Kris Liakos: October 2008 Archives

Happy Halloween From Jonathan Papelbon

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And also from Rob and me. Trick or Treat, you bastards.



We're taking the rest of the day off as our postseason vacation. Weekend WoW with that Canadian fellow is on hiatus until the Spring. Don't worry, Lloyd will still be here each week dropping some knowledge. So check back on Monday. We'll be back with WoW 1.3: The Offseason. Whee!

UPDATE: The twerps disabled embedding. Click here.

Winter Questions

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Hey kids, here comes the sun.

  • WHAT will your favorite team do to improve for next year? Mine needs a catcher.

  • WILL the Phillies repeat next year? I guess any champion has a chance, except for the Marlins.

  • DO you wanna meet me at Rockefeller Center so we can watch Midwestern tourists bust ass on that skating rink?

  • MITTENS or gloves?

  • ARE you already pumped for the World Baseball Classic? I'm not!

  • WHO caters the Winter GM Meetings?

  • WHAT THE CRAP ARE WE GOING TO TALK ABOUT UNTIL SPRING TRAINING?

Don't worry about that last one. We'll have brand new original stuff every day, all winter. It'll still be a lot of baseball and a little bit of the human condition. We started this thing in February so we have some experience with writing when there are no games. How do you think we discovered that In-N-Out bullshit?

So stop by tomorrow. Same WoW time, same WoW channel. See ya later, '08 season!

Fan Assaulting Cubs Prospect In Very Very Much Trouble

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Remember that insane 10+ minute brawl in a minor league game back in July? It was Peoria vs. Dayton and we had the video right here. There was a laundry list of injuries from the game, none crazier than the fan that was sent to the hospital with a concussion after Peoria pitcher Julio Castillo hit him in the melon with a fastball.

It's easy to explain. You see Castillo was trying to hit another player in the face with the ball and just missed! And if having control problems is wrong... well yes, in this case it's very wrong. It's two counts of felony assault.

A minor-league pitcher accused of throwing a ball that hit a fan in the forehead was indicted yesterday on two counts of felonious assault.

The Chiefs are an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, and Castillo remains in the Cubs' organization.

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted Castillo on one count of felonious assault with a deadly weapon and one count of felonious assault causing serious physical harm.

Castillo was attempting to hit a Dayton player in the dugout, but instead struck the fan in the head, according to the Montgomery County prosecutor's office.

Hear that people? A baseball is A DEADLY WEAPON. If you'll excuse me I'm going to go use one to try and rob a liquor store. After that I'm going to recruit an phalanx of ball throwers to fight back against Graeme Lloyd's Bat Wielding Dark Army.

WoW BFF Dmac brings us this compelling video of some gentle souls in Philly flipping what appears to be an '01 Civic (?) after last night's clincher.



Here's a fun Liakos story. In 2004, I was living in Tallahassee but came back to Boston for the World Series. I didn't go to any games, I just wanted to be in town. I watched the clinhcer at the Cask & Flagon (before it sucked) and it was crazy. I decided to take a cab back to Allston, which was a terrible move. I had to walk the opposite direction to Mass Ave, because Kenmore square was straight up closed. I got into a cab that was not moving because the streets were filled with people. Approximately 45 seconds after getting into the backseat the car began to rock, I braced myself and we flipped over. Thankfully my window was down. I crawled out, swung at some people and took off running down the street. I thought the car was going to explode because I had spent most of that summer playing Grand Theft Auto. Good times.

Mild: Macha Manages Milwaukee

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News out of Milwaukee says the Brewers will announce Ken Macha as their new manager, possibly today. Make that paper stack, Kenny!

Macha had four decent years in Oakland, but is easily the least exciting hire out of the final four candidates for this job. He is the human equivalent of beige. But hey, he kind of looks like Joe Maddon, and Joe had a good year. So that's something.

Idiot Fan Takes Bottle To Idiot Head

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If you haven't been perusing the YouTubes for videos of Philadelphia "people" celebrating their win last night, you're missing out. I'll be doing my best to pass the savings on to you today.

Get a load of this dope. The video title describes him as a Rays fan, but he's shirtless so you really can't tell. He gets hit with a bottle in the spot where it does least amount of damage. Enjoy!

Brett Myers Puts Feelings Ahead Of Team

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Boston Common is a beautiful place, but it can also be dangerous. You don't really wanna be walking through there alone at night. There are some shady characters waiting to prey on your country bumpkin ass. Also, on the edge of the Common is the Ritz Carlton, a place where you may allegedly get punched in the face by Brett Myers.

In today's USA Today, reporter Bob Nightengale had the cojones to ask Myers about the incident where his wife accused him of beating her up (something the Philly Inquirer is too chicken to do) and Myers was well, less than contrite.

"I know there are people out there that think I'm a jerk. There are people out there who think I'm a wife-beater. That will never change," says Myers, alluding to a 2006 incident in which he was arrested and charged in Boston with assaulting his wife, Kim.

"But you know what, I really don't care what people think about me. ... If people don't like me, they can deal with it. This is who I am."

Wait, what? Did he just admit that he's a wifebeater, so deal with it? I guess that's one way of handling things. He must have then threatened to punch Nightengale because the writer gives us some fluff about Myers "rough upbringing." And then Myers cries. What is with all the crying? Every single day we're writing about someone crying.

The more interesting bit to me is that Myers was so scarred by Boston fans when pitching the day after the incident, that he says he wouldn't have pitched at Fenway if the Sox had met the Phils in the Series. That is some quality heckling!

But he couldn't escape the fear of the Phillies' possible World Series opponent. "I did not want to play Boston," says Myers, 28. "If Boston had beat Tampa, I would have gone to (manager) Charlie (Manuel) and told him, 'I don't want to pitch in Boston.'

"I don't ever want to pitch in Boston again."

What we're dealing with here is a man a couple bricks short of a wall. Should we contiune to ridicule him? I don't really know. Someone that scarred probably has some issues to work out before I get after him too much. Or maybe I'm just saying that because the Inquirer story followed him to a gun range.

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The season can be a grind. After an entire life spent as a baseball fan, I always understood that, but never more so than this year. Trying to dig up multiple stories every day, stalking a pair of Indian men, and creating a beloved national icon really took its toll.

A fine portrait of what the season can do to a man comes in today's LA Times. Remember back in the halcyon days of February when we talked about the pure ray of sunshine that was Torii Hunter? Well, not so much anymore. It's been a few weeks and Hunter still isn't over the Angels playoff loss. Pardon my prolific use of the blockquote here, but there is sooo much good stuff. It's really a must read.

"Truth is, for me as a player, I probably would have let him hit."

The voice was Torii Hunter's and it was far less juiced than usual as he walked through the nightmare moments that spelled the end for this year's Angels team.

"I don't even think they were trying to pitch to [Aybar]," Hunter said, so plaintively I imagined him staring hard at the floor and shaking his head in disbelief. "It was just five terrible minutes . . . the worst five minutes of my life."

"I am depressed, I'm ticked, I'm upset, my stomach hurts, yeah, all of that," Hunter noted, without much prompting.

He said he has watched the remaining playoff and World Series games from a suede sofa in his Dallas-area home. (For the record, he's rooting for Tampa Bay but will not be too distressed if Philly wins because Jimmy Rollins is a friend.) Often, he's found himself screaming at the TV in pure frustration. "It plays out in the back of your head all the time: 'Why am I not in the World Series? Why?' The season we had, we should have been there. But the way we played in the first round, we didn't deserve it."

I hear it's a bitch to get tears out of suede. Later in the article Hunter goes on to refute the notion that the squeeze play was a hallmark of this Angels team saying it's something you do "very rarely" and even more rarely in the postseason. He goes out of his way to say he's not criticizing Scioscia or Aybar, which means he is definitely criticizing Scioscia and Aybar.

Hunter had a rough series personally. He made a couple errors that I can think of and almost blew out his knee arguing a call at first base. Mix that with high expectations and you can see why he'd be upset. It would happen to almost any player. But for him to still be taking it this hard and to be so candid about it makes me like him even more. You're still my special happy guy, Torii!

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, a barstool should have a back.

  • WHY is House so gruff? No seriously, tell me, I've never seen the show.

  • DO you agree with me that the rest of the Series should just be canceled and the Red Sox should remain champions for one more year?

See you all back here tomorrow in World Series Purgatory. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Thanks to If Charlie Parker Were A Gunslinger... for the pic.

Cakies

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The picture at left is one of Farthammer's World Famous CakiesĀ®. The hand holding it belongs to commenter Honeynut Ichiros, who baked a batch for last night's World Series game.

Yes, a reader in Philly baked a recipe given to him in the comments by a reader from Oakland. And apparently they were really good. To commemorate the occasion, we are hereby declaring The Cakie the "Official Dessert Treat of Walkoff Walk." This is all to smooth the transition to us becoming a food blog in the offseason since so many people have begged us to stop writing about baseball.

