We have good news and bad news over here at RSBS. The good news is that the people of Venezuela could soon see themselves with an actual government instead of a cult of personality. The bad news is, RSBS could soon have to find a new baseball loving world leader it can make fun of. Sure, Fidel is still out there but he’s more of a hermit than a leader these days. And other baseball-crazy countries seem to have more pressing issues to attend to which means less time to turn their countries into Bolivarian Republics or anything along those lines. No, I’m afraid that when Hugo goes, the crazy goes with him.
So, RSBS is putting out the call. Help us find a new world leader (or at least some sort of opinion-maker) who loves baseball but is just a little loose in the cranial wiring. My first thought was Mitt Romney but since he might possibly be a unicorn, I don’t know as though he’s a viable option. Hillary Clinton seemed good, too, but it’s hard to play nice with someone who claims to be both a Yankees and Cubs fan. Granted, that’s still better than Bill Richardson’s claim to simultaneous Red Sox and Yankees fandom.
It might just be that we’ve hit a cold streak. World leaders love soccer and whatever sport their national team is good at. Baseball? It’s just too much of a niche. But hey, there’s always Japan!
It has been quite a while since we last checked in with our friends in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela and during that time, things have gone from bad to worse. Obviously the bad could only be Venezuelan superhero Mr. Ozzie Guillen and his self-confessed love of Fidel Castro. We expect that sort of thing from El Presidente Chavez but Ozzie?
Even worse, though, is what’s happening to prices and stocks of essential goods over there. The point of this article is that the government has been forced to subsidize beauty supplies which is understandable in a country with so many beauty queens. But what I found more interesting is this sentence: “Premium toilet paper…is expected to slowly disappear from the shelves.”
I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever spent time in a country like Venezuela, you know that premium toilet paper is more than a luxury. It’s a necessity. Its slow disappearance from the shelves also means the gradual disappearance of your colon.
Speaking of colons and Colons, what happens to Venezuelan baseball players under the Venezuelan subsidy regime? Is there a clause in there to underwrite cowhide for baseballs, leather for gloves and maple for bats? Let’s be honest, after beauty queens, Venezuela’s only real cash crop is baseball stars. Unfortunately the article doesn’t address this topic but let’s keep our fingers crossed.
With everything going on in North Africa, the Middle East, Japan and the US, it has been a while since we took a look south to see what’s happening in that infamous incubator of Ms. Universes, Venezuela. Turns out we picked the right moment to look that way because Hugo is once again bringing the crazy.
Most of the time when we have a bone to pick with El Presidente, it has something to do with his politics. Sure, we may lean to the left here at RSBS but I’m pretty sure I speak for both of us when I say that we see very little value in nationalizing companies. No matter which side of the political spectrum you hail from, though, Hugo may have finally gone too far this time around.
At this point I’m sure you’re getting a little curious to know what it is that the leader and founder of the Bolivarian revolution has done. Did he club a baby seal? Has he proclaimed cashmere to be a tool of the capitalist devils? Did he proclaim red to be the new black?
No my friends, it’s something much worse. Mr. Chavez declared a new public enemy number one in Venezuela: Breast Lifts. That’s right, in a country facing rising import prices, a greatly decreased oil production capacity due to state mismanagement and the specter of sovereign default, somehow Venezuela’s greatest problem is poor women getting breast implants.
Let’s face reality, Hugo. At this point in time Venezuela has exactly two things going for it: its exportation of baseball players to the US market and its spectacular track record in winning Ms. Universe contests. Do you really want to attack the industry that makes the latter possible? And what’s next? Decrying the use of precious natural resources in the making of baseball bats?
Although we here at RSBS are from being economic experts I hope we can be so bold as to propose a simple solution. At a point in time when crude is still selling at over 100 dollars a barrel, maybe instead of focusing on silicon and saline you should instead figure out how to increase oil production capacity. And if that fails, you can always turn your rage towards butt lifts.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you’re the long-serving president of a country and your re-election chances aren’t looking so good, you just pass a couple laws, tweak the electoral system slightly and then sit back and watch as the votes start rolling in. Except for when they don’t, like what happened this past weekend in Venezuela.
Now, we love our Venezuelans over here at RSBS, especially when they come in the form of Ozzie Guillen or Miguel Cabrera. And we really love the neverending stream of inspiration Senor Chavez sends our way. But Chavez had better put his game face on or the Bolivarian revolution might go the way of Bolivar himself (He’s dead, in case you were wondering).
But this sense of desperation hasn’t limited itself to just Venezuela. A similar aura of dread has definitely enveloped the Mets’ locker room and front office. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we just popped on the ol’ television here for a second and found out something new:
Well, I guess that about says it all. And if any of our loyal readers need help polishing up their resumes before making a run at a position with the Mets….or the presidency of Venezuela…..feel free to send them our way and we’ll take a look. It’s what we do.
And so in this Podcast…
Dear readers galore FINALLY get to meet THE one, the ONLY, Mr. Allen Krause as he joins Jeff and Johanna to discuss all things urgent, all things necessary. And it’s all made possible by science. And hard work. And Skype. Judge for yourself. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Strasburg as Jesus, the difference between anathema and an enema (it’s important), starting a Pete Rose for US WBC Team Player/Manager petition on Facebook, Gallaraga’s thingy, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much,
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast
podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and
is posted regularly at Undercard
Recorded Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Despite all the controversy and repeated airings of the historically disputed play at first base, the ultimate effect of Armando Galarraga’s almost-perfect, perfect game seems to have been an outbreak of good sportsmanship.
