“It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.”
—Mr. Allen Krause, March 9, 2011
In the above quote my gruff and oft extraneous colleague, Mr. Krause (also pictured above), says a bunch of stuff without really saying a bunch of stuff. Like a politician jockeying for the attention of the masses, he assumes that by stuffing some multisyllabic extra-credit words in your face, that you will just trust he knows what he’s talking about, that you will quietly nod and accept his worldview even though it has no basis in reality (ironically, this is exactly what evangelicals are famous for, the very people Mr. Krause was thwarting all along).
For ye are the dear readers of RSBS — a vast realm of learned baseball folks who can’t be hoodwinked by a mere impostor of authority! We demand truth! We demand beauty! We demand beer!
In fact, you know what Mr. Krause does when he’s not writing about baseball, solving the world’s socio-political problems or pipedreaming about a World Series trophy among the rubble also known as the Motor City?
He’s busy bein’ a YouTube sensation, that’s what. Maybe you’ve seen this special performance of his…
Take it away, Al!
Yeah, it would be nice if my coauthor had the intestinal fortitude to eschew cliche bubble-gum lyrics and an equally horrifying jazz-hand infested dance routine, but hey, I’m not the boss of him.
So hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*Detroit Tigers Spring Training Watch*
Miguel Cabrera has been in camp almost a week now without slurring his words or asking anyone “Do you know who I am!?!?!?!” Hot dog!!!
What a coincidence, dear reader Henry! For just the other day I was telling my crestfallen and oft flustered colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, that the only surefire way to take over the world is to get a bunch of followers to trust in some cliche, universal proverbs with some fairy tales thrown in for fun. And hot dog if you didn’t just poke me to share!
First, allow me to correct you on the title. Mr. Lung is my pop’s name. This here lil book is called The Holy-Cow Canon of Jeff. It is presented in three parts, or books as you shall see.
The Book of Baseball
Respect. Not sayin’ you have to love the hell out of baseball like I do, but you gotta at least respect it. You must recognize the fact that those of us who worship the game and revere the diamond as our sanctuary tend to be wiser, more patient, and definitely more prone to bouts of combustible love rooted in our collective ability to cherish the good and to quickly forget all that is bad.
From The Book of Baseball, Chapter 28, Verse 5:
“Smith corks one into right, down the line! It may go . . . Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”
The Book of Womenz
Basically, the moral of this book (the largest of the three, naturally), is to always admire and respect beauty — whatever that means to you. For me, that means Erin Andrews’ choice wardrobe selection, Kim Kardashian’s bangin’ bum, Jenna Fischer’s girl-next-door allure, Allison Stokke’s athletically gifted physique and Lucy Liu’s dominatrix potential. (If it’s menz you’re into, then simply substitute “menz” for “womenz”. If it’s non-humans you’re into, then I can’t help you, but maybe these folks can).
From The Book of Womenz, Chapter 43, Verse 12-14:
“The girls is all jockin’ at the other end of the bar, havin’ drinks with some no-name chump, when they know that I’m the star. So I got up and strolled over to the other side of the cantina, I asked the guy ‘Why you so fly?’, he said ‘Funky Cold Medina’.” (via Deacon Loc)
The Book of the Golden Rule
Just like in modern day Christianity, you can skip the other books of this canon if you want and just focus on this last and most important one. It’s fairly simple and you heard it in kindergarten (maybe you haven’t learned it yet) but you’ve definitely heard it: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Got it? Don’t want someone to beat you up and take your money? Then don’t beat people up and take their money. Don’t want strangers dictating to you what you should and shouldn’t believe? Then don’t dictate to strangers what they should and shouldn’t believe. Like living in peace without bombs being dropped on your house? Then live in peace and don’t friggin’ drop bombs on other people’s houses!!!
It’s really that easy!
There’s only one verse in this book, so let me repeat it, The Book of the Golden Rule, Chapter 1, Verse 1:
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU.
Thank you and good night.
Also, the above chapter and verse can be ignored when it comes to Chicago sCrUBS bashing, which is vehemently encouraged and allowed.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m makin’ moves, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Guys, the season is starting in a few days and I still haven’t seen an
honest to god prediction out of you yet. What do you think? Is there
anyone who can keep the Yankees from repeating?
We haven’t made any predictions yet? Oh yeah, I guess predicting that the Detroit Tigers will suck this year isn’t really a prediction, it’s just a known fact. Considering that it is that time of year when everyone is making some sort of bold statement as to who is gonna win and who isn’t, I think you’re right, Lee. It is time for RSBS to jump into the prognostication pool (that sounds like something one would find in Vegas) and so we do as only we at RSBS (I, Jeff, not Al ‘cuz he’s a slacker) know how.
