The title "Caught Stealing Home" is my way of warning, you, the curious reader, that the majority of this webpage will focus on poor plays, inappropriate actions, and general failures of professional athletes with the occasional photo of turtles playing sports.
So Elvis Andrus was out of the Texas Rangers lineup today because of soreness in his left arm resulting from a giant portrat he had tattooed the night before. What’s more surprising than him being out of the lineup because of a tattoo, is the anatomically incorrect paw print at the bottom.
Anonymous: A ChaCha bowl vs. a Coney island dog? they aren't even in the same categories. Everyone goes to Giants games for the Garlic Fries. Thats just a fact.
I was going to use garlic fries as an example but almost every ball park has the exact same fries (with garlic from the same area). I chose the chacha bowl simply because its unique to the stadium. But thanks for the input - I’ll add an asterisk next to the chacha.
So the World Series is in full swing and as usual I am basing my allegiance on the fundamentals of baseball which includes things like better stadium food, bigger douchebag fans and what team had a the cooler original name. Let’s get started.
Original Team Names
New York Gothams
Before San Francisco had the Giants, they belonged to New York. But everyone knows that. What they may not know is that the Giants began their legacy in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The name change to the Giants came in 1889 when manager Jim Mutrie referred to the one two punch of his pitchers Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch and hitters Roger Conner and Buck Ewing as “his Giants”. The nickname stuck and the following season the Giants became the official team name.
The Detroit Tigers have a less concise naming history and there are several overlapping team names during the early days of Detroit baseball. In the mid to late 19th century, teams were named by the cities they played in and in the inaugural season the Detroit team was named the “Detroits”. Real original. A few years later, then owner George Authur Vanderbeck renamed the team the Detroit Creams because he insisted the team would be the “cream of the league”. The new name didn’t last for long and the following season in 1895 saw the first reference to the Detroit “Tigers”. In 1896 the organization sought the formal permission from the Detroit Light Guard Military Unit (nicknamed the Detroit Tigers) to use their trademark as their official baseball team name. They’ve been the Tigers ever since.
Advantage: Detroit Creams
Seriously could you imagine the merchandise and team slogans? “A stadium full of Creamers!”
Greg Minton - San Francisco Giants
In 1985, Greg Minton drove a nail into his pitching hand while trying to shoe a horse.
Al Kaline - Detroit Tigers
In 1967, Al Kaline broke a finger jamming his bat into a bat rack after he was struck out during a close American league pennant race game. He missed the next 28 games and the Tigers ended up in second place, one game behind the Red Sox.
Advantage: San Francisco Giants
Obviously Al Kaline screwed his team out of an opportunity to go to the World Series, but come on, why is Minton shoeing horses himself?
Drunk and Disorderly Fans
San Francisco Giants World Series 2010
Giants fans were so thrilled to make it to the World Series that they began their celebration violence as far back as game one of the fall classic. Giants fans piled into a McDonalds outside of the stadium and proceeded to have a massive brawl complete with hair pulling, dudes punching women, and chairs being flung every which way. Oh here’s a video. There was several other incidences throughout the world series, all culminating with a large riot outside of the stadium where drivers were pulled out of their cars, beaten and then left to watch as their cars were smashed and torched.
Detroit Tigers World Series Riot 1984
If there is one thing Detroit loves, it’s a good riot. In 1984 the Detroit Tigers defeated the San Diego Padres 4 games to 1 which lead to the first ever “victory riot”. Police cars were torched and windows smashed but fans did it all while wearing a smile and poorly fitted cardigans.
Verdict: Detroit Tigers World Series Riot 1984
This was a tough one. Giants fans are obviously the most terrifying fans in baseball and really do give it their all when it comes to horrifying the general public with their antics, but if it wasn’t for the Tigers fans of 1984 perhaps we would never have celebration riots. Also Detroit fans get bonus points for celebrating with pennant flags and beer guts while Giants fans celebrate with their iphones recording their vandalism (and then subsequently posting the evidence on Facebook resulting in their arrests).
