Results tagged ‘ Alex Rodriguez ’

Liberty, Equality and Poor Sportsmanship

I hate to pile on the French since this hasn’t been one of the best weeks in their history but I have to add one more thing before we let this go.  As you have probably noticed, I have a little thing about sportsmanship.  This is somewhat awkward since I tend to be a terrible sport myself and have even been known to throw at opposing batters while playing softball (yeah, seriously).  But, knowing this weakness in myself makes it much easier to spot it in others.

For every Armando Galarraga there’s an Alex Rodriguez.  For every Nancy Kerrigan there’s a Tonya Harding.  And for every Carlos Parreira there’s a Raymond Domenech.  Raymond Domenech?  Maybe this will refresh your memory:

Refusing to shake the hand of your opposite number on the world’s biggest stage is not exactly the best way to end a career.  It’s not like Parreira had insulted Domenech’s mother and sister the way Italian defender, Marco Materazzi, is reputed to have done in the lead up to Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt during the final of the 2006 World Cup.

And you know what, even if he had insulted Domenech’s mother wouldn’t the ultimate payback be shaking the man’s hand and showing that you’re the bigger person?

It has been a rough few weeks for the French.  Their retirement age is about to go up to 62 and their World Cup team has become the biggest French snafu since the Maginot Line.  However, intractable situations give us all the opportunity to shine and Domenech totally missed his.  Me, I just make sure I’m not pitching when I play softball.

-A

Things That Are Worse Than France

france shame.jpgSay what ya want about the mighty market divas of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Dodgers.  Go ahead and hate on A-Rod, slam Manny, spit on Youk… whatevs.  Sometimes they deserve it; sometimes they don’t.  It’s all a part of professional sports.

But no matter how infantile and annoying MLB superstars can be (yes, I’m looking at you, Milton Bradley), none of them quite qualify as being as toxically asinine as Nicolas Anelka and his band of busted b!tches that once formed the French national soccer team.

You think Roberto Alomar spitting on John Hirschbeck was bad?  Imagine Roberto Alomar spitting on John Hirschbeck during the World Series, with a big nasty particle-filled loogey, and all his teammates joining in.

Yeah.  That’s sorta what France’s World Cup was like.  But at least it’s over.  And now we can think about… things that are worse than France.  For instance:

The Pirates
Duh. You knew that was comin’.

Rob Blagojevich’s Image
For all of you who live outside of Illinois, be glad you do; ‘cuz this Blago crap is just now gettin’ started for real.  The lego hair, the smarmy and disingenuous smile, the creepy way he talks to every woman as if she were a dumb, money-chasin, cheap-trick-happy cocktail waitress… this dude is going to the joint.  Eventually.

Vuvuzelas
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsubliminalmessagegivemeyourmoneyzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The Royals

You knew that was comin’ too.

Justin Bieber
It makes me sick that he was in my neighborhood.  It makes me even more sick to know that he was at Sox Park.  And it makes me Bush-Sr-Throwin-Up-On-Japanese-People sick to know he tossed the first pitch to Mark Buehrle!

And finally…

sad astros.JPGThe Astros
You didn’t think this could end with anything worse, did you?  I’m pretty sure I heard the Astros’ team on-base-percentage was the worse on-base-percentage in the history of time, including all dimensions — even those we are unaware of yet…

That’s why they’re called the LOLstros.

HAHAHAHA!

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

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS Presents: A Baseball Fan’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

zombie_bat.jpgToo often we ignore tough questions and refuse to speculate on the “what ifs” we confront as a baseball loving community.  You could make a strong case that this happened with the steroid scandal and it is inevitable that baseball will face other equally difficult problems in the future.  Luckily, RSBS refuses to sit back and rest on our laurels.  We will continue to push for consideration of all the too real issues facing the baseball community.

For instance, isn’t it time that we think about what would happen to baseball if the zombie apocalypse broke out?  On a geo-political level, Daniel Drezner already addressed the topic and presented several different paradigms.  Today, RSBS takes a look at possible MLB specific scenarios.

