Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

The Filibuster

Once again the Twins beat up the AL Central and might even catch
the Yankees for the best record in baseball.  Can we reasonably say at
this point that the Twins are the best run team in baseball?
 
Rob

Duluth, MN
_______________________________

chairman mauer.jpg

All biases aside, Rob, to say the Twins “beat up” the AL Central sorta glides over the fact that, outside of the White Sox, the Twins really had no competition going into the season to begin with; that the White Sox totally derailed (twice!) only made the Twins look more dominant.

But I understand your want, your desire, your dream to cast the Twins in a plushy role like that of the highfalutin, media-darling Yankees.  Well, brother, dream on… ‘cuz, reasonably speaking, the Twins ain’t the Yankees. 

Nor are they the Rays.

Nor the Phils.

Hell, they’re not even close!

In my opinion (which happens to be right), those three are the best teams in baseball right now.  And when you add the qualifier of “best run”, well, sorry.  I really can’t look any further than the best teams.  Period.

Are the Twins good?  Yes.  Are they capable of going all the way?  Sure.  Can I slot them in as the best run team in baseball?  No way!

Believe me, I tip my cap to the entire Twins organization.  They build from the ground up.  They instill in their players the concept of playing the game the right way.  They do the little things well and fundamentally, they are as sound as a team can possibly be.

But when the pressure is on, they fail.  When they need to win the big game, they don’t.  Not yet, at least.  And going into a short series with Liriano, Pavano and Duensing isn’t quite as mortifying to the opposition as going in with Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt (lookout!).

To me, being the best run team in baseball would require, at the very least, a track record of winning when it matters the most — a trip to the World Series would be even better.  But the Twins haven’t been in that situation since Danny Gladden hit leadoff and Barry Bonds had a normal sized forehead.  And despite all the good things the Twins’ brass has done in recent years, can I really celebrate a front office that let Johan Santana go for Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey?!?!?!?

No way.

I love me some Joe Mauer and Delmon Young just as much as the next baseball dork, but, let’s be honest with ourselves: they ain’t scarin’ anybody.

Yet.

Hate me ‘cuz I think the Twins’ are the weakest playoff link, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Chairman Mauer image courtesy of Twinkie Town)

***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. 

***Information that pins Mr. Krause as a closet Tea Bagger also welcome (he won’t stop talking about Christine O’Donnell, you know. Just sayin).

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 5: Bonilla’s Bonus Button… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 3.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff, Al & that rock-n-rollin-Cub-lovin’ sage Johanna Mahmud take on all things ‘Merica, including (but not limited to) Rinku and Dinesh, Carlos Zambrano, The Hills (seriously? that happened?), the All-Star Game, the Lou
Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more… all to make you laughy-laughy!

Holla!

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via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  His Undercast
podcast is a must-listen (listen to it!).  It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard

Films.

Recorded Monday, July 5, 2010

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 3: The Stat Zombie’s Death… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York!  If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that.  Like, right away.  Or else.  And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too.  To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best.  Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!

Holla!

-
– -

Subscribe
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe

via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

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 Films.

**Image by Annette T.  (Thanks, Annette!)  Check out her sweet@ss blog!

Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010

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.


Coming to Terms with the sCrUBS

hot cubs chick 3.jpgAs a Cardinals fan living in the Chi, the baseball season never really begins for me until St. Louis comes to town and I get my first taste of blood as I camp out at Wrigley for a weekend.  Black eyes, sprained ankles, hoarse voice… all welcome reminders of just how deep (and serious) this rivalry can be.

But the older I get, the clearer I see, which is why I can say with brutal honesty that the Chicago Cubs are the absolute best rival a fan could ask for.

Yep.  That’s right.  They’re the best.  Because they don’t… win… championships.

Think about it.  Yankees fans, remember how awful you felt when the Red Sox overcame in 2004?  And what about having to watch Papelbon’s antics during the 2007 run?  Reverse that and imagine the utter malcontent suffered by the Red Sox for eons while the Yankees ran up the World Series trophy count.

Giants fans must’ve been sick watching Kirk Gibson’s shot in 1988.  And likewise, those Dodgers fans who saw Willie Mays’ catch seal the deal in 1954 couldn’t have been too happy.

hot cubs chick 2.jpgAnd don’t even get me started on the Mets/Phillies rivalry.  Talk about carnage… wow.

But we Cardinals fans… seriously, what the hell do we have to be sick about?  We have the best player in baseball, we have arguably the best manager in baseball, and our arch rivals haven’t won jack scheisse in over 100 years.

With that in mind, as I prepare for the annual battle that is Cubs v. Cards, this year I’m gonna focus on the fact that this rivalry is a lame duck rivalry — that I can be confident my team will be better.  Therefore I am going to focus on the visual pleasantries that (surprisingly) can be found in abundance at the Friendly Confines.

Y’feel me?

Good.

Now, wish me luck.

Hate me ‘cuz I try to see all the angles, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

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Surrender, Monkeys!

french_man.jpgThere’s a popular saying that France would be a wonderful country if it wasn’t for the French.  Ok, it’s probably not actually all that popular but I enjoy saying it.  And there is a reason why the saying exists.  Although not as true as it used to be, the French have a reputation for not being a pleasant people.

However, they are not alone in this world.  There are plenty of other people who, when you find yourself in their lands, react in somewhat malevolent and unpredictable ways.

