Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!



If these pictures of John Rocker don't scare you (found while searching for something completely unrelated, oddly), I don't know what will!

Have a fun, safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The end is here


The hopes and dreams of hundreds of lifelong Rays fans - some going so far back that they remember when they were called the Devil Rays - shattered Wednesday night when the Phillies clinched the 2008 World Series in a weather-postponed Game 5.

After a completely unexpected AL East Championship for Tampa, and a season where they never really let up, I don't know how many people expected them to fold so easily in Philadelphia.

Was it the cold weather? Perhaps. Should Rays manager Joe Maddon have let relief pitcher J.P. Howell bat instead of turning to a guy off the bench? Perhaps not. I can't say I hope to see the Rays back in the playoffs next season, because that means one less possible spot for my beloved Yankees to occupy.

So the Phillies are 2008 World Champs... yippee.

Bad Baseball would like to congratulate the runner-up '08 Tampa Bay Rays, the first losers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Off season project

I realize the baseball season hasn't ended yet. It might tonight, weather permitting, or perhaps it'll end later in the week down in Tampa.

Once it's over, I'll be posting a ton of "a look back" type stuff, including a final review of my preseason predictions, least valuable players, busts, etc., etc.

By now, you've hopefully had a chance to check out my other site, Darryl Strawberry Fields, a tribute to my Darryl Strawberry card/memorabilia collection. I've spent a ton of time in the past couple weeks going through boxes and boxes of old cards, some of which I didn't realize I even had. In the process of putting my Strawberry collection together, I've found that I have an absurd amount of worthless cardboard from the late 80's and early 90's, the heydays of my baseball card collecting hobby.

I've been thinking, too; What can I do to give these cards some sort of value? Autographs, of course!

That's right, I'm sending out tons of cards to "commons" from those 15-20 year old sets to have signed by the players pictured, using addresses I've obtained from this site. I'll be posting my successes and/or failures as they're returned to me. I have literally nothing to lose.

The following players' cards will be sent in the next couple of days: Lou Piniella, Jeff Reardon, Bud Harrelson, Mike Mussina, Ken Phelps, Jim Fregosi, Al Downing, Gregg Olson, Rafael Belliard, Tommy Greene, Pete Harnisch, Larry Sheets, Mark Knudson, Bob Kipper, Bob Tewksbury, Whitey Herzog, Fernando Vina, Sal Butera, Darren Daulton, Rick Reuschel, Mark Leiter, Jay Howell, Joe Morgan (this one), Craig Pauquette, Sparky Anderson, John Mabry, Barry Larkin, Steve Buechele, Vance Law, Jack McKeon, Mark Gubicza, Terry Leach, Bud Selig, Bobby Bonilla, Ron Santo, Jeff Torborg, David Nied, Von Hayes, Bob Friend, and Mark Parent.

It might seem random, but these are the guys most recently reported to have returned signatures to other collectors within a reasonable time frame (1-3 weeks). Some you've likely heard of, others probably not.

Here's hoping!

Check the attitude at the door


Generally, a game between last place teams in the NFC West would not be interesting material for a column. And while you may think (as I do) that the sheer ineptitude of either Seattle or San Francisco this year would be enough to warrant coverage on this esteemed forum, that is likewise not the purpose of this entry. What is blog-worthy about yesterday’s 13-34 thumping of the 49ers by the Seahawks is the visit to the field by the WHA-mbulance to pick up San Francisco TE Vernon Davis.

During the game, Davis was flagged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taking a swipe at the facemask of Seattle Safety Brian Russell (a BS call, to be fair about it). But as a result of the incident, Niners Head Coach Mike Singletary removed Davis from the game and sat him on the bench to think about what he’d done. Singletary then sat down next to Davis and told him (by Davis’ own admission) that he had to be smarter than that and keep himself under control because he was hurting the team. But, when Singletary believed Davis was being nonchalant about the reprimand, Singletary “told him he'd do a better job for us right now taking a shower and coming back and watching the game than going out on the field, simple as that.”

