Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Did We Draft Our Favorite Jokes?

After Kavanaugh and I finished our last draft, of our favorite Bruce Springsteen songs, I decided to move the next draft away from Kavanaugh's area of expertise (music) to a field in which neither of us has as much prowess (jokes). Here's what transpired.


Monday, April 27, 2015

How Legendary Is Brandon League?

As I finished researching the best pitcher seasons for my piece about the most exciting pitcher Days in history, I Googled the phrase "best pitchers ever" to double-check that I hadn't omitted someone important. Basically, I just didn't want to look incompetent and overmatched, like the writing version of Didi Gregorius. Anyways, here's what that Google search yielded:

The image is a little small, but you get the picture. It looks pretty much as you would expect a list of the best pitchers ever to look. Except, read all those names just to make sure ... Randy Johnson? Good. Cy Young? Ditto. Brandon League? Makes sense.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How Incredible Were These Pitchers' Days?

In a "What's Next" article last week, proclaimed "Harvey Day in Bronx on tap." Matt Harvey made a Subway Series appearance at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, and it was an event that lived up to the hype. The Dark Knight just missed a complete game after giving New York fans a reason to celebrate baseball all day. The weekly festival that is Harvey Day mirrors unofficial hurler holidays across the country.

The discussion of eponymous pitcher Days seems to have exploded this season. I don't know if I've just been spending more time on the Internet, but I see it all over the place. "Happy Strasburg Day!" "It's King Felix Day!" "Can't wait until we finally reach the next Fernandez Day!" During Spring Training, after watching Masahiro Tanaka pitch two dominant innings, I got caught up in the craze and wrote, "Start the countdown to his second start. I, for one, can't wait 'til the next Tanaka Day."

The popularity of naming days after starting pitchers got me thinking about which pitcher's typical Day was the most incredible in history. In what pitcher season did the average start produce the most excitement and buzz?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How Snakebitten Is Jose Reyes?

Early in the Yankees' Opening Day loss to the Blue Jays a couple weeks ago, Jose Reyes reached on an error and Toronto's training staff was called onto the field when Reyes appeared to injure himself sliding into second base. Naturally, Yankees fans started to jeer. "Of course!" we yelled. "Reyes only makes it three innings into the season before he gets hurt." A middle-aged Hispanic woman sitting in my section explained, "We usually love all the Dominican players, but Jose just always gets hurt."

It turned out that Reyes was okay after that play, but the crowd's reaction was telling. In his years with the Mets, New York fans had learned not to trust Reyes' brilliance, since the DL Gremlin was always lurking.

How Lucky Am I?

As many of you know, my wife gave birth earlier this week and I'm currently living out the plot of a Tyrese movie. For once, I'm at a loss for words other than the fact that my heart soars with the eagle's nest. Our new son Sean is certainly digesting his food since he craps about a dozen times per day, but I haven't yet fully digested just how awesome my life is. Until I can comprehend how truly amazing my newborn son is, this classic Dave Chapelle joke will have to suffice:

Monday, April 13, 2015

How Does Chris Davis Drive O's Fans to Drink?

Last year, Chris Davis led all major leaguers by striking out in about one-third of his plate appearances. In a season that featured more K's than a Clemens family photo, Davis whiffed more frequently than any of his peers. As a Yankees fan who was forced to watch years of Jason Giambi, I sympathize with how Orioles fans must feel about all those strikeouts.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

How Do You Take 13 Little Kids to a Yankee Game?

On Thursday night, my wife and I met a group of my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and miscellaneous skells at Yankee Stadium for the team's third game of the season. The crew was noteworthy in that it included 13 children under the age of 11. In case you ever find yourself in a similar situation, here are 10 things to keep in mind. (If all of this seems absurd, that's because it is.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How Can the Yankees Get John Sterling More Involved?

I'm going to my second Yankees game tonight, putting me on pace to attend 54 home games this season, a stat slightly less impressive than the 270-homer pace Adrian Gonzalez has set. Here are my three main hopes for the team's rubber match against Toronto:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How Has the Tanaka Situation (and Its Coverage) Devolved?

Have you ever seen those "Human Devolution" images? They play off the more common human evolution paradigm, but are meant to poke fun at our diminishing sophistication as a species. Here are a few examples:

Well, I feel like the past few days of Masahiro Tanaka news have followed a similar devolutionary pattern. Let's look at some of the news headlines first. Over the last few days, in order, here are the Tanaka-related headlines on

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How Is Jacoby Ellsbury Similar to Creed Bratton?

After seeing the egg* Jacoby Ellsbury and his teammates laid on Opening Day, ESPN's Andrew Marchand wrote about the fact that Ellsbury has largely escaped criticism in his year in New York. Marchand pointed out that despite the center fielder's exorbitant contract and the team's lack of success, Ellsbury has avoided much of the media and fan scrutiny one might expect.

*I was at Yankee Stadium for the game, and it was a nasty-smelling egg. After Halloween one year, I accidentally left a few eggs in my closet for several months. The Yankees' Opening Day performance was in the same league as those malodorous eggs.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

How Have Recent Yankees Catching Prospects Fared?

Shortly after the retirement of Jorge Posada following the 2011 season, most Yankees fans felt that it was just a matter of time before the team promoted its next star catcher to the big leagues. In the preceding few years, the Yanks had drafted or signed future studs Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, Chase Weems, John Ryan Murphy, and Gary Sanchez. People even had arguments about which of the prospects would eventually have to move from behind the plate because of the glut of options. As a fan, I was extremely excited, like a pilgrim to Sutter's Mill in the mid-1800s. Certainly, at least a couple of the Yankees' catching prospects would pan out.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

How Did I Miss These Two Mascots?

A few weeks ago, I came up with a parallel from The Simpsons for every single baseball mascot. At least I thought I did, using the "List of Major League Baseball mascots" Wikipedia page. However, today I read journeyman relief pitcher Burke Badenhop's entertaining cameo on Grantland. In that piece, Badenhop linked to the Brewers' new mascot. It was my first glimpse of Barrelman. I already compared multiple Brewers mascots to Simpsons characters, so what's one more? I also have an addendum to make to the Yankees section of that original post.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How Misguided Is the Mets' Local Ad?

The comedy that usually accompanies low-budget local TV commercials has carried over to the sports world. Here's a screenshot of a recent ad promoting the upcoming Mets season on PIX 11:

If you couldn't tell, that's Curtis Granderson winding up to throw a dying quail toward the infield. When I saw the clip of Granderson crow-hopping at the end of this Mets commercial, I was confused. Why is that included in any sort of highlight package? I thought. From his days with the Yankees, I remembered the Grandy Man possessing an arm just slightly better than predecessors Bernie Williams and Johnny Damon, the king and prince of the wimpy throw.