Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sicnarf Loopstok

I was watching the first game of the Liberty-VCU series last Friday (Liberty won 5-4 thanks to home runs from Jonathan Embry and Tre Todd) and at one point play-by-play man Alan York started talking about great baseball names.

York eventually mentioned a Lynchburg Hillcats (Single A Cleveland Indians) player named Sicnarf Loopstok.

Sicnarf is a former name of the year recipient, and while that's fantastic it's also sad since apparently the last competition took place in 2014.

Anyway, back to Friday's broadcast, which included closed captioning for some reason. This is the text that came up on my screen during the Loopstok portion of the telecast:

Sicknar Flupsnop!

York pronounced it correctly, so missing the first name by a couple letters isn't too bad.


I can imagine a member of the Loopstok family tuning in for the first game of a mid-February, non-conference game between Liberty and VCU, hearing the name pronounced correctly by York.

"Isn't that nice, they mentioned Sicnarf."

[Sees the closed captioning]


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why was Corey Dickerson designated for assignment?

Was the question several of us were thinking when Tampa Bay made the move last Saturday.

The only reasonable explanation in getting rid of a guy who slashed .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs a year ago is money. Dickerson was set to make nearly $6 million in 2018 and the cash/decent stadium/good ideas/fans-strapped Rays wanted to save some of that money.

Tampa Bay then went out and traded for the Angels' C.J. Cron, who makes far less ($2.3 million) than Dickerson and could take some of the DH days that would've gone to Dickerson, for a player to be named later.

While the money issue seems to be the motivation for the moves, I've come up with a handful of other potential reasons.

1. If you have a chance to replace a Corey with a C.J. you do it.

"That just makes good baseball sense."

- rival GM

2. May 23, 2017.

Dickerson went 0-for-4 with two strike outs & also grounded into a double play in a loss to the Angels.

3. Rays Fan Fest 2016 looked sparsely attended. The club no doubt blamed Dickerson, and to a lesser extent, his son.

4. Because of June 10th.

Dickerson went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks for Colorado in a loss to Atlanta on June 10, 2014. After being traded to the Rays before the 2016 season, he went 0-for-8 with five strike outs in two June 10th games. Tampa Bay wasn't willing to take a chance on another June 10th.

5. In 298 games with Tampa Bay, Dickerson never once volunteered to pinch run.

6. He wasn't the original Dickerson.

That honor belongs to Buttercup Dickerson, who played from 1878-1885 for a number of teams in three leagues - the NL, Union Association & American Association. Buttercup led the NL in triples with 14 in 1879; Corey has 20 CAREER triples. Buttercup was born in Tyaskin, Maryland; Corey's never even heard of Tyaskin, Maryland. I could go on and on and on and on, and I will in my forthcoming book From Buttercup to Corey: A Complete History of Guys With The Last Name Dickerson.

Book cover:

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Segway Into The Segue

Recently, like most adults, I suffered an accident that you wouldn't expect to pop out of nowhere while you're closing in on 40. I'm not there yet. I have a couple of years. But I'm close enough to 40 to start buying that Just For Men anti-greying shampoo. I can't actually see any benefits from the shampoo yet as my wife only hoses me off on my back deck every Sunday after work. Time will only tell. As far as the accident goes, it turns out that Segway makes miniature Segways and sometimes Amazon sells them for $200. Frankly, we're all losing money if we don't buy one at that price.

I purchased mine and it was fully charged and ready to ride when I got home from work Lundi Gras afternoon. Lundi Gras is the day before Mardi Gras and is widely celebrated by service industry employees by drinking heavily since the season's end is nigh. I'm not sure if the instructional Segway video told me not to drink and drive because, well, they shouldn't make those tutorials so blurry. Off I went. It was going pretty well, I felt, until a poor design flaw in my house took issue with my literal progress.

Backtracking just a bit, I somehow managed to convince the wife that a giant, fancy, wooden ping pong table would double as a dazzling dining room table once I removed the net and purchased leather benches from a Rooms To Go outlet. And with a table cloth or plates, I might be right. Either way, a giant, wooden ping pong table exists in what would otherwise be a sweet indoor Segway training surface.

I'm a baseball blogger. I'm no Agatha Christie. You all know I wrecked my Segway into that ping pong table and flew off of it. If there was StatCast data, I'm assuming neither the launch angle nor velocity were that impressive. It was a ground ball toward first base that Albert Pujols could have fielded. The damage was done.

Then this happened.