It looks like the tigers put about as much care and consideration into choosing their walk up songs as they put into choosing a closer. Prince Fielder gets style points for choosing the most bizarre song.
Giants players know what fans want to hear - upbeat, happy shit that gets them cheering so they win. And I’ve also learned by listening to their walk up songs is that the Giants players probably spend a lot of their downtime popping E.
Ball Park Foods
Cha Cha Bowl
This AT&T Park speciality is served up by Orlando’s Caribbean BBQ and is named after Hall-of-Famer Orlando “Cha-Cha” Cepeda. It features rice, jerk chicken, black beans and zucchini & pineapple salsa. It’s filling enough that the $10 price tag won’t make you lose your appetite.
Coney Island Hot Dog
The Coney Island hot dog is a beef hot dog topped with an all-meat bean-less chilli and diced white onions with two strips of yellow mustard and grated cheese. The “Coney Island” hot dog did not originate with Coney Island, New York; the name merely refers to the origin of the hot dog itself. It actually is a local food, originating in Flint, Michigan.
Verdict: Coney Island Hot Dog
Judging on food quality, the Cha Cha bowl wins. But this is baseball people. Hot dogs and ballparks go hand in hand, even if this hot dog requires several hands and two dozen napkins. Not to mention the fact that the dog is from Flint and here I thought the only thing to come out of Flint was depression!
When Luis Ayala is in a situation where his every pitch could mean the end of the Baltimore Orioles season, he doesn’t reach for one of those overly hyped magnetic necklaces or layer on the metal charms like he’s a Tiffany’s bracelet. No. He reaches for what every superstar has underneath their uniform - Mardi Gras beads.
So obviously I have no intention of giving you tangible information about batting averages or post season appearances about the Oakland Athletics, but I will give you interesting timbits of information that usually helps me decide if I like a player or not. And yeah, it’ll mostly all be in photos.
Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Yoenis joined the Major League after defecting from Cuba. He’s a 5 tool outfielder with a $6.5 mil per year pay cheque in his pocket. Below is the work out video he sent to teams when he was making the shift to the MLB. Hopefully with his major league monies he can afford a higher production quality when he hits free agency in 3 years.
Coco Crisp - CF
Coco Crisp is one of the few veterans of the Oakland A’s coming in at the ripe old age of 32. And being the grandfather of the team you’d think he’d display more mature characteristics than driving his Rolls Royce Phantom drunk in Arizona.
Stephen Drew - SS
Stephen Drew doesn’t have much dirt on him. In fact, the only blemish on his 7 years as a professional ball player came when he snapped his ankle sliding into home plate. His boss at the time, Ken Kendrick - owner of the Diamondbacks, publicly questioned his commitment to his team because of his lengthy trip to the DL. In a radio interview, Kendrick said:
I’m going to be real direct about Stephen (Drew). I believe Stephen should have been out there playing before now. Frankly, I for one am disappointed. I’m going to be real candid and say I think Stephen and his representatives are more focused on where Stephen’s going to be a year from now than going out and supporting the team that’s paying his salary.
Seth Smith - DH
Who would have thought that Seth Smith was the backup quarterback for Eli Manning during his time with the Ole Miss Rebels?
Josh Donaldson - 3B
Another guy who seemingly had no past before the majors…Josh Donaldson. Here’s a photo of him being entirely too comfortable in a onesie.
Brandon Moss - 1B
Moss has a rather famous cousin in country superstar Alan Jackson. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a photo of them together so we could marvel in their resemblance so I did this for you instead.
Josh Reddick - RF
Josh Reddick is a hardcore WWE fan. So much so that his walkout song is Triple H’s walk out song, The Game by Motorhead. He also carried around a plastic WWE championship belt with him for years until Triple H found out and replaced it with one of his actual WWE championship belts.
Derek Norris - C
Derek Norris is super boring so here’s a photo of him during this years’ rookie hazing. He fills out a onesie nicely. He was also involved in one of the worst defensive plays in baseball, along with Cliff Pennington. See below for the video.
