Results tagged ‘ ALCS ’

Yeah? Well, Leyland’s Got Binders Full of Baseball Players

The long delay during game 3 of the NLCS left a void that simply could not be filled by the WNBA playoffs.  And then when it became apparent that the Tigers would have to postpone their opportunity to bring this year’s edition of the Evil Empire to a close, I had to face reality.  No baseball for the evening.

However, this left me a little time to follow up on my favorite instant meme from Tuesday night’s debate: Binders Full of Women.

It’s amazing how in less than a day we’ve gone from:

to:

all the way to:

Rain may have halted baseball for one evening but it can’t stop the internet.  Or Mitt Romney and his binders.

-A

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

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!

RSBS Undercover: Jeff as a Yankees Fan, Day 1

jeff as yankees fan.jpg

Yeah, I got a big mouth.

Sometimes it gets me in trouble.  Sometimes it gets me… opportunity.

So that’s why when I told Confessions of a She-Fan author, Jane Heller, that I would throw all my postseason fandom towards the Evil Empire as long as she celebrated series clinchers with pics of she boozin’, I didn’t even think to… well, think.  At least, not too much anyway.

But what’s done is done.  And now I’m in.  With the Reds eliminated, I don’t have anything to lose this postseason… so gimme an interlocking “NY” and watch me chamelonize into a slithering, spoiled, seedy Yankees fan…

Jeff as a Yankees Fan, DAY 1:

7:30 a.m.
I put aside my normal breakfast of greek yogurt and blueberries for an authentic New York Jewish bagel. It’s so authentic, it insults me and tells me to go back to Hobboken.

9:45 a.m.
I tune into Sportscenter and am pleasantly surprised to see my newfound team featured in every, single, friggin’ segment.  Yeah, son! Yeah!

1:35 p.m.

Riding the bus, I see some chumwad in a Red Sox cap.  I am brought to my knees with an overwhelming sense of disgust, nausea and uncontained anger.  I march right up to him and say, “Hey, buddy, how’s the number 27 sound to ya? Huh? Yeah! Eat it, son! Eat it!”  Then the bus stops and I get off as fast as I can.

4:45 p.m.
The office manager was able to send out five faxes, five emails and five phone calls to our customers — all within one work day!  So I showed him I cared by giving him a shaving cream pie in the face.

6:15 p.m.
I turn on Sportscenter and am pleasantly surprised to see my pinstripers featured in every, single, friggin’ segment!

9:30 p.m.
Some jape wearin’ a Twins cap walks by my house so I yell out “Go Yankees!” and he flips me off so I moon him then he throws a rock at my window and then I shoot him.  In the face.

10:45 p.m.
Ohhhhhh what a day.  This Bronx Bomber stuff is really taxing; but it is good to go to sleep knowing that I rest on top of the sports universe — that all professional sports franchises in all corners of the known galaxy must look up at me, in my great big pinstriped bed.  Happy and relaxed, I flip on the t.v. and let Sportscenter and its endless Yankee-love-fest woo me to slumber.

- – -

To be continued…

Mr. Magoo in Blue

ump_with_glasses.jpgWhat would a postseason be without umpiring controversies? Lucky for us, we don’t have to worry about it since the Yankees-Angels series has been a string of blown calls. I admit it, I do wear glasses. I have four eyes. I could probably use a stronger prescription. But even I could see that when Mike Napoli tagged Posada and Cano at third, neither one was touching the bag and time had not been called. I guess one of the perks of having the highest payroll in baseball is the umps knowing who pays their salary and calling the game according to that.

Now, to be fair, the Angels got straight up beat. Saying their thrashing was due to bad calls is like saying the Cubs missed the World Series because of Bartman. It just ain’t true. But, umpiring antics like these don’t make people feel any better about the Evil Empire’s stranglehold on baseball.

The thing of it is, the Yankees don’t really need
these blown calls to win at this point. It’s like a third world dictator who gets 99% of the vote
despite the fact that he’d win anyway because people are afraid to vote
against him. It’s not so much unfair as it is tragic.

When it comes down to it, we chalk it up to destiny when our teams win because of bad calls and blame conspiracy when the teams we don’t like use those same bad calls to succeed. It’s human nature, I guess. We ascribe patterns to things we don’t understand because that’s how our brains work. And since my brain doesn’t understand why the Yankees get to spend nearly twice as much as the closest team following them salarywise, I see conspiracy.

However, if the Tigers manage to make it this far next season with their proportionately overinflated payroll, you probably won’t hear me complaining if a couple bad calls go their way. I mean, it would be their destiny.

-A

Photo by Getty Images

Things Scott Boras Says from Behind the Plate

scott boras behind home plate.jpgYep.  We’re sick of seeing his smug mug behind the plate on every pitch too.  So in an effort to oust his recurring playoff cameo, we sent our RSBS interns into Angel Stadium with a mega-fortified parabolic microphone to pick up all the juicy sound bytes Mr. Boras let slip during the game.

