Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baseball In The Daytime: 13 August 2009

The substitute teacher is here, kids, and he's not taking any guff from you punks. Thursday is normally Banky's beat for Baseball In The Daytime, but Banky is in Chicago, where he attended last night's Cubs-Phillies game, sat in the centerfield bleachers, and threw beer on Shane Victorino. Real classy.

If you can manage, please keep your beverages in your hand today. You can even drink them, that's allowed too. Should you need a projectile to hurl at fielders, I suggest batteries, rolls of coins, hairbrushes, used diapers and Dippin' Dots. No one likes Dippin' Dots. To get to your game schedule, mouse on past the jump...

Texas @ Cleveland, 10:05 Mountain What ever happened to the Cleveland Indians this season? They were a trendy pick to win the AL Central, and even a sleeper selection to represent the American League in the World Series. Yet the Tribe has floundered in either fourth or fifth all year, and at the deadline they dealt away Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko.

The simple answer, of course, is that Jesus Hates Cleveland. In the long-hidden Gospel of Lou Boudreau, Moses proclaimed that

We will build a city upon a lake, a lake that burns with filth and offal, and in that city we will erect yards for games of skill. The bands of men that play those games will occasionally succeed, but will always fall short in their quest for ultimate fulfillment. Also, put the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame there, that makes sense.
Your starters today at The Jake are Ranger Scott Feldman and Indian Jeremy Sowers.

Kansas City @ Minnesota, 11:10 One of the guys I failed to mention in the Great Cleveland Roster Purge of 2009 is Carl Pavano, who began the season with the Indians but was dealt to the Twins on 8 August. That's because getting rid of Carl Pavano has been scientifically proven to improve your team. Just look at the numbers--Cleveland is 2-1 since swapping Pavano, who starts today for Minny. THE NUMBERS DO NOT LIE.

Today's visitors to the Metrodome are way, way more interesting, because their historic suckitude has created an incredible opportunity. Should the Royals lose a mere five games more than the Nationals the rest of the season, they'll have the opportunity to draft Bryce Harper. Yes, that Bryce Harper, the kid who dropped out of high school to turn pro, the mythical blend of Ted Williams, Bob Gibson and Paul Bunyan. You can do it, Hillmanites. You can lose with vigor and style. Lose, you crazy blue-clad scamps! Gil Meche gets the ball today, and with any luck he'll lose, he's coming off the DL following a severe case of ebola.

Detroit @ Boston, 11:35 The best pitching matchup of the day comes to you from Fenway Park, where this incredibly chippy series between the Tigers and Red Sox comes to a close. We've already had a bench-clearing brawl, a pair of five-game suspensions to key players and a really nasty incident involving a cotton-candy salesman and a bat-boy. Detroit ace Justin Verlander tries to settle things down and avoid the sweep, while Boston's Clay Buchholz attempts to get past the third inning.

San Diego @ Milwaukee, 12:05 I always wonder about the nicknames given to Latin players, if they're really warranted or asked for. Take Manny Parra, the Brewers' starter today. His given name is Manuel--now is he called Manny because every single baseball Manuel in the States goes by Manny, or because he actually likes it? Does Manny Parra's heart sink every time he sees his name on a scoreboard or a baseball card, because he wishes it said Manuel? We may never know, because I don't speak fluent enough Mexican to ask him. Manny/Manuel's opposition today is Cesar Carrillo, who would prefer to go by Spanky.

Philadelphia @ Chicago Cubs, 12:20 Banky is currently on a plane back to Kansas City, having escaped prosecution for his shameful suds shower tomfoolery last night. He'll miss today's matinee, which features ex-Indian Cliff Lee for the Phils and current Canadian Ryan Dempster for the Cubs. With any luck, though, Erik Estrada will still make the game. Big Cubs fan, that Poncharello.

Pittsburgh @ Colorado, 1:10 Coming to you LIVE from Coors Field are your current wild card leaders in the National League, the Colorado Rockies! You know what fucking bugs me to no end? When a team, like the Rockies in 2007 or 1995, qualify for the playoffs then print gear that says "Wild Card Champions." By getting in as a second-place team, by definition you are "champions" of nothing. Create t-shirts that say "Wild Card" if you wish to celebrate such a hollow achievement, but do not make yourself out to be some kind of powerhouse superclub because Bud Selig decided to expand the playoffs. Makes you look dumb. Paul Maholm deals for the Bucs, Jason Marquis for the Rox, so purchase a fat bag of M&Ms and Play Ball!

UPDATE! Banky best lay low the next few days, because the intrepid investigators of both the Chicago PD and Wrigley Field security are hot on his tail. My favorite part of this story is the Cards fan who left a comment saying the cops should just track the beer-thrower via the credit-card purchase of his seat, and the hundreds of Cubs fans who then told that Cards fan he was an idiot because the Wrigley bleachers are general admission and thus untraceable.