June 30, 2011

Being a Cubs Fan Can Make You Sick

I'm going to ask this as politely as I can...are you surprised that team that has a stadium that still uses troughs as urinals is connected to failed health inspections?

Allow me to explain.

Love the Chicago Cubs or hate them, you've gotta admire the number of fans that take to the neighborhood rooftops to get a glance of their "Lovable Losers".

I'm not a fan of the team, but I'd have gladly watched a game from across the street from Wrigley Field.

Until now.

According to a Chicago Tribune report...two of the rooftop venues failed health inspections.

The city found at least 12 violations at Beyond the Ivy, 1048 W. Waveland Ave., including food being stored at improper temperatures. At Brixen Ivy, 1044 W. Waveland, where at least eight violations were reported, officials observed workers wearing the same gloves to handle food, touch garbage cans and wipe their faces.

Inspectors observed "poor" hygienic practices and employees "handling ready to eat food, touching non-food contact surfaces, such as garbage cans, door knobs, wiping their faces, etc., then going back to touching ready to eat food without changing gloves in between (or washing) hands" — a critical violation.

Other critical violations listed included raw chicken stored in a picnic cooler at the wrong temperatures and without a temperature log, and no exposed hand sink at an outside cooking area, where employees were seen not washing their hands.

Food such as tomatoes, lettuce and potato salad was found to be not properly shielded to minimize contamination, a "serious" violation. The rooftop was instructed to install a sneeze guard, the piece of plastic or glass commonly found above food on buffets.

I'm not going to lie, I rarely think about where my food was before it gets to me...but I will now.  Especially if I'm dropping at least a hundred smacks to sit on a hot Chicago rooftop in the middle of summer eating potato salad.

Yuck.

At least the food the fans are eating is as bad as the team they're watching.  Zing!

Mark Teixeira Hits 300th Homer

And at this rate, he'll end up with...wait, is anyone good at math?

With a third inning blast off Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf, Mark Teixeira not only surpassed Toronto Blue Jays slugger Juan Bautista for the Major League lead...he also reached 300 for his career.

"It's not a big milestone," the New York Yankees first baseman said of his 25th home run of the season. "I'm not trying to downplay it, but it's not 500 or 600 or anything like that. For me, I just try to go up there and swing the bat hard and try to hit something."

Teixeira now sits 129th on the all-time list. Also closing in on 300...Aramis Ramirez (298), Adrian Beltre (292), Pat Burrell (292), Carlos Beltran (291) and Magglio Ordonez (291).


Jose Canseco (Finally) Goes Deep

On the eve of his debut as player/manager of the Yuma Scorpions, Jose Canseco made the prediction that he would be “going long”.

A little more than a month later…he finally did.

Wednesday night, against the Calgary Vipers…Canseco finally made good on his Opening Day prediction.

Against someone called Mark Michael.

It was just a matter of time, really, dude victimized 280 different pitchers over the span of his 17-year big league…but I didn’t think it would take him nearly 80 plate appearances (and 20 games) to do so.
Through 31 games, Canseco’s Scorpions are 10-21. The 1988 American League MVP is batting .250 (15 for 60), with that one homer and nine RBI.


June 29, 2011

Ricky Vaughn Did Steroids? Whaaaa...?!?

You figured it was just a matter of time before this story broke.

And, thankfully, the Thirty Mile Zone was all over it. Because, honestly, what else do they have going on?  I mean, both Charlie Sheen and steroids are still hella relevant, right?

Right?!?

If it seemed like Charlie Sheen had a little extra juice on his fastball during "Major League", it's because the actor pumped himself full of steroids to prepare for the role...so says the Warlock.

Sheen, who famously played fireballer Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn, revealed his secret to Sports Illustrated, saying he went on the special sauce for "six to eight weeks" in the hopes of "enhancing [his] performance a little bit."

Sheen added, "You can print this, I don't give a f--k. My fastball went from 79 [mph] to like 85."

I guess I'm not shocked.

