Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

The Filibuster

What happened to the Twins?

Seth S.
Saint Paul, MN
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Ah, yes, the Minnesota Twins.  What did happen to those paragons of fundamentally sound baseball?  An analysis of such depth requires patience, dedication and an insatiable hunger for the truth, so I put the RSBS interns to the task and they have provided the following slide show:

2010

New ballpark! Yay! It’s…er… HUGE!

I CAN HAZ $184 MILLIONS!?!? IN EXCHANGE I’LL STOP HITTING HRs!

Ouch! Who turned out the lights?!?

DOH! DAMN THOSE DAMN YANKEES… AGAIN!!!

2011

Never fear! Tsuyoshi Nishioka is here!

And then… his leg is broken. Thanks for nothing, Nick Swisher! Damn you, damn Yankees!!!

And the rest of the Twins 2011 clubhouse… barely breathin’.

2012

Y U NO MOVE IN FENCES!?!? AGGH!!!

When will Justin’s ouchy-head be fixed? I need help, dammit!

Aaaaand this guy…

Nope, not even the healthy return of Morneau could make the pain of the above image go away.  In fact, 2012 sorta seems like a good time to reset everything.  Surprisingly, the Twins do have some decent offensive production (Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe), but their pitching has been atrocious.  Like, Kent Hrbek farting in your face type of “atrocious”.  The average ERA of their six starters is over 5 and they have been blown out (lost by 5+ more runs) 23 times so far.  And the bullpen?  YIKES!  Don’t ask them to hold a lead ‘cuz it’ll be difficult!

Like old baseball men love to say, “You’re only as good as your pitching”, and, well, when your pitching resembles the bottom of a porta-potty and the rest of the team can’t stay healthy, awful is pretty much what ya get.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the perennial sCrUBS.

Hate me ‘cuz I made you look at that famous Mauer back hair guy again, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff (and interns)

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The Filibuster

Usain Bolt is looking to try out with a British soccer team. What athlete that you’ve seen in the Olympics would you most like to see trying out for an American baseball team?

Ethan
Santa Clara, CA
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Olympians turned baseballers?  I like the way you think, Ethan.  And I welcome the possibilities!

I can’t help but think Michael Phelps would look good in Yankee pinstripes.  The man has 20 Olympic medals — hardware that would surely look good next to 27 World Series trophies.  And let’s face it, the dude has earned the right to be as cocky and off-putting as he is.  He might not have Derek Jeter’s golden little black book yet, but some time around the Captain and soon he too could be kissing mirrors of himself.

When it comes to actual physical strength though I might suggest Holley Mangold take up a spot in the American League as a DH.  She wouldn’t have to actually do much running or having anyrefined skills other than swinging for the fences; and accounting for her already buoyant build, I don’t think we would have to worry about any Giambian steroid scandals.

Of course, no baseball league is complete without its lovable losers.  And considering how much crying Jordyn Wieber did in the 30th Olympiad, I think she’d be a perfect fit for the Chicago Cubs.

But let’s not forget, when it comes to an Olympian I want on my baseball team, there is no one other than THE Usain Bolt.

Holy jerk chicken, that guy is a bonafide SUPERSTAR!!!

Have you EVER seen anything more exciting the last 4 years than watching that man run!?!?!  Unbelievable!  I’d want him in center field, catching everything in between the foul poles.  At the plate, I’d have him try to walk as much as possible, just to mess with the opposing pitchers’ mind before taking off to fly around the bases.  And look out if he actually hits a ball out of the infield, ‘cuz dude is gonna turn singles into doubles and doubles into inside-the-parkers!

Not only that, but Bolt is also insanely entertaining in the most endearing of ways — a happy-go-lucky clowner who can back it up with performance as opposed to the psychotic shenanigans of a WAY less talented Tony Plush.

Forget soccer, Mr. Bolt, please come wear the birds on the bat.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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Do or Do Not, There Is No “Try”

Oh, look, Starlin Castro went and did something stupid.  Surprise, surprise.

