Saturday, May 31, 2008

There's something on your face


A full weekend recap and preview of the weekend will be posted tomorrow, like every other Sunday, but there's something I just had to touch on.

I noticed something different about Yankees DH Jason Giambi the other day. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something had changed. As I'm sitting here watching the Yanks - Twins Saturday night game in Minnesota, I hit me: he's growing a little something-something over his lip...

See the full story here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday night recap

There wasn't anything extraordinarily bad Thursday night, though we were treated to Barry Zito's turn in the rotation in Arizona. He should have been the losing pitcher but was spared by the Diamondbacks bullpen duo of Tony Pena (blown save) and Chad Qualls (loss). Qualls's 5th loss of the season ruined a nine strikeout, seven inning gem from Randy Johnson, who tied Roger Clemens for the all-time strikeout make, taking The Rocket down another notch in the record books.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Because a bad first pitch is always funny

Even though nobody was expecting Mariah Carey to fire an 80 mph strike - or any strike at all, for that matter - for her ceremonial first picth, it was still funny.:


And since it's a slow day at work for me, check out the great defense/goal keeping:

It's just a game, Bud.


Do you remember the teams you played for in Little League? You know, the cheap t-shirt "jerseys", adjustable cap, and baggy pants? Remember finding out what number you wore and racing home to see who had that number on the actual big league squad?

I sure do. I've played for the Orioles, A's, Brewers, Marlins, Reds, Indians and Yankees at some point... great memories.

Too bad future generations won't have this chance.

Major League Baseball will begin cracking down on the use of nicknames (Marlins, Rockies, etc.) in Little Leagues all around the country. I understand that those are copyrighted, but isn't this a step too far? Is it really a crime to let 6 year-olds chase a ball around the field in an over-sized Padres shirt?

Shouldn't MLB do everything possible to attract younger fans? And shouldn't they concern themselves just a little more with performance enhancing drug use, horrendous officiating, and ballooning salaries?

I don't know about you, but having "Cleveland" plastered across my chest wouldn't have had the same allure, especially since I lived in Fairfax Station, VA at the time.

This isn't the first bizarre move MLB has made to protect its oh-so-precious image. In recent years they've attempted to halt fantasy baseball over use of official statistics and player names and routinely police the internet for video clips of its broadcasts.

Because heaven forbid I watch a funny mascot accident - including seeing all the corporate sponsors plastered all over the walls - for free. Wouldn't want to make the game more accessible or anything.

So come on, Commissioner Selig, relax. We all know that your sport is big business, but to kids (and future generations of fans everywhere) it's just a game.

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...

The Royals bullpen imploded against the Twins in the 9th and 10th innings. Ramon Ramirez allowed 4 runs on 4 hits in the 9th (the first two outs of it, anyways), but things only got worse when Joel Peralta surrendered two runs on two hits in an inning and a third to blow what was left of the save opportunity as well as earn the loss for Kansas City ... The Pirates Tom Gorzellany had a rough start in Cincinnati, lasting only two-thirds of an inning and allowing 6 runs on 2 walks and 4 hits ... Sucks to be Braves starter Jo-Jo Reyes. He struck out 9 and alllowed just two hits over 7 innings of work but still picked up the loss against the Brewers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You're jokin', right Joakim? No-kim?


Nailed that title. Who doesn't love a little play on words? Just me? OK, well, it's my blog, so too bad. Joakim... Noakim... get it? Still nothing? Anyways, the blog title says it plain and clear: other sports on occasion. This is an occasion.

What's better than being the best team in the NBA to not make the playoffs and still getting the #1 pick in the upcoming draft? Having the guy you took in the first round this year in trouble with the law! Wait a second… That’s not better… Actually, that sucks! In fact, I can’t think of a faster way to kill a GM's buzz…

Joakim Noah, who won back-to-back National Championships with the Florida Gators, was picked 9th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2007 NBA Draft. His rookie campaign was not spectacular, but Noah was able to average almost 7 points per game (over 11 PPG in his last 10) and 6 rebounds per game on a Bulls team that doesn’t have much talent around him (with the exception of perhaps a streaky Ben Gordon). Again, while not a Rookie of the Year candidate, Noah showed improvement and tenacity in his game that promised good things for the Bulls in coming seasons. So, imagine GM John Paxton’s surprise when, right on the heels of learning the Bulls won the Draft Lottery, his newly-crowned franchise player was arrested for marijuana possession and having an open alcohol container in his car. Adding insult to injury was the fact that, on the very day of his arrest, Noah was given traffic citations for driving on a suspended license and not wearing a seat belt.

