Results tagged ‘ Rivals ’

The Filibuster

Since it’s the start of the All-Star break, who’s your All-Star so far this season?

Paul
Cicero, IL
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First of all, major cap tip to ultimate All-Star, The Captain, Derek Jeter, a man who has been giving me goosebumps for 17 years and counting.  Dude is a paragon of class, someone who always goes hard and who seems to have a natural knack for the dramatic.

Jeter is one of those duh, no kidding he’s an All-Star sorta guys, the Pete Rose type, the kind of player you always expect to be an All-Star ‘cuz that’ s how he carries himself, on and off the field.  But there’s another type of All-Star, the kind who generally isn’t included in the actual All-Star Game… they are the grinders, the 110% effort guys, the ones who find clean uniforms shameful.

When I was playing legion and high school ball, I was never the best on the team.  I was short.  I was skinny.  I pretty much had zero tools… but I always went hard.  Bruises, cuts, scrapes… I was tattooed with them.  One day, after a particularly poor team performance, Coach said we needed to give more effort, to go harder.  He said, “Lung has more energy in his pinky finger than the rest of you do as a team.”

I never forgot that.  And even though I didn’t have the talent to be a starter, or to be successful at baseball at all, I did learn to walk pretty tall after that because everyone knew I gave it everything I had on every play.

Nyjer Morgan does that today.

Shocking, yes, I know, that I would praise the talents of a misfit who plays for a rival team.  But have you ever watched Nyjer Morgan play baseball?  That dude is fired up!  And he plays helluh-hard!  There is no let-up in his game and above all the homeruns, the no-hitters, the miraculous defensive plays in the field, I would rather watch nine Nyjer Morgans play against nine Nyjer Morgans than any of the aforementioned spectacles.

He may be odd, he may be hot headed and he may be just a few clicks shy of stupid, but Nyjer Morgan loves baseball like I love baseball, and he plays it in such a way that I can’t ever take my eyes off him.

He’s my undisputed off-the-radar All-Star.

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

Peace,

Jeff

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Three Up, Three Down

Just like a Cub fan’s hopes for a victorious 2011 season, this is gonna be quick, probably ugly and will require more alcohol consumption than a weekend with Lindsay Lohan:

Those Damn Pirates!

By now, everyone on the planet with the barest inkling of baseball acumen is amazed, flabbergasted and floored that, going into the weekend before the All Star Game, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a winning record.  While a lot of folks find that to be pretty swell, I find it to be a major pain in the @$$, because now half of my jokes aren’t even relevant. Thanks a lot, Clint Hurdle.  At least, there’s always Bachmann… and Palin… and Beck… and, okay, nevermind, everything’s cool.

J.P.!

The RSBS interns recently handed me a report that suggests White Sox outfielder, Juan Pierre, could very well be an RSBS dear reader galore.  In fact, after our very own schlumbach, Johanna Mahmud, went off on a Charlie Sheenian rant slamming the aging speedster, all Pierre did was go 11 for 31 with 2 doubles, 7 RBIs and act as the game winning hero THREE GAMES IN A ROW.  To even hint that J.P. is in the same class of awful as Chone Figgins and Raul Ibanez should be a crime.  So, next time I see Mr. Mahmud, I’m gonna shoot his eyes with Sriracha and cut off his supply of Goldfish crackers.

Ernie Has Lost His Mind!

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks, was recently quoted as saying the following about current Cubs shortstop, Starlin Castro:

“He’s a great player. He can hit, he can throw. He’s a good young player. He’s better than me.”

*HEAD TWISTS AROUND ITSELF, EYES POP OUT, TONGUE RENDERED USELESS*

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Look, the kid is good.  But he’s like 10 years old and is baseball stupid.  He makes mistakes… all the time!  I hope this isn’t a sign that Banks isn’t all there.  For a team that doesn’t have much to feel good about, at least they can always feel good about Mr. Cub — that is, until he loses his mind, which may have already happened…

Happy Friday!  Call a cab!  It’s easy!

Jeff

A Good Reason to Feature Insanity

The Major League schedule makers must have known the Cubs were going to be awful this year.  Why else would they schedule two endlessly touted matchups (the Cards/Cubs series in May and the upcoming Crosstown Classic Sox/Cubs contest) for weekdays when crowd turnout tends to be much higher on the weekends?

