Saturday, February 28, 2009
In the earliest years of my baseball revelry, I somehow, resorting only to baseball cards and TV recaps, selected a suitable favorite, the NY Mets' promising young slugger, Darryl Strawberry. Returning home to Long Island one summer (1990?) from a trip to visit family in central Pennsylvania, my famished family stopped for dinner at a TGI Fridays in Queens. There was excitement around restaurant, which turned out to be in response to the presence of Mr. Strawberry, dining there post-game. I happened to have a number of baseball cards in our car, as I no doubt entertained myself on long trips by alphabatizing, collating, and gazing at them. My father helped me retrieve a 1989 Topps All-Star Darryl Strawberry card, along with an old ball point pen, from the car and escorted me to a table where the star sat eating his steak (I think) with a friend. I was unable to speak, and stood awkwardly with my poofy hair and large teeth as Darryl autographed the card. The inadequate pen was only able to scratch "Darryl" in the front. He grunted in disappointment, which seemed to accentuate the fact that we were inconveniencing him, though on the whole he did not come off as impolite. The brown cardboard backing provided a more ideal surface, where he had a more successful experience with the pen. I also recall Strawberry having a small band-aid on his cheekbone. When we got home the evening news showed a highlight of Strawberry making an important catch and sporting the same band-aid, as if confirming the authenticity of my new autographed memorbilia.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Best of the West were the Seattle Mariners (of course), who scored a team average of 5.18.
Ichiro Suzuki, who got an 8.5. Franklin Gutierrez, on the other hand, looks like the kind of guy who'd take you to the Space Needle on your first date and then try to get fresh with you on the observation deck. You're a handsome, 7-point-worthy man Frankie, but you'll never get your hands on a child of mine.
I think that Ken Griffey Jr. deserves a special shout out, so here are two pictures of him from his first run with the Mariners.
Let's hope that this year is better than last year for our handsome champs.
Although the team generally received 4's and 5's, these three Mariners got 3's: Tyler Walker, Mark Lowe and Ronny Cedeno. To be honest, I gave Ronny Cedeno a 6 and Roy Corcoran a 3, then mixed up their initials on my scoresheet. Whoops! Still, Ronny's not making a very flattering face in that photo. We'll let it fly.
In second place, we have the Los Angeles Angels, who scored 4.86.
I still can't get over Torrii Hunter's beautiful eyes! He got a 7 during my initial round of evaluations, but now I want to give him an 8. Also doing well for the Angels are Sam's favorite, Vladimir Guerrero (8) and Ervin Santana (7). Big smiles all around!
Don't be fooled by Sam, John Lackey is UGLY. He got a 3, as did Mike Napoli and Jered Weaver. Imagine walking into the Angels club house and finding these three dudes sitting in the locker room wearing sweaty towels and eating giant, sloppy meatball sandwiches. OMG BARF.
Coming in third were the Texas Rangers with a collective score of 4.16.
While ranking the Texas Rangers, I pretended that I was looking through my high school yearbook for people to invite to a graduation party. If Grady Sizemore is the MLB's homecoming king, Josh Hamilton is that kind-of-cute dyslexic bad kid who always skips first period English to smoke cigarettes in the crappy black convertible he bought with the money he earned washing dishes at the Tic Tic Lounge last summer. He would show up at your party with two cases of ice cold Bud Light and, like, some super hot college girl from ANOTHER TOWN. Ian Kinsler is that baby-faced dude who knows lots of really funny dirty jokes and likes to eat cake. And Marlon Byrd is your friend who won't let anyone draw on your face after you pass out drunk on the living room sofa. Woooo high school!*
This is the holy trinity of people you DON'T want at your party. Vincente Padilla is the weird, silent guy who stands in the corner glowering at everyone all night long. Matt Harrison is that douchebag who thinks its funny to try to flush your cat down the toilet, and Frank Catalanotto is that seemingly nice, quiet boy you invite out of pity because no one else at school likes him and then it turns out that he's REALLY ANNOYING and since he doesn't know anyone else, he follows you around the entire time saying weird things like, "Can I touch your right eyeball with my straw?" No, you can't! Get AWAY FROM ME! Get OUT OF MY PARTY!!!
