Tagged: Playoffs

Tangible Intangibles

Although both political candidates and baseball teams have spent hundreds and thousands of hours working on strategy and trying to put together the perfect roster to bring home a win in November, there’s just no way they can prepare for the intangibles, what Donald Rumsfeld would call the “unknown unknowns.”  For the sports teams, there’s always the specter of injury as well as the impossible to predict quality of “getting hot at the right time.”  In politics, the things that keep campaign managers up at night include supposedly off-the-record comments and the fickleness of the “undecided voter.”

Guess that means it’s time to spend another couple hundred hours on strategy.

-A

The Filibuster

Who should throw out the first pitch if the Nats make the Series?

Natalie
Washington, DC
__________________________

In a city known for its hot-winded bureaucracy, I can definitely see this scenario as something DC suits would fight for.  I mean, who wouldn’t welcome the public relations boost that would come with leading the charge in Washington’s first World Series since 1933?

The problem is, I wouldn’t want any currently serving politicians out there on the mound.  Obama, a clumsily outspoken White Sox fan with an awkward delivery, would not be a good choice considering the pending presidential election and his penchant for wildness.  And asking a former president such as George W. Bush, a man who can certainly hold his own on the baseball diamond, would also be a bad choice considering the awful PR that would go with it.

The first pitch in the World Series should be by someone who is just as much a part of the spirit of Nationals baseball as the players and coaches and front office.  It should be someone with great leadership skills.  Someone who is adored regardless of political affiliation.  Someone who is dead.

It should be Teddy Roosevelt.

Since the Expos became the Nationals, fans of this ill-fated franchise have had little to cheer for… except for Teddy Roosevelt.  And yet despite leading the charge during the Spanish-American War, despite conquering an elusive elephant whilst on African safari, and despite surviving a bullet shot from John Schrank’s gun, the stuffed man still cannot find a way to sit atop the Presidents Race podium.

The very least DC could do is give him the first pitch.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

The Filibuster

What race are you paying more attention to? The AL East? AL Central? Presidential?

Mark
Barrington, IL

_____________________________

I suppose that since this is a baseball blog, I should probably say baseball.  And, I am keeping an eye on the AL Central, even if the maddening inconsistency of the Tigers has driven me into a self-protective shell.  When it comes to politics, though, I just can’t keep myself away.

This is a big year for politics.  It’s not just Romney and the Republicans in an attempt to repeal everything that Obama accomplished his first term.  It’s also an opportunity for Americans to tell the Tea Party that they don’t represent America.  A resounding defeat for Romney could finally show the Republicans that they need to remove the Tea Party cancer that eats at the GOP and their ability to effectively govern.

This past week showed once again how out of touch Romney is and why his Tea Party hijacked presidency would be disastrous.  The contrast between Romney’s hasty statement regarding the events in North Africa and Obama’s studied response just illustrates once again which man provides real leadership.

That being said, it’s interesting to note the similarities between the presidential campaign and the baseball season.  Both of them last much of the year and it’s hard to tell what’s going to happen until pretty late in the game.  Two months ago the Pirates looked like they actually had a shot at making the playoffs.  Six months ago it still wasn’t clear who the Republican nominee would be.  However, at this point, with less than two months to go before everything is settled, the pieces have started to shake out and the picture has become a little more clear.  Or at least we have a clearer idea of who the winners won’t be.  Trying to say with any certainty who will still be standing on D-Day is nearly impossible.

I guess the difference for me is the drama.  Yes, baseball has plenty of drama but the stakes are limited.  Whichever team wins the Series retains their title as champion for one year.  The world doesn’t change, except for the world of that team’s fans.  An American president can change not only the course of the nation but also of the world.  And it only happens once every four years.  Now that’s some drama.

Still, I’d really like to see the Tigers end this White Sox charade once and for all.  As for the AL East, screw the coasts.

-A

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Andy Williams had it all wrong.  I’m sorry, but I’ll take September’s non-stop MLB pennant chasing + NFL + Notre Dame losing to Michigan combination over cold and snow and fake Santas any day.  In fact, since it’s an election year, we get even more drama to go with our Irish-trouncing, and if you wait until the end of this post, you’ll even see that the Republicans have JOKES!

But first thing’s first: TUNE IN TO BASEBALL.  My lord, between the AL Central showdown, the A’s/Angels wild card battle and the AL East title three-way, I can’t imagine a more exciting scenario (except maybe a non-baseball related three-way, but that’s for a different blog).  Consider the NL wild card race and the fact that one of the three AL East teams could also nab the last AL West wild card spot and now allow your mind to be blown (again, maybe better for another blog).

And I haven’t even mentioned the myriad story lines decorating the start to the NFL and college football seasons!

The fact is, for dudes like Mr. Krause and I, it really doesn’t get much better than this.  Unless you want to throw in some flaccid punchline deliveries (ZING!)…

Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

What happened to the Twins?

