soft hands.

the thunder clinch the eastern league northern division, justin pope is hurting, bill masse goes on a beautifully massian rant about pitch counts:

"Well, we are still debating that. We may let him go a couple of extra innings," said Masse be fore last night's 11-2 win over Erie in front of 2,026 at Jerry Uht Park. With Portland falling to Bingham ton, the Thunder's magic number to clinch the Eastern League Northern Division title outright is two.

On which side of the debate is Masse?

"We get so ridiculous with this dumb pitch count stuff," Masse said. "It's so (dumb). Somebody came up with a pitch count thing (like) this is going to decide if a kid's arm is going to be healthy or not. It's like predicting the weather sometimes. 'If he throws 66 pitches, he will be fine, but if he throws 81, he is going to get hurt.' No one can predict that.

"It's like a save. Someone arbitrarily came up with three runs, you get a save. Someone said, 'If he goes over 100 pitches, he's going to get hurt.' Who said that? Where did this come from? Where's the data?"

..."I understand completely what the Yankees are doing, and I support what they are doing," Masse said. "The only negative you run into is that he never learns how to pitch when he is tired. He never learns how to pitch when he is a little bit fatigued.

"I think you run into those problems because he is always fresh. Also, he is never in trouble. He needs to learn how to pitch out of his second or third jam in the seventh inning with two outs and he's throwing 90 mph instead of 94.

"Unfortunately what I think is going to happen with all these young pitchers is that they are going to learn how to do this in the big leagues since you are going to limit guys' innings and situations like this. When will they get that first big test? In the big leagues, because you held them back because of health is sues or for injury sake in the minors."

..."I understand with a guy like Hughes who just turned 20, but for older guys, I don't get it," Masse said. "Everybody is different. That's when baseball people need to come in. Is this guy a hard-working arm or is he an easy-working arm? Is he a big kid or is a small kid? Does he use his lower half?

"I think there are other factors that factor in this. What Phil has working for him is that he has an easy arm and he's a monster. He's 250 pounds. Those are two things, for me, that you look at that limit injuries."

[trenton times]

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2:53 PM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

one of each plz


(left: "fangirls dig the backwards k; give me a good groundball pitcher with a solid infield defense." right: "fangirls dig the long ball; smart chicks dig the high on-base percentage." found at blue cats and red sox design... which, by the way, is the work of the ubertalented if unfortunately affiliated [kidding!] boston fan in michigan; also check out her flickr photostream. anyway. pity i'll have to mutilate the logo on the back.)
4:48 PM :: 2 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

i implore everyone to check out allen barra's excellent piece on the puzzling a-rod hate phenomenon in the village voice. shoutout to kb for the find:
In a world in which people are praised according to achievement, Rodriguez would be recognized as the last of the so-called five-tool superstars in the mold of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Duke Snider, players who can hit for a high average with tremendous power, throw, field, and run. In a fair world, it would be enough that Alex Rodriguez is the greatest all-around player in baseball�which he clearly was before this season. He isn't playing as well this season as he did last, and the decline seems most attributable to a lack of focus. For instance, he's made 22 errors so far, nearly twice as many as in all of 2005, most of them on fairly routine ground balls or standard throws from third base to first. At bat, he has only been hitting about 15 or so points below his career average but looks to be headed for a career high in strikeouts.

In a sane world, Rodriguez, who will reach 500 home runs sooner than any player in the game's history, would be the obvious antidote to the ugly PR mess that Barry Bonds threatens to dump on the game if he approaches Hank Aaron's career record of 755 home runs. Baseball would at least have the consolation of knowing that Rodriguez, about whom there has never been a hint of steroid or any other kind of scandal, would, at the pace he's going, be on track to surpass both Bonds and Aaron by the time he's 40.

In a world that made sense, Alex Rodriguez would be the symbol of Latin ascendance over the game of baseball.