You all know that it has been my contention for a long time that many football players in today’s NFL (and most professional athletes, for that matter) are spoiled, pampered, overpaid children that care little for their team and almost nothing for the game itself. (Maybe someday I’ll tell you how I really feel about it…) As such, I can do nothing but applaud Singletary for his actions on Sunday. Singletary, a replacement head coach in his first game ever at the position, took decisive action with a player that lost his cool and hurt his team for his failure to control his attitude (not the first time this has happened with Davis, btw). Singletary was one of the most hard-nosed players ever to take the gridiron, and he played for Mike Ditka for most of his career, so it is small wonder his tolerance for selfish stupidity is low. While Davis apologists have been saying things like “he is a good guy” and “he is a team player,” actions speak louder than words. True it was a bad call, but when Singletary yanked him and reminded him to be smart, it sure wasn’t Davis’ stellar can-do attitude that caused Singletary to send him to the showers. In short, I say drive on Coach Mike and become a shining example for the rest of the whipped head coaches and owners out there that have been taking crap from premadonna players for far too long now!

-RP

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rrrrrooooaaarrrrrr!!!!!


What you are about to read is the most outrageous sports story I've ever read. And I mean crazy. This makes the Mike Tyson ear-biting incident look like a Saturday morning Disney show.

Now, this is old; it appears to have happened in 2005, but I stumbled across it and could not pass it up.

The vaunted Cambodian Midget Fighting League (CMFL) has been disbanded.

Not for financial reasons or lack of public interest, but because the entire league lost a fight to a lion. "Lost" doesn't really describe what happened, though.

An angry fan apparently argued with league president Yang Sihamoni that one lion could defeat his league of 42 fighters, all at the same time. A true recipe for disaster, especially for a league that claims it'll "... take on anything; man, beast, or machine." And a disaster it was.

A lion was shipped in for the event and tickets were sold (sold out, in fact). David vs. Goliath; man (er, little people) vs. beast. The stage was set.

But really, it was over before it started. The fight was called after just 12 minutes when 28 fighters were declared dead and 14 others had suffered severe injuries, including broken bones and lost limbs, which made it difficult to fight back against a Lion.

With networks fighting for the next big reality show idea, I can't help but wonder about the potential this league might've had. Unfortunately, we'll never know.

See the full story here.

Kick it while it's down


With the economy crumbling all around us, thousands of jobs being lost on a daily basis, and more and more business going under every week, it's nice to see the Yankees kicking us when we're down.

I have a hard time justifying a $12 ticket to a Padres game; not necessarily the amount of money itself, but more so because of the quality (or lack thereof) of the product on the field. I can only imagine what fans in New York are thinking about the new Yankee Stadium.

According to this story in the New York Daily News, the new stadium got up to $850 million in taxpayer investments, but will leave little in return; just 15 full time jobs and a guaranteed increase in ticket prices.

Thanks, Hank!

I don't mean this to be a cheap shot against the Yankees; Yanks spokeswoman Alice McGillion does make several good points about the union jobs the new stadium will create, which is really all you can expect out of this type of business anyway. It's not like new Wal-Marts bring thousands of full time positions to communities in which they open, either. Ten years ago, this probably wouldn't have been a story at all (at least not from a financial standpoint).

What it should be is a wake-up call for those in favor of publicly financed stadiums. They cost hundreds of millions of dollars, always result in higher ticket prices, and always drain local economies. For more reading on the subject, check out the following links:

FromNCPA.org

From sportsline.com

From Coyote Blog

Google search results

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Johnson apology


After his recent run-in with the law, Chiefs RB Larry Johnson has issued an apology:

"I want to start off saying I apologize to the Hunt family, my family, first and foremost, the fans, teammates, coaches and players. This is the first time in my life I actually had to stand up, I mean actually woke up and kind of be disgusted with myself and disgusted as far as the way my life and my career is heading right now."

Nice, I guess, except that he says this was the first time he's felt "kind of" disgusted with himself? Was he not bothered by the three other similar allegations against him?

Wow.

Is there any more disgusting way to treat another human being than by spitting on him (or her)? Is there a way to show any less respect? And to do it and feel just kind of disgusted? What would it take to make Johnson feel full-on guilty about something?

It's too bad he won't learn from this event. He'll sit out another week, big deal. The NFL is going to "investigate", whatever that means. The guy's a jerk, plain and simple. Fine him, suspend him longer, do whatever.

As history has shown with these types of characters, it won't help.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who said chivalry was dead?


OK, maybe it is to Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, who is accused of assaulting a woman at a nightclub, his fourth such accusation in five years.

This time, his move was to spit in a woman's face after telling her he was going to kill her boyfriend.

