Results tagged ‘ Pitching ’

The Filibuster

Matt Cain this week threw what some people are saying was the best “perfect game” ever.  Is it really possible to say that one perfect game is better than another and, if so, which one would you vote for?

Sal
Fresno, CA
___________________________________

Absolutism is relative.  I think.  No, I am sure it is.  Maybe.  I mean, this is the GREATEST BASEBALL-POLITICO BLOG OF ALL TIME, IS IT NOT!?!?!

I think so, but such a statement comes with the caveat that one would have a hard time quantifying it.  Why is it the best?  Because of Mr. Krause?  Because of Mr. Lung?  Because of the interns?

That’s just the very beginning of a long list of things that makes RSBS the G.O.A.T.

But can we quantify what exactly makes one perfecto better than another?  Not really.  But it’s fun trying.  For example, Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts tied the MLB record for strikeouts in a perfect game (Sandy Koufax, 1965), which clearly demonstrates superior command and dominance over the opposition.  Cain also threw 19 first pitch strikes and never got himself in a 2-0 count.  Meanwhile, his defense did some dazzling.  Both the 6th and 7th innings featured unbelievable catches in the outfield that, had they not been made, would have sunk the perfect game effort.  The last out, a hard ground ball to third base that put Joaquin Arias in a stutter step also provided one final gasping twist to the accomplishment.  All of the above, plus Cain’s eery zen mound presence throughout it all, provide plenty of quantification for it being the “best” perfect game ever.

Still, it’s relative.  And maybe we see it as the “best” right now because it’s fresh in our minds.

I recall Randy Johnson’s 2004 effort against the Braves as being one of the most dominate games I’ve ever seen too.  The Big Unit struck out 13 in that game and was throwin’ nasty stuff all the while.  David Cone didn’t see a 2-0 count in his 1999 perfecto against the late Expos, a game where he also had to sit out for a 33-minute rain delay, on Yogi Berra Day, with Don Larsen in the stands!

But, for me, the best perfect game I’ve ever seen came on a lazy Thursday afternoon in July 2009, when Mark Buehrle pitched himself into the record books, again.  What made that game so special, for me, was that I was watching it at work and by the 8th inning, I was watching it with the UPS man, the FedEx man and yes, even the mail man.  When Dewayne Wise made “the catch” we reveled in our mutual south sidedness and gave each other big, sweaty man-hugs.

That’s the sorta thing that only happens once in a lifetime, so I’ll be hanging my hat on the Buehrle perfecto for the forseeable future.  But that’s just me.

You can hate me for that.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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Ten Titillations!

April counts, yo!  And here are some reasons why, after just one month into the season, I’m as jazzed as Mitt Romney during a temple garment clearance sale!

The Oriole Way
I am old enough to remember the Orioles being a staple of sound, fundamental baseball.  And though those days seemed to disappear into Jeffrey Maier’s malicious mitt, it looks like they may be back!  Let’s hope they are back to stay.

The AL Central
The Tigers are going to run away with the division you say?  Not so fast.  I know it’s only been one month, but the White Sox and Indians are right there with ‘em, and unless the Tigers start putting a hurtin’ on the opposition instead of Jewish folks at a New York hotel, things could get interesting.

Bobby V
Love him or hate him, he makes things interesting.  And oh how interesting things have been for the Boston Red Sox.  I LOVE IT!!!  The NBA may have all the drama, but when every day could be your last as a Red Sox, I start craving chicken, beer and video games.

The Not-So-Natinals
Best starting rotation in baseball.  Bryce Harper.  Strasburgers.  Um, throw in a presidential race worth watching and I’m ready for Mr. Krause to buy season tickets.

The Pujols-less Cardinals
I’m not gonna bask in AP’s struggles, but I am gonna point out that the Cardinals have yet to lose a series (except that one against the Cubs where they were gifted a win by the umpiring crew).  Onwards and upwards!

The AL West
Have you seen a Rangers game lately?  I’ve been watching them almost every day!  THAT’S how ya git’er done, folks.  Meanwhile, the Halos are as nervous as Rick Santorum at a Santorum Party!  As the Yankees and Red Sox learned before them, a bazillion dollars worth of free agent signings does NOT a champion make.