Unfortunately for Alex Rodriguez, this world is none of those. It's the world of New York baseball in 2006, in which the game's best player is subjected to what teammate Mike Mussina calls "lethal booing," where his every at-bat and play in the field is mercilessly scrutinized, and in which the local press and fandom treat him as if he were a member of a hated rival team�while fans of the hated rival team, the Boston Red Sox, boo and curse him hysterically for not playing for their team, a decision in which he had no say in the first place.

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4:07 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

in-game nonsense


drinking game ideas:
- every time someone mentions BIG PAPI, do a shot
- every time wang goes to a full count, do a shot
- every time wang fields a ball, do a shot

"i'd probably lay in a closet somewhere, put on a little miles davis, and about ten minutes before game time come out and say 'let's go!'" -- kitty kaat on how he'd handle a funk

dear jorgie: facial hair is not going to create the illusion of a chin. please stop. xo lupe

- every time the yankees strand runners on second and third, do a shot

- every time jeter makes an error in a wang start, do a shot
- every time michael kay tries to pin a jeter error on someone else, do a shot

andrew miller sighting!

perhaps bob ought to grow a stache.

dear alex: nothing you can do about granderson running it down, slamming the helmet and having it nearly richochet into your face isn't gonna help. take it out on a water cooler or michael kay, please.

the new robin ventura model glove seems to be agreeing with him.


wang, as of the 7th inning stretch: 0 runs, 97 pitches, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 k, 12 groundball outs, 3 assists. so reliably, steadily good it's yawntastic. almost. dear wang: this is not an invitation for drama. please, stay boring.

how does neifi perez keep finding work?

dear small ball: fuck you.

"alex with risp this year, hitting .303, not bad." -- michael kay. not bad? what the fuck do you want from him? CLUTCH PAPI'S .286 avg, maybe?

commercial break picspam:

i'm probably pretty sure walking neifi perez qualifies as UNACCEPTABLE.

scott proctor: continually defying my grisly expectations

andrew miller is.... too young for me. andrew miller is too young for me. andrew miller is too young for me.

of course, no sooner do i think "speaking of boring, hello mo..." does carlos guillen
ruin things. of course.

much better. hooray 8 game lead!


2:09 PM :: 11 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

silly yankees!

via on the yankees beat:
No word yet on whether Carl Pavano will actually show up today -- he's in New York to be checked out by team physician Stuart Hershon -- but if he does come to Yankee Stadium he has a present waiting for him in his locker.

Six back pages from the New York tabloids -- complete with his photo and headlines screaming "Crash Test Dummy" -- are taped to his clubhouse locker wall, right next to his clean Yankees No. 45 jersey. So if after what has happened, if you still don't believe his teammates think he's a joke, this display should finally convince you.


1:13 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

hee hee


get_in_mirabelli: shhhhh everybody be quiet Manny's coming /snickers
KapYoAzz: Why do we have to be quiet? He's been in there watching old tapes of Muppet Babies all day long.

get_in_mirabelli: Ramirez! My main Manny, what's up, how was that Muppet Babies over there
MannyTheTorpedoes: bery good we saw gondzo wreg a car while he play preten an he go flyin like a airplang, an camiller the chiggen was hurt
get_in_mirabelli: Why that sounds exciting!
MannyTheTorpedoes: thinks turn out gray tho nanny take camiller the chiggen an fix her with needles an strang

nanny being nanny
3:14 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

i lol'd


and from the daily news:
The car accident took place Aug. 15, Pavano said, while he was near his home in West Palm Beach (he had team permission to be there since his rehab start was on Florida's East Coast). It was a rainy day and Pavano said his car skidded out of control and crashed into a truck, which was stopped at a stop sign on the street to which Pavano was turning. Pavano said he was not charged by police and that the man in the truck was not injured; Pavano's car was damaged, but not totaled, he said.

is it bitchy of me to be skeptical about the accident details? if you're turning, you're going slower than slow, or at least you ought to be, and then to hit a nonmoving vehicle... perhaps my experience of going unhurt (as the innocent stopped car, thankyouverymuch) in a similar accident colors my perception, or maybe at this point it feels wrong NOT to question his testicular fortitude. i'm being unfair. clearly, at 5'5" something-something, i'm nowhere near the delicate flower carlito is.

