Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ode to Spaceman Lee

I had the honor of meeting Bill “Spaceman” Lee when I was eleven-years-old at a charity softball tournament. He is probably the only person I met in my life who I thought was cool then, and even more diesel now. One of the only countercultural sports icons ever, he played for the Red Sox from 1969-1978, and finished up his career in Montreal in 1982. He grew up in Burbank, California and was a standout pitcher for USC in the 60’s.

Spaceman is Naughty Baseball’s quintessential competitor. Pretty much everything I find fascinating about athletes Lee has done. Lee was a “typical” left-handed pitcher, throwing a lot of junk to get hitters out. His arsenal consisted of a heavy-sinking fastball, and slow breaking pitches. Most notably, his famous “leephus” pitch, an uber-uber-slow curve, made famous in such films as Rookie of the Year, starring Thomas Ian Nicholas. His junk was pretty good, however, ending his career with a lifetime 3.62 ERA. But in the end, while Lee was a well regarded player, it was his off and sometimes on the field antics, which made him so likeable.

Like many Major League pitchers, Lee obtained a career altering injury that hurt his fastball. But unlike most pitchers, who usually attain injuries pitching, Lee did it in brawl. That’s right, the guy separated his shoulder in a brawl with Yankee Graig Nettles. Could you imagine this happening today? I mean…not the fact that a pitcher was out there, but that a pitcher was the focal point, putting his balls on the line for his teammates.

Lee also gave management in Boston and Montreal all kinds of headaches, standing up for his bros. In Boston, his buddy Bernie Carbo was traded to the Indians. Lee protested: he stormed into the locker room, cleaned out his locker and told the team he would retire. He was subsequently fined $533 for the incident, and replied by asking if they could make it $1500 so he could take off the whole weekend. A similar situation occurred with the Expos. Friend Rodney Scott was released, and Lee staged a one game protest. Unlike the first time, however, Lee did not return, opting for retirement in 1982.

Besides standing up for his friends, Spaceman freely voiced his support of Greenpeace, Maoist China and anything else that crossed his mind. He lived and still does live day-to-day saying, “I do things spontaneously and not premeditated. I take things as they come and live my life in the present. What I do everyday is what I want to do. If I want to hunt turkeys I have fun doing that.”

Fighter, protester, spontaneous wild turkey hunter--could it get any better? He also loves marijuana, and, apparently, alcohol. Not that it means you’re cool if you do these things, but…The spaceman said he used to sprinkle weed on his buckwheat pancakes in the morning and that the wacky-tabacky made him impervious to bus fumes. On drug testing, "The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties I tested everything." When asked if he were to be paid the same way players are today what he would do with it: “Oh, I’d be dead. There’s no doubt about it, with all the bar owners I know. There’s no way I’d be alive today.”

While I’ve painted a picture of this man as a rough and tumble stoner alcoholic, this is not entirely true. Spaceman Lee is extremely intelligent. He has three books published, insightful political commentary and his own wood bat company. So is there anyone in the 00’s comparable to Spaceman in baseball? Any rebel, with half a brain and such dazzling ideas? It’s sad to say, but there’s no other human athlete in this country with half of Lee’s wisdom. I couldn’t even make up a funnier guy. Cheers Spaceman, we need more guys like you in sports…and in life.

Note. Much of the info. in this article was obtained from these sites:
Boston Phoenix
And of course, Wikipedia

Monday, June 26, 2006

Managerial Report

Inspired by this recent outburst by Minor League manager Joe Mikulik, I thought it was about time for a Major League managerial evaluation. The wittiest, dumbest, shrewdest—there can be only one.

Give him eight Albert Pujol’s and five Johan Santana’s and this man will still find a way to lose.

Dusty Baker has had some success in his career, managing the Giants to a thrilling World Series loss to the rally monkey inspired Angels of Anaheim in 2002. But then again, he had Bonds. Currently, the Cubs are the third worst team in baseball with a record of 28-46. Now, I know the Cubs have been riddled with injuries, but many of these**cough cough**Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, have resulted from outdated baseball rhetoric and extremely high pitch counts. I can’t blame Dusty (though I’d like too) for Derek Lee’s freakish injury, and the Cubs should be a little more successful the rest of the year with him, but this record is inexcusable. There is no excuse for hating young talent and giving Neifi Perez playing time.

I wouldn’t want to date his daughter.

