Results tagged ‘ Sammy Sosa ’

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.

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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

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

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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!

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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 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

All the Wrong Reasons

kim_cattrall.jpgIn general, we here at RSBS have taken a hard line on the issue of PED’s.  Although I can understand why the athletes feel pressure to partake in banned substances, they really have no place in the game.

We haven’t talked as much about the outside chicanery that sometimes makes its way into the game.  Although it may be harder to get a gadget onto a basketball court or a football field, baseball is rife with examples of players trying to gain the upper hand.  From the spitball to nail files to Kenny Rogers’ alleged goop, pitchers constantly seek out new ways to make the ball do things it shouldn’t.  And batters combat that with innovations like Sammy Sosa’s infamous corked club.

However, all of these baseball shenanigans pale in comparison to Dubai’s current scandal.  No, not Sex and the City 2.  Something even more disturbing than Kim Cattrall thinking she’s still a sex symbol.  Robot jockeys with tasers.

First of all, it’s bad enough that we’ve given up our jockeying privileges to robots.  But then providing those robots with tasers?  Yes, I’m sure the animal rights people are in an uproar (and I’m equally sure the Emiratis couldn’t give two sh—s) but there’s a much more fundamental issue here.  Seriously, have you people not seen Terminator?  SkyNet is just looking for an opportunity.  Providing it with weapons, even stun guns, doesn’t help the situation.

I think we can all agree that tasers do not belong in the metallic hands of robot jockeys.  Let’s put our tasers back in the hands of those who actually deserve them: security guards on college campuses.

 

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 9: Jeter’s Unfortunate Accident… and Other Stuff

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Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Once again, Jeff and Johanna tread the unconventional waters of mischief-making as they delve into important social issues such as cock-fighting Aramis Ramirez, Stephen Strasburg’s golden elbow, Katy Perry’s wisdom, the Lou Piniella mailbag and much, much more!  Turn up the volume and chuckle with us, y’all!

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.  If you like laughing or just wanna listen to some wildly impromptu conversations about food, film making and other important life subjects like living on display in a museum, check out his Undercast podcast.  Visit Undercard Films!

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Recorded Saturday, August 28, 2010

Makers and Breakers

Records are a huge part of baseball.  When a player comes along and makes an all out assault on a record previously though impregnable, we all take notice.  Did anyone 20 years ago think that Gehrig’s consecutive game streak would ever be broken?  But then along comes Ripken.  Same thing the summer of ’98 when Sosa and McGwire went back and forth on their way to shattering Maris’ record.

Sometimes, though, I prefer just focusing on the record makers instead of the record breakers.  Take a look and I think you’ll agree.

Happy Saturday!

-A

Are You of Interest?

clemens_testify.jpgIs it good or bad at this point to be a citizen of or coming from a “country of interest?” If you look at the upside, you get to enjoy the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down. On the downside, well, you get the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down.

If you tend to think that this smacks of profiling, congratulations, you are now able to recognize the obvious! Of course this is profiling. There’s a reason why fourteen countries are on the list and there’s a reason why it’s a specific 14 countries. It’s the same reason why any PED testing scheme should focus on people who suddenly change shape (I’m looking at you, Giambi), people who are performing at very high levels after sickness or late in their career (this means you, Armstrong and Clemens) or people who’s production suddenly and inexplicably increases (yeah, Sosa, you’re on the hook for this one). If you’re looking for fire, it’s not a bad idea to try checking out the smoke.

Now, I’m not saying that I agree with the idea of profiling. Basing any kind of scrutiny or regime on just someone’s ethnicity or some other factor is not going to stop anything in the long-run. Timothy McVeigh wouldn’t have been caught by this nor would the Unabomber. There’s no real substitute for random testing, good intelligence and rigorous processes. Short-term, though? Something has to be done.

The real issue is that when problems are identified, whether it be security lapses or inadequacies in testing, knee-jerk responses tend to be the flavor of the day. The reality is that we need to find the balance between being authoritarian and being lackadaisical. Would a pat down have necessarily stopped the alleged Northwest flight bomber? Who knows but I’m guessing probably not. Would a fully implemented randomized testing program have kept Barry Bonds from the home run record? It’s hard to say. But it’s a place to start.

-A

Waffle House

Belgian_Waffles.JPGAfter spending the last three days in Brussels, it isn’t a stretch to say I have waffles on the brain. Frites and moules, too, of course, but mainly waffles. I mean, if you can’t get a good waffle in Belgium, where can you find one?

Well, after further consideration of that question, there are two answers that pop into my head. Major League Baseball and American politics. Let’s start with politics.

Of course we all remember the 2004 election and John Kerry’s famous non-answers that led to his being described as a waffler. I’m no fan of George Bush but right or wrong or just plain misguided, at least the guy could give you an answer. Kerry was so far inside his own head he practically turned inside out.

And even more recently, Joe Lieberman seems to have taken up the mantle with his seeming indecision on the necessity of a “public option” in the health care bill. Despite proposing a de facto public option in the past, he said he couldn’t vote for the bill this time around with the plan in it. Of course he attempted to parse his words in true Clintonian fashion but at the end of the day we all saw him for what he was. A waffler.