(subliminal messages start now)
Compared to its AL counterpart, this division isn’t quite the sexy beast it used to be. The team to beat is the Phillies; and while the Mets look to give a better effort than last year if healthy while the Braves and Marlins lurk behind with plenty of potential, I still don’t see how the Phillies can lose this division. Oh wait. Yes I can; his name is Brad Lidge.
Yet I think the Phils still win it. Ya can’t get much worse than Lidge was last year and they still won the league.
Come now, is there really any competition here? Yeah, sure the Brewers can bop with the best of them but have you seen their pitching staff? Exactly. The sCrUBS? Er…. no. The Astros? Stop playin’. The Pirates? The Pirates!?!? Ha! The only team in this division who might give the Cardinals a run is the Cincinnati Reds, and for that to happen Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto have to both deliver the goods like seasoned professionals (they’re not) and Aaron Harang would have to keep his ERA under 10 (he won’t)… not to mention the fact that Dusty Baker would have to not destroy someone’s arm (he will).
Cardinals. No question.
Hmm. This is an interesting division. My heart says San Fransisco but my heart also says I should be able to drink a fifth of scotch and still be able to dance the merengue with some amount of poise. In other words, my heart is a goddamn liar. There are too many question marks in the Dodgers young pitching staff that I can’t put my money on them. So I turn towards the Rockies — a team with balance, a team with Tulo, a team with purple pinstripes.
San Francisco joins as the Wild Card.
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla. Not this year, folks. Yankees, Rays, Yankees, Rays… and Brian Matusz. The Yankees are the best in baseball. Hard to argue against that. The 2010 Red Sox are not the Red Sox we’re used to seeing. They made a major mistake by not bringing back Jason Bay and they’re gonna suffer for it. The Rays… this is the year for them. It’s now or never. And just for fun, let it be known that Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles is one hell of a pitching phenom and a reason to tune into their games every once in a while.
Yankees win without even trying.
Rays take the Wild Card.
With so much money going towards roster scrubs and the recently anointed singles-machine, Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers of 2010 will look more like the Tigers of 2003. Okay, maybe not that bad, but still, they ain’t goin’ anywhere. The Twins will be in the race, but I suspect they will be playing a lot of doubleheaders this year due to that new open air stadium; and their team is still built for turf. I don’t see them catching the White Sox, who in my opinion have the best starting five of any other team in the Majors. If Peavy stays healthy and Floyd and Danks kick it up a notch, I don’t see how they could be beat. Keep your eye on Gordon Beckham too. He’s gonna be a superstar.
Like its National League version, this division causes me fits. The Rangers are right on the cusp of doing something great; but then I look at their pitching staff and see a bunch of crooked numbers on the board against them. The A’s? Uh… no offense, but if you rely on Kurt Suzuki to produce all your offense, I cannot take you seriously. The Mariners look like they should be much improved; but I’m not drinking that kool-aid yet ‘cuz as of now, they haven’t done jack. And how can I possibly bet against a proven winner, a team that gets it done year after year after year?
The Angels win the West. Why? ‘Cuz they do everything right.
And they have a rally monkey.
Now when you put all these pretty teams together, choosing one over the other is no easy task. They’re all
yummy winners. They’re all well-proportioned hot. They’re all doable talented.
So what is one to do?
Personally, I like to fantasize about a world where they’re all in the same room, having fun and going at it with uncompromising competitive bite. But understanding how unrealistic that is, I guess I have no choice but to choose one.
And again, my lying, cheating, pipe-dreaming heart tells me that the Cardinals are better than the Yankees. Yet, I’m smart enough to know that saying as much is not only unrealistic, it’s just plain fantasy.
Still, one can dream, right?
Hate me ‘cuz I get ya all flustered, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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RSBS has devoted many pages to an ongoing debate between the great minds that form the RSBS duoverse. No, I’m not referring to our liberal vs. conservative clash over the way the game of baseball is played. And I’m not talking about the unending fount of sophistry springing from my colleague regarding the eternal question, which team is better, the Tigers or the Cardinals.
No, our fundamental debate is much more existential and with its subject back in the news, now seems the right time to revisit the topic.
That she is an attractive woman is not open debate because that goes without saying. But my co-blogger’s unhealthy obsession with Ms. Andrews sometimes makes me wonder what goes on inside his head. She’s cute but she’s not that cute. And she’s a Florida Gator which automatically deducts a point from the ten point beauty rating scale we all know so well (a much less harsh deduction than the 2.5 point penalty meted out to any graduate of the University of Notre Dame, a university who’s men’s basketball team recently went down in delightfully ignominious defeat during the first round of the NCAA tournament I might add).
