Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jack Cust'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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

MTD continues to work on his novel Where Are My Shoes?, so I'm back to handle some people striking out a lot. Wednesday, in Seattle's 10-1 win over Detroit, it was Jack Cust, who was like my old little league teammate Scott Gerard. We'd win 17-5 and Scott would strike out three times, ground into a double play and make four errors in left field. Jack Cust is Scott Gerard.

Justin Verlander strikes out a lot of people, so it's not a surprise when he K's eight Mariners in six innings. Only problem for Cust was, he was half of the strike outs. Let's take a look at the carnage.

1st inning - Right after Justin Smoak ripped a three-run home run to give Seattle the lead, Cust ran the count full before taking a look at strike 3.

4th - Cust led off the inning with a swinging strike out. Seattle ownership beginning to re-think late-July's Jack Cust Bobblehead Day.

5th - The M's got a run on Miguel Olivo's sacrifice fly (Olivo!), then Smoak walked to put runners at first and third. Cust followed with his third whiff as he watched a Verlander pitch go by for the third out of the inning.

8th - Ladies and gentleman, Al Alburquerque! The man with one of the greatest names in baseball history, struck out the side and Cust was the last of the three, his third backwards K of the night.

Curveballs for Jobu 4/28/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Steve Lake.

[Lake autographed 1987 Topps. Estimated value: 6 thumb tacks]

[Lake 1991 Studio posing with parrot]

CFJ Note: Jobu took a few days off while MTD discovered the true meaning of April 27.

Yankees 3, Whitesox 1. I feel like an alcoholic uncle sometimes at Jobu: apologizing/asking for forgiveness, showing up to Thanksgiving with my belt out of three of the belt loops. I've done it with players I thought had passed away, or were working at Chevron stations. Even said sorry to Troy Glaus one time. My latest apology goes out to Bartolo Colon. In the AL East preview story, I said if Colon made more than 10 appearances I would eat one of my socks. Colon is halfway there. Wednesday, the righty tossed eight innings of one-run ball and won his second game in as many starts. In 26 innings, Colon has struck out 26 and walked just six and has looked unhittable at times, which begs the question: is he the Yankees best pitcher through the first month of the season? Let me repeat that question in bigger letters, while adding a few words and an exclamation point:


Braves 7, Padres 0. Tommy Hanson confirmed some information for all of us: the Padres smell like old cheese. Hanson struck out 10 and allowed four singles in seven shut out innings, dropping the Bevacquas to 9-16. San Diego has been shut out seven times and scored 10 runs during its seven-game home stand. Seven!

Dodgers 5, Marlins 4 (10). In LA's second game of the season against the Giants, Andre Ethier went 0-for-4. Since, Ethier has hit in 24 consecutive games after his tenth-inning home run broke the hearts of 17 people in Miami.

Indians 7, Royals 2. And that sound you heard was the Kansas City Royals coming back to the .500 mark, and that sound you will soon hear will be the Kansas City Royals going under .500. Meanwhile, the Tribe are channeling the ghosts of Rachel Phelps, moving to 15-8, three games up on KC and the Tigers in the AL Central, which is beginning to look a lot like the Roswell, GA 25+ Adult Softball D League when Ruso's Renegades won it with a 5-6 record. One other item of note: formerly awful hitter Jeff Francoeur hit his fifth home run and is hitting .330 with a .370 on-base percentage.

Mets 6, Nationals 3. Brian Bixler: run scored.

Cardinals 6, Astros 5. Just what in the name of RBI Baseball-John Tudor is going on in St. Louis? Kyle Lohse threw another seven shut out innings and is 4-1. Lohse led 6-0 when he exited, but Ryan Franklin (10.13 ERA) was Simply Irabuian, allowing two runs without getting an out and three more relievers surrendered three runs in the eighth and ninth. Let's get an Astros fan's opinion of the loss:

Rockies at Cubs ppd Tom Goodwin

Other games, but down here....

Athletics 2, Angels 1 (10)
Pirates 2, Giants 0
Rangers 7, Bluejays 6
Mariners 10, Tigers 1
Orioles 5, Redsox 4
Reds 7, Brewers 6 (10)
Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 4
Devilrays 8, Twins 2

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brett Gardner'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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

Brett Gardner had a really good 2010 season for the Yankees as a speedy left-handed hitter, putting together a .383 on-base percentage and collecting a 4.5 WAR. He was assured a job out of spring training and was even going to lead off against right-handed pitchers.

I'm not sure what happened leading up to the month of April, but it's possible Gardner wasn't notified the season had begun. Or maybe he just stopped bringing his bat to the plate with him, I don't know, I haven't seen every Yankees game. Either way, something is wrong in Brett Gardner Land (population: dozens of called strikes), and Sunday against the Orioles was the left fielder's toughest day at the plate in a month full of tough days at the plate.

Let's sample the cool breezes at Camden Yards.

2nd inning - Gardner strikes out looking against Jake Arrieta.

4th inning - Gardner again strikes out looking against Arrieta.

Fake Jake Arrieta quote in toned-down KenHarrelsonVoice™: "he gone."

9th inning - You know the old saying: sometimes there's just too much Kevin Gregg to handle, and Gardner finds thought out the smelly way, fanning on four pitches.

11th inning - Jason Berken gets a four-pitch swinging K.

[*Note* While Gardner's offense has been Simply Espinozian through the season's first month (.154/.214/.288 slash line coming into Sunday's game), he did make a great catch to end the bottom of the eighth inning and keep a game tied the Yankees would go on to win in 11. Contributions.]

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Night Baseball Liveblog: Reds vs. Cardinals

Hey kids. We'll be live bogging Sunday Night Baseball with our good friends from Diamond Hoggers and The Golden Sombrero. Swing by and talk baseball or nonsense with us. I'll be drunk by the 3rd inning so all questions are welcome. Provided we figure out how to use Cover it Live.

Sam Fuld'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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

The legend of Sam Fuld continues as he became the most recent leadoff hitter to record the golden sombrero. Fuld is hitting .365/.407/.541 this season, already good for a 1.2 WAR. But he ran in to the buzzsaw known as Ricky Romero for one pretty unproductive Easter Sunday...

Top 1st: Fuld struck out swinging against Romero.

Top 2nd: Fuld struck out looking against Romero. Fuld doesn't always get a sombrero, but when he does he likes to change things up.

Top 5th: Fuld struck out swinging against Romero.

Top 8th: Fuld struck out swinging against Marc Rzepczynski.

To be honest, this was a rather bland golden sombrero. Fuld worked the counts a little and just had one of those days. I prefer my futility to have bells and whistles. If you're going to strike out four times in one game, have the decency to do it in 12 pitches.

Ryan Howard Has Another 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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

Death, taxes and Ryan Howard Golden Sombreros. I've managed to avoid two of those so far. But Howard just can't seem to stop racking up strikeouts once he steps into the batter's box. Howard apparently enjoyed wearing the giant hat so much on Thursday that he just had to sport it again. I try to do something special for every Howard four strike out gem, so here's a picture of B.A. Baracus wearing a sombrero.

