Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rafael Soriano Doesn't Like Easy Money

Why you hatin'?
According to this John Heyman report (Does anyone else find it odd that Heyman always breaks news about Boras clients?), Rafael Soriano is expected to decline his $14 million player option for 2013. Which makes no sense to this humble blogger writing this from the basement of his parents house (at least that's what newspaper writers would like for you to believe).

Scott Boras is renowned for being able to squeeze every last cent from teams pursuing one of his clients. But, it's not as if Raf-Sor is getting any younger. at 33 years old, he probably expects Boras to spin a one year deal into a four year pact with some dopey GM who believes the save stat is as useful as the RBI stat. It's not like he has a Tony Reagins to pray on this offseason.

Monday, October 29, 2012

San Francisco Sweeps In Series Supremacy

That was quick. The Giants didn't even seem to break a sweat except for some brief extra inning action in game four and anytime Pablo Sandoval was forced to do light jogging. Speaking of Kung Fu Panda, Sandoval took home the MVP and new Corvette after his three homer game one and .500/.529/1.125 series slasher.

Of course the Giants won the World Series. They only faced elimination in three straight games against the Reds. They obviously knew 36-year-old Marco Scutoro just needed a change of scenery from COORS FIELD to become a great hitter. The Giants managed to lull the Tigers pitching into a false sense of security by including Gregor Blanco and Brandon Crawford in their line-ups. And that Barry Zito versus Justin Verlander duel did end up being pretty mismatched just not in the way everybody expected. So congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for proving baseball is a crazy game. An incredible, hard to predict, crazy game.

I mean, I predicted the Giants would win the World Series before the playoffs so don't pull a hamstring rushing to pat me on the back. But the Giants weren't even a popular pick when they got into the World Series according to the research I did by going to Just five of the 28 ESPN baseball type people had the Giants defeating the Tigers. If my math is correct, that makes me smrter than Keith Law.

The Tigers extra rest and ability to line up their dominant pitching rotation didn't prove to be an advantage. Prince Fielder hit a .071/.133/.071 line so poor Brandon Wood snickered at it. On the bright side, Drew Smyly and Gerald Laird let Angel Pagan steal second base in game two and now we all get free tacos at Taco Bell on 10/30 between 2 pm to 6 pm. Baseball, American as free tacos. Is what my grandpa always says.

It was an impressive run by the Giants but they were kind of jerks by ending the season so abruptly. We'll miss you, baseball.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Retail Chain Makes a Boo Boo, Astros Still Borderline Irrelevant

Academy Sports, who has a partnership with the Houston Astros, had a bit of a whoopsie moment when they accidentally put out 'Stros shirts bearing the new logo that the team will be using in 2013. The new gear wasn't supposed to be unveiled until November 2nd. Whoops.

New/Old Logo

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Obey Our New Panda Overlords

Baseball has apparently been taken over, "conquered" if you will, by a master race of giant space pandas. And I, for one, welcome our new panda overlords. Frankly, I've been asking for it with all the fat jokes/Thai Cashew Chicken Breast references. I don't know what Justin Verlander did though.

Pablo Sandoval hit home runs in each of his first three at bats against the Tigers in game one of the World Series. Sandoval connected with an 0-2 offering from Verlander in the first to give the Giants an early lead. Sandoval struck again in the third inning with his second home run off Verlander, this time a 2-0 count. If toppling the mighty Verlander wasn't enough, Sandoval hit a 1-1 pitch off Al Alburquerque for his home run hat trick in the fifth.

Sandoval joined Albert Pujols, Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth (twice, of course) as the members of the three home run in a single World Series game club. They should work on the renaming that club for the sake of fitting it on the back of a sweet jean jacket. Only four other players have homered three times in one non-WS playoff game including the night Adam Kennedy went berserker on the Twins.

The Tigers will send out Doug Fister next to slow down the Kung Fu Panda. I suggest dividing his attention with picnic baskets and forest fires.

[img and unrelated panda story at Yahoo!]

How To Be Comeback Player of the Year

AL Comeback Player of the year. Joe Nathan? Nope. Kendrys Morales? Negative. Fernando Rodney won the MLB's voting and Adam Dunn took home the Sporting News' hardware. Of which, neither player actually had to "comeback" from, well, anything.

