Thursday, April 3, 2014

Carlos Gonzalez News


Gonzalez left Wednesday's game in the sixth inning when he became dizzy after accidentally swallowing some tobacco dip.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Angels Soft: A Guide To The Big A's Facilities

A few days ago, an Angels website wrote about the best hot spots for pre-game activities. My wife's response to that was: "If that is a topic, then I should write about the stadium's bathrooms." She thought she was joking. I took her to be literal. Three days, and countless Twitter and Facebook votes, later, my wife was writing about the bathrooms at the Big-A. This is what she gets for underestimating me.

As a female in the bathroom-selfie-taking age range, who better to blog about a bathroom than a female in the bathroom-selfie-taking age range? I know, how about someone who has never taken a selfie, let alone a selfie in a bathroom, in her entire life. Someone who is more concerned with using the restroom for what it is actually for, not someone who is looking for the perfect lighting to accent their new highlights and perfect cleavage.

Thanks to a few pushy twitter followers, I have reluctantly taken on this responsibility and hope that when you are finished reading this post, you feel fully informed...and relieved. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Trolling Jose Canseco

I have a confession to make. About a year ago, I finally stopped following Jose Canseco on Twitter. I couldn't do it anymore. Just too much dumb in one place for my taste. But I felt compelled - for some odd reason - to scan through his tweets today and see what our buddy the Hugger has been up to.

Warning: Lots of facepalms ahead.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Baseball: Australian for Brawling

Just because it is December January, doesn't mean that there isn't baseball happening. And not just any baseball, but rough and tumble, rock-em sock-em robots baseball. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Yankees Sign Carlos Beltran Capping a Big Week of Spending

We have been hearing it all winter long; "The Yankees are doing everything that they can to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold for the 2014 season." It was the reason they stopped talking when Robinson Cano asked for $300M over 10 years. But after a week of being loose with their debit card, it seems that that was simply posturing on their part.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2013 Team Awards: Cincinnati Reds

In order to review the 2013 season, the crackpot staff of Off Base is handing out awards to each Major League team. Please send us $19.95 for the shipping and handling of your team's Hello Kitty stickers awards. Here are the Most Valuable Player, Least Valuable Player, Cy Young, Cy Yuck, Rookie of the Year and Reliever of the Year for the Cincinnati Reds. 

*Guidelines, prices and participation may vary by author*

MVP: Joey Votto

This wasn't an easy one. From someone who watched 95% of the team's games (only missing because I work during the week and couldn't skip out of work early for every mid-week businessman's special game), I think one of the damning qualities of the 2013 Reds may have been the lack of a true MVP. The numbers are there to please the sabermetrics crowd for Joey Votto (.305/.435/.491), but he honestly wasn't anything terrific in 2013. Let me rephrase; he wasn't 2010 Joey Votto, because that guy was an absolute menace for opposing pitching staffs. 

Votto had the nice 6.2 fWAR, but something seemed off. If I had to guess, he's still not completely back from knee surgery after the 2012 season. His lower half seemed to fail him - compare his ISO from the 2010 miraculous season (.276) and in 2013 (.186) and you see that it's a guy whose dip in power could completely be coming from a lack of torque in the lower half. Votto is still an amazing hitter without being at full strength; but for the Reds to take the next step and actually win a playoff series he's going to have to be more than just real good. That could happen, or the Reds could have someone else step up and carry the team, allowing Joey Votto to just be real good. As it stands the Reds have a bunch of 'pretty good' players but no one who was actually ELITE-ELITE. It felt that living and dying with them each night last summer. 

When the lights went out on their season, I drank a bottle of Sailor Jerry rum as I watched the outs melt away like sands through an hourglass. I didn't go into work the next day. I turned off my phone and didn't return text messages or calls. I needed that time for me. It was as if someone died and I needed the mourning period after the funeral. I am beginning to realize my allegiance to this franchise might not be a healthy habit in my life. To be a Reds fan with this current core, my one piece of advice would be to have a physical performed by your doctor to make sure you have a healthy functioning liver and kidneys. If he gets back to you with good news it's safe to proceed. 

