April 2008 Archives

ferrell.jpg

The game of the night features the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Angelheim battling it out for first place in the American League West. Surprisingly successful starter Dana Eveland faces less-surprisingly successful starter Ervin Santana. Santana looks to become just the second Angels starter to go 5-0 in the month of April since Frank Tanana did it 30 years ago. The first to do it since then? Joe Saunders, who did it last night by shutting out the A's.

Eveland has a handful of wins, too, so he's no stranger to April success. He is, however, a stranger to the Angels HAVING NEVER FACED THEM EVER. He's also not a stranger to the stage, having done some summer stock a few years back. He's also read The Stranger by Albert Camus three times, and seen the film Stranger Than Fiction starring Will Ferrell once while on a cross-country flight.

The game starts at 10:05 EDT so I assume only our commenter Farthammer will be watching. I look forward to enjoying the highlights on MLB.com in the AM.

Goose Gossage Gone Wild

| | Comments (2)
It's been a slow news week for us baseball writers. Yesterday, I made fun of Jay Mariotti for writing so much about Lee Elia... in a post I wrote about Lee Elia. That story actually spread like wildfire yesterday. I must have read about "the rant" in ten different places. It got me thinking about the Hal McRae rant (posted in TEH GLOG below), and in the process I stumbled across this gem from Goose Gossage. I think it's my new all-time favorite. He calls George Steinbrenner "The Fat Man," calls a writer a "greasy cocksucker," and calls Yankee fans "dumb motherfuckers." The whole thing is top class. Laugh along with me (but probably not your boss):

liveglog.jpg

Is this really the first regular season game I'm liveglogging between two American league teams? Well, I've only done three liveglogs so far so don't get your pantaloons in a knot.

Today's game features the White Sox and Twins facing off in the ol' Metrodome. The light-hitting White Sox face Minnesota rookie pitcher Nick Blackburn for the second time this season. They've already served him the injustice of a no-decision in a 7-5 White Sox win that saw Blackburn give up but 2 runs in five innings of work.

The even lighter-hitting Twins will face White Sox spot starter Nick Masset, who made his only other major league start last year against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Masset's earlier appearance against the Twins was a huge mess as he allowed five runs in 3 innings of relief on April 20th.

Joe Christensen, yet another sportswriter who should not be using his own headshot in his blog's sidebar, has the lineups. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY I HAVE THE LIVEGLOG AFTER THE JUMP.

liveglog.jpg
  • 1:10, Pirates at Mets: Oliver Perez was awesome when he came up with the Pirates, remember that? That was what, 1998, '99? Oh, 2004. Anyway, the shine came off that Camaro pretty quickly, and now Ollie is a Metropolitan. Today Perez's statistical rollercoaster passes through his old squad when he starts against them at Shea. Rob already recapped last night's extra innings thriller, let's hope there's no hangover.

  • 1:10, White Sox at Twins: Nick Massett takes on Nick Blackburn at the Metrodome. The keys to success could be how they handle Nick Punto and Nick Swisher respectively. I don't wanna give anything else away because Rob will be glogging this whole NICKGASM for you, live.

  • 1:15 Reds at Cardinals: To address one of my own horribly typed questions from last night, Johnny Cueto only struck out two Cardnials derniere soir. Mostly because the Cardinals kicked his ass and he only lasted 1.2 innings. Today Aaron Harang brings his 2,78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 1-3 record and basset hound face to the mound to square off against Braden Looper and the Redbirds.

  • 3:45, Rockies at Giants: Troy Tulowitzki busted up his quad last night and a loss today could put the defending champs one game behind the universally maligned Giants in the NL West. They'll trot out Ubaldo (no, YOU baldo) Jimenez to try and prevent that from happening. UJ has gotten trounced in his past couple of starts. The Rockies do not need that today. In brighter news, Garrett Atkins has a 15 game hitting streak. The Giants send out young Jonathan Sanchez who has been impressive thus far in 2008.

  • 4:35 Braves at Nationals: This game is in a purty stadium, but the Braves and Nationals have both payed pretty ugly this season. Intriguing nordic dude Jair Jurgens gets the start for the Braves and Shawn Hill goes for the Nationals. Perhaps there'll be a brawl or some sort of media roundtable to spice this one up.
umpire.jpg

On the heels of the Kerwin-Danley-getting-knocked-out story comes this cryptic item from last night's Cubs-Brewers contest:

   "Home plate umpire Jerry Crawford left Tuesday night's game after the second inning with an undisclosed illness and was sent to Illinois Masonic Hospital for evaluation. There was a 13-minute delay after Crawford left the field and play resumed in the top of the third with a three-man crew...The Cubs announced Crawford was "feeling ill" but had no further update.

Perhaps you remember Jerry Crawford as president of the Major League Umpires Association way back in 1999, when the umpires staged their mass resignation in a failed move to strengthen their union. Of course, Crawford and a few others rescinded their resignation while many other umps never got their jobs back. Look what that strategy did to poor Eric Gregg.

This wasn't the first time Crawford has left a game due to illness. As per this AP story, Crawford has a history with a bad back. Still, COMMENCE MASSIVE SPECULATION AS TO JERRY CRAWFORD'S ILLNESS...now.

clementebridge.jpg

Thanks to rain, what was supposed to be the game of the night on Monday ended up being the game of the night on Tuesday. No worries because anyone who was lucky enough to watch saw a great contest. Neither Johan Santana nor Ian Snell were particularly effective and neither of the two starters figured in the decision.

The Pirates struck first as the first batter of the game, Nate McLouth, hit a solo ding-dong to left-center off Santana. Snell erased two of three baserunners he allowed in the first three innings; catcher Ronny Paulino threw out Jose Reyes stealing in the first and he got Luis Castillo to ground into a double play in the third.

Jason Bay extended the Pirates' lead to two with a solo tater tot in the fourth, but the Mets came back to tie the game with a Ryan Church two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. By the fifth inning, Snell's night was done after allowing two runs on a single, triple, walk, and an error by Freddy Sanchez attempting to turn a double play. Whoopsie! Johan Santana was done after loading the bases in the top of the 6th, but escaped unscathed when Pedro Feliciano got Adam LaRoche to pop up.

The Pirates added a run in the eighth inning when Duaner Sanchez walked LaRoche with the bases loaded, and then tied the game in the ninth off closer Billy Wagner. Wagner's first blown save of the year was a result of a throwing error by Jose Reyes, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Freddy Sanchez. After the Mets failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, fans were treated to extra baseball action.

Newly called up John Van Benschoten was tabbed to pitch the bottom of the eleventh; he gave up a single, a balk, an intentional walk, another walk, and then a walkoff single to David Wright to earn his first loss of the year.

Having seen the Pirates for the first time this season, I can attest to the fact that they play sloppy baseball. They'd be a better team without the fielding mistakes and mental errors on the basepaths. New Pittsburgh manager John Russell should take a cue from Rusty Kuntz and school his players on the basics of the game.

sleep.jpgHere's what happened last night in baseball. Yeah, yeah. Whoa, yeah :

  • Red Sox 1, Blue Jays 0: Roy Halladay and Jon Lester matched each other inning for inning, going scoreless through 8 in one of the best pitchers' duels in the AL this year. Jonathan Papelbon came in in the 9th and got two outs before giving up a double to Scott Rolen. Dustin Pedroia then made a diving stop on a screaming Vernon Wells grounder up the middle keeping the shutout intact. In the bottom of the inning, Kevin Youkilis hit a liner to center that scored David Ortiz. Halladay has now pitched a CG in his last 4 starts... and lost 3 of them. Ouch. I still insist John Gibbons needs to watch his ass.

  • Phillies 7, Padres 4: Cole Hamels went 7 1/3 strong innings helping the Phillies deny Matthew Broderick Greg Maddux his 350th win, which is a kind of milestone... I guess. I mean, 350 is certainly an impressive number but it's not too powerful in the symbolic or aesthetic departments. Tom Gordon worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth and the Phillies bullpen is all of a sudden competent. That would be a pleasant surprise for Phillies fans if the word "pleasant" was in any of their vocabularies.

  • Tigers 6, Yankees 4: Curtis Granderson went apeshit with a homer, 2 walks and 3 runs scored. Phil Hughes' ERA climbed to 9.00 and the youngster was booed by the Bronx faithful. I can't see that having any effect on him. I mean he's 21 now, he should be totally hardened to that sort of thing. Gary Sheffield also homered which is pretty amazing for a guy with cortisone in both arms.

  • Dodgers 7, Marlins 6: The Dodgers got to Andrew Miller early, scoring 6 runs in 3 innings. Mr. Miller has an even higher ERA than Mr. Hughes right now with a 9.12, but he wasn't booed by either person at the game. Still, Derek Lowe couldn't make the 6 runs stick and it took a ninth inning single from Grandpa Jeff Kent to win the game. The Dodgers have won 4 in a row.

  • Twins 3, White Sox 1: Boof Bonser had his best start of the season when the Twins desperately needed it. Ron Gardenhire said as much before the game while gluing together two Winston 100s to create his signature "Ronster 200" pregame cigarette. Jason Kubel homered and Joe Nathan did what he always does as the Twins pulled within 3 games of the division leading Pale Hose.

Tonight's Questions

| | Comments (10)
night game.jpgHey kids, turn on the ol' transistor radio tonight to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
linkpunch gorillaSometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

  • According to Reds beat writer Hal McCoy, Bronson Arroyo has been swimming to help with his strength-training and is therefore a sassy senior just like Jorge Cantu. The Real McCoy

  • Watch out, opinionated Yankee beat writers. Kyle Farnsworth has a plastic hunting rifle and he's not afraid to use it. LoHud Yankees Blog.

  • Pat Lackey wonders who will replace Matt Morris in the Pirates rotation. My vote is for John Smiley. Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?

  • 'Duk creates a clever contest in which we are to guess the baseball players and coaches by looking at their guts. I, for one, am hoping that this will not involved colonoscopy photos. Big League Stew

  • Matthew Taylor (no, not our Matt_T) argues that the Orioles should focus on free-agent hitters and not free-agent pitchers. He's right. Peter Angelos has always been better off wasting money on folks like Albert Belle and letting folks like Mike Mussina walk. Just kidding, of course. He really is right. Roar From 34
dusty2.jpg

It's been another mediocre week for Dusty Baker and his Cincinnati Reds. Sure, they're on a three-game winning streak after scoring 20 runs in the final two games in San Francisco, but a two-game sweep in Houston still leaves the Redlegs in a tie for fourth place in the NL Central at 12-15. That's four wins and three losses on the week; now let's find out how Corey Patterson contributed over the last seven days:

Game 21: Didn't start, defensive replacement in eighth inning, tripled and scored in ninth.

Game 22: Didn't start, pinch-hit in seventh inning, 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Game 23: Led off, 2-for-3 with a run scored and was caught stealing.

Game 24: Did not play.

Game 25: Led off, 1-for-6 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

Game 26: Batted second behind Jerry Hairston Jr, went 1-for-4 with 2 runs, a walk, and two stolen bases.

Game 27: Led off, 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

So to recap, in twenty-seven games Corey Patterson has been used as the leadoff hitter 16 times. His on-base percentage on the year, however, is at .281, the worst among all regular players on the Reds. No manager in his right mind should be using such a creature in the lead-off spot, but who ever said Dusty Baker was in his right mind? Oh right, tons of people.

Lee Elia Is A Traveling Salesman

| | Comments (20)
You know, writing this blog may seem glamorous. What with all the money I make, and the fame accorded to me under an alias ensuring that no one will ever take anything I write seriously, things must look pretty sweet from the outside. However there are some parts of the job that are not so good. Like reading Jay Mariotti columns. The one I read this morning was textbook Jay, asking Cub fans to forgive inept foulmouth Lee Elia for the tirade he unleashed on them 25 years ago today. To wit, with tons of swearing:



So Mariotti wants Cubs fans to "forgive" Lee Elia for that, which means that Jay had no other ideas for today's column. Do Cubs fans still hold this against Elia? Is it overshadowing other more noteworthy accomplishments in his Cubs career? No, the guy was 127-158 in two years as manager. He sucked. And what the hell is with this recent idea of fans having to "forgive" someone for their mistakes? Only idiot baseball fans hold legitimate personal grudges against players/coaches for this kind of stuff. Who cares whether or not they absolve you?

This wouldn't be America if Elia wasn't using his notoriety to try and make a buck. Homeboy is backpedaling hard and has released what may be the worst piece of memorabilia I've ever heard of:

After years of being tortured by the incident, Elia came to town Monday with a new plan for an old story. With a percentage of the proceeds going to Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, he's selling a Lee Elia Rant kit that includes an autographed baseball and an audio chip with a dramatically different statement to the fans.

"I'll tell you one thing," Elia says on the chip. "It's time the Cubs get hotter than hell this season and stuff it up the rest of the baseball world. The 40,000 fans who fill the ballpark everyday and work hard for a living are no nickel dimers! They deserve a championship. They're real Chicago Cub fans. And print it!"

Eesh.

Update: According to the Chicago Tribune, Elia has a busy day of appearances scheduled so go on out there and unleash some blistering profanities at him, Cubs fans!
elephant.jpg

In last night's 14-2 rout of the Angels by the Oakland A's, Frank Thomas hit a single, double, and his first triple in six years, collecting 2 RBI and increasing his slugging percentage by 67 whopping points. Well if Frank Thomas is so good, then why did manager Bob Geren pull Thomas for a pinch runner after leading off the bottom of the seventh with a double?

It's almost as if Thomas has already fallen out of favor with his new manager! Bob Geren basically said to Thomas "No cycle for you!" J.P. Ricciardi was right! Frank Thomas is washed up! Sure, the game was much closer at that point as the A's had but a 6-2 lead and yes, Oakland scored eight runs that inning after Geren made the switch, but let's get real here. Bob Geren is just keeping Frank Thomas down! Emil Brown hit a homer in the game...why couldn't Thomas? Jack Hannahan hit a homer in the game...why couldn't Thomas? Heck, even Daric Barton hit his first ding-dong of the year...why couldn't Thomas?

I guess J.P. Ricciardi was right. Frank Thomas is too washed up to play for a last place team; his talents are only going to work on the team with the best record in the American League.

twoheaded.jpgReds writer, Iracane fave and fashion icon John Fay caught up with Ryan Freel last night. Freel was acting like my 10th grade girlfriend being all huffy and cryptic because he's pissed off about playing time. Apparently his lack of ABs is due to a conspiracy. I can't believe someone that has a little guy living in his head could be so moody!

"I'm trying to be careful about what I say," Freel said. "I've really got nothing good to say right now. There was a lot of stuff said that (was) misinterpreted or mis-communicated this offseason."

"It would have stunned a lot of people if they heard what was said about me. Apparently, I said I couldn't play every day to the manager. Apparently, I told him that this offseason. That would have never come out of (my) mouth."

Paranoid, much? How can he be sure what he said? How does he know Farney didn't say it? Is he calling Dusty Baker and Wayne Krivsky liars? I tried to get a comment from Krivsky but he wasn't getting any bars on his phone from the unemployment line. Freel wasn't done with the cuckoo tallk either:

"I wouldn't talk about this if we were winning. But we're losing. This isn't (the) team we are. We're not an under .500 team."

Oh yeah, Crazyface? I'll bet you $50 you guys finish with a losing record. Do we have a wager?

All words in parentheses were missing from the original article and added by me. Perhaps John Fay could use a copy editor for his blog.
sleep.jpg

Here's what happened in baseball while I was up against my will:

Yankees 5, Indians 2: Aaron Laffey was called up to the big club in Cleveland to face the hated Yankees and set the Cleve on fire for a couple hours. New York's big bashers hit some very hard and very long outs and managed just three baserunners (and no hits) through the first five innings. The Indians provided two runs of offense off Mike Mussina, and it's Laffey's time to shine! Well, it was Laffey's time to shine until the sixth inning. That's when the Yanks dinked and dunked and loaded the bases on a couple infield hits and scored a couple runs on some ground outs and before you knew it, Laffey was on the losing side and Mussina tied Carl Hubbell on the all-time wins list. Sorry, Indians fans, but Eric Wedge should not be so lucky.

Orioles 3, White Sox 3 (11): This game was suspended because of rain, so I'll write about it whenever Peter Angelos and Jerry Reinsdorf get together and decide to finish up what their respective baseball squadrons have started. Until then, I'll just attack Ozzie Guillen for attempting a squeeze play in the bottom of the tenth with just one out. Carlos Quentin doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a fly out by Joe Crede. Guillen then had Brian Anderson attempt to bunt with Quentin hustling his buns down the third base line, but Anderson foul tipped the ball into catcher Ramon Hernandez' glove; Hernandez tagged Quentin for the second out of the inning and Anderson struck out for the third. BOO, OZZIE, BOO!

Reds 4, Cardinals 3: Out in left field during the third inning of this clusterfuck, Chris Duncan misplayed a fly ball off Edwin Encarnacion's bat in the lights and yet was not charged with an error. Goddamn home scorers called this a RBI double. Encarnacion had two doubles (really just one though), two RBI, and a diving Web Gem at third base to lead the Reds. Rick Ankiel hit a solo ding-dong to fulfill my quota of saying ding-dong at least once for every one of these morning recaps I do. Francisco Cordero pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save in four whole chances. I'm really tired and there aren't enough baseball games over right now, partly because...

Mets 0, Pirates 0 (ppd, rain): Game of the Night!

mrmet.jpg

Really? The Pirates are participating in the game of the night? How is this humanly possible? The same Pirates who have not had a winning season since 15 years ago when Jim Leyland was the manager and his lungs were only slightly black? The same Pirates whose 10 wins and 15 losses (.400 winning percentage) start is actually considered an improvement? Allow me to answer my own hypothetical questions.

First, the obvious point. The Pirates are visiting Shea Stadium for the last time ever, and start off by facing the best pitcher in baseball: Johan Santana. His 3.12 ERA is certainly not the best in the league, but Johan turns heads and gets our attention whenever he takes the mound. Even if he pitches for the hated Mets.

But really, the Pirates have the tiniest bit of momentum going into tonight's game. They've finally shed Matt Morris' contract (the problem wasn't Matt Morris...it was Matt Morris' contract). They now employ young stud Neal Huntington, having purged Dave Littlefield last year. Things might get a little bit worse before they get better with the rebuilding in Pittsburgh, but at least they have an ace now in Ian Snell.

Snell got hit hard in his last start against the Cardinals, but he had three quality starts prior to that one. He's recorded 21 K's on the season versus 9 walks; hopefully he continues to keep his walk rate at 2 per nine innings. Unfortunately, the defense behind him is not exactly stellar as his BABIP allowed is .355 on the season.

Tonight's matchup features Snell versus Santana and you better believe I'll be watching that Mets-Pirates game instead of my cherished Yankees. I want to like the Pirates, I want them to succeed. And my girlfriend knows someone who used to know Ian Snell or something so my Ian Snell number is like three. That's kinda awesome.

Bat Attack Roundup, Monday April 28, 2008

| | Comments (8)
palm_smash_bat.jpgHere at WoW, we do our best to keep you abreast of the latest threats to your well-being. In our constant quest to keep you safe, here's a sampling of recent crimes committed by people wielding baseball bats:

  • Two Pennsylvania neighbors that have never gotten along settle things the hard way. With a baseball bat and a steak knife.

  • Massachusetts man spills cola on another man's patio; assaulted with aluminum bat for his clumsiness.

  • Three teens in Arizona use a baseball bat to steal liquor from a Walgreens. This is appalling. Why can't I buy liquor at Walgreens here?

  • There were like a dozen more I had to leave out because people were in critical condition and that's not really conducive to laughter.

Hey kids, let's stay safe out there. And if someone tries to assault you with a baseball bat just remember what your friends at Walkoff Walk always say:

"RUN LIKE THE FUCKING WIND."
zombiecub.jpg

New York Times writer Jack Curry recently chit-chatted with Cub hall-of-famer Ernie Banks for a piece Curry was doing about Jim Thome. All-around nice guy Thome recently passed all-around nice guy Ernie Banks on the all-time home run list, and you can absolutely cut the affability between these two sluggers with a knife. Yuck.

Anyway, Curry mentioned he had seen the poorly proofread Ernie Banks statue outside of Wrigley Field, which led Banks to reply:

    "Isn't that something?" Banks said. Then Banks told me he was hoping to add a cool feature to the display. "I want to do something with it so let me run this by you," Banks said. "I want to try and add my voice to it. This way, when people walk by, they'll hear me say, 'Welcome to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.' I'm going to talk to the Cubs about it."

Good idea, Ernie, but what are visitors to Chicago supposed to feel after you've passed on from this mortal coil? People get creeped out hearing voices from beyond the grave. ZOMBIE ERNIE BANKS NEEDS BRAINS!

War Is Kind: Today's Afternoon Game

| | Comments (16)
whitesoxkiss.jpg
  • 2:05, Orioles at White Sox: The first place Orioles take on the first place White Sox in the final game of this 4 game series. I think I speak for everyone when I say I totally saw this coming. Baltimore sends Daniel Cabrera to the mound. The flighty righty has acquired a semblance of consistency in his past two starts, and will try and quiet a Sox lineup that has scored 6 runs in each of the last two games. The White Sox counter with Javy Vasquez. Both have identical 4.40 ERAs.


You oughta see the picture in full size to fully appreciate it. Does anyone have a better title for this picture? Enter it below in the comments. Stolen from Defective Yeti.

creepy-scary-trees-thumb564746.jpgSubliminal tension and worry are not hallmarks of good sportswriting. Creeping paranoia is not something one should take away from a newspaper recap of a baseball game, but I'll be damned if that's not what I'm picking up in a lot of the writing about Erik Bedard's performance against the A's last night on Sunday. This is from Grumpy Geoff Baker's story in the Seattle TImes:

Bedard is known for ringing up hitters, having fanned more than 200 of them last season to lead the AL. But a nagging hip injury, which put him on the DL after only two starts -- one of them delayed a couple of days -- had caused no end to the hand-wringing and debate amongst fans about the February trade that brought him here from the Baltimore Orioles.

It didn't help that two of the trade's centerpieces, Adam Jones and George Sherrill, came back to haunt Seattle in a tough loss earlier in the week while Bedard sat on the sidelines watching. Nor that the team won't disclose exactly what is causing the inflammation in Bedard's hip, despite swirling rumors the injury is more serious than anyone is letting on.

But aside from some early rust, which led to two of Bedard's four walks issued on the night, the hip didn't appear to be a factor.

Oh, those swirling rumors. They fly in on the winds of dread and whistle through the trees at such speeds that you can almost swear they're saying, "Oooooh. Hip inuries don't tend to resolve themselves very well in pitchers. Ooooooh."

sleep.jpg

Here's what happened in baseball while knowing how to be a star:

Rangers 10, Twins 0: Livan Hernandez is only 33 years old? Really, Livan? Really? Can I see a copy of his birth certificate? Can we get E:60 to confront him, Punk'd-style on this? No matter how old the thirteen-year vet is, he got absolutely shell-shocked by the Texas Rangers, giving up nine hits and seven runs in less than 3 innings. Milton Bradley hit a three-run tater tot in the first inning and it was all downhill from there for Livan. Well, not really. It was all downhill when he signed with the Twins. They don't got no empanadas in Minneapolis.

Marlins 3, Brewers 2 (10): Wes Helms' extra-innings ding-dong helped Florida win the rubber game in Milwaukee and tighten their stranglehold on the National League East. Jeff Loria and his Fightin' Fish haven't been in first place this late since the glory days of Todd Jones, Carlos Delgado, and Mike Lowell in 2005. Yes, those people all played for Florida just three seasons ago. Bizarre. The Marlins used eight pitchers, including Doug Waechter, while the Brewers used just seven. Only seven, Ned Yost? You've got 14 pitchers on your roster, use 'em more wisely. (Whoops, make that thirteen)

Diamondbacks 2, Padres 1: Brandon Webb continues his reign of terror over the National League West, moving to 5-0 against his division rivals and 6-0 overall. His ERA dropped to 1.98 with six innings and no earned runs allowed, while his rival Jake Peavy just can't catch any breaks. This is the second time this season that the Padres have lost a 2-1 game with Peavy on the mound, the first being that 22-inning ordeal against the Rockies in which Peavy threw eight scoreless innings and recorded eleven strikeouts. Snakes catcher Chris Snyder hit the game-winning home run in the second inning, so he had to wait seven innings to fully celebrate the gravity of his ding-dong.

