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The Home Run Derby Is Back For 2016

*YAAAAAAAWN* *STRRRRRRRRRRREEEETCH*

Wow, that was a great winter hibernation. Let me log in here to the World Wide Web and see whats been going on in the baseball world…. WHAAAAAATTTT?!?!?!?!

  • The Cubs purchased away Lackey and Heyward from the Cardinals?!
  • The Yankees added Aroldis Chapman to an already elite pair of closers?!
  • The Diamondbacks are buying big names?!
  • The Giants are stocking up on pitching again for their normal even years World Series?!
  • The Padres cleaned house after going bankrupt in 2015?!
  • The Brewers have traded away every starting player in 2015 except 1 OF, their 2B, their Catcher (yet), and 3 SP?!

It’s going to be a loooooong summer for ma and all other Brewer fans…

Well, at least I have the 2016 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby to look forward to!!!

That’s right we are back for our 7th season. Rules are the same. Pick a total of 5 guys from the predetermined groups, and if your team hits the most home runs combined, you are crowned THE King/Queen of Cork! All you have to do is go here and click the submit button (deadline is March 27th).

I’m excited to be hosting the contest yet again and can’t wait for the sounds of the cracking bats, the smells of the grills, and the tastes of the $10 beers. This may be the only baseball I look forward to as I watch the Brewers lose 100 games in order to rebuild. How many of you will join me?

Bee is for Baseball

Bees have become baseball fans. But I don’t think the bees feel welcomed by the baseball community and protests seem to becoming more and more prevalent with some turning aggressive. We need to start including bees as fans to bring back the peace. Its a win-win for both the bees and baseball. The bees can be counted in the popularity counts which would put baseball back on top as the most popular sport in America.

Don’t Bee-lieve me that the bees aren’t an organized protest (OK, I’m done with the Bee comments)? Take a look at the timeline below:

  • July 2, 2009 – PETCO Park San Diego – The Astros and Padres are delayed for 52 minutes when 2000 bees swarmed Kyle Blanks in left field in the 9th inning. A bee keeper was called in to take care of the unexpected fans. Its too bad too because those bees would have put the attendance over 25000. Something the Padres are hoping more of in 2015 after spending a lot of money in the off-season on big names.
  • May 18, 2012 – Coors Field Denver – A camera man is evicted from his camera well when thousands of bees take it over in the 5th inning. The umps must of had important dinner plans with their wives because they barely halted the game and demanded the teams keep playing. A vacuum showed up in the 6th inning and relocated the bees outside of the stadium.
  • Sept 22, 2013 – Angel Stadium Anaheim – Felix Hernandez runs screaming like a little girl when bees start taking over the field. After the bees successfully scare the King, they move to the outfield and scatter the players out there. After 23 minutes, a man with a Gatorade cooler full of honey and wielding a broom takes care of the bees just long enough for them to terrorize the Angels outfield in the next half inning. No one was harmed but the bees are getting more aggressive in their fly in protests.
  • March 16, 2014 – Salt River Fields Scottsdale – Bees swarm the left field fence padding between the Brewers and the Diamondbacks. Left fielder Parra wanted nothing to do with the bees and headed to the infield waiting for them to leave. Many believe this upset the bees whom were simply looking for autographs. Now they just felt excluded.
  • March 18, 2014 – Steinbrenner Field Tampa – Things are starting to get ugly. Bees invade left field causing the Red Sox to panic. Teixeira decides to try distracting the bees by leading them out of the stadium with a trail of honey. But the inexperienced ground crew decide to use chemical warfare on the bees causing casualties over a 7 minute span. This may be considered the shot heard ’round the world for bees vs baseball.
  • April 3, 2014 – Chase Field Phoenix – Upset by the attack the previous month, the bees try to protest in center field but the game starts anyways. Angel Pagan sends a warning shot out into them when AJ Pollock charging. The bees retreat and plot their attack.
  • March 8, 2015 – Diablo Stadium Tempe – Bees decide to avoid the players and just sit with the other fans at a Royals vs Angels game. However, the fans avoid them and masked man comes charging in with chemical warfare. Bees lives were lost that day.
  • March 20, 2015 ‘B Day’ – Elk Fields Utah – The bees have had it. No more peaceful protests. Thousands of bees descend from left field and start attacking fans. One family sustained the most injuries when the mother was stung 15 times, the son was stung 40+ times, and the father was stung over 400 times… in the face!. Firefighters were called in and due to the aggressiveness of the bees, they had to take to chemical warfare. Bees lives were lost but let’s not forget their message or the war may never end. Bees are for baseball!

