November 30, 2010

Jamie Moyer's House is Back on the Market

And in other Jamie Moyer news (you can read about pending Tommy John surgery HERE), it appears that if you've got $7.8 million sitting around...you can buy his old house in Seattle.

But, according to real estate website Curbed.com...that's a cool million LESS than what you would have paid when it hit the market last year.

Read this:

Things aren't so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, who has just re-injured his left elbow and whose Seattle home has been relisted at $7.8M, down from its initial Feb. 2009 ask of $8.9M. The 7,100-square-foot Tudor of the ex-Seattle Mariner, in a section of town genteelly named Magnolia, features deluxe details such as French marble flooring, vaulted ceilings, a wood-paneled dining room, an in-home theater, and an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven. Just the granddaddy grandeur one would expect from someone who's played 24 seasons in the big leagues.

And, naturally, here's some history on the 80 year-old house courtesy of the Magnolia Voice

The 1933 Tudor home is 7,100 square feet with marble floors, a spacious family room, home theatre, outside entertainment patio, big screen TV, pizza oven, an outdoor kitchen and pool.  There are seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms and a 4 car garage. The two story house also has three fireplaces, a 1,500 bottle wine cellar and an athletic court.  The Moyers originally purchased the home $2.8 million.

It's a pretty nice place if you can grab it I suppose.  That said, my house has been on and off the market for the last two years.  Sure, it's only a fraction (and a small one at that) of what the Moyers are asking...but still...I feel their pain.

And if you want to see more on the house (theirs not mine), head on over to Zillow.comcheck out the listing and peep one of the 27 pictures of the joint! 


Jamie Moyer to Have Tommy John Surgery

Buried among the Derek Jeter and the Yankees "will they" or "won't they" headlines is the news that fellow free agent Jamie Moyer is going under the knife Wednesday to repair his injured left elbow.

This...according to a post on The Moyer Foundation's Facebook page Monday night:

It's official - Jamie is having surgery Wednesday and we are cautiously optimistic superman will make a comeback! – Karen and Jamie

But here's the kicker, the 48-year-old is having Tommy John surgery and will, in all likelihood, be looking at sitting out the entire 2011 season.  Meaning...he'll be 49 when he suits up (assuming he finds a team) for Spring Training 2012!

And if/when he does make a comeback at age 49...he'll be only one of four pitchers (Satchell Paige, Jack Quinn and Hoyt Wilhelm were the others) to take the mound that close to the half century mark.

You'll remember that Moyer originally hurt his elbow this summer after leaving a game in July with elbow pain.  A couple days later, it was determined that the lefty had both a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and a strained flexor pronator tendon in his throwing elbow.

Earlier this month, while Moyer was attempting a comeback in the Dominican Winter League, he re-injured the same elbow.

Moyer went 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts this past season and it was unlikely that his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies were going to re-sign him.  For his career, he has compiled 267 wins...good for ninth all-time among left-handers.

Oh, in case you were wondering...the only other instance of a pitcher north of 40 coming back after Tommy John surgery was John Franco. 

The reliever was 42 when he returned from the procedure.  He pitched three more seasons, putting together a 2-11 record and a 4.63 ERA in 95 inning.


November 29, 2010

Dropping Links: November 29

It was a long holiday weekend, so as you emerge from a tryptophan coma and head back to whatever it is you do between Sunday and Saturday...here's Tony Arnoldine with some stuff you might have missed:


According to Bill Madden, Derek Jeter and the Yankees remain about $80 million apart in their current salary negotiations.  Jeter's agent, Casey Close, has since denied any truth to that report but it is certainly interesting offseason drama. It's hard to picture Jeter in any other uniform, but you never know.

Speaking of the Yankees, Javier Vazquez has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Florida Marlins. Vasquez was not very good during his second stint with the Yankees, but a change of scenery could do him good. His numbers in the National League have always been better than in the AL.

Justin Morneau says he'll be ready for spring training.

Several teams are reportedly interested in Miguel Tejada, including the Giants, Padres and Cardinals. Tejada finished the year with San Diego, although the team did not offer him arbitration.

Michael Baron of Mets Blog wonders if the Amazin's will hang on to John Maine. The team has until Thursday to offer him a contract or else he'll become a free agent. Maine is recovering from surgery.

The Los Angeles Times' Dodgers Blog has some news on the Dodgers targeting Juan Uribe, with intentions to play him at second base.

Lastly, The Cubs are apparently interested in Carlos Pena. The move would make sense, adding a strong defensive first basemen and slugger to the lineup. But get ready for plenty of strikeouts with Alfonso Soriano and Pena in the same lineup.

Do you have a story you'd like to point out to Tony?  Drop him a line over at tdine05@yahoo.com. Also, be sure to follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook to get your daily fix!


Rest in Peace "Monday Morning Link Dump"...We Hardly Knew You

It might not be the wisest move, just hours after putting up a post about the passing of Leslie Nielsen, to post an "in memoriam" of a weekly feature once found here at The Hall of Very Good.

