Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gra-BOW!!!!!!

Fuck Halladay, Holliday, Lee and Sherrill.

The biggest trade deadline acquisition of 2009 was the Cubs long-awaited acquisition of lefty reliever John Grabow from the Pirates.

You may be asking yourself, "Dave, your sense of baseball, nay, reality is skewed from months living with your crazy Moms and never leaving the house; getting John Grabow is a totally irrelevant move."

Maybe you're right. Yes, he's only got 47 innings of work. Yes, he's a Pittsburgh Pirate and only had trade value because he prefers throwing with his left hand for a big-time seller. Yes, his 1.5 WHIP is short of eyebrow-raising and he averages less than 1.5 Ks per walk.

But step off, haters! Before you judge a pitcher by his quantitative merits, let's look at some qualitative aspects of the soon to be legend that is John Grabow.

First, Grabow is fucking American. I'm tired of baseball teams importing foreign players that use up our tax dollars without speaking my damn language just because they may have more "upside," or "skill" than a good ol' boy from the American Heartland, Arcadia, Calif., home of Santa Anita racetrack and....shit, 45% Asian population.

Moving on, like President Obama, Grabow is a guy you can have a beer with. Just check this picture of him bro'ing out at the local watering hole:

Show me a guy who isn't afraid to wear a pink shirt and pose like a total dipshit at a bar, and I'll show you the next Chicago sports legend.

Finally, there's Grabow's name itself. I could be totally wrong and practicing reckless journalistic practices about this, but I'm assuming Grabow is pronounced "gruh-bow" (bow pronounced as in the "the Shaolin soldier was ordered to bow in reverence upon the Shogun's entrance.")

What an awesome name. So awesome, that I propose a new entry into the American lexicon: "gra-BOW!" Used as an exclamation for when something awesome happens or to cruelly jest with someone. Synonyms: "booyah," "byaaah."

Like Gretchen Wieners attempted to make "fetch" happen, I challenge all of you to make "gra-BOW!" happen. Here are some hints on how to slip the term into regular conversation:

1.) HIRING MANAGER: "We're really impressed with your body of work, Dave, and we're prepared to offer you the job."
DAVE: "Thank you, I'm really looking forward to working with you in this esteemed workplace."
HIRING MANAGER: "Syke! We filled this position months ago! Gra-BOW!"

2.) GIRL: "I'm getting close."
BOY: "Me too....ohh....gra-BOW!"

3.) YOUR BEST FRIEND: "I just found out I have a terrible, incurable, sexually transmitted disease."
YOU: "Gra-BOW!"

I think this tribute to a great American relief pitcher could really catch on if used appropriately. I'm e-mailing Len & Bob this post now, they'd have nothing better to talk about when your team is visiting the Marlins.

P.S. I have no idea whether Grabow is the dude wearing the pink shirt or not. These two Pittsburgh Pirates' perfect symmetry of skin complexion, hair style, and pose leaves me to guess. Another score for reckless journalism.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

White Sox Walk up Music

Tremendous Upside Potential did a break down of all the White Sox players' walk up music. Check it out.

The best things about it:

1)The complete stereotypical-ness of the list. The fat old white guys listen to metallica. The black guys listen to the most hood music ever (Yung LA!). Alexi Ramirez listens to something called "Pobre Diablo". Ramon Castro, a song by Daddy Yankee.

2) DJ Carrasco's music: "Boom Boom Pow"- The Black Eyed Peas. I will be nominating him as the inagural "Hudson Evans Player of the Year"

3) Josh Fields mixed Country and Quiet Riot, which is a winning combination.

4) Carlos Quentin is clearly too cool for walk up music.

5) Scott Podsednik stands out the most to me though. His song: "Lets Go" By Trick Daddy Feat. Lil John

**EDITORS NOTE**

In my rush to get this piece done, I forgot about my finale, which included

6) Gordon "Bacon" Beckham has "Your Love" by The Outfield. This is my favorite song, and its rip roaring beat makes the ladies swoon.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Delayed Blog - Yankees vs. Rays

Honestly, walking from the sticky humidity of a toasty Florida day into air conditioning may be the single most gratifying feeling in life (right ahead of a solid lap dance). Walking into air conditioning and discovering a baseball stadium though is kind of weird. It feels unnatural. Even in attending the fourth Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays game of my life tonight (7/28), baseball indoors still doesn't feel right.

I don't think the air conditioning is all that weird, actually, it would be unbearable to sit through a game in the dog days of August without it. The strangest part of experiencing a game at Tropicana Field is the feeling I get of being in an unfinished basement. It is cold. There is concrete everywhere. Sometimes there is random carpeting on the ground. There are creepy old drunk dudes... wait, you don't have that in your basement? Oh, whoops.

Then there is the entire atmosphere of a game at the Trop. A game there is unlike anything else I have ever experienced. The fans are not knowledgeable about baseball the way St. Louis fans are (people didn't know to cheer during pivotal moments unless the beat of a Queen song was bumping). The fans aren't hilariously drunk and don't know every player on their team inside in and out like those in Chicago. And actually, everything has changed since the first time I went to a Tampa Bay game back in 2004, when the crowd was filled with bored families and old timers who were dropped off by their retirement homes. It felt like the highly touted Bingo game at the county fair.

In fact, the atmosphere at a Rays game today most closely compares to a hockey game. The fans are screaming like it is the only form of communication they know. Tons of people have wigs and facial paint. Even more are pounding on cowbells all game long.

In addition to the change overall feeling, the crowd has completely changed. I can know safely categorize every Rays fan at Tropicana into one of these three categories:

1. One of those original old people. Most of them are cute little grandmas banging on cowbells attached to there walkers who forget every six minutes why they are there exactly.
2. Families. But instead of them being bored the way they were four years ago, they actually care about the team and its super awesome bandwagon.
3. Characters straight out of a Carl Hiaasen book.

Of course, having the Yankees in town added a different flavor to the game since all of the retired folks from Florida came in to see their beloved "Best Team Money Can Buy." Taking all of this in, I sat down in my brand new "BEAT NEW YORK" shirt in front of George Costanza's parents and had these observations throughout the game:

- Tonight was the first time every seeing the Yankees in person. Even though I hate them and what they stand for, there is still an aura about them. Seeing them in their classic uniforms during warm ups, all I could think was, "Wow, it's the Yankees." I guess all of that gloating and fellating classic baseball writers have done over time about this feeling is true. There is simply something about them that exudes greatness and makes you stop for a second. The most similar feeling I could think of was seeing a Bentley or Ferrari drive past. You just can't up help but feel impressed to some degree.

- CC Sabathia is fucking huge. And he wears his clothes so fucking baggy. You could probably make an eight-man tent out of them. I have never seen anyone that tall and fat in my entire life.

- This was not the first time seeing A-Rod. I went to a Mariners/White Sox game back in 1999 when Seattle had that team that no one under the age of 15 could hate. Griffey. The Big Unit. A-Rod when he was cool and fun to watch. Jay Buhner. Edgar Martinez. They were sweet. In fact, I used to enjoy A-Rod so much back in the day that I named my dog after him. That was how much I enjoyed watching him and Junior play. Seeing him again and feeling so much different about him was strange. I felt grown up. Also, I determined he might be the most hated man in the history of baseball. Everyone makes fun of him. The entire stadium was filled with jeers to extent I have never heard whenever he came up to bat. The PA system played Madonna. Then, he made a throwing error and the entire crowd was giving them every one-liner they could. It seems that unfortunately A-Rod is bearing the entire brunt of all the anger baseball fans feel over the steroid era. I know this isn't something you thought you would hear on this website, but I feel sorry for him. I really do.

