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 unofficial start of the baseball season is fast approaching and that can mean only one thing. It’s almost time for season three of Eastbound & Down!
For those of you who have not yet succumbed to that lovable scamp, Kenny Powers, you owe it to yourself to check him out. And if you’ve checked him out previously and didn’t care for his blatant racism, misogyny and general ignorance, well, you probably have a good point. But me, I can’t wait for Kenny to get back on the field.
See, Kenny Powers isn’t like the rest of us. I could try to explain but I think it’s better to just let him do it in his own words: “…From one Gifted Young Athlete to another: don’t kill yourself trying to make sense of all the madness…It’s not our fault we’re awesome, playboy. It’s Jesus’s.”
Muslims don’t have a tradition of proselytizing. Sure, they conquered other societies and let them convert if they wanted to, but sending people out as missionaries wasn’t really part of the program. Even now, Muslim societies with money tend to send that money to Muslim neighbors to strengthen whatever sect within the religion they support. In short, it’s not very likely that a Saudi is going to knock on your door anytime soon and ask if you’ve had a chance to meet Allah.
In the US, we’ve taken a slightly different tack. Instead of breaking away from the missionary traditions of our European forefathers, we’ve taken it to all new heights. It’s not enough that American churches feel compelled to send evangelical missionaries all over the world to teach and convert, they also do the same at home. And all too often these efforts are aimed at the most vulnerable among us: children.
It’s not just churches. It’s also role models like sports stars. When Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin go beyond sports and feel the need to bring Jesus up in every interview, it’s a message to children. It’s proselytizing. When Josh Hamilton has to tell people that Jesus saved him from the drugs, that’s a message to children as well. And as far as I’m concerned, raping children’s minds in this way is just as bad as what someone like Jerry Sandusky did.
There’s a very simple solution to all this:
So, how about it people? How about we keep it in our pants? I won’t show you mine if you don’t show me yours.
I’m a day early but these things are rarely exact. No one really knows for sure if Jesus was born 2,012 years ago, for instance. But I can tell you for sure that Jeff was born 33 years ago as of tomorrow. I just hope that Jeff doesn’t decide to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. See, after disappearing for 30 years between his birth and the start of his ministry, Jesus managed to piss off the entire Roman Empire and the Jewish elite in three short years and get himself killed.
I don’t want to say the allusion is exact but for the past three years Jeff has been pissing off the MLB empire and the baseball elite (including getting kicked off Barry Zito’s Twitter feed). So far there have been no threats against Jeff’s life but MLB is sneaky like that.
It’s a day early but happy birthday Mr. Lung. And please, beware of crowds bearing palm fronds. You know what happens a week later.
Continuing with the end-of-year holiday tradition here at RSBS, it’s time to separate myself from my imaginary girlfriend (NSFW) and ask the interns to lock my office door so I can get down to the meaty reflection of what was the RSBS year 2011. Additionally, I must begin the sad, fiery purge of Albert Pujols memorabilia. For those of you who went to public schools, you know that maintaining a fire within a small, confined room may cause ill-fated side effects, so before I start to look like Bert the chimney sweep, let me get to it…
First of all, no year would be a good year without you, the dear RSBS reader. THANK YOU, for your readership. THANK YOU for your emails, your tweets, your comments, Facebook shares and FingerTagging! And THANK YOU for continuing to make writing about the baseball-politico world a treat for us every single day.
Like my riveting and oft rousing colleague, Mr. Krause, I too have been very impressed with our special correspondents. For me, nothing says sweet Miggy-I-Love-You quite like Mark Piebenga’s His Game Is Like Waves. It presented Miguel Cabrera in a new light — that of teacher, and, considering how much Mark has taught me about what life should be about, I continue to find its lesson fitting (and helpful!).
And though I often refer to Mr. Johanna Mahmud as “the man who introduced me to the glories of the Deftones” and “the guy who schooled me on the NBA and proved why I should be madly in love with Derek Rose”, I still have room to refer to him as “the guy who writes Setting the Mahmud“! Dude puts the “tit” in titillating with every piece. The last article he wrote was inspiring, if only because he found a way to get a naked Yu Darvish, an ugly sweater wearing
Johnny Matt Damon and a crying Paula Deen all in one place; but, like Al, I have to admit that there’s real brilliance in his Theo-fied Arthurisms. Still, I’m a sucker for equating dead people to the performances of Adam Dunn and Miguel Tejada. Good work, good sir.