I know this guy is only 23-years old, but come on! At some point, after you are drafted, don’t you have to realize that your actions now affect the fortunes of entire sports franchises, worth hundreds of millions of dollars? Hasn’t there been enough negative press surrounding the antics of guys like Pacman Jones and Michael Vick (or even in Noah’s own sport, guys like Ron Artest and Rafer Alston), that even a rookie that has been living in a cave while at school should know what kind of damage these guys can do? Where does this stuff come from?

Maybe (just maybe), the roots go deeper than their pampered college-superstar lifestyles. The most troubling part of this whole mess for me was the reaction of Noah’s father, as reported by ESPN.com: "I don't understand all that fuss for just drinking a beer on the street.”

At any rate, while NBA Commissioner David Stern is certainly no Roger Goodell (NFL Commissioner) when it comes to disciplining players for actions that negatively affect league image, he may still choose to take games from Noah next season (who also faces up to six months in jail related to the marijuana charge), attempting to send yet another message to the NBA’s talent that they are not above the law.

(*fake quote warning*) Lastly, when asked for comment on why he felt Noah was given the traffic citations by University of Florida campus police (did I forget to mention that?), incarcerated QB Michael Vick was heard to say, “What?! After he won two championships for them… They should be ashamed of themselves!! How could they cite him for a suspended license that wasn’t even his, man?”

-RP

Whoops...

Saw this on Yahoo! I'm sure many of you have, too, but I still thought it was Bad Baseball (and other sports) worthy. Enjoy.

He'll retire later


Slammin' Sammy Sosa made headlines when he told a Dominican newspaper of his plans to retire... in 2009.

Sosa, the only player ever with three consecutive seasons of 60+ homers (but seriously, we all know how that happened), will hang up his cleats after the '09 World Baseball Classic, playing one final time for his native country of the Dominican Republic.

The only thing odd about this announcement is the fact that Sosa isn't playing now! It seems that MLB clubs have already made the retirement decision for him. Sosa told Dominican paper "Hoy":

"I'm not looking for a job. In fact, I have told my agent that he should stop offering my services to MLB teams. I'm not retired. I remain highly focused and not begging for a contract."


Nice. The free agent equivalent of the "You-can't-fire-me-I-quit!" line. But the fact that he made it a point to include that he's not begging screams that he is, actually, begging for work.

Maybe he can play for whatever team Barry Bonds plays for? Oh wait...

Or if he really needs cash, he could always do this.

Tuesday night recap

Got a couple of stinkers last night, let's get right to it.

Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez allowed 7 runs on 10 hits to the Phillies. Jimenez is now 1-5 for the struggling Rockies... In Tampa, Rays "reliever" J.P. Howell was hit hard by the Rangers, allowing 5 runs on 4 hits in just 2 innings of work. Not sure what, exactly, he was relieving.

And last and certainly not least, a true masterpiece in Baltimore for the Yankees - Orioles match up. The game featured a combined 19 runs and 31 hits, 9 home runs (4 for the Yanks, 5 for the O's), and a 67 minute rain delay in the 8th inning. The Yanks lost starter Ian Kennedy - though I doubt they'll miss him or his 0-3 record or 7.41 ERA - to a strained muscle near his left rib cage which will likely place him on the Disabled List. And to top it all off, two bullpen collapses. Baltimore reliever Matt Albers surrendered a run in the top of the 11th and was in line for the loss until Yanks trash-pile reliever LaTroy Hawkins was shelled for 3 hits and 2 runs in the bottom of the inning, blowing a save chance and recording LaLoss.

