Tagged: Joe Mauer

The Filibuster

What happened to the Twins?

Seth S.
Saint Paul, MN
__________________________

Ah, yes, the Minnesota Twins.  What did happen to those paragons of fundamentally sound baseball?  An analysis of such depth requires patience, dedication and an insatiable hunger for the truth, so I put the RSBS interns to the task and they have provided the following slide show:

2010

New ballpark! Yay! It’s…er… HUGE!

I CAN HAZ $184 MILLIONS!?!? IN EXCHANGE I’LL STOP HITTING HRs!

Ouch! Who turned out the lights?!?

DOH! DAMN THOSE DAMN YANKEES… AGAIN!!!

2011

Never fear! Tsuyoshi Nishioka is here!

And then… his leg is broken. Thanks for nothing, Nick Swisher! Damn you, damn Yankees!!!

And the rest of the Twins 2011 clubhouse… barely breathin’.

2012

Y U NO MOVE IN FENCES!?!? AGGH!!!

When will Justin’s ouchy-head be fixed? I need help, dammit!

Aaaaand this guy…

Nope, not even the healthy return of Morneau could make the pain of the above image go away.  In fact, 2012 sorta seems like a good time to reset everything.  Surprisingly, the Twins do have some decent offensive production (Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe), but their pitching has been atrocious.  Like, Kent Hrbek farting in your face type of “atrocious”.  The average ERA of their six starters is over 5 and they have been blown out (lost by 5+ more runs) 23 times so far.  And the bullpen?  YIKES!  Don’t ask them to hold a lead ‘cuz it’ll be difficult!

Like old baseball men love to say, “You’re only as good as your pitching”, and, well, when your pitching resembles the bottom of a porta-potty and the rest of the team can’t stay healthy, awful is pretty much what ya get.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the perennial sCrUBS.

Hate me ‘cuz I made you look at that famous Mauer back hair guy again, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff (and interns)

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Ba$eball $tar$

Sports Illustrated‘s annual Fortune 50 list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes list is out and Major League Baseball is heavily represented.  In fact, 36% of the athletes are baseballers — some better than others (looking at you, Barry Zito).  And while I’m sad to see an star like Floyd Mayweather, Jr at the top, one who eschews real glory at the highest level for a comfortable place atop boxing mediocrity, I am glad that baseball players are makin’ that pay-puh.  It makes me feel less suicidal when I pay $8 for a 16 oz beer.

Here’s a quick rundown of the highest paid American baseball players and their overall ranking among American athletes in parenthesis.

1.  Alex Rodriguez (6)
Too bad for the Yankees A-Rod can’t be young and steroided like the good old days.  His health is just going downhill from here.

2.  Derek Jeter (9)
He can do no wrong.  I would pay this man a bazillion dollars a year if I could.  And since Albert left me, I have no problems admitting my 17-year Jeet man-crush.

3.  Joe Mauer (12)
Really?  12th highest paid American athlete overall and third highest Major Leaguer?  I would feel better about this if he could hit it over the Target Field fence once in a while.

4.  Vernon Wells (17)
PSSSHH!!!!  I just ruined my keyboard with a mouthful of coffee.

5.  C.C. Sabathia (20)
Mo’ money, mo’ foooooooooooooooooood!

6.  Mark Teixeira (21)
Nothing says $23 million a year like a YEEE-HAW JAW!

7.  Prince Fielder (22)
I have a feeling if I make one more Prince Fielder fat joke then I’m going to be… eaten…

8.  Adrian Gonzalez (25)
He may have lost his power stroke, but with $21 million a year I’m sure he’s strokin’ plenty of power.

9.  Justin Verlander (28)
A man’s man, I would prefer to see Verlander at the very top of this list, or at the very least, have the opportunity to rifle a fastball at Mayweather’s head.

10.  Cliff Lee (29)
Way to go, Phillies.  You’re making Clifton Phifer look bad.

11.  Ryan Howard (32)
While many of my Cardinal fan brethren choose to hate on Albert, I prefer to hate on Howard, the man who made signing Albert impossible.

12.  Roy Halladay (35)
Way to go, Phillies.  You bring in the best pitcher in baseball to get you over the hump then s*** the bed three years in a row.

