Results tagged ‘ Theo Epstein ’

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 3: The Stat Zombie’s Death… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York!  If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that.  Like, right away.  Or else.  And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too.  To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best.  Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!

Holla!

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to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

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via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special

thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru.  His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way.  It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.

**Image by Annette T.  (Thanks, Annette!)  Check out her sweet@ss blog!

Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010

Winter Meetings: Ante the Hell Up Y’All

Major League suits are set to invade US America‘s baseball-less Indianapolis this week… and they all have one singular goal: move that paper.

For those of you dear readers who respond better to visual metaphors, here’s one for ya: John Mozeliak (Ernie), Kermit (Peter Gammons), Cashman and Epstein (the Yip-Yips), and many more are all gittin’ down to ante up:

*Strong language may not be suitable for children unless your kids are related to Busta Rhymes in which case this type of language is as common around the house as naked women and blunts for breakfast*

It’s true.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Despite the late-inning dramatics and clutch hitting by Team America,
the World Baseball Classic will be especially notable to MLB managers
because of the rash of injuries that has hit the players. With
important team leaders like Chipper Jones, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan
Braun suffering injuries, how do you think this will effect teams’
decisions to let their players participate next time around?

– Allen
__________________________________________

tom cruise oprah.jpgA wise woman (my mother) once said, “Jeff, nobody’s perfect. Tom Cruise comes close but just look at how screwed up he is.  Still, Tom is about as close as you can get.”

The World Baseball Classic, still in its infancy, is similar in that it has yet to find the perfect balance of entertainment and logic.  We, the viewers, cannot expect it to be the perfect international tournament it aims to be — not yet at least.

There are naysayers.  There are those who feel the Classic is a colossal waste of time.  There are general managers and agents and players and pundits who see it as a liability more than an asset.  And I understand their points of view.

theo epstein.jpgIf I were Omar Minaya or Theo Epstein or Frank Wren and I was forced to watch my best players risk injury in the name of a “friendly” tournament with seemingly zero tangible gain, I guess I would be a little ticked off too.  But I believe the World Baseball Classic is more than just a King Bud money machine meant to get more people interested in Major League Baseball around the world.  To me, it is a showcase of the most talented players on the planet: a baseball bravura boasting a playoff-like atmosphere during the most boring weeks of spring training. 

And whether ballplayers are playing in the WBC or in Jupiter, Florida or with their kids at home, guys are going to get hurt.

guitar hero.jpgJust ask Joel Zumaya about his Guitar Hero hangup.

Or just ask Aaron Boone about his penchant for pickup basketball.

Or just ask Ken Griffey, Jr. about wrestling with his children.

And while the easy way out is to say let us put an end to this World Baseball Classic for good and focus on the regular season, players are still going to find ways to injure themselves on and off the field.  Personally, I would rather see a guy get hurt for his country than a video game.

The WBC only happens every few years, folks.  Eventually, the kinks will be worked out.  In the meantime, the foreseen benefits of firing up an entire baseball-following planet are far and beyond more plentiful than the occasional injury risks inherited by players, teams and front offices.

The truth is: baseball (yet again) was light years behind the rest of sports in not having an authentic international forum.  And while the rewards of the Classic won’t be seen for another twenty years or so when little Chen Jianguo and Mario Perugino and Ned van Flanders are all grown up and starting superstars in the Majors, I think we all owe it to the world to give this tournament a chance — and most of all, to enjoy it.

But just to be safe, we should all continue to pray to the baseball gods that our team’s best players escape injury free and refrain from jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Throw the Book at Me!

Condoleezza Rice.jpgWhat could possibly be funnier than a holocaust-denying bishop exchanging blows with an Argentinian reporter? 

I can think of many things.

Like this video, or this picture, or these fans.

But in the end, what is making my side split today is the announcement that Condoleezza Rice (what’s the second “z” for anyway?) has signed a book deal with Crown Publishers to write three — count ‘em three – books detailing her tenure in the White House as well as delving into her oh-so-saucy personal life.

Crown issued this statement:

“Rice will combine candid narrative and acute analysis to tell the story
of her time in the White House and as America’s top diplomat, and her
role in protecting American security and shaping foreign policy during
the extraordinary period from 2001-2009.”

Extraordinary?  You betchya!  That was an extraordinary, poorly structured sentence!

When Crown Publishers says “candid”, what they really mean is “bullhickey” and when Crown Publishers says “acute analysis” what they really mean is “a cute anal cyst”. 