*I didn't actually go to or have parties in high school, so this reverie is based on 1) teen movies I've watched and 2) my experiences at Ponytail Junction.
Bringing in the rear are the Oakland A's with 4.15 and not a lot to show for it.
There's no one on this team to get excited about. These guys all got 6's. I like Santiago Casilla's "point and pout" pose, though.
I am sooooo glad that the Yankees got rid of Jason Giambi, because he would have really tanked the team average. The man looks like a alcoholic child molester. He looks so bad that he might as well play for the Red Sox. I gave him a 2...I don't know why it wasn't a 1. Dallas Braden looks like a mean, mean stoner. He got a 2. And then Brad Ziegler...yeah, I don't really know what to say about this photo. I gave him a 3.
Sam is still abroad, I think, so my word is the law again, this week. Next Friday, we delve into the National League with the Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Braves and Nationals.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This Sunday, the New York Times ran an article reminding us that, while chimpanzees are NOT humans, they might as well be. Of Travis the Chimp's (R.I.P.) bougie Connecticut lifestyle, we learn that:
"[He] enjoyed a nice steak dinner, washed down with a glass of wine. He knew how to log on to a computer and to channel-surf with a television remote control. He followed baseball, if you can believe Mrs. Herold, and briefly rooted for the Mets while Bobby Valentine, a Stamford native, was manager, and then switched to the Yankees. He liked to watch “anything with action,” Mrs. Herold said."
He liked the Yankees and HE KNEW HOW TO USE THE INTERNET! As follows, perhaps it was Sam's insulting post on fellow ape-man Johnny Damon that inspired poor Travis's brutal rampage. Here's an artist's rendition of the Johnny and Travis hanging out in more peaceful times (also from the Times; notice how Travis affectionately ribs his friend by wearing a Mets hat as a joke):
Oh Johnny, we've been unkind in the past, but truly we mourn your loss. You and your evolutionary family are in our thoughts and prayers. It's been a rough month for you, hasn't it?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
First were the Cleveland Indians, with a team average of 4.62.
We call it Grady-metrics for a reason. Mr. Sizemore and his bashful eyelashes got a 9. Despite my habitual raving about his handsomeness, I'm not actually THAT interested in Grady Sizemore and, before researching today's post, had never bothered to read anything about him. I wish I had. The following excerpt from an interview with ESPN's Kenny Mayne took my appreciation of Grady to the next level:
KM: Is it true that after games, there are a dozen women waiting for you?
GS: It might be, but they're all 16, so I'd go to jail.
KM: Is it so professional now that you have publicists do that kind of lead work for you? Or is it still the old-fashioned way: You meet a girl at a bookstore or something?
GS: Yes, a bookstore. That's where I meet them.
In the continental philosophy section, I'm sure. Andy Marte got a 7 and Fausto Carmona got a 6 (because, really, Fausto Carmona is a beautiful name).
In second place, were the Minnesota Twins with an average of 4.52. And the Kansas City Royals with an average of...uh...4.52.
I can't honestly say that I'm anything but indifferent to everyone on this team.
As for the Royals, I gave Mike Jacobs one extra point because I mistakenly thought that his name was Marc Jacobs, which made me think about how awesome it would be to see Marc Jacobs hit a home run in his kilt.
I feel like Sam, Kei and Mordecai are going to take serious issue with my picks in both categories, which is fine. My mugshot assesment gave straight 7s to Jerry Owens, Jermaine Dye and Dayan Viciedo. I like that shirt-tie combo!
In last place, despite their rad logo, we have the Detroit Tigers with an average of 4.07.
The Tigers have the second-most-bad-ass logo in baseball, I think. I love that gothic D! Miguel Cabrera got an 8 and Matt Treanor got a 6. I couldn't find any internet photos to support my high 7 for Ramon Santiago, but I like the way he wears his uniform.
I'd like to note that I've traveled all the way to Chicago to make this post about the AL Central. Maybe next week, I'll be lucky enough to be writing from California or Seattle when we look at the AL West.
