Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Andre Ethier, Walk-Off Home Run Heart Throb

June has seen many of spring's sleepy hitters heat up at the plate, but few have done so more explosively than outfielder Andre Ethier, who recently passed King Casey as the Dodgers' most prolific home run hitter. After hitting three homers in last Friday's game against the Seattle Mariners, Ethier produced his fourth game-winning hit of the season against the suddenly spectacular Colorado Rockies by sending a ball into the center-field stands in the 13th inning.

But more importantly (to this blog), HE IS CUTE! Here's happy Andre celebrating another win for the most successful team in baseball.

Because I routinely make up facts, I've always believed that Ethier was Egyptian. Wikipedia, however, claims that he's of French and Mexican descent and lives in Arizona. Wikipedia also reveals Andre to be one of the few MLB players who did not name his first child after himself. And finally, he loves burritos. Here's an excerpt from his food blog, "Dining with 'Dre:"
We ordered and looked for a spot to sit. The dining area looked like the old living room of the house and about 10 or so picnic tables were scattered throughout. I patiently sat like a little kid waiting for my treats to arrive, but I already had one sitting in front of me - a red cream soda (my favorites of all favorites of any soda and this is one of the few places in town that serve it). Instant fifty extra bonus stars for this place. A few minutes had passed as I fell into a deep daydream of pleasure over my red soda. Then, my name was called.
There's something so Alice-in-Wonderland-surreal about this passage. What is red cream soda and could it be the secret to his surge of summer power?

I'll close with one tiny tidbit of relatively unimportant Dodgers news and one item of great personal interest: Manny comes back on Friday. AND THEN I GET TO SEE HIM CASEY BLAKE TWICE NEXT WEEK.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mariano Rivera Will Save Us All

Happy 500th save, Mo! You're the best!

The Yankees are playing decent ball right now, and just swept the extremely awful Mets in this month's second Subway Series. Interleague games are interesting because you get to see unusual things, like Mariano Rivera swinging a baseball bat. Tonight, he walked with this bases loaded, forcing in a run in the 9th inning. According to the Yankees radio announcers, Derek Jeter was "laughing uncontrollably" while A-Rod "jumped up and down like a six-year-old, yelling 'Yeah!'" A-Rod behaving like and overstimulted child? Nothing new, there.

Top: Jeter cracking up with Mo on deck;
Bottom: A-Rod going nuts, Robbie a bit slow on the uptake

Also nothing new: Mo shut down the opposition, making him only one of two pitchers to reach the 500 save mark. Amazing! Congratulations Yankees, you may not actually be the best team in baseball, but YOU ARE THE BEST TEAM IN BASEBALL. (You know what I mean.)

From the Yahoo! wrap-up:

Sentimentalist that he is, Rivera repeated every word that Yankees captain Derek Jeter(notes) said to him after Alex Cora(notes) rolled out to second for the final out in the Yankees’ 4-2 win.

“After the game, he said, ‘Congratulations, you’re the best, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,’ ” said Rivera, who is 19 years removed from the day he received a $3,000 bonus to sign with the Yankees in Panama, 13 years removed from his first career save, and untold years from calling it a career.

"Congratulations, you're the best, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." Love it.

What the Eyes Reveal

Jonathan Papelbon is probably a sociopath.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today is Derek Jeter's Birthday

Happy 35th, Life Captain.
I love you forever.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mag and Vlad's Summer Dos

Vladdy Guerrero and Magglio Ordonez got haircuts! The Chicago Tribune is calling Mag's the "Reverse Samson." The Midwest is so religious.

Vladdy Before and After...less hair, same smile

Mag Before and After...he looks pretty chic now, no?

