Happy birthday, Pablo. We love you.
Today, for the 17th year in a row, Pablo Sanchez turns seven-years-old. Or eight-years-old. Maybe even six-years-old. We really don’t know. All we know for sure is that somewhere on August 18th of some year, the greatest athlete in the history of the universe was born. The world has been touting #MVPablo since he was an infant, He’s an athletic superhero, a genetic miracle, and most importantly, a baseball player. While we all know Pablo went on to dominate every sport known to man (except water polo; his feet can’t reach the bottom), Pablo’s first love was béisbol. I already wrote a lengthy scouting report for Pablo, which you can read here, but he’s world-renowned as the most unstoppable force ever seen on any baseball diamond. He’s like Mike Trout, except better. Like way, way, way better. I’ve done my best to remind people how special Pablo is through a series of Vines over the past year or so. In honor of Pablo’s birthday, I’ve gone back and collected my top 10 favorite Pablo highlights. Spoiler: it’s a whole lot of dingers.
10. The Deepest Part of the Park
This may seem like a fairly regular dinger, but if you’ve played at Dirt Yards you know how difficult it is to hit it out to center field. The short fence helps you out a ton on fly balls to straightaway left field, but hitting it out to center is a rare feat only completely by the likes of Pablo, Griffey, and McGwire on occasion.
Welcome to Barbecast 44, the One-Year Anniversary special. The actual one year anniversary of the Barbecast was back on August 2nd, but we didn’t realize until this week, so we’re celebrating now! We have three very special guests this week. One of them was on the first ever Barbecast, one of them has been on every Barbecast since Episode 8, and one of them is an entire professional baseball organization.
First up (at 23:10), it’s the Seattle @Mariners! We talked to the @Mariners about what it’s like being such a complex organism, how difficult it is to schedule things when you are an entire baseball team, and their favorite other @BaseballTeams. It was fun!
Before our second guest, we did a very special B-Ref Battle segment in which we, in addition to our weekly names, read all 200 of the craziest baseball names we’ve found since Episode 14. It took a while, but it was well worth it. Ed Head!
Our final guest (at 1:27:05), as always, is Lana Berry. We took some time for this Tales of Logdog to discuss Lana’s favorite moments in Barbecast history, and took even less time to discuss why preseason football is remotely important.
We conclude with some brief thanks to all the people that have enjoyed the first year of Barbecasts and look forward to the next year of maybe Barbecasts. As always, thanks for listening <3
1. Sorry about the crickets. Jake was recording at night in his beach house which is basically just a porch.
2. We were supposed to have The Official Minor Leaguer of CFBBQ, Kieran Lovegrove, on for this special episode, but we couldn’t quite make it work. If you wanna listen to Kieran be Kieran, listen to Episode 11.
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Link to all previous podcasts: http://cespedesfamilybarbecue.com/the-barbecast-cfb-podcast/
When going to see top-tier pitching prospects while they’re still in the minor leagues, you can often expect to see at least one pitch in their repertoire that stands out above all as “that pitch” that “you need to see”. Maybe you saw Gerrit Cole’s routinely ridiculous fastball sit comfortably in the 96-98 MPH range while he was in Double-A. Maybe you got a glimpse of Taijuan Walker’s 92 MPH cutter as he was tearing up the Midwest League. Or perhaps you were #blessed by the presence of Kevin Gausman’s particularly obscene change-up. This year, the pitch that has received high praise from both real scouts and Twitter-scouts alike, is Lucas Giolito’s curveball. Often referred to as “the greatest breaking ball in the history of modern civilization”, Giolito’s hammer of a curve has earned rave reviews all year long. I saw Giolito pitch in mid-June at home against Greenville, and the curve was all that it had been hyped up to be. Low-A hitters had essentially no chance to square it up, let alone make contact at all. In that June outing, Giolito relied heavily on getting ahead in the count with fastballs low in the zone, and utilized the curve as his failproof out pitch whenever he needed it. His third pitch, a developing change-up, was used sparingly and clearly needed some work. Last night, I saw Lucas Giolito pitch for the second time this year. He allowed two hits through five shutout innings while walking two and striking out six Delmarva hitters. He did not throw a single curveball.
