September 2011

Hmm… My Ears Seem to Be Overly Healthy

My ears probably feel so good because I have had an entire season off from the deafening dumbness of one Joe Morgan on Sunday nights.  Ahh… feels great, doesn’t it?

And despite the acidic aftertaste of all-things ESPN, I do have to admit that Sunday Night Baseball has been refreshingly awesome in 2011.  Thank you, Dan.  Thank you, Orel.  Thank you, Bobby.

Tomorrow night, however, will be an extra special affair: Sunday Night Baseball on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, live from New York’s Citi Field.

And I will be there.

My healthy ears are eager to pair up with my attentive eyes, to take it all in, to remember with humility, to join in the communitas and the powerful emotional connection we all share with this truly remarkable pastime.

It’s gonna be a special night.

Peace,

Jeff

A Very Serious Post

With all the serious things happening in the world right now, I want to write a serious post.  President Obama’s jobs speech, the first Republican debate with Rick Perry, the continuing hunt for Gaddafi in Libya.  Somebody turned the world up to 11 and I want to talk about it.

Then this happened:

As I sat down to write this Serious Post, I saw the following headline from SI.com: Dykstra pleads not guilty to indecent exposure.  Seriously, how am I supposed to write something meaningful after reading a headline like that?  This is the guy who seemingly developed some sort of idiot-savant investment system which unsurprisingly turned out to be less savant and more idiot.  He somehow managed to follow that up with stealing a car, holding illegal substances and now indecent exposure.

I want you to think about this for a second, though.  Over the course of two years, Lenny Dykstra placed multiple ads on CraigsList for domestic help and when these women responded and came by for an interview, he introduced them to Lenny Jr. instead.  Lenny Dykstra.  Sure, he’s a wild and crazy guy but I figured that meant he got really drunk at clubs and then brought home some girl half his age.  This pants-dropping business sounds more like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most recent blockbuster, Revenge of the Wildebeest.

I still have one other question.  How do you plead not guilty to multiple instances of indecent exposure?  It’s not like this is a one time, he said/she said sort of thing.  You brought multiple women to your home under false pretenses and then dropped trou.  That’s staggering.  I don’t think a jury is going to buy your excuses.

I’m sorry.  This really was supposed to be a serious post.  But you ruined that for me Lenny Dykstra.  You ruined that.

-A

Five Things You Need to Know NOW

The world moves faster now than it did just decade ago.  In fact, while writing that last sentence, I lost two bets, texted a girl without using my fingers and imagined an elaborate Broadway staging of my favorite Bukowski quote.

So naturally, it would be easy to miss out on some important informational nuggets throughout the day.  But do not fear.  The RSBS interns have been hard at work to bring you these five things you NEED to know NOW:

1.  Rick Perry Is Insane
You didn’t have to watch the *YAWN* GOP debate last night to know that.  All you need to know is that he truly believes setting aside an entire day for his state leaders to focus on talking to their imaginary friend is an acceptable way of tackling Texas’ problems.  Um… please, someone tell me that being “delusional” makes one unelectable in a general election???

2.  MLB Playoff Changes Are a Comin’
If today was September 8, 2012, the Cardinals, Giants and Rays would all still be fighting like hobos for the last drop of playoff wine.  Generally speaking, I don’t like change; but to be fair, this seems imminent and fitting. I give it my blessing.  VOILA!

3.  Mr. Krause’s Retort Is Weak
In his most recent attempt to derail my celebratory allegiance to Liberty, he wrote: “I don’t have time to go back and correct all of his logical and factual fallacies one by one,” which is Big Government Liberal speak for: “I don’t know how to slip that dude’s jab-jab-right hook-left cross combination so let me try and talk around it.”  Just sayin’!

4.  John Smoltz Is Awesome… At Everything
He was a bad@$$ mound maestro during his playing days.  He also was/is one hell of a golfer — good enough to, at one point, even consider going pro.  And after listening to him in the broadcast booth as the color commentator on an entire season’s worth of games, I gotta say: Smoltz is one hell of a broadcaster.  With a Hall of Fame baseball acumen, superior poise and uncanny timing, he definitely warrants kicking Tim McCarver’s dusty rump aside.

