Friend of the blog MIchael Clair (@clairbearattack), who runs one of the best baseball Tumblrs around, is running a blogathon this weekend to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. Beginning this morning, Mike will post a new, not-previously-written blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours. Tomorrow, a series of guest posts - including one from me - will go up as well.no comments
Part 2 of the baseball card set from the Terrific
GirlfriendFiancee. Part 1 can be found here.
Kitty - Red Sox
Don't promise crazy a World Series*!!! Kitty is fiercely loyal and yes, kind of crazy. But hey, if you aren't crazy you aren't living.
Say goodbye to THESE!!!!
*It sure felt that way for the past two years.
(Click "Read More" to continue reading.)
Part one of a series from the Terrific
Cubs - George Oscar Bluth- 'G.O.B'.
Cursed oldest child in the Bluth family; cursed franchise in MLB. Prone to delusions of grandeur. Can't quite pull off a World Series victory or successful illusion.
Click Read More to continue reading...
With their time in the NL winding down, the Astros have been suffering from a major case of Senioritis that recently resulted in their own Senior Skip Day. With a few nerds deciding not to participate because they smelled weird and didn't have any friends, it was pretty remarkable that the coaches didn't find out, suspend anyone or prevent anyone from graduating into the AL.
According to Jordan Lyles, the initial plan was to meet alum Jeff Bagwell by the 7-Eleven, maybe get some Subway and then head on over to Six Flags because Jeff had a cool Camaro and was a decent bro. "Also I don't have my license yet because my parents are fucking stupid," said Lyles. "Yeah, not a lot of us have cars or the access to funds that J-Bag has," said Brett Wallace. "I don't know where he gets his money. We all like to joke that he's a drug dealer but really he works at Jamba Juice. Maybe he lets the ladies touch his biceps to get those mad tips". A few Astros players nod and high five each other. "It's cool he's willing to help the guys out even though he's graduated," said Lyles. "He's a real success story, getting a job after graduation and all".
When asked about how senioritis has affected their playing, a few offered some insight. "Fuck it dude. I was supposed to be in Milwaukee today but I decided to skip and go to the Cubs game with my best friend and his girlfriend. If I had played by the rules, I'd have been in batting practice right now," said Brian Bogusevic. Ultimately, according to MLB experts, senioritis is completely normal. "It's not like the AL is going to rescind their offer and make the Astros stay in the NL. You don't see the Royals going anywhere, for example, and they've been in the AL for a long time," said an expert.
The bravado disappears and the room gets silent when the graduation ceremony is mentioned. The ache is palpable. "We've been best friends since spring training," says Altuve, "That's like 10 years in ballplayer years". It's a known clubhouse fact that the highlight of the year was the coed naked slip'n'slide at Wallace's parents house (they were away for the weekend). "We bought a few barrels of lube for the slip'n'slide and a couple kegs of Keystone," added pitcher Bud Norris. "It was awes'".
Just a reminder that there is still plenty of Wezen-Ball content going up at Baseball Prospectus every day. Just this week I wrote about the favorite activities of lesser known 1980s players thanks to Topps Big baseball cards and rooting for Matt Cain during his perfect game despite Charlie Brown's advice. There's also daily Tater Trot Tracker updates. For Father's Day, please enjoy this piece on dad's from the Terrific
I'm the oldest of four girls and we grew up in a small town where dad was known and respected. He wasn't rich or anything, just salt of the earth, honest, and a good man. He was a music teacher. In his youth, he also piloted small planes and skied a lot. He was a man of action as well. He had his challenges but who doesn't. In the end, I'm not mournful of my past but of the memories I'll never have.
Dad died in August of 1996 when I was a sophomore in college. The night before he died, I was watching Field of Dreams. He had prostate cancer but the surgery weakened his heart which was in bad shape already due to lifestyle choices and an illness when he was a child (some in the family say). As I get older, the memories fade a bit but some are strong as ever. I still remember the sound of his voice, but what I remember the most are his hands. That's because I have hands like his. I don't have man hands but I don't have lady-like dainty hands either. I have hands meant for work. I always loved holding hands with my father. He had such strong hands. They were musician hands: tough and calloused but elegant.
