Dan McQuade: June 2010 Archives

Tonight's Questions

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Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey, kids!

Back tomorrow with more.

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Hey kids, i wasn't able to log in for a while, so your TQ is extremely late. (Those aren't song lyrics, but they should be.)

Image via Library of Congress

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You may remember last week when I discussed the lack of cats on MLB fields this season. And you may also remember my voodoo attempt to get a cat on the field, STAT.

As the Walkoff Walk Vice President of Running Things Into the Ground as Quickly as Possible, there was only one possible next step: @kittyonthefield, the Twitter account that will update whenever a cat runs on the field.

No, it's not automated or anything, but I am confident that when a cat finally runs onto a field this year, I will be notified within seconds. (You guys should probably get my number.) Actually, what will probably happen is I will miss it, and the Twitter account will be a failure, but that's the price you pay for coming up with this idea.

However, let's pretend this doesn't fail fantastically. When a cat finally does run onto the field -- probably in 2013, with my luck -- @kittyonthefield will update with an onslaught of info, photos, videos, whatever. It will also update with classic cats on baseball fields videos, classic baseball-related cat trivia and whatever else involving cats and baseball I put up there.

I am actually doing research for this, because I do not do cat-related1 things half-assed. (They're just so cute! Little paws!) So if you are as interested in the intersection of cats and baseball as much as I am, you are in for a treat. Now would one of the cats who read this blog run out onto a field sometime soon?!

1 Or dog-related.

Weekend Questions

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  • DO you know where my remote is? I have like three of them, and I can't find any.

Sorry for the light day today, folks, I had some real life stuff to do. I'll try to get a post or two up in the next two days to make up for it. Enjoy the weekend!

wow.manny.testosterone.jpg Big scoop in the New York Times yesterday: Manny Ramirez attempted to get an exemption to take a banned drug to boost his testosterone levels! Yes, a guy who tested positive for hCG (and steroids, in 2003, also according to the Times) also attempted to make it legal for him to boost his testosterone levels. Who knew?

There are actually some interesting issues here besides just stupid annoying blogger snark1. In other absolutely unsurprising news, this time old, a bunch of baseball players applied for exemptions to take Adderall for ADD when baseball finally banned amphetamines in 20062. Baseball took heat for this from Congress in 2008.

The idea that politicians (and sports columnists) are suddenly telling professional athletes how to treat their own medical issues is kind of annoying3 but also completely unsurprising. But, of course, people without ADD or with borderline cases that might not require medication are almost certainly taking advantage of the rules in order to take speed.

So a lot of players are skirting the rules, and a handful of players have tested positive and served 50-game suspensions. Are there fewer players taking steroids now than there were before testing? Obviously. But is the game "clean"? No way. Athletes are always going to look for edges, drugs are one of the best ways to improve the level of one's play and drug tests are not that hard to beat.

But, eh. Another player is going to test positive in the future, the sports columnists will act as shocked as ever and, somewhere, a player with a small problem with organization will take Adderall and hit a walkoff homer. A walkoff walk? Eh, that's much less likely. You get a little jittery on the stuff.

1 Ha! Remember that word? Me neither.
2 If baseball players were really smart, they'd use their ADHD exemptions to get a prescription for Desoxyn. Yes, that would be absolutely 100 percent legal methamphetamine. Somebody should tell Walt and Jesse on Breaking Bad. (Cocaine is also a Schedule II drug, but you can't get it prescribed for home use; it's mainly used as a topical analgesic in certain eye and nasal surgery.) Still, would Desoxyn improve your average base stealer to Rickey Henderson levels? Eh, probably not. Ha ha, Rob thought I was going to write about cats all day and instead I'm sharing my weird knowledge about drugs. Eh, how many other baseball writers even know you can get legal meth? Maybe [slanderous accusation removed].
3 Like that jerk who wrote the headline to this post! Ugh, I hate that guy.

wow.chipper.jpg Yesterday, Chipper Jones got ready to make a big announcement to the media at 6 p.m. Everybody figured he'd just retire but... SWERVE! Turns out he's going to figure it out after the season and wants the focus to be on Bobby Cox's last season.

Still, it seems like Chipper's gone at the end of the year. The players are making fun of him already (or something). As such, I asked Braves fan, regular Walkoff Walk commenter and King of Memes Matt-T to write up a few thoughts on Chipper's retirement. It follows below.

