Tagged: Theo Epstein

A Christmas Wrap-Up (Part 2)

Continuing with the end-of-year holiday tradition here at RSBS, it’s time to separate myself from my imaginary girlfriend (NSFW) and ask the interns to lock my office door so I can get down to the meaty reflection of what was the RSBS year 2011.  Additionally, I must begin the sad, fiery purge of Albert Pujols memorabilia.  For those of you who went to public schools, you know that maintaining a fire within a small, confined room may cause ill-fated side effects, so before I start to look like Bert the chimney sweep, let me get to it…

First of all, no year would be a good year without you, the dear RSBS reader.  THANK YOU, for your readership.  THANK YOU for your emails, your tweets, your comments, Facebook shares and FingerTagging!  And THANK YOU for continuing to make writing about the baseball-politico world a treat for us every single day.

Like my riveting and oft rousing colleague, Mr. Krause, I too have been very impressed with our special correspondents.  For me, nothing says sweet Miggy-I-Love-You quite like Mark Piebenga’s His Game Is Like Waves.  It presented Miguel Cabrera in a new light — that of teacher, and, considering how much Mark has taught me about what life should be about, I continue to find its lesson fitting (and helpful!).

And though I often refer to Mr. Johanna Mahmud as “the man who introduced me to the glories of the Deftones” and “the guy who schooled me on the NBA and proved why I should be madly in love with Derek Rose”, I still have room to refer to him as “the guy who writes Setting the Mahmud“!  Dude puts the “tit” in titillating with every piece.  The last article he wrote was inspiring, if only because he found a way to get a naked Yu Darvish, an ugly sweater wearing Johnny Matt Damon and a crying Paula Deen all in one place; but, like Al, I have to admit that there’s real brilliance in his Theo-fied Arthurisms.  Still, I’m a sucker for equating dead people to the performances of Adam Dunn and Miguel Tejada.  Good work, good sir.

Meanwhile, no year-end applause would be complete without a nod to my longtime friend and confidant, Mr. Allen Krause.  Known for his cynical twists on the political establishment and undying love of all things Detroit Tigers, it has been a pleasure to write on his wing.  Sometimes he’s so “on” that he finds literary genius in imagery.  Indeed, that endearing Krausian wit is often highlighted by rational thought.  Sometimes it points out the un-fact-checked obvious, other times it gets serious, with a real call for responsibility.  And, just in case you think Mr. Krause’s Libertarian-bashing makes him a soulless, automated Obamatron, this reflective piece will convince you otherwise.

But when it comes to knockin’ ’em outta the interwebs park, I have to kowtow to the RSBS Presents series.  The brainchild of Mr. Krause, RSBS Presents has enlightened us on the finer points of fandom and how to stay classy while reminding us that, ultimately, positivity has upside during times of turmoil.  But the best of them all was learning how to score a Republican.  And here I thought it involved finding Jesus and quoting Alex P. Keaton.

Happy Christmas, Merry Hanukkah and long live King Kwanzaa!

Jeff

A Christmas Wrap-Up (Part 1)

Every December we like to take a look back at what happened during the year in RSBS.  And with Christmas upon us and the annual RSBS holiday break about to take place, it’s that time of year again.  Granted, there’s no way we could do this without all the hard work put in by the interns so I want to take this opportunity to personally thank them and ask them to keep up all the good work next year.

Now, before I get to the part you’re all waiting for, I want to take a moment to recognize a couple other people without whom this blog would be a much sadder place.  The regulars probably know him best from his appearances on the podcast but for me, his occasional pieces really put into words what I wish I could express.  In particular, this year I appreciated Mark Piebanga’s midseason post about Don Kelly.  For me, it crystallized who the Tigers were at that point in the season.

Similarly, the brilliant ranting and raving of Johanna Mahmud always bring a mid-week smile to my face.  Whether he’s once again lamenting the shortcomings of the Cubs via musical theatre allusions or cautiously hoping for change with the arrival of Theo Epstein, Jo hits the nail on the head as often as not in a way only he can.  However, the edition of Setting the Mahmud that really did it for me was his takedown of the Red Sox in the key of Arthur.  Nothing says b*tchslap quite like setting your role model loose on the AL underperformer of the year.

