Tha BBQ Part II

This was the first post on this website:

didi

With that horrible joke in mind, we’d like to formally welcome you to the last post on this website.

Hey everybody, Jake Mintz, Jordan Shusterman here. We’ve been teasing some news now for a while and the day has come to finally explain ourselves.

As some of you know, we graduated college a few weeks ago. One of the many shitty things about graduating college is that afterwards you’re usually expected to get a job and make money and stuff. After four years of dicking around on this website and on the Internet in general, the time has finally come for us to face reality and get our sorry asses a job. Now we have to do adult things like cleaning up dishes and peeing in the toilet and paying a mortgage (honest thing: I don’t know what a mortgage consists of. Is it a physical thing? Can I trade it? Does someone win? I don’t know…).

Lucky for us, we are happy to announce that we have in fact successfully obtained an ADULT JOB™. Even more lucky for us, said job will not stop us from watching an unhealthy amount of baseball on a regular basis. In fact, said job encourages such behavior! Starting this week, you can find whatever the heck it is that we do on MLB.com, primarily on Cut4 (where you may have seen some videos from us over the past year). Today is our first day at the offices in NYC (cubicles are weird, I want to rearrange all of them to fit together like Tetris blocks… apparently ADHD doesn’t subside when you graduate college), where we’ll be working regularly to produce entertaining baseball-related #content, as opposed to just whenever we don’t have too much homework to do. So while the BBQ as currently presented to you will be no more, there is a bigger and better version on the way.

When we started this thing four years ago in my living room during a game of MVP Baseball 2004, we never expected it to get us a job or even get us a following, let alone a follower. The whole journey from December 2012 to now has been inexplicable and hilarious.

OG stop on the OG road trip circa July 2013

OG stop on the OG road trip circa July 2013

The first game we attended together as the BBQ was in July of 2013. We drove from our homes near Washington D.C. to Clinton, Iowa and paid ten dollars to watch the Clinton LumberKings take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels (19-year-old Jose Berrios actually started that game!).

The most recent game we attended together was Game 5 of the 2017 World Series at Wrigley Field. Before the game we made a video with a Cubs pitcher in the dugout and then watched the game in the auxiliary press box. I guess life is like baseball: weird, unpredictable and running around in a circle might actually get you somewhere.

It sounds dumb and cliche, because it is, but we owe a lot of it to you people. Jordan and I always say that the most enjoyable part of Twitter is seeing what funny stuff people tweet at us. There’s only two of us and there’s thousands of you, so your collective humor is miles better than anything we could ever come up with. So yeah, thanks. Don’t expect a card or a hug or anything, but still, thanks for making it super worth breaking Rule #1 all the time.

We also want to thank our parents for keeping us alive for 21+ years and supporting (almost) all of our BBQ-related decisions over the past four years, Kendall Guillemette being our behind-the-scenes tech magician and one of our earliest supporters, and of course, Yoenis Cespedes for being the most entertaining, bizarre, and captivating dude in baseball. If Yo wasn’t Yo, we’d just be two lame dorky unemployed guys who just graduated college. Instead, we’re two lame dorky employed guys who just graduated college. Thanks, Yo.

So now what are we gonna do? That’s a really good question. Over the next few weeks our role at MLB.com will become clearer, but there are a few things you can definitely expect. We’ll be working mostly with the kind, talented, and deceptively athletic folks over at Cut4. We’ll also be focused on developing a bunch of video content for them, in studio, at parks, in the house, with a mouse, etc. And yes, we’ll still be tweeting goofy baseball shit @cespedesbbq and posting silly Snapchats at the same handle.

I think I speak for Jordan and I — actually I know I speak for us because I am me and he edited this — when I say that MLB’s resources, access, and platform will allow us to do way more cool stuff that will be available for your eyeballs. As White Sox legend Michael Jordan once said, “The ceiling is the roof.”

