Results tagged ‘ Mark Buehrle ’

The Filibuster

Matt Cain this week threw what some people are saying was the best “perfect game” ever.  Is it really possible to say that one perfect game is better than another and, if so, which one would you vote for?

Sal
Fresno, CA
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Absolutism is relative.  I think.  No, I am sure it is.  Maybe.  I mean, this is the GREATEST BASEBALL-POLITICO BLOG OF ALL TIME, IS IT NOT!?!?!

I think so, but such a statement comes with the caveat that one would have a hard time quantifying it.  Why is it the best?  Because of Mr. Krause?  Because of Mr. Lung?  Because of the interns?

That’s just the very beginning of a long list of things that makes RSBS the G.O.A.T.

But can we quantify what exactly makes one perfecto better than another?  Not really.  But it’s fun trying.  For example, Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a perfect game (Sandy Koufax, 1965), which clearly demonstrates superior command and dominance over the opposition.  Cain also threw 19 first pitch strikes and never got himself in a 2-0 count.  Meanwhile, his defense did some dazzling.  Both the 6th and 7th innings featured unbelievable catches in the outfield that, had they not been made, would have sunk the perfect game effort.  The last out, a hard ground ball to third base that put Joaquin Arias in a stutter step also provided one final gasping twist to the accomplishment.  All of the above, plus Cain’s eery zen mound presence throughout it all, provide plenty of quantification for it being the “best” perfect game ever.

Still, it’s relative.  And maybe we see it as the “best” right now because it’s fresh in our minds.

I recall Randy Johnson’s 2004 effort against the Braves as being one of the most dominate games I’ve ever seen too.  The Big Unit struck out 13 in that game and was throwin’ nasty stuff all the while.  David Cone didn’t see a 2-0 count in his 1999 perfecto against the late Expos, a game where he also had to sit out for a 33-minute rain delay, on Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen in the stands!

But, for me, the best perfect game I’ve ever seen came on a lazy Thursday afternoon in July 2009, when Mark Buehrle pitched himself into the record books, again.  What made that game so special, for me, was that I was watching it at work and by the 8th inning, I was watching it with the UPS man, the FedEx man and yes, even the mail man.  When Dewayne Wise made “the catch” we reveled in our mutual south sidedness and gave each other big, sweaty man-hugs.

That’s the sorta thing that only happens once in a lifetime, so I’ll be hanging my hat on the Buehrle perfecto for the forseeable future.  But that’s just me.

You can hate me for that.  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.

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 29: Remembering Ugueth’s Urbina and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff tries his darnedest to be as polite as possible during his unfettered gloating of World Championship status (Go Cards!) while Second City’s Mark Piebenga adds some level-headed awesomeness to Johanna’s outlandishness and Allen’s seasoned straight man routine.  Among the topics of discussion are “the greatest game ever”, the woes of rebranding an already twice championed franchise (talkin’ to you, Marlins), Theo Fever in the Chi, b!tch t!ts and much, much more!

Now grab some Crown Royal and enjoy yo’ self!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Follow Keith on on Twitter and make sure to check out his crew and their gut busting Undercast! podcast.

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Recorded Saturday, November 12, 2011

In Case You Need Another Reason to Get Excited About 2011 Baseball

You don’t have to be a White Sox fan to let this badass commercial affect you:

Of course, if you are a White Sox fan, you probably feel a little more charged than those who aren’t but still, the theatrics of it all are pretty universal.  Baseball is coming.

And it’s gonna rock our worlds.

In the second grade, I was asked by my teacher where I wanted to live when I grow up.  While most most kids in the class answered with a city name, or, next to their parents’ house, I calmly replied: “anywhere that is walking distance to a ballpark.”

Well, I certainly made that dream come true.  It may not be St. Louis’ Soulard, but Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood (where I make my home) is definitely a great place to live, especially in the summer time.  There really is nothing like coming home for work, changing into comfortable shoes and walking down to New Comiskey to scalp some tickets to take in a game on a whim. 

And ya never know… ‘cuz in any given game, anything could happen. 

Anything.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. 

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 3: The Stat Zombie’s Death… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York!  If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that.  Like, right away.  Or else.  And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too.  To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best.  Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!

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.  His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way.  It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.