May’s Must Click Links

With the weather warming up and summer in the air, The Commish’s dedicated writing time gets shorter and shorter (well, my daily sleep time is even shorter than that). And I feel like in the last few weeks there has been an abundance of articles in off-the-wall locations that I haven’t had enough time to catch them all.

So, I’ve decided to regurgitate all of them here at once. Ready for links to keep your mind off work on Friday. Then, here we go:

  • First on the list is a feel good video. I won’t even make you click a link to leave the page (unless you want to). You can watch it below:

    How cool is that?! The kids first professional baseball home run (in the minor league that is) was caught by his dad. If I’m the father, I can think of 2 options:
    1) Wrap it up and cross your kid’s name off your Christmas list early this year.
    2) Use it as blackmail for free lifetime season tickets, a house, and a Ferrari if the kid ever makes it to the Majors.
  • NY Times Upshot captures regional data from Facebook users and creates very interactive maps. Earlier this season, I stumbled upon a baseball dedicated map that actually takes fandom geography all the way down to individual zip codes. Nothing is too surprising at first glance but then you realize that there are only 26 ball teams in big bold letters at the farthest zoom. So who are the 4 missing teams… one is Toronto, so no real surprise there. But then there is no Oakland, White Sox, or Mets listed. The White Sox have the ‘largest’ areas of those 3 teams as a small pocket in south Chicago. But for as much as I love Oakland fans, this shows that they are almost non-existent. Which makes me wonder, why haven’t they moved to San Jose or somewhere else. I think I was most surprised about how large the Mariners, Rockies, and Twins kingdom spans. Granted there aren’t many teams to choose from in that area of the country. But another concerning aspect I found on this map is that every single zip code lists the top 3 teams and almost EVERY single one has the RedSox and Yankees in 2 of the top 3. Why does it seem everyone roots for the dynasties (granted the RedSox weren’t what the Yankees were in the 90’s). I mean root for the little man for once! It’s fun. The die hard fans of these fans make the games amazingly fun even though they may watch their team lose more than 50% of the time.
  • I love watching baseball. Even if it isn’t one of my teams, the game play is what I enjoy. The strategy between the two teams is like watching a dance or a suspenseful action movie. So naturally I purchase all the sports packages and one of them I need to get access to all 30 teams is MLB.tv. Nothing like being able to stream radio audio or video of every single game out of market. Or if you are like me, you enjoy your radio announcer (Uecker!!!) more than the TV announcer so you sync MLB.TV audio with your satellite video feed (ya, I’m that kind of baseball geek). But have you ever pondered about what it might do to your mobile data plan if you wanted to watch or listen to whole games. Well, I found you the link that shows you what it will cost of your precious data plan to watch a 4 hour Yankees/Red Sox game… only about 1.5 to 5.5 GB depending on download rates. For me, that’s well out of my monthly data limit and I would hate to owe ATT the calculated $4499 in monthly overage fees. Thank goodness for hacking wifi networks!
  • I’ve professed my love to a few things in my lifetime, and fantasy baseball is one of them. I live for it every season and I finally found another blog post that shares my love of fantasy baseball and hatred to football (and why baseball fans are better than football fans). On a daily basis, you can usually find me walking around, staring at my phone, trying to read the latest player news (and usually walking into poles). It’s my chance to basically be a GM without requiring to pay out millions of dollars in player salaries. And if you want to be good at fantasy baseball, it is a daily job. Lineup changes, new acquisitions, daily injuries/scratches, etc. I enjoy trying to predict players’ abilities to play baseball and predict their upcoming trends (whether they are hot or cold). Ripping off fellow baseball fanatics in trades is a favorite pastime of mine.
