Saturday, March 23, 2013



Cal Ripken tags out a guy named
Derwin McNealy in front of the palms.

Photo: Lynne Sladky/Bettmann/Corbis


Friday, March 22, 2013


2/27/1950, Clearwater, Florida, Phillies training camp:

That's Eddie Waitkus, the guy who got shot and was the inspiration for the Roy Hobbs character. The woman who shot him, Ruth Steinhagen (age 19 at the time), died three months ago.

Photo: AP/Corbis

PS This was supposed to go up Friday but I effed up. Still, I'll make it look like it went up Friday.


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Amelia Crossland in baseball uniform, St. Petersburg, January 8, 1946. Here's a story about Ms. Crossland from 2001.

Photo: Bettmann/Corbis


The NCAA (-Watching) Crew

I'll be hanging out with some old friends from high school this weekend, as I do every year at Smarch Smadness time. No Bobby V's this year, though. But somewhere close to there. When I talk about "my Yankee-fan friends," this is the Core Four. What better time to rate their fandom!? We'll go oldest to newest.

1. Chris. Known since: 4th grade. Yankee fandom strength back then: Moderate. Yankee fandom strength now: Mild. Overall assessment: Gimme a break, Chris, you know you don't really give a shit about that team and you're just happy to wear the championship T-shirts. He was one of the few people I could always commiserate with when it came to the J-E-T-S, although he did have that odd Bears back-up team.

2. Mike. Known since: 6th grade, but really 5th grade since we played each other in Little League even though we were at different elemen--well, I'm getting a little too detailed, let's move on. Yankee fandom strength back then: Diehard. Yankee fandom strength now: still going strong, I'm sure having kids makes him miss more games than he'd like, but there's no chance of him ever liking another team or anything like that. Overall assessment: The real deal. He was born in New York state, came from the Yanks/Giants/Knicks/Rangers (aka the exact opposite of the teams I grew up with--people always wondered how we ever got along) old-school family and just went with what he knew.

3. Chan. Known since: 9th grade. Yankee fandom strength back then: Strong, but, see the notes section. Yankee fandom strength now: Extremely weak. Overall assessment: Chan got roped into the Yanks by my friend Jim when he arrived in the U.S. from Hong Kong. I tried to convert him, but he'd been bitten by the classy bug. He claims it's just because Jim was the first to befriend him, so he ended up with his team. At least he gets credit for starting to like them right during that mini-stretch of stank-dom and didn't jump on the Blue Jays or A's bandwagon at the time. His fandom of baseball in general waned in the last decade, with my rabid annoying Sox fandom I think pushing him right out baseball's door when we lived together in NYC from '05 to '07. Now he occasionally wears the stupid hat and does still love in the City, but he truly doesn't give a shit now. Though there's still no chance he'd every go to any other team.

4. Jim. Known since: 10th grade: Yankee fandom strength back then: Diehard. Yankee fandom strength now: Still fairly strong. Overall assessment: Also the real deal, as he came from The Bronx to our woodsy little town in CT, introducing all of us to things like Nice & Smooth and low-ridin', aka letting your boxers show above your pants, but this was circa 1989 before every single kid started doing it like they do now. We weren't total opposites though, as he went the Celts/Bears/Rangers route. So we both still love to hate the Knicks and Lakers, and he kind of roots for the Jets sympathetically with Chris and, until I finally gave up, me. He claims to have "sworn off" the Yanks RIGHT before they finally won it all in '96, so I think he swore them back on again. I know he still follows the team closely, but might not be quite as rabid as back in the day. But, again, no chance of him becoming a Mets fan or anything like that.

So anyway, we'll have fun watching four games at once and rooting for teams we never cared about until that moment as if our lives depended on it. As you know, I'm an armchair Zags fan--this is finally the year! As for the first round, here's my tip, but you only have a few hours left: It's simple. Vegas. Look at the Vegas odds on each game. If a 10 is favored over a 7, you pick the 10. If a 12 is only a 2-point dog to a 5, gotta go with the 12. Know what I'm sayin'? Vegas knows this shit. They'll tell you who's supposed to win and by how much, way more than the seedings will. Use Vegas to see how wrong or right the seedings are. You'll be fine. I always kick ass in Round 1, which they now call Round 2. After that I'm completely in the dark and I don't think I've won since Michigan beat Seton Hall in like 1989 or something.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


March 19, 1937, Sarasota, Florida. Lefty Grove. And trees and a bike.

Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

Funny thing: Yesterday's Random Past Spring Training Moment Of The Day was Willie Stargell, and tonight he was a correct response on Jeopardy! And it showed a picture of him!

