October 29, 2010

Friday 5: Fathers and Sons

Seeing Barry Bonds scutter out of the shadows and attempt to steal the spotlight from the San Francisco Giants this postseason reminds me of when I first heard of him.

This was, of course, before he declared he wanted to be the Giants hitting coach.

It was before he did or didn't do steroids.

It was in, probably, 1986 when he was, simply, the wiry, smiling son of an outspoken badass...Bobby Bonds.

My good friend Peter Schiller from Baseball Reflections apparently also had Bonds on the mind and put together this week's "Friday 5".

Here is Schiller's list of the five best Father-Son combos in baseball.

5.  Felipe and Moises Alou

4.  Cecil and Price Fielder
The only father–son duo to each hit 50 or more home runs!

3.  Ray, Bob, Aaron and Bret Boone
On this list for the fact that there has been three generations of Boones in baseball.

2.  Ken Griffey Senior and Junior
The only father and son combo to play in the same season (in 1989 Senior was with the Reds while Junior was with the Mariners), on the same team and hit back-to-back home runs on September 14, 1990 for the Seattle Mariners!

1.  Bobby and Barry Bonds
The only father and son duo to hit over 300 home runs (Bobby hit 332 while Barry hit 762*) AND steal over 400 bases (Bobby stole 461 while Barry stole 514)!

You can check out Schiller's post in its entirety (complete with links to career accomplishments) over at his website.

Happy Halloween from The Batting Stance Guy!

Earlier this week, the internets were introduced to, possibly, the best Halloween costume of the season.

This kid.

Today...Gar Ryness, the Batting Stance Guy, has five suggestions for some last minute, World Series-inspired Halloween costume ideas. 

Click on each picture to get a better view.

San Francisco Giants Thirdbaseman Juan Uribe

Texas Rangers Outfielder Jeff Francoeur


San Francisco Giants Centerfielder Aaron Rowand

San Francisco Giants Pitcher Tim Lincecum

Texas Rangers Pitcher C.J. Wilson
Throughout the remainder of the World Series, you can check out more of Batting Stance Guy's limited edition baseball cards via Twitter.  Follow him at @battingstanceg check out his website.

October 28, 2010

Don't Worry Ron Washington

Last night's 11-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants probably wasn't as close as Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington would have liked.  His ace got rocked...bats didn't come alive until late.  Ugly.

But fear not, Ron Ron...there is a reason for you to stay optimistic.

This kid.

Normally, I'm not big on re-posting images and what nots that have appeared all over the place already...but in this case I had to.  And to give credit where credit is due...I first learned of this precocious tyke courtesy of Jerod Morris over at Midwest Sports Fans.

You can read his take HERE.  In the meantime, what is this kid's name and address...I wanna send him some candy!

October 27, 2010

The World Series is Here...Cue Up the McCarverisms!

***The following was written by The Hall of Very Good's newest contributor...Kevin Chanel.***

No one can doubt the esteemed credentials of Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver.

He played the game. He even appeared in two World Series matchups as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.

He has to have been at least somewhat smart; he caught Rick Wise's 1971 no-hitter while with the Phillies, and Wise was no Sandy Koufax.

He has been announcing World Series games since the mid-80's, and will again take the mic as Joe Buck's color man when Texas visits San Francisco tonight for Game One.

So why is such an accomplished announcer so reviled?

October 26, 2010

Do You Remember?

With the World Series kicking off tomorrow night, we're reminded of some of baseball’s most memorable moments played out on what proved to be the biggest stage possible...the postseason.

From dramatic homeruns (who can forget Kirk Gibson in 1988 or Joe Carter going deep five years later?) to the straight up weird (we were treated to two in 2003…Steve Bartman in Chicago and the Pedro Martinez throw down of Don Zimmer), baseball fans have pretty much seen it all.

Many an October ago, (October 25, 1986)…the world bore witness to a routine ground ball that changed the course of the World Series for one team, prolonged a curse for another and overshadowed what was a pretty good career for Bill Buckner.

Much like the Bartman incident or Gibson hobbling around the bases, that ball going under Buckner’s mitt is one of baseball’s most widely known images and to one man…it is the cornerstone of a rather unique collection.

Seth Swirsky is the keeper of, if you ask me, one of the best privately owned baseball collections. Last year at this time, I had the privilege to talk to him.  Here's that interview in its entirety once again.


Twitter Tuesday: Michael Schlact's Pumpkin

It all started innocent enough when Texas Rangers Minor Leaguer pitcher Michael Schlact tweeted a picture of his pumpkin.

And no, sickos, "pumpkin" isn't some lame euphemism or veiled reference to whatever it was Brett Favre did or didn't send to Jenn Sterger.  Schlact actually tweeted a picture of his pumpkin...the jack-o-latern shown above.

Minutes later...everyone's a critic.

@DeLaNate:  I think your pumpkin should be in the dugout on Halloween night. Then Vlad should put it out of it's misery.

@enebradcr: nice. Did you just throw 3 baseballs at it and call it good?

@DingersBlog:  your pumpkin is bad and you should feel bad
 
@heykim:  dont quit your day job

Joining in on the action were fellow big league pitchers Collin Balester and C.J. Wilson.

@ballystar40:  looks like you just cut huge holes in a pumpkin and lit the inside on fire haha.

@str8edgeracerHey everyone, check out @michael_schlact and make fun of his pumpkin

I guess with Halloween around the corner...'tis the season, folks!

You can follow Schlact on Twitter at @michael_schlact.  Better yet...check out The Schlact Stories over at MLB.com.

October 25, 2010

"Bochy's Band of MiSFits" Get Their Own T-shirt

In 1982, the baseball world was introduced to "Harvey's Wallbangers".

Seven years later, "The Boys of Zimmer" were born.

Starting Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants are hoping to do something the Milwaukee Bewers and Chicago Cubs couldn't.

Win.  It.  All.

