Tagged: Nationals

The Filibuster

Stephen Strasburg is pitching again!  He might even be back in the Majors by the end of the season!  How excited are you for Stras-mas part 2?

Jeremy
Burr Oak, MI
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Just see those fastballs zipping,
slide-step sinking too…
Come on, it’s lovely weather
for a Stras-mas endeavor with you!

Admittedly, there’s nothing quite like the joys of Stras-mas.  Last year, his comeuppance was the stuff of dreams, turning an otherwise midseason blah-blah Pirates v. Nationals contest into one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen.  In the Year of the Pitcher he became — after just one game — the Pitcher of the Year (in my book at least).

Stras-mas is special.  Stras-mas is magical.  Stras-mas is everything a baseball nerd like me dreams of.

Which is why it would be a SHAME and a TRAVESTY if the Nationals bring him back to pitch this season.

DON’T DO IT, RIZZO!  DON’T DO IT OR I’LL GUT YOU LIKE A FISH.

A bit harsh?  Yes.  I admit.  But remember, this kid is the future of a bruised and battered franchise.  And selling a few more tickets at the end of a going-nowhere season just to make a quick buck is not worth throwing away the future, throwing away Stras-mas.  Possibly forever.

Let the dude rehab, but don’t put him in any game action.  I know 11 months is the typical timeframe in which getting back to facing Big League hitters is deemed acceptable for those who’ve had the Tommy John surgery.  But this isn’t a typical situation.  This is Jesus with a 37 on his back.

Please, I implore the Washington Nationals front office: WAKE UP and STOP BEING STUPID.  You have a goldmine for YEARS in that newly improved Strasburgian right elbow.  He threw 96 mph from the slide step before, he may throw 101 underhanded now.

Do the right thing.  Make 2012 the Year of the Neverending Stras-mas.

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

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

A bunch of teams are clustered right around .500 and above and no division is even close to being set at this point.  Does this mean baseball is starting to reach parity?

Sean
Caledonia, MI 
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Beware, my friend.  I sense… something.  This… parity you speak of…

IT’S A TRAP!

It’s not real.

Just make-believe.

The truth is, the same old teams are still atop the same old divisions.  The Yankees.  The Red Sox.  The Phillies.  Okay, so the Mets and Dodgers may be out, but it’s not their faults!  They can blame poor ownership and mishandled funds!!!

I know that a quick glance at the standings may confuse the casual onlooker, that one could be easily misguided by the way the teams stack up.  But let’s face it: the NL and AL Centrals have been crapshoots for a decade, the NL West has been a contest in mediocrity for a long time.  The Angels’ dominance of the AL West was only usurped last year and in 2011 they have put themselves back in contention.

This is not parity.  This is, like our US American social ladder, a classic case of 99% of the wealth being in the hands of 1% of the population and everyone else is left to fend for himself.  The effect resembles something like parity.  But it ain’t.

It’s pitching.

I really believe that the Mitchell Report and its subsequent juicy fallout has forced teams to go back to what always works: good pitching.  With good pitching, you might have a decent shot at accumulating wins.  The Giants are a perfect example of a team that gets by on minimal offense and middle-of-the-pack payroll.  It’s not the stuff of dynasties… but when it works, it works, and that’s what teams are doing.

The Pirates are winning because of pitching (they can’t hit).  The Braves are winning because of pitching (they have a hard time scoring too).  The Diamondbacks could always hit, but this year they have… PITCHING.

Great pitching is the best defense against great hitting.  I didn’t write that.  Baseball wrote that.

When the Orioles and Blue Jays can compete in their own division… when the Nationals have a shot at the big boys in the NL East… that’s when I’ll consider parity’s existence.

But right now that seems like something that could only be found in a galaxy far, far away.

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

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Curious to know just how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Mr. Krause?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Riggleman’s Unobstructed View

I don’t regret the fact that baseball has become commercial.  For any business to survive, it has to figure out how to grow revenue and appeal to new customers.  MLB has done that by building fan friendly stadiums that allow fans to see what’s going on and by letting fans decide what they want to get out of their day at the park.

However, there’s something to be said for the throwbacks, the guys who hold to a specific baseball morality that won’t allow them to compromise.  My friend, Jeff, is one of those guys, someone who would like to see the Houston Astros play in wool uniforms during the middle of July and still laments the passing of the dead-ball era.  Jim Riggleman is another one of those guys.

See, Jim is probably a mediocre MLB manager at best but he has managed to keep the Nats in the race much longer than any of his predecessors.  On top of that, he’s doing it without Strasburg and the other high priced talent the Nationals have picked up recently.  But apparently that wasn’t enough to assure his future with the team and when his ultimatum went unanswered, he did what any throwback would do.  He mixed his metaphors while sticking to his guns and getting the hell out of Dodge.

Even that wasn’t enough for Riggleman.  No, not only did he refuse to get on the team bus last week, he instead went out, got himself a drink and hit on some young ladies.

