*Editor’s note: With baseball season fast approaching, it’s time we gave you some insight into the world of the major league ballplayer. To kick things off, we’ve solicited the wisdom of a talented writer who also moonlights as a nanny to the stars, if you will. Revealing a behind the scenes look at the MLB lifestyle is Raija Sanford (@RSanford23 on Twitter), who you can check out on her blog here. Anyone could tell you about the Mariners’ rotation or the fate of the season-to-be. But no one else will let you in on Josh Beckett’s mockery of his pregnant wife…
By Raija Sanford
I have gone to private schools my entire life. In that circle, one hires a nanny; one does not become a nanny. But somehow, I became a nanny, and not just any nanny, a Major League Baseball nanny.
When I started babysitting for new families my friends always asked me about them and I would say, “Well, the husband plays professional baseball.” And somehow their follow-up question was always, “Oh. So what does the wife do? Why do they need a nanny?”
Larry Stone thinks Stephen Strasburg should be an All-Star. No one seems to agree with him. Except me. I feel you, Larry.
Here’s the thing. I have a theory about sports fans. If a writer proposes a semi-outlandish point of contention, self-righteous know-it-all bastard fans will seize the opportunity to showcase their knowledge in the comments section of said article by disputing the topic at hand, and simultaneously crucifying the writer in question. Yes, I just said that. Yes, I might be talking about you. Unlike Larry, no one’s paying me to write this, hence I can force you arrogant SOBs to take it right in the ‘nads.
Larry’s been trumpeting the cause for Strasburg as an All-Star for all of a few days. Throughout that duration, everyone and their mom — including Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu — has chastised Larry for his controversial opinion.
If you don’t know what ‘FUBAR’ means, Google it. I refuse to type one of the words that comprises the acronym, so you’ll just have to do your own research. See. There is a certain level of class here at Seattle Sportsnet.
Anyways, if you do know what FUBAR means, then you’ll probably agree that baseball’s Hall of Fame voting procedure is exactly that. It’s broke as a joke, and we can thank the BBWAA for ruining it.
The BBWAA stands for the Baseball Writers Association of America. I know what you’re thinking. ‘Baseball’ is one word. Hence, it should be BWAA. And yet we let these people vote.
In all seriousness, the BBWAA is a group of esteemed sportswriters with impressive credentials that spend the better part of their journalistic down time covering baseball. While the BBWAA as a whole maintains a reputation of, shall we say, holier-than-thou proportions, there are a few great baseball writers out there who we can all instill faith in when it comes to Hall of Fame voting (Larry Stone, of The Seattle Times, is a perfect example).
Tim Lincecum got busted for marijuana possession. Big deal. At least he didn’t hurt anyone. Kill anyone. Cheat the game.
On top of that, the San Francisco Giants ace and Renton, Wash. native wasn’t even under the influence when he was caught.
He just committed a slight faux pas. Had his pipe sitting out during a routine traffic stop. Whoops. We’ve all been there. Not necessarily with marijuana. But other stuff.
Maybe your porn collection was discovered.
Maybe you told a fib to get out of going to the opera, then got found out.
Maybe you cheated your diet, got caught with your pants down, or let slip a four-letter word in front of your mom. We all make mistakes. We’re human.
Fact is, I’m cool with Lincecum smoking a doobie every once in a while. I don’t smoke myself, but I absolutely condone the use of marijuana by others. It doesn’t bother me. Smoking pot then getting behind the wheel bugs me a little bit. But smoking in and of itself is no big deal. Falls right in line with alcohol consumption and frivolous sex. It fails to register on my moral code.
Think about it. How many potheads do you know that have caused serious problems in our world? You never hear about a pothead committing a heinous act against society. You don’t see potheads holding up banks, kidnapping children, or murdering anyone. Crackheads, maybe. Needle junkies, maybe. Potheads, no.
Don’t get your checkbooks out just yet, folks. I’m only speculating on Lopez’s career trajectory. But I think we can all agree that we’re thisclose to welcoming Mexico’s greatest superhero to the EQC doors in the near future.
If you’ve watched any of the MLB playoffs on TBS, you’ve likely been sidelined by an overdose of Lopezitis.
TBS is pimping Lopez’s new late-night talk show as if it were a Tyler Perry spinoff, apparently making an attempt to tap into all the Dominicans and Venezuelans that are watching their family members play on TV. Little do they know that George Lopez is neither Dominican nor Venezuelan.
But even if he were, would it really matter? Who’s going to watch his show, TBS? Answer me that. You’ve got Letterman, Conan, Kimmel, and Lopez, not to mention reruns of Family Guy (Cartoon Network), late local news, Sportscenter, and probably some scrambled porn on the high-numbered channels somewhere. There are more people out there who would rather watch scribbly boobs than witness George Lopez kill comedy.