Below you will find Farthammer's recipe, cut and pasted verbatim from our comments section. Try em at home!

1 bag yellow cake mix

1 bag chocolate chips

1 stick butter

1 brick cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

Let butter and cheese get to room temp, then combine in a mixing bowl. Add egg and vanilla, combine. Then slowly add cake mix and chips. Combine thoroughly. Mixture will be thick, not unlike my johnson.

With a spoon, scoop onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Like I said earlier, if a few peaks on the cookies have started to brown, pull out immediately. That's the longest you should cook them; just before they brown is ideal. Usually 9-10 minutes.

If the whole cookie turns brown in the oven, flush the cookies down the toilet and drink yourself into a stupor, because you have failed the cakie experiment.

The cakie will not look symmetrical or particularly attractive. The mix is too thick to get a perfectly round cookie. But they are mighty tasty.

Jeff Schultz Of The Atlanta Journal Constitution: Get Bent

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Hey guys, wanna hear some groundbreaking shit? Wanna hear some revolutionary thinking from a revolutionary guy? The man, Jeff Schultz of the AJC. The monumental vanguard idea that he actually got paid to write? Baseball playoff games start too late! Schultz filed his complaint in one of those new fangled top ten lists that are all the rage. According to him, baseball's late end times mean the game should be wiped off the American sporting map. The dimwit, to wit:

10: I believe in karma. I believe in playoffs starting before 10 p.m. I believe this baseball postseason going down in flames is just what the sport deserves.

9: I know. It's not baseball's fault it's raining in Philadelphia. But it is the owners' fault for so completely selling out to television for the short-term bucks that it starts World Series games at 8:30 p.m. in the East. It is baseball's fault for starting Game 3 after a 90-minute rain delay, which caused a 1:45 a.m. finish - and won't that be great for ratings. Baseball has lost a generation. When this deal with Fox is over, it'll be a wonder if any major network touches this product.

8: Final piece of evidence: I was in Philadelphia Saturday night/Sunday morning. I walked out to the parking lot in the fifth inning. Saw a few dads and sons walking to their cars. The score was 2-1 in a World Series game -- and they were leaving.

DO YOU HEAR THAT?? PEOPLE WERE LEAVING THE GAME EARLY. Hey, Schultz. Maybe the kids were just wimps. Maybe they had the runs from eating too many of these. Maybe you're just an old fashioned dink with nothing to write on deadline.

Are you mad at baseball for being less accessible to younger fans? Do you think your karmic scorched earth policy will remedy that? Because that makes no damn sense. Here's one more thing to think about you goof. If baseball goes away I won't have anything to write about and will dissect your stupid columns all day.

What time did the Super Bowl get over last year? What time do the NBA playoffs end? Those sports don't even have to contend with rain and they get over about the same time. What you're really mad at is television. Don't blame baseball. Go put a flaming bag of crap on Rupert Murdoch's doorstep and leave my game alone.

P.S. I agree with with point #4 about Urban Meyer. I guess you can't lose em all.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, you are alone.

  • WHAT happened to the Rays? This team seemed way too good to drop four of five. We'll have to see if they can mend a broken will for the second time in as many series.

  • CAN Cole Hamels stay acey and wrap this thing up for the Philly side? Both he and Kazmir need to keep the ball from flying out of the yard like it's been doing.

  • YOU don't really think it's going to be this easy for the Phils, do you?

Join us back here for tonight's gloggatron (featuring the illustrious Rob Iracane! -Rob I.). It could be the last one you get all year. Make pico de gallo.

Bad News, Bears: Newark Team To Fold?

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The Newark Bears have certainly gained their share of press notoriety in the past. Employing players like Ozzie Canseco, Jose Canseco and Rickey Henderson have ensured that they received coverage that outsized most of their Atlantic League rivals. Unfortunately for the team, the owner and the city, that hasn't translated into ticket sales and now it looks like the team could be going bearbelly up.

Marc Berson, a Millburn-based real estate developer who purchased the team in 2003, said this morning that mounting financial losses have forced him to fire several team employees and that he is exploring options to sell the team. The news was first reported on the Web site AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com.

"There's no secret that the economic side of this has not been positive for years," Berson said. "There's no secret to that. There's no secret that the numbers of people attending have not been anywhere near the capacity of that stadium. Anyone can take notice of those two facts."

When it opened in 1999 at a cost of $36 million, Newark Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was supposed be a lynchpin in the revitalization of the city's downtown area.

But the team never drew the crowds Essex County and Newark officials had expected. The Bears averaged 2,746 fans this season, second-lowest total in the Atlantic League. The rival Somerset Patriots, meanwhile, drew nearly twice as many spectators - 5,433 a game - playing in Bridgewater.

While the city council is saying nothing is a done deal, they're also exploring options for doing something with the big stadium that may be sitting empty in the middle of town. The article seems to regard it as a damn shame that Newark won't have professional baseball, and from an historical standpoint that may be true. But if you're getting your attendance doubled by a team in Bridgewater, that takes some of the weight out of the "bad economy" and just says that people don't really want to go to Newark.

The real losers in all of this are baseball's losers. Where will the Carl Everetts and Randall Simons of the world call home when even a city as notoriously warm and loving as Newark closes its doors to them? Sad really.

What In The World's On That Cap, What You Got On That Cap?

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"THAT BETTER BE POOP ON YOUR HAT, YOUNG MAN." Those were the words echoing through the head of Overmanagin' Joe Maddon as he spied a dark spot on the bill of Joe Blanton's cap. So what did the meddling one do? Did he send Gabe Gross out to talk to the ump? No he didn't get that cute, but he did go out and say something himself.

Maddon said: "We did notice, it was rather dark. I did bring it to their [umpires'] attention. I asked them to just watch it and be vigilant about it, and nothing happened. But I was concerned about it early on." Hallion replied to Maddon that he would check the baseball, and if he found a foreign substance on the ball, MLB.com reported, he would act on it. Later last night, MLB.com removed the story from its Web site. Geoff Grant, the managing editor of MLB.com said the story was removed because it was obtained "prematurely" by viewing a feed from Fox, which broadcast the game. Grant said that MLB.com would post a new story after the game that would include more reporting and quotes.

Of course Maddon had to get his La Russa on in the World Series. Of course he did. That comparison makes so much damned sense I can't believe I haven't used it before. Maddon following in the footsteps of the original hipster doofus overwrought manager. Also you have to love the Geoff Grant aside in that above paragraph. "Hey uh.. sorry I copied the story from Fox... I'll uh... get some quotes... and um... reporting! Yeah that's the ticket!" It's a shame he's working for a site like MLB.com that has no access.

The reaction from the Philly dugout was predictably "aw shucks it's dirt" making this whole dance one of my least favorite things in baseball. From Charlie Manuel:

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wasn't aware of what Maddon was protesting about. At a postgame news conference, Manuel took his own cap off and pointed at the bill. "You can look at my cap, it's got the same kind of stuff he's [Maddon] talking about."

Gross, dude. Why is Joe Blanton licking his fingers and wiping it on Charlie Manuel's hat? That is one weird clubhouse.

Sunday Night 11 Minutes Late Liveglog Club: WS Game 4

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worldseriesliveglog.jpgOops! Live stuff, after the jump

Weekend Questions

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Hey kids, can I ask you about today?

  • WILL Matt Garza continue pitching like he's never ever going to pitch for the rest of his career? His curveball had almost comical movement in two games against the Red Sox and he was nearly untouchable. If he stays focused and keeps mistakes at a minimum tomorrow the Phillies could be in for a long night.

  • HOW will the elimination of the DH affect the Rays?

  • HOW will the elimination of cowbells affect your enjoyment of the game?

  • DO you think this kid reads Walkoff Walk?

For all of your daytime news and views, you know who's taking care of you. Weekend Editor Lloyd the Barber gets off his lawnchair and puts down the Labatt's long enough to regale you with all the baseball goings on. Stop by. He's working straight through and (weather permitting) doing tomorrow night's glog. I'll be back to see you for Sunday night's edition. Till then, have a good weekend, people.

Congratulations Rocco Baldelli: Player Of Nine Innings

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The epic battle between Rocco Baldelli and his own cellular composition reached another milestone last evening. Yes, the Rays OF played a full 9 innings for the first time this season, and he chose game two of the World Series to do it. He has certainly earned that induction into the RI Italian American Hall Of Fame.

"I guess it's somewhat ironic that it comes up in the World Series, it's the one that I was able to go the longest in," Baldelli said. "It also helps to know in a week I'm not going to have play baseball for a while. So there's no reason to keep anything in reserve now."

The best news of all was Baldelli came out of the game feeling fine.

"I kind of accept it," Baldelli said regarding questions about his health. "I wish I didn't have to, but that's the situation I'm in. I know it's always going to be a topic."