Rays 3, Red Sox 0: I don't read the Boston dailies so I cannot fully get a reading of the Red Sox' fans feelings about being swept by the Rays and booted out of first place. I'm entirely aware of all the hemming and hawing about the Yankees lack of production in the early going, but allow me to speak for both fanbases when I ask, "WHAT THE FUCK GOT INTO THE DEVIL RAYS?" James Shields collected his first career shutout, albeit against a lineup that lacked David Ortiz, and Rays rookie Evan Longoria hit a seventh-inning solo homer off Josh Beckett. Earlier in the game, Beckett made a shitty pickoff attempt, allowing baserunner Jason Bartlett to scamper to third base. Bartlett scored when J.D. Drew picked up the ball and threw wildly towards home. You call that run unearned? Pfft.

The Sunday Morning Post

| | Comments (10)
televangelist2.jpg Hey kids, here's what happened last night with the wolves at the door:

  • Brewers 4, Marlins 3: Prince Fielder scored on a suicide squeeze (!) then hit a go ahead solo ding dong in the bottom of the eighth to give the Brewers the dramatic win at home. Eric Gagne held the lead (!!) for his seventh (?) save(.)

  • Rays 2, Red Sox 1: The Rays revolution will be televised. For two nights in a row against Boston, apparently. Edwin Jackson held the Sox to one run in 7 IP but his counterpart, Clay Buchholz did even better, holding the Rays scoreless through his 7 IP. Unfotunately, Buchholz pitched 8, with the last frame including a two run bomb to Aki Iwomura that just about hit the back wall of the Trop.


  • Dodgers 11, Rockies 3: The Dodgers scored ten runs in the first inning, then Brad Penny cruised through 7 scattering 4 hits and sending one umpire to the hospital. Home plate ump, Kerwin Danley took a 96 MPH hard one to the kisser and got knocked out and carried off the field on a stretcher. Word is, he'll be ok. The prognosis is not so good for the Rockies.

Today:

James Shields and the Rays go for the sweep against Josh Beckett and the Red Sox... It's Wang vs. Sabathia in Cleveland as the Indians try and break out the brooms... Struggling Ted Lilly (back up, bitch) is on the mound for the Cubs in Washington...Jon Miller and Joe Morgan take us through tonight's Angels/Tigers tilt. The game is in Detroit, so you know Miller's Hispanic pronunciation won't be the only thing en fuego.

What'd I miss? Lemme know down below.

The Saturday Evening Post

| | Comments (6)
SatMornPost.jpg Here's what's been going on while I was hanging out here and feeling super cool.

  • The Yankees and Indians are tied at 3 in the seventh and Joe Buck won't SHUT THE FUCK UP about the NFL Draft. I already hated this asshole, but today has taken it to a whole new level. Listen you waspy pinhead, if I gave a shit about the draft I'd be watching it. Or I'd go to one of seventeen million websites where a bunch of one sport Neanderthals are mashing their fat fingers into their keyboards to discuss each pick. As it is, I'm watching a baseball game, and a damn good one at that. I know you're kind of an idiot but I'd appreciate even your futile attempts to try and broadcast the game that you're looking at, you obtuse dipshit. Yes, I know it's probably a network directive since Fox carries football, but still. Go to hell, Joe Buck.

    The Indians beat the Yankees last night but since I'm doing this post at dinner time, you probably already know that.

  • The Snakes and Padres are also tied at 7 in the 9th.

  • The Orioles improved to 14-9, as Brian Burres' 8 scoreless IP beat the White Sox; The Mets topped the Braves behind a solid start from John Maine; The Tigers bounced back from last night's lost beating the Angels 6-4; The Cardinals beat the Astros on a walkoff single from Skip Schumacher. The game also featured some headhunting and both benches clearing... with no punches thrown. Otis Nixon thinks you're all pussies.

Tonight:

The Red Sox will try to avenge last night's loss against the Rays... Phillies go for two straight against the Bucs... Erik Bedard tries to stop some of the bleeding in Seattle... I stay home and drink High Life because there's no way in hell I'm going to the ROFLCon afterparty.

Enjoy your evening, WoWies. I'll try and be more timely tomorrow!

This Weekend's Questions

| | Comments (8)
night game.jpg Hiya pals! After you're super bored with the NFL Draft, tune in this weekend to find out:


Then stop by for the answers this weekend as CTC wraps up the ballgames. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt This Week

| | Comments (9)
stretcher.JPG You know how women can have that surgery that makes their ladyparts all "like new again?" I think that's the real reason the following baseball players are out this week.

  • Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks: Byrnes is out with "leg issues," which is a moronic ailment fit for a moron. Care to be a little more vague Eric? Did you slap your legs too hard laughing at the new Meow Mix commercial? Did you impale yourself with a screwdriver trying to open a can of Franks n' Beans? I gotta know man!

  • Jermaine Dye, White Sox: Mr. Dye strained his groin. Ouch. That's the one that keeps your dick attached. Teammate Jerry Owens said, "A strain? Who gives a shit? I straight tore my dick attacher and you don't see me crying." Dye had been hitting pretty well, with a .319 avg going into last night.

  • Jake Westbrook, Indians: Jake Westbrook sucks. And when he's not sucking he's hurt. This week it's a strained muscle in his ribcage. Somehow all this sucking and getting hurt doesn't prevent Westbrook from making like $25M between now and 2010. Too bad they can't give any of that money to Sabathia.

  • Carlos Guillen, Tigers: Just as the Tigers offense is beginning to come together, Guillen is out indefinitely with a severely bruised right knee. Jim Leyland (that asshole) says Guillen "can't even walk." Aw shit, I don't have time for this. Quit exaggerating and get Carla some kneepads. You got a team to run, Pall Mall.

  • Milton Bradley & Ian Kinsler, Rangers: Both players are complaining of hamstring soreness making this an open and shut diagnosis. Sexually Transmitted Hamstring Injuries.

Because Commenter Participation Friday is also Classic Television Friday, I bring you this clip from the halcyon days of 1991. Watch Atlanta Brave Otis Nixon take umbrage at Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Wally Ritchie's inside pitches:



Wally Ritchie was suspended just one game while Nixon got four games off to go buy some crack. Commenters, participate! What feud do you think has been brewing long enough that will cause a future brawl in baseball?

In the following video, a bunch of dipshit editors from a newspaper called the Standard-Times (which covers something called the SouthCoast of Massachusetts; never heard of it) try and break a baseball bat. The crumb covered hosers attempt to do so by whacking the hell out of a tree. This is possibly the most boring 3 minutes of video in history, but I'm still kind of pissed they beat up a tree.



Hey kids, what's a better way to break a bat? I have no problem with human violence.
untouchables.jpgI'll see your Tim Lincecum 16 1/3 scoreless and raise you 5 more. With his CG shutout last night against the Royals, Cliff Lee extended his streak to 21 1/3 innings. In the AMERICAN LEAGUE, MOTHERFUCKERS. Lee's overall numbers are staggering:

31 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 29 K, 2 BB

Christ in a cowboy hat, those are beautiful. It's a shame that of all the people that get to enjoy this mastery it has to be Indians fans. Well, them and shameful ignoramus Steve Phillips. I think I've already mentioned it on WoW but it bears repeating Steve Phillips once called Lee the best left handed pitcher in baseball. He was ridiculed at the time but now it seems Nostrasteveus could be right, two years ahead of time. Albeit we're dealing in small sample size but I could be led to believe that Lee has finally got his shit together.

So in the spirit of Steve Phillips being a clairvoyant genius, I put it to you Participating Commenters : make a prediction that sounds totally retarded now but will be correct in two years.
spahnsain.jpg

The Giants and the Padres played the game of the night, with San Francisco prevailing 1-0 behind starter Tim Lincecum's 6 and 1/3 innings of shutout pitching skills. Five-foot-ten Lincecum and six-foot-ten Diamondbacks Padres (I didn't have my coffee yet) starter Chris Young were locking antlers for most of the game until 36-year-old Rich Aurilia hit a solo ding dong that determined the margin of victory, thrusting San Diego into sole possession of last place. Closer Brian Wilson pitched the ninth and collected his seventh save.

With eleven gentlemen left on base, the Padres certainly had their opportunities to score in this game. Tim Lincecum was able to weasel out of bad situations (he walked five!) with his magic. Either that or his 98-MPH fastball: Padre first baseman and slugger extraordinaire Adrian Gonzalez struck out thrice against Lincecum, who had nine K's in the game.

Lincecum now has a 16 and 1/3 inning scoreless streak and leads the majors with 36 strikeouts. He's got 4 wins even though he and the rest of the lineup have only cobbled together sixteen runs in his five starts. They've been well-distributed though because the Giants have won all five of those games. Let's review: they're 5-0 in Lincecum's starts and 5-13 with the rest of those chuckleheads on the mound. In the spirit of "Ian Snell and Four Days of Hell" or "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain", the Giants need a clever saying to describe how outstanding Tim Lincecum is and how awful the rest of the rotation has been. Commenters, participate! What should be this clever saying?

sleep.jpg

Here's what happened in baseball while I crawled in the dust again :

Braves 7, Marlins 4: Chipper Jones celebrated his 36th (or was it his 38th) birthday with a homer, two singles, and a huge LOL from the dugout as teammate and catcher Brian McCann legged out a triple. Atlanta picked up a win and a game on first place Florida while reliever Manny Acosta became the first Brave pitcher this season to record a second save. The revolving door of closers in Atlanta keeps spinning, though, as Mike Gonzalez is expected back next month after Tommy John surgery kept him out a year.

Tigers 8, Rangers 2: Texas' downward spiral keeps...um..spiraling....uh... in a downward fashion but don't expect any sympathy from crotchety grampa Jim Leyland. His Tigers crossed the plate so many times this series they've got dinnerware service for an entire army. Jason Jennings gave up five hits and five walks and five runs in five innings and is probably suffering flashbacks to his days in Coors Field. The Tigers hit, yes, five home runs in the game, including two taters from the Big Tilde. I just realized that the last time the Rangers were relevant I was downloading Blessid Union of Souls off Napster in my dorm room.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 3: Toronto's week of shame continues with a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Kissimmee Rays. The Rays finally sold out the 9500-seat stadium at Disney World, which is odd, because there was an awesome basketball game on TV between the Orlando Magic and some other professional basketball team! I believe it might have been the playoffs! I love this game! Anyway, Andy Sonnanstine moves to 3-1 and Evan Longoria had a triple. Mediocrity is great!

Nationals 10, Mets 5: The New York Mets cruised to an easy victo...what? They lost? To Washington? And gave up TEN runs? Oliver Perez held the Nats scoreless for the first 4 innings and then gave up three runs before he got pulled in the sixth inning. Aaron Heilman, who has pitched in every other Mets game this season, came in, loaded the bases, and gave up a grand slam to Felipe Lopez. Thanks for coming, Mets fans! Back to Metsploitation.com or Metstravaganza.com or MetsteriousGrowthOnMyNetherRegion.com or whatever silly Mets blog you run.

Tonight's Questions

| | Comments (5)
night game.jpg Hey kids, when you're done riding bikes tune in tonight to find out:

  • CAN so far shitty Phil Hughes follow in the footsteps of so far shitty Mike Mussina and not be shitty against the White Sox?

  • IS Cliff Lee's stellar start just a mirage, and will he be exposed against Brian Bannister and the Royals?

  • WILL the Nationals pull out a win against the Mets, something they haven't done in 4 tries this season?

Then stop by for the answers tomorrow on Commenter Participation Friday. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
linkpunch gorillaSometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

  • David Appelman argues that clutch isn't just for hitters anymore. Go read about starters and relievers and a little something called 'leverage'. Baseball Analysts

  • Ricky Nolasco is adding a splitter to his repertoire. I hope he doesn't call it Mr. Splitty. That's just ridiculous. Fish Stripes

  • Alex Ferreyra gives some due love to Hanley Ramirez, a true fantasy stud. Because fantasy stats never take defense into account. Machochip

  • Paul Sullivan has some not nice words for Congressman Rahm Emanuel, whose praise of the Cubs reveals his complete lack of knowledge about the team. Chicago Tribune Hardball

  • 'duk digs up some fantastic Boston nostalgia on YouTube. I have no feelings towards New England but I friggin' love me some 1993. Big League Stew
truck.jpg

Way back when I so aptly previewed the National League West, I predicted that three teams from this division would be contenders and two would make the playoffs. So far, my thoughts about Arizona have proven true: they've got the best record in the majors and are firing on all cylinders. Brandon Webb is 5-0 and fooling hitters everywhere with his sinker. Chris Young, Justin Upton, and Conor Jackson are all mashing the ball as if it were a delicious Yukon Gold potater. The rest of the division, however, is another story entirely. Here are your current NL West standings:

    1. Arizona Diamondbacks (15-6, .724)
    2. Colorado Rockies (9-12, .429)
    2. Los Angeles Dodgers (9-12, .429)
    4. San Francisco Giants (9-13, .409)
    4. San Diego Padres (9-13, .409)

Least surprising on this list would be the lack of competitiveness from the Giants. While they are barely scraping together three runs scored per game, the pitching staff has suffered injuries and even worse, is suffering Barry Zito. Would the Giants consider giving the lefty with an 0-5 record and a 5.61 ERA a couple weeks to regroup? They did it last year with Matt Cain and it worked out well:

When asked if the Giants might consider doing that with Zito, pitching coach Dave Righetti said, "No, because who the hell is going to pitch? We're not that deep in starting pitching. Noah Lowry is hurting now and we're not that deep in Triple-A. We need (Zito) to pitch."

Yikes. As for the Rockies, their bullpen has been the weakness so far. The Dodgers are simply underperforming where they should be. Their three best starting pitchers (Penny, Lowe and Kuroda) match up well with the Diamondbacks' top three. Also, they're outscoring their opponents across the month but little things like 'batting the aged Nomar Garciaparra third' or 'paying Andruw Jones to play baseball' are hurting the team.

I didn't predict the Padres to do very well, so I'm not going to try and find fault with their poor start. Besides first basegentleman Adrian Gonzalez, there are no hitters on that team that strike fear in the hearts of men. It's a shame; superstar first base prospect Kyle Blanks is ready to play, afro and all.

The Lamp In The Corner, In Vain: Today's Afternoon Games

| | Comments (13)
monte2.jpg
  • 12:35, Astros at Reds: The Reds fired their GM, Wayne Krivsky yesterday, and hired former Cardinals head man, Walt Jocketty. Maybe he can help the Reds with their senior citizen lineup. Young Johnny Cueto, who could be the grandson of some of the guys in the field behind him, gets the start today against Jack Cassell.

  • 1:05, Rangers at Tigers: Sheesh that Rangers pitching staff is terrible. We figured it would be but the bullpen is super atrocious and everyone looks overworked before April has even ended. The Tigers have used this Texas staff to jumpstart the offense to the tune of 29 runs in the past two games. Jason Jennings and his 7.08 ERA will try and stop the bleeding, and Jeremy Bonderman goes for the Detroit.

  • 1:05, Phillies at Brewers: Rob already told you about Veggie Burger's two ding-dongs last night. He'll try and keep up that heart healthy slugging today against Jamie Moyer and the Phils. The Brewers send out Jeff Suppan. Moyer vs. Suppan on Thursday afternoon. This is what it's all about!

  • 1:35, Angels at Red Sox: In the rubber match of this series Justin Masterson makes his Major League debut, taking on the Angels and influenza. Terry Francona said of the spreading sickness, "Doctors are doing what they can. Everybody's trying to heed the best advice and also win a game at the same time and field a team." Jesus. Sounds like they're on the Oregon Trail.

  • 3:05, Cubs at Rockies: The hot to death Cubs send Jason Marquis to the hill against a Rockies team that's lost four straight and is near the bottom of the NL West. The Cubs came back on a ninth inning homer from Aramis Ramirez last night, while I was snoozing on the couch and dreaming about someone trying to remove one of my teeth with a letter opener.

  • 3:35, Twins at A's: The Francisco Liriano comeback tour hits Oakland this afternoon. A gentleman named "Greg Smith" starts for the A's and he has a blank grey shadow for a face. This is the first time in baseball history someone from the Witness Protection Program will start an afternoon game. For an AL West club.
allsales.jpgIn today's New York Daily News, Mark Feinsand poses the question: Can Yankee fans handle a rebuilding year? There are a couple problems with this question (it's not the fans I'd be worried about), but the most important one is that it already has an answer: Yanks fans don't have a choice. It's already happening. If the line between rebuilding and 'in it to win it' is trading young talent for deadline help there is approximately 0.00% chance that Brian Cashman will do that in 2008.

Once the Yankees pulled prospects off the table for Johan Santana, that was it. No going back. Santana's availability was a test to the Yankees, and to an extent the Red Sox, to see just how committed they were to their young guys and their new player development ethos. There is no greater commodity in baseball than Johan Santana, and if you say no to him, you are bound for the duration of the 2008 season to say no to everyone else. Can you imagine what would happen if Cashman didn't pull the trigger on dealing Hughes/Kennedy/Chamberlain for Santana but then ships one for a mediocre deadline starter? They'll be using his testicles for Bubble Tea in Chinatown. Same goes for Lester/Buchholz in Boston.

All of those guys are untouchable for the rest of 2008. No questions. No handwringing. Unless they somehow deal some veterans, the Yankee roster is what is for the rest of year. Are you ok with that, Yankee fans? Well you sure better be.
market.jpg

Frank Thomas needs work and he's getting offers from his old employers. The Oakland Athletics are said to have offered the Big Hurt a roster spot but Thomas is still fielding offers from other teams. Oh no, Frank Thomas fielding? Those offers are gonna go right through his enormous wickets! Says Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown:

    Frank Thomas was close to signing with the Oakland A's on Wednesday until another team made an offer at the last minute, according to a baseball source. The second offer, from an undisclosed team, at least temporarily put the brakes on the A's deal.

Thomas would be a great fit with the A's. They've hit but nine home runs as a team so far and have got a slugging percentage lower than a team made up of hausfraus and little girls. Designated hitter-slash-outfielder Jack Cust's SLG has been cut in half since last year and his strikeout rate would make Rob Deer gasp. Their other DH, former Royal Mike Sweeney, has battled a bad back all season (heck, more like all career) so Thomas would give the A's some extra pop for a super low discount price.

So let's do some quick speculation? Who's the other team to make an offer to Thomas? Seattle? Tampa? Toron...oh, nevermind. J.P. Ricciardi would never be that smart.

sleep.jpg

Here's what happened in baseball while two spirits danced so strange:

Brewers 5, Phillies 4: The Brewers continued their domination against left-handed starters and we can't even blame the Phillies' bullpen for this loss. This one is all on southpaw Cole Hamels; he pitched a gritty 8 innings but was ultimately defeated by Prince Fielder's pair of two-run ding-dongs. Hamels collected eleven strikeouts and walked just two Brewers but couldn't overcome the Vegan Warrior's four RBI. Phillies hitters-slash-wunderkinds Chase Utley, Pat Burrell and Greg Dobbs had their own tater tots that went for naught in the loss.

Pirates 7, Cardinals 4: Dover, Delaware's own Ian Snell gave up a four-spot to St. Louis in the first inning but settled down to pitch five more innings without allowing a run. Don't know how though...kid still allowed eight more baserunners and struck out but one Cardinal. No matter, Ian Snell and Four Days of Hell didn't earn a win. He wasn't in the game when Pirate third baseman Jose Bautista put his team ahead in the eighth inning against reliever and eventual loser Anthony Reyes.

Tigers 19, Rangers 6: I can imagine the smile on Ron Washington's face when his Rangers took a COMMANDING 5-0 lead after the top of the second against Kenny 'Smudges' Rogers. It's the dawn of a new day in Arlington, baby! The Rangers are a team with which to be reckoned! Well new Detroit first baseman Carlos Guillen and his band of merry Tigers proceeded to score nineteen runs (including eleven runs in the sixth inning alone) on six terrible Texas pitchers. Make that five terrible Texas pitchers...C.J. Wilson pitched a perfect eighth. Whee! Guillen had two run-producing at-bats in that wacky sixth inning and CTC's preseason predictions are beginning to less ridiculous as the season progresses.

Angels 6, Red Sox 4: Looks like the only thing that can defeat the Red Sox juggernaut is a contagious disease. Yep, old Uncle Influenza knocked Josh Beckett from his start two nights ago and Daisuke Matsuzaka from his start tonight, thrusting Jon Lester into the game on just three games rest. I guess those cancer drugs do a wicked good job protecting him from the flu! Nice! Maybe he needs a new prescription to protect him from the mighty bat of Gary Matthews, though, who stroked a couple homers to lead Anaheim to the promised land, aka Jacob Wirth's on Stuart Street. SHUT UP I LIKE TO SING ALONG TO SHOW TUNES OKAY?

Yankees 6, White Sox 4: The Moose is back, baby!

Tonight's Questions

| | Comments (7)
night game.jpgHey kids, kick back, relax and take your pants off. Then tune in tonight to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel, where I promise not to test out how boring I can make a story ever again!
Osh_Logo_Small.gifAldrich M. Tan is reporting this afternoon that Oshkosh youth baseball is one step closer to the construction of ten new baseball diamonds. Last night, the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning application 33-3. All that stands in the way is a challenge from nearby Wittman Airport.

Wittman Regional Airport Director Peter Moll said the land that the field would be on is currently an airport overlay, a specialized zone to protect airports. Moll said it is located too close to an airport runway for safety concerns in case an airplane has to make an emergency landing.

A valid concern, but one that some proper planning and discussion should be able to work out. The next zoning meeting takes place Tuesday, April 29 at 6:30 in the Lounge Room of the Winnebago County Courthouse. The agenda mentions Don Schneider, Bohn Farms, and Robert E. Jones all having zoning issues. While Oshkosh youth baseball is not on the list, the committee members can amend agenda items based on requests from attendees.

Personally, I agree with Supervisor Bill Wingren when he says, "Oshkosh needs this kind of facility."

Show up and hit a home run for the kids of Oshkosh.

Who knew that the Padres had a celebrity fan? Oh, ahem, a celebreality fan. Kendra Wilkinson is 'famous' for taking her clothes off, becoming Hugh Hefner's girlfriend, and then having a seriously annoying laugh on a basic cable TV show. She's parlayed all this Playboy fame into the opportunity of a lifetime for a former fast pitch softball player from San Diego as she will soon be throwing out the first pitch at a Padres game.

Kendra was born and raised in San Diego and considers herself an avid and knowledgeable Padres fan, as the clip below (stolen from Gaslamp Ball) proves:



She's also a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and was actually hired by the organization a couple years back to write a fan blog on the team website. Her first three blog posts contained no words; she merely posted pictures of herself in a red fur-lined bikini. Perhaps Peter Abraham would like to try this gimmick out for his Yankees blog.

MLBlogs.com & A Player Blog That's Actually Good

| | Comments (12)
broken_computer_210307.jpgThe MLBlogs website is a noble attempt (I think) by baseball to get some of its players, announcers, front office members and "personalities" to seem more like humans. Why just look at all the different blogs they have for you, the fan:

  • Tommy Lasorda's World. Old pictures of Bobby Darin and recipes for tomato based lube.

  • Yooooouukkk. Beard grooming tips and boilerplate from a future union shill.

  • Scorpion Tales: CJ Wilson's Trek Across The Blogosphere. Wilson has been known to stir up some shit on the interwebs. So color me bored when I saw his latest post was about laundry.

