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At the Top of the Stairs

Matt Stairs, the human pinball in the MLB, has played for the most teams by a single player in the MLB with twelve (Cubs and Brewers both included). But he is also at the top of another MLB record. On Saturday
August 21st, Matt Stairs hit his 21st home run as a pinch hitter… breaking the ALL-TIME record in the bigs. Watch the video here.

A small group from the Kings of Cork happened to score some front row bleacher tickets for the game and got to see the blast up close and personal.

Matt Stair's Record Setting 21st Pinch Hit HR

This game was an all out slugfest (so was Friday night’s game) with the correct team on the winning end for both games. We figured this home run ball had to be a monumental MLB mark because Chris Dickerson, in right field, quickly rounded the ball up and through it into the San Diego (that’s spanish for a whale’s…) bullpen directly in front of us. It wasn’t until watching SportsCenter Saturday night we found out exactly what the ball’s meaning was (and noticing us sitting comfortably in the front row seats). Where will Matt Stairs be next year? Hopefully a new team so that he can hold the All-time record outright for playing for the most Major League teams in a single career.

A few of us were also quietly hoping the Brew Crew would bring in Hell’s Bells (Trevor Hoffman) for a 1 out save in the 9th to get him to 599 career saves and a possible chance at 600 saves in Sunday’s matchup against his former ball club, but that didn’t happen with Axford taking a 5 out save. Hoffman will get his chances soon enough.

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears…

FOOTBALL.

Not the entire sport per-say, but the fact I have to listen to football talk 90% of the time when the official season hasn’t begun and baseball isn’t over.

I thought I was in hell annoyed with all the coverage a Mr. James Bond, LeBron James, got during the middle of the baseball season, but I was wrong. Football season is starting up and with that comes the death of baseball. June and July are the best months of the year, why?… because sports coverage (tv and internet related) are nearly 90% baseball news. Now, thanks to football pre-season, I have to listen to how Siskel and Ebert, Shrek and Donkey, Beavis and Butthead, TO and OchoCinco are going to bring the Bird Cage act to Cincinatti. How Big Ben learned his lesson the 28th time but not the previous 27. How Favre is retired, then not retired, nope still retired, actually just unretired, but is retiring in the next 28.5 seconds.

It bugs me that baseball is just forgotten about during the games most important months. The playoff chase, the playoffs, and the championship. No team can be counted out yet (not even the Orioles who can’t be beat with their new manager). That’s where Rock-tober came from. But I’m stuck listening to football news instead of baseball.

Gone are the days that baseball was known as America’s Past Time. The strike of 1994 collapsed the sport’s fan base for the rest of the 90th century and the new millennium. I was one included in this collapse. I enjoyed Brewer games with my father and grandparents growing up. I can remember up to the 1993 season, and after that, my major league baseball fandom collapsed and went into hibernation until the 2002 season when Jose Hernandez was competing for the strike out record as a Brewer. I vividly remember one game where I called Richie Sexson’s HR and then I harassed Jose Hernandez in the on-deck circle encouraging him to strike out (which he did).

As I mentioned, football has kicked into high gear and as over taken the sports world. Football is now America’s favorite sport to follow and watch. But why? Is it because there is more action with hard hitting tackles or deep post patterns resulting in extravagant touchdown celebrations? Is it because it allows adults to return to their college years and tailgate with brats, beer bongs, and bikini babes?

What I feel the reason football has won over American’s hearts is the time commitment to a team. Rather than having to keep up with 6 games a week (where winning, losing, demotions, promotions, injuries happen every day), people need to keep up with their favorite football team 1-3 days a week and a post season that doesn’t involve a lot of trading or new acquisitions. In baseball, every team has a vast minor league system where players are moving around hourly it seems. Some players are drafted out of high school and most likely will never see the bigs. But it allows a fan to track raw talent through a team’s farm system. In football, players are drafted out of college, and either make the team or get cut in the team’s practice camp. Some of the football rookies simply demand respect right out of college without even setting a cleat on the field. They come in demanding the highest pay check without having to prove they are worth it. In baseball, they have to prove they are worth the money.

In my opinion, I just think its easier to be a football fan and that’s why American’s have gone this route. They have less time during the work week to focus on a sport that plays a minimum of 162 games a year.

Chris Ryan, a writer for RotoExperts.com, just published a fantasy article worth a read. He gives several reasons why he feels fantasy baseball is better than fantasy football (I agree). His last two points I think are reasons why American’s have chosen Football over Baseball. His 2nd point is similar to my statement above where people don’t have time to follow 162 games over a season. His 3rd point is hilarious and I think is another reason people prefer Fantasy Football over Fantasy Baseball and makes those people football fans over baseball fans. He states:

  • No offense to your grandma; I’m sure she’s a nice lady, but all it really takes to get your name engraved on a championship trophy is a cursory knowledge of the NFL, Internet access, and 30 minutes of free time a week. Diehards don’t like to admit it, but fantasy football is becoming increasingly luck based. You can research all the advanced metrics you want, analyze the schedule till your eyes start to bleed, and watch the NFL Network on a continuous 24/7 loop, but it’s not going to change the fact that most times a title is decided on something arbitrary like “it was windy in Cleveland in Week 16.”

