Tagged: Managers

Tears of Joy, Tears of Sorrow

The afterglow of knowing your team is champion of the baseball world is a pretty damn cool thing.  I have been walking around the last few days in a sort of “Happy Flight” daze.  I’ve been smiling more.  I feel fantastic.  But yesterday morning, reality hit me: there won’t be any more baseball for a looooooooong time.

And then the text messages started coming.

Did you hear?

OMG Tony is hangin’ em up.

Are you okay? I just heard about TLR.

When Tony LaRussa took over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996, I was just an awkward, acne-plagued high schooler who nerded out on keeping score at baseball games.  Now, 16 years later, I’m an awkward, 32 year-old professional who nerds out on keeping score at baseball games.

Not much has changed, yet much has changed.

In the early 90s, the Cardinals weren’t very good.  But from the minute the announcement was made that he would be the new St. Louis skipper, I immediately had a new found sense of… hope.  It was innate.  It was from within.  I don’t know why, but I just knew: our team was going to be good.

And we were!  From 1996 to the present, there hasn’t been one year where I didn’t think the Cardinals had a legitimate shot at the postseason.  Sure, some years were better than others, but with Tony at the helm, I have always had a sort of calm about the team.

That’s not to say he hasn’t made me scratch my head.  But I soon learned to stop questioning his umteenth pitching change.  His post-game explanation always made sense.  Our pitcher is hitting in the eight hole?  Of course he is.  Bringing in the closer in the 5th inning?  Exactly what I would do.  In fact, I learned very early on that if I was going to keep score during a TLR managed game, then I was going to have to a) write small b) write small and c) WRITE SMALL.

Still, I am going to miss Tony LaRussa.  A lot.  Just thinking about someone else being in the dugout with his job gives me the creeps.   My happy place is Tony giving the sign to Yadi.  Yadi fires down to first.  Albert makes the tag on the runner.  And right now, in light of TLR’s announcement and the ongoing question of whether or not Albert will be back in St. Louis next year, my happy place suddenly finds itself under baseball siege.

But, like everything else in life, I will just have to deal with that shizz when it comes.  In the meantime, I sure hope Tony doesn’t consider becoming an actor.  I have been suffering through the Ray Vinson commercials long enough.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m gettin’ misty eyed, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Semi-Closeted Tony Plush Lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Blind faith is the crutch of fools.”

We may not be in the Prince/Pujols derby, but it’s fine. It’s fine.

My water just broke. Theo is here. I’m feeling woozy.

I’ve been harvesting my organs to get the perfect GM. I’ve been licking my cat’s fanny to find the best. I’ve been on a Rambo-style manhunt to make sure the Cubs can be good for an extended amount of time.

I’VE EVEN TRIED HUMAN MEAT!!! (That part is almost true.)

Theo is the smartest thing that has ever happened to the Cubs.

At the press conference yesterday, he said “I promised I wouldn’t bring up the Red Sox,” but it’s ok, Theo. You said the right things at the right moments. You talked about “being on base and defense.” CRAZY! I am over the moon, trying to slow my roll, but you, Theo, are everything I’ve ever wanted: smart, savvy and new!

In my lifetime, being awful has been the Cub paradigm. Things have to change now. We might need a Castro coach to show him… defense. The way Wrigley plays may require some of Theo’s number crunching. But we have more hope now than we’ve had the last 15 years combined. (See Baker, Piniella, et al)

But best of all, as I write this, Theo Epstein is hatching a plan to dismantle every last bit of crap left in the C’s organization.

I’m in. I’m all in. AND… his sister, Anya, wrote for Homicide: Life on the Streets!! My favorite show of ever!!!

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Team Edward Rep, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins

Things are changing for me. Before I know it I’ll be wearing jeans and reading fiction. I don’t know where I am. My favorite color is rainbow. I’m giving in to wearing sandals over socks. I don’t need the therapy! I’m just mentally ill!

Tony Effing LaRussa is back in my world and I CAN’T STAND IT. He’s a throbbing, raging, @$$bag that I wish would go away but he won’t. And you can’t kill him. If you try, he just keeps coming back. And, with all my might, my baseball sensibilities consume me so much that I can’t not respect the man.

When I was a child I would squint and mistake him for Thundercats supervillain Mumm-Ra (Magician or sexual deviant?).  I wanted to lightsaber him over and over BECAUSE I AM A JEDI!  His steroid riddled teams have infuriated me to no end. I loved the Dodgers and Orel in the 80s, the Giants and their earthquake, my Cubs of the last decade. I’ve always respected the man and his managing abilities; but he really has outdone himself this year. WOW.

When the Cardinals beat the Tigers in their last World Series appearance with no pitching, that was quite a thing. What’s happening now is nothing short of spectacular managing. My Jeffy’s Cards are the hottest team in baseball and I will once again be rooting against Texas. Watching this series will be like being touched by a priest…

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Plebeian, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

It takes two to make a thing go right!!!!!! It takes two to make it out of sight!!!

This is it. The end of an era. The end of days. The Blizzard of Oz has left us. The vampire/werewolf is on Florida time now. And for what it’s worth, I will miss him spewing his goo bazooka all over this town.

