Dan McQuade: July 2010 Archives

Man Getting Hit By Baseball!

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Might be a slow day around these parts. For now, enjoy this clip of a little kid hitting a man with a batted ball.

Tonight's Questions

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This is my favorite video maybe ever. Typical Wednesday night after church!

More tomorrow!

Baseball Lede of the Year

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So, how excited were Phillies fans for Domonic Brown's start last night? Let's ask Jerry Reimenschneider of PhillyBurbs.com!

PHILADELPHIA - It was only Dan Baker announcing Dom Brown to the South Philly masses.

It might as well have been God introducing Moses to the Israelites.

Hmm. Didn't the Israelites already know Moses when he came down from the mount?

A Cherry Coke Zero to The 700 Level, and a few other people, I think

fish_011.gif Sorry, I couldn't come up with a suitable synonym for Philadelphia that begins with an R. But you get your animated wholphin .gif! Jayson Stark tweets Oswalt will okay the deal. But wait! Ken Rosenthal tweets the deal is not done, yet it likely will be soon. How can we settle this? Okay, now a ton of people are saying it's done, so it's time for the wholphin .gif and random exclamations of joy/sadness/Cliff Lee's name on Twitter.

Randy Miller tweets "long-time baseball scribe Ed Price" says the three players going to Houston in the deal are pitchers J.A. Happ (lefty) and Vance Worley (righty) and outfielder Anthony Gose.

Oswalt is 6-12 with a 3.42 ERA (and a 120 ERA+) this season, a definite upgrade for the Phillies rotation. Now all Phillies fans need to do is get a fan club called The O-Faces and a third straight pennant is sure to happen!

Update: Deal's done, per MLB Network. Players going to the Astros are Happ, Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar.

wow.jimbunning.jpg Relatively new, highly annoying politics website Politico makes its writers wake up at, like, 3 a.m. in order to "win the morning" and get all the links from Matt Drudge or whatever. (No news organization cares about interesting or factual or useful stories anymore. It's all about pageviews.)

Anyway, here's one of their important political stories today: Jim Bunning thinks Stephen Strasburg is a wimp!

Why? Well, Strasburg missed his recent start and is, indeed, going to get a little break, and by God Jim Bunning never missed any starts, in fact sometimes he'd start all three games of a tripleheader and throw 750 pitches then come back in relief the next day. (That's why he gave up over 500 homers in his career.)

"Five-hundred twenty starts, I never refused the ball," Bunning, a Kentucky senator who hurled a perfect game in 1964 and struck out 2,855 batters in his Major League career, told POLITICO. "What a joke!"

Bunning had taken an interest in Strasburg, who like the Kentucky senator is a fire-ball hurling right-hander. The senator has seen the Nationals ace four times and was at the ballpark Tuesday night, he said.

But he clearly didn't like what he saw - or rather didn't see - when the youngster didn't take the mound. "My arm!" Bunning sarcastically cried as he pretended to clutch his shoulder in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

One missed start out of five games he's attended and suddenly he goes from the "top one percentile" to the 50th percentile. For missing a start! Geeze, it's not like Strasburg used the senators' only elevator. Now somebody find me an example of Bunning being scratched from a start, and be happy he isn't your favorite team's pitching coach.

wolphin.photo.jpg As reported by pretty much everyone, but let's just link Jayson Stark's tweet, a deal is in place between the Phillies and Astros which would send Roy Oswalt (and maybe cash to the notoriously stingy Phils) to Philadelphia for prospects (maybe J.A. Happ, Vance Worley and a few other guys). All that Oswalt has to do is agree to it and he's a member of the Phillies.

(If you're wondering, because the deal isn't finalized, this gets a still photograph of a wholphin instead of the animated .gif. I'll update the post or do a new one if it goes through and you will get some animated goodness, okay?)

As Ken Rosenthal points out: Why, exactly, did the Phillies trade Cliff Lee? A good point, I guess, or at least a better one when it's not coming from some boorish caller on a sports talk radio show or from the annoying dude next to you at the bar. This is all anyone in Philadelphia has been able to talk about for the last few months, especially whenever a Phillies pitcher gives up more than two runs.

I'm hearing Ed Wade consummated this deal while stuck in a tree.

chief.wahoo.disgusted.gif Big news from Cleveland! No, they didn't trade away another amazing pitcher; they only have average-to-good ones left.

