You Know It’s A Slow Time In Sports When…..

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Yesterday a guy dove head first into the Yankees dugout, knocked himself unconscious and then was arrested.

This description of events, from the New York Daily News, is funny:

“It kind of freaked me out, actually,” Girardi said. “I think he tried to jump in, but he was probably not in a state to be walking.”

Girardi said the fan landed on the steps, hitting his side after falling from the top of the dugout. He tried to get up and fell again, this time hitting the back of his head. Stadium security moved quickly to apprehend the fan and escorted him out of the dugout and off the field.

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I couldn’t find any video of the events, so here’s a squirrel doing squirrel things:

And in Little League World Series news, this happened:

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Also, this happened:

Prince Fielder Might Be Done

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Prince Fielder underwent neck surgery on July 29 for the second time since 2014.  According to Ken Rosenthal, the 32-year-old slugger isn’t technically retiring.  Instead, Rosenthal reported, “He is medically disabled and doctors will not clear him to play.”

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That’s an important distinction in the semantic/contractual world.  It means Fielder will receive the $96 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2020.  The Detroit Tigers are on the hook for $6 million per year.  The Rangers, meanwhile, have an insurance policy that will pay 50 percent of their $18 million annual commitment, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

The real number that is staggering in the story of Prince Fielder is 319.  That’s the total number of homeruns in his 12 year career.  It’s also the EXACT same number his father, Cecil, hit in 13 MLB campaigns.  Read that again….both Cecil and Prince Fielder hit 319 homeruns a piece.  What!?!?!

To say that’s a numerical anomaly would be an incredible understatement of Seinfeldian dry sarcasm.  How does that happen?!?!?  The number 319 is the baseball cosmic equivalent of deja’ vu or kismet when it comes to the Fielder family.  If this is indeed Prince’s last hooray, what a weird stat-nerd way to go out.  Baseball is all about numbers and statistical analysis, and this one can’t be explained by any earthly science, it;s truly baseball gods at work.

Junior and Piazza Voted In The HOF

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Ken Griffey Jr. was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday with the highest voting percentage ever (99%), and Mike Piazza (as ladies with barbed-wire tattoos swoon) will join the esteemed company in Cooperstown, NY.

Griffey made his way onto 437 of 440 ballots in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.  Quick math deduction skills lets me know that the total of 99.3 % topped the previous high-mark of 98.84 %, set when Tom Seaver appeared on 425 of 430 ballots in 1992.  The real question is; WHO ARE THE ASSHOLE, BASEBALL-DICK-WRITERS THAT DIDN’T VOTE FOR JUNIOR?

The voters who didn’t vote-in Griffey on his first ballot are the epitome of stick-in-the-mud bullshit artists posing as sports writer-demigods.  THIS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH BASEBALL!  How is Ken Griffey Jr. NOT a unanimous decision?!?!?

This is how I picture the voting process: these ass-hats sat in their barcaloungers and scribbled names onto a scan-tron test sheet with a red crayon while Looney Tunes played on the TV in the background, completely ignoring their microwave meatloaf dish that their mom begrudgingly prepared for them.

When Bugs Bunny popped out of his wabbit-hole and delivered his catch-phrase line, “Ehhhhh, what’s up doc?”, these jabronis laughed hysterically like the mullet-dawning, Bud Light swigging, America’s Funniest Home Videos watching dorkwhores that they are……..and then they forgot to write in Griffey’s name.

That’s the only conclusion I can come up with that explains why Junior was not 100% voted in, but maybe I missed something.

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the greatest swing in baseball history

Griffey was a 13-time All-Star outfielder and finished with 630 career homers, putting him at sixth on the career list (and no steroids).  In an era that was consumed with homeruns and steroid allegations, Griffey was never tied to any scandals or any PED use, he was the definition of what baseball needed at the time.  A great athlete who bashed homers and played the game the “right way”.  He single-handedly made the game cool and fun to watch again during an over-muscled, steroid-tainted era (thanks McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Bonds).  And yet 3 HOF voters didn’t see him as a first-ballot selection to Cooperstown.


 

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Mike Piazza was a 12-time All-Star with a .308 career batting average, Piazza became the top offensive catcher in big league history as well as the trailer-park’s answer to George Clooney.  Seriously, EVERY lady secretly was in love with Piazza’s pretty-boy with a mullet, Camaro-driving, mustache-ride style.

