Thursday, November 20, 2008
Despite it not being a controversial decision, there still are matters of concern found within the voting results.
First off, Pedroia received 16 of 28 first place votes. However, he only had a total of 27 votes. One voter left him off his ballot of 10 completely. 16 first place, 6 second place, 4 third place, and 1 forth place. 27 writers had him in their top 4; the 28th writer left him out of his top ten. Stupidity or balls, you decide. Anyways, kudos to you, Evan Grant, for being a maverick.
Perhaps the next biggest issue I have is with Fransisco Rodriguez. Sure, he had a great season for a closer, and yes, he broke the all-time saves record for a season. But in order for a closer to be 6th in MVP voting, you had damn well not have blown 7 save opportunities. Not only that, but one voter put him #1. One of 28 selected voters felt K-Rod was more valuable to the Angels than any other AL player was to his team. Take that, more deserving players!
I'm a Twins fan. A BIG Twins fan (not fat, just a high level of enthusiasm for the team). Therefore, I love following former Twins in their careers post Twins, though I wouldn't have minded if David Ortiz had managed to put up the numbers with the Twins that he has with the Red Sox. Anyways...
I love most former Twins, but c'mon, Jason Bartlett does not deserve a 5th place vote in the AL MVP race. Sure he's decent and all, but really? One of the voters felt there were only four more valuable players in the AL than Jason Bartlett? I'm not even sure he is the 5th best on that team, let alone the entire league. And yes, I am well aware that the Rays voted him their team MVP. Why they did this, I am unsure. Maybe he was feeling down after leaving Minnesota, and the team wanted to boost his spirits.
Another big thing jumped out at me this year. It wasn't who got a vote that was deserving, it was the shock of seeing that not a single voter put Derek Jeter anywhere in their top ten. This is significant as it is only the second time since his rookie season that he received 0 votes for MVP. I'm not saying that Jeter deserved any votes, because he didn't, it's just different to not see him getting any votes. Kind of relieving really.
Oddly enough, each division had one team that had no players receiving any votes. The A's, Royals, and Blue Jays collectively received 0 votes. Mike Mussina received an 8th place vote and yet Roy Halladay zero? Actually, now that I'm checking out their respective stats, that vote may piss me off more than any of them. Who voted for Mussina? Can they explain why they felt Mussina was more worthy of a vote than Roy Halladay?
Halladay is the steak to most pitchers' hamburger. (Food metaphor tribute to FJM...RIP)
Oh yeah, and the NL had an MVP too. Well deserved Pujols! Looking over the voting results there, that shit is fucked.
Friday, November 14, 2008
This is truly a sad day in the blogosphere, as FJM was one of the first sports blogs I began reading when introduced to teh interwebs. Also one of the first blogs that helped me become better attuned to what sportscasters are really saying (which is generally nothing) and helped me question every sports columnist's opinion.
In seasons past I eagerly anticipated the weekly Joe Chat, and grew to not just laugh at, but actually kind of hate most baseball (if not all sports) announcers.
So in closing, thank you for your time FJM. I've become a much bigger hater through you, and am a far better person for it.
P.S. I've only ever caught the Office a couple times. Is it actually a better use of your time than FJM Ken?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Also congrats to Evan Longoria and Geovany Soto for well deserved Rookie of the Year awards in their respective leagues.
And congrats to Joe Mauer for winning his first Gold Glove, not to mention his second batting title.
When the NL Rookie of the Year award was recently announced, they included the complete voting tally. Finishing 4th in voting was Edinson Volquez. Only problem is that Volquez is not a rookie.
Sure, 2008 was his first full season in the bigs, but after having pitched 80 innings over the previous three seasons, he no longer had rookie status.
Just saying that maybe the people entrusted to vote on shit like this should actually, I don't know, know what the fuck they're talking about. Granted it was only 3 out of 32 writers that voted for him, but still.
Pat Neshek will miss the entire 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery next week, as was learned on www.sethspeaks.net.
This should add to what was already looking to be an interesting offseason for the Twins.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
What's that? Baseball is over? Surely you jest! For any true baseball fan knows, baseball is NEVER over. It is a 12-month season, we just happen to be in the segment referred to as the "off" season, which contains as much, if not more, excitement than certain parts of the "regular" season. But anyways...
Congrats to the Phillies on winning their second World Series title ever. Two titles, 126 seasons. Six pennants, 126 seasons. As has been well reported, now that Philadelphia has ended its 25-year championship drought, the distinction of a four sport city going the longest without a title now belongs to...Minneapolis. Yep, that's me! Our last title came from the Twins in 1991. Asides from the Twins in 1991 and 1987, you gotta go back to the days of the George Mikan and the Lakers to find a title that Minnesota has got to celebrate.
Sure, we've now gone the longest, but we've only got D.C. beat by a few months, as the Redskins won the Super Bowl shortly after the Twins won the World Series. Could be worse though, Cleveland has got a pretty shitty championship history. Indians have gone 60 years without a title and only have two in their 106 seasons. Browns have no Super Bowls, though they were pretty good before the Super Bowl era. The Cavs may have no titles, but having Lebron is pretty awesome. Although the Timberwolves did have Garnett all those years, but no Finals appearances to show for it. Thank you, Kevin McHale.
