Results tagged ‘ Fans ’

The Filibuster

Simplistic campaigns to hunt down public enemies (like Kony 2012) are all the rage these days.  When will you all be launching Selig 2012?

Brad
Annapolis, MD
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It is no secret that the authors of these pages hold no love for the staunch bureaucratic policies and seemingly never-ending reign of King Bud the Nosepicker.  Indeed, we’ve ripped the man’s decisions in every which way and have even gone as far as to say that George W. Bush would make a perfect Commissioner in comparison (no joke here, we really do think Dubya would be perfect for the job).  But to compare Bud Selig to the heartless, maniacal, baby-raping mass murderer Joseph Kony?  Um… that’s a bit much.

But just a bit.

The good news is, people are getting educated on Kony’s crimes.  And they’re doing something about it (unless *this* derails it).  However, when it comes to the tyranny of King Bud, we already know about the bevy of shenanigans.  There’s just nothing we can do about it.

If I may break from the usual ‘ol crotchety me for a moment, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the overall state of our national pastime is as good now as it’s ever been.  Seriously.  If you turn your head from the silliness that is King Bud’s All-Star Game, and if make yourself forget about that whole Ryan Braun cheating thing, and pretend like the overall muscle bulge of the 90s and early aughts was caused by “supplements” that can easily be purchased at your local GNC, then you might conclude that, indeed, baseball’s vibe is very good right now.

The networks are fighting to get in on the expanded playoffs.  Parity is slowly squeezing its way into all divisions.  And the Pirates still suck!

More than that, people are still paying money to watch Adam Dunn play.  Erin Andrews is still showing up in dugouts.  And Tampa Bay seems to be in the playoff picture every year now, despite the fact that no one in Tampa Bay seems to care.

But most importantly of all, the St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs!

So for now, I can take a couple more years of bassackwards politickin’ from the usurping Milwaukee millionaire.

But I swear, Brad, if he reigns for more than two more years, you, me, Mr. Krause and the entire baseball universe are taking to the streets with Louisville Sluggers and Molotov cocktails (not to be confused with pet names for Kevin Millar).

Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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

The Filibuster

What’s the best way for me to indulge my twin passions of drinking and anything baseball related before the season starts?

Shaun
Chicago, IL
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Thank you for putting the ball on the tee, Shaun!

Indeed, drinking and baseball go together like politicians and gibberish, and we here at RSBS are no exception.  In fact, if it weren’t for this liberating combination of US American pastimes, there would be no Bleacher Bums, no Pirates fans (how could they survive?), no Miguel Cabrera.

So that is why we are proud to team up with Guinness, one of our favorite beers (Mr. Krause and I co-hosted a Guinness keg party in college, no joke) to set a record for the biggest St. Patrick’s Day party EVER!

The big day is getting closer and closer and we want YOU to be a part of it.  Unlike an evening with Mr. Krause, the process is simple and non-invasive.  All you have to do is follow THIS LINK, verify you’re 21 years of age or older, then click to “join the party”.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, in the “optional code” box, make sure to enter code “REDS“.  For each participant using that code, the good folks at Guinness are going to donate $1 to our charity of choice, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and its Chicago chapter.  That’s right.  Your commitment to having a good (and responsible) time translates to more balls, bats, gloves and other baseball equipment for Chicago’s youth.

Now ain’t that a good thang!?!?

Join Guinness Brewmaster, Fergal Murray, this St. Patrick's Day while helping Chicago's youth reach their dreams on the diamond.

So if you haven’t done it yet, go do it!  Then sit back, crack open a tall can of Guinness and smile knowing you did something good.

THANK YOU!!!

Jeff

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

Tiger Spring!

RSBS Special Correspondent and Wikipiebenga Creator, Mark “Pie” Piebenga reports:

As soon as Victor Martinez went down, I thought, “well, season’s over.” [1] But then the Tigers won the Fielder sweepstakes (at a cost that boggles the mind: apparently Little Caesar’s is a pretty lucrative organization. Everybody reading this please buy a five dollar Hot N Ready so they can pay the Prince. And here is my obligatory admission that the back end of that contract is going to be a total nightmare). A season that looked suddenly suspect just as suddenly became the most exciting spring I can remember.

