Results tagged ‘ NL Central ’

Decoding the Magic of Mystery

albert pujols on fire.jpgThe Truth is: the view from Pujols-ville is more than satisfying these days.  Despite my colleague’s dastardly attempts to poke holes in the euphoric reality of the game’s best player hitting walk-off homeruns to champion the St. Louis Cardinals to its current nine game lead in the NL Central over the Chicago sCrUBS, I continue to attest to the wondrous ecstasy that is having a bonafide man-crush on Number 5.

Say what you want, Mr. Krause, Pujols-ville is full of winners.

The same cannot be said for the barely above mediocre Detroit Tigers.

And when times are tough, Mr. Krause — when the .500 Minnesota Twins and sub .500 Chicago White Sox have legitimate shots at besting your patchwork club — I understand that human nature may force you to criticize, to chide, to castigate.  Indeed, your rural upper middle class gun-totin’ religion-clingin’ Republican roots have crept their way into the conversation with your most recent closing statement:

“Don’t hate me because of my inability to fantasize about Albert Pujols
in a kiddie pool full of tapioca pudding. Hate me ‘cuz I’m right.”

Jealously does often cause one to slander.

But the above statement is more than just blasphemy.  It’s code.

You see, dear readers, Mr. Krause and I both fancy ourselves as learned linguists.  With two foreign languages under each of our respective belts (that’s four total, not counting the mother tongue), it’s easy for us to slip hidden messages here and there.  In this case, the curious Albert/kiddie-pool/tapioca-pudding reference has deeper meaning…

In French:

Ne me détestez pas en raison de mon incapacité de fantasmer au sujet d’Albert Pujols dans un regroupement de kiddie complètement de pudding de tapioca. Détestez-moi ‘cuz que j’ai raison.

To Chinese:

不要仇恨,因为我无法对阿尔贝荷斯幻想一组我小童木薯布丁充分。我恨因为我是正确的。

To Spanish:

No odio, porque no puedo Albert Pujols un grupo de fantasía para niños que pudín plenamente tapioca. Odio porque yo tenía razón.

To Arabic:

لا اكره لأنني لا أستطيع ألبرت Pujols مجموعة من الخيال للأطفال بشكل كامل التابيوكا الحلوى. أنا أكره لأنني كنت على حق.

And finally, back to English:

“Did not force!  For that I, Albert, did not can Pujols’ group from the horseman for the children, thoroughly Al-Hulwah! I forced for that.  I was justified.”

Yep.  Mystery solved.  Mr. Krause wishes he were Albert.  He fears those pesky horsemen, the children and most importantly, those more than creepy Al-Hulwahs.

Hard for me to hate Mr. Krause for that.  Sometimes the Al-Hulwahs even keep me up at night.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

man in pain.jpgWhat is it and how is it cured?

Mike
Montgomery, TX

____________________________________

Wow.  And somehow I thought I was the only one who spoke in cryptic non sequiturs.  Since that is obviously not the case, let me go ahead and assume that the “it” in this curious question must be that big Prince Fielder-like elephant in the room — that thing that I have avoided all season long, that embarrassing premonition that makes me, well, makes me look like a fool…

Because it is no lie that before the 2009 season even started, I had written off the Cardinals’ chances of competing all together.  Due to the stagnant off season — an off season where General Manager John Mozeliak did very little except to add a few journeymen relievers and a .220 hitting Jeff Spicoli lookalike shortstopI was sure that the Redbirds were destined for the bottom of the NL Central.

Oh how I overlooked the perennial abomination that is the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Still, after watching the St. Louis bullpen blow nearly 30 late inning leads in 2008, how was I to expect that they would somehow find a way to be this good this quickly?  I am simply a man of reason and reason said to make other plans for October.  And now, as we sit atop the NL Central at 61-51, clearly the front-runners in the division despite the Cubs’ second half surge, I think it is time for me to do something that is rarely ever necessary:

I must admit that maybe… just maybe… I was wrong.

