Kris Liakos: June 2009 Archives

I'm A Creampuff: Liakos Takes A Hiatus

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Hey, kids. Starting this little website with Rob has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Honestly. It has opened up all kinds of opportunities for me, both personally and professionally, that I never thought I'd have. I count our loyal and ever growing base of readers and collaborators as one of my greatest achievements. I was always a writer but thanks to Walkoff Walk, I can actually tell people that it's what I do.

However, it's a time consuming and draining enterprise. You wouldn't know it by looking at some of the stuff I turn in, but it's true. At the moment, I've reached a point where other parts of my life need the attention that I've devoted to WoW, so I'm taking a bit of a break.

We're gonna call it a hiatus because I'm definitely not quitting. I'll still pop up in the comments and I'll be at The Heist. Most importantly, at some point I'll probably just come back. And before you ask, this wasn't something that I came up with in an altered state at Bonnaroo. It's been building for a little while.

Telling you how much work the site takes must make me look like a real bum for putting it all on Rob. But I am absolutely sure the site will stay solid and even thrive without me around for a little while. Not a shred of doubt. I mean, you'll all still be reading, right? Okay, good.

So stay with me on the ol' Twitter, and I'll see you all again a little ways down the road. Same WoW channel.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, don't you take it too bad.

That's it for me this week. I'm about to hop in an RV and drive overnight to Manchester, TN for yet another Bonnaroo. They really sneak up on you. Play the "What Sets Is Kris Going To" game in the comments if you want. You're in the always capable hands of Rob and our other friends. In fact, I even see a Matt Sussman liveblog in your near future.

So until I come back dirty and farmer tanned on Monday, keep it locked. Same WoW Channel.

(Picture stolen from deleteyourself.)

Manny Ramirez Hasn't Killed Anyone... Yet

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When you think moral relativism you usually think of Gilbert Harman. Amirite? Well move over Gilby, there's a new philosopher on the block. Suspended slugger Manny Ramirez is a fan of both that slippery ethical slope and the pop in. He surprised teammates pregame yesterday by stopping in to say hello. it was the first time he'd visited the locker room since his 50 game ban. And he spoke from on high. And it was good.

"I don't want to be a distraction for this team," Ramirez said. "What happened, happened. I spoke to (owner) Frank McCourt, I apologized, I spoke to Joe, my teammates and I'm ready to move on.

"I didn't kill nobody, I didn't rape nobody, so that's it, I'm just going to come and play the game."

Boy do I have egg on my face. When the news of his steroid suspension broke I called everyone I knew saying that "Manny tested positive for PEDs, rape and homicide." I'm glad Manny is using relativism to feel better about his suspension but you know, even if he had raped someone he could have still come back and "played the game." Just look at the NBA Finals.

Manny also told the media that sometimes he calls up old teammates like James Loney "to say hi." Which I find very endearing and envious of. I want Manny to call me up and be like, "Hey man. Whatcha dooooooooiiiiin? Oh me, not nothing. I've been wicked good today mang, haven't committed any genocide. Wanna go get candy? Ok see you."

But he probably never will.

Do You Even Need A Reason To Fight AJ Pierzynski?

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Last night's Tigers/Whites Sox was a real good one. Paul Konerko's two run double in the 9th forced extra innings, but then Miguel Cabrera's 10th inning tater tot gave Detroit the 7-6 victory. Thrilling, right? Well, who cares about all that. There was a fight! And no one understands why it happened. Those are the best kind. Take it from noted peacemaker, AJ Pierzynski.

Tigers players have been extra protective of their pitcher and his "anxiety problems,'' so when Pierzynski said "Hey'' to Willis after making an out, it hit the fan.

"They thought there was something there, there was nothing there,'' Pierzynski said. "They were being protective of him. I said, 'Hey,' to [Willis] and they went crazy, I don't know. I said, 'Hey,' and then he said 'Hey,' and next thing I know the benches were empty and all hell was breaking loose. I don't have any problem with anyone on their team. "If anybody else would have said anything it probably wouldn't have been a good deal, but once again I'm in the middle of a crock of [crap], so whatever.''

Coincidentally the "Crock of Crap" is also what they call the French Onion Soup at TGIFridays. HEY NOW!

Pierzynski playing the "I don't know why everyone picks on me" card would be infuriating if it weren't so laughable. His brawl with Michael Barrett a couple years back took on must see status simply because every baseball fan in America wanted to see him get his lights turned out. Not to mention, "Hey" can be very inflammatory. Just the other day Rob said it to me in the WoW Cafeteria and I just frigging leveled him with my lunch tray. He had it coming. You just don't talk like that.

