September 2011

George Carlin Helps You Decide What to Watch This Weekend

The decision is yours.

-A

Four of the Greatest Stories Ever Told

As one who is acutely aware of the aggravating effects of speaking in unchecked and unvetted absolutes, I must choose my words wisely, especially after witnessing baseball miracle after miracle after miracle.  But, judging from the number of cardiac arrests I had in the comforts of my own home last evening, I can honestly say — WITH COMPLETE AND UNSHAKEABLE FAITH — that September 28, 2011 will go down as the greatest single day of regular season baseball games I have ever watched.

EVER.

Words… ah, these words… not even they can do my feelings justice:

J. Meric/Getty Images

Getty Images

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Baseball.  It just doesn’t get any better than baseball, my friends.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

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

It takes two to make a thing go right!!!!!! It takes two to make it out of sight!!!

This is it. The end of an era. The end of days. The Blizzard of Oz has left us. The vampire/werewolf is on Florida time now. And for what it’s worth, I will miss him spewing his goo bazooka all over this town.

I’m not a White Sox fan but I LOVED Ozzie Guillen. He brought joy to my life, in some sort of way, every day. And though he didn’t win with this 2011 team of crap, he did win the press conference battle yesterday.

For years I wanted to tell he and Kenny Williams to GET A ROOM. But it’s all over now. At least it ended this way, with Oz being cordial, and Williams sounding like a prick. Again. Luckily no one came in with machetes and UZIs, waxing off the media and staff who threw Oz under the bus.

KW should have brought a gavel to his silly presser.  My mom told me you can’t eat love. Kenny didn’t necessarily lie in his press conference; he just massaged the truth. He acted like he had just assisted in the birth of a foal, that he was pure in all of this.

HE CREATED THIS MESS OF A TEAM.

The Williams/Guillen family let things fester. They were not huggers. He and Oz had Easter egg hunts that turned into knife fights. Everyone should have anticipated this sunny day that would never be.

Maybe Ozzie will go all country in Miami. Maybe he’ll change the culture down there. Mermaid boobies will be cool! Plus, the new stadium won’t have those elevators that used to scare him on Wednesdays. SUPERSTITIONS! Any chance he wanders the streets next year and asks people if they recognize him?

Once he gets to Florida, Ozzie can go back to carrying a handgun in the infield. Are we cowabunga on this? FUN FOR EVERYONE!

I think Reinsdorf sneaked up on Ozzie and asked him if he liked surprises. But Ozzie is allergic to horses.

In the end, the Marlins needed a man with a long stroke. And they just got one.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

V is for Vladimir

I can’t keep up with Vladimir Putin anymore.  The guy tires me out just reading about him.  He discovers archeological treasures, drives tanks, arm wrestles guys twice his size and still finds time to cuddle with puppies.  The man literally is the most interesting man in the world (sorry JV).

But the man scares me.  Here’s why:

Ask me if I’d rather get beaned by a Verlander fastball or spend 15 seconds alone with Putin in a locked room and I’ll take the fastball any day of the week.

-A

White Sox Better Than Xanax

Over the last several days, the St. Louis Cardinals have done a number on my heart rate, sending my anxiety levels soaring with on-again-off-again torments akin to those of jilted lovers past.  Are the Cardinals trying to teach me a lesson for giving up on them in August?  Do they not know that I have kowtowed my ignorance, begged them for compassion?  Pleaded for forgiveness?

I NEVER LEFT YOU, MY FRIENDS.  I COULD NEVER LEAVE YOU.  SO STOP FREAKING ME OUT.

There are three games left.  They’re behind the Braves by one game.  And they get to play the LOLstros.

Win, and there is great potential that I will break things in my apartment from all the excitement.  Lose, and there is great potential that I will break things in my apartment from all the excitement.

I need to get out of the house.

So I’ll be at Sox Park, where the home team will put you to sleep faster than a handful of benzodiazepines chased with a bottle of scotch.  I’m hoping the visiting Jays can distract me from the tension filled anxiety of my own nervous psyche.  But I will be scoreboard watching.  You can be sure of that.

