Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

The Filibuster

What MLB team does the GOP most resemble?

Ryan G.
Mendon, IL

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You can draw a lot of different analogies between baseball and politics and you can draw even more between baseball and the Republican party.  A bunch of rich white guys with a sense of entitlement and maybe a token minority or two thrown in just for flavor?  We could be talking the Republican party or the baseball owners.  A scorched-earth policy that leaves everyone worse off?  That could be either the baseball owners in the 1994 strike season or the Republican leadership team in 2008.  Considering that one of the baseball owners became President and de facto leader of the Republican party for eight years in 2000, it would be pretty easy to say that GOP most resembles the owners.

But that’s not the question.  The question is which team does the GOP most resemble and that requires a little more analysis.

My first thought, especially with the recent rise to prominence of Paul Ryan, was the San Francisco Giants.  The Giants used to be known for their history with inspirational guys like Willie Mays and  Dave Dravecky.  That’s like the old GOP, the party of Lincoln and even Nixon, minus the whole Watergate thing.  Now, though, the Giants are the team of Barry Bonds and Melky Cabrera.  They’re the team of liars.  After Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention that even a Fox News commentator called “deceiving” and the absolutely flabbergasting claim by Ryan that he ran a sub three hour marathon (since “corrected”), you’d have to put him in the same category as Bonds and Cabrera.

Still, that doesn’t seem to be enough.  Lying is well and good, even when called something different, but RSBS readers demand more.

There are a bunch of other possibilities, from the Red Sox to the Dodgers but really, when you stop and think about it, there’s only one answer to this question.  The GOP could only be the New York Yankees.

A group of millionaire crybabies who routinely underachieve despite having every advantage known to man?  Could be the Yankees, could be the Republicans.  Supporters incessantly screwed over by a leadership group that routinely takes money from supporters’ pockets while those supporters not only cheer them on but also keep coming back for more?  Hm, really could be either one.  An unnatural love of pinstripes?  I think you can see where this is going.

Really, the answer couldn’t be any easier and I’m almost ashamed to have to say it.  But just because it’s easy that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  Occam’s Razor, my friends.

-A

The Filibuster

Thoughts on the blockbuster?  Are you surprised?

Miles G.
Niles, MI
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When news broke of the blockbuster trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to LaLa Land for James Loney and prospects I had to put down my beer, take a few deep breaths and squint to make sure I was reading the news ticker at the bottom of the screen correctly.

I was.

Well, looky there, I thought, out with the Theo, in with the Cherrington/Bobby V.

I was a bit surprised that it happened after the trade deadline and before the offseason, but when considering how it took place (the Dodgers claiming Gonzalez and Beckett off the waiver wire), it wasn’t that suprirsing that a deal developed so quickly.  By rule, the parties involved only had 48 hours to get a deal done and both sides seemed to know exactly what they wanted.

The Dodgers wanted to spend money on star power.  The Red Sox wanted a do-over.

Both got their wish and the result is an exciting development for all of baseball!

But what is really surprising to me on this day is completely unrelated to baseball.  Like this guy’s nightmarish job.  That’s surprising.  Or how about that former Baywatch star Donna D’Errico hurt herself while off searching for a mythical boat.  That’s surprising.  Or how about that Mitt Romney is questioning President Obama’s birth certificate?  That’s–

Oh, wait.  That’s not surprising at all.

Hate me ‘cuz you gotta go to work tomorrow, 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.

You CAN Go Home Again, Twice, Even If You’re Called Out (Do Umpires Get a Re-Do?)

In lieu of The Filibuster this fine Sunday afternoon, let us bask in the fever pitch of the most exciting play in sports combined with some… er… awkward umpiring:

Whoopsie!  And… YAY!… I mean, if you’re a Padres fan and all.

Shame on Kenley Jansen for 1) falling asleep on the mound 2) making a terrible throw home and 3) not covering home in a timely manner.  Seems like that’s the recipe for a Donnie Baseball @$$ chewing.  And by the look of those jaws, I wouldn’t want any part of that.

Happy Sunday!

Jeff

Jim Thome’s Lisa Stansfield Problem

I love Jim Thome.

Everyone does.  Right?

22-year veteran.  Stand-up, lunch pail guy from Peoria.  No nonsense, just give me the bat and let me hit ‘em far.  Defensively challenged, yes, but in a funny ha-ha way (not a funny-sad Carlos Lee way).

That’s Jim Thome.  And everyone loves him for it.

Except one thing: Jim Thome still doesn’t have a ring.

All around the world and I – I – I – I can’t find my baby…

This, of course, is true despite his strong efforts to land on a contending team.  He had several chances with the Indians before going to the Phillies.  But just as the Phillies were developing into a powerhouse, Thome left for the newly crowned World Series champion White Sox after the ’05 season.  He then wandered in south side purgatory before getting a shot with the playoff-bound Dodgers in ’09, then signed with an up-and-coming Twins club that nosedived him back into the lap of Cleveland — a team that just couldn’t hang around the top long enough to give him another shot at a championship.

