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Thursday, July 23, 2009
I feel like I'm trampling on David Pinto's in-game-update turf, but Mark Buehrle is perfect through seven innings against the Rays.
UPDATE: Perfect through eight . . .
UPDATE: And he did it!! I didn't see it, but I was told he was saved by a spectacular catch by DeWayne Wise in center off the bat of Gabe Kapler. Must get to TV . . .
Congratulations Mark Buehrle! One of my favorite pitchers in the game pulls off the perfecto!
How about that!
UPDATE: Reader RickyB relates the catch for those of us who missed it:
MLB.com had a live look-in free, so I got to watch the top of the ninth. The catch was unbelievable! Wise robbed a homer, and as he was falling back to earth, the ball started coming out of his glove. He grabbed it with his bare hand as he fell to the ground. Unreal!
Maury lists ten reasons why you don't see ballplayers shilling for as many companies as you do football or basketball players. This one is pretty interesting:
Baseball can rightfully say that it has the most player diversity starting in games than any other US pro sports league. Some of MLB’s biggest stars are Latinos or from the Far East. The problem is television ad execs have yet to see the full potential of such players. A good example is Albert Pujols, someone that should translate well to the camera, but has not been used as a pitchman. Others include Ichiro Suzuki and David Ortiz. In terms of Far East athletes, maybe ad execs figure Yao Ming is enough. As for the Latin players, it seems a vast demographic isn’t being fully tapped.
It does seem rather strange that with the Hispanic demographic growing as quickly as it is in this country that we don't see more Hispanic ballplayers doing endorsements. And don't tell me the language barrier is an issue. Michael Jordan's first dozen Nike and Gatorade commercials consisted of him just looking intense or dunking while Spike Lee or whoever did all the talking.
Maybe a more practical baseball marketing problem: unlike basketball, baseball's in-game products (shoes, clothes, etc.) aren't really the kinds of things you'd wear on the street, so the in-action stuff isn't an option. It's the sort of thing that leads to Orel Hershisher and those old Pert commercials where he talked about taking five showers a day or whatever it was.
Yeah, those were disturbing.
The Cancer Project is a non-profit dedicated to cancer prevention, nutrition education, research, and buzzkills:
A national vegan advocacy organization Wednesday filed a class-action lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court against five hot dog manufacturers, including ConAgra Foods Inc., asking that they be ordered to attach warning labels to their packaging.
Best part: ConAgra, the maker of Hebrew Nationals, declined comment and instead referred questions to woman named Janet Riley, who is referred to as "president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council who calls herself the 'Queen of Wien.'"
As God is my witness, I'm going to marry Ms. Janet Riley one day.
Won't someone please tell Dodgers fans how angry and betrayed they're supposed to feel about Manny Ramirez?
Note: link goes to shaky and kind of loud video of fans goin' kind of crazy.
(Thanks to Hollywood Joe for the link. Wait -- I once fought a pimp named Hollywood Joe following a disagreement related to a business transaction. You don't suppose . . .)
The Orioles, like my mother in law, will now winter in Sarasota:
The Orioles ended one era and began another on Wednesday, when they learned that their deal to relocate to Sarasota from Fort Lauderdale had been approved.
Also, like my mother in law, they will start wearing sweaters when it gets below 80, will start eating dinner at 4pm, will start calling the porch "the lenai," and will ride one of those big three-wheeled bikes around and call it "their exercise."
This is a couple of weeks old, but I haven't seen it elsewhere and it's pretty cool:
As many of you know, I have written about my love of the Houston Astros uniforms from the 1970's and 1980's several times. The Astros were by far my favorite team growing up and the whole thing started with the uniforms and the logos. I was a huge fan of the rainbow era uniforms. I was an even bigger fan of the second evolution of the rainbow look with the shoulder stripes. Everything about the Astros logos and uniforms was at the top of my list.
For those of you who can't click through to the pics -- and if you can you should -- the author basically proposed bringing back the star-H hats and something which looks very much like the more subdued, 1980s-era rainbow colored jerseys, font and all, but substituting the current brick red for the orange.
I think the thing with this is that you can't go too crazy. Sure, everyone -- myself included from time to time -- talks about how great the old rainbow scheme was, but when I think harder about it, I must admit that the old Astros stuff is probably more fun to look back at now than it was to experience then. Others may disagree, but I remember not liking it all that much when I was a kid, and to the extent I have any admiration for it now it likely stems from some sense of so-bad-its-good irony and a touch of nostalgia. A couple of years ago I did a couple of giant posts about my favorite and least favorite uniforms for each team (AL here) and the rainbows didn't make the grade. I picked the late 60s-early 70s shooting star getup and gave voice to a return-to-the-Colt .45s pipe dream.
But I did always like the star-H, though, and have to say that the author's stab at this is a great improvement over the current, fairly wretched ensemble.
My wife gets to go to a ballgame tonight and I have to stay home with the kids. The more I struggle to make sense of this world, the more confused I become.
Ah, it might rain. And it's against Scranton, and they don't have anyone I want to see anyway. Grumble.
