MLB General

Odds and Ends: Bon Jovi brings us up to speed with the MLB’s first half

Before the second half of the MLB season begins, why not remember the first half in style? Set to the tune of Bon Jovi’s greatest hits album, here’s the season’s memorable moments thus far. Are you ready to rock!?!

Lay Your Hands on Me: Boston Red Sox-Tampa Rays — The fight of the first half goes to these two teams. We’re still wondering what would’ve happened to Coco Crisp had James Shields connected on his haymaker.

Wanted Dead or Alive: Willie Randolph — We still don’t know for sure if it was the owners (The Wilpons) or the GM (Omar Minaya) who wanted Randolph out, but when you fire a guy who has won three of four and is on the first game of a West Coast trip at 3 a.m. Eastern time, you wanted blood however you could get it.

Keep the Faith: Detroit Tigers — The Tigers started 0-7 and it took them until June 30 to have a winning record. They’re still just one game over .500 and seven games behind the White Sox, but they’ve at least climbed out of a huge hole.

I’ll Be There For You: Francisco Rodriguez — K-Rod has 36 saves to lead the majors. The next highest total is 27.

Runaway: Evan Longoria — No player has a postseason award locked up more than the Rays rookie third baseman.

Livin’ On a Prayer: Chicago Cubs — Is this the year the drought finally ends? We all know about the curse of the Billy Goat and Steve Bartman. Cubs fans are praying this is the year those things are put in the past. They’re halfway there.

Blaze of Glory: Arizona Diamondbacks — The club got off to a 20-8 start. They’re now 46-46 and hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. We’d say that was going down in a blaze of glory.

It’s My Life: Josh Hamilton — We all know about Hamilton’s unbelievable comeback. He was consumed by drugs and was headed toward death. Now, he’s an MVP candidate who has a whopping 91 RBIs. The opening to this song’s chorus fits the Texas slugger perfectly: It’s my life/ It’s now or never/ I ain’t gonna live forever/ I just want to live while I’m alive.

Bad Medicine: Ryan Church — The Mets outfielder suffered a concussion on May 20 (his second of the season) has been sidelined by postconcussion syndrome on and off for almost two months. The Mets have been accused of not handling the injury properly and now the players’ union is getting involved.

You Give Love a Bad Name: Alex Rodriguez — This pretty much sums it up.

Never Say Goodbye: Barry Bonds — As teams try to figure out how to make that second-half surge, whose name has come up a few times in recent weeks? Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Have a Nice Day: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, Mariners skipper John McLaren and the aforementioned Randolph all got their walking papers within four days of each other.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home: We couldn’t think of a good one for this song so we want you to submit some choice via that form to your right and we’ll post a couple later on.

In other news…

[East Coast Bias]: Best and worst of MLB All-Star Game

[The Bad News Bloggers]: This year’s top fantasy RB probably isn’t who you think it is (pssst, it’s Brian Westbrook)

[The Beardown]: A note to Bud Selig

[Don Chavez]: More pictures of cheerleaders gone slutty, this time in Winnipeg

[MyHogtown]: Beer guy gets canned…wait, he’s not working our section, right?

[]: The Pack is back

[]: Pittsburgh Pirates: The Movie

[Red Sox Monster]: AP forgets to use spell-check

[SpursReport]: Spurs’ Coyote evacuates building

And finally, it’s Top Ten time.

St. Louis Cardinals

Joel Pineiro tries out for new And1 Mixtape Baseball Tour

Puerto Rico isn’t exactly a powerhouse when it comes to soccer – at least, not according to Wikipedia – but that didn’t keep Joel Pineiro from showing off a little futbol move while getting an out in St. Louis’ 6-2 victory over Pittsburgh last Thursday.

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Damn, even Vasek Klouda thought that was impressive.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Tom Gorzelanny’s bobblehead has a piss poor attitude

We don’t know about you guys, but, frankly, we think the whole bobblehead craze should have never come back from the grave. But like lava lamps and Danny Bonaduce, they just won’t die! However, we must admit that we’re a big fan of Pirates pitcher Tom Gorzelanny’s doll which appears to be giving the finger to the all the fans who received the giveaway on Saturday when Pittsburgh played Philadelphia. Although, we think he’s giving the bird, the debate over which finger is actually protruding from the glove rages on.

