Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Caption This - Nicholson, Michaels, McCartney Take in Ballgame

Also I'm not sure who the female to Paul's left is, but she kind of looks like a robot.

Please feel free to caption away.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:07 PM   2 comments

ATTN: Joe Girardi


Stop giving away outs with 2 men on, no one out, and a 1-run deficit in the 9th. There was no reason for Swisher to be bunting. He's a guy that can hit the ball out of the park, or at least move Hairston to third on a sac fly. Plus the dude gets on base at a great clip (4th on the team amongst regulars behind Jeter, A-Rod and Tex).

Sure, maybe Swisher strikes out or hits into a double play there, but you have to try to win the game, and giving up free outs is not a good way to do it.

Update, 6:18PM PST: Swisher just came up with runners on first and second, nobody out, and hit a double to score the lead runner and move the other to third. That would have tied the game last night, and moved the runner.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:31 PM   2 comments


Friday, August 21, 2009

Jim Rice Hates Today's Crazy Hair

Undeserving Hall of Famer Jim Rice on today's players:
"You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez], you see [Derek] Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you're talking about cannot compare," Rice said to Little Leaguers gathered in the cafeteria. We didn't have the baggy uniforms. We didn't have the dreadlocks," Rice said. "It was a clean game, and now they're setting a bad example for the young guys."

Here's an example of a normal, respectable hairdo from Rice's era:

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 12:41 PM   2 comments


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

OK, I Give.

Derek Jeter has been somewhat maligned on this blog. Not so much personally, but moreso as it relates to the media perception of him.

Jeter has been easily the best player and most valuable Yankee this season. He's not the league MVP right now, but he certainly is for the team.

Way to step up, Captain.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:57 PM   8 comments

A Player Finally Says It

Thank you Jack Cust, for saying what we've all been saying for a couple of years now.
Jack Cust still wonders why his name appeared in the Mitchell report. Now, the Oakland slugger has a more pressing question: How come some prominent Red Sox were missing?

"To me it was kind of a joke, the whole thing," Cust told The Associated Press last weekend.

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell released his report in December 2007 and of the 85 players mentioned, none of them were Boston stars. Mitchell has been a director of the Red Sox since 2002.

Last month, The New York Times reported former Boston teammates Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were among 104 players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to a list compiled by the federal government.

"With all the other stuff going on, with a lot of the guys coming out recently -- big-name guys -- to me it's kind of funny they spent all that money on the Mitchell report and a bunch of hearsay and the guy who made all the money off it happened to work for the Red Sox," Cust told the AP.

"Were there any Red Sox on the report? To me, that's kind of a joke. How does that happen? It's coming out now with guys on that team. The guy worked for the Red Sox -- they spent all kinds of millions of dollars -- and then no one there had their name brought up," he said.

Cust said he has never had a positive test that would put him on a drug list. The Mitchell report said Cust and Larry Bigbie played for Baltimore's Triple-A Ottawa team in 2003 and discussed steroids.

According to the report, "Cust eventually asked Bigbie if he had ever tried steroids. Bigbie acknowledged he had, and Cust said that he, too, had tried steroids. Cust told Bigbie that he had a source who could procure anything he wanted."
Jack Cust - becoming one of my favorite players.

(another hat tip to Stan for the heads up)

posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:17 PM   2 comments


Monday, August 17, 2009

Olympic Baseball All But Dead

I received this disheartening press release from Dr. Harvey Schiller, President of the International Baseball Federation. While I have never been a fan of exhibitions such as the All-Star Game or the WBC (and root for my team's players to stay home and rest rather than participate) I have always enjoyed Olympic baseball, which used college and recently drafted players instead of professionals. Oh well, it appears the days of Olympic dreams for young baseball players is over.
August 17, 2009

Dear Colleague,

As you know, last Thursday we received the disappointing news that the IOC Executive Committee had chosen not to put forward baseball as one of the two sports for a general vote for the 2016 Olympics. Although the announcement was not what we had hoped for, it certainly does not detract from the great progress the sport of baseball is making globally, nor does it minimize the great collective effort by all involved to present the best possible case for baseball’s re-instatement for the Olympics. The fact remains, now more than ever, that baseball is a vibrant, growing sport played and enjoyed by millions and is reflective of all the Olympics are supposed to stand for, whether included in the programme or not.

First, we owe a word of thanks to all those who went above and beyond to assist us in the process leading into Thursday. That includes all the Federations, who not only enlisted the help of their IOC members but who also rallied so much local support for us on our Facebook and website efforts, along with the many people who wrote letters to key IOC members, ranging from college coaches and administrators to government and sport officials from around the world. The support we received was unprecedented and we are confident in the long run that it will benefit the growth of baseball, so long as we keep the momentum going. We would also be remiss in not acknowledging and thanking those at the highest level of the sport, Major League Baseball and the NPB, for all their assistance as well. The game would be nowhere without their efforts, and the support of Commissioner Selig, President Dupuy and Players Association Executive Director Fehr, as well as all the MLB owners and staff, is greatly appreciated. Lastly, there are our staff and Executive Committee, who also did everything possible until the final minutes to rally support. Thank you all for your efforts, they did not go unnoticed.