If they can keep healthy, and get production anywhere close to last year from Delmon Young, Alex Avila[2], and Brennan Boesch’s first half, and get consistent quality from Messrs. Verlander, Fister, Scherzer, and Porcello (not to mention the newly Dotel-ified bullpen), it augers Another Very Interesting Year To Be A Tigers Fan.

There are still some big question marks. It’s looking like a platoon of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago at second, which doesn’t do us a ton of favors at the plate. With the diminished defensive range and crInge worthy batting of the once-exceptional Brandon Inge,[3] the Miguel Cabrera return-to-third experiment will be interesting and hopefully not embarrassing. Danny Worth and Don Kelly[4] will probably spot start there as well. Finally, can Austin Jackson achieve leadoff effectiveness even approaching two years ago?

For the last seven years or so I’ve approached the start of the season with same kind of a nervous ambivalence. The most positive outlook I’ve had could be described as ‘cautious optimism,’ which I feel now. It’s a very strange feeling to see the Tigers as the projected favorite to win the A.L. Central (hell, until last year, we hadn’t done it since 1987. Didn’t even do it in ’84.) The Tigers have been good lately, but as a typically suspicious and superstitious fan, I’m always nervous. In ’06 they got in the playoffs as a wildcard. When they forced the 163rd game with the Twinkies in ’09, I never had the feeling that we were a legit contending team. Last year they didn’t really seem to have any implicit dominance until rifling off that twelve game winning streak in September. (My father and I credit ourselves for that, having seen live their last loss before the streak started at a blinding hot day game Sept 1st, when the Royals came to Detroit.)

Speaking of which, I am very nervous about the Kansas City Royals. They were rated the 11th best team in the league in the ESPN prospects power rankings (I don’t know if this is a remotely useful metric, but Buster Olney seems like a smart guy). At the game with my dad September First we were sitting along the third base line, and during a lull in the game Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was shooting the bull with the umpire and throwing the ball around. He was basically standing in the coache’s box, well behind third and in foul territory, and dude scooped up lazy grounder that came his way. Barely breaking eye-contact with the ump, he made a throw off his back foot that looked casual as hell, but judging by the angry snap of the leather Eric Hosmer’s glove at first, it could’ve been shot from a rifle. The lineup is getting spooky over there.

It’s foolish to make predictions about what’s going to happen, and we’re still forty four days till opening. Naturally when things don’t go your way for a couple of decades, you begin to doubt that anything good is going to happen. But the Tigs lately have provided all one can demand of any team, and that’s meaningful baseball in August and September. It will be really interesting to see what this team does in the face of injuries, statistical regression, and the rigors of the season.


[1] I can be a little dramatic.

[2] Verlander’s remarkable season was well documented. While he was hardly under the radar, I think a brief digression on Alex Avila is in order here. He had a .389 OBP (10th highest in baseball), an .895 OPS (8th in the AL), and hit .295. All while catching 133 games, and ranking top five among AL catchers in most defensive categories (e.g., tied for 1st with 40 runners caught stealing). And one of my least/most favorite things was the sheer number of times he got hit by deflections. I know catchers get hit all the time, but honestly I can’t remember seeing anything like his 2011 season behind the plate. (for example, check out sparks flying off his mask, and him getting hit in the neck.)

[3] He seems ever so far removed now from his ridiculous first half in 2009 that made him an All-Star (21 HR before the break!).

[4] Don Kelly fielded eight positions in 2011, everything except 2B. It’s well documented that I am transfixed by this guy, and his huge ALDS Game 5 dinger versus the Wankees made me so happy for him.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and potential Grammy host, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

I’ve lost my…

Rooster Cogburn, my John Mclane, my  Jules Winnfield.

I lost Whitney this year AND my all-time favorite Cub, Aramis Ramirez. Armariezz. THAT’S WHAT I CALLED HIM. Didn’t call him A-RAM OR ARAMIS. I always called him Armariezz. THAT WAS HIS NAME.  I wish Whitney and Aramis had things to sing together to the Brew Crew but she’s got better things to do now than hang out in MlilaAAAAuwaaakayyy…

Since I can’t hang with Armariezz anymore then I wanna hang with Adrien Brody, Andre 3 Million and Gael García Bernal from that Gillette commercial.  That’s a bad@$$ club!