Hawkins' performance is what makes me nervous about Joba Chamberlain moving to the rotation. Are you telling me that Hawkins, Kyle Farnsworth and Ross Ohlendorf (who, by the way, pitched two and a third innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits last night and has a 2008 ERA of 6.37) are supposed to protect leads late in games? You gotta be kidding. It's amazing to me that a team with a payroll as big as the Yankees can have such a glaring weakness. I guess money just doesn't go as far as it used to.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend recap and a look ahead


OK, let's take a look at all the low-lights from the long weekend of baseball...

Friday: Indians starter Fausto Carmona allowed 6 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks to the Rangers in just 2 innings of work... Mariners "ace" (that was the intention when they signed him, anyways) Erik Bedard surrendered 9 runs on 8 hits in just over 4 innings of work to the Yanks... Barry Zito won! That makes one on the year for him.

Saturday: In Tampa, starter Steve Trachsel gave up 9 runs on 7 hits in an inning and two-thirds of work to the Orioles... the Tigers scored 19 runs against the Twins.

Sunday: The Astros bullpen combined for 11 runs and 11 hits over just two innings to completely blow their game against the Phillies. Not exactly the point of a bullpen.

Monday: Those same Phillies gave all in attendance a free Memorial Day fireworks show when they dropped 20 runs on the Rockies.

All in all it was a good (bad) weekend of baseball around the country, but don't worry about withdrawals; this week's Bad Baseball game of the week is dreadful. Wednesday night, Nationals at Padres, when Nats starter John Lannan (4-5, 3.57 ERA) takes on Wilfredo Ledezma (0-2, 4.65 ERA) of the Friars. I just threw up in my mouth.

Who's for real?

They always say you can't judge a team until Memorial Day... which means it's panic time for many teams around the league, and small markets everywhere can start to dream. The Rays and White Sox lead the AL East and Central, respectively, while the Yankees and Tigers sit at the bottom of those same divisions. In the National League East you'll find the Florida Marlins at the top of the standings and the big spending Mets six and half back.

Out West, the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres can start planning for next year - both are looking at double digit numbers in the games-back column.

The aforementioned Memorial Day weekend was a good one, and I'm still gathering myself at work. An in-depth weekend recap will show up at some point, but until then peruse the stat page (though the most impressive part is his mug shot) of this guy. Sweet 'stache, eh?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend


Just a few reminders before everyone officially goes into long weekend mode...

Don't forget about Barry Zito's start tonight in his attempt to remain winless. Also, if you're searching for some background entertainment for a Memorial Day BBQ, why not tune in to see the Milwaukee Brewers take on the hapless Washington Nationals?? Memorial Day baseball - and bad baseball, no less - in Washington D.C. How appropriate.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Speaking of Gagne...

OK, now it's really game over. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Eric Gagne, in addition to being withheld from action tonight (but let's be honest, was he ever really in it?), will be shut down until further notice due to soreness in his right shoulder.

Not a surprise (shoulder stiffness, I mean) given how unnatural an overhand throwing motion is. So maybe Gagne should try throwing underhand? It's not like it'd be any less effective than he already was.

Salomon Torres will blow games for the Brewers in Gagne's absence.

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...
It was a rough third of an inning for Jesus Colome in the nation's capital. He allowed 6 runs on 6 hits in the top of the 6th inning (creepy!!) to the visiting Phillies. The Nationals were blown out 12-2.

Seattle Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn had a rough go of it in Detroit, allowing 9 runs on 12 hits in 2.1 innings pitched.

Shame on the Kansas City Royals. In the same week they were no-hit by Jon Lester they lost to big, fat Bartolo Colon, giving Colon his first win of 2008.

Punk'd!


The Milwaukee Brewers pulled a fast one on "closer" Eric Gagne Tuesday night, letting him work the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In typical Gagne fashion, he lasted just two-thirds of an inning and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks.

Brewers' manager Ned Yost could hardly contain his laughter when pulling Gagne from the game, informing him it wasn't actually a save situation! Although Gagne was spotted a seven run lead, he still gave 100% effort in trying to blow the game.

Technically, Gagne has been great this season at slamming the door shut on games he enters, though most closers do it by preventing runs, not allowing them as quickly possible. Interesting strategy, though.

