Hit and Run: In a New York Minute

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39, and yet he still does this. (Photo: AP)

Sweet American Jeebus. Because having two aging outfielders simply wasn’t enough for the Yankees, they shipped two prospects to Seattle today in exchange for one Ichiro Suzuki. Classic Cashman for you: just when you think he isn’t going to make a move in late July, this happens.

A part of me didn’t feel the move was necessary. The Oakland series notwithstanding, the team has played well in the absence of leftfielder Brett Gardner, who is now out for the season. But the Yanks do miss his stolen bases, of which Ichiro has 15 this season. That’s more than Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez combined.

So YAY, WE HAVE ICHIRO! Although I feel for Mariners fans, who have had the pleasure of seeing him play in Seattle his entire MLB career.

Ichiro isn’t the only pro athlete packing his bags for the Big Apple… 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.

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.

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Vacation Hangover Links

I’ve been back from my vacation in New Orleans* for about 48 hours now, and I’m not entirely adjusted, so please enjoy these links.  Somehow they are all about baseball, but that wasn’t intentional.

*The picture above was taken on my vacation.  That’s New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams 2nd from left, with the GM and President of the franchise, appearing at Jazzfest. I was a little disappointed that no players appeared with them, but Monty Williams is quite nice looking in person.

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Ladies… Linkups: With Added Opening Weekend Smugness (just a little)

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins battling the Huskies' Kelly Faris (Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

How can a weekend recovering from the flu be your best weekend ever? When you spend it on the couch with your hubby diamond surfing through the MLB Extra Innings free preview. Yankees game only on at 5? Let’s see how the Pirates are doing in Chicago! Painful to watch? Let’s see how Melky Cabrera looks in baby blues! Wait, can we go back to Texas again? Because that was awesome.

Honestly, I’d get nothing done if I had the baseball package for my dish.

Anyway, it’s another busy Monday. Here are some quick links to get you through the day:

Tonight: UConn. Butler. No, none of us picked these guys in the Championship. But kudos to unofficial winner CuteSports! [NCAA]

Tomorrow night, Notre Dame faces Texas A&M for the women’s basketball title. Skylar Diggins had 28 points last night as her Fightin’ Irish downed the Connecticut Huskies 72-63, ending their run for a third straight championship. [ESPN]

When is a story about pants awesome? When they are these pants! Yes, the Norwegians are BACK! By the way, Canada is 3-and-0 at the Men’s World Curling Championship in Regina. [Globe and Mail]

You guys, Aramis Ramirez needs a hug. [Onion Sports Network]

Guess who’s first in the AL East as of this afternoon? The Orioles! Guess who’s last? Here’s a hint. I’m told THEY’RE THE BEST TEAM ON PAPER!! [It's early.]

Move away from the panic button and have an excellent week!

Call-Up Cuties Returns: Welcome to the Show, Boys

It’s not quite September yet, but plenty of baseball teams  have already started calling up fresh faces for their major league debuts — which means even if your team is out of any meaningful chance at the playoffs (or if you’re trying to ignore the fact that your team is giving away the division right after reclaiming first place, sigh) there’s still plenty of good reasons to watch the games.  I mined the MLB transaction ledger to find every first-time call-up since July 31.  You can thank me later.

Ryan Kalish, LF Boston Red Sox

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Hit & Run: The Late Edition

Red Sox

Happy Friday everyone! I already broke my New Year’s resolution to not curse under my breath every time I read about the Boston Red Sox. This was prompted by the news that Adrian Beltre was officially introduced to the Fenway fold today. He’ll replace Mike Lowell at third base (which is sad, truly. I like Mike Lowell.) I happened to be reading a tweet of Pete Abraham’s over lunch, in which Scott Boras was quoted as saying “I think we’ve built a great stage here and there’s a chance for this rocket to take off.”

Hmm, “rocket”? Is it safe to use that word in Red Sox Country once again without, you know, getting yelled at?

Anyway, good move for the Red Sox and hopefully we’ll see a rebound in Beltre’s numbers (just not during Yankees/Sox games)

More Hit & Run fun after the jump…

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Ohhhh Canada: The Canuck Boys of Summer

canadian flag

Hey, it’s my nation’s birthday today! We’re …old! Today – if the weather and my second sinus attack in a week clears – I’ll be joining my fellow Canadians enjoying BBQ, drinking beer (not Molson), and rubbing red face paint off my tired children’s cheeks as I grumble to Mr. Bee about how we shouldn’t have stayed out late watching the fireworks when we have to get up for work in the morning.

Some random facts about Canada:

  • We are actually 142 years old. 142 is the new 122.
  • We’re not constitutionally required to like Nickelback.
  • I don’t think our prime minister’s hair has ever moved…ever!

Today we’re showing our True Patriot Love by rolling out our favourite Canucks on the mound and at the plate (or in the case of Russell Martin, behind the plate). So be your most polite, apologetic self, grab a double-double and join us after the jump. Continue reading

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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Misery Loves Company… In The Land of Lincoln!

