Archive for » April, 2012 «

Harper Gets “Flash” of Luck Under Full Moon

Oh My Gosh, Oh My Gosh… Like No Way… Did You See What He Did… Totally Gross!

It’s too bad teenage girls don’t have the same sense of humor as teenage/middle-age/elder or any guy for that matter. Because thanks to these Dodger fans, Bryce Harper’s first major league hit will be played out forever with a full moon in the background.

Now that’s funny right there, I don’t care who ya are. I hope Harper gets that shot framed and displays it proudly next to the bat and ball on his mantle.

Hopefully there’s a full moon tonight in the Angels stadium. Mike Trout is still looking for his first major league hit of 2012 and could use a little ‘flash’ of luck.

Update: Trout ropes a double down the line in his 2nd AB in tonight’s game… only to get doubled off on a line drive.

Time to Go “Big Fly” Fishing

Quick, go buy a fishing license with a Trout stamp… it’s time to go fishing!

Everyone in your fantasy league is probably caught up with running out and getting Bryce Harper who the Nationals just called up to replace Ryan Zimmerman who is DL bound. But while they are busy grabbing a kid who won’t spend the rest of the season in the Bigs (let’s get serious people, it’s temporary in Washington until Morse and Zimmerman are back), you can go out and grab the #1 ProspectMike Trout.

Your fishing license will be much cheaper than the Angels’ organization’s. They ate Bobby Abreu’s $9 Million contract which basically means that the Angels will pay any team to sign the 16-year veteran. If only the Brewers had a DH spot…

Rumors are that now that Trout is in the Show, he WILL play EVERY DAY. That rumor comes from a statement given by Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, so it has some legitimacy behind it.

Trout has been tearing up the Triple-A league this season. He’s batting 0.403 with 13 RBI and 6 SB in 20 games. And now he gets to be leading off and batting in a lineup that includes Pujols, Morales, Hunter, and Trumbo. This kid is legit.

If he is still available in your fantasy baseball league (only owned in 5% of ESPN leagues at the time of this post), go get him… NOW!!!

Milestone Post Informs Contestants About More Winners In 2012

Carlos Ruiz may not be a winner after running 270 feet on a single wild pitch, but more of you will be in the 2012 Home Run Derby.

There’s no catch… AND you don’t have to throw faster than Jamie Moyer to win these prizes.

Instead of paying out the HR Derby leader at the All-Star break and 2nd half totals, EVERY MONTH we will have a winner. The team that hits the most home runs from the First of the month through the Last day of the month will take home the monthly prize. That means every team will have a fresh chance to win EVERY MONTH. Plus, we will still have our prizes for the Top-5 Overall season HR total leaders.

This news comes on a milestone for our site… this post is officially the 100th post and by the time most of the readers read this April 25th, the site will have surpassed 20,000 visitors. Those milestones are thanks to you the readers and participants of the Kings of Cork over the past 3 years. And with the interest still building on the site, we don’t plan to be stopping any time soon.

Other noteworthy news:

The Humber Games: Week Of April 16 In Review

How long before junior highs offer a class on “what NOT to post on social media”. Seriously, no one wants to know when you used the restroom or what you are thinking at every exact moment. And if you are going to tell me anyway, at least try not to offend people.

The Hunger Games is the #1 grossing movie for the fourth week in a row but the MLB has its own movie to battle for the #1 spot: The Humber Game.

We are on the cusp of history ourselves here at KingsofCork as we are about to cross some major milestones. Let’s take a look back on the second full week of the MLB season where history was actually made.

If you don’t follow the Big Show on a regular basis, you may have missed the 21st 21st Perfect Game in MLB history this past Saturday, April 21st. Phil Humber was deceptively dazzling against Seattle. He managed to throw only 96 total pitches which is the 7th fewest of the 21 perfect-os. In fact, he didn’t even got to a 3-ball count until the 9th inning when he almost blew the perfect game with a 3-0 count to Saunders before battling back and striking him out. The 26th batter sent a lazy fly ball out to right field where Alex Rios appeared to show boat and catch the fly ball one handed near shoulder height. Probably not Humber’s preferred method. Humber proceeded to work to another full count on the final batter who flailed at a final off-speed offering. Then rather than running to first-base, since the ball rolled to the backstop, he argued that he didn’t go around. The last strike call was questionable, but since the Galarraga incident, on the last strike of a perfect game looming, any bat movement from the batter is going to be called strike three and rightfully so. Now we just have to wait to see what Humber gets for a gift and what he gives as gifts.

