Yep. It’s that time of year again, folks. And baseball fans the world over have an eye on the purple and black.
With good reason.
Did I mention Tulo’s hair?
Believe me. There are two whole weeks left in the schedule; and this is gonna get good.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s the thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
It’s our monumental TENTH EPISODE, y’all! Party is the name of the game as Jeff, Allen and Johanna dive into an exciting playoff tempered show including three hallowed memories, two Morgans (Nyjer and the Captain) and one inception… not to mention a whole lot of confusion over a $500 pair of speedos with Albert Pujols’ face on it. Plus much more, including the Lou Piniella mailbag! All to make you laughy-time!
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Recorded Saturday, September 11, 2010
Guys, the season is starting in a few days and I still haven’t seen an
honest to god prediction out of you yet. What do you think? Is there
anyone who can keep the Yankees from repeating?
We haven’t made any predictions yet? Oh yeah, I guess predicting that the Detroit Tigers will suck this year isn’t really a prediction, it’s just a known fact. Considering that it is that time of year when everyone is making some sort of bold statement as to who is gonna win and who isn’t, I think you’re right, Lee. It is time for RSBS to jump into the prognostication pool (that sounds like something one would find in Vegas) and so we do as only we at RSBS (I, Jeff, not Al ‘cuz he’s a slacker) know how.
(subliminal messages start now)
Compared to its AL counterpart, this division isn’t quite the sexy beast it used to be. The team to beat is the Phillies; and while the Mets look to give a better effort than last year if healthy while the Braves and Marlins lurk behind with plenty of potential, I still don’t see how the Phillies can lose this division. Oh wait. Yes I can; his name is Brad Lidge.
Yet I think the Phils still win it. Ya can’t get much worse than Lidge was last year and they still won the league.
Come now, is there really any competition here? Yeah, sure the Brewers can bop with the best of them but have you seen their pitching staff? Exactly. The sCrUBS? Er…. no. The Astros? Stop playin’. The Pirates? The Pirates!?!? Ha! The only team in this division who might give the Cardinals a run is the Cincinnati Reds, and for that to happen Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto have to both deliver the goods like seasoned professionals (they’re not) and Aaron Harang would have to keep his ERA under 10 (he won’t)… not to mention the fact that Dusty Baker would have to not destroy someone’s arm (he will).
Cardinals. No question.
Hmm. This is an interesting division. My heart says San Fransisco but my heart also says I should be able to drink a fifth of scotch and still be able to dance the merengue with some amount of poise. In other words, my heart is a goddamn liar. There are too many question marks in the Dodgers young pitching staff that I can’t put my money on them. So I turn towards the Rockies — a team with balance, a team with Tulo, a team with purple pinstripes.
San Francisco joins as the Wild Card.
Yankees, Red Sox, Yankees, Red Sox… bla bla bla. Not this year, folks. Yankees, Rays, Yankees, Rays… and Brian Matusz. The Yankees are the best in baseball. Hard to argue against that. The 2010 Red Sox are not the Red Sox we’re used to seeing. They made a major mistake by not bringing back Jason Bay and they’re gonna suffer for it. The Rays… this is the year for them. It’s now or never. And just for fun, let it be known that Brian Matusz of the Baltimore Orioles is one hell of a pitching phenom and a reason to tune into their games every once in a while.
Yankees win without even trying.
Rays take the Wild Card.
With so much money going towards roster scrubs and the recently anointed singles-machine, Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers of 2010 will look more like the Tigers of 2003. Okay, maybe not that bad, but still, they ain’t goin’ anywhere. The Twins will be in the race, but I suspect they will be playing a lot of doubleheaders this year due to that new open air stadium; and their team is still built for turf. I don’t see them catching the White Sox, who in my opinion have the best starting five of any other team in the Majors. If Peavy stays healthy and Floyd and Danks kick it up a notch, I don’t see how they could be beat. Keep your eye on Gordon Beckham too. He’s gonna be a superstar.
Like its National League version, this division causes me fits. The Rangers are right on the cusp of doing something great; but then I look at their pitching staff and see a bunch of crooked numbers on the board against them. The A’s? Uh… no offense, but if you rely on Kurt Suzuki to produce all your offense, I cannot take you seriously. The Mariners look like they should be much improved; but I’m not drinking that kool-aid yet ‘cuz as of now, they haven’t done jack. And how can I possibly bet against a proven winner, a team that gets it done year after year after year?
The Angels win the West. Why? ‘Cuz they do everything right.
And they have a rally monkey.
Now when you put all these pretty teams together, choosing one over the other is no easy task. They’re all
yummy winners. They’re all well-proportioned hot. They’re all doable talented.
