After a smoking start to the second half, the Tigers have seen their fortunes wane. Ok, they’ve sucked. Sure, they’re only a couple games behind the White Sox but when you’re playing in a division as bad as the AL Central, that’s not really saying a whole lot. Detroit could still make the playoffs and even if they don’t, it’s probably still safe to say that they’re the best team in the Central. That being said, Detroit has become known for quite a few things as of late but they don’t tend to be baseball related.
If the Tigers do make the postseason, you may find yourself in the position of visiting Windsor’s American cousin sometime this fall. And although Detroit does have a few well-known monuments like the giant tire and the River Rouge plant, it’s easy to find yourself wondering where you are. Since we here at RSBS would hate for you to be unaware of where you are, today we provide you with guide to identifying that you have arrived to Detroit.
Well, not yet. But if Mark Siwak gets his way, Detroit may soon be known for its roaming zombie hoards. This isn’t all bad as the plan could provide a boost to the city’s GDP. It could also increase the city’s DNA with all those body parts strewn about.
The most successful cities develop clusters that support and develop the culture and economy of an urban area. London and New York are known for their clusters of financial whizzes while the area around San Francisco has developed a reputation for tech know-how and venture capital. Detroit? Well, it has clusters, too. Clusters of feral dogs. Chances are that if you are attacked by a pack of wild dogs in a major US city, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re in Detroit.
Despite everything else, Detroit has become somewhat unrecognizable as of late due to the arrival of something more foreign than zombies or wild dogs. Hope. The auto industry received a bail-out just when it seemed that Detroit’s last economic life-line was being cut. The University of Michigan not only had a winning football season but also managed to beat Ohio State for the first time in seven years. And the Detroit Lions, the holders of the only 0-16 record in NFL history, actually made the playoffs last year. That’s even more hope-y and change-y than Barack Obama.
Hopefully we’ll see you in Detroit this fall for some postseason baseball. If so, you’ll now be able to come prepared to identify where you are.
We’ve been warning our readers about the impending zombie apocalypse for a while now. In fact, we even went so far as to make some suggestions on how to prepare. Well, it turns out it’s a good thing we did so because on the zombie apocalypse clock, we’re about a millisecond from midnight.
The signs have been there for several years but it took some crackerjack sleuthing by the RSBS interns to sift through all the grisly stories and distill out the horrible truth. If you go back nine years ago, to 2003, you find the infamous case of the man who decapitated himself while trying to flee an arrest (link contains graphic photos). Or is that what happened? As we all know, you have to decapitate a zombie to kill it so maybe the “fleeing arrest” story was just a coverup to keep people from freaking out about zombies.
However, even if you dismiss the man on the fence, the events of the past couple weeks should assure you that the apocalypse is upon us. First, in late May, Canadian police began to find blood-soaked packages in the mail containing human body parts. You know who else likes to dismember people? Zombies.
A couple days later we heard about the Maryland college student who not only killed a man who had been living with his family but also ate his heart and brain. Ate his brain?!? There’s only one other being I know of that likes to eat brains. Zombies.
And if that isn’t enough to convince you, how about the man conveniently known as the “Miami zombie” who was shot while trying to eat a homeless man’s face? I can only think of one reason to eat someone’s face and that’s because it’s the easiest way to get to their brain. I’m pretty sure there’s another group that instinctively knows the quickest way from point A to point B (as in brain), is a straight line. Mathematicians. And zombies.
Now, just in case you think I haven’t done enough to prove that the apocalypse, zombie or other, is upon us, think about this. Currently the Orioles and White Sox are leading their respective divisions and the Pirates are in second. Yeah, kind of makes you want to stock up on bottled water and sawed-off shotguns, doesn’t it?
Dontrelle Willis AND Chien-Ming Wang pitching this weekend? Why not Mark Prior and Pedro Martinez too?
This has been a strange week, Jake. After six months of slugging it out in Libya, Tripoli fell within just a couple days. Presidential candidates continue to eat corndogs apparently not realizing how that picture is going to turn out later. Even the earth experienced a state of upheaval as the east coast barely made it through the great quake of 2011. So why not Dontrelle Willis and Chien-Ming Wang? Why not Prior and Wood dosey-doeing at Wrigley? Heck, why not zombie Mark Fidrych going pitch-for-pitch with bionic Jim Bunning newly hyped up on dead baby power shakes?