Meanwhile, no year-end applause would be complete without a nod to my longtime friend and confidant, Mr. Allen Krause. Known for his cynical twists on the political establishment and undying love of all things Detroit Tigers, it has been a pleasure to write on his wing. Sometimes he’s so “on” that he finds literary genius in imagery. Indeed, that endearing Krausian wit is often highlighted by rational thought. Sometimes it points out the un-fact-checked obvious, other times it gets serious, with a real call for responsibility. And, just in case you think Mr. Krause’s Libertarian-bashing makes him a soulless, automated Obamatron, this reflective piece will convince you otherwise.
But when it comes to knockin’ ’em outta the interwebs park, I have to kowtow to the RSBS Presents series. The brainchild of Mr. Krause, RSBS Presents has enlightened us on the finer points of fandom and how to stay classy while reminding us that, ultimately, positivity has upside during times of turmoil. But the best of them all was learning how to score a Republican. And here I thought it involved finding Jesus and quoting Alex P. Keaton.
Happy Christmas, Merry Hanukkah and long live King Kwanzaa!
The world moves faster now than it did just decade ago. In fact, while writing that last sentence, I lost two bets, texted a girl without using my fingers and imagined an elaborate Broadway staging of my favorite Bukowski quote.
So naturally, it would be easy to miss out on some important informational nuggets throughout the day. But do not fear. The RSBS interns have been hard at work to bring you these five things you NEED to know NOW:
1. Rick Perry Is Insane
You didn’t have to watch the *YAWN* GOP debate last night to know that. All you need to know is that he truly believes setting aside an entire day for his state leaders to focus on talking to their imaginary friend is an acceptable way of tackling Texas’ problems. Um… please, someone tell me that being “delusional” makes one unelectable in a general election???
2. MLB Playoff Changes Are a Comin’
If today was September 8, 2012, the Cardinals, Giants and Rays would all still be fighting like hobos for the last drop of playoff wine. Generally speaking, I don’t like change; but to be fair, this seems imminent and fitting. I give it my blessing. VOILA!
3. Mr. Krause’s Retort Is Weak
In his most recent attempt to derail my celebratory allegiance to Liberty, he wrote: “I don’t have time to go back and correct all of his logical and factual fallacies one by one,” which is Big Government Liberal speak for: “I don’t know how to slip that dude’s jab-jab-right hook-left cross combination so let me try and talk around it.” Just sayin’!
4. John Smoltz Is Awesome… At Everything
He was a bad@$$ mound maestro during his playing days. He also was/is one hell of a golfer — good enough to, at one point, even consider going pro. And after listening to him in the broadcast booth as the color commentator on an entire season’s worth of games, I gotta say: Smoltz is one hell of a broadcaster. With a Hall of Fame baseball acumen, superior poise and uncanny timing, he definitely warrants kicking Tim McCarver’s dusty rump aside.
5. The Astros Will Be Going to the American League
Don’t worry. No one will probably even notice.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
2. Jeffrey Dahmer
Sorry, that’s all I could come up with.
Big Z is nothing but a Big Dick. I feel for my Cub fan friends right now. I really do.
He is — and ALWAYS HAS BEEN — a dark stain on the game, on his team, on my city.
So I hope he never comes back.
Sad news: only one more day until the world ends, dear readers. Indeed, it’s days like today when I really wish the Mayans knew what the hell they were talkin’ about.
Instead, we all wait in weary anticipation of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie (they call him “The Jesus”) so he can come down from the skies and act as Judgey McJudges-a-lot.
Ordinarily, I ain’t much of a judgmental person. I let folks be as they be, even if they be crazy. But if The Jesus — a supposed paragon of virtue — is gonna come down and act a judgin’ fool, then I’d like to get in on that action too, just for today.
So here ya go. Let the judging begin!
Yankees fans, I’m judging you. You lost six measly games in a row and suddenly the sky is falling?! When my Cubs fans friends (yes, I have a few) watch their team lose six games in a row they call it “April”. And don’t even get me started on M’s fans or Pirates fans… jeesh.
Mitt Romney, I’m judging you. Come on, dude. How can you pass universal healthcare in your state and still call yourself a Republican?!? Not only that, but how am I supposed to take you seriously when you believe in a book that was “translated” by a whackjob “aided” by an invisible bearded man in the sky?
