Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’

The Filibuster

Do you believe in the A’s?

Rick T. 
Springfield, MO

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Do I believe in the A’s?  Do I believe that a team called the A’s plays in Oakland, CA?  Yes, I believe that.  Do I believe that despite a limited budget and a small market, a team called the A’s not only contended in the early 2000’s but also outperformed most of the American League?  Yes, I believe that, too.  Do I believe that the 2012 Oakland Athletics, a team currently in 3rd place in its division behind a much improved Angels franchise and a Rangers club that when hitting on all cylinders can torch the rest of baseball, will make the playoffs?  Unfortunately I’m going to have go another direction with that one, Rick.

No, in that case I don’t believe in the A’s.

Let’s look at the facts.  The A’s pitching staff is 4th overall in ERA, 5th in WHIP and 5th in opponent batting average.  Those are all pretty good.  But, to win baseball games, you also have to score runs.  On that side, the A’s are 28th in runs, 27th in on-base percentage and 25th in slugging.  Pitching may win you championships but if you can’t back up that pitching, you’re never going to make it to the championship.  Add in that half of the rest of the A’s schedule is made up of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the Rangers and the Tigers, well, that doesn’t bode so well.  Even the easier part of the schedule involves the Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox.  About the only break the A’s get are series against the Mariners, Twins and Royals.  That’s not exactly promising.

I like the A’s.  I always have.  One of the fondest memories of my childhood was seeing the Tony LaRussa managed A’s at Tiger stadium.  But this team is light years away from being at the same level as the team that featured Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Dennis Eckersley.

So, do I believe in the A’s?  I guess on that one, you’d have to consider me an atheist.  If they keep winning games, though, check back in and maybe I’ll have gone agnostic.

-A

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Spread the CoCo Love

As we enter the second half the 2012 MLB season, I want to revisit, in my (correct) opinion, the most amazing play of the year thus far.  It is a play that should be repeating on every sports highlight reel in existence, but one that, like most things do in Oakland, has evaporated into east bay obscurity.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers and Mom, I give you the ASTONISHING, the ASTOUNDING, the AMAZING Covelli Loyce “Coco” Crisp:

Hang a star on that one, baby, ‘cuz that ain’t somethin’ you see every day… or EVER!

So why no love from the worldwide leader in campy schtick?  Why did MLB Network not make this THE top play of June?  Do they have something against Coco?  Something against Oakland?

I understand that this wasn’t a DeWayne Wise “The Catch” type of play — that there was little at stake in this otherwise tame regular season baseball game.  But come on.  Dude made a sliding catch, then, FROM HIS BUTT rocketed the ball to second to double-up Nelson Cruz, no slouch in his own right.

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe my love for Coco’s crazy is overriding my rationality, causing me to overvalue such Houdinian moves.

Or, maybe the rest of the world is WRONG.

Pretty sure it’s the latter.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Pelosi’s Inscrutable Boehner

We all know people who are absolutely inscrutable.  You study the face but you have no idea what’s going on behind the eyes, what gears are turning inside the head.  It’s maddening.

That’s why I like Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner.  There is absolutely no doubt what either one of them are thinking:

Pelosi – “Oh my god, I’m so happy I think I might cry!”

Boehner – “I will wait until they become tears of sorrow then lick the salt from your face.”

Maybe that’s why I like baseball as well.  Guys get emotional and even when they’re wearing a game face like “Bulldog” Hershiser, it’s not hard to imagine what they’re thinking.  Kind of like these guys:

Napoli – “C’mon, let’s get this guy…..oh my god, we’re all gonna die!”

Doumit – “Die?  I don’t wanna die!  Wait a minute, where are you going!?”

Oswalt – “Not gonna lie, my balls are tinglin’ a little.”

No inscrutability there.

-A

The Filibuster

Is pitching so good because guys aren’t juicing anymore or are pitchers just better than they were ten years ago?

Kathrine
Downers Grove, IL

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This reminds me of when people ask if the Civil War was more about slavery or the fundamental differences between an industrial North and agrarian South.  The answer to the baseball question is pretty much the same as the answer to the Civil War question.  It’s both.

The apparent decrease in the use of PEDs in baseball has had an effect.  It’s unlikely you’re going to see many more 70+ homerun seasons in the near future.  But it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t just the hitters who were juicing during that period.  Roger Clemens taking a jab in his pale, fleshy ass was just as much a part of the era as Barry Bonds’ application of random creams and gels.  More than that, assuming that players are no longer juicing just because there hasn’t been as much of it in the news is naive at best.  It’s more likely that they have simply discovered a different, less traceable form.

Meanwhile, there’s no denying that some spectacular pitchers are playing the game these days.  Beyond the hype of guys like Strasburg, Lincecum and Verlander, even the mid-range starters have gotten better.  When the Rangers can add Neftali Feliz as their number five starter, that’s a sign there’s some scary talent out there.  The Nationals have become a force mainly through the development of guys like Strasburg, Storen and Zimmermann.  Pitchers are pitching not only better but smarter and that’s causing problems for hitters.

