Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mark Reynolds' Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

My old friend Mark Reynolds somehow managed to go over a month (6/26) without striking out 4 times in one game. He has managed to skyrocket his batting average from .209 to .217 since then though. This is Reynolds' 4th Sombrero since this birth of this blog and actually only the 4th of the season. Thanks for saving them all for me Mark. Reynolds went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts so it's time to celebrate.

Any time Reynolds gets a Sombrero, I have a little tradition around here. I bring out my donkey wearing a sombrero and we get drunk on cheap tequila. Then we either fist fight in the backyard or go try to pick up some broads. He's quite the ladies donkey.

But before we get to that, let's take a look at Mark's trips to the plate...

Top 2nd: Reynolds struck out swinging against Hisanori Takahashi. He took 2 balls before swinging at the next 3 pitches because that's how Mark Reynolds rolls.

Top 4th: Reynolds struck out swinging against Hisanori Takahashi. He took 2 balls before swinging at the next 3 pitches because that's how Mark Reynolds rolls. That was not a typo.

Top 6th: Reynolds struck out swinging against Takahashi. This is what I have dubbed the MTD Hat Trick. That's when a player strikes out 3 times, the same way, against the same pitcher. It seems to be less rare than I had originally assumed.

Top 7th: Reynolds struck out looking against Bobby Parnell. Looking, eh? I guess there's nothing wrong with diversifying.

I can't tell you how disappointed I was that he didn't get another plate appearance.

Trade Deadline Movers And Shakers

Today's trade deadline has come and gone and was a little uneventful. Most of the major deals were made prior to Saturday. No surprises, no insane rumors. None of my wild and careless trade ideas came to fruition. I will say that with Twitter and the MLB Network, it was a lot of fun to follow but I'm starting to realize how much of a nerd I am. Let's take a look at who did the best moving and shaking this trade deadline season...

1. Texas Rangers
Kind of funny how the one bankrupt team in the MLB was the most active and added the second most payroll during trade season, huh? I know this is Bud Selig's doing. There's a conspiracy theory here somewhere. I'll figure it out after my third drink.

The Rangers started the real trade season by dealing for Bengie Molina on July 1st. Of course, the big winner in that trade was the Giants and not for what they got in return. By finally moving Molina, blog favorite Buster Posey was unleashed on National League pitching. Then the Rangers made their real move by trading for Cliff Lee. The Rangers did have to build their package around their top prospect Justin Smoak. But at least Texas will get two draft picks for Lee when signs with the Yankees in the offseason.

Recently the Rangers traded for Jorge Cantu and Cristian Guzman in separate deals. Cantu adds depth and Guzman is just a stopgap for an injured Ian Kinsler. Otherwise these deals have no consequence on the playoff race or playoffs. Unless they have a scientist to mash Chris Davis and Jorge Cantu into one platoon-free player.

2. Orange County Angels
Yeah, I stole that name from Rob Neyer, what of it? Is this a biased pick on my part? Maybe a little. The Angels did acquire the second best player available before the deadline. The Angels came out of nowhere to deal for Dan Haren and all they had to surrender was Joe Saunders and 3 prospects. If Tyler Skaggs is the PTBNL, he's the only prospect in the top 100. The Angels also swung a deal for Alberto Callaspo whose best skill is he isn't Brandon Wood.

While the Angels are still long shots to catch Texas, they will have Dan Haren under control for the next few seasons under a below market contract.

3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phils acquired the third biggest name to be had. The addition of Roy Oswalt gives the Phils a dangerous 1-2-3 pitching rotation. It also also gives them the Roy-iest rotation in the league and I appreciate the little things. Like the Haren deal, the Phillies traded a back end rotation guy in J.A. Happ and a couple of not-Domonic Brown prospects. Also like the Haren deal, the Phils will have Oswalt for the next couple of seasons. Unlike the Haren deal, this might actually help the Phillies catch the Braves.

4. New York Yankees
I'm not saying that playing for the Yankees will turn their over-the-hill careers around but going the best team in baseball might give Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood a little boost. In trading for Berkman, Wood and Austin Kearns, the Yankees severely upgrade their depth. Kearns gets you a platoon for Granderson because, shhh!, Curtis Granderson is a platoon player. And the Yanks grabbed Wood and Berkman because, well, they could. If this was 2002, the Yankees would win the rest of their games all the way through the World Series.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers
I didn't think the Dodgers could spend any money either but here we are. The Dodgers traded for Scott Podsednik, Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot and Octavio Dotel in three seperate deals. By my count, all they gave up was Blake DeWitt but I'll admit I don't know their farm system that well. Lilly is, I suppose, the only real difference maker of the bunch.

Other Winners:

Padres picked up Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick.

The Nats got one of the best catching prospects, Wilson Ramos, for Matt Capps. I think I have a crush on the Nats.

The Diamondbacks got a younger, cheaper version of Edwin Jackson in Dan Hudson for Edwin Jackson.

The Blue Jays bought low on Yunel Escobar by selling high on Alex Gonzalez.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Ken Phelps

Tigers 6, Redsox 5. Jhonny Peralta is OPSing 3.050 with Detroit, making him insanely more valuable than the Jhonny Peralta Cleveland traded. True, he put that stat line up after just one game, but Peralta did hit two home runs in his Tigers' debut. Before putting together today's Jobu, I strolled through a few message boards and one poster said David Ortiz's grand slam in the bottom of the ninth that cut the lead to 1 and sent the tying run to the plate was meaningless. He's right: a guy hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth that brings the tying run to the plate is the definition of meaningless. That's OK, I'm pretty sure that poster was a Cubs fan through September, 2004. Danny Worth: 0-2 in stolen base attempts.

Braves 6, Reds 4 (10)
. Outfielder Brent Clevlen: sent to minors.

Whitesox 6, Athletics 1. Lucas Harrell just wins baseball games. The right-hander allowed an earned run in six innings to win his big league debut and Chicago just keeps on dominating at home (12 straight and 19 of its last 20 at US Cellular). Gordon Beckham (2 hits, 2 RBIs Friday) has had a good July, hitting safely in all but five games this month, and has put 39 points on his batting average. Meanwhile, his OPS is up 100 points to .663 and safely past Balboni territory.

Rockies 17, Cubs 2. A new low for the Chicago Cubs! This is their 11th new low of the season, passing the 2000 Pirates for 23rd-most new lows in a season in the modern era. Colorado had a 5-2 lead and was down to its last strike in the eighth inning when Sean Marshall and Andrew Cashner happened. MTD already handled those two losers in the SOTN, but it's worth mentioning again: the pair allowed 11 runs on 40 pitches. That's a run every 3.6 pitches.

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

Shot of the night is back after a quick stint in rehab. It totally thinks it can quit whenever it wants now. Sorry for the shaky week gang, we should be back to normal by Monday. Tonight's shot of the night is a Big Apple: 2 oz vodka, fill with apple juice, 1 tsp green creme de menthe and it's in honor of David Wright.