**Image by Annette T.  (Thanks, Annette!)  Check out her sweet@ss blog!

Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010

Southside Savvy

White Sox game 8.17.2009 001.jpgBesides Chinatown flea markets and the out-of-this-world chili at Ramova Grill, the best part about living on the Southside of Chicago is having the White Sox play in my own backyard.

Because as a Cardinals fan far removed from my old Busch Stadium stomping grounds, I know I can always find good, learned, baseball-lovin’ folk at New Comiskey (only newbies and yuppies call it The Cell — so I’m told). 

And on Monday night, Southsiders came out to the park in droves.  It was hot.  It was humid.  The rain was coming down hard.  But Mark Buehrle was on the mound and it’s no secret that White Sox fans love them some Mark Buehrle.  Over 36,000 people came out to see him duel the Royals’ Brian Bannister… yes, 36,000!  On a Monday night.  With an hour long rain delayed start.  Against the Royals

Now that, dear readers, is some serious dedication.

Perhaps the influx of fans was due to the high hopes of a pitcher’s duel. 

Well, we didn’t get it.

‘Cuz when Yuniesky Betancourt goes yard, you know the pitching ain’t so great.

Indeed, it was a back and forth battle throughout, until the Sox broke it open in the 7th inning and appeared to have the game in hand. 

But Scott Linebrink seemed focused on tempting the Royals’ scouts, who seem to go after the poorest of performers.  Yes, Linebrink’s Kyle Farnsworth impression was brilliantly played by blowing a 3 run lead in the 8th on a Mike Jacobs rocket launch over the right field wall.

Fade to black?

Not so fast.  Alex Rios walked to start the bottom of the 8th.  Scott Podsednik continued his 2005 renaissance with a go-ahead run-scoring double… and then later Ozzie Guillen brought in the Fat Man to seal the deal.

Sure, it was a great game and all… but the whole time I couldn’t take my eyes off the guy sitting in front of me:

White Sox game 8.17.2009 002.jpgIndeed, White Sox fans know their baseball.

Don’t hate ‘em ‘cuz they’re right.

Don’t believe me?  Just ask Kevin Gregg.

Peace,

Jeff

Ruminations on Perfection

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Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)

But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.

The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.

Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.

mark_buehrle_no_hitter.jpg

But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it. 

Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.

-A

Literalism Always Trumps Idealism

jeff_allen_nats_pose.JPGIndeed, it is no secret that whilst in our bogarting college days, I brought my dubious and oft erratic colleague, Mr. Krause, up on a live stage in front of hundreds of people with the promise of providing wholesome entertainment only to publicly embarrass him by tying him down and shaving his overgrown forest of an otherwise pasty white chest.

Something tells me he hasn’t gotten over the humiliation.

Which explains his hurtful yet accurate tirade ridiculing the Julio Lugo/Chris Duncan exchange from earlier this week. 

But let me step away from the GOP-like mudslinging smackdowns and ask this simple question: Can we not just call this trade what it is?  Literally? 

It’s crap for crap.

And no, I ain’t happy about it.

But I have found that in the darkest of hours, the most tumultuous of times, the most republican of regimes, that sniffing through all the sugar-coating just to figure out what is really going on often brings out the heartiest of laughs. 

Don’t believe me?

Watch this:

Now if that doesn’t make you want to relive 1983 — and laugh all the way — then I don’t know what will.

I do know that giving up a top prospect (Brett Wallace) and some minor leaguers for the player formerly known as Matt Holliday (now just a shell of his former slugging self) is something that will keep the smiles off my face and torment my sleep patterns.  Until I see some serious power surge protection for Albert Pujols from our new unsignable Scott Boras client, I am not going to budge from my disgusted stance.  Ah, the pain… I cannot help but remember that Dan Haren and Kiko Calero trade for Mark Mulder a few years back.  But hey, if this motivates Tony LaRussa to stay on with the Cardinals, then I suppose it is more than worth it… that and as long as Jesus continues to hate the Cubs.

Happy Friday!  And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*And a special RSBS cap tip to St. Louis boy, Mark Buehrle, for not only achieving perfection, but for providing me with uber-stimulation while I should have been working.

Polish Panache with a Hint of “Arrggh!”

a.j. pierzynski 12.jpgThere is no stat for tenacity, no quantitative analysis for bark, no computation for grindership.

