Kris Liakos: July 2010 Archives

Albert Belle: One Crazy Guy

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Today's Classic TV Friday is a violent one. Are you in anguish over your job/love life/the heatwave? Get some vicarious catharsis through Albert Belle as he beats up people all over the 90s.

The first video finds our permanently disgruntled hero straight laying out Brewers 2B Fernando Vina with a full barreled forearm shiver. The collision is definitely in the basepath, but one doubts that Belle would have hesitated to throw a clothesline or possibly a DDT had Vina been even a couple feet away. Boom.


Our second video is appropriately titled "Albert Belle vs. Royals." I like it because it contains the magically mellifluous phrase "lookin' for a piece of Pichardo," which sounds like something Anthony Bourdain would do on a tour of Mexico City. I also like it because Belle chases down a backpedaling Hippolito and literally runs him over before pounding Mike Macfarlane's head like he was trying to open a coconut.


I think we all feel better now, don't we? Thanks, Albert!

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Leave it to the psychedelic shamans running MLB.com's space roster of the third eye to turn Lou Piniella's "retirement" into the first eulogy I've ever read for a living person. While we've been talking about Sweet Lou's end (heh heh) being nigh for weeks now baseball acted like Kennedy had just been shot.

If no one saw this bit of face saving coming, then the MLB house organ did an absolutely miraculous job rounding up some of the best on the spot quotes I've ever read. But to be fair, I think they may have just told everyone that Lou died. To wit:

"Lou was ultra-competitive in every game," said (Mike) Scioscia. "He had a high expectation for what he would bring as a player, and he had a high expectation for what a team should do on a daily basis.

The funniest part about these quotes being in the past tense is that the Cubs STILL HAVE TO PLAY 67 MORE GAMES WITH HIM AS MANAGER. That mopey mug is gonna be riding the pine the rest of the Summer because nobody is man enough to just cut the cord. Must be some part of that baseball code. So just remember Chicago fans: Lou had high expectations for his teams... but for the rest of 2010 we're just gonna coast. See you next Spring.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do," said (Joe) Torre, 70. "I'm not sure how much I want to work after this year. And that's what I have to figure out for myself with the help of my family. Because my family only really wants what I want because they don't want to have to hang around me if I'm miserable. Again, I'm not of a mind at this point in time to think I'm going to be doing this anywhere else."

OF COURSE Joe Torre took the opportunity to make Piniella's fantasy death all about him. "Hey Joe, did you hear Lou Piniella is [airquotes] retiring?" "Yes, I did. Let me relay to you this clever thing I like to say about my family that probably contains some truth about the emotional rollercoaster of neglect I've put them on." Blech. Who's next?

"We're certainly going to miss a pioneer," said Texas manager Ron Washington.

Who can ever forget those days in Seattle when Lou would sit on the bench loading a musket rifle and wearing a coonskin cap? Speaking of Seattle, didn't Lou see Ken Griffey Jr. read the writing on the wall this season and just bow out immediately? Student surpasses the teacher on that one. What say you, Joe Girardi?

"He's had great teams in both leagues. I was talking a little bit today about the bullpen he had with the Reds in 1990. They were called the Nasty Boys. They were filthy."

What is this a book report? Good statement of fact, Joe. But I think your thesis is lacking. "Remember that time you had the Nasty Boys? That was awesome."

Really, my whole point here is just to bring you what may the GREATEST DUSTY BAKER QUOTE OF ALL TIME. And I'm a guy that used to create entire posts translating his ephemeral wisdom. Here you go, folks. The master is here.

"There's a time for us all. I'm a little bit surprised he announced it now. Everybody will step down sooner or later. In life, you're born, you live, reproduce if you're lucky enough and then die. It's pretty simple."

Pretty simple??? More like pretty heavy, Coach Reaper. We're all gonna die, but we might have sex first. That's Dusty's motto and now it's mine. I love that man.

So happy trails, Lou Piniella... a few months from now. As Alex Rodriguez said about you, "He loved winning as much as breathing." If I've learned anything from MLB.com it's that you've stopped doing both.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, today we are all Frempkins.

