Results tagged ‘ Tony LaRussa ’

The Second Time Around

Having people universally respect and listen to you in Washington DC is a little like trying to manage a team to a World Series win in both the AL and NL.  It’s not impossible, it has been done but it sure doesn’t happen very often.

So when Robert Gates left his position as Secretary of Defense last week after coming back for a second act and working for both a Republican and Democratic president, not only did he earn plaudits from both men under whom he served, he also received well-deserved credit from both sides of the political aisle.  This fact becomes even more amazing when you consider the arena into which he was thrown.  Donald Rumsfeld had thrown the military under the bus and even Afghanistan no longer seemed to be an acceptable risk.  But Gates somehow navigated the minefield and emerged a superstar on the other side.

This is not to say that Gates did it alone.  Just like La Russa had the Bash Brothers and Dennis Eckersley while managing the Athletics and Pujols and a team that refused to die in the 2006 Cardinals, Gates also had a good team to work with.  At the Defense Department, he not only had the support of both presidents, he also had a stellar supporting cast including guys like Gen. David Petraeus.

Gates somehow managed to remain popular while going against political orthodoxy.  He not only advocated for the Congress to allocate less money to defense, he also pointedly asked them to allocate more to development and diplomacy.  Normally that sort of a move is political suicide but politicians from both sides applauded his efforts, even if they ultimately ignored him.

As Leon Panetta now takes the reigns at DoD, he has a tough act to follow.  But that doesn’t mean he won’t be successful.  Art Howe followed La Russa in Oakland with a few years of sub-par baseball and then two 100+ win seasons.  Sure, Howe may not have earned a ring like La Russa and it’s unlikely that Panetta will walk away as highly regarded as Gates.  But you never know.  Because if Gates proved anything, it’s that sometimes the second time around can be better than the first.

-A

Setting the Mahmud

death-at-a-funeral-3.jpg

Waino Es Bueno, But the Elbow Not So Much

Waino es bueno

Ask anyone from my parents’ generation where they were and what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated, when the Beatles invaded America or when they first saw Jacqueline Bisset in a wet t-shirt, and chances are he or she will be able to recall every, single, little detail.

Unfortunately, February 23, 2011 will be that day for me: the day Waino went down for the season — a seemingly unerasable stain on the psyche of a bonafide baseball beserker (me, duh).

Booze was consumed, things were broken, neighbors were frightened.

But that’s over now.  I got it all out of my system.  And just as in dealing with any other tragic situation, I allowed myself to grieve.  But now it’s time to man-up and put things in perspective.

We are still talking about the St. Louis friggin’ Cardinals here.  And while we may not have him locked up long-term, we do have the greatest single baseball player of the last quarter century headlining our team, every single day in Albert Pujols. 

We still have an ace in Chris Carpenter.  We still have AP protection in Matt Holliday.  We still have running-game assassin extraordinaire Yadi Molina behind the plate.

And we have the winningest active manager in the game leading them all in Tony LaRussa.

Ain’t no reason to cry, fellow Redbirds fans.  The NL Central climate may have changed; we probably don’t line up to run away with the division now, but we have every reason to watch every game and feel really damn good about it.

Rally the troops. 

This is war.

Haters g’on hate.

Hate me.  Fine.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Eff Yeah Baseball Gifs)

Um… Okay, So Did You Want a Cookie?

tony larussa with pets.jpg

Tony LaRussa will be back at the Cardinals’ helm in 2011.

Great.

Seriously.

No, really.

I’m happy about that.  I’m just as happy about that as I am happy that I still have all my teeth.  And believe me, I like having all my teeth.

But I think I’m in the majority of Cardinals fans who really is over the glamour (if you can call it that) associated with Tony LaRussa.  Is he a fantastic manager?  Indeed.  Is he one of the best ever in the history of the game?  You bet.  But… Mr. LaRussa, what on earth have you done for me lately?

Not that much.  Unless, of course, you consider alienating our number one prospect doing something productive.

Look, y’all, it is not my intent to get all privileged and Yankeefied here, to whine about continued success and be an annoying voice of nag; because I know what it feels like to lose.  I’m not seeing this for something it’s not.  But let’s face it: a team that features both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the lineup and Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the starting rotation, must be in the playoffs.

Must.

MUST.

2011 is an all-in year for the Cards.  They better throw every dollar, every asset, every rosin bag in to winning the whole damn thing.

Anything less will be a complete failure — and probably the last of TLR’s tenure with St. Louis.

Believe that.

