Results tagged ‘ Alex Rodriguez ’

The Filibuster

joba_bugs.jpgAfter a one year absence, the Yankees are back in the playoffs. Can we
expect to see another big name big money fail from A-Rod and company
again this year? Please say ‘yes’.

Emily
Cape Girardeau, MO

____________________________________

Yes.

Oh, you want me elaborate? Yes, Emily.

More than that? Man, you sure are demanding.

Here’s how I see it. The Yankees are good. I mean, really good. After being manhandled by the Red Sox the last couple years, Jeter and company owned them the second half of this season. With the lineup they have at the plate and a ridiculous cast of pitchers, the pennant is theirs to lose.

But lose it they will. Somehow they always find a way. Remember the bug game with Joba Chamberlain in Cleveland a couple years ago? Or how about that epic fail against the Tigers in 2006? There’s just something a little off about the Yankees. You can buy all the pieces but you can’t buy the chemistry that brings it together. It’s like owning a rebuilt Maserati, only it has been reassembled by Jeff.

Now Emily, I plan to address this whole question much more in depth later this week with the return of Allen’s Post-Partisan Playoff Preview. And who knows, I may even change my mind. But, at this point in time, let me just say once again, that yes, the Yankees will fail and once again A-Rod will fail to deliver in the postseason. You heard it here first.

-A

***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. 

***Superior cornbread recipes also welcome.

“Fila-boy” Makes Good


jeter_draft.jpgSometimes when I get really worked up, you probably forget that I am not just a simple, hateful man. There are many things I appreciate. This is not true about Notre Dame since there is absolutely nothing redeeming about that school and I consider Rudy to be nothing more than Catholic propaganda. But, despite a dogmatic insistence on my hatred of the Yankees, let us consider them for a second.

Growing up in a small town outside of Kalamazoo, MI, I admired Derek Jeter. This wasn’t true of my whole family. My brothers routinely referred to him as “Fila-boy” because for some reason he had an endorsement deal with that shoe company and always wore them. I think their dislike of him has something to do with the leftover animosity those of us who come from German descent have for the Italians totally screwing the pooch in WWII. Seriously guys, you couldn’t even hold on to North Africa? But, even though he was the golden boy and could seem to do no wrong and even though my brothers hated him, I always had a special place in my heart for Jeter.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but he always seemed to hustle a little more than the other guys, to work a little harder to prove that he belonged there. Even though he was a Yankee, he didn’t have that same air of entitlement that guys like A-Rod seemed to possess. And maybe that’s just me projecting but when you’re coming from the same area in the middle of nowhere in Michigan, it’s nice to see someone who made it out.

So, I still stand by my guns and there is no way I will ever cheer for the Yankees (unless one of those guns happens to be pressed up against the side of my head). But Derek Jeter? The guy’s a class act. Kalamazoo Central class of 1992, in fact. See, I’m not all bad.

-A

Why We Love LaTroy Hawkins

latroy hawkins.jpgThere was a time when LaTroy Hawkins acted as a personal savior of mine; because I knew the minute he came into a ballgame wearing that Cubs uniform, the chances of them losing took an astronomical leap.  While those days may be over — and the nomination of the world’s worst reliever has shifted to the awkwardly clumsy Kyle Farnsworth — I am happy to report that LaTroy Hawkins has given me yet another reason to worship him.

During Monday night’s game against the Cubs — as an Astro — Hawkins verbally and physically questioned the merits of homeplate umpire Mike Everitt, which eventually got him tossed.  Since then, Hawkins has suffered from a severe case of logorrhea and has had no problem jawing out at Everitt.  Now, Major League Baseball is investigating the incident.

“I have my own opinion, and he had his opinion,” he [Hawkins] said.  “He [Everitt] thought I was showing him up.  I saw Alex Rodriguez do way worse when I was in the American League.  He undressed the umpire.  Whatever he said, it was in his face.  It’s America.”

You’re damn right, LaTroy!  It is America!  It’s US America and I don’t care who you are — Alex Rodriguez or not — one should never be allowed to undress the umpire.  Who does this Rodriguez fella think he is anyway?  Some pretty boy poster child for Details magazine?  What a pompous sicko!

We applaud you, LaTroy, for saying what we were all thinking and going after the bad guys behind the plate.

And in the future, LaTroy, instead of getting into a war of words — a war that is rarely won by a journeyman reliever — you may want to follow the stellar example set by Chinese professional athletes and just pulverize your enemy:

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Ruminations on Perfection

parker_bohn.jpg

Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)

But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.

