Part 3: ARE THEY RELATED ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Roy Oswalt says hello.

Part 1.

Part 2.

A.J. AND PETER GRIFFIN

Extremely similar body types, both wear glasses, and I think we can safely assume Peter would wear number 64 if he played baseball. One might point out that Peter is a fictional character, making it impossible to truly relate him to the young Oakland starter with the nasty curveball. In this case, I think there are enough uncanny similarities to at least wonder if their parents are second cousins or something. I’m open to being convinced otherwise.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 47%

TYRELL AND LEEROY JENKINS

I like a good challenge. Here we have the high-ceiling Cardinals pitching prospect whose Twitter handle is @BrothaJenkins, and arguably the most famous character in video game history. If you haven’t seen the video, just click on LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY’s name above. Sure, Tyrell can spin a pretty sick breaking ball. But could he do what Leeroy did in that legendary moment of WoW? Probably not. That takes a special kind of blood that I’m not sure Tyrell has proved he has yet. The potential is there, but I’m not buying it yet.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 16%

BRAUN RAZORS, EVA BRAUN AND RYAN BRAUN

A brand of inanimate objects, the former wife of Adolf Hitler, and one of the best players in baseball who happens to be a Jew.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 1000000%

Part 2: ARE THEY RELATED ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Aramis’ reaction upon hearing that Carly Rae and Kevin are related.

Round two, everyone. We’ve got some good ones today. Click here for part uno.

ANDRELTON AND BILL SIMMONS

Awesome shortstop with an incredible 6th tool and a pretentious overwhelmingly famous writer from BAHSTON. I have a hard time putting much effort into trying to relate these two guys, since I’m such a huge Andrelton fan and can’t stand anything Bill Simmons even mutters about baseball. I’m gonna go low on this one.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: -24%

VERNON AND H.G. WELLS

Vernon, as properly portrayed in the picture above, is a struggling fourth outfielder who is making a HILARIOUS amount of money for doing pretty much nothing of use on the baseball field. You can point to the obvious balding of both of these influential men and start to wonder if they have the same great grandparents. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely seeing as H.G., commonly referred to as “The Father of Science Fiction” (and I strongly doubt Vernon has much interest in that genre), was born a little over a century before our favorite replacement-level player was brought into this world.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 7%

KEVIN AND CARLY RAE JEPSEN

This one seems pretty easy. You see the blue-ish green-ish eyes and you just KNOW these two are cousins. While the Angels right-hander isn’t known for his legendary cult pop songs such as Carly’s “Call Me Maybe”, it’s easy to look at his determined face and sense that there are some untapped vocal skills hidden deep down.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 91%

Kelly Vs. Avril: The Showdown You’ve All Been Waiting For

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

Stop right there, Thomas Jefferson.

There’s Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne, and then there’s the rest of humanity.

It’s an undeniable hierarchy that has slowly made its way to the core of the friendship between CFB founders Jordan Shusterman and Jake Mintz. Two unbelievable female vocal sensations, forever linked by the intense bond of both having happened to have their careers take off in the year 2002. Their musical styles aren’t even that similar but who even cares because this is a big deal and you should pay attention to it. We are both in complete acceptance that each other’s favorite is an amazing musician/strong independent woman/human being/representative of Earth. However, we would like to take the time to try and convince you, the reader, which one is better.

Jake is a devoted Kelly Clarkson enthusiast; when he’s not spamming the news feeds of innocent facebookers with his not-so-subtle Spotify endeavors, you can probably find him belting “The Trouble With Love Is” in his adorable little red Accord. His workout playlist consists of Kelly and Kelly only, and he has no shame in admitting that. It’s a complex obsession that is genuine and full of #want.

Jordan has always proclaimed his love for Avril, often citing her incredible peak as one of the many reasons for such intense interest in her musical works of art. Recently spotted faintly singing the greatest hits from Avril’s legendary debut album “Let Go” at 4 AM at a New Year’s party, Jordan is always happy to spread Avril fever to anyone and everyone in his vicinity (or in that case, those who were still awake).

That’s just some background. This is only the beginning. What follows is an in-depth look at what this completely made-up rivalry truly consists of.