Just after that photo was taken, Face chloroformed him to sleep so the A-Team could fly him to Arkansas to help a mom and pop restaurant battle a surprisingly well armed landlord. But about Howard...

Top 2nd: Howard struck out looking against Tim Stauffer. He apparently broke at the same time and I couldn't find another pitch-by-pitch account of the game. Okay, I didn't try, you got me. So I just assume Howard watched three pitches and then his batting helmet spun around on his head.

Top 4th: Howard struck out swinging against Stauffer. Foul, foul, swinging strike. Damn, I love Howard.

Top 6th: Howard struck out swinging against Stauffer again. He did manage to get to a full count before striking out. So this at bat wasn't as much fun.

Top 9th: Howard struck out swinging against Heath Bell. I like that he didn't need the extra innings for the sombrero. That's a classy move.

Top 11th: Howard hits the go ahead two-run double that put the Phills up for good. He even got to be the hero.

Curveballs for Jobu 4/24/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Eddie Milner.

[Autographed Milner 1983 Topps. Estimated value: 9 pine cones]

Yankees 15, Orioles 3. NY hit five home runs-two by Russell Martin and a grand slam by Alex Rodriguez-in a rout of The Wobblin' Bucks. Alex's slam was No. 22 in his career, putting him one behind Lou Gehrig for the all-time lead. Baltimore got all classy in the ninth when Josh Rupe hit Martin in the back with a pitch. Brett Gardner followed with a two-run home run, capping the Yanks biggest offensive outburst of the young season. Carsten Charles finally got a win (PITCHER WINS!), retiring the first 11 batters he faced on his way to an eight-inning, seven-strike out effort.

Phillies 4, Padres 2 (11). MTD will handle Ryan Howard's second golden sombrero in three games later today, but Howard also came through with the go-ahead two-run double to lift the Tekulves in 11.

Athletics 9, Mariners 1. The bottom two in the Oakland order-Kevin Kouzmanoff and Cliff Pennington-each hit a home run and drove in a combined six runs to back another strong start by Trevor Cahill (6 IP, 1 ER). Noteworthy: the Seattle lineup, or Panhandler's Row as we like to call it at Offbase, included the following players Saturday: Luis Rodriguez, Chris Gimenez, Carlos Pequero and Jack Wilson.

Astros 9, Brewers 6 (10). That's just a little something they call Astros Pride (documentary film starring Humberto Quintero as himself, coming July, 2011). The 'Stros lost a 6-5 lead when Milwaukee tied it in the ninth on Prince Fielder's double, but got three in the tenth when Quintero and pitcher Brandon Lyon had consecutive doubles. Folks, we've got an 8-13 Houston baseball club, soak it in.

Mets 6, Diamondbacks 4. Three consecutive wins for the New York Metropolitans!

Cubs 10, Dodgers 8. Ryan Dempster was awful-5 2/3 IP, 7 ER, 3 HR-but no one smelled quite like Matt Guerrier. The LA righty was asked to protect an 8-5 lead in the late innings and instead protected nothing as the Cubbies got to that magical .500 mark with a five-run eighth. Starlin Castro, good at hitting: 4-for-5, hitting. 393 with a .419 OBP.

Rockies 3, Marlins 1. This Florida fan can only be described as disappointed:

Redsox 5, Angels 0. If anyone has the Angels' offense, please return it to 2000 East Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA, 92806.

Twins 10, Indians 3. Drew Butera: 1-for-4.

Other games, but down here....

Braves 5, Giants 2
Devilrays 6, Bluejays 4
Tigers 9, Whitesox 0
Reds 5, Cardinals 3
Pirates 7, Nationals 2
Rangers 3, Royals 1

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kila Ka'aihue Is Just Missing Pitches, No Biggie

The Royals incumbent first baseman, Kila Ka'aihue (I pronounce it very quickly like I do worcestershire so people don't realize I'm an imbecile who doesn't know how to say words), is off to a bit of a rough start in 2011. I mean, he's not getting DFA'd or anything but it's still not pretty. Kila is hitting .188/.293/.297 and it can't help his confidence knowing that Eric Hosmer is breathing down his neck. But my man Kila doesn't sweat the small stuff, he's good...
“My approach is fine,” Ka’aihue insisted. “My swing is fine. The counts I’m putting myself in are good. I’m just missing pitches. It’s that simple.

“Once I stop missing them and finding some holes, I’ll be fine. My two hits (Wednesday) night weren’t the hardest-hit balls. They just found holes. I just need a little more of that.”
See? A few more cups of rum for Jobu and that batting average should skyrocket to the .215 neighborhood. Kila didn't produce much last season either dropping a .217/.307/.394 line over 206 plate appearances. At 27-years-old, he doesn't have a whole lot of time to get it going. The Royals locked up Billy Butler who is incapable of wearing a baseball glove and Hosmer is only fit for first base and should be ready soon.

This leaves Kila with two options as far as I can see.

1. Stop missing pitches. It sounds simple enough but when I tried that when I was 10 my strikeout rate doubled and my batting average fell from .083 to .006. So it isn't as easy as Coach Dan made it seem.

2. Look good in black and yellow. You're going to be a Pirate soon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ozzie Guillen Will Keep Bunting Thank You

Master strategist, White Sox manager and occasional English-speaker, Ozzie Guillen, recently made it clear that he is a fan of the bunt. And why shouldn't he be? It's a near automatic out (unless it's craftily deployed against the shift) but it did help Jake Taylor fictionally win the pennant for the Indians circa 1989. In the past week, the Ozzies have bunted into a triple play and killed a four-run inning by bunting into a force out. But Ozzie is steadfast in his belief in the Tao of the bunt...
"Listen, I grew up bunting," Guillen said Thursday. "My baseball game is bunting. We win a lot of games bunting. I will stay with them. The guys who can bunt, I will bunt them. We hit a lot of double-play balls because we're not that fast. That's why I will take advantage of that."
Did he just say they win a lot of games bunting? Now I know where Oney gets his delusion from. The apple doesn't fall far from the crazy plant. Luckily, I'm not a White Sox fan but I do love Ozzie because he seems mentally unstable.

The bunt, especially the sac bunt, are usually a terrible waste of an out. Bunting Adam Dunn every once in a while to beat the shift? Brilliant. But I don't have that much faith in Ozzie. Also, can we stop praising Ron Gardenhire as a great manager? If he sac bunts in the first inning of a playoff game again, I'll... Probably just blog about it. I thought I had something more threatening there for a minute.

You Stink!

The staff at Offbase (Derwood, MTD and a squirrel named Lenny) scour the box scores from time to time to find a truly horrid pitching performance. We call it You Stink!

