Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Angels, Cards, Catwoman, Cano

Last night, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim became the third team to clinch their division title by becoming kings of the AL West. Here they are paying tribute to teammate Nick Adenhardt (R.I.P.) after beating the flailing Rangers 11-0. I know that Dodgers fans aren't supposed to like the Angels, but how sweet is former-Yankee Bobby Abreu with that super enthusiastic peace sign? And Torii Hunter...he's like the Derek Jeter of the West Coast, except funnier and less fiscally responsible. This team has major heart. I'll still post 8,000 photos of Casey Blake (sitting on the bench with his stupid leg injury) on this blog once the Dodgers clinch their division title and read Joe Torre's book this winter and collect Matt Kemp baseball cards, but I'm not going to hate on the Angels just to be a better Dodgers fan.

Believe it or not, the Yankees were not the first team to clinch their division. That honor belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the Rockies 1-0 to win the NL Central title on Saturday. Who knew? Not me. Part of the problem stems from the fact that googling the phrase "Cardinals clinch division" turns up photos like this:

Yup. I don't know what else you'd expect from a city that's 90% strip malls. Anyway, good job Cards.

Just so you know, the Yankees are the team with the baseball's best record (with a .643 WP to the Dodgers' second best .592 and the National's worst .340), as well as the only team to have won more that 100 games this season. And, unlike the dour faced Cards, they're STILL PARTYING. Here's backup shortstop Ramiro Pena flashing a goofy grin after hitting his first ever Major League home run last night. How old do you think he is? 19? 12?

HE'S 24!!!! If I were a Mexican boy, I'd probably look exactly like Ramiro Pena. Here he is dressed as Catwoman during the Yankees' annual rookie hazing day. Derek Jeter reportedly said that Pena looked "just like Halle Berry." So, I guess Halle Berry is what I'd look like if I were a Mexican boy in drag.

Perma-favorite Robbie Cano hit a grand slam last night, breaking open the Yankees' lead against the Royals and also catapulting my Fantasy Team out of the depths of RBI hell. Thanks, Robbie! Can you believe that Fantasy Baseball is still going? I thought that shit ended WEEKS ago.

Melky Cabrera looks like a squirrel. How old do you think he is? 25?

You're right!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In Which I Fail to Conceal My Irrational Bitterness About the Impending End of the Baseball Season

With both the Yankees and the Dodgers headed to the playoffs, it's been a very celebratory sports weekend. Before we get to that, though, I'd like to rant for a minute about Yahoo! Sports. Their Fantasy Baseball Stat Tracker been consistently incorrect all week and their Fantasy Baseball Playoffs Flow Chart Calendar is the most ridiculously unclear and useless piece of crap ever published on the internet. Moreover, their real world baseball coverage has gotten meager and sloppy. This month, Yahoo's photo galleries shrunk from 25 pages of pictures to just 25 pictures and check out this caption:

REFILE-CAPTION CORRECTION. THE DODGERS DID NOT CLINCH THE NL WEST. Los Angeles Dodgers Ronnie Belliard(notes) (3) hugs teammate Matt Kemp(notes) (R) after their win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in their National League MLB baseball game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania September 26, 2009. REUTERS /Jason Cohn (UNITED STATES SPORT BASEBALL)

I guess Yahoo! just doesn't place much importance on clinching division titles. They certainly didn't care to upload any photos of the Yankees clinching theirs today against the Red Sox. Is it that important? I mean, beyond determining home field advantage for playoff games, I suppose not. Like the All-Star Game and its World Series home field advantage. Just not important. I know that most of the country is watching this thing called "Peyton Manning and his friends doing stuff" now, but GET IT TOGETHER YAHOO! SPORTS.

Anyway, as one might expect, the Yankees website has copious amounts of footage of today's post-game celebration. Even I couldn't watch it all (and not just because of the spectacular grossness inherent to the ritual of super rich dudes spraying champagne all over their bazillion dollar locker room). But I did watch a lot of it and am sharing with you now my favorite video screengrabs. Good work, team! CONGRATULATIONS, WINNERS.

This photo of Peter Pascarelli and Nick Swisher getting it in the face is for you, Kei!

Despite having now seen at least 100 photos of him,
I am always surprised by the weirdness of Mark Teixeira.

Aw, he is charming. And good at pitching.

DJ doing TV talk. Hopefully not as bored as he looks.