Shocked would be that Corbin Bernsen trained for his role by training with Tom Emanski.  Seriously...I've seen some of the Emanski videos and that "ole bullshit" that Roger Dorn pulls at third isn't up to par.


June 28, 2011

Twitter Tuesday: Michael Schlact

I'm pretty sure it started out innocently enough...Southern Maryland Blue Crabs pitcher Michael Schlact decided he was going to live tweet Monday night's bustrip.

It was all there.

Tales of teammates and their bizarre eating habits...pictures of uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

But then...IT happened. The unthinkable.  The bus broke down.

What ensued was pure Twitter hilarity...but the former Texas Rangers farmhand stayed optimistic.

It's okay folks, I've always wanted to see the Bronx. This is like a sightseeing tour. From the side of the highway.

I'm not going to re-post all the gold that came from #LiveRoadTripTweeting, you can catch up by following Schlact on Twitter.  Suffice it to say, it ranks right up there alongside the night the righty posted pictures of his recently carved jack-o-lantern.

So, thank you, Michael Schlact for making #LiveRoadTripTweeting a joy this Monday evening.  Please post a picture of that "I LOVE NY" shirt soon.


Save Lenny!

There's a joke that the last book I read was Nails.

Truth is...I think I've read at least three or four others since the Lenny Dykstra-penned opus hit the shelves in 1987.

Either way, I'm embarrassed that it took me a week to discover savelenny.com.

And if you've been following the recent exploits of Dykstra, you had to have figured that taking to the internets to raise money for his legal troubles would be the next step for the three-time All-Star.

Here's an excerpt from the site:

Lenny was notified in early June, that the charges not originally filed in state court would soon be filed and he was told when to appear in court, and what to expect for bail.

Since then, Lenny has remained in custody on $500,000 bail. To bond him out, it requires $40-50,000 in cash to pay the bail bond agent, and collateral of $500,000 to secure the bond. The $500K collateral for the bond has been secured, however – the bond premium is still needed.

A few of Lenny’s friends have come forward to assist Lenny with the bond premium, however since the court has refused to lower the bail amount, there is still a bit of a shortfall.

This is where you can help! Help Save Lenny today.

Clearly an impassioned plea from those friends of "Nails". But my favorite part of the site is the "Help Now" section.

Ask yourself this.

If you met Lenny on the street, would you offer to buy him lunch? $10.00 would buy a couple of tacos and a coke for the Dude.

Hey guys, I read Nails...isn't that enough?

A couple of tacos does sound nice though.

***A big thanks to the boys over at Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest for bringing savelenny.com to light.***

June 27, 2011

This Week in Baseball Cards: June 27

If you've never come across the website Baseball Cards Come to Life...you're missing out.

Every day, the site's proprieter Bo Rosny brings the goods.  From the daily "Play Profile" to the baseball card-centric interviews...I like Bo's style.  I reached out to him and, thankfully, the feeling was mutual.

So, starting today, Bo will be providing a weekly feature that will, in his words, "take some of the previous week's stories from The Hall of Very Good and give them a baseball card twist".

Here's Bo with his inaugural installment of "This Week in Baseball Cards".


On Friday Sam Fuld shared with The Hall his five favorite superhero movies, and none of them were older than 2000, displaying a contemporary focus typical of many baseball players. When players were interviewed by Studio in the early nineties, their favorite movies and TV shows were always current ones as well. Maybe we should check in with our buddy Jeff Montgomery and see if Top Gun is still his favorite movie, and Kevin Costner his favorite movie star.


On Monday Jennie Finch and Casey Daigle announced the birth of their son Diesel. Too bad Topps doesn't put players' babies names on their cards anymore (understandable in these days of identity theft). The best of these was probably Dave Leiper. Why did he name his son Justin Casey? Because Dad was always warming up in the bullpen, "just in case" they needed him.


The biggest story of the week was 80-year-old Jack McKeon taking the helm of the Marlins. I thought about doing an old joke, but I realized he's not that old. In fact, he's just eight years older than Phil Niekro, who was teammates with Tom Glavine who was pitching as recently as three years ago.