  • Everyone remembers the movie ‘BASEketBall‘, right? Of course you do (heck, a few of us have even played a few baseketball games ourselves). One of the core values of the game of Baseketball was that players weren’t allowed to be traded. Therefore, every team was quote, Homegrown. So what if the MLB had similar values where players couldn’t be traded, only acquired through drafts. Well, this blogger did a phenomenal job recreating every MLB Homegrown team for active players back in 2013. Some of these lineups are AMAZING (and others are just horrendous). Could you imagine a Marlins team with Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, and Matt Dominguez with Stanton and Willingham in the OF. Not to mention Beckett, Jose Fernandez, and Josh Johnson as the top 3 starters. Or how about the Rangers with Encarnacion, Kinsler, Ott, Profar, and Teixeira in the IF with Chris Davis in the OF. But probably the best team… the Mariners. Fister, King Felix, Iwakuma, Morrow, and Tillman as starting pitchers is ridiculous. But even more ridiculous is their offense (specifically the OF) of Suzuki, Shin-Soo Choo, Ibanez, and Adam Jones. Oh, how about David Ortiz at DH. And then basically the current Mariner IF (Miller, Frankling, Seagar, and Ackley) with the addition of Asdrubal Cabrera. That’s crazy good and doesn’t even include A-Roid. Go check out your homegrown team (Brewer fans should avoid reading the SP rotation though).
  • Technology is crazy these days. You can basically stalk whoever you want (thanks Facebook). You can look up what relative of yours was overthrown by their minions and forced to give back their land in France (thanks Ancestory.com). You can now get instant offers, player walk-up music, and concession menus thanks to MLB.com’s At the Ballpark app. What’s even better is some parks offer free seat upgrades on this app. Hello first row!
  • Apps are cool and all, but what about new data and video systems. Well, Miller Park was 1 of 3 teams that got a new data system installed this offseason to track even more statistical data online and display wicked awesome graphics. You want to know what Carlos Gomez’s top speed was while robbing Votto of a home run? You want to know how far he ran to get there? You want to know how quick his reaction time was before taking his first step? You want to know his acceleration? Done! I really hope this data is used for good and not evil. The good would use it for evaluating players performance and giving the players performance reviews in order to earn their raises like everyone else. The evil would use it to calculate how fast boyfriends jump out of the way of a foul ball instead of protecting their girlfriends.
  • Speaking of at the ball park, do you hate the fact that beers cost $500 there? Me too. But being the total cheap ass that I am, I can now plan what stadiums I need to visit to get the bang of hot dogs and beer for my buck. See, money.CNN released an interactive catalog of every team‘s home stadium and what $20 will buy you in hot dogs and beers (it even includes different beer sizes). Where am I going next? Either Arizona or Cincinnati, where you can buy 5 hot dogs and 3 fourteen oz beers for $20… want more beer, go to Arizona which has the cheapest oz of beer per dollar rate in the MLB.
  • Last on the must click link of May is to the Intentional Walk Rage Scale (IWRS) scoreboard. What is the IWRS you ask? Well, does it piss you off when your team issues a free pass to first base? Yes?! I know it does to me. There is no one that good in baseball that the odds of them getting a base hit is higher than them making an out (batting averages over 0.500 don’t exist). Well, an NBC sports analyst came up with a way to rate how bad an Intentional Walk is and how upset it should make you. It’s too complex for me to explain (so go read it at the link above) but let’s just say that when your manager walks a guy on purpose in the second inning with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd in a one run game, then you should be FURIOUS!

