Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunshine State Rain-outs

According to statistics gathered by the BBB's meteorological and statistical departments, 10.9% of Florida State League contests since the beginning of the 2012 season have been postponed or canceled due to rain.  In a joint effort by the cloud crowd and the number lumpers, the BBB gathered, filtered, and sensually massaged game schedule data from each of the FSL's team websites (example).  The tables below show a wide variation among the teams, with the Clearwater Threshers experiencing only four rain-outs at home from opening day 2012 through August 1st, 2013, but the Lakeland Tigers suffering thirty-six during the same time period.

The word "meeting", as used above, represents either a normal uninterrupted game; or a game started but suspended until another day due to rain; or the resumption of a game suspended by rain on a previous day; or games postponed or canceled due to rain.  The total number of meetings represented in the charts above is 1633.  The total number of rain-outs is 178.  That's a league-wide rain-out percentage of 10.9.

Postponements and cancellations due to "inclement weather" or "wet grounds" were counted as rain also.

Most of us view rain-outs as merely an infrequent annoyance, but at a rate of nearly 11%, their impact is probably much greater than we think.  Does Lakeland have a hidden advantage over its FSL competition because of its high rain-out rate?  Do their relief pitchers get extra rest days that relievers of other teams do not enjoy?  Or do they suffer a disadvantage because postponed games are frequently made up with double-headers, which force their position players to play twice in the same day?  Does this increase potential for injury?  Speaking of double-header games, they're usually truncated to seven innings each, which reduces a player's overall time spent playing ball.  Do scouts suffer from this reduced exposure to the players they're watching, and are their player evaluations adversely affected by long double-header days spent watching fourteen innings in hot, humid weather?

If you're the general manager of a major league club, do you consider the frequency of rain-outs and its effect on pitcher rotations?  Do you really want your top prospect getting all warmed-up, just to have his start rained-out?  For a team like Lakeland, with close to a quarter of its home meetings rained out, that's a real concern, especially for the younger pitchers of high-A baseball who may not have learned yet how their bodies will react to such adverse start-and-stop physical demands.

We at the BBB find this topic very interesting, and may attempt to answer a question or two listed above in future posts.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sketchy Rehash: Charlotte Stonecrabs at Bradenton Marauders

Experimenting with a new format here.  While in attendance, and until it becomes tiresome, the BBB might occasionally provide real-time game updates and commentary for various Florida State League games.  These will not be the typical game recaps you know and feel apathy towards.  These will include special asides and commentary befitting the dubious quality and frequency you've come to expect from the BBB.  For the purpose of relaying to your grandchildren in your later years, take note of where you are right now, and also the day and time, because your eyeballs now behold the very first BBB Sketchy Rehash: 

July 6th, 2013

Charlotte Stonecrabs at Bradenton Marauders 

McKechnie Field

Bradenton, FL 

Starting pitchers:  Charlotte - Ryan Carpenter; Bradenton - Zach Dodson

Top 1st:
Ryan Brett -  grounds out - 63
Jake Hager - grounds out - 63
Drew Vettleson - pops out - 5

Bot 1st:
Elias Diaz - grounds out - 53
Dan Gamache - lines a double to CF
Willy Garcia - HR to LF.  Run scores.
Stetson Allie - ROE by 3B Shaffer
Jose Osuna - grounds into force out at second - 54.  Throwing error by Brett, Osuna advances to second.
D.J. Crumlich - grounds out - 63

Top 2nd:
Richie Shaffer - lines out - 3
Alejandro Segovia - BB
Curt Casali - F9
Jeffrey Malm - grounds out - 43 - great diving catch by 2B Dan Gamache

Bot 2nd:
Taylor Lewis - double to deep RF
Benji Gonzalez - sac bunt.  Throwing error by pitcher Carpenter.  1 run scores.  Benji goes to second.
Ashley Ponce - sac bunt - 13 - Benji to third base.
Elias Diaz - BB
Dan Gamache - GDP - 463

Later in this game, excellent Charlotte play-by-play man, Marc Schwartz, raised the issue of earned runs and pitcher fielding errors.  If a pitcher commits a fielding error and a run scores as a result, shouldn't the pitcher be charged with an earned run?  Rule 10.16e dictates he be charged with an error and that the run is unearned, just as it would be had another fielder committed the error.  But, as Mr. Schwartz's argument goes, it's still the pitcher's fault, and he should not escape the accountability of an earned run by bobbling a fielding attempt.

