Results tagged ‘ World Series ’

Chillin’ with the Enemy

Rubbin' a little Bernie Brewer belly... because I can.

For those of us caught up in the modern technocratic lifestyle, establishing a clear line between friend and foe makes life a bit simpler (albeit unpleasant at times).  When prompted for an opinion, we often don’t have time to think; we must know, must be ready to jump on a topic and run.  And this is where established distinctions are helpful (even if detrimental to peace — sorry!).

It’s 2011 and enemies abound.  In the NBA, LeBron is the antithesis of good.  In politics, we have Sarah Palin.  In humanity, it’s Charlie Sheen.

But what do we do when our “enemies” aren’t that bad at all?

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept by the Milwaukee Brewers, a feat that not only caused a bit of embarrassment for me and my fellow bird fanatics, but also knocked the Cardinals out of first place all together.  Am I angry?  Do I want to hold my breath and take a hammer to my digits?  Am I going to hurt someone?

No, of course not.  It’s June and the NL Central race has barely begun.  But I must say, even if it does come down to St. Louis and Milwaukee in October, I will have a hard time hating on the Brewers like I do the sCrUBBIES.

On Saturday, I went to Miller Park for the very first time and I have to say: it’s a beautiful place full of beautiful people genuinely enjoying our beautiful sport.  Have you ever seen a sea of tailgaters for a baseball game?!?  I mean, everyone was so… nice!  And the park experience was so… pleasant… and the atmosphere was so… positive!

Prior to this excursion, my understanding of the Brewers organization could be summed up in three sentences: Beat you in ’82.  Bud Selig was a better owner than a commish.  And Prince Fielder is HONGRY.

But really, after taking in the Miller Park experience I have to update my mental Rolodex.  It’s not every day you visit a rival ballpark and are welcomed with a smile and a handshake.  And as often as I’ve donned my ’06 WS patched Yadier Molina jersey into enemy territory, only at Miller Park was I stopped and commended on my team’s run of that year.  And did I mention the cheese curds!?

Oh what heaven!!!

Don’t worry, dear readers, I ain’t gettin’ soft.  I’ll box a Brewer if I gotta; but in a world where negativity rules the infoway, I find it refreshing to give credit to those who are pretty cool folks.

That being said, I hope the Brewers lose every one of their games from here until the end of the season.

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Johanna and I posin' prior to first pitch.

Mission Accomplished!

Phillies fan osama bin laden dead
Yes, dear readers!  Now the shortlist of unchecked tasks to bring peace and universal happiness to the entire world is down to just three:

1.  Reinstate the All-Star Game as an exhibition game with no World Series home field implications

2.  Get Charlie Sheen to go away

And…

3.  Figure out what the hell Brian Wilson’s beard is actually made of.

If we can do all of the above, then I would really be impressed.

And the world will thank us.

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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.

Lethal Injection Gurney.jpg
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 Filibuster

Opening Day saw some pretty spectacular bullpen meltdowns.  But what
does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the
bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season?  Have
pitchers gotten soft?

Jake
Morristown, NJ
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k rod jail.jpg‘Tis the season to yack up ballgames, fa la la la la, la la la AGGGHHHH!!!!

*Breaks window, jumps from the second story, runs down the street screaming even though forgot pants*

Believe me, Mr. Jake, I am really trying to tackle this one without any bias, without any memory of Opening Day in the ‘Lou, without a mammoth-sized chip on my shoulder.  But let’s be honest: in baseball, there isn’t much worse than watching your team dominate throughout a game, only to blow it all in the 9th when the win is on the line.

My Redbirds managed to do that on Opening Day.  The Brewers did too (all credit goes to John Axford).  The Mets ran into it last night with Jail-Rod’s shenanigans (Also, his unfettered desire to fight people proves that pitchers — at least this one — have not gotten “soft”… unless the pitcher’s name is Kyle Farnsworth).  Hell, ask the 2010 Baltimore Orioles… they know all about losing games late considering they blew more games last year than Lil Kim did Bad Boys in the 90s.

But what does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season?  Gee, I’m not sure it’s really come to that.  The ’08 Cardinals were pretty awful, as I remember the bullpen yacking up over 25 games late… but, after giving it the old eye test, I’m not sure it’s really fair to say that the state of Major League bullpens is any different than it has been in years past.  You either have a good one, a mediocre one, or a bad one. 

And even when you have a bad one, that doesn’t necessarily spell gloom and doom for one’s team.  2009 Brad Lidge comes to mind; my pedestrian and oft frightened colleague, Mr. Krause probably could’ve done a better job on the hill than Lidge that season, but the Phillies still managed to grind their way to the World Series.

Unfortunately, these days, the role of a “closer” and “set-up man” and “7th inning guy” has been magnified because of money.  The more money involved, the more pressure.  The more pressure, the fewer who can actually deal with it. 

