Things That Need To Happen: A Baseball Christmas Movie

Several summers ago, whilst at a New Market Rebels game with my siblings, we got into a discussion about baseball movies. Not an uncommon topic for fans such as ourselves, of course, but somehow the conversation ended with the three of us deciding that what the world really needs is a baseball film with a Christmas motif. It would be a perfect thing… you could watch it during the baseball season to get a little of the Christmas spirit, or you could watch it during the Christmas season to get a little of the baseball spirit. A win-win if ever there was one, right?

Crafting a story that involves both Christmas and baseball heavily might present a bit of a challenge. But if there are Christmas movies about martians, and terrorists, and leprechauns, I see no reason why it could not be accomplished. Consider this my petition to Hollywood. You people need to get on it. In the meantime, I would settle for a hockey Christmas movie. Especially right now. Because there is no hockey, and I miss it.

To help get the ball rolling, I have concocted several ideas that would be totally feasible.

#1- “Dominican December”: A holiday-hating minor leaguer goes to play in a winter league in the Dominican Republic only to learn he can’t escape the true meaning of Christmas.

#2- “The Shortest Shortstop”: One of Santa’s helpers spends his life making mitts in the workshop while dreaming of one day being able to play baseball himself. His fellow elves help make his dream come true by organizing a surprise game on Christmas Day. (28 minutes long and in stop motion)

#3- “Deck The Hall of Fame”: A special hour-long documentary about how Cooperstown gets gussied up for the holidays.

#4- “It’s A Wonderful Baseball Christmas Carol”: A young ballplayer about to give up on his dream is visited by the spirits of three baseball legends on Christmas Eve. They restore his faith in the game, himself, AND Christmas.

#5- Homer For The Holidays: STARRING Sarah Chalke and James Roday, with David Ogden Stiers as Santa Claus. A stressed-yet-spirited single mom and a cocky major leaguer meet on Christmas Eve in Minneapolis and fall in love within 42 minutes of so doing (although it takes another 46 minutes and a number of hilarious holiday hijinks before either will admit it).  For Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel. Obviously.

#6- “How Joe Mauer Saved Christmas”: I don’t know, but according to the first poll ever conducted at The FBB, 33.33% of you thought I should write this screenplay.

How ’bout it, readers? What are your excellent ideas for a holiday baseball film?








Holiday Shopping Guide 2012

Everyone has their own special Christmas traditions. Mine include baking/eating an obscene amount of cookies, having nothing but Muppet Christmas Carol songs stuck in my head for a month, and rolling my eyes every time my mother casually suggests getting an artificial tree.

And then there is this, the FBB shopping guide. It’s been a few years, I think it can qualify as a tradition. It tends to toe the line between awesome and demented, not unlike anything else you see here at this blog. But it also gives me an excuse to spend an unholy amount of time browsing on Etsy. So, basically… I like my holiday shopping guides. I hope you do, too.

I present you now with installment numero uno for this 2012 Christmas season.


The ???

Country Baseball Snowman Ornament: I can’t decide whether I like this or not. On the bright side, I suppose if you were to buy it and then decided it didn’t suit, you could always break the nose off and have a catch. Neat

“The Catch” Infographic Poster: I’m a total geek when it comes to baseball infographics, so it will come as no surprise that this made me ohh and ahh.

Cubs Wall Art Logo: Another something that I would totally hang on my wall.

Chicago CUBS wall art logo 12" diameter - white and red with rust patina - indoor outdoor

The Frightening

“Archie“: Don’t worry. I know he looks a little scary, but I’m sure “Archie” is perfectly harmless. He doesn’t come alive at night when you’re sleeping and bite off your fingers or anything like that. No worries.

Hand Painted Baseball Funny Face - Archie

The Wearable

Cubs Tees: Who doesn’t love an original Cubs tee? Here are two winners.