It’s Senior Prom 2001. You pull up in your dad’s SUV to pick up your date. You ring the doorbell—here it is, the moment you’ve lost sleep over the past two weeks. Tony La Russa opens up. He stands instinctively holding a glass of rye whiskey on the rocks in one hand and shakes your hand with the other. You walk in the living room as La Russa sizes you up. You know what he’s thinking, ‘WHAT DA FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO MY DAUGHTER? I WILL SLICE YOUR FUCKING FACE OPEN YOU SKINNY, ROTTEN PIECE OF SHIT BASTARD OF A PROM DATE! YOU KNOW WHO I AM! A GUARDIAN ANGEL! MY DAUGHTER’S FUCKING GUARDIAN ANGEL!’ Sweat slowly beads down your head. “Come here, I want to show you something,” La Russa jeers. The trophy room shines with medieval weapons—a ballista here, a thrusting dagger there. “Have her home by midnight,” is all the wise man says, but you get the feeling he means much more.

He’s got a good poker face.

I sincerely believe that Joe could take fifteen tequila shots, smoke six joints, drop a tab of ecstasy and still manage the Yanks the same way he has been over the past decade. Torre has sat in the in same place on the bench, and while the people around him have changed somewhat, the Yankee maxims have remained the same: Jeter’s pretty good at that backhand play in the hole, and bring in Rivera as often as humanly possible. The media says this is the first year Joe has had to really manage. The truth is, the real Joe Torre died ages ago. Steinbrenner had worked on project T for sometime, before perfecting the appropriate terminology and personality that a robot manager needed. The project has been a complete success—since taking over on Nov. 2nd, 1995, Robot Torre has won four world series rings, a manager of the year award in 1998, and offered some colorful quotes, including: “I have arthritis in my fingers, and picking my nose helps stretch the finger joints and keep them flexible. Oftentimes I switch fingers -- even hands -- mid-pick.”

What a Buzz Kill.

The Scene: A bar, let’s say, Mother’s in Chicago, made famous by the 1980’s classic About Last Night.

Ozzie Guillen: What are you doing? Light beer is for fucking fags.

ME: Om…I like Amstel Light, and in the Netherlands Amstel Light is actually just Amstel, so it’s not really a…

Guillen: Shut the fuck up, you Eistein-wanna-be clown faced motherfucker. I saw you dancing with a fat chick too.

ME: I mean, she wasn’t skinny, but fat seems a bit harsh.

Guillen: You want to have fat fucking retarded fag children, go right a fucking head—see if Ozzie gives a shit.

ME: Well…

Guillen: Just kidding man. In Venezuela this means we’re buddies.

(In case you didn’t get the memo, Guillen called a reporter a fag last week. Albeit, a really shitty reporter.)

I’m not jealous of his job.

Buddy Bell has the worst job in baseball, and, possibly, the entire United States of America. He has to somehow manage the Royals out of embarrassment and into respectability. The mess Allan Baird and the rest of the brains in upper management, have left Bell with nominal, AKA awful, non-talented trash: Mark Grudzielenak, Doug Mientkiewicz and Scott Elarton are the “stars.” To add insult to injury, the rest of the division is really good: the Twins have won 12/13, the Indians were picked by many to win the division, and the White Sox and Tigers are dominating not just the AL Central, but MLB as a whole. Good luck Buddy, good luck.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How Bout Them Bulls

It’s official, I love the Tampa Devil Rays, or, more specifically, the D-Rays Triple-A affiliate Durham Bulls. The team that once featured Nuke LaLoosh, has moved onto bigger and better things. At the beginning of the year I was thrilled to see Elijah Dukes, Delmon Young and BJ Upton all on the same roster. For one thing, they are all extremely talented athletes, and for another thing,

Dukes + Young + Upton + hot weather + living in Durham + Devil Rays organization = anger…deep seeded anger.

Elijah Dukes past antics have been well documented on this site. To summarize, he has been arrested twice before age eighteen, and five times since joining the Devil Rays. He consistently shows up late or misses practices/games, and has attended many anger management classes. In other words, imagine Milton Bradley…on a bad day…with hemorrhoids, multiply that by five and you end up with Dukes. And he has made headlines once again—suspended indefinitely for the remainder of the season for an unspecified reason. Yet, it was only a matter of time before Dukes joined his AAA Durham Bull teammates in community service in 2006. Earlier this year, stud Delmon Young threw a bat at an umpire and was suspended fifty games. Just last week, another uber-prospect BJ Upton got a DUI. He is expected to appear in court on August 1st. I am pretty curious to know what Dukes did this year to be suspended indefinitely. After all, if Young can throw a bat at an umpire and “only” be suspended fifty games, Dukes must have done something awful.

