A Kind of Goodbye

Almost four years ago, I started Old Time Family Baseball on a whim. Sitting at home after some minor surgery, watching a Royals game on MLB.tv, and missing my roommates after moving to Los Angeles, I started this, hoping that it would be nothing more than a way for us to keep in touch. 

That morphed over time, the blog eventually becoming my place to combine baseball and jokes and Batman and existential despair. Somehow, there were readers that seemed to like that. 

And thanks to all of you for reading and writing and sharing and telling me when my facts were wrong or my typos were egregious or my jokes were lazy, we built up a kind of community. I got to meet a lot of great people, both online and in real life, people that I consider great friends, even if we’ve only spent a small amount of time in the same physical space.

Eventually, one of those roommates, Will Hall, did join up, making the site even better and helping with the heavy lifting, producing some phenomenal content like a look at the state of baseball in BrazilYu Darvish with a time machinethe correlation between ballplayers and bagels, and tons of others. 

So with one week to go before our fourth birthday, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be joining MLB.com’s Cut4 on Monday to continue writing jokes about baseball and scouring the web for the platonic ideal of Mike Trout highlights and Munenori Kawasaki dance moves. I hope you’ll follow me over there as I’m excited to join the very talented team that is already in place. 

This does, however, mean that Old Time Family Baseball will be changing. I’ll still be here, touching base with my work at Cut4 and perhaps commenting on some of the wonderful work that all of the other great baseball writers are producing, but you’ll want to point your browsers over to Cut4 if you want the full kit and kaboodle. 

Will is starting up his own site, continuing his holy mission at Park Adjusted Saves (ParkAdjustedSaves.Tumblr.com), and you can still find both of us on Twitter (myself @clairbearattack and Will @manybothansdied), so I hope you’ll follow us there. And we’ll still have all the archives up, including a brand new collection of greatest hits, for you to waste hours of your life upon. 

Because OTFB isn’t ending, it’s just going 2.0, or something. 

See you on the internet,

Mike & Will

If INSERT BLANK TEAM Wins, You Win!!!!!!

This year, Gallery Furniture, a Houston furniture company is offering free furniture to any of their 500 customers who spend $6,300 hundred or less if the Astros lose fewer than 100 games. While Gallery Furniture will surely be hoping that the Astros make a run for the Philadelphia Phillies five year stretch of 100 loss seasons (made even more impressive by the 154 game schedule at the time), shoppers would do well to put faith in GM Jeff Luhnow and his team of misfits and Altuves. I mean, the Astros are 2-1 to start the year, at most they could lose 160 games. That probably won’t happen. 

But Gallery Furniture isn’t the only company putting up free product in exchange for baseball performance standards. Here are just a few of the other deals going around the league: 

  • Free oil change from Mickey’s Lube Shop if the Yankees have fewer than 1,000 days on the DL
  • One free shave or haircut at The Haircuttery if Red Sox cumulative beard length is longer than 30 feet
  • One free two hour parking space if Dodgers win 100 games
  • A free graphing calculator if Mike Trout posts a third consecutive 10+ WAR season
  • Free copy of Moneyball on BluRay and public apology from Joe Morgan if Athletics win the World Series
  • Free admission to the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art for every use of the Marlins home run device
  • One year of Tim Horton’s coffee if RA Dickey only throws knuckleballs, not a single fastball. 
  • One all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii if Justin Verlander reveals himself to be a space alien who just happens to play baseball
  • 75% off dance lessons at Tina and Lily’s Dance Services if Munenori Kawasaki is called up.
  • One free steak sub for every time Bartolo Colon reaches base

So keep your eyes on those box scores, bargain hunters, you just never know what may pop up. 

 

Over at Sports on Earth, I take a look at the craziest baseball series ever made: Team Astro. Seriously, in this superpowered baseball melodrama, there’s death, nudity, more death, buckets of blood, things that don’t make sense, and absolutely amazing hair like in the photo above. 
I may never have known about the series if it weren’t for Mighty Flynn pointing it out to me a few years ago, so now I owe him my life or something. Because after watching Team Astro, my whole philosophy for, like, life has changed or something. 
The show is available for screening on Hulu or DramaFever.com, but if you want to make sure it’s the show for you, click over to Sports on Earth to take a look. 

Over at Sports on Earth, I take a look at the craziest baseball series ever made: Team Astro. Seriously, in this superpowered baseball melodrama, there’s death, nudity, more death, buckets of blood, things that don’t make sense, and absolutely amazing hair like in the photo above. 

