Tag Archives: MLB

The Z Files: Leaked Recordings of Jack Zduriencik’s Trade Talks

jackzzzOver the course of every baseball season, general managers across the major leagues engage in confidential, one-on-one conversations with their constituents. Many of these exchanges take place by phone. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on leaked recordings of trade negotiations between Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and a number of his fellow peers in the industry. The following is a transcript of those recordings.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Dave Stewart, Senior Vice President & General Manager

JACK: “Dave, it’s Jack Zduriencik.”

DAVE: “Oh hey, Jack. What’s going on?”

JACK: “Well, Dave, I’ll be honest with you: I’m calling about a do-over.”

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Top 11: Most Awesome Unclaimed ’80s Walk-Up Songs

Brit-Hit2Credit Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick with making ’80s music relevant among today’s major leaguer hitters and their walk-up song choices. It’s Reddick who has recently been raising eyebrows and inspiring headlines with his selection of George Michael’s Careless Whisper as his at-bat anthem. Though Reddick will surely receive the accolades that come along with making a leap towards owning a libido-arousing romantic soft rock ballad, I like to believe that my earlier Mariners-centric request penetrated Reddick’s consciousness and moved him to take action.

Reddick certainly isn’t the first pro ballplayer to capture the hearts of audiences with a decades-old medley to call his own, but the curious nature of a sentimental tune that so blatantly diverges from the mean of driving, bass-heavy tracks is hard to ignore. Nick Punto, a teammate of Reddick’s, has used The Outfield’s 1985 hit Your Love as his song of choice this season. In years past, journeyman outfielder Michael Morse has delighted fans by employing A-ha’s Take On Me and Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams, and even before that Ichiro Suzuki once upon a time took to the batter’s box to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

But it’s clear that the more outrageous one gets with their music selection, the more likely he is to garner some extra attention. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 11 best ’80s songs still not utilized by major league hitters. What follows is one’s ticket to the hearts (and possibly loins) of millions of adoring onlookers. Dare to be different. Dare to be awesome. Dare to choose one of these songs as your walk-up music.

11. St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)

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The Mariners’ Decade of Mind-Numbing All-Star Misfortune

delabarBack in July of 2003 I was a lazy 18-year-old just a few weeks removed from my high school graduation. I was working a part-time job at Champs Sports and sitting around my parents’ house in my spare time. It was the last summer before college and I wasn’t doing much of anything at all. So naturally on the 15th day of the month, I found myself watching the 74th annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The two rosters that day featured such greats as Montreal Expos second baseman Jose Vidro (the National League’s starting second baseman), New York Mets closer Armando Benitez, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Richie Sexson, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Carl Everett, token Kansas City Royal Mike Sweeney, and Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Eddie Guardado. If you don’t know the bond that those six seemingly random former All-Stars share, then you obviously aren’t a Mariners fan.

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Top 11: Reasons to be Optimistic About the 2013 Seattle Mariners

mikemorseThe 2013 baseball season is underway and you don’t know how you should feel about our beloved Seattle Mariners. Fear not, M’s fans. I’m not here to tell you how you should feel (that’s no one’s place), but I can give you 11 reasons why you might be able to shed some cynicism and believe in this year’s team.

Without further delay…

11. Chone Figgins is gone.

Lest you think three years of vitriol directed towards the Mariners’ sometimes-third baseman was unwarranted, consider this:

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Baseball’s HOF Voting Is FUBAR

In case you're wondering, the answer is yes. The BBWAA did create their own logo on MS Paint.

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).

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Coming Soon To The Emerald Queen Casino, George Lopez!

Nobody gets you. SAP: Nadie te entiende.
Nobody gets you. SAP: Nadie te entiende.

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.

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Jonathan Papelbon Is A Ritard

jonathan_papelbon2For the second time this year, Jonathan Papelbon has been fined $5,000 for taking too long to deliver a pitch.

You can read about it here.

On a personal note, I’m glad to see the Red Sox closer get what he deserves. Papelbon is the new Curt Schilling with his outspoken nature and his inability to keep his mouth shut in the press.

I only hope they can find new, creative ways to take his money in the future. “That’s $10,000 for puffing your cheeks too many times!”

