Results tagged ‘ Playoffs ’

The Filibuster

Is the hype to be believed?  Could the Nationals actually contend this year?

Sawyer
Ballston, VA
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Sexy superlatives and arduous absolutes, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your 2012 Washington Nationals!

Could they actually contend?  Hmm… does watching a pitcher’s duel strike me with uncontainable bonerjamz?  HELL to the YES, my friend!  There are 159 games left in the season, and the Nats could win ‘em all!

Or not.  Still, this is not your embarrassing Expo leftover Natinal squad of old; rather, this is a team with bona fide pitching, timely bats and a revered sage at the helm!  Do you think Davey Johnson thinks they can contend?  I’d bet my 1986 eight-ball wrapper collection he does.

And why not?  Without Howard and Utley for a good stretch, the Phillies find themselves offensively challenged.  The Braves, still salty from their epic fail of 2011, certainly don’t have all the answers.  I’m not convinced the Marlins are really any better than they were before they decided to blind us with ugly and the Mets are the Mets (though don’t sleep on them either, as a .500 season is not entirely out of the question).

The truth is, the NL East isn’t as predictable as it used to be.  And the addition of another wild card team makes it possible to hope a little longer.

But the number one reason why the Natinals have a legitimate shot at competing for a playoff spot this year is… The ONE.

Okay, wrong ONE.  But believe me, to Stephen Strasburg, there is no spoon.  Also taking the red pill this year are Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler and (presumably) John Lannan.  That’s one helluva starting rotation+.

When Bryce Harper eventually finds his way into the rabbit hole, there will be even MORE reason to respect the potential of the Washington Nationals (not to mention a tomfoolery fodder spike for Deadspin).

Would I put big money on the Nats now?  Maybe not.  Would I put money on them to be a cellar dweller?  Absolutely not.  This team could find its identity and they could do it as soon as now.  They could be the ’11 D’backs or the ’08 Rays.

Better yet, they could be the 2012 Nationals. (see what I did there?)

Hate me ‘cuz I love Stephen Strasburg as if he were one of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

Simplistic campaigns to hunt down public enemies (like Kony 2012) are all the rage these days.  When will you all be launching Selig 2012?

Brad
Annapolis, MD
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It is no secret that the authors of these pages hold no love for the staunch bureaucratic policies and seemingly never-ending reign of King Bud the Nosepicker.  Indeed, we’ve ripped the man’s decisions in every which way and have even gone as far as to say that George W. Bush would make a perfect Commissioner in comparison (no joke here, we really do think Dubya would be perfect for the job).  But to compare Bud Selig to the heartless, maniacal, baby-raping mass murderer Joseph Kony?  Um… that’s a bit much.

But just a bit.

The good news is, people are getting educated on Kony’s crimes.  And they’re doing something about it (unless *this* derails it).  However, when it comes to the tyranny of King Bud, we already know about the bevy of shenanigans.  There’s just nothing we can do about it.

If I may break from the usual ‘ol crotchety me for a moment, I would like to point out that, in my opinion, the overall state of our national pastime is as good now as it’s ever been.  Seriously.  If you turn your head from the silliness that is King Bud’s All-Star Game, and if make yourself forget about that whole Ryan Braun cheating thing, and pretend like the overall muscle bulge of the 90s and early aughts was caused by “supplements” that can easily be purchased at your local GNC, then you might conclude that, indeed, baseball’s vibe is very good right now.

The networks are fighting to get in on the expanded playoffs.  Parity is slowly squeezing its way into all divisions.  And the Pirates still suck!

More than that, people are still paying money to watch Adam Dunn play.  Erin Andrews is still showing up in dugouts.  And Tampa Bay seems to be in the playoff picture every year now, despite the fact that no one in Tampa Bay seems to care.

But most importantly of all, the St. Louis Cardinals are World Champs!

So for now, I can take a couple more years of bassackwards politickin’ from the usurping Milwaukee millionaire.

But I swear, Brad, if he reigns for more than two more years, you, me, Mr. Krause and the entire baseball universe are taking to the streets with Louisville Sluggers and Molotov cocktails (not to be confused with pet names for Kevin Millar).

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

Peace,

Jeff

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Divorced From Reality

Santorum and Gingrich both claim Catholicism as their religious raison d’etre.  And according to the Catholic church, divorce is a sin.  So, even ignoring Mr. Gingrich’s multiple failed marriages and subsequent divorces, both gentlemen would be guilty of sin.  How’s that?  Well, both of them are completely divorced from reality.

