Corey Seager kicks the Nationals-Dodgers series off with a Bang



Man, the Nationals and the DODGERS. Wow. Two teams I love. This means no matter what, I’ll have a team to root for in the NLCS. I’ll sign up for that right now. This also means that a team that I really like has to die. It feels a little bit like I felt on this night, so many years ago.

Let me take you back to the Ironman Match, Wrestlemania X:

Yes, that’s how it feels. I liked Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid. But I LOVED Bret Hart. And damnit I didn’t know how to feel. My emotions were twisting inside me.

And it’s our first 2016 MLB Postseason post. Corey Seager has had so many huge moments this season, I don’t know where this one will rank. But as you’ll see, he DESTROYS a Max Scherzer pitch in the first inning to set the tone.

And suddenly I didn’t know how to feel. My wife is making me feel guilty – telling me we named our daughter after Bryce Harper – and how could I root against that? I wasn’t. I just like both of these teams and whoever emerges here is my horse.

All in all, it wasn’t the pitching duel that Sonny Koufax flew out to Washington for. Maybe he lives there, Hell I don’t know.

Clayton Kershaw went five to get the victory, but was just satisfactory. Scherzer went six and allowed all four Dodgers earned runs, including another big bomb to Justin Turner.

Game two tomorrow, and I won’t have to worry about who to root for because I’ll be at a pumpkin patch telling my two-year old not to touch the goat because the goat has disease. So, there you go.

On Vin Scully’s Last Goodbye

Man, this was sad. It’s like I just lost someone I loved here. And people who visit this blog probably wonder what all the fuss is about with me and Vin Scully. So let me try to sum it up.

Aside from my children, my wife, and my family; baseball is what I love most. And within what I love most is Vin Scully – what I love most in what I love most. If that makes sense.

Some of my best memories ever enjoying the game of baseball were with him on the call. It was an added bonus to the already nice relaxation that baseball provides. The guy was completely sublime, capable of lowering blood pressure just by being in my living room.

I’m failing miserably to give the great one his due adequately. So I’ll put what Craig Calcaterra said elegantly about Scully in his post today:

Vin Scully signed off for the final time yesterday, ending his 67 years of baseball broadcasting excellence. While there were a few distractions — in the middle of the game Scully was presented with a plaque by the Giants and was warmly met by Willie Mays, the best player Scully says he ever saw — it was exactly like every other Vin Scully game I’ve heard in the 30+ years I have been listening to him.

It was relaxed. It was comfortable. On some level Scully knows that we all have lives full of important and stressful things and that, baseball, however wonderful it is, is a diversion, not the most important thing in our lives. As such, he did not treat his broadcasts as destination viewing or listening. He did not act like the game he was calling or the fact that he was calling it was the most important thing going on at that moment. No phony superlatives. No unwarranted hype, hot takes or artificial intensity. He never, ever, pretended that he had any superior insight into the game than you the fan did, even though he obviously did. He simply talked about what was happening in plain terms and let you know things that he knew that might make the game more enjoyable for you. He didn’t style himself some baseball expert. He took ample time during breaks in the action to tell us interesting and amusing stories and make our diversion pleasant in any way he could.

God bless this man for so many great times and memories. And don’t buy what he says about him needing us more than we needed him. It was never that way. Baseball; at night in Los Angeles, and in general, will never be the same.

Your Saturday Baseball Post


Man this is a tough one to write. The final baseball Saturday of the regular season. I can’t believe it, just like every year at this time we can never believe it’s really over.

We have to say, we’ve appreciated every one of them about as much as you can. Baseball is not something that should ever be taken for granted, and we don’t at this blog. So as we get ready to brave another long, cold offseason; what an incredible year of ups and downs it’s been with so many emotional ebbs and flows.

So we put the flag at half mass one last time in honor of baseball season, the greatest time on earth and the greatest sport on earth.

Your 80’s song of the week that should be played on a ballpark loudspeaker near you:

Enjoy your Saturday everyone. And God bless. Thank you for continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

The Gentleman’s Cup II has concluded

Our Gentleman’s Cup Series in year two has finished up as of last night. It’s kind of sad. We crown our champion for the second straight year.

Congratulations to DStars45 on his second straight title for the year. His yearly score will show he was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of consistency.

Our own t3bird04 held off a late incredible run from JSquad34 – a JSquad34 who won the final two contests – to claim second place.

And Swindaman3’s work on the toilet the last few weeks and the futility of Diamondhoggers dug him out of the Gentleman’s basement! A spot that no man wants to find himself in. This means a cold winter for Diamondhoggers in which they have to do much soul-searching and wonder why the Hell they were so bad. Well they don’t have to wonder. We suck at DFS.

Here are a look at the yearly standings. These are final! Etched forever in stone in time.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 101 points
t3bird04 – 87 points
Jsquad34 – 84 points
Swindaman3 – 66 points
Diamondhoggers – 65 points

Last night’s Standings:

Standings from two Friday’s ago:

Winning lineup from last night, nice work JSquad34:

Two weeks ago winning lineup, again from JSquad34:

So we enter the cold winter months facing an uncertain future with the Gentleman’s Game. Will Daily Fantasy Sports be outlawed and banned by then? By next spring, some gents will be in new places. Some may even have new kids. This makes it harder to be good at solving the rubix cube, not easier.

We want to thank you for following the Gentleman’s Game cup Volume 2.0. It was a fun year and much camaraderie was had. Congrats again to DStars45 on his second straight Gentleman’s Cup title. He has reached legend status within the DFS community.

Lasorda Friday’s: Tommy Lasorda Destroys the Phillie Phanatic in 1988

We haven’t honored fun Tommy Lasorda on Friday’s enough through the years. It was done at least once, and abandoned.

But the gem that is this man will not be ignored on this Friday. Here we have a clip we had not seen in full prior to today. It’s late August 1988, and that rascal Phillies Phanatic is getting under Tommy Lasorda’s skin.

The best part of this clip is not when Lasorda starts to take off with the Phanatic’s ATV. It’s not when the Phanatic razzes the angry man who is mad at a mascot that is making fun of his belly by sticking his mascot tongue out at him. The best part of the video isn’t even when Lasorda chases him down in anger (look at how fast Tommy moves in those turf shoes, he looks like sprinting Super Mario).

The best part of this video is around the 1:13 mark when Lasorda pulverizes the Phanatic with that stuffed Lasorda and the mascot plays dead, on cue. Like he’s really hurt. I’ve watched this no less than 15 times today, and it gets me every time. I love this.

Fare Thee Well, Tal’s Hill


With all that has gone on in the last few days in baseball, I had no idea that one of baseball’s most unique ballpark physical features was making it’s final appearance today.

The Astros closed out their park today in a 12-4 loss to the Mariners. None of us will ever see the weird slope with the flag pole in play known as Tal’s Hill ever again. And that’s a damn shame. Too many parks are too normal and symmetrical. Tal’s Hill had character that only a baseball stadium can offer. It had personality!

The Houston Chronicle had an article of the most memorable moments of Tal’s Hill. Check it out.

I can’t think of another ballpark landmark in play that is as unique.

And Dee Gordon definitely made me cry, again

This is another reason why baseball is the greatest sport on earth. It really makes you feel. Was this the biggest moment of the season? Emotionally, it had to be.

Consider it was Dee Gordon who hit his first home run of the season in the Marlins’ emotional win tonight. Gordon said it best after the game.

The unprecedented loss of Jose Fernandez is never going to go away, and the Marlins probably never recover as an organization. But this was clearly their night for their fallen teammate. And damn if I wasn’t happy for them inside.

You can watch the end of the toughest night in Marlins franchise history here. It’s an amazing tribute to their friend.


Marlins Retire Jose Fernandez’s No. 16


In a move that we love, the Miami Marlins will retire Jose Fernandez’s number 16 after tonight’s game – a game in which all the Marlins players wore the Fernandez jersey.

I’m excited for two other things aside from this: I want to see baseball name an award after Jose Fernandez, and I hope that the Marlins build a statue outside their park of the Hall of Fame talent who wore only their uniform.

I am confident that both of these things will happen in the short future.

Vin Scully’s send off at Dodger stadium was magical


I am so numb right now.