The Danny Boyle
As players continue to experiment with various PED’s and try to avoid detection by using previously unknown substances, we face a very real possibility of infection à la 28 Days Later.  It doesn’t help our chances that baseball players are already genetic freaks with practically superhuman strength, speed and dexterity.  In this scenario we have two avenues of salvation.  First, we can hope that security reacts quickly and shuts down the stadium so the zombie baseball players don’t escape.  Yes, this probably means several thousand dead fans before the problem can be, uh, eradicated but it’s a small price to pay to avoid the annihilation of all mankind.  The second possibility is that zombification will affect the players’ brains to the point that they can be taken down easily with available weaponry like bats, t-shirt cannons and plastic knives.

The George Romero
The second scenario is a more classic zombie approach.  If an infected fan were to enter the ballpark, the tight spaces, confined exits and various nooks and crannies present a zombie wonderland.  Or house of horrors depending on whether you’re playing for the undead or Team Humanity.  In this we’re once again lucky to have access to a veritable arsenal of zombie killing treasures and, as long as they remain uninfected, the services of trained head smashing machines like Jose Offerman.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t start at Citizen’s Bank Park because Chase Utley’s batting average suggests he’ll be hitting more air than zombie heads.

The Eisenberg-Pegg
Our final scenario draws on contemporary inspiration like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.  Zombies are generally seen as terror-inducing eaters of brains.  But recent popular culture reinterpretations have shown us that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.  For instance, what if a zombie A-Rod stumbled across the mound while Dallas Braden was pitching?  Or what if Manny Ramirez became a reanimated corpse?  It might even lead to the new catchphrase, “That’s just Manny being a zombie.”  Which would be funny because it was true.  Sure, we’d have to keep an eye on the epidemic and make sure it didn’t spread.  This might even lead to protests against the segregation of zombie baseball players in separate dressing rooms.  But I think we can all agree that the comedic potential is definitely there.

Over here at RSBS we’re still hoping that the zombie apocalypse stays firmly rooted in the world of film and fiction.  In our opinion, Woody Harrelson and Mr. Darcy are much more suited to zombie fighting than we are.  But if the day of reckoning does come, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you were prepared.  No, don’t thank us.  It’s our job.

-A

The New Anti A-Rod

galarraga_joyce_shake.jpgDespite all the controversy and repeated airings of the historically disputed play at first base, the ultimate effect of Armando Galarraga’s almost-perfect, perfect game seems to have been an outbreak of good sportsmanship. 

Of course Galarraga has quickly established himself as a stand-up guy with his reaction to the call and his level-headedness when dealing with the aftereffects.  That in and of itself is impressive.  In fact, when compared to certain other players known for their general lack of sportsmanship (yes, I am once again looking at you, A-Rod), Galarraga comes across as a role model for anyone taking up the sport.

His behavior has been contagious, too.  First, the ump apologized for the blown call.  Then the two of them appeared together at the start of the next day’s game and acted as though the events had somehow brought them closer.  But this is where things really start to get weird.

bat_chavez.jpgIn following the career of Hugo Chavez, a Venezuelan who also aspired to play professional baseball, I have never been struck by a sense of restraint.  El Presidente says what he wants and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade (or a president an ignoramus — or worse depending on how you translate the word Chavez actually used).  But even Hugo seems to have been affected by Galarraga’s magnanimity saying in his weekly address that it was simply a mistake before moving on.

Wait a minute!  There wasn’t even a claim that the imperial oppressor had done its worst to hold down a poor Venezuelan?  Nope.  Like I said, Galarraga’s demeanor easily cooled what could have been an incendiary situation and that seems to have also cooled off what are normally much hotter heads.

So, once again, here’s to you, Armando Galarraga.  In a world of fiery tempers and sorely lacking graciousness, you are the new anti A-Rod.

-A

Thanks to L for the news on Chavez’s broadcast and the gist of the article.

Ideas Gone Bad

You know how sometimes something seems like a good idea?  Like when you walk the bases full to get to A-Rod and he launches a moon shot?  And then you realize that it really never was a good idea?

Well, just in case you still aren’t following, here’s another example that might help drive it home:

Happy Saturday!  And remember, just because something seems like a good idea, that doesn’t mean it is.

