October 2011

The Nebulousness of Mortality

REUTERS/David McNew

Fall and the playoffs also mean the imminent death of another baseball season.  Fittingly, the news outside of baseball also seems fixated on endings and death the last couple weeks.  Of course there’s the Michael Jackson doctor trial which seems to inspire the same kind of media circus that Jackson himself used to bring out.  But there are two other endings that I find more interesting.

The first is the death of Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen.  The dude was definitely a bad guy and behind, or at least the inspiration behind, some of the more nefarious plots against the US in the past couple years.  But he was also an American citizen which makes his assassination problematic at best.  Does his death make us safer?  Probably.  Should we be assassinating US citizens?  That’s a little less certain.

Obviously a lot of US citizens, a majority most likely, don’t agree with Al-Awlaki’s rants against the US and exhortations to do us harm.  But there were also a fair amount of people who didn’t like Martin Luther King’s message and thought his ideas just as dangerous as those of Al-Awlaki.  But the US government didn’t assassinate him.  No, I’m not saying that the two men are similar or that their messages bear any resemblance but I am saying that assassination is a slippery slope during the best of times.  When it becomes an easily employable tool in the context of a nebulous concept like the “War on Terror,” how long before it becomes a similarly employed tool within other nebulous concepts like the “War on Drugs?”  Again, I’m not saying this will happen, I’m just saying it needs to be considered.

Considered in the same way that Trinity College in Dublin should have considered their options before e-executing one of their faculty.  Ok, sure, Professor Conan T. Barbarian may not have been a real professor or even a real person but did he deserve so inglorious an end as to simply be deleted from a server somewhere?  Precedents, people.  They matter.

-A

We Signed Up for This

I ran the Chicago Marathon yesterday, so pain is on my mind today.  Obviously, the Cardinals’ loss to Milwaukee didn’t make me feel much better; but as I sit here with ice on my quads, a beer in my hand and a masochistic grin on my face, I continue to remind myself that a) things are gonna get better b) it’s a MARATHON not a sprint and c) we signed up for this.

With every pitch, with every swing (every stride, every step) our feelings and emotions are fully invested.  We worked hard to get here and we’re not gonna lay down and die just because we’re a little knocked down.  Instead, we’re gonna lace ‘em up, pound the pavement and enjoy the burn.

With a smile.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image via Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Filibuster

Tigers are in! One of you has to be pretty happy about that.

Mitch
Galesburg, IL
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Valverde_alds As we dressed for my brother’s wedding on Friday, he couldn’t stop sweating.  Part of it was the uncommonly hot October in Michigan.  And obviously a big part of it was the fact that he was getting married in just a couple hours.  However, as we relived the previous night’s Tigers’ game while getting ready (you know, the one where the Tigers beat the Yankees in a Game 5 for the ages), he mentioned how he had been sweating just as much during the final third of the game and that his heart had been pounding just as hard.  This, from a man getting married in three hours.

I couldn’t blame him, though.  I spent the better part of the seventh and eighth innings looking away on every pitch out of fear that I might jinx things.  And when Benoit walked in a run with the bases loaded, I was sure my worst dreams were about to come true.  Sure, he got out of it but things didn’t get any better when Valverde faced A-Rod with two outs in the ninth.  It seemed like one of those legendary Yankee moments where a maligned slugger breaks out of his slump and sends a fastball into the upper deck.

But not this time.  Instead, Valverde danced because mighty A-Rod had struck out.  And I finally breathed.  I took a second, composed myself and walked down the hall in the hotel to knock on the door of my parents’ room.  My dad fumbled with the chain but when he finally opened the door, we both had these stupid grins on our faces.

The Tigers may have dropped the first game at Texas last night and Verlander may not have been his usual stellar self but that stupid grin hasn’t gone away.  I want the Tigers to beat the Rangers.  I want them to go on and win the World Series.  But knocking the Yankees out of the playoffs?  That’s going to feel pretty good for awhile.  Yeah, I guess you could say I’m pretty happy about that.

-A

Another Fine Example of Absolutism

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Hard for me to find any words to say this morning; but I will say that last night’s NLDS Game 5 between the Cardinals and Phillies was… well… one of the best games I’ve ever seen.  I tip my cap to the Phils, but today is a good day to be a Redbird.

GO CARDINALS!!!

Jeff

Weekend at Jeffy’s

As you probably know by now, last weekend I finally got to sit down with Jeff and Johanna to record an RSBS Podcast in person.  The recording session took place around noon but the day didn’t end there.  No, it continued for many hours, many drinks and many laughs.  Sadly, though, we apparently did not party hard enough because it pales in comparison to the weekend Robert Young and Mark Rubinson had.

One of these days I’ll find myself back in the Chi and I hope we can take a mulligan on last weekend’s events.  I think that if we really tried, we could even go so hard that we become Angels’ fans:

On second thought….

-A

RSBS Explores Title IX

With the playoffs in full swing and history being rewritten every night, it’s hard not to notice how much of that history is recorded by television cameras.  The field is blanketed by unblinking lenses, allowing us to live and relive each play from every possible angle.  The downside is that somehow we still end up with quite a few of the infamous “adjustment” shots.  Usually, it’s just a quick tap of the cup in one direction or the other but every once in a while the camera lingers as the guy in the on-deck circle really digs in and tries to find the optimal cup placement before strolling to the batter’s box.

The human eye is drawn to movement and I for one don’t feel guilty for staring at some dude’s crotch while he’s in full readjustment mode.  It’s evolution.  But it got me thinking.  How often are people checking out the goods when the guy is just hanging out?  Sure, no one’s ogling CC Sabathia but a guy like Ryan Braun has to have his fair share of admirers.