After deliberating post-game around our mahogany conference table, the BBB editorial staff begs to differ.  The concept of the earned run, despite its flaws, attempts to measure the pitcher's pitching performance, not his fielding performance.  Therefore, any fielding errors committed by the pitcher should be excluded from his pitching metrics.

During his own explanation, Mr. Schwartz became less convinced of his opinion as he articulated it.  Rest assured, Mr. Schwartz, the BBB admits to having the same thought once also.

Top 3rd:
Willie Argo - F9
Kes Carter - bunt - 13
Ryan Brett - P6

Bot 3rd:
Willy Garcia - Line single up the middle almost took the pitcher's head off
Stetson Allie - BB
Jose Osuna - ground ball force out- 5U 
D.J. Crumlich - K
Taylor Lewis - K

T-shirt toss begins.  In a scene repeated a thousandfold throughout the land, grown men and women embarrass themselves over the prospect of receiving a free, probably ill-fitting T-shirt.

Top 4th:
Jake Hager - K
Drew Vettleson - 43
Richie Shaffer - (crushed foul ball to LF) hard single to LF
Alejandro Segovia - BB
Curt Casali - grounded into force out at third base - 5U

There is now a babyfood flavor tasting contest taking place in the stands.  

Bot 4th:
Benji Gonzalez - F8
Ashley Ponce - F7
Elias Diaz - K (Carpenter dropped a nice curve for a strike during the AB)

The difference between the starting pitchers' deliveries is striking.  Carpenter's is long and smooth, whereas Dodson's is jerky and ugly by comparison.  Carpenter's delivery is calligraphy.  Dodson's is a drunken text at 3 A.M.

Top 5th:
Jeffrey Malm - 43
Willie Argo - 53
Kes Carter - K 

Bot 5th:
Dan Gamache - lines a single to CF
Willie Garcia - K looking
Stetson Allie - F7
Jose Osuna - Despite diving attempt by CF Carter, doubles and sends Gamache to third
D.J. Crumlich - 53 (Nice pick in the dirt by first baseman Malm to save a run from scoring)

Top 6th:
Ryan Brett - Lined single to LF
Jake Hager - P8
Drew Vettleson - K
Richie Shaffer - double to LCF.  Run scores.
Alejandro Segovia - bloop single to CF - run scores
Curt Casali - Lined single to LF
Jeffrey Malm - Lined double to RF - 2 runs score
PITCHING CHANGE:  Dodson out, RHP Pat Ludwig in
Willie Argo - BB
Kes Carter - P1

In keeping with tonight's Babies on Deck promotion, intended to be a celebration of birth and motherhood, a stroller race is about to take place on third base side. Lovely young ladies Brooke and Cheyenne are the contestants.  Now one of them, let's just assume her name is Brooke, is unaware she is dragging her baby doll's head along the grass as she races to catch up with Cheyenne.  Brooke, unapologetic and without shame, leaves field with a smile after losing race to Cheyenne.

Bot 6th:
PITCHING CHANGE:  Carpenter out, RHP Eliazer Suero in
Taylor Lewis - BB
Benji Gonzalez - lined into double play.  6, 63
Ashley Ponce - double to RF
Elias Diaz - BB
Dan Gamache - BB

Mound visit.  Sting sings "Message in a Bottle" over speakers.

Willy Garcia - (during this at bat, the first base coach, Frank Kremblas, appears distracted by leftover fireworks being discharged somewhere in the distance over the right-field fence, is not looking anywhere near homeplate during the right-handed hitter's at bat)  single to LF - run scores - runner out at home by perfect 72 throw by Willie Argo

Top 7th:
Ryan Brett - 43
Jake Hager - 63

An old man wearing one of those old-school, oval Pirates hats and pretty powder-yellow shorts is now talking to Cheyenne.  Yes, powder-yellow shorts.

