Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

Mellow Dramatics

Two games in and there is no denying that the 2008 World Series is a close one between two teams who are relatively new to the national spotlight.  For the most part, the pitching has been excellent, the fundamentals have been executed and scores have been close.  But despite Joe Buck’s irritating methodology of forcefully over-dramatizing each and every word, this Phillies/Rays series has been putting me to sleep.

And I swear it’s not the booze this time. 

For some intangible reason, I just get the feeling that this World Series is somewhat inherently spurious.  Perhaps it’s the fake grass that rubs me the wrong way… or the cheeseball John Williams-like teaser music that makes me feel like dinosaurs will suddenly take the field… or maybe it really is that I’m sick and tired of Joe Buck, who turned his back on his demographic earlier this year and sullied one of the greatest names in the history of the game.

The good news is, I have a mute button; I will use it liberally.

And it’s Friday and Fridays are always awesome.  In fact, since it’s Friday and there’s no baseball today and we’re getting down to the wire in all things important (baseball and politics) and I’m feeling good about life and it’s raining but not snowing and Halloween is around the corner and North Korea hasn’t blown anyone up yet, I thought: what better way to celebrate than to enjoy a good old political dance-off:

If that didn’t make your day, nothing will.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Stop the Madness!

question_mark.jpg“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein (or those guys at A.A. meetings)

So why do I do it?  Why do I continue to support the Chicago Tribune despite their undeniable penchant for making my fair city a cesspool of inferior journalism and third-rate hack reportage that totally alienates those who enjoy reading actual news?  Haven’t I broken enough household items over the garbage printed in the Tribune’s sports section?  Haven’t I put enough holes in the walls of my apartment?  Haven’t I lost my voice enough screaming over this insanity!?!

As if the Trib’s article — printed the day after Opening Day — touting Kosuke Fukudome as a perennial all-star MVP candidate who would most definitely serve as the secret weapon that would get the Cubs a ring wasn’t ludicrous enough.  As if the Trib’s full-page special promotion of a book they co-published titled This Is the Year to commemorate the Cubs’ so called “historic 2008 season” before they even played ONE playoff game wasn’t outrageous enough.

No.  They just couldn’t stop themselves from making me hate them more and more and more…

As if there wasn’t a World Series going on starring the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, the Tribune decided it’d be a great idea to fill precious space on the sports section’s front page with a preposterously pathetic pipedream of an article by Mike Downey called: Cubs Against Rays: The Series to Die For

Excuse me while I puke.

Is this news?  Really?  Come on!  Get a grip, Tribune!  You seriously pay this guy to sit around and think up fairytale scenarios that would feature the Cubs in the World Series while there is indeed a very important WORLD SERIES taking place right NOW?!?  Wake up!  The Cubs are dead.  They’ve been dead.  And they ain’t comin’ back to life!

I want to pick up my local newspaper and read about the important things going on in the world — not the private fantasies of Cub fans who just can’t seem to let GO.  Apparently my cries, my letters to the editor, my raving rants — all of which have been vehemently directed at the Chicago Tribune and its sub-par sports-writing staff — have been ignored. 

But for those of you keeping score at home, please know the following:

1) Kosuke Fukudome?  MVP my ^ss

2) This Is the Year?  My local CVS had piles of these strewn about randomly throughout the store with signs saying “FREE” and “PLEASE TAKE ONE” and “MAKES GOOD KINDLING”.  I live on the Southside. 

and…

3) Sorry, Mr. Downey.  Your article is crap. 

Oh, and by the way, you might want to pay attention to the real World Series (which the Cubs are not a part of).  As Anita, from the hit Broadway musical West Side Story, once said: Smoke on your pipe and put THAT in!

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

“Real” Americans Choose Sides

The World Series begins tonight but not without a little controversy. Apparently Barack Obama has broken the cardinal rule of sports fans everywhere and come out in support of both the Phillies and the Rays. It would seem that Mr. Obama doesn’t understand “real” Americans or espouse the values of main street Wasilla, Alaska.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/sitewide/video_player/view/default/swf.jhtml

Now as a baseball fan and someone who will be watching the World Series despite the fact that I don’t have a team in the game, I can understand Sen. Obama’s divided sentiments. Ultimately, he said he’ll be cheering for the Phillies because his campaign manager is a Phillies’ fan. If the Cardinals were in the Series against anyone but the Tigers, I’d probably cheer for them too, because I (occasionally) support my friend.

