Results tagged ‘ Justin Verlander ’

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Outlaw, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“All I can tell you is, I wish I had a dime for every dime I had.”

To commemorate my hopeful demise of the mighty money juggernaut that is the Boston Red Sox, I have decided to use one of the greatest films ever conceived to explain my feelings for this occasion.

ARTHUR!!!

I’m also here to remind the world of the hurt and pain that Russell Brand caused me by pissing on my childhood by remaking this classic. BASTARDDOOOO.

“Thank you for a memorable afternoon, usually one must go to a bowling alley to meet a woman of your stature.”

The Red Sox are falling apart. The Tampa Bay Rays are in pursuit of the wild card and I couldn’t be happier. At the beginning of the season, I, like the rest of the baseball universe, had the Sox winning it all. That being said, I love this Rays team. I’ve loved the last three or four Rays teams. LOVE Joe Maddon.  He almost makes me like Florida. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate tha SAWKSSS. I’m just a bit tired of everything Boston. NO MORE BOSTON!! No more Red Sox! The Town, Conviction, Gone Baby Gone, the Patriots, The Departed, Ben Affleck doing Madden ads. I NEED A FAWWWWWWWWKIINNNNN BREAK!!!

“If you and your undershirt will walk two paces backwards, I could enter this dwelling.”

Oh yea. Forgot about Edge of Darkness, The Fighter, and Danny fawwwwwwkkkinnnn Woodhead!!!! I feel like I have had a Fenway Frank shoved up my giggy for the last ten years.

“I race cars, play tennis, and fondle women, BUT! I have weekends off, and I am my own boss.”

Theo Epstein’s bright idea was to punch in Erik Betard. BRILLIANT? No. Can Jon Lester be everywhere at once? Josh Beckett is hurty. The BLOWN RANGER!  John Lackey is awful.  This staff is not quite in dire straits but…

“Ladies and gentlemen… I’m sorry… As you probably have surmised by now… there will be no wedding. The bride… has had second thoughts… and has decided not to marry me… Most of you know me… Can you blame her?”

Carl Crawford has been my personal joy killer. One of my favorite players of the last seven years, he hasn’t quite been worth the money. Hitting third in this lineup has been a problem. He’s a leadoff hitter!

“Isn’t this fun? Isn’t fun the best thing to have? Don’t you wish you were me? I know I do.”

The rise of Jacoby Ellsbury has been nothing short of TRANSCENDENT — an absolute bright spot. And I couldn’t be happier for the kid who has struggled through injuries. He or Curtis Granderson would be fine choices for MVP. (I’m sorry, Verlander.)

And now, one last fleeting thought for my beloved Cubs. Both Sox teams have won championships and so have the current champ Giants. My thoughts on this?

Gloria: My mother died when I was six.
Arthur: [bangs his fist on the table] Son of a bitch! Don’t they know what they do to kids?
Gloria: My father raped me when I was twelve.
Arthur: So, you had six relatively good years? I’m sorry. Listen, my father screwed me, too.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

V is for Verlander

Although there’s still half a month to go before the postseason, many sportswriters have already moved beyond the silly question of who will face whom in the playoffs and onto the much more serious inquiry of who deserves the upcoming postseason awards.  Things are a bit tricky this year, especially in the AL, where the debate over the future MVP hinges on how people define valuable.  Bill Simmons tackled the question in a recent piece and I tend to think he came up with the right formula.

For me, it comes down to one simple question.  What one person, if he hadn’t been playing for a team, would have been the biggest loss over the course of the season?  Clearly I’m a little biased but could anyone really imagine the Tigers where they are right now without Justin Verlander?  It’s not just about Verlander’s individual success.  It’s also the fact that he took an underachieving team, hefted them up on his shoulder and said, “Like it or not, we’re going to win and I’m going to show you how.”  That’s not just value, that’s some straight-up Nietzschean will to power.

The case could be made for other players who at least have a shot at the award.  And although we all know that pitching wins championships, a very real prejudice against pitchers exists when it comes to the MVP.  But no matter how the rest of the season plays out, there’s no way the Tigers are leading the AL Central in mid-September  without Justin Verlander.  Show me another player who’s more valuable than that.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Dissimulator, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

And the Final Rose Goes to…

“Nice guys don’t finish last.  Nice guys just have to wait a little bit longer sometimes.”
–Jake Pavelka

In this all-Bachelor edition here at Setting the Mahmud, I’ve narrowed down who gets my lucky rose!  No, not the MVP award — THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO THINGS AROUND HERE — we’re talking about my rose.

Justin Verlander will win many awards this season, so he doesn’t need this.  He is a feisty one though!