Goodnight. I'm gonna go jam in my neighbor's kitchen. He has drums in there. Same WoW channel.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, I'm not ever sure where you are.

  • REMEMBER when the Rangers had the best home record in the AL? Well now, it belongs to the Tigers and they're hosting Texas.

  • WILL Boston's 10 game road trip (starting tonight in Oakland) spell the end for their shaky season?

  • CAN the Dodgers end their 4 game losing streak with a win against Madison Bumgarner and their hated rivals from San Fran. BUUUUUUMGAAAAAARNEEEERRRR!!!

  • CAN the Reds hold onto their slimmest of division leads whilst in Washington? Second place Cards are in Philly this week.

  • IF you made money selling cruises to people would you lead off this week's episode of Cruise Planners News with a story of some woman getting killed by a stray bullet on a Carnival ship? No you wouldn't. Cause you don't have the guts that our man Paul up there does. Nothing gets in the way of a story. Okay, so I'm a little obsessed.

That's all for today. We'll probably be back tomorrow. That's kinda the way it's gone for like two and a half years now. Same WoW channel.

The Milwaukee Brewers Don't Have A Friend In The World

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That Ken Macha is one protective mama bear. Following a weekend where his batters padded their league leading HBP numbers and Prince Fielder's head got tossed at, the skipper complained to huge umpire Bruce Froemming that his guys are just getting plunked too much. While often mistaken for dugout wallpaper or a particularly silent breed of grandpa, Macha sounded more like a seething Charles Bronson when pressed on the issue.

"I cannot read intentions. I don't know," Macha said. "But you just put the evidence out there. That's not my decision to make. We've got two guys that have been hit an inordinate amount of times [Rickie Weeks and Fielder]. That's a basic fact.

"I try to treat the game with respect. If appropriate action is taken ... then so be it. If appropriate action is not taken, then I'm probably handling the situation as a manager," Macha said.

Fielder, who was hit twice in all this weekend, has had a target on him ever since his elaborate home run celebrations last season. After breaking the hopelessly outdated "baseball code" Fielder inspired even jovial players like Torii Hunter to say, "It's all TV, acting, until someone gets hit with a pitch in the chin." Ouch. Fielder was restrained after being hit by Braves pitcher Jonny Venters on Saturday, and Venters was promptly tossed. The rotund slugger says he's tired of "always being the one filmed." I have no idea what that means.

After the tumultous Saturday (which, aside from Venters getting the boot, also saw Bobby Cox extend his ejection record to 156!!), two Braves players were hit on Sunday, yet no Brewers were tossed. You don't see the Milwaukee manager complaining to Bob Watson about that one.

There's an obvious amount of gamesmanship in all of this for Macha. His team is 10 games out in the division and an obvious quick PR fix for that would be to fire the oft mute manager with the .480 winning percentage. No matter what Bob Melvin says. And even if he does stay on through this season there's a chance he could lose Fielder in a trade. The choice for the manager seems pretty simple. Go out silently or go out sticking up for your most visible player and playing against type. Even if it makes you sound a little whiny.

Anaheim stadium... cough cough... ANGEL STADIUM OF ANAHEIM is one of the oldest working parks in the big show. This is a league where retrofuturistic Camden Yards is fast becoming ancient (10th oldest!). But with all the renovations it's undergone over the years, It's funny to think I saw Jim Abbott vs. Roger Clemens in Anaheim with my Grandpa when I was 7. In the same park as tonight's All-Star game. Even that happened 23 or so years after the park opened.

The stadium hosted its first ASG in 1967 (IMPOSSIBLE DREAM), the year after it opened. One of the heroes that day was Philadelphia Phillies 3B Dick Allen. Allen, he of a career 156 OPS+ and 351 tater tots sent one deep to right center.



I don't think anyone wants to know what the woman at 00:44 is yelling.

