September 2011

Sometimes I Hate the Internet

The title says it all. Sometimes, I really do HATE the internet. The past few days fall under the category of “sometimes”, as I’ve had no internet connection at all. Due to the loss of internet, I was unable to do a Q and A blog entry on Wednesday. Furthermore, I doubt I’ll be able to do a Q and A on Saturday. (I’m still working on getting my internet to 100 percent working order.) But everything should be back to normal next week.

As for the future blog entry schedule, here’s what I plan on doing:

Monday- Q and A With John Baker (Make up for Wednesday.)

Tuesday- Q and A With Yonder Alonso (Make up for tomorrow.)

Wednesday- Q and A With Steve Cishek

Things should be back to normal starting Thursday.

If the internet doesn’t die on me again, I plan to begin blogging every day that I possibly can, starting Thursday. As the postseason will soon be upon us, and I’ll have a lot to blog about.

Latest MLB Leaders

Below are the stats of MLB players that lead all of baseball in something. (Accurate as of 1:00p.m. on September 17, 2011). They are broken down into Hitting and Pitching, but not into NL or AL:

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL)- HITTING

Most Games Played-Prince Fielder (151)

Most At-Bats-Starlin Castro (631)

Most Hits-Adrian Gonzalez (198)

Most Triples-Jose Reyes (16)

Most Home Runs-Jose Bautista (42)

Most RBI’s-Ryan Howard (113)

Most Base On Balls-Jose Bautista (121)

Most Strikeouts-Drew Stubbs (193)

Most Stolen Bases-Michael Bourn (55)

Most Caught Stealing-Juan Pierre (14)

Most Intentional Base On Balls-Prince Fielder (29)

Most Hit By Pitch-Carlos Quentin (23)

Most Sacrifice Flies-Adam Jones (12)

Most Total Bases-Jacoby Ellsbury (326)

Most Extra Base Hits-Robinson Cano (76)

Most Grounded Into Double Plays-Albert Pujols (29)

Most Ground Outs-Ichiro Suzuki (262)

Most Air Outs-Ian Kinsler (220)

Most Number Of Pitches Faced-Curtis Granderson (2,888)

Most Plate Appearances-Ian Kinsler (677)

MLB LEADERS (AL and NL)- PITCHING

Most Wins-Justin Verlander (23)

Most Losses-Jeremy Guthrie (17)

Most Games Pitched-Jonny Venters (80)

Most Saves-Jose Valverde (45)

Most Innings Pitched-Justin Verlander (236)

Most Hits Allowed-Carl Pavano (242)

Most Unearned Runs Allowed-Fausto Carmona (118)

Most Earned Runs Allowed-Bronson Arroyo (108)

Most Home Runs Allowed-Bronson Arroyo (44)

Most Srikeouts-Justin Verlander (238)

Most Complete Games-James Shields (11)

Most Shutouts-Cliff Lee (6)

Most Hit Batsmen-Jonathan Lackey (19)

Most Games Finished-Jose Valverde (65)

Most Groundouts Achieved-Jake Westbrook (278)

Most Wild Pitches-A.J. Burnett (25)

Most Stolen Bases Allowed-Ted Lilly (33)

Most Pickoffs-James Shields (11)

Most Batters Faced-C.C. Sabathia (955)

Most Pitches Thrown-Justin Verlander (3,705)

Q and A With David Aardsma

Today’s Q and A is on David Aardsma. Relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.

David Aardsma hasn’t pitched at all this year due to an injury. Considering the fact that he has no stats for this season, I’ll just skip to the good stuff.

Below’s Q and A is meant to better inform you of what David Aardsma like:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Country.”

2.) Favorite song.

“Great Day To Be Alive, or Enter Sandman. (By Travis Tritt/Metallica.)”

3.) Favorite food.

“A good prime rib or porterhouse.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Right now Modern Family, or Entourage.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“Star Wars.”

6.) Favorite book.

“I have a ton. Right now it’s The Hunger Games.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Play video games. Hang with my son and wife.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Game time.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Hockey.”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Ryne Sandberg.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“New Balance. (Gotta throw them some love.)”

12.) Favorite car.

“’59 Corvette.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“Georgraphy. (I’m a big map geek.)”