Ah who am I kidding, I don't genuinely give a shit about the NBA.
There was an interesting (at least to me) article linked off of Deadspin from the New York Daily News. Apparently it's been 50 years since the Yankees won a World Series while a republican was the sitting president. Any other team this may not seem that big a deal, but when you think about how many damn titles those fuckers have (I try not to), it is actually pretty bizarre that they've gone 50 years without one while a republican was president. Of course, now that I'm looking over the Yankees' history on Baseball Reference, that doesn't seem nearly impressive as it first sounded. Over the past 50 years they've had 8 titles, the last four of which were during the Clinton administration (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000).
White Sox in the 2009 season. Let's hope that doesn't interfere with his duty to throw out the first pitch at the Nationals home opener, as it is his presidential responsibility...i think.
Anyways, it's the start of the offseason. That means months and months of false speculation about who is going where and for how much! Already I've heard numerous theories about what the Twins should/could/are going to do to strengthen their team. Obviously solid starters at 3B and SS are desired, and names abound! Adrian Beltre! Casey Blake! Hank Blalock! Garrett Atkins! Orlando Cabrera! Etc. Etc! With some money to spend and a year away from a new ballpark, I do have high hopes that the Twins will actually make a solid offseason signing for a change. I've had enough of signings like Livan Hernandez, Craig Monroe, Tony Batista, Rondell White, Ramon Ortiz, Ruben Sierra, Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, Jeff Cirillo, Sidney Ponson and Phil Nevin.
My preference would be to swindle the Brewers into trading J.J. Hardy to the Twins, but I have no idea why they would do that.
Ok bye for now.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Didn't expect to hear those words at the beginning of this season. Congrats to the Rays and their fan(s). Get yer vertical flags at MLB.com now!
But don't worry Red Sox fans, MLB.com can help you celebrate too:
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Other teams on their way to 100: The Nationals are sitting at 59-99, so they seem like a certainty. The Padres have a chance too, they are 61-97. Remember that the Padres just missed the playoffs last year, losing on the final day to force a one game playoff for the wild card with Colorado. Must've been pretty demoralizing, what with going from one win away from the playoffs to a possible 100 loss season.
On the other end of 100, the Angels sit 2 shy at 98-60, and the Cubs and Rays are 4 shy. Cubs are at 96-61 and the Rays at 96-62. Man, if the Rays can win out the rest of the season, they'll be a 100 win team. The Rays. A team that only once before had won 70 games in a season, could still be a 100 win team. Regardless if they get it or not, what a phenomenal turnaround for that franchise.
There are three awesome races going on in baseball right now. The Mets stand only 1.5 games behind the Phillies for first place in the NL East and are tied with the Brewers for the NL Wild Card. Over in the AL Central, with a spectacular win last night the Twins are only 1/2 game behind the White Sox for the division title. Tonight's game will determine who controls their own destiny in that division.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I'm just going to go ahead and copy paste from Wikipedia on this one, as I have no additional insight to offer as honestly I've never heard of this before today.
On Wednesday, September 23, 1908, while playing for the New York Giants in a game against the Chicago Cubs, while he was 19 years old (the youngest player in the NL), Merkle committed a base running error that later became known as "Merkle's Boner," and earned Merkle the nickname of "Bonehead."
In the bottom of the 9th inning, Merkle came to bat with two outs, and the score tied 1-1. At the time, Moose McCormick was on first base. Merkle singled and McCormick advanced to third base. Al Bridwell, the next batter, followed with a single of his own. McCormick advanced to home plate scoring the winning run for the game. The fans in attendance, under the impression that the game was over, ran onto the field to celebrate.
Meanwhile, Merkle, thinking the game was over, walked to the Giants' clubhouse without touching second base. Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers noticed this, and after retrieving a ball and touching second base he appealed to umpire Hank O'Day, who would later manage the Cubs, to call Merkle out. Since Merkle had not touched the base, the umpire called him out on a force play, and McCormick's run did not count.
The run was therefore nullified, the Giants' victory erased, and the score of the game remained tied. Unfortunately, the thousands of fans on the field (as well as the growing darkness in the days before large electric light rigs made night games possible) prevented resumption of the game and the game was declared a tie. The Giants and the Cubs would end the season tied for first place and would have a rematch at the Polo Grounds, on October 8. The Cubs won this makeup game, 4-2, and thus the National League pennant.
So there you have it. Had it not been for a Giants base running mistake (and the remainder of the season played out as it did), the Cubs would never have made the playoffs in 1908, the year of their last World Series victory.
Is there a Curse of Merkle's Boner? If so, I haven't heard of it. But it would make sense if you believe in curses. They got a gift trip to the World Series, which they won, so perhaps the past 100 years have been karma reclaiming what's due?