It's undoubtedly a high water mark for a guy who seemed genuinely devastated when his condition was discovered. He's gone from a punchline to a story of overcoming obstacles and all that fluffy crap. I can think of no better post for our first Creampuff-less Friday of the year. Cheers to Rocco!

Labatt's Calls Americans A Bunch Of Hosers - 1994

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In today's Classic TV Friday, Lloyd The Barber's uncle sits on his lawn looking at fat Americans and pitying them for not living in Canada and not having Labatt's. Then he shows the Joe Carter home run, and talks about how Canada has won the last two WS.

HOW'S THAT WORKED OUT FOR YOU SINCE, FROSTBACK?

Tonight's Questions

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pumpkin baby.jpgHey kids, know a good witch doctor?

  • WILL we see another well pitched, low scoring, high excitement affair in Game 2?

  • OR will Brett Myers just try and throw it past every Ray he faces? That's a recipe for trouble, but he aint too bright.

  • DO you think him and Los Lonely Boys will trade punchin' techniques? (Don't worry that's not a link to a Los Lonely Boys song.)

  • DO you agree with James Shields that the Phillies are "more similar to our team, more than any other team in the playoffs?"

  • ARE you going to be here round 8 to join Tuffy for a tour de force glog experience? He always brings the good. Pumpkin Baby will be here if she can figure out a way to get out of that thing.
See you then. Same WoW channel.

Doug Melvin Absolutely Dying To Go On Vacation

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Last week, Rob regaled you with the rather humorous list of former Mets managers being considered for the Brewers head job. Unfortunately our (and you gotta think most people's) dreams of a battle Royale ending in several dead former Mets will not come to fruition. The Brewers have interviewed 3 candidates for the job, Randolph being the only one from that aforementioned group, and he says he's probably not going to interview any more.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin confirmed Wednesday that he has interviewed former Oakland manager Ken Macha and former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph for the job. Melvin said he will interview former Arizona manager Bob Brenly today.

And Melvin might just stop there.

"I don't know if I'm going to interview a fourth or fifth (candidate)," Melvin said. "I think they are three strong candidates.

"I know that they all have been let go by other teams but they have pretty good track records."

I picture these quotes being tossed off without eye contact as Melvin scrolls through flights to Barbados on Travelocity. The following line also helped with that impression.

Melvin is aware that the Mets collapsed down the stretch in 2007 under Randolph and lost the NL East crown to Philadelphia.

Yeah that's a good thing to be "aware of." During the interview, Melvin also said he was "aware" that when a ball is hit out of the park while fair it's called a home run.

Personally, I think Randolph deserves another shot at a head job. I've always wondered why Brenly never got another gig after winning a title with the Diamondbacks. I mostly chalked it up to Mustache Discrimination. And Ken Macha well... I know every single thing about his tenure with the A's from that one day he filled in for Jerry Remy on NESN. It's very likely that one of these men could be a halfway decent candidate.

But it's just Melvin's tone in the piece that makes him sound like he's halfassing his search. When asked when an announcement would be made he said, "I'd like to do it... HONEY. GET IN HERE. IF WE BOOK THIS ROOM NOW WE GET A FREE NIGHT AND A VISA GIFT CARD!"

Unrest In Pakistan Is Really Messing With Their News

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This story was just published today. And what a headline!

Satan Gets Last Laugh In Game 1

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Remember when the Rays started doing well and someone said "It's because they dropped the Devil from their name!" and you laughed? Then remember when everyone started saying it and you weren't laughing because it wasn't funny anymore? And then remember when some nutty Christian zealots were serious about it, and it wasn't surprising because those people are batshit crazy?

Well dig this. According to the Manichi Daily News, Satan's moniker is back in the win column thanks to Charlie Manuel.

Following the start of the World Series on Wednesday in the United States, Japanese fans should spot one familiar face amongst the ranks of Japanese players: Charlie Manuel, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Nicknamed "Aka-oni" (Red Devil), Manuel, 64, was a former Japanese pro baseballer during the late 70s and early 80s. Now a manager, Manuel says his experience there was crucial to gaining his current position.

Take that religion! Lucifer is all up in that dome. Manuel was a pretty good ballplayer in Japan, hitting 39 tater tots in 1978 for the champion Yakult Swallows. The article doesn't explain how he got his nickname, but since this is Japan it was probably something about human sacrifice and/or deviant sexual practices. No wonder Mel Hall liked it over there so much.

Manuel's days in Japan may also provide some insight on how he's kept the mood positive during a few tumultuous years in the Philly clubhouse.

Despite an injury in 1979, when he had his jaw broken by a wayward pitch, he was back on the field just two months later, albeit wearing a chinguard.

"He was a cheerful player. He used to take out his artificial teeth in the locker room and make everyone laugh," said Kyosuke Sasaki, 58, a former teammate and later manager of the Kintetsu Buffaloes.

He taught Brett Myers' wife the same trick! Oh, Dark Prince Uncle Cholly! What a card.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, ghetto kiwis.

  • WILL we get our first truly competitive World Series since 2002?

  • WHAT does Billy Beane have to do with tonight's game? Read this.

  • WHY do I want to punch Jonny Gomes so badly?

  • WHO are you rooting for?

  • WHAT braindead thing will Tim McCarver say tonight?

  • WILL Fox cameras show Joe Maddon as much as the TBS ones did? They were obsessed with that hipster doofus.

  • ARE you going to be back here with Rob for his Glog? It's at 8 PM sharp. Formal underwear required.

Enjoy the World Series, people. We're finally here.

Stealing Some Thunder: A Red Sox Postmortem

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So wait a second. This is the only World Series we're having? The one that starts tonight? Crap. I need to go back to Downtown Crossing and rough up the guy that sold me this Red Sox AL Champs hat.

I'm just kidding. 1. I can't rough anyone up and B. Of course the Red Sox are out. They lost to a better Tampa team. They got 4 lousy nights of starting pitching from Beckett, Lester, Wakefield and Matsuzaka at the most inopportune time and it was too much to overcome. Fair enough. The question now is, what do they do to improve the ballclub for next season? The gist of this mostly impenetrable and snoozily repetitive interview with Theo Epstein is that the entire way the organization is now constructed precludes the need for massive season to season upgrages/moves.

He says that the Red Sox try to be league average at each position and above league average at as many positions as possible. Looking around the field, the one glaring position the Sox sit below league average is now catcher. No glossing over that one. Jason Varitek is a free agent this year and despite being a Seminole, Kevin Cash probably isn't a starting catcher for a contender. The free agent pool for catchers is non descript and any moves would have to come via trade. Big names like Russel Martin won't come cheap, and Epstein is rightly reluctant to part ways with too much young talent. A strategy that's paid off.

All of this sounds far less exciting than this team actually was to watch this year. Even though Beckett and Lowell were hampered all season, the maturation of Youkilis, Pedroia and Lester made this team as fun as last year's World Champs.

If I can channel Theo Epstein for a second, the Red Sox stay above average more consistently than any other baseball team in the 21st century. That's a pretty good sign for another good season next year.

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Remember the 2005 NL Champion Astros? No black guys. Remember last year's NL Champion Colorado Rockies? They only had one black guy. And that was LaTroy Hawkins and he's terrible. You ever heard of Major League Baseball? Well, only 8% of their players are black guys. The African American Player Exodus (what's the opposite of White Flight?) continues from MLB, but the league will put on a diverse face in this year's World Series. As the LA Times Points out today, the Phillies and Rays have star black players, and the league is super stoked that serendipity has achieved something that 20 years of work hasn't been able to.

This series features such stars as Rollins, the most valuable player in the National League last season; the Phillies' Ryan Howard, the 2006 MVP and this year's major league home run leader; and the Rays' B.J. Upton, who needs one home run to tie the postseason record.

Price, the top pick in last year's baseball draft, secured the outs that clinched the Rays' spot in the World Series.

"You can't buy better exposure than that," said Darrell Miller, director of baseball's first urban youth academy, located at Compton College.

"We can say all we want about the great opportunity, but it speaks volumes when they can see young, vibrant superstars showing their successes and skills on prime-time TV, on the biggest stage baseball has to offer."

This is a new generation of players -- Rollins is 29, Howard 28, Upton 24, Price 23 -- to inspire a new generation of African American athletes to take up the sport.

"I'm delighted," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "To have young role models -- they're great kids and great citizens as well as extraordinary players -- does it help? In a huge way."

Despite taking vocal cues from Donald Rumsfeld (Rhetorical question? Immediate answer.), Bud's statement hints at the turbulent career of baseball's all time biggest black star, Barry Bonds. Shoddy and inconsistent treatment of Bonds hasn't helped baseball's profile among black youth.

Quoted above, Darrell Miller is the founder of RBI, the inner city baseball program that Harold Reynolds is always on about in those United Way commercials. He's an interesting person to interview because of his experience, but isn't the existence of this article proof that his program hasn't worked that well? Maybe his new intern, Keanu can help.

