Simpsonize the Diamond Hoggers

Many times in college, I’d return from class to see editor George spending an afternoon educating himself with the Simpsons. It’s a genuis idea really, and a genius show. In honor of that and the movie coming out this weekend, Diamond Hoggers has been Simpson-ized:

Curt Schilling
We couldn’t turn this guy away!

Tacky, yet unrefined. Also Sleepy-eyed.

Editor George

Not the type that looks like he wants to rob a bank with you is he?

Well there you have it folks, the editors of Diamond Hoggers with their real life Simpsons counterparts.

Throwing it around

The Diamond Hoggers Summer Tour is just one short day from beginning. It’s almost the weekend, except we must get through friday. The Simpsons Movie comes out tomorrow night, so stay tuned for some Simpsons-themed goodies. That said, it’s going to be a good ride this weekend. Here are some links to help your baseball fix for this thursday in late Ju-ly:

  • Ryan Howard went walk-off ‘moonshot style’ in the 14th inning last night. Oh yeah and it was Cole Hamels bobblehead night. (The 700 Level)
  • The Boston Red Sox, Simpsonized. (Deadspin)
  • The Cardinals are always hurt, why is that? (Cobra Brigade)
  • The feeble get more feebler. (Cardinals Diaspora)
  • Ozzie Guillen had smoke coming out of his ears last night after the Chi Sox let one slip away to Detroit. (The Heckler)
  • Get a beautiful look of our home away from home, Cincinnati, and Great American Ballpark. (Baseball Church)

Carmona vs. Beckett an Instant Classic

Fausto Carmona was dominating for 8 innings in his start last night against the Boston Red Sox. If you didn’t get to see it, what a shame. I watched the game from first pitch on; and it was truly a classic.

One run decided the game for the second night in a row; and for the second night in a row it was the only run in which was scored. Josh Beckett went the distance striking out 7 Indians, with his only mistake being a homerun he allowed to Franklin Gutierrez.

With the win Carmona matches Beckett with 13 victories to lead the American League, also tying him with teammate C.C. Sabathia. He stepped up and pitched with big game maturity beyond his years, and proved that the Indians just might have something very, very special in this young righthander.

This is the type of game as I said before it to my friend I watched it with; that the Indians needed to ‘make a statement’. The Red Sox are as legitimate a World Series contender as there is right now, and to beat them with their horse on the mound, when he’s at his best…. well that’s what it’s all about baby.

Box Score

Faustatic. (The DiaTribe)

Source: Lofton headed back to Indians

Sure, he’s an asshole, we’ve got the stories to prove it. Beyond that, we loved him. It’s just that when we wanted some simple acknowledgement, he snarled at us. He growled. Suddenly we didn’t want any acknowledgement anymore. More on that later.

He was one of our favorite Indians on that late 90’s Tribe, if not our most favorite (we loved Manny Ramirez too). That said, he’s headed back to Cleveland we’re told. Per our sources:

Texas and Cleveland came to terms today (7/25/07) and the Kenny Lofton deal will be announced by mid-day Thursday. Texas presented with 3 prospects to select and have 48 hours to pull the string. One of the options is believed to be Brian Barton.

This would be excellent, then our boy Grady Sizemore could hit 3rd in the lineup, with Lofton leading off in left. What better way to have some more magic back at Jacobs Field then to have Lofton back in the pasture for one more run, to retire as an Indian.

More on our favorite .193 hitting catcher!