In fact, for my money, there’s only one closer who is reliable every single day and that man’s name is Mariano Rivera.  I think the Yankees could realistically state that their season might rely on Mo’s cutters; but then again, their set-up man saved 40+ last year.  And, oh yeah, their all-star lineup doesn’t hurt either.

But for the other 29 teams, yeah, it could be a problem.  But when your team is in flux — featuring an unsigned future Hall of Famer, a sidelined perennial Cy Young contender, and an All-Star outfielder absent because of an appendectomy — then you got more problems than you can actually stomach right now.  The bullpen is just one of many.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just finding out if Mr. Krause knows the Muffin Man… yes, the Muffin Man. 
Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below
.

The Filibuster

So what are you guys looking forward to the most this season?

Tim H.
Bowen, IL

____________________________________

baseball.jpgI don’t know what to do with 2011.  First off, it’s a prime number.  Ok, I’m not completely sure on that and I don’t really feel like doing the math to check but I feel pretty safe in saying that it’s prime.  Prime numbers just generally give me the creeps so I’m feeling a little unsettled.

In other arenas, 2011 is shaping up to be kind of blah.  Sure, Jeter will probably get his 3,000th hit and that’s pretty impressive.  But, the best case scenario only moves him up into the top 20 all time, which, although an exemplary accomplishment, still leaves him well south of Pete Rose. 

As far as overall baseball records go, Mariano Rivera could surpass Trevor Hoffman’s still warm saves record but if I can be perfectly blunt, who cares?  Again, yes, it’s impressive but when you trot out of the bullpen two or three times a week to get a couple outs, you’re not exactly the heart and soul of the team.  Closers are like field-goal kickers.  People know who you are and you have an important role on the team but no one really cares until you blow one.

So what does that leave?  There are no meaningful elections this year so that’s not an option.  Strasburg is going to miss the season so the game’s newest and greatest draw isn’t even going to be on the field.  Sure, I’m hoping the Tigers will make a good run this season but that’s just one team.  So what is there to look forward to?

I guess I’m looking forward to baseball without the bulls–t.  Sure, stories will come up and issues will be invented as the season moves on but at this point, it’s just 30 teams trying to make it to and win the World Series.  Ok, 29 because I’m pretty sure we can go ahead and count out the Pirates.  But the fact remains, at this point, a few days before the season begins, everyone has the same record and no one knows who might be this year’s 2006 Tigers, 2007 Rockies or 2010 Rangers.  Who knows, they might even push it a step further and actually win the thing like the 2010 Giants.

So that’s what I’m looking forward to.  No labor issues, no steroid scandals, no imperfectly-called perfect games.  Just baseball.  Throw in a little sunshine and some beer and I think we got ourselves a winner.

-A

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**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a
free pimp for your blog?  How ’bout just making Mr. Lung row, row, row his boat, gently down the stream? 
Send us your Filibuster questions
by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 17: The Lifestyles Hall of Fame Hot Tub Special… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 5.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The Hall of Fame, PEDs and the suggested fondness of Phil Rogers is all it takes to get Jeff and Johanna attempting to kill each other.  Allen probably wished at least one of them would have succeeded… but you’ll have to decide for yourself as the fellas discuss all things controversial and racy (almost like ‘sexy’ but less sexual).  Keith Hernandez gets a mention.  And the Kirk Gibson story… well ya need to just hear it… all to make you Sir or Madame Smilesalot!

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.  You can experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  Keith is a hot topic right now!  Not only is he filming that cool baseball doc, but now he’s got some commercial gigs from the Undercast, so go check it out!

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Recorded Saturday, January 8, 2011

 

2010: A Year in Review (Pt I)

RSBS_Mlb.made.LOGO.jpgIn a year as dynamic as US American voters are shortsighted, finding just the right words to succinctly summarize all the goings on of MMX isn’t really as hard as I thought it might be.  Sure, ‘Merican culture still clings to the absurd Canadian import or two and the global economy continues its tailspin while our government continues its fight in two unwinnable wars, but not all is gloom and doom, my friends.

In fact, personally speaking, 2010 was quite fantastic!  I quit smoking, I got in the best shape of my life thus far, and I got to hang with my fanciful and oft repugnant colleague (and subsequent dear friend), Mr. Allen Krause, not once, but TWICE!  First was the June baseball rendezvous in DC where we participated in a very special Strasmas celebration, then came an equally exciting Michigan Christmas, where I spent the holiday weekend with Mr. Krause and his family.

All told, it was the best of times, it was the… no.  It was just the best of times.

Hell, we even got treated to a non-powerhouse World Series, where the Giants defeat over the Rangers inspired small markets all over North America to think about one thing and one thing only: pitching, pitching, pitching.  And, of course, no RSBS review of 2010 could go without mentioning the inception of our very own Podcast, one that continues to kick butt on a sometimes semi-weekly basis.

