Sunday, October 31, 2010

New York Yankees Sign San Francisco's C.F. Wall To Undisclosed Deal

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees, despondent over their early exit from the 2010 MLB Playoffs, have made a bold move to begin their off season, signing the centerfield wall of the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park yesterday. The terms of the deal were undisclosed, as San Francisco's Wall is still in post season play.

C.F. Wall makes a game saving play
against Texas 2B Ian Kinsler in the
fifth inning of Thursday's Game 2.
Wall, fresh off denying Ian Kinsler a homerun in Game 2 of the World Series, was praised by Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman as being a veteran presence in the outfield, citing it's 10 years of outfield experience that instantly puts it second to only Lance Berkman on the Yankees active roster of players who have spent time in the outfield.

At 8' tall, Wall would also become the tallest player ever to don Yankee pinstripes. His playing weight of 2.8 tons would put him second only to Cecil Fielder. Wall stands on the verge of greatness as the Giants are leading the World Series 2-1 over the Texas Rangers. Wall almost had a ring in 2002, but the Giants fell victim to the Anaheim Angels.

Giants players were shocked about hearing the news, especially coming in the middle of an exciting World Series pitting two teams that have not won a championship in five decades, despite having smaller payrolls than some of the baseball juggernauts like the Yankees. 

"Wait, what?" San Francisco centerfielder Andres Torres was quoted as saying upon learning of the deal.

"Can they do that?" Giants manager Bruce Bochy asked. "I'm pretty sure they can't do that," he added.

The Giants projected OF for 2011; center field alley
and the bleacher crawl space are considered "in play."
Giants players were not the only ones shocked upon hearing the news. The Texas Rangers themselves had hopes of signing Wall to a deal in the off season, and many players expressed their dismay upon hearing the Yankees had beaten them to the punch, much as the Rangers had signed All-Star Cy Young winning pitcher Cliff Lee when the Yankees seemed all but certain to land him.

"Mother fucker!" Ian Kinsler exclaimed.

The move leaves the Giants scrambling in the off season to find a replacement. The team has stated it's short term plan is a series of lawn chairs, but until they are able to sign them, for now, any balls that roll under the superstructure of AT&T Park's centerfield bleachers will be considered in play.

The news reverberated through out the league. Longtime Chicago Cub Ivy Confines, hoping to end his long and fruitless association with the franchise, was unavailable for comment, but was reported by sources close to him as "inconsolable."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Classic Fall

It is amusing to me that the 2010 World Series is being heralded as an end to futility for one franchise. One team has had an extended drought in the World Series since betraying their fans. One team out of the Lone Star state has never made an appearance in the Fall Classic since their inception. 

Sound familiar? That's because it's been done before, in 2005. Fifty years of futility? PLEASE. Try being a White Sox fan. (Better yet, sell your soul and start following the Cubs if you wanna know about futility.)

I don't get why there is such a big deal being made about this. The White Sox had gone 88 years (longer even than the Boston Red (Sad) Sax) since their last title, and no one made as huge a deal about it. They disappointed their fans back in 1919 by throwing the World Series against the Reds. The Houston Astros had never been to the World Series in their franchise history (43 years). So this has been done before.

So now, the Giants (who disappointed their fans by moving to San Francisco) or the Texas Rangers (who haven't been to the WS in 50 years of existence) are poised to break one of their futility streaks. It's been done. Will it ever be done again, though?

The only two teams left that have not made the World Series are the Washington Nationals and the Seattle Mariners. Normally I'd have to give the edge to the Mariners to make it. But on the other side of the equation, the longest droughts in each league are the Cleveland Indians (1948) and the Chicago Cubs (1908). And there's no WAY the Cubs will ever win the WS again, so I'm gonna have to say it'll be the Indians vs. Nationals in 2015, if the pattern holds. You heard it here first.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Baseball Mini-Musing

As a Cablevision subscriber, I was cheated out of watching Lincecum and Halladay battle it out. The NLCS taken from me by the dueling greed of both Cablevision and Fox, I have only the TBS held ALCS to tide me over. But the TBS crew is killing me. Ron Darling sounds exactly like James Woods, to the point where I keep forgetting it's not him.

Am I alone in this?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stickin' It To The Evil Empire

The New York Yankees don't want you to know about the letters written by George Steinbrenner to the author of this blog. So, of course, I'm here to draw as much attention to it as possible.

Because fuck the Yankees, not in the way George wishes he could have fucked this old lady, but in the way that the Yankees are fucking this author who wants to publish a book.

