Tagged: Venezuela

The Irony of Immigrants

Baseball, for the most part, takes place in the well-trodden hinterlands of the United States.  Sure, much of the talent may come from various islands off the coast of Florida but ultimately they make their way through towns like Lansing, Peoria and Lehigh in hopes of being called up to Cincinnati, Kansas City or Pittsburgh.  Being a baseball player often means getting an up close and personal lesson on US geography.

At the same time, many of these same fans who cheer for the Venezuelan or Dominican shortstop coming up with the team through the minors fail to see the irony in their universal distaste for immigrants and immigration.  How do you think your Mexican pitching ace got here in the first place, shitforbrains?  Sometimes it’s not so surprising when you consider the fanbase:

While these baseball migrants experience US geography firsthand and slowly learn more about their adopted country, many Americans willingly refuse to learn anything about the world around them.  This is never more apparent than during the Olympic games.

The opening ceremony is a case in point with people scrambling for their atlases as soon as Albania and Algeria march in.  It’s a little more disconcerting when even major US news sources can’t figure out the differences between the countries.

Luckily, though, the swimming, gymnastics and running are almost complete so there’s only one more week until we can go back to ignoring the world.  Even more importantly, we can get back to fighting the menace of immigration.  Well, unless it means picking up your new Japanese pitcher.  Seriously, Texas, how do you think Yu Darvish got there?

-A

Bottom of the Ninth in Venezuela

We have good news and bad news over here at RSBS.  The good news is that the people of Venezuela could soon see themselves with an actual government instead of a cult of personality.  The bad news is, RSBS could soon have to find a new baseball loving world leader it can make fun of.  Sure, Fidel is still out there but he’s more of a hermit than a leader these days.  And other baseball-crazy countries seem to have more pressing issues to attend to which means less time to turn their countries into Bolivarian Republics or anything along those lines.  No, I’m afraid that when Hugo goes, the crazy goes with him.

So, RSBS is putting out the call.  Help us find a new world leader (or at least some sort of opinion-maker) who loves baseball but is just a little loose in the cranial wiring.  My first thought was Mitt Romney but since he might possibly be a unicorn, I don’t know as though he’s a viable option.  Hillary Clinton seemed good, too, but it’s hard to play nice with someone who claims to be both a Yankees and Cubs fan.  Granted, that’s still better than Bill Richardson’s claim to simultaneous Red Sox and Yankees fandom.

It might just be that we’ve hit a cold streak.  World leaders love soccer and whatever sport their national team is good at.  Baseball?  It’s just too much of a niche.  But hey, there’s always Japan!

-A

Subsidizing Beauty

It has been quite a while since we last checked in with our friends in the baseball crazy nation of Venezuela and during that time, things have gone from bad to worse.  Obviously the bad could only be Venezuelan superhero Mr. Ozzie Guillen and his self-confessed love of Fidel Castro.  We expect that sort of thing from El Presidente Chavez but Ozzie?

Even worse, though, is what’s happening to prices and stocks of essential goods over there.  The point of this article is that the government has been forced to subsidize beauty supplies which is understandable in a country with so many beauty queens.  But what I found more interesting is this sentence: “Premium toilet paper…is expected to slowly disappear from the shelves.”

I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever spent time in a country like Venezuela, you know that premium toilet paper is more than a luxury.  It’s a necessity.  Its slow disappearance from the shelves also means the gradual disappearance of your colon.

Speaking of colons and Colons, what happens to Venezuelan baseball players under the Venezuelan subsidy regime?  Is there a clause in there to underwrite cowhide for baseballs, leather for gloves and maple for bats?  Let’s be honest, after beauty queens, Venezuela’s only real cash crop is baseball stars.  Unfortunately the article doesn’t address this topic but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

-A

Motorcycles, Crowns and Rescues

It has been an up and down kind of week.  The Lions got smacked by the Bears on Sunday but then Verlander goes out and gets a unanimous Cy Young award win.  Wilson Ramos got himself kidnapped in Venezuela but then he went and got himself rescued as well.  Like I said, it has been up and down.