The New Yorker took their stab this week:
I expressed my sympathy for A-Rod out loud today, indicating that I'd draft him to my fantasy team even if no one wanted him. Later in the evening, Jenni drew her interpretation of the New Yorker cover:
I'd totally take him into my class!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
His only world series win came when he was on the Yankees, though, which I didn't know until my friend Jim said, "Yeah, don't you remember that picture of him riding a police horse?"
Just like the cowboy that mustache implies that he is.
(I don't know how to move photos around so you'll have to bear with what may turn out as nonsensical placement.)
Did Wade have hair replacement?
Here's Wade doing some sort of commentary in 2008:
Here's an image that certainly predates that shot, though I must say that it's quite a good photo of Wade in general.
How many points for most boring blog entry ever?
So much for blogging in Sam's stead.
Another thing that I've been doing for about two years is visiting Kei and Mordecai in Chicago. Last year, they got MLB Power Pros, which is a super fun game for Nintendo Wii. In it, you can assume the character of ANY baseball player in the Major Leagues. In addition to playing games and participating in the Home Run Derby, you can also practice hobbies and go on dates.
Last year, I played as Robbie Cano. My hobbies were watching horror movies and eating spaghetti. I didn't get any dates, but I did make friends with Damaso Marte. Now, as we all know, Robbie Cano is a heartthrob on and off the field, in drag and on the bench, i.e. always, so it's no surprise that image-world Cano is also extremely cute. Look, though, at what Nintendo has done to the UGLIEST TEAM IN BASEBALL!
So cute! Dustin Pedroia has been transformed from a snouty moleman to a sad-eyed puppy! I wish I could show you a picture of image-world Kevin Youkilis to drive home the point, but you'll just have to trust me on this one...he's adorable!
There are a few baffling Power Pros bobble heads. Hideki Matsui, for example, has distinct acne scars...true to life, perhaps, but strange treatment for a home-country favorite. And Derek Jeter, well...
...I don't see the resemblance. Anyway, I'm currently in Chicago with MordeKei, where we're eating candy for breakfast and playing Animal Crossing. This afternoon, we're going to buy giant boxes of baseball cards (the image-link-bridge between the world-world and the hyper-fantastical-Nintendo-image-world), the highlights of which I'll share with you, here. Also, be sure to tune in tomorrow when Sam and I rank the American League Central division.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
What about this one?
This face obviously just says, "I'm a dumb douchebag." Nothing new there.
Here's the old-school Yankee guard (seated) showing solidarity. What is Andy Pettite wearing?! And that owl t-shirt! Wow.
All in all, a largely unsatisfactory event. Photos swiped from Newsday.
Friday, February 13, 2009
First, of course, are the New York Yankees, who averaged an impressive 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.
The team score was skewed by the fact that I gave Robinson Cano a perfect 10, but he deserves it. Look at him smiling in that cheerleader's uniform! Go Robbie! I like Andy Pettite despite his hardcore religious beliefs and human growth hormone usage. He conforms nicely to Grady-metrics, so I gave him an 8. Also, Mariano Rivera has a beautiful smile. He shut down the competition with a 7.
In second-place are the Baltimore Orioles, who averaged a 5.6 for their complete non-offensiveness.
Boring looking white dudes. Whatever. They collectively scored a 2.5. The Orioles are not a team that I've ever thought about before and I doubt I'll think about them much in the future. Just one more example of how far mediocrity can take you in America.
Third, we've got the Jays and the Rays, who tied with scores of 4.85 and 4.82 respectively. Okay, so 4.85 is obviously more points that 4.82, but I started questioning my initial judgments after my first few forays into the Google image archives. And Jays and Rays rhyme so it's probably okay to lump them together, here.
Can I just say that I HATE the Tampa Bay Rays? I hate their stupid Wall Street owners. I hate Bossman Junior Upton. I hate their uniforms. I hate their mascot. I hate them. Now that I've seen multiple photos of him on the internet, Akinori Iwamura is getting demoted to, like, a 5 at best. Mugshots can be so deceptive!
And in fifth place, to NO ONE'S surprise, we've got the Boston Red Sox with a team average of 3.76...not as low as I expected!
There you have it! Next Friday, the AL Central. Have a long love-filled weekend and see you on Monday!