It was nice to be the world’s unparalleled superpower following the fall of the Berlin Wall but it was also a little boring. A little rivalry goes a long way and without it, life just isn’t quite as spicy. Luckily we now have plenty of new enemies who are redefining the terms of the conflict and we can once again experience the existential angst our parents knew during the 60’s and 70’s.
At the same time, even within smaller rivalries you want to see a little spice. I’m sure Yankees fans love to see their Bronx Bombers beating up on this season’s hapless Red Sox. But does it feel quite as rewarding as beating them when Beckett was in top form? Sure, the Sox took one last night but that wasn’t exactly vintage Beckett.
Same goes for our current battles in the Islamic world. Many pundits have imagined Islamic society to be one monolithic bloc that seeks the destruction of the Great Satan but that’s a generalization that serves no real purpose. Cultural battles continue to roil majority Muslim states from Morocco all the way to Indonesia. Sometimes it’s deadly serious. Sometimes you can’t help but laugh and maybe even wish you had been there to see it.
Healthy rivalries keep the competitive juices flowing. There’s no way our space program would have reached the heights it attained without the constant pushing of the Soviets. Likewise, our current conflicts are forcing us to re-examine policies and their long-term effects on our safety and well being. And who knows, maybe if a couple more women beat up a couple more “religious” policemen, even the Saudis might grow up.
One of the most peculiar realms of science is understanding what exactly goes on inside of a black hole (and no, folks, we ain’t talkin’ about the vile emitting from Milton Bradley’s mouth). Widely understood as a “deformation of spacetime caused by a very compact mass” — an area from which nothing can escape the immense gravitational pull of its center — black holes are like the underground club scene of the cosmos: all kinds of weird s*** can happen… and does!
To me, the most interesting aspect of a black hole lies at its very center, past the event horizon, down the rabbit hole, settling on an infinitesimal point known as the singularity. If you were unfortunate enough to be sucked into a black hole and lucky enough to survive the trip down its core, by the time you reached the singularity you would surely be a shredded mess, the result of being filleted by the strongest forces theorized by the human mind.
But boy would it be an exciting death!
The oddest thing about the singularity is that once we start working in and around that point, we realize that the laws of physics become completely erroneous and unnecessary. That’s right, dear readers, when you get to the singularity, Einstein’s theory of general relativity makes no sense at all.
And while black holes and their singularities may be intangible to us from our terrestrial vantage point, if you look around you today you will see all sorts of things that could cause one to think we may be close to such a singularity — a place where what we see is so shocking, so odd, so perplexing that it just doesn’t make sense…
The Good Guys Win: Joe Mauer
Twins fans were so afraid they would lose their hometown hero to the evil chops of the Yankees and the Yankees 2.0 that doomsday scenarios and flat-out decrees of apostasy had already been accepted as fact. But in the end, the Twins had to sign Joe — for the sake of their new stadium and for the sake of their fans. And they did, for a very reasonable price. Oh, and by the way, the Twins are not a small-market team, so this situation is getting even more black-holish by the minute!
Liberal US Americans Actually Accomplish Something
After eight long years of maddening sound bytes, phantom wars against phantom enemies for phantom purposes and an all-out assault on reason, the liberal majority in the House got together and passed a health care bill that might actually work. Oh yeah, sure, not everyone is happy about it and the most concerning aspect is how we’re going to pay for it; but, in my opinion, the sheer fact that you won’t be financially punished for being sick anymore indicates a huge step forward. And besides, since when do US Americans care about national debt? Here, in the great state of Illinois, for as long as I can remember, the political machine has been borrowing money from the FUTURE to pay for current projects. I hear that Illinois is rich in the future, so I’m gonna see if I can get in on that too. I need a Lamborghini.
Exciting News Out of Cincinnati Reds Camp
You have to go back quite a few years to find anything worth anticipating from the Reds in March, but this year is different. Under the wise hand of former Cardinal front office legend Walt Jocketty, Cincinnati signed Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman during the offseason, hoping he would live up to his international hype. And boy does he! Thought by many to be an ace-caliber pitcher going into this season, Reds fans have a whole lot to be excited about for a change… of course, that is… until Dusty Baker blows out his arm and ruins his career.
Hate me ‘cuz I test the limits of physics, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
What do you get when you cross an evil, faceless corporation with the soulless smile of a clown?
It may be cute. It may be funny. But to paraphrase close personal friend of RSBS, Keyser Söze, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he was a funny clown commercial.”
Sometimes, rightfully or wrongfully, things go to our heads. Now, we’ve had a great couple of years here at RSBS, even if the results of this past year weren’t quite what we’re accustomed to. It appears, though, that half of the RSBS team, the half that doesn’t look like Joe Maddon, has taken this as a mandate to run rough-shod over all that we hold dear.
Great thinkers have always had their weaknesses which sometimes led to misguided attempts at misguided pursuits. And my dear friend, Mr. Lung, is no exception. It has been awhile since he has known the pleasure of a woman’s company and I can’t say that I fault him for this current acting out. It’s normal and at RSBS we don’t judge.
However, we must have our standards. Dating someone who is not a baseball fan is one thing. They can be taught. But becoming enraptured by a girl who openly supports the team you claim to detest? Have you no shame, sir?
Yes, I have dated Yankees fans before and I am not proud of that. But I have resolved never to do it again. Better a life of celibacy than the self-loathing that goes with dating the evil empire.
