Results tagged ‘ NL Central ’

Waino Es Bueno, But the Elbow Not So Much

Waino es bueno

Ask anyone from my parents’ generation where they were and what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated, when the Beatles invaded America or when they first saw Jacqueline Bisset in a wet t-shirt, and chances are he or she will be able to recall every, single, little detail.

Unfortunately, February 23, 2011 will be that day for me: the day Waino went down for the season — a seemingly unerasable stain on the psyche of a bonafide baseball beserker (me, duh).

Booze was consumed, things were broken, neighbors were frightened.

But that’s over now.  I got it all out of my system.  And just as in dealing with any other tragic situation, I allowed myself to grieve.  But now it’s time to man-up and put things in perspective.

We are still talking about the St. Louis friggin’ Cardinals here.  And while we may not have him locked up long-term, we do have the greatest single baseball player of the last quarter century headlining our team, every single day in Albert Pujols. 

We still have an ace in Chris Carpenter.  We still have AP protection in Matt Holliday.  We still have running-game assassin extraordinaire Yadi Molina behind the plate.

And we have the winningest active manager in the game leading them all in Tony LaRussa.

Ain’t no reason to cry, fellow Redbirds fans.  The NL Central climate may have changed; we probably don’t line up to run away with the division now, but we have every reason to watch every game and feel really damn good about it.

Rally the troops. 

This is war.

Haters g’on hate.

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

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Eff Yeah Baseball Gifs)

Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor

ryan theriot.jpgUm… okay.  So this is what happens when Brendan Ryan becomes better known for a poorly marketed pornstache than his actual comeuppance as an everyday St. Louis Cardinals shortstop.  Oh, wait.  No comeuppance?  He sucks?  My bad.

Which is sorta why I haven’t really said much this offseason about my dearly beloved Redbirds.  What’ s there to say?  Jake Westbrook signed?  Okay.  Cool.  We traded Blake Hawksworth for Ryan Theriot?  M’kay… nice.  I guess.  Can we guarantee that Skip Schumaker won’t take another step backwards?  How about facing the fact that closer Ryan Franklin really ain’t cut out to be a closer?  And then…???

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still haven’t really gotten over the crapfest that was the second half of the 2010 season.  No one likes a sore loser, but goddamn it if I ain’t still sore as hell!  Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter… YADIER MOLINA. 

Friends, Romans, Cubs fans… those names command a division title.

COMMAND IT!

And that’s what I want.  At the very least, we ought to be slaying the Reds, the Cubs and whatever other foe floats carelessly towards the top. 

Does Ryan Theriot magically make that happen?  Uh… no.  In fact, as a hitter, Baseball Reference has Theriot matched up with the likes of Aaron Miles, Jason Bartlett and former St. Louis Brown, Ernie Johnson.  And while Bartlett had one good year, let’s not get too excited over these comparisons; ‘cuz frankly, there’s little that breeds excitement.

Yes, maybe Theriot will solve the leadoff problem that has crippled the Cardinals in recent years.  Then again, he probably won’t.  He’s gotta beat out Brendo and Skippy for a job first, which for us anticipating fans, is sorta like having to vote from a pool of John Kerry, George W. Bush and a bowl of potato salad.

Which one is the bowl of potato salad?  I’ll leave that up to you.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m still bitter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

An Open Letter to the St. Louis Cardinals

writing_letter.jpgDear St. Louis Cardinals,

Stop it. 

Just stop it.

You are embarrassing me.  You are embarrassing my family.  You are embarrassing yourselves.

My sister was at your game in Houston on Monday night.  Ya know, the one against the LOLstros.  The first one where you didn’t score any runs.  And despite your recent slide against terrible, terrible teams, she still went to the park all decked out in Cardinals gear. 

She could’ve used a security detail trying to get out of there.

That’s what it has finally come down to in 2010.

What is more frustrating than anything else isn’t the losing.  Look, I know.  Baseball teams lose.  Even the best teams lose four out of ten.  That’s the game.  That’s baseball.

But when you lose you look like you don’t care… like it doesn’t bother you… like it’s just another day.

WELL IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER FRIGGIN’ DAY!

The wheels are coming off and we’re not gonna shut up about it until you start looking like you give a damn.  I guarantee you the folks in Cincinnati do.  Yes.  Finally, they have something to care about; and here we are, a confused, spiraling, spoiled Cardinals nation who thought we could just mail it in until the playoffs…

Well, that ain’t gonna cut it.