He hit better than .300 in nine straight seasons and finished with 427 home runs, including a record 396 when he was in the game behind the plate.  Piazza received 83% of the votes to make his way into the HOF on his fourth appearance.

“Incredibly special. Wow,” Piazza said on a call with MLB Network.

“I sat here with my mouth on the floor,” he said.

“Yogi Berra had like four ballots. Joe DiMaggio had three ballots,” Piazza said. “And so myself being sort of a student of the history of the game, and having respect for the process, it was nail-biting at times, but I had a tremendous amount of support throughout my career from the writers and the fans.”

Just for perspective:

A player needs 75 % of the votes to make the HOF, this year Jeff Bagwell missed by 15 votes and Tim “Rock” Raines missed by 23. Trevor Hoffman, on the ballot for the first time, was 34 votes short.

There were solid increases for a pair of steroiders. Roger Clemens rose to 45 percent and Barry Bonds to 44 percent, both up from about 37 percent last year.

****sidenote: Pete Rose STILL isn’t in the HOF, and he didn’t touch steroids.  Greatest hitter of all time, NOT in the HOF.

The Weirdest Post Season Inning EVER

In an EPIC game 5 last night in Toronto, the Blue Jays beat the Rangers, 6-3 to advance to the ALCS.  Please god, gimme a Cubs vs. Blue Jays World Series, that’s the only way I’ll care enough to watch every game and pretend to be interested.

Having said that, the 7th inning in last night’s contest was the most ridiculous, ludicrous-speed inning of baseball I’ve ever seen:

  1. Blue Jays’ catcher Russell Martin bounced the throwback to the pitcher off Shin Soo Choo’s bat, leading to a run for Texas and leading to me saying, uh….what the hell just happened?
  2. Score is now 3-2 Rangers.  Blue Jays fans started throwing whatever they could find onto the field in total-respectful and not offensive-disgust.  TONS of Labatt Blue bottles, french fries with gravy, canadian bacon and flapjacks with maple syrup were hurled while polite and sensitive passive aggressive phrases were spoken loudly to, but not screamed at the umpires.
  3. Now to the bottom of the 7th inning; Blue Jays are up to bat, Russell Martin hits an easy grounder to Elvis (we gotta win this race) Andrus, and he boots it.  HOLY BALLS!  I could’ve made that play!  This is just the beginning folks, get your popcorn ready.
  4. THE NEXT BATTER, easy double-play ball hit to Rangers’ first baseman, Mitch Moreland…..who throws the ball into the dirt at second base!  WTF is going on!?!?! That’s two errors in a row!!  I can’t wait to see what happens next.
  5. THE NEXT BATTER, sacrifice bunt to move the runners, Rangers Adrian Beltre makes a great play on the ball, turns and fires to third base to get the force out on the lead runner (Russell Martin reached by an error)….and Elvis (mid-1970s Elvis version) Andrus DROPS THE THROW!  That’s TWO errors in less than 10 minutes for Andrus!?!?!  THREE CONSECUTIVE PLAYS with errors!  I had no idea Buffalo Wild Wings was a Toronto Blue Jays fan:
  6. IT’S STILL NOT OVER!  Jays’ Josh Donaldson is up with the bases loaded.  He hits a dumpster-fire of a dying quail over the back-peddling, “Scotty Smalls” at second base.  Ball drops in for a hit.  One run scores.  The Rangers manage to get a force out at second base.
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  7. So now there’s a man on first and third, we’re tied up at 3-3, a few batters later we got JOEY BATS (Jose Bautista) up to the plate.  And this happens:

Game, set, match….Blue Blouses.

Of course today all anyone can talk about is the bat-flip from Jose Bautista after he tattooed the ball over the left field fence, because everyone has to be mad about something these days.

I’m sure next season, first game of the next series between Toronto and Texas, the Texas pitcher will plunk Bautista in the back with a 90 mph fastball to “teach him a lesson” for the bat-flip.

All the older-than-50 sportswriters will agree that it was the right thing to do and it’s the “unwritten rules of baseball” that allows players to police themselves and maliciously throw a hard-as-shit baseball at someone’s body on purpose as hard as they can with the intention of hurting them….but that’s ok as long as it’s because the guy flipped his bat after a homerun.  Here’s an idea of “self-policing” for all these “unwritten rules” in baseball, specific to the Rangers:  How about you don’t commit three consecutive errors and then give up a 3 run home run all in the same inning to lose the series and end the season for your team??  How about you concentrate on that instead of worrying about a guy celebrating after a homerun?!?!