And what's with Joe Cowley, the Sun Times reporter that wrote this, putting anxiety disorder in quotes? You a doctor now Joe? I sure as hell doubt that, otherwise you'd jump the sinking ship of journalism and start your own private practice. Leave the diagnoses to the pros there, Quincy.

Series Of The Midweek: Yankees at Red Sox

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So the Sox have won five in a row against the Yankees thus far this year. But it isn't just media hype that "this is a different Yankee team" this time around. Teixeira hadn't had his A-Rod bounce in any of the previous five games. The Sabathia/Burnett monster is starting to rub the sleep and money out of its eyes and in a more ephemeral sense there is definitely a feeling of "momentum" in this Yankees team. Here are your pitching matchups.

  • Tonight: Burnett vs. Beckett
  • Tomorrow: WANG vs. Wakefield
  • Thursday: Sabathia vs. Penny

If Rob and I had a better sense of "the moment" we would have pitted Beckett vs. Burnett in our second friendly wager. They have history, they're more similar as pitchers and they're way more intense. Also, I wouldn't be losing.

The Yankees will definitely score 15 runs off of Wakefield tomorrow night. Luckily Wang is nowhere near out of the woods yet. It would have been fun to see him face off against Matsuzaka. Thursday is a long way away and I'll be at Bonnaroo.

There is no such thing as a critical series in June. Especially in the AL East. But you have to be looking forward to this one only because the Yankees won't have any pussy excuses. GO TEAM WITH THE FOURTH HIGHEST PAYROLL.

The Tao Of Dusty Baker: June

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You kids have been good lately and I'd like to reward you with a pot of sweet meats. Specifically, it's time for The Tao Of Dusty Baker. The Reds' relative, but diminishing, success in the NL Central hasn't changed The Duster (huff huff) one bit. He still drops knowledge with the same bewitching mixture of obviousness, oldness and profundity. OUt of context quotes from Dusty via the inimitable John Fay. DIG IT BAKEHEADS:

  • "You scout ability and you scout character as well when you're trying to put the pieces of the puzzle back together. We have a lot of homegrown talent. We injected quality guys from the outside to go along with homegrown talent."

Translation: We have baseball players on our baseball team.

  • "I'm very happy here," Baker said. "I plan on being here for a while - if they'll have me for a while. Things change quickly. You've got to stay on top of your game, tighten up your game and keep it tight - without making your players tight."

Translation: There are times in a man's life when he faces uncertainty. Hell, Sartre might have said that's all he ever faces. But if Sartre was around today he'd say: 'Screw it. Keep em loose.'

  • "Well, it's not bad news. It's the best news it could be for bad news."

Translation: Relativity shouldn't even be a word. We should just accept it as reality.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I mean it.

Today has ended: Stay on the path of righteousness. Tomorrow: Same WoW Channel.

Twitter Calls Tony LaRussa Frivolous; We Agree

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Those geniuses at Twitter took a break from turning America's short attention span into a damned Nigerian diamond mine to say that Tony LaRussa's people are big fat liars and they definitely aren't settling his lawsuit. They go even further by calling into question the ethics behind filing such a dumb lawsuit. Just like I did. From the Twitter editorial blog.

Reports this week that Twitter has settled a law suit and officially agreed to pay legal fees for an impersonation complaint that was taken care of by our support staff in accordance with our Terms are erroneous. Twitter has not settled, nor do we plan to settle or pay.

With due respect to the man and his notable work, Mr. La Russa's lawsuit was an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous. Twitter's Terms of Service are fair and we believe will be upheld in a court that will ultimately dismiss Mr. La Russa's lawsuit.

Boom, rationalism. Twitter says what everyone knew. LaRussa told them to take the fake account out and they did. I'm no internet law scholar, but I don't know that there's any precedent in Twitter even having to do that. Him going to court with it was exactly what we called it: overmanaging. Good for Twitter not settling, now it's time for LaRussa just to pull the suit before going through the embarassment of having a judge throw it out for him.

Alone With Everybody: Today's Afternoon Games

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  • 2:05, Tigers at White Sox: Berry berry big series. The White Sox are skidding again, having lost 5 of 7. Sitting 4.5 games behind the Tigers, they need to put the breaks on soon. If they don't at least take rubber in this three five (!) game tilt (today is a double header) Ozzie may be knocking out with the vodka bottle sooner than he thinks. The very shaky Armando Gallaraga goes for Detroit against Chicago's Clayton Richard. CAMP SNOOPY Y'ALL.

