Results tagged ‘ Alfonso Soriano ’

A Serious Call for the One-Year Contract

Here’s an idea that will never become reality, but just for fun, let’s think about it.

Albert Pujols, while somewhat showing glimpses of his old self, is on pace to hit 15 homers and drive in 70-some RBIs — a whole lot less than the Halos thought they’d get from a a man making $24 million  a year… FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS.

And how about the $20 million a year the Red Sox are paying Carl Crawford… FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS.  Good thing Theo got out of town!

Of course, Theo already knows, you don’t have to go outside of Chicago to find a big, fat pile of head-scratching contracts.  Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano (yep, sCrUBBIES are still payin’ the bulk of that awful) are the most high profile, but until this year, the Dunn, Peavy and Rios contracts made Kenny Williams one of the south side’s most hated.

If only front offices could act like the rest of the planet when it comes to doling out large sums on a contract basis, perhaps they could save themselves years of embarrassment and avoid the ear-piercing “we’re in rebuilding mode” verbiage.

The truth is, when money is on the line, pro athletes perform better.  Consider the beyond stellar starts of Andre Ethier, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Kyle Lohse, Jake Peavy, Zack Greinke and many, many more.  The one thing these fellas all have in common is… THEY’RE IN CONTRACT YEARS!

If your paycheck is on the line, you try harder.  This is FACT.  But if you have the means to fall back on (Albert, Carl, et al.) and you have no pressure to git ‘er done ‘cuz you already got BAZILLIONS in the bank, what incentive is their to be the superstar you’ve always been?  I don’t care how bad@ss you are, the trend in performance speaks loudly: once a player reaches his monetary apex, he regresses.

There’s nothing wrong with paying a dude $25 million a year if he puts up $25 million a year numbers.  So why not reward those who do and save money (and face) by doing it on a year-to-year basis?

In the real world, if you underperform, you’re gone.  Period.

In the baseball world, the $100 million contract rarely works for both sides, yet teams keep handing them out; and then they wonder why there is backlash from the fans, media and baseball-politico bloggers who think very highly of themselves.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The MLB Network’s “Baseball IQ”: A Swing and a Miss

To say I have resentments over Major League Baseball’s long-standing tradition of being completely out of touch with its fans is like saying I’m not worried about the future of the Republican party: IT’S EXTREMELY UNDERSTATED!!!

After all, we the FANS are what make professional baseball work.  WE are the ones who pay $30 for a nosebleed, who dish out $8.50 for a crappy beer.  WE are the ones who have to see therapists when our favorite superstars go wherever the money takes them and WE are the ones who, despite what happens in the offseason, can’t wait to get back to the ballpark and throw our hard earned money around.  So when we get dissed by the governing hands of the sport we love so much, IT HURTS.

The NBA set up its own network in 1999.  The NFL perfected the craft in 2003.  And the NHL (yes, that’s the one where they play hockey) started its own network in 2007.

It wasn’t until 2009 — a good TEN YEARS after the NBA set the precedent — that MLB finally gave the fans the opportunity to experience baseballgasms 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  I can hardly remember life before MLBN, and I don’t want to.

But there has been something missing in its programming.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the lineup of shows they’ve been rolling out.  Brian Kenny’s new Clubhouse Confidential is fantastic.  Prime 9 is a classic.  And nothing beats MLB Tonight.  Yet the very nature of baseball fandom — getting lost in the numbers playground and tooling around for hours — seems to open itself up to a… TRIVIA SHOW!

Enter Matt Vasgersian and Baseball IQ, which premiered on the Network last night.  Vasgersian’s cool.  Baseball trivia is cool.  How can this possibly not be a kick @$$ show?

Quite easily actually.  Rather than having real fans as contestants — y’know, the type of Joe Plumber uberdork (me?) who will argue and bet stats in a bar ’til the beast looks beautiful — they instead use MLB employees:

“It will be a 32-person bracket with one participant representing MLB.com, each of the 30 clubs and the National Baseball Hall of Fame — featuring everyone from front-office personnel to equipment managers to scoreboard operators and museum curators.”