But it's warranted.

A few months back, an attempt (albeit a feeble one) was made to bring you, the loyal soldiers of The Hall, a weekly link dump that would keep you up to date on what is catching the collective eye of us here at the home office.

Well...it has run its course.

That said...The Hall of Very Good is proud to announce to addition of someone that specializes in scouring the interwebs to find the stories that should be of interest to you and relevent to this site.

Lady and gents...Tony Arnoldine is now calling The Hall home every Monday.

"Every Monday I'll be bringing you links from around the baseball blogosphere for you to peruse as you settle back into your work week, and it's a pleasure to be doing so," Tony told me to tell you via email earlier tonight.

Tony has been a fan of this site for some time, can grow a far better beard than me and has been a fixture on the internet for a while now, having been writing in some capacity for more than ten years. He's got his own site, the appriopriately named tonyblogs.net and you should check that out as well.

Oh, yeah...one last thing.

His weekly feature "Dropping Links" will debut here at The Hall today at 12pm EST (11am CST) and EVERY Monday at 9am EST (8am CST) thereafter.

And lastly, for no reason...here's a picture of him as a kid that I swiped off his Facebook page!

Welcome aboard, Tony!


November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

Who will protect the Queen from Reggie Jackson now?

Because sometimes it is easier to copy and paste something rather than re-hash what has already been written hundreds of times...here's what TMZ posted about the passing of comedic actor Leslie Nielsen.

Legendary funny man Leslie Nielsen died today of complications of pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, this according to his agent. He was 84. His agent tells TMZ Nielsen passed surrounded by his wife and friends at about 5:34 PM ET.  Nielsen was best known for his roles in "Airplane" and the "Naked Gun" series.

And speaking of the "Naked Gun" series...here's a classic clip of Leslie Nielsen as Frank Drebin as an umpire.



And as Enrico Pallazzo.



Manny the Blue Jay? Not So Fast

Will anyone sign Manny Ramirez?

The other day, the question was asked and right now...close to 60% of you think someone will.  Now, we're a long way from the start of the 2011 season, but if you pay any attention to the Hot Stove chatter, there appears to be really only one option for the 38-year old slugger.

The Toronto Blue Jays.

And why the Blue Jays...because HE said he'd play there.  It wasn't the other way around.

“You have to weigh each case by itself," Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told the Toronto Sun the other day when asked about the prospect of the team inking Ramirez.  "If it’s the right player, the right fit, the right talent at the right price, you’ve got to be open to it.”

So, yeah, basically Anthopoulos said he wouldn't be scared off by the idea of inking Ramirez, but, by no means, does that suggest that they are going to go out and try to sign the guy.

And before I see any more stories about how much Ramirez likes new Toronto skipper John Farrell...it isn't like they spent THAT much time together.  Farrell landed his gig in Boston following the 2006 season and Ramirez was shown the door a season and a half later.

Oh, and I'm not certain, but do you really think the superstar outfielder spent a second hanging out with the team's pitching coach?  Plus, didn't he say the same thing about Joe Torre in 2008 when he was shipped to Los Angeles (yes) and last season when he agreed to join Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox (another yes)?

Ramirez is doing what he does best...giving reporters the proper lip service to makes headlines.  It's classic "Manny Being Manny" and, subsequently, Anthopoulos is being Anthopoulos.

But, as long as agent Scott Boras (and, yes, he does represent Ramirez) is involved...it doesn't matter who is being who.

I'm inclined to think that Ramirez is going to attempt to pull off what Pedro Martinez did in the 2009 campaign (which was essentially what Roger Clemens had done in the past)...wait it out to see how the smoke settles, then show up in time to take the prettiest girl to the dance.

That said, we all saw how effective Martinez was with that strategy last season considering the last time he toed a rubber was two Octobers ago.

So, where is Manny Ramirez going to take his traveling circus to next?  Who knows.  But the bigger question might be this...does anyone care?


November 26, 2010

Will Anyone Sign Manny Ramirez?

Free agent Manny Ramirez is coming off, arguably, one of the worst seasons of his career.  Granted, he hit .298 and knocked in 42 runs in just 90 games...but still.

Now entering his 19th Major League season, Ramirez is an old 38, been battling some nagging leg injuries (he hit the disabled list three separate times in 2010) and is probably relegated to DH-only duty.  Also, considering he's only surpassed 20 home runs ONCE (he hit 37 in 2008 and twice hit 20) in the last five seasons...you've gotta wonder if the dude is done.

ESPN's Keith Law says of Ramirez..."(he's) lost enough bat speed that when he squares a ball up it doesn't take off the way that it did for him before the 2009 season.  The explosiveness he had at the plate well into his 30s is all but gone."

Add all that together and it begs the question, if he's not done...will anyone sign him?

Super agent Scott Boras recently dropped this gem when talking about his Hall of Fame-caliber client.

