Thursday, May 29, 2008

Homer at the Bat: Captain Awesome Pays Homage to the Greatest Baseball Related Cartoon Episode Ever

Season 3, Episode 17 of The Simpsons. Mr. Burns makes a $1M bet on the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant vs. the Shelbyville Power Plant softball game. In an effort to cheat to win, Mr. Burns hires Major League players as "employees" at the Nuclear Power Plant and has them sign up on the softball team as ringers. This episode originally aired on February 20, 1992. I thought it would be fun to list the Major Leaguers that starred in this episode, along with the reason they missed the softball game. We shall compare that to what has happened to the players since this episode aired.

Ken Griffey Jr.
- Hospitalized with gigantism due to Mr. Burns' nerve tonic in The Simpsons.
- Griffey Jr. is still currently playing. Although he has suffered many injuries the past few years, he is still considered one of the best outfielders in the game.
Roger Clemens
- Hypnotism gone awry caused Clemens to think he was a chicken.
- Congressional hearing gone awry may lead to a perjury conviction regarding his use of PEDs.
Wade Boggs
- Gets into a bar fight with Barney over who was the greatest British Prime Minister of all time.
- Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Steve Sax
- Arrested by Springfield PD because of the unsolved murders in New York.
- Since this episode, Steve Sax the heck has Steve Sax done?
Ozzie Smith
- Disappears into the "Springfield Mystery Spot" and is never heard from again.
- Ozzie was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Jose Canseco
- Canseco misses the softball game because he is too busy saving a woman’s possessions from a house fire.
- Canseco is now a self-professed steroid user and the canary of the baseball world.
Don Mattingly
- Mattingly was cut by Mr. Burns because of his “sideburns.”
- Has recently served with the Yankee organization as the bench coach.
Mike Scioscia
- Hospitalized with radiation poisoning from working at the power plant.
- Scioscia currently manages the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Darryl Strawberry
- The only player that actually gets to play in the softball game.
- Strawberry has since battled cancer, drug issues, and even spent some time in jail.

Might I add that Strawberry is pulled in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied, 2 outs, and the bases loaded. In a LaRussa inspired move, Mr. Burns wants to “play the percentages” by batting Homer (a right handed batter) against the left handed pitcher. Homer becomes the hero by taking the first pitch to the head and forcing in the winning run.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taguchipedia Thursday.....There is a reason he is so quiet....

So, I found this gem in the Riverfront Times published in October 2007. Our very own So Taguchi was voted as having the best smile.

Best Smile
So Taguchi
It's not the widest smile on the team. That belongs to Yadier Molina, who's had a lot to smile about lately. But So Taguchi's smile reflects two qualities that are rare in professional baseball today: silence and innocence. Because he speaks so little, watching So play ball is like watching a silent movie. He's Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp to Tony La Russa's stone-faced Buster Keaton. We get to imagine what So is feeling, which isn't hard to do, because his eyes always tell us. Mostly they tell us that So is so very happy to be in St. Louis. As a bench player, every time he gets to snatch a fly ball out of the Wrigley ivy or rally the Cards' playoff hopes with an improbable clout, So's guileless smile suggests that every at bat, every catch, is his first. He's every kid who ever wanted to play America's game, anywhere in the world.

I would like to add that So is Japanese and can't speak English and when he does speak he says strange and goofy things like him and Ichiro are the best outfield combination in the world. He really has no choice but not to speak, what are his options, to continue speaking continually in Japanese to the point where his teammates think he is an A-hole? So, his non-speaking making him a silent and innocent ballplayer and making this author feel like he is watching a silent move is mostly a forced silence. Plus, this is just to far, to far. For shame Riverfront Times, For Shame. This article tips the scale. Combined with the Savage Love section and the ads for massages and strip clubs in the back your magazine is now considered trash in my eyes.

Also, the smile goes both ways, everytime a ball lands 10 feet in front of him or any time he lunges to his left and the ball bounces out of his glove his guileless smile suggests that its his first.