Whatever the reason, the White Sox and Cubs will kick off the work week by going at each other’s throats, which means I finally have a legitmate reason to share (again, I know) the greatest worst rap video of all time:


Seein’ Sweet Lou shake his rump like that makes me wanna throw up and laugh hysterically in a corner all by myself.

Which leaves an awful, awful mess.

Hate me ‘cuz I got that song stuck in your head, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Block Party: sCrUBBIE Style

Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune featured the following snippet:

The Cubs announced the first Wrigleyville Block Party will be held Friday to Sunday on the west side of the ballpark during the Yankees series.  The event is free and features bands, food and drink booths and “interactive” entertainment for families.

Oh, really?

Folks, let me be blunt.  Unless clogged streets of drunken youths and bands of impatient motorists with horn-happy hands represent the ideal, outside of hosting an actual baseball game, there is very little family-friendly about Wrigleyville.  Remember, this the same Wrigleyville where I was assaulted by a blabbering drunk because I was… *gasp*… wearing a pink shirt.

So, curious as to what sort of block party events the Cubs front office planned for the neighborhood, the RSBS interns were sent out on an important reconnaissance mission, and this is what they found:

Pin the Tail on Rats Big as Pigs
In this fun event, lucky participants are encouraged to hunt down Wrigley rats.  What they catch, they can keep.  Extra points are rewarded for doing it while talking in an exaggerated Ozzie Guillen accent (“rats as beeeg as peeegs”).

The Racist Frozen T-Shirt Game
Pay $10 and you can compete against your peers to see who can put the frozen “Horry Kow” t-shirt the fastest.  If anti-Asian ain’t your style, try the “Pujols Mows My Lawn” tee!  Fun for the whole family!

Annoying Fan Photo Op
Fork over $25 and you can choose to have your picture taken with world famous Cubs fans Rod Blagojevich, Denise Richards or… Ronnie Woo Woo!  Then again, you can also take that $25 and burn it; it’s essentially the same thing.

The Drink Overpriced Horse P!ss Booth
At this funfest, you can drink $7 Old Styles until you a) get sick b) go broke or c) start rooting for the Cardinals!

And finally… the most exciting event of them all…

The Write a Bad Contract Raffle
Participants empty their bank accounts and hand everything over to Jim Hendry, who will then do what he does best: waste money on bad baseball players.

It’s a good thing the Yankees are in town, otherwise Wrigleyville would be a complete mess.

Hate me ‘cuz I kick ‘em when they’re down, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Chillin’ with the Enemy

Rubbin' a little Bernie Brewer belly... because I can.

For those of us caught up in the modern technocratic lifestyle, establishing a clear line between friend and foe makes life a bit simpler (albeit unpleasant at times).  When prompted for an opinion, we often don’t have time to think; we must know, must be ready to jump on a topic and run.  And this is where established distinctions are helpful (even if detrimental to peace — sorry!).

It’s 2011 and enemies abound.  In the NBA, LeBron is the antithesis of good.  In politics, we have Sarah Palin.  In humanity, it’s Charlie Sheen.

But what do we do when our “enemies” aren’t that bad at all?

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that not only caused a bit of embarrassment for me and my fellow bird fanatics, but also knocked the Cardinals out of first place all together.  Am I angry?  Do I want to hold my breath and take a hammer to my digits?  Am I going to hurt someone?

No, of course not.  It’s June and the NL Central race has barely begun.  But I must say, even if it does come down to St. Louis and Milwaukee in October, I will have a hard time hating on the Brewers like I do the sCrUBBIES.

On Saturday, I went to Miller Park for the very first time and I have to say: it’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people genuinely enjoying our beautiful sport.  Have you ever seen a sea of tailgaters for a baseball game?!?  I mean, everyone was so… nice!  And the park experience was so… pleasant… and the atmosphere was so… positive!

Prior to this excursion, my understanding of the Brewers organization could be summed up in three sentences: Beat you in ’82.  Bud Selig was a better owner than a commish.  And Prince Fielder is HONGRY.