It's just like Vlad Guerrero. His last Angels season, where he had an injury season and he had 50 RBIs, was not a customary Vlad Guerrero season. He went to Texas and reestablished himself. This is really the course for great veteran hitters. We've seen, following an injury season, a player goes out and performs at optimum levels, because these players are still uniquely skilled. They're still great hitters.

But, given what Law said about his batspeed, can Ramirez possibly replicate the .300 batting average, 29 home runs and 115 RBI that Guerrero put up for the Rangers in 152 games last season?  Probably not, seeing how Ramirez has only appeared in that many games (or more) a handful of times in his career...but I guess we'll find out.

But only if someone takes a chance.

So what do you think?  Will anyone take that chance and sign the 38 year-old slugger?  Go vote! 

***Also, a big thanks to Tim over at MLBTradeRumors.com for use of the Boras and Law quotes.***

November 23, 2010

Fernando Valenzuela...Mexico's Jackie Robinson?

Remember when Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number league-wide?

Of course you do.

Well, Fernando Valenzuela might soon be getting the Jackie Robinson treatment by the Mexican Pacific League. But first, he'll be getting his number retired by the last team he suited up for...the Mexicali Aguilas.

And it all goes down tonight!

This...according to Baseball Mexico:

The evening, which kicks off the second half of Mexican Pacific League play for the Aguilas and the visiting Culiacan Tomateros, will resemble a typical Inauguration Day event with an opening ceremony involving the Second Region Military unit honoring the Mexican flag, the national anthem played in two parts (once sung with English lyrics and once sung in Spanish), and finally a ceremony honoring the 50-year-old Valenzuela, who will be on hand for the festivities.

After the game there will be fireworks and music. Spectators are being encouraged to dress up in costumes emblematic of the 1910 Revolution and prizes will be awarded to those with the best costumes.

Valenzuela will be the sixth player to have his number retired by Mexicali and will be entering the Latin Baseball Hall of Fame next year.  And while he won't sniff Cooperstown anytime soon...would it be out of the question for the Los Angeles Dodgers to retire his number?

I don't think so.

Sure, Valenzuela made his debut in September 1980, but it was the following season when "Fernandomania" washed over the Majors. It was that year, if you recall, the pitcher became the only player in Major League history to win Rookie of the Year, the Cy Young Award, the Silver Slugger Award and a World Series championship in the same season.

So why not commemorate it with some special 30th anniversary celebration Dodgers?

In short, dude is an icon and warrants inclusion alongside the other ten Dodger greats that have had their number retired.  And, apparently, the team's clubhouse manager Mitch Poole agrees with me...he has unofficially kept Valenzuela's jersey number 34 out of circulation out of respect for the lefty.


Dontrelle Willis Finds Another New Team...Again

The Cincinnati Reds have a lot going for them these days.

They captured their first divisional title in 15 years. Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman is poised to become a household name. And on the heels of their stud first baseman Joey Votto bringing home the National League MVP, they bring in 2003 Rookie of the Year (and 2005 Cy Young runner up) Dontrelle Willis.

Dontrelle Willis...HELL YEAH!

If only this was 2005.

I mean, after going 46-27 with a 3.27 ERA and a World Series ring in his first three seasons, Willis has gone 25-36 with a 5.02 ERA in the five years since.  The former media darling went from being the face of the Florida Marlins franchise to a walking, talking question mark.  He went from winning the league's Warren Spahn Award in 2005 to the Florida Marlins' Charlie Hough "Good Guy" Award in 2006. 

Seriously, they're both real awards...but let's get back on track. 

As I was saying, the Reds are the fourth team to take a chance on the lefty since starting this past season with Detroit.

I'm pretty sure the 28 year-old Willis won't have much of an impact on the Reds' pitching staff given they don't stand to drop off much from their stellar 2010 campaign, but if he can get back to the form that made him just the 12th member of the "Black Aces"...this upcoming season will be an interesting one.

But I'm not holding my breath.


Twitter Tuesday: The All-New Jose Canseco!

This site has been as guilty as any when it comes to bashing (click HERE, HERE or HERE) former "Bash Brother" Jose Canseco.

And it's been warranted...are you following the dude on Twitter?

So, for fun, I thought I'd check and see what kind of messages the 1988 American League MVP after he tweeted the following Monday night:

When I open my indoor baseball training facility I will train under priviledge kids for free

A pretty nice gesture...right? Well, within an hour of his tweet, a mixed bag of messages emerged.

There were the nice.

@Rockkstarr11:  That's awesome Jose! I always knew you had a heart of gold

@CHEFHEC71:  thats a nice thing to do...you have a good heart....

@BigDaddyDieu:  u r a great man of baseball. Only those who truly respect the game understand how u saved it. Thank you.

The mean (and, frankly, unimaginative).

@shaneomac01:  you gonna show them how to shoot roids too?

@rhilltops:  did u just say your going to inject under privilaged kids with steroids?!

@LezzieBlowhan:  Haha,any parent or adult guardian that left their kids under your junkie supervision should be charged with child endangerment.