In the American Leauge, the Yankees lost an ugly one to the Baltimore Orioles. Yanks starter Mike Mussina, possibly employing the Gagne strategy, allowed 7 runs (only one was earned, somehow) on 5 hits and 2 walks before being pulled after recording just two outs in the first. The Yankees would eventually lose this one 12-2.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A look ahead


Barry Zito goes for loss number nine Friday night in Florida against the Marlins, making the match up this week's Bad Baseball game of the week. Zito (0-8, 6.25 ERA) faces off against Scott Olsen (4-1, 2.82 ERA). Looks like it could be nine straight for Barry.

Speaking of Barrys (or would it be Barries?), which one do you think the Giants would rather have right now, Zito or Bonds?

In other Bad Baseball news from Monday night...
Must've been a rough weekend for the Kansas City Royals; they failed to manage a single hit against Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox. They struck out nine times and managed just two batters over the minimum 27. At least they managed to avoid the perfect game.

If you're bored...

I had the unfortunate pleasure of stumbling across this article from the New York Daily News. Check it out to pass the time before my next update. I have no comment on the story.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend recap

Just got back from a nice weekend getaway in Palm Springs, CA, so I haven't looked too thoroughly through the box scores. And I probably won't because I'm still in vacation mode. But I couldn't help but notice that Barry Zito picked up his 8th loss of the year to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. Hey - every loss is costing the Giants less and less, on average. So they've got that going for them.

On another note, why is ESPN playing "Meet the Mets" over and over again for their Sunday night showcase against the Yankees? I mean, I get it - meet the Mets, the Mets are playing, but seriously now. I used to enjoy ESPN's Sunday night broadcasts. Now, not so much. Joe Morgan and John Miller couldn't sound any more unprepared.

In fact, Joe just shared that you can't steal first base (referring to Jose Reyes)... I'm learning something new about the game every day. I don't know how long I'll be able to tolerate the broadcast, but I'll post any more gems from Joe Morgan.

Friday, May 16, 2008

They're still doing that?


It's the weekend nobody in particular has been waiting for: the 2008 debut of interleague play.

Woohoo.

We get the trite New York - New York, Cleveland - Cincinnati, Los Angeles - Los Angeles of Anaheim series as usual, as well as more than a few that feature a scheduling match up that nobody wants to see.

Some of the best include Kansas City at Florida, where attendance might actually dip into the single digits. Who wants to sit outside in the Florida heat to watch these teams play? Certainly nobody in Florida; they don't want to see the Marlins under any circumstances.

The Oakland A's travel to Atlanta to face the Braves, the same team that has offered two-for-one tickets to a playoff series in recent history. Handing out money won't draw a crowd to this one, either.

And my personal favorite: San Diego at Seattle. Rumor out here in SoCal (I'm in San Diego, for those that don't know) is that the Friars may travel without their offense to keep costs low. Not a terrible idea, since it hasn't showed up much at home for them this season anyways.

Enjoy the scheduling train wreck that is interleague play this weekend. Personally, I'm taking the weekend off from baseball; I'll be here, soaking in the sun. Even I can't stomach baseball this bad.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ricky Williams made a good decision?


Yeah, I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. But Ricky Willams apparently turned down an invitation to join Cedric Benson on his now infamous booze cruise in Lake Travis, Texas earlier in the month, the same one where Benson was charged with boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

I'm still checking into it, but this seems have been the first ever good decision in Williams' life.

Williams also says things might have ended differently had he been on board, stating that he has "a calming influence on people he's around." Um, Ricky? That's because you hang around potheads. They're always calm and relaxed. He also said that "as a high level athlete, it's just something that's ingrained in me... I can't say how." Again, Ricky, it's the weed. And you're not high level, just high.

Former NFL player Earl Campbell - an ex-Texas Longhorn, like both Benson and Williams - also felt the need to chime in. His statement: "Right now, everyone remembers Cedric Benson by what happened on the lake. Nobody remembers what a great football player he is."

It's clear that Campbell remembers the wrong Cedric Benson, though, because the Bear's RB is far from great. He must've been smoking whatever Ricky was.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush's league


I was clicking through the various Yahoo! headlines at work this morning and came across what was described as President Bush picking his baseball "dream team." I was intrigued, of course, so I watched. The caption was a little misleading, as he was only asked which hitter and which pitcher he'd take first. Anyways...

