Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

Forget Me Not

With just six weeks and some change left in the regular season, now is the time I lament my dear Cardinals’ now seemingly annual implosion from the top of the NL Central and into regular season obscurity.  Sure we can blame Waino’s injury.  We can blame Albert’s transformation from Machine to Double-Play Machine.  We can blame shoddy defense and the lack of a real closer, hell, blame me, I don’t care.  But in the end, there is no denying that we have lost the really important games and we’ve been real sloppy doing it.

Of course, this is the NL Central.  So until the math cancels us out, there’s no need to give up just yet.

The same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays.

If the Rays were in any division other than the AL East they’d be right in the thick of contention.  Unfortunately, the way things are now, even if they do collect the fourth best record in the AL, they still won’t make the playoffs as long as post season regulars New York and Boston remain above them.  I find this a bit sad, for the Rays have gotten tremendous pitching all season long and they’ve found a way to win without high-priced free agent flops Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.

But no one’s talking about the Rays.  And no one will.

Hm… reminds me of the one-way delusional street commonly referred to as the Republican Party.


In the case of the Rays, at least they’ll get another shot next year.  Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is stuck in a great big clogged up tube of crazy, and the exit is nowhere to be found.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 22: Ryan Braun’s Rumspringa… and Other Stuff

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna kick the season off by trying to name every Jewish baseballer ever known to man before PodMaster Keith let’s The 8:08 (from harried Undercast fame) into the studio… from there on out the wheels come off in one great big ball of awesomeness that includes Dodger takeovers, Hawkisms galore, goofy games that may or may not include a sexual innuendo (or fifty) and much, much more… all to make you excite!

Holla!

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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. Make sure you take some time to check out Keith and his crew’s wicked smaaht podcast.  The man’s a filmmaker!  You can find out more at Undercard Films

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Recorded Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Filibuster

Lot of surprises so far this season.  Should anyone be panicking yet?

Marc
Schaumburg, IL

____________________________________

rolaids.jpgAfter the Rays and Red Sox picked up their first wins of the season on Friday night, I’m sure that both managers heaved a big sigh of relief.  Of course when the Rays followed that up with news that Manny was retiring, I’m sure Joe Maddon dug right back into that Costco sized tub of Rolaids he must have been hitting the past ten days.  So, I’m guessing that the Rays might be starting to panic.

But if there’s one guy who should truly be panicking at this point, it’s not Joe Maddon or anyone else on the Rays.  It’s not Manny, it’s not Big Papi and it’s not any once, present or future Red Sox.  No, if there’s one guy who should be panicking, it’s Laurent Gbagbo.

For those of you who aren’t quite sure who Mr. Gbagbo happens to be, let me give you a quick background.  Mr. Gbagbo is a former Ivoirien freedom fighter who then went and got himself elected president of the Ivory Coast.  However, he found Jesus while in office and after losing last year’s election, decided that Jesus wanted him to be the winner anyway.  Since then he’s been trying to help Jesus out by killing people who voted against him.  That hasn’t worked out too well, though, and now Mr. Gbagbo finds himself holed up in a bunker underneath his former residence while troops loyal to the president-elect slowly draw closer.

Understandably, Mr. Gbagbo should be panicking.  Funny enough, though, he doesn’t seem to be sweating it at all.

Most likely there are a few reasons for that.  Number one is that Ivory Coast is a basket case and rules don’t really seem to apply.  Number two is that Mr. Gbagbo apparently has four months of supplies in his bunker and the troops protecting him have weaponry superior to that of the troops closing in.  Number three is US Senator Jim Inhofe.

Uh, wait a minute.  Jim Inhofe?  That doesn’t make any sense.  Why would he care about what happens in the Ivory Coast?  Well, if you ask Mr. Inhofe, he’ll tell you it’s about Jesus.

See, the president-elect, Mr. Ouattara, comes from the northern part of the country, an area that is nominally Muslim, as is Mr. Ouattara.  Mr. Gbagbo is from the southern, mainly Christian, part of the country and loves him some Jesus.  Apparently where Mr. Inhofe comes from, this means that the election results shouldn’t matter and the US should recognize only the candidate who loves Jesus more.