***************************************************************************************************************

We will present our own case, as well as provide .gifs because this is the internet and what is an article without .gifs? Let’s start with some simple comparisons.

FULL NAME:

Kelly: Kelly Brianne Clarkson

Avril: Avril Ramona Lavigne

BIRTHDAY/AGE:

Kelly: April 24th, 1982. 30 years old.

Avril: September 27th, 1984. 28 years old.

BIRTHPLACE: 

Kelly: Fort Worth, Texas, THESE United States of America

Avril: Belleville, Ontario, OHHHHHHHHH Canada

IS SHE TALLER THAN JOSE ALTUVE?

Kelly: Yeah, not even close.

Avril: Probably.

DOES SHE WEIGH MORE THAN DEE GORDON?

Kelly: Almost definitely

Avril: Maybe

MOST FLATTERING .GIFS:

Kelly:

Avril:

LEAST FLATTERING .GIF:

Kelly:

Avril:

APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS:

Kelly: 99.2 million results

Avril: 89.8 million results

APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF YOUTUBE SEARCH RESULTS:

Kelly: 299,000 results

Avril: 404,000 results

NUMBER OF VEVO SUBSCRIBERS (AS OF 2/20/13):

Kelly: 389,706 subscribers

Avril: 1,394,477 subscribers

NUMBER OF VEVO VIEWS (AS OF 2/20/13):

Kelly: 350,413,018 views

Avril: 965,509,524 views

WIKIPEDIA WORD COUNT:

Kelly: 5910 words

Avril: 7239 words

NUMBER OF WIKIPEDIA CITATIONS:

Kelly: 120 citations

Avril: 175 citations

PANDORA RADIO BIOGRAPHY WORD COUNT:

Kelly: 743 words

Avril: 71o words

NUMBER OF ALBUMS:

Kelly: 5

Avril: 4

NUMBER OF SINGLES:

Kelly: 25

Avril: 17

NUMBER OF MUSIC VIDEOS:

Kelly: 24

Avril: 20

MOST RIDICULOUS LYRIC:

Kelly:

“And I may not be Einstein but I know,
Dumb plus dumb equals you.
Dumb plus dumb equals you.”

~ “Einstein (2011)”

Avril:

“I hate it when a guy doesn’t understand,
Why a certain time of month, I don’t wanna hold his hand.”

~ “The Best Damn Thing (2007)”

MOST ABSURD .GIF:

Kelly:

Avril:

CLAIM TO FAME:

Kelly: Winning the first season of American Idol

Avril: Being a rebellious 17 year old who wrote a song about things being complicated

RELATIONSHIP STATUS:

Kelly: Engaged to Brandon Blackstock (Stepson of Reba McEntire)

Avril: Engaged to Chad Kroeger (Lead singer of Nickelback)

PAST RELATIONSHIPS:

Kelly: None that are known of publicly.

Avril: 2006-2009: Married to Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist of the band Sum 41 (questionable Y in the first name; probably distantly related to Jayson and Laynce Nix). Dated professional celebrity Brody Jenner from 2010 to early 2012.

WAS SHE ON “SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH”?

Kelly: Yes, as an extra in one scene. You can see her walk by in the .gif below. Watch closely.

Avril: Yes, as herself. She performed “Sk8er Boi”.

GOOGLE IMAGE RESULTS WHEN ADDING THE WORD “BASEBALL”:

  

We’ve already covered Avril’s first pitch endeavors, but what’s striking here are the two teams represented. The Rangers and the Blue Jays were reportedly the finalists for one special Japanese pitcher by the name of  YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU (Crank that Soulja Boy) Darvish. It’s evidenced by this MLBTradeRumors update from 12/11/11. While the Rangers eventually ended up with Darvish, it’s clear that this rivalry has taken itself far beyond the world of CFB. It’s real, people.

What does Yu think of all this?

“baseball very good”

Ooooooooooooooooooooookay then. Moving on.