And finally…

5.  The Astros Will Be Going to the American League
Don’t worry.  No one will probably even notice.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

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

And the Final Rose Goes to…

“Nice guys don’t finish last.  Nice guys just have to wait a little bit longer sometimes.”
–Jake Pavelka

In this all-Bachelor edition here at Setting the Mahmud, I’ve narrowed down who gets my lucky rose!  No, not the MVP award — THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO THINGS AROUND HERE — we’re talking about my rose.

Justin Verlander will win many awards this season, so he doesn’t need this.  He is a feisty one though!

Stephen Strasburg wasn’t around enough this year, but he definitely gets an honorable mention, just because.  Simmering optimism for next year, my friend.  Also, no one should ever have to see what my face is doing right now.

Aramis Ramirez is usually my go-to old flame. That being said, I have an irrational dislike for how he runs the bases.  (Sorry, Aramis. I never had the heart to tell you.)  And now I’m looking for something a little more long term.  I want to build a new life with someone special.  I really can’t do a long distance relationship right now, and I’m not too confident Ramirez will be around much longer.

Buster Posey lost out early.  It was no fault of his own (injury).  BASTARD.  I was rooting hard for him.  He looked strong to start the season and was a returning champ from last year.  Can’t hide the gimpy now though.  There’s always next year!

Another early favorite, Carl Crawford, couldn’t quite get on track in time to qualify.

Asdrubal Cabrera, the human highlight reel, would be a strong contender but this rose can go to only one…

Nyjer Efffin Morgan! MY GUY!!  AKA, Tony Plush!  Nobody does it better.  What can I say?

Nyjer, my dear Nyjer, every moment you had on camera set my heart a flutter. THAT IS NOT WEIRD, PEOPLE.  In fact, T-Sizzle could do odd things to me if he wanted.

I’m only mostly kidding.

Too strong.  TOO GOOD.

How many times have I watched the post-game interview where he channels his inner Bryant Gumbel!?!?  I stopped counting at 1,636. Well, this rose is for you, kid.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 27: A Man Named DIANNE and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff, Allen and Johanna kick back on all the baseball drama comin’ down the stretch including STRASMAS!, Verlander’s MVP bid, Nyjer AHHHHHHH Morgan and several other topics sure to offend as much as entertain!  The crew also gets a visit from AM 670 The Score’s very own Tim Baffoe, the one and only Ten Foot Midget!

- – -

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 laugh spawning Undercast.

- – -

Recorded Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mr. Lung’s Invisible Hurdles

My friend Mr. Lung, while an excellent writer and a true baseball devotee, has the misfortune of often face-planting when his thoughts turn towards the political arena.  Here’s an accurate representation of Jeff’s political discourse:

I say this because although Mr. Lung may have made one or two valid points in his original “coming-out as a Libertarian” post, his argument this past Friday mainly left me feeling embarrassed for him.  I don’t have time to go back and correct all of his logical and factual fallacies one by one but there is one point that bears discussion.

Let’s take these two statements:

Tell that to the folks paying $4.25 for a gallon of gas, the people who can barely afford groceries, who are meanwhile raped for 20% of their income in taxes to fund programs they’ll never benefit from.

and:

They hate us because of our longstanding foreign policy which is to invade, overthrow and then set up puppet governments and act as dictators to protect our interests in oil.

You don’t get it both ways, my friend.  Despite what your new friends on the fringe of either party may tell you, avoiding foreign entanglements by drilling at home or investing in alternative fuels is not going to change the price you pay at the pump.  Sure, over the course of a generation or two you can make those changes but in the short to medium term, your choice comes down to either securing fuel supplies in whatever clusterf**k part of the world they happen to come from or paying $6-8 a gallon like our friends in Europe.

I’m going to simplify all of this for you.  Government is a social contract in which the governed (including you and I) agree to give up a portion of their individual sovereignty for the good of the whole.  There are different levels to which this premise can be taken from the socialism of the Nordic states to the relative autonomy of the European Union.  Both extremes have their problems and both have their benefits.

In the US, we have eschewed the extremes and held to a longstanding tradition of slowly moving from one side of the equation to the other as necessary but never moving too far from the center.  From FDR’s New Deal to Reagan’s supply-side economics, programs come and go as they are needed.  It’s often painful, it’s occasionally embarrassing and it doesn’t always work.  But you know what?  If you don’t like it you can go out and vote for someone who promises change or even run for office yourself.

Many Americans prefer to lament the “broken” system, though, and sign up for whatever -ism fits their current worldview.  It’s simple, it’s available and it allows them to refrain from accepting any personal responsibility.  So tell me, my friend, how are you any different?