Well played, sir.  I think even Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle could be proud of that.  I can assure you that Jeff is.

-A

The Filibuster

If you had to choose any manager in MLB today who might follow Jim Riggleman’s example and tell his GM to shove it, who would it be and how do you think they’d do it?

Seth
Hagerstown, MD
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Honestly, Seth, I still can’t believe Riggleman had the gall to tell Rizzo to shove it!  I mean, I knew Jim walked and talked like a boss… but I didn’t know he had Mt. Everest sized cojones! Somebody get that man a beer!  And a whisky chaser!

Though what Riggleman did, as we probably all know by now, doesn’t really do him much good if he plans to continue managing in professional baseball.  There aren’t too many baseball folks who can shake the acidic label of being a quitter (see Hanley Ramirez) and a 58 year old yes-man certainly isn’t one of them.  Then again, dude knew he wasn’t the man in D.C., so I can’t blame him for not wanting to be Ken Macha a lame duck; if it were me though, I woulda kept my mouth shut, got my paycheck, then requested a bunch of exotic (and expensive) fare for my clubhouse spread.

And because this Riggleman show has been so bizarre, I really cannot see it happening again anytime soon.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are bad GMs and porous front offices, but I don’t think any of them would cause a manager to commit career suicide.

Of course, that could all change if someone would just give poor Wally Backman another chance.

Alcohol abuse, short temper, bankruptcy, tax evasion…  These are all things that come to mind when Backman’s name is brought up, not to mention the fact that the dude is good friends with Lenny Dykstra — not quite a paragon of amicability.  I could imagine a half soused Wally Backman stumbling into GM XYZ’s office, shirt half untucked, bbq sauce stains above the letters, hat scrunched up in one hand, Keystone Light in the other, mumbling: “Pick up my option, dammit. Or I quit.”

GM XYZ sits back in his chair, loosens his tie and exhales as he examines the sad, disheveled remains of a World Series champion and says: “You’re fired.”

Why didn’t Rizzo just fire Riggleman again?

Hate me ‘cuz I refuse to resign, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Are you just curious to see the images Mr. Krause texted his girlfriend last night?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Not All Athletes Are Created Equally

The NBA Draft was held Thursday night, and in contrast to years previous, this one seemed to be less about an influx of young players and more about the Shaq sextape sized elephant in the room.  Because by now, I think we all know that a lockout is coming, the next season might never be, and hearts will definitely be broken.

And the sadness doesn’t stop there.  Think about the players who will suddenly be without work, with no pay.  Will they be forced to drive Kias instead of Bentleys?  Forced to drink Red Label instead of Blue?  Have sex with their wives rather than the band of groupies hanging outside the team bus?

If you think professional basketball players will be able to just find work elsewhere, like the rest of us Joe Six-Packs would be forced to do, you might want to rethink the way the world works.  Here, let Washington Wizards point guard, John Wall, prove my point:


The truth is, ya get these guys off the court and… well, things can get ugly.

Here’s hoping the NBA learns some valuable lessons from its MLB brethren, before it’s too late.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Une Complainte Familiers

It’s interleague weekend, y’all.  According to King Bud, this is when I’m supposed to get excited about made-up rivalries with catchy names like the I-70 Series, the Ohio Cup and the Battle of the Beltway.

Um… no?

Battle of the Beltway?!?!?  STOP IT!  JUST STOP IT!

Don’t you know that every time you hark on some fantasy-driven nostaliga concerning the Washington Nationals, my Expos-missin’ heart suffers more unquantifiable pain?!?

That damn Molière was right: “You only die once, and it’s for such a long time.”

But let us not forget, dear readers.  Instead, let us continue to pour out our liquor, to writhe in sweet Youppi memories, to saver Denny Martinez pitching a perfect game in baby blue pajamas.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t like change, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Giving Glenn a Hand

Glenn Beck crying.jpgMy heart is filled with sorrow knowing that Glenn Beck, the insane political entertainment leech that he is, will no longer be employed by the fear-mongering moguls at Fox News.  That’s right, dear readers.  I, and a collective US America, am in mourning.  Please, let us grieve.

Unfortunately, this mutual divorce means no more frog murdering on live television.  It means no more psychotic temper tantrums directed towards reason.  And yes, sadly, my friends, It means no more *oligarhy*.

But never fear!  Glenn Beck is the Washington Nationals of politics!  He may be an embarrassment to the establishment, but damn does he make things interesting every once in a while!

In fact, rumor has it, he might even start his own television network

And just in case he might need some help, the RSBS interns and I got right to work on finding the most appropriate network name.  Here’s a short list of what we came up with:

FoSN – The Full of S*** Network

NOGWN – The No One’s Gonna Watch Network

FBC – The Fail Broadcasting Corporation


Can’t wait to see what Mr. Beck finds the most appropriate… though early signs point to NOGWN, mostly ‘cuz I like how it sounds when you try to say it: “Nahg-wahn”.

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

Peace,

Jeff