My dubious and oft out of touch with the public colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, shocked the baseball-politico world on Monday when he compared his beloved Detroit Tigers to the stiff stylings of Mitt Romney. Now, lining one’s self up with the far right fed Tea Party and Christian Coalition is one thing, but talking out of one’s posterior in a public forum is another.
Mr. Krause said:
The Cardinals are playing with a ragtag team and no longer have master strategist La Russa at the reigns.
Ragtag? RAG? TAG?
What’s so ragtag about being World Champions? What’s ragtag about Holliday? Freese? Molina?
Carlos Beltran? Allen Craig? Chris Carpenter?
WHAT IS THIS RAGTAG YOU SPEAK OF, MR. KRAUSE?!?
The only thing “ragtag” about your REIGNING… WORLD… CHAMPIONS… is that they might play this before each game:
Oh, wait. That’s ragTIME.
Like it’s time to grab a rag and wipe up the locquacious mess left by my colleague.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
What race are you paying more attention to? The AL East? AL Central? Presidential?
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 lot of young guys making some noise right now. Any one you like in particular?
George Bernard Shaw once pointed out that “youth is wasted on the young.” Me, as I continue getting older, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a total waste. And honestly, I’m sick of hearing about it. I’m sick of hearing about young voters. I’m sick of hearing about hot, young prospects. I’m sick of hearing that something is a young man’s game.
Look, there’s a reason that we don’t allow someone younger than 35 to be President of the US. It’s the same reason that it’s rare to see someone under the age of 27 truly flourish in baseball. We love the idea of youth but raw talent without experience can only take you so far. It’s the reason why the Indians were willing to trade away future stars to wrap up a current star. Sure, one of those guys might go on to have a Hall of Fame type career. But Jimenez has already shown that he can deliver. That’s a little more important when you’re in a playoff race.
The same thing goes for politics. I’d like to see the national debt slashed and spending brought under control as much as anyone. However, I think that ruining the country’s credit rating during a time of fitful recovery illustrates arrogance, not intelligence. The Tea Partiers are young and fired up. They’re going to go in there and change things. But the Founding Fathers created the Constitution in such a way that change has to be gradual and necessitates compromise.
Experienced legislators understand compromise and realize that holding a gun to the country’s head is not a long-term solution. They effectively shift the system one way or the other, depending on the country’s needs at the time. The need this time was avoiding default but the youngsters were willing to play fast and loose with that need, holding it for ransom in order to get their own way. It’s like a rookie holding out before training camp. He may end up getting most of what he wanted but you know you can’t trust him and you know he’s only really worried about himself.
So, youngsters I like? I can’t answer that. And the fact is I don’t really trust ’em. Let’s see how they do the rest of the season and then I’ll let you know.
**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Want a free pimp for your blog? Interested in in finding out how Mr. Lung discovered that there is a wrong way to eat a Reeses? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing email@example.com or by commenting below.
If CNN’s Alex Castellanos hadn’t compared Michele Bachmann to Margaret Thatcher on CNN the other day, I wouldn’t have said anything because the crazies, the Brits and the delusionoids have been saying as much for a while now. But when something that maniacal is aired to millions of susceptible US Americans, I can’t help but holla some common sense back into the universe.
WISE UP! GET A GRIP! DRINK SOME WATER!
Comparing Bachmann to Thatcher is like comparing Wilson Betemit to Babe Ruth! Seriously! The only thing Michele Bachmann and Margaret Thatcher have in common is that they both have vaginas!
Bachmann is STUPID.
Bachmann is DELUSIONAL.
Bachmann is a HOMOPHOBE.
She is a clear and present danger to liberty and to even mention her name in the same conversation as Margaret Thatcher’s (did you know she was a chemist by trade?) should be a crime.