Seth S.
Saint Paul, MN
__________________________

Ah, yes, the Minnesota Twins.  What did happen to those paragons of fundamentally sound baseball?  An analysis of such depth requires patience, dedication and an insatiable hunger for the truth, so I put the RSBS interns to the task and they have provided the following slide show:

2010

New ballpark! Yay! It’s…er… HUGE!

I CAN HAZ $184 MILLIONS!?!? IN EXCHANGE I’LL STOP HITTING HRs!

Ouch! Who turned out the lights?!?

DOH! DAMN THOSE DAMN YANKEES… AGAIN!!!

2011

Never fear! Tsuyoshi Nishioka is here!

And then… his leg is broken. Thanks for nothing, Nick Swisher! Damn you, damn Yankees!!!

And the rest of the Twins 2011 clubhouse… barely breathin’.

2012

Y U NO MOVE IN FENCES!?!? AGGH!!!

When will Justin’s ouchy-head be fixed? I need help, dammit!

Aaaaand this guy…

Nope, not even the healthy return of Morneau could make the pain of the above image go away.  In fact, 2012 sorta seems like a good time to reset everything.  Surprisingly, the Twins do have some decent offensive production (Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe), but their pitching has been atrocious.  Like, Kent Hrbek farting in your face type of “atrocious”.  The average ERA of their six starters is over 5 and they have been blown out (lost by 5+ more runs) 23 times so far.  And the bullpen?  YIKES!  Don’t ask them to hold a lead ‘cuz it’ll be difficult!

Like old baseball men love to say, “You’re only as good as your pitching”, and, well, when your pitching resembles the bottom of a porta-potty and the rest of the team can’t stay healthy, awful is pretty much what ya get.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the perennial sCrUBS.

Hate me ‘cuz I made you look at that famous Mauer back hair guy again, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff (and interns)

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.

And What if the Tigers DON’T Make the Playoffs?

Seriously.  There is no guarantee.  There is NEVER a guarantee (right, Red Sox?).

Whether you’re listening to the Worldwide Leader of Dopes or MLBN or that fat guy at the end of the bar who just won’t shut up, you’ve probably heard some variation of the following phrase regarding the AL Central:

Yeah, but the Tigers are the better team and they’re going to win the division.

Oh really?  Then what are they been waiting for?  Hockey season?!?  It’s coming!!!

Sure the Tigers have been playing better baseball the second half, but the truth is, the White Sox have been playing championship-caliber baseball.  And what is championship-caliber baseball?  It’s winning in walk-off fashion even though you allowed the Mariners to come back from 5-run deficit in the top of the 9th.  It’s getting gutsy performances out of nobodies like DeWayne Wise.  It’s having your MVP catcher thrown out of the game only to have his backup, Tyler Flowers, be the hero.  TWICE.

Verlander, Cabrera, Prince.  Indeed, these are mighty names with infinite possibility.

But possibility is no match for performance.  And as long as long as the White Sox keep getting more than the Tigers, then all those analysts and “experts” would do well to right their wordy ships and recognize the truth from potential.

Also, there is a White Sox fan holding a gun to my head as I write this.

And he asks that you don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

Is the hype to be believed?  Could the Nationals actually contend this year?

Sawyer
Ballston, VA
___________________________________

Sexy superlatives and arduous absolutes, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your 2012 Washington Nationals!

Could they actually contend?  Hmm… does watching a pitcher’s duel strike me with uncontainable bonerjamz?  HELL to the YES, my friend!  There are 159 games left in the season, and the Nats could win ’em all!

Or not.  Still, this is not your embarrassing Expo leftover Natinal squad of old; rather, this is a team with bona fide pitching, timely bats and a revered sage at the helm!  Do you think Davey Johnson thinks they can contend?  I’d bet my 1986 eight-ball wrapper collection he does.

And why not?  Without Howard and Utley for a good stretch, the Phillies find themselves offensively challenged.  The Braves, still salty from their epic fail of 2011, certainly don’t have all the answers.  I’m not convinced the Marlins are really any better than they were before they decided to blind us with ugly and the Mets are the Mets (though don’t sleep on them either, as a .500 season is not entirely out of the question).

The truth is, the NL East isn’t as predictable as it used to be.  And the addition of another wild card team makes it possible to hope a little longer.

But the number one reason why the Natinals have a legitimate shot at competing for a playoff spot this year is… The ONE.

Okay, wrong ONE.  But believe me, to Stephen Strasburg, there is no spoon.  Also taking the red pill this year are Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson, Ross Detwiler and (presumably) John Lannan.  That’s one helluva starting rotation+.

When Bryce Harper eventually finds his way into the rabbit hole, there will be even MORE reason to respect the potential of the Washington Nationals (not to mention a tomfoolery fodder spike for Deadspin).

Would I put big money on the Nats now?  Maybe not.  Would I put money on them to be a cellar dweller?  Absolutely not.  This team could find its identity and they could do it as soon as now.  They could be the ’11 D’backs or the ’08 Rays.

Better yet, they could be the 2012 Nationals. (see what I did there?)

Hate me ‘cuz I love Stephen Strasburg as if he were one of my own, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.