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Category Archives: Baseball

Sort of live-blogging (watching the Dodgers-Giants on DVR delay):

– What a ridiculous, unnecessarily aggressive slide by Eugenio Velez. Matt Kemp’s throw was high, and Velez clearly saw Russell Martin had his back to him. There was no chance of a play at the plate, so to knock down Martin — while he was airborne, no less — was stupidly aggresive.

– Pablo Sandoval needs to SHUT UP. A little irritated that y0u get pitched inside mere moments after your teammate pulls a bonehead move? Get over it, and get off the cheeseburger diet.

– Edgar Renteria … seriously? You, of all people, getting in anyone’s face? Get back on the bench where you belong.

– Kudos to Long Beach’s finest James McDonald for protecting his catcher, and to Brad Ausmus for saving Renteria from a dose of “O, Canada!”

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photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

Andre Ethier has five walk-off hits this season, including three home runs. He has eight since the beginning of 2008, the most in the majors during that span.

We need a major-league second baseman now!

delino

We need a proven major-league closer now!

baez

We need a major-league top-of-the-rotation ace pitcher now!

schmidt

We need a major-league centerfielder now!

pierre

No really, we need a major-league centerfielder now!

jones

From the top:

– RHP Pedro Martinez traded for 2B Delino DeShields. Pedro went on to win three Cy Young awards.

– RHP Edwin Jackson and LHP Chuck Tiffany traded for RHP Danys Baez and RHP Lance Carter. Edwin Jackson won 14 games for Tampa, and was a 2008 All-Star for Detroit.

– RHP Jason Schmidt, signed 3 years/$47 million in 2006. Has pitched a total of eight games and 33.2 innings since arriving in L.A.

– OF Juan Pierre, signed 5 years/$44 million in 2006. Mediocre in 2007, and relegated to the bench since 2008.

– OF Andruw Jones, signed 2 years/$36 million in 2008. Had a historically bad year in 2008, was replaced by Manny Ramirez, and bought out of his contract in 2009.

There’s something to be said about staying with the one you brought to the dance. Chad Billingsley may not be the sexiest top-of-the-rotation starter out there, but that’s more an indictment of the ridiculous east-coast bias of the media. Cole Hamels can start the year off miserably, but not have his ability questioned. Billingsley can start with guns blazing, go through a slump, and he’s basically garbage after that.

I was watching KCAL’s miserable — kept dropping in and out of HD — feed this weekend, and I saw this come up:

mlbtv

On the lower half of the screen is the same “searching for signal” pop-up that shows up on the DirecTV in our living room. So is MLB.TV using DirecTV’s video feeds, streaming sattelite TV online?

On that note, DirecTV’s insane when it comes to pricing their incarnation of MLB Extra Innings. As noted by the Biz of Baseball, MLB-EI was $179 prior to the season, and is now $191 (four payments of $47.75), and $191 afterwards. When I called two weeks ago, intending to purchase the package at mid-season, DirecTV did NOT offer a pro-rated price for the remainder of the season. So even with half of the season already in the books, DirecTV still wants the full-season price. That made the decision to subscribe to MLB.TV pretty easy at that point.

MLB.TV is fine, and offers HD-quality (don’t know the exact resolution) video. It also helps that the monitor is a 20-inch widescreen, so the picture is pretty comparable to the 27-inch SD set in the living room.

“It was one of the best moments in my career. I’m just glad it happened in LA.”

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

photo credit: Yahoo! Sports

San Bernadino 66ers mascot Bernie, at yesterday’s game:

(pic credit: The Trolley Dodger)

(pic credit: The Trolley Dodger)

This is the Padres’ Fourth of July (a.k.a. Manny’s back, game #2) stadium giveaway: padres

I’m fairly confident that no Dodger promotion, past or present, has mentioned any other team, and especially not the Padres.

But it’s nice to know they’re still thinking of us, even when they’re sitting 15 games back behind in the standings. Besides, I think Boston Celtics and San Francisco Giants fans already have the “BEAT L.A.!” thing cornered.

Jeff Kent, along with a number of other Hall of Famers and retired MLB stars during the Hall of Fame Classic this weekend. Kent of course ended his career with the Dodgers, but played six seasons with the Giants.

I would imagine this pretty much confirms which hat he’s going to be depicted wearing at Cooperstown.

As an aside, I’m glad Jeff finally found a younger teammate he’s happy to play alongside.

As I’m sure you’ve read, the never-ending saga to relocate the Portland Beavers out of PGE Park now has city officials unable to decide how exactly they want to spend tax dollars. Whether it’s Lents Park, the site currently occupied by the Memorial Coliseum, or who knows where else, the pols can’t make up their mind. Which of course leaves would-be MLS owner Merritt Paulson still waiting for a new home.

It certainly appears clear that they’re going to go ahead with their plan to convert (at taxpayer expense) the recently-renovated (at taxpayer expense, and still not fully paid for) PGE Park to a soccer-only facility, especially now since they have the Oregon House’s blessing to proceed.

Let’s make a few things clear. I believe in the idea of urban renewal. I believe that investing taxpayer money into improving the city’s infrastructure is a good thing.

I enjoy watching the Beavers. I love watching baseball at all levels, and I appreciate there’s a team in Portland. And while I may not appreciate soccer as much, I certainly understand the desire of fans to bring a bigger franchise to the city — that’s a good thing.

But what I don’t believe in is using taxpayer money to fund such a private venture with such a narrow demographic. Let’s be serious. It’s not like we’re talking MLB, or the NFL, or even the NHL for that matter. We’re talking about a sport that lags far behind the big three — and we’re talking about a fairly sizable public investment in it.

What it comes down to is this. Sure, bring MLS to Portland. But Merritt Paulson needs to make sure he pays for all of it and doesn’t resort to corporate welfare in order to do it. If it’s such a sure-fire investment, then surely he, successful businessman that he is, can afford to do this on his own. If not, then find some private investors and sell them on the plan.

The fact of the matter is that publicly-funded sports stadia are almost overwhelmingly a lose-lose for a city’s taxpayers. Just ask the Phoenix Coyotes or the Indianapolis Colts, among many others. Given the tremendous risk of these investments, it’s absolutely ludicrous for Merritt Paulson to even think of tapping into the city’s funds for his pet projects.

No, not the Beach Boy. The guy who Casey Blake hit a HR off Sunday. The guy who does that weird crossed-arms “X” thing after he closes out a game.

This guy:

wilson

So as it turns out, Mr. Wilson was pretty irritated about Casey Blake doing this, after hitting the HR off him.

blake

Considering Blake doesn’t exactly have the reputation of being a troublemaker, you’re left to assume that this was merely an immature demonstrative gesture in response to another immature demonstrative gesture. In other words, I doubt Blake would’ve bothered if he’d known what exactly the gesture’s all about.

Here’s some advice Brian. If you don’t want people getting irritated at what appears to be an immature demonstrative gesture, then 1. either don’t do it in the first place, or 2. don’t be so tight-lipped about what it means.

I don’t think anyone is ridiculing Brian Wilson’s faith. In fact, I’d go so far to say that sport is one of the few places where most people don’t mind outward displays of faith.

You know what though, Brian? Don’t stop giving glory to God. Just be a little more mindful of how you do it, and how it’s going to be perceived. Don’t be such a Pharisee, you know, with the flamboyant, outward displays and all.

Most of all, I know it’ll probably disappoint the Giant faithful, but don’t forget about the meek inheriting the earth, and turning the other cheek.