Results tagged ‘ Nationals ’

The Filibuster

Is the hype to be believed?  Could the Nationals actually contend this year?

Sawyer
Ballston, VA
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Sexy superlatives and arduous absolutes, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your 2012 Washington Nationals!

Could they actually contend?  Hmm… does watching a pitcher’s duel strike me with uncontainable bonerjamz?  HELL to the YES, my friend!  There are 159 games left in the season, and the Nats could win ‘em all!

Or not.  Still, this is not your embarrassing Expo leftover Natinal squad of old; rather, this is a team with bona fide pitching, timely bats and a revered sage at the helm!  Do you think Davey Johnson thinks they can contend?  I’d bet my 1986 eight-ball wrapper collection he does.

And why not?  Without Howard and Utley for a good stretch, the Phillies find themselves offensively challenged.  The Braves, still salty from their epic fail of 2011, certainly don’t have all the answers.  I’m not convinced the Marlins are really any better than they were before they decided to blind us with ugly and the Mets are the Mets (though don’t sleep on them either, as a .500 season is not entirely out of the question).

The truth is, the NL East isn’t as predictable as it used to be.  And the addition of another wild card team makes it possible to hope a little longer.

But the number one reason why the Natinals have a legitimate shot at competing for a playoff spot this year is… The ONE.

Okay, wrong ONE.  But believe me, to Stephen Strasburg, there is no spoon.  Also taking the red pill this year are Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler and (presumably) John Lannan.  That’s one helluva starting rotation+.

When Bryce Harper eventually finds his way into the rabbit hole, there will be even MORE reason to respect the potential of the Washington Nationals (not to mention a tomfoolery fodder spike for Deadspin).

Would I put big money on the Nats now?  Maybe not.  Would I put money on them to be a cellar dweller?  Absolutely not.  This team could find its identity and they could do it as soon as now.  They could be the ’11 D’backs or the ’08 Rays.

Better yet, they could be the 2012 Nationals. (see what I did there?)

Hate me ‘cuz I love Stephen Strasburg as if he were one of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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Everything is Better With Vladimir

It’s a hard time to be an international baseball player.  Of course we all heard about what happened with Wilson Ramos in Venezuela but as harrowing as that experience may have been, at least he came out of it alive.  The same can’t be said of Seattle utility outfielder Greg Halman.  Not only did he get stabbed to death back home in the Netherlands, it was his own brother who did it.

That being said, it’s a tough time in general internationally.  Seif al-Islam Gaddafi went from being the reformed face of the Libyan regime to war criminal faster than you can say…..well, faster than you can say Seif al-Islam Gaddafi.  And if you happen to be an Iranian nuclear scientist, it’s probably a good time to up that life insurance policy payout.

Luckily there’s one guy who always knows how to land on his feet.  The most interesting man in the world, not content with just having a supermodel personal photographer, also appears to be branching out into the world of medicine:

Mr. Putin, I don’t know how you do it but you always manage to amaze us.  You’ve even made dentistry pleasant, if that guy’s smile is any indication.

However there’s one title that even you haven’t managed to claim yet: RSBS‘s biggest fan.  There’s still time, though.  And as though the title wasn’t enough, you could also win yourself a pair of Oakley’s.  C’mon Mr. Putin, show us how it’s done.

-A

Three Up, Three Down: 11.11.11 Edition

Just like the unfounded superstitions of the delusional masses, this is gonna be LOUD, in your face and probably a bit offensive:

Wilson Ramos Kidnapped

I know Venezuela has a vast array of domestic problems, but why kidnap Wilson Ramos?!?!  While he may some day become a catching superstar for the Nationals, he only made the league minimum in his 2011 rookie season, and I can think of 18 million reasons why Carlos Zambrano would have made a better target.

Rick Perry Is a Moron

In case the whole let’s waste taxpayer money and time by devoting an entire day to praying that “God” will fix our country’s financial woes rather than taking any responsibility or doing any actual work to make things better strategy didn’t prove that presidential hopeful Rick Perry is a mindless delusionoid, then perhaps this republican debate gaffe will make it clear:


MLB & Taiwan All-Stars

Hooray!  There was baseball in November… even if no one outside of Taipei paid any attention to it.  I heard there were some exciting moments, but none could be considered as entertaining as my favorite Chinese baseball experience:

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Filibuster

College football and the NFL have both come back with a vengeance but for MLB, there really aren’t any compelling races at this point.  How can baseball compete?

Ryan
Otsego, MI
___________________________________

Pardon my frankness here, Ryan, but…

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT?

No compelling races?  How can baseball compete?

Put down that tequilla shooter (slowly) and check the boxscores before you miss out!

Because the time is NOW for September baseball and there is PLENTY to be excited about.  Right now the AL East is as tight a race as they come, and believe me: the Yankees and Red Sox both want to win that division as each would rather draw the weaker opponent in the ALDS.  Meanwhile, the AL Central is anything but locked down.  Sure it might not be neck and neck, but if the Tigers have taught us anything in the last few years, it’s that they definitely know how to blow a sure thing.  And if you think the Rangers aren’t worried about the creeping Angels of Los Anaheim, ya might wanna put down the vodka too (keep the whisky, for now).