People always talked about what would happen if Bo Jackson quit football and dedicated himself only to baseball. We’ve always talked about what if the BBQ quit school and dedicated itself exclusively to baseball jokes. Well, time to see if Yo is Bo…

BBQ signing off… for now.

salt flats

HOUSEKEEPING (a couple important FYIs about where you can find our stuff/contact us):

  • Our Twitter (@CespedesBBQ) will remain active and operated by both of us. Nothing changes on that front.
  • Same thing goes for our Snapchat, which we will hopefully start to pick back up now that this is our job and not our hobby (also @cespedesbbq). Snapchat is also the best way to reach us if you have a question or wanna tell us something — we are far more likely to respond on there than on Twitter. You can also still e-mail us at cespedesfb@gmail.com. 
  • The Barbecast in its current form will be ending this week. Our final regular Barbecast (Episode 110, the Podultimate Pod) is available now. Our final see-ya-later Barbecast (AKA the BarbeLast) will be released soon and will basically just be us saying a lot of this post out loud + a few special guests. The current plan is to keep all past episodes available here on our site and on iTunes for you to peruse. You can find a list of links to all old episodes + which special guests were featured on each on by clicking here.

 

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Where Will Yo Go? A Comprehensive Guide to Yoenis Cespedes’ Free Agency

Where Will Yo Go? A Comprehensive Guide to Yoenis Cespedes' Free Agency

Yoenis Cespedes is a free agent. He can sign with whomever he wants, though it’s most likely that he’ll sign with a major league baseball team. We thought about selling all of our shirseys to try and make a run at Yo, but we realized he’s probably not interested in a 1-year, 74-dollar deal.

Unless he decides to join the PGA Tour earlier than expected, Yoenis is going to make a lot of money this winter — probably more than he’s actually worth. Barring an MC Hammer-level financial meltdown, Yoenis will never have to worry about money again after signing this contract. Not bad for a quiet dude from Campechuela.

Before the Yoenis sweepstakes heat up, we’d like to run through each team and investigate their prospects of signing the man with the fire-breathing Lamborghini.

31. Cespedes Family BBQ

Why Yes: We’re like, his biggest fans. We met him once and it seemed like he could tolerate us as friends for a longer period of time. We could hang out with Yoenis Cespedes on a regular basis.

Why No: We don’t have anything of value to offer to Yo, let alone millions upon millions of real actual dollars, which seems to be a key aspect to signing a big-time free agent.

30. Tampa Bay Rays

Why Yes: Yoenis already has a home in Florida. He could golf even more than he already does. This opens up the possibility of him swimming in the stingray pool at some point.

Why No: The most expensive free agent signing in the post-Devil Rays era, was the whopping 3-year $21 million deal they gave to James Loney a few years ago. No chance they can afford Yoenis, let alone his new car.

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This Is An Octavio Dotel Appreciation Post

For those of you that don’t know, Octavio Dotel is awesome. I felt like it was time to let the world know that Mr. Dotel is a savior, a superhero, and a saint. So buckle up, latch in, and get ready because this is about to be a doozy.

Octavio Dotel Has Played For 13 Teams

This segment of Dotel’s legacy has been well documented. The sheer fact that a major league baseball player played for thirteen years is absurd, let alone thirteen teams. I bet the random guy on the street can’t even name thirteen teams. “What is a Rockies?” he would say.

To put the number thirteen in perspective; so you know how it feels like Casper Wells is on a new team every week? Well Casper Wells has played for only five teams, and if you are good at math you know that’s seven less than Dotel’s thirteen.

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My Name’s LaRoche

Adam LaRoche signs 2 year deal with Washington Nationals

Finally. After months of back and forth, Laroche finally agreed to the Nationals two-year offer instead of the three year deal he really wanted. Laroche always wanted to stay in Washington and will start the year as the Nats first baseman, but this creates a overload of players. The Nats will now have to trade Michael Morse or be forced to lose significant value by putting him on the bench. This contract is extremely friendly for the Nats especially if Laroche produces like he did last year, but it does create other issues for roster construction.

Swisher Signs With Indians: No One Cares

Here are a couple of facts.

  • Nick Swisher signed with the Indians yesterday for a total of 4 years 56 million dollars.
  • Nick Swisher is probably not worth that much money.
  • Nick Swisher has gonorrhea. (probably not true)
  • The Indians could have bought a lot of cool things instead of Nick Swisher.
  • Nick Swisher makes the Indians a better team.
  • The Cleveland Indians play in Cleveland.

By adding Swisher, the Indians solidify their outfield and their lineup. They might not be contenders for the AL crown, but the Indians aren’t necessarily laughable. They have a strong lineup anchored by Santana, Kipnis, Cabrera, and Swisher. If Stubbs finds himself and realizes that strikeouts are bad, the Indians could really make some noise in the AL central next year.

