Kris Liakos: May 2008 Archives

The Saturday Lunchtime Post

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SatMornPost.jpgToday!

On the heels of yesterday's huge comeback the Cubs try to keep the momentum against the Rockies... Verlander against The King as the Tigers look to go 6-0 vs. the M's... BEAT LA! BEAT LA!... In your National Game on Fox, Mets try to bounce back against the Dodgers and the mystique of Chad Billlingsley... Scott Kazmir looks to stay dominant and the Rays look to avenge last night's loss to the White Sox... The Braves try for the love of Christ not to lose again on the road... Red Sox try to build on last night's extra inning win against the Orioles... Padres look to build on last night's extra inning win against the Giants... It's the day we've all been waiting for! Kyle Davies makes his '08 debut for the Royals against the Indians... Lance Berkman's amazing May comes to an end today against the Brewers... Wang v. Boof for some of the marbles... Philadelphia looks to pile on the Marlins again and pad their newly minted NL East lead... Blanton v. Ponson one night after a 3-1 pitchers' duel in Arlington... St. Louis looks for two in a row against the Pirates... WoW CERTIFIED DUEL OF THE DAY: Marcum v. Lackey... Brandon Webb and the Snakes need to get back on track one night after dropping the series' first game to the Nats.

Enjoy your Saturday, WoWies. I'm headed to Providence.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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stretcher.JPGI'm re-reading Fast Food Nation and I just got through the chapter about Kenny, the guy that worked in meatpacking for 16 years and his litany of injuries. Broken back, severed fingers, chlorine poisoning heart attacks. Guy went to work everyday, then was fired one day while in the hospital. YOU SHOULD READ THAT BOOK, WIMPY MAJOR LEAGUERS.

  • Frank Thomas, A's: Thomas is on the DL after hurting his quadricep legging out a double. Wow, no wonder he got injured! What a high risk maneuver. He really shouldn't be putting himself in harm's way like that. BIG HURT INDEED GUFFAW GUFFAW.

  • Fausto Carmona, Indians: Carmona is expected to miss four weeks after getting his dick caught in a vice. Oh wait I read that wrong. He has a left hip strain. According to the Indians trainer, the injury is uncommon for starting pitchers and Carmona's "maximum-effort pitching style might have contributed toward the injury." Rawk.

  • Troy Percival, Rays: As his wife has told me many times, "Troy is just getting old and some stuff doesn't work like it used to. Now rub this cocoa butter on my back, my bra has been chafing." His comeback story hit a minor bumb when he landed on the DL this week with a hamstring strain. But hey, the Rays are a juggernaut now and can deal with this sort of thing no problem.

  • Eric Gagne, Brewers: Gags has shoulder tendinitis. Doctor's believe it was developed when Ned Yost broke into his house and hit him repeatedly on the arm with a tire iron.

  • Gary Sheffield, Tigers: Apparently you can't get cortisone shots in your stomach, because Sheff just hit the DL with oblique spasms. That's one of the craziest sounding injuries I've read about since writing this column. Sounds painful but also sounds like it would make him a good dancer. Like he's just standing there and then his obliques start spasming and suddenly he's doing the cha-cha.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey homoz, what's the deal with the low fat ricotta:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
felix jose.jpgThe Calgary Vipers, a professional team in something called the Golden Baseball League felt they needed some more pop in the lineup after splitting this weekend's series with the Edmonton Cracker-Cats. And who can blame them? We've mentioned numerous times what a joke that Cracker-Cats rotation is. To bring a little more lumber to the party, the Vipers reached out and signed, who else, 43 year old former Athletic, Cardinal, Royal, and Diamondback, Felix Jose!!!

"I'm going to try to put some hits up," says the designated hitter. "I'm going to try to help the team keep producing."

"He's a veteran player; he can still swing," says Vipers manager Mike Busch. "He'll do what he does best, and be a role model for the younger guys."

It's not the first time Jose has played in Calgary. His first visit was in 1984 with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League to play the Calgary Expos. During the 1988-89 season, Jose was a member of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League's Tacoma Tigers, competing against the Calgary Cannons.

1984! Dayum. He's only been out of the majors since 2003 so maybe there's still some gas in the tank. Certainly it improves the mood of any clubhouse to have someone named Felix in it.

It wasn't the only acquisition the Vipers made this week. They also signed former Calgary Flame, Theo Fleury. To play baseball. In related news Sammy Sosa is retiring because no one wants him on their team.

Shattered Head: Today's Afternoon Games

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Love-in-the-Afternoon.jpg
  • 1:05, Braves at Brewers: The Braves lost by 1 run again. On the road. Again. I legitimately can't remember a team having such rigid quirks about losing. Braves fans, how do you live like this? Jorge Campillo goes for the Braves. He's thrown 10 shutout innings in his two starts but has walked 9. Seth McClung, whose name sounds like a teen actor, goes for the Brewers.

  • 3:35, Rays at A's: The rubber match of this WoW hyped series sees Jesse Litsch against Dana Eveland. Last night's duel between Doc Halladay and Rich "Are My Bones and Tendons Finally Starting To" Harden was as good as expected. Halladay's victory last night put the Jays at 3 games over .500 for the first time all year.

  • 3:35, Nationals at Padres: John Lannan takes on Wilfredo Ledezma in this clash o...... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sizzling Blind Item

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mystery_man.jpgWhat's the deal with a certain fat Big Apple pitcher's throwing routine? Our fly on the wall says the much fussed over round mound of the mound threw 28 pitches last night in a game situation then threw 27 in the bullpen after being removed for the team's more heralded latino closer. What gives? Why not let Tons O' Fun just finish his work out on the hill? He had been throwing well and El Closero had worked the night before. Methinks the team's spaghetti twisting skipper is putting a little too much emphasis on getting his guy the save.

Anyway, with another injury befalling one of the club's waspy porcelain starters, look for Fudgy The Whale to be making his first career start any day now.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, tune in tonight to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
bushbat.jpgYesterday I declared the Nationals dead. Today in the autopsy I'll outline one of the major causes of death: the absolutely horrific production from the outfield. Oh sure we in the sports comedanalysis business were chomping at the bit for Lastings Milledge, Willy Mo Pena, Elijah Dukes and um... Austin Kearns to join forces, but so far they've been quiet in every imaginable way. Let's let John Perotto of Baseball Prospectus hike up his short pants and regale us with some dorkspeak:

It is certainly not uncommon for teams to get a lack of production from a certain position. However, rare is the case where an entire outfield is an offensive black hole. That has been so with the Nationals this season, because their outfielders are barely outhitting their pitchers. Center fielder Lasting Milledge has the best EqA of the Nationals' three starting outfielders, with a paltry .227 mark, while left fielder Wily Mo Pena is at .176 and right fielder Elijah Dukes at .102. The Nationals' two reserves aren't any better, as Willie Harris has a .229 EqA and Rob Mackowiak's is .202.

Right fielder Austin Kearns carried a .198 EqA onto the disabled list this past week and is likely to miss the next month after having arthroscopic elbow surgery.

I had Darren do some digging and he pulled up these OPS numbers:

  • Milledge .652
  • Kearns .561
  • Dukes .446
  • Mackowiak .489
  • Pena .558

That is not fit for a major league ball club. It's an onion of mediocrity that reveals its stink with the removal of each translucent layer. I laughed at Manny Acta yesterday for campaigning a little early for Tim Redding's inclusion on the All-Star team. I don't laugh anymore. I think he's just trying to take his mind off of his outfield.
liveglog.jpg
  • 12:05: White Sox at Indians: I see you have returned, Jake Westbrook. Know that in your absence my contempt for you only grew. Chicago and Cleveland play today's early game hot on the heels of last night's wacky tilt. Gavin Floyd takes the hill for the White Sox. His last start was a complete game three hit loss against the Angels. It appears that Travis Hafner will miss his third straight game today and could land on the DL. Rob gon' glog it.

  • 12:40: Rangers at Rays: Kason Gabbard goes for Texas while the white hot Matt Garza looks to extend the 14 1/3 scoreless innings he's spun in his last two starts. After last night's win the Rangers are 27-27 bringing up one of my favorite stats of the year from WoW friend Evan Grant:

Counting the start of the season, the Rangers have been at .500 nine times now this year. On eight of the nine times when they had a chance to go above .500, they've lost the game. The one win they had was then followed by a five-game losing streak.

Lollerskates.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey kids, I'm addicted to turpentine fumes:
  • CAN Johan Santana bring some light into the dark scene in Flushing? The Marlins are in town.

  • CAN Tim Lincecum bounce back from his worst start of the year and get back into form against Dan Haren and the Snakes?

  • WHICH one of the teams I declared "dead" will make me look like a complete moron by rattling off a string of 10 straight wins starting tonight?

  • Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Cowardly Canseco Predictably Ducking Me

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canseco.jpgOur buddy Brooks relays the news that Jose Canseco has chosen an opponent for his fight in Atlantic City. He'll be taking on former NFL Player Vai Sikahema who appears to be old as shit. WEAK. From the Philly Daily News:

"I imagine the reception will be mixed," Canseco told me. "But the curiosity factor is going to be incredible. Whether people want to see someone kick my butt, or me kick someone else's butt, I guarantee there will be interest."

Maybe even enough interest for Feldman and Canseco to launch a nationwide tour and draw attention from network-TV types who are always looking for reality programming.

Canseco, to be sure, looks the part of someone most would-be opponents might want to avoid. At 6-4 and 245 pounds, he's only 5 pounds above his 1988 playing weight. He still has guns for forearms, too, although he insists he's off the juice. He credits his Adonis physique to 20-plus years in martial arts, during which he claims to have earned black belts in kung-fu, taekwondo and Muay Thai.

Listen Canseco, you can duck me for now. You can pretend like a pro athlete is a better match for you than I am, but me and all the little Tigermaniacs know the truth. You're scared. When you feel like stepping to the plate and facing the quiet fury of a kinda in shape guy comfortably tucked behind a desk, then you know who to call. My number is still the same: 555-FIST.

