Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cabrera ’

The New Jersey of the Southern Hemisphere

bat_chavez.jpgWith the new decade almost a week old, I figured it was about time for us to check in with our old pal, Hugo, in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela. Now, in the ongoing drama playing out down south, we have most recently seen El Jefe making nice with close American ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and threatening his next door neighbor, Colombia.

However, with the long Christmas break just finishing up and the people full of holiday cheer, this would be the time to announce some good news and keep the warm fuzzies going, right?

Right?

Wrong. Instead the government decided it needed to ration electricity and one of the best places to start was with shopping malls. Now, much like New Jersey, shopping malls in Venezuela are the epicenter of the social scene. So, forcing the malls to close at nine o’clock is akin to telling New Jersey-ites that they can still go out to bars, they just can’t do any more Jager-bombs. Exactly, full scale revolt would ensue.

Luckily, the government has now eased the restrictions slightly but is that any way to start a new decade? And when you also stop and realize that Venezuela is a major oil-producer, you really wonder what’s going on. How is it possible that with all that oil they can’t find a way to keep the electricity flowing?

For the time being, things are fine. And I feel no need to get personally involved. But the second that Chavez tries to pull Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez back from the Tigers, well, then the blue state half of this duo might be forced to go reckon with that affront personally.

-A

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

The Great Yo’ Mama War

big momma.jpgOh no.  There he goes again.  Indeed, dear readers, my errant and oft annoying colleague, Mr. Krause, is in desperate need of some verbal “fire” — the vitriolic, infernal, flesh-eating kind most notably invoked by the devil and his evil minions.

He did the unthinkable. 

He threw down the gauntlet.

He insulted Albert Pujols’ mama.

Where does Mr. Krause find all this idle time to waste on shameless maternal attacks?  As a Cardinal fan sitting on top of a 10 game lead in the NL Central, I can certainly see where I would have the time from now until October.  But Mr. Krause would make better use of his by pondering the pain he will feel once his streaky Tigers get eliminated early on in the ALDS.

Meanwhile, I’m feelin’ pretty damn good… so good that I’d like to just go on a rampage and say:

  • Miguel Cabrera’s mama is so ugly, she makes Willie McGee look like a GQ model!
  • Carlos Zambrano’s mama is so lazy, she makes Big Z look like a hard worker!
  • Ryan Braun’s mama’s teeth glow so yellow, she can almost lead the Brewers out of the darkness of the NL Central! (nah, nothing glows that yellow)
  • Manny Ramirez’s mama is so dirty, her batting helmet has a biohazard label on it!
  • And, of course, Mr. Krause, yo’ mama is so dumb, she’d probably fall for this lame Glenn Beck advance:

Hate me ‘cuz I come back fivefold, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS TV: 2009 AL Central Preview

Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.

Special thanks to Theo Roll.

Very special thanks to Dontrelle Willis for still giving it the old college try.  At least you’ll have 2005, D-Train.  You will always have 2005.

(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)

A Little Ash Wednesday Voodoo

Tiger_Stadium_demolition.jpgLast year about this time I was already discussing the Tigers’ World Series victory parade and trying to figure out how I would attend. Turns out I may have been a little premature in my expectations. Luckily, I learned my lesson and will never again have expectations about the Tigers.

Or at least that’s what I thought until this article popped in my Yahoo today. What am I supposed to think when I read this:

Rick Knapp, the new pitching coach in Detroit, held up his hands. “We’re only 10 days into camp,” he protested. But his eyes shone. And the corners of his mouth couldn’t beat back the grin.

The last thing that anyone who roots for Detroit (the city or any of its teams) needs is hope. And that’s exactly what stories like this provide.

I prefer the “What strange disease did Joel Zumaya contract this offseason” type of story. That rings true. Even the “Fernando Rodney wrestled an alligator” story is acceptable because then you just kind of expect the worst. But all of these Miguel Cabrera looking relaxed and Dontrelle Willis actually hitting the strike zone stories have the opposite effect. They make you re-evaluate the lineup and wonder if maybe we do have a chance in an admittedly weak AL Central.  

It’s kind of like the lead up to Obama’s inauguration. You keep telling yourself that he’s just a man and there’s no way he can right all the wrongs of the past eight years overnight. But you can’t help it. You hear the news. You see what’s happening. And you start to think, well, maybe it could happen.

No, not for me that kind of optimism. I’ll take my seat over here, firmly ensconced in the misanthrope camp. Rick Porcello looks good? So did Dontrelle. Cabrera is finally coming into his own? We thought the same of Renteria. With both Rodney and Zumaya healthy, the most heated battle is for the closer position? I’m sure Zumaya has a travel version of Guitar Hero with him.

See, I’ve been a fan of the Lions and Tigers for long enough to know better. So, how about you check in with me at the All-Star break and then we can chat about Porcello, Cabrera and Zumaya, ok? Until then, I’ll just be sitting here with my Ozzie Guillen voodoo doll, trying to figure out what crazy thing I can make him say next.

