Friday, August 25, 2006

Apoligies

I'd like to apologize for the lack of blogging to my many fans. I was actually hired for a "real" job recently, and in doing so, have been trying as my rents like to say, "get my act together." Thus, NaughtyBaseball has been on hold for a couple weeks while I find a place to live, a new bitch to do my laundry, and possibly a dog to feed beer and drugs to at 3 Am when I come home from the bars and need someone/something to talk to. But not to worry, I can assure you that this new job can only take NaughtyBaseball up, up and away!!!


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Baseball Cities



There really is no such thing as a bad baseball city. I mean, if you get paid six or seven figures to play baseball, how bad could it be? This, of course, is coming from me, and as they say—life is all relative. If I were talented enough to be a MLB player I’m sure I would look at things a little differently. For instance, Delmon Young is dissatisfied with the Devil Rays for not calling him up, or, to make a football comparison Eli Manning didn’t want to play football in San Diego. So, let me rephrase—there is such a thing as a bad baseball city. Nobody wants to play for an organization with a losing tradition, or in a terribly boring city. Not to mention the fans. You might be in the middle of nowhere, but, hey, if the fans are good, you have something to play for.

The Top Ten

1. San Francisco



Some, if not all of you are probably surprised by this choice. San Francisco encompasses everything you could want in a team. They aren’t a large market franchise, yet they certainly don’t cheat their players. So you’ll be rich. Pac Bell Park is one of the nicest stadiums in baseball, and you get to chill in perfect baseball weather even in the “sour” months of April and September. Not to mention, San Francisco is a pretty ill city with good night life and wine country only an hour away.

2. San Diego



As much as the last selection is debatable, San Diego number 2? Have I been sippin’ more syrup? Well, if you’ve ever been to San Diego you know this is clearly one of the best places to live in America. Beautiful beaches, a gorgeous ballpark and “hands down” the best girls in North America. There are certainly downfalls to playing here. Petco Park is terrible if you’re a power hitting left-handed batter such as Ryan Klesko and Brian Giles. Plus, you have to have a goatee.



3. Boston



I hate saying anything nice about Boston, but despite the uncountable number of Massholes, it’s hard to argue against it as a player’s town. You’re guaranteed to play in an ancient and ferociously packed stadium every night. And when you go out in Beantown as a baseball player, it’s like Totti hitting clubs in Rome—you’re worshipped by every 18-35 year old women there is. And O those precious Pubs...delicious drinking wells of hope...

4. Los Angeles



The warm weather biased is obviously playing a role. There are so many things to hate about LA—the traffic, the smog, the celebrity thrilled fans who show up an hour and a half late to each game. Not to mention, Chavez Ravine is nothing to get excited about. But it is LA. You have great weather year round, a large payroll, and, Vegas is only three and a half hours away.

5. New York Yankees



If it wasn’t for the intense New York media, the Yankees would have been placed second on this list behind the Giants. Obviously, if you play for the Yankees you’re going to be overpaid. You’ll also have an opportunity to hit the bars until 4 AM after the game, and, like Boston, baseball players are treated like celebrities. There is no better city to be “known” in when you walk up to a bar or restaurant. And if you play well, you’ll be rewarded. This city, and its media love its big game players. But as much as New Yorkers love to love, they also love to hate. You have to have a thickhead to play here because you’ll be detested by everyone you play on the road, and if you start playing badly at home, you’ll have no one to look for, for support. In other words, if you’ve got the sack to handle the media, you’ll be in heaven, and if you don’t well…you’ll probably end up somewhere in Middle America.


6. Toronto



Toronto—what in God’s name is Toronto doing here above so many other cities? Let me tell you that Toronto is one of the greatest, and most forgotten cities in North America. They have a killer music scene, good, loyal fans, a retractable dome, solid food, and it’s exceptionally clean. You also don’t have the pressures of playing in a big city, despite Toronto’s big city feel. And, in the off-season, you can ski. For tickets please call….

