March 30, 2012

This Week in Baseball Cards: March 30

Music, museums and, well, Jose Canseco?  It's time for Bo Rosny and This Week in Baseball Cards!

Kenny Loggins’s son Luke pitched the Dos Pueblos Chargers to victory this past week, crediting his relaxed attitude to the fact that they were playing Winnie the Pooh in the ballpark, which I guess give him something in common with my ten-month-old daughter.

Time will tell if he will one day be the best Loggins to ever play professional baseball. Right now that goes to former Royal Mike Loggins, who played over 300 AAA games but never made the Majors, and is apparently unrelated to the singer.


So Ichiro Suzuki’s parent’s cleaned out their son’s room and instead of having a garage sale, they opened up a museum with all of his childhood stuff (including his retainer!). It’s pretty cool knowing he had a toy TIE fighter as a kid, which makes this card even cooler.


Meanwhile, Jose Canseco’s ex-wife is going to be on a reality show called “Hollywood Exes”. This is the only way his name gets mentioned in the same breath as Prince, R. Kelly, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith.  So what’s the former playmate up to now? She’s a commercial tattoo specialist.

That sounds impressive, but remember that her ex-husband might have been a nuclear physicist (yes, the card below ACTUALLY says that!) if he hadn’t been an athlete.


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


Matt Kemp is Hoping to Strike it Rich


What do you get the Major Leaguer who has everything?

Well, if you're Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp...you buy yourself a fistful of Mega Millions tickets.
 
But, hey, didn't Kemp just ink a new eight-year, $160 million deal this past off season?  Yes.  But when the jackpot is a whopping $640 million...even $20 million a year looks like a paltry.

I guess when you've already dated Rihanna, you're not scared off by a one in 176 million chance of picking the winning numbers and you're hoping lightning strikes twice.

Best of luck.

March 29, 2012

A Tale of Two Be(a)nes

Raise your hand if you remember Billy Beane's brief stint in the Majors?

Now, to those of you with your hand raised...do you remember remembering Beane when you first heard the name of pitcher Bill Bene?

I do.

Both gentlemen were big league busts, but...that's where the similarities end. One went on to glory to as the moneyballin' General Manager of the Oakland A's.

The other, well, he ended up being regarded as "perhaps one of the most notable draft busts of his era". Until he added this gem to his resume.

 The former 1988 fifth overall pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers is looking at a maximum sentence of eight years behind bars, plus a fine of $250,000 for, wait for it...selling counterfeit karaoke machines.

Apparently, Bene didn't report more than $600,000 in sales between 2006 and 2010 and, to top it off, he is charged with selling hard drives containing close to 122,000 illegally copied karaoke songs.

 Something tells me Bill Bene's movie won't star Brad Pitt.

  ***Slap on the back to everyone's favorite martian from Old Time Family Baseball.***

March 28, 2012

Josh Reddick Shows Off Championship Belt


Aaron Rodgers has got nothing on Josh Reddick.  I mean, have you seen dude's championship belt?

It's awesome.

So, naturally, I had to reach out to and ask the Oakland A's outfielder who he was rooting for this weekend at WrestleMania 28...John Cena or The Rock.

"(I've) always rooted for Cena," Reddick told me. "He's always been about the business and takes pride in it. That's what it's about."

I couldn't agree more.

Oh, remember the fun I poked at Reddick's expense a couple of weeks ago when dude watched "Moneyball" to brush up on his new team?

I take it all back.

pic.twitter.com/5FIgwX6m

Josh Hamilton is a Douchebag

I don't really remember what I was looking for on YouTube when I found it, but, man...I sure am glad I stumbled on this Josh Hamilton video.

We already know that the Texas Rangers superstar is a stud on the field but off of it? 

BAM!  Dude's a little bit of a douchebag.

Then again, this is the same cat who apologized for his "relapse" wearing a backwards cap and Kaenon sunglasses.


2012 is Full of Milestones for A-Rod

The upcoming season brings us a bunch of milestones on the horizon for both the National League and the American League.  That said, there’s one guy out there that is a walking milestone tracker.

Alex Rodriguez.

The New York Yankees superstar has been creeping up all-time greatest lists for a while now and beginning next week, he continues his assault.

1997
Alex Rodriguez needs just ten RBI to move into tenth place on the all-time list.  Should he reach 104 RBI and get to 1997 for his career, he’ll surpass Barry Bonds and be behind just Hank Aaron (2297), Babe Ruth (2213) and Cap Anson (2075).  Not a bad jump for a 36-year-old.