And, when it comes time to break things, I’ll fit right in.  No one will probably even notice.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Okay, so you guys rooting for the Red Sox or the Rays?

Brooke
Fort Wayne, IN
___________________________________

Sometimes I wonder if people even read this blog.  I know that Jeff and I take a look from time and there are occasional comments but do people really read it?  In general, I believe there’s a through-line to what we write and a lot of that relates to being fans of Midwestern teams, teams that are, by definition, underdogs.  Sure, the Tigers and Cardinals may have a great tradition but they are not from either of the two coasts and that leads to certain amount of neglect.

We’ve had to root for our teams when they were at their worst.  I’ve been a Tigers’ fan since I can remember knowing about baseball and that meant I saw successful seasons followed by seasons of utter and total failure.  That didn’t change anything, though.  I was still fan.  Whether it’s a 119 loss campaign or the heartbreak of losing in the World Series or a playoff, Tigers fans remain a grounded lot.  Part of that is related to Detroit itself and part of it is the realization that baseball has its ups and downs and you have to roll with both extremes.

I used to think that Boston fans felt the same way.  They suffered through the years without a championship despite coming agonizingly close on multiple occasions.  And when they finally broke through against the Yankees and went on to trounce the Cardinals, I think quite a few people were happy for them.  Even I have to admit that it felt good to see them beat the Yankees and end such a long drought.

But then something happened.  The Red Sox and their fans went from being a Mitch Albom wet dream to Yankees-lite.  By the time they won again in 2007, both the team and the fans had gone from long-suffering to insufferable.  There’s nothing wrong with confidence but what Boston had evolved from confidence into arrogance.  All the talk of Theo Epstein, Big Papi and Manny being Manny began to inspire a gag reflex.

Manny is no longer in Boston or baseball.  Pedro Martinez has disappeared, too.  Sure, there are still gutsy, admirable players like Pedroia and Ellsbury.  But I no longer have any warm feelings toward the Red Sox.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re just the Yankees with a Boston accent.  That’s why I’m cheering for the Rays.

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Interested in Mr. Lung’s twist on the “O” face, the “U” face?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Cubs Top GM Prospect Only Six Years Old!


Go ahead, give him the keys, Fan Boy!  Sounds like he has some pretty solid ideas!

Happy Saturday!

Jeff

Ninja Neo-Colonialism

When it comes to colonialism, the US has tended to take a different approach than our European forefathers.  The Belgians had their “chop off a hand if they aren’t working hard enough” method, the French used a “leave the country in even worse shape than you found it” doctrine and everyone tended to embrace the “prop up a minority tribe and give them weapons so everyone else hates them but they fight each other instead of us” hypothesis.  The US, after a failed attempt in the Philippines at European style colonialism, invented a new way.  We decided to sow our products and culture on any possible fertile land and then reap the harvest.

You can call it what you like but the US approach has been pretty successful so far.  You probably can’t find McDonald’s in Mogadishu but it’s one of the few world capitals where that’s true.  Yankee hats decorate heads from Morocco to Malaysia and is there anyone who doesn’t know who Kobe Bryant is?  Neo-colonialism, as it’s often called, has even found its way into US diplomacy where baseball and basketball feature prominently in pro-American campaigns in Latin America and China, respectively.  Honestly, it’s a much nicer kind of colonialism.

That’s probably why it’s not much of a surprise that the Chinese internet community laughed aside a recent State media editorial claiming that the newly arrived US ambassador to China, Chinese-American Gary Locke, was an American attempt at neo-colonialism.  Locke captured quite a few fans before he even arrived when pictures of him buying his own coffee, using a coupon and carrying his own luggage showed up on the internet.  The Chinese have a reputation for being frugal and they appreciated seeing these same qualities in the US representative to their country.  It’s ninja neo-colonialism.  You don’t realize what is happening until it’s already done.

