Throw the Spaghetti in the Machine.
I’m a burning bush. I’m a wildfire. I’m singing in the rain and dancing again. Like Tim Tebow, I have a big god. BIGGER THAN ZEUS. I can put away my Club Confidential and stop pleasuring myself while crying. My iguana, Dudley, is beside himself too. We’re throwing confetti on each other, plowing through our best box of wine and eating marshmallows off the floor. For at least one week we’ll stop throwing flares at cars, getting arrested on our skateboards and falling asleep in alleys.
Because, for once, baseball took an unconventional route and picked fire-fire -flame-flame tapdancing bad@ss Justin Verlander as MVP. When we lost Buster Posey early in the season, Dudley and I had to act fast to find a baller we could have an unhealthy OBSESSION over; and Justin was our guy. He was the Hannibal Lecter to our Clarice. We even bought a special chianti.Dudley and I rarely missed a Verlander start. In between great Chrysler ads, he sat on my lap as we watched the Motown hero pitch deep into games, mystifying hitters, dropping jaws like change-ups. He was like Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler when he came back to take down Minnesota Fats. Nailed every rail. Hit every spot. Geometry and speed to perfection. (Fitting that Minnesota is in the AL Central too. See what I did there?)
It would have been easy to pick an everyday player like Granderson or Ellsbury. Sure, they had splendid seasons. But this was the year where a starter — the first since Roger Clemens — gave everything needed and CARRIED a team to the playoffs.
While defense in football can be boring, pitching and defense in baseball… I LIVE FOR IT. I wasn’t around for Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Wasn’t alive yet. But I love when the game offers pitchers whose starts you just can’t miss. When Pedro Martinez was in his prime I would’ve rather eaten my dinner off a urinal than miss a start.
And for next year? I’m looking at you, Stephen Strasburg. Throw the spaghetti in the machine and eat the children…
Follow Johanna on Twitter!
And so in this Podcast…
Allen: “If somebody’s willing to pay you the money, then that’s what you’re worth.”
Jeff: “I make magic happen…”
Johanna: “Chapped sack.”
Of course, that’s just the beginning… there’s also punching Mrs. Johanna’s dad and spending a night in jail, Judge Judy putting Yankees to shame, Oh-No-Farnsworth, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more… bringin’ great big laughs to those bellies yo!
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*Special thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and all-around sound guru. If you like baseball, wanna learn about the Negro Leagues and would like to know more about stuff that is awesome, check out his Undercast podcast. He’s an MMA fighter too. So listen or he’ll beat you up. Visit Undercard Films!
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Recorded Saturday, August 14, 2010
Tired of the Barbara Boxer v. Carly Fiorina bad-hair-day feud? Are you sick of the back-and-forth budget battle between Senate democrats and republicans? Has your patience been tested with Joe Lieberman’s unending political bed-swapping?
I have a solution.
And I learned it from the Taiwanese.
It’s called… fist fighting; and though we at RSBS would never condone violence as a foolproof solution to conflict, we do admit that a quick, controlled and monitored brawl will go a long way in fixing an otherwise needless argument. Why do you think my nefarious and oft-rattled colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, has been so passive in his literary retorts lately? Uh… yeah. ‘Cuz he knows not to mess with these guns.
It worked for Nolan Ryan (not so much for Robin Ventura). It worked for Pedro Martinez (again, not so much for Don Zimmer). It worked for Carlos Zambr — wait, okay, maybe it doesn’t always work.
But, as was the case in Taiwan’s parliament session yesterday, it did provide plenty of laughs (not to mention plot lines for future Michael Bay films):
Still not convinced?
No? Okay, imagine Saxby Chambliss dueling to the death with Kristen Gillibrand… in jello! Think of what wonders that could do for our country! People might actually vote!
So yeah, go ahead and hate me, folks… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
You know what this baseball season is lacking? A good brawl. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw a baseball brawl that really made me stand up and cheer. I mean, there are classics like Pedro taking out Don Zimmer and Jose Offerman charging the mound with a bat. But these happened years ago. Where’s the good stuff these days?
