Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

RSBS Sits Down with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith

ozzie smith 85 nlcs.jpgGrowing up a kid in America is synonymous with being a dreamer.  We’re taught that anything is possible if we’re dedicated, if we work hard.  And we often model ourselves after those we look up to, our heroes.

I always had two: my dad, whom I got to see everyday, and St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop, Ozzie Smith.  Many a summer afternoon was spent in the backyard… swinging like Ozzie, diving like Ozzie, smiling like Ozzie.

“I want to be Ozzie Smith,” family members recall me saying, “I want to be Number One.”

So what does one say when he finally gets to have a conversation with his boyhood hero?

“My grandpa had Musial.  My dad had Gibson and Brock.  I had you, Ozzie.”

And Ozzie’s response?

“Cool.”

Of course, I expected nothing but the coolest things from the man who gave us reason to Go crazy, folks, go crazy!  Heck, it’s been nearly 25 years since that homerun prompted Jack Buck to give us his iconic call, but I promise you this: to a Cardinals fan, it never gets old.

“It never went away,” chuckled a candid Ozzie Smith, “and as a matter of fact, it’s still reverberating today.  I have little kids coming up to me, reciting that.  So yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

Indeed it is pretty cool and so is Ozzie Smith, the man: 15 time All-Star, 13 time Gold Glove Award Winner, Hall of Famer and all around good guy.

He may be retired from baseball, but work never stops; and this summer Ozzie has teamed up with Ken Griffey, Sr., Len Dawson, Mike Bossy and Jim Kelly in the Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer.

The seriousness of prostate cancer cannot be overstated.  In fact, 1 out of every 6 men will experience the disease, as it is the second-leading cause of male cancer-related deaths in the United States.

I’m just here to encourage all men 50 or older (40 or older for African-American men and those with a family history of the disease) to get involved, talking with their doctors about prostate health.  Because with early detection, prostate cancer isn’t only treatable, it’s beatable.”

As was Ozzie’s signature game plan on the field, the best way to beat this disease is with strong defense.  And if anyone knows anything about defense, one need look no further than The Wizard.

After a decade plus of abnormal offensive numbers in baseball, Ozzie sees the current renaissance of pitching and defense themed ball-clubs as a natural, cyclical part of the game.

“It’s the way the game is supposed to be played.  You can get a lot more out of playing the game the proper way than just building your team from an offensive standpoint.”

If you’re looking for an example of such managerial strategy, Ozzie suggests we look at those teams at the top.

“The Atlanta Braves in the East, I think they’re one of those teams.  Not a whole lot of power, but they certainly do the little things that it takes to win.  The Cardinals have always been one of those teams that have done that and I think it’s part of what’s allowed the Cincinnati Reds to lead their division this year.”

Such game theory often begins with the manager and Ozzie Smith was lucky enough to serve under one of the best, one of this summer’s Hall of Fame inductees: Whitey Herzog.

“As a manager, the goal is always to make players better than they are.  Whitey was certainly one of those people.  The relationship we had was of admiration and respect.  A good manager, like Whitey, only has two rules: be on time and give a hundred percent.  As a professional athlete, that’s all you can ask, to be given the opportunity to do what it is you do.  If you can’t abide by those rules, then you shouldn’t be playing.”

And as we gear up for the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim, it’s a pretty safe bet that the players involved abide by those rules.  One cannot be the best without giving his best.  As a 15 time All-Star himself, Ozzie was quite comfortable being at the top of his game.  When asked to describe his fondest All-Star memories, he was quick to answer.

“The first one I had a chance to go to in 1981 and then my final one in 1996, those two really stand out.  The first one simply because of the excitement of going to your first All-Star Game and the festivities, the lockering, visiting with guys you admired from afar and played against, having a chance to play with them was very special.  Then the reception I received in Philadelphia for my final one was very, very special.”

Yep.  It sure was.  In fact, I fondly remember… crying.  I was 17 years old, my hero was retiring and I was morbidly afraid of baseball without Ozzie.

But I quickly learned: no one can take away memories, no one can take away dreams.  The game continued on and Ozzie never really went away.  The moments he created are remembered today.  His work ethic is passed down.  His desire to help those in need, to educate, to make life better wherever possible through public service, as he’s doing with the Depend Campaign, all these things make him forever an All-Star.

Forever a hero.

Forever a reason to go crazy, folks.

Go crazy.

Written by Jeffery Lung

Special thanks to
Kristin Adams of Taylor PR for arranging the interview.

Click *HERE* to read Jeff’s interview with Dave Winfield.

Click *HERE*
to read Jeff’s interview with Ken Griffey, Sr.