Tuesday's rumors started to swirl that Chipper was meeting with Braves officials to discuss his future and was leaning towards retiring at the end of the season. It's not a huge surprise, as he's said in the past he'll retire when he's no longer contributing. OLE CHIP met with reporters yesterday to address the rumors saying

"Let's face it, we all know sort of which way I'm leaning, but I think it's best that we put this all behind us. Somehow the cork got taken out. Well I'm putting it back in right now. I don't want to hear any more talk about retirement until the end of the season." He later added, "I'm on a first-place ballclub, playing third and hitting third, which is exactly where I like to be. So I'm going to spend the rest of the summer concentrating on that, and trying to send Bobby off in the best way possible."

Those quotes are the typical Chipper, putting the team and his manager first. Sure, it's easy to laugh about the Hooters waitress and the nagging injuries, but I hope that doesn't take away from his stellar career. He's at worst the third best switch hitter in MLB history (behind Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray). Chipper has a career .306 average with 430 homers, 1,468 RBI and a .406 OBP.

But, more than the numbers, Chipper came to represent Atlanta. During the 1990s the team was known for it's pitching, but ever since his full season in 1995 Chipper has been in the lineup no matter who was pitching. Chipper has done everything he could to help the team: Moving to left field for two seasons, even restructuring his deal several times so that the team could sign other help.


I think that Chipper is comfortable with retiring now because the team has finally started winning without him in the lineup. He's praised his backups in the past few days, and with the success of Heyward, it makes it easier for Jones to walk away. He's played all 17 years for Bobby, and in away it would be perfect, the two old farts, riding off into the distance together, one last playoff run.

Jones started his career as a rookie on a playoff team, and maybe he'll end it with a rookie teammate on a playoff team. It would be a nice ending to the career of my favorite player of all time. And then he can retire to his ranch and shoot as many deer as he wants.

(BUY BUCK COMMANDER!)

You may have heard that, before the Phillies' 6-3 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday, Chase Utley placed bats and several other items in a strange shape on the floor of the clubhouse. The Phillies won, and so naturally it was definitely whatever the hell he did with the bats. (One can also buy a shirt about this already, of course, thanks to Fightins x Birdland.)

I hope you know where I'm going here. Earlier this week, I wrote about the fact that a single cat has not run onto a major league baseball field yet this season. And so, now I'm turning to my own brand of Utley-style voodoo.

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One might think I would use bats, but... I don't have any. One might think I would use something cat-related, also, but... I don't have anything! I don't play tennis (or sweep), either. Those rackets are from my parents; I borrowed them for costume for a bowling contest. My team dressed as 70s tennis players and won "Most Pimp Uniforms." That trophy is also included in this diagram, as is an empty bottle of Mike Schmidt 548 wine, definitely the worst wine I've ever had. If this doesn't put a cat on the field, I don't know what will.

Well, maybe this! Before last night's 7-1 win over the Yankees, there was a Darth Maul (?) bobblehead with a bottle and shot of rum next to Utley's locker. I don't have any Star Wars bobbleheads, nor do I have Jobu, but I was able to rig something up.

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Okay. I predict this will work so well, several games will be canceled this weekend due to being overrun by cats. It will be the cutest forfeits ever!

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While I'm here, why not post this, too? Chipper Jones will address the media in 10 minutes (at 6 p.m.) and hmmm why would he be getting ready to do that?

My guess: He's going to announce he would like to be called Larry from now on.

Update: Maybe something else! Chipper says he's leaning toward retirement at the end of the season, but won't talk about it again until after the season. Way to be a tease, Chipper!

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, do you believe in Hell? Babylon greed for wealth/ Do you deceive yourself and let your ego swell?

I'll be back tomorrow, friends, with a bunch of posts after the USA destroys Slovenia -- more like Suck-venia! -- in the World Cup tomorrow morning. I don't even know where Rob is today and tomorrow, actually. I should edit the header and put a kitty photo in it.

Awesome 1910 advertisement via the Library of Congress

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Check out this email MLB sent out today, urging you to vote for the close races in the All-Star Game! Yes, there is a tight race at shortstop between Jimmy Rollins (a career high 187 OPS+) Hanley Ramirez (a mere 124 OPS+). Oh, right, Rollins has also been on the DL twice already and has only played in 12 games.

Look, I'm all for fans voting hilarious people into the All-Star Games -- I vote for Mike Schmidt at third base every year in the NL -- but should MLB really be advertising that its fans have put last year's runner-up for the NL MVP in a tie with a guy who has not really played this season?