Robbie Cano got his 200th hit of the season today, joining Derek Jeter (207) and Ichiro Suzuki (216) at the top of the MLB hit leaders list. In fourth and fifth places are Hanley Ramirez (196) and Ryan Braun (192). I don't have anything against HanRam, so I'll cheer for him to get 200. For unknown reasons, I hate Ryan Braun, but I guess I'll still cheer for him to get 200. You know, as a lover of the game called "not Peyton Manning and his friends doing stuff."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Not Done Yet

Surprisingly, neither of the teams pictured below has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Moreover, Juan Uribe (shown jumping) is doing wonders as my new Fantasy third baseman.

"I'm not a billion years old, just 30."

Also not done are the Yankees, who have yet to clinch the Eastern Division. We are, however, guaranteed to be playing somewhere in October. Congratulations, team! Congratulations, Derek on the 8,00,000 records you've broken this month!

I just broke the record for being the coolest person in the universe.

Anyway, for all of you unlucky enough to like crappy teams, here's a sad Charlie Brown comic strip to make you even more depressed. Happy weekend, everyone!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We Can't All Be Winners: Elimination Edition

While the regular season is still a week-and-a-half away from completion, some teams have already been eliminated from post-season contention. I wonder how the players in those clubs feel. Are they crushed by the disappointment of having missed a/yet another playoff berth? Or do they feel liberated from expectations and eager to turn their attention towards their golf swings and Fantasy Football teams (as far as I can tell, 90% of Major League Baseball Players play Fantasy Football)?

As of today, here's a list of teams that have been eliminated from winning their division, followed by a list of teams that have been eliminated from the wild card race. Team names in bold have been eliminated from both. STICK A FORK IN THEM, THEY'RE DONE.

Teams that Have Been Eliminated from Winning their Division:

Tampa Bay

Don't worry, Dioner. It's not over...yet. (Okay, it's probably over.)

Kansas City



New York


Cincinnati Pittsburgh

San Diego Arizona

Teams that Have Been Eliminated from Winning the Wild Card:

Chi White Sox



Kansas City

San Diego


NY Mets



Sorry Mr. Met, it's definitely over.

By contrast, if the Yankees win and the Rangers lose, the Yanks may become the first team to clinch a playoff spot today. Mark Teixeira almost hit THREE HOME RUNS last night. GO YANKEES!

Finally, I'm happy to report that my Fantasy team, Ladies Love Us, contrary to all of my dark imaginings, continues to fight. Whether or not there is another week of Fantasy Baseball is a source of much confusion in my life, at the moment. Sometimes I think yes. Sometimes I think no. My inability to read a calendar, to mentally follow the progression of a flow-chart and to process numerical information has greatly contributed to my uncertainty of what may or may not happen next week. Eh.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.

Monday, September 14, 2009


o(^-^)m(-^ )e(^ )d( )e( ^)t( ^-)o(^-^)~♪
Yesterday, Ichiro Suzuki became the first MLB player to get 200 hits in 9 consecutive seasons. His RBI infield single against the Rangers broke a tied record that he had formerly held with Hall of Famer Willie Keeler, whose 8 consecutive 200 hit seasons spanned 1894 to 1901. Here's the Mariner's official tribute page. Ichiro's still about 200 hits away from being the Mariner's all-time hits leader, but barring injury or alien abduction (see previous posts tagged "Ichiro" for proof of his ever-mounting cosmic weirdness), 2010 will most definitely be his year.

Anyway, as you may recall, THIS BLOG LOVES ICHIRO...almost as much as this person does, maybe. Not as much as the Japanese do.

"Who's that?"
"Ichiro, man, he's a super star in Japan!"

(I could watch Ichiro YouTube videos all day long.)


Also, he has an adorable wife. Awwww.

It's an exciting, record-breaking, pennant-chasing time in baseball. Enjoy it while you can, because in a few months the World Series will be over and we'll have nothing to do but send fan mail to the Yankees in Florida, stalk Mr. Met, endure horrible fantasy football losses, and fail to try and read "In Search of Lost Time."

It's going to be a long, cold, boring winter.

Friday, September 11, 2009

2,722 (and 2,723)

I'm so happy for you! Watching the video replay taught me that most of the Yankees are bad at hugging.

This photo makes me like A-Rod because it looks like he's crying. I'D BE CRYING, TOO! Finally, some common ground.

I somehow knew that he'd break the record on September 11th. If this were anyone but Jeter, I'd call it a Yankee-Steinbrenner mega-conspiracy. But it is Jeter so I'm going to suppress my natural cynicism and just be proud.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Tonight, Derek Jeter got his 2,721st career hit, tying Lou Gehrig's long-standing all-time Yankees hits record. Also, it was free Snoopy night in the Bronx. Although my initial ticket purchase was based more on a juvenile obsession with stuffed toys than a cognizant desire to witness baseball history-in-the-making, I feel so, so lucky to have been at the stadium. The universe is kind, sometimes.