I’m not saying I’ve lost hope. The next few days will be all about the Yankees and Red Sox renewing their rivalry and we all know there’s no love lost between those two teams. Maybe Beckett throws some high heat and Melky takes exception. Or it could be Mariano throwing behind Youkilis and Big Papi comes charging out of the dugout to right that wrong. It could happen.
But most likely we’ll just see some baseball. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, New York and Boston squaring off is a time-tested showdown. Once again they’re one and two atop the AL East and seem to be heading for another late-season showdown.
Is it wrong, though, that I want to see the fire? I love the idea of A-Rod saying the wrong thing to Papelbon and the whole thing disintegrating into yelling, shoving and then flying fists. Maybe it’s because I’m from Michigan and the only thing we have going for us there is hockey. But Papelbon and Rodriguez throwing down brings a smile to my face.
Maybe, though, it’s just a natural reaction to other world events. When female Russian handballers are going at it like Tyson and Holyfield while baseball players are meekly sitting the bench when their teammates get beaned, well, you know something is a little mixed up in the world. What, you don’t believe me? Well, believe this:
My money is on the blonde.
-Video via Deadspin
Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.
Special thanks to Theo Roll.
Very special thanks to Youppi, the vaguely effeminate mascot of the late great Montreal Expos for giving hope to French Canadians worldwide… okay, maybe not worldwide, but you get the idea.
(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)
“huge gamble.” Of course, you could argue that an even bigger gamble
took place when Pete Rose threw down money on games or when Tim Donaghy
decided to just throw a few games in the NBA. What do you think is the
biggest gamble (legal or otherwise) that has taken place in baseball
recently and how does it compare to McCain’s?
Gambling, throwing all you’ve got behind one decision, taking a risk… these are paramount aspects of the game of baseball. Without them, the game would be boring. When players and managers break from the norm and go out on a limb, we get excited: distancing oneself from the same old thing causes excitement.
And there has been no shortage of temerity nor bold decision making in our most beloved game over the last several years. Of course, as a Monday morning quarterback, it’s easy to call these moves audacious, ill planned, unrefined after the fact. Sometimes, as in the case of the GOP’s pick of one Sarah Palin, the decision need not be analyzed over and over again to find sound reasoning: there just isn’t any.
Like Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS after giving up three straight hits with only five outs to go and a three-run lead. That was dumb no matter how you look at it. And if it weren’t for 2004 and 2007, Sox fans would still be teeming with angst.
Like scores of players (McGwire, Bonds, Giambi, just to name a few) cheating their fans and cheating themselves by altering their physiology in order to make an extra multimillion or three, break records, tarnish the game. While I understand the desire to perform at the highest level possible, I tend to admire the natural approach over the Frankenstein method. With information regarding the rigorous side effects of performance enhancing drugs being as known as ABC’s — these guys took a big, dumb gamble and now — for the most part — we despise them for it.
But in my opinion, the biggest recent risk sure to backfire on the gambling party was the cave-in decision made by the Red Sox to ship Manny Ramirez out of Boston for Jason Bay. The baseball pundits have spoken, and I have to agree: Jason Bay — no matter how good he is — is no Manny Ramirez. The Red Sox may squeak into the playoff picture, but they are not near as good now as they were with Manny in the lineup and I expect they won’t make it too far without him. The whining and crying of Ramirez was nothing new to Boston’s brass and erasing him from the team not only left a hole in the four spot, it also diminished the impact of one David Ortiz.
And losing Ortiz at-bats to walks sure does make a difference in the wrong direction.
Of course, there are always those gambles that seem ludicrous yet turn out to be smart in the end as well.