I, for one, applaud this new approach.  Appointing an Ambassador who comes from the same cultural background as the country where he will serve and someone who has real experience from his time as governor of Washington and Secretary of Commerce?  That sounds less like neo-colonialism and more like common sense to me.  Or maybe that’s exactly what ninja neo-colonialism is all about.

-A

“That’s a Deal Breaker!”

What better way to celebrate the return of contemporary television’s greatest comedic achievement than to steal one of its taglines for an hyperbolic thrashing of the MLB seasonal awards?

That’s what I thought.

Shall we?!?!

American League Cy Young
Um… no brainer, y’all.  Justin FRACKING Verlander.  Anything else is just… stupid.  And dumb.  And Cubbish.

American League Most Valuable Player
Though my repugnant and oft pedantic colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, would like you to believe Mr. Verlander is the “most valuable” to his team, let’s not lose sight of what’s really going on here.  You can argue semantics all you want, Mr. Krause, but we all know that the MVP is reserved for a position player.  How do we know this?  Because the pitchers ALREADY HAVE THEIR OWN AWARD.  And that, my friends, is a deal breaker!  So the MVP goes to Curtis Granderson.  Close your eyes and imagine the Yankees without him this year. Scurry, ain’t it!?!

BOOM!

National League Cy Young Award
Halladay or Kershaw or Halladay or Kershaw or Halladay or… wait, Kershaw?  It’s a fine line.  And my gut says Kershaw; however, upon further review (and I know using stats from 2010 isn’t fair, but who says I’m fair?), in a galaxy far, far away, Adam Dunn took Kershaw deep.  Twice.  In one game.  And THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER.  Congratulations, Roy Halladay.  Again.

National League Most Valuable Player
My instincts say Ryan Braun deserves this award BUT Ryan Braun is a Brewer and yep, that’s a deal breaker!  So Matt Kemp, come on down!  In fact, if Lance Berkman hadn’t done such a nice job, I might also hand Kemp the Comeback Player of the Year Award because, let’s face it, compared to ’09 and ’11, he was nothing short of regurgitated fecal matter last year.  Think about it.

Yes, they have other awards too, like, Manager of the Year, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, etc… but honestly, who cares?  Quick, name the 1989 National League Manager of the Year.  See, you can’t.  ‘Cuz nobody cares (it was the Cubs’ Don Zimmer).

And if nobody cares, well, then THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER!

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

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

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

In Memoriam.  Hallelujah.

My favorite part of any award ceremony — be it the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys or Tonys — is the part where they celebrate those who passed on into the good night. As we wind down this great baseball season, Setting the Mahmud has prepared its own In Memoriam of sorts, to remember those who are no longer with us whilst honoring some of TV’s greats!

Adam Dunn/Steve Landesberg
“Arrest the first naked guy you see with a dirty mouth.”
His fate is yet to be determined. One of the most consistent players EVER was anything but this year. I wish all the best for my large bat wielding friend. Hope he can Lazarus himself mightily next season.  (Also, Barney Miller is one of the most underrated shows of all time). How is Abe Vigoda still kickin it and Steve Landesberg just kicked it??

Jorge Posada/Peter Falk
“Well, it’s better than a gallstone. Did ya ever have a gallstone ma’am?”
Surpassed defensively by Francisco Cervelli and out-hit by Russell Martin, this could very well be the end for Hip Hip Jorge!! And if it is, I think the YANKS will pull through. A $200 million payroll will do that for ya.

Miguel Tejada/Aaron Rowand/Bill Erwin 
“What are those bums doing back there?! It’s like watching a couple hyenas going through the garbage!!”
Designated for assignment for these cats. Rowand probably bashed his head into a wall too many times and Tejada is well… probably 50.

Johan Santana/Tom Bosley
Marion Cunningham: Richie just hasn’t got the appetite that Chuck has.
Howard Cunningham: Marion, Argentina hasn’t got the appetite that Chuck has.
A personal favorite of mine. His fantastic slider was a thing of GLORIOUSNESS.

And now, please enjoy the fine work of the Canadian Tenors! (Jeff Buckley won’t mind. Trust me.) Oh, and tip one out for Uncle Frank.


–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

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