Which finger is it — the index, or the middle?

Pirates’ spokesman Jim Trdinich said the team sends photographs of players to a company that makes its bobbleheads, and the company tries to replicate those pictures as best they can when it designs the dolls.

Trdinich said he can’t tell which finger is sticking out of Gorzelanny’s glove in the photo that went to the bobblehead company, but he said it was not done in bad taste.

Gorzelanny’s doll comes in a box with an action photograph of him on the side. In that picture, he does have a finger sticking through his glove, but the camera angle makes it difficult to see which finger it is.

Yea, and Shaq didn’t drop the F-bomb or S-bomb live on TV.


[]: Is Pittsburgh Pirates Bobblehead Giving The Finger?

San Antonio Spurs

Odds and Ends: Tony Parker’s bachelor days are quickly running out

Now that Tony Parker has won his third championship to go along with his first Finals MVP, he can put all that basketball drama behind him and start focusing on all the drama that is going to surround his July 7th wedding to Eva Longoria. And the first thing he’s gotta deal with is some of Eva’s loudmouthed BFFs. According to the New York Post, one of her friends had this to say about the Frenchman: “He is just not gracious,” one of them said. “He puts himself ahead of her. He always orders at restaurants before her and is rude to waiters. We just don’t have a good feeling about him.”

We’re guessing that the mystery girl is the fat, ugly, jealous chick that always seems to make her way into the circle of babes. You know, kinda like that porker in the Dixie Chicks.

In other news…

[]: The Pack is back, it’s just not in a good way.

[]: A burnt finger will keep Ian Snell off the mound tomorrow. Damn chicken breasts!

[]: MMA legend tests positive for steroids. No, not Johnnie Morton.

[USA Today]: Kobe Bryant wants out of LA again. But give him a little bit, it could pass.

[Our Book of Scrap]: Getting kicked in the nads just got even funnier.

[]: Mark Cuban is reduced to doing coke off a cell phone. We blame Golden State.

And finally, here’s a story that will have any potential criminals thinking twice before they consider a kid and his mom as easy pickins.

MLB General

The Full Count: Bad + Bad = extra innings Bad

Hell, even Garner looks bored

1. Longest Game of the Year: There have been quite a few extra-inning contests this year, but none as long as the Astros-Pirates game on Wednesday. The Astros always seem to get involved in the really long games, and this one lasted 16 innings. The winner of this marathon was the Pirates after Adam LaRoche hit a walk-off single. It was his first career hit at PNC Park, and only the 7th hit overall this year for LaRoche, who has been in a slump since the season started and is only hitting .106. The teams combined for 15 different pitchers, 30 different hitters, and 476 pitches thrown.

2. Man on Fire: Bonds hasn’t been this good since 2004. He hit a first-inning, three-run homerun on Wednesday against the Dodgers, giving him 7 on the year and 741 for his career. Barry Bonds has now homered in three of his last four games, and leads the league in homers, slugging, and OPS. He’s 14 short of the career homers record, and he Willie McCovey as the Giants’ all-time RBI leader. The Giants won 6-4 over the Dodgers, with Noah Lowry getting the win and Armando Benitez the save. For Benitez, it is his 6th save of the year with an ERA of 2.45.

3. Dueling Complete Games: You wouldn’t expect a matchup between Jarrod Washburn of the Mariners and Joe Blanton of the A’s to turn into a pitcher’s duel, but it did. Both hurlers threw complete games, but Blanton allowed two solo homeruns while Washburn shutout the A’s. Jose Guillen and Kenji Johjima both went yard, supplying all the offense the Mariners needed. Oakland’s loss combined with the Angels’ win over Tampa results in a tie atop the AL West standings.

Player of the Day: Jake Peavy, Padres: 7 innings, 2 hits, no runs, 16 strikeouts. He struck out nine straight from the second to fourth inning.

Stat of the Day: Joel Zumaya hit a batter and then walked four straight against the White Sox. It is only the second time a reliever has issued a free pass to five straight batters in the last 40 years, according to Elias Sports.

