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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.

Breaking News: Astros Win AL and Marlins Win NL By Default

The MLB announced the suspensions from the Biogenesis scandal at 3pm ET today… and it wasn’t pretty.

It turns out that the original 12 players named on the report leaked in January by the Miami Times was just the beginning. In fact, EVERY player in the MLB and Minor League systems have been suspended for the remaining 50-games of the regular season…

EXCEPT the players of the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros. Not because there wasn’t any evidence, but because the evidence just didn’t add up to the performance of the teams. It seems like logical reasoning was used to pardon these two complete teams. I mean, how can two teams who are accused of juicing only win a combined 79 games out of 220 games? They can’t lose that many even if they tried.

What does this mean for the remainder of the 2013 season? All teams not named the Marlins or Astros will forfeit the remainder of their games. Therefore, by default, Miami will finish 95-67 and win the NL Crown. Meanwhile, Houston will finish 88-74 and take the BQ9GFYCCQAAxMQ8AL Crown.

The playoffs will still be played and both teams will be required to appear in front of fans for batting practice in the following cities: Houston, Miami, Boston, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. After their tour of the country, they will finally meet in Miami and Houston for the World Series. This will be the lowest attended and viewed World Series in history since Miami only has 1 fan who usually falls asleep behind home.

Can we just get back to playing and talking about baseball game now? Good. Thanks.

Physics-ly Impossible

While playoff baseball is in full swing and after the epic collapse of the Red Sox and the Braves, I couldn’t help to think on how it seemed impossible for those two teams to collapse and how I get to watch bonus baseball with the Brewers making the playoffs for only the 2nd time in my lifetime.

Then… I was sent this video via email.

My first thought is… WOW! Then reality sets in… there is no way someone could do this. Sure once, maybe twice, but no way could someone do this for 45+ seconds. Or do it with 2 balls simultaneously. I have been trying to find a definite way to prove it, but can’t. The balls don’t seem to always hit the same spot on the 1st pitchback. The balls do seem to take the same path around the other 3 though. And at the end of the video, I never see either of the balls come down (although they may be so far out there that they haven’t come down yet).

This video reminds me of a few others from recent years.

Is it real? Ya, probably not. In fact, I believe it was a clip created for a Gatorade commercial a few years ago.

Last is this one which is eerily similar to the previous one.

That one is actually… real. The Hiroshima Carp player actually made that play during a game in 2010 and then he followed it up with an even better one that same season. The pitcher and even himself couldn’t believe he made that second catch.

Hopefully we get the chance to see some equivalent displays of defense and offense as in these videos in the next few weeks of MLB playoff games. Enjoy the extra baseball everyone as we will soon be left with 4 dark months of no games (but most likely one of the most entertaining off-season transaction periods in the past 20 years).

“Rojo” Johnson Makes His Minor League Debut vs the AAA Brewers

Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson, a Texas native raised in Venezuela, has made a name for himself already. Recently having his prison sentence commuted, he has learned his lesson of smuggling illegal reptiles into the US. Now, he has righted his ship and has been given a second chance (here is a video of his early career) from a baseball organization that also needs a second chance… The Houston Astros. He got his first look at the major league level (well, AAA level) on Thursday May 6th vs the Brewers AAA Affiliate, The Nashville Sounds (what an awful team name… Fear Us!! For we are the Sounds!!).

So how did he perform? You be the judge of it:

That’s right. One pitch to the tune of High Chin Music and he’s outta here…
For The Rest Of The Story: Follow The Jump…

Pat Listach Is Not A Lady GaGa Fan

Tonight was a big night in baseball. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched the first no hitter in Rockies history. The Mets and Cards went to the 20th inning before a team waved the white flag and gave the win away. But screw all that sports stuff you can find on ESPN Sportscenter, I try to bring you great baseball stories that you can’t find anywhere else.

I would say that most of you know I’m a die hard Brewers fan. I live or die with each Brewers game (more dieing than living). Most boys growing up start with great sports figures posted on their walls and eventually trade those in for Marilyn Monroe or Cindy Crawford posters. Instead, I kept my Brewers posters plasted on my wall proud to be part of a team that couldn’t break 0.500. And one of those posters was of Pat Listach, the Brewers shortstop of the early nineties winning rookie fo the year in 1992. He was one that I idolized (until he became a Yankee).

I found this video clip of what Pat Listach is currently doing, and first I cried a little for Listach after seeing he was now in the Nationals affiliation that has been giving the Brewers major fits this year. Then I died a little inside when I saw he wasn’t a Lady GaGa fan (come on, everyone is a GaGa fan. Even Cartman from SouthPark sings “Poker Face”). Seeing him shun the Phillies Phanatic is like driving a stake through my heart. I’m not sure what was worse, this or finding out that the Cookie Monster isn’t real. However, the dager to this video is seeing how many people pull out their iPhones to video tape this act… I’m not part of the iPhone cult and really want to be.



St Louis Cardinals Finally Sign Player to Protect Pujols

The Cards finally went out and made the greatest signing in MLB history. They have the best player currently playing the game in Pujols, but with no protection behind him in the clean-up spot, Pujols most of the time gets pitched around and walks to first. They tried Holliday, Molina, Ankiel, Ludwick, but none of the Cardinals 4-hole batters could scare opposing pitchers enough to pitch to Pujols… Until now.

Introducing the newest St Louis Cardinal… Ghostrunner. GhostRunner That’s right, Pujols can now get the protection he needs in the line-up because batting behind him… is Pujols. Since Pujols is on-base 90 percent of the time, Ghostrunner gets to take his spot on the base paths while Pujols gets to swing the bat again. Ghostrunner is also a menace on the base pathes. He only advances when forced and the majority of the umpires can never get a good angle on the play to call Ghostrunner out.

This is a monumental move and will allow the Cards to dominate the majors until Ghostrunner’s younger brother, PitchersHand, signs as a starting pitcher. Current frontrunner’s in the PitchersHand signing are the Brewers and Cubs.