And now, 1,597 posts.
Red State Blue State was born out of the fiery email exchanges between Messieurs Krause and Lung during the 2006 World Series — a World Series that saw Jeff’s Redbirds trounce Allen’s Tigers (although until his dying breath Mr. Krause will blame the pitching fielding errors over an inept offense for Detroit’s shortcoming — one that would not be their last, obviously).
Over the last five years, we have enjoyed all of the benefits of writing a hit MLBlog. Jeff got to interview Ken Griffey, Sr., Dave Winfield and his boyhood idol, Ozzie Smith. He also went to the 2009 All Star Game and reported on that experience. Hell, last year he even went to the World Series! — twice — and then popped champagne as his boys brought it all home. Allen, well, he drew particular pride from the fact that RSBS ended up getting banned by the censors in Saudi Arabia.
But it wasn’t just about the sports. Although RSBS started life as a baseball blog, the second and equally important pillar, was a shared enjoyment of the drama and often maddening inconsistencies with the American political system. We found a way to combine sports and politics with literary bindings, and from that we engaged in quite a few intellectual debates that strung our worlds together. The highlight of Jeff’s political revelations had to be his Libertarian coming out party — the one that Mr. Krause so dutifully lampooned.
For Allen, the Post-Partisan Playoff Preview presented an opportunity to truly combine postseason baseball and postseason politics into an orgy of prognostication. Sure, the only time he may have truly gotten it right was in 2008’s initial edition but he still made a valiant effort in the close but not quite there predictions of 2011 and 2010. Allen’s political evolution may have been less dramatic than Jeff’s as he stayed continuously true to his blue state roots but this led to a moment he’ll never forget, being there for the inauguration of Barack Obama.
However, probably our finest RSBS achievements have to do with a little ditty by David Archuletta and the underground hip-hop sensation, Jesus Hates the Cubs.
Today is a day different from all the rest. Today we publish our last post. It is not without sadness that we do this, but, like many others experience in life, the time has come for us to move on.
If you would like to follow Allen’s post-RSBS exploits, visit him at his new blog, The Nomadic Revue, where he will continue to provide political commentary as well as entertainment and restaurant reviews.
And if you would like to follow Jeff’s sensational running career (and all the creative introspection born from that), then check out The Run Factory.
More than anything, we want to thank YOU, dear reader. Thank you for joining us on our journey. Thank you for all your comments, all your emails, all your Twitter love.
Thank you all very, very much.
Jeff and Allen
The rottenness I’m talking about is the foul stench that emanates from a past-his-prime public relations disaster who seems to have eaten Tony Gwynn on his way to joining the Sugar Land Skeeters. That’s right, as if taking a page right out of Jose Canseco’s book of insanity, Mr. Clemens, the fallen idol of my youth, is now preparing to embarrass himself with what I can only assume is a Favrian attempt to prolong the inevitable Hall of Fame first ballot denial.
If Roger can get on a Big League roster, he’ll get another five years before being considered. And who knows, by then they might be banning people 50 games for NOT TAKING EFFING STEROIDS.
And happy Friday!
Roger Clemens is not guilty.
Can this be over now?
Of course it can’t. It never will. For now until the end of time we’ll still be talking about the steroid era and those who made it infamous. Clemens is just one of many.
Still, I think it is safe to say his role in the overall picture of the steroid era is a bit larger than the rest. He’s up there alongside Barry, considering his Hall of Fame credentials and repugnant personality.
Before any of this steroid silliness was known, I loved Roger Clemens. He was a beast on the mound — a Nolan Ryan/Bob Gibson throwback. Proud, nasty, BALLSY.
But the Mitchell Report tainted his reputation, whether guilty or not, and Roger then ruined it further himself by being an outspokenly whiny ass. I understand the potential frustration that could come from having a tarnished reputation, but there are ways to handle adversity with class and there are ways to handle it like a jerk.
Clemens took the jerk route.
And undoing what ya done ain’t easily done.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The 2012 season will be Chipper Jones’ last, signifying for me a quaint full circle of baseball life. From a goofy-grinned rook to an over-the-hill vet, I had the pleasure of witnessing it all, and I can’t help but tip my cap to the future Hall of Famer for all he’s done throughout his career, on and off the field.
With that, here is what immediately enters my mind whenever his name comes up:
The 1995 Season
Infuriated by a silent October in ’94, I vehemently quit on Major League Baseball. I will have nothing to do with those crooked chumps! Who do they think they are taking away my Fall Classic!?!? Troglodytes the whole lot of ’em!
