Postseason Roundup, Round One

2010 has certainly lived up to its billing as “Year of the Pitcher” in the first round of the playoffs. Roy Halladay did his thing. Cole Hamels: complete game shutout. Tim Lincecum: complete game shutout. Jonathan Sanchez: 7.1 innings, 1 run. Tim Hudson: 7 shutout innings. Phil Hughes: 7 runless innings. Cliff Lee: 16 total innings, 2 runs. CJ Wilson: 6.1 scoreless frames. Strikeouts are comin’ out the wazoo, and bases on balls are an endangered species. You know guys must be doing pretty well when you can make fun of Matt Garza’s 1 run in 6 innings. The only stinky pitching came from the quarters of Minnesota and Cincinnati. Even that wasn’t all stinky. Bronson Arroyo did alright. Seriously though, if this continues I expect the remainder of the postseason to be all kinds of delicious. (A Barry Zito-CJ Wilson World Series pitching match-up is still my ultimate dream.)

But how did my predictions hold up through round one? Behold:

Philly over Cincy in the battle of red-colored NL teams I can’t stand? Check. Kooky, quirky San Francisco over Bobby Cox’s Bravos? Check. Yankees over the Twins? Obviously. And the nail-biting down to the wire Rays-Rangers series? RANGERS TAKE IT!!! * Fist Pump * On a side note, if you are interested, tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers are: 10 14 23 26 31 and 42.

Here are some photographic highlights from the opening round series (one for each team):

Texas celebrates its series win with ginger ale so as to include Josh Hamilton in the festivities. A commendable decision, to say in the least.

You can cut your hair now, Mr. Longoria.

The San Francisco Giants offer a salute to Atlanta’s Bobby Cox after their series win. Classy.

Bobby says goodbye

……

No October smiles for Brandon Phillips.

Is it cold, CC?

See you next year, Mr. Mauer.

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Wildcard Wednesday: All-Starry Night

While last evening’s All Star Game was riddled with a million little things that made me want to throw forks and spoons at the television set, it was also the best Midsummer Classic I’ve ever watched. The NL at last ended that 14 year streak, thanks in no small part to lone Cub rep Marlon Byrd, and my favorite major-league catcher, Brian McCann. Kudos and kisses to those fellas.

Here are a couple of quotes from last night:

“I’m going to host the whole thing. … I’m going to host it—have some fun, smile, kiss some babies.” -Torii Hunter, of the host LA Angels of A

“Catchers know. He can bang. He can flat-out rake, and the reason he doesn’t get noticed very much is because he’s that good of a catcher. Good catchers don’t get noticed. That’s the job, and he’s just out there every year, getting it done and being one of the best in the game.” -John Buck (Toronto)

“Marlon made a good throw to second and it was a great play. It was the only play he had. If that ball gets by him, it would have been second and third with one out. I’m happy for Marlon. He deserves it. I’m proud of him.” -Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati)

“I don’t like the Cubs. And I’m not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back.” -Joey Votto (Cincinnati)

Mr. Phillips > Mr. Votto

And now, here are a bunch of pictures. Because I’m lazy and don’t feel like writing any more.

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and family in the pre-game parade thing.

Jose Valverde… shudder. He just looks like a villain.

Peekaboo, Jason Heyward!

How nice that they let this poor little crippled boy onto the field! Oh, wait…

People need to quit booing the Yankees. See? Even A’s closer Andrew Bailey there in the background thinks it’s funny.

The very All-Starriest of All Stars.

Byrd = Wyrd.

He done done us proud.

At last! A happy ending for the National League. Let’s do it again next year, y’all!

“He’s a male bimbo… he’s a mimbo.”

Welcome to the Fair Base Ballist’s countdown of the biggest “mimbos” in Major League Baseball! I am beyond pleased to bring you this list.  Many bloggers before me have compiled lists of  MLB’s most attractive players, or MLB players most attractive wives, etc., Those lists are always alienating and/or offensive to someone, or at least include some really alarming selections. The mimbo list, on the other hand, is great fun for everyone! I’ve narrowed my list to 12 players. I will reveal them four at a time in three installments.

Allow me to explain what characterizes a mimbo is the world of Major League Baseball, then we’ll get started. I used four simple criteria to decide my picks: attitude, hairstyle, hobbies (modeling, recording music, yoga, etc.,) and my own success in unearthing incriminating photographs. Now, without further ado, the first installment! Enjoy!

#12: Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays) Photographic evidence was surprisingly hard to come by, but Mr. Longoria still made the list by the skin of his teeth. I just feel he belongs.

#11: Ryan Theriot (Chicago Cubs) I hate to include The Riot, but it must be done! It’s out of love, I promise.

#10: Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies) The term “Chutley” is actually a synonym for “mimbo.”

