Results tagged ‘ Dusty Baker ’

The Filibuster

Whose side are you on?  Team Dusty or Team Derek?

Kenny
Batavia, IL

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It’s hard choosing sides sometimes.  Like, what do you do when you’re friends with both sides in a couple and the split is less than amicable?  Or when two 115-year old tortoises decide they can no longer live together, who gets to keep the cage and who has to move?  These are tough questions and it’s rare that anyone comes out of the situation feeling good.

The only difference is when you really can’t stand one of the two people.  Like, for instance, Dusty Baker.  This is the guy who is probably most responsible for destroying the careers of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.  The guy who almost let his young son get trampled during the 2002 World Series.  Derek Lowe?  I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about him.  But when a manager asks his pitcher to “brush back” the other team’s pitcher, well, that seems kind of odd.

The specifics of the situation are weird because there really aren’t any specifics.  It’s not like the tortoises where they just grew apart and then started biting each other.  That’s pretty black and white.  This is more of a “he said nothing, she said nothing” type of conflict where we have absolutely no idea what really happened.  And for whatever reason, although the two guys obviously can’t stand each other, neither one will come out and say what happened to lead up to this incident.

The biggest problem for me is that Lowe plays for the Indians and, as a Tigers’ fan, I really don’t care much for the Indians.  It’s kind of like if I had to choose between two friends who were splitting up and one of them was a Notre Dame fan.  That would seem to make the decision a little easier because I really don’t like Notre Dame.  However, when the second person is a loudmouth deadbeat who scratched a few of my DVDs and never even apologized for it, well, the Notre Dame thing doesn’t seem quite as bad anymore.  Team Dusty or Team Derek?  Put me firmly in Mr. Lowe’s column.  He never scratched any of my DVDs.

-A

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Intangibility

If you were to build the ideal baseball player, you probably wouldn’t come up with Dustin Pedroia.  He’s too small and he just doesn’t look like how a ballplayer should look.  Likewise, you probably wouldn’t come up with CC Sabathia either.  Dude has a huge gut and looks like a whale.

Most likely, if you were constructing the ideal baseball player, you’d come up with someone like Kyle Farnsworth, all six-and-a-half worthless feet of him.  Of course, you’d also then be saddled with his contract and seemingly uncanny ability to melt down in important games.

So why is it that Farnsworth is an object of ridicule (at least here at RSBS) while Pedroia is a former MVP and Sabathia is one of the most consistently good pitchers in baseball?  Well, it’s the same reason that Jeremy Lin happened in the US of A and could never happen in China.  It’s the intangibles that make athletes great and if there’s one thing that we do well in America, it’s the intangibles.

You can have your Yao Mings and your Kyle Farnsworths.  Me, I’ll take my Cecil Fielders and David Wells.  And I bet you ten yuan I’ll win.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Semi-Closeted Tony Plush Lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Blind faith is the crutch of fools.”

We may not be in the Prince/Pujols derby, but it’s fine. It’s fine.

My water just broke. Theo is here. I’m feeling woozy.

I’ve been harvesting my organs to get the perfect GM. I’ve been licking my cat’s fanny to find the best. I’ve been on a Rambo-style manhunt to make sure the Cubs can be good for an extended amount of time.

I’VE EVEN TRIED HUMAN MEAT!!! (That part is almost true.)

Theo is the smartest thing that has ever happened to the Cubs.

At the press conference yesterday, he said “I promised I wouldn’t bring up the Red Sox,” but it’s ok, Theo. You said the right things at the right moments. You talked about “being on base and defense.” CRAZY! I am over the moon, trying to slow my roll, but you, Theo, are everything I’ve ever wanted: smart, savvy and new!

In my lifetime, being awful has been the Cub paradigm. Things have to change now. We might need a Castro coach to show him… defense. The way Wrigley plays may require some of Theo’s number crunching. But we have more hope now than we’ve had the last 15 years combined. (See Baker, Piniella, et al)

But best of all, as I write this, Theo Epstein is hatching a plan to dismantle every last bit of crap left in the C’s organization.

I’m in. I’m all in. AND… his sister, Anya, wrote for Homicide: Life on the Streets!! My favorite show of ever!!!

