Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor

ryan theriot.jpgUm… okay.  So this is what happens when Brendan Ryan becomes better known for a poorly marketed pornstache than his actual comeuppance as an everyday St. Louis Cardinals shortstop.  Oh, wait.  No comeuppance?  He sucks?  My bad.

Which is sorta why I haven’t really said much this offseason about my dearly beloved Redbirds.  What’ s there to say?  Jake Westbrook signed?  Okay.  Cool.  We traded Blake Hawksworth for Ryan Theriot?  M’kay… nice.  I guess.  Can we guarantee that Skip Schumaker won’t take another step backwards?  How about facing the fact that closer Ryan Franklin really ain’t cut out to be a closer?  And then…???

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still haven’t really gotten over the crapfest that was the second half of the 2010 season.  No one likes a sore loser, but goddamn it if I ain’t still sore as hell!  Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter… YADIER MOLINA. 

Friends, Romans, Cubs fans… those names command a division title.

COMMAND IT!

And that’s what I want.  At the very least, we ought to be slaying the Reds, the Cubs and whatever other foe floats carelessly towards the top. 

Does Ryan Theriot magically make that happen?  Uh… no.  In fact, as a hitter, Baseball Reference has Theriot matched up with the likes of Aaron Miles, Jason Bartlett and former St. Louis Brown, Ernie Johnson.  And while Bartlett had one good year, let’s not get too excited over these comparisons; ‘cuz frankly, there’s little that breeds excitement.

Yes, maybe Theriot will solve the leadoff problem that has crippled the Cardinals in recent years.  Then again, he probably won’t.  He’s gotta beat out Brendo and Skippy for a job first, which for us anticipating fans, is sorta like having to vote from a pool of John Kerry, George W. Bush and a bowl of potato salad.

Which one is the bowl of potato salad?  I’ll leave that up to you.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 13: Nolan Ryan’s Taintedness… and Other Stuff

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna welcome a very special guest, Second City funny man Mark “Pie” Piebenga, to the Logan Square Studio for an RSBS Podcast pow-wow of epic proportions (we would like to thank Miller Lite for making it, as the kids say, ‘epic’)!  From Jim Joyce’s ‘stache to Nolan Ryan’s pomposity to Nyjer Morgan’s right hook to Bobby Scales’… existence?… all the gloves come off as the fellas look back at the 2010 season and gear up for the winter with plenty of chuckles and plenty of beer.  All to make you laughy laugh!

Holla!

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For more on Mark’s work on RSBSNinemen’s Morris series, check out this story then click on the Ninemen’s Morris tag at the bottom for more early 20th century hilarity!

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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.  Keith is involved in some impressive projects himself.  Check out his work at  Undercard Films.  Seriously.  You should do it.  If you don’t, you might find out about his MMA skills first hand.  Holla!!!

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Recorded Wednesday, November 10, 2010

 

Understated to the End

sparky_bw.jpgDespite my slight leftwards tendencies, one of my favorite presidents is the first George Bush.  He wasn’t a flashy guy.  He simply knew what job he had to do and then got it done.  Unfortunately for him, parts of his legacy wound up being attributed to Clinton but the smoldering wreck currently being dealt with in Mesopotamia shows just how impressive his foresight was.  Bush was an understated guy and it was that understatement that eventually cost him his job.

If I had to pick one guy in baseball who reminded me of George H. W. Bush, that guy would be Sparky Anderson.  Sure, he was a great manager and the first one to manage a team to a World Series title in both leagues.  Ultimately it was Anderson’s understatement that made him a success but that same quality led to his undoing. 

For better or for worse, Sparky Anderson always found a way to keep the focus elsewhere.  When you’re dealing with the kind of egos Sparky had to deal with, though, that type of personal understatement is a necessity.  Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench.  The name, The Big Red Machine, says it all.  He found a way to keep those personalities in check.  But when he followed up the big wins with mere second place finishes, it wasn’t enough for the Reds and his understatedness made him a perfect scapegoat.  It’s like 1991 for Bush.  Sure, he may have guided the US through the Gulf War but what have you done for us lately?