Who Can Take Some Fastballs
That Are Letter High
Set A Yankee Record By Taking Three Big Fly
The “Grandy-Man” Can…

Curtis Granderson, aka The Grandy-Man, set a new Yankee record by being the first Yankee to accomplish a feat. Any time a player is the first Yankee to accomplish something, that is a feat in itself. What Granderson did on Thursday April 19 was take his first three plate appearances out of the park. That’s right he had 3 home runs in the first 4 innings. And he became the first Yankee to go 5-for-5 with 3 home runs in a game. Lou Gehrig is the only Yankee with more home runs in one game with the MLB record of 4. Granderson’s performance not only powered the Yankees past the Twins, but helped catapult thirteen teams in the Home Run Derby Standings. One team managed to move 28-places on Thursday.

Jamie Moyer became the oldest winning pitcher ever in the Major Leagues. He was 81-days older than the previous record holder, Jack Quinn who was a relief pitcher and not a starter. So bonus points to Jamie Moyer and his 78-mph fastball. He managed to strike out 1 batter by lulling the batter to sleep. Moyer isn’t finished either. His record age will just keep increasing this season as I project him to win a minimum of 8-games if he remains healthy. Moyer won’t quit the greatest game on Earth until his fastball speed is lower than his age, which gives him at least 10 more seasons.

Josh Hamilton continued to swing a hot stick this week but more impressively, he hit a towering home run at Fenway on Tuesday that traveled 469 ft in right-center field. What makes this home run so great is that it may be one of the closest home runs hit to the Ted Williams seat at Fenway. The seat commemorates Ted Williams 502ft home run hit on June 9, 1946.

Lastly, Matt Kemp is a beast. He has 9 home runs in 15 games which is a new Dodger record. In fact, his 9 home runs are single handedly keeping some HR Derby Teams in the hunt (Chicks Dig The Long Ball only has a 9-HR total.. all from Kemp). His record pace has him projected to hit 90+ home runs. Not to be outdone, his teammate, Dee Gordon, is on pace for 90+ stolen bases this season. For those that know me personally, I have been proclaiming (even before the season) that Dee Gordon has the best chance to steal 100+ bases this year. The record for a single team duo is a 48HR/75SB season by the 1996 Cleveland Indians Albert Belle and Kenny Lofton. Kemp and Dee got this!

Giants Closer A Former Child Star?

I don’t want a large farva, I want a godd*$% liter o’ cola! Does that look like spit to you?

After scooping up the newly appointed Giants closer on waivers, I ran across a different movie reenactment than the one above.

It appears that either Santiago Casilla is a natural reenactment actor or he previously went by the name of Thomas Ian Nicholas and had a friend who enjoys warm apple pie.

Check out this clip from the former child star of Rookie of the Year:

That looked very similar to Henry Rowengartner’s at-bat from Fox’s Rookie of the Year:

Casilla had no intention of lifting that bat off his shoulder. He barely even had both feet in the batter’s box. Yet, the opposing pitcher couldn’t find a wide open strike zone. If Casilla is going to replace “The Beard” and his friend The Machine, Casilla better work on instilling fear instead of showing fear.

This post is also a disclaimer to all those fantasy baseball managers out there… go add Santiago Casilla, not Sergio Romo.

AHHHHH!!!! Don’t Jump On Home Plate!

Here’s bigger news than the 343% APR interest rate from Western Sky Loans

It’s been 688 days since a home plate beat the crap out of Kendrys Morales ankle. The incident (a walk-off Grand Slam) left Morales an expensive DL spot for almost 2 years.

But Morales has overcame the brutal beating that day and gave a nice little love tap with his right foot after a nice jog around the bases. Kendrys Morales, you are a role model to us all. Perseverance. Strength. And most of all… Don’t Jump On Home Plate!


(Almost identical HR locations between the two… maybe a difference of the last one being 10 feet further to the left)

Who’s Up for a Joyful Jog Through the Quad?

After you get done watching Bear Grylls throw the high heat (literally), it’s time to discuss this year’s streaking session.

Have you ever asked, “How could I retire early and spend all of my Spring, Summer, and Fall days watching baseball?”

Well, The Commish has an answer for you… get a hit streak longer than Joe DiMaggio. “But I don’t play professional ball,” you may reply. Well, The Commish has an answer to that as well… head over to MLB.com and play Beat the Streak. The first person to accumulate 57 hits (1 more than DiMaggio’s record) receives $5.6 Million.

The concept is simple: Pick a player each day. If that player gets a hit, your hit streak increments by 1. If he fails to get a hit, you go back to 0. It’s that simple, Or is it. Since 2001, no one has achieved this feat. Someone reached 49 in 2007, which is 5 more than Pete Rose’s NL record. But that could change this season. MLB.com implemented a new rule. You can pick 2 players per day and increase your streak by 2. If either player fails to get a hit, your streak goes back to 0. I say, no guts, no glory.

MLB.com is also giving away monthly prizes and prizes for teams achieving a hit streak longer than 30. So there isn’t a reason not to play.

So head over to MLB.com/BeatTheStreak and register. After you register make sure you add yourself to the KingsOfCork group on the Beat the Streak picks page.

Group Name:KingsofCork
Password: peterose

The goal is to have someone from our group show that we don’t only dig the long ball, but long streaks as well. Let’s bring home the prize!

Category: Baseball Nonsense  One Comment  Tags:

Statistics 101: Kings of Cork 2012 HR Derby

Between throwing hammers at frustrating home improvement projects and trying to help Google solve JavaScript issues (I thought it was difficult to get a job at Google, but it appears their help and support staff aren’t the best at resolving issues), this 2012 Home Run Derby statistics post is well past due.

First thing’s first… Thank you to all of you. If it weren’t for the Kings of Cork participants, I wouldn’t have this site or the ability to organize such an event as the Home Run Derby. So again, Thanks!

Second… Another round of Thanks. You guys did it again. We have a record number of participants this year at 76 teams (20 more than last season) which will lead to more prizes in 2012. I rarely inform anyone of the competition other than making sure the regulars remember to fill out the yearly registration form. So the expansion of the friendly competition is all due to you guys (and gals) and your big mouths. Next year we might top 100!

Next, I need to apologize for the standings. They still auto-update but, no thanks to the wonderful support team at Google, players statistics may be a bit behind at times. It could be 15-20 minutes behind or an entire day. Hopefully I have this issue fixed soon, so bare with me.

Lastly, on to the much desired statistics of the 2012 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby:

  • 364 – The number of home runs all of the Kings of Cork teams have hit in the first week of baseball. That’s an average of 4.7 HR per team. The Commish’s team falls below this average…
  • 173 – The number of home runs hit in the MLB in the first week of baseball. That’s 1 less than last season’s first week of baseball
  • 83 – The number of different MLB players selected from the list provided on the registration form.
  • 76 – The number of registered teams. Up 20 from last year but we actually gained over 25 new members.
  • 46 – The number of teams who picked Albert Pujols(24) or Jose Bautista(22) in group A. Fielder was close at 14 picks. Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds were the only players not selected in Group A.
  • 24 – The number of teams who believed Justin Upton was in the wrong group. Upton is tied with Pujols as the most selected player (impressive since there were more selections in Group C).
  • 23 – The current position of the 2011 Home Run Derby Champ: What’s $5 Bucks?
  • 22 – The age of Eric Hosmer, the most selected player in Group E at 12. No other player in Group E had double digit selections.
  • 17 – The number of teams who picked the most popular player in Group B, Matt Kemp. Second belongs to Curtis Granderson at 13. Surprising statistics from Group B: Only 1 team selected Lonogoria (PUJOLS GOES LONGoria) and 2 selected Tulo (Rick ‘Vlade Divac’ Smits and Smack That Pitch Up!).
  • 11 – The number of teams who thinks Jacoby Ellsbury’s 32 home run power is legit. No other player in Group D had double digit selections.
  • 10 – The number of states we are spread across (that I know of): California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Wisconsin. This thing isn’t local anymore!
  • 8 – The number of players that were write-in selections in Group E. Twelve teams selected the 8 players who were: Goldschmidt(3), Lawrie(3), Yadier Molina(1), Ike Davis(1), Freese(1), Moustakas(1), Rayburn(1), and Chris Davis(1).
  • 7 – The number of days it took the last team to record a home run: Mr. Cub. Thank you Alex Gordon.
  • 3 – The number of days it took the first team to record a home run from every single player on their team: Sneaky Pete.
  • 0 – The number of duplicate teams out of the 76 entries and the number of home runs Pujols has hit so far.

Remember to check back frequently for new, entertaining, baseball related stories. And the standings are officially posted here.

Get Me Out To The Baaall Game

Here’s something to read/watch to keep you sane on your nine-hour layover.

So who’s sick of the MLB blackout policy? Probably only a select group of you. Most of said group is probably located in Iowa, Western Illinois, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Arkansas. These areas have the most blacked out teams. Take Arkansas and Oklahoma, residents can’t watch games from the Cardinals, Royals, Houston, or Texas. Now if one of those teams have a local network deal, they would have the ability to watch that team. Then you have Iowa, residents here are blacked out from the Twins, Brewers, Cubs, White Sox, Royals, and Cardinals. What does the MLB expect… they want to force Iowans to drive 5-6 hours in any direction to watch a live baseball game? Ridiculous. At least residents can watch the Cubs in their ‘rebuilding’ years on WGN.

One plus (if it can be called that) to being stuck in an area with multiple markets, you get the opportunity to watch the marketing departments duke it out in advertising. It seems obvious that the best marketing departments are these teams in the multiple team markets. Take a look below at some of the Kings of Cork favorites from the 2012 campaign (I think the Cardinals not only won the World Series, but their Marketing Department mopped the floors with the rest of baseball’s marketing).



Those aren’t all of the 2012 MLB commercials but IMO, they are some of the best. But if you disagree, link me to some of the others (from 2012) that you believe should be on this list. We will gladly add them to the list.

Spring Break… er, uh, Spring Training

Oh, Hey There… How YOU doin’… could I interest you in a Derek Jeter gift basket?

It’s been awhile since there has been new information on our front page. It’s been a hectic month… dealing with a record amount of entrants for the 2012 Home Run Derby (as automated as it looks, it’s very labor intensive for The Commish during the month of March), dealing with our day jobs, and dealing with Spring Break… I mean, Spring Training trips.

Which brings us to the second item to add to your baseball bucket list right behind rooting for a sub-0.500 team:

Attend Spring Training stadium hopping for multiple days.

A group of Kings of Cork regulars have been attempting to attend Spring Training every season (in fact, we should all thank one of these guys for bringing the Kings of Cork to us since it started in his previous office and became extinct before yours truly grabbed the torch). And regardless of how many Benjamins our group brings home a year, the group tries to keep it college level classy. We are talking dirty, cheap hotels, the cheapest seats you can find at the ballpark, and gambling on everything from the total bill at lunch, passing the cup, cab rides, or how many times certain words are said throughout the day.

Those are only our group’s Spring Training trip traditions (flying into wrong airports may have became a new tradition this year) and are in no way requirements for the Spring Training trip you must put on your baseball bucket list. The joy of Spring Training is the interaction fans get with the current star players and the future you talented players. It also doesn’t hurt that you have the choice of two different warm and sunny destinations.

Both destinations have their advantages and disadvantages. The Cactus league in Arizona has a maximum distance of 45 driving miles which makes it easy to see two games a day in two different stadiums. There are also over 150 golf courses in this same 45-60 mile diameter so don’t forget your clubs. And ASU campus is in the center of this area and improves the night life experience. The Grapefruit league is a bit more spread out in Florida. The closest drive between stadiums might be 45 minutes. The big market teams are present in Florida (Atlanta, Phillies, Yankees, and Boston) which always attract a good crowd. And don’t forget about all the Disney and MGM attractions in Florida.

Honestly, Spring Training is one of the best baseball events of the year. ‘Hope’ is still in the air that this is the year for your favorite team. You get to see the organizations’ future players duel with today’s great pitchers. You have full access (well, almost full access) to all of the teams’ facilities which means that you can watch the highest paid player in the league take pitches in a cage less than 20 feet away. Players also tend to interact more with the fans in games that don’t really ‘matter’. For example, our group witnessed a 3-inning conversation between a bachelor party and Vernon Wells this season. It ranged from Vernon’s Spring Training performance to finding out that Vernon doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because he isn’t Irish. You also get the chance to run into GM’s and other baseball executives at camp (we got a glimpse of the now infamous Billy Bean).

You never know what you will see in a Spring Training game. Some highlights from this year:


Well, you get the idea. It’s a much more laid back atmosphere than in the regular season. And I can’t stress enough the ability (depending on game start times) to watch 3 games in 3 stadiums with 6 different teams. There just aren’t many cities you can accomplish that feat during the regular season. And no where can you even attempt to see 14 teams in 5 days for the price and minimal effort in spring training.

I can cross Spring Training off my baseball bucket list (but I will still continue to go back) and you should try to too.