Tagged: AL Central

The Filibuster

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?

Ryan
Otsego, MI
___________________________________

Pardon my frankness here, Ryan, but…

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.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Curious as to why they call Mr. Krause “The Bumpiest 30 Seconds You’ll Ever Find”?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Warrior, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

It’s Math. Don’t Fight It.

Clint Hurdle isn’t here to save you and lead the White Sox to 20 wins in a row to finish out the season a la the Rockies in 2000 whatever year that was. Jim Thome isn’t walking through that door to be the anti-Adam Dunn. I’m sorry. Just accept it.

As of Tuesday, via Baseball Prospectus, the White Sox have an 11.8% chance of making the playoffs. The Detroit Tigers have an 86.8% chance.  If you’re a Sox fan and want to hold onto that 11%, that’s your business. I just don’t want to hear about it. I know they’ve been just good enough in this awful division to keep us interested, but it’s over.

TOO STRESSFUL. THIS TEAM GIVES ME CHIGGERS!!!


If I have to listen to one more smelly Sox fan chewin his Kodiak, botherin me while I’m TRYIN TO PEE, sayin stuff like “Hey der guy… we’re goin sweep these next few series and we will be der in the end… darrrrr…”

Well, you know what? BITE ME. CUZ IT’S OVAAA…

This team started out so bad that the whole inching their way back up possibility almost felt real. I even got on board, thinking that at some point they’d stop winning three games and losing four. I assumed Adam Dunn would have to, at some point, regress to the mean and start hitting again. I even thought Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham might stop resembling human bowel movements.

As for Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams? Those two guys are pathetic. A once great union of minds is now in complete ruin.  They go back and forth at each other like a homeless man’s Martin and Steinbrenner. Word is the Sox have already started looking for managerial candidates and compensation from the Marlins for Ozzie. I know sometimes the Oz man sounds like an ignorant mofo, but he’s a hell of a manager if the Sox can keep him.  But if there’s any chance of Guillen staying with the team he and Kenny have to stop being Lindsey Lohan and Samantha Ronson.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Forget Me Not

With just six weeks and some change left in the regular season, now is the time I lament my dear Cardinals’ now seemingly annual implosion from the top of the NL Central and into regular season obscurity.  Sure we can blame Waino’s injury.  We can blame Albert’s transformation from Machine to Double-Play Machine.  We can blame shoddy defense and the lack of a real closer, hell, blame me, I don’t care.  But in the end, there is no denying that we have lost the really important games and we’ve been real sloppy doing it.

Of course, this is the NL Central.  So until the math cancels us out, there’s no need to give up just yet.

The same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays.

If the Rays were in any division other than the AL East they’d be right in the thick of contention.  Unfortunately, the way things are now, even if they do collect the fourth best record in the AL, they still won’t make the playoffs as long as post season regulars New York and Boston remain above them.  I find this a bit sad, for the Rays have gotten tremendous pitching all season long and they’ve found a way to win without high-priced free agent flops Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.

But no one’s talking about the Rays.  And no one will.

Hm… reminds me of the one-way delusional street commonly referred to as the Republican Party.


In the case of the Rays, at least they’ll get another shot next year.  Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is stuck in a great big clogged up tube of crazy, and the exit is nowhere to be found.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 26: Willow, R2D2 and Other Famous Midgets

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”

After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball.  Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!

And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter.  Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!

– – –

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast.  And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!

– – –

Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Filibuster

A bunch of teams are clustered right around .500 and above and no division is even close to being set at this point.  Does this mean baseball is starting to reach parity?

Sean
Caledonia, MI 
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Beware, my friend.  I sense… something.  This… parity you speak of…

IT’S A TRAP!

It’s not real.

Just make-believe.

The truth is, the same old teams are still atop the same old divisions.  The Yankees.  The Red Sox.  The Phillies.  Okay, so the Mets and Dodgers may be out, but it’s not their faults!  They can blame poor ownership and mishandled funds!!!

I know that a quick glance at the standings may confuse the casual onlooker, that one could be easily misguided by the way the teams stack up.  But let’s face it: the NL and AL Centrals have been crapshoots for a decade, the NL West has been a contest in mediocrity for a long time.  The Angels’ dominance of the AL West was only usurped last year and in 2011 they have put themselves back in contention.

This is not parity.  This is, like our US American social ladder, a classic case of 99% of the wealth being in the hands of 1% of the population and everyone else is left to fend for himself.  The effect resembles something like parity.  But it ain’t.

It’s pitching.