-A

A Pitcher is Worth a Thousand Words

dallas_braden.jpgIn the past few days two pitchers with the same kind of heart but very different skill levels achieved notoriety from very different results.  Since we here at RSBS try not to judge, we won’t say that one did better than the other.  But we will say that both brought a smile to our faces.

Dallas Braden was the main story, of course, with his nine innings of perfection.  He’s no David Wells and that’s probably a good thing.  And he’s still known as the guy who told off A-Rod.  But he’s also the guy who no-hit the hottest team in baseball.

Meanwhile, in another ball park not so far away, minor leaguer Rojo Johnson attempted to come back after a rough life that saw him spend some time in the cooler.  The results, although not unexpected, probably weren’t all that he had hoped for……or maybe they were.  We’ll let you be the judge:

Looks like he might have been channeling Nolan Ryan there for a second.  I think we can all get behind that.

Happy Tuesday!

-A

Bush League B!tches

alex rodriguez.jpgDespite his status as one of the greatest talents of our generation, Alex Rodriguez continuously finds himself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.  Sometimes it’s a to-do over his stratospheric salary.  Occasionally it’s about his dalliances with the ladies.  And of course we can’t forget the PEDs.

But if there has been one big knock on A-Rod the last couple years, it’s that he’s “bush-league.” 

All competitors have things they do to get into the head of an opponent.  But there are some things that are generally frowned on.  You don’t purposely take out a guys knees because ending someone’s career is bad form.  Unless you’re a professional wrestler, it’s generally considered poor sportsmanship to attack someone outside of the prescribed boundaries of the field of play.  And baseball, being full of tradition and history, has many more unwritten rules.

For instance, you don’t yell at a guy when he’s preparing to catch a pop fly.  Sure, you can do it and you might throw off his concentration so he drops it.  But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.

Same thing goes with the pitcher’s mound.  For a guy who’s out there all alone throwing 100 pitches a game, the mound is a sanctuary.  And you don’t run across or through a guy’s sanctuary.

What am I trying to say?  Well, let me take a step back and see if I can explain it a little better. 

Have you seen the list?  If you haven’t, your first step should be to take a look at it.  And once you’ve read it and marveled at the unerring 3rd grade wisdom, you’ll realize that there’s one item missing from that list: #91 Bush-league b!tches.  Welcome Mr. Rodriguez.  Apparently you made the list after all.

-A

The RSBS Digest: Underclothing

arod_adjusting_cup.jpgAs important as clothing may be to the average person, even more important is the cloth that embraces your “swimsuit area.”  There are different schools of thought here, ranging from your father and his single-minded whitey-tighty fanaticism to the homeless guy on the corner free-balling it under a pair of sweatpants for less restricted access.

And there are more exotic schools including the devotees of the boxer-brief (I count myself among them) with all the comfort of a boxer and the stability of a brief, directors of Roman era film epics and their appreciation for the loincloth and Mormons with their ultra-secret special underwear.

My personal feeling, though, is that athletes get the shaft in all of this because there is nothing worse than wearing a cup.  Do you think baseball players are constantly adjusting themselves because they think it looks cool?  No way, man.  Playing with yourself in public is not cool anywhere (except certain clubs in Thailand).  Those cups hurt.  Sensitive areas constantly being pinched, awkward one-size-fits-all sizing that doesn’t really fit anyone and the thing never stays in one place.  Granted, when it comes down to choosing between comfort and the ability to reproduce, 9 times out of 10 RSBS picks comfort.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an imperfect solution to a very real problem.

If only we could all just be comfortable in our underclothing.  For instance, even if comfort isn’t the stated aim of this current American Apparel campaign, that’s the lesson we have decided to take from it anyway.  No, don’t thank us.  We’re just doing our job.

-A

2009: A Year in Review (Pt II)

Thumbnail image for RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgEverybody knows that baseball is a team sport — a team
sport where success hinges on the individual’s performance.  If you
don’t believe me, just ask Walter Johnson… or Ernie Banks… or
Willie Mays Hayes.

