May 2012

Critical Drinking

Have you ever hit that point in a game of pool where you drink just the right amount and everything just seems to go in?  You’re not overthinking your shots.  You move with fluidity.  You’re like Minnesota Fats mixed with Michael Jackson.   It’s a spectacular feeling but, unfortunately, one that tends to slip quickly into sloppy drunkeness where even hitting a ball with the cue stick would be an accomplishment.

Well, it’s possible you weren’t just imagining that feeling.  It turns out that drinking can be good for you.  But hey, you probably already knew that, didn’t you?  I sure do.  For a guy like me, even talking to girls was impossible.  A half of a forty of Mickey’s later and suddenly I’m Cyrano de Bergerac mixed with, uh, well, not Michael Jackson.  But you get the point.

The study also maybe justifies the much-maligned decision of several of last season’s Red Sox to drink in the clubhouse.  They weren’t being selfish, egomaniacal @ssholes.  They were merely “enhancing their problem solving skills” through oral application of a legal substance.  Let’s face it, although baseball players have significant physical skills, what separates the wheat from the chaff is the mental aspect.  If beer can fill that void, I say “drink up!”

-A

A Tradition that Can’t End Soon Enough

Barack Obama finally came out in support of gay marriage.  I’m not exactly sure why this is news since a majority of the country holds the same position.  By definition, our elected leaders are our representatives and should represent the views that we hold.  Obama’s change of position (which isn’t really all that much of a change if you really think about it) merely puts him on the right side of history and firmly with the majority.

How did we get to this point anyway?  There’s the easy answer that it’s the fault of religion and the myth of “traditional” marriage (which conveniently ignores the other acceptable definitions of marriage laid out by their holy books):

I think it’s simpler than that, though.  People are just afraid of what they don’t know.  Plenty of baseball fans hated Jackie Robinson when he first started playing but 60 years later, the biggest stars in the game are a veritable rainbow coalition.  25 years from now, we’ll be telling similar stories about gay marriage.

Here’s the thing.  Marriage is supposed to be about two people who love each other committing to live and work together.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but the sexuality of the person has nothing to do with their ability to love or make a commitment.  If you want to simplify things even further, here are two examples.  Kim Kardashian had a “traditional” marriage.  This gentleman’s two mothers did not.

Now, would you rather have his two moms as parents or Kim Kardashian?

-A

Respect the Distance and Marlins President, David Samson

On Saturday, I ran 50 miles at the Ice Age Trail 50 Mile Ultramarathon.

It was the hardest physical challenge I’ve put myself through yet.  At times I was ecstatic, at others, on the verge of insanity, and everything in between.

Not wanting to further overuse the “life is a marthon” metaphor, I did a quick search of the interwebs to find a connection between ultramarathoning and baseball, and, to my surprise, I found out that Miami Marlins president, David Samson, completed at 52.4 ultramarathon on April 27, 2012, as a fundraiser for the workers who built the new park.  Over $550,000 was raised and dontated to over 10 different charities.

WHY DID I NOT KNOW THIS?

Why was this not reported by anyone?  Why was this not on MLB Tonight?  Why was this not front page news?

Running a marathon is hard.  Running 50 miles is beyond hard.  And now that I know how it feels myself, I can’t help but tip my cap to David Samson and the struggle he went through on behalf of his employees.

Now, if only he could get Ozzie Guillen to shut his trap.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

- – -

If you’d like to know more about my race experience, check out my running blog, The Run Factory, where I’ll post a detailed race report within the next day or so.

The Filibuster

Looks like MLB is going to televise the first part of the draft again.  Will Bud ever learn?

Jack
Bridgeview, IL
___________________________________

When people want to explain how boring something is, they often resort to the idiom “Like watching paint dry.”  Well, compared to the MLB draft, watching paint dry is edge-of-your-seat, action packed drama.  The sad thing is, that doesn’t mean Bud won’t keep on trying.

We all know the problem.  Succeeding in baseball requires development and in all but the rarest of cases, it’s pretty much impossible for a player to jump directly to the big leagues and make an immediate impact.  There are a lot of adjustments that even the best ballplayers have to make before they’re ready to succeed in the majors.  Bud has been in the game a long time and he obviously knows this but something keeps him from accepting it.

