All posts by TheNaturalMevs

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s your first Saturday Baseball Post of the offseason, we’re 58 days from Opening Day. Pitchers and catchers will report soon. Your fantasy league should be filling with familiar faces and it won’t be long until we’re all gathered round rooting for the same old categories that remind us it’s truly spring.

As for us, well we’re trying to sell our condo. It’s truly the most miserable experience to do the daily drill of showings and offerings and counters. Please don’t ever sell your home. It shows you that every person in this world has some shrewdness in them. And when you do show it you will be forced to vacate and loiter at your nearest convenience store for hours on end. So if you care about yourself and your family you will stay where you are!

Today’s 80’s song of the game that should be played on a ballpark loudspeaker near you is a true classic! Enjoy your Saturday.

Next Week will be Hideous Ballplayer Week

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A time-honored tradition here at Diamond Hoggers returns the week before Valentines day, during the most hideous month of them all. Hideous Ballplayer Week has been a feature for many years here, and next week we roll out a brand new stable of stooges for you to learn about.

We don’t want anyone to think we are hating on their dad or anything. If you reached the big leagues, you were at some point; supremely talented at the game of baseball. But within that fraternity there’s a group of guys who just stand out for being ordinary or vanilla. These are the guys we’re going to be targeting for the honors. It’s really more of a ‘random ballplayer review’. We want the guys who never really stood out or did anything wonderful in their time in the bigs.

We take reader submissions, so if you have someone in mind you want to make the blog, tweet us @diamondhoggers or shoot us an e-mail at diamondhoggers_at_gmail_dot_com.

Bring your Junior Noboa’s, your Skeeter Barnes’s, your Rob Picciolo’s (don’t you dare cheat ahead and look him up). This is the chance to make the dreadful famous for a day.

I thought this was a pretty Funny promotional night

I admit to not knowing what ‘Netflix and Chill’ was really, but I heard a lot of skirmish about it here and there. I’m 33, not hip, and generally don’t know what kids are up to these days. I have no idea how this caught fire. But I wanted to find out what Netflix and Chill was all about. So I did the only thing I knew how to do.

I Urban Dictionary’d it.

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I admire the Binghamton Mets for being on the cutting edge of what their fan base may be into. But what exactly will the promotional night entail?

We are guessing in the end it grabs a lot of attention – if we’re writing anything about a promo night to be held in MiLB, it’s good stuff. And we would bet that everyone at the ballpark uses their ticket stub to get a free month of Netflix or something. As if anyone but me pays for Netflix these days!

Iron Sheik meets Iron Sheik Jr. via Howard Stern

This isn’t new, so if you’re a Stern fan; please don’t jump all over me because this is really old content. It’s the off-season and if I’m ever going to throw up a post like this, now is the time. If you’re one of the lucky ones that haven’t seen this yet, it’s definitely worth the price of admission in these parts.

Here you have Howard Stern, the Iron Sheik (wrestling ‘legend’, authentic nutjob), and Iron Sheik Jr. (it’s Comedian Artie Lange and everyone in the world knows this right away, except the Sheik).

Iron Sheik senses trouble from the beginning. You can see this when he furrows his brow at the all out attack that Lange/Sheik Jr. unleashes upon him from the beginning.

And from here, it really goes downhill with Sheik getting his usual diarrhea of the mouth and Lange basically repeating Sheik’s own poor insults back him, telling him he is worse than Michael Jackson and calling him a Jabroni.

Favorite parts:

  1. Sheik Jr. telling Sheik he will ‘make him humble by selling out the Pontiac, Michigan in front of 93,000 people and fuck his ass’. This an obvious reference to Wrestlemania III, which Sheik was a part of and Artie probably remembers from when he was a kid. Golden stuff.
  2. Sheik Jr. repeatedly accusing Iron Sheik of stealing ‘The Camel Clutch’, Sheik’s prided finishing maneuver. He even says he stole it from his father!
  3. Howard instigating and asking about Vince McMahon paying Sheik Jr. $2 million dollars, and Sheik Jr. responding by saying that yes, ‘he was paid $2 million in whores, cocaine, and cash, and mari-ju-ana’.
  4. Howard basically instigating the unsuspecting Sheik all the way through to the end.