And I just couldn’t hold that in, so I didn’t.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Whether or not the US Congress came up with a deal to avoid default really doesn’t matter. The issue is a symptom, not the disease itself. The disease is the ideological purity embodied by the Tea Party. Yes, they have some worthwhile ideas and I do think the government should have to pay for the programs it enacts. However, the Tea Party solution of gutting government programs and getting rid of taxes would leave a shell of a country ill-suited to address the challenges of the 21st Century.
Let me go back just a bit here. Since the second world war the US has raised the debt ceiling more than 100 times. However, this time around it became a debate that threatened the economic foundation of the United States. It often helps to get a little objectivity by asking someone outside the situation to take a look and give their viewpoint. Well, how about we turn to our closest friends, the Brits and see what they have to say: “We now have a group of US politicians seeking political purity, who seem to have much in common with the Taliban. They are Tea Party members; and because of blind adherence to smaller government, they seem intent on risking destroying what American political leaders have constructed in more than two centuries of hard, often painful work.”
Now, I understand that the Taliban comparison is probably the new equivalent of Godwin’s Law but there is something to take away from this. When you consider political movements that require ideological purity from their adherents you don’t end up with a list of the most open-minded people on the planet. In fact, the first two that jump to mind are the Taliban and the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia. That’s not exactly good company.
The Conservative movement in the US under the guise of libertarianism (which it isn’t) or other -isms has begun to embrace more and more of these whacko ideas. A recent exchange on Fox News about volcanoes on the moon involving Bill Nye (yes, the science guy) should help put this in perspective. Watch his face when the global warming question is posed.
Like I said at the beginning, the debt ceiling and the default argument aren’t so important in themselves. What matters much more is the underlying disease from which the tumor grows. Let’s just hope that when 2012 rolls around the Tea Party will have served its purpose and the voters will see fit to relegate them to a historical footnote.
As the summer of Republican discontent continues, certain words have become absolutely taboo. “Public” implies government funded so is no longer acceptable. Same goes for actually using the words, “Government funded.” “Aid” and “assistance” are codewords for sucking at the government teat and god help the person who mentions “welfare.” In fact, if you want to watch a Tea Partier foam at the mouth, figure out a way to combine all of those words into one sentence and then step back. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were sucking on an Alka-Seltzer.
This would all be laughable if it wasn’t for the fact that half of the people decrying this “waste” of taxpayer money actually benefit from it as well. The state of Alaska gives all of its residents a yearly payout from the Alaska Permanent Fund so that means Sarah Palin gets a government handout every year. Michele Bachmann’s husband benefits from farm subsidies and I’m pretty sure Mitt Romney owns a home and has a mortgage on which he deducts the interest for tax purposes.
So maybe it’s time we started pointing out the painful truth. Taxes pay for our military. Taxes pay for firefighters and police officers. Taxes paid for the interstate highway system and taxes help build hospitals and schools. Sure, we could take a different route and privatize everything but have you dealt with a privatized police force before? Elsewhere in the world they usually go by the name “militia” or “warlord.”
However, if your dream is still to see a fully privatized, libertarian paradise at work, you can head there today:
Something tells me that even the most rabid anti-tax American would prefer to continue grudgingly pay their taxes than move to this land of libertarian luxury.
Amidst the Pujolsian panic terrorizing the otherwise somber pre-spring training minds of baseball fanatics worldwide, we at RSBS nearly lost sight of an extremely exciting development inside the raucous Tea Party movement. That’s right, folks! The Tea Party is publishing their very own magazine!
And don’t worry, dear readers… as you have come to expect, we are a step ahead. In fact, our loyal RSBS interns have already managed to infiltrate the teabagging ranks to bring us a sneak peak at some of the headlines from the inaugural issue!