Bay Area graphic artist Kirk Shelton is looking to capitalize on the nickname San Francisco radio station KNBR gave his beloved Giants.  I had a chance to catch up with Shelton and get the story behind the "Bochy's Band of MiSFits" t-shirts.

HOVG: You're the designer behind the "Bochy's Band of MiSFits" shirt...what's the story?

SHELTON: The motivation behind the shirt was pretty straight forward, "Bochy's Band of Misfits" had been mentioned on KNBR and by some players recently. Naturally, the connection to the punk band the Misfits came to mind but I never thought about making a graphic out of it. Then, a friend of mine texted me with the idea to use the Misfits fiend logo and tie-in the Giants with the "SF" of MiSFits somehow. So I threw it together in about 5 minutes and posted it up on my website...the rest is history.

HOVG: Is this the first Giants-related shirt you've come up with?

SHELTON: I have another one up that was all my idea.  It's an Andres Torres spoof of the classic Shepard Fairey "Andre the Giant Has a Posse" stickers from the 90s. You should buy some of those too.

HOVG: I won't ask WHO you think is going to win between the Giants and Rangers...I'm going to ask in how many games do you think your Giants will win. How's that?

SHELTON: I'd love to see 'em bust out four in a row but that's not how the MiSFits roll. I think they'll eek it out to at least six nail biters. It will be interesting to see how it feels being on the other side of a Bengi Molina single to lead off an inning.

HOVG: Anything else?

SHELTON: Thanks for the love and attention. Go Gigantes!

You can buy the "Bochy's Band of MiSFits" shirt exclusively through RedBubble.com.  Or if that one doesn't float your boat...check out one of Shelton's other shirts HERE!

October 24, 2010

Jeff Bagwell Out as Astros Hitting Coach

Yesterday, the best Astros blog in the country posted the following about former Houston slugger Jeff Bagwell leaving his post as the team's hitting coach:

I guess we need a new hitting coach since Jeff Bagwell won't be returning as hitting coach in 2011.  This is incredibly disappointing, and with (general manager) Ed Wade and (manager) Brad Mills meeting to immediately put together a list of candidates, at least we'll now have something to talk about until the Hall of Fame vote is released in January.

Now...since I've gone on record as being decidedly PRO-Bagwell when it comes to the 2011 Hall of Fame class...it's time to re-iterate my case for him.

Here’s the deal with me and Bagwell…I always admired, but was never a huge Bagwell guy until after he hung up his spikes.  I mean, I respect the Hell out of the man for leaving the game after only 15 seasons. And while injuries and what not might have precluded him to doing so, it is possible that he could have hung around the American League as a DH to pad some numbers to his already bloated 449 home run and 1529 RBI totals.

But he chose not to.

He could have left Houston a number of times.

But he chose not to.

His .948 OPS is 23rd all-time and the only Hall eligible player that is higher on that list and not enshrined is Mark McGwire. Bagwell was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991 and followed it up three seasons later with the National League MVP award. A career .297 hitter, Bagwell also appeared in four All-Star Games and was twice (yes, twice) a 30-30 man.

And...he had a bitchin' goatee.

You can read Jeff Bagwell and Astros general manager Ed Wade had to say about the Houston legend's decision to move on over at Astros County.

October 23, 2010

Brian Wilson Mentions "The Machine" on National Television...Again

So...San Francisco Giants closer referred to "The Machine" in his postgame interview Saturday night and the internet went nuts.

Alright blogosphere, plenty of you are getting to The Hall of Very Good by hitting up "Brian Wilson The Machine" or "C.J. Wilson The Machine" on the Googles and finding the old interview I did with C.J. Wilson and nothing on "The Machine".

Well, as a public service to you all (and thank you for stopping by), I'm posting this video so you know exactly what he was referring to.



Oh...and while you're stopping by, feel free to check out the afore mentioned interview The Hall did with Texas Rangers hurler C.J. Wilson last year and/or his thoughts on the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr. this past June.

Talkin' Baseball with C.J. Wilson

C.J. Wilson Talks "Junior"

Enjoy!

October 22, 2010

Pete Rose to the Hall of Fame: "Don't Wait 'Til I'm Dead"

Mark your calendars...because this is going to be the first, last and only time these following phrase will be uttered. 

I wish I lived in Clifton, Ohio right now.

You see, this weekend marks the initial run of the documentary "4,192: The Crowning of the Hit King"...the story of Pete Rose's chase of the all-time hit record.  I dig Rose, remember the countdown to the milestone vividly and would love to see 1985 baseball up on the big screen.

Oh...and I'd like to see "Charlie Hustle" in the Hall of Fame.

Recently, Cincinnati Enquirer reporter John Erardi caught up with Rose...talked about the movie, the current state of the Cincinnati Reds and, of course, Cooperstown.

"I would hope that I'd get a second chance. Don't wait 'til I'm dead," Rose told Erardi.  "The Hall of Fame is for family and friends. I'd like to get up there in front of them."

You can read the entire interview over at Cincinnati.com...click HERE and check it out!

And if you're one of the lucky to actually be near Clifton this week, you can check out the Esquire Theatre and showtimes for "4192" HERE...then let me know how the movie is.

Friday 5: Bryce Lane

A couple of days ago, the number one pick in last summer’s draft, Bryce Harper, uttered the following before his Arizona Fall League debut:

I think in the next couple years we will be the Yankees of the NL East. I have been telling everyone that. We are going to roll. We are going to win some World Series.

It’s a pretty lofty goal when you consider that pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg has already had major arm surgery, the Yankees have boat loads of cash and Tampa Bay actually won the American League East this past season.

Oh…and Harper has yet to face real pitching.

But other than that, the 18 year-old is spot on.

I bring up Harper only to segue to one of the other Bryces (there were six total) that was drafted this past June…Bryce Lane.

The outfielder was taken in the 41st round (1232 picks after Harper) by the Houston Astros, quickly signed and was shipped off to Greeneville, Tennessee to suit up for the Astros Appalachian League team.