My Huge Throbbing Series: Astros at Cardinals

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nelly.jpgHouston travels to St. Louis to try and sort out at least some of the bunching at the top of the NL Central. Usually when I have bunching problems it's because my boxers are too small, but I digress. The Cubs lead the Cardinals by 1 game in the loss column, and the Cardinals outpace the Astros by the same margin. Your pitchers:

  • Tonight: Chacon vs. Looper
  • Wednesday: W. Rodriguez vs. Wainwright
  • Thursday: Oswalt vs. Lohse

Chacon finally broke his record setting streak of 9 consecutive starts without a decision by winning last Wednesday against the Cubs. I had a party to celebrate but no one showed up. I had a cake that said "Congrats, Shawn" and everything. Looper also won his last start and has already pitched against the Astros this year holding them scoreless through 7 innings in a no decision.

One of the more interesting things about the Astros success is that they're doing it with a leadoff hitter that's batting .216 with just 16 walks! Corey Patterson watch, my ass. Someone needs to drop a coconut on Cecil Cooper's head before he blows this shit.

UPDATE: Bourn hit 8th all weekend. Coconut dropped.

In Memoriam: Teams That Were Dead By Memorial Day

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dead kid.jpgI hope you all had a good Memorial Day and that you still have most of your teeth. The holiday was a great chance to reflect on the cost of war, the cost of gas and how much you didn't want to go back to work. It's also a good time to start crossing off teams that have absolutely no shot at salvaging their season. On to the list of the deceased:

  • Seattle Mariners: John McLaren's boys have been epically futile thus far. 5-20 in their latst 25 futile. The team can't do anything right. They can't get on base, coming second to last in the majors in .OBP at .309. Pitching was thought to be the team's strong point but they have the worst team ERA in baseballl at 4.96. That combination is how you lose lots and lots of ballgames my friend. Oh yeah, they also suck at fielding. No relief in sight for Geoff Baker.

  • Washington Nationals: The Nationals are hitting .233. Tied for worst in the majors with the Indians. Injuries have also been a concern and they're treading water with the 4th worst winning percentage in the NL. Manny Acta is looking to right the ship by... campaigning for Tim Redding to make the All-Star team?

  • Kansas City Royals: This one upsets me. I expected better from the Royals this year. They having a ton of problems at the plate, dragging around a .314 OBP. Jose Guillen, Billy Butler and Alex Gordon have combined for all of 12 HRs. They've lost 9 of their last ten and as the AL Central continues to eat it's own they've got too many teams to jump.

  • Cincinnati Reds: Et tu Dusty? This was the most borderline team on my list. I may be a couple weeks early on the death knell, but let's look at some numbers. Volquez and Harang are proving to be valuable starters, but outside of those two the rest of the rotation has an ERA over 7 and the team ERA as a whole is 4.54, firmly in the bottom quarter of baseball. At the plate, they struggle to drive in runners in scoring position. The biggest hurdle to overcome may just be the competition in the division. St. Louis is playing better than expected, and you have to think that if Milwaukee can pull anything together (see, firing their manager) they could put a run together.

  • San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres: These teams are a combined 59-95. That's palindromic lousiness! It's rare for this much suck to amass in such a cluster. Well, rare that it's not at the bottom of the AL East. Injuries have mounted for all 3 clubs, especially the Rockies. They are 3 out of the 4 worst hitting teams in baseball with RISP. In the case of the Giants and the Padres, 28th and 29th respectively in runs scored, this could just be a case of small sample size.

  • On Life Support: Blue Jays, Tigers, Pirates, Ned Yost, Willie Randolph

Mickey Mantle Switches To Natural Light- 1980

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I don't even know where to start with today's Classic TV post. The Mick's acting? The acting of the other people? The pinball game? The fact that Natural Light once bragged about THE TASTE OF THEIR BEER? Leave that to High Life.

The commercial is also a little sad knowing how things turned out towards the end for the guy. But oh, well. Today we laugh with him. This weekend when you open a cold one, toast it to the sky then pour a little out for Mickey, will ya?



Have a happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone. It feels like we've been doing this for quite awhile but we're just now getting to the meaty part of the season. Thanks for coming back every day. Even you, BC Twins Fan. It's a treat.

Like most of our brethren we're taking the whole three days off, so enjoy some baseball the old fashioned way. Without a computer. Have fun, be (kinda) safe and we'll see y'all on Tuesday.

Brooklyn Bridge Blues: The Weekend's Best Series

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flagWolf.jpgAmerican League

Orioles at Rays: Even though these two teams are in the same division as my favorite team, I gotta say it's pretty rad that they're playing a meaningful series over Memorial Day Weekend. It's the start of a 10 game homestand for the Rays. They've won 12 of their last 13 at the Trop. Your pitching matchups:

  • Tonight: Guthrie vs. Garza
  • Satuday: Trachsel (!!) vs. Jackson
  • Sunday: Cabrera vs. Shields


National League

D'Backs at Braves: The Braves are feeling superhero tough after their 4 game sweep of the Mets. The Snakes are feeling the opposite after being swept by the Marlins. Arizona scored only 3 runs in that series and were shutout on Thursday for the first time this season. Doug Davis makes his first start after treatment for thyroid cancer.

  • Tonight: Davis vs. Reyes
  • Saturday: R. Johnson vs. Campillo
  • Sunday: Owings vs. Glavine
  • Monday: Webb vs. Jurrens


Pitching Your Ass & Arm Off

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Wayback.jpgHere at WoW we're students of the game. We have much love for baseball's early days and the characters that populated it. Unfortunately, our hands are full tearing apart current players. We've invited DMac of the stellar Philadelphia Will Do to teach us all a little bit about the ghosts of baseball's past. It's a segment we like to call "Way Back Base Ball."

I love old-timey baseball. I love the nerds who play it in 2008, I love the old daguerreotypes of players with handlebar mustaches and I love reading about the origins of sport.

In essence, I'm a bigger nerd than people who go out and play old-timey baseball. That's why I'm hoping to share with you a little slice of baseball history from time to time on Walkoff Walk. (Old-timey baseball is roughly defined as "whatever time period I decide to write about.")

But enough self-reference. For those of you who don't know, baseball wasn't always 400-foot homers, future truck drivers from India and Dusty Baker ordering his power hitters to sacrifice bunt. Baseball wasn't invented by Abner Doubleday after he singlehandedly won the Civil War, either. No, it was a little game that sprung out of other stick and ball games that came over from England; eventually, the original rules were codified by the Knickerbocker Club, a group of players with dominated early baseball until Isiah Thomas' great-great grandfather ran them into the ground.

With that in mind, I'd like to direct you to this book review of Peter Morris' But Didn't We Have Fun: An Informal History of Baseball's Pioneer Era. In it, he recounts the story of players who looked to bend the rules even in the early history of baseball -- baseball had a long tradition of celebrating players who cheated until they began to cheat with drugs, upon which they were shunned.

The classic case of this is one of baseball's first stars, Jim Creighton, who played for several clubs in the New York area right before the Civil War. Creighton trained hard with a steel ball so he could deliver a pitch as hard as possible under the rules of the day, which required an underhand throw with a stiff arm.

Creighton soon was throwing harder than any batter had seen. They flailed away at his pitches or at best popped them up. However, under the rules of the day, there were also no such things as balls or a strike zone. So batters decided to just wait out Creighton until he delivered a pitch to their liking. Morris recounts a game where Creighton threw over 300 pitches in three innings as batters waited him out for something they thought they could hit. (Creighton died in 1862 at the age of 21 of natural causes.)


Yes, Jim Creighton -- a star in his teens, apparently -- managed to die of "natural causes" at the age of 21 after (a) training with a steel baseball and (b) throwing 300 pitches in the first three innings of a game. Correlation doesn't equal causation, but... yes, I think i can safely say this man died of his arm falling off.

It is nice that pitchers back in the late 1850s trained themselves to death with steel baseballs, but millionaire pitchers today like Brett Myers train by eating as many cheeseburgers as possible.

The review also notes that, in old-timey days, umpires sat in a rocking chair drinking a glass of beer. Now that's the kind of thing we can learn from the past: Getting drunk while umpiring a game would certainly improve the officiating of, say, Cowboy Joe West.

What's Up Creampuff: Some Dudes That Got Hurt

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stretcher.JPGNo Memorial hiking, water skiing, basketball playing, or looting for these hummel figurines of the diamond. They're all busted up like a toddler falling off her big wheel.

  • Melvin Mora, Orioles: Melvin done got his hand spiked by Hideki Matsui. Matsui didn't see what the big deal was. In Japan they call that "foreplay." Mora has a laceration on his hand and is day-to-day.

  • Victor Jesus Martinez, Indians: Martinez hurt his finger in Thursday's game and was replaced by Kelly Shoppach. This week's bigger news was when he got his foot stuck in a sunflower seed bucket. I wish I was making this up. No word on whether or not he then slipped on a banana peel before falling into a puddle and having a safe fall on his head

  • Josh Willingham, Marlins: This is not a new injury, Willingham has been out since April 27, but things are not getting better. He has a herinated disc in his back and could miss as much as another month. The Marlins are winning without him but I'm sure they could use his bat. Remember kids, lift with your legs.

  • Erick Aybar, Angels: Aybar dislocated his pinkie(great picture there) which sounds both horribly painful and kind of wussy at the same time. He could miss up to 4 weeks. Rumor is he hurt it drinking chamomile tea.

  • Andruw Jones, Dodgers: Jones has some torn knee cartilage. He says he feels better but the team is skeptical and it looks like he may need surgery.This season has been a mild disappointment for Anrduw Jones.

  • Moises Alou, Mets: Ol' Pisshands strained his right calf putting him on the DL. This extends his streak of going on the DL for 31 straight seasons, an MLB record.

  • Jose Canseco: Threw his back out from shaking in his boots.

College Baseball Cram Session

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omaha.jpgAs you may have noticed, because I mention it about 5 times a week, I went to a university with a large athletic program. While most of my hipster friends here in Boston went to tiny liberal arts schools in the mountains named after famous bisexuals with enrollments of 65 students, I went to football, basketball and baseball games with thousands of my classmates. Baseball games were my favorite. We had a beautiful park and a good team. Well a great regular season team that consistently chokes come tournament time.

