Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Are the Mariners Forreal?

August 1, 2010

Dawson weeps for all M's fans

Well, the Seattle Mariners are on their way home from Minneapolis, where they were publicly beaten and humiliated by the Minnesota Twins for three whole days.  It was like a domestic violence case where everybody in the neighborhood knows what goes on behind closed doors (where did she get that black eye?) but nobody wants to get involved.  In today’s game, Francisco Liriano had his way with them for seven innings, racking up 11 K’s.  The M’s left with no dignity, no runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, and FIFTEEN STRIKEOUTS!

It’s no secret that the Mariners have rewritten the definition of “suck” this season.  We rank last in the majors in team batting average, home runs, RBI and hits.  Our bullpen’s ERA is 4.53, good for 12th in the AL.  Just for a frame of reference, last year’s bullpen ERA ranked 3rd in the league.  And unless I’m mistaken, the team’s motto has been officially changed from “Believe Big” to “Only (x) Days Left Until Football Season Starts!”

Let’s recap some other highlights from this season:

  • Felix got tricked into signing a five-year deal (sucker!)
  • Griffey came back for another magical season, only to learn the hard way that people who wear adult diapers are too old to play baseball
  • the team went through DH’s faster than Griffey went through adult diapers
  • Chone Figgins began a four-year-long crime spree, during which he is expected to steal $36 million from the team.  And oh, yeah, HE ATTACKED OUR MANAGER IN THE DUGOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • the M’s acquired Cliff Lee, which, combined with Felix at the top of the rotation, ensured that fans would pay attention to at least 40% of the team’s games (until they traded him away in July)
  • Erik Bedard kept his pulse going at a murmur (I seriously thought he was dead for a while)
  • The team went 6-22 in the month of July.  That is not a misprint.  We won just over 20% of our games.

With so many things going wrong this year, it seems as though choosing one single thing to pick on would be difficult.  Nope, it really isn’t.  The absolute worst part of this team is the hitting, or lack thereof.  My brother summed it up pretty well the other day, when he said, “I’ve forgotten what a good offense looks like.  Whenever the M’s score more than 2 runs in a game, I think something along the lines of, ‘Holy crap, the M’s scored 4 runs today!  That’s SO MANY RUNS!  How could a team ever be fortunate enough to score SO MANY RUNS?’ ”

As silly as that statement might sound, it’s a pretty accurate account of how we all feel about this anemic offense.  And it’s not like the hitters don’t know they suck.  They talk about it all the time, in every post-game interview.  2010 is being called the Year of the Pitcher, but if you were judging by the Mariners’ offense, you might guess that this was the Dead Ball Era.

And how do you think the pitchers feel?  Those poor, accursed souls have to go out there every day and pitch with the full knowledge that if they give up as many as 2 runs over 6 innings, there’s no chance in Hell of them getting the win.  So, as a result, each starting pitcher has the full weight of the team on his shoulders during every single start.  You don’t think this weighs on them over the course of the season?  Look at Doug Fister.  This guy was a real stud at the beginning of the year.  Then he got that “shoulder strain”.  Now, he is but a shell of his former self, unable to look in the mirror, let alone net a quality start.  And Ryan Rowland-Smith?  I loved that guy before the season started!  I expected him to have a Vargas-like year.  Instead, the Thunder from Down Under has struggled to find the zone all season.  He has zero self-confidence when he pitches.  And now some “injury” has pushed him to the 15-day DL.  Are we really buying that story?  Come on.  How much longer can this guy have?  There could be any number of reasons why these two young guns have been struggling, but I find it much easier to simply blame our crappy offense.

So, Seattle Mariners fan, what does this mean for you?  Should you give up on your team altogether?  HELL NO!  Imagine that you’re a typical parent and the Mariners are your teenage son.  He’s been a good kid for most of his life, but he’s always had a little trouble fitting in.  For most of his childhood, he was the kid with the really fun birthday parties!  (In this analogy, birthday parties represent awesome M’s players: Edgar, Griffey, Johnson, etc.)  All the other kids loved going to these birthday parties, but it wasn’t enough to make him one of the cool kids.  So he became bitter and rebelled during his teenage years (2004 season-present), turning to sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Subsequently, his grades quickly slipped and the people who were his friends quit hanging out with him.  Now, as his parent, are you just going to cut your losses and give up on your son when he needs you most?  Of course not!  You’re going to help this confused young man get the help he so desperately needs.  You’ll be there to protect him and tell him that you still love him, despite all the poor choices he has made over the past several years (Sexson, Beltre, Silva, Johjima, etc.).  You’ll look to the future, ever hopeful that he’ll come out of this rut and that you weren’t a total screw-up as a parent.

