Saturday, February 28, 2009


I feel compelled to share an important, if personal, baseball experience that is wholly unrelated to the so-far dominant theme of this blog, baseball player attractiveness. While we use this forum to rank players based on hair, off-field hobbies (horror movies, spaghetti, being a douche), and, occasionally, skill, I would like to instead consider a time when such rational criteria for analyzing rosters were unknown to me.

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

AL West

Why is most of the West Coast so bad at baseball? Why does California have five different Major League teams? These are not the kinds of questions we strive answer at Third Base or Bust, where our concerns are strictly...well, you know what they are.

The Best of the West were the Seattle Mariners (of course), who scored a team average of 5.18.

Good Catches: Franklin Gutierrez, Andre Beltre, Ichiro Suzuki

These three youthful, clean-cut Pacific Northwesterners bring joy to my otherwise icy hater's heart. If I had a daughter of the appropriate age, I would want her to date someone like Andre Beltre, who got a 7, or 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.

Ken Griffey Jr. under a pile up and with Pops

Let's hope that this year is better than last year for our handsome champs.

Something Fishy: Tyler Walker, Mark Lowe, Ronny Cedeno

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.

Heavenly Creatures: Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero, Ervin Santana

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!

Fallen from Grace: John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Jered Weaver

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.

Party On!: Josh Hamilton (6), Ian Kinsler (6), Marlon Byrd (6.5)

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!*

Get the Hell Out of My House: Vincente Padilla (3), Matt Harrison (2), Frank Catalanotto (2)

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.

Making the Grade: Santiago Casilla, Jack Hannahan, Rajai Davis

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.

Oakland F's: Jason Giambi, Dallas Braden, Brad Ziegler

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.

Peace! xx

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chimps and Chumps

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

Hot or Not?

Cross-continental warfare: Sam, writing from Chile, has taken issue with my low-placement of White Sox player Alexi Ramirez. YOU be the judge(s).

Friday, February 20, 2009

AL Central

Now that we've conquered the AL East, these divisional rankings are getting a bit tricky. While it's possible that not knowing many of the players in the AL Central led to greater impartiality on my part, scrolling through 132 mugshots comprised mostly of Midwestern nobodies gave me something akin to highway hypnosis. As follows, judgment was a bit fuzzy and ratings were universally low. Here are the results!

First were the Cleveland Indians, with a team average of 4.62.

The Good Vibes Tribe: Grady Sizemore, Andy Marte, Fausto Carmona

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:

Is it true that after games, there are a dozen women waiting for you?
It might be, but they're all 16, so I'd go to jail.
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?
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).

[Not Going to Make Any Off-Color Jokes]: Cliff Lee, Kerry Wood, Asdrubal Cabrera

Cliff Lee got a 4 and Kerry Wood (not sure what's happening with his mouth, there) got a 3, as did Asdrubal Cabrera. The next time I play Final Fantasy or some such similar RPG, I'm going to name my black mage Asdrubal, my white mage Fausto, my hero Grady, and my princess Jenni. Just kidding. The white mage and the princess are USUALLY THE SAME CHARACTER. I guess Fausto can be the token funny sidekick (robot, bard, dwarf, whatever).

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.

Twice as Nice: Joe Maurer (6), Denard Span (6), Carlos Gomez (7)

Double the Pain: Boof Bonser (2), Mike Redmond (2), Jason Kubel (3)

I can't honestly say that I'm anything but indifferent to everyone on this team.

Royal Flush: Mike Jacobs (6), Mike Aviles (7), Jose Guillen (6)

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.

Court Jesters: Joakim Soria (3), Luke Hochevar (2), Kyle Farnsworth (5)

Joakim Soria looks pretty cute in that photo, but his Fantasy Baseball Preview mugshot was MESSED UP and Luke Hochevar looks almost as bad as A.J. Burnett, here. My real problem with the Royals is Kyle Farnsworth, who I seriously hate. He's not a bad-looking guy, but he SUCKS SO BAD AT BASEBALL. Whenever he took the mound for the Yankees, I wanted to stab myself in the face. And then he cried when he got traded! Crying should only be used to manipulate the press into believing that you're sorry for using steroids!

Coming in fourth were the Chicago White Sox, who averaged 4.26.

Chi-Town Charmers: Jerry Owens, Jermaine Dye, Dayan Viciedo

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!

Cowtown Losers: Mark Buehrle, Alexi Ramirez and Bobby Jenks (sorry Kei)

Can someone tell me what's going on in that scoreboard photo? I want to say that Alexi Ramirez looks better there than usual. He got a 4. Bobby Jenks and his pink goatee got a 3 and Mark Buehrle got a 2. I bet he listens to awful music.