I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe it’s an inferiority complex because of the craziness and drama inherent to the NFL and NBA drafts.  Maybe it’s an inability to accept that baseball is different.  Maybe it’s just that Bud is completely out of touch and has made a lot of bad decisions that should have long ago cost him his job.  Whatever it is, it means that once again the MLB draft will be televised and once again no one but the absolute junkies will tune in.  Don’t tell him I said this but I bet you that not even Jeff will watch.  Yeah, it’s that boring.

Don’t get me wrong here.  The draft is important and when you look at the recent success of this year’s National’s ballclub, it’s obvious how important a good draft strategy can be.  But just because the future success of a team depends on the players a team chooses, that doesn’t mean the process is all that exciting to watch.  We know the basketball players from following them through the NCAAs.  We know the football players from the bowl games and college football saturdays.  Baseball players?  These are guys coming out of random colleges, even more random Latin American development leagues and god knows where else.  There’s no story attached to them until they make it to the big leagues.

Let me put it another way.  We all know about Len Bias and his cocaine overdose death.  Bias never played a day in the NBA but is still spoken of with reverence.  Meanwhile, until he made it to the major leagues, Josh Hamilton was just another talented athlete with substance abuse problems.  If Hamilton hadn’t have made the bigs, he’d simply be in rehab somewhere or out on the streets.

I know what Bud’s doing here.  He thinks that he can drive revenue growth by trying to create drama around the sorting process.  But you have to be invested in a person’s story in order for there to be drama.  We don’t know anything about these young baseball players so there’s no drama in watching them get drafted.  Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say there’s about as much drama as watching paint dry.

-A

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

The Staying Power of Logic

Michele Bachmann has been out of the Republican presidential race for quite a while now and, as a result, has seen whatever little relevancy she had go with it.  But, like most batshit crazy people, it didn’t take her too long to figure out how to get her name out there again.  The cynic in me says that is nothing but a publicity stunt but the idealist in me wants to believe that she really has no idea what she’s doing and is simply living life from moment to moment.  I’m pretty sure the cynic in me is going to win that one.  The thing most often overlooked in all that is that Bachmann is once again running for the seat she currently holds in the House and I’m guessing she’ll win it.

Meanwhile, a guy who made his name in the Senate by pushing the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction around the world will be departing Congress.  Dick Lugar was one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress and that did him no favors in the current partisan climate.  His concession speech was a warning to the hyper-partisans on both sides of the aisle but will sadly go unheeded.

That’s the thing about these kinds of races, though.  It’s a long-haul and you just never know what’s going to happen.  Often, what does happen makes no sense at all.  Should the Rays have made the playoffs last year instead of the Red Sox?  Logically, no, especially if you look at the standings from the beginning of August.  But a month later, things looked much different.  Should Lugar be departing the Senate and should Bachmann be returning to the House?  Logically, no, but logic doesn’t seem to have much staying power in these parts.  I guess we might as well just sit back and enjoy it.

-A

Anaheim Albert ang I Are Juss Having Fung, Mang

The Twittersphere is a strange place.  It can be as welcoming as it is alienating, as terrifying as it is hilarious.  But just like anything else on the interwebs, it is what you make of it.

Over the years, I have fawned over several accounts in order to make SUPER-HAPPY-FUN TIME.  Coco Crisp’s was golden.  Barry Zito’s was embarrassing (before he blocked me from talking to him).  And I’ve probably cried more laughing at the hilarity of Fake Ned Yost than I have all the times I’ve watched Braveheart combined (stop judging me).

But these days there’s a new mang in town (somewhere along I-5 between Los Anaheim and Orange Angeles County).

BEHOLD: ANAHEIM ALBERT!

He waxes on performance:

Compares himself to others:

And provides sultry details to his odd albeit professional relationship with his agent Dan Lozano:

Extra mad points for that Scott Spiezio reference.  He’s another man whose heroics are shared by both Halos fans and Redbird Nation.

Speaking of Spiezio, where’s my scotch… and the strippers???  ALBERT!!!!

Hate me ‘cuz I made you L-O-L, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Rules: Good Television Edition

If Kim Kardashian’s well-traveled yet consistently hypnotizing room-shaker just doesn’t calm that nasty case of televisionitis anymore, do not fear.

This is the 21st century.  And armed with both an MLB.TV subscription AND an MLB Extra Innings package on Direct TV, you never have an excuse to sully your brain again (unless Las Vegas is involved).

There are three basic rules.

