Friday, March 12, 2010

History of Baseball 301 (Part 2)

You might often wonder why there aren't more instances of bat related violence in baseball. Especially when batters are on the business end of the 90 plus mph fastballs. One reason we don't see more baseball bat bruising and bludgeoning is the very intricate and legal art of arguing with officials.

"Jane! Get me off of this crazy thing!"

Tommy Lasorda is one hell of a manager and made the practice of invading an umpire's personal space an important element of 80's and 90's baseball. However, to find the best case of a managerial meltdown you are gonna have to venture down in both professional ability and geography. This is the story of Mississippi Braves' minor league manager Phil Wellman. Ladies and gentlemen for your viewing pleasure: The Best Baseball Meltdown of All-Time:


In the opening seconds you'll see the respect to arguing etiquette as both the umpire and Wellman remove their hats. There is nothing worse than trying to scream down someone's throat only to be prevented by the bill of your own lid. It's downright uncouth and has resulted in numerous bruised foreheads and destroyed brims.

After pointing out the closest emergency exits and the size of a bass he had caught earlier in the day, Wellman takes the shtick of kicking dirt on home plate to the next level. Notice the attention to detail and to top it off he outlines a home plate more suitable for the umpire's vision. This is a masterpiece in the making folks.

Next he notices that 3rd base, while being a practical idea and solid hip-hop group, is also a tripping hazard and places it in shallow center field out the way.

Then he delivers the coup de grace. In an act of pure theater he takes cover and methodically creeps to the pitcher's mound in full Metal Gear Solid mode. He grabs the rosin bag and chucks it like a hand grenade at the umpire. Whose response is so stoic you know he had say "C'mon Son" or at least a "Child Please".

To top it off 2nd base makes the mistake of being an inanimate object that gets in his way, so he decides to take both 3rd and 2nd base with him. "What about 1st base?" you might say. The first rule of showmanship is to always leave them wanting more and thus Wellman makes his way to the waiting exit and thanks the crowd for their support.

Oh minor league baseball, no wonder you are synonymous with acts of amateurish non proffesionalism and have given us the term "Bush League". Just because you are a manager for baseball's version of purgatory doesn't mean you can't go out with a major league meltdown.

Hats off to you Phillip Wellman...where ever you are.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Friday Pot Luck

Can you smell it my friends? The weekend is creeping up and it has been a long time since I've tried to get you fired. In the name of slacking off here are a few links that got sent my way this week that I thought others might enjoy.

A bit of the ultra violence. (Frank151)

The significance of flies, the case for Sarah Palin's whiteness and why smart is sexy are the topics that will be covered at next weekend's DC Nerd Nite. My boy Jason Keagy will be presenting so if you are in the area come on out. (DC Nerd Nite)

James "Lights Out Toney" signs with the UFC. Finally a big boxing name enters MMA, too bad he is over 40, overweight and overly gassed on his own abilities. (Cage Potato)

Ralph Nader has been right about many things over the years including the shortcomings (I'm being friendly) of the Obama administration. (Truth Dig)

IGN runs down the top 100 Comic Book Villains of all time. Great list, but I would have had Venom in the top 5. (IGN)

Jim Carey as Reagan is fantastic. Everyone else (except the guy still on SNL) is on point as well. (Funny or Die)

The hunt for gainful employment continues. (Golliblogs)

Ever find yourself just not feeling the same about your robots? Me too. (Break-Up Bots)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

History of Baseball 301 (Part 1)

When I was an undergraduate history major, my college actually offered a course titled "Baseball History 301". Had I not been a graduate level procrastinator I might have actually signed up before it filled up in 5 minutes.

With Opening Day just under a month away I wanted to examine some of my favorite moments in the sport. Oddly enough, none of my favorite moments involve feats of great athleticism or achieving career milestones. I really just dig the fights and drugs.

One of my favorite baseball moments was the day 26 year old Robin Ventura decided to buy a one-way ticket on the Nolan express.

Nolan Ryan (46 years old) is to baseball what Dalton is to the Double Deuce, about 3 gallons of ass whoopin' packed into a pint glass. During a Texas Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox game in 1993, Ryan hit Ventura with a 96 mph fastball. Being hit by a pitch normally awards the batter a trip to first base, unless of course they find the pitcher's mound more attractive real estate. Ventura should have chosen the former. One only needs to watch the first minute of the video to witness the extent of his error.

Robin Ventura Charges Mound Against Nolan Ryan from CoasterNick3157 on Vimeo.

Several things to note:

- At the 0:07 mark you'll notice Ventura take a second to gather his thoughts. I don't know what was going through his mind, but it should have been "Walk my ass to first base and take out my frustrations on the next elderly man I see".

- At the 0:10 mark his bullish charge becomes a regretful saunter, but it's too late, he already made his move and now young one you must learn...a snake cannot eat a dragon.

- At 0:54 you'll see what can only be described as the most homoerotic scene in MLB's history.

- When the heat starts back up around 1:45 you'll notice Bo Jackson in the thick of the tussle. Bo knows conflict resolution.

Robin Ventura isn't a bad guy and definitely not a bad baseball player. He was simply a victim of anger and impulse. You can't take away his charity work, golden gloves or all-star appearances, but his legacy will remain the guy who stepped to Nolan Ryan and got handled.

Damn I love baseball!