Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’

The Filibuster

How come you get to vote up to 25 times for All Star selections?  Is one vote per person less democratic?

Nathan
Mattoon, IL
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MLB made $6.1 billion in revenue in 2010.  28% of that revenue ($1.7 billion), came from the New York Yankees.  The Phillies and Red Sox place in the top six most valuable franchises.  Until the Wilpons’ recent financial issues, the Mets also figured into this top tier of baseball royalty.

When you look at these clubs, you notice they have two things in common.  Number one, they generate large amounts of revenue for MLB and number two, they all belong to large east coast cities.  These two facts are closely related and this fact has not slipped MLB’s notice.

How do you keep a bunch of super-rich clubs happy?  Simple.  You make sure that their players get elected to the All-Star game.

With fan voting and internet voting, of course the large metropolitan areas and the teams with large fan bases are going to ensure that their players get voted on to the All-Star roster.  Whether or not they belong there is an entirely different story.

As of 29 June, the leading vote getter among AL catchers was Russell Martin of the Yankees.  Martin’s batting average at this same point was .230, 10 points below the league average and 73 points lower than the second place catcher, Alex Avila of the Tigers.  Similarly, Derek Jeter sat half a million votes in front of Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera while Cabrera sat about 40 points ahead of Jeter in terms of average among AL shortstops.

The list goes on and on but the fact of the matter is, the story would be the same whether fans had only 1 opportunity to vote or 50.  MLB consciously made the choice to allow this because MLB is a business and businesses have to grow or die.

We could go back to the old way of choosing the All-Star team, the method they used before 1970.  Back then the players, coaches and managers voted on the All-Stars and this more or less insured that the best players, as opposed to the most popular, made the team.  But the fans weren’t all that interested.  They wanted to see “their” guys playing in the mid-summer classic, whether or not they were the best.  And because baseball is a business, baseball gave the vote back to the fans.

Should Russell Martin and Derek Jeter start for the AL this year?  Statistically, absolutely not.  But baseball is business and that means the answer has to be reformatted.  Should Russell Martin and Derek Jeter start for the AL this year?  Monetarily, without a doubt.

So, Nathan, the answer to your question is that giving fans 1 vote or 25 votes is actually equally democratic.  But if you go further and ask the question, “Does democracy work in the context of MLB All-Star voting,” you already have your answer.  The answer is Russell Martin.

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Have you ever wondered exactly how Jeff wound up in Tijuana dressed as an organ-grinder’s monkey?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

 

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 24: A Fanboy’s Merkin… and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna dig into the bowels of the current Major League season and compare sizes opinions on myriad topics, including but not limited to what makes an ideal fanboy merkin,  the Cubbies‘ goat fiasco, Pat Burrell’s unfortunate meeting with a wall and much, much more! … all to make you laughy-hurty-face!

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. Wanna stalk Keith’s every move? Follow him on Twitter!  Wanna enjoy even more podcast hilarity?  Check out the Undercast at Undercard Films!

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Recorded Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Filibuster

What’s more impressive?  3,000 hits or 600 saves?

Aaron
Hammond, IN
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Before really getting into it, I just want to make it perfectly clear.  Either 3,000 hits or 600 saves merit you getting into the Hall of Fame.  However, now that I’ve put that out there, let’s get into the comparison.

To get to 600 saves, you need to average 30 saves a year over the course of 20 years or 40 saves a year over 15 years.  Either one of those numbers is pretty gaudy but that’s just the number of actual saves recorded over a 162 game season.  There are also non-save opportunities for closers and the occasional blown save.  There’s also that rare occasion when you come in to record a 4 or 5 out save.  So let’s assume you’re playing about 24 weeks a season, this means that you’re making a minimum of 2 to 3 appearances a week and pitching an inning at a time.  Those numbers add up, especially when you include all the warm ups and the up and down in the bullpen as you get ready to enter.

That being said, 3,000 hits over a 20-year career works out to 150 hits a year, almost a hit a game.  The more likely scenario is a 15-year career and that means averaging 200 hits a year.  But you’re not just getting at-bats, you’re also playing on a regular basis.  Although hitting takes a toll on a player, a much greater physical price is exacted by the daily grind of playing a position.

This question takes on added significance this year with Jeter almost certain to pass the 3,000 hits plateau and the possibility that Rivera could make it to 600 saves.  Both men are gifted athletes and both will most likely be first ballot hall of famers.  So, which one is more impressive?

This question gets muddied a little with Jeter’s dip in production over the last season and a half but let’s face it.  The guy has held down shortstop for the Yankees full-time since 1996.  I’m not sure there’s a more stressful position in MLB.  And while Rivera has also held a full-time position on the Yankees since 1997, there’s a reason that Jeter is the captain.

