Saturday, May 29, 2010

If Chicks Dig The Long Ball, Then The Jays Are Casanova

Four more jacks today makes it an even 50 for the month of May, setting a franchise record for most homers in a month.

The 2010 Jays are on pace for 267 swats, which would break the all-time single-season record set by Seattle in '97.

While that's perhaps a stretch, the franchise single-season record of 244 (set in 2000) is well within striking distance.

Some of the members of that '00 club: Tony Batista (41), Brad "Pipes" Fullmer (32), Jose Cruz (31), Raul Mondesi (24), and the Original Alex Gonzalez™ (15).

What makes this 2010 outburst even more impressive is that pretty much everyone on that 2000 Jays squad was juicing.

No one will accuse the likes of Jose Bautista (195 pounds) or Aaron Hill (5'11", 205) of being roided up, especially now that steroids have been completely and totally removed from baseball, right?

Anyway, home runs are awesome.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

R.I.P. Jose Lima, You Crazy Bastard

It's a sad day for fans of highly unstable athletes, which this blog counts itself amongst.

Former MLB pitcher and fantasy baseball idol Jose Lima has died of a massive heart attack in Los Angeles.

He was just 37, but there's no question he lived the hell out of each of those 37 years.

Let's go on a journey, shall we?

*cueing the retrospective music and soft focus camera*

Lima's career began in 1994 in unspectacular fashion, going 8 and 16 in three seasons with the Tigers. The highlight of his time in Motown was this quote, upon being released:

"If I can't pitch on this team--the worst or second-worst team in baseball--where am I going to pitch? If I can't start on this ballclub, I must be the worst pitcher on Earth."
Lima was traded to Houston, where all of a sudden he became not the worst pitcher on Earth. Lima went 16 and 8 in 1998, sporting a ridiculous 5.28 K/BB rate, and then in 1999 it all came together. Lima won 21 games with the Astros that year, earning his only All-Star appearance and marking the official beginning of "Lima time".

And what a time it was...until 2000, when the wheels fell off. Lima went 7 and 16 while surrendering 48 home runs, two short of the single-season record.

Lima bounced around for a while before signing with the Dodgers in 2004, where he experienced a brief renaissance, going 13 and 5 with a 4.07 ERA, his lowest since his career year in '99. Lima pitched a 5-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, the Dodgers' first postseason win since Game 5 of the 1988 World Series.

2004 not only cemented Lima's place in Dodger lore, but also in the Crazy/Awesome Hall of Fame by singing the American national anthem with his smoking hot common-law wife Melissa beside him. In December of that year, Lima was successfully sued by a woman who claimed she had contracted genital herpes from him. What a buzzkill.

Oh, and did I say "brief" renaissance ? I meant "just that one year". Lima again lost 16 games, this time with the Royals in 2005, signalling the beginning of the end. Lima's 6.99 ERA was the highest single-season total in baseball history for a pitcher with 30 or more games started.

After flaming out of the big leagues, Lima's career took him all over the world, from Korea to Mexico to Long Beach to Edmonton.

And that's when the story got even more interesting, if you can believe it. You see, Lima split up with Melissa and neglected to pay child support. This led to a Deadspin-supported wild goose chase for his whereabouts last year, which actually bore fruit. Lima was pitching in the Dominican Winter League for the Águilas Cibaeñas. No word on whether Lima paid up, but like they say, it's about the journey, not the destination.

We'll also never get to witness Lima's seemingly inevitable return to the spotlight as a Dominican bachata singer, which was allegedly what he intended to do after he retired.

The tributes are already popping up all over the majors; David Ortiz wore a cap with "RIP Lima" written on it, and former teammates, managers and owners are paying their respects to an eccentric but kind man who you couldn't help but root for. Except maybe his ex-wife. And whoever he gave the herps to.

So vaya con dios, Jose. You died as you lived: in batshit loco fashion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19 Should Be A Pagan Holiday

...because Angel Pagan should never have to do anything on this day ever again.

The Mets outfielder became the first player in 55 years to leg out an inside-the-park home run and start a triple play in the same game.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of WORK.

But because the Mets are, well, shit, Pagan's efforts went to waste, as the Nats won 5-3.

Apu's favourite squadron sits dead last in the NL East, the only team in the hyper-competitive division to not be competitive.

But at least you can't knock Pagan's effort. Soon-to-be-ex manager Jerry Manuel called the Puerto Rican "probably our best athlete."

No kidding!

So congrats to Pagan, for locking up the top Mets moment of the mid-May.

*sad trombone*

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chris Bosh Should Probably Stop Tweeting. Seriously.

May 17 - Man! I am truly and honestly out of shape. Lol

May 16 - Anybody know of a good TV series to get into?

May 15 - I just had the best burger of my life

May 14 - I almost made it the whole day without anyone asking what I'm gonna do about next year.

May 13 - I am bored out of my mind!

Free agency: you're doing it wrong.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh Look, Everyone Cares About Jays Games All Of A Sudden

The city-wide outcry over the G20 summit cockblocking the Roy Halladay Reunion Tour would be amusing, if it weren't so terribly misguided and somewhat pathetic.

I must remind myself that most of the whining and bitching is coming from sports fans and/or those in the sports industry, who by and large aren't the most logical group of people out there.

But it's profoundly irritating and downright insulting to someone like me, a legitimate die-hard Jays fan since I was a toddler, to hear griping from these people.

It's a simple inequality: The G20 Summit > Late June Baseball Games.

We're talking about the leaders of the free world convening to discuss issues that will impact the future of the planet. We're talking about an event that will surpass the Vancouver Olympics in scope. There will be protests. There will be heavy security. There will be massive areas of the downtown Toronto area cordoned off. Not exactly the most ideal circumstances under which to host a series of likely meaningless baseball games.

This childish reaction is to be expected from the largely fairweather fanbase in the GTA; where in the living fuck have you people been the rest of this season, when the Jays were and are struggling to hit 10,000 fans a game? Heck, where were you when Halladay was actually pitching for the Jays? Attendance has been an absolute joke this season, and this pretty much underscores the fact that most Jays fans are only interested in a couple of sexy, trendy series matchups and don't actually care about the team, even when it's winning more games than expected.

For what it's worth, there's only a 60% chance that the Doc would even make a start in Toronto, and based on current rotation projections it's unlikely his turn would be up that weekend. Either way, relax. Halladay will pitch again in Toronto someday; this won't be the last chance for fans to get another glimpse of the best pitcher to ever don the uniform.

The only people with a legitimate reason to complain are the other contenders in the National League, more specifically in the NL East, because the Phillies essentially have been handed three extra home games, which is not an insignificant number.

From their perspective, playing the series in another city would be the best-case scenario, but a neutral site doesn't do much for the Jays organization or for those who've already bought tickets and made plans for that weekend. Paul Beeston & Co. struck a deal with a Phillies organization with which they have a long-standing good relationship, and are prepared to deal with the consequences, whether they're warranted or not.

In the end they made the only decision that would have made sense for the team and for the City of Toronto, and if you don't like it, then you're missing the point.

And if your reaction to this news is to further boycott going to games, then perhaps you shouldn't be a fan at all.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's Definitely Dallas Braden's Mound Now

I really don't want to extend his extra 15 minutes of fame."
- Alex Rodriguez on Dallas Braden, May 7, 2010

"Stick it, A-Rod"
- Dallas Braden's grandma, after Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in MLB history

Who else is looking forward to the July 5 Yanks/A's series?