Episode 52: Back and Better Than Never

 

Welcome to Barbecast 52! We know it’s been a while, but the Barbecast is finally back and will hopefully be more consistent in the coming weeks. Our special guest this week (at 16:28) is Jorge Arangure, writer at VICE Sports. We talked about Cuban baseball, the impact of the recent changes in US-Cuba relations on baseball, and even some PREMIER LEAGUE CHAT about why Jake’s an ass for being a Manchester City fan. After Jorge, we did our B-Ref Battle in which we asked a shocking number of questions about Catholicism. After B-Ref (at 1:36:25) we talked about basically everybody on the Hall of Fame ballot. We started from the bottom and now we’re at Barry Bonds. We shared our ideal 10-man ballots and discussed the few players we disagreed on. Then (at 2:02:45) it was Lana Berry‘s turn to be on the podcast for the billionth podcast in a row! Tales from Logdog covered DEM COWBOYZ and some football stuff (including the Gronk erotica). We concluded with a brief Varsity Baseball Update and a brief Life Update as well. Thanks for listening <3

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Musical guest: Thin Lizzy (???)

IMPORTANT LINKS:

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“Bonds on Bonds” Revisited

The only thing worse than days without baseball during the regular season are days without baseball during the playoffs. As usual, the best remedy for baseball-less boredom is actually just more baseball; often in the form of Baseball-Reference Play Indexing and ridiculous Barry Bonds stats. As if I haven’t written about Bonds enough, I decided to turn (mostly) away from the statistical side of Barry Bonds and look back into the person he was in his playing days. One of the more interesting looks into Bonds’ life was the short-lived ESPN reality series, “Bonds on Bonds”, which aired during the latter half of the 2006 season, Bonds’ penultimate season in San Francisco. This series is certainly hard to track down, but some unclear portion of it is indeed on YouTube (embedded above) for your viewing pleasure/displeasure. While I definitely recommend watching the whole thing, here are some of the highlights:

1) At 17:30 – Bonds on his defense:

“There was always a cardinal rule: if I ain’t gettin’ no hits, you ain’t gettin’ no hits.”

I very much doubt Bonds was the first one to employ this mantra, but he carried it out better than most, especially over the first half of his career. For example:

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2) At 19:21 – Bonds on his time at Arizona State University:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“I always tell everybody my major was MLB. That’s what I mastered at. I think the rest of it was just a waste of time…but I did major in criminal justice and um…I never went that far.”

There is a very, VERY small part of me that wishes Bonds pursued his major further and became some sort of state trooper or prison warden.

3) At 24:17 – Bonds on the value of his home run balls at that stage of his career:

“A home run has become a lottery ticket. You have the opportunity to better somebody’s life by hitting a home run. To me, that’s satisfying. ‘Thank you Barry Bonds, goodbye!’ You are welcome *laughs*.”

Bonds was at the point in his career where every home run he hit was worth serious money. Sure, the bundled-up fans sitting in their canoes in McCovey Cove looked crazy but they were simply waiting for a legitimately lucrative baseball to come falling from the sky into the freezing waters beneath them. I can’t totally blame them. It’s also pretty awesome how much Bonds enjoyed hitting those magical lottery tickets.

4) At 37:00 – Jimmy Rollins on Barry Bonds:

“I remember how I felt when I was younger just seeing the name ‘Bonds’ across his back. And I was like, ‘Bonds’…that’s one hell of a name.”

Same.

5) At 38:47 – Bonds on chasing records:

“I didn’t have to hit the home runs. I didn’t have to do a lot of things I do. I didn’t have to. I had that choice. But I chose that I wanted to be like Willie [Mays], and I wanted to be like Hank Aaron, and I wanted to be like Babe Ruth.”

Sure, Bonds had more natural baseball talent than 98% of the players that came before, during, and after his time. But it’s easy to point to countless immensely talented players that never really produced the way we hoped they could. From premier prospects that flamed out before even reaching the big leagues to decent major leaguers that never quite turned into the superstars that we expected, there are so many examples of raw talent failing to reach its full potential. Bonds understood the talent he possessed and did everything in his power to assure it was not wasted. As former manager Jim Leyland said, despite already being the best, Bonds worked harder than anyone to get the most out of his natural abilities. He was fully committed to becoming the best player he could be, which turned out to one of, if not the greatest player of all time.

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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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Michael Clair’s #Blogathon2014

In case you haven’t heard, our friend Michael Clair over at oldtimefamilybaseball.com has been doing a remarkably cool event known as the Blogathon for Doctors Without Borders. He’s done this for a few years and it’s a fantastic idea that he has executed remarkably well this year especially. Jake and I were both fortunate enough to be asked to contribute to the guest post portion of the blogathon, and we were happy to oblige.

Link to donate (and you should really donate!)

Jake wrote about the 2004 Baltimore Orioles’ role in The Wire:

http://oldtimefamilybaseball.com/post/73874479861/the-wire-baltimore-orioles

I wrote about Barry Bonds and my 25 favorite Bonds facts:

http://oldtimefamilybaseball.com/post/73935637744/25-greatest-barry-bonds-facts

Ben and Jerry’s MLB Flavors

Everyone loves ice cream and more specifically, everyone loves Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Over the years Ben and Jerry have come up with countless revolutionary flavors. Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace, and even a Dexter themed ice cream called Miami Slice. One area B&J’s totally forgot about was baseball, so we decided that we would do it for them. Here are some of the best ones we came up with:

Black Razz-Barry Bonds

-Raspberry Ice Cream with chocolate syrup swirls and chunks of OBP.

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Another Fun Barry Bonds Fact Because Duh

I understand that catchers are the type of position player that you would ever expect to steal. They’re are very very few in today’s game with anything that even resembles average speed, let alone base-stealing ability. Regardless, I took a look at some career stolen base totals for some active catchers and oh my god let’s relate it to Barry Bonds because Barry Bonds etc.

So.

Earlier in his epic career, Barry Bonds actually stole a ton of bases. He was rather skinny and very quick on the basepaths, stealing a career high 52 bags in his 1990 campaign with Pittsburgh, and stealing at least 28 in nine other seasons. But let’s fast forward to the end of Barry Bonds’ career…

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These Cleats Are Made For Walking: Can Somebody Notice This ?!

Okay, here we are again. It’s the seventh Monday morning of the 2013 season and oh my god Jeffrey Scott Keppinger has still not walked through ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE PLATE APPEARANCES.

There are so many ridiculous things about this that are not being talked about nearly enough.

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