Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

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

I’ll Take the Snow

As spring training heats up in the warmer portions of the American south, the north continues to deal with winter and snow.  Meadows and fields that might soon host young ballplayers or maybe a backyard game of catch instead look like this:

Nope, wait a minute.  Wrong picture.  That’s Australia.  And that’s not snow, that’s spider webs.  Along with millions of spiders.  You know, come to think of it, maybe snow isn’t so bad after all.

-A

Kenny Rogers: Not Just a Dirty Left Hand

I love it when the old timers show up at spring training.  Decked out in jerseys that don’t fit and pants that would be better off… well, off (and hopefully replaced by something baggy), seeing them throwing BP and shagging flies always gets me to smile.

So when I heard Kenny Rogers was in Tigers camp I quickly browsed the internets for proof.  Though I was surprised to see Kenny has taken on the Prince Fielder diet (good grief, don’t ex-baseballers know about portion control???), I was pleased to see that he still has that gruff go-EFF-yerself demeanor.

Too bad I couldn’t find any recent pictures of his left hand.  The last time I saw it, it was pissing me off.

I even searched the YouTubes to see if said hand was still up to its dirty tricks and this is what I found:

Bummer.  Couldn’t get a good look.  Still, the Jack Daniels is a nice touch, especially for a spring training camp that includes Miguel Cabrera.

*BUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRN*

Hate me.  It’s all good.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Image courtesy of Brad Galli)

Tiger Spring!

RSBS Special Correspondent and Wikipiebenga Creator, Mark “Pie” Piebenga reports:

As soon as Victor Martinez went down, I thought, “well, season’s over.” [1] But then the Tigers won the Fielder sweepstakes (at a cost that boggles the mind: apparently Little Caesar’s is a pretty lucrative organization. Everybody reading this please buy a five dollar Hot N Ready so they can pay the Prince. And here is my obligatory admission that the back end of that contract is going to be a total nightmare). A season that looked suddenly suspect just as suddenly became the most exciting spring I can remember.

If they can keep healthy, and get production anywhere close to last year from Delmon Young, Alex Avila[2], and Brennan Boesch’s first half, and get consistent quality from Messrs. Verlander, Fister, Scherzer, and Porcello (not to mention the newly Dotel-ified bullpen), it augers Another Very Interesting Year To Be A Tigers Fan.

There are still some big question marks. It’s looking like a platoon of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago at second, which doesn’t do us a ton of favors at the plate. With the diminished defensive range and crInge worthy batting of the once-exceptional Brandon Inge,[3] the Miguel Cabrera return-to-third experiment will be interesting and hopefully not embarrassing. Danny Worth and Don Kelly[4] will probably spot start there as well. Finally, can Austin Jackson achieve leadoff effectiveness even approaching two years ago?

For the last seven years or so I’ve approached the start of the season with same kind of a nervous ambivalence. The most positive outlook I’ve had could be described as ‘cautious optimism,’ which I feel now. It’s a very strange feeling to see the Tigers as the projected favorite to win the A.L. Central (hell, until last year, we hadn’t done it since 1987. Didn’t even do it in ’84.) The Tigers have been good lately, but as a typically suspicious and superstitious fan, I’m always nervous. In ’06 they got in the playoffs as a wildcard. When they forced the 163rd game with the Twinkies in ’09, I never had the feeling that we were a legit contending team. Last year they didn’t really seem to have any implicit dominance until rifling off that twelve game winning streak in September. (My father and I credit ourselves for that, having seen live their last loss before the streak started at a blinding hot day game Sept 1st, when the Royals came to Detroit.)

Speaking of which, I am very nervous about the Kansas City Royals. They were rated the 11th best team in the league in the ESPN prospects power rankings (I don’t know if this is a remotely useful metric, but Buster Olney seems like a smart guy). At the game with my dad September First we were sitting along the third base line, and during a lull in the game Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was shooting the bull with the umpire and throwing the ball around. He was basically standing in the coache’s box, well behind third and in foul territory, and dude scooped up lazy grounder that came his way. Barely breaking eye-contact with the ump, he made a throw off his back foot that looked casual as hell, but judging by the angry snap of the leather Eric Hosmer’s glove at first, it could’ve been shot from a rifle. The lineup is getting spooky over there.

It’s foolish to make predictions about what’s going to happen, and we’re still forty four days till opening. Naturally when things don’t go your way for a couple of decades, you begin to doubt that anything good is going to happen. But the Tigs lately have provided all one can demand of any team, and that’s meaningful baseball in August and September. It will be really interesting to see what this team does in the face of injuries, statistical regression, and the rigors of the season.


[1] I can be a little dramatic.

[2] Verlander’s remarkable season was well documented. While he was hardly under the radar, I think a brief digression on Alex Avila is in order here. He had a .389 OBP (10th highest in baseball), an .895 OPS (8th in the AL), and hit .295. All while catching 133 games, and ranking top five among AL catchers in most defensive categories (e.g., tied for 1st with 40 runners caught stealing). And one of my least/most favorite things was the sheer number of times he got hit by deflections. I know catchers get hit all the time, but honestly I can’t remember seeing anything like his 2011 season behind the plate. (for example, check out sparks flying off his mask, and him getting hit in the neck.)

[3] He seems ever so far removed now from his ridiculous first half in 2009 that made him an All-Star (21 HR before the break!).

[4] Don Kelly fielded eight positions in 2011, everything except 2B. It’s well documented that I am transfixed by this guy, and his huge ALDS Game 5 dinger versus the Wankees made me so happy for him.