Building The Perfect Baseball Player

Rays Marlins BaseballIn the movie Napoleon Dynamite, the title character (played by Jon Heder) draws up a fictional animal he calls a “liger,” which is a lion and tiger mixed and is “bred for its skills in magic.”

Using this as our motivation, we decided to create the perfect baseball player by utilizing the traits and abilities of Major League Baseball’s current superstars to assist us.

From the cerebral to the physical, we breakdown the structure of our superhuman man-beast part by part. Enjoy.

Carl Crawford’s Legs

We’ll start from the ground up.

Crawford is one of the game’s fastest players, and arguably the most adept base stealer of the current generation.

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And Your Newest Annoying Celebrity Hookup Nickname Is…Kate-Rod!

arodIn your tabloid journalism news of the day, the New York Post is reporting that Alex Rodriguez and Kate Hudson are dating.

I think I speak for everyone when I say Kate Hudson deserves better.

That said, since divorcing ex-husband Chris Robinson (that weirdo lead singer of the Black Crowes) a few years ago, Hudson has been “linked” (tabloid lingo for “had sex with”) to such celebrities as Owen Wilson, Lance Armstrong, and Dax Shepard. So to say the bar is set high for A-Rod would be a complete lie.

If you’re keeping score at home, however, this is a ginormous step up for the Yankee third baseman.

After reportedly exploding his linkage all over Madonna in recent months, Kate Hudson is the baseball equivalent of a home run. Or at least a sac fly.

In fact, of all of Rodriguez’s past links, Hudson has to be considered the most normal. She has no charity case adoptive children from foreign countries, nor has she said crazy things about A-Rod in the press yet. Things are looking up!

Manager’s Blunder Forces Rays Pitcher To Hit Third

The Rays may have a new middle-of-the-order threat in Sonnanstine.
The Rays have a new middle-of-the-order threat in Sonnanstine.

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.

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Fixing the Guaranteed Contract Situation

Think buyout.
Think buyout.

How do we fix the guaranteed contract situation of the NBA and MLB?

Whereas the NFL has a hard salary cap in place that allows contracts to be terminated at a moment’s notice (like any other job in America), the other two major professional sports leagues have a tendency to overpay mediocre players for long periods of time, often handicapping franchises and angering fans.

There is a solution, beyond resorting to the NFL cap and non-guaranteed contracts, and it’s called commission. Yes, commission. A performance-based adjusting pay scale that is determined on a year-to-year basis. Here’s how it would work:

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Bob Melvin proves Seattle fans right, gets fired in AZ

bobmelvinFormer Mariners manager Bob Melvin was relieved of his duties as skipper of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, just proving that M’s fans were right all along.

Bryan Price, ex-pitching coach for your Seattle Mariners, opted to go down with the sinking ship, as well. He resigned on his accord following Melvin’s ouster.

Remember when B0-Mel was supposed to the be the wunderkind that was going to lead Arizona to the promised land? In reality, he’s just another fringe manager with a boring personality and little talent at lineup tinkering. Seattle is vindicated.

If Hideki Irabu can get a job, why can’t Bobby Ayala?

The Fat Toad
The Fat Toad

This quote taken from the official blog of the Long Beach Armada (of the independent Golden Baseball League), bordering on Nazi propaganda:

“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.

God save the Long Beach Armada.

Fantasy Island: Bonifacio Coming Back To Earth

bonifacioDon’t say we didn’t warn you.

In our first installment of Fantasy Island one week ago, we told you to pass on Emilio Bonifacio, who was quickly becoming the most added player in nearly all fantasy league formats.  The lightly heralded Florida Marlin third baseman started the year on a 15-for-29 hitting tear, good for a .517 average.

Since our fateful proclamation, Bonifacio has established himself as a mere human being, batting just .083 (2-24) over the past seven days. Time to send him back on the waiver wire.

On to this week’s big names.

Players you need to have:

Orlando Hudson, 2B. The number-two hitter in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup, Hudson is well on his way to a career year if he can keep up his hot start. Nestled comfortably behind leadoff man Rafael Furcal and three-hitter Manny Ramirez, Hudson is seeing a lot of good pitches to hit and is capitalizing on the opportunities afforded him. Expect a veteran like Hudson to keep making good on the strikes thrown his way and go pick him up if you still have the chance.

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