Our own “Hat Steve” Action, tepid reporter, has been delivering the goods to us from the floor of the Winter Meetings where he has been hiding among the nutcracker army in the grand floor display at the Convention Center. His missives are heavily encoded and delivered by carrier salmon, so we tend to receive most information long after it is old news, but at the same time, we sent his notice of termination in identical fashion, so at least it’s free labor.
As you know, last week, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Wild Card Game victory over the Baltimore Orioles was punctuated by a home fan hurling a can of beer at Orioles’ outfielder Hyun Soo Kim, recalling for many a similar incident in last year’s playoffs, in which likeminded characters threw garbage and other items onto the field in a heated moment, culminating in a baby in attendance being doused with beer. The baby was then itself tossed onto the field, because as it turns out, they may not, per Harold Reynolds, be able to catch, but Blue Jays fans are only too thrilled to throw objects at baseball games.
As part of its continuing effort to eliminate from the game the crowd-displeasing macula of players using performance-altering materials, MLB has added several more items to the catalogue, the possession or evidence of use of which (the substances, not the catalogue, though they frankly aren’t too keen on that getting around, either) by players shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including serious paddling. They are: Continue reading
This just in! We here at BNI, employing tactics we in the reporting industry like to call “getting the scoop,” perhaps known in other circles as “committing multiple felonies” or even “falling under the purview of federal RICO statutes,” bring as an exclusive to you our let’s say adoring readership the notice that MLB plans, for this very season, to enact a significant restructuring of the postseason format.
There have, of course, accumulated over the years some complaints as to the unjust nature of short series, wherein the regular season’s most successful club is not necessarily rewarded with the crown. At the same time, the system as it is ensures that there will be some measure of tension and excitement down to the last weeks of the regular season (usually) and through all the fall games.
In recognition of the relentless, inescapable marketing success that is the 2016 US presidential election campaign — its heaving, swampy, and frankly hopeless depths sucking in the attention and will of nations around the globe — and furthermore of the incorruptible, universally-pleasing nature of the MLB All-Star selection process, as well as of the masterstroke opiate that is the illusion of participation, the national pastime will be shifting to a vote-based playoff.
Sunday’s undercard action saw a bit of a rumble swirl into shape around the antics of Rougned Odor Major and José Bautista, of Texas and Toronto disrespectfully, lending a prophetic tone to the late-14th-Century Indo-Silesian Saxon Creole verse that begins:
Rouge pouncht Jo-bats
He pot him en dee nozz
Sash swings as lik tu graunders mache, but what a baut it waz
More than this it reminds us that yet unextinguished remain the flames of the Texicanadian War of 1830, a proxy conflict between the British Empire and Mexico, fought principally in and around Omaha and which spawned a chain of gas stations that dot the US to this day. While some fret that the TEX-TOR brouhaha is another incidence of the sporadic violence that attends the ancient disquiet betwixt Canada and Mexico, in which only the muscles of America maintain the peace, this is a baseless worry, as Tex-Mex relations have been frosty since the introduction of the jalapeño milkshake. Continue reading
We continue this week’s trend of day-draining, word-raining posts with the following items:
- Florida Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has received a suspension for violating MLB’s Do Not Get Caught Using PEDs policy, perhaps casting a cloud of suspicion over his batting-title-winning 2015. But can we blame him? After a 2014 in which he threw 387.2 Innings for his last place team, how else could he recover?
- A.J. “Iago’s Balls” Pierzynski gathered his 2,000th career hit and then fell over. He plays for the Atlanta Braves right now, which we note in case you weren’t sure who would save a roster spot for him.
- The factors of angle and rotation attending Jose Bautista’s latest bat-flip created a space-time vortex enabling the slugger to temporarily travel to the past where he discovered that back in those days, a lot of people were actually self-aggrandizing blowhards who never received their comeuppance.
As we complete the first ten days of the 2016 season, know that the fine folks at BNI have scoured the lowest bilge troughs to turn up items of interest that you might not have discovered in more main-stream venues, providing a quick glimpse of affairs both behind-the-scenes and, as our efforts are abetted by our cosmic view, not yet come to pass.
- Several major baseball writing sites have had their offices stormed by Orioles fans, furious at a perceived “lack of respect,” after said sites suggested that Baltimore would not finish the season 162-0.
- In the thick of the playoff race, the laptop holding the division records will be dropped, jumbling the numbers of all teams in the AL East, who will thereafter be required to take turns blindly drawing wins and losses from a bucket (in lieu of a hat, which no one will have on hand) in order to determine the standings.
As some of you slaver lasciviously over the supple, young prospects struggling under the southern sun and in anticipation of the summer of action to come, we take this pre-season moment to remind you that, despite efforts to effect the contrary, the balance of the globe continues to be populated, and moreover that some among that populace engage in baseball. Yes, Banknotoriate, there is baseball that matters — less than the MLB season but more than the Grapetus League — being played in the world this very week, and I refer not to the current sporto-political maneuverings to seed the Cuban fields for the march of progress, their first taste of the suzerainty to come — ah, I can smell the maquiladoras now! — when the last Castro is pulled from the mortal game. Nay! We write instead of the Qualifying Rounds of the 2017 World Baseball Classic and assorted contests.
Around this time of year, experts in the baseball world, such as ourselves here at BNI, as well as a host of amateurs less gifted in the field of divine visions, will venture to propose items as from the future the truth of which they assure, even prior to the discussed moments’ realizations. These predictions, if you will, are oft of a nature brazen, forward, in some rustic parts bodacious. What follows are no such auguries. Instead, they shall be bald — not to suggest that they pertain to hairlessness, but instead to the broader sense of the negative hypothesis: that which is not. I give you what is bare.
64-year-old Major League Baseball Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage, an iconic member of the 1970s New York Yankees, caught an immense amount of scrutiny across the sports world for an expletive-laden rant criticizing baseball’s stars and analytical approaches.
The rant, which was recorded by onlookers and has since gone viral, stems from an altercation Gossage had at a Colorado Springs Burger King.
Taylor Clay, 19, was taking Gossage’s order as he would any other customer.
“He was very polite at first,” Clay recalled. “I took his order, told him the cost, and asked him to pull up to the first window. Nothing out of the ordinary.”
That was until Clay asked Gossage to pull forward, a standard practice at fast food restaurants when the line grows longer at peak hours.
“I asked him if he didn’t mind pulling forward, and he was silent. I said, ‘Sir?’ a second time, and that’s when he lost it.”