I know what you’re thinking right now. And no, I don’t have any “proof” that a zombie can get past his love of brains in order to pitch a baseball. But I do know that a week that sees Washington DC get hit by both an earthquake and a hurricane is a week in which anything is possible.
My suggestion is that instead of focusing on zombies, baby shakes and improbable pitching returns, we turn our attention to the more important things in life. Like, what’s up with the human-kangaroo hybrids currently drenching unsuspecting pedestrians?
**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Want to know what Mr. Lung was doing the day the east coast started shaking? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting below.
When Jeff and I discuss our views on the past, present and future of baseball, we often disagree but rarely allow the dissent to become mean-spirited. Sure, there may be the occasional ad hominem attack comparing the other person to Neville Chamberlain but it’s all in good fun. Baseball, like most aspects of life, evolves over time and as choices get made, we see how those choices affect the game and debate the effects.
What happens when your debate can never be settled, though? For instance, what happens when the the debate itself is grounded in faith and a belief that things work one way or another in the afterlife? I’m not talking about zombies here, because we (and others) have already made preparations for that. If and when the zombie apocalypse comes, the fact of whether or not we were ready will be easily observable.
Instead, I’m talking once again about religion and what happens when someone challenges the orthodoxy. For Galileo, it meant facing the Inquisition. For Martin Luther, it meant excommunication. For Rob Bell, no one knows as of yet. That doesn’t mean the religious establishment hasn’t automatically turned their guns on him, though.
For me, the argument is moot since I don’t believe in god. But the fact that Mr. Bell has decided to address the sticky question of what happens to those who don’t believe in the christian god but also never heard about him, exhibits a little less disingenuous thought than one commonly expects from the hardcore evangelicals. It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.
Too often we ignore tough questions and refuse to speculate on the “what ifs” we confront as a baseball loving community. You could make a strong case that this happened with the steroid scandal and it is inevitable that baseball will face other equally difficult problems in the future. Luckily, RSBS refuses to sit back and rest on our laurels. We will continue to push for consideration of all the too real issues facing the baseball community.
For instance, isn’t it time that we think about what would happen to baseball if the zombie apocalypse broke out? On a geo-political level, Daniel Drezner already addressed the topic and presented several different paradigms. Today, RSBS takes a look at possible MLB specific scenarios.
The Danny Boyle
As players continue to experiment with various PED’s and try to avoid detection by using previously unknown substances, we face a very real possibility of infection à la 28 Days Later. It doesn’t help our chances that baseball players are already genetic freaks with practically superhuman strength, speed and dexterity. In this scenario we have two avenues of salvation. First, we can hope that security reacts quickly and shuts down the stadium so the zombie baseball players don’t escape. Yes, this probably means several thousand dead fans before the problem can be, uh, eradicated but it’s a small price to pay to avoid the annihilation of all mankind. The second possibility is that zombification will affect the players’ brains to the point that they can be taken down easily with available weaponry like bats, t-shirt cannons and plastic knives.
The George Romero
The second scenario is a more classic zombie approach. If an infected fan were to enter the ballpark, the tight spaces, confined exits and various nooks and crannies present a zombie wonderland. Or house of horrors depending on whether you’re playing for the undead or Team Humanity. In this we’re once again lucky to have access to a veritable arsenal of zombie killing treasures and, as long as they remain uninfected, the services of trained head smashing machines like Jose Offerman. Let’s just hope it doesn’t start at Citizen’s Bank Park because Chase Utley’s batting average suggests he’ll be hitting more air than zombie heads.
Our final scenario draws on contemporary inspiration like Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. Zombies are generally seen as terror-inducing eaters of brains. But recent popular culture reinterpretations have shown us that it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. For instance, what if a zombie A-Rod stumbled across the mound while Dallas Braden was pitching? Or what if Manny Ramirez became a reanimated corpse? It might even lead to the new catchphrase, “That’s just Manny being a zombie.” Which would be funny because it was true. Sure, we’d have to keep an eye on the epidemic and make sure it didn’t spread. This might even lead to protests against the segregation of zombie baseball players in separate dressing rooms. But I think we can all agree that the comedic potential is definitely there.
Over here at RSBS we’re still hoping that the zombie apocalypse stays firmly rooted in the world of film and fiction. In our opinion, Woody Harrelson and Mr. Darcy are much more suited to zombie fighting than we are. But if the day of reckoning does come, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you were prepared. No, don’t thank us. It’s our job.