Monday, March 27, 2006
Real. Live. In-person. Baseball.
I can't even describe how happy I am right now.
Image-heavy post ahead. All images are clickable for a good viewing size, as per usual.
I approached Ray Fisher Stadium (locally known as The Fish) while the teams were still taking batting practice. From outside the stadium I could hear numerous cracks from numerous bats as they struck numerous balls. OK, so they were pings, not cracks, because this is college ball and they're still using aluminum. Pings. But still. I was outside of the ballpark and I could HEAR BASEBALL with my OWN TWO EARS for the first time this season and I had to stop. I literally had to stop and stand outside the ballpark and listen for a few minutes because I was so happy I thought I was going to cry.
This is a sickness, isn't it? What do I care about college ball? I know none of you lot care about college ball. But it's baseball. Different, slightly weird baseball, to be sure, but in a sense it's also maybe a more pure kind of baseball. And even if you don't know any of the people playing it (I recognized maybe three of the names on Michigan's roster-- Jeff Kunkel, starting catcher; Drew Taylor, starting pitcher for the day; and Ali Husain, lefty specialist pitcher), the joy that a truly ill addict can take in watching it is unbounded.
Leif Mahler charging down to third. Yes, we have a guy on our team named 'Leif'.
College ball is different from pro ball. There were a surprising lot of triples and a surprising lot of stolen bases, or singles stretched into doubles with speed. Michigan players kept getting plunked, although it was apparently without rancor, as there was never any retaliation and no one really got smacked. They were playing a double header, with each game lasting only 7 innings, and a 20 minute break between games. The field at The Fish is not too small in and of itself (400 to center, something like 330 to the corners) but it only has stands around homeplate and partway down the first and third base sides, with nothing but trees and the track building looming in the outfield. The entrances are unassuming and reminded me of nothing so much as the entrance to my high school football field, which was just a little fence door you went through that let you right onto the track around the field.
The whole attitude at the stadium was different from even a minor league game, too. The Fish is tiny, and you could probably use the word 'intimate' to describe it. When I got there I sat down on the visiting side to poke at my camera lens, and there were maybe 25 OU fans in the stands, and maybe 15 Michigan fans over 'round the other side. It filled up by the middle of the first game, but filtered off after that. Baseball players wandered off the field and into the stands to chat with their parents, or stopped to ask other people if they had seen their parents. One of the OU fans greeted one of the umpires by name as they were walking onto the field, and the umpire stopped to chat.
Derek VanBuskirk, outfielder, chatting with a fan between games.
I finally got my lens clean and walked over to the Michigan side, edging nervously past two fully uniformed Michigan players who were just sort of hanging out in the stands behind home plate. I sat down in the front row and nodded at the older woman behind me, who it turned out was the mother of one of the starters. A bit later I would go lean on the dugout roof with a few girls who were clearly girlfriends of some of the players, and who were pleasingly knowledgeable about baseball, grumbling about bad calls and sighing at high flyouts long before the old geezer sorts who showed up realized they weren't going out.
Michigan was wearing their maize jerseys today, which I heard some OU fans commenting on, claiming they were 'too bright'. Sure, when your team jerseys are shiny tan, I'll bet some nice maize yellow is rough on your eyes. They were on the whole however polite, and there was no heckling to speak of, not even when a Michigan player sort of struck out, but the ball was dropped, but he stepped on it, but he ran to first anyways, and the OU catcher, Andy Brinker, didn't throw down to first because he thought the guy was out, even though COME ON NOW BRINKER, you always throw down to first if you're not sure. The worst the OU crowd did was scoff and yell things like, "C'mon, he stepped on it! Check the ball! It's probably got cleat marks on it!" Michigan football game crowd this was not.
Brinker arguing the call.
So it was a very genial atmosphere for baseball, is what I'm sayin'. It was honestly just plain old pleasant to see a game there, and it was fun in probably the most old-fashioned, clean way I've seen at a sporting event since coming to Michigan.
Another large contributor to my happiness, of course, was the small size of the crowd. This meant that I could lean on the Michigan dugout as long as I liked, and I could wander over between innings to lean on the OU dugout too, for a different angle. And I don't have the Super Mystical Telephoto lens yet, alas. But I was so close to the game that I almost didn't need it for some things.
Doug Pickens, outfielder, fixes his hat. He had a huge homerun in the first game, and hit well throughout.
Adam Abraham has a look around. He DHed in the first game and didn't play in the second one, so he just hung out for a while on the top step of the dugout in his jacket, peering at everyone.
An OU player's hands as he rests in the dugout.
Brad Roblin, outfielder, up close and personal.
Mike Schmidt, outfielder, gets thoughtful. Actually, the story behind this one is pretty funny. He was standing at the top of the dugout steps just kind of leaning on the rail, right in front of me. At first I thought that was all he was doing, but then I noticed that whenever I aimed the camera at something his eyes would sort of jog, like he was tracking it. After several minutes he lifted his hand, paused, and very deliberately laid it on his chin, all Rodin-style. It was very much like he was posing for the camera, and I very nearly couldn't take the photo, I was shaking so hard from suppressed laughter. Makes for a nice shot, though.
What struck me more than anything, though, more than even Sox games where this is sometimes more apparent than elsewhere, was the way that all the kids playing seemed to just be having fun a lot of the time. It was a beautiful day for baseball, and they were beating the tan snot out of OU, and they were having fun. I hate to say something cheesy like 'it was so refreshing' but, to be honest, it kind of was.
Leif Mahler laughing and throwing a ball into the sun during warmups before the second game.
Derek VanBuskirk laughing and biting his tongue after making an out.
I really should sleep. Suffice it to say that it was an amazing day and Michigan played some very good baseball, if not particularly spectacular, and I got some great pictures because I was right on top of the dugout. I highly recommend you check out the whole photo gallery of the day, because there are a ton of baseball photos and a ton of good ones that didn't get posted here.
Photos, live baseball, life is good, no?
Labels: baseball, in attendance, Michigan, NCAA, photoblog, Wolverines
Saturday, March 25, 2006
The Boston Globe has posted an article about Mike Timlin which has struck Red Sox fans dead from pure amazement and amusement and awe and, I do think, a healthy little pinch of sheer terror. Kristen, Beth, and Red all got to it before me, but I can't just pass it by. Let me summarize it for you, although you really, really REALLY need to go read the whole thing.
-Mike Timlin, Tim Wakefield, and Matt Ginter go hunting for wild pigs.
-Timlin talks very very seriously about bows and hunting and the Globe photographer wees in his pants a little from the intensity of it all.
-Timlin shoots a feral pig with a giant fucking arrow fired from a giant fucking bow.
-And I quote:
The sow starts screaming from the brush. Loudly.
''She's not having a good day," Timlin says.
The pitcher's still whispering, but he's exhilarated and full of adrenaline.
