Results tagged ‘ Michael Phelps ’

The Filibuster

Usain Bolt is looking to try out with a British soccer team. What athlete that you’ve seen in the Olympics would you most like to see trying out for an American baseball team?

Ethan
Santa Clara, CA
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Olympians turned baseballers?  I like the way you think, Ethan.  And I welcome the possibilities!

I can’t help but think Michael Phelps would look good in Yankee pinstripes.  The man has 20 Olympic medals — hardware that would surely look good next to 27 World Series trophies.  And let’s face it, the dude has earned the right to be as cocky and off-putting as he is.  He might not have Derek Jeter’s golden little black book yet, but some time around the Captain and soon he too could be kissing mirrors of himself.

When it comes to actual physical strength though I might suggest Holley Mangold take up a spot in the American League as a DH.  She wouldn’t have to actually do much running or having anyrefined skills other than swinging for the fences; and accounting for her already buoyant build, I don’t think we would have to worry about any Giambian steroid scandals.

Of course, no baseball league is complete without its lovable losers.  And considering how much crying Jordyn Wieber did in the 30th Olympiad, I think she’d be a perfect fit for the Chicago Cubs.

But let’s not forget, when it comes to an Olympian I want on my baseball team, there is no one other than THE Usain Bolt.

Holy jerk chicken, that guy is a bonafide SUPERSTAR!!!

Have you EVER seen anything more exciting the last 4 years than watching that man run!?!?!  Unbelievable!  I’d want him in center field, catching everything in between the foul poles.  At the plate, I’d have him try to walk as much as possible, just to mess with the opposing pitchers’ mind before taking off to fly around the bases.  And look out if he actually hits a ball out of the infield, ‘cuz dude is gonna turn singles into doubles and doubles into inside-the-parkers!

Not only that, but Bolt is also insanely entertaining in the most endearing of ways — a happy-go-lucky clowner who can back it up with performance as opposed to the psychotic shenanigans of a WAY less talented Tony Plush.

Forget soccer, Mr. Bolt, please come wear the birds on the bat.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

Who is the man with the masterplan?

Jake 
Macomb, IL

_________________________

Good question, Jake!  And the answer isn’t as easy as one Dr. Dre would lead you to believe.

Honestly, it’s hard to just pick one person and say he’s the man with the masterplan.  And since we here at RSBS like to avoid being too categorical, I’m going to give you a list of possibilities and let you decide.

First we turn to the world of baseball.  Here, you could say it’s the Washington Nationals, the former laughingstock of the league who now find themselves with the second best record in baseball, who are the man.  Or, how about the Cincinnati Reds with the best record in baseball?  Even that would be ignoring the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, although several games behind the Reds, are still in wildcard contention.  The Pirates?!

If that’s too vague for you, we could always try to drill down a little and offer up some individuals.  You can’t spit these days without hitting some news about Mike Trout.  However, at only 20 years old, it’s a little hard to say that he’s the man with the masterplan.  The same could be said of Stephen Strasburg, although the Nationals’ plan to limit his innings this season could be seen as a masterplan…..or a master cock-up if it costs them a playoff spot or a deep playoff run.

When you say masterplan, though, that seems to be a bit more global than just Major League Baseball.  This sounds more like it requires worldwide dominance in which case we should turn our eyes toward London and the Olympic games.  The obvious choices here are the US Men’s basketball team who unfortunately seemed almost human against the Lithuanians and Michael Phelps, the Midas of swimming who has a knack for turning almost everything gold.

However, it also doesn’t hurt to look a bit further afield.  For instance, how about a man who dabbles in and dominates a field of pseudo-gymnastics.  That’s right.  Olympic men’s trampoline champion, Dong Dong.  With a name like that and  the current title-holder as World and Olympic champion, it’s hard to say he’s not the man with the masterplan.

-A

But Do We Really Want Another Tony Kornheiser?

roger_goodell.jpgWord on the street is that the NFL is seriously discussing holding the Super Bowl in London sometime in the near future. Now, this should probably be taken with a grain of salt since the commissioner apparently has no knowledge of these negotiations. However, to be fair, the amount of stuff that Goodell doesn’t know could fill a couple oceans.

It just goes to show how global sports have become, though, even sports that we consider inherently American. The World Baseball Classic illustrated this a couple months ago and the coverage of Olympic basketball last summer outshone everything except Michael Phelps.

But if you ever had any doubts about the true worldwide saturation of sports, perhaps this will change your mind:

Yep, “Stick a fork in them, the run is over.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

-A

Credits:
-Video via Deadspin

Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned

china_olympic_torch.JPGEvery media outlet has been full of Olympic coverage for the past few months. We watched as French surrender-monkeys and dentally deficient Britons tried to tackle, steal or otherwise snuff the Olympic flame during its journey to the Bird’s Nest and then we saw the Chinese defy gravity to set the torch alight and begin the games.

Although the passing of the torch always seems to provoke strong emotions, these emotions tend to play out differently depending on the setting. When Jesse Owens overcame the Fuhrer’s supposedly invincible Aryan champions at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he tried to defuse the situation by saying that Hitler had shown him respect. Michael Phelps managed to show a touch of class this year as he overcame Mark Spitz’s decades old record.

