December 27, 2012

Pint-Sized Pence Is Just As Manic

Back-to-back Hunter Pence posts?  Yeah...I know.  And they've got the same picture.  For that...I apologize.

Full disclosure.  I was looking for embeddable video of Pence's homage to Ozzie Smith from Wednesday when I found some fresh clip of a young San Francisco Giants fan doing his best impression of the wild-eyed outfielder.

Looks like my boy Gar Ryness better watch his back, because this young buck (smart money is that his name is either Connor, Aidan or, yes, Hunter) has got Pence's on deck hysterics figured out.



Hunter Pence Flips Out

Hunter Pence was wasted in Houston.

Hear me out.

When you look at the stat line, the outfielder was pretty darn good during his five-year tenure with the Astros, but that's not what I'm talking about...dude was just a name.  We knew precious little about him. 

And in a game where character matters...he was wasted.

Seriously, think about it. Jeff Bagwell is only getting about half the attention of the Hall of Famers voters because of, well, PED uncertainty and where he played. This year, it's possible Craig Biggio and his 3000-plus hits might suffer the same fate. Both are more than qualified for Cooperstown, but both are being seemingly ignored, because, I'd contend, we know little about them.

So, yeah, I'm not about to put Pence on the same level as either one of the "Killer Bs"...it wasn't until recently that we have been able to crack the nut that is Hunter Pence.

First, there was the chatter about his inspirational speeches during the Playoffs.

Then, it was his appearance on "Conan".

And, most recently, the end credit roll from the San Francisco Giants World Series DVD.

But, now...well, now there's this.

Over at MLB.com, there's a video of Pence apparently celebrating Ozzie Smith's 58th birthday Wednesday by doing, you guessed it, an Ozzie-style backflip. But what is most impressive is this..."The Wizard" came in at 5'11" (many say shorter) and 150 pounds.

Pence is 6'4" and listed at 220.

I'll embed the video when I can, but until then...CHECK IT OUT HERE.

December 26, 2012

Shin-Soo Choo Dropped From Roster

With the World Baseball Classic just around the corner, it is kinda cool to see how the rosters are shaping up.

That said, the South Koreans shook things up Wednesday by dropping one of their most popular players.  This coming just weeks after the newly inked Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu announced he would not be participating.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, recently acquired by the Cincinnati Reds from the Cleveland Indians, asked to leave the team so he could, like Ryu, concentrate on preparing for life with his new club.

However, the guy replacing Choo is no slouch.

Taking his spot will be A-Seop Son from the Lotte Giants.  The 24-year-old led the Korean Baseball Organization league in hits with 158 in 132 games and was third in batting average with .314.

The World Baseball Classic gets underway March 2.

Former All-Star Released From Prison

It's the kind of Christmas story that makes absolutely no one (probably) all warm and fuzzy...former big leaguer Ugueth Urbina has been released from prison.

Wait, you didn't know the two-time All-Star was in prison? Let me get you up to speed.
 
Urbina was arrested by Venezuelan police in 2005 after he allegedly attacked five farm workers with a machete. Yes, a machete!  To make matters worse (if they can be), he then attempted to set the five guys on fire.

The one-time closer, who denied his involvement in the attack, was sentenced to 14 years, but, now, well...he's out.  The kicker...dude is, according to reports, throwing in the 90s.

Now, will there be a team ballsy enough to sign the 38-year-old?

Urbina led the National League in saves as a member of the Expos in 1999 and stacked up 237 during his Major League career. In 2003, he was a member of the World Champion Florida Marlins.


December 24, 2012

Terry Bross Award Winners

Oh...Christmas!  In a matter of hours, you'll have come and gone and left a bevy of holiday-related posts in your wake.

And, yeah, The Hall has been guilty of that in the past as well.  Thankfully, this year, that's not how The Hall's baseball card expert Bo Rosny rolls.

Below are the 2012 winners of the Terry Bross Award, named for the ten most porn-star-sounding names of guys on a baseball card.

