Change and I don’t get along too well. I remember when the Cardinals introduced the Sunday home game alternate cap — the navy blue one with the red bill and the profiled bird. I couldn’t sleep for weeks.
WHY?!?! WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS!?!? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REGULAR CAP!?!?!
Things are better now; but living in Chicago, I became quite used to the kind of daily drama inherent in a city where Ozzie Guillen is employed. Now, with him gone, life is just… boring? I mean, Adam Dunn is hitting. Jake Peavy is pitching. The Cell hasn’t caught on fire.
What fun is that?
I miss the good old days — the days when the city stopped for the Crosstown Rivalry, the Windy City Classic. I miss seeing Sweet Lou bump bellies with umpires, AJ Pierzynski gettin’ cold cocked by Michael Barrett, listening to drunk frat boys explain the infield fly rule to washed out bimbos while double-fisting $7 Old Styles.
Is nothing sacred anymore?!?!
Until I see Dale Sveum and Robin Ventura do a rap song about bad contracts, I’m gonna have to think not.
Both the Phillies and the Yankees went down in the first round. If you had to blame it on one player from each team and then have those two fight it out in the Thunderdome, which two men enter and which one leaves?
St. Ignace, MI
Don’t answer that.
Yes, the Yanks and Phils missed the LCS boats this year. And yes, they each featured some disappointing performances; but in both cases, the epic failage cannot be pinned to just one guy. The Yankees went in with questionable starting pitching and the Phillies entered as the feast or famine team, the results of which were both early exits. To pin the burden of failure on just one person isn’t fair and it isn’t right.
But Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard do make beautiful scapegoats.
Meanwhile, you want me to throw these two guys into a Thunderdome and see who comes out alive. HA! Can you imagine the inherent lameocity of a fight between a pinstriped cover-mag diva and a silent slugger who tore his Achilles on his way to being the final out of the NLDS? Puhhhhhhh-lease.
Baseball hasn’t been able to produce a good basebrawl since 1993’s Ventura v. Ryan main event and even THAT was a lopsided affair. Yes, we have been teased over the years. Morgan v. Volstad had potential. So did Lee v. Young. And even more recently, Gregg v. Ortiz.
But the one thing those latter three matchups all have in common is that, ultimately, THEY WERE LAME. And when it’s been nothing but Lame City in reality, it’s really hard for me to imagine an A-Rod v. Ryan scenario that would not be equally as lame.
And make sure you stick around to the end to see Mickey Hatcher walk off the field with a bloodied face. Now THAT’S some Thunderdome s**t.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a very special guest, Second City funny man Mark “Pie” Piebenga, to the Logan Square Studio for an RSBS Podcast pow-wow of epic proportions (we would like to thank Miller Lite for making it, as the kids say, ‘epic’)! From Jim Joyce’s ‘stache to Nolan Ryan’s pomposity to Nyjer Morgan’s right hook to Bobby Scales’… existence?… all the gloves come off as the fellas look back at the 2010 season and gear up for the winter with plenty of chuckles and plenty of beer. All to make you laughy laugh!
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For more on Mark’s work on RSBS‘ Ninemen’s Morris series, check out this story then click on the Ninemen’s Morris tag at the bottom for more early 20th century hilarity!
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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Keith is involved in some impressive projects himself. Check out his work at Undercard Films. Seriously. You should do it. If you don’t, you might find out about his MMA skills first hand. Holla!!!
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Recorded Wednesday, November 10, 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.
The 2010 Hall of Fame ballot is out and the names are all there for our relentless ridicule. Meh. Let’s not make this too difficult now, shall we? There is only one nominee who is a surefire lock to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and that man is Barry Larkin.
Not so much.
But these decisions need to be weighed with ample baseball knowledge and ruthless number crunching, which is why we turn to the always accurate Google Oracle to see whether or not these fellas are Hall of Fame worthy. (click on the images for a closer view)
When your one claim to fame is getting your a$s beat by a man old enough to be your father in what was probably the most embarrassing basebrawl of all time, no, you may not enter the Hall of Fame, sir.
But please, somebody — baseball writers, Oprah, Jesus, anyone — please put Andre Dawson in the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be there. And I am getting very, very sick of having to lobby for this ex-Cub who made a living making my life miserable as a child.
Buck up, fellas. The Hawk was better than Jim Rice.
Hate me ‘cuz I tell it straight, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I”m right.
Players across the sports spectrum seem to be feeling their oats the
past couple weeks. The Lakers-Rockets NBA series has turned into a
brawl and baseball has seen several ejections and suspensions handed
down over the last several days. Are we seeing the effects of over (or
under) officiating or are players really more on edge these days?