Stephen Strasburg wasn’t around enough this year, but he definitely gets an honorable mention, just because.  Simmering optimism for next year, my friend.  Also, no one should ever have to see what my face is doing right now.

Aramis Ramirez is usually my go-to old flame. That being said, I have an irrational dislike for how he runs the bases.  (Sorry, Aramis. I never had the heart to tell you.)  And now I’m looking for something a little more long term.  I want to build a new life with someone special.  I really can’t do a long distance relationship right now, and I’m not too confident Ramirez will be around much longer.

Buster Posey lost out early.  It was no fault of his own (injury).  BASTARD.  I was rooting hard for him.  He looked strong to start the season and was a returning champ from last year.  Can’t hide the gimpy now though.  There’s always next year!

Another early favorite, Carl Crawford, couldn’t quite get on track in time to qualify.

Asdrubal Cabrera, the human highlight reel, would be a strong contender but this rose can go to only one…

Nyjer Efffin Morgan! MY GUY!!  AKA, Tony Plush!  Nobody does it better.  What can I say?

Nyjer, my dear Nyjer, every moment you had on camera set my heart a flutter. THAT IS NOT WEIRD, PEOPLE.  In fact, T-Sizzle could do odd things to me if he wanted.

I’m only mostly kidding.

Too strong.  TOO GOOD.

How many times have I watched the post-game interview where he channels his inner Bryant Gumbel!?!?  I stopped counting at 1,636. Well, this rose is for you, kid.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 27: A Man Named DIANNE and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff, Allen and Johanna kick back on all the baseball drama comin’ down the stretch including STRASMAS!, Verlander’s MVP bid, Nyjer AHHHHHHH Morgan and several other topics sure to offend as much as entertain!  The crew also gets a visit from AM 670 The Score’s very own Tim Baffoe, the one and only Ten Foot Midget!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his laugh spawning Undercast.

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Recorded Saturday, September 3, 2011

Record Breaking Singularity

Over the weekend, my brother-in-law and I had a deep discussion regarding what Major League records, streaks and milestones would never again be reached.  We volleyed, dipped and parried, throwing out memorized stats and tangible history: Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hit streak.  The 300 win plateu.  5000 career strikeouts.  Pete Rose’s 4,256 hits.

On the surface, all of them seem insurmountable considering the modern game’s allegiance to softness, a result of the millions and millions and millions of dollars involved.  We concluded that the game was going to evolve into something else, perhaps a realm where the magical achievements of the 20th century would never again be rivaled — that they simply couldn’t be, because the people and the philosophies and the technologies of the game had changed.

Considering what we know now about how the human body works, why would a team subject its star athlete to a 162 game season, every year, with no breaks and no rest periods at all?  It just doesn’t make sense.

Which makes Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played streak the holy grail of Major League records.

Unless…

We consider the very real (and imminent) arrival of the Singularity era.

That’s right.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, consider Moore’s Law, which applies the exponential growth theory to the amount of transistors that can be aptly placed within an integrated circuit.  The number doubles rather quickly (every two years or so), which is why 50 years ago the most basic of computers took up an entire wing of a building to do simple calculations and the iPhone or Droid you have in your pocket is able to take dictation, guide you from your home to the ballpark via GPS and give you the answers to any question at any time at speeds you never even dreamed possible (cue the Google Oracle music).

According to leading scientists, engineers and futurists, we are soon going to reach a point (within the next 30 – 50 years) where nanotechnology will be as common as laptops are today — that tiny yet powerful computers the size of blood cells will be programmed to reverse engineer the effects of aging, to fight off disease, to, in effect, provide superhuman powers.

Imagine having Albert Pujols, in the prime of his career, forever… or, at least for 40-50 solid years.  Imagine Justin Verlander striking out 500 hitters each season with his 145 mph fastball.  Imagine Carlos Zambrano murdering his entire –

Whoops.

Okay, so the Singularity era will also present some pretty controversial issues, like creating artificial intelligence that is able to out think us, which will blend the lines between what is real and what is not to the point where we could be opened up to an entirely new dimension, an entirely new worldview and/or perspective (like an ant suddenly realizing and being able to understand that there’s an entire world that exists above him).

But if we could see Albert in a Cardinals uni forever, tallying up as many career homeruns as there are trips around the sun and never getting hurt, I think all that sci-fi apocalypse shizz will be worth it.

So I retract my idea that some records will never be broken and confess: THEY ARE ALL GOING TO BE BROKEN.  Believe it.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Voldermort, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Wait a minute! I’m having a thought. Oh, yes. I’m gonna have a thought. It’s coming… it’s gone.”