National Football League… oh yes, I’m judgin’ the hell out of you. Didn’t you learn ANYTHING from baseball?!?! Good grief! Don’t you know that the strike of ’94 nearly KILLED the national pastime? You may benefit from having less intelligent constituents, but even the ignorant have a hard time forgiving betrayal. Just ask Whitney Houston.
Donald Trump, I’m judging you. The birther thing, well, I can see past that. But your hair. Seriously. It’s not funny anymore. It’s disturbing. I’m sure there’s a crime being committed there.
And finally, as we prepare to say ‘see ya’ to the cosmos…
MLB throwback uniforms, I’m judging you. If we’re gonna bring back the baby blue road duds… if we’re gonna bring back the Oakland puke yellow tops… if we’re gonna bring all this stuff from the 70s and 80s back in earnest, then we need to stop making them in the baggy size. Everyone in his/her right mind knows that those only work if we can see some protruding jock action.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s Thursday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Every time I turn on the TV or check the news, all I hear is budget this
and spending that. And it seems like there’s a race to see who can
slash the most and do it quickly. If MLB took the same approach, what
could be cut and what should be cut?
Oh, dude… Ramon… spending cuts in baseball?!? Well, it’s your lucky friggin’ day, my friend, ‘cuz I’ve just been waiting — WANTING — to slash the baseball budget for eons — to shred it back to its more recognizable roots.
Here’s but a shortlist of what could and SHOULD be cut from baseball, all together:Uniform Spending
You get one home uni and one road uni. One. Each. You rip it or get it dirty or stained, you deal with it, just like in little league. I don’t care if ya gotta run a shoestring through your pants to keep ’em up, you do it. And none of this alternate jersey crap. White. Gray. That’s it. Also, we’re making them out of wool.
It’s bad enough I gotta pay $44 friggin’ bucks to be assualted by the plebeian tongues of Chicago sCrUBS fan bleacher bums at Wrigley, but to pay $7.25 for a 16 oz can-o-crap (Bud Light)… someone oughta be caned for that sort of crime.
“God Bless America”
Um… if we HAVE to sing this during the seventh inning, then we HAVE to sing “Here Comes Santa Claus” too, ‘cuz Santa Claus is MY favorite mythical creature, m’kay? Whether you believe in god or not, this song has no place in our grand game. To make me stand up to prove I’m a patriot is even more asinine. I love my country because my country says I don’t have to conform to some crazy ideas thought up by a crackpot who has his own best interests in mind. Also, by mandating this song be sung, we are excluding our friendly neighbors to the north, who’ve never been the same since losing the Expos. Frankly, I’ve never been the same since losing the Expos… so let’s find a non-religious song that exemplifies NORTH America’s awesomeness… like, how about something by Rush?
Get that done, Ramon, and we get our game back.
I mean, seriously… have you seen Rush play live?
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Just like Ryan Franklin in the 9th, this is going to be quick, disgustingly ugly and will probably include an ERA over 9:
First he tried to score from third when no one was lookin’… then he slid head first and broke his arm… then he was… out. THEN he blamed third base coach Dave Anderson for the boneheadedly aggressive move (not my fault, duh)… and THEN he later apologized to Dave Anderson for blaming him for the boneheadedly aggressive move.
*SARCASM ALERT, SARCASM ALERT*
Considering the overwhelming, undeniable, empirical evidence in this case… I am glad to report that Jesus of Nazareth was soley responsible for Joshy’s change of heart, just as he was responsible for Joshy gettin’ some buttery nipple action at da club a while back.
BERKMAN FOR MVP!
The 2011 season is well under way and… SURPRISE!!!… that’s Lance Berkman posing at the Cardinals best player!
Hey folks, he may be weird lookin’ in a Redbird uni, but he’s the only one in the lineup who’s been solid from the get-go. Go ahead, Albert… just go ahead and think about finding a deal somewhere else… we got number 12!
THE GO-GO-HOME WHITE SOX!
Ozzie Guillen sure is giving Timothy Geithner a run for his money (wink, wink) in the sour face department. Heck, I’d be angry too if my son’s name was Oney (good grief is that really his name???)… I’d also be angry if my team scored runs like crazy, only to see them erased in the latter innings of an otherwise locked-down ballgame when the bullpen wheels start fallin’ off (see Chris Sale, Matt Thornton, etc.).
Can’t believe I’m sayin’ this, but, I sorta miss big boy Bobby Jenks. At least with Jenks you’d at least see some emotion when he blew the game.
Hangin’ the head and walkin’ off is a bit too pedestrian for my liking.