That's right, Phil Niekro is now 72 years old. He's finally as old as he looked on his baseball cards.


Remember, you can check out Bo's daily insights over at his site...Baseball Cards Come to Life.

June 26, 2011

The Legend Continues...Part Deux

A few weeks ago, Hall contributor Lou Olsen presented some reasons why Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld is awesome.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that Superman asked him to tone it back a little bit so that people would not get suspicious.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that when he calls a lady, she has to wear a prophylactic.

Naturally, that led to a number of comments from you, the loyal readers of The Hall. My favorite came from the always plucky Allen McCabe.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, heroin shoots him.

And with that, McCabe got himself a "Legend of Same Fuld" t-shirt...courtesy of the boys over at urthefan.com.

But, you know who else has that shirt?

The legend himself. Yet another reason why Sam Fuld is awesome.


***Ever wondered what superhero movies "Super Sam" calls his favorites? Wonder no more...click HERE!***

June 24, 2011

Friday 5: Sam Fuld's Favorite Superhero Movies

Earlier this season, the Tampa Bay Rays held “Cape Day” in honor of their leftfielder Sam Fuld.

And yeah, when you’re a guy who has been called “Sammy Ballgame”, “Super Sam” or even “Superman”…a cape day seems completely appropriate.

So what does “Super Sam” do on an off day?

Well, Thursday night, he went out, saw a movie and did what most people do…tweeted about it.

Saw X-Men instead, liked it a lot. Then again, I don't ever get to movies anymore, so pretty sure would've liked anything on the big screen

I wasn’t surprised that the Rays cult figure went out and saw a superhero movie. It’s rather fitting…don’t you think?

Given his pick, I had to know…what are Sam Fuld’s five favorite superhero movies? So I did what anyone would do...I reached out to the dude.

And here is how he responsed.

1. Batman Begins (2005, directed by Christopher Nolan)


2. X-Men (2000, directed by Bryan Singer)


3. Dark Knight (2008, directed by Christopher Nolan)


4. Spiderman 2 (2004, directed by Sam Raimi)


5. The Incredibles (2004, directed by Brad Bird)


A pretty good list…and especially one that you would expect from “The Legend of Sam Fuld”.  What do you think of Fuld's list? Do you agree...disagree?  Let us know in the comments!

June 22, 2011

Oddibe McDowell Owes $105.40

For the last few months I've had a guilty pleasure...keeping up-to-date on former Major Leaguer Oddibe McDowell's water bill.

You see, for some reason, the guys over at Deadspin have gotten their proverbial hands on the 1984 Golden Spikes Award winner's utility bills...and I love it!

Was he an all-time great? Lone Star Ball once ranked him as the 47th Greatest Ranger of All-Time...but, of course not.

Is he of relevance today? Nope. The lifetime .253 hitter is the head coach of the Everglades (Florida) High School Varsity Baseball team.

It's just the complete randomness that I am a fan of.

And, yeah, the first person who breaks out one of Chris Berman's hackneyed nicknames in the comments gets a make believe kick to the face. Haha.

Here's the latest bill. Thanks Deadspin!


The Brian Wilson Fitness Minute

I've been calling good friend Gar Ryness (aka "Batting Stance Guy") the "Weird Al" Yankovic of baseball for sometime now.

Tuesday, to celebrate the release of Yankovic's most recent opus "Alpocalypse"...I hit the Twitters to remind everyone of Batting Stance Guy's picks for the five best "Weird Al" tunes.

Today...dude poses the question "what if Giants closer Brian Wilson had his own workout show?" Thankfully...he's got the answer!

Fact.


And 'Twitter' Was His Name-O?

When the Florida Marlins named octogenarian Jack McKeon their new, old manager earlier this week, the “Trader Jack is so old” floodgates were opened wide.

Hell, I even got in the act and broke out my “inner Foxworthy".

