Results tagged ‘ All Star Game ’

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 4: Finally, Allen’s Krause… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 5.jpg
Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Dear readers galore FINALLY get to meet THE one, the ONLY, Mr. Allen Krause as he joins Jeff and Johanna to discuss all things urgent, all things necessary.  And it’s all made possible by science.  And hard work.  And Skype.  Judge for yourself.  Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Strasburg as Jesus, the difference between anathema and an enema (it’s important), starting a Pete Rose for US WBC Team Player/Manager petition on Facebook, Gallaraga’s thingy, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more!

Holla!

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*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  His Undercast
podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way.  It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard
Films
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Recorded Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Filibuster

You guys make a lot of Bud Selig’s poor management of MLB.  If you could
take his place for one day and make one change, what would you change
and how do you think it would alter the game?

Harrison
Pontiac,
MI
____________________________________

bud selig picking nose.jpgAww, gee, Harrison (insert overwhelming use of sarcasm), thanks a lot.  I only get one day and one change?  What’s the point?  You know this: It’s gonna take a lot more than just one day and one change to correct the myriad wrongs laid down by King Bud over the past 18 years.

Is it realistic to ban the Cardinals from losing 20 inning games?  No?  How about simply getting rid of the Royals franchise?  No?  Okay.  What about forcing opposing pitchers to only offer breaking balls in the dirt to Alfonso Soriano?  Fine.

Then I guess I would have to consider one of the obvious:

  • stop making it (the All-Star Game) “count” for anything other than a celebration of the best in the game
  • shorten spring training
  • eliminate the plethora of off-days during the playoffs
  • change the schedule back to 154 games
  • sew Barry Bonds’ mouth shut forever and ever, amen

But to be honest, none of the above would be worthy of my one day and my one change.  No.  If I only get one then I’m gonna focus on what’s really wrong with the game and fix that as soon as possible.  What would I do?

Allow MLB ballparks to serve beer after the 7th inning.

Imagine being at that 20 inning game on Saturday, soberly watching in extras, thirsty, parched, dried up… brat in hand but no suds to wash it down.  That, dear readers, is simply unacceptable.

Tragic. 

beer.JPGAnd it goes well beyond the frustration of watching a game go past nine innings without the comforts of a cold, frosty one.  Think about it: if you are really so blasted from drinking beer during the game, is that one and a half to two innings of sobriety really going to make it okay for you to operate a vehicle? 

No. 

If you are really that wasted from drinking beer during the game should you be driving home anyway?

Hell no.

Here’s what we do: tell everyone to drink responsibly.  People are or aren’t going to do that anyway, whether you serve beer after the 7th inning or not.

So please stop punishing me after the 7th inning.  Often times those last couple innings are the ones where I need the numbing powers of alcohol the most!  

Move over, Bud.  Let me make this change. 

Otherwise I’ll be forced to continue double-fisting when they holler out “last call”.

Hate me ‘cuz I finally bring logic to the discussion, 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. 

***Images of King Bud in a dress also welcome. They exist. Trust us.

The Hand Skills Game

selig_umps_allstar.jpgFor a blog that purports to cover baseball and politics, we have been sadly remiss in following up on the great health care debate.  Sure, we paid attention as the package finally came to a vote and at least mentioned the outcome.  But what do we really think?

Well, these things take time to ponder.  And considering that this debate has been going on since at least WWII, the couple weeks we took to think it through isn’t so bad.  It’s an interesting bill especially because no one is really happy.  It’s the Congressional equivalent of the 2002 All-Star Game.  There were triumphant moments, there were awful moments and, in the end, everyone left just kind of feeling a little empty.  The left thinks it didn’t go far enough and the right thinks it’s Armageddon.  So what’s the truth?

I could try and explain the positives and negatives of the bill in my own words but Frank Rich already nailed the essence of what I could say in a column from a few weeks ago.  And since there’s not a whole lot I can add to that, let me just say this.  Whether you like the bill or not, this is a huge victory for Obama.  The Republicans can stake the 2010 midterms on their opposition to the bill and their intentions to repeal it but how are you going to explain that you want to reinstate language for pre-existing conditions into health coverage?  Because, let’s be honest, that’s what the debate is going to boil down to. 