Of course Galarraga has quickly established himself as a stand-up guy with his reaction to the call and his level-headedness when dealing with the aftereffects. That in and of itself is impressive. In fact, when compared to certain other players known for their general lack of sportsmanship (yes, I am once again looking at you, A-Rod), Galarraga comes across as a role model for anyone taking up the sport.
His behavior has been contagious, too. First, the ump apologized for the blown call. Then the two of them appeared together at the start of the next day’s game and acted as though the events had somehow brought them closer. But this is where things really start to get weird.
In following the career of Hugo Chavez, a Venezuelan who also aspired to play professional baseball, I have never been struck by a sense of restraint. El Presidente says what he wants and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade (or a president an ignoramus — or worse depending on how you translate the word Chavez actually used). But even Hugo seems to have been affected by Galarraga’s magnanimity saying in his weekly address that it was simply a mistake before moving on.
Wait a minute! There wasn’t even a claim that the imperial oppressor had done its worst to hold down a poor Venezuelan? Nope. Like I said, Galarraga’s demeanor easily cooled what could have been an incendiary situation and that seems to have also cooled off what are normally much hotter heads.
So, once again, here’s to you, Armando Galarraga. In a world of fiery tempers and sorely lacking graciousness, you are the new anti A-Rod.
Thanks to L for the news on Chavez’s broadcast and the gist of the article.
A friend of mine came into town from Venezuela a week ago and she came bearing gifts. The first thing she handed me was a thoughtful yet dangerous history of the American cocktail. So many recipes, so little time. Next up was what is surprisingly my first Scrabble set.
But the final item, although the smallest, was really what got me excited. It’s a calendar handed out by the US embassy in Caracas where each month features a different Venezuelan major leaguer. Of course there was the requisite Johan Santana and K-Rod but when I reached November and Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat, that was when I realized just how great of a gift it was.
I didn’t realize how amazing it was, though, until I turned the final page to an unknown pitcher for the Tigers. Well, unknown at the time. In the last couple days I think the entire country, even someone who has never watched a baseball game in their life, now knows who Armando Galarraga is.
And with all the events of the last couple days, I got to thinking. Despite MLB’s reliance on Venezuelan superstar players, relations
between the two countries are not exactly warm. Was it possible that Joyce’s blown call at first base was actually a conspiracy? Was this a subtle thumbing of the nose toward the often belligerent president of Venezuela? And if so, why, two days later, has Mr. Chavez still not weighed in on the subject?
We don’t have answers to these questions but with the weekend approaching and another edition of El Presidente’s weekly diatribe, “Alo Presidente”, set to hit the airwaves, you can be sure he’ll have something to say. And as always, we here at RSBS will make sure to keep you updated on all the events. Well, unless we get sucked into that first gift. Who knew you could do so much with whiskey, sugar and a lemon?
Special thanks to L for the calendar and all the other gifts. Be safe down there.
With the new decade almost a week old, I figured it was about time for us to check in with our old pal, Hugo, in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela. Now, in the ongoing drama playing out down south, we have most recently seen El Jefe making nice with close American ally, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and threatening his next door neighbor, Colombia.
However, with the long Christmas break just finishing up and the people full of holiday cheer, this would be the time to announce some good news and keep the warm fuzzies going, right?
Wrong. Instead the government decided it needed to ration electricity and one of the best places to start was with shopping malls. Now, much like New Jersey, shopping malls in Venezuela are the epicenter of the social scene. So, forcing the malls to close at nine o’clock is akin to telling New Jersey-ites that they can still go out to bars, they just can’t do any more Jager-bombs. Exactly, full scale revolt would ensue.
Luckily, the government has now eased the restrictions slightly but is that any way to start a new decade? And when you also stop and realize that Venezuela is a major oil-producer, you really wonder what’s going on. How is it possible that with all that oil they can’t find a way to keep the electricity flowing?
For the time being, things are fine. And I feel no need to get personally involved. But the second that Chavez tries to pull Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez back from the Tigers, well, then the blue state half of this duo might be forced to go reckon with that affront personally.
“We feel at home
here and among our brothers … we’re going to be together until the
end,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Venezuelan
counterpart Hugo Chavez during a visit to Latin America on Wednesday.
Both leaders roundly denounced US “imperialism,” and Chavez also called Israel “a murderous arm of the Yankee empire.”
Was anyone else consumed by the heebie-jeebies while reading that little clip? Okay, good. Glad it’s not just me.
This odd world political pairing is akin to Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger teaming up on a spooky Friday night while unsuspecting horny high school kids party in a remote campground nearby.
In other words, it’s gonna get messy.
And here I thought the only ‘murderous arm of the Yankee empire’ belonged to a big portly fella by the name of Sabathia, backed by a pair of oversized pinstriped pants for an oversized caboose insured for around $161 million.
Yes, dear readers, I think it is safe to say that Ahmadinejad and Chavez are secret members of the Red Sox Nation.
Hate me ‘cuz I expose the truth, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.