When Joey Bats hits a game clinching, go-ahead, series-killing, pancake-n-syrup, MONSTER home run in the ALDS, I think he has the right to flip his bat in the air in celebration.  He flipped his bat in the air….that’s all…..what’s wrong with that?  It’s not like he threw the bat at the pitcher or whipped out his mini-bat and started chasing guys around the diamond or anything.

So, lemme get this strait, it’s NOT ok for the batter to flip his bat in the air after a homerun, BUT it is ok for a pitcher to throw a fastball at his back ON PURPOSE the next time he’s up to the plate to “send a message”?

I call bullshit.

CubWagon Defined

CUBWAGON n.

Pronunciation: (cub)(wag)(on)

  1. The official Chicago Cubs bandwagon
  2. Informal The act of outsiders who do not call Chicago “home” choosing to cheer for the Cubs, which results in an outrageous spike in fanship that suspiciously coincides with the team performing better.
  3. Informal The hashtag everyone baseball should be using right now

To be clear, at TheCola we don’t support bandwagon fans.  They’re at the top of our hit list.  We just think they’re the worst.  We want loyalties that run 3 generations deep sitting across the bar from us when we’re slinging mud at them during Game 6 of the World Series.  Not bandwagon fans.  Simply put, they just don’t have enough firepower in those situations.

What we do support is the CUBWAGON…..Why?

Because the Yankees and the Sox are out?

Yes, but also because above all individual loyalties what we love the most is BASEBALL. We love everything about it— the game, the buzz, the history.  It all makes for great stories to tell our future grandkids.

The Cubs have the market cornered on “story” right now.  They are baseball’s darling because we all know they’re overdue.  Plus, we’re following the “Sinatra rule”.

Sinatra called New York home.  He also loved Chicago.  LA.  Vegas.  Really anywhere with women and legs for days.  If that logic isn’t enough for you, here’s the adaptation: fans must have a bulletproof reason for repping an away team.

Here’s our reason: 107 years of being made fun of and beaten up in alleyways.  When it comes down to it, we’re sick of all the bullying.

Party on, Chicago. We’re with you.

#cubwagon

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And Now We Can Officially Root For The Cubs

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Between batters getting tagged with wild pitches, bench-clearing “almost-fights” and the Chicago Cubs raking the ball like a grown man playing t-ball in the NL Wildcard game last night, we now have even MORE of a reason to root on the Back To The Future II: Electric Boogaloo – Chicago Cubs in the MLB playoffs now.

That was the biggest swing of the night, (NOT involving a defenseless Gatorade cooler) belonging to Cubs right fielder Kyle Schwarber, who absolutely CRUSHED Gerrit Cole’s third inning pitch for a two-run homer.  That put the Cubs up 3-0 and they never looked back, even after a bench-clearing skirmish in the top of the 7th inning.

After the teams peacocked there way back to their respective benches, Pirates’ utility player Sean Rodriguez was apparently NOT to happy with his ejection for acting like a roid-raged, neanderthal-idiot on the field, so he continued his tough-guy show in the dugout on an unsuspecting, innocent-bystander Gatorade cooler:

Sean Rodriguez seems to greatly enjoy punching inanimate objects, he broke his hand while in Triple-A ball back in 2012 when he punched a locker, I guess the locker had a stronger jaw than this Gatorade cooler.

The Gatorade cooler was unavailable for comment after the game, but the 2012 locker from the Triple-A Durham Bulls locker room released a statement today:

I was a battered locker, I felt ashamed and embarrassed about saying that I was a battered locker until very recently.  Through therapy I have come to grips with the fact that I will never be a “whole locker” again inside and out.  When it happened I didn’t know what to do, but now I know I was in a very dysfunctional, hostile relationship and a victim of domestic locker room, anit-closet violence.  I hope my story and this new incident bring to light the dangers of abusive locker room or dugout relationships.

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Go Cubs

We Should All Root For The Cubs

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If you follow baseball at all then you probably would agree with me when I say that the Chicago Cubs are basically Major League Baseball’s version of Mark Wahlberg………..(gasps of confusion)……let me explain.