For the main event, though, I thought long and hard about the season my co-author had.  I watched with amusement his two-part Libertarian “coming out” as he confessed his love for the still-feisty Ron Paul.  I also applauded along with everyone else as Jeff completed his first marathon, and this from a guy who, two years ago,  was out of breath after running a block.

But the real marathon was the baseball season and if you don’t believe me, just go back through the record.  It started in April with Franklin’s blown saves and four months later, Jeff had all but given up on the Cards (and totally given up on the Rays).  Just a few short weeks later, though, his dreams came true while attending his first World Series game and a few days later, that dream reached its apex as the Cardinals won the World Series.  But as happy as he may have been in that moment, and all joking aside, I don’t think any of us could possibly understand how hard the Albert Pujols news hit him.  Baseball, just like that marathon, has its extreme highs and lows.  In 2011 we watched Jeff live them both.

-A

Don’t forget our awesome Oakley Blender sunglasses give-away, made possible by our friends at Crown Royal!  If you would like to win these sweet shades, all you gotta do is send us a picture showing why you are RSBS’ biggest fan.  Email it to us at RSBSblog@gmail.com.  The winner will be announced this Saturday, December 24th.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and bonafide LOLstro lover, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.”

There are three things I can never remember: the first is people’s names. The second is… is…

Anyway, I know I love me some hot stove! I’m making my yearly pantsless expedition to the wonderful world of MLB offseason rumors and conjecture! I’m even careening into mailboxes on my bike because of the madness!! I have puppies and chimps in my kitchen and we put on plays about how free agent negotiations “go down”. It’s like a Japanese game show. You never know who’s going to get eaten!

I put my head in the oven to inspire me during the season until hot stove time.. I NEED PLAYER MOVEMENT! Hot stove… FIRE FIRE FIRE!!!

So far Miami is the big mover/shaker, but who will be next?

For years they’ve employed unreal drafting strategies, worked on the cheap, biding their time while the super powers outspend each other. But now… THE SUM OF ALL FEARS.

Russia, China and America (Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs) have initiated the snap count for a Red Alert nuclear attack but ended up killing themselves fighting each other whilst brilliant strategery is quietly coming together in south Florida.  They have a new stadium, new digs, new manager, new closer and now Jojo Reyes. Will Reyes and Pujols share casserole recipes? REMEMBER: don’t share with Hanley! He’s already good on the whole putting on muscle mass thing.

But as much as the Marlins (and possibly the Cubs?) are pushing for Albert, I think he’s staying home in the Lou. By the way, I’d rather go toe to toe with a mountain lion mother protecting her cubs then go through another Aldopho Soriano situation if the Cubs sign Pujols for nine years and he looks like he’s 48 after just two of them. And brother Jeffy will be singing this for days when that happens…

If my beloved Cubs can swing a reasonable deal for Prince Fielder though, I’m beyond down. I’ll do anything — shine shoes, wait tables, blow… glass.

But in the case that neither Senor Jeffy or I  get our wishes, you will probably read someday of an infamous double Groundhog Day beheading.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 30: Pat Matheny’s Anesthesioxity and Other Stuff (LIKE HIGHLIGHTS!)

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

The RSBS crew celebrates its 30th episode by taking a stroll down podcast memory lane, remembering things that busted our (and hopefully your) guts.  AIDS salad and Ron Santo’s memory get rehashed while new memories (like gay ponies v. horsicorns, an iguana named Dudley and how you can cure your foot problems) are created!  Jump on board the RSBS crazy train!  No stops til you question how you spend your free time!

Don’t forget to getcho Crown Royal and enjoy some happy time!

– – –

Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Follow Keith on on Twitter for all his movie magic updates and make sure to check out his crew and their hilariousness on the Undercast! podcast.