David Wright had a down season last year but has already passed his WAR from last season (3.7-3.4) and seems to be back on his young Hall of Fame path. Wright went 3-4 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI, albeit in a losing effort against the D-Backs. If he needs to do some finger pointing, it should be directed at Raul Valdes who managed to go 0 innings while serving up 4 runs on 4 hits. That's right Raul, your ERA for the evening was 7∞. *sigh, 7 infinity looked so much better in my head than in HTML*

Dishonorable Mention: Andrew Cashner
Cashner was unimpressed by Raul Valdes' stat line. Cashner tossed his own 0 inning gem giving up 6 runs on 6 hits. He was then thoroughly mocked by his fellow Cub reliever Sean Marshall who gave up 5 runs on 5 hits but at least recorded 2 outs. When reached for comment/awoken from his nap, Lou Piniella said, "No, I really can't tell the difference between Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper."

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wild And Careless Trade Speculation

In full disclosure, I have no inside information or contacts. Unless you count the left field security guard at Turner Field. Even then, Rodney can really only tell me what the bat boy schedule looks like. Since we're a general baseball blog, I also don't know your team's specific needs and minor league system as well as you do. But let's do some wild and careless trade speculation anyway.

Adam Dunn
The slugger finally gets dealt from the Nats to the White Sox for Edwin Jackson. I know this one isn't exactly wild or careless but I promise they're coming. I don't like Edwin as much as the Nats do but then again neither does anyone else but his parents. Dunn loves Washington for some reason and could be brought back in the offseason.

Cody Ross
While not available, he gets dealt to the Braves for a prospect package built around one of the Braves top 10 pitching prospect. I don't understand why teams are fawning over Ross and his 94 OPS+ but I guess he can play all 3 outfield spots. The Braves could use another outfielder after sending Nate McLouth to AAA for being as terrible as we all expected.

Carlos Zambrano
The Cubs trade their clinically insane former ace to the South Side where Kenny Williams doesn't mind bringing on bad contracts of formerly good pitchers. Zambrano is so bad though, the Cubs will still eat a good bit of the contract and receive only a broken pitching machine and a tarp that has several gaping holes in it.

Scott Downs
This one has also been rumored but seems wild. Toronto deals Downs to the Yankees for Joba Chamberlain. The Yanks would basically be replacing Joba's role with Downs. Toronto would be buying low again with Joba and maybe they could give him another turn at starting. They couldn't screw him up any worse than the Yankees did.

Mike Lowell
The Red Sox finally deal the oft-injured hitter to my backyard Wiffle Ball team. We were short on power and were convinced he could still play third. We end up being wrong and regret sending the 80 buffalo wings and gallon of daquiris to Boston.

Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui
The Angels send the pair to the Yankees for old time's sake. After the Yanks acquired Lance Berman, they decide to go get all of the remaining old players who can't play the outfield anymore. In exchange, the Angels receive a ball signed by Mickey Mantle and George Costanza.

Prince Fielder
The Brewers trade the massive slugger to the Angels for all of their minor league pitchers who weren't drafted over the past two years. The Angels swoop in out of nowhere again and pay the big fella arbitration next season while he DH's and Morales comes back to play first base. The Angels forgo signing Fielder to an extension after he rediscovers his love of meat and leaves a wake of destruction at every In-N-Out Burger in Southern California.

Wilson Betemit, Andy Marte
Are not only traded for each other but are then immediately traded back for each other. Derwood writes 2,000 words about it.

Ted Lilly
Despite being bankrupt and not allowed to add any payroll, the Rangers swing yet another deal to add Lilly to their rotation. Then sign him to a massive extension. I never know what they're doing down there.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Walt Weiss

Yankees 11, Indians 4. I know Cleveland smells like someone threw up in a sweaty tube sock, but six innings of one-run ball from Dustin Moseley against anyone is a plus for NY. Texieira/Granderson haters beware: Tex walked three times Thursday and now leads the AL in walks and his OBP is up to .375, and Granderson (2-for-4, 2 RBI) has 13 hits in his last 32 at bats (.406).

Marlins 5, Giants 0. Anibal Sanchez did a number of things Thursday. The right-hander held the Giants to one single in a 114-pitch shutout, and halted blog favorite Buster Posey's hitting streak at 21 games, one shy of Willie McCovey's SF rookie record. But Sanchez also extended his record for career wins by an Anibal to 26.

Mets 4, Cardinals 0. Sorry, I'm still adjusting to a world where R.A. Dickey doesn't allow a run to the Cardinals in 8 1/3 innings. The Mutters are hanging around in the NL East, 6 1/2 back in third, despite the fact that the Braves could be the best team in the league and the Phillies have won eight consecutive games and just added Roy Oswalt. In a segment with our friends at, MTD drunkenly predicted the Mets would finish six games out, but even that pick is looking Irabu right now. He also predicted Chuck Finley would make a come back and pitch the Angels into the 2010 post-season, so Mets fans can probably start getting in line for playoff tickets.

Whitesox 9, Mariners 5
. I'm also uncomfortable being a part of a society that allows Freddy Garcia to be 10-4 in 2010 and Ramon Castro (2 HR Thursday) to have a 1.021 OPS in 63 plate appearances and just sits there, doing nothing about it.

Showalter Expected to be Next Fired Orioles Manager

The Baltimore Orioles announced the hiring of Buck Showalter as their new manager Thursday, meaning we can begin the countdown to his firing. Let's set it at 750 days.

Showalter is certainly known for turning clubs around. He helped build the Yankees to what they are today, and for that I thank him. After guiding the Yanks to their first post-season appearance in 15 years in 1995, Showalter moved on to manage the expansion Diamondbacks. During Arizona's first season, Showalter once walked Barry Bonds intentionally with the bases loaded, which is one of the stupidest decisions in the history of organized sport. In 1999, the franchise's second season, William Nathaniel won 100 games and a division title, but perhaps because of the Bonds' decision, or because AZ was afraid he would do it again, Showalter was let go following the 2000 campaign. After taking two years off to recommit himself to the bleach-blonde-hair lifestyle, Showalter took over in Texas, where the Rangers had finished in last place the previous three seasons. They finished last in Nathaniel's first season as well (Orioles parallel!), but Showalter finished third in each of his final three seasons in Arlington. If he can do that in Baltimore, they'll make him mayor.

The Orioles are on their third manager of the year after Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel combined to go 32-70. Showalter is expected to get win No. 33 sometime this season.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Rich Aude. He's here because he wants to make a comeback with the Pirates.

Curveballs for Jobu thought ii was working the dinner shift tonight so I had to have a little talk with it. I'm still at the helm while Derwood is deep undercover trying to find A-Rod's power.

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 1. Roy Halladay is really good. I'm not sure if you've noticed that but he is. Halladay threw another complete game and only gave up 1 run while striking out 9. In the year of terrible relief pitching, guys like Halladay and Cliff Lee are so much more valuable. Mega prospect Dom Brown debuted last night for the Phils and went 2-3. He smoked a double off the wall in his first major league at bat.