And the downright bizarre.

@MyMarieMia:  You should go on Dancing With the Stars, you would be great.

@ACEKWEST510:  Whattup jose. Is Ozzie around?

@colintdouglas:  can I have a hug I'm feeling low

How can the interwebs be so cruel to a guy who posted those adorable puppy pictures above (and plenty of "hugs" via Twitter) less than a month ago?!?


November 19, 2010

Coco Crisp...the Update

The other day, the internet exploded after Oakland Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp posted his desire for an assistant on Craigslist.

Hi. My name is Covelli Crisp (Coco Crisp), i am a professional baseball player. Looking for a live-in personal assistant (Female) that can help simplify my life.

And in case people were curious if it was legit, Crisp took to Twitter and posted the following:

FYI: The Craigs List post for the PA position is real

So here we are a little more than a day later and the job...gone. Was it something I said?

Perhaps the job has been filled. Perhaps Crisp's wife figured out that her husband was online looking to spend $40K for a slam piece.

I guess we'll never know.


November 18, 2010

"Flat Stan" Musial Gets the Call

Back in May, the St. Louis Cardinals began publicly lobbying to get Hall of Famer Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Wednesday night, Musial (who will turn 90 this Sunday) got the call from baseball comissioner Bud Selig...the "Flat Stan the Man" campaign had paid off. 

Early next year, President Obama will honor the Cardinals legend.

Since 1977, seven others (Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Buck O'Neil, Frank Robinson, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams) have received the highest honor in the land. And since 1992, there have been 185 overall Medals handed out. 

This year, Obama will hand out 15 more.

“These outstanding honorees come from a broad range of backgrounds and they’ve excelled in a broad range of fields," the nation's First Fan said, "but all of them have lived extraordinary lives that have inspired us, enriched our culture, and made our country and our world a better place. I look forward to awarding them this honor.”

So when you are asked around the water cooler "what do George Bush the elder, Maya Angelou, Yo-Yo Ma and Stan Musial have in common"...you can now answer with confidence. 

They're all being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.


November 17, 2010

Coco Crisp Needs Your Help!

Are you a female in the Redondo Beach/Rancho Mirage, California area looking for a job?

If you're reading this...probably not.  But stick with me.

According to a post on Craigslist, Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp looking to shell out $40,000 a year for a "personal assistant".

Here's the job posting:

Hi. My name is Covelli Crisp (Coco Crisp), i am a professional baseball player. Looking for a live-in personal assistant (Female) that can help simplify my life.

I'm not sure why Crisp is looking for someone to help him simplify his life given he's missed more games (close to 200) than he has played (124) over the last two seasons, but hey, if you can pull it off...go for it.

Anyway, if you're a female (and, yes, that is specifically what the married Crisp is looking for) and can help the 31 year-old speedster with scheduling his appointments and bill payment, personal shopping and dinner reservations...here's the job for you!

November 16, 2010

Twitter Tuesday: Collin Balester

By now, you've probably heard of Movember.

If not, here's the skinny...courtesy of Movember.com:

Each Movember we challenge men to change their appearance and the face of men's health by growing a moustache. The moustache is our ribbon, the means by which we raise awareness and funds for cancers that affect men. Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, our commitment is to grow a moustache for 30 days. Funds raised benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG.

One Major Leaguer who has embraced the mustache is Washington Nationals reliever Collin Balester.  Throughout most of his big league career, the right-hander has worn a 'stache and this November is no different.

"I'm just trying to challenge Major League Baseball players," Balester said in an interview with MLB.com earlier this month. "If baseball players could all join together for a great cause, I think we could raise a lot, because there are no better fans than baseball fans. If we could get some guys to jump on board and see what they could do, we could do something great."

I found Balester on Twitter a while back and suffice it to say...he's equally as good at tweeting about mustaches as he his tweeting about baseball.

Just had to rewind like 7 times to get a good pic of this unreal soup strainer. http://plixi.com/p/55595532

One of the best lip sweaters I have seen on a human in my existence. http://plixi.com/p/55380921

beer stache. http://plixi.com/p/54839336

Get to know Collin Balester by following him on Twitter at @ballystar40 or take part in Tuesday's SportsNation chat over at ESPN.com at 3pm EST.  He'll be answering questions about this past season, this upcoming season and, of course, mustaches.

"You may look funny, gross, even weird but look yourself in the mirror and say this stache is for a good cause," Balester told The Hall this morning.  "After all staches make males look 36 percent better looking."

Feel free to contribute to Balester's Movember efforts by joining "Bally's 'Staches".


November 15, 2010

Ryne Sandberg Named Manager...

...of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

After being snubbed by the Chicago Cubs last month, Ryne Sandberg decided that if he wasn't good enough for their top managerial position, he wasn't going to be part of their organization.

So...the Hall of Famer returned to the team that originally drafted him back in 1978.

This...according to Allentown, Pennsylvania's The Morning Call:

Ex-Chicago Cub great Ryne Sandberg, a former player in the Phillies minor league organization, was named Monday morning as the new manager of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Sandberg, 51, spent the last four seasons as a manager in the Cubs' minor league system. He is a Hall of Fame second baseman.

He replaces Dave Huppert, who managed the IronPigs — the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate — the first three years of their existence.

Sandberg has spent the last four years as a manager in the Cubs organization with stints with the Peoria Chiefs (2007-2008), Tennessee Smokies (2009) and Iowa Cubs (2010).

He beings to the Phillies organization a career mark of 284-277...a .506 winning percentage. Last season, he was named the Pacific Coast League's Manager of the Year after posting a career best 82-62 record.

As a player, the 1984 National League MVP had a .285 batting average and 2,386 hits over his 16-year career.  He was a ten time All-Star, seven time Silver Slugger and won nine Gold Gloves at second base.  He was enshrined in Cooperstown in 2005.

November 12, 2010

Talkin' Baseball (Seriously) with Kato Kaelin

Every so often you have one of those moments where you come across something or someone and you know that somehow, some way, you just have to make it work.

Such is the case with the following interview.

I’ve been a fan of Kato Kaelin since I first saw him dominate the O.J. Simpson trial more than 15 years ago, but I’ll be honest…I really knew nothing about him. And to be honest, I had no clue how I would ever make Kato Kaelin relevant to this website.

Until now.

You see, thanks to the internet, I found out that Kaelin didn’t originally go to Los Angeles to pursue acting…he actually left the Midwest to pursue a baseball career.

HOVG: I’ve read interviews where you talked about the circumstances the brought you to California…is it true you hit the West Coast in hopes of becoming a baseball player?

KATO: Yes, that is TRUE. I pitched at Nicolet (High School in Glendale, Wisconsin) and I made the Varsity my Freshman year and thought, “wow, I must be good”. We went to State my Junior year and were runner up. I went to Wisconsin Eau Claire (for college) and made the team, but my dream was Cal State Fullerton…where the best baseball players went. When I got to Cal State Fullerton, I saw that they did have the best players and hung up the glove. Plus, I started getting into theatre and emceeing gigs. I continued playing baseball in other California leagues just for fun.

HOVG: You were a pitcher. Did you have a specialty pitch? Where did you top out at on the radar gun?

KATO: My specialty pitch was a knuckle curve. I'm not kidding when I tell you that it would drop off at the plate and would strike out a lot of batters. Glory days! I topped off at 89mph….not bad. I was a right-handed Ron Guidry. After most pitches my body would be almost flat to the ground. Did I mention glory days?

HOVG: A quick Google search led me to a page on IMDB.com that listed you as the 43rd “Most Popular Person” born in Milwaukee…right between some guy named Jacob Latimore and after some chick named Sonia Sorel. Let’s talk about your beloved Brewers. Growing up a fan…who were your favorite ball players?

KATO: 43rd most popular? Wow…that is insulting. I thought I'd be higher. Damn that (Jeffrey) Dahmer. My favorite players were Robin Yount and Paul Molitor. I liked most of “Harvey's Wallbangers”. You’ve got to love a manager with one leg. I always thought it might be a good gimmick to have Gorman Thomas come to bat holding (manager) Harvey Kuenn's prosthetic leg.

HOVG: I grew up less than 90 minutes from County Stadium and some of my favorite memories were seeing a number of Brewers games every summer and the inevitable stories that would come with each visit. What’s your favorite County Stadium memory?

KATO: It isn't my favorite memory but it is a memory. I went to a game with my neighbor Bunky Parker one time and I must have eaten two full bags of peanuts in the shell. Yes, I ate the peanuts…shell and all. I missed most of the game because I had severe diarrhea for at least seven straight innings. Glory days.

HOVG: I’ve gotta ask, what is more likely to happen first…O.J. admits guilt or the Brewers win the World Series?

KATO: I don't think O.J. will ever admit guilt so it has to be a Brewers World Series. With that said, the owner, Mark Attanasio, MUST get some fricking pitching. How frustrating is it to see Brewer pitching suck year after year? We need to find a Tim Lincecum or go get Tim Lincecum. I would volunteer my services to get the team back to respectability.

HOVG: What’s next, man, what do you have in the pipeline?

KATO: The more things change the more things remain the same. I would love to get a radio show doing sports or entertainment in my beloved city of Milwaukee, but in the meantime look for me as the “Lopez Tonight Official Timekeeper of the Fifteen Minutes of Fame” on TBS (video below), and hosting comedy shows across America. Go Packers, Brewers, Bucks, Admirals, UWM, UW and Marquette! If I forgot your school I apologize. Oh…and go Nicolet Knights!

HOVG: Any chance that next time you hit Milwaukee…can we do a game at Miller Park?

KATO: Airline ticket to Milwaukee…$450.00. Car rental…$150.00. Tickets to game…$55.00. Sitting next to Shawn from The Hall of Very Good…PRICELESS.

You can keep up to date with all things Kato by visiting Kaelin’s website.  And if you find yourself in the Scottsdale, Arizona area this New Year’s Eve…check him out at The Comedy Spot.



November 10, 2010

Who Wants to Talk to Morgan Ensberg?

With November comes several certainties...Ichiro Suzuki will bring home another Gold Glove, bad Thanksgiving Day football and thousands of men across the country grow out their upper lip garments to help raise money and awareness for prostate cancer.

Now, you might be thinking..."I get the lame Ichiro and football references, but what's the deal with the 'lip garment' mention".

In short, it's Movember.

Last week, good friend of The Hall, Dr. Aaron Perlut of the esteemed American Mustache Institute caught up with Washington Nationals pitcher Collin Balester and shouted from the mountain top his Movember efforts.

Another big leaguer taking part in the annual celebration of the 'stache is former All Star Morgan Ensberg.  The former Houston Astros third baseman laid out a proposition to his more than three thousand followers on Twitter.

Anyone who donates a $100 bucks or more gets a phone call! Any takers?
Within minutes, Ensberg had a taker.  But who knows...drop by his Mo Space page and donate another Franklin and see what happens.

I mean, donating to a great cause and getting a call from a Morgan Ensberg has to be better than dropping money calling Jose Canseco and hearing him flex and name drop his girlfriend for twenty minutes.


Jose Canseco is Back, Baby!

Just last week, I posted the following:

It's November 5, 2010...and I am missing the daily nonsensical ramblings of one Jose Canseco via Twitter.

Well, tonight, Jose Canseco made his triumphant return to cyberspace to this tweet:

If you guys want to talk to me on the phone call me at 310 862 6309. We can talk about anything,find out what's really going on in basball

YES!

Now, I'm going to be honest here...I can probably only think of a few dozen things I would rather do than talk on the phone with Jose Canseco.

To name a few things from that theoretical "to do" list...but in no particular order or specifics:
  • Feline AIDs
  • Brain Cancer
  • Dave Matthews Concert
But I digress.

Seriously, what can a guy who has been out of professional baseball since October 2001 tell us about the game that he hasn't already tried to disclose?

We get it, Jose, your run on "The Apprentice" is obviously over and you need friends and attention...but I ain't calling.

Now, if you want to call me...drop me an email at hallofverygood@yahoo.com and I'll tell you about my job.


November 8, 2010

Japan's Hisashi Iwakuma Heading to Oakland?

In 1995, when Hideo Nomo left Japan and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he actually did something pretty monumental.

Consider this...he became the first Japanese-born Major Leaguer since Masanori Murakami 30 years prior.  He also became the first Japanese-born player to relocate permanently to the American Major Leagues considering Murakami played only two seasons with the San Francisco Giants before returning to Japan for the remainder of his career.

Oh...he also had those two no-hitters (he's the only Japanese-born pitcher to throw one, much less two) and he was the first Japanese-born player to win the Rookie of the Year award.

More than 15 years later...Hisashi Iwakuma is looking to follow in Nomo's footsteps.

Now, you've probably seen the "A's win the bidding for Japan's Iwakuma" headlines...but what does that mean exactly?

Okay, remember the whole Daisuke Matsuzaka ordeal from four years ago?  The Boston Red Sox "won" the rights to talk to "Dice-K" .  And by winning...I mean, spent $51 million to do so. 

They still had to SIGN the 2006 World Baseball Classic MVP and that will end up costing them close to another $60 million.  So all told, that's what...$110 million over six years.

Was it worth it?

That's what you've got going for you Oakland fans (all twelve of you?), your team has 30 days to sign the 29 year-old Iwakuma to a contract.  If you don't...he's back on the free agent market and anyone can snag him.  And to make matters worse, the A's bid (according to MLB.com) was "reported to have been for a higher sum than the (Tohoku Rakuten) Golden Eagles originally expected through the posting process".

I'm fearful as to what exactly a "higher sum than originally expected" means.

I could close this diatribe out with some sort of lame "looks like something something Moneyball, yuck, yuck, but instead...let's take a look at Iwakuma's career.

In ten seasons of pro ball in Japan, Iwakuma managed a 101-62 record, a 3.32 ERAand 1085 strikeouts.  Last season, he went 10-9 with a 2.82 ERA and was 13-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 2009.  In his best season, 2008, Iwakuma posted 21 wins and a 1.87 ERA in 28 starts.

So there you go, game on A's fans.  Is this the start of a new pitching resurgence in Oaktown...or is this cat going to bankrupt you?


Moyer Monday: November 8

Last week was wicked crazy, so all apologies go out to The Moyer Foundation for not getting this up and on the site in a timely fashion.

But, hey, it's Monday (again) so, naturally, it time for the monthy Q&A with Jamie Moyer!

Unfortunately, given the news from this past weekend...this might be the last Moyer Monday with Jamie as a professional ballplayer. Keep in mind that these questions were asked BEFORE Moyer suffered what looks to be a career ending elbow injury.