Luckily I didn’t have to settle for idle conjecture because I quickly came across this ground-breaking study from Cosmo for Guys.  The video is especially enlightening:

Enjoy the playoffs.  And pray that you don’t have to see CC adjusting himself.  It would be pretty embarrassing to get caught on that crotch cam.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

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

There is a movement coming. Axel Foley is coming.

I’ve been trying to get over my most recent trampoline accident and my cat circus just went bankrupt… BUT!!! One of my favorite cites (DETROIT) is having a renaissance. I got Iraqi, German and Chicago in me, yes. But I’m thinking that maybe I watched Beverly Hills Cop too many times and listened to too much Motown, because I got definitely got some Detroit in me too. In fact, I feel the need to go undercover to find out what Detroit’s new secret is. Maybe in drag?!?!

If those Chrysler ads don’t pump you up then YOU HAVE NO SOUL. I want cars that talk back to you. DETROIT CAN GIVE YOU THAT! And I want a lot of things back in my life. I want sideburns back. I want Paul Reiser and Judge Reinhold back. And though I don’t smoke, I want people to bring smoking indoors back!!!

Meanwhile, Detroit needed a pick-me-up and the Lions and Tigers have delivered.

This song has nothing to do with Axel Foley, nor the Motor City, but something about it makes me feel like I’m in the mitten. (Or is Michigan a glove?) Anyway, it gets me pumped up for my second city so much that when I hear it I can’t help but take a swig of a cold Samuel Jackson before pouring a little out for Jack Kevorkian and Gilda Radner. (I was going to mention Barry Gordy here but I just googled him and he’s still alive!!!)

The freaks are coming out! Lions, Tigers, and Wolverines …oh my! This is the best gift life could ever give our fellow RSBS writer, Allen.

The Tigers!!! Verlander makes me woozy. Miguel Cabrera is the Natural. And bad@$$ Jim Leyland is The Marlboro Man! If Sam Elliott had turned down his role in The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers would have had ol man Leyland on the phone in a jiffy.

His Tigers can do it all. And if you want, they can also chain you to a wall in a sex dungeon and make you watch two octogenarians go at it with mayonnaise all over them. NOW THAT’S PROGRESS.

Michigan State basketball couldn’t save Michigan but Emmmminnneeemmmm, the Lions and Verlander will by golly.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 28: A Pirate’s Private Prison and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

For the first time EVER in RSBS Podcast history, Jeff, Allen and Johanna all meet IN THE SAME ROOM!  That’s right, no phone lines, no Skype, just a microphone and three unfettered opinions overlapping and slip-slapping without pause.  Among the topics of discussion are the Tigers, the Cardinals (it’s PLAYOFFS, duh!), an Ozzie Guillen-less Chicago, “blowing” it down the stretch, why you should see Catching Hell and much, much more!

Now getchyer beer and getcho happy on!

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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. Follow Keith on on Twitter and, if you like spontaneous awesomeness, check out his crew and their gut busting Undercast!

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Recorded Saturday, October 1, 2011

Is This Real Life???

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

During Games One and Two of the National League Division Series featuring my beloved St. Louis Cardinals and NL powerhouse Philadelphia Phillies, my damn Droid has been blowin’ up with furious text messages, emails and porn links Twitpics.  I’ve noticed a trend: fellow Redbirds fans furious that we haven’t put a pounding on the Phils.

So… uh… let’s back up here.

First of all, love them as I do, I am perfectly aware that the Cards barely snuck into the postseason.  In fact, considering the injuries we sustained and the fact that Albert Pujols didn’t become Albert Pujols until a couple months into the campaign, MAKING THE PLAYOFFS AT ALL was a tremendous above and beyond achievement.  And remember, if the Braves hadn’t tanked, we wouldn’t even be here.

But we are here, so that’s something to be happy about.  Let’s just not be too pompous in our own expectations, shall we?  Admit it.  On paper, we’re overmatched.  We should be down 2-0.  We shouldn’t even have a shot.  Luckily for us, the game isn’t played on paper, we’re tied up 1-1, and right now we have just as much of a shot as anybody.

BE HAPPY FOR THAT!

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Holy crap.  September 28, 2011.  Has there ever been a better day of baseball?

Anna
South Bend, IN
___________________________________

One of the greatest aspects of our hallowed national pastime is that every day has the potential to bring greatness.  You might see a no hitter.  You might see a triple play.  You might see four homeruns in one game by the same player.

In fact, just this season I witnessed Derek Jeter collect five hits in a game.  TWICE.  I saw Justin Upton hit a broken bat homerun.  I saw Mariano Rivera become the undisputed king of the save.

I also saw back-t0-back bunt basehits to start off a game.  I saw Shelley Duncan have the defensive game of his life by making three nearly identical amazing grabs in left to rob the Rangers.  And I saw Adam Dunn get a base hit off a lefty.

Magic.  Baseball has it.  And some days it has it more than others.

I would put September 28, 2011 in that category for sure, because on that day FOUR games provided unparallelled magical endings, nearly simultaneously.

But I also can’t think of September 28th without thinking about 2007 Game 163 or the 2008 Game 163 or the 2009 Game 163!!!  In fact, I still consider that 2009 Tigers v. Twins contest to be the most jaw-dropping game I have ever witnessed with my own two eyes.  Clearly, when we reach the end of September and regular season games carry the weight of sending teams on to capture even more glory, the potential for being among the best is like a batting practice fastball.

Right down central.

In the end though, what qualifies as the “best day in baseball” is obviously relative.  For me, I can’t seem to get past October 27, 2006.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Interested to know why Mr. Krause walks with an odd limp?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

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