Indeed, Mike in Montgomery, TX, “it” is my disdainful pessimism for my favorite baseball team and it can only be cured by them performing well — from here til the end.

meatonahook_1.jpgThen again, “it” might just be pork; and in that case you just rub some salt on it and let it sit for a while.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(*Man in pain image courtesy of All About Alcoholism — don’t ask)

***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. 

***Pictures of a sober Sidney Ponson also welcome but we’re pretty sure those don’t exist.

RSBS TV: 2009 NL Central Preview

Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.

Special thanks to Theo Roll.

Very
special thanks to Albert Pujols — the only man who can make Jeff wobble like a newborn calf.

(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)

Bit Tidding Tidbits

Baseball chick.jpgPut away that bottle, throw away those needles, quit workin’ that corner, folks!  Baseball is back!  Finally, we have something to live for again…

Here is but a sampling of the goings on around the league:

Alex Rodriguez Homers in Spring Training Opener
Immediately after he hit that bomb, all controversy of A-Rod’s MVP PED use and the subsequent tarnishing and questioning of his character disappeared like the hopes and dreams of Pirates fans.  Well, maybe not, but one can fantasize, right?

Ryan Dempster Has Yet to Say Something Stupid
Last year during spring training, Dempster guaranteed Cub fans a World Series title.  His foot-in-mouth silence at the start of this season practically guarantees another stellar regular season record, followed by a quick division series exit to the tune of 101 years.  Which leads me to the fact that…

Cub Fans Still Hungover from 2008, 2007, 2003, etc.
A simple stroll through Wrigleyville these days will yield much more than the average Barleycorn date-rape and trust-fund-baby all-night-party — both of which have long been synonymous with the neighborhood.  Nowadays you can still see the aftershocks of that disappointing NLDS performance against the Dodgers in the face of this guy and this guy and these guys.

Khalil Greene On Pace to Replace Ozzie Smith as Shortstop Icon
Don’t look now, but after one spring training game, off-season blockbuster acquisition Khalil Greene is on pace to hit .333 this year — which is way better than his .212 average of 2008!  While John Mozeliak sits back and strokes his pompous ego, we Joe Six-Pack fans are left daydreaming of that fifth-place NL Central finish.

Yankees Lend a Helping Hand: Willing to Pay Off the Country’s $1.75 Trillion Deficit
Okay, this is a lie; but the Yankees unwillingness to cooperate just proves how anti-American the organization really is.

Ann Coulter Is Still Crazy
An excerpt from her February 25th blog post reads:

“But as long as the nation is obsessed with historic milestones, is no
one going to remark on what a great country it is where a mentally
retarded woman can become speaker of the house?”

Ann, sweetie-pie, remember: we had a mentally retarded man with a fancy-rich last name as president for 8 years.  Let us have our speaker and please stop talking.

Indians Fans and Cub Fans Breathe Collective Sigh of Relief
Joe Borowski, possibly the all-time scariest closer for all the wrong reasons, officially announced his retirement.  There are parties in the street.  Check ‘em out.

Tigers Fans Better Off Watching Hockey
After my esteemed colleague and Tigers apologist Allen Krause wrote his annual lament on the sad state of his team, one clever commenter riffed:

“When the tigers crush your soul as they inevitably will, just remember to look on the brightside, we still have the Red Wings.”

Enough said.  Thanks, D.K.

No One Cares About Blagojevich Anymore
Or Roland Burris… or Dick Durbin strong-arming Burris to get out of town… or the poor economy… or world hunger… or the climactic dictatorship of one Hugo Chavez… dude, who cares?  There’s baseball to watch!

And at last…

The MLB Network Is Seriously Affecting My Loyalty to American Idol

I apologize to all my supporters, for it is true: in my living room, the MLB Network has temporarily taken the place of American Idol. Two weeks have gone by and I haven’t watched a single A.I. episode.  I know, I know.  This situation is difficult to accept for all.  But believe me when I say it hurts me more than it hurts you.  For some reason, Barry Larkin’s nonsensical ramblings and Al Leiter’s delusions of grandeur are just way more entertaining than Ryan Seacrest’s hair and Simon Cowell’s cliche Britishness.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

I Got ‘Em, but I Ain’t Happy About It

cardinals fan.jpgBefore interleague, before realignment, the St. Louis Cardinals and
Chicago Cubs used to battle; they decimated each other in a bonafide on-the-field theatre of war much like the Yankees/Red Sox and
Dodgers/Giants do today.

