Tagged: Detroit

RSBS Presents: Being Thankful for Detroit

The dream is over.  The Tigers have been eliminated and it happened in ghastly fashion with a straight-up mauling at the hands of the Rangers on Saturday night.  It’s not a fun way to end a season but it could be worse.  So much worse.  Ultimately, Detroit has a lot to be thankful for.  And we have a lot for which we should thank Detroit.  That’s why RSBS Presents: Being Thankful for Detroit.

This Girl:

You have to admit, that’s a pretty compelling argument.

This guy:

Abandoned buildings, freezing temperatures, elevator shafts and homeless people?  Where else could this happen?  Detroit is the perfect storm.

This service:

And what it contains:

Sure, it may be illegal but when a guy like Kwame Kilpatrick could probably still win back the mayor’s seat, that’s not saying much.

So yeah, I’m bummed the Tigers didn’t make it to the Series.  It would have been great to see them come back and keep the run going for Michigan sports teams.  But I’m not going to get too down.  After all, life is still pretty good, right Louis?

-A

Setting the Mahmud

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

There is a movement coming. Axel Foley is coming.

I’ve been trying to get over my most recent trampoline accident and my cat circus just went bankrupt… BUT!!! One of my favorite cites (DETROIT) is having a renaissance. I got Iraqi, German and Chicago in me, yes. But I’m thinking that maybe I watched Beverly Hills Cop too many times and listened to too much Motown, because I got definitely got some Detroit in me too. In fact, I feel the need to go undercover to find out what Detroit’s new secret is. Maybe in drag?!?!

If those Chrysler ads don’t pump you up then YOU HAVE NO SOUL. I want cars that talk back to you. DETROIT CAN GIVE YOU THAT! And I want a lot of things back in my life. I want sideburns back. I want Paul Reiser and Judge Reinhold back. And though I don’t smoke, I want people to bring smoking indoors back!!!

Meanwhile, Detroit needed a pick-me-up and the Lions and Tigers have delivered.

This song has nothing to do with Axel Foley, nor the Motor City, but something about it makes me feel like I’m in the mitten. (Or is Michigan a glove?) Anyway, it gets me pumped up for my second city so much that when I hear it I can’t help but take a swig of a cold Samuel Jackson before pouring a little out for Jack Kevorkian and Gilda Radner. (I was going to mention Barry Gordy here but I just googled him and he’s still alive!!!)

The freaks are coming out! Lions, Tigers, and Wolverines …oh my! This is the best gift life could ever give our fellow RSBS writer, Allen.

The Tigers!!! Verlander makes me woozy. Miguel Cabrera is the Natural. And bad@$$ Jim Leyland is The Marlboro Man! If Sam Elliott had turned down his role in The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers would have had ol man Leyland on the phone in a jiffy.

His Tigers can do it all. And if you want, they can also chain you to a wall in a sex dungeon and make you watch two octogenarians go at it with mayonnaise all over them. NOW THAT’S PROGRESS.

Michigan State basketball couldn’t save Michigan but Emmmminnneeemmmm, the Lions and Verlander will by golly.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The Filibuster

What’s your favorite throwback jersey?

Liz
Saginaw, MI
___________________________________

I feel like this question could have been better addressed by Jeff.  Without a doubt, he would have said it was one of those old-timey woolen uniforms, perhaps even that of his beloved-like-an-adopted-child AL team, the Chicago White Stockings:

But me, I look for something a little more timeless.  I’m not talking Pittsburg Pirates timeless, either, as in, ugly no matter what era it exists in:

No, what I have in mind is something simple and elegant, like Carey Grant in a tuxedo:

Surprisingly enough, that combination of simplicity and elegance in sports finds itself draping the frames of the very definition of futility, the Detroit Lions:

Hey, they may not be good but at least they can look good doing it.

There you have it.  My favorite throwback, the Detroit Lions.

