Friday, May 29, 2009

A New Top Ten

Almost four months have passed since I posted my Top Five on this blog. Because my knowledge of baseball players has expanded exponentially since then, I figured my original opinions were worth revisiting. And so, on this rainy Friday, I'm pleased to present my updated Top Ten (because, really, five isn't enough to hold all that love).

10. Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox)

He's fast and fleet, like a small magical deer. Also, since hearing that his nickname is "Tacoby Bellsbury," I've been thinking about him at least once every other day. Let this forever silence Boston fans who claim I'm biased against their team. Sorry guys, but Tacoby aside, the Red Sox are undeniably, hideously unattractive.

9. Ian Kinsler (Rangers)

I'm a supporter of many male archetypes and Kinsler is the ultimate fratboy manchild.

8. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)

It saddens me to say it, but a Clayton Kershaw has opened an unhappy chasm in the otherwise peaceful co-existence of Maddie and Jenni. House divided! Maddie thinks that Clayton looks like a horse...or worse, "a person wearing half of one of those two-part horse costumes." How can anyone hate so hard on a 21-year-old Texas boy who throws a 96 mph fastball for the best team in the National League? He does NOT look like a horse!

7. Torii Hunter (Angels)

He has a good personality and his eyes are sparkly.

6. Matt Kemp (Dodgers)

I don't know why I like Matt Kemp so much, because you can tell by the way he swaggers and pouts that his baseball attitude could use some improvement. Also, check out the perma-smirk in these mugshots from Joe. What a jerk! Love it.

5. Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)

He is getting so weirdly mystical and cosmic. Ichiro will lead us through 2012 and into the thousand years of golden peace that await thereafter.

4. Casey Blake (Dodgers)

The Dodgers should hire me to be Casey Blake's publicist. He's so average and ordinary, but I think he's awesome and I talk about him all the time.

3. Derek Jeter (Yankees)

Life captain forever. Thank you, Derek Jeter.

2. Grady Sizemore (Indians)

I can't remember the first time I saw Grady Sizemore play baseball, so let's call this one a classic case of unrequited love and tenth sight. I am even okay with the fact that his favorite band is The Doors.

1. Robinson Cano (Yankees)

This is a stupid photo of him, but it's the best I could find in the Getty Image archive (I wanted something from last year, when he wasn't so fat). In the early days of my baseball fandom, I decided that Robbie Cano was my favorite player and it just seems wrong to change that now. So, through slumps and streaks and despite his obvious weight gain, Robbie's still #1. Go Yankees!

Thursday, May 28, 2009



Update, Thursday 11:13pm. We are not number one anymore. But maybe tomorrow we will be again!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Heavy Breathing Best Batting Friends Forever

Since A-Rod's return, Mark Teixiera has been swinging a bat as hot as hellfire. If I were a diligent stats-keeper or a smart Googler, I'd prove it with numbers. As it stands, you're just going to have to trust me. Here's the power-hitting duo hanging out on Memorial Day.

Jesus Christ, A-Rod. Could you be any more frightening? I bet his inner monologue is just one long hiss of "MUSSSSST WINNNNs." Teixiera, on the other hand, always seems to be thinking, "Huh?" Looking at him makes me feel kind of if I can sense somewhere deep in the recesses of my rarely consulted moral core that I shouldn't make fun of him as much as I know I want to (i.e. tons). I will, however, make fun of him a little bit because, come on, HE IS WEIRD! Here's two fairly recent photos of him getting ready to bat. Is he dancing? Playing air guitar? You tell me.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about Manny Ramirez and Mark Teixeira and Phil commented that Teixeira looked like he "breathed through his mouth." You may be on to something, Phil, because, like that one gas station in Grinnell, Teixeira's mouth is Almost Always Open. "HUH?"

And finally, because I have no qualms whatsoever about hating on A-Rod, here's one more photo of him looking absolutely ridiculous as he rounds the bases in Texas.

SO, SO EVIL! A-ROD IS EVIL. GO YANKEES. KEEP WINNING. Fellow Yankee fans, someday we'll all be in Hell and A-Rod will be our cruel king.

