2009: The Best of Diamond Hoggers

Like the Saturday Night Live that they run at the end of the year, it’s a compilation of greatness for your viewing pleasure. This should keep you busy as you wait for the ball to drop.

Meeting our hero

The only season Homer Bailey loves more then Bow hunting season

Grady Sizemore comes after us with a Lawyer

Memoirs of the Postseason

Work hard, Young Legend

Some Joey Votto confirmed stories

Nolan Ryan and Robin Ventura 16 years later

Jay Bruce YouTube tribute

Getting to know Casey “Pig Pen” Mcgehee

2009 Civil Rights Game

The Worst of Times

Fathers Day Post

Jay Bruce gets into the DH HOF

First time we saw Bruce homer live

Jay Bruce Day 2009 celebrated in style

Boot Buttrey: The real secret behind the Yankee Dynasty

Diamond Seats at Great American Ball Park

Homer Bailey get a mount for his wall

Opening Day 2009 & Celebrations on Opening Day

Book review: Straw: Finding my Way

MLB2k9 fucking sucked

Homer demoted to Louisville

Exlusive New Yankee Stadium Virtual Tour (most popular post in the history of the blog)

Put Crime Dog McGriff in the Hall of Fame! But Freddy McGriff was a feared power hitter. As a kid you love that. I group him in with guys like Darryl Strawberry and Barry Larkin as first favorite players who shepherded me through my youth. He just looked cool in the batters box. I can still see his stance in my head. He also moved like a statue on the base paths. If first base wasn’t an option he would have not had a position to hide in (although he was a decent defensive first basemen)” [7th Inning Stache]

This 2009 Off-Season is not a lively one

I hope that you’re a football fan. Because if you’re not, you’re bored as shit waiting for baseball to come back around.

Look at the names being kicked around right now in free agency:

  • Despite preliminary talks, Olney finds a Padres extension for Adrian Gonzalez to be “very, very unlikely.”
  • The Dodgers “are in the chase” for free agent starter Joel Pineiro, with the Angels and Mets other suitors. The Dodgers were first linked to Pineiro by MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick on December 8th. With a chunk of the Juan Pierre savings already spent on Jamey Carroll, Pineiro seems out of their price range.
  • Olney guesses that Matt Holliday will ultimately sign for five years and $82.5-85MM, with options and/or incentives that could “dress it up as a deal that could be worth over $100MM.”
  • The Orioles continue to hunt for a pitcher and corner infielder. I should note that they were initially linked to Pineiro, but maybe the $9MM committed to Kevin Millwood takes them out of the mix. An Erik Bedard reunion could be a possibility.

Look at those names. There are flies circling those names. Jamey Carroll? Juan Pierre? Kevin Millwood? Not to mention the crown jewells (Jason Bay, Matt Holliday) are a couple of soon to decline outfielders on the wrong side of 30 that want paid like they’re the franchise when they’re really more complementary pieces.

It almost makes you happy that you are the fan of a moribund franchise like the Reds who wrestle over breadcrumbs like Chris Burke and Laynce Dicks. Almost.

It’s almost the new year, which means we’ve got only four more months of watching these teams shuffle deck furniture on the Titanic in preperation for the 2010 season. The lack of guys available out there makes for one dull offseason.

Truth be told I bet the love is gone

Who knew some 11+ years ago that these two would unite in New York and win a title together? Crazy shit has went down since this video was originally filmed.

I forget where we heard this, but in actuality these guys don’t really get along anymore. Like, at all. And the other half to that was that A-Rod in one of his many identity crisis’ wanted to have his image be just like Derek Jeter. While A-Rod may be a little more talented, he’ll never achieve the golden boy class status of a Jeter; which is painfully obvious.

Plus, Jetes doesn’t get caught up in all that bullshit with the females. He’s been with thousands but you never hear shit. He’s got more cover with those hoes then John Gotti.

Hat tip: Big League Stew

Bay will be a Met: “WFAN’s Mike Francesca just reported that the Mets will have an announcement early next week that they’ve agreed to a contract with Bay, one of the top free agent hitters on the market. The deal will become official if Bay passes the physical, Francesa said. The Mets have a four-year offer out to Bay worth about $65 million.” [ESPN]

The Hawk could fuck you hard or he could fuck you so slow

We were recently reminded that Andre Dawson is up for the Hall of Fame. As a Chicagoan we work with said to us, how could we not react to this? If you grew up in the 80’s, you knew of The Hawk. You knew about him because in 1987 he hit 49 home runs and drove in 137 on his way to winning the MVP award. Back then, those were astronomical numbers. They’re still pretty big numbers.