- How do I not have a huge man crush on Ben Zobrist yet? He is from the 309, has a higher slugging percentage than Longoria, and bats clean up for the potent Rays offense. He's such a bad ass. I guess my new man crush is now official.

- You cannot truly appreciate how fast Carl Crawford is until you see him play. He hit a triple tonight in which he literally walked to first because he thought it would be caught. Then, all of sudden he appeared on third. Unreal. Also, he has the most hood walk up music in the history of baseball.

- Rays games are really fun. I feel like the Veecks run them or something. They know how to entertain.

- My free Jason Bartlett t-shirt is super badass.

- Yankees fans act exactly the way you would expect them. I really don't need to write anymore because I'm sure you know what I mean. Every stereotype is true.

On Friday, I will be attending the Rays/Royals game. There is a Flo Rida concert after the game. Awesome.

Washington Is The Best: Don't Argue

Some idiot from a weak paper in Washington has a lame attempt at acquiring readers. He decides it is in his best interest to call out Chicago fans, for basically the shittiest reason possible. And, his name is Dick Heller, which is fairly funny in its own way. Lets get this started.

In Chicago, the dumb keep getting dumber

I told you this was going to be fun.

The competition for Dumb Sports Fan of the Year has been won, if that's the word, by the bozo in a White Sox cap who nearly cost Mark Buehrle his perfect game Thursday on the South Side of Chicago.

I have been to US Cellular field many times. I have seen a countless number of games on television. I have never seen a fan rob a home run. I have seen it happen in New York. In fact I'm pretty sure it would be impossible in The Cell, as there is a rail in front and a considerable amount of space. Having never been to The Cell, this jamoke is going off this photographic evidence.

Imagine this scenario - except you don't have to because TV replays and still photos captured the ignominious moment perfectly (pun intended).

Ok, I am imagining. I've closed my eyes, and am now picturing a beach and sunset. Please, enlighten me with your words, good sir.

The pitcher for your team has retired 24 straight batters, leaving him just three away from so-called baseball immortality

"So called baseball immortality"? Uh, I have no witty comment. That line was stupid though.

Gabe Kapler leads off the ninth inning for the Rays and blasts a pitch toward the center-field seats. Defensive replacement DeWayne Wise races back and leaps in a desperate bid to save the day.

Thank you for that dull illumination of the games events. Seriously, has there ever been a weaker illustration of such a beautiful event?

So what does our guy do? He reaches over the railing and comes with a foot or so of making the catch, thereby nearly turning Kapler's swat into a home run.

I like to see that Dick has taken ownership of this awful hooligan. Also, coming within a foot or so of the baseball is really not that close. If the ball was a foot higher, DeWayne has no chance to catch that ball. If the ball has the trajectory it had, it would have taken a freak with excessively long arms to catch it. Its insane, kind of like the architects of the ball park foresaw this could possibly happen.

Duh!

Jay Mariotti thinks that this guy is better than bloggers? Simply because he went to some fancy school?

Literally, not a Wise move.

Poor use of literally, and a witty pun. This is too much to handle.

Fortunately, Dopey misses by about a foot as Wise grabs the ball first, juggles it, snatches it again with his bare hand and holds it aloft as he hits the ground. On the mound, Buehrle sighs in relief and possibly makes a mental note to buy Wise the biggest steak dinner possible.

Don't you mean, "our Dopey." Also, if they showed a picture from a different angle, the result would probably be more than a foot. And, I am going on the record as a defender of fans trying to catch baseballs. If there is an absolute rocket hit at you, as a fan, what are your options? To protect yourself and attempt to catch it, or to get the fuck out of the way. It is not in the mindset to sit idly by and watch the ball crush the living shit out of your face. So yea, you are probably going to reach for the ball... And its fucking wicked cool to catch a ball at a baseball game, right?

Me, I might have dashed toward the outfield seats, laid hands on the fan and beaten him severely about the head and shoulders.

When I beat someone up, I always go for the shoulders. Some of you UFC tough guys may think that is ridiculous. No, its not ridiculous. Its genius! Who is going to protect their shoulders? And that is when I will strike!

After that, I would have had him arrested for attempting to interfere with history, at least in a horsehide sense. Or maybe arranged for a mental examination.

"at least in a horsehide sense"!!!!!!!!! What? Who is this guy writing for? Eighty year olds with a knack for attacking the shoulders of their many foes? I think after this man went on a rampage on innocent fans shoulders the security would be apt to charge our rogue journalist with battery. Not the fan with, "interfering with history."

Jeffrey Maier and Steve Bartman, move over. There's a new entry in baseball's pantheon of pathetic people.

Did anyone not see a Bartman reference coming. Give the little fucker a break. Does anyone remember the ball Alex Gonzalez missed?!?! It was right at him. And a slow chopper. How does one miss that?

Maier was the 12-year-old at Yankee Stadium who deflected a ball hit deep to right field while Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco was set to make a catch in the 1996 American League Championship Series. The play was ruled a home run, and the Yankees eventually won the game and the series.

Did Dick just yell at a 12-year-old for trying to catch a home run ball? Little kids should be held accountable for their actions! Or else they will be beaten in the shoulders.

Bartman earned notoriety when he went for a foul ball at Wrigley Field in the 2003 National League Championship Series, thus preventing Cubs outfielder Moises Alou from catching it at a time when his club was five outs from the World Series. The Cubs then lost the lead, the game and the series to the Marlins.

Fancy colleges: where 39 word sentences happen!

What is it about those Chicago fans? No wonder the Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908 and the White Sox went 88 years before doing so in 2005.

What is it about those Washington fans? They drove one franchise away. Only to be gifted a second. Then, their fanbase quickly diminishes because their team sucks. While I hate almost everything about Cubs fans, at least they found a way to pack the stadium throughout 100 years of terrible play. You fucks lost your first franchise. And how the fuck does the fact that Chicago fans enjoy catching baseballs lead to several years of Championship-less years. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Apparently, the only place in the world where fans reach for home run/foul balls is in Chicago. I had no idea.

I get that it's natural for folks at a ballgame to try to catch a ball hit into or near the stands, even at the risk of life and limb. What I don't understand is why, particularly if it hurts your own team.

Probably because you have all of 2.4 seconds to react and typically to make a great decision, one needs more than a few seconds.

Some foolhardy paying customers fail to flinch when screaming foul drives head toward their noggins. Others scramble and wrestle for balls with no regard for their safety or that of others nearby.

Someone just bought a Thesaurus.

Heck, you can buy an official major league ball for less than $20 online or at a sporting goods store, much less than a trip to the emergency room costs. I guess the idea is to prove you, too, can be an athlete, but who cares?

He must not have realized that you get an amazing amount of street cred for catching a game ball.

Buehrle's wife, Jamie, told the Chicago Tribune she was trying not to throw up because of nerves in the ninth inning.

Um, how does this fit in with the piece?

If the lunkhead in the seats had actually caught the ball, she might have unloaded in plain sight of the TV cameras and 28,036 eyewitnesses.

Are you kidding me? This guy gets paid, by a paper, to write! What exactly will she be unloading? Vicious shoulder kicks?

Sorry, make that 28,035 eyewitnesses. Presumably, the feeble-minded fan would have been waving the ball in triumph and waiting for high-fives that never came.

"How can I meet my word quota? Ah, yes. I shall just start writing random things that make no sense what so ever. No one will be the Wiser." See what I did there? I can make witty puns too. Its easy, you just capitalize some letters.

In other ways, too, some spectators indicate all too clearly that they don't give a rodent's rump about the game they paid to watch.

I wonder if he won an award for this written masterpiece.