13, 14, 15.  Barry Zito, Carl Crawford, Albert Pujols (Tied for 36 overall)
One of these things is not like the other…

16.  Josh Beckett (44)
Is it me or has he gained like 40 pounds since he was traded to the Red Sox?

17.  Jake Peavy (45)
Up until this year, I thought dude was done.  Yes, the crow I’ve been eating tastes bad.

18.  A.J. Burnett (49)
Huh?  How did A.J. get on this list?  I’d like to know the same.  He should’ve signed two contracts, one for each of his personalities.  At least he’s been living up to it ever since his worst day ever.

Hate me ‘cuz I didn’t make the list, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

Big Trouble In Little Minnesota

I once dated a girl from Wisconsin.  Well, actually, she was from Wisconsin, but she told everyone she was from Minnesota because she was embarrassed by her rural Sconnie roots.  Oh what a difference a decade can make!

Now, hailing from Minnesota will get you all sorts of snickers and sneers.  From the incoherent and elementary mumblings of a psychopath with presidential aspirations to a defunct state government that thinks it should get paid even though it’s not doing any work, the North Star State is looking more and more like the Land of 10,000 Gaffes.

And that’s not even including the moribund Twins!

Believe me, I’m just as shocked as you.  Traditionally, the Twins do everything right.  They see the ball.  They catch the ball.  They use two hands.  From top to bottom, they are the most fundamentally sound franchise in the Big Leagues, which is why they’ve been able to find success despite having a not-so-star studded roster.

But they let their 2010 bullpen of bad@sses go.  When he plays, Joe Mauer has been… er… um… not Joe Mauer.  And between getting his bell rung and having an uncooperative neck, 2006 MVP Justin Morneau has been about as fearsome as a Keenan Cahill video.

Of course, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, which is why the Twins will always be happy to destroy the White Sox.

Unfortunately, that won’t be enough for the Twins to make any noise in the AL Central.  I know the Mike Francescas and Harold Reynolds of the world still have faith, but those people are stupid.  The Twins are done.

I can only hope the same is true for Bachmann and the tepid taxpayers of her dejected state.

Hate me.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 15: Varitek’s Lotto Numbers… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 7.jpg

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast…

The hot stove is so hot that we had to add more fuel to the sizzlin’ fire!  Jeff, Allen and Johanna are joined by Second City’s Mark Piebenga and Red Sox loyalist Troy Jagodowski to get down and dirty on all the offseason drama.  Discussion topics include but are not limited to: what Theo Epstein was smokin’ when he re-signed Varitek, the end of Troy Tulowitski, the continued morphing of the Hall of Fame, the A-Gon deal and much, much more… all to make you laugh that milk right through your nose!

Holla!

– – –

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  You can check out Keith’s wicked podcast and his subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  The dude has mad skillz, so you might wanna pay attention.  Do it!  Now!

– – –

Recorded Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Filibuster

Once again the Twins beat up the AL Central and might even catch
the Yankees for the best record in baseball.  Can we reasonably say at
this point that the Twins are the best run team in baseball?
 
Rob

Duluth, MN
_______________________________

chairman mauer.jpg

All biases aside, Rob, to say the Twins “beat up” the AL Central sorta glides over the fact that, outside of the White Sox, the Twins really had no competition going into the season to begin with; that the White Sox totally derailed (twice!) only made the Twins look more dominant.

But I understand your want, your desire, your dream to cast the Twins in a plushy role like that of the highfalutin, media-darling Yankees.  Well, brother, dream on… ‘cuz, reasonably speaking, the Twins ain’t the Yankees. 

Nor are they the Rays.

Nor the Phils.

Hell, they’re not even close!

In my opinion (which happens to be right), those three are the best teams in baseball right now.  And when you add the qualifier of “best run”, well, sorry.  I really can’t look any further than the best teams.  Period.

Are the Twins good?  Yes.  Are they capable of going all the way?  Sure.  Can I slot them in as the best run team in baseball?  No way!

Believe me, I tip my cap to the entire Twins organization.  They build from the ground up.  They instill in their players the concept of playing the game the right way.  They do the little things well and fundamentally, they are as sound as a team can possibly be.

But when the pressure is on, they fail.  When they need to win the big game, they don’t.  Not yet, at least.  And going into a short series with Liriano, Pavano and Duensing isn’t quite as mortifying to the opposition as going in with Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt (lookout!).

To me, being the best run team in baseball would require, at the very least, a track record of winning when it matters the most — a trip to the World Series would be even better.  But the Twins haven’t been in that situation since Danny Gladden hit leadoff and Barry Bonds had a normal sized forehead.  And despite all the good things the Twins’ brass has done in recent years, can I really celebrate a front office that let Johan Santana go for Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber and Kevin Mulvey?!?!?!?