But you knew of the Hawk because he was one of the first Topps baseball cards you ever owned. You knew of him because he wore the stirrups on those pole legs like no one else in the big leagues. You knew him because the sumbitch was ageless. Your father’s Andre Dawson was your Andre Dawson. He played from 1976 to 1996. He probably played with kids that he fathered.

So is he Hall of Fame worthy? We think so. Dawson played in an era where power hitters were really at a premium. He was dynamic; hitting nearly .280 for his career and stealing 314 bases. He made the All-Star list seven times. As we mentioned, he took home the MVP.

He’s basically Jose Canseco, only he had the big black king snake and he was clean. Put him in the Hall and let him start working on his speech. You know he is the strong-silent type; so it should be a good one.

"You give em a little shit about Golf Your Way and I’ll tie it up from there"

Another classic from YouTube that if you haven’t seen you’re only cheating yourself, as there’s some really good bits in here.

So here we have legendary college basketball head coach Bobby Knight; and I always thought to myself while watching this video ‘so why in the hell did they drag Knight out there and make him drudge through an instructional golf video’. It’s obvious that Knight is a novice at the sport (hear him say ‘if you’re a fuckin bad golfer like me’ in the clip?).

Knight struggles through the whole thing; and grows increasingly more displeasant as the video approaches the end of it’s filming.

What it all adds up to is that we love Bobby Knight. We love everything about him. He’s just incredible. Look at that face he makes from around 8:40 mark to around the end of the video. We (we meaning me and my dipshit buddy) call that the ‘pelican brief’ look. We don’t expect you to get it, but isn’t it a funny ass pissed-look?

Even Doug Glanville attracted cleat chasers

Doug Glanville writes about the trials that pro athletes like Tiger Woods experience. This is easy to figure. The guys are millionaires and world class athletes so naturally women are going to be all over them at the drop of a hat. This is a good read written by the former ex-Major League outfielder.

Soon after being drafted, I realized something profound: a lot of the work required to make it takes place off the field, and involves how you manage your life. I witnessed a few of my minor league counterparts blow their opportunities in part because they were trying to live the life before they had the life, burning the candle at both ends every night. If it wasn’t for Phoenix’s early club curfew, there’s no telling when players would have come home.

Because I had a few shells to bust out of, I put my toe in that party water, too. I was just 20 when I was drafted and it didn’t take long to understand that a new kind of woman was interested in me: the sort of woman who in the past had stirred my insecurity. It was like a kid finding Batman’s belt in the lost and found. No point in giving it back until you’ve tried all your new powers. But we forget to ask, will I be able to stop once I’ve tasted these powers?

Glanville (take a look at him for Chrissakes) was hardly a superstar. Further evidence that if you make it to the big leagues or a pro athlete (also see Youkilis, Kevin and Werth, Jayson) women will think you’re cool just because you’ve got the ground to stand on to act the part.

Laynce Dicks is back

In case you missed it, and let’s be honest you probably did; the Cincinnati Reds have decided to bring back Laynce Nix.

Here you have a guy who is incredibly mediocre in almost every area; and serves no purpose other then to take at-bats away from guys like Chris Heisey, Chris Dickerson, Drew Stubbs and even Jay Bruce in the outfield.

If you pair that with the fact that Dusty Baker will use any excuse to plug a low OBP guy like Nix into the middle of his order on any given night; well you’re all set for a full-blown clusterfuck once the 2010 season begins.

This is the type of move that once again quietly announces the Reds preparation for extreme mediocrity again in 2010. It is a bottom feeder’s delight all year round in Cincy you see.

And if you’re wondering how he got the nickname it’s really not in all that creative of a fashion. We have a friend who said that if Nix was a pornstar, that would be his pornstar name, ‘Laynce Dicks’. He’s got that muscular frame and really it’s fairly easy to picture him in nothing but a pair of black socks in an episode of ‘I’m hunting Momma 24’ starring none other then Laynce Dicks.

DH Video Select: Clear the Mechanism

So here we have one of the most underrated baseball movies of all time. Most people get caught up in the love story between Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston (and she is a babe, so how could you not); but this movie was very well done from the standpoint that it gets you into the mind of a Major Leaguer.

This was one of my favorite scenes from the movie. If you’ve played sports at any level above middle school you can relate to this. It seems that when you enter that zone, you can block out everything else in the environment around you and just zone in on your concentration.

The very best, the guys who make money to play this child’s game for a living; well we’d be willing to bet that they’re the masters of ‘clearing the mechanism’.