How Sheik didn’t notice that this was just some comedian mark pulling on his fake beard in front of a bullshit backdrop the WWF would have used in the 80’s (look at those pyramids) is beyond me. It is what makes this video so priceless.

Throwing it Around

Another day is done, and we are a day closer to the regular season. Here’s what is linkworthy on this Wednesday in the baseball world:

-One of the coolest posts I’ve seen in a while. How each MLB team was derived. [Fangraphs]
-The Astros had five guys on the MLB.com top 100 prospect list. [Crawfish Boxes]
-MLB owners are concerned with teams tanking for draft positioning. [ESPN]
-Can Jean Segura put it all together in the desert? [Fox Sports – Ken Rosenthal]
-Some kid holds a press conference in his bedroom to announce his 2016 MLB the Show team. I want to do this. [YouTube]
-Greg Maddux is now part of the Dodgers front office. [Inside the Dodgers]

“Chicken Soup” Rosario is no more. He is now Wonton Phosario

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Oh, the nuggets the boredom of an offseason brings.

We once gave Wilin Rosario the nickname “Chicken Soup” because he was seemingly always on the shelf, nursing himself back to health. If it wasn’t hangnail, he had a cold and was on the roost in the dugout nursing himself back to health with Campbell’s.

We panicked in hearing that Rosario was headed to Korea to play ball for the Hanwha Eagles!

This season, ‘Sitting Bull’ takes on a new form for his adventures. He’s now Wonton Phosario. Here’s how I see this playing out for the new oriental sitting league champion:

  • Wonton’s plane touches down in Korea, he immediately finds a golden throne somewhere and is fed sushi with chopsticks by several beautiful Korean women. He’s wearing nothing but an oriental sequent robe. They believe they are feeding the next Korean home run champion. Phosario misses six months because of a reaction to tempura rolls.
  • Phosario holds a press conference to announce he will return to the lineup a few months into the season on a Tuesday night, gets shocked for a split second when he touches the microphone and decides he needs the night off for being ‘electrocuted’.
  • Phosario misses a total of seven games during the Korean season because he stayed up too late the night before. Not because he was out enjoying the night life, he just stayed up too late watching television and has sleepy eyes in the morning.
  • Phosario tries Miso Soup and then gets a sour stomach, misses a week for food poisoning from Miso Soup! Who gets food poisoning from Miso Soup? It is basically water! Who, you ask? The catcher and soon to be DH who has the immune system of Charlie Sheen, that’s who.
  • Phosario tells his manager that his new oriental sandals he’s been wearing are causing turf toe, and is relegated to pinch-hit duty on the nights he decides he can play.
  • Phosario finally decides to miss the remainder of the season (as if he ever gave actually playing on a consistent basis his all to begin with) because he has a strained buttocks from sitting. He explains to the trainer that it ‘just hurts back there’ – becoming the first player in professional sports to actually get hurt from physically sitting on the bench.

This is going to be my first season checking in on Korean baseball, and it’s all due to our friend Wonton “Spup” Phosario.

Hat tip to our buddy Corey for the great photoshop of Phosario.

Anything Harry Caray just causes immense happiness

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MLB Network had a special feature tonight on Harry Caray, who in my opinion was the greatest ever when you factor in that he worked in the mystical land of Chicago for so long along with all his over lovable shenanigans.

Caray was so much more than just a ‘Carnival Barker’ as they referred to him affably tonight on the documentary. He was a great baseball man – arguably the best model of a baseball man that one could exhibit. Harry really just was one of us, which was why he connected so well with the fans. He was the real article. He didn’t try to pretend to be anything to be liked – this was really a guy who set up calling baseball games with a cocktail lunch – carried the party through the ballgame and on into the evening for a nightcap.

