And no, silly, this has nothing to do with Estonia joining the Eurozone, though I do admit, that Eurozone has a lot more going for it than just a snazzy name now that Estonia is in the mix! Look out European Union, ‘cuz y’all haven’t seen oil shale til you’ve seen Estonia!
No, what I actually want to tell you about is something I am still rather reluctant to report: I’ve… I’ve been watching… basketball.
I know, I know, I know… I gave up on basketball back before Charles Barkley ate Jabba the Hutt and I never, EVER, had any regrets. It’s an individual sport. A natural obsession for those with ADHD. An abomination of the thinking man’s game.
Yes, I still believe all of the above is true… but, it was a long, arduous baseball offseason for me and I got antsy and I was just begging for something — anything! — to get me to Spring Training and that’s when I saw…
I saw something… something special… something… MAGICAL.
His name is Derrick Rose.
Now I’m not going to go all John Kerry and flip-flop on y’all… but I am going to admit that I am willing to work with this here NBA thing a little bit longer. Because while the Kobe Bryants and LeBron James and Chris Boshes of the world may leave a sour taste in the mouth of public opinion, Derrick Rose is not just a budding superstar beginning to dominate the entire league, but he is also (as far as I can tell) a genuinely nice guy.
People like him. He’s cool. He’s just a kid having fun.
And I was at a game earlier this season where he did this:
I saw that and I just knew. I just knew, this kid is gonna kill the competition. And if you haven’t been paying attention to the NBA this year (again, I don’t blame if you haven’t), he is doing just that. In fact, I liken his domination to that of Albert Pujols: when I watch him play, I feel like I am watching one of the greatest who ever lived.
Soon, real baseball games will begin and my full attention will be focused on the boys of summer; but I can honestly say, for the first time since the Clinton administration, I will definitely be checking in on the Bulls’ playoff progress.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
PS, If you want to see three minutes and forty-four seconds more of Derrick Rose magic, check out this vid!
Oh, don’t pretend like you haven’t thought about what your walk-up music would be. Me? Depends on the mood, but right now it’d be the first few bars of Cats, Van, Bags, or anything by Slayer.
For others, it may be something more tributary. I fondly remember getting out of my seat and dancing every time Eli Marrero came to the plate with his uptempo salsa music blasting the stadium. And how could I forget my first Adam Dunn walk-up? Allen was there with me. We were both in awe by his slow Phil Collins inspired saunter!
But I just plain don’t like it when politicians try to adopt songs from pop culture. I didn’t like Bill Clinton’s use of what was once a great Fleetwood Mac song (mostly because of how it affected Al and Tipper, which subsequently made me throw up in my mouth, a lot) and I am not very fond of the current GOP’s outlandish claim to the Carrie Underwood song “Undo It”.
Hold on a sec…
* * *
Okay, I’m back. I had to go break some s***.
Undo it!?!?!?!? How about you undo the notion that the previous band of politicians wasn’t fairly elected to make some big @ssed decisions that we — the friggin PEOPLE — asked them to make.
This whole running a country thing… it isn’t a game. It’s not something to be taken lightly. So I propose that the new majority spend less time thinking about what they want their walk-up music to be, and more time finding out how to pay for health care; because I think I broke my hand a minute ago breaking some s*** and now I need to go to Urgent Care.
Also, Carrie Underwood is too damn sexy to be associated with… Glenn Beck.
Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time the past week looking back over 2010. But the start of a new year is also a chance to look ahead and imagine what might be. Sometimes those predictions are way off, like when I (and almost every sportswriter) thought the Tigers would be unstoppable in 2008. Sometimes those predictions are a little more accurate, like when people predicted the Democrats would lose seats in 2010. Sometimes the predictions are eerily prescient, like this:
So, I guess I want to build on that and take this opportunity to make a couple predictions for 2011.
First, I predict that Obama will pull an Obama and find a way to mediate between the extreme craziness of the Tea Partiers and the extreme idiocy of the crazies in his own party. I also predict that even though he will do this in a very different way than Bill Clinton, it will still be continuously compared to Clinton’s own recovery following devastating midterms.
Secondly, I predict that hiring will pick up by the 4th quarter of this year and people will be amazed. All this despite the fact that we have seen time and time again how the economy is cyclical and it was really only a matter of time before things turned around. I also predict that both sides of the aisle will claim that their actions are the only reason things got better.