Some possibilities:

1) Dukes beats fan mercilessly with brass knuckles after fan confuses Dukes, with another Duke (below) of the Pittsburg Pirates.

2) Dying of hunger during the seventh inning stretch, Dukes decides to eat Wool E. Bull, and Lucky the Wonder Dog.

3) Strange things are afoot at DBAP (Durham Bulls Athletic Park). Dukes caught in Cleveland Steamer fiasco.

But seriously now, I feel bad for even speculating about Elijah committing such deeds. He is one of my favorite players. In fact, I love reading about the Durham Bulls more than most Major League teams. Not to say that I condone such behavior, but there’s nothing better than when a player says/does what he’s not supposed to do. As Crash says to Nuke in Bull Durham, “it’s time you started working on your interviews…learn your clichés…study them…know them.” And there is something eerily true about this statement. Pick up the paper--this is all the crap you hear from athletes. As Minor Leaguers, Young and Dukes make ESPN headlines not for their ability (which is ESPN worthy), but, instead, for their behavior. Attendance is up in Durham this year for a reason. It’s kind of like a reality show down there in Durham, you never know what’s going to happen next. Even manager John Tamargo is getting into the action. He was suspended for ten games earlier this year for bumping an umpire.

The best thing about all this is that the player’s getting into trouble, are all really fucking good. So good, that despite all their off and on the field issues, that, eventually, all three will be in the big leagues. If not with the D-Rays, with another team. I used to debate with my friend about who has the “toughest” team in baseball. It won’t be much of a debate in 2008: Young, Dukes, Upton, and Jonny Gomes are quite a fierce foursome.

I pray for thee public relations people of Tampa Bay in 2008, you are in for a good one.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Your Guide to the College World Series

As a recent college graduate (if last May is considered recent), and fan of college sports in general, I feel morally obligated to give a little rundown on the Division I Baseball College World Series. College baseball kicks ass for a number of reasons. One being, pitcher’s lives are always in danger, and home runs are plentiful. Giving a first round draft talent a metal bat is seemingly ludicrous, yet, this is what makes college baseball so special. Just last week, I saw a super regional match-up between South Carolina and Georgia. South Carolina hit five bombs in a row—I’ve never seen anything like it. It was incredible. College baseball is also awesome for every other reason college sports are better than pro sports: these guys aren’t playing for money and pussy, they’re only playing for pussy. Consequently, they play the game with more burning passion than any pro could ever possibly muster. Not beating out an infield single could be the difference between getting a BJ from Sally Sure Thing, or another night of wanking it to Scott Podednik’s fiancé.

The Basics

The College World Series is a double elimination tournament composed of eight teams. The 2006 competition includes: North Carolina, Rice, Miami, Clemson, Cal State Fullerton, Georgia, Oregon State, and Georgia Tech. So far, only Georgia Tech has been eliminated. North Carolina is leading after upsetting Clemson in their last game.

Now let’s go to the mailbag to answer some questions about the World Series.

Dear Naughty Baseball,

In your opinion, which team do you think gets laid the most? Will it be the World Series champion, or not?

-Darren from Connecticut

Well Darren, this is a tough two-part question. For starters, I’d say the school with the most chicks beforehand, regardless of baseball, would get the most girls in general because their status would simply be elevated as a result of their team’s success. That being said, I haven’t visited any of these schools, but have heard many rumors about them. I’ll start with the maxim that good things do come in dumb packages. Thus, among these eight teams, Rice and UNC are too academically superior to remain in the class of the remaining six. If I had to pick one over the other, it'd certainly be UNC. Rice is an engineering school after all. Next, I’d say that beautiful women generally flock to warm, nice climates. This eliminates Oregon State, and although I know the weather in South Carolina is nice, it’s no California or Florida, so that slides Clemson out. Furthermore, I refuse to let a tech school make it past this point. That leaves Miami, Cal State Fullerton, and Georgia. I went to school in California, but I just don’t see Fullerton beating out Georgia or Miami. I’ve heard legendary stories about Georgia’s party scene and beautiful women. And Miami does have an excellent marine biology program, which sets them back. Yet, I have to crown Miami the champions because their baseball program is more renowned.