Perhaps it would be easier if I could represent Obama’s victory to you in a more visual manner.  So, maybe this will help.  Pretend that the guy making the video is President Obama and Enton Gill is the Congressional Republicans.  Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean:

I imagine the Republicans will have a similar reaction when they finally open their eyes.

-A

Towards a Truly World Series

NHL_ALL_STARS.jpgWhen the NHL switched it’s All-Star game format in the late 90’s from the typical conference vs. conference match-up to a North America vs. The World battle royale, it seemed to herald the dawn of a new, global style of sport. Of course there are the Olympics and the World Cup but if sports like hockey were going to take on an internationalist bent, it was only a matter of time before the whole world came on-board.

Five years later the game reverted back to it’s traditional format and globalism had lost a bit of its luster but the overall move towards a more universal sporting life continued to pick up steam.

Just take a look around the major American sports. The NBA is still dominated by Americans but Europeans, South Americans and even the Chinese have become stars in their own right. The NFL is probably the only league that can still claim to be nearly 100% American but that probably owes much to the fact that the rest of the world is more than happy with their own version of football.

Even the most traditionally American of sports has taken on a greater international context in the past decade with the creation of the World Baseball Classic. And MLB has no plans to stop there. Just this past week it was reported that Bud Selig has been in discussions with his Japanese counterpart for a match-up between the two countries’ respective champions. Maybe it’s only two countries at this point but there’s no doubt that baseball will follow soccer’s lead and institutes some sort of World Club Championships pitting the best club teams from around the world against each other.

It makes sense. There seems to be no end to what consumers are willing to suck up and with all the money to be made from the merchandising, not to mention the actual playing of these games, the different national leagues would be foolish not to join in. Bud Selig will do anything at this point to have his legacy be something other than the steroid era and this would definitely be one way to do that.

Lost in all this is the fact that despite its near collapse a few seasons ago, the NHL may have had it right after all. You can fight globalization and maybe you’ll win some battles. But the war has already been won and it’s here to stay. Baseball appears ready to embrace that.

-A

2009: A Year in Review (Pt I)

RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgIt’s hard to know where to begin in a year that saw both halves of RSBS turn 30. 30? I was supposed to be a multi-millionaire by now. What happened with that?

But that doesn’t mean it was all bad. Jeff came to visit me in DC and we wound up with high roller seats at a Nationals game. Or should I say Natinals? And I also made it to Chicago to film the immediately iconic video, “Crush,” with Jeff. By the time October rolled around and the Tigers came within a game of making the playoffs, it felt like a pretty full year.

As Dickens said, “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.” And it sure was. The blog, just like our personal lives, had its fair share of ups and downs. Being the guy that he is, Jeff especially liked to catch people when they were down and give ‘em one more kick, just to help them stay down. Don’t believe me? Ask Milton Bradley, Brad Lidge or the entire Cubs organization.

However, this is the time of year when we spend some time celebrating the ups. And what better way to celebrate than by breaking down my favorite Jeffery Lung authored posts in list format?

2nd Honorable Mention:

Blocked by Barry

Jeff loves the interwebs and this love led to many memorable moments brought to us by Google and Coco Crisp. But if there was one internet interlude that could be defined as the paragon, it had to have been when Jeff was blocked from Barry Zito’s Twitter account by…..Barry Zito!

Honorable Mention:

The Modern Era All-Corrupt Baseball-Politico Team

Although Chicago has never lacked political corruption scandals, Rod Blagojevich may have set a new standard for brazenness. Or maybe you thought he did until this year’s team of All-Star corrupt politicos was unveiled. Sure, he’s brazen. But is he Marion Barry brazen?