Merry Christmas from Diamond Hoggers

We here at your favorite baseball blog want to wish everyone who stops by and reads the material a Merry Christmas. Even though there is no baseball anywhere in sight, this is the best holiday of the year.

You have to admit that there’s probably something that you want this year, whether you asked for it or not. The thing is we couldn’t think of anything that we wanted. Everyone kept asking us and we just kept replying that we have everything we want. Then, even though it’s a bit of a waste; we thought of the one thing we wanted:

For Christmas all I really wanted was an iPhone 3GS. Some who are close to me might wonder why I’d even want this, because I already have a Blackberry. Well the iPhone is a lot more blogger friendly. They’ve also got that MLB application that I’m interested in learning more about, but I’m sure it’s probably a scam.

So here’s to a nice couple of days of spending time with your family and friends; or whoever you love. We hope that you get what you want and remember what the spirit of this holiday is all about.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

Jeff Pearlman: bad signings will doom bad teams: “This is how things are done these days at PNC Park. Classy. Smart. Are the Pirates en route to greatness? Look no further than the team Web site, where yesterday’s lead headline beamed, PIRATES ADD VETERAN LOPEZ TO LEFTY BULLPEN MIX! (Admittedly, I’ve added the exclamation point. But, hey, it’s not every day a team signs a pitcher with major league experience who literally nobody has heard of). There are big days ahead in the Steel City. Huge! Gigantic!” [Sports Illustrated]

OT: The Diamond Hoggers Holiday Guide to Shopping for Her

Alright fellas. Pull up a stool and make sure that you’re listening. We’re going to tell you how not to get fucked over this Holiday season by buying your woman the wrong gift. Although it’s likely by this the 22nd of December you’ve already went out and bought something lame that is going to leave her feeling un-fulfilled and wondering if you put any thought into her. After all, you had all December to do it didn’t you?

We’ll drop a few tips and tell you some things to definitely stay away from. This isn’t guaranteed to work on every woman, but let’s get serious they’re all wired the same way: 18 fuckin’ kinds of crazy strewn together into a human body. This blueprint is sure to at least keep you in a saving-face and it might even get you some extra holiday nookie.

1. Listen to small hints

Alright so these women we love. They’re real indirect, most of them. Even the most straightforward ones will drop in small sprinklings of hints. They do this for a few reasons. They’re fickle as shit and their mind could change. So if they only halfway mention it, and then they change their mind like we all know they’ll most assuredly do several times before that big fuckin’ 25th day of December, then they can say they only mentioned it in passing and didn’t really want the gift that bad. Now on the other hand, they do it to see if you’re listening. Women care more about your dumb ass just listening to them then they do anything you could ever buy them. They really value that shit. So one could conclude the greatest gift of all that we as guys could give them would just be to ask a question; and genuinely listen to what they have to say–no matter how painful the story you sit through is. Do it enough and it becomes a habit. Then you’re onto something. You know how they are, all sensitive and shit. To listen to them is to stroke them. Play their game and win.

So when you’re at the mall and she says something about she’d look good in that sweater from ________ store that you hate even going into with her, yup that is your cue. If you don’t bring home that bath robe it’s your balls in a sling.

Some women aren’t that bad. But most are.

2. Stay away from low-hanging fruit/lamer gifts
Most guys know and abide by this rule pretty well. If it’s any type of relationship that has been over a short 4 or 5 month lifespan, then you better sure as hell be creative. And of course by law of nature the older we guys get, the longer we’re in the relationship; the less we wanna fucking be creative. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them, it’s just how we are. More starts meaning less type of deal.

I’m not saying you put together a coupon book redeemable with a week’s worth of laundry in the front and a remit one for a full day of ass kissing towards the back. That is plenty creative but you’ll hate yourself for doing it after the fact (we know from experience). But make sure that you’re not heading into Bath & Body Works and buying those gift baskets. Every girl out there got one of those from some guy who doesn’t mean shit to them anymore. And they most likely got it from their first ‘kind of boyfriend’ in 8th grade.

This is a simple lesson but you’d be surprised at the amount of slap dicks that will run out this holiday season and get their girl perfume and think that they’ll skate free. Trust me, someday that shit will catch up to you.

3. Puppies and jewelry are of equal value
These girls, there’s two way into their hearts these days; after flowers have lost their luster. And they say that flowers are always good to get; but they’re full of shit. The first year you really wear them out on flowers. Then after that you’re just wasting money. If she’s the special lady you choose to envoke a lifelong partnership with, flowers won’t mean anything again until you’re both starting to grey and you’re heading towards that 20 year milestone mark. Then you guys can sit around the house and listen to Barry White and grow old together.