And thanks to anybody who gave my Doubront/Gardner thing an upvote on reddit. It's up over 100 points as of now.


Sox-Yanks Thoughts

Let's start with Daniel Nava with his pants down and go from there:

Now here's Felix Doubront throwing a pitch...which Brett Gardner was positive was a pickoff attempt...
(I also posted that one to reddit. Go upvote if you want.)

More wackiness below, but as for the game...

Doubront was sharp except in the inning where he gave up 5 hits and 4 runs, in a 4-0 loss to the Yanks. He was hit pretty hard in that inning, but one of the hits got by Sutton at third, he probably could have gotten to it, and another Bradley broke back on, another ball that should have been an out.

Speaking of Jackie Bradley, ESPN (stuck with no go-to guy since Jeter was out) made it the Jackie Bradley show, talking about him all day. He had a single and a double, both solid.\

Youk kept stranding runners and getting pissed, it was so fun. Speaking of that slimeball, the idiot announcer said when he was introduced how everyone at the park (this was a Yanks home game) loves him. Yeah, if by love you mean hate. We're pissed he decided to be a fuckin' Yankee and they don't consider him a True Yankee yet.

And Buster Olney, aka the Toxic Pretender, was all talkin' about how Red Sox fans found the team (here comes that buzzword) "unlikeable" last year. Yeah, nobody likes Dustin Pedroia. Or David Ortiz. I never see anybody in an Ellsbury shirt. And I'll go ya one further. Know who I liked? Beckett and Lester. Nobody ever cared what the fuck they did when they were leading us to the world championship. I hate how the team has been forced by the media to shove "changing the clubhouse culture" down our throats. Did everybody forget that baseball fans just want their team to win? I was upset with 93 losses. And I'll be thrilled with 93 wins. And I don't care which type of character (which is completely invented by the media anyway--do you know any of these players personally?) is involved in either scenario. When the team has awesome guys, it's an awesome bonus. But if we lose 90 this year, not ONE fan will say, "oh but isn't our clubhouse just so wonderful?!" And then a few weeks ago Tom Caron was talking to Pedro, and mentioned "the days when Red Sox were adored in the fans' eyes." Asshole! Where did this whole thing come from? When did the media decided we ever stopped adoring our team? Why the fuck am I a fan then? I'll stand in the rain for hours to get a peek of the back-up catcher walk ten feet from the park to a cab for Ted's sake. It's like when Remy the other day said how the Sox-Yanks rivalry isn't as good right now because the Red Sox are coming off a bad year. We came off EIGHTY FIVE bad years and the rivalry was right there the whole damn time. I think people are just fuckin' idiots, or the Internet age is turning them into idiots.

Okay, back to the fun stuff. Here, John Kruk notes how he used to attend WHOREHOUSES after his games!

And finally, ESPN, I'm not letting you get away with this one--in your banner graphic, that's clearly supposed to represent the two different fonts of the defunct Red Sox logo. That upper font is dead, people! Wait, I thought this was supposed to be fun? Oh well.

You will believe this, but I actually have more to say about banner graphics used by TV networks, and the mistakes therein! Stay tuned!

New One

Sox trail 4-0 to Yanks at stretch, I'll have a lot to say later. In the meantime, I did a quick check for new slogans, and saw "Welcome Home" on the right side of the Rays' site. Didn't know if it was some military thing or their actual team slogan so I Googled, and it turns out it's their brand-new team slogan. Info here. It stinks when your marketing campaign has to be "please actually watch your favorite team." I'll add it to the master slogan list.

Sox-Yanks, Right About Now

1:05 p.m., ESPN (actually broadcast schedule is wrong), MLBN,

And I've got the afternoon off to watch it. Sorry, "doing my taxes," you lose again!

The e-mail I got about this game from shows the Red Sox logo with "Lee County" over it, not "Ft. Myers," so maybe that transformation is official now, I know they had said something about that once. Or something.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Willie Stargell, Bradenton, 1974:
Check out Pops's license plate: WIL 8! (Corbis made a few mistakes, but hey, it's only the player's name (Willy) and the city name (Pittsburg). And a lot of people spell "young" with an "m." Oh well, what an awesome picture.)

Photo by Bob Adelman/Corbis

Bonus: Anyone know who the other Pirate is? There are only a few guys on the '74 team with a number ending in 3, and they're not him. Also, what's on his sleeve? It almost looks like a hole, as if he ripped off a sleeve patch, and they did have one in '73, for Clemente, so maybe he wanted to keep the "21" as a souvenir, knowing they were gonna get new unis for the regular season anyway.



