This Wednesday officially kicks off the 2012 MLB season and even though I’ll probably be fast asleep while it unfolds in the Far East, I’m sure the Japanese will be plenty excited about watching two awful teams compete against one another, especially since there’s at least one Suzuki per nine.
On this side of the pond, we have much, MUCH more to look forward to. In fact, I might need a good tazing before the Cardinals open up in Miami, just so I’m forced to sit down!
Here are some of the things that have me baseball-tweaking:
The GOOD Blue Jays Uniforms Are Back!
Still mesmerized by the awful logo redesign and poor color scheme that killed Joe Carter’s Blue Jays look in 2003, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the old logo back. And royal blue! No gray! Alongside the Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, I gotta say the classic Jays uni is about as smart and sleek as baseball uniforms come.
Grant Balfour Finally Gets to Be a Closer!
The 34-year old Aussie has been quietly waiting in the wings of every team he’s been on and now, finally, the Oakland A’s are giving him a shot at the closer role. I still think closers are overrated, but I like to think that maybe, if Balfour performs well in his new role, he might finally get paid what he’s worth. His numbers are fantastic and most people don’t even know who he is. I’m afraid playing in Oakland won’t help his popularity, but maybe Billy Beane will throw him another peanut. (Also, if you’re wondering, yes, Balfour’s fastball does have an Australian accent.)
I love Bobby Valentine. For myriad reasons. He’s cocky. He’s loud. His feelings get hurt. He’s controversial. He pisses off players, coaches, umpires. And he’s a goddamn baseball genius. HOLLA!!!
Good grief. The dude is gonna be FIFTY this year. FIFTY YEARS OLD. And he’s still gettin’ guys out. I absolutely love that. I love him! How can you not?!?!
And finally… you probably knew this was coming but…
WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m loud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There’s no denying that modern medicine has had an overall positive effect on sports, allowing players to come back from injuries that would have ended careers even a few decades ago. Cortisone shots get players back on the field after seemingly devastating ankle sprains and allow pitchers to continue throwing the baseball when they’re as old as Jamie Moyer. Tommy John surgery not only brings pitchers back, sometimes they even come back stronger than they were before.
Doctors can now attach toes to hands when thumbs go missing and unless you look closely or know what you’re looking for, you’d never even notice. Organ transplants happen everyday and surgeons even performed a face transplant on a woman who was mauled by a chimp. I can personally attest to the transformative medicinal power of lasers after undergoing Lasik and waking to find that I could see without glasses for the first time in my life.
No, medicine is truly amazing. Except for one thing:
It’s 2012 and still, here we are.
Last year, RSBS gave you a guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Sure, maybe it hasn’t happened yet but you’re welcome nonetheless.
The problem is, we forgot to include a survival guide for overcoming the undead already among us. No, I’m not talking about Dick Cheney or anyone else with a pacemaker. I’m talking about something much, much scarier. Hippies.
We all know people who just don’t understand when it’s time to give up or time to go. Names that come to mind immediately include such luminaries as Jamie Moyer, Brett Favre and Roger Clemens. But what about the hippies? Seriously, these guys have been going at it since the 60’s at least. If you want to lump the Beats in there with them, you’re going back even further. C’mon man, pot and patchouli are cool but at some point you have to give it a rest.
Now, there’s no denying that the hippies have given us some wonderful things. There’s no way that VW could have stayed afloat long enough to give us the new Beetle if it wasn’t for the hippies buying up all the VW vans. And where would we be without tie-dye? I’d be missing at least one shirt, that’s for sure.
But at some point you have to accept that your revolution has reached it’s natural end and move on to something new. For instance, try on some skinny jeans and an ironic t-shirt and join the hipster movement. At least the name is similar. That’s helpful when you’re working with less than a full contingent of brain cells.
Here’s the thing, the anti-hippie revolution is already underway and if Malaysia has put their foot down, other civilized countries can’t be far behind. The bell has tolled, hippies. Time to wake up. Jerry Garcia is gone, Timothy Leary is dead (I think) and pot is almost legal. Hm, now that I think about it, maybe we should be writing a guide on helping hippies reintegrate instead of marginalizing them further……..Nah. Stupid hippies.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff and Johanna break out the hot stove holiday eggnog (topped off with a couple gallons of that special Kentucky blend, of course) and discuss all things important to the baseball-politico world, including but not limited to: adult circumcision, the 1960 World Series, the Phillies’ impending rape of the National League, peeing on your hands a la Moises Alou to get a better grip and much, much more… all to make you forget with a smile the horrors of your latest office party!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. You can experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at Undercard Films. The man is talented, people. You don’t want to miss out, so go check it!
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Recorded Saturday, December 18, 2010
Goals keep you focused. For instance, Jamie Moyer didn’t just walk out on day one of his MLB career and say, “Hey, I want to give up at least 500 home runs over the next couple decades.” No, he set manageable goals like, “Today I’m going to give up two homers and in my next start, only one.” That’s how records get broken.
Sometimes goals give you purpose. Like when Bill Clinton gets a little contemplative and starts talking about what keeps him going. Sure, he may have been President of the United States, the greatest country in the history of the world, but he’s also just a regular guy who wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro before he dies. And see his grandchildren. Oh, and run a marathon.
