Hit and Run: Oh, it’s hockey playoff time, is it? I hardly noticed.

Photobucket

If you guessed 87 as the number of minutes the Pens spent in the sin bin Sunday, you'd be terribly close. (Photo: Getty Images)

You can blame the Leafs’ freefall from playoff contention on this, but I’ve been suffering from hockey fatigue. And so, you’ve been without an NHL Playoff Preview, and for that I apologize.

It seems I haven’t missed too much actual hockey, if the Pittsburgh-Philly series is any indication. The Flyers took a commanding 3-0 lead in the quarterfinal series with an 8-4 win Sunday over the Pens, a game highlighted with more Pier 6 brawls in a single afternoon than I’ve witnessed in recent memory. Someone want to remind Crosby that he should be using his stick to score goals, not whack Bryzgalov’s glove? Ugh. Thankfully, there’s a nice cooling off period for these guys – they don’t meet again until Wednesday.

Because good things come in threes, there’s three Game 3’s happening tonight: the Rangers are in Ottawa, Boston visits Washington and San Jose hosts St. Louis. Each series is tied 1-1.

Now let’s talk baseball…after the jump. Continue reading

As delicious as a third steak

Here’s a little treat on your Good Friday. New Era, the company that brought you the brilliant Alec Baldwin-John Krasinski series of ads (I watch this one whenever I need cheering up), have launched an all-new rivalry featuring Nick Offerman and Craig Robinson. Yes, friends, Ron Swanson and Darryl Philbin, together at last. Sort of.

It goes without saying that this ranks highly on the Lady Bee Pyramid of Greatness. But I just said it anyway.

It’s Real Baseball!

OK, so it was somewhere between 3 and 6 am in North America and if you were in Oakland you couldn’t watch anyway, but the first official pitch of the MLB season happened in Japan yesterday.  Then they went ahead and played a whole game.  The Mariners won. Breakup the Mariners!

Behold some pictures of yesterday’s action:

Seattle did not bother sending their broadcast team all the way to Japan (a fact you may have noticed if you watched the part of the MLB.tv stream where they bitterly talked about how "all the people who got to go were SO excited about it."

Continue reading

Sports Developments That Don’t Make Me Want To Throw My Laptop Against The Wall

Let’s see, my beloved Sooner women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker Tuesday, then yesterday there was You-Know-Who to the Jets, oh, and you might remember my boyfriend’s a Saints fan… it’s been a frustrating sports week.

Here are three things making me happy.

1. Brittany Griner and the Baylor Women’s Basketball Team. I suppose I should hate them since they smoked my girls twice this year, but they’ve smoked everyone this year (at 36-0, their margin of victory was in the single digits only 4 times; 3 of those victories were over Tennessee, UConn, and defending champion Texas A&M).  The Bears, and star player Brittany Griner, are so good that you can’t help admiring their skill.  I know accusing ESPN of bias is nothing new, but let’s just say that if this team had “UConn” on their jerseys we’d be hearing a lot of “Best Women’s Team Ever” talk out of Bristol.  Do yourselves a favor and check out one of their tourney games in the next couple of weeks.

Continue reading

Guess Who Else Is Back?

Photobucket

First I hyperventilated. Then I started to cry. Then I had the presence of mind to read the news and call Mr. Bee. And after that, I couldn’t get anything done at the office for a good 45 minutes. Friends, ANDY PETTITTE HAS COME OUT OF RETIREMENT TO SIGN A ONE-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACT WITH THE YANKEES. Continue reading

Five For Friday: Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Arse Edition

Photobucket

Why am I so happy when my NHL team is in 12th place? That picture should give you a hint. Five for Friday after the jump, y’all… Continue reading

Hallelujah, A.J.’s gone! So why do I feel guilty?

Photobucket

(Photo: Mike Carlson/AP)

The Yankees weren’t exactly making a huge secret out of the fact that they were shopping A.J. Burnett this offseason, so none of this came as a huge surprise to me. What actually surprised me was that a team was willing to freaking take him. So thank you, Pittsburgh Pirates, Good Samaritans of Major League Baseball, for being willing to give up a couple of prospects and a milk crate of batting practice balls knowing what you are getting into. Because even though this is going to cost the Yankees nearly 20 Raul Ibanezs, it is worth not worrying which pitcher will show up every five games: Good A.J. or Bad A.J.

So why do I feel bad about this? Continue reading

Ladies…Book Club: The Baseball Codes


The Mariners’ pitchers and catchers reported last weekend (I guess they need lots of extra practice), almost everyone else reports this weekend — baseball is almost back but we’re still a few weeks from even exhibition game play. Never fear, I have the perfect book for those of you who need a real-game-action-fix now: The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow with Michael Duca.  (The book was released in 2010 so I’m a bit behind. Blame my brother who “meant” to get me this as a present last year, then never got around to sending it to me. He did get me two books this year, of which this was one.) Most baseball fans know of the existence of most of these rules, but few realize how far some players go to enforce them — nor how saturated the day-to-day business of the major leagues is with the business of teaching, following, enforcing, and (as sometimes proves necessary) breaking these unwritten codes.