Most importantly, know this: you are not alone!!! Although it might feel like you’ve been abandoned in a solitary pit of despair, there is an entire fan base of people just like you; good people who are sick of the state of our beloved baseball team!  Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “But what can we do?  We’re just weak, little, insignificant fans!”  Oh, you stupid, stupid person.  Believe it or not, there is one thing we can do to to help ourselves out of this soul-crushing rut.  Just follow these simple instructions, and you’ll be feeling better in no time!

  1. Contort your face into a look of exasperation and hopelessness.
  2. Open your hand and extend it in front of you, palm facing toward you.
  3. Gently lay your hand across your face.

Congratulations, you have just completed the facepalm!  With enough practice, you will be facepalming like a pro in as little as one week.*

*Please note: the facepalm will not help the Seattle Mariners attain a winning record, nor will it get them any closer to the playoffs.

Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the USS-Enterprise and inventor of the facepalm

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First Post of 2010! I Win!!

April 20, 2010

For those of us fortunate enough to experience the first 6 innings of Doug Fister’s amazing pitching performance, we can count ourselves ROBBED! Robbed, dear friends, of an all-but-guaranteed complete game no-hitter…..robbed of this by none other than S&T writer Double L. Allow me to tell you a story of betrayal……
 

[**A quick note: Before we navigate the perils of space and time to prove that Double L screwed everything up, it will greatly enhance your reading journey to have an accurate picture of what I look like. Imagine if George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio had a baby, then that baby somehow made a baby with the baby of Brad Pitt and Ewan McGregor…..and when THAT baby grew up it had a baby with Tom Selleck (for moustachey goodness) and was also all super-ripped and had like, laser eyes and, ummmm, robot hands and stuff……well that would be me. Also, I have the tail of a lion. So now that you have the proper frame of reference, let’s travel back to yesterday…a simpler time…**] (Our time travel will be aided by the coolest homemade  compilation of Back to the Future screengrabs known to man…and it’s FRENCH….Retour Vers le Futur indeed!!!)


 
After cleaning up the house at the request of my lovely roommate (wife), I grabbed a delightful beer and landed my awesome ass on the couch just in time to catch the last few innings of the game. Watching Fister work fastball after fastball to the lowly Orioles lineup was both fun AND exhilarating. That’s when it happened……the ding of the iPhone text message…the name “Mollin Mennett” (name changed to protect stupid Collin Ben….dang it) appeared with an ominous message below: “DOUG EFFING FISTER!”…..Within three seconds of reading this message, Nick Markakis drove a ball right back up the box into center field breaking up the no-hitter. Lucky for our own Double L, he wasn’t in range of my laser eyes…or whatever awesome power I gave myself in the above description which I am too lazy to revisit in order to stay consistent….because if he WAS within range I would have toasted his brains via his rectum (Rectum? Damn near killed’em! …..er, sorry). As ANY baseball fan knows, you get passed the 5th inning with a no-no, you DON’T TALK TO ANYBODY for fear of jinxing the outing. Well looks like Jerky McAss-Hat missed the memo. This is why the blame falls squarely on his dainty, lady-like shoulders….right where the straps of his training bra sit. I know you all are as livid as I am, so I am taking this opportunity to give you a voice to speak out against the atrocities committed by Double L. Use the comment section to call him all sorts of names and draw dirty pictures of him and John Goodman together……..have at him, for he RUINED THE NIGHT.

