Results tagged ‘ Oprah ’

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Epstein-Lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Failed sequels. Failed remakes.

I’m looking for a balcony I don’t have. That’s what the Cubs do to me. That’s what a possible year without the NBA does to me. But regrets are for horseshoes and handbags, just like Oprah said!  Fortunately baseball playoffs are here and a possible remake is in the works for my fellow writers, Allen and Jeff and their respective clubs. This remake reminds me of something (JESUS! I sound like Andy Rooney, you know?)…

Outside of jazz, circumcision jokes and male burlesque Chinese contortionists who wear glittered leotards and make kung-fu on you at will in an inflatable ball pit, my favorite art form is THE MOVIES! And right now, there are a lot of problems at THE MOVIES.

I’m sick of the mouth-breathing hooker pirates who are making pee on my childhood by trying to remake great films that will always be great. To all of you doing that, you can kiss my @$$. You remind me of the unoriginal jags I have to walk over every day on my way to work who are protesting Wall Street while knowing NOTHING ABOUT THAT WHICH YOU  ARE YELLING.

I watch a lot of film: classics, slightly old, current, and probably some that went straight to Blockbuster. I can’t stand when lazy studio heads remake the greats. The last respectable era of film making was before my time (in the late 70s) but it sure would be nice to see it again.

The Thing comes out this week. It’s a remake of the bad@$$ one with Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley.  And this one just might be a good fit for a redo. Let this be a lesson. The original was smart, complete with a great story but it also had god awful effects that made it hard to watch. Meanwhile, I recently read there is a remake coming of The Goonies. WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?

My point is this: I’m rooting for mah boys’ Tigers/Cardinals final dance matchup. It would be a remake that would be just fine because Oprah said so and I like whatever she tells me to like.

“I was wonderin’ when El Capitan was gonna get a chance to use his popgun.”

–Johanna Mahmud
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The Filibuster

Despite the late-inning dramatics and clutch hitting by Team America,
the World Baseball Classic will be especially notable to MLB managers
because of the rash of injuries that has hit the players. With
important team leaders like Chipper Jones, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan
Braun suffering injuries, how do you think this will effect teams’
decisions to let their players participate next time around?

– Allen
__________________________________________

tom cruise oprah.jpgA wise woman (my mother) once said, “Jeff, nobody’s perfect. Tom Cruise comes close but just look at how screwed up he is.  Still, Tom is about as close as you can get.”

The World Baseball Classic, still in its infancy, is similar in that it has yet to find the perfect balance of entertainment and logic.  We, the viewers, cannot expect it to be the perfect international tournament it aims to be — not yet at least.

There are naysayers.  There are those who feel the Classic is a colossal waste of time.  There are general managers and agents and players and pundits who see it as a liability more than an asset.  And I understand their points of view.

theo epstein.jpgIf I were Omar Minaya or Theo Epstein or Frank Wren and I was forced to watch my best players risk injury in the name of a “friendly” tournament with seemingly zero tangible gain, I guess I would be a little ticked off too.  But I believe the World Baseball Classic is more than just a King Bud money machine meant to get more people interested in Major League Baseball around the world.  To me, it is a showcase of the most talented players on the planet: a baseball bravura boasting a playoff-like atmosphere during the most boring weeks of spring training. 

And whether ballplayers are playing in the WBC or in Jupiter, Florida or with their kids at home, guys are going to get hurt.

guitar hero.jpgJust ask Joel Zumaya about his Guitar Hero hangup.

Or just ask Aaron Boone about his penchant for pickup basketball.

Or just ask Ken Griffey, Jr. about wrestling with his children.

And while the easy way out is to say let us put an end to this World Baseball Classic for good and focus on the regular season, players are still going to find ways to injure themselves on and off the field.  Personally, I would rather see a guy get hurt for his country than a video game.

The WBC only happens every few years, folks.  Eventually, the kinks will be worked out.  In the meantime, the foreseen benefits of firing up an entire baseball-following planet are far and beyond more plentiful than the occasional injury risks inherited by players, teams and front offices.

The truth is: baseball (yet again) was light years behind the rest of sports in not having an authentic international forum.  And while the rewards of the Classic won’t be seen for another twenty years or so when little Chen Jianguo and Mario Perugino and Ned van Flanders are all grown up and starting superstars in the Majors, I think we all owe it to the world to give this tournament a chance — and most of all, to enjoy it.