  • Alyssa Milano's *Touch* Em All. I have no idea what the asterisks are for, but I am pretty sure the "Em" refers to pitchercock. Contains recipes for tomato based lube.

  • Harold Reynolds Presents. Harold hasn't updated since last year. I think he's pouting because *Touch* Em All was already taken.

  • Screech's Blog. This is the only time in my life I've ever been relieved to find out something was written by a grown man in a bird costume. My initial reaction was that they gave Dustin Diamond a blog and I was going to put my head through the monitor.

I poke fun at the blogs above to give a frame of reference for the really truly good player blog I found on the site. It comes from the cleanup hitter of frequent WoW punching bags, the San Francisco Giants. Yes, it's none other than Bengie Molina. Bengie's blog, Behind The Mask has only been going for a few weeks, but it's got two semi-frequently updated posts and contains that rarest of qualities, unique insight from a player. He sheds some light on the familial dynamics of the 3 Catching Molinas and he doesn't once tell me what it's like to 69 with Brad Penny poolside at the Chateau Marmont. For that Bengie, WoW salutes you.
liveglog.jpg

The powers that be have declared that today, Wednesday April 23rd, is to be the only Wednesday of the entire season without an afternoon game. So so sorry, fans of liveglog action. To make it up to y'all, I will let you choose which game I will liveglog next Wednesday afternoon. Here are your choices:

    White Sox @ Twins, 1:05 PM
    Pirates @ Mets; 1:05 PM
    Reds @ Cardinals; 1:15 PM
    Astros @ Diamondbacks; 3:40 PM
    Rockies @ Giants; 3:45 PM
    Braves @ Nationals; 4:35 PM

You just know I want that Nationals game so I can get away with glogging just 2 innings of action. Let me know in the comments which game I should glog next week.

jesus.jpg

For the second night in a row, the holier than thou Colorado Rockies have blown an eighth inning lead to the Philadelphia Phillies. Make that three games in a row where the bullpen has given up a seventh inning lead and we've got a trend. Something tells me that Matt Holliday has been praying to the wrong idol over the past few days and he'd better get back to Their Lord and Savior Jason Hirsh. Oh, he's hurt...they'd better resurrect him.

Anywho, Rockies' closer Manny Corpas blew his third save opportunity of the year when came into the ninth inning with a 6-5 lead. He gave up a single to So Taguchi, who then hustled his buns to third on Chase Utley's single; this let Utley advance to second on Rockies center fielder Willy Tavares terrible attempt to nail the eventual tying run at third. With one out, Corpas intentionally walked Ryan Howard to set up the double play but he forgot that the next hitter, Pat Burrell, is in his contract year. Burrell doubled to deep center field, past a diving Tavares, which cleared the bases. I guess RyHo hustled his buns from first to home, eh? Brad Lidge sent the Rockies home with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth....crazy, right?

In other Rockies news, shortstop and sophomore slump-sation Troy Tulowitzki was benched for last night's game, which led to this GAWD-AWFUL headline. I actually obtained Mr. Tulowitzki in a fantasy trade with Camp Tiger Claw, in exchange for Devil Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir. This has yet to pan out for either of us.

UPDATE: Dmac has a lol-worthy video of the game-winning hit in which RyHo nearly runs over Chase Utley. Cripes, Coors Field has a huge outfield.

Baseball Before Bedtime: Sleepin' Single In A Double Bed

| | Comments (5)
sleep.jpgHere's what happened in baseball while you were thinking over things you should have said:

Red Sox 7, Angels 6: David Pauley fell short of filling Josh Beckett's shoes, Jered Weaver fell apart in the sixth, and balls were flying out of the yard all night at Fenway. Jacoby Ellsbury had two ding dongs then bunted his way on in the 8th before scoring the go ahead run on a Dustin Pedroia double. The back and forth nature of the game made it difficult for me to watch playoff hockey and basketball.

Nationals 6, Braves 0: John Smoltz tossed a gem giving up 1 run in seven innings and notching his 3,000 career strikeout along the way. Unfortunately for the Braves, John Lanolin pitched even better for Washington only yielding 5 hits in his 7 innings. Rub some on your nipples. Oh, John Lannan.

Tigers 10, Rangers 2: Tiger hit ball lots. Many men score run for Tiger. Ranger pitching suck very much. Vincente Padilla gave up 7 runs on 8 hits in 3 innings forcing Ron Washington to go to his weak assed bullpen. It gives the Rangers their second 5 game losing streak this month. 5 game losing streaks seem like a pretty shitty thing to collect. But what do I know? I had a Pez collection.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 4: In a matchup of a couple of teams that the Orioles wouldn't piss on to put out a fire, Eric Hinske led Tampa to victory with a double, triple and home run. Tonight's game wasn't even played in Tampa it was played at Disney World! So as to avoid any awkward moments in the park, all signs in the park were changed to read, "You must be at least 48 inches tall and not Frank Thomas to ride this attraction."

Reds 8, Dodgers 1: Dusty Baker installed Jerry Hairston Jr. at the top of the lineup and the plucky bastard had 4 hits. Everyone say it with me: SUCK IT, ICARANE. Of course Dusty saw the whole thing coming saying, "He was hot in Triple-A. Most times, when you're hot in one place, you'll be hot anywhere." Bullshit. Edinson Volquez had electric stuff in his 7 innings and lowered his season ERA to 1.21.

Tonight's Questions

| | Comments (8)
night game.jpgHey kids, after you're done getting yelled at by the guy that created Doeo, tune in to find out...


Stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
linkpunch gorillaSometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

  • David Laurila interviews Brandon Moss about his little trip to Tokyo with the Red Sox. Moss was the first ever major league player to collect his first ding-dong in Japan. Baseball Prospectus

  • The sad tale of Lyman Bostock. Los Angeles Times

  • Joe Posnanski explains why he is constantly mentioning Duane Kuiper in such hushed tones. I totally get it now. JoeBlog

  • Dex lists seventeen different ways for the Padres to encourage fans to attend games without altering the dimensions of Petco Field, an extreme pitchers park. My favorite is #7: "Start a 100 Hot Dog Club. Have people stamp a card every time they have a hot dog at the park. At the end of the year, fans who've eaten 100 hot dogs get a free souvenir pin to stick on their lanyard or hat". Gross. Gas Lamp Ball

  • Some Pirates fans are already quite tired of the shitty season in Pittsburgh so they're having a little tournament to determine the worst GM in baseball. They're in the quarterfinal round now. Hey, Ed Wade only got the 2 seed? Oh right, Brian Sabean had dibs on the 1. Bucs Dugout

  • A new addictive game. It's like whack-a-mole on ketamine. Doeo

Oh Christ, The Burgers Are Back

| | Comments (9)
ihascheezburger1.jpgImagine my horror when I opened up my Google Reader this morning to find the normally funny and reliable Sam Mellinger talking about In-n-fucking-Out Burger. Well, indirectly. The object of Sam's affection today was actually Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I've never heard of the damn place but Sammy likes em so much, he interviewed a damn franchisee. That didn't stop him from expounding on the hallowed burger joint of choice for baseball writers all across this great land:

In-N-Out will never expand to Kansas City, so the comparisons are irrelevant, but they're also unavoidable because they are the only ones playing in the elite burger-and-fry league. Please don't mention Winstead's. I love Winstead's, but that place is now Outback to Five Guys' Plaza III (at Wendy's prices).

Anyway, the fries are great. WAY better than In-N-Out, not even close. Thick, hot, got a lot of flavor. I prefer a waffle fry, but these get it done.

The main event, the burger, is worth the trip and then some. Big, perfectly messy, not too much bun, and cooked with everything on it you want.

Honestly, I still have it a very close second place to In-N-Out, but it's incredibly close, and I can see where reasonable people would disagree on it.

Fine. FINE! I quit. I concede. Baseball bloggers are obsessed with In-N-Out to the point where they sound so knowledgeable about it, it begins to overshadow their writing on baseball. Not only do I concede this point, but I'm going back into my blogoratory and figuring out a way to give you hungry saturated fat obsessed masses the food coverage you crave. Burger coverage is coming to WoW. You'd have to be an idiot to ignore this trend.
pierre bernard.jpg
  • 1:05, Cardinals at Brewers: The untouchable Kyle Lohse (!) takes on my boy Manny Parra in the final game of this two game tilt. The Cards won last night thanks to the continued pitching anti-heroics of the Brew Crew bullpen. It broke the hearts of all Brewers fans, except for the ones sitting in the swank new section at Miller Park called "Toyota Tundra Territory." Each cushioned, reclining seat has two flat screen TV's. The section's name comes from the fact that the people sitting here will weigh as much as a truck.



  • 2:20, Mets at Cubs: Yesterday I mistakenly said that the Cubs were traveling to Shea. Sheesh is it hot in here (runs finger around collar)? Luckily for Major League Baseball, no one takes their traveling cues from me and everyone was accounted for at Wrigley. Southpaw underachiever Ted Lilly takes the hill against super happy Nelson Figueroa. Lilly says he is "losing patience" with his recent performance. Imagine how everyone else feels, dude.
dusty2.jpg

The Cincinnati Reds are still treading water in the tough NL Central; they sit in fourth place at 8-12 having lost series to the Cubs and Brewers last week. Our friend Corey Patterson is doing much worse, having gone hitless since our last update. Let's go game-by-game and see what's what:

Game 14: Led off, 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Game 15: Led off, 0-for-4 with a walk.

Game 16: Didn't start against lefty Ted Lilly, popped out while pinch-hitting.

Game 17: Didn't start against righty Ben Sheets, pinch hit in the eighth inning and flied out with the bases loaded.

Game 18: Led off, 0-for-4.

Game 19: Led off, 0-for-3 with two walks and a strikeout.

Game 20: Didn't start against righty Brad Penny, grounded out while pinch-hitting.

Damn, he's not even starting against certain right-handed pitching now. Patterson went 0-for-17 with three walks on the week; this drops his OBP to .254. His once mighty .703 slugging percentage is now down to .467, still the fifth best among NL center fielders. Dusty, if you are going to start him (and I still think he should be playing most days), MOVE HIM DOWN IN THE LINEUP!

metsfan.jpg

Enrico at the 700 Level brings us a photo gallery that is sure to make non-Mets fans like myself giggle like a schoolgirl. Seems as if a Mets fan at the Mets-Phillies game this past Saturday was involved in a fracas that ended with him taking a swing at a cop, or as you people in Boston call it "a cawp".

Ever since the Mets decided to field a competitive team a couple years ago, their fans have been traveling down Interstate 95 with great frequency to enjoy a stadium that's the polar opposite of Shit...err...Shea Stadium. The Phillies fans are good folk, but if you cross them, they'll eat you alive.

Completely without Enrico's permission, I have reproduced one of the photos to the left. You can see a pair of legs at the bottom left of the picture; that's his buddy lying face down on the cement already in handcuffs. The Phillies may have lost the game but they won the battle of "whose fans don't get captured on film getting arrested".

sleep.jpg

Here's what happened in baseball while you were bombed out on the blues:

Marlins 10, Pirates 4: Yeah I still believe this Marlins team is but a mirage; they're in first place in the NL East but they've notched three wins against Pittsburgh and five wins against Warshington. Those should not count. The three worst NL pitching staffs by ERA are the Nats, the Fish, and the Pirates, three teams that should be contracted and/or absorbed by the Red Sox and Diamondbacks. Okay, enough Marlin-bashing for one day, let's list the things they did well today: (a) Mark Hendrickson actually posts some good numbers (5 K's against 1 BB) in eight innings and collects two hits and an RBI (b) Hanley Ramirez, Josh Willingham, and Dan Uggla hit taters (c) every Fish starter had a hit and a run. Oh wait, this all came off Pirate pitcher Matt Morris? FORGET EVERY NICE THING I SAID. Nate McLouth extended his hitting streak to nineteen games.

Red Sox 8, Rangers 3: John Kruk actually said something cromulent about the Rangers on the ESPN television program Baseball Tonight. In a segment where he was to evaluate what was wrong with Texas, he pointed to their defense and said that if their pitching staff wasn't aces-a-plenty, they'd need good defense behind them in order to succeed. Hey! I agree with John Kruk. It's not just about the errors (although their 22 whoopsies lead the AL) as much as it is about the fact that they're not making the plays they should be making. Their DER is for shit because they're not converting batted balls into outs. Ian Kinsler made a throwing error in this game but it was Milton Bradley's losing an easy fly ball in the sun in left field that led to all the LOLs (and the Sox' fifth run).

Dodgers 9, Reds 3: Brad Penny pitched a good game and Nomahhhhh hit a homahhhhhhh but the REAL story was the promotion of Jerry Hairston Jr up to the big club in Cincinnati. Jerry Hairston and Corey Patterson, together forever in shittiness! Neither Corey nor Jerry started the game but both made an out while pinch-hitting. Pinch-hitting? More like pinch-shitting! I know I'm supposed to be nice to Corey Patterson but he's hitless since the last CPW update and that was a solid week ago. Cripes! Well, he's still out-hitting Andruw Jones, who was moved down to eighth in the Dodgers' lineup.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 3: Eric Gagne FINALLY got a night off, so it was Derrick Turnbow's opportunity to brown the bed for Milwaukee. A double by Brian Barton set up Skip Schumaker's go-ahead double off Turnbow that provided the winning margin in the ninth. In wackier news, Corey Hart misplayed Ryan Ludwick's fly ball in the top of the eighth which led to a Cardinal run and then Ludwick misplayed Corey Hart's fly ball in the bottom of the eighth which lead to a Brewer run. OMG they're totally twin spazzes!

Braves 7, Nationals 3: I feel really bad for saying that the Giants would be the worst team in the majors this year because The Nationals losing ways are even worse than Teddy Roosevelt's awful losing streak. Tim Hudson was masterful but hey, it's just the Nationals.

Tonight's Questions

| | Comments (5)
night game.jpgHey kids, put down the pipe and tune in tonight to find out...


Tune in tomorrow to find out. Same WoW time, same WoW channel. (Go Bruins)
frank_thomas_autograph.jpgThe Blue Jays and Frank Thomas parted ways yesterday afternoon. Thomas called into Baseball Tonight and spoke to Chris Berman about it. He sounded relaxed and said the whole thing was amicable, which I believe. How could it not be? Frank Thomas believes he can be an every day player, the Blue Jays disagree, by letting him go they get out of his $10 million option for next year, and Thomas gets to go shop his wares to some middle of the pack AL contenders that need a big bat. The part about all of this that's too bad is that the Blue Jays themselves are one of the teams that fits that description. One of the big beneficiaries of Thomas' departure looks to be Matt Freaking Stairs. The Big Hurt does not seem too keen on compromise.

But what's passed is passed, so where is Thomas going to go? Seattle needs power and their DH situation isn't exactly working out. If they could work in regular playing time, the Royals, Orioles and to a lesser extent, Rangers all make sense.

The thing I'm reminded of speculating on the one dimensional, defensively moot Thomas is that SOMEONE SHOULD SIGN BARRY BONDS.

Just not Toronto, cause Richard Griffin would totally freak out.
poollady.jpg

Our favorite sassy senior Jorge Cantu is out of the pool and into hot water. Seems as if some comely young St. Petersburg lass is accusing Cantu of smacking her around:

    "According to the St. Petersburg Times, Cantu has a Wednesday court date in Pinellas County stemming from a temporary protection order filed against him earlier this week. St. Petersburg resident NAME REDACTED alleged she sustained bruises to her left biceps and was verbally threatened Feb. 8."

Cantu denies everything, or at least Cantu's agent denies everything on behalf of his client. You know, these accusations have to be false, because sports agents never lie and/or fabricate the truth to protect his client's interests.

Things couldn't possibly get any worse for Jorge Cantu. It's hard enough having to replace Miguel Cabrera at the hot corner for the Florida Marlins, but now he has to deal with this legal mess? Feh! Because the next best third baseman on the roster is named Wes Helms, expect Cantu to not miss any time.

(we owe a Coke to FishChunks)

Red Sox vs. Rangers, Patriot's Day Baseball 4/21/08

| | Comments (75)
liveglog.jpgHey Hey, It's Patriot's Day. I have the day off which helps to balance out all the terrible things that happen to me on a day-to-day basis living in Boston. The Red Sox look to sweep the Rangers in the fourth game of the weekend series. Morning baseball, coffee and bagels after the jump:
fallingman.jpg

After taking two of three games in their weekend series with the Yankees, the Bawlmer Orioles currently sit in second place in the American League East with an actual real live winning record (11-8). The fans in Baltimore are so excited, they're falling all over themselves in pure unadulterated joy. Either that, or they're just falling all over themselves:

    "Two fans at Thursday night's Orioles game were taken to the hospital after one fell from the club-level deck at Camden Yards and landed on the other moments before the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox in a 10-inning game. The Orioles called the incident "an unfortunate accident," but citing privacy laws would not offer specific details. However, several sources with knowledge of the incident said an adult male was leaning too far over the railing on the first base side of the stadium just above the "Bank of America" advertisement. He fell, roughly 30 feet, down to the main seating bowl where he landed on another man."

Privacy laws, my ass. When that dude fell off the escalator at Shea, we knew everything from his name to his nationality to the possibility that he was acting like a jackass by standing on the rail. We demand to know the name of the (most likely drunk) fan who tumbled off the swank club level at Camden Yards! How else will we, as non-Orioles fans, know who to shame?

Still, I feel bad for the unwitting victim who sat in the lower level. When you pay $75 for a seat to an Orioles game, the only pains you expect to feel are (a) the team losing (b) a sore tush from sitting through a 5-hour Steve Trachsel game and (c) wicked bad acid reflux from a plate of Boog's BBQ. You never expect to have some chucklehead fall ass-over-teakettle into your lap.

(we owe a Coke to Baseball Musings)

lidge.jpg

The Phillies survived another exciting ninth inning performance by closer Brad Lidge to beat the Mets last night 5-4. There are no players or coaches or batboys or peanut vendors on that team who actually want an exciting inning when Brad Lidge is pitching, but Pat Gillick made his bed and now he has to eat his cake. Or something.

After Pedro Feliz hit a tie-breaking pinch-hit ding-dong in the seventh inning, J.C. Romero survived an eighth inning double to hold the game, bringing Lidge in for the save. Lidge walked Damion Easley (he's still employed?) and Jose Reyes tapped a grounder up the middle that nicked off Lidge's glove. With runners on first and second and none out, Phillies fans everywhere were reaching for the Tylenol PM and Bacardi 151, but Lidge struck out Luis Castillo and got David Wright to foul out. Phillies shortstop Eric Bruntlett did his best (albeit whitest) impression of Jimmy Rollins and snared a hard-hit grounder by Carlos Beltran to end the game.

Oh by the way, Chase Utley had two home runs and trails only Chipper Jones in the NL OPS race. David Wright is in third place, so for anyone who thought Hanley Ramirez was the best NL infielder, go screw.

sleep.jpg

Here's what happened in baseball while making this dream come into play:

Reds 4, Brewers 3: Eric Gagne blew another save for Milwaukee but hey, I'm sure he's got a valid excuse and/or note from his therapist. I mean, it was the fourth day in a row that he's been used by Ned Yost, so his arm was probably super-tired. Either way, he was handed a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the tenth in Cincinnati and gave up two solo ding-dongs. One of the taters was hit by Redleg third basemen Edwin Encarnacion who had let the Brew Crew go ahead in the top of the tenth by booting an easy grounder. Whoopsie doodle! Superstar Ken Griffey Jr notched the game-winning single for Dusty and the boys. By the by, this contest was knotted at one after nine innings thanks in part to Milwaukee hurler Yovani Gallardo and his recently rebuilt left knee; Gallardo went eight strong and allowed but four hits.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3: After leaving a "Dear John" letter in Frank Thomas' locker, J.P. Ricciardi found himself suddenly without a power bat in his lineup. Would J.P. have second thoughts about the breakup? Would he reconsider, and stand outside Frank's bedroom with a boombox blaring "In Your Eyes" above his head? I don't think any of this is possible because J.P. has found his new Big Hurt, and his name is David Eckstein. Little Scrappy Doo hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to lead the Jays over the once-again-struggling Detroit Tigers. Forget this "Rod Barajas as DH" nonsense...are you kidding me, Toronto? Really? Rod Barajas? Put in Eckstein!

Giants 8, Cardinals 2: BREAK UP THE CODDAMN GIANTS! Seriously, they just took 2 of 3 from St. Louis and have moved a half a game ahead of the Dodgers into fourth place in the NL West. Rookie sensation John Bowker collected his third homer, all coming off Cardinal pitching while the worst cleanup hitter ever ever ever Bengie Molina hit three doubles and drove in three gentlemen. San Fran pitcher Jonathan Sanchez did his best Steve Trachsel impersonation, throwing over 100 pitches in just five innings but still picking up the victory. Cardinal starter Braden Looper got taken for a loop...bwa ha ha bad pun. Seriously though, he got hit very hard.

Red Sox 6, Rangers 5: I was driving home from Delaware yesterday and I asked my girlfriend to check the scores of the Yankees and Red Sox games; New York was ahead of Baltimore 2-0 and Boston was behind the Texas 5-0. Finally! One for the good guys this weekend. The Yanks would avoid a sweep and the Sox would have to settle for just two wins over the lowly Rangers. IT WAS NOT TO BE. Hey, thanks Rangers' bullpen! Wes Littleton and C.J. Wilson, you just made my shitlist. The two combined to allow five hits and four runs in just one and two-thirds innings, com-PLETE-ly blowing the game for starter Kevin Millwood and my own personal era of good feelings. At least the Yankees pulled out the win and nobody got hurt...oh shit.

SITE NEWS: This series ends today with the annual Patriots Day morning-time game, so Camp Tiger Claw will liveglog it. First pitch at 11AM...be here!

The Saturday Morning Post

| | Comments (15)
SatMornPost.jpgHere's some of what happened last night, after Mom said to get off the computer and go outside.

  • Orioles 8, Yankees 2: Phil Hughes was cruisin' till trouble struck in the top of the fifth and the O's pounded him for five runs. Daniel Cabrera had his best outing of the season going 6, yielding only 2 runs and 2 walks.

  • Mets 6, Phillies 4: Johan Santana struck out 10 to beat Cole Hamels and the Phils on his first trip to the City of Brotherly Love (no homo). David Wright went 4 for 4 including a single, double and triple.

  • Braves 6, Dodgers 1: Chipper Jones hit two bombs for the second straight night then followed it up with this kickass Bill & Tedesque quote: "This is one of those crazy streaks you get in once every couple of years. Not only am I getting pitches to hit, I'm doing ultimate damage with 'em." Crush on, Chipper. Crush on.

  • Red Sox 11, Rangers 3: David Ortiz stopped hitting into the shift long enough to drive in 5, including a grand slam. The home plate umpire's name was Jerry Meals. Tee hee.

Today:

  • Young aces Johnny Cueto, Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke, Ian Kennedy and Jon Lester all take the mound. Should be a good day to see some prospective #1s wherever you are.

    Enjoy your Saturday, I'm going to try and get into the last ever Piebald show tonight. Wish me luck.
This week's Classic TV spot is apparently from a show called "Hot Dog." It's 5 minutes of pure 1970 and I'm sure will be 100% cooler when you're stoned. We start off with Jonathan Winters doing a pantomime as a Reds pitcher giving up a home run (makes sense to me). This is followed by 2 and half funky minutes of what sounds like Big Brother & The Holding Company soundtracking the making of a baseball glove, featuring a cameo by Woody Allen.

I wasn't made for these times.



Thanks for another great week, everybody. You did a great job in those comment boxes again, and it makes this whole thing a lot funnier. I'm going to try and fit in one post each on Saturday and Sunday, so stop by if you get the notion. Have a great weekend.

