Tagged: Baltimore Orioles

A lil’ Championship Fun….

I picked this up from SB Nation:  And I can’t really argue with it.

Papi WWE Champion

These comparisons are based on the 2013 editions of each team. Yes, the all-time Yankees would be “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase or Hulk Hogan or whatever; the 2013 Yankees are neither of those. So kick back, enjoy and try not to take things too seriously.

Just kidding; it’s pro wrestling discussion on the Internet! Tear each other limb from limb!

The Boston Red Sox are John Cena

Cena at FenwayNo one over the age of 12 wants to admit it, but John Cena is absolutely outstanding at what he does. The problem is that everyone is sick of him. They’re sick of his dumb shirts, they’re sick of his Sincere Serious Voice, they’re sick of him constantly Beating the Odds and they’re sick of him in general. That’s the Red Sox. They’re terrific this year — again — after an epic collapse and a lost year. They used to be America’s darlings until they won 3  World Series’ and the country got exposed to Red Sox Nation. Wait a minute … Red Sox Nation … the “Cenation” …

The Tampa Bay Rays are Daniel Bryan

You know the story of the Rays by now. They don’t get any help from anybody. They’re a small-market team in the second-worst stadium in the league, playing in front of no one, with one of the smallest payrolls in the league. But it’s okay; they’ll still be one of the best teams in the world, year after year. They’ll do it their own damn selves. Daniel Bryan, AKA “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson has been wrecking shop coast-to-coast in independent federations for 13 or so years and he’s always been exactly this good. Always. Now he’s the hottest wrestler on the planet and wrestling fools for an hour on Raw and everyone is like “lol where the hell did this guy come from?”

The New York Yankees are the Undertaker

Red Sox versus Yankees

Spends most of the year injured, but will still never lose.

The Baltimore Orioles are Booker T

Everyone likes the Orioles in some way. They’re not really a team that lends itself to intense hatred. They probably don’t even have a real arch-rival (maybe the Giants for stealing their colors). I bet they think they do, like the Padres and Mariners have arch-rivals. But they don’t. Everyone loves that the Orioles are doing well again (except Yankees fans). Everyone likes the team’s history (except Yankees fans) and of course everyone is crazy about those gorgeous uniforms. (Yankees fans, you like the uniforms okay, right?) The Orioles have been up, they’ve been down, they’ve been the best, they’ve disappeared. That’s Booker T: no one really hates the guy; lots of people think of him very fondly. His career is all over the place. I mean ALL OVER THE PLACE. He was a tag team specialist, he was a guy who lost the rights to his name so he had to start wrestling as G.I. Bro, he feuded with a guy over shampoo, he was suddenly a foreign king, he kicked around in TNA hating everything before reinventing himself as an announcer. Like the Oriole’s, there is some aspect of Booker T’s career that you can recall fondly.

The Toronto Blue Jays are 2013 Chris Jericho

Jericho 2013 Rumble

We had such high hopes, but then it was all just terrible.

The Detroit Tigers are Kane

Kane has been extremely popular and successful for like 15 years. He’s been pretty much every champion there is, crowds love him, he sells merchandise and rarely makes a fool of himself in the ring. All that said; there’s nothing really getting worked up over. At the end of the day, he’s still just Kane.

(I am so sorry, Tigers fans.)

The Cleveland Indians are Tatanka

Yep.

The Kansas City Royals are Chainsaw Charlie

It should have been a can’t-miss opportunity. Mick Foley was just starting to set the world on fire as Mankind following his infamous interview with Jim Ross and being tossed off that cage. Everyone knew he was a crazy guy who would do just about anything to get ahead. Who better to bring in to be his tag team partner than Terry gosh dang Funk? So Funk and the (then-)WWF put their heads together and … introduced Terry Funk as “Chainsaw Charlie,” a guy in suspenders who wore panty hose on his head.

The Royals during the offseason were determined to make a big splash. They traded away the top prospect in all of baseball and got woefully shortchanged on the deal. They traded, they spent, they seemed to make a bunch of bad decisions and now… It could have been amazing. Instead, they’re wearing panty hose on their heads and wondering what went wrong.

The Minnesota Twins are The Miz

Because WHOOOOO CAAAAAAARES

The Oakland Athletics are ACH

I know; you’ve never heard of ACH. ACH is an amazing pro wrestler who is out there killing himself in front of 15 people in a rec hall in a ring that looks like it has linoleum for a mat. But he’s not going to stop; he’s just going to keep being great at what he does. And the people who DO show up love him to death and realize they’re watching something special. So you can see how there might be SOME parallels. Just throwing it out there.