Remember when we roasted David Ross? Well there’s more…just a bit more. We find this funny, and I vow if he can end up hitting .230 on the season I’ll even delete this post, but if not I guess it’s just more for wifey to stumble upon. Here’s an anonymous tip from one of our readers after reading our initial roast of D. Rossy:

He has actually already made our site late last summer. Hanging out with Arroyo
clearly has been rubbing off on sweet little married David. He wife is
suppossed to be really nice to which I guess makes his alleged behavior
suck even more. Apparently one evening, he and Arroyo met some girls and brought
them back to the hotel. We can only assume what Bronson did with his lady,
however we know for a fact that Ross had sex with his girl. Unfortunately for
him, it only lasted for a few minutes at most. He apologized for his inability
to last by telling the girl that he doesn’t cheat on his wife “all that often”
so he got a little overexcited and could hold out for very long. That’s pretty
much all that we have ever heard about him but we’ll keep looking. Thanks
for the info. The reds have quite a following on our board so we would love
any extra info you guys hear about them. We’ll keep you posted if we hear
anything else about Ross or any of your other boys.

So, there you have it. David doesn’t hit in the clutch, he doesn’t hit at all. Sucks for you Davey.

It's not likely that MLB fixes games; if your team plays in Idaho

Last night while watching the situation unfold more for the NBA, David Stern, and the Tim Donaghy saga of betting on sports, I questioned something: Does betting go on in my sport? Are the results of my beloved baseball legitimate?

It’s a decent question. Afterall, if an NBA referee has been contacted and convinced to fix and sway NBA game results, you can bet it’s happened to officials of the NFL, NHL, NCAA, and yes, even our beloved MLB.

As a Cleveland fan and follower, I’ve made jokes many times about Vegas gamblers paying off someone to make sure the fix and farce is in on our boys. The Vegas dark figures of the evil night paying off someone to make sure we never get a championship. I have conspiracy theory that Dennis Northcutt’s drop in the 2002 NFL playoffs was simply due to a Vegas gangster payoff. I still somewhat believe it.

The simple matter of this is that this just doesn’t end with Donaghy. He’s not the only man in sports that took some money to sway a game. Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 White Sox weren’t the last figures in baseball to take some money and run. It happens and it goes on, probably somewhere every day, in every major city that owns a sports franchise.

It’s probably hard for someone to recall a darker time in sports. I can deal with the steroids, the dog killings, the bogus records being set, parody, players changing cities and selling out for money. The one thing I can’t deal with is the harsh reality that has been brought to fruition recently: that what I’m watching just might be as much of a fix as a WWE Title match.

One must wonder how many MLB Umpires, pitchers, players have been contacted to take a lump of money and throw a big game. I promise you, that evil is out there. They’ve gotten to some of our boys of the MLB, and it’s happened. If the authorities want to take enough time away from their O.J. Simpson-real-killer-like steroid probe search, they’ll find it.

I’d love to say that the NBA, which we knew was fixed to a point for a long time, was the only sport that has some bogus results. I can’t say that, as it is just as likely that these things have happened even to a greater degree in baseball, with the real results mattering as to winners and losers (since there isn’t a point spread in baseball). It would also be very simple for a home plate umpire to take a load of cash and control the game on a windy day at Wrigley Field so that the under is reached and not the over. The possibilites are endless. I hate to say it, but I would bet the fixes have been in before in MLB. Suddenly Pete Rose looks more human doesn’t he?

Some light on the Tim Donaghy situation. (20 Second Timeout)

We must note A-Rod's impressive, but regular season

We have to admit, it’s been one hell of a season for Alex Rodriguez. With the Yankees just 4+ games behind the Cleveland Indians in the wild card race, it would seem likely that the Yankees find a way to get in the playoffs and see if A-Rod can continue his magic into the postseason. He’s at 100 RBI as of 2 games ago, but has come under some recent criticism by our good friend Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.

Cobra Brigade says that if Rodriguez can add .20 more points to his batting average by season’s end, he’ll become the first player since Carl Yazsstremski of the Red Sox to win the Triple Crown. We take triple crown talk with a grain of salt around here, we’ve just been around too long and seen too many guys fail. Still, A-Rod has a chance and with the season he is having, he has the homerun and RBI crowns locked up. The question remains: will Magglio Ordonez and Ichiro Suzuki falter enough to allow A-Rod to catch up? Also, if the Yankees can sneak into the playoffs, and we feel that they will, will Rodriguez finally deliver?