So he resigned with the Phillies.  Best pitching staff in the Majors.  Potent offense.  Okay, anemic offense.  But they were supposed to be potent. Doesn’t matter anymore.

Thome is in Birdland now.  And while I love the move and think the young kids in Baltimore are gonna learn a heck of a lot from the old man, I really don’t think the Orioles are going to contend for the World Series title.

I just hope Jim is cool with another spin around the world, so he can find his bay-beh…

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Did Ken Kendrick cross the line on his Stephen Drew comments?

Mitchell
Wheaton, IL

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There are a lot of really terrible owners out there.  Of course the one that has most directly affected baseball fans in the recent past is Frank McCourt and his incredible mismanagement of the Dodgers’ franchise.  The fact that the man was able to exit with cash in his pocket just illustrates how wrong that situation was.  But he’s not the only one.  The Pirates have also been victims of poor ownership while the NBA’s Clippers were known almost as much for their tight-fisted owner as they were for their years of ineptitude and sub-.500 records.

Ken Kendrick, though, he cares about his team.  See, Kendrick isn’t just an owner, he’s also the managing partner, responsible for the day-to-day decisions that make a baseball team profitable in the global sense of the term.  And let’s face it, there’s a lot that goes in to making a baseball team profitable.  As an owner, you have to manage your assets and liabilities in such a way that you keep more cash flowing in than is flowing out, not always an easy prospect in these days of overinflated salaries.

The best way to ensure that your team remains profitable is to win.  Fans like to come see winning teams and winning teams can also charge more for tickets and merchandise.  There’s a reason why the cost of Yankees’ tickets goes up year after year while teams like the Pirates and Royals stay relatively constant.  There’s also a reason why the Yankees, despite their enormous payroll, are still one of the most profitable teams in the game.  It helps when you can broadcast most of your games on your own television station but when you’re also selling out the stadium for every game, that makes a big difference.

Which brings me back to Kendrick.  Arizona is not a huge baseball market like the coasts or Chicago.  However, Arizona has had a good baseball team and a baseball team that brings people to the stadium.  Hiring pitchers like Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling helped but as those days are gone, the D-Backs have to rely on new young talent to put butts in the seats.  Talent like Stephen Drew.  So, when Stephen Drew doesn’t play, the D-Backs don’t do as well and they also don’t put as many butts in the seats.  This in turn makes the franchise less profitable, a fact of which the managing partner is very aware.

Drew’s 2012 salary is $7.75 million.  He’s the highest paid player on the team and accounts for over 10% of the Diamondback’s payroll.  He also hasn’t played a game for the Diamondbacks in nearly a year.  As an owner, and especially as the managing partner, I imagine that would not sit so well.  Sure, Drew had a pretty bad injury but he has the best doctors in the game working on him and if his boss says that he’s way over schedule for his return, well, I’m inclined to agree with him.

So, did Kendrick cross a line in his comments on Drew?  In my opinion, no.  He’s a frustrated manager who doesn’t believe his employee is acting in good faith and those actions are affecting the businesses profitability.  Sounds like he has every right to be honked off.

-A

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The Filibuster

Steinbrenner says the Yankees aren’t for sale. A few billion would be tough to turn down though, so do you believe him?

Kevin
Ferndale, MD
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I still remember the first time I missed out on my first billion.  In fact, it was just a couple days ago when no one took me up on my brilliant idea to go mine asteroids.  Seriously people, where are your priorities?

Selling the Yankees, though?  A team with a new park, an amazing history and a corporate and real fan-base unmatched anywhere else in baseball?  If the Dodgers are worth $2.175 billion, a team with broke-down finances and a fickle group of fans, you can only imagine that the Yankees would fetch a price well north of that.

But, the Yankees are not for sale, at least not according to Hal Steinbrenner.  And honestly, I don’t blame him.  For a guy like Frank McCourt, the Dodgers were simply a means to an end.  For a family like the Steinbrenners, the Yankees are a way of life.  The Yankees without a Steinbrenner would be a like a snickers without the peanuts.  Sure, it’s still tasty but it’s no longer a Snickers.  It’s a Milky Way.

So yeah, I believe Hal.  Even if I can’t help but picturing him responding to the question of selling the Yankees with a soothing, “I’m sorry, Dave.  I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”

The other part of the equation is that although the Yankees may be worth $2.5 billion today, just imagine how much they’ll be worth in another few years.  The Yankees are more than a baseball team, they’re a global brand easily recognizable on the hats of millions of people around the world.  There is practically no large city in the world where you can walk around without seeing someone wearing a Yankees’ cap.  Hell, holding on to the Yankees isn’t even speculation.  It’s just plain and simple good sense.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to have to be content with our possible billion dollar schemes.  For me, that means dreaming of space asteroids and slowly going mad.  “Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it.”

