R-Money and Self-Loathing Middle Class

My entire family votes Republican.  I am not kidding.  With the exception of me and my siblings, my entire extended family pretty much votes a straight ticket.  This makes sense for about half of them since that’s the military half of the family.  Republican administration=increased defense spending=job security.  But the other half are blue collar workers, many of whom saw their union jobs either shipped south of the Mason-Dixon line to right-to-work states or out of the country all-together.  Clinton may have been the one who signed NAFTA but the idea behind it, and the resulting job losses across the rust-belt, were all Republican initiatives.

The point is, it doesn’t make much sense for a paper-mill worker like my dad to be voting Republican.  I can kind of understand why a millionaire former baseball player like Curt Schilling now shills for the GOP.  Tax breaks and loopholes keep his nest-egg more ostrich-sized while the rest of us deal with our quail egg savings.  And if you think any part of the middle class will come out ahead under a Romney/Ryan administration, you need to pull your head out of the sand.

You know, this story could be told much more easily via pictures.  Let’s try that.

Serendipitous truth in advertising:

R-Money – rapper, Mormon, Republican candidate for President:

Now, why exactly is anyone from the middle class or any fiscal conservative planning to vote for this guy?  I guess I should just ask my family.  Chances are, they’ll be doing so.

-A

The Filibuster

What MLB team does the GOP most resemble?

Ryan G.
Mendon, IL

__________________________

You can draw a lot of different analogies between baseball and politics and you can draw even more between baseball and the Republican party.  A bunch of rich white guys with a sense of entitlement and maybe a token minority or two thrown in just for flavor?  We could be talking the Republican party or the baseball owners.  A scorched-earth policy that leaves everyone worse off?  That could be either the baseball owners in the 1994 strike season or the Republican leadership team in 2008.  Considering that one of the baseball owners became President and de facto leader of the Republican party for eight years in 2000, it would be pretty easy to say that GOP most resembles the owners.

But that’s not the question.  The question is which team does the GOP most resemble and that requires a little more analysis.

My first thought, especially with the recent rise to prominence of Paul Ryan, was the San Francisco Giants.  The Giants used to be known for their history with inspirational guys like Willie Mays and  Dave Dravecky.  That’s like the old GOP, the party of Lincoln and even Nixon, minus the whole Watergate thing.  Now, though, the Giants are the team of Barry Bonds and Melky Cabrera.  They’re the team of liars.  After Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention that even a Fox News commentator called “deceiving” and the absolutely flabbergasting claim by Ryan that he ran a sub three hour marathon (since “corrected”), you’d have to put him in the same category as Bonds and Cabrera.

Still, that doesn’t seem to be enough.  Lying is well and good, even when called something different, but RSBS readers demand more.

There are a bunch of other possibilities, from the Red Sox to the Dodgers but really, when you stop and think about it, there’s only one answer to this question.  The GOP could only be the New York Yankees.

A group of millionaire crybabies who routinely underachieve despite having every advantage known to man?  Could be the Yankees, could be the Republicans.  Supporters incessantly screwed over by a leadership group that routinely takes money from supporters’ pockets while those supporters not only cheer them on but also keep coming back for more?  Hm, really could be either one.  An unnatural love of pinstripes?  I think you can see where this is going.

Really, the answer couldn’t be any easier and I’m almost ashamed to have to say it.  But just because it’s easy that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  Occam’s Razor, my friends.

-A

RSBS Presents: It Could Have Been Worse

Although the respective baseball careers of Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon took a huge hit this past week with the announcement of fifty game bans for each player, they can still count themselves as being lucky.  Fifty games?  That means they have to sit out the rest of the season and then come back next year.  Sure, they’ll have that “cheater” label pasted on them but that doesn’t mean some team won’t go ahead and pick them up anyway.  No, it could have been w hole lot worse.  In fact, that’s why RSBS is using this opportunity to bring you the latest installment of the hard-hitting series, RSBS Presents.  This time, RSBS Presents: It Could Have Been Worse.

