What’s the best way for me to indulge my twin passions of drinking and anything baseball related before the season starts?
Thank you for putting the ball on the tee, Shaun!
Indeed, drinking and baseball go together like politicians and gibberish, and we here at RSBS are no exception. In fact, if it weren’t for this liberating combination of US American pastimes, there would be no Bleacher Bums, no Pirates fans (how could they survive?), no Miguel Cabrera.
So that is why we are proud to team up with Guinness, one of our favorite beers (Mr. Krause and I co-hosted a Guinness keg party in college, no joke) to set a record for the biggest St. Patrick’s Day party EVER!
The big day is getting closer and closer and we want YOU to be a part of it. Unlike an evening with Mr. Krause, the process is simple and non-invasive. All you have to do is follow THIS LINK, verify you’re 21 years of age or older, then click to “join the party”.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, in the “optional code” box, make sure to enter code “REDS“. For each participant using that code, the good folks at Guinness are going to donate $1 to our charity of choice, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and its Chicago chapter. That’s right. Your commitment to having a good (and responsible) time translates to more balls, bats, gloves and other baseball equipment for Chicago’s youth.
Now ain’t that a good thang!?!?
So if you haven’t done it yet, go do it! Then sit back, crack open a tall can of Guinness and smile knowing you did something good.
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Opening Day saw some pretty spectacular bullpen meltdowns. But what
does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the
bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Have
pitchers gotten soft?
*Breaks window, jumps from the second story, runs down the street screaming even though forgot pants*
Believe me, Mr. Jake, I am really trying to tackle this one without any bias, without any memory of Opening Day in the ‘Lou, without a mammoth-sized chip on my shoulder. But let’s be honest: in baseball, there isn’t much worse than watching your team dominate throughout a game, only to blow it all in the 9th when the win is on the line.
My Redbirds managed to do that on Opening Day. The Brewers did too (all credit goes to John Axford). The Mets ran into it last night with Jail-Rod’s shenanigans (Also, his unfettered desire to fight people proves that pitchers — at least this one — have not gotten “soft”… unless the pitcher’s name is Kyle Farnsworth). Hell, ask the 2010 Baltimore Orioles… they know all about losing games late considering they blew more games last year than Lil Kim did Bad Boys in the 90s.
But what does it say about the game that teams have become so reliant on the bullpen that relievers can pretty much make or break a season? Gee, I’m not sure it’s really come to that. The ’08 Cardinals were pretty awful, as I remember the bullpen yacking up over 25 games late… but, after giving it the old eye test, I’m not sure it’s really fair to say that the state of Major League bullpens is any different than it has been in years past. You either have a good one, a mediocre one, or a bad one.
And even when you have a bad one, that doesn’t necessarily spell gloom and doom for one’s team. 2009 Brad Lidge comes to mind; my pedestrian and oft frightened colleague, Mr. Krause probably could’ve done a better job on the hill than Lidge that season, but the Phillies still managed to grind their way to the World Series.
Unfortunately, these days, the role of a “closer” and “set-up man” and “7th inning guy” has been magnified because of money. The more money involved, the more pressure. The more pressure, the fewer who can actually deal with it.
In fact, for my money, there’s only one closer who is reliable every single day and that man’s name is Mariano Rivera. I think the Yankees could realistically state that their season might rely on Mo’s cutters; but then again, their set-up man saved 40+ last year. And, oh yeah, their all-star lineup doesn’t hurt either.
But for the other 29 teams, yeah, it could be a problem. But when your team is in flux — featuring an unsigned future Hall of Famer, a sidelined perennial Cy Young contender, and an All-Star outfielder absent because of an appendectomy — then you got more problems than you can actually stomach right now. The bullpen is just one of many.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
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Oh, you want me elaborate? Yes, Emily.
More than that? Man, you sure are demanding.
Here’s how I see it. The Yankees are good. I mean, really good. After being manhandled by the Red Sox the last couple years, Jeter and company owned them the second half of this season. With the lineup they have at the plate and a ridiculous cast of pitchers, the pennant is theirs to lose.
But lose it they will. Somehow they always find a way. Remember the bug game with Joba Chamberlain in Cleveland a couple years ago? Or how about that epic fail against the Tigers in 2006? There’s just something a little off about the Yankees. You can buy all the pieces but you can’t buy the chemistry that brings it together. It’s like owning a rebuilt Maserati, only it has been reassembled by Jeff.
Now Emily, I plan to address this whole question much more in depth later this week with the return of Allen’s Post-Partisan Playoff Preview. And who knows, I may even change my mind. But, at this point in time, let me just say once again, that yes, the Yankees will fail and once again A-Rod will fail to deliver in the postseason. You heard it here first.
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