What actually happened was: A fan (sadly, not our own Rob Iracane) wearing a Miami Heat Lebron James jersey was escorted from the stands after taunting Indians fans. A little confusing, but, eh, okay. When I was in Chicago plenty of Cubs fans were making Stanley Cup taunts, which I responded to with, "What the hell is the Stanley Cup?"

Anyway! FanHouse reports: "When police arrived to escort the fan out of the stands, the crowd cheered. Several Indians fans threw verbal barbs at the fan and his girlfriend, others threw a more liquid form of insult." The article doesn't contain any info regarding what the dude did to be ejected other than being obnoxious and wearing a Miami Heat jersey.

Obviously, this isn't much of a story, and the fan might've been vomiting on suburban police officers or whatever first. Or maybe the cops just moved him to another section. But maybe not. And aren't you allowed to root -- even annoyingly -- for the other team when at a baseball game? (Or, in this case, root for a basketball team who just signed a star player from a different basketball team at a baseball game.)

Plenty of people attend games as a fan of the opposing teams, act loud and obnoxious and then are shocked -- shocked! -- when they get punched or have a beer tossed at them. (At $7 each, the beer thing is kinda shocking.) Then they go home, say, "Ahh, [team] fans are the worst, look what happened to me," when in reality they brought it on themselves. That doesn't mean it's right to punch obnoxious opposing team's fans, but I understand why it happens.

Crowdsourcing is a pretty horrible trend, but not when you have a harem of talented commenters like we have here at Walkoff Walk. So I wonder: Have you ever seen fans ejected just for being a loud fan of the other team? (Not that it's what happened here, but it has to have happened, right.) And, actually, going to an Indians game and having to hear taunts about Lebron the whole game would be incredibly obnoxious. What's the worst fan you have ever sat next to? And, obviously, alcohol is involved. Isn't ending beer sales after the seventh inning just one of those stupid fake "fixes" for the problem that just make us feel better and the company maybe not quite so legally liable but doesn't actually do anything? Comment, or don't.

Tonight's Questions

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My favorite independent baseball team, the Camden Riversharks, are apparently in their 10th year! Somebody made this video to celebrate their 10 seasons, cleverly titled "sharks tribute video.wmv." Unfortunately, whoever made it set it to Billy Joel.

  • DID you really think the Yankees were particularly snakebit against pitchers making their big league debut? Rob Neyer doesn't think so. Key part: "I mean, seriously ... We're going to draw some grand conclusions based on 66 innings? On seven innings per season? You can. I won't." You tell 'em, Rob!
  • DID you know Jim Leyland was suspended? MLB says it was for an incident Monday where Leyland exhibited "inappropriate and aggressive conduct during the bottom of the third inning." From that description, it sounds like Leyland was drunk.
  • WHAT is your favorite sentence in this FanHouse -- official motto: "Don't confuse us with Bleacher Report, please!" -- article about not believing the hype about the baseball trade deadline? (Yes, that's actually an article. It's also about not believing the hype about Dez Bryant not carrying Roy Williams' pads at Dallas Cowboys training camp. Go look for yourself, I'm not making this up.) Anyway, my favorite part is this sentence: "Check any baseball encyclopedia and you'll see trades dated during any month of the year."
  • HAVE you read the "very important" Baseball Prospectus article on fielding today? Pfft. Who can afford a subscription? (I think Rob can. Rob, let me know if the article's any good when you get back!

I will be missing some or all of Dom Brown's major league debut tonight. Can you guess why in the comments? First person to guess correctly wins... I dunno, something baseball-related I find in my apartment. Yes, this is clearly the contest of the century!

Wholphin! Let the Domonic Brown Era begin! The Phillies just placed Shane Victorino on the disabled list and called up their top prospect from AAA Lehigh Valley.

Victorino strained his abdominal while making a catch last night and is the fifth Phillies position starter to head to the disabled list this year. (The others: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz.) Dom Brown hit .327/.391/.589 for AA Reading and the IronPigs this year. If you prefer stupid stats, he had the game-winning RBI in the Futures Game this year.

It's expected Jayson Werth will move to center field and Brown will immediately be inserted in right. Brown will ear No. 9, according to something I read on Twitter. (It must be right!) If his at-bat music is not Das Racist's "Who's That? Broooooooown," someone is really dropping the ball.

With Chris Coghlan's insane pie-throwing injury in the news, it seems like everyone wants to talk to AJ Burnett about it. Check out what Wallace Matthews wrote about Burnett:

The Yankees right-hander, generally credited with reviving the practice of smashing a postgame pie -- or actually, in his case, a towel covered with whipped cream simulating a pie -- into the face of a teammate who gets a walk-off hit[.]