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 5: Bonilla’s Bonus Button… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 3.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff, Al & that rock-n-rollin-Cub-lovin’ sage Johanna Mahmud take on all things ‘Merica, including (but not limited to) Rinku and Dinesh, Carlos Zambrano, The Hills (seriously? that happened?), the All-Star Game, the Lou
Piniella Mailbag and much,
much more… all to make you laughy-laughy!

Holla!

-
– -

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.  His Undercast
podcast is a must-listen (listen to it!).  It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard

Films.

Recorded Monday, July 5, 2010

RSBS Sits Down with Ken Griffey, Sr.

ken griffey sr.jpg“I feel good.”

And for Ken Griffey, Sr., a man who just four years ago was diagnosed with prostate cancer, this is definitely great news. 

Fully recovered and feeling strong, the elder Griffey has joined other sport legends Len Dawson, Rod Woodson, Jim Kelly and (one of my personal favorites) Ozzie Smith in the Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer, a movement which educates the public on this important men’s health issue.

By sharing his own personal story, Griffey, Sr. hopes to help quell this potentially devastating disease.  “I was diagnosed early.  To me, that’s the most important thing: to get diagnosed early.  Because then there’s treatment and it’s pretty much curable.”

Griffey was fortunate enough to know this before he was diagnosed, so the fight against the disease began long before he actually acquired it.

“My doctor explained to me that I was a strong candidate for it because of the fact that it was in my family.  I had four uncles that passed from prostate cancer.  My doctor was very cautious about it, making sure that with each physical I was tested for it.”

Today, not only is Griffey, Sr. spreading the message against prostate cancer, he’s also living life to the fullest, working every day as the hitting coach for the minor league Dayton Dragons, and reflecting on his own illustrious Major League career.

“Getting the opportunity to play with Junior, hitting the back-to-back homeruns with Junior, being world champions with the Cincinnati Reds… those are the major highlights of my career.”

In light of his son’s recent retirement from baseball, when asked about how long it took for Senior to transition he replied: “It didn’t take me long!”

Of course, Senior’s was a decision forced by injury.  “For Junior, it was a decision based on the fact that he wasn’t getting the opportunity to play.  He sat out for ten games or something like that.  We had talked about it last winter.  We discussed it.  And I think he felt pretty good about the idea of coming home to be with the family.”

And as one legend leaves the game, a new sensation potentially takes his place in Stephen Strasburg.  Not since Ken Griffey, Jr. came up in 1989 has there been more buzz about a rookie phenom than there is right now about Strasburg.

“Yeah, that’s exactly right.  When Junior came into the league, everyone wanted to see him play.”

Did they ever.  One would have to be from another planet to not know how colossally good Junior’s career was, how he became an idol for the masses, how he used class and composure to solidify his future place in the Hall of Fame.

Indeed, Strasburg has a long way to go.  But Ken Griffey, Sr. does see the potential: “From what I’ve seen, he has a tremendous career ahead of him… if he stays healthy.”

Then, with a deep-hearted chuckle reminiscent of one who has overcome adversity and seen baseball legends come and go, Senior said:

“I’ve seen him on T.V.  But I couldn’t tell you much about how he pitches unless I face him.”

Ken Griffey, Sr. has faced an obstacle or two before.  And I’m pretty sure that if he strapped on the cleats today, he’d still have plenty of fight in him. 

For more information on how you can join Ken Griffey, Sr. in the fight against prostate cancer, please visit the Depend website.

(by Jeffery Lung)

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Special thanks to Kristin Adams from Taylor PR for arranging the interview with Ken Griffey Sr.

This was the first time I ever spoke to a baseball legend on the phone, so to say I was excited about it doesn’t quite relay just how excited I was.  Think Erin-Andrews-in-my-living room-like excited. 

:-)

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 2: Albert’s Anti-Slump… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and his sCrUBS fan nemesis pal, Johanna Mahmud, get back in the studio and throw down on the art of being right!  Among the titillating topics of discussion: mispronouncing dominance [Doc Halladay] and futility [John Grabow], Brandon Phillips’ wings, a wild war of words over Albert Pujols, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more.

Holla!

- – -

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.  He always knows when the Hawks are (or aren’t) gonna get donged.

Recorded Monday, May 31, Memorial Day 2010

The Filibuster

You guys seem to have an opinion on most everything.  So tell me, what
do you think about the Reds, the Rays and the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico?  Any chance they’re related?