What's Up, Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt This Week

| | Comments (1)
stretcher.JPGHey, guys. I'm going to make this short and sweet: ALL DAYS SPENT ON THE DISABLED LIST MUST BE CLEARED WITH HUMAN RESOURCES. Anyone that does not have the approved paperwork will not receive checks while on the DL, and all funds will instead be transferred to Pascual Perez. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Erik Bedard, Mariners: This overpaid invalid hit the DL with "hip inflammation" this week. What's next, old man? Incapacitating liver spots? He's only expected to miss one start.

  • Joe Borowski, Indians: After blowing Monday night's game against the Sox, Borowski hit the showers then the 15 Day DL. He's got a strained right triceps which manager Eric Wedge says happened in camp. Way to put him out there with the game on the line then, coach! Borowski said he felt like he was going to the mound "with an unloaded gun", to which I say: Told you not to get that vasectomy.

  • Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: Soriano's strained right calf has landed him on the DL, and there's been some bruhaha related to just how he did it. Just before catching a routine fly from Ken Griffey, Soriano performed his patented "hop," and strained the muscle. Old, out of shape, blowhards like Steve Rosenbloom are taking the opportunity to call Soriano's move "stupid" from the comfort of their wheely desk chairs. Attack Soriano's (awful) contract and the front office that signed him to it all you want. To call the way he has always played the game "stupid" because it leads to one stint on the DL is the hackiest thing I've ever seen. Jesus, that sounds like something Jay Mariotti would do. Oh wait, he did.

  • Dontrelle Willis, Tigers: D-Train had an enventful week. He made his first trip to the DL with a hyperextended right knee, he plead guilty to a lesser charge in his old DUI case, and then started a throwing program to heal his knee! Phew. Poor lil fella probably needs a nap.

  • Shane Victorino, Phillies: Hey, did you know Shane Victorino is from Hawaii!? Me neither, no one ever mentions it. Hey, did you know he's also a huge wimp? The speedy but delicate outfielder hurt his hamstring last weekend and was placed on the DL, for the second time in as many seasons. It's not as severe as it was last season, which leads me to conclude that all Hawaiians are lazy and hate to work.

  • Marlon Byrd, Rangers: Byrd (who looks NOTHING like his brother Paul) has inflammation in his knee which is probably contributing to the deflation in his numbers. Dude was hitting .129 before going on the DL. When I asked for comment, Byrd's teammate Milton Bradley said he "was going to fucking kill" me.
strohs.jpg2:20, Pirates at Chicago: Lou's crew done got their 3 game winning streak snapped by our man Dusty and his Reds yesterday. They'll try to get back in the happy column this afternoon. Playing the Bucs is usually good for what ails ya, but the Cubs shouldn't be overconfident today facing Pittsburgh's best starter Ian Snell. Compounded by the fact that Rich Hill is making his first start after a bullpen demotion, the Cubbies may need some extended offensive foreplay if they want any Afternoon Delight. I'll address Soriano's calf injury later today in Creampuff.

Interesting streak watch: The Pirates have committed an error in 14 straight games matching the team record set in 1946. Keep reaching for the stars, Pirates.

One of the biggest errors I ever made was drinking an entire 12 pack of Stroh's. That shit is disgusting. High Life, please. I thought of a worse one. In college we used to celebrate Festivus, because we were morons. We added our own twist every year, that on Festivus Eve everyone had to drink their own personal jug of Carlo Rossi table wine. The big huge jugs. I think the last year that I did it I turned all grey except for my lips which were black from the wine stain. I passed out on the kitchen floor, moaning in my sleep. Unfortunately, I think there's video floating around somewhere.

Hey commenters, what's the biggest error you've ever made?
Bullhorn-713752.jpgMarc Topkin of the St. Pete Times Union reports the Rays have scheduled a major announcement for 1 o'clock today. He speculates they've signed one of their young stars. I have other ideas.

They're financing the extermination of the approximately 27,000 ex pro wrestlers that live in the Tampa/St. Pete area.
  • They're cross promoting with Sea World and Carlos Pena gets a raw herring each time he hits a home run.

  • Joe Maddon is going to share his recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, and expound on the subtleties of the new Sun Kil Moon record.
  • Hey, it's Commenter Participation Friday so leave your guesses below. Also, we could use a catchier name for Commenter Participation Friday so leave those ideas too.

    Update: They signed Evan Longoria to a long term deal. I say it's about time, that guy has really paid his dues! Ugh. I like all your ideas better.

    Age Taint Nothing But A Number

    | | Comments (17)
    The following video is sure to be all over the webz today (if it isn't already), but I still had to share because it made me Sherm LOL-ler.



    A few thoughts here:

    A. I would have bet $2500 that that little shithead Jeremy Schaap was doing this interview, but to my surprise it was, uh... some other guy.

    Secondly, now we're pretty sure Tejada took PEDs and lied about his age. Neither one of these is earth shattering, but it still makes me snicker. We need to find cork in his bats so he can officially become the clown prince of baseball cheaters.

    3. I'm sure we'll see a bunch of hand wringing about Tejada being ambushed in the blogosphere today. He certainly was, but this is just old fashioned, "gotcha" journalism and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Good for ESPN for doing something that took some research and actual paperwork, instead of counting down the "10 Greatest 7th Inning Home Runs In AL West History." Also, kudos for not throwing this bone to the aforementioned twerp, Schaap.

    IV. At the end of the video the guy says "Does the federal government know your real name and birthday?" WTF IS HIS REAL NAME? I'm going with Stan Kowalski. Leave your guesses in the comments.
    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball while running into the lake in just socks and a shirt:

    Orioles 6, White Sox 5 (10): Down three runs in the eighth inning, Baltimore decided to honor Liz Phair's 41st birthday and rally for the extra inning victory. The O's scored a run in the eighth on Luke Scott's RBI double and two runs in the ninth on Brian Robert's RBI double and Melvin Mora's RBI single. Bobby Jenks let in the ninth inning runs and ruined his first tea party of the year. Bawlmer produced one magical winning run in the tenth as Adam Jones drove in Kevin Millar, who had walked to start the inning. Former Mariner (and I love identifying former Mariners who are succeeding outside of Seattle) George Sherrill picked up the W.

    Brewers 5, Cardinals 3 (10):Milwaukee also decided to celebrate Ms. Phair and overcame a 3-0 eighth inning deficit to St. Louis and send the game to extra innings. Prince "Veggie Dip" Fielder hit his first ding-dong of the season in the tenth to cap the win for the Brewers. Cards reliever Randy Flores rendered starter Kyle Lohse's third well-pitched game by allowing the three tying runs in the eighth; Fielder hisself hit the game-tying double. For those of you who had April 17th in the "when will Prince Fielder break out of his slump", you win! Eric Gagne managed to get the save despite allowing two baserunners with none out in the bottom of the tenth. Yecchh!

    Rangers 4, Blue Jays 1: You know it's a wacky world when Vicente Padilla outduels Roy Halladay and David Murphy outslugs Frank Thomas. It all happened last night in Toronto as Padilla allowed only one of ten baserunners to cross home plate and rightfielder Murphy tallied three doubles, two runs, and an RBI. Halladay pitched a complete game but he couldn't stop Texas from sweeping the Jays. Oh, it was just a two-game series? That's not long enough for the Rangers to hit the strip clubs in Toronto...heck, that's not even long enough to get some deux-deux-deux.

    Red Sox 7, Yankees 5: The highlight of the evening was the gyro and two Bud Lights I had in the parking lot. The highlight of the actual game was the pair of taters by Manny Ramirez, who is just an absolute monster. Manny has now collected 55 homers against the Yankees and I have now thought to myself 55 times "I wish he was a Yankee". Josh Beckett pitched pretty well (eight innings & three runs) but Mike Mussina was a stinkeroo (three innings & five runs & a whole lot of hesitation between pit....zzzzzzz). The Yankees tallied two runs in the ninth off closer Jonathan Papelbon but we were already on the George Washington Bridge. Sigh.

    Mets 2, Nationals 2 (in progress): Christ, I'm glad I wasn't at Shea tonight. This one's still happening, in the fourteenth consarn inning now. Yikes.

    I'm heading out soon for the Red Sox/Yankees tilt at The Stadium. Hopefully, it'll be a better game than last night's dreckfest. Thanks for joining me all day while CTC was on a farm in Maine. No, seriously.

    Go, baseball!

    Perhaps you saw astronaut Garrett Reisman throw out the first pitch from the International Space Station before last night's Yankees-Red Sox contest. Well, Reisman went to Parsippany High School in Parsippany, New Jersey; he graduated six years before yours truly came in as a lowly freshman. Here's an interview about the pitch with the crew:

    dusty2.jpg

    We've got three National League games to follow this afternoon:

    Astros at Phillies, 1:05PM: Brandon "Baby Got" Backe and Brett "Punch Drunk" Myers battle it out in the rubber game. It's the 'Businessperson's Special' at Citizens Bank Park, which means any fan in attendance dressed in khakis and a polo shirt gets a bucket of red paint thrown on them by the Phanatic.

    Brewers at Cardinals, 1:15PM: Kyle Lohse goes for his third win and tries to continue his magical season; somehow the magical Cardinals have the best record in baseball. BTW, 'magic' is my way of saying 'HGH'. Manny Parra will go for the Brewers and try to avoid being the odd man out when Jeff Weaver is called up. Tom Haudricourt has the lineup changes for both teams.

    Reds at Cubs, 2:20PM: Rookie sensation Edinson Volquez tries to stop the bleeding for Dusty Baker's Redlegs while washed-up veteran lefty Ted Lilly will do his best to beat a Corey-Patterson-less lineup. John Fay should have the lineups as soon as he stops posing like a dork.

    ihascheezburger1.jpg

    Hey, remember a long long time ago when Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia won the AL Cy Young Award? Oh, that was just last year. So what the heck is wrong with him now? In four starts in 2008, he's pitched 18 innings and allowed 32 hits, 14 walks and 24 runs. His 13.50 ERA is as chunky as he is. Haha fat joke! Zing! Sabathia is in his so-called 'contract' year, so each time he goes out and takes a dump on the mound he's leaving about $4 million in future earnings on the table. Says C.C.:

        "My arm feels fine. I just can't command either side of the plate."

    I don't buy it. Here are some contributing factors that might be causing's Sabathia's slump:

    • He was overworked in 2007, throwing a career-high 256 innings.
    • Complications from having his last name tattooed on his back, uniform-style, in 2000
    • Too many burgers during spring training
    • Finally suffering from the shame of being named Carsten

    Seriously though, I hope this contract can be voided.

    shag.jpg

    With four home runs and two doubles in just 26 at-bats this season, Brewers centerfielder Gabe Kapler is off to a shocking .962 slugging percentage. Not bad for someone who was managing single-A ball last season. Still, he's only got a platoon job once regular centerfielder Mike Cameron comes back from his suspension, and even worse, he's hurt.

    Kapler bruised his right shoulder before the Brewers' game on Tuesday and has missed the past two games. He's day-to-day but Milwaukee's other centerfielder named Gabe (Gross) has been a sorry replacement, going 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in the two games.

    How exactly did Gabe hurt himself? I'll let manager Ned Yost explain, via Cardinals blogger Derrick Goold:

    POWER SHAGGING (tr. v.) - To power shag is to track fly balls during batting practice as if they were fly balls in games, i.e. running after line drives and scaling walls to prepare for game-like situations. I.e., Kapler was power shagging when he raced to catch a fly ball in BP and knocked his shoulder into the wall. "What makes Gabe Kapler so good is he doesn't differentiate between the game and practice," Yost said. "He shags BP balls as if they were the game. And that's how you stay on top of your game."

    I would have thought 'power shagging' meant something entirely different. Oh well. Gabe, you're a boob for slamming into the wall during batting practice.

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball while staying at the Marriott with Jesus and John Wayne:

    Diamondbacks 4, Giants 1: When I left you at 5:15, the score was 4-1 and the Diamondbacks were coming up to bat in the sixth inning. Not much else happened after that point, except a whole lot more dominance by Mr. Brandon Webb. Neither team scored in the last four innings; Webb finished with eight innings pitched and just five baserunners allowed. Most impressively, he recorded 14 groundball outs among the 29 batters he faced. The other Brandond (Lyon) picked up the save and hasn't blown one in ten whole days. Good show!

    Astros 2, Phillies 1: Three huge questions were answered in this game. (1) Will Roy Oswalt return to form? (A) Yes, he pitched seven strong innings. (2) Will Kyle Kendrick pitch well enough to keep his jerb? (A) Yes, he pitched seven strong innings. (3) If the Astros have a lead and it's close and late, who the heck is gonna close for them? (A) Tonight, the answer was Doug Brocail, and not Jose Valverde. Brocail saved the game for Oswalt; former Phillie Michael Bourn scored both Houston runs including his go-ahead ding-dong in the fifth inning.

    Marlins 6, Braves 5: Atlanta lost their seventh one-run game of the season to the red hot Florida Marlins, who themselves have four one-run wins. The Braves have won exactly zero games by that slim margin and now sit at 5-8 in the NL East, just ahead of the lowly Warshington Nationals. I don't know how to solve such a quandary; it just seems like a wheelbarrow full of bad luck. Perhaps Bobby Cox needs a vial filled with gypsy tears to turn his fortunes around. Tim Hudson had an unsatisfactory start, getting pulled after allowing four runs in just three innings. Mike Jacobs collected his National League-leading sixth home run. The artist formerly known as Luis González contributed a pinch-hit two-run tater in the seventh, helping the extremely mediocre Mark Hendrickson pick up the win.

    White Sox 3, Orioles 1: That one-game suspension shore was restful for Jim Thome. His three-run dong in the top of the first inning off Baltimore starter Adam Loewen was all Chicargo needed to beat the fading O's. Manager Ozzie Guillen was confident before the game that Thome would snap out of his slump. How prescient! Jose Contreras was efficient enough to keep the game time under 2 and a half hours, striking out 6 and walking none. All 12,000 people in attendance at Camden Yards were pleased that they were able to get home in time for Top Chef. They'd have been home even earlier if Loewen hadn't walked five White Soxen. Awful!

    Yankees 15, Red Sox 9: Yecccchhh, what a stinker. Even Yankee fans can't be pleased with this one. Both starters (Chien Ming-Wang and Clay Buchholz) got bombed, every Yankee starter scored, and Kevin Youkilis got an ouchie on his toe. The game took well over four hours, and I am really tired from watching it (read: really tired from listening to Michael Kay).

    liveglog.jpg

    Today's liveglog will go from 3:45PM until 5:15PM. I'd like to do more but I have an urgent meeting at 5:30PM, so you're going to have to follow along with the MLB Gameday doodad after that point.

    Hey, this is the second week in a row that the Diamondbacks are part of the ol' liveglog. Good thing they are the most potent offense in baseball so far...they should pad their stats today against lefty Barry Zito of the Giants. Zito will face all righties today except Stephen Drew. Three different hitters have five home runs so far: Chris Young, Mark Reynolds, and Justin Upton; the team is scoring well over 6 runs per game. The D-Backs send ace Brandon Webb to the mound, so I'm not expecting much of a contest.

    Hop the jump to follow the glog!

    SadGuy.jpg

    Blue Jays third basegentleman Scott Rolen has been hanging out in Florida rehabbing his borkened finger, an injury he suffered during infield practice in spring training. Poor Scott has had a pin surgically inserted into his middle finger and is still expected to miss a few more weeks. Hey Toronto Star blogger Cathal Kelly, how's Rolen been biding his time?

        I ran into Rolen in the tunnel underneath Camden Yards. I knew things were going okay when he immediately stuck out his hand to shake - that is, the hand with the broken finger. Then I asked him what he was reading. "Still (Upton Sinclair's) The Jungle," he said. Good to know he's not wiling away his days in Florida on the couch.

    I wonder how long ago Kelly and Rolen last spoke. In other words, how long has it taken Rolen to read The Jungle? Let's Google it.

    Googling...Googling...Googling...

    And here we are: Rolen has been reading the same book for nearly two months. Yes, it's it's 480 pages long, but Scott Rolen has nothing better to do with his injured finger keeping him from fielding grounders or taking batting practice.

    What was the impetus for choosing such a book? This is a Very Serious Novel that describes the suffering of the early 20th century 'have-not' immigrants toiling away in the meatpacking industry at the hands of the corrupt 'haves'. Maybe Scott thought he was checking The Jungle Book out of the liberry. Oh, that fun-loving Baloo!

    Full disclosure: I've never read Upton Sinclair but Camp Tiger Claw has, so there.

    liveglog.jpg
    • 3:45, Diamondbacks at Giants: Brandon Webb and Barry Zito's respective career arches intersect today in the rubber match of this 3 game series. Webb has built on his success every year since his rookie season. Zito is, well... if you want to read about how lousy he is, go to every other baseball website in existence. Or just start here, with the Associated Press. His suckitude is magnified by his enormous contract, which to me is entirely fair. Luckily for the Giants they've discovered the new Barry Bonds in John Bowker. Bowker has played 3 games, homered in two of them and driven in 7.

      And for all you folks at home, Rob gon' glog it. Cause it's the only game on.
    lloyd.jpgIn my quest to bring Graeme Lloyd to justice, I've been trying to keep my finger on the pulse of "people getting smacked in the head with baseball bats." But you would not believe how much of this is going on around the world. These are all from THIS WEEK:

    • This lady smacked some dude on the melon in England.

    • This guy chased out a guest by swinging a Louisville Slugger at him. Hey buddy, ever heard of HOSPITALITY??

    • Some crazy dame in Buffalo randomly popped some poor lady right in the grill.

    • Two dudes in Oregon got their brain boxes dinged up by home invaders. The article calls this a case of mistaken identity. "Oops. We meant to put two other guys in the horsepistol. Do over?"

    • Also in Oregon, this guy played pepper with a homeless gent for walking into his apartment complex laundry room.

    • Finally, in Canada someone's dad got probation for swinging the old hickory stick in a coffee shop parking lot fracas. There's no way I can make that sentence funnier.

    As an honest crimefighter I can only concede that this is far too widespread to be the work of a single retired relief pitcher. Perhaps my initial conclusion that bat attacks are being perpetrated by an Australia based religious sect assoiciated with Graeme Lloyd (and to an extent Dave Nillsson) was incorrect. Either that or it's just the tip of the iceberg. In any case, I have no choice but to turn the focus off of Graeme Lloyd.

    You're off the hook, Lloyd.... for now.
    lidge.jpg

    In Philadelphia last night, Shawn Chacon of the Houston Astros pitched a goddamned gem, hurling eight scoreless innings in which he allowed but 6 Phillies to reach base and struck out the mighty Pat Burrell twice. New Astros closer Jose Valverde was called on by manager Cecil Cooper to protect a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning, and that's where it all went to poo:

        Pinch-hitter Chris Snelling hit a leadoff homer in the ninth off Valverde, and Chase Utley was hit by a pitch. After Ryan Howard struck out, Pat Burrell tied the score at 3 with a two-run homer to right. (Geoff) Jenkins struck out, but the ball eluded catcher Brad Ausmus for a passed ball and Jenkins scampered safely to first before (Pedro) Feliz ripped a shot into the left-field corner. Jenkins slid home with the winning run just ahead of the tag.

    Geoff Jenkins ran through the stop sign at third base on his way to scoring the winning run. In Philadelphia, this is called "defensive driving". Third base coach Steve Smith tried to hold Jenkins at third because there was just one out. In baseball, this is called "a smart move". Jenkins isn't Don-Mattingly-slow but he's not exactly fleet-of-foot either. Still, he scored because home plate ump Bill Miller made a bad call, so he's the Philadelphia hero of the day. Tony Luke gave him a free roast pork Italian after the game.

    Luckily for the Phillies, it was a home game. Feliz' hit was a walkoff double which means they didn't need to bring in their own crappy closer, Brad Lidge. Lidge visited with his former Astro teammates before the game; this must have been when he infected them with his loserjuice. HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS, ASTROS FANS

    Baseball Before Bed Time: Sleep On The Left Side

    | | Comments (9)
    sleep.jpgHere's what happened in baseball while I left the right side free:

    Detroit 6, Minnesota 5: Detroit rubbed some more sleep out of its eyes, hit 4 home runs and strung together back to back wins for the first time this year. Carlos Guillen, Gary Sheffield, Maglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera all went yard. Cabrera's two run job in the 8th put the Tigers ahead. Pulitzer nominee Todd Jones got his second save, but not everything was sunshine and rainbows. Starter Nate Robertson left after 6 1/3 with arm tightness. Meanwhile, hey uh... Minneapolis, what's up with your bullpen?

    Diamondbacks 8, Giants 2: Micah Owings gave up a single run in 6 innings to improve to 3-0 and the Slithery Ones became baseball's first 10 win team. Chris Young and Conor Jackson both hit homers. The Giants didn't get a whole hell of a lot out of starter Kevin Correia and when that happens, they lose. Tune in for the final game of the series this afternoon when ICARANE glogs it.

    Red Sox 5, Cleveland 3: The Sox once again spotted the Indians a lead for awhile before Jason Varitek's pinch hit ding-dong gave them the lead in the 9th. Hideki Okijima came in for the save, and thousands of usually happy go lucky Cleves despondently hurled themselves into another unforgiving night of despair. If they're not careful, they're going to get a complex.

    Marlins 4, Braves 0: Scott Olsen went 7 scoreless to dispatch the Braves. It doesn't seem like very good planning for Atlanta to have lost one game by 4 runs instead of dividing that up into 4 separate 1 run losses, but what do I know. That's why I just sit here in a crotchless Superman outfit and write game recaps with a ballgag in my mouth, instead of run a team! The Marlins seem to be delaying their widely anticipated collapse one day at time. Such focus is admirable.

    Yankees 5, Rays 3: Hideki Matsui used PornoPower™ to knock one out of the yard and Alex Rodriguez hit his 400th career double, which I believe ties him with Jody Reed. This was one of a handful of two game series around the league this week. I find it highly annoying to read that a team "completed a two game sweep." That's weak sauce. The Yankees have two guests on the way to New York. Both of whom command followings of great reverence but also dabble in decadence and periodic hypocrisy. Of course I speak of the Red Sox tomorrow, and the Pope on Sunday.

    We're gonna let it up like India House on fire!

    Tonight's Questions

    | | Comments (3)
    night game.jpg Hey kids, tune in tonight to find out...

    See y'all tomorrow for Liveglog Wednesday. Same WoW time, Same WoW channel.
    linkpunch gorillaSometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

    • Rich Lederer over at Baseball Anaysts previews the 2008 amateur draft, set to take place June 5th and 6th: Part One, Part Two

    • Eamonn Brennan reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers organization has invited several Dodgers bloggers to meet with various team officials, including general manager Ned Coletti, blowjob king Tommy Lasorda, and skankstress Alyssa Milano: AOL Fanhouse

    • Tuffy freezes his ding-dong off watching the Tigers get shut out, but still enjoys himself because he is a good-natured person: The Big Tilde

    • Padres blogger Dex exchanged interviews and pleasantries with a Rockies blogger and then they went out for malteds: Gas Lamp Ball

    • There is a suicidal bear in Fresno: UmpBump

    • Chris Mottram says that Jim Bowden is a douche. I am not one to disagree with Chris Mottram: Mr. Irrelevant

    • One More Dying Quail did a heckuva lot of research to identify all the former big-leaguers managing independent league teams. Oh, so that's what Jeffrey Leonard is doing nowadays: Bus Leagues Baseball
    sunflower.jpg

    Perhaps the only thing more embarrassing for a veteran Major League starting pitcher than giving up a home run to Jason Kendall would be getting demoted to the bullpen. Here are three such pitchers who might be facing this utter and soul-sucking humiliation:

    Kyle Kendrick: No, the Phillies don't exactly have a bunch of available arms to fill his spot, but that didn't stop Uncle Cholly from pushing Kendrick's next start up a bit in favor of the shockingly decent Adam Eaton. Kendrick has allowed 12 hits and 8 walks in just 7 and 1/3 innings pitched across two starts. He's not really pitching this season, he's nibbling around the strike zone and has only struck one dude out (haw haw Josh Fogg). Looks like Baseball Prospectus' forecast of Kendrick was spot on. Here it is: "Yuck" Oh well, there's always Japan. Possible replacement: Ryan Madson.