– – –

Recorded Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jumping Thanks

Admit it.  It may be Monday, but your mind is already on Thursday — Thanksgiving — the one day of the year where your sole responsibility is to eat yourself into a coma, sprawl out on the couch and watch football for 7 hours while catnapping as necessary.

You get all of that for the small price of being thankful.

And what do I have to be thankful for this year?

I’m thankful for the 2011 Cardinals.  For the second time in six years I’m bragging about being a champion.  And I got to be a part of it by going to the first two games.  HOT DANG!

I’m thankful that, as always, whenever the Cubs triumph (Theo) they also manage to fail (Zambrano).

I’m thankful that Rick Perry has disappointed, that Herman Cain has self-destructed and Sarah Palin has invisiblized.

I’m thankful that I think I can get away with making up words.

But most of all, I’m thankful that I’ve never been punched by Mike Tyson.


Happy Thanksgiving Week Monday!

Jeff

Pass the Crown! (Gift Unveiled Update — 11.17.2011)

The RSBSians have spoken!

And y’all told us to open that bag up.

So we did.

And here’s what we’ve won…

Oakley’s newest Blender shades are the perfect mix for active lifestyles. Lightweight C-5 alloy is combined with O-Matter earstems and sure-grip Unobtainium for unrivaled comfort and durability.  Slide these on with confidence whether enjoying your Crown Royal on the mountain or by the beach!

Whoa!  Hot dang!  They had me at Unobtainium!

The Pass the Crown gift exchange will go on until December 15th.  In that time, any one of the 17 remaining internet superstars can decide to steal our gift, in which case, we would get theirs, so stay tuned for any necessary updates.

Once our final prize is announced we will don one dear reader as the Ultimate RSBS Fan (must be 21 or older) and he/she will take home the goods!  Remember to email us a picture showing why you are the Ultimate RSBS Fan to RSBSblog@gmail.com.

Holla!

Jeff, Allen, Johanna & the Interns

Also, don’t forget: if you like the snazzy embroidery on the signature Crown Royal bag, make sure you check out how you can personalize your very own!  They make fantastic gifts.  In fact, RSBS is thinking of getting one for new Cubs President Theo Epstein that reads: Whiskey… for when watching the Cubs 162 times a year is your job.

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and podcast kidnapee, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“I speak over two thousand languages, including Dodo and Unicorn. I had a classical education.”

Can Theo talk to the animals? Does he speak two thousand languages? Can he communicate his agenda to the morbidly obtuse, dumb and crazy?

From horrible decisions of front offices past, to a psycho fanbase that values ivy over winning and bloated egos galore on an oddly constructed team, can Theo break on through to the other side of bad?

I imagine lunches with Carlos Zambrano can be strange. I hope they had a violinist play some Venezuelan music tableside. It may not have been quite as strange as going to temple with Hitler or eating Twinkies with Martha Stewart, but still quite ODD.

A manipulative, out of shape baby who goes on regular tirades is nothing short of potential disaster.  Big Z requested a sit-down and Epstein obliged.

Hmm… seems strange doesn’t it? The meeting went well and he’s going to give him a chance to pitch in 2012. I guess this means a trading partner couldn’t be found or perhaps Theo sees something no one else can.

“We said he’d have to work hard and that we aren’t welcoming him back unconditionally. We said he’d have to earn his way back.” (Link)

Damn straight. I hope you stick to that, Theo, and don’t be afraid to cut your losses at the first sign of the Carlos we all know. Don’t get me wrong. Z is as talented as any pitcher in the league, but that potential has never, I REPEAT NEVER been realized.

“Most of the details will stay confidential. But there are steps he needs to take to earn his way back. If he does so, we will see him in spring training and welcome him back.”

I WANT TO KNOW THOSE STEPS!!! But I’ll trust Theo on this.

For now.

If Z gets to come back and turns into the cataclysm we all know, then that will be a big strike one for me on Epstein. Own up to what you say and you will earn mad respect from this fan. Meanwhile, I’m suspending my disbelief that Zambrano will fail (again) at realizing his potential.

Don’t make me regret this, Theo. Or I’ll…

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!