So much hipper than when they had Federer, Henri and Tiger. Can’t believe it happened.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Et Tu, Molina? (Pars Duo)

A few years ago I wrote a cautionary piece foretelling the eventual departure of one Yadier Molina — SUPREME JEFFY MANCRUSH — if the Cardinals somehow didn’t resign Albert Pujols to a long, career stabilizing contract.  I wrote it flippantly, thinking this will never happen in real life.

And then real life hit.

Albert Pujols is gone and Yadi doesn’t seem to be as in love with the Cardinals as the Cardinals faithful are in love with him:

“I love the city. I love the fans, I love the park. But it’s out of my hands. Whatever they like to do is how it is … They let Albert [Pujols] go. It’s business for the team, too. It’s out of my hands.” (source)

Um… wrong.  One, dearest Yadier, it most certainly IS in your hands.  And two, the Cardinals DID NOT “let Albert go.”  They made him a very good offer, one that would most likely highjack the team for the latter half of this decade, one that would have made Albert a very, very, VERY rich man.

And he declined.

For more money.

I don’t have a problem with millionaire ballplayers chasing the money — but I do have a problem with framing the situation in a salacious manner.  To say the Cardinals did not put any effort in retaining Mr. Pujols’ services is as reckless as it is inaccurate.

Here at RSBS, it is no secret that Yadier is my most beloved Cardinal.  The St. Louis brass would be wise to pay the man whatever he wants, and I would applaud their efforts to do so.

But if I’ve learned anything about professional sports the last few months it’s that I’ve been clinging to the delusion that athletes give a f*** about the “home team”, about creating a “legacy”, about “loyalty”.

It’s about money and it will always be about money.  I’m okay with that now.

If the Cardinals do the right thing and throw bank at Molina to keep him, then I’ll be ecstatic.  But I also live in reality these days, so I’m fully prepared to see him in a Halos jersey in 2013.

Hate me.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and part time ninja, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Sunday in the Park with George

I want children so I can play dodge ball with them or at the very least have them pose while I paint a mural of them getting eaten by large cats for my own amusement. But that’s not why I called…

In my favorite Mandy Patinkin musical he sings “I need to finish the hat” in the role of George Seurat. Or as Groucho famously said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Or as Josh Hamilton is probably saying “there are no bars in hospitals and that’s why people hate hospitals.”

I don’t know about the Cubs’ chances for 2012, but I do know I want a Sunday in the park with a friend. I want to think nice things as baseball approaches but sometimes you just don’t know what hell is coming. Sometimes I feel like Lisbeth of the Dragon Tattoo movies: I just get shot in the DAMN head when I think of the 162 Cubs games that are coming.

Finishing the hat,
How you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world
From a window
While you finish the hat.

I don’t know if I’m finishing the hat or if Theo is.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

All Too Easy

In the Twittersphere, we at RSBS have a reputation for taking cheap shots at Prince Fielder’s… er… um… corpulence (good word, interns!).  While we do a good job of avoiding the F-word (no, the OTHER F-word, silly), we cannot help but point out the absurdity that is Prince Fielder’s physique.

Dude is big, as in I’s hongry big.  He does not have an athletic body.  Yet he’s just as athletic an athlete as you’re apt to find these days when it comes to production.

Prince is an anomaly though.  An anachronism, even.  He’s the digital watch in Glory in that HE SHOULDN’T BE WHERE HE IS.

Except he is.

How did he get here?


I call McDonald’s’ bluff.  If it were really that easy — to just stuff one’s face full of awful simulated food product — then nearly all of US America would be getting paid by a Big League club right now.

In Prince’s case, I gotta think it’s the genes that make it all too easy.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and 10-time Tebowing champion, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

For the Love of the Game/Slaying the Dragon

I don’t know tidily snot.

For as much as I don’t know about stats, player history, and some of the marquee moments, I do have the love.  Even with my rampant stupidity of baseball knowledge, I have the love.

When I’m not sitting with my friend Jeffy at a game or on his couch, him schooling me, I have the love.