How often have you seen an overindulging "fan" slop suds all over himself before sales are cut off? How about onlookers who leave after the eighth inning of a tie game? Or those who ignore the proceedings and brainlessly do "the wave"?

Dick Heller hates having fun at baseball games. He is repulsed by fun.

Of course, Buehrle himself might have been lacking smarts when, after receiving a 30-second congratulatory call from President Obama, he said, "What, that's all [the time] he's got for me?"

This also does not fit anywhere within his piece. Now Dick is just taking random digs at anything he can. Dick is also displaying his terrible sense of humor. I can only guess that Dick is a 50+ writer clinging on to the only writing job he is qualified for. If he is a young writer, he should seriously think about a new profession.

Guess what, Mark, the president of the United States had a few other things on his mind. Unlike the dimwitted fan in center field who obviously had nothing at all on his mind.

Terrible writing. Check. Unjustified claims at one of the largest fan bases in the country. Check. Witty puns. Check. Shoulder punches. Check

Monday, July 27, 2009

Obvious Steroids User 7/27/09

This one is going to hurt Dave a lot, but the newest member of the OSU club this week is:


KERRY WOOD

If you take a look at former OSU posts, you will see that we work with a combination of hitting statistics, personal connections, and accusations from Jose Canseco's books to finally enshrine someone into the OSU club. With Wood, coming up with this evidence has been difficult.

1. Although his batting statistics have certainly dropped off, an intelligent observer would attribute the decline to Wood's transition to the bullpen and AL. Due to my lack of intelligence, I was close to using this as an argument for Wood's steroids use but then logic won out (for the first time in the history of this website!).
2. The only personal steroid connections Wood had were Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. This is tough because The Rocket can be tied to tons of people since he moved around enough in the late 90's and Slammin' Sammy doesn't speak English, which makes getting steroid tips from him rather hard.
3. Jose Canseco doesn't accuse anyone not of Latin descent or not Hall of Fame bound.

The only unclear evidence I have to bury Wood is his history of injuries and some before and after shots.

Of course, I probably don't need to spend much time covering Kerry's history of injuries in depth because most readers here are of Midwest descent and spent an ample amount of time reading news articles about Wood's setbacks and arguing with biligerant Cubs fans who thought he was the greatest pitcher of all time.

Here's a quick recap of Wood's career with many injury footnotes:
1995 - Drafted by the Cubs
1998 - Strikes out twenty Astros as a rookie. Yes, Houston sucked that much even back then. Wood sits the last month of the season with elbow soreness but still wins the ROY.
1999 - Tommy John surgery.
2003 - Enjoys his best season, 266 strikeouts, hits a homer in Game 7 of the NLCS, watches the Marlins win their second title in eleven years of existence.
2004 - Strained triceps.
2005 - Shoulder surgery.
2006 - Torn rotator cuff.
2007 - Shoulder recovery and elbow soreness, returns late in the season as a reliever.
2008 - Closes for the Cubs, gets snubbed in the offseason by Kevin Gregg, shipped to the Mistake by the Lake.

Jesus, look at all of those injuries. And I didn't even include his trouble in 2007 with heated water. I, along with pretty much all Cubs' fans, have always blamed Dusty Baker for some of Wood's injuries because of overuse. But, when you look at this history of injuries, Kerry started straining tendons and muscles long before Dusty arrived and started keeping all of the whities out of the sun. Dusty came in 2003, and Wood already had Tommy John surgery before that. And when you look at the rest of the injuries after 2003, it is a little suspicious that all of them happened with tendons/muscles and clearly could have been caused by steroids.

Finally, there is Kerry Wood's fluctuating weight. Remember back in 2007 when he reappeared out of the bullpen and everyone exclaimed how he looked like a zombie addicted to meth? Do you think that was a coincidence? Here, look at it for yourself:


KERRY WOOD, pre-2007


KERRY WOOD, from May 30, 2007 NY Times article

Whoops, where did all the muscle mass go?

Sorry Dave, Kerry Wood is now a dubious member of the Start Wedman OSU club.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hall of Rickey


I feel as if it is my duty toward the human race to report on the beauty that will surely be the Rickey Henderson Hall of Fame Induction Speech.

I will start by describing what Rickey is wearing. Imagine looking as fresh as possible. The best you have ever looked. Chicks everywhere want to bang you, that's how good you look. Strippers are asking you for your number. Rickey would put you to shame right now. His overall amount of fresh is clearly off the charts. He is wearing an all white suit. Which you jabronies would make look ice-cream-man-ish, but Rickey looks like he just got out of an all night cocaine fest, sponsored by Darryl Strawberry. White Coat. White Vest. White Tie. Gold Shirt. Unfortunately, lacking sunglasses. Suit jacket is enormous, and has a zipper.

Currently, they are introducing a ton of old Hall of Famers. Rickey is thinking, "These guys all suck. Rickey is better than everyone." But seriously, how annoyed is he that other people besides Rickey are getting applauded.

Yes, Rickey's speech is about to start.

2 things first: 1) Why is the Chairman of the Hall of Fame a female, that by my accounts has never played in the MLB. Shouldn't the head of the Hall of Fame be, like, a Hall of Famer?

2) I heard someone on the radio say that Rickey Henderson passes the "eye test" in reference to his use of steroids. How is that possible? He was absolutely massive. He played until a late age. He was the most conceited player in history, meaning he wanted to be the best. O, and he played with Canseco. He was most likely on steroids. It does not mean I do not like him, but people need to take their head out of the sand, and see baseball for what it is.

Let the Joy begin.

Bud is rambling drunkenly, and just unsuccessfully attempted to push his hair into a comb over. While Bud was listing the teams Rickey played for, Rickey made and orgasmic face. Now Rickey is mumbling to himself. Most likely saying, "Rickey's the best! Rickey's the best!"

Rickey is talking as slow as possible. Which means this speech will last 100 minutes. I'm so happy.

The way Rickey is pronouncing every word is absolutely fantastic. Imagine the most hood person you know (Dave) talking as slow as possible, enunciating everything, and pronouncing every single word incorrectly.

"I guess Mom do's knows best"- Rickey
"Sturrrry" What Rickey meant to say, story
"I called him, Dennis-The-Eck" Rickey starts laughing uncontrollably.
"Luke Gehrig"
"Babe Rufff" Rickey emphasizes the ffffff
"To all the fans... Thank you... Thank you... ..... .... Thank you. For all yer support, of all these years"
"My favorite hero is Muhammad Ali. He hads a famous quote 'I am the greatest' and that is what I want to be. And now that I'm in the Hall of Fame that is what I'll be"

Now Rickey just said that after his first game of high school baseball he had 30 hits and 33 steals. The stories he is telling are no where near entertaining, or funny. Yet everyone is cracking up. He also has 0 public speaking skills. I was hoping he would be more dynamic up there, but his terrified look is better than what I expected.

Rickey's speech coach, "Here is what you need to do Rickey, say 3 words, pause, say 3 words, pause, and keep repeating this. Disregard all periods or commas. Generally disregard anywhere there should be a pause. Just remember pause after every 3 words."

For some reason the picture on Rickey's plaque is of him with a mustache, and long flowing hair. Seriously, he has hair in his eyes, and stringy long hair to his shoulders. I know Rickey rocked a sweet hairdo, but I don't know where they got this picture from. Did the artist know Rickey was black?

Rickey's speech comes to a close with yet another poorly worded sentence.

Some things to take out of Rickey's speech: Rickey is not a good public speaker. Rickey pauses after ever three words. Rickey failed to pronounce any words correctly. Seriously not one word correctly.

Best thing about the induction ceremony: Old man gets up and plays "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on his harmonica. Asks the crowd to sing. No one sings along.

