Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Smoltz to where??

"Smoltz, the career leader in postseason wins with a 15-4 record and 2.66 ERA, would likely draw considerable interest from contending teams, perhaps including his hometown Detroit Tigers."

Just what kind of sick society are we living in when that sentence can be printed in a news story? That is vintage bizarro world.

I don't feel like the Braves will ultimately trade Smoltz. Number one, no matter how bad the Braves are, I just can't believe they'll stay this bad. They could finish 15 out and I'd be sitting there in December waiting for them to rally to the top of the standings. That's how resiliant I think this franchise has become. Like an earthworm. (And who among us hasn't cut off the head of an earthworm or two or three hundred?) Number two, even if the Braves really are done, I can't envision a fire sale. Maybe it's just an extension of the first reason, but who knows.

Although, it would be great irony if Smoltz is traded to the Tigers for some prospect, he goes 9-0 for Detroit and leads them to the playoffs, but the prospect goes on to win like 250 games for the Braves in his career. Is that actually irony? Does anybody really know what qualifies as official irony? What if the Tigers have a prospect in their system named Doyle Alexander - is it irony then? Now that my readership has dwindled to zero with my idle blogging, I'm sure nobody's going to be getting back to me on this. Damn.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Now some more thoughts for you

First things first, a shoutout is in order for Sinensky's web gem at tonight's Mets game, catching a screaming line drive foul ball with his bare hands. Or so he has claimed. He is a god among men.

For those who haven't noticed, the Royals are in the middle of their semi-annual double digit losing streak.

For those whoe don't speak English, semi-annual means twice a year. Bi-annual means once every two years. It really isn't such a difficult distinction.

The flip side of Kansas City's losing streak is that the Tigers now own a .696 winning percentage, projecting out to 112 wins. It's scary to say, but it's getting to the point where Detroit could level off substantially and still finish with 90 wins. This will immediately spark the debate everywhere: Do you prefer Jim Leyland or Jack McKeon when voting for your favorite ghastly old, crusty (literally?) veteran manager to pilot a team to a surprise contention season.

While we're in the AL Central, let's pause for a moment to honor the continued dominance of CC Sabathia. I'm not sure why I'm doing that, as I don't have him in either of my roto leagues. So perhaps we shouldn't honor him.

Anyway, I am proud to say that I was in attendence at last night's marathon at Shea, and that I obviously stayed the whole time, along with Team Thread. Just to toot my own horn for a second (I like to toot my own horn at least once a day, but rarely in the shower, it's too messy), staying for the whole time entailed waiting for a 1:55 train from Woodside that got me home after 2:30, and getting to sleep quite a bit after 3, on a worknight. So you see that I put my money where my mouth is when it comes to my no leaving early policy. I'm truly great.

The only thing more amazing than Ryan Madson throwing over 7 innings in relief last night is that it's happened fairly recently. Steve Sparks threw 7 a few years ago. Of course, Sparks was a knuckleballer, and they can generally pitch 13 innings five days in a row until they hit 65, the federally mandated retiring age for knuckleballers.

On that note: Why wasn't the "ace" starter for the Indians in Major League a knuckleballer? Because that's the only explanation for why a gray haired man clearly in his 50s could have believably been pitching in the majors. Too bad, because Major League is otherwise a thoroughly plausible baseball movie. Yeah, guys score from second on bunts all the time.

Last night turned out to be Jorge Julio's farewell performance as a Met, as he was shipped off to Arizona tonight in exchange for Orlando Hernandez. "Ok folks, it's time for America's favorite game show, CUT...YOUR....LOSSES!!!" The Mets no doubt need reinforcement in the rotation, and Jorge Julio still had worked his way in as a reliever Willie Randolph was going to use in big spots. So in a sense there's no reason for a Mets fan to mind the trade. But El Duque has been so bad this year, and I think he might be Julio Franco's older brother. My fear is that the Mets are going to run him out there for one start, then another, then another, and before you turn around it's July and he's gone 1-6 for the team. It also bothers the Mets fan that it didn't even take two months before the Benson trade, ill conceived at the time, was deemd a failure by the front office. Again, better to recognize a situation and move on, but it confirms the criticisms of Omar at the time the deal was made in January. And you jut know that when the D-Backs come to Shea next week Julio's going to enter into some bases loaded jam and strike out the side. In all 3 games.

I'm not going to do in depth analysis from the Diamondbacks side tonight. Although it actually did just occur to me that I do have Diamondbacks fan readership, so maybe I owe it to that segment. Then again, screw it. So Brian, if you've been reading recently, I apologize for shafting your team.

See? I haven't quit yet.