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Setting the Mahmud

johanna mahmud.jpgRSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Guru, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Dickensian Asylum, One Good Player, Bad Paper. Little to Make Me Excite.

The Cubs, for me, are pushing the human existence backwards and making hearts sad.

Another season is already bogging me down.

I was watching the Rockies kill/drub/maim the Cubs on Sunday (the same expansion team that has already been to a World Series, and, like the Marlins teams that have won two so far, also have exciting young talent despite playing in a small market) I couldn’t change the channel back to the NBA playoffs fast enough.

My beloved Bulls and D. Rose are the only things keeping me breathing.

Lethal Injection Gurney.jpg
With the Cubs, it’s not so much the bad baseball and the lack of power, but mostly just the fact that they’re boring and unsatisfying. I think I’d rather watch a touring band of angry flying Arabs and Mexicans on ice. Then you’d have something! Or just So Taguchi.

Mel_Brookes_Robyn_Hilton.jpgStarlin Castro might be the best player in Chicago, and some hope exists for that fact alone, but with all the bad contracts and old players getting older, I must face the music now: the Cubs can’t compete for baseball immortality by winning the World Series for at least another 2-4 YEARS. I guess that’s not the end of the world given the century mark came and went.

But, it still blows.

I had a birthday recently and time moves faster now. When I was 15 I thought I’d never be 25, but that happened. Then I knew I had forever til 30. Then… that happened.

The Cubs last had a real chance of winning it all three years ago. Swept by the Dodgers and feeling and hurting and poopooing and getting raped way too much like when they were swept the year before. Look, this isn’t 1500 words about how much pain I’ve endured in my life being a Cubs fan. This is about “I know they’re not great and won’t be for a while but please let them just. be. fun……”

Houdini Chinese Water Torture Cell.jpgThey play station-to-station baseball, have very little power and carry a distinct lack of personality (the personality I get from Carlos Zambrano I don’t need so much). So in essence, they’re a slow team that can’t hit bombs and are extremely boring. On a daily basis. GUHHH…… HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??

The one thing to rely on (we thought) was decent starting pitching. Currently the Cubs have the least amount of quality starts in baseball.

For the love of god, if you’re going to suck, at least be fun! I mean be like fun bad!!?? Like when the Bears are bad you’ll at least have a good time watching Devin Hester returning kicks or Jay Cutler throwing it all over the field or Lovie Smith waking up once in a while to say something to our lesbian-looking offensive coordinator Michael Martz in a roller coaster train wreck loss. That can be fun!

The Cubs were terrible ten years ago but Sammy Sosa at least was exalting the baseball gods with soaring rips into the bleachers completely unaided by anabolic substances of any kind. Seriously. This is true. He told me. When Kerry wood pitched, grown men wept, women went into early labor, George Bush liked black people, and I thought Creed had potential as a legitimate artistic talent. Dusty Baker gave verbose speeches of the utmost linguistic integrity, dripping with so much backwoods gibberish that I hung on his every word and swooned with how a man so simple could speak so eloquently…

“It’s called hitting, and it ain’t called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk.” 

WORDSY!

“When you first come up, you want to get some hits”

VERBOSOSITY!!

“Peoples have been trying to bring me down. That’s OK, that’s how it is. Actually, that makes me stronger. It’s OK. What are you going to say when I kick somebody’s butt?”

SUPERINTIMIDATINGWORDSYVERBOSOSITY!!!

When I first moved to Chicago, going to Wrigley was a cathartic experience. Finally, I could go to games whenever I wanted, which was something I remember dreaming of when I was just a pup watching with Grandpa every Saturday on WGN with Stone and Harry. After watching the game with Grandpa, I would immediately run outside to field tennis balls off the concrete stairs, pretending I was Shawon Dunston.

I don’t have great memories of Wrigley anymore. Just heartache and a wanton desire for greatness. The fond memories I have of the Cubs are really just afternoons hangin with Grandpa. That’s what I miss.

Now it’s just pain.

And again, I’d see a priest but I’m still good looking enough that he might try to do odd things to me.