Rays Fans Have Too Much Mountain Dew And Smarties

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From the St. Pete Times:

Monday's celebration at St. Petersburg's Pier was a study in sensory overload. Thousands of Rays fans crowded the downtown location taking up the ground and top levels of the building.

There was an earnest but comical rendition of "Take me out to the ballgame," performed by members of the St. Petersburg City Council. And Mayor Rick Baker took to the stage armed with a guitar and performed with the Sunburn band. A fan on a unicycle rode through the crowd tossing baseballs and other trinkets honoring the Rays win. Blue and yellow streamers were thrown through the air throughout the festivities.


Dorks.

Tonight's Question

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Hey kids, save your lids.

  • WHAT in tarnation are you going to do tonight?? I suppose you could read a book or catch up with some old friends or so...zzzzz. HURRY UP AND GET HERE WEDNESDAY.

Thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes after last night's game. Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. At some point this week I'll be writing up a Red Sox post-mortem. Don't worry about sap, I'll leave that for the maple trees. One thing I will say, is that I can't really bring myself to root for either Philly or Tampa Bay come Wednesday. I'll just be hoping for exciting games.

Stop by tomorrow. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

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It's been a huge month for Barry Bonds. Most importantly of course, he got to meet Rinku and Dinesh. Then after that was over, the players union declared that baseball owners had colluded to keep him out of baseball for 2008, and have decided to file a grievance.

As Ray Ratto of the SF Chronicle notes, collusion is an elusive thing to prove, but come on. They probably did it.

Again, we remind you that collusion without a paper trail is hard to prove, and one would have to think the owners had the good sense not to leave their notes lying around. Plus, we don't even know if there were notes taken, or that collusion actually happened at all. Maybe this was one time when they let their mutual self-interests find their own level without manipulating the result.

Then again, they colluded last time (and still deny that they did, the weasels), and it cost them more than a quarter-billion dollars when a quarter-billion was really worth a quarter-billion. You remember what a quarter-billion feels like, right, kids?

So here's rooting for the union on this one, not because we care whether Bonds pockets one last hunk of change from MLB, but because we haven't seen a carotid artery pound out "Rocket 88" in time, and we can tell that it wouldn't take much to get Bowtie Billy's neck to perform. Losing a million bucks or so for actively not doing something wrong ought to be sufficiently amusing.

That last paragraph alludes to Giants exec Bill Neukom, a man Ratto seems to hold in esteem just above his bookie. He rightly points out that any collusion case, really shouldn't find the Giants guilty because, well, they released him in the first place. Not wanting a guy on your team isn't illegal, and you very well can't pick him back up right after you release him.

Do I think the owner's colluded to keep Bonds out of baseball? I think it's likely. Most bloggers and mainstream writers have one piece in their portfolio that reads, "____ should sign Barry Bonds." It's hard to believe every single one of them could have been wrong.

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The Yankees and Cowboys have a bunch of things in common. Both have won handfuls of titles. Both have fat fans. Both have cartoonish maniacal owners. And now they're partnering with Goldman Sachs (who I've never heard of but I guess are some sort of start up or non-profit) to create a new concessions company.

The New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys have partnered to create Legends Hospitality Management. The two powerhouse franchises recently borrowed $100 million according to Kaplan and Muret of the Sports Business Journal. The company "is based out of Newark, N.J. and counts private equity firms Goldman Sachs and CIC Partners as investors. The Yankees and Cowboys will each own a third, with Goldman owning most of the remainder," according to the SBJ.

That is some deep fried power brokering right there. The Yanks and The Boys are both opening $1+ Billion stadiums next year and figured it would be good to keep every single penny in house. Have you ever dreamed of working for Jerry Jones or the Steinbrenners? No longer do you need to be a premier athlete. Now you can just be a high schooler or immigrant willing to work in dangerous conditions for minimum wage!

Another factor in the partnership appears to be Dallas' proximity to Tyler, TX, home of Tyler Chicken. That company provides all of Yankee Stadium's chicken products including some sort of fermented chicken drink.

Weekend Questions

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fatsoxguy


Hey kids, try a frozen peach.

  • IS Tampa's will broken after last night? I tend to believe athletes when they say they take things one game at a time, so I'm not putting too much stock into a game 6 hangover.

  • WILL either Josh Beckett or James Shields propel their team into the playoffs with a marquee start?

  • IF that game is as exciting as last night, will I have any clean undershorts to wear to Sunday School?

  • WHERE did JD Drew go to college? I can't remember.

  • DO you hate it when I'm a homer? I don't give a hoot. Go Sox.

Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy Game 6. I refuse to project out further than that. Lloyd has you all day Saturday and Sunday, resting only so the whip smart Sooze can glog you through tomorrow night's festivities. Are you gonna love it? Yes you are.

No baseball tonight. Go see W. I probably won't get a chance till Sunday so don't tell me how it is. Thanks for a great week. See ya!

Porky's Baseball Broadcast - 1940

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Pure gold for today's Classic TV Friday. Porky Pig calls game 7 of the World Series. You can see some parallels and some stuff that was reused six years later in the more famous Baseball Bugs, but this one is very funny in its own right.

Set aside 7 minutes. You're gonna want to watch the whole thing.

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It's time to get the scalpel and surgical mask out of your sex toy basket and head with me to the OR. Baseball players are getting carved up left and right. DIBS ON THE DRUMSTICK.

  • Mike Lowell, Red Sox: Hip surgery coming Monday.

  • Ken Griffey Jr., White Sox: Ken is getting his knee scoped by Dr. Tim Kremchek. KREMCHEK! GET IN HERE! Send cards to his mom.

  • Travis Hafner, Indians: This knuckle dragging jamook had arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Must be from all the knuckle dragging, lol+1.

  • Albert Pujols, Cardinals: You ever notice how in "Every Breath You Take" it sounds like Sting says "Albert Pujols aaaches with every step yoooou take." I noticed it his rookie year. It was actually the first thing I thought of when I heard his name. Really. Anyway, he had elbow surgery this week. So now he really does ache.


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Dear Joe,

Thank you for walking Jason Bay to pitch to JD Drew. See you Saturday.

Kris

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I'm a bean.

  • WILL Joe Maddon's "look at me" rotation shake up work or backfire? You know what I hope will happen. I'm supposed to be impartial, but know that I'll be rooting harder during this game than any other since we created this site.

  • WHAT will the guttural grunt of despair emanating from my soul sound like if the Rays hit another first inning Funny Bone?

  • HOW many baserunners will Dice-K let on?

  • DOESN'T something eventually have to give with all those walks? This would be a bad night for the floodgates to finally burst.

  • WHICH one of you comedy geniuses wrote "Keep burning till we find Furcal's house" on the Dabbleboard? That made me guffaw.

  • ARE you as excited as we are about Tuffy stopping by to do the Glog tonight? Dude is one of the funniest and most original writers in our business. If you're at home tonight, do not miss this one.
There you go folks. Come back 8-ish for Tuffy. Thanks for playing today.
Go Sox.

Baseball Playoffs In An Election Year: My Final Comment

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I'm a politically active citizen. Well at least my mouth is. I don't volunteer for campaigns anymore and I certainly don't donate any money. The days of me putting sweat and tears into major party politics are long over (ask me for my resume sometime if you wanna know exactly what that used to entail) and with each passing year I become a little more jaded. I am however, willing to argue with you on nearly any point because you're probably wrong. It doesn't really matter which party you align yourself with, you're wrong. Absolutely wrong if you're a Republican, mostly wrong if you're a Democrat.

Last night was a perfect example of my declining engagement with the American political machine. I totally ignored the third presidential debate in favor of the NLCS. I watched all of the first debate and most of the second. I realized that I was going to hear nothing new in this third engagement, I know who I'm going to vote for, and I wanted desperately to see Manny hit some dingers. We laughed, we glogged, I listened to a little NPR about the debate this morning. I had successfully separated my sports and my politics in an election year! No easy feat.* Until I just read this in the Times. Now I feel dizzy.

Memo to Barack Obama: It could be dangerous to mess with the national pasttime.

Yet that is what Mr. Obama has done in trying to buy a 30-minute block of time on Oct. 29 on three networks -- including Fox News, which just happens to be running the World Series.

Because of the request, Major League Baseball has agreed to push back the first pitch that night.

Memo to The New York Times: NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT FOX NEWS. Are you even familiar with the American sports landscape? Why on earth would they be showing the World Series. I understand that throwing that dash in there means you're looking for a "dun dun DUN" moment in your piece, but it aint there. The game isn't on Fox News you dummies.

As we covered above, until election day, I am more interested in baseball right now. That's what I wanna watch. At the same time, if Obama wants to use his campaign money to speak to the country in prime time, that's his prerogative. I can use the extra time before first pitch to broil some more bacon wrapped scallops. But of course, to add one more sack mark to America's collective forehead, the Republican Party is taking this 20 minute delay as an affront to Joe Plumber Sixpack Truckdriver, or whatever the hell they're calling him today. Of course they are.