(PROOF BELOW)

The M’s are Doin’ Work

December 16, 2009

In case you haven’t heard, the Mariners have been doing some work so far in this baseball offseason.  Today they finalized a deal that sends 3 minor leaguers, who are decent but not all that good, to the Phillies for Cliff Lee.  CLIFF FREAKIN’ LEE! Two years ago he won the Cy Young and this year, he not only was almost as good during the regular season, but he absolutely dominated a ridiculous Yankee lineup in the World Series.  And Lee is cheap, earning only 9 mil this year.  He is a free agent at the end of the year, but teaming him with Felix Hernandez gives the Mariners the top 1-2 punch in the Majors this year, if not beyond.

And in order to make the push for the playoffs, the M’s last week signed Chone Figgins to a 4 year $36 mil deal.  As much as I hate Figgins because of his time with Angels, I’m quite happy he’s coming to the M’s.  He’s one of those players that teams love to have and hate to play against, being a bit of a pest.  But I mean that in a good way.  Having him and Ichiro at the top of the lineup gives them two of the best table setters in the business.

In addition, with the Mariners signing Figgins and the Red Sox signing John Lackey away from the Angles, the Halos are certainly going to be hurting. The Mariners might even be the favorites to win the AL West right.  How awesome is that?

The question is what happens now?  The M’s probably still need to add at least one more bat.  There has been some talk of Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres, which would be incredible.  But there are other options if the team doesn’t want to give up the prospects that is would require to get the first baseman.  As is stands, the Mariners have added at least 7 wins to their true talent level in the last few weeks and, if you are an M’s fan, you have to be ecstatic.  Next season is going to be awesome.  Maybe there will be more tickling.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch Changes (Also WTAGTS – Pirates Edition)

April 14, 2009

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In case you haven’t noticed, this is taking forever. We have had some fun, Oil Can made the internet angry, and Double LL torched the impossible to pronounce Cubs line-up card. It’ sad, but its time to be done with baseball previews as most teams have already played at least 7 games. So we are going with a new format just to crush what’s left and get back to our modus operandi as soon as possible. This will be the last of the “Why They Are Going To Suck” individual team previews….which will be a breath of fresh air to some….and to others the foul stench of a Jackelliotsmustache Special Down Home Cooked Dutch oven. It doesn’t matter which side you choose because here come the “Standard Division Race Previews For the Ones We Couldn’t Finish in Time” previews.

 

With a tear and a song here is the final “Why They Are Going to Suck – Pirates Edition. It’s funny, this should be the easiest one to write of the whole lot…save the Marlins….but with the sites vision fully focused on the future and a noon trip to Safeco on my mind my mind grapes are not producing the juices I had hoped they would…..but that’s half the fun right? When in doubt turn to YouTube…..I wish I could credit the artist on this but without further ado…here is why they will suck thanks to the musical stylings of this dude.  

 

 

 

Final Prediction: The Pirates will be dead last based on ZERO power in their lineup and a total lack of a veteran presence on the team….Jack Wilson is the oldest player on the team at 30 and one of the saddest stories in baseball…..a Pirates lifer….man that sucks . They have decent 1 and 2 starters but after that the drop off is astronomical and continues all the way through their depressingly awful (even to non pirates fans) bullpen. 63-99…which will be good enough for the worst record in all of baseball…..Have fun Pittsburgh….Jerks

Why They are Going to Suck – Cubs Edition

April 8, 2009

steve-bartman

Oh, Chicago Cubs, why must you perennially disappoint us year after year?  For shame, Chicago Cubs!  You haven’t won the World Series since 1908.  And people say Seattle sports teams suck!  Since 1984, the Cubbies have made the playoffs six times.  I can almost count that high on one hand!  And there are some people who can count to six on one hand! (Like Count Rugen from The Princess Bride.)  I wonder what the advantages to having six fingers would be.  You know, besides the obvious stuff, like having a great conversation starter which you could use to meet hot babes at “da’ club”.  But I digress.  Like I was saying, the Cubs have built a pretty strong and reliable reputation for letting their fans down.  Granted, the team has made massive strides toward redeeming themselves, especially in the past two seasons.  However, none of that will matter in 2009, when everything will go to Hell in a hand basket once again.