Continue reading

Celebrate and remember Pat Burrell, a pillar of this site

Pat Burrell is retiring, which means this site now has to exist in a world without him. Ladies… without Burrell is like Seinfeld without Jerry, like a flower without petals, like Grady Sizemore without that one coffee cup. Just…totally naked, but in like a really sad way.

According to Google, the Ladies… have written about Pat Burrell 118 times. By no means is that the most we’ve ever covered a hottie of sport (paging Tom Brady, Ryan Lochte, etc.), but he is a part of the very fiber of our collective heart nonetheless.

In most of the rest of this post, we'll forget he has a face, too.

Continue reading

Five for Friday: My favourite move is SUNSET ARMS!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

My brother lives in Calgary and attends a bunch of Flames games. I'm a little jealous right now.

Yeah, I think I just started another new feature. Here’s five favourite things that got me through the week, and a thing or two that I’m looking forward to this weekend: Continue reading

Cool Sports Stuff You Probably Didn’t Get for Christmas

There were a lot of sports-themed gifts given in my family this year. I received a set of Cardinals pens and my first official Jets shirt (right at the time when I was most mortified to be a Jets fan, but that’s another story), my boyfriend received a few Saints items, and a lot of orange changed hands among the 3/5 of my immediate family who attended Oklahoma State.

But, as often happens, it was only this week that I discovered a few awesome sports related items that I really wish I’d known about in early December.

Continue reading

Our fave sports moments of 2011

PhotobucketYour TV, radio and internets are being bombarded with Year In Review posts and specials as I type this. Well, guess what? It’s no different here at Ladies… We took a few moments this week to reflect on our favourite memories of this past year. Some will be hilariously obvious, others may surprise you. All of them will make you warm and fuzzy, like a delicious flute of champagne.

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 21

Unfortunately for me, there is a bit of a dearth of yumminess on the Brewers. Its such a shame, really. But one of the completely underrated cuties is backup catcher George Kottaras.

Honestly, the absolute best thing about Kottaras is his accent. He’s Canadian and while he’s been playing in the MLB and minors for awhile, every once in awhile the Canada comes out it and its great. You can hear some of it when he answers the second question in this video

He’s also of Greek descent and is fluent in Greek – so there’s always that chance he’ll whisper sweet nothings in your ear and take you for fabulous vacations on Crete.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, Kottaras hit one of just two cycles in Major League Baseball this season.

Follow the jump to peak in on this Canadian cutie

Continue reading

What if Jeter isn’t the only one with gift baskets?

Thank heavens for the New York Post. Without them, how would he know that Derek Jeter sends his single-serving ladyfriends away with gift baskets?

*not actually a true story

He used to give out t-shirts. True story.

But hey, trends spread like wildfire in baseball. By now, stars all around the game are in the post-booty gift basket game. Step into my office; I’ll show you the baskets I’ve been able to unearth so far.
Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 13

Continuing on my second year football men trend, I accidentally stumbled on this adorable gem in my photo research for yesterday’s ACoH Ryan Mathews.  I have to be honest – I’m not really a Broncos fan, so I sadly missed wide receiver Mr. Eric Decker up until now.  If you’re familiar, you will certainly enjoy the abundance of photos I have collected.  If you aren’t familiar yet, just thank me later ;)

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness: Day 11

It’s my turn to be a complete homer. So much of a homer, in fact, that many of these photos are my own handiwork. Today’s hottie is Manuel* Pina, a catcher in the Royals’ system who caught a few games in the Majors last season.

Manny Pina sure is attractive.

That hair...

*He’s listed everywhere as “Manny,” but a little old bird told me he hates being called that.

Continue reading

Advent Calendar of Hotness 2011: Day 3

OK, y’all. I try not to be too much of a homer for ACoH, but surely I am allowed one Cardinal — especially this year.  So, I hereby appoint as Day 3 ACoH your 2011 World Series MVP, David Freese.

Continue reading

Five treats you won’t find covered in chocolate tonight*

* in some cases, we wish.

1) Your World Series MVP David Freese

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionLadies, we have a new favourite on the blog to swoon over, and it’s this guy – yes, GM, we’ll wrestle you for him. David Freese also won the NLCS MVP, hit .397 in the postseason, broke a bunch of records, and came through in the clutch. But it’s his humble nature that teammates like Pujols and gals like us love.

But wait, there’s more in our treat bags…

Continue reading

In Which Baseball Drives Me Actually Insane

Guys! He needs to wear that tonight!

Somewhere in the middle of the ninth inning last night, I realized I was clutching a sofa cushion to my chest and rocking back and forth.  Then Freese tripled with two outs and two strikes and I threw back my head and cackled.

It was about then that I realized baseball had succeeded in driving me mad.

Continue reading

On Friendships and World Series

Five years ago today, I was sitting in front of my TV when my phone rang.

“You’re watching?” my friend Susan asked.

“I’m watching,” I said.  “I had to stop knitting because I’m too nervous. We’re going to win the World Series!”

“I’m so happy for you,” she said.  “Even if the Tigers are going to lose.” (At the time, Susan lived in Michigan and knew a lot of Tigers fans.)

Susan was one of the first people I met at college, and the very first girl friend I ever had who cared about baseball.  When we arrived at college in 1998, my Cardinals were inching excruciatingly slowly towards the end of a decade long funk that happened to coincide with my entire baseball fandom to that point.  Susan’s team, in the AL, was better, winning their division twice in three years, albeit only to get swept out of the first round by the Yankees both times.

You see where this is going.  Susan grew up a Rangers fan.

Over the years our friendship has continued, our love of baseball always on the periphery.  St. Louis improved, Texas declined, St. Louis declined, Texas improved — in fact in the entirety of our friendship, this is the first year the Cardinals and the Rangers both made the playoffs, much less the World Series.  We graduated college, moved East (Susan then moved South, and North, and South again).  We went to old Yankee Stadium and CitiField together.  We went to Europe together (where, disappointingly, we were a few weeks too late to attend a German professional baseball game).  I was rooting hard for the Rangers during last year’s run, and delighted in their first playoff series win almost as much as she did.

It’s not that I don’t want to win the World Series.  If the Cardinals somehow put two more wins into their pile of improbable, backs-against-the-wall victories they’ve been accruing for the last two months I will be ecstatic; if they lose, there will be a weekend of moping in my near future.  But I will also make that call on the phone, and I will be happy to do it.  If you can’t celebrate a World Series with your best friend, what’s the point?

Good luck, Susan.  Good luck, Rangers. Go Cards!

Ladies… Linkups: Busy Sports Week Edition

St. Louis Cardinals Chris Carpenter

Hockey season is in full swing, I’m 6-and-0 in the Ladies… Fantasy Football League (what the @#$!), the World Series begins Wednesday and in the NBA…yeaaaah, anyway, it’s a busy sports week here at Ladies… I promise I’ll return to some NHL Hotness Profiles soon, but in the meantime, enjoy these stories written by other people:

  • Too soon to talk about an undefeated season for the Pack! Too soon! [ESPN]
  • Carson Palmer, welcome to the Raiders. [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Phil Kessel is your first NHL Star of the Week. Be afraid. Be very afraid. [Puck Daddy]
  • Some thoughts about the horrific accident that claimed the life of Dan Wheldon. [NBC Sports]
  • The Rangers return to the Big Dance. [MLB.com]
  • And your Game 1 starter for the Cards is… [StLToday.com]

Finally, I have to tell you I came thisclose to buying these tonight, until I realized that I probably wouldn’t receive them in time for Hallowe’en. Are they not awesome? If only I could hop into my invisible jet and pick them up myself in Pennsylvania.

Super Rain Delay Video Extravaganza (FUNNY!!!!)

(Will that work for a You Tube title, or do I need more exclamation points?)

As I type this Wednesday evening, the ALCS is just getting under way after a two hour delayed start; it remains to be seen how an impending storm will effect the NLCS.  Meanwhile, an unexpected 24 hour “suspension” of my evening plans has forced me to scramble for a post idea a day early.  Remembering an old baseball video we had growing up that featured (I think) Robin Yount and Paul Molitor goofing around during a rain delay, I hit YouTube hoping to find a clip.  Either no one shares my appreciation for Robin Yount, belly padded with towels, pretending to hit a Molitor “air pitch” for a home run on top of a rain soaked tarp (complete with face first slide into home), or MLB’s license police have been really earning their pay, for I came up with nothing.  Fortunately, though, I found other rain delay antics to enjoy.  But first, we have to get that tarp on the field!

Continue reading

Keep it classy, Boston.

Photobucket

Francona at his last news conference with the Sox: classy to the end.

Like any true Yankee fan, I quietly snickered when the Red Sox essentially pissed away the month of September, playing crummy ball and falling out of playoff contention. It’s nice to have a little ammo for the next time someone makes a snide comment about the Yankees “buying championships”. Yes, because Carl Crawford came so cheap.

