The names were different, yes, but the destruction was equally devastating. Maybe even more.
I’m talking about the EPIC FAIL that was the 2012 NLCS, compared to the one that first stopped by heart 16 years ago. Yes, in 1996 it was Todd Stottlemyre in the role of Lance Lynn, with Andy Benes as Chris Carpenter and Donavon Osborne as Kyle “I Ain’t A Big Game Pitcher” Lohse.
It was Ozzie’s last year, Tony’s first and the first time back to the World Series since 1987 and the uncomfortable early 90’s era Redbirds… or so I thought.
Up three games to one in the best of seven series against the Atlanta Braves, the jockstraps came off a team that simply couldn’t score any runs; and instead of spending the last days of October in complete ecstasy, the 17-year old me stayed locked away in a dark closet, reading Nietzsche by a flashlight, ultimately coming back to the same redundant question: WHAT… IS… THE POINT?
I still don’t know. What is the point? Why get so worked up over something so silly? I wish I knew. And, for RSBS‘ sake, I sure hope Mr. Krause doesn’t have to find out. Not this year. So yeah, um… go Tigers.
Also, Marco Scutaro is my Toby Flenderson.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Do you believe in the A’s?
Do I believe in the A’s? Do I believe that a team called the A’s plays in Oakland, CA? Yes, I believe that. Do I believe that despite a limited budget and a small market, a team called the A’s not only contended in the early 2000’s but also outperformed most of the American League? Yes, I believe that, too. Do I believe that the 2012 Oakland Athletics, a team currently in 3rd place in its division behind a much improved Angels franchise and a Rangers club that when hitting on all cylinders can torch the rest of baseball, will make the playoffs? Unfortunately I’m going to have go another direction with that one, Rick.
No, in that case I don’t believe in the A’s.
Let’s look at the facts. The A’s pitching staff is 4th overall in ERA, 5th in WHIP and 5th in opponent batting average. Those are all pretty good. But, to win baseball games, you also have to score runs. On that side, the A’s are 28th in runs, 27th in on-base percentage and 25th in slugging. Pitching may win you championships but if you can’t back up that pitching, you’re never going to make it to the championship. Add in that half of the rest of the A’s schedule is made up of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the Rangers and the Tigers, well, that doesn’t bode so well. Even the easier part of the schedule involves the Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox. About the only break the A’s get are series against the Mariners, Twins and Royals. That’s not exactly promising.
I like the A’s. I always have. One of the fondest memories of my childhood was seeing the Tony LaRussa managed A’s at Tiger stadium. But this team is light years away from being at the same level as the team that featured Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Dennis Eckersley.
So, do I believe in the A’s? I guess on that one, you’d have to consider me an atheist. If they keep winning games, though, check back in and maybe I’ll have gone agnostic.
Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.
This has been a traumatic offseason for my good friend Mr. Lung. Not only did Tony LaRussa follow his World Series victory with the news that he was retiring from the team, this same TLR has now shown up in the Detroit Tigers’ camp to assist during spring training. But of course that all pales in comparison to Pujols’ treason. Not to mix too many metaphors but Pujols’ betrayal for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver has left Jeff muttering “Et tu, Albert?”
But there’s good news! It turns out that scientists may soon be able to help Jeff erase those memories (It’s a long article but worth reading) and return to the halcyon days of his 2011 post-Series ecstasy. If that doesn’t work, we can always hope that maybe Albert pulled a Fausto Carmona and won’t be able to perform in an Angels’ jersey. I mean, it could be worse. He could have gone to the Cubs, right? I don’t know if there’s any pill that could have helped with that.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
Jeff tries his darnedest to be as polite as possible during his unfettered gloating of World Championship status (Go Cards!) while Second City’s Mark Piebenga adds some level-headed awesomeness to Johanna’s outlandishness and Allen’s seasoned straight man routine. Among the topics of discussion are “the greatest game ever”, the woes of rebranding an already twice championed franchise (talkin’ to you, Marlins), Theo Fever in the Chi, b!tch t!ts and much, much more!
Now grab some Crown Royal and enjoy yo’ self!
– – –
Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
– – –
Recorded Saturday, November 12, 2011
The afterglow of knowing your team is champion of the baseball world is a pretty damn cool thing. I have been walking around the last few days in a sort of “Happy Flight” daze. I’ve been smiling more. I feel fantastic. But yesterday morning, reality hit me: there won’t be any more baseball for a looooooooong time.
And then the text messages started coming.