So what is one to do?
Personally, I like to fantasize about a world where they’re all in the same room, having fun and going at it with uncompromising competitive bite. But understanding how unrealistic that is, I guess I have no choice but to choose one.
And again, my lying, cheating, pipe-dreaming heart tells me that the Cardinals are better than the Yankees. Yet, I’m smart enough to know that saying as much is not only unrealistic, it’s just plain fantasy.
Still, one can dream, right?
Hate me ‘cuz I get ya all flustered, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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Things seem a little topsy-turvy so far in the MLB playoffs. We still
have a long ways to go but I’m feeling a little confused as to who is
doing what and why. It helped me a little when I read Allen’s playoff
preview but I still find myself wondering who will actually come out on
top. So, what do you think Jeff? And considering your Cardinals aren’t
looking too good, I want to hear the truth, not your hopes.
Okay, Cheryl. It’s the truth you want, is it? You want the truth? Ha!
Neither can I.
That’s why I’ve been conducting a little research into one of my favorite adult beverages: Kalamazoo’s very own Bell’s Oberon beer. And this is what I’ve discovered:
Created by Bar Stools
Either that or getting swept in the National League Division Series.
As I sip on this here 16th bottle, let me disclose *burp*… the er… um… *hiccup*… thissdsk is whaat I knoooow.
- Yankees… good
- Angels goooooooooooooder…
- Dodgers *hiccup*, er… I djslamurss… Padilla is uuuuuugly!!!
- Rockies… brrrrr… remember Dante Bichette?
So there… you *burp*, have it, Chhhhhheryl. Maybe it’s not as *hiccup* articulified and edumacated as Mr. *burp* Krause’s baseball-politico sex romp of an essay (ha! I allllmost wrote “Ese!” like “Hola vato! Que hay de nuevo!?”)…
… but… er… it’ll do. I’ll sleep this off and be back to my normal, blathering, pedantic ssssself tomorrow.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m schnnnnnockered, Cheryl, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m not Vicente “I AM FLOPSWEAT” Padilla.
It’s that time of year again. October, when football has started, hockey is probably being played somewhere in Canada and the WNBA season is over. Assuming there’s still a WNBA. Anyway, all that aside, October is also notable for being the only month when it is worth visiting the state of Michigan and for the glorious event known as the MLB playoffs. And in honor of those playoffs, even though I’m a day late, it’s time to dust off another time honored tradition and bring you my second annual Post-Partisan Playoff Preview: TV pundit edition.
After starting with the American League last year, I felt it only fair to begin with the National League this time around. That’s right, the National League, the right-leaning denizens of Major League baseball. Their’s is a more conservative style of play, well suited to the talking heads who avail themselves on Fox News at any and all hours of the day. Designated hitter? No, thank you. We like having an automatic out every 9 batters. Home runs? Nah, we prefer letting our guys linger on base. Government intervention? Only when it helps out our stock portfolios.
And in this fray, we begin with the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies, our Rush Limbaugh. Still the undisputed champion, just like Rush, the Phillies have been showing the cracks that come with age and being at the top for so long. The Oxycontin that is Brad Lidge could spell the end for the Phils when it comes to close games but there’s no doubt that they’ll move on from the first round.
And the main reason they’ll move on is because they’re face to face with the Glenn Beck of the NL playoffs, the Colorado Rockies. No one is denying that they’ve got star quality but both Glenn and the Rockies are missing something. For Glenn, maybe it’s those tears or the fact that he can’t spell. For the Rockies, maybe it’s that they never seem to be able to play well until it’s almost too late. But either way, they’ll both continue playing second fiddle to the guys above them.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers are almost as slick as their preview stand-in, Bill O’Reilly. Show him the facts and he’ll show you something completely unrelated. Everything is tangential in “The No-Spin Zone” and tangential is a great way to describe how the Dodgers play. 15 game lead? Hm, maybe we can get one of our guys suspended for 50 games and play like we’re all on Ambien to tighten this thing up. But at the end of the day, they get the job done. And whether you like it or not, there’s too much talent there to be ignored.
And that’s why we bid adieu in the first round to our Sean Hannity, the St. Louis Cardinals. Things are pretty easy when you’re beating up on a guy like Alan Colmes, you know, kind of like playing in the NL Central this year. But when the chips are down, good luck against real competition.
On the other side, the American League, things sort out a little bit more easily. There are those who belong and those who just make you sit up and go “hm?” The National League has definitely been ascendant the last few years, winning 2 out of the last 3 World Series but the American League has a stranglehold on the All-Star Game. Whatever that’s worth.