Our first installment takes us to Cincinnati, former home of Greg Cadaret, Pokey Reese and Marge Schott. This franchise has had its share of stink, but during Thursday's get-away day, visiting Arizona brought an odor with them in the form of Daniel Hudson.

Hudson had been a serviceable starter heading into his afternoon start-19 IP, 9 ER, 23 K-8 BB-but the righty got his stench on right away. After a quick fly out to start the first, Hudson gave up two singles and two walks, which forced in a run, but the Red Stockings were just getting started. Miguel Cairo, who launched himself into early-MVP discussion with his 1-for-3, 2 RBI start to the season (he's cooled off since), again moved past John Bowker in the early voting by ripping a two-run single to make it 3-0. Hudson hit a batter and walked in another run and by the time the nine-batter, 36-pitch inning was over, the Diamondbacks hurler needed a change of dungarees.

Hudson gave up a solo home run to Joey Votto in the fifth, then in the sixth walked nemesis Cairo before giving up an RBI-double, which mercifully ended the right-hander's night after 101 mostly-horrifying pitches. Sam Demel was even nice enough to allow one of the inherited runners to score on a single, leaving Hudson with a line of 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 4 BB.

Daniel Hudson: YOU STINK!

Curveballs for Jobu 4/22/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Mickey Hatcher.

[Hatcher 1991 Score, autographed, Estimated value: 9 chin hairs]

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 4. There have been plenty of jokes written about Cincy starter Mike Leake and his arrest for stealing $59.88 worth of t-shirts from a Macy's, and here's one more: Leake really lifted the Reds to a win Thursday, didn't he?

Anyway, Leake allowed three earned runs in seven innings and improved to 3-0. Now it's off to theft classes....wait, what the hell are theft classes?

Theft class teacher: "OK, listen up. That t-shirt on display at the department store? You have to pay for it, people. Think you can get away with pumping gas and then driving off? They will take your license away from you and then you will not have a license. Go ahead, try and steal that giraffe from the zoo. THEY WON'T LET YOU."

Whitesox 9, Devilrays 2. Lastings Milledge: DNP.

Dodgers 5, Braves 3 (12). LA may only be 12-12 and may have just been put in control of by this guy

but Matt Kemp is certainly enjoying himself late in games. Kemp hit his second walk-off home run in five days, a two-run poke off C(-h)rist(h)ian Martinez in the 12th, that coming after Kemp had whiffed three times against Atlanta pitching. LA took three out of four from the slumping Braves, who have lost 11 of 16 since a 3-1 start. Rod Barajas Watch: 0-for-4, season: 11-for-58 (.190 BA).

Mets 9, Astros 1. Humberto Quintero: 0-for-3

Twins 3, Orioles 1. Jim Thome hit career home run No. 591 and the Hrbeks got seven shut out innings and nine strike outs from Scott Baker.

Cardinals 5, Nationals 0. Kyle Loshe is bringing back memories of his 20never season with his performance so far in 2011. Lohse, who on ranks just ahead of Willard Nixon in all-time pitcher rankings, tossed a complete game, two-hit shut out at Washington, and in 31 1/3 innings (four starts) has allowed 21 base-runners and struck out 22. And for those wondering what is wrong with Albert Pujols, the answer is: less and less each day. Pujols hit his fifth home run in seven games to back Lohse and send the Cards back over .500 at 10-9, which in the NL Central is good enough for a first-place tie.

Other games, but down here....

Mariners 1, Athletics 0
Royals 3, Indians 2
Marlins 9, Pirates 5
Phillies 3, Padres 0
Redsox 4, Angels 2 (11)

Time for Some Links

In between viewing tapes from the 1998 ALCS and the time in 1991 when he singled off one of the kids who had already grown facial hair (shaky camera work by Aunt Jo), Derwood will provide some links from around the baseball blogosphere. We call it Links From Around The Baseball Blogosphere.

My favorite college baseball team just became Quinnipiac, thanks to Mariano Rivera Jr. choosing to attend the Connecticut school. Mo Jr. will try to make the baseball team as a walk-on. (River Ave Blues)

With Milwaukee extending Ryan Braun until 2020, Mlbtraderumors looks at who could receive the next big extension. (MLBTR)

Speaking of the Brewers, Miller Park Drunk has a great Bob Uecker slide show for the deranged to enjoy. (Miller Park Drunk)

The Baseball Think Factory posted an 1954 story from Life Magazine by Branch Rickey, talking about, among other things, on-base percentage. (BTF)

It doesn't look like our friend Clint at Diamond Hoggers likes Mike Leake very much. (Diamond Hoggers)

Gregg Doyel has an interesting theory on the Pete Rose-HOF situation. (

A great Fire Joe Morgan flashback where the trio makes fun of Mike Pagliarulo, which was recently named the 4th-easiest thing to do by the people who name things. But these guys do it really well. Scroll down to the post titled 'Pags'. (FJM)

This is in no way about baseball, but the Sons of Zabka are sick individuals who need a much larger audience. Here they dissect the top secondary characters from Saved By The Bell. (Sons of Zabka)

Ryan Howard'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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

This Ryan Howard sombrero has me bummed out for two reasons. 1) I meant to place a wager with my fellow strikeout junkie Mike from The Golden Sombrero about whether Howard or Mark Reynolds would reach four K's in one game first. 2) Howard was so close to the 5K platinum sombrero. Come on!

Usually when either Howard or Reynolds records a sombrero, I reward my dear readers with a picture of a dog or mule wearing a sombrero but I'm too angry this time. So here's a cat in a hat...

Now let's all move along to Howard's futility at the dish...

Top 1st: Howard struck out swinging against Mat Latos. I think we're all on the same page here, right? Latos' parents had to be some kind of hippies to leave that other "T" off of his name. It really drives me crazy. Ugh, I hope Howard doesn't strike out against him again...

Top 3rd: Howard struck out swinging against Latos again. Son of a...

Top 4th: Howard struck out looking against Latos. Now he's just effing with me.

Top 7th: Howard struck out swinging against Cory Luebke. On three pitches.

Then, with no concern for my own jubilance, Howard grounded out in the top of the 9th.

This isn't over, Ryan...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hey, That's My Uncle's Logo!

The Lohud Yankees Blog has a story on a Yonkers woman who is filing a lawsuit against the Yankees claiming the organization stole the top hat logo from her uncle.

The woman's name is Tanit Buday, and her uncle was Kenneth Timur, not to be confused with Tibor, who got promoted ahead of Homer at the Nuclear Power Plant. What is interesting about Buday's suit is, it has brought to light a few other lawsuits against the Yankees:

* A Staten Island woman is suing, claiming the team stole the idea of wearing pants from her raccoon, Vincent.

* A Queens woman is suing, claiming the team stole the interlocking NY logo from her uncle and his religious support group Novice Yeshivas.

* A Yonkers man is filing a lawsuit against Tanit Buday, claiming his Yonkers neighbor stole his idea for a lawsuit against the Yankees.

