Posts Filed Under Baseball

The HR Derby has surpassed the Slam Dunk contest as the best "All-Star" exibition

Back, Back, Back…..GONE! You’ll be hearing a lot of that tonight when 8 of Major League Baseball’s top sluggers compete in the annual Home Run Derby.

Over the years, the NBA dominated the All-Star exhibitions with the Slam Dunk contest that featured some of the biggest names in the sport. All-Stars such as Dr. J, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard have all won. But in recent years, many of the superstars have declined an invite to showcase their skills. There’s no exact answer to why so many of them skip out, but whatever reason it is, it’s killing the once prestigious event.

On the other hand, Major League Baseball is doing it right. Every year, the top sluggers compete in a 3 hour, home run mashing extravaganza. Fans love this more than the game itself. Heck, it seems as if the players like it more. It’s pretty cool to see all of the players and their kids lined up in front of the dugout, taking pictures and video of the whole experience.

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What happens after 3,000?

July 10, 2011 by

Derek Jeter homers for his 3,000th hit

Yesterday in the Bronx, Derek Jeter collected hit number 3,000 the way he has collected so many others. Odds were that number 3,000 would probably come off of an inside fastball that he would fight off, and drop into right field like so many of his other hits have.  But that would be too boring.

In Jeter’s first at bat, he singled to left field for this 2,999th career hit.  El Capitan wasn’t messing around today, you could tell it was time to get this over with.  Before the at bat that could possibly produce the magical hit, the ball boy had to deliver the specially marked Jeter baseballs what were stamped with a serial number to assure their authenticity.   Always one for the dramatics, Jeter fouled off two straight with a full count as 56,000 fans stood on their feet.  Finally on pitch number eight of the at bat, David Price threw a curveball that Jeter waited on, and deposited into the left field stands.

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What’s that noise?  Ahhh, that’s my daughter.  The human alarm clock.  You can set your watch to her.  8:45 AM on the dot, “DAAAAAA DEEEEEEE!!!!”.  So like every other Saturday morning, I fumble for my glasses and make my way to the crib with nothing but a smile on my face.  She grabs her blanky and I take her into the living room to watch some cartoons as I wake up.

I make her some breakfast (pancakes are about all I know how to make) as she sits in her high-chair.  I can see she is anxiously awaiting  her pancakes like her daddy awaits a Jose Reyes triple.   She smells them and her eyes grow as big as baseballs.  Kinda like when Jose goes down and laces a scorching line drive into the gap.

So when my daughter was all done eating and was screaming to watch the Bubble Guppies, I took to twitter and thanks to http://twitter.com/#!/dailystache“>@DailyStache, my day has been ruined already.  Yesterday on Forbes.com there was an article written by Tom Van Riper (Click Here) that was so blatantly ignorant, that I wanted to throw my laptop on the ground.  This guy is either a HUGE Yankees fan or just a Mets hater.

Let me start tearing this article apart…

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The Phillies landed the prize of the 2010 free agents. But will this lead to long term success in Philadelphia?

On Monday night, Cliff Lee made the decision that would change his life forever.  This was the day he had been waiting for and talking about for the last two years.  So much to the chagrin of the smug NY media and Yankee fans, not only have the Yanks missed out on Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth, but now their unlimited supply of cash couldn’t even bring in Cliff Lee.  Instead, Lee took less money and years to sign with the Phillies.  This came as a huge shock to everyone.  But don’t worry Yankees fans, Russell Martin has signed!!!!

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My Biggest Sports Pet Peeve

September 23, 2010 by

I will start this off by saying that I completely respect the New York Yankees organization.  I love their history and some of the players that they have had.

That being said…I can’t stand their fans.  Generally speaking, I can’t stand the arrogance and the sense of entitlement.  Yankee fans from my generation (born around 1980) have basically only missed one year of playoff baseball in their “real fan” years.  I believe that most kids become truly entrenched and understand their team between the ages of 12-15.  So if you are 30 years old, you missed 2008.  That’s it.

This afternoon I was coming back from grabbing lunch at work and saw my biggest pet peeve in all of sports.  In my office, we (by “we” I mean the 5 real Yankee fans in the office out of 45) are lucky enough to have season tickets for the Yanks.  It’s nice that everyone gets a chance to go to 2 or 3 games per year.  Even though our office comprises of mainly Cubs/White Sox/Mets fans, that’s cool.  I think it’s a great perk for working with my company.  But today I saw something that I wanted to head-butt one of the “real” Yankee fans for.

I was walking back to my desk, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw this crisp, brand new, white pin-striped Yankee jersey.  What a beautiful looking jersey.  I saw the number 42 on the back and I knew is was a Mariano Rivera jersey. The greatest reliever in the history of baseball.  The Yankee that I respect the most. The jersey was draped over the back of this guy’s chair, and as I got closer, he re-adjusted it.  There it was.  I almost lost it.   It was like someone took a black Sharpie to the Mona Lisa and put her in a Captain Morgan’s ad.  RIVERA was plastered across the back of the jersey.

