Results tagged ‘ Managers ’

Um… Okay, So Did You Want a Cookie?

tony larussa with pets.jpg

Tony LaRussa will be back at the Cardinals’ helm in 2011.

Great.

Seriously.

No, really.

I’m happy about that.  I’m just as happy about that as I am happy that I still have all my teeth.  And believe me, I like having all my teeth.

But I think I’m in the majority of Cardinals fans who really is over the glamour (if you can call it that) associated with Tony LaRussa.  Is he a fantastic manager?  Indeed.  Is he one of the best ever in the history of the game?  You bet.  But… Mr. LaRussa, what on earth have you done for me lately?

Not that much.  Unless, of course, you consider alienating our number one prospect doing something productive.

Look, y’all, it is not my intent to get all privileged and Yankeefied here, to whine about continued success and be an annoying voice of nag; because I know what it feels like to lose.  I’m not seeing this for something it’s not.  But let’s face it: a team that features both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the lineup and Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the starting rotation, must be in the playoffs.

Must.

MUST.

2011 is an all-in year for the Cards.  They better throw every dollar, every asset, every rosin bag in to winning the whole damn thing.

Anything less will be a complete failure — and probably the last of TLR’s tenure with St. Louis.

Believe that.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Baseball Meets Art: “Caravaggio’s Sacrificio di Piniella”

caravaggios sacrificio di piniella.jpg

Abraham would’ve done it.

Someone would’ve done it.

Baseball meets art, dude.

And I just blew your mind.

Hate me for that… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Baseball Meets Art: “Dream Caused by the Flight of the Bumblebee Featuring Jimmy Leyland”

dream caused by the flight of the bumblebee featuring Jimmy Leyland.JPG
In the real world, it’s easy to explain why the Tigers suck.

In the surreal world, there are things you just can’t explain.

So don’t even try, tiger.

Don’t even try.

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

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 7: Zambrano’s “Elf”-lessness… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 6.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Look out, y’all!  The Prince of New York (aka Paul Lebowitz) is back!  Joining forces with Jeff and Johanna, the best writer you’ve never heard of exercises his unfettered angst and admits to whom he’d like to strangle to death.  Lots of heads roll as the guys discuss Carlos Zambrano’s temper, Vicente Padilla’s flopsweat, Mark Prior’s overgrown calves, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more… all to bring smileys to your faceys!

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and all-around sound guru.  And his Undercast podcast is wicked smaht!  I actually ran into his Undercast crew the other day, as they were going to Subway, and I realized Subway couldn’t contain their bad@ssness.  Anyway, their podcast is available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.  Check it out!

Recorded Thursday, August 5, 2010

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 6: MLB’s Chimeras… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 7.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and his Cub-lovin’ pal Johanna Mahmud put their heads together to find out what’s wrong with Joe Buck’s face… they also talk about a slew of other important stuff, including (but not limited to) Andre Dawson being a bad@ss, why everyone hates Cleveland, Pete Hill of the Negro Leagues, Matt Capps’ ginormous noggin, the Lou
Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more… all to make you laughy time!

Holla!

P.S. Language definitely rated R on this one. We let ourselves go a bit… but it’s a lot of fun (trust us).

-
– -

Subscribe
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe

via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  His Undercast
podcast is a must-listen (listen to it!).  It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard

Films.

Recorded Saturday, July 24, 2010

RSBS Sits Down with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith

ozzie smith 85 nlcs.jpgGrowing up a kid in America is synonymous with being a dreamer.  We’re taught that anything is possible if we’re dedicated, if we work hard.  And we often model ourselves after those we look up to, our heroes.

I always had two: my dad, whom I got to see everyday, and St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop, Ozzie Smith.  Many a summer afternoon was spent in the backyard… swinging like Ozzie, diving like Ozzie, smiling like Ozzie.

“I want to be Ozzie Smith,” family members recall me saying, “I want to be Number One.”

So what does one say when he finally gets to have a conversation with his boyhood hero?

“My grandpa had Musial.  My dad had Gibson and Brock.  I had you, Ozzie.”

And Ozzie’s response?

“Cool.”

Of course, I expected nothing but the coolest things from the man who gave us reason to Go crazy, folks, go crazy!  Heck, it’s been nearly 25 years since that homerun prompted Jack Buck to give us his iconic call, but I promise you this: to a Cardinals fan, it never gets old.