-A

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The Filibuster

Taking into account the fantastic starts for Baltimore, Washington and the Dodgers, which one surprises you the most?

John
Fredericksburg, MD

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The only thing that suprises me about the Los Angeles Dodgers this year is that they sold for over two billion dollars.  TWO.  BILLION.  DOLLARS.  Holy Koufax, Batman!  That’s Albert Pujols money!!!

With legitimate superstars like Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw anchoring the team, it was only a matter of whether or not off-the-field issues would cause a disturbance.  Now that there aren’t any, they’re free to do their thang, and as long as that includes Andre Ethier knocking in everyone in front of him and stellar performances from castaways like Chris Capuano and the longtime hookin’ lefty, Ted Lilly, then it really is their division to lose.  Kemp is currently on the 15 day DL and they’re still mowing through the opposition.

To me, the Nats aren’t a suprise either.  I think the consensus among learned baseball folk was that they were going to be good soon, it was just a matter of how soon.  With Michael Morse sidelined due to injury and an anemic offense through the first several weeks of the season, it seemed like they had some time before they’d be that team to beat; but pitching wins championships and their pitching has been as impressive as the St. Louis Cardinals’ travel day attire.

The real surprise — the real head-shaker du jour — is the cartoon bird in Baltimore bringing a moribund and aloof baseball club back to serious life.  Last year saw them get off to a good start, and I thought they might really be making a move back to the Oriole Way, but their youthful inexperience eventually backfired, ending in a bucket of Showalterian scowls.

But consider the performances of Jim Johnson, Matt Lindstrom, Pedro Strop, Luis Ayala, Darren O’Day and even Kevin Gregg — yes, KEVIN GREGG — and you’ll see that it’s easier to win ballgames when your bullpen doesn’t come in and yack up the place.  For those of you who follow the Birds, you know that a yackin’ bullpen has been as much a staple of the beltway as corrupt politicians screwing their constituents.  Yeah, well, not everything can change.

Just as excited as I am about the Orioles’ resurgence, I’m equally as revved about the Toronto Blue Jays, yet another AL East team that just won’t back down.  They’re hitting everything.  They are pitching with authority.  And their Canadian poster-boy is keen on taking on the silliness that is MLB umpiring, one batting helmet at a time.

Also, there’s this:

Ah… to be 8 years old and Canadian… no suprise there.

Hate me if you want, 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.

Turning to a Life of Crime

via Deadspin

You probably won’t be too surprised to find out that this guy is a serial killer.  It’s not so much the grizzled facial hair or the weirdly screwed shut eye as it is the other eye that says, “I really wouldn’t mind eating your liver.”

via The Smoking Gun

With this guy, too, it doesn’t come as surprise that he’s doing some time.  After all, how are you supposed to find a legitimate job with a mug like that?  If he hadn’t turned to a life of crime, I don’t think there would have been all that many other options.

It’s a little more surprising when a guy with a beautiful wife, money coming out his ears and a baseball team does the same:

AP PHOTO/NICK UT via Grantland.com

But make no mistake, this man is just as much of a criminal as Crazy McEyeballs up there at the top.  The only difference is that the guy with the nice head of hair didn’t spend a day in prison and walked away with several million in cash for his crimes.

-A

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

Only You can Prevent the Hipster-pocalypse

It used to be that when people heard the word “Brooklyn,” they thought of the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson.  The Bronx has the Yankees and all their history but there was something magical about the Brooklyn Dodgers.  However, when Walter O’Malley uprooted and replanted the team about as far away from Brooklyn as you could probably get, it left a vacuum in the borough that had to be filled by something.  Unfortunately, that void has been filled by something even more nefarious than the Mets or Yankees.  Brooklyn has now become synonymous with “hipster.”

I’d like to see Brooklyn reclaim its past glory.  This is the land of Robinson and Koufax but now it has become more associated with this:

No matter how you feel about New York and its boroughs, as a baseball fan that has to make you angry.

So I’m proposing that Jay-Z bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn.  He has already been working on getting the Nets out there so why not the Dodgers as well?  Sure, I realize that it will mess up the divisions just as some sense of order has finally been restored.  And combining a Brooklyn team with the Mets in Queens and the Yankees in the Bronx would make ESPN just that much more NYC/East Coast focused.  But it’s not like LA has done much for the Dodgers.

So, how about it Mr. Z?  Will you save Brooklyn (and all of us) from the hipster-pocalypse?

-A

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THE FILIBUSTER settles back into the Sunday slot at RSBS in one week!   No matter what the query, send it to RSBSBlog@gmail.com and we’ll let you know what we think.

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