As far as self-proclaimed “Twittaholic” Logan Morrison…one had to wonder how long it would take for him to get into the act.

Two days.

Here’s what the Marlins leftfielder tweeted Tuesday night:

McKeon asked me what I had going on tonite. Told him I was going home 2 play w/ Twitter. He replied "oh, what kind of dog is it?"

The best part about LoMo’s tweet…there is no doubt in my mind that it is completely true and, more than likely, a preview of what’s to come from the 23-year-old big leaguer.


June 20, 2011

Jennie Finch Welcomes Son!

I know it's not the typical type of news you expect to see here, but since Jennie Finch was so nice to accommodate The Hall last summer...I'm always inclined to bang out a post when the Olympian makes news.

So here you go...courtesy of People:

Jennie Finch delivered her and Casey Daigle‘s second son, Diesel Dean Daigle, on Sunday, June 19 at 10:25 p.m., the couple confirm to PEOPLE exclusively.  Diesel weighed in at 8 lbs., 2 oz. and is 22 1/4 inches long. He joins big brother Ace Shane, 5, at home.

“We are so completely grateful and beyond blessed,” Finch told People.  “Casey and I are excited for our sweet precious Baby D! Ace couldn’t be any more pumped to be a big brother to Diesel.”

Feel free to check out the interview the 2004 Olympic gold medalist did with The Hall HERE.

And yeah, I know, I know, this was a long way to go to remind everyone that she did an interview with this site, but still...Jennie Finch, man! Who have you interviewed lately?


"Trader Jack" to Take Over the Marlins

When news broke Sunday that Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez had announced his resignation, the internets were abuzz that Jack McKeon was team owner Jeffrey Loria’s pick to take over.

Then, late Sunday night, came word that “Trader Jack” would indeed be taking over as interim manager for the fish.

Yes, you read that correctly. Jack. McKeon.

Dude isn’t a terrible choice though. He won the 2003 World Series as the Florida skipper and has a 1011-940 record over 15 years in the big leagues.

That said, the idea that the 80-year-old McKeon might be back in a Major League dugout conjured up a few different ideas for this site.

Could another popular “Ten Things” post be in the horizon?

1 – Connie Mack is the only manager to have filled out a lineup card after the age of 80. Jack McKeon will be the second.

Perhaps we could go all nostalgic and chronicle the top world events that happened during McKeon’s career?

November 22, 1963 – There aren’t many big league managers that can tell you where they were the day President John Kennedy was shot. Jack McKeon, on the other hand…had just completed a fifth place finish (a 79-79 record) with the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers of the Pacific Coast League.

Maybe I could channel my inner Jeff Foxworthy and break out a hodge podge of “you might be an 80-year-old manager if…” jokes. Sorry, but an already busy day, a nagging cough and laziness won out and, well…oh, to Hell with it.

Here you go.

If you have false teeth older than the collective age of your middle infielders…you might be an 80-year-old manager.

If your first big league managerial job was during the Nixon administration and you were already 42…you might be an 80-year-old manager.

If you still refer fellow to octogenarian Jamie Moyer as “that little Moyer Kid” …you might be an 80-year-old manager.

If, as a general manager, you orchestrated deals that included Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith and Sixto Lezcano (twice) …you might be an 80-year-old manager.

If you garnered the nickname “Trader Jack” while you were a second mate on the Amistad…you might be an 80-year-old manager.

If you’re worried about your erection lasting longer than the duration of Marlins game…you might be an 80-year-old manager. You may also want to consult a physician.

And if you turned around the 2003 Marlins and led them to a World Series victory over the New York Yankees…you might just be an 80-year-old manager.

Good luck, “Trader Jack”…approximately 1400 Marlins fans are counting on you.


June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I stumbled upon a quote from the late, great Harmon Killebrew earlier today and it reminded me that The Hall has had a few Father's Day-related posts over the past year.