In other news, be sure to vote for your favorite between Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward Jayson Werth and andRe Ethier.

A Hank's Root Beer to Phony Gwynn for the tip.

wow.bam.margera.jpg Over the weekend, noted skateboarder/reality TV show star/CKY member/West Chester, Pa., native Bam Margera was attacked by a 59-year-old woman with a baseball bat. TMZ even got photos!

AN INTERLUDE BEFORE YOU WORRY, PEOPLE. Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News reports Margera will still be able to make Jackass 3-D. MTV says he's already hopped on a plane to meet his co-stars once he was released from the hospital. Now, of course, this makes us wonder: Could this baseball bat attack be just a part of J3D? Oh, look, the Philadelphia Inquirer actually suggested this: "Or was it a stunt for his reality show that features inane behavior?" I bet the paper is just angry Jackass 3-D takes away from its own 3-D edition of the newspaper over the weekend. END INTERLUDE.

Gross also got some choice quotes from the alleged attacker, Elizabeth Ray:

  • "I'm innocent, and he's a 'Jackass' just like his movie."
  • "He uses racial slurs, uses the N-word with black in front of it."
  • "I did not hit him, nobody hit him."

Margera's just lucky it was a wooden bat1. Down south in Felton, Del., a man was attacked with an aluminum baseball bat during an argument over ownership of a kitten.

Sigh. Whether it's an argument over kittens or you just hate Bam Margera, keep the bats down, people.

1 An interesting thing about bat attacks I've noticed is, if someone is attacked with a wodden bat, media reports might not mention it was a wooden bat. (Wooden bats being the natural state of a baseball bat.) But aluminum bats will always be mentioned as aluminum. I assume if someone gets beaten with a wiffle ball bat or a fungo bat or a Mongo bat it will also get mentioned. Hopefully Kris can confirm.

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So, seventh inning, it's 6-2 but the Phillies kinda stink, so this one's far from over. What graphic do they put up on the screen? Baseball players named Chad! Obviously, I kinda love this, if only because Chad Billingsley reminds me of Peter Billingsley which reminds me of A Christmas Story, which I then kinda wanted to watch even though it's June. (Okay, so Chad Qualls reminds me of DJ Qualls, so it's not all good.)

It is interesting the Yankees have started a run on players named Chad. By 2020, the Yankees' roster will consist entirely of players named Chad, as part of a Neo-Murderers' Row that will dominate Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays. (The Orioles will be contracted in 2015.) Zombie Henry Chadwick will be the team's manager.

Incidentally, the Phillies, helped by Chase Utley's voodoo magic, held on to win, 6-3. Chad Durbin played no part in the win, except maybe moral support.

Finally! After weeks of waiting, there is an ugly item Phillies fans can all purchase to commemorate Roy Halladay's perfect game! And it's... a bat? Okay, sure, whatever.

I realize the (patriotic!) company's name is BigTimeBats.com, but since they also sell Blackhawks jerseys and replica New York Yankee tickets, maybe they could figure out a way to sell a more appropriate product for a perfect game?

Oh! Maybe this is one of the bats the Phillies have been using for the past month. That'd make sense, then.

The above video, of a cat running onto a baseball field, is from an Ole Miss/South Carolina game at Carolina Stadium earlier this season. Why am I using this collegiate baseball clip of a cat running onto a field? Because, as far as I know, there has not been one incident of a cat running onto the field in the majors yet this season.

There has yet to be one incident of a cute kitty on the field. And yet, we've had three two perfect games, a dude who vomited onto a little girl in the stands, a guy hitting a grand slam on his first pitch in the majors, a rookie pitcher already anointed by the Internet as the next Bob Gibson, Aubrey Huff and a person named Tony Gwynn hitting inside the park home runs and a future Hall of Famer falling asleep in the clubhouse.

I know, maybe the cats are just worried that if they run on the field they'll get tased. Perhaps. But, last year, cats were a veritable baseball tradition. A quick search shows cats at Wrigley Field, Citi Field and Kauffman Stadium last season.

I know it's a small sample size, but where are all the cats this year? And why are so-called sports "analysts" not reporting on this kitten outage? If home runs or triples or double plays suddenly crashed to zero, there would be more noise than a stadium full of vuvuzelas. (Topical humor!)

