Follow Us


November 30, 2012

Gio Gonzalez Tweeted His Phone Number

Welp, Gio Gonzalez is about to get a lot more popular.  That is, of course, if this is really him.

Friday, the Washington Nationals pitcher pulled a "Canseco" with his close to 57,000 Twitter followers and tweeted his phone number.


Be prepared for the inevitable "I was hacked" or the tweets to be removed from Gonzalez's timeline.

November 29, 2012

Chan Ho Park is Done

After not having thrown a pitch in the big leagues in more than two years, Chan Ho Park has retired.

The 39-year-old made it official Thursday during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea following one season with the Korean Baseball Organization's Hanwha Eagles.

According to Korea JoongAng Daily, Park helped pack stadiums for the last place Eagles, but finished the season "mediocre at best".  The one-time Major League All-Star was 5-10 with a 5.06 ERA...a far cry from his career here in the States.

During his 17 years in the Majors, the righty compiled a 124-98 record (the most wins among Asian born pitchers) and a 4.36 ERA.  From 1997 to 2001, Park rattled off five consecutive years with more than 13 victories for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Next for Park?  Perhaps he can get back to his rap career

Move over, Psy.


November 28, 2012

Red Sox Spoof Christmas Vacation

In an effort to, no doubt, remove the bitter taste of 2012 from the collective mouth of Red Sox nation...the team has released a humorous nod to the 1989 holiday classic "Christmas Vacation".

Although it does appear to be more than Clark Griswold's 250 strands of light. 

I guess it's a good thing they got David Ortiz under contract early.

Breaking Down the 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot

On Wednesday, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced the upcoming 2013 Hall of Fame ballot. Included are 37 candidates (ten more than last year's 27)...24 newcomers and 13 holdovers.

But unlike last year, when Barry Larkin got what was a pretty obvious call (he ended up with 86.4% of the vote)…there are some rather unique candidates on the ballot for the first time.

So far, the writers have taken a pretty harsh stance against those that have used or been suspected of using steroids. And with all due respect to Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, it will be this coming January when we'll see where the line in the sand is drawn.

You see, in 2013, it is possible that three of the game's greats (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa) might be left out in that Cooperstown cold. But here’s the rub…as of now, none of them have been found guilty of using any banned substances.

Alright, with that said…let’s break down the ballot. Holdovers first.

Leading the pack of those returning to the ballot is Jack Morris. A year ago, the former pitcher finished second with 66.7% of the vote on what was his 13th try. Morris pundits point to his Game Seven performance in the 1991 World Series heroics as reason for inclusion. Will it be enough to push him to 75% of the vote? We’ll soon see.

Only two other returners received, like Morris, more than half of the BBWAA’s vote. Longtime Houston Astro Jeff Bagwell (56.0%) and journeyman closer Lee Smith (50.6%).

The other holdovers include Tim Raines (48.7%), Alan Trammell (36.8%), Edgar Martinez (36.5%), Fred McGriff (23.9%), Larry Walker (22.9%), Don Mattingly (17.8%), Dale Murphy (14.5%) and Bernie Williams (9.6%).

Two others, McGwire (19.5%) and Palmeiro (12.6%) are obviously adorned with the steroid scarlet letter and have about as much of a shot of making it in as you or me.

Of the newcomers, you’re looking at Bonds, Clemens and Sosa and, while we could debate their credentials pre or post alleged steroid use…let’s just put them aside and look at the other guys hitting the ballot for the first time.

To the casual fan, the words “Craig Biggio” are synonymous with “consistency”. And it’s true, the dude was…to the tune of 3060 hits, 668 doubles (good for fifth all-time) and a career .281 batting average. His seven All-Star appearances, five Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Gloves pale in comparison to one of his greatest/oddest achievements…the 285 times (two shy of the record) he was hit by a pitch.