"...She finally moved away a little bit and I drilled her. See the arrow down there. Still stuck in the sand. It's good blood. It goes right through them. Probably right above the heart. She ran about 40 yards over there. There's two pine trees. It broke her left front leg. I shot her on the right side, it went through and broke her left shoulder. She screamed for a little bit but she's probably done now. She gave a serious death squeal. She's kicking and then all of a sudden, wheeeh, and then stop."
-They go back to camp. Neither Wake nor Ginter has killed anything, though Wake saw some deer and Ginter saw a bobcat.
-Trot Nixon text messages Timlin (!!!!!) wanting to know if he's killed anything.
- Timlin remembers a special takeout request.
''David Wells asked me to bring him back some for breakfast," he says. ''And I'd like to get some sausages made up in Fort Myers. That sounds good."
- Red Sox Nation collectively says "...." and then screams and hides under the covers.
MIKE TIMLIN KILLS A GIANT WILD PIG AND TALKS EXCITEDLY ABOUT ITS DEATH SCREAMS.
I don't think I can say HOLY FREAKING CATS enough about this article. Seriously. Mike Timlin is a HARBRINGER OF AGONY AND BLOODY DEATH, and I don't mean that in the figurative 'rarr tough relief pitcher' sense, I mean that LITERALLY.
I can think of exactly one pitcher who matches up to this, and that's Ugueth Urbina, who allegedly attacked some of his workers with a machete and then set fire to them.
Also, say hello to this dude. Hee Seop Choi is now a member of the Red Sox, claimed off waivers, which is extraordinarily weird because he did (and does) have minor league options left.
Anyways. Things have been a bit mad around here lately, what with the semester ending and shows opening (two in about two months, that's a bloody lot of work to get ready and submit rightquick) and teaching in prisons, and the partner for the prison class deciding to not show up for things anymore including the actual prison workshop, leaving me to drive the hour to Jackson and to conduct the class of prisoners entirely by myself... but I won't talk about that class, I won't, because I could go on forever, and ALL I WANT TO DO IS SEE SOME BASEBALL DAMMIT.
Which, weather and workload permitting, I might get to do later this weekend.
In the meantime let me just shuttle you around to some things that you should be looking at because they are, pretty much, awesome.
Jere has a wicked good post about why we're so upset about the Bronson trade and why this makes sense even though we, one of the most informed fan bases in baseball, know in our forebrains that it's not the worst or craziest trade ever. It's in our backbrains that we react poorly to it. I like Jere's take on it and you should read it and feel better about eating that entire pint of ice cream while dabbing at your face with tissues over the fate of a guy you've never even met.
Side note on the informed fan thing: I'm overgeneralizing, of course. There are dumb, dumb, dumber-than-the-dirt-on-the-cleats-of-Johnny-Damon Red Sox fans out there. And there are, obviously, very very smart and informed fans of pretty much every team out there (behold my mighty linkbar; some of 'em are over there). What I'm saying is that while there may be small or even medium-sized pockets of dedicated fans for most teams, the Red Sox have ridiculously huge numbers of ridiculously informed fans, half of whom can and at a moment's notice will gleefully crunch as many stats as you like. We also have a huge number of idiots following the team, but at least we're balanced.
Actually, this is a chicken-and-egg kind of question for me, a fan who's too young to have seen it start out: which came first, the crazed fan base demanding the massive amounts of information, or the extensive media coverage creating the super-informed fans? Someone get on this.
As a fellow Red Sox/Tigers fan, Cat is quick to compare the hollow-thud-in-your-chest sensation of this trade to the midseason Farnsworth trade last year, reminding us all that we are not alone in our irrational pain. Or reminding just me, then.
Andrew asks you to vote in the Arquimendez Pozo Award poll for the best WBC name. Great fun. Pool B, by the way, should be and is (as of this moment) a complete runaway victory for Stubby Clapp.
Evan writes a ridiculously thorough little report on pitchers and injury, which can be found in two parts, Part I and Part II. He talks to Jon(athan) Papelbon's baby brother! He talks to Will Carroll! It's good stuff. Go, read, git your education on.
If you haven't yet heard about the Michigan blog vs. ESPN talk radio SUPER BIG INTERNET CONTROVERSY, I figure MGoBlog's coverage is as good a place as ever to find out. The moral of the story is, Michigan bloggers write funny things, and ESPN talking voiceboxes are too stupid and belligerent to acknowledge the fact that, oh yes, by the way, they blatantly stole their last segment from said blog.
Batgirl shows that Lew Ford, to complete his image of dorkitude, has a marvelous Spring Training farmer's tan. His upper arms look whiter than me, and I'm painfully white.
The Brushback has the answer for why the Sox have been trading like mad lately. It makes so much sense, it must be true.
Tommy LaSorda throws the controversial WBC umpire under the bus All subtle-like, though! Quoth the Dodger sage:
I do not want the fans in Japan, or in Mexico, to think that these calls were made because the umpire is American. The umpire that made those calls has had a reputation for many years of being controversial. In fact, he has created controversy for many American teams, and managers, including me.
Also, look everyone! It's Beauty and the Beast!
Hopefully I'll have Real Live Baseball to post about shortly. Until then, have a good weekend, and check this stuff out or you're just as bad as Matt Millen, and it'll only be a matter of time before we're burning you in effigy in the streets.
Labels: baseball, hunting, Mike Timlin, MLB, random, Red Sox
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I think it's fair to say that Arroyo got kind of screwed here. Now, on the bald and shiny face of it, the Tito face of it if you will, this deal makes sense. It's not like Arroyo was Wicked Vitally Instrumental to our pitching staff... let's admit it, no starter with an ERA over 4.00 and an age over 25 is going to be WVI*. We do have some pitching depth, 'though after last season I'm of the opinion that we can never have too many potential starters lined up, especially when 3 of our starters right now are old (Wake), older (Schill), and so old that they're liable to start eroding like a sand dune in a high wind at any moment (Wells). Arroyo was moveable.
And it's not unexpected. I hate to say it, but I had that goodbye image photoshopped up already... it had been sitting on my harddrive for months. And don't get on me for jinxing him, I had one made for Varitek too. I just like to be prepared. I'm a pre-emptive photoshopper, yo. Anyways, clearly the idea of trading away the cornrows had been floating around in varying stages of likelihood for quite some time now.
Wily Mo, even besides being named Wily Mo (pronounced 'Willie', but still awesome), is a worthwhile player. He doesn't grade out great according to the Sporting News Baseball Register (only a 6.3... yeesh, Carlos Pena even grades out to a 7.1), and he has trouble with pitches up in the zone. He's shown respectable power in the years he's played a respectable number of games, slugging .527 the year he played 110 games and slugging .492 last year when he played in 99. He hit .291/.345/.536 against lefties last season. Combine that with Trotter's .288/.364/.489 against righties, and you've got a .290/.355/.513 composite right fielder, which ain't bad, and is marginally less likely to injure its collective self, having two sets of knees to properly blow out.