These things are cyclical, though.  Just because pitchers are handcuffing batters this season doesn’t mean the sluggers won’t figure out what’s going on next year.  It’s an arms race (literally and figuratively) between the two sides.  But it’s not just because of one aspect or another.  It’s the entirety of the situation.  You know, kind of like the Civil War.

-A

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An Evening with Yu

It may not have been Strasmas, but according to the lunar calendar (and millions of Japanese people) April 9th proved to be an equally auspicious day, no matter what, because it was the very first Major League appearance by the highly touted (and valiantly unashamed to be naked) Yu Darvish.

Like you would expect, I made an evening of it.  Here’s a play-by-play:

4:30 p.m.
Still at work.  I have looked at the clock every minute for the last thirty minutes, and will continue to do so for thirty more.  I finish up the last of my TPS reports, turn them in to my boss and shriek when he yells “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS???”

5:30 p.m.
At the gym.  Working on my… nah, who am I kidding, every time I look at a hot chick working out next to me she has Yu Darvish’s face, which I find as distracting as I do disgusting.  Going home now.

6:30 p.m.
Dinner (sushi, of course) has been eaten.  Feet are up.  Beer is in hand.  Let’s DO THIS!  *Belch*

7:05 p.m.
FSSW misses Darvish’s first pitch.  Nice work, dingleberries.  The biggest pitch of the year so far and you miss it.  They come back from commercial break and the count is already 1-0 to Chone Figgins.  AGGGHH!!!  Then Darvish quickly walks him.  Um… this is not how it’s supposed to go, guys.

7:09 p.m
After striking out Ackley on a NAAASTY breaking ball, Ichiro steps in.  Japan loses its mind.  Then Ichiro singles on a blooper to left and, already, I’m realizing Yu ain’t Strasburg (yet).

7:16 p.m.
Now Justin Smoak is on first, bases are loaded with one out for Kyle Seager.  Bases loaded?  I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR NO BASES LOADED!!!

7:18 p.m.
Two-run gapper to right and now I’m pissed.  I could have been out on a date tonight!  With a real, live woman!  And I passed it up for this crap???!!!  WTF are YU DOING!?!?!

7:23 p.m.
Darvish makes Miguel Olivo look like Johnny Bench and I’m bored.  More Daisuke, less Nomo.  Not even close to Strasburg.  He doesn’t even have a weird hitch in his delivery like all the Japanese greats do!

7:25 p.m.
He just walked in a run.  It’s 4-0.  EFF THIS.

Seriously, I know this is a small sample size, but I ain’t impressed and I’m changing the channel… to watch Freese and Holliday and Molina (they all homer)… CHAMPIONS.

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

Peace,

Jeff

***

Once the game was over, it was evident he battled back and settled down.  The offense helped him out and he recovered well, and even fooled some hitters.  But the hoopla was a bit much for me for him not to deliver with jazz hands.  Or maybe I’ve just been spoiled by so much great pitching the last couple years that I expect greatness every game.  Either way, I’ll check in again next time.  I just ain’t makin’ a night of it.

Lies, Lies, Lies

In an election year, it should be no surprise that we US Americans are being bombarded with a barrage of twisty little lies.  Whether it’s the Obama camp’s magical math making unemployment numbers “plummet” or Rick Santorum and his imaginary friend pretending that the whole American Revolution and subsequent Constitution thingy isn’t really what it seems, we cannot escape the onslaught of fibbery.

But such fibbery is expected from the political lot.  It is when such vitriol enters the baseball universe that I get extremely pissy.

For example…

“We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
– Ryan Braun

Um… no.  You were able to get through this ‘cuz you’re a multi-millionaire with legit counsel and a Mark Fuhrman wannabe handling your bodily fluids under the direction of King Bud.  Exoneration in this case does not equal innocence, Mr. Braun.  It merely suggests there is reasonable doubt.  You still got more testosterone in you than Kim Kardashian at the NBA All-Star Game.  And it seems just as… icky.

“My loyalty is here (Texas). This is where I’ve been, this is where my family has been. I would love to be here.”
– Josh Hamilton

Now I don’t want to go picking on Josh Hamilton because he’s not very bright, but I do want to pick on him for spittin’ the same stupid lie as every other potential free agent baseballer lookin’ to get paid: ENOUGH ALREADY.  “My loyalty is here”… pshh.  PLEASE.  Your loyalty is wherever they pay you the most.  That’s how it works and we all know it.  Your family is not going to have too much of a problem moving to a different city to chase that pay-puh.  Determine who will give you the most money with the most years and that’s where you’ll go.  To say anything different is a slap in the face of cold, hard fact.  I’m an adult.  I can handle the truth.  Maybe.