Only 2 full days left until we crown a winner in May of the 2014 Home Run Derby… Big Stinky is trying to run away with it late thanks to Nelson Cruz.
Stay Tuned.

Cactus League Stadiums – Salt River Fields

With Spring Training coming to a close, I continue on reviewing the stadiums of the Cactus League. I know it’s too late now for you guys to care, but bookmark these reviews for planning next season’s Spring Training trips.

I’ve already reviewed Municipal Stadium, Diablo Stadium, and the new Cubs Park. Now, let’s head out to the stadium that is furthest East in Arizona.

Salt River Fields – Rockies/Diamondbacks

Salt River Fields

    What a complex!!! This is one of the top stadiums in the Cactus League, so it makes sense that it’s located in Scottsdale. If you do any research on Salt River Fields, you will see it referred to as Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Talking Stick is the local resort and casino and, even though I’ve never been inside, looks as nice as the baseball complex. And having a resort/casino so close to a park that shares two MLB teams is a huge bonus for visitors that wan’t to maximize visits to numerous baseball games without having to travel very far.

    But besides the perks of nearby amenities, the stadium itself is extremely comfortable which makes watching a baseball game very enjoyable. The grass seating offers very gentle sloping seats which is nice on the butt and ankles. It’s also very expansive giving lots of room to sprawl out and soak up the sun. But away from the grass, the stadium gets even more fan friendly. There are numerous patios that offer tables and pub seats. The two-level seating around the entire infield gives concourses cover and shade to the first level fans. But don’t worry second tier fans, there are shaders above you too to keep your precious Midwest white skin from burning.

    The concourse is large, both in the infield and outfield, which makes moving through the crowd a breeze. And the concourse in the infield offers a bar ledge for fans that want to walk around and enjoy the game from different angles (or the cheap fans that bought grass seats a better view than the outfield). Another benefit to this stadium is the ability to see the large scoreboard in left field from every angle. And even though I’m painting this stadium as a large park, it’s actually a great stadium to watch a game because it doesn’t feel large. The seats seem to be close to the field which gives the fans the perspective of being near the action from any seat.

    I really can’t complain too much about this stadium, but the biggest issue with it is the lack of establishments in the near vicinity. Unless you are staying at Talking Stick, there aren’t many bars or restaurants nearby. Now someone is going to point out that there is a small shopping center nearby that houses fast-food and BW3’s, but unless you want only a beer, BW3’s and fast-food really don’t hit the baseball fan’s pre/post game cravings. There are some bars and restaurants a bit further that have buses to and from the stadium on game days. These are extremely handy but unless you leave before the 7th inning, odds are you aren’t getting on the bus back to the bar. So just head to the taxi line (which is nice to have at the park) or drive yourself (there is plenty of easy parking at the stadium).

    Again, this is one of my favorite stadiums and usually a must stop while visiting the Cactus League if scheduling permits.

The Commish Awards – Cactus League Spring Training

Do you hear that?! The slap of the ball hitting the catchers mitt. The crack of the ball coming off the bat. The sizzling of pale white skin being burned by the sun of people who haven’t seen sunlight in 4 months. Isn’t it great?! If you haven’t got the chance to experience spring baseball live, you need to put it near the top of your bucket list right now.

I prefer the Cactus League. A) Because the Brewers play there. B) Because all the teams are within 30-40 minutes of each other which makes it possible to see multiple games in a day, visit a lot of different teams, and find your favorite hang out spot. And because of the second reason and after my annual trip to the Arizona Valley, I have enough intell on most of the stadiums in the Cactus League that I can offer up my favorite hang outs for enjoying baseball in the hot, scalding Cactus League sun. I’ll be posting longer and more in-depth reviews of each stadium I have visited in the Phoenix area throughout the next week, but time to hand out some of my Cactus League Stadium rankings.

So here we go, time for The Commish Awards for the Cactus League (Disclaimer: I can’t give awards out to Scottsdale or Peoria stadiums as I haven’t visited those two yet):

Award For Best Things To Do Before or After Baseball

  • Winner – Glendale 9 Drive-In:
    Who doesn’t like going to the movies?! Now what if the movies were OUTSIDE in a comfortable 60 degree starry night? My childhood included several excursions to the outdoor theater with all the siblings packed into a backed up mini-van with seats removed for sprawling sleeping bags out in the back. So why not bring back those memories and create new ones at the Glendale 9 Drive-in movie theater which seems to be a dying fad across America. It’s reasonably priced, most movies are double features, and if you scan channels long enough you can even get some bonus movies on the screens around yours.
  • Runner-Up – Hiking any one of the surrounding mountains:
    The Phoenix metro area is called ‘The Valley’ for a reason… its surrounded by mountain ranges. If you do enough research, you can find hundreds of trails in parks that are free or have a minimal vehicle fee under $10. And if you are brave enough to park a distance away from most gated trail heads, you can catch a sunset or sun rise from the top of one of the peaks. My recommendations for trails are: trail 44 at North Mountain, trail 300 at Piestewa Peak, any trail at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, and the Hidden Valley trail at South Mountain.
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Glendale Drive-In 9