Here’s what we heard:

“Jesus, look at A-Rod.  How’d I let that guy fire me again?  That oughtta be my ****ing walking wallet!  Mine!  My lord, those labrums!  Look at those labrums!  Best labrums in all of sports!”

- – -

“Forget Teixera… Matt Holliday is worth Babe Ruth like money.  How much money did Babe Ruth make again?  What?!?  $80,000 a year was his best?  F*** that, Matt Holliday is so worth Mark Teixera like money.”

- – -

“Why aren’t there gold flakes on this f***ing hot dog?  Huh?  Who the hell brought me this hot dog without gold f***ing flakes!?!”

- – -

“Jesus Christ, I can’t understand a thing Manny says.  How do you say ‘take a goddamn shower for crying out loud’ in Spanish!?  Anyone?  Anyone?”

- – -

“Holy s***, Alex Rodriguez… maybe I can get teams to think Ivan Rodriguez is actually Alex Rodriguez.  Quick trip to the Dominican Republic, grab some stuff from A-Rod’s cousin… shoot up Pudge and BAM!  He’s lookin’ like Alex did in that hot Details shoot.  Did I just say that?  F*** you.  Don’t look at me.  Watch the game.

- – -

“Ha ha.  I just remembered that Adrian Beltre deal.”

- – -

“Why does everyone hate me?  Because I’m rich?  Because I’m powerful?  Because I look like a young Rush Limbaugh?  Ha!  My bowel movements are worth more than these worthless fans’ entire lives put together and run through a gilding press that I bought with my money.  Where the hell is my goddamned organic vodka gimlet!?!  Jesus!”

- – -

“Someone remind me to tell Kyle Lohse he has really f***ing made me look bad.”

- – -

“$tra$burg… $tra$burg… $tra$burg…”

- – -

“Jesus, if I were gay, I’d totally do Alex… ha ha, but, y’know, I’d of course make a big deal of it to the press first before opting out at the last second… then, when things calmed down a bit… I’d fire that b****.”

- – -

Now you know, folks.  You aren’t surprised, are you? 

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

Peace,

Jeff

Sharing with Shapiro

cleveland indians logo.jpgNevermind all that pre-NLCS/ALCS buzz dancing around the internets and such as, the Iraq!  Soon we will all have more than our wanted fill of Joe Buck self-righteous proclamations and ear-numbing Chip Carary-isms.  For now, let us focus on the larger, more looming and lurid task of finding the Cleveland Indians a new manager.  Shall we?

Yep.  John Farrell is no longer in the mix.  They can’t afford Bobby Valentine.  And unfortunately, dear readers, Lou Brown has gone back to selling tires… forever.

That’s why I, along with the fastidious help of our always reliable RSBS interns, have prepared a list of potential managerial candidates for Indians GM Mark Shapiro, whom we all know is too busy lamenting the contract of one Travis “I Ain’t Got It No More” Hafner and the cruel reality of a midge-less postseason.

Mark, here is the shortlist of suggested targets:

Bill Parcells
Sure, the Big Tuna ain’t no baseball guy; we know that.  But he was born to win (and eat… a lot).  Besides, just think of what hiring this former Cowboy coach could do for the long neglected and oft polarized relationship between Cowboys and Indians.  Mark, it is time to heal these wounds.

Chief Illiniwek
Since being shunned and axed by his University of Illinois home (where he was a staple presence for 81 years), the Great Chief doesn’t really have much to do but stay in and get drunk all day.  Hey, you can get drunk at the ballpark too, Chief!  Plus, having such a standard bearer of Native American tradition might help the Indians solve that whole racist image thing they’ve had goin’ on for… y’know… ever.

Nap LaJoie
Oh, wait.  He’s dead.  Never mind.

Earl Averill
He’s dead too?  Sorry.

Lou Boudreau

Whoops.  My bad.  Okay.  No more dead guys of French descent.

Ahem.

Well, then that leaves me with just one more super managerial candidate for Mr. Shapiro and that person is:

sarah_palin.jpgSarah Palin
Look, if you’re gonna build a bridge to nowhere, ya might as well build it on the Cuyahoga River.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Unforgotten

rod_blagjojevich.jpgWhen Chicagoans have lost interest in a political scandal, then it’s safe to say, so has the rest of the country.

Anything wrong with that?  Not in my opinion.  In a world full of greed, hate, debauchery and Cubs baseball, I find solace knowing that even the tireless spin-doctoring and smoke-screening of Rod Blagojevich eventually falls on the deaf ears of a nation distracted with the task of rebuilding itself.

Blago’s days as governor are as numbered as Joe Morgan is annoying; and soon, he will just be another political coelacanth — a footnote in the oppression and wasted tax-dollars of a people.

Good riddance.