Friday, July 24, 2009

ESPN, Please Stay Away From Albert

Towards the beginning of the season, this commercial began running across every ESPN outlet possible:



When I first saw the commercial, I actually enjoyed it. Of course, it is always fun to see one of your favorite players get some national coverage when you are a fan of a team not located in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

I regret enjoying the commercial initially because I clearly did not critically think through the situation with my middle-aged-corporate-self-advertising-white-guy-mind (the one that runs ESPN).

I forgot that everyone on the ESPN staff would think they were best friends with Albert after this spot, which is basically what happened. Everyone on the networks calls him "The Machine" now. What the fuck? No one ever called him that before that commercial. I had never even heard that nickname anywhere within the St. Louis fanbase until ESPN slapped it on him. Everyone just called him Albert. He was and is too fucking good for a nickname.

Now, I feel like ESPN is stalking Pujols the way they creeped Barry Bonds during this home run race. Every bottom line for a Cardinals game includes Pujols stats. During the All Star break, they re-ran every Pujols homer from the first half. Now every baseball writer for the Orwellian sports media machine (eat your heart out, Bill Plaschke) can't stop salivating about how he is a lock to win the Triple Crown. Of course, these are the same writers who just let the Holliday trade slip past them for the most part because they were fixated on Halladay. Whoops.

So please ESPN, if you could, please stop covering Albert, you wankers.

Matt Holliday A Cardinal


Yes, Holliday is not as good as Halladay, but Riccardi's demands are obviously insane at this point.

I have no problem with this trade at this point because like I said, we could not have acquired Doc. Brett Wallace is blazing through the minors, but I think he is worth giving up for a bat like Holliday. Plus, after the DeRosa trade, I think Mozeliak saw that the Cardinals were on the brink of being the best in the NL and easily being able to blow away anyone else in the division this season. At this point, I think we don't lose another game the rest of the year.

However, I do remember the last blockbuster trade we made with Billy Beane... Mark Mulder... oh, shit.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Utter Dismay

If you go to the About the Blog section an read my section, or if you've read anything I've written on here, you may realize that I'm a pessimistic sports fan. I generally hate everything about my team, whether it be baseball, football, or basketball.

When the beauty of baseball is displayed like it was today at US Cellular Field for the White Sox it makes all that change. I become a delighted little school girl, watching the art of baseball, unquestionably the most poetic sport.

Today was one of the worst sporting days of my life. I just got off the phone with one of the commentators of this blog (3:58 pm) and we both agreed that we were actually angry that we missed it. You may want to know why. I will explain.

Last night a dear friend of mine telephoned me and said that we should head out to beautiful US Cellular Field and partake in a baseball celebration. This of course would have been for the game to watch the White Sox Mark Buerhle throw a perfect game. I had various reasons not to go, all of which are terrible now. When I got off the phone with the frequent commentator our concerns had been voiced. Our jealousy boiled over into frustration that two of our friends got to witness the masterpiece. I will never talk to these two lucky bastards again.

The emotions since I found out of the perfect game have been a whirl wind. Excitement. Joy. Panic. Elation. Panic. Anger. Grief. Dismay. Basically in that order.

Let me inform the masses of what I was doing instead of watching the masterpiece. I was working out. I can feel the shame and laughter of the other YSSW befalling me. Cooly with his boyish smile and pudginess throwing his head back in laughter. Dave gawking with his cartoonish voice. Okapi, talking about dinosaurs or something.

I have never been more upset about a sporting event. (I take that back. I'm a Vikings fan. I fucking hate the Atlanta Falcons because of that missed field goal. I still root against them anytime I see them on TV.)

You may ask, "What are you most upset about missing?"

The smile on Buerhle's face after the final out? No.
A guy named Dewayne making a miraculous home run robbing catch? No.
Then what could it possibly be?

Hawk Harrelson's reaction. I know I ride on the old pirate from time to time (OK, a lot) on the blog. But I have a giant soft spot for him. I know that he is happier about this than anyone on the planet, including Buerhle, right now. And his elation would have been epic on two occasions. Chillingly accurate and Utterly amazing unintentional comedy.

Hawk screamed YES seven times, and had a heart attack. Guessed what I missed. EVERYTHING! Hawk may not show up in the booth tomorrow. Either because he died of massive orgasm, or he decided to quit while on top.

I'm getting misty eyed. I must leave the computer.

Yanks Suck... Because No One is Angry?

In today's thievery of all things FJM, I will be delivering a People's Elbow on the one and only Mike Celizic. Why? Mainly, because he decided to state that the Yankees are only good when they have a bitchy owner. While I never am rooting for the Yankees, to state that they are only good because their owner is whiny makes me sad. And away we go...

No matter how well the Yankees were playing, no matter how many home runs flew out of their new building, no matter much fun they had in the clubhouse, no matter how smoothly their season was going, there was something missing.

I can only wonder what is missing. Heart? Pride? Giambino's lucky thong? I'm on the edge of my seat.

You felt it in April and May, when the team was struggling to establish a rhythm.

Actually, the reason they were struggling then may have been because they were missing their best player, and their ball park ended up being the easiest park to go ya-ya in.

You felt it in June when things started to gel and the players began engaging in such un-Yankee-like behavior as enjoying their days at the ballpark.

O you mean, they started playing better once their best player got healthy. Illogical!

Also, I had not realized that it was written in the contract that all Yankee players must hate their lives. I mean the Cory Lidle thing was an accident.

The Yankees season opening series: Cleveland, Oakland (OK, they started off easy, but that was the beginning of the year when anything could happen) Boston, Detroit, Angeles, Boston, Tampa. That is an insane beginning of the year. 4 series in a row with division leaders, followed by Tampa, and the series after that did not get any easier (I will not list them, I feel my point is proven).

In June the Yankees opponents featured power houses such as: Mets, Nationals, Marlins, Braves, Mets, Mariners. So you are saying the Yankees won a few of these games against the slums of the NL East? I don't believe it.

And you’ve felt it in July, as the team has charged into a first-place tie with the Red Sox.

Actually, they got their best player back, fully healthy, and remained playing an easier schedule.

Maybe you didn’t consciously think of it, but it was in the back of your mind. You couldn’t quite put your finger on what it was.

And then like a gift from a passing pigeon, it hit you splat on the head: a blustering Steinbrenner. That’s what was missing.

Gift from a passing pigeon? O, does he mean like bird shit? That's hilarious. So witty. Keep these coming.

Until Hal Steinbrenner showed up in New York this week to disgorge his opinion of the team he and his brother, Hank, inherited from their father, I’d actually forgotten how vital a meddling owner is to the Yankee experience.

This is a really long sentence, but why do I love it? Ah, yes. The use of disgorge. Looks like someone dominated the verbal section of the SAT.

Without a blustering Steinbrenner, the Yankees are like a trailer park without a tornado. Sure, it's a more pleasant place, but not nearly as exciting.

Um... I'm not following.

...But thank the gods of baseball that nonsense is over. And thank the ever-vigilant New York tabloid media for rushing to print the instant Hal Steinbrenner showed up this week to deliver his opinion of his team.

I thought Hal Steinbrenner wasn't allowed to speak? Maybe his voice has magical Jesus powers.

“I believe we have a team that can win the championship," he opined.

And the rest of my life will be forever changed.

This is what I love about the Yankees. There is nothing so banal and insignificant that it can’t be turned into a major headline. It just needs to issue from a Steinbrenner's mouth and it takes on the gravitas of a papal encyclical.

I bow in the face of Celizic's thesaurus.