So what gives? Where is Jayson Stark telling us this is the latest we've gone into the season without a cat running onto a field in [x] years? Where is Rob Neyer telling us how hard blogging about cats running onto the field is? Where is Voros McCracken, telling us that cats really don't have any control over where they go once they're on the field? Huh?

A cat better run onto the field soon, or this is going to end up a pretty disappointing baseball season.

Were you watching the exciting Dartmouth-Florida Atlantic College World Series tilt last week? No?! Well, then you missed a pretty exciting scene: Kyle Peterson and Eric Byrnes argued for a good three minutes over what the balk rule is.

Check the video above: I was only half-paying attention -- an excellent way to watch baseball, especially college baseball -- when suddenly I heard two grown men arguing like six-year-olds. Both of their voices were so high with anger I couldn't tell them apart. They were so intense I thought they were arguing over Israel/Palestine (this was an officially-sanctioned sport at my college).

But, no, it turns out they were arguing over the balk rule. Peterson -- or maybe it's Byrnes? -- has a tough time with geometry and angles here, too, I think, but whatever, math is hard.

Side note: According to the hilariously-titled LSU website Tiger Droppings, "Kyle Peterson is the tits! Dude knows his shit." So I'm going to trust him in this argument.

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I covered Phillies all weekend, and Friday night I was fortunate enough to get a copy of that day's giveaway, The Phillie Phanatic's Galapagos Islands Adventure. In this book, written by Tom Burgoyne (the Phanatic's "best friend") and illustrated by Len Epstein, the Phanatic travels to his home islands to meet an entire species of Phanatics. (They're endemic to the Galapagos, you see? Actually, this is pretty clever.)

The Galapagos Phanatics have also built a gold statue of the Phillie Phanatic, which the Bible has taught us is a good strategy which cannot lead to any possible unforeseen side effects.

But my favorite part of the book is the panel above, the one I've exempted above. While the Phanatic loves the Phillies, he's clearly a lonely man... thing. He's clearly a lonely Phanatic. It must be fun to get paid to attend every Phillies game, but when you're the only one of your kind around every night, you wrestle with demons.

The Phillie Phanatic's Galapagos Islands Adventure is one of the most heartbreaking children's books ever published.

While Mike Meech can't seem to get an actual mention by name in any media outlet, apparently some Phillies fan bloggers stay anonymous in the media by choice! Who are these people, and how do their egos allow it?

Yes, the Zoo With Roy dude was on ESPN First Take yesterday, and I watched it so I could capture his interview. All you need to know about this show is this: Michael Bivins from Bel Biv Devoe was by far my favorite analyst on yesterday's program.

My cable cut out near the end of the interview, because that is the kind of luck I have. But most of the interview is in the video above, and you can enjoy the incredible Hard Copy-esque face-in-the-shadows technique ESPN used to prevent retaliation against the ZWR dude for his snitchin'. Also, the interview's kind of funny.

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Are you effing kidding me? Armando Galarraga, a pitcher who wears the Spring Training-esque No. 58 for the Detroit Tigers, just threw the third perfect game of the season. This is a complete guess, but with confidence I can say that this is the highest number worn by a pitcher who has thrown a perfect game1.

Austin Jackson made an incredible catch in left center for the first out of the ninth. Jason Donald, sent over to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee trade, made the last out, a very nice play by Miguel Cabrera.

Wait, what?

Let's be clear: This was a perfect game. And if umpire Jim Joyce is not fired tomorrow, Major League Baseball is a fucking joke. (My mom called me to express this point right after it happened, only without the profanity.)

On the plus side, at least we'll have instant replay in all of baseball soon. Because that was a perfect game, and some stupid umpire blew a hell of an easy call.

1I actually looked up a couple numbers, and now I am super confident I am correct.

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Hello! And welcome to another edition of Wednesday Afternoon Liveglog Club. Once again, we'll be covering the Phillies (sorry). They take on the Braves today in Atlanta (hence the Gone with the Wind parody poster above -- c'mon, did I really need to explain that?).

A little bit of background on today's game: The Phillies have lost 50 of 51 (Doc's perfect game the only win) to drop out of first place in the National League East, scoring only seven runs during that stretch (all unearned). The Braves, meanwhile, are 19-0 in their last six.

Join me after the jump for livebloggy goodness.

Here's the best video I was able to find of the last out of Roy Halladay's perfect game. Sure, the dude's reaction is pretty funny, but I was also happy to see that Billy the Marlin applauded Halladay's feat right after it happened. What a nice guy.