Monday, September 22, 2008
Yankee Stadium is done, save for a miraculous Yankees comeback, which would require winning out the rest of the season and the Red Sox losing out. So yeah, the Yankees are set to miss the playoffs for the first time since the strike. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays's magic number to clinch the division title is down to 5. So that's pretty exciting. I watched the game in which they clinched their first playoff appearance, and that was fun, except it came at the hands of Twins. Oh well, I'm too happy for the Rays to take it too personally that they clinched against my team.
Yes, my team. My true identity is Carl Pohlad.
The Brewers fired their manager with just a couple weeks left of the season. I understand why, but still weird timing. I guess whatever steps you need to take to spark that team into making a better push for the wild card than they have been this month. Speaking of this month, Ryan Howard has been a beast hitting .348/.420/.855 with 9 home runs and 27 RBI through the first three weeks of September (though he did go 0-4 tonight...slacker).
But speaking of the Brewers, it would seem that they are in direct competition with the Mets as to who can have a bigger late season collapse. Whichever one doesn't make the playoffs shall be declared the Fail Kings.
MVP awards? I like Justin Morneau's chances in the AL, though Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis are both worthy candidates, as is Joe Mauer. Also I suppose A-Rod should always be considered no matter how poorly the Yankees performed this year. Josh Hamilton's awesomeness has certainly dwindled as the season has progressed, and Carlos Quentin's injury may have killed his chances. NL: There's a few Phillies worthy of consideration, and Pujols is once again a stud. But with how they've greatly helped their teams make late season pushes, I think we could maybe see a MVP repeat of 2006 with Morneau and Howard. If Howard had a better BA, I would think he would be a no doubter.
Cy Young? Cliff Lee in the AL for sure, though that should diminish the great season that Roy Hallady has had. NL? My vote (which I don't have) goes to Tim Lincecum. It's too bad the Giants suck so bad as this has resulted in lil' Timmy not getting the recognition he deserves for the season he's had. Dude ripped right through the minors, playing in only 13 games before making it to the bigs.
In other random (non-baseball...gasp!) sports stuff, the U of M Golden Gophers football team is 4-0, and while that is against non-conference opponents, it's a nice change from last season's 1-11 record. Also, the Vikings may be on the right path to righting the ship. Beating the Panters bumped them up to 1-2, just one game behind the Packers at 2-1.
Ok, I'm gonna be done rambling for now and leave on this note. The Twins host the White Sox this week for a pivotal three game series at the dome. At 2.5 games out of first, the Twins need these games like (insert whatever analogy you please here, I'm feeling lazy).
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Hawaii Wins Little League World Series
Hawaii's offensive outburst was led by such stars as Glen, who had three hits and four RBI on the afternoon, as well as right-handed cleanup hitter Adam, who was 2-for-3 with a double and home run. Leadoff man Thomas chipped in with a home run of his own, which prompted two identical cheerleaders in the crowd to wave their pompoms in front of a giant neon "HOMERUN" sign.
"I say it every year—the short, fat players have the most power," said commentator Orel Hershiser after the game. "When you've got guys like Byron, guys like Steven even though he's just a Skill 2, guys like the 'Big A's'—Aaron, Adam, and Alan—you're going to score a lot of runs. It would take a stellar pitching performance to shut this team down, and unfortunately for Mexico, Ramon did not have his best stuff today."
Hawaii got off to a quick start, scoring six runs in the first and taking full advantage of Mexico's sloppy defense. Third baseman Chico (Skill 1) had a particularly rough day in the field, committing six errors and several mental miscues. In the fourth inning, Chico slid head-first eight times in an attempt to catch a foul pop-up before letting it fall to the ground, and later ran directly past a ground ball in the hole while on his way to inexplicably cover second base. On three occasions, he fielded a routine grounder and accidentally threw it to home plate instead of first base. Chico later claimed that he "didn't know how" to throw to first.
Mexico's only runs came on a lucky break in the fourth inning when, with two on and an 0-2 count, Juan hit a ball into the gap that became lodged in a portion of the fence that prevented Hawaii's right fielder from retrieving it. As a result, the outfielder ran in place into the fence for over 20 seconds while Juan rounded the bases.
Aside from that one lapse, Hawaii's starter Jerry was dominant, holding Mexico sluggers Paco and Benito to just one hit apiece.
"Jerry had all his pitches working today: the fastball, the slowball, the ball that starts fast and then slows down right before it reaches the plate, and the breaking pitch that starts down the middle and then slowly curves 15 feet outside as the batter begins his swing," Hershiser said. "His pitch sequences were set up beautifully. He did a great job of throwing pitches inside to make the batter stand in the far corner of the batter's box, and then coming back with a fastball that painted the outside corner. Worked every time."
Mexico's pitcher, Ramon (Skill 2), did not fare quite as well. After giving up a double to Alan and a groundball triple to Glen to start the third, he quickly tired, demonstrating his fatigue by removing his cap and allowing two geometric lines of perspiration to emanate from his head. He then threw his next fastball approximately 20 mph slower than the last one.
Surprisingly, however, not a single walk was issued by either team, and only three balls were thrown during the entire game.