edit: garbage truck! PERFECT.
1:54 PM :: 3 comments ::

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After Sunday's game, the Tigers announced Miller will join them for Tuesday's opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The promotion comes a few days ahead of schedule, and now he's in line to get meaningful innings, as the second left-handed reliever behind Jamie Walker. He takes the bullpen spot of left-hander Wil Ledezma, who will start Wednesday night because Mike Maroth isn't healthy enough to do so.

"This is a little bit different than everybody was expecting," Miller said.

"That makes it even more exciting. I don't know what to say."

Manager Jim Leyland said Miller will pitch in New York. He sounded eager to see Miller take on famous left-handed hitters like Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi in clutch situations. So here is Miller -- a few months out of the University of North Carolina -- about to be thrust into a playoff-race matchup of first-place teams in baseball's most famous stadium. [detroit free press]
9:37 PM :: 0 comments ::

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bernie pujols!
5:57 PM :: 0 comments ::

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yeah, hopefully

Carl Pavano gave up two runs in six innings Friday night as the Columbus Clippers cruised past the Indianapolis Indians, 8-2, at Cooper Stadium.

Pavano (1-0) allowed eight hits and a walk while striking out five in his first rehab start with the Clippers. The veteran right-hander hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since June 27, 2005, but he's 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts during his most recent rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Tampa, Double-A Trenton and the Clippers.

Pavano underwent surgery earlier this season to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow, and also was slowed by shoulder, back and buttocks ailments.

New York Yankees manager Joe Torre said the former 18-game winner could be ready to come off the disabled list this week after throwing 61 of 89 pitches for strikes.

"It's not out of the question at all, since September will be rolling around in a few days," Torre said. "He seems to be feeling good about himself."

Torre also said he liked what he saw from Pavano when he threw bullpen sessions with the big league club last month.

"There was a lot of life leaving his hand, and we didn't see that consistently last year," Torre explained. "We certainly know why we wanted to sign him, so hopefully that will be the guy we see next month." [milb]


1:12 PM :: 0 comments ::

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how did this escape my attention for months? wow.

Thanks, Mike. You dropped the ball, then you managed to hit a little girl in the head. Next time catch it -- and hit the girl harder. In tonight's game, look for Ryan Howard to dropkick an infant, Jimmy Rollins to hit a fan in the head with a bat and Bobby Abreu to take it all in, smiling, on a lounge chair. [philadelpia will do]
4:41 PM :: 2 comments ::

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thanks guys

for making me your number three source for info about giambi's stache. i'm so proud.

3:48 PM :: 0 comments ::

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maybe it's not "i hate baseball/baseball hates me" week after all

apparently, we are now so blase about phil hughes toying with AA hitters that the trenton times noted his no-hit five innings only at the end of an article focusing on randy ruiz:

In perhaps his best outing of the season, Hughes had a perfect game going until he walked Aeros designated hitter Shaun Larkin with one out in the fifth. Still, he left with the no-hitter in tact after five frames, striking out nine of the 16 batters he faced.

"He's had a lot of good (outings)," Masse said. "But his stuff was just electric tonight. His ball just explodes, and it seemed like he was throwing a little harder tonight."

Over his last 12 starts, Hughes is 7-0 with 84 strikeouts, while limiting his opposition to just 28 hits in 70 2/3 innings of work. His fastball hit as high as 96 mph on the radar gun, with 93 mph being the norm.


3:45 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

quote of

“On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage. On-base percentage just to clog up the bases isn’t that great to me.” - dusty baker


12:14 PM :: 3 comments ::

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dear izzy

10:02 PM :: 10 comments ::

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not sure why it would pain anybody to admit that wins are a silly stat by which to measure a pitchers worth, or why muddy up a perfectly sane POV with hesitant stuff like "probably," "to be honest," and "i just feel like," but hey... whatever spreads the word:

Back in the olden days, BFB (Before Fantasy Baseball), there were only a few stats that people really talked about: wins, losses, ERA, walks and strikeouts.