I hate to sound over dramatic, but the time has come for some over dramatic butt-kickin’ ‘cuz there ain’t much time left! 

So go out there and remember that we’ll always love you, as long as you give your best, tireless efforts.

Sincerely,

Jeff

…and a bazillion other serious Cardinals fans.

The Reds Got It Bad

bieber and usher.jpgOutside of baseball, there’s really only one man worth wearing the crown of my man-crushdom.  Whether its his svelte good looks, his vocal charm, or his ability to cheat on multiple baby’s mamas and still be adored by all… this man is someone I’d like to be, if only for a day.

That man’s name is…

Usher.

So imagine the pure shock, the horror, the Crying Game-esque gut twisting reaction I had when I was informed that Usher was responsible for the comeuppance, development and overnight success of the height-challenged lesbian look-alike from Canada, Justin Bieber.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If it’s pop-culture-to-baseball analogies you’re lookin’ for, look no more, dear readers.  For Usher is the St. Louis Cardinals.  He’s tops among R&B artists.  He’s consistently good.  He’s been around the winner’s circle.  He belongs among the best.

Justin Bieber?  He’s the Cincinnati Reds.  A mere fart in the grand world of entertainment, he too will eventually dissipate back into nothingdom, where he belongs

The Reds boast a team of Cardinal has-beens: Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Russ Springer… hell, even Walt Jocketty.  During the course of a 162 game season, even has-beens find time to shine.

But like Justin Bieber and his awkwardly prolonged fifteen minutes of fame, eventually the Reds will burn out…

…the Cards will be on top…

…and Usher will be asking:

Can U Handle It?

Hate me ‘cuz I wanna eradicate Bieber Fever, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Special thanks to C for the vomit-inducing photo)

Wake Me When the Embarrassment Is Over

unknown comic.jpgRemember back in 2000, when Al Gore beat George W. Bush for the presidency… but then… didn’t become president?

Or how about back in 2004, when all the Democratic party had to do was put a solid candidate on the podium in order to beat the impish incumbent, Dubya, and they gave us John Kerry, who flip-flopped and stuttered his way to crapdom?

Well, maybe the lesser fits winning over favorites is a Texas thang… in which case, I wouldn’t mind seeing it go away.

Because an 18 to 4 shellacking from Houston (just one of seven losses — and counting — at the hands of the otherwise laughable LOLstros in 2010) is just too much for a playoff-contending team to take… especially for its fans.

My ears are already full of sand… so I’m hiding elsewhere until the pain, the torture, the embarrassment ends…

No.  I’m not telling you where I am.  It hurts too much.

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

You guys seem to have an opinion on most everything.  So tell me, what
do you think about the Reds, the Rays and the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico?  Any chance they’re related?

Evan
Sandusky, OH
____________________________________


Us?  Have an opinion?  Ya don’t say!  Shall we?

dusty baker reds.jpgSubject: The Cincinnati Reds
Like oil spills, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Does a team led by a professional arm-killer who says “dude” way too often despite his old age have what it takes to stay in contention all year long?  Probably.  I mean, Dusty Baker has done it before.  But just like before, this team too will eventually find a way to sink back down towards expectations.  Let’s face it: the only reason the Reds are atop the Central Division right now is because the Cardinals are faltering… but they won’t for long.
Opinion: Overrated, destined to fail, not worth your time

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgSubject: The Tampa Bay Rays
Gee whiz!  If ever there were a case for the evangelical loonies to get involved with Major League Baseball (not counting Josh “I love Jesus when he lets me do body shots” Hamilton) then this rise to the top for the Tampa Bay Rays is certainly it.  Who knew that the only key to success for this once hapless franchise was to remove the word “devil” from their name?  Any guesses for when the Yankees will try to follow suit by removing “New York” from theirs? 
Opinion: Playoff Bound

chase utley oily hair.jpgSubject: BP Oil Spill
Like the Cincinnati Reds, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Oh… wait, did I already use that line?  That must’ve been Johnnie Walker talking.  Unfortunately, no amount of whisky will make this terrible accident and its disastrous effects go away anytime soon.  Not since Chase Utley last removed his cap has the planet been exposed to such oil laden horrors; I expect clean-up efforts will require immense patience, determination and confidence… which, coincidentally, is also the recipe for surviving a summer in Philadelphia.  Not everyone makes it out alive.
Opinion: This really sucks

Now… are they related you ask?