Although things didn’t end quite the same way with the Tigers, Anderson’s understatement was still his undoing.  When he left the Tigers in 1995, Sparky had to feel more than a little disappointed that no one came calling.  And for a guy who did as much for baseball as Anderson, it’s a reflection on his humility that he refused to step foot in the Hall of Fame until 2000 when he was inducted.

Understatement seems to be the trait that follows Anderson throughout his career and his life.  Even in death he requested that no funeral or memorial be held.  I guess for me, though, Sparky is one of those guys who, despite his natural avoidance of the spotlight, still defined baseball as I was growing up.  He’s a guy who knew what job he had to do and then got it done.

-A

Come With Me and Escape

So, your team isn’t doing so hot in the postseason.  Or maybe your team didn’t even make it.  Sometimes you just want to get away from it all.  You could go hiking but there are certain risks.  You could try and start a friendly game of soccer with some world leaders but that’s not as safe as it used to be either.

Honestly, maybe you should just turn off the TV and use that ESPN or MLB.com tab for something new.  Like this.

Hey, it works for me.  Sure, the Tigers may have finished at an even .500 but that doesn’t matter when you’re staring at a highway in rural Japan or a neighborhood in Ibhayi, South Africa. 

So go ahead and make your escape.  Just make sure you uncheck North America or you may end up looking at this:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=embed&hl=en&geocode=&q=Great+American+Ball+Park,+Cincinnati,+OH,+United+States&sll=44.98268,-93.276865&sspn=0.00815,0.018582&ie=UTF8&hq=Great+American+Ballpark&hnear=Great+American+Ballpark,+Cincinnati,+Ohio+45202&ll=39.097186,-84.506324&spn=0.020783,0.038418&layer=c&cbll=39.097522,-84.508716&panoid=V1xZu982lMhpupQbn4z7pw&cbp=12,101.76,,0,-9.52&output=svembed
View Larger Map

That’s not escape.  That’s just mean.

-A

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

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twins.jpg
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Things should be much, much clearer now.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Allen’s 2010 Post-Partisan Playoff Preview

original_tea_party.jpg

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

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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

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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

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 10: Bud Selig’s Salad… and Other Stuff

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

It’s our monumental TENTH EPISODE, y’all!  Party is the name of the game as Jeff, Allen and Johanna dive into an exciting playoff tempered show including three hallowed memories, two Morgans (Nyjer and the Captain) and one inception… not to mention a whole lot of confusion over a $500 pair of speedos with Albert Pujols’ face on it.  Plus much more, including the Lou Piniella mailbag!  All to make you laughy-time!

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  Check out
his Undercast podcast and visit his movie-making website Undercard Films if you don’t want him to kick your bum.  Did I mention he is an MMA fighter?  It’s true.  How else do you think Johanna’s face got so disfigured?!?  Lookout!

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MUSIC BY MEQQA <— Download their music it is rad as hell :-)

Recorded Saturday, September 11, 2010

An Open Letter to the St. Louis Cardinals

writing_letter.jpgDear St. Louis Cardinals,

Stop it. 

Just stop it.

You are embarrassing me.  You are embarrassing my family.  You are embarrassing yourselves.

My sister was at your game in Houston on Monday night.  Ya know, the one against the LOLstros.  The first one where you didn’t score any runs.  And despite your recent slide against terrible, terrible teams, she still went to the park all decked out in Cardinals gear. 

She could’ve used a security detail trying to get out of there.

That’s what it has finally come down to in 2010.

What is more frustrating than anything else isn’t the losing.  Look, I know.  Baseball teams lose.  Even the best teams lose four out of ten.  That’s the game.  That’s baseball.