660
Assuming he can bounce back from his 2011 injuries, A-Rod will have a legit chance of passing Willie Mays and become fourth all-time on the home run list.  Rodriguez enters the season with 629 homers, one behind Ken Griffey Jr. and a mere 31 behind Mays’ 660.

500
In addition to his home-run and RBI milestones, the three-time MVP needs just five doubles to reach 500 for his career. When he hits that mark, he would become just the fifth player ever with 600 home runs and 500 doubles, joining the impressive company of Hank Aaron (755 home runs/624 doubles), Barry Bonds (762/601), Willie Mays (660/523) and Babe Ruth (714/506).

88
A milestone that no one talks about is A-Rod’s place on the all-time strikeout list.  Dude enters the season seventh all-time with 1917 whiffs.  With 88 Ks, he’ll reach 2004…and end the season fourth all-time.

65
Alex Rodriguez starts 2012 15th all-time with 1824 runs scored.  After he crosses the plate for the 65th time, Rodriguez will leapfrog into tenth place all-time.

40
2011 saw Alex Rodriguez with a career low 37 extra base hits.  With 40 extra base hits, he’ll move into 6th all-time.

4
And because it’s already been announced that the Yankees thirdbaseman will be at WrestleMania 28 this Sunday, it warrants mention that his girlfriend, former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson, will be making her fourth WrestleMania appearance.  She appeared in the ring three times (at WrestleMania XX, 22 and XXV…yes, that’s what they’re called), but this year, she’ll be ringside in Miami live blogging the event.


March 27, 2012

Ichiro's Doppleganger Shows Up at Autograph Signing

Something tells me that if Ichiro Suzuki showed up at a Tokyo steakhouse, he wouldn't have to wait in line to get teammate Michael Saunders' autograph.

But that's exactly what happened.  Kinda.

Apparently, the Seattle Mariners superstar has a doppleganger and, naturally, he took it upon himself to show up at an autograph signing Monday...dressed exactly like the ten-time All-Star.

"I couldn't tell the difference," Saunders said. "It was unbelievable. Full uni, the facial hair, everything. That was dead on. That was really good."

This past season Ichiro finished with a career-low .272 batting average and 184 hits, the first time in his 11-year Major League career he did not record 200 hits.

So, if that trend continues...perhaps it's time to call in his stunt double.


WWE Invades the Diamond...Again

As if the past few months hasn't yielded more than its share of wrestling and baseball crossover (Alex Rodriguez dating a former WWE Diva, a wrestler applying to be in the MLB Fan Cave and C.J. Wilson hanging out with CM Punk)...there's this.

Tuesday afternoon, prior to the Miami Marlins taking on the Washington Nationals, WWE Superstar Zack Ryder and WWE Diva Alicia Fox were on hand for WrestleMania Day at Roger Dean Stadium.

Initially, Ryder was expected to throw out the first pitch, but, according to their Twitters...the Long Island Iced Z let Fox do the dirty work.

Woo woo woo!


Minor Leaguer Adds Twitter Handle to Glove

After some soccer players in the Mexican Premier league swapped out the names on the back of their jerseys with their Twitter handles...you knew it was just a matter of time before it reached the playing fields here in the States.

Enter friend of The Hall, pitcher Michael Schlact of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.

Earlier this year, the tall righty hinted at adding his social media moniker to his glove and on Monday...he tweeted the customized Rawlings mitt complete with his @michael_schlact.

Your move @LoMoMarlins.


Ten American League Milestones to Watch For

With the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season just around the corner, it’s time to check out some upcoming milestones. And unlike years in the past where The Hall has broken down the leagues division by division…we’re going league-by-league.

Yesterday, we took a look at the milestones on the horizon in the National LeagueBut today…it’s all about the American League!

2500
Last year, New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeter entered the season on the cusp of 3000 career hits. This year, we’re not as lucky. The most exciting hitting milestone involves Ichiro Suzuki. The Seattle Mariners outfielder is 72 hits from 2500. Why is that cool? Should the perennial All-Star get those in his first 36 games…he would become the second fastest all-time to reach 2500 hits. Also on the docket for Ichiro…with another 200-hit season, he’ll have a record breaking 11 seasons with 200-plus base knocks.