Vintage Chicago Cubs T-Shirt Heather Gray

Wrigley Field Chicago Cubs T-Shirt

1967 Wool State Champions Jacket: It’s vintage, yo.

1967 wool state baseball champions jacket size L

The Ire Inspiring

Boys/Girls Baseball Sign: This is the sort of thing that just irks me. Further commentary might lead to some kind of unpleasant baseball-feminist She-Hulk incident, so I shall refrain for the good of us all.

Sports Sign / Boys Love Baseball Girls Love Baseball Players - Hand Painted Handcrafted Signs

An Ode To Darwin Barney

As the Major League regular season winds down, I find myself pausing to reflect upon it. Sadly, it has not been a year to remember for the Cubs. Yet there are always a few bright spots, if you’re willing to look at them. Alone at the top of this year’s bright spots is Darwin Barney. As a small token of my appreciation for the efforts he has put forward in 2012, I have written the following poem. Don’t judge my poetic skills too harshly. It’s the thought that counts.
Darwin Barney… Cubs second baseman… You know ‘im.
Well, he’s been so delightful, he deserves his own poem.
His on-the-field efforts have been nothing but pleasin’,
And especially stand out this forgettable season.

He makes all the plays, sometimes leaping or spinning
And he hasn’t messed up for a whole lot of innings.
Whether it be routine, or web-gem deserving,
Darwin’s defense is a pleasure observing.

Now, Brandon Phillips has praised himself highly
While Darwin’s expressions are made much more shyly.
On the latter alone will I shower my love,
And, if I had a say? He would get the Gold Glove.

He might not receive much acclaim o’er his bat,
And yet, I wouldn’t just leave it at that.
He isn’t like Babe, or those muscle-man batters-
Darwin doesn’t hit homers, except when it matters.

He has bloomed in front of our eyes, like a lotus-
And even if some haven’t bothered to notice,
Most others among us are duly elated
And his efforts are very appreciated.

Oh, the Empire State has its building, and Sydney its opera house;
Africa has elephants, and Orlando a talking mouse.
China has its great big wall, and Ireland has its Blarney,
But Chicago has the Chicago Cubs, and the Cubs have Darwin Barney.

Seeing Double: Chapter Nine

I know I’ve been slacking around here lately. The inspiration well has been on the dry side. But, hey… if a good ol’ fashioned Seeing Double post won’t help to make things up, I don’t know what will.
To the doppelgangers!


Homer Bailey/Christian Bale

In the interest of honesty, I have to tell you that I didn’t come up with this one myself… I saw it mentioned on ESPN. But who could resist circulating such an uncanny resemblance?
Of course, Mr. Bailey may LOOK like Mr. Bale, but he has a long way to go to catch up in the awesomeness department. I mean, only one of these guys was cool enough to have played Batman a singing, dancing newsboy.

Chris Denorfia/Brooks Laich

Every time I see Chris Denorfia on television, he reminds me a bit of my favorite hockey player. The resemblance in any of the picture I could find was not so strong. Oh well.

Ryan Braun/Blake Ritson

I was watching some Jane Austen adaptation or other with this Ritson fellow in it, and I couldn’t figure out why I was so repulsed by him. Eventually I realized it was because he reminded me of Ryan Braun.

Jed Hoyer/Chris Kattan

I’ve tried. But I can’t shake it.

Jim Hendry/Kevin Whately

One more from the executive division.

Rich Hill/Russell Tovey

Aaand one more from the Lizzy-watches-too-much-British-television department.


Wildcard Wednesday: All Star Edition

How happy for me that it’s Wednesday, and that I’m not forced to present my random thoughts and observations from last evening’s All Star Game in an organized manner!
Giant blowout: NL routs AL 8-0 in All-Star game

The National League won for the third year in a row, and they did it in convincing fashion. No one who did not possess omniscient knowledge would have predicted the American League lads getting trounced 8-0. Before the game started, I told my brother that I thought the AL would win, that they had the better team. He agreed, adding that if the NL did pull it out, it would only be if the contest were a low-scoring affair (2-1, or 3-2).

