Archive for the 'Baseball' Category


Fenway Park: Robot in Disguise

In honor of today’s Winter Classic, and because I like time-lapse stuff, here is some time-lapse video of the Winter Classic at Fenway Park ice rink being set up. Viva 2010!


Johnny Damon Viciously Makes Out With 86-Year-Old

Hosting the WWE’s Monday Night Raw, Johnny Damon found himself  the center of some unwanted touches when he was amorously attacked by octogenarian wrestling legend Mae Young. He can deny it all he wants, but he wanted it; why else would he have dressed that way?


Melky Cabrera? That’s IT?

What the hell are the Atlanta Braves doing, all t the talk has been about how they need acquire a bat to help their struggling offense and the team’s biggest chip was Javier Vazquez who was OUTSTANDING last season. So, in a move to bolster their offense, the Braves move Javier for MELKY CABRERA? WTF?

What am I missing here? Why would the Braves look to add an outfielder who, at best, is a 20 HR hitter and has a career OPS+ of 88? They already have Nate McClouth, now they’ve added a WORSE hitter and in exchange gave up a 200 IP, 200+ strikeout, seems like some shrewd management there.

Is it possible that Melky was the BEST deal available? That can’t be true, he’s like a shittier, younger Marcus Thames and he just got traded for one of the best starters in the NL the last two seasons. At least when the Yankees acquired Vazquez the first time they included Nick Johnson who can actually perform in the majors.

With Jason Heyward, rookie extraordinaire looming, the Braves can have a pretty young outfield in place as early as next season, although, of course, one of those spots will be with Melky who really isn’t good enough to deserve it. This is a GREAT move for the Yankees and the Braves just BLEW it. After all, why would you want to trade a really valuable piece for something USEFUL!

I just hope that Vazquez’ previous struggles in NY will return, but so far, the Yankees offseason has been going swimmingly.


Read My Words Elsewheres

The gents over at the Nats Blog’s tour around the Winter Meetings and the offseason continues, and your intrepid reporter here contributed once more, writing on the Kansas City Royals. Check it out and enjoy the dulcet tones of my writing.

[The Nats Blog]


Help Pick the Best Jewish Baseball Player of the Decade

All over the Internet various lists are being assembled to look back on the Aughts as the decade ends, however, none is more important than the one put together by the Jewish Major Leaguers Organization website. There you can vote in the single most important election ever: the Jewish Major Leaguer of the decade!

The ballot consists of these distinguished gentleman:

  • Brad Ausmus
  • Ryan Braun
  • John Grabow
  • Shawn Green
  • Ian Kinsler
  • Mike Lieberthal
  • Jason Marquis
  • Scott Schoeneweis
  • Kevin Youklis

I mean, with choices like that, you really can’t go wrong. I got confused for a moment and thought I was looking at the Hall of Fame ballot!

But seriously folks, I didn’t even KNOW Grabow was Jewish, and anytime you have a career middle reliever as one of the best players of a decade then you know your religion is dominating the game.

There’s nothing worse than not knowing who is Jewish in the Major Leagues and so the organization has put together their 5th(!) set of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards. The collection includes not just the stars of today, players like Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman and Tampa’s Gabe Kapler, but also has cards honoring Jewish “record-setters” and “firsts” as well as the “Career Leaders” and a roster of all-time Jewish players. With limited Channukah days remaining this is the perfect gift. Regale your friends with trivia such as:

Who are the only Jewish players who:
-Hit “for the cycle”?
-Hit homers in 4 consecutive at-bats?
-Caught no-hitters?
-Played the field for at least nine innings in a single game without ever touching the ball?
-Made more than 2000 consecutive fielding plays without an error?
-Won a Batting Championship?

If you want to order your own set, they cost only $36 plus $5 shipping and are mailed from my hometown and about 4 minutes from my childhood home in Newton (Jewtown), MA so, if you needed any more incentive, there you go!

[Jewish Major Leaguers]


Big Changes are Coming to the Slanch Report

As the decade comes to a close, it’s finally time for the Slanch Report to undergo some changes. After 14 years of blogging and 42,082 posts, it’s nearly time for a whole new design for this blog. Stay tuned for the changes as they will knock you on your ass, and then beat you up. They are THAT bad-ass.

The biggest change is that we are joining the Bloguin network, which we are super excited for and think you will be too. Especially when you see the full redesign to the site that will correspond with our move.