And he was a true pro. There he would be the next day ready to call your game and go again after being seen around town at seemingly every spot there was at 70 years of age. I know that I can’t think about going out and doing what Harry did and I’m only 33.

I spent so many afternoons sick and home from school or on spring break just watching the Cubs on WGN in the spring. There was something magical about it.

Why are these damn neato Cubs always on television during the day time, and who is this kinda goofy old guy who makes me giggle. That was my feeling on the Cubs when I was my 11 or 12 year old self. But I could never turn them out – I can still hear Harry talk about his wife Dutchie, or Dana Demuth, Jose Vizcaino, or Rey Sanchez. If you watched the Cubs during those days and you don’t remember the magical way Harry slurred those very names on those bitter cold spring days at Wrigley; you aren’t being honest!

I know the Cubs weren’t very good – but is there anything more enchanting than thinking about the Wrigley Ivy, Caray, Bill Murray and friggin’ Steve Stone? And a 70 year old man heading out after nine innings to tear up a town like it’s routine.

This documentary really did a great job of endearing you to ol’ Harry. And I realized as I watched; that the fact is that Harry Caray made me smile then and now. He was nothing if he was not totally infectious if you’re a baseball lover.

I love this well-hidden gem/Caray story from the Deadspin comments:

There was an old story about one of Harry’s neighbors running into him standing near a taxi outside their building at 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning. The neighbor jumped in the cab and mentioned to the driver it was nice to see Harry up and around that early, that it appeared he was taking better care of himself. The cabby looked at the guy and said “Hell, I’m just dropping him off, I’ve been driving him around to bars all night”

The Mayor of Rush Street. Helluva guy.

Throwing it Around

The first day of the worst month of the year is over with. We can all hunker down, and get through the struggle that is February together. Pitchers and catchers will be here to save us in a couple of weeks. So watch some hockey, study up on your fantasy baseball documents, or do what ever it is you prefer to pass the time. This is gonna be brutal.

-Dansby Swanson writes about going home again, to Atlanta. [The Players Tribune]
-Yasiel Puig is getting a clean slate from the Dodgers. [LA Times]
-Greg Bird; Yankees hero, won’t play in 2016. [Gardy Goes Yardy]
-The Chicago Cubs are getting national attention, and said to be taking the next step. [Boston Globe]
-David Schoenfield says the Angels are wasting Mike Trout’s prime. [ESPN SweetSpot]
-The DiamondBacks acquired Jean Segura in a trade. [Inside the ‘Zona]
-The Brewers have some upside, writes Jeff Sullivan. [Fangraphs]

Corey Koskie offers advice on business, life, and gym management

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Corey Koskie carved out a nice little career in the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Toronto. Though never an All-Star, he had a really nice season in 2001 that saw him finish 25th in MVP voting. He was almost a 5.0 bWAR player that season.

And this article from The Players Tribune is a great read about players and their thought process after they get out of baseball. It’s written by Koskie himself. Give it a click.

Throwing it Around

We’re going to start doing this feature again daily to get some linkworthy reads up on the blog, and it will remain at least until the season starts. At that point it might become semi-irregular again but never too far from once again returning.

-Like MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus has Seager #1 and Buxton #2 in their top 50 prospects. [Baseball Prospectus]
-Speculation about Alex Rodriguez using PEDs in 2015 has found it’s way to the internet. We’ve had our suspicions. [ESPN New York]
-There’s going to be a Vin Scully avenue in Los Angeles. [Hardball Talk]
-Why Jake McGee may be perfect for Coors Field. [Fox Sports]
-The Astros have signed up Doug Fister. [Fangraphs]
-The Rockies boast six prospects within MLB.com’s top 100 list. [Purple Row]
-Bryce Harper takes batting practice at his high school field. [Federal Baseball]

Corey Dickerson traded from Colorado to Tampa Bay

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So I guess the rumors out there about Corey Dickerson being on the move weren’t just talk after all. The Colorado Rockies dealt Corey Dickerson to the Tampa Bay Rays – where he assuredly will become a less exciting offensive player – and the deal was centered around the return of LHP reliever Jake McGee.

