Cespedes BBQ Playoff Preview 2014: Keys To The Postseason

It’s that time of year again. The air is crisp, October awaits, and the postseason is finally here. For most of you this is a dark time as your beloved Mariners [TEAM OF CHOICE] have been agonizingly eliminated from postseason contention. But for some of you, October is a magical time filled with crushed hope, dried tears, and the sour taste of disappointment. Look on the bright side: there’s no way the World Series could be more blah than last season… *Prays fervently against inevitable Cardinals/Tigers World Series*

We here at the Cespedes Family Barbecue are very similar to the rest of the baseball universe in that we have absolutely no idea what is going to happen. What we do know however, is that each team has keys; Keys to the Playoffs, that is. Instead of actually analyzing and evaluating the playoff contenders, we decided to focus on the important things each team needs to do in order to ensure postseason success. These proverbial keys will unlock the proverbial doors of victory for the proverbial people handling said proverbial keys:

National League

Nationals (1) vs. Pirates/Giants

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Dodgers (2) vs. Cardinals (3)

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 American League

Angels (1) vs. Royals/A’s

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 Orioles (2) vs. Tigers (3)

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Happy we could help!

2014 Home Run Derby Preview: Yoenis’ Quest to Defend His Title

One year ago, our hero Yoenis Cespedes showcased his remarkable abilities when he crushed 32 bombs on his way to the 2013 Home Run Derby title. It was one of the most incredible displays of power in Derby history, and Yoenis was finally recognized as one of the elite power hitters in the game today. He concluded his glorious night with one of the greatest bat flips in the history of bat flips; a majestic flip signifying his superiority over the rest of the baseball universe:

Tonight, he returns to the Derby to defend his precious title. The only player to ever win the Derby in back-to-back years was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and 1999, so history is most certainly against our hero. Also in his way is a significantly stronger group of competition compared to last year’s opposing crop of sluggers. Sure, Yoenis had to defeat the religious experience that was #ChristDavis, as well as Nationals phenom BRUCE HOOPER. But 2014 brings a whole new challenge; a challenge that may or may not rhyme with the words “Ziancarlo Blanton”.

This year’s home run contest includes ten hitters instead of eight, and a new format that I don’t entirely understand. I can reasonably assume that the main objective is still to hit as many gargantuan over-the-fence balls as possible. Under that assumption, here’s a preview of tonight’s extravaganza:

Derby competitors ranked by likeliness to win, from least likely to most likely:

10. Brian Dozier (0% chance to win)

  • This is a nice story. Brian Dozier is an awesome baseball player with more power than one might expect from a 5’11” second baseman. But no. There is absolutely no way this guy comes anywhere near the Derby crown. I do fully expect the Minnesota crowd to give him a hearty applause for every line drive he laces into the enormous gaggle of incompetent children attempting to field the baseballs. He might even hit a few actual home runs! Just a few, though. Just a few :(

9. Justin Morneau (0% chance to win)

  • This is an even nicer story! Morneau, the consistently concussed Canadian, returns to his old stomping grounds to prove to his former fans that he can still hit the ball out the park, and not just his friendly new Coors Field home. But again, the Derby is not about nice stories; it’s about ruthless destruction of baseballs into parts of the park that we don’t even know exist yet. I’m a big Morneau fan, and I genuinely hope he performs at a respectable level. Unfortunately, he doesn’t match up very well against some of the powerhouses in this year’s contest.

8. Josh Donaldson (0% chance to win)

  • A teammate of our beloved slugger, Donaldson has recently emerged as one of the premier third baseman in all of baseball. He’s certainly got the kind of raw power you wanna see in a Derby contender, but his swing just doesn’t quite scream HOME RUN CHAMPION to me like some of the others he’ll be competing against do. Donaldson is much more likely to seriously injure one of the juvenile outfielders with a screaming line drive than he is to hit a tape-measure bomb to the third deck in left field. He’s a fantastic baseball player, but he does not appear to have the best skill-set to win this competition.