BASEBALL PLAYER WHOSE NAME IS MOST SIMILAR:

Kelly: Dad (?!?!) Clarkson, RHP for the 1891 New York Giants

Avril: Art LaVigne, C/1B for the 1914 Buffalo Buffeds

FAVORITE CEREAL:

Kelly: Cocoa Puffs

Avril: Cocoa Pebbles

LEAST FAVORITE COUNTY IN WYOMING:

Kelly: Washakie County (Population: 8,289)

Avril: Niobrara County (Population: 2,407)

THE TOOLS: 

Kelly: 8 Raw Vocals, 4 Weight Control, 4 Hair, 6 Depression, + Durability

Avril: 5 Raw Vocals, 8 Sadness, 8 Depression, 7 Hair, Maturity an Issue

IS SHE LIKELY TO READ THIS?

Kelly: No

Avril: No

MAJOR LEAGUE ETA: 

Kelly: Never

Avril: Never

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CONCLUSION

Jake (Kelly): Kelly Clarkson has lived a life. She rose to the top of the music world only to fall back into the abyss only to climb back out of said abyss back to the top. Her voice has cured disease, put gang wars on hold, and raised both the roof and the debt ceiling. Avril’s best songs (Sk8r Boi, Complicated, and I’m With You) are very good. Kelly has at least 10 songs in that same echelon of loveliness. (Breakaway, Since U Been Gone, Behind These Hazel Eyes, Because of You, Walk Away, Mrs. Independent, A Moment Like This, Stronger, The Trouble With Love Is, and Catch My Breath)

Let me leave you with one last point. If you google “Kelly Clarkson America” you will get this as the top video result. If you were to click on that video you would watch a simple farm girl from Oklahoma turn the Presidential Inauguration into her own personal reclamation concert. Imagine Avril trying to command that moment. She’d wilt like a flower. Those 3 minutes and 16 seconds exemplify what Kelly Clarkson is all about: stage presence, untouchable vocal talent, and pure grace.

Jordan (Avril): It’s incredibly difficult to dispute Kelly’s accolades and accomplishments, so I’m gonna avoid blatantly bashing one of our generation’s more talented musical superstars. However, what Kelly lacks is the true cult following that Avril developed in the early stages of her momentous career. It was a lifestyle that defined a generation of angsty teenage girls that just wanted to wear a tie, break something, or attempt to ride a skateboard. So why, do you ask, am I, a male high school senior, so committed to Avril being superior? It’s about the peak. It’s about her debut album “Let Go” which was released when she was SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD, selling over 16 million copies. It’s about the range of moods that Avril so beautifully expresses through anthems such as “Sk8er Boi” and “Girlfriend”.

“You know that I’m a crazy bitch/ I do what I want when I feel like it”, Avril proclaims in the beginning of her smash hit 2011 single “Smile”. It’s true. She does do what she wants when she feels like it. And sometimes, she feels like writing something a little more serious; a heartbreaking masterpiece entitled “When You’re Gone”. You go watch that music video and try and tell me that all Avril cares about is fucking shit up and “going on a million dates”. The amount of emotions that Avril’s music pulls out of any casual listener is unmatched.

Kelly Clarkson is an amazing singer. Her most successful song, “Breakaway”, is a must-listen for me for pretty much any occasion. Oh, what’s that ? IT WAS WRITTEN BY AVRIL LAVIGNE ?! I rest my case.

***************************************************************************************************************

SO…WHO WINS?

We all do.

The human race has been blessed with these two unbearably fantastic singers. It’s the debate that keeps their legends alive. Make your voice heard. Ask yourself daily: Kelly or Avril? The American Idol sensation whose vocals have carried her to great heights for over a decade? Or the Canadian icon who once beat up a guy in a hot dog costume?

You know the right choice.

#CFB

Part 1: ARE THEY RELATED ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Glen Perkins is not amused.

We all learned when we were younger than not everyone with the same last name is related. That would be crazy.

Or is it?

Today, we begin looking at some players with extremely fortunate last names and do our best to try and figure out if they’re related to certain other non-baseball things/people around this wonderful planet we call Earth. Let’s get to work.