Drew Vettleson - lined double to RF
Richie Shaffer - 63

7TH-INNING STRETCH:  In a scene repeated a thousandfold throughout the land, a man, likely Brooke's dad by virtue of their proximity, wearing a buttoned-down, collared shirt with pictures of fish on it, dances enthusiastically to "YMCA".

Bot 7th:
PITCHING CHANGE: LHP Shay Crawford in, Eliazer Suero out
Stetson Allie - bloop single to LF
Jose Osuna - bunted into force out at second - 16
D.J. Crumlich - Osuna SB - K
Taylor Lewis - HBP
Benji Gonzalez - F9

There is now a race taking place beginning in LF.  Contestants are Cookie, Pickle, and Sandwich.  Pickle wins, but not without controversy.  For reasons known only to Pickle, he is holding the baby doll previously dragged across the field by Brooke.

Top 8th:

Alejandro Segovia - 63
Curt Casali - 53
Jeffrey Malm - lined double hard to RCF
Willie Argo - lined out to leaping second baseman Dan Gamache.  Brooke's father whistles loudly in appreciation.

During warmup, catcher Casali airmails throw to outfield higher than one would think possible.
Man wearing a tight yellow shirt walks down concourse.  He has an enormous belly and a tiny backpack.

Bot 8th:
Ashley Ponce - crowd suddenly becomes silent.  They know it's a close one.  Tie game. - 43
Elias Diaz - BB
Dan Gamache - F7
PITCHING CHANGE: Shay Crawford out, RHP Nate Garcia in
Willie Garcia - grounds into force out - 54

Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It" plays over the speakers.  Brooke's dad is feelin' it.  He chair dances like a man not wearing a fish shirt.

Bradenton catcher also airmails throw to second during warmup.  What the?

Top 9th:
PITCHING CHANGE:  Pat Ludwig out, RHP Ryan Beckman in
Kes Carter - triples off the wall in RCF
Ryan Brett - 53 with infield in
Jake Hager - 53 with infield in
Drew Vettleson - F7
Golden opportunity squandered.

"Blitzkrieg Bop" plays over speakers.  BBB staff is feelin' it, but does not chair dance.  Not even a little.

Bot 9th:
Stetson Allie - walk-off HR to CF

Kool & the Gang sing "Celebration" while Marauders storm field.  Launch-a-ball will begin soon.  Lightning appears in the distance like a high-school sophomore airbrushed it on the hood of his car.  Bright white lines appear briefly in front of dramatic bluish-gray clouds.  It looks pretty on the drive home across the DeSoto Bridge.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fu Fu Fu Fu-Lin Kuo

On display at the entrance to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa rests three of The Boss's most cherished personal belongings:  a poster from the film Dharti Sheran Di, an absolutely bitchin' 1974 AMC Gremlin, and a copy of Def Leppard's Pyromania on high-quality audio cassette.  It should come as no surprise, then, that the Tampa Yankees master of baseball ceremonies chose a selection from that titanic arena-rock masterwork to announce each plate appearance of Taiwanese infielder Fu-Lin Kuo.  

"Which song?" you wonder?  "Foolin', " of course.  So, let us proceed with the homophony in this, the BBB's first installment of Great Moments in Minor League Walk-up Music:

The BBB audio visual department would like you to take note of the fact this video contains a Def Leppard font, and that such a thing exists, for free, on the internet.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

RHP Corey Black and Something Called Head Whack

The 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which has now officially become the BBB's Southern Harmony and Musical Companion because it guides us and sheds light on eternal truths, states the following about right-handed Yankee pitching prospect Corey Black:  "His athleticism helps him repeat his release point and allowed him to adjust his delivery as a pro, eliminating a head whack that worried scouts."

It is unclear when the head whack returned, or if it ever really left, but this much is clear.  The video below is available for your viewing pleasure and, much like championship love-making, is slowed down for effect at singular, breathless moments.

