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
The names were different, yes, but the destruction was equally devastating. Maybe even more.
I’m talking about the EPIC FAIL that was the 2012 NLCS, compared to the one that first stopped by heart 16 years ago. Yes, in 1996 it was Todd Stottlemyre in the role of Lance Lynn, with Andy Benes as Chris Carpenter and Donavon Osborne as Kyle “I Ain’t A Big Game Pitcher” Lohse.
It was Ozzie’s last year, Tony’s first and the first time back to the World Series since 1987 and the uncomfortable early 90’s era Redbirds… or so I thought.
Up three games to one in the best of seven series against the Atlanta Braves, the jockstraps came off a team that simply couldn’t score any runs; and instead of spending the last days of October in complete ecstasy, the 17-year old me stayed locked away in a dark closet, reading Nietzsche by a flashlight, ultimately coming back to the same redundant question: WHAT… IS… THE POINT?
I still don’t know. What is the point? Why get so worked up over something so silly? I wish I knew. And, for RSBS‘ sake, I sure hope Mr. Krause doesn’t have to find out. Not this year. So yeah, um… go Tigers.
Also, Marco Scutaro is my Toby Flenderson.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Just like a rainbow themed slap bracelet, this is gonna be loud, colorful and could quite possibly cause a ripple in your otherwise tame relationship.
The Iron Fist of King Bud’s Court
Troy Tulowitzki pisses off Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez subsequently beans Tulowitzki. Jimenez gets slammed with a 5-game suspension. And speaks:
“I can’t control what people say. People act like this is the first time that somebody got hit. It happens in the game. That’s part of the game. It’s always been part of the game.”
Ubaldo is right. We don’t know if it was on purpose. Beanballs happen all the time. We can assume it was intentional considering the circumstances, but we can’t be sure beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the beauty of the unwritten rules of baseball, a game where players police themselves and do what they gotta do to survive. But alas, there is no constitution in King Bud’s dictatorship. If these guys didn’t bank millions of dollars I’d expect an uprise.
If Only 4 Days Meant “Forever”
Pennsylvania Taliban leader, Rick Santorum, is taking 4 days off from his fledgeling (not to mention INSANE) republican primary campaign. Why? I dunno. Maybe he realizes a 4th grade life skills level isn’t enough to be in such a demanding position. Maybe he fears a widespread Santorum epidemic. Or maybe his invisible friend in the sky who hates women and gay people told him to. I don’t know. I only wish it were forever.
The Heat Is On!
Baseball is back to FULL THROTTLE, my friends, and that means no more dirt kickin’, no more gloomy day sobfests, no more Perfect Strangers marathons on sleepless nights (okay, maybe I can’t go that far, yet). But the truth is: baseball is back for a long, long time. So let’s live! To celebrate, Igive you the song I remember most from my youthful, endless summers at Busch II. Whenever I hear this song, I immediately picture an Ozzie to Tommy to Jack double-play.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff tries his darnedest to be as polite as possible during his unfettered gloating of World Championship status (Go Cards!) while Second City’s Mark Piebenga adds some level-headed awesomeness to Johanna’s outlandishness and Allen’s seasoned straight man routine. Among the topics of discussion are “the greatest game ever”, the woes of rebranding an already twice championed franchise (talkin’ to you, Marlins), Theo Fever in the Chi, b!tch t!ts and much, much more!
Now grab some Crown Royal and enjoy yo’ self!
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Recorded Saturday, November 12, 2011
“Wait a minute! I’m having a thought. Oh, yes. I’m gonna have a thought. It’s coming… it’s gone.”
The only way I watch another CUUBBBBS game this season is if Wizzo the Wizard and his magic cards are involved (I’d go back in time and volunteer for the Vietnam War as well, because TIME MACHINES ARE REAL). Thank you, Jim Hendry, for giving Kosuke Fukudome $48 million so you could trade him for two prospects who will never see a Major League roster to save $750 thousand. You’re something else, Jim, you really are. But… there’s so much more to check out so all is GUUUDDDDD.
Justin Verlander has me in hysterics on a regular basis. He brings some must-see damn baseball every week. 100 mph fastballs being thrown in the 8th inning are… the password is…
How in the hell is he doing that? That’s some Nolan Ryan territory.
The human highlight reel that is Asdrubal Cabrera is doing NASTAYY things out there too. No balls get by him. Nothing. He’s playing that infield like a fine fiddle. Imagine the range of Ozzie Smith but with power. NASTAYYYYYY.
Also, the new team I’ve adopted (The White Sox) still provide daily drama. The constant pillow fighting (and maybe a little pillow biting) between Kenny and the Blizzard of Oz have been fantastic! Plus, pitching coach, Don Cooper, sounds like Buddy Hackett, who should have had a much bigger role in Herbie. (Best sidekick/mechanic ever. He also makes a serious cappuccino.)
And I have Pirates fever!!! I am actively rooting for them to win the Central. They got my old pal Derrek Lee! Ol Pittsburgh hasn’t won a Super Bowl in like… a year, so they NEED THIS. All that aside, I like the Pirates being decent. It’s refreshing. Kinda like running through the woods with nothing on but pink panties and a little mayonnaise.