As statements go, this is the equivalent of the Admiral of the Navy declaring that his brand-new aircraft carrier is capable of floating. It’s as if after spending billions to build it, that’s a revelation.

Can someone take away his Metaphor-aholics membership card?

Here is where the article gets mangled. Celizic attempts to make fun of Steinbrenner, shame the New York media, and add intense metaphors.

It’s the same with the Yankees. The Steinbrenners have more than $200 million invested in this team, which towers above any other franchise. At those prices, it should be obvious that the team can win a championship. If it can’t, what are they spending all that money for? The news would be if it weren’t a team that could win a title.

Hal wasn't trying to give an amazing speech here. If anything he was allowing the players that he pays to play to their full potential. Hal seems to understand that he put together a solid team that should be in playoff contention.

It is writers like Celizic that blow everything Yankee related out of proportion. And yes, Celizic is trying to write an anti-New York media piece here, but instead of using his national column to talk about a Yankee obsessed media shouldn't he write of an exciting AL/NL Central Race or the outrageous Pittsburgh fire sale?

And yet, when Hal Steinbrenner declares that his first-place team that’s rolling along like a tank through a strawberry patch can win a championship, we’re all over it. Did you hear what he said? Oh, boy, the pressure’s on now. Give ‘em hell, Hal.

He wasn't trying to make a huge news story! It was idiots like you, Celizic, that made this a big deal. (O, and great use of the tank in this piece)

Son of George didn’t issue any threats or spew bile around the team’s spiffy new offices. He didn’t have to. It is enough in the Bronx that a Steinbrenner showed up to show that he still has a firm grasp of the obvious and isn’t afraid to let all of us know it.

I wish Celizic would have written this, it would have saved me time and heart ache: "Yankees played bad. Now Yankees playing good. Hal Stienbrenner talked! People who talk about the Yankees are doody heads! I'm going to talk about the Yankees now. Metaphor, metaphor, metaphor."

Let’s be honest here. In Kansas City, this would be meaningless. It would hardly draw a raised eyebrow even in Boston, where folks take their baseball more seriously than they do anywhere on earth. In Cleveland, it wouldn’t make any sense — none at all.

Pick random cities, make fun of their media outlets. Check. Take a shot a Cleveland that makes no sense, Check. Write about the Yankees while making fun of writers who write about the Yankees, Check.

But in New York, when a Steinbrenner speaks, everybody listens. We jot it down, print it out, weigh it, parse it, run it through a decoder to look for hidden meaning. And when we find none, it doesn’t matter, just as long as it seems that a Steinbrenner is rattling a pinstriped cage, no matter how gently.

I forgot to mention, has anyone heard of any outlets writing about this non-story? I think Celizic is the only one talking about it. Which means that the only person he is making fun of is himself. AHHHHHHH!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two bold predictions

I was sitting around watching the Cubs avoid getting swept by the hottest team in baseball when I had two bold predictions for the National League with 65+ games to go:

1.) This isn't really a bold prediction (at all), but with the NL Central race being as close at it is, unless a major Halladay to St. Louis caliber move happens in the next week, the division is going to come down to the last few series of the year, with the leader, I predict, winning 85 games.

Let's take a look at each of the division's contenders' schedules late in the year:

--If Pujols continues to vie for the Triple Crown and the Cardinals play as they have been, they're sitting pretty with their last five series against the Cubs, at Houston, at Colorado, at Cincinnati, and closing it out at home against the Brewers.

--If the Cubs can survive a road trip at St. Louis, at Milwaukee, and at San Francisco, they get rewarded by ending their season at home against two teams (Pirates, Diamondbacks) who won't be playing for anything / already have traded away all their good players by that point (Pittsburgh especially).

--Milwaukee got the shaft by Bud and the gang late in the year, drawing four games against the Phillies and ending the season at Colorado and at St. Louis. My hunch is that the Busch crowd won't let the Cards fuck up a forseeable close division lead at home against the Brewers. Also, as my coworker pointed out one night on the sports desk, "if Felipe Lopez is the key to winning your division, your division sucks anyway." I can't wait until Felipe Lopez becomes the best lead-off in baseball in spite of a medium-sized daily in Central Illinois.

--The Astros suck and their their final two series: at Philly and at New York, cancel each other out.

So after looking at the season down the stretch, I boldy predict that at 85-77, five of those wins coming in clutch at the end of the season, the Cubs will win their third straight NL title (I can't pull a Plaschke and switch my midseason pick already). Although if the Cards acquire Halladay, they're going to be a lock unless Z hits him in the face when he's up to bat.

2.) Second bold prediction, more players are going to wear T-Pain sunglasses like Jayson Werth:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Obvious Steroids User 7/20/09


ELLIS BURKS

I was originally going to do this post on Milton Bradley (no one can be that angry all the time and constantly get injured without doing roids, right?), but one of his 2002 Indians teammates caught my eye when looking through the roster on Baseball Reference. Somehow, Ellis Burks at the age of 37 put up this statline:


GRHRRBIBAOBPSLG
1389232910.3010.3620.541


Only due to the steroids era is a statline like this possible for a 37 year-old. And when you look at Burks' numbers from ages 31-37, he had an OPS of .950 and slugged .568. However, from the ages of 22-30, he had an OPS of .814 and slugged .467. This makes complete sense because you know, everyone gets stronger after the age of 30, right?

Yes, I know that some of those numbers in the 31+ age range are skewed by his days in Colorado. But, I still don't believe that the air completely accounts for all those inflated numbers. If anything, I think that the Rockies may have been the NL version of the Rangers. I mean come on, how the fuck was Dante Bichette any good naturally? He looks semi-retarded. Unless he is like the Rain Man of MLB, then I take back everything I have said, and he is simply awesome.

What is really damning for Burks' case is who he was sharing the field from 1998-2001. From '98 through 2000, he shared the field with... umm... well, that entire roided out Giants team. I'm sure it was impossible to walk through that clubhouse without stepping on enough syringes to turn into Gregg Valentino.

Then, he went to Cleveland, which had another solid history of PEDs, and shared the grass of Jacobs Field with this douchebag. Not only did Ellis get tips on how to shoot up from Gonzalez, but he also found a teammate with creepier facial hair. I bet he was pumped.

Congrats Ellis Burks, welcome to the Start Wedman OSU Club.

BEFORE


AFTER

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rickey Henderson: Leadoff Legend

So I didn't want to post on this, because I just wanted to fully take in the experience. But I'm too excited. This special on MLB Network made me so excited that I couldn't wait. Its all about Rickey Henderson. If I can get 2 to 3 anecdotes on how great Rickey is, it is completely worth it.

So I'm kicking this post off approximately 10 minutes into the special. They just started talking about Rickey's great career.

The first moment that gave me goosebumps: Rickey Henderson talks about how he invented the art of the head first slide. I love it when players proclaim they invented a piece of baseball history. It makes me think of Hawk inventing batting gloves.

Seriously, if they don't mention the John Olerud story, my life will be incomplete.

They just skipped over Rickey's year of 130 SBs far too quickly, and are now talking about him on the Yankees. They best be moving this along to tell more fantastic stories about Rickey loving himself (Note: Zach will only be referencing the name Rickey 400 more times this post). Apparently, Billy Martin and Rickey Henderson are secret lovers because Rickey just followed him wherever he went. Seriously, Rickey is insane. 143 Games Played, 146 Runs Scored in '85.

Rickey's pimp strut on home runs is absolutely fantastic. It may be the coolest in baseball history. Rickey is the Best! Rickey is the Best!