  • 2:15, Rockies at Cardinals: Big huge four game broom in play. The Cardinals pitching was keeping them near the top of the NL Central despite a weak offense. Things changed this weekend however as the Rockies scored 28 runs in the first 3 games of this series. DAMN COLORADO AIR M... oh oops. The Cards are at home. Prodigal son Jason Marquis goes for the Rockies, Brad "Shorts" Thompson goes for STL.
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Tomorrow night is the Draft for our friends in MLB. The Mets actually had you pretty high up on the board until you lost your amateur status by letting your friend hit you in the stomach with a metal bat for beer money. But if you're like most other baseball fans you'll still have your eye on the proceedings. See, thanks to the internet, and its specialization and range of coverage, you now think you're a damned expert when it comes to young talent. Even Theo Epstein has had enough of your big mouth.

The Internet allows fans to track how players are doing. And now that the Red Sox have three farm teams within easy driving distance of Boston - the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and short-season Singl-A Lowell Spinners - fans can get in the car and go on scouting missions.

"Five or six years ago, the fan on the street wanted to tell you what superstar you should go trade for, using all your prospects," Epstein said. "And a couple of years ago, they started telling you what prospects you should promote from Double A to Triple A to the big leagues.

"Now," he said, "they want to tell you who to draft."

Holding on to young prospects in lieu of an over the hill big name can often be sound thinking. But just having more information doesn't necessarily make you smarter. Baseball fans with recent interest in the minor leagues and the amateur system are like people when they first start getting into wine. Just because you've heard of a certain exotic vintage doesn't make it good. And just because you've read about some kid on the internet that hit .588 at Wake Forest in his junior season doesn't make him the saving grace for your favorite team.

Take for example, the case of Gordon Beckham. Beckham was the White Sox' first round pick last season, and after just 59 pro games he'll be making his big league debut for the White Sox this evening three days ago. Chicago fans were clamoring to see him with the big club, and they got their wish. It all has left Ozzie Guillen wondering "Who the hell cares about Gordon Beckham?"

Manager Ozzie Guillen wasn't pulling many punches on Monday when the topic of the "golden child'' were brought up.

"The last thing we worry about is [Gordon] Beckham, and I don't know why people in Chicago fell in love with this kid,'' Guillen said in his pre-game media gathering. "He's a great player, he's going to be in the big leagues, he's going to be a big part of this organization pretty soon. But we don't have Beckham on our mind right now. I don't and I'm the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham here, we're in trouble.''

"I hope I can sleep [Wednesday night] and not think about it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have some Vodka knock myself down,'' Guillen said, almost mocking the media hype surrounding the 22-year-old.

That attitude is actually one of the healthiest I've heard from Ozzie. Well except for the self-medication through alcohol.

Gordon Beckham aint saving the franchise. If they're calling up a minor leaguer before he reached certain organizational milestones, than Ozzie is right. It doesn't speak well for what's going on with the White Sox. It's hard to find fault in fans getting excited about players club but people need to temper their new found knowledge of names with some perspective.

Bernie Carbo For Casey Chevrolet - 1986

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YouTube user Adpocalypse describes the following Classic TV Friday video thusly: "An ad from 1987 or 1988 about the 1975 world series, on youtube in 2008.. I was told there wouldn't be any math." That's pretty accurate but I think the commercial is from 1986 due to the mention of 1987 Chevys in stock.

In any case, it's not the year that makes this video special, it's Bernie Carbo turning in what is quite possibly the single worst acting performance I've ever seen from an athlete. Time has kind of obscured Carbo's home run in favor of the hammier and more picturesque Fisk Home Run from that same game. But trust me, once you watch this commercial you'll never overlook Ol' Bernie again. Please to enjoy.

Pirates Players Hold Seance For Ghost Of Nate McLouth

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Well I'd say they're taking this well. Pirates players, in the aftermath of the Nate McLouth trade, are firing off angry missives at management, lamenting their lot in life and lighting candles and making cardboard cutouts of McLouth at the table where he used to play cards. I am not making this up.

On Thursday, at the clubhouse table where McLouth used to play cards with relievers Sean Burnett and Jesse Chavez, a candle bearing McLouth's uniform No. 13 was lit, along with a photo of him in uniform, the Post-Gazette reported. "We'll miss him," Burnett said.

Other players were angrier.

