Football's back! But baseball's still here, so let's talk about baseball.
When baseball's not still here, we will still be talking about baseball.
Let these 10 managers teach you how to get kicked out of a ballgame
As you may recall from the photo above, Robin Ventura got himself kicked out of a game against the Giants a few weeks ago in a delightful display of pettiness. His anger was understandable, of course, and it was no way mitigated by the fact that he was arguing with umpires who agreed with him, and whose call had been overturned on replay. So if Ventura ever wants to get past dirt-kicking, here's a good resource on manager tantrums. They don't include my favorite though: The Normaling. It's when everyone in the ballpark knows the manager is livid, but he doesn't argue, leveraging knowledge of his mental state to make the incident more outre and exposing umpiring for the bourgeoisie facade it truly is. That one's brutal.
Which umpires have the best and worst percentages calling pitches correctly? It will surprise no one to learn that Joe West, Angel Hernandez, and Bob Davidson are all terrible, as this confirms so very many biases that we all delight in sharing. But, shockingly, CB Bucknor actually grades out as excellent, and Phil Cuzzi is also pretty good. I guess the main takeaway from that is that science isn't perfect because it doesn't align with my preconceived notions and that until it does, we really just can't trust numbers at all and so maybe Joaquin Arias is the rightful NL MVP.
Pebble Hunting: The Nearby Faraway
This story about the playoff hunt in a four-team Northern California independent baseball league hits a lot of buttons for me. There are otter puns, and player-only porta potties, and tons of stuff about the inner workings of a pretty obscure baseball league, and Dusty Baker even shows up, but, you guys, WAYNE FRANKLIN ANECDOTE. It turns out that Wayne Franklin the manager is the Wayne Franklin the pitcher of managers, and he's also gotten much, much worse as a pitcher. It's really everything you could want from Wayne Franklin, unless you want him to have not given up that homer to Steve Finley that time.
How SF Giants’ Jake Peavy repaid Tim Flannery for the gift of music
Was it with interpretive dance? I hope it was with interpretive dance.
Pornographic hamburger ad brings Cardinals fan to tears
There is no way this would make the link dump if it was about a fan of any other team. Even a Dodgers fan – a literal fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers – who wrote this would be maybe a tenth as fun to laugh at, just because I wouldn't immediately assume that one person represented an entire fanbase. But the Cardinals? The wholesome midwestern-values-holding Best Fans in Baseball? It's so easy to believe they're oversensitive prudes. It's so easy, and I love it.
It is a dumb ad, though. What's it for, again? Barns?