The Texas Rangers are Ricky Steamboat

Ricky SteamboatRicky Steamboat is probably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. But he never rose much higher than “second fiddle.” His contemporaries were more colorful, or more charismatic, or just more interesting. He got right up against superstardom, but never really got over the hump. That’s where the Rangers are finding themselves now. Ricky Steamboat won that match at WrestleMania III, but Randy Savage will always be more beloved. Can the Rangers find a way to make themselves memorable?  (For those who don’t know, he’s pictured here holding the WWF/WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship: It’s like winning the American League pennant but not winning the World Series… sorry)

The Seattle Mariners are Al Snow

In one of his books, Mick Foley uses “Al Snow” as a euphemism for taking a poop. The Mariners are not as bad as all that. Mostly because the Astros are in their division now. But I mean, come on; the Mariners are Al Snow.

The Chicago White Sox are Zack Ryder

From tarnished and shamed, to a long stretch of awfulness, to a relatively-brief period of intense success. Then they vanished from the face of the earth, never to be seen again.

The Los Angeles Angels are Scott Steiner

Once amazing, but now bloated with … contracts. Flashes of brilliance interspersed with deep slumps of sheer insanity. Either way, you can’t look away. Always, always, always entertaining. For better or for worse.

The Houston Astros are Dennis Rodman

Yes, Dennis Rodman wrestled. He fell asleep on the ring apron. He’s one of the worst wrestlers in history, but you can’t even be mad, because he’s Dennis Rodman. Like, what else is he gonna do, you know what I mean? I hope you know where I’m going with this.

“Latin America’s Team…”

So, as previously mentioned and perhaps no so widely publicized, the Florida Marlins have taken a bold step to re-brand themselves.  In making themselves ‘Latin America’s Team’ and taking advantage of their new retractable dome stadium (in ‘Little Havana’ no less) the Fightin’ Fish changed their moniker and uniforms to have a more local flair.  The Miami Marlins it is.

The Florida Marlins, the bargain basement two-time World Series Champions (known for their post championship fire-sales) are no more.  Announcing that the roughly $50 million payroll was going to expand, the Ozzie Guillen led Marlins made offers to not only Albert Pujols (with reports ranging from a ‘lowball’ offer to a substantial offer) and Jose Reyes (again, nothing solid reported but supposedly under $100 million) but to pitcher Mark Buehrle as well.  It is also believed the team will make advances to K-Rod in the coming days, just another Latin/Dominican player to be courted.   And to solidify it all, Ozzie has stated that these offers are not just publicity bluster but serious offers.

I like the team’s effort to reach out and court the Latin American community, and perhaps the Latin community as a whole.  In Boston, during the days of Pedro Martinez (and especially during the 2003-2004 seasons where he and Big Papi were teammates) the Latin/Dominican fans were energized and brought a new flavor to not only Fenway Park but to the Boston area and Red Sox Nation as a whole.  With former revered players such as El Tiante, it was made all the more magical.  This could be the Marlins chance to convert many of those Latin fans who flock towards the publicity of teams like the Yankees and Dodgers (who have great Latin followings, especially in the California market) for fans who can latch on to their ‘own’ team and not just a dynasty or logo.

Of course, questions abound.  Will a new stadium really give the recently lackluster Fish such a financial push to be perennial contenders?  Will the re-branding be enough to sway King Albert let alone the vast latin fan base they seek?  Should they start small (Jose Reyes, Aramis Ramirez, K-Rod among others) and build around their youth?  How will MLB’s announcement of a second Wild Card effect their chances in the NL East?

Well, if anything, the new Miami uniforms will add to the revenue.  The Marlins, whose fan base has always been cloaked in invisibility to match the seating at Landshark/Dolphin/Pro Player stadium usually show up for the playoffs in droves so they’ll be buying shirts, caps and jerseys instead of tickets during the regular season.  Now, perhaps unknown to many a baseball fan, the Marlins have retired the jersey #5 (in honor of one of their original front office personnel who died suddenly and his fave player was Joe D’).  In fact, no player has ever worn it.  Would it be re-circulated for Albert Pujols?  Would he settle for a #55 or maybe a #25?

Personally, I’m not impressed.  Maybe it needs to grow on me, maybe they’ll tweak it in the next season or two.  I can easily admit I’m an old school uniform lover and having been born into Red Sox Nation, rivals with the Yankees and having a rich sporting history in Boston, I’ve been spoiled uniform wise.  The Celtics and Sox uniforms have changed little in their respective legendary tenures (apart from a few road variants and alternative jerseys) and aside from the 1995-2006 years, the Bruins have sported the same general look for their black n’ gold heritage (although all of hockey, thankfully, has gone retro in the recent Reebok years).   The Patriots transitioned fairly well from ‘Pat the Patriot’ to their current ‘Elvis’ jerseys even through the brighter Bledsoe years.  The Marlins home jerseys should read ‘Marlins’ across the front, not ‘Miami’.  There’s a touch of retro in there, but it got lost in translation.