Um… (channel Eddie Murphy Delirious voice) dat’s not iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

MLB employees?!?!?!?  Would you watch Jeopardy if the contestants were limited to the authors of the Encyclopedia Britannica?!?!?!

Okay, so the “prize” money is donated to charity.  Whoop-dee-doo.  If I wanted to watch a charity event I’d go to a golf course.  Or a walk-a-thon.

The MLB Network had a great opportunity to connect with its fans — the very people who keep the Network going — by allowing everyday folks who live/eat/breathe baseball but don’t get paid for it to shine.

Instead, they produced the equivalent of an Alfonso Soriano swing at a ball in the dirt, low and away.

WHIFF.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz you know I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and bonafide LOLstro lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”

There are three things I can never remember: the first is people’s names. The second is… is…

Anyway, I know I love me some hot stove! I’m making my yearly pantsless expedition to the wonderful world of MLB offseason rumors and conjecture! I’m even careening into mailboxes on my bike because of the madness!! I have puppies and chimps in my kitchen and we put on plays about how free agent negotiations “go down”. It’s like a Japanese game show. You never know who’s going to get eaten!

I put my head in the oven to inspire me during the season until hot stove time.. I NEED PLAYER MOVEMENT! Hot stove… FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!

So far Miami is the big mover/shaker, but who will be next?

For years they’ve employed unreal drafting strategies, worked on the cheap, biding their time while the super powers outspend each other. But now… THE SUM OF ALL FEARS.

Russia, China and America (Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs) have initiated the snap count for a Red Alert nuclear attack but ended up killing themselves fighting each other whilst brilliant strategery is quietly coming together in south Florida.  They have a new stadium, new digs, new manager, new closer and now Jojo Reyes. Will Reyes and Pujols share casserole recipes? REMEMBER: don’t share with Hanley! He’s already good on the whole putting on muscle mass thing.

But as much as the Marlins (and possibly the Cubs?) are pushing for Albert, I think he’s staying home in the Lou. By the way, I’d rather go toe to toe with a mountain lion mother protecting her cubs then go through another Aldopho Soriano situation if the Cubs sign Pujols for nine years and he looks like he’s 48 after just two of them. And brother Jeffy will be singing this for days when that happens…

If my beloved Cubs can swing a reasonable deal for Prince Fielder though, I’m beyond down. I’ll do anything — shine shoes, wait tables, blow… glass.

But in the case that neither Senor Jeffy or I  get our wishes, you will probably read someday of an infamous double Groundhog Day beheading.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Outcast, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“My band of soaks. My den of dissolutes. They don’t hear the little ones crying!”

This is my Cubs musical set to the music of Les Miserables!

Tom Ricketts:
“Have you seen how the foreman is fuming today? With his terrible breath and his wandering hands.”

Ricketts said everything’s fine and we have Reed Johnson so we’re good.

“Why won’t daddy give me more money to waste on this crap?!” At the beginning of this, Daddy Ricketts said Tom’s allowance was sealed and he wanted no part of this purchase so “you’re on your own kid.”

Jim Hendry:
“Sitting flat on your butt doesn’t buy any bread. The rain can’t hurt me now. This rain will wash away what’s passed. This is my last chance!”

He can’t get a vote of confidence from Ricketts and he shouldn’t get one. He hasn’t won anything as the general manager. He has spent a ton of unnecessary money that the Cubs don’t even have. Yet somehow, everyone who meets the guy loves him. But this time, it’s over. OVER.

Mike Quade:
“How can I ever face my fellow men? How can I ever face myself again?”

Oh Mike… I believed in you, I really did. You waited your whole life for this. But my lord did you just make a fool of yourself over and over again. Your press conferences were the stuff of legend in folly for anyone covering the team. Your best “locker room” guys even called you out. But I wish you well. Bon voyage on your next gig as the lovable yet moronic bench coach who always begs the question “whaaaaa happpenedddd?”

Wrigley Field:
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!”

