Monday, August 31, 2009

More Photos of Crying Baseball Babies

It's time to re-brand this blog: in lieu of attractive Major League Baseball players, we will now publish nothing but photos of crying Asian children.

As you can probably tell, the team from Taoyuan, Taiwan didn't win today's Little League World Series championship game. Here's the ESPN highlights reel, which includes shots of a Taiwanese kid eating M&Ms in the dugout, a 6 ft. 212 lb. American boy getting intentionally walked, and an amazing and frighteningly violent victory pileup. It concludes with the somewhat strange image of the Taiwanese team on their knees, scooping dirt into plastic bags. No tears are shown.

Oh! I forgot to tell you who won...congratulations, Team Chula Vista, California!

Do Americans ever NOT win the Little League World Series? If so, is this why international teams aren't invited to play in the real World Series?

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Movie star double, former Dodgers home run leader, Iowa native, beloved by some...most especially this blog. Happy 36th, Casey Blake!

Younger than Jeter: The Generational

First comes love, then comes marriage (and honeymoons), then comes...BABIES! The only thing that ever makes me want to have children is the Little League World Series, which began yesterday and can be seen on a variety of television and internet outlets. Watching Team Japan cry after losing the 2007 Little League World Series championship game to Team U.S.A. is one of my dearest baseball memories. The kid with the glasses (see below)...that's an image I'm taking with me to the grave.

Of course there's crying in baseball!

Japanese kids are the cutest. Cute enough to make me like the Red Sox, despite my disdain for Dice-K and his horrible season (photo via Kei).

Non-Japanese kids are pretty cute, too. This photo of Jonathan Papelbon and his daughter Parker almost makes me sorry for all of the times I've called him a sociopath on this blog. (I'm not actually sorry because I'm pretty sure it's true.)

Now that the gap between the Red Sox and the Yankees is comfortably large, it's hard to really hate them. That would be like hating the Mets (i.e. petty). Let's extend this rare tide of good will by looking at some baby photos of current BoSoxians. This very thorough fan blog has lots, but I'll just give you Boston's best and worst looking players.

Tacoby, Pedroia...but you probably already knew that.

I own an entire book of Jeter kid photos, but this is the only one I can find on the internet:

HE'S THE COOLEST! Maybe someday, if I stop drinking, my future child will be as cool as Derek Jeter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Detroit Tigers Honeymoon

**Warning: Super long post ahead! But plenty of photos, too. Click them for full size view.**

Being the obsessive weirdo I am, I asked Mordecai about going to Detroit to see a Tigers game as part of our honeymoon. Being accustomed to me, and liking baseball generally, he said he'd be up for it. First we acquired third row tickets by first base to a Twins vs. Tigers game. Now we had to go to Detroit! We then made reservations in a suburb of Detroit for a Travelodge room that looked a lot like Llewelyn Moss and Anton Cigurh's hotel rooms in "No Country For Old Men." And in case you were wondering, Mordecai and I also made reservations at a resort-y hotel in southwest Michigan since we knew Detroit wasn't going to completely cut it as a honeymoon destination.

Clockwise from top left: "Where the prices are so low" they and the products don't exist anymore; a Billy Dee Williams ad for Colt 45 was never too far away; abandoned four flat building; braiding business no more :(

Everyone told me Detroit was a hot mess, to lock my doors when we drive through the city, that we shouldn't use their unmanned rail system, and so on. I didn't realize that Detroit (not really sure what parts constituted Detroit proper) was like parts I know of Chicago's south side, but maybe to an extreme. It is very visibly economically depressed; many lots, buildings and businesses are totally abandoned; and the only businesses open are for liquor, lotto, fried chicken, and Little Caesar's. I saw one Little Caesar with the same rotating contraption as Harold's Chicken Shack in Hyde Park, where you order through bullet-proof windows and hand money in this rotating thing and receive your food in it so as to never come in any kind of physical contact with the employees. There is more life in the suburbs, like in Royal Oaks, where we stayed, or Birmingham, where Miguel Cabrera supposedly lives.

Left: Abandoned whale building can be seen from inside Comerica Park. Right: Fox Theater (not even sure if that's what it's called).