But really, after taking in the Miller Park experience I have to update my mental Rolodex.  It’s not every day you visit a rival ballpark and are welcomed with a smile and a handshake.  And as often as I’ve donned my ’06 WS patched Yadier Molina jersey into enemy territory, only at Miller Park was I stopped and commended on my team’s run of that year.  And did I mention the cheese curds!?

Oh what heaven!!!

Don’t worry, dear readers, I ain’t gettin’ soft.  I’ll box a Brewer if I gotta; but in a world where negativity rules the infoway, I find it refreshing to give credit to those who are pretty cool folks.

That being said, I hope the Brewers lose every one of their games from here until the end of the season.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Johanna and I posin' prior to first pitch.

Picking on the Kid with No Legs

Sunday’s second Albert Pujols walk-off dinger against the Cubs in as many days should’ve ignited an in-your-face happy dance of epic proportions.  In fact, in my house, it did.

But, when I raced to rub sweet victory in the faces of my Cubs fan friends, most of them could not be reached (they weren’t watching the game) and those who were, simply didn’t care.

It’s only been a few years since the Cubs fielded a decent squad, and as a Cards fan I remember very well the aches and pains of those 2007 and 2008 seasons; but for Cubs fans, I might as well be remembering 1969.

Dear readers, this is not your Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.

And while I love it that we rest high above the Cubbies in the standings, I don’t love that our rivalry has suffered because of it.  Gone is the fire, dead is the ribbing.  Cubs fans — those who remain — are either fiscally responsible realists staying home, far away from the hoopla, or they’re drunken DePaul freshman who use baseball games as an icebreaker to what will become a long evening of poor decisions.

I almost feel bad about making fun of the Cubs… in the same way that I sometimes feel bad for making fun of Sarah Palin.

It’s not nice to make fun of those who have disabilities.

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

Peace,

Jeff

Team of Rivals

Cardinals cubs rivalry
Yankees/Red Sox.  Reagan/Gorbachev.  Lindsay Lohan/Sobriety.

Rivalries make otherwise routine matchups a bit more interesting.  They breed adrenaline.  They invite ingenuity.  They spark passion, no matter how dormant.

But, as we witnessed earlier this year in the case of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, baseball rivalries have also been known to get out of hand.

Admittedly, there was a time when I allowed my flippancy towards Chicago Cubs fans to reach a critical point.  In the summer of 2007, fresh off a World Series crowning but at a time when my Cardinals weren’t playing too well, a few too many Old Styles found their way in my system and what started out as simple boasts of pride for my interlocking “STL” and redbirds-on-the-bat garb soon turned into a verbal shouting match with a gang of pinstriped kids from DePaul.  Throughout the game, my taunting parried with their rage (they too weren’t quite sober) and it escalated when I found myself surrounded by them in a Wrigley field restroom. 

Instead of shutting up, I just got louder.

And before I knew it, I was at the bottom of a pile of angry, angry feet.

I learned my lesson that day: sports aren’t any fun when you’re literally getting your @$$ beat.

So I don’t do that sort of thing anymore.  I smile.  I nod.  I tip my cap to good plays and keep my nose buried in my scorecard (or beer). 

And that’s how I’m going to enjoy my Redbirds coming to town on Tuesday.

Also, I’m taking my pal, Johanna Mahmud — Cubs fan extraordinaire.  He’s scary looking… good for keeping the riff-raff at bay.

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

Peace,

Jeff

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

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

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

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

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

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Recorded Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Setting the Mahmud

johanna mahmud.jpgRSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Guru, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Dickensian Asylum, One Good Player, Bad Paper. Little to Make Me Excite.

The Cubs, for me, are pushing the human existence backwards and making hearts sad.

Another season is already bogging me down.

I was watching the Rockies kill/drub/maim the Cubs on Sunday (the same expansion team that has already been to a World Series, and, like the Marlins teams that have won two so far, also have exciting young talent despite playing in a small market) I couldn’t change the channel back to the NBA playoffs fast enough.

My beloved Bulls and D. Rose are the only things keeping me breathing.

Lethal Injection Gurney.jpg
With the Cubs, it’s not so much the bad baseball and the lack of power, but mostly just the fact that they’re boring and unsatisfying. I think I’d rather watch a touring band of angry flying Arabs and Mexicans on ice. Then you’d have something! Or just So Taguchi.

