One Spot Available In OTFB Utility Players Only League

Ready to show off your knowledge of the 25th man of the roster? Really digging your favorite long reliever, but don’t know how to show your appreciation for them in a fantasy league? Well, wait no longer! 

One spot has just opened up in the Old Time Family Baseball utility players only league that drafts tomorrow (Saturday, March 22nd) at 12 pm EST/9 am PST. 

The only players that are eligible are relief pitchers (we don’t count saves), catchers, and multi-positional players (ie 1B/3B, 2B/SS, LF/RF, etc). 

Want in? Just shoot me an email to oldtimefamilybaseballATgmail.com. Because of the format of this league, it is really important that you either show up for the draft or pre-rank your players.

For the greatness of Craig Counsell! 

The many careers of Jayson Werth

Earlier today, Jayson Werth finally told the world the harsh truth, that it’s not brain surgery or quantum mechanics, but rather hitting a baseball that’s the hardest thing to do. 

Said Werth:

"If you can hit, you can do anything. Because it’s the hardest thing to do. There’s nothing harder. I can bake a cake. I could figure out a way to do algorithms. But a guy that knows how to do algorithms could never hit. It’s literally the hardest thing to do. If you can do the hardest thing, you can do anything else.”
“There’s nothing harder in the galaxy”

And sure enough, it’s true. You may not realize it, but during the offseason, Jayson Werth moonlights in all of those careers among others. And how do I know this? Because I have visual proof.

Jayson Werth, Algorithm guy:

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(image via betting.betfair)

Jayson Werth, Cake Boss: 

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(TVRage.com

Jayson Werth, Astronaut:

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(Wikipedia)

Jayson Werth, Librarian:

(via Funeray85)

Jayson Werth, 17th Century Philosopher, Immanuel Kant:

(Open Culture

Jayson Werth, US Senator:

(Wikipedia

Jayson Werth, Single-Celled Organism:

(Mars Society)

Jayson Werth, Apple Tree: 

(Mooselicker)

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2014 Season Preview: Chicago Cubs

Continuing my jaunt through the NL Central (having forgotten that Chicago comes before Cincinnati, whoops), today I posted my season preview on the Chicago Cubs.

Uptake: Man, their farm system is erotically charged, while the major league roster is a bit lacking. 

Anyway, a little sample: 

"The name "Starlin Castro" either sounds like an intergalactic space hero or the name of the shortstop in some Matt Christopher book. And, for the first two years, that’s what Castro was—an otherworldly, seemingly fictional player, hitting .304/.343/.422 while displaying excellent range if perhaps a propensity to commit errors. But after leading the league in hits in 2011 as a 21-year-old and watching his numbers dip but remain respectable in 2012, the wheels came off last year. Castro collapsed to .245/.284/.347, nearly approximating Zack Cozart’s offensive line while offering little of the defensive upgrade.

In the field, Castro, loaded with tools, still struggles, oftentimes looking like a Little Leaguer more concerned with the snow cone vendor than the on-the-field action. And though he cut his errors to 22 last year, a career low, that was still tied for second most in the game. Though his range may give him extra opportunities to commit those errors, Castro will need to show renewed focus and drive in 2014 at the age of 24.”

Click through for everything

Adam Dunn’s Book Reports on “Bo Knows Bo”

Earlier today, it was revealed by Dan Hayes of CSN that Adam Dunn has only read one book. Naturally, that book is the classic, “Bo Knows Bo.” 

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But, as it turns out, it’s not that Adam Dunn only desires to read one book, it’s that he wishes to truly delve into its structure, themes, and rhetorical devices.

Indeed, every year, Dunn covered the book in classes, going deep into the text, as evidenced by these excerpts:

3rd Grade, “The Bo Jackson Book Report.”

"…Bo Jackson seems very nice and he knows lots of things. He knows about sports, especially football and baseball. And he knows about other things too, like running and family. I like Bo Jackson very much."

8th Grade, “Bo Knows Bo, Coming of Age in Memoir”

"But what many don’t realize are the similarities between ‘Bo Knows Bo’ and ‘Catcher in the Rye.’ Both are modern classics in the "bildungsroman" or coming of age story. While Holden Caulfield struggles with his identity in prep schools, Bo Jackson finds his on the ballfield. Bo Jackson is also very good at sports, something Holden Caulfield would probably respect."