Whoah, Mustache!

PHOENIX - MAY 25: Relief pitcher Clay Zavada(notes) #35 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning of the major league baseball game at Chase Field on May 25, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nick Swisher Meet and Greet

Have you seen Nick Swisher's funny new haircut? Well, if you're in New York and don't have other midday obligations, you can tomorrow...IN PERSON.

I'm going to tell him that my Fantasy team needs him to stop striking out. That aside, how can you not love a guy whose charity work involves selling SWISH & CHIPS?

UPDATE! 10:35pm

Well friends, here are photos of of me meeting Nick Swisher this afternoon. Third Base or Bust breaking into the real world....

I'll readily admit that I was more than a little starstruck, hence the low, unsteady quality of the camera-phone photos, but I'm happy to report that Nick Swisher is super nice! At the risk of sounding like an irredeemable dork, here is the conversation we had, verbatim:

Jenni: Hi Nick, I'm Jenni.
Nick: Hi!
Jenni: You're the star of our Fantasy league!
Nick: All right! [we high-five]
Jenni: Also, my friend in Chicago wanted me to tell you that she loves your hair.
Nick: Oh this? Really? Cool.
Jenni: Would you mind signing a card?
Nick: No problem. Nice to meet you.

So, Kei, Nick Swisher is aware of your existence, and yeah, I could've played it a bit cooler. Next time. After all, unlike some people, I'd never met a Major Leaguer before.

Anyway, walking back to the train, I tried to imagine the interaction from Nick Swisher's vantage point. I mean, the guy's not exactly killing it stats-wise, so it must have been at least somewhat surprising for him to hear that he was the STAR of an entire Fantasy league. He's been in an especially painful slump over the last two weeks, causing him to get benched and almost dropped from Ladies Love Us, but I'm glad I kept him on because a few hours later, HE HIT A HOME RUN AT HIS FIRST AT BAT!


I high-fived that hand! My vibrations are so awesomely cosmic right now....

Anyway, the Yankees are on an 8-game winning streak and I couldn't be happier. Go Swisher! Go Yankees! I LOVE BASEBALL!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It's 1:30am New York time and the Dodgers and Mets are still tied 2-2 in the 10th. Nice to know, though, that this game began with A.C. Slater's blessing. How is it that I've gotten so much older, yet he looks almost exactly the same?

Still, Matt Kemp needs to try and wrap it all up because I'm tired and want to go to sleep. MATTYWOOD. We believe.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Further to That Thought

Looking through my vast archive of Manny photos this morning, I rediscovered this one, which I had saved for a planned post on "Manny Holding Up Cardboard Signs." I didn't realize how simultaneously funny and sad it was then, but I do now, especially since Manny's mom probably is [sad face].

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Not Mad at Manny

Though I will make the disclaimer that I know nothing about baseball, I secretly believe that my JV softball captainship gives me the authority to say anything I want about the sport with confidence. Lucky for you, this post doesn't really have anything to do with baseball.

On the morning rush hour train last week I saw a fight between a fired-up fat woman in her forties and an embarrassingly handsome teenager. I find all raised voices on the subway alarming since I heard Tim Kudo's story about hell breaking loose when a fellow commuter started smoking crack in the train car, but this clash soon revealed itself as a mild debate about Manny's recent 50-game suspension.

The older woman doesn't trust Manny: "Why would he take so long to defend himself, otherwise? And what excuse could he possibly have for taking a medication designed for WOMEN?" While her debating partner countered, "Yo, you don't KNOW that Ms.P. He waited cause he was embarrassed to admit it. He's had it rough and now we're up in his business!”

Instinctually I thought it was ridiculous that these people were arguing so passionately about the intentions of someone (I assume) they've never met. And not to get all emotionally detached, but does it really matter if he's lying or not? Sure we want him to be a good role model, but we don't know him. We don't know what he's thinking or what actually motivates his decisions in life.

Then 7 stops into the train debate it occurred to me that maybe we talk about celebrities like we know them because we really do know them. Not the version of them that their friends or families know, but a public version that we spackle with assumptions. What makes them any less real than any other acquaintance that we barely know but still gossip about with our friends?