Lane ended his first year in the Minors with a .268 combined batting average through 60 games with three different teams. The 21 year-old now joins his former Greeneville teammate Delino DeShields Jr. as the second Astros farmhand to take their cuts at the “Friday 5”.

HOVG: This probably isn’t something that you’re supposed to ask, but you went in the 41st round…was that later than you expected or earlier?

LANE: It was definitely later. I told the scouts that it didn't matter where I was picked…I just wanted to play. Despite where I got picked, I got the chance of a lifetime and I'm going to make the best of it.

HOVG: I read something written shortly after you signed your contract that said “41st Round pick Bryce Lane got 15th Round money”. Now, I’m not sure what that means, nor am I going to ask…but what was the first thing you purchased?

LANE: I actually bought some (Nike) Huarache cleats and a box of Max bats. The cleats I bought before I left for mini-camp were giving me shin splints and the bats I was using weren't so great.

HOVG: What are you looking forward to the most as a professional?

LANE: I am looking forward to being at the field everyday and getting paid to do what I love. I have been playing ball since I was five years-old and it is now starting to pay off.

HOVG: Let's look into the future...what'll be your walk up music when you hit the pros?

LANE: I'm not sure what it will be…maybe a little oldies rock.

HOVG: Alright, man…what’s next?

LANE: I'm going to do my time in the minors for a couple of years then I'm going to get the big call-up. (I will) try and see if I can make a career out of it and be the Brett Favre of baseball.

Since 1990, only 16 players picked in the 41st round have made it to the big leagues, but being a late round pick doesn’t necessarily mean a career in the Minors.

Baltimore shortstop Julio Lugo was drafted by Lane’s Astros in the 43rd round of the 1994 draft, and he’s gone on to collect close to 1300 hits, 200 stolen bases and a 2007 World Series ring.

Jeff Conine was taken in the 58th round of the 1987 draft and became the face of the Florida Marlins by helping them bring home two World Championships.

And do I even need to bring up the story of 62nd round pick and future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza?

October 20, 2010

Derek Jeter is the New "Mr. October"

During Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, a fan held up a "Mr. November" sign after New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter sent a Byung-Hyun Kim offering over the rightfield wall.

Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay started calling Jeter by the moniker...and the nickname stuck.

But following that home run, Jeter went 2 for 11 (good for a .182 batting average) that November AND walked away ringless.

Mr. November?  Really?!?

Sure, the nickname is cute and all...but c'mon, aren't we giving the dude a little too much credit?  Shouldn't the two-headed monster of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson share the title Mr. November?  Afterall, it was their performances in Games 6 and 7 that shut down the Bronx Bombers.

Now...flash forward to Tuesday night and New York's 10-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.

During the game, Jeter set or tied a handful of postseason records. 

In the third inning, he scored his 32nd career LCS run...topping former teammate Bernie Williams' former mark.  Two innings later, Jeter would best Williams again when he collected his 30th postseason double of his career.  The two-bagger, Jeter's tenth in LCS play, put the shortstop in a tie with Williams and Hideki Matsui.  Monday night, he surpassed Williams' career mark with his 52nd extra base hit.

Also on Monday, the Yankees captain passed Manny Ramirez when he played in his 50th career LCS game.  With three more hits...he'll surpass "ManRam" as the all-time hit leader in LCS play.  For his career, Jeter is 56 for 213 (a .263 batting average) in the second round of the playoffs.

Add that to his 78 hits in the Divisional Championship Series and 50 in World Series play and you're looking at a guy who has put together a full season's worth of activity in just the month of October alone.

So, perhaps, maybe a better nickname might be in order.  Is Reggie Jackson still using his?


What do you think...should Derek Jeter be regarded at the new "Mr. October" or should Reggie Jackson retain the title?  Vote!

October 19, 2010

Carl Pavano Among Goulet Award Finalists

Pop quiz, ninjas...what do Stanley Cup winning coach Joel Quenneville, UTEP's mascot Paydirt Pete and Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano have in common?

They all have mustaches?

Close.

They all have mustaches and have been honored to be among the finalists to be named "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year" by the American Mustache Institute?

Absolutely.

The three are among the 19 finalists that will be competing for the honor at this year's upcoming 'Stache Bash 2010.

Last year, The Hall of Very Good threw its weight behind eventual winner...Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Clay Zavada.  This year...The Hall's full support is behind Alyssa Milano's former boy toy Pavano.

Why Pavano? Here's what the AMI had to say:

Many thought Carl Pavano’s baseball career was done. And then he grew a mustache. Since then, he resurrected his career with a 17-11 record in 2010, 3.75 ERA, and a Central Division Championship. His Pavstache single handedly brought the popularity of lip garments back to Minnesota and powered the team into the 2010 playoffs.

Add to that the fact that Pavano's lip sweater also fathered multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts and you've got one worthy 'stache.

So, here's the deal. Head over to the AMI site and vote for the Twins righty. Then...tell your friends and repeat.

It's kinda like the old "wash, rinse, repeat" thing from the shampoo ads...but with mustaches, rookie relief pitchers and Robert Goulet looking down from heaven with an angel on each arm smiling.

Twitter Tuesday: Eric Young Jr.

Alright...this is going to be a dumb statement to make, but the coolest thing about Twitter is that you never know what tweet you'll read next.

Sometimes, a guy like David Price will let his emotions run wild and sound off against his team's fans.

@DavidPrice14:  Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing

Other times, baseball's reigning clown prince, Jose Canseco gets delusional.

@JoseCanseco:  Easr bound and out is based on my life ,I wish the producers would contact me I can help them with more info

Another scenario would be tweeting about your dad's latest gig. Not a big deal, really...unless you posted the following.

@EYJr:  It's official. My pops is the new 1st base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks! God has really blessed our family!

Now, I hadn't seen the news anywhere else and, frankly, banging the interwebs for news on Senior and Junior Young isn't usually my thing, but good work, kid...I think you scooped the World Wide Leader.

With Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson bringing Young into the fold at first...Matt Williams moves over to coach third.