Beltran says Randolph comments distracting team

Carlos Beltran called the Randolph comments and situation a distraction. Really? I would probably call .259 avg, 4 Hr's combined with the over $18 million dollar salary more of a distraction. Or maybe Delgado's sub .220 average and absence of almost all power. Or Pedro being out, or Santana not pitching to expectations. These things have been happening all season, not just since Randolph's comments.

What I would say is that Beltran's comments are disengengious and an attempt at removing himself from the spotlight of his poor performance. A manager cannot affect his team's performance with comments that he is making about upper management. It is impossible and ridiculously stupid to suggest so especially for a guy that is woefully underperforming.

Managers can affect a team negatively in the following ways:

1.Not playing your team leader in HR's everyday such as LaRussa not playing Ludwick

2. Allowing a pitcher to "work out his kinks" at the Major League level instead of at the minor league level even though his minor league performances had been horrible such as in 2006 with Mark Mulder. Mulder got tore up and those games were treated somewhat as not important. The Cardinals barely won the central by 1.5 games.

3. Bunting a guy over to 3rd.

4. Leaving a pitcher with arm problems in to throw 130 pitches.

5. Heavily favoring aging vetrans.

6. Saving your best relief pitcher only for the 9th and only if your team is in the lead.

7. Holding personal grudges against players and allowing this to affect if they play.

8. Making negative public comments about a player. There comes a time where you have to comment about a players poor performance but publically it needs to be left at that.

9. Stealing too much.

10. Taking out an effective pitcher to attempt to capitalize on the lefty/lefty match-up.

List of Players that I feel that I could contribute more than they are

Craig Counsell
Adam Kennedy
Dave Veres

Players will be added as I think of them.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baseball Strategy

I had a real problem tonight during the Dodgers/Cubs game on ESPN (other than having to endure 8.5 innings of Rick Sutcliffe and Chris Berman announcing). I think it was the bottom of the third. Geovany Soto led off with a double. Ronny Cedeno grounded out to third, failing to move Soto over. Next comes the part I cannot comprehend. Sean Gallagher, the pitcher, squares up to bunt. How does this make sense? There is one out with Alfonso Soriano on deck. Why not let the pitcher swing away. There's little chance of a double play, and the pitcher may record a hit. Essentially, what is the difference between a runner at second with two out and your leadoff man up and a runner at third with two out and your leadoff man up? I understand in the latter situation, you open up the possibility of scoring on a wild pitch, a passed ball or maybe an infield hit. Who manages baseball in anticipation of a wild pitch, passed ball, or infield hit? With two outs, your runner should be going on he should be able to score from second on a base hit anyway...unless one of the Molina brothers is standing at second. To make a long story short, Gallagher fouled off the bunt attempt. He got a few words from third base coach Mike Quade and swung away at the next two pitches. All of this got me riled up, but (at least) left my sanity intact.

Just a side rant on Berman and Sutcliffe: Why do they sound like they are almost whispering at time during the broadcast? Berman has one of the biggest mouths in all of sports announcing. Why does he talk so low during parts of the broadcast. ...and what is Sutcliffe's obsession with Erin Andrews? OK, I know what his obsession with Erin Andrews is, but why does he always pose the question, "Erin, where are you?" He does this at the most awkward, out-of-place times and it seems a little creepy to me. I get the same feeling as when I go to a bar with one of my friends and he finds a girl there that will actually talk to him (usually the waitress). I know she's there to do a job, she knows she's there to do a job, but he thinks he has a legitimate shot at taking her home at the end of the he brings his "game." In the end, it makes you feel weird because you know what he's doing, she knows what he's doing, and she knows that you know what he's doing. It's just uncomfortable.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Taguchipedia Thursday

A long time in the making, our latest installment of random facts about So Taguchi. Apparently So Taguchi is a Sports Hero. Also, he challenges himself....or is he a hero because he challenges himself...or is he a hero because he was a minor league player who potentially could write a diary. I can't tell.

So, wow, am I the only one?