* A Long Island teenager is suing the Yankees, claiming the organization removed, without cause, Derek Jeter from her basement.

* Local couple Dominic and Marie Delvecchio is suing the Yankees for stealing their idea for a promotional day called Bring Your Sausage & Peppers Sandwich to the Ballpark.

* And unrelated to the Yankees, a Bronxville man is suing a man from South Jersey for not specifying whether his forthcoming 'knuckle sandwich' was literal or figurative.

[UPDATE: It was figurative, and the Bronxville man nearly starved to death].

Can Robert Andino Be An Everyday Shortstop?

Occasionally, MTD will swing by and answer questions posed by beat writers who have too much time on their hands.

Matt Vensel of The Baltimore Sun was recently wondering if Robert Andino can be an everyday MLB short stop after the Orioles were left with Andino and Cesar Izturis as the only available options after JJ Hardy went down with the, oh so popular, oblique injury...
Andino has made the most of his opportunity, validating manager Buck Showalter's decision to put him on the Opening Day roster as a utility infielder.

In eight games, Andino is batting .318 and he has a .400 on-base percentage. Both marks are tops on the team. He has also shown flashes of brilliance defensively.
After shaking the Magic 8 Ball, and subsequently waiting later to ask again because it's a jerk, MTD's answer is no. He cannot be an everyday shortstop. In 465 career plate appearances, Andino has recorded a .231/.281/.318 line. He might be above average with his glove but at, in a few days, 27-years-old he's unlikely to get to second base more than you did when you were fourteen and then again when you were eighteen.

PECOTA agrees that Andino doesn't have much of a major league career projecting him with another sub .300 OBP for 2011. This might be some very disheartening news to several of Andino's friends and family.

Dexter Fowler'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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

Ah, nice to see you again Dexter Fowler. Fowler cut his Sombrero total in half from 2009 to 2010 (hey, 2-1 is still half) but he's off to an early start this season. At 25-years-old, we still don't really know what Fowler is. A little pop with some raw speed, neither of which he uses much. He gets on base enough and doesn't appear to butcher his outfield position. I'm just starting to doubt he becomes anything more than a solid regular. But none of that matters here as long as he keeps swinging and missing. It's like crack for me...

Bottom 1st: Fowler struck out swinging against Matt Cain. Cain did not have his best stuff coughing up 6 earned over 4.2 but he did strike out 6. Fowler did his part here and then...

Bottom 2nd: Fowler struck out swinging against Cain again.

Bottom 6th: Fowler struck out looking against Dan Runzler. Fowler watched five pitches before realizing he didn't bring his bat to the plate. In other news, when did Dan Runzler stop slicing deli meat at the Rouses by my house?

Bottom 7th: Fowler struck out swinging against Guillermo Mota. Fowler took the opposite approach this time around by swinging at all three strikes. The results did not vary.

Curveballs for Job 4/21/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Bud Harrelson.

[Harrelson 1990 Topps manager card, autographed. Estimated value: 17 sunflower seed shells.]

Yankees 6, Bluejays 2. Ladies and gentleman: 2011 Bartolo Colon. El Pitcher, as he's known around my apartment, pitched into the seventh and struck out seven in his first victory in the big leagues since May, 2009. Colon gave up a home run to J.P. Arencibia leading off the second, then retired the next 12 batters he faced, including Arencibia in the fourth! That's called ArencibiaPayback™. On the flip side, Brett Cecil smelled funny: 5 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB.

Nationals 8-3, Cardinals 6-5. We're now living in a world where a Jim Riggleman-managed team is above .500. That guy living in my ear may have been right: it's time to stock canned goods and see if Flanders has any room.

Indians 7, Royals 5. Wilson Betemit: DNP.

Padres 5, Cubs 4. Chicago won game one of a Wednesday doubleheader, 2-1 on Reed Johnson's walk-off solo home run in the 11th, but the Pads earned a split thanks to Ryan Ludwick, who was employee of the month at the BP station down the street before getting three hits and homering to get that average up to the Betancourt Line.

Marlins 6, Pirates 0. This photo of Florida third base coach Joey Espanada is the early favorite for MLB Photo of the Year.

Let's get a Marlins fan's opinion on the photo and the Wednesday victory:

Astros 4, Mets 3. Justin Turner: 0-for-1, K.

Redsox 5, Athletics 3. I was going to make fun of Boston for batting Jed Lowrie fifth until I noticed Lowrie was hitting .462....just seems like there isn't much to make fun in that lineu....oh wait, Jason Varitek is batting, period. Found something.

Other games, but down here....

Phillies 4, Brewers 3
Tigers 3, Mariners 3
Rockies 10, Giants 2
Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1
Devilrays 4, Whitesox 1
Orioles 5, Twins 4
Angels 4, Rangers 1
Dodgers 6, Braves 1

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buck Showalter Gets The Interwebs

The Baltimore Orioles snapped an 8 game losing streak Tuesday night exploding for 11 runs while shutting out the Twins. The Buck Showalter Express has been quite streaky this season after opening the year 6-1 before the aforementioned 8 game losing streak. Prior to last night's victory, Showalter was asked if his hitters were pressing. Now watch me blockquote an entire article from The Baltimore Sun...
Last night, after the Orioles dropped their eighth consecutive game, manager Buck Showalter admitted that his players were pressing. "Of course they are," he said. He then turned the attention to the reporter who asked the question and made an analogy about him pressing to produce stories with new-fangled technology.

“You’re pressing to come up with a great … whatever you call it," Showalter said at the post-game press conference. "I mean, that’s what you’re assigned to do. You know, whatever. Blog or blip, or whatever they call them. Or Tweets or Twocks. I don’t know. That’s what you’re paid to do. I got it. I got it.”
I assume he followed that with,"In my day, we used to have to call the bullpen with two cans attached by a piece of string and we had to carve our own bats from hobo carcasses we found on trains." Wow, it got a bit dark at the end of that made up quote.

Anyway, I'm glad that Buck "gets" that blipping and twocking are the future of sports media and isn't afraid that his iPhone will eventually enslave him. I tried to teach my grandpa to use a Wii and now he hides in his room all day from the "robot TV."

The Brandon Wood Era Ends In Anaheim

On the heels of a 15-4 routing of the Texas Rangers, Tuesday night saw the sad conclusion to Brandon Wood's career as a Halo. In order for the Angels to clear a roster spot, Wood was designated for assignment. With Wood out of options in Anaheim, the Angels have 10 days to trade, release or place him on waivers. Despite Wood's heartbreaking failure at the major league level, a player with his pedigree and minor league track record will almost assuredly be granted a flier by another organization. A notion that Mike Scioscia was well aware of...
"It was tough, a tough decision," Scioscia said. "He's one of our guys. We just have no way out of this right now. There's no roster flexibility.