7. Todd Frazier (0% chance to win)

  • Just when you thought the Derby couldn’t get any more DAD after Michael Cuddyer’s inspiring 2013 performance, here comes good ol’ Toad Frizzer. Frazier does have legitimate power, but it’s weird power. If you recall, Frazier’s the one that once THREW THE BAT AT THE BALL AND HIT A HOME RUN. It will be interesting to see if he employs that unique strategy tonight, although I’d imagine he’d be quickly disqualified for endangering the lives of those in the vicinity of his swing.

6. Troy Tulowitzki (0% chance to win)

  • Tulo might just be the best non-Trout player on the planet, and it will be fascinating to see how his elite intensity carries over into the Derby. The best part about Tulo this year has been the fact that he’s actually playing baseball almost every day, which we haven’t seen him do in nearly three years. Tulowitzki is heading into the All-Star break with a comical 1.048 OPS, and yes, of course you can attribute a lot of that to Coors Field, but HE IS STILL REALLY FREAKIN’ GOOD OKAY GOSH. Anyway, while Tulo has always had impressive power, he never really comes to mind as someone that can put on a crazy show in batting practice. As the captain, Tulo’s already achieved exactly what we were all hoping for, and that’s picking Yasiel Puig and Giancarlo Stanton to be on the NL team with him. Whatever Tulo actually does in the Derby probably won’t matter at all. How clever! Maybe Tulo will show up and hit lefty. He’d still probably out-homer Dozier.

5. Adam Jones (1% chance to win)

  • Jonesy is the first challenger that I’m giving any outside chance to win, and this is almost entirely because of what we saw last week at Nationals Park. Jones is certainly known for his power, but what we saw was far more impressive than anything we’ve seen in game for him. During his few rounds of batting practice during the series in Washington against the Nats, Jones was routinely parking balls way, WAY beyond the left-center field fence. He’s not gonna win, but he could totally win. He’s got more pop than you think.

4. Jose Bautista (1% chance to win)

  • We have a complicated history with Mr. Bats. A while back, Jose Bautista followed us on Twitter. This was certainly not any sort of achievement; Jose Bautista follows everyone on Twitter. What happened several weeks later was significantly more impressive: Jose Bautista unfollowed us. What could the BBQ have POSSIBLY done to get Joey Bats to click the unfollow button? How did he even notice us in his presumably insane news feed full of random weirdos? There are many questions left unanswered. What we do know is that Joey Bats can still hit some moon shots. He’s hit some crazy home runs in-game against the woeful Twins in Target Field, like this second-deck shot from 2011. He’s certainly weird on the Internet, but he can still mash with the best of them. I expect an impressive performance from Sir Bats.

3. Yasiel Puig (3% chance to win)

  • Do we love Puig? Of course we love Puig. He’s a ridiculous baseball player with an even more ridiculous personality. There’s no one quite like him, and he’s got the kind of raw power to win this competition. His subtle rivalry with Yoenis is one that has been bubbling ever since he started tearing up the National League early last year, and tonight’s Derby might elevate the competitive Cubans to another level of competitive Cuban-ness. Puig is a wildcard though, and while we can be sure he’ll hit some obscene bombs to deep left field tonight, there’s an equally good chance that he pops some balls up in the infield. He’ll certainly have fun with it, but I’m not convinced he has the focus to win the entire thing.

2. Giancarlo Stanton (5% chance to win)

  • There are a lot of very smart people that believe that this competition is already over; Giancarlo has more power than any other non-Wily Mo Pena hitter in the world, and he should steamroll the competition in his first ever Derby. I absolutely love watching Giancarlo hit baseballs hilariously far distances with ease. He’s amazing. He’s younger than George Springer! He has a legitimate chance to dethrone our hero from Granma. I have no inside info regarding how badly Giancarlo wants to win this competition, but I can guarantee you the Derby crown doesn’t mean as much to him as it does to La Potencia.

1. Yoenis Cespedes (90% chance to win) (click here for our official Derby preview video)

  • Here’s the thing everyone needs to understand about Yoenis Céspedes Milanés: he lives for the long ball. He may not pimp them like Big Papi, flip them like Puig, or crush them like Giancarlo. Those aesthetics are unquestionably great. But they simply can’t match Cespedes on a spiritual level. ‘Tonight, every ball that travels from Yo’s barrel to the outfield seats will mean so much more than any other home run. As each ball flies into the great beyond of Target Field,  take a moment to appreciate the simplest thing we have in life: the dinger. A man, his bat, his eyebrows, and Chris Berman screaming “BACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACK”. Tonight, we believe. 