But I found downtown Detroit to be charming and having lots of character. There are tons of old, beautiful buildings--they're just totally abandoned. The windows are either broken and graffiti-ed on, or they are boarded up. I totally wanted to root for the city. I mean, look at this Fox Theater! Jamie Foxx was coming to the Fox Theater!

I hope that cheering for the Tigers is a way of cheering for the city. It's easy to do with big names like Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, and Justin "The Truth" Verlander. Even their young busters are charming--Youkilis-take-downer Rick Porcello, "Mr. & Mrs. Babe Ruth" Clete Thomas ("One day he plays like Babe Ruth, and the next day he plays like Mrs. Ruth," says Jim Leyland), and newcomer catcher, Alex Avila, who also happens to be the son of the Tiger's assistant GM. And above all, the owner of the Tigers also owns Little Caesars? Pizza pizza!

Left: In front of one of the tiger entrances at Comerica Park, where I tweeted my uncontainable excitement. Right: Waiting for my pizza with my new Tigers hat.

I did not know Little Caesars was based in Detroit. How can at least some tiny part of you not cheer for the Tigers or Detroit or both now? So of course we got some pizza, a slice each. When we picked up the boxes, we realized they were incredibly light. Next time, and believe me, there will be a "next time," we are getting a whole pizza, like everyone else was doing.

Left: I saved many of these Comerica Park napkins. Right: Mordecai places his finger in the photo for scale.

We were SO CLOSE to the field. Since we were by the first base side, we were right next to the visitor's dugout. I'm used to the White Sox being on the third base side and the Tigers on the first base, so I had some mental adjustments to make. We saw the Twins' outfielder Carlos Gomez up close when he signed stuff for the little children, which was nice. We saw the Twins' batting practice, where Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer were just hitting balls out to the streets of Motown. This was all too much Twinkie business for me, but it was worth getting to be near Miggy when the Twins were up at bat during the game.

Clockwise from top left: Joe Mauer in catching gear; Michael Cuddyer being older and fatter than I imagined him to be; some young pitcher participating in a hazing-like ritual on his way to the bullpen; Carlos Gomez, the Twins' official mouth breather.

Here are some non-Minnesota shots from the third row.

Clockwise from top left: Comerica Park scoreboard brought to you by a bunch of folks including Big Boy; flying bats!; a Tigers' security guard who I believed was Jim Leyland's brother; a choir of old men who sang the national anthem and SHUT IT DOWN!

Oh yes, the game. Thanks to mediocre pitching from both teams, the game was very exciting. This was actually our second time seeing Armando Galarraga pitch, lucky us. But it turned out for the better--Galarraga and the Tigers won this day, while Verlander pitched poorly the next (rainy) day and the Tigers lost, 11-0.

Clockwise from top left: Galarraga pitches; Curtis Granderson (GRANDERSLAM!) representing Chicago and UIC; Magglio Ordonez sans lion mane; Brandon Inge (INGE GENIUS!) on first

But most important: LORD MIGGY! He often looked over to our general direction in the stands. I wonder if it gets boring between pitches on the defensive side. Anyway, at one point when he was looking towards us, I waved to him like a small child/idiot. But as he was returning his attention to the game, I SWEAR HE SMILED, or maybe it was more like a smirk? Mordecai noticed, too! Not just my imagination!

OMG WE'RE TOTALLY BFF!!! Doesn't he look as excited as I sound???

Can I also note that he is no longer fat? He looks fit. Did you know he has three stolen bases this season, to date? Two were from this past week. He's on a roll!

Speaking of fat and rolls, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was going nuts. Look at him all angry! He was ejected fairly early on in the game. Curtis Granderson was caught in a run down but he managed to slip away, scoring a run. Gardenhire came tumbling out and started yelling at the umpire, but eventually calmed down (below left). Not long after, he got pissed about the home plate umpire's calls and was ejected (below, right).


And then Lord Miggy came rolling up to the plate. On a 3-0 count, he hit a three-run homer! JUST FOR ME, HIS NEW BEST FRIEND FOR LIFE!

Topps, feel free to use this photo for your upcoming Miggy cards. I'll take a case of Finest in exchange.