Evan
Sandusky, OH
____________________________________


Us?  Have an opinion?  Ya don’t say!  Shall we?

dusty baker reds.jpgSubject: The Cincinnati Reds
Like oil spills, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Does a team led by a professional arm-killer who says “dude” way too often despite his old age have what it takes to stay in contention all year long?  Probably.  I mean, Dusty Baker has done it before.  But just like before, this team too will eventually find a way to sink back down towards expectations.  Let’s face it: the only reason the Reds are atop the Central Division right now is because the Cardinals are faltering… but they won’t for long.
Opinion: Overrated, destined to fail, not worth your time

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgSubject: The Tampa Bay Rays
Gee whiz!  If ever there were a case for the evangelical loonies to get involved with Major League Baseball (not counting Josh “I love Jesus when he lets me do body shots” Hamilton) then this rise to the top for the Tampa Bay Rays is certainly it.  Who knew that the only key to success for this once hapless franchise was to remove the word “devil” from their name?  Any guesses for when the Yankees will try to follow suit by removing “New York” from theirs? 
Opinion: Playoff Bound

chase utley oily hair.jpgSubject: BP Oil Spill
Like the Cincinnati Reds, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Oh… wait, did I already use that line?  That must’ve been Johnnie Walker talking.  Unfortunately, no amount of whisky will make this terrible accident and its disastrous effects go away anytime soon.  Not since Chase Utley last removed his cap has the planet been exposed to such oil laden horrors; I expect clean-up efforts will require immense patience, determination and confidence… which, coincidentally, is also the recipe for surviving a summer in Philadelphia.  Not everyone makes it out alive.
Opinion: This really sucks

Now… are they related you ask?

In as much as these events and situations are all taking place on the planet earth, in the month of May, two years before our imminent destruction predicted by the Mayans… yes, they are related.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much. 

So 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. 

***A lock from Jayson Werth’s now shaven beard also welcome… Al is weird like that.


Bermuda Triangle, Meet the NL Central

dusty baker reds.jpgNot everything can be explained.  You know this.

Why bad things happen to good people, why Hanley Ramirez is a lollygagger, what happened to Nancy Pelosi’s original face… these are all concerning issues without concrete and true catalytic roots. 

They simply cannot be explained.

And just like boats and planes and people that disappear within the Bermuda Triangle — scoffing at science, bending the rules of reason — so too are the circumstances of the National League Central Division and its teams as mysterious as they are unanswerable.

So let’s see if we can get this right:

The Pirates suck but they are able to beat the hell out of the Cubs.

The Cubs suck but they are able to beat the hell out of the Brewers.

The Brewers suck but they are able to beat the hell out of the Pirates.

The LOLstros may deal Oswalt and/or Berkman but no one is really watching or caring anyway.

The Cardinals are in second place.

And Dusty Baker hasn’t ruined anyone’s career yet as his Reds stand on top of the division.

nancy.pelosi.jpgI have a feeling this may be one of those FML moments.  Of course, it is only May 18th, so it’s still way too early to start complaining like a Red Sox fan.

But seriously, folks, I really would like to know what happened to Nancy Pelosi’s original face…

Holla if you have any tips; in the meantime, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

More LOLstros Languish

head-in-hands-sculpture.jpgPardon me if this appears a bit extreme (I just awoke from a nightmare in which Glenn Beck was murdering frogs again) and found myself in the very real nightmare of having just been swept by the Houston Astros.  Which begs the question:

Do the Cardinals have any logical excuse for getting raped on the diamond by one of the worst teams in the entire league?

In my opinion (which is often interpreted as FACT), hell no.  They do not.  What happened over the last three days was not only embarrassing, it was painful.  If you missed it, here’s but a short sampling of what it looked like:

Now, go kill some Redlegs, boys before I really start to go off.

And, oh yeah, don’t hate me… ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

No Experience Required

elena kagan.jpgFor the Matt Drudges, Satanic She-Worms and Jabba the Huts of the world, President Obama’s controversial decision to seat an inexperienced left-leanin’ lawyer to the world’s highest court is not going too well.  Indeed, dear readers, the rip-roarin’ has already commenced with character-bashing slander at the ready: “she has no experience!”… “she’s part of the Chicago machine!”… “She’s ugly! You sure that ain’t Gary Dell’abate!?!”

No.

I am not sure that she is not Gary Dell’abate.

gary dellabate.JPGBut I will try to pretend that I didn’t ever think about that.

She has no experience.  So what?  Does she have what it takes?  Does she have the balls to — wait, never mind.

As is the case with baseball, experience doesn’t always guarantee success.

Mike Leake never pitched a game in the minors and yet he has a record of 3-0 right now, one of those wins coming against the sCrUBS (which nets him extra points ‘cuz I say so).

Don Denkinger never had any experience being completely retarded for one single World Series play yet he managed to get the job done in 1985.

aj hinch.jpgAnd let me remind you of a fella who didn’t have any managerial experience whatsoever: a man, who as a player achieved a lifetime batting average of .219 with 32 homers and 112 RBI.  That man’s name is A.J. Hinch and that man manages the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Diamonbacks are… um… the D’backs are…

Pay no attention.

We’re all in this US American mess together. 

