September 2011

LOLstros To-Do List

Can you believe we’re almost done with the 2011 season and I’ve hardly made any jokes about the Houston Astros?  I know.  I’m sorry, dear readers.  I dropped the ball.  Chalk it up as an E on your scorecard, boo like Mets fans and throw beer on me as I walk off the field.

It’s just… I have a real hard time picking on those who cannot defend themselves.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t care about them.  I do.  Sorta.  I mean, you think it’s easy for me to NOT make fun of the LOLstros?

IT’S EXTREMELY DIFFICULT!!!

But, to prove how much I care, I’ve prepared a small advisory to-do list of things that should get them on track so that I can once again slam their mere existence:

1.  Bring Craig Biggio out of retirement
Most people wouldn’t recognize a single name in the LOLstros lineup.  Also, 100 losses in a season isn’t just bad, it’s embarrassing.  I gotta think that an old, wobbly Craig Biggio would at least will them under 100 losses.  If nothing else, he could go to the dish and take an HBP to get on base, just like the old days.

2.  Move to the American League
Oh yeah.  Already happening.

3.  Woo Nolan Ryan away from the Rangers
Have you seen what Ryan has done with the Rangers?  And to think, the Rangers used to be the laughingstock of Texas baseball.

4.  Draft this kid:

And finally…

5.  Officially change their name to the “LOLstros
The space program is dead yo, and in the internet age, nothing is as catchy as a memey acronym that makes folks smile without even thinking about it.

See!  You’re LOLing right now!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS Presents: Scoring the Republicans

A pitch only becomes a wild pitch when a runner or runners move up a base.  If there’s no one on or if no one advances, it’s simply a bad pitch.  Basically, it only counts as wild when it causes damage.  So that makes me wonder if the recent Republican hyjinks should be charged as wild pitches or if they’re just bad pitches.

Well, luckily RSBS is here to give you the official scorer’s decision.  We decided to save you the time by having the interns take a look at the replay and let you know how you should mark it on your scorecard.  Without any further ado, lets go to the tape.

Bachmann vs. Perry

This past week during the Tea Party debate Michele Bachmann followed up a solid shot against Rick Perry (or at least a shot that passes for solid in Tea Party circles) regarding his attempt to mandate HPV vaccines with a complete misfire.  Now, in addition to offering further proof that she has no idea what she’s talking about, she has drawn the ire of medical professionals, a group that tends to be pretty well respected even in the science-rejecting circles where Ms. Bachmann runs.

Scorers Decision: Wild pitch followed by an error when Ms. Bachmann launched the ball into the outfield.  If it wasn’t for the entertainment factor we’d ask if someone could please just pull her from the game already.

Pat Robertson vs. Common Decency

Republicans, especially the religious ones, like to go on and on about the “sanctity of marriage.”  No gay marriage because that’s against the “sanctity of marriage.”  50 years ago the same groups were harping on interracial unions because of the “sanctity of marriage.”  Must be a pretty sacred thing for them to get so worked up about so many topics for so long.  Unless it gets in the way of their own enjoyment and could trigger their sense of guilt, that is.  “Sanctity” and the whole “til death do us part” thing doesn’t count, at least not according to Pat Robertson, when your partner has Alzheimer’s.  In fact, Pat says you can go ahead and divorce them and Jesus won’t care.  How much you want to bet Mrs. Robertson has some form of dementia and Pat has his eye on some cute young thing?

Scorer’s Decision: Wild pitch.  Also, Pat Robertson is a dick.

Curt Schilling vs. Food

For everybody’s favorite former pitcher/Republican shill, there’s no commentary necessary.  For this, we go straight to the video.

Scorer’s Decision: No wild pitch.  However, it’s pretty clear that Curt Schilling ate at least half of Randy Johnson.  Either that or Randy spent his summer vacation in Somalia while Curt was working in a Twinkie factory.

-A

The Filibuster

How has your relationship with Nyjer Morgan suffered after his attack on Albert’s manhood?