Here’s the deal, maybe Super Tuesday wasn’t so super for Romney and maybe that has given the other candidates’ backers some little hope but the fact of the matter is, Romney is well on his way to winning the nomination.  If you want to put this in baseball terms, it’s like it’s August and the Pirates are in their perennial last place position but claim that they’re going to play this out, make some mega trades and hope that by some miracle, the baseball powers will decide that in spite of their record, Pittsburgh will go to the playoffs.  That’s just crazy.

But, crazy never stopped anyone from going into politics.  Reason and logic no longer play much of a role, either.  When you consider that Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC has raised over one million dollars, well, that pretty much says everything.

So, the Republican primary campaign will continue, Romney will end the up the nominee but he’ll be so bruised and bloody by that point that, barring a second recession, Obama will cruise.  And where does that leave the Republicans?  Just another broken family.  Blame it on divorce.

-A

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Three Up, Three Down

Just like A.J. Burnett in a Pirates uni, this is going to be ugly, moan-inducing and might even warrant a trip straight to the DL.

New MLB Playoff Format

In short, I like it.  It emphasizes winning the division, makes trade deadline trades more suspect and guarantees drama as we enter the postseason.  The only thing I can think of that would make this arrangement better is to skip the one game playoff and force each wild card team’s manager to do a keg stand before engaging in a last-man-standing no-holds-barred boxing tournament.  My money is on Ron Washington.  Cocaine makes ya crrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaazzzyyy!

Bigots Leading the Republican Party

Whether it’s the Pennsylvanian Taliban or the Ditto Führer of Ignorance himself , I’m getting quite tired of seeing Abe Lincoln’s party fall victim to mass idiocy.  But I found something that will really cause ‘em to scratch their heads:

Yadier Molina: Five More Years

Halle-FRACKIN-lujah!!!  Seriously, I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me.  To those outside of the St. Louis Cardinals family, such jubliation may not seem warranted, but let me assure you: this is a grand, grand deal for all involved.  Say what you will about Albert’s tenure, Yadier Molina is the absolute heart and soul of the St. Louis Cardinals.  And everyone’s happy now.  Yadi’s happy.  Front office is happy.  The fans are happy.

Happy Saturday!

Jeff

How the Play-in Will Play Out

I couldn’t be more excited that the NCAA seems to be extricating its head from its nether regions to finally consider instituting a college football playoff.  The only thing better than the thought of the classic matches to come is salivating over the classic matches that could have been.  Sure, I know that Michigan wouldn’t have had a chance against Florida in that 2006 matchup but most people thought Ohio State was going to plow the Gators under so you never know.  That’s the thing about football and a one-game playoff system.  It sucks when you’re on the losing end but it’s great when you win.

But baseball is different.  Sure, there’s a thrill to ending the season on a one-game intra-division playoff and some of those games have become instant classics.  However, despite being the baseball progressive half of the RSBS duo, I find myself wondering about the MLB expanded playoffs.  A play-in wildcard game?  Sure, it’s great for ratings.  And obviously it means a lot more than something like the NCAA basketball play-in game.  But I’m just not sold on it.

On the money side I get it.  A one-off play-in is bound to be a huge financial bonus.  Last year it would have meant keeping the Red Sox and their fans around for one extra game and MLB loves those ratings bonanzas.  But the beautiful thing about baseball is that its also about playing consistently.  You have to play well over a 162-game grind, which only gives you the chance to do it all again in grueling 5 and 7 game series.  The extended series in baseball are like life while football’s one-and-done playoff model feels more like the movies.

I’m sure I’ll come around.  MLB has finally taken care of the uneven league issue and and with even divisions, teams now have more incentive than ever before to win their division.  The play-in is great for strong divisions where a couple good teams trapped behind a spectacular team will finally get a chance to make the playoffs.  But, do we really need to have 3 NL East and 3 AL East teams in the playoffs every year, even if one of them falls out during the play-in?

-A

The Championship That Keeps On Giving

On Sunday I finished the Houston Marathon in 3 hours, 15 minutes and 19 seconds — a new personal best.  And though it’s been more than 48 hours since I finished the race, not a minute has gone by where I haven’t found complete satisfaction in having accomplished the task.  In fact, I don’t think I’ll stop reliving that race for a long, long time.