Despite the resounding victory, Hawaii was not without its own blunders. Their defense failed to hit the cutoff man once all game, and whenever first-baseman Aaron fielded a ground ball, instead of stepping on first base to record the out, he would throw it to the empty bag, causing the ball to skip into right field. Hawaii could have potentially won the game by the 10-run mercy rule had they not consistently run themselves out of innings. The most flagrant baserunning gaffe came in the fourth, when Adam forgot how to go back on the basepaths.
After Mexico's loss, somber music played as three of Mexico's players were consoled by their coach, a white man in his mid-40s.
"YOU TRIED HARD, BUT LOST," the coach told his crestfallen team in a crude but playful typeface. "BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME."
Many Mexico fans are protesting Hawaii's win, claiming that the U.S. team used controversial—and some say illegal—tactics to win the game, including removing their best hitter Aaron for a pinch-runner after he got on base and then reinserting him into the lineup as a pinch-hitter two outs later, and having what appeared to be six outfielders, all of whom moved simultaneously at identical angles and speeds. In addition, during a key play in the second inning, a Hawaii outfielder tricked Mexico baserunner Pancho into trying to stretch a single into a double by simply not picking up the ball.
Both teams endured a long, difficult path to get to the championship game. Mexico had to defeat Chinese Taipei and Korea in the first two rounds, while in the semifinals, Hawaii overcame a late-game deficit to beat fan favorite Texas with a walk-off home run, made especially memorable as it traveled exactly along the foul line without ever curving.
The 2008 Little League Baseball Championship Series went relatively smoothly this year, suffering only a few minor mishaps. The final game was delayed 18 minutes in the third inning for reasons the official scorer said pertained to obtaining "Hot Pockets and a Sprite." Earlier that afternoon, the perennial powerhouse New York team, led by Ward and Saul, was forced to forfeit their semifinal match when their coach forgot the 22-digit alphanumeric code needed to begin the game.
However, in an improvement over previous years, only one quarterfinals game had to be suspended and replayed after all the players simultaneously froze.
Sources confirmed that several Bases Loaded scouts were in attendance, and that Utah is looking to sign Hawaii pitcher Jerry and place him in their rotation alongside Quinta, Lep, and Stava.
God I feel bad for Ichiro. He's far too awesome to be going to waste on such an awful team.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Seriously, why does baseball need replay? Haven't we been doing alright the past 133 seasons without it? So someone got robbed of a home run here or there or someone got credited with one that perhaps they should not have been (Jeter ALCS perhaps?). Big deal.
Words to live by my friends: Them's the breaks!
This has to rank up there with the All Star game determining World Series homefield advantage as far as major blemishes of Bud Selig's time as baseball commissioner.
MLB.com story about this.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Not only does this truck feature everything that you come to expect from a $46k vehicle, but it also has a custom paint job of a baseball smashing the exterior, the downtown Minneapolis skyline, and a picture of Joe Mauer on the tailgate.
Does it being the Joe Mauer edition render the heated seats unnecessary? Lord knows the very idea of Mauer warms my seat enough.
The question remains: Are you man enough to drive this truck? That is, if driving a vehicle dedicated to a professional athlete is manly.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Stubby, who had a 23 game major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001, is competing in the Olympics for the Canadian baseball team. Lookie here, I ain't fibbin'!
Had to mention, as I'm a fan of entertaining names. Not only that, how many blogs have you ever come across that have used a Stubby Clapp tag twice?
That's what I thought.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The Red Sox started the game with 10 runs in the bottom of the first, including two David Ortiz three run home runs to take a 10-0 lead. By the middle of the sixth however, the Rangers were leading 15-14. Not wanting to be humiliated like that at home, the Red Sox came back to win 19-17.
The Rangers became only the forth team in the past 50+ years to score 17 or more runs in a game and still lose. Oddly enough the third time was barely over a month ago, when the Marlins lost to the Rockies in Colorado 17-18. Only once has a team scored more than 17 and lost, and that was in 1979 when the Cubs lost to the Phillies, 22-23.
The Red Sox and Rangers combined for 36 runs on 37 hits. That's getting good production if I do say so myself.
Perkins pitched 8 shutout innings, giving up only 4 hits and 3 walks with 4 strikeouts. His only real blemish came on a throwing error to first baseman Justin "You Know" Morneau checking Robinson Cano back to first base. The error allowed Cano to reach third. Richie Sexson followed with a walk, but Pudge followed with a popup and Melky Cabrera grounded into an inning-ending double play, rendering Perkins' error meaningless. Afterwards, Perkins did not allow another Yankees baserunner past first base for the remainder of the game.
Glen Perkins, after heating up the Yankees last night, I dub thee "The Perkilator."
Perkilator picture is all me, baby! Bow to my skills!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The Rays are on pace for 98 wins this season. 98! If they heat up even the tiniest bit more, the Rays, who had never won more than 70 games in a season, could hit 100 wins. The Rays. 100 wins. Wow.
