May 21, 2013
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Justin Morneau finished 2008 with a whimper. In the offseason, he was cold-called with some advice. It was a call worth taking:
Reluctantly, he answered the phone, and a voice brightened his day: "Hi Justin, it's Harmon Killebrew." "He knew I was down after we lost," Morneau said. "He knew I blamed myself for everything, and he just told me: 'It was a great year. You did a great job. Don't worry about what didn't happen.' That was pretty cool. He's probably the nicest Hall of Famer you'll ever meet." Killebrew, 72, spent more time talking to Morneau recently on his annual spring training visit. Morneau, who has hit 34, 31 and 23 home runs the past three seasons, asked Killebrew for tips on hitting more.
According to the article, Morneau is basically ignoring Killebrew on this point, even if he is doing so in the most polite way possible. Which is a shame, really, because though I don't know that I've seen enough of Morneau to say if he could actually become a Killeresque hitter one day, he'd be a far more interesting player if he tried.
We don't have HOK to kick around anymore. No, they didn't go out of business. They just changed their name:
HOK Sport Venue Event is no longer.
While I don't like the name itself, I do sort of like the idea of using adjectives for nouns. Going forward I will only answer to the name "Dashing Calcaterra."
I am happy that I am not single. I am happy that I do not live in Milwaukee. I am especially happy that I am not a single man living in Milwaukee:
Gentlemen, do you have the right stuff to be a hip Milwaukee bachelor?
I would wager several thousand dollars that the same tools who seek out a Bob Buhl jersey in order to pick up women in Milwaukee in 2009 are the same tools who sought out Atari t-shirts in order to pick up women in college in 1995. Neither gambit, I suspect, paid off in the form of an actual date.
Bill Simmons fields and answers a VORP question in his mailbag. Even ends it with a VORP joke that isn't designed to make fun of VORP. Sure, he needed an assist from BP's Joe Sheehan to do it, but let's give him and the ESPN-Baseball Prospectus marriage some points for positively exploiting corporate synergy.
Well, it's less a marriage than it is a shacking-up, but still.
The Tigers cut Sheff:
The Tigers released designated hitter Gary Sheffield this morning, a startling development since the team had already guaranteed him $14 million this season. It's the second-highest amount owed to a released player in club history, behind Damion Easley's $14.3 million in 2003.
In the article, Sheffield says he'd like to play for the Rays. Sheff is 8-45 this spring. The Rays just signed Pat Burrell to be their DH. While it's not impossible to see him catching on somewhere, it's not going to be in Tampa Bay, 500th home run or no, league minimum or no.
(thanks to Mike McClary for the heads up)
Look, Daddy! Teacher says, "every time a pitcher's bell is rung, the Angels get us wings!"
That's right! That's right!
There could be a shortage of chicken wings in the greater Phoenix area.
Eh, could be worse. Looking over Claim Jumper's appetizer menu, it's obvious that they'd be taking a much greater bath if they had offered the Crispy Shrimp Taquitos.
Once you got past the sentiment of it all, it was apparent that the Dodgers leaving Vero Beach was long overdue. Now there are some numbers to bear that out (last item):
The Dodgers distributed a total of 131,134 tickets for their 14 home games at Camelback Ranch this spring, an average of 9,367 a game. Their highest average reported attendance at their previous spring training home in Vero Beach, Fla., of 6,504 per game was set in 1991.
I suppose the use of the word "distributed" rather than "sold" could be significant, but there were clearly more butts in the seats and beers in the cup holders in Arizona than there ever was in Florida.
Matt Wieters had a paper route as a kid: there were no survivors. When he falls out of a boat, Matt Wieters does not get wet: the water gets Matt Wieters. It only takes Matt Wieters 20 minutes to watch 60 minutes. He is that awesome:
Baseball scouts and executives like to blame the media for excessive hype. Reporters like to say they’re just relaying what’s told to them by scouts and executives. Both sides are trying to feed fans’ curiosity and knowledge. Everyone is an accomplice in this.
Good stuff from Sam Mellinger. Orioles fans won't want to read the names Todd Van Poppel, Brad Komminsk, and Dewon Brazelton in the same article assessing the Wieters hype, but the fact remains: we don't really know what's gonna happen until someone steps in against Major League pitching, and Wieters won't even be doing that until sometime later this summer.
Tom Browning pitched a perfect game once upon a time. These days? Things are less than perfect:
Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning has been arrested and charged with not paying child support, according to jail records uncovered by the Associated Press.
I'm guessing he won't be making that annual April appearance at the Home Depot near my house this year.
Just last week we were talking about the Can-Am League and the Ottawa Voyageurs. Now there's nothin' left to talk about:
After 10 years of poor attendance and a struggle for attention blocks away from the casinos, the minor league Atlantic City Surf has struck out.
I guess that leaves Oil Can Boyd in the lerch. Well, there's always Los Angeles. If the Dodgers have room for Jeff Weaver and Eric Milton, they have to have room for Boyd.