Lot of surprises so far this season. Should anyone be panicking yet?
After the Rays and Red Sox picked up their first wins of the season on Friday night, I’m sure that both managers heaved a big sigh of relief. Of course when the Rays followed that up with news that Manny was retiring, I’m sure Joe Maddon dug right back into that Costco sized tub of Rolaids he must have been hitting the past ten days. So, I’m guessing that the Rays might be starting to panic.
But if there’s one guy who should truly be panicking at this point, it’s not Joe Maddon or anyone else on the Rays. It’s not Manny, it’s not Big Papi and it’s not any once, present or future Red Sox. No, if there’s one guy who should be panicking, it’s Laurent Gbagbo.
For those of you who aren’t quite sure who Mr. Gbagbo happens to be, let me give you a quick background. Mr. Gbagbo is a former Ivoirien freedom fighter who then went and got himself elected president of the Ivory Coast. However, he found Jesus while in office and after losing last year’s election, decided that Jesus wanted him to be the winner anyway. Since then he’s been trying to help Jesus out by killing people who voted against him. That hasn’t worked out too well, though, and now Mr. Gbagbo finds himself holed up in a bunker underneath his former residence while troops loyal to the president-elect slowly draw closer.
Understandably, Mr. Gbagbo should be panicking. Funny enough, though, he doesn’t seem to be sweating it at all.
Most likely there are a few reasons for that. Number one is that Ivory Coast is a basket case and rules don’t really seem to apply. Number two is that Mr. Gbagbo apparently has four months of supplies in his bunker and the troops protecting him have weaponry superior to that of the troops closing in. Number three is US Senator Jim Inhofe.
Uh, wait a minute. Jim Inhofe? That doesn’t make any sense. Why would he care about what happens in the Ivory Coast? Well, if you ask Mr. Inhofe, he’ll tell you it’s about Jesus.
See, the president-elect, Mr. Ouattara, comes from the northern part of the country, an area that is nominally Muslim, as is Mr. Ouattara. Mr. Gbagbo is from the southern, mainly Christian, part of the country and loves him some Jesus. Apparently where Mr. Inhofe comes from, this means that the election results shouldn’t matter and the US should recognize only the candidate who loves Jesus more.
Actually Marc, I think I’m going to change my answer at this point. Sure, maybe the Rays and Red Sox should be panicking a little. And maybe Gbagbo should as well. But the people who should really be panicking are all of us Americans. With leaders like Mr. Inhofe supporting despots like Mr. Gbagbo, we’re all screwed.
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Just like a Pedro Martinez pitched inning circa 1999, this is gonna be quick, probably painful and will most likely include more soul-glo than the FDA deems acceptable:
A few weeks ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel at the Roosevelt Red Line stop. I shook his hand, wished him luck in the Chicago mayoral election, then basked in the warm glory that is his presence. Yeah, kinda makes me sick too. But I can’t lie. He had a an insidiously welcoming glow about him. And as I stood there, standing next to (and above, as the man is quite short) him, I couldn’t help but debate myself, asking Well, Jeff, are we on Rahm’s team or no?
Of course, Rahm is Rahm and Rahms don’t go down without a fight.
So let’s sit back and watch as time and LOTS OF MONEY are wasted on the proceedings.
The American Way.
Se la vie.
Call it desperation or call it genius (I’m goin’ with genius, by the way), but the Tamp Bay Rays certainly found a flashy way to fill some holes in their lineup by adding Idiot One and Idiot Two to their roster. On the cheap! Hey, if they could just convince Curt Schilling (and that unstoppable mouth) to suit back up, maybe the Rays will have a real chance at stickin’ it to the Yank Sox again this year! If nothing else they have succeeded in ultimately defying logic: Manny Ramirez will get $2 million while *GASP* Kyle Farnsworth will make $2.7 million! WTF?!?!?!?
Say what you want about the Chicago Bears and their NFC Championship performance, but as a Chicagoan, I call out to all fellow Chicagoans to lay off Jay Cutler. For realz.
In fact, I’m just gonna shut up about it and defer to RSBS regular, Johanna Mahmud with the quote:
“you can never quiet the stupid.“
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I proudly retell the story of the time my brothers hassled Manny Ramirez so much at Comerica Park that he finally looked up into the stands and practically begged them to stop. Maybe it runs in the family because even when we were little and sitting way up in the upper deck of old Tiger Stadium, that didn’t stop us from keeping up a steady chant of “Hey batta’ batta’ batta’, swing.” Baseball lets you get close enough to the players that you can actually get inside their heads if they let you.
And this is probably the one area where soccer fails by comparison to baseball. Sure, the fans are up there in the stands cheering on their team. And sometimes they’ll try to get involved by starting racist chants (if you’re in Italy) or throwing objects at the opposing players. They even try to help with the rhythm by singing songs and banging drums.
