna have a thought. It’s coming… it’s gone.”

The only way I watch another CUUBBBBS game this season is if Wizzo the Wizard and his magic cards are involved (I’d go back in time and volunteer for the Vietnam War as well, because TIME MACHINES ARE REAL). Thank you, Jim Hendry, for giving Kosuke Fukudome $48 million so you could trade him for two prospects who will never see a Major League roster to save $750 thousand. You’re something else, Jim, you really are.  But… there’s so much more to check out so all is GUUUDDDDD.

Justin Verlander has me in hysterics on a regular basis. He brings some must-see damn baseball every week. 100 mph fastballs being thrown in the 8th inning are… the password is

ORGASMIC.

How in the hell is he doing that? That’s some Nolan Ryan territory.

The human highlight reel that is Asdrubal Cabrera is doing NASTAYY things out there too. No balls get by him. Nothing. He’s playing that infield like a fine fiddle. Imagine the range of Ozzie Smith but with power. NASTAYYYYYY.

Also, the new team I’ve adopted (The White Sox) still provide daily drama. The constant pillow fighting (and maybe a little pillow biting) between Kenny and the Blizzard of Oz have been fantastic! Plus, pitching coach, Don Cooper, sounds like Buddy Hackett, who should have had a much bigger role in Herbie.  (Best sidekick/mechanic ever. He also makes a serious cappuccino.)

And I have Pirates fever!!! I am actively rooting for them to win the Central. They got my old pal Derrek Lee! Ol Pittsburgh hasn’t won a Super Bowl in like… a year, so they NEED THIS. All that aside, I like the Pirates being decent. It’s refreshing. Kinda like running through the woods with nothing on but pink panties and a little mayonnaise.

Also, I keep watching HBO’s documentary on Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit. It was good but not great. I pretty much just fast forward to the parts with Minka Kelly. The password is

MINX.

And just one more thing: go back and watch Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy. The movie kinda got killed at the time for some weak acting and plot holes but that’s garbage. Danny Elfman’s score and Stephen Sondheim’s original songs combine to make it a great movie, despite everything else. And Madonna? The password is… wait for it… wait… wait…

SIZZLING.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Bill Nye and the Tea Party

Whether or not the US Congress came up with a deal to avoid default really doesn’t matter.  The issue is a symptom, not the disease itself.  The disease is the ideological purity embodied by the Tea Party.  Yes, they have some worthwhile ideas and I do think the government should have to pay for the programs it enacts.  However, the Tea Party solution of gutting government programs and getting rid of taxes would leave a shell of a country ill-suited to address the challenges of the 21st Century.

Let me go back just a bit here.  Since the second world war the US has raised the debt ceiling more than 100 times.  However, this time around it became a debate that threatened the economic foundation of the United States.  It often helps to get a little objectivity by asking someone outside the situation to take a look and give their viewpoint.  Well, how about we turn to our closest friends, the Brits and see what they have to say: “We now have a group of US politicians seeking political purity, who seem to have much in common with the Taliban. They are Tea Party members; and because of blind adherence to smaller government, they seem intent on risking destroying what American political leaders have constructed in more than two centuries of hard, often painful work.”

Now, I understand that the Taliban comparison is probably the new equivalent of Godwin’s Law but there is something to take away from this.  When you consider political movements that require ideological purity from their adherents you don’t end up with a list of the most open-minded people on the planet.  In fact, the first two that jump to mind are the Taliban and the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia.  That’s not exactly good company.

The Conservative movement in the US under the guise of libertarianism (which it isn’t) or other -isms has begun to embrace more and more of these whacko ideas.  A recent exchange on Fox News about volcanoes on the moon involving Bill Nye (yes, the science guy) should help put this in perspective.  Watch his face when the global warming question is posed.

Like I said at the beginning, the debt ceiling and the default argument aren’t so important in themselves.  What matters much more is the underlying disease from which the tumor grows.  Let’s just hope that when 2012 rolls around the Tea Party will have served its purpose and the voters will see fit to relegate them to a historical footnote.

-A

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