Siberian Baseball

Friday, September 29, 2006

Just to be fair

Let it not be missed that I am well aware that the Cubs were playing worse than most beer-league softball teams this season. Found this today, which is a lot funnier if you're not immediately depressed when you try to tag the year it was produced...


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Not to pile on or anything...

So, ESPN has a quick hit piece today about the"Five teams that failed in 2006" targeting the Indians, Red Sox, Angels, Braves and Cubs as losers for the season that's wrapping up.

The Indians young team fell apart, the Red Sox were decimated by injuries, Angels couldn't field the ball, Braves couldn't pitch well enough to contend and the Cubs were crushed by the weight of Cubdom.

Uh? What about the Champs? Not even a mention?

I'm more than willing to accept the list at face value for teams that didn't achieve as much as conventional wisdom would have suggested they might in May, but just because it was a late-season collapse does that make it any less of a failure in expectations?

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Screw you, Peter Angelos, I'm going home

Those who root for shitty teams know the feeling all too well.

Sometime in August, you say to yourself, "Fuck this... Why can't we get a top-shelf starter/big bat for the middle of the lineup/the big free agent from last off season? I don't want to give that bastard any more of my money until I see it on the field."

Cubs fans get the added bonus of directing their ire at a faceless corporation, woo-hoo!

Well, Orioles fans are sick of it too and did this.

Good for them. I hope this catches on, I really do.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Nine years running.

Say what you will, but it takes more than just a checkbook to win a division nine years in a row. Granted, it's been a while since it panned out in the end, but good for them.

How are they not the frontrunners in this year's post-season?


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Welcome back, Mr. Gammons

He's back.

We're all better off for it in the baseball world.

(Photo from

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Here they are coming out of the turn...

Man, football season crept up fast, didn't it?

Almost made me forget there was a playoff race coming down to the wire in my backyard. Well, that and our fantasy league has been pretty interesting now that we're in our playoffs.

For the record, the injury bug hit the Jaleel White Sox hard this month and it's tough to get up for games anymore, but we'll keep plugging along.

So, where does it all stand?

The Braves have been offficially declared dead after 35 years of winning the NL East. Never saw that coming. The Cubs are being sent to AAA until they can get their heads right - and would there be a better sport for relegation European soccer-style?

I really wish this were the case, but logistically it'd be a nightmare. It's too bad, too - I think it'd be a lot more fun to watch teams try to rebuild and make the majors, but there'd be a lot of hard selling done to convince small-market teams to build major league stadiums with no promises that there'd be major league games.

Maybe we can get a secondary idea like the second-to-last place team gets to cherry pick any player from the last place team or a combination of the bottom two or three teams.

Wouldn't you play a little harder if you knew your team could lose it's ace with a bad finish?

* Ryan Howard has surprised the hell out of me this year. In a relatively quiet season (buzz-wise, not numbers-wise) he's leading in RBI and HR this morning.

I thought he'd be a good player, just not this good and not this soon. I can admit that now. I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Ryan.

* In your AL Central update, Minnesota is three games up on the champs. Yikes.

We got our postseason ticket information last week. Looks like that might be a real possibility. That's kind of strange to write, especially after the way the season kicked off.

There's still time for the White Sox to catch up, but they need to do so quickly. Oh, did you know the final series of the season is in the Dome and is Twins/White Sox?

Just so you know.

* For any Red Sox fans still holding out hope, go re-read the stories about Jonathon Papelbon's injury. He said if the Sox were still in the hunt or had any hope for the season he'd be out there.

He's not out there.

There's always 2004, campers.

It's too bad that both he and Francisco Liriano blew out before the season ended. Kind of a bummer - both were a lot of fun to watch. Liriano jerseys sprung up all summer in the seats in Minnesota and his return lit up phone lines with Twin Cities sports talk stations last week.

I guess the trick is resisiting the urge to try and win right now in cases like these. Still, it adds a new flavor to each of those teams to trot out staffs without those guys in them.

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Piranas of September

It's raining in New York today with the Twins up on the Yankees in the eighth inning (note: this is how the game ended when it was called) and it seemed as good a time as any to get some thoughts in about the upcoming stadium here in the Twin Cities.

After a trip to the state fair this morning, I saw new shirts from the Twins marketing department for this year's gimmick (the pirana bit) and the signs for the upcoming seasons in the sun.

Event staff shirts had slogans like "Take home a souvenir sunburn" and I think that's the thing that I'd be most excited for if I was a fan who had been sentenced to indoor ball for 20-plus years.

Where's the fun in sneaking out of work early for a day game if you have to go sit in a ball mall? Some of my favorite memories of ballgames involve being out in the sun and fresh air with the wind blowing out to or in from the lake or just outright inclement weather.

Those of us who grew up outside of domed stadiums can't really process how much games blend into each other when the scenery never changes, except for the tint of the roof. Day game or night? Was it summer or early fall? Was it so cold you ducked out in the seventh or such a nice night that you stayed until the ushers shooed you from the upper deck seats?

These are the things you miss out on until you get a fresh air and green grass stadium. (Speaking of which, have you seen the Arizona Cardinals new digs? I love the rolling turf idea, it seems so cool.)

So while a home of their own is exciting in and of itself, I hope that all of the trappings that come with the new park will be the real draw once the idea catches on.

Imagine a whole generation of fans who have never known games that can be impacted by the elements or even the simple pleasure of being able to come into work the morning after a day game with a nasty sunburn and a self-satisfied grin.

* Yes, I know it's been quiet here at the dumping ground, but in addition to life getting busy, it's tough to find the motivation to spend some time thinking about baseball when your soul is being ripped into ticker tape confetti by your team and the forces of nature.

In the last two weeks there was a five-game tanking againast the Yankees as the Red Sox fell from playoff contention faster than it takes corn to pass through my digestive tract.

On top of that, the two star sluggers are out with a heart problem and a mystery ailment, Wily Mo hopped the flight with Manny for the hell of it, Papelbon got hurt last night and Jon Lester has cancer.

No really, he has cancer.

These things never happen to the Mariners or the Reds, do they?

At least I should be able to watch the playoffs with a more critical eye this year, right?

* And finally, Jesus, what happened to the Braves this year?

Could one borderline autistic old man and his handling of a pitching staff make such a difference?
Huh, who knew?

(Image from:

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