Now fantasy geeks (and I use that term lovingly and affectionately, being one myself and being married to one for good measure) blithely throw around terms like WHIP and OPS and "pitch or ditch."

As a result, sometimes when I look at a stat line there are so many numbers that it can be hard to just extrapolate and pull out the ones that really "matter," that really tell me about a pitcher's individual effectiveness. And that is what I am trying to look for when narrowing down the candidates for that Pitcher of the Year award.

So it pains me to admit this, and I know I am probably in the minority here, but to be honest the number in the W column and, to a lesser extent, the number next to it in the L column are among the last stats I take into account when making that selection.

I want to judge a pitcher purely on what he's responsible for.

I feel like, much of the time, wins and losses are largely out of a pitcher's control. He's the one that throws strikes (or doesn't). He's the one getting the batters out (or not). But he can't control whether his team scores runs for him, or whether they make the plays behind him. [lisa winston]
2:53 PM :: 1 comments ::

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quote of the morning afternoon

"Strippers' hours... You reach a point of no return. You don't sleep. You're just up. I'm past the point of tired." -- jason giambi


1:40 PM :: 1 comments ::

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feels like

4:50 PM :: 0 comments ::

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this morning, i read some mild wah wah about payroll disparity and as i wondered where exactly the flow from the pink hats and rsn cards and the monster seats et cetera is going, clicked on buster olney's blog to discover he was thinking about the same thing:

The Red Sox may not spend as much as the Yankees, they may not believe that they should. But consider the incredible sources of income for the team -- perhaps the best local revenue streams of any club, with NESN and tremendous local radio coverage and advertising; the expansion of Fenway Park; the highest seat prices in the majors; the surprising and enormous dollars that every team is getting for the success of MLB.com; dramatically increased concessions, with dozens of additional beer taps in the park to charge big money for the brew. It is apparent that the Red Sox are grossing enormous amounts of money.

The Red Sox have basically held to their budget since they won the World Series in 2004. I don't have access to their books -- the next writer who does will be the first -- but this does beg a question: Where is the additional money going?

George Steinbrenner has rightly been criticized over the years for exorbitant spending, for crazy financial decisions on mediocre players. But he plows a lot of his profit back into the team.

Are the Red Sox doing that?
12:04 PM :: 0 comments ::

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quote of the rain delay

"Moose right now is calculating how many raindrops are falling per minute verse how many raindrops are in the cumulonimbus cloud above the stadium and will start warming up precisely 11 minutes before the last rain drop will fall, therefore giving himself an advantage over schilling, who thinks 3+8=Beer." - other kim

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9:32 PM :: 0 comments ::

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phillyburbs on phil hughes' latest start:

It almost doesn't seem fair to keep throwing Trenton Thunder starting pitcher Phil Hughes against Double A hitters.

Hughes, the New York Yankees' top prospect and one of the top young pitchers in baseball, clearly mastered this level weeks ago.

In the Thunder's 2-1 10-inning loss to the visiting Portland Sea Dogs in front of 7,920 fans at Mercer County Waterfront Park on Friday night, Hughes gave up two hits and one run in five routinely dominant innings.

...Hughes gave up a one-out line-drive double to Port-land's Jeremy West in the top of the fourth, and a soft RBI single up the middle to the next hitter, Luis Jim-enez. He has limited opponents to two hits in five straight starts and has only allowed three runs during that span.

For the season, Hughes is 8-3 with a 2.46 ERA. In 106 innings for the Thunder, he has given up 71 hits and struck out 124. Over 24 innings in his last five starts, Hughes has a 1.13 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 10 hits allowed.

On Friday night, he also fielded his position flawlessly, making three plays on balls near the mound.