Finally, I bet that 2011 will see many instances of Mr. Lung maligning the Tigers and Cubs whilst opining the Cardinals. He will also ask you many times not to hate him.
Hey, I didn’t say my predictions would be earth-shattering. I’m not a betting man. If I’m going to predict something, I like to know that I’m going to be right. And in that same vein, here’s another one you can take to the bank. Apple will release a new version of the iPad that includes either Flash compatibility or a camera and then release another version several months later that includes the upgrade they decide to forgo in the 2nd generation.
Just remember, you heard it here first. Now get out there and start spending your upcoming tax breaks. Like your girlfriend, this economy ain’t gonna stimulate itself.
Two of your favorite guys have been in the news a lot lately. Glenn Beck
and Roger Clemens. If you had to be either one for a day who you would
Wow. How do I even begin? I mean, both men are absolute paragons of masculinity. One man liked to stick needles in his butt on a regular basis and the other cries when he sees a bald eagle. But if I had to choose between the two and spending a day in their skin, I’d have to choose Clemens.
Here’s the problem. When you spend a day as someone, you have to be able to extricate yourself from that person in the end. Clemens doesn’t strike me as the type who has a whole lot going on upstairs. Being in his head is like walking down one long, empty corridor. There are doors here and there and maybe I’d get lucky enough to open the one where he throws the bat at Piazza and figure out what was really going on in that moment.
On the other hand you have Glenn Beck. Have you tried watching the guy’s show? He starts on one thought, flies off on some tangent, leaps off the tangent to attempt an allusion and winds up throwing logic aside for the beautiful simplicity of ad hominem attack. Why doesn’t he like Obama’s health care plan? Well, because the Nazis had a health care plan.
The twists and turns inside that mind are baffling from the outside and could only be more confusing when you’re right in the middle of it. If you go in there, your chances of making it out alive or at least sane are about as good as the odds that Newt Gingrich won’t cheat on this wife. Or that Bill Clinton has been faithful. Yeah, that bad.
So, give me Clemens. He may not be the nicest guy. He may not be the smartest guy. But at least I can kind of figure out what he’s thinking. There’s a simple beauty in that.
For me, the biggest difference between being 21 years old and 31 years old, is that at 31 years old I realize I don’t know everything there is to know about the world… most things, yes. Everything? Not a chance.
So that’s why I get so giggly when I learn something new. Always be learning… that’s my motto. And believe me, folks, last week was full of virgin information.
The Pirates Have Run Out of Future Stars to Trade Away
Yeah, yeah, you can make a strong case for Andrew McCutchen being that guy, but the Pirates have long said he’s a keeper. I’m talkin’ about the Aramis Ramirezes… the Nate McClouths… the Freddy Sanchezes. Okay, maybe not the Freddy Sanchezes. But you get what I’m sayin’.
Sarah Palin Thinks She Knows What Having “Cojones” Is All About
I can tell ya this much: those with cojones don’t quit their jobs as governor mid-term. And they never use the phrase “hopey-changey”. And they tend to not make up words, then compare themselves to Shakespeare. Believe that.
The Yankees Have a Death Wish
How else does one explain their trading for Kerry Wood? Look, I know Joba’s been bad and all… but Kerry Wood? Seriously? The Boss is rolling over, y’all.
A Chelsea Clinton Wedding Does Not A Camelot Make
Look, I know Bill Clinton is cool and all. Hell, some might even say he’s… sexy. But at the same time, no one would ever use the word ‘sexy’ to describe Hillary. And Chelsea? Exactly. Let’s just agree that this whole Clinton shindig was more proof that what US America really longs for is ultimate regression: give us back our king; make us slaves to royal inbreeds; let the pope wreck the world with his medieval wordview. I, frankly, will not be a part of it. I will finish my spaceship and move to Betelgeuse, where I belong. But I’m taking my collection of scorecards with me.
And, of course… I also learned that…
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye… To Ryan Ludwick
Admittedly, Luddy ain’t no Albert. He ain’t no Yadi. He ain’t no Waino. But he is Luddy… and over the last few years we’ve really learned to appreciate his bat, his patience, his gamesmanship. And we’re gonna miss that. Ludwick has always been one of those quiet warriors — a stoic gamer who never shies from giving his best effort, even when that means playing through pain. But the Cardinals needed pitching. And with the outfield logjam set up by the excellent play of John Jay, there wasn’t room for Ludwick anyway. The Padres are gettin’ a boost. We’re gettin’ the arm we need. And everyone ought to be happy (except for the Indians who currently reside in baseball hell).
