The Day Pine Tar Became Relevant

It was 25 years ago today, and we have to give some mention of it. George Brett goes apeshit and storms the field at Yankee Stadium, after a Goose Gossage pitch lands in the seats.

Pine tar, we love your smell and you are one of our fondest memories of our playing days.

As for Brett, our buddy met him at a coaching banquet and heard him speak. He spoke of wild nights and slump busters. Hell of a pure hitter.

It was 1983, and I was not even one. Look at those stirrups.

This Season is up for Grabs

Last night someone asked me who I honestly think will be in the World Series. I thought about it for a while and I really had trouble feeling confident about my answer. Someone has got to win the last series they play in October; walking off the field to shower one another in champagne in the clubhouse. I tried my best to have some vision of who was gonna play for it all.

I scanned through the NL teams. Thought about the Phillies. Thought of the Mets. Then I said it’s going to be the Cubs. Although I think the Brewers could give them some trouble, the Cubs are going to make Ryan Dempster look like a genius.

Then I started thinking about another team that could come out of nowhere to have that ‘special’ type year. Something storybook like. I wanted to say the Red Sox earlier this season, but you know what? They’re in for some serious shitty karma because they’ve had their share of good fortune. Why not the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I have the Rays and Cubbies in a World Series that is immensely great for baseball.

But in all honesty, I can’t remember a season this wide open in a long time, for reals. There are a lot of teams that seem just good enough to be a contender. There is no dominating team. Not that one that is just gonna roll. It could make for an excellent postseason in which all series go to the maximum games allotted.

Every team has around 60ish games left (depressing), and nothing has been decided yet.

Jay Bruce Hitting Streak Watch

You know, we had to do this since Jay Bruce is in the midst of the first real hitting streak of his career; and although we’ll probably jinx him and he’ll go 0 for 4 next game, we wanted to document his chase of history.

Yes we are homers. Yes we’re clueluess. But that is the fun of a hitting streak. Each time he flairs one into the outfield or legs out a swinging bunt, we can breath easy for that night. When he goes hitless, we have to start shaving and changing our underwear again. That’s no fun.

Today: 1 for 5 – 12 games

Up Next: Friday vs. Aaron Cook (Colorado), no prior matchups

GTD (Games to Dimaggio): 44

*Disclaimer: Jay, we’re sorry if we jinx you dude. We love you. We really do.

-A look at Jay Bruce’s hitting streak [Baseball Reference]

Blaze of Glory

Fresh off a walk-off 11-inning victory last night, the Reds came to play in their business day special contest against the San Diego Padres. They won for the second day in a row and are now 11-8 in July and could easily be 13-6 if not for Coco Cordero’s meltdowns in the past week.

But now in dealing with the title of the post. We’ve often mentioned to friends that one of two things are going to happen in dealing with the Godfather of Diamond Hoggers:

1) He’s going to get dealt at the training deadline to a contender like the Angels or Diamond Backs.

2) He’s going to have a career year even with the downs that he’s had this season, going out guns blazin’. Dunn finally reaches the 50 home run mark in a season that he wasn’t even an All-Star and drives in over 110 runs.

Dunn is on fire right now. He hit his 9th home run of the month of July, a grand slam that sealed the game for the Reds. He drove in 5 runs. He’s now got 29 long balls and 68 ribeye steaks on the season. Right on pace for another Dunn-like season.

Dunn was not the only story. Javier Valentin added a home run and 3 hits on the day, Bronson Arroyo won his 5th straight decision and struck out seven, and Jay Bruce extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

The next time the Reds play (friday) we’ll be in the Diamond Seats for the first time since this blog was born.

[Box Score]

The American League Prevails Again

Note the search terms. I was wondering the same thing when I woke up this morning.

You know, in the end the 2008 All-Star game will go down as the greatest of all-time. And I didn’t get to see the end of it. I think the MVP JD Drew is the game’s biggest dickface. That said, the game seemed to be a scripted classic, complete with the red carpet parade and legends all over the field. It was a night that you’d love to be at the ballpark even with it being great on television.

It’s hard to believe the National League actually holds a 40-36 advantage in these contests. They just can’t fake themselves into winning one of late.

And we commence today with the most boring day of the summer.

A day where no baseball is played. I watched When It Was a Game and now the Hooters pageant. It doesn’t compare to even watching the Pirates and Giants. I miss baseball already.

The All-Star Game was a nice reminder in the middle of the summer that no venue can bring out the magic quite like Yankee Stadium. It definitely lived up to the billing of midsummers classic.

