Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hey Farva

What's the name of the place you like to eat? The place with the mozzarella sticks and all that goofy shit on the walls?

You mean Shenanigans?

Ohhh ho ho (hands O'Grady pistol).

The Phillies won a game today. In convincing fashion, no less. Buuuut over the only team in the NL Central that has a losing record. And the Phillies, playing in the worst division in baseball (only those New York Metropolitans have a winning record), have managed to win several games, despite the COMPLETE AND UTTER ABSENCE OF ANY PITCHING. Amazing. Better keep Ryan Howard in that six-hole, though. Everyone knows your most powerful hitter should keep getting protection from David Bell. No no, it's cool, he's hitting a smooth-tasting .247 this year.

Charlie Manuel: you are my hero.

Friday, April 28, 2006

stadiums that get it

Back in my ol' La Salle days, me and my radio co-host (ah, Monkey Knife Fighting, the sport of kings and Furious George) Mr. Danno Somatic Somavilla loved to make ourselves sick by going through the list of awkward stadium names caused by corporate naming rights. I know that this is a capitalist nation (for now... feudalism is the new black, if you haven't noticed) and that naming rights were at least SUPPOSED to keep teams from using taxpayer money for new digs. That didn't work, and now teams are stuck in fancy stadiums that have ugly and ever-changing names as companies merge. Can't we settle on classics so that we don't get confused?

In the tradition of that, I proudly present the list of the teams that have not sold out... completely. Actually, baseball is still doing okay at this - they're much better off than the other leagues with nearly half their teams not having a ridculous corporate name . I mean, the NBA has just a few left - less than five, I'd say, and hockey, which shars many of those buildings, can't be much better. Here are teams that get it and some that almost get it.

Partial Credit

St. Louis Cardinals : Busch Stadium (Annhesier-Busch owns the team and is based in St. Louis, so I can't really fault them)
* by the way, this is a new stadium, but they kept the old name, which should give them some points

Colorado Rockies : Coors Field (see Cardinals, same situation)

Atlanta Braves : (see Cardinals again) (and Ted shows up sometimes)

Milwaukee Brewers : (see Cardinals again... though I don't know if Miller actually owns them)

Washington Nationals : RFK Stadium (temporary, their new park will almost certainly have one)

Los Angeles Southern California Orange County Angels of Anaheim/ Fullerton / Orange / Brea / Garden Grove : Angel Stadium (it used to be Edison Field, after one of those corrupt Cali energy companies, but right now it doesn't have any sponsor... but how long can that last?)

The REAL Old-timers

New York Yankees : Yankee Stadium

New York Mets : Shea Stadium

Boston Red Sox : Fenway Park

Chicago Cubs : Wrigley Field

Los Angeles Dodgers : Dodger Stadium

Kansas City Royals : Kauffman Stadium

Baltimore Orioles : Camden Yards

Cleveland Indians : Jacobs Field

Minnesota Twins : Metrodome (the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, to be precise)

Cinncinatti Reds: Great American Ballpark (but what the hell does that mean? it still sounds lame)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Transplanted fan needs - Donations Accepted

Hey all, glad to see this thing got off the ground so quickly. I'm happy to be a part of a group of guys just rapping about baseball while embracing lovely tangential topics like the number of hot dogs one needs to eat on Hot Dog Day to be a true fan. Like the digs so far, always up for more goodies.

Okay, I'm Adam, and I originally hail from the little burg of Lansdale, about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia, though I've resided in Chicago for a little under two years now. My role as a transplant will probably provide a lot of material for this blog, hopefully in a positive way. I think Philly and Chicago are both great sports towns, and the brat-belchers really like their baseball here, which is cool. Getting used to the whole two-team scene is interesting, given the ingrained disparity between Cubs and White Sox fans. This dichotomy was nicely glossed over during the Sox's run for the Series last year, though. North or South Side, come October, it was all White Sox. I did make it to one Sox game last year, but have not made it inside Wrigley's ivy-covered walls yet. Part of the reason is that the Cubs always sell out every home game, while U.S. Cellular field could usually pass for a minor league park as far as attendance goes. Obviously that has changed a bit this year, but it's still infinitely easier to see the Sox play.

