Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Power Rankings

Many sites have power rankings, but Naughty Baseball’s are a little different. Here, players aren’t ranked on ability, maturity, or clutch hitting. Instead, these rankings are completely subjective, based on how “cool” I think a player is. What does “cool” mean? It certainly isn’t part of the proper journalistic creed. For our purposes, players both past and present can make the rankings as well. All that matters is if you're making headlines for one reason or another. Basically, if a player's antics make me chuckle, they make the Naughty Rankings.

Top 8

8. Adam Dunn

On opening day Adam Dunn was found making outfield blunders at 2:21 PM, 4:04 PM, and again, at 4:16 PM. It seems that even this diehard Dunn fan blogging on redlegnation was running out of excuses for him. But what did Dunn say after the game,

“It's one game…Just because it's Opening Day doesn't mean it's the seventh game of the World Series. It's one game. If you want to say we'll stink it up because we lost one game, go ahead. This isn't ruining my season. I promise you."

Dunn is honest, and honesty is a virtue. He didn’t blame the winds for the foul balls he missed and loves thin mints: “These are thin mints. I put them in the freezer. My favorites. So good.” Dunn on the Reds new cheerleaders: “It gets the fans into (the game) and gives us something to look at.” Like I said, honest, a man of integrity.

7. Jason Giambi

On Dec. 11th of 2003 Giambi admitted to using steroids in front of a federal grand jury. His 2003 line: .250/.412/.527, including 41 jacks. After admitting to steroid use an injury plagued 2004, led to a .208/.342/.379 line, with 12 measly homers. It seems Giambi cleaned out his system, and all his muscle. If you saw Giambi in 2004, you could see his new slimmer look. Yet, he had a power resurgence in 2005 with 32 home runs in 139 games—back to his old self, including the weight. (**wink wink**) Now, I’m not going to sit here and say Giambi is back on the juice, but if anyone has the balls to admit to doing a plethora of steroids, and then do them again, they’re worthy of these here Naughty Rankings.

6. Eric Byrnes

For one thing, anybody who has a website made for them, by someone else they don’t know, must be pretty cool, right? Hmm…this is questionable logic--it sounds like the chick who made this site is just plain crazy. She has this to say about Burns, “I made an Eric Byrnes web site because he's a great ballplayer, exciting to watch, hard-working, has a positive attitude about pretty much everything, and is a great all-around guy. You've just got to respect a guy who plays all out, all the time and looks like he's having a great time doing it. I also love the high socks.” She also says she is confident that Burns will never be caught doing anything like drugs or alcohol, much to my chagrin. Well, Eric certainly didn’t make my power rankings because he wears high socks. He’s made it for one reason and one reason only—he hired one of his best friends from college (UCLA) to be his agent. Enjoy your days on this list Eric, cause they’re numbered.

PS: Burns also has an official website for you diehard fans:

5. Pedro Martinez

On April 7th Pedro hit Jose Guillen not once, but twice. Pedro never admitted he did it intentionally, but Guillen’s .419 career batting average against Pedro makes me (and the rest of the known world) beg to differ. Pedro-1, Guillen-0. A week later, on April 12th, Guillen grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and two out against Martinez. The Mets went on to win that one as well. After the game Pedro had this to say about Guillen: “It could happen in any game, but you know what? I don't hold any grudges…He's probably bitter still, but I'm just going to continue to pray for him, and hopefully it will get better, his temper will change. I still have respect for his bat, he's a good hitter and I'm just going to continue to do what I have to do. And I was glad that, when I'm OK, I don't need to hit anybody." Martinez-2, Guillen-0. I can’t imagine anything more annoying than hearing from the guy who hit you twice in one game that he’s praying your temper will change. HA. You go Pedro.

4. Mark Grace

Myth or fabrication: It’s been said that Mark Grace had a secret for breaking a hitting slump. His “slump buster” was to walk into a bar and pick the fattest, ugliest animal of a woman he could find, and make sweet love to her. Grace’s recent quotes on steroids also included, “I was body by booze.” Sure, he was a slap-hitting 1980’ style first baseman, but you got to love it. Cheers Gracie, I wish you were still playing.

3. Elijah Dukes

Elijah’s antics have already been well documented on this site. But another interesting fact: Elijah attended the same juvenile detention, I mean, high school as Dwight Gooden (currently serving time for cocaine possession), and Carl Everett (doesn’t believe Dinosaurs existed.) Must have been one hell of an education.

2. Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes is tough: looks tough, is tough. When Gomes was 22 he had a heart attack. That’s right, a fucking heart attack. I didn’t even know that was possible before thirty. "My body was able to fight off a heart attack for 24 hours," Gomes said. "I was walking around my house in a full-blown heart attack. I have strong organs, but the bad thing is, it bruised my heart a little more than the average because most people would have gone to the hospital right away." Now in 2006 he’s slugging an astounding .746, after an impressive 2005 where he hit 21 home runs in just 100 games. One more friendly fact—Jonny’s middle name is Johnson making his full name Jonny Johnson Gomes. Not that I would say anything to him about it.

1. Darren Daulton

How could the top slot go to anyone else? I don’t really know where to start. Darren Daulton (Dutch) was a Philly for fourteen glorious years. Despite being plagued by knee problems throughout his career, he became a perennial “star,” helping lead the Phillies to the 1993 World Series and making two All-Star teams himself. And then like my friend Darren says during karaoke, things got weird. Daulton has a belief system based on conspiracies and metaphysics. In short, he thinks the world’s ending at the conclusion of the Mayan calendar on December 21st of 2006. For more information, consult this SI article by Franz Lidz.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Look Alike

Everyone on the web has been looking for a nickname for Tigers “slugger” Chris Shelton, that is, until Gheorghe the blogger came up with Sloth from the Steven Spielberg classic Goonies—a near perfect (possibly even DNA) match. But for me, it doesn’t stop with Shelton. Many formidable ballplayers lack quality nicknames, or, better still, have not been compared to celebrities (of sorts) who look just like them.

Take Nick Johnson who, I hate to say this, resembles Private Pyle from Kubrick's 1987 classic war film Full Metal Jacket. Though some claim that Nick Johnson looks like the adult version of the kid from the movie, The Babe, I have to disagree. When I look into Johnson’s eyes the fear of everything that is holy strikes through my soul when I get a flashback of that bathroom scene in the barracks.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Frank Robinson), addressing Private Pyle (Nick Johnson): “Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit. Get the fuck off of my obstacle. Get the fuck down off of my obstacle. Now. Move it. I'm going to rip your balls off, so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world. I will motivate you, Private Pyle (Johnson), if it short-dicks every cannibal on the Congo.”

My next look alike it none other than the inflamed Oakland Athletic Milton Bradley. Everyone wonders why Milton Bradley is angry all the time, but the answer is right in front of our faces.

Note to parents: If you’re last name is Bradley, you might not want to name your son Milton, for he may be mistaken for the creator of beloved board games such as Monopoly. This is aside from the fact, that Milton Bradley is a big, black athlete, which seems to only add to the comedy of the whole situation.

Go directly to the jail Milton! Do not pass go! Do not collect $100!

While I’d be surprised if I were the first one to notice this, something has to be put on paper. Randy Johnson’s looks have been ridiculed for years—this is nothing new. What is strange, is Johnson’s inheritance, which may or may not have included Sid, the sloth from Ice Age
somewhere in his lineage.

I’m sorry Randy. If only you didn’t give up seven runs on nine hits through three and 1/3 innings on Tuesday to the Blue Jays, this resemblance would have been forgotten.

O…Gustavo Chacin, how I hate you. Incase you don’t know Gustavo Chacin, he is a starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays who made his debut in 2005. He had a solid 2005, albeit extremely lucky (if you don’t believe me, hit the Baseball Prospectus link and look him up), and actually produced his own cologne earlier this year for a promotional day in Toronto. On the cologne, he says, “I really like not strong…It's good for both (men and women). It smells really good." One look at this guy, and you can see why he bugs me. As for the nickname, I have been debating over a couple because depending on what angle you get Chacin, he looks like a completely different person.

At first, Chacin appeared to me as a shoe-in for Buddy Pine, the villain from the pixar hit The

But after seeing the 2006 zombie-alien thriller Slither in recent weeks, it occurred to me that Chacin is more a Michael Rooker than a Buddy Pine. (Michael Rooker is also Svenning’s Dad in the 1995 movie Mallrats.)

And then again, upon a google image search I realized it was impossible to label Chacin anything because he could be mistaken for any tool with big glasses. Hence, I am at a loss of words for his nickname….If anyone has a suggestion please make a comment…I must get Chacin….

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Joe/Morgan Love/Hate

We all know Joe Morgan: Everyone’s favorite ESPN baseball analyst. He loves gritty play, a tough work ethic, free swingers and loose women. I.E., if you resemble a ballplayer from the 1920’s, Joe Morgan loves you. But as the Chinese believe, for every ying, there is a yang. And so I present to you a list of players Joe Morgan surely loves, and, surely hates.