Ok, so this article here is suppose to be cutting edge, modern day, we get it, I understand the typical obsessed sports fan, funny and witty writing. But I can't get through it, I try but I can't. I think it is really bad. Really, really bad. So, bad I have to break out WTF? Its like Bill Simmons just randomly starts writing absolutely everything that goes through his mind but then puts sentence structure to it.

Here I'll try:
Process map, computer, boobs, globex, emergency, Chris Young, Hyatt, Diet sunkist orange, Hope, pen, seeds, fantasy baseball, broken ankle, business cards, why business cards?, I don't know, job title, American Idol, coffee cup, folder, Cardinals calendar, Hall of fame, Carrie Underwood, no Carrie Underwear, this is wierd, stop, stop now, Tom Hanks, Cast Away.

Ok and scene. See, Simmons does the same thing then writes sentences in between each item. He annoys me tremendously.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mike Piazza is retiring..., let's hear the final word. Is he gay or not?

I will save my verdict until after I hear from everyone else, but if you are on the fence (so to speak) just read this. That should set you straight (pardon the pun).

The Great Beer Debate of '08

I submit this in this forum because I like beer and it is an integral part of baseball for me. I could touch off a firestorm with this one, but here it goes. I am tired of the American lager not getting any love. Why is it so trendy to rip on the Budweisers, Millers, and Coors products? As I see it, there are two types of beer drinkers (no, not alcoholics and social drinkers). There are those that enjoy beer and those that want to look like they know everything about beer by drinking microbrewed or imported beers. I like to think that I am of the former type.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not insulting microbrews or imports. I know, you're thinking to yourself:
- Does Captain Awesome like imports? Of course! Guiness is one of my top two or three beers. There's nothing like a night when the Guiness goes down smooth. Those are the blurry, how did I get home, I hope it was me that threw up in my pants types of nights.
- Does Captain Awesome like microbrews? Yes, it's always an adventure with microbrews. Buying mix-and-match microbrews makes me feel like Indiana Jones (topical humor reference). Allow me to explain, it's like one false move and I'm falling into a pit of snakes. Only with the beer, it's like one bad beer and I'm blind in one eye and I'm drooling uncontrollably. Who wouldn't like that?
- So, WTF? All I am saying is that I have little patience with people who are beer snobs. Don't sneer at me when I order a Bud Light or an MGD. Maybe I'm so intolerant because I don't understand. To help me understand, I have a few questions to ask:
- Do you rip on Anheuser Busch, Miller, and Coors products because you prefer darker beers? OK, that's fine. But, instead of belittling me because I am drinking a light beer, just say, "I prefer dark beers." See? Isn't that more pleasant?
- Do you rip on Anheuser Busch, Miller, and Coors products because you think large corporations sell out their products' principles/qualities in favor of profits? What kind of tree-hugger are you? That's save the whales hippie crap! Do you drink only Vess cola because you think that Coca-Cola or Pepsi Co. sold out their product (I am fully aware that Coca-Cola did this with New Coke, so don't bother pointing that out.)? If that is your position, don't bother going to the stadium. There is at least once in every baseball club's past where the management skimped on the quality of the product (the team) in favor of the almighty dollar.
- Are you trying to look cultured by drinking a beer that makes you look trendy? Poser!

If you don't like Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Light, Miller Genuine Draft, Coors, Coor Light, etc., just say that you don't like it. Don't look down on me because I am drinking it. OK, I'm done. I have braced myself for comments, so bring it on!

The Jimmy Ballgame Odyssey Vol. I

Johnny 2-Turds (a frequent reader and comment poster on the blog) enthusiastically tried to paint me into a corner last week. He was ready to give me a hard time about cheering on Jim Edmonds just because he is now wearing blue pinstripes. Thus, I am creating my first reoccurring article on this blog. The Jimmy Ballgame Odyssey will chronicle how Mr. Edmonds is working out as a Cub as well as the full gamut of emotions that I experience during this confusing time.