And for those of you scoring at home...Arizona is now home to what was, probably, one-third of a pretty bad 1993 fantasy baseball team by yours truly.

October 18, 2010

Monday Morning Link Dump: October 18

The playoffs are in full swing...here comes the dump.

Leading Off

Larry Granillo over at Wezen-Ball points out that umpires have been making terrible calls for some time now.  (Wezen-Ball)

And in case you were wondering...Nolan Ryan can still bring the heat.  (Pro Rumors)

It seems like a natural progression to me. Jose Canseco is set to appear on the next celebrity installment of "The Apprentice". (The Hall of Very Good)

Extra Innings

The following are ACTUAL posts that popped up over at Bleacher Report over the weekend. Wow. Definitely worth a read.

MLB's Best Franchise: The Story of the Minnesota Twins

The Top Latinos in MLB's Championship Series

Big League Tweet of the Week

@Peteypipes (Bryan Peterson): Cody Ross is my hero, him and batman

The Walk Off

I wasn't the biggest fan of last week's "MoneyBART" episode of "The Simpsons"...but it did produce some decent one-liners.  (Big League Stew)

And in case you missed them...here are a few pieces that The Hall of Very Good put out this week.


The Ten Best Stories of the 2010 Season
Bronson Arroyo is Selling Cars
Roy Halladay...(Im)mortal?!?

Have you found something of interest? What me to see it?!? Leave a comment, drop me an email at
hallofverygood@yahoo.com or hit up The Hall on Twitter at @HOVG.

See you around, gang!

October 17, 2010

Roy Halladay...(Im)mortal?!?

Alright…so Roy Halladay is human I guess.

We assumed that to some extent though, right?

Yes, we all saw flashes of super human activity back in May when the Philadelphia Phillies ace threw that perfect game against the Marlins. And yes, earlier this month, the righty threw, arguably, a much better game when he became just the second pitcher ever to throw a no-no in the postseason.

But let’s be fair, the dude has just those two wickedly insane outings in 322 career starts…not 322 of them.

And when he gave up those two solo shots to San Francisco outfielder Cody Ross Saturday night, it wasn’t like it was the first time someone victimized the All-World pitcher twice in one game.

Matter of fact…it was the seventh time that it has happened.

Again, the guy is human.

October 14, 2010

Mike Scioscia Returns to "The Simpsons" Part Two

Last week, I previewed (kinda) the return of Los Angeles Angels skipper Mike Scioscia to America's longest-running sitcom..."The Simpsons".  And by now, most of you have seen it, read about it, downloaded it or whatever.

My take is that, outside of the creepy opening, "MoneyBART" was, at best...pretty awful.

Now, I'll leave the tater trot tracking of Bart's home run to my friend Larry Granillo over at Wezen-Ball and the roundup of notable quotables to the boys from Big League Stew...I'm here to focus on the only two things I took from the episode.

First, while Bart, Homer and the gang haven't aged a bit in the 18 years since Mr. Burns put together an All-Star cast for his company's softball team...Mike Scoscia has.  His hair is a grayer, his waistline is a little thicker and, best of all, he's healthy.

If you recall, in "Homer at the Bat", the then-catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers took a job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant where, unfortunately, he was stricken with radiation poisoning. Now, he's been stricken with "super managing power" and the ability to de-magnetize credit cards.

Second, Scioscia can offer up some sage wisdom.

The plot of the episode, in a nutshell, was that Bart was upset that his sister, Lisa, took over as manager of his team...the Springfield Isotots. Thankfully, Scioscia popped up to offer up some sage wisdom:

I don't care if your manager is your sister, Dick Drago's mustache or Oscar Gamble's afro...a player should always listen to his skipper.  (You can hear the clip HERE)

Dick Drago's what now?!?

Pretty sound advice if you ask me, but what did Drago think?

"I don't watch The Simpsons," the former pitcher said, "but (it is) kinda cool that my name and mustache were mentioned on the show."

Kinda cool?!?  Absolutely. 

If only it was a better episode.  Oh, since I mentioned it...I've included the Banksy intro for the four of you that haven't seen it.

Bronson Arroyo is Selling Cars

From seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens selling soap to one-time White Sox Minor League outfielder Michael Jordan hawking basketball sneakers...there have been a lot of athletes in a lot of different commercials.

Hell, even Bo knows that now is the time to get back into the advertising game.

But while I was searching the interwebs for music videos...I came across my new all-time favorite television commercial starring an athlete.

I bring you Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo for Champion Ford of Alexandria.

October 13, 2010

Jose Canseco is Auditioning for Donald Trump

So here's some breaking news that can rival only (and here comes the shameless plug for web traffic) Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino getting booted from "Dancing With The Stars" and those 33 Chilean miners getting rescued.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

Hall of Very Good fave and village idiot to the world Jose Canseco is gearing up to appear on the next installment of Donald Trump's "The Apprentice".

Here's what TMZ had to say:

TMZ has identified some of the contestants Donald Trump has selected for the upcoming season of his hit reality show...which includes former MLB star turned steroid finger-pointer Jose Canseco and the original "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch.

Perhaps now, the former American League MVP can get his "chandeleers" back.  Make sure you monitor this dolt's Twitter feed as I am sure it'll be a goldmine (intentional callback!) in upcoming weeks.

October 12, 2010

The Ten Best Stories of the 2010 Season

Alright, alright, I know I just blasted Bleacher Report, but c'mon...how many lame, typo-laden slideshows are necessary on a daily basis?

Which brings me to this.

Prior to the season, The Hall broke down which milestones to watch for in 2010.

Well, no-hitters and perfect games aside...here are The Ten Best Stories of the 2010 Season.

Super Rookie Jason Heyward Homers in First At Bat
Opening Day in Atlanta saw Braves rookie Jason Heyward became the third youngest player to hit a home run in his first ever big league at bat. Four others (Luke Hughes, Starlin Castro, Daniel Nava and J.P. Arencibia) went deep in their first ever at bat this season, but given the hype surrounding Heyward...no one did it with as much fanfare.

