Results tagged ‘ Setting the Mahmud ’

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and long-time supporter of the Green Party, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Chess is life.

I love pitching rivalries, matchups within divisions and the occasional interleague throwdown. That’s a giant piece of cake for me!!!

What pairing will be this year’s best? Let’s examine the possibilities, with Bobby Fischer setting the stage…

“I play honestly and I play to win. If I lose, I take my medicine.”

Yu Darvish/King Felix!

“I like the moment when I break a man’s ego.”

Stephen Strasburg/Josh Johnson!

“Chess is war over the board. The object is to break your opponents mind.”

Jon Lester/C.C. Sabathia!

“Chess is a matter of delicate judgement. When when to punch and how to duck.”

Johnny Cueto???  Hmmm… Matt Garza??

PROBABLY NOT.

My personal favorite pairing of all time — the one that really captivated me — is, of course, Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky. Sometimes Bobby battled himself even! (Fast Eddy Felson and Minnesota Fats come in a close second).

I’M A DORK.

Baseball can’t start soon enough.

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and potential Grammy host, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

I’ve lost my…

Rooster Cogburn, my John Mclane, my  Jules Winnfield.

I lost Whitney this year AND my all-time favorite Cub, Aramis Ramirez. Armariezz. THAT’S WHAT I CALLED HIM. Didn’t call him A-RAM OR ARAMIS. I always called him Armariezz. THAT WAS HIS NAME.  I wish Whitney and Aramis had things to sing together to the Brew Crew but she’s got better things to do now than hang out in MlilaAAAAuwaaakayyy…

Since I can’t hang with Armariezz anymore then I wanna hang with Adrien Brody, Andre 3 Million and Gael García Bernal from that Gillette commercial.  That’s a bad@$$ club!

So much hipper than when they had Federer, Henri and Tiger. Can’t believe it happened.

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and part time ninja, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Sunday in the Park with George

I want children so I can play dodge ball with them or at the very least have them pose while I paint a mural of them getting eaten by large cats for my own amusement. But that’s not why I called…

In my favorite Mandy Patinkin musical he sings “I need to finish the hat” in the role of George Seurat. Or as Groucho famously said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Or as Josh Hamilton is probably saying “there are no bars in hospitals and that’s why people hate hospitals.”

I don’t know about the Cubs’ chances for 2012, but I do know I want a Sunday in the park with a friend. I want to think nice things as baseball approaches but sometimes you just don’t know what hell is coming. Sometimes I feel like Lisbeth of the Dragon Tattoo movies: I just get shot in the DAMN head when I think of the 162 Cubs games that are coming.

Finishing the hat,
How you have to finish the hat.
How you watch the rest of the world
From a window
While you finish the hat.

I don’t know if I’m finishing the hat or if Theo is.

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and 10-time Tebowing champion, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

For the Love of the Game/Slaying the Dragon

I don’t know tidily snot.

For as much as I don’t know about stats, player history, and some of the marquee moments, I do have the love.  Even with my rampant stupidity of baseball knowledge, I have the love.

When I’m not sitting with my friend Jeffy at a game or on his couch, him schooling me, I have the love.

It’s been said many times here at Setting the Mahmud that the NBA is my true sport, but even I admit: there is nothing like baseball. I reminded myself of this the other night while watching For the Love of the Game. The pain of Kevin Costner’s character is so real and true to life it’s uncanny. The pain of ending a career.  The pain of romance gone bad. Pain of failed goals. But despite all that, you might still have a friend who believes in you, which summons the strength to get your mojo back.

These are trying times in Chicago. Both ball clubs will probably be bad this year. It’s January. It’s cold. Sometimes, like a ballplayer, you wish you could just be traded to another team, in another (warmer) city. But that’s not how life works. You have to take what you have and make it great. Baseball life can be like a swinging bass line or a blistering hot trumpet solo. We swing high and we swing low. Players leave, lovers leave, and sometimes you’ll get your heart broken.  Being a fan can be turmoil.

And sometimes just maybe you’ll play life well enough to win it all. It’s a noble game. A pureness that wraps around you like a warm embrace holding you tight, one that doesn’t let go. It’s a timeless art that makes you feel like you’re wearing wings.

Beware of the darkness that lies in the cave of your life. Slay the dragon. It can make you feel weak. It can break you if you let it. It can make you feel like a sucker. Accept that pain is part of the process of baseball, part of LIFE.

And let’s heal together. The Cubs will be great someday. The White Sox will be great again too. It will be cathartic and it will be grand.

–Johanna Mahmud
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A Christmas Wrap-Up (Part 1)

Every December we like to take a look back at what happened during the year in RSBS.  And with Christmas upon us and the annual RSBS holiday break about to take place, it’s that time of year again.  Granted, there’s no way we could do this without all the hard work put in by the interns so I want to take this opportunity to personally thank them and ask them to keep up all the good work next year.

Now, before I get to the part you’re all waiting for, I want to take a moment to recognize a couple other people without whom this blog would be a much sadder place.  The regulars probably know him best from his appearances on the podcast but for me, his occasional pieces really put into words what I wish I could express.  In particular, this year I appreciated Mark Piebanga’s midseason post about Don Kelly.  For me, it crystallized who the Tigers were at that point in the season.