But with six teams crammed into the
National League Central, each vying for a top spot with Selig’s odds
stacked against them and the unnecessary evil of force-feeding a
delusional I-70 rivalry that requires the Cardinals to play the Royals two
times a year, what was once the toast of classy baseball rivalries has
been diddled down to a mere four series a season, which allows me the
opportunity to see my ball club make a trip to my home (Chicago) just twice.

Didn’t Selig get the memo?  I thought the world revolved around me.

Guess not.

So
like all loyal Cardinal fans living in the Chi, I too was first in the
interweb line to purchase tickets for the Cardinals/Cubs series: one
four game set in April and one three game set in July.

I logged
on to cubs.com and was told to “Please be patient. We are experiencing
a high volume of requests at this time. You will be notified when your
spot in the queue is ready.”

Besides being impressed that Cubs personnel could spell “queue”, I sat patiently, waiting my turn.

For an hour.

And then another hour.

And then another… and another… and another…

After waiting patiently for five and a half hours, I was told it was finally my turn. 

BUT,
I could not buy tickets for the July 10 game (sold out) or the July 11
game (also sold out) or the July 12 game (it’s f***ing sold out, dude)
or the April 18 game (goddamn it, it’s sold the **** out, man!).

I
bought tickets for the Sunday night ESPN game on April 19.  And then,
before I could celebrate even the smallest of victories, I was booted
out of the ticketing system — the online equivalent of having been peed
on.

wrigley_field.jpgImmediately, I ventured on to Stubhub were I was delighted
to see that I could buy tickets to all of those games I wanted to see
for the same price my health insurance company rapes me for every month. 
In other words, a $22
upperdeck-there’s-a-giant-metal-column-blocking-my-view ticket at
Wrigley starts out at $125 a pop.  Two tickets, do the math, is $250.

Boom.

Better not get sick this summer.

Maybe
it is for the best though.  It is no secret that once I step in that
dilapidated craphole cathedral known as Wrigley Field, donning my
Molina jersey in all its 2006 WS Championship glory, my Old Style
soused tongue and seedy underworld presence tend to get me trounced
more often than I would like.

But you can bet I’ll find a way.

So don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

This Should Be A Joke But It Is Not

bud.selig.jpg
Major League Baseball Commissioner and de facto Dear Leader Bud Selig makes $18.35 million a year.

Yes, I said, Bud Selig makes $18.35 million a year!

Pick your jaw up off the floor and wipe it clean with that $12 MLB hoodie you got on sale at Target — the kind King Bud would never wear because a) he’s still not cool and b) a $12 anything is certainly well below him.

Everybody still with me?  Great.  Now, realize that Bud Selig makes more money a year than Albert Pujols ($13.87 million), Ryan Howard ($10 million) and Magglio Ordonez ($15.77 million) not to mention a slew of other superstars who have had way more to do with the current success of the commercialized game than Selig could ever dream of having.

If anything, Bud Selig is the supreme benefactor of being in the right place at the right time.

Because really, what has Selig done during his tenure to make baseball as popular as it is today?  Well, let’s see…

He oversaw the devastating strike of 1994.

He realigned everything, making sure to put six teams in the NL Central (the largest division in baseball while the AL West has just four teams), which causes the Cubs and Cardinals to only play each other twelve times a year as opposed to twenty, further decimating and devaluing one of the best rivalries in the game.

He gave us the inexcusable, outlandishly silly “this time it counts” scenario of the All-Star Game winner having home field advantage during the World Series.

He ignored the blatant, in-your-face warnings that a large faction of players were doping it up, thus hitting balls out of the park at a fervent pace.  This, of course, peaked the interest of all because who doesn’t love a homerun or seventy?  Suddenly, more people start to show up at the park, putting more money in his pocket… so, really, can anyone really chide Selig for his unethical behavior?

Yes, we can.

But what is done is done.  We cannot undo anything.  What we can do is scream, yell, break things and blog about it (Selig, you owe me a new computer screen).   