The way(s) into a girls heart will always be 1) diamonds and 2) puppies. You come up with either of these two and you are fucking golden. I mean you’re Pauly Shore in the early 90’s golden. How much did women love that worthless sack of shit back then? You’re Kirk Cameron golden.

You might ruin your wallet in this department, but I promise you that you cannot go wrong or even really go to the well one too many times with either of these. Get them something that sparkles and you’ll be amazed at how fast that mouth shuts or on how much the dishes get done and the bathroom gets cleaned (for at least the next calendar month until the diamonds and puppy lose their luster).

4. Find the gift wrapping station at the mall (and tell wifey you wrapped it)
Women like a guy who is worldly. So if you’re still in the stage of trying to be someone you most likely aren’t for your queen, then pay attention. Whether they say it or not, they like a guy who can fix things. They like a guy who can cook. They like a guy who is skilled in multiple areas. If you happen to be one of the nancy-boys who knows how to wrap a gift beautifully, then have at it. If you’re not; go to JC Penny at the mall and do your best sell-job to them in telling them you bought whatever gift you came up with at their store. If they look at you in disapproval you can still play the ‘it’s Christmas’ bullshit card and maybe they’ll still wrap your shit out of the warmth of their heart after consulting with their manager.

You show up with that silver gift with the streamers hanging off it and shorty will be thinking she got something special before she even opens it. And girls are so stupid sometimes that they’ll actually trick themselves into thinking it’s a better gift then it really is just by the presentation of the parcel. They’re all into trivial shit like the presentation of things, are they not?

5. Bells & whistles effect
If your gift is shitty, and there’s no fail-proof way that it won’t be with the way many women think; you have to pull out all the stops. Here’s what you do. You offer to take them to look at some holiday lights and get some hot chocolate some night. I promise it will only take you less than an hour. They’re like children, and it will be a life-altering experience for them. They’ll think they spent the night romantically looking at lights and really it was 45 minutes of you suffering through ‘Silver Bells’ on the radio and saving your own ass. Hold their hand, tell a funny story from Christmas when you were a kid and if your girl has a heart she’ll eat it up.

You did this whole great thing, and you didn’t have to leave the friendly confines of your vehicle and didn’t have to spend a dime! Don’t under-estimate stupid shit like this when it comes to your girl. It’s out of the ordinary.

6. Make sure that the gift giving is ‘all about love’
Yeah that’s right. When you hang up the phone and don’t say “I love you” every frickin’ time, how testy do they get? Does it mean we don’t love them? Fuck no it doesn’t. Would you listen to their bullshit all the time if you didn’t? But they like just hearing it every 5 minutes just to remind themselves. It’s like a system of checks and balances that is never-ending. It just goes on forever.

If you haven’t reached this stage yet; you lucky SOB, you will. And when you do, you’ll know what I mean.

So when you hand her the gift, look her in the eye and say something simple. “I hope you like this, I tried really hard to find something you like because I love you.” See? Once again we’re going back to presentation. It’s just window dressing you see.

7. Don’t ask for a BJ
or be extra pushy about getting ass

Yes, you have to be careful just these few days out of the year. It’s the season of giving, so try and please them. If Ugg Boots weren’t in your budget, and you got the cheap knock-offs from Hong Kong, you might have earned yourself a trip down south for the night without expecting anything in return.

They’re going to play off how ‘they’re tired’ or ‘they’ve been so stressed’ more then they ever have at this time of year. Like we all don’t have long days and have to get through this fucking holiday mess together. But it’s SOOOO much worse for them ya know? So sorry, even though they could totally be horny and cool they most likely won’t be because they had to do a little extra shopping and decorating.

Makes perfect sense.


These are just a few guidelines to get you by. This playbook should work no matter what kind of girl you’ve chose to be at your side this holiday season.

Leave your tips in the comments.

DH Video Select: Little Big League

This is one of the all time great baseball movies, Little Big League. Someone was nice enough to put the music scenes of the movie on YouTube for us. This is kind of a bland video of the day but it will have to do.

If you’ve never seen the film, you really should. It’s a feel-good baseball story about a young kid who inherits his grampa’s baseball team. And how sweet ass would that be? Talk about great Christmas gifts. I’d love to inherit the Minnesota Twins.

I always think back to the scene in the movie when one of this 7th grade buddies says “So let me get this straight, you’re the manager…..and the owner?”