Tagged: Barry Bonds

The Filibuster

arod_adjusting_cup.jpgThe player formerly known as Alex Rodriguez will soon hit his 600th Home Run.

Who Cares?

 
Mike 
Brooklyn Trolley Blogger
_______________________________

Not me.

I could care less, Mike.

And that’s… sad.  Sorta. 

To be honest, I’m so over it — all of it… the steroids, the scandals, the lying, the cover-ups, the BALCOs, the blue sweaters.  Yes, there comes a time when even extreme baseball purists like myself have no choice but to let…

…go.

Because baseball’s numbers will never be the same.  Never.  Long gone are the days when a digit might suggest greatness.  The hallowed marks of achievement died sometime in the late 80s, when a clubhouse party at the Coliseum consisted of needles, juice and dudes gettin’ jacked.  They killed it — they murdered the prestige.  It’s all dead now.  The numbers will never be as important as they were before PEDs, before Barry, before A-Rod. 

I’ve finally come to terms with that. 

And I’m also happy to say that the desacrilization of baseball’s numbers won’t kill the game

I used to think it would.

It hasn’t.

And it won’t.

Which is exactly why baseball is the grandest game on the planet.  It has withstood wars, betting scandals, collusion, labor disputes.  Its integrity has been challenged.  Its image has been smeared.  On many occasions, it has even been left for dead.

But it always comes back to life.  And it comes back to life bigger, better, stronger.

Hank Aaron.  755. 

Roger Maris.  61.

Those are the ones we choose — collectively, as a people, as a community — those are the ones we’ll remember. 

The other numbers?  I couldn’t tell you how many homeruns Barry Bonds hit in his career.  I couldn’t tell you because I don’t care.  The public doesn’t care.  We don’t care.

And that’s a beautiful sign that baseball has moved on, beyond the numbers; because, let’s face it: sometimes, you just have to move on.

In our case, we are all very lucky, because we get to move on together.

I’m right on that, Mike.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz of it.

Peace,

Jeff

***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. 

***Videos of Al in a speedo, dry humpin’ reporters at Hedonism II also welcome.

The Filibuster

You guys make a lot of Bud Selig’s poor management of MLB.  If you could
take his place for one day and make one change, what would you change
and how do you think it would alter the game?

Harrison
Pontiac,
MI
____________________________________

bud selig picking nose.jpgAww, gee, Harrison (insert overwhelming use of sarcasm), thanks a lot.  I only get one day and one change?  What’s the point?  You know this: It’s gonna take a lot more than just one day and one change to correct the myriad wrongs laid down by King Bud over the past 18 years.

Is it realistic to ban the Cardinals from losing 20 inning games?  No?  How about simply getting rid of the Royals franchise?  No?  Okay.  What about forcing opposing pitchers to only offer breaking balls in the dirt to Alfonso Soriano?  Fine.

Then I guess I would have to consider one of the obvious:

  • stop making it (the All-Star Game) “count” for anything other than a celebration of the best in the game
  • shorten spring training
  • eliminate the plethora of off-days during the playoffs
  • change the schedule back to 154 games
  • sew Barry Bonds’ mouth shut forever and ever, amen

But to be honest, none of the above would be worthy of my one day and my one change.  No.  If I only get one then I’m gonna focus on what’s really wrong with the game and fix that as soon as possible.  What would I do?

Allow MLB ballparks to serve beer after the 7th inning.

Imagine being at that 20 inning game on Saturday, soberly watching in extras, thirsty, parched, dried up… brat in hand but no suds to wash it down.  That, dear readers, is simply unacceptable.

Tragic. 

beer.JPGAnd it goes well beyond the frustration of watching a game go past nine innings without the comforts of a cold, frosty one.  Think about it: if you are really so blasted from drinking beer during the game, is that one and a half to two innings of sobriety really going to make it okay for you to operate a vehicle? 

No. 

If you are really that wasted from drinking beer during the game should you be driving home anyway?

Hell no.

Here’s what we do: tell everyone to drink responsibly.  People are or aren’t going to do that anyway, whether you serve beer after the 7th inning or not.

So please stop punishing me after the 7th inning.  Often times those last couple innings are the ones where I need the numbing powers of alcohol the most!  

Move over, Bud.  Let me make this change. 

Otherwise I’ll be forced to continue double-fisting when they holler out “last call”.

Hate me ‘cuz I finally bring logic to the discussion, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***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. 

***Images of King Bud in a dress also welcome. They exist. Trust us.

Throw the Bums Out

wall_drives.jpgSports networks love days like yesterday.  As the conference championships finish up, the guess work kicks into overdrive.  Who will be the top seeds?  Who are the first four out?  Who’s on the bubble?  And is this finally the year when a 16 seed takes down a 1?