Number One:

Watch Tony Campana.  That’s right.  I can’t help but tune into this wily sCrUB.  He’s great television!  Seriously, the dude looks like he should be delivering my newspaper every morning on a magenta, one-speed Huffy, not working a walk so he get on base to haunt opposing pitchers.  Perhaps it’s because my imagined baseball skill-set is similar to that of Campana’s that I often find myself glued to his base-running.  Or maybe it’ s just because the guy is a buzzing gnat in a game full of free-swinging giants.

Number Two:

WATCH the American League East.  Doesn’t matter the team.  Yankees.  Drama.  Red Sox.  Drama.  Orioles?  DRAMA!  Blue Jays?  MORE DRAMA!  Rays… oh the Rays… they are the KINGS of DRAMA.  On any given night no one knows what the hell is gonna happen in this division.  It’s a baseball fanatic’s wet — okay.  Sorry, chuggin’ the verklempt there.

Number Three:

Bryce.  Friggin’.  Harper.

Watch this dude.  Seriously.

I gotta tip my cap to Mike Rizzo and the Nats.  Both of their high profile picks have delivered early in their careers, not with just talent, but with poise and brass balls.  Watch Bryce Harper play a baseball game and tell me he doesn’t love it more than anything else on the planet, that he doesn’t live his every waking second for the opportunity to play the game we love so much to the best of his ability, AT ALL TIMES.

Isn’t that a great example of how life should be lived by us all?

Stay tuned to Bryce Harper.  That kid is fantastic television.

And go ahead, hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now!

I had a dream.  In this dream, I negotiated a contract where I would be paid beyond my useful years for doing absolutely nothing at all.  Once any talent I had was completely gone, instead of living off my pension or social security, I would get paid a ridiculously large sum of money for my “personal services,” but only if I chose to accept it. I mean, you never know.  It’s possible I wouldn’t want a million dollars a year and would say “no,” right?

But it was only a dream because MLB has set the precedent and there will be no more of the clauses that made Ryan Zimmerman and Albert Pujols very happy men.  No bathing in champagne for me.  No private islands in the Caribbean bought with my personal services clause.

No, I’ll have to chase my dreams elsewhere.  Here, for instance.

-A

The Filibuster

Feel bad about slamming Peavy yet?

Mike G.
Chicago, IL
___________________________________

This question makes the very broad assumption that I feel anything.  I don’t.  If I did I would already be cowering in shame because the Cardinals just dropped a series to the LOLstros.

But this is baseball.  It defies feeling.  It defies logic.

The Red Sox and Phillies in last place?  The Dodgers and Nats routing?  Peavy in control, flashing signs of the old whip-and-kill-em arm action?

Why not?  It’s only May.  Anything could happen.

Maybe I was a bit harsh on Peavy.  Can you blame me?  As far as baseballers go, Jake is pretty annoying.  And up until this season, all he had really done in a White Sox jersey is yap yap yap with a string of poor performances following those empty words.

I want my pitchers to pitch.  Not yap.  PITCH.

Jake is finally doing that.  Maybe his detached latissimus dorsi is properly attached again.  His velocity is back.  He’s hitting his spots.  Why should a man being paid like a superstar get extra accolades for FINALLY fulfilling his end of the bargain by pitching like a superstar?  Isn’t it too late!?!?!?

For my White Sox fan brethren, I am very relieved.  Yes, it is early yet, but to see Peavy, Dunn, Rios and *GULP* Gordon Beckham actually perform well makes life on the south side much easier.  But again, it is May.  There’s plenty of baseball left.

So I won’t douse that crow with Sriracha until I know I absolutely have to eat it.

Hate me.  It’s cool.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Worst. Day. EVER.

The next time you’re late for work, spill coffee on your khakis and then get rejected by the hot gal at your local bakery, just remember: life could always be worse.

You could be a delusional sexist homophobe.  Or, you could be A.J. Burnett.

Equally terrifying, I know.

But it just doesn’t get much worse than A.J.’s lackluster performance from Wednesday night.  In fact, in the entire history of Major League Baseball, it was the single worst start by a pitcher since 1929 as Burnett was lit up by the Cardinals for 12 hits and 12 earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

Apparently the tanning bed has made Clint Hurdle officially “stupid”.

But today is Friday, folks, and I don’t wanna release you for the weekend all depressed, so when that worst day ever does choose you as its next victim, make sure you watch the below video to remind you of the BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!

Happy Friday!

Jeff

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