But, since the recent trend has shown us ‘what goes around comes around’…. Toronto has gone back to the 1992-1993 glory days and “put the Blue back in Blue Jays” while the Orioles have brought back a touch of the 1970’s in the cartoon bird upon their caps….

…. perhaps Miami’s gate revenue, television ratings and playoff appearances should tell us that in the near future.

In other news:  The Red Sox have contacted current ESPN analyst and former MLB/Japanese manager Bobby Valentine in regards to their managerial opening.  Since Dale Sveum apparently gave the Sox a last chance to hire him before taking the Cub’s job, that tells us that neither Cherington nor the ownership group has seen a candidate they feel comfortable with.   I just can’t understand what has taken them so long to do so.  In my mind, the Boston position is one that, at this point, shouldn’t be handed over to a novice.  You don’t learn to drive on a V-12, 8 gear super-car… and there are names out there… Bobby Valentine, Tony Pena (former KC manager and current ‘Bombers bench coach) or maybe even a Joe Torre.   Let’s not forget, both Joe Torre in 1996 and Terry Francona in 2004 were considered ‘failed’ managers, but obviously being placed in the right organization under the right conditions with a talented roster can change that.  I’m not saying we need a big name like Torre or LaRussa but experience should count for something when guiding a $160 million payroll littered in All-Stars, past & potential MVP/Cy Young candidates (and winners), Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers.  And it needs to be addressed fairly soon.

“Gentlemen, start your engines…”

The clock is slowly ticking down to the start of September and the 2011 season is about to hit its stride.  However, there is one helluva straightaway before we get to turn four.

Now granted, be it in NASCAR terms or whatever vehicular jargon you like, the Sox are in pit row.  The pitching has since sputtered, the line-up is thumping over a blown tire and while the fuel has been fine, thinning the mix for the length of the race has been a problem.  Luckily, at this point anyway, we’re not alone as our neighbors roughly 150 miles to the southwest have been in the same race.

Lackey has been anything but the ‘second ace’ we expected were getting when the ink dried on the contract.  In fact, from one start to another, you’re not sure which version of the big hoss will show.  Wakefield has been stuck, seemingly, in nuetral.  However, in Wake’s defense, the Time Lord has pitched fairly well and kept opponents at bay as well Miller or the semi-Lackey but just hasn’t had the stability behind him.  Lester is for a better word ‘back’ and Beckett is looking as if he’ll be completing a great ‘comeback’ year.  Bedard, well, there is yet another question mark.  Yeah, the ERA isn’t horrific but do we have time for a ‘work in progress’ we may only be renting anyway?

Youk, who’s been in and out of the line-up with various injuries (which to his credit he has attempted to play through) may have picked a ‘good’ time to go out on the DL.  Big Papi was already riding the bench and should be back and well into getting his swing on by the time Youk returns.  A-Gon has been hampered by a neck problem which has stolen his home run stroke and now Jacoby ‘The Machine’ Ellsbury is hitting a slight breakdown.  Well, believe it or not, we should still be OK.  Petey rode in the slow lane early and has picked up an MVP caliber season since while Crawford, extremely slow to adapt to his new surroundings, is again hitting his stride following the mid-season  injury.  Combine that with Marco, Reddick, Salty/Tek’ and the on and off mix n’ match pieces we’ve been plugging in… along with A-Gon’s ability to still hit for average if not power… we’re hanging in there.

But not by much.

Now comes the time of year where you need to take every series.  Splitting a four game series won’t be enough.  Now its three out of four or two of three.  Sure, you can’t sweep every series, not should you expect to, but taking the series is without a doubt.  So the question is… who do we need to line up in our sights and show no mercy..?

We open a four game set with the Rangers of Texas in Arlington who will obviously be no push-over and then return home for a month-ending home stand.  First we see the Athletics, late of Philly and Kansas City (and possibly soon of Oakland), for a three game series and after an off day welcome the New York Highlanders for an all important AL East match-up (of course, we visit the Bronx Zoo in late September for the final weekend of the season, amidst a Baltimore sandwich series).  We then open September with the final game of the Pinstripes series in the friendly confines and then welcome… guess who, the Texas Rangers for yet another volley of Defending AL Champs stew.  The remainder of the month is as it should be, an AL East love-fest where we play what seems like 400 games against the Blue Jays and Rays (strangely, both teams having towns that begin with ‘T’ and names that end in ‘..’ays’) with the aforementioned Baltimore sandwich with Yankee filler.

