Results tagged ‘ ESPN ’

The Filibuster

It’s that time of year again. Interleague play. I seem to remember you
guys aren’t big fans of it. Is that still true?

Matt
Trenton,
NJ

____________________________________

Evil_Eye.jpgInterleague play is a weird phenomenon but after surviving more than a decade, I think it’s pretty safe to say it’s here to stay.  And this is probably a good thing.

Jeff is the hardcore traditionalist out of the two of us.  He still makes the sign of the cross and spits to ward off the evil eye whenever he hears the words “Live Ball Era.”  Me, I’m a realist.  Maybe interleague play belongs only to the World Series but baseball survives because people are willing to spend money on coming to games.  And the reason they come to games is to be entertained.

Let’s face it, interleague play is entertaining.  Outside of the artificial milieu of the All-Star game, it’s our only chance to see how the two leagues match up against each other.  It allows for natural rivalries that we probably wouldn’t get to see otherwise.  When is the next time the Reds and Indians are going to face each other in a World Series?  Yeah, not freakin’ likely.

Like I said earlier, baseball runs on money and interleague play definitely makes money.  There are special jerseys, commemorative bric-a-brac and god knows what else to go along with these series.  Add in all the hype from places like ESPN who are practically falling over themselves to broadcast the Mets and Yankees and you have the recipe for some serious dough. 

So I say keep it coming.  Sure, it takes away from important divisional games and maybe it distorts the full effect of the World Series.  But it also pays for the Nationals to put in Ben’s Chili Bowl at their ballpark and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

-A

Seeing Red….and Pinstripes

sports fan.jpgSometimes hating a team takes almost as much effort as loving one.  For me, even during the long, dry spells, it has never been hard to support my Michigan teams.  I’ve been a Lions fan my whole life except for a brief fascination with the Bears as a result of the Super Bowl Shuffle.  I was never much of a hockey fan but if I am going to cheer, there’s no way I’ll cheer for anyone but the Red Wings. 

Supporting one team often means detesting another, though.  Michigan football is one of my main reasons for getting up on Saturdays during the fall but the thought of watching Notre Dame lose can get me moving, too. When I was little I liked the Pistons but that also meant I detested the Bulls.  Sure, Jordan was great and all but I even found it hard to truly appreciate him since he was wearing all that red.

However, despite my love of the Tigers, I’ll be the first to admit that my hatred of the Yankees doesn’t make all that much sense.  The Tigers and the Yankees don’t have much of a rivalry and there isn’t much to justify my feelings.  It might make more sense if I felt this way about the White Sox but the fact still stands; I hate the Yankees.

So, it was particularly painful for me the other day to learn that my feelings, although normal, are not as widespread as I assumed.  Despite what you would think, the Yankees are not the most hated team in baseball, at least according to ESPN and the Wall Street Journal.

Sure, they may be walking it back a little now saying that it’s just fans’ responses to the opening of the season.  But hearing even for a second that the Yankees are not as hated as I believed strikes fear in my heart.  How could I be so wrong?  And so alone?  How could anyone dislike Cleveland more than the Yankees?  The Indians are barely even a baseball team.

Sure, my dislike of certain teams may not be good for me and may be doing horrible things to my blood pressure.  But when it comes to most of them, there’s a very good reason.  And even when there’s not, the hate still feels good.  Yeah, I’m talking to you, A-Rod.

-A

Buster Olney? More Like Busted Phony

fire buster olney.jpgBelieve me, dear readers, I didn’t want go here today… I didn’t want to appear like I was lending credence to another crackpot theory by actually addressing said crackpot theory.  But the internets are a buzzin’ and the pressure from RSBS fans to address the situation is too great. 

So, consider this sharp tongue released…

Yesterday, I first learned of ESPN shoe-licking savant Buster Olney’s egregious aspiration to be donned the worldwide leader of make-believe (specifically, a fantasyland where the Cardinals and Phillies swap Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard) by reading the Prince of New York’s take.

He speaks for me.

And he is right.

Why does Buster Olney have a job?

Seriously, this is no joking matter — especially considering the faux affection thrown Olney’s way every time he enters a baseball conversation, whether on t.v., radio or print.

Indeed, Olney’s actions are akin to me walking into an evangelical church yelling “the rapture’s coming, the rapture’s coming, the rapture’s coming!” just because I think it’d be funny to see how people react.  (PS, the rapture is not coming… because it’s ludicrous.)

It is akin to a doctor telling a perfectly healthy pregnant woman that her baby is dead — even though it isn’t — just to get an interesting conversation going… y’know, a good old conversation about what it’d be like if her baby were dead.

It’s blasphemy.  It’s conjecture.  It’s unfounded (even though he says it isn’t).