The college baseball postseason is most similar to the college basketball postseason. Major conferences have their tournaments than 64 teams are selected to play rounds of double elimination baseball. The first round is called "Regionals" and consists of mini round robins at 16 locations. The 16 surviving teams advance to "Super Regionals" and then the final 8 advane to the College World Series in Omaha.

It's conference tourney time, and I'll be checking in all weekend to get the lowdown. These tourneys were a true harbinger of Summer down south, and if you're interested in watching I've collected some previews for you:


Who ya got?

Baseball Before Bedtime: This Is All I Came To Do

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Here's what happened in baseball while you took my m-m-m-mind as well.

  • Braves 4, Mets 2: Johan Santana had a 2-0 lead going into the seventh and BLEW IT, DUDE. He gave up 3 runs including a go ahead hit from Chipper Jones. Braves complete the four game sweep.

  • Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Robinson Cano had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th. Joe Girardi got ejected in the top of that inning and I'm sure lots of Yankee fan meatheads think that's why the won. Yuh gotta have fiah when yuh coach da Yanks. Ian Kennedy scattered 4 hits and 4 BBs in 6 innings of one run ball.

  • Marlins 4, D'Backs 0: The Marlins completed their somewhat surprising sweep of the Snakes, just like Rob predicted. Andrew Miller pitched the complete game seven shutout innings.

As Mike Doughty once said, today is the ride up to the plunge down. Lots of people already out of the office for Memorial Day, Rob being one. I'll be your lackadaisical captain for the rest of Lazy Friday.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpg Tune in tonight to find out:

  • WHICH one of you muddy bastards stole my bank card?

  • WHY did TBS stop showing the Braves? I'd really like to watch Santana vs. Hudson.

  • IF the Marlins win tonight but no one is there to see it, is it still a sweep?

  • CAN Mark Buehrle lead the Pale Hose to a sweep over the Injuns?

Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
liveglog.jpg Hello everyone and welcome to my historic living room couch. It's you, me and a bottle of syzurp as we watch the Red Sox try and sweep the Royals in the first ever Head Cold Glog. If we have any Royals readers out there I encourage you to make yourself known in the comments, I don't think we've heard from you yet.

Your lineups:

Royals:
1. David DeJesus, LF
2. Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
3. Alex Gordon, 3B
4. Jose Guillen, DH
5. Mark Teahen, RF
6. Miguel Olivo, C
7. Ross Gload, 1B
8. Alberto Callsaspo, SS
9. Joey Gathright, CF

P -- Brian Bannister

Red Sox:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
7. J.D. Drew, RF (FSU)
8. Kevin Cash, C (FSU)
9. Julio Lugo, SS

P -- Daisuke Matsuzaka

Live baseball in pseudohumorous text form, after the jump.

The Wellfleet Whale: Today's Afternoon Games

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liveglog.jpg
  • 1:05, Mariners at Tigers: The Tigers look for the sweep at Safeco. Mariners pitching has officially become "the thing that sucks" about the team this week. The Tigers have scored 21 runs in two games and it's a safe bet they'll score a few more today against Miguel Batista. Let's all predict Geoff Baker's next headline in the comments. Jeremy Bonderman goes for Detroit.

  • 1:10, Rangers at Twins: It's a battle of veteran pitchers that are winning a lot of games. Sorry I couldn't come up with anything more clever than that, I'm sick. 6-2 Vicente Padeeeya takes on 6-2 Livan Hernandez.

  • 1:35, Royals at Red Sox: Like I said, I'm sick. I'm feeling lousy enough that I took my first sick day in 2 years. What does that mean for you, the WoWie? Well I'm going to make up Rob's slacker ass and give you a Thursday Afternoon Liveglog. We'll watch the Sox go for the sweep with Brian Bannister taking on Daisuke Matsuzaka. And we'll do it together, just like a family should. See you then. I'm gonna go take some medicine.

Sir Sidney Of The Renaissance

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sidney-ponson.jpgDon't look now but Rangers fans are getting a little excited. They're optimistic. And why not? They just snapped a 3 game skid. They're only two games below .500 and in the uncertain AL West that's good enough to put you just 5 back. Last night featured both Frightening Milton Bradley and official WoW manager Ron Washington getting tossed. And to top it all off, a complete game victory by Sidney Ponson. Read that last one again. Got it?

Ponson spun a dominant one, recording 23 of 27 outs on groundballs or strikeouts. He only walked one. The Twins lineup isn't great, they had 4 guys in the lineup hitting .223 or below, but with the Texas bullpen situation tumultuous at best, pitching 9 against any team is huge. Ponson is now 3-0. If he stays consistent, added to a resurgent Vicente Padeeeeya (/Jon Miller'd) and an off the DL Millwood, the Rangers could have one of the better humorous veteran rotations in the AL.

So here's to you Sidney! Celebrate your great start with a 14 egg omelet and a suckling pig.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey kids, that looks infected. Get that looked at then tune in to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Angry Blogging With The Seattle Mariners

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sadgirl.JPGPart of coming into our own here at WoW has been reading and critiquing other writers/bloggers. We've pointed out things we've liked and things we haven't. Seattle Times writer Geoff Baker has garnered a few words from us, both positive and negative. For better or worse, the guy engages with his readers and commenters in way not seen in any other newspaper blog.

All that being said: FOR CHRISSAKES GEOFF. CHEER UP WILL, YA? It's not been the easiest of years for the Mariners so far, but each day Baker assaults my good cheer via the headlines appearing in my RSS reader. Here is a sample of some Eeyore-like procamations made in 20 pt. font over the past couple weeks.

  • On The Brink
  • Another Start Wasted
  • Long Days Ahead
  • White Sox Aftermath
  • Could Have Been Worse
  • The Long Road Home
  • Painful Loss
  • Coming Undone
  • Terrible Loss
Geoff, get down off the building, man! You're a sportswriter, you don't write songs for Earth Crisis. Although "White Sox Aftermath" would make a pretty kickass metalcore song.

The Shield Of Achilles: Today's Afternoon Games

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mime02_001r.jpg
  • 3:05 Giants at Rockies: It's Sanchez vs. Jimenez and no, PaleHose, I don't know how many rounds this one is. The Giants have been hitting a little better lately, led by Randy Winn, of all people (hitting .367 with two tots during his current 15 game hitting streak), but the pitching has been lacking. They've allowed 22 runs in their last 3. Clint Barmes also has a 13 game hitting streak. Rob will not be glogging this.

  • 3:35 Rays at A's: The A's are slipping! A loss today will give the Rays their first ever sweep in Oakland and put the A's back at .500. Andy Sonnanstine has been great in his last 6 starts with a 2.98 ERA and notching 5 wins. Dana Eveland has been consistent for the A's and stellar at home posting 0.92 ERA in 3 starts, but you have to wonder if the divergent momentum here will be too much to overco.... /shot dead by a sabermetrician

I Must Be Out Of My Mind

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canseco.jpgJose Canseco is looking for people to fight. I just responded.

Subject: Let's Fight

Hello,

My name is Kris and I want to fight Jose Canseco. I am 6'1 and weigh about 195 pounds. I'm a little heavier in the winter. As a kid I was a big Canseco fan and even had his split screen 40/40 poster in my room. Now I would like the chance to beat him up. I have no background in fighting and have not been in a fight in many years but I'm confident I could take him. I co-edit a baseball site called Walkoff Walk and am positive both Jose and I could use the publicity.

Let me at him he's toast,
Kris


I'll keep you posted.

Willie Randolph In Hot Pants?

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hot seat.jpgThe air came out of the Mets balloon rather quickly after getting swept by the Braves in yesterday's day/night doubleheader. They lost to Tom Glavine in the first game then Jorge Campillo in he nightcap. Earlier in the week, we all had our fun with Ned Yost who's still employed but really mad at Rob and I. But it's Wednesday already and it's time for people to focus their heat vision on someone else, and Randolph seems like a good candidate.

Randolph made some comments on Monday which indicated that he thinks negative media coverage of him may be racially motivated. I'm usually very open to those kind of discussions because they're often... well, true. But Willie, you oversaw an historic collapse last year and you're trying to garner sympathy by comparing yourself to Herm Edwards and Isiah Thomas? Eek. I'm gonna take this lightly and let the media slide for once.

Earlier in the season I outlined why he was on the hot seat and I still think those conditions apply. The thing is, the Mets are only 2.5 games out of first. Until they dig themselves into a significant hole, let's say 7 games, firing Randolph is counterprodcutive to a still talented but older and injury riddled team looking for its groove.

I label these rumors: Premature.

Tonight's Questions

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baby-lobster.jpgHey kids, kick back with a mason jar full of either ether or Andre Ethier and tune in to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers AND Liveglog Wednesday. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Mike Piazza Retires

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piazza.jpgMike Piazza just released a statement saying he is retiring.

"After discussing my options with my wife, family and agent, I felt it is time to start a new chapter in my life," he said in a statement released by his agent, Dan Lozano. "It has been an amazing journey."

Piazza wasn't playing anywhere so I'm not sure the discussion lasted very long. Still Piazza leaves the game with some truly impressive offensive numbers, especially for a catcher. No hack jokes about Piazza's personal life here. I liked the guy. My only regret is that he never got to deck Clemens. Happy trails, Mike.

Wha Hahppund: Are The Tigers Done Because Leyland Is?

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leyland.jpgBob Nightengale wrote a really great piece in today's USA Today about the Tigers that reads as a psychological profile as much as it does a sports story. It opens with Jim Leyland (that asshole), his overflowing ashtray and string of profanities. But they're not the kind of angry profanities he'd use after say, barreling into a teenager, they're the resigned kind. The kind you say with your head propped up on your palm after a lousy day at the track, or after your kid gets expelled again.

"I'm embarrassed. We all are," Leyland says. "I really can't believe this is happening, to be honest with you.

"I'm not going to throw any players under the bus, but at the same tine, I'm not going to b------- them either. You have to tell it like it is.

"And we have played h--------. I say we, not them, because I'm responsible."

I'm not going to "blow" them? Is that what that first redacted expletive is? Jesus, thanks for the nightmares, Jim. If you see something contradictory about the phrases "I can't believe this is happening," and "I'm responsible," then you're a lot like me. Also, you're probably a lot like Nightengale who took one look around the clubhouse and made some rather prescient observations on what was happening.