However, even I have to admit that she’s looking very nice on Dancing With the Stars. And that’s saying something when you’re up against Nicole Scherzinger and a very svelte looking Pam Anderson.
I’m not saying that Jeff has won this debate, not by any stretch. But, since I can admit when another person has a legitimate point, I’m admitting that in this instance Ms. Andrews is looking good. That being said, she’s still no Allison Stokke.
Albert Pujols has played just nine Major League seasons and in each and every one of them he’s hit over 30 homeruns, collected more than 100 RBI and batted over .300. Those aren’t just good numbers, folks. Those are astronomical numbers.
And this is his best year yet.
I think it’s time we stop referring to Albert Pujols as the future Hall of Famer that he is — because let’s face it, if the man’s career ends today he’ll be a first ballot lock* — and start acknowledging that he is indeed one of the greatest players to ever play the game, all-time, in the history of the game.
In our present game, today, right this second, we are witnessing a rare and genuine paragon of baseball supremacy.
Stop — and — think — about — that.
My Dad saw Gibson.
My Grandpa saw Musial.
And Albert will trump them both.
By a long shot.
I know it’s hard to understand while it’s happening. I realize that, in most cases, we do not realize what great feats we are witnessing firsthand until it’s too late, until our heroes are lifted in the 7th for defensive replacements, until they’re embarking on sappy, over-produced farewell tours.
But right now we all have the opportunity to savor the greatness, to take it all in, to let it move us.
Great presidents abound in Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington; but there is only one Abraham Lincoln.
Sure, Metallica is great and all but there’s only one Pink Floyd.
And yes. There is only one Albert Pujols.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
*As one reader pointed out, a player needs 10 years in the Majors before being eligible; consider my phrase a simple bout of hyperbole
Although I am now well aware that Jeff has misplaced himself under a bus somewhere, I also realize that part of the reason for him being under that bus was my absence over the past couple weeks. What can I say? Sometimes a man needs a little vacation and sometimes that vacation comes sans wi-fi. However, having acknowledged that, I think I’ll use this opportunity to pile on a little more.
So, without further ado, come along with me on a frightening and bizarre voyage to the fantasy lands that exist only in the mind of one Jeffery Lung.
Only in the dark recesses of the mind of my good friend and colleague could this:
Apples and oranges, my friend. Seriously, man, what are you thinking? Sure Albert is a great player, possibly the best in the game today. I’m not arguing with that. And I also understand that there are some good looking men out there and more and more often, other men are admitting that they are attracted to them. But this guy? Nope, I just don’t see it.
“The Cardinals Still Would Have Won the 2006 Series Without Tigers’ Pitchers’ Errors”-stan:
I respect the Cardinals. I really do. As I’ve stated before, they have a great tradition and some of the best players to have ever played the game came out of there. And there have been a couple times where they straight up beat the pants off of the Tigers and I don’t begrudge them that.
But the fact of the matter is that those errors by the Tigers’ pitchers set a tone for the entire Series and the Cardinals were able to turn these miscues into runs that ultimately won them the championship. That’s the long and the short of it.
To steal one of your favorite lines, Mr. Lung:
Don’t hate me because of my inability to fantasize about Albert Pujols in a kiddie pool full of tapioca pudding. Hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There comes a point in the season where we sit back, take a deep breath and wonder why baseball doesn’t have cheerleaders. I mean, the WNBA has cheerleaders, why not MLB? But never fear, faithful readers. After much deliberation and some top of the line work by the interns, we have a special gift for you: the RSBS all-star cheerleading team.
Since the squad is created to further our love for and appreciation of baseball, it seems only natural that Ms. Milano, the black widow herself, would lead this team. Just keep her far, far away from Justin Verlander. We don’t need him to go Barry Zito on us.
Despite Ms. Stokke’s tangential at best relation to baseball, we give her a position on our team because, well, because she’s pretty and we like looking at her. Do I really need more of a reason than that?
Although not a choice that I would normally make, Ms. Andrews makes the team out of respect to my friend, Mr. Lung. And at least we can point out that her relationship to baseball is well-documented and ongoing. Welcome to the team.
Although a bit of a dark-horse contender, Ms. Heller routinely establishes her bona fides, especially after the Yankee Stadium program dust-up earlier this year. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also the top ranked MLBlogs fan blogger and that counts for something in our book. We’ll just have to ignore the fact that she’s a Yankee lover.
Anyway, although it’s a small squad, we think you’ll agree that it’s also a very impressive group. And we really hope that our honorees take it in good fun because honestly, we’re really just jealous of them. I mean, who wouldn’t want to date Barry Zito? Well, as long as he didn’t Tweet about it.