Rob Iracane: February 2010 Archives

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It's just an autograph, yes, but it's also much more. Because sometimes you CAN demean boys, too, with funny headlines. Maybe we bloggers should reserve the moral outrage for actual inequities and not waste precious bits and bytes attacking David Brown for doing what he does best: being funny.

Shut down your Facebook account, wipe clean your Twitter follows, and nuke your MyBuzzFriendsterSpaces: the only social networking you'll need to do for the next eight months is following comic genius Ozzie Guillen on Twitter. The White Sox manager made his headfirst dive into the world of 140-character-updates just last night and he's already enlisted the hearts and minds of thousands of followers.

Ozzie doesn't have the official Twitter badge that verifies his identity just yet, but this social media lady, who works with the White Sox and the loquacious Shaquille O'Neal, says it's the real deal. And who am I to doubt a person whose job it is to "develop measurable digital & social media strategies"? Ick, I feel gross just copying and pasting that.

So in the spirit of the laziness that pervades this new Twitter feature at Walkoff Walk, here are some screenshots of Ozzie's twoots presented with as little commentary as possible:




Ozzie followed up this gem by saying "3 day of Spring Training and im already boreddddddd". Really, Oz, you can't be nearly as bored about Spring Training as those of us who follow the inane comments spewing from the beat writers' Twitter feeds. "Player X is here". "Player Y is doing some light jogging". "I just saw Player Z pick up a baseball". Social media, f**k yeah!


Try mini-golf instead, Ozzie. The only tiresome part of that is figuring out where to put the little scorecard when you're going to putt. Why don't miniature golf places have miniature caddies?


Yeah, seriously, why Dye no have job? I heard the Peoria In-N-Out is hiring fry cooks.


BBQ at Ozzie's house! Who's going to bring the errant wieners?


Of course you feel relaxed, Ozzie. Being a baseball manager is probably the easiest top level job in professional sports, save for general manager of the Houston Astros. Step one: sign ex-Phillies Step two: ... Step three: profit!


UPDATE: Apparently, the person pushing the buttons on the Ozzie Guillen Twitter account is his kid, Ozzie Jr. This does not take away from my enjoyment of said account.

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Just a quick hit today since we're busy in the Walkoff Walk office cobbling together our 2010 Division Previews: head over to Baseball Prospectus to find out what ESPN play-by-play guy Jon Sciambi said to Chipper Jones to make ol' Chip shoot him such a laser-eyed death glare (in that picture on the left, chucklehead). Even after you've drank up the delicious Chipper anecdote, Sciambi's guest piece on the possibility of mainstreaming advanced stats is your must-read column for the day.

Spring (the season) is still over a month away but spring (the training) has definitely begun! How can I tell? Because the Tweetosphere is already alive with pitchers, catchers, infielders, managers, bloggers, beat writers, peanut vendors, and sausage slingers telling us about their oh-so-exciting trips to Cactus Country and Grapefruit Grove. Here's a small selection of the interesting quips and quotes from the most loquacious players about the most wonderful time of the year.

Like any good Florida native, Denard Span uses his nose to find his way to Twins training camp in Fort Myers. But I've got bad news for you, Denard, that's not pine tar you're smelling; it's Ron Gardenhire's grundle stank:


C.J. Wilson doesn't have quite as strong a sense of smell as Denard but he knows when it's time to take off his silly Olympics hat and hightail it out of Canadia in time to get on his horse back for pitchers 'n' catchers time:


Ryan Rowland-Smith didn't waste his time heading to Vancouver because his Aussies stink at winter sports, so he's already made it to camp. The only trouble he had was getting into his condo. But hey, there's nothing you can't solve with a paper clip, a slice of Wonder Bread, and a laundry bag full of rabid squirrels:


Some of the Marlins players are enjoying Spring Training a bit too much. Take Chris Coghlan. Either he refuses to proofread his tweets before sending them out to his flock, or he and Dan Uggla have invented an entirely new sport that involves swinging golf clubs doused in holy water at heathens in hopes of converting them:


C.J. Nitkowski doesn't really need to get ready for Spring Training since no MLB team will actually "pay" him to "pitch" anymore, but that won't stop the women in his life from asking him to clean up and get in shape:


But be careful nuzzling with your filthy kids, C.J. You don't want to pick up any illnesses from them like Billy Butler did:


Hm, maybe you should stay away from Royals camp for a week or so, Billy. You don't want to spread that stuff around or the next thing you know, Kyle Farnsworth's got the trots, Yuniesky Betancourt's got the squirts, and Trey Hillman is spewing up green stuff and starting a veritable barforama in the clubhouse.

