Friday, July 31, 2009

Cue the locust infestation in 3...2....1 (Drew Storen brings about the apocalypse).

I don't remember reading about baseball in the Book of Revelations as a kid, so I'm hazy on the exact details... That being said, I'm pretty sure Drew Storen giving up a walk was in there somewhere.

It finally happened in the eighth inning last night in Potomac's win over the "Dash" of Winston-Salem. (Seriously? The Winston-Salem Dash? Like one of these: "—"? Ooooo-kay then.) Drew was brought in with his team up 2-1. He got two straight ground outs, and then it happened. He walked this dude named C.J. Lang. Now, I didn't see the game, so I can't swear on this... but I'm pretty sure C.J. is 4'2". I mean.. c'mon... how are you supposed to pitch to that? The next batter, a 7'3" 375 lb. beast of a man named Dale Mollensomething, hit a double to drive in a run. Tie ballgame. Drew figured he'd accomplished what he set out to do (more on that in a bit), and got the next guy to fly out.

It was an eerie feeling in the Section 138 household right then. We weren't listening or following the game, but we all felt something. You know how dogs and cats can sense upcoming earthquakes and shit? Well, one of my cats was going nuts. Just bat-shit insane. He was crying and staring at me, very much frightened like. I asked him what was wrong, and he just moaned... "Dreeeeeeew. DREEEEEEEEW." I jumped on the internets and saw the news of the walk. The cat could sense something wasn't right with me, and I was so fearful of breaking the news to the lil' guy. I did, though, and after I was done he sobbed out in his little voice...

So they go to the bottom of the eighth, with Drew as the pitcher of record. The P-Nats don't fuck around, and score the go ahead run. Drew comes back out for the top of the 9th, and knew he had the Winston-Salem — right where he wanted them. He purposely walked that dude to instill false hope in all the — players. That crafty son of a bitch! They sure do make 'em smart out there at Stanford.

Drew does what he does, getting out of the 9th w/out allowing a runner to reach base, while striking one of the — out. Drew ended up with his first Carolina League win, and he and his teammates went on to celebrate like it was 2009. Final score: Potomac Nationals 3, Winston-Salem — 2.

And now, to put this matter to rest (or try to, anyway). I present the official* Drew Storen nickname list. We shall choose from this list the name that Drew will come to be known as. Pick wisely, as this could scar the guy for life.

  • Short panted long socked throwing person
  • Socks
  • Dude with the flat brimmed hat
  • Capris
  • Stockings
  • That reliever guy from Stanford
  • Hose
  • Amazing leg coverings guy
  • Stocks
  • And the incredibly amazing entry of... El Drew K
As always, you guys can offer up more. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to purchase some pitch forks at Home Depot. The storming of Nationals Park will begin at 4PM sharp if Rizzo doesn't make any moves to improve this squad. If I don't see you at the storming, wanna meet up at the burning at the stake after? Just drop me a line.

*This list is as official as Tibet being part of China. Which is to say, it's bullshit.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adam Dunn: Gentleman Extraordinaire! And a Drew Storen nickname update.

I had a good buddy of mine (The Doctor, who comments often) point this out to me yesterday. It appears that whenever either Adam Dunn or Josh Willingham do something good (say, hit a home run, or "Code Red" Flop in the home team clubhouse of Miller Park), Mr. Dunn insists upon shaking Josh's hand.

Evidence of this comes in the form of a crappy ass video that I spent 3 hours making into the wee hours of the night last night. It's a piece of shit, and I hope you're a good reader, cause the title pages fly by pretty quick, but overall, I had fun. (Not enough to ever... and I mean EVER do it again, though.) So... kick back, relax, and enjoy!

Not to be outdone by my marvelous video production, however, is this new addition to the Drew Storen nickname list. It came from an anonymous commenter back on my July 22 Drew Storen post. Revel in all it's glory:
Seems obvious to me. 22 Ks in his last 11 innings with one hit and no walks.