2nd Runner Up:

All-Starred Out

Moving from All-Corrupt to All-Star, RSBS was lucky enough this year to have a presence at the All-Star Game played in St. Louis. Jeff may not have come through on his bet to get a date with Erin Andrews but he more than made up for it in pictures. Especially pictures of his porn-stache.

1st Runner Up:

What Joe Carter Taught My Dad About His Son

Some people may question other people’s love of baseball. But after reading this entry, you’ll never question Jeff’s. Even if it does sometimes lead to weird quasi-international incidents, we now know that there’s one thing that can bring a boy and his father or Americans and Canadians together and his name is Joe Carter.

And the Winner is……:

RSBS TV: “Jesus Hates the Cubs”

Could it really have been anything else? The sheer audacity of suggesting that the messiah/prophet/best-selling author has it in for Chicago’s lovable losers re-cemented Jeff’s status as one of the pre-eminent Cubs haters in the country. And the fact that Jesus showed up for the shoot just proves the thesis.

So, that’s about it for another year here at RSBS. It’s cold now but pitchers and catchers will be reporting soon and we’ll be there to welcome them back.

A

The Milton Bradley of Politics

Well, what with all the festivities surrounding baseball’s mid-season classic, it has been awhile since we checked in with our old friend Sarah Palin out in Alaska. Knowing her versatility and vitality, though, I’m sure she’s doing well out there in the tundra……..she did what!!!!!?????

And she said what???!!

Wow. It’s possible that Ms. Palin might just be the Milton Bradley of politics. I mean, how does a person go from a more or less coherent communications major and sports reporter to what can only be described as the political equivalent of “boom goes the dynamite?”

Honestly, I don’t even know how to answer that question but what I will say is, “Ms. Palin, please don’t ever stop doing that thing you do.”

-A

Hey, Mat Latos, Meet an Equally Arrogant Self-Serving Professional!

Thumbnail image for mat latos.jpgThe truth is: I was going to leave this one in the proverbial scrap pile of unprocessed information otherwise known as my oft useless brain, but after reading this touching letter to Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitski, I decided this might have a place.

I mean, I already infuriated Barry Zito (or at least his handlers) earlier this year by writing the truth: that during his Giants tenure, he hasn’t performed as well as that lofty contract might suggest.  Before I knew it he was blocking me from his Twitter account and I was wallowing in the kind of sorrow that only comes from not knowing what band Barry Zito thinks “rocks” or what type of scarf he’s going to wear to the polo club to impress his famously hot girlfriends.

Whoo wee!

So I certainly hope that when I call out Padres pitching prospect, Mat Latos, for acting like a bratty child during pre-game activities at this year’s Futures Game, that he doesn’t block me from watching his so-called Tim Lincecum-like delivery on MLB.TV. 

Oh wait.  Why would I ever want to watch a Padres game?  Nevermind.

Still, much like the young fireballer Latos, I too am trying to become established, to make a name for myself, to be noticed.  And the truth is, Mat, you and I, we can be a team.  Maybe…

First you will have to brush up on your people skills.  For example, when little kids ask you to toss a batting practice ball up to them in the stands, I wouldn’t fake-throw it (like one tends to do with his dog because watching a dog chase nothing is funny) then laugh with your buddies at how clever you are.  And I also wouldn’t spend most of that shagging time trying to launch errant balls high up into the upper decks (and fail miserably) because those balls were falling down onto we little people at high speeds and someone could have gotten hurt. 

See, the thing is, Mat, I know you’re young and all that talent has probably gotten to you; still, remember that you’re living a dream — that you have been gifted with the ability to play a game… for a living — and that your personality on and off the field will have a whole lot to do with how we plebeian fans perceive you.  Don’t care how the fans perceive you?  See Barry Bonds for more information on how it can go horribly wrong.

crying kids.jpgLucky for you, Mat, I’m a pretty understanding guy.  And I can be a snot-nose sometimes too.  I won’t fault you for that… but remember who you are aiming your snot-nosedness at, Mat.  The kids.  Remember the kids. 

Those kids — kids who look up to you even though they have no idea who you are, ‘cuz let’s face it, right now you’re a nobody just like Lastings Milledge is a nobody — those kids, when you mess with them, they don’t take it so well.