But if there was, you could be damn sure that A.J. Pierzynski would lead the Major Leagues in all of three of them — every year, all the time.

Late in the White Sox game against the visiting Blue Jays Sunday, the score was tied with two men on base when a Jays batter hit a knuckling dribbler down the third base line.  Everyone at Sox Park was thinking the same thing as A.J. while he all-out-hustled after the ball: Let it be foul.

Eventually, the ball found its way over the white lip, into the grass, foul ball.  The crowd sighed in harmonious relief.

But instead of simply picking up the ball, Pierzynski, with his glove, slapped it violently towards the home dugout with the type of ferocity more often seen from 1980s era offensive tackles loaded up on juice.  He let out a hellacious “ARRRGGGHHH!” then stared down the anxious baserunners with that A.J.’s-gonna-kill-you-in-your-sleep-and-eat-your-children-raw glare. 

It was awesome.

Say what you will about A.J. Pierzynski, but with fierceness like that, the dude is an instant and absolute asset to his team.  It’s only April and on every single play he’s grinding like it was Game Seven of the World Series — as if his life, his country, his freedom were on the line.

That’s someone I want on my team — if not for his competitiveness, then for his uncanny foray into the wild world of comedy:

Love him or hate him, A.J. is the Polish Prince of Pertinacity.  You’d have to kill him to make him go away; and if you do kill him, you still better watch out because I bet zombie A.J. would be much scarier, much more lethal than alive-and-breathing A.J.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Things I Learned On a Soxxy Tuesday Night

whitesox.tigers.8.5.08 008.jpgLet’s get something straight, folks.  Despite the stigmatic undertones preached by the Dear Abbys of the world, it is perfectly acceptable to attend social events by one’s self.  While I wouldn’t recommend showing up alone to your own wedding, taking in a baseball game by yourself is absolutely respectable — cool even.  It shows confidence and a maverick persona.

And when Ken Griffey, Jr. — one of the greatest to ever play the game — arrives in your city to play for a team you support and respect (against the dreaded Tigers no less), you show up, with or without company. 

I find that going to games by myself allows me to focus more on the game.  I don’t have to chitchat, don’t have to get up and get food or beer for anyone; I can simply watch the game.  Wholeheartedly.

Doing so causes one to become inexplicably introspective… to be alone with his/her thoughts… to flounder in the ethos that is the grandest game on earth.

And this is what I learned:

Will-Call Kiosks Should Be Open to Those Who Bought WILL-CALL Tickets:
The supposed perk of buying your tickets ahead time is that you don’t have to stand in line with thousands of sweaty, unprepared, drunk Tiger fans.  I get to the game early so I can take in the sights, smells, women… to mentally prepare for the magic not to stand in line for 45 minutes.  So, White Sox Ticket Sales Operations Manager: please turn the Ticketmaster kiosks back on.

Everybody Still Hates Magglio Ordonez:

The greatest player who never was while wearing a White Sox jersey, Maggs definitely brings out the boo-birds like no one else.  Oh-ee-oh… Maaaaaa-gli-o!  Oh-ee-oh… Hope he has security at his hotel (if you want to know what hotel he’s staying in, email me ;-)

If You Show Up to a Sox Game in 2008 Wearing an Albert Belle, Ray Durham or Sammy Sosa Jersey, You Are NOT Cool:
Seriously, folks.  Let’s be real.  And no, a Scott Podsednik jersey is not acceptable either.  You want a sure thing?  Go for a Hall of Famer or a retired jersey.  Baines, Fisk, Minoso, Aparicio.  Heck, go for Dye or Jenks right now (in 2008), but buyer beware

Ken Griffey, Jr. Looks Great in Black Pinstripes:
This photo isn’t the best — that’s what you get for sitting in the upper deck — but trust me.  The man looked dapper as dapper could be in his new duds.  And the crowd welcomed him with an unconditional electric love.  It was something I’ll always remember.  It was truly a special moment.

whitesox.tigers.8.5.08 006.jpg

U.S. Cellular Should Be More Careful With It’s Ad Campaign Slogans:
“U.S. Cellular: Believe in something better”

Yeah, I do.  It’s called Verizon.