I'm not a therapist, but I'm sensing anger issues from Johnson, especially since a court date for an earlier incident in which Johnson shoved a woman in the face is still pending.

In taking a look at these sorts of actions on a larger scale, I can't help but wonder: What's wrong with these guys? I'm not just talking about the NFL. Between Johnson, Adam Jones (the Pac Man guy, not the Orioles outfielder), Joba Chamberlain, or whoever else makes headlines on a given weekend night, this is a problem that seems rampant.

At what point do they think they're above the law? How much money do they need to earn before they feel invincible? How much fame does it take before you place yourself above us mere mortals?

They may be better athletes, but so many of them are far from being better human beings.

Big news for Bad Baseball

OK, not really. It's definitely "news", though. OK, got me again, what I'm about to tell you is hardly newsworthy. Still, you should keep reading...

I've enjoyed working on Bad Baseball since it's inception just before the 2008 baseball season. I thought a site was needed to celebrate the other side of greatness - complete ineptitude. We celebrate wins and save leaders every year, track pennant races daily, and argue countless hours over MVPs. But nobody cared about the daily blown saves, four strikeout games, or teams being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in May. I was happy to fill that void on the internet.

Bad Baseball was my first foray into the rapidly expanding world of blogging, and I was happy to pick up help along the way, especially as the baseball season started to wind down and football (and basketball and whatever other sports there might be) gained steam. A handful of guest entries turned in to fairly regular contributions from one Ryan Pittman.

But I felt like Bad Baseball lacked a personal touch.

Read beyond the initial paragraphs in any of my entries and you'll find my personal opinions on the stories; I have plenty of them. And every so often I come up with something completely original. But still, not as personal as a lot of the blogs I've seen floating around on the web.

I've been wanting to start a separate site for a while now, but couldn't come up with a good enough topic for which I'd have enough material to sustain it for any amount of time. What is one thing I have more of than anyone else? What is something original, that appears nowhere else on the internet (that I could find, anyway), that people might actually be interested in? Because what good is a blog if nobody reads it, right?

The answer hit me harder than a referee lowering an elbow into my chest: Darryl Strawberry.

Since my earliest days as a baseball fan, he's been my favorite player, and I have literally thousands of Strawberry cards in binders, boxes, and plastic holders. I have shirts, books, and pictures. And most importantly, I have a scanner, which means a brand new spin-off blog can be found here. That's darrylstrawberryfields.blogspot.com for those of you looking to copy and paste the URL to a bookmarks bar.

Now to get to the question you're all asking: what does this mean for Bad Baseball (and other sports on occasion!)? The answer: absolutely nothing. I'll still update it regularly; the Strawberry site is simply something I wanted to do on the side. The site is obviously in its infancy, as I just came up with the idea last night, but you'll see the first additions in the next couple of days. I hope you all enjoy it, and thank you for your continued support of Bad Baseball.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cheap shot

Below is the video of the referee from Saturday night's LSU-South Carolina game before hitting SC quarterback Stephan Garcia. Was it intentional or not? You decide:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mascot decapitation

Fox News inadvertently captured Mr. Met getting his ripped clean off his body... check out the video below. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I intend to play for the Yankees


Veteran lefty Andy Pettitte has declared that he intends to pitch in 2009, and he plans on doing it in pinstripes.

No kidding.

Pettitte earned $16 million in 2008 and gave the Yanks a 14-14 record and a 4.54 ERA. So why the hell wouldn't he like to pitch there again?

So now I'm putting my 2009 intentions "on the record": I intend to pitch for the Yankees, too. I don't need $16 million; I don't even really need $1 million. How does league minimum sound, Mr. Steinbrenner? I will take every opportunity to complain to the media, I will alienate myself from all teammates, I'll guarantee a handful of blown saves each month, and I won't even require a no-trade clause.

I'll be a poor man's Kyle Farnsworth.

And if being a "poor man's" anyone upsets you, then feel free to give me a huge multi-year deal, and I'll blow my arm out and never throw an inning for you. People everywhere will draw comparisons between me and the great Carl Pavano.

Still too much to stomach? You can call me a catcher, sign me to one of your mega-deals, and then I'll hurt my shoulder and never be able to actually catch, thus becoming an overpaid, underperforming DH. Jorge Posada, anyone?

Or if you really want to steal headlines from those pesky cross-town Mets, sign me to a deal that'll shatter ARod's, even though my production will be virtually equal to guys putting up similar numbers while earning millions less.

