Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

RSBS TV: 2009 AL East Preview

Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.

Special thanks to Theo Roll.

Very special thanks to Alex Rodriguez for giving MLBloggers blog fodder for life.

(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)

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**Programming Note**

Tuesday and Wednesday’s posts will both be the result of a small experiment between Mr. Lung and Mr. Krause.  The title for each post will be the exact same and was co-created by each constituent in an odd writing exercise known to literary dorks as “build-a-sentence”.  Mr. Lung wrote a word, then Mr. Krause wrote a word, Mr. Lung wrote a word, etc., until there was a complete sentence that sorta made sense. 

Stay tuned and see the true difference between these two baseball-politico minds and find out just where that co-created title will take them, whether it be down the same jaded street or off into themes yet undiscovered like Red Sox fans who never complain about anything (yeah right, like there is such a thing).

You know what we mean.

Wrestlers, Prophets and Rush

rush_limbaugh.jpgMuch of the political uproar over the past week centered on Rush Limbaugh’s address at CPAC in which he reaffirmed his desire to see President Obama fail. Understandably, many people are up in arms over this statement but some of them seem to be upset for all the wrong reasons. Obama is not the messiah and he will have policy failures. The sooner we accept that inevitability, the better.

But there is another reason why Rush’s words should have incensed us. Not only is his naive desire to see our country’s problems worsen ignorant at best, it also goes against everything we’ve been led to believe. America is a country built on dreams, MLK’s dream, the American Dream, even Obama’s dreams from his father, and failure, although sometimes an intermediate result, is never a goal. That’s where Rush gets it so wrong.

In America, we love dreams and we love seeing people pull through when everyone else is sure they’re going to fail. Kirk Gibson in the ’88 World Series. Willie Mays’ catch. The Tampa Bay Rays’ run to the pennant. No one gave any of them a chance but somehow they managed to overcome failure and succeed beyond their (and our) wildest imagination. When failure is an end instead of a means, dreams die and you become irrelevant.

Rush’s problem and, by extension, the problem of the Republican Party is that their actions have begun to cast them as irrelevant to the national debate. Wishing failure on your opponents doesn’t make you a seer. It makes you a streetcorner prophet, carrying your cardboard sign and sleeping on a park bench at night. It doesn’t signal engagement but rather disengagement.

The real issue and what Rush is afraid to say is that it’s not so much that he disagrees with Obama as it is that he has no solution of his own. After the experiment of the past eight years proved morally and financially bankrupt, how could he? However, the purview of the streetcorner lunatic has always included yelling louder than everyone else and making sure that yours is the voice that stands out. In that respect, Rush can truly claim, “Mission Accomplished.”

http://player.ordienetworks.com/flash/fodplayer.swf

-A

Words, Words, Words

shakespeare.jpg“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
                              — Everyone’s Mother

How very un-American our mothers are!

Indeed, freedom of speech — speaking one’s mind — venereal verbosity — is just but one of the many great attributes of being an US American.  Believe me, after living in China for four years, it is both comforting and refreshing to know that I can publicly endorse the extreme social and mental benefits of playing the Harold Reynolds drinking game on a semi-regular basis.  (*In China, drinking games are not allowed unless they are a) a way to dupe silly Americans into sending jobs overseas b) a way to dupe silly Americans into eating Fido and liking it or c) a means to getting drunk.)

Yet sometimes, our mothers seem to actually know what they are talking about.  And such advice would really come in handy if your name was Alex Rodriguez or Ann Coulter or any one of these individuals: 

Curt Schilling
He says publicly that he would like to make a comeback and play for either the Chicago Cubs or the Tampa Bay Rays.  Okay.  Fair enough, Curt.  You are a gamer.  You probably still have it in you to pitch at the Major League level.  Yet, considering your less-than-admirable reputation among others in the league, would it not be more beneficial to just go about your business and get in the game rather than release a statement of who you would like to pitch for?  And why the ultimatum for those two teams?  Could you not pitch for the Pirates just as easily as you could the Cubs?  This ploy is eerily similar to me drunk texting women from my past at three in the morning when I would be much better off going to bed or more successful by getting in a cab and just showing up at someone’s doorstep.

jabba the hut.jpgRush Limbaugh
As an US American, it is one thing to say “I hope my party [the Republican Party] gains momentum and succeeds in the next presidential race.”  I do not think anyone would have a problem with that.  The problem is, the GOP’s own Jabba the Hutt did not say that.  He said: “I hope he [President Obama] fails.”

