Whose side are you on? Team Dusty or Team Derek?
I think I had a pretty typical reaction to the news of Any Winehouse’s death: “I wish I could say I’m surprised. Seriously, what a waste of talent.” What’s even more sad is that Winehouse wasn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last person of whom we can say that. Even in baseball, we run into similar stories. They may not have wound up in a City of London body bag but they flamed out just as badly.
The first two guys that inevitably come up are Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Watching those two pitch in 2003, the entire NL and a good portion of the AL had to have been crapping themselves. Sure, that was still the era of the long ball but you could see the future of baseball in the Cubs’ duo. And then they disappeared. Maybe Baker overused them. Maybe they were always destined for injury because of how hard they threw. Maybe it was just the baseball gods doing what they do with the Cubs once again. Whatever it was, Prior and Wood wound up being legendary more for what they could have done than for what they did.
But if you really want to talk about baseball’s Winehouse, how about Daryl Strawberry? Yes, I know he played almost two decades but he lost so much to health and drug problems considering the tools he had. It’s especially sad because we can imagine what he could have done. It’s the same thing as Winehouse. It’s not that she wasn’t impressive and it’s not that she didn’t do anything. It’s that she, like Strawberry, could have done so much more.
And so in this Podcast…
Look out, y’all! The Prince of New York (aka Paul Lebowitz) is back! Joining forces with Jeff and Johanna, the best writer you’ve never heard of exercises his unfettered angst and admits to whom he’d like to strangle to death. Lots of heads roll as the guys discuss Carlos Zambrano’s temper, Vicente Padilla’s flopsweat, Mark Prior’s overgrown calves, the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more… all to bring smileys to your faceys!
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*Special thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and all-around sound guru. And his Undercast podcast is wicked smaht! I actually ran into his Undercast crew the other day, as they were going to Subway, and I realized Subway couldn’t contain their bad@ssness. Anyway, their podcast is available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films. Check it out!
Recorded Thursday, August 5, 2010
The fact that I am a complete and unparalleled baseball dork is no secret.
You know it. I know it. And the US American people know it.
Which is why I have no shame in admitting that I keep a rather odd notebook of newspaper clippings related to the game, peppered with creative doodles and instinctive comments when necessary.
The world cannot handle another Mark Prior comeback, just like it can’t handle another Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston reunion.
Enough is enough, people. Let us move on.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010
Strasburg is looking pretty good in the minors but the Nationals are
putting together a surprisingly decent season so far. How long before
he comes up to join the club and what kind of impact will he have?
Before I say anything, I just gotta ask: are you the same Ashley from Frankenmuth that my nefarious and oft sedated colleague Mr. Krause used to usher in and out of our college dormroom at odd hours back in the day, so as not to draw attention to his haphazard extracurricular activities?
If you’re not, then just pretend this piece starts… now:
Okay, Stephen Strasburg. Fine. But please realize I ain’t no analyst. I am not an insider. I don’t have an ear within the organization nor do I claim to know what any of the higher-ups are actually doing. I only have access to the same information you do… and considering that, I can tell you this:
Stephen Strasburg is wicked sick.
Believe me, I did not want to like this kid. At all. I cannot stand the overhyping of a young someone who has never faced any serious Major League competition, ever, in his life. Sure, every once in a while the media gets it right. But rarely. For every Jason Heyward there are a bazillion Todd Van Poppels, Bill Pulsiphers, Brien Taylors. And that’s not even including the fizzlers who succumb to injury like Mark Prior and lackluster primadonnas like Pete Incaviglia.
But this Strasburg fella… I think he’s the real deal.
His motion is mechanically fluid. His ball has jump. He makes hitters look silly.
And his current line at AA Harrisburg reads as such:
3 W, 0.52 ERA, 0.577 WHIP, 11.9 SO/9
AND the Nationals are actually holding their own right now among the NL East hogs. To hear the talking sports heads tell it, if the Nats continue to compete and Strasburg continues to dominate, we could very well see him this season. And if we do, I would bet he’d destroy everyone he faces.
The first time around.
After that, it’s anyone’s guess.
But I do know one thing: when Strasburg does make it to the Bigs, he’ll be the most loved man in all of Washington, D.C. since January 20, 2009.
Hate me ‘cuz it ain’t illegal yet, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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***Nancy Pelosi’s original face also welcome. I wanna scare one of my neighbors.
When I quit smoking, I took up the habit of chewing on toothpicks — to keep my orally stimulated addiction in check. The worst part about it? People often say: “Hey, Jeff, fiddlin’ with ‘dem toothpicks… you remind me of Dusty Baker.”
Being compared to Baker may make my skin curdle with infectious disgust, but I suppose that’s still better than blackening my lungs and dying young of emphysema.
Or is it?
Dear readers, believe me, I do respect Dusty Baker as a human being. I mean, look at him, he breathes on his own, his heart pumps without having to think about it… all very impressive indeed; but as a baseball connoisseur, there’s no way in Jesus-hates-the-Cubs-Hell I want him managing my baseball team. Often blamed for the mass destruction of young, promising arms with infinite potential (see Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Homer Bailey), Dusty Baker also lacks the one thing that makes good managers great and great managers Tony LaRussa… and that thing is: common sense.
In the 7th inning of last evening’s contest between the Cardinals and Reds, a game that at that point was still wide open, Dusty Baker brought in his nearly-virginal relief pitcher, young righty Logan Ondrusek, to face Brendan Ryan. With Albert Pujols on deck, Ondrusek quickly walked Ryan, unable to find the strike zone like Mr. Krause is unable to find a meaningful relationship with a woman (though, to his credit, he does surprisingly well with primates). Instead of yanking Ondrusek like he probably should have, Dusty left the kid — in only his second Major League appearance — in the game to face one of the greatest hitters of all time.
Albert rocked him.
So did Matt Holliday.
Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid! If your arm didn’t hurt before you became a Redleg, believe me when I say you won’t even be able to shake hands after Dusty’s done with ya!
Hate me ‘cuz I put it out there, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.