I'll grow a bushy mustache to distract people from realizing that I just posted the third lowest batting average of my career. I tend to sweat a lot, too, so nobody will know the difference at first base between me or this guy.

I can guarantee you, though, that I will not be an aging, injury prone, past-his-prime left handed starter.

And no matter what sort of deal I sign, I'll make sure to get wrapped up in a performance enhancing drug controversy, just to keep things familiar. But whichever path you choose, remember that I'm not getting any younger (hmmm... neither is Pettitte, for that matter), so choose quickly.

Either way, I intend to play for the Yankees next year.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Play of the Year candidate

Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky is giving Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson a run for his money for bonehead play of the year. Orlovsky ran clear out of the endzone for a safety in Sunday's game against the Vikings... see for yourself below.

Still juiced


Between the NFL season being in full swing, the weekly upsets in college football, and the MLB playoffs, it seems to have been gone almost unnoticed (I'm guilty, too) that Jose Canseco was detained for nearly 10 hours at a southern California border crossing after unprescribed fertility drugs from Mexico were discovered in his car.

I guess this confirms what steroids do "down there" for all of us non-users.

Authorities at San Diego's San Ysidro border crossing found human chorionic gonadotropin, which helps restore testosterone in steroid users. The drug is considered a banned substance by the World Anti-doping Agency for male use and is illegal without a prescription, which Canseco obviously didn't have.

Canseco was only allowed to leave after he agreed to a search of his Los Angeles home, and will appear in court Tuesday, October 13th.

Border crossing check-points are all over the place on remote stretches of highway in the southern part of California, especially as the highways head east into the desert and venture close to the U.S. - Mexico border. Everyone has to stop, and everyone is subject to random searches of their vehicle. I don't know how to get picked; maybe it's every certain number of cars, maybe you have to be wearing sunglasses at night. But at the borders, I believe everyone is searched, even if only briefly.

So why did Canseco think he wouldn't get inspected? HE'S JOSE FREAKIN' CANSECO, of course he's going to draw attention! What border patrol officer wouldn't want to brag to his friends and family about searching Canseco's car?? Did he even try to hide the medicine, I wonder? Didn't he think of just trying to mail them to his home?

Luckily for Canseco, he really doesn't have much to lose here. It's not like he has any shred of credibility or good reputation to maintain, and I doubt jail time (if there is any; doubtful) will interfere with the plans he doesn't have.

I'm just hoping he finds a way to spin this in to another book.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hat trick

We have the ignominious NFL trifecta today, my friends, as three of our favorite boneheads are again in the headlines.

AJones Do you remember just a year or so ago, when Adam “Pacman” Jones had all the trouble with the strippers and the money and the suspension and then was reinstated by the NFL? Well, apparently Pacman doesn’t because he engaged in a fight with one of his bodyguards this week that was rowdy enough that Dallas police were called in. The fight, incidentally, took place the night before Jones was scheduled to participate in a team meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the agent of both Jones’ suspension for previous off-field incidents and ultimate reinstatement. Now, in fairness I must disclose that police did not arrest or charge anyone in the incident, but this can certainly be added to the list of 12+ incidents involving Jones for which police have been contacted since he was drafted in ‘05. I could tell a long drawn out parable here about a frog and a scorpion and how people don’t change their natures, but I will spare you. The bottom line is that with Owens starting to come unglued (again), Romo appearing to have peaked so early in the season, and Jones reverting to form, the wheels might be about ready to come off the Great Jerry Jones Love Bus.

MJones Yet another Jones (this time Jags WR Matt) made news this week for having his cocaine charge moved from district court to “drug court”. What is that you say…? So what? Well, you see, this is actually a big deal because a conviction in drug court is not recorded as a criminal offense. This is the criminal justice system’s version of a slap on the hand and essentially nothing more than a glorified traffic ticket. Could this be a product of the fact that Jones was arrested in Fayetteville, AR, where he enjoyed a notable career as a popular college QB? TANGENT: Fayetteville is also 15-minutes from the home of everybody’s favorite Evil Empire, Wal-Mart, which makes it a scary place in its own right, but I digress… Jones got a “gimme” on this one. As much as we laugh at Ricky Williams’ marijuana merry-go-round, a very similar thing could end up happening to Jones, but with COKE! Despite the referral to drug court, Jones could still be suspended by the NFL, which I sincerely hope is the case. Somebody has to play parent here, and if it isn’t going to be Arkansas’ system of law, then it needs to be Goodell or Del Rio or somebody that can get through to this kid.