Question: Are you enjoying Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic?

Moyer: It’s an enlightening experience. Caribbean baseball is very entertaining and fun. The Dominican people are very happy, it’s unbelievable. I’m pitching tomorrow. So far so good!

Question: I am a teacher in Philly with summers available. How can I help with camp?

Moyer: There are lots of ways to help with Camp Erin other than volunteering for camp weekend. Host a teddy bear drive, do a fundraiser, or volunteer with the local Camp Erin group to help with year round support. Visit the foundation’s website to find a camp close to you.

Question: Have you thought about what you might like to do after baseball? Does being on TV or radio interest you?

Moyer: I’m going to keep all doors open and will see what opportunities arise.

Question: It’s obvious you enjoy playing the great game of baseball. Are there any goals you have yet to achieve for yourself?

Moyer: I enjoy playing! I’m living a dream that I’ve always had and that’s to play baseball. As we speak, I’m devoted to doing so.

Question: As a fellow Souderton Area High School grad, what is your most vivid memory of your high school years?

Moyer: My fondest high school memories were the Friday night football games and the great friends I hung out with.

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.


November 7, 2010

Talkin' Baseball with Jerry McKune

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking...who the heck is Jerry McKune?

I'll tell you after I ask YOU a question...have you heard about the Facebook campaign to get San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson to host "Saturday Night Live"?

Yes?!?

Well, Jerry McKune started that original movement, folks (there have been others pop up since)...and recently, I had the privilege to catch up with the Fresno, California native to find out why.

HOVG: Clearly you have a love for Wilson...is this a recent infatuation with the bearded one or one that has been cultivated over the years?

McKUNE: I was fortunate enough to have watched Wilson a few times during his stay with Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies. I remember him being very kind and affable to the fans even back then, and taking lots of time to talk with kids and sign autographs. This was all before the tats, before the Mohawk, before the beard. In this day and age of the high-priced, egomaniacal world that is professional sports, baseball is the last bastion for the gentleman-athlete. That’s not to say baseball doesn’t have its share of dirt-bags, but pound-for-pound, baseball has more nice guys than any other sport. And there is no nicer guy than Wilson.

HOVG: Alright, we've seen "B-Weezy" in some pretty entertaining interviews with Chris Rose, Jim Rome and, most recently Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show"...why the effort to get Wilson on as the host of "Saturday Night Live"?

McKUNE: First off, pro athletes and SNL go back a long way. In 1977, former Minnesota Viking QB Fran Tarkenton was the first athlete to host. Most recently, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps hosted. There have been some winners, there have been some losers, but I think anyone who has seen Wilson’s extensive collection of on-camera work, he’s comedic gold waiting to happen. After watching his interview on “Rome is Burning” it hit me. Brian Wilson has a similar comedic delivery to SNL All-Star Christopher Walken.

HOVG:  Do you think it will happen?

McKUNE:  I will admit, I think this is a long shot. Wilson doesn’t have the mass-appeal of Betty White. Nor does he have the shock value of being an octogenarian playing a prison gangster. Although some might argue rolling out an obscure reference (“The Machine”) from a fringe film ("8mm") is shockingly entertaining in it’s own right. I also think you have to win over the support of the head honcho at SNL, Lorne Michaels. Ultimately it’s his call, and I get the impression he’s not the kind of guy who will sway to the masses. But my hope is this Facebook campaign gets enough people to notice, and enough people talking about it, and perhaps gets his attention, at least for consideration.

HOVG:  Obviously, your grassroots effort has turned some heads.  Virtually overnight you went from a few hundred followers last week to close to 35,000 today.  Why do you think people are joining the movement?

McKUNE:  Brian Wilson is a nice guy, who is drop-dead hilarious and also, a World Champion. If that isn’t a recipe for a shot at hosting SNL, I’m not sure what is. Underneath the sideshow that is the beard, and snazzy retro clothing lays a true comedic genius.

McKune's efforts have been chronicled by a number of major media outlets (MLB.com and ESPN to name a few) in the last few days and by the looks of the number of Facebook users that have been clicking "Like"...he might have struck a nerve.

So what are you waiting for?  Head on over to the Facebooks and join the movement!

Your move, Lorne Michaels.


Jamie Moyer Might Be Done

Less than two weeks shy of his 48th birthday...pitcher Jamie Moyer looks to be done after injuring his elbow while pitching winter ball in the Dominican.

This according to CBSSports.com:

Moises Alou, general manager for Escogido, Moyer's Dominican team, told reporter Dionisio Soldevila that Moyer "probably won't pitch again in his career" after re-injuring his elbow. If that's true, it's a sad end to a great career.

Moyer started 19 games for the Philadelphia Phillies this past season, but didn't pitch after July 20 due to elbow problems. The lefty was rehabbing this winter in hopes of landing a job somewhere next year for his 24th Major League season.