Actually Marc, I think I’m going to change my answer at this point.  Sure, maybe the Rays and Red Sox should be panicking a little.  And maybe Gbagbo should as well.  But the people who should really be panicking are all of us Americans.  With leaders like Mr. Inhofe supporting despots like Mr. Gbagbo, we’re all screwed.

-A

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**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
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Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
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Young Guns, Tampa Style

hot_chick_ak.jpgOn a team full of young guns, sometimes you wonder which one packs the most punch.  David Price can mow ‘em down and the rest of the Rays have been deadly efficient while playing in the toughest division in baseball.  But if you have to pick one guy who completely embodies the firepower the Rays have shown, you’d have to go with Evan Longoria…..and his AK-47.

Ok, it’s actually no longer “his” AK-47 after its recent theft but still, there’s no denying that Longoria is packing.  And lest the conspiracy theorists start ascribing nefarious meanings in hushed whispers, Longoria legally owned the weapon by all accounts.  I guess the bigger question here is, why do Longoria and other sports stars feel the need to own weapons like this?

I get owning a hunting rifle.  I own a hunting rifle.  Growing up in Michigan, there’s a good reason for gun ownership, especially with the deer overpopulation problem.  There’s a big difference, though, between owning a hunting rifle and purchasing a deer permit in Michigan than owning (and carrying) a handgun in New York or DC or keeping an assault rifle in your spring training house in Florida.  I’m guessing it wasn’t there because he was planning on single-handedly eliminating the Florida python problem.

I’m not judging Longoria here.  It’s quite possible he has a legitimate reason for owning an AK-47.  I’m sure that the stress of playing up to a multi-million dollar contract wears on you and sometimes you just got to get your gun on to release a little bit of that tension.  However, I am questioning his judgement.  You’re in Florida.  I’m sure there are half a dozen places within a short drive where you could go rent a gun, purchase some rounds and fire to your heart’s content.  For instance, this place also offers air conditioning, a big plus in the Florida humidity, and I found it on the first page of my Google search.

Mr. Longoria, you’re a great baseball player with a wonderful future ahead of you.  It would be nice to talk about that future instead of the theft of your assault rifle.  So maybe let’s focus a little more on gunning down base runners than mowing down, uh, whatever it is you plan on mowing down with an AK-47.  Ok?

-A

Three Up, Three Down

pedro martinez bucket head.jpegJust like a Pedro Martinez pitched inning circa 1999, this is gonna be quick, probably painful and will most likely include more soul-glo than the FDA deems acceptable:

rahm emanuel this big.jpgRAHM!

A few weeks ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel at the Roosevelt Red Line stop.  I shook his hand, wished him luck in the Chicago mayoral election, then basked in the warm glory that is his presence.  Yeah, kinda makes me sick too.  But I can’t lie.  He had a an insidiously welcoming glow about him.  And as I stood there, standing next to (and above, as the man is quite short) him, I couldn’t help but debate myself, asking Well, Jeff, are we on Rahm’s team or no

Then, yesterday, I read *this* and realized the Carol Moseley Underlings and Gery Chico Brigade might have already made the decision for me.

Of course, Rahm is Rahm and Rahms don’t go down without a fight.

So let’s sit back and watch as time and LOTS OF MONEY are wasted on the proceedings. 

The American Way.

Se la vie.

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgRAYS!

Call it desperation or call it genius (I’m goin’ with genius, by the way), but the Tamp Bay Rays certainly found a flashy way to fill some holes in their lineup by adding Idiot One and Idiot Two to their roster.  On the cheap!  Hey, if they could just convince Curt Schilling (and that unstoppable mouth) to suit back up, maybe the Rays will have a real chance at stickin’ it to the Yank Sox again this year!  If nothing else they have succeeded in ultimately defying logic: Manny Ramirez will get $2 million while *GASP* Kyle Farnsworth will make $2.7 million!  WTF?!?!?!?

jay cutler.jpgJAY!