This is important

Two thoughts on Shane Victorino:

1. Wearing a double flap helmet makes you look like you're all set for your important Little League game.
2. Anybody else have the urge to sing "I'm really keen-o on Victorino, what delicious cusine-o, fit for a king and queen-o" every time he comes up? No? What if I said "RUSTY!"?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Afternoon delight

I write this mini entry as the Mets-Cardinals game is in the top of the 2nd. Two quick thoughts: Jose Lima is very adept at allowing the opposing team to score. He should really team up with Tom Emanski to make an instructional video. Also, Gary Cohen noted that in one of Jason Marquis' starts this year the other team swung and missed once the whole game. Nevermind how anybody could know that (we'll assume Elias, which has just informed me that in my life I've eaten 3 bowls of Rice Krispies on rainy Wednesdays in November). How can you pitch like that? I guess the answer, looking at Marquis' ERA this season, is that you can't.

Back later with more gems.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Goose eggs

The Braves won their 3rd straight tonight and have now evened their record at 20-20. I think we should all get ready to welcome Atlanta back into the race. And who got the win tonight for the Braves? Yep, you guessed it: Frank Stallone. Tip of the cap to Norm MacDonald behind us, I'll give you the real answer: Oscar Villareal, now tied for the league lead in wins at 6-0. That is quite the number of wins. That's my insight on that.

Strong pitching performances all over baseball tonight. Johan Santana stayed true to his dominant self but was beaten by Justin Verlander. Moral of the story: if you give up a 2 run homer to Vance Wilson, you don't deserve to win. Verlander, by the way, tossed 8 scoreless innings and didn't strike out a single Twin in the process. Steve Trachsel and Mark Mulder went head to head in St. Louis. And I commend Tony LaRussa for sticking with Mulder to try to get the complete game, even though he ultimately needed Izzy to close things out by striking out David Wright and getting Cliff Floyd on a grounder. Stinking Mets. The immortal Casey Janssen went 8 scoreless innings for the Jays. And Jake Westbrook did go the distance in a shutout against the Royals. Stay tuned for tomorrow, when Estelle Getty will go the distance in a shutout against the Royals.

Catching up is all the rage now. The Padres jumped out to a 10 run lead through the first inning and a half thanks to a 9 run 1st, and had an 11-2 lead going into the bottom of the 6th in Arizona. The D-Backs rallied for 8 that inning to cut the score to 11-10. However, they totally botched the whole thing, giving up three the next inning on the way to a 14-10 loss. If you're gonna waste everybody's time with a rally, do what the Yankees did and win the damn game. Selfish pricks.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What does daily mean exactly?

As you've seen, I've been in a Barry Bondsesque slump with this blog. While SportsCenter has not had nightly profiles of the horrors of my poor performance, a few of you have made comments. I appreciate that you seem to have noticed, and that you haven't accused my recent lack of posts to some post-steroid use physical ailment. Rest assured: I'm still very much on the juice, but sometimes even then you go through your valleys.

Anyway, it's evident at this point that I can't in good conscience call this a "daily" blog, and effective immediately I'll no longer bill it that way. But I will still be updating with respectable frequency (and no, I don't think once a week cuts it), and perhaps without the pressure of daily posts I'll actually be more inclined to post more. This, by the way, is the same logic I used for why I stopped going to shul every morning, and I no longer have a clue where my tefillin are located.

Ok then. The Yankees. Wow. As some of you know, I have a very strict don't leave a game early policy, regardless of the score or situation. This game tonight is why. 10-1 Rangers in the 3rd and some might have headed for the exits into the Bronx night. Un-freaking-believable. What amazes me is not only that the Yanks rallied, but after gaining the lead they lost it 2 more times and came back both times. You'd think that maybe they'd have used all their energy just getting back into the game. It's tempting to say that only a terrible team could possibly lose a game in which they led 10-1, then still had leads of 12-11 and 13-12. However, I'm sure we all remember the Greatest Comeback Ever - Indians-Mariners, August 5, 2001 (shoutout to Michael Hoenig who was in attendance and has the ticket stub to prove it). The Indians trailed 14-2 in the 7th and won 15-14 in 11 innings. And as we know, the Mariners were a pretty good team that year, winning 116 times. A record TYING 116 times, mind you, so that loss should really sting. Anyway, the point is, you can be damn good and still lose like the Rangers did tonight, so I'm not going to blast them for exposing their true colors despite a decent start, blah blah blah.

