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
My dubious and oft out of touch with the public colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, shocked the baseball-politico world on Monday when he compared his beloved Detroit Tigers to the stiff stylings of Mitt Romney. Now, lining one’s self up with the far right fed Tea Party and Christian Coalition is one thing, but talking out of one’s posterior in a public forum is another.
Mr. Krause said:
The Cardinals are playing with a ragtag team and no longer have master strategist La Russa at the reigns.
Ragtag? RAG? TAG?
What’s so ragtag about being World Champions? What’s ragtag about Holliday? Freese? Molina?
Carlos Beltran? Allen Craig? Chris Carpenter?
WHAT IS THIS RAGTAG YOU SPEAK OF, MR. KRAUSE?!?
The only thing “ragtag” about your REIGNING… WORLD… CHAMPIONS… is that they might play this before each game:
Oh, wait. That’s ragTIME.
Like it’s time to grab a rag and wipe up the locquacious mess left by my colleague.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
We interrupt this pennant chase to bring you a special collection of non-baseball-politico related punk-jazz awesomeness from our podcast engineer and all-around cool cat, Keith Carmack.
The most amazing thing happened to my sister and I on Wednesday night. We were sitting in our waaaaaaaay up high nosebleed seats at the United Center, anxiously awaiting the start of the Coldplay concert whilst thumbing through the official Mylo Xyloto Tour program. I was reading an interview with lead singer Chris Martin where he discussed his long held disdain for corporate sponsors taking up the prime floor seats at his shows with their stiff suits and stingy inability to have any sort of fun.
I was reading about how the band prevented that from ever happening again by sending their roadies into the rafters before the show to find their REAL fans and bringing them down, front and center.
Then a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Excuse me, are you a big Coldplay fan?” with a delightful English accent. “Why don’t you come with me, I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
HOLY BALLS, I thought to myself.
A few album name drops, a reciting of “Chris, Guy, Will and Johnny” and a proud display of the custom-made shirts my sister made for us that boasted our favorite Coldplay lyrics later, and this kind English gentlemen handed us two comped tickets. TO THE FRONT FRIGGIN ROW!!!
My sister started crying with joy, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and before I knew it, we were standing just a few feet away from one of the most fun, visual and musically stimulating concerts I’ve ever seen. All around us were other gracious, seemingly dreaming uberfans plucked down from the rafters. Every single one of us sure to remember that night in full, forever and ever.
I wonder if Major League teams have ever considered doing something like this for their fans. I am guessing no. But wouldn’t it be nice? Wouldn’t it be nice if our favorite big league clubs would simply do us a kindness? I’m pretty sick of seeing stuffy suits, collagen-plugged faces and Scott Boras sitting directly behind homeplate.
A man can dream right? Hey, sometimes, dreams come true.
Everyone does. Right?
22-year veteran. Stand-up, lunch pail guy from Peoria. No nonsense, just give me the bat and let me hit ’em far. Defensively challenged, yes, but in a funny ha-ha way (not a funny-sad Carlos Lee way).
That’s Jim Thome. And everyone loves him for it.
Except one thing: Jim Thome still doesn’t have a ring.
All around the world and I – I – I – I can’t find my baby…
This, of course, is true despite his strong efforts to land on a contending team. He had several chances with the Indians before going to the Phillies. But just as the Phillies were developing into a powerhouse, Thome left for the newly crowned World Series champion White Sox after the ’05 season. He then wandered in south side purgatory before getting a shot with the playoff-bound Dodgers in ’09, then signed with an up-and-coming Twins club that nosedived him back into the lap of Cleveland — a team that just couldn’t hang around the top long enough to give him another shot at a championship.
So he resigned with the Phillies. Best pitching staff in the Majors. Potent offense. Okay, anemic offense. But they were supposed to be potent. Doesn’t matter anymore.
Thome is in Birdland now. And while I love the move and think the young kids in Baltimore are gonna learn a heck of a lot from the old man, I really don’t think the Orioles are going to contend for the World Series title.
I just hope Jim is cool with another spin around the world, so he can find his bay-beh…
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
When I was a kid I was an avid collector of baseball caps. New, old, rare. If it was a baseball cap, I wanted it, mostly so I could make an awesome rap video someday where every jump-cut had me donning a different logo.
The lyrics are NSFW, but you could just as easily turn the volume down and watch those beautiful baseball caps roll. There’s even an ALTERNATE RED-BRIMMED EXPOS CAP YO!!! Holy DeLino DeShields!!!
The Filibuster will take this week off, but if you wanna see Mr. Krause and I squirm, hit us up with a filibuster question by commenting or emailing us at RSBSBlog@gmail.com.
Sunday in the Park with George
I want children so I can play dodge ball with them or at the very least have them pose while I paint a mural of them getting eaten by large cats for my own amusement. But that’s not why I called…
In my favorite Mandy Patinkin musical he sings “I need to finish the hat” in the role of George Seurat. Or as Groucho famously said “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.” Or as Josh Hamilton is probably saying “there are no bars in hospitals and that’s why people hate hospitals.”
I don’t know about the Cubs’ chances for 2012, but I do know I want a Sunday in the park with a friend. I want to think nice things as baseball approaches but sometimes you just don’t know what hell is coming. Sometimes I feel like Lisbeth of the Dragon Tattoo movies: I just get shot in the DAMN head when I think of the 162 Cubs games that are coming.
I don’t know if I’m finishing the hat or if Theo is.
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