January 2012

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Kerry Wood Loyalist, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.”

Those who know me know I like to do odd things, like throw myself off bridges, eat cuttlefish or play H.O.R.S.E. … with myself. But that’s not why I called.

In the spirit of odd things, I thought I’d use the funniest movie of all time to deal with all the MLB Hall of Fame talk.

Wendy Torrance: I can’t get out! I can’t get out! Run! Run!

Congrats! You made it out alive, Barry!!!

As we celebrate Barry Larkin’s entry to the hallowed Hall (even though it took three stupid years) I thought we should take a look at those who didn’t quite make it out of Overlook Hotel, the ones who will probably be there a while.

Jack Torrance:  Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is? Do you? 

I can’t out think a potato, but I know this: Piazza, Kent, Bagwell and Big Mac aren’t getting in. EVER. And I don’t think I have to explain why. But I digress…

Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chiny-chin-chin? Well then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in. [Axes the door]

My personal vote went to Jeffy’s Expo base running specialist, Tim Raines. My kind of ball man. Good defender, consistent contact hitter and great jheri curl!

Wendy, you’ve got a big surprise coming to you. You’re not going anywhere.

From one Jack to another… of course, Allen’s Jack Morris slipped through the cracks again. I feel for the kid (Allen), but I personally believe Jack will be dead before he leaves the snowy mountaintop of baseball’s purgatory labyrinth.

God, I’d give anything for a drink. I’d give my god-damned soul for just a glass of beer.

Good Luck, Lenny Dykstra… maybe next year… yeesh. And maybe stop talking for a while.

–Johanna Mahmud
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Yoga: An Explanation

Once the baseball season starts back up, you can be sure that the first few weeks we’ll hear all about the “off-season regimen” that certain players undertook.  I’m sure the announcers will talk about the shortstop who lifted weights to improve his strength and the right-fielder who did ballet to improve his footwork.  If we’re really lucky, there could even be a story about Pujols doing Pilates which might make Jeff feel better about his departure from St. Louis.

The stories I like the most, though, are about the guys who do yoga.  Personally, I’m a big believer in yoga.  The breathing and stretching clean out the cobwebs and get the blood flowing.  For those with back problems, it can do wonders.  But despite all those obvious benefits, yoga looks kind of silly.  And really, after a season of form fitting stirrup pants, who wants to then imagine Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder in yoga pants?

However, I think we may have missed the real reason for offseason yoga:

Yep, yoga.  I get it now.

-A

The NFL and NBA Remind Us That Baseball Still Reigns Supreme

January is a difficult month for me.  Gone are the holidays that distracted me from my baseball-less existence.  The cold and dark days serve only as a reminder that the 162 game grind is still far away.  And key free agents still don’t have a home!

I enjoy football.  I really do.  Nothing gets me through the winter quite like watching grown men beat the hell out of each other over an oblong pigskin.  But three of the four playoff games this past weekend were over before the fourth quarter even started!

And yes, Derek Rose and the Chicago Bulls certainly know how to take me HIGH-UH; but on Saturday night — when I really needed them to get me through the weekend — the game was over before the second half.

Where art thou, Evan Longoria?  Robert AndinoDavid Freese?

THERE IS NO CLOCK IN BASEBALL.

And where there is no clock, there is only the potential for glory.  In baseball, there is no garbage time.

Hate me.  Fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A Frozen Renaissance

I remember how excited I was when the Tigers beat the Yankees in the playoffs.  If you take the inverse of that, it’s about how I felt after the Lions lost last night.  The thing about Detroit and Detroit sports is that despite all this talk of a Detroit renaissance, it keeps falling a little short.

The Tigers made the playoffs and beat the Yankees in spectacular fashion but then barely showed up against the Rangers.  The Lions look nothing like the 0-16 laughing stock they used to be but after getting trounced by the Saints in the playoffs, they obviously have a ways to go.

No, the fact of the matter is that Detroit is still Detroit and, at this point, its best years are somewhere in the past.  In fact, it’s completely possible that this is the moment where Detroit peaked:

…but I sure hope not.

-A

Before There Was RSBS, There Was Free Pudding

That’s right.  In a galaxy far, far away… before the interns, before the Digests, before I was “always right”, there was…

FREE PUDDING.

The above picture is one of the remaining relics from that year 2000 sketch production extraordinaire staged at Kalamazoo College that brought its fans FUN, LAUGHS and FREE PUDDING.  (Not kidding, we actually served free pudding to all patrons.)

Of course, dear readers galore know what eventually became of my persnickety and oft lugubrious colleague, Mr. Krause and I.  Y’know, how we blew up the internets with our unique take on the baseball-politico world and all.  But what of that crouching fella in the middle there?

That’s Jordan Klepper.

And here is Mr. Klepper, recently, with the lovely Laura Grey.

STILL KICKIN’ COMEDY TAIL!

Mr. Klepper grew up a huge Ryne Sandberg fan, and while living in The Chi, he wore his Cubs hat proudly.  But then he moved to New York, and after a couple of Mets games we took in last summer, I couldn’t help but notice him salivating all over  R.A. Dickey.

Happy Saturday!

PS. The dude with the do-rag is Nick. I have no idea where or what he is doing in the world today but I’m sure he’s rockin’ it ‘cuz he was super cool back in school.