In the National League, sure the East, Central and Wild Card races seem to be locked down, but the NL West is still undecided.  The Diamondbacks are coming on strong but if the Giants can just average one run a game, with THAT pitching staff, they have a pretty good shot.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love football just as much as any other loud proud US American, but early season games being more important than the stretch baseball run?  Not in my world.  Not even close!

If you’re not feelin’ it, I gotta think that maybe it’s your fault.  Sit down and watch one of these games that matters.  Or, don’t.  I mean, STRASMAS is comin’ this year, so you could watch that!  Or check out a Bluejays game to watch the Joey Bats and Brett Lawrie Show!  Or get your buddies together for an Orioles game and every time they make an error, miss the cut-off man or fail to advance a runner TAKE A DRINK!  You’ll be so loaded by the third inning that your decision making skills will deteriorate to a level that will GUARANTEE a night of awesome once you hit the club.

Hate me ‘cuz I promote promiscuous behavior while championing the greatest game on earth, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

Stephen Strasburg is pitching again!  He might even be back in the Majors by the end of the season!  How excited are you for Stras-mas part 2?

Jeremy
Burr Oak, MI
___________________________________

Just see those fastballs zipping,
slide-step sinking too…
Come on, it’s lovely weather
for a Stras-mas endeavor with you!

Admittedly, there’s nothing quite like the joys of Stras-mas.  Last year, his comeuppance was the stuff of dreams, turning an otherwise midseason blah-blah Pirates v. Nationals contest into one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen.  In the Year of the Pitcher he became — after just one game — the Pitcher of the Year (in my book at least).

Stras-mas is special.  Stras-mas is magical.  Stras-mas is everything a baseball nerd like me dreams of.

Which is why it would be a SHAME and a TRAVESTY if the Nationals bring him back to pitch this season.

DON’T DO IT, RIZZO!  DON’T DO IT OR I’LL GUT YOU LIKE A FISH.

A bit harsh?  Yes.  I admit.  But remember, this kid is the future of a bruised and battered franchise.  And selling a few more tickets at the end of a going-nowhere season just to make a quick buck is not worth throwing away the future, throwing away Stras-mas.  Possibly forever.

Let the dude rehab, but don’t put him in any game action.  I know 11 months is the typical timeframe in which getting back to facing Big League hitters is deemed acceptable for those who’ve had the Tommy John surgery.  But this isn’t a typical situation.  This is Jesus with a 37 on his back.

Please, I implore the Washington Nationals front office: WAKE UP and STOP BEING STUPID.  You have a goldmine for YEARS in that newly improved Strasburgian right elbow.  He threw 96 mph from the slide step before, he may throw 101 underhanded now.

Do the right thing.  Make 2012 the Year of the Neverending Stras-mas.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

A bunch of teams are clustered right around .500 and above and no division is even close to being set at this point.  Does this mean baseball is starting to reach parity?

Sean
Caledonia, MI 
___________________________________

Beware, my friend.  I sense… something.  This… parity you speak of…

IT’S A TRAP!

It’s not real.

Just make-believe.

The truth is, the same old teams are still atop the same old divisions.  The Yankees.  The Red Sox.  The Phillies.  Okay, so the Mets and Dodgers may be out, but it’s not their faults!  They can blame poor ownership and mishandled funds!!!

I know that a quick glance at the standings may confuse the casual onlooker, that one could be easily misguided by the way the teams stack up.  But let’s face it: the NL and AL Centrals have been crapshoots for a decade, the NL West has been a contest in mediocrity for a long time.  The Angels’ dominance of the AL West was only usurped last year and in 2011 they have put themselves back in contention.

This is not parity.  This is, like our US American social ladder, a classic case of 99% of the wealth being in the hands of 1% of the population and everyone else is left to fend for himself.  The effect resembles something like parity.  But it ain’t.

It’s pitching.

I really believe that the Mitchell Report and its subsequent juicy fallout has forced teams to go back to what always works: good pitching.  With good pitching, you might have a decent shot at accumulating wins.  The Giants are a perfect example of a team that gets by on minimal offense and middle-of-the-pack payroll.  It’s not the stuff of dynasties… but when it works, it works, and that’s what teams are doing.

The Pirates are winning because of pitching (they can’t hit).  The Braves are winning because of pitching (they have a hard time scoring too).  The Diamondbacks could always hit, but this year they have… PITCHING.

Great pitching is the best defense against great hitting.  I didn’t write that.  Baseball wrote that.

When the Orioles and Blue Jays can compete in their own division… when the Nationals have a shot at the big boys in the NL East… that’s when I’ll consider parity’s existence.

But right now that seems like something that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away.

