Kris Liakos: April 2008 Archives

Goose Gossage Gone Wild

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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):

  • 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.
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

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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.

Lee Elia Is A Traveling Salesman

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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!"


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!
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.

Bat Attack Roundup, Monday April 28, 2008

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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:


War Is Kind: Today's Afternoon Game

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  • 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.
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."

The Sunday Morning Post

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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.


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

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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.


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!

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

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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.

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.

Tonight's Questions

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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.

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

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  • 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.

Tonight's Questions

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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. & A Player Blog That's Actually Good

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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.

Baseball Before Bedtime: Sleepin' Single In A Double Bed

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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

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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.

Oh Christ, The Burgers Are Back

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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.

Tonight's Questions

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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.

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

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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:

The Saturday Morning Post

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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.


  • 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

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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

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    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.
    • 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.

    Baseball Before Bed Time: Sleep On The Left Side

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    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

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    night game.jpg Hey kids, tune in tonight to find out...

    See y'all tomorrow for Liveglog Wednesday. Same WoW time, Same WoW channel.

    Such A Fine Looking Day: Today's Afternoon Games

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    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.

    Randy Johnson Returns; I'm Not Using His Nickname

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    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:

    Tonight's Questions

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    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?

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    dusty.jpgPaul Sullivan of 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.

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    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.

    The Sunday Morning Post

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    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

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    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.

    Walkoff Walk Crimestopper Private Eye Detective Club #2

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    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

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    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

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    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."


    Fair and Balanced:

    Breaking: CC Sabathia Officially Joins Yankee Rotation

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    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

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    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 ( 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.
    • 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.
    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.
    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

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

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    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!

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    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.

    Walkoff Walk Crimestopper Private Eye Detective Club #1

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    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.

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

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    • 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.

    Fun With Small Sample Sizes

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    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.
    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

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    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 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

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    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!

    Phillies Win On Walkoff Walk!!11!

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    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!

    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!

    Larry Bowa & Matt Cain Picking Up Where They Left Off

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    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.

    Late Shift Liveblog

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    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!


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    crystal_billy_cp_7778758.jpgJill Painter from 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.
    -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!

    NL Central Drafty With No One To Shut The Door

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    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.