712
On May 15, 2003, the Boston Red Sox faced the Texas Rangers in front of a packed house.  711 games later...they're still playing to a sold out stadium.  And while 2012 marks 100 years of the BoSox at Fenway Park, 712 consecutive sellouts is pretty darn impressive.  Heck, it bests the second longest streak by more than 250 games!

400
Chicks dig the longball, right? No? Maybe?!? Well, if that’s still true, they’re going to love following three American League sluggers as they approach 400 career home runs. Chasing down the milestone…Paul Kornerko (who enters 2012 with 396), David Ortiz (378) and Adam Dunn (365).

200
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has an outside chance of reaching 200 victories this season. Sure, he’s going to need to channel Justin Verlander and win 24 games, but with some run support…the big lefty could pull it off.

192
Derek Jeter already has 3000 career hits…now it’s time for the New York Yankees legend to move up the ladder. The shortstop enters the season with 3088 hits and should he duplicate last season’s output (162 hits), he’ll jump from 20th all-time to 13th…right between Eddie Murray (3255) and Nap Lajoie (3242)

191
No one is going to argue with you if you said that Adam Dunn’s first season with the Chicago White Sox was awful. Lost in his dismal .159 batting average were his 177 strikeouts in just 122 games. Entering 2012, the “Big Donkey” is 191 strikeouts away from becoming the fastest player to ever reach 2000 career whiffs. And before you think it isn’t possible…he’s K’d 191 or more times three other times in his career.

13
Should Octavio Dotel make the roster for the Detroit Tigers (and he will), he’ll be pitching for his record 13th team. The 38-year-old righty is currently tied with Mike Morgan, Matt Stairs and Ron Villone.

12
With Tony LaRussa out of the picture, Detroit Tigers skipper Jim Leyland enters 2012 as the wins leader among active managers with 1588. With 12 victories, he’ll not only reach 1600, but he will surpass Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda who sits 17th all-time with 1599 wins.

7’1”
It's times like these that I am glad that Disney no longer has anything to do with the ownership of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Because if they did...we'd be subjected to them knocking the cobwebs off Shawn Bradley, dressing him up in a baseball uniform and throwing him on the silver screen Gheorghe Muresan-style to play 7’1” pitcher Loek Van Mil. Should the big righty get called up by the Halos...he'll enter the Majors, not only as the game's tallest player ever, but also the first seven-footer baseball has ever seen.

3
And speaking of the Angels…Bobby Abreu has a chance to make some history this season. The veteran is seven stolen bases shy of 400 for his career and 16 home runs away from 300. If he reaches those milestones, he’ll become just the third player (and the first not named Bonds) to hit 300 home runs and steal 400 bases.


 

March 26, 2012

Jayson Werth Blasts Truck with Homer

So...didja hear the one about the mammoth blast Jayson Werth hit Sunday?

Well, as it turns out, the Washington Nationals outfielder hit his own truck with the first inning homer off New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvery.

"It just left a hole in the Earth where my truck used to be," Werth said of the estimated 492-foot moonshot that ricocheted off the front bumper of his pickup.

The home run was such a spectacle that Adam Kilgore from The Washington Post tweeted that it might be "the hardest-hit ball (Werth has) hit as a National."

That's high praise.
The pride of Chatham, Illinois is hitting .281 this pre-season and is looking to rebound from a dismal 2011 that saw him hit .232 with only 20 home runs.


Ten National League Milestones to Watch For

With the start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season just around the corner, it’s time to check out some upcoming milestones. And unlike past years when The Hall has broken down the season division by division…we’re going league-by-league.

Up first…the National League!

2598
With 604 career home runs, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Jim Thome is going to continue to move up the all-time home run list with every mighty swing of the bat. Almost more impressive is what he’s on the cusp of doing with every swing…and miss. The veteran enters 2012 second all-time in strikeouts with 2487. With increased playing time, Thome has an outside chance to pass Reggie Jackson on the all-time list. He would need 111 Ks.

300
After just seven seasons in the Majors, Ryan Howard is quickly climbing the active home run list. The Philadelphia Phillies first baseman is looking to return from injury and reach the 300 career home runs. The perennial MVP candidate is 14 long flies away from the milestone.

200
And speaking of the Philadelphis Phillies…ace Roy Halladay is a dozen wins away from reaching the 200. This past season, the big righty got his 12th victory shortly after the All-Star break. Also chasing down 200 career victories is Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson. Dude enters the season at 181.