Let's start with Fernando Rodney who also won the Fireman of the Year award. Rodney was as lights out as you could possibly be this year. posting a 0.77 ERA and converting 48 of 48 save opportunities. This season was a far cry from the previous two seasons he spent in Anaheim, the last of which he was relegated to mop up duty. However, that is where it should end. Reliever of the Year. All he had to come back from after the last two years was just being bad at baseball, but he did have an amazing year, so I'll buy it.

Adam Dunn on the other hand, has absolutely no business winning the Sporting News' Comeback Player of the Year award. Dunn was terrible in his first season with the White Sox last year posting a .159/.292/.277 slash line. Somewhere, Mario Mendoza is laughing at you Adam. Adam Dunn's 2012 line, .204/.333/.468 with 41 HR and 96 RBI's. Damn you RBI's. Shiny counting stats win again. Apparently the voters failed to notice that the Big Donkey led the league in strikeouts with 222 (which is also his career high). For contrast, Kendrys Morlaes' slash line was .273/.320/.467. Oh yeah, and Morales had to come back from a career threatening leg injury, not that that matters or anything. 

At least the National League voters got it right with Buster Posey taking home both the MLB and Sporting News awards. After getting nuked at the plate last year, some didn't think he could come back as a catcher. Not only did he come back as a catcher, but he is also right in the thick of the MVP race in the NL. Well done Buster, well done. It's just too bad the two different players won in the AL who did not embody the idea of overcoming adversity to actually come back. 

My prediction for next year; Justin Smoak in the AL, because Jacoby Ellsbury set the "Coming back while still arbitration eligible" precedent. Xavier Nady in the NL, because someone has to actually deserve it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Mike Hllywa

Newest Off Base Percentage staff writer Mike Hllywa turns an appropriate looking age today and we'd like to take a moment to celebrate. Sure, that's why there's vodka in our orange juice this morning. I discovered the young Hllywa on Twitter and developed him into the fine writer before you today. Is how I'm going to tell it if he makes it big time before begging him for a job.

Hllywa is a devoted Angels fan and husband. For now. I've seen how much time he spends on Twitter. Sorry, Mrs. Hllywa. You can read Mike's Angels thoughts over at Halo Hangout and, of course, the quality nonsense here. Follow him on Twitter @mike_hllywa to help us convince Tom advanced metrics aren't hocus pocus or some other phrase from yesteryear.

I tried to get Mike's mancrushes Nick Morande and Kaleb Cowart to pillow fight for his birthday but only managed to score more restraining orders. So, your Fudgie the Whale is in the mail.

Mike shares his birthday with Robinson Cano, Ichiro and Jimmie Foxx. Also, the underrated Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Saul Goodman), Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Lloyd. Points are deducted for Carlos Mencia. Overall, a pretty good birthday, um, day. I share my birthday with Vince DiMaggio and Swoosie Kurtz.

Anyway, happy birthday, bud.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Andrew McCutchen Likes Weird TV

It seems like, on top of being a really good baseball player, Andrew McCutchen is also a fan of both Carrie Underwood and redneck TV show Honey Boo Boo.

  MLB Star Andrew McCutchen -- I LOOOOOVE Honey Boo Boo!!!
  - Watch More
  Celebrity Videos

I guess when you put up a 7.0 bWAR season and are willing to sign a below market value contract to stay with the Pittsburgh Pirates, things like this can be forgiven. Carrie Underwood, OK, I'll buy it, but Honey Boo Boo? Da Fuck Cutch?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jack Morris, Pitch Counts and, Warm Fuzzies?

What. A. Mustache.
Jack Morris; World Series champion, Hall of Fame hopeful, fantastic mustache cultivator. Jack Morris is all of these things and many more. And now, thanks to the sound bites in the Detroit Free Press, we can add pitch count hater to that list as well.

Prior to throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of game three, the media caught up with Morris and asked him the usual; "How does it feel being here in Detroit for the playoffs" kind of questions. Then, someone asked him about pitch counts:
"I believe that pitch count is overrated,"
Well, that was insightful.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Watching a Relievers Life Flash Before His Eyes

I guess the three run lead that Jose Valverde gave up against the A's in Game Four of the ALDS just wasn't good enough for him. Either that, or, Jim Leyland has given up on cigarettes giving him a heart attack. Of course, you would think that a four run lead is safe wouldn't you? Of course you would. Even with his struggles this year, Valverde is still a "proven closer," and, he is Leyland's guy. So the old man did what he did all year, he brought in Papa Grande to close out the ninth.