Steinbrenner Field
Brevard County Manatees at Tampa Yankees

Sunday, April 21, 2013

UT Baseball Ties, Sets Records during Seventeen-Run, Eight-HBP Inning

Here's a baseball happening you've never heard of before.  Eight batters were hit by a pitch and seventeen runs accumulated during a single inning Saturday.  These record-setting events occurred during the seventh inning of game one of a double header between Eckerd College and the University of Tampa.  The HBPs set an NCAA record (across all divisions) for the most during a single inning and the seventeen runs scored in one inning tied a UT record.  One batter, Stephen Dezzi, was hit by a pitch during two different plate appearances in the inning that saw seven pinch hitters used.

From the UT baseball website (formatting by the BBB):

Tampa 7th - Witkowski to p for Owens. Ding singled to right center
(2-2). O'Brien hit by pitch (1-0); Ding advanced to second. Zimmerman hit by
pitch (3-1); O'Brien advanced to second; Ding advanced to third. Schrader hit
by pitch, RBI (0-0); Zimmerman advanced to second; O'Brien advanced to third;
Ding scored. Gawrych hit by pitch, RBI (3-2); Schrader advanced to second;
Zimmerman advanced to third; O'Brien scored. Horsfield to p for Witkowski.
Pippin pinch hit for Pendleton. Pippin singled up the middle, 2 RBI (0-2);
Gawrych advanced to second; Schrader scored; Zimmerman scored. Dezzi pinch hit
for Tillotson. Dezzi hit by pitch (0-0); Pippin advanced to second; Gawrych
advanced to third. Obrochta singled up the middle, 2 RBI (1-0); Dezzi advanced
to second; Pippin scored; Gawrych scored. Danner walked (3-1); Obrochta
advanced to second; Dezzi advanced to third. Pagliarulo pinch hit for Ding.
Pagliarulo singled to right field, RBI (0-0); Danner advanced to second;
Obrochta advanced to third; Dezzi scored. Alvord pinch hit for O'Brien. Alvord
singled to left field, RBI (1-2); Pagliarulo advanced to second; Danner
advanced to third; Obrochta scored. Franklin pinch hit for Zimmerman. Franklin
hit by pitch, RBI (0-1); Alvord advanced to second; Pagliarulo advanced to
third; Danner scored. Hughes pinch hit for Schrader. Langs to p for Horsfield.
Hughes reached on a fielder's choice, RBI (2-0); Franklin out at second 3b to
2b; Alvord advanced to third; Pagliarulo scored. Lowery pinch hit for Gawrych.
Lowery struck out looking (2-2). Pippin walked (3-2); Hughes advanced to
second. Dezzi hit by pitch, RBI (2-2); Pippin advanced to second; Hughes
advanced to third; Alvord scored. Obrochta hit by pitch, RBI (3-2); Dezzi
advanced to second; Pippin advanced to third; Hughes scored. Danner singled to
first base, RBI (1-1); Obrochta advanced to second; Dezzi advanced to third;
Pippin scored. Pagliarulo singled to left center, 2 RBI (0-0); Danner advanced
to second; Obrochta scored; Dezzi scored. Clagg to p for Langs. Alvord singled
up the middle (2-2); Pagliarulo advanced to second; Danner advanced to third.
Franklin reached on a fielding error by 3b (0-0); Alvord advanced to second;
Pagliarulo advanced to third; Danner scored, unearned. Hughes singled up the
middle, RBI (2-0); Franklin advanced to second; Alvord advanced to third;
Pagliarulo scored. Lowery popped up to 1b (1-0). 17 runs, 9 hits, 1 error, 3

Astute readers may remember the BBB once criticized those who highlight failure with glee, and point out in today's post, thanks to the bleeding-edge technologies of the Blogger-brand blogging platform, that we have literally highlighted failure with glee.  So be it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field

This post serves little purpose other than to share the following information:
  1. The BBB recently traveled to see the University of Miami host Florida State at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

  2. There is actually a ballpark named "Alex Rodriguez Park".  This fact becomes somewhat less surprising when you consider he paid for it.

    To be precise, he contributed $3.9 million dollars to its construction upgrades.  The alumni were somewhat displeased that his name was affixed to the stadium's scoreboard.  The school frequently refers to the stadium as "The Light", in reference to Mark Light, son of the stadium's original benefactor. Mark died of muscular dystrophy.