So, as everyone knows, Jimmy is now a Cub. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I didn't like him when he was a Cardinal, but the situation has now changed. First and foremost, I am a Cubs fan. Why shouldn't I root for a man who used to play for a rival? If he is helping the Cubs, he is OK in my book. The only players that I couldn't root for...even if they were Cubs...are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Both of these choices should be obvious. They both think the fans are morons...keep telling stories, I'll need some to put my kids to sleep when I become a daddy.

Captain: ...and the ace pitcher came home from the bar with the 15 year old singer.
Lil' Awesome: Then what happened, dad?
Captain: The ace pitcher paid off the singer to make sure she never spoke a word about what happened that night.
Lil' Awesome: Tomorrow night will you tell me the one about the guy with the swollen head that couldn't find a hat to fit?
Captain: Anything for you, sport.

But I digress...

My point is that I am non-committal regarding Jim Edmonds. Johnny 2-Turds isn't going to like it, but I am not taking a definitive position on the matter.

It's a post bonanza! It's a post extravaganza! It's a post credenza...wait, not that one.

So, it has been a while since I have last posted. I would like to say that it is because I have been on safari in Africa, hunting big game. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing anything that cool. I have been coming home from the office and sitting on my duff. Anyhow, I am going to redeem myself. I have had several things on my mind lately. For more explanation on those, see my subsequent posts...

The Willie Mays Catch Equation

Jim Edmonds made a Willie Mays style catch last night which brings up a topic that I have been meaning to bring up. But before I get to that I am obligated to finish any Jim Edmonds commentary with this: This should never have happened, none of this, the whole Cubs uniform thing, San Diego, 15teen, none of this, the Cubs aren't happy with know that don't you? They're not happy, we're not happy, I am not saying you should have retired, I don't know what I'm saying, I guess I just wish you were still on the Cards, only playing against RH pitching and getting the day off after night games.

The Willie Mays catch which is often regarded by many as the best catch ever and often cited in highlight reels during the start of any baseball discussion is a very overrated catch. It is not the best catch ever, I can think of 1000 defensive plays that are better than this catch. Seriously, NFL receivers make this style of catch every week, sure the ball is bigger but they don't have a glove and they have a defensive back trying to knock them of course or get to the ball themselves. I don't get why people even remotely think this is the best catch. Edmonds has at least 5 catches that I can think of that are better. Anyway I'm rambling and becoming redundant about my rambling.

I think a lot of this "Mays catch is the best ever" has a lot to do with this equation:
There wasn't a lot of baseball to watch on TV back then+a really good catch+being on TV+Willie Mays is a superstar+experts trying to sound more intelligent by citing a black and white historical highlight instead of a modern day astroturf (this was true in the 80's at least) dome covered stadium in color highlight+ again some pseudo intelligence with attempting to comment on the social issues within baseball by citing this highlight=best play ever.

This is will now be referred to as the Willie Mays Catch equation.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Things I think I know since being in LA.

1. I give the hotel a C- for their internet connection.
2. Molina's meltdown was one of the best I've seen. Next time I get thrown out of a game I'm doing the same thing.
3. Working with people from California is suprisingly easy.
4. I am starting to hate the Brewers more than the Cubs.
5. I want Jim Edmonds to return to the STL.
6. I did not see any celebrities, even a minor celebrity at the airport. I would have settled for anyone, Lou Ferigno (The Incredible Hulk), David Caruso (Horatio Cane on CSI: Miami) or Chuck Norris would have worked.
7. Best in Show is one of the funniest movies made, almost every line and scene is classic.
8. I really wish the Cards had Dan Haren right now, why, why did we do business with that witty devil Billy Bean of the A's. Why? Stay away from him, admit that he is smarter than us and can predict the future. I will never get over this.
9. I give this post a D+ goodness and a A- for vulnerability.