A number of years ago, rumors started swirling that the 1993 National League Rookie of the Year was a user of PEDs. Fortunately for the 12 time All-Star, the idiom “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” has (seemingly) not been fully investigated, but it's probably safe to say Piazza is going to suffer the same "but he might've done steroids" fate as Jeff Bagwell. As it is, the catcher finished his career with a bloated .308 career batting average, nine straight seasons with an average of .300 of higher, 427 home runs, including eight straight seasons with 30 or more and 1335 RBI. Not bad for a guy who was taken as a favor in the 62nd round of the draft.

When he finally hung up his bloody sock and called it quits, plenty of people were already willing to hang up Curt Schilling’s plaque and his recent business failure aside...they still are. Sure, his post-season performances are legendary (as were those of Morris), but his overall body of work was just very, very good. Sure, he won close to 60 percent of his decisions and won 216 games. Sure, he topped 3000 strikeouts with 3116, but did you know that he finished his career second all-time with a 4.38 strikeout to walk ratio? Yeah…me neither.

Ask anyone if Kenny Lofton is a Hall of Famer and they would say (without hesitation) “no”. And they’d probably be right. However, if you compare his stats to “should be Hall of Famer” Raines, they stack up. Raines has 2605 hits, carries a .294 career average and scored 1571 runs. Lofton finished his career with 2428 hits, a .299 average and 1528 runs. Throw in six straight All-Star appearances and four straight Gold Gloves and the case for Lofton looks halfway decent.

Some other candidates making their debut on the BBWAA ballot include Sandy Alomar Jr., Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Jeff Conine, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko, Jose Mesa, Reggie Sanders, Aaron Sele, Mike Stanton, Todd Walker, David Wells, Rondell White and Woody Williams.

Voting results will be announced Wednesday, January 9.

November 27, 2012

Chooch Popped for Amphetamines

It looks like the Philadelphia Phillies will have to begin their 2013 campaign without All-Star Carlos Ruiz behind the plate.

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that the fan favorite (Phan Phavorite?) has been suspended 25 games for using a banned amphetamine.

"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant," Ruiz said in a release. "I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."

The 33-year-old had a career season in 2012...hitting .325 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI.  His suspension means Erik Kratz will likely begin the season as the team's starting catcher.

Suffice it to say, Kratz didn't do as well as "Chooch" this past season...nor does he have as catchy of a nickname.

MLB Stars React to the Death of Marvin Miller

Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber once called Marvin Miller one of the two or three most important men in baseball history, along with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson.

Tuesday, Miller, who formed the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 and helped transform baseball died. 

He was 95.

"Marvin Miller was a highly accomplished executive and a very influential figure in baseball history." commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "He made a distinct impact on this sport, which is reflected in the state of the game today, and surely the Major League players of the last half-century have greatly benefited from his contributions. On behalf of Major League Baseball and the 30 Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Marvin's family, friends and colleagues."

And since Miller helped lay the foundation for what players are being paid today, it's nice to see so many of the men that have benefited directly from his work recognize the former union head.

Hopefully the followers, both young and old, of the men listed above do themselves a favor today and educate themselves on the influence Marvin Miller had on the game we love.

Despite his body of work, Miller never made it into Baseball's Hall of Fame.  That said, he was, in 2003, enshrined in the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals.

You can check out an interview the Reliquary did with the Miller HERE.

Former Reds Pitcher in Critical Condition

Last Monday, Frank Pastore was riding his Honda Shadow in the freeway carpool lane when he was struck by a fellow commuter. 

This, according to the Los Angeles Times:

California Highway Patrol officials said a woman driving a Hyundai Sonata was eastbound when she lost control of her car and drifted over to the carpool lane, where she struck Pastore.  Pastore, 55, was thrown from the motorcycle and suffered severe head trauma. He was airlifted to an area hospital.

 The former Cincinnati Reds pitcher has been in a coma ever since.

"Right now, he's still in critical condition and we're remaining hopeful for a good outcome. It's such a fresh injury that we're still not sure. It's a roller coaster," Pastore's wife Gina told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. "He's a man of strong faith. He's prepared to go be with the Lord if that's what God desires."

What you might not know is that the former big leaguer has had quite the career since he left the Majors...and I don't mean his stint as the Big Texan eating champ.