    Rich Hill: Well this one has already been signed, sealed and delivered by Lou Piniella, as Hill already spent the past weekend in the bullpen, presumably to sweep up Carlos Marmol's discarded sunflower seeds. Hill's first start this season was serviceable, allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits across 6 innings in a Cubs' loss to the go-go Astros. In his second start, he went just 3 innings, letting in 3 runs, 3 hits, and 4 walks. Says Lou, "In the first inning [Thursday night], he was just aiming it. When he came back after the first inning, he looked a little confused." Ouch. Former starter Jon Lieber has been stellar coming out of the 'pen in long relief. Possible replacement: Lieber.

    Dave Bush: Brewers right-hander Bush is carrying a hefty 8.44 ERA after two road starts this season, one against the Cubs and one against the Reds (our friend Corey Patterson had a double off the guy). With hard-throwing Yovani Gallardo coming off the DL soon there will be a logjam in the Brewers' rotation. When you're stinking up the joint as badly as Bush is, chances are that Ned Yost is going to Febreze him right into the bullpen, or even worse, option him down to Triple-A Nashville. Possible replacement: Gallardo (or holy crap, Jeff Weaver)

    Such A Fine Looking Day: Today's Afternoon Games

    | | Comments (2)
    sad giants bear.jpg
    • 2:05, A's at White Sox: Rob told you about the pitcher's duel between these two last night. Today's Oakland starter, Dana Eveland, threw 6.1 of scoreless ball in his last start. HEY GUYS. JIM THOME IS TAKING THE DAY OFF. What I wouldn't give to be watching some day baseball out in Chicago today.

    • 2:05, Angels at Rangers: The Rangers have lost four straight, and the mood among fans isn't exactly jovial. Today they send Kevin Millwood and his 1.29 ERA to the hill against Dustin Moseley. Howie Kendrick is out for the Angels and Marlon Byrd is out for the Rangers. Milton Bradley is still out of his mind.

    • 4:35, Diamondbacks at Giants: I'd also be jealous of people attending an afternoon game today at beautiful AT&T Park... if most of those people weren't Giants fans. I kid, I kid. In fact, the Giants spoiled Randy Johnson's return last night staging a comeback against the Arizona pen. Micah Owings is off to a strong start again with a 2.63 ERA, will try and keep Arizona from their first 3 game skid of the season. San Fran counters with Kevin Correia, who happens to have an identical ERA, which is pretty amazing since he's spent most of the young season puking his guts out all over the place.
    dusty2.jpg

    The Cincinnati Reds are chilling at 6-7, good enough only for fifth place in a surprisingly competitive National League Central. (Did you know the six NL Central division teams are 23-16 against the other two NL divisions? No?) After a somewhat hot start in the first ten games, the Reds are coming off a road sweep in Pittsburgh. The Pirates had two lefty pitchers start in the series, Paul Maholm on Friday and Tom Gorzelanny on Sunday, so our lefty-hitting friend Corey Patterson only made pinch hit appearances in those games. How'd he do the rest of the week?

    Game 8: Led off, 2-for-5 with a HR, 2 RBI and 1 run.

    Game 9: Led off, 3-for-5 with a HR, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 2 runs and a walk.

    Game 10: Led off, 0-for-5.

    Game 11: Didn't start versus lefty Paul Maholm, flied out in the ninth, 0-for-1.

    Game 12: Led off, 1-for-4 with a double, walk, RBI, run, and a stolen base.

    Game 13: Didn't start versus lefty Tom Gorzelanny, grounded out in the seventh, 0-for-1.

    That's a pretty good week! Looks like our friend Dusty Baker is determined to platoon Corey Patterson and play him exclusively against right-handed pitchers. That part of the strategy is working; Patterson is slugging .667 on the season with four home runs and five doubles.

    The part of the strategy that is not working is that Baker is penciling Patterson into the lead-off spot in every game he starts. Corey's on-base percentage is a mere .304, easily the worst on his team among qualified batters. Sure, he's hitting a ton of taters but there are seven guys on the Reds with more walks than Patterson.

    Maybe Dusty isn't maximizing those home runs anyway; all but one of those ding-dongs have been solo jobs. Perhaps if some of the good OBP guys were ahead of Patterson in the lineup, he'd have more a chance to drive in some RBIs. Yes, he wouldn't have as many stolen base opportunities with Ken Griffey and Adam Dunn "clogging the bases", but he already doesn't have many stolen base attempts anyway: Corey has but two singles and three walks on the season.

    I've definitely turned a corner on Corey Patterson. I'm rooting for him to be successful now, but I'm mostly interested in seeing Baker move him down the lineup, hopefully to the five hole.

    Randy Johnson Returns; I'm Not Using His Nickname

    | | Comments (3)
    Former Yankee legend Randy Johnson returned to the mound last night 8 months after major back surgery. He looked wild at times in his five inning debut, handing out 4 walks. He also looked untouchable at times, staying in the 90s with his fastball and striking out 7.

    Like many others, we've already predicted the Snakes taking the NL West. I have to think that with a healthy Randy Johnson, even with 75% of his former stuff, Arizona jumps to the front of the pack for pennant contention. Webb, Haren and Johnson sounds mighty tough.

    Like I wasn't going to post this:

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball while letting it ring a long long long long time:

    Yankees 8, Devil Rays 7: Down 7-2 after a serviceably good start by Yankee rookie Ian Kennedy, Tampa Bay knotted the game at 7 with three seventh inning home runs. Two of the dongs, including Evan Longoria's first career homer, came off Brian Bruney, who received raves in spring training for dropping his pregnancy weight. Sorry, Yankees fans, but expect Bruney to put all 20 pounds back on tonight after drowning his sorrows in Haagen-Dazs. Gallons and gallons of delicious, fattening Haagen-Dazs. The Rays made the game interesting in the seventh but after Robinson Cano's pinch-hit home run put the Yanks up 8-7, closer Mariano Rivera found a way of making the game very, very boring, earning his first four-out save of the season.

    Tigers 11, Twins 9: Detroit's offense got off the schneid in a big way, scoring all 11 of their runs after the start of the sixth inning against the Twins. Crappy pitcher and even crappier blogger Pat Neshek took the blown save and the loss, coming into the game in the 8th with a two-run lead and giving up a 2 RBI triple to Ivan Rodriguez, an RBI sac fly to Jacque Jones, a Clete Thomas triple, and a Placido Polanco RBI single. Whew! Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman did himself no favors, allowing seven runs (four earned) in 6 and 1/3 innings. When asked his reaction about his team's first home win of the year, Detroit manager Jim Leyland simply replied "Aw shit, I don't have time for this."

    Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: Creed fan Kevin Millar led the (first place?!?) Orioles with 3 RBI as Baltimore beat Toronto despite Alex Rios' two-run dong off closer George Sherrill in the ninth. The O's collected 13 hits in the game and ran amok on the basepaths, swiping four bases off Blue Jays' catcher-cum-movie critic Gregg Zaun. Just 11,510 spectators were on hand at Oriole Park to see a game that featured six double plays. I'm falling asleep writing about this snoozefest...no wonder only 11,000 fans showed up. Care!

    Athletics 2, White Sox 1: Ozzie Guillen continues to get quality starts from his pitching staff but couldn't keep his lineup scoring runs as Chicago managed but one run in seven innings off somebody named Greg Smith. White Sox starter Mark Buehrle had his second straight quality start after stinking it up on Opening Day, but his team simply refused to support him. Maybe it's time to stop playing the theremin in the clubhouse, Mark. Former Royal star and Billy Beane's latest pickup from the discount bin Mike Sweeney reached base twice and scored both runs.

    Tonight's Questions

    | | Comments (7)
    night game.jpgHey kids, tune in tonight to find out...


    Then check us out tomorrow. Same WoW time, Same WoW channel.

    Hey Piniella, How's Your 401-K Looking?

    | | Comments (10)
    dusty.jpgPaul Sullivan of Chicagosports.com wrote a piece about Dusty Baker's return to Wrigley. The piece is fair enough and includes a couple of good bits, including a pretty sweet slap on the wrist from Derrek Lee towards Cubs fans. There was also this passing reference that I found interesting:

    "Most ex-Cub managers don't get the opportunity to come back to Chicago and manage against their former team because they never find another managerial job. Baker knew that when he left town, and wondered aloud whether he would get another opportunity."

    How true of a statement is that? Well since Leo Durocher left in 1972 the following guys have never had another managerial gig after the Cubs:

    *indicates interim manager

    • Whitey Lockman
    • Herman Franks
    • Joey Amalfitano
    • Preston Gómez
    • Charlie Fox*
    • Jim Frey
    • Gene Michael
    • Frank Lucchesi*
    • Don Zimmer
    • Jim Essian
    • Tom Trebelhorn
    • Jim Riggleman
    • Don Baylor
    • Bruce Kimm*
    That's incredible! That's 14 out of 20 managers before Dusty Baker! Is there a paper shredder by the clubhouse door that they just put their resume in on the way out? If I was getting fired by the Cubs I'd just take my dick out at the press conference. What do I have to lose? I'm not getting another job anyway.

    Jim Leyland Berates Tigers Team; I Can Relate. Seriously.

    | | Comments (17)
    leylandhat.jpgThe headline of this ESPN article, "Leyland takes woeful Tigers to task after fourth shutout of young season" is a tad misleading. He certainly admits his frustration with the team, but by his foul mouthed, shitty casino dealer looking standards it was quite tame.

    "There was one thing that sticks out to me right now that's going on, and that was the straw that broke the camel's back," Leyland said after Sunday's 11-0 loss to the White Sox, without revealing the issue.

    "Where we're at makes sense because that's the way we've played," Leyland said. "It's not surprising that we're 2-10. We've been shut out four times. ... I didn't think we'd get shut out four times all year, to be honest with you."
    See that's actually quite level headed for the miserable old leatherface. That wasn't him taking anyone to task. Both of our regular readers may have noticed that I have a certain measure of animosity for Leyland and that's because, well, I've been screamed at by Jim Leyland. Allow me to set the scene...

    It's May of 1999, the baseball season is about 6 weeks in. I am a high school junior and sportswriter for the school paper. Me and a bunch of other high school sports journalists from South Florida are invited to the Marlins High School Media Day. I could not have been more excited. I pulled my rusty, A/C-less '86 Ponitac Grand AM into the press parking lot (!!!) and headed for the press box where the day was to begin.

    As a history refresher, the Marlins had won the World Series in 1997 and gone through the first of their fire sales. The team totally sucked and attendance was accordingly bleak. Sound familiar? We got to interview some players (not in the locker rooms, thank god). Kids were lobbing softball questions and then I asked Kevin Millar if it was hard to get excited to play a game against the Expos when there were 1000 fans there. He muttered something about being a professional then another kid asked him what CDs he listens to.

    So anyway, after our tour of the inside of the park, we got to go stand on the field and watch batting practice. They were playing the Rockies, coincidentally managed by Jim Leyland in his first year since leaving the Marlins. I got to stand with Dante Bichette and Todd Helton and talk to them a little bit. For a 17 year old, it was about as kickass as it sounds. After talking to Bichette I wanted to write some stuff down but realized I had left my notebook in the press room (this is a recurring theme in my life). I rushed off the field through the tunnel to grab the notebook before someone threw it out.

    At the first blind corner in the tunnel, I see a flash of purple and feel a dull thud against my chest and midsection. I looked down to see an angry and cursing Jim Leyland.

    "Why don't you watch where you're going you stupid little piece of shit! What the hell are they letting you around here for anyway?"

    The site of a diminutive and livid Jim Leyland caused me to start giggling. I wanted to apologize, but couldn't. I kept laughing. This angered ol' Amberteeth even more.

    His voice rose in volume and echoed through the tunnel. "You think it's fucking funny, asshole? How about I have you tossed out of here? Aw shit, I don't have time for this."

    He stormed off to the field, I finally stopped giggling and retrieved my notebook.

    THAT is what it's like getting "taken to task" by Jim Leyland, ESPN. It's louder, more profane and reeks of coffeebreath and cigarettes.
    headless.jpg

    I don't know who Skip Hall is or what he does but that won't stop me from launching an unprovoked attack on him and his reputation just like how he launched an unprovoked attack on Manny Ramirez in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Please to read:

      Game 4 of the 2007 American League Championship Series had just ended, the Tribe was up, three games to one, but the image of Manny Ramirez standing at home plate with arms raised in a self-congratulatory pose burned brightest. It's 2008 now, and if professional baseball players truly police themselves on the field, it's time for Ramirez to get the major-league equivalent of a Taser blast. He needs to be knocked down -- at the least. Ramirez's act last October calls for high-and-tight heat. Don't hit him, just put him on the ground. If Jake Westbrook wants to put a two-seamer into Ramirez's ribs, well, there will be no tears shed here.

    Jesus, Skip. This has really been sticking in your craw for six whole months? I realize how sad it is when your favorite team loses a playoff series, and I realize how sad it is to know the best outfielder in baseball left your favorite team for Boston eight years ago, but vowing revenge against him is no way to heal the hurt, Skippy. Yes, Manny lifted his arms in celebration. He wasn't showing up his opponent, he was overjoyed at hitting a home run that cut his team's deficit.

    Heck, I think he showed a lot of class. If I wanted to show up the Indians or their fans, I would have turned to the dugout and raised both middle fingers while doing the Lindy Hop up the first base line. And let's assume for a second that I'm 100% wrong, that Manny was indeed showing up his opponent. Don't you think he's earned that right? Not only is he the best outfielder in baseball, he's also got one of the most unique personalities. Manny gets RESULTS, both in statistics and television ratings.

    By the way, if Jake Westbrook hits Manny Ramirez in the ribs, it won't be because that was his intention. It will be because Jake Westbrook has the control of Michael J. Fox playing Jenga.

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball while I was double-fisting Argentinian Cabernet and American Bud Lights:

    White Sox 11, Tigers 0: Javier Vazquez is the latest White Sox starter to post some zeros against the hapless Detroit Tigers lineup, going seven scoreless innings and collecting nine strikeouts. Those Tigers are still on the waiting list to collect some hap, having been shut out four times already. IT'S NOT EVEN TAX DAY YET. Rookie Clete Thomas was Jim Leyland's leadoff hitter yet again and rewarded Leyland's forward-thinking approach by striking out four times. Two different White Soxes, Joe Crede and Paul Konerko, hit grand slams in the game; it was Crede's second four-run homer in a week's time. Wait...four shutouts for the Tigers, four strikeouts for Thomas, four-run homers for Crede and Konerko....IT'S THE FOURPOCALYPSE!

    Cubs 6, Phillies 5 (10): The Cubbies took advantage of some terrrrrible umpire-atin' in this contest but prevailed mostly because Chase Utley made an oopsie at the wrong time. The bad call was a disputed solo home run off the bat of ol' shaky-heart Mark DeRosa; third base umpire Adrian Johnson called it fair but television replays clearly show it foul. I know. I was watching TBS and enjoying the dulcet tones of color guy Buck Martinez. Utley's error allowed Carlos Zambrano to reach first base as Ronny Cedeno scored the eventual winning run. Zambrano? Really? A pitcher? Hustling his buns to cause Utley to throw the ball away and let the winning run score in extry innings? HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS, PHILLIES FANS?

    Padres 1, Dodgers 0: Ol' poopypants Greg Maddux went the minimum 5 scoreless innings to collect his win and then immediately high-tailed it to Vegas to celebrate his 83rd birthday. Hey, not bad...I hear they have $3 prime rib and dollar Rob Roys at the Golden Nugget between 4 and 5PM on Sundays. It was nearly 100 effing degrees at the game and fan Jeff Hechter just remembered he was wearing a diaper on his head. Maddux was aided by several defensive gems by shortstop Khalil Greene; there was but one run-scoring play in the game, a fifth-inning sacrifice fly by Padres right fielder Paul McAnulty. This made fan Jeff Hechter sigh and remember that (a) his team was shut out and (b) he was still wearing a diaper on his head.

    Rockies 13, Diamondbacks 5: The Diamondbacks finally lost a game, ending the Rockies' five-game-long national nightmare of losing to Arizona. Shortstop Clint Barmes emerged from behind the shadow of Troy Tulowitzki for one shining day, getting a start in place of the reigning NL Rookie of the Year. He collected three hits, four RBI and the ire of five Phoenix groupies longing to check out Tulowitzki's tush. The Rockies and tied with the Dodgers at 5-7 and remain just 0.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants. Perhaps their only chance to win this division would be to curse the D-Backs and stuff a Dante Bichette jersey in the pool filter at Chase Field.

    Red Sox 7, Yankees 4 (in progress): We should have made more noise about the first ever regular season Red Sox-Yankees series here at Walkoff Walk what with Kris being a staunch Red Sock fanatic and I, being a diehard Yankee supporter. But...we didn't, because we do not plan ahead very well. It's 11PM right now and we're still in the top of the sixth. I do not plan to stay up and watch the final three innings of this nonsense, mostly because I need to manufacture the Z's but also because three more hours of Joe Morgan might melt my brain. Let us hope for the best!

    The Sunday Morning Post

    | | Comments (9)
    televangelist2.jpgHere's what happened while the Canadiens were making another mortgage payment on the Bruins.

    White Sox beat Tigers. Gavid Floyd flirts with no hitter, I flirt with erasing any post I wrote about how awesome the Tigers hitters would be... Braves beat Nats behind Francouer's 2 jacks and 7 RBI. 3-9 Nats show they can stink up any joint no matter how nice it is... Brewers beat Mets Santana knocked around in Shea debut. NY Post demands Philip Humber back... Red Sox beat Yankees while Manny gets back to old Yank killing ways. Strong rains delay game, drown two guys yelling "Yooooouk..." A's beat Indians. Fausto Carmona celebrates new contract by walking 8 in 3 1/3. Way to go, Ricky Vaughn... Snakes beat Rockies, win 9th straight. Everybody in the hot tub! Balance of power shifting early in NL West... Twins beat Royals. Two guys shot for yelling "Boooooof..." Cards beat Giants. Matt Cain had a no hitter and a five run lead through 7. Bullpen blows it in 10. Christ, man... Orioles beat Rays on Ramon Hernandez HR in 9th. Here's a picture of Garfield holding a boombox that you can print out and color... Astros blank Marlins. Berkman goes deep and Marlins strand 9. Deadbeats... Jays beat Rangers. Halladay throws CG, Aaron hill knocks in 3, I want breakfast... Phillies pound Cubs, and Ted Lilly just sits there and takes it... Mariners beat Angels and Carlos Silva continues to make me look stupid for constantly making fun of him. Well he's still tubby... Pirates beat Reds. Nate McLouth is your major league hits leader. It's about time you picked him up in your fantasty league instead of stubbornly waiting on Mark Whitten to make a comeback... Dodgers rout the shit of the Padres. Ethier, Kemp and Furcal light up Chris Young. More good news: Nomar comes back tomorrow for anywhere from 3-5 weeks till his next DL stint!

    Cubs/Phillies are the national game on TBS @ 1:30. Yanks/Sox are your ESPN Sunday night game. I plan to be in this same robe by the time it comes on, after watching golf all day.

    Want some music? I made a muxtape mixtape. Just click on the first track to get started. It's better than listening to these dopes on the Golf Channel before the CBS coverage starts. The site is free and simple to use. If you make one, leave it in the comments.

    What's on tap for your sports Sunday?

    The Saturday Morning Post

    | | Comments (3)
    SatMornPost.jpgHey, kids. Here's what happened last night while we were all out getting wasted.

    Yankees beat Red Sox on back of Chien-Ming Wang's 2 hitter. Well not actually on his back, he was pulling a rickshaw... Phillies beat Cubs. Actual AP story : "Tired of getting hit around, Brett Myers knew he needed to make a change." Joke writes itself... Rays beat Orioles as Carlos Pena hits 2 HRs and drives in 6. Proves everyone should take sometime in the middle of their career to get sent down to the minors and forgotten about... A's beat Indians. Sabathia gets ass kicked and Yankees look for ways to void contract that hasn't been written yet... Pirates beat Reds in rain delayed wet and windy game. I'm 100% positive that's what Purgatory will be like... Mets beat Brewers. Nelson Figueroa wins first major league game in 5 years. Mike Hampton calls to ask what it feels like... Toronto beats Texas. I have nothing to say about that, so here's a picture of a fat clown... Twins beat Royals. Livan Hernandez improves to 3-0; calls Ramon Castro a dork... Tigers beat White Sox for second win, but D-Train leaves with knee injury. When asked for comment, Leyland puts cigarette out on reporter's face... Marlins beat Astros. Set team record with 6 HRs and beat most expert predictions by winning 7th game... Snakes beat Rockies, win 7th straight. They are good at baseball... Braves beat Nats. Tim Hudson throws 8 innings of 3 hit ball. Ernie Hudson not in attendance... Mariners beat Angels. Raul Ibanez hits two HR. I am hungover. Unrelated, but it's real and it's happening now... Cards beat Giants. Kyle Lohse wins again, but still gets atomic wedgie for giving up any runs at all to SF... Padres beat Dodgers. LA has lost four straight. Torre looking to sign Scott Brosius to stop skid.

    Feel free to hang out here and talk some afternoon baseball. I'll be bouncing back and forth between here and Golf In The Weeds. I said I'd try my hand at Masters glogging... but... we'll just see how it goes.

    Today's old-timey video clip is from the beginning of the 1968 All-Star Game, held in Houston's Astrodome. The starting pitchers were Don Drysdale and Luis Tiant.



    How cool does Sandy Koufax look in that clip? He's already out of baseball two years but he's there to talk up his former teammate Don Drysdale. That's a classy dude! Also, wasn't color TV invented by 1968?

    As for the game, Willie Mays scored the game's only run in the bottom of the first inning. He singled off Tiant, advanced to second on a pick-off attempt gone awry, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a GIDP by Willie McCovey. This was perhaps the worst ASG ever in terms of offense; the American League had but 3 baserunners and struck out 11 times. Mays played the entire game, recorded zero putouts or assists, and collected just that one hit, and still won the MVP. You know why? BECAUSE HE IS THE GREATEST PLAYER TO EVER PLAY THE GAME.

    Stick around this weekend for Saturday morning and Sunday morning wrapups of selected baseball games by the venerable Camp Tiger Claw

    Walkoff Walk Crimestopper Private Eye Detective Club #2

    | | Comments (4)
    wanted.jpg Sometimes the work I do here is so rewarding, I don't even feel like collecting the weekly $50,000 check that is mailed to me inside of a fabrege egg. Working to bring closure to the people affected by Graeme Lloyd's sinister bat wielding cult is that kind of work.

    Today while doing research on the Dick Cheney post, serendipity led me to another piece of the grisly Australian puzzle. You see, not only is today Lloyd's birthday, it's also the 15th anniversary of a very Aussie day in the MLB:

    1993 - When Brewer catcher Dave Nilsson catches for Graeme Lloyd they become first all-Austrailian battery in major league history.
    Nilsson must now be considered a suspect. If you see him, do not approach him. While fans in Milwaukee were celebrating this bright new day in baseball's international fortunes, little did they know they were also witnessing the dawning of a reign of terror so low that it could only come from Down Under. Wherever you're celebrating your birthday today, Lloyd, know that I will not rest until I bring you to justice. Or until I get sleepy.

    What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt This Week

    | | Comments (5)
    stretcher.JPGI hate when you stub your toe and you're all hopping up and down and making that "hhsssseee" noise through your clenched teeth and your moron roommate/father/boss goes "You ok?" That really pisses me off. I'm trying to concentrate on how much pain I'm in, not trying to answer an obvious question from some doofus. You know who doesn't know the first thing about pain? The porcelain ladybros I've listed below.