And for that, baseball fans who don't have emotional interest in this game thank you Mr. Leyland.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Round Over, Tums Sales Skyrocket

So, that was fun. four series, all went five games. We had one team comeback from a 2-0 deficit to win the series, on the road. One near comeback from 2-0 with them losing game five at home(First time in LDS history). Four games in one series got decided by two runs or less, with two extra inning games to boot. And one series feature a game five come from behind win which was capped off by a four run ninth, just because, why not. Here are some of the best tweets from tonight as the Cardinals took the lead from the Nationals:

There are other sports?

It's that point where every Nationals fan jumped.

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012 BBA Award Ballot

It's time once again for the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) award balloting. The baseball award season is great because arguing about stuff is fun. The awards themselves aren't as important as we make them appear with the never ending coverage. Sure, a few MVPs will look good on your Hall of Fame resume or a CY Young will get you that bonus to restock the jet ski fleet at your other beach house.

But the voting matters more now than ever due to the Twitter era. The awards have become about the newfangled stat nerds (or sabermetric friendly crowd) and the old school baseball, "hey kids, RBI are cool" gang getting together for a 140 character or less battle to the death. Or something like that.

In order to show how serious I take the BBA ballot, I will not vote Mike Trout for every award even if he deserves it.

AL Stan Musial (top player)
1. Mike Trout
In the past 20 years, only Mike Trout (10.7 rWAR in 2012) and Barry Bonds (11.6 in 2001 and 2002) have had a 10.5 or higher Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement. Trout also broke records left and right for being too good too young.
2. Miguel Cabrera
The Triple Crown will probably win Miggy the MVP. You win this round, RBI.
3. Robinson Cano
4.Adrian Beltre
I wonder if people will notice him when he gets into the Hall of Fame.
5. Justin Verlander
6. Joe Mauer
Led baseball in OBP.
7. Edwin Encarnancion
8. David Price
9. Josh Hamilton
10. Austin Jackson

NL Stan Musial
1. Buster Posey
2. Ryan Braun
Had a better 7.9 fWAR in 2012 than his 7.6 fWAR in 2011.
3. Andrew McCuthcen
The Pirates blew his chance to win but McCutchen is a monster.
4. Chase Headley
He's a Padre.
5. Yadier Molina
I have no problem with Molina finishing higher. The youngest Molina is clearly the best Molina and Christmas is now a little awkward.
6. David Wright
The Mets are four games away from being mathematically eliminated in 2013.
7. R.A. Dickey
Too many Mets.
8. Aramis Ramirez
9. Clayton Kershaw
10. Matt Holliday

AL Walter Johnson (top pitcher)
1. Justin Verlander
2. David Price
3. Jered Weaver
4. Felix Hernandez
5. Chris Sale

Or Yu Darvish.

NL Walter Johnson
1. R.A. Dickey
The most fascinating pitcher in baseball. Brought sexy back to the knuckleball.
2. Clayton Kershaw
3. Gio Gonzalez
4. Cliff Lee

He's so good and went 6-9. Pitcher wins are silly.
5. Johnny Cueto

AL Willie Mays (top rookie)
1. Mike Trout
The BBA should change the name of this award. This should be..what's more than unanimous?
2. Yu Darvish
3. Yoenis Cespedes

NL Willie Mays
1. Bryce Harper
Harper and Trout have ruined us for all future rookies. Both were better than advertised.
2. Wade Miley
3. Norichika Aoki

AL Goose Gossage (top reliever)
1. Fernando Rodney
Dogs and cats living together...mass hysteria.
2. Greg Holland
3. Darren O'Day

NL Goose Gossage
1. Craig Kimbrel
2. Aroldis Chapman
3.Kenley Jansen

AL Connie Mack (top manager)
I still don't really understand how to measure this one. It's easier to pick out a manger who is bad at his job than find one who is especially good at his.
1. Buck Showalter
2. Bob Melvin
3. Joe Maddon

NL Connie Mack
1. Davey Johnson
Jim Riggleman was so close!
2. Dusty Baker
3. Some other NL manager
3. Don Mattingly?

