Tagged: Houston Astros

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.

More questions than answers….

Subtle moves.  Questionable tweets.  Interesting day.

Just the modern-day Hot Stove.

So the Sox finally pulled the trigger and moved Jed Lowrie and signaled an official end to the experiment.  Not that Jed wasn’t a good player with flashes of brilliance and a load of potential, but you can only write so many checks based on potential.  With Scutaro in the fold and Mike Avilas returning, Lowrie was becoming expendable.  With Iglesias apparently progressing as he should in the minors, Lowrie became a commodity, a still youthful switch hitting shortstop who can play utility infield and has postseason experience.  According to sources, Jed’s name was mentioned several times by inquiring teams and heard several more times during the Winter Meetings.  This does beg the question if the Sox may have given too much on their end since Kyle Weiland was included… but also makes you wonder if the kid from Houston is just that good?  Jed does have the potential and the will to be an everyday shortstop in the majors, and perhaps Houston will see a more regular, less brittle Lowrie.  Melancon, 26, turned in a 2.78 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9, and 56.7% groundball rate in 74 1/3 innings in 2011, saving 20 games in 25 attempts.  The right-hander won’t be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season and won’t hit free agency until after the 2016 campaign.

Signing Nick Punto (of the World Series winning St. Louis Puntos’) will solidify the infield and perhaps give the Sox the flexibility to rest Youk, platoon Marco and make further deals (the ever so undesirable Youkilis trade) to secure some solid starting pitching at the end of the rotation.  Rumors have also stated that Sox are still showing an interest in veteran pitchers Roy Oswalt and the recently non-tendered (by Arizona) Joe Saunders.  If Aceves and Bard are to be given full respect as potential starters, what does this signal?  Aceves was a gold-brick as a spot starter and reliever last season, literally carrying the club at times.  Valentine has basically said that Bard will either start or close… good thing he narrowed it down.  Ryan Madson is still out there, but why pay for Madson if you wouldn’t pay for ‘Pap?  There are still several proven, older closers out there… oh, and in the Sox pen as Bobby Jenks is still active and drawing a paycheck.  Melancon would appear to shore up the questions of the back-end… but he really doesn’t.  Unfortunately, only Ben and Bobby have the inside dope and I honestly feel it’s ‘closer by committee’ until Opening Day.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe Tweeted: Jason Varitek may still be in the picture for the Red Sox.  Really?  It seems hard to envision a deal between Varitek and the Red Sox, who have catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Lavarnway and Luis Exposito going into camp.  No, it’s not unheard of for the Sox to sign a catcher and then trade him to start the season (remember Josh Bard?), but carrying Varitek too?  That, if it is true, is an immediate signal that Lavarnway is not as ready as we’ve been led to believe.  Some think he could be a mid-season call up to platoon a C/DH role while others say he needs another full season in Pawtucket to mature defensively.   I’ve stated here several times, if you’re going to pay for a back-up veteran catcher who is mediocre or less offensively and only slightly better defensively, sign ‘Tek.  If baseball is a game of intangibles… then ‘Tek brings a sh!tload of intangibles.  He’s a mentor (already taken Salty to the next level), a teacher (Salty, the pitchers and younger guys, even the coaching staff), and basically a player/manager.  Was he too quiet during ‘Chicken-gate’ or ‘The X-box Affair’ or whatever fuckin’ catchphrase inserted term they give the September fallout and the aftermath?  Yes, he was.  As the team captain he should have been as front and center as James T. Kirk, however no one has ever questioned his leadership as a whole and there has to be a reason.  If I’m Bobby Valentine, I’m keeping Varitek around in some capacity.  He’s an established, respected and WS tested veteran who does indeed bring the intangibles.  Can you say Bench Coach?

Supposedly, there have been one or two teams out there interested in his services, so if that is true and Jason Varitek is indeed playing in the uniform of another team next season…. then all I have to say is, Thank You.

A Brief History…

With all this talk of Retired numbers, Honored numbers and such… how about a brief lesson on the history of baseball’s uniforms with a thanks to Wikipedia.

 

 

A baseball uniform is a type of uniform worn by baseball players, and by some non-playing personnel, such as field managers and coaches. It is worn to indicate the person’s role in the game and — through the use of logos, colors, and numbers — to identify the teams and their players, managers, and coaches.

The New York Knickerbockers were the first baseball team to use uniforms, taking the field on April 4, 1849, in pants made of blue wool, white flannel shirts (jerseys) and straw hats.  The practice of wearing a uniform soon spread, and by 1900, all major league teams had adopted them. By 1882, most uniforms included stockings, which covered the leg from foot to knee, and had different colors that reflected the different baseball positions.  In the late 1880s, the Detroit Wolverines and Washington Nationals of the National League and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association were the first to wear striped uniforms.

Caps, or other types of headgear with eyeshades, have been a part of baseball uniforms from the beginning.  Baseball teams often wore full-brimmed straw hats or no cap at all since there was no official rule regarding headgear. Completing the baseball uniform are cleats and stockings, both of which have also been around for a long time.