While coaching the great one, Sweet Lou did not believe Rickey was hurt.Rickey actually had torn his hamstring. Which prompted this response by Rickey, "It really hurted me so bad." Also, Rickey Henderson hates Lou Piniella. After Rickey found out his hammy was torn, aparently Rickey went into Lou's office and murdered some strippers with the bottle of wine he used to flog Sweet Lou minutes prior. I guess that will count as one adequate anecdote. (Witty alliteration, Check!)

"What, we's going back home? Hell yea, baby, make the deal!" Rickey's response when hearing about possibly getting traded back to Oakland. Rickey=Hoodtastic.

1990 On Base Percentage: .438. Eww. Rickey is the Best! Rickey is the Best!

Rickey just beat Lou Brock's record. Proclaiming "There is no way that the whole crowd was going to stop me. If they got in front of me I was going to run them over"

This then let Rickey say this, "Lou Brock was the seminal great base stealer, but today, I am the Greatest of All Time!" My favorite actual Rickey quote. Rickey's the Best! Rickey's the Best!

So far, this special has been slightly upsetting. However, things that are not a let down: Rickey's Wikipedia page (linked to earlier). Just for the anecdotes section alone, it is worth reading.

Game 6 of the World Series, Rickey was found playing cards in the locker room with teammates on the DL. During the game. Good story number 2.

Rickey was the the career leader for Runs (broke Cobb's record) and Walks (broke Ruth's record).

Rickey refused to play in the last game in the season because he did not want to get his 3,000th hit on Tony Gwynn's last game. He ended up playing and getting it because he was a badass. Proclaiming, "The love of the Game is what Rickey Henderson is all about. I believe I can play for the rest of my life."

"I has the greatest time of Rickey's career in the independant ball." Yes, this is yet another Rickey quote. And, yes, I am just going to be providing Rickey quotes. I don't care. They are good enough to carry the post in themselves.

Toj asks, "What the hell is he wearing under his jersey?" The answer: some sort of buddhist robe. Purple in color. Many floral designs. Huge gold chain.

Rickey's the Best! Rickey's the Best!

Some of Rickey's Career Numbers: .389 OBP, .831 OPS, 3,055 Hits, 297 HR, 2,295 Runs, One great quote, "I am the greatest of all time!"

Rickey's the Best! Rickey's the best!

An Idiot Thinks Ted Lilly is Good

I hate Ted Lilly. He is one of my most hated current baseball players. I currently have a lifetime bet that if Ted Lilly ever throws a no hitter I will have to degrade myself in some way. I was very happy when he went to the Cubs, because I enjoy the Cubs being miserable. One bad thing happened though, Ted Lilly started pitching well. This absolutely crushed me. (When I searched Ted Lilly on the Google, Jason Marquis came up as a related search. This made me laugh. Then, hate him more.)

However, this jamoke feels as if the Yankees made a mistake by not reacquiring him:

Twice this decade, the Yankees made their feelings clear regarding Ted Lilly.

I wonder how I can make my feelings more clear on Ted Lilly. I don't even really know why I don't like him. It may be because he is a soft tossing lefty. It may be because he has played for the Yankees and Cubs. It may be because I believe Billy Beane hates him, and I will do whatever Billy Beane tells me to do.

In July 2002, they chose Jeff Weaver over Lilly, as Weaver came from Detroit to New York and Lilly went from New York to Oakland in a three-way trade. And during the 2006-07 offseason, Brian Cashman chose Kei Igawa over Lilly in the free-agent market.

2002 Statistics for Jeff Weaver: 199.2 IP, 11 Wins, 3.52 ERA, 2.75 K/BB, 1.21 WHIP, .291 BAIBP (not unlucky or lucky), 44% Ground Ball Rate

2002 Stats for Ted Lilly: 100 IP, 5 Wins, 3.69 ERA, 2.48 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP, .241 BAIBP (very lucky), 33.9% Ground Ball Rate

So the stats say that Weaver threw more innings, Lilly was much luckier (stats would be inflated), and Weaver threw many more ground balls than Lilly. Unfortunately, Brain Cashman was not blessed with hindsight, which this writer clearly had, but the decision to bring in Weaver over Lilly seems like a decent one statistically. Ted Lilly's numbers were not any good in the years following the deal either. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Weaver's were much worse.

Weaver did win the clinching game of the 2006 World Series for St. Louis, but in general, he has been a significant disappointment. Igawa, meanwhile, probably could be elected mayor of Scranton, given the extensive time he has spent at the Yankees' Triple-A outpost.

I cannot defend the signing of Kei Igawa. It was an overreaction to the Red Sox bringing in Dice-K. But it was not a foregone conclusion that the Yankees would sign Ted Lilly in 2007. I mean there were other clubs in the league, that may have wanted Lilly's services for some reason.

Lilly? He has been a classic, reliable innings-eater - worth, so far, the $40 million the Cubs committed to him from 2007 through next year. Last week, he picked up another honor when he made his second All-Star team.

He was not perfectly reliable until he got to the Cubs. Before he got there in 2007 he was wallowing in sucktitude, posting ERA's of 4.34 (in pitcher friendly Oakland), 4.06, 5.56, 4.31 from 2003-2006. All while pitching 200 IP 0 times. How could you call this an innings eater. In fact, the only good numbers he has put up in his career are the numbers he accumulated with the Cubs. This is no doubt because of his move to the much weaker hitting NL. Thank you lack of DH rule. Also, he was only elected an All-Star this year as a default, because the Cubs had no other candidates. He currently has a 51% fly ball rate (highest of his career) this year. Imagine that in New Yankee Stadium.

I didn't even mention that the Cubs severly overpaid for Lilly's production with that $40 million deal, but they did. Take my word for it.

Surely the Yankees have regrets about their decisions. Lilly - who gave the Yankees every chance to sign him for '07 and beyond - has none.

Moving to the NL, a great career move for all pitchers. Just ask CC Sabathia. You wonder why Jake Peavy urinated himself when hearing about his deal to the White Sox.

"I'm very lucky to be playing in a city like Chicago," Lilly, 33, said in St. Louis earlier this week. "And on top of that, an organization that's doing everything they can to win. New York is the same way. I have no regrets, and I think that the way it turned out, I'm very, very fortunate."

(Lilly counting his bills laughing at the joke that the NL hitting was for the past 4 years)

But even if Lilly went down for a while, he still has given his employers - the Athletics, Blue Jays and Cubs - plenty over the past seven years.

Um, no. He only pitched well for the Cubs. Who are in the NL. He got kicked around like a murdered stripper in the AL.

And all Yankees fans have is some distant memories of the potential that Lilly displayed in 2001 and 2002. Lilly fondly recalls that same period, during which he put up a 4.61 ERA in 1971/3 innings.

Jeff Weaver actually had a slightly better ERA+ than Lilly 92 compared to 96. Both approximately league average. But both pitchers were approximately the same age, and Weaver was much more of a strike out pitcher than Lilly, and had a lot more innings pitched than Lilly. But remember, Lilly is an innings eater.

If Lilly rather than Igawa had joined the 2007 Yankees, then Torre - who served as a coach of Lilly's National League squad Tuesday night - might still be managing the Yankees.

Ted Lilly decides the fate of baseball legends. You didn't know that! You clearly have never stared into Lilly's powerful eyes. Ted Lilly's other accomplishments:

Encouraging Hank Aaron to start hitting home runs
Injecting every player from 1995-2005 with steroids
Sending Josh Hamilton to rehab
Asking Michael Wuertz to only throw sliders
Telling Michael Vick dog fighting is a great business adventure
Projected accomplishments: Ending world hunger

That's actually the end of the article. I'm serious. No really. He just ended it with that out of left field Torre reference. Why was this column even written. The world may never know

**
EDITORS NOTE**

Jeff "The Dream" Weaver Smokes Pot

But seriously, read the entire link under "Weaver" its hilarious.