During my flight home to Chicago, I randomly ran into some fellow Cardinals fans friends of mine from waaaaay back.  Odd as it is to bump into old friends in an unexpected place, I was quite happy with the brevity at which our conversation turned to the baseball glories of 2011, of Game 6 in particular, and how we kept our respective neighbors up that night, how our heart rates have never dipped and soared to such extreme levels.  Reliving that game and that series at 30,000 feet was a pleasant testament to history.

I was reminded that you can never undo what’s been done.

And I’ll be reliving such glorious conquests for as long as I possibly can.

Hate me ‘cuz I ain’t never gonna stop gloating about the ’11 series, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

A Frozen Renaissance

I remember how excited I was when the Tigers beat the Yankees in the playoffs.  If you take the inverse of that, it’s about how I felt after the Lions lost last night.  The thing about Detroit and Detroit sports is that despite all this talk of a Detroit renaissance, it keeps falling a little short.

The Tigers made the playoffs and beat the Yankees in spectacular fashion but then barely showed up against the Rangers.  The Lions look nothing like the 0-16 laughing stock they used to be but after getting trounced by the Saints in the playoffs, they obviously have a ways to go.

No, the fact of the matter is that Detroit is still Detroit and, at this point, its best years are somewhere in the past.  In fact, it’s completely possible that this is the moment where Detroit peaked:

…but I sure hope not.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 30: Pat Matheny’s Anesthesioxity and Other Stuff (LIKE HIGHLIGHTS!)

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The RSBS crew celebrates its 30th episode by taking a stroll down podcast memory lane, remembering things that busted our (and hopefully your) guts.  AIDS salad and Ron Santo’s memory get rehashed while new memories (like gay ponies v. horsicorns, an iguana named Dudley and how you can cure your foot problems) are created!  Jump on board the RSBS crazy train!  No stops til you question how you spend your free time!

Don’t forget to getcho Crown Royal and enjoy some happy time!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Follow Keith on on Twitter for all his movie magic updates and make sure to check out his crew and their hilariousness on the Undercast! podcast.

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Recorded Saturday, November 26, 2011

The GIF That Keeps On Giving

There are three computers in my house.  When idle, I like to keep the above GIF running on all three of them, so when I pass by I can get off on Greinke’s angry bounce.

Oh how sweet it is, oh how sweet it is.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and lone Zambrano-believer, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Throw the Spaghetti in the Machine.  

I’m a burning bush. I’m a wildfire. I’m singing in the rain and dancing again. Like Tim Tebow, I have a big god. BIGGER THAN ZEUS. I can put away my Club Confidential and stop pleasuring myself while crying. My iguana, Dudley, is beside himself  too. We’re throwing confetti on each other, plowing through our best box of wine and eating marshmallows off the floor. For at least one week we’ll stop throwing flares at cars, getting arrested on our skateboards and falling asleep in alleys.

Why?

Because, for once, baseball took an unconventional route and picked fire-fire -flame-flame tapdancing bad@ss Justin Verlander as MVP. When we lost Buster Posey early in the season, Dudley and I had to act fast to find a baller we could have an unhealthy OBSESSION over; and Justin was our guy. He was the Hannibal Lecter to our Clarice. We even bought a special chianti.Dudley and I rarely missed a Verlander start. In between great Chrysler ads, he sat on my lap as we watched the Motown hero pitch deep into games, mystifying hitters, dropping jaws like change-ups. He was like Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler when he came back to take down Minnesota Fats. Nailed every rail. Hit every spot. Geometry and speed to perfection. (Fitting that Minnesota is in the AL Central too. See what I did there?)

It would have been easy to pick an everyday player like Granderson or Ellsbury. Sure, they had splendid seasons. But this was the year where a starter — the first since Roger Clemens — gave everything needed and CARRIED a team to the playoffs.

While defense in football can be boring, pitching and defense in baseball… I LIVE FOR IT. I wasn’t around for Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Wasn’t alive yet. But I love when the game offers pitchers whose starts you just can’t miss.  When Pedro Martinez was in his prime I would’ve rather eaten my dinner off a urinal than miss a start.

And for next year?  I’m looking at you, Stephen Strasburg. Throw the spaghetti in the machine and eat the children…

–Johanna Mahmud
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