Nick
Martin, MI
___________________________________

Well it’s about time!  Seriously, I was wondering when someone was going to call me out on the conflicting interests of my Nyjer Morgan man-crush.  As if publicly rooting for a Brewer wasn’t enough, I had to go and pick the looniest one of the lot, the one who called my team’s future Hall of Fame first baseman “Alberta” Pujols.

Oi vey.

My initial reaction to Nyjer jawing at Chris Carpenter in the game that led to the maniacal tweet in question was: Okay, that’s enough, Nyjer.  Yapping at your opponent is one thing — one thing Nyjer does quite well and usually within the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in baseball — but he was strutting and yelling “F*** you, p****!” to Carp, a man who could crush Nyjer with his stare if he wanted to.  Watching that strange exchange was akin to the feeling one gets when his dog starts sniffing the butts of other dogs at the park: somewhat embarrassing, but also totally natural.

Nyjer is crazy.  And that’s why I like him.

He’s… different.  He’s a showman.  A wild gunslinger.  A loose cannon.

He’s also quite talented and completely entrenched in winning.  The man wants to win (are you getting this, K-Rod???).  Nyjer has more energy in his pinky finger than most Major League squads put together.  But along with that fiery and insatiable appetite for winning comes a handful of bad decisions.  We saw it last year as he beat his chest while being physically removed from Sun Life Stadium.  We saw it when he slammed his mitt into the ground after missing a ball over his head, a ball that stayed in play and rolled around while he pouted.  And we saw it on September 7th when he almost got his @$$ handed to him by an angry Cardinals mob.

Do I like that he does that sort of thing?  No.  But that’s who he is, and let’s be honest, he makes the game interesting.  He makes it spark.  He is the Dennis Rodman of Major League Baseball; and as long as his numbers back up his jawing, as long as he puts winning above all else, I think he makes baseball better and immensely more entertaining.

Calling Albert names?  Our rivals have been calling Albert names for over ten years now.  So what?

Words, words, words.

When Nyjer takes a swing at him, that’s when I will have had enough.  But not even Nyjer is stupid enough to do that.  Albert would DESTROY him like he’s been destroying Brewer pitching (.329 lifetime against the Crew).

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.  And you know it.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want to find out the disgusting details of how Mr. Krause shows his “love” for big government?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Ms. Palin Goes to Washington

In case you missed it, the White Sox have made Justin Verlander the Most Interesting Man in the World:

Based on recent news, though, he’s got some serious competition in Sarah Palin.  Word on the street is that before Todd made an honest woman of her, the former Sarah Heath had a taste for black men.  And white powder.  Based on the current president’s past indiscretions, maybe Ms. Palin’s fiery rhetoric toward the White House is just covering up a schoolgirl crush.  Or maybe she just needs to devote herself full time to her true calling: courting Ron Washington.

-A

The Problem with Baseball

In short, the problem is Francisco Rodriguez; or, at least, the problem is people like Francisco Rodriguez.

Earlier this week, when asked about his role as set-up man to John Axford on a playoff-bound Brewers club, the manic and pock-marked hot head had this to say:

“There’s been plenty of save opportunities, and I’ve pitched once in the ninth inning and it wasn’t a save. I’m not happy. That’s the bottom line for me.”

Whaa whaa whaa.  Cry me a river, you big, overpaid, underachieving man-baby.

You see, dear readers, K-Rod is what we nowadays call a “stat-whore” — an obvious “save” chaser, a child more concerned about his “legacy” than the overall well-being of his team.  And apparently, winning means nothing to him.  Being successful means nothing to him.  If it did, he’d keep his mouth shut.  Instead, he’s yapping about how rough he has it while presumably yearning for a return to that moribund, going-nowhere New York Mets club.

Are we, US Americans, responsible for this man-childish behavior?  Probably.  To be fair, we are the ones who tune in to train wrecks like The Jersey Shore.  We are the ones who judge people based on appearances.  We are the ones who look the other way while skinny little Brady Anderson racks up 50 bombs.

