Results tagged ‘ AL East ’

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Andy Williams had it all wrong.  I’m sorry, but I’ll take September’s non-stop MLB pennant chasing + NFL + Notre Dame losing to Michigan combination over cold and snow and fake Santas any day.  In fact, since it’s an election year, we get even more drama to go with our Irish-trouncing, and if you wait until the end of this post, you’ll even see that the Republicans have JOKES!

But first thing’s first: TUNE IN TO BASEBALL.  My lord, between the AL Central showdown, the A’s/Angels wild card battle and the AL East title three-way, I can’t imagine a more exciting scenario (except maybe a non-baseball related three-way, but that’s for a different blog).  Consider the NL wild card race and the fact that one of the three AL East teams could also nab the last AL West wild card spot and now allow your mind to be blown (again, maybe better for another blog).

And I haven’t even mentioned the myriad story lines decorating the start to the NFL and college football seasons!

The fact is, for dudes like Mr. Krause and I, it really doesn’t get much better than this.  Unless you want to throw in some flaccid punchline deliveries (ZING!)…

Hate me ‘cuz you can, 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

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.

Forget Me Not

With just six weeks and some change left in the regular season, now is the time I lament my dear Cardinals’ now seemingly annual implosion from the top of the NL Central and into regular season obscurity.  Sure we can blame Waino’s injury.  We can blame Albert’s transformation from Machine to Double-Play Machine.  We can blame shoddy defense and the lack of a real closer, hell, blame me, I don’t care.  But in the end, there is no denying that we have lost the really important games and we’ve been real sloppy doing it.

Of course, this is the NL Central.  So until the math cancels us out, there’s no need to give up just yet.

The same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays.

If the Rays were in any division other than the AL East they’d be right in the thick of contention.  Unfortunately, the way things are now, even if they do collect the fourth best record in the AL, they still won’t make the playoffs as long as post season regulars New York and Boston remain above them.  I find this a bit sad, for the Rays have gotten tremendous pitching all season long and they’ve found a way to win without high-priced free agent flops Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.

But no one’s talking about the Rays.  And no one will.

Hm… reminds me of the one-way delusional street commonly referred to as the Republican Party.


In the case of the Rays, at least they’ll get another shot next year.  Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is stuck in a great big clogged up tube of crazy, and the exit is nowhere to be found.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Filibuster

A bunch of teams are clustered right around .500 and above and no division is even close to being set at this point.  Does this mean baseball is starting to reach parity?

Sean
Caledonia, MI 
___________________________________

Beware, my friend.  I sense… something.  This… parity you speak of…

IT’S A TRAP!

It’s not real.

Just make-believe.

The truth is, the same old teams are still atop the same old divisions.  The Yankees.  The Red Sox.  The Phillies.  Okay, so the Mets and Dodgers may be out, but it’s not their faults!  They can blame poor ownership and mishandled funds!!!

I know that a quick glance at the standings may confuse the casual onlooker, that one could be easily misguided by the way the teams stack up.  But let’s face it: the NL and AL Centrals have been crapshoots for a decade, the NL West has been a contest in mediocrity for a long time.  The Angels’ dominance of the AL West was only usurped last year and in 2011 they have put themselves back in contention.

This is not parity.  This is, like our US American social ladder, a classic case of 99% of the wealth being in the hands of 1% of the population and everyone else is left to fend for himself.  The effect resembles something like parity.  But it ain’t.

It’s pitching.

I really believe that the Mitchell Report and its subsequent juicy fallout has forced teams to go back to what always works: good pitching.  With good pitching, you might have a decent shot at accumulating wins.  The Giants are a perfect example of a team that gets by on minimal offense and middle-of-the-pack payroll.  It’s not the stuff of dynasties… but when it works, it works, and that’s what teams are doing.

The Pirates are winning because of pitching (they can’t hit).  The Braves are winning because of pitching (they have a hard time scoring too).  The Diamondbacks could always hit, but this year they have… PITCHING.

Great pitching is the best defense against great hitting.  I didn’t write that.  Baseball wrote that.

When the Orioles and Blue Jays can compete in their own division… when the Nationals have a shot at the big boys in the NL East… that’s when I’ll consider parity’s existence.

But right now that seems like something that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away.