It’s been a tough day. Between the death of Jose Fernandez (and Arnold Palmer also passed), and the goodbye to Vin Scully; I am just emotionally spent.

The Dodgers had an incredible walk-off win today for Vin Scully’s final game at Chavez. Dodgers trailing 3-2 in the ninth, and there’s two down. But Corey Seager was at the plate, and of all the greats that Scully has seen play, you better believe it’s special that Seager did this to tie the game and “pull the sun back up in the sky” just a few more moments with Scully in the booth:

Charlie Culberson would of course homer in extras to give the Dodgers the 4-3 win. But there were no fireworks.

For the first time that I can ever remember, I sat and had a good cry over something to do with sports. And the reason I cried is because Vin Scully addressed the crowd one final time, and then sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” to them.

And my wife saw it all. For all in this world that is ugly, and patronizing, and backwards; and it’s everywhere right now…. there’s a prince like Vin Scully. Something that is the real article. That’s what I said to my wife. And then I told her that I hope they win it all as I might have wiped a tear out of my eye. And I do.

I have been listening to this guy for as long as I can remember. The truth is, I wasn’t ready for this. I would have never been ready for this.

Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)

jose fernand

This is unbelievable news to wake up to – that Jose Fernandez has died at age 24 – in a boating accident.

There just aren’t many pitchers I really enjoy anymore. There aren’t that many I would consider good. I knew the first time Fernandez pitched that we had a bad ass on the mound and one that was going to be good for a very long time.

Things like this should never happen, but they do. When they do there just really aren’t words. This is so incredibly saddening.

I had a horrible dream back in Spring Training that a player had died, and I won’t name the player. I’m not sure why I had the dream. It was horrifying enough I woke myself up in a panic. This is like living that nightmare. Again, I can count on two hands the pitchers I really enjoy in baseball. Fernandez was on that short list.

His final start five days ago was a work of art. A 1-0 victory in which he had 12 strikeouts and no walks.

Thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the horrible loss of this young man and immense talent.

Your Saturday Baseball Post


It’s the second to last Saturday in the regular season. It’s a sad time. It still feels like July outside here. The baseball games don’t really start until after the primetime slot. If you’re in the mix for a fantasy baseball title or two, you’ve got just over a week to hang on. No slip up’s.

If you read this blog, or stumble across it; you’re presumably a pretty big baseball fan. It’s almost your duty to tune in to a couple innings of Vin Scully tonight to pay tribute. And College football did everyone a favor by not scheduling any great games.

As always, the oldies song of the week that should be played on a ballpark loudspeaker near you:

Enjoy your Saturday, everyone. Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers!

Throwing it Around

Two more days of Vin Scully at Dodger Stadium after tonight. It’s heartbreaking. This might as well be “Vin Scully Weekend” here on the blog, because we’re going to pay homage to him in as many ways as we can.

-A Statistical trip through Vin Scully’s career. [Baseball-Reference]
-Helluva tribute at Dodger Stadium tonight for the man. [SB Nation]
-Vin Scully wrote a heartfelt letter to Dodger Fans. []
-The Cubbies have homefield through the NLCS thanks to a dominating performance this afternoon by Jake Arrieta. [Baseball Musings]
-It’s OK to feel this way, Steve Clevenger. You just can’t tweet that you feel this way. [Hardball Talk]
-How to judge the Atlanta Braves’ rebuild. [Fangraphs]
-The case for Corey Seager to win NL MVP. [Fangraphs, again]
-More Scully retirement ceremony. [Deadspin]

In-Depth on Corey Seager’s Record Season


After Tuesday’s game, Seager is now hitting .316 with 185 hits, 25 home runs and 40 doubles. The only rookies in Major League history, according to Baseball Reference, to hit at least .300 with 25 homers, 40 doubles and 185 hits as a rookie are: Albert Pujols (2001), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), Tony Oliva (1964), Ted Williams (1939), Joe DiMaggio (1936), Hal Trosky (1934) and Dale Alexander (1929).

He is on track to having the greatest OPS+ by a rookie shortstop all time. Chicago Cub Charlie Hollocher (1918) is the current record holder at 134. [Dodgers Insider]