I really believe that the Mitchell Report and its subsequent juicy fallout has forced teams to go back to what always works: good pitching.  With good pitching, you might have a decent shot at accumulating wins.  The Giants are a perfect example of a team that gets by on minimal offense and middle-of-the-pack payroll.  It’s not the stuff of dynasties… but when it works, it works, and that’s what teams are doing.

The Pirates are winning because of pitching (they can’t hit).  The Braves are winning because of pitching (they have a hard time scoring too).  The Diamondbacks could always hit, but this year they have… PITCHING.

Great pitching is the best defense against great hitting.  I didn’t write that.  Baseball wrote that.

When the Orioles and Blue Jays can compete in their own division… when the Nationals have a shot at the big boys in the NL East… that’s when I’ll consider parity’s existence.

But right now that seems like something that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away.

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

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Curious to know just how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Mr. Krause?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Big Trouble In Little Minnesota

I once dated a girl from Wisconsin.  Well, actually, she was from Wisconsin, but she told everyone she was from Minnesota because she was embarrassed by her rural Sconnie roots.  Oh what a difference a decade can make!

Now, hailing from Minnesota will get you all sorts of snickers and sneers.  From the incoherent and elementary mumblings of a psychopath with presidential aspirations to a defunct state government that thinks it should get paid even though it’s not doing any work, the North Star State is looking more and more like the Land of 10,000 Gaffes.

And that’s not even including the moribund Twins!

Believe me, I’m just as shocked as you.  Traditionally, the Twins do everything right.  They see the ball.  They catch the ball.  They use two hands.  From top to bottom, they are the most fundamentally sound franchise in the Big Leagues, which is why they’ve been able to find success despite having a not-so-star studded roster.

But they let their 2010 bullpen of bad@sses go.  When he plays, Joe Mauer has been… er… um… not Joe Mauer.  And between getting his bell rung and having an uncooperative neck, 2006 MVP Justin Morneau has been about as fearsome as a Keenan Cahill video.

Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, which is why the Twins will always be happy to destroy the White Sox.

Unfortunately, that won’t be enough for the Twins to make any noise in the AL Central.  I know the Mike Francescas and Harold Reynolds of the world still have faith, but those people are stupid.  The Twins are done.

I can only hope the same is true for Bachmann and the tepid taxpayers of her dejected state.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Once again the Twins beat up the AL Central and might even catch
the Yankees for the best record in baseball.  Can we reasonably say at
this point that the Twins are the best run team in baseball?
 
Rob

Duluth, MN
_______________________________

chairman mauer.jpg

All biases aside, Rob, to say the Twins “beat up” the AL Central sorta glides over the fact that, outside of the White Sox, the Twins really had no competition going into the season to begin with; that the White Sox totally derailed (twice!) only made the Twins look more dominant.

But I understand your want, your desire, your dream to cast the Twins in a plushy role like that of the highfalutin, media-darling Yankees.  Well, brother, dream on… ‘cuz, reasonably speaking, the Twins ain’t the Yankees. 

Nor are they the Rays.

Nor the Phils.

Hell, they’re not even close!

In my opinion (which happens to be right), those three are the best teams in baseball right now.  And when you add the qualifier of “best run”, well, sorry.  I really can’t look any further than the best teams.  Period.

Are the Twins good?  Yes.  Are they capable of going all the way?  Sure.  Can I slot them in as the best run team in baseball?  No way!

Believe me, I tip my cap to the entire Twins organization.  They build from the ground up.  They instill in their players the concept of playing the game the right way.  They do the little things well and fundamentally, they are as sound as a team can possibly be.

But when the pressure is on, they fail.  When they need to win the big game, they don’t.  Not yet, at least.  And going into a short series with Liriano, Pavano and Duensing isn’t quite as mortifying to the opposition as going in with Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt (lookout!).

To me, being the best run team in baseball would require, at the very least, a track record of winning when it matters the most — a trip to the World Series would be even better.  But the Twins haven’t been in that situation since Danny Gladden hit leadoff and Barry Bonds had a normal sized forehead.  And despite all the good things the Twins’ brass has done in recent years, can I really celebrate a front office that let Johan Santana go for Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey?!?!?!?

No way.

I love me some Joe Mauer and Delmon Young just as much as the next baseball dork, but, let’s be honest with ourselves: they ain’t scarin’ anybody.

Yet.

Hate me ‘cuz I think the Twins’ are the weakest playoff link, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Chairman Mauer image courtesy of Twinkie Town)

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Information that pins Mr. Krause as a closet Tea Bagger also welcome (he won’t stop talking about Christine O’Donnell, you know. Just sayin).