Joe Morgan probably likes…Omar Vizquel

Joe definitely loves Omar’s ability to field with his bare hand—for that’s all he ever fucking does. Maybe Omar forgot that the thing on his left hand is a glove, and with it, you are supposed to field. But then again, for every time he doesn’t use this “glove” he seems to make it onto Sportscenter, and consequently, get laid much more than he probably should.

Joe Morgan probably dislikes…Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera turns twenty-three today and has compiled a career line of .300/.366/.524, while playing “stellar” defense at 3B, when he chooses to. This is congruent with another pretty good baseball player who started at 3B named Albert Pujols. But unlike Albert, Joe can’t bring himself to like Cabrera. Miguel has a problem with something called, “hustle.” For instance, last year that pain-in-the-neck manager Jack Mckeon tried to convince Cabrera to stop talking to his friends in the crowd, while waiting in the on deck circle. And just last week, Cabrera was spotted lightly jogging to a ball off the third base bag in foul territory, which he belatedly didn’t reach. Though Girardi didn’t have the balls to say anything to his only Major League baseball player, he probably wanted to.

Joe Morgan definitely sees himself in heaven as…Scott Podsednik

What’s there not to like? He’s fast, hustles, crashes into walls with no abandon, hit a game winning home run in the world series, and makes easy plays look hard. He can also lay down a bunt, does W.I.T. (Whatever It Takes) to move the runners over, and wears his socks high. Well let me tell you what there’s not to like—everything I just mentioned. A Morgan idol to some, and a demon to others. Podsednik is single handedly ruining the game of baseball. He can’t hit, field, throw, or even give good quotes to the media. He’s like a parasite, living off comments from people like Joe Morgan. Damn you and your small ball Podsednik!!!

Joe Morgan hates calling Red Sox games because of…Manny Ramirez

I wouldn’t be surprised if Morgan has a bottle of 1996 Cristal champagne waiting in his fridge for the day Manny retires. The reasoning is simple: Anybody who can play the game of baseball better on drugs, than he can stone sober, must be evil. For the record, I don’t have any evidence that Manny does drugs, but this picture has led me to believe that something is up.

Ramirez has many symptoms similar to Cabrera—he seems to despise moving anything except a bat. Floundering in the outfield, he often appears annoyed by any “fly balls,” that come his way. He also has what I think are dread locks, and worst of all, wears the equivalent of Phat Farm sweatpants out on the baseball field. Needless to say, Joe doesn’t like this, nor Manny’s lifetime .904 OPS. I can hear it now, “he just doesn’t steal bases, or do the little things…”

Joe Morgan will hate…Elijah Dukes in the near future

Among many things Joe’s probably not a fan of are criminal records. Arrested for battery at age 13, and then again, at age 14 and since joining the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, arrested five more times for various charges, Dukes has, what some call, “off the field issues.” Asides from his arrests, Dukes also skipped the Southern League All-Star game because he wasn’t a starter. But Dukes, like Wild Thing Vaughn before him, has outstanding tools. His upside has been well documented by scouts and statisticians, alike, and it’s only a matter of time before the fiery ball player graduates to the Major Leagues. I can only pray that Joe Morgan is there live with all the action for that day’s great event.

Friday, April 14, 2006

What the Hell Were You Thinking ?

Steroids are the talk of the town this year. You can’t turn on the television, or search the web without seeing something about them. Which made me wonder, if most of America knows that baseball players use/used steroids—what the hell were some of these guys thinking when they turned them down.

It is with this logic that I present to you the All-Guys-Who-Should-Have-Used-Steroids-Team. While many people criticize steroids for shrinking testicles, causing sexual malfunction, for any malfunction to take place you need a partner. And as we all know, chicks dig one thing, the long ball. So here’s a list of guys, who definitely needed a good friend like Barry, Gary, Jason, or even Sammy Sosa to show them the way to the promised land: A place where you can rub “magical” oil on your biceps and take “special” drops under your tongue, and your puny muscles turn into mountainous edifices, capable of spraying cum shots called baseballs all over your opponents.

1B: JT Snow

Where were you Barry???? This goes to show just how selfish Barry Bonds really is. The man has the entire balco lab working for him and he can’t even offer a nice kid like Snow some hitting advice. Any first basemen known for his defensive prowess and a career slugging percentage of .428 needs help. If Snow had roided during his age 28 season, who knows where he’d be right now—certainly not backing up Kevin Youkilis.