Those same Pinstripes will be home for a series against the wandering A’s, a visit to the O’s and then have the aforementioned sleep-over at Fenway.  There month however… isn’t as AL East lovey-dovey as ours.  In fact, they have a West Coast road trip amidst the love-fest to visit Seattle and the Los Angeles Americans (as compared to the Los Angeles Nationals).  The ‘Bombers also will play the final two weeks of the season with no day off as a one-game visit from the Twinkies will fill that date on the calendar.

So all we really need at this point is for the pitching woes to sure-up, the bullpen to get some new life and the hitting to get back on track while the opponents from the city so nice they named it twice to get some serious fatigue and jet lag, but with some of the seniors playing on their team, that might not be a problem.

Damn I’m good… sort of.

Well, if you’re going to make up some ground.. better do it now.  The next two weeks are slightly different for the Pinstripes than the Scarlett Hose.  The Yanks will be returning from Redlegs country to face the Rockies and the Brewers in The Bronx Zoo…. with neither team having been overly impressive lately.  July opens with ‘Subway’ series @ Citi Field and depending on the fill-ins for the ‘Bombers, it could be a fairly even match (should the Metropolitans still be fairly streaky).  The Boston Americans meanwhile will be taking on the entire state of PA with stops to meet Captain Jack Sparrow’s Bucs and then the pitching goliath known as Philadelphia Philadelphias (which I might add, many have picked as the World Series showdown this season.. PHI pitching versus BOS hitting).  From there it is into Houston… so as you can see, two thirds of that trip will be fairly uncomfortable. 

So fear not Virginia… like your summer, things are about to get more exciting and a lot warmer.”

As Captain James T. Kirk once said, “Those words were spoken by me.”  I made this comment back on the 21st in response to Miss Virginia’s ‘Bomber’s Blog (http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com/ which is a recommended read)… I’m a friggin’ genius… oh joy.  Why can’t I pick lottery winners this well?  Well that’s fine, now the Scarlett Hose can feel free to live up to my prophecy and kick some Texan ass in Houston to make up the lost ground on the Pinstripes.  The standings as of this second read something like this…

The New York Highlanders

The Boston Americans (2.5)

The Tampa Bay Smokers (4.0)

The Toronto Blue Jays (9.5)

The Baltimore Browns* (12.5)

*note: Formerly the St. Louis Browns (or original Milwaukee Brewers) not to be confused with the former Cleveland Browns.  So Baltimore can’t keep it’s own teams and colors (team called the Yankees, colors went to the NY Baseball Giants) but keep taking other city’s teams named ‘Browns’ who happen to share the color scheme?  Whatever works.

If we can take the Colt .45’s before heading into the last home stand before the break where we face the lower half of the AL East in the Maple Birds and O’s we should be in fairly good shape to set fire in the second half.  We’ll have to be since the Eastern Division love-fest continues with trips to Tampa and the aforementioned Baltimore.  The month will run through with a home stand against the Seattle Nintendos (think Ichiro could be moved by then?) and Kansas City Royalty.  We close with a visit to the Chicago Bleached Hose who haven’t been especially nice this season.   Riding into the break on a high note could be fairly important as the Pinstripe’s will be looking at a fairly matched schedule coming out of the second half gate.  They’ll close out with a Subway series at Citi Field against the still surging Metropolitans then travel to Cleveland to face Chief Wa-Hoo’s tribe before finally closing in the Bronx Zoo against the Rays.  They then get hip deep in the love-fest as they travel to both Toronto and Tampa before returning to the House That Ruth Financed to play the Athletics (diggin’ those yellow retro uniforms) and the Nintendos before closing the month with the O’s.

This past week was to be the preview of the Fall Classic… well, let’s hope we fare better in the fall.  But like a few of the MLB and BB Tonight analysts have said, “This was just a feeling out period…”  Curt Schilling did raise a fairly interesting point though, that the emphasis now has to fall on the All-Star Game because home-field in the World Series could make or break the series.  Think of the Sox having to open at Philly versus their fully healthy rotation with no DH?  (And before anyone out there starts giving me protests over “How do you know it will be the Sox?” Fine.  Think of the Yankees doing it, cause if it isn’t an AL East team versus the Phillies in the World Series you better pack your sh!t and jump in the TARDIS because the Earth will have officially fallen off it’s axis… ’nuff said) 

Congratulations go out to ‘Tito’ for winning his 700th game as manager of the Boston Red Sox.  Throw in two Championship titles since he took over in 2004 and I’d say he’s done a lot better than the people in Philadelphia ever imagined.   Also, Jon Lester’s victory on Wednesday was the 100th decision of his career (71-29).  For all he’s been through in his still young career and developing into his prime, kudos to him.