“It never went away,” chuckled a candid Ozzie Smith, “and as a matter of fact, it’s still reverberating today.  I have little kids coming up to me, reciting that.  So yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

Indeed it is pretty cool and so is Ozzie Smith, the man: 15 time All-Star, 13 time Gold Glove Award Winner, Hall of Famer and all around good guy.

He may be retired from baseball, but work never stops; and this summer Ozzie has teamed up with Ken Griffey, Sr., Len Dawson, Mike Bossy and Jim Kelly in the Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer.

The seriousness of prostate cancer cannot be overstated.  In fact, 1 out of every 6 men will experience the disease, as it is the second-leading cause of male cancer-related deaths in the United States.

I’m just here to encourage all men 50 or older (40 or older for African-American men and those with a family history of the disease) to get involved, talking with their doctors about prostate health.  Because with early detection, prostate cancer isn’t only treatable, it’s beatable.”

As was Ozzie’s signature game plan on the field, the best way to beat this disease is with strong defense.  And if anyone knows anything about defense, one need look no further than The Wizard.

After a decade plus of abnormal offensive numbers in baseball, Ozzie sees the current renaissance of pitching and defense themed ball-clubs as a natural, cyclical part of the game.

“It’s the way the game is supposed to be played.  You can get a lot more out of playing the game the proper way than just building your team from an offensive standpoint.”

If you’re looking for an example of such managerial strategy, Ozzie suggests we look at those teams at the top.

“The Atlanta Braves in the East, I think they’re one of those teams.  Not a whole lot of power, but they certainly do the little things that it takes to win.  The Cardinals have always been one of those teams that have done that and I think it’s part of what’s allowed the Cincinnati Reds to lead their division this year.”

Such game theory often begins with the manager and Ozzie Smith was lucky enough to serve under one of the best, one of this summer’s Hall of Fame inductees: Whitey Herzog.

“As a manager, the goal is always to make players better than they are.  Whitey was certainly one of those people.  The relationship we had was of admiration and respect.  A good manager, like Whitey, only has two rules: be on time and give a hundred percent.  As a professional athlete, that’s all you can ask, to be given the opportunity to do what it is you do.  If you can’t abide by those rules, then you shouldn’t be playing.”

And as we gear up for the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim, it’s a pretty safe bet that the players involved abide by those rules.  One cannot be the best without giving his best.  As a 15 time All-Star himself, Ozzie was quite comfortable being at the top of his game.  When asked to describe his fondest All-Star memories, he was quick to answer.

“The first one I had a chance to go to in 1981 and then my final one in 1996, those two really stand out.  The first one simply because of the excitement of going to your first All-Star Game and the festivities, the lockering, visiting with guys you admired from afar and played against, having a chance to play with them was very special.  Then the reception I received in Philadelphia for my final one was very, very special.”

Yep.  It sure was.  In fact, I fondly remember… crying.  I was 17 years old, my hero was retiring and I was morbidly afraid of baseball without Ozzie.

But I quickly learned: no one can take away memories, no one can take away dreams.  The game continued on and Ozzie never really went away.  The moments he created are remembered today.  His work ethic is passed down.  His desire to help those in need, to educate, to make life better wherever possible through public service, as he’s doing with the Depend Campaign, all these things make him forever an All-Star.

Forever a hero.

Forever a reason to go crazy, folks.

Go crazy.

Written by Jeffery Lung

Special thanks to
Kristin Adams of Taylor PR for arranging the interview.

Click *HERE* to read Jeff’s interview with Dave Winfield.

Click *HERE*
to read Jeff’s interview with Ken Griffey, Sr.

Sharing with Shapiro

cleveland indians logo.jpgNevermind all that pre-NLCS/ALCS buzz dancing around the internets and such as, the Iraq!  Soon we will all have more than our wanted fill of Joe Buck self-righteous proclamations and ear-numbing Chip Carary-isms.  For now, let us focus on the larger, more looming and lurid task of finding the Cleveland Indians a new manager.  Shall we?

Yep.  John Farrell is no longer in the mix.  They can’t afford Bobby Valentine.  And unfortunately, dear readers, Lou Brown has gone back to selling tires… forever.

