Results tagged ‘ Stephen Strasburg ’
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??
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).
Baseball can’t start soon enough.
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Okay, technically it was more of a catfight than a bidding war, but I guarantee you it was fierce. I was in college at the time, and I somehow duped two girls into believing I was A-list boyfriend material. A gnarly girlpocalypse ensued.
It was awesome.
Then there was also the time in middle school where, for a small fee of one US American dollar, I would open up my father’s Playboy collection for viewing, all in the name of health and sex education, of course.
But I’ve never been Yu Darvish-ed before. I mean, I’ve never had a bunch of folks throwing MAD MONEY at me just for the opportunity to negotiate a contract. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but Nolan Ryan has never gone all in on my ass…ets. My assets. That’s what I meant to say.
Personally, I cannot WAIT to see Yu Darvish in action. I’ve been salivating at his proposed Major League entry since the ’09 WBC and now it looks like I may finally get my wish. Picture a 2012 season with an Adam Wainwright, a Stephen Strasburg AND a Yu Darvish!?!?!? Somebody douse me with Gatorade!
Meanwhile, if Yu’s people are any good, then they got their Newt Gingrich on before teams put in their final bids. You know it, I know it and the American people know it: no one sells access like the Grand Old Party.
Oh the Dems do it too.
Ron Paul. That is all.
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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.
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…
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And the Final Rose Goes to…
“Nice guys don’t finish last. Nice guys just have to wait a little bit longer sometimes.”
In this all-Bachelor edition here at Setting the Mahmud, I’ve narrowed down who gets my lucky rose! No, not the MVP award — THAT’S NOT HOW WE DO THINGS AROUND HERE — we’re talking about my rose.
Stephen Strasburg wasn’t around enough this year, but he definitely gets an honorable mention, just because. Simmering optimism for next year, my friend. Also, no one should ever have to see what my face is doing right now.
Aramis Ramirez is usually my go-to old flame. That being said, I have an irrational dislike for how he runs the bases. (Sorry, Aramis. I never had the heart to tell you.) And now I’m looking for something a little more long term. I want to build a new life with someone special. I really can’t do a long distance relationship right now, and I’m not too confident Ramirez will be around much longer.
Buster Posey lost out early. It was no fault of his own (injury). BASTARD. I was rooting hard for him. He looked strong to start the season and was a returning champ from last year. Can’t hide the gimpy now though. There’s always next year!
Asdrubal Cabrera, the human highlight reel, would be a strong contender but this rose can go to only one…
Nyjer Efffin Morgan! MY GUY!! AKA, Tony Plush! Nobody does it better. What can I say?
Nyjer, my dear Nyjer, every moment you had on camera set my heart a flutter. THAT IS NOT WEIRD, PEOPLE. In fact, T-Sizzle could do odd things to me if he wanted.
I’m only mostly kidding.
Too strong. TOO GOOD.
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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff, Allen and Johanna kick back on all the baseball drama comin’ down the stretch including STRASMAS!, Verlander’s MVP bid, Nyjer AHHHHHHH Morgan and several other topics sure to offend as much as entertain! The crew also gets a visit from AM 670 The Score’s very own Tim Baffoe, the one and only Ten Foot Midget!
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Recorded Saturday, September 3, 2011
College football and the NFL have both come back with a vengeance but for MLB, there really aren’t any compelling races at this point. How can baseball compete?
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT?
No compelling races? How can baseball compete?
Put down that tequilla shooter (slowly) and check the boxscores before you miss out!
Because the time is NOW for September baseball and there is PLENTY to be excited about. Right now the AL East is as tight a race as they come, and believe me: the Yankees and Red Sox both want to win that division as each would rather draw the weaker opponent in the ALDS. Meanwhile, the AL Central is anything but locked down. Sure it might not be neck and neck, but if the Tigers have taught us anything in the last few years, it’s that they definitely know how to blow a sure thing. And if you think the Rangers aren’t worried about the creeping Angels of Los Anaheim, ya might wanna put down the vodka too (keep the whisky, for now).
In the National League, sure the East, Central and Wild Card races seem to be locked down, but the NL West is still undecided. The Diamondbacks are coming on strong but if the Giants can just average one run a game, with THAT pitching staff, they have a pretty good shot.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love football just as much as any other
loud proud US American, but early season games being more important than the stretch baseball run? Not in my world. Not even close!
If you’re not feelin’ it, I gotta think that maybe it’s your fault. Sit down and watch one of these games that matters. Or, don’t. I mean, STRASMAS is comin’ this year, so you could watch that! Or check out a Bluejays game to watch the Joey Bats and Brett Lawrie Show! Or get your buddies together for an Orioles game and every time they make an error, miss the cut-off man or fail to advance a runner TAKE A DRINK! You’ll be so loaded by the third inning that your decision making skills will deteriorate to a level that will GUARANTEE a night of awesome once you hit the club.
Hate me ‘cuz I promote promiscuous behavior while championing the greatest game on earth, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Stephen Strasburg is pitching again! He might even be back in the Majors by the end of the season! How excited are you for Stras-mas part 2?