And I guess I'd trust him at the plate against lefties more than I'd trust Dustan Mohr. So it's not a horrible trade, not in a pure, hard, baseball vacuum sense.
But (and here is where I take off my Rational Human Being Red Sox Hat and replace it with my battered, paint-smeared, Pry It Off My Cold Dead Skull Insane Fan Red Sox hat) what this trade, did, basically, and I don't like to be crude about this, but what it did was lay a big steaming egg on Bronson Arroyo. And I don't mean a nice pretty light blue speckled egg either. I mean an egg in form alone, an egg with the composition of a pre-fossilized coprolite if y'know what I mean, and I think you do.
Against the advice of everyone from his agent to his mom to the dust mites that live in his eyebrows (as they do in all of ours) Arroyo resigned with Boston for stonkerloads less than he could have made had he chosen to push the matter. Why? Because he loved the city and the Red Sox and recognized that it was somewhere he would be appreciated for his horrible hair and his loopy leg kick and where he could totally get, like, gigs in local bars, man.
He had been stuck bouncing between a big crumbly rock (the Pirates' minor league system) and a dry icky hard place (the Pirates) when Boston swooped in like Batman, rubber Clooney nipples and all, and plucked him out of the clutches of the cocaine-smuggling parrot. He had been stuck on waivers, for Pesky's sake. In Boston he was someone. I'm sure there were a lot of reasons behind Arroyo giving such a huge discount to the home team this offseason, but gratitude for the team that 'saved' him may well have been one of them.
And now this. The dude shows his faith in the team and his love of the city and he gets shipped out of town to Ohio, of all godforsaken cabbage-smelling crap-university-having places. It's just a slap in the face, is what it is, not to mix that metaphor with the odiferous egg or anything. It's cold, man. And it wasn't unexpected in a general sense, but the timing of this caught me completely by surprise. Why now?
I am bloody exhausted and had about the worst day possible today, so you'll have to pardon any spelling/grammar mistakes or out-of-place references to penguins**. This and Joey being ridden out of town are, surprisingly, the least of my concerns today, although they CERTAINLY DID NOT HELP THANK YOU SPORTS.
A nice surprise came with the WBC final today, though. I don't get out of my prison workshop until 8:30 pm, and that's in Jackson, and I have to be escorted across the yard and let out the gate (sometimes a lengthy process), and then I have to drive all the way back to Ann Arbor (up to an hour, depending on how slow I'm driving), and then I have to return the van to the art school and return the supplies and wait for the bus to take me back to my dorm (anywhere from half an hour to a full hour, depending on how many supplies I bring out and have to slot back into the closet, and how long the bus takes to show up). Long story short, I figured to get back around 10, 10:30, and so expected to miss a good-sized chunk of the game, since it started at 9.
Imagine then my surprise when I staggered into my room, turned on the TV, and saw that they were just wrapping up the first inning.
Bless you, Japan, for beating the cigars out of Cuba for that first inning, and thereby taking up enough time to allow me to watch almost the entire game. For reals, yo. Thanks.
It was a good game, too, with Japan dominating for much of it, and then Cuba staging a rousing comeback to bring it to within one run, only to see Japan pull ahead again and ultimately win, 10-6. The Japnese players hugged each other with the enthusiasm of Big Papi after the game, and they laid a flag down flat across the pitching rubber, a rather obvious but still vaguely touching snub of the nose at Korea. The enthusiasm of some of the Japanese players when a few of their teammates came running onto the field with a giant Japanese flag was something to see: one guy smacked the player nearest to him on the shoulder and they started excitedly pointing at the flag as it was being run out. Too cute.
Oh, and they did the traditional Japanese baseball manager throw too, where the championship team lifts the venerable old manager onto their shoulders and proceeds to hurl him several times into the air, usually with his arms and legs held awkwardly up and out like an upturned, but very very sincerely happy, beetle. It always reminded me of people getting lifted in chairs at Jewish weddings and Bat/Bar Mitzvahs... the kids have a ton of fun with it, but the older ladies so treated just grin nervously and grip the edges of the chair really hard, and hope like hell that Uncle Dave doesn't lose his grip. But they're really happy!
In other words, it was hilarious seeing Sadaharu Oh get moshed.
The Cuban team, after a moment, filed out of their dugout and into the midst of the Japanese celebration to shake their hands and say congrats in a language their opponents did not speak. It was a very classy move of them and the Japanese players seemed as mildly but pleasantly surprised as the announcers were. I also noticed a few of the Cuban players getting people to take photos of them with their arms around Ichiro, which is so what I would do if I was there, (seriously, be still my heart, and shut up ladies, I know what you're going to say already) so thumbs up to them for seizing the opportunity.
I still can't get over how great it was that he broke out high socks for the event, thereby combining two of my favorite things: amazing fielders who hit for average, and high socks.
One final WBC question, that may only make sense to those who insomniatically stayed up to watch some (or, er, most) of the late-night reruns of the games. The ones where 'due to time constraints, [they] now jump ahead in the action'. The guy who pops up on the screen and tells us that we're leaping forward in time: isn't he extremely creepy-looking? Is it just me? Or are other people as completely freaked the hell out by him as I am? I think his name is Ron Flores***, but isn't that a pitcher for the A's? It's possible I'm hallucinating the entire thing; after all, I am watching these games at 3 in the morning. But the dude just terrifies me. He has these creeptastic mismatched wandering eyes.
I'm not sure that's the right note to end my WBC chatter on, but perhaps it's as good as any other.
*Jeremy Bonderman, you will note, is a perfectly valid WVI pitcher under these constraints. Jus' sayin'. Blue Cats and Red Sox: we like Science, especially the kind we make up ourselves. And by 'we' I mean me and the Manny-on-a-stick that sits above my desk. No word of a lie. I used it to point at the screen during a presentation last year.
**Tends to happen when I reach a certain critical level of exhaustion. There comes a point where I'm so tired that I literally do not know where I am anymore and am actually asleep in my mind, but I'm still sitting at the computer typing. This happened once in high school while I was writing a history paper. I jerked awake after about 3 and a half pages and reread them, only to find a comprehensive study of 19th century utopianism to be filled with phrases like, "The commune lasted for another 12 years in this fashion penguin on the ice fish before finally dwindling down to nothing ice floe penguin." Three pages of that. I was terrified and confused and I only wish I was making that up.
***I just flipped on ESPN2, realizing I might catch him rebroadcasting tonight's game. It's Robert Flores and he has something to do with ESPN Radio, 'tho I rather like the idea of a relief pitcher prospect for the A's somehow getting shanghaied into saying "due to time constraints we now move forward in the action" at 3 am every night, because it's exactly the sort of deranged thing that seems to follow around the A's. Anyways, this is the only photos of him I can find on short notice, and it definitely does not showcase the full terror, so you'll either know what I'm talking about or you'll just have to trust me on this one.