The General Motors Fountain of Doom went berserk as Miggy & Co. rounded the bases. I like how it says that the Tigers support their automakers; isn't it usually the other way around?

Aforementioned new catcher, 22 year old Alex Avila, hit his first career home run in this game as well. The Twins' starting pitcher Swarzak was relieved after the first inning by some dude and then later Jesse Crain. I only know of Jesse Crain because I have his Stadium Club autograph. It was exciting to recognize someone I don't even care about because of baseball cards! Everyone interested in baseball should definitely collect cards.

Clockwise from top left: Daryl, the guy behind us who was egged on by his friends to get a ball from the Twins' players when they got off the field to bat (the Twins always threw the ball to children and young girls); Jesse Crain, forever x 2 etched into my mind; The Wave that went around about 11 times, no joke; ELEPHANT EAR.

I had red rope and then ELEPHANT EAR. I went to get beer, but when I saw the claim that someone sold elephant ears that involved cinnamon and sugar, I had to get it. So somehow, alone, I managed to bring back two beers and this giant floppy naan-like thing that was AWESOME. I'm sorry to U.S. Cellular Field, but elephant ear >>>>> funnel cake. I couldn't get over the soft, chewy texture and slightly crispy edges.

First base coach Andy Van Slyke was hilarious. He was hamming it up for us, stretching unnecessarily in his MOON SHOES while nonchalantly eating sunflower seeds.

Who is he looking for? Please notice his MOON SHOE.

Joe Nathan relieved Crain, and Fernando Rodney came to shut it down. This photo is for Joe V., who likes the Twins and their Joes. This photo is also for those who like bear-ish pitchers. Maybe both shots are for Joe V.

Joe Nathan in a non-save situation; Fernando Rodney in a save situation, keeping things exciting as always.

Tigers win, 10-8! I caught a glimpse of Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander. Marcus Thames is also all up in my picture.

Ricky P and Justin V are in navy blue; Marcus Thames is probably glad he didn't have to play. Look at him looking like a base coach or something, cheering everyone on.

After the game, there was a nice fireworks show.

Being Japanese, I spent more time taking photos and videos of the fireworks than I did actually watching them.

Surrounded by Detroit's finest: Miggy and the handlebar mustached usher who wiped our chairs for us when he escorted us to our seats. First class treatment at a first class stadium!

Thanks to Joe V. for the $15 Miggy shirt from Marshall's!

Don't get me wrong, I still love my White Sox and the Cell. But me and the Tigers, we just CLICK! To quote our blog leader Jenni, "LOVE IS ALL."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Johnny Cash Roadtrip?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Joe Madden's new color is a downgrade.

Apparently in advance of a Johnny Cash themed road trip this week Madden decided to Cash up his hair.

Maddon showed up at Tropicana Field on Tuesday with his hair dyed black, the handiwork of his wife, Jaye, as he attempted to ease the mood and set the tone for his team's latest themed road trip. The "Ring of Fire" swing through Toronto and Detroit begins Sunday night, but Maddon decided to get his tribute to Johnny Cash going early.
Could this just be an excuse to 'Just for Men' his hair under the guise of easing the mood? At least he didn't lose the glasses. And what does Toronto or Detroit have to do with Johnny Cash?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pulse Check

Photos from around the Majors, Friday, August 14, 2009.

FORTUNES RISING: Robbie Cano flashing that bazillion dollar smile.

FORTUNES FALLING: Clayton Kershaw's facial hair just gets worse and worse.

FORTUNES FLAT-LINED: So scared of A-Rod, super loathe K-Rod. Can someone explain those Mets uniforms to me, please?


I just got a Mariner's news update that states that Ichiro (171), Robbie Cano (148) and Derek Jeter (148) are the top three hit leaders in the American League. Looking good, hitting great.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Flyin' Hawaiian

In case anyone missed Shane "The Flyin' Hawaiian" Victorino's awesome catch last night here's the video:

Those losers at MLB don't let you embed videos and the youtube one has already been pulled down.

I really love the disappointed attitude that the announcers take:

"Awww, come on guys!"