Even at 100 RBI, A-Rod yet to earn his stripes. (NY Daily News)
Could A-Rod win the Triple Crown? (Cobra Brigade)

Biggio anounces retirement in Grand Fashion

This one is for you wifey. Craig Biggio, the newest member of the 3,000-hit club is going to hang them up at the end of the season, he anounced yesterday afternoon. He must like the stage, because last night he had all eyes on him in an emotional ballgame.

The Astros used the 6th inning to pile on 6 runs on the Los Angeles Dodgers and starter Mark Hendrickson/reliever Rudy Seanez. The biggest blow of that inning was Biggio’s grand slam homerun, putting the Astros ahead to stay. Biggio had 2 hits on the night to help Jason Jennings earn his 2nd win of the season. Brad Lidge got save #4 in the victory.

Craig Biggio to hang em’ up. (Baseball Musings)
Grand night. (Plunk Biggio)

Box Score

Who's going/Who's staying before July 31st

The trade deadline is looming, just 6 days away. Today we’ll give you a look at the players that are being discussed in the inter-workings of Major League Franchises, and if they’re really going to get dealt. People think that this July 31st will be a slow one, but we assure you; it will not be. While some big names might stay put, we hear there could be some surprises. Stay tuned in all week as we’ll be updating the trades we’re hearing about going down.

Jon Garland, Chicago (AL)
Garland is on his way out of Chicago. As soon as the Sox made the decision not to trade Buerhle, I said to myself before the rumors even started about Garland, ‘they’re going to trade Jon Garland’. He could be a bolster to some pitching staffs due to experience, but really doesn’t offer all that much value. Still, no one else is really out there. Someone will take a chance on Garland and try to catch lightning in a bottle.
Staying/Going: Going
Most likely suitors: Philadelphia, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis

Adam Dunn, Cincinnati
This one pains us to talk about. In the NFL, when you’ve got a great player, you fucking keep the guy. Dunn is a great player and he’s having another Dunn-esque year. He’s a home grown talent. You know the reasons why the Reds should keep Dunn. You know why we love Dunn. Wayne Krivsky won’t get equal value by trading Dunn, now or next season. The best bet for the Reds is to keep him, lock him up long term, and build around him. It’s not his fault they still have no pitching. If they trade him they will never score. No one wants to go down in history as the man who traded 500 HR Adam Dunn, Frank Robinson II. You have to have some serious brass balls to do that. We think Krivsky lacks the balls to do it.
Staying/Going: Staying put
Most likely suitors: Anaheim, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York Yankees

Mark Teixera, Texas
‘Tex’ could very well be the best player moved here at the deadline. Texas wants to get rid of Teixera and his huge salary. Texas seems to replenish hitters well but never find good pitchers in that ballpark. They now view Teixera as a ‘dime a dozen’ type hitter. While that isn’t true, they’re going to do their best to once again dump salary and try to find some pitching prospects in the process. Tex is in his final days in Texas.
Staying/Going: On his way out
Most likely suitors: Baltimore, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco

Eric Gagne, Texas
Gagne had 2 saves yesterday and he looks to be somewhat back to the dominant form that he was once in. He’d be a huge lift to a bullpen down the stretch looking to improve their closer, allowing that team to have a couple options or move their current closer to the set-up role. Texas probably wants a pitching prospect and a high end hitting prospect in return for Gagne, someone who can likely set the table and provide some offense after Teixera is dealt. Gagne is headed to a contender, as Texas never was a good fit for him. Terrible signing by Texas.
Staying/Going: Going most likely
Most likely suitors: Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto

Jermaine Dye, Chicago (AL)
Chicago is going to dump someone. They’re probably thinking they wish they could dump their manager, but no one would want Ozzie Guillen, and they’re paying the fucker so they might as well let him manage. Dye still has a gun from right field and a ton of pop still in the bat. He might not move as well as he once did but he makes up in that category with guile and experience. He’d be a big time right handed bat for a contender or a team trying to get into the playoffs.
Staying/Going: Going
Most likely suitors: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Los Angeles Dodgers