14.) Favorite quote.

“(1) If you never try, you’ll never know. (2) Just act like you own the place.”

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Winning the college World Series.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about David Aardsma of the Seattle Mariners.

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Big thanks to David Aardsma for answering my questions.

You can follow David Aardsma on twitter: @TheDA53

The next Q and A entry will be posted Wednesday, September 21, on John Baker, of the Florida Marlins.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, David Huff, Brandon McCarthy, Shawn Kelley, and Casey Kelly.

Q and A With Casey Kelly

Today’s Q and A is on Casey Kelly. Top prospect for the San Diego Padres.

A top prospect for the San Diego Padres, Casey Kelly is doing his part to make it to the big leagues in a hurry. So far this season he’s recorded 105 strike outs through 142.1 innings pitched, for the San Antonio Missions.

Below’s Q and A is meant to help you better learn of what Casey Kelly likes:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Rap.”

2.) Favorite song.

“Headlines. (By Drake.)”

3.) Favorite food.

“Chili dogs.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Entourage.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“Never Back Down.”

6.) Favorite book.

“Haven’t read a book in a while.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Hangout with family and friends.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Christmas time.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Football.”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Charles Woodson.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Nike.”

12.) Favorite car.

“Range Rover.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“Math.”

14.) Favorite quote.

“Play to live. Live to play.”

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“The day I got drafted.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Casey Kelly of the Padres Organization.

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Big thanks to Casey Kelly for answering my questions.

You can follow Casey Kelly on twitter: @CaseyKelly23 

The next Q and A entry will be posted Saturday, September 17, on David Aardsma, of the Seattle Mariners.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, David Huff, Brandon McCarthy, and Shawn Kelley.

Q and A With the ‘Batting Stance Guy’

1. Briefly describe yourself, and what you do, to those who may not know.

I possess the least marketable skill in America of imitating most every baseball hitter in the past 30 years.

 2. When did the idea/desire to imitate MLB players batting stances come about?

As young as I can remember. I went for Halloween in 1980 as Pete Rose. I was 7. I grew up going to Oakland A’s games when they featured lineups of Rickey Henderson, Carney Lansford, Dave Kingman, Joe Morgan, Mickey Tettleton and Tony Phillips. All zany stances in my book.

 3. Why take the time to memorize and imitate players batting stances at all?

Good question, Matt. I didn’t set out to memorize them. For some reason my brain captures the stuff I love. And I love baseball. Only way to explain it is there are a lot of song lyrics we all know that we never decided to memorize.

 4. How many total batting stances can you imitate?

I’ve been asked this before, especially when Sony Playstation had me do the motion-capture for MLB The Show. I’ve never counted. I don’t have a list, but probably most starters since 1979. Could be 500? Could be 1,000? Honestly don’t know. A dozen times a MLB team has invited me into the middle of the team stretching circle. The players will call out names and have me clown each player. I’ve received requests of players I’ve never considered imitating….so the list is probably long if I actually had one.

 5. Which players batting stance is your favorite to imitate?

My favorite is whichever one makes people laugh. MLB players laugh hardest for Kevin Youkilis and Hunter Pence. Fans love Derek Jeter and Rickey Henderson. I love three that most people don’t request: Ben Oglivie, Moises Alou and Gary Matthews Sr, “The Sarge.”

 6. Who’s your favorite person that you’ve met since you began doing this?

David Letterman. My brain could understand meeting a few players and coaches but when The Late Show wanted me on as a guest..that was out of the blue.

 7. Talk a little about your book ‘Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter To Baseball’.

It is a love letter to baseball framed around the greatest 50 stances of my lifetime. It’s more a journey through my life of loving baseball and getting rejected by girls than it is about how much Gary Sheffield wiggles his bat. There is first hand account from every stadium and funny art work. I’m really proud of it. Even received letters about it from Ken Burns, George Will and three supreme court justices.

 8. How did you narrow the vast number of batting stances down to 50 for the book?

Scribner (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) had an idea of a fun paperback book about that size so 50 seemed like a good round number. But it did mean Matt Diaz and Carl Crawford just missed the cut.