In as much as these events and situations are all taking place on the planet earth, in the month of May, two years before our imminent destruction predicted by the Mayans… yes, they are related.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much. 

So don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not
together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster
question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at
kraulung@gmail.com. 

***A lock from Jayson Werth’s now shaven beard also welcome… Al is weird like that.


Bermuda Triangle, Meet the NL Central

dusty baker reds.jpgNot everything can be explained.  You know this.

Why bad things happen to good people, why Hanley Ramirez is a lollygagger, what happened to Nancy Pelosi’s original face… these are all concerning issues without concrete and true catalytic roots. 

They simply cannot be explained.

And just like boats and planes and people that disappear within the Bermuda Triangle — scoffing at science, bending the rules of reason — so too are the circumstances of the National League Central Division and its teams as mysterious as they are unanswerable.

So let’s see if we can get this right:

The Pirates suck but they are able to beat the hell out of the Cubs.

The Cubs suck but they are able to beat the hell out of the Brewers.

The Brewers suck but they are able to beat the hell out of the Pirates.

The LOLstros may deal Oswalt and/or Berkman but no one is really watching or caring anyway.

The Cardinals are in second place.

And Dusty Baker hasn’t ruined anyone’s career yet as his Reds stand on top of the division.

nancy.pelosi.jpgI have a feeling this may be one of those FML moments.  Of course, it is only May 18th, so it’s still way too early to start complaining like a Red Sox fan.

But seriously, folks, I really would like to know what happened to Nancy Pelosi’s original face…

Holla if you have any tips; in the meantime, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Guys, the season is starting in a few days and I still haven’t seen an
honest to god prediction out of you yet.  What do you think?  Is there
anyone who can keep the Yankees from repeating?

-Lee
Sandusky, OH
____________________________________

We haven’t made any predictions yet?  Oh yeah, I guess predicting that the Detroit Tigers will suck this year isn’t really a prediction, it’s just a known fact.  Considering that it is that time of year when everyone is making some sort of bold statement as to who is gonna win and who isn’t, I think you’re right, Lee.  It is time for RSBS to jump into the prognostication pool (that sounds like something one would find in Vegas) and so we do as only we at RSBS (I, Jeff, not Al ‘cuz he’s a slacker) know how.

Shall we?
(subliminal messages start now)

kourtney kardashian bikini.jpgNL East
Compared to its AL counterpart, this division isn’t quite the sexy beast it used to be.  The team to beat is the Phillies; and while the Mets look to give a better effort than last year if healthy while the Braves and Marlins lurk behind with plenty of potential, I still don’t see how the Phillies can lose this division.  Oh wait.  Yes I can; his name is Brad Lidge.

Yet I think the Phils still win it.  Ya can’t get much worse than Lidge was last year and they still won the league.

Phillies.  Probably.


jenna fischer 2.jpgNL Central
Come now, is there really any competition here?  Yeah, sure the Brewers can bop with the best of them but have you seen their pitching staff?  Exactly.  The sCrUBS?  Er…. no.  The Astros?  Stop playin’.  The Pirates?  The Pirates!?!?  Ha!  The only team in this division who might give the Cardinals a run is the Cincinnati Reds, and for that to happen Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto have to both deliver the goods like seasoned professionals (they’re not) and Aaron Harang would have to keep his ERA under 10 (he won’t)… not to mention the fact that Dusty Baker would have to not destroy someone’s arm (he will).

Cardinals.  No question.

heidi derosa.jpgNL West
Hmm.  This is an interesting division.  My heart says San Fransisco but my heart also says I should be able to drink a fifth of scotch and still be able to dance the merengue with some amount of poise.  In other words, my heart is a goddamn liar.  There are too many question marks in the Dodgers young pitching staff that I can’t put my money on them.  So I turn towards the Rockies — a team with balance, a team with Tulo, a team with purple pinstripes.

Rockies.

San Francisco joins as the Wild Card.

erin.andrews.jpgAL East
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla.  Not this year, folks.  Yankees, Rays, Yankees, Rays… and Brian Matusz.  The Yankees are the best in baseball.  Hard to argue against that.  The 2010 Red Sox are not the Red Sox we’re used to seeing.  They made a major mistake by not bringing back Jason Bay and they’re gonna suffer for it.  The Rays… this is the year for them.  It’s now or never.  And just for fun, let it be known that Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles is one hell of a pitching phenom and a reason to tune into their games every once in a while.

