I have a confession to make. I did not watch the MLB All-Star Game. But I also didn’t watch the Pro Bowl, the NBA All-Star Game and whatever it is the NHL is doing these days. Most of it was apathy, part of it was being busy. But it’s hard to feel strongly about something that seems so contrived.
I suppose it’s somewhat blasphemous to have missed the mid-summer classic. After all, it is an annual rite of passage and ever since King Bud decided to imbue it with meaning, it has taken on slightly more importance. But really, why would I watch Ichiro and friends when I can watch Ichiro’s countrymen instead:
Seriously, Japan. What are you guys doing over there?
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
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 Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010
Hi Jeff. You are always saying mean things about the Tigers and making
fun of Allen. They seem to be doing pretty well with all these young
guys, though. Do you think you might have been wrong, even though you
always tell us not to hate you ‘cuz you’re right?
While I certainly detest the notion that my impervious and oft-uppity colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, and his infectious worldview have now tainted the minds of my dear family and friends back home in Quincy, IL, please remember that I have no problem telling you the truth:
The Tigers still suck.
Off to a good start…
Yet destined to fail.
Of course, I have been wrong once or twice in my life; but I still co-write a hit blog so I’m not sweatin’ it. And neither should you. It’s May. Sure, the Tigers are holding their own… for now. Austin Jackson, Scott Sizemore, Rick Porcello, Brennan Boesch… indeed, the future is bright in Detroit.
But not this year.
Sizemore just got sent down. Porcello is overrated. Austin Jackson is more Mark Reynolds than Ichiro Suzuki… and I haven’t even mentioned the impending doom of Dontrelle Willis (it will happen eventually). I just don’t think the Tigers have what it takes to play this well the entire season.
By August their youngsters will have petered out… the old timers (Damon) will be thinking about fishing in Cabo with Joe Mauer and that MLB The Show guy… and once again the murder rate in the Motor City will be the most talked about thing in Michigan.
Not the Tigers.
And for all you river-rat Q-towners, like Leslie above, who are considering siding with Mr. Krause and his lacking baseball acumen, just remember who buys the beers when he’s back home. Yeah. That’s what I thought.
So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz I spitz it straight. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image courtesy of 9GAG)
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not
together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster
question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at
***Tiger Woods’ little black book also welcome. It’s been a while for Al and I’m tryin’ to help a brother out.
That was a lame attempt at fake excitement for an entire world of sports I could care less about it. At least I know I’m not alone. In fact, a very tiny minority of US Americans actually know anything about ice dancing, mogul jumping and figure skater beating (see Tonya Harding meets Nancy Kerrigan circa 1994).
Even NBC has a pretty good idea that the next two weeks are gonna just plain suck, which is why whoever inked Bob Costas to lead that whole Olympic thing ought to get a raise.
You have heard me rave about Costas before, so I won’t bore you with any more bromantic praises for my mental doppelganger (at least, not now anyway); but I would like to present just one example of why Bob Costas is the bomb.
We all saw Costas buzz McGwire and stick handle Dubya, but have you ever seen him prod a foreigner towards the Dark Side? Then you will enjoy this:
Ichiro is, of course, hilarious in this clip, but Costas’ body blasting reaction at the 25-second mark is just priceless.
And you know I’m right so don’t hate me.
Baseball, Apple Pie & Lobster
While still behind the modern US American game in terms of global appeal, Japanese baseball does have a special place in the universe of our national pastime. Indeed it has evolved much beyond the infant and fundamentally challenged Chinese game and the linguistically worldly fella in me likes to think that even Japanese basebrawls tend to be a bit more aggressive than their Korean counterparts’ elusive yet intriguing pitcher’s mound chicken dance routine. Still, there is more to it than that.
During my first year in China, I had a Japanese roommate named Hayashi Nobuhide. Nobby — as we white devils called him because, well, it was easier to pronounce — was a rabid baseball fan. In fact, our friendship, which was predestined to be rocky due to 60 years of bad history, was solidified by our matched passion for the game.
Some of my fondest memories revolve around us getting up at 5am to watch the 1999 World Series during which he vehemently professed his equally tired hatred of the New York Yankees — for they were, to Nobby and his Japanese brethren, holistically representative of “all that’s bad with America” (his words, not mine, though most probably true, especially when considering the likes of Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch and Tony Tarasco).
And that year, Nobby cheered on the Atlanta Braves just like any other rabid Japanese nationalist: while wearing a Seattle Mariners cap.
Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro!
“But what about Hideki Irabu?” I asked.
“**** that traitor! Go Ichiro!” he replied.
“But Ichiro’s not playing.”
“He should be! ICHIRO!!!”
To hear Nobby tell it, Ichiro Suzuki was more popular, more influential, more inspiring than Jesus Christ himself (not to mention having a better stylist). Everything about Ichiro, from his odd pregame warmups to his ritualized on-deck routine to his classic power pose at the plate was unequivocally all-things Japanese: systematic, graceful and proud.
Consider the fact that this undying allegiance came during the height of the steroid era, and I gotta admit, Nobby had a damn good point:
Sensationalized as the above may be, the truth remains: Ichiro is powerful.
And now, that power has multiplied. The Japanese gifts continue to grace diamonds all across US America. From Ichiro Suzuki to Takashi Saito to
Kaz Matsui Kosuke Fukudome Hiroki Kuroda, the game has plenty of room for Japanese imports.
If we’re lucky, maybe someday we can even borrow the Hiroshima Toyo mascot; ‘cuz nothin’ says powerhouse baseball like a wet, smelly Carp.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.