Sheffield looks around the clubhouse. It is two hours before game time against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and video is being shown of Dan Haren, the opposing pitcher.

No one is watching.

Cabrera, who had never faced Haren, is asleep in a chair. Magglio Ordonez has his back turned to the TV and is reading a magazine. A handful are playing cards.

I'll never get on my highhorse and try and prescribe a cure for a clubhouse. I'm as bad a judge of what a team "needs" as anyone else that's never played in the big leagues. But it's no coincidence that in a story where Nightengale paints this horribly lackadaisical picture of the Tigers, he's also got a bunch of quotes from players complaining about the dead vibe of the team. There's a glaring disconnect here. Are the Tiger players blind? They may be playing like it, but I don't think so. Are they dumb? Not in baseball terms they're not. Are they lacking the proper motivator? Could a downtrodden clubhouse be better spurred by someone other than a chain smoking septuagenarian who suddenly prefers sulking to a reporter instead of getting guys off their asses? Those seem like more likely answers.

Of all the issues I've had with Jim Leyland as a manager and a person, fire and a passion for winning have never been two of them. Now, I'm not so sure.
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  • 1:05: Mets at Braves: This is the one everyone's been waiting for. Fiery competitor and notorious headcase Tom Glavine takes the mound for his former former team to face his former team AND ALL BETS ARE OFF. Meh, not really. When I looked at the day's slate of games and saw Maine vs. Glavine my brain was confused for a split second realizing they're not on the same team. As everyone knows by now, the Braves have been mad silly at home, with an NL Best 16-5 home record and an MLB worst 6-16 ROAD record. I BLAME THE REFS. The Mets bashed this weekend in two games against the Yankees scoring 18 runs.

    This is the first game of a day/night double dip. The evening tilt sees Claudio Vargas take on Jorge Campillo.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey kids, you can call your family tomorrow, tonight you should tune in to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Bears In Space: Cubs vs. Astros

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space bear.jpgWell, interleague is over for a little while. What will we do with ourselves now!!11? How about look at some series that have actual impact on division races? Sounds good to me, and the Chicago at Houston looks like a good place to start.

Houston inserted themselves back into the anything goes NL Central race with a 7-3 road trip and returns tonight to begin a 7 game homestand. Lance Berkman is on a tear of historic proportions, but teammate Hunter Pence has a 16 game hitting streak of his own. The pitching got knocked around by the Rangers in the first two games of their interleague series, but the team rebounded with a 5-4 victory yesterday.

The Cubs are similarly hot going 8-2 in their last 10, and have perhaps the second hottest hitter in baseball in Alfonso Soriano. They're sitting in first place with a 2 game lead over the middling Cards and 2.5 ahead of these 'Stros. The pitching matchups shake out like this.

  • Tonight: Lilly vs. Moehler
  • Tomorrow: Dempster vs. Sampson
  • Wednesday: Gallagher vs. Chacon

Lilly is having his best stretch in recent memory. He's won his last 4 starts, striking out 32 and walking but 6. Moehler's made two starts since coming out of the bullpen. While he's been unspectacular, the Astros have won both.

Banditos Is More Than A Refreshments Song

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3amigos.jpgHere's some weird news that slipped below my radar this weekend. The White Sox canned three members of their Latin American scouting crew, including Senior Director David Wilder. It gets juicier. Apparently whatever their transgressions were, they're serious enough to involve the feds:

Full-time scout Victor Mateo and part-time scout Domingo Toribio were (also) dismissed for actions in Latin America that were violations of club policy and standards. The terminations resulted from findings of a two-month investigation conducted by MLB's Department of Investigations. The investigation has now been turned over to Federal authorities.

Hey Sox fans, can you hear those sirens? Well that's because you're on the South Side of Chicago, the FBI doesn't use sirens.

What could these guys have possibly done? Did they misinterpret the phrase "young talent?" Let's see, it was in Latin America and the government is now involved... I got it! Wilder and his crew were trying to organize fair labor policy for workers in Latin America and the US got wind of it and is now trying to crush the popular uprising.

Your guess is as good as mine.

The Sunday Morning Post

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televangelist2.jpg SOME OF LAST NIGHT:

AL Wins 9 out of 15 Saturday games... Red Sox sweep Brewers in day/night twin bill. Youkilis plays record 222nd game without an error at first... Who's have thought that the day's best pitching matchup would be Zito v. Buehrle? Well your cousin, but he's a fucking a meth addict. White Sox top Giants, 3-1... The Braves came this close with a 3 run rally in the ninth, but they needed four. Harden throws 7 innings of 1 run ball. Oakland beats Atlanta 5-4... Markakis ding-donged and drove in 3. Nats make it close with 3 run 8th but come up short against George "Leagues Best Closer?" Sherrill. Every team should be so lucky to have a "natural rivalry" with the Nationals. O's win 6-5... Vincente Padilla is a late bloomer. He pitched another gem to improve to 6-2, and he just got his period. Berkman goes yard again, but Rangers roll 6-2... Santana gives up 2 in the first then settles down. Wright and Reyes both dial long distance and Mets beat Yanks, 7-4... FINALLY. The Rays lose in a 10 inning slugfest against the Cards. Ryan Ludwick belts a walkoff tot.

TODAY:

  • Pirates and Cubs face off on the rubber match of their intraleague squabble. How quaint.

  • Shawn T. Estes looks to improve on the comeback story that has America captivated, against Felix Hernandez.

  • Josh Beckett tries to lead Boston to a sweep. Sorry, Uecker.

  • Jon Miller and Joe Morgan hold our hands in the big scary, Bronx. Mets/Yanks are your Sunday Night game.

  • The Celtics better beat the goddamned Cavs. I'm having flashbacks to Larry Nance.

I'm sure I missed something your favorite team did this weekend. I'm sorry. Lemme have it in the comments, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

UPDATE: I forgot Cliff Lee vs. Endinson Volquez. Word.

The Saturday Morning Post

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(Animoto created by WoW commenter emeritus, Gorge* Foreman)


SOME OF LAST NIGHT:

American League teams win 7 of first 13 interleague games... Jayson Werth hit 3 dingos and had a Phillies record 8 RBI in their/his 10-3 rout over the Blue Jays... Andy Sonnanstine went 7 scoreless before giving up a lone run in the 8th. He also had two hits, as the Rays beat the Cards 3-1 to go 8 games over .500... I had a hunch the Rangers might score a lot of runs this weekend in Houseon, and they made my inner monologue look like a genius. To me. Josh Hamilton hit 2 of the team's 6 t-tots, Rangers roll 16-8... Mark Kotsay's 2 out RBI double in the 8th gave the Braves a 3-2 win over their bitter rivals, the hated Athletics of Oakland... Joe Saunders went 7.1 strong innings to lead the Angels over the Dodgers, 4-2. Halos have won 6 out of las 7 in Freeway Series... Somebody had to win when the Padres played the Mariners. It was San Diego, beating Seattle 6-4... Adam Dunn drew a go-ahead bases loaded walk in the 8th to give the Reds a 4-3 win over the Indians. That's so close to a WoW, I should just post a video of a prawn on a treadmill or something...

TODAY:

  • The Subway Series kicks off today after last night's rainout. Fanfare and bombast await the 3rd place Mets and 5th place Yankees and their combined 40-41 record.

  • In a refreshing change of pace, Fox will televise neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees on its Saturday broadcast for the first time in recorded history. Buck and McCarver will warble over the Dodgers/Angels game at 3:55.

  • Speaking of the Sox, they're playing two with the Brewers to make up for last night's rainout. First game starts at 3:55.

  • Rich Harden is pitching today! Let's hope he doesn't suffer a "setback" between now and 7:10. He'll take on Tim Hudson.


It's kind of grey and shitty out. Seems like a good day to watch a lot of baseball. I'll be poking around the comments section later this afternoon.

WHO WANTS TO EAT SUSHI OFF OF BOB UECKER!?

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ueckertan.jpg

























Big League Stew wanted you to have this.

A Sort Of A Song: Today's Afternoon Game

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  • 2:20, Pirates at Cubs: Intraleague is so passe. But if you insist this afternoon you can watch Pittsburgh's Tom Gorzelanny take on Chicago's Sean Gallagher. These two squads are the only ones playing baseball as god intended and not following the Sodomite lead of every other cross breeding team in MLB. Chicago has swept all 6 games of the season series thus far.

My Dusty Life: A Short Film By Camp Tiger Claw

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Yesterday our friends over at Idolator turned us on to the new movie making service, Animoto. It's (kinda) free, easy and well designed. I give it two and a half stars out of four. Anyway, to test it out, I made this short film. It's called "My Dusty Life" and features the music of my favorite Swede, Jens Lekman. Enjoy.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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stretcher.JPGAlmost two months into the season, I guess we can start forgiving these guys for some of the wear and tear on their bodies, right? No way. They're weak and are a drag on the whole species.

  • J.D. Drew, Clay Buchholz, Red Sox: Well, except for J.D. I gotta give him a pass. He looks like a nice guy that went to a great university. He hyperextended his wrist sliding for a catch in right. What a hustler. He's not expected to go on the DL. On the other hand there's Buchholz who was placed on the DL the day after a lousy start in Minnesota. The culprit? A torn fingernail. Your Korean manicurist get a little overzealous this week, Clay? You disgust me.

  • Jeff Keppinger, Reds: Keppinger broke his knee cap and looks to be out 4-6 weeks. He fouled a ball off of it and it shattered like a fortune cookie. He stayed in for two more innings until tears could be seen streaming down his cheeks. This gives Dusty Baker the opportunity shuffle around the lineup and put in some more old Cubs. Keppinger will most likely be replaced by Shawon Dunston.

  • David Riske, Brewers: Riske was put on the 15 Day DL with a hyperextended right elbow. You don't see JD Drew going on the shelf for that weak sauce, do you? No. He's tough as nails. I hope Riske's injury doesn't throw a wrench in the fine tuned machine that is the Milwaukee bullpen.