While Ordonez hasn't yet received a power boost from his lost locks, Vladdy broke his home run drought with a two-run shot in the 2nd inning. Maybe Manny should follow suit?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Which Our Errant Men Hobble Homewards

Spending last week on life's DL has brought me slightly closer to recently wounded Indian and eternal dreamboat Grady Sizemore. The frustration of not being able to perform one's favorite activities is something we now share. Thankfully, both of us rallied back to action last night: Grady, by going 2/5 with a 2RBI triple, and me, by limping all the way to Greenpoint without falling over in exhausted exasperation. While no members of the media were present to capture the miracle of Jenni walking, some mean-spirited ass masquerading as a professional photographer snapped this image of Grady before his game-changing triple.

Apparently, Grady and I also share a love of pouting under pressure.

I swear to God that Getty Images hates Grady Sizemore. They never posted photos of him before his injury and, upon his fairly triumphant return, this is what they give us? Please. Somebody get me their address because I'm ready to file a formal complaint.

In other news, Manny Ramirez played his first minor league game last night, going 0/2 in four innings with the Albuquerque Isotopes. According to Peter Pascarelli of ESPN's Baseball Today podcast, Manny is "jacked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator." When I shared this news with Paul, who co-manages both Grady and Manny on our Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball Team, he said, "What, so he's on MORE drugs?" Haha. Not that I'd be surprised....

Anyway, here's Manny stretching and failing to hit a minor league pitch. He looks pretty good, no?

"I'm baaaaaaack!"

And finally, while we're on the topic of men trying finding their ways home, here's a photo of Derek Jeter bending beneath the burden of the Yankees' awful hitting drought.

"...Lead us not into Red Sox nation and deliver us from A-Rod..."

Derek! I believe in you! Lest you've forgotten, let me end by directly quoting the last paragraph of your autobiography:
Believe me, I'm thankful every day that my dreams have unfolded. I think about what I have to do to improve, about how long my career might last, about where I've been, and about where I should be going. I keep myself motivated that way. Now, grab a hold of your life and take it seriously. Face the challenges and work hard to do everything you want to do. That's what I did and what I'm still doing. You can't treat your life like a soiled T-shirt, not for one day.
Amen. So, readers, remember, even if you're physically broken like Grady, spiritually corrupt like Manny, or floundering miserably in a sea of woes like the Yankees, never treat your life like a soiled T-shirt. Not even for one day.

Stoked on College.

Who cares about Major Leagues, really?

Stoked for the final game of the College World Series tonight featuring my home state's LSU against Texas.

Last night as I watched the game on a big screen--while house sitting an almost mansion, giving myself a manicure and pedicure, & consuming wine and steak--I enjoyed how much the (crappy) commentators took part in the universal love of Jared Mitchell, who I've already said is lady killingly good.

Orel Hershiser made a comment about how his big butt made him a better player.

(Photo is LSU's handsome DJ LeMahieu.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome Back, Grady?

"Tonight's the night. / To-night's the niiiiiiight." Or, at least it could be. Breath bated, fingers crossed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

BREAKING NEWS-- Real Baseball Expert Uses "Casey Blake" and "All-Star" in Same Headline

I apologize for the tiny and aesthetically unappealing Yahoo! screen grab, but OMG...some real baseball person thinks that Casey Blake deserves more representation in the All-Star vote.

Cast your 25 votes for Racy Casey, or, you know, whoever, here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Photos of the Day

Over on our fantasy blog, Kei does an commendable job of selecting, posting and captioning her favorite Yahoo! MLB Photos of the day. Since Kei and Mordecai are traveling around the East Coast this week, I thought I'd keep the tradition alive by sharing some gems from yesterday's action.

The mighty Yankees trailed the worst team in baseball 3-2 for most of the evening, before rallying around Robbie Cano's RBI double in the 7th. Cano went 4-4 for the night and made a number of excellent defensive plays. That's my boy! Derek Jeter, on the other hand, went 0-3 and left the game early with "ankle soreness." Yikes.

Whaddaya know, Robbie Cano!