Pat Burrell, Philadelphia
Pat the Bat is having a horrific season in Philadelphia and we’re hearing he desperately wants a change of scenery. He’s split time with Micheal Bourne and it hasn’t really lit a spark under his butt as it should have. Philadelphia will dangle Burrell in nearly any deal as a side piece to a non-contender. We could see this panning out as Burrell ends up somewhere that he’d even hate more than Philly at this point. In this situation, the bad guy finishes last, so watch out, Burrell could be heading to a losing ballpark near you.
Staying/Going: Going
Most likely suitors: Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Oakland, Seattle

David Weathers, Cincinnati
Weathers is having a fine season as Cincinnati’s closer. 19 saves and a low ERA in the 3’s in Great American Ballpark is definitely suitable and makes Weathers a wanted commodity. The Reds have nothing left to play for this season in Cincinnati, and will try to acquire some prospects for this aging arm. Weathers will be one of the more valuable names available at the deadline to teams thinking October baseball, as he has great experience and can be used in a ‘swingman’ type of role on a contender’s roster.
Staying/Going: Going
Most likely suitors: New York Yankees, Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, New York Mets, Philadelphia

Ken Griffey Jr., Cincinnati< /strong>
Junior is back and as good as ever (in Cincinnati anyways) this season. His name has been brought up non-stop but the fact of the matter is, he’s a very tough guy to trade. He’s got a 10/5 clause in his contract, and it is not a real easy salary to move. He’s in pursuit of 600 homeruns, and there is a display set up at the ballpark in honor of this accomplishment in Cincinnati. Baseball is a business, and in the end that business is to put butts in the seats. For these reasons, he’ll stay in Cincinnati at least until the offseason. He’s less likely to be dealt than Adam Dunn.
Staying/Going: Staying
Most likely suitors: Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees

Jason Isringhausen, St. Louis
Izzy was once a dominant closer, but he’s fading fast. This could be one of the last rides for this guy and St. Louis is pretty sure they’re not going to catch the Cubs or Brewers. For that reason, they’ll want to groom a new closer soon–and acquire some prospects to reload for another championship run in the next few seasons while Pujols is on the right side of “30”. If you wanna know where he might be headed, see David Weathers’ possibilities.
Staying/Going: 50/50, we’ll say going
Most likely suitors: Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland

Todd Helton, Colorado
The power is no longer really there for Helton, but he is still a capable line drive hitter that drives in runs and has a quality at-bat each time to the plate. Colorado has figured out that in that ballpark, anyone is going to hit. This will lead them to dangling Helton. He’s a fairly big name, which makes it questionable whether or not he’ll be dealt. We hear Boston has some interest in him in whispers in case Big Papi’s knee and shoulder are not going to hold up until October. It will take some nice prospects with Major League ready arms to get him.
Staying/Going: staying most likely
Most like suitors: Boston, New York Yankees, Minnesota

There are more names to come as the week rolls on. Let us know what you’re hearing, or your differences in opinion in the comments section. Smaller names will follow, but these are some of the bigger names that could be on their way out of their current teams.

Throwing it around

It’s mid-week here at Diamond Hoggers headquarters. The trade deadline is less than a week away. One week from right now we’ll know if Adam Dunn is staying a Cincinnati Red, or if we’ll have to root against them for trading away our buddy. We’ll know if the Tribe went out and got bullpen help. We’ll have ESPN telling us that the Phillies bolstered their chances for a late season playoff run the most by acquiring Jon Garland and 2 junk bullpen guys. For today, we’ll just give some baseball links and wait.