Pirates 6, Rockies 2. The Pirates won using the opposite-of-Halladay method, using 7 pitchers to complete their 10-hit, 2-run masterpiece. Garrett Jones showed up to play real baseball and went 4-4 with 2 home runs.

A's 3, Rangers 1. Trevor Cahill must have gotten my email and shut down the Rangers for 8 innings. My beloved Halos are only 8.5 back now. Plenty of time. Plenty of delusional time. Colby Lewis continues to pitch well throwing 7 innings of 5-hit, 1-run ball while striking out 8.

I hate to cut it short on you kids but I'm headed to the Zephyrs (missed Logan Morrison by a few days) game tonight and need to get the pre-game started.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

He's Coming... Domonic Brown Edition

The number one prospect in the minors was called up by the Phillies today after Shane Victorino hit the disabled list. Dom Brown will make his major league debut in right field for the Phils tonight. Brown was selected in the 20th round in 2006 due to either his move from Florida to Atlanta or his commitment to attend the University of Miami where he would also play wide receiver. But that would be the Phillies gain as the 22-year-old moved quickly through their system. Between AA and AAA this year, Bron has 20 home runs and a .327/.391/.589 slash line.

As much as prospects debuting in the bigs excites me, this graduation is even more special for me. Brown's move the the majors means there is a new top prospect in the minors. Any guesses? Should be obvious. Keith Law tweeted today that Mike Trout will be taking over those honors. Mike Trout is already my favorite player in the history of baseball but, um, no pressure kid.

UPDATE: In Brown's first at bat he hit an RBI double off of the wall.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Jim Vatcher. He's here to remind you that the Braves traded Dale Murphy.

Curveballs for Jobu thought about playing hooky today but I caught it smoking cigarettes behind a dumpster and made it come in to work. I'm at the helm today because Derwood doesn't have the Internet. He moved into a neighborhood that AT&T only offers dial-up. Which, I assume, means he moved to some jungle community in South America.

Rangers 3, A's 1. Cliff Lee threw another 9 inning, no decision game for the second time in three starts. He struck out 13 while shockingly not walking a batter. His strikeout to walk ratio is now a silly 16.29. Nelson Cruz hit a walk-off 2-run home run in the 10th to improve my fantasy team's playoff hopes while dashing the Angels' playoff hopes.

Twins 11, Royals 2. Blog enemy Carl Pavano just keeps on winning. He went 5 innings but he only surrendered 1 one and ran his record to 13-6 and is tied for the AL lead in wins. I may have to get Derwood sedated when Pavano receives CY Young votes this year. Bruce Chen only need 113 pitches to give up 11 hits, 6 runs and 3 walks in one of his more impressive outings. Wilson Betemit: 1-4.

Nationals 3, Braves 0. Stephen Strasburg was scratched before the game but I'm pretty sure he still struck out 5. Miguel Batista is apparently still playing pro ball and got the start in Strasburg's place. He combined with Sean Burnett, Drew Storen and Matt Capps to blank the Braves.

Mets 8, Cardinals 2. Adam Wainwright got lit up to the tune of 6 runs over 5 innings and his ERA ballooned to 2.23. Jeff Francoeur homered and only saw 9 pitches in his 4 plate appearances. Francoeur was in a hurry because he was trying to get home in time for the new episode of Louie. Can't say I blame him either.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Sky Is Falling: Strasburg Edition

There is panic in the streets of Washington tonight. Mass hysteria of epic proportions. I'm actually writing this from under my school desk after I duct taped sheets of plastic to all of my windows. Stephen Strasburg was scratched from his start tonight against the Braves. Prior to the game, Strasburg had trouble getting loose. He didn't feel any pain but that was enough for GM Mike Rizzo to pull the plug on Strasburg's 10th start...
"I pulled the plug on it," Rizzo said. "Precautionary move. Erring on the side of caution, I just didn't want him to go out there when he was struggling to get loose in the bullpen pregame."


"He did understand," Rizzo said. "Those are the decisions I get paid to make. We're going to err on the side of caution. I'll make the decisions and take the heat for it. He's a very competitive person. The decision was made by me, and he's fine."
Strasburg will have X-Rays and MRIs and possibly the scientists who invented him take a look at the pitching phenom.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Kirt Manwaring

Rays 5, Tigers 0. Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in Tampa history. That's great. I'm sure non-Yankees fans unlike myself are very happy for him. He still has the most disgusting, whitest spit of any pitcher in baseball, and that was not intended to be a racist comment towards people who spit.

Brewers 3, Reds 2. I never thought I'd be saying this again in 2010, but Milwaukee is playing good baseball. 62-year old Jim Edmonds hit a pinch-hit home run with two outs in the eighth to lift the Crew to their fifth consecutive win. Milwaukee moved to within eight games of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central, or what I like to call The Division The Pirates Are In.

Twins 19, Royals 1. Remember when everyone felt bad for Zach Greinke because the poor, little guy wasn't getting any run support? Well those days have passed us by like the mashed potatoes I found in my refrigerator when I moved out of my apartment this past weekend. Greinke still didn't get any run support Monday, but he didn't need any. The right-hander was Simply Irabuian, allowing eight earned runs in four innings, which is the fourth time in his last ten starts he's surrendered four or more runs. Greinke in three starts against Minnesota in 2010: 14 IP, 16 ER. Oh, Kanekoa Texeira (1 2/3 IP, 5 ER), Victor Marte (1/3 IP, 4 ER) and Dusty Hughes (2 IP, 2 ER) also stunk.

Marlins 4, Giants 3. Eli Whiteside: DNP

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

Shot of the night is late to work again because someone was up too late playing vodka-pong. New Orleans is not a good place to hang out if you already like the drink a little. The shot of the night is obviously a No Hitter: 1 oz Jagermeister® herbal liqueur, 2-3 oz Stolichnaya® vodka, 1 can Amp Overdrive and it's obviously in honor of Matt Garza.

Garza tossed the 5th effing no-hitter of the season last night. Are hitters even trying anymore? By the end of the year, no-hitters will be all worn out just like your mom. Garza faced the minimum even though he walked one to barely miss the prefect game. Max Scherzer had his own no-hitter broken up in the 6th by a Matt Joyce grand slam.

Honorable Mention: Matt Wieters
Last year's mega-prospect showed some promising signs of life after freshly coming off the disabled list. The switch hitting catcher went 2-2 with 2 home runs and 2 walks. I, of course, left him on my DL spot on my fantasy team.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Dallas McPherson. He's here to remind baseball that Angels prospects don't pan out.

Hey gang, sorry for the late Jobu but I'm in charge again because the Canadian mafia is holding Derwood hostage. The negotiations aren't going well either. They're demanding Chase Utley and I'm not giving him up. Let's take a look at some of yesterday's games while I try to convince these gansters to take Yuniesky Betancourt instead...