Go eat yourself to death, Rush.

steve phillips.jpgSteve Phillips
Personally, I like Steve Phillips and the general manager perspective he brings to ESPN’s broadcasts.  In general, I find Phillips to be a decent guy who always calculates what he is going to say before he says it.  But to publicly lambast Lou Piniella on his handling of Japanese imports (Kosuke Fukudome) is something even I find astonishing.  He said:

“My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience of assimilation
into culture, assimilation in the team. He is just not the most patient
guy around and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way.
I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”

Hmm.  Well, Steve-O, I think you may have ticked Lou off just a tiny bit with that one.  Ordinarily, I would attempt to defend you in some way, but then I saw how crazy you really are when you said: Dontrelle Willis will be the comeback player of the year in 2009.

Coo-koo!

Rod Blagojevich
Yes, the democrat who just won’t go away is still… around… and this time he is writing a book!  Don’t feel bad, folks; I didn’t think he could read either, but apparently he can (or someone can for him) and when it is all said and done there will be a big, fat, juicy tell-all telling all about… er… eh… what we already know.  Blago’s foray into Jose Canseco-ism may be a success only if he can convince anyone to care about what he has to say.  From my vantage point, that ain’t happening.  We are talking about corrupt politicians here, not homerun happy ‘roiders.  Big difference.

Ryan Dempster
I know, I know.  Dempster has not said anything extraordinarily stupid… yet.  But he will.  That is what he does.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

**In lieu of THIS BREAKING NEWS, we at RSBS would like to congratulate Manny Ramirez and Scott Boras on successfully hijacking the Dodgers for the entire off-season.  That is classy.  No, that is Roberto Alomar I’ll-spit-AIDS-in-your-eye kind of classy.  Believe that.  

Chaos A.D.

chaos.jpgHold on to your money-makers, dear readers… this is gonna be a thrashing ride reminiscent of Clint Malarchuk’s 1989 throat-slashing — the first and only image on television that made me actually throw up. 

Bleh.

Verily, NBC gave her demonic highness, Ann Coulter, the greatest public relations gift in the history of the human race by banning her for life from their network and all like-minded lefty-linked affiliates.  This decision was made in lieu of Coulter’s new book which attacks the media as being a farcical, one-sided (left), pretentious boys club incapable of stomaching any of her ranting diatribes, most of which we learned folks have grown to just call ‘crap’.  Strongly suggestive of fecal matter or not, Ms. Coulter is still a US American, one who is astutely literate in the land of fantasy writing and one who has the same exact rights that all of us share in making our voice and our opinions known.  Nothing good can come from this.  She’s going to run with it ad nauseum and in this case, NBC clearly proved the exact point she’s been trying to make all along.

And it might not make me want to vomit as much as the above, but Pat Burrell is now a Tampa Bay Ray and in doing so virtually shuts the door on my boyhood hero, Ken Griffey, Jr. ever getting another shot in the playoffs.  Having shored up their veteran/DH hitting needs, I doubt the Rays will have much interest in Junior now.  In my mind, this can only mean he’ll likely end up with that cyclical hell-hole of a franchise known as the Seattle Mariners (for nostalgia’s sake — yack).  Sorry, Junior.  I really am.

And just as sure as I was that the Democrats’ insatiable desire for unwanted negative attention had already met Biblical proportions, it got worse when Rod Blagojevich appointee and prophetic puppet, Roland Burris, said he was the junior Illinois senator because “the Lord has ordained” him.  How come the Lord is always talking to everyone except me? 

Maybe he’s been talking to Al Franken too.  No matter what, the Minnesota senatorial feud will be nothing short of a long, drawn-out, party-dividing legal and social battle that will only make us hate politicians that much more, if that’s even possible… wait, yeah… yeah it is… because there’s still this guy:

bill richardson.JPGOh and yeah, there’s also still this guy:

rod blagojevich smiling.jpgAnd of course his team is just one passing physical away from putting another ice pick in my chest and signing Milton Bradley to a three-year deal.  In essence, the Cubs continue to get better, continue to open their change purse, continue to be savvy in all their dealings.

Note to John Mozeliak: You might want to consider waking the hell up!

