Results tagged ‘ Fans ’

Harrison v. Molina: Not Exactly What You Think

I’ve watched the play about a 100 times now — each time the pain rings out through my own body, more and more.  I’ve often heard about mothers feeling their children’s’ pain — lovers experiencing each others’ physical ailments.

This is what that must feel like.

Watching Yadier Molina get crushed is something I will never be able to fully accept.  But I’ve watched it over and over and I really do think Josh Harrison had no other choice.  Yadi did his job.  He took away the plate.  The only way Harrison had a shot was to go under, over or through Yadi.

Yadi’s a beast.  Over and under were not plausible options.  Harrison’s only choice was to barrel through.

That’s baseball.

It sucks to watch your man-crush get pummeled, but I watched Mickey Ward get destroyed once too, and he came back like the champ that he was.

Yadi will be back too.

So please, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Where Is Jaws When You Really Need Him?

It’s Shark Week.  But you knew that.  What you might not know is how dire the level of stupid is that permeates our planet.

Which makes me ask: WHERE IS JAWS WHEN YOU REALLY NEED HIM?!?!

Why not show up in the Red Sox clubhouse?  Talk about sharks in the water, my goodness.  Isn’t it funny how a couple of World Series titles make us forget just how endearing the Red Sox used to be?  Nowadays, The Nation seems more like an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.  Incessant and annoying bickering from privileged entitled millionaires ad nauseum.  Before the season started, I was so excited Bobby Valentine was back in the manager’s seat because I knew he would bring drama to the league.  This is NOT the drama I was looking for.

Nor was I looking for the Vice President of US America to be just as stupid as I’ve always thought he might be.  Well, turns out he is.  Joe Biden’s mouth seems to be about as large as Jaws’, yes, it’s just too bad he uses his for talking instead of devouring prey.

And while I realize Jaws tends to reside in the warm coastal waters off the North Atlantic, would it be too much to ask for him to swim down, out and around on up to the San Francisco Bay?  There’s one fraudulent outfielder there who could use a good ass-chewin’.

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

Peace,

Jeff

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
_________________________

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

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Would You Do Me a Kindness? (Or, What MLB Teams Could Learn from Coldplay)

The most amazing thing happened to my sister and I on Wednesday night.  We were sitting in our waaaaaaaay up high nosebleed seats at the United Center, anxiously awaiting the start of the Coldplay concert whilst thumbing through the official Mylo Xyloto Tour program.  I was reading an interview with lead singer Chris Martin where he discussed his long held disdain for corporate sponsors taking up the prime floor seats at his shows with their stiff suits and stingy inability to have any sort of fun.

I was reading about how the band prevented that from ever happening again by sending their roadies into the rafters before the show to find their REAL fans and bringing them down, front and center.

Then a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Excuse me, are you a big Coldplay fan?” with a delightful English accent.  “Why don’t you come with me, I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

HOLY BALLS, I thought to myself.

A few album name drops, a reciting of “Chris, Guy, Will and Johnny” and a proud display of the custom-made shirts my sister made for us that boasted our favorite Coldplay lyrics later, and this kind English gentlemen handed us two comped tickets.  TO THE FRONT FRIGGIN ROW!!!

My sister started crying with joy, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and before I knew it, we were standing just a few feet away from one of the most fun, visual and musically stimulating concerts I’ve ever seen.  All around us were other gracious, seemingly dreaming uberfans plucked down from the rafters.  Every single one of us sure to remember that night in full, forever and ever.

I wonder if Major League teams have ever considered doing something like this for their fans.  I am guessing no.  But wouldn’t it be nice?  Wouldn’t it be nice if our favorite big league clubs would simply do us a kindness?  I’m pretty sick of seeing stuffy suits, collagen-plugged faces and Scott Boras sitting directly behind homeplate.

A man can dream right?  Hey, sometimes, dreams come true.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Importance of Losing

On Saturday I did what any sane, obsessed ultrarunner might do on a fine sunny morning by running 32 miles on a 400 meter track.  That’s 128 laps for you mathematicians.  And a lot of left turns.

The infield of this particular track at Dunbar Park in Chicago hosts several tee-ball and tiny-tot little league games, so while I ran myself in delirious circles, I was entertained by our national pastime at its tiniest level.  Sort of.

I understand tee-ball and coach-pitch teams are for the young ones.  I would guess they were between 5-7 years old.  But some of what I saw on those fields turned my stomach.

During one game I counted 20 defenders in the field.  In another, a kid grounded out but was still allowed to occupy first base.  I even heard “let’s have a do-over” from one of the “coaches”.

I know we live in a semi-psychotic, hopey-changey surreality, where everyone is a “winner” and negativity is shunned like logic at an evangelical mega-church.  But I think people are missing the point here: there is very valuable lesson in failure.

Seriously.

Life sucks sometimes.  It’s hard.  It’s cruel.  It’s relentless.  But it’s also rewarding and serendipitous and full of potential.  If we rely on sheltered observations to teach our youth that failure and shortcomings are not a part of the process, then we are going to end up with a planet full of passive, stale, robots incapable of innovation and creativity.

Mistakes are a part of the success equation.  Let’s not rob our future of that valuable lesson.

Also, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Ba$eball $tar$

Sports Illustrated‘s annual Fortune 50 list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes list is out and Major League Baseball is heavily represented.  In fact, 36% of the athletes are baseballers — some better than others (looking at you, Barry Zito).  And while I’m sad to see an star like Floyd Mayweather, Jr at the top, one who eschews real glory at the highest level for a comfortable place atop boxing mediocrity, I am glad that baseball players are makin’ that pay-puh.  It makes me feel less suicidal when I pay $8 for a 16 oz beer.