However, even while surrounded by the (anticlimactic) tumult that came with the World Series win, I still come into this seaosn a die-hard Phillies fan, which makes the Thome situation an interesting one, though I guess I wish the big lug well here in his new city. It would be much more painful if we didn't have Ryan Howard. So while I'll definitely watch a bunch of AL and NL games I normally wouldn't just because it's baseball, I definitely miss seeing the Phils on my TV screen. I really should get, where you can apparently watch any game for the whole season on your computer, not just one team as I previously thought. But, I just don't have the 80 bucks to spare. Then again, the longer I wait, the less value I get. Well, I'll get by with Gameday play-by-play and Sportscenter for now, but I will certainly accept donations for the ability to see the Phillies live.

Well aside from those introductory remarks, I look forward to creating some fun posts with you guys, and getting more into baseball than ever before. I think the diversity of favorite teams as well as representing every time zone will give us a nice little cross section of things to talk about. I'll check back soon with some actual baseball chatter. Stay in the ready position until then...

Damn good times

You know what's a fun thing to do if you want a few quick giggles and your friends to think you'r e a douchebag? Make up trivia about an opposing team while you're watching a game. It's particularely fun if it's an older team because that makes it all the more believeable.

But this might not work with your friends, as mine from New York are the most guillable group on the face of the Earth.

"Did you know the White Socks got their name originally because one of their owners in the early 20th century said in a fit of anger overheard by the press he'd just as soon wear lady's white stockings than see a person of color play the game of baseball? The Chicago Sun-Times just started calling them that and the name stuck."


"No! What's wrong with you?"

Wow, i just wrote that and I think it's the worst blog entry ever. But in my defense I'm working on a 20 page Lord of the Rings paper, which is enough to make any man crazy.

I'll probably read it tommorow, be embarassed and delete it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You got to appreciate...

...what an explosive element this Clemens Situation is.

Look. Clemens gets home at 9:30 in the A-M, and if he doesn't know where he's going to be, there's no telling what he's apt to do. But he knows there isn't a sign out front that says "7-time Cy Young winner storage" because storing 7-time Cy Young winners ain't his fuckin business.

Dude just wants to pitch. He's still dominating. Yeah, he got fat and my dad hates him because he left the Sox, but just stop teasing all these G.M.'s dicks already. You've got Theo and Cashman positively creaming themselves, and the Rangers are drooling and wondering what it would be like to have someone other than Kevin Millwood as their ace. Plus I think Clemens could do a better job running protection from camera guys than Kenny Rogers did.

Mm, hickory smoked. It's the wood that makes it good. (Well, he is The Gambler.)

If all else fails, I guess, he could always go back to Houston and have his son take him yard again. Plus Oswalt's got that sweet tractor and ouzo for two-zoh. And what could be sweeter than a ride through the swamps of Texas with your favorite hillbilly number 2 pitcher?

Ch-Cha- Changes

In my decidedly unbusy afternoon and evening, I made some layout changes, with more forthcoming. If anyone has any suggestions or anything inciteful to say, let me know.

Brad Lidge gave up a grand slam in the 9th inning today, after starting the season 7-7 in save opportunities, and the first few articles I read about it all questioned his mental state since letting up a mammoth shot to Pujols last year in the NLCS. Dude is going to be fine, he blew one save out of eight. I know that's not what a closer is supposed to do and yada yada, but it happens. I don't think there's a closer in the league who won't blow a save this year. Lidge is a good pitcher who knows how to close games. Everyone has a bad night, unless you're in the White Sox Rotation, apparently.