Reds Rookie Mike Leake Skips Minors
Almost as impressive as what Heyward did (it's actually more rare), Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake became the first player since 2000 to leapfrog the Minors. In six and two-thirds innings of work, the young righty gave up only one run on four hits good for a 1.35 ERA. He also added two hits to become the first Reds pitcher to produce two hits in his debut since Benny Frey on Sept. 18, 1929.

Alex Rodriguez is Wicked Good
On August 4th, "A-Rod" joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. as the one of the only players to slug 600 or more home runs for their career...and he did it exactly three years to the day after he slugged number 500.

Rodriguez also became the youngest player to hit 600, at 35 years and eight days old...a year and 188 days younger than "The Bambino" was when he swatted 600. "A-Rod" was also the fourth quickest to the mark in terms of at-bats, hitting number 600 in his 8,689th at-bat. Ruth did it in 6,921.

Less than a week later, Rodriguez made history again when he stole his 300th base. Only Barry (762-514) and Bobby Bonds (332-461), Willie Mays (660-338), Andre Dawson (438-314), Reggie Sanders (305-304) and Steve Finley (304-320) have achieved 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.

Also Good…Albert Pujols
On August 25, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols extended his own streak by becoming the only player in Major League history to begin his career with ten straight seasons of 30 or more home runs. A few nights later, he became the youngest National Leaguer to reach 400 for his career.

And with a two-run double off Atlanta's Tommy Hanson in the sixth-inning on September 11, St. Louis Cardinals stud Albert Pujols notched his tenth straight season of 30 or more home runs and 100 RBI to start a career. He eclipsed the old mark of five in a row when he accomplished the feat in 2005.

His ten straight 100 RBI seasons to start his career is second only to Al Simmons who did it in 11. Pujols is now one of only three players (Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx are the others) to have ten straight 30/100 seasons. Four other players have had at ten straight seasons of 100 RBI or more. Rodriguez, Foxx and Lou Gehrig did it in 13 straight seasons, whereas Simmons did it in 12.

Bobby Abreu Can Hit…and Run
Also hitting long balls was Bobby Abreu who recorded his ninth 20/20 season (20 home runs...20 stolen bases) with a homer on September 19. This is the third most in history. Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds hold the record by having ten 20/20 seasons each.

Jamie Moyer is Your New Home Run King
On June 22, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer gave up his record tying 505th home run. In his next start, the lefty surrendered number 506 when Vernon Wells jerked one out of the park.

Earlier in the season, Moyer became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to throw a complete game shutout on May 7. Baseball's elder statesman was 47 years, 170 days when he beat the Atlanta Braves at (Senior) Citizens Bank Park. Zing!

Meet Matt Stairs…Professional Hitter
On July 7, Matt Stairs went yard against Matt Capps for the 20th time as a pinch hitter. This milestone by Stairs earned him a tie with Cliff Johnson atop the all-time home run list among pinch hitters.  This was Stairs' second homer as a member of his 12th team...the San Diego Padres. His first one of the season (which was hit in May) meant that the Canadien had gone deep for a record eleven different teams...a feat matched only by Todd Zeile.

On August 21, Stairs set a record with his 21st career pinch hit homer

“Big Papi” Has Wheels!
The next night, Boston Red Sox (one the Stairs’ dozen former teams) DH David Ortiz legged out his annual triple. And if you're keeping score, Ortiz is one of only three Major Leaguers to have at least one triple a year since 2000.

Omar Vizquel Has Played a Long, Long Time
Chicago White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel became the leader in games played among foreign born players. More than Hall of Famers Tony Perez (2777) and Luis Aparicio (2601). More than octogenarian Julio Franco (2527). And now...more than the previous record holder Palmeiro.

And for the curious out there, Vizquel is 17th on the all-time list.

Junior Calls it Quits
On June 2, Ken Griffey Jr. retired. He left the game with a .284 career batting average, 630 home runs and 1836 RBI. He was named the American League Most Valuable Player in 1997 and finished in the top five in voting four other years.

So there you have it...the 2010 regular season is officially in the books!  What did I miss...what were your favorite memories from the 2010 baseball season?  Let me hear it!

For a month-by-month breakdown of 2010 Major League milestones...click the links below!
The Season That Was...April
The Season That Was...May
The Season That Was...June
The Season That Was...July
The Season That Was...August
The Season That Was...September (October)

Twitter Tuesday: Fake Bleacher Report

On a night when Brett Favre's 500th (and 501st and 502nd) touchdowns, that interception in the fourth quarter and, of course, his dong are the obvious headlines...one can be assured that the hacks over at Bleacher Report are "reporting" just that.

Enter my new favorite Twitterer...@veryfakebr.

What makes Fake Bleacher Report a stroke of genius is that you're not sure what is satire and what is really taken from Bleacher Report.

Try these on for size:

Check out are new 50-frame slideshow on why the Reds will win the NL Central

Check out are slideshow on hitters that do not like fastballs

Later today on the sight: a slideshow of 10 candidates better than Mattingly as the next Dodgers manger.

Now...compare them to ACTUAL Bleacher Report articles.

Top Five Chicago Cubs by Last Name: "B"

Roy Halladay Postseason No-Hitter: 10 Reasons Don Larsen's Was More Impressive

'nuff said.

October 9, 2010

The Season That Was...September (and October)

When the calendar page turned to September...baseball had already seen five no-hitters (two of them perfect games), Ken Griffey Jr. call it quits and Manny Ramirez end up in Chicago.

What could the last month of the season have in store for its fans?

Early on, Chicago White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel became the leader in games played among foreign born players. More than Hall of Famers Tony Perez (2777) and Luis Aparicio (2601). More than octogenarian Julio Franco (2527). And now...more than the previous record holder Palmeiro.

And for the curious out there, Vizquel is 17th on the all-time list.


October 7, 2010

The Season That Was...August

As long as guys like Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols are swinging a bat...the baseball world stands a good chance at seeing some milestones broken.