10th Grade, “Bo Knows Bo, A Poem for Creative Writing Assignment”

"Bo knows Bo

And I know so little

I know not

how the trees blow

or the blossoms struggle for air in the 

morning dew

Bo knows Bo 

and I don’t know me

as I wander aimlessly

searching for friendship in the faces, hands, sweating palms

of classmates, fathers, and absentee slips in the office.

Bo Knows Bo

And I know nothing

School is a joke.”

Freshman year, “Bo Knows Bo: A Study in Existentialism” 

…but Bo Jackson is the perfect example of the ‘Knight of Faith’ that Kierkegaard writes of. Playing two sports, and playing them well, Jackson is not only an extraordinary human being, but he possesses the ‘eternal power itself.’

And it is this power, possessed within himself, that has transformed Jackson into a modern day Sisyphus. Instead of pushing a boulder up a hill all day, Jackson struggles with contracts, media demands, and, indeed, against the limitations of his very muscle, against the very strains of his personhood. In a world with no meaning, in a world of chaos, Jackson has given himself one, becoming the Ubermensch that Nietzsche only dreamed of.” 

Dunn, currently preparing to play this season for the White Sox, has said that he will resume work on his Bo Knows Bo Broadway play when he retires. 

Things You May Have Missed While You Were Living Your Life: 3/17 Edition

While you were watching old family movies, marveling at just how awkward you could be as a 14-year-old in a football jersey and baggy cargo jeans, baseball things still happened.

What you may have missed: 

Wanna get caught up on all the latest pitcher injuries and we’re they’re at? Sure you do! Chris Cotillo has those facts and figures, you sadomasochistic monster

Weep, weep lovers of defense. Jose Iglesias is going to miss most of the season with a leg injury, prompting the Tigers to perhaps get Stephen Drew out of purgatory. And while we hope for a speedy recovery for Iglesias, just remember that it was leg injuries that turned Rey Ordonez from a defensive god into merely a defensive cog. 

Chone Figgins made it onto a major league roster! No, I’m not sure how that happened. 

The Lowell Spinners are to wear Christmas sweater jerseys. If they’re not made out of wool with giant rayon swirls and a few jingling bells attached to them, I’m not sure if we can really say they’re “Christmas sweater jerseys.” 

The Miami Marlins just want their fans to have a good deal. I’m sure that’s why they have this Groupon offer. Again. 

The Mariners commercials are out! I’m at an airport with wifi that is similar in speed to when I used Prodigy online, so I’m just going to assume they’re great. 

The wonderful, beer-drinking Eno Sarris gets to visit locker rooms. But did you ever realize how awkward and cringe-inducing they can be if you don’t fit an established norm? Here’s an excellent account.

Quick, let’s all move to Lansing so we can live in a minor league stadium

RBI Baseball is backPersonally, wake me when MVP ‘05 has returned

The ultimate rally cap

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And around these parts, we look at the Hank-inspired spring training mascots other teams have taken on, and come up with our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dream lineup

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2014 Season Preview: Cincinnati Reds

Trying to study up on the Reds before the new season? Want to think about Joey Votto’s exquisite eyebrows? Then my season preview for MLB Daily Dish has everything you need. 

A little taste, focused on Billy Hamilton: 

"When people talk turning All-Star weekend into a skills competition, it’s usually because of an innate desire to see Billy Hamilton race Mike Trout, with a Mike Napoli-judged beard-grooming competition a close second. But really, the only way to truly test Billy Hamilton’s speed would be to have him race around the globe, defeating planes, trains, and automobiles in the process. Then it would be fair.

After coming up last season and quickly stealing 13 bases, getting caught only once, Hamilton somehow appears to only be getting faster, clocking an unheard of 3.3 second time to first base earlier this week. To put that in context, the average hitter makes it to first in about 4.2 seconds. To put it in even further context, it takes me roughly 400 Billy Hamiltons to decide whether I should get out of bed in the morning.”

Click through for it all

Praise the Glory of Livan Hernandez

(Photo by Keith Allison

Earlier this week, Livan Hernandez officially retired from the game of baseball, though he has yet to officially retire from other games, save for Trivial Pursuit, a game he calls “impossibly arcane.”

And while that may not seem like a big deal, Hernandez subsisting as a below league average pitcher for seemingly two-thirds of his career, you’re missing the bigger, more important picture. 