But Allen wasn't just a prolific hitter. Dude also had soul. And that counts for a lot with the WoW staff, since none of us do. Allen had a music career as the lead singer of Rich Allen & The Ebonistics. Here's their most popular tune, "Echoes Of November"



To me, that's quite righteous. Dick's voice quivers and falters, but it quivers and falters in all the right places. Maybe you need something with a little more oh, Je ne sais caliente? Then you need a little piece of what's climbing the Brazillian Pop Charts. Because one of the hottest selling singles of the year down there is Ana Bolan's COVER OF ECHOES OF NOVEMBER. Her interpretation is way dramatic, and the video is way disorienting. I need to find a way to start shoehorning this into WoW special occasions like the shrimp.



Not only is that a sick tune, but it leads to my favorite line in Dick Allen's whole wikipedia page.

Brazilian pop star Ana Volans rerecorded Echoes of November. Her CD rendition of Echoes of November is selling briskly in Brazil. The CD's jacket contains a dedication to Dick Allen and his Hall of Fame candidacy. The influence of 200-million Brazilian music fans on the National Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans is yet unknown.

Viva La All-Star Game! Viva Anaheim! DICK ALLEN WAS BADASS!

Walkoff Walk Tuesday Evening All-Star Game Glogcast™

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So tomorrow night is the All-Star game. Remember two summers ago I had to glog it in two parts because we crashed the server during that 5 hour game. This year we're taking all the typing out of it as Rob and I host the first ever Walkoff Walk Tuesday Evening All-Star Game Glogcast™. Along with fellow WoWies DMac, Drew and Justin we'll also be hosting a cavalcade of friends while we watch the game live. It'll be by turns funny, sad, boring and tipsy. Hopefully not too much boring. Just put us on in the corner of the room. You know we'll be better than Buck and McCarver.

Scheduled to appear:

Join us! We'll drop the link on you in the morning. It'll be a fiiiiiine time.

Tonight is the Home Run Derby. So uh... enjoy that. We'll give a prize to anyone in this comment section who can correctly guess the first Southern California city (besides Anaheim) that cloying landmonster Chris Berman namedrops during the telecast. Good luck! See you tomorrow. Same WoW channel.

Fozzie peace

Who's that team leading the AL Central going into the All-Star break? Why, it's the Chicago White Sox, taking a vacation right in the middle of an 8 game winning streak. That tear is only their second longest of the season. Looks like best buddies and baseball GENIUSES Ozzie and Kenny knew what they were doing the whole time.

Chicago entered June 8.5 games out, and things were so bad GM Williams had already branded the team as sellers in the trade market. Since then they've gone 27-10, including 9 out of 10 in July. This, kids, is a turnaround. April and May are distant nightmares, like Morning Cup Of Joe.

With the season ending injury to Jake Peavy last week, Chicago is said to be looking to add an arm. Rumors have them interested in Roy Oswalt, but it's been said that Oswalt isn't interested in them. Can't blame him for not wanting to look even more washed up by switching to the AL. Unless the Rangers tank over the next couple weeks and need to dump Cliff Lee, look for the White Sox to hold pretty true to their current rotation. Despite any hysterical pleas for change.

For another summer, Chicago belongs to the White Sox. FIRE LOU PINIELLA.

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Our stylin' friend John Fay at the Cincinnati.com Reds blog just tipped us off to one of the wilder baseball stories of the summer. It seems that Reds draft pick Chad Rogers was bitten on the foot by a shark while surfing. Bitchin!

Kid's a pitcher and the"5 foot bull shark" just nabbed his foot for 60 stitches. Shouldn't be nearly as bad as the impending doom waiting for his rotator cuff when he makes the bigs. And if that does happen, he seems to have a pretty good on his shoulders.

Despite his injuries, Rogers said he's ready to get back in the water.

"If I get bit again, though, I'll probably stay out for sure," he said. "I'm not testing my luck that much."

That is unassailable athlete logic. Get well soon Roy Scheider!

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This story was brought to you in lieu of your regularly scheduled Weekend Questions. Because it's way cooler. Here are tonight's games. Go stumbling into the weekend. It's nap time. See you Monday with more details on the Walkoff Walk Tuesday Evening All-Star Game Glogcast™. Cool. Same WoW Channel.