Monday, April 24, 2006

From little league to Fantasy League

Ok, I'll be frank. I'm not a big baseball fan. Never have been. Probably never will be. When I was a kid, I played because that's what my parents had signed me up for after soccer season ended. Needless to say, I wasn't very good, but every once in a great while I would hit a ball that to this day has not yet fallen to earth. Unfortunately, it was the other 999 out of 1000 at bats that defined my youthful career. Couldn't hit a soft toss with a tenis racket folks.
Season after disappointing season though, my father would continuosly sign me up for little league just because his buddies coached and they needed more warm bodies. Once I was finally allowed to quit, I swore off baseball like a guy with a bad hangover swears off fat chicks. I was done with it untill one day I recived an instant message with a hyperlink.
My old buddy Dan "Danderson" Anderson and some other highschool cohorts needed another warm body. Being that there were no available fat chicks, I agreed to join their fantasy baseball league.
Having no idea what I was doing, or what had transpired in the MLB since 1994 other than a few brief facts about the Red Sox, I plunged into yahoo fantasy baseball with a reckless (red moronic) abandon. Listing my draft order preferances to all and any names that sounded vaguely familiar or baseball-ish. This included most of the Red Sox, plus Roger Clemens, some Yankees, Babe Ruth, Frank Thomas, Josh Becket, those two home run guys and Coco Crisp, who at the time merely had the coolest name in all of baseballdom.
Soon I was addicted, watching stats, rushing to catch a glimpse sports center, constantly checking my scores online and risind as high as second place in my league of eight! untill the all star break where I lost all interest. This year, I am back to square one. I know barely anythign about baseball with the exception of what I overhear from two meatheads in my Econ class.
So, as the manager of the prolific AHSFanball league "EnterTeamName" ers, I am making you all co-Underling managers in my quest to dominate those who actually know what they are doing!

Here is the lineup:

(Det - C)
@LAA 10:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(NYM - 1B)
@SF 10:15 pm -/- - - - - - -
(TB - 2B,3B)
-/- - - - - - -
(Fla - 3B,OF)
@ChC 7:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(LAD - 3B,SS)
@Hou 8:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(Sea - OF)
CWS 10:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(Col - OF)
@Phi 7:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(Hou - OF)
LAD 8:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(NYM - OF)
@SF 10:15 pm -/- - - - - - -
(NYY - 1B)
-/- - - - - - -
(NYY - SS)
-/- - - - - - -
(Bal - C)
-/- - - - - - -
(Cin - OF) DL
@Was 7:05 pm -/- - - - - - -
(Min - SP)
- - - - - - -
(CWS - SP)
@Sea 10:05 pm - - - - - - -
(Bal - RP)
- - - - - - -
(Atl - RP)
@Mil 8:05 pm - - - - - - -
(SD - SP)
Ari 10:05 pm - - - - - - -
(Atl - SP)
@Mil 8:05 pm - - - - - - -
(Min - SP,RP)
- - - - - - -
(NYY - SP)
- - - - - - -
(ChC - SP,RP) DL
Fla 7:05 pm - - - - - - -

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thome is taking up jogging, 360' at a time

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

I understand that the reason I keep hearing that Jim Thome is off to a hot start and will cool off is because I live in Philadelphia. The fans and media are bitter, I think, despite what they may say. Bitter that he didn't produce last year; bitter that he was injured and would have been an asset to the playoff push; mostly though, bitter that he is doing so well right now. In 2004 he hit a home run once every three games, on average. In 2005, he hit a HR once in about every eight games. His production was down, but he was fighting injury all year. Yeah he is getting on in his career, but he's still a great hitter capable of producing runs.

That said, It really annoys me when I hear that his hot bat to start the 2006 season is merely a fluke; a flash in the pan from an aging player (37 in August). 2005 was the first year since the '93 season he had less than 20 home runs and less than 50 RBI's. The guy is a hitter. He strikes out a lot, but he is still a capable player when he steps in the box.

