Friday Fellow: Mike Trout

PhotobucketMe upon seeing Mike Trout on the cover of our newly arrived SI this week: “My gawd, Mike Trout has NO NECK.”

Bee Jr., age 11: “It makes sense, Mom. His name is Trout. Fish don’t have necks.”

You can’t script this stuff.

Seriously, you guys, Mike Trout’s story has been an exciting one to watch this season: a bright spot on an inconsistent Angels team, an adorable first time All-Star appearance (he loves Derek Jeter, so he’s alright in my books) and absolutely sick numbers. Consider this analysis courtesy of Bill Chuck over at Billy-Ball:

There are only three players who finished their season with over 20 doubles, over 20 homers, over 30 steals and a batting average of .340 or above.

Mike Trout is at all those levels and soon he will be able to add scored 100 runs.

Now that’s swoon-worthy! So are these photos! I’ll ignore that he just turned 21 on August 7. Continue reading

Hit and Run: Time Flies Edition

Since the Cardinals played the Opening Night game on ESPN this year, on actual Opening Day I had my pick of games on MLB.tv.  By the time I got home from work, the Indians and Blue Jays were tied in the 9th inning. “Oh, I’ll just watch this quick dramatic conclusion,” I thought.  Then it turned out to be the longest Opening Day game ever played.  It went on so long, in fact, that the benches for both teams saw a lot of work.  Which brought in Omar Vizquel. Who yesterday turned 45.

A longtime Indian now with Toronto, Vizquel got a warm round of applause from the Cleveland fans both when he was first inserted as a defensive replacement, and later when the game went on long enough to give him an at bat.  In an MLB where players my age are now considered on the far side of their prime, and where many of his contemporaries are now mangers, Vizquel’s longevity is both remarkable and jarring.  (Related: Chipper Jones turned 40 the same day. Chipper. Jones. is 40.)

Other sports news properly introduced with “it seems like only yesterday….”

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Your wait is over.

The rotation that will haunt our dreams. (AP Photo)

High socks. Eye black. Dusty mounds. Cliff Lee. Baseball is back for reals, and we at Ladies… couldn’t be happier. Many of us have spent the last few days figuring out how to weasel out of whatever we’re going to be up to at the time our respective favorite teams are playing. Me? TWO HOUR MEETING when Mike Mussina throws the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium. How am I supposed to sneak my phone in to listen to the game? ARGH! (although Games Mistress told me there was lots of rain expected in New York Thursday, so I may get my wish after all.)

It’s Opening Day for these Ladies… faves. Let’s see what they’re up to today:

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Hit and Run: Old Faces, New Places Edition

The Yankees played their home opener on Tuesday afternoon and a lot of the local media coverage in the city focused on the huge ovation for former Yankee Hideki Matsui, who received his World Series Ring as a member of the visiting Angels. (There was also an impromptu group hug with his old teammates, which you can see about to happen in the picture above.)  Granted, I’m not a Yankees fan, but I live in New York and I’d completely forgotten where Matsui had ended up.  And he’s not the only familiar face showing up somewhere new in the first weeks of the new season:

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AL and NL Championship Series Predictions

I still can’t believe that the championships series are already here. But I’m certainly not complaining. October is the best sports month, and you can quote me on that one. The NLCS started last night and hopefully the ALCS will start later tonight. As long as the weather behaves. I’m particularly happy about the ALCS this year. The Yankees have actually made it out of the first round. Now there is just one problem: They have to face the Angels. The same team that they are NEVER able to beat. Well the Red Sox ALWAYS beat the Angels and we all know how that changed last weekend. So hopefully the Yankees can finally get over that hump. I know it’s stupid logic but let me have it. I’m scared about facing the Angels!

OK I am done with my rambling about the Yanks. Let’s take some time to congratulate the teams still in. And we ladies… will make some predictions. Continue reading

Fail.

Whatever Rhoden is smoking, he’s welcome to share.

Still, what Major League Baseball needs is a great World Series, a Series for the ages. And with all due respect to those two other potential matchups, it’s a Yankees-Dodgers World Series that could take the game back to its roots at a time when baseball desperately needs to recover a portion of the trust, if not the innocence, that it has lost in the steroid era.

Really.

Huh.

Interesting.

Very.

Look, we’re not naive. We know someone on every team, if not most uber-successful players, at least dabbled in PEDs. Ramirez was dumb enough to get caught, and Rodriguez was dumb enough to think that because MLB promised to destroy the 2004 test results they actually meant it. Ramirez served his time, and Rodriguez got to eat crow in front of the whole nation. It’s over.

But baseball needs to be saved from itself and the whole steroids mess with…a World Series featuring players who featured in two of the biggest steroid-related stories of the last twelve months? That makes the kind of sense that’s not.

You know what would save baseball from itself and the whole steroids debacle? A steroids testing and punishment program with teeth. A great series between teams who have figured out how to play small ball and long ball. Hell, just give me some good baseball.

But this? Laughable example of head-up-your-ass New York homerism at best, whitewashing the serious offenses of the steroid era at best.

Surprise, Surprise

Since Monday is almost over and your writer is way under the weather, I’ve decided to go with one of my favorite things to do – CAPTION THAT PHOTO!!

The defending World Series champs just took the NLDS in 4 games moments ago, defeating the Rockies 5-4 after a .  This brings to question the possibility of a Mets fan’s worst nightmare: a Yankees vs. Phillies World Series, but it also made for some incredibly interesting photos to caption.  Take your pick from either the title pic or the choices after the break in congratulations to the postseason victors and have fun!

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Congratulations, Division Champs — Oh, Wait.