Just Because I Go to the Game by Myself Doesn’t Mean I Want to Listen to the D-Bag Behind Me Lie to His Girlfriend All Night Long:

“Yeah, so I know Minnie Minoso. He’s a good friend of my dad’s. Yeah. We go way back. You heard of Frank Thomas? Yeah, I have his personal cell phone number. Yeah, but it’s in my other phone so yeah… and well, I mean, I know Pudge but he doesn’t like to be bothered so I try not to call him unless it’s important…”

Yeah, sure.  You know Minoso, Thomas and Carlton “Pudge” Fisk and yet you’re sitting behind me in the 528 section?  Yeah, sure, that’ll get you laid.

Yes, the T-Shirt-Throwing Promotion Girl Looks Hot on the Outside, but Inside She’s the Devil:

whitesox.tigers.8.5.08 007.jpg
Sometimes the truth only comes out in pictures, my friends.

The Battery of Buehrle & Pierzynski Never Before Looked So Golden:

whitesox.tigers.8.5.08 012.jpg

Contrary to Popular Belief, the Tigers Still Su<k:
That Kyle Farnsworth trade has turned out to be beneficial for every team in the Major Leagues except the Tigers.  Grrrr.

…and finally…

Good Things Do Come to Those Who Wait:
After 13 innings, a hoarse voice and cottonmouth, I decided to leave.  Of course, in the 14th, Swish won it with a walk-off homer and now I hate myself.

But hey, at least I learned something.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Sleep Aid

Dear readers, these are the things that keep me up at night:

  • The St. Louis Cardinals
  • Erin Andrews (click *here* to see why — Yum!)
  • The destruction of our environment (click *here* to join me in my mission)
  • Wal-Marts, Super Wal-Marts, and Super Wal-Marts Beijing Style
  • Erin Andrews in a sexy bathing suit
  • Flashbacks of the Malarchuk injury
  • Jesse Jackson getting his n***s cut off — ooh, did I say that? Whoops. Hot mic! Hot mic!
  • Bill O’Reilly
  • Erin Andrews in a sexy bathing suit making out with Lucy Liu who just so happens to be wearing a leather body suit while wielding a whip
  • White people

With all of these sensitive and sensitive subjects on my mind, I was grateful that my memory recounted a comment that was posted here at RSBS several months ago:

“When I need a nap, I usually tune in to a Sox broadcast. Hawk and DJ
work better than a handful of ambien and a bottle of Jack. Their actual
commentary goes beyond irritating, yet their vocal tones could induce a
coma.”


Now it’s no secret that I follow the Sox very closely.  And I have admitted here before that at times, even I, Fulbright Scholar that I am, find Ken “the Hawk” Harrelson and Darrin “DJ” Jackson’s over-the-top homerisms amusing; but if I really want to enjoy the game from start to finish, I turn on the radio and let Ed Farmer and Steve Stone call a sound game. 

But it has been a long week, folks.  Still recovering from myriad things I can’t remember from the 4th of July weekend and endlessly troubled by the aforementioned list of sleep-stoppers, I decided to take waltcproductions’ advice and turned the sound up on the television. 

The Sox were in Kansas City to face the Royals.  Buehrle v. Greinke.  Potential for a pitcher’s duel.  It was… though I wouldn’t have known it.

I nestled into my couch without a beer in my hand — shockingly, for the first time this month — and made sure I was comfortable enough to accept sleep if it so decided to fall upon my eyes.  It did.  I remember my lids getting heavy around the bottom of the second; Hawk and DJ were — surprise! — rehashing the ‘old days’ by talking about their .239 and .257 career batting averages, respectively.  I remember thinking, ‘Gee, I’ve heard them say that before… about a thousand times…’

…but I was already long lost in a blissful land of somniferous slumber.

I woke up in the bottom half of the 8th to the roaring crowd of 29 people at Kauffman Stadium cheering on their Royals who had suddenly taken a lead, which inspired Hawk to grunt one of his trademark utterances: “Doggone it!”

Immediately, I hit ‘mute’, turned on the radio and listened to Stoney explain how a Konerko error combined with a less than Dotel outing for Octavio Dotel turned a brilliant Buehrle performance into a loss for the Sox

hawk_and_dj.jpgLovely.

At least I got some sleep.

You can hate Hawk and DJ, but don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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