"It's unfortunate that the World Series' first pitch is being delayed for Obama's political pitch," Alex Conant, a spokesman for the R.N.C., said in a statement. He added later, via instant message, of Mr. Obama: "He puts himself first - literally."

Oh ZING! Z-SNAP-ING! Did you see how he used "literally" there? You can't teach that kind of comic timing. Alex Conant: Standup WASP Comedian, this week at the Ha Ha Hole! Spokesmen are idiots.

I care about this country, I really do. I understand the importance of policy at this critical juncture. But I don't give a damn about your campaigns when baseball is on. If I have to ignore you 20 minutes later than scheduled, fine. But don't argue about it, you're bugging me.

*In the Fall of 2004 every football game at FSU was littered with Bush/Cheney signs. This did not add to my enjoyment of the festivities.

Burn Ng Question: When Will Seattle Hire A GM

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Like most of you, I'm sure you've had a difficult time keeping up with the playoffs while you're waiting for movement in the Mariners' GM search. Thankfully, things appear to be progressing and it won't be long until I can stop habitually refreshing the Seattle Times and can go back to addressing my job and personal hygiene regimen. According to our friend Geoff Baker, they've narrowed it down to three candidates and interviews start today! Whee! Not surprisingly, you're not on the list.

Some excerpts from Baker's blog:

Mariners GM interviews will begin on Thursday and that Jerry DiPoto, Tony LaCava and Kim Ng are the three to make the final cut from the original list of published names of first-round candidates.

That means Peter Woodfork did not make the cut. Neither did Tony Bernazard, Bob Engle or Lee Pelekoudas. It's possible that one more name -- someone who wasn't initially reported amongst the first list of candidates -- could be interviewed.

From what I'm hearing, I'd say that, of the three we're discussing, it will come down to either DiPoto or LaCava.

Ng will have her hands full competing against both. Her hands-on experience might not be quite as high when it comes to player development and evaluation. But we hear she is very good at statistical evaluation. It will all depend on what the club needs.

We've already given you our take on Ng. Perhaps the stuff Baker is hearing is actually grounded in baseball thinking and not bias, but if the two frontrunners are this clear, then Ng's interview will be nothing more than a token show of diversity. In some ways that's worse than not interviewing her at all. By giving off the impression that she actually has a shot at the job, baseball doesn't have to address issues of front office diversity. "We're fine! Look, Seattle gave that Asian broad an interview."

Earlier this week, Baker discussed the fact that many candidates were declining interviews with the team. That's a little troubling. But, in no way is this a franchise that could use a little bold thinking to shake things up. Everything is going to be just fine.

congrats phils
And a hearty congrats to Philly fans as well.

Wednesday Night Liveglog Club: NLCS Game 5

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Children gather round. Tonight could be manna from Heaven for the miserable Philly fan in your life. A win over the Dodgers will send them to their first WS since 1993. It's me, you and a pint of Jack Daniel's famous Tennessee life elixir. I'm supposed to go on the radio in an hour, but who knows what will happen. So have your copy of "Whatever It Takes, Dude" at the ready. It's baseball time.

Here are your lineups. I wanna rock with you, after the jump.

Tonight's Questions

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penguinbaby.jpgHey kids, I have chest pains.

  • HOW would you feel if a pivotal moment in your life rested on the shoulders of someone named Chad? That's what the Dodgers are facing.

  • WILL we see more home run heroics tonight? This is the most tater totted postseason in recent memory. Someone check the pee.

  • WILL you join me for the glog of it all? At 9:30 I have that radio thing which I may also glog. It's gonna be wild, man. It's Liakosbaseballapalooza. Stop by at 8:20 for all the excitement.
See you folks a little later. You too, Penguin Baby.

My Voice, Beamed Through The Heavens On Satellite Radio

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Do any of our readers have Sirius radio? Do we have any readers? If you answered yes to either of those questions tune in tonight at 9 to Hardcore Sports Radio, Sirius 98. I really hope Hardcore means music and not, well, you know. At the very least, maybe I'll just have to say "extreme" a lot.

Anyway, I'll be on something called Relentless Radio, so tune in to hear my duclet tones if you got the means.

Ron Darling Sounds Like James Woods

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I realized it last night. It's uncanny.

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Everyone's favorite baseball institution that also looks like he's made of sugar cookie is back in the high life again. Yes, Don Zimmer is a "special advisor" to the Rays, and he's looking back at all his success like the delusional WWI vet that he is! Let's join Don on his doddering trot down Memory Lane.

Last week Don Zimmer and his wife dusted off the scrapbook and took out the Baseball Encyclopedia and started counting. The day before, after the Rays had won the Division Series over the White Sox, someone had asked the venerable baseball man how many celebrations he had taken part in, and Zim didn't know off hand.

So he and his wife Jean, known as Soot, did the research and determined that, going into this season, Zimmer had been involved in 30 baseball celebrations in 60 years in the game, an average of one every two years.

The first six pages of that scrapbook detail "The Best Pastrami Sandwiches I've Ever Aten."

If you told Soot that there is some controversy surrounding teams celebrating so often these days she may turn ashen. Zimmer's celebration pedigree goes back to 1955, but he admits that a good chunk of his parties came with the Yankees. After all, "We won the World Series four times, that's 16 celebrations right there." So besides math, what else is Don actually doing with the Rays these days?

Now 77, Zimmer doesn't travel on every trip with the Rays, and doesn't hit fungoes -- always one of his specialties -- any more. Dave Martinez is the bench coach, but Zimmer is a great guy to just have around. He's still there to talk to the players and help them develop both on and of the field.

"I love talking to the younger guys, showing them the way to do things," he said. "I'll call them aside and pass on some of the information that I've learned in 60 years in the game.

Here is some of the wisdom he's passed on to the kids this year:

  • "Never share a sleeping car with Christy Matthewson. He'll snore from Poughkeepsie to Akron."
  • "It's easy to lose focus now that women are allowed in the stadium. Concentrate."
  • "If Tom Brokaw wants to tell you how awesome you are for living through the Depression, let him!"

Another fun fact: I saw on Entertainment Tonight that Don shares a birthday with the Grand Canyon. HE'S OLD!

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, fill 'er up.

  • CAN Jon Lester stay untouchable? He's even better at Fenway than on the road.

  • DID Pedroia and Longoria snap out of their postseason funks for real? We'll see tonight.

  • WILL fireworks erupt in the Dodgers/Phils game? Probably not, that's a code violation but there could be a brawl.

  • CAN the Dodgers tie the series up? Also an important question.

Enjoy the games. Dmac of Philadelphia Will Do fame will liveglog the early ALCS tilt at 4:30, while Sooze of Babes Love Baseball has your glog for the late NLCS matchup at 8:30. Same WoW channel.

Rinku And Dinesh Check In; Meet Barry Bonds

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Rinku and Dinesh's "Million Dollar Arm Blog" had been silent for a little while. Where were are heroes? Had JB sir blown out their arms to the point where they couldn't even type? Had they had enough of SoCal traffic and returned to the uncongested fields of home?

No! Dudes are busier than ever and returned this morning with a full slate of what may be their best entries to date. They explained that they're getting ready for their "tryout" on November 6th. They're prepping by practicing with the team at Vanguard University who, according to their website, are "a comprehensive Christian university." The team is being "very nice" to Rinku and Dinesh, which I presume to mean they haven't tried to convert them yet.

The guys' English is also getting better. They're even learning to understand slang. Kind of.

We are now at the point where we can understand very much when people speak. We are even learning some slang talk. Like the other day one of the players on USC team saw another player eating and he said, "What are you cracking on DAWG."

In America that means what are you eating my friend. Friends call each other DAWG here. Very weird.

Finally, the guys got to see one of California's largest and most controversial historical artifacts in person. A site so breathtaking that it's hard to believe it's a natural creation. Yes, Rinku and DInesh got to meet Barry Bonds. From the entry, "Tips From The Greatest Ever"

JB Sir drove us to Barry Bonds house to meet with him. It was awesome.

Mr. Bonds sir has the finest house anyone could ever imagine. He has many animals that he has hunted and preserved to display. He has his own real movie theater. He also has many cars and a gym just like the one at USC. He even has a mirror that turns into a TV! GAZAB!

Mr. Bonds sir studied our pitching with us and gave us many strategies of how to improve.

GAZAB! Barry Bonds' crib sounds like it was designed by Wayne Newton. If you don't remember, "JB Sir" is Jeff Bernstein. Bernstein was/is Barry's marketing agent and presumably called in this favor to the big man. No matter your thoughts on Bonds, for two guys coming to America to learn the game, few things could beat meeting with the All Time Home Run King. For all the indiscretions he's been accused of, none of them would help him have a better eye or be more able to read a pitcher's mechanics. I hope the guys were taking notes. On the pitching, not the interior design or gross misuse of wealth.