Did you hear?
OMG Tony is hangin’ em up.
Are you okay? I just heard about TLR.
When Tony LaRussa took over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996, I was just an awkward, acne-plagued high schooler who nerded out on keeping score at baseball games. Now, 16 years later, I’m an awkward, 32 year-old professional who nerds out on keeping score at baseball games.
Not much has changed, yet much has changed.
In the early 90s, the Cardinals weren’t very good. But from the minute the announcement was made that he would be the new St. Louis skipper, I immediately had a new found sense of… hope. It was innate. It was from within. I don’t know why, but I just knew: our team was going to be good.
And we were! From 1996 to the present, there hasn’t been one year where I didn’t think the Cardinals had a legitimate shot at the postseason. Sure, some years were better than others, but with Tony at the helm, I have always had a sort of calm about the team.
That’s not to say he hasn’t made me scratch my head. But I soon learned to stop questioning his umteenth pitching change. His post-game explanation always made sense. Our pitcher is hitting in the eight hole? Of course he is. Bringing in the closer in the 5th inning? Exactly what I would do. In fact, I learned very early on that if I was going to keep score during a TLR managed game, then I was going to have to a) write small b) write small and c) WRITE SMALL.
Still, I am going to miss Tony LaRussa. A lot. Just thinking about someone else being in the dugout with his job gives me the creeps. My happy place is Tony giving the sign to Yadi. Yadi fires down to first. Albert makes the tag on the runner. And right now, in light of TLR’s announcement and the ongoing question of whether or not Albert will be back in St. Louis next year, my happy place suddenly finds itself under baseball siege.
But, like everything else in life, I will just have to deal with that shizz when it comes. In the meantime, I sure hope Tony doesn’t consider becoming an actor. I have been suffering through the Ray Vinson commercials long enough.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m gettin’ misty eyed, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Muammar Gaddafi died an ignoble death yesterday afternoon at the hands of people he violently repressed for 42 years. However the storyline in the immediate aftermath was not so much his death but that he had been captured and shown still alive before being reported dead a little while later. “What brutality,” cried the pundits while wringing their hands. “He was a horrible, awful man but he deserved to be tried by a jury of his peers before a sentence was passed.”
To this I respond with the words of my good friend Mr. Lung and ask, “What would Tony LaRussa do?” No, seriously, what would Tony LaRussa do? If his team is up by five runs in the 7th with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs, is he going to be happy if they don’t score? Of course not. He’s going to go for the jugular. When you let up, you give the other team a chance to get back in the game. You give them hope. I’m no political scientist but knowing that there were still Gaddafi loyalists in Libya, it seems to me that keeping him alive only gave them something to rally around. It’s like your pitcher putting two people on and then coming back to get three straight strikeouts. You start to think there might still be a chance.
So, the Libyan people did what they had to do. They drove in those runners and then they scored a couple more when they got rid of Gaddafi’s sons and closest advisors. No lead is insurmountable, especially in baseball which has no time limit. But if you go up 20-0 on the other team, it’s going to be pretty hard for them to come back. Libya went up 20-0 over the memory of Gaddafi yesterday. I’m pretty sure Tony LaRussa would have done the same thing.
I’m a Cotton-Headed Ninnymuggins
Things are changing for me. Before I know it I’ll be wearing jeans and reading fiction. I don’t know where I am. My favorite color is rainbow. I’m giving in to wearing sandals over socks. I don’t need the therapy! I’m just mentally ill!
Tony Effing LaRussa is back in my world and I CAN’T STAND IT. He’s a throbbing, raging, @$$bag that I wish would go away but he won’t. And you can’t kill him. If you try, he just keeps coming back. And, with all my might, my baseball sensibilities consume me so much that I can’t not respect the man.
When I was a child I would squint and mistake him for Thundercats supervillain Mumm-Ra (Magician or sexual deviant?). I wanted to lightsaber him over and over BECAUSE I AM A JEDI! His steroid riddled teams have infuriated me to no end. I loved the Dodgers and Orel in the 80s, the Giants and their earthquake, my Cubs of the last decade. I’ve always respected the man and his managing abilities; but he really has outdone himself this year. WOW.
When the Cardinals beat the Tigers in their last World Series appearance with no pitching, that was quite a thing. What’s happening now is nothing short of spectacular managing. My Jeffy’s Cards are the hottest team in baseball and I will once again be rooting against Texas. Watching this series will be like being touched by a priest…
Follow Johanna on Twitter!