The Rays are, without a doubt, the baseball story of the year. How can you root against them?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
September 17, 2008 is the day that Ken Griffey, Jr. becomes the home run king. *may not actually happen
Ken Griffey, Jr. is undoubtedly one of the greatest home run hitters of all time. In his pre-injury-plagued days, it seemed a foregone conclusion that The Kid would be the one to break Hank Aaron's career home run record. But of course, the 2002-2004 seasons kicked in and ended his chance of making a run at the record.
But what if they hadn't? What if he never broke his wrist in 1995? What about other not as major injuries? Just what if Griffey managed to stay healthy all these years? Not necessarily Cal Ripkin, Jr. healthy and play in every single game; after all, most players need a day off from time to time.
In Griffey's 20 seasons, he has amassed 500+ BA in a season only 10 times thusfar. In those ten seasons, Griffey averaged 573.2 AB per season, and approximately 151.4 games per season as well. For his entire career, Griffey averages one home run every 15.12 AB (9192 AB, 608 HR). If these averages were true for the first 19 seasons of his career, he would be averaging about 38 home runs a year and theoretically would be at about 720 home runs entering the 2008 season, his 20th in the league. Averaging about 6 1/3 home run per month through his hypothetical career in which he plays in 151.4 games per season, let's say he would be at about 747 currently (as of August 5, 2008), leaving him just eight behind Hank Aaron's mark of 755 career home runs.
Staying consistent to this career average, Griffey would be looking to pass Aaron's place in home run history on or about September 17th. I'm going to assume that if he were this close to the home run record, the Reds would have never traded him to the White Sox. September 17th falls in the middle of a 3 game series for the Reds at the Great American Ballpark against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing Griffey to break the record in front of his home crowd. As is, Griffey will be playing in Yankee Stadium with the White Sox instead.
So if you're at the Reds/Cardinals game that day, realize that today could have been the day that you got to witness baseball history firsthand. Or if you're at Yankee Stadium on September 17th this season, make sure to salute Griffey for his hypothetical passing Hank Aaron on the all time home run list. Even if you're not at either game, take a moment to ponder Griffey's passing Hank Aaron, as I am declaring September 17, 2008 to be Ken Griffey, Jr. home run champion day. (Note: Bonds Schmonds)
If all this were true, Griffey would be ending this season at 758 home runs, leaving him only five shy of bringing a huge sigh of relief to baseball as he passes Barry Bonds for the career lead in home runs. If he stays healthy, April 2010 would welcome baseball's first 800 home run hitter, the 40 year old Ken Griffey, Jr. Impossible?
Remember, all of this is based on assumptions and (wild?) speculations, but, what if? A major step towards moving beyond the steroid era could be right around the corner. If only Griffey had a healthy body.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Has there ever been a heavier set of teammates? CC checks in at 290 lbs, while Prince is a stout 270 lbs. Is this a record for a fat teammates' weight combination?
First thing that comes to mind is Rich Garces and any fatties he ever played with. Dante Bichette perhaps? Problem is the ready access to their weights I have is baseball reference, and as much as I love that page, I question the listed weights as Sabathia is listed as 250 lbs on that page. Garces ("El Guapo") also lists on that page as being only 250 lbs.
Enjoy these pics, please!
So if you have access to a listing of players' true weight, please share. Because I question baseball reference when they tell me that John Kruk weighed 204 lbs.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Mainly I posted this just because I wanted to be able to include that picture of Manny and a grill. The grill, FYI, was being sold on ebay as Manny's grill, but later pulled as the ownership of the grill could not be verified as being Manny's.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
And now, in the (post-?) steroid era, appreciation for Griffey's natural skill has only grown. It's commonly agreed upon that if not for Griffey's run of injury shortened seasons, it would be he, not Bonds, holding the career home run title.
Today, the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to trade Griffey to the Chicago White Sox.
It's not so much the impact he may or may not have on the White Sox that upsets me. It's that I can no longer root for him. He's on one of my most despised teams (along with the Yankees). Well, I can still hope that he hits like a billion home runs, meanwhile the rest of the White Sox bat .000 so they never win again.
It's not reported yet who the Sox gave up for him, but I sincerely hope it was someone really good.
P.S. That picture of Griffey is like the quintessential Griffey pose from the 1990s. Watching a home run fly, immediate bat on the ground...classic.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
He took out a full page ad in a Cleveland paper called The Plain Dealer to thank the people of Cleveland for the ten years that he spent with the tribe.
A nice sentiment in this day and age of sports, when often times a player's only farewell to the fans may be in the form of a one finger salute. Or in the case of Brett Favre, an enormous headache.
And speaking of CC, this gave me quite the laugh, despite the fact that Prince Fielder went vegetarian this past year.
I also want to take a moment to send my thanks the Milwaukee Brewers for taking one of baseball's best pitchers out of the AL Central.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
590 runs scored, 623 runs given up.
It takes a special team to lead baseball in runs scored and yet still have a negative run differential.
It should be noted though that it's not entirely the pitching staff's fault. After all, they're actually only second to last in baseball in earned runs given up, trailing Pittsburgh's pitchers by 7 runs. But the Rangers are 43 runs ahead of the third most earned runs given up. The Rangers lead all of baseball in unearned runs given up with 72. They also lead baseball in errors with 89.
