Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baseball In The Daytime: Does Not Compute

This is July 15, but more importantly it's the day after the MLB All-Star Game. That makes it, officially, the shittiest day of the year. There is not a single game scheduled in any major sports league or even the NHL. You're going to watch the ESPY awards tonight, unless someone stops you. You might even (shudder) spend some time talking to your family.

I'm here to prevent you from making that mistake. After the jump, we've assembled a few baseball-related tidbits to tide you, poor American sports fan, over until action resumes Thursday.


There is in fact a professional ballgame on tap tonight, the Triple-A All-Stars are on display in Portland (home of the Beavers) and on ESPN2, as the Pacific Coast League battles the International League. I attended this game in Albuquerque back in 2007, and it's worth a glance. That '07 game featured a pair of future stars in Adam Jones and Joey Votto. Jones, then a Mariners farmhand, was traded to Baltimore in the Erik Bedard deal and drove in the winning run in St. Louis last night. Votto would have been an easy selection for the NL but spent a good chunk of the first half on the DL with anxiety disorder, which I could make fun of but I won't. The boogeyman in my closet won't let me.

The rest of the roster was populated by guys who've ended up as solid or at least fringe major leaguers (Clint Barmes, Manny Acosta, Delwyn Young, etc.) and a bunch of what we'll call Quad-A players. They can't stick in the bigs yet the dominate the minors. Timo Perez was in the 2007 game, as was Shelley Duncan, brother of Chris and son of Cards pitching coach Dave. Duncan's in the lineup in Portland tonight, as is PCL starting pitcher Justin Lehr. I think it's a bad sign for your career if you play in two Triple-A All-Star games in three years. You've, um, plateaued.


There's a bit of a tiff going on in the aftermath of last night's All-Star Game, as Canadian asshole (sorry, I know, redundant) Justin Morneau felt his nation's anthem got second-rate treatment.

I'm trying to think of a way to handle this diplomatically, and with all the international sensitivity I can muster. Justin, lick my United Balls of America. That pregame fiasco was already half as long as the game itself, it did not need the Barenaked Ladies or some other awful moose-fuck orchestra to spend time setting up so you and the three other fellow Canadians who watched the game wouldn't get your knickers in a bunch. Don't like how we treat your national anthem? Go play in the Saskatchewan League, I'll bet they handle it with some serious class. They didn't even play the Japanese anthem or the Dominican anthem, and I didn't hear Ichiro or Miguel Tejada complaining. Even if they did bitch, I still wouldn't have heard it, those guys can't speak English.


Sonia Sotomayoris currently up on Capitol Hill for confirmation hearings before she's rubber-stamped onto the Supreme Court. McSweeney's imagines Sotomayor being grilled not by the dirty old pervs on the Senate Judiciary Committee but by the 1977 Kansas City Royals. Enjoy (thanks to Shysterball for the link).


You may have noticed a recent three-post stretch here on the House of Georges that all prominently featured a dirty criminal who's been banned from baseball. I've made my feelings concerning Mr. Rose well-known: Great player, deserves induction to Cooperstown, slimy lowlife, completely overrated.

I've heard a lot of Rose chatter the last few days as folks reminisce about the All-Star Game in which he ended Ray Fosse's career. A lot of baseball people thought that was a bush play, to injure an opponent in an exhibition. Rose apologists use the Fossey incident as a badge of honor evidence that Charlie Hustle never let up, that he played every game, even the meaningless All-Star Game, as if it were the seventh game of the World Series.

In light of the recent news featuring ol' Pete, I wanted to share this old story from Gene Garber. Garber was the Braves pitcher who retired Rose to end his NL-record 44-game hitting streak in 1978. Here's my favorite passage:

Rose complained afterward that Garber had pitched the game like it was Game 7 of the World Series, that Garber didn’t challenge him with a fastball.
So Pete Rose, beloved by drooling millions because he allegedly played every inning as if it were Game 7 of the World Series, was steamed because a pitcher didn't groove him a BP fastball so he could carry on his own personal statistical compilation in a blowout loss? I'm so shocked that Pete put himself above his teammates and the game of baseball. Shocked, I tell you.

To recap--Pete Rose: Great player, deserves induction to Cooperstown, slimy lowlife, completely overrated.


bankmeister said...

/needs more World Series of Poker