Thursday, August 28, 2014

Survivor Dips Into the Baseball's Retirement Home Again

Survivor comes back on September 24th, and for the second time in the TV show's history, a former Major League baseball player will be on scene trying to win some serious dough and be crowned The Survivor.

Two years ago it was Jeff Kent who stomped around shirtless for a few weeks before being voted off the island. I can only imagine whether or not Barry Bonds had some input on that vote. This year, the former baseball player playing the part of former baseball player on Survivor is everyone's favorite racist/conservative, John Rocker.

MLB Simply Couldn't Help Themselves, Could They

The Cubs have been steadily making the future right now by bringing up some of the best and brightest prospects (Except for Kris Bryant, who should totally be a regular in their everyday lineup. But I digress). A couple of weeks ago it was hard-swinging and hard-hitting Javier Baez. Yesterday, it was Jorge Soler.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Al Jean, Jose Canseco and Homer at the Bat

Perhaps you aren't a Simpsons fan and have no idea that every Simpsons ever started playing the marathon of all marathons last Thursday on FXX. If that's the case, this post isn't for you. Please go back to watching The Big Bang Theory on TBS. But if you're like me, you haven't been able to turn the channel in over 250-ish hours. Both work and my cable provider have called to make sure I was still alive. I am! And I still at least have cable for the moment.

Homer at the Bat, episode 8F13 with an original air date of February 20, 1992, aired during the marathon on Friday morning. This is important for a few reasons. Homer at the Bat was an amazing episode with player cameos galore. I also still had a concept of what day of the week it was. And finally, I hadn't fully armed myself with the protective coat of Cheeto dust that I'm sporting as I write this.

If you're unfamiliar with the episode, shame on you. You can catch up with my team study from 2010 right here. But the reason for rehashing this episode over 24(!) years later is that long time show runner, writer, producer and general Simpsons extraordinaire, Al Jean, is still not a fan of Jose Canseco. The commentary from Homer at the Bat is worth watching for a lot of nuggets but this was always my favorite, from Al Jean...

I usually say it's my favorite one, you know, people ask me, that I worked on, just because it was so exciting to meet all these guys and they were all really nice except for one whose name rhymed with Manseco

Of course, I pointed out that I knew this nerdy fact...

And got this response...

And now Blowsay Manseco will be the name of every fantasy baseball team I ever own again. Don't even think about stealing that either. Al Jean's blue haired lawyer claims I owe him $1.20 every time I type or say Blowsay Manseco. Dammit!

In case you are wondering why Al Jean might have been slightly annoyed grunt with Blowsay, I'll refer you to Deadspin's 20th anniversary post on the episode...

Aside from the logistics of recording nine separate guest roles, plot lines had to be rewritten on the fly. Jose Canseco's scene originally called for him and Mrs. Krabappel to engage in Bull Durham-inspired extramarital shenanigans. Canseco's wife rejected the scene, and the staff had to do a last-minute Saturday afternoon rewrite when Oakland came south on a mid-August road trip.

Instead of Lothario, Canseco got to play hero, rushing into a woman's burning house to rescue her baby, then cat, followed by a player piano, washer, dryer, couch and recliner combo, high chair, TV, rug, kitchen table and chairs, lamp, and grandfather clock. Requesting the new sequence turned out to be the wiser move. Canseco and his wife had nearly divorced earlier that year before reconciling, and a week before "Homer at the Bat" aired, Canseco was arrested by Miami police for chasing down and ramming his wife's BMW twice with his red Porsche at 4:30 a.m. After the chase ended, he allegedly got out of his car, came over to his wife's driver-side window, and spit on it.

It could have been the extra work the show runners, writers and cast had to put in to the episode that soured Al Jean on Canseco. Or it could have simply been from having to meet/work with him. I'll ask Jose his thoughts on the episode if I can raise enough money to pay him for an interview after his next PPV fight against a blindfolded bear.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge Crossed off the Bucket List

It was only a matter of time before I got nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and that time has now come.

Golden Sombrero: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

The Miami Marlins flew into Anaheim last night to kick off a three game set with the Los Angeles Angels. On Garrett Richards Wade LeBlanc night last night, they kicked the shit out of the Angels, 7-1, dropping three runs in the third inning and another four in the fourth. Six of the runs were charged to Wade LeBlanc, a pitcher who the Angels should look into replacing as of last week.