DANIEL AND JENNIFER HUDSON

This is a tough one. Daniel is a 6″4 white baseball player from Virginia and Jennifer is a probably shorter strong independent black woman who almost won American Idol. If you look closely, you can see some similarities that may hint to some distantly connected roots, such as them both having eyes and noses. Other than that, not much here.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 3%

ALICIA AND THE FREDERICK KEYS

It’s often difficult to trace the blood back from an entire Minor League Baseball organization, especially when you’re aiming for a billion time Grammy Award Winner that was born in 1981. I’m doubtful of this one.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 8%

BUD AND CHUCK NORRIS

Bud is currently the highest paid player on the Houston Astros at a healthy 3 million bucks for the 2013 season. He’s probably gonna get traded but he’s still pretty awesome. But is he as awesome as CHUCK NORRIS ? I don’t know, at least probably not enough to be related. Chuck is a devout Christian, and Bud’s Cross necklace is rather prominent in that action shot of him. Did you know Chuck Norris’ real first name is Carlos ? You do now. Anyway, I’m skeptical.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 12% 

Avril Lavigne Threw Two Ceremonial First Pitches; Let’s Over-analyze Them

While rival Kelly Clarkson has sung more Star-Spangled Banners in her career, my favorite Canadian (sorry Joey Votto), Avril Lavigne, leads another category of pre-game traditions: the ceremonial first pitch. She’s thrown two; one during the 2009 season in Toronto, and one in Tampa Bay during the 2011 season (the same night she later performed a disastrous concert and got booed off the stage for cursing everyone out). I’ve decided to take the analytic approach to these occurrences. I’ve obviously .giffed them, and at the end I’m gonna throw some 20-80 grades on Avril’s pitching mechanics with the help of the all-knowing Doug Thorburn (pitching guru at Baseball Prospectus).

This was Avril’s first pitch in Tampa Bay:

To start, she’s standing about 10 feet in front of the mound, so we know her arm strength isn’t exactly a plus tool. But she plants her right foot somewhat correctly, and fires an eephus-like dart to then Rays reliever Adam Russell. At first I thought it was JP Howell, who currently wears number 39 for the Rays. And then this little meet and greet happened:

JP Howell is only 6″0 tall and 190 lbs. I know Avril is small. But if that’s Howell, she’s a legal midget…and I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. The player who Avril is actually posing with looks legitimately twice her size. Sure enough, it’s Russell (then number 36), who is listed at a ridiculous 6″8 and 255 lbs. Makes more sense.

We are fortunate to have a side angle for this pitch, which is an essential view when evaluating top pitching prospects such as Avril Ramona Lavigne. She takes the ball out of her glove awfully early, almost like a right-handed Brian Fuentes, except not at all.

This action shot gives us a better sense of what pitch Avril was throwing:

Hard to judge, considering how tiny her hands are, but it looks like a palmball/change-up hybrid grip, as also evidenced by the late arm-side run the pitch shows. I’m almost positive Juan Francisco would swing at it.

***************************************************************************************************

Let’s move on to Avril’s other ceremonial first pitch.

Again, we see her throwing from closer than where the mound actually is, except in this case, they even moved the plate up for her. It’s a big breaker. This shot of her right after the release is incredibly informative:

You usually want your glove pointing to your target when you’re pitching, but it’s not like Avril gives a shit. Her fingers are actually indicating some type of knuckleball variation, which could explain the intense movement, and also why the Jays would trade for RA Dickey three years later.

More curiously, this is what Avril did after she threw the pitch:

It seems to be her version of Aroldis Chapman’s infamous somersault.

***************************************************************************************************

Balance (55): It’s pretty solid, as her low effort delivery allows her to not fall down and completely embarrass herself. It’s unquestionably better than Carlos MarmLOL, and she also keeps her head relatively aligned with the rest of her body throughout the delivery.

Momentum (45): It’s eh. Her stride is certainly strong, which helps, but when you consider how limited/non-existent the leg kick is, it’s hard to go higher for this one.

Torque (30):  Very poor. One would hope that she could maintain at least one other similar quality to Aroldis, such as the elite torque that he produces with his max-effort delivery, but I guess not. There’s just not a lot of pushing that baseball forward. Needs improvement.

Posture (80): She’s essentially standing straight up until she releases the ball, so I gotta hand her an elite grade for posture. It’s unclear if she knows that she’s supposed to lift her leg at all, but hey, posture is posture is posture. Whether it’s accidental or not.

