MLB Photo Day 2013

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Josh Reddick showed off his beard and belt?

One of the best parts of spring training is team photo day! Lucky for us, many teams had their official photo day yesterday giving us some great shots of our favorite guys. (I suggest thumbing through the Getty Images’ photo gallery.) As I was perusing through the pictures, I came across some real gems, including the insanely crazy picture of Josh Reddick above. I did some Googling and found out there was a story behind the photos.

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Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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Moneyball Lives…For Now: The End Of Season/MLB Playoff Omnibus

Although it wasn’t quite up to the standards of last year, with the meaningful games being all about playoff seeding instead of mere survival, at least we had the Oakland A’s and their surprising AL West Title win to entertain us. Is this truly the year of Moneyball? Or is it just going to be the Yankees, Cardinals, or Rangers taking the pennant again? We discuss!

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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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Congratulations Dallas Braden and Jody Gerut!

Two unlikely players accomplished two of baseball’s biggest feats this weekend. While Braden’s perfect game was by far the bigger accomplishment, Brewers bench player Jody Gerut’s cycle shouldn’t be over-looked.

Braden faced 27 Tampa Bay Rays and put them down in order. It was the second time in less than a year that the Rays had been on the wrong end of a perfect game.

(from ESPN.com)

On Saturday, Jody Gerut hit the double to complete his cycle in the ninth inning with two outs. The Brewers’ last cycle came in 2004 from the backup catcher. Seems the Crew gets the power from the unlikeliest of sources.

MLB Hotties on the Move

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No, no! He's not going anywhere!

Somewhere, in a vast wilderness where cell phones signals go to die and there is no SportsCenter, Crane is feeling a psychic wave of untold joy and relief. That’s because the trade deadline has passed and Roy Halladay stayed in Toronto. Hey, Riccardi, thanks for playing with the heads of Jays’ fans these last few weeks! There’s a special place in hell for GMs like you – right beside John Ferguson Jr.

It’s been a busy few days. Let’s put all the nonsense of PEDs and Papi behind us and concentrate on the actual game of baseball baseball transactions. If your fave player left on a jet plane today for another team and you don’t know when he’ll be back again (hint: check the team schedule), I’m sorry to hear that. On the other hand, if your team has been injected with newfound playoff hope, congratulations! Hope that works out for you guys! Unless you like the Red Sox, and then…you know how I feel. Continue reading

The Complete Statistical List Of Pitchers More Deserving Of An All-Star Selection Than Tim Wakefield

I am going to take so much flak for this, and you know what? If I cared, then I wouldn’t be writing this post. Good morning. I think I’m going to go take it out on the street while the rain still falls.

Listed with RAR and FIP are all AL pitchers who 1) didn’t make the All-Star team, 2) have BABIPs over .250, and 3) have a greater RAR than Tim Wakefield.

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Hump Day Hotties: The Call-Ups

So I know we all get excited when baseball season is underway.  We love watching our hotties play and our teams do well.  For me, when my beloved Orioles start to suck again, it can be hard to devote my time to following the team.  That is why I have come to love the mid-season call-up.  Trust me, I know who the hotties are on the team, but I’m curious about those boys in the minors.  I know names and who is supposed to be good, but I don’t necessarily know their faces.  So I always look forward to a new face in the clubhouse.

After the jump, I’ve hand selected some drool-worthy hotties. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Ohhhh Canada: The Canuck Boys of Summer

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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

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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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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.

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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Bringing The Heat: Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics have long held the crown of the hottest team in baseball- the team that’s as much fun to watch stretch during BP as actually play baseball during a game. This year, with the downturn in the team’s on-field fortunes and the unfortunate string of guys sent to the DL, the A’s have also turned into a pipeline of hotness that keeps all the other teams in baseball fully stocked on hotties. Thank goodness for the gold and green.

But even without dearly departed hotties Todd Walker, Barry Zito, Ryan Langerhans and Bobby Kielty, the Athletics are still smokin’ hot. Take a gander at what Oakland has to offer after the jump…

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Hump Day Hottie: Huston Street

Huston Street is smoking hot. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. Outrageously hot (and don’t forget the award-winning ass). He’s also a lights-out closer for the Oakland A’s, and the proud owner of the 2005 AL Rookie of the Year trophy. He’s charming and hilarious (see: exhibit A or his in-the-booth commentary during the July 5th A’s game). He is a budding wine connoisseur. He plays the guitar. He wrote an interesting blog for ESPN (I know! Interesting content on ESPN? Check out his thoughts on MLB clubhouses). He’s madly in love with his fiance and proposed with 1,500 roses (that is not a typo). His intro music is “Hate Me Now” by Nas. He pitches with his tongue stuck out DWright-like in concentration.

Oh, yeah- and he won my beloved University of Texas the 2002 National Championship in baseball — following in his dad’s footsteps, who won us the 1969 National Championship in football (and was a hottie to boot- Huston looks almost identical to his dad back in the day). Huston’s twin younger brothers (Jordon and Juston) play baseball for Texas as well- and, yes, they’re hot, too. The whole Street clan (including older half-brother Ryan, an architect, and baby brother Hanson, a college student) are huge Longhorn fans, and get as geeked about Texas college football games as any other fan. So… Huston is pretty much perfect.

And on the occasion of his return from the DL, it’s high time he gets the full Hump Day Hottie treatment. Welcome back, Huston.

A whole heckuva lot of Street goodness- including pics of the whole hottie Street clan- after the jump.

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Hotness, Thy Name Is The Oakland A’s

Oakland Athletics- I am at your mercy.

The offseason acquisition of uber-hottie Todd Walker proved your commitment to continuing your tradition of holding the hottest roster in all of baseball, and for that I saluted you… nay, I worshipped at your altar of awesomeness. I thought y’all could not possibly field a hotter team. Oh, how wrong I was. With your trade for Ryan Langerhans over the weekend, you have taken the game to a whole ‘nother level. Oakland A’s, I stand and give you a slow clap – and I support your continued march of world domination.

Haven’t been converted to the Church of Hot that is the A’s? Just take a look at the roster after the jump…

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Hit & Run – Monday Madness

* Brett Favre may look hot in football pants- but I’m betting he looks just as hot in a baseball uni. OK, so technically it’s a softball uni- but still… I get to ogle Brett’s legs in shorts AND help charity at the same time! [It's a win-win situation]

* Favre’s doppleganger, Brewers hottie Geoff Jenkins, helped drive a stake through the heart of my Houston Astros on Sunday with a homerun. [It's hard to be angry when he's just so hot]

* New to the big show, hottie Hunter Pence got called up from Triple-A to claim a starting CF spot on the Astros roster this weekend just in time to get some great hits, a fabulous face-first slide… and to be part of a win and a loss to the Brewers. [Better get used to that losing feeling, Hunter]

* Texans turned Carolina QB David Carr still supports the Houston baseball boys, and was at the Astros game on Saturday to see Hunter’s premiere… as a guest of George HW Bush. [Wonder what conversation those two had during the game]

* Todd Walker, last seen being spurned by the evil Padres, has taken up the company line in Oakland quickly, and is now apparently the A’s number one cheerleader. I think he’s just happy to finally claim his rightful slot on the hottest roster in baseball. [Todd Walker + A's = Tru Luv 4ever]