Award For Largest Stadium

  • Winner – Camelback Ranch Stadium (home of the WhiteSox and Dodgers):
    This stadium feels GIA-NORMOUS. It has two-levels of seating but seems to boast a plethora of rows on the first level. The extremely large concourses and extravagant landscaping also contribute to the vastness of the stadium. If you are looking for an MLB style stadium and experience, don’t miss this stadium on the far West side of the metro area.
  • Runner-Up – Cubs Park:
    The new Cubs stadium is a large step up from their past spring training facility. The new stadium has a very deep grass-seating section and also boasts what is probably the most 2nd level seating in the Cactus League. Combine that with the Wrigleyville rooftop experience in left-field and you have a park for one of the largest baseball fan bases in the country. Now if the stadium could just help the team win in the regular season.
  • Worst – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (home of the A’s):
    The stadium in the heart of Phoenix has a lot of unique quarks about it, and one of them isn’t large number of seating options. With only a single level of seating that doesn’t even allow seats in the outfield. So if you are looking for a chance at snagging a Cespedes HR ball, better look somewhere else.
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Camelback Stadium

Award For Best Views

  • Winner – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (A’s):
    One benefit of no outfield seats is not having to stare at people. It’s a shame that the stadium chose to cover up some of the local nature with large billboards. But, the stadium still offers up an experience like no other, the experience of a diamond erected in the middle of the Rockie Mountain desert (and its actually in the middle of metro Phoenix less than 5 miles from the airport). Left field has some great rock formations, right field has a ton of trees that are part of a local park containing the zoo, and the rest of the outfield ground is layers of the great red desert dirt. It feels like the last place on earth you would be watching a game of baseball with the most elite of players.
  • Runner-Up – Diablo Stadium (home of the Angels):
    Similar to Phoenix Municipal, its the only other stadium with rock formations near the stadium. But they just aren’t as impressive and the rest of the surrounding views are just so-so. It has the same distant mountain views of most of the other Cactus League Stadiums, but what it does have over the others is a view of the Tempe city skyline in center field. The stadium also has a pretty awesome entrance that would rival any MLB stadium.
  • Worst – Goodyear Ballpark (home of the Reds and Indians):
    It was a toss up between Goodyear Ballpark and Maryvale Stadium. But because I’m a Brewers fan Goodyear could have had an amazing view of mountains on all sides of the stadium but to the East and then they chose to build it so center field faces East just killed that great opportunity. The rest of the mountain views are still there but are tough to see due to the concourse shaders and the press box suites.
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Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Award For Most Comfortable

  • Winner – Salt River Field at Talking Stick (home of Rockies and Diamondbacks):
    This stadium is one of my favorites. Its located in Scottsdale so you know its nice. It’s just outside the Talking Stick Resort so you know its even nicer. Combine that with some of the most gentle sloping and expansive grass seats, lots of room on the large covered concourses, and plenty of patio seating. It just doesn’t get much more comfortable than this stadium.
  • Runner-Up – Surprise Stadium (home of the Royals and Rangers):
    You want large sprawling concourses?! Well, this is the stadium for you. These concourses are lined with great food and beverage tents. Grass seats are extremely comfortable with plenty of room (except for the right field Home Run deck, but it creates a nice backrest for some lucky grass seat viewers). The only drawback from this stadium is that there is very little shade cover for the box seats.
  • Worst – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (A’s Stadium):
    If you are into little league seating or are shorter than 3 feet tall, you will find Municipal Stadium extremely comfortable. If you don’t fit into those categories, then get ready for uncomfortable bleacher seats with no leg room and cozy neighbors. I will say I have had some of my best baseball conversations with strangers and have made more friends at this stadium than any. Basically because you are forced to know whose lap you are sitting on.
Talking Stick Stadium