Celebrities are the common reference points that we have as a culture. If we're not talking about how stupid Manny is for taking steroids, we're talking about how awesome he is for his .348 batting average and limitless quirks. Or we're talking about how Lohan looks better fat. Or skinny. Or gay.

In a big picture way, it really doesn't matter what these people do as long as they’re doing something memorable or noteworthy that adds to our collective consciousness. They turn us from a random mass of strangers to a unified people with a common language and shared experiences. Like Paul Simon's Graceland, or LOST (LOST!!), Manny's poor decisions spin the golden thread that ties us all together. Without him our subways would be silent. So, I dont really care if he's guilty or not. Maybe Manny's strongest contribution to our “national pastime” is just giving us something to talk to each other about.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ichiro o(^-^)m(-^ )e(^ )d( )e( ^)t( ^-)o(^-^)~♪

Ichiro hasn't been getting enough love on this blog. Last night, he hit TWO home runs to defeat the heavily favored Red Sox 5-4.

Here's the recap from
"Who knows? It kind of proves that in the universe, mysterious things happen," he said through an interpreter.

Suzuki, an incomparable leadoff hitter and owner of the modern major-league record with eight consecutive 200-hit seasons, had a two-homer game while Ortiz, a five-time All-Star, hasn't hit even one homer in 158 plate appearances all season.

"It shows that, really, two mysterious things happened in the universe today," Suzuki said, looking up with a wry grin while fanning himself at his locker.
He is so COSMIC and MYSTICAL. Congratulations, Ichiro! I love it. What I don't love is Papi slumping so badly. The photos documenting his persistent un-homerunness just get sadder and sadder.

Anyway, in other news, here is what I wish were a photo of showboat B.J. Upton's head exploding after hitting a walk-off homer in last night's game against the Indians. Instead, it's merely a photo of him getting a plate full of shaving cream to the face (kudos to Kei for clueing me into this event, as well as Yahoo! MLB photos, in general).

It really looks like his face is melting! The following photo contains a different distortion of the truth...Obama is NOT a Phillies fan. Sam, back me up on this one.

Is Jimmy Rollins really that much shorter than our Commander-in-Chief? Who knew.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Where, Alex, the future? October baseball? Yes, yes, don't we all.

Casey Blake Hits Homers, Hates God

For the last few days, Casey Blake has been lighting up the internet on other people's blogs for his televised mockery of Giants' closer Brian Wilson. After hitting a home run off Wilson in the 12th inning, Blake was caught on tape aping Wilson's signature move in the Dodgers dugout. Wilson received images of Blake on his cellphone after shutting down the Dodgers in the 13th and became extremely upset. Apparently, the gesture is meant to honor God and Wilson's dead father. It also honors a mixed martial arts clothing line, although that's supposedly somehow related to God and death and all that.

First of all, it's crazy to me that Wilson received multiple photos of a televised image of Blake on his cell phone. Just further proof, I guess, that technology doesn't strengthen human just makes us all feel paranoid, threatened and alone. Admittedly, Casey looks like a total leering goon in the above image, but we all have our moments of weakness. Here's his official statement:

I'm not here to disrespect anybody on a personal level. Had I or anybody known that it was a religious deal or honored his father, I mean obviously you're not going to mock that or disrespect that in any regard. All the other teams see after a victory or after a save, he does it. Not knowing what it's about, you just see that. I didn't know what it was about. I did it back. I didn't really do it back to him. I did it in the dugout. Should I have done it? Probably not. It was kind of uncharacteristic of me.

I was excited. I was supposed to have the day off. I came in and had a big homer. I was excited. I got out of my box a little bit. Apparently they got real upset over it. Whatever.

Is there any better word on which to end any statement than "whatever?" Casey Blake just can't be bothered to give a shit.

Here he is getting a high five from Matt Kemp after his home run in tonight's game against the Phillies. It was his 7th of the year, putting him at the top of the Dodgers' home run leader board.