That’s the long non-answer.  The short answer is that although comparing the two things is not all that different from comparing apples and oranges, at the end of the day you do have to make a decision between the two.  I can’t tell you exactly why and I don’t necessarily have the stats to make an open-and-shut case but I happen to think that 3,000 career hits is pretty damn impressive.  You can always find a closer.  You rarely find a Jeter.

-A

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Block Party: sCrUBBIE Style

Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune featured the following snippet:

The Cubs announced the first Wrigleyville Block Party will be held Friday to Sunday on the west side of the ballpark during the Yankees series.  The event is free and features bands, food and drink booths and “interactive” entertainment for families.

Oh, really?

Folks, let me be blunt.  Unless clogged streets of drunken youths and bands of impatient motorists with horn-happy hands represent the ideal, outside of hosting an actual baseball game, there is very little family-friendly about Wrigleyville.  Remember, this the same Wrigleyville where I was assaulted by a blabbering drunk because I was… *gasp*… wearing a pink shirt.

So, curious as to what sort of block party events the Cubs front office planned for the neighborhood, the RSBS interns were sent out on an important reconnaissance mission, and this is what they found:

Pin the Tail on Rats Big as Pigs
In this fun event, lucky participants are encouraged to hunt down Wrigley rats.  What they catch, they can keep.  Extra points are rewarded for doing it while talking in an exaggerated Ozzie Guillen accent (“rats as beeeg as peeegs”).

The Racist Frozen T-Shirt Game
Pay $10 and you can compete against your peers to see who can put the frozen “Horry Kow” t-shirt the fastest.  If anti-Asian ain’t your style, try the “Pujols Mows My Lawn” tee!  Fun for the whole family!

Annoying Fan Photo Op
Fork over $25 and you can choose to have your picture taken with world famous Cubs fans Rod Blagojevich, Denise Richards or… Ronnie Woo Woo!  Then again, you can also take that $25 and burn it; it’s essentially the same thing.

The Drink Overpriced Horse P!ss Booth
At this funfest, you can drink $7 Old Styles until you a) get sick b) go broke or c) start rooting for the Cardinals!

And finally… the most exciting event of them all…

The Write a Bad Contract Raffle
Participants empty their bank accounts and hand everything over to Jim Hendry, who will then do what he does best: waste money on bad baseball players.

It’s a good thing the Yankees are in town, otherwise Wrigleyville would be a complete mess.

Hate me ‘cuz I kick ‘em when they’re down, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Picking on the Kid with No Legs

Sunday’s second Albert Pujols walk-off dinger against the Cubs in as many days should’ve ignited an in-your-face happy dance of epic proportions.  In fact, in my house, it did.

But, when I raced to rub sweet victory in the faces of my Cubs fan friends, most of them could not be reached (they weren’t watching the game) and those who were, simply didn’t care.

It’s only been a few years since the Cubs fielded a decent squad, and as a Cards fan I remember very well the aches and pains of those 2007 and 2008 seasons; but for Cubs fans, I might as well be remembering 1969.

Dear readers, this is not your Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.

And while I love it that we rest high above the Cubbies in the standings, I don’t love that our rivalry has suffered because of it.  Gone is the fire, dead is the ribbing.  Cubs fans — those who remain — are either fiscally responsible realists staying home, far away from the hoopla, or they’re drunken DePaul freshman who use baseball games as an icebreaker to what will become a long evening of poor decisions.

I almost feel bad about making fun of the Cubs… in the same way that I sometimes feel bad for making fun of Sarah Palin.

It’s not nice to make fun of those who have disabilities.

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

Peace,

Jeff

This Is MLB… and THIS Is MLB on Drudge

There are two taxing and equally debilitating activities that I force myself to partake in, every… single… day.  I swallow a big@$$ horse-pill that’s supposed to make my cartilage stronger; and I read all of the headlines on The Drudge Report.

If I had time, I would also stick rusty needles under each of my fingernails.

Why do I do these things?  I take the horse-pill ‘cuz it comes highly recommended by my doctor, and my doctor is a smart dude (he hates the Cubs, man!).

And I check in with The Drudge Report because it’s important to know what the “other” side is thinking, how they’re scheming, how they’re fear mongering and how they’re faring in other popular GOP pastimes.  But mostly I just like to laugh at how Drudge turns a headline like “Wall Street Baffled by Slowing Economy” into “WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A GREAT, GREAT DEPRESSION”.

That’s how the dude gets hits.  He scares traffic to him!