Suspensions, brawls, warnings, headhunters, beanballs, ejections… these are all integral tenets of the sports we love. Without them, the stakes would be as dramatic as an afternoon pinochle tournament at your local retirement home (and even those can turn violent without proper supervision).
Personally, I could care less about what the Los Angeles Lakers of Los Angeles are fighting about with the Houston Rockets (those are basketball teams, right?). But perennial crybaby and major league fire-starter Milton Bradley? Foot-in-mouth Bobby Jenks? Two-packs-a-day Jimmy Leyland?
Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
Indeed, the cast of characters may change from year to year, but the subtle game of intimidating your opponent and firing up your team with guts, fists and butt-busting fastballs hasn’t. Ty Cobb anyone?
No matter what the era, baseball players have always found a harmonious balance of edge and competitiveness. When your livelihood is on the line, you bet you’re gonna go out and stand up for yourself. Those who don’t… well, they end up like Mr. Krause, pushing pencils and checking email forty times a day.
Now I don’t propose an increase to the level of violence on the field; but hell, don’t peel it back. I need that respite of poorly timed right hooks (see Shields v. Crisp, 2008), knee-buckling vengeance (see Bradley v. The World, 2007) and knuckles-to-skull contact (see Ryan v. Ventura, 1993). Anyone who says he/she doesn’t is a liar.
Baseball does not suffer from under or over officiating. It’s doing just fine the way it is. Fights, ejections, suspensions… they’re all just a part of the game. When it becomes bedlam…
… well, then we might have to reevaluate.
Until then, just keep on hating me. But don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Pictures of hot chicks also welcome.
Ever since the accident (see comments), I’ve been having difficulty focusing my thoughts; but don’t worry. I will still find a way to express them in a brilliant, informative manner as is always expected here at RSBS. I am many things, but a quitter without an opinion I am not.
Picture it: October 2008. The first round of the MLB playoffs are in full stride and not a Red Sox or Yankee is anywhere to be found. Yes. It could happen, folks. For the first time in recent memory, both the Yankees and the Red Sox may find themselves sitting out during the important games. The Rays and Angels look to be locks and it seems that the Twins and White Sox are in a tussle for the other two spots in the AL. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it’s hard to dismiss the possibility. Think of the chaos, the madness, the tantrums that would follow. At least emergency rooms in the northeast would be more quiet than usual.
Imagine my horror. Finally over the disappointment of not being able to see Allison Stokke vault her majesty in the Olympic games, I found myself settling on Swedish hurdler Susanna Kallur to satisfy my propensity for body-gazing during female competitions. Yes. My mind was made up. She was going to be the one. And then she knocked down the very first hurdle, fell to the ground and didn’t finish the race, further proving my theory that the combination of beauty and athletic prowess is more rare than me having somewhere to go on a Saturday night.
Envision the face of Barack Obama’s Vice President. Is it male? Female? White? Black? (doubt it) Latino? (double-doubt it) In any case, we should know soon and I have a feeling it will be someone whom we never even thought of. (No, silly, it won’t be me. I’m too busy blogging and raising cain, but thanks for the thought).
Think about it. Wouldn’t that USA/China baseball spat have been more exciting and more newsworthy if some real punches had been thrown? Look, I get it. The Olympics is all about class and sportsmanship but this isn’t the floor exercise we’re talking about here: this is baseball. Our sport. Our way. And we fight. Robin Ventura, Nolan Ryan, Michael Barrett, A.J. Pierzynski… those guys would have tore heads off — they would’ve brought bloody pride to the Red, White and Blue. A knockdown at home plate, some bean balls here and there… jeesh. I was really disappointed.
See the world the way my colleague Allen Krause sees it and see a world that revolves around the wonders and blunders of one irksome Venezuela. Yes, dear readers, I ask the same question you do: What the hell is up with all of these Venezuela posts? This one and this one and this one… I understand that Venezuela is quickly rising the ranks to be the proverbial pebble in US America’s shoe, but come on… Mr. Krause is talking about the degrees of handsomeness between Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez and Ozzie Guillen. That’s crazy. That’s just plain crazy.
And you know it’s crazy. You know you’ve had enough. And you know there’s no reason to hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Thursday night’s brawl between the Rays and the Red Sox showcased, once
again, that baseball players just can’t fight very well. So, here’s the
question (in two parts): 1) What is the best baseball brawl you’ve ever
seen and 2) which 2 players would you most like to see duke it out?