Go ahead.  Hate me.  I don’t care.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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

rsbs podcast photo 3.jpg

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!

- – -

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!

- – -

MUSIC BY MEQQA <— Download their music it is rad as hell :-)

Recorded Saturday, August 28, 2010

The RSBS Digest: Poor Management

dusty-baker-toothpick.jpgWhen I quit smoking, I took up the habit of chewing on toothpicks — to keep my orally stimulated addiction in check.  The worst part about it?  People often say: “Hey, Jeff, fiddlin’ with ‘dem toothpicks… you remind me of Dusty Baker.”

Ick.

Being compared to Baker may make my skin curdle with infectious disgust, but I suppose that’s still better than blackening my lungs and dying young of emphysema. 

Or is it?

Dear readers, believe me, I do respect Dusty Baker as a human being.  I mean, look at him, he breathes on his own, his heart pumps without having to think about it… all very impressive indeed; but as a baseball connoisseur, there’s no way in Jesus-hates-the-Cubs-Hell I want him managing my baseball team.  Often blamed for the mass destruction of young, promising arms with infinite potential (see Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Homer Bailey), Dusty Baker also lacks the one thing that makes good managers great and great managers Tony LaRussa… and that thing is: common sense.

In the 7th inning of last evening’s contest between the Cardinals and Reds, a game that at that point was still wide open, Dusty Baker brought in his nearly-virginal relief pitcher, young righty Logan Ondrusek, to face Brendan Ryan.  With Albert Pujols on deck, Ondrusek quickly walked Ryan, unable to find the strike zone like Mr. Krause is unable to find a meaningful relationship with a woman (though, to his credit, he does surprisingly well with primates).  Instead of yanking Ondrusek like he probably should have, Dusty left the kid — in only his second Major League appearance — in the game to face one of the greatest hitters of all time.

Albert rocked him.

So did Matt Holliday.

Game over.

Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid!  If your arm didn’t hurt before you became a Redleg, believe me when I say you won’t even be able to shake hands after Dusty’s done with ya!

Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Scouting Report: Tony LaRussa’s Comedic Skills

I’m a comedian. 

And like everyone else, I too, am a critic.

So let’s see what TLR can do:

1. Delivery: Bit of a rambler; needs to get to the punchline quicker; could vary vocal inflection for nuance. (Grade: C+)

2. Audience Control: Didn’t let the ump get one word in. (Grade: A)

3, Timing: Average; nothing spectacular; good thing his focus is managing a World Series bound baseball club featuring the grandest player (and subsequent man-crush of the masses) in the game today. (Grade: C)

No worries, Tony.  Leave the jokes to me.  You go get us that ring.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

If I’m the Boss I’m Calling a Serious Sit-Down with the St. Louis Family

Sobriety Check Point Ahead.JPGThis has absolutely nothing to do with hot stoves, free agents or ticket sales. 

None of that is important.

Because when you drive drunk and end up killing yourself or somebody else or soembodies else, then how important can baseball really be?

Highly touted Cardinal prospect third baseman, David Freese, was arrested on DWI charges in St. Louis Saturday, adding his name to the growing list of Redbirds who can’t figure out how to call a goddamn cab when having had a few too many.

Tony LaRussa.  Josh Hancock (he died by the way because he was driving drunk).  Scott Spiezio.

And those are just the ones who’ve been caught.

I haven’t seen anything in print, but I have friends in the St. Louis service industry who assure me many a Cardinal has been seen getting into the driver’s seat of a car while drunk.  Some of those guys aren’t with the team anymore, some of them are. 

Bill DeWitt, are you listening?

This is not me getting on a high horse.  I have made mistakes.  I have made a lot of mistakes.  My mistakes have hurt people.  I make it a point not to make such mistakes anymore and I make it a point not to hurt other people anymore too.  This is called learning.  This is called life.

And no matter how you argue, there is absolutely no excuse for driving drunk.  Believe me: I’m definitely a man who enjoys his drink — even known to get completely schnockered from time to time — but ya ain’t gonna ever see me getting in a car, driving down the freeway, putting my life and the lives of others at risk.  Why?

Because I have common sense.

And if someone in the Cardinals organization had any common sense there would be a mandatory tutorial for all team personnel on the dangers (who in the world is so dumb they don’t know about these dangers already???) of drinking and driving.

I have long heard stories from Baltimore about instilling in its Oriole family the notion of the “Oriole Way”; and while it may have begun as Paul Richards’ acute focus on instructing and establishing the fundamentals of on-the-field play, it eventually became a code of conduct — a creed which all members understand, that it goes for life off-the-field too.  Nothing supersedes the Oriole Way.