Labels: baseball, Bronson Arroyo, goodbye, Ichiro, Japan, MLB, Red Sox, trade, World Baseball Classic
Monday, March 20, 2006
I suppose we've all heard by now about Joey and the great big Honolulu blue and silver boot hanging behind his rear. My uncle OF COURSE had to email me a link to the article where Joey was quoted as saying, "I hate everybody on this team and everybody hates me."
Right then. I suppose that about seals it, don't you think?
And so, with all due apologies to Robert Frost...
Two roads diverged in a bluesilver wood,
And sorry I could not travel both through
And be one quarterback, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent as goalposts do.
Then took the other, just as rare
And having perhaps the better claim
Because my name was not hated there;
Though as for my arm passing fair
My skills are really about the same.
And both that morning equally seem
Fields on which I should not take flak.
Oh, I kept the first for another dream!
Yet knowing how team leads on to team,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the team with less hatred nigh,
And that may not make a difference.
Labels: football, humor, Joey Harrington, Lions, NFL, poetry
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Holy freaking cats, Korea.
I'm going to be a mess tomorrow. I have to be up and vaguely mobile in about 3 and a half hours. I have 10 and a half hours of solid classtime tomorrow (today), not counting transit, which works out to about 2 more hours for the whole day. I just stayed awake to watch Korea/Japan, even though I already knew that Korea had won.
It was completely worth it.
At this point I am quite incapable of summing the game up properly but let me say this: it was 0-0 going into the 8th inning.
Chan Ho Park started and threw 5 innings of 4-hit, scoreless ball. Byung Hyun Kim got the win and the Fabulous Mr. Koo (name probably picked up from some Mets blog or other) got the hold.
Korea scored when a runner hustled from first to third on what should have been just a single. The ball beat him there. The third baseman had the ball. The Korean runner sort of slid into the Japanese third baseman, forcing the ball out of his glove (all very aboveboard and and clean and legal, by the by... no slapping), and making himself safe. The next batter was the Korean captain, Jong Beom Lee, who proceeded to hit a two-run double.
Japan got one run back on a single-shot homer in the bottom of the 9th, but the ridiculously good Korean pitching held on for the win.
The crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Korean. There were signs everywhere: "Final Four-Korea-March Madness", "30 years? We only needed 1 week!" (a reference to Ichiro's comments on Japan's dominance of Asian baseball), "Korea hit homer!" with a big drawing of Homer Simpson.
When Korea got that last out. Oh man.
They got their flag, and ran around the field with it like in the Olympics. One of their players took another Korean flag, on a pole, and dug a little hole in the center of the pitcher's mound, and planted the Korean flag in front of the rubber at Angel Stadium. He took his time, concentrating on getting it straight and standing tall, digging a little deeper when it threatened to fall over, excited and happy and intent on his task, like it was the most important thing in the world at that moment. When he got it standing to his satisfaction he stepped back to rejoin his teammates in the celebration.
Then he picked up the hem of the flag and kissed it.
Japan can still get into the next round, if the US loses to Mexico tomorrow. And I'll feel bad if they don't make it in, after what happened to them in their game against us.
But for Korea to beat Japan not once, but twice, and once in the Tokyo Dome... for any team to win the Asian bracket besides Japan... for Byung Hyun Kim to have a more positive impact on a baseball game than Ichiro Suzuki... it's huge. It's immense. It's a bigger upset than Canada beating the US, which I said at the time (Korea had already beaten Japan at home at that point).
Quoth the captain: "It made me proud to be Korean, but more important, we beat Japan," he [Jong Beom Lee] offered. "It was sweet revenge."
Oh yeah, and Korea is undefeated in WBC play.
Oh, and the Korean government has announced that, since they made it to the semifinals, those members of the Korean team who have yet to serve their mandatory military service will have that three-year requirement waived.
I don't care what George Steinbrenner or David Wells think. Bud Selig got something right with this thing. If you don't love this, you don't love baseball.
Labels: baseball, Japan, Korea, World Baseball Classic
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Kit becoming a Cat?
That's the word on the electronic street, anyhow. Jon Kitna is said to have signed with the Lions for 4 years, making Carson Palmer a sad, sad man.
It's awfully hard for me to drag my brain away from baseball season enough to really think about this, but, 4 years? That's not a "here, sign for a year or two and backup this clearly much better dude" kind of contract. That's a "well OK you're going to backup but keep on your toes because you NEVER KNOW" kind of contract. They've said they're going with Joey next season, and they'll probably stick to that, but Kitna is being brought in to challenge as much as he's being brought in to wait on an injury.
And he's a much more potent challenge then Jeff "a good pass involves throwing the ball 100 feet vertically into the air and watching it land at your feet again" Garcia.
The writing's been on the wall for Joey for a long time now, but I think the wording's finally started to become clear. This signing doesn't say that the organization absolutely trusts Joey to carry them to a reasonably good record (see, I'm not even looking playoffs. I'm looking reasonably good record), and much as I love the dude I don't think they would have any reason to trust him with that. But Kitna's the kind of quarterback who could look great in a couple practices and get some Martzish minds awhirlin' when the season starts up again.
Of course, he's also older than Joey, and therefore much more likely to break into a billion tiny quarterback pieces when the offensive line crumbles for the 11,000th time in one quarter and he gets sacked by 5 opposing players at once.
I guess that's what Shaun King is for, right?
Labels: contract, football, Jon Kitna, Lions, NFL
Monday, March 13, 2006
Well that kinda stunk.
The US won on Sunday, barely, and it was terribly exciting and all, but the whole thing was TAINTED for several reasons:
1. A-Rod hit the final ball to win the game and thus all my excitement at the whole bases loaded thing and the whole Ken Griffey Jr. will he get a hit will he make an out will his arms break off and turn to powdered cornstarch on the ground scene leading up to it was for naught. I got all worked up and then the final run came across and YAY WE WON WHAT A GAME but wait. WAIT. Whose purpled lips are stretched wide in a rictus grin of victory? A-Rod? Nevermind. To the vomitorium I go.
2. Joe Nathan peed himself on the mound. There was wee dribbling down his legs and Japanese men giggling at the plate. It was embarassing to watch, like Johnny Damon struggling to form a coherent sentence back when we were all still trying to not be annoyed by Johnny Damon, and I wanted it to stop. The boxscore said there was only one hit and one walk against him but he looked so bad I refuse to believe it.
3. We shouldn't have won. The Japanese had the bases loaded, 1 out, and there was a relatively shallow pop fly, so the guy on third bolted for home. He came across and Buck Martinez came barrelling out of the US dugout to tell the umps that the guy had left third early, even though the second base ump had already called him safe at home. There was much discussion and eventually it was overturned and Sadaharu Oh was quietly disgusted. Replays seemed to indicate that the guy did not leave early BUT.