Now, I’m a big fan of Clinton. But the guy is starting to look old. If you noticed him tottering around at the World Cup, he looked like an old man wearing a young man’s clothes. I hope he makes it to Kilimanjaro and I certainly hope he gets to see his grandchildren. But, it might also be time to realize that those two things could be mutually exclusive.
More than that, I worry about Bill for another reason. He said The Bucket List was one of his favorite movies. Ok, that’s cute and all but really? You’re a Rhodes Scholar and a past his prime Jack Nicholson running around diving out of airplanes is what does it for you?
At the same time, if I can still run around at 63 like Clinton does, I’ll feel pretty good. I mean, even if he doesn’t look quite as vibrant, the guy still knows where to be and how to do it. Who knows, maybe the way he does it is by having goals. Hey, it worked for Jamie Moyer.
I try to watch Jon Stewart as much as possible since he seems to be the only person who realizes how bat-sh!t crazy Michele Bachmann truly is. She’s like Sarah Palin with less brains and less media savvy. Yeah, scary.
But I also like Stewart because he does a great job of getting his comic friends to drop by and ostensibly promote the shows they’re working on. For instance, Denis Leary is a regular guest and just the other week I saw both Chris Rock and Adam Sandler on the show together. It’s a good thing when you can count guys like that among your friends and when they actually return your phone calls. Yeah, Jeff. I’m talking to you. Ever answer your phone there big guy?
Sorry. Back to the point. The thing of it is, though, that Stewart and his guests rarely talk about the show or movie they’ve stopped by to promote. They make an attempt but then it goes out the window and it’s more like watching a conversation between two old friends and you were lucky enough to be there. Like a recent episode when Louis C. K. stopped by to talk about his new show. They showed a clip, it was funny but then most of the conversation was about other random stuff.
But when I finally saw a little bit more about Louis’ show, I realized that I may have missed out on something spectacular. See if you catch it at the end of this clip………
……..Yeah, Jamie Moyer! Dishing up the homerun like it’s going out of style. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have the same effect if I tried it.
When Joe Torre, one of the untouchable paragons of class, is getting slammed for allegedly revealing all the Evil Empire‘s dirty secrets in a book that no one has had the chance to even read yet, I think it’s a pretty clear sign that we’ve run out of things to talk about this off-season. Manny being Manny being unsigned is now as interesting a story as Bea Arthur is sexy. The Varitek saga in Boston is teetering on the pathetic. And when the Rangers look to be the best bet for unreliable dark horse Ben Sheets, does anyone really care anymore?
How about a new MLB Network drinking game? It may not be that ramshackle of japery that we created back during the post-season/presidential debate, but it sure will sauce your inhibitions quicker than Rush Limbaugh will make you want to commit suicide.
It’s simple. Tune in to the Hot Stove Show and anytime Harold Reynolds leads the panel in a symphony of phrases uncomfortably coated by the word “guy”, take a drink. You’ll be hammered ten minutes in to the program.
Look, I have nothing personal against Harold Reynolds and his self-serving ramblings. He seems like a genuinely nice man and most of the time I actually get something out of his demonstrations on the diamond; but I sometimes feel dumb listening to his emphatic, annoyingly frequent use of the word “guy”. Let me paraphrase a sample, dear reader — a hypothetical spew based on several weeks of actually listening to the man:
A guy like Manny… Manny Ramirez is a guy who just doesn’t change a team, he changes a division. Guys see a guy like Manny in the clubhouse and then guys are suddenly seeing changes. He’s a guy who has the ability to go out there and be that guy that all the other guys are honing in on — a guy who can beat you every time he takes the field. And guys on the other side, guys on your side, those guys see that too. Makes them want to go out there and be more competitive guys, guys that get things done. You see guys change, not just guys on the team, but guys throughout the division.
I wish I were exaggerating.
H.R.’s inability to find a synonym for “guy” probably wouldn’t bother me so much if he didn’t subliminally infect the rest of the cast with his lecherous verbal disease. Broadcasting newbies Barry Larkin and Al Leiter have picked up on it, and the ensuing cacophony is near deafening.
But, I keep watching… ‘cuz I love the MLB Network. I can’t stop watching it. So I might have a problem.
As much as I love it, there is one block of MLB Network programing that baffles me like a Spaceman eephus pitch.
Whoever thought it would be a good idea to rerun old homerun derbies during a prime-time slot deserves to have John Kruk sit on his face during the two hours they’re being aired. The homerun derby? Really? I’m supposed to get excited about watching a bunch of superstars hit lollygaggin’ Jamie Moyer fastballs from two, three, four years ago while Chris Berman entertains himself ad nauseum with his cutesy cleverness? I didn’t care about the homerun derby the first time; why would I care now?
And even if you do enjoy the homerun derby (when it actually happens each July), do you really get excited about watching it again? Save Josh Hamilton’s gargantuan effort of 2008 — a contest which he ultimately lost — is there really anything titillating in any homerun derby that makes you say: “Yeah! Can’t wait to put aside two hours to watch that again!”
MLB Productions has done a fine job of producing edgy, dramatic, quality programs that explore the deep history and colorful characters of the game. I haven’t been disappointed with one of their productions yet. So I am both baffled and bored by the network’s decision to rerun past derbies instead of wowing us with original content. Seems like they’re missing a big opportunity there.
The good news is: if I play the H.R. drinking game, I won’t be conscious enough to watch the derby reruns anyway.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.