Results tagged ‘ John McCain ’

Arby’s and the Art of Reclaiming America

lipstick.jpgNow that Gov. Palin has thrown her hat in the ring, the entire political calculus has changed. For instance, time honored aphorisms like “Lipstick on a pig” are no longer valid because apparently Ms. Palin reclaimed the word “lipstick” for woman governors everywhere with her speech last week. So, in honor of Ms. Palin’s inanity, I want to propose a few more phrases that should be reclaimed.

First off, I don’t think that ESPN sportscasters should be allowed to say “RBIs” as word (i.e. ribbies) anymore. Frankly, I find it offensive to the wonderful American fast food chain, Arby’s. They have been fighting a losing battle for years now and it’s time we stand up for them. C’mon. This is America and in my America, we cheer for the underdog.

In a similar vein, “change” has now ceased to mean anything at all. (Brief aside: the fact that the same word can be used in two completely different ways has been put to good use in some more intellectual circles. I love homophones.) When the status quo becomes “change,” the word has obviously been redefined in some way. It’s like saying the 2000 Yankees represented a change from the 1998 and 1999 Yankees. Maybe a few of the faces were different but it was the same old Evil Empire.

Here’s the thing, though. If you’re going to ding Sen. Obama on the lipstick comment, shouldn’t you really be getting him for the stinky fish analogy that followed? I mean, that one is really offensive, right? Or maybe it’s just a bunch of pundits and politicians using a situation to their advantage as they are wont to do. Luckily, I’m sure we never have to worry about Sen. McCain or Gov. Palin doing something like that. Right?
http://www.thedailyshow.com/sitewide/video_player/view/default/swf.jhtml
Oh. Right. Nevermind.

You know what I wouldn’t mind seeing, though? Lipstick on Jason Giambi. That would go great with the mustache.

-A

The Filibuster

Everyone is calling McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP a
“huge gamble.” Of course, you could argue that an even bigger gamble
took place when Pete Rose threw down money on games or when Tim Donaghy
decided to just throw a few games in the NBA. What do you think is the
biggest gamble (legal or otherwise) that has taken place in baseball
recently and how does it compare to McCain’s?
 
– Allen

                                                                                    

mccain palin.jpgGambling, throwing all you’ve got behind one decision, taking a risk… these are paramount aspects of the game of baseball.  Without them, the game would be boring.  When players and managers break from the norm and go out on a limb, we get excited: distancing oneself from the same old thing causes excitement.

And there has been no shortage of temerity nor bold decision making in our most beloved game over the last several years.  Of course, as a Monday morning quarterback, it’s easy to call these moves audacious, ill planned, unrefined after the fact.  Sometimes, as in the case of the GOP’s pick of one Sarah Palin, the decision need not be analyzed over and over again to find sound reasoning: there just isn’t any.

Like Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS after giving up three straight hits with only five outs to go and a three-run lead.  That was dumb no matter how you look at it.  And if it weren’t for 2004 and 2007, Sox fans would still be teeming with angst.

Like scores of players (McGwire, Bonds, Giambi, just to name a few) cheating their fans and cheating themselves by altering their physiology in order to make an extra multimillion or three, break records, tarnish the game.  While I understand the desire to perform at the highest level possible, I tend to admire the natural approach over the Frankenstein method.  With information regarding the rigorous side effects of performance enhancing drugs being as known as ABC’s — these guys took a big, dumb gamble and now — for the most part — we despise them for it.

manny ramirez dodgers.jpgBut in my opinion, the biggest recent risk sure to backfire on the gambling party was the cave-in decision made by the Red Sox to ship Manny Ramirez out of Boston for Jason Bay.  The baseball pundits have spoken, and I have to agree: Jason Bay — no matter how good he is — is no Manny Ramirez.  The Red Sox may squeak into the playoff picture, but they are not near as good now as they were with Manny in the lineup and I expect they won’t make it too far without him.  The whining and crying of Ramirez was nothing new to Boston’s brass and erasing him from the team not only left a hole in the four spot, it also diminished the impact of one David Ortiz. 