"Not just the beverage, but the whole cup; that's dangerous"

"Not what Cub fans are all about"

Really? That's exactly what I thought the bleachers were all about. In fact I have one of those Late Night at Wrigley Field shirts with "TOP TEN LIES TOLD AT WRIGLEY FIELD"

Number 10: Bleacher bums drink in moderation.

Here's a sweet pic of Victorino in pure beer mode. I guess I kind of feel bad for him knowing that his jersey probably smelled like stale beer for the rest of the game.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

David & Goliath

In an attempt to revive the Marauders of Time Fantasy Blog, I wrote a post regarding the Tigers vs. Red Sox brawl that occurred Tuesday night. But then Mordecai asked me why I posted it there when it has nothing to do with Fantasy, and why not on TBOB? So here it is, in full effect, not just in the form of a lame link! See the original post on MOT for Mordecai's insightful comment.


It all really started yesterday when Brandon Inge and Miguel Cabrera were hit by Boston pitches, and when Edwin Jackson hit Youkilis. But today's "oh HELL naw" started with this 23 year old kid, Junichi Tazawa, when he hit Miggy in the hand and bruised him day-to-day. OMG MIGGY.

I wonder what Tazawa's intentions were, or if he was instructed to hit Miggy. This kid looks familiar, but I may be completely making things up. In any case, Tazawa seems to hail from Yokohama, so I can't totally hate on that. If he's known to hang around Isezaki-cho, then I can see why he'd try to hit someone to protect Youkilis Sempai. But that's not gonna go without consequences. The Tigers have a young lion with the spirit of SIMBA, RICK PORCELLO. I call him "Ricky P."

This is just sick to look at. Youkilis' face should be pixelated, like when people don't want the world to know what they look like, or when someone swears and a TV network blurs their mouth so the children can't read lips, except all over his nasty face. WTH, is Youkilis 12 years old or so?

Anyway, Porcello wins.

Porcello looks good angry with that Slam Dunk-esque hair. I like how Papa Leyland is taking him home.

PLACIDO POLANCO CAN ONLY HIT WITH PEOPLE ON BASE! Curtis Granderson had brought whoever was on base before him with a homerun, so bases were empty when Polanco went up to bat. Tigers lose, 5-7. But today, I share some of my infinite baseball love for Miggy with Ricky P. Baseball love, Tigers love, brotherly love, LOVE IS ALL!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Actually, We Won

For a few days, now, I've been thinking about how to best articulate the absolutely wonderful wrongness of my predictions from last Tuesday. Instead of encouraging you to follow me further up the fantastical mountain of Yankee-mythologizing or indulging my dark certainty that the near future will be nothing more than a heartbreaking regurgitation of the cruel past, I'll just give you some facts that made me happy this weekend.

1. The Yankees finally beat Roy Halladay.
2. They then blanked Boston for 31-scoreless innings and swept the four game series.
3. This put them 6.5 games up in the AL East...
4. ...And ahead of the Dodgers to claim the best record in baseball.

Good work, team! Here's some notable photos:

Derek Jeter congratulates Johnny Damon

A-Rod hits a walk-off homer against Boston

Hahaha. These photos never get old. D-Ped showing his inner rodent.

Curtain Call for King C.C.

As I write, the Yankees are losing in early innings against the Blue Jays and Kevin Youkilis has been ejected from the Tigers game after charging this guy on the mound.

Seriously? Rick Porcello is barely 14-years old. Youkilis, you are a monster. It sounds like bad things are happening to the Tigers over at Fenway, so I'll close with another handsome face from their starting rotation...right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander, shown here getting pied after throwing the first-ever no-hitter at Detroit's Comerica Park on June 12, 2007.

This one's for you, Kei! I can't wait for the wrap-up of YOUR weekend!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sans Beckham

It's probably because I was still subconsciously mourning formerly awesome third baseman Joe Crede, but rookie Gordon Beckham who is the starting third baseman for the White Sox deserves some attention.

Only a year ago he was playing in the college world series for Georgia and now the 22, 23 year old is starting in the majors. And if you don't believe that he is basically an overgrown kid check out this video of him fooling around the Georgia clubhouse. Pretty candidly bizarro:

I especially like the part when he confesses to that other guy that he got a B in real estate and then the professor asked him for his autograph.

