Results tagged ‘ Allen ’

RSBS Post Number 1,597

Five seasons.  Two Hall of Fame interviews.  One World Series victory (well, for Jeff at least).

And now, 1,597 posts.

Red State Blue State was born out of the fiery email exchanges between Messieurs Krause and Lung during the 2006 World Series — a World Series that saw Jeff’s Redbirds trounce Allen’s Tigers (although until his dying breath Mr. Krause will blame the pitching fielding errors over an inept offense for Detroit’s shortcoming — one that would not be their last, obviously).

Over the last five years, we have enjoyed all of the benefits of writing a hit MLBlog.  Jeff got to interview Ken Griffey, Sr., Dave Winfield and his boyhood idol, Ozzie Smith.  He also went to the 2009 All Star Game and reported on that experience.  Hell, last year he even went to the World Series! — twice — and then popped champagne as his boys brought it all home.  Allen, well, he drew particular pride from the fact that RSBS ended up getting banned by the censors in Saudi Arabia.

But it wasn’t just about the sports.  Although RSBS started life as a baseball blog, the second and equally important pillar, was a shared enjoyment of the drama and often maddening inconsistencies with the American political system.  We found a way to combine sports and politics with literary bindings, and from that we engaged in quite a few intellectual debates that strung our worlds together.  The highlight of Jeff’s political revelations had to be his Libertarian coming out party — the one that Mr. Krause so dutifully lampooned.

For Allen, the Post-Partisan Playoff Preview presented an opportunity to truly combine postseason baseball and postseason politics into an orgy of prognostication.  Sure, the only time he may have truly gotten it right was in 2008′s initial edition but he still made a valiant effort in the close but not quite there predictions of 2011 and 2010.  Allen’s political evolution may have been less dramatic than Jeff’s as he stayed continuously true to his blue state roots but this led to a moment he’ll never forget, being there for the inauguration of Barack Obama.

However, probably our finest RSBS achievements have to do with a little ditty by David Archuletta and the underground hip-hop sensation, Jesus Hates the Cubs.

Today is a day different from all the rest.  Today we publish our last post.  It is not without sadness that we do this, but, like many others experience in life, the time has come for us to move on.

If you would like to follow Allen’s post-RSBS exploits, visit him at his new blog, The Nomadic Revue, where he will continue to provide political commentary as well as entertainment and restaurant reviews.

And if you would like to follow Jeff’s sensational running career (and all the creative introspection born from that), then check out The Run Factory.

More than anything, we want to thank YOU, dear reader.  Thank you for joining us on our journey.  Thank you for all your comments, all your emails, all your Twitter love.

Thank you all very, very much.

Jeff and Allen

Fallout, Apathy, Toby

The names were different, yes, but the destruction was equally devastating.  Maybe even more.

I’m talking about the EPIC FAIL that was the 2012 NLCS, compared to the one that first stopped by heart 16 years ago.  Yes, in 1996 it was Todd Stottlemyre in the role of Lance Lynn, with Andy Benes as Chris Carpenter and Donavon Osborne as Kyle “I Ain’t A Big Game Pitcher” Lohse.

It was Ozzie’s last year, Tony’s first and the first time back to the World Series since 1987 and the uncomfortable early 90′s era Redbirds… or so I thought.

Up three games to one in the best of seven series against the Atlanta Braves, the jockstraps came off a team that simply couldn’t score any runs; and instead of spending the last days of October in complete ecstasy, the 17-year old me stayed locked away in a dark closet, reading Nietzsche by a flashlight, ultimately coming back to the same redundant question: WHAT… IS… THE POINT?

I still don’t know.  What is the point?  Why get so worked up over something so silly?  I wish I knew.  And, for RSBS‘ sake, I sure hope Mr. Krause doesn’t have to find out.  Not this year.  So yeah, um… go Tigers.

Also, Marco Scutaro is my Toby Flenderson.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Allen’s Tigers are in the Series and the Cardinals are still trying to earn their bid. If the Cards don’t make it, will you cheer for the Tigers?

Anne
Fort Royal, IN
_________________________

Hold it right there, Ms. Anne from Fort Royal.  Are you insinuating that the Cardinals might not make it to the World Series?  SHAME.  SHAME!  SHAME!!!

Oh the possibility does bring fear into my being, but THIS… IS… WAR!!!

I can not even begin to envision a Cardinals-less World Series, so to postulate me possibly rooting on THE ENEMY seems as blasphemous as using the Paul Ryan marathon calculator to report my times to my peers!

Will I root for the Tigers?  Pssh.  Will I also cut out my own stomach with a butter knife and eat it whole?  Will I also canvas door-to-door for the Republican party thumping a bible in people’s faces?  Will I eat at the Olive Garden?

Hell.  To the NO.

My only focus right now is TONIGHT.  In San Francisco.