And losing Ortiz at-bats to walks sure does make a difference in the wrong direction.

Of course, there are always those gambles that seem ludicrous yet turn out to be smart in the end as well.

Like Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa batting the pitcher in the eight hole to create more opportunities for Albert Pujols.  Though seemingly odd because it was such a staunch break from the norm, essentially what TLR has done is make sure AP gets up in the first inning, then contributes as a clean-up hitter for the remainder of the game.  It’s hard to argue against that logic and I’m surprised more managers haven’t followed suit.

TLR isn’t the only NL Central manager who has gained notoriety for his arduous risk-taking skills.  “Sweet” Lou Piniella, when faced with an ailing Kerry Wood, had nothing but faith in a young rookie call-up from Notre Dame.  He threw Jeff Samardzija in the limelight and hasn’t looked back since.  With Samardzija pitching as well as he has in recent months, the Cubs bullpen, for the first time that I can ever remember, has suddenly become an asset rather than a liability. 

kenny williams.jpgBut no gamble in recent memory has turned out as splendidly as that taken by White Sox GM Kenny Williams in trading Chris Carter to the Diamondbacks for Carlos Quentin.  Sure, one could argue that giving up a relatively unknown minor league first baseman for the once considered underachieving Quentin was hardly a risk.  But put in perspective: trading Garland for Cabrera and Linebrink, cutting Podsenik, resigning Uribe, demoting Josh Fields, putting faith back in Joe Crede while giving a young Alexei Ramirez a shot at second base… Kenny Williams has been a very busy man and the moves he’s made — while controversial — have all turned out for the better.  The White Sox have rediscovered their grinder swagger and as I predicted at the beginning of the season, have made a case for winning the AL Central and beyond.

I don’t know what political affiliations Kenny Williams has, if any, but I do know that the GOP’s decision making skills pale in comparrison to the Sox GM.  The invasion of Iraq, the atrociously late and unorganized response to Hurricane Katrina victims, the gross misspending of our inflated tax dollars… and now putting Palin — a woman so unqualified to lead a nation that I can’t help but tell myself this is all just a big joke (punchline to come?) — in line for the highest office in the land; all I can say is:

Wow.

That was dumb

And let me tell ya, you can go on and hate me for my wordy rhetoric, my inspiring the people, my loose analysis of managerial decisions, but you shouldn’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Palin Comparrison: An Examplary Lesson In Class

american-flag.jpgThe men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and
Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled
together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have
not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the
United States of America.

                              — Barack Obama, August 28, 2008

We here at RSBS realize
that we have spent a great amount of time this season in what some
simple-minded individuals might consider exacerbating the divide
between hard working baseball-loving Americans.  But let me just clear
the air and say that what they see as divisive, we see as unifying.  We do what we have to because we can, we will and most of all: we care.  When we see injustices, when we endure the pains of partisanship, hear the cries of the people, we have little choice but to report the truth and expound cautionary messages.

And sometimes we might just piss you off.

Well, not today, folks.

After last night’s call for unifying hope among color and party lines, I have nothing in my heart but love.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one:

Look,
as you already know: I’m no idiot.  It is painfully clear that John
McCain’s “congratulations on a job well done, Senator” was as smarmy
and spurious as it was preplanned beyond anality.  But I’m feeling
splendid today.  I’m feeling patriotic.  I’m feeling swept up in an
emotional wind of change.  I’m ready to reach across the aisle and be
nice to someone for no other reason than to be nice to someone.   And
just for today, I want to believe that McCain’s gesture was at least
rooted in good will.