Not even Carlos Zambrano would say something that stupid. (*I reserve the right to change my mind about this one*)

For me, the desire to continue down this ranting road is strong… but I leave it to my man-crush, Albert the Machine himself, to quash this unfettered anger by saying:

“There’s people, stupid, that like to write something when it’s not the
truth, and that’s all I have to say about that.”

Dagnabbin’ right, A.P.

Buster?  Eat a big Phillie phat one.

And don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Link to article with Albert’s quote*)

Sisyphus in Detroit

sisyphus.jpgEven as the economy begins its long climb towards recovery, problems threaten to dislodge any toehold it has made and send it hurtling back to the base like Sisyphus’ stone. And if there’s any one problem that lies on peoples’ minds extra heavily, it’s the continued lack of jobs. Of course the government is creating programs to try and help with this problem but my personal feeling is that this is not so much an issue of people not having jobs as it is the wrong people still having jobs.

For instance, in Detroit, one of the hardest hit areas as far as job loss goes in the country, how is it that thousands of autoworkers no longer have jobs but an incompetent imbecile like Matt Millen manages to land on his feet? After turning an already dilapidated franchise into a synonym for failure, he blows town and winds up in Bristol, CT analyzing football for ESPN. Here’s my analysis. Millen is a bum and should be on the street peddling pencils at a dime a pop. Although I’m pretty sure he could find a way to turn that into a shambles as well.

However, if you live in Detroit and you’re a fan of the Detroit Tigers, you’re probably just as worried about who is employed as who isn’t. Since my analytical skills are pretty much limited to the aforementioned summary of Matt Millen, I’ll leave the real analysis to someone who knows what they’re doing:

The Tigers are in trouble.” (scroll down to 23 November to read the full entry)

Yeah, I guess Paul pretty much summed it up right there. Sometimes it’s more about who does have a job than who doesn’t.

The Tigers may not be in as bad of shape as the Lions but there isn’t a whole lot to smile about in Motown these days, no matter where you’re coming from. And even though Dombrowski is no Matt Millen, he definitely faces an uphill battle in making the Tigers competitive. Let’s just hope he has a little more luck than Sisyphus.

-A

The Filibuster

When the Catholic church complained about teams playing/opening their
season on Good Friday, you guys were all over it – “reminding” us all
of the separation of Church and State. So, will we also get a public
reminder of that over the New York Congressman writing to Uncle Bud
complaining about ESPN’s decision to move the Red Sox-Yankees game to
8pm on September 27th and the fact that it started after sundown on Yom
Kippur. MLB & ESPN caved and the game will be played at 1pm and
shown only on ESPN. Is one religious holiday more “holy” then another?
Where is the public outcry? Inquiring minds want to know your opinion.

Julia
Julia’s Rants
Massachusetts
____________________________________

church and state.jpgDespite what they may tell you in church, or temple or mosque or whatever… the founding fathers of our great US American nation had a pretty good sense of how detrimental, confusing and manipulative the institution of the Church could be to the sanctity of the State.  Of course, these men were no angels, but they did know enough to make it clear that the two entities should never intersect — one shouldn’t influence the other.

Unfortunately, even after hundreds of years, those pesky little zealots continue to infiltrate where they shouldn’t.  They meddle in my schools.  They lobby in my government.  And now they are sticking their hypocritical hands into my national pastime

And I don’t like it.

You see, dear readers, to be frank, I really don’t care if you are religious or not.  If you choose to put all your faith in recycled fairy tales that is most definitely your choice, your right.  I will not judge you because I don’t really care and I don’t claim to know the answer to any of those questions that religion supposedly answers either.  I just know that it isn’t for me.  But when it comes to your life, it’s your life and you should be allowed to live it however you want.

But in return for this congenial act of courtesy, I ask that religious folk kindly extend me the same respect.  Don’t tell me I’m going to hell.  Don’t tell me what I should believe.  Don’t stick your nose in my bedroom.  Don’t blow up my cities.  Don’t tell my kids (speaking for the future) that they have to pray before algebra class.  Stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours.

And that includes my game.

Just stay out of it.  If a game is being played during your ‘holy’ day then don’t go to the game.  And don’t complain about it.  What’s so hard about that?  I don’t complain when you want to say a prayer before dinner.  I just let you do it and go about my business.  Because I respect your decisions, your choices, your thoughts.

Doesn’t mean I have to believe them or practice them. 

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, the one responsible for sparking this childish debate, said:

“Practicing your
religion shouldn’t conflict with rooting for your home team.”