We have roughly a quarter of the season behind us now, which is a good time to assess the biggest surprises so far. It's also a good time for me to take the easy way out and only assess one surprise, no s, so far. So my vote for the biggest surprise is the Detroit Tigers, now standing in a tie atop the AL Central with a 25-13 record. At the start of the year I predicted a .500 season for the Tigers, which I thought was kind of a bold pick. I also thought (and think I noted in the blog) that it wouldn't be a very competitive .500, but more the never in the race but all of a sudden in late September they win a meaningless 6 straight and wind up even kind of thing. 25-13 is much better than that. And to this point, it hasn't been predicated on some out of whack underlying stats - a reasonable 7-4 record in one run ballgames, and a pythagorian win-loss of 26-12. Will the Tigers stay this good? I don't see how they can. Do you think they're very good? I think we've got the 2006 version of the 2005 Nationals in that they'll come back to earth ultimately (and yes, I know the whole thing with the Nats was the far too good to sustain record in one run games, which is precisely what I just said isn't the thing with the Tigers). But maybe Jim Leyland knows how to squeeze the most out of this team, in anticipation of his likely quitting at the end of the year. Jim Leyland is very good at quitting.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Phillies fans man. What a bunch of shitheads. That's all I have to say. NY fans have a rep, and it's not like Philly (y to signify fans of Philadelphia sports teams, ie to signify the Philadelphia baseball team with a stupid name - they should have stuck with the Blue Jays) fans don't have a rep, but wow - they should have an even worse rep than they do, because NY fans are far more civilized. The whole damn game the idiot Phillie (again, note the ie) fans kept chanting "asshole" and "fuck NY" nonstop, pretty much because they're embarassed that NY fans show up to their park and care more about the proceedings than the Phillie (ie) fans do.

Oh yeah, and the Phillie Phanatic has AIDS.

Do me a favor Philly (y) fans - why don't you just work on what you do best. Getting drunk and fetishizing Rocky and Ben Franklin. Don't act like you care about the Phillies (ies). You care about the Eagles, beer, and keeping your job at the steel mill. And yes I know that's a western PA thing, screw that. Idiots, the whole lot of you.

The outcome of this evening's game is not relevant. Let's go Mets.

Be quiet.

Careful with that bat son

Going to the Mets-Phillies game tonight at Citizens Bank. After deliberation we've decided to go with the Mets jerseys. I'm just not as afraid of Philadelphians and Phillie fans as I would be as Eagles fans. Prove me wrong kids. Prove me wrong.

By the way, in case I've miscalculated, I'm a size 9 body bag.

The IL suspended Delmon Young for 50 games for his bat javelin throw routine. Seems fair. He really threw that thing. The suspension wasn't longer because Randy Mobley, pres of the IL, said he couldn't detrmine if Young threw the bat at the ump on purpose. Doesn't look to me based on the path of the bat that Young was just tossing it and it happened to hit the ump. But whatever. That video is inconclusive, and without absolute proof that Young definitely tried to hit the ump, a year would be draconian. Maybe Young can spend these next 50 games off learning to pitch, since that's really what would help the Rays.

Jim Delsing died today. You mean you don't know who Jim Delsing is? Why, he's the man who pinch ran for Eddie Gaedel. That's right. A man died and the reason anybody has noted it is because he went to stand on first base in place of a midget who had one at bat in the major leagues as a part of a publicity stunt. I don't know - somehow I feel like I'd rather have my death go unnoticed than have everybody reminded that this was my greatest life achievement. It's just embarassing.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Did I also get thrown out?

I've been in a little bit of a slump with the blog recently, as you've seen. I'm still looking for that one well hit entry that will send me on my way to a hot streak. I don't think this is gonna be it.

Did you see that Bonds homer tonight? Hit the facing of the upper deck in Citizens Bank. It was truly one of the longest homers I've seen. Bonds is now at 713 and I have a feeling he's probably going to pass Babe Ruth. Ah well. MLB has said they won't have any ceremony to honor Bonds when he does it, which has been met with some criticism by people who don't understand that Hank Aaron is the all time home run leader and breaking absolutely no record whatsoever isn't cause for celebration.

The Phillies are red hot right now, with 8 straight wins pulling them over .500. I was getting nervous that they wouldn't win enough games to disappoint their fans by falling just short again - glad that Charlie Manuel has righted the ship.