  • Rafael Furcal, Dodgers: Furcal is having by far his best season in LA, but it's on hold for a little while. He was having lower back problems. He got a cortisone shot yesterday and said it "hit the spot." Sounds refreshing. Can I get one of those?

  • Nick Johnson, Nationals: Johnson is on the 15 Day DL for tearing his right tendon sheath. What the hell? Isn't that what the sheath is for? To take hits for the tendon? Wuss. Anyway, the Circle Of Life keeps working it's magic. Dmitiri Young is coming OFF the DL. Whee!

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpg Hey kids. Get your filthy asses out of my aboveground pool and tune in to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Jim Edmonds As A Cub: A WoW First Look

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Footage of Jim Edmonds from today's game at Wrigley

The Waste Land: Today's NINE Afternoon Games, Part 2

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  • 2:20, Padres at Cubs: Cubs have won 5 of 6 on this homestand. Greg Maddux makes what "might" be his "final" trip "to" Wrigley. I find this suspect at best and will do no sentimentalizing. I will say that he's 12-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 22 career starts against the Cubs including 6-1/2.32 as a visitor at Wrigley. In other geratric news, Jim Edmonds is starting in center and batting sixth for the Cubs. He is currently being paid by St. Louis, San Diego and Chicago. At the same time. To hit .200. What a country.

  • 3:45, Astros at Giants: As Rob pointed out yesterday, Lance "Stained" Berkman is going apeshit. he tacked on another 2 run homer last night. Should be interesting to see him face off against Timmay Lincecum today. Unstoppable force, immovable object and all that jazz. The Astros send out Chris Sampson.

  • 4:10 Yankees at Rays: Ian Kennedy is back from the minors and boy are his arms tired. Which is very problematic for a pitcher. Joe Girardi had a 35 minute "team meeting" before last night's win. I put team meeting in quotes because I heard they were playing Mario Kart on Wii. That shit is rad. The first place Rays have ace Scott Kazmir on the hill. What better way to celebrate his new $28.5M extension?

The Waste Land: Today's NINE Afternoon Games, Part 1

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  • 12:05: A's at Indians: Cleveland goes for the sweep. Aaron Laffey started this scoreless starter streak and he looks to extend it today against the A's. The only thing that pleases me about it is that they're doing it without Jake Westbrook. I hope the streak is at 125 when he comes back and then he gives up 11 runs in 1/3 of an inning. He sucks.

  • 1:05: Dodgers at Brewers: The Dodger Blues need to pull out of their mini-freefall if they want to keep pace with Arizona. Last night was their first win in over a week, but it won't get any easier today against Ben "Stained" Sheets. Just get to that bullpen. Milwaukee has ten losses in games where they've held a lead.

  • 1:10: Nationals at Mets: The Nats look to take 3 of 4 from the middling Mets. Recently recalled Jason Bergmann will make the start for Washington against The Immortal Mike Pelfrey. Aaron Boone plays first base for the Nationals with Nick Johnson hurt. That's last place depth!

  • 1:10 Blue Jays at Twins: Just when I'd left them for dead, the Blue Jays are going for their first sweep at the Metrodome since 2003. Matt Stairs is 6-10 with 2 Ding Dongs and 5 RBI in his last 4 games. Makes the Thomas move look ok. Dustin McGowan takes on Glen Perkins.

  • 1:15 Pirates at Cardinals: Ian Snell is having a disappointing 2008. Both your WoW editors are big fans, but he has yet to validate our admiration this year. He'll take the mound against Joel Pinero, who we both think stinks. According to my friends at STATS, St. Louis has left a ridiculous 364 men on base in 42 games. That's 8 1/2 per game. For a team scoring 4.5 runs per game. That's a harbinger of bad times.

  • 2:10, Tigers at Royals: Gil Meche! Kenny Rog...zzzzzzz. Oops. Sorry. The Royals are looking to sweep the Tigers. I'm so glad I couldn't stop talking about how awesome Detroit was going to be. Why do you even read this website? According to Jim Leyland (that asshole), "We have had all the combinations that lead to losing instead of winning. Things aren't going against us. We're not making good things happen." You better make some time for that shit, Jimmy.

Tonight's Questions

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chicken.jpgHey kids, take your head out of that giant bowl of beef stew for a couple minutes and tune in to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Saint Francis and the Sow: Today's Afternoon Games

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  • 2:05, Mariners at Rangers: The Mariners are fast becoming the most depressing team baseball. The race is on to see which Mariners blogger will hang themselves first. Today they send out noted innings/tamale eater, Carlos Silva. The Rangers counter with Scott Feldman and look for the sweep. That would put the Rangers at .500 and the Mariners a full 6 games deep in the cellar. Damn.

  • 3:05, Red Sox at Orioles: The second place Red Sox will try and snap a 3 game skid by sending Jon Lester to the mound. They'll face Daniel Cabrera, who the Sox have pwned throughout his entire career. Cabrera appears to stepped up his game so far in '08 and this should be a pretty good test of that theory. The Sox have beaten him in his last 7 starts against them. I've also got a pretty good streak of my own going. I have yet to make a joke about "The Wire" during any Orioles posts this year, because that's really really hack. ROB BE GLOGGIN THIS.

Best Musical Tribute To Jason Bay I've Ever Seen

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I'm going to let the music do the talking here. It's a tribute to the Pirates' pretty decent outfielder Jason Bay. It's sung in an angelic falsetto and set to the melody of The Beatles' classic, "Yesterday." Make sure you're sitting down for this one.



Our producer/composer/singer is a talented young baseball lover named Julia Tucker. Shine on, you crazy diamond. If you're up for it, I've posted several other of her "reinterpretations" after the jump.
Here's what happened in baseball while we wouldn't stop running.

  • Rays 2, Yankees 1: Ladies and germs, your first place Tampa Bay Rays. You're going to be hearing about this non fucking stop today all throughout Blogylvania. It will ring from basement to shining to basement that with the Red Sox loss and this extra innings victory the Rays are in first place in the AL East for the first time in their history (excluding the first week of the season). Chien Ming Wang pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball for the Yankees, but Edwin Jackson did him one better, going seven scoreless. The Yankees tied it, but in the top of the 11th, Cliff Floyd led off with a single, Jonny Gomes ran for him and stole second, and Gabe "Is" Gross drove in the only run Mariano Rivera has allowed all year. Ballgame.

  • Brewers 5, Dodgers 3: Ryan Braunn continued to mash and hit a go ahead two run double in the fifth. The Milwaukee bullpen held the lead for... DUHDUH DUH DUHHHH! Eric Gagne. Gagne had himself an adventure that included hits, passed balls and fielders choices, but he got the job done. Save completed. Oh we knew we had it in him all along, didn't we kids?

  • Indians 4, A's 0: This Indians pitching is finally catching on. Paul Byrd went seven scoreless and the bullpen followed suit giving the Tribe yet another shutout. Previously lousy Travis Hafner had two hits and an RBI, Ryan Garko hit a 3 run DING DONG. Asdrubal Cabrera made a couple of nice plays but each one was only worth a single out. Slacker.

  • Phillies 5, Braves 4: The Braves are a lot like my beloved Celtics. They can't win on the road lately. With last night's lost they've now dropped 8 out of 9 away from the Ted. Jayson Werth had 4 RBI but nearly played Ba Ba Black Sheep after misplaying a Brian McCann line drive in the ninth. It turned into an RBI double, and the first run allowed by Brad Lidge all season. Lidge walked the next batter and the Brotards were getting tense. Lidge then got Francouer to fly out and the living was once again easy in CBP.

  • Padres 4, Cubs 3: Holy shit, Shawn T. Estes got the win for San Diego?? That is shocking. Khalil Green knocked in 3 but damn... SHAWN T. ESTES?

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey kids, it's super nice out, but if you're grounded tune in to find out:

  • WILL this four game series against the Yankees really be the coming out party for the Rays that everyone has such a hard on about? It starts tonight.

  • IS Hendrickson vs. Volquez the biggest matchup of surprise pitchers so far this season?

  • WHO will get a helmet thrown at them during the Hernandez/Gabbard rematch, 5 days in the making?

  • CAN either the Braves or Phillies make a statement in their 3 game series and challenge that Marlins juggernaut? Atlanta has lost 7 of 8 on the road.

Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers and Rob glogging the Red Sox/Orioles afternoon tilt. Same WoW time, same WoW channel. And no flame wars tomorrow, knuckleheads.

Our Indian Friends: An Update

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Dhalsim.jpgThose pasty eating crack journalists over at Reuters UK have caught up with "Million Dollar Arm" winners and WoW favorites, Rinku and Dinesh. How are things going for them since their arrival in the states? Let's check in:

"The training has started and it feels very good," Singh told Reuters by telephone. "We've just got back after watching a match, we had no clue about the game." The left-handed Singh, who has hurled the javelin to a modest distance of 67 metres, is aware of the tough job on hand. "The first trial was held when I had taken a break from my athletics training because of injury.


So no clue about the game they're playing and already hurt. They're an intriguing mix of Barry Zito and Rich Harden. Ok. Go on...

"My father was a truck driver but he is at home for the last one year," he said. "I want to buy a truck for him, my (family) background is very bad."

Oh Jesus Ganesh, not with the truck again. In all seriousness that quote is kind of heartbreaking and you have to hope things work out for these kids. If not in a "making the major leagues" sense, at least in a "seeing the world gave me some opportunity" sense.

So, who's running this thing anyway? Someone named, "Jeff Bernstein, managing director of 7 Figures Management." Why does that name sound so familiar? Oh, he's also Barry Bonds' marketing agent. We should just all start pitching in for the truck now.

Asdrubal Cabrera's Triple Play

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As you've heard by now, Asdrubal Cabrera turned an unassisted triple play last evening. Coupled with Cliff Lee's nine innings of shutout ball it was a failsafe recipe for victory defeat. Here's the pertinent Indians triple play history. Footage below.

Gagne Ends Mental Break; Is Clearly Mental

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crazy britney.jpgI'll make this quick. Eric Gagne says he's ready to close again. Yeah, the same guy I wrote about yesterday. He says Sunday was his "mental break" and now he's ready to get back out there. Some choice quotes:

Gagne met briefly during batting practice with St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen, who recently was removed from that role for a mental break, also.