"El Drew K"

God Damn that's good. If I can ever get an hour or two to get all the nickname suggestions for Drew together, I'll make that it's own post.

2:05 game today, folks. The Nats are facing Yovani Gallardo who, even though he attended a high school known to produce... umm... not the brightest students (Example A: This picket sign), is actually quite astute in the pitching department. As the great Crash Davis once said, "don't think Meat, just throw." He'll have to throw his ass off if he hopes to avoid any handshaking today. Go get him, boys!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tony Plush pimps, and Ryan Braun irritates.

Nyjer Morgan (aka Tony Plush) is proving to be an invaluable lead-off man, and an invaluable glove. In his last two games, Nyjer is 5 for 10 with a lead-off HR, 4 RBI, and a stolen base. His range in the outfield cannot be defined by our puny human number system, and can only be described as "great googly moogly" good. When he was asked about his lead-off home run last night, Mr. Plush laid it down for us.
The last couple of days, the pitchers have started me off inside, so I had an idea they were going to pound me in," Morgan said. "It's just one of those things where I was feeling a little sexy at the dish.
Sexy indeed, Tony. Sexy indeed.

Ryan Braun, on the other hand, is proving to be a nuisance. He's gone 5-8 with 3 RBI, scored 4 R, and has hit a 2B, 3B, and 2 HR. I'm telling you, I'll be so happy when we leave Milwaukee and no longer have to see this guy:

Oh, wait. Wong picture. Sorry about that. Here's the guy I won't miss a bit:

Easy enough mistake to make, no?

The Nationals have won four sweet-ass games in a row, and others in the league (and some fans that want Bryce Harper on the team) are screaming, "Break up the Nats!" In the four wins, the offense has scored 38 runs while the pitching has allowed only 12 runs. That right there, my friends, is how you win ballgames.

The trade deadline is just about 60 hours away, and our dreamy reliever from Stanford keeps on keeping on, but work is calling. I'll have to leave that post to another time. I'll leave you with one more thought, though... This one focusing on tonight's game.

Manny Parra is on the bump, and he's bringing his 6.42 ERA with him. That dude doesn't stand a chance.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Hammer, Rizzo, and Da Meat Hook.

Welp... Josh Willingham didn't just hit one grand slam last night, and he didn't just he two grand slams last night, but he hit... (What's that? Oh, crap. I'm so used to having to make shit up, that I was already in 'extreme exaggeration mode' there. Sorry!) Yes, it's true. Josh Willingham hit two grand slams last night in consecutive at bats. It was such a great feat, that it's only the 13th time in history it's happened. In fact, if you go to espn.com you can find a blurb about it buried way below articles on Alfonso Soriano hitting a walk-off grand slam*, and the potential end of John Smoltz' career. Keep looking. It's there. See? Just look at this teeny tiny caption under the video. Yup... it's called the "ESPNews Highlight Of The Night", folks.

In case you didn't see it, here's the video that I stole got from MLB.com.

The Brewers announcers don't make that big a deal out of it, of course, but I do remember Rob Dibble shouting "SMACK 'EM YAK 'EM!" during a replay. (Also of note... I can't remember the last time I saw so many dudes wearing jorts. Seriously, every crowd shot had one or two jort wearers. It was amazing. God bless Wisconsin.) Oh, and do they broadcast from left-center field? Why do they say "that's coming our way" on the second grand slam ball? Someone produce answers, stat.

Last night was also the first time watching a game with my neighbor's cat. His owner hates baseball, but was out of town, so I watched it with him. Cool cat, btw. Just prop him up on the couch, and feed him beers, and he's happy. Anyway, after The Hammer hit his second grand slam, I snapped a picture of the lil' guy watching it.

That lil' dude had me playing it over and over again on the DVR. He really likes baseball. Or, was really drunk from the seven beers I gave him. Either way, he's a brand new cat after staying with me last night.

So, much props, Mr. Willingham(mer). (Ripped off of Jamie Mottram's Twitter feed.) He may be the 13th player in MLB history to do that, but he's only the 3rd player to do it in the National League. If Mike Rizzo was going to trade him, I don't think there's a chance in Hell his value will ever be higher than right now.

Speaking of trading... The trade deadline in Friday, 7/31. It looks like the Nats lost out on moving Nick Johnson to either the Red Sox or the Giants, as they chose to trade for one of the LaRoche brothers and Ryan Garko respectively. There are grumblings out there that the Cubs are interested in Joey Beimel, and others have talked about Willingham and Willie Harris, but has Mike Rizzo waited too long or asked too much for them? There are those that say yes, but I just came across this column by Phil Wood where some scouts have nice things to say about Rizzo. All of which I agree with, btw.

"Look at the talent this guy has drafted for Washington," the AL scout said. "And the trade with Pittsburgh was outstanding." Certainly Nyjer Morgan has made an impact on this team, but this guy came back to the draft. "Washington has so many good arms throughout their system," he said, "they're not going to be doormats for long."

"What else does Riz have to do to lose the interim tag?", said the NL scout. "Taking over that job under those circumstances during spring training? Somebody needs to explain to me how he could've done any better cleaning up the mess Bowden left behind."

I, too, can't understand why he's still got that damn interim tag on him. There have even been rumors that Boras is reluctant to negotiate with the Nats over Strasburg because Boras/Strasburg have no idea what the Nats are doing with their front office. (I know, I know. Posturing. Let's wait until August 13-ish to start worrying. But it does bring up a good point.)

Until you're replaced though, Mike... pull the trigger. Slick ain't getting any younger, nor healthier, dammit. (And He's not a candidate for re-signing with us, in my opinion. I'm pretty sure he'd choose to sign with someone that can win now, as opposed to the Nats, which are a win in 2-3 years club.)

And, finally, Dmitri Young went on the DL with a torn jaw muscle quad, thus ending his year. Will it also end his Nationals career? If his text messages are any indications... then yes, it will.
The first baseman said in a text message on Sunday that he is "preparing myself 4 next year sumwhere."

I'll miss ya, Meat, but not your contract. That $5MM (Jesus, JimBo!) can now go to better use. Let's hope that if your baseball career is, indeed, over that you will start what is bound to be a great new career in the world of competitive eating. I might not pay $20 to see you wobble around first base, but I sure as well would pay $5 to see you destroy some chicken wings. Godspeed, to you, and your hair.

*A note on Soriano's grand slam - I was watching SportsCenter, and they showed a clip of the game winner from a different angle any of the clips I can find online. It showed Soriano showboating all the way around the infield, and giving the John Cena 'you can't see me' hand gesture to the Astros dugout. (Partial glimpse on this video as he rounds third.) I'm not one on impassioned speeches about the "right way" to play the game and all, but I'll just say this... I hope Halladay Oswalt [Damn you, trade deadline for getting him in my head!] drills him in his fucking ear tonight. And I'm pretty sure he will.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mets fans make awesomely awesome t-shirts

And by awesomely awesome, I mean horribly horrible.

I was going to post this via my Twitter feed while at the game on Tuesday night, but thought I'd save it for a wider audience (wider by... like 7, I suppose). I was on my way to the beer kiosk (shocker, I know) when I saw these Mets fans at a chili dog stand (even bigger shocker, I know).

Now, I'm not sure where to begin on this shirt... but it was super intriguing to me. First, they ditch the "g" from the front of the word nats. Why? I guess maybe they're being informal, and wanted to keep it consistent with the "da" right before it? Or maybe they had to pay by the letter, and couldn't afford the "g"? Maybe still (and bear with me hear, cause it's a big stretch) the person who designed the shirt really didn't know that the insect was called a gnat? Either way, the spelling of that word confuses me.

Second, doesn't Mr. Met look... well... different? Why is his head so small? I mean, the real Mr. Met's head is friggin HUGE! The body to head size ratio is all screwed up here. It took me a while to figure out what was going on with the whole shirt because I was fixated on this Mr. Met with a normal sized head. Aren't there any decent artists in NY any more?

Finally, did they think this shirt was a wickedly good burn on the Nats? I mean, seriously... this is like some kids in, like, I dunno... fucking Harvard spending good money on t-shirts that say, "Go Harvard! Beat West Kansas State Junior College in the Academic Bowl!"
Man the fuck up, Mets fans. Pick a real target. It takes a lot of guts to print a t-shirt that says you're gonna beat up the last place team in baseball. It takes even more guts to walk out of the game after you were shut out by the very same team you're trying to make fun of, though, don't it?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Drew Storen 'socks watch' update

Thanks to this twit pic from Pam Storen (Who I will go out on an incredible limb on and say is related to Drew), I can confirm the status of those damn fine socks of Drew's. Ladies and Gentlemen...

THEY LIVE!! Sweet baby Jesus in heaven! This has brought a huge smile to my face, and I know it did to you as well. Again, many thanks to Pam Storen, and her Twitter feed for the pic.

Oh, and a quick update on Drew's debut in Potomac... He got the save by pitching two innings and allowing 0 runs. He struck out the side in the 8th inning (but of course), and got two ground balls to retire the side in the 9th (first batter singled, second hit into a 4-6-3 DP).

Keep this up, and you may just earn yourself a nickname, Mr. Storen. (We can't call him 'Socks' though, cause that was a cat from the White House, I believe. How about... 'Stockings', 'Hoser', or 'Incredible Man With the Amazing Leg Coverings'?)

Tony Plush is TEH BOMBZ!!11!!

I gotta say... there are some things you have to see in person to truly comprehend. One of those things? Nyjer Morgan's speed. Sure, he looks fast on TV, but in person? Holy bejezzerz! His closing speed is just incredible. Dude can certainly push the garage door opener button from the inside of the garage to close it, and run out before it closes. (C'mon... you all know you've done it. It used to be kinda easy as a kid, but then they had to throw that stupid "safety" laser thing in, so you have to jump over it, while still ducking the door. I swear to Christ... kids these days get robbed of so much raw fun.) Anyway... here are two (crappy ass) clips I pulled from MLBs Gameday coverage today to showcase Nyjer's awesomely awesome speed. First up is Nyjer robbing "Fake Eyebrows" (David Wright).

I gotta say, most of us at the park thought that ball was out. Tony's closing on that ball was unreal. (Shit... I just realized something. I shared my reason for calling Nyjer "Tony Plush" on my Twitter feed (you can follow me on the right), but never told you guys! My bad, homies! Click here to listen to Nyjer being interviewed by some dude back when he was on the Pirates. Very good stuff, and brief, too.)

The next (really crappy) video I'm sharing is Nyjer running down a hard hit ball in the top of the 9th. This is when I realized his true speed. I mean... dude out ran the fucking ball. I was very, very impressed. (Although it doesn't take much to impress me. I was blown away by the pretzel dog at Noah's Pretzels.)
This is also my gift to those of you lucky enough to be able to enjoy the games without Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble. We all know how I feel about Bob, but this is my first foray into Rob. I don't have the horrible disdain for him that some do, but I certainly agree with Needham in the fact that some of his commentary is... well... not the most analytical stuff you'll hear from a color commentator. Listen in this clip how he eloquently describes Nyjer's catch...

That's right. His expert analysis of the play was "WHOO-HOO" and "How do you like me know." His most common analysis is "Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice", and I keep meaning to get a clip of that, but I'm probably among the top 10 laziest mother fuckers on the planet. Maybe someday, but don't hold your breath folks.

And finally, I leave you with one last video, and a comment about it.

We got Nyjer for Lastings Milledge.



Ah, shit... Forgot one thing. This is for you, Johnny Lannans. First CG shutout in the history of Nationals Park. Good job, eyebrows! I'm sure quite a few ladies would offer to have your offspring after that outing. Pick well, my friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Drew Storen? Not too shabby, my friends.

So... the number 10 overall pick, Drew Storen, closer from Stanford, just got the call up to Potomac. And it's really is happening with Drew, unlike poor poor DeNo, whose promotion never happened.

After a rough couple of games to start (He gave up five hits and three ER in his first two games) he's been lights out his last few (0 hits, 0 ER in his last five games). Actually, I managed to throw together this piece of crap Excel spreadsheet to break down every one of his 11 appearances so far. (I got yelled at for that Hanrahan breakdown where I used pencil and paper. Well, Doctor, suck on this here spreadsheet!) [Edit: Really, Blogger? You have me import my Excel doc through Google Docs, only to cut off some of the right side? I used to think you (Google) were like Chipotle. Now... you're like Baja Fresh to me. Take that! (Oh.. and you can place your mouse in the doc and use the scroll wheel if you want.)]

As you can see, Drew (Who's on his own for a nickname, btw... Unless some of you guys can figure one out. I'm still wiped from the 6 hour brain storming session I had to create Derek's nickname of DeNo.) has some mind-boggling shit going on.... especially that part of his line that says 0 BB, 26 K.

I'll just throw some other numbers out at you, courtesy of his baseball-reference.com page.

(Speaking of which, try something. Oh, c'mon... don't whine like that, you guys. I don't ask you to do much. Seriously... just try this one thing. Go to baseball-reference.com, and throw Drew's name into the search box. What did you guys get? That's right... 0 hits for that search. What the fuck is that? It's like the fucking black hole of baseball-reference. It's like Drew's page is an Easter egg on your DVD. When I finally hunted down his page, I felt like I won the goddamn lottery. It was like following a treasure map, only the treasure map was the shittiest treasure map ever made. It's a thrilling process, though. It really is.)

Opponents are batting .193 against him, he's got a WHIP of .750, and has struck out 44% of the dudes he's faced. He has thrown 5 WP, but has yet to give a batter a free pass (Well, except those two guys he hit. But they probably said something about him being all brain and no arm since he went to Stanford, so he plunked them. Or made fun of him not having an easily accessible baseball-reference.com page. Who knows?). He's averaging 6.8 hits per 9 innings, and 16 strike outs per 9 innings. I mean, really, seriously. That's insane.

Here is the part where I would normally post a picture of Drew, and point out all the cool shit about him, but... there's a problem. There's not one single fucking picture of him in a Suns uniform on the entire interwebs. Seriously! You can find plenty of Stanford pics, but no pro ones. I came across this video which shows him from the waist up, and he really comes off well in the interview portion, but we never see the important stuff. You know... like if he's still sporting the fucking socks of doom!

In closing... Mr. Storen, sir... Please please please keep the socks. Oh, and can't you do something for DeNo? Tell Coach Jewett that you have some kind of anxiety issue where you need to throw to Derek. It's all the rage these days.

Oh, I also didn't forget about my lady readers. You lucky gals can click here for a shirtless Drew. Don't say I never do anything for you two (or three... female readers may amount to three now).

And lastly (I swear), if you just can't wait for a Drew Storen baseball card, hop on over to this here site and peep their card. It's just like the real thing. Only not.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The man is trying to keep Nyjer Morgan down.

EDIT: Anyone coming for the Hitler Nyjer/Lastings trade video found on YouTube, it's at the bottom of the post. Read the early shit though too, dammit!

The man in this instance is the monstrosity called ESPN. Did you watch last night's game? Yeah... it had large quantities of shit in it, but remember Nyjer leading off the bottom of the 6th with that bunt base hit? That was all kinds of awesomeness. Only... if you listen to ESPN, they said it shouldn't of counted.

Well, ESPN, allow me to retort. (Use your Kenny Powers voice here.) YOU'RE FUCKING WRONG, AND I'M FUCKING RIGHT!

Rule 6.06 (a) of the Official MLB Rulebook (.pdf link) states:
6.06 A batter is out for illegal action when -
(a) He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batters box.
I know reading comprehension is underrated these days, but c'mon. You don't understand the word 'entirely'? It means to the full or entire extent. It doesn't mean some, or half, or a little bit. It mean the whole God damn foot.

Good thing MLB pays umpires to apply the rules during a game, cause if ESPN had their way, they'd take a run off the board, and the Nats need every fucking run they can get. And then some.

UPDATE: An anonymous commenter (I love each and every one of you bastards!) pointed out that one of the YouTube links after my video above ends is called "Hitler sounds off on Lastings/Nyjer trade." (Paraphrased, any way.) I watched it, and it is a must see. It is my pleasure to show you this masterpiece of epic proportions. Turn the sound down, or throw on some damn headphones, and prepare for your face to be blown. (That didn't come out right, did it?)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ain't no stopping Derek Norris now.

(Everyone who read that speech bubble in their head with the Professor's voice raise your hand. It's okay... I did it too.)

So, Brian Oliver broke it on his Twitter feed early this morning, and confirmed it on his blog a tad later. What is it, you ask?
Promotion News: The Nationals are reportedly going to promote CA Sean Rooney from Potomac to Harrisburg and CA Derek Norris from Hagerstown to Potomac.
How you like them fucking apples? DeNo (Derek's nickname that we gave him, right? Right!?) has been like Michael Jackson's hair in that Pepsi commercial all year, and I hyped him up just last week, so you guys know him well. This news is only kinda surprising in that I can't believe they didn't send him to AA Harrisburg. The catchers there have lines of .184/.273/.327 (Luke Montz) and .145/.333/.242 (Javi Herrera). But... the Nats want him to be the everyday guy in Potomac (Advanced A), while Sean Rooney is booting Javi Herrera from the Harrisburg roster. I can live with that. Derek will surely rip through Potomac like he did all his other leagues. Who knows, Jesus Flores could be backing him up in the bigs as soon as late next year. (Did I hear someone say, "Who?" Jesus Flores, that's who. You know... the guy who starts for the Nats when healthy? You forgot him already? ::sigh::)

So, I thought it was time to do a seriously scientific evaluation of the prospects in all of Major League baseball right now and see how Derek is looking. This graph below illustrates my findings.

As you can plainly see, DeNo is head and shoulders above everyone else in organized ball. Hell, he might even get called up to be Strasburg's personal catcher when Stras signs! (Okay, yes... I may be a delusional Nats fanatic, but I do realize Derek is only 20, and won't turn 21 until 2010. And... no, he won't be making the big club any time soon. See? I may be delusional, but I'm not insane.) My hearty congrats go out to DeNo. I may even go over to Potomac and buy that young man a beer or two. Of course... since he's underage, we would have to go somewhere super secret to drink said beers. Like... one of those windowless cargo vans.

(My editor highly recommended I retract that last sentence in case, God forbid, Derek actually gets abducted by someone. I told him that since I'm following DeNo 24 hours a day that there's nothing to worry about, as I would surely step in and stop such an abduction attempt, thus becoming DeNo's hero. And we would become BFFs and hang out all the time. And watch movies together, and play catch, and talk about girls and stuff. Actually... is there anyone out there willing to "pose" as an "attempted kidnapper?" Let me know!)

So, yeah. Go DeNo! Woo-hoo!

P.S. I'm still not ready to talk about Manny. I will just say that I was mildly shocked when I read this article. In it, it explains some of Manny's teaching tools, one of which included handing out SELF-FUCKING-HELP books. I shit you not. Apparently Manny didn't learn from reading about the likes of Stengel, McGraw, and McCarthy. No, he learned by reading Tony Robbins, Dr. Phil and that "Chicken Soup For the Soul" fucker. Gah!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tyler Clippard's IBB balk, and other stuff. (Like... What happened to Manny Acta and true defining moments.)