As my blood started to boil, I restrained from calling the guy out because I actually like him.  If it was one of my co-workers that I didn’t like, I would have lit them up.  For a fan base that prides itself so much on their history, how come so many Yankee fans don’t know that they don’t have names on the back of their jerseys?  Seriously.  It pisses me off beyond all belief when I see a “Yankee” fan who buys a jersey with a name on the back.  If you are a true fan, you know that they have never had a player’s name on the back of their jersey….. EVER. You know what they did do though? In 1929, the New York Yankees became the first team to make numbers a permanent part of the uniform. Numbers were handed out based on the order in the lineup. In 1929, Earle Combs wore #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, and Bill Dickey #10. I bet the clown with the brand new “TEIXEIRA” duds had NO clue about that.

So I ask you, Mr. Yankee fan with the crisp, clean, pristine, pin-striped “RODRIGUEZ” jersey….how big of a “FAN” are you?  Way to be a “REAL” fan bro.

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WTF K-Rod?

August 13, 2010 by

K-rod has been charged with 3rd degree assault. It's time for the Wilpon's to get rid of this loser.

When I went to bed Wednesday night, I turned the TV on like I usually do.  I pop on MLB Network or ESPN, and set the sleep timer.  But when I turned the TV on, I didn’t expect the lead story to have anything to do with the Mets after a 6-2 loss to the Rockies.

I forgot who the anchor was , but when I heard “Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has been arrested and charged with 3rd degree assault after an altercation with his common-law wife’s father in the Mets family lounge”, I was stunned.  About 5 seconds later I just said out loud, “WHAT THE F*@K?!”.  In a season of complete misery, it just got worse.  So for the last 36 hours, we’ve heard about 40 different reports of what happened.  I’m not going to go over it, because I’m sure you all have heard the same things.  It’s just a shame that I couldn’t turn on WFAN  while on the way home from work,  and listen to all the callers compliment Johan Santana for his incredible complete game shutout.

I’m not going to go into a long rant about how K-rod is a bad guy, and yada yada yada.  But what I am going to bring up is how pathetic the Wilpon’s are.  This is their chance to make a statement, address the fans, and take action.  Here’s your chance Fred.  Here’s your chance Jeff.  Take a stance, and RELEASE him.  If you don’t release him, trade him and get something for him.  He’s owed possibly another $37 million on his current contract, and this is another GREAT reason to trade him.  If the Wilpon’s care about this franchise and their fans, they will do everything they can to get rid of this idiot.

Sure, the Mets have suspended K-rod for 2 games without pay, but who cares?  He’s a relief pitcher.  How many times has he gone 2 games without pitching?  Plenty.  If I have to hear idiots like Beltran and Francoeur going on and on about how “”We’re here to support him” and “Maybe this is the spark we need to get this team going”, I might just never watch another game till they are off this team.

Hey Fred and Jeff……Mets fans give a shit.  Show us that you do too.

Matt Harris didn't mind wearing the enemy's uniform.

Due to some great feedback from my readers, one of the suggestions that I had gotten was to try to get an interview with a professional athlete.  When I was thinking about how I would go about that, I said to myself, “I know it’s going to be tough to get an athlete to answer an E-mail about an interview, or to get in contact with a professional organization.  But what if I interviewed someone who is involved in pro sports that someone might not notice?”   I was thinking about an umpire, referee, or maybe a front office type employee?  Well, thanks to a reader (We’ll call him “Point Five”), I got into contact with someone who has done something that almost every young kid has dreamed about doing.

I got the chance to have an e-mail conversation with Matt Harris, who was the bat-boy (don’t call him that) for the New York Mets from 2006 thru parts of 2009.  Here is the interview…

Total Sports Blog: How did you get the job?

Matt Harris: During the Junior year at SUNY Cortland in one of my Sports Management classes, a person in my group used to have a job, and he gave me the contact info.

TSB: Are you a Mets Fan?

MH: No, I was born and raised a Yankee fan, a pretty passionate one at that.  I think this helped in a way, cause I was able to keep a better fan/employee balance.

TSB: Are you still the bat-boy?

MH: I am not currently the bat boy, or employed by the New York Mets.  I worked the 2006, 07, 08, and briefly in 09.

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Do the 2010 Mets have the same fight as the 1986 Mets?

In the last couple of months, I’ve heard more and more people say things along the lines of, “This is not what the ’86 Mets would be doing”, “This team needs to get more grit like the ’86 team” and “We need more guys from the ’86 team around.”, blah blah blah.

I completely understand why fans want what the ’86 team had.  I can’t remember a team that had such an “Eff You” attitude, in my lifetime.  They knew they were gonna beat you, and if it meant they had to punch you in the face to do it, they would.

When you look at that team, versus the 2010 team, there’s no doubt in my mind that the only 4 guys on the 2010 team that could cut it on the ’86 team are Santana, Blanco, Carter and Frenchy.  I know Reyes got into it with Miguel Olivo back in ’07, but Jose just isn’t that type of player.