However, at this point it seems that soccer fans are best known for blowing those goddamn vuvuzelas all game long. Seriously, I’m pretty sure the buzzing is still bouncing around my head from the games I watched this past weekend. This leads me to wonder what the long term effects will be on the players who had to listen to them for the entirety of at least three matches. Will they suffer permanent disabilities?
Well, if animal testing is any proof, the answer is yes:
If the vuvuzela can drive a dog to that, what will it do to the internal wiring of a human? But more importantly, if a plastic toy can have that effect, what happened to Manny after my brothers’ heckling? I’m sure the guy is housebroken but so was that dog.
Say what ya want about the mighty market divas of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Dodgers. Go ahead and hate on A-Rod, slam Manny, spit on Youk… whatevs. Sometimes they deserve it; sometimes they don’t. It’s all a part of professional sports.
But no matter how infantile and annoying MLB superstars can be (yes, I’m looking at you, Milton Bradley), none of them quite qualify as being as toxically asinine as Nicolas Anelka and his band of busted b!tches that once formed the French national soccer team.
You think Roberto Alomar spitting on John Hirschbeck was bad? Imagine Roberto Alomar spitting on John Hirschbeck during the World Series, with a big nasty particle-filled loogey, and all his teammates joining in.
Yeah. That’s sorta what France’s World Cup was like. But at least it’s over. And now we can think about… things that are worse than France. For instance:
Duh. You knew that was comin’.
Rob Blagojevich’s Image
For all of you who live outside of Illinois, be glad you do; ‘cuz this Blago crap is just now gettin’ started for real. The lego hair, the smarmy and disingenuous smile, the creepy way he talks to every woman as if she were a dumb, money-chasin, cheap-trick-happy cocktail waitress… this dude is going to the joint. Eventually.
You knew that was comin’ too.
It makes me sick that he was in my neighborhood. It makes me even more sick to know that he was at Sox Park. And it makes me Bush-Sr-Throwin-Up-On-Japanese-People sick to know he tossed the first pitch to Mark Buehrle!
You didn’t think this could end with anything worse, did you? I’m pretty sure I heard the Astros’ team on-base-percentage was the worse on-base-percentage in the history of time, including all dimensions — even those we are unaware of yet…
That’s why they’re called the LOLstros.
Hate me. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Too often we ignore tough questions and refuse to speculate on the “what ifs” we confront as a baseball loving community. You could make a strong case that this happened with the steroid scandal and it is inevitable that baseball will face other equally difficult problems in the future. Luckily, RSBS refuses to sit back and rest on our laurels. We will continue to push for consideration of all the too real issues facing the baseball community.
For instance, isn’t it time that we think about what would happen to baseball if the zombie apocalypse broke out? On a geo-political level, Daniel Drezner already addressed the topic and presented several different paradigms. Today, RSBS takes a look at possible MLB specific scenarios.
The Danny Boyle
As players continue to experiment with various PED’s and try to avoid detection by using previously unknown substances, we face a very real possibility of infection à la 28 Days Later. It doesn’t help our chances that baseball players are already genetic freaks with practically superhuman strength, speed and dexterity. In this scenario we have two avenues of salvation. First, we can hope that security reacts quickly and shuts down the stadium so the zombie baseball players don’t escape. Yes, this probably means several thousand dead fans before the problem can be, uh, eradicated but it’s a small price to pay to avoid the annihilation of all mankind. The second possibility is that zombification will affect the players’ brains to the point that they can be taken down easily with available weaponry like bats, t-shirt cannons and plastic knives.
The George Romero
The second scenario is a more classic zombie approach. If an infected fan were to enter the ballpark, the tight spaces, confined exits and various nooks and crannies present a zombie wonderland. Or house of horrors depending on whether you’re playing for the undead or Team Humanity. In this we’re once again lucky to have access to a veritable arsenal of zombie killing treasures and, as long as they remain uninfected, the services of trained head smashing machines like Jose Offerman. Let’s just hope it doesn’t start at Citizen’s Bank Park because Chase Utley’s batting average suggests he’ll be hitting more air than zombie heads.
Our final scenario draws on contemporary inspiration like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. Zombies are generally seen as terror-inducing eaters of brains. But recent popular culture reinterpretations have shown us that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. For instance, what if a zombie A-Rod stumbled across the mound while Dallas Braden was pitching? Or what if Manny Ramirez became a reanimated corpse? It might even lead to the new catchphrase, “That’s just Manny being a zombie.” Which would be funny because it was true. Sure, we’d have to keep an eye on the epidemic and make sure it didn’t spread. This might even lead to protests against the segregation of zombie baseball players in separate dressing rooms. But I think we can all agree that the comedic potential is definitely there.
Over here at RSBS we’re still hoping that the zombie apocalypse stays firmly rooted in the world of film and fiction. In our opinion, Woody Harrelson and Mr. Darcy are much more suited to zombie fighting than we are. But if the day of reckoning does come, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you were prepared. No, don’t thank us. It’s our job.