The reason for the Cubs’ inevitable collapse?  The names of their players.  The Cubs’ roster is filled with headache-enducing names, featuring players like Geovany Soto* and Michael Eugene Fontenot.  Other strange-but-true names include Joey Gathright, Ted Lilly (Lilly is either (1) a girl’s name, or (2) the name of a flower.  Talk about a no-win situation), Kosuke Fukudome (I don’t even know how to make a joke about his name without using the f-word), and Alfonso Soriano.

Finally, there’s the Cubs’ backup first baseman, Michah Hoffpauir.  Yes, that is the correct spelling.  I think I know what happened here.  Moments after Michah’s birth, the doctor asked his mother what her son was to be named.  Unfortunately, Michah’s momma had a postpartum seizure, and the incoherent babbling that emerged from her foaming mouth sounded something like “Michah Hoffpauir”.  Ever since then, poor Michah has been the target of many, many postpartum seizure baby jokes.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “You’re right, Double L!  What a bunch of weirdos!  But why will the players’ names make them bad at baseball?”  Please, allow me to explain.  With so many unusual and unconventional names plaguing the roster, the players will have a very hard time pronouncing (or even remembering!) each others’ names.  How good can your team be if you can’t even remember what the guy standing next to you in the field is called?  The players will be so distracted by their teammates’ confusing names, they won’t be able to focus when the game is on the line.  I also envision many frustrated locker room interactions, like the one where Ted Lilly criticizes Fukudome and in the process accidentally drops an F-bomb.  This irks the easily-irkable Luis Vizcaino, who throws a punch at Aramis Ramirez, starting a clubhouse brawl that is broken up by pitching coach Larry Rothschild.  You can see how things might get a little wild and crazy, all because the stupid players can’t decide to change their names to something a little more manageable, like John Smith.

Final Prediction: Despite having a lineup full of CRAZY names, the Cubs of Chicago will overcome adversity and will reach the All-Star break with the best record in baseball (largely due to the absurd amount of talent on their team).  Even better, the team will be on pace to win a record 137 games!  HOORAY!!!  However, sometime in mid-August, the inevitable will occur.  The team will be flying to the west coast for a matchup against the San Diego Padres when the team’s pilot will make a light-hearted joke about Milton Bradley, incuring the wrath of the most psychotic player in MLB.  In a blind fury, Bradley will storm the cockpit and kill both pilots, sending the plane careening into a field where the whole team will die in a fiery crash.  Naturally, Steve Bartman will shoulder most of the blame.  The team will end the season with a record of 99-18.

Wow, that was a pretty depressing prediction.  Aaaaaanyway, here’s an absolutely hilarious video of Lou Pinella getting ejected.  Hopefully this will cheer you up.

*For your convenience, all the funny-sounding parts of the players’ names have been presented in bold font.  You’re welcome.

Mariners Defeat Twins With Entire Team of Possibly Evil Griffey Clones?

April 7, 2009

You heard it here first. Here is the video evidence.

Also, on a side note, Felix was fantastico!!! When asked about his performance Felix said “RAWWWWWRRRRRRRRR”…….That is all.

uurbiuci1

RAWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

Why They are Going to Suck – Astros Edition

April 1, 2009

astros2

                 There I was, completely ready to drop a magnanimous sneak-peek of the mighty Houston Astros, when I stumbled upon a foreboding thought stream widely ignored by the mainstream fascist baseball media (that’s you John Kruk!…..fatty). So, I’m perusing the 40-man roster, seeing great names ranging from Lance “The Big Puma” Berkman to young up-and-comer Doug Brocail…..when all of a sudden I stumbled onto the edge of the rabbit hole of baseball cognizance…..the Houston Astros play in Houston. The key that unlocked the door to a world of mystery, intrigue, danger, murder, mysterious danger and murderous intrigue, was now in my hands. After a quick Wikipedia search of Houston, I quickly found out that it is in Texas, and arguably the most popular athlete in Houston history is Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Hakeem was parodied in Kevin Bacon’s career-making movie “Tair_up_therehe Air Up There.” Kevin Bacon, also in the hit movie “Tremors”, played a character named Valentine McKee, and Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the world on February 14th. The number 14 is divisible by 7, and newly signed catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez’s hit total for the 2008 season was 21, which is also divisible by 7. Marco Rodriguez was the key grip on the set of “Tremors 2: Aftershock,” which was an awful movie without the star power of Kevin Bacon. This was the “Aha!” moment of my journey, because for the Astros to even stand a chance against the many powerful foes of the NL Central, they will need the final piece to this whole giant puzzle……a great performance by Kevin Bacon. As it stands currently, Bacon is not on the Astros radar, let alone roster. Because of the infinitely small readership of this blog, paired with a scarcity of creativity in front office leadership from the Astros, chances are this invaluable information will not reach ‘Stros GM Ed Wade in time……but I can’t stress this enough, Ed: Kevin Bacon is your only hope!