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Would you like to journey to the end of the rainbow and see if Mr. Lung is there with his pot o’ gold?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

A Sadness, and a Certain Feeling of Doom

RSBS Podcast regular and Second City performer, Mark “Pie” Piebenga shares with us his thoughts:

Brennan Boesch made his major league debut last season at the Ballpark at Arlington on April 23, 2010.  On my sketchy MLB.TV feed I heard Rod Allen’s sing-song voiceover on a shot of him sticking his head out of the visitor dugout, for the first time examining an empty big league park in all it’s vastness, no doubt dumbstruck by the thought, “I’m going to be playing in this joint tonight.”  That night Boesch went 2 for 4 with a double (albeit in a Tigers loss), a prescient harbinger for his strong season and 5th place in rookie of the year voting (which honestly I remembered as better than his .256/.320/.416, 14 HR, 67 RBI line).  Early days though it may be, he’s putting up even better numbers offensively (.300/.359/.485, 10 HR, 38 RBI) and similarly adequate defensive ones (RF 1.91 in ’10, 2.00) this year.

This improvement was epitomized in his return to Arlington with the Tigers on June 6 this year, a game in which he went 5-5 with 2 HR and 5 RBI.  Clearly the 97° degree weather made for a lively ball, belied by the 13-7 Tiger win.  You can’t expect that kind of an outing every time from the young man, but there’s something so exciting about production out of young players.

Last Tuesday afternoon (6/21) Tiger Don Kelly knocked in his second home run of the year, off Matt Guerrier, at Chavez Ravine against the Dodgers.  (Until this week Guerrier owned a sub-3.00 lifetime ERA against the Tigers, owing to seven years tendered with the Twinkies.)   At 31, Kelly is five years older than Boesch, and lacks his pedigree (not to his body type – Kelly has a thin-necked way about him.  And at what point can any of us say that the name “Don” has inspired much in the way of terror in the hearts of men?  “Save us! The heathen hordes are approach the city gates, at the helm of their curs-ed onslaught is the much-feared chief and leader, Don!  AHHHH! Flee for the caves!”).

Kelly’s season home run total is now two, a bit behind last year’s mark of nine (incidentally the number Ty Cobb hit in 1909).  Don Kelly is my age, and it pains me to think that he has passed the years by which baseball players tend to have proved themselves.  Can I equate any meaningful life lessons based on Don Kelly’s baseball career?  It’s a lifetime, to this point, where four of the last five years have seen him make it to baseball’s biggest stage.  Among minor league players he would be considered a flying success. He’s earned the major league minimum wage in four of the last five seasons.  That’s many hundreds of thousands of dollars more than his minor league contemporaries will ever make.

But when you put him in the context of a rookie like Brennan Boesch, whose success this year and last year, while perhaps not wildly unbelievable, dwarfs kelly’s achievements.  His thin neck and his name of Don combine to make me feel an amiability towards him, a sadness, and a certain feeling of doom.

Don Kelly hit .244 last year.  That’s not great.  This year he’s up to .260, which is sure as hell a lot better than Ryan Raburn (or Brandon Inge, who he recently covered for at 3B).  Why am I so transfixed by this guy?  Is it because he is achieving his dream, and yet is markedly below the figures who capture our imaginations, even in the fairly low-stratosphere Detroit Tigers?

My fascination with the poor bastard seems to come from the fact that I identify with him.  I believe I could achieve nominally in a given field, and even surpass a number of my contemporaries.  But deep down I feel that I hold a limited ceiling on my potential, that I am, within myself, capable of only so much achievement – good, but not great.  Don Kelly is the mediocre but by all accounts successful prototype which I fear myself to be.  And it is only human to know that sometimes you are going to have people surpass your accomplishment if you hang around long enough to get shown up.  Kurt Vonnegut offers us this advice in Timequake: “If you do something long enough, even if you’re really good at it, eventually you’re going to come across someone who is going to cut you a new a**hole.  What I tell young people is: stay home, stay home stay home.”