Say what you want about the Chicago Bears and their NFC Championship performance, but as a Chicagoan, I call out to all fellow Chicagoans to lay off Jay Cutler.  For realz. 

In fact, I’m just gonna shut up about it and defer to RSBS regular, Johanna Mahmud with the quote:

nfl
is becoming human cockfighting. #6 is ****ing tough. he got dry humped
up and down the field all season long behind that AWFUL offensive line
and still came to play everyday. GUHHHH…..
you can never quiet the stupid.

So.

So.

True.

Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Mysteries of the Universe

Carl-Sagan1.jpgMy insatiable quest for knowledge is rooted in the works of that dapper fella pictured here to the right.  That’s Carl Sagan.  You can call him Mr. Awesome if ya want.  I do.

I was but a child when I first watched his infamous Cosmos series — a series that, for the very first time, made me realize that the mysteries of life, of the universe, of existence as we know it are far more grand and far more expansive than anything I could ever understand in my lifetime. 

But, more importantly, it taught me to always ask questions. 

And that’s what I’m doin’ today… ‘cuz some of this shizzo just doesn’t make any sense. 

Let’s take a look at some contemporary mysteries of the universe, shall we?

Kyle Farnsworth Has a Job. Gregg Zaun Has a Job. Jermaine Dye Does NOT Have a Job. Again.

How does this work?  How does a bonafide game-yacker who cries a lot get paid $3 plus million a year while Jermaine Dye sits at home drinking scotch, watching NBA League Pass and surfing the 900 channels?  And Gregg Zaun?  Isn’t he an AARP officer?  The dude’s knees must be concrete by now!  Dye had what it takes to play last year and no one gave him a deal because he supposedly wanted too much money.  Well, I’m sorry, but I’d rather pay Dye decent money to do his thang rather than throw it at the above two fellas knowing the bad days have a good chance of outweighing the good.

General Electric No Longer Holds Majority Ownership of NBC

WHAT?!?  What is Jack Donaghy gonna pimp now?  Skin-a-max?  Oh, wait… that’s not such a bad idea!

Armando Gallaraga’s Very Bad… Life

He went from rookie sensation (2008) to minor league road block (2009) to work-in-progress (2010) to the imperfect game… THEN… in just a matter of hours went from agreeing to a $2.3 million contact to being DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT! DFA’D YO!!! That’s the sort of thing that happens to the Wilson Betemits of the world, not someone who had a perfect game ripped from his reach!

Matt Drudge’s Recent Lapse in Calling President Obama a Socialist

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Oh… wait.  Nevermind.  Mystery solved because there is no mystery.  He just went two days without a dig.  That’s… strange, but not mysterious.

And finally… one of the universe’s biggest mysteries…

prince fielder hungry 2.jpgHow Many Donuts Can Prince Fielder’s $15.5 Million Contract Really Buy?

As far as I know, vegetarians can eat donuts. 

And that’s a whole lot of donuts.

Yet I do not doubt Prince’s ability to devour them all.

Hate me ‘cuz I went a whole week without a Prince-Fielder-Is-Fat joke, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

No More Drama

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With the exception of the Rays and Rangers, the division series didn’t exactly pack in a whole lot of excitement.  Sure, there were great individual moments and Halladay’s no-no immediately went down in baseball history as a post-season moment you’ll tell your kids about one day.  But even with one series going the distance, none of the matchups inspired much drama. 

There is hope as we move on.  The Yankees and Phillies look practically unstoppable but sometimes drama comes from unlikely places.  It’s like how things in politics can go from being a sure thing to suddenly tightening or how a baseball game can go from brutal clash to blowout with a single error.  Often it’s the simplest little things on which events turn.  Swiftboating, an errant throw from a pitcher.  You just never know.