  3.  You may recognize the name Charlie Leibrandt, former left-handed pitcher of the crafty variety for Kansas City.  According to Royals Review, Mr. Leibrandt is the twenty-fifth greatest Royal of all time.  His son, Brandon Leibrandt, is the pitcher in the video below.  He is also a leftyStill a college pitcher, his level of craft is yet to be determined.  He gives up a walk to Hurricane batter Dale Carey, ranked eighty-fifth in the College Top 100 prospect list of the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  This is the BBB's favorite new book.

  4.  The batting cages are named the "Pat Burrell Batting Cages".  We've not fully researched this, but we're jumping to a conclusion as to why they are named this. 

    Pat Burrell did not perform well as a Tampa Bay Ray.  He was paid quite handsomely while not performing well.

  5.  High above the Light, and many other ballparks, the American flag continues to fly.  There is really no point to the video below, other than to show you that Brandon Leibrandt exists, Dale Carey exists, a scoreboard with the words "Alex Rodriguez Park" exists, and most assuredly, the American flag still exists.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Yao-Lin Wang Dominates America!

Hello readers.  We're back with another regularly-scheduled occasional post.  This time we bring you video from last night's matchup between the Daytona Cubs and Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The BBB scouting department, which employs zero actual scouts, recently invested in the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  This $32.95 purchase ushers in a new day for the BBB.  No longer will we sit in confused ignorance as nameless minor league jerseys perform athletic feats before us.  Now we have backstories, scouting reports, draft and contract details for the top thirty prospects in each MLB organization.  It is really quite nice to read a quick summary of a player as he approaches the plate, then see those descriptions come alive before you during the at-bat.  Does the batter have a long swing, quick hands, trouble with breaking pitches, or above-average gap power?  It's pretty neat to learn these things then be able to see them for yourself during the plate appearance.    This does become problematic however, when you're trying to read and watch the game at the same time.  Frequently, there is the urge to press pause on some non-existent life remote.

Moving on to things we can control, let's proceed to the video.  This game had several highly-ranked prospects.  Javier Baez is the no. 1-ranked prospect in the Cubs organization.  The Yankees had their no. 1-, 3-, and 7-ranked prospects on display in Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, and Angelo Gumbs, respectively.  Interestingly, each of these top Yankee prospects went down on strikes to Taiwanese RHP Yao-Lin Wang.   Wang boasts a 9.68 K/9 across 183 minor league innings, dating back to 2010.  He's not listed in the Prospect Handbook but it was fun to watch nonetheless as he pitched four innings, striking out five batters, and only gave up one hit and a walk.

 This video also features #3-ranked Yankees prospect, catcher Garry Sanchez.

Additionally, the videos sparked some interest from a Taiwanese baseball site,  The BBB received a secret back channel communication from the proprietor of that fine internet outpost requesting permission to share the videos with the glorious people of Taiwan.  Rejoice, Taiwan, for on this day your right-handed hero dominates America!  We welcome the Taiwanese people and their virtuous women to the BBB.  Please join us for some freshly-squeezed American baseball and orange juice.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Zach Powers Hits Two Grand Slams in front of God and Everybody

On Sunday at McKethan Stadium – Perry Field, the beautiful weather was not so much sent to us by the heavens as much as it was bestowed upon us for appearing at communion.  The high reached 54° F, the winds were occasional, and the sky was 100% clear.  The smiling sun radiated warmth onto our grateful faces and we were gladdened by it and we forgave it of its summer sins.  Ospreys soared toward their nests atop light poles and Spanish moss curved gently in the distance. Why did Don Shula fight off the Conquistadors at the Battle of Little Havana in 1970?  It was so we might enjoy days like this.  Even outposts have altars.  Even savages need worship.