See, when your team isn’t playing, you’re allowed to cheer for whomever. There’s a big difference between Obama attending a rally with some players from the Rays and Bill Richardson saying he likes both the Red Sox and the Yankees. Or Hillary Clinton claiming to be a simultaneous Yankees and Cubs fan. Those things don’t make sense. But I really couldn’t tell you who I’m rooting for in the Series. Both teams are compelling but neither one controls any of my loyalty. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Rays win because they’re young and exciting and they took out the Yankees this season. But, the Phillies are young (with the exception of Jamie Moyer) and exciting, too, and I already predicted that they would win.

So, perhaps we should all just settle down and enjoy what could be some really good baseball. Perhaps it would be a little more compelling if Mr. McCain’s Diamondbacks were taking on Mr. Obama’s White Sox. I’m sure that we here at RSBS would be at Defcon 3 if we had scored a rematch of the 2006 Series. And we all know how much Mr. Lung wishes that Erin Andrews was frollicking about the dugouts. But instead we’ll be starting off this evening at Tropicana Field in an area better known for spring training. However, if that’s not “real” America then what is?

-A

A Question of Progressive Participle

Joe Maddon 3.jpgThere’s just one day before the 2008 World Series kicks off and all I can think about is Joe Maddon.  Now, now, dear readers, don’t get ahead of yourselves.  It’s not his cool and assertive demeanor in the dugout that’s got my mind going and it’s not his ability to rile a bunch of youngsters to the tune of victory either. 

It’s his liberal use of the progressive participle.

In the top of the seventh inning in Sunday night’s ALCS Game 7 against the Red Sox, starting Rays pitcher Matt Garza found himself in what could’ve been a serious world of pain.  Having just given up a single to Jason Bay, there were men on first and second with only one out; the Rays were holding on to a slim lead — just one bomb away from imploding — when Maddon went out to talk to his pitcher.

Garza stepped off the mound towards his skipper as if to ask “How am I doing?” and the TBS camera crew caught Maddon dead on replying: “You’ve been ****ing awesome.”

Yeah.  There was no mistaking it.  He used the F-bomb to describe just how awesome Garza hd been doing in front of millions of home viewers. 

And believe me, folks: I’m not wrong on this one.  I study foreign languages for fun, grew up playing spy games, and until I was about 18 years old, I watched peoples’ mouths when they talked instead of their eyes.

Joe Maddon said “You’ve been ****ing awesome.”

Is there anything wrong with this?  Well.  No.  I guess not.  I mean, I’m a grown man myself and assuredly, I have been known to drop quite a few F-bombs when necessary; of course, I’ve never done it live in front of millions of viewers watching my every move on television.  And I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that it certainly distracted me from thinking of Maddon as the intellectual I once thought him to be.

But I guess when “awesome” doesn’t quite get the point across, “****ing awesome” should do the trick.

It worked for Garza.

Will it work against Philadelphia — where the F-bomb was born? 

We shall ****ing see!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Breath of Fresh Air

World series 2008 logo.jpgMy only solace in the aftermath of being so, so wrong in my playoff predictions so far is that finally, dear readers, we have a World Series matchup — which doesn’t include the Yankees nor the New Yankees (aka Boston Red Sox) — that may actually drum up viewership across this great US America of ours (and perhaps even a handful in Canada). 

Whilst the 2006 World Series will always stand out as one of the greatest moments of my lifetime to date, I am completely aware that I was one of very few people who actually gave a damn, considering both the Cardinals and the Tigers weren’t big market teams from either coast.  The 2005 edition featuring the White Sox and Astros wasn’t much better in terms of mass viewership nationwide, though it was probably one of the most entertaining and heart-thumping series I’ve ever seen.

Such drama is lost on a nation that worships thwarting monopolizing bullies, NASCAR and blockbuster comedic films starring Ben Stiller as the same haphazard goofball character he plays in every Ben Stiller movie. 

But folks, this could be the year for a new found enthusiasm for the greatest game on earth.  I believe.  For two underdogs with two very unique stories will face each other in the grand finale and though I have been searching my brain for the last 18 hours or so to find the one I want to see win the most, I truly cannot. 

joe maddon 2.jpgThe Rays will have the ultimate story going in (working title: From Worst to First After Dropping the “Devil” from Our Name) and I’m positive that an entire band of bandwagoneers will join the drama just to say they were part of it; and in the end, why not?  How can you not like this team?  They’re young.  They’re enthusiastic.  They play with heart and passion and speed and pride.  And their manager is probably the coolest looking dude in town with those gaudy personality glasses and his “9 = 8″ psychomath sensibility. 