I hope.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Digest: Poor Management

dusty-baker-toothpick.jpgWhen I quit smoking, I took up the habit of chewing on toothpicks — to keep my orally stimulated addiction in check.  The worst part about it?  People often say: “Hey, Jeff, fiddlin’ with ‘dem toothpicks… you remind me of Dusty Baker.”

Ick.

Being compared to Baker may make my skin curdle with infectious disgust, but I suppose that’s still better than blackening my lungs and dying young of emphysema. 

Or is it?

Dear readers, believe me, I do respect Dusty Baker as a human being.  I mean, look at him, he breathes on his own, his heart pumps without having to think about it… all very impressive indeed; but as a baseball connoisseur, there’s no way in Jesus-hates-the-Cubs-Hell I want him managing my baseball team.  Often blamed for the mass destruction of young, promising arms with infinite potential (see Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Homer Bailey), Dusty Baker also lacks the one thing that makes good managers great and great managers Tony LaRussa… and that thing is: common sense.

In the 7th inning of last evening’s contest between the Cardinals and Reds, a game that at that point was still wide open, Dusty Baker brought in his nearly-virginal relief pitcher, young righty Logan Ondrusek, to face Brendan Ryan.  With Albert Pujols on deck, Ondrusek quickly walked Ryan, unable to find the strike zone like Mr. Krause is unable to find a meaningful relationship with a woman (though, to his credit, he does surprisingly well with primates).  Instead of yanking Ondrusek like he probably should have, Dusty left the kid — in only his second Major League appearance — in the game to face one of the greatest hitters of all time.

Albert rocked him.

So did Matt Holliday.

Game over.

Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid!  If your arm didn’t hurt before you became a Redleg, believe me when I say you won’t even be able to shake hands after Dusty’s done with ya!

Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS Presents: Black Holes

black-hole-galaxy.jpgOne of the most peculiar realms of science is understanding what exactly goes on inside of a black hole (and no, folks, we ain’t talkin’ about the vile emitting from Milton Bradley’s mouth).  Widely understood as a “deformation of spacetime caused by a very compact mass” — an area from which nothing can escape the immense gravitational pull of its centerblack holes are like the underground club scene of the cosmos: all kinds of weird s*** can happen… and does!

To me, the most interesting aspect of a black hole lies at its very center, past the event horizon, down the rabbit hole, settling on an infinitesimal point known as the singularity.  If you were unfortunate enough to be sucked into a black hole and lucky enough to survive the trip down its core, by the time you reached the singularity you would surely be a shredded mess, the result of being filleted by the strongest forces theorized by the human mind.

But boy would it be an exciting death!

The oddest thing about the singularity is that once we start working in and around that point, we realize that the laws of physics become completely erroneous and unnecessary.  That’s right, dear readers, when you get to the singularity, Einstein’s theory of general relativity makes no sense at all.

And while black holes and their singularities may be intangible to us from our terrestrial vantage point, if you look around you today you will see all sorts of things that could cause one to think we may be close to such a singularity — a place where what we see is so shocking, so odd, so perplexing that it just doesn’t make sense…

The Good Guys Win: Joe Mauer
Twins fans were so afraid they would lose their hometown hero to the evil chops of the Yankees and the Yankees 2.0 that doomsday scenarios and flat-out decrees of apostasy had already been accepted as fact.  But in the end, the Twins had to sign Joe — for the sake of their new stadium and for the sake of their fans.  And they did, for a very reasonable price.  Oh, and by the way, the Twins are not a small-market team, so this situation is getting even more black-holish by the minute!

nancy.pelosi.jpgLiberal US Americans Actually Accomplish Something
After eight long years of maddening sound bytes, phantom wars against phantom enemies for phantom purposes and an all-out assault on reason, the liberal majority in the House got together and passed a health care bill that might actually work.  Oh yeah, sure, not everyone is happy about it and the most concerning aspect is how we’re going to pay for it; but, in my opinion, the sheer fact that you won’t be financially punished for being sick anymore indicates a huge step forward.  And besides, since when do US Americans care about national debt?  Here, in the great state of Illinois, for as long as I can remember, the political machine has been borrowing money from the FUTURE to pay for current projects.  I hear that Illinois is rich in the future, so I’m gonna see if I can get in on that too.  I need a Lamborghini.

Exciting News Out of Cincinnati Reds Camp
You have to go back quite a few years to find anything worth anticipating from the Reds in March, but this year is different.  Under the wise hand of former Cardinal front office legend Walt Jocketty, Cincinnati signed Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman during the offseason, hoping he would live up to his international hype.  And boy does he!  Thought by many to be an ace-caliber pitcher going into this season, Reds fans have a whole lot to be excited about for a change… of course, that is… until Dusty Baker blows out his arm and ruins his career.

Forever.

Hate me ‘cuz I test the limits of physics, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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