Remember that and you will be good to go.  I almost guarantee it.  Okay, I sorta guarantee it.

Good luck, Mat!  Hope to see you around the ballpark and maybe — if you feel lucky — you might even consider attacking my character… when you get a break from being the next Tim Lincecum that is…

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

Peace,

Jeff

(“Crying Kids” image courtesy of The B.S. Report)

It Takes a Special Kind of Delivery

barack obama white sox cap.jpgAttacking our Commander in Chief for his administration’s slow recovery from eight long years of poor GOP policy is one thing; attacking him for his pitching mechanics is another and, frankly, I find it to be an undermining, un-American, unnecessary derision of the US American psyche.

I mean, this is not Barry Zito we’re talking about here.  This is the President of the United States of America!

Yet it didn’t take long for Chicago Tribune writer Rick Morrissey to launch an offensive on Barack Obama’s ceremonial first pitch from the 2009 All-Star Game, highlighted by his glib crack which stated “he throws like someone who hardly has played sports” and “If I’m North Korea, I attack right now.”

Wow.  Hope you got a bunker, Rick.  You’re gonna need it.

Seeing President Obama walk out on the field was a special treat for me; and while from my right field vantage point I did notice somewhat of an awkward arc to his ball, I would never say it looked like an nonathletic toss.  Verily, Albert Pujols saved him from bouncing one in front of the plate; but believe me, I have seen much, much worse.

Mayor Mallory anyone?

Of course, when it comes to stellar ceremonial first pitches and beyond fantastic form, it would be exceptionally difficult to beat the Japanese:

Take note bottom-dwelling, low-drawing, aesthetically-challenged Major League Baseball clubs: get this gal to throw all of your ceremonial first pitches and watch the magic unfold (or just watch her chest through that low cut pinstriped top).

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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

All-Starred Out

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 055.jpgIt was one of the most exciting three days I have ever experienced — being there, participating in the focal point of the entire baseball world, sharing with like-minded folks who love the game just as much as I do.  The memories will last forever; yet even I — a man with a unique ability to alienate any intelligent conversation with my critical case of baseballitis — yes, even I could use a break. 

Now back in Chicago, I plan to use my free afternoon to reflect on the staggering, inspirational, communitarian adventures I was privileged to have… and of course, pay tribute to the baseball gods who made it happen.

The National League lost.  Oh well.  I am not crying about it because it really means nothing to me.  Despite the final score, the game was noteworthy for its cleanliness, its quickness, and how aside from a couple fielding errors (and only two walks — one intentional — if I remember correctly) it was one of the most correctly played games I’d ever witnessed live.

But even I am easily star-struck, and for me, perhaps the neatest thing was being able to see so many gifted athletes on one field, at one time, playing together.  I have to say that from our right field bleacher seats, watching Ichiro Suzuki was a true pleasure.  I have never seen one man do so much stretching in such a uniformed and regulated fashion.  Before I knew it, my attention was solely focused on number 51.

Leading up to the game, I couldn’t help but fall in love with my country all over again.  The tribute to the troops, the hometown all-stars, the President’s pitch and that wicked cool SR71 flyover are still giving me goosebumps. 

Now, on with the photos…

The Ticket:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 001.jpgReason #164 why Missouri’s relaxed open container laws create jobs in the street-cleaning service industry:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 010.jpgAbsolute highlight of the night: having the privilege of being photographed with these fine young soldiers who risk everything on my behalf:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 011.jpgThose same soldiers, later bearing the flag:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 039.jpgStill feeling patriotic:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 022.jpgThe Obama-tron:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 038.jpgSleeping Banding with the enemy (if only for one day):

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 023.jpgMy idea of Heaven:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 049.jpgI didn’t take many pictures during the game as I was intent on taking it all in, sans technology.  I turned off the phone, put the camera away, avoided Bud Light and simply became a kid again.

It was something I will never forget.

Peace,

Jeff

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