And one of the quotes in one of these articles is
"A flight attendant claimed in her lawsuit that former Tigers pitcher Jeff Weaver used marijuana in the plane’s restroom and watched hard-core porn on a laptop computer during flights on the team plane." That is why Cooly was mad at me for not including this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Debate: The Designated Hitter

Okay, I am a fan of the White Sox, but I really don't have too much of a bias NL or AL. With the exception of the DH rule. My hatred of this non rule in the NL came back to fruition a couple weeks ago after having a conversation with one of the readers of this blog, Chris (shout outs will be forth coming for anyone who gives me column ideas, this includes forwarding me stupid Plaschke articles).

I'm sure this topic is sure to fire some people up (possibly other writers on this blog). But I don't care, because I don't want to see anymore of this.

Why do I have to sit through a pitcher batting 2 to 3 times a game? Does anyone enjoy watching a pitcher bat? (7 people just raised their hand and said Zambrano and Owings can hit great) I don't give a fuck. Just because Zambrano will cry if he doesn;t get to bat .210 a year (actual stats career: .238 BA, .245 OBP, 198 K, 6 WALKS!!!), we should not have pitchers hit. They are not good at it.

How is the game better if one of the best hitting pitchers in the league gets on base at a .245 clip. Granted, players like Nick Punto batted .210 in 150 games in 2007, but even he got on base at a .290 clip. (Nick Punto dig, Check!). Most pitchers aren't anywhere near the statistics that Zambrano has put up.

This means that most games, National League pitchers get 2 or 3 free outs a game. This has put the NL at a significant disadvantage in things like the All-Star Game (if you didn't know, This Year It Counts!) and interleague play. When playing in a National League park, DH's are not allowed (calling the obvious police) but that means that there is one power bat on the bench that the American League teams can use. When playing in American League parks DH's are allowed (okay, I will stop with my John Madden like obvious statements). This leads National league teams to play inferior players at DH. Many teams often put middle infielders at this spot, because they don't have the power hitter on the bench to place in the middle of the order. This means that the National League is always at a disadvantage.

So why doesn't the American League change? I mean the NL is the "pure" form of baseball, right? While it may be the way baseball was played in the 1900's, some things they did back then were wrong and stupid. Also, at every level of competition teams are allowed a Designated Hitter except the National League. This means that every other league of baseball has figured that having a designated hitter is better for the game. It makes it more fun to watch more exciting power hitter/power pitcher matchups. As well as, we get to see a higher level of competition at the plate every game.

With a Designated Hitter in play, it also gives the American League teams a player who is typically in the middle of the lineup, who can hit a ball really, really far. With the exception of the Mariners who have the worst Designated Hitters Ever. (The last one is Jose Vidro) Without a Designated Hitter, we would be forced to watch guys like Papi or The Big Hurt play first base. Which would offend everything I know as a baseball player.

Honestly, I see no advantage to having a pitcher hit. If you can think of some, please leave them in the comments.

Also, couldn't these guys find something better to do, like, oh, PITCHING! (However, note the Antonio Alfonseca appearance.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2009 YSSW Midseason Awards Feat. Special Guest

That's right, tonight is the All Star Game. Last time I checked, I believe that the most of my picks made it to the game, beating out everyone else. Although, Dave did pick a dead shortstop, so my victory was inevitable.

Being a baseball blog, we have to have our obligatory midseason awards. Plus, we will have our picks for the postseason since we missed the beginning of the 2009 campaign. However, you will see that some of us forgot to make these picks... Zach... or any at all... Okapi. But this post will leave evidence of our terrible picks that you can use against Dave and I in the future.

I know that you got really excited to find out who our special guest for the column will be. Peter Gammons? No. Although commenter Kevin could have invited him for us. Bill Plaschke? Of course not. Instead, our guest is one of the respected heroes of us here at Start Wedman... none other than T-Pain!


ZACH'S PICKS & AWARDS


AL MVP - Torii Hunter. He has been on an absolute tear thiis year. Ii typiically hate Torii, but Ii cannot argue wiith the year he has put up.
NL MVP - Umm, there is that one guy. He hits a lot of home runs. And gets a base hit whenever the fuck he wants. And has a Fernando Tatis amount of grand slams this year. And that one pitcher with the mole is terrified of him. O yea, Albert Pujols. Brad Lidge, MOLE. Fuck.
AL Cy Young - Zack Greinke. He has been very good. But I hate him. And he spells his name poorly.
NL Cy Young - Tim Lincecum. I’m picking him over Haren because Lincecum has more strike outs, and will keep his current pace of being awesome up this entire year.
AL Rookie of the Year - Ricky Romero. He is dirty.
NL Rookie of the Year - Colby Rasmus. Someone in the Cardinals roster has to hit besides Pujols. MOLE!

**Editors Note** Ok, I (Zach) forgot to do this part, but come on. Cooly sent me an email to get my picks in like 2 weeks ago. And I'm lazy as shit. Cut me a break

AL East- Red Sox
AL Central- White Sox. I am plagued by my biases.
AL West- Rangers. They can hit home runs. Not so much pitch well.
AL Wildcard- Rays. I don't know why I like them, but I do.

NL East-
Phillies. MOLE!
NL Central- Cardinals. I fucking hate the Cubs.
NL West- Dodgers.
NL Wildcard- Brewers. I made a bet in the begining of the year that the Giants would suck and not make the playoffs. Clearly I was wrong, but how could I have called this guy being good?


DAVE'S PICKS & AWARDS

NL MVP - Albert Pujols
AL MVP - Joe Mauer
NL Rookie of the Year - Randy Wells
AL Rookie of the Year - Brad Bergesen

Apparently, Dave does not believe anyone deserves Cy Youngs this year since Cy himself is still the best pitcher ever. Just imagine if the MVP was named after Honus Wagner. Good thing he made a pick for everything else...

Breakout Player - Zack Greinke
Underachieving team of the year / most likely to file for Chapter 11 in order to expedite sale of team - Chicago Cubs
Biggest FA signing bust - Milton Bradley
Drunkest Manager - Lou Piniella
Hoodest player - tie between Lastings Milledge and Nyjer Morgan
Hoodest trade - Lastings Milledge to Pittsburgh for Nyjer Morgan
Most irrelevant trade - Lastings Milledge to Pittsburgh for Nyjer Morgan
Most lopsided trade - Ryan Church to Atlanta for Jeff Francoeur
Most likely to trade away entire team by July 31st - Baltimore Orioles/Arizona Diamondbacks/San Diego Padres/Oakland Athletics
Least likely to trade anybody - Boston Red Sox
Most likely to reap benefits of trade deadline bonanza - Philadelphia Phillies
Most likely to generate the most talk about trading for sweet players but won't actually pull the trigger - Chicago Bulls, err, White Sox
Team with roster most likely to resemble guys profiled on To Catch a Predator due to recent facial hair grooming - St. Louis Cardinals

Postseason Picks:

AL East - Boston Red Sox
AL Central - Minnesota Twins
AL West - LA Angels of Anaheim
AL Wild Card - New York Yankees
NL East - Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central - Chicago Cubs
NL West - LA Dodgers
NL Wild Card - San Francisco Giants

World Series -
Phillies over Red Sox in 7, 5 if they trade for Roy Halladay and sign Pedro (and Pedro is still any good)


** Editor's Note** Okapi's late picks arrived in my mailbox around 3:00 PM CST... only two days late. Good thing we don't run a legit publication.