Rangers 6, Angels 4. Scot Shields was still really effective in 2008. The last 2 seasons he's just made me sad. Last night was no different when he managed to walk 3 batter in 2 innings. The Angels fell 7 games back of the Rangers but heisted Dan Haren from the D-Backs. I covered the trade here and also a little bit here.

Yankees 12, Royals 6. Curtis Granderson and Scott Podsendik each hit 2 home runs. Wilson Betemit stopped the world from imploding by going 0-4 with 2 strike outs.

Dodgers 1, Mets 0. Clayton Kershaw shut the Mets down over 8 innings allowing 7 hits and 1 walk but only struck out 3. He did lower his ERA to under 3. R.A. Dickey was also throwing a gem until he was injured in the 6th inning. Dickey tossed 5+ innings of shut out ball while striking out 6 before hurting his leg.

Brewers 8, Nationals 3. The Brewers ruined Ross Detwiler's 2010 debut by scoring 5 runs off of the young starter. Actually, the Nationals ruined his debut. All 5 runs were unearned as the Nats kicked the ball around the field. The staff at Off Base got a nice treat though. It appears the Nats will retain manager Jim Riggleman for next season. Derwood especially is a huge Riggleman fan. I can never find the sarcastic font.

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

It may seem like I advocate drinking here with the shot recipes and drinking jokes but alcohol makes you do stupid things kids. Drunk dialing, drunk texting, drunk showing up at your ex's bar. All poor decisions after 2 am. Trust me. That said, let's take the shot of the night while I try to shake off some shame. The shot of last night is a California Dream: 2 oz 1800® Tequila, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz dry vermouth, 1 maraschino cherry and it's in honor of Buster Posey.

I realize I need to stop gushing over Buster Posey before Chase Utley and Mike Trout get jealous but he's just so good. Posey extended his hit streak to 18 games, going 4-5 and moving his slash line to .371/.407/.579. While Posey is a blog favorite, those are MVP caliber numbers. And he's a catcher. This brings up 2 questions. 1) How bad did Tampa Bay screw up in the 2008 draft by passing on Posey when they needed a catcher? 2) Bengie Molina?

Honorable Mention: Dan Haren
While the San Francisco Poseys were beating the Diamondbacks in extra innings, the Angels were beating their GM in making trades. You can catch my analytical/non-biased reaction on the trade here (now with 300% more bias) but Dan Haren was a pretty big winner without even playing last night. He gets to go play in his native SoCal for an annual playoff contender while the Diamondbacks are trending toward Pittsburgh Pirate territory. Haren's escape from the dessert to the beach is one of the best sand moves since that hour glass got the job on Days of Our Lives.

That reference was brought to you via my grandma. I promise I don't watch soap operas. Unless you count Gossip Girl.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Angels Steal Haren From D-Backs and 28 Other Teams

My beloved Halos traded for Dan Haren today in what appears to be a laughable deal. The Diamondbacks dealt their ace to the Angels for back-end rotation guy Joe Saunders and 2 prospects and a player to be named later. The rumors suggest that PTBNL is 2009 supp pick Tyler Skaggs. While Skaggs was coveted by the Diamondbacks, the trade still looks silly. Tony Reagins seemed to catch other GMs asleep at the wheel by sneaking in and acquiring Haren out of nowhere without giving up a big (or even good) package of players.

While I write this, it appears the Angels will fall 7 games back of the Rangers in the AL West. Without a Rangers collapse, the Angels still figure to fall short of the playoffs. But Haren is signed to a below market deal until 2013 and that has to hurt the feelings of many GMs. Except of course for D-Backs GM, Jerry Dipoto, who is fooled by winning percentage and thinks Joe Saunders is good at the pitching. I really expected Dipoto to shout "but he's a lefty" in announcing the trade. Pairing Haren and Jered Weaver should make the Angels a dangerous playoff team if not this year then in the following years. Sorry Diamondback fans, you're in for a long next few seasons.

My Reaction: Wheeeeeee!!!!!
Somehow the Angels managed to add a front of the rotation pitcher without giving up a major prospect. It's absolutely stunning that there wasn't another GM offering a better deal than this for Haren. The D-Backs didn't come close to getting one of the Angels top prospects, most importantly Mike Trout. This trade at least gives me a glimmer of hope for the Angels making the playoffs but I'm smarter than that. It does help ease the pain of Vlad Guerrero murdering the ball for the Rangers and the fact that the Angels are still paying Gary Matthews Jr a boat load of money.

Dan Haren's Reaction: Wheeeeeee!!!!!
Haren gets to move back to his homegrown SoCal digs and pitch for a perennial playoff contender. He shouldn't mind pitching in the AL West where he posted a 120 ERA+ with the A's between 2005-2007.

Arizona Fan's Reaction: Football starts soon, right?

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Mel Hall

Rays 6, Indians 3. It's strange saying a team finally won in Cleveland and that team isn't Baltimore or the Vanderells Bakery 30-over softball team. But Tampa had lost 18 straight at Jacobs Field until Saturday's win. David Price shook off Shelley Duncan Fever (two-run HR in 2nd) to pitch seven innings of three-run ball.

Braves 10, Marlins 5. In honor of Andre Dawson's HOF induction, we present today's Symbols of Mediocrity: the Florida bullpen and Jorge Cantu. After a combined seven innings of two-run ball from the Sanchez(s)'s, Anibal and Brian, Atlanta scored eight runs in the eighth inning, leaving 143 people at the stadium just devastated. Taylor Tankersley refused to get anyone out, loading the bases on a single, hit batsman and Cantu's first error of the inning. Jhan Marinez said anything Taylor Tankersley can do, I can do smellier, as the right-hander walked in a run and gave up a two-run single. Burke Badenhop actually got an out, but Cantu made another error, setting up Brooks Conrad's second pinch-hit grand slam of the season. We have an update on that initial report of fan devastation: the number was 138.

Dodgers 3, Mets 2 (13). Oliver Perez can't do anything right, can he? The lefty served up James Loney's solo home run in the bottom of the 13th inning that made dozens of Dodgers fans say "Damn, if we hadn't left in the seventh inning, we could be saying right now, 'damn, I wish we hadn't left in the 10th inning.'"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shot Of The Night: Site News Edition

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

Before we get to last night's shot, I have a little house cleaning to do. There might not be much posting this weekend. Both Derwood and myself will be away from the Internet for much of it. Derwood is in the process of moving into his new Atlanta mansion (I have dibs on the basement) and won't have the Internet for a few days. I'm attending a friend's all day birthday extravaganza which includes laser tag and Hooters. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's turning 13 again. So MTD is going to strap on the old booze bag and see what happens. My early prediction is that I get thrown out of laser tag and Hooters.

This might be the last post for a while so drink up. Last night's shot of the night was a Doc Holliday: 1 shot Jagermeister® herbal liqueur, 1 shot Jack Daniel's® Tennessee whiskey Single barrel, 1 shot orange juice, Dr. Pepper® soda. I always thought orange juice plus Jager were the ingredients for a "throwing up on a fire hydrant." Maybe that's just me. Anyway, it's in honor of Roy Halladay.