Here are some important Livan Hernandez facts and figures that should keep you warm this weekend: 

  • Fangraphs velocity charts go back to 2007. Hernandez never had an average fastball above 85 mph from this time forward. Despite this, Hernandez averaged 170 innings per season, striking out 4.6 per nine while walking 2.8. 
  • From 1997, when Hernandez pitched 96 innings through 2012, when he threw 67.1, Hernandez lead all pitchers in innings pitched with 3,186. This was more than Javier Vazquez, Jamie Moyer, and Andy Pettitte. He also had the highest OPS against of any these players, the opposition actually posting an above league average OPS against him at 109. 
  • Hernandez lead the league in innings pitched three times, complete games twice, and hits allowed five times. 
  • In fifth grade, I wrote a poem about him for a school project. It began, “Livan Hernandez, you are one awesome guy.” 
  • Not only did Livan Hernandez benefit from the most friendly strike zone of all time in the game that Braves fans do not speak of, but Hernandez had a certain je ne sais quoi about getting extra strikes called throughout his career. 
  • Hernandez is one of only 4 players to hit 10 home runs since 1990.
  • And now we are, officially, down another Expo

The Brewers have Hank the Wonder Dog, but what about the rest of the league?

This spring, the Brewers have warmed the hearts of baseball fans by adopting, Hank, an adorable stray dog with a fluffy coat and big, lovable eyes. You can already go purchase a Milwoofie tee in which you agree to “Crank one for Hank.” 

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But just because the Brewers stumbled upon a cute puppy, it doesn’t mean that the other team finds deserve less attention. Here are just a few of the things that MLB teams have stumbled upon during spring training: 

Pittsburgh Pirates: Opossum

(Wikimedia Commons)

The Pirates found this cute little guy running around the outfield after pitchers infield practice in late February. The team couldn’t resist his charms and, despite biting five different players and using the team’s hot tub as a personal toilet, the team now keeps him around for good luck. They’ve taken to calling him “Bitey.” 

Oakland Athletics: Garfield comic strips

After a tough luck loss, Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson found a book of Garfield cartoons and started giggling uncontrollably. To lighten the mood in the clubhouse, he started posting his favorite strips on teammate’s cubicles and on Billy Beane’s office door.

Says Donaldson, “The guys just love it. I mean, we all love lasagna and hate Mondays! Hahahhahahahahahhahahahhahahahaahhahahahhaahhahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahah.” 

San Diego Padres: Cougar

(Wikipedia)

After playing a game against the Reds on March 2nd, the Padres returned to their clubhouse to see a cougar devouring their post-game spread. The cougar now controls the clubhouse and the players either change clothes in the dugout or in the parking lot. 

Cleveland Indians: Ghost Girl

(Miss Meadows’ Pearls

After a night of drinking and team building, four unidentified Indians players were wandering through an abandoned rail yard when they stumbled upon a little girl dressed in early 19th century clothing.

After asking the apparition where her parents were, she replied, “Dead. Dead. DEEEEAAAAD.” She then disappeared into the night like a wisp of smoke. Since then, players complain of a foul odor in the locker room and that the pitching machine only throws curve balls. 

Miami Marlins: Bag of Human Hair

(Overdrive)

While out for a morning jog, Marlins first baseman Garrett Jones discovered a bag of human hair next to a pile of chicken bones and magazine covers with the eyeballs cut out. Jones brought back the hair and says “it’s just good fun.” 

Fresno Grizzlies to wear Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jerseys on August 2nd
There will come a day, one I pray that isn’t soon, when nostalgic, ’90s children’s fads will have been worn thin. When we’ll have gone through Boy Meets World bobblehair day and Clarissa Explains It All Scorecard Pandemonium.
Fortunately, we’re not there yet as the Fresno Grizzlies have just announced that they will be wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles uniforms on August 2nd.
Which, is a) great and b) another step in the hilarious saga of TMNT as the four rad dudes were invented as a satire on superhero comics.
Of course, these are not “official” TMNT jerseys, I mean, sure, they’re officially licensed and the team has the legal right to use them, but since I own a Raphael baseball action figure, I know for a fact that were the turtles to play baseball, they would wear a more traditional uniform. 
And now, because I know you’ve been dying to know, here is my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles roster:
P: Michaelangelo (because he’s wacky)
C: Donatello (he’s thoughtful)
1B: Casey Jones (Swings a mean bat)
2B: Splinter (former SS, moved off the position for his age)
3B: Bebop (Good power, bad glove)
SS: Leonardo (team leader)
LF: Raphael (Too rude to play in the infield)
CF: April O’Neil (investigative journalism is very similar to outfield defense)
RF: Rocksteady (Strong arm)
(Photo via @milbpromos)

Fresno Grizzlies to wear Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jerseys on August 2nd

There will come a day, one I pray that isn’t soon, when nostalgic, ’90s children’s fads will have been worn thin. When we’ll have gone through Boy Meets World bobblehair day and Clarissa Explains It All Scorecard Pandemonium.