That said...welcome to August!

Right out of the gate, on August 4th, "A-Rod" joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. as the one of the only players to slug 600 or more home runs for their career...and he did it exactly three years to the day after he slugged number 500.

Rodriguez also became the youngest player to hit 600, at 35 years and eight days old...a year and 188 days younger than "The Bambino" was when he swatted 600. "A-Rod" was also the fourth quickest to the mark in terms of at-bats, hitting number 600 in his 8,689th at-bat. Ruth did it in 6,921.

Less than a week later, Rodriguez made history again when he stole his 300th base. Only Barry (762-514) and Bobby Bonds (332-461), Willie Mays (660-338), Andre Dawson (438-314), Reggie Sanders (305-304) and Steve Finley (304-320) have achieved 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.


Mike Scioscia Returns to "The Simpsons"

Athletes appearing on "The Simpsons" isn't a new thing.

From Roger Clemens to Yao Ming. Tom Brady to Tony Hawk...the guests stars have run the gamut. But no athlete (outside of the fictional Drederick Tatum) has appeared more than once.

Until now.

Read this from FOX:

In an effort to bolster her resume, Lisa jumps at the opportunity to coach Bart’s little league team, and despite having little understanding of baseball, leads them to a record-winning streak. But when Bart confronts Lisa for taking the fun out of baseball, she benches him from the championship game. Hoping to lift his spirits, Marge spends the day with Bart at an amusement park where MLB manager and former catcher Mike Scioscia (guest-voicing as himself) reminds Bart of his genuine love of the sport. Meanwhile, with one last chance to win the game, Lisa makes an unexpected call and learns that there is more to sports than winning in the all-new “MoneyBART” episode of "The Simpsons".

So that begs the questions...will this Sunday's episode make reference to the series' famous "Homer at the Bat" episode where the then-Dodgers catcher (turned Angels all-time winningest manager) Scioscia was hospitalized due to radiation poisoning?

Will this open the door to us finding out whatever happened to Ozzie Smith after he disappeared while visiting the Springfield Mystery Spot?

More importantly...is anyone still watching The Simpsons?

Talkin' Baseball with Jeff Juden

I’m pretty sure that Jeff Juden has been called plenty throughout his eight year Major League career.

But given his outward appearance (an imposing 6’8” and close to 270 pounds), I am sure one name was never thrown at the hard throwing righty…“Forrest Gump”.

Juden looks nothing like Tom Hanks’ titular character from the 1994 film, and while the only comparisons I could come up with was one being born during the Richard Nixon administration and other had a fictional meeting with the embattled president…it is still kinda easy to draw some similarities.

On the baseball field that is.

Juden played for eight teams in eight years and along the way, crossed paths with some of the game's best, most colorful and controversial players.

He appeared in a World Series Game Seven and is the only pitcher to share something in common with sluggers Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas and Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.

Recently I had a chance to catch up with Juden to talk about his storybook past, present and future.


The Season That Was...July

As the "Year of the Pitcher" hit its midway point...the baseball world lost a boss, saw a hawk soar to new heights and wondered aloud if Matt Stairs is the game's best (pinch) hitter.

Wait...what?!?

On July 7, Matt Stairs went yard against Matt Capps for the 20th time as a pinch hitter. This milestone by Stairs earned him a tie with Cliff Johnson atop the all-time home run list among pinch hitters.

This was Stairs' second homer as a member of his 12th team...the San Diego Padres. His first one of the season (which was hit in May) meant that the Canadien had gone deep for a record eleven different teams...a feat matched only by Todd Zeile.


October 6, 2010

The Season That Was...June

With three no-hitters (two of them perfect games!) already in the books...what could June possibly bring? Another no-hitter perhaps?

Perhaps a near perfect game?!? Nooo...that would NEVER happen!

Well...on June 2 it did!

One out away from what would be the third perfect game of the season, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga suffered the greatest on field travesty since Monica Seles got stabbed by that crazed German when umpire Jim Joyce blew what would have been the 27th out of the game.

What followed was mayhem and, well, to be honest...Galarraga got the next out and ended the game with a one-hitter. But, you would have thought Joyce killed a guy...or stabbed a tennis player in the back.

Three weeks later, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays.


October 5, 2010

Enter the BRayser!

I'm not sure when exactly the fad started.

I'm not sure what exactly it entails.

All I know is that I'm upset I found out about it just recently. That said, I am glad I found out about it at all...and you probably are as well.

Remember two years ago when the Tampa Bay Rays made the playoffs and those stupid blue Rayhawks were all the rage? Well, this year, the Rays are delivering something better than that accessory, Thunderstix and the Rally Monkey all rolled into one.

Enter the BRayser.

Manager Joe Maddon and his troops have gotten all Herbert Ruggles Tarlick Jr. on the baseball world and BJ Upton wants you to win his awesome WKRP-inspired jacket.

Here's all you need to do!

For a minimum donation of $15 (or the cost of one ticket), your name will be entered into a drawing to win a BRayser worn and signed by B.J. Upton. You can register over at
The Upton Brothers website, but time is limited and only 500 tickets are going to be sold.

The winner will be chosen on November 9 and proceeds go to the Childs Park and Wildwood Recreation Centers located in South St. Petersburg to help support the families served by these centers.

Next year, my suggestion is that the Rays (or any team for that matter) dress up as the
JabbaWockeeZ when they hit the road.

Fingers crossed.

Twitter Tuesday: Carl Pavano's Mustache

From now until Friday, my good friends at the American Mustache Institute are taking applications for their annual "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year" award.

Last year, The Hall of Very Good supported Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Clay Zavada and the outcome...victory.

This year...the thinktank is asking for your support of Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano.

That's right, the former future ex-Mr. Alyssa Milano (you following me?) decided to ditch the spousal compromise (his goatee) in favor of the full on mustache. And along with it...the righty was able to string together 17 wins, a 3.75 ERA and lead the Twinkies to the American League Central crown.