They could have ruined precious artwork:

In Spain, an octogenarian parishioner took it on herself to restore a 19th Century fresco by Elias Garcia Martinez.  When you take a close look at the before and after, you see that she might have missed a couple details.  You know, like the eyes:

And the mouth.  And pretty much the entire face.

They could have created a royal scandal:

Not content with getting schooled by Ryan Lochte in a pool at a Vegas club, Prince Harry, the third in line for the British throne let me remind you, managed to get his naked self snapped in photos with young women in equal states of undress.

Sure, he’s not the king.  And at this rate, that’s probably a good thing.  It’s hard for your subjects to take you seriously once they’ve seen the royal jewels and scepter.

They could have picked the entirely wrong career:

Remember when Dave Chappelle played the blind white supremacist on his eponymously named show?  Well, that kind of happened in real life this past week when the leader of an anti-Semitic party in Hungary discovered that he was Jewish.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, he also found out that maternal grandparents were holocaust survivors.  Sure, a fifty game ban may suck but finding out that you are the person you hate and giving up all your neo-Nazi street cred?  That’s a tough pill to swallow.

So there you have it.  Melky and Bartolo messed up but they’ll live to fight another day.  Well, unless they accidentally try restoring the Willie Mays statue.  MLB don’t like it when people mess with Willie.

-A

Dominance Defined

There’s a difference between dominating and being dominant.  Anyone can dominate for a moment but being dominant is something else all together.  Jeremy Lin dominated for a few games.  Michael Jordan was dominant.  The other night Felix Hernandez proved that he’s not only capable of dominating but that he is dominant.  Other players have made that jump as well but as much as it has to do with skill, it also has a lot to do with attitude.

Let’s try to break it down a little.

This is dominant:

This is not:

Dominant:

Not so dominant:

And just in case it still isn’t quite clear, here’s one more example.

New-school dominance:

Old-school dominance:

I think that about sums it up.

-A

If Miguel Cabrera and Delmon Young Were Cats

I realize this is a semi-outdated (but, is it?) low blow that isn’t quite suited for a respectable blog.

However, it is also hilarious.

Happy Tuesday!

Jeff

RSBS Presents: How to Know When You’re in Detroit

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.

ZOMBIES

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.

WILD DOGS

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.

HOPE

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.

-A

Baseball Needs a Drinkhall

Although I probably should be watching baseball, I find myself oddly enthralled by the Olympics.  Ichiro’s chops as a Yankee?  Nah, I think I’ll watch some women’s badminton instead.  Fister putting a brief stop to the Tiger’s road woes?  Hm, I guess I’m going to go for some ping-pong (table tennis, if you want to be stuffy about it).  Rivalry weekend in America?  Nope, women’s skeet shooting.

I’m not saying I’d want to watch these games all the time.  I love women’s gymnastics as much as the next guy but I can only take so much of it.  But at the same time, there’s something special about the Olympics.  For instance, yesterday I was watching a British dude named Paul Drinkhall advance to the third round in men’s table tennis.

First of all, his name is “Drinkhall.”  How awesome is that?  That’s like a German guy named “Biergarten.”  Or an American named “Applebees.”  Second, this dude has little or no muscle tone, pasty white skin, horrible shorts and an equally terrible haircut but he’s an Olympic athlete.  That, my friends, is badass.  Badass in the same way as David Wells and his Churchillian physique somehow destroying opposing batters.

I freely admit that a lot of it is the novelty.  It’s hard for the 162-game slog of baseball to compete with the instant gratification of a Moroccan/Uzbek flyweight boxing match.  And once the new “Dream Team” really get’s going, baseball is going to find it tough going.  I guess it’s kind of like the guy who has always sworn that he’d never leave his frumpy but faithful wife but somehow finds himself behind the wheel of a convertible with his 24-year old secretary.  Sure, it’s cheating but really, what were you supposed to do?  Odds like those don’t come up everyday.

So, I’d like to say that this was just a weekend thing and tomorrow I’ll be back to MLB.  But we all know I’m lying.  Can you blame me though?  I mean, seriously, synchronized diving!!!