 

Rethinking the Home Run Derby

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For reasons that we simply cannot understand, many people dislike the Home Run Derby. For obvious reasons, we here at the Cespedes Family Barbecue absolutely adore the Derby. Nothing gets the people going like a dinger, and nothing provides the viewing public with more dingers than the Home Run Derby. Fans complain that there aren’t enough home runs in baseball, and then Bud Selig gives you a night that is literally only home runs and you don’t want it? Please. Sit down and listen to my wisdom.

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Backyard Baseball Pitcher Rankings and .gifs

Last month, I wrote a whole lot of words ranking the 30 original Backyard Baseball kids as major league free agents. You can read that gargantuan post by clicking here. However, these rankings ignored the kids’ pitching ratings. So here we are! These rankings are based on the usual HOW MANY BASEBALLS rating system. Players whose ratings were tied were ranked according to my experience pitching with or batting against them.

(a huge thanks to Bailey Bowers, who made these .gifs, along with the original .gifs of all the Backyard kids’ swings, which you can see by clicking here)

1. Angela Delvecchio – 10/10 baseballs
angela
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: She’s the best, and it’s not close. Her long hair helps to hide the ball when she brings it behind her head before whipping it towards the plate at blinding speeds and with insane movement. Batters have no chance. She’s probably the only NUMBER ONE STARTER among the Backyard kids, and justifiably so. Along with the immense talent, Delvecchio brings the Italian spunk that you just can’t find in Anthony Rizzo or Alex Liddi.

2.  Luanne Lui – 9/10 baseballs
luanne_lui
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: Luanne has easily the most deceptive delivery among all Backyard pitchers. Her ability to juggle her beloved teddy bear and throw strikes is unparalleled in the baseball universe. Her pink teddy definitely hinders her ability to field, but she’s striking out so many batters that it doesn’t usually matter. Unless she’s got Dmitri backing her up at second base, like in this .gif, in which case, she might be running some crazy high BABIPs. Stuff wise, she’s one of the premier arms. The ball just explodes out of her hand and she knows when to use her secondary stuff. Luanne fails to really ever leave the mound, as her right foot finishes tilted on its side on top of the mound, but hopefully she can learn to use her whole body and drive towards the plate in the future.

3. Amir Khan – 9/10 baseballs
amir_khan
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: Widely regarded as one of the most dominant closers in the game, Amir brings power and confidence to the mound to back up his impressive array of pitches. The fastball can sit anywhere between 97-100 with sink and run and cut and tilt and shape and other words for pitch movement. With such a ridiculous heater, Amir barely throws any off-speed stuff because he is so confident that he can blow hitters away with ease. While this has worked for him so far against elementary schoolers, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts when facing major league hitters who can square up velocity. For now, Amir will just keep throwing gas. Mechanics wise, Amir is pretty clean but doesn’t appear to have the biggest stride towards the plate. Sure, you can blame it on his tiny legs because is a small child, but you also might question his lack of desire to maximize his potential. Definite question marks.

4. Kenny Kawaguchi – 7/10 baseballs
kenny_kawaguchi
Repertoire: Heat, Slowball, Left Hook, Right Hook, Intentional Walk

Notes: Far and away the most controversial Backyard pitcher/player in the game, Kenny combines paraplegia with an obnoxious sense of self-importance whenever he takes the field. Don’t even get me started on all the balks this kid is probably getting away with, but more importantly, does he have to spin? It appears that he is throwing the ball so hard using only his upper body that it propels him and his superchair to do a complete 360 before the ball even reaches home plate. It’s safe to say that no one has ever seen this delivery before. Kenny has a distinct advantage on the mound in that every batter facing him for the first time allows him to strike them out because they feel bad for him. This has skyrocketed his K/9 rates in his brief career thus far, and is probably not the best indicator for performance going forward. Don’t get me wrong; Kenny is a great pitcher, with one of the better slowballs in the game and a devastating right hook at times. But don’t underestimate the risk with this pitcher.