I’ve got nothing to add to this debate since my knowledge of NCAA basketball this year is pretty much limited to random John Wall highlights.  And it’s still a little too early to start the baseball playoffs debate so that’s going to have to wait a couple more months.  However, there is another debate I feel more than qualified to weigh in on.  Which baseball player, current or former, is the biggest jack-hole?

More than a few players qualify for spots in this debate.  I’m sure I’ll hear from people claiming a place for AJ Pierzynski.  Curt Schilling and John Rocker probably have legitimate claims, too.  However, I’m going to go with three who merit special consideration.  Let the debate begin!

Ty Cobb
I love the Tigers despite recent disparaging commentary about my fandom.  But the fact of the matter remains, if you want to talk about all time bad guys, the Georgia Peach has to top the list.  I’m pretty sure he’s not even really dead but was instead secretly recruited by satan to stalk the earth, invisibly sliding in, cleats up, attempting to destroy the shins and ACLs of unaware people all over the world.

Barry Bonds
Barry, you may have the homerun record but you’re a stinking cheat and that’s how people are going to remember you. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I would like to punch you in your over sized head.

Jim Bunning
Former Tigers appear over-represented in this short list but there’s no way to pass up the senator from Kentucky.  I understand his point in saying that the senate should have found a way to pay for unemployment benefits before passing the bill.  But there are good and bad times to suddenly have an attack of principle.  The middle of winter when people are out of work probably counts as a bad time.

Despite these guys’ well-earned reputations, there are still legions of fans who adore them.  But there are also those who want to see them get some comeuppance.  Ty and Jim are already in the Hall and like it or not, Barry will probably end up there one day also.  That doesn’t mean we have to sit idly by and accept it, though.  Just ask these guys.

-A 

The Filibuster

Is baseball becoming a small man’s game?  Frank Thomas is retired,
Jermaine Dye can’t find a new home.  Even Ryan Howard didn’t seem to be
quite the same dynamo last season as he was the year before.  Joe
Mauer and Albert Pujols, while not necessarily small, definitely
aren’t monsters like McGwire and Bonds.  And let’s not forget Dustin
Pedroia’s MVP win from a year ago.  With all the focus on multi-tooled
players, is there still a place for a big man with a big stick?

-Levi J.
Peru, IN
____________________________________

ryan howard pimpin.jpgBelieve me, dear readers, when I put an entire year’s salary on the table and bet on the fact that from now until the end of time, in this grand game of ours there will always be a place for a big man with a big stick.

(That’s what she said.)

That and I will obviously continue to have the self-restraint of a 14 year old.

But that doesn’t matter.

Sure, the game changes.  It morphs to suit the times, needs.  In the nineteen-aughts the emphasis was on the fundamentals — moving the runner over, taking the ball the other way, sliding cleats up.  The Ruthian era saw the longball gain importance.  The 60s saw pitching dominate.  The game of the 80s stressed the need for speed.  The steroid era killed all of that, making it easy for old, overweight has-beens to resuscitate their careers while inflating the record books at the same time, thus exaggerating the homerun to cult status.

And now, after all of that, indeed we are seeing another theme take form and that theme is: athleticism.  Five tooled players are the hottest commodity.  Weight consciousness abounds.  The current goal is to be well-rounded and excel at every part of the job.  The more a player can do, the more valuable he becomes and we are experiencing a real shift in the athletic zeitgeist of Major League Baseball. 

What a wonderful thing! 

Instead of waiting for the juiced-up meat-head to play the 3-run homer waiting game, now we get to see hitters expand the strike zone and hit to all fields.  The running game is in renaissance and we get to experience the art of the steal, which in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful facets of any baseball game.  And now managers manage more: hit and runs, double steals, sacrifice bunts.  They’re all results from this new found shift towards athleticism.

Baseball is rewarding itself with pure, stealth athletes.

Yet fear not, homer lovers, for the game will always need its big men.  The premier archetype, George Herman Ruth, made baseball what it is today; and without that powerful mystique and consistent threat from the “slugger”, baseball would not remain as our US American pastime. 

So while the bones of the league may shift more towards athleticism and overall skill, I assure you that there will always be room for Dave Kingman and Frank Thomas and Ryan Howard. 

Like they say all over the internets, chicks certainly do dig the long ball.

And contrary to everything you know, chicks run the universe.

Don’t hate me.  ‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***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. 

***Photo collages of Tiffani Amber Thiessen circa 1992-1996 also welcome.

Are You of Interest?

clemens_testify.jpgIs it good or bad at this point to be a citizen of or coming from a “country of interest?” If you look at the upside, you get to enjoy the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down. On the downside, well, you get the feeling that comes with the friskiness of a full body pat-down.