We’re gonna miss ya, Ryan.
Don’t hate me.
‘Cuz I’m right.
(Special thanks to C for the top photo)
Goals keep you focused. For instance, Jamie Moyer didn’t just walk out on day one of his MLB career and say, “Hey, I want to give up at least 500 home runs over the next couple decades.” No, he set manageable goals like, “Today I’m going to give up two homers and in my next start, only one.” That’s how records get broken.
Sometimes goals give you purpose. Like when Bill Clinton gets a little contemplative and starts talking about what keeps him going. Sure, he may have been President of the United States, the greatest country in the history of the world, but he’s also just a regular guy who wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro before he dies. And see his grandchildren. Oh, and run a marathon.
Now, I’m a big fan of Clinton. But the guy is starting to look old. If you noticed him tottering around at the World Cup, he looked like an old man wearing a young man’s clothes. I hope he makes it to Kilimanjaro and I certainly hope he gets to see his grandchildren. But, it might also be time to realize that those two things could be mutually exclusive.
More than that, I worry about Bill for another reason. He said The Bucket List was one of his favorite movies. Ok, that’s cute and all but really? You’re a Rhodes Scholar and a past his prime Jack Nicholson running around diving out of airplanes is what does it for you?
At the same time, if I can still run around at 63 like Clinton does, I’ll feel pretty good. I mean, even if he doesn’t look quite as vibrant, the guy still knows where to be and how to do it. Who knows, maybe the way he does it is by having goals. Hey, it worked for Jamie Moyer.
Even Clinton, despite his somewhat suspect taste in women, knew how to play the game. Cigars in the Oval Office, blue dresses. The man had been perfecting the craft with Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers and there was no way Monica had a chance against him.
But now? John Edwards cheats on his cancer-stricken wife, gets the lady pregnant and videotapes it. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he still had the balls to think he could make it through the campaign without anyone finding out.
And if we can believe recent reports, it seems that boring old Al Gore might be the worst of the lot. It’s not just that he hid it all along while subjecting us to that interminable kiss with Tipper. It also appears that he plain and simple has no game. Let’s look in on a Chinese animated recreation of the events in Oregon on the night of October 24, 2006:
Yep, real classy, Al. And when a lady compares you to a sex-crazed poodle, that’s usually not a compliment. Even if I have been known to take it that way.
As a young boy growing up in the middling middle-class of US America, my dreams were aplenty.
In particular, I dreamed of a day when I would succeed as a professional baseball player. Wearing the mask behind the plate, I envisioned catching the called third strike to win the World Series… rushing to the mound, hugging my pitcher, shouting til I lost my voice.
So too did aspiring to be a great leader. Always the smooth talker with a penchant for spontaneous charm, I reckoned I had the skills to become a good politician.
Neither dream became reality; and poor old me had to settle for co-writing a hit baseball blog.
But that’s okay.
I mean, I still wish I could have lived out those Major League aspirations… but when it comes to politics, I couldn’t be happier that I eschewed it all the way. (Yeah, I just said ‘eschewed’. I like that word. Eschew. Say it with me. Eschew.) Because to be honest, politics is boring as hell. Oh sure, the Jack Kennedys and Bill Clintons and Ronald Reagans and Barack Obamas make it look flashy and fun and cool; but most of what goes on behind the political scene is as boring as Tommy Lasorda is fat.
Of course, you wouldn’t know it by watching this clip, which just happens to be the most exciting exchange on the senate floor since Strom Thurmond admitted he still owned slaves. Okay, he didn’t admit that, but he probably should have.
Will the Senator from Connecticut please continue…
Oh, sorry. You’re still reading? Cool.
So, what did we learn? Franken is an ^ss. McCain is old. Lieberman is confused.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
PS, Thanks so much for all the kind well wishes you sent me on my birthday. Much appreciated! Fist bumps all around!
A-Rod finally has his ring and the Yankee faithful are overjoyed.
However, do you think there’s any chance that this will make him less
of a dill-hole? This is a guy who has dumped his wife, dated Madonna,
admitted to being a big fat liar and had somewhat major surgery in the
span of about one year. Does one ring atone for that?