Talking Stick Stadium

Award For Most Intimate Baseball Experience

  • Winner – Maryvale Park (home of the Brewers):
    Come on you wouldn’t think I wouldn’t toss an award to my homies?! The Brewers stadium is my favorite. Sure the view is less than desired (what a chain link and cement fence isn’t what you want). Sure the grass seats are super steep. But it has the best beer selection and even better is that the fans are almost on the field of play. The grass seats feel like they are the outfield and there is no second deck and very few rows of box seats that every seat is the best seat. This isn’t me playing favorites here, Maryvale Park is probably my favorite stadium to watch a professional baseball game because you feel like you are on the field with the team.
  • Runner-Up – Phoenix Municipal Stadium (A’s Stadium):
    Well what did you expect when I told you this stadium was cozy. Its probably more cozy than Maryvale, and less comfortable, and has no outfield seating. If Phoenix Municipal had the grass seating and had more comfortable infield seats, I would have to argue that this venue could be one of the best stadiums to watch a baseball game. But it will have to take a 2nd place finish in this category until it upgrades its comfort level.
  • Worst – Camelback Stadium (home of the Dodgers and WhiteSox):
    This stadium won the award for largest stadium and its also the nicest stadium in the Cactus league. But, it feels like a real MLB stadium. Meaning, if you aren’t paying the big bucks for the seats close to the field, you might need to bring a pair of binoculars in order to tell who’s playing shortstop.
Maryvale Stadium

Maryvale Stadium

Award For Best Surrounding Area

  • Winner – Scottsdale Stadium (home of the Giants):
    I’ve never been to the physical stadium but I have been to its surrounding area in Scottsdale. Old Town Scottsdale is a quaint little outdoor shopping area about 5-8 blocks west of the stadium. There’s lots of small unique local shops, including one of the best ice cream places. In the same area there is a small park that houses the historical and contemporary art museums of Scottsdale. And if you are up for a 3 block walk to the North is another shopping area called the 5th Avenue Shops. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants around that typically cater to the Giant fans. This entire area has a unique small old town feel and its a great area to enjoy the weather outside before or after a game.
  • Runner-Up – Cubs Park:
    Being the newest stadium, the Cubs were smart to move the stadium to the local shopping plaza in Mesa. It feels like you are going to buy a new car when you are headed to the Cubs park thanks to all the dealers and big box stores. But it offers up a lot to do near the stadium. Bass Pro Shops is just down the street. Toby Keith’s bar is right next to that. There are plenty of other restaurants and bars plus all the mecca big box stores you would need to people watch prior to laughing at Cub fans.
  • Worst – Maryvale Park (home of the Brewers):
    Maryvale is not a pretty area and the park seems to have been built in the local subdivision. Walmart and Walgreens are nearby, but if you want anything else, have fun driving. I will reveal one of my favorite establishments in the nearby strip mall… the Purple Turtle. I know it sounds like a Male Exotic Club. That’s what we thought at first too based on no windows on the building. But its actually a pool hall that also is an OTB site for horse racing. They do cater to Brewer fans in spring training so it doesn’t feel too creepy in the bar at 11 am.
Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale

The Commish’s Overall Rankings For Cactus League Stadiums

  1. Maryvale Stadium – Intimate + Cheap + Best Beer Selection + Sausages + Sausage Races + Roll Out The Barrel = Awesome.
  2. Camelback Stadium – A Spring Training Facility That Rivals MLB Stadiums. Landscaping Is Amazing.
  3. Talking Stick Stadium – Close To Second. Just Missing The Extra ‘WOW’ Factor.
  4. Surprise Stadium – Needs More Shade, But Concourse And Grass Seats Are Near The Best.
  5. Cubs Park – Well Shaded, Large, And New, But Lacking Uniqueness And Located In A Shopping Center.
  6. Diablo Stadium – Lacks Room In OF, Nothing To Do Nearby, Lots Of Bleacher Seating.
  7. Phoenix Municipal – Cheap And Intimate, But Old, No OF Seats, Tight Seating, Hope You Like Bleachers.
  8. Goodyear Ballpark – Located In Middle Of Nowhere, Lacks Uniqueness.
  • N/A – Scottsdale and Peoria Stadiums are unranked due to lack of visiting.

MLB Comedy Club

This has been a slow baseball story year… at least it feels like it to me.

Biogenesis has come and gone (others continue to talk about it… boring). There are some close division races. Trades have been minimal. But finally, the boys have loosened up a bit out on the field. The Marlins and Diamondbacks have some kind of wrestling fetish going on. John Buck had an incident with a wiener in Milwaukee. But the past few days have been more like a comedy club out on the diamond.

So, I’ll be your MC for today’s show. And you guys are in for a treat as our first act comes straight to us from the runaway NL East. Give it up for Chris Johnson.

Chris Johnson was ejected from a game this past Saturday for arguing balls and strikes. Knowing he was in the wrong (come on, I even know not to argue about the umps job), Chris Johnson decided to take self humility as a way to earn back Jim Joyce’s trust (maybe also a bribe to help Johnson win the hitting title?). Before Sunday’s game, Chris Johnson literally taped his mouth shut so that he couldn’t argue with the ump. This was also valuable lesson for all the teenagers out there…

Second in our act tonight is a comedy duo. Put your hands together for Billy Beane and John Daniels.

The A’s and the Rangers’ front offices are messing with Adam Rosales’ mind. How you ask? Here are the past 6 events for Rosales MLB career:

  1. On July 31st, the A’s designated Rosales for assignment, aka a demotion to the Minors, to make room for another player in the Bigs.
  2. On August 2nd, the Rangers claimed Rosales from waivers due the designation.
  3. On August 5th, the Rangers demoted him once again to the Minors.
  4. On August 8th, the A’s claimed him back from the Rangers from waivers and had him arrive with the team in Toronto.
  5. But the A’s weren’t ready to keep him and demoted Rosales to the Minors yet again on August 10th.
  6. But guess who really wanted Rosales, the Rangers. They again have claimed Rosales off of waivers… but for how long?

Just think of how many extra frequent flyer miles Rosales and his family are receiving the past 12 days. They may be able to take a free vacation to Oakland soon.

Our next act will definitely make you LOL. Here’s JJ Putz.

How do you make a really bad closer look even worse??? Blair entrance music in the middle of his delivery…

And now the moment you have been waiting for tonight. Our headliner of the evening. Let me hear you give it up for Adrian Beltre.

Let’s let Beltre’s base running do the joke telling…

Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here for the next few months.

All In The Family

The 2012 MLB draft has come to an end… all 40 rounds and 1238 picks. With that many picks, you may want to shuffle through the drafted players list to see if you or a long lost relative is on his way to the Bigs. (I found our month of May HR Derby winner, The Wet Bats’ relative at pick 1141).

While one of your relatives may not have been drafted, a few teams decided to draft their manager’s offspring. It may just be one of the perks of their managerial contract:

  • #785 Lance Roenicke (Brewers) – A 5th year senior Outfielder at Santa Barbara, Lance hit 0.310 with 35 RBI in his senior year. Sure he was drafted in the 25th round, but Lance still has a shot at some day making the big league club. And if he does, it would be the first time that his father would have ever coached for him (assuming Ron is still the Brewer skipper and Lance gets called up by the Brewers).
  • #1184 Rustin Sveum (Cubs) – The Cubs drafted their manager’s high school son in the 39th round. He’s a 6-foot pitcher from Scottsdale Arizona. After being drafted, his father’s said “He better not sign. He better go to college.” Hopefully, he can develop as an all-around ball player at Dixie State University in Utah. Otherwise, he may never get another shot at signing a big league contract.
  • #720 Tate Matheny (Cardinals) – The Cardinals decided to just draft all of their managers’ sons by taking 4 total players in the draft related to some managerial position. The most intriguing player would be the main skipper’s son. Tate is a high school senior planning to go to Missouri State. In his Senior year, he hit 0.610 with 10 doubles, 11 triples, and 11 homers with 51 RBI. That’s a pretty impressive line and now he will be faced with a Billy Beane type of decision. To sign or not to sign… that is the question.
  • #1173 Cameron Gibson (D-Backs) – Don’t get your hopes up Diamondback fans, Cameron (the son of Kirk) isn’t headed to the major leagues. He’s already committed to playing baseball for Michigan State where his father played. The odds look favorable for a re-draft of Gibson but most likely by his father’s ex-big league club… the Tigers.
  • #612 Ryan Ripken (Orioles) – This is the only anomaly to the rest of the draft picks. Cal Ripken Jr isn’t the Orioles manger… yet. The ‘Iron Man’ has reportedly said that he would consider coming back to the Orioles full-time when his son graduates high school. Well, now is son (Ryan) has and he has been drafted by the Orioles. Maybe this has the making of bringing Cal into a management role with the Oriole organization. Odds are that Ryan won’t sign with the Orioles and instaed go play for the two-time defending national champion Gamecocks.

My guess is that Roenicke is the only player to sign an offer letter while the rest pursue college.

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.