So, here’s my crack at it:

Dear Cub Fans:
dumb cub fan sign.jpgYou
have a really great team this year.  I’m not just saying that.  You
do.  Your team has the best record in baseball (at the time of this
publication) and they have what it takes to go a long way on both sides
of the field.  The Cubs’ pitching is great.  Cubs’ hitting is timely. 
Your team has a wise and great leader in Lou.  I know I give you a hard
time for the banality of your collective souls, for being obnoxious, for your whining and crying all the time; but hey, I just want to tell you job well done on supporting your team for actually playing well.  That’s so good of you.

sarah palin.jpgDear McCain Campaign:
You did a really cool thing in choosing Sarah Palin as your Vice Presidential nominee
Job well done.  I’m not even going to mention that your whole campaign
platform against Senator Obama revolves around his alleged
‘inexperience’ in politics.  And on that note, I won’t bring up the
fact that she has next to no high profile ‘experience’ in
leadership.  And believe me, I’m not going to waste time calling this
move what it probably is: a meager attempt to shift focus from the
strong warning shot of change resonating throughout this great land. 
Yes, Senator McCain.  You really are a maverick.  You are awesome.

Dear Yankees Fans:
jason.giambi.mustache.jpgSo
your team isn’t so hot this year.  So what.  Jason Giambi’s fashion
statement is pretty cool.  Sure, it will never match the infamy of Giambi-on-Juice, but hey, at least it reminds us of one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes, right?  Okay, so the Giambi mustache won’t be a classic; but it will be remembered.  
And in a season that has a million reasons why you’d want to forget it,
at least Giambi came through in the clutch by taking your mind off all
of your woes, if just for a day.

a.j. pierzynski 2.jpgDear A.J. Pierzynski Haters:
I
really admire your persistence and passion for hating one baseball
player so much that you would comment on this blog by using the phrase “AJ P is a piece of crap” (see comments, fourth one from the bottom).  That is classy.  That is brilliant.  And it stands out as a truly mesmerizing use of the English language.  Job well done, A.J. haters.

Dear Detroit Tigers:
detroit_tigers_logo.jpg
You guys are doing an awesome job of acting like you still care about
the remainder of the 2008 season.  I know that your thoughts are really
on what type of yacht you’ll be purchasing for that winter cruise
around the Venezuelan coast, what with all that money you raked in this season without having to… well, you know, win
games.  Believe me, I think I know how hard it is to feign interest in
something that I’d rather not be doing just so I could collect some
dough, so I commend you all for your standout steadfastness in pretend attentiveness.  That’s what I call a job well done!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

Despite baseball and basketball being sports born in the good old USA, both national teams have lost touch with winning gold at the Olympic games.  Why do people care so much more about the basketball team losing top standing than the baseball team?

–Jeff

                                                                                     

Quick, name the top three players in baseball. If you did this honestly, you probably came up with A-Rod, Pujols, Miguel Cabrera and so on and so forth. Now, do the same thing for basketball. What’s the difference? When you name the basketball players they all have last names like Bryant, Garnett, Anthony and James. Good ol’ Anglo-Saxon names that sound about as American as apple pie.

ObamaNewYorker.jpgAmericans like their heroes to have names that sound like their own. There’s a reason you see Senator Obama slipping in the polls and it isn’t because John McCain has a better energy plan. When it comes right down to it, Americans, despite being only a couple generations removed from immigrant status themselves, don’t trust immigrants. When a current nominee for the presidency has to deny ties to Islamist terrorists in the same way that Kennedy had to deny that he would take orders from the pope 50 years ago, it’s not hard to see that we haven’t come all that far.

Beyond all that, timing is an integral part of who can actually
represent our country. The baseball season is in full swing and there’s
no way that all those athletes are going to sacrifice their big
salaries or that the teams are going to sacrifice the playoffs for a
couple of weeks of nationalistic fervor. I’m sure that basketball GMs
dread having their best players out there risking injury but at least
the Olympic competition is over before players even need to report for
camp.

However, in the Olympics, it also comes down to something much more simple. Basketball has been around in the Olympics for decades and became a sporting symbol for the Cold War conflict between the US and the USSR. When the Soviets beat the Americans in 1988, it stunned the US sporting psyche in the same way that Sputnik called our national pride into question at the end of the 50′s.