Also, I keep watching HBO’s documentary on Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit. It was good but not great. I pretty much just fast forward to the parts with Minka Kelly. The password is…
And just one more thing: go back and watch Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy. The movie kinda got killed at the time for some weak acting and plot holes but that’s garbage. Danny Elfman’s score and Stephen Sondheim’s original songs combine to make it a great movie, despite everything else. And Madonna? The password is… wait for it… wait… wait…
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
What a coincidence, dear reader Henry! For just the other day I was telling my crestfallen and oft flustered colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, that the only surefire way to take over the world is to get a bunch of followers to trust in some cliche, universal proverbs with some fairy tales thrown in for fun. And hot dog if you didn’t just poke me to share!
First, allow me to correct you on the title. Mr. Lung is my pop’s name. This here lil book is called The Holy-Cow Canon of Jeff. It is presented in three parts, or books as you shall see.
The Book of Baseball
Respect. Not sayin’ you have to love the hell out of baseball like I do, but you gotta at least respect it. You must recognize the fact that those of us who worship the game and revere the diamond as our sanctuary tend to be wiser, more patient, and definitely more prone to bouts of combustible love rooted in our collective ability to cherish the good and to quickly forget all that is bad.
From The Book of Baseball, Chapter 28, Verse 5:
“Smith corks one into right, down the line! It may go . . . Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”
The Book of Womenz
Basically, the moral of this book (the largest of the three, naturally), is to always admire and respect beauty — whatever that means to you. For me, that means Erin Andrews’ choice wardrobe selection, Kim Kardashian’s bangin’ bum, Jenna Fischer’s girl-next-door allure, Allison Stokke’s athletically gifted physique and Lucy Liu’s dominatrix potential. (If it’s menz you’re into, then simply substitute “menz” for “womenz”. If it’s non-humans you’re into, then I can’t help you, but maybe these folks can).
From The Book of Womenz, Chapter 43, Verse 12-14:
“The girls is all jockin’ at the other end of the bar, havin’ drinks with some no-name chump, when they know that I’m the star. So I got up and strolled over to the other side of the cantina, I asked the guy ‘Why you so fly?’, he said ‘Funky Cold Medina’.” (via Deacon Loc)
The Book of the Golden Rule
Just like in modern day Christianity, you can skip the other books of this canon if you want and just focus on this last and most important one. It’s fairly simple and you heard it in kindergarten (maybe you haven’t learned it yet) but you’ve definitely heard it: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Got it? Don’t want someone to beat you up and take your money? Then don’t beat people up and take their money. Don’t want strangers dictating to you what you should and shouldn’t believe? Then don’t dictate to strangers what they should and shouldn’t believe. Like living in peace without bombs being dropped on your house? Then live in peace and don’t friggin’ drop bombs on other people’s houses!!!
It’s really that easy!
There’s only one verse in this book, so let me repeat it, The Book of the Golden Rule, Chapter 1, Verse 1:
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU.
Thank you and good night.
Also, the above chapter and verse can be ignored when it comes to Chicago sCrUBS bashing, which is vehemently encouraged and allowed.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m makin’ moves, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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People on the same side often find they disagree on the specifics. Let’s take Jeff and his love of the Cardinals. There are plenty of other St. Louis fans out there who will immediately agree with Jeff that the Cardinals are the best and most wonderful team in the history of baseball. However, when Jeff then confesses his undying love for Albert Pujols, one of these guys might tell him to hold up a second because obviously Ozzie Smith is much more loveable than Prince Albert. This will then devolve into a heated discussion on how facial hair should be worn and that will quickly be followed by a fistfight. But they both still love the Cardinals.
What matters is that both sides ultimately coalesce around a common enemy. Although both Jeff and this other Cardinals’ fan truly believe that they are right, and although they may believe that the other person is an idiot for even voicing another opinion out loud, the argument gets easily forgotten when faced with the scourge that is the Chicago Cubs. If there’s one thing they can agree on, despite their insistence on the correct style of facial hair for a true Cardinal, it’s the fact that the Cardinals are much, much, much better than the Cubs. Everything else pales in comparison.
For this same simple reason, I don’t take all that much joy in the current imbroglio within the GOP. Sure, there may be a significant difference in ideology that leads Glenn Beck to think that the US should stand by Mubarak to the bitter end while Bill Kristol believes in supporting democracy even when it turns messy. I’m sure if you sat the two of them down at a table they would argue all day long about who’s right. (On a side note I’m also pretty sure that Kristol would end up punching Beck in the nose because Beck’s absolute inability to apply simple logic in an argument would eventually push Kristol over the edge.)
However, the reason why I take no joy in any of this is because it doesn’t matter. Sure, the two men may fundamentally disagree on a subject that one could claim is the heart and soul of their party’s current identity but ultimately, just like Jeff and the other Cardinals’ fan, they share a more important common enemy. Even if the argument about the fate of Egypt continues indefinitely, both Beck and Kristol will be voting for whoever runs against Obama in 2012.
In some ways, this is the beauty of politics and sports. Despite our disagreements, we can find common ground. In the days following the 2000 election, both sides accused each other of bad faith and cheating. But a year later, the entire country immediately coalesced around President Bush when faced with a much greater common enemy.
Like Jeff or Bill Kristol, I may not agree with many things that my fellow Michiganders believe. But we can still watch the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings together and share a common ground for a short little while. Well, until someone tries to tell me that Billy Sims was better than Barry Sanders, at least. Then it all goes out the window.