Yes, "generally credited"... incorrectly. Everyone should know that Tomas (Pie Man) Perez brought back the practice in the early 2000s while with the Phillies. Of course, he may have just been copying off someone else, but I only care about accuracy when it suits me.

The above video, via The Fightins (currently down), shows the history of Perez's pie tosses. The best part is a young-ish Brett Myers in a half-shirt as one of the players getting Perez back after Perez's own walkoff hit.

moon.athletics.png Sometime in college, a Yankees fan friend of mine was rooting on the Mets in the playoffs. His reasoning: The Yankees were already eliminated, so he'd cheer for the other New York team. "If there were another baseball team in Philadelphia," he asked me, "wouldn't you cheer for them after the Phillies were eliminated?" I replied that, no, I would root for the other baseball team instead of the horrible Phillies. (Oh, how the franchise's outlook has changed since 2002!)

As you may have heard, San Jose's mayor wants a ballot question in November that would ask whether the team could build a new stadium on city-owned land. (Bud Selig is now asking him to delay the question because MLB is not ready and said MLB would foot some of the bill for a special election next year.) As you may remember (but probably not), I detailed last year the journey the A's would take: To San Jose, then Portland, then the moon and finally back to Philadelphia in 2113.

Apparently that's not soon enough for some people! J.T. Ramsay -- wasn't this that fake author? -- has started a petition, Bring Your A's Game, to bring the A's back to Philadelphia. This will undoubtedly work better than the petition to vote Pat Burrell into the All-Star Game after he was released by the Rays, though I guess that's not a good comparison.

Personally, I'd rather see the A's in Camden, or maybe Atlantic City (note: definitely Atlantic City). Look, there are plenty of valid reasons why this idea is a non-starter: Philadelphia doesn't have the population base for another pro sports team, the Phillies ownership would completely prevent this from happening, Citizens Bank Park had some half-empty games as recently as early 2008 (back-to-back pennants are the ultimate aphrodisiac), the Phillies are good now, etc. But, hey, do you know what your typical Facebook petition group is like? Drug test all poor people, deport Barack Obama, Bring an English Premier League team to the United States (?). This is way better than anything else I've ever seen since they opened Facebook to the masses.

And, hey, two baseball teams in town would mean more jobs available for Philadelphia-area baseball writers...

garfield.mondays.jpg April Fools! Major League Baseball announced yesterday the 2011 season will start on Friday, April 1. Get ready for a barrage of newspaper columns decrying the change in tradition. According to Elias, this is the first time a majority of teams start the season on a Friday since 1905.

The season's earlier start is so the playoffs end a little earlier. The season will end on a Wednesday (instead of the traditional Sunday). Ending on Sept. 28, the playoffs will start the 30th or Oct. 1; the World Series will begin Wednesday, Oct. 19. No baseball in November!

There are a bunch of quotes in this USA Today story about the change, most of them boring PR speak. But check out this insanely weird defensive quote from the head of Fox Sports!

Said Ed Goren, president of Fox Sports, which broadcasts the World Series: "I think the commissioner is sensitive to getting the postseason over in October. But I've been in cities where the weather is awful in mid-October, and beautiful the first of November. So if we're playing Game 7 of the World Series on Oct. 28, and it's snowed out, don't blame baseball."

Strange, right? "Sure, here's a quote for your article about the change: It's not going to mean anything! And one day players will be eaten by arctic wolves during a World Series game!" I am going to blame Ed Goren for everything bad that happens in the baseball playoffs this year (but mainly for McCarver and Buck, which he is actually to blame for).

Tonight's Questions

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Yes, Matt Garza threw the fifth no-hitter in the majors this year last night, and the first in Rays history. Search "matt garza no hitter" on YouTube and there are scores of videos of people filming their television set with their iPhone or Flip or whatever. Fortunately, there's also the above video, which is of better quality. Watch it before MLB Advanced Media takes it down! (When they do, here's the link to MLB.com.)

Judging from baseball's recent history, all of this is a sham; the pitchers are all on some sort of super pitching drug that baseball isn't testing for yet. But for now, it's been a pretty fun season even with the lower home run totals.