After Mariano Rivera shut it down for the Yankees in the 9th, I switched to the Dodger game, where house/horse-divider Clayon Kershaw was on the mound. The amazing Vin Scully lulled me to sleep some time in the 5th inning, so I'm not sure what's really happening in any of the photos below. I will, however, create some plausible explanations for your amusement.

Ichiro gives an umpire some sass after striking out against the Padres.
The Mariners won this game 5-0. No big surprise there.

A day after hitting a monster grand slam, Prince Fielder w-w-w-works it
around the base path at Progressive Field. No gulls or midges were sighted.

There is something weird going on with Jason Giambi's facial hair again.

Clayton Kershaw was unpredictable and inefficient on the mound,
but still shut the A's out for five innings. Aw, he's precious.

Matt Kemp can jump so high! The Dodgers celebrate a comeback
victory in the 10th. King Casey (left) did his part by going 2/5
with 2 runs and 2 RBIs.

There you have it...last night in baseball! It's rumored that Grady Sizemore could be back in action in 7-10 days...you can expect a big celebration, here, if that happens.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Your Clay Zavada Moment of the Week

I think that this needs to happen every week. ZAVADA! (Shown here losing to the Astros last night.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Past is Always With Us

As much as my heart beats truly and eternally for Derek Jeter & Co., I tend feel pretty pessimistic whenever they play the Red Sox. Going into last night's game, the Yanks were 0-5 against the Boston uglies in 2009. Before the game, a flurry of Yankees PR-type stories flooded my Twitter feed, promising that tonight would be different. But alas, the past is always with us and nothing ever changes.

Derek Jeter watches as Nick Green's homerun ball sky-rockets overhead...
who the f' is Nick Green? Yeah, that's kind of the point.

Mark Teixeira sings a sad, sad song into his silent bat

Unaware that a baseball game is being played,
dimwitted A-Rod attempts to eat his face

A.J. Burnett gave up three earned runs on five walks and five hits in less than three innings. He also kicked the dugout water cooler on his way out of the game. He was mad. I was, too. Josh Beckett, on the other hand, allowed only one hit in six innings. The Red Sox won 7-0 after the surprisingly attractive Nick Green hit what was probably the first and last home run of his professional career in the 7th inning. ESPN noted that Boston hadn't beaten New York six straight times "since the year the Titanic sank." Good Lord.

Tonight, the Yanks will rise again to die another death at Fenway. I refuse to watch or listen. What, really, is the point? "Can't [escape] the past? Why, of course you can!" That's what Gatsby should have said when he broke that clock at Nick Carraway's house. The statement is equally tragic and more correct. As we know, it all concludes with unreachable green lights on distant docks, black hills rolling silently across the Republic, the end of wonder, and boats borne back ceaselessly into the voracious, all-consuming, insatiable past.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dodgers vs. Cubs, 5/28/09

Long time no see, TBOB! I can't bring myself to post images of Wrigley Field on my own blog, and the content is more appropriate to TBOB anyway so here are some pictures I took at a recent Dodgers vs. Cubs game I attended.

I'm not sure if they always put up opposing teams' flags and their respective state flags, but that's kind of nice. Los Angeles' flag is so festive. Across the street from this corner, I bought a bag of pistachios. PISTACHIOS. I love pistachios, but I had never seen them at a baseball game.

Hot dawgs! Here's the first hot dog sighting, an Oscar Mayer hot dog vehicle. Slightly related story: I played softball in 7th grade and we played at Oscar Mayer Elementary School's field one day, where I hit the only home run of my life. It caught everyone, especially me, by a surprise, and I was tired as hell running around those bases.

Second hot dog sighting, a man in a hot dog suit. I have no idea why he was there like that, but if you're going to dress up as a hot dog, you might as well come to a ball game.

Final hot dog sighting: edible hot dogs! The man running the drinks at this stand jokingly refused to sell me a Coke because I had a Dodgers hat on. He asked if I was from L.A. and I said I'm from Chicago, so he was especially insulted. I wonder what he would think if I told him I was really a White Sox fan despite spending a large portion of my childhood/adolescence half a block away from Wrigley, having Ernie Banks' and Koyie Hill's autographs, and having gone to day care with Shawn Dunston's daughters? Sucker. A dollar is a dollar, mang.

