Happy Mother’s Day, moms. Let’s just put all life’s problems aside for a day, kick back, relax, watch a ball game and absolutely obsess over the threat of breast cancer. Hoorah.
On to this Sunday’s box score:
The most insulting names in Major League baseball history:
31. Mike Cantwell
30. Dizzy Nutter
29. Brent Gaff
28. Herman Fink
27. Frank Funk
26. Rusty Kuntz*
25. Nick Goulish
24. Dick/Red/Les Cox
23. Turkey Gross
22. Greg Tubbs
21. Buck Hooker
20. Billy Lush
19. Bill Malarkey
18. Walt Smallwood
17. Sam Moran**
16. Antonio Bastardo
15. Bobby Pfeil***
14. Mel Roach
13. Emerson Dickman/Jim Cockman
12. Steve Toole
11. Tom Herr****
10. Jack Glasscock
9. Stan Hack
8. Pete LaCock
7. Frank Sacka*****
6. Joe Moock
5. J.J. Putz
4. Tony Suck
3. Bill Goodenough******
2. Dick Hunt
1. Ernie McAnally
*Obviously, on its merits this should be much higher, but it’s probably the most played out funny baseball name. ** Get a brain, morans. *** You can change the spelling of your name as ludicrously as you like. Won’t fool me, Bobby Fail. **** Her? ***** The unstated conclusion to this name is obvious. Almost nothing good comes in a sack. ****** Passive-aggressive.
So, the broadcast crew notes that Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell is suspended for using some anti-gay language and hand motions when heckling fans in San Francisco. Hershiser calls it “a blip” in McDowell’s otherwise exemplary life.
Hershiser actually wrote about McDowell in his book, “Between the Lines: Nine Principles to Live By”:
One of Roger’s goals was to see how many ballparks he could shag in … naked. This was done during early BP when no fans were allowed into the park. At around 2:30, Roger would walk out onto the field with his glove. He’d be wearing tennis shoes, a tee shirt, and a loose pair of shorts. That was it. As the flyballs were hit to the outfield, Roger would kick off his tennis shoes. then the shirt would follow. Just at the right moment, when the next ball was headed his way, he’d rip off his shorts and capture one in the buff.
OK. Awesome. Good stuff Roger McDowell and Orel Hershiser. Nothing ironic about that story.
Better, by far, was the time McDowell wore his uniform upside down. Pants on head. Shirt on legs. Waaaay funnier than it sounds:
Last year, in Triple-A, Freddie Freeman hit . 270/.315/.418 against left-handed pitchers. Against right-handers, he hit .333/.406/.553. Pretty standard split for a 20-year-old lefthanded batter, I imagine.
On Sunday, he homered against Cole Hamels, giving him one of those intriguing small-sample splits you get this early in the season:
- Vs. RHP: .218/.330/.321, one home runs
- Vs. LHP: .281/.406/.553, three home runs
It’s fewer than 100 plate appearances against righties and only 37 plate appearances against lefties, so it’s probably a fluke that will round itself out. It would be pretty cool for the Braves if it represented some great leap forward against left-handed pitching, though. They haven’t protected him against the toughest lefties — three of his four days off were against right-handed starters, and he has gotten starts against Hamels (3 for 5 w/ HR), Cliff Lee (1 for 4), Clayton Kershaw (1 for 3 w/ HR) and Jonathan Sanchez (0 for 2).
The excellent writer Ted Berg keeps a log of embarrassing Cole Hamels photos. There are a lot. Cole Hamels is deceptively funny looking.
A long overlooked sub-category that Ted hasn’t gotten into is photos of Cole Hamels staring at his own pitches.