Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Maestro For A Day!

It isn't the biggest snatch of news of the day but this photo of Jose Lima on his way to earning his first win of the season for the Royals certainly captures the moment of euphoria that success facilitates.

Lima had dyed his dark hair blond in an effort to change his luck, gave up five hits for his first win since shutting out St. Louis for Los Angeles in last year's NL playoffs.

The Royals, despite this, are still 23-41, 19 1/2 games behind the Chicago White Sox and were out of the race since the season began. Still, even a crap season like this one has it's moments.

Monday, June 13, 2005

InterLeague Classics

(via Chicago Trib)

Tale of the Tape

Cubs-Red Sox: The series began an historic visit from the Boston Red Sox, which marked the first meeting between the the clubs since the 1918 World Series, the Chicago Cubs, who had won 11 of their previous 14 contests,

Greg Maddux tossed 6 2/3 innings for the win in Game One and helped his own cause with a homer, as the Chicago Cubs crushed the Boston Red Sox, 14-6, in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Wrigley Field. Jeromy Burnitz homered twice and finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored for Chicago. Oddly enough, it was also the Red Sox' first game at Wrigley Field, as the Cubs' home games during the 1918 Fall Classic were held at Comiskey Park because of a larger seating capacity.

Game Two saw Todd Hollandsworth's three hits and three RBI, and Todd Walker's three hits and three runs scored to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 7-6 victory over Boston on Saturday. Chicago improved to 64-59 in interleague play, while the Red Sox dropped to 68-79...The Cubs banged out 12 hits in the win.

In Game Three the Red Sox avoided a humiliating sweep when Tim Wakefield tossed seven outstanding innings to halt a personal five-game losing streak and Boston clubbed four home runs en route to an 8-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs as the clubs completed a three-game interleague set at Wrigley Field.

Johnny Damon went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI while Kevin Youkilis also collected three hits, including a solo home run, to help the Red Sox avoid a series sweep.

Wakefield (5-6), who hadn't won since May 9 and saw his ERA swell from 3.18 to 5.13 during his five-game slide, baffled the Cubs all night long. The knuckleball specialist allowed just one run on four hits and walked none.

Two Rapidly Aging Yankees

" "It's not the pitching coach's fault, it's not the hitting coach's fault, it's my fault." - Joe Torre after losing the opening game and their 10th in 12 games.

In their first visit to Busch Stadium since the 1964 World Series, which the Cardinals won in seven games, the New York Yankees gave away the opening game to the Cards 8-1 before 50,250 at Busch Stadium with three errors and six walks. Humiliation, proper like.

In Game Two, Randy Johnson, back against NL opponents finally pitched like he meant it this season, overseeing a 7 inning, 4 hit, 7 strikeout performance against the Cards that saved the Yankees from further humiliation. Ironically, Johnson earned his 252nd win to pull ahead of Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson for 41st place on the career list.

Not only that but the top five in the Yankees batting order finally decided to hit as well, as Jeter, Matsui, Sheffield, A-Rod and Bernie Williams combined to 9 for 22 with 3 runs scored and 5 driven in to give the Yankees a 5-0 victory over Mark Mulder in a matchup of MLB's two most prominent southpaws: Since 2001, Mulder leads lefties with 79 victories and Johnson is second with 73.

Finally, in the rubber match of Game Three, the Yankees reverted back to their auld ways, losing yet again, this time by a 5-3 margin, this time ignanimously, as Scott Seabol's first career homer, a two-run, pinch-hit shot in the seventh inning, provided the go-ahead run in the St. Louis Cardinals' series victory, two games to one.


Although it was certainly no classic, the Washington Nationals continued an incredible 10 game winning streak by sweeping the Seattle Mariners to complete a 13 game homestand by winning their 12th out of 13.

After the game, the fans showed their appreciation by giving the Nationals a five-minute standing ovation. Robinson tipped his cap to the fans several times before gong into the clubhouse.