Sounds like we may have the answer to why George was always such a ball breaker; he had a broken heart. Poor widdle Georgie.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baseball Fever (Warning: Symptoms May Include Umpire Blindness)

It's October again, and the Baseball playoffs are in full swing. I haven't done a baseball wrap-up since... (checks archives) 2007?!? Sorry folks. In 2008 I had a personal stake in the playoffs (my White Sox lost in the Division Series, and I got lost in my girlfriends eyes shortly thereafter) and in 2009, well, honestly, who wants to hear about the Yankees anymore?

Here we go!

The National League

It's good to see the Giants rise out of the NL West, which is baseball's Parity Nirvana; of the six divisions, no other division has had every team makes the playoffs since the inception of the Wild Card (except the AL West, but really, with only four teams, it's a mathematical certainty that your organization makes the playoffs at least once in 16 years). In fact, the NL West has had every team make the post season at least once within the past five years (the Padres now have the longest NL West playoff drought at an agonizing 4 years). Meanwhile, The Phillies dominated the NL East, the Reds snuck up on the rest of the NL Central, and Atlanta is back for the first time in five years, becoming the first NL East Wild Card since the '03 Marlins, who went on to win it all. But what does this all mean, Pee-Wee? I don't know. Let's find out together!

NLDS - Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds

Philadelphia Phillies (97-65, NL East Champions)

Bid-nizz as usual, biotch.
Philadelphians haven't let their recent baseball success (4 straight NL East Division banners, two-time defending NL Champions, 2009 World Series Championship rings) go to their heads. Deep down, they are still the same misanthropic thugs they have always been. Their fans cheered when Michael Irvin suffered a neck injury in a game against Philly. They shoot flare guns into the stands at Eagles games. Eagles fans attacked broadcasters with snowballs. They attacked Santa Claus, for Christ's sake. They throw food, pour beer, and pelt people with just about anything they can get their little cheesesteak-grease-coated hands on if that person dares to cheer for another team. Phillies fans threw batteries at a visiting J.D. Drew for refusing to play for them out of the draft. Oh, yeah, and this guy. Roy Halladay started the series out with a no-hitter, and Roy Oswalt got picked up by his offense (and the fact that Bruce Dreckman knows whether or not Chase Utley got hit with a 101 MPH fastball than Chase Utley (you blind dickfuck)) so the Phillies fans have their brooms (and braggadocio) out. Unless a miracle happens in Cincy (twice, and again in Philly) the Phils will go on to the NLCS.

Cincinnati Reds (91-71, NL Central Champions)

Aroldis Chapman left his home in Cuba,
where he worked as a long range deterrent 
to outside invasion of Cuban airspace 
The Reds are such a random team. They haven't made two straight playoff appearances since 1975-1976. They will put together a string of fourth and fifth place finishes, and then suddenly pop up in the playoffs once a decade. But their extended failure might finally pay off, as they have built up a solid young core in Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, Edison Volquez, Johnny Cueto, and Mike Leake. Oh, and Aroldis Chapman can throw 105 MPH. As Jake Taylor once said,  "If it hit you, it'd leave a two-foot hole comin' out." If they can keep these guys together, the Cards and Cubs might have a hard time wresting the NL Central back from the Buckeye State. Speaking of Bucs, the Pittsburgh Pirates are hoping that the whole extended failure paying off thing works as a template. (Philadelphia currently leads the series 2-0.)

NLDS - San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves

San Francisco Giants (92-70, NL West Champions)

Lincecum's 2011
Topps® Baseball Card
It came down to the last day of the season, but the Giants won the pennant, the Giants won the pennant, the Giants- sorry, I was momentarily transported back to 1960. The Giants have made the playoffs for the first time since the Barry "Big Head" Bonds era. But who are these people in San Francisco? Everyone knows Tim Lincecum's name. They know the hair, thanks to him being the cover-boy of MLB2K9 and those insipid commercials for it. They know he has nasty stuff and a nickname of "The Freak." But who else do they know from this team by more than name? Barry Zito? Pat Burrell? Aubrey Huff? Surely this isn't the sexiest team in terms of marketability, but they are getting it done. Between Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants may put an end to the rotisserie buffet that the NL West crown has become (4 different champs in 5 years (Sorry, Colorado)). They need someone to his 30+ HR every year to become as dominant as the Giants of old used to be, but rookie phenom Buster Posey could be that someone, and you can't sleep on Pablo "Kung-Fu Panda" Sandoval. (No, literally, you can't; the bastard's huge, you'd roll right off.)