Now if you'll excuse me dawg, I'm starving and need to go crack on something.

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It is hardly a modern phenomenon that baseball players from opposing teams are friendly. You see it all the time: Bozo Millar joking like a moron with the first baseman after a bloop single. Some Dominican dude doing a 15 point handshake with some other Dominican dude at the cage during batting practice. It's all part of the scene, man.

Well it aint part of Kevin Youkilis' scene. Especially in the playoffs. Preach it brother.

When asked if it was hard to make the switch across the diamond from first to third at this point in the year, he didn't blather on about angles and spin and such.

"I'd rather play third than first because you don't have to talk to anybody," the Red Sox cleanup man said. "When you play first, you have to hold baserunners and talk to them after they get their hits or whatever. In the playoffs, you don't want to talk to anyone on the other team."

Listen, Chatty Cathy. You are either with Youk or you are against him. Your friendship matters little and your idle blather, even less. I can imagine him taking the silent tack anytime the pressure is on.

Wife giving birth? As she screams and the doctor and is continually talking, Youk stands to the side, arms folded intently focused on the birth canal.

High speed chase while driving a semi? Without taking his eyes off the road, Youk rips the cb out of the dash and tosses it out the window, sending it crashing through a cop's windshield.

Jeopardy contestant? During that part where Alex comes over to talk about some mundane story that happened when you were in college, Youk gives him an icy stare whilst silently making a slow and deliberate throat slashing motion.

I guess what I'm saying is, everyone should like it better when Youk is at third.

Friday Late Afternoon Liveglog Club: NLCS Game 2

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Whee. Got home just in time. No time to post lineups, Dr. Jones. Yahoo's got em. After the jump, end your workweek with Joe, Tim, Dwarf Ken and I.

We got playoff baseball and Flomax Martinis. FOR YOUR GOING PROBLEM.

Weekend Questions

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Hey kids, no one else can decide for you.

  • IS Impartial Baseball America rooting for Red Sox/Dodgers as much as it seems like? Again, I'm saying impartial. People without a dog in the fight. Those are some pretty compelling built in storylines, no matter what you think of the parties involved.

  • DID Nostricaneus know something we didn't when he made a point of writing about Brett Myers this morning? None of us would be surprised at implosion, that's for sure.

  • IN WHICH inning will Matsuzaka decide to walk 3 consecutive Rays?

  • WILL Jamie Moyer turn in his best postseason start since his days with the St. Louis Browns?

  • WHY AREN'T YOU WALKING MANNY?

  • HOW will Josh Beckett look tomorrow? I know the goatee is stupid, I meant how will his pitching look?

  • DO we love you too much? We must. We have glogs lined up for every single dadgum game this weekend.

Peep this. Today at 4:30, I present my Glog of NLCS Game 2. You know how I do. I like to blindly speculate and embed music. It's always a good time. For tonight's ALCS opener, I'm handing things off to the wildly talented Sooze of Babes Love Baseball. Kid will have you in stitches late into the night. Come getcha some.

Tomorrow morning, you're back in the loving hands of one Lloyd The Barber. He'll have you covered with recaps and various ephemera from the night that was, before taking you into his very own glog of tomorrow night's ALCS Game 2. It's Thanksgiving in Canadia so send this guy some virtual cranberry sauce for his troubles.

He's got you Sunday morning/afternoon then it's Sooze time again on Sunday. I told you we love you all.

Rob and I are back on Monday and I'm pretty interested to see how these series will look by then. This is why we're WoWies, folks. Now go out there and watch some baseball. See you soon.

Rock & Jock Softball - 1990

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David Faustino! Tone Loc! Together at last! Grab yourself a funky cold medina and check out this Classic TV Friday blast from our collective pasts. Sam Kinison's Aardvarks take on Sammy Hagar's Salamanders in a battle for MTV supremacy.

Keanu Reeves has a tantrum at first base and Darryl Strawberry... well I don't want to spoil the ending. Be excellent to each other dudes and dudettes.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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creampuffshirt.jpgI'm sick of jinxing Mike Lowell in this space, so this week it's an all non-playoff Creampuff. Which is hilarious because there's a Cubs player on here.

  • Mariano Rivera, Yankees: Sandman had a calicfied joint in his shoulder shaved off. No word on if the surgery was done by Derek Jeter with a Gilette Fusion while Tiger Woods and Roger Federer stood by in queer black suits. Rivera is expected to be throwing again in about 3 months. SO ARE THE REST OF THE YANKEES. LOL +1

  • Omar Vizquel, Lonely: Omar Vizquel had an old guy surgery that 'Im pretty sure I've used as a punchline here before. Homey had laser eye surgery. Teehee. To compound matters, Brian Sabean says there is "zero" chance the Giants will bring him back next year. There may still be a market in the NL for a shortstop that wears these. So don't fret, yet Omar.

  • Carlos Marmol, Cubs: This week on Carlos & Cousins Carlos and one of the cousins get t-boned by a pickup truck! Arooogah! That's gonna leave a mark! Or just what Marmol is calling an "inflammation" on his head. Maybe he should rub these on it.

  • Ambiorix Burgos, Mets: I'm just gonna copy and paste from the ESPN injury report on this one: "Comment: Burgos (elbow) will be jailed for three months while he awaits trial for a hit-and-run accident that killed two women, the Associated Press reports." That is one dangerous elbow injury.

Tonight's Question

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Hey kids, leave my gun in the donut shop, underneath the third booth.

  • WILL Derek Lowe continue to be a warm postseason commodity? Dude has allowed 10 runs in his last 30 or so postseason IP and has that vaunted "playoff experience" dripping out of his Zach Morris looking head. He's been exceptional in his last 6 against the Phils, sporting a 2.58 ERA.

  • CAN Cole Hamels shut down that Mannyfied Dodger lineup? He's thrown 14 IP against them this year, coming in identical 7 inning, 2 run outings. One of those was in the post Manny era.

  • HAVE you adequately prepared yourself for the giant dump Fox is about to take all over our playoffs? Buck! McCarver! Zelasko! Kennedy! Hey, Pepto Bismol!

  • TORRE can't really be the difference, can he?

  • WILL you be back to livewatch with Robert Q. Iracane And Timestamped Jokes Of Death? You best be.

So often the LCS are much more intense than the World Series. This is quite possibly the best 10 days to be a baseball fan. So go home, tell your sweetheart they look good and ask how their day was. Then have some dinner. Then crank up the NLCS with Rob. It's go time.

Oh, yeah. And a drink. Don't forget to make a drink.

Hey Guys, Don't Forget About Your Old Pal, Schill!

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With the Red Sox and Rays getting ready to commence an ALCS that is, in my estimate, almost about as anticipated as any Sox/Yanks series, the spotlight is fully on both teams. Rotation announcements were being treated as big news, each regular season matchup is being reanalyzed and rehashed. As anticipation builds to a fever pitch you're probably not asking yourself the same question I'm not asking myself? Hey, where's Curt Schilling? I haven't thought about him in well over 3 months, and for obvious reasons he is totally irrelevant to the kickoff of tomorrow's series.

Well of course, Curt aint having that. Cue up th..zzzzzzzzzz

Dr. Craig Morgan said yesterday that if the Red Sox had followed his advice to operate on Schilling's shoulder last winter, the righthander likely would have been ready for the postseason.

"If the [team] would have let me do the surgery in January, he'd probably be pitching in the playoffs now," Morgan said in a telephone interview.

Only 3 1/2 months after the operation was performed, Morgan yesterday described Schilling's shoulder as "phenomenal."

And in no way shape or form did Schilling suggest to Morgan that he make these public comments. None at all. He's too busy campaigning to lower himself into this fray.

The timing of comments like this make them look like nothing so much as pathetic. The Red Sox are playing for the pennant. They did it without a single pitch from number 38. Why would Morgan/Schilling think the team would be stung by a game of "I Told You So," right now? It's a moot point.

Curt, go enjoy the $8 million retirement gift that was your 2008 contract. Hell of a gold watch. Then you and your cronies pipe down for awhile.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, fight the grownups.

  • DOES my old copy of Bases Loaded still work?

  • ARE you going to watch the debates? If you need a place to check them out, head over to Pikkumatti's place. I hear he's making 7 Layer Dip.

That's all for us today. Spend some quality time with loved ones tonight. They're gonna miss you once Thursday comes around. Stop by and see us tomorrow. Same WoW time, same WoW channel.

Breaking News: Fat People Play For Teams Other Than Angels

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Astute reader and general Bon Vivant, Honeynut Ichiros, sends along the Baseball Reference Stat of the Day, and boy is it a doozy. It's a year by year list of MLB Players weighing 250 pounds or more, starting in 1998. There were 3 players that fit the criteria that year. This year? 23.

