Results tagged ‘ Chicago ’

RSBS Readers Do Some Good, Make a Difference

Image courtesy of Chicago Noble Network Charter Schools

Celebrate, dear readers!  You did something good.  Actually, not just good… FANTASTIC!

Remember back in March when we did our St. Patrick’s Day campaign?  By participating the way you did, you helped raise $750 that we donated to the Chicago Bulls College Prep School athletic department to be used specifically towards purchasing equipment for the school’s baseball team.

Athletic Director Steve Silva and baseball coach Roberto Rosado were very gracious for your efforts and wanted Mr. Krause and I to share with you just how appreciative they are.  Coach Rosado even took the time to answer a few questions…

- – -

Mr. Lung:  Please give us a brief synopsis of your school’s current baseball program.  What level is the level of competition? Any accolades of note?  How many active participants?

Coach Rosado:  I just want to say thank you for this contribution to our program. A brief overview of the program is as follows: we, Chicago Bulls College Prep, started playing baseball during the 2010 season.  So we have been in existence only three years now. In that time we have appeared in back-to-back conference championship games. Unfortunately we lost both games. As far as participants, we have two teams. We have a junior varsity and a varsity team. On the JV team we had 18 players and on the varsity we had 16 players.

Mr. Lung:  Your school’s mission statement is to “prepare students for college graduation and purposeful citizenship by exhibiting ambitious scholarship, self-discipline, honorable character, and a fit lifestyle.”  How does your baseball program help promote this statement?

Coach Rosado:  We want to promote the development of good, honorable young men by playing well and respecting our opponents and the game. The majority of our players have GPAs that average from 3.0 to 3.6 and we also have a few student athletes with a 4.0 GPA.

Mr. Lung:  What sort of unique challenges do inner city baseball programs face today?

Coach Rosado:  There just are not enough decent baseball diamonds for all of the high schools in the inner city.

Mr. Lung:  Do you have any initial ideas of how you might like to use the $750 donation to better your baseball program?  To purchase equipment?  Uniforms?  Field maintenance?

Coach Rosado:  Yes, we, as a baseball program need a batting cage. Since we do not have a practice field behind our school, like a lot of the suburban teams, we must get an indoor batting cage to compete at the highest level.

Mr. Lung:  Lastly, if there is anything you would like us and our readers to know about your baseball program — a specific story or standout individual or anything like that — please let us know.  We want to help promote baseball for our city’s youth and are eager to spread any good news your team and its players might have to share.

Coach Rosado:  In our first year, 2010, we started our program with only 11 players and our record was 4 – 9.  We lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. The following year (2011) we had 24 players and a record of 20 – 4.  We lost in the conference championship game.  Due to all of the hard work and dedication put forth by our players, we have had much success in a short amount of time.

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While Mr. Krause told me he hoped to see RSBS emblazoned jerseys on city fields in the Chi, I think we can both agree that Coach Rosado and the Chicago Bulls Prep baseball team will find a good use for your hard earned dollars.  With limited resources, they’ve already made the championship game two years in a row!  Here’s to wishing them the very best in the future as they aim to take the title!

Boring and Tame, Just Not the Same

Change and I don’t get along too well.  I remember when the Cardinals introduced the Sunday home game alternate cap — the navy blue one with the red bill and the profiled bird.  I couldn’t sleep for weeks.

WHY?!?!  WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS!?!?  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REGULAR CAP!?!?!

Things are better now; but living in Chicago, I became quite used to the kind of daily drama inherent in a city where Ozzie Guillen is employed.  Now, with him gone, life is just… boring?  I mean, Adam Dunn is hitting.  Jake Peavy is pitching.  The Cell hasn’t caught on fire.

What fun is that?

I miss the good old days — the days when the city stopped for the Crosstown Rivalry, the Windy City Classic.  I miss seeing Sweet Lou bump bellies with umpires, AJ Pierzynski gettin’ cold cocked by Michael Barrett, listening to drunk frat boys explain the infield fly rule to washed out bimbos while double-fisting $7 Old Styles.

Is nothing sacred anymore?!?!

Until I see Dale Sveum and Robin Ventura do a rap song about bad contracts, I’m gonna have to think not.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Ten Titillations!

April counts, yo!  And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!

The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball.  And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back!  Let’s hope they are back to stay.

The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say?  Not so fast.  I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ‘em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.

Bobby V
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting.  And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox.  I LOVE IT!!!  The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.