And, oh, look, Dale Sveum and the Cubbies brass talk the talk, but eschew the walk while doing something quite similar to twiddling their collective thumbs — thumbs that tend to be stuck in proverbially unpleasant places.

Hmm.  Haven’t we been here before with Castro?  Yes.

Hmm.  Haven’t we heard the same old “we gotta change the Cubs culture” mantra before?  Yes.

Hmm.  Haven’t we been bombarded with mythical imagery supposedly brought in on the wings of a SABR nerd?  Yes.

And yet here we are, witnessing the same old Chicago Cubs.

LOSERS.

I believe Albert Einstein was the one who said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”  Einstein was a pretty smart fella.  Maybe it’s time the Cubs took notice of that notable quip of truth.

Instead of threatening to bench a spoiled star with as much talent as he has cluelessness, why not just bench him?  Why not teach him a lesson?  Why not teach the entire team — a team that is continuously caught with its inflated head in the clouds — and show them that there are no more third, fourth, fifth chances?

I’m a Cardinals fan.  To the death.  Part of being a Redbird fanatic is jousting with our arch rivals; but our rivals to the north are so bad that it just isn’t fun anymore.  I long for the days when our regular season match-ups actually mean something.

Unfortunately, as long as the Cubs continue to simply “try” to get better mentally, with little effort, rather than actually DOING anything about it, I’m afraid we’ll just have to rehash that same old “Brogglio for Brock” snafu.

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

Peace,

Jeff

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

The Rules: Good Television Edition

If Kim Kardashian’s well-traveled yet consistently hypnotizing room-shaker just doesn’t calm that nasty case of televisionitis anymore, do not fear.

This is the 21st century.  And armed with both an MLB.TV subscription AND an MLB Extra Innings package on Direct TV, you never have an excuse to sully your brain again (unless Las Vegas is involved).

There are three basic rules.

Number One:

Watch Tony Campana.  That’s right.  I can’t help but tune into this wily sCrUB.  He’s great television!  Seriously, the dude looks like he should be delivering my newspaper every morning on a magenta, one-speed Huffy, not working a walk so he get on base to haunt opposing pitchers.  Perhaps it’s because my imagined baseball skill-set is similar to that of Campana’s that I often find myself glued to his base-running.  Or maybe it’ s just because the guy is a buzzing gnat in a game full of free-swinging giants.

Number Two:

WATCH the American League East.  Doesn’t matter the team.  Yankees.  Drama.  Red Sox.  Drama.  Orioles?  DRAMA!  Blue Jays?  MORE DRAMA!  Rays… oh the Rays… they are the KINGS of DRAMA.  On any given night no one knows what the hell is gonna happen in this division.  It’s a baseball fanatic’s wet — okay.  Sorry, chuggin’ the verklempt there.

Number Three:

Bryce.  Friggin’.  Harper.

Watch this dude.  Seriously.

I gotta tip my cap to Mike Rizzo and the Nats.  Both of their high profile picks have delivered early in their careers, not with just talent, but with poise and brass balls.  Watch Bryce Harper play a baseball game and tell me he doesn’t love it more than anything else on the planet, that he doesn’t live his every waking second for the opportunity to play the game we love so much to the best of his ability, AT ALL TIMES.

Isn’t that a great example of how life should be lived by us all?

Stay tuned to Bryce Harper.  That kid is fantastic television.

And go ahead, hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Stop It, Chicago Cubs, Just Stop It

*Dear readers, pardon me while I step away from being an unbiased observer and put on my wrathful fanboy hat*

Stop it, Chicago Cubs.  Just stop it.

You are a 6-win team thus far, and while yes, your last two wins (unfortunately, against my World Champion St. Louis Cardinals) were full of drama, let us not forget: you suck.

But you wouldn’t know that watching your celebrations the last two nights.  Unbridled bedlam.  Unwarranted one-upsmanship.  Beating your chests then dogpiling like you won the goddamned World Series?

