Results tagged ‘ Filibuster ’

The Filibuster

What fool GM do you think is going to overpay for Josh Hamilton?

Jonestein
Fort Worth, TX
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“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage, to move in the opposite direction.”

Albert Einstein said that.  Jon Daniels DID that.

He and the Rangers made their qualifying offer to Sir Parties-a-Lot and now they can sit back and let madness ensue knowing they’ll at least get a nice draft pick if and when some insane club with house money decides to give Josh Hamilton what he wants.  (From what I have been reading on Twitter and some other baseball-centric forums, dude is asking for 7 years, $175 million.)

Right?  WTF Josh Hamilton?  SEVEN YEARS?  ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS?!?

If this doesn’t prove Nietzsche’s god is dead lesson, I don’t know what does.  Look, I’m impressed with the healthy Josh Hamilton just as much as any one else, but the problems with handing Hamilton a multi-year $100 million+ contract are as well known and documented as Hamilton is out of touch with reality.

1)  Dude is a china doll.  Can’t stay healthy.

2)  Dude is (and always will be) an addict.

3)  Dude is also a well documented RELAPSE just waiting to happen.

One minute Josh is manning left field, hitting bombs, the next minute he’s doing t***y shots off your college aged daughter, making it rain with whipped cream and pay-puh.  Don’t believe me?  Do some Google image searching.

Too risky.  Way.  Too.  Risky.  I wouldn’t give him anything over three years.  Period.  I’d pay him what he’s worth — close to the $20 million a year threshold if healthy (and sober).  But no way I’d trust him for anything more than three years.  His record speaks for itself.

And while I’m all for giving folks second, third, fourth chances, I’m also smart enough to know when to say when.  Hamilton (and his enablers) seem to have a problem with that.

The good news, for sanity’s sake, is that most of the big pocketed clubs don’t have any room for Hamilton.  I hear the Braves are interested but don’t want to be too left handed.  And the breakout Orioles are in the mix too.  But don’t expect L.A. or New York or Boston to go there.  I’m not sure the night life in those cities could handle a potential Hamilton disaster either, and that’s really saying something.

So go ahead.  Hate me ‘cuz I’m hatin’ on Hamilton’s free agency, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

For Allen… Would you vote for Romney if doing so guaranteed the Tigers a World Series win?

Mandy
Niles, MI

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Religion and literature are full of characters who were willing to make a deal with the devil in return for some sort of gift.  Adam and Eve received the knowledge of good and evil while Faust sold his soul for earthly knowledge and pleasure.  The catch, of course, is that there are always consequences.  Adam and Eve lose paradise and the original Faust is carried to hell by the Devil himself.

Baseball isn’t immune from this phenomenon, the most popular example coming from the Broadway hit “Damn Yankees.”  And honestly, it’s no surprise that baseball fans (or fans of any other sport, for that matter) would be willing to sell their souls in exchange for their team winning a championship.  There’s a reason that supporters of sports teams are described via a shortened form of the word “fanatic.”

It’s a little different for me, though, especially when the deal is so clearly Faustian.  The Tigers have always been my team and I follow them from the beginning to the often painful end of the season every year, but my world does not fundamentally change with Tigers’ wins and losses.  Similarly, the argument could be made that the quadrennial presidential elections really don’t change much in a country that is held hostage by a two-party system, but I still believe that the President’s power to nominate judges and justices, decide foreign policy and choose how the laws of the nation will be executed means that his or her role is of supreme importance.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the stakes in this year’s presidential election, and any presidential election, are so much higher than one city winning the right to call themselves champion for a year.  If the Tigers lose, Medicare will continue to function, women will still have the right to choose and we aren’t going to suddenly find ourselves fighting a new war in Syria or Iran.  If Romney wins, these propositions all suddenly become much less certain.

I’d love to see the Tigers win the World Series, even if that looks less and less likely with every pathetic swing of the bat.  But there’s no way that I would risk my country’s future or the lives of my friends and family members on it.  Faust was willing to make a deal with the devil.  Me, I’m not so arrogant.