    Winning a baseball title takes real managerial prowess. You have to construct a squad of 20 or more players – out of a player pool of 600-plus – and, factoring in 10 different stat categories, somehow find a way to get them working as a cohesive unit. You can’t fake your way through it. Either you do the research and stay on top of your team every single day, or you finish in last. It can be time consuming and exhaustive, but that just makes the payout of a championship all the sweeter.

Awesome!!! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Football (College Football even more). But it just really grinds my gears that I have to hear about football 90% of the time right now when it’s only pre-season and the baseball playoff run is just beginning.

What are your thoughts? I can take the criticism if you disagree but let me know why.

Category: Baseball Nonsense  One Comment  Tags:

Casey At The Bat

Photo Courtesy of AP

I’m Brewer biased, it’s true.
I really love that yellow and blue.
A championship the Brewer’s have not seen.
But that doesn’t mean Mcgehee can’t hit thirteen… straight hits to set a new MLB record.

I knew I should have become a poet. I won’t quit my day job just yet though.

Casey McGehee has evolved into a baseball monster. A former 10th round pick by the Cubs, he is 28 yrs of age and in 2 full seasons in the Bigs, he has posted very similar numbers (although 2009 was amazing). He is currently in the top 25 in RBI’s and is batting 0.279 with 18 HR. For a guy who was suppose to be a one hit wonder, he currently is a 9 hit straight wonder.

You read that correctly, he currently has 9 straight hits. His streak of hits started with a double in his last at-bat on August 10th against the Diamondbacks. On August 11th, he went 4-4 with a HR in game 2 vs the D-Backs (the D-backs one up’d him by going back-to-back-to-back-to-back of Dave Bush). On August 12th, he went 4-4 again with a HR in the final game vs the D-back. And here he sits with nine straight hits, only 3 off the major league record of 12 set by Pinky Higgins in 1938 and matched by Walt Dropo in 1952.

For the Rest of the Story: Follow the Jump…

Fans Unimpressed By Home Run Robbery

Thanks to DeadSpin for bringing this gem from across the Pacific (or from really far across the Atlantic).

Take a look at this grab by Masato Akamatsu from the Hiroshima Carp’s.

Outfielder’s dream of making a play like this. A play that immortalizes them. (Some immortalized for attempting the impossible catch)

Even more impressive than this catch… the fans’ reactions. Its almost as if no one saw the catch. “Oh what was that, there’s two outs? Well this sushi Carp roll is delish”. I mean, come on… had that happened to any major leaguer, the game would have been stopped. A standing ovation demanded. Pictures taken with the “Say Hey” kid who just flew in for the photograph. The shoes, glove, uniform, jock strap taken to the MLB hall of fame… There might be some exaggeration there, but you get the point. Any baseball fan would be out of there seat staring at the giant LED HD scoreboard waiting to see it again and again.

HomeRun Derby Lead Traded Before Trade Deadline

With big names being traded all over the place in the Bigs (Berkman to Yanks, Cliff Lee to Tex, Oswalt to Phils, Capps to Twinkies, Lilly to Dodgers, etc), it is only appropriate that the lead in the Home Run Derby be traded. That’s right, The Master Batters are no longer the current Home Run kings.

The new leader: Swing and a Mrs. She deserves it for gambling on both Joey Votto and Kendry Morales (the only team to pick him, even though he’s out for the year). With having Morales out for the 20 day trade period, she easily wields the second lowest ABs per HR ratio (only behind The Ball Busters who is in 5th) which should win her any tie-breaker.

Not to rain on The Master Batters parade, he is still putting up a great season. Only trailing by 1 hr, he should easily hold up as a top 3 finisher if Josh Hamilton figures out how to swing for the fence after the All-star break.

In third place, $5 Donation is starting to look like less of a donation and more of an investment. As the only team with Nick Swisher, he will need that Bronx Bomber to continue his hot streak (maybe with Berkman in the lineup he will get even more protection).

The Home Run leading teams of July includes the Season leader, Swing and a Mrs and 3rd place $5 Donation at 26 July HRs. But that is not the most. That award belongs to Ballz Deep and the other female in the top 5 Ruby in the Rough with 27. Ballz Deep should be among the leaders of this contest, but with awful luck on picking Grady Sizemore and sticking with him until the middle of June, he got stuck with a goose egg from his group D player until he switched to Ethier. His other 3 players are their respective group HR leader (Fielder and Votto) or only 1 off the leader’s pace (Dunn at 24 vs Cabrera’s 25). Ruby in the Rough made a strong pick with Pena and he’s holding up. She traded Tulo back in mid July for vroom vroom Votto and he is already helping her (and several others) team.

Remember to check back often as posts should become more frequent then they have been in July.