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Are you enjoying your nightly dosage of tape-delayed snowy Olympic events? Good, you don't mind watching sports that need to have the rules explained to you by Al Trautwig twenty times an hour. Still, wouldn't you rather be watching some competitive baseball right about now? Ever since the IOC eliminated baseball from the Summer Games, folks have been trying to figure out how to get it back in. But why pigeonhole baseball as a warm-weather sport? Why can't baseball be an event in the Winter Olympics?

The most important argument in favor of this unorthodox plan is the possible inclusion of real live professional baseball players in the Olympics. Part of the reason the IOC kicked baseball to the curb from the Summer Olympics is the mere fact that Herr Selig and the ownership cabal refused to allow their MLB players to participate. And can you blame them? Professional baseball doesn't need a mid-year gimmick that interrupts a perfectly good season and screws up pennant races. This isn't hockey, people.

But in a way, maybe baseball needs to take a cue from hockey, which made a huge splash by switching things up and playing an annual outdoors game (in baseball parks, natch). Baseball is adaptable nowadays. You can play it in a dome. There are indoor stadiums all over the developed world. We don't need sunshine and clear skies to play baseball in modern times. And scientifically smart turf developments have made indoor play a lot safer and closer to outdoor play. Well, not everywhere.

True, the duration of Winter Olympic competition collides directly with the onset of Spring Training, but let that not stop veteran players like Derek Jeter or Ichiro from donning their countries' colors to knock the baseball around for a couple weeks. Infielders and outfielders with experience can strap on their gear and get right in the game with not too much effort.

But what about arm problems for pitchers who have yet to go through spring training? Simply put, there's no reason MLB or the NPB or any professional teams need sacrifice their brightest and youngest and tenderest pitching talent for a quadrennial international exhibition. We've seen already the dangers of allowing them to participate in triennial competition, so why not recruit some of our more recent retirees to get back on the mound for one more go?

Yes, this all seems quite anachronistic and downright silly to play baseball in the cold climes. But c'mon, they already have a winter sport (basketball) in the summer games, why not put a summer sport (baseball) in the winter? Let's not be bogged down by traditional season-sport relationships. Modernity allows us to play any sport at any time of year we wish; after all, folks are skiing and skating in Vancouver and Whistler right now even with the balmy seasonal temperatures.

Besides, it'd be a great opportunity for J.T. Snow.

Back in 1977, the average television screen was no bigger than Pete Rose's noggin (which, now that I think of it, was actually pretty big). Along came SegaVision with their 50-inch-screen and the home entertainment business was changed. Forever. Enter Steve Garvey, official SegaVision spokesperson:


Why did Sega choose the Dodgers first baseman to promote their enormous TV? Simple, Garvey needed a screen large enough to enjoy television in a room with all his offspring.

Think baseball players are so focused on their chosen profession that they ignore other sports? Think again! Your favorite MLBers took to the Twittersphere this past weekend to appreciate the NFL's season-ending celebration called the Super Bowl. It was the most watched event in American TV history, so you'd assume that some baseball folk were sitting in front of the boob tube with their chips 'n' guac, just like you, except not quite as fat and lazy.

Still, not all of them knew what was going on. Australian pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith doesn't understand all the hoopla surrounding this game called "American football" and would rather be lassoing a kangaroo or whatever they do down 'under':


Can someone tell me what the word "arvo" means? Is it something like vegemite? And you'd think Ryan has spent enough time in the USA to know a bit more about the NFL. Heck, even Joel Hanrahan's dog knows more about American football than the Aussie RRS. He's familiar enough with the two teams to know that Saints running back Reggie Bush has a predilection for the oopsies:


Surprisingly, Bush made it through an entire game without coughing up the football. On the other hand, catcher John Baker couldn't make it through the entire game without making a bad joke about instant replay:


I think the entire Tweetosphere ground to a half after that bomb. Luckily, professional dater of professional baseballers Alyssa Milano was there to get it up and running. She took some time off from bandwagon-riding to enjoy the hilarious Super Bowl commercials:


Alyssa, Betty White has more talent in her shriveled 88-year-old pinkie finger than you have in your entire body. Even the artificial parts. Especially the artificial parts. Either way, Jose Canseco can't wait that long for Alyssa to grow up, so he went right to the source and took his new girlfriend Betty White to Disneyland instead of watching the Super Bowl:


Jose and Betty are the new Ashton and Demi, except far, far, far more disturbing. Reliever Mike Bacsik probably would have preferred being at Disneyland with a Golden Girl instead of checking out that horrible halftime show. After all, Betty White looks young compared to aging rocker Roger Daltrey. Ew, he looks like my nana! What do you think Bacsik did instead of watching 75-year-old men play CSI theme songs?