In my latest installment of “Misery Loves Company,” we head west from Ohio and land in the lovely state of Illinois.  Home of the first McDonald’s, Blagojevich, and Wayne and Garth, would more could these fine people want… how bout a few more rings!

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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.

Hit and Run: There is Still Hope in Cleveland Today

LeBron_James23

Things got a little scary for Cleveland this week. Their series against the Magic took an ugly turn when they fell 3 games to 1. The Nuggets gave the Lakers a run for their money but with a 3-2 lead, it looks like LA will find themselves in the finals once again. It is déjà-vu all over again for the Stanley Cup Finals as the Penguins and Red Wings face off for the second time in as many years. And amidst all the playoff fun this week, there was some baseball thrown in there as well.

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Rival Hatred

Like any good Brewers fan (or Cards fan, or Sox fan, or Reds fan) I have a fairly in-depth dislike for the Chicago Cubs.

That being said, I try very hard to not get personal about it. What point is there in screaming at other fans or telling Aramis Ramirez that he sucks?

But where do you draw the line on rejoicing in the downfall of our least favorite team?

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The First Season Fan Part I: Why the Braves?

My friend Sarah is a big basketball and football fan, but as long as I’ve known her she’s never been particularly interested in baseball. This year she’s decided to change that. We’ll check in on her every so often throughout the season and see how she’s doing with her newfound fandom. After the jump, Sarah explains her history of ambivalence with the sport and how she decided to become an Atlanta Braves fan while living in New York.

Kenshin Kawakami: a new Brave for a new Braves fan

Kenshin Kawakami: a new Brave for a new Braves fan

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Our Year End Hump Day Hottie Spectacular!

Chances are you’ll be reading this in 2009. That’s okay. It’s a holiday and you were preparing yourself for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. But if you are reading this in 2008 then let’s go through a review of what happened this year. Specifically what happened every Wednesday of this year. Yes, we’re going to be taking a look back at the Hump Day Hotties that have graced our blog in the ’08. Why? Because how could you not want to take a trip down memory lane and remember Ryan Lochte?

So let’s go back through the year that was and enjoy our hotties one more time before we sing “Auld Lang Syne.” And if you’re reading this in 2009, remember when Lochte was so smoking in 2008 he made the Ladies… HDH? Yeah, that was awesome.

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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 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!

The Royals took the spotlight this week by trading for speedy center fielder Coco Crisp. Kansas City gave up Ramon “RamRam” Ramirez, a reliever who throws a “power change” (seriously) and had a great 2008 season. He also has a perfectly spherical face, which makes me smile every time. Here are Coco and RamRam in their new uniforms.

Coco Crisp, the newest Royal; Ramon Ramirez, the newest Red Sock.

Coco Crisp, the newest Royal; Ramon Ramirez, the newest Red Sock.

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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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Carlos Zambrano Throws A No-Hitter! WOOT!

I was born into a Cubs family, and have been a Cubs fan since I donned my first Jody Davis jersey at age 4. I have been through many ups and downs with my team, but one thing I have not watched them do (in addition to winning a World Series) is throw a no-hitter. My wait is over. Carlos Zambrano just threw a no-hitter — the first Cubbie no-hitter since Milt Pappas in 1972. Congrats to Big Z, and thank you for letting me witness it.

Thats right -- no hitter.

That's right -- no hitter.

Hump Day Hottie: Rich Harden

When the Cubs traded for Rich Harden, I was overjoyed. The guy can pitch (if he stays healthy fingers crossed knock on wood spit twice) and Chicago got him without giving up a ton. Then I saw some pictures of him… how had I never noticed him before? Smokin’ hot, with a crooked smile. Welcome to Chicago, Rich. If you need a tour guide, a person to show you where to get the best pizza, hot dogs or a beer near the ballpark, please let me know. Might I add, the pinstripes look marvelous on you.

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Baseball is MAGICAL: Walkoffs, 2000, and win streaks.

First off, the Ladies… wish a heartfelt congratulations to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek on collecting hits #1999 and 2000 tonight. Grudz looked much younger than his 38 years as he cruised into first base, unable to hide a boyish grin as the crowd, fountains, and fireworks erupted.  Though he was soon erased in a double play, the hat-tip and ovation made for a really sweet moment for a very likeable ballplayer.

Congratulations, Grudzie!!

Congratulations, Grudz!!

More sweet baseball moments after the jump! Continue reading

A Cubs Game Through the Eyes of a Six Year Old

On Wednesday, a pair of Cubs tickets came my way. This season, Cubs tickets are about as hot as a ticket as you can get in Chicago, so I said yes faster than you can Kosuke Fukudome. I asked a few friends to go with me, but work got in their way. (Suckers!) My sister suggested that I take my six-year-old nephew, which turned out to be a fantastic suggestion. (Much better than the time she suggested we cover the pot of spaghetti and turn up the heat to high. That suggestion ended up with us mopping pasta off the ceiling.)

My nephew – Cubs fan, Fukudome man

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Monday Morning Baseball Miscellany

Here are some random Monday musings.

>>The Cards dropped 2 of 3 to the Cubs this weekend, but I just can’t be that disappointed about it. We played ‘em tough two games.  We only got blown out in the third game.  I won’t be mad at all if we stay 1-2 in the NL Central all year because then the NLCS Thunderdome between the Cards/Cubs will be that much sweeter.  What concerns me much more than the Cubs right now are the Brewers.  They’ve caught the Cards in the standings and are probably going to snag CC Sabathia from Cleveland, plus they start a 4-game series at home against the lowly Rockies today.  I don’t want this to turn into a 3-team race!  I was happy with a 2-team race!  [foot stomp]


Isn’t this a cool picture?

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Hit and Run: Just When It’s My Turn to Post

My Cubs were on a 14-game home winning streak going into last night’s game. Nothing lasts forever, of course, but couldn’t they have made it one more game so that I could write about a win? Nope. Brian Roberts, who almost was a Cub, decided to show the Cubs’ management exactly what they missed out on. He had three hits, and George Sherrill struck out the side, after loading up the bases, in the bottom of the ninth. Alas. At least we’re still the best team in baseball.

They might have lost, but they are still adorable! ((AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

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The Final Countdown… well, not really

This weekend, weather permitting, the Cubs and Cardinals will have their first of many games this season, and your Ladies… are on top. Of the action. (Hi-yo!) Resident Cardinals fan, Lady Andrea, and Chitown Chick, a Cubs fan who had her first crush on Jody Davis, will liveblog Saturday’s game. We will be using Cover It Live, so come join us!

Andrea’s Note:  I believe the game is being hosted at BUSCH, Chitown.

Chitown’s Note: Sad! Score one for the Cards fans!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

Hit & Run: Celebration Times Three

Today ain’t any normal Monday, and this ain’t gonna be your normal Hit & Run- because we have some serious celebratin’ to do. Perhaps you haven’t heard- but the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies all clinched their division titles over the weekend… and as you might expect, GordonShumway, Clare and I are a tad bit excited about that.

OK, we’re freakin’ ecstatic. We’re bouncing off the walls, rally towel waving, champagne swigging, hugging random strangers, put an empty Bud Light case on our head and dance around in our underwear ECSTATIC. And we’re triple tag-teaming this H&R to share a little bit of our excitement with you.

And, of course, I’ve gathered together plenty of pictures of celebratory ballplayers covered in champagne after the jump…

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Bringing The Heat: Chicago Cubs

Lovable Losers. Curse of the Billy Goat. 99 years and counting. Cubs fans have had to endure it all.

But this year is a little different. Not only did the Cubbies field a talented team this season that produced on the diamond (exactly how well they produced won’t be known until Sunday)… they also managed to put together a roster full of cuties (and that’s even without uber-hottie Todd Walker).

You’re not going to find any pretty boys on this team, guys who overindulge on hair products (cough*PatBurrell*cough) or spend hours in front of the mirror (cough*ARod*cough). But you are going to find a handsome group of guys who are so hardworking and scrappy and cute you just want to take them home and bake them a nice batch of oatmeal cookies.

Everyone loves the Cubs- even Andie!- so just give in and sing along with me:

They got the power, they got the speed
To be the best in the National League
Well this is the year and Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field

Go, Cubs, go!
Go, Cubs, go!
Hey, Chicago, what do you say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!

Check out all the lovely Cubby goodness after the jump…

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Requiem For A Catcher

We are gathered here today to pay respects to a fallen traded Cubbie. A guy who knew how to catch a ball (most of the time), and call a game (most of the time) and throw a punch (most of the time). It didn’t matter if the guy that needed punching was in White Sox black or Cub blue, his fists did not discriminate. A guy who went from being the face of the Cubs organization in cheesy McDonald’s commercials, to being sidelined in the dugout, all in the space of one month. We’re also here to honor his hot bod- all 6’3″, 210 pounds of it, including his great ass. Let’s not forget that lovely Georgia drawl, or those beautiful blue eyes. We certainly won’t forget that Irish temperament.

Michael Patrick Barrett, or “Mikey B” to those of us who crushed on him in the Friendly Confines, we will miss you dearly here in Chicago. At least we know, in our sorrow, that you will soon be reunited on the other side with your maker Greg Maddux (just please don’t let this trade turn out like the career-killing Todd Walker trade to the Pads).

In honor of Mikey B’s passing to the Pads, I’ve set up a picture memorial for him after the jump. Please feel free to leave your own respects in the comment book.

EDIT: He’s already been assimilated!

 

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Hottie Vision – Michael Barrett

It might make me a bad person, but I loved it when Mikey B socked AJ Pierzynski in the face. Of course, I’m a Cubs fan, so that may have something to do with it. It was hot- as it usually is when good lookin’ boys tussle (well, good lookin’ boy, anyway- AJ is decidedly not cute). Bonus: hottie Scott Podsednik jumps in to tackle Michael- and I’d volunteer to be in the middle of a Mikey-Scotty PoPo sandwich anytime. So here’s a little bit of nostalgia to help bring you back to that magical day- when the Cubs finally got a good hit.

(And for the record, right before he lays one on him, Mike tells AJ, “I didn’t have the ball, bitch.” Awesome.)