But I think Jeff will need a little more help. This has gone beyond the point where mere shame will keep him from slipping down that long, dark, Cubbie-blue tunnel from which I fear he will never escape.
No, desperate times call for desperate measures and that’s why I am putting out the call now for all of our readers to help out. Help us find the girl who can save Jeff from himself and this gradual descent into purgatory. It would be nice if she lived in the Chicago area and she doesn’t have to be a Cardinals fan. I think we’d be all right just as long as she doesn’t support the Cubs. Although you could get a few extra points from me if she was a Tigers fan. You know, for the irony.
You have your mission. Now let’s get out there and find this woman! She must exist somewhere.
-Photo via Skull Swap
This is exactly why I didn’t want to like Jay-Z’s new album, The Blueprint 3. As the resident Brett Favre of the rap game, Jay-Z has taunted us with his multiple “retirements”, all along gradually stepping away from his street-centric roots and engaging in the bling-bling-I-got-hoes-money-and-fame garbage that has destroyed my ability to find any entertainment value in modern hip-hop.
But Alicia Keys sucked me; and as much as I hate to admit it: Empire State of Mind is a killer track.
Still, there is one Jay-Z line that makes me cringe with disgust:
s*** I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can…”
Ever heard of a fella by the name of Babe Ruth? How about DiMaggio? Gehrig? Mantle? Mattingly? Jeter?
I know Jay-Z is a lot like me in that sometimes he says dumb s*** just to say it, to see what kind of reaction he gets, to be relevant, to stir up trouble.
But even I have limitations… and dissing some of the greatest players to ever play the game is certainly among them.
Shame on you, Jay-Z.
And unless you can find a way to put Alicia Keys on every song you ever do from now until the end of time, you won’t be getting my money ever again.
Hate me ‘cuz I gotz some street cred of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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!
In this epic best of three game battle of metaphors — mixed, extended, absolute and beyond — Jeff and Allen pair wits and leave it to YOU, the dear reader, to decide the champion (based on the quality of the metaphor, not the person because Jeff would destroy Al in a popularity contest).
The loser will be forced to shower the winner with a carefully constructed essay of praise.
The Topic: “The Sluggers” (Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard)
Suggested by: Buz from Yesterday’s Hitter
Alex Rodriguez is the prettiest girl at the dance — the one who all the guys lust over only to find out she doesn’t even put out. Across the empty dance floor, you’ll find Ryan Howard: the hot mess of a big girl who will ride you all night long and be real, real sloppy about it.
… but you’ll be way too embarrassed to tell your friends.
From postseason goat to playoff stallion, A-Rod’s current heroics pale only in comparison to those of Ryan Howard, the rider on the red horse. To him is given the power to take away peace and smite with the sword, a fact to which the Dodger’s pitching staff can surely attest. But the slight pallor of Mr. Rodriguez’s accomplishments only accentuates his equally ashen steed and the Evil Empire, Hades, as the good book calls it, that he brings in tow.
Please vote! Tell your friends! Kiss a baby!
Fine. It’s okay. No, really.
It is your right to not be excited about this series because it involves bullies and brawlers, overpaid free agents and neanderthals, pinstripes and… er… pinstripes. But, as a baseball fan, it is hard for me to find a reason (other than everything else we here at RSBS have ever alluded to — ever) to not look forward to this World Series match-up between Philadelphia and New York.
I mean, we are getting the two best teams in Major League Baseball to play each other in the final series, are we not?
And let’s face it: when the crown of baseball fandom rests upon the head of someone with the mental (and carnal) acumen of this fella in the background…
… well, let’s just say that a whole new field of dreams is possible.
Is it Wednesday yet?
Hate me ‘cuz I jump on the buzz train, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
What would a postseason be without umpiring controversies? Lucky for us, we don’t have to worry about it since the Yankees-Angels series has been a string of blown calls. I admit it, I do wear glasses. I have four eyes. I could probably use a stronger prescription. But even I could see that when Mike Napoli tagged Posada and Cano at third, neither one was touching the bag and time had not been called. I guess one of the perks of having the highest payroll in baseball is the umps knowing who pays their salary and calling the game according to that.
Now, to be fair, the Angels got straight up beat. Saying their thrashing was due to bad calls is like saying the Cubs missed the World Series because of Bartman. It just ain’t true. But, umpiring antics like these don’t make people feel any better about the Evil Empire’s stranglehold on baseball.
The thing of it is, the Yankees don’t really need
these blown calls to win at this point. It’s like a third world dictator who gets 99% of the vote
despite the fact that he’d win anyway because people are afraid to vote
against him. It’s not so much unfair as it is tragic.
When it comes down to it, we chalk it up to destiny when our teams win because of bad calls and blame conspiracy when the teams we don’t like use those same bad calls to succeed. It’s human nature, I guess. We ascribe patterns to things we don’t understand because that’s how our brains work. And since my brain doesn’t understand why the Yankees get to spend nearly twice as much as the closest team following them salarywise, I see conspiracy.
However, if the Tigers manage to make it this far next season with their proportionately overinflated payroll, you probably won’t hear me complaining if a couple bad calls go their way. I mean, it would be their destiny.
Photo by Getty Images
Dear readers, what you’re about to witness is real. Nothing has been altered or changed to assist my own, personal opinion(s). Thank the baseball gods for screen capturing abilities while surfing the interwebs.
*Click on images for a closer view*
Hate me ‘cuz I gotz mad computer skillz, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I (and, usually, Google) am (is) right.