LVP: Brandon Phillips 

I've always been a big Brandon Phillips supporter. I like the guy. He drove in a career-high 103 runs this past season. He made some jaw-dropping plays in the field. He played in 151 games. These are all things I appreciate as a fan. But we also saw the bad side of Phillips - like bitching about Joey Votto's contract in July. Or cussing out Reds beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans (and calling him the Pillsbury Doughboy). 

These things left a rotten taste in my mouth. When Phillips was complaining about his contract in comparison to Votto's, my question is why is this player doing this in such an important season? Why would someone who supposedly bleeds his team's colors in his veins creating a remarkable distraction in a season that the Reds needed to go deep in the postseason? The window is getting ready to close, and this guy is being a prick over money. I can live with a lot of things - but I'm starting to consider the notion of living without Brandon Phillips being a part of my favorite sports franchise. Let him go be a diva in a big market town. Let him go tell Mike Lupica to eat a bag of dicks out in New York. 

The Brandon Phillips who used to be a power/speed threat is no more. He stole five bases last season. He's slowly contributing to the Reds becoming a station-to-station National League club who sits around and waits for the three-run homer. Dusty Baker gets some blame in all of this, but in a division with the Cardinals and upstart Pirates, being a team in that mold is a huge problem. I think the Reds front office shares this same feeling with me, which is why you'll hear whispers of Phillips getting dealt in the off-season. Best guess is that Phillips talks his way into another chance with the Reds and they don't find the right price from a taker, but DatDude better change dem ways.

Cy Young: Aroldis Chapman 

I really can't overstate what it's like to have a lead and to send Aroldis Chapman into a game in the ninth inning. It's not that he converts every lead into a win - he's blown five saves in each of the last two seasons and when he's going to blow one you know it almost from his warm-up tosses. When bad Aroldis shows up, you're fucked. And it's painfully obvious. But I'm not sure I've ever seen a more dominating arm in my lifetime. I feel like getting to watch him his 105 MPH when I'm live at the stadium must have been what it was like to watch Michael Jordan in the old Slam Dunk contests. It's something you'll never see again no matter how long you live. 

Chapman posted a career high 15.83 K/9 in 2013. He was only worth 1.6 fWAR, but it's not his fault that his idiot manager petitioned the organization in Spring Training to leave Aroldis as a reliever. Even pitching coach Bryan Price (now Reds manager) was ready to make Chapman a starter where he could truly be a Cy Young candidate. But nooooooooo..... Dusty Baker and his status quo act had to step in and shit in everyone's birthday cake. 

I could have given this award to Mat Latos. But that just felt 'blah' to me. Aroldis Chapman is the best pitcher on the Reds roster. He has two 80-grade pitches. He just needs to be in the right role, and I think you'll see Aroldis as a starter in 2014.

Cy Yuck: Johnny Cueto

Now this will raise some eyebrows, but hear me out. Johnny Cueto was really good when he was part of the Reds rotation in 2013 (5-2, 2.82 ERA, 51 K, 18 BB) but the guy only appeared in 11 games. The injury bug that bit him in the 2012 playoffs continued to bite in 2013, leaving the Reds rotation in a constant state of flux due to the fact their 'ace' was rehabbing through the entire season. 

And then in true Dusty fashion, they throw Cueto out there for the one-game Wildcard Playoff in Pittsburgh because he looked good in a couple tune-up starts against a teams who were ready to start their golf game (the Astros). 

Cueto's wind-up might be causing the durability issues. And he looked completely rattled in Pittsburgh in one of the biggest games in modern franchise history. Everyone has an off night where their stuff just isn't there, but it was obvious from the opening moments of that game that Cueto's focus was off and the ferocious Pittsburgh crowd ruined him. I don't want that from my ace. And the Reds continue the trend of starting the wrong guy in the postseason (remember when they led with Edison Volquez)? What the hell are they trying to do to me. If you're keeping score at home, Cueto was worth a sparkling 0.6 fWAR in 2013. It's amazing that the Reds were able to win as many games as they did getting this minimal amount of output out of their number one (thank you Tony Cingrani).