But just to be safe, we should all continue to pray to the baseball gods that our team’s best players escape injury free and refrain from jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Being There (Part II)

Usher.jpgI didn’t attend just the inauguration this past weekend. Since the four days were jam-packed full of all sorts of goodies, I decided to partake in as much as the cold would allow me, which is how I found myself at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday afternoon. I have never seen such a star-studded event. In fact, I have never seen such a star-studded few days. If you were watching during the inauguration, you may have noticed that Jay-Z, Puffy and Magic Johnson were all up in the stage. And of course, Oprah. But this did not even begin to compare to the concert. Shakira and Usher singing with Stevie Wonder. Tom Hanks’ salute to the Great Emancipator. Jon Bon Jovi dueting on “A Change Gonna’ Come.” Jamie Foxx’s Obama impression. Denzel! Tiger! The Boss! The list goes on and on. All we needed was Jack Nicholson and it could have been court side at a Lakers game.

However, there was also something a little weird about the concert. Each performer acknowledged the crowd as they finished their piece but then each one of them also gave a little bow towards the man who had brought them there. The President elect gave only a short speech and he wasn’t even the one who ended the program (that honor went to the lovely Beyonce). But I couldn’t shake the sense that this felt more like a coronation than a concert. Now, I in no way want to imply that the event was intended as such nor do I think that our new President would think so of himself. It just felt kind of strange.

guardsmen.jpgBut if you really want to talk about strange, let me tell you about the locked-down state of the nation’s capitol. Almost every street corner had either police or National Guardsmen standing around. I’m not sure exactly what their function was and to be honest, it didn’t really bother me that much. But, it’s just a little disconcerting when in every place you walk in the town where you live, there are camouflaged men and women standing around.
 
humvee.jpgAll in all, though, it was a weekend to remember. It definitely had its highs and lows and I really wish that the 70 degree weather we enjoyed just a few weeks ago would have held off for this weekend instead. But, despite some miscues during the oath, power peacefully transitioned and the United States showed once again why “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.

So, that brings our RSBS salute to the inauguration to a close. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go continue my attempts at thawing out.

-A

capitol inauguration.JPG

Second City DYING to Catch Not-So-New Axis of Evil

al capone.jpgMy rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.
                  Al Capone (1899-1947)

Dear readers, whilst the baseball mavericks in New York, Boston and New York haggle and jockey for the mightiest and heftiest of major league players (the Sabathias, the Burnetts, the Mannys, the Teixeiras, the K-Rods, the Putzes, blah blah blah) both Chicago teams — the ugly step-sisters of large market franchises — have been busy making equally impressive moves that not only represent the unattested clout of the City of Big Shoulders but also prove that no matter how much money the Northeast Axis of Evil throws at free agents, Chicago still has that good ‘ole familiar, untouchable charm.

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
                         — Al Capone

Perhaps this was the motivation for Joey Gathright to become a Cub.  Now that’s clout!  When I first heard the news, I thought to myself: Wow, the Cubs really showed ‘em who’s boss with that move.  Take that Jake Peavy and Kevin Towers.  Yeah, take that.  The Cubs got Gathright.  Whoowee, watch out world!

But the Chicago melee of off-season moves didn’t just stop there!  No, the White Sox kept ‘em comin’ with that miraculous acquisition of Wilson Betemit and mind-blowing one-year signing of DeWayne Wise! 

And wait!  There’s more…

New York, you think you had a crooked governor?  Ha! 

http://www.nbcchicago.com/syndication?id=36300869&path=%2Fhome%2Ftop_stories

You hear that?  He’s “dying” to talk to we citizens of Illinois.  Dying!  See, our seedy politicians don’t just quit when the heat starts coming down on them.  No.  They stick around, hire expensive, slick-talkin’ lawyers and go for winter jogs in Ravenswood!  BOO-YEAH!  

Of course, New York (and you too, Boston), it should be known that Chicago isn’t just a harbor for back-alley gangsters and pay-to-play nepotists; no, we also breed crooked wife-killin’ cops who not only get away with murder but crooked wife-killin’ cops who get away with murder TWICE!  Then we celebrate when said crooked wife-killin’ cop gets engaged… again!  Duh, my friends.  Everyone knows that happiness comes in threes.  The Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times are already preparing for the inevitable, mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson’s latest (and perhaps craziest?) fiancé — what normal people call “murder” — but this is Chicago!  We do things our way — the US American way!

“Now I know why tigers eat their young.”
                — Al Capone

Me too, dear readers.

Look, it’s true.  I love Chicago.  I really do.  It has character, it has heart, it has Oprah. 

And yes, when it comes to dueling with the New Yorks (and subsequent Bostons) of the world, certainly, we have an inferiority complex bigger than Rush Limbaugh’s mouth at an all-you-can-eat Ponderosa buffet; but the fact remains:

We’re awesome.

Wilson Betemit will prove it in 2009.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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