"There ain't a guy in here who ain't [ticked] off about it," said first baseman Adam LaRoche, according to the report. "It's kind of like being with your platoon in a battle, and guys keep dropping around you. You keep hanging on, hanging on, and you've got to figure: How much longer till you sink?

Adam, there are 11 teams in the NL with better records than the Pirates. You've scored 8 more runs than you've allowed. I know we're only a third of the way through the season. I'm not saying you're sunk, but you're also not cruising to the barbados. What did this have to do with soldiers again? Stop mixing metaphors.

Then again, I haven't really understood this McLouth move from the start. Dude was locked up for a couple more years and so wasn't going to cost the Pirates a big chunk of change anytime soon. Shedding salary when you have lousy attendance, or getting something for a FA before he walks are understandable, but just giving up your (affordable) top player for prospects in the first week of June does reek of surrender. Keep burning that incense and donning those headwraps, Pittsburgh.

What's Up Creampuff: Dudes That Got Hurt

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One time as a child I fell off a brick wall and cracked my head open. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and gushing blood everywhere and my mom thought she was gonna have to take me to the hospital but then I heard the Ice Cream Man, immediately stopped crying, asked for a buck and went and bought a WWF Ice Cream Bar with blood all over my face. These wimps need the Ice Cream Man.

  • Jorge Campilllo, Braves: Hor-Camp is headed to the deel for the second time this season with arm trouble. Man, Glavine must have really looked horrible. Jorge, stop sticking your arm in the trash compactor.

  • Edinson Volquez, Reds: Uh oh. Here's another repeat Creampuff, and one that could have some major implications in the NL Central. He has tendinitis in hit throwing elbow and will cease all baseball activity for 7-10 days. Since I have no hard numbers about pitch counts or innings thrown compared to other pitchers I will not remind you that his manager is Dusty Baker. Not gonna do it.

  • Rafael Betancourt, Asdrubal Cabrera, Grady Sizemore, Indians: Betancourt has a severely sprained groin which sounds severely awful. Sizemore has elbow synovitis from "extending his elbow over and over again." TOO MUCH MACARENA. Cabrera's shoulder separated even though it had previously vowed to stay together for the kids. Ha. The Indians.

  • Scott Hairston, Padres: Hairston strained his left bicep. The most devastating part of the injury are the scores of women now stranded on Pacific Beach with no idea how to get to the gun show.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, the Canterbury Tales will shoot to the top of the best seller list.

  • ANY chance with the seasons they're having that Hamels/Kershaw will actually be a pitchers' duel?

  • WILL Big Z be sedated for his start against Atlanta?

  • WHY did David Carradine feel the need to leave us? I can't really claim to be a Kung Fu fan, but he worked with Ashby and Tarantino in two films that I love. Dude had chops. Sad stuff.

  • WILL Chris Carpenter pitch a perfect game or get paralyzed against the Reds?

/Thursday. Tomorrow is Creampuff and all your other Friday Faves. It'll be good. Then again, what isn't good on a Friday? See you then, dudes and dames. Same WoW channel.

Thursday Afternoon Liveglog Club: Red Sox at Tigers

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Hey, kids. That there is a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS, one of the prettiest cars ol' GM ever made. Had some guts too. It's been a sad week up there in Detroit as the company's bankruptcy went official. With the Sox in town, and on the verge of a sweep, I figured having that at the top of the page every time you refresh will remind some of our Walkoff Walk Michiganders of better days.

As for me, I'm coming to you live from the White Horse Tavern in Allston. This isn't normally a place I frequent. Once the sun goes down it fills up with a bunch of BU steakheads that would probably be really into Ryan Braun's new clothing line. But for now it's fairly empty, the windows are open on a beautiful day, and the High Life is cold. Let's watch some baseball after the jump, aight?

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This didn't happen already? Oh well, now's as good a time as any. Sammy Sosa is retiring! Say it aint so. I thought he was just biding his time over the past two years waiting for the perfect opportunity to come back and hit 60 HRs.

Once the shock wears off, and you finally come to grips with the sad fact that your favorite team won't be signing Slammin' Sammy, your thoughts will probably turn to the Hall of Fame. Specifically whether or not Sosa will be part of the class of 2014. The way things are right now, the answer seems pretty obvious, and is well stated by our friend Duk at Big League Stew.

With 609 career home runs and three 60+ seasons Sosa indeed has the numbers for an induction bid. He's never been directly linked to PED use, though the robo-physique he sported in the late '90s/early '00s has always fueled plenty of doubt and suspicion. Oh, and there was that corked bat that he "accidentally" picked up in 2003.