In my fervent bidding adieu, I refuse to let Blago’s self-indulgent, gloomy demise get me down.  The older I get, the more I realize how little my brain can actually remember if not trained otherwise; thus, I find it best to replace negativity with post-partisan positivity.  So it is, on this four degree Sunday afternoon, with a broken heart and three cups of coffee too many, that I find grace in the baseball-politico memories dearest to me.

Of course, there are always the Joe Carters, the Kirk Gibsons, the Ozzie Smithsthe inauguration of a new hope for my country… those are all givens.  Today I focus on the obscure, the seemingly minute, the more poignant personal moments that help me to forget about what an awful place this earth can be sometimes.  And so I begin…

Ozzie Guillen Goes to Bobby Jenks
A move he’s made several times, but never as interesting as it was during the 2005 post-season when Ozzie motioned for Jenks by extending his arms out sideways as if to say: “Bring in the fat fella.”

Talking to Carlos Lee Outside Wrigley Field
Having gone hitless against Ted Lilly that night, I was stunned to see a smiling Carlos Lee on the corner of Sheffield and Addison waiting to get on the Astros player’s bus.  I approached him — all gargantuan 230 plus pounds of him — and flippantly asked: “Caballo, what happened?”

“Ball move too much, man.”

I’m still laughing at that one.

“Yes We Can” Viral Video

Sure, I admit I’m a sucker for inspirational acts of creativity… this one still gets me.

Brian Anderson’s Catch
Picture it, October 1, 2008… a one game playoff between the White Sox and Twins to crown the AL Central winner, and a Jim Thome homerun is all that separates the two when we reach the top of the ninth and two outs.  A sharp flare streamlines to right center field, in comes Brian Anderson… instant party on the Southside.

Bill Clinton on Carroll Quigley, DNC 1992

As a young, impressionable, questioning 12 year-old, this quote pushed me in to politics… to stay.

Adam Wainwright’s Curveball
Whether it was striking out Carlos Beltran looking or Brandon Inge swinging, I’ve never seen a more devastating hook — ever.

Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Address
I thought a change was a comin’… didn’t know it was going to take so long, but it got me revved up nonetheless.

Yadier Molina Hitting .304 in 2008
After the rocket homerun he hit off Aaron Heilman to beat the Mets in the 2006 NLCS, Molina became my indisputable hero.  To see him blossom into a true hitter in conjunction with his unrivaled defensive skills just makes me want to hug the guy any chance I get.  Yadi, you out there, pal?  Let’s hook that up.

Grandma Lois Talking Baseball
May she rest in peace, my beloved grandmother was talking Cardinals baseball like no other 84 year-old I knew.  Before the 2004 season, she told me: “It’d be nice to see Edmonds and Rolen have really good years.”  She died on April 20, 2004; Jimmy and Scott both put up career numbers and vied for the MVP.  I know she’s still smiling about that one.

Post 9/11 Baseball in New York

I’d be hard pressed to find a more inspiring, more electric, more communal surge of patriotic energy and overall bipartisan goodwill towards all through the greatest game on earth than what took place in New York City that fall. 

I still get goosebumps just thinking of it.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

A Question of Progressive Participle

Joe Maddon 3.jpgThere’s just one day before the 2008 World Series kicks off and all I can think about is Joe Maddon.  Now, now, dear readers, don’t get ahead of yourselves.  It’s not his cool and assertive demeanor in the dugout that’s got my mind going and it’s not his ability to rile a bunch of youngsters to the tune of victory either. 

It’s his liberal use of the progressive participle.

In the top of the seventh inning in Sunday night’s ALCS Game 7 against the Red Sox, starting Rays pitcher Matt Garza found himself in what could’ve been a serious world of pain.  Having just given up a single to Jason Bay, there were men on first and second with only one out; the Rays were holding on to a slim lead — just one bomb away from imploding — when Maddon went out to talk to his pitcher.

Garza stepped off the mound towards his skipper as if to ask “How am I doing?” and the TBS camera crew caught Maddon dead on replying: “You’ve been ****ing awesome.”

Yeah.  There was no mistaking it.  He used the F-bomb to describe just how awesome Garza hd been doing in front of millions of home viewers. 

And believe me, folks: I’m not wrong on this one.  I study foreign languages for fun, grew up playing spy games, and until I was about 18 years old, I watched peoples’ mouths when they talked instead of their eyes.

Joe Maddon said “You’ve been ****ing awesome.”

Is there anything wrong with this?  Well.  No.  I guess not.  I mean, I’m a grown man myself and assuredly, I have been known to drop quite a few F-bombs when necessary; of course, I’ve never done it live in front of millions of viewers watching my every move on television.  And I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that it certainly distracted me from thinking of Maddon as the intellectual I once thought him to be.

But I guess when “awesome” doesn’t quite get the point across, “****ing awesome” should do the trick.

It worked for Garza.

Will it work against Philadelphia — where the F-bomb was born? 

We shall ****ing see!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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