17 November 2004

Manny MVP 2005...



Of all the spoils of the World Series victory, this may be my favorite so far...

MANNY RAMIREZ JOINS EA SPORTS LINEUP
BOSTON RED SOX SLUGGER AND 2004 WORLD SERIES MVP NAMED COVER ATHLETE FOR MVP BASEBALL 2005



The EA MVP series is easily the best baseball game available, and though not flawless, is closest to what I would term an ideal gameplay. It's pretty seamless- though some kinks on realism for in-game situations needs tweaking.

Anyway, Manny will be to MVP 2005 what Pujols was to MVP 2004- a nice change of pace for Manny, who seemed so often to be out of contention for these types of things. I can't WAIT to get my copy. I especially love the thought of a Yankee fan having to begrudgingly pay for a piece of Red Sox merchandise. Awesome.

I can already tell I'm going back into that game and, just for fun, recreating the 2004 team to a man and saving it. It'll be yet another in a long line of reminders of that season. Goddammit, I gotta wait until March for this fucking thing. Oh well.

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One of the great living baseball writers, Roger Angell, has a wonderful new piece in the New Yorker about the Sox- "The Long Voyage Home." Check it out.

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The Tigers signed Troy Percival today to a 2 year, 12 million dollar deal intended to revamp their bullpen and get incrementally better.

Of course, the Angels would have been crazy to sign him- they have the most valuable relif pitcher in baseball from 2004, and there is absolutely no reason tha Francisco Rodriguez can't turn into a dominating closer. The "closer makeup" stuff is hooey. He's a great pitcher- he'll be fine.

I like this signing by Detroit simply because they seem to be doing something teams like Milwaukee and Pittsburgh don't- trying to get talent to improve and to satisfy a fan base. Their ideas have been, at times, pretty misguided- Jason Johnson was not the best idea for a pitcher to go after, and Fernando Vina was so clearly done I couldn't believe he signed a major league deal, instead of a minor league one.

So while they overpaid for both IRod and Percival, I get it. Signing Percival gets them some security in the bullpen and frees them up to trade Oogie Urbina for some young talent- something they're going to have to get good at retaining in years to come. The Tigers just don't have the cash to do much more this offseason (although a run at Michigan native Derek Lowe won't be out of the question).

The thing about Troy is that he quite clearly declining. His K totals have dropped every year since 2001, while his innings haven't wavered from the 49-58 IP range. He walks a fair share of batters and is often susceptible to the HR. They were smart to take a two year flier on him- and so, in and of that, it wasn't an awful signing, and surely is better than any other option. They may have overpaid at 6 million a year, but if that's what it takes to get a big player out to a devastated franchise like Detroit, I think it's admirable to take that hit in the interest of growth.

Ultimately though, they should be dead-set on farm system rebirth. Just a thought.

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This is, hands down, my favorite of the playoff montages yet. Just brilliant. I got choked up. What? Is that a problem? What's funny?

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There appears to be a name controversy brewing in Anaheim with the Angels. Per their lease agreement, the Angels and MLB cannot change the name of the team- that includes re-establishing the city affiliation. Rumblings have surfaced that the Angel's owner Arte Moreno and Commissioner Bud Selig have been in league to rename them the LA Angels.

I actually really like this idea. I'd prefer "California," because that's what I grew up with, and there's already an "LA" team (not that that really matters). I guess I just have a problem with the "Anaheim" name. Anaheim- it's like a fake Disney town. I never hear of anyone or anything happening in "Anaheim." I really think it's a city invented by Disney to promote their sports teams (Angels/ Mighty Ducks). Now that Moreno owns the team, it's only natural that he'd want to change the dumb name. Good for him.

But the city is really pissed. Governor Curt Pringle had this to say (from the ESPN.com article):

"A deal is a deal. We continue to be strongly united on insisting that the Anaheim Angels comply with the terms of the lease," Mayor Curt Pringle said in a statement. "We hope that the Angels or Major League Baseball will end this speculative inquiry about the name change immediately."