The ’86 team’s biggest SOB’s were their best players.  Carter, Knight, Hernandez, and the beast in LF, Kevin Mitchell.  Seriously, do you think if Hanley Ramirez came into 3rd base hard, that David Wright would throw a right hook and then Jason Bay would come sprinting in from LF to throw bodies across the diamond?  I don’t think so.

The good old days of great pitching and timely hitting are just not in the cards for the 2010 Mets.  One week the pitching is great, and then the offense goes into hibernation (as we are seeing right now).  There won’t be any bench clearing brawls to spark this club.  It’s a different era.  Everyone is friends, and even the most heated rivalries don’t have the pure hatred like they once did.

Listen, before the season started, every Met fan would have signed up for an 84-87 win season.  We knew if we got a break here or there, we could make the playoffs.  Well here we are.  1 game over .500 and 6 back in the Wild Card standings with 63 games to go.  There are no Ray Knights or Gary Carters out there.  So Omar has his work  (If he’s still employed by the time this is printed) cut out for him in the next 5 days.

Let’s go Mets!

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Is chemistry overrated?

July 22, 2010 by

When you hear people talk about team chemistry, different opinions are everywhere.  One guy will say that it’s overrated, the next guy thinks that it’s essential.  I think in sports like football, basketball and hockey, there are multiple parts moving in unison during gameplay that makes chemistry essential.  But in the game of baseball, so many plays are one player vs another player, that I don’t believe chemistry comes into play.  It’s more of an overall attitude.

The 2010 Mets are a perfect example.  Early on in the season, the team looked pretty lost like most of the 2nd half of last season and the final month of the previous two seasons.  We can blame it all on the injuries, but when it’s all said and done, there was no excitement or energy on this team other than Reyes, Wright or Santana.  For the past 3 years Omar has gone out and found some good value off the scrap heap like Fernando Tatis,  Damion Easley, and R.A. Dickey.  But for every one of those moves, there have been the Louie Castillo, Garry Sheffied, Garry Matthews and Frank Catalanotto’s of the world.  What do they all have in common?  They are all essentially AARP members.

When the Mets went on their run this year, I believe there was no coincidence that it started with the call-up of Ike Davis.  He brought this shot of youthful exuberance to not only the Mets lineup, but to the entire fan base.  As the season rolled on, Ruben Tejada was called up, Chris “The Animal” Carter was unleashed,  Jenry Mejia was pitching regularly, Josh Thole was battling Strasburg,  Jonathon Niese was starting every 5th day, and we even had a few games where the entire infield was home-grown.  Ike, Ruben, Jose and David put a huge smile on the face of Mets fans everywhere.  Heck, even Ollie was placed on the DL and we didn’t have to deal with that garbage.

Omar knows nothing about chemisrty

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Dear Que-Rod,….

July 19, 2010 by

Where has my fastball gone?

Dear K-Rod,

Remember that time you had 62 saves that year?  Yeah, that was awesome.  Also, remember that time you used to throw 97 or 98mph?  Those were some good times too.  I love how earlier in the year, you looked great with the glasses on again.  It brought out the intimidation again that your game had.  But you know what?  It’s just not working right now.  Maybe if you need to keep your mind fresh, you can start-up another tomato garden out there underneath the Shea Bridge?  When you are in the game, I’ll tend to it and make sure it gets plenty of water.  When you are on a road trip, I’ll have the grounds crew throw a little extra Miracle-Grow down for you.

I know nobody is perfect, but can you do all of us a favor and please stop blowing games for Johan?  Its one thing to blow a game for R.A. Dickey or Jon Niese, but every 5th day, we are counting on a W from our ace.  I remember when everyone loved the move by Omar and thought that 3 years at $39mil was a very fair contract for you.  Well honestly, do you think that was fair?  With the money we are paying you, we NEED you to pitch like K-Rod, not “Que”-Rod.  No question marks, no nail-biting, just lock it down.

We NEED the K-Rod from the early days with the Angels.  We NEED the blazing fastball and that insane curveball.  And please, can we stop hearing from you that you need to pitch a lot to be effective.  So if the Mets have a save situation tonight after your 47 pitch disaster, (I mean outing) yesterday, you need to be in there?  I don’t think so Frankie.  Bobby Parnell can come put your fire out.  He CAN hit 99mph on the gun you know?

I’ve seen you pitch in person for about a season and a half now, and I’m no pitching coach.  But can you please listen to Dan Warthen or whoever is coaching you, and start following through towards home plate instead of into Ike Davis’s back pocket?  How many times have you had a ball hit like a missile back up the middle and you are nowhere to be found?

Listen, I’ve had to endure the likes of Wagner, Looper, Benitez and Franco in the past 20 years.  Hell, I’ve even had to endure Anthony Young saving games for us.  So please…I’m begging you…for all he Mets faithful.please go back to being K-Rod.

Love,

Mr. Met