Indeed, I tip my cap for his savvy, but I wave my finger at his twisted incitations.

And to put things in perspective, I instructed the RSBS interns to take three recent MLB headlines and hand them over to Matt Drudge, just to see what would happen.

Here’s what we got:

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Original Headline:”White Sox enjoy another sweep at Fenway”

Headline on Drudge: “SHOW ME ALEXEI RAMIREZ’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE DAMMIT!!!”

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Original Headline: “Holliday, McClellan both land on Cards’ DL”

Headline on Drudge: “HOLLIDAY NEVER F$&*ING TOUCHED HOME, HE NEVER TOUCHED IT, HE NEVER TOUCHED IT, I CALL DO-OVER!!!”

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Original Headline: “Swisher’s Swat Solidifes Sweep for Yankees”

Headline on Drudge: “OMG JORGE POSADA SUCKS, THE BRONX IS BURNING AND WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”

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Hate me ‘cuz I got the connections to make it happen, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 23: Buster’s Broken Body… and Other Stuff

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff and Johanna join forces in what is secretly designed as an intervention for Allen and his anachronistic memory.  The three of them then launch into some raunchy debates over this young MLB season, including but not limited to double headers, home plate collisions, “offensive” t-shirts and much, much more… all to make you smile for berry berry long time!

Holla!

- – -

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you take some time to check out Keith and his crew’s laugh-riot podcast. Follow him on Twitter to get the latest updates.  They’re doing some fantastic work!  You can find out more at Undercard Films.

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Recorded Saturday, May 28, 2011

Judge Lest Ye Be Judged

Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.

Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.

Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person.  I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy.  But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.

So here ya go.  Let the judging begin!

Yankees fans, I’m judging you.  You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?!  When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”.  And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.

Mitt Romney, I’m judging you.  Come on, dude.  How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!?  Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?

National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you.  Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?!  Good grief!  Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime?  You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal.  Just ask Whitney Houston.

Donald Trump, I’m judging you.  The birther thing, well, I can see past that.  But your hair.  Seriously.  It’s not funny anymore.  It’s disturbing.  I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.

And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…

MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you.  If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size.  Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.

Hate me ‘cuz it’s Thursday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Team of Rivals

Cardinals cubs rivalry
Yankees/Red Sox.  Reagan/Gorbachev.  Lindsay Lohan/Sobriety.

Rivalries make otherwise routine matchups a bit more interesting.  They breed adrenaline.  They invite ingenuity.  They spark passion, no matter how dormant.

But, as we witnessed earlier this year in the case of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, baseball rivalries have also been known to get out of hand.

Admittedly, there was a time when I allowed my flippancy towards Chicago Cubs fans to reach a critical point.  In the summer of 2007, fresh off a World Series crowning but at a time when my Cardinals weren’t playing too well, a few too many Old Styles found their way in my system and what started out as simple boasts of pride for my interlocking “STL” and redbirds-on-the-bat garb soon turned into a verbal shouting match with a gang of pinstriped kids from DePaul.  Throughout the game, my taunting parried with their rage (they too weren’t quite sober) and it escalated when I found myself surrounded by them in a Wrigley field restroom. 

Instead of shutting up, I just got louder.

And before I knew it, I was at the bottom of a pile of angry, angry feet.

I learned my lesson that day: sports aren’t any fun when you’re literally getting your @$$ beat.

So I don’t do that sort of thing anymore.  I smile.  I nod.  I tip my cap to good plays and keep my nose buried in my scorecard (or beer). 

And that’s how I’m going to enjoy my Redbirds coming to town on Tuesday.

Also, I’m taking my pal, Johanna Mahmud — Cubs fan extraordinaire.  He’s scary looking… good for keeping the riff-raff at bay.

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

Peace,

Jeff

I Prefer Our Neuroses

detroit_faygo.jpgAlthough a large percentage of the US is located in what the coasts refer to as “fly-over country,” that’s not necessarily such a bad thing.  For instance, being from Michigan, I grew up with access to Faygo which is, without a doubt, the best almost-generic soda in the country.  Michigan also has Vernors which is an odd cousin to ginger-ale.  If that wasn’t enough, Michigan also refers to soda as “pop.”  Now that I think about, we have some really weird neuroses going on when it comes to carbonated beverages. 

As bad as our soda-based idiosyncrasies may be, though, we’ve also got some mad talent.  Madonna, Eminem, Kid Rock, all Michiganders.  If you really want to get honest with yourself, you have to admit that native Michigander Ted Nugent can kick some serious tail, too. 

Why do I mention all this?  Because meanwhile, out east, this is happening:

Game, set and match to the fly-over states.

-A

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