That’s why I, along with the fastidious help of our always reliable RSBS interns, have prepared a list of potential managerial candidates for Indians GM Mark Shapiro, whom we all know is too busy lamenting the contract of one Travis “I Ain’t Got It No More” Hafner and the cruel reality of a midge-less postseason.

Mark, here is the shortlist of suggested targets:

Bill Parcells
Sure, the Big Tuna ain’t no baseball guy; we know that.  But he was born to win (and eat… a lot).  Besides, just think of what hiring this former Cowboy coach could do for the long neglected and oft polarized relationship between Cowboys and Indians.  Mark, it is time to heal these wounds.

Chief Illiniwek
Since being shunned and axed by his University of Illinois home (where he was a staple presence for 81 years), the Great Chief doesn’t really have much to do but stay in and get drunk all day.  Hey, you can get drunk at the ballpark too, Chief!  Plus, having such a standard bearer of Native American tradition might help the Indians solve that whole racist image thing they’ve had goin’ on for… y’know… ever.

Nap LaJoie
Oh, wait.  He’s dead.  Never mind.

Earl Averill
He’s dead too?  Sorry.

Lou Boudreau

Whoops.  My bad.  Okay.  No more dead guys of French descent.

Ahem.

Well, then that leaves me with just one more super managerial candidate for Mr. Shapiro and that person is:

sarah_palin.jpgSarah Palin
Look, if you’re gonna build a bridge to nowhere, ya might as well build it on the Cuyahoga River.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m on point, all the time, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Ninemen’s Morris: Napoleon Lajoie is a French Ninny!

Upstart to Cobb Little More Than A Baltimore Chopper

Team Named After Hubristic Canuck

Passerby: “Lajoie’s Kin Helped the Limeys Torch the Library of Congress!”

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Silas red quigley Dear Rumpus-Rouser:

LAJOIE! You seek a
moral standard bearer, and you choose LAJOIE!?

Across the gentle
waves of the republic, there are two creeds that rankle the populous more than
any other, two regimes that chafe the ankles of freedom like Monte- Cristo’s
manacles.  They are, of course, none
other than the French Empire (Marquis de Lafayette excepted!) and the
British Commonwealth (royalist buggery!).  The French Canadian Lajoie manages to
encompass both!

Lajoie, having
illegally jumped leagues in 1901, and then sold by Connie Mack to the Cleveland
Nine, proceeds to win a newsmans raffle and the club winds up nomened with his
prenom!  This crafty Francophile’s
arrogance is matched only by the girth of the president of the republic.  His league-jumping garnered this
double-crosser unable to cross the
Pennsylvania state lines, and veritably forfeiting the
‘Naps’ games to the A’s!

“But hark,” you say,
tremulously caterwauling, “is he not a batsman beyond compare?  Did he not compile a batters-average that
same year of .427?!  And much of that
against the finest orb-slingers of the day, besting even the mighty Three
Finger Mordecai Brown!”

Still your knocking
knees!  His average this year?  Scarcely kissing .325, and his Cleveland Naps
langour at the bottom of the standings, skulking about the sous-sol like the
ghost of Washington Irving.

I brush your charges
aside as a horsefly from a mule’s fetlock. Ty Cobb’s Tigers pistol-whipped
Connie Mack’s White Elephants in four games at the close of August, and now the
American League is chasing their tail.  
The pennant may not yet be stabled, but those boys firmly grip the
reins.

Ty-cobb September sees those
mighty
Michigan maulers sitting prettily atop the table,
with Cobb clubbing .380.  And seek you
long the long ball!?  Cobb leads the
league, walloping more “all-baggers’ than anyone else in the game.  He may hit ten of them!  What be that French Canadian’s count to
date?  Nil!

But the Naps have
produced one a great wonderment this year – the first unassisted triple play,
by Neal Ball, on July 19.  Never seen
before, Ball’s Triumph saw him gather in a liner, step on the second bag, and
apply a tag to the fleet-footed fool from first.  This feat of derring-do will most assuredly
never be replicated, even in a hundred years’ time.