A team (Wahlberg) that’s been around for a long time (Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch) and are seemingly ageless, talented and always decently entertaining with a number of flare-ups of brilliant moments over the years (Boogie Nights, 1984 NL East Title, Three Kings, Kerry Wood striking out 20 batters, FearNL Central Titles in ’07 and ’08, The Fighter, Harry Caray) but as a franchise they’re surrounded by sub-par, meltdowns let-downs (Max Payne, Bartman) for any real fan.

The dark streak of mediocrity continues and counts the days since the last Cubs World Series championship (107 years).  The last Wahlberg flick worth the hour and half to two hours of screen-time was only slightly more recent, Lone Survivor.   Bottom line is that neither the Cubs nor the ever-entertaining former dance music singer Mark Wahlberg have sniffed a trophy in quite a long time.

Chicago Cubs = Mark Wahlberg

In such a way that most blue-blooded, 30-something guys secretly root for Mark Wahlberg’s next tough-guy role to be the one that makes it ok for us to publicly say, “Hey, that new Wahlberg flick looks awesome”; we should also be rooting for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series in 2015.  Here are my reasons:

  1.  Back To The Future IIin addition to accurately predicting the weather and  inventing multiple things available to us all today 30 years later: facetime…projection screen-TVs…hoverboards…flying cars…handheld tablet computers with thumbprint technology…a baseball team in Miami…video conferencing…wall mounted TVs…google glass (sunglasses that do everything)…being addicted to technology…dehydrated food.  Back To The Future II also predicted that the Chicago Cubs would win the 2015 World Series, and here were are in October of 2015 and the Cubs actually are in the playoffs and have the opportunity (as much as any other wild card team ever) to make that come true.  Seriously, name me another movie that accurately predicted such a specific moment in time 30 years before it happened?  Go ahead, I’ll wait…………katt-uhh-no
  2. Can you imagine what the party would be like in Chicago IF the Cubs put an end to the 107 year gap between championships!?!?  It would be the greatest train-wreck of a celebration EVER.  The Chicago River and Lake Michigan would be permanently died brown from all the celebration puke and brown liquor that would flood the streets around the passed-out bodies of grown men clutching their Ernie Banks bobble-head dolls.  THAT image is well worth it.
  3. Does anyone out here really need to see the Yankees or whoever else win ANOTHER championship this season?  I mean, who cares….seriously.  Unless your a die-hard Angels fan (what’s wrong with you?) or Spankees fan, why bother rooting for anyone but the Cubs?  It’s so far beyond “their turn” to get a ring that it’s been the Yankees turn 27 times and even the Red Sox turn 7 times since the Cubs did it last.
  4. Harry Caray –   He’s the greatest in-game commentator EVER and the only reason to watch or listen to a Cubs game for that 15 year span in the 80’s and 90’s.  He was so good, Will Ferrell created one of the single greatest impressions you’ve ever seen.  You never knew what you gonna hear out of his mouth during a game:
    1. “Booze, broads and bullshit. If you got all that, what else you need?”,
    2. “I’ve only been doing this for 54 years. With a little experience, I might get better.”
    3. “Not only do I like to go to bars because I like to drink, I do like to drink, but I go because who do you see there? Baseball fans.”  
  5. Back To The Future II – Did I mention that already:cubswinworldseries
  6. Fans in Wrigley catch foul balls in beer cups and chug the beer like a champ on the regular…..it’s happened twice now. Click Here and Here.
  7. Also…cause of this guy, he’s a Cubs fan:1455122266627543880
  8. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – The greatest “playing hookie” movie ever made, whether you are a successful Wall Street stockbroker or a high school student who wants to get out of gym class, Ferris Bueller’s day off perfectly encompasses our desire to be 12 years old and go to a day game at Wrigley field when you’re supposed to be doing something else.  That’s TWO CLASSIC movies voting for the Chicago Cubs. 

Wrigley Field is one of the few left-overs from a simpler time, a historical shadow of baseball that barely exists in any aspect of the sport now.  The franchise deserves our support this season, but more importantly BASEBALL needs this.  There’s a trading of the guard-transition happening in baseball right now from what once was (Derek Jeter, The Yankees, The Red Sox, Steroids, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa) and what now is.  It’s the end of an era for a lot of us.  No matter how you chop it up, the good, the bad and the ugly seem larger than life now in our national past-time, I think we need a little more old-school to bring us back to our roots.  And nothing says old-school like a 107 year curse.  Go Cubs.