Welcome to Barbecast 43, “Yoenis Was Traded But We Aren’t Going To Talk About It” edition. This week’s special guest (at 20:21) is former major leaguer and two-time World Series Champion, Mike Mordecai. We talked to Mike about his relationship with Coach Mac, the differences between the Braves and Marlins World Series teams, and the pitchers he struggled with the most. We recorded with Mike while we were at camp, so we apologize for the audio quality. Our b-ref battle included a player who was once referred to as “the most prominent jail-bird athlete in America.” Tales from Logdog with Lana Berry discussed the hectic trade deadline and how she reacted to our beloved hero getting traded to Boston. Our e-mail segment was chock full of e-mails, because it was an e-mail segment. But they were good e-mails! We finished up the podcast with a salute to the Tenleytown Barbecuers, the 2014 DC Wood Men’s League Champions. Thanks for listening <3
Our musical guest this week is The Dixie Chicks, in honor of Yoenis’ somber departure from Oakland. If you haven’t read our OFFICIAL STATEMENT on the matter, please click here.
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Link to all previous podcasts: http://cespedesfamilybarbecue.com/the-barbecast-cfb-podcast/
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too”
- “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
Change is a horrifying, inevitable part of life. People are born, people die, the world moves on regardless of whether you want it to or not. Humans take what they are comfortable with for granted, which makes sudden change devastatingly difficult to deal with. Perspectives are forced to shift as settings previously considered unthinkable now become a stark, unwelcoming reality.
This morning, our hero and namesake Yoenis Cespedes was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Boston Red Sox. Most importantly, Yoenis is still healthy, safe, and making boatloads of cash. He is going to love the Green Monster and looks wonderful in turtlenecks. Yoenis Cespedes is going to have a bit of an adjustment period, but he is going to be okay.
We are also going to be okay. First things first: we aren’t changing the name. “Cespedes Family Barbecue” is a moniker completely independent of any Major League Baseball organization. The 20 minute video of him working out, dancing with his family, and roasting a gigantic pig over an open fire is, and always will be, the most enlightening and life-changing video on the internet. Take a deep breath; the BBQ lives on.
For those of you less familiar with what we do, we are not, and have never been, an Oakland-centric blog. We enjoy watching the A’s and appreciate the way they operate their fan-interaction and public relations, but we are not in any way A’s fans. On that same subject, we are not going to, in any way, become a Boston-centric blog. We will continue doing exactly what we’ve done for the last year: provide you guys with free, mediocre, baseball-related humor. It’s just the colors around the words that might be a little different.
Yoenis had an amazing few years in Oakland. He shot dingers to the moon and pegged lasers to the plate. He single-handedly captivated an entire metropolitan area with his manicured eyebrows and charming Cuban smile. It’s time for Yoenis to tackle a new, more Bostonian challenge. For the BBQ, business continues as usual.
Goodbye Oakland. You were a fabulous host to our hero. You treated him with respect and we thank you for that with all of our hearts, minds, eyebrows, and biceps.
(thanks to Ryan Dunsmore for the Yoenis/Boston photoshop)
Watch with your sound on. Watch until the end. Watch and enjoy.
Earlier today, the Twitter universe learned of the Rockies giveaway disaster. They managed to spell the name of their superstar wrong on all X number of free jerseys they gave away to their home fans. Tulowizki. Troy Tulowizki! No, seriously, Troy Tulowizki:
The Rockies misspelled Troy Tulowitzki’s name on the free jerseys they’re giving away tonight: http://t.co/Yn6iycBexS
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) July 26, 2014
Shortly after, we saw this wonderful tweet from Mr. Grant Brisbee:
“SCUTRO 19″ “LINECUM 55″ “CAN 18″ “ZIT 75″ “RAWFORD 35″ “POSE 28″
— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) July 26, 2014
It got us thinking. The Rockies sure messed up, but it could have been a lot worse for some other teams.