I may never have known about the series if it weren’t for Mighty Flynn pointing it out to me a few years ago, so now I owe him my life or something. Because after watching Team Astro, my whole philosophy for, like, life has changed or something. 

The show is available for screening on Hulu or DramaFever.com, but if you want to make sure it’s the show for you, click over to Sports on Earth to take a look. 

"This is mma hat, not yours." 
(For actual information on Kevin Mmahat and the source of the card, please check out The Greatest 21 Days) 

"This is mma hat, not yours." 

(For actual information on Kevin Mmahat and the source of the card, please check out The Greatest 21 Days

Tim Lincecum’s Mustache’s Regular Season Debut
Today, Tim Lincecum’s Mustache made its regular season debut, appearing atop Tim Linecum’s lips in the Giants’ game against the Diamondbacks. 
But while Lincecum lasted 6 innings, giving up four runs while striking out seven, what did the mustache contribute? Here is its line: 
6 innings of existence
28 beads of sweat captured
13 flecks of Cheetoh dust held onto 
3 stray hairs that slipped into Lincecum’s mouth while drinking, leading to an “eww, gross.” 
37 tweets per second regarding enjoyment of mustache
43 tweets per second regarding disgust of mustache
2,700 future lovers engaged
1 fraternity pledged
19.5% cool factor
8 batters mesmerized
But the question on everyone’s mind: will Lincecum’s mustache dominate the news cycle this year the way Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli’s beards did last year? Tune in next week to find out. 

Tim Lincecum’s Mustache’s Regular Season Debut

Today, Tim Lincecum’s Mustache made its regular season debut, appearing atop Tim Linecum’s lips in the Giants’ game against the Diamondbacks. 

But while Lincecum lasted 6 innings, giving up four runs while striking out seven, what did the mustache contribute? Here is its line: 

  • 6 innings of existence
  • 28 beads of sweat captured
  • 13 flecks of Cheetoh dust held onto 
  • 3 stray hairs that slipped into Lincecum’s mouth while drinking, leading to an “eww, gross.” 
  • 37 tweets per second regarding enjoyment of mustache
  • 43 tweets per second regarding disgust of mustache
  • 2,700 future lovers engaged
  • 1 fraternity pledged
  • 19.5% cool factor
  • 8 batters mesmerized

But the question on everyone’s mind: will Lincecum’s mustache dominate the news cycle this year the way Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli’s beards did last year? Tune in next week to find out. 

>

Episode 88: 2014 Orioles Nickname Audit (aka Inspector Soul Patch)

For those of you that like the Baltimore Orioles or, really, just funny, insightful, and interesting baseball commentary, the Baltimorons podcast by Sam Dingman and Alan Smith is required listening. This week, they host their famed nickname show wherein they debate the best possible nicknames for every member on the Orioles roster. It’s really quite remarkable, even if their love of Steve Pearce just doesn’t add up. 

I was also fortunate enough to be asked to contribute something to their Seventh Inning Sketch series and so, after unearthing a hard-to-find Henry Rowengartner advice show, in which the once teenage wunderkind dispenses tips on life, love, and other things, I presented to them. Fortunately, they agreed to run this important archival recording. 

So click through to check it out, my segment coming towards the end. However, if you don’t listen to the rest of the show, helping foster further nickname debate, we can’t be friends anymore. 

Read This Comic: Avengers Annual #15

That’s right, it’s this time once again, when you must head to your local comic book store and root around in the back issue bins, emerging hours later with a comic book that not only features superheroics, but baseball, as well.

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This time around: West Coast Avengers Annual #15, with the West Coast team, lead by Hawkeye, taking on the East Coast boys, lead by Captain America. Who, wouldn’t you know it, has a movie coming out tonight. 

The comic opens with the two teams squaring off in Royals Stadium, apparently that being the midpoint for the two clubs, the West Coast Avengers down by two runs. 

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With Cap on the mound and Hercules and Black Knight in the field, it looks like it will be an easy Avengers victory. 

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Alternate Universe Daniel Murphy Tells Newborn Child, “Best day of my life was Opening Day.”

In our universe, Daniel Murphy, the second baseman for the New York Mets, foolishly decided to miss Opening Day to be present for the birth of his child. But in an alternate dimension, Daniel Murphy did not make such a rash decision. 