Atlanta Braves (91-71, NL Wild Card)

Braves Manager Bobby Cox gets ejected for arguing
balls and strikes in his 85th season as Braves skipper
The Atlanta Braves finished 2nd in the NL East by merit that the other three teams apparently forgot to apply for re-instatement this year. Seriously, there were big rumblings in the Nation's capital with the arrival of savior to all mankind rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg, but he went down and so did the Nats. The Mets collapsed yet again under the weight of their own uselessness, and who can ever tell what the Marlins are doing? These aren't quite your father's Braves, and it's a sad statement when your catcher hits 21 HRs two years straight and leads your team in HRs two years straight. The Braves have added something old (Derek Lowe, Derrek Lee) something new (perennial Braves fan MVP write-in Jason Heyward) something borrowed (Melky Cabrera, Nate McLouth) and something blew (Wagner's oblique). Will they send retiring manager Bobby Cox off on a joyous honeymoon, or will they be a bridesmaid yet again? (series currently tied at 1-1). 

The American League

The Rays seem to be the new power in the AL East, and Boston may have fallen into another 86 year long slump (one can only hope). The Yankees are in the unfamiliar position of being the Wildcard for just the second time in the past twelve years, but they have already put the Twins to sleep. The Rangers, meanwhile, come out of their eleven year hibernation to rise from the dreck of the AL West with the apparent strategy of stockpiling as many catching prospects as possible. Why does Minnesota even bother being a scrappy low-budget winner if they are just going to fold like origami in the post-season? Choke artists.

ALDS - Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers

Tampa Bay Rays (96-66, AL East Champions)

The Tampa Bay grounds crew, used to making things neat
before horrific events, help clean up after the BP Gulf Spill
Four years ago, this would have been a battle for choice draft position. But these are not the Rays of four years ago. Even though Major League Baseball and the Umpire's Union seem to want the Rays out of the playoffs, they hung on in Game 3 to stay alive, and as of this report, are putting it to the Rangers in Game 4. They have found great success since finding religion taking the "Devil" out of their names. Will they divinely help heal the hurt that BP put on the Gulf area? Are they equipped to make it all the way back to the World Series? Will America survive the rematch of the most boring World Series match up in recent memory should they face the Phillies? Stay tuned.

Texas Rangers (90-72, AL West Champions)

DH/RF Vladimir Guerrero's
Social Security checks have
recently been ruled to not
impact the Texas Ranger's
 salary cap for 2010.

Texas rose up from a mediocre division to be the least convincing AL West Champion since the last time they won the West (1999, 88-74). Someone had to win the division, and Seattle, Los Angeles and Oakland all decided to suck. They have not won a playoff game at home in forever, and Josh Hamilton is hungry to prove that his MVP worthy season was not a flash in the pan. They have young rising stars in Elvis Andrus and pitcher Tommy Hunter, three potential all-star catchers in Jarrod Saltalamaccia, Max Ramirez, and Taylor Teagarden,  solid players entering their prime in Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, and they actually pulled a Yankees on the Yankees and stole Cliff Lee out from under their noses! They join together with the ancient one, Vladimir Guerrero, who has been around for so long that when he started, Arizona only had Spring baseball, the Nationals were still in Montreal, and the Los Angeles Angels were still in California. Could this finally be the Rangers year? (Texas leads the series 2-1).

ALDS - Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees

Minnesota Twins (94-68, AL Central Champions)

Minnesota Origami Twins Joe Mauer
Morneau. Cuddyer. Punto. Kubel. Minnesota players have the dumbest names, both past (Hrbek) and present (Plouffe). It's not limited to baseball either (Favre). They are like the annoying nerdy cousin who you have to play with because he has no other friends and your mom orders you to. They are the lucky prick that everyone hates because things just work for them. Lost your closer for the year? No problem; use a couple of schmuck relievers to patchwork it together. Your DH has a season ending concussion? No sweat; Jim Thome just happens to be looking for a job. You gave up a 9 game lead to fall three back of your division rivals in a month and a half span? Relax; Jake Peavy doesn't need that right lateral muscle in his back. The Twins are the definition of lucky pricks who fail when it really counts.

New York Yankees (95-67, AL Wild Card)

Unidentified Yankees prospect uses
Jedi mind trick pitch on Twins Mauer
The Evil Empire stumbled a bit this season, but they managed to get into the playoffs, beating the Red Sox by 6 games to get the AL Wild Card. Despite winning 95 games, the rabid Yankees fan base seem to think that this season is somewhat less of a success than last season, when they finished 1st in their division for the 45th time in franchise history. With the Boss now a mouldering corpse preserved in Padre Pio-like pristineness, his sons Hal and Hank are tasked with continuing the winning tradition of the Bronx Bombers. Having lost the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, they had to settle for the likes of C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, and rely on the bats of such role players as Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter. Nick Swisher, who barely batted his weight in 2008 with the White Sox, has decided to hike up his skirt and perform like a man for once, hitting a career high .288 for the Yankees. (Yankees win series, 3-0)