How many Baltimore Orioles are driving drunk these days?

Exactly.

Wake up, St. Cardinals.  Partying your @$$ off is perfectly okay with me, as long as you do it responsibly.  But if you guys want to keep making me and the rest of your millions of fans worry about whether or not you will even be alive tomorrow, well, let me tell ya, I’d rather be a Cubs fan than deal with that kind of stress. 

Y’all oughtta be ashamed of yourselves.

Go ahead. Hate me. I could care less. ‘Cuz I know I’m right.  And you’re pi$$ing me off.

Peace,

Jeff

The Re-Edumacation of US America!

united_we_win.jpgTechnocracy is AWEsome. 

Isn’t it?

I think so.

In just the last few days we have learned things — almost instantly — that used to take weeks to find out about, back in the old days, when Kevin Costner was delivering the mail.

Thanks to the internets and interwebs, I knew exactly the moment Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan added “man-child disciplinarian” to each of their respective job titles.  Not long after, I also found out — immediately — that Rod Blagojevich still thinks he’s funny, that he views his federal scoff as but a minor annoyance, that his hair is cool.

It ain’t.

And of course, without our trusty series of tubes cranking out raunchy photos and seedy voice mails, how else would we know that Tiger Woods enjoys having sex — LOTS OF SEX — with people who are not his wife?

This is the re-edumacation of US America, people!

Ya gotta be fast.  Ya gotta be on point.  Ya gotta reinvent math!

fox news piechart 2.jpgThank you, Fox News, for taking the proper initiative, for getting it right, for setting the proverbial politico pundit record straight.

Or is it ‘strait’?

Yeah, it’s strait.  See, I got this!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Images & Fox News Story from BuzzFeed)

Illusionary Tactics

illusion.jpgYesterday, my unequivocally nefarious and visually challenged colleague, Mr. Krause, finally posted his two-month late debt which required him to pose for the camera while proudly donning St. Louis Cardinals merchandise accentuated by a bright, broad smile across his face.  Obviously, there is little doubt as to how disingenuous the smile was; but I must admit that even I was shocked at just how low Mr. Krause stooped to eschew what would be considered by everyone else in the world to be a rightly just punishment.

Here is the picture:

allen_cards_bet.JPGSure.  On the surface, everything seems in order… until we zoom in a little closer (thanks for the assist, Jonestein):

Allen in hat close up.jpgHmm.  Is that a photocopy of the regal S-T-L taped on your cap, Al?  And what is that underneath the pasted cover-up?  Is… is that… is that a Washington Nationals cap!?!?!?! (click *here* for reference to that same Natinals cap)

*Rich white people in the suburbs of Detroit whail in painful disgust.

Congratulations, Al, on not only embarrassing me and Cardinals fans worldwide, but for also abandoning your own people during a playoff race.  Nice.  Indeed, you are the Sarah Palin of baseball fandom!

But Allen’s experiment with the not-so-magical isn’t the only thing causing the masses to rub their eyes today.  Note to all Major League managers not named Tony LaRussa: If Albert Pujols steps in with the bases loaded, for Lord’s sake walk the man!  Last night, Jerry Manuel found out rather quickly what everyone else seems to already know when he decided to have Sean Green pitch to Albert, only to see Pujols launch yet another grand slam, which ultimately led the Cardinals to victory.  For the record, in 2009, Albert is a disgustingly sick 7-9 with the bases loaded, including five (YES, FIVE!) grand slams.  If you think you’ll get A.P. to swing at something stupid in that situation then you deserve to be beaten.

And while we’re on the subject of idiocy…

obama joker.jpgThis photo has been dancing around the interwebs faster than Kevin Gregg can blow a 9th inning lead; but let me tell ya, just like Al’s photo above, this is all wrong.  I’m not talking about the actual lampooning of our president as a joker — that’s all fair game as far as I’m concerned — what bothers me is that the word “SOCIALISM” appears below the Obama-as-Heath-Ledger-as-the-Joker image.

Come on now.  Socialism?  Look, the Joker was an anarchist.  There was nothing social about the Joker at all.  The closest he ever came to socialism was wanting to kill everyone for no reason other than to just kill everyone.  So if you’re gonna roast the Prez then at least make sure you get your metaphors — visual and contextual — correct.

“Fool me once… shame on… shame on you.  Y’fool me y’can’t get fooled again.”

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers