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Monday's List of 13: Baseball knowledge for a winter Monday
13) Players with the best batting average with runners in scoring position (RISP) LY:
1) Victor Martinez .394, 2) Miguel Cabrera .388, 3) Joey Votto .383.
12) Michael Bourn led the big leagues with 61 stolen bases LY, stealing 3rd base 14 times, but Toronto’s Rajai Davis stole third 17 times, most in the majors LY.
11) Carl Pavano allowed 262 hits LY, 18 more than anyone else in major leagues
10) John Lackey led the big leagues by hitting 19 batters, four more than any other pitcher (Tim Hudson/Alfredo Aceves each hit 15).
9) Vernon Wells made $23M last year, and had a .248 on-base percentage; considering the Angels traded Mike Napoli as part of the package to get Wells, no surprise heads rolled in the Halos’ front office this winter.
8) James Shields led the major leagues by picking off 13 baserunners; Clayton Kershaw was next, with nine. Odd that a righthander would have the most pickoffs.
7) Cincinnati’s Brandon Arroyo allowed 46 homers LY, eleven more than anyone else in baseball (Rangers’ Colby Lewis allowed 35).
6) Most pitches thrown in one game LY:
1) Tim Lincecum 133, 2) Chris Carpenter/Justin Verlander 132, Roy Halladay 130. Lincecum threw 127+ pitches in three of his starts LY.
5) AJ Burnett threw 25 wild pitches LY; no one else in baseball had more than 15 (Cahill/knuckleballer Wakefield).
4) Batters who struck out the most times in 2011:
1) Drew Stubbs 205, 2) Mark Reynolds 196, 3) Austin Jackson 181.
3) Toronto’s Jose Bautista walked 132 times LY, most in majors; 24 of those were intentional. Joey Votto was next, with 110 walks.
Prince Fielder led the big leagues with his 32 intentional walks.
2) Carlos Quentin was hit by a pitch 23 times LY, four times more than anyone else (Justin Upton/Danny Espinosa both got hit 19 times).
1) Batters who took the highest %age of pitches:
1) Bobby Abreu 65.9% T2) Jamey Carroll/Gardner 63.5%, 4) Marco Scutaro 62.9%. You can go get a snack when these guys come to bat, good news for vendors in Colorado with Scutaro now a Rockie.
Dad, if it's OK, I want to host a tweet-up at your funeral.
Joe Paterno has died. I assume that most of you are expecting some sort of crass response from me today. I don't think that that is going to happen though. The guy died. He lived a full life while accomplishing so much. He had a fairly titanic fuck-up that will effect his legacy forever, but in the end, he definitely did more good in his lifetime than he did bad. I predicted that he wouldn't make it a year after getting fired. He only made it 73 days. Sure, they say that it was from complications with chemo, but legendary medical practitioners like Beano Cook, Brent Musberger, and Dr. Lou Holtz have all claimed that a broken heart did him in. So this site's stance for Joe Paterno is simply "Rest in peace, old man". But I do have a few other thoughts surrounding Paterno's death before we get into the NFL action:
1. Who was the first reporter from ESPN to arrive on the scene? Tom fucking Rinaldi. I knew it. Rinaldi killed Paterno.
2. I laughed every single time that ESPN showed some dumbass family of Penn State fans walking up to the Paterno statue and touching it. YOU PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS! At what point does it make sense that you drag your little kids down to Beaver Stadium to touch the bronze statue of an old man?
3. Does Jerry Sandusky show up to the funeral? That would be the greatest thing ever.
4. Finally, what really bothered me was how JoePa was on his deathbed and the family was called in to say their last goodbyes, but there was Jay Paterno firing off tweets. Look, I hate Twitter and I always will. But it's a huge problem to me when the son is tweeting health updates of his dad from the hospital. I like to think that it went down like this:
SuePa - Jay, it's time to say goodbye to your father. He can't speak, but the doctors think that he can hear you.
JayPa - Hold on a second, mom, I just need to let the fans know how much their support means and that dad is hanging in there.
SuePa - That's sweet of you. Well, hurry up because--
JayPa - HOLY SHIT! "JAY PATERNO" IS TRENDING WORLDWIDE!
SuePa - That's great, son, but you need to--
JayPa - I'M UP TO 15,000 FOLLOWERS!
SuePa - Your dad just died. I hope you're happy.
JayPa - I'll let the world know. It's what dad would have wanted.
Basically, when you are about to lose a family member, put the goddamn iPhone away. Fucking asshole. Jay Paterno can eat shit.