Luckily, during the down times, there’s always one place I can go to feel better: the highway.

Seriously, could anything make you feel better than the Russian motorcycle sidecar band?

Actually, there probably is one thing.  Winning a prize from Crown Royal by proving that you’re RSBS‘ biggest fan.  We’re still waiting for more of those pictures so get out there and show us your RSBS spirit!

-A

Three Up, Three Down: 11.11.11 Edition

Just like the unfounded superstitions of the delusional masses, this is gonna be LOUD, in your face and probably a bit offensive:

Wilson Ramos Kidnapped

I know Venezuela has a vast array of domestic problems, but why kidnap Wilson Ramos?!?!  While he may some day become a catching superstar for the Nationals, he only made the league minimum in his 2011 rookie season, and I can think of 18 million reasons why Carlos Zambrano would have made a better target.

Rick Perry Is a Moron

In case the whole let’s waste taxpayer money and time by devoting an entire day to praying that “God” will fix our country’s financial woes rather than taking any responsibility or doing any actual work to make things better strategy didn’t prove that presidential hopeful Rick Perry is a mindless delusionoid, then perhaps this republican debate gaffe will make it clear:


MLB & Taiwan All-Stars

Hooray!  There was baseball in November… even if no one outside of Taipei paid any attention to it.  I heard there were some exciting moments, but none could be considered as entertaining as my favorite Chinese baseball experience:

Happy Friday!

Jeff

An International Incident

galarraga_donald.jpgA friend of mine came into town from Venezuela a week ago and she came bearing gifts.  The first thing she handed me was a thoughtful yet dangerous history of the American cocktail.  So many recipes, so little time.  Next up was what is surprisingly my first Scrabble set. 

But the final item, although the smallest, was really what got me excited.  It’s a calendar handed out by the US embassy in Caracas where each month features a different Venezuelan major leaguer.  Of course there was the requisite Johan Santana and K-Rod but when I reached November and Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat, that was when I realized just how great of a gift it was.

I didn’t realize how amazing it was, though, until I turned the final page to an unknown pitcher for the Tigers.  Well, unknown at the time.  In the last couple days I think the entire country, even someone who has never watched a baseball game in their life, now knows who Armando Galarraga is.

And with all the events of the last couple days, I got to thinking.  Despite MLB’s reliance on Venezuelan superstar players, relations
between the two countries are not exactly warm.  Was it possible that Joyce’s blown call at first base was actually a conspiracy?  Was this a subtle thumbing of the nose toward the often belligerent president of Venezuela?  And if so, why, two days later, has Mr. Chavez still not weighed in on the subject?

We don’t have answers to these questions but with the weekend approaching and another edition of El Presidente’s weekly diatribe, “Alo Presidente”, set to hit the airwaves, you can be sure he’ll have something to say.  And as always, we here at RSBS will make sure to keep you updated on all the events.  Well, unless we get sucked into that first gift.  Who knew you could do so much with whiskey, sugar and a lemon?

-A

Special thanks to L for the calendar and all the other gifts.  Be safe down there.

Oh Sure, This Will End Well

ahmadinejad and chavez.jpg

“We feel at home
here and among our brothers … we’re going to be together until the
end,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his Venezuelan
counterpart Hugo Chavez during a visit to Latin America on Wednesday.

Both leaders roundly denounced US “imperialism,” and Chavez also called Israel “a murderous arm of the Yankee empire.”

The Jerusalem Post

Was anyone else consumed by the heebie-jeebies while reading that little clip?  Okay, good.  Glad it’s not just me.

This odd world political pairing is akin to Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger teaming up on a spooky Friday night while unsuspecting horny high school kids party in a remote campground nearby.

In other words, it’s gonna get messy.

And here I thought the only ‘murderous arm of the Yankee empire’ belonged to a big portly fella by the name of Sabathia, backed by a pair of oversized pinstriped pants for an oversized caboose insured for around $161 million.

Yes, dear readers, I think it is safe to say that Ahmadinejad and Chavez are secret members of the Red Sox Nation.

Hate me ‘cuz I expose the truth, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff