May 31, 2012

This Week in Baseball Cards: May 31

I get it, the internet isn't for everyone, but c'mon...let's not fight about baseball.  That said, here's Bo Rosny with This Week in Baseball Cards.

Recently, Jon Hamm agreed to act in a movie about the pitchers from India signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. If one of the producers names seemed familiar to you, it should. That Mark Ciardi is the same one you have seven doubles of from your 1988 Topps set.


And now, back to the aforementioned "fight".  There was a bit of a Twitter flare-up this week as High Heat Stats, a site that highlights obscure baseball statistics, found my “Top Ten Ugliest Baseball Players” list offensive.

This in the same week that The Hall of Very Good posted Collin Grundstrom’s naked butt and called Sammy Sosa a zombie!

I’m the kind of stubborn jerk that if you tell me one list is offensive, you better believe the next one will be twice as offensive.

Maybe next month I’ll do “Scandalous things you did not know about the guys on your baseball cards”. For example, did you know that Lee Tunnell, that dorky looking guy from your 1986 Topps set who looks like he could only get a woman if he paid for it, was in fact busted for soliciting a prostitute in 2009?


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

Chan Ho Park Raps Now?

I have no idea who exactly this commercial is for and, frankly, I'm too lazy to look it up.

What I know is this...that's former Major League pitcher (and current Korean Baseball Organization superstar) Chan Ho Park rapping for an life insurance company.

신난다! <---That's Korean for "awesome".

Oh, and in case you're wondering how Park is doing for the Hanwha Eagles...dude is 2-4 with a 4.28 ERA in nine games.



***A tip o' the hat to Dan over at MyKBO.net.***

May 30, 2012

Happy Anniversary Ladies!

It's not one of those anniversaries that you're likely to find on your desk calendar at work, but May 30 is a pretty important day in baseball history.

On May 30, 1943, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League played their first game.

But as we famously learned in the 1992 film "A League of Their Own", teams didn't call major cities home...they initially set up shop in the Midwest, in Kenosha, Racine, Rockford and South Bend.

The league would end up expanding to include 15 teams throughout its twelve-year history and more than 600 women would play ball.  And while most of the league's history is housed in museums (there's a pretty cool one in Rockford) or in books...I'm proud to share two pictures of what was once the home of the four-time champion Rockford Peaches.

Sure, they're from this past winter...but you get the idea.


All that remains of Beyer Stadium is the box office and entrance to the ballpark itself.  There is a makeshift field, but, honestly...it's nothing special.


Hey...how about a closer view of that sign atop the box office roof!


And, yup, there's even a plaque to remind people of what once went on at the corner of 15th Avenue and Seminary Street in Rockford, Illinois.


The Bryce Harper Fathead Has Arrived!

I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with this, but, naturally...I'll gladly take credit.

Early Wednesday, after reading about some over zealous Washington Nationals fans spray painting their love for Bryce Harper on their apartment wall I wrote this:

But, before you put paint to wall, isn't there a better way to profess your love for the DC wunderkind?

The short answer. No. You can't.

I've got a feeling Fathead will remedy this soon.

And they did.  Later Wednesday afternoon...here's a comment I received.  From Fathead.

Man, you guys are good! Talk about perfect timing...Let's try Fathead search results for "Bryce Harper" one more time:  That's better! Now they can put a face to the name on their wall...

Yes!

Now, if anyone else is out there in the interwebs paying attention...I'm got some other requests.  Just drop me an email and let's talk!

Bryce Harper - Washington Nationals - MLB

Jinkies! Freddie Freeman Found His Glasses

I know what you're thinking..."we can put a man on the moon, but we can't get Freddie Freeman some decent glasses?"

Okay.  Maybe not.

Late last week, the Atlanta Braves sophomore slugger took sp,e time off due to, wait for it, "dry eyes".  I joke, but Freeman's condition is actually pretty serious.

"I keep putting myself back to square one when I put the contacts back in," Freeman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Take them out, put drops in, it’s irritating everything again, finally came to the conclusion take a few days and let my eyes rest and do the drops and hopefully that work."

Following a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies in early May, Freeman was diagnosed with corneal abrasions.  The 22-year-old said his vision had deteriorated from a prescription of 1.5 diopters in both eyes to 1.75 in his left and 2.0 in his right.

Not good for a guy who makes his living swinging at things with a bat.

And in case you were curious, Freeman was batting .298 with six home runs and 26 RBI when he left Denver.  In the 16 games after, he hit .150 with just one homer and six knocked in.

But now, dude has some custom made specs and, according to Braves beat writer Mark Bowman...he can see!


Better Than a Bryce Harper Fathead? Probably

Sure, it's not exactly "Fernandomania", but the hype surrounding Washington Nationals rookie sensation Bryce Harper is still a huge deal.

How big?  Check out the email Sarah Kogod at The Washington Post received.

I live in an apartment building with two of my buddies. The one, like me, loves Harper. The other is an O's fan and cannot stand him. Well his birthday is coming up and we decided to give him a present. We aren't supposed to paint our walls living in an apartment but that's exactly what we decided to do. So Friday while he was at work we came up with the Harper mural attached in the email and painted it while he was at work. Let's just say he was pretty surprised when he came home. He didn't even get too upset because it was priceless.