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Chris Resop: The Most Interesting Reliever In the World

UPDATE: Chris Resop is a real estate agent now. We interviewed him for Barbecast 50!

Chris Resop is a 31-year-old right-handed reliever. Since 2005, he’s pitched for the Marlins, Angels, Braves, Pirates, and A’s. He has a 4.62 ERA in 243.1 career innings. His career bWAR is 0.2. Chris Resop is unremarkable.

Or is he?

As some of you may know, I am quite fond of ridiculously lopsided batter-pitcher match-ups. The match-up that everyone’s been freaking out about lately is Paul Goldschmidt vs. Tim Lincecum, and rightfully so. It’s completely ridiculous. Anyway, I was recently checking out Starlin Castro’s most lopsided match-ups. Sure enough, there was Resop. Castro is 6-8 with three home runs, zero walks, zero strikeouts, and one hit-by-pitch against Mr. Resop. Interesting! Sorta. Using our buddy Daren Willman‘s amazing Media tab on Chris Resop’s player page over on baseballsavant.com, I went back and found video of the three dingers he gave up to Starlin.

resop 34 home run resop 21 home run resop 13 home run

Wait. What? I went looking for these videos in search of a pattern; maybe a pattern of pitch location, or pitch type. What I found was something far more fascinating. I have documented before how spectacular pitchers’ reactions are to giving up home runs, especially when the home run hitter is Barry Bonds. These three simple screenshots led me to the obvious question that thousands before me have surely asked: does Chris Resop grab his crotch after every home run he allows?

I returned to Chris Resop’s baseballsavant page in search of answers. The Media tab on baseballsavant player pages provides video of every play the player was involved in, as tagged by MLB Advanced Media. I decided to watch every home run that Chris Resop has ever allowed (or at least, the ones provided by MLB) and see what I found. The results:

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Ben Revere Makes Baseball History

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During Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers, Ben Revere bunted. It didn’t seem like anything particularly special; Ben Revere bunts all the time. He even bunts in the shower. What made that moment special was that it was the 1,409th plate appearance of Revere’s career, which was also his 1,409th consecutive plate appearance without a home run. With that seemingly innocuous bunt against Martin Perez, Revere broke Tim Johnson’s expansion era record for the most plate appearances in a career for a position player without a home run. In the grand scheme of things, this means absolutely nothing. This achievement will not be celebrated. It will not be talked about at whatever office water cooler you frequent. His bat will not be sent to the Hall of Fame for eternal enshrinement. Skip Bayless will not yell mercilessly into space at no one in particular about how Ben Revere is the greatest of all time. None of these things will happen. But that doesn’t mean Ben Revere isn’t an American hero.

Revere debuted in the big leagues on September 7th, 2010. Since that day Miguel Cabrera has hit 123 home runs, Travis Wood has hit 5, and Munenori Kawasaki has one lonely dinger. Since that day Barry Bonds has slashed .321/.491/.812 with 451 home runs. Whether due to a lack of strength, a swing not suited for loft, or an unwarranted fear of recreating The Sandlot, Revere has kept the ball in the yard for every single one of his 1,409 career plate appearances.

While Revere currently holds the record for most PA’s without a HR, his reign could end suddenly with a single swing. Many before him have overtaken Johnson’s record only to see their title disappear as they launched a dinger or two into the crowd before calling it quits. The three players with the most PA’s into their career without a homer in the expansion era were:

3.) Larry Bowa: 1,744 PA’s without a home run.

2.) Frank Taveras: 1,779 PA’s without a home run.

1.) Greg Gross: 1,890 PA’s without a home run.

1,890 PA’s is a lot of times to walk up to the plate with a wood stick and not use that wood stick to place a ball in the stands. Gross wasn’t even a bad player, putting up almost 10 WAR before he ever hit a home run. His first dinger came on 7/6/77, one day away from biblical immortality, against the Expos at Wrigley Field. It was a joyous day for Greg, the Gross family, and the entire city of Chicago.