MLB General

Oct 17 in Sports History: an earthquake hits the World Series

In 1989: The third game of the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s was postponed due to the biggest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since 1906. ABC-TV had just taken the air with the game about 30 minutes away when the 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta quake hit, causing minor structural damage to Candlestick park and major damage to the surrounding area. Over 60 people were killed, but it could have been much worse as a 60-foot section of the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland collapsed; but fans getting to the ballpark or home to catch the early start time of the World Series had the bridge and many other roads which suffered damage uncharacteristically quiet at rush hour. The Series would resume 10 days later with the A’s completing a sweep of the Giants.

In 1971 and 1979: The Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their last two World Series in Baltimore on the same day by taking a pair of Game 7‘s from the Orioles. In Game 7 of the ‘71 Fall Classic, Steve Blass threw a 4-hit gem and Roberto Clemente homered as the Pirates won 2-1. In Game 7 of the ‘79 Series, Willie Stargell hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to help push the Pirates past Baltimore 4-1. 1979 was the last time a team had overcome a three games to one deficit to win a World Series.

In 2000: Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche cemented his place as the game’s greatest goaltender when he passed Terry Sawchuk on the all-time wins list with 448. Roy defeated the Washington Capitals 4-3 in overtime to take first-place all time. Roy, who was only the third goalie and 51st player taken overall in the 1984 draft, won three Vezina Trophies as the league’s outstanding goalie and three Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Oct 13 in Sports History: Pirates win the World Series

In 1960: In perhaps the greatest Game 7 in sports history, Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit the first series-winning, bottom-of-the-ninth homerun in 57 World Series’ to defeat the heavily favored New York Yankees. With the score tied 9-9 at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Mazeroski connected off a 1-0 Ralph Terry pitch and drove it over the left field fence to give the Pirates their first title since 1925. Overlooked was the fact that the Pirates spoiled a remarkable comeback by the Yankees in the top half of the inning. Trailing 9-7 after unknown Hal Smith’s three-run homer in the eighth, the Yankees rallied behind Mickey Mantle and Bobby Richardson to tie the game. Maz trumped them all with his famous blast in the ninth, and sent jubilant Pirates fans onto the field and into the streets of Pittsburgh in celebration. It was one of the most contrasting World Series’ ever, as the Yankees won their games by scores of 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0, while the Pirates won the closer ones, 6-4, 3-2, 5-2 and 10-9. According to baseball, Game 7 was the only WS game in history in which no strikeouts were recorded by either team. Mazeroski, known more for his defense than his bat, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 1982 After 70 years, the International Olympic Committee posthumously restored the two gold medals Jim Thorpe had won in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Thorpe had easily won gold and set records in the pentathlon and decathlon. He was stripped of his medals, however, when the IOC discovered that the had been paid to play minor league baseball, which compromised his amateur status. Thorpe, a Native American, was widely considered the greatest athlete of his generation. Not only did he dominate the Olympics, but he also played professional baseball for the New York Giants, Boston Braves and Cincinnati Reds. He was an All-American running back in college, played pro football for the Canton Bulldogs and was even the first president of the National Football League.

MLB General

The Full Count: Shutouts galore

2H, 1BB and 12K in 8 innings

1. Shut down and shut out: There were an inordinate amount of shutouts last night in the big leagues. Pitching prevailed as seven teams put up straight zeroes on the day. Let’s start with the American League, where three teams got blanked. The AL Wild Card race was affected, as the Twins won 8-0 while the White Sox lost 1-0. For the Twins, Johan Santana won his 17th game to take the lead in each of the pitching Triple Crown categories. The Sox lost to the Red Sox in David Ortiz’s return. Ortiz went 0-3 but the Red Sox escaped thanks to Kason Gabbard’s nice start. Elsewhere, the team that has allowed the most runs this season shut out the team that has scored the most. That’s right, it was Royals over Yankees, 5-0. For KC, Todd Wellemeyer went for a very long save, going 3.1 innings and striking out five. The Yankees still lead the Red Sox by 8 games while the Twins have opened up a 1.5 game lead on the White Sox.

