Monthly Archives: December 2011

Felix Hernandez is a Baller and Other Unrelated Things

“I don’t try to strike out people, but sometimes they swing and miss.” — Felix Hernandez, May 2011

The following quote can be found over at Fangraphs, leading off David Laurila’s post recounting some of the best things said to him by baseball players in the year 2011. I don’t think I read a Laurila interview this year that wasn’t awesome and interesting. On a dead internet Friday, you could do worse than to check one or five of them out. If you’ve noticed, and God bless you if you have, I’ve been laying a bit low as well. One might think that for an aspiring blogger, a dead week of internet time in which many readers are starved for and withheld from content would be a good time to pump out many serious writings and get some eyes on your words. One would probably be right, but complete and total sloth and ambivalence have taken me this far and I’m not about to change my ways now. The great and hilarious tragedy of my life is that I completely and utterly excel at doing absolutely nothing productive. I dominate that shit. Don’t even try and step to me. And besides, I’ll be back, and I’ve been staying sharp. If the “leading off” pun above doesn’t convince you, I’ll have you know I’ve still been reading the baseball internets and I watched a good three-quarters of “A League of Their Own” on Monday night. Something tells me I’ll be writing a bit more about that experience in the coming days. That’s a tease, kids. Feel manipulated. Until then, revel in the wonder of Felix Hernandez for a bit, continue to eat and drink things that are bad for you for a little while longer, and we’ll see you on the other side.

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A Great Christmas Picture Featuring Casper Wells, Seattle Mariner

Say, this related to baseball in one way or the other. Santa Hat! Seattle Mariners! Batman pajamas!

Nerd

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Prince Fielder Rumors

Prince Fielder is now a pescetarian.

The Toronto Blue Jays have offered Prince Fielder a 6 year deal worth $17 million per year with $30 million of deferred money (no interest) to be paid out in $5 million increments every other year starting the season following Fielder’s official retirement from baseball so as long as that year does not end with the numbers 9 or 3. If it does all deferred money is considered void.

Scott Boras has alerted MLB teams that Fielder is not willing to sign with any franchise that features the color orange in their logo or uniforms.

Prince Fielder was credited as head writer on a later season script of Fox’s ill-fated television show Lone Star. His work did not make it to air as the show was cancelled after only two poorly rated episodes.

Fielder is prone to night terrors and somnambulism.

The Seattle Mariners have offered Prince Fielder a 3 year, $74 million contract which pays per season $10 million, $30 million and $34 million. The contact includes a team opt-out option after the first year.

Ken Rosenthal reports that Scott Boras calls him and talks to him about Prince like, all the time.

Prince Fielder is a covert member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group Seal Team 6 and was in action during the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Prince Fielder’s favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Samoas.

Prince Fielder will be taking a year off from baseball to pursue a degree in Sports and Fitness Administration from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio.

Prince Fielder thinks Corey Hart looks way better without all that crap on his face.

Prince Fielder suffers from Crohn’s disease.

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Kansas City Royals Sign Yuniesky Betancourt

Presented without comment as the jokes all write themselves.

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Open Your Ears as Keith Law and Alex Speier Discuss a Moderately Imporant Three Player Trade for 44 Entire Minutes

I just recently finished listening to a podcast in which ESPN Baseball Insider Keith Law* and Red Sox Beat Writer Alex Speier discussed a baseball trade. One baseball trade. The trade that sent reliever Mark Melancon to Boston from Houston in exchange for the shortstopish Jed Lowrie and pitching prospect Kyle Weiland. They talked about this one baseball trade for 44 honest-to-god actual minutes. If you don’t believe me, go here and listen to it. One trade. Three players. 44 minutes.

This post is not meant to denigrate these fine gentleman, but rather to celebrate their prolonged performance, one of extreme and unabashed baseball nerdery. Granted, I was listening to this podcast while applying some really pitiful effort at my place of employment, so it’s quite possible I didn’t fully digest the occasional minute or two here and there. Maybe each isolated moment that my mind was distracted elsewhere, the podcast went off the rails into some really in depth detective novel discussion. Or maybe they talked about Top Chef. Or boardgames. I can’t be sure, but I suspect this did not happen. I suspect these two fellows did indeed discuss Marc Melancon, Jed Lowrie, Kyle Weiland, and other topics related these players and their former and current teams for just about an entire 44 minutes all told. Very impressive stuff. Also, really good stuff. These guys are professionals, and they know what they’re talking about. It was a very informative and interesting podcast that dove deeply into a number of areas of player and team evaluation. And I finally learned how to pronounce Melancon. But still, 44 minutes, holy shit.