Yankees win without even trying.

Rays take the Wild Card.

lucy liu.jpgAL Central
With so much money going towards roster scrubs and the recently anointed singles-machine, Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers of 2010 will look more like the Tigers of 2003.  Okay, maybe not that bad, but still, they ain’t goin’ anywhere.  The Twins will be in the race, but I suspect they will be playing a lot of doubleheaders this year due to that new open air stadium; and their team is still built for turf.  I don’t see them catching the White Sox, who in my opinion have the best starting five of any other team in the Majors.  If Peavy stays healthy and Floyd and Danks kick it up a notch, I don’t see how they could be beat.  Keep your eye on Gordon Beckham too.  He’s gonna be a superstar.

White Sox.

Allison.Stokke.jpgAL West
Like its National League version, this division causes me fits.  The Rangers are right on the cusp of doing something great; but then I look at their pitching staff and see a bunch of crooked numbers on the board against them.  The A’s?  Uh… no offense, but if you rely on Kurt Suzuki to produce all your offense, I cannot take you seriously.  The Mariners look like they should be much improved; but I’m not drinking that kool-aid yet ‘cuz as of now, they haven’t done jack.  And how can I possibly bet against a proven winner, a team that gets it done year after year after year? 

The Angels win the West.  Why?  ‘Cuz they do everything right.

And they have a rally monkey.

Playoffs
Now when you put all these pretty teams together, choosing one over the other is no easy task.  They’re all yummy winners.  They’re all well-proportioned hot.  They’re all doable talented.

So what is one to do?

Personally, I like to fantasize about a world where they’re all in the same room, having fun and going at it with uncompromising competitive bite.  But understanding how unrealistic that is, I guess I have no choice but to choose one. 

Or two.

These two:

jenna fischer 2.jpgAnd again, my lying, cheating, pipe-dreaming heart tells me that the Cardinals are better than the Yankees.  Yet, I’m smart enough to know that saying as much is not only unrealistic, it’s just plain fantasy.

Still, one can dream, right?

Hate me ‘cuz I get ya all flustered, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not
together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster
question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at
kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Unwanted Victoria Secret catalogues and bootleg copies of Predators also welcome.

(all images scraped from the interwebs)


Hiney Bird Swap: A Tale of Two Teams & their Switcheroo

hawk harrelson.jpg“A hiney bird is a bird that flies in perfectly executed concentric
circles until eventually he flies up his own behind and disappears
forever.”

– Ken “Hawk” Harrelson

Prior to the 2009 season, one would not be in error by labeling me a bonafide St. Louis Cardinal Hiney Bird.  Having not really addressed our bullpen woes of 2008, I seriously didn’t think the Redbirds had a chance at achieving anything this season. 

Obviously, I was wrong.  And I’ve apologized for that.

I did, however, look forward to an exciting new edition of my neighborhood Chicago White Sox.  And, yes folks, it does happen (albeit rarely): I was wrong… again. 

Whoops!

But I have to go out on a limb and defend Kenny Williams from Chicago Tribune reporter Phil Rogers who blamed much of the White Sox’s 2009 downfall on the trades of Nick Swisher and Javier Vazquez.

To quote the Hawk: “That’s just B.S.! B.S.! That’s just B.S.!”

Nick Swisher’s 2008 stint with the Sox was abysmal at best.  He underachieved in every category except rambunctiousness per game.  He was a shackle on the Sox’s youth movement and rumor had it that he was more interested in picking up chicks in the Viagra Triangle than he was picking up runners in scoring position.

Javi Vazquez never looked comfortable in the Chi.  Sure he’d get ya lots of strikeouts, but he also gave up a bunch of runs; and with Gavin Floyd and John Danks on the horizon of being dominating starters, it made sense to move Javi (and his paycheck) to make more room. 

But sometimes things don’t always work out (see Sarah Palin’s “political” career).  The ’09 White Sox have wallowed in mediocrity while the Cardinals are set to win the NL Central Division crown.

You see, dear readers, baseball is so captivating, so riveting, so followable because there is no such thing as a sure thing.  So to all you Hiney Birds (me included) here’s a lesson from possibly the world’s worst broadcaster:

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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

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