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.
In baseball, the very best players fail seven times out of ten. With defeat as the understood underwriter of the game, we as fans tend to not flip every time a batter makes himself an out. Instead, we get over it, move on, and wait for the next opportunity.
The tentacled world of international diplomacy, however, does not feature such a luxurious background. So when it was announced that former president Bill Clinton was to head the rescue mission of two American journalists imprisoned in the mysteriously wacky, pro-proletariat North Korea, I breathed an ecstatic sigh of relief.
Because if anyone can woo the pants off a frail, old, tyrant dictator who fancies Don King hair and Elvis sunglasses, Bill Clinton certainly can.
And like Albert Pujols at the dish with 2 outs, bases loaded and the entire game, season, legacy on the line, Slick Willy delivered.
Of course, while he was there, he did do Al and I a favor by getting Kim’s personal thoughts on Red State Blue State, which Kim supposedly reveres despite his having to ban it in North Korea due to its “flamboyant content” and “excessive skin service“:
Yep. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right. That’s all I ask.
(*Images courtesy of the Associated Press)
It’s amazing to me how creative people can be when trying to avoid admitting something embarrassing. Like Bill Clinton’s infamous definition of “is” or A-Rod’s original interview with Katie Couric, there are little embellishments, and large ones as well, that seem incredibly obvious in retrospect.
However, what I find even more telling is the response when they’re finally called out and forced to tell the truth. Maybe it’s a short statement issued over a weekend before disappearing for a week (or ten) like John Edwards. Or maybe it’s a couple lawyers finally letting slip that Sammy Sosa was juicing, something most of us had probably already figured out
But today brought around one of my favorites. The Republican paragon of virtue congressman admitting to an extra-marital affair. I mean, we expect this sort of thing from the Democrats. They are the party of Kennedy after all. But the Republicans? How sad is it when the titular head of the Democrats, Barack Obama, is a once married family man while the Republican leadership is full of guys like Newt Gingrich and John McCain who have multiple marriages under their belts, some of which came out of less than squeaky clean circumstances.
It is possible that there’s an upside to all this fudging and creativity, though. If we could just get our leaders to apply some of that creativity to the economy, maybe they could turn it around. What’s that you say? They already tried that and it didn’t work? Well, I guess we could just stuff our money in a mattress. That always seems to work.
Feisty factions of conservative right wing constituents are finally going to get what they have always wanted. Indeed, after a series of anti-republican films exploiting the low-blow antics of unsavory characters such as Richard Nixon and George W. Bush reached wide audiences in 2008, the GOP is all smiles knowing the biggest, baddest politico docudrama to ever hit the big screen is well on its way!
Special Relationship, the upcoming film starring Julianne Moore as democratic juggernaut Hillary Clinton and Dennis Quaid as the always promiscuous Bill Clinton, will explore the finer points of Slick Willy’s extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky and his wife’s subsequent decision to stick by his side (so she could run for the New York senate, and eventually the presidency).
Moore is a decent actress. I see her pulling off this role of a lifetime no problem. Quaid as Clinton? What a wonderful opportunity to repeat his 1987 world-class performance from Inner Space! I can hardly wait, folks!
And the Hollywood hoopla doesn’t just end there, dear readers. I am super excited about some other upcoming films that are in the early stages of development:
The Little MVP Who Could: The Dustin Pedroia Story
Starring Macaulay Culkin as Pedroia, this film aims to highlight the undying will of small stature phenoms on baseball diamonds all across the galaxy. Also features Manny Ramirez as the evil space alien predator intent on disrupting all things Red Sox until the bitter intergalactic end.
Jacked! The Alex Rodriguez Story
Pre-production on this film has been stalled until Alex can get his entire story straight. While the writers continue to amend the script as best they can, more problems seem eminent as Vin Diesel, originally slated to star as A-Rod, pulled out of the project noting that not even he would subject himself to performance enhancing drugs, whether his trusted cousin bought them in the D.R. or not.
Yeah, I Hit .213 Last Year, What’s It to Ya, Buddy? The Khalil Greene Story
Sean Penn stars in this not-so-action-packed drama about how decent defense often allows a poor offensive performer to wallow in the ongoing apathy that is the San Diego Padres (and later, St. Louis Cardinals).