Since 2004, Pastore has been the host of the aptly titled Frank Pastore Show on KKLA in Los Angeles.  It is referred to as the "largest Christian talk show in the United States".

And on the night of the accident, Pastore theoretically spoke about the possibility of being killed on the freeway.

"His listeners know that actually the last Monday night, the night of the accident, Frank was talking about the reality of the soul," Gina Pastore told the Christian Post. "He often talked about this because he was a Christian philosopher. He mentioned on the air, he said, 'that if I were to be killed on the freeway tonight and my body parts are all over the freeway I'm not on the freeway because I'm my soul and I would be with the Lord.' He actually said that the night that it happened."


If you've got a couple of minutes, listen to Pastore tell the story of a 1984 incident on the mound that changed his career and, more importantly, his perception on life.

Those Plucky Kenyans Are Back!

Remember this past summer when we were all introduced to a group of Kenyan orphans re-creating Bill Buckner's blunder from Game Six of the 1986 World Series?

If not...take another look.

The video was created by Dan Freiman and has racked up quite a nice little number of views on YouTube.  So, yeah, naturally...dude is back with a new take on an a memorable sports highlight.

I had a chance to catch up with Freiman and find out what led him pick Game Six and what we might be able to expect next.

HOVG:  Alright...I've gotta know.  What possesses you to get a group of these kids together and (A) not only make a video but (B) re-create one of baseball's most iconic plays?  What was the process?

FREIMAN: (Laughs) The kids would always ask me to take them to the playing field that was a few miles away from the school. They would also continuously ask me to take photos and videos of them. So it was only natural to combine both of their requests! A fellow volunteer, Ben Vanderschelden, was filming me playing tennis pops (when you pop tennis balls really high and 40 kids try to catch it at once) with the neighborhood kids one day and I re-watched the video on my camera at night. I kept on re-watching it. I must have watched it 40 times. I still don’t know why I was so enamored with it because it was just me popping tennis balls to the kids. There was nothing special about it but I could not take my eyes off it. I woke up the next morning and this simple video was still on my mind as I walked to orphanage. So I knew I had to make another one. I’m really not sure exactly what my train of thought was at the time, but once I reached the orphanage that morning I was set on re-enacting a famous sports play. I talked myself out of it fairly quickly, but then thought back to my childhood when we would re-enact Joe Carter’s World Series winning home run at recess. That re-assured me that it would be a fun activity to do with the kids. I gave them a few options on my laptop to choose from and they chose the Buckner play.
HOVG:  What was the attitude of the kids making the video?  Had any of them even heard of baseball...much less the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox or the play they were re-creating?

FREIMAN: They had fun doing it. They loved the pileup at the plate to end the game, and kept asking to re-shoot it. They could recognize the game of baseball by sight, but none knew any of the rules. A couple head heard of the Yankees. None knew about the Mets or Red Sox.

HOVG: When did you know you were on to something? I mean, instantly the video started popping up all over the blogosphere. What did you think was going to happen when you were making the video?

FREIMAN: The clips looked great when I shot them, but it wasn’t until my brother Dave edited them for me and put the Vin Scully audio beneath it, that I realized how cool it was. He sent me the copy so I could leave with the kids and I also uploaded it to YouTube so I could send to my friends back home. After 10,000 views I knew I was onto something, but I never anticipated it while I was originally shooting it.

HOVG: Naturally, you had to make another video and this time, you're taking on one of the most remembered plays of the last 25 years...Larry Bird's legendary steal and deal to Dennis Johnson in the 1987 NBA Playoffs. Why that play?

FREIMAN: For starters, I knew the second video was going to be entirely for charity. More specifically, it was to be a fundraising initiative that would raise money for the orphanage to purchase a field close by the school. So in order for the video to appeal to the masses it needed to be a play that was well-known and had a legendary play-call. The only way it was feasible to involve all of the children was if we did at the orphanage, rather than the park a few miles away. So basketball was the only option, since there were 2 nets present (that had slanted backboards and deformed rims). We needed a play that was easy for the kids to replicate, so that took any jumpshot or dunk out of the equation. After narrowing it down, Bird’s steal and dish was an obvious choice.

HOVG: So what's next? And, more can someone help out?

FREIMAN: If we’re able to raise $56,000 the orphanage will be able to purchase a playing field just down the street. In less then five days after releasing the current video, we’ve raised over $7,000. If we reach that goal you can expect the next one to be shot on that field. Currently they don’t have a safe way to access a field. The kids play a game at recess that consists of hopscotch and rock kicking. That’s the extent of their recreation. There’s really no room for them to run around, let alone play soccer. Anyone can help by donating at this site. But if someone really really wants to help, they can share this video with as many people as possible.

November 26, 2012

Wild Coyotes Spotted Outside Wrigley Field

If vultures circling above you is a sign that you're doomed...what does it mean for the Chicago Cubs when coyotes actually hang out outside Wrigley Field?

Late Saturday night, photographer Will Byington was in Wrigleyville and noticed the two wild dogs roaming outside "The Friendly Confines".

"The scary thing is that they didn't seem afraid. You'd think they'd be cowering, but they didn't seem vicious," Byington told Chicago's NBC 5.  "You hear stories about them venturing out and spotted around parks and whatnot, but they were right in the street with cars zooming by and honking. It didn't seem to phase (sic) them."

I'll let you come up with the "Party Animal" jokes yourself.

Wild Coyotes Spotted in Wrigleyville

Free Agent Has Cyber Monday Deal For MLB Suitors

Other may call it Cyber Monday, but I'd like to refer to it as the day I got an email from every online merchant I've ever bought anything from.

That said, to entice potential big league franchises to take a chance on him, free agent pitcher Michael Schlact has his own Cyber Monday deal.

For the record, that's a far better deal than those chumps from Lands' End.

The 6'7" righty last appeared in affiliated ball two seasons ago as a member of the Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A team of the Texas Rangers.

This past season, Schlact was with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League.

November 23, 2012

David Freese Unhurt After Car Crash

Thanksgiving night, word hit the Twittersphere that St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese slammed into a tree while attempting to avoid a deer.

According to police, Freese was on his way to his parents for the holiday and walked away unscathed.

Freese, 29, was south on Wildhorse Creek Road near Rieger Road in Wildwood when he crashed his 2011 black Range Rover into a tree to avoid a deer, said St. Louis County Police Officer Randy Vaughn. The crash occurred at 2:30 p.m.

Freese did not hit the deer, Vaughn said. Freese was already out of his SUV when police arrived. Freese refused medical treatment, and his SUV was towed from the crash scene.

Investigators say alcohol was not a factor in the crash and "no other investigations are underway."

But back to the Twitters. 

Even though it was ruled that alcohol was not a factor...people were super skeptical that the 2011 World Series hero had been drinking.

You see, Freese has quite the history...this from his Wikipedia page.

In December 2009, Freese was arrested for driving under the influence in Maryland Heights, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.  Freese blew a .232, which is nearly three times the state's legal limit of .08. It was the second such arrest for Freese, who was also arrested in November 2002 in Maryland Heights for driving while intoxicated.  The 2009 arrest was a violation of Freese's probation, due to a September 2007 arrest for resisting arrest (amongst other charges) in Lake Elsinore, California
So, naturally, you can see how/why people were skeptical when they heard Freese wrecked his rig, but if the cops aren't investigating dude...we shouldn't either.

Oh, no word on the condition of the deer.  My sense is that he made it to his Thanksgiving dinner with time to spare.

November 21, 2012

Hunter Pence's Teammates Must Love Him

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
Charles Caleb Colton

If Charles Colton's famous idiom is true...the San Francisco Giants must absolutely LOVE their teammate (and inspirational leader) Hunter Pence.

Just check out the end credits to the team's official 2012 World Series film.

***Tip o' the hat to Jimmy Traina.***

November 20, 2012

BJ Upton Responds to False Twitter Claims

Tuesday afternoon, the Twitter hot stove ignited with news that free agent outfielder B.J. Upton had signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. wasn't true.  Thankfully, "Bossman Junior" was on the case!