The Cubs may lose this season but for the love of god…. give me excite!!

–Johanna Mahmud

wolfgang amadeus mozart.jpg

It’s April, Yo!

So we’re only one week into the season and already folks are sounding the bell on the Cardinals’ chance to win out the NL Central. 

Have the Cardinals had a bad week?  Yes.

Is that reason to say they’re done?  No.

Are the red hot Reds the undisputed favorites to win the division?

I don’t know.  It’s April friggin’ 7th.  But since inquiring minds keep blowin’ up my Twitter*, I had our RSBS interns track down Lil Wayne, to see what he thinks:

reds fans.gif
My rapper eye rollin’ speak is a little rusty, but I’m pretty sure he’s tryin’ to say “I don’t know”… either that or Dusty Baker just got through abusing his arm and he needs some time to shake it off.

Either way, ask us again… in September!

And don’t hate me, ‘cuz you know I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*Someday I hope to meet a time traveler from the 1950s so I can see the reaction on his face when I tell him “folks is blowin’ up my Twitter”.

(GIF via Skull Swap)

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 21: Mia Hamm’s Husband… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

To celebrate the beginning of the 2011 season Jeff and Johanna try to remember Mia Hamm’s husband’s name… he had a… played short… ah, nevermind.  Also, the fellas also jam about all things Opening Day, Prince Fielder’s belly, Jason Bay’s awfulness, new developments in Keith Carmack’s Pete Hill documentary, why the LOLstros are better than the Cubs and much, much
more… all to make you happy ending!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is has a very sweet creative hub of his own.  You should definitely check out what he and his crew have to offer. You can find it all at Undercard Films

- – -

Recorded Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 21: Mia Hamm’s Husband… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

To celebrate the beginning of the 2011 season Jeff and Johanna try to remember Mia Hamm’s husband’s name… he had a… played short… ah, nevermind.  Also, the fellas also jam about all things Opening Day, Prince Fielder’s belly, Jason Bay’s awfulness, new developments in Keith Carmack’s Pete Hill documentary, why the LOLstros are better than the Cubs and much, much
more… all to make you happy ending!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is has a very sweet creative hub of his own.  You should definitely check out what he and his crew have to offer. You can find it all at Undercard Films

- – -

Recorded Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Allen’s 2010 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview

original_tea_party.jpg

Every year about this time a magical transformation takes place.  Normally sane people go stark, raving mad as they cheer their favorites to the finish.  The coolness in the air mirrors the coolness in neighbors’ stares as some new item of support gets unfurled in the yard.  Promises get made only to be broken soon thereafter.  And that’s just in the world of politics.

We are truly a blessed country because every fall we not only get the insanity of the baseball playoffs, we also get the truly mind-numbing inanity of the November elections.  But this year is extra special because in addition to the antics of Democrats and Republicans, we also get the often unbelievable but usually entertaining shenanigans of the Tea Party.

Over here at RSBS we’ve made a tradition of putting together our annual playoff preview and this year is no exception.  But each edition needs a theme and this year, in honor of our Teabagger friends, the theme just kind of put itself out there.  Let’s get to it.

National League

green_tea.jpg

Like the NL, green tea has pomp, circumstance and history.  The Chinese have been drinking the stuff since Europeans were letting blood to cure sickness and avoiding baths in the belief that water would kill you.  Although it may have never gone away in the Asian world, the green stuff has experienced quite a renaissance in the West with the discovery of all it’s anti-oxidant properties.  Likewise, with the NL finally in the driver’s seat after winning home field advantage at the All-Star game, you have to think they’re feeling a little renaissance of their own is due.  But renaissance in what flavor?

Starting in the east (naturally, since we are talking about tea), we have the two-time defending league champion Phillies, the Japanese green tea of our preview.  It’s classic, you know it and you know you’re probably going to see it again.  Not only that, it just makes sense.  Seriously, how would your bento box taste without the tea accompaniment?  It belongs.

Meanwhile, the Lipton green tea of the NL, Atlanta’s own Braves, somehow found a way to get Bobby Cox back into the playoffs.  Sure, it may not have been your first choice but it will get the job done.  However, it’s also only going to get you so far.  More on that later.