On Sunday, the crowd put the Nationals at 1,056,642 in attendance through 33 games. It established a new record for a Washington-based Major League team. The previous high was 1,027,216 in 1946 for the Nationals (AL).

The victory also kept the Nats in their improbable position in the NL East, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies after the Braves and Marlins and Mets all mysteriously and simultaneously faded.

Don't expect it to last long though. The last team to run off 10 victories in a row this season were the NY Yankees and look where they are now.

*****No More Mr Nice Guy*****

Mike Tyson has quit boxing after losing his comeback fight against Irishman Kevin McBride.

"I'm not going to disrespect the sport anymore by losing to this calibre of fighter," the former world heavyweight champion said after failing to come out for the seventh round in Washington DC.

Rather than a long epilogue to the Tyson career suffice it to say that in my lifetime anyway, there has never been a more frightening and intimidating boxer and the story of his long downward slide will tantalise pundits for years to come.


Almost Down For the Count

Well back when all the NBA playoff hoopla started, Sports Amnesia told you that the Finals would pit the Pistons and the Spurs, admittedly, not the boldest of predictions, but a correct prediciton nonetheless and for Sports Amnesia, that is almost news in itself.

The Spurs have already jumped to a 2-0 lead before we were even aware the finals had started.

Guess that makes the Spurs the odds-on-favourite?


As always, those of you starved for Mets news can have a free sneak preview at Archie Bunker's Army.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Don't Sign For White People

Interesting tale, another building block in the Barry Bonds legacy, from this Daily News article:

Ron Kittle relates trying to get Bonds to sign a few jerseys for auction to benefit children with cancer:

...I walked up to Bonds at his locker in the Wrigley Field visitors' clubhouse, introduced myself and said, 'Barry, if you sign these, they'll bring in a lot of money for kids who need help.'

Bonds stood up, looked me in the eye and said "I don't sign for white people."

Surprisingly, Bond's own website doesn't appear to have any disclaimers like "For the Eyes of Non-Whites Only", or "Bring Back the Negroe League" so perhaps the fact that the quote comes from Ron Kittle, who is currently pedaling a book, might shed a little light on the alleged controversy.

The best response I've read about the quote was written by someone named Eraser-X on this exchange about it.

"That's nothing, when Ron Kittle asked for my autograph, I unzipped and pissed on him. And I'm a Sox fan."

*****Observation Tower*****

The secret to the success of the White Sox thus far has been their 19-4 record against their division opponents.

The fact that despite their record they are still only 3 1/2 games ahead of the Twins speaks volumes about how this division will play out by season's end. There will come a time this season when the White Sox go cold for a stretch and when they do, the Twins will be there waiting for them.


Admirable Deed of the Week is Shaq offering to pay for George Mikan's Funeral.

"I heard they were having some trouble, some problems, so if you contact the Heat office, I would like to pay for the funeral," O'Neal said.

But Shaq, Mikan was white!

Where is Ron Kittle when you need him to quote Shaq from a celebrity golfing match played for charity back in 2002 when Shaq told him "I don't pay for the funerals of white people, I only celebrate them"?

On an even weirder note, believe it or not, George Mikan was once schooled by none other than the reptilian US Congressman Henry Hyde:

"But in Madison Square Garden on March 25, 1943, playing for the NCAA East championship before 14,085 fans, it was Hyde who got the better of the big man. Hyde held him to a single point in the second half of a game Georgetown won.

"There wasn't much you could do to guard him except push the rules," the Illinois Republican recalled.

In an early version of hack-a-Shaq, Hyde hip-checked Mikan every time the big man touched the ball, knocking him off his famous hook shot and sending him to the line, where he managed to make only one free throw."


Dr Z asks the eternal question: Could rugby players make the transition to the NFL?.

