October 2011

Muammar and Tony

Muammar Gaddafi died an ignoble death yesterday afternoon at the hands of people he violently repressed for 42 years.  However the storyline in the immediate aftermath was not so much his death but that he had been captured and shown still alive before being reported dead a little while later.  “What brutality,” cried the pundits while wringing their hands.  “He was a horrible, awful man but he deserved to be tried by a jury of his peers before a sentence was passed.”

To this I respond with the words of my good friend Mr. Lung and ask, “What would Tony LaRussa do?”  No, seriously, what would Tony LaRussa do?  If his team is up by five runs in the 7th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs, is he going to be happy if they don’t score?  Of course not.  He’s going to go for the jugular.  When you let up, you give the other team a chance to get back in the game.  You give them hope.  I’m no political scientist but knowing that there were still Gaddafi loyalists in Libya, it seems to me that keeping him alive only gave them something to rally around.  It’s like your pitcher putting two people on and then coming back to get three straight strikeouts.  You start to think there might still be a chance.

So, the Libyan people did what they had to do.  They drove in those runners and then they scored a couple more when they got rid of Gaddafi’s sons and closest advisors.  No lead is insurmountable, especially in baseball which has no time limit.  But if you go up 20-0 on the other team, it’s going to be pretty hard for them to come back.  Libya went up 20-0 over the memory of Gaddafi yesterday.  I’m pretty sure Tony LaRussa would have done the same thing.

-A

High-Fiving Strangers

One reason I absolutely love going to baseball games is because it’s one of the only places where it’s acceptable to high-five strangers.  And last night, at the end of the most incredible baseball game I’ve ever experienced in the flesh, I was doing a lot of that!

My voice is gone and I’m short of words to describe the experience thus far, but my heart rate tells me: we’re just gettin’ started.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Team Edward Rep, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins

Things are changing for me. Before I know it I’ll be wearing jeans and reading fiction. I don’t know where I am. My favorite color is rainbow. I’m giving in to wearing sandals over socks. I don’t need the therapy! I’m just mentally ill!

Tony Effing LaRussa is back in my world and I CAN’T STAND IT. He’s a throbbing, raging, @$$bag that I wish would go away but he won’t. And you can’t kill him. If you try, he just keeps coming back. And, with all my might, my baseball sensibilities consume me so much that I can’t not respect the man.

When I was a child I would squint and mistake him for Thundercats supervillain Mumm-Ra (Magician or sexual deviant?).  I wanted to lightsaber him over and over BECAUSE I AM A JEDI!  His steroid riddled teams have infuriated me to no end. I loved the Dodgers and Orel in the 80s, the Giants and their earthquake, my Cubs of the last decade. I’ve always respected the man and his managing abilities; but he really has outdone himself this year. WOW.

When the Cardinals beat the Tigers in their last World Series appearance with no pitching, that was quite a thing. What’s happening now is nothing short of spectacular managing. My Jeffy’s Cards are the hottest team in baseball and I will once again be rooting against Texas. Watching this series will be like being touched by a priest…

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

I Wanna Yadi Hug Too!

Scott Boehm/Getty Images

 

As I try to navigate my way through the frosty haze that is my LINGERING SHOCK AND DISBELIEF THAT THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING, I have to continuously remind myself to LOOK AT THE BRUISES on my arm.

THE BRUISES ARE FROM PEOPLE PINCHING ME.

AT MY REQUEST.

ALSO, IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, I CANNOT STOP YELLING!!!

That’s because, for the FIRST time in my entire life, I am going to the World Series.

In fact, I’m going to Games One AND Two of the World Series.

And y’all thought David after dentist was confused… I feel like a little kid!!!

Hate me.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m goin’ to the big dance.

Peace,

Jeff

PS.  I wouldn’t be able to go if it weren’t for the graciousness of my lifelong friend, JW.  If you’re ever in Quincy, IL, make sure to stop at O’Griff’s Irish Pub for THE BEST homebrew you’ve ever had.  Also, order the artichoke hearts.  You won’t be disappointed.  I guarantee it.