Look out Jeff!!!!
UPDATE: Now with animation!
Braves 4, Giants 2: "Ladies and gentlemen: the part of Tim Lincecum will be performed tonight by Jair Jurrjens." (7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9K).
A's 16, Twins 1: The A's scored so much so early that starter Trevor Cahill had to run down to the bullpen to warm up again while his teammates were up to bat. Or maybe the fact that they were actually scoring like this just blew his effing mind and he needed some alone time to get it together. This is like a fortnight's worth of offense for this team. Yeah, forsooth I said fortnight.
Nationals 3, Mets 1: Bad: the Mets losing two of three to the Nats. Worse: rumor has it that, after the game, V.P. of player development Tony Bernazard drove a Cadillac into the hotel swimming pool, blew up a toilet with cherry bombs, and challenged the security staff to an "I quit" match, Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum T.A.-style. Bernazard is expected to be fired later this week, and replaced by either former Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones or by Lex Luger.
Dodgers 6, Reds 2: Pinch hit grand slam for Manny in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie! Wow! Oh, wait, I forgot: We're not supposed to be enjoying this. Bad Manny. Bad, bad, bad. You have ruined baseball.
Yankees 6, Orioles 4: The Bombers are rolling. If you don't believe it, just read the game stories which talk about how they've won six in a row, 16 of their last 19, 19 of their last 26, LVII of their last XCIV, etc. I'm sure there are other ways that could be expressed, but I don't know how to do exponents and quadratic equations and all of that stuff.
Blue Jays 10, Indians 6: I'm glad I didn't stick with that "Major League"-quote-until-a-three-game-winning-streak gag from a few weeks ago, because I'd be out of material and moving on to the Tony Danza version of "Angels in the Outfield" by now. And man, between the Indians putridity and the sense of foreboding surrounding the Jays at the deadline, this series is more depressing than watching "Requiem for a Dream" while listening to a Morrissey box set.
Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Don't worry, Red Sox Nation. Chris Duncan will be there in time for Friday's game against the Orioles and make all the hurtin' go away. And how is it that Buchholz was so dominating in Pawtucket but can't avoid throwing 90 pitches in four innings in the bigs? Do they just offer up at any weak, nibbling crap down in the International League, or is he pitching scared?
Astros 4, Cardinals 3: If Chris Carpenter thinks he was betrayed by his bullpen, just wait until he has Julio Lugo playing behind him in five days.
Mariners 2, Tigers 1: Felix Hernandez bottles up the Tigers (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 8K) and Russell Branyan hits a two-run homer in the eighth to take a close one. Also, as my CTB homey Matt Casey noted yesterday, David Aardsma is pretty Aawesome. On the year he has converted 23 of 25 saves, has an ERA of 1.79 and has struck out 55 in 45.1 IP.
Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3: From the "fast facts" section of ESPN's version of the game story: "Todd Helton's 11th homer of the season and 500th double of his career carried the Rockies. Helton joined Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams as the only players with 500 doubles, 320 homers and a .325 batting average since 1900." Talk about trying to make a good player seem better than he is via selective endpoints. I haven't seen that much gerrymandering since Patrick Henry and the Anti-Federalists drew the boundaries of Virginia's 5th Congressional district in such a way as to keep James Madison out of the House of Representatives in 1788!
White Sox 4, Rays 3: Chad Bradford had a line that you don't see every day: 0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0K, 0 pitches. Unfortunately it was because he hurt himself after he was announced but before he completed throwing his warm-up pitches. An Alexi Ramirez triple followed by a Jermaine Dye RBI single in the seventh was the difference maker for the Sox.
Marlins 5, Padres 0: I think they scheduled this one as a matinee simply so I wouldn't mail in the recap as I so often do with the late games. Probably should have kept it a night game, San Diego, because now that I have more time and alertness to comment on this tilt, I can truly focus on just how wretched a club you have become. Three hits. All singles. Ten strikeouts. Barf. Yet they were still in the game until the late innings. At least until the bullpen coughed up three more runs. Man, if only they had a moderately effective reliever to help out. Oops. Well, trades mean tradeoffs, right? Oops, the guy they got for Meredith didn't even play. The Padres are 12-33 since the first of June, which is the worst in baseball. I repeat: for nearly half of the season, the Padres have been worse than the Nats and the Royals.
Cubs 10, Phillies 6: The Phillies Phinally lose. "Zambrano pitched well. He had good stuff," Piniella said after the game. OK, Lou, whatever you say (6.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 3 BB). I guess if you win you had "good stuff" by definition?
Pirates 8, Brewers 7: Who the hell is Adam LaRoche? Garrett Jones: 3-4, HR; Andy LaRoche: 1-3, 2B, RBI. The fans are happy. His brother kept it together. They'll all soldier on somehow.
Angels 9, Royals 6: Do you get full credit for a big rally when it comes against the Royals? I mean, first you have to fall behind this pathetic team, and that's kind of embarrassing, and knocking around this bullpen to erase the deficit is easier than knocking around any other bullpen. I guess what I'm saying is that we need some kind of handicapping system here.