But does anyone really care?

Let’s face it, the Indians probably don’t have enough pitching depth to really contend with the Tigers for the division. They’ll probably get off to the same hot start they’ve had the last two seasons. They’ll probably hang around a little longer this year considering they have a better lineup. They’ll probably fade away because Cory Kluber is currently their fourth starter. Core Kluber sounds like the kid who sat by himself at lunch eating his own boogers, not a major league pitcher.

In the grand scheme of the 2013 Major League Baseball Season, Nick Swisher signing with the Indians is completely irrelevant. It will make the Indians a bit better, but no one will care. One must remember the last of the facts listed above. The Indians play in Cleveland. That alone should deem the Indians irrelevant for the foreseeable future. (Just kidding. I love you Cleveland.)

The Bourn Supremacy Part 2: The Comedy Central

The AL Central, (or as its better known, the Comedy Central) has been the worst division in baseball for a while now. Last year was only more evidence of how bad this division has become. The Comedy Central was the only 5 team division that had three teams with losing records. Speaking of losing, Michael Bourn is bad at that.

Sunday, December 16th, 6:12 PM: Michael Bourn remains a free agent. Bourn isn’t just a free agent, no sir, Michael Bourn is a man with out a path, without a plan. Let’s help him out and see which AL central teams he might want to become a part of.

Tigers

Why Not Bourn

  • If the Tigers were to sign Bourn, that would improve their team defense. Improving team defense is against Detroit’s organizational philosophy. Also Austin Jackson secretly just had a bad ass, 5.2 WAR season.

Why Bourn

  • There’s nothing Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski loves more than Yoloing.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn drives a Fiat. Michael Bourn would feel awkward driving his Fiat in Detroit.

Conclusion

  • While Bourn could really help Detroit’s “Defense” they already have enough outfielders to roam the absurdly large Comerica outfield.

White Sox

Why Not Bourn?

  • Alejandro De Aza is so mediocre in CF that he fits the White Sox Team perfectly. Cellular Field plays really small and Bourn’s speed in center wouldn’t be optimized in such an offensive environment. Also the Sox should probably focus on signing another reliable pitcher that can come when Chris Sale’s arm inevitably turns into mush.

 

Why Bourn?

  • Bourn would instantly pop into the lead off spot moving De Aza over to platoon with Viciedo in left. The White Sox aren’t going to win in the short run through trades and their farm system (see: throwup). Following in the footsteps of White Sox centerfield legends like Scott Podsednik and Aaron Rowand, Bourn could provide the Sox with the type of player they lacked during their abysmal last month of the season.

 

Bourn’s Perspective:

  • Michael Bourn loves veteran leadership. Michael Bourn could play CF in Chicago for a long time considering there’s nothing in the farm system (see: throwup) to threaten his playing-time.

 

Conclusion

  • This is actually a somewhat realistic possibility. There’s space in the outfield for him and the White Sox only avenue to improve is through free agency. Even though Bourn will most likely sign with an NL team, the White Sox are a realistic landing spot as far as AL teams are concerned.

Royals

Why Not Bourn

  • Signing Bourn would move Lorenzo Cain to right. Moving Lorenzo Cain to right would mean the Royals would have to move Jeff Francoeur to the bench. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Why Bourn

  • Contrary to Dayton Moore’s belief system, moving Jeff Francoeur to the bench might be a good idea.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn thinks Kansas City is actually in Kansas. Michael Bourn saw the Wizard of Oz. You’re not fooling Michael Bourn.

Conclusion

  • The Royals probably won’t make any more significant moves this offseason. After overpaying for Guthrie and bringing in James Shields, Dayton Moore will probably spend the months until April praying in his office.

Indians

Why Not Bourn?

  • This one’s obvious. The Indians already have Kenny Lofton.

Why Bourn?

  • Does anyone actually think that Drew Stubbs is going to be able to play productive baseball for an entire season? No? Thats what I thought.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Like most human beings Michael Bourn doesn’t want to live in Cleveland.

Conclusion

  • The Indians seem to think that Stubbs can hold down the fort in center… Too bad Kenny Lofton is gone. :(

Twins

Why Not Bourn?

  • As evidenced by their offseason moves, the Twins plan on playing no one in centerfield. Instead they will put a fielder 10 feet behind second base to play the brand new position of CENTERSTOP.