Burr Oak, MI
Admittedly, there’s nothing quite like the joys of Stras-mas. Last year, his comeuppance was the stuff of dreams, turning an otherwise midseason blah-blah Pirates v. Nationals contest into one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen. In the Year of the Pitcher he became — after just one game — the Pitcher of the Year (in my book at least).
Stras-mas is special. Stras-mas is magical. Stras-mas is everything a baseball nerd like me dreams of.
Which is why it would be a SHAME and a TRAVESTY if the Nationals bring him back to pitch this season.
DON’T DO IT, RIZZO! DON’T DO IT OR I’LL GUT YOU LIKE A FISH.
A bit harsh? Yes. I admit. But remember, this kid is the future of a bruised and battered franchise. And selling a few more tickets at the end of a going-nowhere season just to make a quick buck is not worth throwing away the future, throwing away Stras-mas. Possibly forever.
Let the dude rehab, but don’t put him in any game action. I know 11 months is the typical timeframe in which getting back to facing Big League hitters is deemed acceptable for those who’ve had the Tommy John surgery. But this isn’t a typical situation. This is Jesus with a 37 on his back.
Please, I implore the Washington Nationals front office: WAKE UP and STOP BEING STUPID. You have a goldmine for YEARS in that newly improved Strasburgian right elbow. He threw 96 mph from the slide step before, he may throw 101 underhanded now.
Do the right thing. Make 2012 the Year of the Neverending Stras-mas.
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
If you could spend the day with any non-Cardinal baseball player
currently playing in the majors, who would it be and what would you do?
Is it just me or am I constantly being set up by my friends and dear readers to expound on my favorite baseballers in a way that encourages embracing a certain, subtly disclosed homoerotic undertone?
Or, maybe I’m just reading too much into it.
Okay, Melissa, so you take away my number one and two options by canceling out the Cards; but let me assure you, the number three spot is also a no-brainer. For me, anyway. Of course, you may be shocked to hear it but for this hypothetical man-crush date (is it a man-crush date or did I make that part up too?) I’m going with the one, the only:
Stephen James Strasburg.
Here’s how our
date day will go…
9 a.m. Workout
I pick Stephen up and we head to the Nats’ training facility. I am Stephen’s shadow. I do very little talking and a whole lot of observing. I don’t wanna make this strange for the 22 year old phenom, so I just go with the flow. I know Stephen is out for the season, recovering from Tommy John surgery, but a man’s still gotta stay in shape and I wanna know how he does it. (Also, when no one is looking, I coat Nyjer Morgan’s supportive equipment with government grade Tiger Balm.)
12 p.m. Lunch
We eat a healthy, protein-packed lunch that will fire our fast twitch muscle fibers so we recover faster, to become stronger. I now start asking questions, overly aware of how annoying I can be when given free reign to discuss all-things baseball. Eventually, these questions lead to hitter preparation science, so off we go to…
2 p.m. Video Room
I want to get inside the head of Stephen Strasburg. So I present to him a reel of the Major League’s best hitters: Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto. I want to know how he is going to approach them. I want to see him point out their holes. Stephen, of course, is as calculated as he is modest, and he ain’t givin’ up too many secrets.
3 p.m. Practice Field [For this part, let us forget that Stephen can’t pitch right now, shall we?]
Luckily, I brought along my catcher’s equipment from high school (it all still fits!), including my over sized mitt. I take my place behind the plate and ask Stephen to go easy on me. In high school I think the fastest fastball I ever caught was in the 70 mph range. After three Strasburg change-ups, I lose all feeling in my catching hand. But this is Stephen Friggin’ Strasburg, so I man up, take the pain and ask for more. Watching his yacker yack and his fastball bite, wow… just, wow.
5 p.m. My Crib
All my best friends (Mr. Krause, Johanna Mahmud, Yadier Molina) come over to my place. We got beer. We got wings. We got pizza. We also got a big screen HD TV showing the very first Strasmas ever: June 8, 2010 — the greatest single regular season game that didn’t mean anything, ever played, in the history of my universe. Ever. We watch in amazement as Stephen talks us through each at-bat, each pitch, each hair raising moment.
After three plus hours of pizza, wings, beer and Strasmas in my very own living room, I am finally able to sit back on my couch, relax, and wait to die.
It’s been a splendid day.
Life is good.
Don’t hate me.
‘Cuz I’m right.
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My morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain.
Indeed, running begets pain. But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship. This I know.
Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy. Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.
But I digress.
Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0! No, seriously, I really am happy for you. I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all. Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle. Um… okay. The bad news is: you got screwed. The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years. By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal. Maybe you’ll even smile. Maybe.
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya. A war in Afghanistan. A war in Iraq. The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general. The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again. We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare. We’ve no jobs. Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die. Yeah. That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion. Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?
The Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz. Wow. Just… wow. Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble. In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
My advice? Go Steelers!
Hate me ‘cuz I bring da pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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!
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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