 9. How long can you see yourself imitating batting stances of MLB players?

To be honest, I had no reason to think it would last more than that first year these video entered the world (2008). Teams kept having me out, and players like it and are familiar with the videos. Now MLB Network is having me do SNL Digital Short-ish spoof segments for Intentional Talk. However, mostly imitating announcers and players talking, not their swings. The whole thing has been the most fun I’ve ever enjoyed around baseball. In fact, the last locker room I was in, the players called “Let us hear Tim Kurkjian discussing Darwin Barney.” That was a first. 

What a country.

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Big thanks to Gar Ryness, the ‘Batting Stance Guy’, for answering my questions.

Be sure to visit his website: battingstanceguy.com

Also, follow him on twitter: @BattingStanceG

Your Questions Answered-The Answers

Remember a few blog entries ago when I said that I wanted your questions for a new blog series that I wanted to do on Mondays? Well, this week I chose the question submitted by Delia. Her question was, “What’s their favorite thing to do on an off day?” So I spent the past few days asking MLB players that very question. Here’s what the players, that responded, had to say:

JOSE MOLINA–Toronto Blue Jays 

“Rest and spend time with family.”

GEOFF BLUM–Arizona Diamondbacks

“Golf or beach.”

VANCE WORLEY–Philadelphia Phillies

“Chill and let my body relax. Call friends and family back home.”

DAVID PRICE–Tampa Bay Rays

“Sit on the couch playin’ FIFA with astro.”

DANIEL HUDSON–Arizona Diamondbacks

“Golf.”

DAVID AARDSMA–Seattle Mariners

“Right now it’s hang by the pool.”

CRAIG BRESLOW–Oakland Athletics

“On off days I catch up on work for my charity, the Strike3Foundation, sleep, iChat with family/friends, and relax.”

JOSH LUEKE–Seattle Mariners

“Hang out and sleep.”

DENARD SPAN–Minnesota Twins

“On the field I like to play baseball. LOL. And off the field I like to relax [and] go to the mall. LOL”

RYAN ROBERTS–Arizona Diamondbacks

“It’s always different. At home I like to go to the pool with my daughter and hangout with the family cuz I don’t see them.”

ZACH BRITTON–Baltimore Orioles

“I like to hang out and maybe watch a movie.”

JEREMY GUTHRIE–Baltimore Orioles

“Depends where I am. But I love to explore a city on a bike more than anyone I know. Truly blessed to travel as much as we do.”

R.A. DICKEY–New York Mets

“Be with my family.”

DAVID HUFF–Cleveland Indians

“Catch up on my movies.”

BUD NORRIS–Houston Astros

“Relax with family and friends, golf, or sleep. LOL”

SAM LECURE–Cincinnati Reds

“Just kinda depends on where I’m at. Sometimes, nothing. We don’t get too many so I try to make sure not to screw it up.”

ANTHONY BASS–San Diego Padres

“Besides sleep, Call of Duty Black Ops for PS3.”

LATROY HAWKINS–Milwaukee Brewers

“Go home to see the family.”

JAKE ARRIETA–Baltimore Orioles

“Late breakfast, nap, bike ride.”

RICH THOMPSON–Los Angeles Angels

“Spend it with my family.”

SHAWN KELLEY–Seattle Mariners

“Family time.”

BRENT LILLIBRIDGE–Chicago White Sox

“Watch a movie and BBQ.”

MATT MALONEY–Cincinnati Reds

“Spend time with my wife and dogs.”

CESAR RAMOS–Tampa Bay Rays

“People watch at Starbucks.”

BRAD PENNY–Detroit Tigers

“Relax.”

DEXTER FOWLER–Colorado Rockies

“Sleep as long as I want.”

DAVID HERNANDEZ–Arizona Diamondbacks

 “Play Playstation and spend time with my family.”

ZACH DUKE–Arizona Diamondbacks

 “Depends on the weather.”

PAUL MAHOLM–Pittsburgh Pirates

“Play golf with lil guy and wife riding along.”

JASON GRILLI–Pittsburgh Pirates

“Just spend time with my family. Doesn’t matter what we do. QT is just good enough for me.”

YONDER ALONSO–Cincinnati Reds

“Movies and sleep.”

GIO GONZALEZ–Oakland Athletics

“I like to visit amusement parks when I have time.”