Winning would provide any team with a better chance when they return to their campuses. It’s an easy line: I’m a champion. It would probably help out a no name benchwarmer more than the starters. Yet, the studs would still remain studs, regardless of a victory or not, but winning certainly wouldn’t hurt.

To Naughty Baseball:

Big fan here. Read your site all the time. Which players do you think get the most ass? Shortstops, catchers, pitchers, etc.?

-Steve from New York

Individually, I’m going to say top draft choices must pull a ton of tail because of their signing bonuses. Like I said earlier, the difference between being a pro and not, is a matter of money. Once you give a 22-year-old whose nasty at baseball two million dollars, the possibilities are endless. I imagine Andrew Miller (UNC), Daniel Bard (UNC), and Tyler Colvin (Clemson) are doing pretty well for themselves as first round draft picks this year.

As far as positions are concerned, this topic is very debatable. Making everything else equal, and based on personal observations, I’m going to place catchers last. Their job is too hard to remain pretty. The rest of the positions are too arguable to list in any order. However, pitchers are in a category of their own. They may have a lot of offerings for girls, including a slide piece, straight fastball, cutter, sinker and change, but I can’t really say if they get more ass or not because they’re just too strange and too different from position players. Look at MLB players, who are the weird ones? Barry Zito, Turk Wendell, Jason Isringhausen, Derrick Turnbow, Tim Hudson—they’re all pitchers.

Naughty Baseball,

Who will win this years college World Series?

-F. Scott from Boston.

Miami--I expect a lot of clutch play off the bench. After all, they have a lot more to lose.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

MLB Mascot Ratings

Mascots have been a hot topic in the sports-web world this year. The nation has voiced their opinion about the funniest nicknames. According to Deadspin, I believe the Rhode Island School of Design took home first prize by having a penis and giant balls as their mascot, and call themselves the Nads. While MLB team names can’t hold a candle to these guys, team web pages often provide bios and long explanations of why their mascot exists and his role in the community. That being said, I’ve designated a system for evaluating the usefulness and overall value that a MLB mascot gives their team.

Mascots will be judged on a scale of 1-5 based on the following criteria:

1) Spirit: As Sparky Polastri says in Bring It On, “these are spirit fingers…and these are gold.” OK, I might have to kick my own ass for quoting this movie, but Polastri does know best. Mascots are there to inspire and get the drunken crowd involved in the game. And to inspire they need spirit—joy, happiness, a cunning wit. In other words, W.I.T. (whatever it takes) to get the job done.

2) Tenacity: How badass is your mascot? Is he going to strike fear in the opposing team, or is he going to be playing patty cake with the cute M.I.L.F.’s in the left field bleachers? While mascots are there to cheer (see number 1), they are also there to help the team win. And winning means intimidating…I guess.

3) Relevance: Now, this category is here because some mascots just don’t make sense. For instance, if your name is the Beavers, you can’t have a military assassin as your main man. But if you garner your beaver in grenades, M16 rifles, and a patch over his left eye, that’s fine by me. You just can’t do something completely out of left field.

4) Hilarity: While this may be confused with spirit, it shouldn’t be. Humor may help a mascot achieve more spirit, yet, the two are distinct. Spirit implies more than being funny: it’s in a broader spectrum, more about how much “impact” a mascot has during the game. Hilarity, in my mind, is the mascot’s most important job. If he brings a smile to my face, he’s done his job.

5) Accolades: What has this mascot achieved in his tenure with the club? Is he popular? Do people like him? Has he made a name for himself or what?

I’m going to start with the American League East today, and finish up the rest of the league over the course of the season.

Baltimore Orioles

What is it: Naturally, an Oriole. His name though, is simply, “The Bird.”

What you should know: Hatched out of a giant egg in Memorial stadium in 1979, The Bird, has been terrorizing families with his stupid smile and little hat for nearly thirty years. I think owner Peter Angelos has lost his mind, as this bird has a number of important responsibilities including being the official Goodwill Ambassador of the team, as well as making public appearances (for a fee, of course.) He also, “bats with both wings,” and his hobbies include “sliding on dugouts and acting like a birdbrain.”

Spirit: 2
Tenacity: 1
Relevance: 4
Hilarity: 1
Accolades: 4 (Goodwill Ambassador after all)
Total: 12

What it all means: Throw him in a fire and slather his “birdbrain” ass in BBQ.