I’m not a White Sox fan but I LOVED Ozzie Guillen. He brought joy to my life, in some sort of way, every day. And though he didn’t win with this 2011 team of crap, he did win the press conference battle yesterday.

For years I wanted to tell he and Kenny Williams to GET A ROOM. But it’s all over now. At least it ended this way, with Oz being cordial, and Williams sounding like a prick. Again. Luckily no one came in with machetes and UZIs, waxing off the media and staff who threw Oz under the bus.

KW should have brought a gavel to his silly presser.  My mom told me you can’t eat love. Kenny didn’t necessarily lie in his press conference; he just massaged the truth. He acted like he had just assisted in the birth of a foal, that he was pure in all of this.

HE CREATED THIS MESS OF A TEAM.

The Williams/Guillen family let things fester. They were not huggers. He and Oz had Easter egg hunts that turned into knife fights. Everyone should have anticipated this sunny day that would never be.

Maybe Ozzie will go all country in Miami. Maybe he’ll change the culture down there. Mermaid boobies will be cool! Plus, the new stadium won’t have those elevators that used to scare him on Wednesdays. SUPERSTITIONS! Any chance he wanders the streets next year and asks people if they recognize him?

Once he gets to Florida, Ozzie can go back to carrying a handgun in the infield. Are we cowabunga on this? FUN FOR EVERYONE!

I think Reinsdorf sneaked up on Ozzie and asked him if he liked surprises. But Ozzie is allergic to horses.

In the end, the Marlins needed a man with a long stroke. And they just got one.

–Johanna Mahmud
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Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Warrior, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

It’s Math. Don’t Fight It.

Clint Hurdle isn’t here to save you and lead the White Sox to 20 wins in a row to finish out the season a la the Rockies in 2000 whatever year that was. Jim Thome isn’t walking through that door to be the anti-Adam Dunn. I’m sorry. Just accept it.

As of Tuesday, via Baseball Prospectus, the White Sox have an 11.8% chance of making the playoffs. The Detroit Tigers have an 86.8% chance.  If you’re a Sox fan and want to hold onto that 11%, that’s your business. I just don’t want to hear about it. I know they’ve been just good enough in this awful division to keep us interested, but it’s over.

TOO STRESSFUL. THIS TEAM GIVES ME CHIGGERS!!!


If I have to listen to one more smelly Sox fan chewin his Kodiak, botherin me while I’m TRYIN TO PEE, sayin stuff like “Hey der guy… we’re goin sweep these next few series and we will be der in the end… darrrrr…”

Well, you know what? BITE ME. CUZ IT’S OVAAA…

This team started out so bad that the whole inching their way back up possibility almost felt real. I even got on board, thinking that at some point they’d stop winning three games and losing four. I assumed Adam Dunn would have to, at some point, regress to the mean and start hitting again. I even thought Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham might stop resembling human bowel movements.

As for Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams? Those two guys are pathetic. A once great union of minds is now in complete ruin.  They go back and forth at each other like a homeless man’s Martin and Steinbrenner. Word is the Sox have already started looking for managerial candidates and compensation from the Marlins for Ozzie. I know sometimes the Oz man sounds like an ignorant mofo, but he’s a hell of a manager if the Sox can keep him.  But if there’s any chance of Guillen staying with the team he and Kenny have to stop being Lindsey Lohan and Samantha Ronson.

–Johanna Mahmud
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The RSBS Podcast, Episode 26: Willow, R2D2 and Other Famous Midgets

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”

After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball.  Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!

And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter.  Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!

– – –

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast.  And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!

– – –

Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Loon, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

A Walk in the Park with the Hill People

Juan Pierre has statistically climbed up to almost above water! His WARP is back to 1.0! He’s been doin it to the baseball world, wackin em in the nuts and tellin em to “say hello to your mom for me.” Just two weeks ago I sat here and made the case that he’s the worst player in baseball and he has responded tenfold.

*EATING A GORDITA FULL OF CROW RIGHT NOW*

Unlike Roy Halladay, who turned into a melty pile of goo in this Chicago heat, JP has been full tilt boogie-smackin the ball around and willed the Sox back into contention. The White Sox can turn it around. I BELIEVE THIS. Jeff has missed JP’s musk but it’s back. Until further notice the Cubs are off Jo Jo’s radar so its south side excitement for me here on out.  When I’m at Wrigley these days I turn into Hedley Lamarr and scream out “drive me off this picture!!”

Meanwhile, Mike Quade is weird and is currently writing his farewell memoir on how to effectively lose your first managerial job after just one season.  He’s driving the already sucky Cubs off into the grand canyon of craptitude.  The last time I saw him he was rolling down a hill, muttering something to himself.

The greatest contribution Quade can give the Cubs is to not die in the dugout.

In my scary hypothetical world, I have always been unjust in the notion that going to a White Sox game feels a lot like hanging out with the children of the corn. That’s not fair. It’s a great park and the food blows away anything you’ll find at Wrigley.

AND… it’s a much more pleasurable place to “drop the kids off”.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.

So get yer Diesox Blackhard fan on and enjoy this gem.

–Johanna Mahmud