Likewise, Congressman, your religion should not conflict with how I or a baseball team or television network goes about business.  Isn’t religion all about sacrifice?  Then sacrifice the game.  Forget the game.  Go do your thing and keep everyone else out of it.

The Tigers didn’t give in to the Catholics in April.  They made the right choice.

ESPN and MLB shouldn’t have caved in to the Jewish faith on this matter either; because now they’re forcing me to live my life how they want me to live it… and I ain’t down with that. 

King Bud screwed up again.

It’s sorta his m.o.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t like religion forced down my throat, just don’t hate me ‘cuz — as a baseball fan and as a US American — I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Texting Sacrilege

texting.jpgThe following is an actual, real life conversation (albeit by text messaging) that occurred last night between myself and a fellow baseball nerd (who just so happens to be a lowly Cub fan) prior to the Cardinals/Dodgers game on ESPN — America’s home for Manny-mania and other sensationalized crap.


HIM:  Whew!  First place finally.  I feel so safe.  Especially since we can pull off a deal at the break cuz I’m sure hendry has the green light financially……..

ME:   Yeah, sure.  Don’t get too comfortable :)

HIM:  I was being facetious of course.  And anti jinxing at the same time.   Have fun with manny and the boyz tonite.

ME:   Haha.  I know.  I’m fluent in sarcasm.  Will do.  Fertility drugs in hand. 

HIM:  How would Cards nation handle the inevitable Pujols scandal?

ME:   Suicide.

HIM:  Seriously.

ME:   Okay…seriously… Denial.  Then anger.  Then revolt.  Then suicide.

HIM:  About what I imagine would happen in the bronx wit DJ.  Laughing villainous now.  When that happens I’ll put on robin williams beard and tell u its not your fault.

ME:   Haha.  Might b too late.  I may have murdered an entire village by then.

HIM:  Like Annakin when he took out the sand people?

ME:  Yes.  Only worse.

And that is all I have to say about that.

Hate me ‘cuz I preach the Truth: that Jesus hates the Cubs; just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Lord, What Have I Done?

erin andrews 2.jpgMake one declaration to the worldwide interwebosphere about how you’re going to do everything in your power to land a date with the most beautiful woman in sports broadcasting and suddenly you’re considered a creepazoid stalker who could use a lesson or two in social tact.

Creepazoid?  Maybe.  Tactless?  Probably.  Stalker?  No, sir.

I made my intentions very clear; and I’m pretty sure I was a perfect gentleman.  It’s 2009, y’all, and the internets is where it’s at.  I mean, you can do everything on this crazy series of tubes: order takeout, save money on your car insurance, get Twitter-blocked by Barry Zito.  Why should chasing Erin Andrews be any different?

“But, Jeff,” my mother said, “what if your girlfriend reads this?”

“My girlfriend does not read this blog, Mom.”

Boy, was I wrong.

I tried to play down my actions of sneaking around my girlfriend’s back to get a real shot at Ms. Andrews, but she wasn’t as understanding as I had hoped.  At least now she knows; and I am happy to report that she hasn’t broken up with me over this so things are working out pretty well.  I mean, let’s face it, a couple of cigarette burns to the chest are well worth her allowing me to continue on with my special project.

Still, there is just one small problem: Erin Andrews is a lot more mobile than I.  And, well, ESPN hasn’t helped me with passing on my messages (sweet as they all are).

Fear not!

What Fulbright Scholar would let such foibles deter him from accomplishing his task?

Indeed, I have a plan.  You see, I bought tickets to the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis.  I’ll be there for all the fan festivities: old-timers game, home-run derby, futures game — four days of pure debauchery — and a possible encounter with Ms. Andrews herself… that is, as long as Joba Chamberlain doesn’t get in my way (but who would make him an All-Star this year anyway?).

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

Peace,

Jeff

But Do We Really Want Another Tony Kornheiser?

roger_goodell.jpgWord on the street is that the NFL is seriously discussing holding the Super Bowl in London sometime in the near future. Now, this should probably be taken with a grain of salt since the commissioner apparently has no knowledge of these negotiations. However, to be fair, the amount of stuff that Goodell doesn’t know could fill a couple oceans.

It just goes to show how global sports have become, though, even sports that we consider inherently American. The World Baseball Classic illustrated this a couple months ago and the coverage of Olympic basketball last summer outshone everything except Michael Phelps.

But if you ever had any doubts about the true worldwide saturation of sports, perhaps this will change your mind:

Yep, “Stick a fork in them, the run is over.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

-A

Credits:
-Video via Deadspin

The Filibuster

During the past week we watched the opening of two new multi-million
dollar stadiums in New York City and during this time MLB and the major
sports channels more or less ignored everything else going on around
the league. Was the opening of the new Yankee Stadium and Citi Field
really such important news or was Heath Bell accurate in saying that
ESPN and other providers are completely focused on a few teams to the
detriment of the rest of the league?

