Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Onion got even better after they added Sports

As a fan of Little League Baseball for the Nintendo Entertainment System, this article strikes me as far too good to simply offer a snippet, so I am going to reprint an Onion article here in its entirety. Enjoy!

Hawaii Wins Little League World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, PA—The Hawaii team, known for its powerful lineup of short, fat Skill 5 hitters, defeated the Mexico team 12-3 in the championship game of the Little League World Series, a four-round, single-player tournament held from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Sunday. A majority of the games were played in Speed Mode.

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.

Congrats, Mariners, for being the first!

The Seattle Mariners recently became the first team this season to be eliminated from contention for their division title. They're not technically out of wild card contention, but give 'em a couple days and they'll be there.

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

Die Bud Selig

Fuck you.

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. story about this.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Joe Mauer edition 2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

For $46,479, you can get a one-of-a-kind truck that shows your true dedication to the Minnesota Twins and/or Joe Mauer.

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.

Click here for more info on the truck, including several more photos. This beautiful beast is courtesy of Denny Hecker automotive. Denny must have realized there's enough vehicles driving around the Twin Cities with his damn scary face on the back (see: Metro Transit buses), that he decided to mix it up and introduce someone else's mug to drive behind.

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 Clapp is back!

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


A friend once told me that the Texas Rangers scare him more than any other team. The reason? Win or lose, the game is probably gonna be a blowout. Well, the Rangers game in Boston tonight wasn't a blowout, but sure had the fixings for one.

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.

The Perkilator dominates!

So I went to last night's Twins/Yankees game at the Metrodome, and boy am I thankful I did. That was a sweet game, for I got to see Glen Perkins pitch the finest game of his young career, and just a day after welcoming his second daughter into the world.

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

Devil be gone! These Rays are clean.

The Tampa Bay Rays just set a franchise record for wins in a season with 71. And at 71-46, they still have 45 games left to improve upon their new mark. Perhaps most importantly to the Rays though is that their win coupled with the Red Sox loss puts the Rays 4.5 games in first place.

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

Ok, this is purely speculative, so please bear with. And also note that many of the stats used are rounded off to eliminate decimal points.

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

Sabathia & Fielder: Heaviest teammate combination ever?

Here we see Prince Fielder and CC Sabathia wrapped up in each other's arms. Are they celebrating victory, or is it the culmination of this?

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


Welcome back to the bigs, buddy!
Livan, I'd like to say it was nice knowing you, but honestly, you just weren't for me. Monroe? Whatevs.

Manny off to LA, still looking to sell his gas grill

As we're all aware by now, Manny Ramirez is no longer with the Red Sox. Kind of a shame actually, Manny and Boston seemed to be a perfect fit, despite how tumultuous their relationship may have been.

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.