If what Greg Gross did was impressive in some sort of weird way, then what Frank Taveras accomplished was much more impressive-er than Gross’ grossness. Taveras’ first home run came almost a month after Gross hit his first on 8/5/77. While Gross was able to hit his first dinger over an actual fence, Taveras had to settle for an inside-the-park home run. Such a novelty officially counts as a home run, but who the hell cares, I want to know when a player hit a ball over the wall. So then when was Taveras’ first over-the-fence-ball? The answer: 1,437 PLATE APPEARANCES LATER. WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWINGLY INSANE.

Newspaper Clipping From The Day Taveras Hit His First Over-The-Fence-Ball

Newspaper Clipping From The Day Taveras Hit His First Over-The-Fence-Ball

IT TOOK FRANK TAVERAS 3,216 PLATE APPEARANCES TO HIT A HOME RUN OVER THE FENCE. During one stretch in his career, Barry Bonds hit 275 home runs in 3,216 plate appearances. It took Taveras that long to hit just one. One dinger. One measly little over-the-fence ball. After over 800 career games, Taveras finally sent one to the peons in the bleachers on August 18th, 1979.

What Ben Revere has done, or really, what he hasn’t been able to do, is pretty astounding compared to the rest of baseball history. But if you look at what Ben Revere has done compared to what Frank  Taveras did, Revere looks like Barry Bonds on steroids ;). At his current pace, Revere will need to play nearly four more seasons without a home run to catch Taveras.

Taveras holds a record meant to be broken, but more importantly, a record worth watching. But right now, all we can do as fans is stand up and cheer on Mr. Revere in his quest to play baseball the way it was played in 1899. Revere’s current title could evaporate at any moment so make sure you keep your fingers crossed that the wind keeps blowing in wherever Ben Revere can be found.

Chicago Cubs Top 10 Shirseys

Click here to read a primer on our shirsey rankings. 

Click here to read all of our other shirsey lists. 
Click here to read the Cubs BP Top 10 Prospects.

 

Wood, Quade, Starlin, Prior, and Campana write-ups are courtesy of Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation. He knows a few things about the Cubs. We like him. Follow him on Twitter @BleacherNation. 

System Quote: “106 years is like, a long time.”

Cubs Top Ten:

  1. Kerry Wood Tank Top
  2. Green Samardzija
  3. Mike Quade
  4. Neon Starlin
  5. Mark Prior
  6. Tony Campana
  7. Carlos Marmol
  8. Sammy Sosa
  9. Bryan LaHair
  10. Ryan Theriot

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.02.43 PM1. Kerry Wood Tank Top

Size: L

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $14.99

 eBay Description: “A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item ”

 The Tools: 7 derp; 6 awesomeness; 3 player obscurity; 5 design/color scheme; 5+ price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Kerry Wood would carry wood.

Strengths: This tank is like a mullet in both directions – it’s a party in the front and the back. Additional strengths include: breathability, armpit exposability, possible see-through-ability.

Weaknesses: The tank is technically for women, which means you – the man who has clearly purchased it for yourself – may have to explain the fit. But, you know what? If a little of your midriff shows, the squares’ll just have to deal. You didn’t develop a gut that looks like a bowling ball is trying to escape from your belly button for nothing. You earned this moment.

Overall Future Potential: Borderline 6; hit the weights for a few years, and this tank will be the only thing standing between you and the many ladies of your dreams.

Realistic Role: 4; worn around the house when no clean shirts can be found, or if ah-what-the-hell-it’s-at-the-top-of-the-pile.

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; the shoulder areas, while tastefully slim to maximize tan lines and shoulder hair expression, are rather thin. Tearing, and forcible toga-ing, are a serious concern.

The Year Ahead: There will be so much beer spilled on the front of this tank it’ll look like the cub bear in the logo isn’t house-trained. But that’s really the message you’re going for anyway: you can’t tame a wild beast.

Wardrobe ETA: As soon as someone needs directions to the gun show.

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.07.05 PM2. Green Samardzija

Size: M

 Current Status: No longer available

 Website: eBay

 Price: $8.99 + $5.95 Shipping

 eBay Description: “Would be a great Retro wear, or collectible, you decide.”

 The Tools: 6+ derp; 5+ awesomeness; 5+ player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 6 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Trade rumors weren’t the only thing swirling around Jeff’s head as he fell off his bike and saw cartoon stars a couple of times last year.