And that fake Twitter account would've gotten away with it too...if it wasn't for those meddling kid!  Of course we should all believe Upton until, well, he signs with the Phils.

Chan Ho Park and Larry King...Gangnam Style!

I've tried my damnest not to post anything Gangnam-style related, but when something like this happens...self imposed rules are meant to be broken.

Alright.  So.  Many.  Questions.

First off, the obvious.  What is Psy doing with Chan Ho Park?  That's an easy one...they're both Korean rap sensations.

Next, what are Larry King and his wife doing with the pair?  And what are the four of them celebrating.

Lastly, and most importantly, where are King's trademark suspenders?

Embedded image permalink

The Josh Hamilton Movie is a Reality

With the potentially former Texas Rangers superstar currently looking for a monster deal this off season, it's nice to know that one facet of the Josh Hamilton story has been finalized...The Josh Hamilton Story.

Allow me to explain.

This past summer, word came out that producers were shopping a movie of the "fall from grace" and rise from the ashes of the 2010 American League MVP.

And now, well, now the biopic will be turned into a feature film by Relativity Media.

"I truly think this guy’s story is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever read," producer Basil Iwanyk said. "It’s also tailor-made for a movie: it has the mythic quality of The Natural, the faith-based angle of The Blind Side and the romance of Walk the Line." fantasy, football movie, music movie.  Got it.  In line to direct...Casey Affleck, who had already helped chip in to pitch the film.

"Casey has totally captured those elements in his take for the movie," Iwanyk added.  "It is an extraordinary odyssey that took him from the depths of drug addiction, estrangement from his family, and suspension from baseball to a spectacular rebirth of his life, faith, marriage and Major League career."

Alright, count me in.

But here's the bigger question...who to play the five-time All-Star?  Do you go with a bankable commodity or someone unknown?

My pick?  Friend of The Hall Casey Bond.

You might remember Bond from his role as Oakland A's reliever Chad Bradford from Moneyball

But that's not why I'm going with the guy.

First, you're going to want someone who has experience on the field and Bond was actually drafted by the San Francisco Giants back in 2007 and knows his baseball movies.  Also, well, dude kinda looks like Hamilton.

So, if you're casting The Josh Hamilton Story (my name, not theirs)...who ya got?

November 18, 2012

Jamie Moyer Is So Old...

If you hadn't already heard, Jamie Moyer turned 50 on Sunday and, naturally, the internets were a buzz with some fun facts about the lefty. 

For example, should Moyer make an appearance in 2013, he'd join Satchel Paige and Jack Quinn as the only pitchers to ever appear in the bigs after their 50th birthday. And since Quinn's last appearance was just six days after he turned 50...Moyer trails only Paige in terms of the oldest pitchers ever.

Pretty cool.

So to celebrate the pitcher's 50th birthday, Lou Olsen (the cat behind the always awesome John Axford Mustache Facts over at Reviewing the Brew) uncovered some unknown facts about baseball's favorite octogenarian.

Jamie Moyer is so old that if he doesn't drink enough water, his muscles turn to jerky.

Jamie Moyer is so old that he didn't play The Oregon Trail, he was the inspiration.

Jamie Moyer is so old that his cemetery plot has been on layaway since the Great Depression.

Jamie Moyer is so old that he told Hamlet as a campfire story.

Jamie Moyer is so old that he still winds his clocks.

Jamie Moyer is so old that the plastic covering his furniture...has plastic on it. 

Jamie Moyer is so old that Honus Wagner called him "Pops"

Jamie Moyer is so old that he remembers when burning witches was America's pasttime.

Jamie Moyer is so old that he haunts ghosts, not the other way around.

Jamie Moyer is so old that when he signed his first contract, he sealed the envelope with candle wax and his family crest stamp.

Jamie Moyer is so old that the first film George Burns wanted to make was his biopic.

Jamie Moyer is so old that his first smart phone had a rotary dial. 