-A

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The Filibuster

Allen’s Tigers are in the Series and the Cardinals are still trying to earn their bid. If the Cards don’t make it, will you cheer for the Tigers?

Anne
Fort Royal, IN
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Hold it right there, Ms. Anne from Fort Royal.  Are you insinuating that the Cardinals might not make it to the World Series?  SHAME.  SHAME!  SHAME!!!

Oh the possibility does bring fear into my being, but THIS… IS… WAR!!!

I can not even begin to envision a Cardinals-less World Series, so to postulate me possibly rooting on THE ENEMY seems as blasphemous as using the Paul Ryan marathon calculator to report my times to my peers!

Will I root for the Tigers?  Pssh.  Will I also cut out my own stomach with a butter knife and eat it whole?  Will I also canvas door-to-door for the Republican party thumping a bible in people’s faces?  Will I eat at the Olive Garden?

Hell.  To the NO.

My only focus right now is TONIGHT.  In San Francisco.

This.  Means.  War.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

How did you guess the Cards would get past the Nats?

Eric
Reston, VA

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Guess?  Eric, in my world, Guess is a brand of jeans, not a verb.  This, my friend, is destiny.

The Tigers and Cardinals have a history and that history refuses to be delayed by something as simple as the Washington Nationals.  Now, a Nationals team with Stephen Strasburg taking the ball in games 1 and 5, that could have been a different story.  But as we all know, Strasburg wasn’t there and the Nats couldn’t make a 6-0 lead hold up in game 5.  On top of that, the Cards got a huge boost with the successful return of Chris Carpenter.

So, let’s do the math.  The Cards add Carpenter while the Nats subtract Strasburg.  If the old adage that “Pitching wins championships” is true, then the Nats never had a chance.  And the facts bear this out.

Now, to be fair, none of this entered my thought processes while making my predictions.  I didn’t sit down and draw out the strengths and weaknesses of the teams or look at the probable pitching match-ups.  That wasn’t necessary.

Here’s the thing: The Nats are a young team with a bunch of stars and they’ll be back.  They have a great bullpen (despite Storen’s meltdown in Game 5) and with pitchers like Zimmerman and Strasburg along with stars like Harper, they have a bright future.  The Cards, though, they’ve been here before and they know how to deal with the pressure.  On top of that, they barely even made it in and without a lucky in-field fly-rule call during the play-in, they probably wouldn’t even be here.   Since no one expects them to do much, despite being the defending champions, there’s very little pressure.  They have nothing to lose.

But let me get back to my original point.  This wasn’t some sort of lucky guess.  This is destiny.  The Tigers and Cards have a date in the World Series and it’s an encounter that promises to divide the RSBS team.  We’ll see you there.

-A

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The Filibuster

What’s your biggest fear?

Mitch
St. Charles, IL
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Right now?  Oh, that’s easy…

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Are the Giants better off without Melky?

Mark 
Oak Park, IL

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On August 15 the Giants were 64-54 after losing to Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.  That same day they found out that they would be losing Cabrera for the rest of the regular season due to a 50-game ban.  Since then, the Giants won 27 games and only lost 11 on their way to clinching the division with a couple weeks left to go.  Now, there’s no doubt that Cabrera, juicing or not, can hit.  In reality, the drugs just made him better.  And it’s also pretty evident that he was on track for the NL batting title.  But when you look at the record compared to what the expectations were following news of Cabrera’s ban and one thing becomes obvious.

The Giants are a good team.

And they might be even better without Melky.

Look at the numbers.  With Melky the Giants were 10 games over .500 and doing well in the West but still not a sure thing.  Without Melky this same team is 26 games over .500 as of Friday and simply blew away the rest of the division.

What that tells me is that something changed in the collective psyche of the Giants when Melky got the boot.  The knew they could no longer depend on one guy to come up with the clutch hit and, as a result, it has been a whole bunch of guys who have had to come up with the hits and catches.  This makes them a team as opposed to a collection of players brought in as a supporting cast for the one star.