Yeah, but… see, there’s this guy named Chipper. He’s with the Braves. He’s gonna be a superstar.
And he was. 23 bombs. 86 RBIs. And one cool stroke, from both sides of the plate. By the second half of the ’95 season, all had been forgiven and I was hoarding baseball cards of a man with a goofy name.
The 2008 Season and Media Guide Photo
Now a lot of stuff happened between 1995 and 2008, but I want to focus on the monster season Chipper had. I recall arguing here with my lugubrious and oft-crotchety colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, whether or not Chipper could realistically hit .400. He made a good run at it, but had to settle for .364, and in the process provided one of the worst media guide photos of all time:
All-Star Weekend 2009
I had the good fortune of attending the ASG in St. Louis and taking in all the awesome that comes with such an extravaganza. As you can imagine, heavy drinking was involved, and on the evening of July 13, at a seedy bar deep in the heart of Soulard, I was an accomplice to my friend losing a $100 bar bet on whether or not Chipper played any significant time at any other position than third base during his career. I found out it only takes a few vodka bombs to forget that Chipper spent a some years manning left field for the Bravos. I think my pal has forgiven me for that absentmindedness. Now if only we could remember how we ended up in Sauget smelling like frosting, covered in glitter.
Yes, I’d say Chipper had a brilliant career, even if the last few years have looked more like an AH-64 Apache helicopter crash after attempting to push its limit. What’s THAT look like? Glad ya asked!
I’m a big believer in the adage that you don’t count your chickens before they hatch. But after prevailing in Iowa and cleaning up in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney sure is starting to look like a full on chicken. This could mean either that a certain influential (and voting) subset of Republicans is making its voice heard. Or, it could just mean that New Hampshire is made up of relatively normal people and once South Carolina gets its say, Romney will again have to face his Santorum problem.
The process kind of reminds me of the recently completed Hall of Fame vote. There are the clear winners, like Barry Larkin and Mitt Romney. But it’s a lot harder to make any sort of conclusion about the other guys, the Ron Pauls and Jack Morris of the world. Did they come close? Sure. Will it be enough to get them over the hump at some point? Your guess is as good as mine. But are they going to keep on going? You betcha’.
McGwire, Paul, Santorum. It’s all part of the messy fun that makes up democracy.
“Some places are like people: some shine and some don’t.”
Those who know me know I like to do odd things, like throw myself off bridges, eat cuttlefish or play H.O.R.S.E. … with myself. But that’s not why I called.
In the spirit of odd things, I thought I’d use the funniest movie of all time to deal with all the MLB Hall of Fame talk.
Congrats! You made it out alive, Barry!!!
As we celebrate Barry Larkin’s entry to the hallowed Hall (even though it took three stupid years) I thought we should take a look at those who didn’t quite make it out of Overlook Hotel, the ones who will probably be there a while.
Jack Torrance: Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is? Do you?
I can’t out think a potato, but I know this: Piazza, Kent, Bagwell and Big Mac aren’t getting in. EVER. And I don’t think I have to explain why. But I digress…
Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chiny-chin-chin? Well then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in. [Axes the door]
Wendy, you’ve got a big surprise coming to you. You’re not going anywhere.
From one Jack to another… of course, Allen’s Jack Morris slipped through the cracks again. I feel for the kid (Allen), but I personally believe Jack will be dead before he leaves the snowy mountaintop of baseball’s purgatory labyrinth.
God, I’d give anything for a drink. I’d give my god-damned soul for just a glass of beer.
Good Luck, Lenny Dykstra… maybe next year… yeesh. And maybe stop talking for a while.
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
By now, my century long-depressed baseball brethren on the north side of Chicago are aware that, despite Prince Charming occupying the king’s seat at Addison and Clark, Cubbie Land might still get turned on its head.
If Ryne Sandberg becomes the new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals — THE WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS — then I think I might just pee on myself.
Oh, the joy… to think, that one of the greatest Cubs in the history of the world — THE SAME CUB WHO WAS SNUBBED OVER FOR MIKE “LAME DUCK” QUADE — could sit at the St. Louis helm with those beautiful, beautiful birds on the bat, blazing across his Hall of Fame chest.
Oh sure, Francona would be great. Oquendo too. Hell, even Pettini is good in my book.
But Ryno… oh Ryno… *SALIVATES*
A friend of mine ran into Ryno, his wife and some friends of theirs in Times Square this summer. He said he was so in awe of the Hall of Fame second baseman that he sort of lost track of his thoughts and the forced conversation sorta became… awkward.
I imagine it was the same sort of awkward that would come from him championing the Cardinals to a World Series title in 2012…