But. OK. Even if this was football and the umpires had the benefit of on-field instant replay, THIS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN OVERTURNED. The original call had been made pretty much without hesitation, albeit by the wrong ump (so what was the third base ump doing at the time, picking his toe jam?), and the replay did not show a conclusive difference one way or the other. ED HOCHULI WOULD NOT OVERTURN THIS. But Ed Hochuli has good eyes and good biceps and an understanding of letting the team that actually scored the points keep those points and also he is not a minor league referee so this would not have been a problem.
So the Japanese got their run taken off the board AND two outs on the play, taking them out of the inning. For a long while they refused to take the field because they didn't think the inning should be over and THEY WERE CORRECT. Sadaharu Oh did not throw a hissy fit not because he had no case but because it would not have helped and he is a GENTLEMAN in other words quite unlike Tony LaRussa, who is a man with old school pine tar in his soul not scruples.
I would have liked to have won this in a way that was not tainted but this was bad meat. The Japanese team should have been up 4-3 with one more out in the inning but instead they were left tied at 3 with no outs at all, and they were vulnerable to the slappy ways of A-Rod in the 9th.
More notes from the game:
This is the second Chipper Jones homerun I have seen in the WBC so far. WHY IS CHIPPER JONES SO FUCKING GOOD?
Derek Jeter cups his genitals very lightly before stepping into the box. Dude, if you’re gonna grope the junk, GO FOR IT. Look at Brandon Inge. Brandon Inge knows how to tweak a cup on the field. And then Jeter grounds into a double play so MY SCORN IS UNENDING.
Michael Young got a hit. Ken Griffey Jr. got a hit. Why didn’t you, Derek? Why didn’t you? Hell, A-Rod got a hit, there are two men on now and two outs. Chipper is up but he can’t do everything by himself, Derek. I’m having way too much fun taunting him for doing something that Poor Edgar did, repeatedly, for the Sox.
Ball gets by the catcher (wild pitch) and the base runners move up. Fucksocks, Chipper grounds to first. SEE, JETER?? If only you had bussed your balls like a man, we would have scored somewhere in that inning. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE MY LOGIC, READERS. It is flawless.
“In Puerto Rico you don’t become a baseball fan. You’re born a baseball fan. If you do well, they’ll let you know. Heh, if you do bad they’ll let you know too. They’re definitely gonna be loud. I’m Carlos Delgado, and I’m hella happy to be off the Marlins.” So Puerto Rican baseball fans are basically Red Sox fans, right?
Sadaharu Oh on Ichiro: “First of all, he loves the game of baseball.” So he’s NOT Zach Greinke or Keith Foulke, is that what we’re sayin’? Then again if I was Zach Greinke and was stuck on the Royals I might get sad with life too. OH WAIT EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT HE'S BARELY OLDER THAN ME AND HE'S PLAYING BASEBALL AND MAKING MORE MONEY THAN I WITH MY USELESS ART DEGREE WILL EVER MAKE. Boo fucking hoo, Mr. Greinke. Your hypothetical sob story is wasted on me.
Peavy finally settles down in the 4th. Gaslamp Ball thinks that Jake Peavy is being supplanted as the cutest Padres pitcher. Judge for yourself.
Has anyone else noticed that the underarmor-ish shirts being worn by Team USA make it look like they all have skin disease? They’re navy blue with a spattering of red dots at the elbow that look like nothing so much as a clustering of eczema. Please tell me I’m not the only one seeing this.
With one swing in the 6th Derrek Lee ties it up. WHY IS DERREK LEE SO FUCKING GOOD?
I just realized why Ichiro looked different in this game. HE’S WEARING HIS SOCKS UP. He never does that for Seattle, he wears his pants down and those stupid hightop looking cleat things, like he's a basketball player in his secret dreams instead of a gory actor. Huh.
Well, I also watched the Dominican Republic/Puerto Rico and Mexico/Korea games, but I didn't follow them as closely because I was busy making worksheets and color wheels so that tomorrow evening I can teach Michigan prisoners the basics of color theory. I will note that Pudge was absolutely adorable when he hit his double early in the game (he cruised into second base pumping his fist like Derek Jeter only not so much with the extreme lame), and I was disappointed in the Korean game because Sung Heon Hong wasn't playing. Although I note that they replaced the stocky thirdbaseman with a guy named Bum Ho Lee, which, hello, I am 5 years old.
Oh and the art show reception went AWESOMELY. It was GREAT. The turnout was way bigger than we expected and there was a BAND, and they were DRESSED UP AS ANIMAL HYBRIDS, and they WRESTLED WITH MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE, and people ACTUALLY SPENT TIME READING THE WORDS ON MY PIECE, and it was just generally ace in every way. You can see photos from it here if you wish to partake of the awesomeness.
If you're in the area and couldn't make it out for the reception you can still see the show, it is in the WORK gallery until March 24th. I recommend it, although it is too bad that you missed the band.
Labels: baseball, gameblog, Japan, USA, World Baseball Classic
Friday, March 10, 2006
I'd just like to point out that the US controls its own destiny today, as the saying goes, because Canada got absolutely blasted by Mexico yesterday. This means that if the US beats South Africa today, they go on to the second round; if they lose, they don't. Roger Clemens is supposed to be taking the mound, for whatever that's worth. I'd say a lot, but then again I wouldn't have expected Dontrelle Willis to lose to Canada.
I didn't see the Canada/Mexico game last night... because I was watching Italy/Dominican Republic, which the DR won 8-3. Papi was 0-2, so it was all about the Tigers in this one. Tony Giarratano was 1 for 3 with a double and scored a run with a speedy jaunt all the way around from first (the announcers were suitably impressed), former Tiger Frank Catalonotto was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Placido Polanco going 2 for 5 and coming around to score both times (when you're hitting in front of Albert Pujols, that tends to happen), and Fernando Rodney closed out the game for the DR.
Highlights included some poor scrub on the Italian team named Saccomanno making 2 vital throwing errors, 42 year old winter league vet Luis Polonia getting cheered like he was Pujols when he came up to bat (even though he grounded out... the DR crowd loves 'em some Luis), listening to the announcers say names like "Rollandini" and "Liverziani".
Oh, and there was a Delucci in the outfield, which confused me, because I was thinking to myself, "Damn, David Dellucci got awfully heavy over the offseason." Turns out it was Dustin Delucci (one 'l'), an ageing fringe prospect bouncing around what I think is the lower end of the Padres organization.
So the US plays today at 3 pm, but I'm not going to see it until it rebroadcasts at 3 am, because it's not on TV here until then and in any event I'll be doing some scholarly crap until I head over to the WORK gallery on State St. for the show opening tonight, which everyone in the area should obviously go to. Show info here, in case you forgot.