How to Incite Armageddon So We Can All Go Back to Sitting on Jesus’ Lap In Heaven
By Mark Williams
Monkey god, go home! You can’t put a mosque next to or around the corner from a US American institution like McDonald’s! That’s against God’s plan, to make everyone fat and die so they can go be with him again…
The Whosie-Whats-Its of Duping America
By Sarah Palin
Some people call it smoke and mirrors, I call it using catchphrases that hockey moms will be able to repeat after their husbands have beaten them for the night. A bridge to nowhere… lamestream media… road to ruin… See! If I can do it, anyone can, even Republicans…
How to Use the Term “Teabagging” to Your Advantage
By Pat McGroin, Kraven Moorehead & Howie Feltersnatche
First of all, work “teabagging” into your everyday lexicon. If we all teabag the way we should and are devout in our teabagging, the phrase will simply lose its funny connotation, especially if you’re teabagging your mother who might be teabagging your neighbor who might teabagging himself…
And finally, the feature article…
An Introduction to Hate: The N-Word, The F-Word and All Around Bigotry
By Dale Robertson
If it’s different than you, if it don’t look like you, if you don’t like it ‘cuz it ain’t you… hate it! That’s all ya gotta do. Holler at it and bark at it and scream at it and gobdabbit just hate it hate it hate it…
– – –
Not sure what the cover price is going to be, but I am sure that it won’t ever be forked over from my wallet.
Hate me ‘cuz Dale Robertson says to, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Although this week is the beginning of the baseball awards season, I find myself much more focused on the goings-on of the political world. And I’m not just talking about the US and our recent mid-term elections. Another big democracy just went through a similar fun time and their results seem to mirror our own.
But democracy isn’t really all that interesting what with its “free and fair elections” and “transparency.” Whatever happened to the good ol’ days of autocracy and election rigging? Sure, it’s still going on but it just doesn’t seem to be as widespread as before.
Luckily the potential for hyjinks and shenanigans lays in wait right around the corner. Is the Tea Party not providing enough excitement for you? Well, how about a vote of self-determination in Southern Sudan. Considering how things have gone in Darfur, this can only lead to a positive outcome.
Since I prefer to keep the mood light, though, there’s nothing better than heading over to our friends at Vladimir Putin Action Comics. After all, totalitarianism is much more enjoyable when you add in a side of beefcake and a sprinkle of strangulation.
Because while we congratulate the San Francisco Giants and crown them as World Champions of Baseball, your country remains in dire need of your attention, your intelligence, your action!
While I have long subscribed to the “when in doubt, go left” theory of politics, I realize that now — during a time when most people seem to be more angry, more cynical, more in doubt about any and everything than ever before — that such a theory may seem just as blind and just as stupid as the uninformed bible-bearin’ masses who inject fear and hate and intolerance into every single conversation.
But don’t be fooled.
The Tea Party might be the scariest thing on the planet since… since Sarah Palin came within six percentage points of being that proverbial heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world.
We just barely avoided that catastrophe. Let’s not get that close again.
So go out. Do your duty. Be that baseball and apple pie lovin’ US American…
Just see to it that ya do the right thing.
Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(second image via 9GAG)
Every year about this time a magical transformation takes place. Normally sane people go stark, raving mad as they cheer their favorites to the finish. The coolness in the air mirrors the coolness in neighbors’ stares as some new item of support gets unfurled in the yard. Promises get made only to be broken soon thereafter. And that’s just in the world of politics.
We are truly a blessed country because every fall we not only get the insanity of the baseball playoffs, we also get the truly mind-numbing inanity of the November elections. But this year is extra special because in addition to the antics of Democrats and Republicans, we also get the often unbelievable but usually entertaining shenanigans of the Tea Party.
Over here at RSBS we’ve made a tradition of putting together our annual playoff preview and this year is no exception. But each edition needs a theme and this year, in honor of our Teabagger friends, the theme just kind of put itself out there. Let’s get to it.