Toronto Blue Jays

What is it: Ace—a giant Blue Jay.

What you should know: I’ll tell you what, I like Ace. He’s got a lot of things working for him. For starters, unlike the Oriole, he hasn’t put a hat on his head. Instead, his head and face cone out, creating an illusion of viciousness. His hands match his head, blue, and resemble gloves—why would he need gloves? I don’t want to know. His profile lends to his personality: “Ace is always hatching up a plan to foil the other team. He likes to playfully ruffle the feathers of the officials and players alike. His eagle eye helps him catch fly balls and spot opportunities for mischief." His hobbies include, “people watching,” and his grandfather supposedly, co-wrote the song, “Rockin’ Robin.”

Spirit: 3
Tenacity: 5
Relevance: 4
Hilarity: 1 (I wouldn’t laugh at him if I were you)
Accolades: 2
Total: 15

What it all means: Don’t fuck with Ace. He’s watching your every move.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

What is it: Raymond, a….a…..Jesus, there’s a rather long explanation for what he is exactly: Not knowing what this thing was, marine biologists finally discovered that he was of the undiscovered species called, "Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus," or a seadog.

What you should know: Apparently, a lot. Raymond’s bio is longer than any of the players who actually play on the Rays. You might say Raymond is a bit more eclectic than the other mascots. He likes full contact shuffleboard, belly dancing, extreme chess, and of course, reading. His background is best explained verbatim from his site: “In early 1998, Rays scouts on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico spotted a strange looking animal. The creature, apparently drawn to the boat by the smell of hotdogs on the hibachi, climbed aboard and soon won the scouts over with his silly antics.” Raymond also has his own blog and a Q&A page.

Spirit: 3
Tenacity: 3
Relevance: 1
Hilarity: 3
Accolades: 5
Total: 15

What it all means: Damned if I know. Only an organization like the Devil Rays could come up with shit like this.

New York Yankees

What it is: From what I can tell, they don’t have one. They did, however, briefly have a mascot a couple years ago named Dandy—referring to the song, Yankee Doodle Dandy. He was a spotted bird with a cap. This is the best picture I could find.

Proposed new mascot: This patriotic fellow below, or, Miguel Cairo could dress up as a clown and actually earn his money.

Spirit: 5 (Dandy has spirit fingers if I’ve ever seen them)
Tenacity: 2 (he scares me a little)
Relevance: 3
Hilarity: 3
Accolades: 1
Total: 14

What it all means: It’s my guess that the Yankees got rid of Dandy as soon as that looney toon (sorry) Steinbrenner confused him with Yankee-Legend-In-The-Making Randy Johnson.

Boston Red Sox

What is it: Wally the Green Monster. A jolly fellow with a green face, a big orange nose, and a charming smile.

What you should know: He’s shy about his weight, and has secretly been living inside the “wall” since 1947.

Spirit: 4
Tenacity: 2
Relevance: 5 (for creativity)
Hilarity: 2
Accolades: 1
Total: 14

What it all means: You probably shouldn’t let your children get to too close to this thing. It gets lonely in that wall.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Whose To Blame?

Steroids: I always talk about them, but it seems only natural for this site to cover such an issue. With the events surrounding Jason Grimsley exposing the world to “leaded,” and “unleaded” coffee, that it’s not really a coincidence that MLB players are the only people capable of sporting size “8” hats, that I feel obligated to defend these guys for “cheating.”

Now in no way am I saying steroids (for the purposes of this article when I say steroids, I’m also including amphetamines, growth hormone, horse tranquilizers, cocaine, whatever else floats your boat) are a good thing, or that it’s right to use them. What I am saying is that if there’s anyone to blame for steroid abuse it’s upper-managements’, coaches’, owners’, or, most applicably, the commissioners’. While players were/are the ones choosing to do it, they really aren’t left with much of a choice.

Just like in High School when you were offered your first beer, or when things got weird at college with a couple crack whores, it’s hard to say, “no.” For instance, let’s pretend you are a good, not great AA minor league baseball player. You play 2B, make $800/month, and you compete against someone else who is equally as good as you. One day, you notice how much stronger your fellow second basemen has become. He’s hitting twice as many balls out during batting practice, and, consequently, earns the starting job over you. You have two choices: do what he’s doing and play, or don’t do it and don’t play. But there’s more riding on the line than just playing time. If you play well enough, maybe you graduate to the major league’s where a first year salary starts around $335,000. That’s not a lot of money by MLB standards, but in the real world, that’s a ton. From rags to riches all at the expense of…poor health, cheating America’s most legendary past time.

