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.

 

  • Baseball originated from retired jousters (May 16) – Baseball’s original bats were created from busted jousting lances. These college players shared in the rich history of the sport and put on a show during their game’s rain delay. Rain delays usually bring some entertainment (usually impersonations) but this is the first time I’ve ever seen jousting.
  • Stem Cells Added As Performance Enhancing Drug (May 11) – South Park tried to break the news a few years ago, but no one listened. Now Bartolo Colon is being investigated for injecting Stem Cells into his 38 year old surgically repaired shoulder. It doesn’t help that he has been lights out for the Yankees this season.
  • Hart Burn Cured (May 23) – It’s no secret that most teams in the Derby are Brewer fans, but picking the home town favorite Hart for Group D was burning a lot of hearts. On May 23rd, the cure for that Hart burn was found. Hart goes from a big fat 0 in the power department to 3 HR with 3 swings. On May 24th, Hart hit his 4th homer in 2 days. You gotta have Hart.
  • May’s Late Power Surge (middle of May) – Besides the first few days of the 2011 MLB season, this season was looking like a continuation from the last, the year of the pitcher. But within a 2 week period, four players managed to hit not 1, not 2, but 3 long balls in a single game. Carlos Beltran (May 13), Jose Bautista (May 15), Jason Giambi (May 19), and Corey Hart (May 23) were what seemed to be the final foursome teeing off at the Masters. And on Jose Bautista’s 3HR night, Unfair Advantage moved up 27 spots in the Home Run Derby with 6 home runs on the day. That, by far, is the biggest move to date on a single day in the Derby.
  • Two Batters, Two Pitchers… Only One Plate Appearance (May 10) – Usually it takes two to tango, one pitcher and one batter. But in a Rockies/Mets game, it took four to tango. In one plate appearance, there were two different batters and two different pitchers. And no, they weren’t transformer combiners. The only permissible way to switch a pitcher or batter in the middle of an at-bat is due to injury. But the odds that both a pitcher and batter get injured to the point of not continuing in the same at-bat… not very likely. However, we are only a few years away of having a switch pitcher versus a switch hitter.
  • Dodgers Present: 30 for 30 (May 7) – Records that wouldn’t be broken anytime soon has been covered in the past and one of them was consecutive games with a hit which is 56 games accomplished by Joe DiMaggio in 1941. Andre Either tried his best but ran into the 30 game wall. Still, 30 straight games to open an MLB season is impressive. Ethier should continue to rake as the temperatures get warmer.
  • Jose Bautista: League HR LeaderSpawn Of Bambino and Hammerin’ Hank Emerges (All of May) – Jose Bautista (aka Joey Bats) is no fluke. We called him out last season and he proved us wrong then. This season we refused to put him in Group A of the Derby and Joey Bats is giving us an unfriendly gesture. He’s leading the majors with 19 dingers and is on pace for 60-plus. The scary part is: teams tried to walk him and the rest of the lineup makes them pay (see the 5 runs given up by the Yankees following a Bautista Intentional Walk). Joey Bats looks to be legit… or stem celling, one of the two.
  • LiriaNo-No (May 3) – Raise your hand if you said Fransisco Liriano would pitch a no-hitter this season… No ones hands should be raised. Liriano became the first pitcher in 2011 to pitch a no-hitter. It doesn’t come as that big of a surprise (not as much as Dallas Braden’s perfecto last season) because Liriano has been dominant in the past. But let’s face it, he’s typically un-hittable for 3-4 innings but there is always the 1-inning he just implodes. Less surprising was the second No-No of the season, Justin Verlander completed that feat on May 7th and was the second of his career. Raise your hand if you picked Verlander as the AL Cy Young winner in 2011 (my hand is raised).
  • MazzarOh-Oh (May 16) – If you ever need a free bus ticket to return home, just try to sign a deal with a Major League team and give up 14 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Vin Mazzaro must have been home sick and needed a ride back. Rather than hitch hiking, he decided to con the Royals organization into giving him a free bus ticket. Mazzaro came into a game on May 16th in a relief appearance to just eat up innings for an already lost game for the Royals. He proceeded to give up 10 runs in his second inning of work followed by another 4 runs in the next inning. He was promptly removed, given a slap on the rear end and told to skip the showers and catch the nearest greyhound bus to Omaha. Don’t worry Vin, we know the real story, Omaha is a great place to be in June (free rain delay entertainment).
  • The jumping and the diving and the sliding… and the no-look passes??? (All of May) – Opening day of 2010 brought the number one web gem for the entire season. This year there are so many to choose from that I don’t think there will be one indisputable flash of leather. Brandon Phillips (Cardinal fans are booing) started the theatrics with a between the legs, barehanded toss to Votto. A few days later, the BrewCrew turned a flashy double play which had a behind the back, glove handed shovel pass from Betancourt to a barehanded Rickie Weeks grab with an off-balance throw to first. Yet days later, Asdrubal Cabrera had a barehanded grab off the pitchers glove followed by a no look backwards flip to Everett covering second base who then flipped it to LaPorta at first for a double play. There are just too many to list so you will have to check out Baseball Tonight’s coverage at the end of May to see them all.
  • Power Outage (May 24) – How the mighty Albert has fallen. Pujols, whom has been so dominant the past 10 seasons, is falling back to Earth and fast. Albert went on a 106 At-Bat home run hiatus in May (most of the HR Derby teams know this). This story was almost bigger than “The Decision” last summer. However, Cardinal fans can’t complain. Since Albert’s power loss, the Cardinals are winning and leading the Central division. Who knew that the Cardinals best chances of winning are when Albert doesn’t hit for power.
  • Where’s Waldo LaRussa? (May 12) – Who said Major Leaguers don’t have any fun. On a day where Tony LaRussa was resting at home with shingles, Kyle Lohse filled in for LaRussa. LohseRussa, as I like to call him, donned the cap, glasses, even the beard and attempted LaRussa’s classic mannerisms. I dare any of you to impersonate your boss recorded on tape. That’s a career limiting move if I ever knew of one.
  • Losers and W-Indians (All of May) – The losers of the month of May is no surprise. It’s one of the AL Central favorites, the Twinkies. The Twins were one of the favorites in the AL Central at the beginning of the season, but boy how those tides have changed. Instead of marking down W’s, the Twins decided to tie their worst losing streak since September of 1998 with 9 consecutive losses. After 9 straight losses, I would have marked down a 10th knowing they were facing King Felix, but they stuck it to the King and left the losing streak at 9. On the other end of the AL Central, the Indians were supposed to be one of the worst in the AL. But they are mocking the entire league along with Bautista. The Indians have the best record in baseball and tied for the best record at home (tied with the BrewCrew). I don’t have faith in the Indians to maintain this pace, especially after a recent 14 run route by the Red Sox. I’ve been wrong before though.
  • The Chronicles of Rocker (Someday soon) – I leave you with this last story. A story of a ball player from a far away land (he’s from a different planet at times). A story riddled with triumph and tragedy. A story of turmoil and John Rocker’s life story is here. Seriously, how many D-list celebrities are going to try this scam of writing life stories. More importantly, how many idiots are going to support these scams by buying this book… ok, you got me, I’m guilty.
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