Will it ever end?  Probably not.  But being aware is being alive, which is good news for you and me.

And K-Rod?  Well, he is just another one of the walking dead.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

PS.  Aside from being a big baby, K-Rod is also the poster child against extreme, high definition close-ups.  I mean, seriously, there is no reason for a grown man to have that much acne.  Unless…

RSBS Digest: Real Men

As a result of some recent trends in male hygiene including facials, manicures and waxing and due to the ability of some well-known male artists like Justin Bieber to call the entire idea of masculinity into question, many pundits of different creeds, colors and class have tried to reclaim the idea of manhood.  This reclamation seems to center on the Paleo movement, wilderness retreats and a new found appreciation for beards.  However, I question the basic premise.

Yes, there are disturbing trends.  For instance, Mark Sanchez:

But is that really any different than this?

Well, as a matter of fact, yes.  It doesn’t matter what Sean Connery is wearing.  Even if he was getting a cucumber facial while a small Vietnamese woman applied wax to his nether regions, Sean Connery is still James Bond.  And he’s a man who may get photographed wearing a wedding dress but could also make this little number his b**ch:

The problem is not so much a lack of manhood.  It’s just that for every Daniel Craig, we have two or three Ashton Kutchers.  That’s not a good ratio.

There’s probably not a whole lot we can do, though.  The death knell sounded the day we went from this:

to this:

It always comes back to A-Rod.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

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

“All I can tell you is, I wish I had a dime for every dime I had.”

To commemorate my hopeful demise of the mighty money juggernaut that is the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to use one of the greatest films ever conceived to explain my feelings for this occasion.

ARTHUR!!!

I’m also here to remind the world of the hurt and pain that Russell Brand caused me by pissing on my childhood by remaking this classic. BASTARDDOOOO.

“Thank you for a memorable afternoon, usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature.”

The Red Sox are falling apart. The Tampa Bay Rays are in pursuit of the wild card and I couldn’t be happier. At the beginning of the season, I, like the rest of the baseball universe, had the Sox winning it all. That being said, I love this Rays team. I’ve loved the last three or four Rays teams. LOVE Joe Maddon.  He almost makes me like Florida. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate tha SAWKSSS. I’m just a bit tired of everything Boston. NO MORE BOSTON!! No more Red Sox! The Town, Conviction, Gone Baby Gone, the Patriots, The Departed, Ben Affleck doing Madden ads. I NEED A FAWWWWWWWWKIINNNNN BREAK!!!

“If you and your undershirt will walk two paces backwards, I could enter this dwelling.”

Oh yea. Forgot about Edge of Darkness, The Fighter, and Danny fawwwwwwkkkinnnn Woodhead!!!! I feel like I have had a Fenway Frank shoved up my giggy for the last ten years.

“I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I am my own boss.”

Theo Epstein’s bright idea was to punch in Erik Betard. BRILLIANT? No. Can Jon Lester be everywhere at once? Josh Beckett is hurty. The BLOWN RANGER!  John Lackey is awful.  This staff is not quite in dire straits but…

“Ladies and gentlemen… I’m sorry… As you probably have surmised by now… there will be no wedding. The bride… has had second thoughts… and has decided not to marry me… Most of you know me… Can you blame her?”

Carl Crawford has been my personal joy killer. One of my favorite players of the last seven years, he hasn’t quite been worth the money. Hitting third in this lineup has been a problem. He’s a leadoff hitter!

“Isn’t this fun? Isn’t fun the best thing to have? Don’t you wish you were me? I know I do.”

The rise of Jacoby Ellsbury has been nothing short of TRANSCENDENT — an absolute bright spot. And I couldn’t be happier for the kid who has struggled through injuries. He or Curtis Granderson would be fine choices for MVP. (I’m sorry, Verlander.)

And now, one last fleeting thought for my beloved Cubs. Both Sox teams have won championships and so have the current champ Giants. My thoughts on this?