Where Have I Gone? The Rafael Palmeiro Story
In perhaps the most poignantly cast role of the century, Tony Danza portrays PED-raging anti-hero Rafael Palmeiro not because he looks like him (he doesn’t) but because his career is as equally irrelevant.
And finally, what promises to be a most entertaining entanglement of hopes, dreams, egos and narcissism:
Me, Me, Me! The Curt Schilling Story
Posthumously directed by Stanley Kubrick, this tale of unfettered vainglory explores the tired, whiny affectations of one number 38 through standard Kubrick mind-busts like a minimalistic score and plenty of drawn-out steady-cam shots. Accurately portraying the role of Schilling will be the outspoken and very homosexual Nathan Lane. Who else to better force Curt into yet another self-consuming fit of rage than a flamboyantly gay ultra-liberal left wing Broadway icon with plenty of career left in him?
Yes, my friends, going to the movies has never seemed so good.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Anything wrong with that? Not in my opinion. In a world full of greed, hate, debauchery and Cubs baseball, I find solace knowing that even the tireless spin-doctoring and smoke-screening of Rod Blagojevich eventually falls on the deaf ears of a nation distracted with the task of rebuilding itself.
Blago’s days as governor are as numbered as Joe Morgan is annoying; and soon, he will just be another political coelacanth — a footnote in the oppression and wasted tax-dollars of a people.
In my fervent bidding adieu, I refuse to let Blago’s self-indulgent, gloomy demise get me down. The older I get, the more I realize how little my brain can actually remember if not trained otherwise; thus, I find it best to replace negativity with post-partisan positivity. So it is, on this four degree Sunday afternoon, with a broken heart and three cups of coffee too many, that I find grace in the baseball-politico memories dearest to me.
Of course, there are always the Joe Carters, the Kirk Gibsons, the Ozzie Smiths… the inauguration of a new hope for my country… those are all givens. Today I focus on the obscure, the seemingly minute, the more poignant personal moments that help me to forget about what an awful place this earth can be sometimes. And so I begin…
Ozzie Guillen Goes to Bobby Jenks
A move he’s made several times, but never as interesting as it was during the 2005 post-season when Ozzie motioned for Jenks by extending his arms out sideways as if to say: “Bring in the fat fella.”
Talking to Carlos Lee Outside Wrigley Field
Having gone hitless against Ted Lilly that night, I was stunned to see a smiling Carlos Lee on the corner of Sheffield and Addison waiting to get on the Astros player’s bus. I approached him — all gargantuan 230 plus pounds of him — and flippantly asked: “Caballo, what happened?”
“Ball move too much, man.”
I’m still laughing at that one.
“Yes We Can” Viral Video
Sure, I admit I’m a sucker for inspirational acts of creativity… this one still gets me.
Brian Anderson’s Catch
Picture it, October 1, 2008… a one game playoff between the White Sox and Twins to crown the AL Central winner, and a Jim Thome homerun is all that separates the two when we reach the top of the ninth and two outs. A sharp flare streamlines to right center field, in comes Brian Anderson… instant party on the Southside.
Bill Clinton on Carroll Quigley, DNC 1992
As a young, impressionable, questioning 12 year-old, this quote pushed me in to politics… to stay.
Adam Wainwright’s Curveball
Whether it was striking out Carlos Beltran looking or Brandon Inge swinging, I’ve never seen a more devastating hook — ever.
Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Address
I thought a change was a comin’… didn’t know it was going to take so long, but it got me revved up nonetheless.
Yadier Molina Hitting .304 in 2008
After the rocket homerun he hit off Aaron Heilman to beat the Mets in the 2006 NLCS, Molina became my indisputable hero. To see him blossom into a true hitter in conjunction with his unrivaled defensive skills just makes me want to hug the guy any chance I get. Yadi, you out there, pal? Let’s hook that up.
Grandma Lois Talking Baseball
May she rest in peace, my beloved grandmother was talking Cardinals baseball like no other 84 year-old I knew. Before the 2004 season, she told me: “It’d be nice to see Edmonds and Rolen have really good years.” She died on April 20, 2004; Jimmy and Scott both put up career numbers and vied for the MVP. I know she’s still smiling about that one.
Post 9/11 Baseball in New York
I’d be hard pressed to find a more inspiring, more electric, more communal surge of patriotic energy and overall bipartisan goodwill towards all through the greatest game on earth than what took place in New York City that fall.
I still get goosebumps just thinking of it.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.