1. The time Ken Griffey Jr. hit the warehouse at Camden, featuring a wee Prince Fielder.

    (Source: youtube.com)

  2. Dirty Kitchens are the Most Interesting

    casualleisure:

    There’s an uncommon refrain for the diehard baseballer following the groans and strains of the season’s cement shoes: ‘I’m waiting for the games to matter.’ The playoffs, a plausible 108 out blood-thickener, most certainly do. Our goal is to deny yours, win or go home, do or die. Results in these highest of leverage moments live within the souls of supporters for years or days, depending on tomorrow’s front page.

    Within the common daily game, expectations are mediocre and bland. Contribute: don’t make a mistake. Play steady. Be exceptional when it an exception reveals its secret to you.

    I believe that being forgettable is a vital need to be filled in a lineup card. To be positively forgettable is to live within the elite of the position. An automatic shortstop like Alexei Ramirez lives within the suave nature of the flow: collecting, exhaling, releasing. Hiding in the thickets, invisible to tension and the grind, merely doing everything you could expect. 

    The bind is, how deep you want to go. The interminably enigmatic Colby Rasmus floats above and bends below this invisible line. It’s a slippery slope for a player of his perceived ability. At current pace his strikeouts this year would reach 230, a new record of carefully orchestrated whiffing. Within the holes and tangles of ascension lies the ability to come unhinged with brash tactics: the Three True Outcomes are quickly shrinking into Two/Too True Outcomes. And yet when Colby straightens his back and floats back above the mean, his swing is Griffeyesque: quiet, effortless and world beating (of course this is pre-Reds Kenneth, a time before his swing was derailed by stomach inflation, caused by nerve tonic no doubt).

    Colby lives within Batman Forever’s Riddler, a being of magnificent ambivalence, breathless plunging himself towards sinking baseballs in both home and away sides of the ball, regardless of the outcome. The ticking Rasmus renaissance (Rasmussance for the night-owl newsroom headliner) remains a source of contention for only the most ardent of deniers. He is a definitive candidate to be negatively forgettable: a gazelle in the field, the Heartbreak Kid whenever a breaking pitch crosses his gainly stance, the knuckles scraping away at the back of your head. 

    No, Colby Rasmus will not make the All-Star team. And, yes, he might be possessed of some superficial traits known for their negative resonance. But fatalism that embraces clichés leaves little room for the surprises and variations that draw those to Major League Baseball. Rasmus is not the known quantity fans know themselves to want. I myself would prefer to watch an individual unfurl within the parameters of time, chemistry, and influence.

    I wrote this. It felt needed.

  3. Today, I rode my bike as fast as I could. I broke the law. At Yonge and Dundas, the most obvious and stupid of places to saunter past a red. The pedestrian lane was packed with jaywalkers, an inherently Canadian rite. Tag along, wheels for legs.

    During this thrashing of lactic acid and expendable carbs, I listened to it. The 6th and 7th were workmanlike. Head down. Ignore peripherals. Just… go.

    I’ve spent years following this man through and through. Another 1-0 loss. The middling Chone Figgins. An offense worthy of a bucket of gruel at 5 a.m. to atone for its inability to become offensive. The late nights of knee-bucking destruction. Alone. I’ve seen it dozens of times in low leverage situations. A terrible Monday night game with no relevance with the filthiest stuff you could ever dream of. Stay up too late to see something special. Today was different. Today, it wasn’t a fight against mere sleep. It was slicing through the downtown swarth of angry cabs and inconsiderate Chinatown bicycles. Near death was invited for a glimpse of what I’d visualized for years. Hope.

    The 8th though.. that 8th. World class domination. After Longo was wrung up by a demonic gravity-embracing curveball, it was within grasp. Zobrist looked lost all day and Carlos Pena is no more than Pedro Cerrano in a future day, unbuttoned and terrible, clothed in Raays (sp) and a blushing .192/.322/.345 embarrassment to professional baseball. There was no hope. The Rays are a mirage of baseball, an indescribable machine of sveldt payroll and 2ish% of heart able to feign the impossible AL East.

    No, this. This. A culmination of what is possible. Hearing about a royal 17-year old 10 years ago maturing to this next level of expectation. Ignoring messages to focus on this. Ignoring personal safety to be a part of something grand. This is the human condition we pine for. A moment of unadulterated joy. The acknowledgement of success.

    Perfection. 

  4. (via 1956 Baseball Team Mascots)

    (via 1956 Baseball Team Mascots)

  5. Gritty kitties.

    Gritty kitties.

  6. New Era takes Craig Robinson (The Office) & Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation) and places them in a bar.

  7. From MLB’s Japanese Opening Day (one of three?). The beer providers carry a keg in their backpack. Clearly, they’re doing something right.

    From MLB’s Japanese Opening Day (one of three?). The beer providers carry a keg in their backpack. Clearly, they’re doing something right.

  8. Low and outside was the only way to pitch the Splendid Splinter.
via @si_vault

    Low and outside was the only way to pitch the Splendid Splinter.

    via @si_vault

  9. Fourteen sketches of Major League ballparks by Gene Mack for The Sporting News, 1946-47. What ever happened to this sort of editorial cartooning? So, so great.

  10. I’m just so glad it’s back.

    I’m just so glad it’s back.

  11. Four pounds of distraction in convenient mobile form. #nerdporn

    Four pounds of distraction in convenient mobile form. #nerdporn

  12. (via Spirit of 77)

    (via Spirit of 77)

  13. via www.gonrad.com

Tumblr doesn’t do .gifs? Click through for the squeeze-ist man squeeze you’ll see on TV.

    via www.gonrad.com

    Tumblr doesn’t do .gifs? Click through for the squeeze-ist man squeeze you’ll see on TV.