And no, Mr. Mozeliak, I do not consider your signing of left-handed bullpen scrub Royce Ring, who finished 2008 with an ERA higher than Method Man and Redman on a Saturday night backstage (his ERA was 8.46), to be a “savvy” move.

(*insert dramatic pause while I take the time to puke… again.)

Ahem.

So what do I do when the world around me crumbles like Amy Winehouse during happy hour?

I tune into the wondrous world that is Red State Blue State

But, folks, it ain’t always pretty.  And it’s painfully obvious to anyone with a remedial math education that whether I’m younger by twelve years or twelve days or twelve hours than my cooped-up colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, I am and always will be younger than he, and more eloquent, and better at baseball.  That’s just the hard, undeniable truth.

And yes, just as Mr. Krause stated in his low-blow, I did indeed spend some quality years without a steady girlfriend.  This I cannot deny.  But to call me out on the transgressions of the past without expecting a wicked rebuttal is quite juvenile. 

Alas!  Mr. Krause has long been the New York Yankees of meaningful romantic relationships: he was always in one, always spending too much money, always on top (so I hear).

Equally, I have long been the Tampa Bay Rays: never actually in the race, always flirting with free-agent wh0res who weren’t worth the inflated dollars, always on the bottom (cuz that’s just how I roll).

But (and I think we can all see where this is going here) like all facets in the grand scheme of life, balance ultimately plays a most crucial role.  And nowadays it’s pretty apparent that I’m on top (with a hot girlfriend) while Mr. Krause wallows in the despair that is not making the “playoffs” for the first time since 1993.  Don’t worry, Al, I’m sure they seat parties of one on Valentine’s Day somewhere in the nation’s capital.  If not, you can always give Eliot Spitzer a call.  I’m sure he knows some “people”.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

2008: Rest In Peace (Part I)

RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgStill pissed off that Santa didn’t bring me the one thing I wanted most this year (a competent General Manager running the St. Louis Cardinals), I have little choice but to fully embrace the intangible magic of humility.  In doing so, I have decided to channel the tenacity of my bitterness and turn it into sincere, reflective admiration for all that has been accomplished here at RSBS this year.

Not only did we create a unique baseball-politico universe full of hyperbolic criticism and satirically erratic fandom, we also had the good fortune of being surrounded by fabulously smart and like-minded baseball nuts with passionate political views within the MLBlogosphere.

Indeed, in 2008, we saw dreams come true; we saw corruption, glory, beauty, heartbreak, Cinderella, more corruption, more beauty and more heartbreak.  We saw it.  We reported it.  We ripped it to shreds.

In honor of RSBS‘ rapturous reportage, babbling blabberings and partisan posts, I have pulled out the top three 2008 RSBS entries written by that misguided Tiger fan you have all learned to feel sorry for… the one and only Mr. Allen Krause. 

The 1st Runner-Up:

Diversionary Tactics — September 18, 2008
A fat incompetent college football coach, a Broadway musical composer and an old Topps baseball card featuring a solid porn mustache have never made such sweet, sweet love.

The Runner-Up:

Golden Parachutes — December 10, 2008
Hip, Sexy, Current… these three words don’t just sound like a hit NBC mini-series; they also describe the tone of this well-written commentary exploring the ins and outs of our ever-failing government, the ever-declining mystique of Detroit sports franchises and the ever-growing… well, fellas, you know what I’m tryin’ to say… (*Ladies, please ignore that last line ;-)

…and the Winner is:

Allen’s Post-Partisan Playoff Preview — October 1, 2008
Hardly known for his loquaciousness, Mr. Krause really put it to dear readers galore with this existentialist exercise in post-modern fantasy capped off by… well… by being RIGHT.  Fine tuned to the unique political and social caricatures of our dear elected leaders, my colleague done me proud with this little ditty of a post — so much so that I… well… I peed a little from all the excitement.

Go ahead, hate me, folks.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

74-88. That was the Tigers’ record for the 2008 season. After 130 million dollars were wasted on an AL Central last place finish in which the Kansas City Royals had a better squad (for a mere $57 million), realistically, where do the Tigers go from here?

–Jeff

___________________________________________________

obama_bump.jpgIt goes without saying that the Tigers face some pretty serious questions going into this offseason. For better of for worse, this is a team that was built to win this year. Not only did they trade away some fine young talent (Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller) in order to obtain the underwhelming Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, they also got rid of veteran leadership during the season when they sent Pudge to New York in return for Kyle Farnsworth. The former was a gamble that didn’t pay off and we all know how I feel about the latter.