Monday, May 12, 2008

There's no crying on American Gladiators

Here is the exact reason that I am not a contender on American Gladiators:
I am sitting in the chair this evening, watching the premier of the new season of American Gladiators with the Yellow Dart. My phone rings. My brother is on the other end. "Hey, Cap" he says. "What's going on?" I reply. "There's going to be some people meeting out at the park to play sand volleyball." he tells me.
Now, I consider myself to be in pretty good shape. I don't pass on athletic competition often, but I had to decline this time. "Sorry man, but I've had a little too much to drink right now. I probably shouldn't drive." I said. "Yeah, you probably shouldn't play volleyball either." he said. What a sad day...or cool day. I haven't figured out which...

Anyhow, as I said, I was watching the premier of American Gladiators and one of the female contenders started to cry because she said she was doing this for her kids. Maybe its because I'm not yet a dad...maybe its because I'm a heartless bastard...but, there's no crying in American Gladiators. Tom Hanks even said he didn't. Anyhow, there's no crying in American Gladiators.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The real ballpark experience without being at the ballpark.

Ever want to spend a day at the ballpark, but don't have tickets? Hate the home team and don't feel like driving 260 miles to see baseball played in a real ballpark? Can't stand the fair weather fans and their "Yadie is a hottie!" signs when he is mired in a 1 for 35 slump? Fear not, legionnaires of the diamond. You can have the ballpark experience without actually being at the ballpark.

Hungry? Microwave yourself a hotdog. This is actually better than the ballpark in one respect. You don't have to stand in line and miss a half inning just to get a dog.

Thirsty? Grab yourself a cold one out of the fridge. It didn't cost you $8.50 and, again, you didn't have to wait in line. Bonus if it is your roommate's beer...then it is free!

Need to pee? Standing in front of the bathtub and letting it fly gives you that authentic urinating into a trough feeling. This technique is so authentic that there are rumors that MLB is going to trademark it so that you will be forced to pay royalties even when you pee into your own tub.

What's that? It's not like peeing at the stadium because nobody else is there peeing too? Invite the neighbor kids over to pee in the bathtub with you. (You really shouldn't do this unless you feel like reporting your every move to the state.)

Worried that the sign you stayed up all night making might get you kicked out because you make reference to the other team sticking one specific part of their collective anatomy into another part of their own collective anatomy? Don't worry. Nobody will care at home. (Until your wife comes back from her sister's place.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Damn Cubbies.

For those of you who know anything about musical theater...wait...this post started off wrong. Let me try again.

Those of you who know anything about baseball-related things, know that Damn Yankees was a story about a Washington Senators fan named Joe who sells his soul to the devil to become the Senators' power-hitting savior against the hated Yankees. This is what has happened with the Cardinals. WTF, mate? As I write this, the Cards are about to take down the Rockies for their 22nd win in 34 games. Who sold their soul to the devil for this to happen? The Cubs have Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, and Fukudome (one could argue that Fukudome is already a proven star). The Cardinals have The Cardinals have Pujols. Ok, ok, I'll give you Troy Glaus, but that's a stretch. The Cardinals should be lucky to be over .500 right now. The 2008 Cardinals are reminiscent of the 2005 Astros. The '05 Astros drove Runningman crazy. He'll tell the story anytime anyone brings up the name Mike Lamb. In 2005, it was disheartening to see Lamb step up to the plate. It was like, "No! Not Mike Lamb. Anyone but him." Remember, this is Mike Lamb we're talking about. I have found myself uttering the words, "Let's see who is pitching tonight? No! Not (Lohse, Looper, Pineiro )!" Ugh...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Quick update....

John Kruk just said on Baseball Tonight that "Kevin Youkilis is a ballplayer, a ballplayer that can play".

So, maybe I should have a new segment on here regarding John Kruk. Not sure what to call it yet, lets review the other segments I have either done or have planned and maybe by the end I will come up with one.

I hate you Brady Anderson (the original name I had for this blog)
--this focuses on Brady Anderson-like people.....for further explanation look at Brady Andersons career stats and play the Sesame Street "which one of these doesn't belong" game. If you guess 1996 you would be correct.

--Random facts about So Taguchi from the internet.