Tonight's Questions

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wow.bulldogs.jpg

Hey kids, I'm keepin' my head in the clouds and it's not so tragic if I don't look down

  • DON'T you just love the faux stories that are actually spam that pop up on Google News? I do, because they lead to awesome wording like this: "Baseball scores that are too high propel the MLB to request random testing in the minor leagues."
  • WHAT should you do if you a baseball tournament game is rained out? How about just awarding the trophy to the Long Island team, because that's what happened. I don't know anything else about this story because of the Newsday paywall, unfortunately.
  • DO you want to see the Phillies sex-for-tickets woman wrestle one of Tiger Woods' mistresses? What if I told you Screech was refereeing the bout? It's Thursday in Jersey; how it's not a cross-promotion for the season premiere of Jersey Shore I don't know.
  • HOW drunk do you think I got at the Phillies game today? Pfft, like I can afford stadium beer prices.

Oh, but wait! I wrote that last question before I actually went to the game, but it wasn't posted until 4:45 p.m. thanks to the magic of the Internet (i.e., Drew posting it). Yes, I pulled a MItch Albom! Somebody ought to give me a couple awards now.

I won't be attending a baseball game tomorrow, so look for more accurate content on Tuesday.

Photo of a very proud Fresno State baseball team fan by Frank Bonilla used under a a Creative Commons license

wow.sharkbaby.jpg Are all my posts at Walkoff Walk today going to be animal-related? Maybe! Over the weekend, a University of North Florida1 baseball player was bitten by a shark. Take it away, Take it away, news4jax.com!

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A local college pitcher whose job it is to pound the strike zone found himself in the strike zone Friday afternoon at Jacksonville Beach.

Okay, let's move to the Florida Times-Union's record of events for the rest of this post.

Twenty-year-old Clayton Schultz was surfing and was bitten by a "powerful fish." It's unclear if it was a shark -- there are plenty of powerful fish in the sea -- but like every other media outlet, Walkoff Walk is just going to take the scare word and run with it. Our baseball players are under attack from a barrage of sharks!

Schultz needed over 300 stitches to repair the bite on his foot. I'd say this sharks-attacking-ballplayers trend will hit the majors by next week. Obviously Carlos Zambrano will be the first player bitten. Sorry, Big Z!

1 This school is abbreviated UNF, a backronym for sex sounds. Who wouldn't want to go there, shark attacks or no?

After months of waiting, there was finally a kitty on the field this season!

Unfortunately, it happened in the minor leagues, which is why I'm only getting around to it a week after. Like Cat Stairs, it wasn't ready for the big leagues.

The cat ran onto the field during the Wilmington Blue Rocks-Myrtle Beach Pelicans game in South Carolina. Scared as it was, it then totally was scared more by team mascot Rally Shark, which is apparently a shark that calls for rallies. It's a good thing the kitty didn't meet Deuce, the real life yellow lab who delivers balls to the umpire.

Of particular note is the minorleaguebaseball.com headline for the game recap, "Wayward Cat Can't Help Birds in Opener. Maybe if the mascot was the Rally Cat, Myrtle Beach, you'd have come back to win. But don't try to get kitty on the field-inspired rallies with a shark surrogate.

Still, for having a kitty on the field this year, Myrtle Beach takes the lead in the first annual Walkoff Walk Minor League Organization of the Year contest. This is an award I just made up and will probably forget to hand out at the end of the year. The current leader in the major league edition of the award is San Diego, for its bail bonds advertisment.

werth-2.jpg

Last night, Jayson Werth collided with a fan while reaching into the stands for a foul ball. He responded in the only logical way: By cursing out the dude, and by proxy his kid and the entire section. Look how horrified everyone is! This is instantly in my top 10 favorite Phillies plays of all time.

Because it was a dad and his son and not a 23-year-old drunk idiot Werth cursed out, people care about this too much, especially before noon. Because it (kinda) involves a kid, people care about this way too much. Look, I found someone calling for a public apology. I'm thinking it will be two days until we get our first over-the-top critique of Werth's f-bomb from a newspaper columnist. I know things have the potential to get annoying, but let's be happy this wasn't Milton Bradley. He yells at a crowd like this, there would be Congressional hearings.

Still, we could have avoided all this annoyance if Werth had just acted a little more like Ichiro, who shrugged off hitting a girl and kind of apologized even. Then the extremely excited girl got a boatload of merchandise! It's not really news that a 36-year-old Japanese man is more polite than a 31-year-old American bro, though.

Hey, remember last year's giant baseball player magnet/"So Show Me What I'm Lookin' For" All-Star Game ad? You might think that would be the weirdest advertisement for an exhibition of baseball's best players (and Tim Wakefield) you'd ever see. You might be wrong, however, because holy crap what is with the 2010 MLB All-Star Game ad?!?!

Below, an extended (nearly shot-for-shot!) critique of the commercial.