The Toronto Blue Jays
Not only do their uniforms look right again, but they’re also making the AL East insanely good!  If only they could make Colby Rasmus less whiny.

The Youth Movement
I remember the excitement involved with Ken Griffey Jr. breaking into the league.  Chipper Jones too.  Now that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout have made their debuts, a similar buzz is in the baseball air.  Throw in a slew of sophomores and third year players making headlines and baseball looks to be badass for a very long time.

Pitching!!!
The Year of the Pitcher enters its THIRD year and I couldn’t be more excited!  As a self-confessed pitchers duel fiend, I live off serious heat, nasty breaking balls and backdoor sliders.  We’ve already seen a perfect game and some no-hitter flirtations.  But it’s the heroics of Joe Saunders, Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis and the like that really get my gears greased.

And finally… the most titillating of them all so far…

ADAM. FREAKING. DUNN.
As a longtime resident of the south side of Chicago, the last thing I wanted to do was waste my summer days talking folks down off the ledge like I did last year.  But since it appears Dunn sold his 2011 soul to Albert Pujols, I’m free to party my ass off at the fake B-Dubbs on 35th & Halsted.  HOLLA!!!  And buy me a drink!

Go ahead, hate me ‘cuz I’m easily titillated, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!

Peace,

Jeff

An Evening with Yu

It may not have been Strasmas, but according to the lunar calendar (and millions of Japanese people) April 9th proved to be an equally auspicious day, no matter what, because it was the very first Major League appearance by the highly touted (and valiantly unashamed to be naked) Yu Darvish.

Like you would expect, I made an evening of it.  Here’s a play-by-play:

4:30 p.m.
Still at work.  I have looked at the clock every minute for the last thirty minutes, and will continue to do so for thirty more.  I finish up the last of my TPS reports, turn them in to my boss and shriek when he yells “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS???”

5:30 p.m.
At the gym.  Working on my… nah, who am I kidding, every time I look at a hot chick working out next to me she has Yu Darvish’s face, which I find as distracting as I do disgusting.  Going home now.

6:30 p.m.
Dinner (sushi, of course) has been eaten.  Feet are up.  Beer is in hand.  Let’s DO THIS!  *Belch*

7:05 p.m.
FSSW misses Darvish’s first pitch.  Nice work, dingleberries.  The biggest pitch of the year so far and you miss it.  They come back from commercial break and the count is already 1-0 to Chone Figgins.  AGGGHH!!!  Then Darvish quickly walks him.  Um… this is not how it’s supposed to go, guys.

7:09 p.m
After striking out Ackley on a NAAASTY breaking ball, Ichiro steps in.  Japan loses its mind.  Then Ichiro singles on a blooper to left and, already, I’m realizing Yu ain’t Strasburg (yet).

7:16 p.m.
Now Justin Smoak is on first, bases are loaded with one out for Kyle Seager.  Bases loaded?  I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR NO BASES LOADED!!!

7:18 p.m.
Two-run gapper to right and now I’m pissed.  I could have been out on a date tonight!  With a real, live woman!  And I passed it up for this crap???!!!  WTF are YU DOING!?!?!

7:23 p.m.
Darvish makes Miguel Olivo look like Johnny Bench and I’m bored.  More Daisuke, less Nomo.  Not even close to Strasburg.  He doesn’t even have a weird hitch in his delivery like all the Japanese greats do!

7:25 p.m.
He just walked in a run.  It’s 4-0.  EFF THIS.

Seriously, I know this is a small sample size, but I ain’t impressed and I’m changing the channel… to watch Freese and Holliday and Molina (they all homer)… CHAMPIONS.

Hate me.  I understand.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***

Once the game was over, it was evident he battled back and settled down.  The offense helped him out and he recovered well, and even fooled some hitters.  But the hoopla was a bit much for me for him not to deliver with jazz hands.  Or maybe I’ve just been spoiled by so much great pitching the last couple years that I expect greatness every game.  Either way, I’ll check in again next time.  I just ain’t makin’ a night of it.