"It always helps to talk to closers," said Gagne. "We're the only people that really know how we feel. We're a little different."

As for returning to the closing role, Gagne said: "I think I'm ready to go out there. I want to go out there as soon as I can. I know how to close. That's the only thing I know how to do.

It's the only thing you know how to do? Can someone mail him a DeVry catalog? Today?

Ugh. I know one thing he's succeeding at. Making me feel as depressed as he seems himself.

Shawn Chacon Feels No Joy, No Pain

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no exit.jpg In today's Houston Chronicle, Jose De Jesus Ortiz points out a record that was tied this weekend, to little fanfare. Shawn Chacon is the first pitcher in 43 years to start a season with eight no decisions. His ph balanced start matches the standard for neutrality set by the immortal Dick Stigman in 1965. Shawn you fucking nihilist, what do you think of all this?

"Today was a case of us facing a pretty doggone good pitcher (Hiroki Kuroda) and the offense picking me up late," Chacon said. "The last couple of times, I think we've been behind, and they've come back late and scored some runs, and we ended up winning the game.

"It's pretty weird. I definitely want to get a win before I get a loss. I'll keep taking them (no- decisions) as long as we're winning."


Wow. Sorry I asked. That's boring. Although I am surprised he said "doggone." When will Mr. Chacon get to experience the thrill of victory and/or the agony of the feet? Lord only knows, but rest assured Dick Stigman will be watching, ready to pop open a bottle of room temperature water if his record stays intact.

We Real Cool: Today's Doubleheaders

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  • 12:35, Braves at Pirates: The first of today's two doubleheaders starts off in scenic Pittsburgh, PA. In the first game it's Jair Jurrjens vs. Phil Dumatrait, who I believe are also UN representatives. The second game pits Tim Hudson against John Van Benschoten, the latter of whom I believe to be a UN representative. The Pirates have won 5 straight, and haven't won 6 in a row since 2004. Coincidentally that is the last time Van Benschoten won a major league decision. Pirates fever!

  • 4:05, Blue Jays at Indians: The second two-headed tilt starts in Cleveland with A.J. Burnett taking on Fausto Carmona. Carmona looks to regain some of his dominance from last year. Fausto, may I suggest you stop walking so many dudes? Toronto finds themselves banged up once again with Eckstein, MacDonald and now Vernon Wells all getting their Creampuff on. The second game pits Shaun Marcum against Cliff Lee in the best pitching matchup of the day. Lee has to have a bad start somewhere along the line, but don't expect it to be against this MASH unit of a Toronto lineup.

Eric Gagne: The WoW True Hollywood Story

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crazy britney.jpgEric Gagne's fall from goggled grace hit a new low this weekend after he effectively removed himself from the closer role in the Milwaukee bullpen. Gagne called his start on Saturday an "embarassment" and said he no longer deserved the job. As of Saturday night, Gagne and Yost were the last two people in America that had yet to say that, so once that shoe dropped, the manager had no choice but to demote Gagne. In Yost's expert opinion, Gagne needs "a mental break." To which I say: FROM WHAT!?

He spent all of last season shitting the bed then had a 4 month mental break called "the offseason." He promptly returned to pitching terribly. I'm positive a nap in the middle of May isn't going to wipe this dismal slate clean. Ah but wait, it's more than a mental break. There's also... um... something else!

Yost also said the staff has a handle on why Gagne has struggled and blown three of his last six save chances. He didn't reveal what the mechanical flaw was.

"It's very simple," Yost said. "I'm not going to tell you and I'm not going into it because it's nobody's real business. Plus I don't want to let anybody know in case the opposing team sees it, but it's a simple adjustment that we think can get him back on track."
So to recap. Nothing to see here. Old Ned's got everything under control. Gagne just needs a mental break. Oh, except for the mystery mechanical problem. That uh... they knew about but didn't do anything about until Gagne removed himself. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Ned Yost will be fired before the end of the season.

The Saturday Morning Post

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SatMornPost.jpg Here's some of what happened last night while you were kicking your feet up and having your boyfriend/girlfriend/roommate/mom bring you goddamn beer.

  • Cubs 3, Snakes 1: Ted Lilly was TGIFucking awesome, striking out 10 and only allowing 2 BB and 3 hits. The southpaw also drove in a run, which he decribed thusly: "I think he threw it right into my swing." Indeed. Derrek Lee had a ding dong.

  • Indians 6, Blue Jays 1: C.C. Sabathia and Roy Halladay were dueling until Cleveland hung all 6 of their runs in the seventh. Vernon Wells somehow hurt his wrist and his hamstring.

  • Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: Despite just having been violently raped by a wallaby, Rickie Weeks knocked in a 2 run walkoff single to beat Jason Isringhausen and the Cardinals. Good, I hate the Cardinals.

  • Yanks and Sawx both lawst. I don't wanna hear it, BC Twins Fan.

TODAY: The Tigers and Yankees are on Fox, which means Buck and McCarver will be extra insufferable. Now with 30% more "intangibles"... Maddux goes for 350 again, against Colorado... The Phils have to hit off Timmy Lincecum... Scott Kazmir tries to get back on track against the Angels... HOPEFULLY IT STOPS RAINING IN THE NORTHEAST.

What'd I miss? What are you doing? Let your fellow WoWies know in the cmntz. Have a good Saturday.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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stretcher.JPGOUCH I'M A MAJOR LEAGUE BALLPLAYER AND I HAVE A BOOBOO AND I WANT SOMEONE TO BRING ME A JUICE BOX WHILE I WATCH THE WIGGLES AND I CANT PLAY TODAY BECAUSE I HAVE AN OWWIE.

  • Esteban Loaiza, Dodgers: Loiza went on the DL with tightness and spasms in his shoulder. He should have had Regis rub some Aspercreme on it. Anyway there's some speculation that this could open the door for a Clayton Kershaw call-up. Squeeeee!

  • Pat Neshek, Twins: Neshek strained his elbow. There was some confusion after an initial report quoted him as saying "it snapped." I guess it didn't snap or anything or but they're goin.....zzzzzzzzzzz. Anyway I hope it's not serious. I have a hard time disliking a guy that trades baseball cards with readers on his message board.

  • Rickie Weeks, Brewers: Raped by a wallaby.

  • David Eckstein & John McDonald, Blue Jays: Both infielders landed on the DL this week with a strained hip flexor and a sprained ankle, respectively. According to the Canadian Press, "General manager J.P. Ricciardi said he has "some irons in the fire" to bring in a player from outside the organization, widely expected to be a hitter who excels against left-handed pitching. He also won't give up a player from the big-league roster to get him." I think it's Tony Fossas. Wait I got that all wrong. It's Brad Wilkerson.
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  • 2:20, Snakes at Cubs: Day baseball at Wrigley with a rematch of last year's NLDS. The unemployed 15% of Chicago will see Dan Haren take on Ted Lilly. The Diamondbacks have a 3.5 game lead in the West and the Cubs are 1 game back in the Central.

Hey commenters, any moments from your storied athletic career you'd like to avenge? It can be little league, pickup games, office wastebasket shooting, whatever. Let us know below Commenter Participation Friday Comments Box of Comments.
Today's Classic TV Friday post brings us back to the halcyon days of an innocent America. A PSA didn't contain horrifying pictures of strung out meth heads or teen prostitutes, but instead urged our nation's youngsters not to mess with stray blasting caps. Hey kids, see this thing that looks like a bomb? Well it is a fucking bomb and here's Willie Mays to tell you about it:

The Wil Cordero Memorial Linkpunch, Thursday, May 8

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

  • Where's the star power in the AL this year? UmpBump

  • OH MY GOD DUSTY BAKER. JUST STOP IT. Big League Stew

  • Cliff Lee rides the subway to Yankee Stadium. This is like going in one of those shark cages to get a good look at a Great White. Baseball Analysts

  • You've got to be a real dick to make someone from Minnesota mad. RandBall

  • Eddy Arnold died. Sadness. I urge you to check out his catalog. Some of the finest old country stuff there is. New York Times
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  • 2:05, Twins at White Sox: This series has been a good microcosm for the whole AL Central thus far. White Sox take the first game 7-1. Twins take it 13-1 yesterday, in a game featuring a cycle and even more amazingly, Livan Hernandez improving to 5-1. This division is a stinkfest that no one wants to win. Today it's Kevin Slowey vs. John Danks. Slowey Danks sound like something my roommate used to sell in college.

  • 3:05, Cardinals at Rockies: Here's the best way to tell you're going to see a marquee pitching matchup. Go to the Yahoo! preview page and make sure that both SPs have headshots from other teams. That's quality. After last night's dramatic win, a victory today would give Colorado a series split. That's what I'm Roxing about! (I'm begging you, please kill me.)

  • 3:40, Phillies at Snakes: In what is becoming a consistent treat for baseball fans, Brandon Webb takes the mound for Arizona today. See, we can be nice sometimes. Irredeemable scumbag redneck Brett Meyers and his terrible goatee get the start for the Fightin Phils.

Spring And All: Today's Early Games

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sweep040905.jpgThe broom closet door may come off the hinges today. All three early games could finish off sweeps.

  • 12:35, Giants at Pirates: Matt Cain takes the mound for the Giants and the Pirates trot out Pat Maholm. The Pirates have won 12 of their last 14 against the Giants, which may be the single largest indictment I've seen of this Giants team. If they win today they'll pick up their second sweep of the year. Cain is coming off his best start of the season against Philadelphia.

  • 1:00, Padres at Braves: Unlike the seats down in SD, I'm almost certain you could get a great one in Hotlanta for about $10 for this game. I've seen sparse weekend crowds at the Ted and can't imagine a weekday would be very crowded. Matt T, I urge you to play hookie and go. The Braves send the excellently named Jo-Jo Reyes to the mound to try and pick up the team's 6th straight W. The Padres counter with Wilfredo Ledezma.

  • 1:05, Indians at Yankees: The Tribe look for their first Bronx sweep in 19 years today. The winner of this game gets to be .500! Luckily for the Bombers Cliff Lee can't pitch on 0 days rest and they'll get old timey windup Christian anti-masturbator Paul "HGH for the Lord" Byrd. Mike Mussina goes for New York, and Hideki Matsui will try and extend his hit streak to 17.