I present to you... the first of many in what should be MASN's actual ad campaign. Does anyone hear the phrase "Defining Moments" and associate it positively with the Nationals? Fuck and no are the answers. There are hundreds of true Nats defining moments, and this will surely become a regular feature. So, how bout you all throw your MASN Nats defining moments in the comments? In the meantime, I'll give you my defining moment of the Nationals. Tyler Clippard's balk that he committed while trying to intentionally walk someone.

Yeah, you read that right. Allow me to set the scene. In the bottom of the 8th, Tyler Clippard was brought into the ballgame to keep the game... well... sorta-somewhat close. (4-0 Astros at that point). He walked Berkman to lead off the inning in spectacular fashion, then gave up a ground-rule double to Carlos Lee. (That ball may or may not have been catch able. At this point, however, I have stopped thinking like that whenever a ball is hit towards Adam Dunn. Unless it's a fucking line drive right at his face, I'm now assuming it's a double, even if it's hit by a bigger, fatter version of Dmitri Young. Which does not exist.)
Next up was Geoff Blum (whose parent I have issues with, btw. It's Jeff. Not Geoff, god dammit) who hit a shallow pop fly to center that Nyjer Morgan made a nice play on. So, with one out, here is where the drama hilarity comes in. Manny decides to intentionally walk Hunter Pence, to set up the double play. Easy enough, right? Not for our 2009 Washington Nationals it ain't. Enjoy your Yaketty Sax for today.

I'd write more about it, but there really isn't anything else to say. Also, I spent two fucking hours on this video piece of shit above and am extremely displeased with the quality of the ultimate product. Enjoy, peeps, cause it's the last actual video you'll ever get from me again. (Unless someone knows of a decent video capture and edit software. And don't even think of recommending Cam Studio, or I'll punch your mom in the face.) And, yeah, the rule is outdated and probably needs to be re-written... but still, it's an intentional walk. You're purposely throwing balls nowhere near the damn strike zone. Once your spike gets caught, Tyler, just flick the ball in Wil's general direction. I don't give a shit if it's a 15 hopper, just let it go.

In other news, Manny Acta finally got fired. I'm seriously going to leave it at that for right now. I'm not a happy person. I haven't read a single Internet article on it, and haven't even opened my Twitter client today. I'm just shocked that they think handing the reigns over to a lifetime .445 manager is gonna make that much of a difference. I dunno. Maybe I should do some research and see if Riggleman's squads played fundamentally sound baseball. That may be one area he can improve on. What he can't change, however, are the names on the back of the jerseys in the clubhouse. You see... the players on this team need someone continually babysitting them. Continually encouraging them. Continually challenging them. The players need someone to get them to actually practice, play, and act like they give a fuck. Is Jim Riggleman that guy? I don't know, but that sure as shit wasn't Manny Acta. (I guess I did end up writing something on that, eh?)

Farewell to you and your fedora, Manny. I wish you the best of luck.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The solution to all of Cristian Guzman's fielding problems

Hi there. Hey, did you see last night's game? You did? Yikes, huh!? You didn't? Ah, you missed the debacle of all debacles. I'm actually not sure whether to recommend you try and see it, or congratulate you on having missed it. It was... well... shitty. I'm talking rolling around in it for 500 yards Shawshank Redemption shitty. Steinberg has a really good wrap up with some screen grabs here.

I have no ideas to help Ryan Zimmerman, who grounded into two double plays last night . I have no ideas for The Big Donkey, who struck out three times with RISP. I have no ideas for Joey Beimel, who botched a perfect inning ending double play ball by throwing to the infielder who was actually backing up the throw to second. And, I certainly don't have any ideas for poor Wille Harris, who took a ground ball right to the nuts, except maybe a titanium cup. Nor for Austin Kearns, who would have had a yakety sax made by me except there is already one out there.