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

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Curious to know just how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Mr. Krause?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Three Up, Three Down

pedro martinez bucket head.jpegJust like a Pedro Martinez pitched inning circa 1999, this is gonna be quick, probably painful and will most likely include more soul-glo than the FDA deems acceptable:

rahm emanuel this big.jpgRAHM!

A few weeks ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel at the Roosevelt Red Line stop.  I shook his hand, wished him luck in the Chicago mayoral election, then basked in the warm glory that is his presence.  Yeah, kinda makes me sick too.  But I can’t lie.  He had a an insidiously welcoming glow about him.  And as I stood there, standing next to (and above, as the man is quite short) him, I couldn’t help but debate myself, asking Well, Jeff, are we on Rahm’s team or no

Then, yesterday, I read *this* and realized the Carol Moseley Underlings and Gery Chico Brigade might have already made the decision for me.

Of course, Rahm is Rahm and Rahms don’t go down without a fight.

So let’s sit back and watch as time and LOTS OF MONEY are wasted on the proceedings. 

The American Way.

Se la vie.

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgRAYS!

Call it desperation or call it genius (I’m goin’ with genius, by the way), but the Tamp Bay Rays certainly found a flashy way to fill some holes in their lineup by adding Idiot One and Idiot Two to their roster.  On the cheap!  Hey, if they could just convince Curt Schilling (and that unstoppable mouth) to suit back up, maybe the Rays will have a real chance at stickin’ it to the Yank Sox again this year!  If nothing else they have succeeded in ultimately defying logic: Manny Ramirez will get $2 million while *GASP* Kyle Farnsworth will make $2.7 million!  WTF?!?!?!?

jay cutler.jpgJAY!

Say what you want about the Chicago Bears and their NFC Championship performance, but as a Chicagoan, I call out to all fellow Chicagoans to lay off Jay Cutler.  For realz. 

In fact, I’m just gonna shut up about it and defer to RSBS regular, Johanna Mahmud with the quote:

nfl
is becoming human cockfighting. #6 is ****ing tough. he got dry humped
up and down the field all season long behind that AWFUL offensive line
and still came to play everyday. GUHHHH…..
you can never quiet the stupid.

So.

So.

True.

Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Once again the wild card teams come out of the east and once again
there’s a good chance we’ll have an all east coast World Series.  Don’t
you get sick of watching the same teams over and over?
 
Larry

Cleveland, OH
_______________________________


east coast living.jpg

Achtung, dear readers!  Once again, Larry presents us with a classic case of can’t-live-with-‘em-can’t-live-without-em-itis — a taxing condition so prevalent that it has infected the hearts and minds of rural and metro US Americans left of the east coast for over a century!

Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla…

Yes, it’s annoying.  I know.  Except that this year it’s not Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox bla bla bla.

It’s the Rays!  It’s the Braves!  And no Red Sox!

So
what if the Yankees are in there?  And the Phillies.  Hell, the
Phillies are the best team in baseball right now.  Post season
no-hitters?  Crushing offense?  Isn’t that what we want?

Placing
all biased pride aside, do you remember how many people were watching
the 2006 World Series that featured two historic midwestern teams?  What
about the 2002 pairing of two California clubs?  Or how about the
mostly-forgotten 1997 classic featuring your very own Tribe? 

Exactly.

People (the same collective “people” who seem to think Armageddon
is “great film”) don’t remember, because people (the same “people” who
define NASCAR as an actual sport) don’t care; and people (yes, the same
“people” who consider McDonald’s to be authentic American cuisine) don’t
care, because no one has told them that they should care.

Which brings us to the main culprit: a centralized power of all-things media, also known as mind control, rooted in New York.

Through
tecnocratic ways not yet fully understood, New York has convinced we
the people that if New York isn’t involved, then it’s not worth caring
about.  So, naturally, our press reflects that. 

No east coast clubs?  Fine.  No glitz.  No pomp.  Barely a modicum of circumstance.

Personally, I’m okay with that.  Because such buzz, it breeds emotion.  Gets people talking.  Forces people to care.

And for a sport lovingly labeled as our national pastime — one that has
had plenty of public relations gaffes threaten its integrity over the
last few decades — caring about the game is all that really matters.

Like
most non east coast elite, I have no love for the headline-hoggin’ high
profile teams that tend to bandwagon in October; but I know that their
existence is nothing but good for the game.