I’m Wrigley and I’ve had enough. Put me to sleep and move this sorry @$$ team to the suburbs and let me go gracefully into the good night as a music venue and historical landmark for a team that did nothing but make people cry over the last 100 years.

Alfonso Soriano:
“Master of the house, doling out the charm, ready with a handshake and an open palm!”

Yea. Kinda. The master does dole out the charm and his open palm is FULL OF MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Why should we hate him? It’s not his fault Jim Hendry is DENSE BEYOND HUMAN RECOGNITION. He gets blamed for far too much. He got old. Ok? If he was scouted better by the Cubs they would have seen he couldn’t be a 30/30 guy anymore.

And alas, our old friend…

Carlos Zambrano:
“Crying at all is not allowed. Not in my castle on a cloud.”

You’re right, Z. Crying is not allowed. Stop being a horrible jackass who apologizes two days late. Embrace the fact that you are a gigantic male member and own it.

It would be awesome if someone would bring me home from this wretched excuse of a team with REAL FANS WHO DIE TO BELIEVE EVERY EFFING YEAR

–Johanna Mahmud

Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 21: Mia Hamm’s Husband… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

To celebrate the beginning of the 2011 season Jeff and Johanna try to remember Mia Hamm’s husband’s name… he had a… played short… ah, nevermind.  Also, the fellas also jam about all things Opening Day, Prince Fielder’s belly, Jason Bay’s awfulness, new developments in Keith Carmack’s Pete Hill documentary, why the LOLstros are better than the Cubs and much, much
more… all to make you happy ending!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is has a very sweet creative hub of his own.  You should definitely check out what he and his crew have to offer. You can find it all at Undercard Films

- – -

Recorded Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 21: Mia Hamm’s Husband… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

To celebrate the beginning of the 2011 season Jeff and Johanna try to remember Mia Hamm’s husband’s name… he had a… played short… ah, nevermind.  Also, the fellas also jam about all things Opening Day, Prince Fielder’s belly, Jason Bay’s awfulness, new developments in Keith Carmack’s Pete Hill documentary, why the LOLstros are better than the Cubs and much, much
more… all to make you happy ending!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is has a very sweet creative hub of his own.  You should definitely check out what he and his crew have to offer. You can find it all at Undercard Films

- – -

Recorded Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Setting the Mahmud: Johanna on Quade V. Silva

johanna mahmud.jpgRSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Loverboy, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Well….. The first Mike Quade tirade is over. Carlos Silva is gone and I couldn’t be happier. In the offseason, as we learned more about Quade and his pastoral fishing trips, thoughts about fly-fishing technique and bait and tackle strategery, I began to wonder what would happen when there needs to be a time to put the hammer down. I got my answer this weekend. When Silva had his tirade earlier in the season over a perceived lack of effort from Aramis Ramirez and other players in a meaningless spring training game, it soon became apparent that his teammates in the locker room had just about enough from this untradeable giant throbbing male member. By the way, this horrible pitcher had a 10.9 ERA in spring training and is a complete a$$bag.

Another thing we’ve learned from tirades in baseball (or maybe it’s just me) is that stupid, childish behavior gets you nowhere. No one ever got better at baseball by being yelled at to be “better”, or try “harder”.

In basketball, you can achieve better results on defense with more energy on that side of the ball, but primarily defense is a team objective. Football is almost entirely a team sport with thousands of moving parts. In baseball, which is an individual game, players don’t get better by being yelled at to try harder. Defense is improved over practicing fundamentals and years of adjustments, like how and when to get to a certain part of the field.

carlos silva cubs.jpgI loved when Carlos Zambrano last year called out (gold glove first basemen), Derek Lee, that he wasn’t giving enough effort on a line drive up the line, when in actuality, Zambrano used Lee as a scapegoat for his ineptness and temperamental issues. After the line drive Lee missed, Z gave up a 3 run bomb.