Like the NL, green tea has pomp, circumstance and history. The Chinese have been drinking the stuff since Europeans were letting blood to cure sickness and avoiding baths in the belief that water would kill you. Although it may have never gone away in the Asian world, the green stuff has experienced quite a renaissance in the West with the discovery of all it’s anti-oxidant properties. Likewise, with the NL finally in the driver’s seat after winning home field advantage at the All-Star game, you have to think they’re feeling a little renaissance of their own is due. But renaissance in what flavor?
Starting in the east (naturally, since we are talking about tea), we have the two-time defending league champion Phillies, the Japanese green tea of our preview. It’s classic, you know it and you know you’re probably going to see it again. Not only that, it just makes sense. Seriously, how would your bento box taste without the tea accompaniment? It belongs.
Meanwhile, the Lipton green tea of the NL, Atlanta’s own Braves, somehow found a way to get Bobby Cox back into the playoffs. Sure, it may not have been your first choice but it will get the job done. However, it’s also only going to get you so far. More on that later.
In the heartland, the Reds find representation in the classic Gunpowder variety of green tea. No one is quite sure how the tea got its name, maybe because it’s rolled into little pellets, maybe because it expands explosively when it hits the water. But there’s one big problem here. The way you know the quality is from the size of the balls. Smaller balls, better quality. Dusty Baker and his team aren’t exactly known for their small balls. Do you remember that brawl with the Cardinals? The Reds, their balls are a little too big.
Finally, out west we find the Giants, the Moroccan mint tea of the baseball world. It tastes good, there’s a lot to like but something’s a little off. Maybe it’s not strong enough, maybe there’s too much sugar but for whatever reason, it’s only good in small doses. That’s probably all right, though, since all we’re going to get from the Giants is a small dose when they exit during the first round.
Black tea found a home in the west but purists still sniff at its lack of tradition. Sure, it may have more caffeine, it may keep you going but where’s the ceremony? Now the fans of black tea will argue that theirs is still a noble tradition and despite their blends and flavors and addition of milk, the tea is still central. You’re not going to have any luck sliding that argument by the tea dogmatists, though.
Since black tea is a western thing, we’ll start out west with the preview as well. That means we dive straight into a steaming cup of Irish breakfast tea, also known as the Texas Rangers. Nolan Ryan owns the team and you don’t get much more Irish than that. However, in the land of black tea, the English reign supreme. Sorry, Nolan. It just wasn’t meant to be.
This leads us to Minnesota where the Twins find themselves represented by….wait a minute! That’s not tea. That’s herbal tea! C’mon guys. I can steep dirt in water and call it tea but everyone is going to know it’s just mud. Herbal tea is nice when you have a cold but it’s not “tea.” Hm, I guess that’s kind of fitting since the Twins are a “playoff team” but aren’t really a playoff team. Or at least won’t be for very long.
From here we find ourselves back east again with two very different teams. We start with the Rays, the Massala Chai of the baseball world. There are a lot of flavors going on there, it’s new, it’s hip. And it definitely works for awhile. The question is, when the chips are down and you have to pick just one, do you go for the spicy stuff or something proven?
And what could be more proven than the English breakfast tea that is the Yankees. Personally, I don’t like the stuff but a lot of people do. Not only that, it’s strong and it gets the job done. Sure, the tradition may not go as far back as the NL but when you can throw around names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Yogi Berra, you got something going on.
So what happens next? Well, it’s pretty simple. We line them up and see who lasts the longest. I apologize to everyone who lives west of the Mississippi but when I read the leaves, their fortunes don’t look good. Texas, Minnesota, San Fran and Cincy all go down in the first round leaving us an east coast finale in both leagues. I’m sure this doesn’t bother the broadcasters who will be reading tea leaves of their own and I’m sure they’ll be even more happy when the Yankees and the Phillies emerge to once again do battle in the World Series.
So, it comes down to this. Japanese green tea vs. English breakfast tea. The fact of the matter is, anyplace else in the world the green tea wins hands down. But this is America and the Anglo-Saxons decided to let all their chips ride on black a couple hundred years ago. Good thing they did because the Yankees win again.