Fortunately, we’re not there yet as the Fresno Grizzlies have just announced that they will be wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles uniforms on August 2nd.

Which, is a) great and b) another step in the hilarious saga of TMNT as the four rad dudes were invented as a satire on superhero comics.

Of course, these are not “official” TMNT jerseys, I mean, sure, they’re officially licensed and the team has the legal right to use them, but since I own a Raphael baseball action figure, I know for a fact that were the turtles to play baseball, they would wear a more traditional uniform. 

And now, because I know you’ve been dying to know, here is my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles roster:

P: Michaelangelo (because he’s wacky)

C: Donatello (he’s thoughtful)

1B: Casey Jones (Swings a mean bat)

2B: Splinter (former SS, moved off the position for his age)

3B: Bebop (Good power, bad glove)

SS: Leonardo (team leader)

LF: Raphael (Too rude to play in the infield)

CF: April O’Neil (investigative journalism is very similar to outfield defense)

RF: Rocksteady (Strong arm)

(Photo via @milbpromos)

True Detective: The Angels in the Outfield Thereom

In about two hours, HBO’s immaculate True Detective will air its eighth and final episode with all the questions regarding the Yellow King and the true nature of man hopefully being answered. 

But there is still so much that we don’t know about these characters or this world. What was Rust Cohle up to before 1995, before he was ‘Crash’ and doing undercover work? 

Turns out, he was playing baseball for the California Angels. 

image

(image via 8 Bit Matinee

Not only that, but “Ben Wiliams,” as he was known then, actually came into contact with these “Yellow Kings” or Angels that carried him in the air, helping Williams to make an incredible, impossible catch. 

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Do you see those angels? Notice how similar they look to the frightening creatures that Rust Cohle discovers inside the parish school in True Detective. They are both winged white apparitions with halos above their heads. 

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(image via Acid Free Pulp

After the game, Williams begins to question how he was able to make that catch. It’s this introspection where we see the first hints of his future as Rust Cohle, this question eventually forcing Williams/Cohle to quit the game of baseball and become a detective.  

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(image via The Last Temptation of Jaime

Let’s not forget the metaphysical implications of “Angels” and how this may lead Rust Cohle to develop his unique brand of nihilism that he displays in the future. 

Not only that, but Billy Lee Tuttle, who may very well be a central figure in the True Detective killings, appears in Angels in the Outfield as well, this time as sportscaster Ranch Wilder. He also asks “How did he do that?” when Rust Cohle/Ben Williams makes that angel-assisted diving catch. 

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But instead of this experience causing Ranch Wilder to head down a self-destructive path, he is instead inspired to take up the ministry, preaching about these very creatures that he witnessed from the press box, but does not quite understand. 

Writer and creator Nic Pizzolatto even makes a not-so-oblique reference to Angels in the Outfield in episode 7 when Marty Hart says “I was going to play baseball, I was going to ride bulls.” This is clearly a reference to Rust Cohle’s previous life as a baseball player, Marty telling Rust and the audience that not only does he know about this past life, but that he is willing to keep Rust’s secret. 

So what can we take from all of this? We already know that True Detective is a story about story, the references to The Yellow King a a nod to Robert W. Chambers’ weird fiction about the play, The King in Yellow, a play which drives the reader mad. And Rust Cohle recognizes his role in a work of fiction, admitting that the we, the audience, are the 4th dimensional beings that, when watching True Detective, create a “flat circle” or time. 

But the final piece in this giant metafictional work is Angels in the Outfield, the full scope of the story incorporating Ben Williams quitting baseball and becoming detective Rust Cohle, in hopes of understanding these supernatural beings. Meanwhile, Ranch Wilder turns to ministry when confronted with these very “Angels,” the unpredictability of man on display. 

As for what that means for the finale? I can only assume Rust Cohle will finally put all the pieces together and realize that this Yellow King is the same one from his previous life, a life he has tried to forget. And that the only way he can close the case is to step back onto a baseball field and suit up one final time.

We’ll find out if I’m right very, very soon. 

And for more True Detective-related baseball pieces, take a look at Rust Cohle’s baseball analysis, and that time Ken Griffey Jr tried to impersonate him

(h/t to jduganbarrett for reminding me that McConaughey was in Angels in the Outfield).