The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.

Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.

mark_buehrle_no_hitter.jpg

But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it. 

Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.

-A

Sometimes in July

It happens on a regular basis, this gathering of young talent and grizzled veterans. The two sides (with input from the people of course because, after all, this is America) pull the brightest stars from their respective firmaments, bring them together and then allow them duke it out. And it seems like each time the result plays an increasingly ambiguous role in what eventually happens in November. Yep, that’s what the nominating conventions are all about.

Political_convention.jpgOh, I’m sorry. Did you think I was talking about the All-Star game?

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 010.jpgIt’s no coincidence that baseball and politics have so much in common. The two are intertwined in American history. Even now, Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jim Bunning terrorizes opponents from his seat in the US Senate just like he used to do from his spot on the mound.

And as I was watching the Minor League All-Star game the other day, I was reminded again of how fleeting fame can be to both baseball players and politicians. Each and every one is fighting for a chance to reach the big time, to really stand out. But it’s hard to know who has what it takes.

A year ago there was talk of Mark Sanford as a possible McCain running mate and it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would be in the thick of things when the next election cycle began. Now, he’s an also-ran, an afterthought, a cautionary tale. A teary-eyed Alex Rodriguez but with no more comeback.

Or take Sarah Palin, the politician’s equivalent of Sammy Sosa. Both had talent but made it as far as they did for all the wrong reasons. Now they’re little more than whipping boys, examples of all that’s wrong with a broken system.

However, it’s better to focus on the positives at this time of year, on people like Brandon Inge and Tim Wakefield who finally got a little respect even if things didn’t play out exactly the way they might have hoped. Because, for all the ridiculousness associated with the All-Star game or with political conventions, they really are a good show and you aren’t going to find anything like ‘em except in the good ol’ US of A.

Welcome back from the All-Star break!

-A

A Little Creativity Please, Gentlemen

lewinsky.jpgIt’s amazing to me how creative people can be when trying to avoid admitting something embarrassing. Like Bill Clinton’s infamous definition of “is” or A-Rod’s original interview with Katie Couric, there are little embellishments, and large ones as well, that seem incredibly obvious in retrospect.

However, what I find even more telling is the response when they’re finally called out and forced to tell the truth. Maybe it’s a short statement issued over a weekend before disappearing for a week (or ten) like John Edwards. Or maybe it’s a couple lawyers finally letting slip that Sammy Sosa was juicing, something most of us had probably already figured out

But today brought around one of my favorites. The Republican paragon of virtue congressman admitting to an extra-marital affair. I mean, we expect this sort of thing from the Democrats. They are the party of Kennedy after all. But the Republicans? How sad is it when the titular head of the Democrats, Barack Obama, is a once married family man while the Republican leadership is full of guys like Newt Gingrich and John McCain who have multiple marriages under their belts, some of which came out of less than squeaky clean circumstances.

It is possible that there’s an upside to all this fudging and creativity, though. If we could just get our leaders to apply some of that creativity to the economy, maybe they could turn it around. What’s that you say? They already tried that and it didn’t work? Well, I guess we could just stuff our money in a mattress. That always seems to work.

-A

Demented Yet Debonair

With the disputed elections in Iran this past weekend following hot on the heels of Kim Jong Il’s announcement that his third son will take over the reins of a dysfunctional but nuclear-armed North Korea, we here at RSBS started to wonder who would take the crown as king of the crazies if we actually did the research. Luckily, the interns had nothing better to do while Jeff and I watched some interleague tom-foolery and they came up with this objective and quantitatively analysed list. So, without further ado, we present the results of the very first RSBS “Demented yet Debonair” contest.

Honorable Mention:
Hugo.jpgHugo Chavez
If at first you
don’t succeed, nationalize! Now, I’m aware that this could also be
America’s motto right now but Hugo has been doing it for so many years
now that he’s an old pro. On top of that, rumor has it that after the
recent introduction of Coke Zero to the country of Venezuela, President
Chavez promptly banned it on vague charges of healthiness. This coming
from a man who drinks enough coffee in one day to single-handedly
support Juan Valdez’s retirement. El Presidente, we salute you.