Lesley Visser - Visser is in Frisco talking to Vernon Davis. She looks like a morgue resident. Whoever did work to her face should be ashamed of themselves. If you didn't know, Lesley Visser is married to Dick Stockton. Can you imagine those two fucking? Gross.
James Brown! - That was a real hard-hitting pregame interview with the E-Trade baby. Jesus, who gave the OK for that segment to air?
Steven Tyler - His rendition of the national anthem made me want to move to Guatemala.
Joe Flacco haters such as myself - Let's be honest, the guy was pretty damn good yesterday. I'm not going to say something crazy like he was ELITE, but the Fu Manchu was the best QB on the field. Yeah, I said it.
Tom Brady - Not a good game from the Dreamboat. His interceptions were terrible (who throws a deep ball to a triple-covered Matthew Slater?) and he missed some wide open throws. It didn't help that Wes Welker was sort of a turd, too.
Billy Cundiff - I say this with 100% conviction...I could make a 32 yard field goal 80% of the time. It's going to be a shame when the duo of Tom Rinaldi and Ray Lewis kidnaps and murders the Cundiff family. But let's be honest, it should have never came to that.
Lee Evans - Everyone knows that Lee Evans is the worst football player in NFL history and he proved it with his game-losing touchdown drop on 2nd down. That was an embarrassment. Evans is the worst. Sure, the kicker could have sent the game to overtime, but The General Lee actually did send the Ravens home. FACT! I bet that ELITE Billz fans were LOLing like bastards when he dropped that easy touchdown pass. I wasn't expecting to be entertained by the AFC game but it exceeded my expectations. That was a great finish to a better than average game. I'm not sure that the better team won.
Ed Hochuli - What is it going to take to get this guy to shut the fuck up? He uses 400 words for something that only needs 8 words. I used to think that he was cute with his big arms and terrible officiating, now I just want him to get his throat ripped out by a bear.
Kyle Williams - Nice punt returning, jerk. You suck about as much at that as your dad does at producing a quality product on the baseball field. This guy better not have a job next year. Terrible player.
Peyton Manning - I'm going to say it now, Eli is better. Yeah, and I mean it. I'll tell you why and it has nothing to do with fantasy football or stats or all that other stuff: I've never watched the Colts in the postseason and thought that they were going to win. I do think that about ELITE's Giants. I take no joy in this admission because I hate the NYGs. I just feel like it needs to be said while we wait for the Redskins to stupidly trade for the worse Manning in the next month or so.
So we're getting a rematch in the Super Bowl. Pats/Giants after two pretty great games yesterday. I can live with that. If you asked me to make my Super Bowl pick today, I see no reason to bet against Eluck and that Giants front four. Kyle Williams, Billy Cundiff, or Lee Evans...who is more likely to commit suicide?
great read as always spooky,ive never seen you rant and rip on mofos so much but i love it,ill never agree that eli is better but i really hope peyton comes back as peyton,the guys unreal,thanks again for the awesome read,really enjoyed it brother!
Tuesday's List of 13: Random thoughts on my birthday......
13) Stat of the Day and its a pretty good one; Last eight times a #1 seed played a lower seed in the Super Bowl, they're 1-7 SU, 0-8 vs spread.
12) If I’m a Colts’ fan, have no problem at all if Jim Irsay declines to pay Peyton Manning his $28M roster bonus in early March. #18 has been a great Colt, but he got $20M this year for doing nothing, and there’s no guarantee he’s going to be healthy enough to play in 2012. It makes no financial sense for the team to risk that kind of money on a 36-year old player who has had three neck operations.
If he goes and plays somewhere else, so be it, but it’s a business, and Irsay isn’t in business to throw tens of millions of dollars away.
11) Pardon my ignorance here, but I need some information on stem cell treatments that these athletes like ARod and Kobe Bryant go to Europe to get. Why are they legal in Europe but not here? Again, I apologize if that’s a dumb question, but I don’t know the answer. Someone give me some knowledge.
10) ESPN announcers have been whining about the heat at the Australian Open tennis tournament. Hey, come to New Jersey, scrape the ice off your windshield every morning, and I’ll go to Melbourne and roast in the Australian sun, while watching Maria Sharapova hit backhands. Deal? But then again why I moved to Florida.
9) The Giants’ bandwagon is officially rolling and overflowing, but before you bet the kid’s tuition on Big Blue, keep in mind the Giants scored 394 points this season and gave up 400. Back in 2007, they scored 373 points and allowed 351, but they were a 12-point dog in that Super Bowl.
8) Interesting to note that the two best WRs in the Super Bowl, Wes Welker/Victor Cruz, neither one was drafted. Welker went to Texas Tech so there’s no excuse for scouts missing on him. Cruz was hidden away at I-AA UMass.