I'll be back after lunch with the rest of the afternoon games. I'm going to go back into this after riding my bike through the thick of it this morning. Eek.

Carlos Gomez Cycles; Puts Own Card In Spokes

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old bike.jpgWalkoff Walk slow clap is in order for Mr. Carlos A. Gomez of the Minnesota Twins. Gomez hit for the cycle last evening and our friends over at Twinkie Town have compiled all relevant facts about cycles and the Twins.

Do you know who the last Twin to hit for the cycle against the White Sox was? They do. None other than Hall Of Famer* Lyman Bostock!

So hat's off to Carlos Gomez. Feel free to pay tribute to him in the comments with a Youtube video containing someone crashing on some sort of cycle. Whee!

*Lyman Bostock is not in the Hall Of Fame

Baseball Before Bedtime: American Hearts

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Here's some of while you were watching people pushing shopping carts.

  • Phillies 5, Snakes 4: The Diamondbacks blew two separate leads and couldn't get back on top for a third. Chase Utley drove in the go ahead run in the eighth and my PPP pick Conor Jackson had two RBI. I'm not gloating though, as Jackson fell victim to the famous "Curse of CTC" and left the game after a nasty collision with Shane Victorino at first base. When I heard the news I insisted Victorino be deported, then someone said, "He's from Hawaii." I then said, "What's your point?" Brad Lidge stayed perfect for '08 pitching a scoreless 9th for his seventh save.

  • Indians 3, Yankees 0: Fresh of his WoW player of the month award Cliff Lee began stating his case for May and pitched seven shut out innings against the Yankees. Cliffy's ERA is now at 0.86. If he keeps this up for the whole season they're gonna pull some Bob Gibson shit and lower the mound. Chien Ming Wang didn't pitch terribly himself scattering 8 runners and 3 runs in 7 innings. The Yankees are now one game under .500. HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL.

  • Rockies 4, Cardinals 3: The house was Roxing (shoot me) out in Colorado as the NL Champs staged a 4 run 8th inning comeback off Jason Isringhausen. They managed only 4 hits off of Cards ace Adam Wainwright and were down by 3 before channeling the spirits of Rocktober (what are you waiting for please shoot me). The comeback featured two eighth inning triples and I'm sure an assload of thanking God and pointing at the sky and stuff.

  • Tigers 9, Red Sox 8: Clay Buchholz gave up ten hits, a walk and 5 runs in 4 innings. I don't think that qualifies as a quality start. The Sox trailed 8-4 in the 5th before mounting a comeback capped by by Mikey Lowell's game tying 3 run ding dong in the 7th and Dustin Pedroia's go ahead pinch hit single in the 8th. It was quite the exhilarating sport match. Then in the 9th, Matt Joyce led off the inning with a single against shutdown spaz, Jon Papelbon. A Julio Lugo error on the next play put two men on and then Curtis Granderson tied it with an RBI groundout. I could already hear the meatsticks in the bar across the street calling for Lugo's head before Placido Polanco's broken bat walkoff single. If you want to blame Lugo that's fine with me, but I'm going to pin it on the 18 hits and 22 total baserunners the Sox allowed. It was the first time in 20 tries the Tigers came back from a 2 run deficit after 8.

  • Oakland 6, Orioles 5, (10): In another rollercoaster game, the A's led 4-2 going into the 8th, before the O's scored 3 to take the lead. The A's then tied it in the bottom of the inning on a fielder's choice from promising newcomer Frank Thomas. The game went into extras until Mark Ellis sent everyone back into the frightening Oakland night with a walkoff tot. Baltimore keeps sinking, sinking, sinking.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey kids. Check out your local purveyors of fine televised baseball and find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
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  • 12:15, Cubs at Reds: Rob continues his fascination with all things Dusty today. First, he'll be liveblogging this game for you, then he's going to take out the 12 year old condom in his wallet and look at it. But I digress. It's Jon Leiber and his 1.86 ERA (?) against Endinson Volquez and his 1.27 ERA. Since I just made a point of talking how good they've been I predict an 11-11 tie by the second inning. Should be fun.

  • 3:10, Mets at Dodgers: The Dodgers will try and get the brooms out today. Mainly because Jonathan Broxton has been scarfing Triscuits all over the locker room, but also because they look to sweep the Mets in this 3 game series. This would be LA's third sweep in the last 4 series which is damned impressive. They sit 3 games back of the once invincible looking Snakes. Brad Penny takes the hill against John "Alyssa Milano? Why yes, I did Bangor" Maine.

  • 3:35, Orioles at A's: After stopping by Farthammer's for a couple gallons of malt liquor, Joe Blanton looks to lead the A's to a sweep of fast sinking Orioles. Life was good in Baltimore for a couple weeks (well, not really but the O's were playing well) but everyone is coming back to earth, and earth reeks of crabs. So far disappointing Jeremy Guthrie takes the ball for the Birds.

Tonight's Questions

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baby-lobster.jpgHey kids, here's what you should be asking yourself if you have half a goddamned brain:

  • WEREN'T we just talking about the Tigers being back around .500? If they lose to Red Sox tonight they'll be six games under.

  • CAN heralded rookie Nick Adenhart improve on the giant dump he took in his first major league start, tonight against the Royals?

  • WHAT has science done to this poor lobster baby?

  • WHO'S more ornery, Adam Eaton or Randy Johnson?

  • IF the answer is Adam Eaton, can the Dodgers inch closer to the Snakes?

Live from the Indians/Yankees game, Rob will be commenting in this here space. I guess he has one of those Blaxberry handcomputerphones or something. So check that out. Then stop by tomorrow. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.
Mark DeRosa has a not terrible blog on MLBlogs.com and at the end of Sunday's blathering he posed a question to his commenters (NO DUDE, DON'T!) about what he should permanently title his blog. The answers are well... you can probably guess. It took a lot of restraint for me not to reprint the names and emails, but more than one came from an @juno.com address.

  • We love having you on the team, Mark. How about "On De-Road with DeRosa" for your blog? Sorry if it's been suggested already. (This was the second comment.)

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  • Anyway, how about "De-Scoop with De-Ro"? By the way, my wife is from Jersey as well, and we're both big fans. Good luck, man.

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  • How about De-Ro Centro

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  • Look for a sign in the stands when the team visits the D-Backs this year, she is so excited for you to see what she has been working on. It reads "Mark, you are De cream in my coffee, De Rosa in my gardens." Needless to say, she is so pleased with herself for coming up with that. Good luck this season, and if fate would have it and the Cubs meet up with Arizona in the playoffs again this year I hope you give 'em hell.
    Uncle Rodeo

    P.S. You should call your blog "My Blog- by Mark DeRosa" ~Wow, is that the best I can do?

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  • I vote you use actual words in your title, like "Debrief with DeRosa", or just something like "Positions" with Mark DeRosa

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  • I say call it derosabomb!

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  • As for a title to your blog might I suggest "Mindful Musings of Mark Derosa" and if that is to long then maybe "Cleat's Off" with Mark Derosa, or just "Cleat's Off"

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  • Blog name:
    IN THE DUGOUT WITH _________ (your name or nickname)

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There are many, many more. Read if you dare.
nathan.jpgSolid and Happy Endings are the ones that come to mind.

While I cringed a little bit at the metaphor, Jim Souhan's column about Joe Nathan being a high yield stock got Darren and I diving into his career numbers. The results weren't unexpected, but still impressive. They also serve as a palate cleanser for the Gagne post. Put your numbers hat on.

Nathan is one of 6 relievers (Hoffman, Rivera, Isringhausen, F. Cordero and F. Rodriguez) to record 150 saves since 2004, the year he became a Twin. As Souhan mentions, Nathan has converted 171 of of 185 save attempts in that time. At 92.4 percent, that's the highest conversion percentage of anyone in baseball.

He walks batters at a 2.39 clip per 9 innings, while striking out 11.24. In 2006 he gave up a ridiculous 5 hits per 9 innings. Last year it ballooned to 6.7. He's also benefited from good defense behind him, with 62 of his 64 allowed runs being earned.

Before the 2006 season Baseball Prospectus had this to say about Nathan (link only avaliable to subscribers):

"There`s something vaguely disappointing about a great closer who is simply a great closer. It`s a Tom Henke sort of thing, where greatness goes unobserved due to the lack of a signature. Perhaps distracting facial hair would help; `90s style goatees aren`t like Goose`s Fu Manchu or Rollie Fingers` waxed mustachios, they`re just lazy. Until he gets a fashion consultant, Nathan will settle for mercilessly blowing away opponents with high 90s heat and a criminally nasty power slider."

I disagree. Now I've got nothing against mustaches, but Tom Henke was even more badass because he looked like a science teacher. Beyond Papelbon's FAS + ADHD routine, who really has a gimmick anymore? On a list of recent memorable closers, Rivera's gimmick has been "playing in New York." Billy Wagner's has been "playing in Philly and New York." Gagne's has been "playing in LA and sucking in Boston." Joe Nathan plays for a team that almost got contracted. That seems to be the only real setback on his path to stardom, and it's no fault of his own.

Tonight's Questions

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night game.jpgHey kids, knock back a couple Cinco cervezas and tune in tonight to find out:


Then stop by tomorrow for all the answers. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Relevant Bat Attack!

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palm_smash_bat.jpgOver the weekend, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the Pirates had released pitching prospect Olivio Astacio after he attacked a teammate with a bat in extended spring training. Apparently Astacio has a bit of a reputation as a loonball motherfucker, having been drafted by the Red Sox in '02 but sitting out all of 2005 as a disciplinary action. The following year, he only pitched one game for AA Altoona before breaking his hand in a fight. Milton Bradley, Anton Newcombe and Bad News Brown all think this dude needs to take it down a notch.

Apparently the guy he hit wasn't seriously injured.

Duh, Astacio is a pitcher!11!ONE!!