I am going on record with that.

Ah yes, the moment we have all been waiting for, my friends: the inevitable onslaught of uninteresting, embellished memoirs (see James Frey) from Bush administration cadres who would be much better off hiding under that blanket of destitution they collectively weaved over those eight long years.

What’s next?

Dick Cheney’s memoir: I Screwed Over My Own Country and Got Away with It

Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir: Blowing Up People Is Fun

Dubya’s memoir: I Am Smarter than a Fifth Grader Because I Am Way More Educationified

I suspect these tell-alls will not tell all and that they will all be as candid and truthful as an Alex Rodriguez/Katie Couric interview.

If you want the truth, read the battery of explicit facts spewed by one Jose Canseco.  He seems to be the one with all the info and up to this point, he has been the most accurate when disclosing the inner workings of a poorly policed administration.

confessions of a she_fan.jpgPlus, he knows where to get the good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff, I am and always have been a reader (how else do you think I became so intelligent?) and though I enjoy some good fiction every now and then, my true passion is reading about real life.  These days I can be found reading Jane Heller’s Confessions of a She-Fan.  My busy schedule of Cub fan hounding and John Mozeliak thrashing has allowed me to only read a little bit each day, but I can honestly say that I am thoroughly enjoying it.

And since we are all about telling the truth here at RSBS, I am not going to withhold the fact that while reading Jane’s book during my commutes on the Chicago Transit Authority, I do my absolute best to hide the chick-lit-esque cover boasting a female fan donning a Yankee cap, looking up at an invisible monster whom I can only assume is Theo Epstein.  The cover lady’s eyes are dreamy.  She’s definitely into me.  But I still force myself to cover it up.  I live in Chicago after all.  Like the rest of the blue collar cities, we hate ‘dem Yankees… don’t get me wrong, the book is great and all…

Just remember: I have an image to uphold.

Luckily, my stealth allows me to take in Confessions and really enjoy it.  And while I may not have the desire to date a Yankee, as author Jane Heller once did, I sure would not mind dating some of the Yankees’ leftovers

Believe me, that would be way more interesting than any Condoleezza Rice book.

So go ahead.  Throw the book at me; just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

MLB’s Red State of Mind

No, I’m not saying that Major League Baseball is communist. Although, now that you mention it….

No, what I’m talking about is a frame of mind that seems to have taken over both MLB and Red America. Neither one of them can’t stand intellectuals. College boys (and girls) who have impressive vocabularies, use logic in the decision-making process and understand that the world is painted in shades of gray, not just black and white, just don’t have a place in MLB or the fly-over states. Let me explain.

The red state anti-intellectualism is pretty clear cut. A Harvard law grad with impeccable credentials and a strong history of community organizing is nothing more than a namby-pamby, arugula-eating, out-of-touch, East-coast liberal elite. Nuance is seen as flip-flopping or waffling and the only way to make a decision is to decide which side is evil and which is good and always go for good. Of course, this also means simplifying every argument.

elaine_v2.jpgFor instance, let’s take Elaine Benes, uh, I mean Sarah Palin. Although her oldest daughter got knocked up at 17 which would be unlimited fodder for Republicans if it had been a Democratic candidate, somehow the “Family Values” party doesn’t have a problem with this because the kids are getting married. Nevermind that this might be the worst possible outcome for the kid and for the two getting married. But, that’s the red state mindset. There is no gray. Only black and white.

In a similarly antiquated manner, red state politicians see no reason for their views to evolve beyond the social mores of 1776. If it was all right for Thomas Jefferson, it’s all right for them.

It’s just like the view that MLB takes when it comes to many of the technological and statistical updates that have inundated sports in the past few years. Of course there are people like Billy Beane and Theo Epstein who understand that using technology does not cheapen the game and, in fact, makes it more competitive. But the powers that be within the MLB hierarchy have fought back. People like Bill James get blackballed.

palin_v2.jpgAnd in the same way, it took a flurry of botched calls at the beginning of the season before they even considered instituting limited instant replay. No one wants to see the ump behind the plate replaced with a computer calling balls and strikes. But what’s wrong with taking another look at a play that took place 200 feet from where they were standing?

In the end, we have no control over what MLB does. It will take time but they’ll have to evolve to stay relevant. But we do have a choice when it comes to who leads our country. A little arugula anyone?

-A

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