"He needs to go play and establish his career. We'll be proud of him when it happens. ... We all had high expectations for what he was going to do when he got his chance at the major-league level but it just didn't happen. Baseball wasn't fun for Brandon last year and it isn't fun for him right now.

"It needs to be fun for him again and it will be. We just don't have the development at-bats he needs at the major-league level."
I'm willing to accept, even if it's begrudgingly, that what Scioscia said is true. Wood was finally given the keys to the third base job in 2010 and posted a .146/.174/.208 line which still gives me furious bouts of night terrors. While I see no reason to carry three catchers on the roster or nary a reason to even employ Jeff Mathis, Erick Aybar's return from the DL gave the Angels too many infielders and Wood's 8 strike outs in 15 plate appearances weren't doing him any favors.

The Angels simply could not afford to keep running Wood out there to flail away at off speed pitches if they want to compete for the AL West crown. Wood, a first round pick in 2003 and crusher of minor league pitching, may be a guy who needs that change of scenery to rejuvenate a once bright career. Or, maybe, he's another failed Angels prospect cut out of the Dallas McPhearson mold. I'm hoping for the former since I have more of an emotional attachment to Wood after rooting for him for seven years. I'm also, ever so slightly, financially invested in him after deciding this would be the appropriate year to sponsor his Baseball-Reference page.

And maybe it was. Over the next 10 days, I expect quite a few teams and fans to be kicking the proverbial tires on Wood. So to all of you new Brandon Wood hopefuls, remember I have a B-R sponsorship for sale. It's only slightly used but it's afraid of curves and doesn't recognize when stuff is slowing down. Hit me up if you're interested.

I do wish Brandon all the luck in the world even though it feels like I just eulogized him. Now that the pressure of being the future of the Angels is off of his back, he can get back to enjoying baseball.

Curveballs for Jobu 4/20/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Warren Newsom.

Orioles 11, Twins 0. Any time Carl Pavano fails at his job, it is a joyous night at Offbase headquarters. When Pavano fails miserably? That's parade-worthy (hobo Paul, Hiccup the Clown, MTD's pet rabbit Horace, everyone gets involved). The Twins' right-hander didn't get out of the fifth and allowed seven earned runs. Matt Wieters drove in four runs and Brian Roberts and Vlad had three RBIs each as Baltimore snapped an eight-game losing streak.

Brewers 9, Phillies 0. Turns out, Roy Halladay is a real human boy with feelings. Milwaukee touched up Halladay for six earned in 6 2/3 innings, and Randy Wolf tossed six scoreless as the Brewers became the first team to win a series from Philly this season. Yuniesky Betancourt Watch: 2-for-5, average a full seven points above the Betancourt Line at .207.

Angels 15, Rangers 4. In chapter seven of our novel Conversations From Inside the Padded Room, MTD and I were discussing whether 'Trumbo' sounded like a sawed-off trombone or a trumpet that's been glued to a trombone. Either way, Trumbo is the last name of Mark, who combined with fellow youngsters Hank Conger and Peter Bourjos to go 9-for-13 with 9 RBIs in the California-Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles' blow out win. It got so bad for Texas, Vernon Wells got on base twice!

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4. Someone alert the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcasting crew: Arizona scored all its runs on home runs.

Royals 5, Indians 3. Who had 'Bruce Chen would be 3-0 on April 20 and Wilson Betemit would be an on-base machine' in their pool of things that would ever happen?

Braves 10, Dodgers 1. First of all, happy birthday to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who turned 50 today. Mattingly reportedly celebrated his birthday a little early by vomiting during the top of the ninth inning Tuesday. In that ninth, Atlanta led just 2-1 when Kenley Jackson and Ramon Troncosco happened. The pair allowed eight earned runs, including home runs to pinch-hitter Eric Hinske and Dan Uggla. Rookie Brandon Beachy was the beneficiary, picking up his first major league win after six scoreless innings.

Mariners 13, Tigers 3. Al Alburquerque: 2/3 IP, 2 ER.

Nationals at Cardinals ppd to theft of thousands of Tom Pagnozzi bobblehead dolls
Padres at Cubs ppd Luis Salazar

Other games, but down here....

Astros 6, Mets 1
Athletics 5, Redsox 0
Bluejays 6, Yankees 5 (10)
Giants 6, Rockies 3
Devilrays 2, Whitesox 1
Marlins 6, Pirates 0

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Derwood!

Today is the birthday of my esteemed colleague, Derwood Morris. He's been covering a lot of ground for me here lately so I wanted to express my gratitude. So I racked my brain for threes of minutes. I mean, what do you get for a guy who has nothing? He has chewed through most of the straps on his straitjacket that he got last year. But I decided to go with the classic clip combining two of his favorite things; Don Mattingly and The Simpsons...

Have a good one, buddy.

Now, here's a Simpsons clip just for me...

*Technically, Yardbarker is owned by Fox and I made them close to 7 cents last month, so I don't think I'm subject to any copyright infringement here*

Curveballs for Jobu 4/18/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Calvin Shiraldi.

Yankees 6, Rangers 5. I'd like to start today's Jobu with one of the top-17 stupidest things Bobby Valentine said during ESPN's Sunday Night broadcast. In regards to the Yankees success since 1996: "The reason for the Yankees' success the last 15 years is (Mariano Rivera), and no one else."

Anyway, NY got a two-out single from Eric Chavez to snap a 5-5 tie in the eighth and take two out of three in a 2010 ALCS rematch. C.C. Sabathia allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings, and because Chubbs Chamberlain gave up the tying run in the sixth, Carsten Charles is still winless, which would mean something if pitcher wins meant something, which they don't. Vinny in Jersey can put that talk radio rant he wrote out on loose leaf paper back in his desk drawer for at least one more day: Rafael Soriano had a scoreless eighth inning despite temperatures in the Bronx dipping into the low-50s.

Indians 4, Orioles 2. That was a cute, little 6-1 start for Baltimore, wasn't it? Like when your friend's kids are two and three-years old, carrying around a teddy bear named Alex and dancing to Tina Turner songs. Then, one day they're 12 and they start skateboarding and getting pimples. The Orioles are the kid who started skateboarding and got pimples. Sunday's loss was Baltimore's seventh consecutive as Grady Sizemore played his first game since last May 16 and homered in his first at bat. Cleveland is 11-4.

Mets 3, Braves 2. Mets win! Mets win! Mets win! Mets win! Dillon Gee, as in "gee, I didn't think the Mets were ever going to win again this season," allowed an earned run in 5 2/3 innings in his first start of 2011.

Mariners 3, Royals 2. Chris Gimenez: DNP

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1. 1. Matt Kemp is good at hitting: 3-for-4, walk-off, two-run HR in ninth, .474 average; 2. Ryan Franklin may need to try throwing left-handed: that was the second time in the series Kemp homered off the Cards' closer in the ninth (though Thursday's solo shot didn't mean much in a 9-5 Cards win), and Franklin has four blown saves and an 11.57 ERA. Simply Irabuian.