But, to answer your question, I’m not sure where the Tigers go from here. Despite his poor season, Justin Verlander is still one of the most exciting young pitchers in the game. Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya have the entire (hopefully Guitar Hero free) offseason to get healthy. And Maggs’ resurgence over the past couple years makes him an attractive bargaining chip to other teams looking for an offensive bump that will put them over the top. I’m sure the Cubs or Cardinals have already placed an offer.

I’m not sure where we stand, though. This was supposed to be our year, the year when we finally put it all together and no almost .500 Cardinal team would be able to stand in the way. But, like John McCain on November 5, we’re staring at the wreckage and wondering how it all went so wrong.

Personally, I don’t think the Tigers will challenge for the AL Central next year. The Division isn’t all that strong but the Tigers are missing a lot of necessary pieces. The pitching is questionable, the offense never showed up and most of these guys weren’t really brought in because of their defensive skills. We don’t have a catcher, shortstop is a big question mark and I have no idea who is going to fill out the rotation.

You know what, though? At the end of the day, you never know what’s going to happen. Barack Obama was a footnote when he started his run for the Senate in 2004. And no one gave him a chance against Hillary in 2008 either. I don’t think anyone imagined the Rays would emerge from the AL East as Division champs and then slug their way into the World Series. So, I’m going to do what I always do and hope that Dombrowski and team are making the right moves to ensure that 2009 looks more like 2006 and a lot less like 2008. But I expect to be disappointed.

-A

Coming Clean

lidge_celebrate.jpgLast night, as Philly fans celebrated like Sarah Palin look-alikes, I settled back in my easy chair and fervently prayed that I had not just used up all my prediction mojo. See, back when this thing started I picked the Phillies to win the Series, comparing them to a certain junior senator from Illinois. And several weeks later, here we are. The Phillies dominated the Rays in just about every category, much like Obama has been doing to John McCain. But, I think it’s safe to say that no Philadelphia fan felt safe until after the ump called strike three on Eric Hinske last night.

Obama fans should feel the same way. Andrew Sullivan posted this the other day and it pretty much sums up the way things stand right now:

But despite all the concerns, I’m going to go ahead and say it. Obama is the new Brad Lidge and he’s going to close this thing down.

Now, I’d like to take the high road and leave things where they are but I can’t help but gloat a little bit in realizing that I’ve gotten the last word on my good friend, Mr. Lung. See, he doubted my pick from the beginning and even picked the Rays last week while extolling the virtues of his new man-crush. But, the Phillies came through which doesn’t mean much since I am now zero dollars richer as a result.

To be honest, this victory feels a little empty. It’s not that I have anything against the Phillies or regret their win. But, after the money the Tigers spent in the offseason, I was ready to see my team holding up their trophy while Justin Verlander carried off his first World Series MVP Award. It all looked so good in my mind.

I guess that in the end the only option I have is to borrow a refrain heard most often coming from Cubs fans. Next year is our year! Man, I can’t believe I just compared myself to a Cubs fan. Time to go take a shower and wash off the filfth.

-A

Let’s Get It Right, Shall We?

baby yawn.jpgAs if the ho-hum disinterest of the 2008 World Series wasn’t enough to slow us down, now we die-hards have to wait and see what happens with mother nature before our venerable King Bud passes down his judgment so that the game can ultimately go on.  Having fully digested this oddity of baseball circumstance, the feeling I have now is eerily similar to that which I had on Election Night 2000 when a clear winner for the White House could not be determined with 100% accuracy.  Instead, I was forced to wait… and wait…

…and then suffer — for eight years.

But in this case, such doom seems unlikely.  In fact, with Hamels out and David Price in (maybe?) I’d say the advantage definitely goes to the Rays; which means there is hope that I will conclusively prove Mr. Krause wrong (yet again)!

I like that.

What I don’t like is public displays of idiocy: GW Bush, Amy Winehouse, MLB.com.

Yeah, I said it. 

Because when I logged on this morning to get an update on the weather situation, the graphic they had blasting over the front page had a couple of big fat ugly typos on it:

pittsburgh.jpgSure, they fixed it about an hour after I first saw it, but in this line of business, there is no excuse for misspelling words — even if it seems like people from Pittsburgh never pay attention to baseball.  And unless the Roots are designing graphics for MLB.com, “Phildelphia” is not a real place.

