Dear Mr. Roddick

Its become rather easy to find pictures of Andy looking dejected.  That does not make this tennis fan happy!

It's become rather easy to find pictures of Andy looking dejected. That does not make this tennis fan happy!

Andy, Andy, Andy…what are we going to do with you?  While you may have reached the round of 16 at the French Open for the first time in your career, I can’t help but be disappointed in your recent play.  Andy, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.  There are many more things that need to be brought to your attention. Just follow me after the jump, hon.

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Hit and Run: In Which Barry Zito’s BABIP Regresses, Right Before Our Eyes!

A.k.a. the “Complete MLB Rundown (To The Exclusion Of Everything Else)” edition. Why? Because I can. Yesterday’s scores presented BBC-style for extra hilarity and confusion.

  • Red Sox 3 – 5 Blue Jays. Sevven sollid innings from Tallet (see what I did there?) provide a lead for Scott Downs to preserve, bringing them back into 2nd place in the mighty AL East. Go Jays!
  • Marlins 7 – 3 Mets. Tim Redding sucks. Josh Johnson doesn’t. Go Fish!
  • Braves 2 – 3 Diamondbacks. There are a lot of 3s today. Eric Byrnes finally does something good; namely, driving in the winning run in the 11th. No, wearing awesome socks doesn’t automatically mean that you’ve done something good.
  • Dodgers 0 – 7 Cubs. Eric Stults fails as Dodgers get shut out for the first time all year. You know, I like the guy, but hey dude, put up or shut up. As in, put up zeros on the scoreboard, or shut the hell up when the reporters interview you and ask why you sucked. Go ahead, say, “I sucked”. David Ortiz did, you can too! Ugh. STULTS. My boy Brent Leach faces 1 batter, records 2 groundouts, because he’s cool like that. Go Dodgers.
  • Twins 2 – 5 Rays. David Price blah blah blah 11 strikeouts blah blah blah 1st Major League win blah blah blah Free Rick Porcello!
  • Reds 5 – 9 Brewers. Some dudes hit some home runs.
  • Tigers 6 – 3 Orioles. Is Luke Scott on steroids? Naw, he’s just in an un-slump.
  • Astros 4 – 7 Pirates. Hey guys, the Pirates just won another game. Meanwhile, the Astros lost another one and are hopelessly out of contention. Kind of like the Nationals.
  • Yankees 10 – 5 Indians. Your first double-digit scoring game of the night was notable only for the fact that CC Sabathia gave up runs. I really hate that guy. Oh, and Nick Swisher (perhaps better known simply as AJ Burnett’s new boyfriend) hit a home run. I’m sure they celebrated in an entirely appropriate fashion that didn’t involve ice cream or maple syrup or leather and chains. No, I didn’t just imply that.
  • Nationals 6 – 9 Phillies. Cole Hamels gets shelled but gets the win anyway. Disgusting. Lidge doesn’t implode, but his ERA is still above 8. Good luck with that, buddy.
  • White Sox 5 – 3 Royals. Gil Meche gets no love from the bullpen. Which sucks.
  • Athletics 1 – 14 Rangers. The average Leverage Index for this game was so low that it actually may have caused a Fangraphs implosion. Seriously, check it out:

  • Padres 7 – 8 Rockies. This game is actually so boring that there’s no proof it happened, so I can’t tell you what happened, although I’m sure if you really want to know you can look it up somewhere.
  • Mariners 4 – 3 Angels. If you’re a Mariners fan, then Jose Lopez is your saviour. On the other hand, if you’re a Mariners fan, then you probably have bigger problems, including the fact that your #5 starter is actually a vampire. That’s my clever way of saying that I sort of have a crush on Jason Vargas.
  • Cardinals 6 – 2 Giants. Zito was doing fine until he gave up 3 consecutive doubles in the 7th. Actually, on a team that didn’t epitomize suckitude, he would’ve had an easy shot at winning this game, except that 1) Albert Pujols is on steroids and 2) The Giants suck, ergo, their bullpen sucks, ergo, their starters don’t win unless they pitch complete game shutouts. Except for that one time, but I’m pretty sure that was an accident. Oh, and Albert Pujols did do something good; namely, he struck out looking on a curveball from Zito that came thisclose to making me scream in delight. (I did actually sort of whimper, but the sexual power of a pitch like that is a discussion for another time. Just watch any Roy Halladay start, or a good AJ Burnett start. You’ll understand.)