Eventually you’re going to find someone who’s going to be so much better at what you do, you’re going to “feel like something the cat dragged in,” to borrow another quip Vonnegut loves. Does this mean that we should perhaps not try at all?  Of course not.  Don Kelly has done nothing but try.  He’s displayed a level of commitment that I in my personal life would very much aspire to, and to which I honestly must conclude I have come up short.

I dated a girl once whose parents never told her that she could be anything she wanted to be when she grew up. But she’s the only person who I’ve ever met like that.  Everyone else I know had parents who said, “you can be anything you put your mind to.” I was raised in a best-of-all-possible-worlds-Candide-type home. Unfortunately, much like Candide, I have grown up to find that it’s not entirely true.  I can be pretty good, but I don’t think I can be anything.

So here we are, back at Don Kelly.  As I said, I feel an ambivalence for him, animosity at watching him flair in failure at so many pitches, and affection when he cranks a triple like he did the other week, or a long fly like he did the other day.  Perhaps I can’t achieve even to the level he has.  But I take some solace in that even if I can’t be the best, maybe I can still be pretty good.  Hell, somebody’s got to back up Brandon Inge* when he’s got mono.

On an unrelated note, Jose Valverde’s homepage, un-updated from his days as an Astro, is a must-see.  I mean, the URL is www.josevalverde47.com for chrissakes.  Courtesy to my roommate Thomas on that one.

–Mark Piebenga

*My old roommate Ben insists that from a distance (ie., in most shots on TV), Inge’s forearm tattoos look like they say “Coca-Cola” (rather than the names of his sons, which is the truth).  I would have to say I agree with him.

The Rules: Michigan Edition

I come from Michigan and there are a few things we take deadly seriously back home.

Number One:

The inalienable right to drive a car whether you’re traveling 100 feet or 100 miles.  You can pry the steering wheel from my cold, dead hands.

Number Two:

Deer hunting season begins November 15.  You can pry the hunting rifle from my cold, dead hands.

Number Three:

All recreational sports deserve to have leagues–and rules–associated with them.  You can pry the wiffleball bat from my cold, dead hands.

Please keep these rules in mind as you plan your trip to the Great Lakes state.

-A

A Reformulation and New Application of the Krause Doctrine

tigers_win.jpgTurns out I was wrong the other day.  Sure, invading the field and trying to win the World Series through people-powered revolution seems like a good idea.  It might even work.  However, it’s just too unwieldy and unsure a mechanism.  Actually, I should have been paying more attention while responding to the filibuster question because that shows the easiest, most direct route to victory.

See, if you just declare yourself the winner in the face of all facts and evidence to the contrary, who can dispute you?  You’ve already shown that you don’t care about “facts” or other peoples’ so-called “reality.”  No, real reality is whatever you decide it is.  In the case of Gbagbo, reality is that he won the election and the other candidate should pack it in and go home.  In the case of the Tigers, they need to stop paying attention to other teams’ and the league’s definition of “victory” and decide for themselves what it means.

Once you’ve created your own rules and then pick and choose which ones you choose to follow and when you choose to follow them, you can’t help but win!  Here’s an example.

I have now decided that that Tigers actually won the World Series in 2006.  Although the Cardinals may have scored more runs, several of those runs were due to pitcher errors that I don’t accept.  This in turn nullifies those runs making the final tally in the series 4 games to 1 in favor of the Tigers.  And yes, I think it’s appropriate to go ahead and have a victory parade now.  We can decide that it’s November of 2006 for a couple hours which will also help.

I plan to apply this to all Tigers games going forward and also to Michigan football.  I thought about using it for the Lions as well but I’m pretty sure that even this system couldn’t overcome the incredible assclownishness left behind by Matt Millen.

-A

P.S. Yes, I’m aware that Gbagbo was captured.  Doesn’t change the fact that his plan worked for several months.

Double Talkin’ Double Dream Hands

Jeff & Allen 2.2009 010.jpg“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).

POPPYCOCK!

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.

Peace,

Jeff

*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!!!