I do this every year. But now it's time for a fresh start, no links to past lists or other non-slogan stuff like who sponsors each site or anniversary logos. This list will just be what each team has as a slogan on their site, if any, with snide remarks next to them. If a team has no slogan, they're not on the list. I'll update you any time somebody changes one or adds a new one--which will probably be happening a lot in the near future as we're still a few weeks from the season. Go.


Baltimore: [added 4/14: "Together We Play" Apparently the fans are part of the team. Or at least they're made to believe they are....but despite that the fans and team both do certain things at roughly the same time, as the team's video indicates, do they actually play together? No. They never let a fan play. I miss Birdland.] "This is Birdland." They've had this for a couple years now. I feel like they're still riding the current Oriole Wave and will probably keep it for at least this year. Not too dumb, but does fall into the "nation/country/territory" category that's full enough as it is. (Including my blog name and my baseball team, but hey, at least both of those have been around a while.)

Chicago: "#MAKEANIMPACT" Oh dear god. This marks the first time a team used a hashtag in their actual slogan. This shit is so fucking stupid and needs to stop. Get your head out of your phone's ass and live your life. (I reloaded their page a few times to see if maybe a different keyword popped up each time, but no, it's just the one. So make sure you include it in your tweet every time you write your thoughtful, meaningful four-word piece of dogshit tweet about the goddamn White Sox so all your friends can see it instantly while they're driving their bastard children to McDonald's, ya fuckin' idiot! Yay, #America!)

Detroit: "Who's Your Tiger?" Another holdover from last year and maybe the year before. Still lame, hopefully the marketing geniuses over there are working on something new as we speak. I guess they want you to pick your favorite player or...I don't know. But the "Who's Your..." thing got old fast.

Houston: "IT'S A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME" The Astros enter the AL with an old standby. I'd rip on them for being obvious/boring, but it's actually kind of refreshing to see the basics in a world of total and utter shit. And despite that the actual ballgame is the same, they will be playing by different rules than they did last year, so it almost makes sense.

Kansas City: [added 4/14: "COME TO PLAY" Pretty basic shit right there. I guess it gives the impression they're not doggin' it out there. Least they can do at this point.] I know I said I wouldn't include any that didn't have one, but I have to mention this--did you know the Royals have a lion-ish mascot named Sluggerrr? Three Rs, I shit you not. I must have seen this Banana Split before but I never knew the name.

Minnesota: "THIS IS Twins Territory" Another "region" one that's been used for a few years now, and is getting stale. (Said a guy whose blog has been called "...Territory" for nine years.)

New York: "A TIMELESS LEGACY" As far back as I remember, the Yanks have been coming up with pompous slogans that show just how classy a team who tells its fans when to cheer by showing big cartoon hands clapping on the scoreboard can be. They're always just a tad different and a bit more arrogant than the one that came before. Pride. Tradition. Class. Coming up with shitty slogans.

Oakland: "GREEN COLLAR BASEBALL" This one's a few years old now, but good job by them for sticking with it. It's clever and fits the team perfectly, and is even stylized on a collar-looking logo.

Seattle: "TRUE TO THE BLUE" A brand new one after some time off for the former kings of the slogan, your Seattle Mariners. This one isn't one of their best, but I like it. A little more than just "true blue," and the "___ to the ___" thing, despite moderate-to-heavy use in society for quite some time (even suburban moms knew about it as early as 2001 when that H to the Izzo song came out), has yet to infiltrate baseball, so it doesn't bother me.

Tampa Bay (added 3/20/13): "WELCOME HOME" I guess the Rays want to encourage their fans to, you know, actually watch their team play. It's a sad state down there. As a slogan, aside from its deeper meaning, I don't really like it. I guess "home" plate relates to baseball, but it's not much of a rallying cry. I can't see fans high-fiving in the stands going, "welcome home, baby." Well, maybe on run-scoring plays, but not after a strikeout or a win in general. Also note, the WEL and the COME are in different colors, which might be the part about the fans, urging them to "come home." Where they will be welcome? I don't know....

Toronto: "#LoveThisTeam" Oh no! Another one! Please, please, please, don't tell me the Red Sox are gonna do this.


Arizona: "Iback, Youback, Weback the Dbacks" You can't make this stuff up. I just keep thinking of Weeb Ewbank sending in Bob Eubanks at I-back for a mythical football team called the D-bags.

Atlanta: "ALWAYS BRAVE" It doesn't make me jump for joy or anything, but it's different, it's unique to their team, and it makes use of the name in a way besides just saying it. Not bad.