Those two guys don’t have anything on Bud Selig, though. He has been getting away with murder on his watch. Like a modern-day Nero, he’s fiddling (or waffling) as MLB is burning. The whole PED debate? It never should have been a debate. If MLB under Selig’s not-so-watchful eye had simply instituted a testing program similar to what other pro sports were doing, there’s no way that guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa would have ever gotten away with their shenanigans. And more than that, we wouldn’t have to argue about the inclusion of asterisks in the record book.

Here’s what it all comes down to. Waffles may be delicious, especially when topped with whipped cream, strawberries and hot chocolate sauce, but they aren’t so great when they affect our lives and the things we care about. I’m pretty sure even a Belgian could agree to that.

-A

White Like Me

sammy sosa is white.jpgYep.  This is pretty weird.  And I bet you are wondering what exactly is going on. 

So are we.

That’s why, once again, we pitted our trusty RSBS interns to the task of discovering why Sammy Sosa is turning white.  After toiling for about twenty minutes, here is the shortlist of what they found:

  • Ran out of shower gel, bleach does a good job, life is rough in the D.R.
  • Wants to be remembered as a member of the White Sox; this is a good way to make that happen
  • Saw the ghost of Sammy past (circa 1989)
  • Planning a trip to the Northside of Chicago and doesn’t want to be recognized. Why? Urine Trough Diving. That’s why.
  • Combine Oxandrolone with Dignotamoxi add a little Methyltestosterone and BAM! You’re WHITE!
  • Sun bathing below the equator has a reverse tan affect, much like eating after midnight turns you into a Gremlin
  • The white skin came free with the Humphrey Bogart toupee package
  • Tired of living in the shadow of Mark McGwire, hopes being brighter will help him stand out while still stuck in the shadow of Mark McGwire
  • Took a look at the man in the mirror and decided to make that change
  • Sick of seeing Karl Rove have all the fun

Skin rejuvenation?  More like how could you make your image more of an abomination!

Hm.  Sounds better when I read that last sentence out loud.

Nevermind.

Just don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Ruminations on Perfection

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Very few pursuits allow for perfection. In bowling, there’s the 300 game but how much of that has to do with luck? Football quarterbacks can post a perfect passer rating but that usually still involves incompletions which is far from perfect in my book. And let’s be honest, when you’re forced to define perfection by a mathematical formula, how perfect is it really? (No offense to any of the mathematicians out there, obviously.)

But in baseball, perfection exists. And when Mark Buehrle hit the mound the other day, we got to see it. There were tense moments and some great plays that made it happen. But it was perfection.

The most amazing thing about perfection is how it’s a snapshot in time. No one is going to achieve perfection over the course of a season. No batter is going to get a hit every time he’s at the plate, no pitcher is going to avoid giving up a hit during every outing. The reason that perfection appeals to us is because it happens so rarely.

Some of this sentiment also plays into the betrayal many have felt at the hands of various players who used PEDs. I still remember the summer when Sosa and McGwire were racing for the home run crown and how astounding it was to watch them rack up those totals. They made the extraordinary ordinary. And when Bonds came along and shattered those records, it almost became mundane. We came to expect these kinds of feats and now we’re disappointed by their absence, a problem similar to what swimming is now facing with the ban on many of the new suit technologies. No one wants to ride in coach after they’ve experienced first class.

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But the perfect game stands out because it is one of those things that is still so rare. Clemens may have been juicing and he may have been a dominant pitcher but that never earned him perfection. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters but none of them were perfect. But a guy like David Wells, all 250 plus pounds of him, managed to do it. 

Possibly the best part of Buehrle’s perfect game, though, is the time in which it came. This season has been marked so far by Manny’s suspension, A-Rod’s admission and several mediocre divisional races. It’s only fitting that the thing that takes our minds off of the mediocrity and failure……is perfection.

-A

Sometimes in July

It happens on a regular basis, this gathering of young talent and grizzled veterans. The two sides (with input from the people of course because, after all, this is America) pull the brightest stars from their respective firmaments, bring them together and then allow them duke it out. And it seems like each time the result plays an increasingly ambiguous role in what eventually happens in November. Yep, that’s what the nominating conventions are all about.

Political_convention.jpgOh, I’m sorry. Did you think I was talking about the All-Star game?

All Star Weekend 7.12.2009 010.jpgIt’s no coincidence that baseball and politics have so much in common. The two are intertwined in American history. Even now, Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jim Bunning terrorizes opponents from his seat in the US Senate just like he used to do from his spot on the mound.

And as I was watching the Minor League All-Star game the other day, I was reminded again of how fleeting fame can be to both baseball players and politicians. Each and every one is fighting for a chance to reach the big time, to really stand out. But it’s hard to know who has what it takes.

A year ago there was talk of Mark Sanford as a possible McCain running mate and it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would be in the thick of things when the next election cycle began. Now, he’s an also-ran, an afterthought, a cautionary tale. A teary-eyed Alex Rodriguez but with no more comeback.

Or take Sarah Palin, the politician’s equivalent of Sammy Sosa. Both had talent but made it as far as they did for all the wrong reasons. Now they’re little more than whipping boys, examples of all that’s wrong with a broken system.

However, it’s better to focus on the positives at this time of year, on people like Brandon Inge and Tim Wakefield who finally got a little respect even if things didn’t play out exactly the way they might have hoped. Because, for all the ridiculousness associated with the All-Star game or with political conventions, they really are a good show and you aren’t going to find anything like ‘em except in the good ol’ US of A.

Welcome back from the All-Star break!

-A

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