This.  Means.  War.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

RSBS Digest: Blowing Up

Whether we’re talking about getting drunk and hitting the Taco Bell drive-thru at 4 a.m. or the state of my phone after a fast-movin’ night at the Roxbury, this much is known: things blow up.

This much is ALSO known: nothing blows up quite like the internet.  I had a front row seat to the Twittersphere when Michael Jackson died (for real that time) and was amazed at how far-reaching this convoluted series of tubes really is.

And, as my melancholy and oft addled colleague Mr. Krause recently pointed out: proper internet explosions get a lot of fuel from fumbling politicians intent on keeping their multiple wives inside the three-ring trappings of a Trapper Keeper.

But the REAL explosion has yet to come.  Hopefully, it will come tonight — Friday night.  Hopefully the Cardinals will wrap up the San Francisco Giants’ futile efforts, kick back and wait for those cute little kitties to come to town.

That’s right, my fellow US Americans.  An RSBS World Series is on the horizon…

Happy Friday!

Jeff

State of the RSBS Union

Superstition is not something I find myself drawn to ordinarily; however, certain recent circumstances have led me to question even my own staunch stance in reality.  On Saturday, while witnessing Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid against the lowly Indians, I thought to myself, surely my obstinate and beleaguered colleague, Mr. Krause, is enjoying this little bit of history-in-the-making.

To be sure, I sent him a simple (non-superstitious text) that read: You know what’s happening right now, don’t you?

Unfortunately, as the baseball gods shook their invisible heads in shame, Mr. Krause responded with a phone call, to ask me what I was talking about, and as soon as I answered the phone, Carlos Santana drove a deep drive over Austin Jackson’s head and the drama was dead.

Good job, Mr. Krause.  Seems to be quite the formula for the Tigers this season: flashes of brilliance followed by complete disappointment.  How long will the White Sox stay ahead of the Tigers?  Until the end of the season.  That’s how I see it.

As for me and my Cardinal fanatic family, sure we’ve been victimized by the same sort of blasé play lately; but never fear… our SAVIOR will be HERE… FRIDAY.

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

Peace,

Jeff

REAL Change You Can ACTUALLY Believe In

In recent days, my aloof and oft persnickety colleague, Mr. Krause, waxed on instant replay in baseball, making assumptions about my demeanor reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh calling out the obese.

Am I “old school” in my baseball philosophy?  Yes.  You could say that.  But just like in any endeavor worth dedicating one’s life to, things change, and adaptations are necessary for survival.

Baseball needs instant replay.  There are just too many important calls that get blown that could be remedied with a simple review of the tape.  There are countless examples, but the two most devastating of recent memory include the Pirates/Braves 19th inning Jerry Meals fiasco of 2011 and Armando Gallaraga’s perfect game being robbed by Jim Joyce*.  These are just two extreme examples, but blown calls happen quite frequently and they could be fixed just as easily as they fixed the home run by review situation.

Sure, baseball is a long, slow paced game.  Sure doesn’t seem to stop people from caring about it though!  Attendance is up, viewership via TV, computer, smartphone is at an all-time high.  Does Mr. Krause seriously think that all the baseball nuts in the world are going to stop watching the game if it’s 5 minutes longer?!?!

SILLINESS!

Just get the call right.  That’s what the fans care about.  We want… the umps… TO GET IT RIGHT.  That’s it.  And now, deeply immersed in all avenues of technocracy, is the time to start implementing some of the modern tools that are there to make things better.

And no, constitutional scholars, this ain’t no slippery slope situation.  Balls and strikes are not reviewable.  Period.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m grounded in common sense, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*Also, I am still not over Don Denkinger’s blown call from the 1985 Series.  Some things take longer to heal.

The Filibuster

Matt Cain this week threw what some people are saying was the best “perfect game” ever.  Is it really possible to say that one perfect game is better than another and, if so, which one would you vote for?

Sal
Fresno, CA
___________________________________

Absolutism is relative.  I think.  No, I am sure it is.  Maybe.  I mean, this is the GREATEST BASEBALL-POLITICO BLOG OF ALL TIME, IS IT NOT!?!?!

I think so, but such a statement comes with the caveat that one would have a hard time quantifying it.  Why is it the best?  Because of Mr. Krause?  Because of Mr. Lung?  Because of the interns?

That’s just the very beginning of a long list of things that makes RSBS the G.O.A.T.

But can we quantify what exactly makes one perfecto better than another?  Not really.  But it’s fun trying.  For example, Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a perfect game (Sandy Koufax, 1965), which clearly demonstrates superior command and dominance over the opposition.  Cain also threw 19 first pitch strikes and never got himself in a 2-0 count.  Meanwhile, his defense did some dazzling.  Both the 6th and 7th innings featured unbelievable catches in the outfield that, had they not been made, would have sunk the perfect game effort.  The last out, a hard ground ball to third base that put Joaquin Arias in a stutter step also provided one final gasping twist to the accomplishment.  All of the above, plus Cain’s eery zen mound presence throughout it all, provide plenty of quantification for it being the “best” perfect game ever.