The only way I watch another CUUBBBBS game this season is if Wizzo the Wizard and his magic cards are involved (I’d go back in time and volunteer for the Vietnam War as well, because TIME MACHINES ARE REAL). Thank you, Jim Hendry, for giving Kosuke Fukudome $48 million so you could trade him for two prospects who will never see a Major League roster to save $750 thousand. You’re something else, Jim, you really are.  But… there’s so much more to check out so all is GUUUDDDDD.

Justin Verlander has me in hysterics on a regular basis. He brings some must-see damn baseball every week. 100 mph fastballs being thrown in the 8th inning are… the password is

ORGASMIC.

How in the hell is he doing that? That’s some Nolan Ryan territory.

The human highlight reel that is Asdrubal Cabrera is doing NASTAYY things out there too. No balls get by him. Nothing. He’s playing that infield like a fine fiddle. Imagine the range of Ozzie Smith but with power. NASTAYYYYYY.

Also, the new team I’ve adopted (The White Sox) still provide daily drama. The constant pillow fighting (and maybe a little pillow biting) between Kenny and the Blizzard of Oz have been fantastic! Plus, pitching coach, Don Cooper, sounds like Buddy Hackett, who should have had a much bigger role in Herbie.  (Best sidekick/mechanic ever. He also makes a serious cappuccino.)

And I have Pirates fever!!! I am actively rooting for them to win the Central. They got my old pal Derrek Lee! Ol Pittsburgh hasn’t won a Super Bowl in like… a year, so they NEED THIS. All that aside, I like the Pirates being decent. It’s refreshing. Kinda like running through the woods with nothing on but pink panties and a little mayonnaise.

Also, I keep watching HBO’s documentary on Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit. It was good but not great. I pretty much just fast forward to the parts with Minka Kelly. The password is

MINX.

And just one more thing: go back and watch Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy. The movie kinda got killed at the time for some weak acting and plot holes but that’s garbage. Danny Elfman’s score and Stephen Sondheim’s original songs combine to make it a great movie, despite everything else. And Madonna? The password is… wait for it… wait… wait…

SIZZLING.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

A Pleasant Peninsula

I’m proud to be from Michigan.  We’ve got four of the five Great Lakes and really, how great is Lake Ontario anyway?  Without Michigan, you don’t get Kid Rock or Ted Nugent and how many other states let you show people where you live just by holding up a hand?

However, I’m not always proud of Michigan.  Sure, it’s a great state but there are some issues.  You know, like the fact that half of Detroit is functionally illiterate.  Seriously, half.  Even Togo does better than that.

Some of our other citizens don’t fare much better either.  You could call it a blond thing, you could call it a Michigan thing.  All I know is that it doesn’t say anything good about us.

There are two things that give me hope, though.  First is the fact that we still have Justin Verlander and that’s like money in the bank.  The second thing?  Actually, it’s the hand thing.  Come on, that’s pretty cool.

-A

The Filibuster

So, it looks like we’ll watch the playoffs from the sidelines this year
since both of our teams decided to nosedive in the second half.  Which
teams’ failure is the most discouraging, though, the Tigers or the
Cards?

-Allen
Tigers fan
_______________________________

dead cardinal.jpg

A clever move from my sinister and oft pejorative colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, inserting himself into the Filibuster box by stuffing it with this one question, over and over and over again.  I guess some part of Mr. Krause is looking for sympathy in the wake of yet another disappointing season in Detroit; because anyone with any sort of baseball awareness knows that the greater discouragement between these two teams most assuredly belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Hell, up to a few weeks ago we were all buzzing about how the Cards could just mail it in for the NL Central title.  How could they not?!?  A team anchored by two of the best pitchers in the game (Wainwright, Carpenter), flanked by serious ROY candidate Jaime Garcia, a solid Jake Westbrook… and I haven’t even gotten to the offense centered around Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday… a team like this… it screams playoffs.

So how is it that they are dead?

Lack of motivation.  Sense of entitlement.  Clubhouse squabbling.  Streakiness.  The absence of a clear, dominating, team leader.

Really, that’s what it comes down to.

Meanwhile, the 2010 edition of the Tigers never had a chance to begin with.  Outside of Justin Verlander (who struggled early on), their pitching was a complete mess (Dontrelle Willis anyone?).  They started two rookies in Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore… and at the very last minute they signed a less-than-stellar Johnny Damon to… well, to do what, I don’t really know.  His non-impact did the talking.  Or not.  Depending on how you look at it.