On offense he said he'd take Chase Utley. Certainly not the worst choice ever, but since he was told money wasn't an object I figured he'd go with A-Rod, or maybe Hanley Ramirez.

He must only dig the long ball, though, because for his pitcher he said he'd take Roy Halladay (3-5 in 2008). Really, Mr. President? Not last year's Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, or currently unbeaten Brandon Webb? I'd easily take Johan Santana or Josh Beckett or C.C. Sabathia over Halladay, too. Hell, Dustin McGowan might surpass Halladay this season as the best pitcher on the Blue Jays.

Interesting choices, to say the least. But what's another bad decision in a string of many for the President?

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...
Does anybody want to close in Milwaukee? Don't they know that teams don't usually start tanking for a higher draft picks until later in the year, and that this isn't the NBA, where an early pick makes a difference?

It was Guillermo Mota's turn to blow a lead against the Dodgers, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits in the 9th. If they're going to choke away late leads no matter who they throw out there, the Brew Crew might as well stick with Eric Gagne and at least get their money's worth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sticks and stones


Mets' Monday night starter Nelson Figueroa wasn't thrilled with the way the Nationals reacted to the 5 hits and 5 walks they got off of him en route to picking up his third loss of the season. He had the following to say to the New York Post:

"They were cheerleading in the dugout like a bunch of softball girls. If that's what a last-place team needs to do to fire themselves up, so be it. They need to show a little more class and professionalism."


To which the Mets responded, "I know you are but what are we?"

OK - not really, but come on, Nelson. Name calling? Didn't anyone tell you that sticks and stones break bones, not words? And if the Nationals players are softball girls, what does that make Figueroa, who was hit hard all night long? For now, he's just acting like a 6 year old kid.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Zito avoids loss...


...but doesn't get the win, either. After pitching 5 scoreless innings he allowed 3 runs in the 6th - his last of inning of work - which would wind up sealing the no decision for him. It's progress.

Lots of other pitchers gave up lots of runs on Monday night. White Sox starter Mark Buehrle allowed 6 runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings pitched against the Angels. Ehren Wassermann was the star, though, and stole the show by allowing 2 runs without recording an out for the Sox. Wassermann's 2008 ERA rose to 30.38 after his stellar outing.

It was an impromptu fireworks show in Seattle for the Mariners-Rangers contest; Erik Bedard allowed 7 hits, 4 walks, and 6 runs in 2 innings of work, leaving all Seattle fans in attendance wondering why, exactly, this guy was such a hot commodity in the offseason.

Last - and certainly least - Padres starter Randy Wolf easily lost his start for San Diego after allowing 7 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks to the Cubs. Sean Henn kicked his own team while they were down by giving up 5 runs on 3 hits in 1.2 innings of relief of Wolf, raising his season ERA to 27.00. Awe-inspiring, indeed.

Not a bad start to the week for Bad Baseball. And don't forget, overhyped and overrated interleague play starts in just a few days... are you as excited as I am?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A look ahead


This week gives us the first interleague games of the season, which leads me to this week's Bad Baseball feature match-up. Saturday night, Padres at Mariners, a match-up of two incredibly disappointing teams in 2008. Randy Wolf will start for San Diego against Seattle's Miguel Batista. Each team features a dreadful offense, so look for a "pitcher's duel"... on paper, anyways. M's fans are going to need all the coffee in the world to stay awake through this one.

In other Bad Baseball news from the weekend...
Brewers ex-closer Eric Gagne - that's right, ex-closer - blew another game in the 9th inning Saturday night. Technically it wasn't a blown save since the game was tied when he entered, but he promptly slammed the door shut on his own team by allowing 2 runs on 3 hits. Milwaukee manager Ned Yost says he'll go with a closer by committee approach while Gagne takes a mental break.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oh, the irony


Time for another cover! This one from Sports Illustrated - which hit newsstands 3/6/200 - is one of my absolute favorites from my collection. I especially enjoy the statement in the caption: all the juice is in the National League Central. They got that right. What a great line, especially since it accompanies the bloated heads of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. I can only wonder if this was intentional or just coincidence. It was published before PEDs in sports became a national issue, but just after suspicions of their influence started growing.

Of course, Griffey has never been linked to performance enhancing drugs and is the odd man out in the drawing.