Halladay picked up only his 11th win of the season by tossing 8 innings of 5-hit, 1-walk shutout baseball. He struck out 9 and lowered his ERA to 2.28 for the year. Obviously, Ubaldo Jimenez has the shiny record and Josh Johnson has the ridiculous ERA but by season's end I'd still bet on Halladay being the best pitcher in the league. J.C. Romero also threw 7 pitches for the Phils last night. I felt you needed to know that.

Honorable Mention: Kelly Johnson
Johnson picked up the 3rd cycle of the season. Johnson actually hit his single in the 8th inning to complete the cycle which included a ground rule double. He was also hit by a pitch so he really reached base in 5 different ways.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's Wrong With You America?

Occasionally, I'm going to rant about some nonsense and try to tie it into baseball. I can't promise it will always work. But let's see what happens.

I feel like I've been writing about strikeouts all week so I feel like I deserve a little break. I'm going to turn my attention to you for a post, America. I know you like your food and plenty of it. I've already covered your glutenous ways by discussing Friendly's grilled cheese bun hamburger. Now I'm concerned about what you're willing to spend on food. Throw on that Snuggie you call a shirt and buckle up those two 40-gallon trashbags that you're wearing for pants and let's look at a baseball food classic.

That, my portly friends, is a $69 hot dog. I know what you're thinking, "Where? And can I borrow $69? I just spent my paycheck on cases of Cheetos and Diet Pepsi." Well here are all of the details you need about the expensive wiener (hehe)...
This version is 12 inches long and pure beef. It's grilled in white truffle oil, placed in a salted pretzel bread bun toasted with white truffle butter, topped with medallions of duck foie gras with black truffles with side condiments of black truffle Dijon mustard, caramelized Vidalia onions and heirloom tomato Ketchup. All that can be yours for just $69, but you have to place your order 24 hours in advance to allow time for the "special ingredients" to be flown in fresh.
Hmm, fancy for a hot dog. I sometimes feel bad for spending $5 for a pack of Hebrew Nationals when I'm treating myself. Then I top them with bacon bits. My Jewish friends do not approve.

Don't worry guys. I know that you're concerned about what's for desert after your $69 hot dog. I have you covered. It's a $30, 5-pound Gummy Bear.

What's wrong with you, America? A 5-pound gummy bear? Why don't you just inject the diabetes straight into your bulbous ass? I'm just messing with you guys. In fact, I'm working on the prototype of a recliner/refrigerator/microwave that I think you'll love.

[h/t @darrenrovell1]

Clint Barmes' Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Clint Barmes joins the ranks of Adam Dunn, Miguel Montero, Jason Bay, Adrian Gonzalez and Koyie Hill in just a silly couple of days of swinging and missing. Barmes, of course, is most famous for my favorite injury in the history of baseball. In 2005, Barmes broke his collarbone after falling down some stairs while carrying deer meat. Now he more sensibly keeps his deer meat in a freezer in a storage unit in his apartment complex.[citation needed] Let's go check out Barmes' first Golden Sombrero since 2007...

Top 2nd: Barmes struck out looking against Josh Johnson. Johnson tossed just another 6+ innings of 1-run, 11-strikeout ball. He's good at the pitching.

Top 5th: Barmes struck out swinging against Johnson.

Top 7th: Barmes struck out swinging against Johnson again. I'm running out of steam, people.

Top 9th: Barmes struck out swinging against Leo Nunez.

Adam Dunn's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

I'm a pretty big Adam Dunn fan. I was hoping the Angels would make a run for him but after that Callaspo trade, I can't see they could manage to add anymore power. Dunn doesn't really fit the Scioscia player profile. Dunn is your 3 True Outcome player. He's pretty much either going to hit a home run, walk or strikeout. Last night was no different as Dunn went 1-5 with a home run and 4 strikeouts. I can't put how that makes me feel into words so here...

Delightful. Now let's check out Dunn's strikeouts so I can move on to the next guy. The Summer of Strikeouts is relentless this week.

Top 1st: Dunn struck out swinging against Edinson Volquez. But the Nats did score 1 one in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd.

Top 5th: Dunn struck out swinging against Carlos Fisher.

Top 7th: Dunn struck out swinging against Bill Bray. Anytime I hear Bill Bray I think of this...

Top 9th: Dunn struck out swinging against Nick Masset.

Well played, Dunn. Four strikeouts against four different pitcher, all swinging, and a home run for good measure.

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

Sorry about shot of the night being late again but I've been in a strikeout coma. And as soon as I'm finished with this shot, I'm going back to writing about Golden Sombreros. Seriously hitters, it was cute when you used to give me maybe a 4 strikeout performance once a week. But 6 in 2 days? Anyway, last night's shot of the night was Cane and Abel: 2-2.5 oz rum, 1/2 can Red Bull® energy drink and it's in honor of Matt Cain. I'm actually proud of what I did there, screw you.

Cain threw 8 shutout innings to improve his record to 8-8. He allowed 3 hits and 3 walks but struck out 9. Cain is overshadowed by Tim Lincecum in San Francisco but I always thought he was an underrated pitcher. Turns out he's never had an xFIP under 4.22 and his BABIP is almost always way under .300. It makes him a pretty interesting case. He's either always lucky or his normal BABIP is actually closer to .275 than .300. Even when you remove fielding, he out performs his FIP every season. Can anybody smart out there explain why that is to me?

Honorable Mention: Cole Hamels
Hamels threw 8 innings of 1-hit, shutout ball but didn't get a decision. That would have never happened if Chase Utley was healthy. But luckily for the Phillies, Dom Brown should be on the way. Unfortunately for the Phillies, they'll have to move Jayson Werth instead of Raul Ibanez.

Miguel Montero's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

What day are we on? I've watched so many people swing and miss lately, I'm pretty sure I traveled back in time. While I was there, I invented the Snuggie. You're welcome. I'd like to thank Derwood for picking up some of my slack while covering Jason Bay's Sombrero. That guy makes way too much money. Derwood that is, I paid him close to 14 Rubles last week. Don't ask why I'm on the Russian monetary system, their mafia doesn't like that. Oh hey, Miguel Montero went 1-6 with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk right when I picked him up for my fantasy team. Let's go talk about that...

Bottom 1st: Montero struck out looking against Jonathon Neise. See what happened was I was stubbornly holding on to Matt Wieters but then he hit the DL and even though I had Napoli, I thought Montero was worth grabbing. But then I switched then out and Napoli hit a home run and Montero struck out a hundred times. Jerk.

Bottom 4th: Montero struck out looking against Niese again. What are you doing, man?

Bottom 5th: Montero struck out swinging against Niese. Look who's trying something new.