In this alternate dimension, located roughly 12 parsecs away from us, in the 5i dimension, Daniel Murphy played Opening Day with the Mets while his wife was in labor, going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk, getting lifted in a double shift in the 8th inning. 

Asked if it was worth it, Murphy responded: 

"Oh, absolutely. I mean, look, I’m only going to play in something like 2,000 baseball games if I’m lucky. That’s a dream everyone has and so few can actually manage. But a kid? Helping bring new life into this world? I dunno, whatever." 

After changing and chatting with his teammates, talking about how much fun coming back to the stadium the next day would be, he called his wife who was exhausted from the 20+ hours of painful childbirth. After exchanging pleasantries, Murphy’s wife held their baby up to the phone, Murphy telling the newborn in a cooing voice: 

"Well, hey there slugger. Just wanted to tell you that Daddy loves you and that this is the best day of my life…because I got a hit on Opening Day. I mean, the way the ball jumped off my bat—nothing compares to it. Except maybe when I found that $20 bill on the ground during your Mom and I’s wedding reception. That was pretty great, too. 

Anyway, can you put Mom back on?” 

At press time, the alternate reality Murphy was wondering why everyone was making such a big deal about this parenting thing because, “it seems pretty easy to me.” 

The Ortiz-Obama Selfie Controversy

On Tuesday President Obama welcomed the Boston Red Sox to the White House in honor of the team’s 2014 World Series Championship. During the proceedings, right after presenting POTUS with a custom Obama Red Sox jersey, signed by the whole team, David Ortiz did what any self-respecting human being would do and took a selfie with a guy who has the power to launch nuclear warheads at other countries.

It didn’t take long for controversy to rear its ugly head. Ortiz took the selfie with a Samsung phone just a day after signing a promotional deal with the company, and many figured the whole thing was an elaborate marketing stunt. While Ortiz has since denied those reports, there are several glaring issues that we take with the photo, outlined below.

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(Original picture via @davidortiz)

Player Round-Up: Four Useful Free Agents

The 2014 season is here, as in, real MLB teams have played real MLB games. Some of those teams are even playings games as I type this. Even with that, there are a number of free agents still awaiting calls from big league clubs, guys who could really contribute. Let’s recap some of the top candidates.

Stephen “Stevie” Drew

Much was written about Stephen Drew during the offseason. So I’ll plagiarize reiterate: his decent 2013 offensive production (.253/.333/.443, 13 HR, 57 RBI across 501 plate appearances) and steady defense at a prime position seemed to position him for a multi-year deal. Especially with several teams needing shortstops heading into the new season. Drew remains unsigned, and could still help several teams. He’s still just 31 years old, so even if a team caved and gave him that multi-year contract, it might not end up hurting too badly in the long run.

Rogers Hornsby

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(Image via Slice the Life)

Injuries have taken their toll, and Hornsby isn’t the player he was during his peak, but there’s still enough gas left in the tank for him to be a more than useful bat and glove off the bench. Several teams could use the depth that Hornsby affords, and recent rumors have mentioned the Phillies as one truly interested suitor. Hornsby is only 73 years removed from his last truly productive season in 1931, where he hit an amazing .421/.574/.996 over 419 plate appearances. He’s also still just 98 years old.*

Chris Jenkins

Going into this year’s little league tryout combine, there were questions about Jenkins’ work ethic and how it might affect his ability to improve his plate discipline. Jenkins did little on the field to dispel those fears, hitting just .109/.221/.450, incessantly raving about the new Taking Back Sunday album, and refusing to wear anything but skinny jeans and Urban Outfitters T-shirts during games, before being cut. Jenkins should catch on with a team, considering his overly involved, obnoxious, loud-mouth father needing to live vicariously through his son’s sports accomplishments, along with Jenkins’ having hit several “sick shots” during the 2013 season. He’s also still just 12 years old.

Bash McLuggins

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(Image via Brian Allen, Flyland Designs)

Teams know what they’re going to get with McLuggins at this point: a one dimensional righty who can provide a heavy dose of power against left handers while playing some first base and designated hitter. McLuggins has been hampered in recent years by full body necrosis, and many NL teams will be motivated to pass on him due to his inability to really play the field. But he should catch on with an AL team before the end of April. He’s still just 26 years old/undead.

*EDITORS NOTE: We have been informed that Hornsby did in fact pass away in 1963. Old Time Family Baseball regrets the error.