After looking at the 2008 NL Central standings, and seeing half the division below .500, I'm wondering where all the juice went.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

That's gotta hurt!


Earlier today I had a link to a youtube video of Mr. Redlegs, the Reds mascot, losing his head (quite literally). MLB forced removal of the video, demonstrating their bizarre adverseness to free publicity. Boooo MLB!

Bad Baseball is your friend...

Though I'm sure you've seen it on SportsCenter by now, click here to check out the catastrophe. Better hurry, though, just in case MLB cracks down on this site too.

I'm sorry you had to find out this way, kids, but Mr. Redlegs isn't real.

In other Bad Baseball news from Thursday night...
If the Blue Jays had known Shawn Camp was going to choke in the 13th inning, they might've given up earlier. He allowed 5 runs on 4 hits to the Tampa Bay Rays to pick up the loss, his first of the year.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thanks for the memories, Barry... now please leave


Major League Baseball's players association is currently looking into reasons why one-time megastars, like Barry Bonds (pictured, '87 Topps, noticeably smaller... just saying), have drawn next to no interest from baseball clubs this year. The union is looking into possible collusion.

Bonds isn't alone on the list of guys being left behind. Others include Roger Clemens, Kenny Lofton, Jose Mesa, Sammy Sosa, David Wells, and Mike Piazza.

After seeing those names my initial reaction was pure astonishment... as to why anyone thinks it's strange that these guys remain jobless. Can you imagine the backlash a team would face after bringing in Bonds? This guy is a known (though technically unknown, according to the courts) steroids user! And who, exactly, would want to write Clemens a paycheck these days? Has the player's association not been watching the news? Because this guy is all over it. Sosa had a chance last year to prove himself, but was unable to do so with a .252 batting average and 21 home runs. Not terrible, but not exactly the 60+ he was putting up just a few years ago. And I'm pretty sure Jose Mesa - he of the 7.10 ERA in 2008 - is just a joke. Good one, MLBPA.

Let's all move on from the steroids era and let these guys disappear into baseball's unfortunately tainted past. It's all about youth these days, which is the exact opposite of anyone listed above.

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...
A couple of ugly outings...

White Sox starter Mark Buehrle struggled against the Twins, allowing 7 runs on 9 hits in 5.2 innings of work. But it was mop-up man Ehren Wasserman who stole the show by allowing 5 runs on 4 hits in just a third of an inning of work, watching is ERA soar to 32.40 in the process.

Cubs starter Jon Lieber surrendered 4 homer to the Reds while allowing 5 runs on 7 hits over two innings of work.

And now the update you've been waiting for... Barry Zito. While he pitched decent - 2 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings - it was still a losing effort, pushing his record to 0-7 on the year.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zito Update


Barry Zito's move to the bullpen has been a huge success, as he's yet to allow a run.. or even a hit. Sure, it may have something to do with the fact that he hasn't made a single relief appearance, but you can't argue with those numbers.

The Giants announced today that Zito will return to the rotation to start Wednesday night against Pittsburgh. I had initially tabbed tomorrow night's game as the Bad Baseball game of the week - to watch Pat Misch's first start in Zito's spot - but this news doesn't change anything. It's still gonna be ugly.

Watch for one of two things to happen: Zito will pick up his first win of 2008 (the Pirates aren't exactly an offensive juggernaut), or Nate McLouth will remind old time Bucs fans of Roberto Clemente and absolutely crush whatever garbage Zito brings. This is still a must-see game.

In other Bad Baseball news from Tuesday night...

Not much to report on, other than the Twins being nearly no-hit by Gavin Floyd and the Chicago White Sox.

I often wonder what it's like to be on the other side of a no-hitter. On one hand, you get to be a first hand witness of true (or at least very near) perfection. On the other, you have to face the reality that although you're a major league hitter you were completely dominated for a night, rendered totally lame for nine innings of baseball. And how big of a jerk does the guy (last night it was Joe Mauer) feel like when he's the one to break the thing up in the 9th? Or a fielder who doesn't get to a ball in time?

I'll be sure to ask Mauer the next time I run into him.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Clemens apologizes, but not for anything


It's the classic apology you get out of a guilty six year old. The "I'm sorry" with no meaning behind it and no explanation of what he (or she) is sorry for.

