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.
Yes, dear readers, I know that we still have at least 15 more months before Mayan legend is set to destroy the universe, but I’m afraid ruination and chaos might already be here, making 2012 moot.
Don’t believe me?
O’Donnell strategy: time’s limited;use it 2 connect w/local voters whom
you’ll be serving vs appeasing nat’l media seeking ur destruction
Yes, Christine! Seeking… your… destruction! Bwahhhhhhhhhh! Me want freedom to touch myself! Me want witchcraft-free Delaware! Me want answer to Teabagging claim of fiscal responsibility despite inability to pay back your college loans! Bwahhhhhh! How dare we demand such clarity! Bwahhhhhh!
Gotta be a sign of the apocalypse.
If not that, then how about the colossal union of two universally disliked MLB wormbags? That’s right, folks. Jayson Werth (and his beard) have teamed up with Scott Boras to form the sort of free agent chimera that will have everyone talking more zeroes ad nauseum this winter. Look, I get it. Dude wants to get paid. No problem with that. But for someone whom the public has already deemed a megafortified jerk, it seems like hiring the sleaziest of the bunch to fetch that money might not have been the best public relations move. Oh, and it also means he won’t be an Angel next season.
The Angels handcuffed into quelling big time free-agent magic? Gotta be a sign of the apocalypse.
Of course, nothing can predict the end of the world is near better than our US American justice system playing host to a caffeine insanity defense, in a murder trial! Sorry, your honor. Two Jolt colas and a bottle of Ride-the-Snake diet pills and I just couldn’t STOP MYSELF FROM MURDERING MY ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD!
It is no secret that I am a caffeine addled man myself. But I would never use that as an excuse to kill someone. Insult my going-nowhere Redbirds and maybe we can talk creative defense strategies, but to blame it on caffeine?
There’s no other explanation, folks. It’s gotta be another sign.
So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz time’s runnin’ out. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Okay, which race do you think is the most exciting? The NL West or the open senatorial seat in Delaware?
Burr Ridge, IL
Exciting isn’t the word I’d use here, Mitch. The fact that the NL West is still so wide open merely reflects the drama inherent in baseball. And of course the Rockies are right in the middle of it. Do you remember their run to the World Series back in 2007? That one game playoff with the Padres? The NL West is all drama and it often involves the Rockies.
The Delaware race, on the other hand, is just frightening. How is it possible that a person like Christine O’Donnell finds herself in this position? Here’s the thing. When even a conservative stalwart like William Kristol thinks that you don’t belong, that doesn’t bode well for your bona fides.
Let’s look at the facts. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. She thinks masturbation is adultery. This is bad news for the 99% of men who partake in a little self love as well as the remaining 1% who simply lie about it. She dabbled in witchcraft. Witchcraft!
And as if that wasn’t enough, she only received her college degree this summer at the age of 40. This isn’t the story of woman who went back to get her diploma, though. No, the reason why she just got it now? She never got around to paying off her college tuition. This seems more than a little ironic from a Tea Party candidate who claims the mantle of “fiscal responsibility.”
The biggest difference between the NL West and Delaware, though, is that the baseball race is being fought by professionals but the political contest is straight up amateur hour. Why else would O’Donnell agree to go on a couple Sunday morning news shows and then pull out at the last minute? Look, I get it. She doesn’t want to pull a Palin and accidentally mention how she never reads a newspaper or that she can see Bermuda from her doorstep. But you’re running for the Senate! This is not a game. The laws passed in the Senate affect our lives for years.
So Mitch, I’ll be watching both races. And my money is on the heart-attack kids from Colorado. I just hope that any bets on the Delaware race are based on whether O’Donnell loses by more or less than twenty points.
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***Pics of Jeff’s secret make-out sessions with his Troy Tulowitzki bobble-head also welcome.
No longer exclusively tethered to the stage, the screen or the page, there is no doubt that life is full of drama — the sort that you weren’t ready for, the kind you embrace, even the type that makes you ill.
Nonuniform in appearance and uninterested in who or what it affects, drama can be as simple as that anxious feeling you get right before a big presentation or as complex as the collective mood among you and your fellow drivers during your morning commute.
Drama is everywhere. It infects everything. We love it. We hate it. We need it.
Take a look for yourself…
Ines Sainz and Her… Assets
Were members of the New York Jets out of line in their cat-calling towards Mexican reporter, Ines Sainz? Was Ms. Sainz perhaps inappropriately dressed for an NFL locker room? Is there more to this story that none of us knows about? Yes, yes, and yes? Probably… right? I dunno. Who cares? What is important is that a) we now know who Ines Sainz is and that she’s more than available via Google image search b) Jets fans have more to talk about than just how fat Rex Ryan is and c) I have another reason to post a B-side pic of someone not named Erin Andrews. Thank you, drama!
The AL East: Yankees – Rays Showdown
If this most recent series is any indication of what sort of playoff bliss we may be in for, well, paint me blue and call me “cubbie” ‘cuz I’m all in. Heart attacks galore, dear readers! From Sabathia v. Price, to Brignac bombs to Grandy’s catch to Jeter’s thespian act, this has been the most impressive, most entertaining, most dramatic regular season series between any two teams all season long! And, as a fan, I could care less about either club! Now that’s what I call drama!
Teabagging with Christine O’Donnell
If Joe Biden were dead he’d be rolling over in his grave. Heck, lots of people wish Karl Rove was dead (he’s not) and he’s already rolling over in his… er… wait. What I mean is this: Republican/Tea Party senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell from Delaware may seem like Sarah Palin 2.0, but that’s just because she’s good-looking, halfway likable and really dumb. Make no mistake: the Teabaggers are way more scary than their everyday conservative counterparts. Way more scary. For instance, O’Donnell once suggested to the MTV crowd that they refrain from masturbation. Uh… yeah. And judging from the fly hair and nails O’Donnell has in that circa 1996 video, I sure as hell hope she sees the irony in that. Anti-masturbation!?! Ha! Such a message EXPLODES with drama!!!
Hate me ‘cuz all the Teabaggers are doin’ it, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
Sometimes parties get out of hand. Like the White Sox Disco Demolition event. Who would have thought that destroying a bunch of old disco records would drive fans to rush the field? Well, probably the same people who remembered that 10 cent beers lead to rioting and craziness.
But this seems to be the type of partying that Americans enjoy and it’s not confined to baseball. For instance, how about we take a look at another contemporary party that seems to bring the crazies out from every nook and cranny. There may not be a cohesive platform or a lick of logic involved but they sure came up with a catchy name: The Tea Party.
Despite what you may have thought after the 2006 and 2008 elections, the American electorate has not magically come to its senses. In fact, it appears that its dabbling with facts and reason had the opposite effect as they stumble straight down the rabbit hole and into a land where up is down, right is left and having the middle name Hussein means that you are a secret Muslim preparing to turn the United States over to a bunch of terrorists. These days, it just ain’t a party unless it’s a Tea Party.
But how about we let the kind folks over at College Humor take a more in depth look at this soiree:
I guess we just have to hope that one pill makes you larger, one pill makes you smaller and one pill makes you realize that these people are insane.
As with ten-cent beer night and Disco Demolition, the scars will heal. The Tea Baggers, uh, I mean Tea Partiers will eventually wake up with a monster hangover and swear they’ll never do it again. Which obviously means that I’ll see you here in another few year when we do it all over again.