One such land is a place called Philadelphia.

Now, we’ve all heard stories about a fan of an opposing team who got roughed up, had a beer spilled on them or whose daughter was puked on by a Phillies fan.  And those stories seem to be the rule as opposed to the exception.  But it seems like Philly might finally have a plan for reigning in their unruly supporters.

Ah yes, the smell of singed hair and the cries of “Don’t tase me, bro!”  Perhaps we could try this on the French as well.  It might cover up the smell of cheese and the cries of “Nous nous rendirons!”*

-A

* “We surrender” for those who skipped 12th grade French in favor of something useful.  Like shop.

Being Stuck in a Philadelphia

philly statue.jpgThe symbols of relevance, the things that transform a simple it into that proverbial “it” are generally born all in the timing, and since the Birds on the Bat are stuck in a Philadelphia this week, so too am I.

And I don’t like it.

No, this has nothing to do with Philadelphia being a backwards place (it is).  It doesn’t have anything to do with the type of fans who cheer when the other teams’ star gets hurt (they do).  And of course, this does not have anything to do with that ^sswipe Jim Bunning (he really is an ^sswipe, folks).

Indeed, my suddenly emphatic aggravation with Philadelphia is rooted in one fella and one fella only.  His name is Ruben.  Ruben Effing Amaro (that middle name is still surreptitiously unofficial).

Why?  Why such distaste for one man?

ruben amaro.jpgBecause he gave a mighty slugger who is notoriously awful against left-handed pitching the contract extension of all contract extensions — a mesmerizing $25 million a year… for 2012 to 2016 — causing massive migraine headaches for we Cardinals fans already obsessively worrying about Albert Pujols’ future with the team.

Yeah.  Ryan Howard is good.  But $25 million a year?  He ain’t that good.

And anyone who has ever seen the game of baseball can tell you that Albert Pujols is LIGHT YEARS better than Ryan Howard, in all aspects of the game.  All… of… them.

ALL!!!

So if Howard is worth $25 million a year, then Albert is worth $30-$32 million a year, which means that if I want A.P. to remain a Cardinal for life, I and the rest of Cardinals Nation better be ready to pay $100 for a bleacher ticket, or imagine a world where Albert isn’t our savior.

(That would kill me by the way)

So thanks a lot, Ruben.  Just a week ago, deep down inside, I would have admitted to having a strange yet pleasurable affinity for the Phillies.  Dick Allen.  Mike Schmidt.  Steve Carlton.  Pete Rose.  Lenny Dykstra.  Darren Daulton.  Just the thought of those guys grindin’ it out with the “P” on their caps kinda got me excited… and I have no idea why.

But now?

They’re dead to me.

And so are you.*

Hate me ‘cuz I give it to ya straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

*You’re not really dead. This is what fancy writers like Al and I call “figure of speech”. It can be AWEsome. Like it is here.

I’m Sorry, but I Just Gotta

Totally off subject and unrelated to anything that is happening in the game of baseball right now, I have to share this:

I was going through the RSBS archive of photographs that we use for our posts and I randomly came across the Little Davey picture with the big helmet.  Unfortunately, I had just taken a sip of coffee when I saw it again, and now my computer screen and keyboard are covered in a nice Colombian coffee-saliva mix.

david wright big helmet.jpgThat is the funniest picture of David Wright I have ever seen and I hope those helmets make a comeback, just for comedy’s sake.

Oh yeah, Little Shane wore one too:

shane victorino big helmet.jpgHate me ‘cuz I’m ruthless, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

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)


If the Pirates Were More Like Pirates

Somali_Pirates.jpgWe at RSBS often lament the chronic disgrace that the Pittsburgh Pirates organization has become.  The home of players like Roberto Clemente not only continues to lose at an unfathomable rate, they also show no signs of turning it around anytime in the near future.  Throw in the fact that they have basically resorted to reality TV contests to drum up interest and you almost feel embarrassed for them, mainly because they obviously don’t have the good sense to feel embarrassed for themselves.

What the Pirates need is a mentor, someone who can show them how to get back to their swashbuckling ways.  Pirates used to strike fear in the hearts of sailors and the National League.  That can happen again.

If I can be so bold as to make a suggestion: the Pirates need lessons from real pirates.  And I’m not talking the Johnny Depp, cavorting around in makeup kind of buccaneer.  I’m talking the armed to the teeth while hijacking a supertanker kind of pirate. 

As luck would have it, The Atlantic recently provided a blueprint for what has made the Somali pirates successful and there are definitely some lessons the NL Pirates can take to heart.  For instance, how about this truth-berry?  “You don’t want your pirates running off with the loot! Be sure to
incentivize your workforce and set compensation levels fairly.”  If history is any guide (Jason Bay, Nate McLouth, Aramis Ramirez), this might be a good place to start.

Or how about this?  “Each pirate should bring his own firearm in exchange for a class A share
of the profits.”  More firearms means more firepower.  Which also means that bringing guys like Rinku and Dinesh on board probably isn’t going to cut it.

If all else fails the Pirates possess one final option, an option that frankly I’m a little surprised they haven’t already exercised.  Why not do like their namesakes and just hijack the Yankees or Phillies, then hold them for ransom?  “Sure, we’ll let you go.  As soon as you give us Cliff Lee.”  It’s something to think about and certainly couldn’t do them any worse than what they’ve done to themselves the past 17 years.

-A

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