Angels 4, Whitesox 2. Dan Haren continued his excellent April, tossing 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball as The LA-Anaheim Angels of one of the Parts of Southern California completed the sweep. Meanwhile, Chicago has Riggleman'd four in a row and five of their last six since a 6-3 start.

Pirates 7, Reds 6. Miguel Cairo: 3-for-4, HR (1).

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 5 (12). During the final six innings of Saturday's game, these four pitchers-Juan Gutierrez, David Hernandez, J.J. Putz and Josh Collmenter-

A. Organized a rally outside Chase Field to help raise awareness of eye black
B. Went in foursies on a goldfish
C. Pitched six scoreless innings, struck out eight batters and allowed one single

The answer, of course, is C.

While the Four Raccoonmen were mowing down the defending champions, Stephen Drew helped Arizona avoid the sweep with a 12th-inning single that sent a reported 446 people at the ballpark into a frenzy.

Other games, but down here....

National 8-5, Brewers 4-1
Padres 8, Astros 6
Rockies 9, Cubs 5
Athletics 5, Tigers 1
Twins 4, Devilrays 2
Redsox 8, Bluejays 1

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Offbase Top 10 Sports Movie Characters

Voted on by an esteemed panel of judges, including:

* Noted scholar Robert Feathers
* A hobo named Vince
* Two guys from the Chevron


10. Hamilton Porter, Sandlot. "Ham", played by Patrick Renna, only cares about baseball and swimming. Gets into legendary kid-insult war with one of the rival kids. Wins with "you play ball like a girl" line, out-lasting rival kid's "you bob for apples in the toilet, and you like it."

Extra points: Gets about seven extra points for not appearing in any of the Sandlot sequels.

Best line (As Scott Smalls runs from left field to home plate with his caught fly ball): "What the hell is he doing?"

9. Spaulding Smails, Caddyshack. The grandson of Judge Elihu Smails' greatest moment was walking around and drinking people's unfinished wine, accidentally swallowing some cigarettes and throwing up in the sunroof of a convertible.

Extra point: Uses the words 'turd' and 'doodie' on more than one occasion.

Best line: "I want a hamburger. No, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips" [gets cut off by Judge Smails]
Judge Smails: "You'll get nothing, and like it!"

8. Tanner Boyle, Bad News Bears. Boyle is the un-questioned leader of the Bears even though he is 3-3, 42-pounds and a bonafide bigot and sexist.

He aso

* Fights the entire 7th grade
* Gets thrown into a trash can defending Lupis
* Makes 139 errors at second base
* Throws his glove at a base-runner on several occasions
* Uses the phrase "booger-eatin' moron"

Extra point: Called out at first on a grounder to second base in second game of the season against the Athletics. Appeared to have beaten the throw.

Best line: "Engelburg, quit your crummy belly-achin' and throw the ball to first base!"

7. Shooter McGavin, Happy Gilmore. He's like Judge Smails but sinister and with much better hair.

Extra point: Does a great double mouth-click finger-gun.

Best line: "I saw two, big, fat naked bikers in the woods off 17 having sex. How can I chip with that going on?"

6. Stillwell, A League of their Own. Over the course of the movie, Evelyn's portly son, played by Justin Scheller, eats the lineup card; nearly runs the Peaches' team bus off the road when he covers the driver's eyes and is nearly killed by a flying glove before game seven of the World Series.

Extra point: Stillwell as an adult is played by Mark Holton, whose character occupies our No. 2 ranking.

Best line (Just before getting hit with the glove): "You're gonna lose, you're gonna lose, you stink, you're gonna lose..."

5. Shooter, Hoosiers. I mean, Dennis Hopper's character is so drunk he wanders out onto the court during the Sectionals against Terhune, screams gibberish at the referees and gets the Huskers a technical foul. Before that, he takes over for an ejected coach Norman Dale, runs the Picket Fence and beats Dugger with a last-second shot.

Extra point: Only shot he remembers taking during his playing days went in and out, but he claims he was fouled.

Best line (To referee after stumbling onto court): "You're out of position to make the call!"

4. Eddie Harris, Major League. Unbelievable workload for a starting pitcher who is obviously in his late-40s/early 50s and can't throw harder than 45 M.P.H. Did the Indians have a bullpen? Harris, played by sports movie legend Chelcie Ross (see: Hoosiers; Rudy), is devoted to the lord, yet reads Hustler and has about six different foreign substances on his body to cheat with while on the mound.

Extra point: Goes 8 2/3 innings and throws 273 pitches (unofficial) in the one-game playoff against the Yankees. Gets no-decision.

Best line: "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?"

3. Jimmy Dugan, A League of their Own. With apologies to Gene Hackman (Norm Dale) and Wilford Brimley (The Natural), Tom Hanks' character is the greatest movie coach/manager of all time. Dugan

- Scratches his crotch for an entire inning
- Knocks a six-year old unconscious by throwing a glove at his head
- Tells an umpire he looks like a penis with a little hat on

And of course, there's the classic baseball card-ripping scene.

Extra point: But he's in the top 3 because of this conversation-

Walter Harvey: You kind of let me down on that San Antonio job.
Jimmy Dugan: I, uh, yeh, I, uh... I freely admit, sir, I had no right to... sell off the team's equipment like that; that won't happen again.
Harvey: Let me be blunt. Are you still a fall-down drunk?
Dugan: Well, that is blunt. Ahem. No sir, I've, uh, quit drinking.
Harvey: You've seen the error of your ways.
Dugan: No, I just can't afford it.
Harvey: It's funny to you. Your drinking is funny. You're a young man, Jimmy, you still could be playing, if you just would've laid off the booze.
Dugan: Well, it's not exactly like that... I hurt my knee.
Harvey: You fell out of a hotel! That's how you hurt it.
Dugan: Well, there was a fire.
Harvey: Which you started, which I had to pay for.
Dugan: Well, now, I was going to send you a thank-you card, Mr. Harvey, but I wasn't allowed anything sharp to write with.

2. Chubby, Teen Wolf Too. A modern-day Renaissance Man. Chubby is not only the heavyweight on Hamilton University's boxing team, he also:

- Plays the tuba in the school's orchestra
- Was the producer/engineer of Teen Wolf Too's live performance of Do You Love Me
- Was on the school's fencing team.

Extra point: Got the boxing team to sing Hamilton's alma mater before the big state final match against the Nimitz Academy.

Best line: All lines are fantastic.

1. Harry Doyle, Major League.

Bob Uecker put together a legendary performance as Indians' play-by-play man Harry Doyle.

Extra point: Essentially in a one-man booth because color commentator, Monty, doesn't speak.

Best lines:

"The Duke leads the league in saves, strike outs and hit batsmen. This guy threw at his own kid at a father-son game."

"A lot of new faces in Chief Wahoo's tribe this year...and hopefully we'll have some of the names that go with those faces before their first at-bat."