    Mike Lowell, Red Sox: Mikey Double rolled over on his hand diving for an Ivan Rodriguez ground ball on Wednesday night. He sprained the ligament in his glove thumb. Doctors expect it to be 2-4 weeks before he can get back on the field. It's a notoriously fickle injury. You may remember the same thing happened to David Eckstein and it was weeks before he could suck his thumb while holding Mr. Blankie at bedtime.

    Matt Garza & Cliff Floyd, Devil Rays: Garza didn't make it out of the third inning in his last start and is now on the DL with radial nerve irritation. I had heard rumblings about Garza's arm being an iffy proposition when the Rays made the deal with the Twins in the offseason. He's now saying himself that the pain started before the end of last season. Ron Gardenhire put down his can of Busch long enough to deny the claim, and now we've got ourselves a little tiff between the two clubs. Meeeow! Meanwhile, Cliff Floyd is on the DL with "body on strike" a torn meniscus.

    Derek Jeter, Yankees: The New York shortstop and loathsome tax cheat hurt his left quadriceps doing something intangible. He hasn't officially been placed on the DL but looks like he may miss the weekend series in Boston. This concludes your tour of AL East MASH Units.

    Rich Harden, A's: Harden is so consistent at being hurt all the time. He's like the Tiger Woods of getting hurt. It's not a big sad sack fiasco like Mike Hampton where there's hemming and hawing and freak injuries. Nope, Harden gets injured like a pro. This time it's a strained back muscle. The A's have had 377 back injuries on their team in the past two years and the California Agricultural Commission is recommending they uproot and destroy Eric Chavez before he destroys the rest of the crops.

    Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: Dammit J-Roll, we didn't mean your ankle! (canned laughter) (crying) (dropped hoagie) (profane call to talk radio)

    This Date In Baseball History: 2006

    | | Comments (12)
    Much was made of George Bush's reception when he threw out the first pitch at this year's Nationals home opener. He got mostly booed which was, you know, to be expected. But perusing the "On This Day In Baseball" list today, I found something which I found to be much funnier. Well, if it weren't so sad.

    2006 - Wearing a red-and-blue Nationals jacket, Vice President Dick Cheney threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener at RFK Stadium. Greeted with a chorus of loud boos, the veep, standing directly in front of the pitching mound, bounces the ball in front of home plate prior to hometown team loss to the Mets, 7-1.

    I'm sure this year Bush was expecting a mixed (at best) reaction and was unfazed by any jeers. But see, 2006 was back in the heady days when the administration still had that awe inspiring combination of arrogance and obliviousness that allowed them to trot out Dick Cheney in front of a stadium full of people and think that it would be a good thing.

    I didn't have much of a personal recollection of the event so I decided to YouTube it. The first clip is unedited, with audio intact. Way to stand in front of the mound, fruitcake. The second is the live feed from Fox News. I'd like to amend my previous comment to "awe inspiring combination of arrogance, obliviousness and media complicity."

    Reality:



    Fair and Balanced:

    clinton.jpg

    In one of the few 'new' and actually likable baseball traditions that have been created since Bud Selig's arthritic hand of power wrested the reins of control from Fay Vincent, players all across Major League Baseball will wear the number 42 on Tuesday to honor Jackie Robinson. Selig retired the number 42 eleven years ago in a ceremony at Shea Stadium and President Clinton was there to give the evening some gravitas and some extra blackness. Give credit to Ken Griffey Jr. for bringing 42 back on Jackie Robinson Day last year; it was his idea and he personally petitioned the Budster to let this happen.

    Players set to wear the number this season include Mariano Rivera, partly to honor Jackie and partly because he wears it every day. Also, Jimmy Rollins, Joey Gathwright, Dusty Baker, Griffey, and....Mark Kotsay? Way to earn some street cred in Hotlanta, Mark.

    Last season, some teams' entire rosters wore the number 42, including the Dodgers, Robinson's former team. Can you imagine trying to keep score at a baseball game when EVERYONE IS WEARING THE SAME NUMBER?

    - Wait, who's on first?
    - Number 42.
    - Well, which number 42?
    - No, which number 42 is on second.
    - Fuck you Abbott, just tell me who's on first!

    And...scene.

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball before the sweet sounds came down:

    Cubs 7, Pirates 3: After playing 27 innings in the past two days (that's like...three games worth!), the Cubs decided to alter their game plan in their quest to sweep the Pirates. Manager Lou Piniella must have sat his kids down and asked them to try and have more runs than the opposing team once the ninth inning was completed. The result? Great success! Chicago catcher Geovany Soto had four hits including a two-run dong in the Cubs' five-run sixth inning. Seton Hall product Matt Morris took the loss.

    Rangers 3, Orioles 1 (Game 1): Texas 'ace' Kevin Millwood finally got hisself a win, but still manages to boggle the collective mind of the baseballblogosphere intelligentsia. Seven innings pitched with just three hits? Great! Seven innings pitched with five walks and just two strikeouts? Uh-oh...those numbers won't make Nolan Ryan very happy, Mr. Millwood! No matter, the Josh Hamilton-Michael Young combination produced two runs and somehow, a game started by Steve Trachsel lasted less than three hours.

    Mets 3, Phillies 3: This game is currently in the top of the eleventh, but I had to let you know what happened just now. Jayson Werth led off with a single, and Cole Hamels came up to sac bunt him to second. Hamels laid down a gem; neither Mets' third baseman David Wright nor catcher Brian Schneider could handle it. Phillies now have runners on first and second with no out. Nice setup! But then: shortstop Eric Bruntlett came up next and fouled off three straight bunt attempts, thus striking out and leaving him 0-for-6 in the game. Chase Utley then grounded into a double play and the inning was over. HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THIS, PHILLIES FANS? (Update: Jose Reyes just 'scored' the winning run, Mets 'win' 4-3 in the bottom of the twelfth)

    Marlins 4, Nationals 3: The shitty Marlins continue to beat up on even shittier teams like the Nationals, but Florida did it with class and style and swept the Nationals for the first time in Warshington, D.C. Sassy senior Jorge Cantu had three hits and two RBI but the star of the game was pitcher Mark Hendrickson. No walks in seven innings? Alright, man! That's the longest he's gone without allowing a walk since October 2005 when, as a Devil Ray, he threw a complete game loss to Bawlmer. Attendance at BRAND NEW Nationals Park was a measly 24,000. Must be because nobody can git there. Those fatcats in Washington are at it again!

    linkpunch gorillaSometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

    • Joe Posnanski shares a good Joe Morgan anecdote. To be more specific, it involves the humiliation of Joe Morgan at the hands of Joaquin Andujar, so that should satisfy all your Joe-Morgan-being-humiliated needs. JoeBlog

    • Derrick Goold analyzes the Cardinals' starting rotation and notices that they have so far been extreme ground ball pitchers. Thankfully, Eckstein is no longer around to boot easy grounders. BirdLand

    • Maury Brown reports that advertising time on MLB's partner networks has almost sold out. FOX, ESPN, and TBS are rolling in the dollars, and even the YES Network is worth more money than the Gettys and the Rothschilds combined. Biz of Baseball

    • Futuremrsrickankiel has some fun with Bartolo Colon headlines. Filthy! The Melody of Riot

    • Steven Goldman argues that the birth year of America was really 1947. Why? Two words that rhyme with 'Jackie Robinson'. Take your time and read this one. Baseball Prospectus

    Breaking: CC Sabathia Officially Joins Yankee Rotation

    | | Comments (7)
    zoltar-1.jpgI may have been a bit premature last time, but this time it's for real! The baseball world is reeling today from the news that CC Sabathia has officially become a New York Yankee. Sabathia is said to already be preparing for his first start with the club, scheduled for April 2, 2009.

    Oh dammit they got me again! He hasn't left, it's just that the Indians announced Fausto Carmona's new contract today. The deal is guaranteed for 4 years but has options for up to 7; guarantees $15 with up to $48 in options and incentives. The first thing Rob said was, "Bye Bye, CC" and about 15 minutes later Peter Abraham ran with it:

    "If he gets on the market, the Yankees figure to be serious players for Sabathia. Don't forget, the Yankees will be clearing a ton of salaries after the season including Jason Giambi and the $11 million wasted on Carl Pavano."
    Indeed, the Yankees do show significant interest in major free agents. And pinstripes are so slimming! Spot on!
    I kid. I love Abraham's stuff, but a year of this is going to make me gouge my eyes out.

    Hold On, I'm Coming: Today's Afternoon Games

    | | Comments (12)
    sam and dave.jpg
    • 12:40 Mariners at Rays: Miguel Batista takes the alto sax out of his gaping maw and will try and help Seattle win their third straight. Edwin Jackson is on the mound for the Rays. Jackson threw 6 innings of 1 hit ball against the Yankees in his first start. The Rays are already banged up. Newly acquired pitcher Matt Garza is on the DL and was followed there yesterday by Cliff Floyd. Ol' Cliffy gets jealous when people get to sit out and he doesn't.

    • 1:05, Reds at Brewers: Aaron Harang looks like a friendlier version of the Undertaker. Or a half man/half basset hound. Either way, he's pitching pretty well and will take on Carlos Villanueva. Cincinnati exploded for 12 runs last night, and there are pieces of people everywhere. It's really gory and I think I'm probably going to hurl.

    • 5:05, Orioles at Rangers: I'm making an executive decision to call 5:05 the afternoon. It's well before I'd eat dinner, and at this time of year it's still really light out. If you disagree with my decision please email Jesus (xoSonOfGodxo@aol.com) and tell him to stop making the spring so goddamn beautiful. Last night's game was rained out so this is the first of two, with Adam Loewen taking on Kason Gabbard. Don't email Jesus asking him how the Orioles are 6-1. He has no idea either.
    lugo.jpg

    Hidden in the box score of the Tigers - Red Sox game from last night at HISTORIC Fenway Park is a rare occurrence of extreme inadequacy. No, I'm not talking about the goddamned hawk and it has nothing to do with the lack of clean toilets in the bleacher section. Boston had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the fourth, when Detroit put up a four-spot on starting pitcher Jon Lester. I'll let the game play-by-play page from Yahoo explain what happened in the bottom half of the inning:

        Bottom 4th: Boston
           - J. Varitek doubled to left
           - J. Ellsbury walked
           - J. Lugo grounded out to third, J. Varitek out at third, J. Ellsbury out at second
           - J. Lugo caught stealing, catcher to second

    Julio Lugo came up with no outs and runners on first and second. He managed to avoid hitting into the dreaded triple play but still wiped out the two runners with his fielders' choice groundout. Lugo then ended the inning by getting thrown out attempting to steal second by catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Oops!

    Yes, stealing second base with two outs is a good strategy, especially when the runner is as quick as Lugo. He was successful 85% of the time last year and accumulated 33 steals. But isn't it a shame when you are single-handedly responsible for all three outs in an inning? I guess Julio could always blame the hookworms.

    padrepickins.jpg

    The San Francisco Giants have scored but 4 runs in their last two games but have won both of 'em. In the baseball blogging business, we call that 'luck'. Sure, we could sit here and talk about how wonderful the Giants' starting pitchers are, but what fun would it be to be so consarn positive?

    Two nights ago, Bengie Molina was the hero and last night, first baseman Dan Ortmeier provided the only offense in a Giants 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Ortmeier came up in the bottom of the ninth of a scoreless tie with a runner on second and two outs. He knocked a double over the head of Padres' center fielder Jim Edmonds (looks like someone lost a step or 39) and the Giants had their second walkoff win in two days. Nice win, but what about the rest of the game?

    The Giants' top six hitters combined to go 3-for-19 in the game, while the entire Padres' lineup went 4-for-28. We all expected the Giants offense to be miserable but what of the young studs in San Diego? Kevin Kouzmanoff 1-for-4 with 2 K's. Adrian Gonzalez 0-for-4 with 2 K's. Scott Hairston 0-for-2. Heck, even Garry Templeton went hitless. Jeez Padres...nice way to support starter Justin Germano. Germano has not allowed a run in 13 innings pitched this season but his offense has supported him with the same number of runs: zero. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Ray Kroc's corpse took the microphone at the next Padres' home game and apologized to the crowd for his team's poor play.

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball before I was sleeping like a log:

    Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3: After I left this game for dead after five innings, the managers met behind homeplate and decided to continue the game even though I was no longer liveglogging. Joe Torre is such a trooper! Turns out all the fun happened after I closed up shop. After James Loney broke a 2-2 tie with his sixth inning home run, Eric Byrnes responded with a bases loaded single in the bottom half of the inning off Hiroki Kuroda, the Japanese David Cone. Former Red Sock Brandon Lyon earned the save after completely screwing up his two previous chances.

    Mets 8, Phillies 2: The Mets are off the schneid, beating the Phillies for the first time in the teams' past 523 contests. The Phils committed four errors including two by shortstop Eric Bruntlett. Wait, Eric Bruntlett? Oh right, Jimmy Rollins has an ouchie. Well, Phillies infielders, committing four errors is no way to help out your starter Kyle Kendrick. What's that? Kendrick walked six batters in the first two innings? Yecch...Robin Roberts must be spinning in his gra...what's that? He's still alive?

    Marlins 10, Nationals 4: It's just over one week into the season which means that the AP baseball writers can bring out purely reactive words like 'surging' and 'slumping'. Already, AP baseball writers? Really? Yes, the 'surging' Marlins have won 4 of 5 games and currently sit in first place. But they've been beating the 'slumping' Nationals, a team that was supposed to suck anyway! So what; they started off the season with three straight wins and have yet to earn win #4. Color me unsurprised. As for the game, Mike Jacobs had two dongs. Color his girlfriend surprised.

    Athletics 6, Blue Jays 3: Toronto closer B.J. Ryan may still be rehabbing but no worries, Blue Jays fans, John Gibbons totally trusts Jeremy Accardo. Not to save games, mind you, but rather to blow a save by giving up 4 runs. After a rather serviceable start from Dustin McGowan and holds by Justin Frasor and Scott Downs, Accardo waltzed into the ninth inning to protect a 3-2 Blue Jays lead and Eric Gagne-d all over the mound. Huston Street managed to avoid the same fate and earned a save for my fantas...err, for Oakland.

    Tigers 7, Red Sox 2: Oh my stars and garters the Tigers are streaking and the Red Sox are slumping. Seriously though, Detroit's bats came alive and the Tigers got their first win of the season. Edgar Renteria and Marcus Thames provided two RBI each in Detroit's four-run fourth; that was all the offense they'd need as the pitching staff rendered nine Boston hits mostly ineffective. To add injury to impotence, Mike Lowell left the game with a sprained thumb. Detroit closer-cum-blogger Todd Jones did everything in his power to make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, allowing two hits and a walk but prevented the Sox from plating any runs.

    liveglog.jpg

    Thanks to the good people at the LA Daily News (read: Tony Jackson), I have obtained the lineup for today's matchup:

    Dodgers:
    Rafael Furcal. SS
    Matt Kemp. CF
    Andre Ethier. RF
    Jeff Kent. 2B
    James Loney. 1B
    Russell Martin. C
    Blake DeWitt. 3B
    Juan Pierre. LF
    Hiroki Kuroda. P

    D-Backs:

    Chris Young. CF
    Eric Byrnes. LF
    Orlando Hudson. 2B
    Conor Jackson. 1B
    Mark Reynolds. 3B
    Justin Upton. RF
    Augie "Doggie" Ojeda. SS
    Robby "Banana" Hammock. C
    Micah Owings. P

    Pre-game thoughts: Joe Torre has quite the quandary on his large Italian-American hands when he fills out his lineup card: four mediocre outfielders and Andre Ethier. Andruw Jones is slumping, Juan Pierre outright sucks, Delwyn Young has a funny first name, and Matt Kemp never got a tag at Walkoff Walk. Today, Andruw Jones is the odd man out.

    Unlike last year where they couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a cowpie, Arizona currently leads the majors in runs scored. It's still early, but don't tell Chris Young, Mark Reynolds, or Justin Upton; they've combined for 12 home runs so far. A cursory glance at the batting stats for the team shows that only Eric Byrnes is underperforming expectations. Odd, because he was the only member of the team last year who could (a) hit or (b) paddle.

    Onto the liveglog! Click through and follow after the jump.

    liveglog.jpg
    • 3:35, Indians at Angels: Paul Byrd drags his righteous Christian ass to the hill to take on Shane Dustin Moseley. The Angels bullpen has been making like 85% of all MLB bullpens and blowing leads with startling regularity. You know who else blows stuff with startling regularity? Your sister.

    • 3:40, Dodgers at Diamondbacks: Hiroki Kuroda had the ice in him in his first start and will need it again against the heavy hitting Snakes. Micah Owings starts for Arizona. and my colleague informs me they have the top 3 HR hitters in the NL. How does he know that? Because his Crisco covered hands will be glogging this game for the Wednesday Afternoon Liveglog Club. Don't forget your membership card! Renting that lamination machine wasn't cheap.
    neanderthal-man.jpgWho's the meth head at the Sporting News that green-lighted Todd Jones' blog? I vaguely remember reading this last year, but my brain has this cool survival function where it erases things that are trying to make me stupid.

    Anyway, the tubby but ageless homophobe is back for a whole new season of boilerplate, bromide, and banality. Let's get his insider take on Opening Day:

    "Baseball is a funny game, so funny things happen on opening day -- like they happen just about every day. But opening day or opening week does not make a season, even though it generates far more interest than most games."

    What a dummy. A couple points here:

    1. This column came out yesterday, but makes references to Opening Day as "today." Despite the fact that the piece looks like no editor has come within ten feet of it, it was actually being revised for a full week. Why even bother, Sporting News? Independent athlete blogs are precarious enough, but for a major publication to sponsor one, especially one by a noted knuckle dragger like Jones is kind of insulting.

    B. Do Bob Costas, Rick Reilly et al, think that Jones wrote this in his underwear in his mother's basement? Frankly he's a more likely candidate than any blogger I'm friends with. Also, does reading this and getting access to the wit and wisdom of a pro athlete make me more like a real reporter™? So many questions.

    Suck it, Todd Jones.

    Addendum: I fear I may have jumped the gun here as I just read a piece he wrote last week and it's actually pretty insightful. I feel kind of bad and would like to send my condolences to the family of Todd Jones' ghostwriter who clearly died over the weekend.

    Bengie Molina Shames Us All

    | | Comments (5)
    bengiemolina.jpg

    Baseball is the kind of sport where the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees. The only people who can be prophetic are those who make no prophecies. Predictions always prove to be predictably wrong. And people like me tend to shit out a bunch of clichés to explain why much-derided cleanup hitter Bengie Molina hit two home runs last night to lead the Giants over the Padres.

    Molina's first home run came off Randy Wolf in the second inning. After hanging on to a 2-1 lead for starter Tim Lincecum, Giants closer Brian Wilson blew the save and sent the game into extra innings. Our boy Bengie ended the game in the 11th with a walkoff homer off Cla (his name is not Clay, San Francisco Chronicle) Meredith.

    We've had a couple of LOLs on this website at Bengie's expense already, but if he continues to knock those dingers, we'll have to print all sorts of retractions. Kid's got three home runs already on the season, more than Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, Barry Bonds, Stan Musial, Jack Kerouac and Santa Claus combined. The rest of his own team has combined for exactly one home run (Ray Durham). Molina has seven RBI on a team that has scored only 19 runs in their first seven games. I stand by my prediction that the Giants' offense will be about as effective as a window-sized air conditioner in hell; perhaps, however, the eldest Molina brother isn't the worst cleanup hitter ever. (Read item #2)

    sleep.jpgHere's what happened in baseball before the hospital was closed.

    Royals 5, Yankees 2: Brian Bannister toughed out a shaky second inning and Ross G. Load knocked in two to give the Royals the victory in the home opener. A-Rod struck out 4 times (I believe that's a white gold sombrero), Phil Hughes didn't make it out of the third, and Jorge Posada could be headed to the DL for the first time ever with a dead arm. Oh yeah, and Jeter may be out for the series. Bad, bad day for our pinstriped pals.

    Brewers 3, Reds 2: Eric Gagne almost didn't blow the save (2 strikes and 2 outs), then just decided to be true to himself and give up a game tying home run to Corey "SUCK IT ICARANE" Patterson. But, the Brewers showed the pluckinesss inherent in most alcoholics and fought back to win it in the 10th. Rickie Weeks RBI single FTW. When reached for comment after the game, Gagne slipped on a banana peel, choked on a ham sandwich and fell in a bear trap.

    Mariners 6, Rays 5: Erik Bedard got his first win as a Mariner by proving that his pwnage of the Rays is bicoastal. He's now 11-3 lifetime against those West Florida Dandies. Richie Sexson had 3 RBIs which should keep people from holding a mirror over his mouth for the next few days. On the bright side for the Rays, Carlos Pena hit his third HR of the young season. I could have sworn last year was a fluke. If he keeps this up I'll be suprised AND handsome.

    Cardinals 5, Astros 3: Troy Glaus hit the game winning two run double in this game. Scott Rolen just began holding utensils again yesterday. Early trade advantage: Cardinals. Some other stuff happened too, but mostly I just feel bad for making you read two recaps from the NL Central. Damn, those motherfucking teams are boring.

    Rockies 4, Braves 3: The Braves have lost 5 games this season. They've lost them by 5 runs. That's gotta smart. Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez was all over the map but did enough to inch out the Bravos. Matt Holiday had 2 RBI.
    dusty2.jpg

    The Reds split a four game series with the Phillies, but how did our friend Corey Patterson do?

    Game 4: Led off, 1-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI.

    Game 5: Led off, 1-for-3 with a home run, his first walk of the season, two runs, a stolen base and an RBI.

    Game 6: Led off, 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

    Game 7: Didn't start vs. lefty Cole Hamels but entered the game in the ninth and reached on a So Taguchi error.

    Well shit. Corey is still not getting on base (.261 OBP) but with two home runs and two doubles on the season, he's slugging .619 and still looking good in center field. Patterson does belong on a major league roster; I won't argue against that anymore. However, he's no leadoff guy. Just because he's fast and lanky doesn't mean he should be batting ahead of guys who are getting on base like Jeff Keppinger or Joey Votto. Bat him eighth, Dusty. Or seventh or even sixth. He's got opposite-field power and he can even knock in noted slowpoke Adam Dunn.

    linkpunch gorillaSometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

    • Harry Kalas calls Norris Hopper, "Dennis Hopper," then his color guy stutters in disbelief. I listened to this about a dozen times. Philadelphia Will Do

    • Talking sports with Vanilla Ice at Northeastern University, in the New York Times. I'm dizzy. Bats- NYT

    • White Sox and Blackhawks to cross brand. Kudos to the new Wirtzes for actually, you know, promoting a a hockey team. Biz of Baseball

    • College Baseball Rankings. How bout them Noles at #2? Everyone ready to get bounced out of the Super Regionals again? Baseball America

    • Hey look, someone else asked me to write for them. On purpose. And Here Come The Pretzels
    bluemonday.jpg

    Braves reliever Blaine Boyer had himself a great spring and earned a spot on Atlanta's 25-man roster. Poor fella had shoulder surgery in aught-six and is finally healthy enough to pitch at full strength. He's also earned manager Bobby Cox' trust, having made four appearances in four close games. Too bad he's lost two of them, and both losses came on Mondays:

    •  Last night, Boyer entered the game against the Rockies with the Braves leading 1-0 in the eighth inning. After allowing a leadoff double to Troy Tulowitzki and striking out Todd Helton, Boyer gave up what proved to be the game-winning two run home run to Matt Holliday. (bonus Matt_T fact: at 2 hours and 5 minutes this was the fastest game in Coors Field history)

    •  Last week, Boyer entered the game against the Pirates with the game tied at 9 in the eleventh. After a 1-2-3 inning, Boyer came out for the twelfth and eventually gave up what proved to be the game-winning three run home run to Xavier Nady.