Still, I can't see Sosa being voted into the Hall of Fame while Mark McGwire, who's been rejected by Hall voters three times already, sits in exile. Either both eventually get in or they don't, the Hall's doors remaining about as accessible as Big Mac and Sammy were in front of Congress back in 2005.

But that's the feeling now. In some ways, delaying his retirement by two years may actually help his chances for the hall. As more and more sluggers of his generation are implicated or outright caught using steroids, won't a notion of relativity have to set in? If, five years, from now we've learned that a huge majority of players were using to some degree, the fact that Sosa/McGwire et al, excelled above and beyond their peers holds more weight. McGwire has had to face the voters while PED use is still a scarlet letter. At the rate we're learning about baseball's drug issues, the landscape could look very different when Sammy lands on the ballot.

He might not know how to speak English in certain situations but maybe he's not as dumb as we think.

Dream Song 120: Today's Afternoon Games

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  • 12:35, Mets at Pirates: The Typhoid Marys of Queens, NY travel to the De-McLouthed Pirates. Would you pay money to watch Mike Pelfrey face Ross Ohlendorf? Of course you would, you'll do anything for companionship.

  • 12:37, Angels at Blue Jays: Rubber up north as crankypants John Lackey takes on the hilariously mustachioed Brian Tallet. If you would like to follow along in liveglog format, Weekend Editor and Blue Jays Freak, Drew the Barber has you covered over at Ghostrunner.

  • 1:05, Red Sox at Tigers: No sooner had the texts started circulating last night than Beckett lost the perfect game, then the no hitter. I have yet to hear from my Dad but I'm sure he blames me. I didn't say the magic words! NOT MY FAULT! If you would like to follow this broom closet game in liveglog format, I've got you covered here at Walkoff Walk. This is why Firefox has tabs, people.

  • 1:05, Rangers at Yankees: The Rangers got a solid start out of Scott Feldman last evening and the Yanks were held to a mere 6 hits. Brandon McCarthy goes for Texas today and I wouldn't bank on the same from him. Chien Ming Wang is back in the rotation for NYY. Could be a slugfest. Maybe we'll see Rob on TV getting trampled for a home run ball like a lady at Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving. Again.

  • 1:10, Indians at Twins: Fausto Carmona aint exactly making anyone forget about CC is he? 35 K and 38 BB. Eep. He goes for the Injuns and Scott Baker goes for the Twins. Rubber involved.

  • 2:05, A's at White Sox: SS Phenom and 2008 1st round draft pick, Gordon Beckham is expected to be brought out of the garage and make his major league debut today for Chicago. Not bad for a guy with a name like a TV Chef. Brett Anderson for the vistors, the unstoppable Mark Buerhle for the home team. Rubber

  • 4:08, Royals at Rays: What a stupid time for a game. Gil Meche faces James Shields.

  • 4:35, Giants at Nats: First half of a rain necessitated double header will see Randy Johnson trying to get that 300th win again. JUST DO IT ALREADY. John "Lanolin" Lannan pitches for DC.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, the answers to what comes next and how to like it.

  • WILL Randy Johnson get his 300th win? To put this into perspective, he has won 299 games. In other words, he only needs to win one more for 300. What I'm saying is if you laid his wins end to end it would reach from here to nowhere because wins are non-tangible.

  • CAN Arizona bounce back against the Dodgers after last night's heartbreaker?

  • WILL the Rangers atone for last night's drubbing versus the Yankees? There were some hard slides, brushbacks and warnings last night, making this your best bet for a brawl. Besides when your girlfriend gets home.

  • WILL the Rays take another one from the again hapless Royals?

  • DID you know that today is Martha Washington's birthday? She was a hip, hip, hip, lady.

Go forth in Wednesdayness. We'll back tomorrow with everything you want and nothing you need. Including me, liveglogging the Red Sox from a pub. Should be wild. Same WoW channel. You too, Baby Satan.

Drayton McLane: Paying To Lose

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It's no secret that the Astros overpay for mediocre results. Heck, Rob singled em out and outlined the exact ways they're wasting their money. Their manager is a dead man walking, their ace would like out and despite it all Houston owner Drayton McLane is sticking to his guns. That is, if you believe an "anonymous source" blowing smoke up Bruce Levine's ass.

According to one of the top executives and most respected men in baseball, the Astros are not in the mode to trade any of their players, most notably Roy Oswalt.