The Rib Report
--Report and ratings that I give after I have ribs.

My least favorite Cardinal.
--Its still AK. A yearly but fluid award that I give out at the start of each year.

I love you Albert Pujols
--The best player in baseball since Arod is hurt. Focuses on AP or Arod and how great they are.

What would So Taguchi Do or WWSD
--So Taguchi takes questions and gives advice.

Things I think I know since.........
--Can be done as:
----Bill Simmons. Right now I feel like Matthew McConaughey in "How to lose a guy in 10 days" when he is watching the Knicks game on TV........."
----Mel Kiper. Orlando is nice pick, better than Milwaukee, a significant upgrade over Alburqurque, we don't know yet how LA is going to work out so its unknown, I would give Orlando a B, maybe an A if the location is better.
----Tim McCarver. The thing about writing a blog is that you have to type the words on what those in the industry call a computer.
---Others can be included.

So, the new John Kruk segment will be called "The John Kruk Chronicles" it will also be called "John Kruk Just Said..." if the fact that the segment has two names confuses you and on the surface doesn't make sense then....well.........that's the point, we're talking about John Kruk here.
--This will focus on what John Kruk just said on BBTN

McCarver Style

Tim McCarver is known as Captain Obvious.

Things I think I know since arriving in Orlando....McCarver Style (read these and pretend that Tim McCarver is saying them too you to maximize funification.)

1. Orlando is a city that is within the state boundaries of Florida, this means that it is a city in Florida and would be stated as Orlando, Florida.
2. There are three outs in an inninng, if a team has two outs and the next batter makes an out then they would have three outs and their half of the inning would be over with.
3. There is both a Mickey and a Minnie Mouse.
4. Airplanes are used best when they fly in the air, rather than attempting to drive the airplane on the ground to the destination.
5. Destinations are places that you hope to arrive at, such as Orlando in Florida.
6. If you leave your hotel room without a key and the door is locked when you shut it, this is what the locksmiths and those in the lock industry refer to as "being locked out" or just "locked out".
7. If a team wins 2 out of 3 games of a baseball game series, this is called winning the series. For example, if the Cardinals of St. Louis beat the Cubs of Chicago twice and lose once, the St. Louis Cardinals would have won two games and thusly would have won the series.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Is very bad to steal Jobu's rum; is very bad."

These words were uttered by Pedro Ceranno in the movie Major League. Obviously, I am upset at the outcome of this weekend's Cubs/Cards series. The Cards took 2 of 3 from the Cubs, winning both of their games by a score of 5-3. The bright spot of the weekend was the Cubs' 9-3 win on Saturday. So, why do I bring up the topic of Jobu's rum? It's because I think this applies to Alfonso Soriano. Cerrano...Soriano...practically the same. Soriano must have stolen Jobu's rum. In game 3 of this series, Soriano had to work out of an 0-2 hole on practically every at-bat. He came into this game hitting .167! I blame part of the series loss on Soriano (i.e. the missed routine catch in game 1 that went for a ground rule double). Soriano can hit straightball very much. This was evident in the top of the ninth on Friday. Other than that, Soriano might as well step into the batter's box with an 0-2 count. It would save time. Alfonso, please give back Jobu's rum.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The more I drink, the easier this is to take...

According to Tim McCarver during the Fox game of the week today, the Cardinals are have been so good because they are afraid. According to Timmy, "Fear is a motivating factor. Guys are fighting for jobs and that is what has made the Cardinals so good." Using this logic, all Major League teams have it wrong. Don't pay millions of dollars for good players. Pick up 25 homeless people off the streets. Also, to keep them fighting, institute a policy where only players who put in playing time get to eat that day. The fight for jobs will be so intense, you will end up with a dynasty greater than the Yankees of the late 30's into the late 50's. Remember: million dollar, talented players = bad; homeless hobos = good.

I know what everyone is waiting for...everyone is waiting for me to comment on the Cubs/Cards series this weekend, but I am going to save my observations until after the game on Sunday night.