After that I am apparently going bowling with my roommate for next year, which should be seedily interesting. So I'll probably be home just in time to see the US take on the mighty mighty bats of guys like Zaid Hendricks and Ricardo Siljeur. Nobody tell me beforehand who wins, I want to be able to watch it with full insomniatic glory.
Labels: baseball, USA, World Baseball Classic
Thursday, March 09, 2006
The USA got beaten by Adam Stern!
Yeah, there was some pitching involved too, but Adam Stern! It was Adam Stern who had the absurd inside-the-park homerun that had me squealing like an idiot. It was Stern who played center field all day like he was a kangaroo with rawhide magnets in his hands, diving all over the field and stealing the whoop right out of Chase Utley's run 'round the bases. Adam Stern!
Do you know how many homeruns Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Johnny Damon combined to hit in this game? Exactly zero. Do you know how many Adam Stern hit? That's right, one, and it was a doozy. And yes, I just said 'doozy'.
It's OK. So the US lost, and yes, I was mortified that we lost, not to the Dominican Republic or Japan or something, which would have been completely understandable, but instead to Canada, a Rich Harden-less Canada, even (and to be without Rich Harden is a terrible, terrible thing indeed). But in the end, I just could not make myself root for A-Rod. Jeter, I could stomach that (Beth discusses the phenomenon here), Damon only played in this one as a pinch hitter so I didn't have to see him much.
By the by, I didn't even know we had Gary Majewski on the team. Sheesh. I saw the hair on screen and flipped out. He looks like he should be wearing a small pointy goatee and familiarly teasing D'Artagnan about his shirtsleeves.
I was rooting for Team USA in the sense that I was rooting, as violently as possible, for Jason Varitek, especially when he came up to bat with the bases loaded, the US trailing 8-2 (I think). All the times he's come up in that situation and freaked came to mind... after all, he only got his first grand slam last season. "Just get on base, Tek," I muttered at the TV. Shut up. I know you all talk to the TV when the Sox are playing. "Don't go all out for it if it's not there, just get on base."
Jason Varitek, proving for the 5,000th time that he knows more about baseball than I do, proceeded to hit the base out of the ball and crushed it into the stands for 4 runs.
The announcers, proving for the 5,000th time that we all know more about baseball than they do, immediately said that all Sox fans must have been expecting that. Right. We know 'Tek has a sliver of the mystical Clutcherification that so dotingly follows Papi around, like a great big debatedly-extant puppy, but a grand slam? What Sox fans know is how much 'Tek struggles to hit grand slams. Bloody announcers.
But as I said, in the end, it wasn't too bad. Because it's not possible for me to root against Adam Stern, even though he is a former Cornhusker, and I think we all know how I feel about them right now. And it's pretty hard to root against someone named "Stubby Clapp" too. And the Twins fans I know here are already salivating copiously about Morneau's performance.
It's now 3:25 am, and I'm watching another inning or so of the Netherlands/Puerto Rico game before bed. Not because I particularly care, but because I'm up anyways, and it's Pudge and Little Alex Cora and a whole bunch of people I've never heard of in my life for the Netherlands and real honest to gosh baseball. And that's pretty damn good.
Labels: Adam Stern, baseball, Canada, USA, World Baseball Classic
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
He may or may not have been a great person, but he was a great Twin.
RIP, big guy.
Yeah, don't go reading Bat Girl's entry, or the comments over at TwinkieTown when you're in an exhausted or emotionally vulnerable state. Because you'll probably cry.
In other ridiculously sad news that probably none of you will care about, I was completely stunned to hear that Seth Fisher died on January 30th (I only heard about this now because I'd been a bit lazy with my internet reading, specifically, the comic book people). Apparently it was some sort of accident; his website says 'a fall'. He was 33 years old.
Will World is one of the very, very few books that I have ever braved the creepy comic book store in Salem to purchase, and I bought it purely because of Seth's artwork. It's not a classic Green Lantern story, and the whole thing is rather odd, a little too cute for my tastes at points... but it's not about the narrative. It was (when I bought it) and still is about the drawings. Seth's illustrations were complex, imaginative, beautiful in the extreme-- comic book art that took that extra step and became art.
Through sheer dumb luck, I got a copy of Will World that had been signed. By the artist. Seth Fisher.
It's almost inconceivable to me that there will be no more Seth Fisher illustrated books to look forward to, no more new Seth Fisher artwork to look at.
I know this is a sports blog, and I know none of you kids care. But I just wanted to get it down. One of my favorite artists (not comic book illustrators; artists, period) has died, far too young, and the illustration world will be a great deal poorer for it.
Labels: baseball, in memory, Kirby Puckett, MLB, Twins
Monday, March 06, 2006
Pedro got married?
How did I miss this news?
Apparently I did, somehow, because on Baseball Tonight (airing, confusingly, in the late afternoon) one of their reporters had managed to corner Pedro and decided to congratulate him on getting married this offseason.
The reporter, clearly not familiar with the Ways of Pedro, smiled and asked how it was going, and wasn't it a change? obviously expecting Pedro to smile back and say that it was the most wonderful change and he simply loved it and other such things.
Pedro's response was, well, typically Pedro.
“I prefer not to talk about my private life…. There are adjustments that you have to make, but I’m not gonna talk about that.”
He gave off the air of being completely uncomfortable that the question was even asked, and that it was perhaps slightly shameful for ESPN to be intruding so odiously into his life. And all the guy had done, basically, was congratulate Pedro. Imagine if he actually had been prying.
This did somewhat delight me. Pedro's jealous and sometimes borderline psychotic guarding of his private life was grating in Boston; now that he's no longer here it's something I can sit back and chuckle indulgently at. That quirky scamp! What japes and jollity we had here in Boston!
I have to say, though, I have some trouble seeing Pedro as a married man. He just always struck me as the sort of person who was perfectly single. I don't necessarily mean single in the Derek Jeter, slowly screw his way through every girl in the city sense, although maybe that's true for Pedro too. It's more that he's just so nuts and so smart and so self-contained that it's hard for me to imagine him with a wife.
The mango tree image loses quite a bit of potency when it's two figures sitting contemplatively under it, instead of just one, you know?
Labels: baseball, MLB, Pedro Martinez
Friday, March 03, 2006
It's the first day of the World Baseball Classic! The first game was at 4 on Thursday, or 1:30 am on Friday if you're like me and don't have ESPN Deportes. Because I'm not sane, I decided to stay up and watch the very first game of the series, which is Korea vs. Chinese Tapei (hereafter CTp; aka Taiwan). I don't know who's on the rosters, I don't know the specific rules of the tournament, nothing. I'm rooting for Korea for the simple reason that I like watching games much more if I have some vague rooting interest in them, and in this case I'm picking Korea because I have a bunch of friends from Korea, and I don't know anyone from Taiwan. As good a reason as any, I reckon. Enjoy.