If you tend to think that this smacks of profiling, congratulations, you are now able to recognize the obvious! Of course this is profiling. There’s a reason why fourteen countries are on the list and there’s a reason why it’s a specific 14 countries. It’s the same reason why any PED testing scheme should focus on people who suddenly change shape (I’m looking at you, Giambi), people who are performing at very high levels after sickness or late in their career (this means you, Armstrong and Clemens) or people who’s production suddenly and inexplicably increases (yeah, Sosa, you’re on the hook for this one). If you’re looking for fire, it’s not a bad idea to try checking out the smoke.

Now, I’m not saying that I agree with the idea of profiling. Basing any kind of scrutiny or regime on just someone’s ethnicity or some other factor is not going to stop anything in the long-run. Timothy McVeigh wouldn’t have been caught by this nor would the Unabomber. There’s no real substitute for random testing, good intelligence and rigorous processes. Short-term, though? Something has to be done.

The real issue is that when problems are identified, whether it be security lapses or inadequacies in testing, knee-jerk responses tend to be the flavor of the day. The reality is that we need to find the balance between being authoritarian and being lackadaisical. Would a pat down have necessarily stopped the alleged Northwest flight bomber? Who knows but I’m guessing probably not. Would a fully implemented randomized testing program have kept Barry Bonds from the home run record? It’s hard to say. But it’s a place to start.

-A

Waffle House

Belgian_Waffles.JPGAfter spending the last three days in Brussels, it isn’t a stretch to say I have waffles on the brain. Frites and moules, too, of course, but mainly waffles. I mean, if you can’t get a good waffle in Belgium, where can you find one?

Well, after further consideration of that question, there are two answers that pop into my head. Major League Baseball and American politics. Let’s start with politics.

Of course we all remember the 2004 election and John Kerry’s famous non-answers that led to his being described as a waffler. I’m no fan of George Bush but right or wrong or just plain misguided, at least the guy could give you an answer. Kerry was so far inside his own head he practically turned inside out.

And even more recently, Joe Lieberman seems to have taken up the mantle with his seeming indecision on the necessity of a “public option” in the health care bill. Despite proposing a de facto public option in the past, he said he couldn’t vote for the bill this time around with the plan in it. Of course he attempted to parse his words in true Clintonian fashion but at the end of the day we all saw him for what he was. A waffler.

Those two guys don’t have anything on Bud Selig, though. He has been getting away with murder on his watch. Like a modern-day Nero, he’s fiddling (or waffling) as MLB is burning. The whole PED debate? It never should have been a debate. If MLB under Selig’s not-so-watchful eye had simply instituted a testing program similar to what other pro sports were doing, there’s no way that guys like Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa would have ever gotten away with their shenanigans. And more than that, we wouldn’t have to argue about the inclusion of asterisks in the record book.

Here’s what it all comes down to. Waffles may be delicious, especially when topped with whipped cream, strawberries and hot chocolate sauce, but they aren’t so great when they affect our lives and the things we care about. I’m pretty sure even a Belgian could agree to that.

-A

RSBS Presents: MLB’s Favorite Christmas Movies

red_ryder.jpgAs the holiday spirit settles in here at RSBS, we’re starting to get a little excited. In fact, there’s a really good chance that this is the year we get that Red Ryder BB gun we’ve been asking for since 1983. However, as we sit here staring at the gifts under the tree, we thought we could present you with a gift of our own. The interns did a bunch of work coming up with the list and now we just want you to enjoy it. So, enjoy!

Scott Boras
The Santa Clause

Only a hardcore DB like Boras could appreciate the fine print of a contract that makes you take over Santa’s duties if you should happen to be instrumental in his demise. Hell, he probably wrote the contract. On the bright side, at least Scotty hasn’t taken over as Santa…..yet.

The Kansas City Royals
A Charlie Brown Christmas

A ragtag band of kids who are all castoffs from one place or another gather around a depressingly bare Christmas tree. If that doesn’t describe KC’s fortunes, I don’t know what does. And just wait until Greinke blows town.

Derek Jeter
It’s A Wonderful Life

So, how many times have you not made the playoffs in your career? And how many World Series rings have you won? Yeah, I’m pretty sure you could give George Bailey a run for it in the Wonderful Life department.

Bud Selig
Tie: Scrooged and A Christmas Carol

However, he turns it off before the main characters have a change of heart. No room for sentimentality when there are small children and their parents who could be paying more for tickets and concessions. How much more? Get on that, Cratchett. And will you stop blubbering about your goddamn gimpy kid?

Barry Bonds
Miracle on 34th Street

Sometimes when Barry is falling asleep at night, he imagines the postal service delivering thousands of letters to him in a courtroom and the judge declaring him the real home run king. Wake up, Barry. You’re still just a lousy cheat.

So, there you have it. If you ever wondered what a professional baseball player does at this time of the year, you have your answer. As for us, we’ll be splitting a bowl of popcorn and hoping that oblong shaped box doesn’t somehow put our eye out.

-A