Bottom 10th: Montero struck out looking against Raul Valdes. Raul Valdes? Raul Valdes.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Tony Womack

Yankees 10, Royals 4. Excuse me, but Alex Rodriguez homered Thursday, his 599th career long ball, and is on the verge of becoming the seventh player in history to hit 600 home runs.....(crickets).......(louder crickets). I think the milestone deserves respect it just isn't getting. I mean, the guy is only one of the 15 or 20 best baseball players of all time and he's about to hit his 600TH HOME RUN. "No, Derwood, we'd rather talk about Carl Pavano's fourth complete game of the season, even though he pitched in 145 2/3 innings in FOUR SEASONS with the Yankees. And Rodriguez also took steroids, even though everybody was taking them, including Carl Pavano!"

That concludes this brief edition of Whining and Ridiculous & Slanderous Accusations.

Nationals 7, Reds 1. I really thought Livan Hernandez had died two years ago. That's not meant to be an insensitive comment directed at the Hernandez family, I actually thought I remembered hearing about a mountain climbing accident or something. But he's alive, 79-years old, and pitching complete games in 2010. Thursday, Hernandez had his second nine-inning start of the year, throwing 72 of his 102 pitches for strikes as the Nats salvaged a split against Cincy. Also alive: Adam Kennedy (2-for-4, BB, RBI).

Redsox 8, Mariners 6 (13). John Lackey, the ugliest on a really ugly Boston team, had a no-hitter going through 7 2/3 innings. A fellow Yankees fan and I pulled out a Josh Bard rookie card (estimated value: 4 mustard packets), rubbed it a little, started talking to it-"duck snort to right-center field"-and sure enough Bard snorted to RCF. Ugly guy loses no-no. Then in the ninth, Bill Hall happened. With Boston up 6-4, Jack Wilson, facing the 5th-ugliest Redsox Jonathan Papelbon, hit a double play grounder to shortstop, but after Marco Scutaro flipped to second for the first out, Hall's throw landed in Edmonds, WA and the tying runs scored. Unfortunately, Seattle reliever Garrett Olson is horrible and the lefty allowed a two-run double to equally-horrible Eric Patterson, and us Yankees fans had to settle for Lackey's night being ruined. Good enough.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jason Bay's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Wednesday was a ridiculous day for guys not making contact, so I've taken one of the sombreros to give MTD a moment to ponder why his on-again, off-again boyfriend Chase Utley won't return his calls.

Jason Bay has had a good career. He had a 131 OPS+ in six seasons with Pittsburgh, including a Rookie of the Year in 2004, but no one stays with that porta potty at a Lollapalooza of a franchise, so Bay was traded to the Redsox in the middle of the 2008 season, hit well, then had a big year for Boston in '09. This season, his first with the Mets after he recieved an absurd $66 million in guaranteed money in a four-year contract, has been more Roberto Kelly than Bernie Williams. Bay's putting together a .257/.346/.403 with just six home runs in 91 games, and Wednesday against Arizona, you could almost hear Kelly laughing from his hot dog cart (speculation) each time Bay came to the plate. We'll finish off this six-pack of Busch talls to commemorate Bay's putrid evening.

1st two at-bats: grounded out in the first, safe on an error in the third.

Loyal Offbase reader: "But Derwood, surely Bay didn't strike out in four consecutive at-bats, right?"

Let's go to the grainy, VHS tape....

Top 6: Bay strikes out swinging against Dan Haren.

Top 8: Bay strikes out swinging against Esmerling Vasquez. That's actually a $500 fine in the Dominican Republic.

Top 11: Bay goes down swinging again, this time against Juan Gutierrez, which is a $250 fine in Venezuela.

Top 13: Bay whiffs for the fourth time, flailing at three Blaine Boyer pitches. That's a $35 fine you have to pay to the resource officer at Walton High School (GA).

Adrian Gonzalez's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Listen, I love my little strike out segment here but 4 Golden Sombreros in one day? What are MLB hitters doing this season, aside from not hitting the ball? I hope you guys will be patient as these posts trickle in over the next day or so. I tackled Koyie Hill's masterpiece yesterday so Adrian Gonzalez is the first up today.

I like Adrian Gonzalez and I will continue to do so until he is inevitably traded to the Red Sox. Then I will hate him because that's how I roll. But Gonzalez had an unusual night yesterday when he went 0-6 with 4 strikeouts. He also only saw 17 pitches because, I assume, he was in a hurry to get home in time to watch Top Chef. Let's break out this tequila and duck amuse bouche I made in the Quick Fire Challenge and see why Gonzalez struck out so much.

Top 1st: Gonzalez struck out swinging against Tommy Hanson. By the way, I covered Tommy Hanson's MLB debut here and here. I'm not so good at the reporting.

Top 5th: Gonzalez struck out swinging against Tommy Hanson again.

Top 7th: Gonzalez struck out swinging against Jonny Venters. You might remember Venters as the guy who rented you The Scout at Blockbuster last week. And I hate to break it to you but you have terrible taste in baseball movies.

Top 11th: Gonzalez struck out swinging against Takashi Saito.

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

So shot of the night is late again because I was up until 5 am talking to some random girl. I wish I had some good results to pass on to you but I don't think she believed my "I race kangaroos for a living" story. I'm afraid my drunken profession stories are getting less plausible every night. Which leads me to last night's shot, What The Hell: 1 oz dry vermouth, 1 oz gin, 1 oz apricot brandy, 1 dash lemon juice and it's in honor of Colin Curtis.

Before yesterday afternoon, I thought Colin Curtis was a professional golfer. But against my beloved Halos, he hit his first career home run. With a bat nonetheless. After Brett Gardner was ejected for arguing a call, Curtis inherited his 0-2 count and smacked a 3-run home run. As soon as I stopped swearing at my computer and wiping the tears away, I realized this is a lost year for the Angels. All of the Alberto Callaspos in the world can't save us now.

Honorable Mention: Francisco Liriano
Liriano managed to somehow shut down the Cleveland Indians' winning streak by tossing 7 shutout innings and striking out 8. Sure, he walked 4 and gave up 6 hits but it was a nice performance and led to my dismay when I realized I left him on my fantasy bench. The Indians' loss is the first since one-time manager Lou Brown passed away and, subsequently, a piece of clothing wasn't removed from the cardboard cutout of Rachel Phelps.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Shane Mack

Yankees 10, Angels 6. Joel Piniero and Scot Shields pulled off a nearly-flawless Shawn Boskie and Joe Grahe impersonation Wednesday, allowing a combined 10 earned runs in seven horrifying innings. The Yankees led just 7-5 when Brett Gardner was ejected in the middle of his seven-inning at bat. Then Colin Curtis happened. The rook inherited Gardner's 0-2 hole, ran the count full and hit a three-run home run into the first row of right field seats. Shields, who also allowed Juan Miranda's solo home run, after the game: "I used to be a good pitcher, but now I'm a disgrace to all people missing a T in their first name. I'm just going to go back to the hotel and have an ice cube fight with myself." I may have made up that last quote.

