Sunday, April 30, 2006

What Keith Said Just Now.

Right now, in the second inning of the Braves-Mets contest, there was a shot of a little boy in his Little League uniform and sitting with his grandmother. She was shaking a carton of Goldfish crackers into his cupped hands, whereupon Keith Hernandez said,
"Are those Goldfish crackers? At the ballpark?"
And then his play-by-play partner, Gary Cohen, goes,
"Well, they have sushi at the ballpark in Anaheim, I understand."
And then Keith goes,
"Yeah, that I understand. But Goldfish?"
Has he been saying stupid shit like this all this time and we should be taking whatever he says with a grain of salt? Or maybe an entire salt shaker? Or did Keith run out of blow and he's been using the foul lines and the batter's box as a poor substitute?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

1982 Topps #210

Keith Hernandez was a terrific first baseman back in his day. He was an 11-time Gold Glove winner, the 1979 National League co-MVP with Pops Stargell and a 5-time All-Star who smacked a shitload of doubles and took a shitload of walks, the kind of player the Lyle Overbays and J.T. Snows of the world aspire to be. But when Mike Piazza high-fived some chick in the dugout after a home-run during the Mets-Padres game last Saturday night, broadcaster Keith broadcasted:
"Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What's going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout."
When he was informed that the chick was the massage therapist for the Padres and a member of the training staff since 2004 and therefore, was player personnel, Keith was unfazed, saying,
"I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout."
But then he tried to laugh it off and be all like,
"You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there - always have."
Naturally, this kind of cements his already-cemented reputation of being a dickhead blowhard, pun intended of the "blow" part of the word "blowhard." He famously feuded with Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog over his coke habit, which presumably led to being traded to the Mets for some guy named Neil Allen and some other guy named Rick Ownbey, where Keith would top even Doc and The Straw by setting a team record in 1986 for Most Blow Blown in a Single Season. He was also nicknamed "Mex" despite his non-Mexican heritage, is a spokesman for Just for Men hair products (which, it should go without saying, women are not allowed to use) and once put Jerry Seinfeld in a very uncomfortable position by asking him to help him move even though they barely knew each other.

As of blog time, the team has reprimanded Blowhard Hernandez but has yet to officially fine or punish him for his remarks and I'm also pretty disturbed by the 39% of readers who actually agree with him. Padres manager Bruce Bochy, who expressed incredulity that her gender was even an issue, certainly isn't one of them and really, it should go without saying that so is the rest of the free-thinking free world. I mean, it's not that he crossed the line because there really isn't even one to begin with, although that's probably because Keith already snorted it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

You can't just turn on Ichiro like that and leave him unsatisfied.

Schilling leaves Mariners all wet.

Red Sox Nation is also creaming their jeans after his 3-0 start with a 1.64 ERA and 1.44 BAA.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

1971 Topps #2

In an era that was full of them, Dock Ellis was the ultimate counter-culture athlete. To retaliate for a moonshot home run at the All-Star game five years earlier, he beaned the great Reggie Jackson in the face, resulting in Mr. October being carried off the field on a stretcher. He wore curlers in his hair during pre-game warm-ups, which infuriated Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn to no end. On May 1, 1974, because he refused to be intimidated by The Big Red Machine like the rest of the National League, he set a Major League record for consecutive hits batsmen to start the game by pelting Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Dan Dreissen in the top of the first inning. The next batter, Tony Perez, managed to dodge Ellis's headhunting and draw a walk, scoring The Gambler, and Dock would throw two more pitches directly at Johnny Bench before being lifted by his manager. But for all his antics, that doesn't even come close to what he once accomplished to begin a doubleheader one afternoon in 1970.

The most significant events in the history of Man, in chronological order as well as more or less in the order of its importance are:
  1. The Birth of Christ - December 25, 0000
  2. The Death of Christ - Friday, 0033
  3. Man Walks on the Moon - 1968 or '69 or so.
  4. Ellis throws a no-hitter under the influence of LSD - June 12, 1970.
I'm not sure if people can really understand and appreciate the difficulty of accomplishing something like that under those circumstances. Hell, when I'm under the influence, I forget how to watch TV, let alone pitch a ballgame. To clarify, remember back when us kids used to stuff our faces with hallucinogenic substances during Little League practice and then proceed to shag flies and play pepper? Wasn't that absolutely difficult as hell? Now try picture doing the exact same thing only during an actual major league game. Against actual major league hitters. And then you end up throwing a no-hitter. Granted, it was one of the more sloppy no-hitters in Baseball history, with 8 walks and a HBP. But still. Throwing a no-hitter while tripping your ass off? I wish I could eloquently explain just how Dock found himself in such a position but others have beaten me to it, like this terrific piece that appeared in the Dallas Observer last year, or, if you're the illiterate type that can only handle a couple simple paragraphs, these guys also have an effective, abbreviated version. Either way, I, for one, simply cannot fathom the exhilaration Dock must've felt on the mound that day.