PPS. Yes.  Mr. Krause is doing “the double handed shocker”.

What’s Wrong With Iowa?

Iowa has given us a reason to be afraid.  Very afraid.  It’s not just that people refuse to vote for Mitt Romney because he’s….*gasp*….a politician!  It’s that in their pursuit of anyone-but-Romney, they bounce from one increasingly insane option to the next.  Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich.  They’re all crazy in their own way but it’s a generally harmless crazy because they’re ultimately cartoons.

But Iowa…..?

Iowa just gave us a new kind of crazy, a crazy that’s scary because it actually believes what it says.  It’s the kind of crazy that gave us the Crusades and the Salem witch trials.  It’s a crazy that earnestly stares you in the eyes and tells you that it cares about you while inserting a knife between your ribs and watching the life drain out of you.  And it means every word it says.

As America woke up the day after the Iowa caucuses, I’m sure a fair amount of people scratched their heads and wondered who exactly this Rick Santorum guy is.  And the truth is, Santorum is still defining himself…although it seems pretty clear that he’s not the sort of guy who’ll just happily let you live your life the way you see fit.

I’m hopeful that the Republican flirtation with Santorum will last about as long as a Pittsburgh Pirates’ playoff run.  And considering that the good people of the state of Pennsylvania turned him out by an 18% margin in his last Senate contest, he obviously has some downside.  But in the meantime, let’s just try to focus on what Santorum’s presence means to the realm of comedic headlines. (If you don’t get why this headline is funny, go to google, enter “santorum” in the search box and scroll down until you understand.)

-A

How to Fix the Dodgers

All-around baseball good guy Joe Torre is stepping down from his MLB front office position to pursue his interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers.  While this is bad news (I think) for those of us who hoped he might take over for King Bud once the reign of terror is over at the end of the year, I have to think that a group headed by Torre is probably a great way to save this storied franchise.

Of course, there are alternatives.  And yep, you guessed it.  The RSBS interns are ready to report:

1.  Go back in time, don’t trade Kevin Brown and instead have him break Frank McCourt’s hand so it won’t wander onto a woman who isn’t his wife.

2.  Stop making it mandatory that Alyssa Milano wear clothes to the ballpark.  (Holy Jackie Robinson, I’ve been in love with Alyssa for 20 years now; she just gets better looking!!!)

3.  Trade Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman for superstar Chris Paul.  Oh.  Wait.

4.  Get a mascot!  I know just the one!

Or… if none of the above works…

How about signing Prince Fielder?  Seriously.  Make him some crazy offer like $30 million a year for 6 years or something.  Wouldn’t that make the Dodgers a nice, EXPENSIVE and attractive purchase?  And besides, it’s L.A.  Just use somebody else’s money.

Hate me.  FINE.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and founder of Epsteinism, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“ No one in Russia believes in god.”

You know why? Because it’s cold! It’s cold there like it’s cold in Chicago right now!!

I know it’s not manly to act depressed while living in a wonderful place like this but, it’s cold. AND I’M NOT A REAL MAN.

Despite my depression, I know one thing that will bring me happiness.  MONEYBALL PART TWO: EPSTEIN BRINGS THE PAIN!  The Cubs win it all and Matt Damon stars as Theo Epstein.  I’ve already completed the first scene:

I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab or the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? Because my name is Theo Effin Epstein. THAT’S WHY.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Would You Do Me a Kindness?

Would you, MLB?  Would you hurry up and tell me what to think about the Ryan Braun situation so I can properly compartmentalize my NL Central adversaries?  I need to know if I should hate Ryan Braun or if I should just respectfully dislike him.  And I need to know NOW.

When this story broke in early December, I immediately paused 30 Rock on the Netflix stream so I could specifically call my friend, Mr. Mahmud, and mutually gloat in the complete downfall or our fellow divisional foe.  Ha ha ha, Prince is gone and now Braun is a fraud… fa la la la la… THE END.

Or so I thought.

I mean, this is the post-steroid era in baseball, right?  You get caught with a dirty test, your name is mud.  You’re a cheat.  An A-Fraud for life.

Unless of course, you’re a likable, attractive white man who plays in a market tailored towards good, wholesome folk.  At least, that’s how it seems.

I understand there are some strange circumstances regarding Mr. Braun’s positive performance enhancing drug test, specifically, that there aren’t any “performance enhancing drugs” present, but rather TWICE the normal testosterone levels, which would lead one to believe that such an oddity might be the result of treating a “personal medical problem” (how ’bout I just come out and say it: SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE).

My reaction to that is: okay, so what?  If dude is TWICE the man everyone else is, of course that would effect his performance, right?  And to say he didn’t know what he was being medicated with is no excuse.  This is the 21st century.  He has every doctor, nutritionist, trainer, coach, jedi master, etc. at his side to advise him on these issues.  Don’t take this, Ryan, or else it will RUIN YOUR CAREER.

Then again, maybe Braun just gets a pass because he is a cool dude.  People like him.  He plays in a small market and he’s white.  I guess that makes it all okay.

Either way, I want an answer and I want it now.

Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Happy New Year…or Die Hard

If, like Jeff, you spent your Christmas like this:

Hopefully this will help you forget the indignity as you start your 2012:

Happy New Year…or Die Hard!!

-A

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