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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jim Thome is Trying Hard to Get to Third Base


On March 5th, 2012, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, Jim Thome was 6 foot 3 inches, 250 pounds, and 41 years old all day long.  Also on that day, Jim Thome was the stuff of legend, having previously hit 604 home runs, amassed 71.5 career WAR, and maintained a career .406 wOBA and a 145 wRC+ over his 21-year career.  For all of these number-y type reasons, he probably should not have stayed in the game after hitting a double in the fourth inning of an early March spring training game.  But he did, and the official BBB videographer, who is not very skilled but means well, was there to capture the moment.

http://fairandunbalancedblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/stats.html

Now, when Jim Thome enters the field of play, he takes it.  He takes it, and he enters it, like a stallion takes and enters a mare.  Nay, he enters the field of play, taking it in the process, on a chariot pulled by forty magnificent stallions, each named in honor of glorious notions like Dominion, Liberty, and Emancipation, to name but a few.  He then dismounts the chariot and enters the batter’s box trumpeting his presence with appendage extended, batting implement erect and purposeful.  The elegantly trotting stallion train exits stage left, shitting copiously and indiscriminately a carpet of perfect white doves, each destined for the heavens on wings whispered by angel’s breath.  

Then Jim Thome hit that double and when he ran the bases, all 250 pounds and 41 years of him looked like this:



Monday, March 26, 2012

Ejection Video: Lelo Prado, USF Bulls


When this BBB contributor sits down to ponder things worthy of his desire, a long-running series of excellent ejection videos is somewhere near the top of the list.  In this inaugural case study of baseballing banishment, we find what is generally frowned upon at the office and in the home is encouraged vigorously at the ballpark.  If the authority figures in your baseballing life displease you, register your complaint by yelling at them and calling them names.  Your vociferant tirade will yield an infinitesimal chance of reversing the call, but that’s not what’s important here.  You are a leader of men.  As such, you are also an object of female desire.  What’s important to the young colts and lustful ladies out there is seeing you Do Something.  That's very important in today's culture.  You don't want to be caught not doing something when Doing Something is required.  Gesticulate wildly.  Make liberal use of your outraged index finger and jab it repeatedly at the source of your frustration.  When you can pull off the finger jab successfully, consider narrowly missing the recipient’s face next time.  It’s very dramatic that way.  You know you’re doing it right when onlookers, wearing similarly colored attire as you, join in the fracas by yelling "bullshit" repeatedly.  At this point, you now have the respect and admiration of your rabblerousing comrades.



Ejectee:  Lelo Prado, Head Coach, USF Bulls
Ejection date:  March 20, 2012
Location:  USF Baseball Stadium
Funny little thing that happened:  Umpire's right leg during ejection, followed by the arms-crossed, I'm-ignoring-you posture.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Ozzie Guillen Will Show Us the Way


So much of human interaction seems more difficult than it need be.  Too often those of us desiring simply to be and to do are thwarted and ensnared and forced to suffer by those compelled to connive and to machinate.  Jealousies are conceived, petty squabbles are played out, and for what?  In the end, we’re all just headed for a box in the ground.  So, while we are here, alive and forced to endure one another, why don’t we all just spread moments of pure joy?  On Thursday, the Miami Marlins and the Atlanta Braves played a baseball game at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  At the end of a game in which neither side won nor lost, but both were better for the experience, Ozzie Guillen showed us the way: 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Day of Baseball in America, Part 1

I can’t imagine how many dutiful repetitions it takes to hone a major league baseball swing, from little league to high school, maybe college, and then up through the minors.  Repetition upon repetition upon endless repetition, batting and cracking and whiffing through puffy blisters and the deflated pride baseball brings to those who play.  Over and over again, and then some more, sculpting the muscular contractions and synaptic pulses required for reproducible perfection. 

Thirty-six different men, some of whom are paid exorbitantly for doing so, stepped into the batter’s box on Wednesday March 7th, 2012 at Steinbrenner Field.  Not one of them achieved quite the moment of perfection achieved in section 204 when a small human being wearing a baseball cap sat on the shoulders of a large human being, also wearing a baseball cap, at an American game of baseball.