We’ll have more on that in the coming days/weeks but in the meantime, why not check out this piece I wrote for my soon-to-be blog neighbor TheNatsBlog who are doing a roundup of each team’s offsesason and grading their Winter Meeting performance. I wrote about the San Diego Padres — who I hope trade Adrian Gonzalez to my Red Sox — and will have another piece on the Kansas City Royals coming up later. Definitely check out my piece and the rest of the roundups as a number of the Bloguin blogs are involved and it will give you a taste of the fantasticosity that is coming soon.


Having Lost Their Putz, Mets Should Look to Play With a Wang

The Mets offseason so far has been simply baffling, do they have a plan, are they aware they have multiple holes and need to improve their team? They know they play in NYC and have loads of cash and thus can, with shrewd moves change their recent misfortunes quickly right? Bueller?

So far the biggest moves the Mets have made involved signing not one, but TWO backup catchers, I guess because you can never be TOO comfortable with your emergency catcher. Never mind that Omir Santos had a decently solid rookie campaign and that was probably the LEAST needed position.

Currently, the Mets rotation consists of Johan (and his fraying elbow), Oliver Perez (woof), John Maine (eek), Mike Pelfrey (s’ok) and…

And that’s the problem. There is simply NO way the Mets can or should enter next season without at LEAST 7 starting pitchers on their 40-man roster because I think we all know that there is zero likelihood that Perez and Maine can get through a full season without imploding or getting injured.

So, it makes perfect sense for the team to pursue some of the free agents out there like Joel Pineiro, if only to prevent him from ever dominating them again. They should have made a play for Randy Wolf but he signed with the Brewers instead, and not for very much money either…

On the scrap heap, the Mets should be signing as many reclamation projects as they can; people like Ben Sheets and Chien-Mien Wang should be high atop the Metropolitans’ wish lists because the required commitment wouldn’t be too many years and the hope that at least ONE of them performs up to his past level would make the deals a bargain. Wang in particular would be a great pickup, he’s shown no problem with playing in NYC, his power sinker would play well in Citifield and the strong defense on the left side of the infield should help him get tons of outs. If Daniel Murphy ever learns how to catch a ball Wang could be REALLY effective. Because of his recent injuries and down year last season, Wang’s cost isn’t going to be prohibitive and from all accounts, Wang is PISSED at the Yankees and anything he can do to shove it up their asses is a bonus for him — and the Mets.

But of course, that won’t happen. After all, the Mets are too busy hot in pursuit of fat Bengie Molina because really, the chance to sign three catchers in an offseason is just too good to pass up.

If I were a Mets fan I think I’d kill myself.


What’s Next for the Red Sox?

With yesterday’s signings of John Lackey and Mike Cameron for a combined $100 million and the previous signing of Marco Scutaro, theoretically the Red Sox could be done with major moves. The team still needs a third baseman but otherwise, the major holes on the field have been filled.

While I’m not a big Lackey fan, for the short-term I like this deal. For his career, Lackey’s most comparable pitcher according to Baseball-Reference is Josh Beckett and both men have identical career ERA+ at 117. Providing his elbow holds up, and I have to believe the Sox wouldn’t make their largest expenditure ever for a pitcher without ensuring that was case, this rotation is filthy. Throw out a Beckett-Lester-Lackey-DiceK-Buchholz rotation and 1-5 you’re talking about one of the best groups in baseball. Add in Tim Wakefield and whatever reclamation project Theo signs (please please please sign Ben Sheets) and you’re talking a solid 1-6 at least which is absolutely necessary.

I wonder though if yesterday’s moves might reopen the Sox’ attempts to pry away the big bat they’re still lacking, someone like Adrian Gonzalez? Mike Cameron can still play a solid center field, even at age 36, the Red Sox have a plethora of young center field prospects (most of whom are several years away but still) and I wonder if the two signings mean two of the Sox young players might be on the move. If the Sox were to offer to San Diego a package headlined by Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury wouldn’t the Padres have to seriously listen? They’d be receiving two major league players both under team control for at least 4 more years and at very low salaries. Ellsbury’s speed would give him plenty of chances to leg out extra base hits in the spacious Petco Park, and Buchholz is going to be if not a star, very good.

I don’t want to give up Buchholz, Ellsbury I could go either way on, but to acquire a big bat like Adrian, who is still only 26 years old and plant him in the middle of the lineup for the next decade is a pretty appealing thought. If, as the reports are right that Theo is hesitant to deal the young prospects that San Diego would want, (which I agree with him) perhaps giving up young major leaguers that the team isn’t convinced they want to build around, or that they can afford to give up is the better option.