    Blaine has been quite good in his non-Monday appearances, striking out five batters in 3 innings against the Pirates and Mets. Luckily for him, the Braves have next Monday off.

    Wait For It... Waaait For It: Today's Afternoon Games

    | | Comments (40)
    sox girl.JPG
    • 1:05, Phillies at Mets: It's the final home opener for Shea Stadium. I'm sure you're already sick of the hoopla, what with Animal Planet running it's "Great Moments In Shea History" segments ad nauseum. The pitching matchup pits Jamie Moyer against Oliver Perez. I picked Chase Utley in that New York Daily News Player Pool for this week , so expect him to go 0-11 with ten strikeouts and one line drive directly off of his own face.

    • 2:05, Detroit at Boston: The Fenway home opener packed my bus with townies this morning. Excuse me, maam. Your Sox jersey, hat, jacket, earrings, sweatpants, coffee cup and logo emblazoned english muffin are all very becoming, but COULD YOU PLEASE MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE GODDAMNED BUS SO OTHER PEOPLE CAN GET ON? Kenny Rogers takes on Daisuke Matsuzaka in a duel I've dubbed, "The Gambler vs. The Japanese Guy." Clever, eh?

    • 2:05, Orioles at Rangers: Two teams that don't look nearly as horrible as I predicted collide in the Arlington home opener. Brian Burres takes the hill for the 2008 World Series Champion Orioles, while Jason Jennings looks to rebound from a tough firs start for the Rangers. Tamale!

    • 4:05, Yankees at Royals: The Yanks are in town for the Royals home opener and I expect a huge draw. You'll have the Royals fans flush with anticipation for the '08 season, and you'll also have the lame ass Kansas City teenagers who didn't have the balls to stick with the horrible Royals teams of the 90s and became Yankees fans. Young Phil Hughes toes the rubber for New York (I don't think that's the right way to put it on) and Brian Bannister does the same for the Royals.
    Consider this your open thread for the afternoon game. We're building a community of slackers here, people.

    Oh Noes! You Got Swept By The O's!

    | | Comments (2)
    orioles.jpg
    That picture of FIRST PITCH at yesterday's Mariners/Orioles game is from Geoff Baker's Mariners blog. Homeboy is all up in everyone's grill but he has an eye for photos, dudn't he? That crowd is so sparse it's almost like Baltimore doesn't realize they have the most kickass baseball team in history.

    The Orioles rallied in the 8th to sweep Seattle (in a four game series) for the first time since 1999. That O's team had Mike Bordick and Will Clark in the infield. Awesome. The Mariners pen are the ones with shit on their lips after this series, with JJ Putz's injured rib serving as the Jenga piece that sent all that early season optimism crashing to the kitchen table.

    We talked about the Orioles yesterday. George Sherrill ended up with three saves in the series and gives this team something to feel confident about when having a lead. The Seattle lineup is considerably weaker than pretty much any team in the AL East and the heat will be turned up considerably on the O's once they get deep into division play. But I, for one, will not discount what they've accomplished with their 5-1 start.

    So go ahead Baltimore, skip a day at the new job you just got and go see your hometown team. Plenty of good seats still available.
    bondsplaque.jpg

    The Giants may have gotten embarrassed in their home opener by Greg Maddux and his Padre teammates but that's not stopping the San Francisco faithful from celebrating their prodigal son:

          With little fanfare but in plain sight to anybody entering AT&T Park on Monday, the Giants unveiled a pair of new displays that commemorate Barry Bonds' slugging exploits for the club.

          On the wall in right-center field appeared an orange shield-shaped plaque emblazoned with the number 756, a tribute to the home run Bonds hit last Aug. 7 to become baseball's all-time leader in that category. After the top of the second inning Monday, the Giants made note of the new plaque with a PA announcement and displaying it on the scoreboard.

    No pregame honors for you, Barry! Nope, your tiny miserable plaque gets announced while half the stadium is in the can and the other half is getting garlic fries. Seems your old boss Peter Magowan finally realized he had blood on his hands and he figured a good way to honor all the dollars you brought in...I mean, all the home runs you hit...was to commemorate a number. Hooray for 756! Boo, Bonds!

    Oh, and Barry? You're still unemployed and Donald Fehr isn't helping your cause. No worries, though, because you've got Sam Feldman on your side, and Sam Feldman gets results!

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball before I settled for a cup of coffee:

    Astros 5, Cardinals 3: Jose Valverde did his best Brad Lidge impression, blowing a 3-0 ninth inning lead and then earning an ill-begotten win thanks to a walkoff home run by Miguel Tejada. Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez honored the Astros' home opener by pitching a gem, but Valverde went and shat all over it. Jose must have partied too hard at the pregame festivities at Halliburton Plaza.

    White Sox 7, Twins 4: Remember all those trade rumors that had Joe Crede playing third base for the Giants? Or the Phillies? Or the Buffalo Bisons? Welp, they must have all been false because Crede is still a White Sock: he hit the go-ahead grand slam off shitty blogger Pat Neshek, sending the Twins to Sadtown, USA. ChiSox manager and gigantic Pudge Rodriguez fan Ozzie Guillen was ejected by umpire Phil Cuzzi for the second time in eight months. This just goes to prove my theory: Ozzie Guillen is a crazy asshole.

    Cubs 10, Pirates 8 (12): The Cubs blew a 7-0 third inning lead as pitchers Ted Lilly, Kevin Hart and Carmen Pignatiello decided that the Pirates home opener needed to have a little more excitement. Pittsburgh came back to tie the game at 8 in the seventh and had a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth. With runners on first and third and just one out, Jose Bautista attempted to bunt for a hit but the squeeze was not on; pinch-runner Brian Bixler froze at third as Bautista was called out. It's a shame the Pirates have no Rusty Kuntz to teach the basics! The Cubs scored two runs in the 12th with a collection of walks and Pirate errors. Whither Kuntz?!

    Yankees 6, Devil Rays 1: Does anyone know how serious a strained quadricep is?

    Coming later: Padres-Giants and Braves-Rockies

    Walkoff Walk Crimestopper Private Eye Detective Club #1

    | | Comments (5)
    wanted.jpgTroubling news out of Australia today:

    Five teenagers brandishing baseball bats and a machete rampaged through a school in Sydney on Monday, smashing windows, terrorizing students and hitting a teacher over the head, police said. Eighteen other people were slightly hurt.

    The five, between the ages of 14 and 16, were arrested after storming into suburban Merrylands High School and would likely be charged with assault and other crimes, Police Detective Inspector Jim Stewart said.
    Police say they have no motives... but that's only because I'm not on the squad. As soon as I saw "baseball bats" and "Australia" the alarms went off in my head. After some careful research and a 20 minute nap, I found exactly what I was looking for:

    Former MLB pitcher Graeme Lloyd is from Australia and this week just happens to be his 41st birthday. Coincidence? Eat shit. This isn't just some roving band of teenage ne'er-do-wells. No, this is a highly dangerous religious sect that pays tribute to the perceived wonders of Dark Llord Graeme Lloyd by extracting the blood of unbelievers. I also wouldn't rule out Wallaby Rape.

    It's as simple as that.
    puertorico.jpg

    Last night during ESPN's coverage of the White Sox' romp over the Tigers, Joe Morgan and Ozzie Guillen disagreed about who was/is the best Puerto Rican to ever play Major League Baseball. Morgan supports the late great Roberto Clemente whilst Ozzie points to current Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez as the best player to emerge from that magical place where always the pineapples growing and always the coffee blossoms blowing.

    Chicago Tribune blogger and beat writer Mark Gonzales fills us in:

    So after Morgan expressed his opinion around the batting cage before Sunday night's game between the Sox and Tigers, Guillen calmly provided an unprintable two-word answer and then retreated to his office to gather evidence that his opinion was unbiased. Guillen returned with a button and sticker of Clemente. He also pulled a black-and-white photograph of Clemente from his wallet.

    Oh, a button and a sticker and a photo! That proves everything! Gonzales also provides us with the stats:

       Clemente: 18 seasons, 3,000 hits, .317 batting average, 240 home runs, 1,416 runs, 1,305 RBIs, 83 stolen bases, 15 all-star games, 12 Gold Glove awards.

       Rodriguez: 18 seasons (entering 2008), 2,499 hits, .302 batting average, 288 home runs, 1,212 runs, 1,184 RBIs, 114 stolen bases, 14 all-star games, 13 Gold Glove awards.

    Well this is all for naught. They're both awesome! Clemente was possibly the best National League right fielder in the 1960s, and Rodriguez was possibly the best American League catcher in the 1990s. How these two boneheads can possibly compare two players who were so different and had just one major thing in common (their homeland) is beyond me. Clemente was a great player and an amazing human being. Pudge Rodriguez is a great player and was (most likely incorrectly) fingered as a steroid user by Jose Canseco.

    HOWEVA, if we're talking about the best player to emerge from the Dominican Republic, I gotta go with Chico Escuela.

    A Close Look At The Near Future: Today's Games

    | | Comments (15)
    underwood.jpg
    • 12:30, Phillies at Reds: Cole Hamels takes the mound today, guaranteeing we'll get some traffic from Clare. Sweet. For the young and exciting Reds, it's Bronson Arroyo. This guarantees we'll get traffic from people that listen to Nickelback. Sweet.

    • 1:30, Cubs at Pirates: Ted Lilly looks to improve on his first start of the season, by not getting the living shit pounded out of him. The 3-3 Pirates look to get above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 1642.

    • 3:05, Mariners at Orioles: Carlos Silva eats innings and presumably a metric ton of soft shell crabs as Seattle visits the first place O's. Daniel Cabrera pitches for Baltimore fresh of a disastrous first start. Has a pitcher's season ever been made or broken on his second start of the year? It's a possibility here. He's fragile in the brain.

    • 4:05, Twins at White Sox: Blackburn against Vasquez, brought to you as always by Noah's Arcade.

    • 4:35, Padres at Giants: Greg Maddux gets the start for the Bros. I know it's an early game but someone make sure he gets his rice pudding. You wouldn't like him when he hasn't had his rice pudding. Matt Cain takes a break from digging a tunnel out of the Giants locker room hidden behind a poster of Carrie Underwood to take the hill.
    sorecolon.jpg THEY SAID APPLY SLIGHT PRESSURE, DAMMIT.

    Fun With Small Sample Sizes

    | | Comments (3)
    snickers.jpgOne week into the season, the standings don't mean a hell of a lot. That being said, it's at least interesting to see the AL East and the AL Central look the exact opposite of how I thought they would. After week one, Baltimore leads the East with Boston at the bottom, and Detroit sits winless at the bottom of the Central. Are there any lasting trends we can take out of this first slate of games? Let's take a look.

    Baltimore: New closer George Sherrill is 3 for 3 on save chances, but they've had to come behind a couple of times already and the starters still look shaky. At the very least they've shown they win games, given the rookies some confidence, and made this look like more than a hollow claim.

    Boston: Yes, they look tired. That was repeated ad nauseum throughout the weekend. There's definitely validity to that, we discussed it three weeks ago. But placing all the blame there smacks of excuse. The more glaring problem is the bullpen. Manny Delcarmen hasn't been able to get anyone out and Papelbon looked hittable in camp before they even left for Japan. It looks like an early weakness that Japan may have amplified, but certainly didn't cause.

    Chicago, Kansas City & Detroit: Good starting pitching. Buerhle rebouned from a tough opening day last night against Detroit. Bannister, Meche and Greinke all looked great last week against, umm... Detroit. This mixed bag can shake out in a million ways, but if I had to guess, I'd go with:

    • Chicago pitching: will falter
    • Kansas City pitching: will stay solid
    • Detroit hitting: will pick up (it has to, right?)

    But I underestimated Chicago's new energy at bat and on the basepaths. However it plays out, after one week the Central looks more interesting than anyone expected.

    Just like that time I slapped a cop. Total chaos.
    barrel.jpg

    So, how did that Brewers' home opener go...ahem...turn out?

        With portable toilets in short supply outside Miller Park today, some enterprising folks saw an opportunity to create their own comfort zones.

        Beer-drinking tailgaters could have waited in line for more than a half-hour to relieve themselves at the parking lots' official potties. Or they could have paid the parking lot businessman.

        One fellow set up a plywood screen around a 30-gallon plastic barrel and charged $1 for a one-time use. By about 2:15 p.m. the entrepreneur had gone to the game, and the barrel was one-third filled.

    Maybe now that Bernie Brewer can no longer slide into a mug of beer he can now slide into a 30-gallon barrel of piss.

    Brewers fans drink a lot of beer so naturally they will have to relieve themselves a lot more than, say, your typical wine-sipping cheese-eating Patriots fan. But the only thing I can imagine more disgusting than a barrel one-third full of urine is what Brewers fan Danielle Loche had to say:

    "Three people told me they were wearing Depends diapers"

    Game, set, match.

    weekend.jpg

    Five Six teams swept their opponents this weekend which establishes a new record: the most weekend series sweeps in Walkoff Walk dot com history. Here are their stories:

    Diamondbacks sweep Rockies, 3-0: On their first regular season trip back to Denver since celebrating a division championship by staining the visitors' clubhouse rug with milk, Arizona got revenge for the 2008 NLCS by sweeping Colorado. D-Backs starters Micah Owings, Brandon Webb and Edgar Gonzalez held the Rox to just 3 runs in 18 and 2/3 innings while Snakes' third basegentleman Mark Reynolds collected two home runs and six runs batted in on the weekend. Oh, that Coors Field altitude can make a star out of anyone!

    Blue Jays sweep Red Sox, 3-0: Jet lag is a bitch, right Terry? Having traveled 16,000 miles in the past eighteen days across three countries and two continents and like, 34 time zones, the Red Sox are pooped. Les Jays Bleus took advantage of this and romped all over Boston pitchers, crossing the plate 23 times over the three game sweep. That's like, 22.9998 runs American. Designated pillow-fighter Frank Thomas provided the power with 12 total bases and 8 RBI.

    Brewers sweep Giants, 3-0: Oft-injured pitcher Ben Sheets provided the cherry on top of the series sundae with his second career shutout on, well, Sunday. Sez Ben: "(I'm a) big-league pitcher, that's what we're supposed to do. Some days we're supposed to be good." As a past fantasy owner of Mr. Sheets, I'd like to disagree. You're a number one big-league pitcher, Benny. You're supposed to be good every day.

    Cardinals sweep Nationals, 3-0: Stop the world, I want to get off. I don't think I can live on a planet where Kyle Lohse has pitched twelve consecutive scoreless innings. Braden Looper and ace Adam Wainwright were your other successful starters while former starter Rick Ankiel is loving life back in the two-hole. I'd probably go 4-for-12 with two homers hitting in front of Albert Pujols, too. The Nationals have now lost four games in a row; something tells me they won't be seeing first place again for a long, long time. THESE ARE BASICALLY THE EXPOS, PEOPLE. Sure, they have a shiny new stadium, but you can't put lipstick on a pig. Unless the pig is named Kelly Clarkson. Rawr!

    Braves sweep Mets, 2-0: T'would have been a three game series had Willard Scott not let Mother Nature rain out the game Friday night. Bitch! Still, the Braves rocked John Maine on Saturday and won a John Smoltz-Johan Santana pitchers' duel on Sunday to round out their record to an NL East leading 3-3. Mark Teixeira had a coupla web gems on Sunday including a game-ending diving stop that sealed Rafael Soriano's first save as a Brave.

    Yes, the Orioles swept Seattle 3-0 this weekend but the series ain't over until the fourth game concludes this afternoon. Tell you what: if we come back and the Mariners are slaughtered, I owe Peter Angelos a Coke.

    UPDATE: Oh yeah the Chisox swept the Tigers but that doesn't count because beating triple-A teams is no big accomplishment.

    marlahooch.jpg

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch blogger Derrick Goold covers the Cardinals with fervor, but don't count out his passion for cinema. Today, he uses his knowledge of baseball movies to create an ideal baseball roster of fictional characters in film history:

    * Starting pitcher: Steve Nebraska (The Scout)
    * Strikeout setup man: Henry Rowengartner (Rookie of the Year)
    * Closer: Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, of course
    * Catcher: Crash Davis
    * First Base: Clue Haywood (Major League)
    * Second base: Marla Hooch (A League of Their Own)
    * Third base: Dottie Hinson, a position change until Crash retires
    * Shortstop: Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez (The Sandlot)
    * Left field: Shoeless Joe Jackson (Field of Dreams, if he's hitting righthanded, it's fiction)
    * Center field: Willie Mays Hayes
    * Right field: Roy Hobbs
    * Power on the bench: Dennis Haysbert. Yes, the actor, Mr. President, see he can be two bats for one roster spot -- Max "Hammer" Dubois (Mr. Baseball) and Pedro Cerrano (Major League).
    * Defense, speed, promising talent to nurture: Esquire Joe Callaway (Bingo Long)

    I ain't got no squabble with the team, except why would one force Geena Davis' Dottie Hinson to change positions? (Giggity giggity) She's a far better catcher than Kevin Costner's Crash Davis, and I bet she's not afraid to block the plate. Heck, even John Candy in Brewsters' Millions was a better catcher than Costner.

    So who would be a better fictional third baseperson? Besides Troy Glaus...reports show that he is, in fact, real. My vote is for Ed.

    Wrestlemania6-2.jpgThe Toronto B-Jays (what? it's shorthand) have their home opener tonight against the Red Sox of Boston. They're 23-8 all time in home openers which is pretty good, I think. I dont really feel like looking up other home opener records. It's Shaun Marcum against Tim Wakefield. Marcum showed some great flashes last season and I think he could have one of those breakout years the kids are always talking about.

    More importantly, this week was the 18th anniversary of one of the biggest travesties in the history of sports entertainment, and it took place in this very SkyDome Rogers Centre. You see, Hulk Hogan was defending his World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship against The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VI. Hulk had the thing won, but the ref was knocked out cold and couldn't count the pin. By the time a replacement ref arrived, Ultimate Warrior had turned the tide.

    I won't say I cried that night. I will say I was 8 and I didn't take it very fucking well. At all.

    What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

    | | Comments (5)
    stretcher.JPGOne week is down in your 2008 Major League season, and more deadbeats are down on the ground writhing in pain (read: FAKIN' IT). You know what's a real baseball injury? This. You know what isn't? The assorted spinelessness you see assembled here. Nancies.

    Mike Hampton, Braves: I just need to create a What's Up Creampuff Template. It'll have the intro, where I can sarcastically plug in various synonyms for "wimp" and "phony," and then it will have "Mike Hampton, Braves" on it. The official cause this time is a strained pectoral muscle but according to this espn.com injury list it's also his groin and elbow. Mike, Please retire. This hurts to watch. Probably not as much as every bone, tendon, ligament and muscle in your body, but it hurts.

    Jorge Posada, Yankees: Posada has been sitting out due to a "stiff right shoulder." Those can be tough. My grandpa started getting them when he turned 80. Best of luck George, and awesome way to prove that you're not too old for your new 4 year deal!

    JJ Putz, Mariners: Putz strained his rib cage, because of Miguel Batista's dinner. It's not considered serious. I'm not a doctor but I still wouldn't rule out something trying to burrow it's way out of his body.

    Chris Duncan, Cardinals: Duncan pulled a hammy trying to steal a base. No word on the condition of his terrible blonde facial hair.

    Pedro Martinez, Mets: Pedro strained his hamstring on the mound in Florida last week. He looks to be out 4-6 weeks. But fear not Mets fans, El Duque is eligible to come off the DL in ten days and the Mets called up Nelson Figueroa. Your team's hispanic makeup is still at optimal levels.

    Carlos Zambrano, Cubs: This is my favorite one of the week. Zambrano left his first start of the season after developing forearm cramps. Cramping has been a recurring problem for this crackpot his entire career. Cubs doctors are telling him to cut out his caffeine intake before games. Apparently he likes to "get amped up for a game with coffee and energy drinks." Jeez, I could never tell.

    Christ Returns To Denver: Rockies Home Opener

    | | Comments (2)
    baseball jesus.jpgThe defending NL Champs open at home today against fellow western expansionists and vanquished '07 NLCS opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks. To commemorate the day, those cock gobblers at the Denver Post bring us another stupid headline: "Rox-citement to roar at sold-out Coors"

    That's Roxtarded.

    And for all of you with Rox in your head, don't miss the pregame concert with Opie Gone Bad and the Groove Hawgs, from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m; 21st and Blake streets! Hoo whee! Here's Opie's myspace page. Gone bad, indeed. Ernest T. Bass would be so proud.

    Anyway, Mark Redman is on the hill for the hometown team, and pitcher/slugger Micah Owings starts for the D'Backs. Enjoy, all you Rocksuckers!
    uecker.jpg

    Remember way back, in the formative days of Walkoff Walk, when we watched the video of the Brewers fans freezing their asses off waiting for tickets for their home opener? No? Well go watch it, and then come back here for a hilarious follow-up post.

    Waiting...

    Waiting...

    Okay, so today is the Brewers' home opener! Luckily for those crazy fans, Miller Park has a retractable roof to regulate the temperature and weather for the comfort of players and fans alike. Today's weather in Milwaukee is sunny but chilly, not unlike the disposition of that reporter. Yes she's bright and charismatic on camera, but off camera, she is a wicked ballbreaker. (full disclosure: she is not a wicked ballbreaker but actually just a soulless robot-reporteress)

    In other good news for the Brewer fans, their team gets to face the light-hitting Giants today. Is Bengie Molina still hitting cleanup for San Francisco? Cripes, that's like having Ron Santo as your middle linebacker.

    Ron Stilanovich is the new Tom Emanski, except with a sense of humor and proclivity to use naughty words. He sends along a link to his video page on YouTube and I've taken the initiative to embed my favorite of the videos below:




    Yes, that is indeed the one and only Matt Kemp. I tend to think that 'parody is dead', but these videos made me laugh. They're clever and quick and funny AND BASEBALL-RELATED so I don't feel bad posting them here. Please to enjoy!

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball before I was staring at the ceiling:

    Pirates 4, Braves 3: Bobby Cox' wacky managerial move of the night was to bring in left-handed reliever Royce Ring to replace pitcher Chris Resop in the top of the tenth; Ring struck out left-handed hitter Adam La Roche. Seems normal, right? Yes, except that Cox moved Resop to left field so he could come back and pitch against righty Xavier Nady. Of course, the move backfired...Resop was the one who put the winning runs on base before the switch and Resop was the one who let in the game winning hit to Nady after the switch. In return for this transgression, Cox beat up Resop's wife.

    Padres 3, Astros 2: The better Hairston (Scott) had a single, double and triple and his pal Kevin Kouzmanoff knocked him in with a home run off Houston pitcher Shawn Chacon. Poor Scott has one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel, though, because he's due to lose his center field job once Zombie Jim Edmonds comes off the DL. Zombie Jim Edmonds needs brains!

    Devil Rays 0, Orioles 0: Only during a rainout could fewer fans attend than attended Wednesday night's game. Gross, Orioles.

    Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2: Yippee skippee!

    Phillies Win On Walkoff Walk!!11!

    | | Comments (9)
    A guy named Jesus (coincidence?) just delivered the season's first Walkoff Walk. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th Jayson Werth took four straight pitches and gave the Phils the 8-7 victory.

    In honor of the first Walkoff Walk in the history of the site I give you the following video, which I pledge to play for every WoW this year. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a shrimp running on a treadmill to the Benny Hill Theme! Way to go Phils!


    hawk.jpg

    Some poor schoolgirl was attacked by a hawk at Fenway Park today because she was too dumb to stay away from the raptor's nest. Via the Boston Globe:

    The girl was in the upper deck behind home plate, some 40 feet from the hawk's nest, where a single egg lay in an overhang near the press booth. The hawk had been perched on a railing and swooped at the girl with its talons extended. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

    It was the second incident with a hawk in the park in the last two days. It has been common for the birds to take up residence in the stadium rafters in the off-season, dining on rats and mice when the park is quiet.