Why Terry Bross?

The undistinguished former New York Mets pitcher is now an agent, and used porn star Bibi Jones (best known for her pictures with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski) to recruit potential clients like Dan Uggla, often sleeping with them to help “seal the deal”.

And not a Steve Christmas in the bunch.

10. Mark Beavers
Minor Leagues, 1986-1989


9. Kevin Bootay
Minor Leagues, 1984-1989



8. Randy Butts
Minor Leagues, 1986-1988


7. Johnny Dickshot
Pittsburgh Pirates, 1936-1938; New York Giants, 1939 and Chicago White Sox, 1944-1945


 
6. Doug Fister
Seattle Mariners, 2009-2011; Detroit Tigers, 2011-2012


5. Woody Held
New York Yankees, 1954-1957; Kansas City Athletics, 1957-1958; Cleveland Indians, 1958-1964; Washington Senators, 1965; Baltimore Orioles, 1966-1967; California Angels, 1967-1968 and Chicago White Sox, 1968-1969



4. Randy "Big Unit" Johnson
Montreal Expos, 1988-1989; Seattle Mariners, 1989-1998; Houston Astros, 1998; Arizona Diamondbacks, 1999-2004; New York Yankees, 2005-2006; Arizona Diamondbacks, 2007-2008 and San Francisco Giants, 2009



3. Rusty Kuntz
Chicago White Sox, 1979-1983; Minnesota Twins, 1983 and Detroit Tigers, 1984-1985


2. Pete LaCock
Chicago Cubs, 1972-1976 and Kansas City Royals, 1977-1980


1. Dick Pole
Boston Red Sox, 1973-1976 and Seattle Mariners, 1977-1978



Who'd we miss...who is your favorite?  Let us know in the comments below!  And as always you can follow Bo over at his site Baseball Cards Come to Life.
 

December 21, 2012

Who's On First?: The Sequel

Whoever said "you can't improve greatness" wasn't watching "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" Thursday night.

Fallon and friends took on the classic Abbott and Costello routine and, well, knocked it out of the park.  Yeah...I know.

Enjoy.


December 20, 2012

Derek Jeter Phones Slain Teacher's Mom

I've made mention before that I'm not the world's biggest fan of the New York Yankees, but, man...it's hard NOT to like team captain Derek Jeter.

And dude just keeps making it harder to say anything bad about him.

Victoria Soto, the young 27-year-old teacher who died last Friday in the Sandy Hook shootings was, according to everything written about her, a huge fan of the Yankees and, well, Jeter found out.

"Vicki loved the Yankees...that was part of her eulogy," her cousin James Wiltsie told the New York Daily News.  "No one in the family reached out, so (Jeter) must have heard about it and ... reached out.  It was a surprise and unexpected. (Victoria's mother) spoke to him for quite some time."

There aren't any details about what the two discussed, but, honestly...do we care? 

All we need to know is that the future Hall of Famer is a class act.


December 19, 2012

R.A. Dickey Ruined Christmas Apparently

National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey is taking some heat and it's not for anything he did on the baseball field.

You see, Dickey was recently at a New York Mets holiday party that was designed to benefit some of the victims of superstorm Sandy when, what he calls, an "informal press conference" broke out and the knuckleballer was asked about potentially leaving the city he was out there trying to help.

He was not pleased.

And with trade rumors swirling, you can't really blame the guy for getting upset.  I mean, you've gotta think that the guy was there to do what he does...be charitable.

"I feel badly about using a time such as that to become emotional," the 38-year-old pitcher told the New York Post.  "I want to apologize for that because that was not the venue, necessarily, to do that. That was the wrong place. It was an unfortunate situation. I wasn’t ready for what was about to happen. That’s my response."

Oh, but it turns out that the guy DID have something to sulk about.  Just days later, the Mets sent the guy packing...sending him north of the border to the Toronto Blue Jays.