88
Quietly, Dusty Baker is second in wins among all active managers and, should the Cincinnati Reds reach 88 wins…dude will leap frog a couple of Hall of Famers on the all-time list. Baker currently sits at 1484 wins…right behind Clark Griffith (1491) and Dick Williams (1571).

50
The 2012 season will also mark the 50th anniversary for the New York Mets and the Houston Astros. To celebrate their golden anniversary, the Mets will don 50th anniversary patches in place of the Mets skyline logo on their left sleeves. The Astros’ anniversary, on the other hand, looks to be a bittersweet one. Season number 51 will open with them in the American League.

49 years, 4 months and 18 days
If Jamie Moyer makes the Opening Day roster for the Colorado Rockies, he’ll start the season just north of 49 years of age. If/when he wins a game…he will become the oldest player ever to win a Major League game. Jack Quinn was 49 years, two months and 12 days old when he won his last game in 1932. On another note…15 members of the Rockies 40-man roster were born after Moyer’s big league debut.

10
More Roy Halladay? Yup. With an Opening Day start, Halladay will have started ten straight season openers. How has he fared you ask? Dude is 4-3 with a 3.75 ERA and 46 strikeouts in his previous nine Opening Day appearances between the Toronto Blue Jays and his current team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

9
Being the setup man to Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford will certainly hinder Francisco Rodriguez from getting any saves, but should “K-Rod” get a few opportunities here and there, he’ll become the 23rd reliever in baseball history with 300 saves.

6
Here’s a fun one. Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton has hit five career home runs on his birthday. Should he go deep on August 20 he’ll get his sixth and break a tie with Al Simmons and Derrek Lee in that category.

4
Miami Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco is just four wins away from becoming the team’s all-time franchise leader with 68. Coincidentally, he’s also four losses away from becoming the franchise leader in that category with 55.

Tomorrow...we'll take a look at the American League!

March 25, 2012

"Minor League Guy" Makes an Impression

Oscar Taveras might just be the most popular "Minor League Guy" left in Spring Training...and he's got a Major League gaffe (see below) to thank.

You see, during Saturday's St. Louis Cardinals game against the New York Mets, the CG Operator for Fox Sports Midwest falied to update the lower third graphic when Taveras entered as a pinch runner.

Ooops.

But Taveras is more than just a "Minor League Guy".  I mean, sure, he's a Minor Leaguer, but dude is ranked as one of the top prospects in the Cardinals organization.

This past season, while playing A-ball, Tavares hit .386/.444/.584 in 78 games for the Quad Cities River Bandits.


March 23, 2012

Kenny Loggins' Kid (Soft) Rocks on the Mound

What is it about pitching and singing?  Follow me on this one.

Over the last few months, we've heard about former pitcher Joe Magrane daughter's stint on "American Idol" and Dwight Gooden's son's blossoming hip hop career.

Well, it goes the other way as well.

Apparently Luke Loggins, son of Kenny Loggins, is quite a stud on the mound.  This past week, dude led his Dos Pueblos Chargers to a victory over the reigning Channel League champion Santa Barbara Dons.

“I really wasn’t nervous at all,” Loggins told Presidio Sports. “They were playing my dad’s music before the game and it got me in the zone. They played ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ ‘Footloose,’ the classics. That was stuff I would go to sleep with as a kid, so it got me all relaxed.”

I wonder what the Junior Loggins thinks of "Yacht Rock"?  And, yeah, I know what you're thinking...did you read all this just to get a "Yacht Rock" reference?

Nope, as it turns out, homeboy wants to rap.  Poorly.


This Week in Baseball Cards: March 23


Do you think Jamie Moyer, pushing 50 and still a viable candidate for the Rockies starting rotation, is shaming some 40-year-old whipper-snappers who were thinking about retirement

Here's Bo Rosny with This Week in Baseball Cards!

First Chipper Jones says he was “kidding” when he was talking about retirement and a week later...he was done.


Now Andy Pettitte has come out of retirement to rejoin the Yankees.


Another guy of the same age group who probably feels embarrassed is former Rangers pitcher John Dettmer. Not because he’s retired...he hasn’t pitched in the majors since sporting a 27.00 ERA in 1995. No, it’s because Dettmer’s alma mater, Missouri, lost it’s opening round NCAA game, busting the brackets of quite a few Major Leaguers!


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

The Ichiro Exhibition Room Sounds Awesome!

Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics square off in Tokyo to mark the opening start to the 2012 baseball season.

Now, before we debate whether or not it should be considered Opening Day, ask yourself this...would you go to a museum dedicated solely to Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki?

His parents sure hope so.

Ichiro's father, "Chichiro" ("chichi" is Japanese for "father") opened the museum adjacent to their home in Toyoyama, Japan in November 2002 and according to everything I've read online...the place has everything.

"When Ichiro was a child,'' museum manager Kazuya Kinoshita says through a translator, "his father told Ichiro's mother, 'He is going to be a great athlete. We must keep everything.' And they just kept everything.''

Part of the nearly 3000-piece collection displays the expected...the bats, balls, gloves, caps and uniforms from Ichiro's stardom with the Orix BlueWave in Japan to his history-making run with the Mariners.
And for a measly 900 yen (that's less than nine bucks to you and me), here are some of the awesomeness on display!
  • A slew of Ichiro's old toys...including Bruce Lee dolls, Transformers and a model TIE fighter
  • Ichiro's old bike (complete with damage from when dude was hit by a car!)
  • An autographed basketball from Patrick Ewing
  • Michael Jordan's shoes
  • An autographed Snoop Dogg poster
  • Ichiro's childhood retainer
  • And much, much more!
Move over Cooperstown.

  

March 22, 2012

Jose Canseco's Ex Has a TV Show Now

I'm sure Alanis Morissette would, wrongly, call this "ironic", but Jose Canseco's ex-wife Jessica is set to be part of VH1's new reality trainwreck "Hollywood Exes".

I know, not really rain on your wedding day, but it's been the former big leaguer that's been banging the Twitters night and day begging for work...not his former flame.

And how exactly are either of the Cansecos "Hollywood"?  One was in Playboy and the other, well...is Jose Canseco.

This...from Billboard.

The unscripted show, which has been granted a 10-episode order by the pop culture-themed network, stars Mayte Garcia (formerly Mrs. Prince), Andrea Kelly (formerly Mrs. R. Kelly), Sheree Fletcher (formerly Mrs. Will Smith), Nicole Murphy (formerly Mrs. Eddie Murphy) and Jessica Canseco (formerly Mrs. Jose Canseco).

"These extraordinarily strong women adjusted to and endured a lot while their ex-spouses won fame and fortune defining pop culture for that moment," said Jeff Olde, executive vp original programming and production at VH1.

"Now these women must reinvent themselves again, stepping out of the long shadows cast by their famous husbands and supporting each other as they define the next stage of their lives -- this time on their own terms," he added.

Does anyone want to place bets as to whether Jose Canseco shows up on the show?


2012 is it for Chipper

It's been hinted at, joked about and rumored...but now it's official.  2012 will be the swansong for Atlanta Braves superstar Chipper Jones.

The 39-year-old announced Thursday that this upcoming would be it.

So if you're paying attention to the "Chipper Jones Milestone Watch"...dude is at 2615 hits, 526 doubles, 454 home runs and 1561 RBI for his storied career.  Jones is the only switch hitter in Major League history to post a .300 career average (Jones is hitting .304) with more than 300 homers, and his career batting average ranks second all-time among switch hitters.

In 1999, Jones was named the National League MVP after hitting .319 with 45 home runs and 110 RBI.  He was selected for seven All-Star Games and was part of Atlanta's 1995 World Championship squad.

Now...I wonder what the girl with the Chipper tattoo has to say about this?  And will she be in Cooperstown in July 2018 when her hero goes in on the first ballot?


March 21, 2012

Eric Davis...Batting Stance Guy Part Two?

How do you know when the "least marketable skill in America" is actually marketable?

You've appeared alongside David Letterman, written a book and, if the clip below is any indication...former Cincinnati Reds superstar Eric Davis is stealing your schtick.

Ladies and gentlemen...we're through the looking glass.


But...can Davis do Batting Stance Guy?  Does anyone even know what Batting Stance Guy's real batting stance look like?

"There are some VHS tapes in existence with me standing like Ryne Sandberg in real baseball," Gar (aka Batting Stance Guy) Ryness once told me.  "In college and post-college softball I like hitting lefty like Dave Justice, or when I’m trying to go opposite field…Will Clark."

Oh, and in case you were wondering...below (at the :48 mark) is Ryness doing his Eric Davis.  Your move, E.D.!


***Fist pound to CBS Sports Eye on Baseball.***