On this side, we start at the bottom, with the Alan Colmes of the the American League, the AL Central champion Minnesota Twins! Really, you’re not excited either? Yeah, it’s pretty hard to get excited about someone who snivels in the corner while getting the snot beat out of them. No one likes a bully but no one really likes the guy who’s bleeding all over after getting beat up by the bully either. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Minnesota Twins!
Out west we check in with the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) as they do their best Rachel Maddow impression. It’s not that anyone dislikes the Angels (or Maddow) or that they wish them ill. It’s just more that they don’t matter. Kind of like the AL West and MSNBC.
And the reason they don’t matter is because they’re going to get beat by our Wolf Blitzer, the Boston Red Sox (of Boston). Although maybe not a pundit in the traditional sense, Wolf does manage to insert his personal views into the conversation. And he sure does espouse a righteous anger when explaining how CNN is the only network you can trust. But it’s just a lot of noise from someone who used to matter and really doesn’t so much anymore. Yep, kind of like the Boston Red Sox.
Which only leaves us with the flatulent faded glory of our Larry King doppleganger, the New York Yankees. You know what, we’ve won 26 championships so what do you know? Hey, I’ve been on TV since it was invented so what do you know? They both have an excuse but something smells a little funky. Which isn’t to say that they can’t get nasty from time to time. Best to give them a wide berth.
And this brings us to the answers you have all been seeking. I’d love to see Hannity and Colmes reunited in the World Series but since they both go down in the first round, that’s going to be kind of hard. Instead, Bill O’Reilly finally claims the coveted conservative mantle from Rush as the Dodgers avenge last year’s loss and knock off the Phillies in the League Championship Series. Meanwhile, Wolf and Larry make it an all CNN final in the American League as the Yankees square off against the Red Sox. And, true to form, the Yankees
win the pennant.
But, the way things stand in the world today, even with a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, the left leaning punditocracy just can’t hang in there against the overpowering noise of the right wingers. And as left coast meets right in a broadcast and advertising orgasm, the old Yankee manager knocks off the new one. Just make sure you don’t miss the inevitable sucker punch because when the pundit-o-sphere is involved, you can be sure it’s coming.
Put your clothes back on. Cap off that fifth of Jack. Call yourself a cab.
The San Francisco Giants’ perpetual playoff philandering is as done as Sarah Palin’s political career.
It is sunk.
And just in case you need proof, here it is, written all over Nate Schierholtz’s face:
Oh sure, we can sit around and discuss how their dominating pitching staff could possibly get them over the Rockies hump and into the wild card spot if only the offense could score runs. We could ruminate on the occasional power surges put forth by Pablo Sandoval and Bengie Molina. Indeed, we could waste a lot of time talking about the Giants in general.
But the point is this: Good pitching may beat good hitting but if ya don’t score any runs you can’t win a damn thing.
And that’s why the Giants should be thinking about what kind of offense they are going to bring in during the offseason for 2010 and let the 2009 playoff dreams slip back down to reality.
Like most parties, it sure was fun while it lasted; but in the end you wake up and find the girl next to you isn’t quite the supermodel you thought she was — that those aren’t freckles on her face, those are… er… sores that you couldn’t see during your drunken stupor of endemic idiocy the night before.
Or, you just get all excited about your big party and end up in the burn unit like this guy:
It happens. Parties end. Occasionally your hair will catch on fire.
Deal with it.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Schierholtz Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The beautiful thing about the politics of today and yesterday is that one thing remains the same. No matter whether you’re wrong or right, all you have to do is make some sort of ad hominem attack and it will get you air time.
This has become increasingly true during the normally boring Washington summers when the news channels are just itching for something to break the tedium of the recess. And this year has provided plenty of sparks. Dick Cheney has made himself more accessible than he was during the eight years of Bush’s presidency, emerging on a regular basis to proclaim that Obama is making the country less safe. And everyone seems to be lining up to take a whack at the universal health care plan although it’s interesting to note how many of those people already have insurance.
But I also realized something. Baseball is seriously lacking these same types of attacks. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before but at this time of the year, when all the races are heating up, where’s the fire? Why aren’t the Giants and Rockies cracking on each others’ mothers? Why aren’t the Rangers poking fun at Pedroia’s size? And why aren’t the Tigers and Twins provoking Ozzie Guillen into even crazier rants?
C’mon people. This is baseball. America’s pastime. And you know what else America is home to? The yo’ mama joke. See the connection? Ok, let’s get on it. I’ll start. Albert Pujols’ mama is so dumb, she thinks a shortstop is when she runs into 7/11 for a hotdog and a Slurpee.