Losing Jacoby would hurt some, the team would still have a hole in left but would be coming out of this offseason so far with the top starting pitcher on the free agent market and one of the best sluggers in the game. Not a bad haul if it could be done. I’d wager that Theo is FAR from done this offseason and there are a number of machinations still in the works. And if Adrian DOESN’T come to Boston, I’m still pretty satisfied with this offseason, I’d still like to see another 30 HR guy in the lineup but for the moment, I’m thinking this looks like a team poised to finish either 1-2 in the AL East.


Another Cardinal Gets a DWI — I Sense a Pattern

Budweiser’s favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals are working really hard to maintain their status as America’s Drunkest Team with their latest infraction, scrubby third baseman David Freese’s arrest for a DWI in Maryland Heights, about 20 miles out of St. Louis.

This makes the 4th incident in three years where a member of the Cardinals has been hit with drunken-driving charges. Starting with manager Tony LaRussa’s blowing a .093 BAC and falling asleep at a traffic light to Josh Hancock’s death after driving drunk to Scott Spezio’s DUI arrest, clearly the Cardinals are taking this issue VERY seriously. I bet they almost thought about sending an email to their team and staff, and then thought better of it. But still, ALMOST!

The 26-year-old Freese was not involved in an accident, thankfully, but the police wouldn’t release further details about the St. Louis native’s arrest. He is expected to be a prime contender for the starting third base job in 2010.

I’m glad to see the team that plays in Busch Stadium and is sponsored in large part by Budweiser has taken a stand against drunk driving and alcohol abuse. That’s a bang-up job there guys.



ESPN Subtly Calls Gammons a Money-Grubber

As a means of honoring Peter Gammons before his departure to the higher-paying less-travel pastures of MLB Network and NESN, the ESPN baseball writers all contributed a paragraph or several about their mentor and friend. Several days later, there are new stories and the Gammons tributes are pushed down the page.

Despite all the kind words the writers heaped on Gammons, I can’t help wondering if the editors or higher-ups at ESPN wanted to take a final shot at the legendary reporter — who received a reported substantial raise to join MLB — by putting this Jerry Crasnick headline beneath the Gammons stories.

Or it could just be a coincidence… but where’s the fun in that!


Wrigley to Keep the Charm of Troughs Alive

If you’re the type of man who is happiest when you can let loose your water cannon in a metal trough, then the Chicago Cubs have some very welcome news; while the bathrooms will be renovated at Wrigley Field over the offseason the urinal troughs will stay in place.

Generations of male Cubs fans have stood side-by-side at the troughs. The silver receptacles are spoken of both lovingly (in that they give the place character) and loathsomely (in that some struggle to go in the close company of others).

When I was growing up Fenway also had urinal troughs, and I can tell you that as a young child, and a particularly small one at that, using the urinal troughs was one of the great horrors of my young life. I for one applauded when Fenway removed them and can assure Chicagoans that you’d be much happier in your life without them. Traditions are nice, but not when there are light-years better options.

[Chicago Tribune]


The Winter Classic Looks Magical

When you think of fine wine probably the FIRST thing you think of is the NHL. Or at least I do, but then I’m a classy kind of guy.

For those of you unaware, the NHL has an official special event wine maker, Joseph George, who makes special wines and bottles for “the All-Star Games and milestone player accomplishment bottles as well as the new Winter Classic bottles.”

Awesome! Now when you think varietals, you too should think of the NHL.

Me, I’m too busy scheming of a way to get tickets to the Winter Classic at Fenway. Sure, it’s going to be balls-ass cold, but think about how incredibly amazing it will be to watch a hockey game out at the ol’ ballpark!

One artist has an idea what it will be like, pretty dope if you ask me.  It’d definitely be kick-ass if it snows during the game, but Al Gore believes that won’t happen. I’d also imagine there will be a hell of a lot more NBC signage up, but otherwise, this looks pretty magical.

So, if you have a spare ticket lying around, why not take your friendly neighborhood sports blogger. After all, I already bring so much happiness into your life, isn’t it time you repay the favor?

[Puck Daddy]

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The Slanch Report has started an online petition asking the MLB Network to air the Dock Ellis no-hitter he threw on June 12, 1970 against the San Diego Padres. The moment was a seminal piece of baseball history and is certainly worthy of being rerun.

Please join us in this cause and sign the petition below so we can all share in this special and fantastic moment of baseball history. THANKS!

May 2023