Archive for March, 2014

GIF: That Curveball Fernandez Just Threw to Tulowitzki

The author, whose loving mother is talking at him without cease even as he writes these words, won’t belabor the point — which point is that the very excellent Jose Fernandez just threw a curveball to strike out the also very excellent Troy Tulowitzki.

Here’s, for example, one slow-motion GIF of that curveball:

Fernandez Tulo 1

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Hopeless Joe’s Players of the Week

1. Casey Janssen. Placed on the DL yesterday, after recovering enough from his earlier injury to appear in back-to-back games and not be able to have his DL stint backdated. Janssen will be replaced as the Blue Jays closer by Sergio Santos, who will likely never give the job back, costing Janssen millions of dollars as he goes from “proven closer” riches to “fungible reliever” pennies.

2. J.P. Arencibia. At least as a backup he had a chance of small sample size lucking him into nice-looking stats that would make it seem like he still knows how to hit the baseball. As a starter, less likely.

3. Daisuke Matsuzaka. 25 Ks in 23.2 spring innings, and a ticket to AAA. At least it’s Las Vegas. Then again, last time I was in Vegas, someone stabbed me in my hotel bathtub and stole my kidney. (Joke’s on them– that wasn’t my kidney.)

4. Bobby Abreu. Too young for the Phillies. Oh well. Rumored to be offered a minor league deal by the Mets, which makes him particularly unlucky this week.

5. Mike Jirschele. 36 years in the minors and now he gets to be a coach… for the Royals. Maybe Hopeless Joe should be Hopeless Mike. (Serious note: if you haven’t read ESPN’s piece about Jirschele and his journey, do that now. Best piece I’ve read all month, at least.)

Status Update: Phil Irwin’s Luminous Curveball

Phil Curve

On more than one occasion last spring, the present author published in these electronic pages a love letter from deep within his own self to Pittsburgh minor-leaguer Phil Irwin’s curveball — making note of that pitch’s “wild eroticism,” for example, or its capacity to provoke religious experience.

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The Cabrera Outrage, In Context


The Tigers, as you know, signed Miguel Cabrera to a very long contract for a very large amount of money, and while I don’t think it’s the epic mistake of titanic proportions that most of the Internet seems to, I have to admit that it will almost certainly not look good by the last 3-4 years of the deal. But I think as long as TV revenue keeps rising and the Tigers keep putting butts in the seats of Comerica Park (acknowledging that their ability to compete might be hampered by the extra long and expensive Cabrera extension), it won’t be a disaster for the club.

But as I hinted above, the majority feels like the deal is an atrocity somewhere between the rollout of SimCity last year and Idi Amin’s reign in Uganda during the 1970s. Nobody, however, has taken the news harder than the anonymous executives who have been talking to Buster Olney, who would also like you to know he is the victim of your racism.

These executives, according to Olney, are “appalled,” “disgusted,” and “aghast” at the Cabrera contract. This is kind of a higher level of moral outrage than I would expect from around a league that continues to say nothing about the continued employment of Josh Lueke. For let us not forget that, while Miguel Cabrera has been given all of MLB’s money, taking it from the starving mouths of the children of MLB’s owners, who only collectively earned $450 million in revenue last year, Josh Lueke raped a woman. Just so we’re clear, this is the reference scale to tell your run-of-the-mill outrage from that which inspires anonymous MLB executives to trip over each other to get to Buster Olney and titter and gossip away like a cast member of The Hills: Read the rest of this entry »

Season’s Greetings! Opening Day as National Holiday

So, it appears that various humans of the seamhead breed are spearheading a decidedly ’Murcan crusade: namely, to secure Opening Day as a national holiday, thus positioning the day of the inaugural overpriced hot dog alongside such perennial classics as Thanksgiving, Easter and Shark Week.

Frankly, this seems an effort worth fighting for, and fighting hard, perhaps with bleeder nunchucks and mind-control tactics not unlike those on The Manchurian Candidate. Why? It’s not just because we’ll all get a day off from the steel mill. It’s also because we’ll get a really big parade! And parades are what we Americans do. Mostly for the exercise, because of all the sitting.

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Bryce Pudding?

The Washington Post discusses Bryce Harper’s diet. Mostly healthy, except:

“I mean, I’m not perfect,” Harper said, laughing as he sat in the Washington Nationals’ dugout this week. “I eat ice cream all the time. Outside of that, I’m going to be smart.”

Clearly, a Ben & Jerry’s opportunity here. So… what should Bryce Harper’s flavor be?

1. Bryce Pudding. Vanilla ice cream with a rice pudding swirl and cinnamon-fudge-coated raisins.

2. Sugar ‘n Bryce. Sweet cream ice cream with gingerbread spice cookie chunks and an eye-black lico-Bryce swirl.

3. Bryce Cream Cake. Cake batter ice cream with red, white, and blue Washington Nationals uniform-color cake bits and a buttercream frosting swirl.

4. Bryce Krispie Treat. Vanilla ice cream with a marshmallow swirl and chocolate-covered Rice Krispie Treat chunks.

Okay, now I’m hungry. Someone please help make this happen.

Dadaist Scout Reveals Brief Excerpts from Notable Reports

One of these men is the literary heir to Andre Breton and Tristan Tzara.

It has recently come to the attention of the present site that one of the major leagues’ 30 organizations has within its employ — for reasons that aren’t immediately clear, but remain entirely praiseworthy — has a scout who submits reports of a distinctly whimsical nature.

While not at liberty to reveal the identity either of that scout or the organization to which he belongs, there are indications that the work of that scout, however surreal, exerts some influence over the organization’s decision-making.

What follows, exclusive to this site and thanks to the generosity of the unnamed orgnizations are brief excerpts from reports that this Dadaist Scout has filed within recent years — all of them (i.e. all the excerpts) relating specifically, in this case, to the sound certain players produce when the ball comes off their bat.

The Sound off Miguel Cabrera’s Bat
Is like a weedwacker committing patricide.

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Man Parlays Admiration for Corey Kluber into Goods, Services

Earlier on Thursday, the Cleveland Indians announced via Twitter that they would reward the fan who could most ably document his or her enthusiasm for the club with two opening-day tickets for Progressive Field’s so-called Social Suite. (Approximate retail value: $348.06.)

The official rules for the contest are decidedly robust, both in terms of Legal Verbiage and Capitalized Nouns. Here’s a mostly relevant excerpt, however:

The object of the Contest is to create and post an original photo showcasing your Tribe Town pride (the “Entry“). You must post your Entry via a public tweet as directed by @Indians (the “Club Account“), and include the hashtag #TribeTown (the “Hashtag“) in accordance with these Official Rules to be eligible. Staff members of Cleveland Indians Baseball Co. LP (the “Judges” or “Sponsor“) will select the most compelling Entry in accordance with these Official Rules and based upon criteria set forth in the Judging section below to determine the Winner.

Generally speaking, this is the sort of thing at which the present author — whose entire person is refined and mannered — might consider snubbing his nose. “Let the common people fight over the scraps,” I’ve maybe said aloud once regarding this sort of public relations effort. “Allow them to conduct their affairs like some manner of cog in some manner of machine,” I’ve maybe proclaimed in a cartoonishly patrician and entirely affected accent, not unlike the one utilized by late cartoonish patrician William F. Buckley

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There’s a Dirty Joke in Here Somewhere


Come on, Temple, think. There’s a dirty joke in here somewhere. Come on! It’s posting time, gotta put something out there. This is an easy one. Think!

What, are you guys filming a porn in … no. That sucks. You can do better.

I bet your mom would like a hot blast of … BULLSHIT! This isn’t a rap battle between eighth graders! People will read this! OK, OK. Take a step back, let’s try to be a little more subtle.

Perhaps the gentlemen is merely practicing for when he comes in contact with a comely lady whilst on shore leave … OK, now you sound like Dayn Perry but with an even bigger learning disability.

You’ve written 259 posts for this site, not to mention the two that had to be taken down. You need to focus. Cistulli won’t put up with this when the season starts. BE. CREATIVE. YOU. PRICK.

Let’s deconstruct this. A guy is blasting something. There’s white stuff. The liquid is hot.

Hey, this team stinks enough as it is. Now I have to get a bukake … is that right? How do I not know what bukake means? Better Google it to make … JESUS CHRIST!

Screw it. Not posting today. I’ll come back tomorrow with fresh eyes. This is going to bug me, though. There’s a dirty joke in here somewhere.


Astros Rumors: Appel Working on “Teleball”


KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Leaking out of Houston’s spring camp this week was the news that top draft pick Mark Appel is perfecting a never-before-seen pitch — one that could do no less than revolutionize the sport, say awed observers.

“It’s insane,” said a source, who preferred to remain anonymous. “He controls the ball with his freaking mind. It rises up out of his pitching hand and floats to the plate on its own. He’s already getting all kinds of movement on it — now he’s working on spins. Once he’s got it down it’s going to be completely unhittable.”

Though Christy Mathewson was said to be secretly working on such a pitch in his later years, no pitcher is known to have successfully executed it in a big-league game.

“Leave it to the Stanford kid to pull this [stuff] on us,” said the source, who claimed that during practice Appel had struck out 37 consecutive batters, and then “willed” a ball into Jose Altuve’s pants.