That's right, I taped ice around my arm and I went out there and fought. Just like Macho Man taking on Hulk Hogan with a Staph infected elbow wrapped up for Wrestlemania V, I went out there. I battled people bumping into me. I took shots of Jameson with my injured elbow because that's my finisher, brother.

But then I went to a hospital and I totally broke my arm when I wrecked my Segway into a ping pong table inside my house.

How was your offseason? Probably not as good as the Angels. Unless you got to party with Jose Altuve and Kevin Goldstein. Better than the Marlins, I hope. Maybe you traded all of your clothes for similar clothes. That is called Dipoto-ing. Anyway, this is how Off Base is going to literally Segway into a segue for 2018 baseball. You're welcome.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tim Tebow Wants All The Babies

First, there was Tebowing. Then his football career ended abruptly because of the mystery ailment notagoodquarterbackitis. Then there was the announcing. Then came the jump into professional baseball at the age when most players are starting to see slight declines in their skillsets. But Tim Tebow doesn't care. He doesn't care if you or I think that he is too old to be getting into baseball now. He draws his inspiration from God and Dennis Quaid, not us peasants. He's always dreamed of playing professional baseball, and what better way for the Mets to continue their upward climb out of the Bernie Madoff hole that they dug themselves into by turning a profit on a 29 year old non-prospect with small-time celebrity appeal.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Josh Hamilton Avoids Suspension, John Carpino Avoids Good PR

Hi. My name is Josh, and I am an addict.

Hi, Josh.

This is a very real thing that is going to be said in the very near future for the Angels enigmatic and ridiculously overpaid and declining slugger, Josh Hamilton. And, it is a very real thing that became very very necessary with what has become his very public hearing regarding a cocaine relapse back in January. Angels' fans reactions on Twitter ranged from "Good. Baseball is not worried about the money he is owed ($83M), and is more concerned with Hamilton receiving the help that he needs" to "Great. The Angels can't dump this guy for anything now."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Phillies Willing to Spend $50 Million to Exile Ryan Howard


It came three years too late, but it seems as if some form of common sense has crept into the brain of Ruben Amaro Jr. As of an hour ago according to Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk, the Phillies are reportedly willing to eat up to and including $50 million of Ryan Howard's enormous (read, incredibly stupid) contract that runs through the end of next season. There is an option on his contract for the 2017 season, but let's not kid ourselves into believing that that will actually get picked up by, well, anyone. If the Phillies really do go ahead and swallow the $50 million remaining on Howard's deal, that leaves basically the $10 million buyout for 2017 for some team to give Howard before he walks away and disappears into the woods somewhere.

Monday, March 2, 2015

There Was a Baseball Game Yesterday. No, Really

There is still snow on the ground outside of my window, and numerous forecasts calling for temperatures so low that no person in their right mind would inhabit those areas. But, yesterday, spring got even closer with the first exhibition game involving a major league franchise in the year 2015. Well, it was a game that kind of involved a major league franchise.

The Phillies suited up for their first taste of live ball against a team that wasn't made up of blow up dolls borrowed from a Cole Hamels weekend bender, and the results were not kind to Ryne Sandberg's bunch. Going up against the University of Tampa, it was assumed that, even with a team made up of major league hopefuls and non roster spring training invites would have little to no problem defeating a team of amateur players in western Florida. That was, of course, before someone decided to swap out those players with what I am assuming are the rejected cast extras from Magic Mike 2.

The two teams played to a 2-2 tie heading into the seventh when shortstop Giovanny Alfonzo hit a grand slam to give the Spartans a commanding 6-2 lead that would hold up for the balance of the contest. When reached for a comment after the game, Phillies manager, Ryne Sandberg, responded with this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. None of the attending members of the press knew how to handle a stick figure Sandberg, so they all backed out slowly and ran to Lowry Park Zoo where they placed their heads in an alligators mouth. Presumably to save themselves from having to endure covering the Phillies in the 2015 season.

Congratulations, Philadelphia. These are your teams' fallback options in 2015. And it's not like many of the team's regular players are going to inspire that much more confidence, so, buckle up, because it is fifth place or bust in 2015. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bovada World Series Odds For the Potential Gambling Addict in You

Getting bored waiting for the baseball season to arrive? Sitting on a pile of one dollar bills after you cleaned house on Christmas morning? Then maybe it is time to alleviate that boredom (at least for a little while) by doing dropping some of that dough on who you think will win the 2015 World Series. Too soon, you say? It is never too soon to be frivolous with money, says I.