In last place, despite their rad logo, we have the Detroit Tigers with an average of 4.07.

The Cat's Meow: Ramon Santiago, Matt Treanor, Miguel Cabrera...throw that bat!

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.

D-troit's D-grade: Jeremy Bonderman, Magglio Ordonez, Joel Zumaja

These guys all clearly deserve the 2s that I gave them. Without getting too much into the Guitar Hero thing, I'd like to call special attention to the fish hovering above the right shoulder of Joel Zumaja. Detroit is so weird.

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.

Lonely Fan

No one likes A-Rod anymore, but I feel for him. I'm guessing that before the economic disaster, there were stocks, houses, funds, and other material items that used to be worth a lot. Now they're worth less, some even worthless and/or accruing debts, and no one wants them anymore. In my mind, I picture these former goods crying, discarded and longing for human affection once more. I imagine A-Rod as having similar experiences right now, longing for acceptance, unconditional love, maybe Madonna's affection once more, and human respect.

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

Bog wading

As promised (and I know everyone is waiting with baited breath), here's WADE BOGGS. He was playing on the Red Sox when I was v little and went to my first Red Sox game. My parents have an uncut sheet of baseball cards from '88 with Boggs prominently featured in all his mustached glory.

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.

Retreat to the Image World

I spent about two years struggling through Guy Debord's "Society of the Spectacle" (you can watch the less time-consuming, more boob-filled film here), which is, in part, a compelling diatribe against the over-pervasiveness of images in modern society. Alternately stated, it's about reification and its detriments. Alternately stated, it's about how we've all f'ed ourselves by wasting our lives looking at pictures when, really, we should have been Living In the World. While, generally, I'm on board with Debord, certain parts of the image-world are such vast improvements over the world-world that I can't help but prefer them to "reality."

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.

Right, Sam?!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A-Rod, D-bag: The Saga Continues

Earlier today, commentators on wondered whether or not A-Rod would cry during his 1:40pm press conference. I really wish he had. Does this face say "I'm sorry?"

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.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

AL East

Baseball is a game of numbers, so I used unbiased mathematical formulas to determine my divisional rankings.

First, of course, are the New York Yankees, who averaged an impressive 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Home Run Derby: Robbie Cano, Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera

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.

Evil Empire: Shelley Duncan, A-Rod with Spitzer, Nick Swisher

Just to prove that I was at least slightly fair in my rankings, here are three Yankees that make me gag. Shelley Duncan? Gross! He got a 2. A-Rod got a 3 (he may have an awful soul, but he's not totally unfortunate looking). And Nick Swisher, well, Sam's already been over that. He got a 1. Maybe I should have given him a 0.

In second-place are the Baltimore Orioles, who averaged a 5.6 for their complete non-offensiveness.

Nice Birdies: Koji Uehara, Felix Pie, Nick Markakis

I saw Koji Uehara play back when he was with the Yomiuri Giants, so he is a sentimental favorite. I gave him an 8, but he probably only really deserves a 7. Felix Pie got a 7.5 initially, but I bumped it to an 8 because of his awesome name. And then Nick Markakis, the requisite Homecoming-King-of-Cow-Pie-High-type, got a 7.

Eh, Whatever: Jamie Walker, George Sherill and Matt Weither...I'm not even sure who's who.

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.

Handsome(ish) Devils: Gabe Kapler (8), Willy Aybar (7), Akinori Iwamura (8 at first glance)

No Sting Rays: Grant Balfour (2), James Shields HANDS OFF (2), Dioner Navarro (3)

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!

Flying Solo: Alex Rios of the Toronto Blue Jays (7.5)

More Boring White Dudes: Travis Snider, Jerry Litsch, Michael Barrett...all 2's

I am so bored by most of the Jays players that I can't be bothered to spell check the way I scrawled their names down on my score card. That Alex Rios is a looker, though. His birthday is on February 18th and he'll be 28, just like I am. Soul mates?!

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!

Red Hot Enough: Big Papi, Jed Lowrie, Jacoby Ellsbury

Okay, I know I'm not supposed to admit this, but I like the Red Sox more than I like the Rays. Still, they are not a nice-looking team. Big Papi and Jed Lowrie got 5's and Jacoby Ellsbury led his team with a 6. You know you're a bad looking team when your power hitter (as it were) gets a 6.

Red Sux: Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett, Brad Penny

Dustin Pedroia got a 1. LOOK AT HIM. That's all the explanation required. Josh Beckett and Brad Penny got 2's. With faces like those, who cares if they're good at baseball? Brad Penny good at baseball? Eh. On Third Base or Bust, it doesn't matter either way.

There you have it! Next Friday, the AL Central. Have a long love-filled weekend and see you on Monday!