The Not-So-Natinals
Best starting rotation in baseball.  Bryce Harper.  Strasburgers.  Um, throw in a presidential race worth watching and I’m ready for Mr. Krause to buy season tickets.

The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew).  Onwards and upwards!

The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately?  I’ve been watching them almost every day!  THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks.  Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party!  As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.

The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good!  If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.

The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league.  Chipper Jones too.  Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air.  Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.

Pitching!!!
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited!  As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders.  We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations.  But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.

And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…

ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year.  But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted.  HOLLA!!!  And buy me a drink!

Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

“It’s Powered by Tradition”

I only lived in Chicago for a couple years but I can vouch for the fact that it’s a divided city.  Each little section corresponds to a certain ethnicity and the gaps in between are pretty much filled with yuppies.  But more importantly, there’s the huge divide separating the North and South sides of the city, a divide best exemplified by the Cubs up north and the White Sox down south.

Although we know all about the rivalry and mutual dislike between the two groups of fans, not to mention their socio-economic disparities, sometimes that difference can only be truly explained in pictures.  Moving pictures, to be more exact.  And no, I don’t mean Ozzie and Lou.  I’m talking Ron Swanson:

That, my friends, is a rivalry.  Powered by tradition.

-A

Absence of Ozzie Not Enough to Shut Sox Mouth

Jake Peavy sure has a loose yapper.  In fact, it might be even more loose than his formerly detached latissimus dorsi, just one of the myriad things that have led to his supreme suckage in a White Sox uniform.

Sports Illustrated recently predicted the White Sox would lose 95 games in 2012.  I don’t see that prediction as overly hyperbolic.  The Sox were awful last year, and they haven’t done much to improve.  In fact, after dealing Santos to the Blue Jays, I’d even say the 2012 team, on paper, IS WORSE than 2011′s.

Still, Peavy and his Curt Schilling-like tongue is quick to point out that such an observation is off:

“That ain’t going to happen. I can promise you that. This team has too much pride. We are going to compete. That’s all there is to it.” (link)

Whatever you say, Jake.  Whatever you say.

If Peavy is correct (he’s not) and “pride” is all it takes to win ballgames, then why don’t teams just ditch everyone they have to sign 25 George Takeis and just get it over with?

Peavy is now a shell of what he once was.  He doesn’t have the velocity and he doesn’t have the mental toughness to PITCH his way out of mistakes.  He lets his emotions dictate performance.  And he is constantly whining and bitching and talking crazy to the press.

He has done nothing in Chicago but play bad baseball and run his mouth.  Sox fans can only hope he does well enough to get traded by July.

Hate me ‘cuz I compared Peavy’s mouth to Schilling’s, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Don’t Get Pinched: Clink a Pint and Do Some Good!

Kiss me, I’m Irish!

Okay, I’m not Irish.  I’m Scottish.  We make the whisky.  But when it comes to beer, it just doesn’t get any better than Ireland’s very own Guinness!!!  I’m assuming you already have a pint in your hand.  If not, GET ONE!

And while doing so, please take a moment to join RSBS and Guinness in setting the world record for the largest St. Patrick’s Day party on the planet!  It’s easy.  Just go to Guinness.com, verify you’re 21 years or older, then click “Join The Party.”  Just type in your first name, country and zip code and then in the “optional code” box, enter the code “REDS” and Guinness will send $1 to RSBS, a dollar which we’ll be donating to Baseball Tomorrow Fund participant, Noble Network Charter Schools.

To show our appreciation, think on the following:

It also happens to be the combined blood alcohol content for the 2011 Red Sox starting rotation.

And the only active baseballers I can think of named Patrick right now are… none! Since Pat the Bat retired, I can’t think of a single one player named Patrick.
So that would be right around the same time the Cubs celebrate 8,853 years without a World Series title.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Jeff

Guinness, RSBS and the Largest St. Patrick’s Day Party Ever

If you’re wondering who has the world record for fitting the most hard-boiled eggs in their mouth at one time, there’s only one resource: The Guinness Book of World Records.  Same thing if you want to know when and where the world’s largest omelette was cooked.  But the thing about these records is that when you look them up, you probably won’t find your name listed.  At least  until now.

This year, RSBS is partnering with Guinness and a bunch of other blogs to break the record for the biggest St. Patrick’s Day party….ever.  And we want you to be part of it.