Meanwhile, the Phillies — whom my colleague Mr. Krause picked to win it all — come in to the World Series playing superb baseball with their starting pitching and clutch hitting leading the Philadelphia way: hard-nosed, hard-pressed and hard-up for a title.  Never mind their raucous, undeserved phreakazoid phans.  The City of Brotherly Love is as thirsty for a sports championship as the Democrats are for winning an election.  And this could be the year.

But if I have to come out and say it, I say this is the year of the Tampa Bay Rays

Indeed, the Cinderella story will come to its ultimately heartwarming conclusion.  And if that pisses you off, Phillies fans, don’t get too riled up; my prediction accuracy is about as on point as Rush Limbaugh is sane: not very

And for those of you right-wing gun-totin’ liberal-hatin’ conservatives whom I have just offended by saying that, I think there’s at least one thing that we can agree on — no, two things:

1) This World Series is gonna be good.

..and…

2) This clip might very well be the best political spoof the planet has ever seen:

http://widgets.nbc.com/o/4727a250e66f9723/48fd11d4b3d1fde1/48fafb9dab35f5ae/95eeda6a/-cpid/d00853353f9ba73e/clipID/773781/video_title/Saturday+Night+Live+-+Update%3a+Palin+Rap/video_imgurl/http%3a%2f%2fvideo.nbc.com%2fplayer%2fmezzanine%2fimage.php%3fw%3d350%26h%3d196%26path%3dnbc2%2f13b9ce5f032c04210176ab48cd191c3b_mezzn.jpg%26hash%3db270dcf8f4ab9e749b81b1fe205d1989/video_url/http%3a%2f%2fwww.nbc.com%2fSaturday_Night_Live%2fvideo%2fclips%2fupdate-palin-rap%2f773781%2f/video_description/Amy+steps+in+for+Gov.+Palin?storeInPid=true

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Filibuster

The Boston Red Sox just don’t know how to give up. Who has the edge going into Game 7 of the ALCS? The Rays who are just one loss from emulating their perennial loser status or the Sox who have recently become known as the New Yankees?

–Jeff
___________________________________________________

I really don’t like to be disrespectful to my friends because I have so few of them left but c’mon man. This is your real question? Of course the Red Sox have the edge in this series. They’ve won two straight and proven that they come back from almost any deficit. The Rays just don’t have anything left in the tank and, as I predicted, it’s going to be a Philadelphia-Boston World Series this year. Heck, you called this yourself yesterday.

The real question now is who’s going to win in the end. The Red Sox have all the experience but the Phillies represent change and historic losers making good. If we go back to my initial comparison of the Phillies with Barack Obama, though, something kind of eerie emerges and makes me think that Sen. Obama has been reading RSBS:

It’s possible that this a coincidence but I think it’s highly unlikely. In fact, Sen. Obama, if you’re SarahPalinBarbarians.jpgreading this, I just want you to know that you’re doing a great job but please make sure you continue watching out for the barbarians.

Now, Game 7 of the ALCS starts in just a couple minutes and I’m sure all our fine readers will be glued to that. And I want to get over there myself. So, enjoy the game. And enjoy Colin Powell’s return. Welcome, General. It’s great to have you back.

-A

If the Rays Don’t Win Tonight, They Can Kiss Their Dreams Goodbye

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgAll great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.
                                        — Albert Camus (1913 – 1960)

For the Rays, that ridiculous beginning — which included the most atrocious team color scheme in the history of man, a perennial place at the bottom of the AL East and an escalating alienation from their fans (all four of them) — could be just the set-up they need to accomplish their very first great deed.

But if they lose Game 6 tonight, consider the Rays in deep trouble.  

For if I were a Tampa Bay Ray, the last thing I would want to do is play a determined, feisty, no-holds-barred ball club from Boston with the entire season on the line.  Recent history has shown us that the Red Sox live for this sort of thing and that when the going gets tough — down by 7 runs, down by 3 games in the series, down by an intangible curse — they indeed get tougher.