Curveballs for Jobu 4/17/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Bo Diaz.

Yankees 5, Rangers 2. After getting identical, 4 1/3 inning, 5 earned run performances from Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova the previous two nights, NY got six shutout innings from Freddy Garcia Saturday. Mark Teixiera and Robinson Cano each hit a two-run home run to help Garcia, though EIGHTH INNING GUY Rafael Soriano tried to give up a 3-0 lead and almost did, but Adrian Beltre's potential go-ahead, three-run home run landed just foul. Apparently, Soriano's worst outings this season have come in cold temperatures, which is a really good sign for the Yankees if they make the post-season because it never gets cold in New York in the fall.

Indians 8, Orioles 3
Royals 7, Mariners 0

What in the name of Cory Snyder and Bob Hamelin is going on here? Both the Tribe and Royals are 10-4 and leading the AL Central after Saturday victories. In other news, none of the three other teams in the AL Central are ahead of Cleveland or Kansas City in the standings.

Braves 4-4, Mets 2-0
Now that the Metropolitans have lost seven consecutive games and are 4-11, it's a good time to start a new Countdown to Unemployment, this time for Terry Collins. We'll set the countdown at 30 days.

Devilsrays 4, Twins 3. All anyone can talk about is how poorly the Redsox have played, and maybe it's because of the high expectations in Boston, but the Twins have stunk, too. Minny led 3-1 heading to the bottom of the eighth until Matt Capps gave up a run in the eighth and Joe Nathan allowed a pair of runs in the ninth to drop the Hrbeks to 4-10. And I could've sworn I saw Casey Kotchman working in the produce department of the Ingles down the street from my apartment, but apparently he was batting seventh in the Tampa lineup and playing first base, getting his first hit of 2011 and walking twice Saturday.

Cardinals 9, Dodgers 2. Rod Barajas: 1-for-3

Reds 11, Pirates 2. Cincy snapped a 2-2 tie with a seven-run fifth inning, and in other innings, Jonny Gomes continued his assault on the Gomes family record books. The outfielder, who came into Saturday's game with a 166 OPS+, hit two home runs and drove in three more runs against Pittsburgh, which is still reeling from a September, 1995 loss to the Cubs.

Brewers at Nationals ppd moldy hot dog, section 304
Marlins at Phillies ppd Antonio Alfonseca

Other games, but down here....

Astros 5, Padres 3
Cubs 8, Rockies 3
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 3
Angels 7, Whitesox 2
Athletics 6, Tigers 2
Redsox 4, Bluejays 1

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lenny Dykstra Is Doing Great

Wall Street guru, bankruptcy filer and part time hobo, Lenny Dykstra, went directly jail to this week without passing go. Which is unfortunate because he really coulda used that $200. It appears that Dykstra is adding grand theft auto to his post MLB resume that is already filled with some pretty hilarious financial misadventures...
Dykstra, 48, was arrested Thursday night by Los Angeles police at his Encino home on suspicion of trying to buy a stolen car, police spokesman Officer Christopher No said. He did not have other details.

Dykstra remained jailed Friday.

His arrest came a day after Dykstra, in an unrelated federal complaint, was charged with embezzling from a bankruptcy estate. He faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted.
One of the items he sold from the bankruptcy estate case was a $50,000 sink which, if he was a better investor, could have bought him like seven Kias.

I really hope Nails doesn't end up in prison. I was planning on promoting a cage fight between him, Jose Canseco and a donkey. I already got all of my permits in Mexico.

Andrew McCutchen'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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

There was magic in the air Friday night. Andrew McCutchen was plugged into the leadoff spot for the Pirates and it turns out he's allergic to it. It took McCutchen all of five innings to record a Golden Sombrero but in his only other plate appearance he reached on an error, shattering my dreams of a Platinum Sombrero. Pinata dog was also bummed out.

Let's see what McCutchen was flailing at...

Top 1st: McCutchen struck out looking against Bronson Arroyo. Hey, it happens.

Top 2nd: McCutchen struck out looking against Arroyo again. Meh, it was a 3-2 count. But two strikeout in the first two innings certainly gets me excited.

Top 4th: McCutchen struck out swinging against Arroyo. I get sad because I remember McCutchen is on my fantasy team.

Top 5th: McCutchen struck out swinging against Matt Maloney. Yikes.

McCutchen is now hitting .196/.302/.370 with 2 homers and 0 stolen bases. Serves me right for drafting a Pirate. I bet he's never even attempted a hostile takeover of a cruise ship.

Curveballs for Jobu 4/16/2011

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Tim Unroe.

Cardinals 11, Dodgers 2.
Looks like that Pujols fella is starting to warm up. Albert went 2-5 with a pair of homers. What's weird though is that Lance Berkman hit his fifth and sixth home runs of the season. I don't think there's anyway he keeps this up and he plays right field like he's cemented to the field but so far that signing looks pretty good.

Angels 4, White Sox 3.
After a rain delay, Jered Weaver gave up a two-run home run to Adam Dunn and saw his ERA baloon to 1.30. And he only struck out four so I'm starting to worry about him. He did run his record to 4-0 and I'm beginning to get cautiously optimistic about the Angels 2011 chances in the West.

Rangers 5, Yankees 3.
The Yankees took turns hitting into double plays (6!) and the Rangers got 8 strong innings from Matt Harrison to keep rolling right along. Damn, the Rangers drive me crazy.

Padres 4, Astros 2.
Isn't that adorable? They think they're real MLB teams.

Royals 6, Mariners 5.
Jeff Francoeur, hitting cleanup for the Royals, went 3-4 with a home run and zero strikeouts. He's hitting .327/.339/.509 so far. As soon as I see some locusts, I'm declaring Apocalypse.

Other games, but down here....

Indians 8, Orioles 2.
Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6.
Rays 5, Twins 2.
Tigers 8, A's 4 (10).
Nationals 4, Brewers 3 (10).
Marlins 4, Phillies 3.
Pirates 6, Reds 1.
Braves, Mets PPD
Rockies 5, Cubs 0.
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 2.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Off Base Crashes The Baseball Show

My good friends Clint from Diamond Hoggers and Mike at the The Golden Sombrero have a podcast called The Baseball Show. It's a great show with two guys who love baseball and are very knowledgeable about the sport. But for some reason, they keep having me on it. I was on back in February and this time I was joined by Derwood, making his long awaited podcast debut.

So if you have 90 minutes, you too can now know the story behind the forming of Off Base, the Off Base t-shirts, and Derwood's hilarious The Bobby Classifieds. We also listen to Derwood eat Cheez-Its and find out if his car catches on fire. There's also a little conversation about Jose Canseco, Yankees, Reds, Braves, Angels (more Vernon Wells!), high school versions of Jason Heyward and Buster Posey and a whole lot more...

It's always a blast talking to those guys so go check out their sites and follow them on Twitter @DiamondHoggers and @GoldenSombrero. You can usually finds us hanging out at the virtual bar.