If Bud Selig makes $18 million a year, then by my calculations, which are based on his overall worth to the game of baseball (and you Sabermetric guys can jump in here if I am off), Manny Ramirez should be making $75 million a year; A-Rod, (making note of his abysmal playoff khalil greene.jpgperformances) should be paid $55 million a year and Khalil Greene, after cashing in on an incentive-based package requiring him to record at least one base hit in each month of the season (so, let’s say at least six), ought to be bringing in a cool $29 million a year.

Looks like the fantasy baseball season never ends if your name is King Bud Selig.  I just hope he remembers to pay his taxes.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Another Guide for Passing the Time

In his last post, my oft misguided and ever self-loathing colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, offered up some morbid thoughts on how to pass the next several weeks while we wait to thaw out and spring into some serious baseball action.  Poignantly defeatist in nature, Mr. Krause squashed our spirits more than he uplifted them, as more lamenting on the sad state of Detroit sports franchises and focusing on the natural discourse between Iran and the rest of the world leaves little else than a tinge of bitterness.

Dear readers, there are many more things you can do with your time.  For instance…

steelers superbowl champs.JPG

Postulate How Many More Superbowls the Steelers Will Win Before the Pirates Get Back to the Post-Season (If They Ever Do)

Already the winningest franchise in NFL history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have long drowned out the cheers (if any) from the Pirates faithful.  But don’t worry, ‘Burgh, the 2009 Pirates boast a lineup that features the likes of Jose Tabata, Brian Bixler and Nyjer Morgan!  Whoo-wee!  Get out the ticker-tape, ya’ll!  I’m feeling a bit like 1991!

Count the Reasons Why Ann Coulter Has No Soul

Verily, this woman is as crazy as A-Rod is attention hungry.  In her most recent blog post (dated 1/28/2009), she had this brilliant quip to share:

“The only reason McCarthy was elected to Congress in the first place is
that her husband and son were shot by a crazed gunman on the Long
Island Rail Road in 1993. Colin Ferguson’s shooting spree wasn’t
stopped sooner because none of the passengers had guns. As has been
demonstrated beyond dispute at this point, armed citizens save lives.”

There is no way these words came from a live human being complete with a heartbeat and the ability to actually feel.  No way.

Waste Your Life Away by Playing the Harold Reynolds Drinking Game
(I don’t personally recommend this, but if you’re looking for a quick, painless way to hibernate until Opening Day, click **here** for details. And when I say “painless” I’m lying.)

Try To Nail Down How Many Games the Cardinals Will Finish Behind the Cubs in 2009
Let’s see, there’s Adam Kennedy, Trever Miller, a busted up bullpen virtually unchanged from last season, question marks at third base, second base, starting rotation, no one to protect Albert Pujols, the reality that LaRussa and Duncan will most likely be gone next year, and we still have Bill Dewitt and John Mozeliak at the helm!  Folks, that’s just the beginning… I won’t go in to how good the Cubs look, how fresh and exciting the Reds look, how explosive the Brewers look, how nagging the Astros look.  Ooh boy, can’t wait to battle Tabata, Bixler and Morgan in the ‘Burgh for the NL Central Toilet Bowl!

Whew.

Okay, so I admit, my suggestions are just as morbid and defeatist as Allen’s… but if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that a laugh — a good, hearty, gut-cleansing laugh —  can last us a while… or in this case, a long, long while:

Now that is what I call comedy!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace

Jeffy

Fire This Man!!!

John Mozeliak.jpgI and the rest of Cardinal Nation have had enough of this incompetence! 

Another one got away… one we needed desperately, one who could’ve been had were it not for the mental retardation of one John Mozeliak.

And now we are forced to sit back and reserve room at the bottom of the National League Central Division because with the massive, gaping, bloody wound that is the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen throbbing with ineptitude faster than the Illinois legislature moves to impeach a pompous nimrod governor, that’s exactly where we’ll be.

Move on up, Pirates.

We got this taken care of.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

P.S.  Happy Friggin’ New Year.

The Filibuster

I asked a similar question in the hypothetical earlier this season but now that some aspects of the postseason have sorted themselves out, I have to ask again. What makes you more sad, the Cubs winning the NL Central or the Cards not making the playoffs?