You know, It's generally not a good thing when a case could be made that the best starter you've had all season is Sidney Ponson, especially when he's not even with the team anymore.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Congrats on your first (of hopefully many) major league dinger Denard!
EDIT: Not to be outdone, Twins leader in home runs Justin Morneau got his own 2 run home run in the same inning to take a 4-0 lead, his 17th of the season and the 127th of his career.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Carlos Gomez left the Twins game in the first inning today after crashing into the center field wall making a sweet catch. Check out the video. He left the game on a stretcher on a cart. No official word on his condition, but on the radio they said the initial report was that he is okay.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I'm sure you all know what happened next, so I'm not gonna take the time to explain the situation. The picture should tell enough about how awesome it was though.
Anyways, the Baseball Hall of Fame has a traveling exhibit called "Baseball As America." It came to the Twin Cities last year, and I had the pleasure of going twice. There are a lot of awesome baseball relics to be seen there. I got to see the Abner Doubleday baseball, a Honus Wagner baseball card (you know, THE Honus Wagner baseball card), and blah blah blah, a whole lot of neat artifacts. But my favorite thing I got to see was the pine tar bat. This is what the display looks like:
And that bumper sticker is one of the finer baseball souvenirs I've ever seen.
It's kind of funny that this is one of the most famous moments in baseball history, and it's actually a pretty meaningless event in comparison to many other famous moments (The shot heard round the world, Don Larson's perfect game, Bill Buckner...).
Searching for Abner Doubleday stuff led me to this, quite possibly the most disgusting baseball relic ever.
In the name of fighting terrorism, Yankee stadium has a ban on bringing bottles of sunscreen to their games.
"Security guards collected garbage bags full of sunblock at the entrances to Yankee Stadium over the sweltering weekend, when temps hit 96 degrees and the UV index reached a skin-scorching 9 out of 10 - a move team officials said was to protect the Stadium from terrorism."
Not to worry though, the stadium does have sunscreen you can purchase there. It's only $5 for 1 ounce of SPF-15.
Oh yeah, Major League Baseball has been raising awareness of skin cancer for ten years now through their program called "Play Sun Smart."
If you can't bring sunscreen into Yankee Stadium, then the terrorists have truly won.
Hey man. How's it going. Life treating you well? Got a minute? I'd like to talk.
Seriously dude, you need to knock this shit the fuck out. And I'm not talking about the ball out of the ballpark. You've been doing enough of that this season. What I'm saying is, where the hell did you come from, and who the hell do you think you are?
Let's think about this for a second. Before this season, you had hit 14 home runs through 138 career games. Granted, you're a young dude, and who knows what to expect from you. But seriously, 26 home runs through 100 team games? Granted you're not on pace for any records of any sort, but still.
The White Sox gave up Chris Carter for you. No, not Cris Carter. Or Chris Carter. In fact, they gave up a Chris Carter that I can't even find a link for in the short amount of time I'm willing to dedicate to this post.
So let's quit fooling ourselves. You were expected (by most everyone) to be possibly mediocre. So why don't you do us Twins fans a favor and fall back into what your expected path was meant to be?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Anyways, Taylor Teagarden may be one of my favorite names in baseball (asides from Asian players with cool names; I'm talking purely goofy names), alongside Milton Bradley and Coco Crisp.
I miss Stubby Clapp.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
My preferences for AL outcomes for Sunday, July 20, with home team in CAPS:
TWINS over Rangers
Royals over WHITE SOX
ANGELS over Red Sox
RAYS over Blue Jays
ORIOLES over Tigers
A's over YANKEES
MARINERS over Indians
I am too damn impulsive, and the Internet is my enabler. I just randomly decided to bid on like 4 different beckett baseball price guides. One purely for the sweet Deion Sanders picture on the front, you know. Why did I do this?
I'm not impulsive enough however to pay $55 for one these beautiful personalized beach towels.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Kansas City Royals All-Star Joakim Soria. A nickname that allegedly started on Rany on the Royals. I say: well done. Here's a video of Soria receiving one of these sweet t-shirts.
Ok, so the shirt isn't all that sweet, but the nickname and the image on the shirt both are.
A nickname well deserved. Asides from the obvious (dude's Mexican), he's got an ERA of 1.47, WHIP of 0.721, 25 saves out of 27 opportunities, and...wait a second, this all sounds familiar. Didn't I just cite Soria's stats? Two posts referring to Joakim Soria in a row from me?
Sweet, that means that I get to apply the Mexicutioner tag to a previous post! Anyways...
So this got me looking at the list of baseball nicknames on Wikipedia. Some funny, some bland, some legendary.
You know, Sultan of Swat is actually the coolest nickname ever.
But I noticed a disturbing trend while reading over the nicknames of some current, or recent players. And this trend is known as (bestowed by Chris Berman).
Here we go!