So, we got that exciting September baseball after all, huh?  It’s been a while since I followed a baseball game that didn’t involve the Cardinals during my work day, but I was definitely keeping tabs on the first half of that doubleheader.  In between actual work, of course.

In fact, with the Dodgers’ stubborn refusal to clinch their division title and the Braves’ surprising surge against the Rockies, all of a sudden we’re entering the final weekend of the regular season with a few playoff spots not quite settled.  Still, let’s take a minute to congratulate those teams who have already clinched their division — because if there’s anything we here at Ladies… like better than pictures of athletes, it’s pictures of athletes celebrating.

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Magic Number Check: AL Edition

For the last few weeks, over at my favorite Cardinals blog, Viva El Birdos, Will Leitch has been tracking the team’s magic number by highlighting a past or current Cardinal player with the corresponding jersey number. Today’s number, for example, is Ozzie Smith.

Earlier in the week, I was hoping I’d get to write a congratulatory post, but then we had to go and lose to the Astros yesterday; the earliest the Cards can clinch the division now is if the Cubs lose to the Giants tonight, but I live on the East Coast and this post is already late as it is.  So since I looked at the NL races last week, I thought I’d steal borrow Will’s idea and apply the player number countdown to the AL races.

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Theme Thursday: It’s Still Baseball Season

This weeks theme is NOT: bunnies, pancakes, or unusual habadashery

This week's theme is NOT: bunnies, pancakes, or unusual habadashery

Congratulations to Stacey, last week’s winner!  (You can still submit a theme if you want, Stacey!) So we Ladies have gone a little football crazy over the last week or so, but there’s still a lot of baseball action going on right now — which is the inspiration for this week’s Theme Thursday.  I’m running late putting this together, so let’s get right to the good stuff, shall we?

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In Which I Point Out That Someone Has Done Something Awesome

If you haven’t already, go read this article from Beyond the Box Score.

IT MAKES STEPS TOWARDS QUANTIFYING CATCHER DEFENSE.

TOO COOL.

Still unquantifiable: Erick Aybars socks.

Still unquantifiable: Erick Aybar's socks.

Yes, that’s a random photo. But it’s a neat image. So there.

Try to survive the night.

(Aaaaahhhhh someone is quantifying catcher defense!!!)

Oh, and, uh, guys? I promise I’ll say something interesting over the weekend. Just a thought to get you excited for my upcoming angry ramblings and rants: Who do you think is having the best season? Andy LaRoche, Jason Bay, or Manny Ramirez?

The Last Time Your Team Won it All: Baseball Teams

world-series-trophy

I got the idea for this post when I was talking to my friend about the last time the Yankees won the World Series. It’s almost going to be nine years, but nine years isn’t that long. If I ever complained about a nine-year World Series drought to a Cubs fan, I would more than likely get a smack in the face…and it would be completely warranted.

However, when I think back to where I was the 2000, it seems like ages ago. The last time the Yankees won it all I was a freshman in High School. It feels like I graduated from H.S. ages ago; forget about actually being a freshman. The bottom line is we all follow our team with one goal: to see them win it all at the end. Don’t get me wrong, you can still enjoy the season, but you are never fully satisfied unless your team is the last one standing. Unless you root for the Phillies, Red Sox or Cardinals, the last time your team won it all can seem like a lifetime ago.

So let’s take a little trip down memory lane and see what life was like the last time your team were World Champions. Sorry to all Washington, Milwaukee, Houston, San Diego, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Texas, and Seattle fans. You need to have won at least one to qualify.

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The All-Star Break Called…

MP_BaseballThere’s a magical thing that happens every year after the All-Star break… the Yankees start winning!  In an attempt to summon those W’s into our current state of affairs, I thought we’d explore a little all-star action… Ladies style of course!

Earl Weaver would not be happy with our depth at certain positions, but I can’t help that hotties gravitate towards center field and the pitchers’ mound!  There has to be some scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

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Weekend Roundup: Cutie Clutch Plays Edition

Pink Bats

This weekend surely proved to be a very exciting one in sports, what with all of the finals going on and some serious slugging. One major note to make is that BRETT FAVRE IS REMAINING RETIRED even though the Vikings are still interested, and of course, Manny has apologized to owner of the Dodgers Frank McCourt (next step: apologize to team mates). Here is a quick roundup of this weekend’s big plays, accompanied with the gorgey gents that made things possible… Continue reading

The Ladies … Pick the Postseason (Baseball Edition)

AP/Mark Avery)

Will anyone take the Angels out? (Source: AP/Mark Avery)

October is my favorite sports month of the year, mainly for two reasons.  We’ll talk about the second one next week.  This week, I switched days with SA so I could start October off right: talking about postseason baseball.

This is the first time in many seasons I have not had a clear favorite in either league.  I kind of think people are forgetting about the Angels, though, just because they clinched their division ages ago.  So my picks for the postseason are:
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Bringing The Heat: Anaheim Angels

The latest edition of Bringing the Heat takes us to the left coast with the Anaheim Angels*. And I must say that I’m disappointed in them. There are no real hotties on the team. Sure there are some cute guys, but no smoking hot pieces of ass that you want to spank. Maybe Bill Stoneman need to take a cue from his counterpart up in Oakland and learn to draft some good hot players.

Despite that, the Angels are already in control of the AL West, with a 5 ½ game lead on Seattle, 6 ½ lead on Oakland, and a 16 game lead over Texas. Oakland is a notorious second-half team, but I wouldn’t blame anyone if they called this division done for. And with that said, on to the cuties from Anaheim.

*I refuse to call them that fucked up name their owner gave them.

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