RSBS Presents: Being Thankful for Detroit

The dream is over.  The Tigers have been eliminated and it happened in ghastly fashion with a straight-up mauling at the hands of the Rangers on Saturday night.  It’s not a fun way to end a season but it could be worse.  So much worse.  Ultimately, Detroit has a lot to be thankful for.  And we have a lot for which we should thank Detroit.  That’s why RSBS Presents: Being Thankful for Detroit.

This Girl:

You have to admit, that’s a pretty compelling argument.

This guy:

Abandoned buildings, freezing temperatures, elevator shafts and homeless people?  Where else could this happen?  Detroit is the perfect storm.

This service:

And what it contains:

Sure, it may be illegal but when a guy like Kwame Kilpatrick could probably still win back the mayor’s seat, that’s not saying much.

So yeah, I’m bummed the Tigers didn’t make it to the Series.  It would have been great to see them come back and keep the run going for Michigan sports teams.  But I’m not going to get too down.  After all, life is still pretty good, right Louis?

-A

The Filibuster

Both the Phillies and the Yankees went down in the first round.  If you had to blame it on one player from each team and then have those two fight it out in the Thunderdome, which two men enter and which one leaves?

Devin
St. Ignace, MI
___________________________________

Ah-ha!  I see what you did there, Devin.  Now do I really look like someone who would throw a guy under the bus and blame him for his entire team’s defeat?

Don’t answer that.

Yes, the Yanks and Phils missed the LCS boats this year.  And yes, they each featured some disappointing performances; but in both cases, the epic failage cannot be pinned to just one guy.  The Yankees went in with questionable starting pitching and the Phillies entered as the feast or famine team, the results of which were both early exits.  To pin the burden of failure on just one person isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

But Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard do make beautiful scapegoats.

Meanwhile, you want me to throw these two guys into a Thunderdome and see who comes out alive.  HA!  Can you imagine the inherent lameocity of a fight between a pinstriped cover-mag diva and a silent slugger who tore his Achilles on his way to being the final out of the NLDS?  Puhhhhhhh-lease.

Baseball hasn’t been able to produce a good basebrawl since 1993′s Ventura v. Ryan main event and even THAT was a lopsided affair.  Yes, we have been teased over the years.  Morgan v. Volstad had potential.  So did Lee v. Young.  And even more recently, Gregg v. Ortiz.

But the one thing those latter three matchups all have in common is that, ultimately, THEY WERE LAME.  And when it’s been nothing but Lame City in reality, it’s really hard for me to imagine an A-Rod v. Ryan scenario that would not be equally as lame.

Enter YouTube.

And make sure you stick around to the end to see Mickey Hatcher walk off the field with a bloodied face.  Now THAT’S some Thunderdome s**t.


Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Hide n’ Go Seek Yankee-Style

Throughout the New York-Detroit ALDS, both Yankees and Tigers fans had to be wondering, “Where is A-Rod?”  I know that up until his final strikeout, I was sure he’d show up at some point.  But he never did.  Luckily, no missing persons report had to be filed because a photographer in Miami finally found him:

Do you think he lives at that parking meter or is he just hiding out?

-A

Time to Unlock Steve Jones

If you’re like me, then you must have been feeling pretty good on Wednesday after the Cardinals sneaked by the Brewers to take a 2-1 series lead in the NLCS.  Hell, I wasn’t just feeling good.  I was feeling FANCY!!!

Having gotten word that I would be attending Game Two of the World Series in St. Louis, I was also quite busy securing travel arrangements, making a shortlist of folks I’d have to brag to and trying to decide what exactly I was going to eat at the ballpark (there’s so much to choose from!).

And then the Brewers went and won NLCS Game Four.

DAMN YOU, BREWERS!  DAMN YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL!

I ain’t havin’ this, y’all.  It’s bad enough that we have to go back to Milwaukee now.  But I will NOT let a 10-ton vegetarian take away my dreams of going to the World Series!  Will not, CANNOT!

It’s time to unlock Steve Jones…


GO CARDINALS!

Jeff

Allen’s 2011 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview

Continuing a long-standing tradition here at this nearly four-year old blog, I wanted to take this opportunity to weigh in on both the MLB playoffs and the Republican primary race in a familiar format.  I had a couple thoughts about how to approach this and I really wanted to go with the early front-runner, comparing the Republican candidates to different pizza chains.  It kind of made sense with Herman Cain in the race and fittingly enough the Godfather’s Pizza of the race as well (i.e. what the hell is Godfather’s Pizza/Herman Cain).  It also allowed for the Jon Huntsman-Chicago Pizza Kitchen analogy with both being the best possible option but too few people having heard of either.