And, naturally, here's the "mural".


But, before you put paint to wall, isn't there a better way to profess your love for the DC wunderkind?

The short answer.  No.  You can't.

Matter of fact, if you head over to Fathead.com, hammer out "Bryce Harper" you're going to get the same result you would if you walked into your nearest sporting goods store and asked for a lifesized visage of the 19-year-old superstar.


I've got a feeling Fathead will remedy this soon.  I mean, if you can get Cameron Maybin decor...something tells me Bryce Harper is in the queue.


Magglio Ordonez Set to Retire

Is it just me or are more and more teams getting this retirement thing right?
So far this season, we've seen Ivan Rodriguez throwing out the first "pitch" in Texas, Pat Burrell get celebrated in Philadelphia and, most recently, that emotion end to Kerry Wood's career in Chicago.

Next in line...Magglio Ordonez.

The six-time All-Star will make his return to Comerica Park Sunday and announce his retirement before the Detroit Tigers lose to the New York Yankees.

Okay, okay, the "lose" comment might be a little harsh, but the next sentiment isn't.

Ordonez is one of those players, like Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu, that could prompt a pretty good watercooler discussion of whether or not they would get your Hall of Fame vote.

In eight of his 15 seasons, Ordonez had 20 or more home runs...seven seasons with 100 or more RBI (he actually knocked in 99 in 2003), is even more impressive when you consider he really only played ten full seasons.  Nagging injuries took their toll for a good chunk of dude's career.

But it isn't the MVP-caliber seasons (I'm looking your way 2002 and 2007) that impress me the most about the rightfielder, it's his place among his countrymen.  Of the 274 Venezuelan-born baseball players, Ordonez ranks second with a .309 career batting average and 294 home runs. He ranks third with 1236 RBIs, fourth with 426 doubles and sixth with 2156 hits. 

Not too shabby.

And last time I checked, being in the company of Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio, Bobby Abreu, Andres Galarraga, Dave Concepcion, Omar Vizquel and Miguel Cabrera isn't a terrible place to be.


John Rocker is Anti-Obama

Why is John Rocker still allowed to talk?

I tend to ask myself that every time dude shows his face and does another interview.  And, yes, as you would suspect…the former fireballer is still bringing the heat.  Zing!

I know, I know…cliché.  But, really, you’d have thought that, by now, Rocker would have realized that once Jeff Pearlman outed him as a bigot in that notorious Sports Illustrated piece thirteen years ago…he might want to keep his trap shut.

Nope.  Now he’s got a book to sell and he’s back to pushing political hot buttons like it’s 1999.

That said, it should probably come as no surprise that the one-time Atlanta Brave won't be supporting Barack Obama in the upcoming election.

"I’ll be voting against President Obama this year," Rocker recently told WND.com. "I won’t necessarily be voting for the Republican candidate as much as I will be voting against Obama."

But who the former reliever would throw (get it?) his vote behind might surprise you.

"I have always been a big fan of Newt Gingrich. He is one of the most brilliant people I have ever listened to. Unfortunately things didn’t work out for him," Rocker continued.  "It seems that Governor Romney will be getting my vote, although be it somewhat by default. I would vote for the devil himself over Barack Obama which would actually be tough though as he seems to already be a supporter."

If you’d like to check out what else Rocker had to say about Obama, immigration or the Trayvon Martin situation (the ladder is actually kind of interesting)…definitely head on over and read the interview.

Oh, and to answer the question "why is John Rocker still allowed to talk"...it's because, for some reason, we're still listening.

May 25, 2012

Former Cards Slugger Critical of "LaRussa's Regime"

Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Jack Clark is nothing if not outspoken.

In the past couple of years, "Jack the Ripper" was ousted from his gig with Fox Sports Midwest for, alledgedly, calling his former team quitters.  Not long after, he publicly blasted steroid users, calling them "creeps"...saying they have no place in baseball.

So, when Clark joined the boys over at Joe Sports Fan for their weekly podcast, it should come as no surprise that he ripped (see what I did there?) the "LaRussa Regime".

In a nutshell, Clark (who now works with KTRS in St. Louis) is critical of LaRussa for not allowing any of the 80s Cardinals players to associate with his squad, firing longtime team personnel and hiding steroid use by bringing in his own medical staff.

Tony was responsible for a lot of the cheating that went on.  And, as a result, he hid it with his own medical people.

I've gotta hand it to Matt Sebek and Josh Bacott for getting "the Ripper" to open up.  Sure, Clark is never really shy, at out call one of the game's greatest managers a liar.

Ouch.

Click below to be taken away to a land of wonderfulness!  The juiciest stuff starts at the 33:30 mark. 


The St. Louis Streaker is on Twitter

By now you've seen video of the flapping ding dong that raced across Busch Stadium Thursday night.

Unless, of course, you got your news from KSDK who, for some reason...added cargo shorts to the St. Louis Streaker. 