– Allen
__________________________________________

Heath Bell.jpgPardon me for being a-holishly frank, dear readers, but I think it is pretty damn sad that it took Heath Bell (of all reinvented people) to bring the media’s obvious love affair with New York and Boston into the public domain.  Nothing against, Heath, who has now become my own personal savior for his ESPN remarks, but we here at RSBS as well as myriad Joe Six-Packs in sports bars galore all across Anytowns, US America, have been harping on this oh-so-blatant injustice for years now. 

Years.

Heath Bell said:

“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and
Yankees and Mets – and nobody else.  That’s why I like the MLB Network, because they promote everybody. I’m
really turned off by ESPN and ‘Baseball Tonight.’  When Jake Peavy threw
8 1/3 innings on Saturday, they showed one pitch in the third inning
and that was it. It’s all about the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.”

True story, Heath.  True story.

Just for the record, regarding the two new ballparks in New York (one of which cost $1.5 billion) let me just say that I don’t remember there being such a fuss over the new Busch Stadium or PNC Park or even Nationals Park for that matter.

Yet all week long I have been bombarded with information I could care less about:

  • The first homerun in new Yankee Stadium.

  • The first multi-RBI game at CITI Field.

  • The first blab-hole jerkazoid kicked out of new Yankee Stadium for using foul language and fists to explain his innermost self-loathing while watching the Indians score 14 runs in one inning.

I don’t care. 

And I ain’t alone.

The good news is, Heath Bell’s voice was heard and ESPN reacted quickly by having him on Baseball Tonight.  Shortly after that, the once monopolizing baseball program introduced it’s 30 Team Ticker, which offers tidbits of information on all 30 teams at the bottom of the screen while the analysts blab on about how much they love the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets.

But just like the leaderless GOP of 2008 desperately trying to reinvent its image after devastating the public by dropping the ball in New Orleans and Iraq while allowing the economy to collapse over and over again… it was just too little, too late.

Folks, we have a choice.  Join Al and I; heed Heath Bell’s call.

Switch to the MLB Network.  Enjoy equal coverage.  Play the RSBS Harold Reynolds drinking game.

Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Racism’s Rainbow

ty_cobb.jpgTy Cobb could not play baseball today. Oh, maybe he had the skills and the guts to succeed but you wouldn’t find him in the majors. There’s one simple reason for this. Bigtime sports depend on marketing and it’s really hard to market a racist ^sshole. Just look at John Rocker. Say the wrong thing to the wrong person and soon enough you’re signing baseball cards at convention centers instead of trotting in from the bullpen.

Now, it hasn’t always been this way and the fact that a guy like Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame shows that sometimes those lesser angels of our nature don’t disqualify you from everything in life. But in the last few years, as baseball and other sports have become more dependent on the revenue generated by the family friendly aspects of the game, it has become rarer and rarer to see someone go off and really call it like they see it. That’s why I want to remind us all of some of the more glaring instances in a segment I like to call: Holy Sh!t! Did he really just say that?

Gary Sheffield:
sheffield.jpgI begin with my hometown Tigers and an homage to our recently departed designated hitter. Now, Sheff has been a fount of inspired insanity over the years and everyone knows about his comments regarding Latino players. He also famously said that Derek Jeter wasn’t “All the way black.” But the genius of Sheff can only truly be summed up in his response to a question about fathering two children before he was old enough to vote: “That was part of my plan. I didn’t want to be the typical athlete who’s single all his career.” Sheff shows that racism comes in a rainbow of colors.

John Rocker:
Rocker_Alicia.jpgQuite possibly the biggest homophobe and xenophobe to emerge from baseball since Ty Cobb, Rocker once remarked, “The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the
foreigners … You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not
hear anybody speaking English
.”
Even his annual apologies provided nonstop fun. Only Rocker could manage to understate the severity of a situation by starting out “My comments concerning persons afflicted with AIDS as
well as various minority groups have left people wondering if I am a
racist.” However, he also manages to retain the power to confound his critics and proved it once again by taking up with the beautiful Alicia. You stay classy, John Rocker!

Norm MacDonald:
However, nothing quite tops this video of Norm Coleman hosting the Espy’s a decade ago. Do yourself a favor. Even if you can’t quite sit through the entire eight and a half minutes, fast forward to the 7:53 minute mark and prepare to be amazed by the absolute sadistic ruthlessness with which he builds up Charles Woodson and then cuts him off at the ankles. It ain’t pretty but it gets him a spot on RSBS:

Happy Saturday!

-A

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