Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Former Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia

Today is the 34th anniversary of the day, April 29, 1983, that then-Chicago Cubs manager Lee Elia brought joy to the hearts of millions. On that day, Elia delivered, hands down, the greatest baseball rant ever recorded.

It never grows old. Here ’tis. Enjoy!

Lee Elia Rant

But why, you ask, does Lee Elia deserve his own national holiday?

There are two reasons: 1) He’s still alive, and would likely enjoy his well deserved acclaim; 2)  If Christopher Columbus, who brought death and misery to millions, deserves his own national holiday, isn’t Elia, who brought smiles and laughter to millions, more deserving?

Isn’t it time we started honoring those who made life just a little bit better rather than those who made it immeasurably worse?

“You hammer homers. We hammer beers.”

–anonymous SF Giants fans at the game tonight

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(This is on what would have been my dad’s 104th birthday. He would have approved.)

Reggie Jackson

“For the right amount of money, you’re willing to eat Alpo.”

–Reggie Jackson, quoted in The Sporting News, February 1, 1988

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(from The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations)

Front cover of "The Heretic's Handbook of Quotations

It’s time once again to speak four of the most beautiful words in the English language: “Pitchers and Catchers Report.” (The two most beautiful words, are of course, “Play ball!”)

In honor of the start of Spring Training, our pal Leo passed along a link to SimplyHaiku which features a number of baseball haikus, some of them quite funny. Our two favorites are both by Ed Markowski, of Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Surprisingly, there seem to be a number of Ed Markowskis out there.)

We hope that you enjoy these haikus as much as we did:

up from Pawtucket
his error in slow-mo
on the centerfield scoreboard


shaken off a second time
the catcher flashes his
middle finger

Strictly speaking, these aren’t haikus, which consist of three lines of, respectively, five, seven, and five syllables. But we like these anyway.


No!! No!!! No!!!! This is just wrong!!!


We just heard that our favorite SF Giants player, Sergio Romo, the kid from Brawley (dirt poor farm workers in the Imperial Valley), a recovering Dodgers fan, who wore in the 2014 World Series parade a T-shirt reading “I just look illegal,” just signed with the — gack!! — Dodgers.

This is just wrong!!!

But at least Romo is going to the hero-franchise that signed Jackie Robinson, and not the D’Backs.

It would be much more appropriate for the D’Back scumbag owners to sign neo-Nazis. (For all intents and purposes, they have — they gave $100K to the theo-Nazis who bought the narrow outcome of the anti-pot legalization initiative in Arizona in 2016.)

So, good luck to Romo. We understand why he did it. ¡Buena suerte Sergio!

And screw the D´backs.

When I saw that headline on my favorite baseball blog, McCovey Chronicles, my first thought was, “Pardoned him for what? Being one of the greatest baseball players of his generation?”

It wasn’t until I read the article that I remembered that, yes, “Stretch” had plead guilty to tax evasion in 1995.

As Grant Brisbee notes in his McCovey Chronicles piece, “While paying taxes is probably a good idea, it is the official stance of this site that McCovey is above the law and always will be, so this is a piece of good news.”

That makes both a welcome pardon and a welcome sentence commutation (that of hero whistle blower Chelsea Manning) in one day. For once, along with Brisbee, I can say and mean it, “Thanks Obama.”

(Note regarding the photo: Barack Obama congratulating the Giants on one of their three World Series victories during his terms of office. Obama is the 44th president of the U.S., and Willie McCovey’s number was 44.)


It’s been quite a while since we did one of these posts, so here ’tis — the best of the Internet: the sick, the perverse, and the marginally useful. (We’ll cover the sickest, most perverse, and utterly useless very shortly in yet another Religion Roundup.) Anyway, here goes:

  • First the useful. The destructive parasites known as patent trolls have become a plague in recent years. Now, someone is finally doing something about them. The crowdfunding platform Unpatent describes its mission as being to “eliminate bad patents.” We wish them luck.
  • The Intercept has a great article on how anyone, including those with virtually no computer knowledge, can easily enhance their online security.
  • In a study that should surprise no one, Cambridge University researchers report that, based on a study of 4,000 police shifts in California and the UK, police with body cameras receive 93% fewer complaints than police without them.  The reason? The researchers surmise that both cops and those they stop are on their best behavior when they know they’re being recorded.
  • In an incident that should surprise no one, police in Connecticut accidentally recorded themselves conspiring to frame a First and Fourth Amendment activist they were harassing. They had seized the victim’s camera, thrown it to the ground, and were unaware that it was still working and in recording mode. The victim, upon recovering his camera and discovering the video, posted it to the Internet and contacted the ACLU. As almost anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave or an all-white suburb can tell you, this sort of police misconduct is routine.
  • In a development that should surprise almost everyone, Priceonomics reports that Sorrento, Louisiana and a number of other small towns have had to disband their police departments in recent years. The Washington Post reports that these towns include Irwindale, California, Lincoln Heights, Ohio, and Waukegan, Illinois.  Why have they done this? Citizen protests? No. They’ve done it because their police departments operated in such a reckless manner that insurance companies refused to issue the cities liability insurance.
  • The major league baseball teams, the vast majority of which are major beneficiaries of public largesse (most notably taxpayer-funded stadiums costing well up into the hundreds of millions of dollars), are cheapskates taking public money but refusing to pay minor league players even the minimum wage. Of late, these corporate jerks and profiteers have found lackeys in Congress who have introduced legislation (the grotesquely named Save America’s Pastime Act) to allow the teams to pay minor leaguers a sub-minimum wage. Doug Buzzone, on our favorite baseball blog, McCovey Chronicles, has an admirably clear and short financial analysis showing that “every team in baseball could afford to [pay minor leaguers minimum wage]. They just don’t want to.”
  • Finally, need we do any more with this final item than reproduce the headline? “Clown porn has had massive boost thanks to killer clown craze.” (No, I don’t think we need to say anything more, either.)

Watch for the upcoming Religion Roundup. We’ve found some really choice items.