“The guy (Alfonso Soriano) works his butt off all the time.”
– Dale Sveum, Cubs Manager

Okay, Dale.  I’m gonna help you out with this one.  YOU NEED SOME NEW GLASSES, BRO.  See, I’ve been following Sori’s career since he was a young pup.  And from New York to Texas to D.C. to the Chi, Alfonso Soriano is THE LAST PERSON ON THE PLANET I would say “works his butt off all the time.”  ESPECIALLY while in Chicago.  In fact, there is an entire faction of Cubs fans who want him crucified!  They wouldn’t flinch an inch if Sori ceased manning left field tomorrow.  Forever.  For good.  Why, Mr. Sveum?  Because Alfonso Soriano is the absolute KING of lollygagging.  His defense is atrocious and he is NOTORIOUS for gazing at might-be homeruns that are actually doubles that drop in for long singles because he doesn’t hustle out of the box.

If you’re here to fix the Cubs, Mr. Sveum, you might want to know what they’ve been used to the last 103 years: PAIN.  SUFFERING.  AGONIZING PAIN AND SUFFFFFFFFEEEEERRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING.

And goats.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Rules: Yu Darvish Pun Edition

With the Japaranian sensation Yu Darvish making his Big League career official by signing with the Texas Rangers, I thought it appropriate to lay down some ground rules for the inevitable onslaught of awful puns that are certain to tattoo newspapers and interwebs around the world.

*Note: All italicized examples come from Lone Star Ball’s Yu! Darvish Pun Sweepstakes, and commenter credit appears parenthetically.

Number One:

Yu can’t Yuse Yu as in “You” unless Yu’re clever about it.  The proceeding sentence may or may not constitute “cleverness”.  But I can assure Yu old, crotchety sports columnists (ahem, Phil Rogers) are going to think they’re so cool by substituting “Yu” for “You” and slapping it on a headline.  It’s like pornography, Yu know it when Yu see it (rooster).

Number Two:

Flip the script.  Surprise us with just how clever Yu can be.  Don’t settle for the easy route.  Dravish highlights are ridiculous.  Yu should YuTube them (Gay for Feliz).

Number Three:

The most important rule when Yutilizing Yu puns… MAKE US LAUGH.  Even if Yu have to pull a Hollywood and recycle old gags, just make sure they work.

So, Who’s on first, What’s on second and I don’t know’s on third – I get that.

And the pitcher is . . .?
Yu.
Me?
No, Yu.
That’s what I said, Me!
No Me is catching.
Proper grammar is I am catching.
No I’s the manager, the catcher is me, and the pitcher is Yu!
I can’t pitch!
Exactly, and Yu will pitch to me. Now you’ve got it.
Arrrrgh!!

(Evil Monkey)

Yu can hate me all Yu want, Yu just can’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right in the Yuniverse.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Trombonist Extraordinaire, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Hello little man, boy, I heard a lot about you.”

The news is in the for MLB, and well, there is no news.

But Paula Deen got hit in tha damn head with a ham!!!

Wish I  threw it.

But there is a ham fighter (and occasional nude male model) on the loose. The Rangers couldn’t keep C.J. Wilson but they sure ponied up to possibly sign Yu Darvish. After the Los Angels signed Alberta de la Pujols, Texas had to do something and they definitely went BIG.

I don’t speak Farsi or Japanesy-Chinesey like Jeffy, but I’ve been all over this kid for a couple years and am eager to see him pitch in the Bigs. I finally have a Middle Eastern brother to watch!

Decision making while tired has happened many times whilst signing Asian ballplayers has been bad, (see Fukudome, Kosuke or K, Dice) but I think this cat has it going on. He’s extremely consistent statistically, has a powerful arm and my manometer is blasting! I will make a pilgrimage to Arlington to see him, which means I’ll probably have a woman shooting at me eventually. Everybody’s packing down there!

Anyway, this was early Xmas for me, (even though the Prince isn’t a Cub yet) so I got my reindeer sweater and I’m blastin this bomb.

“Jesus, that’s wet.”

Have a great whatever you do!

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

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 RSBS Podcast, Episode 29: Remembering Ugueth’s Urbina and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff tries his darnedest to be as polite as possible during his unfettered gloating of World Championship status (Go Cards!) while Second City’s Mark Piebenga adds some level-headed awesomeness to Johanna’s outlandishness and Allen’s seasoned straight man routine.  Among the topics of discussion are “the greatest game ever”, the woes of rebranding an already twice championed franchise (talkin’ to you, Marlins), Theo Fever in the Chi, b!tch t!ts and much, much more!

Now grab some Crown Royal and enjoy yo’ self!

- – -

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 and make sure to check out his crew and their gut busting Undercast! podcast.

- – -

Recorded Saturday, November 12, 2011

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