Baseball just doesn’t play the same role. It’s only been an Olympic sport for the past 12 years and the US hasn’t even qualified every time. And beyond that, who plays the role of the villian? What reason do we have to win? Real baseball plays out between May and October in a bunch of stadiums scattered across North America.

So, maybe if Cuba ever becomes a legitimate threat or Venezuela is able to back up the big game they talk with some international clout, then baseball will come to play a similar role to that of basketball. But until then, the Dream Team will be Kobe and company and the Olympic baseball team will be a bunch of college schlubs trying their hardest to make their country proud.

-A

May I Propose a Trade?

kid.crying.jpgAs has happened in years past, the trade deadline frenzy wore me out and left me for dead.  With all the craziness around the league where names like Bay, Ramirez, Griffey, Teixeira, Rodriguez and Farnsworthless are changing into new uniforms, I’m not sure how I should feel.  I know I don’t feel good; but I suppose when it’s all said and done, life could be a lot worse.

Take the Cubs for example.  Having just swept the Brewers, they’re sitting pretty right now atop the NL Central, owning what could be the best starting rotation — thanks to the acquisition of Rich Harden — in the league, yet their fans — frenzied to the max — are out beating up Brewers fans in Milwaukee, bludgeoning Sox fans at little kids’ birthday parties, and writing me continuously obscene hate mail like this:

“…f***in cards s*** no trade no bullpen izzringnhausen is worhtless peace of s*** you f***ing s***hole who wont right me back but you prolly scared coz i put you inyour f***in place you b****. pujols willl prolly break his face from being on such a s****y team. you think ur so hot stuff wel ur not so you can eat a big fat d*** you f** b**** cubs rule sox s*** cards dead…”
cubluvr1995@yahoo.com, July 31, 2008

That sure is some way to express one’s excitement regarding his team’s chances as we get into the latter two months of the season.  Now don’t get me wrong, when the Cardinals or the Sox do well, there’s nothing that makes me feel better than going out and beating the living snot out of a guy or better yet, writing incoherent expletive-ridden emails from the safe anonymity of my mom and dad’s basement.  The difference is: I’m way cool about it.

But the senseless beatings of non-Cub supporters are not that important in the grand scheme of the world.  We US Americans have a decision to make soon; and the way things stand now, that decision won’t be too difficult. 

Recently, Senator John McCain, finally cognizant of the fact that he is about as camera-friendly as a seventy year old scab, hit the airwaves with a new attack ad relating Barack Obama’s popularity of Hope politics to the flagrant shenanigans of infamous celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.   Uh, yeah.  They’re like one in the same.  I can hardly tell the difference.  Shall we?

Thumbnail image for britney.spears.jpgThumbnail image for obamasox2.jpg

paris.hilton.jpg

Yes, it’s clearly obvious to all who have eyes that Obama’s appeal carries the same sentiment and clamor that comes with these two lovely ladies and their raucous good looks. 

Thank you, John McCain, for taking the time to educate me on this issue.  I’m sure that there is nothing more important you or your campaign could be working on right now what with two wars and an economic crisis being such minor inconveniences.

Dear readers, this odd political angle of strategizing towards the completely ignorant is a bit tired.  This cries out that McCain has lost whatever semblance of an edge he might’ve had at one time and therefore, his message has become stale, moot, boring. 

ron.paul.jpgMay I propose a trade?  Would anyone mind if the GOP pulled out a Manny-like deal and traded John McCain and Rick Davis for Ron Paul?  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.  Paul is a hard-lined Libertarian-rooted Republican who actually represents the conservative ideals of eradicating Big Government; he also uses the “R” word with conviction and is just as tired of the sickening state of US America as you and I are.  He’s a funny guy — even charming to some degree — and most of all, he would make this race (which, has already become more boring than Clinton v. Dole ’96) an exciting one to watch.