However, if you’re Charlie Crist, you just have to hope that all the drama of the Florida Senate election doesn’t end up hinging on this:

C’mon Charlie.  Farnsworth is already out of the playoffs.  No need to pay homage.

-A

The Filibuster

Once again the wild card teams come out of the east and once again
there’s a good chance we’ll have an all east coast World Series.  Don’t
you get sick of watching the same teams over and over?
 
Larry

Cleveland, OH
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east coast living.jpg

Achtung, dear readers!  Once again, Larry presents us with a classic case of can’t-live-with-‘em-can’t-live-without-em-itis — a taxing condition so prevalent that it has infected the hearts and minds of rural and metro US Americans left of the east coast for over a century!

Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla…

Yes, it’s annoying.  I know.  Except that this year it’s not Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox bla bla bla.

It’s the Rays!  It’s the Braves!  And no Red Sox!

So
what if the Yankees are in there?  And the Phillies.  Hell, the
Phillies are the best team in baseball right now.  Post season
no-hitters?  Crushing offense?  Isn’t that what we want?

Placing
all biased pride aside, do you remember how many people were watching
the 2006 World Series that featured two historic midwestern teams?  What
about the 2002 pairing of two California clubs?  Or how about the
mostly-forgotten 1997 classic featuring your very own Tribe? 

Exactly.

People (the same collective “people” who seem to think Armageddon
is “great film”) don’t remember, because people (the same “people” who
define NASCAR as an actual sport) don’t care; and people (yes, the same
“people” who consider McDonald’s to be authentic American cuisine) don’t
care, because no one has told them that they should care.

Which brings us to the main culprit: a centralized power of all-things media, also known as mind control, rooted in New York.

Through
tecnocratic ways not yet fully understood, New York has convinced we
the people that if New York isn’t involved, then it’s not worth caring
about.  So, naturally, our press reflects that. 

No east coast clubs?  Fine.  No glitz.  No pomp.  Barely a modicum of circumstance.

Personally, I’m okay with that.  Because such buzz, it breeds emotion.  Gets people talking.  Forces people to care.

And for a sport lovingly labeled as our national pastime — one that has
had plenty of public relations gaffes threaten its integrity over the
last few decades — caring about the game is all that really matters.

Like
most non east coast elite, I have no love for the headline-hoggin’ high
profile teams that tend to bandwagon in October; but I know that their
existence is nothing but good for the game.

We need the Yankees.  We need the Red Sox. 

The post season needs the east coast elite.

Because US America needs an enemy.

yankees on fire.jpg

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. 

***Photographic evidence of Mr. Krause casting a Tea Party vote also welcome (it’s possible).

Still Don’t Have a Horse in this Race? RSBS is Here to Help!

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hot phillies.jpg
giants.jpg
braves.jpg
rangers.jpg
rays.jpg
twins.jpg
yankees.jpg

Things should be much, much clearer now.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Allen’s 2010 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview

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Every year about this time a magical transformation takes place.  Normally sane people go stark, raving mad as they cheer their favorites to the finish.  The coolness in the air mirrors the coolness in neighbors’ stares as some new item of support gets unfurled in the yard.  Promises get made only to be broken soon thereafter.  And that’s just in the world of politics.

We are truly a blessed country because every fall we not only get the insanity of the baseball playoffs, we also get the truly mind-numbing inanity of the November elections.  But this year is extra special because in addition to the antics of Democrats and Republicans, we also get the often unbelievable but usually entertaining shenanigans of the Tea Party.

Over here at RSBS we’ve made a tradition of putting together our annual playoff preview and this year is no exception.  But each edition needs a theme and this year, in honor of our Teabagger friends, the theme just kind of put itself out there.  Let’s get to it.

National League

green_tea.jpg

Like the NL, green tea has pomp, circumstance and history.  The Chinese have been drinking the stuff since Europeans were letting blood to cure sickness and avoiding baths in the belief that water would kill you.  Although it may have never gone away in the Asian world, the green stuff has experienced quite a renaissance in the West with the discovery of all it’s anti-oxidant properties.  Likewise, with the NL finally in the driver’s seat after winning home field advantage at the All-Star game, you have to think they’re feeling a little renaissance of their own is due.  But renaissance in what flavor?

