Monday, August 31, 2009
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?
Friday, August 28, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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!
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
Apparently in advance of a Johnny Cash themed road trip this week Madden decided to Cash up his hair.
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?
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.
Saturday, August 15, 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?
YOUR DAILY BREAK FROM THE YANKEES-DODGERS PHOTO DELUGE: Buddies!
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
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
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
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:
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
Only a year ago he was playing in the college world series for Georgia and now the
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.
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"
“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.”
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
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.