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 Final Prediction: After an 86-75 season last year, the Astros didn’t really do anything in the off-season to help themselves. This does not bode well for this year’s team, and chances are they will struggle to get to 80 wins. I have them finishing 80-82, and fourth in the NL Central.

 SWEET BERRY WINE

Why They are Going to Suck – Reds Edition

March 31, 2009

reds-suck

These are tough times for Cincinnatins (Cincinnatians?  Cincinnationites?), and I’m not speaking in terms of the economy.  I’m talking about the abysmal, pitiful Reds.  They are surely going to be a joke this season.  And not a very funny joke at that.  And this is why.

Let’s start with their bats.  I know I spent a lot of time bashing Adam Dunn on my post about the Nationals, but even someone as bad as him looks like a superstar when compared to the clowns on the Reds’ current lineup.  When I looked at the Reds’ 40-man roster, the name that jumped out to me above all others is Cincy’s fourth-string outfielder, Jacque Jones.  After a moment of pondering, I thought, “Is that the same Jacque Jones that played next to Torii Hunter for the Twins?  Whatever happened to that guy?  Didn’t he used to be pretty good?  Is Jacque a French name?”  The answer to those questions are yes, he became a bigger bust than Andruw Jones, yes, and yes (it’s a derivitive of the French name Jacques, like Jacques Cousteau).  jacque-jonesAs it turns out, Jacque, or J.J. as I like to call him, batted .142 in 42 games for the Marlins and Tigers last season, and BOTH teams designated him for assignment.  Wowzers.  Even Brad Wilkerson has had an easier time staying in the Major Leagues.  And Brad Wilkerson is no Andruw Jones, who can still make $14 million while falling short of EVERYONE’S expectations (including his wife’s, if you catch my drift).

Aaaaaaanyway, let’s move onto the pitching.  Aaron Harang is currently listed as the Reds’ opening-day starter.  That is the same Aaron Harang that went 6-17 last season.  Clearly, he’s due for a turnaround, which is the theory that the Reds’ front-office gurus are clearly leaning on.  While it’s not completely retarded to have a pitcher this bad as your ace, what is retarded is having Harang ahead of Edison Volquez, the young phenom who went 17-6 last season and represents about 46% of the team’s talent.  Seriously?!  For shame, Reds’ front-office guys!  You make Bill Bavasi look like Will Hunting (SUCH a great movie).  On the bright side, they DID sign Arthur Rhodes.  I’ve always loved Arthur, with his diamond stud earrings and his fiery temper.  And the Reds must be ecstatic that they get to experience the joy of Rhodes’ 40th birthday at the end of the season!  Be sure to blow out all the candles, old man!  Last season, Rhodes had a 2.04 ERA in 35.1 innings, a stellar season for a man of his age.  This means that we can assume that either (a) he was juicing last season, and will suck this year, or (b) he left all his talent in Seattle, and will suck this year.

Final Prediction: the Reds will continue to suck in unbelievable fashion, posting a 76-86 record.  And Arthur Rhodes, aka Old Man Winter, will unfortunately get killed in a brawl shortly after the All-Star break.