Here’s a quick rundown of the highest paid American baseball players and their overall ranking among American athletes in parenthesis.

1.  Alex Rodriguez (6)
Too bad for the Yankees A-Rod can’t be young and steroided like the good old days.  His health is just going downhill from here.

2.  Derek Jeter (9)
He can do no wrong.  I would pay this man a bazillion dollars a year if I could.  And since Albert left me, I have no problems admitting my 17-year Jeet man-crush.

3.  Joe Mauer (12)
Really?  12th highest paid American athlete overall and third highest Major Leaguer?  I would feel better about this if he could hit it over the Target Field fence once in a while.

4.  Vernon Wells (17)
PSSSHH!!!!  I just ruined my keyboard with a mouthful of coffee.

5.  C.C. Sabathia (20)
Mo’ money, mo’ foooooooooooooooooood!

6.  Mark Teixeira (21)
Nothing says $23 million a year like a YEEE-HAW JAW!

7.  Prince Fielder (22)
I have a feeling if I make one more Prince Fielder fat joke then I’m going to be… eaten…

8.  Adrian Gonzalez (25)
He may have lost his power stroke, but with $21 million a year I’m sure he’s strokin’ plenty of power.

9.  Justin Verlander (28)
A man’s man, I would prefer to see Verlander at the very top of this list, or at the very least, have the opportunity to rifle a fastball at Mayweather’s head.

10.  Cliff Lee (29)
Way to go, Phillies.  You’re making Clifton Phifer look bad.

11.  Ryan Howard (32)
While many of my Cardinal fan brethren choose to hate on Albert, I prefer to hate on Howard, the man who made signing Albert impossible.

12.  Roy Halladay (35)
Way to go, Phillies.  You bring in the best pitcher in baseball to get you over the hump then s*** the bed three years in a row.

13, 14, 15.  Barry Zito, Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols (Tied for 36 overall)
One of these things is not like the other…

16.  Josh Beckett (44)
Is it me or has he gained like 40 pounds since he was traded to the Red Sox?

17.  Jake Peavy (45)
Up until this year, I thought dude was done.  Yes, the crow I’ve been eating tastes bad.

18.  A.J. Burnett (49)
Huh?  How did A.J. get on this list?  I’d like to know the same.  He should’ve signed two contracts, one for each of his personalities.  At least he’s been living up to it ever since his worst day ever.

Hate me ‘cuz I didn’t make the list, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

A Cookie for Your Tuesday

Like most fans, my undying love for baseball is deeply rooted in my youth.  Sifting through baseball card packs while watching a game just a foot or so from the old fashioned box television at my grandma’s house, equally mesmerized and infatuated with the moving pictures and colorful palette of MLB 1980s era uniforms popping off the cardboard… I can almost smell the goulash cooking in the kitchen and taste the brick flavoring of the free baseball card bubble gum.

For a long time now, I’ve been relying on a Tumblr blog to take me back, to calm me, to remind me how I came to love our national pastime.  So when you’re down and out or when you just need a smile to keep you going, head on over to 80s Baseball Player of the Day and enjoy the trip back in time.

I’ve been wanting to pimp this Tumlbr for a long time now.  I’ve just been waiting for the right moment.  And when dude hit the triumvirate of Bret Saberhagen (wearing his little brother’s jacket?), Atlee Hammaker (best name in baseball?) and Ozzie Virgil (he is the most interesting man in the world?), then I knew it was time.

You’re welcome.  Also, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

REAL Change You Can ACTUALLY Believe In

In recent days, my aloof and oft persnickety colleague, Mr. Krause, waxed on instant replay in baseball, making assumptions about my demeanor reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh calling out the obese.

Am I “old school” in my baseball philosophy?  Yes.  You could say that.  But just like in any endeavor worth dedicating one’s life to, things change, and adaptations are necessary for survival.

Baseball needs instant replay.  There are just too many important calls that get blown that could be remedied with a simple review of the tape.  There are countless examples, but the two most devastating of recent memory include the Pirates/Braves 19th inning Jerry Meals fiasco of 2011 and Armando Gallaraga’s perfect game being robbed by Jim Joyce*.  These are just two extreme examples, but blown calls happen quite frequently and they could be fixed just as easily as they fixed the home run by review situation.

Sure, baseball is a long, slow paced game.  Sure doesn’t seem to stop people from caring about it though!  Attendance is up, viewership via TV, computer, smartphone is at an all-time high.  Does Mr. Krause seriously think that all the baseball nuts in the world are going to stop watching the game if it’s 5 minutes longer?!?!

SILLINESS!

Just get the call right.  That’s what the fans care about.  We want… the umps… TO GET IT RIGHT.  That’s it.  And now, deeply immersed in all avenues of technocracy, is the time to start implementing some of the modern tools that are there to make things better.

And no, constitutional scholars, this ain’t no slippery slope situation.  Balls and strikes are not reviewable.  Period.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m grounded in common sense, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*Also, I am still not over Don Denkinger’s blown call from the 1985 Series.  Some things take longer to heal.

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

“I thought he was a weird wuss anyway…”

That’s right.  Davey Johnson speaks for me.

In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause.  Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.

Indeed, Verlander is a beast.  But the following inequality is true:

Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander

Unfortunately, the following is also true:

Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte

Ugh.

I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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