Like Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa batting the pitcher in the eight hole to create more opportunities for Albert Pujols. Though seemingly odd because it was such a staunch break from the norm, essentially what TLR has done is make sure AP gets up in the first inning, then contributes as a clean-up hitter for the remainder of the game. It’s hard to argue against that logic and I’m surprised more managers haven’t followed suit.
TLR isn’t the only NL Central manager who has gained notoriety for his arduous risk-taking skills. “Sweet” Lou Piniella, when faced with an ailing Kerry Wood, had nothing but faith in a young rookie call-up from Notre Dame. He threw Jeff Samardzija in the limelight and hasn’t looked back since. With Samardzija pitching as well as he has in recent months, the Cubs bullpen, for the first time that I can ever remember, has suddenly become an asset rather than a liability.
But no gamble in recent memory has turned out as splendidly as that taken by White Sox GM Kenny Williams in trading Chris Carter to the Diamondbacks for Carlos Quentin. Sure, one could argue that giving up a relatively unknown minor league first baseman for the once considered underachieving Quentin was hardly a risk. But put in perspective: trading Garland for Cabrera and Linebrink, cutting Podsenik, resigning Uribe, demoting Josh Fields, putting faith back in Joe Crede while giving a young Alexei Ramirez a shot at second base… Kenny Williams has been a very busy man and the moves he’s made — while controversial — have all turned out for the better. The White Sox have rediscovered their grinder swagger and as I predicted at the beginning of the season, have made a case for winning the AL Central and beyond.
I don’t know what political affiliations Kenny Williams has, if any, but I do know that the GOP’s decision making skills pale in comparrison to the Sox GM. The invasion of Iraq, the atrociously late and unorganized response to Hurricane Katrina victims, the gross misspending of our inflated tax dollars… and now putting Palin — a woman so unqualified to lead a nation that I can’t help but tell myself this is all just a big joke (punchline to come?) — in line for the highest office in the land; all I can say is:
That was dumb.
And let me tell ya, you can go on and hate me for my wordy rhetoric, my inspiring the people, my loose analysis of managerial decisions, but you shouldn’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Every media outlet has been full of Olympic coverage for the past few months. We watched as French surrender-monkeys and dentally deficient Britons tried to tackle, steal or otherwise snuff the Olympic flame during its journey to the Bird’s Nest and then we saw the Chinese defy gravity to set the torch alight and begin the games.
Although the passing of the torch always seems to provoke strong emotions, these emotions tend to play out differently depending on the setting. When Jesse Owens overcame the Fuhrer’s supposedly invincible Aryan champions at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he tried to defuse the situation by saying that Hitler had shown him respect. Michael Phelps managed to show a touch of class this year as he overcame Mark Spitz’s decades old record.
But sometimes the old guard is reluctant to let the torch out of their grasp. When the Yankees had the Red Sox in a 3-0 stranglehold during the 2004 ALCS, it seemed that the old guys had a little life left in them. But they should have realized that they had used up all the gas in the tank during the previous year’s ALCS. The Yankees may have won that 2003 series but in reality, Pedro Martinez body-slamming Don Zimmer was emblematic of the rivalry’s not too distant future. And in 2004 they proved it by fighting back to win the ALCS and then the World Series.
A similar fight broke out during the primary season as the junior senator from Illinois took on the Clinton juggernaut. And when the dust finally settled at the Democratic National Convention last night, it was obvious that the party the Clinton’s created was now firmly in the hands of Sen. Obama. Sure, there were a few last grasps for the torch (Hillary’s non-concession speech back in June for example) but the look on former President Clinton’s face during Sen. Clinton’s speech Wednesday night told the whole story.
So, how does one pass the torch gracefully and not get burned in the process? Well, you could take a lesson from Ted Kennedy (2008 Ted Kennedy, not 1980 Ted Kennedy)
Or you could look to Richard Nixon who so graciously handed off to Gerald Ford in 1974. However, I suggest avoiding the example of the 1997 and 2003 Florida Marlins. Or Jay Mariotti. Burning bridges and fire sales are tacky even in the best of times.