Then I read this feature today by Bob Hohler and…honestly, Sox fans, I don’t know why you haven’t taken the pitchforks and torches down Yawkey Way. Lackey, Beckett, Ortiz…I could go down the list of selfish bums but why bother. It will only make you angrier. And far be it for me to comment on selfish ball players (*cough*Rafael Soriano*cough*)

Selfish athletes can be found throughout the league, and baseball history is full of douchebag moves by douchebag owners and managers. This situation is, for the most part, no different. But…this crap about Terry Francona popping pills? REPREHENSIBLE. The man brought your organization two World Championships, slayed a supposed 86-year-old demon, dealt with effing Manny and this is how you thank him for his time in Boston? Dragging Francona’s personal issues out in public when the real problem is that you have $15 million pitchers who don’t have the decency and maturity to put down that bucket of KFC in the locker room and go support their teammates and stand by their manager when he obviously needed them most? Real classy, Henry, Werner and Co. Here’s a tip: when a staff member is dealing with personal issues – say, a crumbling marriage – try support and empathy you a-holes.

Here’s how awful this is to Sox fans: one good friend of mine is shunning the team he has supported his entire life on account of this.

And now that Theo heading to Chicago, this is likely Ben Cherington’s mess to clean up. Thankfully, he has a bright spot in Dustin Pedroia, who still cares…until he has an opportunity to leave town. Could you blame him?

Red Sox fans, you have given me hell over the years, but you don’t deserve this. Watching a team choke in September is bad enough, but that’s baseball. Watching the smearing of a beloved manager’s name is simply disgusting. And for that, I feel terrible for you guys.

Random Things I’ve Learned By Listening to Playoff Baseball on the Radio

As I may have mentioned once or twice before, I don’t have cable, and though my boyfriend has been happy (or at least pretends he’s happy) to let me watch the Cardinals games on his TV, for many of the other games I’ve been listening to the radio feeds through MLB.com.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve listened to baseball on the radio on a regular basis, and even longer since I listened to any baseball on the radio that involved non-Cardinals announcers.  It’s quite instructive. Some things I’ve learned:

Continue reading

Happy Fan Time

The Milwaukee Brewers open the NLDS at home this weekend, with games 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. The #7 Wisconsin Badgers open Big Ten play Saturday night against newbies Nebraska and the defending National Champion Green Bay Packers take on Denver on Sunday.

Unless you live in Boston or New York, you’ve probably never experience the Happy Fan Dance that I’ve practically mastered in the past few days.

Continue reading

Every. Game. Counts. (A Regular Season Wrap Up and Playoff Preview)

Let’s just put aside the fact that I had an actual rooting interest last night — everything that happened in baseball over the last 24 hours makes my brain scream this song:

As someone who has spent the last two weeks watching the Cardinals wait until the last inning to win or lose what seemed like 95% of their games, one of the most surreal things about last night was that St. Louis was the only team that got their game settled right out of the gate, batting around in the first inning and scoring five runs before recording a single out.  Which left me free to enjoy the one day MLB.tv subscription I paid 3.99 for Tuesday night as a mostly impartial fan (possibly the best 4 bucks I’ve ever spent, even if I couldn’t get the Rays-Yankees because of blackout restrictions, and had to switch to the Phillies-Braves radio feeds for the latter innings because of too much traffic on the video feed (and my crappy bandwidth).  At one point, I had three GTalk conversations going and was on the phone to my parents; 99.5 % of the discussion revolved around baseball (I did manage to discuss Christmas arrangements with my folks.  I’m not totally obsessed.)

Continue reading

What I Think About While Trying Not To Think About the 6 Run 9th Inning Lead The Cardinals Just Blew That Will Likely Cost Them The Wild Card

(Subtitle: Probably I’m Overreacting, Since They’ve Certainly Blown Plenty of Other Games This Season, And Anyway If They Make The Playoffs We’ll Never Get Rid of La Russa and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.)

  • That the AL Wildcard has suddenly gotten triply interesting.
  • That Jeffrey Loria used to own a team with an iconic “M” logo and still thought this was a good idea.
  • That somehow, all you have to do is become a Bengal to act like a Bengal. (Yes, that’s two different stories.)
  • That safeties are awesome.  And even more awesome when it’s a rookie’s first NFL sack (h/t TheJetsBlog)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go stare at Rafa in his underwear. I find it clears the mind.

Hit and Run: Root, Root, Root Edition

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I am rooting for Clayton Kershaw these days. And no, it’s not just because he’s on my fantasy team. He happens to have just slid past Johnny Cueto for the NL ERA title — although it’s a slim enough margin that a bad inning could knock him right back into second. I still bear Cueto a grudge for kicking Jason LaRue in the face and ending his career last season, so I would prefer he not win anything for quite some time. Of course, at the moment Cueto’s on the disabled list and hasn’t yet pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, so it may become Kershaw’s anyway. Karma’s a bitch, Johnny.

Baseball’s regular season is winding down, but there’s plenty of other things to root for:
Continue reading