Similarly, the brilliant ranting and raving of Johanna Mahmud always bring a mid-week smile to my face.  Whether he’s once again lamenting the shortcomings of the Cubs via musical theatre allusions or cautiously hoping for change with the arrival of Theo Epstein, Jo hits the nail on the head as often as not in a way only he can.  However, the edition of Setting the Mahmud that really did it for me was his takedown of the Red Sox in the key of Arthur.  Nothing says b*tchslap quite like setting your role model loose on the AL underperformer of the year.

For the main event, though, I thought long and hard about the season my co-author had.  I watched with amusement his two-part Libertarian “coming out” as he confessed his love for the still-feisty Ron Paul.  I also applauded along with everyone else as Jeff completed his first marathon, and this from a guy who, two years ago,  was out of breath after running a block.

But the real marathon was the baseball season and if you don’t believe me, just go back through the record.  It started in April with Franklin’s blown saves and four months later, Jeff had all but given up on the Cards (and totally given up on the Rays).  Just a few short weeks later, though, his dreams came true while attending his first World Series game and a few days later, that dream reached its apex as the Cardinals won the World Series.  But as happy as he may have been in that moment, and all joking aside, I don’t think any of us could possibly understand how hard the Albert Pujols news hit him.  Baseball, just like that marathon, has its extreme highs and lows.  In 2011 we watched Jeff live them both.

-A

Don’t forget our awesome Oakley Blender sunglasses give-away, made possible by our friends at Crown Royal!  If you would like to win these sweet shades, all you gotta do is send us a picture showing why you are RSBS’ biggest fan.  Email it to us at RSBSblog@gmail.com.  The winner will be announced this Saturday, December 24th.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Trombonist Extraordinaire, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Hello little man, boy, I heard a lot about you.”

The news is in the for MLB, and well, there is no news.

But Paula Deen got hit in tha damn head with a ham!!!

Wish I  threw it.

But there is a ham fighter (and occasional nude male model) on the loose. The Rangers couldn’t keep C.J. Wilson but they sure ponied up to possibly sign Yu Darvish. After the Los Angels signed Alberta de la Pujols, Texas had to do something and they definitely went BIG.

I don’t speak Farsi or Japanesy-Chinesey like Jeffy, but I’ve been all over this kid for a couple years and am eager to see him pitch in the Bigs. I finally have a Middle Eastern brother to watch!

Decision making while tired has happened many times whilst signing Asian ballplayers has been bad, (see Fukudome, Kosuke or K, Dice) but I think this cat has it going on. He’s extremely consistent statistically, has a powerful arm and my manometer is blasting! I will make a pilgrimage to Arlington to see him, which means I’ll probably have a woman shooting at me eventually. Everybody’s packing down there!

Anyway, this was early Xmas for me, (even though the Prince isn’t a Cub yet) so I got my reindeer sweater and I’m blastin this bomb.

“Jesus, that’s wet.”

Have a great whatever you do!

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Ryan Braun Beef Injector, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Things to Do in Miami When You’re Dead

Just one week ago I wrote about all the good the Marlins are doing. It’s been an interesting week since then. I baked. I strung lights. I went sledding in my neighbor’s bathtub (she may or may not know this). I made a gingerbread house. I have Christmas fever!! And it’s Big Cat week!!  But wait, there more!

I’m also slightly sore from the waist down since my man Aramis Ramirez is leaving the Cubs, but I’m not in the same stratosphere compared to what Jeffy is going through with Alberto de la Pujols. But that’s not why I called.

See, my father lives in the Miami metro area. He slipped me a story that’s been going on down there, one that hasn’t been reported too much here and it details the mess the Miami Marlins have created with the locals involving their new stadium. Check it out from the Herald.

And *this one* too!

Apparently all isn’t so sunny in Dade County regarding the tax payers who paid for the stadium. And the Marlins are BANKING ON FILLING THE HOUSE. Way to piss everyone off before DAY FREAKING ONE.

Will owners ever learn? They can tell you they put on pants the same way you do, with the whole putting one leg in at a time, but they probably just lay on shag carpets and have the butler put them on for them. I know this because my iguana, Dudley, does this for me every morning (despite his violent protests).

The Marlins couldn’t come close to half capacity, even winning it all twice.  Now this?

Again Vice City proves just how douchey a place it really is. Other than visiting my father and my two stripper friends Leviticus and Deuteronomy, you can keep it. I have enough Crockett and Tubbs in my life. Just when I thought the new look Marlins were doing things the right way they go and screw the locals.

WOW.

But I gave Dad some advice for when they tax him again: “The problems of the world won’t be solved by love alone. You need the opposite of love too… and by ‘opposite’ I mean Scientology.”

And… “Life is like a mustard burp, momentarily tangy and then forgotten in the air.”