7. New York Mets

The beaten down stepchild of the Bronx Bombers, the Mets have a lot going for them except for their reputation. Like the Yankees, the Mets have New York and all of its glory to play in. But, if you’re a Met, you’ll always be second tier. You play in the ugliest ballpark in baseball, and, they make you ride a school bus from the parking lot to the stadium. This would never happen at Yankee stadium. What I’m trying to say is, your situation is worse than being a Yankee, but it’s still pretty damn good.

For Mets party pictures, click here.

8. Texas Rangers

I’m not going to lie, I don’t know much about Texas. I’ve never been there and, quite frankly, from what I’ve read, the state scares me. Nevertheless, players seem to enjoy it and the Ballpark in Arlington is a great place to hit. Plus, booze, dirt bikes, and bitches sounds like fun to me.



9. Anaheim




If you ever read this site you know I don’t have much respect for the Anaheim Angels and their blasted rally monkey. But, like I said, they’re only three and a half hours from Vegas.

10. Chicago Cubs/Chicago White Sox



I wanted to put both these clubs further up the list because I have so much respect for the city of Chicago and its precious Weiner Circle. But, despite Chicago’s excellence, these two teams have many organizational problems. For starters, the Cubs are owned by the bastard Tribune company who screws their “fans” in every possible way. For instance, did you know that the Tribune company owns many scalping agencies who are given a certain amount of tickets each game? Thus, your ticket that’s listed at $25, goes up to $40, and ends up in th same place. Another reason why the Cubbies have gone down hill is, and this is coming from Cubs’ fans, most of the people who attend games now are more like tourists, rather than real hardcore fans. I’m not saying that there aren’t real Cubs fans, cause I’m sure there are plenty, but it sucks when a team becomes “trendy.”

As for the White Sox, they are selling out a few games and their fans seem to be supporting them after their World Series victory last year. But, they’re clearly still the second favorite team in Chicago. We’ll see how many of these fans stick around if the White Sox struggle in the years to come. I have a feeling Ozzie ball can only take you so far. Five years is a better indicator of an organization's success than two.

I’ll have the Bottom Ten up over the weekend.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and The Absolutely Horrible Baseball Films Ever Made

Kevin Costner dominates this board with classics Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. But let’s not forget Henry Rowengartner hitting triple digits on the gun at Wrigley, Tom Selleck invading Japan, or Billy Heywood taking over the Twins at the tender age of 10. Yes, this list not only includes masterpieces, but movies that were pressed into production because, apparently, people love shitty baseball movies.

The Good

Bull Durham



“The other day Crash called a woman's pu... pussy... um, well, you know how the hair is kind of in a V-shape? Well, he called it the Bermuda Triangle. He said that a man could get lost in there and never be heard from again.”

That Crash Davis and his metaphors. Anyways, Bull Durham is, in my book, tied with Major League as the best baseball movie ever made. The movie is hilarious, but more than that, it works because it feels real. Its main character, Crash, doesn’t end the movie circling the bases with a game winning Major League home run. Instead, he gets the girl he wants and ends his career as a lifetime minor leaguer—something more likely to happen than Nuke’s rise to stardom. When you are done watching the movie, however, you don’t leave it feeling sad or cheated. Crash may have not achieved his goal of Major League playing time, but he does enough to feel proud of the little things he’s accomplished, including guiding Nuke to the big leagues. This movie also teaches some important maxims to live by…see quote above.

Major League



“Better teach this kid some control before he kills somebody.”

It doesn’t get much better than Wild Thing Vaughn throwing fastballs at people’s heads and banging other player’s wives. Or does it? Wesley Snipes sprinting from his bed to the field to win the 40 yard dash…Pedro Cerrano swearing off Jobu and learning how to hit a curveball…The best of all, Rene Russo getting duped by Jake Taylor, a rickety veteran with bad knees and a career in the Mexican league…what else is there to say?

Field of Dreams



Kinsella: “You’re a pacifist!”
Mann, holding a crowbar: “Shit!”