Starting in the east (naturally, since we are talking about tea), we have the two-time defending league champion Phillies, the Japanese green tea of our preview.  It’s classic, you know it and you know you’re probably going to see it again.  Not only that, it just makes sense.  Seriously, how would your bento box taste without the tea accompaniment?  It belongs.

Meanwhile, the Lipton green tea of the NL, Atlanta’s own Braves, somehow found a way to get Bobby Cox back into the playoffs.  Sure, it may not have been your first choice but it will get the job done.  However, it’s also only going to get you so far.  More on that later.

In the heartland, the Reds find representation in the classic Gunpowder variety of green tea.  No one is quite sure how the tea got its name, maybe because it’s rolled into little pellets, maybe because it expands explosively when it hits the water.  But there’s one big problem here.  The way you know the quality is from the size of the balls.  Smaller balls, better quality.  Dusty Baker and his team aren’t exactly known for their small balls.  Do you remember that brawl with the Cardinals?  The Reds, their balls are a little too big.

Finally, out west we find the Giants, the Moroccan mint tea of the baseball world.  It tastes good, there’s a lot to like but something’s a little off.  Maybe it’s not strong enough, maybe there’s too much sugar but for whatever reason, it’s only good in small doses.  That’s probably all right, though, since all we’re going to get from the Giants is a small dose when they exit during the first round.

American League

black_tea.jpg

Black tea found a home in the west but purists still sniff at its lack of tradition.  Sure, it may have more caffeine, it may keep you going but where’s the ceremony?  Now the fans of black tea will argue that theirs is still a noble tradition and despite their blends and flavors and addition of milk, the tea is still central.  You’re not going to have any luck sliding that argument by the tea dogmatists, though.

Since black tea is a western thing, we’ll start out west with the preview as well.  That means we dive straight into a steaming cup of Irish breakfast tea, also known as the Texas Rangers.  Nolan Ryan owns the team and you don’t get much more Irish than that.  However, in the land of black tea, the English reign supreme.  Sorry, Nolan.  It just wasn’t meant to be.

This leads us to Minnesota where the Twins find themselves represented by….wait a minute!  That’s not tea.  That’s herbal tea!  C’mon guys.  I can steep dirt in water and call it tea but everyone is going to know it’s just mud.  Herbal tea is nice when you have a cold but it’s not “tea.”  Hm, I guess that’s kind of fitting since the Twins are a “playoff team” but aren’t really a playoff team.  Or at least won’t be for very long.

From here we find ourselves back east again with two very different teams.  We start with the Rays, the Massala Chai of the baseball world.  There are a lot of flavors going on there, it’s new, it’s hip.  And it definitely works for awhile.  The question is, when the chips are down and you have to pick just one, do you go for the spicy stuff or something proven?

And what could be more proven than the English breakfast tea that is the Yankees.  Personally, I don’t like the stuff but a lot of people do.  Not only that, it’s strong and it gets the job done.  Sure, the tradition may not go as far back as the NL but when you can throw around names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Yogi Berra, you got something going on.

World Series
So what happens next?  Well, it’s pretty simple.  We line them up and see who lasts the longest.  I apologize to everyone who lives west of the Mississippi but when I read the leaves, their fortunes don’t look good.  Texas, Minnesota, San Fran and Cincy all go down in the first round leaving us an east coast finale in both leagues.  I’m sure this doesn’t bother the broadcasters who will be reading tea leaves of their own and I’m sure they’ll be even more happy when the Yankees and the Phillies emerge to once again do battle in the World Series.

So, it comes down to this.  Japanese green tea vs. English breakfast tea.  The fact of the matter is, anyplace else in the world the green tea wins hands down.  But this is America and the Anglo-Saxons decided to let all their chips ride on black a couple hundred years ago.  Good thing they did because the Yankees win again.

-A

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