Absence of Ozzie Not Enough to Shut Sox Mouth

Jake Peavy sure has a loose yapper.  In fact, it might be even more loose than his formerly detached latissimus dorsi, just one of the myriad things that have led to his supreme suckage in a White Sox uniform.

Sports Illustrated recently predicted the White Sox would lose 95 games in 2012.  I don’t see that prediction as overly hyperbolic.  The Sox were awful last year, and they haven’t done much to improve.  In fact, after dealing Santos to the Blue Jays, I’d even say the 2012 team, on paper, IS WORSE than 2011’s.

Still, Peavy and his Curt Schilling-like tongue is quick to point out that such an observation is off:

“That ain’t going to happen. I can promise you that. This team has too much pride. We are going to compete. That’s all there is to it.” (link)

Whatever you say, Jake.  Whatever you say.

If Peavy is correct (he’s not) and “pride” is all it takes to win ballgames, then why don’t teams just ditch everyone they have to sign 25 George Takeis and just get it over with?

Peavy is now a shell of what he once was.  He doesn’t have the velocity and he doesn’t have the mental toughness to PITCH his way out of mistakes.  He lets his emotions dictate performance.  And he is constantly whining and bitching and talking crazy to the press.

He has done nothing in Chicago but play bad baseball and run his mouth.  Sox fans can only hope he does well enough to get traded by July.

Hate me ‘cuz I compared Peavy’s mouth to Schilling’s, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and long-time supporter of the Green Party, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

Chess is life.

I love pitching rivalries, matchups within divisions and the occasional interleague throwdown. That’s a giant piece of cake for me!!!

What pairing will be this year’s best? Let’s examine the possibilities, with Bobby Fischer setting the stage…

“I play honestly and I play to win. If I lose, I take my medicine.”

Yu Darvish/King Felix!

“I like the moment when I break a man’s ego.”

Stephen Strasburg/Josh Johnson!

“Chess is war over the board. The object is to break your opponents mind.”

Jon Lester/C.C. Sabathia!

“Chess is a matter of delicate judgement. When when to punch and how to duck.”

Johnny Cueto???  Hmmm… Matt Garza??

PROBABLY NOT.

My personal favorite pairing of all time — the one that really captivated me — is, of course, Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky. Sometimes Bobby battled himself even! (Fast Eddy Felson and Minnesota Fats come in a close second).

I’M A DORK.

Baseball can’t start soon enough.

–Johanna Mahmud
Follow Johanna on Twitter!

The Houston LIVANstros

It’s too bad Jimmy Crane thought better of renaming his baseball club, because with the recent Livan Hernandez signing, who wouldn’t wanna go check out the Houston LIVANstros?!?

I would.

In fact, I have to admit: I love Livan Hernandez.

He’s a horse.  A nice guy.  And without him, there is no Eric Gregg wide-strike zone comedy of errors.

Also, of all the baseball scorecards I have collected over the years, four of them are games he started.  He’s the most represented non-Cardinal in my pile and for each game I saw him pitch, he appeared in a different uniform.

Viva los LIVANstros!

No me odies, porque estoy en lo cierto.

Paz,

Jeff

The Rules: Yu Darvish Pun Edition

With the Japaranian sensation Yu Darvish making his Big League career official by signing with the Texas Rangers, I thought it appropriate to lay down some ground rules for the inevitable onslaught of awful puns that are certain to tattoo newspapers and interwebs around the world.

*Note: All italicized examples come from Lone Star Ball’s Yu! Darvish Pun Sweepstakes, and commenter credit appears parenthetically.

Number One:

Yu can’t Yuse Yu as in “You” unless Yu’re clever about it.  The proceeding sentence may or may not constitute “cleverness”.  But I can assure Yu old, crotchety sports columnists (ahem, Phil Rogers) are going to think they’re so cool by substituting “Yu” for “You” and slapping it on a headline.  It’s like pornography, Yu know it when Yu see it (rooster).