Good morning. I know in darkness I will find you giving up inside like me.

Take Us Out To The Ballgame: The Ladies…do Busch Stadium

St. Louis 010 I’ve been to a few stadiums around the country and other than my team’s home, Miller Park, I would put Busch Stadium in St. Louis on the top of my list.

The views are great, the stadium and field are beautiful, and everyone (well, most everyone) was accepting and nice.

Of course, Friday night’s game ended up getting rained out, so we ended up buying tickets to Saturday’s game, which was going to be our off day, over Craigslist on Friday night.

Special thanks to the very nice man who sold us his season tickets for  below face and emailed them to us. It couldn’t have gone smoother.

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Crane’s All-Star Picks: American League

Good morning. Please bear with me as I present you with my ESPN-implosion-inducing All-Star team.

1B (a.k.a Base the First, because I’m feeling medieval tonight): Justin Morneau (MIN). I dislike Mark Teixeira. I dislike Kevin Youkilis. I don’t care about Miguel Cabrera. Justin Morneau is both 1) Canadian, and 2) Totally hot.

Hit the jump for more.

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Hump Day Hotties: Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum

Good morning. Please bear with me as I attempt to explain why I’m the worst Dodgers fan ever.

Prettiness abounds. Hit the jump for more awesomeness.

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When Your Team Exceeds Expectations

How far do you have to be on the radar when you’ve won seven in a row, including two straight sweeps , won 21 of your last 26 games, exceeded pretty much everyone’s expectations, and the week’s stories about the Hottest Team in Baseball aren’t about you?

Poor Brewers.

This isn’t another one of those east coast or west coast bias complaints. I live in Milwaukee. I’ve long since come to terms with the fact that no one cares what happens here. But really, can’t a team get any respect? Continue reading

I really hate “Manny being Manny”

LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke said it best when he pointed out that neither Clemens, nor Bonds, nor A-Rod had ever been suspended by MLB.

Because even after the Mitchell Report and the hoopla, MLB still has the most lax drugging rules in sports. In other words, to get caught, you have to be pretty stupid.

Or, as Brewers TV color analyst Bill Schroeder said, you have to think you’re above baseball.

Of course, when Schroeder said it, he didn’t seem to understand that Manny does believe he’s better than baseball. What about his antics would have led you to think otherwise?

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Have You Heard of Blake DeWitt?

I’m postponing my epic post about Trevor Bauer because right now, I just need to vent. (You’ve been warned.)

So. The Dodgers. Yeah, you guys, over there, in the hats that match the one I’m wearing right now. One of your bench players really sucks. His name is Juan Castro, and he has a career OPS+ of 56. That’s right, his offense is 44% worse than the average Major League player. So what is he doing in the Majors? Well, posting a 7.6 UZR/150 at shortstop, but that isn’t really my point.

But let’s put that in terms that are easier for most people to understand. From 2002-2008, he’s provided a little less than a third of a win — one third of one win, over the course of 7 years — to teams on which he’s been. Let that sink in for a moment.

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The First Month of Baseball

We are only into the second month of this young baseball season. We still have four more months of regular baseball and then another month of lovely October baseball. There is still plenty of time for those last place teams to crawl out of the basement. But still so much has already happened in just a short month. Some things aren’t too surprising: Albert Pujols is still awesome. Some things are a tad bit unexpected: Forget Sabathia, Burnett, or Teixeira. Nick Swisher is turning into the Yankees best offseason acquisition. You better believe it!

Keep reading to find out what else we learned in the first month of baseball… Continue reading

Pitching Mechanics 101

Constructing an efficient, injury-reducing pitching motion isn’t so much about figuring out what you’re doing right as about figuring out what you’re doing wrong. There are many, many ways to throw without putting undue stress on your arm, and there are many, many ways to throw in such a way that you’re likely to get injured. All credit to Driveline Mechanics for teaching me everything I know about this stuff.

Follow the jump to be overwhelmed by awesomeness.

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Hump Day Hottie: Sidney Ponson

The Royals gave me a very happy St. Patrick’s Day by signing Sir Sidney Ponson (yes, Sir! He was knighted in his native Aruba). They were impressed with his showing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, and might now be putting him in the KC Opening Day rotation.Yes, please.

Grrr, baby!

Grrr, baby!

LOTS more after the jump.

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Congrats, Florida. Let the Moping Commence.

Last Sunday, I was in the Tulsa airport preparing to fly back East, when I noticed the airport bookstore (which is locally owned), already had a sign out next to their OU merchandise reading “Congratulations Sooners! 2009 National Championship.”  And that’s pretty much when I knew OU was doomed.  (OK, I’m exaggerating.  Kind of.)

Anyway, congratulations Florida, and also to OU for a thrilling season (with two notable exceptions, obviously).  Now I will proceed to mope for the next 24 hours or so.  I originally thought perhaps I’d get some solace from posting some hot athlete pictures, but the problem with that plan is that hot athletes remind me of sports which reminds me of the game.  So I hope you all don’t mind if I invite my Imaginary TV Boyfriend, Lee Pace, to mope (hotly) along with me.

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Merry Christmas or other applicable happy day

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, don’t sweat it. You can still enjoy this post. If you do celebrate Christmas, have a merry one!

Earlier this year, our little site celebrated its 1000th post by highlighting each of our favorite hotties. Now, in the spirit of the holidays, it’s time for our hotties to give back. Do your eyeballs a favor and enjoy the Ladies…’ stocking stuffers after the jump.
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Hot Stove Hotties: Because we don’t hear nearly enough about Mark Teixeira

Each week this Hot Stove season, we’ll look at some done deals and juicy rumors involving our favorite MLB hotties, and the occasional not-really-a-hottie, but still worth talking about.

Ugh. Can free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira just go away already? Seriously, this garbage has gone on ALL offseason. It’s ridiculous; the guy should just sign somewhere and get it over with. He has a great deal of talent, but I’m sick of typing all those E’s and I’s all the time, you know?

Yay, Im holding up the whole market!

"Yay, I'm holding up the whole market!"

Jerk. Here are the latest Tex rumors, and there’s more Hot Stove stuff after the thing. Continue reading

Hot Stove Hottie timeout: Farewell to Mad Dog

Normally at this time we’d be covering the things that went on in the MLB markets in the past week, but this week we’ll stand aside to tip our caps to one of the most brilliant pitchers our generation has seen or will ever see. Winter meetings are going on right now, and you can get all kinds of updates from MLB Trade Rumors, as well as great updates directly from Vegas from Will Carroll, John Perrotto, and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus.

Now, on to the very sad business of Greg Maddux announcing his retirement today.

The Mad Dog in his Braves days

The Mad Dog in his Braves days

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Hot (well, sort of lukewarm) Stove Hotties

Each week this Hot Stove season, we’ll look at some done deals and juicy rumors involving our favorite MLB hotties. If you want a comprehensive rundown of rumors, go to MLBTR. If you want the pretty, stay right here!

Lame! Nothing really happened in Hot Stoveland this week. The biggest story was actually one that didn’t happen – someone reported that the Giants signed Edgar Renteria, and it turned out to be untrue.

Edgar a Giant? Some people said so, but...No.

Edgar a Giant? Some people said so, but...No.

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A Note On Our New Banner

The Ladies… are excited about the Olympics, and judging by your response to the Ryan Lochte Hump Day Hottie, you are excited, too. With that in mind, we didn’t want to wait until August to unveil our Olympic banner. Explanation of who these hotties are and their chances in Beijing are after the jump.

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Dara Torres, 41, Makes Her Fifth Olympic Team

That is Dara Torres, and her daughter Tessa. Dara looks like your average, everyday mom who is concerned about raising her daughter well, getting to playgroup on time and training for an Olympic Gold Medal. Wait, what? Torres, at the age of 41, made her fifth Olympic team in the 100m freestyle. She first medaled during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Congratulations to Torres for kicking butt and showing that age doesn’t matter. Now bring home some gold!

Hit & Run

I’m hopped up on Ny-Quil, and slightly delirious after the Mets’ sweep of the Braves, so bear with me.

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The Mets division lead is back up to 5 games, thanks to said weekend sweep of the Braves, and yesterday’s 10-4 win over the Reds. Well, I guess I also have to thank the Marlins for taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies, and the Braves for beating the Phillies today (whew!). Pedro pitched 5 good innings, giving up 3 runs, 2 of them earned. The Mets’ offense woke up: Moises Alou, David Wright and Carlos Delgado all homered for the Mets. Let’s see if the bats can stay awake during this final stretch run. Continue reading