“That's one of the things about Phil Hughes that people don't understand,” Masse said. “He fields his position very well. You don't always see it because he strikes out half the guys he faces.”

sort of unnerving to look at his line and sniff at his paltry 3 strikeouts though, isn't it? note to self: easy, girl.

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4:56 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

you can't see something that's not there, sickos.

2:39 PM :: 1 comments ::

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my least favorite thing about minor league ball

2:02 PM :: 6 comments ::

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Randy Johnson Asks Chien-Ming Wang For Some Pitching Advice For A Pitcher Friend Of His

August 17, 2006 | Onion Sports

NEW YORK—Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson asked his teammate and fellow pitcher Chien-Ming Wang Tuesday for some pitching advice that was reportedly not for him, but for a "tall, lanky, inconsistent" southpaw friend of his. "He—my friend—is having trouble because he thinks his release point is erratic," said Johnson, who as the conversation went on had to vehemently deny allegations that the person he was talking about was himself. "So, Chien, what do you think about my, er, his release point?" Wang eventually recommended that Johnson tell his "friend" that when he releases the ball too high, he loses his ability to fool left-handed hitters, and to also mention that he will have to accept that at his friend's age, his slider won't be nearly as effective as it once was.


1:41 PM :: 0 comments ::

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jhonny the fenwaycidal maniac


Damon, in his third visit to Boston since signing with the Yankees as a free agent last winter, is having a tremendous series. He was 3-for-6 with three doubles, a run scored and an RBI in yesterday's 13-5 victory and has nine hits in 18 at-bats in the first three games so far, eliciting boos from the Fenway fans who once would've treasured a lock of his famous long hair.

In addition to the three doubles yesterday, Damon homered in each game of Friday's day-night doubleheader and also had a triple. He has eight RBI and five runs scored. Over his last eight games against the Red Sox, Damon is batting .472 (17-for-36) with 12 RBI and nine runs after going 1-for-16 (.063) in his first four games against Boston.

The two-homer day Friday made him only the fifth player to hit at least 20 homers for both the Red Sox and Yankees, joining Babe Ruth, Don Baylor, Jack Clark and Mike Stanley. Damon has seven homers this month, tied with Travis Hafner for the most in the AL in August. [daily news]


1:24 PM :: 0 comments ::

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pornstaches for everyone!

it just hasn't been the same since gabe white left.

"You've got to dye that thing," Cashman tells Giambi, whose new mustache is coming in a little too light.

Giambi is growing the only allowable facial hair in Yankeeland as a tribute to his hitting coach. "Bringing back the Hit Man, Don Mattingly, the way he used to play," Giambi says.

Says clean-shaven pitcher Jaret Wright: "I think if it makes him feel sexy at the plate, then do it."

Sal Fasano is the undisputed king of mustache in the Bronx, if not all of baseball. Maxim magazine put him on a list of the top 10 mustaches in baseball history - twice. Fasano's Fu Manchu from earlier this season with the Phillies and his current upper lip mane both made the list.

"I think it's funny," Fasano says. "I made it twice, that makes it even more funny. It's to the point now where even if I wanted to shave it, I can't shave it. Next year, when I sign, I'll have two contracts, one for my mustache, one for my body. My mustache has gotten a lot more exposure."

This is what happens in August, when the baseball season seems to slow down and the wackiness seems to speed up. Fasano is trying to get his locker-room neighbor, infielder Nick Green, to grow a 'stache, but Green says, "I'm not a mustache kind of guy." To that, Fasano replies, "He could be, he's just afraid."

Johnny Damon isn't afraid. Asked about Giambi's mustache, the former "Caveman" immediately smiles and exclaims, "I love it! I'm gonna have one soon." [daily news]
12:15 PM :: 0 comments ::

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rolleyes/quote of the day

"i wish they had a stat called 'home runs when it matters.'" -- lenny dykstra on being compared to david eckstein/little players that could during tonight's mets broadcast


9:01 PM :: 0 comments ::

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in local news

some people know how to pitch, unlike certain other people who shall remain nameless:

Tyler Clippard made history on Thursday, tossing the first no-hitter in team history as the Trenton Thunder blanked the Harrisburg Senators, 9-0, at Commerce Bank Park.