Release Distance (30): There’s zero leg kick whatsoever, and that kinda dooms this grade from the start. I’m tempted to throw at least a 4 on this one, seeing as the amount of movement she gets on the pitch (due mostly to gravity, but whatever) even with the horrendous release is extremely impressive. The pitch in Toronto shows uncanny similarities to Sergio Romo’s slider. But unfortunately, she’s really not releasing it anywhere close to the optimal point in her delivery, thus the below-average grade.

Repetition and Timing (20):  You say small sample size, I say this is a complete disaster and a serious disappointment. These two pitches were thrown at completely different angles, release points…even the arm action was different. Sure, we’re only looking at two pitches ever, but the huge mechanical discrepancy between the two is just bad. Let’s be honest…she’s probably gonna have to move to the bullpen.

 

#CFB

Are They Related: Presidents

Bill Clinton Lumberkings

Yesterday was presidents day. To celebrate, Cespedes Family Barbecue did the only thing we knew how to do: Pun.

ARE THEY RELATED

Lew and Gerald Ford

Levon and George Washington

Edwin and Andrew Jackson

Randy and Andrew Johnson

Matt and George Bush

John and Mike Adams

Matt and William Henry Harrison

Steve and Franklin Pierce

ASSORTED PUNS

Leonys Martin Van Buren

Russell Martin Van Buren

Nick Franklin Pierce

James Madison Bumgarner

John Tyler Matzek

Zachary Taylor Teagarden

Bill Clinton Lumberkings

Chad James Buchanan

Ulysses S. Grant Balfour

Chester A. Arthur Rhodes

Ronald Reagan Guzman

Baseball America 2013 Best Tools Compilation: The Pitchers

Dylan Bundy

There are an endless number of sites devoted to baseball prospects, and while I think it’s safe to say our personal favorite here at CFB is Baseball Prospectus, the other giant in the internet world of prospecting, Baseball America, does something extremely fascinating every year to go along with their Top 10 lists. They take 15 tools, from Best Hit Tool to Best Outfield Arm, and assign one player from each organization one of these distinctions. Over the past few months, I’ve been compiling them in a spreadsheet as the team lists have come out. They concluded with the San Francisco Giants last week, so all the Best Tools have been handed out. It should be noted that some of these lists came out before certain trades, so you will see some players (new Marlin Justin Nicolino, for example) on teams that they no longer play for. However, I think a general compilation of these tools is helpful and interesting to look at.

We’ve seen the offense and the defense, so let’s take a look at the pitchers.

A breakdown by handedness:

Best Fastball: 29 RHP’s and 1 LHP

Best Curveball: 24 RHP’s and 6 LHP’s

Best Slider: 24 RHP’s and 6 LHP’s

Best Changeup: 17 RHP’s and 13 LHP’s

Best Control: 21 RHP’s and 9 LHP’s

AL EAST

AL east pitching

AL CENTRAL

AL central pitching

AL WEST

AL west pitching

NL EAST

NL east pitching

NL CENTRAL

NL central pitching

NL WEST

NL west pitching

Baseball America 2013 Best Tools Compilation: Defensive Tools

Jose Iglesias doing Jose Iglesias things.

There are an endless number of sites devoted to baseball prospects, and while I think it’s safe to say our personal favorite here at CFB is Baseball Prospectus, the other giant in the internet world of prospecting, Baseball America, does something extremely fascinating every year to go along with their Top 10 lists. They take 15 tools, from Best Hit Tool to Best Outfield Arm, and assign one player from each organization one of these distinctions. Over the past few months, I’ve been compiling them in a spreadsheet as the team lists have come out. They concluded with the San Francisco Giants last week, so all the Best Tools have been handed out. It should be noted that some of these lists came out before certain trades, so you will see some players (new Marlin Jake Marisnick, for example) on teams that they no longer play for. However, I think a general compilation of these tools is helpful and interesting to look at.

Last week we looked at the best offensive tools. Today, we look at the defensive side of things.

A positional breakdown:

Best Defensive Infielder: 23 SS’s, 5 2B’s and 2 3B’s

Best Infield Arm: 17 3B’s and 13 SS’s

AL EAST

AL east defense

AL CENTRAL

AL central defense

AL WEST

AL west defense

NL EAST

NL east defense

NL CENTRAL

NL central defense

NL WEST

NL west defense