Curveballs for Jobu 4/15/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Nelson Liriano.

Yankees 6, Orioles 5. Phil Hughes stunk again-4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER-and apparently, I'm not allowed to come within 1,000 feet of him until "all the evidence comes in", according to this letter. Anyway, this time Hughes' odor didn't matter. Trailing 5-0, New York rallied for a run in the fifth, two more in the sixth and another in the seventh to make it 5-4. Then in the ninth, Felix Pie came racing home on a wild pitch and tried to slide through the covering Joba Chamberlain, who literally ate a (different) Felix Pie for breakfast Thursday morning. Chamberlain applied the tag, Pie never touched home and Little Bucky came wobbling out to argue. When all that was over, Jorge Posada led off the bottom of the ninth with a tying home run, and Nick Swisher, who had hit three balls a total of 37 feet in his previous three official at bats, lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to help NY sweep the rain-shortened two-game series and move into sole possession of first in the East. Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez? Off to an OK start: .412/.512/.882 slash line after a 3-for-3, 2 2B night.

Astros 1, Padres 0. Fernando Abad: 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K

Devilrays 4, Twins 3 (10). All the talk of Tampa's slow start, but after Johnny Damon's walk-off home run won it Thursday, these two teams have the same record: 4-8. A Tampa Bay fan had this to say after the dramatic win:

Royals 5, Mariners 1 (8). It's sad for us to say, but we're almost out of things to make fun of about Wilson Betemit. The guy hit his first home run of the year and is hitting .387 as KC improved to 8-4 with a rain-shortened victory. And who told Bruce Chen he could scatter six hits in eight scoreless innings? I mean, just what in the name of Terry Shumpert is going on in Kansas City? A Tampa Bay fan may have our answer:

Rockies 6-9, Mets 5-4. Sometimes the staff at Offbase (MTD, Derwood and a squirrel named Lenny) bypass rational, April-type thinking and make outlandish statements. Here's today's: when it comes to the New York Mets baseball club, they are mathematically eliminated from the NL East race. That's it, we've already had enough. Thursday, the Mutters (4-8) were swept by Colorado in the doubleheader, which completed a four-game sweep for the Rocks. Troy Tulowitzki had a decent series: 10-for-16, four HR, 8 RBIs, on base in 14 of 20 plate appearances.

Marlins 6, Braves 5. Emilio Bonifacio: DNP

Phillies 4, Nationals 0. Cliff Lee faced three over the minimum and threw 25 balls in his 12-strike out, complete game victory. Other teams should've tried to sign him instead of letting him go to Philly, where he's only going to get over-shadowed by Wilson Valdez.

Other games, but down here....

Brewers 4, Pirates 1
Tigers 3, Athletics 0
Cardinals 9, Dodgers 5

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Andy Stankiewicz Fan Club Formed

Offbasepercentage would like to announce the second of many fan clubs: The Andy Stankiewicz Fan Club.

$2.10 membership fee includes:

* An Andy Strike Outs in 1998 lithograph (one of 33 made)
* Personal birthday voice mail message from Stankiewicz himself, or Andy Stankiewicz impersonator Tony Delvecchio

Email mtd or to join

Peter Bourjos' 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, no-hitters and Brian Wilson's beard 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.

Peter Bourjos is pure fun to watch play center field. Even when he doesn't get a good jump or read, his speed allows him to make difficult catches look effortless. Unfortunately, he has almost no reason to even take a bat to any of his plate appearances. In 193 PA in 2010, Bourjos hit .204/.237/.381 but Mike Scioscia saw enough improvement in his 2011 .220/.267/.390 line to go ahead and bat him leadoff.

How'd it go, you ask? Dammit, I have to stop giving away the answers to these questions in the post title. He went 0-5 with 4 strikeouts. Let's go to the lowlights...

Bottom 1st: Bourjos struck out looking against Carlos Carrasco. You want your leadoff hitter to see some pitches. Bourjos watched three straight go right past him.

Bottom 3rd: Bourjos struck out swinging against Carrasco. Three straight balls followed by three straight strikes. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of plate appearances, if you will.

Bottom 5th: Bourjos struck out swinging against Carrasco.

Bottom 8th: Bourjos struck out swinging against Vinnie Pestano in three pitches. Look at who didn't even need those three extra innings to record a Golden Sombrero. And for that, we salute you.

Curveballs for Jobu 4/14/11

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Rusty Greer.

Yankees 6, Orioles 4. Alan James Burnett moved to 3-0 with a solid outing against the now-tied for first place Orioles. Burnett gave up a pair of two-run home runs in the seventh, but it overshadowed an overall-solid performance: 6 1/3 IP, 5 K. Alex Rodriguez hit a 3-run shot in the first and Jorge Posada hit a solo in the fifth, the fourth tater of the season for each. Baltimore starter Chris Tillman smelled like Steve Balboni's tube socks after a doubleheader (1 2/3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER).

Marlins 5, Braves 1
. Josh Johnson, not to be confused with Jack Johnson, or Joe Johnson, or Jake Jackson, or Jesper Jensen, had a no-hitter broken up with one out in the eighth by Freddie Freeman, who blooped a double to left field. It's the second time the Marlins' ace has had a no-no broken up. On opening day he blanked the Mets for six innings until recent Sombreroist Willie Harris doubled. It wouldn't have mattered anyway because in the new rule book, no-hitters against the Mets are actually recorded as four-hitters. Johnson still tossed 7 1/3, one-hit innings and struck out nine Wednesday, and Chris Coghlan had three hits and a pair of RBIs. The welcome home that was scheduled next week at the Miami airport for Johnson was canceled due to lack of care, and poster board.

Brewers 6, Pirates 0. John Bowker: DNP

Tigers 3, Rangers 2. Detroit did it again, beating Texas in its last at bat for the second consecutive day. This time it was Brandon Inge, who took the first pitch he saw from 67-year old Darren Oliver and ripped a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.

Royals 10, Twins 5. It's only April 14, but KC is three games better than the two-time defending Central champions. Minny starter Francisco Liriano did a little bit of everything Wednesday and everything was terrible as he allowed seven earned runs and eight hits in five innings. In the Royals' six-run fourth, Liriano gave up six consecutive hits, including back-to-back hits to Jeff Francoeur and Wilson Betemit, which is a $75 fine in the Netherlands.

Padres 3, Reds 2. Brad Hawpe: 0-for-0, walk.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2. Roy Halladay (CG, 6 H, 2 ER, 9 K) is just better than all of us. It's time we excepted it and moved on to documenting the career of Dave Lapoint for a future biography, which I may or not be doing.

Devilrays at Redsox ppd urine puddles in concourse behind home plate

Other games, but down here....

Athletics 7, Whitesox 4 (10)
Bluejays 8, Mariners 3
Rockies 5, Mets 4
Angels 4, Indians 3 (12)