Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’
January is a difficult month for me. Gone are the holidays that distracted me from my baseball-less existence. The cold and dark days serve only as a reminder that the 162 game grind is still far away. And key free agents still don’t have a home!
I enjoy football. I really do. Nothing gets me through the winter quite like watching grown men beat the hell out of each other over an oblong pigskin. But three of the four playoff games this past weekend were over before the fourth quarter even started!
And yes, Derek Rose and the Chicago Bulls certainly know how to take me HIGH-UH; but on Saturday night — when I really needed them to get me through the weekend — the game was over before the second half.
THERE IS NO CLOCK IN BASEBALL.
And where there is no clock, there is only the potential for glory. In baseball, there is no garbage time.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As one who is acutely aware of the aggravating effects of speaking in unchecked and unvetted absolutes, I must choose my words wisely, especially after witnessing baseball miracle after miracle after miracle. But, judging from the number of cardiac arrests I had in the comforts of my own home last evening, I can honestly say — WITH COMPLETE AND UNSHAKEABLE FAITH — that September 28, 2011 will go down as the greatest single day of regular season baseball games I have ever watched.
Words… ah, these words… not even they can do my feelings justice:
Baseball. It just doesn’t get any better than baseball, my friends.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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?
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.
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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?
IT’S A TRAP!
It’s not real.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Opening Day saw some pretty spectacular bullpen meltdowns. But what
does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the
bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Have
pitchers gotten soft?
*Breaks window, jumps from the second story, runs down the street screaming even though forgot pants*
Believe me, Mr. Jake, I am really trying to tackle this one without any bias, without any memory of Opening Day in the ‘Lou, without a mammoth-sized chip on my shoulder. But let’s be honest: in baseball, there isn’t much worse than watching your team dominate throughout a game, only to blow it all in the 9th when the win is on the line.
My Redbirds managed to do that on Opening Day. The Brewers did too (all credit goes to John Axford). The Mets ran into it last night with Jail-Rod’s shenanigans (Also, his unfettered desire to fight people proves that pitchers — at least this one — have not gotten “soft”… unless the pitcher’s name is Kyle Farnsworth). Hell, ask the 2010 Baltimore Orioles… they know all about losing games late considering they blew more games last year than Lil Kim did Bad Boys in the 90s.
But what does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Gee, I’m not sure it’s really come to that. The ’08 Cardinals were pretty awful, as I remember the bullpen yacking up over 25 games late… but, after giving it the old eye test, I’m not sure it’s really fair to say that the state of Major League bullpens is any different than it has been in years past. You either have a good one, a mediocre one, or a bad one.
And even when you have a bad one, that doesn’t necessarily spell gloom and doom for one’s team. 2009 Brad Lidge comes to mind; my pedestrian and oft frightened colleague, Mr. Krause probably could’ve done a better job on the hill than Lidge that season, but the Phillies still managed to grind their way to the World Series.
Unfortunately, these days, the role of a “closer” and “set-up man” and “7th inning guy” has been magnified because of money. The more money involved, the more pressure. The more pressure, the fewer who can actually deal with it.
In fact, for my money, there’s only one closer who is reliable every single day and that man’s name is Mariano Rivera. I think the Yankees could realistically state that their season might rely on Mo’s cutters; but then again, their set-up man saved 40+ last year. And, oh yeah, their all-star lineup doesn’t hurt either.
But for the other 29 teams, yeah, it could be a problem. But when your team is in flux — featuring an unsigned future Hall of Famer, a sidelined perennial Cy Young contender, and an All-Star outfielder absent because of an appendectomy — then you got more problems than you can actually stomach right now. The bullpen is just one of many.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
– – –
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Before you start jumping to conclusions, dear readers, let me just say that I don’t think Vice President Joe Biden’s aides were in the right for locking Orlando Sentinel reporter, Scott Powers, in the closet during a recent Alan Ginsburg-paid soiree to raise money for the 2012 election campaign. If Biden’s aides are as sexy and savvy as the RSBS interns, then they surely had a good reason for keeping Mr. Powers confined to a small space for such a long time.*
As a bonafide megafortified soused-out baseball fanatic, I can honestly say that I’d like to keep a few players in the closet for the entire 2011 season, so that I can concentrate on the games being played rather than the asinine soap-operatic subplots of the whiny and perpetually irritating.
Who shall we keep locked up this season you ask? Well, I’ll tell you:
This is a tough call because Nyjer’s antics often result in beanball wars and Jeff Lungian smackdowns — both staples of maintaining my healthy psyche. But, when a player constantly runs his mouth and ends up getting his teammates hurt, then I think it’s time to get out the jaw-wiring. Besides, Morgan’s a
Nat Brewer. No one will even notice he’s gone.
He’s an idiot. He’s a birther. He’s an Oriole. And all of those things make him… irrelevant. A perfect candidate to be closeted. For the season. All of it!
And finally, if we’re going to be throwing folks in the closet for the season, let us not leave out…
I know that being a Seattle Mariner inherently keeps Milton’s whining out of the headlines (few people care to read the perils of such a slogging team), but this dude isn’t just a baby. He isn’t just a clubhouse cancer. He’s also a wife-beater. Not only that, but the man is not a good baseball player. He had one decent year, got paid and then went back to being a snake.
To the closet they go!
Hate me ‘cuz I’m slingin’ mud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*This is also how Mr. Krause’s parents shielded him from the temptations of adolescence.
Nevermind the fact that the O’s start the second half of the season on a 4-game win streak. Nevermind that they’re 5-5 in their last 10 games. Instead, let us focus on the big picture: they are a mighty 27 games behind the AL East leader.
And that ain’t bad.
That’s Pittsburgh Pirates bad.
Which, is about as bad as it gets.
So, if you’re an Orioles fan (are there any of you left?), be proud; come on down to the UIC strip and pick ya up one of these bleeding teal Oriole hats. No one will make fun of you for it. I promise. In fact, donning one of these lids will just make you…
Hate me ‘cuz I’m with the part-time fashion police, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Dear readers galore FINALLY get to meet THE one, the ONLY, Mr. Allen Krause as he joins Jeff and Johanna to discuss all things urgent, all things necessary. And it’s all made possible by science. And hard work. And Skype. Judge for yourself. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Strasburg as Jesus, the difference between anathema and an enema (it’s important), starting a Pete Rose for US WBC Team Player/Manager petition on Facebook, Gallaraga’s thingy, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much,
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast
podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard
Recorded Wednesday, June 23, 2010