Category Archives: Randomness

Quack

Why did home-plate umpire John Tumpane make a duck-face when he threw out Rays manager Joe Maddon last night after he defiantly called Justin Ruggiano out at home plate on a play where he was quite obviously safe?  Duck-face is a trademark of teen girls and those douchebags you usually find on college campuses playing tackle football in the commons to try and impress said teenage girls.

Anyway, duck-face Tumpane called Ruggiano out despite every piece of logic (even his own) suggested he was very, very safe.  I’m not here to discuss the merits of instant replay (although, really baseball?  Why the fuck not?), I’ll leave that up to more articulate people.  Nor am I here to pass judgement on the allegedly blind and moronic umpire who made the call.  I won’t even discuss how the Rays probably win that game if the proper call is made (ultimately, I should be happy since the Rays are an AL East foe).  I simply wanted to point out Tumpane’s use of duck-face, further proving is already obvious douchery.

No, there wasn’t any real point to this post.

Because I wanted to!

No, you’re stupid.

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A look at some things that barely matter: Uniforms and logos!

As promised, I’m slowing things down a bit here on Baseball Canadiana now that the season is underway.  You see, in the offseason I sit around thinking about baseball and my outlet is writing about it.  During the season, my outlet is actually watching the games; which I do a lot of.  Probably more than is deemed healthy by a normal person.  In the meantime, you can check out my fantasy baseball features on TheScore.com’s Getting Blanked every Monday.

MINI-RANT DISCLAIMER: There is one topic that I’ve considered commenting on, but have thus far avoided; of course, I’m speaking of the Barry Bonds trial.  I think that it’s such a waste of everyone’s time and money that I refuse to dignify it with comment.  I’ve come close in the last few days, what with Joe Buck and his not-so-esteemed colleague Tim McCarver (at least I think that’s who it was, I don’t care enough to figure it out) talking about how Barry Bonds is exactly the type of person you should not be.

I came close again when The Score’s Tim Micallef, someone I respect a great deal, said that Bonds should have all of his records removed from the record books on the Tim and Sid Uncut podcast

But I won’t go there…not yet.  I still think it’s pointless to waste time on the subject.

—-NOW ON TO SOMETHING WORTH TALKING ABOUT—-

Uniforms and logos!

I’ve always had an interest in team logos.  I like to track their progression and judge them.  Looking back on old uniforms and logos, I find myself feeling nostalgic; remembering when I was a kid, counting baseball cards in my room.

Today, I want to talk about some looks that I feel need updating (or in some cases, reversion).  The fad of teams incorporating black into already sufficient colour schemes seems to finally be fading away; and not a moment too soon, I might add.  Despite this, there are still some teams that refuse to acknowledge their mistakes.  Let’s start with teams that need to axe the colour black.

The New York Mets
The Mets are blessed with a complimentary colour combination.  Remember those?  In grade nine art class, you learned about the colour wheel and complimentary colours.

When you place two colours side-by-side that are on opposite ends of the colour wheel, the combination will stand out in sharp contrast.

The Mets’ colours of blue and orange are probably the most eye-pleasing of all complimentaries, yet  for the last 12 years, the Mets have attempted to ruin this by shoving black awkwardly into their logo and uniforms.  I’ll admit, at first, I didn’t mind it because it offered something sharp and vivid, but that feeling very quickly wore off.

The Mets still wear a version of their home uniforms where there is no black, but one day they will get the good sense to remove black altogether much like the A’s (finally this season), the Royals, and the Reds did.

The Toronto Blue Jays
The fan base grew tired of the ‘Grey Jays’ about two months after the new unies were unveiled in 2004 and trust me, we still hate it.  Thankfully there are rumours a-floatin’ that the ungodly black, grey, graphite, and cobalt monstrosities they currently wear are on their way out and will be replaced next season.

A friend of mine from the Toronto area has a cousin in the marketing department (I realize how made-up that sounds) for the Jays and apparently this logo was presented to them about a year ago and could be the basis for the new design.

I think it’s a terrific adaption of the classic logo and would be a welcome change.

The Pittsburgh Pirates
Black isn’t bad all the time.  In certain cases such as the White Sox and the Pirates, black not only suits the team, but is part of their identity.  Used properly, black can be an asset.  The problem with the Pirates current setup for me is the addition of red.  Why is it there?  The Pirates have perhaps the best nickname and colour combos in the business, why ruin it with an unnecessary third colour?

Ditch the red, Buccos’ marketing department, it’s time.  I’ll even give you an alternative courtesy of my mad Photoshoppin’ skillz.
The San Diego Padres
Once upon a time, the Padres had one of the most interesting and lovable logos and some of the most striking and charismatic uniforms in baseball.  Slowly, since the mid-80s, the franchise has done a terrific job of robbing those qualities from their look.  Check out this progression.

Good Jeebous that new look is boring.  I mean, what were they boring, bored, boring?  I mean, come on, let’s zazz it up professional marketers.

The Pads’ new AAA affiliate in Tucson is bringing back the old look and that could mean the big club is considering heading back in that direction.  Good news for all.

The Houston Astros
Much like the Padres in the 80’s, the Astros had some serious swagger with their kick ass rainbow-striped unies.  Thankfully, they’ve ditched the boring boringness that was the nineties…

…but heading back in the direction of uniqueness seems like an obvious good move for the marketing team of baseball’s least interesting franchise.

I have no problem with the current brick, cream and black combo per say, but I think the Diamondbacks pull it off much more effectively and let’s face it; it suits them a whole heck of a lot more.  I mean, with a nickname like ‘Astros’ you would think there’d be some reason to go with something a bit more ‘out-there’.  I mean, check out the ultra-Conservative Nolan Ryan hating life beside J.R Richard…

…The epitome of sweetness

Something like this would be cool, although I’m not sure I agree with all of the uniform choices that guy came up with; going with the navy as the predominant colour would probably be best.