But don't feel too sorry for Dickey.  Dude is under contract with the Jays for $5 million in 2013, but recently inked a two-year extension worth five times that amount.

Merry Christmas.  I'll let you do the math. 


December 18, 2012

Dale Murphy's Kids Are Still Banging the HOF Drum

A couple of weeks from now, the whole "is Dale Murphy a Hall of Famer" discussion will have been shelved until he hits the Veterans Committee ballot.

But that isn't going to stop his kids from making as much noise as possible for their father.

Eldest son Chad reached out to the BBWAA, another son, Taylor, started up a petition and daughter Madi typed up an exclusive piece for this site!

Now, brother Tyson has joined the family business in trying to get the two-time National League MVP some well deserved recognition.

Tyson, an artist for Blizzard Entertainment inked up a pretty cool Christmas gift for his Dad.  And, as luck would have it...dude shared it with the internets this past weekend.

I wanted to do a quick and fun doodle for my dad for christmas.  It’s his last year of eligibility to be voted into the Hall of Fame, and my 7 siblings have started quite the offensive to speak up and make a case for him, after 15 years of silence. some recent articles/interviews/petitions:   here, here, here, etc.    I’m a bit of a black sheep in the family, as my professional sports knowledge is nil, and my athletic prowess is nonexistent.  Most people are surprised to hear that my artistic side was actually fostered and encouraged by my Dad, but that’s just the way he’s always been with me.   I’m not smart enough to argue his career, his numbers, or to compare him to other players (I only know a few others), and I can only remember bits and pieces of his career.  But I remember perfectly sitting in our art room in Georgia, tracing the outlines of our feet onto planks of wood, whittling sticks and bars of soap on the back porch, admiring my dad’s doodles that he would do of all our names, and carving our initials into trees as we tried to hunt bats with our BB guns.    I don’t know if he’ll get in the Hall, but… it really doesn’t matter to me.
(click HERE to make bigger!)
 

Wade Boggs Shows Off His Skills

Oh. My.

If there is one lesson to be learned from Wade Boggs being captured by the Oklahoma City Thunder broadcast team Monday night, it's be careful what you do while on camera.  Except, well, it appears as though the Hall of Famer has no shame when it comes to his dancing prowess.

Who says white guys can't dance?  Could "Dancing with the Stars" be in his future?!?

Oh, lifetime .328 hitter apparently shook his groove thang (seriously?) well enough to lead the Thunder to victory.  OKC beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-93



Former Pitcher Makes Eerie Prediction Before Death

Nearly a month after sustaining head trauma in a motorcycle accident, former big league pitcher-turned-Christian talk show host Frank Pastore has died.

KKLA-FM, the Los Angeles radio station that has been the home of the Frank Pastore Show since 2004 made the announcement on its website Monday.

As many of you are aware, Frank Pastore was in a motorcycle accident Monday night, 11/19. Gina Pastore informed us that in the early afternoon of Monday, December 17, Frank passed away. We will update you with any additional information as soon as it is available. Please continue to pray for Gina and the family.

On the night of the accident, the popular show host made an eerie, perhaps even prophetic, comment when discussing life after death with a guest on his radio program.

"He often talked about this because he was a Christian philosopher," Gina Pastore told the Christian Post following the crash. "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."

Just hours after making that comment, the 55-year-old Pastore was reportedly struck by a car while riding his Honda Shadow.

As a big leaguer, the righty compiled a 48-58 record and a solid 4.29 ERA.  He pitched in 220 career games over eight seasons...seven of which were with the Cincinnati Reds.


December 14, 2012

Pete Rose's TV Show Has an Airdate

Move over Honey Boo Boo...here comes "The Hit King"!

Yeah, I know...I know.

Anyway.  Pete Rose has a new show starting up on TLC and now...it's got an airdate.

“Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs.” will follow the life of the baseball legend and will focus on the relationship between the hits hoarder (see what I did there?) and his fiance Kiana Kim.