"The Astros owner, Drayton McLane, has always been steadfast on his direction of the Astros," the executive told me. "Mr. McLane will be more prone to adding to his team rather than trading his present players away." The executive added, "I read your blog and whoever told you Houston will continue moving Oswalt just wasn't correct."

The insider, who is one of the best-informed people in baseball, knows more about most of the team's intricacies than some people within those organizations.

This insider sounds pretty obnoxious. While I'd like to believe that McLane is a smarter businessman than burning money by sticking hard and fast to a broken organization (this is after all the brains behind religious vegetable night) he took this same tack last year. But the Astros aren't just bad this year, they're embarrassing at the plate.

Seriously. More prone to adding players?? At some point, "never give up" becomes "I have no idea what I'm doing."

Ichiro Keeps Hitting/Incredible Quote Streak Alive

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Even though I know how impossible it is, every 6th or 7th guy that "challenges" DiMaggio's streak makes me feel like "this is the one." But never have I been so sure as I am with Ichiro and his current 26 game tear.

Ichiro has confounded pretty much every expectation that's been put on him in his 9 year (that's it?) career, and that higher plane zen thought thing he has going on makes me think he'll be able to transcend the pressure that comes with chasing Joe D. Need more proof that the dude rolls on another level? Witness this incredible quote from last night's postgame.

So the question was how much the record means.

"Once I got this far, I wanted to achieve it," Ichiro said, according to his translator. "Now I wish that I would have asked my wife, Yumiko, and my dog, Ikkyu, to come to the game today. But at the same time, if you think about it, if I didn't invite them, it means that much to me as well."

Roughly, 26 games meant enough to wish his wife and, of course, dog were there. But it wasn't so important that he thought ahead enough to invite them. I hope that from now until the streak ends, Ichiro gives the exact same quote just adding a new family member/pet each time. And here's also hoping he's got 31 more of them. Kill yr idols.

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Hey guys did you know THAT TONY LARUSSA HAS A LAW DEGREE? Well just in case you forgot, the master of the lefty/righty matchup, the designated setup guy, and batting the pitcher 8th has engaged in more overkill by taking Twitter to court over an impostor Tweeter. You know Matlock, you can just tell them to take it down.

Anthony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, sued Twitter after an unknown Twitter user created an account at twitter.com/TonyLaRussa and pretended to post updates as La Russa. The fake Twitter page included La Russa's photo and a handful of vulgar and apparently Cardinals-related updates. One line of the "profile" suggested it was all a fake: "Bio Parodies are fun for everyone."

La Russa's complaint alleged that the fake Twitter page constituted trademark infringement and dilution, cybersquatting, and misappropriation of name and likeness. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, La Russa's attorney tried to contact Twitter before filing the lawsuit, but got no response. Hours after the lawsuit was filed, Twitter removed the fake La Russa page and its postings. According to the Superior Court docket, the case is still pending.

Looks like LaRussa and Kanye have another thing in common besides having sported a mullet. Is it strange that someone in their late middle agedness doesn't get Twitter? Of course not. Plenty of people of all ages don't get it. But AS A LAWYER DONT FORGET IM A LAWYER, LaRussa should have understood that sometimes mediation and counsel are the easiest way to solve a problem. Now you're just going to get picked on even worse than that benign fake Twitter would have. Tony, go ask your attorney what the FAIL meme is.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, you don't have to be quiet at my place.

That day done got done. No glog tomorrow, but I'll be doing one for you on Thursday so dryclean your blazer accordingly. Same WoW Channel. You too, Braves Hat Dale.
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When Brett Myers' hip shattered like a graham cracker it left a hole in the Philly rotation that only a real bastardo could fill. And luckily they had one. The "hottest pitcher in the organization," Antonio Bastardo, is coming up and making his MLB debut tonight. Most recently a middle reliever for the Lehigh Iron Pigs, ¡El Bastardo! will face off against Jake Peavy, a guy who the Phillies may or may not be coveting. Intrigue!

(Bastardo) the righthander features a low-90s fastball, slider and change-up. Despite a brief conversion to the bullpen earlier this season, which the team saw as a potential strategy to address lefthander J.C. Romero's 50-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the Phillies regard Bastardo as a starter.

"He's getting the chance to pitch in the big leagues," Manuel said. "Of course, his goal is to stay in the big leagues."

Well that and discovering the other half of his family tree. ¡Viva El Bastardo!