Seattle Mariners
I don’t have any inherent problems with this look; it’s not bad, it just needs an update.  It’s stale for me and it feels like eons ago that the team ditched the blue and yellow uniforms of Omar Vizquel’s days.

Milwaukee Brewers
I think everybody would like to see the Brewers reintroduce some colour into their suddenly bland uniforms.  What was so wrong with blue and yellow?  Is dark navy and goldy-brown better?  I guess maybe for a stock exchange business, but not for a baseball team.

I would love to see the Brew Crew revert back to their ingenious glove logo full time…

…(it took me several years to figure out that it was an ‘m-b’) but I understand that the team is owned by Miller Breweries and is attempting a cross-marketing/promotion thing and is not likely to go back.  Stupid corporate America.

Are there any other uniforms/logos you’d like to see changed or updated?

If you’ve never seem Chris Creamer’s Sports’ Logos page, you need to check it out.  You’ll thank me when you piss away the next seven hours looking at logos.

Acknowledging the noticable gap

So…a lot has gone on in the last week.  The Albert Pujols contract extension fallout with the Cards, the Jose Bautista craziness (that’s the only way I can characterize a 5 year, $65-million contract for a player who’s had one good season, albeit a very good one) and even the acquisition of Scott Podsednik to possibly split time in leftfield with Juan Rivera or compete for a bench spot.

I would love to comment on all these things, but unfortunately with the previews, school and two other jobs, it ain’t happ’nin’.

I refer you to my fellow bloggers for insight and candid remarks.  Enjoy the remainder of the previews!  This week will be the AL West.  Monday will be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, followed by the Oakland A’s, the Seattle Mariners, and the Texas Rangers.  On Friday, I’ll write up a brief overview of the American League.

Other places to go:
Getting Blanked
Drunk Jays Fans
Ghostrunner on First
Pitcher’s Best Friend
Bluebird Banter
Blue Jay Hunter
1 Blue Jays Way
MLB Reports
Hardball Talk
And if you haven’t yet had the time to read Moneyball by Michael Lewis, it can be found online here.

Are our eyes wrong again? Was Andy Pettitte any better in the post-season than in the regular season?

In a similar way to the way we always thought Roberto Alomar was an elite fielding second baseman, I think most of us have the perception that Andy Pettitte was a particularly good post-season performer.

However, this, like the Alomar thing, is a case where our eyes aren’t telling us the whole story.

During his retirement press conference today, Andy told those gathered that he was no better in the post-season throughout his career than he was in the regular season.

This does seem hard to believe, I mean, Pettitte was a major part of all those World Series wins for the Yankees and always seemed to be pitching in the big games.

In my own memory, that’s the thing that stands out most about his career.  The dude was nails in the post-season.

Don’t get me wrong, saying that he wasn’t any better in the post-season doesn’t mean he was shit.  He is, after all, a very good pitcher and has been since I first heard his name in 1996.  That year he was in an epic battle for the AL Cy Young award with Blue Jays’ ace Pat Hentgen.  Hentgen, of course, ended up winning the award that year.

Obviously I didn’t like Pettitte at the time, but I came to begrudgingly respect him as time went on; part of the reason for that was his post-season reputation.

So when Pettitte said these words today, I did what many of us baseball nerds probably did, I dashed over to FanGraphs to see if Pettitte was just being modest or if, once again, our eyes were tricking us.

Sure enough, Mr. Pettitte is right.

Regular Season: 3.88 ERA, 6.63 K/9, 2.83 BB/9, 3.75 FIP
Post-Season        3.83 ERA, 5.92 k/9, 2.46 BB/9, 4.17 FIP

No better, that’s for sure.

Traditionalists will point to his 19-10 career post-season record without mentioning, of course, that most of those wins were because of opportunity having played for the Yankees for so many years and the fact that the Yankees are always one of the best offensive teams in the league.

Just like the perception that post-season games are somehow totally different from regular season games in that you have to “manufacture” more runs (whatever the hell that means) the perception that Andy Pettitte was a great post-season pitcher is wrong.

Pettitte was a very good post-season pitcher, just like he was a very good pitcher in the regular season, but he was no better.

And just to get it out of the way: No, I don’t think he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

In that regard, however, he has one thing going for him and one going against him when it comes to the “completely unbiased” BBWAA.

For him: He spent most of his years in a Yankee uniform

Against him: He admitted to using HGH while recovering from an injury.

Either way, I don’t think he belongs there, but his vote count in five years will be very interesting none the less.

Diamondbacks plan to use Micah Owings as both a pitcher and a first baseman.

Here’s an interesting little tidbit of information; according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Arizona Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, after re-acquiring him from the Reds, has announced that pitcher Micah Owings will play some first base as well as pitch this upcoming season.

Surely Towers is not the first person to have thought of this as Owings is probably the best hitting pitcher in baseball.  A lot of people have watched him hit and wondered if he could be both a hitter and a pitcher.

Well, the D’Backs are going to try it.

Owings has a career .293/.323/.538 slash line with a very good .365 wOBA and 9 home runs in 198 career plate appearances .

On the mound, Owings has a career 5.11 ERA and 5.03 FIP in 99 career appearances including 64 starts.  One could reasonably conclude that perhaps his ticket to staying in the majors is as a hitter.

There is one question that needs to be asked:  Does having a player as both a position player and a pitcher take his focus off of pitching?  Could it actually make him worse on both sides?

I guess we’ll find out.

When and if there’s a published story about this, I’ll post it and perhaps we’ll have more information.