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and bonafide LOLstro lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”

There are three things I can never remember: the first is people’s names. The second is… is…

Anyway, I know I love me some hot stove! I’m making my yearly pantsless expedition to the wonderful world of MLB offseason rumors and conjecture! I’m even careening into mailboxes on my bike because of the madness!! I have puppies and chimps in my kitchen and we put on plays about how free agent negotiations “go down”. It’s like a Japanese game show. You never know who’s going to get eaten!

I put my head in the oven to inspire me during the season until hot stove time.. I NEED PLAYER MOVEMENT! Hot stove… FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!

So far Miami is the big mover/shaker, but who will be next?

For years they’ve employed unreal drafting strategies, worked on the cheap, biding their time while the super powers outspend each other. But now… THE SUM OF ALL FEARS.

Russia, China and America (Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs) have initiated the snap count for a Red Alert nuclear attack but ended up killing themselves fighting each other whilst brilliant strategery is quietly coming together in south Florida.  They have a new stadium, new digs, new manager, new closer and now Jojo Reyes. Will Reyes and Pujols share casserole recipes? REMEMBER: don’t share with Hanley! He’s already good on the whole putting on muscle mass thing.

But as much as the Marlins (and possibly the Cubs?) are pushing for Albert, I think he’s staying home in the Lou. By the way, I’d rather go toe to toe with a mountain lion mother protecting her cubs then go through another Aldopho Soriano situation if the Cubs sign Pujols for nine years and he looks like he’s 48 after just two of them. And brother Jeffy will be singing this for days when that happens…

If my beloved Cubs can swing a reasonable deal for Prince Fielder though, I’m beyond down. I’ll do anything — shine shoes, wait tables, blow… glass.

But in the case that neither Senor Jeffy or I  get our wishes, you will probably read someday of an infamous double Groundhog Day beheading.

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and rogue horsicorn rider, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“This is what happens when you leave home. You meet… people.”

Men, are you moody? Are you out of shape? Do your testicles feel weird? Of course they do. The Astros are leaving the National League and you miss them already.

Ladies, how are you doing? Are you okay? Is that new Lifestyles vibration machine doing enough to distract you from the tragedy of losing the Astros to the evils of the American League?

I understand. The Astros are packing their bags and their Shetland ponies are moving to the coast of west. From the National League to Africa to Turkey all the way to the American League. Don’t they know they’re moving from the farmhouse to the militia camp? They’re going on a pilgrimage, I guess. But, what I really want to know is…

Who’s gonna clean up all this crap when they leave?

This is a great chance for them to leave cornpone Texas all together and get a new start. Why stay in the Orange Juice Box, with that train and that moat? They might as well have a gator pit in left field complete with a Cloverfield monster. And what’s that weird uphill thing they got in centerfield? And what exactly are the Crawford Boxes? And those odd horsey fans who follow caballo Carlos Lee everywhere he goes… are the buzzy bees coming too? And who’s gonna take over the used book sale Drayton McLane held every year to raise money to bring back Roger Clemens?

Meanwhile, on a much sadder note, because of this whole league switch it looks like I’ll have to sell my timeshare in Houston. I’ll definitely miss the hot southern belles who I would lie to my friends about sleeping with when I was actually spending the weekend watching the Cubs.

Good luck, Asteroids. Good night, my friends. It’s off to the west for thee…

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and lone Zambrano-believer, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Throw the Spaghetti in the Machine.  

I’m a burning bush. I’m a wildfire. I’m singing in the rain and dancing again. Like Tim Tebow, I have a big god. BIGGER THAN ZEUS. I can put away my Club Confidential and stop pleasuring myself while crying. My iguana, Dudley, is beside himself  too. We’re throwing confetti on each other, plowing through our best box of wine and eating marshmallows off the floor. For at least one week we’ll stop throwing flares at cars, getting arrested on our skateboards and falling asleep in alleys.

Why?

Because, for once, baseball took an unconventional route and picked fire-fire -flame-flame tapdancing bad@ss Justin Verlander as MVP. When we lost Buster Posey early in the season, Dudley and I had to act fast to find a baller we could have an unhealthy OBSESSION over; and Justin was our guy. He was the Hannibal Lecter to our Clarice. We even bought a special chianti.Dudley and I rarely missed a Verlander start. In between great Chrysler ads, he sat on my lap as we watched the Motown hero pitch deep into games, mystifying hitters, dropping jaws like change-ups. He was like Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler when he came back to take down Minnesota Fats. Nailed every rail. Hit every spot. Geometry and speed to perfection. (Fitting that Minnesota is in the AL Central too. See what I did there?)

It would have been easy to pick an everyday player like Granderson or Ellsbury. Sure, they had splendid seasons. But this was the year where a starter — the first since Roger Clemens — gave everything needed and CARRIED a team to the playoffs.

While defense in football can be boring, pitching and defense in baseball… I LIVE FOR IT. I wasn’t around for Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Wasn’t alive yet. But I love when the game offers pitchers whose starts you just can’t miss.  When Pedro Martinez was in his prime I would’ve rather eaten my dinner off a urinal than miss a start.

And for next year?  I’m looking at you, Stephen Strasburg. Throw the spaghetti in the machine and eat the children…

–Johanna Mahmud
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