Oh, yeah. And Joel Sherman is now reporting that Cliff Lee is going to Texas. Whoops!

Frankly, I could care less about you Cleveland people. But for you diehard, lifelong residents and sports fans, this may actually brighten your hyperbolically lousy day. I've stumbled onto the motherload of clips from what appears to be some sort of DIY regional sports/comedy show that appeared on Sportsnetwork in Ohio. Tom Lyons & Tony Hall had a press pass and silly questions for players. They also spent a lot of time in the seats talking to the common man. That's how you get this first video which features BOTH Brook Jacoby and some casual racism from a Foot Locker employee at 1:05.



It's like a cross between This Week And Baseball and MST3K and it's pretty great. There are a ton of these and I'll post more after the jump for you to peruse and learn about Cory Snyder's favorite foods. ENJOY.

What's Up Creampuff: Major Dudes That Got Hurt

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Serious week for Creampuffin. But a wonderful week for the Puffin. Yeah, a huge colony of those kinda penguiny bird things in England was having serious population problems, but now it looks like they recovered. Awesome! Hopefully the following group of lynchpins limping into the All-Star break can do the same. BOOM, HOMONYM SYNERGY.

  • Kevin Millwood, Orioles: Kevin hit the deel with a forearm strain. According to MLB.com he did so begrudgingly. Hey Kevtone, that's the same way Pete Angelos signs your checks every week.

  • Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: Hurt ankle. (passes out). FALSE ALARM. He played the next night in Tampa. Thank gosh.

  • Carlos Quentin, Jake Peavy, White Sox: Fresh off winning Player Of The Week, Q-tone twisted his knee and missed all week. Loosk like he's back today. News is not as smooth for Jake Peavy. Peevtone detached a muscle in his back. That's a pretty illustrative injury and one that'll keep him out for the rest of the year. Maybe they can get Cliff Lee from the Yankees at the trade deadline.

  • Shin Soo-Choo, Indians: Choo has been one of the best hitters in the AL over the past two seasons, but he hurt his thumb and was placed on the DL. Original thought was that he'd need surgery and be out for the season. New thought says no surgery, shorter downtime. Fun fact: Chootone's son is named "Alan.".

  • Justin Morneau, Twins: Morneau got his big, beige, Canadian bell wrung trying to break up a double play in Toronto. Now dude's got a concussion and is feeling "loopy". Which is good news for Twins fans. At least he isn't feeling Lupe Caballero.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, oil me.

  • WILL the Phillies have better luck against first place Cincinnati than they did against the first place Braves?

  • WHO takes rubber in the Twins/Jays series?

  • WHAT does Rob do during all these late west coast Yankee games? I'm not even allowed to call him after 8. They're in Seattle through Saturday.

  • WHAT are you doing for the All-Star Game? WRONG ANSWER. You're going to spend it with Rob, myself and a whole cavalcade of guests as we host our first ever Walkoff Walk Tuesday Evening All-Star Game Glogcast™. It's gonna be like one of those old Tonight Show episodes or a Dean Martin Roast. We'll watch the game, make jokes as they happen and have lots of friends call in that are much funnier than us. It's gonna be a special, special night. Okay, maybe only one special. But still, be there. We'll let you know the guests on Monday.

Que sera, y'all. Just let it happen. See you tomorrow. Same WoW channel. You too, Zangief.

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Did you know Dmitri "Da Meat Hook" Young was a career .292 hitter? Probably not. Did you know dude liked to dabble quite a bit in drink and smoke? Probably did. His relatively peaceful post MLB life as an Frontier League bench coach in Michigan hit a bump in the road on Monday when dude got pinched with some weed at a rural airport. Bummer.

Young was released on $100 bail, which tells me this was a pretty minor offense. Heck, here in Massachusetts he probably wouldn't have been arrested at all. Decriminalized! But his current employers seem to think the ordeal may be even more innocent than just trying to tuck a few j's into his hair and get on a puddle jumper. They're insinuating that Dmitri may have had the weed for... his diabetes? Here's his boss, Oakland County Cruisers CEO Rob Hillard.

