December 8, 2013
Who is Shyster?
Or you can search by:
Most Recent Comments
Mike Hargrove Interview (13)
Can they be the California Angels again? (9)
Another great moment in mass transit? (7)
Just another ten-percenter (his mind is like an ocean) (7)
Great Moments in Half-Baked Populism (8)
Shyster's Daily Circuit
Joe Posnanski Blog
Cot's Baseball Contracts
It IS About the Money
Baseball Think Factory
MLB Trade Rumors
Way Back and Gone
Bats -- NYT Baseball Blog
The Biz of Baseball
The Daily Fungo
The Common Man
Jorge Says No!
Baseball Over Here
Baseball. Blogging. Whenever.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Russ Smith at Splice Today, after some kind words about Tim Marchman with which I wholeheartedly agree, wonders what it might look like if managers went all Connie Mack on us, sartorially speaking:
I really think it’d be swell to see managers in Sunday church threads, making their way to the mound with a tie blown by the wind. The Cardinals’ Tony LaRussa would, guaranteed, be dressed like a mafia thug; Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon might warm to the idea and sport a boater; old-schooler Jim Leyland of the Tigers would, it says here, set the pace for sartorial dominance, perhaps with a three-piece blue pinstripe suit, marred only by a few stray ashes of his last cigarette. Francona, no clotheshorse, is the logical candidate for the American League’s schlub award, but at least he’d be good-natured about it.
I'm not sure how I'd feel about that. Sure, anything that spares me Bobby Cox's gut straining to escape a uniform top is certainly a good thing, but I just can't imagine what a manager's Oxford's or wingtips would look like after walking around on floor that looks like this for three hours.
Here's a link to both the auido and a somewhat truncated text of an NPR story I heard yesterday concerning a new documentary about Luis Tiant called "The Lost Son of Havana." The film tells the story of Tiant's return to Cuba after 46 years, and it sounds pretty amazing:
Tiant had been pitching for the Mexican baseball league during the Bay of Pigs invasion. He had recently married and was planning to go back to Cuba for his honeymoon.
As the title implies, he didn't make it back until 2008. I highly recommend the audio if you're somewhere you can listen to it, because it goes into some backstory on Tiant's father, who was a legend in the Negro Leagues.
A reader from St. Louis is not happy with the fact that Cardinals season ticket holders who want to go to the All-Star Game are forced to buy tickets to the FanFest and Home Run Derby business too:
My wife and I purchase a share-a-seat plan in the bleachers. The annual cost for these two seats for 42 games is around $1800. We were excited to see that we would get the option to purchase seats to the ASG this year at Busch. However:
Q: Am I required to purchase the entire ticket strip for the All-Star events at Busch Stadium, MLB All-Star FanFest tickets and Official All-Star Game program for each seat as indicated on my invoice?
I can understand the bundling. But part of the strip that is required includes two tickets for two days to the MLB FanFest (cost = $50 per ticket x 4). Tack on the $40 program and the package for two tickets was $850. The entire playoffs in 2006 cost $1100, but that got me 2 World Series games. Of course we are going, but is the value of a seat for the Home Run Derby really 3 times that of a World Series Game?
Good question. I'm more surprised at the fact that you're required to buy a program, let alone that it's a $40 program. What was the old line? "Can't tell the players apart without a program?" Well, thanks to all of the money folks like my reader have paid teams like the Cardinals over the years, they now have gigantic new HD screens in centerfield that helps them tell the players apart just fine, thanks. Why do they need to buy a program too?
Some stathead stereotypes are unfair: very few of them, I have found, live in their mothers' basements. They're good with computers and stuff, so they got jobs and rented apartments and bought condos. Sure, those apartments and condos are every bit as sad as their mothers' basements would have been given the 100% absence of a woman's touch, but let no one say that your average sabermetrician doesn't have a place of his own.
Some stathead stereotypes are, however, entirely justified. For example, that they're geeks. Look, I know some aren't, but many many of them are, and I say that even though I count a number of them as my friends and THT colleagues. If there was any doubt about this, check out this BTF thread, in which THT's own Colin Wyers engages in an argument about whether or not a batter swinging at a pitched ball would constitute a melee attack or, rather, be a defensive thing subject to a saving throw if the game were controlled by Dungeons & Dragons rules. He thinks it's the former. Here's his opponent's argument:
I mean really, if you were DMing it...