But sometimes the old guard is reluctant to let the torch out of their grasp. When the Yankees had the Red Sox in a 3-0 stranglehold during the 2004 ALCS, it seemed that the old guys had a little life left in them. But they should have realized that they had used up all the gas in the tank during the previous year’s ALCS. The Yankees may have won that 2003 series but in reality, Pedro Martinez body-slamming Don Zimmer was emblematic of the rivalry’s not too distant future. And in 2004 they proved it by fighting back to win the ALCS and then the World Series.

bclinton_face_dnc.jpgA similar fight broke out during the primary season as the junior senator from Illinois took on the Clinton juggernaut. And when the dust finally settled at the Democratic National Convention last night, it was obvious that the party the Clinton’s created was now firmly in the hands of Sen. Obama. Sure, there were a few last grasps for the torch (Hillary’s non-concession speech back in June for example) but the look on former President Clinton’s face during Sen. Clinton’s speech Wednesday night told the whole story.

So, how does one pass the torch gracefully and not get burned in the process? Well, you could take a lesson from Ted Kennedy (2008 Ted Kennedy, not 1980 Ted Kennedy)

 

Or you could look to Richard Nixon who so graciously handed off to Gerald Ford in 1974. However, I suggest avoiding the example of the 1997 and 2003 Florida Marlins. Or Jay Mariotti. Burning bridges and fire sales are tacky even in the best of times.

-A

The Filibuster

Michael Phelps and a few other American athletes have voluntarily
submitted to a higher level of drug testing in an attempt to head off
any questions about their impressive victories. If the US Olympic team
can do this, why hasn’t baseball taken similar steps to get rid of the
drug stigma surrounding the game today?

– Allen
                                                                                     

human_growth_hormone.jpgIn a way, Major League Baseball, behind the leadership of Bud Selig and an overwhelmingly grumpy push from the US Government, has taken similar steps to get rid of the drug stigma, Mr. Krause.  I’m not sure if you heard about it this past winter, but the Mitchell Report made quite a stir all over the baseball cosmos, and got a great number of ballplayers thinking “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t put this crap in my body anymore.”

While the drug screening program in baseball is still somewhat lax and random in its procedure, it is still light years better than what it was (non-existent) and does an adequate job by simply scaring people into doing the right thing.  This is progress that at one time seemed improbable.  Why?  Because the don’t-ask-don’t-tell secret of performance enhancing drugs was bringing people to the ballpark.  Whether it was the greenies of the 70s or the HGH of the 90s, fans were coming out to games in droves to witness the high octane occurrence of homeruns and 100 mph fastballs.  You’ve said it here a million times, Mr. Krause, money is what makes the world go round and if shooting up brings it in then so be it.

Unfortunately, we US Americans sometimes have a conscious; and that’s the only reason why this phase has transitioned to a foreseeable end.

Are players still using PEDs?  Probably.  Are they using them as much as they used to?  No.  Not at all.  Need proof?  How about Richie Sexson, Eric Gagne, Paul Lo Duca just for starters.  These guys are mere shadows of what they used to be while on the juice; because of that, I’m convinced that the biggest proverbial battles have already been fought and won.

Could more be done to ensure the sanctity of the game?  Probably.

Will a more stringent array of tests similar to those of Olympians Michael Phelps and Dara Torres (both voluntarily) ever be instituted in Major League Baseball?  I doubt it.

And here’s why: Player’s Union, Agents, Club Owners, the Players themselves.  Try to get anything past these guys that could theoretically threaten profits and you’ll quickly realize you’re dealing with a much higher power than voluntary amateur athletes who compete for a friggin’ medal that everyone will forget about two months from now.

The difference between asking Michael Phelps to take a rigorous amount of drug tests to prove his purity and asking Manny Ramirez to do the same can be summed up in two words: Scott Boras. 

scott_boras.jpgBoras, evil incarnate, who single-handedly changed sports forever, will hunt down your children, cut off their heads and sell them to Colombian witchdoctors if it means he’ll get 10%.  I guarantee you, if Boras represented Phelps (which would never happen whilst Phelps maintains amateur status), Andrea Kramer would be lucky if Phelps even acknowledged her existence after winning 8 gold medals.

Money.  Money money money money money.  Money.  Money money money money.  Money.  Money money MONEY!

Of course, public relations and digesting the fact that hardworking US Americans actually do want to be assured that their national pastime isn’t being abused both factor into MLB’s stricter regulations; but MLB and its myriad components, from the owners to the players to Joe Blow who spent $48.50 of his paycheck to sit in the upper deck, will continue to do whatever they have to to straddle the precarious line between profit and purity. 

It hasn’t been perfected in politics (see Bill Clinton, the Kennedy’s, John Edwards) yet, so it’s no surprise that baseball hasn’t a clue either. 

I’m just glad that I can go to sleep at night knowing that I am PED free.  A bulging forehead, weak libido and distending testicles wouldn’t be good for my image.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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