Oh...and did I mention that Pavano's mustache has spawned t-shirts (you can check out a couple HERE or HERE)? Take THAT Eric Holder!

And what about the 34 year-old's glorious 'stache on Twitter? Yes, please.

Here are some of the offerings offered up by the lip sweater commonly known as "the Pavstache".

@PavanosMustache: Some people have an angel and a devil on their shoulder; Carl has me.

@carlstache: People talking about magic numbers. I got a magic number, ladies. See if you can guess what it is.

@CPavanoMustache: Alright yall, goodnight...gotta get up early for a trim in the morning. OUCH!


So there you have it...three Twitter accounts dedicated to one mustache. Why not give each of them a follow?

In the meantime, check out Carl Pavano's Mustache on Facebook, hit up the American Mustache Institute and see what they're all about and nominate your favorite former Expos/Marlins/Yankees/Indians and current Twins pitcher.

The Season That Was...May

With an exciting start to the baseball season in the rearview mirror...May brought just as much electricity as April. And I'm not just saying that because some dude I know put out a book.

One of The Hall's favorite players, Jamie Moyer, became the oldest pitcher in Major League history to throw a complete game shutout on May 7. Baseball's elder statesman was 47 years, 170 days when he beat the Atlanta Braves at (Senior) Citizens Bank Park.

See what I did there?

With the win, he also became the first pitcher to pitch complete game shutouts in four different decades.

On Mothers Day, with his grandmother in the stands, Oakland's Dallas Braden threw the season's first perfect game. Earlier in the season, the Michael Rappaport lookalike became an ESPN staple when he shouted down Alex Rodriguez for crossing his mound.



October 4, 2010

Moyer Monday: October 4

When the Philadelphia Phillies open up the Playoffs Wednesday night against the Cincinatti Reds...something will be missing.

And that something is (again) veteran lefty Jamie Moyer.

Last year, it was surgery on three torn groin muscles. This year, the 47 year-old is still nursing an elbow injury. Thankfully, he's still able to answer questions.

Thanks to my partnership with the good folks over at The Moyer Foundation, I present to you this month's "Moyer Monday".

Question: What would you say was your favorite moment playing ball? In particular, your favorite Phillies moment?

Moyer: Winning the World Series in 2008, and the celebration and parade that followed.

Question: What words of wisdom do you have for a young high school pitcher?

Moyer: Get in good shape, learn mechanics, throw strikes and have fun!

Question: Jamie, how do you find time for your family with all that travel over the long season?

Moyer: It’s difficult, but we try to make the best of the time that we have. On occasion, my family travels to the cities that I’m playing in. This past summer they spent most of the summer with me in Philly, but it’s never easy.

Question: You're an inspiration to everyone in Philly. What inspires you? What keeps you motivated to go to the ballpark every day?

Moyer: From the baseball side, the competition that being an older player brings. Being able to compete with younger players...the competition is important to me. Also, giving back and trying to help people inspires me. It is very inspiring to help people (especially children) in less fortunate situations and leading by example.

Question: If the umpire has a small strikezone, how do you overcome the challenge and get batters out efficiently?

Moyer: I try to rely on my ability to present pitches that are strikes, force the hitter to swing the bat, and exclude the umpire from the equation.

Remember, you can follow The Moyer Foundation on Twitter at @moyerfoundation. To learn more about the foundation or make a donation to support one of their programs, please visit them online at The Moyer Foundation.

Jose Canseco Thinks He Is Kenny Powers

Prior to the start of the second season of "Eastbound and Down", "Survivor" villain Jonny Fairplay named his All-Time Baseball Heels.

At the top of his list, coincidentally I swear, the main character of the HBO's hit show...Kenny Powers. And after putting it to a vote, this is how you ranked Fairplay's Top Five.

33% - Albert Belle
24% - John Rocker
19% - Darryl Strawberry
16% - Kenny Powers
6% - Kelly Leak

Absent from the list is the guy who thinks Powers is based on him...Jose Canseco. That's right, wait...Jose Canseco thinks the character Kenny Powers is based on him?

Check out
this tweet from Sunday.

Easr bound and out is based on my life ,I wish the producers would contact me I can help them with more info

Now, making fun of Canseco is easy...it's like doing something cliche with a whole bunch of things in a cliched cliche. Hell, even The Toronto Star got into the game when they published a piece on how the former American League MVP
chronicles his own decline via Twitter, but c'mon, Jose...the origins of Powers are pretty well documented.

And you ain't it, hombre.

Check out
this interview that show creator Danny McBride did with NPR.


LYDEN: The character of Kenny Powers seems to be based on John Rocker, I have to say that. And Rocker, of course, was the pitcher who mouthed off about gays and immigrants in New York and Texas and was out of the majors before he hit 30. Tell me about how you developed the character.

Mr. McBRIDE: You know, this - the idea for the show kind of came about from Ben Best, Jody Hill and myself. They're the guys I made the film "The Foot Fist Way" with a few years ago. And you know, our knowledge of baseball actually isn't that great. We, you know, just glean what we can from the headlines from that era when it seemed like a lot of baseball stars were kind of being shamed, and this news of steroids and stuff was coming out.


So we just kind of thought that that area would be ripe for the picking for this. And we didn't really base it on John Rocker, but that sort of attitude, I think, was more or less an inspiration.


Now I don't know about you, but I get dizzy every time I confuse Kenny Powers with Jose Canseco. The similarities are endless.

Here's the facts...one is a washed up, self absorbed, name dropping joke of a former baseball player who, because of his involvement with steroids and what not has found himself banned from the Majors, evicted from his home and threatening to beat up anyone who looks at him the wrong way.

The other is a fictional character that can be watched on pay cable every Sunday night at 10:30EST/9:30CST.

The Season That Was...April

So there you have it...another season is in the books.

Prior to this year's campaign, The Hall broke down the Top Ten Milestones to Watch for in 2010 and, thankfully, there were more twists and turns than one could ever have expected.

2010 will go down as the "year of the pitcher", but the phrase became so cliche that umpire Jim Joyce seemingly took it upon himself to put it to rest. There were some stunning debuts by some much heralded rookies, a number of familiar faces decided to call it quits and Manny Ramirez moved to the Southside of Chicago.

All in all...a great season. Here's what April had to offer.


October 3, 2010

Monday Morning Link Dump: October 4

It seems like the baseball world (or at least the blogosphere) was all a twitter (see what I did there?) about Ken Burns' latest opus "Baseball: The Tenth Inning".

Here's what some bloggers had to say.

Leading Off

Apparently there was a panel discussion George Washington University and THIS is what it looked and sounded like. (Phillies Nation)

Much was made of the "Jose Canseco Milkshake". Larry over at Wezen-Ball broke down its origin. (Wezen-Ball)

Filmmaker Ken Burns talks about the process of putting "Baseball: The Tenth Inning" together. (Kansas City Star)

Extra Innings

Farewell Bobby Cox. Oh wait...you've got a date for the playoffs first. Nevermind. (Tomahawk Talk)

Good friend of The Hall, Padres minor leaguer Matt Antonelli has taken to lying about how he broke his hand. (The Official Blog of Matt Antonelli)

Big League Tweet of the Week

@JoseCanseco: Easr bound and out is based on my life ,I wish the producers would contact me I can help them with more info

The Walk Off

There aren't too many people out there that make me absolutely giddy when I see the post something on Twitter. Suffice it to say, Jose Canseco is one that does and watching his failures in life is one of my favorite pasttimes. (The Toronto Star)

And in case you missed them...here are a few pieces that The Hall of Very Good put out this week.

Ken Burns and the "Jose Canseco Milkshake"
Talkin' Baseball with Mather Zickel

Twitter Tuesday: David Price

Have you found something of interest? What me to see it?!? Leave a comment, drop me an email at
hallofverygood@yahoo.com or hit up The Hall on Twitter at @HOVG.

See you around, gang!



October 1, 2010

Talkin' Baseball with Mather Zickel

This weekend marks the end of some great managerial careers as future Hall of Famers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre and Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston will be patroling their respective dugouts for the last time.

All told, the three accounted for more than 5700 wins, a combined .542 winning percentage, 34 playoff appearances and seven World Seried rings.

On August 22, another pretty successful manager, Chicago Cubs skipper Lou Piniella abruptly called it quits. A few summers ago, "Sweet Lou" was portrayed by Mather Zickel in the ESPN original series "The Bronx is Burning".

I recently had the privilege to talk with Zickel about the making of the series and after what was possibly one of the most awkward segues every committed to writing...here's what he had to say.


HOVG: How familiar were you with Lou Piniella before you were cast to play the former Yankee outfielder in ESPN's "The Bronx is Burning"?

ZICKEL: I remember Piniella from when I was a kid. I grew up in the New York area and basically the first baseball team I ever really knew was the Yankee team depicted in "The Bronx is Burning". They seemed like heroes. And obviously they were a very talented and tough team. I was very young at the time and I remember being confused about why sometimes Piniella was in left field and other times it was Roy White.

HOVG: I’ve gotta know…was that your real hair or a wig?

ZICKEL: That was my natural hair. Plus a little extra to give it that shaggy proto-mullet look.

HOVG: How did the casting process go? Were they looking for actors that could play baseball...or were they just looking for actors who resembled the players they portrayed?

ZICKEL: Casting was definitely looking for physical resemblance in the actors. We all read scenes from the script; many scenes which actually never made it into the final draft. They did want us to have some baseball competence as well. We all had to bat, run, catch and throw for our auditions. I spent an afternoon at the batting cage, getting ready. After we were cast, they sent us to baseball camp for about two weeks before shooting. We got to work with professional players, most of whom appear in the series. Unfortunately, when we finally shot the baseball stuff, they barely used us. They didn't really use the pro guys either. They wound up using a great deal of archival television footage. It was cool to look at that old footage, but it was disappointing to not be able to play for real.

HOVG: Who had the best skills on the field?

ZICKEL: Some of the actors were pretty good athletes. I think the best actor/player was probably Evan Bryce Hart, who portrayed Bucky Dent. Evan had played in college and it showed. It was too bad that they never showed him bat in the series because Evan really got Bucky's stance down; he would get in a low crouch and choke way up on the bat. It was very distinctive. I think Alex Cranmer did Graig Nettles proud, as well. He could stop a mean grounder at third.

HOVG: And who was the worst?

ZICKEL: I don't want to go into the worst. It's better to maintain the illusion of greatness.

HOVG: What is your background with sports? Were/are you an athlete?

ZICKEL:
I played some sports in high school, mainly football. These days, I mostly box for exercise. I never really had a true athlete's agility and timing, so I always tried to compensate with blunt physicality. I really enjoyed the baseball camp for the show because they taught me how to actually bat properly. I hadn't picked up a baseball bat since I was 13 years old and almost always struck out as a kid. Nobody had ever taught me the right way to do it. By the end of baseball camp, I could at least put a respectable blooper into shallow center field. Smacking a ball with the sweet part of the bat is a very fun and satisfying feeling.

HOVG:
Switching gears to movies...do you have a favorite baseball movie?

ZICKEL: I will always have a sweet spot for "Bull Durham" and the original "The Bad News Bears".

HOVG: I saw that you've recently joined the Adult Swim show "Delocated". What's next?

ZICKEL: "Delocated" is my latest news. It's a very funny silly show and I had a great time making it. Although, I also appeared recently on "Children's Hospital". Somehow, I am becoming a regular presence on Adult Swim. I'm not sure what that says about me. Or Lou Piniella.

Mather Zickel is keeping pretty busy thanks to "Delocated". You can check out some awesome behind-the-scenes pictures of Zickel and others over at Jon Glaser's blog DE(B)LO(G)CATED.

Lou Piniella has been discussed here at The Hall of Very Good at length both HERE and HERE.