Gut Punched by a Halo

Albert Pujols is an Angel.

I understand he’s just going about his business, but I sorta feel like every time he opens his mouth or takes a swing with that halo on his head he’s deliberately punching me in the gut.

“Here.  Take that, mang.”

Ouch, Albert.  Ouch.

It’s one thing to get over an ex-lover, but it’s another thing to get over an ex-lover when SHE’S TOTALLY IN FRACKING LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE.  And when she goes around showing off her newfound bliss that DOESN’T INCLUDE YOU, it makes getting up in the morning pretty dang difficult!  Not even the toughest of tough guys can get rid of the awful, looping image of his ex-girlfriend having hot-love action with some other dude.  It’s just… sickening.

*SIGH*

At least I have a back-up plan.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

And Rod Barajas In the Role of Sugar Coating

Make sure you’re sitting down.  Take a deep breath.

Journeyman catcher Rod Barajas is “thrilled to reunite with (A.J.) Burnett on Bucs”.

THRILLED!

Funny, in the above linked article he never says he’s “thrilled” with anything, but then again, who on the Pittsburgh Pirates would be?

Can we just call the A.J. Burnett trade situation what it is: EMBARRASSING.

Embarrassing for the Yankees because they gave him all that cash.  Embarrassing for A.J. because he got all that cash only to become Brad Penny.  Embarrassing for the Pirates — THE LOWLY PIRATES — because they were the only ones desperate and baseball-stupid enough to take him on.

Considering the money the Yankees are eating on this deal, it really does look like the Pirates got a bargain, of course, until one realizes they now have A.J. Burnett on their team.  Coaches, teammates and clubhouse doors beware.

In the meantime, I’m sure Rod Barajas is enjoying his brief moment in the public eye, even if it is as a sugar coated red herring.  When ya play with the Pirates, ya gotta milk every second ya get.

Don’t hate me, ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Crack Kills and Other Stuff You Already Knew

Are you paying attention to all this, Josh Hamilton?

Whitney Houston’s death — while not a surprise — is a sad story indeed.  In fact, anytime a colossal talent such as hers is lost to the underworld translates into a melancholy tale; but her spotlighted career the last decade and a half has been more than that.  It’s been a messy train wreck in slow motion.  I’ve just been waiting for it to stop.

Now it’s stopped.  For good.

Addiction ain’t no joke.  And it cares not who it destroys.  You can be the best singer in the world or the most talented athlete on the diamond.  It doesn’t care.  It will consume you if you don’t get help.

I only hope that people are paying attention.

With that in mind, Mr. Krause made me hip to one of Whitney’s lesser-known interweb gems.  Here, take a look for yourself: *Vid Link*.  (For some reason, all embedding of this video — and ones like it — has been disabled)  Make sure you pay special attention to Monsieur Gainsbourg at the 58 second mark.

Call me crass, but that’s a Whitney moment to remember.  She was hot.  She had the best voice on the planet.  And the entire world was at her service.  Yet none of the above was enough to slay the dragon of addiction.

The damn thing breathes fire.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Stay On Target

The Super Bowl serves as an excellent signpost for the “we’re almost there” point of the MLB offseason.  Once the big game is over, I know it’s only a matter of days before pitchers and catchers report to spring training and some real baseball action presents itself.  This is a good thing, particularly this year, because I am running out of episodes of Glee (don’t judge) and Breaking Bad to watch, and the Bulls don’t play every single day.

I wish they did!

In fact, this year, the NBA has done a fine job of keeping my attention.  After a 10 year hiatus, all it took for me to care about the league again was a universal villain in the Miami Scheme Team paired with a plethora of explosive, young talent (Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, etc.).  It still doesn’t compare to the sensational grind of 162, but the kind of drama that creeps out of this modern NBA is as close to the old World Wrestling Federation as one can find in any legitimate league.

And, of course, there’s always this:

And this:

And this:

I know it’s Hydrox cookies in place of Oreos, but until the Oreo season gets started again, the Hyrdox highlights are taming my appetite for excitement.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

RSBS Digest: Badass

bat_catch.jpgI think that picture just about says it all.  Catch flying bat in one hand, gyroscopically protect beer in other.  There’s a pretty good chance he impregnated the woman in front of him during the process, too, because when you’re that badass, nothing can stop you.

You know what else is badass?  Tigers.  Sure, you can make all the jokes you want about the 2008 team that started off losing way too many games to the Royals or the 2003 team that lost 119 games.  The fact of the matter is, Tigers are badass.  You want proof?  How about a tiger killing a lion.  Yeah.  You don’t get much more badass than that.

Good journalism, though, means looking at both sides of an argument.  I have presented you with my understanding of badass but it’s hard to judge badassness unless you have seen its inverse as well.  You know, something that is not badass.  For instance, this:

Jeff & Allen 2.2009 019.jpgAnd with that I think we are all in agreement on what does and does not constitute badass.

Enjoy your weekend!

-A

Cubs Already Reach Midseason Form

cubs mike quade.jpg
It may still be spring training, but the sCrUBS are already movin’ along at their regular pace.  I was able to catch that feeling during Saturday’s spanking from the, er, lowly San Diego Padres.

Quade is the man for the job alright.

Any man who can sit through a butt-whoopin’ like that and not lose his cool definitely has what it takes to sit through another 80 or so butt-whoopins before the long, back-breaking season is over.

Hate me ‘cuz I point out the obvious, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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