MHarrison Finally, Marvin Harrison has not quite managed to escape the episode earlier this year where, after he publicly fought with a man named Dwight Dixon, Dixon was shot with a specialized handgun owned by Harrison, which was later found secreted in a bucket of soapy water at Harrison’s car wash. Harrison was never charged by police (much to my amazement, as the forensic evidence is strong), and the case is officially still open, but now Harrison is being sued by Dixon for “serious and permanent injuries … and a severe shock to his nerves and nervous system.” Dixon’s position is that Harrison was the shooter, and he is seeking $100,000+ to soothe his shattered psyche. I am sure that Marvin desperately wants to move on from this, and I am not convinced it wouldn’t have been better off for him just to pay Dixon the requested amount (let’s face it, it could be far worse) than have this brought up in court and tried again in the court of public opinion. At any rate, I don’t see how this incident could make Harrison’s play much worse than it has been already this year.

Stay tuned… With Cedric Benson back in the League, I’m sure we’ll see more sequels in the months to come.

-RP

Bottom 10

Almost forgot: new Bottom 10 posted at ESPN.com. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Open bar, dude!


I've been to only two weddings in my life; my own and one other, so I hardly consider myself an expert on the topic. However, I do know the three things you MUST do if you'd like to alienate yourself from the wedding couple for the rest of your life:

1) Start a fight with the bride's father.

2) Include the bride's 19 year old brother in the brawl.

3) Make sure said brawl leads to multiple arrests.

Game, set and match for Astros pitcher Brandon Backe, who did just that at a wedding reception in a Gavelston, Texas hotel bar. A total of 10 people were arrested at the event.

Astros spokespeople are declining comment on the story, stating that since it's a legal matter it'd be inappropriate, though it certainly wouldn't be any more inappropriate that Backe's behavior, especially since he was a member of the wedding party.

On the groom's side, I'm hoping.

No telling what lead to the fight. Too much to drink from the open bar? Frustrations from another lost baseball season in Houston?

I'll tell you this; Backe better come up with a damn good wedding gift after this mess.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Speaking of Nebraska


It's funny that Lawrence Phillips has made headlines again, seeing as how I was just visiting his Alma Mater - the University of Nebraska - last weekend. Well, I guess it's not really funny... maybe fitting is a better word. Ok, I'll admit it: I'm still behind at work from the trip, and I'm still tired, and I wanted a way to tie in the trip to the blog, especially since I've been lazy and haven't posted anything to the site since Tuesday.

So, speaking of Nebraska...

Former Cornhusker Lawrence Phillips has been sentenced in Los Angeles to 10 years in prison after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. Not just any weapon, though. It wasn't the typical gun point robbery, or even a knife. Phillips's weapon of choice was his car.

On August 1st, 2005, Phillips drove his car into three teenagers when he became upset over losing a pickup football game.

Two things about that jumped immediately to mind:

1) Who reacts that strongly to losing a game that doesn't matter in the least? I play adult baseball, in which the talent level is above "pickup", but still, it's a league where we all pay dues to play, and tempers have certainly become heated between teams at times. But nobody has ever tried to kill an opponent. Hell, I'm pretty sure you'll get kicked out of the entire league for intentionally throwing at a batter (at least if it's a head shot), so running down the other team in your Pontiac would mean a pretty quick suspension. And truthfully, the main reason we all play so hard is because the quicker the game ends, the sooner we meet at the beach for beers. And the other thing that popped into my mind:

2) How does a teenage pickup team with Lawrence Phillips lose? If Andy Pettitte walks away from baseball this off-season and comes to play for the Bangin' Byrds (my adult team name; we're sponsored by Hooters), we would never lose a game. Ever. I don't think Pettitte would ever even give up a hit. So how did this pickup team with Phillips ever fall behind? I'd toss screens to him all day long, Reggie Bush style. Even after we amassed a 100 point lead, I'd still hand it to him, except maybe just ask that he run it up the middle.

Bizarre. At least jail will keep Phillips out of trouble (that we'll hear about, anyway). As for me, I'm off to put in a call to Pettitte's agent. Enjoy the weekend, everybody.