Cliff Pennington - 2B
See Cliff? This video is why you should let people take photos of you drunk in public. Otherwise all I have on you is this brutal play that allowed AJ Pierzynski to score from second.
Jonny Gomes - LF/RF
Finally! An Oakland player with a past. Gomes spent his childhood being occasionally homeless and had to scavenge for empties from camp sites around Petaluma, Calif. He was the passenger in a car accident that left his best friend dead yet Gomes survived with a few scratches. And he’s a pretty good ball player too - he hit a 474-foot homer at Tropicana Field. But the reason you should love him as a person is because he actually beat the shit out of one of his current team mates, Coco Crisp. It happened in 2008 when Gomes was a Ray and Coco was with the Red Sox. After James Shields hit Coco with a pitch and Coco charged the mound, Gomes jumped on top of him and hammer fisted him into submission.
2012 has been a season of historic firsts and memorable moments but if things go as planned, tonight may be the most memorable. Adam Greenberg is expected to pinch hit for the Miami Marlins as they face R.A. Dickey and the rest of the New York Mets. The irony of course being that it was a Miami Marlins (then Florida Marlins) pitcher who dealt the blow to Greenberg.
Greenberg was an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs in 2005 where his career was abruptly ended when he was hit in the head on the first pitch of his only plate appearance, ending his career in the Majors.
However, Greenberg was undeterred by the injury and continued playing in the minor league system where he had the opportunity to face De Los Santos for the first tie since Greenberg was hit in the head by him. After the game Greenberg said:
It was a big deal. As much as I might try to pretend it wasn’t. It’s been five and a half years, and to face him again in a game that meant something and get the result, to get a hit off him, it was a special moment. It brings things full-circle. You have the what-if stuff, ‘what if he threw that first pitch for a strike five and a half years ago?’ The fact is, it happened.
Thanks to an online petition that began by a Cubs fan, the Miami Marlins signed Greenberg to a one-day contract as a goodwill gesture. Fingers are crossed he not only gets that hit, but perhaps part two of his major league career.
It sounds sort of funny, doesn’t it? I bet it sounds even funnier to the staff over at ESPN and Sports Illustrated as they both ranked Baltimore 28th overall at the start of the season. The best part is nothing changed for their team since those rankings came out in February and March other than Jim Thome being traded to the team at the deadline. Saying that, it’s nice to see a team so underrated rise above the mighty Yankees to clinch before they do. (I’m also looking forward to the number 29th ranked team to make the playoffs as well).
I’m not going to lie. I genuinely feel terrible for Pirates Fans. For the second year in a row they went from division leaders to division losers and today marked the day that they will finish their 20th consecutive season below .500.
Baltimore’s Jason Hammel accused the Toronto Blue Jays of stealing signs during last night’s 4-1 loss to the blue birds after giving up 4 solo home runs. Hammel said “Honestly, with the fastball command, when you’re not locating your fastball, you’re going to give up some home runs there. The swings they were taking on the breaking stuff, it was pretty amazing to me. I don’t think you can take swings like that, not knowing they’re coming. I don’t know. That’s all I can say.”
This isn’t the first time the Blue Jays have been accused of stealing signs. Last year Joe Girardi said he thought the team was stealing signs during a road trip to Toronto.
If they are stealing signs, good for them. If they are that sloppy with their signals then it isn’t theft… But the reality is if you keep throwing the same fast ball over and over batters are going to notice. And take you out the park.
It isn’t easy to be a minor league player. You work as hard as you can to get a chance to make it to the show, but sometimes the call never comes. For 28 year old Irving Falu of the Kansas City Royals, it seemed to be his reality. Irving played 949 minor league games dating back to 2004 where he paid his dues and honed his craft, hoping each spring training he’d be told he was on the roster for the Royals.
Well this weekend, Falu finally got the call (thanks to an injury to Yuniesky Betancort) and proved he belonged in the majors with his first major league hit a triple in the second. Falu finished the day 2 for 4 and scored a run off of a single from Alex Gordon.
Alex Rodriguez appreciated the momentus hit and handed him the ball at third. Classy!