We here at RSBS have a full staff of highly educated pompous grammar-wh0re proofreaders — and by “full” I mean Mr. Krause and I.  But that seems to –

- – – – – – – * * * * – – – – – – – * * * * – – – – – – – * * * * – – – – – – –

WE INTERRUPT THIS POST TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HOPE TO RESUME WRITING SAID POST AS SOON AS THE ELEMENTS ALLOW AND WE’D JUST LIKE TO ADD THAT WE DON’T KNOW WHEN THAT WILL BE EXACTLY BUT WE PROMISE THAT IT WILL ADD TO THE ANTI-CLIMACTIC NATURE CLEARLY EVIDENT IN BASEBALL THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS SO YOU’LL AT LEAST GET WHAT YOU’VE BEEN GETTIN’

- – – – – – – * * * * – – – – – – – * * * * – – – – – – – * * * * – – – – – – –

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

OUCH!!!

joe blanton homerun.jpgAwwww SNAP!  The Phillies went postal on Sunday night and in their brutal wake left the Rays looking as stunned as they are youthful.

By the time Game Four was over, I personally felt as abused as the Rays pitching staff — embarrassed, downtrodden and mentally defeated.  To see me, you would’ve thought that I was the one who gave up a homerun to Phat Joe.

Yet my troubles on this October afternoon have less to do with who wins the World Series and more to do with simply being wrong in my prediction of a Rays victory.  Admittedly, I’ve been wrong once or thrice in my lifetime.  And that’s okay, folks.  I am perfectly comfortable with my fallibility (as minuscule as it may be); however, nothing is more aggravating, more disturbing, more gut-wrenchingly abominable than being wrong while my colleague, the infamously reprehensible Mr. Krause, is proven correct.

And if the Rays don’t win three in a row, that’s exactly how it’ll be.

Because Mr. Krause picked the Phillies to win at the beginning of post-season play and I laughed in his German engineered face, I foresee my impending doom: public defamation and blogospheric torture by way of one misanthropic pedant: Mr. Allen Krause himself.

Whatever.

It ain’t over yet, and until it is, I’m standing my ground.

In fact, I have much bigger things to be upset about right now, like Winter invading the Second City on this wind-ridden drib-drab blah of a day:

windy city.JPGGo Rays.

Make me look good so I can lambaste: “Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.”

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

This year’s World Series features two young and talented teams who
could really dominate their respective leagues for the foreseeable
future. Although the Phillies hold a 2 games to one edge, the Series
has been very evenly matched so far with outstanding pitching and
clutch hitting. But no one is watching it. What does this say about the
state of baseball?

– Allen
___________________________________________________

Clearly, Mr. Krause, it says that the state of US America is in so much disarray with Joe the Plumber, Joe Six-Pack and Joe No Money In His Pocket that
people aren’t even taking the time to relax and enjoy the greatest game on earth.  Yesterday’s walk-off win?  Whether you’re a Phillies fan, Rays fan or still disgruntled about your team falling a part and watching from home, those are the moments we — as a baseball nation live for.

But the distractions are many at this poignant time in our great country’s living history.  We are on the cusp of making the most important decision of the last sixty years, and while it is true that one man cannot change what has taken eight years to transpire, one worldview — held by and believed in by the people — can. 

Admittedly, the networks would like to have us believe this sincere lack of viewership has to do with the absence of a playoff powerhouse (ie the Yankees, the New Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers/Angels of Los Angeles/Anaheim) but I think it has more to do with the clear and present danger that currently sits on the ballot boxes of the American people.

That and football is in full swing, which at this point still offers grid iron fans from coast to coast the very real possibility of having a championship in just a few short months (unless you root for the Detroit Lions.  Sorry, Mr. Krause).

Personally, distractions abound: politics, day job, moonlighting, dealing with the inherent giddiness of a new and exciting relationship, and of course, being the inspiration for an infamously dynamic duo who dotes on your every move, word, name (see video at approximately the 1:00 mark).  Indeed, it is extremely difficult to manage the myriad components bent on taking me away from baseball:

http://services.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/1079049493

But in the end, dear readers, I bleed this game — no matter who’s playing — and nothing can or will ever take that away from me.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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