While it’s true that baseball players tend to be awful at fighting on the field, there is no doubt that a bench-clearing brawl is one of the most exciting parts of the game. In every case there is some kind of ‘other’ energy at play as soon as a hitter decides to charge the mound and whether he lands a punch or not, most people would be lying if they said they didn’t enjoy watching that kind of drama unfold. The brawls tend to be explosions of emotions that have been built up over a long period of time: clubs with histories, beanball wars, personal vendettas, et al tend to set the stage for the best fights in the game, and I totally get off on seeing those frustrations blow up. The Prince of New York wrote a great post (*click here to read*) on the dueling psychologies of baseball brawl analysis and he’s absolutely correct in his conclusion that most people enjoy them (or get off on them like me) — even if they try to conceal it.
That being said, I have to admit that I often feel let down when a Coco Crisp or a James Shields wails and misses outright… or when an Iwamura throws a couple of sissy-punches that are more for show and less impacting. It’s like watching softcore pOrn on Cinemax: show me the real thing or I’m better off watching reruns of Full House.
The best baseball brawl I’ve ever seen?
I think we all know there is only one right answer to that question, so before I reveal what everyone already knows, let me make some honorable mentions:
Big Z v. Michael Barrett; Big Z v. Gatorade Cooler
Hands down, Carlos Zambrano is the most explosive personality in the game right now. An atomic fist fight waiting to happen, Big Z showed some real hutzpah last year when he decked his own catcher, Michael Barrett, in the face after an onfield dispute regarding pitch selection or whatever… who cares… this fight was awesome. Cardinal fans always love to see internal dissension in the home dugout at Wrigley, but what made it even more awesome was the jacked up face of Michael Barrett the next day. Of course, in the end, this fight was the catalyst that got Barrett out of Chicago, setting the stage for Rookie of the Year candidate Geovany Soto to make his breakthrough as the Cubs’ catcher. I’m hoping that Big Z can find a reason to hate Soto too, but I’m not putting any money on it.
What I am putting money on is that if Big Z gives up a go-ahead homerun to Matt Kemp late in an otherwise flawless pitching performance, not even the Gatorade cooler is safe. Don’t believe me? Check out the pounding Zambrano gave this poor, helpless, inanimate object.
Izzy Alcantara’s Foot v. Catcher’s Face
Besides having a really cool name, this Pawtucket minor leaguer will go down in history as one of the smartest basebrawlers of all time. To ensure that the catcher wouldn’t hold him back, he gave him a swift back kick to the face! What is sad about this fight is that when he finally reached the mound, he let everyone down by dancing around and ultimately getting mauled himself (*click here to watch*). Ah, such wasted potential.
Mike Sweeney v. Jeff Weaver
If ever there were two lameball pacifist fighters pitted against one another, these would be the two. This fight didn’t even have anything to do with pitch location; it was all about something Weaver said (allegedly) behind his glove. Sweeney didn’t like it and charged the mound while Weaver had his back to the plate. What does make this an awesome fight is that Weaver had no idea Sweeney was coming and by the time he turned around, it was too late. Much like Alcantara, Sweeney used a diversion tactic by first slinging his batting helmet at Weaver before taking him to the ground and landing a few solid body blows. Good times.
Good times aside, these fights are equally catatonic in comparison to the greatest basebrawl of all time:
Nolan Ryan v. Robin “Sissy-pants” Ventura
There’s nothing quite like making a mannish dash for the mound to fight someone who is old enough to be your father and then getting put in a headlock only to have your skull, nose, jaw pounded on by the strikeout king. I can’t say enough about how bad*ss the Ryan Express was in this matchup and I highly doubt anyone will ever come close to equaling his solidly aggressive performance — ever. This fight is as unlikely to be surpassed as is Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hit streak. It just ain’t gonna happen.
But there are some fellas I’d like to see go up against one another in the near future. Albert Pujols is only one bad pitch away from knocking the snot out of Brandon Backe. As their ongoing series of differences escalates, I believe Backe realizes more and more that he has absolutely no chance against an angry A.P., but if anything, Backe has already proven to the world that he’s not exactly Fulbright quality. I eagerly await his date with number 5’s right hook.
But the potential ironclad matchup I deem most notable, most exciting, most entertaining would be: Milton Bradley v. Carlos Zambrano. Both of these guys are nuts! and suffer from extreme anger management issues. No one, no thing is safe when these two are on the field and that includes first base coaches, pitching hands and the aforementioned sufferings of that poor, helpless Gatorade cooler in L.A.
I’d give my left (ahem) to see Big Z pitch Bradley inside and just see what happens. If there is a god…
…but just in case there isn’t, we’ll always have the mysteriously entertaining rituals of Ko
rean baseball brawls:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right…