Yesterday, I pitched against a professional baseball player. What did you do yesterday?
BFF of the BBQ Kieran Lovegrove was the unlucky victim forced to stand toe to toe against America’s ROOGY. The setting was less than ideal, as I would prefer to be in a Major League park wearing actual baseball clothing. Forced to suffer through the reprehensible conditions in the parking lot behind the State College Spikes stadium, I had a great deal to overcome.
I knew the legend known as Lovegrove struggles with hard stuff in under the hands so I decided to start off the at-bat with a two-seamer on the inner half. The devastating arm-side run on my fastball was too much for him to handle as he jammed the ball foul the other way.
About six months ago, I wrote a piece for Michael Clair’s annual blogathon to raise money for Doctors Without Borders titled “25 Greatest Barry Bonds Facts”. To this day, it remains my favorite thing I’ve written, and it’s a collection of statistical absurdities that I’m very proud of.
Today is Barry Lamar Bonds’ 50th birthday. In honor of this special day, I’ve updated all the statistics in my original list and brought it back here to CFBBQ. As many of you know, we here at the BBQ absolutely love everything that Bonds did for baseball. He is quite clearly the greatest hitter in the history of the game, and still remains remarkably under-appreciated a mere seven years after his final season with the Giants.
I’d like to think I’ve played a tiny, tiny part in the slow progression towards a full-blown mainstream appreciation for the incredible things that Bonds did on the baseball field. There have been sporadic “Barry Bonds Crazy Fun Facts” posts over the years, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Barry’s birthday has already spawned a few more of these wonderful collections earlier today, most notably Tim Marchman’s over at Deadspin.
Certain Bonds facts resonate more with certain people, for whatever reasons. These 25 have remained my favorite, but there is a decent chance I’ll have 25 new favorites by this time next year. The career of Barry Bonds is an infinite gold mine of mind-blowing statistical miracles; there’s a favorite Bonds fact for each and every one of us.
Without further ado, here they are. My 25 favorite Barry Bonds facts.
(all numbers as of 7/23/14)
25. For his career, Barry Bonds was 0-3 with 3 K’s against Rick Ankiel
…and it was all in one game. June 20th, 2000. In his first plate appearance against the then 20-YEAR-OLD Ankiel, Bonds worked Ankiel to a full count before striking out swinging. In his second plate appearance, Ankiel struck him out swinging on three pitches. In his third and final plate appearance against, again, RICK ANKIEL, Barry Bonds struck out looking on three pitches. They would never face each other again. Rick Ankiel is one of two pitchers to have faced Barry Bonds four times or less and strike him out three times. The other one is Bartolo Colon. Bonds also only faced Bartolo for one game; June 12th, 2003 against the White Sox. First AB: strikeout swinging. Second AB: strikeout swinging. Third AB: strikeout swinging. Fourth AB: home run to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning.
24. Craig Biggio drove in 1,175 runs in his 20 year career. Barry Bonds’ home runs alone drove in 1,174 runs.
It’s almost like Barry Bonds hit a lot of home runs or something.
- Barry Bonds: 46.6 fWAR
- New York Mets: 46.6 fWAR
- Milwaukee Brewers: 45.3 fWAR
- Kansas City Royals: 31.0 fWAR
- Detroit Tigers: 30.9 fWAR
- Montreal Expos: 30.7 fWAR
2001-2004 was a fun time for Mr. Bonds, and this list makes that very clear. The level at which he was dominating baseball will probably never be seen again. Barry Bonds drew 120 intentional walks in 2004 alone. Speaking of intentional walks…