*Goddammit, I’m doing that thing again where certain notable figures from one post are becoming the main topic of the next. This really isn’t intentional. It’s just a product of poor planning and mediocre creative faculty.

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Another Day, Another Silly Ass Felix Hernandez to the Yankees Trade Idea

Welcome to the Trance of Felix Hernandez, where every post is dedicated to the Mariner’s Cy Young Award winning pitcher. This is not true. Last night’s frantic grasp for a topic just happened to have him featured. It could have been any combination of established Major Leaguer and incoming rookie, I just went with Danny and Felix because I’m most familiar with the Mariners, and that made it easier to make up fake words for them to say. Not a lot easier, but a little, and when you partake in an extravagant and exciting lifestyle such as mine, every second counts.

At any rate, people are writing about baseball on the internet, as they do. And they’re making up trade scenarios that will land Felix Hernandez in New York, as they unfortunately do. As a Mariner’s fan, I’ve kind of grown immune to Yankees supporters dreaming about Felix Hernandez in pinstripes. Sure, it’s obnoxious, but who could blame them? I’ll admit I’ve allowed myself to imagine players like Joey Votto and Tim Lincecum wearing a Mariners uniform. It’s pretty normal to want your baseball team to have good baseball players on it. So when it’s some dude on Twitter or in the comments section of an article offering Jesus Montero, Ivan Nova, and that pitcher who can throw with both arms in exchange for Felix because “the Mariners suck anyway,”  it may perturb me a bit, but I’m not usually moved to a response.  However, when it’s some ESPN employee and former Baseball General Manager voicing similar ideas, I guess I’m a little more sensitive.

In his latest article, Jim Bowden spells out “five big trades that should happen.” A rather bold headline, but whatever, good for him. Own it, Jimmy. We can ignore four of these proposals, because who cares. What concerns us at the present time is as follows:

So StupidJesus (no pun intended). I might not even have the patience. Where to start? One of Bowden’s arguments is that in order to become “a contender” the Mariners might just have to make this deal. As if having a homegrown, 5 to 6 win pitcher entering the prime of his career on the roster isn’t something that could help with that. He also fails to mention that Jesus Montero can’t catch and is right handed. Two things, one specifically, that really makes him not a great fit for Safeco Field. There’s a reason why Jack Z preferred Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee trade, and sweet Lord may he still be right about that. Ivan Nova, no matter how many runs the Yankees scored for him last season, is simply not as good as many claim, and is becoming more overrated by the second due to last season’s irrelevant WIN total and the media market he plays in. Bentances has all the promise to be really awesome, but I can’t help but notice a 23-year-old with a bit of an injury history who’s increasing his walks by a not unnoticeable margin as he climbs up the ladder of competition. I don’t think this package of players really gets close at all to what Felix is worth. And no matter how dire the Mariner’s position in the AL West seems, or what fat vegan we could possibly dream about paying with the money saved in a deal like this, the bottom line is that good organizations get good value when they make moves. This proposed deal does not even approximate appropriate value. I didn’t even mention that Bowden used “wins” as a reason to get excited by a future Felix-less rotation, but I think I’ll leave it (mostly) alone, I doubt he meant anything by it. If I could inelegantly appeal to authority a bit in closing, Keith Law was asked about this proposal on Twitter, and this is what he had to say:

Half There!If you come at The King, you best not offer half price.