By the end of the 19th century, teams began the practice of having two different uniforms, one for when they played at home in their own baseball stadium and a different one for when they played away (on the road) at the other team’s ballpark. It became common to wear white pants with a white color vest at home and gray pants with a gray or solid color vest when away. Most modern teams also have one or more alternate uniforms, usually consisting of the primary or secondary team color on the vest instead of the usual white or gray. Teams on occasion will also wear throwback uniforms.

Traditionally home uniforms have displayed the team name on the front, while away uniforms have displayed the name of the city (or state) that the team is from. There are many exceptions to that rule, however.

The earliest photographic evidence of the use of uniform numbers comes from a 1909 Chicago Daily News picture of pitching great José Mendez. In the photograph, Mendez is seen in his Cuban Stars uniform with a number “12” on his left sleeve.  Inspired by hockey’s and football’s use of uniform numbers, the Cleveland Indians became the first big league club to experiment with numbered uniforms when they took the field at League Park in Cleveland, on June 26, 1916, donning large numerals on their left sleeves. The experiment lasted just a few weeks that season and, after a brief trial the following year, was abandoned altogether.

The first MLB game to have both teams wear numbers on their jerseys was Indians vs Yankees May 13, 1929.

While some players will wear several numbers throughout their careers as they move from team to team, others have become so attached to a specific number for some reason (including superstition), that try to acquire it as they join a new club.

In some cases, the number is available on a player’s new club. Other times, the number will already be in use by another member of that team (or sometimes retired). When this occurs, the player will occasionally ask the other player to change numbers, in order to surrender that number to the newcomer.  Some players holding a number in such a case will voluntarily make such a change, while others may need to be “bribed” in order to do so. For example, when Rickey Henderson was traded to the Blue Jays in 1993, he paid new teammate Turner Ward $25,000 for the #24 that Henderson had worn throughout much of his career, and that Ward had been wearing at the time.  In contrast, when Mitch Williams joined the Phillies in 1991, he acquired his old #28 from John Kruk in exchange for $10 and two cases of beer.

Some players, who are unable to get the number they had on their previous team, will obtain a number close in succession.  For example, Roger Clemens wore #21 during the first 15 years of his career with the Red Sox and Blue Jays, and during his college days at Texas.  Upon Clemens’ arrival in New York, he reportedly asked long-time Yankee outfielder Paul O’Neill to surrender his #21, but O’Neill refused.  Though he would eventually opt for #22, Clemens initially reversed his beloved #21, and wore #12.  Clemens continued to wear #22 upon signing with his hometown Houston Astros in 2004 and, upon resigning with the Yankees, Robinson Canó, owner of #22 at the beginning of the 2007 season, moved to #24 in anticipation of the Yankees possibly re-signing Clemens, leaving #22 available for Clemens.

In their first career games, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Eric Davis and White Sox pitcher Joe Horlen did not have jersey numbers.

Detroit Tigers center fielder Gabe Kapler also played a game with a blank jersey, though it that case the Tigers were playing the final game at Tiger Stadium and the players were honoring the famous Tigers in each position. In Kapler’s case he was honoring Ty Cobb, whose career pre-dated uniform numbers.

A team will sometimes retire a uniform number so that future players and coaches cannot wear those numbers with that team. Only the player with the retired number can wear that number if he returns to that team as a player or coach.  The first Major League Baseball player to have his number retired was Lou Gehrig (#4). #4 and #5 have each been retired by 8 teams, more than any other number. The Yankees have retired a total of 16 numbers, more than any other team. The highest player uniform number to be retired was Carlton Fisk’s #72, but the Cardinals retired #85 in honor of their one-time owner August Busch, Jr.. Though he never wore a uniform, that is how old he was at the time of the honor. The Cleveland Indians retired the #455 in 2001 in honor of “the fans”, to commemorate the then-longest home sellout streak ever (although MLB does not allow any team to issue three-digit uniform numbers).

Eight players and one manager, Casey Stengel, have had their numbers retired with more than one team. Nolan Ryan had two different numbers (#30 and #34) retired between three different teams. Fisk’s #27 from the Red Sox and #72 from the White Sox are both retired, as are Reggie Jackson’s #9 and #44, respectively by the A’s and Yankees.

The Toronto Blue Jays do not retire numbers, but rather have an alternative method of honoring their players called the ‘Level of Excellence’.

In 1997, Major League Baseball, for the first time ever, made a Major League-wide retirement of a number, when #42 could not be issued to any new players, having been retired in honor of Jackie Robinson, although all players who currently wore the number upon the mass retirement of #42, such as Mo Vaughn and Butch Huskey of the Red Sox and Mets, were allowed to keep it under a grandfather clause if they were wearing the number in honor of Jackie Robinson. The only player who still wears #42 is Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom Robinson played (as a Brooklyn Dodger), had already retired the number in 1972 after Robinson’s death.

However, the #42 would be worn by a number of players other than Rivera in 2007, which marked the 60th anniversary of Robinson’s first appearance in Major League Baseball (the event that broke the sport’s 20th-century color line). Before the season, then-Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. asked Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for permission to wear #42 on April 15, the anniversary date of Robinson’s historic game. Both gave their approval, and Selig later ruled that any player who wished to wear #42 on that date could do so.