"Paul Orville Assenmacher", "Bruce 'Eggs' Benedict", "Jeff 'See Thru' Blauser", "Ron 'Extrava' Gant", "David Supreme Court Justice", "Greg Mathe Maddux", "Rick Junk Mahler", "Crime Dog" (Ed. note: Crime dog is an awesome nickname), "Mark Bay City Wohlers", "Brady Bunch Anderson", "Harold Growing Baines", "Toby Last Harrah", "Brook Jacoby Wan Kenobi", "Pat Pick Up the Tabler", "Jim Thome Can You Hear Me?", "My Cousin Vinny Castilla", "Jesus Skip to my Alou", "Jeff Brown Paper Bagwell", "Kevin Small Mouth Bass", "Bill Doran Duran", "Terry Swimming Puhl", "Craig Reynolds Wrap", "Wally Absorbine Joyner", "John Mayberry R.F.D.", "Brent Remember the Mayne'", "Jeff Montgomery Ward", "Kevin Alka Seitzer", "John Hia Wathan", "Chuck Dorsal Finley", "Jim Bela Fregosi", "Bobby Seven Year Grich", "Tim Sock-Eyed Salmon", "Frank Tanana Daiquiri", "Greg Gagne with a Spoon"...
I can't do that anymore. There's way too many, and I think you get the point: Chris Berman nicknames are like Family Circus cartoons. In the sense that Berman and Bil Keane should both die.
/astonished to learn that Bil Keane is not already dead
On a side note, FAGGOTS!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Most of the "new rules" are stupid and don't actually apply to real baseball rules at all.
Essentially, his readers submit suggestions for rule changes in baseball, he picks his favorite, then presents them on his page for people to vote on. The newest post pertains to "No more token All-Stars in Midsummer Classic." The proposed rule, as submitted by one reader:
"Eliminate the rule that requires every team to have a representative at the All-Star Game. If your team stinks, then your team stinks. As a Pirates fan, it's more embarrassing to have a sub-par 'All-Star' take the field than to have none at all. No more 'Charity All-Stars.'"
My interpretation of this suggestion is that if a team does not have a player having a season worthy of the All-Star game, then that team does not get to send someone. If a team that sucks however has a player that's doing awesome, that player should still be able to go. For instance, the 2003 Rangers were 38-55 at the All-Star break. However, they happened to have that season's MVP in Alex Rodriguez. But yeah, back to the existing rule that each team must be represented.
This is a matter that I'm not sure where I stand. I see plus and minus to it. I'm sure it'd be possible to put together quite an atrocious "All-Star" roster comprised solely of undeserving players there purely because of the rule making sure each team is represented. For instance, I'm sure no one really supported Mark Redman being an All-Star in 2006. The 2006 Royals were a pretty bad team. On the other hand, good teams do not always deserve an All-Star either. For instance, Eddie Guardado did not deserve the All-Star appearance that he got in 2003. If any Twin deserved to go that year, and that's a big if, it should have been Latroy Hawkins. But setup men don't go to the All-Star game. It's for starters & closers.
Anyways, getting to my point. Eric Kay's response to this suggestion is this:
"Applied to this past game, there's a chance we'd have no Cristian Guzman, Nate McLouth, Adrian Gonzalez, Joakim Soria, Carlos Guillen or George Sherrill despite their merits if there wasn't the pressure to include players from struggling teams."
Is he suggesting that the only reason these players were in the All-Star game is because of the obligatory All-Star rule? Or is he suggesting that if a team is subpar, they don't deserve to send an All-Star? Either way, he's stupid.
A case can definitely be made for perhahs Guzman, Guillen, or Sherrill not deserving an All-Star appearance and are only there because no one on their team is having a spectacular season. But McLouth, Gonzalez, and Soria? Are you kidding me? These guys are tearing it up. In fact, I voted for McLouth to start in OF for the NL. Kay basically checked to see what teams have poor records, saw who their lone all star was, and assumed that they don't deserve an appearance.
McLouth is batting .280/.356/.539 with 19 homers and 65 RBI. Gonzalez has a line of .279/.349/.507 with 22 homers and 71 RBI. Soria has pitched 43 innings of relief, and is sporting a 1.47 ERA, 0.721 WHIP with 46 Ks while allowing 22 hits. That ain't bad.
All three perfectly deserving of their All-Star status. On the other hand, the hell was Carlos Marmol doing being on the All-Star roster? He got on the roster as an injury replacement to his Cubs teammate Kerry Wood. Someone like, you know, Johan Santana perhaps could've served as a more deserving replacement than Carlos Marmol. I'm sure there are other pitchers who were not All-Stars that deserved it more than Marmol, but Johan is the easy name to use here.
Side note: The Twins All-Star reps in 2001 were Matt Lawton, Joe Mays, and Eric Milton. I like their three this year a bit better: Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan, and Justin Morneau.
Remember, this dude was actually kind of cool for a little while there. Not only was he a power hitter, but he was fucking tall, so he looked pretty awesome at the plate crushing the puny ball out of the park. But that was then, this is now.