Hell, let me put it to you this way. If there was a drug that took ten years off ones life, but made one exceptionally intelligent, allowing them to excel at a phenomenal rate at their job, I believe it would be in heavy demand. Instead of landing a $100,000 job at age 32, you’re doing it at 27. How many people would do you know who would turn this down? There was a study done about my generation (the twenty-something generation), and while we’re known for being hard workers, we’re not known for saving. Where as my parents generation were known for grinding it out until you can retire, my generation says, I got a check for $600 this week, I’m going to spend every penny right now, on this bottle of Crystal so I can sit in the VIP section of a “hot” bar (Not that I personally do this). It’s the work hard, party hard, live for the moment crop, and why should baseball players be any different?

It’s my belief that it’s not so much the A-Rod’s, or the Pujol’s who roid, but guys like Grimsley who are struggling to stay at the big league level and succeed financially. And I’m saying this in no way to be a dick, but most of the guys playing ball at this level are not blowing up the SAT’s. Sure, there are the Eric Bruntlett’s and Greg Maddux’s, but for every one of them, there are a hundred more Manny Ramirez’s. Basically, these guys have to earn their money now because the future isn’t burning exceptionally bright. It also doesn’t seem like anyone has told these guys not to do it. Isn’t that why players hire agents, and managers—to guide them and tell them what is right, or wrong, what they should or shouldn’t do? These guys are young, and I don’t believe they know many of the repercussions associated with steroid use. All they see is bling, and I don’t blame them.

In 1998, I was fifteen, took one look at Mark McGuire and thought there was something strangely familiar about him-oh yeah, he looked just like Mariusz Pudzianowski of World’s Strongest Man fame. Yet, MLB executives seemed not to care. This was the year that finally brought MLB back into the Lime Light, back from the 1994 strike doldrums. Revenue was shooting up (ha…haha), fans were going crazy, who didn’t like seeing baseball when it wasn’t anything like regular baseball? When there’s money to be made, sacrifices have to be made as well. Sacrifices, like pretending that Glen Allen Hill and Bret Boone are actually good at baseball. Maybe it’s all just my little conspiracy theory, but how could coaches, owners, managers and the commissioner not know what’s going on? It’s impossible, they must have known, turned a blind eye and were counting on it not to get out of their hands and into the media’s. The Diamondbacks lost seven straight since Grimsley got caught: who is shitting their pants waiting for the Feds to knock on their door? Everybody—except the people in charge. It can’t possibly be their fault, right? Just because they weren’t the ones injecting, doesn’t mean they weren’t the ones supporting.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

If They Weren't Playing Baseball They'd Be...

Naughty Baseball is starting a new series of articles entitled, “if they weren’t playing baseball they’d be…” Obviously, these types of things are very debatable, but I can only imagine how certain player’s lives would be different if baseball didn't exist...then again, this website wouldn't exist either...Hmm...Anyways...

If Scott Podsednik wasn’t playing baseball he’d be…

Pumping gas in Texas. Not that there’s anything wrong with pumping gas, I’m just saying. Anyways, Podsednik is in the majors for one reason or another, but the one I find most appropriate is called “luck.” Podsednik is a throwback—he wears high socks, steals bases and does everything else small ball. He always ‘appears’ to be doing more for his team than he’s actually doing. This is all fine and good if you played in the 1930’s. Only a manger like Ozzie Guillen (and possibly Mike Scioscia) could turn such a bad player into a star and make an entire Northern city love him.

Not to mention this…

Yes, I am jealous. Podsednik is engaged to Lisa Dergan, the playboy playmate ….let’s trade her in for someone more appropriately up Scottie’s alley…someone more like this…

If Bobby Jenks wasn’t playing baseball he’d be…

Doing what he did back in grade school with Pah’, Mah’, and Sis…Wearing overalls, sipping homemade moonshine, and dipping a clip of tobacco on his front porch. While Jenks was born in California, he grew up in the panhandle of Idaho. Although wikipedia needs a citation for the following it says: “…he was a local urban legend for his throwing ability and his wild behavior. Jenks was a heavy drinker and alienated baseball scouts when he and his father rejected one for being a Jew.” Jenks still threw 100 MPH though, and was drafted in 2000 by the Angels. Additionally, it’s documented that throughout his minor league career Jenks was a boozehound, always trying to sneak alcohol on team busses (not that I blame him.) Eventually, Jenks was picked up by the White Sox on waivers, lost weight, gave up booze, saved many a game for the World Champion White Sox, got married and had kids. Nevertheless, Jenks will always hold a special image in my heart as the guy sitting on a porch calling scouts derogatory names.