Poor Rockies fans. I think it’s good for baseball when the Colorado Rockies are relevant. They interest and excite me more than a team like say; the Giants. They play in one of the best parks in all of baseball. They have some good young talent. We want them to be good again. They’re fresh.

This trade is a perfect example that they have no direction, and they’re wasting the primes of Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez and really any young player with a bright future on their roster.

And here’s why this deal made little sense:

At age 27 he’s still making the minimum salary and is under team control through 2019, although with a career OPS of 1.085 in Colorado compared to .695 on the road it’s unclear what type of hitter the Rays are actually getting. In his lone full, healthy season Dickerson hit .312 with 24 homers and a .931 OPS for the Rockies in 2014.

McGee has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball since debuting in 2010, logging a total of 260 innings with a 2.77 ERA and 319 strikeouts. However, he’s starting to get expensive via the arbitration process with a $4.8 million salary for 2016 and McGee will be a free agent after the 2017 season.

McGee is a fantastic, high-impact reliever, but it’s unclear why the rebuilding Rockies of all teams need an expensive 29-year-old reliever two seasons from free agency or why they signed the 29-year-old Parra to get that ball rolling.

I really like Jake McGee, and maybe there are concerns on the inside of the organization about Dickerson staying healthy or something; or the Rockies feel that he was about to drop off in a big way. It just seems there could ave been better returns out there than a lefty reliever.

Now you have two once-intriguing fantasy baseball players who are slightly less valuable. At least our Rockies post quota is fulfilled early on in the year.

Cubs fans and their weed

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We have written in the past about Cubs fans and their appreciation for Marijuana.

It’s possibly clear now more than ever before; show me a guy who bleeds Cubbie blue, and I’ll show you a guy who has ‘tried it’.

The internet’s best Cubs/weed gem yet has been out there, but we just now found it. It’s naturally titled “A stoner’s guide to 4/20 at Wrigley”.  A few of the highlights:

Make sure you buy two tickets (only $7), and when you get up put on some long socks (I’ll explain both later). Next, grab some lunch, then hit up CVS. You probably just spent some money on weed, so do yourself a favor and don’t get snacks that cost $7.50 at Wrigley. I don’t think I have to tell you that smoking without snacks is like trying to pitch with your eyes closed: You can do it, but it doesn’t make any sense. Some personal favorites are Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids and, of course, Skittles.

“I hate Skittles,” said nobody ever. Seriously though, have you ever offered somebody some Skittles who said no? If you know somebody who has, he or she is probably that friend who nobody really likes.

This guy is SO baked while writing this. But it gets better.

Still, refrain from smoking in traffic-heavy areas. This isn’t Colorado. I recommend hopping on the Purple Line to Howard then switching over to the Red Line. Get off at Sheridan and go a block south and two blocks east to Gill Park. If it’s too crowded just go a couple more blocks east, where plenty of lakeside fields are just begging for college kids to come light up in them.

Once you’ve gotten your fix, pop on those gameday sunglasses (helpful for both glare and redeye protection), put any extra cigarettes in one of your socks (easily the best place to hide a joint) and head over to the ballpark!

All aboard! We are stoned, and heading to Wrigley!

Now, if you have managed your time well, you should have some time for another quick snack before heading into Wrigley. The two most obvious destinations are McDonald’s on North Clark St. and Taco Bell on West Addison St. Both are about a minute’s walk from the front gate of Wrigley.

Personally, I think of Taco Bell as drunk food more than high food. Plus, the Dees has McFlurries and McNuggets, basically a meal from a five-star restaurant when you are baked.

Once you get in line for a pat-down before entering the game, stay calm and try not to get paranoid. Remember, they don’t know you’re high even if you think everybody can tell. They can’t.