(Click "Read More" to continue reading.)
Just a reminder: posts are still going up regularly at Baseball Prospectus, with recents posts looking at the sad execution of a Negro Leaguer, a fantastic Richard Marx video involving Dennis Eckersley, and a comparison of search results from Google.com and Google.co.uk. There are also, of course, the daily Tater Trot Tracker posts (with the 2012 leaderboard here). This post comes from the Terrific Girlfriend, after the sad news of Adam Yauch's death. Major League Baseball might learn a thing or two from the way the Beastie Boys matured since their debut album.
I was out of sorts this weekend after hearing that Adam Yauch, aka 'MCA', and my favorite Beastie, had passed away. Hearing the news via Twitter instead of Kurt Loder (as I had when Kurt Cobain died) added to this out of sorts feeling. Kurt Loder (to me) was the Vin Scully of the MTV generation. Indeed, it made me feel a little nostalgic for when MTV played real music and was the authority on cool. I had a similar ache of sadness when Joey, DeeDee, Johnny Ramone and Joe Strummer died a few years apart from each other. I thought these guys were too tough to get cancer and die. Twenty years earlier, it was Keith Moon and John Bonham. Mostly the ache comes from the realization that we're all mortal.
On the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park's first game, here are some thoughts on the stadium - and life - from the Terrific Girlfriend (aka @ladywezen)...
When I was 9 years old, my parents took my sisters and me to Fenway Park. We didn't have a lot of money and even back then a trip into Boston for a game was still spendy. Not to mention the fact that, if I'm the oldest at 9 years old, my 3 younger sisters were still pretty young (while we were prone to mischief, we were well behaved girls) and carting your kids around, especially Boston in the 1980's, could get tiresome. I always have been, and always will be, grateful for the sacrifices that my parents made. When the Sox were in the World Series, we were allowed to stay up late (though I never made it past 8 p.m.). Even though the Sox lost, my sisters and I prolonged that season by playing "World Series" in the back yard. Somehow, "My Little Pony" and obstacle courses were involved too - which, looking back on it was rather a bit strange, but, you know what? If you don't have an active imagination, you're an idiot.
For the life of me, I want to say that it was in July that we went, but I could be wrong. One of my younger sisters got a baseball with a shiny puffy Red Sox logo on it. It was later lost and I think it was probably my fault (which truly haunts me to this day, along with losing my other sister's Barbie in the woods at Stanley Park - I was an expert at Barbie catapults). Anyway, what matters most was that it was a big deal. We sat under the Polaroid sign and we thought it was the most magical thing ever. Part of my love for "Field of Dreams" comes from the fact that they filmed it not long after our first visit so it serves as a 'living photograph' of what I experienced that day. "Field of Dreams" was also the movie I was watching the night before my father died in 1996, ten years after our visit.
In any case, my father was a forward looking kind of guy. He wanted us girls to grow into strong and independent women, to learn how to face our demons, work through problems, and conquer things bigger that we are. He wanted to teach us that age is just a number and that you're only as old as you feel. He went to Boston University in the 1960s, was a music teacher and, later, returned to school for a Masters in Computer Science in the early 90's and was working on his Ph.D when he passed away.
I don't like to hold on to memories too much or dwell on the passing of my father. However, James T. Kirk said something wise about this, "How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life". When I look at Fenway, I see my dad and what he held dear to him. Maybe it's because I think that dad is chatting up a storm with Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams in baseball heaven but I feel close to my dad again.
Just because something is old doesn't mean that it isn't important. More importantly, holding on to the past can prevent you from fully living in the present. Just like my dad going back to school because he wanted to, because he envisioned a life and future for himself. Sure, Fenway is 100 years old but, considering it's limitations, the Red Sox have done an amazing job of it and should be commended. They should also keep an eye on the future because there may come a time when the current stadium might not work anymore, but a brighter future (an undiscovered country in terms of ballpark design) may await.
I've mentioned before about baseball's romanticism of youth and going back to when we were all young and how it drives me nuts when fans bemoan certain aspects, "IN MY DAY WE PLAYED IN THE DARK!!!". Sure it's fun but really it doesn't do any good. We get older, things break, people die, but as long as we exchange our quest for a fountain of youth for one of wisdom and a desire for the future, we'll be alright. We end up staying young as a result.