I owe a a pair of headphones and some hip shades to Pat Lackey for the lead.
leylandhat.jpgBreaking news: Jim Leyland is angry. Yes Leyland, that asshole, is upset with his teams lack of consistency on offense so tonight, he's shaking up the lineup. This is a fantastic idea, because nothing promotes consistency like inconsistency.

The Tigers certainly had some trouble scoring against the Twins this weekend and Old Smokey's logic seems sound:

"It almost looks like we think we go up to home plate and things are going to happen," Leyland said. "We've got to grind out the at-bats and hit, because we're not going to manufacture a lot of runs.

"(For today), I might shake the lineup up a little bit. I'm not sure yet. ... Maybe play a little bit of a different type of team, maybe play a little different style of game. Maybe that will be more interesting for us."

Such as putting more people in motion? "Yes," he said.

But the Tigers tied for the most runs scored in the AL last month, and currently sit first in slugging and second in OPS. Alas, the pitching staff has given up the second most runs in the AL. The problem is clear and it isn't in the lineup. Instead of tampering with his club's obvious strength, Shitgums needs to get management to deliver the help his pitching staff desperately needs.

Weekend Questions

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Convoy.jpg
Hey kids, tune in tonight to find out:


Thanks to DMac for the "Convoy" poster with our favorite Indian fireballers. Weekend plans here are a little nebulous. Rob and I are both traveling, but we'll try and get something up each day. Have fun out there this weekend, WoWies and remember to have some water before you go to bed.

Baseball Bugs- 1946

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Today's Classic TV Friday post is one of my all time favorites. I'm sure you've all seen it but it may have been awhile. Bugs Bunny takes over for the Teetotalers, a wimpy team full of old guys that are getting their asses handed to them by the Gashouse Gorillas. Hilarity ensues and Bugs takes the day. This oughta put you in some good spirits for the Friday homestretch.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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stretcher.JPGSome very big names went down this week, proving the age old addage: "Money and fame can't buy you a set of balls, you fucking wimp."

  • Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada & Phil Hughes, Yankees: What a MASH unit. That's $45.1 Million on the DL. That's more than the total payroll of Florida or Tampa and almost as much as Oakland. Rodriguez has a class 2 strain in his quad which is pretty severe. It's not torn, and they're hoping he'll be ready after two weeks, but Rodriguez has said he had a similar injury in HS and it bothered him for two months.
    Posada has had four different doctors look at his shoulder this week and is waiting on MRI results from Dr. James Andrews, which is rarely good. See what happens when you make Giambi dump out all his HGH? You lose your elderly catcher to shoulder trouble in the first year of his retarded new contract.

    Finally, as we discussed earlier today, Phil Hughes has a cracked rib. He initially thought it was a strained oblique and got the bad news yesterday. He's out till July. It's a good thing George Steinbrenner isn't alive to see this.

  • John Smoltz, Braves: Smoltzy has some rotator cuff problems. The aforementioned Dr. Death, James Andrews, actually had some good news for a change saying that he saw no structural damage. When he returns he'll start in the beleaguered Atlanta bullpen.

  • Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: Tulo has a torn quad and is out until at least the All-Star break, setting him up for the worst sophomore slump since Bloc Party. This is bittersweet because you never wanna see a guy get hurt, but I also traded him to Rob in a fantasy league for Scott Kazmir before the season started so that's pretty funny.

  • Chad Cordero, Nationals: A torn muscle in his shoulder landed the Nats closer on the DL today. He's expected to miss 4-6 weeks. I bet he's gonna get super fat on the couch eating bon bons and shit like that.
Dhalsim.jpgSo this just came across the wire from a news service called, "The Hindu." I read it about 5 times. I'm still not sure what's it's all about but for some reason I find it both sad and humorous. I tried to pick out a couple quotes to put on this post but I couldn't, so I'll just post the entire thing and add my own emphasis with bold type:

Son of truck driver hopes for career in American pro baseball

New Delhi (PTI): The son of a truck driver, 19-year-old Rinku Bhramdeen Singh can now hope for a career in American professional baseball after topping a talent hunt with an over 89 mph throw.

Rinku, along with another Indian youngster Dinesh Kumar Patel (20), will fly to the US on Saturday to be trained by prominent international trainers and scouts.

They were both selected in a nationwide competition which saw the participation of 30,000 young men from 30 major cities.

Rinku, who can throw ball at over 89 mph and was adjudged the fastest thrower in the 'Million Dollar Arm Hunt' launched in December by an American sport firm, was on Friday felicitated by US Ambassador David C Mulford.

Along with him, Patel, the runner-up in the competition, was also honoured by the Ambassador.

Rinku, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and whose father is a truck driver, won a cash prize of USD 1,00,000.

The two youngsters will receive 12 months' intensive training under the supervision of prominent international trainers and scouts in San Francisco.

If all goes well during their year-long stint at the University of South California, they may get into a Major Baseball team for the 2009 season.

A few thoughts here:

1. What the hell is felicitated and why is our Ambassador doing it to guys?

B. How much money did he get? It's called the "million dollar arm hunt" but that doesn't seem like enough zeros. Also, 89 MPH got him the dough? Todd Jones just got on a plane to New Dehli.

III. I was unaware USC had a San Francisco campus, but I bet Brian Sabean signs him to an 8 year deal.

UPDATE: Felicitated means "congratulated." Stupid sexy worthless English degree.

UPDATE 2: Apparently it's not a scam! Thanks, DMac.

Yankee Youth Movement Still Not Regular

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OH_NOES.jpgMy pal Mark Feinsand at the New York Daily News reported overnight that Ian Kennedy done pitched himself out of his next start. You may remember last week when I covered Feinsand's column regarding Yankee fan readiness for rebuilding. Kennedy's fate is still up in the air in terms of what exact steps the club is going to take with him, be it sending him down or just skipping his rotation spot and sending him to the pen for a little while. Feinsand asserts, and I agree, that if the Yankees are serious about the commitment to youth, sending him to the minors sends the wrong message.

Compounding the problem is the news that Phil Hughes is out two months with a cracked rib. This is the 21 year old's second major DL stint in as many years in the bigs. That's a little, um... troubling. Maybe they should trade him to the A's for Rich Harden. All of this adds up to a major test to the Yankees new youth-centric homegrown mission statement. Don't be surprised if cooler heads don't prevail.

Hey commenters, what's the last plan you made to improve your life that totally fell apart? Please note that I'm asking for the most recent because I'm sure there are dozens.
bruce.jpgOne of those things is true and it's not the Springsteen part. Rob is in the city of Brotherly love for a couple of basebally things. First he's checking out the "Baseball As America" exhibit at Constitution Hall, then it's onto lovely Citizen's Bank Ballpark to watch the Phils take on WoW comedy favorite, The San Francisco Giants.

Rob will be taking all kinds of neat pictures, nearly 1/4 of which can be displayed legally on the internet to you. This also means I have the only keys to WoW all day. Wooooo doggie!

Tonight's Questions

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

  • Jeff Passan profiles Brian Barton, Cardinals player and future candidate for astronaut. Interesting stuff. Yahoo! Sports

  • The Baseball Prospectus guys talk about all the stuff Rob and I talked about this morning, except in a different language that only Rob can understand. Baseball Prospectus

  • The banged up state of Braves pitching. Sports Guy for Hire

  • Final tracklisting and release date for the new Hold Steady record! Pitchfork

  • A new Bengie Molina post. Behind The Mask

  • Deadspin spawns again. Several commenters and friends of WoW start a new Boston Sports blog. Good luck, guys! Please build in a comment filter that will blank out "douchebag." Mass Hysteria
SadGuy.jpgIt is not news that many people people in Seattle are depressed. With the way the Mariners have played so far this season the number of afflicted is growing, and now unfortunately it may be spreading to the team itself. It seems as if M's catcher Kenji Johjima has caught the ol' Paranoid Mania bug and according to Mariners PR Guy blogger Geoff Baker is TOTALLY FREAKING OUT MAN:

But (Jeff) Clement will be in there as well. He'll be the starting catcher the next two days as fading Kenji Johjima, hitting just .177, takes a seat. The manager wants him to relax.

"He's fighting himself so bad right now,'' manager John McLaren said.

Try selling Johjima on that. He's anything but relaxed and getting more worried by the second.

"He told me to relax but I'm not going to relax,'' Johjima said moments ago, through an interpreter. "Just because I'm taking two days off, it's not going to mean that for sure I'll do well on the third day.''

After that quote Kenji had 2 pots of coffee then a fistful of ludes to balance out. One cannot blame him for starting to get a little antsy about his slump. Jeff Clement is the best prospect in the entire Seattle system and he happens to play catcher. There's definite pressure there, but Kenji needs to stay in control.

There is a 100% chance that my amateur diagnosis is correct, so I suggest that he be medicated and sequestered until he cools out. Or maybe he can sit down and have a talk with Scott Rolen about overcoming your demons.
crappy to happy.jpg
  • 12:10, Dodgers at Marlins: According to this game preview Joe Torre has used 25 different lineups so far in 27 games as Dodger manager. That's kind of ludicrous, isn't it Skipper? Schizo Joe sends Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to take on Burke Badenhop. Badenhop has an 8.32 ERA but along with Gavin Floyd he's tied for the lead in SONL (Soap Opera Name Likelihood).

  • 12:35, Rays at Orioles: The Rays pounded out 8 runs last night thanks to another homerun by Eric Hinske. It's still early, but Hinske looks like he's angling to get Tampa back to back Comeback Player of the Year awards. There's a backhanded compliment for ya. The Rays send Matt Garza to the mound for his first start off the DL (nerve trouble ) and the O's counter with Brian Burres. Burres has looked great all season, with his only rocky outing coming against, you guessed it WoWies, the Rays.

  • 2:05, Royals at Rangers: Young Zack Greinke gets on the anthill today looking to continue his sparkling '08 start against the hapless Rangers. Standing in his way will be Universal RBI Leader and WoW AL Player of the Month for April, Josh Hamilton. It's "Turn Your Troubled Life Around" Day in Arlington!

  • 2:20, Brewers at Cubs: Damn, the Cubs scored 19 runs last night. Brewer relief pitching is turrabull. Yovani Gallardo has been good, however and he brings his microscopic numbers to the hill against the mashing Cubbies.