I saw this image while watching the beginning of the football game Sunday night. I don’t pay that much attention to football, but I guess I was interested in seeing what Peyton Manning could do. Anyway, I saw this and spent about 20 seconds imagining a world where Manny Ramirez gets cut from the Athletics, takes like a crap-ton of steroids, then signs on with the Broncos as a guard. It’s silly, but, honestly, there is a non-zero chance that this might actually happen.
Whenever the football season starts, my mind always wanders to players who played in both the NFL and MLB. Actually, I am referencing Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson, since those are the only two I can remember. Drilling down on that, I mostly remember Deion Sanders since his mug is in those DirecTV commercials that inundate my TV even though I’m WATCHING DIRECTV. They must have technology to filter out ads for crap I already own. I should be able to replace those ads with clips of Bo Jackson, because Bo Jackson was a badass.
The new quarterback for the Browns of Cleveland, Brandon Weeden, first tried his hand in baseball, apparently, spending five years or so pitching in the low minors. It seems he wasn’t anything special. So he went to Oklahoma State and ended up being a good quarterback or something, and then got drafted, I guess. I don’t know. I looked him up on Wikipedia for like 15 seconds. I’m not his biographer or anything. Football is dumb, so let’s move on.
The Best Pitching Performance form Sunday, Probably: James Shields, 9 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K, 0 ER
Ricky Nolasco also pitched a complete-game shutout, but his team isn’t playing for anything, so the nod goes to Shields. This whole Rays/Yankees/Orioles thing is going to get really interesting, especially considering how incestuous their schedules are coming up.
The Best Hitter Last Night, In, Like, My Opinion, Man: BJ Upton, 3-5, 3 HR, 3 RBI
There are a lot of exciting things about baseball, but many would consider the hitting of a home run to be the most exciting. BJ Upton did that three times. In one game! They were all solo shots, but that’s not his fault.
Best Display of Fancy-Pants Glove-Work: Ben Revere
The Twins ain’t playing for jack-diddley, but this grab to keep the game tied was pretty nifty. Bonus points go to announcer Dick Bremer for calling it the “final out of the night.” He may have said “ninth,” but envisioning Bremer turning to rye whiskey to get through this terrible season and drunkenly making mistakes on air makes me feel better.
An Injury Worth Noting:
Clayton Kershaw, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who you may remember as last year’s Cy Young winner in the NL, was scratched from Sunday’s game against division-rival San Francisco. His injury is being listed as a right hip irritation. I find this interesting as his right hip would not be the point of push-off, considering he is a left-handed pitcher. I realize that probably no one else finds this interesting.
Some Other Things That Happened:
Yankees: Curtis Granderson, 3-3, HR, 5 RBI, R
Granderson’s line is impressive, no doubt. Would you consider it more impressive if you were to learn that he did all of these things after coming in to pinch hit in the SIXTH INNING? Because I would, and do.
Blue Jays: Omar Vizquel, 0-2, 0 BB, 2 RBI
Vizquel drove in half of Toronto’s runs without even getting a hit (two sacrifice flies). Combine this with the fact that he drove in the winning run and also that he was born when Lyndon Johnson was the president, and he gets my humble vote as most notable.
Phillies: Jonathan Papelbon, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K, W, S
Philly and Colorado played a doubleheader, and Papelbon figured into both. Let’s give a hand to Charlie Manuel for using his closer for two whole innings in one day, especially considering one inning was a non-save situation. Philadelphia moves to within six games of the Wild Card. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
Rays: Please reference the beginning of this article to learn of the best performances by Rays performers.
Twins: Justin Morneau, 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
The second of these home runs was a walk-off. Since the All-Star break, Morneau is batting .314/.363/.484, which is much more in line (although slightly higher) with his career statistics then the poor numbers he was putting up at the beginning of the year. A healthy Morneau is a productive Morneau. It’s a shame he’ll be out of Minnesota before he can contribute to a contender.
Reds: Johnny Cueto, 4 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 4 ER
Johnny Cueto – who has been, like, really good for the Reds this season – wasn’t that good on Sunday. He didn’t get any help from his offense, either, as the Astros held them to one run on five hits. Cincinnati, which still has a 99.9% chance of making the postseason, has gone 5-5 in their last ten games.
Braves: Chipper Jones, 0-0, BB
Jones only came in to pinch hit in the ninth, but this game ended his perceived reign of terror in New York. With Larry’s departure, Mets fans will have to find a new player to hate, because hating their team becomes wholly tiresome after a while.
Royals: Jeremy Guthrie, 8 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 ER
Since being traded from the Rockies for Jonathan Sanchez, Guthrie is 4-3 with a respectable, 3.70 ERA. Sanchez is 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA. This proves the point that you can never “win” a trade if you get Jonathan Sanchez.
Nationals: Edwin Jackson, 4.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 6 ER
With Stephen Strasburg being shut down, many thought that Jackson would be forced to assume a spot in the playoff rotation. Well, if he does, he’s going to want to pitch a lot better than he did against a fairly crappy Marlins team. I believe this paragraph qualifies as expert analysis.
Angels: Mike Trout, 1-4, 1 HR
Alberto Callaspo also hit a home run, but Trout’s went like way farther. The Angels sweep the Tigers to win their sixth in a row, and nine of their last ten. Mike Trout.
Cubs: Bullpen, 5 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 4 SO, 1 ER
Dale Sveum used five relievers to go five innings, which means he either wants to give some young guys a look, or he is hallucinating that he is Tony La Russa. Maybe both?
Athletics: Jonny Gomes: 1-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Gomes got the scoring started for the A’s in the 5th, and though Josh Donaldson added his own dinger in the 9th, Gomes gave Oakland all the offense they needed. Oakland moves to 3.5 games behind Texas in the division, and leads the wild card race in the AL.
Cardinals: Allen Craig, 1-5, 1 RBI
Craig only had one hit, but it was a big one. He slapped a walk-off base hit to center to win the game for the Red Birds in extra innings. They needed it, too, as Milwaukee had already won the series and still remains only six games back in the wild card.
Padres: Chase Headley, 1-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Headley’s grand slam pushed him past the 100 RBI mark for the season. This puts him in the company of Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Willingham, and Ryan Braun. The “him” in that previous sentence still refers to Chase Headley.
Giants: Buster Posey, 2-4, 1 HR
Regarding the MVP voting: Ryan Braun will probably (and unfairly) get left off some ballots. The Mets, Padres, and (probably) Pirates won’t make it to the postseason this year. Is Buster Posey a viable MVP candidate? His numbers are good, not great, as he ranks seventh in the NL in FanGraphs WAR. However, he is a strong-hitting catcher on what will be a contender in October. There are better candidates, but Posey making a run – especially if he and his team performs well in the playoffs – wouldn’t surprise me.