Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Yep, baseball time    

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."
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:
"Corey Koskie 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 Asian.

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.



  • * I will bet you $100 million dollars the Phillies do not finish ANYWHERE in the AL East.

    * The Nats are most definitely in "who gives a shit about the team, our stadium sucks" mode. It's as if Jim Bowden said "nobody wants to play here because of RFK? Aw fuck it, enjoy cleanup hitter Chris Snelling, bitches."

    * And let me tell you something about the Garth Iorg era... it was real, and it was fantastic.

    * I know I'll find no argument amongst you guys, but even with the widespread recognition he's had, Foulke is far and away the least appreciated player on that 2004 team. It's Greek-tragic that he was basically booed out of town after sacrificing his body and his livelihood for the good of the city. Now it appears to have cost him his career.

    If the Red Sox don't have a big fat Keith Foulke Day celebration this season, with banners and the like, they should be goddamn ashamed of themselves. (OK, more ashamed.)

    By Blogger Jeff, at 12:04 PM  

  • whoops- fixed the AL/NL thing.
    Typical AL bias, clearly.

    By Blogger Alex, at 1:34 PM  

  • * I like the Nats this year. They look like the kind of team that I would assemble if I was playing video game baseball and wanted to take a team of players with the highest combined crappy/fun score to the World Series (or at least respectability)

    * Also, I was going to post something separate on Keith Foulke earlier this morning, but then I thought about how he got trashed in the media over the last two years. Then, I thought about how there were at least a few that spoke up on his behalf. Then, I decided there weren't nearly enough of these voices, nor were they loud enough. Then, I got so upset about the whole thing I scrapped what I wrote, figuring the more articulate Red Sox fan on the blog could post something. And now I'm going to add to it for no particular reason.

    Foulke was sports-heroic in the 2004 postseason. Not only did he sacrfice his body and his livelihood for the good of the city, he did it even though he and everyone watching knew the consequences as it was happening. It wasn't even a gamble; no major league pitcher pitches that much over such a short period of time. And yet he not only pitched, he pitched effectively, quietly (SEE the attention paid to Schilling) and without complaining. He represented the parts that I loved the most about that team; other players sacrficed in the same way, but Foulke's felt the most like sheer will. That he didn't win World Series MVP was unjust; that he didn't get a free pass in Boston was inexplicable. And as far as I know, he never made a big deal out of either, to his credit.

    Yeah. Keith Foulke. Good guy.

    By Blogger chas, at 1:34 PM  

  • The parallels between the Nats and the infamous "Ottawa Fun Bunch" of NHL '94 are unmistakable.

    Anyway, I did think about assembling a dirge for/paean to Foulke. I could still do it. But there's not much left to be said about the guy, if only because he let his actions speak for themselves. (Also, I didn't feel like throwing two hours down a blog-hole.)

    No, all that's left to do is to mercilessly eviscerate the fucktards who booed him. The assbags who were so intolerant and unforgiving of his struggles, during which he was clearly, obviously, unquestionably injured... injuries which were clearly, obviously, unquestionably the result of his 2004 heroics. Sure, the shut-ins in this category, who spend 12 hours a day listening to WEEI because they're terrified to have their own opinion, are the stupidest of the stupid. But they have nevertheless shaped the final analysis of Keith Foulke. And it's a goddamn shame.

    I defended the poor bastard through his entire struggle. I'm sad that Sox fans gave him the ass, pulling the old "it comes with the job, I paid for my ticket, you gotta do better if you want to be a Sox" crap on him. It's selfish, it's cruel, and it's wrong. But it's also done.

    That's about all I have on it. The usual "where does the school board get them, and why do they send them to me?" crap about moron Sox fans, how if it were possible for me to have Red Sox without Red Sox Fans, I'd do it in a second, and so on. And who needs 2000 words of that when I can just leave a quick comment?

    By Blogger Jeff, at 2:10 PM  

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