In other news, if you're constructing the optimal RPG lineup, your number three hitter should be a half-orc fighter and a human paladin should bat cleanup.
In 1975, the NBC Friday night lineup was "Sanford and Son" at 8, "Chico and the Man" at 8:30, "Rockford Files" at 9, and "Police Woman at 10." That's outrageously solid, but check out what CBS was dropping at the same time: "Big Eddie," "M*A*S*H," "Hawaii Five-O," and "Barnaby Jones." What did people do back then?! With all due respect to "Chico and the Man," I suppose it's reasonable to assume that you started with "Sanford" and then switched over to "M*A*S*H" at 8:30 -- and I appreciate that maybe "Barnaby Jones" vs. "Police Woman" sorted itself out based on demographics -- but how on God's Green Earth was a person supposed to choose between "Rockford" and "Hawaii Five-O?!" There were no DVRs then, people, and only Bob Crane and the ultra-rich had VCRs. I don't know that I've had as difficult a choice in my entire adult life, and as I sit here today, I can't say what I would have done. I simply can't say.
OK, you put a gun to my head and I'm probably picking "Rockford Files," but I can't say it would be a choice I'd live with easily.
Either THT or NBC needs to let me do something like this pretty soon:
Travis Greene swears there was no beer involved when he came up with this idea of driving 15,000 miles to see 30 ballparks in 30 days. Sitting yesterday afternoon in the upper deck of PNC Park with Pedro Cunillera and Joey Seagraves, fellow Philadelphians and partners in this epic journey, they looked as relaxed as any fans blowing off the workday . . .
. . . They're making a movie, "30 Ballparks in 30 Days," and have a Web site of the same name . . . Some 1,400 miles in, they've done less than a tenth of the driving and the longest runs are yet to come. A map tracing their trip would look like an Etch-a-Sketch gone awry. From here, it's: Cleveland; Toronto; Cincinnati; Chicago (White Sox); St. Louis; Kansas City; Arlington, Texas; Minneapolis; Milwaukee; Chicago (Cubs); Detroit; Atlanta; St. Petersburg; Miami; Houston; Los Angeles; Anaheim; Phoenix; Denver; San Francisco; Oakland; Seattle; and, finally, San Diego on May 17.
I'll be Burt Reynolds. If it's THT providing the funding for the phony ambulance and Ferrari we'll need to make it happen, Studeman can be Dean Martin, Carty can be Sammy Davis, Jr. and Treder can be Captain Chaos. If it's NBC, substitute Pouliot, Harkins, and Gleeman. If you're too young to know what I'm talking about, further information can be found here.
CRASH STEPS OUT OF THE BOX -- Motions to the bat boy for the
pine tar rag. The boy brings it over. Crash re-applies it to his bat.
Get a hit, Crash.
Well, then, get off my lawn.
Giants 1, Padres 0: Barry Zito was dominant. In other news, "A Beautiful Mind" has won Best Picture, the Queen Mother has died at the age of 101, and I'm under 30, childless, and have money. Hello, and welcome to the exciting year 2002!
Cardinals 5, Mets 2: To my own two eyes it appears that John Maine was responsible for this one getting out of hand, but I'm learning that Daniel Murphy's methods are insidiously box score-resistant, so I can't be sure that he isn't the one that truly messed it up. Like maybe he fell down on a long plank balanced on a boulder in left field, thereby shooting an anvil into the air which fell on Maine's landing foot or something. I've seen it happen, and rarely is the outfielder charged with an error in that situation.
Braves 1, Nationals 0: Eight innings of shutout ball for the Nats and then they walk in the game's only run. Some questionable bullpen usage by Manny Acta here. The reason the bases were loaded for Kelly Johnson's fateful plate appearance was that Martin Prado walked before him. The reason Martin Prado was in the game was because Manny Acta brought in the lefty Michael Hinckley to face Bobby Cox's first pinch hitter, Greg Norton. If Acta had stuck with Garrett Mock or gone with another righty, Norton probably stays in the game. Norton sucks and is 0-11 on the year. Prado is a fiesty little dude who is hitting .368 on the year. Did Acta think that Bobby wouldn't try to put in someone better against lefties than Norton? Did he not realize that Prado was sitting there, available on the Braves' bench?