Mel_Brookes_Robyn_Hilton.jpgStarlin Castro might be the best player in Chicago, and some hope exists for that fact alone, but with all the bad contracts and old players getting older, I must face the music now: the Cubs can’t compete for baseball immortality by winning the World Series for at least another 2-4 YEARS. I guess that’s not the end of the world given the century mark came and went.

But, it still blows.

I had a birthday recently and time moves faster now. When I was 15 I thought I’d never be 25, but that happened. Then I knew I had forever til 30. Then… that happened.

The Cubs last had a real chance of winning it all three years ago. Swept by the Dodgers and feeling and hurting and poopooing and getting raped way too much like when they were swept the year before. Look, this isn’t 1500 words about how much pain I’ve endured in my life being a Cubs fan. This is about “I know they’re not great and won’t be for a while but please let them just. be. fun……”

Houdini Chinese Water Torture Cell.jpgThey play station-to-station baseball, have very little power and carry a distinct lack of personality (the personality I get from Carlos Zambrano I don’t need so much). So in essence, they’re a slow team that can’t hit bombs and are extremely boring. On a daily basis. GUHHH…… HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??

The one thing to rely on (we thought) was decent starting pitching. Currently the Cubs have the least amount of quality starts in baseball.

For the love of god, if you’re going to suck, at least be fun! I mean be like fun bad!!?? Like when the Bears are bad you’ll at least have a good time watching Devin Hester returning kicks or Jay Cutler throwing it all over the field or Lovie Smith waking up once in a while to say something to our lesbian-looking offensive coordinator Michael Martz in a roller coaster train wreck loss. That can be fun!

The Cubs were terrible ten years ago but Sammy Sosa at least was exalting the baseball gods with soaring rips into the bleachers completely unaided by anabolic substances of any kind. Seriously. This is true. He told me. When Kerry wood pitched, grown men wept, women went into early labor, George Bush liked black people, and I thought Creed had potential as a legitimate artistic talent. Dusty Baker gave verbose speeches of the utmost linguistic integrity, dripping with so much backwoods gibberish that I hung on his every word and swooned with how a man so simple could speak so eloquently…

“It’s called hitting, and it ain’t called walking. Do you ever see the top 10 walking? You see top 10 batting average. A lot of those top 10 do walk.” 

WORDSY!

“When you first come up, you want to get some hits”

VERBOSOSITY!!

“Peoples have been trying to bring me down. That’s OK, that’s how it is. Actually, that makes me stronger. It’s OK. What are you going to say when I kick somebody’s butt?”

SUPERINTIMIDATINGWORDSYVERBOSOSITY!!!

When I first moved to Chicago, going to Wrigley was a cathartic experience. Finally, I could go to games whenever I wanted, which was something I remember dreaming of when I was just a pup watching with Grandpa every Saturday on WGN with Stone and Harry. After watching the game with Grandpa, I would immediately run outside to field tennis balls off the concrete stairs, pretending I was Shawon Dunston.

I don’t have great memories of Wrigley anymore. Just heartache and a wanton desire for greatness. The fond memories I have of the Cubs are really just afternoons hangin with Grandpa. That’s what I miss.

Now it’s just pain.

And again, I’d see a priest but I’m still good looking enough that he might try to do odd things to me.

The Cubs may lose this season but for the love of god…. give me excite!!

–Johanna Mahmud

wolfgang amadeus mozart.jpg

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 20: Utley’s Multiple Meniscuses… and Other Stuff

betty white and alf podcast photo.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The proverbial (and literal) gloves come off in this verbal masquerade of utter ridiculousness and yes, injuries do occur (though mostly to Johanna and, since they are mental in nature, hardly noticed).  Among the topics of conversation one will find: Jeff’s wandering Forever 21 eyes, Zack Greinke’s ribs, the difference between a half and a full nelson, Cameroonian baseball, Bud Selig-bashing take 47 and much, much more… all to make you smile, laugh and play!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  Keith is all over the interwebz killin’ it.  You should definitely check out his crew and their subsequently hilarious podcast at Undercard Films.  And keep your eye out for what’s next.  Dude’s makin’ a movie!

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Recorded Saturday, March 12, 2011

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