But when you lose you look like you don’t care… like it doesn’t bother you… like it’s just another day.

WELL IT’S NOT JUST ANOTHER FRIGGIN’ DAY!

The wheels are coming off and we’re not gonna shut up about it until you start looking like you give a damn.  I guarantee you the folks in Cincinnati do.  Yes.  Finally, they have something to care about; and here we are, a confused, spiraling, spoiled Cardinals nation who thought we could just mail it in until the playoffs…

Well, that ain’t gonna cut it.

I hate to sound over dramatic, but the time has come for some over dramatic butt-kickin’ ‘cuz there ain’t much time left! 

So go out there and remember that we’ll always love you, as long as you give your best, tireless efforts.

Sincerely,

Jeff

…and a bazillion other serious Cardinals fans.

The Filibuster

What are your thoughts on Chris Carpenter? Do you take it all as “intensely passionate” or just a good ol’ jerk?

Youngmi
Underneath the Halo

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reds_cards_brawl.jpgI don’t care much for St. Louis.  You could put me pretty firmly in the Brandon Phillips camp on this one and my feelings toward the Cardinals’ organization.  I didn’t like Tony LaRussa when he managed the A’s and I don’t like him now.  I could care less about Albert Pujols and Alfred Molina.  I mean Bengie Molina.  Damn.  Yadier.  I don’t like the Cardinals.

But I do enjoy seeing guys get fired up and making themselves heard.  I grew up watching Bob Probert enforce for the Red Wings (I’m guessing he’s also not a big fan of St. Louis based on his interactions with Tie Domi) and the day that Bill Laimbeer and his elbows gave way to Michael and the beautiful game was a sad day for all Michiganders. 

So I respect Carpenter going into the fracas and deciding to own it.  Sure, he may have been overshadowed by Cueto’s karate kicks and the managers’ ejections.  But only one man truly owned this rumble and that man is Chris Carpenter.  Without him, it’s just a bunch of guys jawing at each other.  He took it to that next level, the level where bad blood becomes real blood and a true rivalry comes into existence.

And, quite honestly, baseball is better for it.  Rivalries create storylines and storylines sell tickets.  Add a little fisticuffs into the mix and you’ve got magic. 

Let’s not get too excited here, though.  My respect for Carpenter is finite and in no way extends to the rest of his team.  After all, like Phillips already pointed out, they are “little b!tches, all of ‘em.”

-A

Photo courtesy of Yahoo!Sports

The Reds Got It Bad

bieber and usher.jpgOutside of baseball, there’s really only one man worth wearing the crown of my man-crushdom.  Whether its his svelte good looks, his vocal charm, or his ability to cheat on multiple baby’s mamas and still be adored by all… this man is someone I’d like to be, if only for a day.

That man’s name is…

Usher.

So imagine the pure shock, the horror, the Crying Game-esque gut twisting reaction I had when I was informed that Usher was responsible for the comeuppance, development and overnight success of the height-challenged lesbian look-alike from Canada, Justin Bieber.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If it’s pop-culture-to-baseball analogies you’re lookin’ for, look no more, dear readers.  For Usher is the St. Louis Cardinals.  He’s tops among R&B artists.  He’s consistently good.  He’s been around the winner’s circle.  He belongs among the best.

Justin Bieber?  He’s the Cincinnati Reds.  A mere fart in the grand world of entertainment, he too will eventually dissipate back into nothingdom, where he belongs

The Reds boast a team of Cardinal has-beens: Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Russ Springer… hell, even Walt Jocketty.  During the course of a 162 game season, even has-beens find time to shine.

But like Justin Bieber and his awkwardly prolonged fifteen minutes of fame, eventually the Reds will burn out…

…the Cards will be on top…

…and Usher will be asking:

Can U Handle It?

Hate me ‘cuz I wanna eradicate Bieber Fever, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Special thanks to C for the vomit-inducing photo)

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