OKAPI'S PICKS & AWARDS

AL MVP – Evan Longoria. I know he’s in some sort of mini-slump and all, but I just don’t see anyone competing with him by the end of it. If David Ortiz continues to be a member of the living dead and hit home-runs maybe he can get ½ and MVP.
NL MVP - Albert Pujols. It’s not even remotely close.
AL Cy Young - Zack Greinke. [insert something creative here]
NL Cy Young - Tim Lincecum. Something tells me it won’t be his last, either.
AL Rookie of the Year & NL Rookie of the Year – I claim ignorance on both of these.

Postseason Picks:

AL East – Boston Red Sox. I think the Yankees will choke on their major acquisitions as they have for the past decade, now. They just don’t get that you can’t just buy the best players of last year and regularly win World Series. Farm systems actually work. And I think the re-emergence of Ortiz, Youk’s preposterous season thus far, and the pitching staff is just too much to overcome.
AL Central – I know I’m bias, but I really think the White Sox will be able to put something together. Call it a last gasp for guys like Konerko and Thome and Contreras (sending him down was an incredibly good idea). Getting Colon out of there is necessary, and I think you’ll see Beckham really settle down. I still think Minnesota is missing something, though I can’t put my finger on what, and the Tigers are bound to screw up at some point in time.
AL West – Seattle Mariners. They actually look really dangerous right now. I’m with Cooly on the Angels’ age and I just don’t fully believe in the Rangers quite yet in the long haul, but I think there’s a good thing going on in Seattle.
AL Wild Card – Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll catch the Yankees, or the Yankees will fall off the map. Either way, I think the Rays just have a little more energy and a little less pressure to perform well. The Trop is a better stadium, anyway.
NL East – Philadelphia Phillies. Not for any real reason besides the fact that I don’t want to see the Marlins become the team that not anyone – even Florida – cares about win the World Series for the third time.
NL Central - St. Louis Cardinals. I think it’ll be very close, thanks to St. Louis’ sweet (terrible) offense and the fact that Joe Thurston is on the team, but the Cubs have too much pressure and problems to overcome (including a senile manager), and we’re starting to see the Brewers have a bit of a problem. In the end, I think Pujols just wills his team to win.
NL West – The Arizona Padres. If you combine them, maybe they’re in the hunt for third in the west. But the Dodgers have kind of run away with it.
NL Wild Card - San Francisco Giants. I know they’re far behind, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the division race actually gets pretty close between them and the Dodgers. Actually, the way they’ve been playing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re the NL dark horse for the World Series spot.


COOLY'S PICKS & AWARDS

AL MVP -
Joe Mauer. He kind of wins by default because there is no run away winner right now, in my mind. Jason Bay could have won it, but he's batting .260. Evan Longoria also could have won, but he inexplicably slipped from his 225 RBI pace. I have a feeling that either Longoria or Bay will be winning this by the end of the year.
NL MVP -
Albert Pujols. Of course.
AL Cy Young - Zack Greinke. Let the man crush picks continue.
NL Cy Young - Tim Lincecum. If Dan Haren's team didn't suck so much ass, he would have won. Unforunately for him, Josh Byrnes is in the running for worst GM. On the bright side, the team shed about 450 lbs. and two years in average team age on Sunday.
AL Rookie of the Year - Rick Porcello. He is younger than Stephen Strasburg. Plus, he has proven he can pitch in the majors and doesn't bitch as much. Suck it, Natinals.
NL Rookie of the Year - Colby Rasmus. At least he will make the departure of Rick in the offseason feel a little bit better.

Postseason Picks:

AL East -
Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, I know they are currently 6.5 games out. But I have a feeling about this team. They grind, they steal, they rely on youngsters with hype. They are Billy Beane's nightmare.
AL Central - Detroit Tigers. They win the title of best loser.
AL West - Texas Rangers. I just don't see the Angels holding up with all of those old dudes.
AL Wild Card - New York Yankees. Theo Epstein really doesn't want to trade one of his 18 quality pitchers for a bat for no apparent reason. In the end, the Yankees pull out the Wild Card while having nine dudes hit 20 homers in their little league stadium.
NL East - Florida Marlins. Of course, this completely changes if the Phils pull the trigger for Halladay. But without Halladay, I see the Marlins with their rotation that is constantly plugging in random dudes like the Jays winning the division over a Phillies team that wishes they still had Adam Eaton just to chew up innings.
NL Central - St. Louis Cardinals. When I saw this team at the beginning of the year, I thought they would take this division since the Cubs were destined to choke after trading away DeRosa and replacing him with Bradley. If we acquire another arm (we are in the Halladay talks), we win this division by at least a dozen games.
NL West - LA Dodgers. Obvious.
NL Wild Card - San Francisco Giants. I don't know why, but I like this team. I think they have a good chance at taking this playoff spot, barely squeaking by the Phillies and Brewers.

World Series - Cards over the Rays in 4. That's right, I called a sweep. In fact, I think the Cards win the Series by going 12-0 in the playoffs. 'Stache power!


T-PAIN'S PICKS & AWARDS (imagine the auto-tune)

AL MVP -
Carl Crawford... ooo... he has a neck tattooooooo.
NL MVP - Hanley Ramirez... he's so hood.
AL Cy Young - Edwin Jackson
NL Cy Young - Javier Vazquez
AL Rookie of the Year - David Price... I don't give a fuck if he sucks... ooo...
NL Rookie of the Year - Jordan Schafer... ooo... same as David Price

Postseason Picks:

AL East -
Tampa Bay Rays
AL Central -
Detroit Tigers
AL West - Seattle Mariners
AL Wild Card - New York Yankees
NL East - Atlanta Braves
NL Central - St. Louis Cardinals
NL West - LA Dodgers
NL Wild Card - Philadelphia Phillies... ooo... this is for my girl...

World Series - Braves over the Rays... ooo... I can't believe it...

I just wanted a post that incorporated the T-Swift and T-Pain video. Thanks for joining us T-Pain, good luck with your picks.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Home Run Derby

So I had grandiose plans of live bloggging the Home Run Derby, however, Chris Bermann and Joe Morgan began to talk and my ears started bleeding.

Then I attempted again, and after the first back, back, back BACK! I almost murdered a stripper. I'm sorry to disappoint our 6 readers, but you can feel my pain I'm sure.

Instead I shall give you a great Baseball Tonight clip.

This was one thousand times better when I watched it in the bar with no sound, slightly buzzed. I was simply delighted to watch the "Jump the Shark" moment of Baseball Tonight. The only thing that made this better with sound was having the pleasure of hearing EY yell "Booyahh". Also, notice that Chris Singleton is tagged in this clip, however, it is not Chris Singleton (black) it is Eduardo Perez (presumably Mexican, but born in Ohio).

My favorite part of the clip: Buster Olney. He is so far and away the best analyst there, and is so embarassed to be apart of the decline of Baseball Tonight.

Obvious Steroids User 7/13/09


Just read that fucking book. Jose Canseco becomes a pretty obvious steroids user. This post commemorates him being the granddaddy of the OSU club. Congrats, Jose.



PS - Yes, I know this post was shitty. I'm on vacation at a lake cabin in Minnesota. I have a lot of drinking on a boat to do. So suck it.

The Next Big Thing

Yahoo Sports has a titillating article about the next great MLB Superstar.

Yes. Hold your breath. Wait for it.

This man could be the next Brooks Kieschnick!!!! Be afraid.



Word on the street is Brooks once said this quote:

"You know, honestly, I knew my career was in trouble the minute the Cubs drafted me.”

Which makes me like him infinitely more.

(I got so excited about Brooks I forgot to give you this kids name: Casey Kelly. But who the fuck cares, Brooks Kieschnick)