C’est la vie.

The pizza analogy had to go away, though, because just as there are only four teams left in the playoffs, there are only four candidates with the possibility of becoming the Republican nominee and that lines up much more neatly.

On one side we have the two front-runners, the American League of the nominees.  The Rangers play the role of Romney, denied their glory the last time out and hell-bent to make up for it this time around.  They’re strong fundamentally but they just can’t seem to put it together.  Sure, they shut down Rays in the first round but even though they look good, you just can’t be sure they’ll hold on through the end.

Meanwhile, the Tigers bear more than a passing resemblance to Rick Perry.  They were quiet for the first half of the season but when they finally decided to get in the race, they did it with a bang.  At one point, riding a 12-win streak, they seemed nearly invincible.  The bang has gone away, though, and now they more just seem banged up with injuries taking a toll.  They could both pull it out and they both have something to prove but the goal seems a little more elusive than it did just a few weeks ago.

Over on the National League side, we have the “non-traditional” candidates.  For instance, the Cardinals, just like Herman Cain, came out of nowhere and now are turning heads.  Tell me the truth, at the beginning of September would you have given either the Cards or Cain a snowball’s chance in hell?  But here we are in mid-October and both are not only making waves but also making people think they’re for real.

The Brewers?  Well, you just never know what you’re going to get with the Brewers.  One day they’re Ron Paul, the next they’re Michele Bachmann, then they look like Newt Gingrich, and…..well, you get the idea.  The Brewers have a serious multiple personality disorder.  They looked fabulous against the Diamondbacks and then dropped two straight.  They mopped up the field with the Cards in game 1 of the NLCS then looked like amateurs in game 2.

So where does that leave us?  Well, here are my predictions.  I think the Rangers and Romney roll the Tigers/Perry duo to face the Cards and Cain in a winner-take-all final.  But the Republicans are the party of tradition and waiting your turn.  They nominated McCain the last time around after he finished second to GB Jr. and this time it’s all about the man McCain vanquished.  You read it here first.  Romney gets the nod.  Just make sure you check back in a year when the next edition of Allen’s Post-Partisan Playoff Preview picks the winners and losers in both the playoffs and the Presidential Election.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Epstein-Lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Failed sequels. Failed remakes.

I’m looking for a balcony I don’t have. That’s what the Cubs do to me. That’s what a possible year without the NBA does to me. But regrets are for horseshoes and handbags, just like Oprah said!  Fortunately baseball playoffs are here and a possible remake is in the works for my fellow writers, Allen and Jeff and their respective clubs. This remake reminds me of something (JESUS! I sound like Andy Rooney, you know?)…

Outside of jazz, circumcision jokes and male burlesque Chinese contortionists who wear glittered leotards and make kung-fu on you at will in an inflatable ball pit, my favorite art form is THE MOVIES! And right now, there are a lot of problems at THE MOVIES.

I’m sick of the mouth-breathing hooker pirates who are making pee on my childhood by trying to remake great films that will always be great. To all of you doing that, you can kiss my @$$. You remind me of the unoriginal jags I have to walk over every day on my way to work who are protesting Wall Street while knowing NOTHING ABOUT THAT WHICH YOU  ARE YELLING.

I watch a lot of film: classics, slightly old, current, and probably some that went straight to Blockbuster. I can’t stand when lazy studio heads remake the greats. The last respectable era of film making was before my time (in the late 70s) but it sure would be nice to see it again.

The Thing comes out this week. It’s a remake of the bad@$$ one with Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley.  And this one just might be a good fit for a redo. Let this be a lesson. The original was smart, complete with a great story but it also had god awful effects that made it hard to watch. Meanwhile, I recently read there is a remake coming of The Goonies. WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?

My point is this: I’m rooting for mah boys’ Tigers/Cardinals final dance matchup. It would be a remake that would be just fine because Oprah said so and I like whatever she tells me to like.

“I was wonderin’ when El Capitan was gonna get a chance to use his popgun.”

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

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