Once again placing a visual obstruction between himself and his subject, the official BBB photographer snapped the photo shown above – the only photo he was to take that day - in the bottom of the seventh inning, mere moments before Zach Powers hit a grand slam over the right field wall.  Then, greedily, Mr. Powers hit another grand slam in the bottom of the eighth.  Coincidence?  The official BBB photographer is prideful and thinks not.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Loggionisti and the Belfry Buffo

Any Italian opera devotee, which clearly you are if you’re here at the BBB, knows the loggionisti, sitting high in the galleries of Italian opera houses, will voice their displeasure by loudly booing any performance they deem unworthy. They are fanatical, listening to recorded operas three or four times before arriving at the opera house so as to more fully appreciate every note during the live performance. They are demanding of the performers and they spare no one. Both Luciano Pavarotti and Maria Callas have felt their wrath. Sometimes the loggionisti throw bouquets, not of roses, but of radishes and turnips.

Contrast that lofty group with the rattle-and-clang clan of partisan supporters perched within Tropicana Field’s upper-deck sections 300 and 302, also known as The Belfry:

Any visiting batsman who strikes out will be escorted back to the dugout by the chorus of the Belfry:  “Left, right, left, right, left, right … Sit down!”  The man’s sign reads “LEFT”, the woman’s sign reads “RIGHT”, and the boy's sign reads "SIT DOWN".  He is struggling to open it before the batter finishes walking back to the dugout.  Much like the loggionisti, the denizens of the Belfry obviously care deeply about the event they attend, perhaps too deeply.  The video just above, taken by the official BBB videographer, is set in the ninth inning with the score 12 to 1 in favor of the Rays.  It appears there is no dimmer on the Belfry's passion switch.

Although the loggionisti vocalize their displeasure at performers who fail to meet their expectations of excellence, the inhabitants of the Belfry appear to shout for an altogether different reason. They seem motivated to shame or humiliate the men striking out. They are not cheering for their team as much as they are cheering against the opponent. The loggionisti protest failure, but the Belfry highlights it with glee.

You're probably wondering, "Who are these people and why do they behave this way?"  The answer is clear, patrons.  These are the Defenders of Excellence we were promised.  These are the heroic heldentenors come to bath us in the salubrious blood of dragons.  Failure has a new foe and he wears durable cotton cargo khakis.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stage Slaps

A sober Rob Neyer, probably.
Photo: Jana Birchum/Getty Images

Recently I read a NotGraphs post by the wonderful Carson Cistulli about the wonderful Rob Neyer.  Afterward, I remembered, perhaps correctly, but perhaps not, that Mr. Neyer once wrote that he attended consecutive Sonic Youth concerts.  I also remembered that Mr. Neyer lives in Portland, Oregon, the titular land of Carrie Brownstein's Portlandia - the very same Carrie Brownstein of the band Sleater-Kinney.  In an attempt to amuse myself and others, I left the following comment:

Many years ago, I once saw an inebriated Rob Neyer run on stage at a Sleater-Kinney concert. He performed a thirty-second air-guitar solo, then nervously handed Carrie Brownstein a note from his pocket. She read it and slapped him, then kissed him passionately. The band later thanked him in the liner notes of their second album.

Enamored with the comment's structure and potential for variations on the theme, I created a few more, each of which contains lies of the bold-faced variety and some bit of true detail relevant to the baseball personality discussed in that particular post.  Each comment begins with a dramatic taking-of-the-stage maneuver, followed by some manner of outrageous behavior, and culminates with an indignant slapping of the protagonist.  The particular comment below regards a Floridian, and therefore in the eyes of the BBB editorial staff, is the thing on which this entire collection hangs its hat.


Many years ago, I witnessed a drunken Tom Emanski clamber atop the first base dugout at his Baseball World training grounds in Fern Park, Florida. To the surprise of none of the 11-and-under class, Mr. Emanski let loose a profane, yet meandering, tirade at the children’s lack of hustle during PFP drills. Eventually becoming sleepy and forgetful as to the reason he began speaking, Mr. Emanski lay down and began napping. The children, seeking retaliation, climbed onto the dugout and slapped their coach repeatedly with the rosin bag and his demanding clipboard.


Many years ago, at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, I witnessed a drunken Zane Smith stumble on stage at a Bob Seger concert. During a particularly heartfelt rendition of “We’ve Got Tonight”, Mr. Smith held aloft his Zippo lighter and somehow managed to ignite his mullet and eyebrows. A cadre of roadies slapped Mr. Smith repeatedly with stage rugs until he was able to walk off of his own accord, leaving nothing behind but regret and the charred remains of a Ronnie James Dio concert tee.