More to come on the end of season hardware after I'm wrong about everything. Everything except Mike Trout.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

That's Right Baby

Angel Pagan is excited. And damnit, he should be. Bruce Bochy gave the ball to Barry Zito yesterday, and He did his best to throw the game away (Although Bruce can now claim that the Giants have won Zito's last 12 starts when he calls upon him for the next elimination game). In the fourth inning after Jose Mijares struck out Joey Votto, Bochy brought in The Freak. Lincecum came in and promptly struck out Ryan Ludwick to end the fourth, then would pitch four more innings, striking out six and allowing only one run. Looks like someone felt like they had a point to make.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Joakim Soria To Be Mexicuted By Royals

The Royals are on the verge of giving Joakim Soria a giant $750,000 consolation check for not picking up his $8 million club option. Soria, once a star closer, had a 1.78 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 9.73 K/9 and 43 saves in 2010 (aka the good times). The past two seasons haven't gone quite so well leading up to a potential split between the 28-year-old reliever and the 90 loss MLB team. The Royals have interest in bringing Soria back after he becomes a free agent but for pesos on the dollar instead of what Alex Rodriguez refers to as "loose change."

I've managed to narrow down the reasons why the Royals are declining Soria's option to three.

1. After seeing Soria's ERA balloon to 4.03 in 2012, Dayton Moore realized the volatile nature of relievers and decided $8 million is way too much to spend on one bullpen member. This gives Moore more credit than I feel comfortable putting on him.

2. Soria underwent his second Tommy John surgery since 2003 just over six months ago. That should put him on track for the start of 2013 and this isn't his first rodeo...
“I know what to expect because this is my second time,” he cautioned. “I know what’s coming for me. There will be some days when I don’t feel that good, and there will be days that are awesome.”

Soria paused and broke into a wide smile before adding: “Right now, at this point, I feel awesome.”
Awesome indeed. I'd have some cadaver ligaments sewn onto me for a free $750,000.

3. No more mojo. The most likely reason is Soria tried to fix something that wasn't broken. Before the 2011 season, Soria dumped the nickname "The Mexicutioner." While his reasoning for the nickname change was sound, the Taco Bell themed nicknames I suggested ("Cruchwrap" and "Diet Pepsi" were among my favorites) did not quite strike the same fear in his opponents. Which I can only assume led to the bloated 2011 ERA and FIP, overcompensation and eventual Tommy John surgery.

If Soria can be had for a nice discount, he could be a good low risk, high reward piece for the back of most bullpens. Of course I'd have the team doctor poke around on him before handing out a contract. He might be put together by rubber bands like a GI Joe action figure.

Giants turn to Barry Zito to Save Season

Down two games to one in the NLDS against the Reds, the Giants are turning to their most trusted pitcher, Barry Zito? OK, so maybe not their most trusted pitcher, but when you are 11-0 in any pitchers last 11 starts, superstition tends to get the best of you. What is surprising is that the Giants are leaving their formerly Ace baker, I mean pitcher, Tim Lincecum in the bullpen. Not that Timmy has been any good this year. Or has he?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bryce Harper Loves the Media

Here's a phrase that I'll bet you never thought you'd read: "If Bryce Harper makes it to the big leagues this year, he is going to fly under the radar." OK, maybe not completely under the radar, but with Mike Trout doing things that rookies were not allowed to do before this season, young Harper simply disappeared from the headlines for a few months. Now that the postseason is here, and the Nationals have defied conventional thinking by steamrolling there way in, Bryce is back to being the media darling he was expected to be.

After the Nationals got slammed last night by the Cardinals, the media caught up with Artist Formerly Known as the Chose One to ask him about the game and remaining three to be played at Nationals Park. Take it away young man.

First off, nice outfit. Digging the bow tie. And it was very modest of you to ask the reporters if you looked good before the round of questioning began. The basic questions are there and Bryce responds with Crash Davis like efficiency, but then, a curveball. To Bryce's credit, he knocked it out of the park with his "Maybe you should be the hitting coach line." It's hard to blame the reporter for asking the question. How do you not ask a 19 year old if he is over anxious when he is playing on the biggest stage during his rookie year? It has to be asked.