1st Runner Up:
ahmadinejad.jpgMahmoud Ahmadinejad
It’s not
just the snazzy gray suit worn without a tie or the oft repeated urge to wipe
Israel off the map. No, Mahmoud has that little something extra that
makes you think he’s capable of so much more. Maybe it’s the malevolent
twinkle in his eye. Maybe it’s his ability to go from zero to rabid
anti-Semite in 4 seconds flat. Or maybe it’s how he flummoxed all the
pundits and wiped out the opposition in this past weekend’s elections.
Whatever it is, the Iranian president will always be a contender.

Runner Up:
Kim_jong_il.jpgKim Jong Il
In a region where political longevity is often measured in fractions of years, the Kim family has managed to hold onto power for several decades now. How do they do it? Well, let’s just say that it has nothing to do with extra doses of the warm fuzzies. And Kim Jong Il’s announcement that his son, Kim Jong Un, will take over upon his demise combined with new nuclear sabre-rattling just kind of makes observers scratch their heads and wonder what is going on. However, knowing that Mr. Kim is a huge movie buff, I bet the picture all looked much clearer and much better in his head.

Sadly, despite all the craziness in the world today, there can only be one winner of this year’s “Demented yet Debonair” contest. And I don’t think any of our readers will be surprised to see….

WINNER:
bud selig ear.jpgBud Selig
Yep, although Commissioner Selig hasn’t done anything too wild recently, he still has done quite a bit to earn this honor. There was the infamous tied All-Star game and his non-action during the steroid era. He also bears a lot of the blame for the out of control inflation within baseball that has driven many fans out of the park and left it open only to corporate bigwigs and smarmy lawyers. But more importantly, Bud Selig created Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds and that’s unforgivable. Granted, he may not be looking to blow up the world or start the Bolivarian revolution but he has besmirched the good name of baseball. That’s not something we look lightly on here at RSBS. I suppose that if he sent Erin Andrews to come and convince us otherwise, though, at least half of us would listen.

-A

Credits:
-Thanks to L for the Coke Zero story


My Super Secret Middle of the Week Wish

pedro_zimmer.jpgYou know what this baseball season is lacking? A good brawl. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw a baseball brawl that really made me stand up and cheer. I mean, there are classics like Pedro taking out Don Zimmer and Jose Offerman charging the mound with a bat. But these happened years ago. Where’s the good stuff these days?

I’m not saying I’ve lost hope. The next few days will be all about the Yankees and Red Sox renewing their rivalry and we all know there’s no love lost between those two teams. Maybe Beckett throws some high heat and Melky takes exception. Or it could be Mariano throwing behind Youkilis and Big Papi comes charging out of the dugout to right that wrong. It could happen.

But most likely we’ll just see some baseball. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, New York and Boston squaring off is a time-tested showdown. Once again they’re one and two atop the AL East and seem to be heading for another late-season showdown.

Is it wrong, though, that I want to see the fire? I love the idea of A-Rod saying the wrong thing to Papelbon and the whole thing disintegrating into yelling, shoving and then flying fists. Maybe it’s because I’m from Michigan and the only thing we have going for us there is hockey. But Papelbon and Rodriguez throwing down brings a smile to my face.

Maybe, though, it’s just a natural reaction to other world events. When female Russian handballers are going at it like Tyson and Holyfield while baseball players are meekly sitting the bench when their teammates get beaned, well, you know something is a little mixed up in the world. What, you don’t believe me? Well, believe this:

My money is on the blonde.

-A

Credits:
-Video via Deadspin

Identity Crisis

question_mark.jpgListen up, Major League Baseball.  I love you.  I really do; and sometimes being in love means having to bring you back down to earth, to be horribly blunt and to shower you with lots of smack (the slang, not the drug, though sometimes the drug seems like a better option in extreme cases, like when you overflow my inbox with crap I don’t want and never asked for).

MLB, you are not the NFL.  You are not the NBA.  You are MLB.

So while I commend you for trying to drum up interest in something — the first year player draft — that is, on the surface, boring and otherwise three to four years removed (if that) from the current game, I must ask you to please snap out of it

For the record, I do not care about the NFL and NBA drafts either, but I can certainly see why people do.  If you are a basketball and/or football fan, you have seen the potential draftees come up through the highly competitive elite forces of the NCAA.  Bowl games are slammed down your throat.  March Madness is so mad that it doesn’t end until April.  You know the players.  You’ve seen their talents.  You hope your pro team gets a shot at their services.