This is exactly what troubled pitcher Roger Clemens has done through a statement in the Houston Chronicle in which he apologized to his family and the general public for mistakes he's made in his life. He made no mention of what those mistakes were other than to say it's not about performance enhancing drugs or an alleged affair with country singer Mindy McCready (which would've occurred when she was 15). He finishes by asking that we leave him and his family alone and to let them deal with these issues in private.

It sounds to me like he's regretting making himself such a focus in the public eye during recent congressional hearings on steroids usage in sports. A month ago he was challenging anyone and everyone to find dirt on him. Now that the tables have turned, he doesn't want to play.

It's always unfortunate to see such an illustrious career go down in flames, even when a player brings it on himself. Clemens' is hardly the first example of this and surely won't be the last. Truly sorry, indeed.

In other Bad Baseball news from Monday night...
This is more from the "no shit" department rather than a stat line, a true gem from Orel Hershiser on his guide to building a successful bullpen. It has five key components:

1) right-handed long reliever
2) left-handed long reliever
3) lefty specialist
3) set-up man
5) closer

Anything else, Orel? Are you sure about that? Is there a team out there that goes by any other formula?

Next week I hope he tells us the ideal way to win a game is to outscore your opponent, or the best way to get on base is to get a hit or draw a walk. The best part of Hershisher's break down was watching Steve Phillips (a former General Manager and long time baseball operations guy) and Dan Shulman (play-by-play) pretend to take him seriously. I get that Orel is in the booth more because of his name than his talent, but he could at least try.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A look ahead; Weekend quick hits


Alright, a month in to the season. A few teams playing over their heads (Baltimore, Tampa Bay), but things are going largely as predicted. So let's look ahead to another bad week of baseball...

Wednesday night, Giants at Pittsburgh. Why? Pat Misch, aka the next Barry Zito, takes the mound knowing - at the very least - that he won't be the worst starter the Giants have thrown to the wolves in 2008. He'll be facing Phil Dumatrait (Who is that, you ask? Good question.) Someone's gotta win, right? I'm guessing it'll be a middle reliever. I'm still trying to figure out why ESPN isn't making this their national highlight game.

Weekend quick hits...
On Sunday, Bronson Arroyo hit the jackpot with the Reds; 7 runs - all 7 earned - on 7 hits. He didn't have to play long either, needing just an inning and a third to reach this milestone. The Braves would go on to score 7 more in this slugfest to beat Cincinnati 14-7.

Eric Gagne was lit up for his 5th blown save of the year; 2 hits, 3 walks, two earned runs in the 9th against the Astros. Could be the last straw for this guy, stay tuned.

Saturday night gave us a gem of an outing from Jorge De La Rosa in Colorado; he allowed the Dodgers 9 runs on 9 hits in 4 innings of work, giving him a hideous season ERA of 20.25.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

An open letter to Marvin Harrison


Dear Marvin,

Why, Marvin… Why?! Why would you take one of the most successful receiving careers in the modern era and put the Chris Henry-stamp of approval on it? You were known as one of the sport’s nice-guys for your on field attitude… You have played your entire career for a Midwestern franchise identified with the “right way” to play the game; you own half the record for most TDs for a QB-WR combination with a gunslinger considered one of the best of all-time; and you are still the #1 receiver on a team that finally won “The Big One.”

Still don’t know why I am so disappointed…? Let me recap… You got in an argument with a visitor to your Philadelphia bar (in front of witnesses), you followed the guy outside and shot him with a rare make of pistol that you happen to own (in front of witnesses), you fled to your car wash where (when questioned by police) you admitted to owning the pistol but stated it was at your home miles away at the time of the incident (which ballistics would later disprove), and then watched as the pistol was discovered in a wash bucket during the police search (in front of witnesses). You had to have done well enough on the Wonderlic test to see that this probably won’t end well. Even if you are cleared, just ask Ray Lewis if you’ll ever completely recover from condemnation in the court of public opinion.