Of course, Harper has a history with clown questions, and although this one was not as memorable as the "Do you have a favorite beer even though you're not of legal drinking age" question, it does rank up there, if only for the response.

Bryce Harper - 2
Media - 0

By the way, sweet Faux Hawk dude.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Al Alburquerque Loves the Baseball

There are quite a few ways to show up the opposing team. You can hot dog down the first base line after hitting wall scraping home run. You can do the Jose Valverde dance. Brandon Phillips is possibly the best defensive shower upper (pretty sure that's not a term) with his inability to make a routine play, well, routine.

Last night during game 2 of the ALDS against the Oakland A's (Who seem to have remembered that they are, in fact, the Oakland A's), fans were witness to a little bit of showing up done by one Al Alburquerque.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

At Least Tigers Fans Are Faithful

If there is one thing that you can't say about Tigers fans, it's that they support their players. Even when details like defensive ability and baserunning are presented in front of them.

It's rather endearing that they show up to the game with crowns on carrying banners with sayings on them like the one in the picture above. It's also, well, slightly annoying to be honest. And that's even if I leave WAR out of the equation.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Outfield Fly Rule

Welcome to the new playoffs. Unfortunately they came equipped with the same umpires as the old ones. We could go on and on about Robots and expanded replay and so on, but really, all you need to do is watch this video.

I'll wait.

Wow, just wow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Off Base Percentage Postseason Picks

The postseason. It's the magical time of the year following a grueling 162 game marathon. The playoffs have everything needed for a baseball fairy tale. The unlikely underdogs, the evil Yankees, no hitters, little flags made out of gold and an elf won the 2006 World Series MVP. Also, the Pirates don't believe the postseason is real.

I'm sure you you've been waiting with bated breath for my predictions. You're in luck. Not only do you get my picks, made with an intricate scientific method involving the aerial rotation of coins, but you get the predictions from some other people with spare time on their hands.


Reason for being here: Founder and Editor of Off Base Percentage, Nonsense Czar

AL Wild Card
Texas over Baltimore in one game

New York over Texas in five games
Oakland over Detroit in four games

Oakland over New York in six games
MVP-Yoenis Cespedes
Cespedes is presented with a golden raft by the A's due an incentive clause

NL Wild Card
Atlanta over St. Louis in one game

Atlanta over Washington in five games
San Francisco over Cincinnati in four games

San Francisco over Atlanta in six games
MVP-Hunter Pence
Popular question during series is "When did Hunter Pence become a Giant or relevant?"

World Series
San Francisco over Oakland in six games
Dave Stewart Madison Bumgarner
Giants exact their revenge on the A's. Tony LaRussa gets the shakes but it has nothing to do with an earthquake.

Derwood Morris

Reason for being here: Co-founder of Off Base, asylum couldn't put the pieces back together again


Baltimore over Texas in wild card game
New York over Baltimore
Oakland over Detroit
LCS - New York over Oakland, MVP Rafael Soriano


Atlanta over St. Louis in wild card game
Washington over Atlanta
Cincinnati over San Francisco
LCS - Cincinnati over Washington, MVP Joey Votto

WS - Yankees over Reds, MVP - Robinson Cano

Couple other things:

1. During game one of the Yankees Division Series, the amount of time it takes someone to say either of the following:

"They play for world championships in New York, not division titles"


"They don't hang division title banners here."

11 seconds.

2. If the Reds and Athletics play each other in the World Series, I will refer to it as the Todd Benzinger Series.

Clint Evans

Reason for being here: Editor of Diamond Hoggers, fellow host of The Baseball Show podcast, resident Reds fan

Braves over Cardinals
Orioles over Rangers

Tigers over A's in 4
Yankees over Orioles in 5
Braves over Nationals in 4
Giants over Reds in 5

Tigers over Yankees in 6 MVP: Prince Fielder
Giants over Braves in 7 MVP: Madison Bumgarner

Tigers over Giants in 5
MVP: Austin Jackson


Reason for being here: My girlfriend, could not identify chloroform as the smell on that rag