Clippard (10-10) struck out nine and walked four on the way to his seventh straight win.

"Surreal, it didn't settle in at first" were the 21-year-old right-hander's thoughts immediately after Richard Lane took a called third strike to end the game. "It is unbelievable, an unforgettable night, something I will always remember.

"You always kind of know you have something special going on, but you don't think it will come to fruition until the later innings. I really started to feel like it may happen when there were two outs in the eighth."

Clippard got some stellar defense to protect the first no-hitter in Trenton's 13-year history. With one out in the seventh inning, first baseman Randy Ruiz made a diving stop of Josh Whitesell's grounder and flipped to Clippard covering first.

The second defensive gem came two innings later, when center fielder Brett Gardner made a sliding catch on Kory Casto's deep fly ball.

Long before Gardner's catch, Clippard thought he had surrendered a homer to Casto in the first. But the ball died on the warning track and was caught. The Florida native said balls were not carrying all night, so he wasn't sure about Casto's blast in the ninth.

"I said, 'Oh, gosh, but I turned and saw (Gardner) had a great jump and was going to track it down, and I knew I may get (the no-hitter)." [milb]

I was at work last night finishing up my headlines and editing for the Mets-Nationals game when my cell phone rang. It was my mother, screaming into the phone excitedly to the point where the first discernable word I could make out was "BlueClaws."

"Why are you yelling?" was my first question.

"Because we're at the BlueClaws game!" she said. "We just saw the first no-hitter in their history!"

Of course, I had to give her the facts and clear up the true history. The BlueClaws started off throwing a no-hitter in their first home game, when Keith Bucktrot tossed a seven-inning no-no in an 11-1 Lakewood win back in 2001. The following year, Gavin Floyd lost a 1-0 no-hitter -- which at least went nine innings -- because of his own throwing error to first base. I covered both games, and although I missed this one, at least the family was represented at FirstEnergy Park.

Two no-hitters in two years was a pretty good pace; with last night's, the BlueClaws now have three in six seasons -- all at home, no less -- which is not a bad average, either.

So if anyone who works in the Phillies front office or minor league development happens to read this, we'll need a no-hit-capable pitcher in Lakewood before the end of the 2008 season. Thank you. [jersey baseball blog]

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11:21 AM :: 1 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

from a trenton thunder email:
Q: What Major League Pitcher rehabbed with the Thunder in four different seasons and has the most rehab appearances in Thunder history?

A: Bret Saberhagan rehabbed with the Thunder in 1997 and 1999-2001.

i guessed carl pavano!


4:52 PM :: 0 comments ::

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i'm back from a mostly relaxing cape may minivacation, which featured:

- sunburn within the first 20 minutes
- a hula hoop contest and dollar beers, something i didn't think existed anymore
- the best pizza (white, thin crust: pancetta, sage, parmigiano reggiano, carmelized onions) and key lime martini i've ever had, both of which which i am now obsessed with recreating
- NO baseball, except for a strange little dinery cafe which boasts memorabilia like babe ruth's wheelchair, joe pepitone's hairdryer, and a creepy talking statue of ruth thing

but it's nice to come home, especially to news like:
CBS4 has confirmed that the Red Sox have acquired both Eric Hinske and Carlos Pena.