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Now that you see that I can in fact get MLB players to answer your question, I hope more people submit one for next Monday’s entry.

Leave a comment below with your question that you want to have answered by MLB players. After a few days I’ll select one of them to use for next time…..

Remembering September 11th, 2001

Bernie Williams, a member of the 2001 Yankees team, had this to say about his memories from September 11, 2001:

It’s hard to believe that it has been ten years since September 11, 2001. Like everyone, I remember exactly the events of that day as if it was yesterday. We were on a homestand, so I was at my home. We were going to play the Red Sox that night. I recall waking up that morning, stirring around, and turned on the TV, and when I saw the images on the screen, I guess I was still half asleep because I thought for a second it was a movie…and then I saw the LIVE in the corner of the screen and knew this was real..this was happening.

It was horrifying and surreal. I felt so helpless, and I did not know what to do. I felt this whole sense of panic… and then was wondering what is going to happen next…. are there bombs going to go off…are we all in danger?

We knew we were not going to be playing baseball for a while., The game, the season…all of that was the farthest thing from our minds. After a couple of days, when communication was restored, you got in touch with the team, your teammates, you continued to watch these horrific images on TV, and you just felt so heartbroken, angry, and helpless. What could we possibly do at a time like this?

Then we all began to realize that one of things we could do was to go down there, as a team, and show our support to those working around the clock in the rescue effort. We went to see all the volunteers, the police, firemen, doctors, nurses, rescue workers, all those searching through the rubble . We went to the firehouses, the hospitals, shelters…I remember they had the Javitz center set up as a command center where responders could go and clean up, get fed and rest before they went right back out. I felt good doing it but at the same time my heart was breaking for the families grieving and those waiting for news about their missing loved ones.

I remember so vividly that in the middle of all the chaos and misery, that when we arrived and announced that the Yankees are here – I saw everyone stop . You saw the change in their faces. They lit up and said, “Wow, they are here”, and for even a few minutes, we were able to bring a little joy, and be a distraction to those who were going through so much sadness. That is what we were able to do, and if it brought smiles to people’s faces, we would be there. Like the entire Yankee organization, the Mets were terrific and were doing the same. We were all united, and that became our duty and how we could contribute those first few days following the attack.

I have told this story before, but what will always be with me is that we went to visit the armory, which was being used as a center where people were going to find out about their family members who were missing, and if they were being identified. Family members were showing up with personal effects of their loved one, anything with their DNA so they could work to find a match. It was heart wrenching to see all this. Well, I saw this lady there, and she looked so sad. Icould see was suffering so badly, and soon she was introduced to me. I believe she had lost her husband. My first impression was that I have no idea what to say to her. I’m not a psychologist, so what do you say to someone like that, and only thing I can come up with was to say “ I really don’t know what to say to you, but I think you could really use a hug”. So I just hugged her. She began to cry, and I began to cry…and it was moments like that put this all in perspective.

Ten years later, I think we as a city, and all of us in this nation, have become more vigilant. It has changed our way of life forever, but I think it has made us more careful, more watchful, and we all look out for each other more than we used to. We have to be more mindful that there are bad people in this world who resent our freedom and way of life, and want to hurt us. Well, they learned that they can knock us down…but they also learned they will never knock us out. I am proud to be a New Yorker, and proud to be an American. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families, and every person who was impacted by the events of that day.

This Sunday, to commemorate the 10thanniversary of September 11th, I will be in Mt, Kisco, NY where a 9-11 Memorial will be dedicated in the center of town by the Fire Department. I am part of a band of local musicians, led by my friend and great sax player Mark Rivera. We will perform a concert in the fire house parking lot as part of the remembrance, and I am honored that I will be with my neighbors in the Westchester community on this most solemn day. We will get started at 4 pm. I hope all of you will be with family and friends on this day wherever you are, and together we can all pay tribute, in our own special way, to those who lost their lives, and be grateful to those who serve and protect us every day of our lives – here at home, and all over the world.

God Bless You All,

Bernie Williams

Everyone has a story like Bernie’s. You remember exactly where you were, and what you were doing when you heard of the tragic events that took place on that day. Thus it remains as one of the only days, if not the only day, from your life, that you can flashback to an exact date. You can close yours eyes and picture it. A nightmare of a picture, yet it’s one that you should put into a golden frame so that you never forget.