Last season saw Ken Griffey Jr. retire.  Thankfully, we were able to catch up with Ken Senior and talk about his Hall of Fame-bound son's future.  (Talkin' Baseball with Ken Griffey Sr.)

Draft Day is traditionally littered with second and third generation draft picks.  One pick that I was pleased to see was the selection of Delino DeShields Jr.  I started watching his Dad in A-ball years ago.  (Friday 5: Delino DeShields Jr.)

Of course, father and son combos aren't reserved to just the playing field.  Did you know that Josh Caray is a third generation broadcaster?  If you follow The Hall you do.  Friday 5: Josh Caray

Lastly...perhaps you'd like to see who some of the best father/son combos is baseball history? Why not head on over to Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest and see what he had to say.

Do you agree...disagree?

And yeah...here's the quote I referred to in the lede:

"My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, 'You’re tearing up the grass.' 'We’re not raising grass,' Dad would reply. 'We’re raising boys.'

Happy Father's Day, gang!

June 17, 2011

Padres to Honor Saves Leader

In a move that should be a shock to no one, the San Diego Padres have made plans to retire Trevor Hoffman’s number.

Naturally, Hoffman’s 51 hasn’t been worn by anyone since the closer last took the mound for the Friars in 2008…and it’ll be hung up for good after San Diego plays the Florida Marlins August 21.

The closer is, without a doubt, one of the most celebrated Padres of all-time. He was a six-time All-Star, finished second in the Cy Young Award voting twice and converted an amazing 89.3% of his save opportunities while with the team.

Of his Major League record 601 saves…552 came while with the club.  Not bad for a guy originally drafted as a shortstop by the Cincinnati Reds.

The future Hall of Famer will be the fifth Padre to have his number retired, joining Steve Garvey, Tony Gwynn, Randy Jones and Dave Winfield.


June 16, 2011

"Doc" Gooden Starts "Rehab" June 26

25 years ago (yes, its already been that long), Dwight Gooden was coming off one of the best pitching seasons in recent memory and was in the midst of leading his New York Mets to the World Series.

Now, "Doc" is heading to "Rehab" alongside such D-list tabloid superstars Michael Lohan, Sean Young and Amy Fischer.

That's right, Dr. Drew is back to, as one website put it, "drop some sober knowledge" on a new cast of celebrity rehabbers June 26. And if his recent successes with Jeff Conaway (too soon?) are any indication...people will watch.

Speaking of...here's the extended preview for the fift season of "Celebrity Rehab".


Charges Against Garrett Wittels Dropped

It's the type of story that, when you see the headline, you're hoping that it doesn't involve the one dude at Florida International University that you know.

But, unfortunately, it did.

Last December, FIU's star player Garrett Wittels was hit with rape charges and on Wednesday night, his lawyers revealed that the rape charges filed against the college junior have been dropped.

This, according to the Miami Herald:

Prosecutors announced in Bahamian court Wednesday that rape charges filed against Wittels, FIU’s star shortstop, and friends Robert Rothschild and Jonathan Oberti will be dropped Monday, his lawyer Richard Sharpstein told The Miami Herald.

Wittels and his friends were accused last December of sexually assaulting two 17-year-old American girls while partying at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort.

But authorities apparently decided the evidence gathered did not warrant proceeding with the case, which garnered national attention as it came amid Wittels’ failed pursuit of the NCAA hitting streak record.

Wittels' hitting streak was snapped in the Golden Panthers first game of the season, but dude since went on to have a pretty productive season, hitting .345 with a team-high 88 hits in 60 games.

Your First Look at "Moneyball"

Time to come clean, troops...I only read books written by my friends and I haven't watched "Entertainment Tonight" since John Tesh was in the anchor chair.

So, until Michael Lewis hits me up on Facebook or the "ET" producers honor the thousands of pro-Tesh emails I've written...I'm left with "reading" my books on the big screen and watching "the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world" on the internet.

Thank you anonymous internet user for posting the trailer for "Moneyball" over on YouTube. And thank you Hollywood for finally realizing that Scott Hatteberg is worthy of being captured on the big screen.

And hey, Mark Steines...I realize you might be from Dubuque, but only an idiot would try and wrestle "Field of Dreams" from the fine folks in Dyersville, Iowa.


June 15, 2011

John Axford Jr. Mustache Facts

Just in time for Father's Day, Milwaukee Brewers closer (and Hall favorite John Axford) became a father last week.

So, naturally, one has to think that it would take the Junior Axford about a week before his mustache would be in full bloom.

That said, it's a good thing that Hall contributor Lou Olsen from Reviewing the Brew is always working and can present ten little known facts about John Axford Jr's Mustache.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache is already reading at a 4th grade level.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache has already painted a self-portrait of himself to give his Dad for Father’s Day.

John Axford Jr’s mustache has already grown out of Sesame Street, so he jumped straight to the Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache blew through the beginner LEGOs while he was sitting in the hospital last week, this week he is working on his Pirates of the Caribbean LEGOs.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache is not crazy about what Gerber is passing off as turkey and split-peas these days.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache already has a stamp on his passport. (Warning: this may be an actual fact)

John Axford Jr’s Mustache is 6-1 in starring contests with the family dog, he’s a born winner.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache has begun preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Canadian Curling team needed another sweeper.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache is only days old, but still knows that “The Hangover 2″ was a terrible idea.

John Axford Jr’s Mustache hates the term ‘peach fuzz’, hair is hair no matter how soft and fine it may be!

You can read up on some of Olsen's other Mustache Facts at his site or, if you're so inclined, check out the interesting facts he unearthed about Tampa Bay Rays fan favorite Sam Fuld.

June 13, 2011

Orlando Cabrera Gets 2000th Hit

In case you were keeping track, Cleveland Indians second baseman Orlando Cabrera has as many World Series rings as Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined have NBA Championship rings.

And now that I’ve got that obvious attempt to capitalize on web traffic out of the way, I can tell you this.

With a second inning single of New York Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia on Sunday, Cabrera became just the 262nd player to record 2000 hits. He sits 16th among active players (I’m not includuing Manny Ramirez) and joins Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Lee as the second player to reach the milestone this season.

"It means a lot," the 36-year-old said of the milestone. "I never started my career thinking, 'I'm going to get there,' or anything like that. I'm really, really happy that I'm still playing and was able to get to that number.

Cabrera is hitting just .242 for the Tribe this season after signing a one-year deal back in Spring Training.

June 11, 2011

Tony LaRussa's Manages His 5000th Game

It’s not often that I get to say this…but on Friday, Tony LaRussa and I pretty much started our day the same.

We both got up out of bed, probably ate a good meal or two then made our way to Miller Park in Milwaukee.

The similarities between me and the St. Louis Cardinals skipper probably ends there.

Sure, sure, we both got to see Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda (me from the stands…LaRussa up close), we both survived what Brewers officials called a “kettle corn fire” and we both witnessed the glory that is Milwaukee’s mascot Bernie Brewer slide down that yellow slide.

Twice.

But while I’ve seen a number of baseball games in my lifetime, Friday’s contest between the Cardinals and Brewers marked LaRussa’s 5000th regular season game as a manager.  All I had to show for my day was a day at the zoo and witnessing a fight on my way to dinner.

The advantage to the four-time manager of the year I suppose.

And in case you’re wondering, the 66-year-old would need to manage 17 more years to catch record holder Connie Mack at 7755 games managed.

Also, it seems pretty unlikely anyone will approach LaRussa for a while.

Detroit Tigers skipper Jim Leyland is closest, but he's nearly 2000 games behind. After that…only Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy are the only active managers with at least 2600 games managed.

Oh, yeah, one last thing…the Cardinals lost 8-0, putting LaRussa’s career record at 2676-2320-4.

June 10, 2011

Friday 5: Josh Booty

The MLB Draft finished up earlier this week. Let’s reminisce…shall we?

Josh Booty was a “can’t miss” prospect that was drafted by the Florida Marlins with the fifth pick overall in 1994.

The next five years in the Minors would yield a lot of home runs, plenty of strikeouts and a career .198 batting average. He’d make it to the bigs though.  And while his Major League career might not have panned out the way many had hoped (30 plates appearances over three seasons), I’m pretty sure dude has more stories than many of us combined.

Earlier this week, I had the chance to catch up with the former two-sport star.

HOVG: Right out of the gate, I’ve gotta know…what does a 19-year-old do with a signing bonus (a reported $1.6 million) like the one you got?

BOOTY: I spent a lot of my bonus money on day-to-day stuff and a few nice things. No one in the Minors has money, so half your money goes to helping others and hanging out. You try to not live like a college kid.

HOVG: And a couple of years later, you found yourself in the Majors and, in 1997, the Florida Marlins won the World Series. You appeared in four games down the stretch for the fish. Did you get a ring and, if so, where is it now?

BOOTY: I did get a ring and I have a funny story about that. My good friend and eventual World Series champion Kevin Millar was wearing my ring at a Super Bowl Party at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans and lost it in a bathroom. He had asked to wear it because he was single at the time and was hoping to get the ladies to look at him. (Laughs)

HOVG: After your baseball career, you head to LSU to play football. In your two years there, you accomplished plenty, but, more importantly…did you hear any good Shaquille O’Neal stories that you can share? Any on-campus run-ins with the recently retired NBA superstar?

BOOTY: Shaq is a bud…a great guy that everyone loves. He used to come by my apartment in college and it scared my Jack Russell terrier to death when he walked in. My dog would bark non-stop. He has gotten me some great hoops tickets over the years and I remember going to an NBA Finals game in (Los Angeles) compliments of the Diesel.

HOVG: Which was harder to learn…playing baseball on a professional level or football?

BOOTY: Football is more mental…baseball is way more of a true grind. Baseball guys have no life because it is non-stop and the seasons are so long. Football guys get to do more things outside their sport.

HOVG: I know both of your brothers also made it to the NFL. That aside, do you find yourself paying more attention to football nowadays or baseball?

BOOTY: Football by far. I haven’t been to but one baseball game in last 10 years…I couldn’t live without football. All baseball players wish they could play football and love watching. No football players ever talk about baseball. Baseball is just boring to a certain degree.

HOVG: Lastly, a fellow member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and friend of mine, David Malamut, covers, of all things, the Kane County Cougars. You spent a season-and-a-half with Kane County…are there any Midwest League memories you can share?

BOOTY: Kane County. Wow. I actually liked playing there…I struck out a ton and hit some home runs. Does my single season home run record still stand? (Laughs)

Josh Booty’s tale is pretty well known.

He’s one of a long list of players to have been taken in both the MLB and NFL Draft…but only one of the few to have made it to the pros in both sports. Add to that wild SuperBowl parties, hanging with Shaq and a one-time marriage to “Price is Right” model Rachel Reynolds and you've got a life that reads like fiction.

I only hope that someday…I can hear more of his stories.

 

June 9, 2011

And Now...Derek Lowe's DUI Video

I told myself long ago that I was going to focus on covering milestones, the Hall of Fame and sprinkle in some pop culture and social media.

Unfortunately...I got sidetracked along the way.  And I blame the players themselves for that.

Last night, shortly after Derek Lowe finished up a gem of a start (he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning), WXIA out of Atlanta posted the newly released footage of the Atlanta Braves pitcher's April 29 DUI arrest.

Kyle from over at Crossing Broad broke down the best exchange of the 20-minute clip.  It happens about ten minutes in

Lowe: Once you say you play baseball, you're already guilty. I play for the Braves, so there you go.

Cop: I never heard anything about you playing baseball, you said you played golf tonight, today.

Lowe: I do, I play... Derek Lowe for the Atlanta Braves.

Cop: I don't know Derek Lowe from nobody. I don't even watch baseball.

Lowe: That's what I do.

Cop: I don't care nothing about baseball. You say you're a player?

Lowe: Yeah.

Cop: What position do you play?

Lowe: Starting pitcher, for the Braves.

Cop: What's your name again?

I've got two questions.

One...who do you suppose was in the Camaro that Lowe was racing?  And two, again, why don't these guys get drivers?

Oh, lastly, Derek Lowe..."quit yer bullshittin'".





Oh Canada! Ryan Dempster Wins Number 107

With a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday night, Ryan Dempster became the second most winningest Canadian-born pitcher.

The Chicago Cubs hurler now has more wins than 117 other Canadian pitcher with 107. The only cat that has more…Fergie Jenkins.

And the Hall of Famer has 284.

Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that “Baseball’s Rich Little” won’t surpass Jenkins…but with only 57 wins, Jeff Francis (the dude with the second most wins among active Canadians) isn’t going to catch Dempster anytime soon.

So live it up, Ryan Dempster. Live. It. Up.




June 8, 2011

Mark Grace...Busted for DUI

It appears as though 2011 is, again, the "Year of the Pitcher"...the BEER pitcher that is!

Bing bong.

Lame attempt at an even lamer joke aside, this current epidemic of baseball players (past and present) getting busting for driving drunk is getting old. 

The latest...former Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks firstbaseman Mark Grace. 

This is what azcentral.com had to say:

Grace, 46, was stopped by Scottsdale police at 64th Street and Cochise Road shortly after 1 a.m. May 30, after he made a wide right turn and police observed him weaving within his lane, according to the report.

Grace, who did not have his wallet or license with him at the time of the arrest, admitted to "having a few drinks," police said.

Grace was arrested on suspicion of driving with a blood-alcohol of more than the legal limit of 0.08 percent and being DUI-impaired to the slightest degree, according to police reports.  Grace was taken to a command post to have his blood drawn and results were pending, police said.

Seriously guys...hire a driver! Or at the very least, tell the cops you spent your day in a mascot costume.


The Legend Continues...

Thanks to his white hot start to the season, Sam Fuld of the Tampa Bay Rays became an instant star.

He dominated the Twittersphere, got female fans pregnant with every diving catch and even had a night dedicated to him at Tropicana Field.

Alright...I might be partially misinformed about that "pregnant fans" part.

But one guy who always has his facts straight is Hall contributor Lou Olsen.

You remember "Sweet Lou" right? He's the cat on loan from Reviewing the Brew that uncovered some long since lost facts about Ross Grimsley's mustache during The Hall's recent week-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the pitcher's Major League debut.

Here are ten things that he unearthed about the Rays outfielder and what exactly makes him so awesome.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that he wears sweaters, knitted out of barbed wire.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that Superman asked him to tone it back a little bit so that people would not get suspicious.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that Niagara Falls calls him 'Sir'.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that New Hampshire could not stop him...or contain him.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that his glove is made of 100% unicorn hide.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that when he calls a lady, she has to wear a prophylactic.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that he once raised Harry Caray from the dead, just to make him listen to Sam sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". It was so good Harry died a second time.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that he can smell shark fear, which he plans to launchas a men's fragrance next summer.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that a certain post-game shower encounter caused Manny Ramirez to retire, not all that other crap Manny spewed in that press conference...and everybody knows it.

Sam Fuld is so awesome, that David Copperfield gave him the keys to the lost city of Atlantis, which Sam immediately swallowed to absorb it's power.

One last thing that makes the 29-year-old awesome is this...the gang over at urthefan.com (click the link to see the shirt) have designed a "Legend of Same Fuld" t-shirt and they want you to have one for free!

Here's the deal. All you need to do is hit up the comments with your own reason why Sam Fuld is awesome and the shirt might be yours.

That's right.  Free. Of. Charge.

So get moving, gang...this offer won't last long.


***Please note...the contest for the Sam Fuld t-shirt has concluded.  A big thank you to all that participated.***