Results tagged ‘ Billy Beane ’

Somebody Taze Me!

This Wednesday officially kicks off the 2012 MLB season and even though I’ll probably be fast asleep while it unfolds in the Far East, I’m sure the Japanese will be plenty excited about watching two awful teams compete against one another, especially since there’s at least one Suzuki per nine.

On this side of the pond, we have much, MUCH more to look forward to.  In fact, I might need a good tazing before the Cardinals open up in Miami, just so I’m forced to sit down!

Here are some of the things that have me baseball-tweaking:

The GOOD Blue Jays Uniforms Are Back!
Still mesmerized by the awful logo redesign and poor color scheme that killed Joe Carter’s Blue Jays look in 2003, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the old logo back.  And royal blue!  No gray!  Alongside the Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, I gotta say the classic Jays uni is about as smart and sleek as baseball uniforms come.

Grant Balfour Finally Gets to Be  a Closer!
The 34-year old Aussie has been quietly waiting in the wings of every team he’s been on and now, finally, the Oakland A’s are giving him a shot at the closer role.  I still think closers are overrated, but I like to think that maybe, if Balfour performs well in his new role, he might finally get paid what he’s worth.  His numbers are fantastic and most people don’t even know who he is.  I’m afraid playing in Oakland won’t help his popularity, but maybe Billy Beane will throw him another peanut.  (Also, if you’re wondering, yes, Balfour’s fastball does have an Australian accent.)

Bobby Valentine!
I love Bobby Valentine.  For myriad reasons.  He’s cocky.  He’s loud.  His feelings get hurt.  He’s controversial.  He pisses off players, coaches, umpires.  And he’s a goddamn baseball genius.  HOLLA!!!

Jamie Moyer!
Good grief.  The dude is gonna be FIFTY this year.  FIFTY YEARS OLD.  And he’s still gettin’ guys out.  I absolutely love that.  I love him!  How can you not?!?!

And finally… you probably knew this was coming but…

WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.

ALL.

YEAR.

LONG.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m loud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Bring On the Myth of Billy Beane

Some have described my baseball fanaticism as sociopathic in that I find great delight in the destruction and demise of my rivals.

Yeah?  So?

That’s why I’m super excited to hear the Cubs rumor-mill sound off on a possible Billy Beane signing as the next Northside GM.  Like a sick unempathetic psychopath, I enjoy watching the Cubs die a long, painful death.  So bring on the Beane!

The notion that Beane is this magical franchise-saving GM is nothing short of a mirage.  If you pick through the mountains of excellent work at PoNY you will find plenty of detailed examples why.  But for now, I will just focus on one: during his tenure in Oakland (1998 to present) he hasn’t won anything.  And if you’ve paid attention to the Oakland A’s the last five years you’ve probably noticed that those teams have been ATROCIOUS.

Yes, going back some years the A’s captured the AL West Division title four times (2000, 2002, 2003, 2006).  But since when does being the best out of four teams and nothing else get you all the accolades of a champion?  The dude is a flop!  His teams are flops!  And his club has no fans!  Wait til he has to deal with an angry mob of 40,000 Chicagoans in that dump of a stadium as it shakes back and forth, falling apart!

So, you know what to do, Ricketts… bring on the BEANE!  We Cardinal fans are lickin’ our chops!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 26: Willow, R2D2 and Other Famous Midgets

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”

After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball.  Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!

And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter.  Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast.  And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!

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Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 25: Audible Pantslessness… and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

After a rough night of Pirate inspired debauchery, Jeff and Johanna clear the cobwebs (and police reports) to make room for special guest, Paul Lebowitz.  It doesn’t take long for them to get riled up as they touch on the evil FOX chimera Joe McCarver, Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, the White Sox’s diamond impotence and much, much more!

Check out Paul’s baseball blog, The Prince of New York, and also consider checking out his books, like the 2011 Baseball Guide (I’m using it to destroy my fantasy baseball foes right now).

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter!  And if you’re into raunchy stunts and Hooter chicks, make sure to check out Keith’s Undercast at Undercard Films!

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Recorded Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Shot (No One) Heard Around the World

The next time you begin to entertain the idea that steroids may not make a better baseball player, please remember the curious case of Jason Giambi:

jason giambi young.jpgjason giambi steroids.jpg

Yeah.  That is the same guy.  Trust me.

And if you analyze his stats, you will notice a surge in the power department during the years Mr. Giambi was admittedly jivin’ on the juice.  Sure, there was some inherent talent there; that’s the only way it works.  Put me on some ‘roids and you will just end up with a big, nerdy ogre-man who still can’t hit a slider.

But Jason Giambi?  Dear readers, the man has declined.

Despite a serviceable 2008 where a mysteriously magic mustache allowed him to overcome his initial ‘roid-wreck, the 2009 feel-good reunion with the Oakland A’s brought nothing but disappointment — so much so that Billy Beane couldn’t find any use for him at all.


“Uh. Yeah. Uh. If you love something let it go. If it comes back to you it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was. Hold me down baby.”
–DMX, Let it Fly

jason giambi drunk.jpgWell, even with all his faults (that vomit inducing .193 batting average in particular) I suppose baseball must love Jason Giambi because the Colorado Rockies just signed him to a minor league deal.

I watched MLB related news and programming all night long and no one even mentioned this.

Because no one cares.

And if no one cares that the Rockies signed Jason Giambi, then absolutely no one will care that the Rockies also signed Russ Ortiz.

Russ who?

Exactly.

Sure, the Rockies may be in the thick of the playoff hunt, but neither one of these acquisitions will factor into any type of potential success.  They are both large and looming disappointments — let-downs determined to strike out with the bases loaded, to give up a grand slam, to muff into oblivion.