Doodled Baseball Diamond

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Shh... just take it all in.
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Those hardboiled muckrackers over at MLB.com broke another doozy this morning with the release of the rosters for the inaugural Hall Of Fame Classic.

For those of you saying, "Hey I thought they canceled that silly exhibition game between two unlucky teams randomly picked to play a meaningless game in the middle of a pennant race," don't worry. They did. This is a whole new game featuring dudes that have retired. Now you very same people are saying, "How can something be a classic in its inaugural year?" I don't have all the answers. Stop talking to your computer. Here's the list of names.

The star-studded roster for the Father's Day game at Doubleday Field includes 28 former Major League players, including Hall of Fame players Bob Feller, Ferguson Jenkins, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro and Brooks Robinson.

In addition to the five Hall of Fame players, the list of former players committed to appear at the game include, Fred Cambria, John Doherty, George Foster, Micah Franklin, Bobby Grich, Steve Grilli, Johnny Grubb, Jim Hannan, Jim Kaat, Jeff Kent, Steve Lyons, Joe Lahoud, Bill Lee, Kevin Maas, Mike Pagliarulo, Ron Robinson, Dennis Rasmussen, Steve Rogers, Rich Surhoff, Anthony Telford, Mike Timlin, Lee Smith and Jon Warden.

Huh? Is Mike Timlin really going to pitch to Brooks Robinson? He could throw a ball through Brooks Robinson. There is going to be skin everywhere. Don't they know that an ambulance can really mess up the infield grass? But hey at least they guaranteed Upstate Underdog's viewership by bringing in Jim Kaat.

In other "_aa_" news, Kevin Maas narrowly beat out both Phil Plantier and Matt Nokes for the spot that could only be filled by Kevin Maas, Phil Plantier or Matt Nokes.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I've got legs but am totally clueless as how to use them.

Your day is done, but you still can have fun. Read a book or a periodical. Then join us back here tomorrow. Same WoW channel. You too, Guy Clark.
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File this one under "What's Your Point," "Shaky Theses," and "What Is With The Pathological Urge To Retroactively Absolve Chuck LaMar and Vince Naimoli For Past Mistakes." Marking the 10th Anniversary since Tampa's landmark decision to choose Josh Hamilton over Josh Beckett (who doesn't remember where they were when they heard the news?), The St. Pete Times would like you all to believe that maybe, just maybe, it could turn out to be the right move.

Not for the Rays, of course, they haven't had Hamilton on their roster since 2006. But you know, DONT BE SO HARD ON THE OLD REGIME. You gotta read the whole thing to get a feel for how ridiculous it is, but here are some choice excerpts.

On the outside, he was noncommittal. Secretly, general manager Chuck LaMar was leaning toward Beckett.

This was early in the process, long before a decision would have to be made. LaMar wanted to keep it to himself because he did not want anyone else in the organization to be influenced by what the boss was thinking.

This is right after the lede. Chuck LaMar saying that he knew that Beckett was the right choice but didn't want to step on anyone's toes. Yeah, you wouldn't wanna overstep your bounds AS GENERAL MANAGER and make your thoughts known.

"(Hamilton) was not only a baseball player in every sense but he carried himself extremely well," said LaMar, now an assistant GM with the Phillies. "When you're making this kind of investment, you do the background check. And it showed he was anything but a problem. There was no hint you would ever have a problem with him."

Beckett, on the other hand, was different. Not a bad kid, just different.

He was cocky to the point of arrogant. He had no trouble explaining how good he was, and was not shy about tossing his name around with Roger Clemens or Nolan Ryan or any other hard-throwing Texan.

For years, the word around the Rays' offices was that owner Vince Naimoli was turned off by Beckett's attitude during a home visit. The teenager slouched on the couch and acted as if he would be doing the Rays a favor by allowing them to make him a millionaire.

Can you believe that!? This kid just compared himself to Nolan Ryan! What's next, is he going to tell us he feels healthy and believes in his stuff? Slouching? On the COUCH? I suppose next you're going to tell me this kid has a skateboard in his garage! That's it. Deal's off.

And of course, all of this is prefaced by the reiteration of what a solid kid Josh Hamilton was out of high school. Far be it from me to say anyone should be able to predict future trouble or substance abuse from a player, but going out of the way to juxtapose Hamilton's Beaver Cleaverness with Beckett's half smirk cockiness doesn't help to endorse the decision. It just reinforces that they were using subjective and meaningless criteria to make their pick. Throw stats/potential/team need out the window, Hamilton has better posture.