Hinske is coming from Toronto for a minor league player-to-be-named-later and will join the team immediately as the Sox open up a five game weekend series with the New York Yankees Friday. The deal was waiting the commissioner's office approval. [cbs4 boston]

shall refrain from commenting on the extremely annoying pena thing, choosing instead to focus on my complete and total bilious horror at my current least favorite player going to my least favorite team. fitting.
2:37 PM :: 5 comments ::

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i'm probably pretty sure

that michael is my new favorite person.
1:13 PM :: 2 comments ::

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kb: "When the Yanks are behind in the late innings, they frequently pull out this JumboTron montage of scenes from the Rocky movies interspersed with Yankee awesome highlights. I hate it because whenever I'm there and they show it, the Yanks lose more often then not (I've seen them rally to win after it a grand total of once) Well, this was going on while the Angels were making a pitching change, and who gets all into it but the Angels outfielders. Seriously. They were standing together in center, competely entranced by the montage. In fact they were so into it, they only knew it was time to start playing again when the scoreboard people turned the montage off...because the pitcher and everyone else were ready to play. Watching them get all "Whoops!" and have to skitter back to their positions was awesome."


edited to add arod's home run, just because:

3:32 PM :: 5 comments ::

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come from a fun piece on the wanger in the journal news:

"Snoop Dogg," [wang] said. "Good songs."
"But here I play baseball and watch TV with my wife. Just baseball and wife. Baseball, wife."
8:45 AM :: 2 comments ::

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Thinking before one speaks has never been a prerequisite for gaining employment as a sports radio talkie. In fact, some mouths are encouraged - in the name of ratings or buzz - to flap their yaps with no regard for truth, accuracy, or rationale.

And yet, there are times when a talkie totally loses it. There is never shtick involved when a guy has purchased a one-way ticket to Insaneville. That's the city ESPN-1050's Michael Kay, who also is the TV voice of the Yankees on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, visited Friday.

Kay's meltdown (that's being kind) was triggered by the contention that baseball voices can jinx teams they work for. During the discussion, Kay was accused of putting the whammy on Chien-Ming Wang because he once informed viewers Wang was pitching a perfect game.

The notion any announcer could put the kibosh on a no-hitter or perfect game, by alerting viewers to the fact one is in progress, is absurd. Still, it is one of those age-old superstitions some fans still believe in.

Kay was right in taking issue with it. Unfortunately, he went about it the wrong way. And wrong is not nearly a strong enough word to describe the way he went about it.

...Even I'm not presumptuous enough to try explaining how Kay's mind (moving from no-hitters to "baseball etiquette" to slavery to Nazi Germany) was functioning on this occasion.
[bob raissman]


8:09 AM :: 0 comments ::

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chris widger's at-bat music is how soon is now?

what the hell?
10:37 AM :: 0 comments ::

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qotd pt 2

"Hopefully Bubba latches on somewhere and gets a chance to show that he's not a major league caliber player." -- SG
8:36 PM :: 0 comments ::

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quote of the day

"You know, sometimes I believe there are no gods, the way the world goes." -- michael kay

okay, crazy... can i say how refreshingly hysterics free the last few broadcasts sans kay have been? i really enjoyed kitty and flaherty together, and thought dr hibbert did a fine solo act last night. they should boot kay, stick bobby in the studio where he's the least bumblingly annoying and rotate senator al, hibbert, kitty, and flash in the booth.

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5:47 PM :: 5 comments ::

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By day, Rod Blackstone is the assistant to Charleston, W.Va., Mayor Danny Jones. But by night, or at least nights when the West Virginia Power have a home game, he morphs into Toastman.

And while you might think that being the right-hand man to the mayor of a state capital is pretty prestigious, Blackstone's "alter ego" has far more fame and notoriety in the world of Minor League baseball.

Last week, I was chatting with Kinston Indians manager Mike Sarbaugh and happened to mention I was going to be heading down to Charleston to see the Milwaukee Brewers' South Atlantic League farm team.

His eyes immediately lit up.

"You're going to see Toastman!" exclaimed Sarbaugh, who managed the Lake County Captains in the Sally League in 2005 (he was also a hitting coach in the SAL in 1995-96).

Well, Blackstone wasn't the reason we scheduled the trip, but rest assured, he ended up being one of the highlights of the visit to Appalachian Power Park (you can see all of those highlights on the Around The Minors video show that airs Wednesday, Aug. 9).

How can I explain Toastman in a nutshell? (Or a crust, I guess). Diehard fan doesn't begin to describe it.

