The run up to summer blockbuster season is a lot like baseball’s offseason. Lots of rumors, lots of movement and everyone talking about who’s going to do what and who will be the winners and losers. Expectations mount as we get closer to the start of the season, as we start seeing all the previews that look great. With both baseball and movies, though, it’s hard to tell what you’re really going to get until opening day.
Not that this will stop me from drooling in anticipation. I mean, come on. The Tigers have Cabrera and Prince at the corners! Sure, that’s an exponentially compounded defensive liability but the prospects at the plate are simply mouthwatering. Kind of like the Alien prequel, Prometheus:[youtube http://youtu.be/NIBiimdaj3A]
And if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, how about a little brilliance in advertising:[youtube http://youtu.be/S7YK2uKxil8]
Summer 2012. Was there a better time to be alive?
Four years ago today, I wrote the first post in RSBS history. It was terrifyingly awful. What terrifies me even more is that at that time in 2008, I had incredibly high hopes for the Tigers’ upcoming season based on some high-profile acquisitions they had made. Four years later, I’m still haunted by that 2008 season and experiencing no small amount of deja vu (all over again).
If there’s one thing that gives me hope, though, it’s the fact that sometimes triumph is born from the ashes of despair and failure. That first post was awful but the throw-away line at the end ended up becoming Mr. Lung’s regular sign-off. And even though Dontrelle Willis didn’t work out for the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera has been a godsend. Paired with Prince Fielder, I can’t say as though there has been a more feared power duo in the AL since the days of the Bash Brothers.
Sometimes you have to let go of the past and just realize that it’s over. So, with that in mind, happy fourth birthday Mr. Lung. And a special thank you from both of us to the interns for their years of unpaid but essential work. But most of all, thank you to our loyal readers who keep coming back, in spite of RSBS‘ inauspicious beginnings. Hopefully in 366 days we’ll be blowing out another candle together.
In order to make Mr. Krause feel good on his birthday, I thought I’d post some images of things that would make him happy. So I did a Google image search for “hot girl + Detroit Tigers”. I got zilch (not surprised). Instead, I offer these titillating images, each one sure to make him smile:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRIEND!
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!
There is a movement coming. Axel Foley is coming.
I’ve been trying to get over my most recent trampoline accident and my cat circus just went bankrupt… BUT!!! One of my favorite cites (DETROIT) is having a renaissance. I got Iraqi, German and Chicago in me, yes. But I’m thinking that maybe I watched Beverly Hills Cop too many times and listened to too much Motown, because I got definitely got some Detroit in me too. In fact, I feel the need to go undercover to find out what Detroit’s new secret is. Maybe in drag?!?!
If those Chrysler ads don’t pump you up then YOU HAVE NO SOUL. I want cars that talk back to you. DETROIT CAN GIVE YOU THAT! And I want a lot of things back in my life. I want sideburns back. I want Paul Reiser and Judge Reinhold back. And though I don’t smoke, I want people to bring smoking indoors back!!!
This song has nothing to do with Axel Foley, nor the Motor City, but something about it makes me feel like I’m in the mitten. (Or is Michigan a glove?) Anyway, it gets me pumped up for my second city so much that when I hear it I can’t help but take a swig of a cold Samuel Jackson before pouring a little out for Jack Kevorkian and Gilda Radner. (I was going to mention Barry Gordy here but I just googled him and he’s still alive!!!)
The freaks are coming out! Lions, Tigers, and Wolverines …oh my! This is the best gift life could ever give our fellow RSBS writer, Allen.
The Tigers!!! Verlander makes me woozy. Miguel Cabrera is the Natural. And bad@$$ Jim Leyland is The Marlboro Man! If Sam Elliott had turned down his role in The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers would have had ol man Leyland on the phone in a jiffy.
His Tigers can do it all. And if you want, they can also chain you to a wall in a sex dungeon and make you watch two octogenarians go at it with mayonnaise all over them. NOW THAT’S PROGRESS.
Michigan State basketball couldn’t save Michigan but Emmmminnneeemmmm, the Lions and Verlander will by golly.
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
RSBS Podcast regular and Second City performer, Mark “Pie” Piebenga shares with us his thoughts:
“His game is like waves,” Miguel Cabrera said. “Right now, he’s worried because he’s not hitting too much, he’s not hitting for average. I said, ‘Don’t worry. It’s going to be your time. Get your timing, be ready. It’s a long season. We’re going to need you.’ And you see what happened today. He got a big home run for us today.”
This quote is, of course, apropos of Ryan Raburn. Of course why? Because he hit a grand slam off the White Sox Jake Peavy on Sunday who during the same inning worsened a “tweaked groin into a full strain.”
I do think there are some valuable moments in that quote. A lot is at work here. 1.) Cabrera’s hubris. 2.) profound truth for life, and for success in baseball. 3.) Cabrera looking out for a much less-well-paid teammate.
Vis-à-vis 1.) Cabrera cranked his second home run in 24 hours Sunday. Bringing his total up to that point to 13. Which is a lot.
Vis-à-vis 2.) Your own conclusions are most important here, but I’m quite taken with the part about “his game is like waves… get your timing. It’s a long season. We need you.” Isn’t that what we all want to hear as human beings? And isn’t it encouraging? To be needed due to your merit is to have significance. That is something we all want.
Vis-à-vis 3.) Cabrera is making $20 million this season to Raburn’s $1.3. Neither is hurting here, and it’s not like Raburn is a newborn rookie pulling down $425,000. Which is still quite a sum. Also, is it strange that I feel a little dirty clicking on the Tigers roster on ESPN.com knowing that I’ll find their wages on there? It seems like that should be listed in a separate place from their other personal information.
Finally, I would posit that the Grand Slam is the most artfully-named maneuver in all of sport. It describes its own magnitude with alacrity. It is lightly pompous, but so then is the feat, which lends credibility to the title. It is borrowed by professional tennis, the sincerest form of flattery. It is flip, apt, and proud.
In short, it’s a perfect moniker.
Baseball represents the best part of American immigration policy. Sure, most baseball players come over on non-immigrant visas but when they arrive, they become part of a team and those differences of nationality and ethnicity disappear in the fight for a playoff spot. Well, unless you happen to be a modern-day nativist like Gary Sheffield. In general, though, baseball is a powerful tool for US diplomacy and relations in our own hemisphere.
But while writing the filibuster the other day, I got to thinking about an often overlooked part of baseball diplomacy. Many of the players come from poor Caribbean or Latin American countries where people often have a hard time getting visas to come visit the US. If you’re a non superstar type of guy or even just a young guy with an opportunity to try out for a team, how do you convince a visa officer that you’re going to return to your country if things don’t pan out? Obviously this isn’t an issue for a Johan Santana or someone like that but most players are not Johan Santana.
The New York Times addressed this very issue recently but also brought up a point that hits home for any Tigers’ fan. Beyond simply making the team, what happens to players who have proven their worth and no longer have trouble getting a visa but then go out and commit some sort of crime? For instance, what happens to Miguel Cabrera after his recent DUI? Although this is Cabrera’s first DUI, it’s not his first brush with law as a result of drinking. These incidents definitely affect his eligibility and at the very least could hold up the process the next time he applies for a US visa.
No matter what happens to Cabrera, baseball consistently remains ahead of the curve in its anticipation of social change. In much the same way that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the 40’s, the flood of baseball migrants heralds an eventual shift in our thinking on immigration policy. Although Joe Autoworker from Detroit is sure that some immigrant took his job, he’s not interested in applying this same logic to Miguel Cabrera and his fellow Venezuelans playing for the Tigers. The problem is, Cabrera might have just taken care of that issue of his own accord.