Although it is painful to remember back to September 11, 2001, it is something that is important to do, so that the heroes from that day are never forgotten. They musn’t be. For the heroes formed on that day were regular people, that were just doing their jobs.

“Remembering the past gives power to the present.”–Fae Myenne Ng

September 11, 2001. NEVER FORGET.

Q and A With Shawn Kelley

Today’s Q and A is on Shawn Kelley. Relief pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.

Though he’s only pitched in two games this season, he’s been effective in those 2.1 innings pitched. Giving up no hits.

Below’s Q and A is meant to inform you with what Shawn Kelley likes:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Country.”

2.) Favorite song.

“Jason Aldean.”

3.) Favorite food.

“Steak.”

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Dexter.”

5.) Favorite movie.

“The Shawshank Redemption.”

6.) Favorite book.

“The DaVinci Code.”

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Fish [or] golf.”

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Fall.”

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Golf, football and basketball. (Played all.)”

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Griffey.”

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Mizuno. (Contractually obligated.)”

12.) Favorite car.

“My Jeep Wrangler.”

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“History.”

14.) Favorite quote.

(1.) “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” (2.) “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Playing with Griffey.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Shawn Kelley of the Seattle Mariners.

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Big thanks to Shawn Kelley for answering my questions.

You can follow Shawn Kelley on twitter: @shawnkelley23 

The next Q and A entry will be posted Wednesday, September 14, on Casey Kelly, of the Padres Organization.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, David Huff, and Brandon McCarthy.

Your Questions Answered

I’m starting a new weekly entry series. Every Monday (starting this Monday) I’m going to post the answers to your *generic* questions to MLB players. There’s no guarantee as to how many players will answer, or which ones, but I’ll try to get as many to answer as possible.

So leave a comment with a generic question that you’d like to have answered by some MLB players. From the ones that are submited, I’ll choose one to get players to answer throughout the week, and then post the answers each Monday, and ask for new questions. And so on, and so forth.

Does this all make sense? If so, leave a comment with your questions. I *may* just choose yours…….

UPDATE

Considering the fact that Monday is just three days away, I’m going to go ahead use Delia’s question.

Maybe I’ll get more questions submissions next week.

Q and A With Brandon McCarthy

Today’s Q and A is on Brandon McCarthy. Starting Pitcher for the Oakland Athletics.

While this is Brandon’s first year with the Athletics, it’s also the best season of his six season career. Brandon has struck out 106 batters so far this season. (A career best.)

Below’s Q and A is meant to inform you with what Brandon McCarthy’s likes:

1.) Favorite type of music.

“Hard Rock mostly.” 

2.) Favorite song.

“Figure .09 (By Linkin Park.)” 

3.) Favorite food.

“Don’t have one. Maybe pot pies.” 

4.) Favorite T.V. show.

“Arrested Development, 30 Rock, [and] It’s always sunny in Philly.” 

5.) Favorite movie.

“Good Will Hunting.” 

6.) Favorite book.

“Lonesome Dove.” 

7.) Favorite thing to do in free time.

“Read [or] watch soccer.” 

8.) Favorite time of year.

“Fall, maybe? Don’t really know.” 

9.) Favorite sport, besides baseball.

“Soccer.” 

10.) Favorite player growing up.

“Frank Thomas.” 

11.) Favorite shoe brand.

“Under Armour. (And not just cause they pay me.)” 

12.) Favorite car.

“Don’t know to be honest.” 

13.) Favorite subject, when in school.

“History maybe? Not sure.” 

14.) Favorite quote.

“Worse things have happened to better people.” 

15.) Favorite moment of baseball career thus far.

“Being a part of a WS winning team.”

I hope this helped you to learn more about Brandon McCarthy of the Oakland Athletics.

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Big thanks to Brandon McCarthy for answering my questions.

You can follow Brandon McCarthy on twitter: @BMcCarthy32

The next Q and A entry will be posted Saturday, September 10, on Shawn Kelley, of the Seattle Mariners.

PAST Q AND A ENTRIES: Brent Lillibridge, Daniel Hudson, Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner, Jeremy Guthrie, Bryan Harper, Casper Wells, Bud Norris, and David Huff.

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