-A

The Modern Era All-Corrupt Baseball-Politico Team

american flag.jpgClearly established is the fact that perhaps nothing is what it seems these days.  From Alex Rodriguez gallivanting around the Dominican streets with his cousin scoring steroid sauce because he was “young and stupid” to Larry Craig simply taking a timeout in an airport restroom because he needed to “relax”, we, as US Americans, would be doing ourselves and our country a great disservice by not postulating the underlying motives and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that make up our anti-apotheoses of leadership.

Guilty until proven innocent?

Why not?  This is America after all.  We do what we want, when we want (see Iraq, Guantanamo, “W” for more information).

Baseball, democracy, Erin Andrews being all hot and sexy… these are as astutely American as a Paris Hilton reality television show; so it should be no surprise when they eventually fall victim to our insatiable desire for dirt. 

So why not celebrate the fecundity of our backpage headliners… bring them together, assemble a stellar nine to barnstorm the backwoods, villages and small towns of this great nation?

Well, I have thought about it and I am all for it and I am doing something about it, damnit. 

baseball park.jpgDear readers, I now present the All-Corrupt Baseball-Politico Team:

Marion Barry — CF
At the top of the lineup we need speed; and who better to give us speed than a bonafide crackhead?  Believe me, folks, Barry will get on base  — perhaps even manage to free-base — all the while giving pitchers (and Washingtonians) nightmares better fit for an episode of The Wire.

Eliot Spitzer — 2B
He’s scrappy, he’s fast, he leaves his socks on.  With a name like Spitzer (see Roberto Alomar), Eliot’s the guy I want at second base.  As patient in the number two hole (wink, wink) as he was hypocritical during his gubernatorial reign, Eliot is a surefire shot taker whom I definitely want on my team because he knows where to buy all the hot chicks.

Kwame Kilpatrick — 1B
The bigger, the fatter, the sloppier the man, the better the first baseman.  Well, at least that is how they do things in Detroit.  And Kwame, though once a sharp dresser, now looks a bit haggard after those 99 days in jail.  The fact is, defensively liable players often end up at first base.  On the plus side, Kwame is a big target and he has the agile hands of a 14 year-old text messaging champion.

Bill Clinton — 3B

No one knows his way around third base better than Slick Willy.  Besides, this position requires a bit of flash peppered with a sprig of charm… not to mention an oh-so-faint cheating character.  Of course, there are doubts that Clinton could handle the duties of a clean-up man (refer to the stained blue dress) but if we know anything, we know that Bubba is always full of surprises.

John Edwards — SS
Protect a cheater with a cheater: enter John Edwards.

Rod Blagojevich — DH
Now here’s a guy who comes to play, pays to play, forces others to pay to play, whatever; he’s a player.  Widely known as a bit of a primper, Blago manages to fill the flashy DH role better than most.  His only drawback: if you take him out of the game he will continue to run his idiot mouth.

Roland Burris — RF

Admittedly, the only reason Roland has a spot on this squad is because he’s in tight with the DH; but by now we all know it didn’t take long for Burris to wield his own personal bat of corruption and make a stately name for himself.  And let’s face it: Burris has quick feet, able to change his story faster than you can say Chicago Democratic Machine.

George Ryan — LF
Bringing up the rear of our team’s famed corrupt Illinois politician trifecta (CITP) is the always forlorn oft uninteresting George Ryan.  He’s fat.  He’s slow.  He’s a left fielder.  But the man knows how to sell contracts, licenses and leases on behalf of his team, so it’s always good to have a guy who can get things when you’re on the road half the season.

Dick Cheney — C
The scowling shot-caller.  The calloused captain.  The man who hides behind a mask.  With the entire field in front of him and myriad opportunities to talk s*** behind people’s backs, it is quite evident that Cheney was born to catch.  More fierce than a misguided, misled, mishandled bombardier, he’ll chat the opposing hitter up as much as possible, flashing his hunting rifle from time to time to gain a psychological edge.  Arrrrggghhh.

Larry Craig — P
Bringing up the rear, ahem, Larry Craig is one of those subversive anomalies of the baseball-politico reality.  Sure, he can pitch; but he can catch too, which makes him all the more valuable to a team going long and far down that dirt road called destiny.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

An Aura of Ineptitude

david_wells.jpgAs a fan, one of the most difficult parts of spring training is watching your team show up and wondering who’s going to be disgustingly out of shape and how they’re possibly going to get ready in time for the season opener. If you had David Wells reporting, you didn’t worry so much because somehow that extra weight and general aura of deep-fryer fat that emanated from him was soothing. However, when you’re a Tigers fan and Miguel Cabrera is showing up soon, you worry.

