What? You thought just because the season was over I had nothing left to say? That I couldn't find some way to tweak a nose or two? That I wouldn't make my regular appearance? Ha! I mock your anticipation of my witless failure. I have not even begun to exhaust my ability to overwhelm the Friday front page with thousands of words assembled in random order and pretending to be meaningful and informative!!
- Quickstart: Being the glass-half-full kind of guy that I am, let's celebrate the fact that while some other teams are forced to keep playing more and more games in their 2012 season (and for which they will mean anything to only one of them), our franchise is blessed with the opportunity to jump directly into planning for 2013! And, hey(!), when you think about it, we finally caught all the way back up and are tied for the lead with the best record in baseball, 0-0!! One thing I will add as a new Friday Feature (as soon as I create a new graphic) will be a weekly summary of the more important off-season rumors. For right now, we already got some doozies. For those too lazy to click, in summary we have:
- Sign Zack Grienke
- Re-sign Torii Hunter
- Trade Vernon Wells
- Keep Chris Iannetta
- Say adios to Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Isringhausen and Maicer Izturis
Hey, Texas, feel free to try and catch up with our headstart any day now...
- Color Me Lost: Well, what we have learned over the past couple of months is that Dan Haren played even though he was injured, and C.J. Wilson played even though he was injured, and Peter Bourjos did not play even though he was not injured, and Jered Weaver couldn't be bothered to play once there was nothing left to play for. So that's another fine kettle of fish we've got ourselves into. I'd say something smells fishy here but that would be taking the idioms too far. But I will leave the bait just dangling there. One of you is going to take that bait, hook, line and stinker.
- Mike Trout, my MVP: I already have written quite a bit on how I really feel about the whole Cabrera/Trout/MVP issue. IMHO, the post I feel best represents my position on the whole thing is here, and I am not going to carry on and repeat myself and dilute my brief and unusual moment of accidental clarity.
- A Pictorial Guide To Mike Trout's Value versus Miguel Cabrera's Value: But that does not mean I cannot paint pretty pictures! In an effort to make it easier for some folks to understand the relative values of Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout, I broke out the finger paints. Enjoy:
So, tell me again, what's all the arguing about??
- Mike Scioscia, Deep Thinker: Don't let anyone try and convince you that Sosh is incapable of deep, extended, insightful commentary on all aspects of baseball. Especially now that the season is over and the last page has been turned. Mike delivers his thorough analysis of the offseason priorities: "We have to get better."
- Hey, dammit! Somebody get out here and warm me up! I'm gonna toss a no-hitter tonight!!!:
This Date In Baseball History: 1941 - Tommy "Old Reliable" Heinrich apparently strikes out to end Game 4 of the World Series, but Mickey Owen's passed ball puts Heinrich on base, allowing the Yankees to go and pull out a 7-4 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers..........1947 - Today is the 65th Anniversary of Al Gionfriddo's catch to rob Joe DiMaggio of a World Series home run. You know it as the one where DiMaggio skips and kicks the dirt out of frustration...........1949 - Tommy "Ole Reliable" Heinrich strikes again, taking Don Newcombe deep in Game 1 of the Word Series and allowing the Yankees to defeat the Dodgers 1-0 in the first walk-off in WS history..........1951 - rookie Mickey Mantle trips over a drainage cap in Game 2 of the WS, tearing the cartilage in his right knee and being replaced by Hank Bauer. (That particular drain cap was later auctioned off as a souvenir.)..........1953 - Billy Martin wins the Series MVP as he singles in our now-familiar Hank Bauer for a walk-off 4-3 win in Game 6 over the Dodgers to take their fifth consecutive WS title...........1963 - Not today, October 5th, but tomorrow, October 6th, Mickey Mantle will tie Babe Ruth at 15 World Series home runs, taking Sandy Koufax long in Game 4, just minutes before the Dodgers complete their sweep............1977 - Dusty Baker hits a grand slam in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Phillies, and as the Dodger returns to the dugout he is greeted by Glenn Burke with the very first "high five" in recorded history...........1980 - Ben Ogilvie becomes the first non-American born player to lead the AL in home runs, tying Reggie Jackson at 41...........1993 - Bob Watson becomes only the second black General Manager in baseball, preceded by Bill Lucas in Atlanta, taking the role for the Houston Astros............2002 - The Angels win their first post-season series in franchise history by defeating the Yankees 3-1 in the ALDS............2011 - The Rally Squirrel. Nothing more need be written.
- Seattle has decided to turn Safeco into a bandbox by moving in the fences (as much as 17 feet!), and Brett Anderson of the Oakland A's is not a fan. Considering the offense we have built, and the Houston Astros joining the division, this might warp the numbers in the AL West even a little bit further. Overall, here is a graphic on the actual plan for he new fence alignment.
- Quick: guess who now owns the lowest single season ERA in the entire history of Major League Baseball???
- Kevin Love: I am 3 degrees of separation from Kevin Love (me to son, son to son's roommate, roommate was Love's high school buddy). Therefore you are 4. Kevin Love is a very fine pro basketball player. And Kevin Love can hit the crap out of a baseball.
- BoSux: On the down side, the firing of Bobby Valentine runs the risk of ending the FusterCluck that - deliciously - is what the Boston franchise has become. On the upside, their douche bag fans will never change.
- One At Bat: the campaign concluded with a strikeout on the field, but watch what happens once Adam Greenberg gets back to the dugout.It should remind everyone that the privilege of getting to play MLB baseball is a beautiful thing:
100 great places to go and waste your employer's Friday morning...
(Looking around the Internet at how things work)
93) How-To From the 60's/70's (Frame-by-frame technical example stills of some of the greats)
94) Albert Pujols Swing Analysis (A frame-by-frame look at Albert's typical swing)
95) Hitting Demonstrations (A look at breaking down hitting technique)
96) How To Throw A Slider (A look at breaking down pitching technique)
97) How to Play the Field (A look at breaking down fielding techniques, and drills, from the pros)
Curt Shilling - If you got a spare $50 million laying around, Shilling has a famous sock to sell you..........Pete Rose - perhaps the biggest reason to think of Mike Trout as MVP is his potential to make everyone forget about what Pete Rose did to the amazing legacy he created on the field of play...........You know you always wanted to see this - swing at a pitchout? Sure!...........
And now, being the full service weekend linkage institution that we are, here is the obligatory moment we take out of each Friday for beer:
We are still being dominated by Oktoberfest, folks, and that is NOT a bad thing! Friday we have 120 Minutes of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA tasting at Steingarten LA. Saturday there are the 3rd Annual Oktoberfest at Eleven in San Diego, the Oaktoberfest in Avila Beach, and the Sausagefest in Santa Cruz. And Santa Monica is hosting BAM Fest, a charity beer festival at the 18th Street Arts Center. On Sunday we close with Stone Pour if Back festival at Stone Brewing Company in Escondido.
Meanwhile, for the more adventurous AND for those HH'ers outside of California, here are a couple of links to follow in pursuit of other Oktoberfests worldwide: Here SpotCoolStuff tracks down the best Oktoberfests outside of Europe, concluding with the Annual Oktoberfest held within World of Warcraft! And over here at OktoberfestSearch.com (such a laser-like focus on their purpose and identity, there!), one may park themselves in the slow study of searching for Oktoberfests flat out anywhere on the planet!!