So we went to this game because Mordecai's friend had an extra ticket. Mordecai bought another ticket in a nearby section so the three of us could go together. We sat together in one section in the second to last row, and no one bothered us or checked our tickets. So we shared this wonderful obstructed view of the game.

We had a non-obstructed view of the scoreboard. How informative it is! I understand it's old school or whatever, but I'd like to see the lineups when I'm sitting in another planet, unable to really see anything.

Matt Kemp! Thankfully, my camera has amazing zoom. After taking a picture from light years away, it adjusts things to make things a little crisp.

Last but not least, Casey Blake on deck! Or is that pre-on deck? he looks like he's gonna hurt somebody. I took this picture when I went to get my Coke on a lower level. I was trying to get a closer view for Jenni.

The Dodgers beat the Cubs that day. Bobby Scales hit a home run for the Cubs, but the Dodgers scored two runs in the first couple of innings. The two Randy pitchers were doing alright I guess, but I have to say I wasn't paying attention too much until Scales hit that home run and the Cubs put Koyie Hill in only to take him out and put Kosuke in instead. Anyhoo, it felt good to wear a Dodgers hat in Wrigleyville after the Cubs were defeated. Go Dodgerzzz!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Big Unit Hits 300

Randy Johnson got his 300th win against the Washington Natinals this afternoon. Please consult this ESPN photo gallery to see how much Johnson's hair hasn't changed in 20 years.

Although many people are saying that no other active pitcher will be capable of accomplishing this feat, ESPN's Jayson Stark claims otherwise. Sadly, the thing that most struck me about Stark's article is that I am the same age as C.C. Sabathia. Really? I feel so old and unaccomplished. I THOUGHT HE WAS, like, 40!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This is Mark Teixeira's Angry Face

Last night, after being hit twice by errant balls from Rangers pitcher and former clubhouse foe Vicente Padilla, an angry Mark Teixeira scored verbal retribution by telling Yankees beat reporters that Padilla is "unprofessional." Here are two photos of Teixeira's on-field reaction, courtesy of the Post and the Daily News:

I would say that Mark Teixeira lacks the ability to emote facially, but I've definitely seen him open his mouth REALLY WIDE when happy. So, I don't know. Maybe he's a new kind of humanoid that only transmits straight-laced positive vibes...a law-bot prototype designed by corporations to combat the free-wheeling, free-love mayhem inherent to the impending Age of Aquarius. I mean, what would YOU do if someone threw a blazing fastball at your ass?

But because I've already promised not to overly mock Teixiera on this blog (and honestly, I do love the guy), I'll end by admitting that many baseball players make strange faces. Here are two of the league's best closers celebrating narrow wins. First, we have Man Mountain attempting to jump for joy after preserving the Dodgers' amazing 8th inning comeback against the D'backs:

Both heels off the ground! I love Jonathan Broxton! Go Dodgers! And here's Jonathan Papelbon after getting himself out of a bases-loaded 0-outs situation against the Tigers in the 9th:

So scary, so gross. He needs to learn to CLOSE HIS MOUTH. I hate Jonathan Papelbon! Boo Red Sox!

Monday, June 1, 2009

15 Days of Grady-less Baseball

Major League Baseball and its television affiliates will experience a sharp drop in female viewership this week, as Grady Sizemore has gone on the 15-day DL* with a sore elbow. Here's a photo of Grady from Men's Vogue to help weather the drought (via):

Wow, he's cute. He should be on REAL television. Feel better, Grady! And please, upon your healthy return, see what you can do about a girl's Fantasy stats, eh? People make fun of me for having squandered my #1 draft pick on you, but I HAVE FAITH.

*That means Disabled List, Phil.