Gloria: My mother died when I was six.
Arthur: [bangs his fist on the table] Son of a bitch! Don’t they know what they do to kids?
Gloria: My father raped me when I was twelve.
Arthur: So, you had six relatively good years? I’m sorry. Listen, my father screwed me, too.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

V is for Verlander

Although there’s still half a month to go before the postseason, many sportswriters have already moved beyond the silly question of who will face whom in the playoffs and onto the much more serious inquiry of who deserves the upcoming postseason awards.  Things are a bit tricky this year, especially in the AL, where the debate over the future MVP hinges on how people define valuable.  Bill Simmons tackled the question in a recent piece and I tend to think he came up with the right formula.

For me, it comes down to one simple question.  What one person, if he hadn’t been playing for a team, would have been the biggest loss over the course of the season?  Clearly I’m a little biased but could anyone really imagine the Tigers where they are right now without Justin Verlander?  It’s not just about Verlander’s individual success.  It’s also the fact that he took an underachieving team, hefted them up on his shoulder and said, “Like it or not, we’re going to win and I’m going to show you how.”  That’s not just value, that’s some straight-up Nietzschean will to power.

The case could be made for other players who at least have a shot at the award.  And although we all know that pitching wins championships, a very real prejudice against pitchers exists when it comes to the MVP.  But no matter how the rest of the season plays out, there’s no way the Tigers are leading the AL Central in mid-September  without Justin Verlander.  Show me another player who’s more valuable than that.

-A

Baseball as a Coping Mechanism

For me, the tragedy of 9/11 cannot be separated from the baseball that eventually helped ease the grief.  The few moments of distraction it provided during a time when nothing else really made sense cannot be overstated.  For a bonafide baseball nerd like myself, the game is always the best medicine.

In the fall of 2001, the prescription was Mike Piazza, Derek Jeter and one of the most dramatic World Series ever played.

Last night, during my first visit to New York’s gorgeous and amenity laden Citi Field, I was surrounded by people who felt exactly the same as me.  And that, my friends, is a very powerful thing.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

September 11th has become a big day for America and baseball is a big part of it.  Any thoughts?

Chad
Moline, IL

___________________________________

Over the past few days I’ve talked to a lot of non-American friends and we’ve shared stories about where we were when we heard the news on September 11, 2001.  Everyone can recall exactly where they were, exactly what they were doing.  In fact, I’ve heard more than a few times that 9/11 is the one day when the entire world remembers where they were when they heard about the attack.

The thing about September 11th is that although it happened in New York, it wasn’t just an American event.  The people in the World Trade Center came from all over the world to work in New York.  9/11 wasn’t an attack on America.  It was an attack on an open, liberal way of life enjoyed in many parts of the world and epitomized by the US that happened to take place in the New York.

That’s why I have a problem with what MLB has done in remembrance of 9/11.  I still remember the first time I heard “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch instead of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  I sat there wondering what was going on.  First off, what place does religion have at the ballpark?  And secondly, in remembrance of an event that affected the entire world and redefined that world in the blink of an eye, why a song that disregards the rest of the world?

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. “

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Let’s face it, a healthy percentage of the major leagues is made up of people who aren’t necessarily US citizens.  Baseball has also actively sought to increase its allure outside of the US.  So why would they replace “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a song that celebrates the sport, with a nationalistic song that borders on jingoism?  Yes, I know that baseball is America’s pastime.  And I know that “God Bless America” is no longer sung during every game at every stadium.  But that’s not the point.

September 11th profoundly affected the American national psyche.  It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed because the wound still hasn’t healed and sometimes feels as fresh as it did that day.  We should never forget what happened but we should also realize that the whole world felt that pain and continues to feel its effects.  MLB needs to realize that, too, and if they can’t find a song more inclusive than “God Bless America,” maybe it’s time they went back to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want to find out which bone really is the most patriotic one in Jeff’s body?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

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