So, Mr. Krause, of course the Cardinals’ 2010 fail remains more epic (as the kids iz sayin’) than your disastrous Detroit Tigers, who are apt to see Jimmy Leyland walk away after the season, so that he can spend more quality time smoking… and… smoking.

But not all hope is lost for the RSBS universe.  The Rays and Rangers look like fun teams to root for in the postseason, and let us not forget… Mr. Krause still has a horse in this race:

allen loves joe mauer.jpg

Hate me ‘cuz I got people who can extract sensitive information, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Pics of Mr. Krause declaring his love for Albert Pujols & Co. also welcome. I have a hunch…

Three Things You Can Bet On (And Win!)

roulette_wheel.JPGGo ahead.  Live a little.  You know you want to.

Besides, sitting in front of that television watching baseball games and drinking beer all day could be a lot more fun if you just… live a little.  And by live, of course I mean entertaining the idea that some Republicans might actually have some good ideas.

No, that’s a lie.  I’m talking about gambling.  And you know it.

So if you’re gonna gamble, why not gamble on a sure thing… ya know, so it’s not so much like gambling.  And just in case you worried you might have to do some work to find a sure thing, relax.  RSBS and the trusted interns have already done all the work.  So here ’tis, folks, three DEFINITE winners.

Add to your bankroll wisely…

Sure Thing Number 1: Albert Pujols

Uh… hello?  If you haven’t been convinced of Albert’s transcending greatness yet, then you are either a) dead b) communist or c) dead.  And for all you dead commies, know that Prince Albert went 4-5 with two dingers on Opening Day 2010.  Eat it!

paul lebowitzs baseball guide.jpgSure Thing Number 2: Paul Lebowitz’s 2010 Baseball Guide
From one prince to another, let it be known that the most ruthless, best writer you’ve never heard of is back, this time with the 2010 edition of his annual baseball guide.  You can purchase it *here* on Amazon, or find it through his blogspot site or paullebowitz.com.  Dude, if reading The Prince of New York isn’t already a part of your daily routine, then what the hell are you waiting for?  The man knows what he’s talking about and this guide will help you with your fantasy teams and your exotic parlays!  Oh, and you’ll also gain an in-depth understanding of every aspect of all thirty clubs.  Of course, if you don’t check it out there’s always the chance that I might have to break your legs… so… just sayin’…

And finally…

Sure Thing Number 3: Evan Longoria’s Bad@$$ New Era Commercial
Yep.  If you haven’t seen it yet, get ready, ‘cuz this commercial is a man-gasmic (I made that word up so pay me if you use it) trip down to Awesomeville (I made that one up too).  Look, I love the Andrew Bailey, Nelson Cruz, Justin Verlander commercials… and Mauer is good and all… but jeesh, watching Longoria play this adventurous hero who takes his headwear seriously causes me virtual fits in a world where I am loyal to Albert and Albert only.  Good thing it’s all make-believe, or I might be heading to Albert-Rams-A-Louisville-Slugger-Up-My-Toosh-Opolis (I officially made that up too, but you can blame my sickish and oft pedantic colleague, Mr. Krause, for its idiocy).

So, what are ya waiting for? 

Show me the money!

And don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

From Right Field to the Parking Lot

Jimmy_smokes.jpgAs the postseason awards get handed out and as Yankees fans revel in what 1.4 billion dollars can do for you, those of us cheering for also-ran teams have to sit back and hope for better luck next year. Yep, next year could be the year when Verlander wins his Cy Young, Miguel Cabrera finally walks off with the MVP award and Jimmy Leyland and the Tigers win the Series. It’s not impossible.

But even if this is just a pipe dream, it’s still better than watching the Lions continue to redefine terrible, one loss at a time. We used to have the Pistons but they’re just ordinary anymore. And I suppose there are the Red Wings but I am not nor have I ever been Canadian so that just doesn’t do it for me.

The thing is that the Tigers have all the pieces. They’re just missing that elusive something, that killer instinct that could put them over the top. You don’t put that many Venezuelans on a team and not expect some sort of revolution. Expectations are about all we have these days, though.

This whole process is kind of like that old song about playing right field. You daydream about the ideal situation and everything coming together but then something wakes you up and you face the truth, the terror of a baseball hurtling your way. For me, that something is one of my favorite Twitter streams, Sh!tMyDadSays. And if you scroll down to the tweet on October 8th, you’ll see what I mean. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Hope springs eternal, though. And in case you’ve forgotten the song, the kid ultimately ends up making the catch out in right field. Who knows? Maybe next year the Tigers will get the good news that Justin’s dad thinks they deserve. But I’m betting on god taking another dump in the parking lot.

-A

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