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

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Curious to know just how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Mr. Krause?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Riggleman’s Unobstructed View

I don’t regret the fact that baseball has become commercial.  For any business to survive, it has to figure out how to grow revenue and appeal to new customers.  MLB has done that by building fan friendly stadiums that allow fans to see what’s going on and by letting fans decide what they want to get out of their day at the park.

However, there’s something to be said for the throwbacks, the guys who hold to a specific baseball morality that won’t allow them to compromise.  My friend, Jeff, is one of those guys, someone who would like to see the Houston Astros play in wool uniforms during the middle of July and still laments the passing of the dead-ball era.  Jim Riggleman is another one of those guys.

See, Jim is probably a mediocre MLB manager at best but he has managed to keep the Nats in the race much longer than any of his predecessors.  On top of that, he’s doing it without Strasburg and the other high priced talent the Nationals have picked up recently.  But apparently that wasn’t enough to assure his future with the team and when his ultimatum went unanswered, he did what any throwback would do.  He mixed his metaphors while sticking to his guns and getting the hell out of Dodge.

Even that wasn’t enough for Riggleman.  No, not only did he refuse to get on the team bus last week, he instead went out, got himself a drink and hit on some young ladies.

Well played, sir.  I think even Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle could be proud of that.  I can assure you that Jeff is.

-A

The Filibuster

If you had to choose any manager in MLB today who might follow Jim Riggleman’s example and tell his GM to shove it, who would it be and how do you think they’d do it?

Seth
Hagerstown, MD
___________________________________

Honestly, Seth, I still can’t believe Riggleman had the gall to tell Rizzo to shove it!  I mean, I knew Jim walked and talked like a boss… but I didn’t know he had Mt. Everest sized cojones! Somebody get that man a beer!  And a whisky chaser!

Though what Riggleman did, as we probably all know by now, doesn’t really do him much good if he plans to continue managing in professional baseball.  There aren’t too many baseball folks who can shake the acidic label of being a quitter (see Hanley Ramirez) and a 58 year old yes-man certainly isn’t one of them.  Then again, dude knew he wasn’t the man in D.C., so I can’t blame him for not wanting to be Ken Macha a lame duck; if it were me though, I woulda kept my mouth shut, got my paycheck, then requested a bunch of exotic (and expensive) fare for my clubhouse spread.

And because this Riggleman show has been so bizarre, I really cannot see it happening again anytime soon.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are bad GMs and porous front offices, but I don’t think any of them would cause a manager to commit career suicide.

Of course, that could all change if someone would just give poor Wally Backman another chance.

Alcohol abuse, short temper, bankruptcy, tax evasion…  These are all things that come to mind when Backman’s name is brought up, not to mention the fact that the dude is good friends with Lenny Dykstra — not quite a paragon of amicability.  I could imagine a half soused Wally Backman stumbling into GM XYZ’s office, shirt half untucked, bbq sauce stains above the letters, hat scrunched up in one hand, Keystone Light in the other, mumbling: “Pick up my option, dammit. Or I quit.”

GM XYZ sits back in his chair, loosens his tie and exhales as he examines the sad, disheveled remains of a World Series champion and says: “You’re fired.”

Why didn’t Rizzo just fire Riggleman again?

Hate me ‘cuz I refuse to resign, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Are you just curious to see the images Mr. Krause texted his girlfriend last night?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Not All Athletes Are Created Equally

The NBA Draft was held Thursday night, and in contrast to years previous, this one seemed to be less about an influx of young players and more about the Shaq sextape sized elephant in the room.  Because by now, I think we all know that a lockout is coming, the next season might never be, and hearts will definitely be broken.

And the sadness doesn’t stop there.  Think about the players who will suddenly be without work, with no pay.  Will they be forced to drive Kias instead of Bentleys?  Forced to drink Red Label instead of Blue?  Have sex with their wives rather than the band of groupies hanging outside the team bus?

If you think professional basketball players will be able to just find work elsewhere, like the rest of us Joe Six-Packs would be forced to do, you might want to rethink the way the world works.  Here, let Washington Wizards point guard, John Wall, prove my point:


The truth is, ya get these guys off the court and… well, things can get ugly.

Here’s hoping the NBA learns some valuable lessons from its MLB brethren, before it’s too late.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Une Complainte Familiers

It’s interleague weekend, y’all.  According to King Bud, this is when I’m supposed to get excited about made-up rivalries with catchy names like the I-70 Series, the Ohio Cup and the Battle of the Beltway.

Um… no?

Battle of the Beltway?!?!?  STOP IT!  JUST STOP IT!

Don’t you know that every time you hark on some fantasy-driven nostaliga concerning the Washington Nationals, my Expos-missin’ heart suffers more unquantifiable pain?!?

That damn Molière was right: “You only die once, and it’s for such a long time.”

But let us not forget, dear readers.  Instead, let us continue to pour out our liquor, to writhe in sweet Youppi memories, to saver Denny Martinez pitching a perfect game in baby blue pajamas.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t like change, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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