Admittedly, things didn't start out that well. Delayed in Chelsea due to my own idiocy and then burdened by bad train luck, I arrived at Yankee Stadium just in time to see the 18,000 Snoopys run out. Bummer! Happily, Paul's a student and can do things like show up super early to sporting events. Because he has a very kind heart and because he's seen enough of my only-child tantrums to want to avoid them, I got his Snoopy. Thanks, Paul!

There's the Captain on the gigantic Yankees scoreboard during his first at-bat! Everyone was standing and the camera flashes were incessant and insanely bright. Jeter had gone 0-12 in the Rays series so far, so no one really knew what to expect. For days, he'd been four hits away from breaking Gehrig's record and the New York tabloids were being typically vocal about the slump. Maybe people didn't want to get their hopes up. After he bunted his way to first base, the crowd exploded. I think we yelled "JETER" all the way through Johnny Damon's first swing.

Snoopy was so relieved! He had a drink to celebrate.

If you want to know exactly what happened in the game, The New York Times has a good recap. If you don't really care that much or already know, you can keep reading this blog. Basically, the Yankees were doing pretty badly until cranky old Posada came in and hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Jeter went 3-4, tying Gehrig with his third hit and drawing a walk during his last at-bat. This walk caused titanic waves of booing in the upper decks. I booed too, but I wasn't at all sad (and come on, I'll boo the Rays for any reason). It would have been awesome to see him break the record, but it was also awesome to see him tie it. The above photo shows the Yankees congratulating each other after sweeping the series. We're still nine games up on the Red Sox. Unbelievable.

Stoked on Snoopy

I don't know what to say about Jeter's record-tying hit, other than that it was overwhelming and emotional in all the right ways. I have no idea how long the applause lasted, but Jeter took his helmet off and saluted the crowd at least three times. One of the best parts was seeing his family's reaction on the screen. They look so nice. I know I talk about how great Derek Jeter is all the time-- like, to the point of absurdity-- but he really is a great person. Don't laugh at me, I'm being serious. IF YOU DON'T LIKE DEREK JETER, YOU ARE JUST A HATER AND YOU'D BETTER THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT TRYING TO FIX YOUR AWFUL PERSONALITY BEFORE YOUR FRIENDS ABANDON YOU AND YOU DIE ALONE. Just kidding (sort of). Derek Jeter wouldn't want me to hate on the Jeter haters, so I won't (publicly).

And so, goodnight from the House that Jeter Built. More tomorrow if he breaks the record. Once more, congratulations Derek! You're the best and thank you and we love you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something Strange is Happening at MLB.com

9/9/09...MLB's never sounded so new age-y. I'll be at the Yankees-Rays game trying to get one or two Snoopy dolls.* Maybe they'll have math-magic embedded in their fluffy hearts!

An aside: I was born on the 9th (not of September). Today, I have to be at work at 9am. I'll be 29 next year. THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING?

*Also, possibly seeing Jeter break Lou Gehrig's all-time Yankees hits record. MVP! MVP! MVP!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Now Cracks a Noble Heart

This is what I get for laughing so joyously at those photos of crying kids: Grady Sizemore of the hard-luck Cleveland Indians will miss the rest of the season to have arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow and also some sort of lower abdominal surgery.

Grady, just please have your breakout year before the world ends in 2012.

So sad. As I've frequently mentioned, I used our Fantasy League's #1 draft pick on Grady Sizemore. If I could go back in time and re-spend my golden ticket, would I now choose Albert Pujols and his 43 home runs? Joe Mauer and his .366 batting average? Prince Fielder and his 121 RBI?


Sometimes, you just have to follow your heart...even if it lands you in fourth place. Feel better soon, Grady! Ladies Love Us loves you forever.

In other news, in case you haven't heard, the Yankees are still #1. They're so #1 that there most likely will not be another #1 this year. Sorry Red Sox. Sorry Dodgers. Sorry Angels. My team's just the best.

My end of season highlight reels will make you weep."

Derek Jeter took a short break from his path to becoming the universe's most important baseball player to watch the Yankees squeeze just one hit from formerly floundering Blue Jay ace Roy Halladay.

LOOK AT HOW HARD HE PITCHED! It's nice to see Doc back on track. That said, even he can't stop us now. WE'RE GONNA WIN THE WORLD SERIES AND THE PARADE IS GONNA BE AWESOME.