Yes, Casey Blake has now hit more home runs than Manny Ramirez. Mind boggling, I know.

Still, I feel less onboard the Blake bandwagon than I did last week. I really wanted to believe that Casey was some sort of down home, wholesome-hearted, bearded saint and that no jerkishness could possibly come from Iowa.

But, of course it can. Whatever.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The White Sox played the Indians early today, around 11:00AM CST. That means batting practice and warming up takes place well before 11:00AM, which sounds really early for a baseball game. Perhaps the White Sox players are a little jetlagged, even if only by one hour and despite having been in Cleveland for at least a day already. That might explain why some people got crabby and then...ejected!



Even when JD is putting his life into catching a ball out in the right field, he always looks so nonchalant, emotion-less, and subsequently makes everything seem so effortless. He got ejected today for arguing a called strike. I'm not sure if he was already ejected at the time this photo was taken, or if the ejection occurred after this photo was taken, because I read he flipped his helmet and bat "in disgust" and the helmet hit the umpire or something. The only other time I've seen him emote, at least as of late, was when he got hit by a pitch last week by some piece of shit Texas Ranger pitcher.

JD looks like he's in some horrible pain. This is exactly why Bobby Jenks threw a butt-pitch at Ian Kinsler in the same series but in a later game. Jenks then admitted to the "message" pitch after the game, and then got fined for a pathetic $750. Why bother? Does Ian Kinsler need a counseling session? A lot of people say Bobby should have kept his mouth closed even if everyone knew it was a purpose pitch, but I don't see any reason to censor him. There are numbers to prove his point. White Sox pitchers don't hit people, but CQ gets hit pretty much every game, and there is no justification for hitting Paulie or JD. Paulie has a growing bald spot, and JD is a gentleman, even with the mysterious scar. Jenks should pay the MLB in pennies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

UPDATE - More adorable photo found

While glancing at the sports section on Sunday, I saw this picture and immediately thought to myself, 'this may be a more adorable photo than that Pujols one.'

Well, I found the color version online and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the challenge has been met. This is now the most adorable baseball photo ever taken.

Any thoughts Jenni?

Monday, May 11, 2009

For the Ladies

On Sunday, baseball celebrated Mother's Day by "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer." This involved wearing pink arm bands and using pink bats. Cute!

Manny Ramirez replacement, Juan Pierre of the LA Dodgers

Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins

Alex Rios of the Blue Jays

Home Run Savior Johnny Damon with Mark Teixera
and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees

As usual, Yankees radio commentator Suzyn Waldman earned her place in the booth* by announcing which of the Yankees' mothers were in attendance during their 5-3 win over the Orioles. Nick Swisher's mom was there. Joba Chamberlain's was not.

*Is this sentence sarcastic? I don't know. Many Yankees fans dislike Suzyn Waldman, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm one of them.

Friday, May 8, 2009

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

Happy Friday! Let's talk about drugs. As you may know, A-Rod is scheduled to make his season debut with the injury-ridden, unhappy Yankees today. Here are two photos of him doing what he does best...looking clueless.

What is this object?

What's my name? Who am I?

Keep up the good work, Alex. Let's hope that he also manages to excel at what he does second best...hitting monster home runs. Some of ESPN's baseball commentators are already saying that the Yankees are done for the season, which, having listened to or watched most of their games, I can't really contest. Seeing as that my Yankees-fandom started in 2006, I've never known them to do anything but lose. So, yeah, it's just going to be another one of those years.

I did have extremely high hopes for the LA Dodgers, who I began to love last year because of 1) Joe Torre, 2) Casey Blake and 3) Manny Ramirez. Now that Manny's out of the picture until early July, it's going to be a bit tougher for the Dodgers to crush their NL West competitors. A bit. They'll be fine. Moreover, this will be an excellent opportunity for Matt Kemp to launch his career as a sports celebrity. You can tell by the way he plays that he is DYING for more TV time.