Chicago: "COMMITTED" Much like the time when Pat noted that a billboard on Mill Plain Road in Danbury with babies' heads protruding from the top inadvertently leaves wide open the possibility of birds sitting on their heads and shitting on their faces, the Cubs have set themselves up for disaster here. What Cubs fan hasn't thought at some point in his life about having himself committed?

Cincinnati: "THIS IS Reds COUNTRY" They've been using this one for a while. Again, stale, and part of the crumbling "region" junta.

Los Angeles: "A WHOLE NEW BLUE" As I think I said a few weeks ago when they unveiled it, it sounds funnier if you spell it "A-Hole Knew Blew." But psoriasisly, folks, uh, I guess...sure, whatever. Not that great.

New York: "GREAT TIME. GREAT PLACE. GREAT MEMORIES." Great Scott, Marty, that's a mouthful! The irony here of course is that it's a horrible time to be a Mets fan, Citi Field is such a bad place that they had to alter the dimensions and it actually makes fans miss Shea, and the team has yet to make one good memory there.

Pittsburgh: "Pride. Passion. Pittsburgh Pirates." Another one that's been around for years now. The fans are sick of the pride and passion and are ready for some winning. Gotta make a change, Pirates. (Also, I imagine them coming up with "Pride. Passion. Pirates." and then some genius fresh out of college raises his hand and says "if we say Pittsburgh Pirates we can increase the alliteration by 33 percent" and everyone going "oooooh.")

San Francisco [added 4/14: "TOGETHER+AGAIN" Hmmm. Were they ever not together? I could see going this route if they've gone away from the "Together We're Giant" motto. But last I checked, the team and presumably fans were together, and were giant. So how are they together again? Shouldn't it be "still together"? Or "still giant"? And what's with the plus sign? Maybe they just mean they've got it together again, like they did last year. And the plus means they've added...something that I'm not aware of. Because I don't really follow the N.L.] [added 3/24 because I forgot to include it]: "Together We're Giant" This is another old one. Not that great. Doesn't make much sense.

And that covers all the teams currently running a slogan on their web site. Some teams, like the Red Sox, have marketing campaigns with multiple slogans that you see in ads and stuff, but I'm keeping this to the slogans you see on each team's home page.

P.S. Red Sox dot com has a page with all the players' entrance songs, if you're into that kind of thing.

Monday, March 18, 2013

(Someone Else's) Contest(s)

My buddy Richard does a Baseball Predictions multi-contest every year, and offers up some great prizes. Way less "worthless baseball cards"-y and a lot more "tickets to the freakin' World Series"-ish, in fact. So go there and e-mail him your picks. Include my name (J-E-R-E) in your e-mail and if you win, I win too. (If you hate me, do not mention my name.)

Looks like ClayHH was on again today, a solo dong being the only hit he gave up. It was the first run he'd given up all spring. Our starters are pitching very un-2012-ishly so far, I hope it carries into the real 2013.

Funny line by a completely serious and old-enough-to-know-better caller to the FAN today: "George Steinbrenner would never let the Yankees fall into mediocrity like this." That line implies two things: That the Yankees have fallen into mediocrity, and that George never had mediocre teams. As much as I hope that the Yanks are mediocre in 2013, and as much as that guy has erased 1989-1993 from his memory, neither of those things is true.


Cleveland pitcher Bob Feller, age 19, picking a coconut on February 22, 1938, in Delray Beach, Florida. Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS (You're welcome to comment on his racism if you like, even though it's not relevant to this picture. Then again, I guarantee you he only ate the white part of that coconut.)

Bonus: Teixeira may be out not only through May, but for the year! I can't think of a better fate for Horsey Sauce. I want to beat those Bozos/Erics at full strength, but we had 90 losses last year. I want them to have 90 this year, no matter how they get there.


Sunday, March 17, 2013


Admit it, you miss this guy....
This is Johnny Val in his Seton Hall shirt, March 15, 1995.

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images


Almost Perfect

Red Sox pitchers were perfect through 8.1 innings today. Jon Lester went the first 6 and dominated. Middlebrooks and Gomes were molesting the ball. 5-1 win in the greens over Tampa. Why does Middlebrooks bat so low in the order? And this is without Papi. It's almost like everyone forgot this is a 35+ homer guy. Or at least would have been if he hadn't gotten injured. I'm still picking him for MVP.

Got to watch this whole game today, first time since early in the spring for me. Don and Remy were back--I noticed on the Friday night highlight of Salty's dong that there were two other announcers in the booth, who I didn't recognize. Anybody know who they were?

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