"With 13 seasons of Major League Baseball and six more years in the minors, Dmitri Young has had more than his share of bumps and bruises -- to his knees and back -- as well as his well-documented fight with late-life (Type II) diabetes," Hilliard said. "While we believe Dmitri could have exercised better judgment in this situation, we have been speaking with his physician and are beginning to have a clearer understanding of the circumstances surrounding his health.

"What we are certain about is Dmitri's positive impact on our players, their approach to the game and their commitment to competing."

Cool boss! The only research on treating diabetes with marijuana I found was from from the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis on their website letfreedomgrow.com. I think they're biased. BUT I'LL STILL BELIEVE EM.

Mostly, it's neat to see this organization standing up for Young, a guy who has made more comebacks than the mustache. There's a certain amount of leeway in baseball for a guy to make mistakes. Look at Ron Washington and every member of the Mets in the 80s. Sometimes that lets lousy guys get away with murder, but in Young's case it looks like it'll just let this minor offense slide, no many how many hand wringing columns get typed up about it in the Freep. Good on that. Go Cruisers!

No word yet on how any of this affects his awesome looking kid.

Tonight's Questions

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Hey kids, the water is in puddingstone so it's cold as hell.

  • CAN CC Sabathia win his 7th straight start while the Sox and Rays continue beating each other up? LEMME HEAR YA SAY FELIX DUBROOOOOOONT!

  • WHAT will you bid on at the Rangers' bankruptcy auction? I'm hoping they dust off the ol' rubberband ball that is actually made up of Dean Palmer's tendons. And yes, this Chapter 11 thing is still dragging on in Texas.

  • WHAT will you drink on a hot day in San Francisco now that they've banned all sweetened soft drinks? BEEEEEEEEEER. Easiest Tonight's Question ever. I should be the Surgeon General.

  • CAN the Reds stay on top in the Central with another win again the Mets? Gotta do it against Johan.

  • WHAT about Detroit? They've got it easier against Baltimore, but their lead over Minny is slimmer. Speaking of which, they play the Blue Jays who lit up starter Carl Pavano in their last meeting back in May.
Go goodly and stuff. See you Foomorrow. Same WoW Channel.
  • Independence Questions

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    Hey kids, I'm making Dr. Pepper Ribs!

    • WHAT are you doing on this, the most smoke filled, of federal holidays?

    • WILL Lou Piniella make it out of this weekend employed? The Cubs lost to the Reds last night and are getting crushed 10-0 as I type this. I know I'm beating the Fire Lou drum pretty hard, but this is getting ridiculous.

    • WHO has the toughest weekend at the top of that bunched up AL Central? Gotta be the White Sox heading to Arlington, where the Rangers have the best home record in the AL.

    • DID you know that Mat Latos, a starter in tonight's Astros/Padres tilt went to my alma mater, the lovely Coconut Creek High School? Of course you didn't, I just found out myself the other day.

    • WERE any of you surprised that I stopped writing about college baseball the instant FSU dropped from the CWS? Of course you weren't. I'm a total homer. Whatever, congrats Gamecocks.

    I hope you all to have fun this weekend. Enjoy the weather if it's nice where you are.

    One more thing. When you're being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don't forget what you're celebrating, and that's the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn't want to pay their taxes.

    Same WoW channel.

    POSTSCRIPT: Don't let your weekend pass without reading this interview with our own Drew Fairservice over at Fangraphs. Watch him expound on things like his "hit the ball hard" theory and somehow work in a Tulo reference even though he's talking about the Jays. Generally, see him be smarter than us. As usual.

    Well, here's a cool one. I started off by searching for Vin Scully because I love him and want him to be an extra Grandpa. Little did I know I also wanted to see Bo Jackson be totally awesome. After we see a clip of Bo covering 2 miles to make a catch in center he drives a Rick Reuschel meatball to the deepest part of Anaheim Stadium. Yes, the Rick Reuschel finished 8th in the Cy voting that year.

    And the whole thing is (kinda) narrated by newly minted ex-Prez, Ronald Reagan. Classic TV Friday: It's a time machine, baby.