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!”

Thursday, January 10, 2013

David Price on Cover of MLB2K13

Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times informs us that Rays pitcher, 2012 A.L. Cy Young Award winner, and man-about-town David Price will be on the cover of this year's MLB2K13 video game.  The BBB, who sometimes flirts with the idea of posting more frequently, decided to run with this story because we could probably bang something out real quick.

So here is a list of the players who have previously been on the cover of MLB2K and their FanGraphs WAR for that year.  

2004 Jason Giambi:  0.1

2005 Derek Jeter:  4.7

2006 Derek Jeter:  6.3

2007 Derek Jeter:  3.8

2008 Jose Reyes:  6.4 (career high)

2009 Tim Lincecum:  8.0 (career high)

2010 Evan Longoria:  7.7 (career high)

2011 Roy Halladay:  8.1 (career high)

2012 Justin Verlander:  6.8 (not a career high but still quite excellent, and he was featured prominently in TV commercials with the lovely Kate Upton, which is a different sort of career high, really)

2013 David Price:  ???

(Coincidentally, the number of beautiful, charming women who texted or called the BBB as we gathered this baseball/video game data was remarkably close to Giambi's WAR total above.)

So there you have it.  MLB2K clearly had no clue the first year, appealed to blatant market economics with the three consecutive Jeter selections, but then got it right the next four years, and didn't miss by much in 2012.  So, Price should be feeling pretty good right now, although not quite as good as he was here.

Post conceived and executed like a boss in under 30 minutes.  Somewhere a Dew-fueled gamer by the name of xXx_sn1p3R_SKILLZ_YO_xXx is shouting "BOOM, THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE, SON!"

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Raymond Kicks a Klingon's Ass, Don Shula Approves

When in the Course of baseball Events it becomes necessary for one being to strike blows upon another, for the purpose of holding steadfast the tattered flag of benevolent dominion in opposition to the encroaching and generally antithetical-to-Sport science fiction crowd, and in defense of that which Don Shula intended Baseball to be (when he created Baseball as a leisure time activity while resting beneath umbrellaed patio furniture outside a Little Havana bodega in 1970), a decent respect to the opinions of our Baseball Nation requires that he drop the Hammer Fist of Furry Fury upon the aggressors, pantalooned and virginal,  trespassing onto lands not their own. 

That is to say, stay out of Baseball, Klingons.  Don Shula doesn't want you here.

filet mignon Klingon