7) Rumors were flying Sunday night that Oregon coach Chip Kelly was going to coach the Buccaneers, but that fell through; unclear whether Kelly had an actual interest in Tampa Bay, or whether he was just using the Bucs to prop up his name with potential Oregon recruits.
6) Does Joe Philbin’s hiring in Miami mean the Dolphins will pursue Packers’ backup QB Matt Flynn in free agency? Matt Moore did a nice job for Miami the second half of the season, but Flynn is already well-versed in Philbin’s offense.
5) 15 current Giants, seven current Patriots played in that Super Bowl four years ago.
4) If you care, Golf Channel is showing the tournament from Abu Dhabi live starting at 4am Thursday morning; it is Eldrick Woods’ 2012 debut. They’re re-airing the broadcast during the day, when more humans are awake. It’ll be interesting how long Woods continues to be a drawing card if he doesn’t win a tournament this year, either.
3) If NBA playoffs started today, the Knicks wouldn’t be going, another testament to one of the most screwed-up franchises in all of pro sports. Seriously, you, me and our friends could run the team better than Jim Dolan does. At least if we owned the team, we’d know enough to let a pro like Donnie Walsh make decisions and stay the hell out of his way.
2) Marco Scutaro has earned $10.165M in his 10-year major league career, spanning 1,103 games; he is a pro’s pro, a gritty, gutty player who is always more productive than you realize. I know the A’s have missed him, and I’m pretty sure the Red Sox will, too.
1) Interesting story on SI.com this morning about how back in the spring of 1969, Steelers offered Joe Paterno $70,000 a year to be their coach; he was making $20,000 a year after this third year at Penn State.
Paterno declined, the Steelers hired Chuck Noll and both sides wound up prospering greatly. How the course of sports history would’ve been different had Paterno said yes.
Wednesday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud........
13) Houston Astros are thinking of changing their team's name for 2013, when they move into the American League; if they do that, I'd like to give them a suggestion-- how about the Armadillos???
12) Took San Diego State's basketball team over 20 hours to get from San Diego to Laramie for last night's game with Wyoming, their last trip to Laramie, since they're moving to the Big West next season. No more long plane rides to the Rockies, just bus trips in California. Aztecs won 52-42 by the way, yet another win for this surprising young team.
11) Navy joined the Big East in football, which will make them a yearly thorn-in-the-side of everyone else in the league, since defending the option is no picnic, even for teams with superior size/athletic ability.
10) Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made $42M the last two years, and paid $6.2M in taxes. Tim Lincecum just signed a two-year deal worth $40.5M; wonder how much he'll pay in taxes on that deal?
9) By the way, no matter who gets elected President this fall, I'm voting for Mrs Romney as First Lady-- well I'd vote for her if I could.
8) When you listen to Portland Trailblazer broadcasts on TV, the analyst is Mike Rice, former coach at Youngstown State/Duquesne who is father of Rutgers coach Mike Rice- the elder Rice is an excellent analyst.
7) Damn I feel old reading that Trey Griffey, Ken Griffey Jr's son, signed to play WR at Arizona for Rich Rodriguez. I'm not that much younger than Ken Griffey Sr, the kid's grandfather.
6) UCLA coach Ben Howland has a weird habit of using up his timeouts before the last 5:00 of a game; now Howland is a good coach who has won a ton of games, but his program at UCLA is struggling and the vultures are out. Blowing a 13-point halftime lead at Oregon, and using his 4th of five timeouts with 8:01 left, when he had a TV timeout on the next whistle, is something that makes that naysayers howl.
5) Speaking of Oregon, games at Matt Knight Arena are hard to watch on TV because the court is painted in such a funky way. Every time I watch a game from Eugene I think my TV is screwed up.
4) Oakland Raiders hired Denver DC Dennis Allen as head coach, so next fall the Broncos will have their 7th defensive coordinator in seven years, while the Raiders will be working on their 7th coach since Jon Gruden left Oakland after the 2001 season.
3) Orlando Magic won by 19 at Indiana last night, a night after scoring 20 points in the second half at Boston Monday. How does a pro team score 20 points in a half, especially a very good team?
2) A year ago this week, neither Butler or VCU got one vote for the top 25, but both wound up in the Final Four. Any teams like that this year?
1) If anyone has concerns about Prince Fielder's big contract, his weight and durability issues, there's this: Fielder has played six full seasons in the big leagues, playing 157-158-159-162-161-162 games, in the league that doesn't have the DH, so you know you're getting a player who plays.