All this only goes to further prove that sage utterance of Yogi Berra, “In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”


Seeing Double?: I was quite struck by this photograph of Ryan Braun.

The bulging eyes… the chop-licking… the wild expression. It definitely reminds me of something, and I’m still not 100% sure what, but I think it might be this:

Shoes: A number of the All Stars last night were arrayed with the most ostentatious footwear I have ever seen on a baseball diamond. Bryce Harper, for instance, was sporting spikes of gold. I imagine if any of them had clicked their heels together three times, they might have ended up in Kansas.See if I don’t start calling the Nats’ rookie phenom “Goldenboy” from here on.

Oopsy Daisy: Bryce Harper, besides being flashily shod, got everyone’s attention by losing a fly ball in the night sky. It dropped several feet behind him. It might sound unkind, but I was really happy over this miscue. Landing in the MLB All Star Game at the tender young age of 19 isn’t going to do Mr. Harper’s ego any favors. I like to think that the embarrassing play might have tempered the effects just a smidgin.

Boo Birds: Robinson Cano found himself the recipient of more choruses of boos last night. Even though he was playing for the very team that the majority of the crowd was presumably rooting for… I can’t help wondering if they really thought that through. It is also amusing that some of the same folks who derided the KC faithful for their classlessness in booing Mr. Cano applauded their “classy” move of giving Chipper Jones a standing ovation.

Injustice!: Rafael Furcal remained in the game through 7 innings before Starlin Castro, the only other shortstop, was given a chance. But I’m sure it had nothing to do with Tony LaRussa being biased or anything. No, not at all. *Rolls Eyes*

FOX Broadcast: As tedious as ever.

Cubbies: It never seems to matter how boring the All Star festivities are, or how unlistenable the broadcast is, or how bad a year the Cubs are having. I am always happy and excited and proud to see the Cubs representatives at the Midsummer Classic.
Aren’t they darling?

2012 Home Run Derby: A Pictorial Review

Last evening’s home run derby was (as home run derbies tend be) rather dull and very long, with just enough amusing bits to keep me from turning it off altogether. In years past, my favorite part of the event (bar none) has been gleaning pictures from the event off of the internet. You know, those pictures that have various big leaguers watching the derby with their children. I love those pictures. They induce innumerable “awwww” sounds from me every time, and then I can patch together a blog post out of them to boot.
For whatever reason, there have not been the usual wealth of these sorts of photos this year. I’m afraid there are a but a disappointing few.  You will find them below, along with a smattering of other photos from the derby. Continue reading

Puppy Love

Are you all geared up for the MLB All Star Game next week? No? That’s great, because I’m not, either. I’ll watch it, no doubt, to cheer on Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair (should either make an appearance). I may need a supply of rubber bands to shoot at the television whenever certain broadcasters become particularly insufferable… in fact, I would recommend this measure to everyone. Until the All Star events actually commence, however, let us not trouble ourselves to think about them.

I’d rather think of other things for the time being. Like puppies.

Yes, puppies. And kittens.

Last year I had a post which consisted of little more than photos of MLB players with an assortment of furry critters. Since that well has yet to run dry, I figured it was a fine time to add another. And here it is.

Most of these are from pet calendars that were produced for charity. All are at least a little bit adorable.


Houston Astros outfielder Jason Michaels poses with a feline friend.

O’s manager Buck Showalter and his quartet of Basset Hounds.

Cards and Clydesdales. It looks as if they’re trying to act like those horses don’t intimidate them, but I’m not buying it.

Trevor Hoffman. Baseball’s all-time saves leader is a lot less intimidating with that handsome pup in his arms.

Doggies in the dugout! I do not know the identities of these three Mets players, but who cares? The puppies are way more interesting. Look how cute the one on the far right is!

Holding a puppy becomes you, Brian McCann. Wearing an adjustable cap backwards? No so much.

Rich Hill! Remember Rich Hill, guys? I do. And this might be my favorite picture in the history of time. Although this next one is also in the running…

Look at that cat! Magnificent.