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?
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!
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.
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!
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:
A 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?
Special thanks to L for the calendar and all the other gifts. Be safe down there.
“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.”
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.
From the beginning, RSBS has been about both baseball and politics. But, it’s easy to lose track of the politics when the baseball plays out like it did this year. Also, the politics have been sucking. I mean, something needs to happen with health care but I’m sick of talking about it and even more sick of hearing about it.
Luckily, whenever I hit a point where American politics isn’t doing it for me, all I need to do is look south. No, a bit further south. No, not Guatemala. Keep going. Ok, there it is. Venezuela and it’s coffee-swilling chuckle-head of a president. So, what’s happening in the mind of el presidente today?
Hm, a little baseball over in that corner of the brain which makes sense. I mean, he is Venezuelan. Yep, definitely a little crazy over in that corner which makes sense since he’s from the same country as Ozzie Guillen. But those are just sideshows. If you really want to know what’s going on just step into the three-ring circus of Hugo’s anti-American paranoia. It’s a non-stop riot of fire-breathing, wild animal taming and tiny cars full of clowns. And this time it’s all about the war the US is apparently trying to launch against Venezuela from Colombia.
Here’s the thing, Hugo. Even if we wanted to start that war (which we don’t because, let’s face it, no one really cares about Venezuela), we don’t have the resources to do so. Cutting off ties with Colombia over this makes about as much sense as the proverbial cutting off of the nose to spite the face. Really Hugo, you need to sit back and take a lesson from someone who understands putting aside differences so we can get along. Deuce Poppi, take it away:
Happy Monday, y’all.
With the disputed elections in Iran this past weekend following hot on the heels of Kim Jong Il’s announcement that his third son will take over the reins of a dysfunctional but nuclear-armed North Korea, we here at RSBS started to wonder who would take the crown as king of the crazies if we actually did the research. Luckily, the interns had nothing better to do while Jeff and I watched some interleague tom-foolery and they came up with this objective and quantitatively analysed list. So, without further ado, we present the results of the very first RSBS “Demented yet Debonair” contest.
If at first you
don’t succeed, nationalize! Now, I’m aware that this could also be
America’s motto right now but Hugo has been doing it for so many years
now that he’s an old pro. On top of that, rumor has it that after the
recent introduction of Coke Zero to the country of Venezuela, President
Chavez promptly banned it on vague charges of healthiness. This coming
from a man who drinks enough coffee in one day to single-handedly
support Juan Valdez’s retirement. El Presidente, we salute you.
1st Runner Up:
just the snazzy gray suit worn without a tie or the oft repeated urge to wipe
Israel off the map. No, Mahmoud has that little something extra that
makes you think he’s capable of so much more. Maybe it’s the malevolent
twinkle in his eye. Maybe it’s his ability to go from zero to rabid
anti-Semite in 4 seconds flat. Or maybe it’s how he flummoxed all the
pundits and wiped out the opposition in this past weekend’s elections.
Whatever it is, the Iranian president will always be a contender.
Kim Jong Il
In a region where political longevity is often measured in fractions of years, the Kim family has managed to hold onto power for several decades now. How do they do it? Well, let’s just say that it has nothing to do with extra doses of the warm fuzzies. And Kim Jong Il’s announcement that his son, Kim Jong Un, will take over upon his demise combined with new nuclear sabre-rattling just kind of makes observers scratch their heads and wonder what is going on. However, knowing that Mr. Kim is a huge movie buff, I bet the picture all looked much clearer and much better in his head.
Sadly, despite all the craziness in the world today, there can only be one winner of this year’s “Demented yet Debonair” contest. And I don’t think any of our readers will be surprised to see….
Yep, although Commissioner Selig hasn’t done anything too wild recently, he still has done quite a bit to earn this honor. There was the infamous tied All-Star game and his non-action during the steroid era. He also bears a lot of the blame for the out of control inflation within baseball that has driven many fans out of the park and left it open only to corporate bigwigs and smarmy lawyers. But more importantly, Bud Selig created Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds and that’s unforgivable. Granted, he may not be looking to blow up the world or start the Bolivarian revolution but he has besmirched the good name of baseball. That’s not something we look lightly on here at RSBS. I suppose that if he sent Erin Andrews to come and convince us otherwise, though, at least half of us would listen.
–Thanks to L for the Coke Zero story
There is no Irish in baseball. Well, unless you include Jeff Samardzija, formerly of the Fightin’ Irish from Notre Dame. But today is a good day so I don’t want to talk about that. No, today is a day when we celebrate the completely fabricated story of St. Patrick ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes. However, apparently there are snakes aplenty within the comfy confines of the World Baseball Classic.
Much attention has been focused over the past few days on the Venezuelan fans booing of Magglio Ordonez. Now, when you seem to have become the lapdog of old friend of RSBS, Hugo Chavez and you are playing in front of a bunch of people who left Venezuela because of Hugo Chavez, well, it makes sense that something has to give. And so far that something has been any residual love for Maggs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about booing hated players. My brothers have made a sport of riling opposing outfielders from the cheap seats in left field and I’ve been known to throw a few choice words the way of batters during tight softball games. But the thing those people have in common is that they play for the opposing team. When you have become a pariah to even your own fans, it might be time to rethink your actions.
I’ll admit, I hated Maggs, too, but only when he was on the White Sox. Once he joined the Tigers and especially after that killer blast against the A’s that sent the Tigers to the 2006 World Series, he could do no wrong. But supporting the man who has managed to turn his capital city into the murder capital of the world? That might not have been the best choice.
Against Puerto Rico, some of the hatred seemed to subside and in a tight game, the Venezuelan fans were cheering every hit their team could muster. But pity the man if he pulls a Buckner or manages to strike out at an inopportune moment. Maggs, you’re on notice.