***UPDATE: According to Punching Kitty, the photos weren't Photoshopped, dude was given shorts. The videos don’t show that however.***

But here's my favorite part of the whole ordeal, the streaker (real name...Collin Grundstrom) is on Twitter.

Okay, okay...that's probably not really the guy's account, but this one is

Oh, and Grundstrom's last, and probably the most prophetic thing he's ever written.

Just deactivated my facebook

Probably a good idea.

Something tells me that when this thing is all said and done...Grundstrom won't get the same love that scrappy squirrel did last season.

Hakuna matata, bruh.


May 24, 2012

Top Ten Ugliest Baseball Players

Let's face it, not all baseball players are destined to be named Sexiest Man Alive by People or make a GQ's Best Dressed list.  Some are destined to be, well...not.

Frankly, it's lists like the one below follows that really help you get through the day.  And feel better about yourself.

Today, I present to you, from the warped mind of super card collector (and Hall contributor) Bo Rosny...the Top Ten Ugliest Baseball Players.

10.  Rob Mallicoat
That tiny mustache isn't helping anything.


9.  Rafael Ramirez
He should never be allowed to open his mouth. Ever.


8.  Ralph Citarella
Another one who can’t keep his mouth closed. And are his eyebrows shaped?


7.  Johnny Dickshot
His nickname was "Ugly". Also a candidate for the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame.


6.  Jeffrey Leonard
Nicknames got more creative by the 1980s. His was "Penitentiary Face".


5.  Willie McGee
If there was a Hall of Fame for ugly he would be a first-ballot HOFer.


4.  Aaron Harang
The first zombie in the history of Major League Baseball.


3.  Andy EtchebarrenYou don’t have to grow a Johnny-Damon like beard to look like a caveman.


2.  Don MossiEven if his ears weren’t as big as dinner plates, he’d still be one of the ugliest ballplayers of all time.


1.  Tyrone Hill
He’d be a good-looking guy if not for that eye.


As always you can follow Bo over at his site Baseball Cards Come to Life.

May 22, 2012

Caleb Lloyd...The Accidental Ballhawk

Right place.  Right time.  Twice.

That about sums up the night Cincinnati Reds fan Caleb Lloyd had Monday at Great American Ball Park.  But what exactly did the 20-year-old college student do?

Dude only caught back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning as his Reds knocked off the Atlanta Braves.

"I was blessed to catch both of them," the Cincinnati native told annoucers during the game.  "I couldn't believe. Right now, I can't believe it's happened. It's some kind of dream."

I couldn't agree more...but how did that dream come about?

"The first one, I actually barehanded.  I caught it and it like bounced off the palm of my hand, and I just reached out and grabbed it," Lloyd said.  "The second one bounced behind me and bounced right into my lap."

Naturally, I had to ask my buddy, fellow baseball fan, ballhawk and author Zack Hample what he thought of Lloyd's accomplishment.

"There's really not much to say. It's was just an oddity of probability and statistics, and he got incredibly lucky," Hample said.  "There were lots of fans around him, and he played the ricochets well.  Baseball is beautiful and weird/awesome things happen all the time...I'm happy for him."

But, the big question is...would Hample have been able to pull off the feat?
"If I were at this game, I wouldn't have snagged either ball because I would've been sitting several rows back where it was emptier," the author of Watching Baseball Smarter responded.  "Funny how things work."

Anyway you slice it, Lloyd's night was pretty incredible.  As incredible as, say, what Tim Anderson pulled off last season...that's not up to me to determine.

 
 

May 21, 2012

Jose Canseco Continues to Not Disappoint

Are you like me...were you ecstatic to find out that Jose Canseco had gotten another chance at pro ball when he signed a one-year deal to play for the Worcester Tornadoes?

It guaranteed us all at least another year of  "Cansecomaniacs" getting their fill of Canseco infused shenanagins.

Well, sometimes, the punchlines write themselves.

According to Deadspin, the embattled former slugger has hit on "about a half dozen" female employees aged 19-23 at a Worcester restaurant he's been frequenting.  Apparently, Canseco even slipped his digits (below) to a 19-year-old hostess.

Jose Canseco Is Striking Out With The Young Women Who Work At A Restaurant In Worcester, Mass., Too

So has he been striking out?

"Not even a foul tip," says the Deadspin tipster, "just straight swinging through."

I'm not sure what's worse...dude trying (and failing) to score some ass in person or trolling for it via Twitter.

And since you're wondering (you weren't), the former American League MVP is batting .188 through four games so far this young season.



Cincinnati Reds to Honor Chipper Jones

When I heard that Chipper Jones was retiring I was worried that he'd be subjected to the hackneyed "farewell tour" gifts every time he came to town.

And, well, I was right.

But, the Cincinnati Reds are doing it different.  And this, well, this...I like.

According to The Outside Corner, the Reds will be putting a "jewel" on the side of all of the bases celebrating Jones' career. And when the series is over, the Atlanta Braves superstar gets to take one home with him.

The other bases will end up in the Braves and Reds Halls of Fame.

There's no word yet on what "The Girl with the Chipper Tattoo" is planning on doing.

chipperbase