Back in 2001, the city of Seattle hosted the MLB All-Star Game at two-year-old Safeco Field. The starting pitchers that day were Randy Johnson for the National League and Roger Clemens for the American League. The game also marked the final All-Star appearances for future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn.
The AL would ultimately win the contest by a score of 4-1, but it was really the collection of story lines that made this game a memorable one. There was Ripken’s home run and MVP selection, Tommy Lasorda’s comedic flop in the third base coach’s box, and the presence of eight Seattle Mariners on the American League roster, just to name three.
But only 20 miles away, a different story line was taking shape.
It’s nearly July, which means there’s a great chance that you’ve left your fantasy baseball team behind and are now focused solely on your pending football draft. That’s okay, it happens to the best of us, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up all hope just yet.
Whether you’ve been a neglectful owner over the past few weeks, or you’ve been trying your hardest to remain in contention despite the fact that your best outfielder was suspended for steroid use (ahem, Manny), we have a few tips to help carry your made-up ballclub until the end of the season. And hey, you might even manage to win the league in the process.
Players You Need To Have (Hint: If you don’t have these players right now, and they’re on your waiver wire, you need to ADD THEM!)
Cody Ross, OF, Florida Marlins. Ross isn’t a big name, but for whatever odd reason the guy absolutely kills the ball in the second half of every season. A bonus for fantasy owners is that he decided to turn on the production once the calendar hit June, so if you’ve had him for the past few weeks, you’ve already benefited from the Marlins outfielder.
Have I ever mentioned how great Harold Reynolds is? He’s great. He really is.
Reflecting on my earliest memories of the Seattle Mariners, two lasting images come to mind: Alvin Davis’ moustache, and Harold Reynolds’ afro-jheri curl. You can’t deny that the man had style.
Once you factor in his termination from ESPN for giving hugs, as well as his penchant for providing commentary at the Little League World Series back in the day, you end up with an all-around good guy who is tough to dislike. That’s basically Harold Reynolds in a nutshell.
Now, however, there is a new reason to love Harold: He speaks honestly and truthfully about his disdain for sabermetrics. Particularly, the infamous OPS (on base + slugging percentage) stat.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto started the year as the savior of many a fantasy baseball team. Hitting for power and average, Votto was a pleasant surprise for the owners who took a chance on this talented second-year player.
Since then, however, things have gone tremendously downhill.
Despite all his natural ability, Votto has spent considerable time on the disabled list over the past few weeks with a laundry list of questionable ailments.
Blessed with a rare callup to the big leagues, minor league umpire Frank Drebin Todd Tichenor did what any other good, recently-promoted authority figure would do: He showcased his power by sacrificing four minions in a matter of minutes.
A lineup card blunder by Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon forced the team to insert starting pitcher Andy Sonnanstine into the third slot in the batting order during Sunday’s game against Cleveland.
Maddon composed a lineup featuring two third basemen and no designated hitter. The original plan was to have regular third baseman Evan Longoria as the DH, with utility man Ben Zobrist getting the start at third.
The goof created a pregame delay, with umpires deliberating over the correct ruling on the error.
“Hope you speak Japanese! The flame-throwing Hideki Irabu will take the mound for the Armada in 2009. With a pitching staff that already includes Jose Lima, this is sure [to] be a great season.”
Personally, I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that the Armada hope you speak Japanese, the fact that they are trying to get people this excited about ex-Yankee Hideki Irabu, or the fact that they threw Jose Lima into the same sentence for no apparent reason (is it Lima Time already?).
As a chubby, half-Japanese seventh grader who happened to play baseball during Irabu’s rookie season in 1997, my bastard friends in middle school made the inevitable comparisons between myself and the former pitching great (I say this in jest). After enduring an entire year of being called “Hideki” (including having some folks pen the name into my seventh grade yearbook), I have to imagine that the only thing worse than being labeled Hideki is actually being Hideki.
Of course, there are the vocal members of the online minority (aka real-life majority) who catch the humor in what we’re trying to say about the people behind sabermetrics. And we appreciate them for their support.
Unfortunately, the folks who live and die through the quantification of a sport that we all should be able to enjoy won’t have it that way. Just to play it safe, you better bring your scoresheet and pencil to the next baseball game you attend, lest you get accosted in the parking lot by a math guru.
I hear that sabermetricians support Michael Vick’s abuse of pitbulls and hate newborn kittens, too. What is this world coming to? *Head-shaking emoticon.*
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