Crazy 2nd inning at Shea today. For those who didn't see it, Jose Lima got Brian Jordan to ground into a double play, only to have the play ruled dead because Lima had balked. I don't think I've ever seen that happen. Sinensky posed an interesting question - what if Jordan had hit a homer? Could the Braves have declined the balk as a team can decline a penalty? Anybody know? Then, Paul LoDuca missed a tag on Marcus Giles coming home on a John Smoltz quasi-bunt. Or so Angel "I openly cheat for the Braves in close plays at the plate when they're playing the Mets" Hernandez called it. LoDuca pulled a David Cone circa Mets-Braves in Atlanta in 1990 and argued the play while it was still alive, allowing the runners to advance. Also something you don't see. LoDuca got ejected. Then to cap it all off Bobby Cox argued that John Smoltz, who wasn't allowed to advance, should have been, and he got ejected. Both sides getting ejected on the same play that wasn't a brawl - never seen that one. With all this, though, the strangest thing was still that Jose Lima was allowed to start a major league game.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The bad and the good

I blame finals for the hiatus of the past couple of days. It should be noted, though, that I will turn around and blame this blog for my upcoming poor grades on said finals.

Josh Towers hates pitching well. He got torched yet again to the tune of 7 runs ins 5 2/3 in Boston. He's now 0-6 with a 10.59 ERA. I can't remember the last time I saw an ERA that terrible that wasn't the result of one bad outing on opening day. Are the Jays planning to keep running him out there? The problem with Towers this year has been in his mechanics. He experimented with learning a circle change during spring training and it looks like it's messed with his release point. Ok, I made all that up. I haven't seen Towers pitch once this year. But I wanted to sound insightful.

King Felix is still struggling. I'm not surprised; he's 20 years old. I'm surprised that people expected him to be on the fast track towards the Cy Young from his first start. Tonight he was beaten by Jose Contreras, who I suppose is the best pitcher in baseball history now.

Anybody else think it's strange that baseball scheduled all the teams to play two 2 game series this week? And why did they start voting for the All Star game in late April? We just started the damn season here. Not that the All Star voting is a model of legitimacy or sensible outcomes anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter that much.

Monday, May 01, 2006

I want a personal catcher too

Gotta love the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

The Red Sox reacquired Doug Mirabelli today from the Padres to return as Tim Wakefield's catcher. Wakefield hasn't been doing too badly without him, but I guess Wakefield preferred that he be brought back. The ESPN story on it has the following to say: "The Yankees also tried to obtain Mirabelli to keep him from returning to the Red Sox, [Buster] Olney reported." Read that again. The Yankees are that insane about letting the Red Sox do anything that met net them a single win they were actually going to create a bidding war to end up with a 35 year old catcher who can't hit and whose primary value is to catch some knuckleballer every 5th day. That's just fanatacism right there. One day we'll see a story that begins, "The Yankees, in an effort to stay ahead of the Red Sox, have purchased all the children in the Jimmy Fund and will withhold their treatments until they become Yankees fans." Sick fucks, the whole bunch of them.

And what the hell is up with this personal catcher stuff? This isn't the first time this has happened. After he was traded from St. Louis, Steve Carlton insisted that the Phillies trade for Tim McCarver too. Do you think that it's just a baseball thing or it extends beyond that? Think Greg Maddux used to tell Eddie Perez to shine his shoes and buy his groceries? And isn't this whole personal catcher thing a little too Ace and Gary? I mean, you'd think guys whose relationship with another man involves terms like pitching and catching, and calling balls, and having private chats together on the mound would be a little more mindful about raising suspicions.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


The Brewers scored 16 runs today and had the third highest run total in baseball. Good day for run scoring in the majors, wouldn't you say?

Esteban Loaiza had what would have been yet another awful start erased from the books today due to rain in Kansas City. Remember before Loaiza was a decent pitcher with the Nationals he was a mediocre pitcher with the Yankees? And before that he was a surprise great pitcher with the White Sox? But before that he was a pretty lousy pitcher with the Blue Jays? Well I think he might have come back around to that phase of his career. No worries though, the A's have plenty of money, they can easily afford to eat the remaining two years and $14 mil on his contract if it comes to that.

Congrats to Felix Hernandez for his first win of the season. Likewise, congrats to Adrian Beltre on his first home run of 2006. 48 homers was clearly not an anomaly for him.

Josh Towers' loss to the Yankees today puts his record at 0-5 with a 10.45 ERA. The amazing thing is not that he's off to such a terrble start as much as it's come with a respectable 12-10 Blue Jays team. Numbers like that usually end up on a pitcher with some horrible team like the Reds. Yeah, I know the Reds are 17-7. But I made a decision today that I'm sticking with my original sentiments of their club, even if it means living in denial all season. Don't think I won't do it. Anyway, Blue Jans fans (yes, I have a Blue Jays fan reading this, and yes, it's possible he might share this thought with some other Blue Jays fan at some point...it could happen) your team is 12-5 in games not started by Josh Towers. Something to chew on.