Strengths: Highest scoring name in scrabble in all of  MLB. Perfect color scheme for Christmas or that Mexican pride parade or that Italian pride parade and probably nothing else ever.

Weaknesses: Green shirseys for players without any semblance of Irish heritage is just plain old stupid. Unless its for the A’s.

Overall Future Potential: 6; you’ll be the coolest guy in parties when you make everyone pronounce the name on your back.

Realistic Role: 5; those parties won’t be fun.

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; who knows what could happen when so many letters are involved? DANGEROUS.

The Year Ahead: Sam R. Juh might get traded. He also might not. One thing’s for sure: his hair will stay wilder than a lion’s roar.

Wardrobe ETA: When you can spell Samardzija without looking.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Shirseys

Click here to read a primer on our shirsey rankings. 

Click here to read the Dodgers BP Top 10 Prospects.

Kershaw Irish, Ethier, Pierre, Maddux, and Jones write-ups are courtesy of Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness. Mike writes for all of the websites. You can and should follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

System Quote: “Cash Rules Everything Around Me, PUIG.”

Dodgers Top Ten:

  1. Kershaw Women’s Irish
  2. Ethier Lakers
  3. Neon Yellow Kershaw
  4. Moker
  5. Juan Pierre
  6. Manny Ramirez
  7. Greg Maddux
  8. Andruw Jones
  9. Viva Puig
  10. Shawn Green

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 12.43.09 PM1. Kershaw Women’s Irish

 Size: M

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $23.99

 eBay Description: “Ladies Majestic Dodgers CLAYTON KERSHAW Baseball Jersey Shirt Green”

The Tools: 6 derp; 6+ awesomeness; 3 player obscurity; 6+ design/color scheme; 4+ price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Won his second Cy Young, crushed a dinger on Opening Day while pitching a shutout, signed with the Dodgers for all of the dollars (fine, that was early 2014, whatever), went to Africa to assist the needy, saved some kittens from a fire at the kitten orphanage, probably.

Strengths: This shirt is Irish, for some reason, and also “WOMENS Ladies.” This shirt panders to multiple groups at once! That’s an 80 shirt.

Weaknesses: Could Clayton Kershaw fill a wallet with so much money that even he could not lift it? No? Then he has literally zero weaknesses.

Overall Future Potential: 2; I don’t imagine most women want to have to worry about their shirt opting out on them.

Realistic Role: 6; Sigh. No matter how awful this shirt is — and it is — it’s almost impossible to be wearing a Clayton Kershaw shirt and be wrong.

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; is it possible to be the kind of woman who would wear this shirt and not end up getting cut in a bar fight?

The Year Ahead: If you wear this jersey, you’ll be as good as Kershaw is too! Except no, you won’t, that’s not how clothing works, you slob.

Wardrobe ETA: March 16, every year. Because if you’re wearing this shirt, you’re the person who wears green once a year on a particular holiday, but also the person who gets the date of St. Patrick’s Day wrong.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 12.46.39 PM2. Ethier Lakers

Size: L

 Current Status: No longer listed

 Website: eBay

 Price: $7.99 + $4.00 Shipping

 eBay Description: “No rips, stains or odors”

 The Tools: 7+ derp; 5 awesomeness; 5 player obscurity; ??? design/color scheme; 6 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Set the record for most trade rumors by a player who continues to not get traded. Congratulations!

Strengths: This shirt has “No rips, stains or odors.” Neither does Andre Ethier.

Weaknesses: If you wear this shirt, you will become unable to hit left-handed pitching, or talk to left-handed women, or laugh at Ned Flanders, or fight socalism.

Overall Future Potential: 8; everyone thinks Ethier is going to be wearing a different color than blue at some point, so why not start now.

Realistic Role: High 5; this shirt will think it should be in your every shirt rotation, but it’s going to get used a bit less than it thinks it should, until eventually you and the shirt have it out and realize you can’t live without each other.

The Year Ahead: Ethier will continue to play point guard for the Lakers before reporting to Dodger camp. That’s how this works, right?

Wardrobe ETA: 2014. Hey, over the last year, we’ve heard rumors about Ethier maybe going to the Mariners and the Orioles and the Mets and the Red Sox and on and on, so is it really unreasonable to think the Lakers is where he goes? Get ahead of the curve here.