In other words, the Rays better close this thing out tonight or they will face a long winter of second guesses, disappointment and reflecting on their emulation of the baseball equivalent of erectile dysfunction.

Ralph nader.jpgSimilarly, in anticipation of the heralded third party presidential debate set to take place tomorrow (Sunday) evening in New York, I might suggest that Ralph Nader better get his non-pandering ^ss there or he too can kiss his chances of becoming the next president goodbye.

Because let’s face it, US America needs Ralph Nader — if for nothing else than to remember that if you work hard, make angry faces and go on tirades against the political elite long enough, then eventually, there will be a less than 1% chance that anyone will actually listen to what you’re saying.

And sometimes, less than 1% is better than 0%.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

If I Were a Red Sox Fan, I’d Be Dead By Now

crazy_red_sox_fan.jpgSeriously, Red Sox Nation, I have no idea how you do it. 

From the 86 years of pure agony credited to the infamous Curse of the Bambino which included tumultuous yet exciting events such as the 1946 World Series, Carlton Fisk’s ’75 bomb, Bill Buckner’s mental lapse and the late-inning heroics of one Aaron “The One-Hit Wonder” Boone, to the most historically shocking comeback in the history of the world in 2004 to overcoming a 3 games to 1 deficit in in the ALCS last year only to sweep the hottest team in baseball on your way to winning it all — again… I have no idea how you do it, Boston — how your heart hasn’t leaped out of your chest and sunk through the floor, how you haven’t become a raging alcoholic nor eaten your children, how you haven’t been diagnosed with a severe case of jitteritis or how you have yet to set fire to the city of New York.

If I were you and I followed a team that knew no other style of play than the “force our fans to writhe and convulse in torment, exasperation and paralytic panic as we may or may not ultimately win this contest but we promise it will be interesting” I would, indeed, be a dead man.

seppuku.jpgBecause, my fellow US Americans, I cannot take such stress.  This is why every time Jason Isringhausen came in from the bullpen this season I immediately changed the channel.  The pure uncertainty of his aging ability and his austere acuteness for blowing saves was simply too much for me.  Often times I thought I would’ve been better off performing the Japanese ritual suicide rite of seppuku than watching him pitch late in a ball game, other times I just rammed my head into a concrete wall until I had the good fortune of sleep. 

Dear readers, during the most stressful of times (i.e. close baseball games, first dates, election night) when my palms are sweaty, my brow furled, my pulse raging beyond control, I find myself resorting to the old habits of yesteryear already responsible for killing half of my family: nicotine, alcohol, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

And that scares me.

Luckily for me, I was born in the midwest — far, far away from rickety noreaster accents and wild-hang-by-the-seat-of-your-pants baseball known as the Red Sox Nation. 

Win or lose, no one knows drama like a Red Sox fan.  And that’s something I do not covet — not one bit.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

(Don’t) Try THIS at Home!!!

HPIM1668.jpgDear readers, it’s Wednesday and thank the baseball gods I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.  As many of you know, my longtime chum/colleague/nemesis, the Mr. Allen Krause, had the good fortune of spending this past weekend visiting with me here on the Southside of Chicago.  Besides force-feeding him Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, Ann Sathers cinnamon rolls and a steady diet of “go *BLEEP yourself!” expletives, we did manage to reconnect with our younger, more astute college-selves — and by that I mean: we got drunk.

Well, let me just say that it was nothing like before.  No.  Indeed, at a fresh-looking 29 years of age, neither one of us are really apt to handle the physiological hell we used to put ourselves through.  In retrospect, it’s hard to imagine we’re even still alive.  Back in those days, we would party late nights Tuesday through Sunday (Monday was reserved for Monday Night Football and thus rest was required), found time to perform street circus acts and then actually managed to get straight A’s through our respectively rigorous class schedules.

Obviously, those days are long gone.  Still, it’s fun to think about how nimble we once were and in honor of that and tonight’s super-duper lineup of presidential debate politics and National League Championship Series baseball, we at RSBS would like to provide a provocative, playful drinking game for those of you dear readers who are responsible adults over the age of 21 (fake IDs don’t count in the blogosphere either).

It’s simple.  Get yourself a sixer of Old Style or a bottle of Jack or Costco sized container of mouthwash — whatever your preferred poison may be — and every time one of the following occurs, take a drink.  Trust us, between flipping back and forth between the game and the debate and adhering to these rules, you won’t care what the outcome of either actually is… and sometimes, that’s all you really want.