In the heartland, the Reds find representation in the classic Gunpowder variety of green tea.  No one is quite sure how the tea got its name, maybe because it’s rolled into little pellets, maybe because it expands explosively when it hits the water.  But there’s one big problem here.  The way you know the quality is from the size of the balls.  Smaller balls, better quality.  Dusty Baker and his team aren’t exactly known for their small balls.  Do you remember that brawl with the Cardinals?  The Reds, their balls are a little too big.

Finally, out west we find the Giants, the Moroccan mint tea of the baseball world.  It tastes good, there’s a lot to like but something’s a little off.  Maybe it’s not strong enough, maybe there’s too much sugar but for whatever reason, it’s only good in small doses.  That’s probably all right, though, since all we’re going to get from the Giants is a small dose when they exit during the first round.

American League

black_tea.jpg

Black tea found a home in the west but purists still sniff at its lack of tradition.  Sure, it may have more caffeine, it may keep you going but where’s the ceremony?  Now the fans of black tea will argue that theirs is still a noble tradition and despite their blends and flavors and addition of milk, the tea is still central.  You’re not going to have any luck sliding that argument by the tea dogmatists, though.

Since black tea is a western thing, we’ll start out west with the preview as well.  That means we dive straight into a steaming cup of Irish breakfast tea, also known as the Texas Rangers.  Nolan Ryan owns the team and you don’t get much more Irish than that.  However, in the land of black tea, the English reign supreme.  Sorry, Nolan.  It just wasn’t meant to be.

This leads us to Minnesota where the Twins find themselves represented by….wait a minute!  That’s not tea.  That’s herbal tea!  C’mon guys.  I can steep dirt in water and call it tea but everyone is going to know it’s just mud.  Herbal tea is nice when you have a cold but it’s not “tea.”  Hm, I guess that’s kind of fitting since the Twins are a “playoff team” but aren’t really a playoff team.  Or at least won’t be for very long.

From here we find ourselves back east again with two very different teams.  We start with the Rays, the Massala Chai of the baseball world.  There are a lot of flavors going on there, it’s new, it’s hip.  And it definitely works for awhile.  The question is, when the chips are down and you have to pick just one, do you go for the spicy stuff or something proven?

And what could be more proven than the English breakfast tea that is the Yankees.  Personally, I don’t like the stuff but a lot of people do.  Not only that, it’s strong and it gets the job done.  Sure, the tradition may not go as far back as the NL but when you can throw around names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Yogi Berra, you got something going on.

World Series
So what happens next?  Well, it’s pretty simple.  We line them up and see who lasts the longest.  I apologize to everyone who lives west of the Mississippi but when I read the leaves, their fortunes don’t look good.  Texas, Minnesota, San Fran and Cincy all go down in the first round leaving us an east coast finale in both leagues.  I’m sure this doesn’t bother the broadcasters who will be reading tea leaves of their own and I’m sure they’ll be even more happy when the Yankees and the Phillies emerge to once again do battle in the World Series.

So, it comes down to this.  Japanese green tea vs. English breakfast tea.  The fact of the matter is, anyplace else in the world the green tea wins hands down.  But this is America and the Anglo-Saxons decided to let all their chips ride on black a couple hundred years ago.  Good thing they did because the Yankees win again.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 5: Bonilla’s Bonus Button… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 3.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff, Al & that rock-n-rollin-Cub-lovin’ sage Johanna Mahmud take on all things ‘Merica, including (but not limited to) Rinku and Dinesh, Carlos Zambrano, The Hills (seriously? that happened?), the All-Star Game, the Lou
Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more… all to make you laughy-laughy!

Holla!

-
– -

Subscribe
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe

via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  His Undercast
podcast is a must-listen (listen to it!).  It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard

Films.

Recorded Monday, July 5, 2010

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 3: The Stat Zombie’s Death… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York!  If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that.  Like, right away.  Or else.  And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too.  To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best.  Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!

Holla!

-
– -

Subscribe
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe

via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way.  It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.

**Image by Annette T.  (Thanks, Annette!)  Check out her sweet@ss blog!

Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010

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