For his career, Moyer has a 267-204 record (good for a .567 winning percentage), a 4.24 ERA and 2405 strikeouts.  This past June, he surpassed Hall of Famer Robin Roberts on the all-time list when he gave up his 506th home run.

November 6, 2010

How Did You Spend YOUR Friday?

Back in July, Olympic softball superstar Jennie Finch became the first (and still only) female to take part in The Hall's weekly "Friday 5" feature.  This Friday, I'm pretty sure she became the first to have a street named after her as well.

As part of the Chicago Bandits new $6 million stadium being built in Rosemont, Illinois...they included, you guessed it, Jennie Finch Way.

Not Batting Stance Guy Lane.

Not Matt Antonelli Boulevard.

Jennie Finch Way.

"Chicago and the Bandits have been such a big part of my career," Finch said at the groundbreaking. "They are both in my heart, and to be honored this way is nothing short of amazing."

Construction of the 2000 seat stadium should be completed in time for the 2011 season and will be built to comply with all NCAA standards so that it can also be used for college championships or tournaments.

So again, I ask...how did you spend YOUR Friday?  Did you get a street named after you?!?

(the above picture was stolen from @jfinch27)

November 5, 2010

Friday 5: Matt Antonelli's Five Favorite Baseball Movies

It's been a while since San Diego Padres Minor Leaguer Matt Antonelli contributed to the site. Recently, he posted his favorite comedy movies over at his site.

Naturally, he received a bunch of emails asking him about his favorite baseball movies.

I banged out one of those emails and what follows is Antonelli's Five Favorite Baseball Movies.

5. The Sandlot
I know, I know. How could I not put "The Natural" or "Field of Dreams" in here. I agree, they are both awesome movies, and definitely some of the best baseball movies ever. But for some reason I would watch "The Sandlot" over both of them if I were bored and had all three DVDs to choose from. I guess I just can't get over my crush on comedies. "The Sandlot" just reminds me of playing pick-up baseball as a kid, and it's funny as Hell. I had to put it in my top five or I'd be lying.

4) Rookie of the Year
Listen, Little League was one of my favorite baseball experiences of my life, and the Major Leagues isn't too bad either. Take both of them and combine them into one movie and I'm going to watch it and like it. I'm not going to lie, I usually wouldn't like a baseball movie that so unrealistically has a twelve-year old as a big league pitcher, but this movie is so damn funny I'll make an exception.

3) Bull Durham
You can see that I am biased towards comedies. "Bull Durham" is not only funny as Hell, but I think they hit the baseball part of the equation right on the head. I've played with Crash Davis types, I've been teammates with characters like Nuke LaLoosh, and you don't have to search very hard to find your Annie Savoys of minor league baseball. They just do a great job of making a really funny, yet serious baseball movie.

2) A League of Their Own
I almost wanted to put this movie at number one, but decided to put it just below. Jimmie Dugan is my favorite and funniest sports character of all-time, and hey, I'm no sexist, but who would have thought they could make a baseball movie with women players this damn good. I know I didn't! But it happened, and I'm glad it did.

1) Major League and Major League 2
I've decided to put both of these movies together on the list because I really can't decipher between the two. I actually wanted to put it on my top comedy movies of all-time, but apparently I've taken one too many fastballs to the dome and forgot. There are so many quotable lines in this thing I could go through a whole season and not have to use the same line twice. What an awesome pair of movies.

Just missed the top five: "The Natural", "Field of Dreams", "Angels in the Outfield", "Little Big League", "For Love of the Game" and "The Rookie"

Jose Canseco and The Apprentice...The Update

Write it down.

It's November 5, 2010...and I am missing the daily nonsensical ramblings of one Jose Canseco via Twitter.

I've written before about Canseco (HERE and HERE) and, honestly, I kinda hoped that he would keep us updated on his exploits while shooting "The Apprentice".

Well, outside of a tweet October 22 (which was promptly removed) mentioning that he was still in New York "auditioning"...we've gotten nothing.

Nada. Zilch.

Until now.

According to the New York Post:

Baseball stoolie José Canseco, who blew the whistle on steroid use, broke off a front tooth on a slice of pizza. Canseco, who was shooting Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" with Niki Taylor, rapper Lil' Jon and Meat Loaf, made an emergency call to Dr. Shawn Sadri, who opened his dental office Sunday night. A source said, "Sadri created a new tooth overnight." A rep for the show didn't get back to us.

Ouch. I'd say I feel sorry for Canseco...but I don't. 

Sure, losing a tooth is one of those irrational fears that keeps me awake at night, but c'mon...this is Jose Canseco we're talking about here.  Are we actually allowed to feel remorse for this cat?  Oh, and another question for you...what's the over/under on how many times this dude is going to flex on camera for the citizens of New York?

And in case you were wondering what the former American League MVP looked like working the counter of a pizza joint.

Here's some video.



A big tip of the hat to I Dream of Pizza for posting the video. Feel free to read their account of the goings on HERE.