-A

The non-Filibuster

Jeff is off on a well-deserved break this week and we decided to give the filibuster a rest as well.  We’ll be back next week with all the jeremiadical paroxysms you expect from the RSBS crew.  In the meantime, to salve the pain of the missing filibuster, we present a recently discovered video of Jeff in the privacy of his own home:

Happy Sunday!

-A

JV=mc²

First off, I’d like to point out that I was pretty much dead on with my predictions in this past Sunday’s filibuster.  Verlander started the game.  Prince won the derby.  Cabrera won the MVP (Melky, not Miguel but still…).  And Mr. Lung, although he may not have done so in public, disagreed with me and was soundly spanked (much like a typical Saturday night in Mr. Lung’s love life).

Despite all the brilliance flowing from the pages of RSBS I’m sure that some people out there are trying to find fault with this performance, especially as a result of Verlander’s performance.  Number one, shut up.  Number two, this is exactly why the All-Star Game shouldn’t count towards anything of importance.

That being said, I’d like to go back to Verlander’s “debacle” and take a new look at it in light of recent scientific input.  Yes, it’s probably fair to say that Verlander melted down but as the article points out, when the speed of the ball is approaching the ridiculous speeds at which Verlander throws, well, friction leads to uncontrollable fusion which leads to nuclear mayhem.  We’re just lucky that only Verlander imploded and didn’t take the rest of the stadium with him.

-A

The Filibuster

Any predictions for the All-Star Game?

Alice
Highland, IN

___________________________________
I was all set to write a response about “King Bud” and how he had perverted the fun of the All-Star game.  But then I realized something.  The All-Star game still is fun and especially for the guys getting picked to go for the first time, it has to be an amazing experience.  Sure, the game counts now and in a way that doesn’t really make sense.  But that’s secondary.  These are arguably the best players in baseball split up into two squads going head to head.  That’s pretty awesome.
But even though this event is about leagues as opposed to teams, I can’t help being biased toward my own guys.  That’s why my predictions revolve around the Tigers.  (Please note that I’m writing this on Friday evening so anything that happens between now and Sunday, when it goes up, well, it can be held against me but not in an ignorant kind of fashion.)
Prediction #1: Justin Verlander starts the game for the AL
Sure, even Verlander himself has said that the start in this year’s game should be based on this year’s events.  Maybe he hasn’t been as dominant this year as he was in his 2011 campaign but I’m pretty sure there’s still no hitter in either league that enjoys the thought of going up against JV.  More than that, Verlander has been practically unhittable for NL opponents with the best outings of his career coming against the NL.  If you want to start the game out on the right foot, put JV on the mound.
Prediction #2: Prince Fielder wins the home run derby
The guy is a monster talent and a monster plain and simple.  He’s also starting to rediscover the form he had starting off the season as he settles in behind Cabrera.  Put it all together with the start at first base for the AL squad and you have a Fielder ready to explode.  He won’t set a new record but he’s going to win.
Prediction #3: Miguel Cabrera wins MVP
There’s a lot of amazing talent on this year’s rosters and no shortage of candidates for MVP.  But something inside of me says that this is Miggy’s year and he comes up huge.  I’m thinking a three-run home run to bring the AL back from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead.
Prediction #4: Mr. Lung disagrees with everything I just predicted
There are optimists.  There are pessimists.  And there’s Mr. Lung.  Mr. Lung’s goal in life is to take the opposite view on everything I say.  It’s a noble objective even if it does mean that Mr. Lung is wrong a good percentage of the time.  Seriously, woolen stirrup pants on Houston Astros?  I don’t like the Astros either but let’s just admit that breathable synthetics have been good for the game.  To be fair, I don’t think it’s so much about being right or wrong for Mr. Lung as it is about the act of disagreeing.  It’s rebellious.  You know, like listening to Marilyn Manson.
So, enjoy the All-Star break and pay attention to see how many of these predictions come true.  And if you catch one of Prince’s derby balls, feel free to send it my way.
-A
Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below.
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