Number Two:

Flip the script.  Surprise us with just how clever Yu can be.  Don’t settle for the easy route.  Dravish highlights are ridiculous.  Yu should YuTube them (Gay for Feliz).

Number Three:

The most important rule when Yutilizing Yu puns… MAKE US LAUGH.  Even if Yu have to pull a Hollywood and recycle old gags, just make sure they work.

So, Who’s on first, What’s on second and I don’t know’s on third – I get that.

And the pitcher is . . .?
Yu.
Me?
No, Yu.
That’s what I said, Me!
No Me is catching.
Proper grammar is I am catching.
No I’s the manager, the catcher is me, and the pitcher is Yu!
I can’t pitch!
Exactly, and Yu will pitch to me. Now you’ve got it.
Arrrrgh!!

(Evil Monkey)

Yu can hate me all Yu want, Yu just can’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right in the Yuniverse.

Peace,

Jeff

Sell Me Some Access

There was a bidding war for my services once.

Okay, technically it was more of a catfight than a bidding war, but I guarantee you it was fierce.  I was in college at the time, and I somehow duped two girls into believing I was A-list boyfriend material.  A gnarly girlpocalypse ensued.

It was awesome.

Then there was also the time in middle school where, for a small fee of one US American dollar, I would open up my father’s Playboy collection for viewing, all in the name of health and sex education, of course.

But I’ve never been Yu Darvish-ed before.  I mean, I’ve never had a bunch of folks throwing MAD MONEY at me just for the opportunity to negotiate a contract.  I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, but Nolan Ryan has never gone all in on my ass…ets.  My assets.  That’s what I meant to say.

Personally, I cannot WAIT to see Yu Darvish in action.  I’ve been salivating at his proposed Major League entry since the ’09 WBC and now it looks like I may finally get my wish.  Picture a 2012 season with an Adam Wainwright, a Stephen Strasburg AND a Yu Darvish!?!?!?  Somebody douse me with Gatorade!

Meanwhile, if Yu’s people are any good, then they got their Newt Gingrich on before teams put in their final bids.  You know it, I know it and the American people know it: no one sells access like the Grand Old Party.


Oh the Dems do it too.

Ron Paul.  That is all.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Joe Girardi and Afghanistan: A Comparison

One of the best cures for just about anything (except probably dysentery) is vacation.  Getting away from everything, giving yourself a chance to clear the cobwebs from the mind, often helps put it all into perspective.  For instance, Joe Girardi started his vacation a little earlier than expected this season and has already come to the realization that he needs better starting pitching.  Granted, pretty much any baseball fan could have told him that but sometimes you need a little time away to fully comprehend the obvious.

Maybe that’s the problem with Afghanistan and Pakistan:

They’re pretty limited on the number of countries they can visit without a visa and that definitely complicates things.  Getting a visa is a big hassle so people just leave it be.  When you do that indefinitely, though, it also limits your vacation options and next thing you know, Taliban.

There is another option, though.  It ain’t cheap but it’s a do-it-yourself vacation that only requires a couple trees:

Yep, I think that’s exactly what the Afghans and the Pakistanis need.  Come to think of it, Joe Girardi might need one, too, especially if he doesn’t find those pitchers.

-A

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 26: Willow, R2D2 and Other Famous Midgets

Click ME to Listen!!!

And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

“KEITH, GET A BUCKET!”

After Jeff and Allen dragged Johanna’s almost lifeless body out of the Lollapalooza bullpen, the RSBS crew sat down to smack down on all-things baseball.  Joined midway by special guest, Tim Baffoe of The Heckler and AM 670 The Score, everybody gets in on the roller coaster that is Chicago baseball, Tony LaRussa versus the World, Derek Jeter’s legacy and a hypothetical question involving the conflicting theologies of Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton.

This is some shizz ya ain’t gonna wanna miss!

And make sure to follow Tim Baffoe (aka the Ten Foot Midget) on Twitter.  Dude’s got a lock on sports satire!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter and check out his sweet Undercast.  And, also, if you haven’t already, check out the teaser to his film-in-progress and don’t be afraid to help a brotha out!

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Recorded Saturday, August 6, 2011

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