2. Shutouts, NL Edition: There were way too many shutouts last night to contain in just one article. The Cards took on the Nats, winning 2-0 behind Albert Pujols’ 5th homer in 3 days. That gives him 44 on the season, more than last year when he won the MVP. Milwaukee crushed LA with a Doug Davis complete game. Davis allowed just four hits while striking out eight on the day. Claudio Vargas helped the D-Backs earn a shutout win of their own as he outdeuled the Marlins’ Dontrelle Willis. And finally, Bronson Arroyo of the Reds surged back after his recent inconsistency, going for a complete-game blanking of the Giants while his ERA dropped to 3.33. According to Elias Says, this was only the seventh time in major league history that there were seven or more shutouts in a single day.

3. What’s going on?: The Tigers lost again last night. The team that has held the best record in the majors for so long finally finds itself and its starting pitching in a slump. Detroit has only won 4 of their last 13 games and just 9 of their last 27. While the Tigers still hold the best record in the major leagues and Kenny Rogers is on fire, many are now questioning whether this team really is “for real.” Jeremy Bonderman blew a three-run lead last night and has not looked like himself for the past month and a half. Bonderman has a 5.05 ERA and a .280 opponents’ batting average since the break, and he along with Nate Robertson and Zach Miner declined in August. But the Tigers have plenty of time to solve their problems before the postseason begins–if they can hold on to their playoff spot.

4. Now they’re the worst: Could things get any worse for Cubs fans? How does a loss to the Pirates sound? That’s what happened last night, as Pittsburgh won their second game of a four-game series. The Pirates’ Jason Bay had one of his best games of the season, with 2 homers and 4 RBIs. He is just shy of his career highs in both categories, set last year. The Cubs declined to the notorious title of “worst team in the National League.” Basically, considering how relatively bad the NL is, they’re the worst team in the majors. The 55-83 Cubbies have gone 1-9 their last ten to cement this dishonor.

5. Hell does not freeze over: And the Cincinnati Reds’ Key Griffey is hurt again. For Griffey, who last played a full season in 2000, this shouldn’t be news. But he is a major contributor to a contending team, so this could be important. Girffey’s current malady is a dislocated toe that leaves him out indefinitely. The 36-year old has no guess as to when he might be back. Source:

Pittsburgh Pirates

Sept 1 in Sports History: MLB’s first all-black lineup

Willie Stargell was black

In 1971: Manager Danny Murtaugh of the Pittsburgh Pirates starting lineup against the Phillies was Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Cash, Al Oliver, and Jackie Hernandez, with Doc Ellis pitching. It was believed to be the first all-black (with several Latinos, of course) lineup in Major League history. The Pirates won 10-7, and would go on to win the World Series that year.

In 1906: The Philadelphia A’s and Boston Americans played the longest game to date with the A’s winning in 24 innings. Amazingly, A’s starter Jack Coombs and the American’s Joe Harris pitched all 24 innings. Coombs faced 89 batters and struck out 18 for the win, while Harris was the hard-luck loser with 14 K’s while giving up 16 hits. His luck was so horrible that he had a 3-30 career record despite a respectable 3.35 ERA. (Courtesy of the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia)

In 1996: 10 months after owner Art Modell announced his controversial move to Baltimore from Cleveland, the Ravens (the NFL ruled that the Browns name and colors would remain in Cleveland) played the first game in the city in 12 years and defeated the Oakland Raiders 17-14. The game was played at War Memorial Stadium, the old home of the Colts, who took off for Indianapolis in 1984. Vinny Testaverde of the Ravens ran for the winning score in the fourth quarter. Cleveland would be granted an expansion franchise for the 1999 season. (

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pirates can’t even do postgame entertainment right

Irony doesn’t work in Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Pirates once again proved that they can’t bring in a decent performer when a band they hired to entertain fans waiting for their “Skyblast” fireworks show was booed off the stage. After the Pirates defeated the Astros, punk band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who play sped up versions of classic tunes from the Beatles, Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel and even the Cheers theme song, were chased while playing a cover of Stairway to Heaven, not realizing that Led Zep is sacred to the mullett-wearing Pittsburgh set.

The 32,000 plus music critics called the band “tone deaf” and “completely inappropriate.” After being flooded with calls, the Pirates asked the Gimmes not to return for their next two shows. Next time, the Pirates should realize that their fans have not come out of the seventies and just hire Donnie Iris to play, like he does for every other event in Pittsburgh.

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]: Band strikes out with Pirates fans