A season ticket holder, Blackstone holds court in the front row of Section 107, in the aisle seat just to the visiting dugout side of home plate (the better to rag on the visiting players in the on-deck circle).

He's really hard to miss because, among other things, he has a TV table set up in front of him which holds an electric toaster with piles of freshly made burnt toast (he deliberately burns it so no one will eat it).

When an opposing batter strikes out, Blackstone will lead the fans in a chant of "You are toast! You are toast! You ... are ... toast!" and fling pieces of toast into the stands. [MILB]
11:27 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

peter abraham's become one of my favorite Internet People:
Scouts get fired and rehired someplace else all the time. Since Cashman got more juice last October there have been a number of changes in the organization.

If the Yankees go deep in the playoffs, you can bet there will be more firings because Cashman will have even more power.

As Steinbrenner concedes more duties to his son-in-law, you'll see a lot of the glad-handers in Tampa (or "boot-licking toadies" as the Post called them earlier this season) run out of the organization.

At this point, Cashman is Michael Corleone. You're either with him or you're Moe Green on the massage table.

fantastic last line. reminded me of

“Brian [cashman] comes off as very humble, but he is one street-savvy motherfucker,” says an admiring baseball agent. “Those people who underestimate him in any way—he will cut their throats.” [new york magazine]


2:24 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

ot: "modest marr"? wha?

rolling stone via oh no they didn't:

We’ve known for a while that Modest Mouse leader Isaac Brock and former Smiths guitarist/genius Johnny Marr were collaborating on MM’s next record. But guess what? Marr is now officially a full-on member of Modest Mouse, Brock recently told us. According to Brock, Marr’s membership is so unequivocal, he will tour with MM in support of their next record, tentatively titled We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank and tentatively due this fall. “He made a cautious commitment to write and record with us, and then the tighter we got, he was like, ‘okay, let’s tour too,’” Brock said. “Then he was pretty much a member of the band - not pretty much. He’s a full blown member of the band. It’s really fuckin’ nice.”

Some backstory: When it came time to start work on the follow-up to 2004’s indie-rock marvel Good News for People Who Love Bad News, Brock found himself sans guitarist and enlisted Marr to help write and record. “I took a long shot really,” says Brock. “I was like, ‘You know, I really like that guy’s guitar playing. There’s no chance in hell he’s going to say yes, but why not give him a call?’ So I did.” Maybe Morrissey should borrow Brock’s little black book? “Eventually it all came together, and it was a really good fit, which I think actually surprised all of us,” Brock recalled. Finally, Marr, Brock and co. went down to Sweet Tea studios in Mississippi (the same joint where Good News was recorded) to lay down tracks for We Were Dead, which Brock describes as a nautical balalaika carnival romp. So what’s the gist? Get ready to have your mind blown by Modest Marr’s crazy-dark sailors-and-gypsies whimsy.
1:13 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink

got lost in the game, ooo baby baby

cause newark's not strange enough:
If there was ever a night to refuse to act your age at a ballgame, tonight's the night.

For anyone looking to both dress up as a baby and take in a game, the Newark Bears are hosting Britney Spears Baby Safety Night tonight at the Den. Those who do make the extra effort to dress in a onesie and be pushed around in a carriage will get in free. As will those who bring a baby toy or, if you're so inclined, an actual baby (under the age of 4).

I wonder which proves to be more of a headache: adults running around dressed as babies, or actual children on camp day treating the concourse like the playground at recess. [jersey baseball]
12:49 PM :: 0 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink



then that might explain

PinstripesPlus: What is going on with Matthew DeSalvo? He just doesn't seem to be able to turn things around. Are you concerned about him?

Contreras: With DeSalvo, it's all mental. His stuff is there and it's just mental - that's all! He's got some personal problems going on and he can't keep his mind on the baseball field. His location is not there. Of course I'm concerned about him, but only on a personal level. Baseball is secondary.

poor guy.


6:03 PM :: 2 comments ::

lupe! :: permalink