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Arizona Diamondbacks Top 10 Shirseys

Click here to read a primer on our shirsey rankings. 
Click here to read the Diamondbacks BP Top 10 Prospects.

Williams, Johnson, Reynolds, Gonzalez, and Counsell write-ups are courtesy of diarrhea. And by diarrhea I mean @diarrhea. We thank him. 

System Quote: “Sticking with a marriage. That’s true grit, man.”

Diamondbacks Top Ten:

  1. Matt Williams
  2. Randy Johnson
  3. Mark Reynolds
  4. Luis Gonzalez
  5. Craig Counsell
  6. David Dellucci
  7. Augie Ojeda
  8. Troy Glaus
  9. Ryan Roberts
  10. Richie Sexson

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 11.34.19 AM1. Matt Williams

Size: M

 Current Status: Owned by Jake Mintz

 Website: eBay

 Price: $14.99

 eBay Description: “A PORTION OF EVERY SALE GOES TO SUPPORT JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAMS ACCROSS THE NATION.”

 The Tools: 7+ derp; 5 awesomeness; 5 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 5+ price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Matt insists he is the Diamondbacks’ Special Assistant General Partner but GM Michael Scott Towers insists he’s Special Assistant to the General Partner.

Strengths: Baldness (when you’re late to work and don’t have time to comb your hair).

Weaknesses: Baldness (when you’re late to work and you have to put sunblock on your pasty egg-like dome to keep it from frying).

Overall Future Potential: 6; you’ll always be able to get to 3rd base with a girl while wearing this, and being fairly balding.

Realistic Role: 3; you’re wearing a Matt Williams (who was/is bald) Diamondbacks shirsey. People will question your decision making process immediately.

Risk Factor/Injury History: Anything you do while wearing this might end up in the Mitchell Report or in a Bosley flyer as the before pic retroactively.

The Year Ahead: Gonna get balder.

Wardrobe ETA: Bald.

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 11.38.52 AM2. Randy Johnson

Size: YM

 Current Status: Sold

 Website: eBay

 Price: $0.99 + $3.00

 eBay Description: “17 pit to pit”

 The Tools: 6+ derp; 6+ awesomeness; 2 player obscurity; 5 design/color scheme; 8 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Got angrier and surlier probably.

Strengths: Ability to tell anyone “don’t talk back to me” and “knock it off, alright?” without recourse. Bosses, grandmas, you name it.

Weaknesses: You so much as toss your keys to someone and a bird is gonna die. Playing catch with your kid could result in a veritable sparrow holocaust. Good job, bird murderer. Birderer.

Overall Future Potential: 4; you’re wearing the jersey of someone that went by the nickname “the Big Unit.” Good luck bringing a girl home from the bar and not being a gigantic disappointment, pinkypecker.

Realistic Role: 3; Randy Johnson had the complexion of an osage orange and no chin. Put it back in your drawer and pick a better looking player’s shirsey, rookie.

Risk Factor/Injury History: Your back is gonna hurt constantly. Invest in Doan’s and Tiger Balm.

The Year Ahead: Don’t talk back to me.

Wardrobe ETA: Knock it off, alright?

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San Francisco Giants Top 10 Shirseys

Click here to read a primer on our shirsey rankings. 

Click here to read the Giants BP Top 10 Prospects.

Bonds, Lincecum, Posey, Roward, and Cepeda write-ups are courtesy of SB Nation MLB overlord, Grant Brisbee. You already follow him on Twitter. 

System Quote: “Also, this story is about Barry Bonds’s Baseball Reference page, and I’m calling it a ‘she’ because I want to have sex with it.”

Giants Top Ten:

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Irish Heritiage Brian Wilson
  3. Patriot Lincecum
  4. Buster Posey Tweetup Shirt
  5. Omar Vizquel 
  6. Noah Lowry
  7. Aaron Rowand
  8. Camo Orlando Cepeda
  9. Chevrolet
  10. Aubrey Huff

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 5.46.51 PM1. Barry Bonds

 Size: L

 Current Status: Owned by Jake Mintz

 Website: eBay

 Price: $9.99 + $5.00 Shipping

 eBay Description: “As one of the longest-established baseball teams, they have won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball, and any North American professional sports team.”