Just change it. Come on.



In a mailbag column from Dodgers beat writer Ken Gurnick, a fan asks a uniforms question for LA next year:

I hear that the Dodgers will be wearing jerseys without their last names printed on the back next season. Is this true, and if so, why have they decided to change this long-standing tradition? -- Tony P., Los Angeles

Owner Frank McCourt, Jr. has said the decision was prompted by a desire to stress a team approach and not focus on the individual. He also has said that with 2005 representing the 50th anniversary of the organization's first World Series championship, the decision, in part, is a salute to the Dodgers heritage. The club did not begin putting players' names on the back of uniforms until 1972. Bill Veeck of the White Sox introduced player names on uniforms in the 1960s. The Yankees (home and away), Red Sox (home) and Giants (home) also have uniforms without player names.


Ignoring the "team-not-individual" concept (what are they, five? They need new wardrobe to get that mentality?) bullshit, I LOVE this idea. The Dodgers have some of the greatest uniforms in sports, and a return to the clean old-school look is really, really welcome. Interesting to note a couple things:
  • They're on home and away, a break from the Sox/ Giants idea

  • It's being done to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dem Bums winning their first Series, a truly great idea

  • As far as retro jerseys, I'm all for 'em, all the time- no matter what. They're a fun part of baseball history, and witnessing them come to life is a fun change. Variety is the spice of life.


  • I wish more teams would do stuff like this- I'd like to see St. Louis and Baltimore ditch the identical road/ home lettering and go back to city names on away jerseys. I'd love to see the uniforms of the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Devil Rays, Indians (that fucking hat), and the Mets (all the alternate black horseshit- the blue and orange was awesome) just get totally revamped and looking a lot cooler. It like, hurts my eyes to watch a Blue Jays game. Ugh. What're they on their 5th in 4 years or something?

    The really annoying trend is the black overtone on jerseys. By my count, the following teams employ it-
    1. Kansas City Royals

    2. New York Mets

    3. Florida Marlins

    4. Arizona Diamondbacks

    5. Chicago White Sox

    6. Colorado Rockies

    7. Baltimore Orioles

    8. Toronto Blue Jays

    9. Seattle Mariners (well, a real dark blue


    I also hate that jersey that a lot of teams use ambiguously on the road and at home. I swear to god the Marlins play 150 games of 162 in this jersey:



    Ahh whatever. I'm the Halston of baseball.

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    A Damon Grows In Brooklyn...

    This is a real funny article in the New York Post today about a graffiti artist stenciling images of Johnny Damon all over Brooklyn. The neighborhood has turned into a witchhunt apparently, with all the peeved Yankee fans trying to identify every Red Sox fan they can think of.

    The shenanigans have led to a lot of finger-pointing in a neighborhood full of Yankee fans still reeling from the Bombers' defeat by the Sox in the American League Championship Series.

    "One guy in there is a Red Sox fanatic," said Court St. pizzeria owner Ralph Buoncore, pointing to a deli across the street.

    But Wilson Gil, 26, wasn't copping to the graffiti from behind the deli's counter. "I would like to know!" he said, proclaiming his innocence.

    "It's cool," added the sandwich maker, a fan of the Mets and Bosox slugger Manny Ramirez.


    Like the conquering, hairy, messy, irreverent, "disrespectful," "classless," "walking disasters" that were the 2004 Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees and their fans, as is Johnny Damon stenciled to the inhabitants of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. A priceless quote-

    City Department of Transportation spokesman Tom Cocola vowed that Damon's image would be scrubbed away in coming days.

    "Hopefully, in the next day or two, there will be no Johnny Damon in Brooklyn," Cocola said.


    We're in their heads! It's so on. A message finally, to the children, who should NEVER, ever forget...

    "Breaking the Curse is still no excuse for defacing public property," fumed Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.


    From your lips to God's ears, Marty.

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