Are Rose's kids accepting of his relationship with the former Playboy model?  Do Kim's teenage children like Rose?  He lives in Las Vegas...she lives in Los Angeles.  Can the two manage a long distance relationship?

Who can possibly answer all these questions?!?

You can find out Monday, January 14 at 10:00pm (EST) on TLC.  Set your recorders now.


December 12, 2012

Fan Cave Dweller Witness to Deadly Rampage

You remember Benjamin Christensen, right?

Sure, you do.

Christensen is the bearded Oregonian who, thanks to his many tattoos (he has all the Major League mascots inked down both sides of his body) and overall baseball knowledge, spent half his summer in the MLB Fan Cave.

The self-proclaimed "tattooed dude" and Oakland A's fanatic is far removed from his life as a Cave Dweller and back home working retail at Just Sports at a mall outside Portland...and on Tuesday night, things got downright real.


You guessed it.

The Just Sports that Christensen works at is in the Clackamas Town Center Mall, the shopping center that, on Tuesday, became a deadly scene...leaving three dead and multiple people injured.

And the baseball fanatic, smartphone in hand, Twitter account open, had a front row seat to the mayhem that was unfolding around him.

"It was a mad scramble once everyone realized it was gunfire they were hearing. I did my best to get as many people inside and out to safety," the 29-year-old told The Hall exclusively late Tuesday night. "I never thought I'd be in the middle of something so chaotic."


 

December 11, 2012

Jose Canseco is Podcasting Now

If you think about it for a second...how did this take this long?

Just in time for whatever holiday it is you celebrate this time of year, Jose Canseco has announced that he is starting up his own podcast...appropriately called "Canseco Knows Best".

Frankly, I couldn't be more excited.

What's the format going to be?  Are the podcasts going to be like his "video blogs" over at steroid.com are something similar to what he did this past April with The Champs?

Or will it be something completely different?  Only one man knows for sure...and only Speak Away Broadcasting has the balls enough to put the former big leaguer behind the mic.

And, no, I've never heard of it either.

But here's the second best part (the first part being the podcast itself), Canseco is hitting up his Twitter followers (all 485,000 of them) for help.


Baseball fever, gang...catch it!


Yankees Ink Kevin Youkilis to One-Year Deal

It wasn't long after news of Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery made headlines that the baseball world began to speculate about Kevin Youkilis joining the New York Yankees.

Well, speculate no longer.

According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal...the third baseman will be joining the Bronx Bombers having just inked a one-year, $12-million deal.


The 33-year-old split time last season with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox, hitting .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBI.

Naturally, the world is waiting to see what Scott Youkilis has to say.  You'll recall that when the deal went down sending his brother to Chicago..."Chef Youk" had a little bit of a social media meltdown.

December 10, 2012

Dodgers Addition Goes Gangnam Style

Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers broke the proverbial bank when they added free agent pitchers Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu to their already bloated payroll.

But they only made one go "Gangnam Style" during his first photo shoot with the team.

Seriously, is that how we welcome a Korean-born baseball player to the Majors?  I can't imagine that dude donned the Dodger blue, sat down, voluntarily broke out the make believe lariat and told photographers that he was ready for his close up.

Ugh.

How soon until pitchers and catchers report?


Roberto Alomar Loves the Number 12

It happens all the time. 

The calendar hits a certain date and people go out of their way to attach some sort of meaning to it.  October 10, 2010 (10-10-10) was "Binary Day", July 7, 2007 (7-7-07) was a day for luck and, of course, May Fourth is "Star Wars Day" (think about it).

So, what do you do if December 12, 2012 is around the corner and 12 is your "special number"?

Well, if you're Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar (and you spent your big league career wearing the number 12), you get married...no matter how cliche it sounds.

"Kim and I couldn't be happier that we are wedding on the date 12-12-12...my special number," the former Major Leaguer told the website Terez Owens.  "Kim is my love and my life."

¡Arriba!