Have you ever hit that point in a game of pool where you drink just the right amount and everything just seems to go in? You’re not overthinking your shots. You move with fluidity. You’re like Minnesota Fats mixed with Michael Jackson. It’s a spectacular feeling but, unfortunately, one that tends to slip quickly into sloppy drunkeness where even hitting a ball with the cue stick would be an accomplishment.
Well, it’s possible you weren’t just imagining that feeling. It turns out that drinking can be good for you. But hey, you probably already knew that, didn’t you? I sure do. For a guy like me, even talking to girls was impossible. A half of a forty of Mickey’s later and suddenly I’m Cyrano de Bergerac mixed with, uh, well, not Michael Jackson. But you get the point.
The study also maybe justifies the much-maligned decision of several of last season’s Red Sox to drink in the clubhouse. They weren’t being selfish, egomaniacal @ssholes. They were merely “enhancing their problem solving skills” through oral application of a legal substance. Let’s face it, although baseball players have significant physical skills, what separates the wheat from the chaff is the mental aspect. If beer can fill that void, I say “drink up!”
Michele Bachmann has been out of the Republican presidential race for quite a while now and, as a result, has seen whatever little relevancy she had go with it. But, like most batshit crazy people, it didn’t take her too long to figure out how to get her name out there again. The cynic in me says that is nothing but a publicity stunt but the idealist in me wants to believe that she really has no idea what she’s doing and is simply living life from moment to moment. I’m pretty sure the cynic in me is going to win that one. The thing most often overlooked in all that is that Bachmann is once again running for the seat she currently holds in the House and I’m guessing she’ll win it.
Meanwhile, a guy who made his name in the Senate by pushing the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction around the world will be departing Congress. Dick Lugar was one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress and that did him no favors in the current partisan climate. His concession speech was a warning to the hyper-partisans on both sides of the aisle but will sadly go unheeded.
That’s the thing about these kinds of races, though. It’s a long-haul and you just never know what’s going to happen. Often, what does happen makes no sense at all. Should the Rays have made the playoffs last year instead of the Red Sox? Logically, no, especially if you look at the standings from the beginning of August. But a month later, things looked much different. Should Lugar be departing the Senate and should Bachmann be returning to the House? Logically, no, but logic doesn’t seem to have much staying power in these parts. I guess we might as well just sit back and enjoy it.
If Kim Kardashian’s well-traveled yet consistently hypnotizing room-shaker just doesn’t calm that nasty case of televisionitis anymore, do not fear.
This is the 21st century. And armed with both an MLB.TV subscription AND an MLB Extra Innings package on Direct TV, you never have an excuse to sully your brain again (unless Las Vegas is involved).
There are three basic rules.
Watch Tony Campana. That’s right. I can’t help but tune into this wily sCrUB. He’s great television! Seriously, the dude looks like he should be delivering my newspaper every morning on a magenta, one-speed Huffy, not working a walk so he get on base to haunt opposing pitchers. Perhaps it’s because my imagined baseball skill-set is similar to that of Campana’s that I often find myself glued to his base-running. Or maybe it’ s just because the guy is a buzzing gnat in a game full of free-swinging giants.
WATCH the American League East. Doesn’t matter the team. Yankees. Drama. Red Sox. Drama. Orioles? DRAMA! Blue Jays? MORE DRAMA! Rays… oh the Rays… they are the KINGS of DRAMA. On any given night no one knows what the hell is gonna happen in this division. It’s a baseball fanatic’s wet — okay. Sorry, chuggin’ the verklempt there.
Bryce. Friggin’. Harper.
Watch this dude. Seriously.
I gotta tip my cap to Mike Rizzo and the Nats. Both of their high profile picks have delivered early in their careers, not with just talent, but with poise and brass balls. Watch Bryce Harper play a baseball game and tell me he doesn’t love it more than anything else on the planet, that he doesn’t live his every waking second for the opportunity to play the game we love so much to the best of his ability, AT ALL TIMES.
Isn’t that a great example of how life should be lived by us all?
Stay tuned to Bryce Harper. That kid is fantastic television.
And go ahead, hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Feel bad about slamming Peavy yet?
But this is baseball. It defies feeling. It defies logic.
The Red Sox and Phillies in last place? The Dodgers and Nats routing? Peavy in control, flashing signs of the old whip-and-kill-em arm action?
Why not? It’s only May. Anything could happen.
Maybe I was a bit harsh on Peavy. Can you blame me? As far as baseballers go, Jake is pretty annoying. And up until this season, all he had really done in a White Sox jersey is yap yap yap with a string of poor performances following those empty words.
I want my pitchers to pitch. Not yap. PITCH.
Jake is finally doing that. Maybe his detached latissimus dorsi is properly attached again. His velocity is back. He’s hitting his spots. Why should a man being paid like a superstar get extra accolades for FINALLY fulfilling his end of the bargain by pitching like a superstar? Isn’t it too late!?!?!?
For my White Sox fan brethren, I am very relieved. Yes, it is early yet, but to see Peavy, Dunn, Rios and *GULP* Gordon Beckham actually perform well makes life on the south side much easier. But again, it is May. There’s plenty of baseball left.