The WBC logo reminds me of all those pinwheels that inexplicably adorn US Cellular. This is going to keep pissing me off all tournament probably.
Korea in the powder blue, CTp in the white. CTp’s starter is En-Yu Lin, who was the ROY of the Taiwan baseball league. He looks awfully young… he’s so skinny in the arms that he reminds me of Bronson. Only shorter, I think. And much less blonde.
The field is base islands like the Metrodome, with grass (turf) on the basepaths instead of dirt. BLECH.
Behind the plate is an ad that has a bunch of Chinese characters with the words 'Super “DRY”' under it. I’m officially freaked out.
Oh wait, this is being played in Tokyo, isn’t it? Japanese characters. Maybe.
Someone in the photographer's well has a medical facemask on. Er?
Drums (?) and whistles in the crowd, but the mikes they have on this field are really pretty awful. OH MY GOD NO THEY’RE THUNDERSTICKS. OH MY GOD. THERE’S A WHOLE SECTION OF THUNDERSTICKS. I think they belong to Korea. DAMN YOU, KOREA.
Korea’s unis are weird. So far everyone’s wearing their pants really loose, like Manny-loose. And they’re white with thick blue stripes down the sides, but the stripes seem to end midcalf. Fake socks to mimic the look?
E. Y. Lin totally has acne. Oh my god. The kid is like 12. (announcers say he’s 24. no fucking way)
CTp looks like its colors are Braves colors. White, navy, dark red. Their catcher is wearing gear that I think Johnny Estrada’s worn in the past. His mask is weird, it’s kind of like a cross between old school style and hockey masks.
Ha, foul tip and the batter (DJ Kim, 3B, I think), falls on his ass, all Dmitri Young style. The catcher hangs onto it and we’re out of the first half.
Jae-Weong Seo (Dodger) pitching for Korea. The first CTp batter (13) is Yung Chi Chen, he’s 22, Christ he looks it too. Weird delivery for Seo. He pauses in his windup when he’s got his leg up, and his arms go way way out like a crane pose before he releases.
All healthy Korean males are required to serve 2 years military service. You’re exempt if you win an Olympic medal, or the Asian Games (?), and there’s been petitioning to have the players on the WBC Korean baseball team exempted if if they make the semifinals or something. Wow. Think they’re a little more into this than the US team will be?
Dong Ju Kim (Korea, 3B, 18), the big guy who fell over in his last at-bat and whom the announcers are lovingly referring to as 'stocky', hurls himself onto the ground to make a diving stop, sends it to first in time for the out. Dude’s been all over the turf already and we’re not even out of the first inning.
I just remembered, this is the Tokyo Dome, this is where David Ortiz hit that monster shot that had everyone buzzing a while back. So far it would’ve kept going if there wasn’t the roof, remember that? Maybe that’s why the sound’s dodgy. I don’t like indoor baseball.
WORST CIALIS AD EVER. “Just when you think the time is right.. it may not be.” Old people are nuzzling, suddenly the doorbell rings and WHOOPS IT’S THE GRANDKIDS, PUT THAT ERECTION AWAY POPS. My soul has been broken. I hate you, 36-hour-Cialis.
There are 4 Lees and 2 Kims in the Korean lineup. I am going to never get this straight.
Hey, it’s Hee Seop Choi! Swings at the first ball he sees, slams it to the centerfield wall, doubles (he’s running slow, and it bounced a bit off the wall). He’s the first guy I’ve seen on the entire field so far with his socks up.
Super “DRY” is in the dugouts too.
(unavoidable Barry Zito “I like the moist sensation” reference)
In the Asian leagues they’re used to horsehide balls. The WBC is using Rawlings (cowhide) balls. It’s ‘livelier’ off the bat than they’re used to (allegedly), and the pitchers were complaining that it’s slipperier than what they've grown accustomed to using.
Woah! KILLER double play! 6-4, SS runs in, SNAGS it outta the air on the run, waits a bit, flips it to the 2B who was running back to the base, DP. WOW. That was pretty.
The Tokyo Dome is almost completely empty in the outfield seats. Which makes sense. Presumably it’ll be more full when Japan plays.
Due to time constraints they move ahead in the action… which means one out in the bottom of the 2nd, I think, 2-2 on the batter. Right then.
Oh dear god. Korea has normal looking Thundersticks. CTp appears to have… well, I think they’re Thundersticks? They’re yellowish, short, and shaped like upside down cones. I don’t know what to make of this.
Stolen base. The catcher shot the ball way to the 1B side of 2B, pulled the second baseman off the bag, the guy’s into second easy.
Seo’s getting them to swing at a lot of low, offspeed stuff.
It’s produced back to back to back AAU National Championship teams! Teach me the mechanics of the major league swing, Mr. Emanski!
Hey, Korean groupies! With Thundersticks. They were invented in Korea. So how the fuck did the RM Angels get them? DAMN YOU AGAIN, KOREA.
Wait, sorry, it’sTop 4. They must’ve skipped something there. It’s still 0-0, so, oh well.
The most bizarre sound effect ever was just broadcast over the Tokyo Dome sound system. It was, like, echoey and burbling.
Dong Ju Kim, the ‘stocky thirdbaseman’, the guy who fell over and then dove to make that great catch... He’s also wearing his socks up. Man does he chop hard.
STOP SAYING STOCKY SERIOUSLY THEY HAVE NOW CALLED HIM STOCKY AT LEAST 5 TIMES STOP IT STOP IT I GET IT HE’S NOT AS TINY AS THE OTHER GUYS STOP IIIIIIIIIITTTTTT.
Korea’s pants look much less stupid with the socks up. CTp’s pants have sidestripes that go all the way down to the shoes, so at least they look OK without the socks up. Even though I think everyone should have the socks up.
Nice satin jackets for the CTp coaches! Very shiny, very snazzy.
65 pitch limit for all starters, for the record. If a guy hits 65 in the middle of an at-bat, he's allowed to finish the at-bat, but that's the only way he's allowed to go over 65.
Wait, one of the CTp players in the infield has his socks up. Didn’t catch who it was, the shot was too quick.
Damn, Sung Heon Hong (Korea, catcher, 22), he’s pretty damn cute.
EY Lin’s using a TON of rosin. I’ve never seen anyone go to the bag that often and fluff it that much in the MLB. I wonder if that’s something to do with the slippery ball thing they mentioned earlier. But his catcher just went out to talk to him, so maybe it’s a sign of nerves. Maybe it’s a combo.
And Hong drives in the first run of the WBC! A double, screamer pulled down the 3B line. Catcher. Cute. Yes.
Ying-Chieh Lin the new CTp pitcher. Oh god. Lin followed by Lin. I’m gonna cry.
Must… buy… amazing… omelette… pan… from… compelling… chef… with… thick…. Aussie… accent….