2B: Kazuo Matsui

When asked to describe Kaz Matsui, an anonymous baseball analyst, who also happens to be a Mets fan, had this to say: “Kaz is bad, so bad, that I don’t even know if any amount of steroids, or HGH (human growth hormone) could help him.” But nevertheless, he should try something. In 727 career at-bats he has ten home runs. He also looks like a fourteen-year-old girl out there, unable to make the “long” throw from the second base bag. “Kazuo, welcome to America….here, we cheat to win….and if you don’t want to cheat….just close your eyes and I’ll inject you with a delicious cotton candy shot…”

3B: Sean Burroughs

Burroughs had a start to a powerful career, winning a Little League World Series in back to back years. Aside from being an excellent hitter, Burroughs also pitched two no hitters in the LLWS. Was this a sign of things to come? Apparently not. Upon being drafted ninth overall, his power vanished. In four minor league seasons Burroughs hit a total of fourteen home runs. In the subsequent four major league seasons he hit eleven home runs as a regular third basemen. Not only are these power numbers much worse than Kaz Matsui, but Burroughs can’t blame foreign customs for not jumping on the roid-wagon. Drafted in 1998, he saw what was going on around baseball: Sosa, McGuire, the rest of the league. For Christ sakes, did Burroughs really think his natural little league abilities would get the job done at the major league level? The icing on the cake was when he was sent to purgatory, Tampa Bay, after 2005. There, hopefully he can make the proper “adjustments” and acquaintances (Jonny Gomes) to stick at the big league level.

SS: David Eckstein

Not only has Eckstein failed to do steroids—he probably could have done them legally. For years, Eckstein has scoured through his teammates lockers and the rest of Middle-Earth to find his “precious” ring, but has come up short. It is obvious that it would be in any doctor’s best interests to offer some sort of growth stimulant to the frail, malnourished boy. Instead, Eckstein is doing it with what “God” has given him: slippery feet, insidious hands and a burning desire to be more than Albert Pujol’s bitch in the shower. Nevertheless, Eckstein has landed himself in pretty good circumstances on a winning team. Getting him one step closer to his precious.

C: Mike Matheny

Leave it to the Giants to pick up a player at the tail end of their career who nobody else wants. Forget about his 6’3”, 220 lb frame, that’s all buffalo wings and potato skins. In 1268 career games, Matheny has 64 home runs. That’s an average of about five jobbers a year. Though Matheny may be picking up on the whole steroid thing—he hit thirteen home runs a year ago—I expect Pac-Bell to catch up with him. He’ll be lucky to get four bombs in 2006. I know he “calls” a good game, has intangibles that don’t go in the box score, and gets along with the rest of the old-age-home Giant clubhouse. But common Matheny, after twelve years in this game you don’t know about a little thing called “The Clear”? What kind of leader are you?

OF: Darin Erstad

The first pick in the 1995 draft has definitely done more for his community than he has for his baseball team. Reading his bio on made me for horrible about myself for not doing more for my community, but then again, with people like Darin Erstad around, what is there left do? The guy has done everything from donate money to refurbish baseball fields to participating in events called, “Chefsgiving.” He also was North Dakota high school player of the year in 1992, and was a punter and kicker for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team. But through all these accomplishments there’s one thing Darin won’t be able to do—and that’s bench pressing more than Orlando Cabrera. Bronson Arroyo will hit more home runs this year (he has two already) than Erstad. Erstad also plays a poor center field, making up ground by trying to crash into walls and hurting himself, rather than taking the easy way out by injecting himself in the buttocks. When will they learn?

OF: Scott Podsednik

Sure, Podsednik won a World Serieis, but let’s be honest, at 6’1” and an exaggerated 190 lbs, he is one of the worst left fielders in all of baseball. Look at his 2006 numbers—through eight games he’s batting .067. Alright, I don’t know if you guessed it or not, but I hate Podsednik. He’s on this list if for anything else, for being a weak, overrated little bitch. Damn you and your little legs Podsednik.

OF: Steve Finley

It was tough to put Finley on this list because I do believe, that at some point, Finley used his head and juiced. He shows all the major signs: often injured, incongruous numbers, an insane work ethic, and rippling abs. Which brings me to the question of—why’d he stop? In 2004, Finley hit thirty-six home runs for the Diamondbacks and Dodgers going into his walk year. In 2005, he responded to his new contract with the “punchless” Angels by hitting twelve home runs, losing his starting job, and being traded in the off-season to the Giants for a man with no back. Perhaps Finley has learned his lesson—do steroids often and always and never stop no matter what the expense—but only time will tell. And for now, he’ll remain on this list.