Omar Vizquel Tries Out For Tigers Shortstop Position

OK, so it wasn't a full-blown tryout on the part of Omar Vizquel, but I wouldn't blame the Tigers for at least entertaining the idea of trying to coax the 47 year-old coach into maybe possibly playing a few games to give the Tigers a possible boost out of position that has combined to produce 0.6 fWAR between Eugenio Suarez, Andrew Romine, Danny Worth and Alex Gonzalez.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mets Turn Triple Play, Assist Given to Yasiel Puig

I'm not going to lie, I like Yasiel Puig. Not in the way that Dodgers fans like Puig, but because every time he takes the field he ends up doing something that either makes my jaw drop or makes me point and do the Nelson laugh. Yesterday, Puig had one of those "Ha ha!" moments.

There was Puig, standing on second base, doing what Yasiel Puigs do, when Matt Kemp hit a groundball to the left of David Wright. Puig did what he was supposed to do, and that's run to third base. It was a routine double play ball, so the Mets were going to get two out of this unless the went all Mets on the play, but the Dodgers would still have a man on third with two out. Not an ideal situation, but not the worst situation either.

But then, Yasiel Puig did a Yasiel Puig thing and...well, here's the video:

In Puig's defense, this is the Mets. So I imagine he thought that there was no chance they could make three good throws on the same play. Let's ask Zack Greinke what he thinks:

Zack, what did you think of Puig's baserunning blunder?

/backs away slowly

Thank you, Yasiel Puig, for just one of many LOLZ. And thank you Mets as well for not going all Mets on that play and finding a way to allow three runs score on the groudball. Don't kid yourself. You know they could do it. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Manny Machado Done for the Year...Again

Manny Machado, the 22 year-old third baseman of the Baltimore Orioles, will have season-ending knee surgery...again. Bill Murray may not be impressed, because this is only the second time that this form of history has repeated itself, but this is a blow to baseball in the form of one its youngest and brightest players not being able to avoid injury.

Javier Baez, My Goodness

For those of you who haven't been paying attention to the Chicago Cubs this season (and I'm sure that that is most of you), you might be missing something special. No, they aren't contending for anything, but they are starting to see the fruits of a lengthy rebuilding process pay dividends. And one of those key pieces, is 21 year-old Javier Baez.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bryce Harper Uses a Yasiel Puig Bat

On August 6th, 2014, Matt Williams got asked not once, but twice in the same day by media members if there was a possibility that Bryce Harper would get sent down to the minor leagues so that he could work on some things and get his swing back. On the surface, it seemed like a good plan.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Jim Edmonds Defends Home Against Pizza Delivery Guy

Jim Edmonds is, quite possibly, a future hall of famer. He of the career 64.0 fWAR thanks to both above average Fielding and hitting might need to wait a few years to get in, but he does have a legitimate outside shot at being enshrined. Until then, however, Jimmy is busy defending his St. Louis home from possible invaders.

Or simply from the occasionally lost pizza delivery guy.

It begs the question though: "What came after the 'wrong house' comment?" Inquiring minds want to know, Jim. We must know.

H/T to Halos Daily writer, Andrew Karcher for the find

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dan Uggla Rejects AAA Assignment from Giants

Two and a half weeks ago, the Braves released perpetually struggling second basemen, Dan Uggla. Two weeks ago, the Giants signed Uggla to a minor league contract. Four days ago, Uggla was designated for assignment. Today, Dan Uggla rejected a AAA assignment from the Giants, effectively making him a free agent again. This, undoubtedly, has been the most exciting three weeks of baseball talk regarding Dan Uggla since he a had an abs contest with Gerard Laird last September.

This season, Uggla is slashing a paltry .149/.229/.213 over 157 plate appearances for the Braves and Giants. And, at the age of 34, there probably isn't much hope that Uggla will become the monster hitter he was when he was a Florida/Miami Marlin. In fact, just for the sake of comparison, Brandon Wood slashed .220/.277/.347 in 257 plate appearances for the Pirates in 2011, and he just recently got released by the Sugarland Skeeters in June.

Want another comparison? Dan Uggla's OPS this season is .442. The lowest OPS that Jeff Mathis has ever posted during a single season is .484. In other words, even Jeff Mathis has never had a season this bad.

Enjoy the AAA contract you're going to sign in the next couple of weeks, Mr. Uggla, I doubt you'll receive a better contract offer than that considering you have forgotten how to hit baseballs.