We need the Yankees.  We need the Red Sox. 

The post season needs the east coast elite.

Because US America needs an enemy.

yankees on fire.jpg

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Photographic evidence of Mr. Krause casting a Tea Party vote also welcome (it’s possible).

RSBS Presents: Drama!!!

surprise_face.jpg

No longer exclusively tethered to the stage, the screen or the page, there is no doubt that life is full of drama — the sort that you weren’t ready for, the kind you embrace, even the type that makes you ill.

Nonuniform in appearance and uninterested in who or what it affects, drama can be as simple as that anxious feeling you get right before a big presentation or as complex as the collective mood among you and your fellow drivers during your morning commute.

Drama is everywhere.  It infects everything.  We love it.  We hate it.  We need it.

Not convinced?

Take a look for yourself…

ines sainz.jpg

Ines Sainz and Her… Assets
Were members of the New York Jets out of line in their cat-calling towards Mexican reporter, Ines Sainz?  Was Ms. Sainz perhaps inappropriately dressed for an NFL locker room?  Is there more to this story that none of us knows about?  Yes, yes, and yes?  Probably… right?  I dunno.  Who cares?  What is important is that a) we now know who Ines Sainz is and that she’s more than available via Google image search b) Jets fans have more to talk about than just how fat Rex Ryan is and c) I have another reason to post a B-side pic of someone not named Erin Andrews.  Thank you, drama!



yankees v rays.jpg

The AL East: Yankees – Rays Showdown
If this most recent series is any indication of what sort of playoff bliss we may be in for, well, paint me blue and call me “cubbie” ‘cuz I’m all in.  Heart attacks galore, dear readers!  From Sabathia v. Price, to Brignac bombs to Grandy’s catch to Jeter’s thespian act, this has been the most impressive, most entertaining, most dramatic regular season series between any two teams all season long!  And, as a fan, I could care less about either club!  Now that’s what I call drama!


christine odonnell.jpg

Teabagging with Christine O’Donnell
If Joe Biden were dead he’d be rolling over in his grave.  Heck, lots of people wish Karl Rove was dead (he’s not) and he’s already rolling over in his… er… wait.  What I mean is this: Republican/Tea Party senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell from Delaware may seem like Sarah Palin 2.0, but that’s just because she’s good-looking, halfway likable and really dumb.  Make no mistake: the Teabaggers are way more scary than their everyday conservative counterparts.  Way more scary.  For instance, O’Donnell once suggested to the MTV crowd that they refrain from masturbation.  Uh… yeah.  And judging from the fly hair and nails O’Donnell has in that circa 1996 video, I sure as hell hope she sees the irony in that.  Anti-masturbation!?!  Ha!  Such a message EXPLODES with drama!!!

Hate me ‘cuz all the Teabaggers are doin’ it, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Guys, the season is starting in a few days and I still haven’t seen an
honest to god prediction out of you yet.  What do you think?  Is there
anyone who can keep the Yankees from repeating?

-Lee
Sandusky, OH
____________________________________

We haven’t made any predictions yet?  Oh yeah, I guess predicting that the Detroit Tigers will suck this year isn’t really a prediction, it’s just a known fact.  Considering that it is that time of year when everyone is making some sort of bold statement as to who is gonna win and who isn’t, I think you’re right, Lee.  It is time for RSBS to jump into the prognostication pool (that sounds like something one would find in Vegas) and so we do as only we at RSBS (I, Jeff, not Al ‘cuz he’s a slacker) know how.

Shall we?
(subliminal messages start now)

kourtney kardashian bikini.jpgNL East
Compared to its AL counterpart, this division isn’t quite the sexy beast it used to be.  The team to beat is the Phillies; and while the Mets look to give a better effort than last year if healthy while the Braves and Marlins lurk behind with plenty of potential, I still don’t see how the Phillies can lose this division.  Oh wait.  Yes I can; his name is Brad Lidge.

Yet I think the Phils still win it.  Ya can’t get much worse than Lidge was last year and they still won the league.