Jamie Moyer is so old that even the Yankees don't want him.

All kidding aside, the world is probably a better place for having a guy like Jamie Moyer around for as long as he has been.  His Moyer Foundation has been a pretty good friend of The Hall of Very Good for a few years so it's probably time to remind you that you can follow them on Twitter at @moyerfoundation.

Also, 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 16, 2012

Nolan Ryan Has No Business Doing Comedy

As Jamie Moyer turns 50 on Sunday, there are bound to be plenty of "dude is so old" posts out there on the internets.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to keep this one brief.

Moyer is so old he's the only active Major Leaguer who can tell you where he was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He's also so old that he's pitched in 50 different big league ballparks...and of the current parks, all but six were constructed after Moyer made his debut in 1986.

Lastly, he's so old that when his Colorado Rockies dropped the San Diego Padres last April 17, the lefty became the oldest player ever to record a big league victory.

And now, sitting just 31 wins from 300, Moyer has no plans to give up pitching.

"I'm not retired, I'm not retired. I'm just kind of laying in the weeds and just trying to figure out what's going on," Moyer said this past July after being released by the Baltimore Orioles. "I'm just going to step back after the season and assess what's going on."

Alright, I took you on this brief trip down memory lane solely to get to this.

Two weeks ago, the ageless pitcher was treated to a surprise celebratory "Roast and Toast" during the Moyer Foundation's annual Celebrity Golf Outing. Among the birthday well wishers...former teammates John Olerud, Edgar Martinez, Jim Sundberg and, believe it or not, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

But if this clip is any indication, Ryan needs to stick to being a bitter old Texan...and lose the comedy routine.

Chipper Jones...Conspiracy Theorist

Even now and then, I forget what it is that I love about the internet.  Then, well, and then Chipper Jones goes and watches a movie from more than 20 years ago. 

And tweets about it.

Sure, I realize I'm late to the game on this one, but Wednesday night, the eight-time All-Star sat down and watched "JFK" on  REELZ and decided to voice his displeasure with, of all things, the findings of the Warren Commission.

Alright, here's the thing.  I can't disagree with the guy.  But what I love about this is the complete random nature that all of this popped up on Twitter.

I mean, there's Chipper Jones, deep in the wild at the Double Dime Ranch watching basic cable and deciding his 200,000-plus followers needed to know his JFK conspiracy theories.

Now, if only dude can uncover the truth about the 2012 American League MVP voting.  Am I right?

November 14, 2012

Manny Ramirez Has Still Got It

If one swing of the bat is any indication, Manny Ramirez has still got it

The 40-year-old slugger connected on the first pitch he saw during his Dominican League debut Wednesday. Ramirez, who has hit 555 homers in 19 Major League seasons, sent a Daniel Cabrera pitch over the right field fence.

"I'm not thinking about the big leagues now," Ramirez said when he joined the Los Aguilas Eagles. "Right now I'm thinking of helping the Eagles to win games and then, if any offer, then I'll think of baseball."

Me thinks Ramirez might want to continue being content banging baseballs in the Dominican because, well, that big league call back to Mannywood probably won't be coming any time soon.

November 13, 2012

The Remaining Marlins Are Confused

Last year at this time, the Miami Marlins had a new stadium, a new skipper and with the addition of some high priced free agents...a new lease on life.

This off season...well, not so much.

After seemingly trading away most of their biggest names, it's almost as if the team is trying to take a Mulligan on the 2012 season. And, naturally, those left behind took to Twitter to voice their concerns.

Slugger Giancarlo Stanton was upset.

Pitcher Ricky Nolasco was bewildered. 

And, the always outspoken Logan Morrison, well, after his bath...dude was worried that the team unloading Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and others to the Toronto Blue Jays might take away from him being named on some fictional "Players You'd Most Like to Party With" list.

I guess we all grieve differently, but it makes sense.

Also mentioned in the Bleacher Report piece...Grant Balfour, Matt Kemp, Tim Lincecum and Derek Jeter NOT Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez or Jeff Mathis.