Pirates 15, Brewers 3. Here in the Jobu Clubhouse, we'd like to be honest and straight forward with our readers: how bad are the flurkin' Brewers? A day after allowing Pittsburgh to take a 9-0 lead in the first inning of an 11-9 win, Milwaukee let rookie Pedro Alvarez hit two home runs for the second consecutive night, while making Delwyn Young look like a major league hitter (3-for-4, HR, 5 RBIs) for the first consecutive night. Brewers starter Randy Wolf wins the coveted Offbase Stench of the Night after his 5 2/3 inning, 13-hit, 12-run gem.

Nationals 8, Reds 5. Yeah, Stephen Strasburg won again, pitched 5 2/3 innings striking out seven. But could he figure out Miguel Cairo? Certainly not. Against Strasburg, Cairo walked and had two singles, the last of which drove in a pair of runs in the sixth and severely damaged Strasburg's chances of getting out Miguel Cairo in 2010 or ever again.

Thursday Preview

Rockies at Marlins, 12:10 p.m., NL Cy Young front-runner Josh Johnson pitching for Florida. Estimated attendance: 419.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Koyie Hill's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Koyie Hill, where should we start? I never thought I'd get to award him with a Golden Sombrero because I never thought he was going to get the necessary 4 plate appearances in a single game. But Sweet Lou, who has nothing left to play for, is just going through the motions and stuck Hill behind the plate long enough to strikeout 4 times today. Thanks Lou, I'm sending you a big basket of retirement bran muffins.

Hill went 0-4 with the 4 strikeouts while managing to only see 16 pitches. I simply adore that kind of performance. He's now hitting .204/.242/.269 for the season. Only Brandon Wood is impressed by that slash line. Let's break out the Costco tequila and take a shot every time Hill struck out swinging...

Bottom 2nd: Hill struck out looking against Brett Myers.

Bottom 4th: Hill struck out swinging against Myers. Phew, that took for ever. I never thought we were going to take shots of cheap tequila. Drink up and click on some ads so we can afford Patron.

Bottom 6th: Hill struck out swinging against Myers again. In 2008, Koyie Hill had a -40 OPS+ for the Cubs. But in the winter of 2008, he had 4 OPS+ in my backyard Atlanta Wiffle Ball league. His defensive metrics held him back because I subtracted 130 points of OPS+ for his passed ball that allowed Derwood to reach first after I struck him out.

Bottom 9th: Hill struck out swinging against Matt Lindstrom. He did bunt foul twice before going down swinging so, um, that's something?

The Strange Tale Of Jose Tabata's Wife

This story is so bizarre that I was pretty sure it was just another one of my "I ate Taco Bell too late" dreams. But nope, it's back in the news. Let's go to the scoop...
Amalia Tabata-Pereira, 44, pled guilty in Hillsborough Circuit Court on Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, interference with custody and impersonating a public officer.

In March of 2009, Tabata-Pereira posed as an immigration official and threatened a migrant worker and her boyfriend with deportation if they didn't give their baby girl to Pereira, prosecutors say. The mother complied, then contacted police six hours later to report a kidnapping. Tabata-Pereira is married to Pittsburg Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata.
Fake pregnancy, baby stealing, impersonating an immigration official, wife double the age of her husband. The only thing this story is missing is Maury and the lie detector test. There are so many details that I'm just dying to know. How did she fake the pregnancy all the way to birth? How did she pick the family to steal the baby from? On the 20-80 scouting scale, how'd she manage to score a 134 crazy? How does a 22-year-old baseball prospect meet and marry a 44-year-old certifiably insane lady? Did Tabata fall for this absurd ruse? Why isn't this a Lifetime movie? Why is Tabata hitting .259/.327/.360? Adam LaRoche?

All of this and more on the next All of My Pirates.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Kurt Kepshire.

Hey kids, Derwood got called in early for work. One of the knights called in sick at Medieval Times and he's stuck on jousting duty now. So, I'm back in charge of Jobu today. That means you get to stay up late tonight and we're having candy for dinner. Let's take a quick spin around baseball before I put this scary movie on for you.

Angels 10, Yankees 2. You knew I'd have to lead off with this. My beloved Halos roughed up Derwood's evil Yankees thanks to homers from Napoli, Matsui and the 120 pound Maicer Izturis. Sean O'Sullivan made his first start of the season for the Angels highlighting why they probably aren't making the playoffs.

Indians 4, Twins 3. The Tribe just keep rolling right along with their 6th straight win and remain unbeaten since the All Star break. It appears that the passing of Lou Brown might actually vault them into the playoffs this year. *checks standings* Okay never mind, I was way off.

Pirates 11, Brewers 9. Pedro Alvarez hit a grand slam and a solo shot and struck out twice for the Pirates. Jim Edmonds went 4-5 with a home run and 3 RBI for the Brewers. In other news, Jim Edmonds is still playing professional baseball.

Orioles 11, Rays 10. The 13 inning, 4 and a half hour marathon ended with Julio Lugo singling in Cesar Izturis. With that play, this became the most Izturis-iest post in the history of Off Base.

Rockies 10, Marlins 0. Hey, the Rockies and Marlins played.

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

Last night's shot of the night was derailed by a 3 hour conversation with Derwood about Jeff Bagwell's career stats. I had 9 pages of Fangraphs open on my browser. I'm starting to think Derwood's dad was onto something when he called us unstable. Anyhoo, the shot of the night was Bear Juice: 1 oz Crown Royal® Canadian whisky, 1 oz peach schnapps, 1 oz cranberry juice. And it's in honor of Aramis Ramirez.

Upon hearing about Sweet Lou's retirement plans, Aramis Ramirez unloaded on Astros pitchers going 3-5 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI. Ramirez is turning his miserable season around in July. This month he's hit 9 home runs and has a .383/.406/.950 slash line. It's unclear if he's trying to send Lou out on a high note with his current performance or if he was trying to drive Lou out with his previous performance.

Honorable Mention: Chris Carpenter
Carpenter worked another ho-hum 8 innings surrendering 1 run on 5 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 4 in a pretty typical Chris Carpenter performance. Not to be outdone, Andrew Carpenter also pitched up to his usual standards throwing 3 innings of 5-hit, 3-run ball and took the loss. The last time a Carpenter won and lost on the same day Pontius Pilate was involved. Too soon? *Disclaimer: we're actually not sure if that joke is offensive or, more importantly, makes any sense. That's my time, I'll be here all week, try the wings.*

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekly Cup Of Joe: Midway MVP Edition

I prefer to think of this as more of a tribute to Fire Joe Morgan than a blatant ripoff. But who are we really kidding here?

It's Tuesday which means there was a Joe Chat over at the Four Letter. Joe Morgan's chats are like McDonald's food. It seems like a good idea at the time but after you're done with it you feel gross and need a nap. I actually read today's chat while eating McDonald's and I'm pretty sure I broke the space-time continuum. Let's grab a McNugget of wisdom while I try to pull myself together...
Matt (Plano,TX)

Who is your MVP for the AL and NL?