Prince Fielder / Jose Valverde / Tyler Walker / Bobby Jenks / Frank Thomas / J.J. Putz / Boof Bonser / Carlos Zambrano / Justin Masterson / Nick Blackburn / Adam Russell / Chris Young / C.C. Sabathia / Jason Botts / Chris Britton / Jeff Fulchino / Brad Nelson / Bartolo Colon / Chad Paronto / Jeff Niemann / Eddie Kunz / Jason Hirsh / Ryan Bukvich

That's pretty staggering. Some of those guys, like Masterson, Putz and Blackburn clock in around 6'5 or 6'6, but most of them don't. Most of them are just built like your uncle that drinks too much Genesee Cream Ale.

The tracjectory of weight gain in baseball may even outpace the general obesity rate in America, but I'm too lazy too look it up.

John Lackey: Email Me And I Will Fight You

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C'mon tough guy. I'll throw you through a wall.

Are you, Dear Reader, bewildered by my sudden hostility towards a member of the Anaheim Fat Angels? Well then, apparently you haven't read Lackey's postgame comments from last evening. Looks like someone went a little hard on the Aggro Crisco.

"It's way different than last year," said Lackey, who was 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA in two starts this postseason. "We are way better than they are. We lost to a team not as good as us."

Then Lackey was asked to describe the feeling in the clubhouse, and without hesitation and with clear irritation, he shot back, "like I want to throw somebody through a wall."

"[On Sunday] they scored on a pop fly they called a hit, which is a joke," said Lackey, referring to a popup that was misplayed into three runs. "[On Monday], they score on a broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball anywhere else in America [except in Fenway Park]. And [Pedroia's] fist-pumping on second like he did something great."

Oh, you whiny little mushroom head. I'm sure it hurts to lose. You're a competitive guy. Heck, I even complimented you the other night. I admit Pedroia can be kind of annoying to the opposition so I'll cut you a little slack there. But to flat out claim that you're a better team, but lost, well that's the oldest sore loser line in the book. It's not like this series went the distance. You took ONE GAME. You had two at home. You sir, are a tremendous imbecile, and if you'll oblige I'd like to fight you in public.

I'm sure Lackey isn't transferring any of his displeasure at the fact that the Angels hold a 2009 club option for him and he made his least amount of starts and had his lowest ERA+ since his rookie year. I'm sure none of that has anything to do with his anger.

Hang in there, kid. You're going to make a great Jarrod Washburn.

WoW Playoff Dabbleboard, Tuesday, October 7th

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Ladies and Gentlemen (like any girls read this site), here is today's WoW Playoff Dabbleboard. Get your Ed Ruscha on.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I am not a rock.

  • WILL the White Sox and the Angels survive? We've outlined the matchups, we've made the terrible jokes, now it's time to prove it all night.

  • WILL you be here to watch the Red Sox and Angels along with Master Glogger Rob Iracane? He'll take you by the hand, through the backstreets to Fenway Park. Should be a good one.

  • WHICH one of you jerks removed the John Sencio picture from the Dabbleboard?

Stay warm or stay cool, whatever you prefer. But in either case, have a square meal because it's tough commenting on an empty stomach. Rob will meet you back here round 8:30. Same WoW channel.

Move The Cats, Leave The Relievers

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Here's a quick one to get your warm and fuzzies going before you head out into the abyss of your evening commute. Not being lost in the demolition of Shea Stadium are the stray cats that have escaped from local restaurants and made that hulking concrete eyesore home. Somebody tryin' to save em!

At least one cat lover wants the Mets to bring Shea Stadium's feral felines to their new home, Citi Field.

"They're part of Mets lore," said Bryan Kortis of Neighborhood Cats, a Manhattan rescue group. "So why not keep them around?"

Since the ballpark opened in 1964, strays have occasionally scampered across the field during games, including one legendary 1969 incident when a black cat pranced in front of the Chicago Cubs dugout. The Mets went on to beat the Cubs for the National League East division title and won the World Series.

Now officials say that there aren't more than one or two cats there, and still other longtime workers say the've seen any, but those people are clearly just cat haters. Like the health department, that told me it's impossible to keep these 27 cats in my studio apartment and feed them garbage. To you I say, CATS RULE AND DOGS DROOL GO METS.
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Game 4 is going down in Boogie Down Beantown this evening and David Pinto is saying what we already know around here. It's going to be chilly. Couple that with a rematch of Game 1's stellar starters, Mssrs Lackey and Lester, and tonight oughta be some classic playoff gunslinging. There'll be fog on the breath, lots of long at bats, and more than likely, an outcome unknown until the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

Jon Lester has had one incredible season. I plan on putting him (SPOLIER ALERT) in the top 3 of our WoW Cy Young ballot, and tonight according to the Globe's Adam Kilgore, will be charged with nothing less than KEEPING THE ENTIRE HEARTBREAKING PRE-2004 FRANCHISE HISTORY LOCKED AWAY.

Lester, the new ace, is charged with keeping at bay the familiar -- yet nearly forgotten -- feelings of inadequacy and dread that once shackled this organization and all of New England this time of year.

Is that overstating it?

Maybe. But remember, this is the kind of nightmare Red Sox followers feared and lived through time after time, for the 86 years prior to 2004. The Red Sox had complete control of the series. They faced 80 pitches last night/early this morning that could have instantly ended the game and the series. Now they are nine innings from going back to Anaheim for Game 5.

Um yeah, Dan Shaugnessy Adam. That is overstating it. But even if it were true, I expect Lester is up to the challenge. I've been behind the kid all year and if he continues to locate his pitches like a 3 card monte dealer, it'll only be up to the Sox offense. Lackey impressed me in game one almost as much as Lester, and I don't expect things to get easier for a struggling Pedroia or an ailing Lowell against him. Also look for cold weather to tighten up Florida State Seminole JD Drew's fickle back.
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Even though the Indians had an improved second half and got to play as spoilers in a handful of meaningful stretch run games, I have to believe this season was still not a happy one. Picked by many people to return to the playoffs, they stumbled hard out of the gate and ended up losing CC Sabathia for no immediate help. The "new" ace they locked up to a long term deal, was promptly injured and underwhelming.

All in all it was a tough year, so I could forgive Bud Shaw's moment of schadenfreude if it weren't so clearly portending an unfortunate addition to Sabathia bio.

It's not that Sabathia can't win the big game. He won several for the Brewers down the stretch. It's that he can't win the biggest games.

You didn't need to see him fail to get out of the fourth inning in Game 2 to know the Indians made the right move in trading him. By dealing in early July as opposed to waiting until the trade deadline, they maximized their return. Sabathia showed up in Milwaukee the next day and was ready to pitch five minutes later.

The deal for Sabathia was one of the best mid-season acquisitions in baseball history ... right up until he couldn't retire Philadelphia pitcher Brett Myers. If it's not about being tired, as he maintained, then two years of the same results in October -- last year it was 15 earned runs and 13 walks in 15 1/2 innings -- it's about something happening in his head.

Thanks a whole lot, Bud. On the basis of what is still a small sample size, 5 starts, you're helping to dictate the talking points for Sabathia's next ten postseason starts. Can't you hear Joe Buck's condescending staccato recitation now?

"And tonight. On the hill. For. The Yankees. CC Sabathia. Trying to. Overcome. His postseason. Demons. Tim. This reminds me of that. Rhianna song. Someone please. Give me a talk show."

In 25 career postseason IP, Sabathia has allowed 22 ER. A rough patch to be sure, but what Shaw is really talking about isn't even the totality of his post season career. It's only the last 3 starts. In his first two postseason starts for the Indians ('01 and '07) ALDS, he only gave up 5 runs in 11 IP and picked up two lopsided victories. Yes, Sabathia got knocked around in these last 3 starts versus the Phillies and Red Sox, but his teams scored a combined 5 runs. That'll tend to focus a lot more criticism on the guy in the mound.

My point here, and there is one I swear, is that yes, CC Sabathia has had a rough couple of October starts. But he is continuing to grow into one of baseball's most dominant starters, and may rival Santana for the best lefty in the league next season. In an era where oversimplified storylines are the only ones that get any play, latching onto "Sabathia chokes in the playoffs" seems a bit unfair, and most likely shortsighted.

WoW Playoff Dabbleboard, Monday, October 6th

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I present your Dabbleboard for today. And here's a tip: if you click the "share" button on the top right corner it will collapse the URL box so you have more space to draw. Now go make modern art.

FLOIDA STATE SEMINOLE, JD DREW

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So many thanks to Kevn Youkilis & J Papelbon but...

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Florida State Seminole JD Drew.

Update: I made that picture to small and I forgot to give love to Jason Bay. Sox win, but Whiskey never loses.

Weekend Questions

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Hey kids, do whatever you have to do to survive.

  • IF the Red Sox win tonight, are the Angels done? Beckett pitches back at Fenway Sunday night and is said to be feeling good.

  • WILL the Cubs or the Brewers win a single playoff game for their division?

  • ARE the Rays ever going to be out of their depth or will they just keep chugging along?