Josh Beckett or Josh Hamilton? For the past 10 years, the answer should have been Beckett. For the next 10 years, I'm not so sure.

The columnist that wrote this, John Romano, seems to be working from the assumption that in the 8 years between Hamilton being drafted and getting to the majors he was in some sort of suspended animation and that they won't count against his career. When asking the question "Was Josh Hamilton a better pick that Josh Beckett" you cannot remove ten years of on field performance and aging from the equation and say "Ok, the clock starts now." Just like every other piece of revisionist Tampa fluff we've read, it tries to magically erase 10-15 years of team, league and world history. It's inane.

At the end of the day, the story that Josh Hamilton turned out to be a great hitter. But he still lost, and despite what Romano thinks he can't get back, a huge chunk of his career. You can't just tack that onto the end. Both the Rays and Hamilton found success later on. Leave it at that and stop handing out needless pardons.

And don't ever cross a man with a crush on Josh Beckett.

Do You Have A Permit For That Uzi, Mr... Williams?

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Ted Williams name is in the news, and once again it's not a very good story. The Kid's unassailable record as a hitter has had to stand up to a lot of distraction, speculation and general unsavoriness in the year's since his death. This week's occasion to reconsider him is the theft of some memorabilia that was set to hit the auction block in NH this week.

A person swiped Ted Williams' hunting license and personal notes on local fishing holes during an auction preview in Swanzey on Thursday. The stolen items drew strong interest and could have brought up to $1,000 or more during yesterday's auction, according to auctioneer John Pappas. "Someone needed it badly before the sale," Pappas said after the auction.

Williams was an avid outdoorsman, making these kind of mementos as much apart of his non-baseball life as golf, the military and swearing during outtakes of commercials. One of the comments in the Union Leader article references the "surprise" people felt after the theft was discovered, mentioning the camaraderie and affection for Williams in the room. There were less than a dozen people in the room for that preview, creating a small group of suspects worthy of a dinner theatre mystery.

As far as resale, Auctioneer Pappas warned the thieves not to sell the stuff on Ebay, making him both a thoughtful crime victim and stater of the obvious. The last time I bought a fishing license it was from a Panama City Wal-Mart and was printed on receipt paper. I'll sell it to you for a nickel.

Entire League Exercises No Trade To White Sox Clause

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Why are the Chicago White Sox such an undesirable destination for this season's big name trade bait? By nearly all metrics, Chicago rates as a top tier baseball city. They have a nice park and devoted fans. They reached the playoffs last season, and while they're not exactly dazzling right now, you cannot count anyone out of the AL Central. Well, maybe besides the Royals. But after Jake Peavy but the kibosh on a proposed Pale Hose/Padres deak two weeks ago, the news that Roy Oswalt would also veto any deal to the Southside makes it seem like no matter how they try, the White Sox may just not be allowed to significantly improve their rotation. From Jose de Jesus Ortiz:

Oswalt isn't talking publicly about any trade speculation, but the (Houston) Chronicle has learned that Oswalt would invoke his no-trade clause if the White Sox attempted to acquire him.

Oswalt has a no-trade clause, and if he ever waived it to go play in Chicago it would be with the Cubs and not the White Sox.

So before folks continue to speculate on Oswalt, cross the White Sox off that list. Now, if the Cubs or St. Louis Cardinals call, I would expect him to say yes right away if the Astros approach him and ask him to do it to help the franchise rebuild for the future.

With that last paragraph namedropping the Cubs and Cards, one could speculate that the Peavy/Oswalt distaste for the White Sox is simple. They're both career National Leaguers uninterested in facing the deeper lineups and less familiar batters of the AL. Perhaps the club is just a victim of circumstance, being the most aggressive AL team in the market for pitching. Things could turn out different once they persue a pitcher from their own league, as they are thought to be doing with the Mariners and the clauseless Erik Bedard.

But then, Ozzie Guillen hasn't been the most popular player manager over the years. His numerous, and often petty, public feuds with players, managers and umpires must be one of the first things a player considers when thinking about playing for that club. No one likes working for a crazy boss. Right now Guillen is deflecting questions about his relationship with noted dick Orlando Cabrera. Neither side comes across as very likable, Cabrera loved calling up to the scorer to get errors transferred from his stats to his teammates', but it's not the first time Guillen has had to explain his past relationship with one of his own players. Who wants any part of that.

If the White Sox stay out of contention for the remainder of 2009, expect this to be part of the list of charges that accompanies Ozzie out the door to unemployment.