-A

The Filibuster

College football and the NFL have both come back with a vengeance but for MLB, there really aren’t any compelling races at this point.  How can baseball compete?

Ryan
Otsego, MI
___________________________________

Pardon my frankness here, Ryan, but…

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT?

No compelling races?  How can baseball compete?

Put down that tequilla shooter (slowly) and check the boxscores before you miss out!

Because the time is NOW for September baseball and there is PLENTY to be excited about.  Right now the AL East is as tight a race as they come, and believe me: the Yankees and Red Sox both want to win that division as each would rather draw the weaker opponent in the ALDS.  Meanwhile, the AL Central is anything but locked down.  Sure it might not be neck and neck, but if the Tigers have taught us anything in the last few years, it’s that they definitely know how to blow a sure thing.  And if you think the Rangers aren’t worried about the creeping Angels of Los Anaheim, ya might wanna put down the vodka too (keep the whisky, for now).

In the National League, sure the East, Central and Wild Card races seem to be locked down, but the NL West is still undecided.  The Diamondbacks are coming on strong but if the Giants can just average one run a game, with THAT pitching staff, they have a pretty good shot.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love football just as much as any other loud proud US American, but early season games being more important than the stretch baseball run?  Not in my world.  Not even close!

If you’re not feelin’ it, I gotta think that maybe it’s your fault.  Sit down and watch one of these games that matters.  Or, don’t.  I mean, STRASMAS is comin’ this year, so you could watch that!  Or check out a Bluejays game to watch the Joey Bats and Brett Lawrie Show!  Or get your buddies together for an Orioles game and every time they make an error, miss the cut-off man or fail to advance a runner TAKE A DRINK!  You’ll be so loaded by the third inning that your decision making skills will deteriorate to a level that will GUARANTEE a night of awesome once you hit the club.

Hate me ‘cuz I promote promiscuous behavior while championing the greatest game on earth, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Curious as to why they call Mr. Krause “The Bumpiest 30 Seconds You’ll Ever Find”?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Summer vacation is the stuff of dreams.  In elementary school it’s a lifetime of water balloon fights and slowly driving your parents crazy.  Once you hit high school, it’s a chance to make some cash for the school year by working as many odd jobs as possible.  By the time you move on to college, it’s either summer jobs to keep the debt manageable or internships so you can hopefully nail down a job after graduating.

Once you graduate, though, there’s no more summer vacation.  Sure, there are occasional Flex Fridays and no summer is complete without a nice 4th of July weekend.  But three months of free time to spend as you wish?  Nope.  That’s gone.

Me, I have no pretension toward excitement and simply choose to accept the reality of lost summer vacations.  But there are others who still try to find their own little piece of summer vacation in between the mundane rigors of real life.  Maybe it’s a weekend share in the Hamptons.  Perhaps you follow in the footsteps of Mr. Lung and attempt to watch 5 baseball games at a time every evening.  Or maybe you go a little more extreme.

For instance, Londoners decided to burn down their city as a way of celebrating their summer freedom.

Or like Chris Jeon who decided to join the Libyan rebels during his summer break. He may not speak any Arabic and he may not know how to carry a gun but he’s got spirit and that’s half the battle, right?  Let’s be honest, for a 21-year old math student in California, this has to be the highlight of a life whose decisions up til now have mainly consisted of  burrito fillings.  And what’s with the polyester jersey?

At least others dress up appropriately for their adventures.  I’m sure these guys had mothers who told them that if you’re going to be launching yourself 30 feet into the air over a pond, it’s probably a good idea to wear a helmet:

You know, come to think of it, Jeff might actually have the right idea.  At least watching baseball games in the safety of your own home helps lower the possibility of being shot by a Gaddafi loyalist or getting hit in the face by a foul ball.  There’s something to be said for that.

-A

Defending Logic

“One man’s balk is another man’s strikeout.”
–Mr. Allen Krause, August 30, 2011

Um… what?!?

Look, I don’t know what they put in that Big Government Liberal Kool-Aid, but whatever it is, it has some major psychotropic side effects, because in the game of baseball I know and love, a balk is a balk and a strikeout is a strikeout.  The two are never interchangeable.  NEVER.