In contrast, the potential baseball draftees are as familiar to us fans as is a logical, amicable, non-infuriating Ann Coulter.  In the NFL and NBA, if you get drafted, your chances of seeing playing time at the top are almost a given, while most of the guys drafted in the MLB draft will never put on a big league uniform.  Sure, your Griffeys, A-Rods and Verlanders — guys who go in the first round or two — will most likely make it; but the majority of the rest will wallow away in the minor leagues, battle disillusionment, come to grips with not being good enough and before you know it they’re faxing TPS reports behind a desk while reading RSBS for giggles.

So as MLB pats itself on its self-aggrandizing back about televising this overblown shindig so they can sell lots of advertising to companies gullible enough to think that it will actually rival that of its football and basketball brethren, you can be sure that I will be spending my time wisely.  Dear readers, I advise you to do the same; and just in case you can’t think of anything better to do, here are some suggestions:

  • Remember, question and lament the hype of Pete Incaviglia
  • Write hate-mail to Rush Limbaugh and sign it “Jesus”
  • Clone Chris Carpenter
  • Come up with clever gimmicks to sell your new religion start-up (worked for me!)
  • Or, God forbid, watch an actual Major League Baseball game with real-life Major Leaguers

pete incaviglia.jpgIndeed, that is but a short list of things I will be doing instead of watching your draft, MLB.  I will not be listening to Harold Reynolds start every sentence with “Now, here’s a guy…” nor will I sing praises of your precious college phenom Stephen Strasburg when he is — as you already told me he would be — drafted in the first round.  I’ll wait until he collects the league minimum $400K for that.

I know a poser when I see one and it is because I love you, MLB, that I have to call you one to your face.  Go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I’m critical of your identity crisis, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Guest Relations

Jeff and Allen are cool.jpgDear readers!  There is finally a reason to read a news magazine!  That’s right, folks, the June 8th edition of Newsweek will be guest edited by neo-con-politico-pundit-funnyman, Stephen Colbert.  Don’t know who he is?  Don’t worry.  Neither does Kanye.  And Kanye is awesome.  

Admittedly, I haven’t read Newsweek since my high school AP History class and even then I was more interested in the pictorial court drama of O.J. Simpson than the actual news, but you can bet I’m gonna read this one because no one knows faux headlines like Colbert (well, maybe Katie Couric).

And I am not alone.  The buzz around this avant-garde editorial decision is already hyping the masses, which got me thinking… what kind of immediate and notorious media blitz would errupt around the interwebosphere if MLB.com allowed Mr. Krause and I (and our RSBS cronies) to guest edit its website and inform baseball fans galore on all the game’s most exciting threads.

Well, wonder no more ‘cuz we already started on the following headlines (just in case they come’a knockin’):

Fortune Teller Madame Zelda from a West Baltimore Shanty-Town Proclaims Cubs Might Win It All in 2208
…against their crosstown rival the Chicago Brewers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

ESPN to Broadcast All Royals Games for an Entire Month
…subject to blackout where good baseball teams are appreciated

Did You Know President Obama is a White Sox Fan with Muslim Roots, a White Mom and an African Dad? That’s Crazy!!!
…it really is

Beat the Streak! Accurately Predict How Many Times Milton Bradley Will Go on the Disabled List and Win Free Gift with Purchase!
…minimum purchase of $500 to be eligible

David Ortiz Is Actually Cecil Fielder
…ah, yes, now it makes sense

Vote for Your Favorite Steroid Enhanced All-Stars; Cheating Welcome!

…Hint: Select Manny Ramirez for every position, for every team, forever

Entire MLB Network Staff to Be Fired Except for Mitch Williams

…’cuz Mitch is the only one worth saving

Mitchell Report Sequel Due Out Next Spring Entitled “THE MITCHELL MINORITY REPORT”
…features the plight of a distraught and sensationalized Tom Cruise jumping on couches determined to catch only minorities using PEDs before they actually use them

Charles Barkley to Write Weekly MLB Editorial Featuring Nothing but F-Bombs and P-Drops
…why? Because we can… we want to… and we know the FCC could use the money

And finally…

Please Buy Old Yankee Stadium Urinals
…’cuz we gotta pay C.C. and A.J. and Tex and A-Rod and Jeter and A-Rod’s child support and alimony and attorney fees and publicist and strippers and estranged cousin in the Dominican Republic and his child support and alimony…and….

MLB.com, if you’re reading, it’s time to give RSBS its guest editing wings and take this show to a new, exciting, frightening place.  And I guarantee that, in the end, you will hate me.

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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