Likewise, RSBS wouldn’t be RSBS without the BS
*ahem* — as in “Blue State”, represented in high definition by our
very own misanthropic Tiger fan, Mr. Allen Krause.  Yesterday, Mr.
Krause (who also happens to be one of my best friends in all the world)
adequately summed up 2009 as only RSBS can; and while he was at it, he kindly featured some of my better pieces from the year.

Well, dear readers, what fun is life without reciprocation?

There’s
no better way to wrap up the decade than to highlight my friend’s best
work… so let us take a gander at some real Krausian masterpieces!

2nd Honorable Mention:
Being There (Part 1Part 2)
Historic, epic, monumental… I like to believe that most people were
able to set their political affiliations aside while our nation’s grip
on racism slipped.  There will only be one first non-white
presidential inauguration and Allen Krause was there.  He lent us his
senses.  He gave us some play-by-play.  Then he rejoiced that the
“unwashed hordes” were finally leaving his city.  Bravo!

Honorable Mention:

Nietzsche Was Right
Pessimistic as he may be, Mr. Krause still knows how to hit a homerun. 
This has never been more evident than in his simple line:
“you should all know that god is dead and the devil has won.” 
Referencing the Ghostbusters alongside Colbert and Nietzsche
was just icing on the existentialist cake.

2nd Runner Up:
A-Rod at the Plate
If you ever feel like pissing Allen off, mention any one of these
things with high praise: Notre Dame, Glenn Beck, the Yankees, Bud
Selig… but if you really want to get him in a tizz, you should talk
up Alex Rodriguez.  Still, unlike most folks, Al has a savvy way of
chiding fallen poster-boys.  This parody of Casey at the Bat is, in a
word, brilliant.

1st Runner Up:

RSBS Presents: Your Health
Hi-effing-larious.  Dude.  Seriously.

And the number one Allen Krause penned piece of the year is…

A Magical Mystery Tour (Part 1 & Part 2)


This sultry trip through PED-opolis, Politicotopia and Pujols-ville may
have been a sneaky way of insulting my obsessions and undermining my
sexual orientation (Jesus Christ, I’m not GAY! I like chicks! YOU
UNDERSTAND?!?!)… but the idea of there even being a
Pujols-ville where Albert hangs out in a kiddie pool full of tapioca is
oddly titillating enough to make this my favorite (albeit two-parted)
post of the year.  I hope that doesn’t make me a sicko.

And with that, my good pal Al and I would like to thank you, dear
readers, for making 2009 a fantastic experience.  This community is all
about like-minded baseball lovers; and it wouldn’t be any fun with out
the tethered creativity of Princes, She-Fans, Ranters, Deconstructors,
Phanatics, Renegades and everyone else in between.

Much success to all of us in 2010!

Now, go get drunk!

Peace,

Jeff

**Please drink responsibly… y’know… don’t drive drunk… or kill anyone… or I’ll kick your ^ss**

Drinking the Kool-Aid

kool-aid.jpgUntil 1978 Kool-Aid was synonymous with children and summer. No matter what chemically produced flavor it came in, the refreshing blend of water, sugar and artificial colors and flavors was sure to quench any thirst. Then, along came Jonestown and ruined it forever. Now Kool-Aid brings to mind cyanide laced beverages or the willing ingesting of something one knows or perceives to be wrong.

Sounds kind of like baseball.

Baseball used to mean transistor radios in the summer and guys hitting one out of the park for some sick kid. But then came the ’81 strike, the ’94 strike and the steroid scandals. Instead of cheering on their team, fans started to wonder what the players would ask for next, what the owners would do to screw the fans and players over and when the other shoe would drop and you’d find out that you’re favorite player had been getting ahead by using a little something extra.

Maybe that’s all behind us now, though. We seem to have hit a point where the Mitchell Report has played itself out. We know about the transgressions of A-Rod and all the other juicers and the fans seem to have moved on. The fans still get gouged but the stadiums are full. And even if teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies buy up all the available talent, there are still surprises every other year or so.

Yep, maybe baseball really has turned the corner. Or maybe I just drank the Kool-Aid.

-A

Image from Skull Swap

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