No way.

I love me some Joe Mauer and Delmon Young just as much as the next baseball dork, but, let’s be honest with ourselves: they ain’t scarin’ anybody.

Yet.

Hate me ‘cuz I think the Twins’ are the weakest playoff link, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Chairman Mauer image courtesy of Twinkie Town)

***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 kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Information that pins Mr. Krause as a closet Tea Bagger also welcome (he won’t stop talking about Christine O’Donnell, you know. Just sayin).

Captain Morgan Calls for Captainism!

Just how Captain Morgan is able to be in both my liquor cabinet and the Oakland Coliseum at the same time is beyond me.  But he is.  Or… was.  In fact, last week he was seen comparing hooks with Mr. Perfect himself, Dallas Braden, while bringing the party with him in the way of one blonde, one redhead and one enviable, swashbuckling goatee.

Dallas Braden Compares Hooks with CM.JPG

That’s right.  Just when you thought captainism in US America was dead, here comes Captain Morgan throwing out the first pitch at a ballpark near you.  While captains may run rampant in the NHL, the NFL and MLS, Major League Baseball suffers from a supreme shortage.

Derek Jeter.  Jason Varitek.  Paul Konerko.

Those are your only true, official captains.

Jeter?  Understood. 

Varitek?  That’s a joke, right?

Paulie?  Deserved, but under appreciated and way under publicized.  In fact, I didn’t even know he was the Sox captain until yesterday… and I live next to the ball park!

CM Throws First Pitch in As Cap.JPG

Look, I’m a purist.  You know this.  Axe the replay, axe the jumbotron, axe the synthetic unis… I’m cool with all of that.  But in lieu of the Nyjer Morgans and Milton Bradleys of the world, I think MLB would do a lot of good to inject more leadership into its ranks, spice it up with a “C” patch, subject the younger players to some authority. 

Evan Longoria, Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer… they already look and act like captains.  Can’t we just make it official?

Either that, or at least make it mandatory for that blonde and that redhead to make an appearance every ballpark in the league. (No need for the goatee. I have one of those already.)

Oh… and I’ll be waiting at Sox Park.

So go ahead and hate me… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Images via Getty Images)

The Filibuster

So, it looks like we’ll watch the playoffs from the sidelines this year
since both of our teams decided to nosedive in the second half.  Which
teams’ failure is the most discouraging, though, the Tigers or the
Cards?

-Allen
Tigers fan
_______________________________

dead cardinal.jpg

A clever move from my sinister and oft pejorative colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, inserting himself into the Filibuster box by stuffing it with this one question, over and over and over again.  I guess some part of Mr. Krause is looking for sympathy in the wake of yet another disappointing season in Detroit; because anyone with any sort of baseball awareness knows that the greater discouragement between these two teams most assuredly belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Hell, up to a few weeks ago we were all buzzing about how the Cards could just mail it in for the NL Central title.  How could they not?!?  A team anchored by two of the best pitchers in the game (Wainwright, Carpenter), flanked by serious ROY candidate Jaime Garcia, a solid Jake Westbrook… and I haven’t even gotten to the offense centered around Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday… a team like this… it screams playoffs.

So how is it that they are dead?

Lack of motivation.  Sense of entitlement.  Clubhouse squabbling.  Streakiness.  The absence of a clear, dominating, team leader.

Really, that’s what it comes down to.

Meanwhile, the 2010 edition of the Tigers never had a chance to begin with.  Outside of Justin Verlander (who struggled early on), their pitching was a complete mess (Dontrelle Willis anyone?).  They started two rookies in Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore… and at the very last minute they signed a less-than-stellar Johnny Damon to… well, to do what, I don’t really know.  His non-impact did the talking.  Or not.  Depending on how you look at it.

So, Mr. Krause, of course the Cardinals’ 2010 fail remains more epic (as the kids iz sayin’) than your disastrous Detroit Tigers, who are apt to see Jimmy Leyland walk away after the season, so that he can spend more quality time smoking… and… smoking.

But not all hope is lost for the RSBS universe.  The Rays and Rangers look like fun teams to root for in the postseason, and let us not forget… Mr. Krause still has a horse in this race:

allen loves joe mauer.jpg

Hate me ‘cuz I got people who can extract sensitive information, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***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 kraulung@gmail.com. 

***Pics of Mr. Krause declaring his love for Albert Pujols & Co. also welcome. I have a hunch…