 The Tools: 2 derp; 8 awesomeness; 2 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 5+ price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: He slipped again in the rankings of “Best Hitter Alive,” dropping to seventh place.

Strengths: His strength

Weaknesses: Being a human, dammit. Being a human being. Being insecure and unwilling to look the other way when the world was making out with Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. You aren’t so different, you smug bastard. YOU AREN’T SO DIFFERENT.

Overall Future Potential: 8; If you want a shirt that says, “I’m a Giants fan. Also, fuck you”, you aren’t doing better than this shirsey. Unless you actually print those exact words on a shirsey. Which would be rad.

Realistic Role: 8; Something to wear when you’re a groomsman or bridesmaid, even if you have to put it over the stupid clothes they’re expecting you to wear.

Risk Factor/Injury History: If you think “done getting swole” is an injury, then, yeah, you’ll get injured. You’ll done get swole if you wear this. So big.

The Year Ahead:  Still the best hitter ever.

Wardrobe ETA:  2089 (Cooperstown only)

 Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 5.50.24 PM2. Irish Heritiage Brian Wilson

Size: L

 Current Status: Available for purchase

Website: eBay

Price: $12.99 + $4.99

 eBay Description: About the seller:  “esdeadjim” is not a hulking faceless unsmiling weasel-like international corporate conglomerate; he is a carbon-based two-legged humanoid with an unceasing desire to fix & feed his kingdom of feral cats.  Pulled from the smoldering wreckage of a rocket ship from the planet Absurdia, “esdeadjim” sprung from his meager beginnings to procure treasures from near and far to offer them at reasonable prices to the good citizens of Planet eBay.

 The Tools:  7 derp; 5 awesomeness; 3 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 5+ price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Brian Wilson returned to the baseball world as a legitimate bullpen option. Brian Wilson also went to Australia where he was lucky enough to run into me.

Strengths: I didn’t actually know that Brian Wilson was of Irish decent, but I can’t say I’m surprised. If Brian Wilson were to wear this shirt at an Irish pub, I assume he could drink an irresponsible amount of beer. That’s just the magic of the Irish I guess.

Weaknesses: Comparisons to leprechauns. Cops mistaking you for the actual Brian Wilson. Better ways to express pride for Irish heritage include, but are not limited to, eating a potato, drinking Jameson, and not wearing this shirt.

Overall Future Potential: 7; if worn at an Irish pub in San Francisco that Brian Wilson stumbles into at 1 in the morning, expect a raucous rest of your evening.

Realistic Role: 5; you probably shouldn’t be wearing a shirsey to a bar in the first place now should you? Have some class why dontcha.

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; when you put this shirt on you should expect your evening to end in a hospital visit.

The Year Ahead: Shirsey should maintain its value if Wilson doesn’t denounce his Irish heritage, which is a legitimate possibility.

Wardrobe ETA: Whenever you feel like respecting your, or Brian Wilson’s ancestors.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 5.54.25 PM3. Patriot Lincecum

Size: XL

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $16.99 + $5.99

 eBay Description: “I usullay ship next day”

 The Tools: 6+ derp; 5 awesomeness; 3 player obscurity; 4 design/color scheme; 5 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Patriot Lincecum threw a no-hitter. Patriot Lincecum walked everyone. Patriot Lincecum watched all of Miyazaki’s movies in one off day and ordered out.

Strengths: Murica

Weaknesses: That annoying “flag code” that states “The flag should not be used as “wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery” and “The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform.” Bunch of nancies came up with that steaming pile of bureaucracy, I’m sure.

Overall Future Potential: High 5. Shirseys used to be the best! Now they’re fodder for stupid satire pieces on blogs. Like this.

Realistic Role: 5. It’s for when you want to let your blind date know that you’re a little counterculture, but a little patriotic, too.

Risk Factor/Injury History: 8. You don’t even have to ice the sleeves.

The Year Ahead: It’ll cost too much, but you don’t want to see some Goodwill-shopping freak wear it, so you’re keeping it.

Wardrobe ETA:  2008 or so.

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