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Danny Hultzen Was Totally Looking Forward to Sharing a Room with Felix Hernandez During Spring Training

Details are beginning to trickle in regarding the new MLB labor deal. Expanded replay (thank goodness), a longer All-Star Break (whatever), no tattooing logos on your body (seriously), some shit about players having to buy warehouses full of their old jerseys if they don’t give eight months notice for a number change—all super exciting stuff. However, the most notable detail (and when I say “most notable,”I mean “most able to somewhat inspire a smart-ass blog post topic”) is one that puts an end to the long standing tradition of players having roommates during Spring Training. And that’s too bad, because Danny Hultzen was totally looking forward to bunking with Felix Hernandez. He’d called dibs and everything.

Danny: Oh, dang it all to heck! Have you heard the news, Felix? Everyone gets their own room during Spring Training from now on!

Felix: I don’t understand why that is bad news.

Danny: Well, it’ll be my first year, and we were going to bunk together. I was totally looking forward to it!

Felix: We were going to bunk together?

Danny: Yeah! I called dibs on it and everything!

Felix: What is “dibs?”

Danny: It’s like when you claim something before hand, like calling shotgun in the car.

Felix: Like bringing a shotgun into a car?!

Danny: No! Calling shotgun. So you can sit in the front seat.

Felix: I am not familiar with that expression. I do not know this “dibs.” Quite frankly, I’m having a hard time understanding anything you’re saying at all.

Danny: Well, you see, I figured at first, we’d kind of clash a bit. What with all the ignorance and racial tension existing on the team and everything. We’d see each other more as an embodiment and symbol of fear and otherness, rather than as human beings. Our racist friends would feed us lies and misinformation, furthering the divide between us. We’d get in a fight over one of us hanging a racially charged poster up in our room, and Skip Wedge would force us to ask each other questions and take notes under the guise of having to submit a report, but really, he’d be tricking us into better understanding while getting to know each other better. Eventually he’d wake us all up in the middle of the night and make us run miles and miles for hours and hours until we came upon the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. And he’d deliver to us an inspiring speech, bringing us together in empathy and love, cementing us as a team who plays the game like men.

Felix: What the fuck?

Danny: And Ryan Gosling would be there!

Felix: That’s from the movie Remember the Titans.

Danny: It is? Oh, crackers! I just love that movie, don’t you?

Felix: Yeah it was pretty good, actually.

Danny: We could have watched it together in our room before bed at Spring Training!

Felix: I always room with Guti anyway.

Danny: We could have discussed the art of pitching!

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Louis C.K. Says a Thing Involving Baseball in Some Way

Very Good Comedian Louis C.K. hosted some sort of chat thing on Reddit today. He was promoting a new stand-up special that he’s selling on his website for five dollars and it’s very funny and you should go buy it.  I’m not really all that familiar with Reddit, but I know how to use a computer and I know how to read and I generally know how the internet works so I was able to follow the mess of text that was produced and the online conversation that was taking place. There were some good questions and good answers and it was all very entertaining and interesting. There was also some mention of baseball (!) making it possible for me to comment without too much stress or painful thinking. You see, C.K. was asked if a comedian should perhaps take the stance of an “underdog” when considering his point of view, and Louis responded as follows:

i don’t know about “Supposed to” I think there’s a million ways to do things. there was a pitcher for the Yankees once named Orlando Hernandez or “el Duque” he was a cuban exile. A thing they said about him was he was hard to hit cause he had so many arm angles and release points. a hitter studies a pitcher and watches for the ball so he can time it, but with el duque, you don’t even know where the fucker is coming from. Nine o clock? Eleven? And does he let go of it up top or out front? Impossible. I sometimes think of comedy in those terms.

So there you have it. He mentioned a baseball player. And here we are. I must admit, I remember El Duque pitching in some playoff games, and thanks to the wonder of the internet, I can confirm that he did indeed win four goddamn World Series Championships, but he reached his zenith before I had completely come over to the darkside of baseball nerdery. I do not have much to add as far as baseball is concerned. Did he really change arm angles and release points as C.K. claims? Wikipedia doesn’t tell me and so I do not know. It sounds pretty cool, though. I hope it’s true. To be honest, Louis C.K. mentioned baseball, and since I think he’s very awesome, I had to write about it. It’s not like I cultivated an amazing angle on this whole thing or did a lot of research. The Greatest Comedian Alive mentioned a baseball player and it was such a clash of personal interests I was compelled to produce some words about it. Those words  have been this post.

 

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