Look, I don't want to seem like I'm promoting recreational drug use but everybody knows that parties are more fun when you're drunk, the love you feel for your friends when you're on estasty can literally make you weep with joy and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is actually tolerable when you're stoned. Delivering a no-hitter on acid? I'm sorry, but next to literally walking on the moon, that has to be among the single greatest feelings any human has ever felt in civilized civilization, however artificial.

Dock Ellis claims to have never pitched a major league game without the aid of substances, mostly amphetamines. But in a day and age when all a player has to do is grow out a grizzly beard to be considered a rock star, Dock's punk rock aesthetic and brutal honesty about the sociological nature of Baseball is severely missed. And because Fate sometimes appreciates irony more than Irony herself, Dock Ellis now works as a drug counselor for the Victor Valley Penitentary in California.

Monday, April 10, 2006

What Alex Said the Other Day.

The Yankees are in last place at 2-4 right now as Boston's dashing and brilliant decision to hand the closer's job to Jonathan Papelbon (who has already saved 3 games) over Keith Foulke has contributed to a quick 5-1 start. It's worth noting that Foulke's contract calls for a $7.5 million option for 2007 to automatically vest if he finishes 53 games this year so this move might have every bit to do with cash as it does with winning baseball games. It's also worth noting that the Yankee pitching and hitting, Pythagorean-wise, is on pace with Boston so far but anyway, whatever, did you hear what Alex said the other day in the New York Times?
When they give you lemons, you’ve got to make lemonade, and when they give you oranges, you’ve got to make orange juice. Tonight, we tried to make tomato juice out of lemon juice or something. It just didn’t work out. I don’t know if that’s a good quote.
Actually, Alex, yeah, that's a great quote.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I had no idea civil rights leaders were nostalgic for Jeff Kent.

Jesse Jackson: Bonds needs protection.

Well, of course. Opposing pitchers will just keep walking Barry unless he has a good hitter behind him.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

1976 Topps #101

Or as the French are wont to say, "Pierre the Penis."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Philadelphia is still Phtupid: The Sequel.

It really oughta be the third installment, since I was too caught up in catching Coco's train to Boston to discuss its byproduct, the Jason Michaels-for-Arthur Rhodes deal.

But 28 year-old Jon Daniels, the new Texas Ranger wunderkind GM, has masterminded some sweet deals this off-season, trading overrated hacktastic malcontent Alfonsoriano for run-producing machine Brad Wilkerson, which is already starting to gray some hairs on Jim Bowden's crown, now that Alfonsoriano has rightfully bitched about having to learn a new position so close to Opening Day. Daniels managed to convince Philadelphia to give him Vincente Padilla for nothing more than a PTBNL. Granted, Padilla is no Pedro Martinez. He's barely Pedro Astacio. But he is a useful pitcher for a team that has little choice but to throw shit against a canvas, see what sticks and hopefully get lucky enough that some of the shit won't stink. This time Jon Daniels has sucker-punched the Phillies once again by giving up outfielder David Dellucci for Robinson Tejada, plus nepotic prospect Jake Blalock.

What's especially curious is that the Phillie's starting pitching is a mess and Tejada was a rare bright spot for them last year. After Jon Leiber and Brett Myers, really, who's left? Can they count on Gavin Floyd? Or Ryan Madson? Or Cory Lidle? Or, God forbid, Ryan Franklin? Now, I like Dellucci. I like Dellucci a lot. But if the Phillies wanted a fourth outfielder, then why didn't they just keep Jason Michaels instead of giving up a much-needed arm for Dellucci? Not to mention that A) J-Mikey can hit lefties unlike Dellucci, giving Chuckie Manuel less reason to play him and B) with recent acquire Aaron Rowand, a center field platoon is far, far less necessary than it was last year. Where is Dellucci going to find at-bats? It just seems like such a waste of a good bat, a decent arm and a bench spot, especially when they already have International League MVP Shane Victorino. It's just all so phtupid. Phtupid phtupid phtupid phtupid. By the way, if you haven't already, you may as well get used to me busting on Philadelphia because it's going to go on all season long.

Oh, hey, look, a dead horse. I'm going to go beat it.