Is it too much to ask the GOP to make this necessary move?  We can extend the deadline… push back the convention if we need to… just this once.  Let’s do it!  I believe that US Americans deserve a good, entertaining political fight and just think of how fun it would be to see Ron Paul and Barack Obama debate the finer points of smoking weed.  Heck, they might even end up agreeing on something!

And that, dear readers, would be a beautiful thing.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Why Must the Cardinals Make My Life Miserable?

I can’t eat.

I can’t sleep.

I can’t find a date.

Thank you, St. Louis Cardinals.

kyle_lohse.jpgI went to bed last night thinking: So we blew it.  So what.  Tomorrow will be fine.  Lohse is on the mound.  We’ll be fine.  Really.  It’s all good.  The man is Lazarus.

And he was — just fine, raised from the dead and all — until he was left in a little too long and he started to show weakness: a crumbling arm.  And Tony, with little else to fall back on, because Mozeliak won’t make a deal for some relief, left him in.

And all hell broke loose.

I, as a St. Louis Cardinal fan and devoted US American, refuse to accept this surface steaming idealogical concept that we can survive on our own, without making a deal.  We’re up against the free-spending Cubs and Brewers!  Get your act together, Mr. Mozeliak!  You’re looking a lot like sit-on-my-^ss-while-I-read-a-story-book-GW Bush during the greatest tragedy of our time!

a-rod smirk.jpgI wrote an editorial on my dissatisfaction with the Cardinals’ front office and submitted it to the New York Times; however, they rejected it on the basis that it wasn’t controversial enough — not enough T&A — and it had nothing to do with the Yankees, the Mets, A-Rod nor Madonna.

So much for being the world leader in print news, New York Times.  For that I offer you a great big RSBS “EAT IT!”

And no, you may not hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

The Cubs, Cards and Brewers have turned the NL Central into a dogfight. With
Chicago and Milwaukee making big moves to bring in high caliber pitching,
St. Louis seems to be the odd man out at this point. What moves if any do
you think the Cards will make and which team (or teams) will emerge from the
dust in September?

– Allen

                                                                                      

jesus_cubs.jpgAllow me to begin by sending out a great big RSBS EAT IT! to all the critics and analysts who said the NL Central would be the worst division in baseball prior to the season’s start.  On the contrary, the Central has turned out to be one of the better, more exciting divisions to watch.  Of course, with the NY/LA obsessed media still dictating what is and isn’t entertaining to the mass of US Americans, this competitive division will probably still remain out of the spotlight.  This is a downright shame — not as shameful as the existing snoozefest otherwise known as the NL West — but still, it’s a shame.

And as Mr. Krause points out, the NL Central has gotten a whole lot better in recent weeks.  But while the Brewers and Cubs went out and made heavy hitting deals for C.C. Sabathia (with periods on my watch) and Rich Harden respectively, it appears that the Cardinals front office really is sitting back — waiting for some divine intervention deus ex machina style.

Or are they?

Long gone are the Walt Jocketty days of going out and getting a guy to win now.  No more Larry Walker or Will Clark-esque deals will be happening under John Mozeliak’s rule — that much was already made clear in the offseason when the Brewers, Cubs and Astros all went out and spent a lot of money to get better, thus leaving the Redbirds (and their fans) questioning the sincerity of Mozeliak’s commitment to now.  To say that Mozeliak doesn’t want to win is unfair; I believe he does, but I also think his methods are unrealistic when considering our competition and their subsequent open pocketbooks.