And if that video didn't convince you that he is way younger than you are, he has an official blog on the mlb site! He hasn't written a lot, in fact, it looks like he might of gotten off the hook when they figured out that he wasn't really a prospect, but going to play in the majors this year. But, the posts that he did write are references to older SNL skits like "more cowbell" or "The Japanese Game Show".

He writes about giving autographs:
I try to sign as many autographs as I can each day. Problem is, sometimes it just isn't going to happen. There are days where it's impossible. I feel bad when I can't sign every autograph but the fact is, I have a job to do. If I pull a hamstring because I was not loose for the game, I am blamed for that. I think there are moments when people forget that. There is another problem which a lot of players keep in mind when signing autographs. There are some people out there that try to profit off your signature. THAT'S PRETTY SAD.
That *is* pretty sad Gordon Beckham. But you also get paid obscene amounts of money to play baseball. He also writes about getting razed by AJ Pierzenski:
While the baseball seems to be coming relatively easy, the clubhouse ribbing seems to get even tougher. Lately, the border war between AJ and I has become relatively heated. I have hit two homeruns this spring training and the next day is always a rough one. AJ claims that my bag is on his side of the "border". I walk in and he asks why I placed my bag inside of his locker. He insists that I purposely threw my bag in his locker to mock him. I think we all know that is the last thing I want.
And on the South:
I will be heading east, back to my southern roots, on Saturday. Back where people drink sweet tea, say "ya'll" and "yes ma'am". Where there is more green than concrete and skyscrapers aren't always metal. Where there are actually trees, big majestic two-hundred year old oak trees entrenched in southern soil. Where the writings of Pat Conroy float through the marsh breeze on the coast of the southern shore. Where thunderstorms are actually welcomed after two months of no clouds. But mainly, where baseball parks light up the bright red marinated sunset.
Kind of a funny passage, right? He really kind of hams it up. And Pat Conroy??? What is he talking about?

But more importantly, a blogger for the Times identified some of the comparisons that have been drawn between Beckham and Ryne Sandberg of the Cubs.

Greg Walker, the White Sox’ batting coach, played with Sandberg in the Phillies organization in 1979.

“They’re both pretty easygoing guys, but there are not a lot of similarities in their swings,” Walker said. “Their mechanics are not the same at all.”

Initially projected to have more modest power numbers, Beckham is slightly shorter but more powerfully built than Sandberg. He has shown that he could eventually approach the slugging numbers put up by Sandberg, a Hall of Famer.

“We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves with Gordon,” Walker said. “If you want to be talked about in the same breath as Ryne Sandberg, you’ve got to do it over a long period of time. But he understands that. He’s getting a lot of media attention right now, but he’s a pretty level-headed kid.”
I can't vouch for that swing comparison nonsense, or talk about them being born under the same astrological sign, but looking at pictures of young Sandberg and Beckham their necks both look similarly large - almost like football players. Unfortunately, neither of them is at all similar to the real Beckham, who has quite the monopoly on google image searches for "beckham"

On the plus side he already has a pair of those sweet Sandberg-esque flip sunglasses that were all the rage when I was playing little league.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Just Say No

On Saturday, Texas Ranger and former drug addict Josh Hamilton held a brief press conference to apologize for a lapse in sobriety that occurred this January. Thank you, Josh, for reminding us not to drink. If only you had spoken out on Thursday. No matter. Third Base or Bust would like to reiterate our affection for Mr. Hamilton. How can you not love a guy who takes mugshots like this:

Or this?

Not to mention the time he crushed a record-setting 28 longballs at the 2008 Home Run Derby...

...but still didn't win? AFFABLE SCREWUP. Here's an n+1 review of his book, Beyond Belief.

It's 8:10pm and the last game of the Yankees-Red Sox series is about to start. I'll write a recap of this amazing weekend tomorrow.

In the meantime, to stay Rangers-centric while fulfilling my pledge to post less Jeter photos on this blog, here's a picture of #1 SUPERCUTE SUPERBRAT, Ian Kinsler.

Aw. So precious.