If I were Giambi, if I were Ortiz, I’d rather spend my time signing some hot chick’s breasts.  Duh.  At least by doing that you don’t risk humiliating yourself over and over again.  (Again, trust me)

Hate me ‘cuz I hate on the dynamically duddy duo of Giambi/Ortiz, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

MLB’s Red State of Mind

No, I’m not saying that Major League Baseball is communist. Although, now that you mention it….

No, what I’m talking about is a frame of mind that seems to have taken over both MLB and Red America. Neither one of them can’t stand intellectuals. College boys (and girls) who have impressive vocabularies, use logic in the decision-making process and understand that the world is painted in shades of gray, not just black and white, just don’t have a place in MLB or the fly-over states. Let me explain.

The red state anti-intellectualism is pretty clear cut. A Harvard law grad with impeccable credentials and a strong history of community organizing is nothing more than a namby-pamby, arugula-eating, out-of-touch, East-coast liberal elite. Nuance is seen as flip-flopping or waffling and the only way to make a decision is to decide which side is evil and which is good and always go for good. Of course, this also means simplifying every argument.

elaine_v2.jpgFor instance, let’s take Elaine Benes, uh, I mean Sarah Palin. Although her oldest daughter got knocked up at 17 which would be unlimited fodder for Republicans if it had been a Democratic candidate, somehow the “Family Values” party doesn’t have a problem with this because the kids are getting married. Nevermind that this might be the worst possible outcome for the kid and for the two getting married. But, that’s the red state mindset. There is no gray. Only black and white.

In a similarly antiquated manner, red state politicians see no reason for their views to evolve beyond the social mores of 1776. If it was all right for Thomas Jefferson, it’s all right for them.

It’s just like the view that MLB takes when it comes to many of the technological and statistical updates that have inundated sports in the past few years. Of course there are people like Billy Beane and Theo Epstein who understand that using technology does not cheapen the game and, in fact, makes it more competitive. But the powers that be within the MLB hierarchy have fought back. People like Bill James get blackballed.

palin_v2.jpgAnd in the same way, it took a flurry of botched calls at the beginning of the season before they even considered instituting limited instant replay. No one wants to see the ump behind the plate replaced with a computer calling balls and strikes. But what’s wrong with taking another look at a play that took place 200 feet from where they were standing?

In the end, we have no control over what MLB does. It will take time but they’ll have to evolve to stay relevant. But we do have a choice when it comes to who leads our country. A little arugula anyone?

-A

The Filibuster

As of this morning, the NL Central had three teams ten games
over 500 while the NL West leader
is barely at .500
! 
If the playoffs started right now, one superior team would be completely
left out while one mediocre team would get to compete for the World
Series title.  Should Major League
Baseball reexamine the playoff structure so that it actually sends the 4 best
teams from each league to the playoffs? 
If so, how would you propose this be done?

 

– Jeff

                                                                                     

Ever since 1969, when MLB first started using a playoff system to determine who would play for the World Series, purists have decried the vulgarization of the sport. And when the playoff system was expanded even further in 1994 so more teams could be involved, the old-timers cried themselves to sleep, I’m sure. However, as anyone who follows this blog is aware, I am not one to yearn for the good ol’ days. Baseball is entertainment and as such, it exists to make money. More teams in the playoffs means more money for the sport which means better facilities and the ongoing vitality of the game. But, there are downsides.

And the system could stand some revamping. As you point out, if the playoffs started today, a mediocre team would be in while an excellent team would be watching from home. On top of that, when you realize that due to the arbitrary makeup of the leagues a good team in a bad division has a much better chance at making the playoffs than an excellent team in a very competitive division, well, you can see how this creates a recipe for disaster. But the situation is not unprecedented.

Each year the BCS picks the two best teams in the nation to go at it in the National Championship game but every year controversy surrounds the pick. A two-loss LSU team gets in over a undefeated Hawaii squad? Yeah, LSU is better but they lost a couple games. And how are they better than a 2-loss Georgia team that went out and destroyed that undefeated Hawaii team?

NCAA football at least has a system that tries to take everything into account when deciding who will play in the championship. MLB randomly assigned teams to leagues and divisions and then wonders why people complain when a sub-par Cubs squad makes it in while a decent Padres team sits back in San Diego wondering how it all went wrong.

Suggestions exist for how the situation could be improved and it’s no surprise that Billy Beane would be putting it out there (scroll down to the very last item in the article). I don’t agree with both of his points because I don’t necessarily think the Division series’ need to be expanded but a new seeding format couldn’t hurt.

However, the likelihood of things changing soon is pretty small. If anything, maybe they’ll try to do like the NFL and expand the playoffs a little but it sure won’t be in a way that makes sense. What matters to the owners is that MLB continues to make money and teams like Boston, the Yankees and the Cubs that maximize MLB’s return on their investment continue to make it in. That’s just how it is.

Jeff_Samardzija_catch_crop.jpgNow, on a side note, a specter came back to haunt me today that now firmly roots me in the anti Cubs camp. As I was watching the scroll at the bottom of the screen on ESPN, a familiar name popped out at me. The man who got the save for Chicago today? Samardzija. Now, that’s not a name you see every day and the only other time I’ve ever heard it was was in reference to a receiver for the University of Notre Dame. And it’s the same guy. I’m sorry but I just can’t stand by as the Irish invade everything. Fighting Irish, that is. It’s bad enough that I have to accept them in the NFL but now they’re showing up in MLB as well? No, that’s just too far. And so to the Cubs and GM Jim Hendry I say, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Just had to get that out there. I feel much better now.

-A

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