  • HOW could the two people in that picture possibly be related to Rob? They're too good looking.

  • DO you have enough beer, chips and dip to last through the weekend's slate of games?

So here's our schedule for the weekend: we don't have one. Tomorrow and Sunday we'll have individual discussion threads for each game, and maybe even some glogging. We're playing it by ear for the rest of the divisional round, so keep checking back with us over the next couple days. Lloyd is piloting the ship per usual, but you never know who'll show up. It's the holidays.

I'm in NYC for the weekend, watching the Red Sox in bars that will be blissfully free of success drunk Yanks fans and hopefully any kind of Mets fans whatsoever. You all take good care and we'll see you on Monday.

Disney Salutes Baseball Or Something - 1988

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Classic Tv Friday brings you Disney's Salute To The All-Star game before the 1988 game at Riverfront Stadium. It also salutes America and takes various other controversial stances. You ever notice when Disney does this stuff, it sounds like the same 4 people singing the songs? Same for people for like 50 years singing in the parades and these tributes. Anyway, I think this is creepy but Rob was way into it. Please to enjoy.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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  • Carlos Pena, Rays: Pena left Tampa's game yesterday with blurry vision, the result of him accidentally scratching his eye. I told him not to grow his nails out, but he was adamant about learning classical guitar. Something about the rhythm of the Pyrenees or something like that.

  • Johan Santana, Mets: Santana's stellar second half looks even more amazing now in light of him having knee surgery this week. Yo had a torn meniscus this whole time. That... is impressive. I had knee surgery this past winter and I had to hire someone on craigslist to cut my food for me.

  • Ben Sheets, Brewers: Sheets is out for the rest of the playoffs with a torn muscle in his arm. It's really not as severe as it sounds though. I mean he'll only miss one game. Eat a canned ham, Brewers fans.

  • Terry Steinbach, A's: Raped by a wallaby.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I have traveled here with only my word. And some bourbon.

  • WILL CC do as is his habit, and right the perpetually listing Brewer Ship? If you say no, you're clearly dumb. Because you're from Philly.

  • CAN Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs calm the panic in Wrigleyville? Cubs fans are freakin' out after last night, man. They need Big Z's warm fireballing embrace. Some runs would be nice too.

  • DO you have plans for the late game? If not, stop on by Walkoff Walk. We'll have more live game coverage for you. We're so good to you.

We'll see you right back here 9:30ish. Same WoW channel.

Looking Behind The Brisket Curtain: A Talk With Tom Hicks

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Our buddy Evan Grant got some choice quotes from Rangers/Liverpool owner Tom Hicks. They're his first comments since the season ended, and there are some doozies. Hey Rangers fans, sick of not making the playoffs? Disappointed in Hicks' 10 year reign of mediocrity? Take heart. He's... um... learning.

(Hicks) is convinced the Rangers are on a path for long-term success and he won't change plans.

"It's only taken me 10 years to learn," Hicks said. "Some people are slow learners, but I've definitely learned.

"I want us to be as good as we can possibly be without deviating from the plan," he said. "Sure we can [contend in 2009]. Just look at Tampa Bay. What were they thinking about this season? They were just thinking about getting better. I I think in 2009, 2010 and 2011 we are going to get better and better each year. We will have a better product on the field in 2009 than we did in 2008."

See? That's great news. You guys are going to the playoffs in 2011! Make your reservations now to see them take on defending AL Champs, The Las Vegas Orioles. Plenty of good rooms still available.

Hicks has never been one to "say the right thing." He's pretty much universally loathed by Liverpool fans for not really, you know, knowing anything about the team. But fear not, you acolytes of Arlington. He's got a plan in place that will impart a solid foundation in the Rangers system for years to come. It's part FDR and part Derek Zoolander and I'll let him explain it to you.

"Nolan is putting together the Nolan Ryan Philosophy of Pitching plan," Hicks said. "We're going to try to implement that throughout the system. Pitching has been an issue here for a long time. We've got an opportunity to change that."

Problem solved. Texas style.

Mike Cameron Is Blowing It In The Wind

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Mike Cameron's near catch in yesterday's Brewers/Phils tilt led to 3 runs in the inning. I didn't actually see the catch, because I was at work, but thanks to the miracle that is an Iracane liveglog, I know it was ruled a double and I know it happened at 3:50. But in any case, don't blame Mike, because Dale Sveum sure aint. Blame your creator.

"The wind was doing God knows what out there," said the Brewers centerfielder.

"I cut across like it was going to go down but it kept rising," said Cameron. "My first instinct was that it was not going to travel, because of the way the wind was blowing. It just kind of took off."

"It turned out to be a pretty big play in the game," said Cameron.

"If it isn't caught, nobody can catch it except Mike Cameron," said Brewers interim manager Dale Sveum. "I never question anything he does in center field."

Hey, uh Coach? Mike is printing counterfeit money out in center on what appears to be a very time and labor intensive old fashioned press.

So what? It's Mike Cameron. I can't stop him.

Cameron has been around for years and is indeed a pretty good centerfielder. But Dale Sveum has been around baseball for decades and he thinks Cameron is the best center fielder he's ever seen? He thinks the only force more powerful than Mike Cameron is God? This man shouldn't be managing the Brewers, he should be the Republican VP candidate!

WoW Playoff Dabbleboard, Thursday, October 2nd

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Hey kids, we've got a treat for you. We're all going to collaborate on a piece of art each day throughout the playoffs. We're using a program called Dabbleboard and it's about as sophisticated as drawing on your arm with a Sharpie, but it's still rad. Check out today's Dabbleboard and add your own personal touch!

Late Night Semiglog: Red Sox at Angels, Game One

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Hey kids, I wanted to give you the full on glog experience, but I'm tired as shit and you're home watching the game anyway. So let's watch together and all make pithy comments. Deal? Deal. Your lineups, from The Globe.

RED SOX
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. J.D. Drew, RF
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. Jed Lowrie, SS
9. Jason Varitek, C
SP -- Jon Lester

ANGELS
1. Chone Figgins, 3B
2. Garret Anderson, LF
3. Mark Texeira, 1B
4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
5. Torii Hunter, CF
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
7. Mike Napoli, C
8. Gary Matthews Jr., RF
9. Erick Aybar, SS
SP: John Lackey (12-5, 3.75 ERA)

After the jump, let's make like your parents and get it on. We're glogging till tomorrow!

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, it gets better.

  • WILL you join me back here at 10 tonight as I glog the Red Sox/Angels game? It's a late one, but mom says you can stay over and she'll make us pizza bagels.

  • CAN Derek Lowe and the Dodgers surprise us baseball writin' types and come out of game 1 with a victory against the Cubs? Be sure to text Andre Ethier with something trite if they do.

  • ARE you as surprised as I am that these comedy videos featuring baseball players are actually kinda funny? Sure it's for a great cause and spreading a positive message, but who knew these guy had the Ha Has in them? The first one, Thunder Bolt, features Toby Hall and Nick Swisher. The second features Howie Kendrick and Torii "All Around Good Guy" Hunter.



So enjoy those, then stop by tonight at ten for more gloggy goodness. PLAYOFFS.

Playoff Predictions: Kris

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Brewers vs. Philies: CC Sabathia didn't fare so well in the playoffs last year against Boston, but I still can't discount how good he looks right now. Getting two starts from him in a short series could mean that the Brewers only need to to outslug the Phillies once in a non CC start. I'll buck conventional wisdom and take Milwaukee in 5.

Dodgers vs. Cubs: The Cubs continued to play hungry long after Milwaukee faded away and gave up the divisional ghost. Aramis Ramirez is hot and the pitching looks solid. They could batter this mistake prone Dodger club and retire to the broom closet. Put me down for Chicago in 3.

Red Sox vs. Angels: JD Drew is feeling better, but we'll see if Josh Beckett's oblique strain is as mild as the team would have people believe. His game 3 start is a turning point for the entire postseason. Call me an optimist as I take Red Sox in 5.

White Sox vs. Rays: Could the White Sox be this year's Roxtobermagicaholics? Doubtful, but if John Danks can pitch the entire postseason like pitched last night, it would be a huge asset. The White Sox just have to hang around long enough to get to his next start. Unfortunately for them I expect big Postseason Coming Out Parties for Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza and that airtight Rays bullpen. Let's go with Rays in 4.

NLDS: Cubs over Brewers in 7

ALCS: Rays over Red Sox in 6.

World Series: Rays fever reaches heights of national hysteria unseen since Teddy Ruxpin's 80s hey day. Tampa's pitching puts on a clinic and Cubs fans seek into dispair as their feelgood story and curse breaking gets swallowed up by the freaking Devil Rays. Corks are popped in the winner's locker room. Cheap champagne? Not with Joe Maddon around. Players will be bathing in 2006 Stag's Leap Chardonnay. Oaky, with notes of green apple and Jonny Gomes' neck sweat. Tampa in 4.