Archive for the Category »Baseball History «

A Cure For Hart Burn

Before you criticize me of my failure, enjoy some rain delay entertainment.

Now for Bud Selig’s The Commish’s failure, the failure to keep you entertained (unlike these guys) for almost the entire month of May. Up to this point of the season, I’m a bigger disappointment than the Minnesota Twins. In my defense, I at least revamped the looks of the standings and added a little “(+X)” next to the players in the standings who hit home runs that day. No more needing to manually go check who hit homers each day.

But to try and revive some of the Kings of Cork fans, I’m going to try and earn a Save by running through what has happened in the month of May by pointing you to some of my favorite articles (that way I don’t have to rewrite them). Here they are starting with my most favorite:

  • Bernie Brewer Heist (May 24) – The Brewers’ marketing department is
    ON FIRE this season. First they had the season tickets promotion, now they finished a scavenger hunt with the “Where’s Bernie Brewer?” promotion. Except everyone did what any recent college graduate could see coming. Stakeouts and robberies to hoard as many gnomes as possible. Last laugh is on the hoarders, you can still purchase a gnome for $50 at the Brewers Clubhouse. No money to be made on a flooded market.
  • DL Charging Station (May 23) – On the same night, multiple power hitters were activated from the DL, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, and Jim Thome. And ALL of them went deep at least once. Thome went big fly twice. Almost everyone in the Derby gave up on Hamilton, the previous leader (Geez) and Swing and a Mrs gave up on Thome out of 3 teams, and no one got a chance to trade Cruz (on the DL 1 day shy of the trade deadline).
  • A Typical Day Off of Work (May 17) – Brian McCann was giving the night off on the 17th but was called in to pinch hit with his team down by 1. With one swing, McCann went yard and forced some free baseball. His next at-bat in extra innings… a walk-off trot around the bases. McCann’s day off was 2-2 with 2HR and carrying his team to victory. McCann probably won’t ever get a day off again.
  • Passing of a Legend (May 17)Harmon Killebrew gave a courageous at-bat against cancer but decided to throw in the towel this month. More than a Twins legend, Killebrew was a hero to all. He will be missed but his legend lives on through the MLB logo. Our tribute to the legend: some old school home run derby of Harmon Killebrew vs Mickey Mantle.

 

A Hawk Named Randy

I think I finally have the answer to the age old question: If you were reincarnated what would you like to return as?

My answer: The Cooper’s Hawk trapped inside Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park.

This Hawk had the best seats in the house during the Brewers win over the Astros on Sunday April 24th. He hung out in the outfield grass for almost an entire inning. Perched himself high in the rafters for a bird’s eye view of Rickie’s home run. And he terrorized fans for some Usinger sausages and even attempted to train Nyjer Morgan to slide. He even managed to open a twitter account in between innings and is quickly learning the language of tweeting.

But the hawk’s most important trait is his name. I believe he tried to tell the world that his name is Randy. No not like creepy Uncle Randy, but more like Randy Johnson. In the middle of an inning, Randy (the hawk) swooped out from the sky to do his best Randy Johnson impersonation and made pigeon feathers fly above second base. On a scale of 0 to 10 on Randy Johnson resemblance, I give it an 8. But I’ll let you be the judge. Check out the freeze frame of the hawk Randy (or watch the video footage of the hawk’s terror here) followed by the real Big Unit’s feat in a 2001 spring training game.

A close runner-up in naming the hawk was Dion after Dion James of the Braves who hit a dove with a fly ball to left field which should have been an out but was awarded a double. A distant third was Dave after Dave Winfield who struck a seagull with a warm-up throw, but his bird was not in flight like the other two men. Winfield was arrested for this incident and as of right now Randy the Hawk is still at large.

Don’t Touch The Big Red Button

Could life get any better on this Sunday afternoon? It finally feels like summer in the northern Midwest (temps nearing 80F). Amazing storms are rolling through the plains (everyone keep safe). Tiger is crafting a masterful comeback on the last day of the Masters climbing the leader board with ease (Tiger showing the new young guns how to play golf). The Brew Crew are playing the Cubs and I get to listen to Uecker announce the game while the Masters are on in High Def. AND the AL East is collapsing (Are the Red Sox and Rays really 1 and 7).

The only thing that could make this any better is having the Yankees and Rays switch records.

Both the Rays and Red Sox opened the 2011 season 0-6, but both got off the schnide on Friday (I dare you to click that link). The Rays did it off the ChiSox by rallying from three down in the 9th inning to score five and win by two, while the Red Sox got their first victory from their AL East nemesis, the Yankees. Boston fans finally rejoiced and thought, just maybe, that the Red Sox were finally on their way to winning games.

The best part about the Red Sox horrific start: no it’s not the fact that they spent $172MM (this doesn’t include the Adrian Gonzalez contract extension which could push $150MM), the best part is watching the entire Red Sox nation squirm in their seats that their team is starting the 2011 season this poor. I’ve already discussed the life of a fan of a sub-0.500 sports team and listening to the panic of fans from one of the big three teams gives me warm fuzzy feelings.

The worst part about the Red Sox start: having to put up with all of the major sports media covering ‘the end of the world‘. Seriously, ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, and SI need to stop being so east coast biased (click that link, it’s ESPN even calling themselves out or this one where they are called out by others). The NL Central (Cubs get it all) and the AL/NL West (Giants get it all) want some love too. Just to put all the talk to rest, there has only been two teams in MLB history have started 0-6 and made the playoffs (the ’74 Pirates and the ’95 Reds), so history says there is still a chance for the Red Sox. Plus the season is 162 games for a reason and we are through only seven. When the season hits the end of May, then everyone can start making a big deal about poor starts. No valid conclusions can be drawn from a sample size of 7 out of 162 (this also applies to Pick Me Out A Winner, Bobby and Warning Track Power in the Home Run Derby). So I beg of you major sports media… please stop covering the coasties’ sports teams and start spreading the coverage with the Royals blistering start with one of the youngest aged teams in the Majors (I try my best on covering all divisions of the MLB but may be bias towards the Brewers and NL Central, so if you see an interesting bit of MLB news, don’t hesitate to drop me an email about it). Tune in for the Red Sox 1-8 start tonight on ESPN’s SUnday Night baseball against the Yankees.

On other side notes, Casey McGehee (the golden boy of a lot of the Wisconsin based HR Derby teams) has come off the bench and the schnide by hitting a game winning 8th inning two-run home run of the Cubs’ Kerry Wood to lead take the first Brewers/Cubs series of the season!!! Thome also came off the HR schnide for all you Twins fans but not enough to beat the Billy Beane’s A’s.