But what I do have, folks, is an idea for Cristian Guzman, who all of a sudden thinks he's playing fucking soccer. After kicking three ground balls in the past two games, I threw on my inventor hat, and got busy.

Without further delay (cause... seriously... I've built this shit up enough already, and it actually sucks), and as a tribute to Billy Mays (Hi, Death here for BILLY MAYS!) I give you...

"The Goozie Boots". Strap these puppies on, and you'll be fielding like Ozzie fuckin Smith. (As always, feel free to click to enlarge.)

HUGE hat tip to our own Natmosphere's Miss Chatter, who took this picture and loaded it on her Flickr photostream.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The man, the myth, the (possibly) machine... Mr. Derek Norris.

So what? Maybe he was sent from the future to destroy baseball as we know it. You know what, though? Fuck it. I'm gonna enjoy the ride.

Yes, my friends, it's our hero... Derek Norris. Look at how smiley he is! (And a real smiley, as opposed to that fake ass 49 year old from the Dominican Republic, Alvarez.)

It might be hard to believe, judging from his friendly mug up there, but Derek Norris is a FUCKING SOLDIER! Since being drafted by the Nats in the 4th round of the 07 draft, Derek (Who needs a nickname, btw. Let's see... how about Dino (like from the Flinstones), only it's spelled DeNo? Works for me.) started tearing shit up, and hasn't stopped since. It's really no wonder, as he was named the Kansas Baseball Player of the Year by some magazine in 2007.

There are some that say they witnessed DeNo's powers while he was attending Goddard High School. (Noted alumni - Logan Watkins and Travis Banwart. Wait... seriously? Who the fuck are they? Nice job, Wikipedia!) He would hit 800 foot home runs and throw out 13 runners from his knees often. He would also drink motor oil and lift the couch while he vacuumed under it. He spoke 17 languages fluently and always knew what color underwear Debbie Carruthers (the head cheerleader) was wearing. (He also knew what color underwear Cherry LaRue -the head slut- was wearing. Well... evey guy in school knew that, actually, so forget I mentioned it.)

His first stop devastating rival pitchers was for the GCL Nationals. There he went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles in his very first game. For 2008 the Nats sent him to the Vermont Lake Monsters of the short season New York Penn league. That's when people discovered this dude just might not be mortal. His line for 08? .278/.444/.463 10 HR and 38 RBI in 70 games. Oh, in those 70 games, he walked 63 times. The guy has the patience of my dog stalking a bird (which is a really long time, I swear!) and the eye of a sober guy (opposite Cristian Guzman, who has the eye of a drunk as shit dude on a Saturday night at the local watering hole. We all know that guy. In fact, I saw him hit on a guide dog once).

He collected all kinds of awards in 2008 including being named the Sept 4th NYP player of the week, a NYP League Mid-Season All-Star, a Baseball America Short Season All-Star, and the Topps Short Season/Rookie All-Star squad. He was also instructed to 'advance to Go and collect $200.'

This year, he's been balling up in Hagerstown, and doing one helluva job. He's hitting .317/.410/.583 with an OPS of .993, 18 HR and 60 RBI through 78 games. He's also thrown out 40% of base stealers in 07-09. He has already been named Sally League player of the week this year, made the Sally League All-Star game, and leads the team in (take a deep breath...) hits, doubles, HR, RBI, walks, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, and total bases. All of that allows him to be first, in the entire fucking league, in HR, RBI, total bases, and second in OPS and hits.

And last but not least, he's 6 feet tall and weighs in at a slim, trim, buff, cut, ripped, chiseled, and jackkkkkkkkkkked 210 lbs, and is one damn fine handsome man (sayeth the ladies).

All of which, in the end, is a really, really good thing, since we're relying on Jesus Flores to be the catcher of the future. With the amount of time he's missed with injury last year and this, I'm fully expecting him to miss the entire 2010 year. (Guesses on the next injury, anyone? Holes in the hands and feet? Lacerated scalp? Some object piercing his side?)