The Natural Josh Hamilton and the Home Run Derby

As much as Hamilton is missed as a Red, you must be happy for him.

A buddy and us spent wayyy too long playing NHL 2008 on the XBOX tonight. We didn’t even get to see our pick Grady Sizemore hit his 6 home runs in the derby. However, we picked the perfect moment to turn it on. Josh Hamilton was striding to the plate and about to have the moment he dreamed about. It shows you that the Lord is real and what this guy is doing is no ordinary story.

Never in our life have we seen a man hit with this kind of power. I was happy for Josh and honestly wish he was wearing a Reds uniform when he was in that derby. My fiance harbors a monster crush on him too.

Chris Berman is gonna bathe you in verbal defecation tonight

Mentally prepare yourselves ladies and gentlemen. Chris Berman is in the building, and he’s not going home until he’s driven us all mad. If you watch the Home Run Derby presented by State Farm each year like we do then you are aware of Chris Berman’s Bermanisms that he brings out each year in hopes of sounding cute or clever.

For example just from the 2007 Derby:

“It could be a national “Holiday” by the time we’re done here” -on Matt Holliday

“Albert Winnie the Pujols”

“I think that one landed on Treasure Island”

“I saw you jamming out there with the Crows”- Dusty Baker
“It was the Counting Crows!”- Chris Berman
“You were counting em’ too!”- Dusty Baker

“It’s off the platform in right centerfield….how interesting is that”

Why in the world does he insist upon re-gurgitating such stupid shit? It’s not fair and it certainly isn’t becoming. It’s Berman’s big night and we’re all gonna bear witness to it, like it or not.

Someday soon, our boy will be part of the All-Star festivities

As a kid, we always enjoyed watching the All-Star workout day as much as the game. We even got to attend the All-Star workout day in 1997 when Tino Martinez won the thing. But nothing can beat when your favorite player is a part of All-Star weekend somehow. Like Adam Dunn in 2002. I remember reading about Dunn maybe not making the team in 2002, but that ‘it would be ok because Dunn would be stockpiling All-Star selections for the next decade’. How’s that worked out?

OH LOOK! There’s our guy laying in front of the dugout with all the other All Stars during the derby! OH LOOK! There’s our guy being interviewed during the Baseball Tonight All Star Gala. You know what I’m saying. It’s a great feeling to know the player your franchise has all their stock in is rubbing elbows with the best in the game and becoming a household name.

I’m hoping that Jay Bruce answers the bell in this respect where Dunn could not. I’m hoping that Bruce is a part of the next 5 to 10 All-Star games. Grady Sizemore has been part of the last 3, so why not our guy? We’re longing for the arrival of that day.

All-Star Break is here–Your summer is at its peak

One more game to go before they’re all in the books (Mets vs. Rockies) before the All-Star break. I kind of dig this commercial. It really sets the scene for some dramatics. We’re a little disturbed that our season is already over halfway gone, but this is the pinnacle of the summer season. Will it be a classic? Hopefully we get a showing as good as the 1992 AS (Griffey MVP) game or the 1994 AS game (Tony Gwynn scores the game winner). Seemed like guys went a lot harder then.

About Those DiamondBacks

You might remember when we anointed the 2008 DiamondBacks as the second coming of the late 90’s Orioles. I mean it was easy to do. They were on a roll. That said, I’m glad we weren’t anywhere near Las Vegas during the DiamondBacks hot stretch. We would have gambled and we would have lost.

They’re now 46-47, they’ve got one more win than the lowly Cincinnati Reds. We’re not ready to say the DiamondBacks are bad, or even mediocre. They’ve got Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. They’ll probably make a move to help themselves. That’s what winning organizations do. What’s happened is that their inexperience has caught up to them. They were a young team last year, and they’re just a year older and still young. Except for Randy Johnson of course.

Justin Upton has his moments but he sure did cool off. Mark Reynolds hit his 19th home run today. Connor Jackson is still hitting .300 on the season. But when you look through the lineup of the Dbacks, there’s just no fear in the order. They’re ordinary.

Bob Melvin has his work cut out for him. They’re just a game up on the Dodgers in the NL West. It’s going to be a dogfight (or crawl) to win that division. The DiamondBacks fooled us. They’re not a World Series team and they’re not a team to remember. They’re an ordinary team in a city that has the Arizona Cardinals to look forward to. Has Kurt Warner beaten out Matt Leinart yet?