It appears that worry is misplaced, though. Not only did Cabrera show up early, he apparently has dispatched that aura of mediocrity that shadowed him throughout the beginning of last season. Fantasy Baseball blogs are touting him as one of the top first basemen and despite his slow start last season and the lack of offensive output from the Tigers as a whole, he still ended up having a career year.

However, when it comes to crap-tastic auras, there is one man who surely takes the cake. That’s right, long-time friend of RSBS, Bud Selig, was back in the news today. See, Selig wants us to know that when the steroid snafu went down, he wasn’t playing Nero and fiddling while Rome burned like we all thought. No, he was trying to sniff out the problem, attempting to stomp out the fire before it exploded into the conflagration that now rages in front of us. And of course we know this is true because the story comes from a source on the inside, from a trustworthy someone named, uh, let me see here, Bud Selig. Huh. That seems kind of weird. 

We here at RSBS have often called out Mr. Selig on his general ineptitude and obvious mismanagement of the great American pastime. His ham-fisted attempts at regulation, be it contract negotiation or drug-testing, have only served to intensify the disparities in baseball. But, I think it’s about time we took this to the next level. If Mr. Selig were a dirigible, he’d be the Hindenburg. If he were a world leader of the past century, he’d be Neville Chamberlain. If Mr. Selig were a song, he’d be sung by Carly Simon. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sure he’d fire a manager for less. He’s an unapologetic and unmitigated disaster and it’s time for him to go.

-A

Venezuela: A Debate

Regular readers of RSBS know that I have a special place in my heart for Venezuela. And really, why not? It’s a fascinating place and lends itself to all sorts of interesting discussion. They have a wealth of oil, a wealth of baseball talent, a wealth of beauty and wealth of crazy. And since Jeff and I both share an affinity for two out of those four things it’s only fitting that RSBS take up the debate.

magglio-ordonez-smiling-180.jpgMy partner here at RSBS pointed out in a comment on a recent post:

“The Venezuela team (including Maggs, Santana, Cabrera etc) is threatening to not compete in the WBC sighting (sic) poor per diems and lack of organization as reasons not to play.”

Now, why would elite baseball players making millions of dollars per year threaten to pull out of the World Baseball Classic over some measly travel and lodging expenses? Personally, I think it has something to do with a much deeper rooted problem endemic to Venezuela.

Miss_Venezuela.jpgYes, in a land with so much wealth the unfortunate fact is that this wealth has been unequally distributed. And I’m not talking about the oil money which has accrued in the hands of well connected elites. No, I’m talking about the fact that while Venezuelan women are beautiful and have won more beauty championships than the women from any other country, the Venezuelan men seem to have lost out in the looks department. So of course they act out via other avenues.

Luckily for them, the Venezuelan men men are eerily good baseball players. Rumor has it that El Presidente himself actually joined the military in order to make his way to Caracas and play baseball. Apparently he got a little sidetracked on the way but others among his compadres have made their way into the Major Leagues where they have had major impacts. From Carlos and Ozzie Guillen to Asdrubal and Miguel Cabrera, Venezuelan baseball players are integral to the success of many MLB teams. But they just aren’t very good looking.

So, when you’ve got talent but you look like a toad, what’s a guy to do? Well, either you move to the US and become a highly-paid baseball superstar. Or, you throw a coup, invite the whole country and hope the oil party keeps raging. Go-go-go Hugo.

-A

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

My Friend, Karl Rove

OriolePark.jpgWhen it comes to the Tigers, I’ve realized that the best approach is the approach taken by thousands of animal lovers and jilted lovers the world over:

“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back it’s yours forever. If not, it was never meant to be.”

Now, I love Tigers baseball. I mean, I don’t want to marry it or anything but the feelings I had watching Maggs hit that homerun against the A’s in 2006 to send the Tigers to the World Series, well, they were some pretty strong feelings. It’s like how I felt watching Cecil Fielder back in the day and how I felt a couple weeks ago when my brother and I got to watch the Tigers pile on the Orioles for six runs in the first inning. And it’s because of this love that I had to release the Tigers to their destiny this past week. It’s not for me to decide their fate but there’s nothing I can do to help either. So, I set them free.

However, it seems that some people have taken umbrage with this decision and called me out in public. To this I can only say: Mr. Lung, I denounce and reject your most recent post. Especially its typically red state divisive tactics of preying on the fear people have when it comes to immigration. I didn’t realize the Mssrs. Renteria and Cabrera spoke like some two-bit villian from an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. But, leave it to the Karl Rove inspired politicking of a red state fan to base an argument on stereotypes and America’s misguided fear of immigrants. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but Major League Baseball would be a very sad sport these days without the new levels of talent brought to the league by our friends from the south. And even if Sheff doesn’t like it, they’re here to stay. So, lets try to keep this debate on the up-and-up and leave behind the caricatures, eh? It’s what Tupac would want us to do.

-A

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