Okay, that’s a lie. My mom doesn’t know what a dill-hole is (perhaps neither do I), but it doesn’t matter because it’s true.
Let us remember that.
But let us also remember that in professional sports, just as in politics, the most important question when evaluating merit will always be the same: What have you done for me, lately?
In Alex Rodriguez’s case, does it really matter that 9 months ago all we were talking about was his wayward romp in the world of performance enhancing drugs? Does anyone remember that he flat-out lied to the press? That he stained the game? That he forced difficult discussions between parents and their children about the dangers of illegal substances and cheating the most sacred of US America‘s games?
No. Of course not. He led them to a World Series crown. If Charles Manson hit .378 with 6 HR and 18 RBI during the playoffs, he too would be lifted up on the city’s shoulders, carted off to the tune of “27th Heaven” just like A-Rod was.
Because that is how the world works.
I don’t think ethnic Albanians in Kosovo really put too much thought into President Bill Clinton’s oval office sexual exploits when they erected their tributary bronze statue of him in Pristina recently. He ended their persecution, man! He knocked Serb forces out of the game by hitting in the clutch, with proverbial runners in scoring position!
Likewise, Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War! Nevermind all the money and resources he threw at guerrilla specialists in Afghanistan (*ahem, Osam bin Laden, et al*) to fight the evil Soviet regime! HE ENDED THE GODDAMN COLD WAR, MAN!
And let’s face it, folks: cold wars suck. I think we can all agree on that. To Yankees fans, an eight year absence from holding the highest position in the baseball cosmos had to feel a lot like a cold war, and like my mama always said: “character doesn’t mean s*** in love and war.”
Okay, that’s a lie. She never said that. But she might. She’s got opinions.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As is customary at RSBS, the Filibuster will be put on hiatus until pitchers and catchers report. Very special thanks to all our dear readers who’ve bombarded us with Filibuster topics this season! We’ll ask for them again in February! Until then, please enjoy RSBS‘ continuing pursuit of the ironically fantastic and creatively eclectic. You’ll be in for some real treats! I’d almost bet my life on it!
When I lie, people call me a liar. It’s part of this whole
thing I do called “living in the real world.” I’m not saying I lie
all that often but when I do, I expect to get called out on it. However, it
would be kind of nice, just for once, to live in another world. A world where
words don’t necessarily mean what the dictionary says they mean and where I can
spin the events and claim that the usual consequences don’t apply to me. You
too? You want to live in this world? Well, come with me as we tour of a few of
these magical lands.
“I thought they were vitamins.” “Really? It wasn’t just some
sort of magical cream/ointment?” “Sure, I’ve always taken estrogen
hormone therapy. Doesn’t everyone?”
And the list goes on.
Major League Baseball players have a somewhat impressive track record when it
comes to PED prevarications. And the longer this slow leak of names and
offenses takes, the more ridiculous the excuses will become.
However, that’s the beauty of living in a land like this. You never have to
face the truth. You know that MLB is going to slap you with a fine or a
suspension, you either pay it or serve it and then you’re back to doing what
you do best. No silly, not hitting home runs. Finding new ways to beat the
system by masking the drugs you’re taking.
Many, many people live in this fantasy land where nothing is ever quite what it
seems. However, one of the more recent newly minted citizens seems to be
carving out his own space and setting the foundations (or lack thereof) of an
enormous castle built almost entirely on sand.
Now, if you follow politics, you know that John Ensign used to be a
fire-breathing dragon of the Newt Gingrich led Republican Revolution. And he
was so personally affronted by Bill Clinton’s “low morals” in the
Monica Lewinsky affair that he helped push through the president’s impeachment
and urged him to resign since his actions meant he could no longer be an
However, it appears that screwing
the wife of one of your best friends and then having your family pay her hush
money so she won’t talk about it is somehow different. Yes, my friends,
only in this fantastical land can you justify adultery by claiming it’s not the
same thing because you “didn’t perjure yourself.” I wonder how that
excuse would fly for me?
Join me next week as we continue our tour with a couple fantastical lands that
could only spring from one delusional and mildly sociopathic man. That’s
right, next week we visit the mind of Jeffery Lung and I feel it’s only right
that I warn you in advance: It’s not a pretty thing. You might want to make
sure that any young children leave the room.