That’s right.  Red State Blue State knows no bounds… and neither do the following top five Allen Krause penned gems of 2010:

2nd Honorable Mention:
We All Lose

Now and forever, September 11 will never be the same.  I know that.  You know that.  Mr. Krause knows that.  But through his strong dislike for all things pink in baseball and, of course, bigotry, Mr. Krause was able to both enlighten and entertain on this hallowed day.  His message?  Simple: “Hate kills.”

Honorable Mention:
RSBS Presents: Chili

Personal note: If you want to coax Mr. Krause into doing… well, anything… tempt him with chili.  Just know that it better be good chili if you want to be successful.  Mr. Krause ain’t no slacker when it comes to this US American staple, which he proves with this eloquent presentation full of chili flavor.  Plus, whenever a writer is able to use “scatalogy”, “concoction” and “awe-inspiring” in the same paragraph, he deserves a reward of some kind.

2nd Runner Up:
Understated to the End

Losing our heroes is never easy.  And when Sparky Anderson died, my thoughts immediately went out to Tiger nation, and more specifically, Mr. Krause.  Of course, I knew it was only a matter of time before a bit of literary magic would grace the pages of RSBS, and with his ode to ole Sparky finely tuned to an equally understated former president, Mr. Krause did not disappoint.

1st Runner Up:
Catastrophe in Multiple Forms

While compassionate might not be the first adjective (or the five hundred and first) adjective that comes to mind when I think of Mr. Krause, I can say that if he shows any, it is definitely genuine.  Such is the case here, where his sentient empathy crosses paths with lots of bloody nipples and Austin Collie’s head.

And the Winner is…:
RSBS Presents: A Baseball Fan’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

There are two types of people in this world: those who are ready for the baseball zombies, and those who ain’t.  Read this and you will be more than ready.  Skip it and your brains are as good as gone by the chomp-slathering undead jaws of Pete Incaviglia and Todd Van Poppel.  ‘Cuz the zombies are real.  They are coming.  And they all fear Mr. Allen Krause.

Another year down, another horizon to chase. Big things are happening, and we’re glad that YOU, dear reader, are a part of it.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow.  Until then, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 16: RSBS’ Drinking Game… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 2.jpg


Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna break out the hot stove holiday eggnog (topped off with a couple gallons of that special Kentucky blend, of course) and discuss all things important to the baseball-politico world, including but not limited to: adult circumcision, the 1960 World Series, the Phillies’ impending rape of the National League, peeing on your hands a la Moises Alou to get a better grip and much, much more… all to make you forget with a smile the horrors of your latest office party!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  You can experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at Undercard Films.  The man is talented, people.  You don’t want to miss out, so go check it!

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Recorded Saturday, December 18, 2010

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 14: Ryne Sandberg’s Phlight… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 8.jpg

 

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

…the fullest, rawest, most awe inspiring podcast yet, RSBS convenes as Jeff, Allen, Johanna and special guest Mark Piebenga from Second City all come together for one rip-roarin’ time!  Among the topics of conversation (sponsored by Lifestyles and encouraged by Miller Lite) are strains to one’s right glute, burning one’s hand on the hot stove, hiding one’s pain with the NBA… and much, much more! 

All to make you smiley face!

Holla!

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For more on Mark’s work on RSBSNinemen’s Morris series, check out this story then click on the Ninemen’s Morris tag at the bottom for more early 20th century hilarity!

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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.  You can check out Keith’s wicked podcast and his subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  The dude has mad skillz, so you might wanna pay attention.  Do it!  Now!

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Recorded Wednesday, November 17, 2010

 

Bring Out Yer Dead

bring-out-your-dead.jpg
Okay.  The hangover is over now.

I think.

I mean, a lot has happened in the last week or so to warrant plenty of no-limit megafortified soused out partying — the kind of partying Mr. Krause and I used to do back in our… well, yesterday. 

But not even our dynamic duo could match the celebratory merits of the state of California in recent days.  Let’s review the highlights:

jenny oropeza.JPEGThe Giants won the World Series.  Lindsay Lohan hasn’t been re-arrested (yet).  And Jenny Oropeza was elected state senator.

All sounds good, right?

Except that Jenny Oropeza is dead.

Was dead.

On election day!

But if California despises anything it’s gotta be the GOP.  And who can blame them?  Ronald Reagan, what have you done for me lately? Huh?

Exactly.

The Republicans may have hoodwinked the imbecilic US American consensus with their unparalleled fear-based badgering and faux middle class talking points, but the late Jenny Oropeza’s state senate victory is proof that their diabolic plan is far, far, far from being a reality.

Hate me ‘cuz it hasn’t been banned yet, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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