Monday, March 19, 2012

JEtbLue pArk Scoreboard


The reader should know this BBB contributor has a day job which requires him to wear fancy pants and to answer the phone when it makes a noise.  This job requires him to speak of things “going forward” and to “leverage” those things and to reply with “warm regards” to electronic internet mail about those things.  When alone and desiring nothing other than to produce or consume baseball writing, this contributor may refer to these requirements as his “stupid fucking job” even though he is exceedingly grateful to have it and he knows it is far from stupid.  But you see, at times when he must sleep before going to work, or iron his fancy pants in preparation for work, or be present at work when he would much rather imbibe baseball’s sweet, chin-dripping nectar, this contributor may be forgiven for referring to his employment with the aforementioned vulgarity.

It should also be noted there has been a bit of controversy at the BBB since you last joined us.  The leader of this outpost offered a gift to the commander of a much, much larger outfit and that gift was rejected, quickly and without much comment.  As many gifts do, it also benefited the giver through appearance of thoughtfulness or of skill in creating said gift, slightly, but measurably so.  However, the net generosity of the gift was not appreciated and its existence nullified.  I will not go into further detail about the recipient.  Suffice it to say he appears entrenched in his position and cannot be dug out, not even for a million bucks, I’ll bet.  Instead, I will share with you video treasure I pirated away from Jetblue Park, a name I insist on capitalizing because of the official BBB stance on ridiculously creative corporate name capitalization.


With the preceding thoughts in mind, this contributor hopes the reader will forgive the tardiness of this dispatch.  The source material dates back to March 3rd, 2012, exactly 16 days prior.  The subject of the source material dates back even further, decades in fact.  It is big and green and like most things lately, an embarrassment to Red Sox Nation:

 

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Found Memento


I imagine in times past, bruising men of awesome physical prowess did unfriendly battle to the sounds of metal clanked, flesh ripped, and groans sorrowed.  I imagine implements of war negotiated the redistribution of fragrant lands and tawny buxom women.  I imagine after such skirmishes, locals scoured the battlefield, littered with future artifacts and present suffering, in search of sanguine trinkets to prove they had witnessed a mighty clash of opposing wills.  

One thing I did not imagine, today in St. Petersburg, during action between the Netherlands and the Pittsburgh Pirates split squad, was a seamed and spinning orb originating at home plate and cutting a parabolic path ending just above the Al Lang Field press box.  Ball met wall, then dropped at my feet, conspiring with gravity to narrowly miss the clutch of my proven and outstretched fingers.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Things That Could Fit Under Daniel Rockhold



The video above is of the distinctively, and might I say, prodigiously posed Daniel Rockhold, the 6' 3" senior third baseman and catcher for the USF Bulls baseball club.  His stance is quite remarkable in that it spans almost all six feet of batter's box length skillfully outlined by the USF grounds crew and their li'l fluffy white powder wagon.  His wide stance is so remarkable, in fact, the author spent more time than he should have attempting to enumerate humorous objects that might fit or could be rolled underneath Daniel Rockhold while he attempts to strike at a 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Red Sox Fans are Vile People












The fact that Red Sox fans are ruthless, vulgar, and cause trouble has been previously articulated.  The official BBB photographer captured pictorial evidence in support of this fact Saturday at the inaugural game of JetBlue Park, the Red Sox shimmering new spring training home in Fort Myers, Florida.  Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox fans, known for their poor impulse control and general wickedness, saw fit to defile the pristine yellow foul pole marking the divide between what is allowed and what is not.  It surprises the author

Saturday, March 3, 2012

BAAACK!!!

Hello, reader.  How are you?  Traipsing through the internet again?  Have you wandered here during another pre-study procrastination ritual ultimately leading to various what-if GPA calculations?  Don’t bother, because although the formulas may equal the number 2 followed by a decimal followed by another smallish number, exactly none of them equals a parent's pride.

Or are your college days behind you?  Are you sitting at a cubicle, hunched over a homemade ham sandwich; siphoning off a few moments of free time from ACME Inc.’s network bandwidth?  Look at that sandwich.  Feel the weight of its soggy shame in your hands.  It has that soda can indentation again from being carried together in the paper sack, doesn’t it?  Of course it does, you pathetic bastard.

Although the unrelenting series of heartbeats and respirations you call a life may not have exceeded your expectations thus far, you may seek some solace in its small pleasures.  For the next 131 seconds you may live vicariously through the base runner’s experience, fraught with tense moments of public hesitation, uncertainty, and fear of letting others down.  Much like your wretched existence, probably.  So watch the video and then decide at each pivotal, paused moment whether the pitcher will pitch to home or attempt to pick you off, resulting in urgent howls of “BAAACK!” from your dugout.  Then, when your wistful daydream reaches its sad conclusion, sigh quietly to yourself, close your internetting browser, and produce another widget for The Man.