Reliever of the Year: Aroldis Chapman

(Imagine Bart Simpson writing this on the chalkboard at the beginning of a Simpsons episode):
Screw you Dusty Baker.
Screw you Dusty Baker. 
Screw you Dusty Baker. 
Screw you Dusty Baker. 
Screw you Dusty Baker. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Rudy Stein?!

So, first day of practice for the Bears and Rudi Stein volunteers to pitch. Though he seemed quite eager to pitch, jumping off the bleachers to inform Buttermaker of his desire to be the team's ace, he was just that: a volunteer. No one else in the yellow and brown wanted to be the hurler that would inevitably give up 27 runs and take seven comebackers off the shins per game. No one wanted to be the face of that team, and my goodness did that team have some faces.


There just weren't many options on day one of spring training:

* Engleberg is eating candy through the bars in his catcher's mask

* Lupus is getting hay fever out in RF

* Tanner Boyle falls down every time he does anything

* Ogilvie is in a windbreaker and jeans, didn't even bother to bring a glove

* Buttermaker is already nine beers in

* Kelly Leak is still weeks away from joining the team

* They've got a left-handed third baseman in a velvet jogging suit who is afraid of the ball

It's a mess of a first day of practice, and there's no one else to get on the mound and take the daily shellacking, so Stein volunteered, and that's fine for a non-serious little league where the kids and coaches are getting some fresh air and having fun.

But this isn't just any little league. The players have a genuine hatred for each other. The coaches are either drunks or psychotic (I seriously was hoping they'd release a new Bad News Bears DVD with extras where in one of the deleted scenes the Bears come back and beat the Yankees and Ron Turner is shown having hung himself in the dugout while Cleveland sobs in front of the body).

Anyway, Stein of course gets lit up. He's historically bad - bouncing pitches, can't field his position, throwing to the wrong bases, accidentally swallowing whole the rosin bag while attempting to field a bunt.

The Bears struggle. But Buttermaker finds Amanda Whurlitzer in a lawn chair handing out maps and remembers "this kid's got a curveball and I used to have sex with her mother. Maybe I can somehow get her t......." (passes out on the side of the road).

Soon the Bears have an ace: tons of innings, putting wear on her right arm, sure, but she's dominant and the best pitcher in the league. The Bears pass everyone into second and get a shot at the Yankees. Unfortunately Whurlitzer gets hurt in the championship game.

Buttermaker has to go to the pen.

Who does he turn to?

Rudi Stein.


He goes right back to Rudi Stein?! There's no one else?!

At no time during the season, during practice, did he see if ANYONE ELSE could pitch? Ogilvie is the team statistician, refuses to play, he just wants to count foul balls and chart pitches. He couldn't at one point say "hey, Buttermaker, I know Amanda is pitching great, but let's say she gets know, STEIN is the only other pitcher we have. Want to try to see if anyone else can pitch?

Maybe Ogilvie tried and Buttermaker was sunbathing nude in right field, who knows. But I still put this on Ogilvie - he should've done something.


And now we're in a tie championship game in the late innings, and Stein gets the ball again.

Ahmad Abdul Rahim?

Either of the Agular brothers?

The lefty they moved from 3rd to 1st? He can't give it a shot? Sure that might've meant bringing Jose Agular back to first, and we saw how poorly that went in the first practice.....but they're not going to even see if the lefty can get some people out?

Hell, give Boyle a shot, Jesus. He may have been 3'4 and a horrible racist and bully, but he MUST'VE BEEN BETTER THAN RUDI STEIN.

If the fans are yelling out for anyone, EVEN THE RACIST, to pitch instead of the kid you currently have on the mound, you might have the wrong kid on the mound.

Kelly Leak can't pitch? He's the best athlete in the area and he can't pitch?! Why the hell not?! This kid is all-area and he's stuck in the outfield for the entire season?!

The Bears deserved that runner-up trophy.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yankees Still Not Interested in a $300MM Robinson Cano

It looks like the Yankees are still not willing to give-in to Robinson Cano's and Jay-Z's demands that Cano get a 10-year $310MM contract. And I can't say that I blame them.