Bacsik probably spent the halftime being delusional, like he was after the game ended. Sounds like a poor prediction. When it was all said and done, the baseball tweeter who made the best prediction was Justin Upton:


Now if only Justin could be half as accurate with the bat, he'd be a perennial All-Star.

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Seemingly unsatisfied with statues of mediocre Wisconsinfolk like Robin Yount and Henry Aaron, the Brewers will soon erect a seven-foot-tall statue of Herr Selig in Miller Park Plaza to honor the used car dealer who helped bring baseball back to Milwaukee. Also, they want something that will frighten children besides the tens of thousands of binge-drinkers in the parking lot.

Naturally, they will choose to memorialize Bud with his most famous pose of all time.

Welcome to the second edition of "This Tweet in Baseball", where I scan the baseballtweetosphere for the silly and inane thoughts of people far more talented than I and then make fun of them because I am jealous of their wild success. Won't you join me in the gutter?

Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan, who has chats with God while lolling around in the outfield, likes to proselytize with his Tweets. What else would you expect from a dude whose handle is "cogz4Christ"? (the username "cogz4Donuts" was already taken). Chris and his buddy Jesus were up early this week to fight the good fight against the Dark Lord:



Aussie pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith has an extreme distaste for reality shows that objectify women and make them grovel for rich dudes and their money. The enlightened Ryan prefers more progressive and intellectually stimulating reality programming like "America's Next Top Feminist" and "Who Wants To Be a Suffragist?":



Juicehead gorilla Jose Canseco is getting back in the MMA business, people, but this time he'll be prepared. Dummy thinks he can beat recent MMA champion Herschel Walker, despite the fact that he got walloped by a seven-foot Chinese dude in his first fight, and then he got demolished by former Philadelphia Eagle Vai Sikahema in a boxing match. But hey, this time Jose steps into the Octagon, he'll at least be prepared to fold like a cheap suit:



John Baker recently flew back from a trip to Iraq, and boy, are his arms tired. Wait, John, that's not face wash either!!!!



Nats pitcher Mike Bacsik is recovering from the recent controversy over whether or not he grooved a pitch to Barry Bonds that resulted in a historic tater tot. No matter, Mike's just gonna sit down with his daughter, watch some Nickelodeon, and not give a hoot what you think about him enjoying tween programming:



My second favorite Pirate named McCutchen is a new player in the real estate game and doesn't realize that it's usually smart to keep your cards close to your chest. Dan, some advice for you: find this lady. Don't worry that she's Canadian. Use her, she's a vicious pit bull when it comes to real estate. You're welcome.



Either Jason Grilli hates the CBS sitcom "Big Bang Theory" as much as I do or he is besmirching centuries of scientific fact in favor of the fictional idea of creationism. I hope it's the former, Jason:



Some dame named Kate was watching Nick Swisher guest star on "How I Met Your Mother" in the same room as Nick Swisher. You're through the looking-glass, Kate! Anyway, she captured this grainy photo of the dopey Swisher reacting to seeing himself on the TV box. Thanks for the historical record of that moment:



And what would This Tweet in Baseball be without an appearance from everyone's favorite large, loquacious Lasorda, once again congratulating himself for being famous:



Yes, Tommy, it's always all about you.



Either Chicago White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia showed up to SoxFest 2010 with a little flask full of social lubricant or he just does a spot-on impersonation of a typical Cubs fan when he's busy bashing 'em. See, because they like to drink. A lot. Heck, I haven't seen a baseball player this tipsy since the time Miguel Cabrera dove headfirst into a barrel full of Cachaça at MarlinsFest 2006.

(we owe a barrel full of Coke Zero and a pallet of double cheeseburgers to 'Duk)

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New York Yankees outfielder and brotard extraordinaire Nick Swisher made his sitcom debut last night playing...New York Yankees outfielder and brotard extraordinaire Nick Swisher. He made a cameo on the "hit" "comedy" "How I Met Your Mother" in which he gets in the way of Neil Patrick Harris' character's mission to bed seven broads in a week. Hm, I think they ripped off that plot from the Gil McDougald episode of "Make Room for Daddy".

Below, we present a highlight reel of Nick Swisher's fauxhawk and faux personality. But hey, if you want to watch something funny, though, I recommend hitting up MLB.com's video page and searching for the terms "Nick Swisher" and "baserunning oopsie" or "complete and total inability to catch a simple line drive".

Courtesy of Meech:


Oh, how drôle!