Lastly, I'm grateful that I finally have more recent memories of Fenway. In 2008, my sweet fella took me on an anniversary trip. It was different than I remembered (obviously) some for better, some for worse. I never felt compelled to return until I had someone special with me. Fenway has such a deep, deep place in my heart that I didn't want to give it up for some loser. Some people feel that way about restaurants and songs, I feel that way about baseball stadiums. Although my fella and my dad had never met, being at Fenway with him felt right, that my dad was giving a cosmic stamp of approval.
So Fenway, happy birthday. Red Sox fans, happy birthday to you too. And thank you.
In the wake of the Ryan Braun news yesterday - which, if everything had been done properly, we should never have heard about - I wrote something for Baseball Prospectus looking at how badly the confidentiality of drug tests has been handled since the initial "survey testing" of 2003. In short, the players have always made confidentiality the primary foundation for their support of the program, but Major League Baseball has done little to ensure it.
Give it a read: Major League Baseball's Lack of Confidentiality.
And now for the latest post from the Terrific Girlfriend. It's a topic that I approve of whole-heartedly, even if I do think she shortchanges ol' Flopsy a little at the end there...
As you may (or may not) have noticed, Wezenlandia has been taken over by Doctor Who.
I used to watch this series religiously when I was a kid at the encouragement of my father (who was also a big Doctor Who fan). I loved the series SO much that I used to pretend that our yellow toy chest was the TARDIS and tried in vain to time travel in the back yard. I'm pretty sure I was trying to go someplace that had an amazing assortment of candy as well as an epic swimming pool. I forgot about it for a couple of years only to watch the TV movie in 1996. I have a special place in my heart for the TV movie and Paul "My Thumbs Have Gone Weird" McGann. It was the last Doctor Who that my father and I shared because he passed away later that year. I saw a few episodes of the reboot but didn't commit to it because it wasn't something that I could watch on a regular basis until we acquired BBC America, iTunes, and Netflix. There was no going back after that.
There is a certain amount of similar romanticism in both Doctor Who and baseball. You can get involved in all the timey-wimey sci-fi numbers aspects of both or look at the more humany wumany aspects. Either way, they're escapism at it's best and I think that's why people love them both so much and why they are the best that humanity has to offer itself. Sure, people make the 'return to your youth' argument, but I think they're each really about the willing suspension of disbelief that is really healthy. Plus, there's a similar level of attachment that comes with, say, your favorite 3rd baseman or Doctor. There is also a certain level of purism between baseball fans and Doctor Who fans. You have the Whovian fanbase freaking out because the Doctor fell in love with some lady while you have baseball fans giving themselves a stroke about the DH/instant replay/women wearing pants/when it was a REAL game/blah blah blah...
With that being said, I thought to myself, "what is the nerdiest thing that I could possibly do that involves both Doctor Who and baseball?" That nerdy thing, of course, is figuring out which version of the Doctor would be best at each position on the field (and in the front offices). Now, keep in mind that these are only suggestions; if you disagree, be my guest.
Oh, for those not in the know, the Doctor is from a planet called Gallifrey and is a Time Lord. If you have any other questions, that's what the interwebs are for. (Ed.'s note: Or you could watch the show - because it's excellent.) One last disclaimer, it should be noted that this information was taken from Wikipedia and edited accordingly. I have also given them nicknames, because everyone in sports has a nickname. Nicknames are cool.
William Hartnell, General Manager
The Wizard of Trades
William Hartnell described the Doctor as "a wizard", and "a cross between the Wizard of Oz and Father Christmas". This version of the doctor has been described as grandfatherly. True; I wouldn't describe Ben Cherington or Theo Epstein as grandfatherly, but I might Doug Melvin. Maybe it's the mustache and sweaters.
(Click "Read More" to continue reading.)
The Brewers begin a three-game series in Milwaukee tonight against the Mets, a team not exactly living up to its fans' expectations. Watch me talk with Ted Berg of SNYtv about the upcoming series.