Please.  You were the beneficiary of TWO blown calls.  Also, you are a terrible team.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t celebrate a walk-off victory, because it is only natural to do so.  But there is celebration and then there is what you’ve done two days in a row: act like blithering fools.

Consider a touch of class, or at least a nod to the baseball gods umpires who handed you a victory on Tuesday night.

Hate me ‘cuz I speak it straight, 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

The Tricks They Play!

What does a World Champion do to his World Champion pal on April Fool’s Day?

Berkman plays truck prank on Wainwright

By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. — Lance Berkman and several Cardinals teammates helped pull off a terrific April Fools’ joke on Adam Wainwright during Sunday’s game.

The pranksters had the public address announcer give away a car to a fan, who, playing along with the gag, ran onto the field to collect his gift. Berkman drove the vehicle — Wainwright’s white Chevy Silverado — onto the field and past an unsuspecting Wainwright, who did a double-take at the license plate while sitting in the dugout.

The winning fan, who was David Freese’s cousin, jumped into the back of the truck and Berkman drove out of the stadium.

FANTASTIC!

I love being witness to the shenanigans baseballers indulge in.  And I ain’t talkin’ about chicken, beer and video game shenanigans.

I’m talkin’ about bubble gum caps, the infamous “hot foot”, and my personal favorite, the post home run silent treatment.  In my opinion, Alex Rodriguez is the best at dishing this one out to unsuspecting rookies.  Every time I see it happen I literally L-O-L.

Another hilarious prank that takes place almost every single day of the season is what happens (or doesn’t happen) at Wrigley Field from April to September, though that’s another post for another day.

Hate me.  It’s all good.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

So the Cubs traded their best lefty (Sean Marshall) for Travis Wood and then Travis Wood doesn’t even make the team. Is Theo doing it right?

Gabe
Harvey, IL
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Remember when Barack Obama first came into office and the U.S. and world economies were doing their best impressions of 1929?  Well, that’s kind of where Epstein sits right now.  It would be easier to just burn the place down and start over (which is always an option when you’re talking about Chicago) but there’s no way anyone would support that.  So, he’s going to have to make the most of what he has and slowly try to rebuild.

That doesn’t necessarily mean simply accepting the situation, though.  Normally, when you pay big money for a guy or give up a big name in a trade, the expectation is that new guy is going to play and you’ll just have to suffer if he doesn’t quite catch his groove right away.  Think Carl Crawford on the Red Sox.  Think Dontrelle Willis on the Tigers.  Think Barack Obama with TARP.  But leaders don’t always accept that situation.  Sometimes they have to make the tough decisions and break with expectations.  That’s what Obama did with GM and even made the government some money in the process.  It appears like maybe that’s what Epstein is trying to do with the Cubs, too.

Sean Marshall is a good reliever.  According to Epstein, he’s maybe the “most valuable left-handed reliever in all of baseball.”  But what good is having the most valuable left-handed reliever in baseball if your starting pitching is terrible, your defense is atrocious and you can’t score runs?  Epstein realizes the Cubs aren’t going to be a winning ball club this year.  He realizes they probably won’t be a winning ball club next year either.  But he’s setting himself up for success three or four seasons down the line.

Remind you of anyone else?  Bailing out the auto industry wasn’t popular but three years later, after watching the recession crest and slowly subside, we now see hiring going back up and the economy beginning to grow again.  That’s the difference between guys like Epstein and Obama and wannabes like Hendry.  Attempts to implement quick fixes for immediate results more often lead to systemic failure.  Epstein, like the president, has to slowly flush that through, suffering short-term difficulties for long-term success.

So, long story short, yeah, Theo is doing it right.  But that’s not going to stop people from yelling and screaming during the first few painful years.  Marshall is gone and Wood got sent to the minors.  But they have more money to go after other important pieces, they have a solid prospect in the minors who could work his way back and they didn’t try to force someone into a role they simply couldn’t handle at this point.  When you think about it, Theo seems positively presidential.

-A

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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

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