    She got her scalp scratched by the hawk's talons, but she's fine now. The poor hawk, however, lost both its nest and its egg; they were removed by the Boston Animal Rescue League. I guess the score is Schoolgirl 1, Hawk 0. Dice-K's response to the incident was "Can I buy her underwear?"

    UPDATE: THERE IS A PHOTO GALLERY. Oh c'mon, she doesn't look hurt at all.

    UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: The girl's name is Alexa Rodriguez. I shit you not.

    linkpunch gorilla

    Sometimes people write better than us. Each Tuesday and Thursday (except when we forget) WoW gives you our favorite baseball links we've come across.

    • ESPN.com contributor and all-around good guy Jonah Keri gives us his 100 story lines to keep abreast of during the 2008 season. Number 84 is spot-on: "The Royals will be really interesting." Indeed!
    • The Orioles set an attendance record last night. Oh, the glories of ineptitude have been visited upon the Charm City, and the fans respond with fervor. Fervor for not showing up, that is.
    • Retired history teacher Bob Rittner defends the DH at Baseball Analysts. I disagree with his thesis but I respect the arguments he presents. Frank Thomas doesn't know it, but he loves Bob Rittner.
    • Alex Ferreyra drafts a fantasy team consisting entirely of Latino ballplayers over at Machochip, and he has some help from an unlikely but brilliant and charming source. I still don't understand why he broke his own rules to take Justin freakin' Morneau. Yes, I am an unabashed Derek Jeter fan who still feels the burn of 2006.
    dusty2.jpg

    The Reds beat the D-Backs 6-5 in rather dramatic fashion thanks to Edwin Encarnacion's three-run walkoff homer, but the story I want is Corey. If you remember from earlier this week, Dusty Baker's hand-picked leadoff hitter Corey Patterson had an oh-fer in his first game as a Red. Welp, last night Patterson hit a home run, but I'm not ready to eat my hat quite yet. Yes, he hit the dinger off stud pitcher Dan Haren, but (a) it was a solo job and (b) he's still not taking pitches.

    Patterson has a pretty high power/speed number over the course of his career, which means he hits a lot of dingers and steals a bunch of bases. But even the man who invented the stat, Bill James, has said the power/speed number is a 'freakshow stat'. Sure, historically awesome players like Barry Bonds and Willie Mays have high power/speed numbers, but so do historically mediocre players like Ron Gant and Marquis Grissom. Truth is, without a good eye for drawing bases-on-balls, you're just a two-dimensional hitter; I'd rather have that third dimension like drawing walls or a fourth dimension like hitting to the opposite field or even a fifth dimension.

    So over the course of the first two games of the season, Corey Patterson is 1-for-8 with a home run and an RBI, and I'm 1-for-2 in predicting Patterson to have a shitty day. He's not in the lineup today against lefty pitcher Doug Davis, so the CPW is taking a day off.

    Click through the jump for an impromptu LIVEGLOG!!!

    Please visit our friend D-Mac at Philadelphia Will Do for all your Phillies-Nats liveblogging needs.

    epstein.jpgHey remember that time Eric Gagne blew it? No, not that one. No, the other one. Oh, that's a good one, I forgot about that one, but no. The one on Tuesday. Well, to all of you people claiming it was just one more sign he's washed up... hold your tongues! It wasn't his fault!

    We did get to talk to Gagne this morning before the Brewers' second game against Chicago and he talked about the things that worked against him. He said his goggles were fogging up in the rainy weather and the mound was a bit slippery. He also thought a couple of close pitches to Derrek Lee that were called balls actually were strikes.

    Despite those built-in excuses, Gagne finall (sic) said, "I just wasn't throwing sterikes(sic). There were a lot of outside things but it's not that big of a deal.

    "I blew the game, yeah, but I kept it at 3-3 with no outs," he said. "So, that was a positive for me.

    That is some Chicken Soup For The Rag Armed Soul, right there. I can joke now but if the train wreck continues, it's going to get ugly and not so funny real fast. Genuine hard times are tough to laugh at. Do we have a poor bastard tag yet?
    penguin.jpgAfter the Angels suffered some injuries in camp, the Mariners became a trendy pick for the AL West despite a lineup that looks like this. Well, last night the Mariners ran into some adversity of their own when JJ Putz was put on the DL with a rib cage injury.

    HOWEVA, in a move that showed some real versatility, Miguel Batista, a former closer, came in for Putz and closed out the game. One of my favorite punching bags, Carlos Silva pitched well through 7 and then the renaissance man and shitty music aficionado shut it down in the 9th. The move was seemingly preordained earlier in the day, and allowed Batista and John McLaren to share a LOLlipop after the game:

    And the fortune cookie Batista had to finish off his pregame dinner declared: "Someone will need your help this month."

    When Batista showed John McLaren what fortune cookie he had drawn at dinner, the Mariners manager exclaimed: "Oh, no you didn't!"
    Girlfriend, that is off the hook! Iss almost like dat fortune teller cookie knew it wuz ur between starts throwing day!
    cookgobbling.jpg

    Yes, the Rockies certainly would benefit from your starting pitchers going further in the game but did you have to use such a filthy metaphor and endorse oral sex, Troy Renck?

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball before dreams complicated my life:

    Brewers 8, Cubs 2: If you followed the liveglog, you know what happened in the first seven innings. Not much changed in the last two: the Cubs couldn't hit much or field very well, Ron Santo kept groaning and sighing, and Jason Kendall kept hitting. Kid went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base. One thing about Santo as a broadcaster: he sure likes to joke about his diabetes and his amputated legs, which leads me to believe that it's a defense mechanism. Perhaps it's actually worse to root for the Cubs than it is to lose your legs below the knee.

    Braves 10, Pirates 2: Rookie Jair Jurrjens pitched a gem in what was a close game until Atlanta unleashed the dragon, or rather a seven-run eighth inning. Mark Teixeira and Yunel Escobar provided the power and commenter Matt_T got a free pack of baseball cards! And free parking! This is what happens when only 17,000 fans show up for a game.

    Reds 6. Diamondbacks 5: The boo birds were out in force for Cincy third baseman Edwin Encarnacion in the bottom of the ninth, as he effed up his task of laying down a sacrifice bunt with his team down two runs. Eddy, you tried your hardest and you failed miserably. The moral is: never try. So he stopped trying to bunt and hit a walkoff three-run home run. Hooray! Says teammate Brandon Phillips: "He can't bunt for shit. But he sure can hit." Hey, that's the lyrics of 50 Cent's new hip-hop jam, "Bunt Fo' Shit".

    Royals 4, Tigers 0: The Tigers vaunted and much bally-hooed offense runs into the pitching prowess of former Met prospect Brian Bannister. You know what they say about former Met pitching prospects: they go on to perform very well for other teams. Bannister pitched seven innings and gave up but two hits, not bad for some nerd who scored 800 on his math SATs. Bannister's performance was good enough for me to replace him on my HACKING MASS team.

    Blue Jays 5, Yankees 2: Let us not speak of this contest.

    liveglog.jpg

    Brewers
    2B Rickie Weeks
    CF Gabe Kapler
    1B Prince Fielder
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Bill Hall
    RF Corey Hart
    SS J.J. Hardy
    RHP Jeff Suppan
    C Jason Kendall

    Cubs
    SS Ryan Theriot
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    1B Derrek Lee
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    RF Kosuke Fukudome
    2B Mark De Rosa
    C Geovany Soto
    CF Felix Pie
    LHP Ted Lilly

    Thanks to the Brewers Blog for providing a lineup. It's a shame that the Cubs blogs in the Chicago newspapers SUCK, so I stole this from the comments at Bleed Cubbie Blue.

    I will be listening to the Cubs radio team, Pat Hughes and Ron Santo. I promise to not make any amputee jokes because (a) it's cruel and (2) he deserves to be in the hall of fame. One of the best third basemen ever. With our without legs.

    The glog starts soon, after the jump:

    uturn.jpg

    The Dodgers have been struggling with depth at third base, having lost old dude Nomar Garciaparra and young stud Andy La Roche to extended injuries. Some kid named Blake DeWitt has been starting over there; he's got a couple hits, a couple runs, a stolen base, and no errors in the field so far, so he's been somewhat better than serviceable. Still, Joe Torre being Joe Torre he needs a veteran presence at the hot corner so Ned Colletti went out and asked Marcus Giles to sign a minor league deal.

    Giles accepted, got in his car, and started driving towards the triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas. Somewhere along the line, though, he changed his mind, turned around, and went home. Why? Maybe he has a gambling problem and knew being in Las Vegas was too risky. Maybe he realized his fear of Larry Bowa. Or maybe he doesn't want to end up sleeping with Alyssa Milano.

    Strangely enough, the LA Times and the LA Daily News have conflicting reports as to where Giles was coming from. Was he living in San Diego? Was he living in Lake Havasu? Does it really matter? The lesser Giles is unemployed and it doesn't seem like he cares. One more thing, via Tony Jackson:

    And the worst part is, the Dodgers passed on two other players they could have signed because they were convinced they had Giles, and neither of those players is still available. One of them is believed to have been Alex Cintron, a free-agent infielder who signed a minor-league deal with Baltimore yesterday

    Dammit Giles! The Dodgers missed out on CINTRON! CINTRON!!!!!!

    Larry Bowa & Matt Cain Picking Up Where They Left Off

    | | Comments (2)
    Hey look! Larry Bowa is going cuckoo!



    This happened in the sixth inning, after ump Ed Montague told Bowa to get back in the 3rd base coach's box. I was watching it live (for my reactions scroll down to the Late Shift Liveblog) and am ecstatic there's video. From the LA Times:

    The point of contention was Major League Baseball's new rule that forbids base coaches to leave their designated boxes.

    "The people in New York have no idea what they're doing," he said, referring to Major League Baseball's headquarters. "You can't coach there."

    Joking of how Bowa bowled over a tank of energy drink upon returning to the dugout, starter Derek Lowe said, "We had a little bit of a flood."

    In other news, Matt Cain started off the season in typical Matt Cain fashion, throwing 5.2 innings of 3 hit, scoreless ball... with 0 run support. Poor bastard. Is there some way the Red Cross can get him off of the Giants? Can Congress step in? The humanitarian implications of the damage to his psyche are for more serious than steroids. We as a nation cannot afford to stand by and watch one of our young men go crazy while we do nothing.
    liveglog.jpg

    Hey, Wednesday Afternoon Liveglog Clubbers, come back this afternoon at 2:20 for Walkoff Walk's very first liveglog of a game (in North America) that counts in the standings, as the Milwaukee Brewers visit the Chicago Cubs. Your pitching matchup today is Jeff Suppan versus Ted Lilly; let's see if the bullpens can get the job done if either team has a close lead late today. If you haven't registered as a commenter yet and you want to join in on the fun, please read this helpful combudsman post. We'd love to have you follow along with me as I struggle to figure out what's going on in a game I'm listening to on the radio.

    sleep.jpg

    Here's what happened in baseball before I took a trip to Sleepytown:

    Marlins 5, Mets 4: Pedro Martinez pitches three miserable innings and then decides the fourth inning would be a good time to pull a hamstring and leave the game. In New York, this is called "pulling a Clemens". The Mets' pen holds down the fort and lets the Mets' offense tie the game at four but it all goes to shit when Matt Wise gives up a walkoff home run to Marlins third basegentleman Robert "Who?" Andino. You only get one "first Major League homer" and Andino used his WISEly. ZING!

    Angels 9, Twins 1: The newest Angel of Anaheim starter is Jon Garland and he was fucking efficient against the light-hitting Minnesota lineup. Only seven baserunners in eight innings? Damn, we'll be home in time to watch the 10PM news. Oh by the by, Minnesota's favorite ex-boyfriend went 0-for-4 with five Angelgentlemen left on base. But he certainly heard many huzzahs and hoorays!

    Rockies 2, Cardinals 1: The day after rain negated three innings of actual baseball, the Rox and Cards sent out their second-string Opening Day pitchers. Surprise surprise though: Kip Wells and Kyle Lohse were somewhat serviceable for their respective teams, tossing a combined 10 and 1/3 innings and letting in just one run. Yadier Molina's solo homer was all for naught, though, as Troy Glaus' throwing error allowed the tying run to score; reliever Ryan Franklin walked in the winning run in the 8th.

    Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2: I was at this game and it was awesome. That is all.

    Late Shift Liveblog

    | | Comments (6)
    jennylewis.jpgSo I was supposed to write a preview of tonight's games but I went out for sushi and had some drinks instead. I have returned to find a free MLB Extra Innings Preview on my television! Here is a running log of what I saw with no promise of continuity or resolution.

    Angels/Twins
    9:45: Bert Blyleven says that the Twins have the best bullpen in baseball.

    9:48 After 3 minutes I disagree with Bert Blyleven and the following conversation occurs between me and my friend Jeremy:

    Jeremy: yeah...that is a lofty statement, BUT
    if crain gets back to where he was two years ago
    crain/neshek/nathan would be pretty devastating

    me: neshek is a vegan baseball card collector
    and nathan is a free agent after this year
    (Ed. Note: Apparently being a baseball blogger was not enough to alert me to the fact that Twins resigned Nathan to a 4 yr, $47M deal last week.)
    ie: he'll prolly get traded

    Jeremy: if the twins are competing for the central they will not trade joe nathan

    me: yeah and if I start sleeping with Jenny Lewis i'll dump my girlfriend
    there's no way they compete in the cenral

    Jeremy: great point
    you should definitely try to sleep with jenny lewis

    me: definitely

    Mets/Marlins
    10:13 It's 2-2 in the top of the 9th. Kevin Gregg just walked Beltran with two outs, and on the second game of the season, Dolphins stadium sounds like a library. I still have a hard time believing a new statdium will right all of the problems with this franchise.

    11:05: Back after tons of technical difficulties. The Marlins won in extras after a walkoff from Robert Andino. Dude got a pie in the face during the postgame interview while I was watching live. Love when that happens.

    Dodgers/Giants
    11:11: The Red Sox are on, and I've been flipping back, but I love Vin Scully and am unashamedly watching the Dodgers. It's 0-0, Cain against Lowe, both cruising and Vin's dulcet tones are uninterrupted by any moron ex jock color guy. Televised baseball bliss.

    Rangers/Mariners
    11:18: Milton Bradley is up and after a Felix Hernandez ball the camera pans to the two most freezing Asian people I've ever seen. They look like they're being thawed out. The roof is closing.

    Red Sox/A's
    11:23 I just missed Ellsbury's first RBI of the year. Two on, two out for Pedroia. He walks. Bases juiced.

    11:27: Ortiz grounds out. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CLUTCH.

    Dodgers/Giants
    11:28: Still 0-0 in the fifth, but more importantly, the Dodgers have a deal where if you buy two season tickets you get two free. That is stellar. I should move to a town where yo can actually get tickets to a game.

    11:31: Cain retires the side.

    Red Sox/A's<
    11:33: Remy and Orsillo are talking about Red Sox beat writer Gordon Edes. When we were trying to figure out the name of this blog, I emailed him to find out if he uses "walk off" or "walkoff." He said "walkoff" so uh.. there you go.

    11:35 Matsuzaka strikes out Hannahan, a name that makes me instantly tired. Matsuzaka looks good tonight.

    Falling Asleep On The Couch
    11:39: I am floating above some sort of convention. There are all kinds of different booths, tables and displays. I am trying to make out what kind of convention it is but I am unable. I am concentrating so hard I don't even notice the giant spinning fan blades feet ffrom my head. I scream and shield myself but i go right through. Suddenly I am talking to my father, but he's not really my father, he's a cactus. We're at the Beach House show I went to last night.

    Dodgers/Giants
    11:46: Cain has two down with runner on first on third. Vin Scully wonders if Cain has "any petrol left in the tank" then goes on to discuss how putrid the Giants bullpen was in Cain starts last year. On cue, Bochy leaves him in.

    11:49: Larry Bowa just got into a fight out of nowhere with the third base ump. He is going ABSOLUTELY APESHIT and has to be restrained by Joe Torre. Replays show that Ed Montague told him to get in the coaches box and Bowa lost his shit. I can't be sure but I think I saw Montague say, "Nice helmet, faggot." That whole thing was nuts.

    11:54: Cain walks the bases loaded. I'm going to format this post and call it a night. Thanks, Kirin Ichiban!

    KILL IT! STEP ON IT! STEP ON IT, IT'S BILLY CRYSTAL!

    | | Comments (0)
    crystal_billy_cp_7778758.jpgJill Painter from insidesocal.com led off her latest blogtype thingy with the following inscrutable bit of info:

    When Joe Torre arrived in his office after the Dodgers' Opening Day 5-0 win over San Francisco, he found a note on his desk. It said: "We eat, we win.'' It was from B.C. - Billy Crystal - who's a good friend of Torre's.

    Apparently Torre and Crystal have some superstition about eating together and winning or talking about eating and winning. Frankly, I dunno... Billy Crystal annoys me so so so so much. You figure it out.

    I really like the Dodgers. My grandpa is a lifelong fan, and I consider them "my NL team." It's been an interesting exercise, getting used to Joe Torre, but I find him kind of endearing. UNLESS HE BRINGS CRYSTAL ON BOARD.

    Allow me to paraphrase Terrence Mann on behalf of everyone at Chavez Ravine:

    -Oh, my God.
    -What?
    -You're Billy Crystal.
    -Well, yeah, actually...
    -[spraying at Crystal with an insecticide sprayer] Out! Back to New York! Back! There's no place for you here in Dodger Stadium! Get back while you still can!
    twins.JPG

    New Angels center fielder Torii Hunter celebrated Opening Day by returning to his old plastic tarp-encrusted playground in Minnesota and going 0-for-4 with a double play and a ninth inning strikeout at the hands of former teammate Joe Nathan. Hunter's replacement Carlos Gomez went 2-for-3 with two runs, two stolen bases, and a couple good plays in the field as the Twins beat the Angels 3-2. And yet amid all this good news, the Minnesota fans were absolutely agog with Torii Hunter Lovin'©.

    Maybe you joined me in watching this game on ESPN2 last night. The fans cheered Hunter as if he were a returning war hero and the announcers were falling over just to mention it. I actually saw a kid holding up a sign that read "This Is Torii Country". No kid. It ain't. He's an Angel of Anaheim now and his job is to try and help his team score more runs than your beloved Twins. It's time to give up the Torii Hunter Lovin'© and you gotta do it like you were breaking up with a girl. Move on immediately! No more late night drunken phone calls to Torii. No more meeting up for 'just a coffee' to 'talk about stuff'. No more scribbling "I <3 Torii" in your algebra notebook. No more leaving dead cats on Torii's front porch. Well, you can still leave the dead cats, but only if they're already dead.

    It's too soon in his career to tell if Carlos Gomez will be a serviceable replacement in center field for the Twins, or even if he'll exceed anything Hunter ever did. Doesn't matter. He's your center fielder now, and Torii Hunter has run off with a much hotter and far wealthier guy than you.

    NL Central Drafty With No One To Shut The Door

    | | Comments (11)
    Baseball_Batting_Tee.jpgMan, that was some game in Chicago yesterday, eh kids? The recipe was equal parts starting pitching excellence and relief pitching incompetence with a dash of Asian intrigue (or was that chili sauce). Other than Carlos Zambrano not drinking enough water, the story of the day seems pretty clear. The top two contenders in this division have the wrong closers.

    Kerry Wood's 3 run blowjob came on the heels of Carlos Marmol relieving Zambrano with 1.1 scoreless innings. Marmol had an impressive '07 and an impressive Spring. If that left Wood with a tight leash, he must be absolutely choking right now. How long till Piniella makes the switch?

    But Wood was almost let off the hook by the immortal Eric Gagne. It appears the switch back to the NL has not stopped this guy's Michael Keaton-esque career swan dive. His three run homer to Fukudome shows he's picking up right where he left off last year. Ned Yost seems to have no plans to shake up the bullpen, instead labeling it one of the strengths of the team. This is smart, you don't want to get reactionary after one game. But anyone who's seen Gagne pitch since injuries began to derail him 3 years ago has to agree that's it wishful thinking that this is a bump in the road. You're going to need a new closer eventually, homeboy.

    Bullpen tumult is not a minor problem and it further clouds a division that was already tough to figure out. Piniella and Yost have huge decisions to make if things don't straighten out.
    dusty.jpg

    The Reds lost their first game under new manager Dusty Baker, 4-2 to the Diamondbacks. Arizona used a strong pitching performance by ace Brandon Webb and three solo home runs to their advantage, but they also had a sekrit weapon: Corey Patterson leading off for the other team.

    Former Oriole Corey Patterson went 0-for-4 and left three Reds on base in his debut as the Cincinnati center fielder. He's got a career .297 on-base percentage; this simply will not do as your leadoff hitter, Dusty!

    On the other hand, perhaps I should be enjoying the schadenfreude that Dusty Baker brings to the Reds lineup. After all, I hate the Reds and I hate Dusty Baker. Did you know that in almost seven full seasons, Patterson has drawn only 150 bases-on-balls? Did you know that Barry Bonds drew 151 bases-on-balls in a single season? And that was 1996, before his alleged steroid use began.

    Yes, I think I will enjoy following Patterson's suckitude as the leadoff hitter. Perhaps I will continue to update you on his pathetic showing on a semi-irregular basis until either (a) it gets boring or (b) he starts doing well. Full disclosure: Corey is an above-average defensive center fielder and he is one of the best base-stealers in the NL Central. Also full disclosure: I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to evaluating player talent and only listen to what others tell me.

    sandbox.jpg

    Our very own Camp Tiger Claw has been invited to participate in an exclusive web contest run by one of the baseball blogs at the New York Daily News. It is The Second Annual Player Pick Pool, and I'll let blogger Jesse Spector explain his little competition:

    If you don't remember from last season, the rules are simple - each week, panelists will pick one player, who will accrue points from Monday through Sunday, with one point awarded for each hit, homer, run scored, RBI and stolen base he gets. Once you've picked a player, you may not pick him again.

    The baseball season is about 26 weeks long, and by my count, there are approximately 15 players capable of hitting for power, hitting for average, and swiping a base. This contest can be won by slotting those 15 players properly over the course of the season and getting lucky with 10 or 11 other fellas. Alternately, you can use Camp Tiger Claw's strategy and pick Manny Ramirez because he's a total homer.

    Here are the participants in this wicked game:

    • Los Angeles-based comedian Mike Schmidt. You'd think if you shared your name with the great Philly third baseman, you'd change your nom de plume to pursue a career in stand-up. Mike has a podcast; the only episode on his website is 20 minutes long and I made it through 3 minutes befo...zzzzzz. He's the defending champion of this little game so he obviously spent way too much time picking his players based on pitching matchups and meteorological forecasts. Of course he has a lot of time on his hands...he's a stand-up comic!
    • Deadspin.com editor Will Leitch. Will finished in last place in the inaugural Player Pick Pool, undoubtedly because he kept picking Willie McGee each week.
    • MLB.com senior writer Jonathan Mayo. He recently wrote a deep investigative book about Roger Clemens and his involvement in the steroid scandal. Mayo gets to the heart of the matter by interv....wait, what? Clemens wrote the foreword to the book? It's just a fluff piece? Next.
    • SportsJudge.com...ahem...'Chief Justice' Marc Edelman. Let me try and explain what this SportsJudge site is all about: you pay them actual real life money to settle disputes in your fantasy league. A lot of money. And then they produce actual legalese-sounding decisions. I am not shitting you. Hey, it's your nickel, Bub.
    • Jesse Spector, who writes the blog in question and runs this little contest. I like the cut of his jib. His blog covers all of baseball and is not team-specific; this is a rarity among mainstream media sports bloggers.
    • My associate and blogbrother Camp Tiger Claw.

    Allow me to get meta for a second as I predict the outcome of this prediction game. Camp Tiger Claw will win in a romp because he has a sekrit weapon.