So, every time…

Joe Torre Makes a Face that Says “I Have Indigestion”
Take a drink.

Every time…

John McCain Looks at the Camera and Calls You “My Friend”…
Take a drink.

Every time…

Tim McCarver Over-analyzes a Play, a Player, an Entire Race of People…
Take a drink.

Every time…

John McCain Falsely Accuses Barack Obama of Wanting to Raise Your Taxes…
Take a drink.

Every time…

You Start to Think that RSBS‘ Very Own Allen Krause Looks a lot like a Younger, Less Cool Version of Joe Maddon…
Take a drink.
joe maddon.jpgAllen Krause.jpg

Every time…

The Two Candidates Fail to Answer the Question that was Asked and instead Filibuster their Talking Points…
Take a drink. (are you still with me?)

Every time…

You Wish and Pray that the Elegantly Exquisite and Ever Erudite Erin Andrews was Fox’s Sideline Reporter…
Take a drink. (fyi: this one alone would put me in the hospital)

Every time…

John McCain Refers to Barack Obama as Anything Except His Actual Name (ie That One, The Senator, Dingleberry)…
Take a drink.

Every time…

Shane Victorino Does Something Magical…
Take a drink.

And lastly… if you’re still able to count to three…

Every time…

You Look at Obama and just See a Black Man…
Take a drink.  No, take ten drinks.  And shame on you.

Please drink responsibly.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Nailing Jell-O to the Wall

“You know, nailing down Sen. Obama’s various tax proposals is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.”
                                                          — Senator John McCain, October 7, 2008

jello.jpgYou know, hearing this line over and over again is like watching that drunk uncle of yours wet himself at the family picnic — you feel sorry for him but at the same time you sorta like the idea of him making a fool of himself.

That being said, let me get to the heart of what’s really bothering me: why must Jell-O, an otherwise innocently delicious treat, be dragged into this foray of US American politics where hubris meets sophism for a night of long, agonizing repetition?  Seriously, I want to know: what did Jell-O ever do to deserve such scrutiny?  Huh?  Can anyone answer me that!?!

Let’s look at the facts, shall we, dear readers?  Jell-O.  It’s sweet.  It’s sticky.  It’s jiggly.

It’s best when chilled.

It’s even better with vodka, in shot form.

And now it’s got me thinking…

If Obama’s tax proposals — which will offer we regular US American joes, who DON’T make $250,000 a year, a break while asking the wealthy to pitch in a bit more — is like nailing Jell-O to the wall, then nailing Jell-O to the wall sounds like something we all better learn how to do.  Pronto.

john mccain is intense.jpgI see what the senator from Arizona was trying to do here.  He was trying to hide his condescension with a sprinkling of cutesy cleverness.  I didn’t buy it.  As usual, he came across as an old, bitter man still damaged from W’s vicious assaults during the 2000 campaign who is completely out of touch with normalcy (here, normalcy indicates those millions of individuals who are struggling right now, including me).

Whilst my struggles (financial, social, mental) weigh heavily on my mind right now, luckily, I am still able to find solace during this special time of year: the MLB Playoffs.  Sure, the Cards didn’t make it, the White Sox blew it and the Cubs aren’t around to ridicule anymore.

But collectively, we, as US Americans have four fine representatives to distract us for the next couple of weeks and I think we all (Red States, Blue States, Purple States) can agree on that.  What’s more exciting than watching the youth movement in Tampa Bay battle the Boston Red Sox (aka The New Yankees)?  While I have been off and on with my predictions this season, I’m gonna jump on the Tampa Bay train (as opposed to the Jason Bay train) because let’s face it: we need change we can believe in, folks; and Red Sox fans have proven that no matter how good they are or how many championships they win, they will still have an energy-draining inferiority complex coupled with roughly a bazillion things to complain about.

The Senior Circuit also offers us an intense battle as we prepare to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles fight against ‘dem phightin’ Philadelphia Phillies (Mr. Krause’s pick to click).  While I will admit my preference is certainly for the National League style of play, I have a strong feeling that this match-up is going to be a snoozer compared to the AL series.

In fact, I might just go as far as to say that, comparatively speaking, watching the NLCS will be like nailing Jell-O to the wall.

Good pitching always beats good hitting: Tampa Bay v. Dodgers in the finale.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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