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!
A lot has been made of the scene Wednesday night in Arlington where a couple caught a ball tossed into the stands by Mitch Moreland, seemingly stealing it from a little boy, who ended up in tears.
The couple has gone to the press to say that they didn’t see the little boy. Someone from the Rangers dugout saw the crying kid and tossed him a ball, which seems to mean that everyone left happy, but it does bring up an interesting question:
Is there etiquette for baseballs that enter the stands?
It seems to be a general consensus that there’s a difference between a ball tossed into the stands by a player and foul balls. Players usually target children when they soft-toss into the stands, meaning no adult should ever steal that away. Foul balls, however, are fair game.
But there are some that are saying any adult that catches any baseball in the stands should be handing it off to a child near them.
And frankly, that makes me a little angry.
I’ve never caught or been tossed a baseball and dammit, if I do, I’m keeping that sucker. Don’t boo me, don’t judge me – that ball means as much to me as it would to that kid. I’d put it in a place of honor in our (wo)man room. My parents didn’t introduce me to baseball as a kid – I never got the opportunity to get a ball as a child. I’d be frickin’ ecstatic over that ball and I’m not sure why I should have to give that up. Of course, that only accounts for the first ball. I’m not greedy. If I were ever lucky enough to get a second or third ball, those would, of course, go to kids around me.
Certainly I don’t mean taking a ball from a child, or pushing, shoving or trampling anyone in order to get said ball. But if I’m lucky enough to catch one of those suckers, I shouldn’t be shamed into giving it up.
The scene in Arlington is especially interesting because the child kind of had a tantrum both before and after he didn’t receive the ball. There’s an argument to be made that the kid shouldn’t have gotten a ball just because he was crying – that’s certainly not the type of behavior I’d want to reinforce in my children.
Is there also an argument to be made that at three years old, he’d never remember the incident and wouldn’t be interested in the ball in a few weeks, whereas the couple was clearly thrilled and catching the ball was a highlight for them – they immediately started taking pictures with the ball?
So clearly I’m a selfish, no-kid having bastard, but what do you all think?
Missing baseball yet? I sure as heck am! Fear not, readers – the Advent Calendar has a few boys of summer hiding behind its (virtual) cardboard doors, like this offseason’s Most Eligible Starter, C.J. Wilson.
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.
“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!
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.
(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!
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.)
After checking, double checking, and even just now triple checking, I find myself in a bit of disbelief that we didn’t include the Night 6 Heeb hottie in last year’s group. Regardless, I give you the Texas Rangers’ second baseman: Ian Kinsler. Drool over him and a doughnut some more after the jump.
There just something about Hallowe’en that brings out the crazy. Dressing like a zombie. Dressing like Gaga. Drinking booze that is clearly coloured by artificial susbtances and possibly has floating eyeballs. Eating far too many mini Coffee Crisps. These jackets. Whatever bizarre behaviour you engage in is perfectly acceptable on October 31st, or at least the Friday or Saturday closest to it.
The sports world was also full of crazy on the weekend. For instance… Continue reading
1. Cliff Lee is not invincible. Which seems kind of obvious, but didn’t it sort of seem like he was for a few weeks, there? It appears the baseball gods do not take kindly to media designated storylines such as “The Year of the Pitcher.”
2. Fox seems to have abandoned the “solemn and momentous occasion” theme they’ve used for both the All-Star Game and the World Series the last few years in favor of their standard blaring trumpet sports theme. So they’ve obviously been reading our All-Star liveblogs.
Just to summarize:
8 innings pitched
1.3 glasses of merlot (contemplated drinking straight from the bottle at 7-0)
1/3 bag of Lays’ reduced salt chips
8 middle fingers (mostly for Josh Hamilton)
Damn you, Cliff Lee. Damn you to hell.
(I hate that you’re so awesome.)
Why yes, that is a picture of Placido Polanco stuffing Raul Ibanez’s glove down his pants. Thanks for noticing!
Enough goofing around: the league pennants are upon us, Fox has to start acting like the MLB playoffs aren’t something that just gets in the way of its football coverage (although to be fair they have a truly awesome NLCS promo which I can not find on the web but which prominently features a couple great Cardinal playoff moments plus Bartman), and fans whose teams win this series can buy shirts that don’t look kind of pathetic. (Unless you are a Rangers fan — you’re allowed to buy a Divisional Series Champs shirt if your team has never won a playoff series before.) Two teams swept their way in, one team needed all 5 games, and one would have swept if it were not for the heroics of one Rick Ankiel (it is, apparently, a good post season for Cardinals nostalgia). Anyway, here’s who we have left:
(Incidentally, that song reminds me of this, which I swear only makes me cry because I’m listening to that damn song. Insert “unhealthy obsession” comment here.)
(Yes, I know that you’re getting this post after the afternoon post. It’s still morning in California.)
The rest of the All-Star awesomesauce is after the jump, but first: SPOILER ALERT! NO RED SOX OR YANKEES! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE!.
In this installment of our weekly exercise in the agony of defeat, we head south to Texas. The heart of the Bible Belt, the home of Matthew McConaughey, Lance Armstrong, George Foreman, Nick Jonas, and the live music capital of the world; if the great fans of these teams can survive the Dust Bowl and bang bang McCoy, they can endure a few more years without championships!
When the idea of a Ladies… Book Club was mentioned, I realized that I better beef up on my sports-centric reading material. A few days later, I was at my local wholesale club and stumbled upon a gem: A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts. It was half-price and full of juicy, A-Rod gossip. It was fate.
We were pretty much inundated with excerpts from this much-discussed tell-all, so I felt familiar with it immediately. We all thought we knew what the book was about: steroids. Well, my friends, we weren’t entirely right.
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.)
There’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.
Rangers Hottie Jarrod Saltalamacchia did his part in the absolute take-them-out- behind-the-woodshed routing of the Baltimore Orioles by the Texas Rangers last night. This was the first 30-run game by a team since 1897. 110 years, people. What boggles my mind further is that this is the most runs ever scored by a team in a double-header…….before the second game even started! Byrd and Metcalf each had a grand slam. Ramon Vazquez and Salty each had two homeruns and 7 RBIs. Texas Rangers, we salute you! [The Texas Rangers Scored More Runs Than The Total of Each Other Game Last Night ]
When I was younger my father’s job transferred him to their offices in Plano, Texas. At the time (around age 13,14) I wanted to stay in South Carolina and be with my friends and family, etc.
I was such a fool.
There are many beautiful things of the male species that comes out of that great state. And I was an idiot to want to stay here. Don’t get me wrong, South Carolina is nice. But have you seen the ass that comes out of Texas with every team? It’s unfair. It is so unfair.
And while the Texas Rangers aren’t a team full of literal home grown talent, they still serve up some hottie goodness to the baseball world.
(Yes, I know Mark Teixeira doesn’t play for the Rangers anymore. But I’ve already done the Braves and he’s too hot to leave out of these “Bringing the Heat” posts. Plus he looked damn good in that uniform.)
What did the fans of the Texas Rangers do to get so lucky? Not only did they land my darling Kason Gabbard, they also picked up the hottest guy on the market, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. And they’ve already assimilated him!
Let’s travel back to The Day, you know- two days ago. Back when all was right with the world, and Salty was in the red and blue of the Braves, instead of the red and blue of the Rangers. This will be the only time you ever hear me say something good about the Braves- but their roster is chock full of hotties, and it’s sad to see Jarrod relegated to Dallas. At least he’ll have Kason to keep him kompany– they can share their letter-related woes as well: since Kason was stuck with a typo maybe Jarrod can lend him a spare letter.
See a full lineup of Salty-in-Braves goodness after the jump…