Now, some of you may be worried about how Casey Blake will weather the loss of Manny. After all, most of Blake's runs this season can be attributed to Ramirez. I'm happy to report that he's doing just fine on his own, so far. Last night, despite being the game's final out, he went 2/4 and had two runs. He's batting an amazing .385 this week, which is the best average in my Fantasy lineup, and his beard looks great! Finally, he's physically dominating the competition. Look at him almost beating the brains out of Natinal's catcher Jesus Flores as he slides into home.

Of course, Casey Blake would never stoop to such mindlessly violent behaviour. He is a classy athlete and besides, Iowans don't mess with Jesus.

Speaking of drugs, here's a video of the Beatles wearing shiny uniforms and singing Hello, Goodbye.

Cuban Missile Report

I went to my first baseball game of the season tonight, Tigers vs. White Sox. Pre-season, I was looking forward to observing Alexei and reporting back here on his appearance and performance. But Alexei has had a rough start, and Ozzie had enough yesterday, explaining that Jayson Nix would start in place of Alexei. So I thought I would be unable to report here, but luckily, I am one of those weirdos who like to watch the national anthem at sporting events. Today was Greek Heritage day at U.S. Cellular Field, so there was a middle aged Greek man who sang "The Star Spangled Banner" pretty well. I started taking pictures of the most visible Sox and Tigers players who held their hats to their chest and faced the flags. When I noticed Carlos Quentin by the dugout, I saw a thin young man without a number on his back.

CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS SIGHTING! Especially next to Carlos, Alexei looks so small, like a bat boy.

THEN HE TURNED AND SHOWED HIS FACE! It's a little blurry, sorry. I'm pretty sure I started freaking out, trying to get a decent picture of his face, but I was in the upper deck and my zoom was at it's max. I think everyone's right--he looks like a lizardly creature, a chipmunk, an alien. There is something definitely endearing about Alexei overall though--his narrowness, his strange face, his speed, the internal struggles that must be taking place while he fails at bat and gets benched by many fantasy owners (me) and Ozzie.

One more photo:

I like that the cover of the White Sox program is of Alexei's "almost Christ-like" picture, as Jenni put it. I'm not sure why it says "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE" on the cover (I need to actually look through the program), but I really hope it's not some sort of mantra for the '09 season for the White Sox or for Alexei. Will he play tomorrow? I'm going to tomorrow's game as well, for the "Facebook Friday" promotion (I recommend being a fan or friend of your favorite local baseball team). I'll be at field level, so maybe I'll get a better close-up of his face during at least the national anthem!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Oh, Manny.

Last night, I dreamt that Robbie Cano had been killed in a car crash-gunfight combination. The Yankees tried to cover up the news by reporting that he had been killed in a plane accident, which, okay, is the kind of thing that only makes sense in dreams. How did my brain know that today would be such a baseball downer?

Absolutely bummed out to the max...but, well, I guess at least NO ONE DIED.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Papi's Puppy Eyes

Eventually, someone will use these as poster images for a fund-raising campaign to save beloved but fading power hitters. I think that Papi misses Manny. I wonder if they talk on their cell phones.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Comedic Interlude

Sometimes, you can find things on the internet that just blow your mind.

Seriously, that's Derek Jeter on Saturday Night Live with JIMMY FALLON (star of the VERY underrated baseball movie, Fever Pitch). You can watch a really crappy someone-recording-their-television YouTube video of "Derek Jeter's Taco Hole," here, if you'd like. Warning: it didn't make me laugh. It just made me REALLY CONFUSED.

Anyway, here's Jimmy Fallon being a baseball fan in real life. Not sure what's going on in this photo, either.

Man, I love Jimmy Fallon but why'd Hollywood have to make him a RED SOX FAN? DUDE IS FROM NEW YORK. Not cool. I am never looking at the internet after 1am ever again. It just makes me too upset.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I'm snaking this photo from Joe's post on the brand new Marauders of Time, Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball blog (created by Kei to spare readers of TBOB from our endless and mostly irrelevant fantasy baseball rants and raves) because it is THE MOST ADORABLE BASEBALL PHOTO EVER TAKEN. I dare you to prove me wrong.

I seem to remember Sam having some sort of problem with Albert Pujols, but come talent aside, the man is...cute.