“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): Giancarlo Stanton’s greatest dingers

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, we honor the Marlins the best way possible: Giancarlo Stanton dingers.

There are many ways to look at the Miami Marlins. You could look at a team on the rise, of Ichiro’s final days, or Jose Fernandez’s return from injury.

Or, you could just look at lots of Giancarlo Stanton home runs.

Let’s do that (after the jump):

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): Looking at the Toronto Blue Jays during their first game of Spring Training

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, the Blue Jays.

It was 1:05, and I turned on the TV to see that, finally, gloriously, spring training baseball has begun. MLB Network had Blue Jays vs. Pirates.

It was the Blue Jays feed, so here are my thoughts on them:

1) They essentially had a opening-day starting lineup to start off (with the exception of the starting pitcher, Aaron Sanchez), which is nice. Some teams will almost never have a opening-day lineup during Spring Training until the very end, but the Blue Jays have gotten down to business quick.

2) Russell Martin was starting his first pseudo-game in a Blue Jays uniform, and it was against his former team. Funny how that always happens. He made a nice defensive play in the first inning throwing out Sean Rodriguez on a full-swing bunt from his knees, although Justin Smoak definitely had to reach a bit to get the ball.

3) Aaron Sanchez gave up a 3-run, 2-out HR to Pedro Alvarez. Whoops. That probably wasn’t part of his plan. Then again, it should have ended the batter before, but Josh Donaldson botched picking up a ball. And that is why they have Spring Training, folks!


Yeah, that happened. And it will happen again. Well, the lost hits due to shift.


5) Technical difficulties hit MLB Network at like 1:23. It gets all pixelly and stuff. This is an issue.

6) At 1:25, it got better. Praise the cable gods!

7) Aaron Sanchez has Pat Hentgen’s number.

8) Aaron Sanchez, who had a 1.09 ERA in 24 relief appearances last year, is knocked out in the second inning, down 5-0. Maybe he’s not made to be a starter, or maybe IT’S JUST THE FIRST SPRING TRAINING GAME AND WE SHOULDN’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS!

9) Through two innings, the Blue Jays are hitless, which totally means they won’t get a single hit all this season. And we thought the Phillies would be bad.

10) Jung-Ho Kang hits his first professional North American home run for the Pirates, making it 6-0. It was off Marco Estrada. The Blue Jays have yet to throw a scoreless inning this pre-season. This means absolutely nothing.

11) Every time Kevin Pillar comes up, I think he’s Kevin Millar. I had a similar problem with Ryan Roberts and Brian Roberts. Oh, and as I typed that, Kevin Pillar hit a 2-run home run, so Toronto won’t get shut-out on the preseason. Good for him.

12)  If Dalton Pompey (said like “Pompeii”) doesn’t have that song by Bastille play every time he comes to the plate, something is wrong. He makes a nice steal after reaching base on a single.

13) I miss the end of the third ending making myself a late lunch. The Blue Jays make it 6-3. I wasn’t watching and thus cannot comment. Apologies.

14) Realizing I have other stuff I need to do, I decide I will cap this at 15.

15) Dalton Pompey makes a nice sliding catch in left field in the 5th inning. Later in that same inning, he loses a ball in the sun or something and it falls in for a RBI double. Baseball is a cruel mistress.  And thus ends my observations of the Toronto Blue Jays in their first Spring Training game.

Famous For Something Else: Bill Murray, American Treasure

Due to other stories I’m working on, there will be no BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE this weekend. Apologies. Instead, here’s a Famous For Something Else that I’ve been meaning to put up.

Bill Murray, member of the early days of SNL, star of Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Stripes, Lost In Translation and all-around cool guy, was, ever so briefly, a professional baseball player.  He played for the independent Northwest League Grays Harbor Loggers in 1978 in-between SNL gigs, partly for a “what I did over summer vacation” segment for the show. The crazy tale is recounted here in a Oral History put together by Rob Neyer. And here are the stats of the player who Baseball Reference has recorded as “William Murray“:

1978 28 6.7 Grays Harbor NORW A- 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 1 0 0 0
1 Season 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 1 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/1/2015.

Bill Murray. Ballplayer. Nobody would ever believe it, and yet it happened.

Murray remains involved with baseball to this day, owning stakes in a few independent clubs.

30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): A Haiku About The Braves

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, I lazily reduce the entire Atlanta Braves into a Haiku.


Atlanta Braves Team

No more Heyward or Justin

Markakis there now



Schedule for what’s coming up


What’s coming up? Here’s a schedule:

FRIDAY: “30 Teams, 30 Posts”

WEEKEND: A “Bizarre Baseball Culture”

MONDAY: “Wisdom and Links” at Hall of Very Good

WHEN I GET TO IT: Continuucast

IN THE PIPELINE: More “30 Teams, 30 Posts” posts, maybe something on Josh Hamilton

So… stay tuned!


Continuum Classic: The clever baseball reference in the “Parks and Recreation” book

In honor of last night’s excellent finale to Parks and Recreation, a classic post from September 19, 2013, on the clever baseball reference in the Parks and Recreation book:


In 2009, Parks and Recreation first aired. A spiritual spin-off (but not an actual spin-off) of The Office, it follows the life of the Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and the rest of the staff of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional, Springfield-like city of Pawnee, Indiana.

In 2011, Knope released a book on Pawnee in the show, entitled Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America. NBC released the book in the real world.

In 2013, as part of a Netflix/Hulu binge to get caught up on Parks and Recreation before the next season starts, I also read Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America. I got it from the library (thankfully, my local library is not run by Ron Swanson’s second ex-wife Tammi). In doing so, I was able to catch a clever baseball reference in it during a section on Pawnee’s school board- which is filled with people who have lots of A’s at the start of their names in order to be at the top of the ballot, helping them win simply through the laziness of the voters of Pawnee. I’ve put the page up below the jump*, can you spot it?

*(Please don’t sue me, NBC!) Continue reading