So I won’t douse that crow with Sriracha until I know I absolutely have to eat it.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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This Wednesday officially kicks off the 2012 MLB season and even though I’ll probably be fast asleep while it unfolds in the Far East, I’m sure the Japanese will be plenty excited about watching two awful teams compete against one another, especially since there’s at least one Suzuki per nine.
On this side of the pond, we have much, MUCH more to look forward to. In fact, I might need a good tazing before the Cardinals open up in Miami, just so I’m forced to sit down!
Here are some of the things that have me baseball-tweaking:
The GOOD Blue Jays Uniforms Are Back!
Still mesmerized by the awful logo redesign and poor color scheme that killed Joe Carter’s Blue Jays look in 2003, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the old logo back. And royal blue! No gray! Alongside the Cardinals, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox, I gotta say the classic Jays uni is about as smart and sleek as baseball uniforms come.
Grant Balfour Finally Gets to Be a Closer!
The 34-year old Aussie has been quietly waiting in the wings of every team he’s been on and now, finally, the Oakland A’s are giving him a shot at the closer role. I still think closers are overrated, but I like to think that maybe, if Balfour performs well in his new role, he might finally get paid what he’s worth. His numbers are fantastic and most people don’t even know who he is. I’m afraid playing in Oakland won’t help his popularity, but maybe Billy Beane will throw him another peanut. (Also, if you’re wondering, yes, Balfour’s fastball does have an Australian accent.)
I love Bobby Valentine. For myriad reasons. He’s cocky. He’s loud. His feelings get hurt. He’s controversial. He pisses off players, coaches, umpires. And he’s a goddamn baseball genius. HOLLA!!!
Good grief. The dude is gonna be FIFTY this year. FIFTY YEARS OLD. And he’s still gettin’ guys out. I absolutely love that. I love him! How can you not?!?!
And finally… you probably knew this was coming but…
WE ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m loud, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Okay, I’m not Irish. I’m Scottish. We make the whisky. But when it comes to beer, it just doesn’t get any better than Ireland’s very own Guinness!!! I’m assuming you already have a pint in your hand. If not, GET ONE!
And while doing so, please take a moment to join RSBS and Guinness in setting the world record for the largest St. Patrick’s Day party on the planet! It’s easy. Just go to Guinness.com, verify you’re 21 years or older, then click “Join The Party.” Just type in your first name, country and zip code and then in the “optional code” box, enter the code “REDS” and Guinness will send $1 to RSBS, a dollar which we’ll be donating to Baseball Tomorrow Fund participant, Noble Network Charter Schools.
To show our appreciation, think on the following:
And the only active baseballers I can think of named Patrick right now are… none! Since Pat the Bat retired, I can’t think of a single one player named Patrick.
So that would be right around the same time the Cubs celebrate 8,853 years without a World Series title.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Every December we like to take a look back at what happened during the year in RSBS. And with Christmas upon us and the annual RSBS holiday break about to take place, it’s that time of year again. Granted, there’s no way we could do this without all the hard work put in by the interns so I want to take this opportunity to personally thank them and ask them to keep up all the good work next year.
Now, before I get to the part you’re all waiting for, I want to take a moment to recognize a couple other people without whom this blog would be a much sadder place. The regulars probably know him best from his appearances on the podcast but for me, his occasional pieces really put into words what I wish I could express. In particular, this year I appreciated Mark Piebanga’s midseason post about Don Kelly. For me, it crystallized who the Tigers were at that point in the season.
Similarly, the brilliant ranting and raving of Johanna Mahmud always bring a mid-week smile to my face. Whether he’s once again lamenting the shortcomings of the Cubs via musical theatre allusions or cautiously hoping for change with the arrival of Theo Epstein, Jo hits the nail on the head as often as not in a way only he can. However, the edition of Setting the Mahmud that really did it for me was his takedown of the Red Sox in the key of Arthur. Nothing says b*tchslap quite like setting your role model loose on the AL underperformer of the year.
For the main event, though, I thought long and hard about the season my co-author had. I watched with amusement his two-part Libertarian “coming out” as he confessed his love for the still-feisty Ron Paul. I also applauded along with everyone else as Jeff completed his first marathon, and this from a guy who, two years ago, was out of breath after running a block.
But the real marathon was the baseball season and if you don’t believe me, just go back through the record. It started in April with Franklin’s blown saves and four months later, Jeff had all but given up on the Cards (and totally given up on the Rays). Just a few short weeks later, though, his dreams came true while attending his first World Series game and a few days later, that dream reached its apex as the Cardinals won the World Series. But as happy as he may have been in that moment, and all joking aside, I don’t think any of us could possibly understand how hard the Albert Pujols news hit him. Baseball, just like that marathon, has its extreme highs and lows. In 2011 we watched Jeff live them both.
Don’t forget our awesome Oakley Blender sunglasses give-away, made possible by our friends at Crown Royal! If you would like to win these sweet shades, all you gotta do is send us a picture showing why you are RSBS’ biggest fan. Email it to us at RSBSblog@gmail.com. The winner will be announced this Saturday, December 24th.