With regard to “what went wrong” in the Olympic process, it is probably not healthy or productive to spend much time looking back. We effectively addressed all the questions the IOC had with regard to reinstatement. We had unprecedented support from Major League Baseball, the Players Association and the Japanese League with regard to scheduling concessions and player availability, and even submitted a list of statements from top players to the IOC in the last week with regard to player commitment. The one thing MLB could not do was stop the season for the 2016 Olympics, especially without knowing which city was being selected as host. It is not a concession asked of soccer or tennis or other sports, and we did everything possible to provide the best alternative plan that would include using top players for the five day tournament. It is important to note that NOT ONE professional or top amateur player, when asked, said he would not participate in 2016 if his country qualified and he was selected. Not one.

We were also disappointed to see, even with all the concessions made, that a number of members of the IOC Executive Committee who said they would support baseball chose not to support the sport when the vote was taken. Of the countries where we thought we would have had 100% support…Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico, Germany and Mexico especially…we never received more than two votes per round, meaning for some reason unknown to us, even those countries where the sport is strong, officials still didn’t think that baseball should be part of the Olympic programme, despite all that we had done. It was clear from the start of the process that several senior IOC officials were in favor of rugby and golf and many comments made on and off the record supported that fact, so perhaps that is why we did not get the votes we were anticipating and had been promised last week.

Many have also asked about re-submitting a bid for 2020. At this point we do not think that would be prudent for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that baseball has now been rejected twice by the senior members of the IOC, which is a clear message that despite any changes we make, we are not part of their plan. Also contrary to what we were originally told, the two sports that made it to the vote in Copenhagen, golf and rugby, have been informed they will be part of the programme in 2020. This was yet another clear message that the IOC has no interest in baseball. It makes much more sense to spend all our time, money and effort in continued development of the game around the world, as opposed to making futile attempts to work with a group that has no interest in partnering with baseball.

That being said, baseball is a sport that is full of infinite possibilities and resilience. Therefore, it is best that we look forward to what can be a very bright future.

In just this coming month, we will continue to see championship play on many levels, from youth championships like Little League and Pony League to the much-anticipated World Cup, as well as the World Series and the Japanese Championship later in the fall. The announcement of professional baseball returning to Australia and Israel, along with the continued growth and promotion of baseball in Italy and the Netherlands at a top level will continue to give us a growing presence in Europe, and we are very encouraged by development in emerging nations like Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and China among many others. The plans to continue to expand the World Baseball Classic are also ongoing, and there remains strong interest from several sites to host the 2010 Women’s World Cup and continue to develop baseball for girls and young women. All of that is very positive and shows us that we are very much on the right track in growing the game with our partners.

Do we have challenges? Yes. We are aware that some Federations may lose some funding as a result of not being on the Olympic programme, and we remain concerned about the split that softball continues to push with federations in several countries. However we feel that by working together and using economies of scale, identifying new partners and showing what a great social unifier the sport can be, all these problems can be overcome. Baseball after all, is perhaps the sport that teaches teamwork and overcoming adversity better than any other. That is what helps make it such a great game.

In closing I want to personally thank you for your support of our efforts in my two years as President. I am very proud of not just the effort we made, but the way we made the effort. We did not waste money on high priced teams of consultants or advertising campaigns that were proved by other sports to be pointless and a distraction from the mission of growing the sport. Instead we concentrated on telling the stories, building consensus, aligning long term support and exposing the game to as wide an audience as possible, and those efforts, with or without the Olympics, have created a much more solid base for year round effective growth of baseball than ever existed before.

As always, any comments, questions or thoughts are welcomed. I hope to see you soon.

Best regards,

Dr. Harvey W. Schiller
International Baseball Federation

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 9:17 AM   0 comments


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Girardi Gets What Torre Never Could

From today's Journal News:
Girardi said he never had any intentions of using the ultra-effective Phil Hughes in the eighth inning of Sunday night's 5-2 win over Boston. He called on lefty Phil Coke instead, and watched him give up a 1-0 lead on Victor Martinez's two-run homer.

But Girardi sounded like he'd do it again to avoid overusing Hughes, or any other reliever. Hughes had pitched the three previous days.

"The bullpen is something you have to watch," Girardi said. "You don't want to fall in love with one guy because you can wear him down. You can hurt him. You don't just want him effective for two weeks, but for the whole season."

He said he's willing to bite the proverbial bullet to stay away from a pitcher.

"I knew yesterday I'm not going to use Hughes," Girardi said. "Sometimes, you've just got to say, 'Hey, know what? We don't have this guy today.' "
I'll admit, when watching the game I questioned not using Hughes myself, but I wasn't aware he'd been in three consecutive days. It worked out anyway, but I'd have preferred Bruney or Aceves to face the righties there after Coke got Ellsbury.