Seo’s hovering in the windup is starting to freak me out. I bet the photogs love him though.
Huh, they’re playing with a DH. I wonder if that’s consistent across the board for the WBC? Probably it is. Do they play with a DH in Japan? Korea? Hm. I’ll have to look that up at some point.
Headfirst dive into first base. The guy made it, too… they got out the guy at second, but he got in under the toss. Very dirty jersey now. You usually don’t see guys fighting that hard for first base.
Seo’s done at 61 pitches. I guess they don’t think he can get through the next AB with 4 or less pitches and they don’t see any reason to leave him in there anyways, which makes sense. He looked a little tired anyhow; he got that last out on a ball that ended up in the dirt that the batter barely went around on (check swing attempt).
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD
THE NEW PITCHER FOR KOREA
BYUNG HYUN KIM!
Oh my god, I’ve missed his fucking psychotic delivery. He looks so tiny on the mound after Seo. I’d recognize that strange little possibly narcoleptic face anywhere. Oh BHK. How’ve you been?
God this catcher is cute. He goes to the mound at BHK’s request and says something and laughs. Dude. I do NOT need a crush on a Korean league catcher. This is the only picture I can find of him, and it unfortunately doesn't show you how cute he is very well.
Popped him up with an 11 or 12 pitch AB. BHK gets ‘em outta the inning. This is hysterical.
They’re talking about how Chien Mien Wang isn’t playing for CTp. The New York Yankees: they hate fun.
The CTp firstbaseman has his socks up. Huzzah! They’re navy, by the by.
There are organized chants going on in the Korea section. It’s like college football fans, not baseball fans. They have signs and everyone’s wearing the same tshirt and they have the goddamn Thundersticks.
The CTp equivalent of the $500 bill, we are informed, has kids playing baseball printed on it. I want this money. I want Papi on my money. Although then maybe I would never spend any of it.
The Korean captain, Jong Beom Lee (7), wears a batting glove on his bottom (right) hand, but not on his top (left) hand. That’s his off hand, so he doesn’t really need it I guess, but I wonder why he wouldn’t want to wear both.
The captain smashes it to the wall… slides in for a double, pops up and pumps his fist, yelling. Ha ha! He missed a homer by about as much as Choi did earlier, i.e. not much. 2-0, Korea.
I think the ‘stocky thirdbaseman’ has an earring in his left ear. Yes he does. Dude rocks.
Seo, BHK, and Choi all went to the same high school. That coach allegedly got Choi to give up pitching and start hitting, and got BHK to start submarining. He must be a Baseball Genius.
This catcher, this Hong fellow, is very demonstrative. He gets a ball inside, clearly not what he wanted, he cocks his head and shrugs like, oh well, what can you do? And he keeps getting BHK to smile, somehow, which we saw how often in Boston? Basically never, right?
The announcers keep calling him ‘BK Kim’. That is not his name, fucktards.
Quick inning for BHK. Unbelievable.
He called him the ‘stocky thirdbaseman’ again. I can’t even believe it anymore. Dong Joo Kim, #18, 3B, stocky. Dove into first… um, he looks hurt. Uh oh.
Something with his left shoulder… he dove headfirst into the bag, oh jeez. Yeah. He landed right on the bag with his shoulder. Argh. It looks like he popped it out of the socket. Well, he’s standing up and grimacing and walking off under his own power but I don’t imagine he comes back from that… he’s holding his left arm out at an angle and perfectly stiff. Wincing in pain.
Now the announcers are talking about how diving into first when you’re not directly dodging a tag is bad fundamental baseball which, given this, it's kind of hard to argue. This isn’t great for Korea; despite his size DJ Kim looked tonight like a more than competent fielder at third, and he’s an imposing presence at the plate to be sure.
The CTp centerfielder almost loses Choi’s high fly in the lights… he makes the catch for the out, but after he threw it back to the infield he looked up at the ceiling and blew his cheeks out like, jeez, phew. Goddamn domes.
Hong rips a sharp single to right. There are men on first and third because the pinch runner for DJ Kim is some tiny little fast guy who looks like he weighs maybe 100 pounds soaking wet, and he had already stolen second.
Dear Mr. Hong—would you like to come play for the Detroit Tigers? No one thinks Pudge will last very long, and lord knows they need catching prospects. It’s Major League Baseball. Please?
Wei-Ming Chu, #59, new pitcher for CTp. He is HIDEOUS. Aw, and I think they pinch-ran for Hong. Blargh.
The new Korean catcher is not nearly as cute.
And BHK promptly gives up his first hit… although it ALMOST could have been an E6. Get Hong back. BHK can’t do it without him.
BHK’s done after 29 pitches… something with if they take him out with under 30 pitches they can pitch him again tomorrow. I probably should’ve read up on the rules of this damn tourney before it started, huh?
Dae Sung Koo now pitching. The CTp cones are out in force. Koo (Mets) gets a comebacker and instead of throwing it immediately, runs a little bit towards second before throwing it, and the men on first and second are both safe. Dumb. He's probably overexcited, though.
It’s 4 am. Why am I watching this?
CTp just made a lineup change. They’re putting in a guy with high socks. This bodes ill for Korea.
Strikes out, though, and that’s the inning.
And with one more ballad to priaprism, it's the 7th... Wait, no, we ‘move ahead in the action’ to the
Still 2-0, Korea. I trust I didn’t miss any amazing defensive plays either, or I’ll be pissed at ESPN. But this is good. I’m tired. It’s an ungodly hour.
Po-Hsuan Keng, #88, is the new CTp pitcher. The announcers are pronouncing his name as ‘Gung’. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, or if it’s like them calling BHK ‘BK Kim’.
“You can tell, from watching him, that he does have some youth inside him.” -the announcers on PH Keng. What the hell?? Did he eat a baby?
1-2-3 for Keng/Gung. Korea needs 3 outs to win this thing.
Oh. My. God. FX is doing a reality show where two families SWITCH RACES.
I can’t handle reality TV anymore. I just can’t.
Shot of the Korean bench. BHK: not asleep. Shocking.
Chan Ho Park pitching. Nice wispy goatee, Park. Gives up a leadoff double, which is only the 4th hit of the game for CTp, which is absurd given the fact that all the pitchers are on such strict pitch counts. Or maybe that helped by eliminating fatigue periods. Hmm.
Tai-San Chang, DH, Ctp, 49. His nickname is Tarzan, because his name, literally translated, means ‘Prince of the Forest’, and Tai-San sounds like Tarzan anyways. Amazing.
Woah. Looked like an easy 4-3 and Korean win, but nope, the guy busted ass down to first and was safe. Sorry, I think it was 6-3 with the SS running in. Runners at first and third, 2 outs. I am so, so tired.
OUT AT SECOND! Great diving stop and flip to second! Wow!
I’m going to bed.