On a sidenote, I wish to thank you, Mr. Thune, for the olive-branch
gifting of the crate of yellow bananellas. 
As you say, they are a delightful taste and texture, evoking an erotic
south seas sustenance.   Perhaps in this
move to purchase the Filipinos our ebullient executive has given an
uncharacteristic boon.


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Written by
Silas ‘Red’ Quigley
Editorial correspondent for the Boston Wax-Intelligencer.  Editor/Publisher of various workers rights
publications, sporting weeklies, and Ladies Garment Journals.  As a youth he was attache to Henry Chadwick (claims to be the
uncredited co-creator of the box score).

For more on the nature of Ninemen’s Morris, please click *HERE*

When Did the White Sox Forget They’re from Chicago?

ozzie guillen zip it.jpg“I don’t know nothin’ about nothin’, and I can prove it.” 
– Ed “Butch” Panczko, ruthless Chicago gangster

It is the year 2009, dear readers, and I would think that by now, every single one of us has seen enough cop dramas on television to know that you never, ever, ever tell on yourself.  You just don’t do it.  Big Papi knows this.  So does Roger Clemens.  Why is it then that the Chicago White Sox — who reside not far from the famed warehouse district were body after lifeless body went to disappear forever — do not understand this golden rule of foul play? 

First we watched as Bobby Jenks told the whole world that he purposely threw at Ian Kinsler — which netted him a $750 fine and a watchful eye from MLB brass — and now we have Ozzie Guillen himself blabbing to anyone who will listen that he’s out to bean anyone whom he suspects of throwing at his guys.  What next?  Kenny Williams owns up to jaywalking?  Check.

Look, it’s one thing to protect your team and head-hunt in retaliation.  Hell, in this game, it’s expected!  But to openly admit that you are going to throw at people, to announce to everyone that you intend on hurting someone, to alert the league that you’re going to send a message… well, that is just plain irresponsible.  And dumb.

al capone.jpg“I have always been opposed to violence.  I want peace, and I will live and let live.”  — Al Capone

Yep.  Tell a story.  Do the opposite.  Leave ‘em guessin’. 

That, my friends, is the Chicago way.

Even political nimrod figurehead Rod Blagojevich knows this.

And he’s a Cubs fan

What’s your excuse, White Sox?

Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Ozzie Guillen’s grill image courtesy of Da Bronx Bombers)

The Filibuster

On Thursday, the initial sale of the San Diego Padres to new owner Jeff
Moorad was completed.  Knowing that it only took Sandy Alderson and his
equally ignorant chum, Kevin Towers, a few years to extensively
decimate the Padres franchise like Chris Brown did Rihanna’s face, how
long will it take Moorad to get the Padres competitive again?

– Jeff

__________________________________________

padres.jpgHave you already forgotten about that epic tie-breaker two short seasons ago when the Rockies edged the Padres on their way to a World Series appearance? The fact that San Diego was so close to the playoffs kind of puts the lie to your question and its entire premise. Yes, the Padres should have been more competitive recently and poor decisions were made (which are explained much more eloquently by the Prince of New York over at PaulLebowitz.com) but we’re not talking about the Knicks under Isiah Thomas here. This is not a team that’s lost for a generation.

It does kind of make you wonder what baseball executives get paid to do, though. Prince’s hatred of Alderson and Towers and your open contempt for Mozeliak in St. Louis remind me of some of Bill Simmons’ old columns where he rants about the management of the Celtics. However, once they won a championship the volume became a little muted. So, are sports executives really that incompetent or are other forces at work here?

I suppose that like any story, there are two sides to this one. I’m sure most GMs would argue that it’s tough to judge their success on winning alone since a large part of that depends on the human element, the players. And meanwhile the fans wonder why their team is going out and signing a guy like Dontrelle Willis to an extension while letting Cameron Maybin get away. And both sides are probably right. For all the statistics and sabrmetrics that exist today, this, like economics, is not an exact science:

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:southparkstudios.com:222638

But, to get back to your question, I don’t know when the Padres will be competitive again. It depends on a lot of factors in addition to just the current management team. It depends on resolving the Peavy situation and like a lot of things nowadays, it probably depends in part on the economy. What I do know, though, is that at least the Padres haven’t yet p!ssed off god. Seriously, what is the deal in Detroit?

-A

Credits:
-Video from Comedy Central via The Daily Dish.

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