If AJ Pierzynski wasn’t playing baseball he’d be...

A Human-Fire-hydrant. That’s right, when people leave the bars, drunk and unable to get to the bathroom in time, they could, instead, piss all over AJ. Plus, no charge is required, AJ is just reaching out to the community, paying back his debt to society for being such a ridiculous fucking tool. AJ has been terrorizing the world since Dec. 30th, 1976—the day of his birth. The highlight of his playing career so far was on May 20th of this year, when Michael Barrett socked his bitch-ass in the mouth for being, as usual, a cantankerous tool. Although I applauded this event, other writers seemed to be on AJ’s side. I remember a certain Moriarty of the Chicago Tribune on PTI, saying that if everyone was as comfortable in their shoes as AJ was, the world would be a better place. I vomited in my own mouth. Comfortable in his shoes? Since when was a player who cheated his team to a playoff victory last year so openly praised? The guy was a cancer in every other clubhouse he’s been in and will go down as the tail end of one of the worst trades in baseball history—being swapped for Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, and Boof Bonser in 2003. To make matters worse, he appeared in a WWE event this past off-season. Enjoy your playing days AJ, you can’t be a professional dick after you retire.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Off the DL

Sorry for not posting the last couple of weeks. I was (am) recovering from various broken bones. Though my typing isn't perfect, it's good enough.

Cheers and Enjoy.

Yankees V. Red Sox (The Battle)

We all know about the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. In 1918 Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees…the nightmare that was 2004….And tonight the Yankees play the Red Sox for the eighth time this year and it’s only June 5th. As always, a good, if not great game is expected. What is less predictable is not who wins or loses the game, but who would win or lose in a fight. That’s right—rip off those batting gloves (or leave them on if you prefer) and see who would win a match in the octagon, a no holds bars, bareknuckled fight. For the purposes of the drill, we’ll assume all players are healthy, and a point will be rewarded for each individual fight. At the end, the final score will be totaled and the champion announced.

Without further ado…

1B: Jason Giambi (6’3”, 230 lbs) V. Kevin Youkilis (6’1”, 220 lbs)

Judging by the numbers it seems Youkilis would have a fighting chance of surviving this. However, given Giambi’s stance on steroids and the human growth hormone, my vote sways, strongly, in Jason’s direction. Giambi has overcome cancer—even if it was self-inflicted, does commercials for Arm and Hammer deodorant, and has a father who grew up in the mafia sand island known as Las Vegas. Yoooouk! may be the “Greek God of walks,” given a different situation, but even in this category he’s Giambi’s bitch: 45 walks compared to Kevin’s 38 in 2006.

Just look at this monster.

Winner by TKO: Jason Giambi

2B: Robinson Cano (6’0”, 190 lbs) V. Mark Loretta (6’0”, 185 lbs)

This is pretty laughable. Who would you take in a fight—a middle aged white guy from Santa Monica, California (for the East Coast guys this is like being from Greenwich, CT) who went to Northwestern, or a young kid from the Dominican Republic? I’m sure Loretta possesses that mystical power come to be known as ‘old man strength,’ yet I don’t see him surviving passed round two.

Winner by submission: Robinson Cano

SS: Derek Jeter (6’3”, 195 lbs) V. Alex Cora (6’0”, 200 lbs) and Alex Gonzalez (6’0”, 202 lbs)

I attended college in Los Angeles and was lucky enough to have met Alex Cora at a local bar when he played for the Dodgers. Unless he’s hit the weights Lattimer style the last couple of off-seasons, there’s no way he’s 200 lbs, and in fact, I didn’t even believe he played baseball until I met his giant friend, Eric Gagne. Nevertheless, given his opponent’s background and the fact that I’ve designated him a tag-team partner I would expect the full amount of hair-pulling, biting, and crotch grabbing to make this match very competitive. In the end, I’ll give the BoSox this one, but only because I can’t imagine Derek Jeter doing anything wrong. Then again, if I could get any and all the pussy in New York City, I wouldn’t want to screw up my immaculate good looks either.