“the Dees” he calls it! Since this is a full guide to 4/20 at Wrigley, he’s going to go really in depth for you:

Hopefully the game has a lot of offense. Unless you are an avid baseball fan, a slow-moving game or a pitcher’s duel can get dry quickly. Even if the game lets you down, there are still plenty of things to keep a stoned kid entertained at a baseball game.

A true baseball fan loves a pitching duel, but a Wrigleyville puffer loves a slugfest!

The last time I went to Wrigley was two or three years ago, so I don’t remember the exact games they put on the big screen, but every stadium has them. You know, those mini-games where a banana, orange and apple race and the crowd is supposed to guess who will win. At Yankee Stadium, it’s always a subway race. And even though the game is predetermined before you select the winner, you always feel like a boss when you guessing correctly.

Take a look through the program and see which players you’d like to smoke a joint with and why. Sounds stupid, but a lot of stupid things aren’t so stupid when you are stupid.

Before you furrow your brow and say ‘what’ at the last sentence of Mr. Wrigley 4/20, it actually makes a lot of sense (in the eyes of a stoner) if you go back and read it again.

If you are a gambling man or woman, try making some bets on really obscure things. For example, friends and I always used to bet on whether the ball would land on the mound or roll off when the pitcher, catcher, etc. rolled the ball toward the mound at the end of each inning.

Be ready for some T-shirt tosses. Fact: Winning things are just better when you’re high. You know those numbers you can text mid-game to get a message on the big screen? Have a little fun. Try and incorporate some subtle 4/20 jokes.

That ball toward the mound game is so much fun without being stoned!

You have to find the right balance of school spirit and weed references. Trust me, I used to spend whole Yankees games trashing Joe Buck up on the big screen, even when he wasn’t calling the game.

Now this just sounds dull even if you’re high.

He goes on to tell you how to finish off the night (high of course), including which train to ride back to Northwestern.

There are so many references and connections to Cubs fans and their green out there on the internet. I don’t know what this conjunction exactly spawns from; but it’s very real. We’ll report back with more later in the year when another Cub or Joe Pepitone has given us more material.

Cubs fans and their adoration for pot is something to marvel at!

The Montreal Expos Documentary on MLB Network was beyond Excellent

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That seemed like the quickest hour of my life.

The quick, hour-long documentary on MLB Network dubbed ‘The Colorful Montreal Expos’ was really good tonight. There were so many things I never realized about the Expos; like their beginning years at Jarry Park. I have heard the name Rusty Staub plenty of times; I knew he was a white guy with red hair and lefty stick that played until he could barely walk; but I didn’t know he was the original rockstar player of the Montreal Expos.

I didn’t realize how good the Expos were in 1981; and I didn’t know anything about Blue Monday.  It’s refreshing to know that as much as I think I know about baseball history, there’s always a little more to learn.

My favorite part of the documentary was when Andre Dawson was talking about Gary Carter’s final at-bat of his career in Montreal; it literally gave me goosebumps. Those two legends crossing paths one last ironic time and The Kid burning The Hawk for a double.

My first memory of the Expos was that I really liked Delino Deshields. It was probably 1991 or so. Not long after that I discovered Larry Walker and another little speedster they had at the top of their lineup with Delino; Marquis Grissom. And they had Tim Wallach!

I am sad I never got to experience baseball in the city of Montreal, because it seems like something that was beyond just being nostalgic; but truly unique and special.

Although this was short – it was well done – and covered the definitive history of the Expos in full. It was the best baseball documentary I’ve seen in a long time.

Happy Birthday Bob Uecker/Harry Doyle

Happy 82nd birthday to one of baseball’s best announcers. Bob Uecker has withstood the test of time, and seems rather ageless over the last 30 years.

And holy shit look at the size of Andre the Giant’s hands and fingers in this video. My favorite Uecker moment comes at the end of this when he is choked so eloquently by The Giant at Wrestlemania IV.