In any case, Girardi is makingthe right moves here. He's not falling into the Torre trap of falling in love with a reliever who then has his arm fall off.

Look at the post-Torre careers of former Torre flames Tanyon Sturtze, Steve Karsay, Ramiro Mendoza, Paul Quantrill, Ron Villone and Scott Proctor if you want to see what could have been in store for Hughes.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 10:01 AM   14 comments


Monday, August 10, 2009

Fat Pussy Toad Update

Hideki Irabu is still trying to pitch, it seems.
Former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was introduced as the newest member of the Kochi Fighting Dogs on Monday, saying his ultimate goal is a return to Japan’s top professional league.

“As long as I’m playing, I’ll aim for Japan’s top league,” the 40-year-old right-hander said at a media conference. “I have high expectations for myself.”
Shoulda stayed in Japan's top league to begin with, guy.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:47 PM   3 comments

What a Fantastic Weekend

6 and a half.

The season's not over yet, but this is very good progress.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:42 AM   2 comments


Saturday, August 08, 2009

ATTN: David Ortiz

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 2:18 PM   8 comments


Friday, August 07, 2009

Cool Little Pregame Story

There was just a little neat pre-game moment on the field, as the center field scoreboard showed Joe Girardi and Paul O'Neill talking behind the batting cage. Underneath, the video folks added text that read "317 combined homers."

Never passing up an opportunity, Reggie Jackson wandered into the shot and pointed to the screen. Mr. October's suggestion was soon acknowledged, and Girardi laughed as the screen now read, "880 combined homers."

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 4:25 PM   0 comments


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Could this be the End for Ransom?

Anthony Claggett is on his way to Toronto, suposedly because Mitre is pitching and if - no matter how unlikely this may seem - he sucks tonight, Claggett can suck up the innings and the 'pen will be saved for the Boston series. It's kind of a no brainer.

That said, the obvious move here is to DFA Cody "Holding 'Em For" Ransom (please?).

PeteAbe speculates that after the game Claggett could be replaced by Ramiro Pena. While Pena is certainly an upgrade over the useless Ransom, the team does *not* need another infielder, as we've discussed before. I'd much rather see Shelley Duncan come back as an OF/bench power guy who can start against lefties. He's been killing the ball all year. Unfortunately the Yankees have screwed with the timetable, because since they sent Duncan down to keep Ransom (!) the other day, unless they put a player on the DL he has to spend 10 days with Scranton before he's eligible for recall.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:25 AM   1 comments


Monday, August 03, 2009

Edinson Volquez, Meet Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

Dusty Baker has done it again. He's blown out the arm of another promising young pitcher by pushing him far beyond the natural progression of innings.

When people start asking why Joba's missing a few starts here and there to keep down his innings for the year, point them in the direction of Mr. Baker's history of destroying careers.

Volquez is out for at least 12 months, probably most if not all of next season. Prior has never recovered. Wood can no longer start games.

It's just further evidence of why Dusty Baker is the worst manager is baseball.

Yes, he is worse than Ozzie Guillen.

I have no idea why the Reds brought him out of retirement.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:51 PM   1 comments

Countdown to the Red Sox Games Video

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 3:52 PM   0 comments


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Of Whom Does Cody Ransom Own Naked Photos?

Brian Cashman? Joe Girardi? One of the Steinbrenners?

Why is Cody Ransom still on this team? They sent down Ramiro Pena because they wanted him to get regular at bats, even though he's a better hitter and much better defender than Ransom.

They traded for Eric Hinske, who Cashman said could play third, and yet they kept Ransom.

Then they traded for Jerry Hairston, Jr., the ultimate utility sub. He can play all infield and outfield positions. Yet they send down Shelley Duncan on a day they want to play righties against Danks and put Ransom in the lineup at first base! Ransom then repeatedly came up in high leverage situations with men on base and the game at hand, and failed miserably. Girardi never pinch hit for him.

Sending down Duncan and playing Ransom is pure idiocy. Oh, Duncan hasn't been playing that much first base this season? No problem, throw him in right and move Swisher to first if you're going to DH Teixiera.

Look - Ransom cannot now and never could hit. He is not an outstanding defensive player. Here are - position by position - every player who can play the same positions Ransom can:

3B - Alex Rodriguez, Jerry Hairston, Eric Hinske
SS - Derek Jeter, Jerry Hairston, Alex Rodriguez
2B - Robinson Cano, Jerry Hairston
1B - Mark Teixiera, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Jerry Hairston, Eric Hinske

Why is God's name is Ransom still on the roster? The supposed answer: Duncan still has options and Ransom does not. Well, think about this - WHAT TEAM IS GOING TO CLAIM A MEDIOCRE DEFENSIVE SUB WHO HITS LESS THAN .200 WITH NO POWER?

Something is going on here.

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posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 11:31 PM   3 comments

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