The principle is easy.  If you’re 21 or older, just follow THIS LINK to the Guinness website, and once you’re in, click where it says “Join The Party.”  You’ll have to enter your first name, country and zip code in order to pledge to join the party and be part of the record.

But, much more importantly, in the “optional code” box, enter the code “REDS” and Guinness will send $1 to RSBS, a dollar which we’ll be donating to Baseball Tomorrow Fund participant, Noble Network Charter Schools.  That’s right, for each pledge that goes in under the RSBS name, you’ll be helping us provide baseball equipment to a bunch of kids in Chicago.

The interns search for the downside. Maybe it's at the bottom of that pint glass?

Trust me, we’ve tried to find the catch to this.  We even put the interns on the case but all to no avail.  Your pledge to join the largest St. Patrick’s Day party ever not only gets you in the book, it also helps bring baseball to kids who might not get to play otherwise.

Maybe you’ll never make it into the book as the world record holder for most cockroaches eaten in one hour but anytime someone brings it up, you’ll be able to say that you were part of world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day party.  Add in the fact that you’re helping RSBS bring baseball joy to some kids in Chicago and it’s an even more meaningful record.

-A

P.S. Guinness and RSBS remind you drink (and break world records) responsibly.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and part time ninja, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Sunday in the Park with George

I want children so I can play dodge ball with them or at the very least have them pose while I paint a mural of them getting eaten by large cats for my own amusement. But that’s not why I called…

In my favorite Mandy Patinkin musical he sings “I need to finish the hat” in the role of George Seurat. Or as Groucho famously said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Or as Josh Hamilton is probably saying “there are no bars in hospitals and that’s why people hate hospitals.”

I don’t know about the Cubs’ chances for 2012, but I do know I want a Sunday in the park with a friend. I want to think nice things as baseball approaches but sometimes you just don’t know what hell is coming. Sometimes I feel like Lisbeth of the Dragon Tattoo movies: I just get shot in the DAMN head when I think of the 162 Cubs games that are coming.

Finishing the hat,
How you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world
From a window
While you finish the hat.

I don’t know if I’m finishing the hat or if Theo is.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and 10-time Tebowing champion, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

For the Love of the Game/Slaying the Dragon

I don’t know tidily snot.

For as much as I don’t know about stats, player history, and some of the marquee moments, I do have the love.  Even with my rampant stupidity of baseball knowledge, I have the love.

When I’m not sitting with my friend Jeffy at a game or on his couch, him schooling me, I have the love.

It’s been said many times here at Setting the Mahmud that the NBA is my true sport, but even I admit: there is nothing like baseball. I reminded myself of this the other night while watching For the Love of the Game. The pain of Kevin Costner’s character is so real and true to life it’s uncanny. The pain of ending a career.  The pain of romance gone bad. Pain of failed goals. But despite all that, you might still have a friend who believes in you, which summons the strength to get your mojo back.

These are trying times in Chicago. Both ball clubs will probably be bad this year. It’s January. It’s cold. Sometimes, like a ballplayer, you wish you could just be traded to another team, in another (warmer) city. But that’s not how life works. You have to take what you have and make it great. Baseball life can be like a swinging bass line or a blistering hot trumpet solo. We swing high and we swing low. Players leave, lovers leave, and sometimes you’ll get your heart broken.  Being a fan can be turmoil.

And sometimes just maybe you’ll play life well enough to win it all. It’s a noble game. A pureness that wraps around you like a warm embrace holding you tight, one that doesn’t let go. It’s a timeless art that makes you feel like you’re wearing wings.

Beware of the darkness that lies in the cave of your life. Slay the dragon. It can make you feel weak. It can break you if you let it. It can make you feel like a sucker. Accept that pain is part of the process of baseball, part of LIFE.

And let’s heal together. The Cubs will be great someday. The White Sox will be great again too. It will be cathartic and it will be grand.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

We Signed Up for This

I ran the Chicago Marathon yesterday, so pain is on my mind today.  Obviously, the Cardinals’ loss to Milwaukee didn’t make me feel much better; but as I sit here with ice on my quads, a beer in my hand and a masochistic grin on my face, I continue to remind myself that a) things are gonna get better b) it’s a MARATHON not a sprint and c) we signed up for this.

With every pitch, with every swing (every stride, every step) our feelings and emotions are fully invested.  We worked hard to get here and we’re not gonna lay down and die just because we’re a little knocked down.  Instead, we’re gonna lace ‘em up, pound the pavement and enjoy the burn.

With a smile.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image via Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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