He was cut. By the Seattle Mariners. [takes deep breath while thinking about that] A man that was batting .218/.315/.381. A 6'8" man that twice hit 45 homers in a season, and hit 34 as recently as 2006. This is how far he's tumbled. Dude made $15.5 million in 2007!
He was cut by the Seattle Mariners. The team with the worst record in the AL cut him from their roster. But now, he's quite possibly the answer to the Yankees problems, or so says BBTN. They actually suggested something along those lines!
Think about the 2008 Yankees for a second. Think about the reasons that they're underperforming (for Yankees standards) and third in their division despite having far and away the largest payroll in MLB. Now, have you dwelt on the Yankees problems this year...
Does Richie Sexson even remotely fit into what you think could help them 'turn it around?' On an offense with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Jorge Posada, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui (some of whom are injured, yes), you think that Richie Sexson is the answer? If so, you should probably re-evaluate what you think you know about baseball.
I hate the Yankees. For that reason, I am personally excited that they have the fortitude to sign Richie Sexson. Or as he'll soon be known as in New York, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
EDIT: First off, yes, this was probably more a salary dump than anything for the Mariners. Secondly, the Yankees did sign him to help them with hitting left handed pitching. To Sexson's credit, his splits look like this:
Thursday, July 17, 2008
As everyone knows, Francisco Liriano is, er, was an awesome pitcher. His 2006 breakout season was amazing, both Cy Young and Rookie of the Year worthy, had he been able to finish the season. Following demolishing his arm that season, Liriano missed the 2007 season due to Tommy John's surgery and blah blah blah, you know who Liriano is.
So anyways, Liriano has been tearing it up in the minors over his last 3 starts, going 3-0, 0 R, 0 ER, 24 K's, 3 BBs, 10 hits, 20 innings. So does he deserve his due? Well, Liriano's agent, Greg Genske, seems to think so. So much so, that he's willing to file a grievance about it. From Ken Rosenthal
""He's now dominating," Genske told FOXSports.com. "The team agrees he's dominating. (The union) has determined that there is reasonable cause to open an investigation to see whether the Twins, by leaving him in the minors, are violating his rights in the Basic Agreement."
If Liriano filed a grievance, he could seek either a restoration of major-league service time, financial compensation or both. His loss of major-league time already will prevent him from qualifying for salary arbitration with three years of service and almost certainly will prevent him from qualifying as a "Super Two" player as well."
I can understand both sides in this somewhat, but this would seem to be another one of those situations that could probably be handled a little more graciously than, you know, taking it to the press. Nothing beats strife between a team and a star player. Does wonders for morale all around.
I like how sympathetic Nick Punto looks in this picture.
Hideo Nomo, a one time all star, 1995 NL Rookie of the year, and owner of two no-hit games, has officially retired from Major League Baseball at the age of 39.
Hideo Nomo was still around you ask? Well, sort of. After being a failure with Tampa Bay in 2005, which up until this year meant your career is as good as over (i.e. Wade Boggs, Fred McGriff, Ozzie Guillen, John Rocker), he didn't pitch again until being given a few innings with the Royals this season. Being offered a few innings with the Royals is the new being-washed-up-in-Tampa-Bay. Anyways, in those 4.1 innings pitched, Nomo gave up 10 hits, 4 walks, and 9 runs, for an ERA of 18.69. Nomo's last season as a serviceable pitcher was in 2003. So it only took five years to accept the inevitable.
On top of the awesomeness that was his rookie season (in which he was the second best pitcher in the NL, damn you Greg Maddux!), Nomo was THE pioneer (does Masanori Murakami count?) for Japanese players in baseball today. He paved the way for such players as Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Kosuke Fukudome, Tadahito Iguchi, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Irabu, So Taguchi, Kaz Matsui, Kenji Johjima, and my personal favorite, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, amongst others.
So without you Hideo Nomo, baseball may have missed out on some of the awesomest names to ever play the game.
Hideo Nomo Retires (AFP)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I was reading the transcript to the post home run derby interview with Justin Morneau (but I'm not a loser), and it occurred to me what a polite boy that Justin Morneau is. A sample paragraph:
"Yeah, I mean, I didn't really make the rules. But, you know, it's been that way. They changed the rules the last couple years and made it so you add the two total rounds and all that kind of thing. The format is great. I mean, there's nothing really that I would change. But, you know, it does seem kind of unfair that he didn't get, you know, to win the whole thing with hitting the most total home runs. But at the same time, we were, you know, just going by what the rules were, and I'll definitely take it (smiling)"
Two "I means" and four "you knows," plus he ends the paragraph with a smile?
Throughout the nine question press conference, the Canadian Crusher tallied up a total of 27 "you knows" (an average of three per response!), but only 11 "I means."
I think someone has taken quite nicely to Minnesota Nice.
2008 Home Run Derby Press Conference Transcript
And oh yeah, congrats to Justin and the other Twins all stars on great representation of their team. Mauer going 1-1 with a walk, Nathan having a 1-2-3 inning, and Morneau winning the Home Run Derby, coming up with two hits in the all star game and scoring the winning run!