Winner by strangulation: 2X ALEX (their street name)

3B: Alex Rodriguez (6’3”, 225 lbs) V. Mike Lowell (6’3”, 210 lbs)

On paper, this doesn’t look good for Lowell: Outweighed by fifteen pounds, and about $15 million a year. But Lowell has too many intangibles working for him to lose this one. For starters, he overcame testicular cancer (I know I’ve used overcoming cancer twice as a reason for someone winning a fight, but hey, they must be tough), and has most fans, and player’s backing him. This may be the one time that even Yankees fans would accept losing to a Red Sock. Assuming, of course, that the Yankees won the overall fight. Plus, you can’t lose a battle to a guy who has the word “Rod” as any part of his nickname.

Winner by face stomp: Mike Lowell

LF: Hideki Matsui (6’2”, 230 lbs) V. Manny Ramirez (6’0”, 200 lbs)

This is the face off you couldn’t afford to miss. Though I was searching online to see if Hideki had any background in martial arts, I couldn’t find any concrete evidence. However, I did find this unbelievably strange Japanese webpage about the “Legend” of Hideki Matsui. My browser did a poor job of translating and, consequently, I have no idea what’s really going on here, but a headline reads “The Ceiling Bullet of Tokyo dome,” as well as a quote from someone presumably speaking to Matsui, saying: “I wanted you to fight.” So what does it all mean? Don’t fuck with someone often referred to as Godzilla, and comes from the land that brought you Pride fighting and Mortal Combat.

Winner by total domination: The Legend that is Hideki Matsui

CF: Coco Crisp (6’0”, 180 lbs) V. Johnny Damon (6’2”, 205 lbs)


Winner by bitch slap: Johnny Damon

RF: Gary Sheffield (6’0”, 215 lbs) V. Wily Mo Pena (6’3”, 245 lbs)

I omitted Trot Nixon from this exercise because this isn’t really fair from the start. Not only could Wily Mo take Sheffield or any other Yankee for that matter, but I think this guy could legitimately challenge anyone in the game--any game, any sport.

Winner by whatever method he chooses: Wily Mo

DH: Miguel Cairo (6’1”, 210 lbs) and Andy Phillips (6’0”, 205 lbs) and Terrence Long (6’1”, 205 lbs) and Bernie Williams (6’2”, 205 lbs) and Bernie’s classical guitar (estimated at 31 lbs) V. David Ortiz (6’4”, 230 lbs)

For this one match, something very special will take place. Big Pappi will be locked in a room with no food and only the Shrek DVD collection to watch for two weeks. He will then be released directly into the octagon to fetch his prey. Is it really possible? Could David Ortiz really eat the entire Yankee DH battalion? It’s not a question of if, but more a question of how fast. They should really trade for a real baseball player (the Yankees that is).

Winner by devouration: David Ortiz

C: Jorge Posado (6’2”, 205 lbs) V. Jason Varitek (6’2”, 230 lbs)

I guess I’ll give it to the man with the goatee.

Winner by mustache ride: Jason Varitek

King of the Ring

Pitchers will fight in a different format from the hitters. Pitchers will all get in a ring at the same time and try to throw each other out. The last man standing will win the points for his team. Note: Only the top five pitchers for each club will be used and five points awarded to the pitching winner.

Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett and Matt Clement and Mike Timlin and Jonathon Papelbon (1105 lbs) V. Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang and Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera (1075 lbs)

Wow. Well, let’s just throw Mussina out of there to begin with. Beckett would probably go next after succumbing to a blister. I see Rivera being scrappy, but not making it past this point. Wang would throw a punch at Clement’s head (sorry) and not only would he be forced to leave the ring, but would be unable to pitch for the next two months to recover from the ‘trauma’. Timlin is old and tough. I see him taking care of Wang, but not before Wang takes out Papelbon as well. Finally, Timlin and Farnsworth get a hold of each other and both fall out of the ring simultaneously, leaving only two men.

Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling stare into each other’s eyes—once teammates, now enemies. Schilling throws a punch at the lanky son of a bitch, but it’s magically dodged by Johnson. Johnson comes in with a flying kick to seal the victory for the Yankees. Although it may be hard for you to believe that Johnson could beat Schilling in a fight, he has the one thing going for him that no one wants to see in an opponent—nothing to lose. Who knows how medieval crazy Johnson could get, you can’t make this man any uglier.

Winner by chicanery: Randy Johnson

Final tally: Yankees 8-Red Sox 6