Alright, Field of Dreams is a little too hokey/Middle-America barnyard for me, but it’s still a great movie. As the tagline reads, it’s the story of Ray Kinsella who spent all his life searching for his dreams, until his dreams finally came looking for him. Another Kevin Costner role, this time with a completely different feel from Bull Durham. It’s not raw or gritty like Durham, in fact, it’s the exact opposite. A family flick about a bunch of deceased baseball stars whom Kinsella builds a field for on his farm in Iowa. Though dreams are certainly the focus of the flick, the movie has more to do with faith. Kinsella has faith that if he builds a field, and gets a number of people to attend than his dream will come true. He doesn’t know what that dream is, until he sees his deceased father, who he gets to play catch with for the first time. Personally, my dream also came true in this movie. James Earl Jones walks into the corn field/outfield, never to be seen again.

The Bad

Rookie of the Year



Common, how often do you get to hear a doctor mutter, “Funky buttloving?” At the time of this movies inception, 1993, I was ten and thought this was the greatest thing ever made since automatic card shufflers. Since then, I have obtained somewhat of an education and can formerly declare this movie Thomas Ian Nicholas' best role. We all said the same thing during American Pie, “Isn’t that the kid from Rookie of the Year? What has he been doing all these years?” Well, let me take this time to tell you—he was starring in A Kid in King Author’s Court and a number of “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman,” episodes. Anyways, Rookie of the Year is a movie about a ten year old who breaks his arm and, due to the way his arm heals, ends up pitching for the Cubs, which may not be that far off base. Another plus—Gary Busey as Chet “Rocket” Steadman.

Mr. Baseball



“We’re not athletes. We’re baseball players.”

No Tom Selleck, you are neither an athlete nor a baseball player, nor an actor. In fact, I would question the fact that you are human. Ladies man Tom Selleck stars as an American imperialist baseball player, Jack Elliot, who gets traded from MLB to the Japanese league. Though this movie has some interesting ideas—mainly an American player adapting to a very different culture, it fails in large part due to its core cast. I.E. Tom Selleck who seems to have forgotten he was in fact supposed to “act” while playing this role, instead of trying to mack every piece of fine Japanese ass that walked by. That being said, I can hardly blame him.

Major League 2, Major League 3?


Just imagine the first movie, except much worse….and then imagine the second movie, except much worse…

Little Big League



“If I owned the Twins, I wouldn't even show up here. I'd just hire a bunch of scientists to do my homework. I mean, if you're rich you don't have to be smart. That's the whole beauty of this country.”
-Joey

Joey, you are wiser than your years. A young man, Luke Edwards, is given control of his grandfather’s baseball team, the Minnesota Twins. He ends up appointing himself manager and leads the Twins to a pennant. News flash—if you can’t get it done with Mauer, Morneau, Santana and Liriano, try Edwards, the kids got a knack for winning.

Angels in the Outfield



I haven’t seen this movie in years, so it’s hard for me to judge it at this point. But I imagine it’s something along the lines of the real 2002 Anaheim Angels who surely were guided by mysterious spirits to World Series victory. Let’s be honest, Orange County doesn’t deserve to win anything. Period.

And the Absolutely Horrible

Ed



“I am going to spank that monkey!”

I am embarrassed to say that I’ve seen this movie. If this didn’t ruin director Bill Couturie career, nothing will. Let me summarize it for you, Matt LeBlanc playing a minor league baseball player + monkey (this is really a movie, I’m not making it up) who plays baseball = embarrassment to cinema/embarrassment to America as a whole/embarrassment to humanity as we know it.

For Love of the Game



I’m sorry Costner, I never wanted to put you in the same arena as Matt LeBlanc and a monkey, but, well…A souring relationship with his woman, and a dyeing baseball career can only be remedied by one thing—a completely unrealistic perfect game in New York helped out by about sixteen amazing defensive plays. I will give this movie credit for one thing, I like the sequence where “Paint it Black” is playing while Costner is pitching…other than that, hmm…