Being only the 4th Player in NFL History to hit 1000 Receptions...Hard Work

Holding the Franchise Record in Every Major Receiving Category...Loyalty

8-straight Pro Bowls (1999-2006)...Determination

Watching Your Hall of Fame Career Slip into a Bucket of Soapy Water...Priceless

So, why, Marvin…. Why?! As if my fantasy draft needed any less talent at WR this year!

Sincerely,
Ryan

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Price of Lame - Mike Hampton


Big contracts carry big risks for the teams that hand them out. Sometimes they work out (or, at the very least, are justifiable)... and sometimes they go horribly wrong. The Price of Lame will be an ongoing feature highlighting some of the worst contracts in existence. Enjoy!

I love when a team signs an ordinary player to an extraordinary contract. Carl Pavano, Albert Belle, Barry Zito... the list is endless. But the first Price of Lame features the oft-injured Mike Hampton.

A Brief Background
Hampton was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 1990 but didn't debut with the big league club until '93, going a less than stellar 1-3, allowing 28 hits, 18 runs and 17 walks in 17 innings pitched. He was dealt to the Houston Astros following his '93 debut. He posted fairly mediocre numbers until his breakout year in 1999, when he went a National League best 22-4 and posted a 2.90 ERA. He was then traded to the Mets (a rare good move by the Astros) before the final year of his contract, and went on to win 15 games with a 3.12 ERA.

Enter: Colorado Rockies
It was December of 2000, and monster contracts were all the rage. Teams had money to spend, and lots of it. The Rockies needed to throw big dollars at pitchers who were afraid of the thin Denver air ruining their careers, so they offered Hampton $121 million over 8 years. Hampton (pictured; 2003 Fleer Platinum #143) had to have been giddy knowing the robbery he was about to pull off.

The Price of Lame
This is where I have some fun with numbers. He only lasted two years with the Rockies, going a combined 21-28 over that period with a 5.75 ERA. That breaks down to just over $2.25 million per win! In total, the Rockies paid Hampton 47.5 million dollars for his services. After the '02 season he was traded to the Florida Marlins where he never actually appeared in a game. They quickly (but not before eating $38 million of his salary) pawned him off on the Atlanta Braves. Not exactly the way I'd spend that much money if I had a choice. To date, Hampton has contributed 32 wins to the organization, along with a 3.96 ERA. Oh, and he hasn't made an appearance since August 2005.

Hampton has "earned" $85 million from his eight year deal so far, and has won just 53 games, breaking down to $1.6 million per win. And if that wasn't bad enough, Hampton will earn $15 million in 2008 and a whopping $20 million in 2009.

Congratulations, Mike Hampton. You are truly lame, but truly rich. You win.

Closing gig in jeopardy alert...
Kerry Wood blew his third save of the year for the Chicago Cubs, allowing three runs on three hits in the 9th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. Let the countdown to a closer change on the North side begin.

Canseco can't pay


Author/tattle tale/Roided up monster Jose Canseco has had his Los Angeles area home foreclosed.

Canseco is quoted in an Associated Press article, saying,
You know my life, this financial thing, is a very complicated issue. Obviously, when you make all that money, people think, 'OK, let's assume it is $35 million.' People have to understand that $35 million, you're paying the government 41 percent. That leaves you with about $17 or $18 million, not even. Then you're taking care of your whole family


I can't believe Canseco was able to make ends meet. Only $17 or $18 million?? How is one man supposed to live on that? With gas creeping towards $4 a gallon, he could barely afford to get his car out of his driveway.

He also went on to say he's in the process of turning his two books into movies. This situation all but guarantees a third will be written, and you know he'll be happy to accept any hush money.

Wednesday night quick hits

A few bad outings to report on from Wednesday night's games...

In Milwaukee, Jeff Suppan pitched three and two-thirds, giving up 8 runs on 11 hits. Obviously he recorded the loss against the Cubs. Derrick Turnbow kicked his own team while they were down, though, when he threw two-thirds of the 8th inning, managing to allow 4 hits, 4 walks and 6 runs. Turnbow was seen as a possible closer for while, too... that's not looking like it'll happen any time soon. Between him and Gagne, you gotta wonder if there's anyone in the Brewers' bullpen capable of pitching even remotely decent.

Brian Bannister recorded his third loss of the season for the Royals when he allowed 7 runs on 7 hits to the Rangers.