AL Wild Card
Baltimore over Texas

New York over Baltimore
Detroit over Oakland

Detroit over New York
MVP-Miguel Cabrera

NL Wild Card
Atlanta over St. Louis

Washington over Atlanta
Cincinnati over San Francisco

Cincinnati over Washington
MVP-Aroldis Chapman

World Series
Detroit over Cincinnati
MVP-Justin Verlander

Career Options For Bobby Valentine

After a season that made Red Sox fans miss 2011's epic collapse and chicken and beer fiasco, Boston unshockingly fired manager Bobby Valentine. While the 69-93 record was bad enough, Valentine didn't exactly ingratiate himself with the franchise. A few of his lowlights included ripping Kevin Youkilis for a lack of enthusiasm, alienating himself from players like Dustin Pedroia, calling the September roster the worst in the history of baseball and falling off his bike while reading a text message. That last one might go in the pro list actually.

What's next for Bobby Valentine? Hard to say. Crazy people are unpredictable but I have a few suggestions.

1. Return to Managing
Well, it is what he's good at done most recently. After an impressive season of getting Red Sox players, front office and fans to dislike him, a return to MLB might be a long shot. Sure, there's always Japan but I have a better idea. Jose Canseco will be playing baseball for some kind of Independent League or Mexican Death Match League or bloated old man softball travel league. If Valentine were to manage, that would free up some time for Canseco to sell more hypobaric chambers.

2. Return to ESPN
This is the boring option as ESPN currently runs a tighter ship than the Red Sox. As soon as Valentine says Chris Berman is a lazy asshole resting on his laurels with an earnumbing shtick, Valentine is going to be back in the unemployment line. But I would totally watch Baseball Tonight for that.

3. Star in the Hollywood reboot of Duck Soup

Because it is Hollywood, the new Duck Soup movie will have less to do with the Marx Brothers' classic and more about ruining the kids' game duck-duck-goose by adding aliens and explosions. Directed by Michael Bay, due out July 2014.

4. Host of Japanese Game Show
Valentine was quite popular with the fans when he managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball. The fans will love him in the new trivia game show 私の睾丸の多くの痛み. The show, roughly translated to "much pain in my testicles," will feature Valentine asking trivia questions similar to Jeopardy. If a contestant gets a question wrong, they are shot in the crotch by the tennis ball cannon from American Gladiators. The winner fights an octopus in giant tank for a custom built sex robot.

5. Washed Up Former MLBer Turned Bartender
Valentine already owns a sports bar in Stamford, Connecticut so he's two-thirds there. He's even opening franchises in other towns that make you want to drink according to my sources. Imagine Bobby regaling you with classic stories like that time he put on a disguise to sneak back into the dugout after being ejected or the time he crashed his bike reading a text message from Dustin Pedroia. For the 43rd time. It's cool though because making your way in the world today takes everything you've got, taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. I'd rename Bobby Valentine's Sports Gallery Cafe to Jeers but that's just me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Buck Showalter Almost Burned Down Orioles Plane

The Orioles clinched a playoff birth on Sunday. The Orioles. Not only did they clinch a playoff birth, the Orioles are tied for first with the Yankees in the AL East. The Orioles. The team that finished last in the East just a year ago by losing 93 games. The Orioles. A team with a rotation built around Joe Saunders, bandaids, Wei-Yin Chen, a catapult made from Legos and praying for rain. The Orioles. The team that employs and starts two players with career strikeout rates over 30% (Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds).

Davis is having his best season and his second with a positive Wins Above Replacement. He's been crushing it in September hitting .337/.419/.652 with eight home runs including five in his last four games. But it wasn't Davis' smoking hot streak that caused the fire on the Orioles charter plane forcing an emergency landing.

In what I assume was a team-building exercise, manager extraordinaire Buck Showalter was responsible for the kitchen fire and the unscheduled trip to the Jacksonville airport en route to St. Petersburg. I hope they got to use the inflatable slide. Maybe it wasn't technically Showalter's fault but he is taking the blame...
“I didn’t get my coffee so I am a little ornery," he said. "You all know how I am when I don’t get a cup of coffee. They were getting ready to heat up coffee, that’s what happened. So it’s my fault.”
To recap, the Orioles are somehow in the playoffs and do not heat up a tin foil bowl of coffee in the plane's microwave.