.gifs From Last Night: Walk Off Walk Off Flame

White Sox vs. Indians

In which Ramon Troncoso realizes he plays for the Chicago White Sox as the fans behind him cheer with glee. I’ll be honest, I had no idea who Ramon Troncoso was before I looked up number 40 on the White Sox, but he certainly sounds like a reliever and this just looks like a reliever who is quite relieved to not be relieving any longer. What a relief. (boooooooooooooooooooo)

Here we see 93 year old Jason Giambi throwing up his helmet and catching it. Clearly he decided that scoring was not the priority here and he just wanted to show everyone on his team that he still has really good hands. (Sidenote: he doesn’t). It’s unclear why the Indians were given the victory seeing as Giambi never scored but I suppose the umpires were so impressed with Jason’s coordination that they decided the deserved the W anyway.

Continue reading

What Would I Have To Give Up To Trade For Matt Garza

AP Photo

There have been a lot of questions regarding Matt Garza recently. Will he be traded? Where will he be traded? Will he ever pitch for the Cubs again? What in Lord’s name is growing on his chin? Does he enjoy vanilla pudding? What would a team have to give up to get Garza?

Let’s focus on the last question. Major league teams are probably going to offer a package of prospects for Garza. Prospects are awesome, but prospects are risky. Do you know what doesn’t have risk? Things lying around my house. It’s trading time.

Jake’s Trading Package #1: Shoes

Details: 11 pairs of shoes or 22 shoes depending on how the Cubs would be interested in utilizing said shoes.

Pros: I would be getting a pretty good number two pitcher who can lead my rotation.

Cons: I need shoes to go outside unless I want dirt all over my feet. Matt Garza doesn’t want to play with a guy who has dirt on his feet.

Decision Time: I’d make the trade. I have other shoes in the closet in my room.

Continue reading

First Base Prospects Will Probably Disappoint You

Prospects are fun. They allow us to dream on their basic skill sets and imagine greatness eventually produced at the major league level. First base prospects in specific present a certain type of vision. While the offensive standard for first basemen of late has plummeted, we still want that .300/.400/.500 type slugger at first for our favorite teams. It’s a commodity that has become increasingly hard to find over the last few years. We’re all still waiting for Eric Hosmer to break out. Yonder Alonso has yet to really show anything and Anthony Rizzo still struggles mightily against lefties. Paul Goldschmidt has been very impressive so far but not many people saw this level of production coming. The only true high-end first base prospect in the minors today is Jonathan Singleton for the Astros.

With the help of the free archives of Baseball Prospectus (specifically Kevin Goldstein ‘s scouting reports from his Top 11 lists), I’m gonna look back a few years. This was a time with several high end first base prospects on the rise. These were supposed to be superstar level talents, getting on base at high clips and hitting for plenty of power. This is not meant to discredit Baseball Prospectus in any way; all five of these players were highly regarded throughout the industry.

Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics (2008):

barton 2008

Just a glowing report. He’s gonna bring offensive firepower to Oakland for years to come. No doubt. FLAWLESS PLATE-DISCIPLINE.

Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics (2013):

Besides a freak 2010 season, in which he expressed his “flawless plate-discipline” in the form of a major league leading 110 walks, Barton has yet to show much of the hitting acumen he was praised for as a prospect. He has yet to play a game for Oakland this season, and has 27 career home runs through 1,901 career plate appearances. He has slugged .371 for his career. Daric Barton is 27 years old.

Lars Anderson, Boston Red Sox (2009):

lars 2009

An elite offensive talent. Maturity and intelligence well beyond his years. He’s going to mash.

Lars Anderson, Chicago White Sox (2013): 

Anderson got 56 major league plate appearances over three years with the Red Sox in which he posted a .455 OPS. Last summer, the Sox finally gave up on Anderson and traded him to Cleveland for a knuckleballer named Steven Wright. Several months later, he was traded to Arizona. After that, he was DFA’d by Arizona, claimed by the White Sox, DFA’d by the White Sox, claimed by the Blue Jays, and finally traded back to the White Sox this April. He is currently slugging .267 at Triple-A Charlotte. Lars Anderson is 25 years old.

Matt LaPorta, Cleveland Indians (2009):

laporta 2009

The key piece in the Sabathia deal (!!!!!!). Plus-plus power to all fields. Cleanup hitter on a championship-level team.

Matt LaPorta, Cleveland Indians (2013): 

LaPorta has pretty much exhausted all of his opportunities to start for the Indians. He’s got a career OBP of .301 through 1068 plate appearances, with his “plus-plus power to all fields” only producing 31 home runs. He has not played a single game for Cleveland this season. Matt LaPorta is 28 years old.

Brett Wallace, St. Louis Cardinals (2009):

wallace 2009

Outstanding hand/eye coordination. Enough arm for the hot corner (!!!!!!!!!!!!!). He’ll be among the league leaders in batting average.

Brett Wallace, Houston Astros (2013): 

Outstanding trade bait indeed, as Wallace was traded three times before landing in Houston.  Since making his debut in 2010, Wallace has posted an OPS of .682 through 818 plate appearances. Both FanGraphs and Baseball-reference have Wallace at well below replacement level for his career. Before being optioned to Triple-A, Wallace started the 2013 season 1-24 with 17 strikeouts. Brett Wallace is 26 years old.

Justin Smoak, Texas Rangers (2009):

smoak 2009

An impact hitter in the middle of a lineup. Power from both sides of the plate. Let’s face it, HE’S GOING TO HIT.

Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners (2013):

Since being traded to Seattle for CLIFF LEE in 2010, Smoak has disappointed the Mariners and their fans to the point that I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to get through this paragraph without getting emotional. Smoak has shown flashes of competency but has mainly expressed his appreciation for groundouts and lazy flyouts through the form of a .372 career slugging percentage over 1,500 plate appearances. As one of 17 first base/designated hitters on the Mariners, I’m curious to see how much playing time he gets this year as the season goes on. HE CAN’T BE THIS BAD. Justin Smoak is 26 years old.

***

IN CONCLUSION…baseball is hard. It’s easy to look back at these failed prospects and get frustrated with what never came to be. I think it’s also a way to appreciate how incredibly difficult major league baseball is. Justin Smoak is a horrendous major league baseball player but holy crap he is an amazing baseball player. It’s never stressed enough how insanely hard it is to succeed at the highest level of this sport. There are success stories, and there are these five players. All five player reached the major league level. And sure, over a combined 5,384 plate appearances they’ve only hit 122 home runs (one every 44 at-bats). And sure, they’ve amassed an astonishingly low total of 6.9 b-ref WAR and 3.5 FanGraphs WAR (which is even more nuts when you realize that Daric Barton’s 2010 alone was worth 5.4 wins and 4.8 wins respectively). But they reached a level that thousands upon thousands of players will never even sniff. Baseball is hard.

 

.gifs From Last Night: Yu Darvish Breaks Mike Trout

Rangers-Angels

  • First of all, lol.
  • I’m legitimately unsure how this pitch is even possible coming from a someone that isn’t a bad high school pitcher or Barry Zito by accident.
  • Watch the guy second from the left of the chyron in the black jacket and black hat. As he sees the pitch drop into Pierzynski’s glove, he turns away slightly as if he just witnessed something literally disgusting.
  • The umpire clearly took immense pleasure in ringing Trout up on a pitch that looks frighteningly similar to Bugs Bunny’s trickery.

Stay tuned for more Darvish .gifs. Later today, I’ll examine his most vicious attacks on two unfortunate Japanese hitters.

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

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

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