 Many years ago, I saw a drunken Steve Stone grab the mic from a piano songstress at the Ambassador East Hotel lounge in Chicago. Mr. Stone then lowered his trousers and said, “I’ve got some ivories you can tickle.” An enraged Harray Caray bounded on stage and slapped Mr. Stone about the head and neck. The songstress and Mr. Caray shared twenty-five beautiful years together before she succumbed to tertiary syphilis in 1987.





A drunken Dayn Perry, probably.

Many years ago, I saw a shirtless and inebriated Dayn Perry jump on stage at a White Lion concert. He performed a thirty-second air-guitar solo, then vomited on a Marshall amplifier. The lead singer slapped him, then kissed him passionately. The band later thanked him in their Grammy Award acceptance speech.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tino Martinez Joins Marlins Coaching Staff

Marc Topkin informs us that Tino Martinez will join the Miami Marlins as hitting coach for the 2013 season.  Mr. Martinez is probably most well-known for winning eleventy world championship rings while playing for the Yankees and also for standing in line in front of me once at the Channelside movie theater.  Yes, it was a special moment for both of us.

This is also an opportune time to mention that Mr. Martinez used to play for the University of Tampa, as evidenced here on the UT list of Spartans drafted into the majors.  And by the way, the UT baseball season begins in just 15 days.  UT schedule here.  The ballpark there at UT offers a pleasing vista of downtown Tampa, which you can enjoy while scarfing down freshly-grilled hotdogs and calling kinfolk up north to brag that you're watching baseball on February 1st.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Power and the Glory of Ricardo Taveras

Madeleine Albright once said, “The sound of baseball on the radio makes me horny.”  To each her own, as the saying goes, but the visceral effect of some voices is undeniable nonetheless.  The BBB already expressed its admiration for the voice of Dave Wills, English-language radio broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Rays on WDAE, 620 AM, and now we will  express admiration for another.

Having spent our formative years in the sultry caldron that is Hialeah, Florida, we developed a fondness for the euphony of the Spanish language, despite never learning to speak it fluently.  For this reason we are quite impressed with the subject of today’s post and we are very excited to bring it to you.   The voice you are about to hear is both urgent and compelling, as you will soon discover.

A brief note is in order before we roll tape.  The BBB editorial staff instructed the audio-visual department to capture video of the Rays Spanish-language broadcasters, Enrique Oliu and Ricardo Taveras, calling a game versus the Chicago White Sox on September 29th, 2012.  The audio-visual department joined the BBB en masse via the employee referral program, courtesy of the official BBB photographer, known incompetent and consistent under-performer.  So, it will come as no surprise to the reader that this crack staff, given its assignment, proceeded to prop up an iPad atop an ironing board, and aim it in the general direction of a television while a nearby portable radio blasted the sounds of WGES 680 AM.

Remarkably, the results are sufficient for our purposes, and it could be said the general effect is quite nice, although unintended, and reminiscent of the film technique whereby directors briefly show trivial events being displayed on a television, in order to bring into sharper relief the much more interesting concerns of the film’s plot.  The difference here is that the events on the television, and more importantly, the descriptions of said events heard over the airwaves, are the stars of the show.
Ricky T.

So, having produced enough ado, the BBB presents to you…

the power…

and the glory…

of Ricardo Taveras:

WARNING:  Before pressing play, prepare sufficient personal space for the flurry of nerdly fist pumps you will execute during home run calls.

It should go without saying that while preparing this post, many of the BBB staff thoroughly annoyed their office mates at the end of each day by shouting “¡ABREME LA PUERTA PORQUE ME VOY!  ¡ADIÓS!”.  (Open the door for me because I'm going!  Goodbye!)  Following dumb ideas offered at meetings, “¡SWIIIING …ABANICA, SIÉNTATE!” was the chorus call (Swing and a miss, sit down!).  And in case the reader should ever forget, Ricardo Taveras will remind you, “¡Esto es béisbol de Grandes Ligas!”