If I could make people better at baseball by yelling at them, I would have my own instructional video a la Johnny Bench. And it would be called “Listen you f**ktw*t, piece of s*** kid: Be better at baseball right the f*** now or go die inside a dying elephant’s rectum. Please?” I think this could work and be very effective to young aspiring baseball players. It’s like saying guys at the plate need to try harder. Plate aptitude is based on concentration, patience and HOURS AND YEARS of practice. Not try. There is no try.

The best parts of these player on player rants is that it always comes out that the accusing player ALWAYS admits eventually that they were just venting because they were mad at themselves.

Now that Silva has been released, the right pitcher for the future is Andrew Cashner. He has been promoted, Mateo moves to the bullpen and Quade can move on. When Silva talked behind Quade’s back to the media; that was the last straw for him. Jim Hendry, for once did the right thing and finally removed the team and the fans from the original blunder that got us here in the first place with the indefensible signing of Milton Bradley. Which, by the way, 29 other GMs in the league looked at like we lost our damn fool minds and laughed and laughed….and…laughed when as predicted, he colossally blew up in the Cubs’ face.

Mike Quade and the Cubs can move on now in his young inaugural season which is already strife with all the usual Cub plight we’re used to. One hundred years of bad memories, horrible contracts, bad paper, bad karma. Soriano…….(enough said)… Can Ramirez bounce back after hitting .190 for most of the year last season? On and on again.

cock_fight_jean_leon_gerome_combat_de_coqs.jpg
If Mike had to deal with Silva staying and walking on Quade’s sack day in and day out and more second guessing, it would be totally unnecessary. Quade seems to say and do all the right things so far, (especially for a guy that’s been waiting his whole life for this and paid every due imaginable).  But when the initial scuffle happened in early March, he said that some infighting could be good for a team. POPPYCOCK.

All it did was confirm what we’ve been hearing for a while; that Silva was not only a replacement level pitcher but also an undeserving malcontent. Eating the money sucks ($8.5 million), but we basically knew that would happen after about two weeks of jagbag Milton Bradley.

Quade finally let him have it this weekend.

Ozzie style and I’m happy. 

–Johanna Mahmud

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 20: Utley’s Multiple Meniscuses… and Other Stuff

betty white and alf podcast photo.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The proverbial (and literal) gloves come off in this verbal masquerade of utter ridiculousness and yes, injuries do occur (though mostly to Johanna and, since they are mental in nature, hardly noticed).  Among the topics of conversation one will find: Jeff’s wandering Forever 21 eyes, Zack Greinke’s ribs, the difference between a half and a full nelson, Cameroonian baseball, Bud Selig-bashing take 47 and much, much more… all to make you smile, laugh and play!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is all over the interwebz killin’ it.  You should definitely check out his crew and their subsequently hilarious podcast at Undercard Films.  And keep your eye out for what’s next.  Dude’s makin’ a movie!

- – -

Recorded Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Graphic Truth: Ways to Strikeout Alfonso Soriano

While eschewing the seasonal “will the Cardinals be able to sign Albert Pujols” question, I stumbled across this gem among some old game notes and strategies for getting out Cubs.
graphic truth soriano.JPG

Ah, nothin’ hurts more than the truth.

At least he’s only signed for four more years at *gulp*, $18 million a year.

Uh… yah.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I know bad math when I see it.  And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS Presents: Pain

jeff running houston half.jpgMy morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain. 

Indeed, running begets pain.  But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship.  This I know.

Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy.  Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.

But I digress. 

Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:

Jayson Werth cigar.jpgJayson Werth
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0!  No, seriously, I really am happy for you.  I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all.  Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle.  Um… okay.  The bad news is: you got screwed.  The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years.  By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal.  Maybe you’ll even smile.  Maybe.

usa-flag-inside-map.jpg‘Merican Politics
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya.  A war in Afghanistan.  A war in Iraq.  The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general.  The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again.  We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare.  We’ve no jobs.  Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die.  Yeah.  That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion.  Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?

pirates fan.jpgThe Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz.  Wow.  Just… wow.  Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble.  In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh. 

Just remember:

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

My advice?  Go Steelers! 

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

Peace,

Jeff

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