Joe Morgan (11:31 AM)

Too early to tell. I thought it was Cano for a while in the AL, but Cabrera and Hamilton are in the conversation now as well. I always feel like the MVP should come from a winning team, one that's in the pennant race. You always have to start with Pujols in the NL. He's the best player in the game and it's his award to lose. For a long period, David Wright was the leader, but he has cooled off. Andre Ethier was one of the top candidates for a while, and you have to mention Adrian Gonzalez because the Padres are winning, and he's the reason they're in first place. But it's still too early to tell.
Yeah, he's wrong but let's see why. Oh and you should probably buckle up, it's going to get nerdy.

MTD's NL MVP Leaders

1. Joey Votto 4.1 WAR, .424 wOBA
Votto has 22 home runs to go with his .307/.415/.573 slash line. He's having such an amazing season I'm willing to overlook his 0-2 on 2 pitches performance at the All Star Game.

2. David Wright 4.1 WAR, .393 wOBA
It feels like Wright is flying under the radar. He only has 15 homers and 15 steals to go with his .312/.387/.531 slash line and a 5.8 UZR/150. Nothing wrong with that and, somehow, he has his team in the NL East pennant race. Oliver Perez thinks that's preposterous as he injures himself rolling around in a pile of cash.

3. Matt Holliday 4.2 WAR, .395 wOBA
Pujols has a better wOBA (.412) but trails in WAR (3.6) and after a couple of stunning seasons at first base, he's having a rather poor year in the field (-2.2 UZR/150).

MTD's AL MVP Leaders

1. Justin Morneau 5.0 WAR, .447 wOBA
I wanted to put Josh Hamilton or Miggy Carbera first put the advanced stats slapped me on the back of the head and shook its fist at me. Did anyone else outside of Minnesota notice the sick stats Morneau was putting up? Hopefully he recovers from that concussion I gave him during a pick-up hockey game soon so I can complain when he doesn't win the MVP at the end of the year.

2. Josh Hamilton 4.8 WAR, .439 wOBA
Probably too far back in RBI to catch Cabrera but if Hamilton stays healthy, he could lead the American League in batting average, home runs and unwanted tattoos. A healthy Josh Hamilton is scary, especially since I'm an Angels fan.

3. Miguel Cabrera 3.8 WAR, .443 wOBA
Cabrera is second in home runs (25-24), third in batting average (.353-.340) and first in RBI (82-76). Miggy could make a serious run at the Triple Crown this summer. He's also the most likely to have had McDonald's this week. And yes, I'm proud of the way I brought that full circle.

Sweet Lou's Last Run

Cubs manager Lou Piniella has announced he will retire after this season, presumably after a Chicago loss in late-September. Piniella, who started his managerial career in 1986 with the Yankees, has been around forever. The only seasons he wasn't a manager were 1989 and 2006, and he's been in the dugout with five different teams.

Piniella guided the 1990 Cincinnati Reds to a World Series sweep over the A's, but since hasn't had a ton of post-season success. He had several great regular-season teams in his 10 years with Seattle. In the strike-shortened 1995 season, the Mariners won the AL West in a one-game playoff over the Angels and reached the ALCS before losing to Cleveland. The 1997 West champions were beaten in four games by Baltimore in the ALDS, and the 2001 team won a record-tying 116 games before losing to the Yankees in the championship series.

After a forgettable three seasons in Tampa Bay (200-285, combined 96 1/2 games out of first), Piniella was 46 games over .500 in his first three seasons with the Cubs (2007-2009), which included an NL-best 97 wins in 2008. But like 2007, when Arizona swept a first-round series (yes, the Diamondbacks were in the post-season as recently as 2007), Piniella's club was swept in the first round in 2008 by the Dodgers.

Here's a list of some players Piniella managed:

Don Mattingly, Rickey Henderson, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Goose Gossage, Ichiro Suzuki, Fred McGriff

And here's another list of players Piniella managed:

Wayne Tolleson, Mike Pagliarulo, Bobby Meachum, Steve Trout, Lee Guetterman, Luis Quinones, Rob Dibble, Troy Afenir, Mackey Sasser, Wally Backman, Erik Plantenburg, George Glinatsis, Salomon Torres, Alvaro Espinoza, Ryan Radmanovich, Brett Hinchliffe, Desi Relaford, Terry Shumpert, John Rocker, Hideo Nomo, Rocky Cherry, Carmen Pignatiello, Esmailin Caridad

Shot Of The Night

Shot Of The Night is Off Base Percentage's toast to a player who had an exceptionally good or bad night. There's always a reason to drink.

Last night's shot of the night was a Tiger Jack: 1/2 shot grenadine syrup, 2 shots Jack Daniel's® Tennessee whiskey, 1 shot triple sec, orange juice. Apparently, SotN's posting time is directly related to where I find my keys in the morning. Yesterday I posted this segment at 5-ish and my keys were in the bathroom. Today, we're up and at 'em before noon and my keys were merely on my bedroom floor by the door. If I ever miss a SotN, feel free to assume my keys were on the roof and I was in the hospital. Where were we? Oh yeah, the shot of the night was in honor of Miguel Cabrera.

Miggy went 3-6 with 2 homers and 3 RBI while the Tigers took an 8-6 loss to the Rangers in 14 innings. If I was a betting man (and I am, I think I bet on a Saved By The Bell movie being made last night, original cast), Miguel Cabrera would be my choice for 40+ home runs this season. In fact, Miggy might have a real shot at the Triple Crown which Derwood pointed out earlier. Cabrera now has 24 home runs and 82 RBI to go along with a .340/.418/.645 slash line. The scary part is that Cabrera is just 27-years-old and probably just reaching his peak years.

Honorable Mention: Albert Pujols
For a point of reference, let's take a look at Albert Pujols. Widely believed to be the best hitter in baseball, Pujols went 2-4 with a homer and 3 RBI last night. Pujols has 22 home runs and 67 RBI to go with a .310/.413/.578 slash line. Miguel Cabrera (3.8 WAR) is basically a younger Pujols (3.6 WAR) right now.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Off Base Percentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Mike Felder

Brewers 3, Pirates 1. Chris Capuano wins! Chris Capuano wins! Chris Capuano wins! The Milwaukee left-hander, who missed the 2008 and 2009 seasons with an injury, pitched five innings of one-run ball and won for the first time since May 7, 2007, snapping a 30-appearance winless streak. If the main story is STARTER WINS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE YEARS, the losing team has to be Pittsburgh. Even if the Pirates aren't involved, they're still credited with a loss. It's in the official baseball rule book.

Indians 10, Twins 4. That's five straight for Cleveland, which had 20 hits and made a winner out of Aaron Laffey (5 IP, 0 ER). Jason Repko: 0-for-1.

Rays 8, Orioles 1. Baltimore went into the all star break on a four-game winning streak after somehow sweeping Texas. Things are finally back to normal in the second half as the O's have dropped four in a row, including Monday's Chris Tillman Horror Show (2 2/3 IP, 8 ER). Now is a good time as any to debut Offbase's new mascot, Toilet Mickey