I don’t know if the Giants have the magic to make a run this year like they did in 2010.  If I had to guess, I’d probably say no since baseball is so wildly unpredictable.  But they seem to be coming together as a team more now than they did with Melky leading the charge so anything is possible.  Throw in the fact they don’t have to worry about facing Strasburg in the postseason like they did back on August 15 and it means that their chances are just a little bit better.

-A

The Filibuster

What race are you paying more attention to? The AL East? AL Central? Presidential?

Mark
Barrington, IL

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I suppose that since this is a baseball blog, I should probably say baseball.  And, I am keeping an eye on the AL Central, even if the maddening inconsistency of the Tigers has driven me into a self-protective shell.  When it comes to politics, though, I just can’t keep myself away.

This is a big year for politics.  It’s not just Romney and the Republicans in an attempt to repeal everything that Obama accomplished his first term.  It’s also an opportunity for Americans to tell the Tea Party that they don’t represent America.  A resounding defeat for Romney could finally show the Republicans that they need to remove the Tea Party cancer that eats at the GOP and their ability to effectively govern.

This past week showed once again how out of touch Romney is and why his Tea Party hijacked presidency would be disastrous.  The contrast between Romney’s hasty statement regarding the events in North Africa and Obama’s studied response just illustrates once again which man provides real leadership.

That being said, it’s interesting to note the similarities between the presidential campaign and the baseball season.  Both of them last much of the year and it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen until pretty late in the game.  Two months ago the Pirates looked like they actually had a shot at making the playoffs.  Six months ago it still wasn’t clear who the Republican nominee would be.  However, at this point, with less than two months to go before everything is settled, the pieces have started to shake out and the picture has become a little more clear.  Or at least we have a clearer idea of who the winners won’t be.  Trying to say with any certainty who will still be standing on D-Day is nearly impossible.

I guess the difference for me is the drama.  Yes, baseball has plenty of drama but the stakes are limited.  Whichever team wins the Series retains their title as champion for one year.  The world doesn’t change, except for the world of that team’s fans.  An American president can change not only the course of the nation but also of the world.  And it only happens once every four years.  Now that’s some drama.

Still, I’d really like to see the Tigers end this White Sox charade once and for all.  As for the AL East, screw the coasts.

-A

The Filibuster

What happened to the Twins?

Seth S.
Saint Paul, MN
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Ah, yes, the Minnesota Twins.  What did happen to those paragons of fundamentally sound baseball?  An analysis of such depth requires patience, dedication and an insatiable hunger for the truth, so I put the RSBS interns to the task and they have provided the following slide show:

2010

New ballpark! Yay! It’s…er… HUGE!

I CAN HAZ $184 MILLIONS!?!? IN EXCHANGE I’LL STOP HITTING HRs!

Ouch! Who turned out the lights?!?

DOH! DAMN THOSE DAMN YANKEES… AGAIN!!!

2011

Never fear! Tsuyoshi Nishioka is here!

And then… his leg is broken. Thanks for nothing, Nick Swisher! Damn you, damn Yankees!!!

And the rest of the Twins 2011 clubhouse… barely breathin’.

2012

Y U NO MOVE IN FENCES!?!? AGGH!!!

When will Justin’s ouchy-head be fixed? I need help, dammit!

Aaaaand this guy…

Nope, not even the healthy return of Morneau could make the pain of the above image go away.  In fact, 2012 sorta seems like a good time to reset everything.  Surprisingly, the Twins do have some decent offensive production (Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe), but their pitching has been atrocious.  Like, Kent Hrbek farting in your face type of “atrocious”.  The average ERA of their six starters is over 5 and they have been blown out (lost by 5+ more runs) 23 times so far.  And the bullpen?  YIKES!  Don’t ask them to hold a lead ‘cuz it’ll be difficult!

Like old baseball men love to say, “You’re only as good as your pitching”, and, well, when your pitching resembles the bottom of a porta-potty and the rest of the team can’t stay healthy, awful is pretty much what ya get.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the perennial sCrUBS.

Hate me ‘cuz I made you look at that famous Mauer back hair guy again, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff (and interns)

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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.

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