Phillies.  Probably.


jenna fischer 2.jpgNL Central
Come now, is there really any competition here?  Yeah, sure the Brewers can bop with the best of them but have you seen their pitching staff?  Exactly.  The sCrUBS?  Er…. no.  The Astros?  Stop playin’.  The Pirates?  The Pirates!?!?  Ha!  The only team in this division who might give the Cardinals a run is the Cincinnati Reds, and for that to happen Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto have to both deliver the goods like seasoned professionals (they’re not) and Aaron Harang would have to keep his ERA under 10 (he won’t)… not to mention the fact that Dusty Baker would have to not destroy someone’s arm (he will).

Cardinals.  No question.

heidi derosa.jpgNL West
Hmm.  This is an interesting division.  My heart says San Fransisco but my heart also says I should be able to drink a fifth of scotch and still be able to dance the merengue with some amount of poise.  In other words, my heart is a goddamn liar.  There are too many question marks in the Dodgers young pitching staff that I can’t put my money on them.  So I turn towards the Rockies — a team with balance, a team with Tulo, a team with purple pinstripes.

Rockies.

San Francisco joins as the Wild Card.

erin.andrews.jpgAL East
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla.  Not this year, folks.  Yankees, Rays, Yankees, Rays… and Brian Matusz.  The Yankees are the best in baseball.  Hard to argue against that.  The 2010 Red Sox are not the Red Sox we’re used to seeing.  They made a major mistake by not bringing back Jason Bay and they’re gonna suffer for it.  The Rays… this is the year for them.  It’s now or never.  And just for fun, let it be known that Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles is one hell of a pitching phenom and a reason to tune into their games every once in a while.

Yankees win without even trying.

Rays take the Wild Card.

lucy liu.jpgAL Central
With so much money going towards roster scrubs and the recently anointed singles-machine, Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers of 2010 will look more like the Tigers of 2003.  Okay, maybe not that bad, but still, they ain’t goin’ anywhere.  The Twins will be in the race, but I suspect they will be playing a lot of doubleheaders this year due to that new open air stadium; and their team is still built for turf.  I don’t see them catching the White Sox, who in my opinion have the best starting five of any other team in the Majors.  If Peavy stays healthy and Floyd and Danks kick it up a notch, I don’t see how they could be beat.  Keep your eye on Gordon Beckham too.  He’s gonna be a superstar.

White Sox.

Allison.Stokke.jpgAL West
Like its National League version, this division causes me fits.  The Rangers are right on the cusp of doing something great; but then I look at their pitching staff and see a bunch of crooked numbers on the board against them.  The A’s?  Uh… no offense, but if you rely on Kurt Suzuki to produce all your offense, I cannot take you seriously.  The Mariners look like they should be much improved; but I’m not drinking that kool-aid yet ‘cuz as of now, they haven’t done jack.  And how can I possibly bet against a proven winner, a team that gets it done year after year after year? 

The Angels win the West.  Why?  ‘Cuz they do everything right.

And they have a rally monkey.

Playoffs
Now when you put all these pretty teams together, choosing one over the other is no easy task.  They’re all yummy winners.  They’re all well-proportioned hot.  They’re all doable talented.

So what is one to do?

Personally, I like to fantasize about a world where they’re all in the same room, having fun and going at it with uncompromising competitive bite.  But understanding how unrealistic that is, I guess I have no choice but to choose one. 

Or two.

These two:

jenna fischer 2.jpgAnd again, my lying, cheating, pipe-dreaming heart tells me that the Cardinals are better than the Yankees.  Yet, I’m smart enough to know that saying as much is not only unrealistic, it’s just plain fantasy.

Still, one can dream, right?

Hate me ‘cuz I get ya all flustered, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not
together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster
question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at
kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Unwanted Victoria Secret catalogues and bootleg copies of Predators also welcome.

(all images scraped from the interwebs)


Major League Tool

nick swisher is a tool.jpg
Forget everything you already know about Nick Swisher. 

Nevermind his explosively jovial presence in the Yankee clubhouse.  Pay no attention to those 27 homeruns.  Disregard his selfless donations to community charity and his insatiable propensity for all-world positivism. 

This dude is a friggin’ tool.

Whether you focus on the plastic hook-tag still fastened to the top of his cap, the pantyhose wrapped around his right wrist, the forced bleary eyed smirk of a man you’d never let date your sister or the weak flash of a devil horn gang sign while mugging the camera, this Nick Swisher looks more like every frat guy you’ve ever hated.

Move over Tucker Max because apparently they do serve Swisher in hell.

Hate me ‘cuz I hate on the playuh, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Image courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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