– Allen

                                                                                        _

crybaby.jpgFor all of you who picture me sitting in the alcove of my apartment drowning in the proverbial sea of my own tears because the Cardinals will be home this post-season while the Cubs journey on, you’re probably not too far off from reality.  Of course, the half empty bottle of Jack, the lonely cavern of my heart and the clear and present danger of having one Sarah Palin next in line to the highest office in the land most certainly have more to do with my wallowing than the current state of baseball. 

As I have said here before, the Cubs were supposed to win the Central and be one of the best teams in baseball this year.  So why, Mr. Krause, should I be so surprised to actually see this come true?  We’re both highly educated, extremely learned, dashingly handsome young men, so cut me a little slack here.

Verily, the true river of tears has yet to flow.  In fact, it is on standby until the final outcome of the AL Central battle.  If my neighborhood Sox find a way to wiggle back in there, then all will be well again and I will have much to look forward to.

If the menacing Twins manage to squeak in (which would realistically only extend their inevitable fate of just not being good enough) then I will go ahead and cry… right along side Mr. Krause, who again, finds himself rooting for the worst team money can buy

Crying is nothing new to baseball fans.  The likes of Bill Buckner, Bartman and Don Denkinger — among myriad others — have long tortured the hearts and souls of those most loyal.

And no one will cry harder (or longer) than Mets fans if the the second team of New York blows it — yet again — at the very last minute.  Stay tuned… or, just keep your ears open for the hisses and boos from the Met faithful.  That ricketty old stadium may come tumbling down sooner — and in a more creative way — than we all think.  

Don’t hate me, ‘cuz as always, I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Premature Jubilation

old cub fan.JPGThey say that the great state of Chicago‘s drinking water — drawn from the great Lake Michigan — is some of the finest, purest tap water in all of US America.  Seriously?  I’m beginning to wonder…

Again, my hat is tipped to the Chicago Cubs, their players, their front office and yes, even their fans for winning the National League Central Division title.  Job well done.  I’ve commented on blogs galore, I’ve shaken your hands, I’ve stopped calling the cops when you fire bomb my house. 

Congratulations on doing what you were supposed to do.  You were picked to win the Central.  You went out and spent a lot of money to win the Central.  So, it should be no surprise that you did indeed win the Central.

But I have absolutely no patience (nor the stomach) for this kind of crap sprawled across my Sunday paper:

this is the year cubs.jpgIf it weren’t for my sadistic infatuation with the shooting incidents finely described in the Metro section, I’d cancel my Chicago Tribune subscription in a New York methamphetamine minute because their escalating sensationalist style of journalism is growing too tiresome to be considered real reportage. 

Publishing a new book entitled This Is The Year?

The year for what!?!?  Winning the division?  Because that’s all you’ve done so far.  Congratu-friggin-lations on that.  You won the NL Central.  You did that last year too.  Remember?  Where’s the book for that great feat of baseball achievement?  Oh, there isn’t one?  Well then, let’s write a book about this year then without having actually done anything of real importance?!?! 

Is this for real?  What else have you done this year that warrants a book banking/hoping/praying you’ll win the NLDS and then win the NLCS and then… win the WS?

This is exactly the reason why Cub fans hate themselves.  They let the media and the hype and the curses and the exploding payrolls inflate their egos beyond the realms of sanity, so much so that they actually believe “this is the year” when they’ve still got a whole lot of work to do… just like they did when all they had to do was record five outs against the Marlins or win three games against the Diamondbacks or whatever the case may be this year. 

Sure, it’s been a hundred years and the media loves this kind of story… look: I get it.  But, don’t you think publishing a book called This Is The Year is a bit like asking that girl you like but haven’t talked to yet to marry you

Yeah.  Good luck with that.

I’m sure your manager, “Sweet” Lou Piniella, one of the smartest, classiest managers in the game, is loving your gung-ho holier-than-thou approach to the toughest part of the season.  Because we all know (cue the sarcasm) that the playoff games preceding the world series crown are really meaningless, especially if you’ve got a book called This Is The Year.

Nothing guarantees a victory like premature jubilation. 

Just ask Al Gore.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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