Why Bourn?

  • After trading away Ben Revere and Denard Span the Twins are one of few teams without a clear idea of who their opening day centerfielder will be. They have a plethora of high ceiling centerfielders in their system in Byron Buxton and Aaron Hicks, but neither of those guys are a sure thing and Buxton is at least 3 years away. 

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn doesn’t want to be the only black person in Minnesota. 

Conclusion

  • The Twins trust their in-house centerfield options enough to trade away two very good centerfielders. It probably doesn’t make sense to go sign Bourn. 

Trades, Rivalry, and Youk

At first glance, the thought of Kevin Youkilis in a New York Yankees jersey seems wrong. The pinstripes just wouldn’t look right on a man so entrenched in “Red Sox lore”. Along with Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis opened the door for cliché after cliché to be slapped on Red Sox teams. They were gritty, they were gamers, they hustled, and boy were they scrappy. But why exactly does Youk signing with the Yanks feel so wrong to Sox fans? What does this signing have to say about the concept of rivalry? What really makes a fan’s stomach turn when they see a cornerstone of their favorite team sell their soul?

The simple answer is that rivals never trade. Well at least almost never. Take a look at baseball’s three biggest rivalries: Cubs and Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants, Yankees and Red Sox. The statistics are astounding.

The Yankees and Red Sox last traded in 1997; a deal that sent Tony Armas to the Sox in return for Mike Stanley. Other than a small purchase of waivers in 1994 the next deal between the two teams was in 1986 (Don Baylor to the Red Sox). The sports two biggest rivals have only traded twice since 1986. I was negative 9 in 1986. Thats a long time.

The Cards and Cubs last traded in 2002, when the Cubs shipped longtime journeyman pitcher Jeff Fassaro to the Cards for some players to be named later. Before that Todd Zeile got sent to Chi-Town in 1995. And before that was in 1980 when the Cardinals traded for an well-bearded Bruce Sutter. The Cardinals and Cubs have traded thrice since 1980. CNN was founded in 1980. Thats a long time. 

Of all the “rivals” the Giants and Dodgers have the most stingy trade relationship. They last traded in 2007, but the deal was small and was a career bench player traded to LA for a PTBNL. The most recent time before that was 27 years ago Tuesday, as the Dodgers shippedCandy Maldanado to the Giants. Before that it was 1968 when Ron Hunt when from the Dodgers to San Fran. 1968 was before the moon landing. And before that was in 1956 when the Dodgers tried to trade Jackie Robinson to the Giants for porn star Dick Littlefield and $30,000. Just think about how insane that is. Three trades since Jackie Robinson was valued around $30,000. THATS A LONG TIME.

When these rivals don’t trade with each other, it decreases turnover between the teams and increases a sense of continuity amongst the fan base. The lack of interaction between rivals could be interpreted as a lack of communication and hostility or it could just be an unwillingness from the front office to disappoint/alienate the fan base. There must be some sort of influence from the fan base because if it was only about improving the quality of the team on the field, the Dodgers and Giants would have traded more than 4 times since Ike was living it up in the Oval Office. This resistance towards transaction with rivals feeds back into the history between the two clubs, thus reinvigorating the sense of rivalry.

So now that we’ve established that 1956 was a long time ago and that rivals must hold back trading with each other for some reason, lets see why this has anything to do with people feeling sad about Kevin Youkilis. Considering how rare turnover between rival rosters is through trades, it makes the signings like Youk that much more shocking for the fan base. In recent memory each of these three rivalries has had a iconic players swap from one team to the other. All three were All Stars and faces of their respective franchises. And no I’m not talking Jose Vizcaino, Juan Uribe, and Alfredo Aceves.

Three very different players at three different points in their careers. Damon was probably at his peak, Kent just behind it, while Edmonds was pretty much done. It was hard for Giants, Cardinals, and Red Sox fans to see the former faces of their franchise make the conscious and well-thought out decision to play for the rival. Thats what really tugs at the heartstrings; the idea that those players bought into the concept of rivalry only to turn their back on an entire fan base. Of course thats not what the players are thinking at all. They are either trying to make as much money as possible or are just trying to survive one more season in the bigs. And hell, I wouldn’t mind living a year with a few jeers and insults if I was getting payed 12 Million Dollars to do it.

Jake Mintz