Still, it’s relative.  And maybe we see it as the “best” right now because it’s fresh in our minds.

I recall Randy Johnson’s 2004 effort against the Braves as being one of the most dominate games I’ve ever seen too.  The Big Unit struck out 13 in that game and was throwin’ nasty stuff all the while.  David Cone didn’t see a 2-0 count in his 1999 perfecto against the late Expos, a game where he also had to sit out for a 33-minute rain delay, on Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen in the stands!

But, for me, the best perfect game I’ve ever seen came on a lazy Thursday afternoon in July 2009, when Mark Buehrle pitched himself into the record books, again.  What made that game so special, for me, was that I was watching it at work and by the 8th inning, I was watching it with the UPS man, the FedEx man and yes, even the mail man.  When Dewayne Wise made “the catch” we reveled in our mutual south sidedness and gave each other big, sweaty man-hugs.

That’s the sorta thing that only happens once in a lifetime, so I’ll be hanging my hat on the Buehrle perfecto for the forseeable future.  But that’s just me.

You can hate me for that.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

One Day to Unite Them All!

It’s Opening Day, y’all!!!  HOLLLLLLLLAAAAAA!!!

When it comes to my favorite holidays there is, of course, April Fool’s Day, National Cleavage Day and My Bent and Oft Hoodwinked Colleague Gets PWNED by a Commenter Day.

But nothing — I repeat: NO-THING beats Opening Day.

To celebrate, I give you DRUNK Rick Sutcliffe:

Now, if we could just get a Play Tennis In Your Underwear Day.

Happy Opening Day and Let’s Go Cards!

Jeff

Situation Chipper

The 2012 season will be Chipper Jones’ last, signifying for me a quaint full circle of baseball life.  From a goofy-grinned rook to an over-the-hill vet, I had the pleasure of witnessing it all, and I can’t help but tip my cap to the future Hall of Famer for all he’s done throughout his career, on and off the field.

With that, here is what immediately enters my mind whenever his name comes up:

The 1995 Season
Infuriated by a silent October in ’94, I vehemently quit on Major League Baseball.  I will have nothing to do with those crooked chumps!  Who do they think they are taking away my Fall Classic!?!?  Troglodytes the whole lot of ‘em! 

Yeah, but… see, there’s this guy named Chipper.  He’s with the Braves.  He’s gonna be a superstar.

And he was.  23 bombs.  86 RBIs.  And one cool stroke, from both sides of the plate.  By the second half of the ’95 season, all had been forgiven and I was hoarding baseball cards of a man with a goofy name.

The 2008 Season and Media Guide Photo
Now a lot of stuff happened between 1995 and 2008, but I want to focus on the monster season Chipper had.  I recall arguing here with my lugubrious and oft-crotchety colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, whether or not Chipper could realistically hit .400.  He made a good run at it, but had to settle for .364, and in the process provided one of the worst media guide photos of all time:

All-Star Weekend 2009
I had the good fortune of attending the ASG in St. Louis and taking in all the awesome that comes with such an extravaganza.  As you can imagine, heavy drinking was involved, and on the evening of July 13, at a seedy bar deep in the heart of Soulard, I was an accomplice to my friend losing a $100 bar bet on whether or not Chipper played any significant time at any other position than third base during his career.  I found out it only takes a few vodka bombs to forget that Chipper spent a some years manning left field for the Bravos.  I think my pal has forgiven me for that absentmindedness.  Now if only we could remember how we ended up in Sauget smelling like frosting, covered in glitter.

Yes, I’d say Chipper had a brilliant career, even if the last few years have looked more like an AH-64 Apache helicopter crash after attempting to push its limit.  What’s THAT look like?  Glad ya asked!

Happy Friday!

Jeff

RSBS Turns Four!

Four years ago today, I wrote the first post in RSBS history.  It was terrifyingly awful.  What terrifies me even more is that at that time in 2008, I had incredibly high hopes for the Tigers’ upcoming season based on some high-profile acquisitions they had made.  Four years later, I’m still haunted by that 2008 season and experiencing no small amount of deja vu (all over again).

If there’s one thing that gives me hope, though, it’s the fact that sometimes triumph is born from the ashes of despair and failure.  That first post was awful but the throw-away line at the end ended up becoming Mr. Lung’s regular sign-off.  And even though Dontrelle Willis didn’t work out for the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera has been a godsend.  Paired with Prince Fielder, I can’t say as though there has been a more feared power duo in the AL since the days of the Bash Brothers.

Sometimes you have to let go of the past and just realize that it’s over.  So, with that in mind, happy fourth birthday Mr. Lung.  And a special thank you from both of us to the interns for their years of unpaid but essential work.  But most of all, thank you to our loyal readers who keep coming back, in spite of RSBS‘ inauspicious beginnings.  Hopefully in 366 days we’ll be blowing out another candle together.

-A

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