The thing that is important to remember with all this is that he doesn't play the field anymore. His career has taken him from third to first, and now to the DH position with the White Sox. He won't have to deal with as much playing time, keeping the wear and tear on his body to a minimum. All Thome has to do is hit, something that he has been consistently good at for the majority of his career. Compound that with Konerko running protection behind him, he should have some good looks all year long. As long as he stays healthy this year, i.e. not sliding headfirst trying to get to second, he should return to form. Ozzie Guillen said he will use him as a spot position player to give Konerko a rest on occasion, but that shouldn't be too much on Thome.

I hope he hits 40 homers again this year. He is on pace to hit 81 at the moment. Though that is surely not happening, he already has more homers in 18 games this year than he did in 59 last season. Moral of the story, Philly fans need to shut up.

On another, more Philly-friendly note, Ryan Howard is a freak. As I watched Baseball Tonight this evening, I damn near forgot about Thome altogether when I saw the replay of Howard's 496-foot blast to center, over the enormous brick wall. Oh yeah, he homered again in the third. The dude has power, undoubtedly, and batting against righties he's going to be spectacular. Thome who?

"On a Mission!"

Don't mean to double-post, but I went to the Padres web-site while writing that previous post to check Piazza's stats this season and I noticed they had their marketting slogan at the top of their website

"On a Mission!"

These things are always comedy gold. I got curious and went around to all the other teams' websites to check out theirs, here's a list.

Colorado - "genRation"
San Francisco - "Your SF Giants"
Arizona - "A New Brand of Baseball" (The A is the Diamondbacks logo)
Los Angeles - "Think Blue"
Cincinatti - "The Power of Tradition"
Houston - "Believe the Buzz"
Philadelphia - "Red means Go"
New York(N) - "The Team. The Time."
Florida - "Get Hooked Up"
Tampa Bay - "We Come to Play"
Chicago (A) - "Win or Die Trying"
Minnesota - "Twins Territory"
Kansas City - "Your Team, Your Town"
Texas - "Every day is Game Day"
Oakland - "A different brand of baseball"

Haha, between Arizona and Oakland, we have both new and different brands of baseball. very bored.

Piazza, New York Catcher

I'm listening the first Mets game with Mike Piazza playing for the other team, and I think I've just learned what non-Mets fans learned years ago. The guy cannot throw at all. The Mets have stolen three bases off of him and none of the stealers are considerred to be "fast" players.

I first started following baseball in '97, a year before the Mets got Piazza. That was when he was in his prime. He had a few almost MVP years and helped the Mets get to the pennant series in 99 and the world series in 00, plus he was a catcher so for a while it was easy for him to be your favorite player. Never came through though and 5 sub-par seasons later, he's now failing to through out runners at second with a different team.

It's weird, I'm listening to the New York WFAN broadcast and the announcers are talking about Piazza like he's an AIDS patient or something. One of them said something along the likes of they're glad he found a team where he could play out the remaining years....of his career. If I was thirty-seven and people started talking about me that way, it would be an instant mid-life crisis.

But I'm not gonna waste time feeling sorry for Piazza. With the millions he's made over the years, he can retire whenever he feels like it and spend the rest of his life dating Playmates and telling people how not-gay he is.

That's all I got for now. I promise not to make too many Mets-centric posts. Everyone else here seems to be a Phillies or Red Sox fan so it's not cool to be from New York.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Angels dilemma

Angel Stadium sucks. The only nice thing I can say about it is that it doesn't have a corporate name right now. That'll change soon.

And what a weird fan base. Until the past five years, they really haven't had much of a history, and very few peopel in Orange County are longtime California natives, but the locals act as if they're the freaking Yankees West. Unbelievable.

That's all I feel like for now... but I'm excited to be on the team.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

National Lookalike Day honorary mention

To start with, I suppose we should honor National Lookalike Day with one that SportsCenter missed.

Does this mean I can go to Planet Hollywood and get a burger with Manny braids?

...alternate punchline: Now we know why Manny missed the beginning of spring training - he was waiting for his Predator mask to come in.

...second: Manny will now begin campaigning for Carl Weathers For Governator to complete the Predator gubinatorial trifecta.

It's Alive...

The blog lives! More coming soon...

Welcome to Insurance Runs.