Why They are Going to Suck – Red Sox Edition

March 25, 2009

redsoxwesucksm

 

 

Navigating the murky waters and hiking the muddy trails of baseball analysis has led me to a veritable treasure trove of insight into the upcoming season for the Boston Red Sox. If watching this years NCAA basketball tournament has taught us anything – and it has – it would be these two concrete, somewhat baseball-related truths: 1) the Pacific Life whale hip-hop fight song is without a doubt the coolest thing ever, and should be sampled into all past, current, and future songs of any genre; and 2) Dustin Pedroia cannot hit a high inside pitch to save his life…..and he is very self conscious about it. As a master of baseball prediction, I can safely say this single thing will ruin the Red Sox season – it will be their Achilles heel, if you will……and you will. For those unfamiliar with the depth of meticulous research that goes in to discovering such a fatal flaw, let me tell you, I’m sure it’s painstakingly brutal…..but for true masters of the baseball prediction all we need to do is watch MLB The Show 2009 for the Playstation 3 commercial. Having seen said commercial roughly 2600 times over the course of the first and second round games of the NCAA tourney, Pedroia’s obvious super-flaw of not being able to handle a pitch that is up and in has been pounded into my brain with all the subtlety of an elephant driving a bulldozer. How does this translate into why the Red Sox are going to suck? Patience my friend…..sometimes the journey is more important than the destination. (Write that down.) This glaring failing of Pedroias is only exacerbated by his constant prompting to remember he was the AL MVP; we get it….you had a great season….but if opposing teams had only pitched you high and tight you would have hit .105 and would be riding the pine pony for the Portland Sea Dogs……which, of course, is every boy’s dream. Assuming that people involved with Major League baseball also watch TV, they will know the secret to turning Dustin Pedroia into some sort of poop-eating super-goat of A-rod proportions by the Red Sox season opener. This alone will be enough to completely tear the Sox apart from the inside and will lead to the inevitable shunning of Pedroia along with his murder at the hands of David Ortiz…..also Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell will start dating, then break up due to an irreconcilable argument over who has the cooler beard……which will totally add to the bad vibes in the clubhouse and cause Jacoby Ellsbury’s Sidekick bill to go through the roof because of all the “OMG! AWKWARD!” texts he and Pedroia will exchange.

 

Final Prediction: There will be plenty of sad women in pink Big Papi jerseys across this great nation ofw6403-pnk-rsx34a1 ours. I’ve got the Sox behind both the Rays and the Yankees finishing the year a cool 84-78 which is sure to disappoint all the people sporting Boston gear at your local stadium who couldn’t name a single player from their lineup but have “always loved the Red Sox”.

 

 

 

Why They are Going to Suck – Blue Jays Edition

March 18, 2009

Powered by perennial Cy Young Award candidate Roy Halladay, most would look at the Jays and think “hey, they could be good this year.” Well, they can’t, and here’s why: they play in Canada. As we all know, Canadians are a cantankerous bunch, with their little beady eyes and their big flapping heads. They put mayo on their hamburgers!!! Who ruins a delicious hamburger like that?!? Canadians, that’s who.33-43505-f2 I am well aware that 0% of the Jays roster is actually from Canada…..but the Canadian way of life is a disease that permeates into the brains of even the staunchest of Americans. Examples of this Canadian infection are seen throughout the Jays lineup – when he was with St. Louis, once proud American Scott Rolen used to drive a big truck, eat apple pie, drink Budweiser, shoot defenseless animals, and participate in the democratic process. Rolen was seen last week attending parliamentary procedures whilst drinking a Labatt’s Blue and caring about hockey….unbelievable, I know. How does this affect the play of Canada’s baseball pride and joy? We all know baseball is AMERICA’s favorite pastime……so it’s obvious that un-American activities and thoughts would very much adversely affect ones ability to participate in said American pastime. How are you expected to hit a 90 MPH fastball when your head is full of curling stats, fond memories of Guy Lafleur, and last nights moose attack? You can’t be, and this is why the Jays will not be good and can never be good. Now of course, we all remember their 1993 World Series Championship, but it’s a well documented fact that many of the starters for that team actually were injected with an extra dose of “America” to counteract the Canadian contagion before every game. (Note: “America” is now on baseball’s banned substance list, which is why their success was a one time thing.) The current incarnation of the Jays is a talented bunch who are destined to be like every other Jays team and like all Canadians…..very cold, and somewhat French.
 
Final Prediction: A cure for “Canada” will be discovered in the coming months, but due to clinical trials will be delayed for years; so, the Jays will finish 84-78 and, once again, America Jr. will be left without a title (in the last 15 years) in a legitimate sport. 

 

 

 

 

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