Personally, I prefer questions like:

1. If Rimbaud had been an NFL player instead of a poetic visionary, what position would he have played?
2. Why isn't Edgar Allen Poe's visage on the side of Raven helmets instead of Raven since it was he they ripped the name off of in the first place?
3. How many NFL players does it take to screw in a lightbulb?


A drunk in a bar barfs all over his own shirt. “Damn,” he says. “I puked on my shirt again. If the wife finds out, she’s gonna kill me.”

“Not to worry,” says the bartender as he sticks a $20 bill in the drunk’s pocket. “Just tell her someone puked on you and gave you some cash to cover the cleaning bill.”

So the drunk goes home and tells his wife about the guy who puked on him. She reaches into his pocket and finds two twenties. “Why are there two twenties?” she asks.

The drunk replies, “Oh, yeah, he crapped in my pants, too.”


You don't get to read this sort of headline often enough but here it is anyway:

Helling impaled in left arm by part of bat.


The Recliners of Junior and Adam Dunn were evicted from the Reds clubhouse last week by the management.

"So now we’ll start winning. It was my chair’s fault," Adam Dunn forecasted with just a wee bit of sarcasm at the move.

What's next? No more keg parties before games? No more in-house hookers to keep the players loose?

This ranks right up there with Crazy George Steinbrenner's "no facial hair" rule as though these types of distractions are deadly to the spirit of a team.

Personally, I don't believe baseball teams should even have clubhouses. They should all be housed in Soviet-style apartment complexes next to the stadiums, not be allowed to marry or have children, should play for "the love of the game" rather than money and should be on a strict dirt and rice diet. Oh wait, no that's North Korea.


Avid reader Artis Googenheimest from Possum Grape, Arkansas notes in an indignant email missive:

"I just wanted to point out that contrary to your assertion, North Koreans are allowed to marry and have children...what else will they have to eat after the next great famine?"

Well spotted, Artis. I stand corrected.

Spousal Support

Mets first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz says even his wife has noticed how rotten he's been at the plate this season so far.

"She's like, 'You are a good player, just hopefully some day you'll show these people that you can play. You're a much better player than this. I'm tired of watching this,'" Mientkiewicz said Friday night. "It kind of hits home when your significant other jumps on you. I'm like, 'Honey, I know.'"

Ever wonder if there are conversations like this in the Mr Anna Benson household?

"I did only one cosmetic-surgery thing: I had breast implants," she confesses. "After having three kids, I felt I deserved it. Kris doesn’t want me to have plastic surgery on my face. He says, ‘Don’t let them do any of that crap to you; you’re too pretty.’ Kris has the eye of an eagle.”

How can this guy concentrate on pitching when he has such a vain little bimbo for a wife distracting him?

Ok, ok. Not to mention the curves.


The tightest little race in baseball right now is in the NL East.

Not surprisingly, the division co-leaders, the Marlins and Braves, have the worst record for a team leading their division right now at .538 -

When you look at the combined victories for the first and second place teams in each division you see that the AL Central leads the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox/Minnesota Twins combined victory total of 68.

2. Padres and Diamondbacks in NL West: 64
3. Cardinals and Cubs in NL Central: 63
4. Orioles and Red Sox in AL East: 62
5. Angels and Rangers in AL West: 61
6. Marlins and Braves in NL East: 57

What does it all mean?

Not a furking thing really, other than highlighting my ability to provide readers with absolute arcania - nevertheless, only 2 games separate the Marlins and Braves from the Phillies in last place.


Pedro is the life of the party.

"It's two hours before his start against surprising Arizona and Pedro is challenging the two most powerful Mets, Mike Piazza and Cliff Floyd, to fight.

No, not him. Each other.

"Come on, boys," he implores them. "Two big naked men. Let's get ready to rumble."


Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, like millions of other people, doesn't like Warren Sapp only unlike millions of other people, HIS opinion can be heard everywhere:

"I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him. He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too. Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."

At 6'4 335 pounds, Kris Jenkins has alot to beef about...