#9: Grady Sizemore (Cleveland Indians) Doomed by his boyish good looks.

More to come, ladies and gents. Look for the final two installments in the next week or so.

“Mrs. Clayton, I’m receiving a psychic transmission from your husband. Really more of a voice mail. Status update. Perhaps a twitter.”

Quite a few ballplayers have jumped aboard the bandwagon that is Twitter and their numbers are increasing all the time (MLB keeps a list of those that are verified.) This is the primary reason I signed up myself. I now realize that Twitter is good for other things, too, but following baseball players is still the funnest part. What follows are my rulings on most of the Tweeting players, in random order. I’ve included a sample “tweet” from each one.

Joakim Soria (@JoakimSoria): My favorite munchkin-faced Kansas City closer tweets infrequently. This is perfectly fine, as it indicates he has a healthy lifestyle and is not spending too much time on the internet. I love his use of the English language with a passion. Ruling: Ground rule double

mmm is boring because i am not going to play winter ball because my wife is pregnant and she needs of my care”

CJ Wilson (@str8edgeracer): Not too enthusing, unless you are particularly interested in fancy cars or in CJ Wilson himself. Ruling: Balk

when I’m at the airport and I see stair cars, it reminds me of season 2 of arrested development”

Nick Swisher (@NickSwisher): I want to like Mr. Swisher, but his tweets are about as interesting as a trip to the DMV. Ruling: Rally-killing strike out.

Yankees win. Yankees win. The Yankees win. What a game. Wow”

Jason Grilli (@GrillCheese49): I enjoy Mr. Grilli enough to have recently traded a Bowman Heritage David Price rookie card for his own rookie card. He recently held followers in great suspense by divulging that he’d signed with a team, but not revealing who. We now know that the club in question is Cleveland, but the mystery was fun while it lasted. Ruling: Stand-up triple

Put the pen to paper. It is being sent out tomorrow. Sorry to keep ya all waiting. Just gotta respect my emplo http://tweetphoto.com/5591303″

Matt Kemp (@MattKemp27): For a significant while, I was not at all fond of Mr. Kemp. He has narrowly redeemed himself as of late by posting random photos of his grandmother’s cooking. Ruling: Bloop single

Yessir!!!! http://twitpic.com/rhjul

Rich Thompson/Ryan Rowland-Smith (@Chopper63/@hyphen18): I do not honestly know the difference between these two Australian AL West relief pitchers. But they’re Aussie baseball players… what more do you want? Ruling: Clean single

“http://twitpic.com/qw6k1 – The stash is coming in strong, not long to go! Movember.com”

First Day of Summer in the land of AUS!”

Seth McClung (@73_MC): Mostly talks about his baby, his wife, and his X-Box. Pleasant enough that I forgive him for being a Brewer. Ruling: RBI base hit

Little Madison is having a fussy day. Steph is out and it is my 1stday where Im alone dealing with a fussy baby! I finaly got her 2 sleep.”

Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon): Offers his managerial insight and answers fans’ questions, but also abbreviates too much. It’s OK to spread it between two tweets, Joe. Ruling: Base on balls

Off season we’ll take a break 4 a month or 2 B4 getting back after it. Winning in 2010 begins this winter. I stay in touch w/phone & emails”

Billy Butler (@BillyButlerKC): Pleasant in the same way that Seth McClung is. Ruling: solid single

Happy Anniversary to my wife! Been together for 6yrs & married for 2yrs! She is my best friend.”

Espy” Teahen (@ESPY_teahen): Mark Teahen tweets from the perspective of his dog. I’d prefer him without the gimmick. Ruling: E5

I’m only a dog, but even I know better than to cheer for the Redskins!”

Eric Young (@Eyjr): His tweets lack substance, but Mr. Young gets some points for seeming perpetually cheerful. Ruling: Reaches base on a dropped 3rd strike.

Rise & Grind tweeters. Let’s have productive days!”

Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria): A bit too fond of retweeting messages from female fans who think he’s attractive. Ruling: Strike out on a foul bunt attempt

“Taken a ton of pics of the trip to LA with my digital cam. Will share them in the next few days.” (Note: HE NEVER DID.)

Dirk Hayhurst (@TheGarfoose): Mr. Hayhurst makes checking one’s Twitterfeed a worthwhile pursuit. He is delightfully random and conducts frequent trivia contests with exciting prizes for the winners. Ruling: Walk-off grand-slam

Yes, I am a big league pitcher who sews, paints, writes, sculpts, loves his wife more than his paycheck, & has other interests besides ball.”

The jury is still out on: Craig Breslow (@CraigBreslow), Blake Hawksworth (@BlakeHawksworth), John Lannan (@Jlannan31), Colin Balester (@ballystar40)