Carl Yastrzemski once said, “I remember I was a scared rookie, hitting .220 after the first three months of my baseball season, and doubting my ability.” Here are some guys who don’t have to doubt nothin’. But before we get to them, I want to get to something else. I want to get to the greatest rookie of them all. I want to get to Freddy Lynn. Rookie, rookie. Who gets the cookie. Who’s got the woh oh oh oh, woh oh oh oh, right stuff? Freddy Lynn had the right stuff. That marshmallow fluff. Sho’ nuff. The Rookie of the Year Award should now and forever more be called the Fred Lynn Award. The best rookie season evah. Evah! Sherman, set the way back machine to 1975. Fenway Pahk. Rookie Fred Lynn in center. Rookie Big Jim Ed Rice in left. The Gold Dust Twins. But Jim Ed got hurt, and Freddy turned out to be goldener. Stay gold, Freddy. Stay gold.
Because it’s murder by numbers, one, two, three. It’s as easy to learn as your ABC’s. Murder by numbers, one, two, three. Easy to learn as your A-B-C. -The Police
What’s crack-a-lacking sports fans? I’ll tell you what’s crack-a-lacking. Baseball’s crack-a-lacking. Ahhhh baseball. Like my main man Terrence Mann always says, “America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.” It certainly has. As kids we marked the time by keeping score at the ball park. Nowadays, that type of thing is done for us. It’s all ballbearings now. Statistician Seymour Siwoff of the Elias Sports Bureau once said, “Anybody with a pencil could be a statistician back then (19th Century).” Now? Not so much. Now, statistics are the lifeblood of the game. No other sport studies, dissects and analyzes their numbers as vigilantly as baseball. So who am I to go against the grain? Nobody! That’s who. So let’s take a peak at some interesting 1st half numbers, shall we? Sure we shall!
Hey young world, the world is yours. Hey young world, the world is yours. Young world, young world, the world is yours. -Slick Rick
Ok, here we go! You know what the man says. The man says pitching wins championships. The man says you’re only as good as your next starter. Sparky Anderson says, “If I ever find a pitcher who has heat, a good curve, and a slider, I might seriously consider marrying him, or at least proposing.” Well, I found some guys. Sparky better go buy a ring. Heck, he should go all Big Love and buy five of them.
Okay, if knowledge is the key then just show me the lock. Got the scrawny legs but I move just like Lou Brock. With speed, I’m agile plus I’m worth your while. One hundred percent intelligent black child. -Tribe Called Quest
Here it comes. Here comes baseball. Like my main man Joe DiMaggio always says: “You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.” I’m looking forward to it. I think something wonderful is going to happen. I live for this! What’s crack-a-lacking sports fans? I loved Lou Brock. Put you in shock. Stealing bases around the clock. A virtuoso like my main man Johan Sebastian Bach. I loved Willie Wilson. Looking good in those baby blues. Faster than Deja Vu. Quicker than any cheetah in any zoo. I loved Rickey Henderson. Probably the best lead-off hitter I’ve ever seen. The best base stealer there’s ever been. I loved Tommy Harper, Rock Raines, Firecracker Vince Coleman. I loved them all, they’re the stolen base kings of the game we call baseball. Joe Morgan once said: “A good base stealer should make the whole infield jumpy.” So that’s what we want to know. Who in 2011 makes the whole infield jumpy?
What does it take to be number one? Two is not a winner and three nobody remembers. What does it take to be number one? Hey hey hey hey.. -Nelly
Opening day is just two weeks away. Ahhhh, baseball. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. I know it’s a little early. I know what Bill Veeck said. I know he said, “This is a game to be savored, not gulped. There’s time to discuss everything between pitches or between innings.” I don’t care. I want it all. I want it now. I want to know what the Big Fundamental wants to know. “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” Who’s good? Who’s the best? Today we will discuss who’s the best. We’ll discuss who’s the worst. And we’ll discuss everything in between. So, without further ado, let’s hand out the hardware:
Oh the grass is green ad the bases white and the players pitch and hit. But more than that, alas, alack, they only prefer to spit, to spit. They only prefer to spit. -Gilbert & Sullivan
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! This story has taken off. By now, you’ve all heard it. You’ve all heard during the American League Championship Series, Yankees fans spit on the families of the Texas players incuding Cliff Lee’s wife. But like any red blooded mercenary, Cliff Lee said, a guy spitting on his family would not deter him from signing with the Yankees. That’s the spirit! And in that spirit, let’s have a look-see at other incidents in sports spitting, shall we? Sure we shall.
Oh baby, I’m a star! Might not know it now baby, but I are, I’m a star! I don’t want to stop ’till I reach the top. Sing it! -Prince
Public Service Announcement: Everybodys’s jibbering about Ubaldo Jimminez. Everybody’s jabbering about Stephen Strasburg. Jibbering and jabbering. Blibbering and blabbering. What about this guy? What about Bob Adam Wainwright? Last night, Adam Wainwright hurled seven shutout innings to lead the Cardinals to a 6-1 victory over the Reds. That may not seem like such a big deal to you, but know this: Wainwright has now registered 17 wins this season. Wainwright has now registered a 1.99 ERA this season. All through 25 starts. Pretty good, right? Damn skippy it’s good. Since 1970, only five other pitchers posted at least 17 wins and an ERA below 2.00 through 25 starts in a season. Only Vida Blue 1971 (19 wins; 1.37 ERA), Gaylord Perry 1972 (17 wins; 1.70 ERA), Ron Guidry1978 (17 wins; 1.79 ERA), Dwight Gooden 1985 (18 wins; 1.64 ERA) and Roger Clemens in 1997 (18 wins; 1.66 ERA).
Stat of the day, who will it be? Your vote will hold the key. It’s up to you. Tell us who, will be stat of the day. -Community Auditions
Public Service Announcement: Just a little short one. Just to show my support one. One to show my support for Yunel Escobar. You all well know, the Atlanta Braves sent shortstop Yunel Escobar and pitcher Jo Jo Reyes to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez and two minor league prospects. You may even know Escobar went yard last night for the second time in four games since joining the Blue Jays. But did you know Yunel had failed to go yard in his last 353 at-bats for the Braves? And did you know who was the last player with two homers in his first four games for the Jays? Huh? Didja? That would be Alex Gonzalez, the player acquired by Atlanta for Escobar. How about that?
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!
Hey now, you’re an All Star, get your game on, go play. Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid. And all that glitters is gold. Only shooting stars break the mold. -Smash Mouth
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! I know it’s early. I know we’re not even at the All-Star break yet. I know these things. I’m smart! Not like everybody says. Like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect! Today ends the voting for the 81st MLB All Star Game. I got your ballot. I got your ballot right here. I got your ballot right here for my All So-Far Team:
Bombs away, but we’re O.K. Bombs away in old Bombay. -The Police
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! I know, I know. I’ve been away a long time. I apologize. I was jet setting. Like George Bretting or Carol Burnetting. On location, touring around the nation, Josh Q. Public always on vacation. But now I’m back. Back in the back of a Cadillac. Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack. Maybe so, but I ain’t power packin’ like these dudes are doing.