In a year as dynamic as US American voters are shortsighted, finding just the right words to succinctly summarize all the goings on of MMX isn’t really as hard as I thought it might be. Sure, ‘Merican culture still clings to the absurd Canadian import or two and the global economy continues its tailspin while our government continues its fight in two unwinnable wars, but not all is gloom and doom, my friends.
In fact, personally speaking, 2010 was quite fantastic! I quit smoking, I got in the best shape of my life thus far, and I got to hang with my fanciful and oft repugnant colleague (and subsequent dear friend), Mr. Allen Krause, not once, but TWICE! First was the June baseball rendezvous in DC where we participated in a very special Strasmas celebration, then came an equally exciting Michigan Christmas, where I spent the holiday weekend with Mr. Krause and his family.
All told, it was the best of times, it was the… no. It was just the best of times.
Hell, we even got treated to a non-powerhouse World Series, where the Giants defeat over the Rangers inspired small markets all over North America to think about one thing and one thing only: pitching, pitching, pitching. And, of course, no RSBS review of 2010 could go without mentioning the inception of our very own Podcast, one that continues to kick butt on a sometimes semi-weekly basis.
That’s right. Red State Blue State knows no bounds… and neither do the following top five Allen Krause penned gems of 2010:
2nd Honorable Mention:
We All Lose
Now and forever, September 11 will never be the same. I know that. You know that. Mr. Krause knows that. But through his strong dislike for all things pink in baseball and, of course, bigotry, Mr. Krause was able to both enlighten and entertain on this hallowed day. His message? Simple: “Hate kills.”
RSBS Presents: Chili
Personal note: If you want to coax Mr. Krause into doing… well, anything… tempt him with chili. Just know that it better be good chili if you want to be successful. Mr. Krause ain’t no slacker when it comes to this US American staple, which he proves with this eloquent presentation full of chili flavor. Plus, whenever a writer is able to use “scatalogy”, “concoction” and “awe-inspiring” in the same paragraph, he deserves a reward of some kind.
2nd Runner Up:
Understated to the End
Losing our heroes is never easy. And when Sparky Anderson died, my thoughts immediately went out to Tiger nation, and more specifically, Mr. Krause. Of course, I knew it was only a matter of time before a bit of literary magic would grace the pages of RSBS, and with his ode to ole Sparky finely tuned to an equally understated former president, Mr. Krause did not disappoint.
1st Runner Up:
Catastrophe in Multiple Forms
While compassionate might not be the first adjective (or the five hundred and first) adjective that comes to mind when I think of Mr. Krause, I can say that if he shows any, it is definitely genuine. Such is the case here, where his sentient empathy crosses paths with lots of bloody nipples and Austin Collie’s head.
And the Winner is…:
RSBS Presents: A Baseball Fan’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
There are two types of people in this world: those who are ready for the baseball zombies, and those who ain’t. Read this and you will be more than ready. Skip it and your brains are as good as gone by the chomp-slathering undead jaws of Pete Incaviglia and Todd Van Poppel. ‘Cuz the zombies are real. They are coming. And they all fear Mr. Allen Krause.
Another year down, another horizon to chase. Big things are happening, and we’re glad that YOU, dear reader, are a part of it.
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow. Until then, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
And so in this Podcast…
…the fullest, rawest, most awe inspiring podcast yet, RSBS convenes as Jeff, Allen, Johanna and special guest Mark Piebenga from Second City all come together for one rip-roarin’ time! Among the topics of conversation (sponsored by Lifestyles and encouraged by Miller Lite) are strains to one’s right glute, burning one’s hand on the hot stove, hiding one’s pain with the NBA… and much, much more!
All to make you smiley face!
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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. You can check out Keith’s wicked podcast and his subsequent film projects at Undercard Films. The dude has mad skillz, so you might wanna pay attention. Do it! Now!
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Recorded Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Despite my slight leftwards tendencies, one of my favorite presidents is the first George Bush. He wasn’t a flashy guy. He simply knew what job he had to do and then got it done. Unfortunately for him, parts of his legacy wound up being attributed to Clinton but the smoldering wreck currently being dealt with in Mesopotamia shows just how impressive his foresight was. Bush was an understated guy and it was that understatement that eventually cost him his job.
If I had to pick one guy in baseball who reminded me of George H. W. Bush, that guy would be Sparky Anderson. Sure, he was a great manager and the first one to manage a team to a World Series title in both leagues. Ultimately it was Anderson’s understatement that made him a success but that same quality led to his undoing.
For better or for worse, Sparky Anderson always found a way to keep the focus elsewhere. When you’re dealing with the kind of egos Sparky had to deal with, though, that type of personal understatement is a necessity. Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench. The name, The Big Red Machine, says it all. He found a way to keep those personalities in check. But when he followed up the big wins with mere second place finishes, it wasn’t enough for the Reds and his understatedness made him a perfect scapegoat. It’s like 1991 for Bush. Sure, he may have guided the US through the Gulf War but what have you done for us lately?
Although things didn’t end quite the same way with the Tigers, Anderson’s understatement was still his undoing. When he left the Tigers in 1995, Sparky had to feel more than a little disappointed that no one came calling. And for a guy who did as much for baseball as Anderson, it’s a reflection on his humility that he refused to step foot in the Hall of Fame until 2000 when he was inducted.
Understatement seems to be the trait that follows Anderson throughout his career and his life. Even in death he requested that no funeral or memorial be held. I guess for me, though, Sparky is one of those guys who, despite his natural avoidance of the spotlight, still defined baseball as I was growing up. He’s a guy who knew what job he had to do and then got it done.