Mozeliak and the Cardinals’ brass have been saying that the mid-season reactivation of Mark Mulder and Chris Carpenter would be their “big move” before the trade deadline.  Well, the first part of that plan has already proved a bigger bust than the Billary Clinton campaign’s postponing cession from the primaries because  “…Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”  So let’s not count on Mark Mulder’s bum arm/shoulder to be anything other than what it is: a bum arm/shoulder. 

chris.carpenter.jpgAnd while Chris Carpenter could be that mentally motivating savior in the clubhouse who simultaneously goes on a hot streak of domination, what if he’s not?  What if he goes back on the DL?  It’s very possible, folks.  The guy hasn’t pitched a big league game since opening day of 2007 and while his presence was definitely missed last year, it  really hasn’t been missed that much this season.  The St. Louis hodgepodge rotation of Wainwright (when healthy), Lohse, Looper, Wellemeyer, Pineiro and Brad Thompson have done quite well for themselves.  The Cardinals’ Achilles heal isn’t starting pitching.

Nor is it protecting Albert, though many people would like us to believe that.  Rumors are afloat that the Cardinals could make a big, colossal, GINORMOUS deal for Matt Holliday.  Really?  Is that what St. Louis needs?  Another big, expensive bat who we won’t be able to afford after 2009?  No.  Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus, as far under the radar as they are, have been doing a good job of protecting A.P.

What the Cardinals really need is a reliever who can throw anything other than lollygaggin’ batting practice fastballs late in a game.  And they are out there: Damaso Marte, George Sherrill, Brian Fuentes.  One of those guys better be wearing the birds on the bat before July 31st or I may drink myself into delirium from anguish.  In recent weeks, watching the last three innings of a Cardinal game has become as uncomfortable as this:

And no one wants to suffer like that — not even John McCain, which is why he hasn’t taken a liking to the moniker: MC CAIN.  Too bad for him… and liberals abound.

ann coulter.jpgSo who will be at the top of the Central once it is all said in done?  Hell if I know.  If I did, I wouldn’t be watching the games so intently, or care.  But thanks for asking, Mr. Krause.  If you remember correctly, I did predict the Brewers would win the Central while secretly hoping the Cards would at least have a wild card bid.  The second half of that may be true still, but those Cubbies are awfully tough, which is exactly why I’ll be so happy to see them crumble towards the end of the year (if my deal with the devil works out the way it’s supposed to).

On the flipside, in the American League Central, I hear that Jimmy Leyland is so upset, distraught, and bothered by the lack of urgency in his team (particularly the pitching staff) that he is exploring new avenues of work.  In his preparation, he sent me this official press photo that he hopes will ignite interest:

jim.leyland.jpgUh, yeah.  No.  Sorry, Jimmy.  You might want to stick with managing crappy, overpaid, underachieving baseball teams in Detroit. 

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Analyze That

Wait. So who won the Home Run Derby? The only participants I even heard about were Chase Utley (for his expressions of love toward New Yorkers and Yankee fans) and Josh Hamilton (who apparently smoked super crack that allows him to destroy baseballs). Oh right. Justin Morneau. Oh well. Nothing to talk about there.

But there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to Josh Hamilton. Or at least that’s what I gather from watching Joe Buck’s play-by-play at the All-Star Game the other night. From Hamilton’s inability to brush his teeth by himself the morning after the Derby (I’m still not sure what Buck was trying to say) to a sloppy and drawn out True Hollywood Story rendition of Hamilton’s life, Mr. Buck managed to alienate most viewers within 15 minutes of the game’s first pitch. And that’s only if you were lucky enough to tune in late and miss the pre-game festivities.

However, none of this should really come as a surprise. Joe even recently admitted that he’s been phoning it in for awhile now. I mean, his on-air performance is about as thrilling as a Hilary Clinton stump speech and almost as inspiring as John McCain’s control of important health care issues.

It’s just sad that this is what Jack Buck’s kid has come to.

Anyway, it could be worse I suppose. He could make odd drunken sounding noises like his broadcast partner, Tim McCarver. Makes me wish for the old days, with guys who could really call a game. Guys like Ernie Harwell. And that’s all I’m gonna say because otherwise I’m going to come across as an old codger. At least it’s better than auditorily fellating an almost Home Run Derby champ.

-A

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