  • The trade deadline isn’t what it used to be. (Deadspin)
  • How sandwiches ruined july and the trade deadline. (Bugs and Cranks)
  • Jeff Pearlman, interviewed about Barry Bonds. (Deadspin)
  • The fish and chips team of Major League Baseball. We assure you this is a first. (One More Dying Quail)
  • The Twins and Blue Jays played last night in Toronto. They also played on this date, in Toronto, in 1987. (Coffeyville Whirlwind)
  • The Indians came out on the short end of a classic last night. Sabathia-Dice K was a great showdown of two very good pitchers on top of their game. (The DiaTribe)
  • Yesterday was the 24th anniversary of the Pine-tar incident. (Lady at the Bat)
  • Thanks to Craig Biggio, for playing the game the right way. (A Pudge is a Sandwich)

Brewers 5, Reds 3

Last night’s ballgame was another good ballgame for the Reds. They didn’t win but the fact is they fought hard and lost to a better ballclub. It came down to the final out for the Reds and nearly resulted in a spirited comeback.

Yovani Gallardo (newly acquired hired gun on the Legendary Hillbillies) threw 6 and 2/3 innings effectively, allowing only one run. Prince Fielder added 2 RBI and 2 hits including a triple. Ryan Braun–that son of a bitch just keeps on hitting as well. Is there an uglier player in baseball (not named Jason Werth) than Corey Hart? Corey Hart didn’t play but he really does look like Chewbacca from Star Wars.

Adam Dunn slammed a 2 run homerun, and of course every time he hits one it’s going to get some run on this blog for about another week or so, because it could be the last one he hits as a Red. Dunn’s shot off Derek Turnbow brought the Reds back to a 1-run deficit (4-3) and was the 225th of his career. He’s also got a 10-game hitting streak.

Box Score

Harang goes 10; Reds outlast Brewers in 12

Aaron Harang became the first Reds pitcher since Rick Mahler in 1989 to throw 10 innings, as he threw 10 against the first place Milwaukee Brewers in what was one of the better ballgames of the year that I’ve seen. Harang fanned 10 Brewers hitters in front of a crowd of 23,489.

The pivotal point of the ballgame occurred when David Weathers got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top of the 11th inning. Javier Valentin singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 12th.

Impressive on the Brewers squad, were the efforts of Ryan Braun and Chris Capuano. Braun had 3 hits including a line-shot homerun. I have to be honest, this kid might give Hunter Pence all he can handle for the National League Rookie of the Year honors. I might have to chance my stance a little bit on that, as I did not realize that Braun is raking everything in sight this season, and hitting 3rd on a first place ballclub.

Capuano went 8 innings, striking out 7 and allowing 7 hits and 1 earned run.

Box Score

Buster Olney weighs in on Adam Dunn situation

Today we had the chance to speak with Buster Olney from ESPN. Here is what he had to say about the Adam Dunn situation which has about another week to fester itself before coming to some type of head:

Diamond Hoggers: Buster, can you talk at length with what you see shaking down with the Adam Dunn situation and his future in Cincinnati?

Buster Olney, ESPN: Dunn is considered a mega-star in Cincinnati, while other teams see Dunn as an amazing power hitter with some flaws in regard to defense and strike-outs. What I’m hearing is that the Reds asking price due to how they value him is so very high, making it tough to trade him. Tough situation….

Throwing it around

Happy friday all. We’re coming to you with a late edition of TIA today, that said we’ve found some nice little baseball tidings, that will never go bad, go away, or go to waste. They’ll be kept here forever for you to read and appreciate. I know the excitement can hardly be contained, so read, read away Hoggers:

  • More on the Ichiro Suzuki contract. I wish someone would agree to pay me until 2032.(The Big Lead)
  • Anytime Joe Morgan gets railed, we’re required to run it. (With Leather)
  • Who’s going to be the next MLB player to bang Alyssa Milano? Is there anyone left?(Deadspin)
  • It’s fantasy camp friday at The Jaunt. Glad my player Brandon Phillips made the list. Don’t look now, editor George–I’ve climbed to 4th place. (The Jaunt)
  • Classic Twins. Puckett. Hrbek. Gaetti. (Coffeyville Whirlwind)
  • Dunn to the Brewers? I think not. (MLB Trade Rumors)