But mistakes seem to be pretty common when it comes to the work of my opinionated and oft Yes We Can-chanting colleague, Mr. Allen Krause.  In his gimpy and tired attempt to derail my Liberty-train party, he made several inaccurate claims whilst using pompous generalizations to try and hide the fact that our current two-party political system cares more about robbing you, ignoring you, and then guilting you into making it all seem okay with special buzzwords like “terror” and “patriotism” and “hope”.

Sorry.  I learned my lesson when my vote went to Obama, my taxes went up, my savings account lost its value and my buddies are still off fighting stupid, pointless wars.

At the time of this photo, Little Allen still believed in invisible sky daddies, gnomes and unicorns, so there is still hope.

Let’s see exactly what Mr. Krause had to say:

“Ron Paul isn’t a libertarian.  Ron Paul has a lot of libertarian positions but it’s like being vegetarian.  Once you eat a piece of meat, you can’t really claim to be a vegetarian anymore.”

I assure you, Mr. Krause: Ron Paul is a libertarian.  Just because he differs from his party line on some select issues doesn’t make him any less a representative of the movement as a whole.  Just like I’m sure there are gay Republicans and gun-owning Democrats, it ain’t all ones and zeroes, sir.  Don’t forget, your Detroit Tigers’ greatest player was a drunken racist womanizer.  Does that mean you support drunken racist womanizing? (Don’t answer that).

Also, we are not talking about anarchy here.  We are talking about limiting the federal government’s involvement in our lives, like the Constitution was meant to do.  You do remember that little thing called the Constitution, right?  You know Dr. Paul is an expert on the Constitution, right?  You know that your big government is sh***ing all over the Constitution, right?  Okay, just checking.

“Yes, the US bureaucracy is often unwieldy but it’s downright streamlined compared to most of our OECD friends.”

So, you’re saying that because there are countries still worse off than us that we shouldn’t complain about the terrible job ours is doing?  Tell that to the dying middle class who are out of work because some big government bed-sharing CEO wants to make an extra $500K on top of his $3 million salary.  Tell that to the folks paying $4.25 for a gallon of gas, the people who can barely afford groceries, who are meanwhile raped for 20% of their income in taxes to fund programs they’ll never benefit from.  The system is broke.  This system is BROKEN.  Time to fix it.

“Paul would have us close up our borders but it’s foreign trade that allows us all to have televisions in our home and computers at work for a fraction of what they would otherwise cost.”

Your claim is simply not true.  Not true at all.  Dr. Paul’s fiscal propositions heavily support a free market economy.  It’s sort of the bread and butter of the Libertarian economic plan.  But you do have a point in that Dr. Paul would have us pull out of some of the international arenas where we are mostly seen as an unwanted nuisance.  Why are we still in Iraq?  Why are we still in Afghanistan?  Why are we now focusing on Iran?!?!?

And don’t give me that terrorism mish-mash.  You know why those countries hate us so much?  They hate us because of our longstanding foreign policy which is to invade, overthrow and then set up puppet governments and act as dictators to protect our interests in oil.  That’s why they want to kill us.  Because we are interfering in their affairs and they don’t like it.  Heck, I don’t blame them.  If Canada invaded my home and forced me to watch hockey every day, I gather I’d be pretty willing to blow myself up to stop it too.

Let’s leave those people alone, protect our sovereignty as the United States of America and uphold the values and declarations of the Constitution — a document that aimed to distance itself from the heavy-handed inbred monarchy that troubled the people with excessive taxation and an intolerance for individual liberty!

And now, please enjoy this woman getting hit in the face with a foul ball.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Vladimir Putin Makes More Than You

A recent study illustrated what you already knew:  Nice guys really do finish last.  But this should come as no surprise to anyone.  People don’t usually gush about how nice Carlos Slim is or wax eloquent on Warren Buffet’s warm hugs.  This also explains a bit about baseball.

The highest paid baseball player is Alex Rodriguez.  It also just so happens that A-Rod is recognized as a world-class dick.  Coincidence?  Probably not.  Same goes for Michael Jordan and the trash-talking skills that he brought along with his ridiculous game:

However, if there’s one guy who truly embodies this principle, it’s Vladimir Putin.  If there’s a meaner, cockier person out there, I dare you to prove it.  He gets the girlHe gets the treasure.  He gets whatever he wants.  Why?  Because he’s Vladimir F***ing Putin, that’s why.

If you have any other questions, perhaps you’d prefer to take them up directly with Mr. Putin.

-A

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