It’s been said many times here at Setting the Mahmud that the NBA is my true sport, but even I admit: there is nothing like baseball. I reminded myself of this the other night while watching For the Love of the Game. The pain of Kevin Costner’s character is so real and true to life it’s uncanny. The pain of ending a career.  The pain of romance gone bad. Pain of failed goals. But despite all that, you might still have a friend who believes in you, which summons the strength to get your mojo back.

These are trying times in Chicago. Both ball clubs will probably be bad this year. It’s January. It’s cold. Sometimes, like a ballplayer, you wish you could just be traded to another team, in another (warmer) city. But that’s not how life works. You have to take what you have and make it great. Baseball life can be like a swinging bass line or a blistering hot trumpet solo. We swing high and we swing low. Players leave, lovers leave, and sometimes you’ll get your heart broken.  Being a fan can be turmoil.

And sometimes just maybe you’ll play life well enough to win it all. It’s a noble game. A pureness that wraps around you like a warm embrace holding you tight, one that doesn’t let go. It’s a timeless art that makes you feel like you’re wearing wings.

Beware of the darkness that lies in the cave of your life. Slay the dragon. It can make you feel weak. It can break you if you let it. It can make you feel like a sucker. Accept that pain is part of the process of baseball, part of LIFE.

And let’s heal together. The Cubs will be great someday. The White Sox will be great again too. It will be cathartic and it will be grand.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Pat the Bat: May the Force (of Chase Field’s Left Field Wall) Be with You

When Pat Burrell announced his retirement yesterday, I thought very hard about what exact moment I will always remember him for.  Except, I couldn’t really think of anything.

Oh sure, there was that whole sparking the 2010 San Francisco Giants’ lineup towards a World Series crown thing as well as his square Phillie pinstripes and catchy nickname.  But what else?  What is that one specific Pat Burrell moment I’ll always hold on to, forever and ever?

And then I remembered: June 15, 2011.

The Diamondbacks were hosting the San Francisco Giants that evening and when Chris Young laced a Madison Bumgarner fastball deep to left in the fourth inning, everyone in the ballpark knew it was gone.  Everyone EXCEPT for Pat Burrell.

That’s right.  Pat was on a mission.  In fact, Pat charged backwards with his trademark slow, awkward steps.  But he was DETERMINED and his eyes never left the ball, and he ran AT FULL SPEED until…

Pat smashed himself into the wall.

The video of this feat is HILARIOUS.  Everyone in the entire stadium knew that ball was gone, but Pat tried to channel his inner honey badger and take it down anyway.  He just forgot about that whole wall thing being there.

If MLB had any sense of humor they would make the video of this Pat Burrell career highlight available, but alas, MLB is still run by King Bud, and fun is not allowed.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Big Trouble In Little Bridgeport

Without question, the blockbuster Prince Fielder-Detroit Tigers signing shock-and-awed the baseball universe.  But for those who huddle en masse around 35th and Shields, still hanging on to what little hope may have remained for the critically criticized 2012 White Sox club, such news only served as confirmation for a long, slow, painful baseball season death.

Will this Irish keening ever stop?!?!  A man needs his sleep!!!

Unfortunately, with the likes of Jake Peavy ($17 million), Alex Rios ($12+ million/year through 2014) and Adam Dunn ($14+ million/year through 2014) holding the team hostage with their collective astronomically unbalanced compensation-to-performance ratios, it appears the situation in Bridgeport is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Which forces the question: what is the shelf life on a Gordon Beckham?  Once the “untouchable dealbreaker” in any high profile trade, it seems like the former first round draft pick is doing his very best Brandon Wood impression.  In fact, there were times last season where Beckham looked as clueless on the diamond as Rick Santorum would at a gay foam party on the beach.

Sox fans can only take so much of “I’m going to work on some things and get better” before they realize YOU’RE LYING.  YOU’RE NOT VERY GOOD.  STOP TALKING.

In fact, the dour mood of the White Sox organization might benefit from a colossal dose of shut-the-hell-up.  People are tired of hearing Jake Peavy say… anything.  People are tired of the excuses for why Gordon Beckham just isn’t that good.  People are tired.  Period.

Unfortunately, it looks like that “tired” is going to morph into a bonafide coma, at least through 2014.

Hate me.  Go ahead.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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