A few thoughts about baseball as I prepare to sequester myself on the icy Jersey Shore this weekend:
1) Hey! Keith Foulke retired.
I feel bad for this guy. I mean, he won the World Series for the Red Sox in '04
, and utterly destroyed his arm in the process. I may hate the Red Sox, and that ALCS may have shortened my life by 10 years, but I had to give it up to Foulke, even at the time, and even more so now that we see the ramifications it had on his health. He simply burned too bright. So, Kid Icarus, we salute you
2) MLB not formally announcing their exclusive broadcast deal w/ DirectTV for the extra innings package is nearly as annoying as the deal itself. I have pretty much decided that if it is possible, I will make the switch. But I can't even begin the process until I know for sure that the deal is done (and thus the price). Cause knowing Comcast, the only way they'd take me back is post-A2M.
3) The Nat's suck
. Note Tim K's note from today's column
"We're not just talking about the fifth spot here, we're basically talking about four spots. John Patterson
is the de facto ace, but he has never won 10 games in a season. Patterson, in fact, won one game last year and he has a history of injuries. But he's still way better than the rest.
There are roughly 17 pitchers who will vie for four spots. The top nine potential starters won 11 major league games among them last year, as many as Mark Redman
. Who will be the No. 2 starter? Tim Redding
has a shot at it. He didn't pitch in the major leagues in 2006."
Yikes.Bold Prediction: The Phillies will not finish last in the NL East.
4) Speaking of that Kurkjian column
... he dropped a memory bombshell on me while discussing the Brew Crew:
will get the first look, but he doesn't appear to be 100 percent after suffering a concussion last year. If he doesn't start, Craig Counsell
and Tony Graffanino
will platoon at third base, a la Rance Mulliniks and Garth Iorg of the old Blue Jays."
Excuse me? Some guy named Rance Mulliniks once platooned the hot corner with an entity known as Garth Iorg? When, like 1880? I say "entity" cause there's no way the moniker "Garth Iorg" refers to a human, right? It's got to be some kind of demonic subhuman, yeah?
Cue google: NOPE
Whoa- Garth Iorg
not only exists, and appears to be human, but he played during the formative years of my baseball fandom! I probably have at least 8 dozen of these cards sitting in a closet somewhere, and yet somehow his truly remarkable name totally failed to make an impression on 10 year old me. Shame. Oh, and Garth Iorg totally sucked
. More shame.
And another thing. That signature is amazing. Considering this guy was a below replacement-level player, he's got one hell of an audacious sig. Plus, it looks like a big penis.
Bravo, Mr. Iorg.
More shame though, in my total lack of memory of his platoon partner, who was only slightly less strangely named, and apparently, despite what Ching Chong Song has to say, not
He was, however, hilarious looking.
"Excuse me, madam, but would you mind if I tossed your salad with Grey Poupon?"
(note- long rambling story ahead)
Ah, the magical world of Canadian baseball cards. I remember the whole fiasco that was the Leaf card company. For the uninitiated, Leaf was the Canadian version of Donruss. Donruss produced the highest value cards at the time (before the party was Upper Decked). Leaf's cards looked just like Donruss, but instead of being worth mucho dineiro, were worth about the same amount as the El Salvadoran currency that folks down there were burning for cooking fuel at the time. That is to say, not much. Anyway, whenever a new pal would join my circle of card trading junkies, we'd invariably try to pass off our worthless Leaf cards as Donruss, and it basically never worked. We just ended up confirming to each other that, yes, we would rip each other off at every opportunity. What a great childhood learning environment.
Anyway, back to this ridiculous goober, Rance Mulliniks.
He was WAY better statistically than Garth Iorg
, which makes me wonder why the hell they platooned him. I mean, he was pretty useless against lefties, (to the tune of .230/.305/.337), but Garth was not much better (.268, .304/.373)... seems to me that giving Rance more ABs against lefties might have seen his lefty rates improve past the Womackian levels Garth produced. But anyway, let's take another look at this miracle of nature, Rance:
Seriously, this is a major leaguer? He looks like a youth coach. And not the head coach, either.
On a side note, this is EXACTLY what Frank Rusch will look like in 5 years.
Final note- ... there... is... a-no-ther... IORG!
"I get older, they stay the same age."
5) Final Item: I'm going to spring training this year!!! Yep, booked a ticket to San Diego in March, including a swing through the Phoenix/Tuscon area. 9/9/9 challenge will be in effect.