Yankees 9, Athletics 7: CC Sabathia did everything he could to lose this game for New York (6.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 BB) but the Yanks managed to pull through on the power of a Melky Cabrera homer in the bottom of the 14th. Melky had two dingers, by the way, which more than anything else that has happened in the past week should cause a team of scientists to descend on that park to figure out what the hell is going on. This one breezed by in a crisp four hours and fifty-seven minutes.
Red Sox 10, Twins 1: Scott Baker was shelled (4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER). Tim Wakefield was brilliant again (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). Because of rain, that counts as a CG for Wakefield, even though as a knuckleballer, seven innings constitutes warm up. Oh, and happy birthday to Tito, who turned 50 yesterday.
Red Sox 7, Twins 3: Game two of the doubleheader went the distance. Francisco Liriano was every bit as bad as Baker was, giving up seven runs on four hits in four innings. The Sox have now won seven in a row and, given the rainout, today's off-day and strong performances from both Wakefield and Brad Penny yesterday, welcome the Yankees with a fresh pitching staff.
Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 0: Haren has pitched with bubkis for run support and got just above bubkis yesterday, but it was enough because Danny's pretty much awesome (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 9K). The Rockies seeming endless road trip is now over and they can retire to Denver for some home cooking for a bit.
Royals 2, Indians 0: Brian Bannister gets the callup and shuts the Indians out for six innings. Great. Now there won't be any shutting Posnanski up until at least the All-Star break. And look! A Joakim Soria sighting! Hillman must have really been desperate if he let him in a tight game. I mean, it was on the road in the Western Hemisphere in a non-palindromic year, and the percentages probably called for Kyle Farnsworth in that situation.
Astros 6, Dodgers 5: Decent enough day for Randy Wolf, but it's not like Lance Berkman was gonna keep hitting .210 all year.
Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7: Darren O'Day was claimed off waivers mere hours before the game and didn't even get to the ballpark until nearly 10pm. Upon his arrival, he was given someone else's jersey and thrown in to pitch the 11th inning. O'Day threw five pitches, the last being the game-losing double to Kevin Millar. Way to put your guys in a position to succeed, Ron Washington.
Reds 3, Cubs 0: Johnny Cueto pitched seven scoreless innings and looked for much of the game like that kid who burst on the scene last spring and inspired Bob Gibson comparisons. He still goes too deep into counts and thus has to leave games earlier than you might want him to, but if he is putting it together, the Reds may have a shot of hanging around this thing a bit longer than usual this year.
White Sox 8, Orioles 2: John Danks lowers his ERA to 0.95. Paid attendance -- 10,868 -- was just 361 souls more than the all-time Camden Yards record low.
Brewers 3, Phillies 1: Just one of many games impacted by the wind and the rain and the cold, and I am getting really, really tired of it. The eastern U.S. is supposed to get warm and sunny this weekend, and dear lord do we need it.
Tigers 12, Angels 10: Something is dreadfully wrong with Scot Shields, who hasn't recorded an out in two straight appearances. Something is wrong with Justin Verlander too, giving up seven runs on nine hits and two walks. He's been hit really hard, but somehow his peripherals look OK. What gives?
Rays 9, Mariners 3: I had started to wring my hands a little about the Rays slow start, but then I realized that (a) nine of their first fourteen games were against AL East opponents, and that the thing about winning that division is to beat up the other divisions and simply hold your own otherwise; and (b) the 6-9 record they have right now is exactly the the same record they had through fifteen games last year. So let's chill, everyone.
Pirates 7, Marlins 4: Leave it to the Pirates to shut down baseball's hottest team. This is latest into the season that Pittsburgh has been above .500 since 2002. That was so long ago that Barry Zito was good, the Queen Mother was alive, and I was under 30, childless and had money!