Baseball Toaster The Juice Blog
Monthly archives: May 2007


Please Explain: Danica Patrick
2007-05-29 10:35
by Scott Long

When I am asked where I’m from I usually reply that I’m a resident of the United States. This response is not because I’m some kind of Lee Greenwood-type lackey, but because I’m on the road so much with my stand-up comedy schedule. My legal residence is in the Indianapolis area, which has been the case since 1990.

I bring this background up because over the Memorial Day weekend every year, the largest sporting event in the world is held here. While I don’t have a hometown loyalty to the city, I have been to the Indy 500 a few times and recommend even to the biggest haters of car racing that they should attend it once in their lives. The sheer speed and volume of sound the cars produce cannot be understood, unless you are there to see it in person. Plus, it’s like visiting a huge white trash Mardi Gras or Jerry Springer without the fake scripts.

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Baseball Tonight Launches Newest Drinking Game Sensation
2007-05-26 10:17
by Scott Long

When ESPN went looking for a replacement for Harold Reynolds on Baseball Tonight they had a lot of choices to pick from. While Reynolds was by no means great, he did have a certain kind of telegenic charisma which is hard to find in a former jock. It would seem like ESPN decided the best way to fill his absence was to plug in a former MLB second baseman, with a likeable personality. Up popped Eric Young.

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Random Shite
2007-05-22 20:13
by Scott Long

The 35 inch Toshiba TV that I have had for over 15 years finally bit the dust last weekend, so I need to go out and buy a new boob tube. I have done a lot of research on the subject, but thought I would open up the floor here for more advice. Here are the basics you need to know to help me with my decision.

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Please Explain: Whoopi Goldberg
2007-05-19 08:09
by Scott Long

Name me an artist who has won a Oscar, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Tony, and a Grammy....and still is almost impossible for me to watch or listen to? If acting in 105 different TV and Movies roles wasn't amazing in itself, Whoopi Goldberg has also hosted the Oscar telecast 4 times. She has had a best-selling autobiography. Currently Goldberg hosts a morning talk show based in New York City and syndicated to 16 different markets.

I have got to tell you I just don't get it.

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Schizo Scott: Updates on Opie and Anthony and More
2007-05-17 09:43
by Scott Long

What I expected has happened in the radio biz, as major radio shows are being canned or at least supended. I was a guest on a morning show today where the hosts were telling me what I could and could not say. They knew me from past appearances or I'm guessing they wouldn't have even had me on. Well, guess what? It was the worst radio appearance I've ever done, as I was overthinking every premise so much, wondering if I should censor a word like breasts.

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AL Central Update: Return of PECOTA vs. SWOBODA:
2007-05-13 21:29
by Scott Long

With almost 25% of the season in the books, the AL Central is living up to its billing as the top division in baseball. Detroit and Cleveland have performed up to their pre-season touting, as they have been right behind Boston for the best team in MLB honors. I’m not surprised how they have started, but let me mention why I think these 2 teams will come back to the pack a bit over the next few months.

The 2006 Tigers were compared often to the 2005 White Sox. While I can see the reason for the comparison, the 2005 White Sox were a superior team. Here are the reasons why.


  1. Sox won 99 games. (Tigers won 95)
  2. Sox were AL Central champs. (Tigers were wildcard, game behind Twins.)
  3. Sox lost just one playoff game and swept the World Series. (Tigers lost to 83-79 Cards)

I do believe the 2007 Tigers are more similar to the 2006 White Sox, though. This season the Tigers' offense will be better than their previous year, much like what happened with the 2006.White Sox. I suspect this improvement will keep the Tigers in contention, but they will trail off in the second half, as their starting pitchers will show the wear and tear of last year's long season. (See the second half of 2006 White Sox starting pitchers for what I'm talking about.) Oh and losing Zamaya will hurt them as well, as I think their bullpen now rates behind the Twins and White Sox.

The Indians are the best team in the division and finally have showed the ability to actually win a few one-run games. What many are forgetting is that they have the worst closer in baseball and no one on the roster who looks to be able to the job much better. Considering the far superior bullpens their AL Central competitors possess, the Indians will go back to losing games at the end. (See today’s latest Borowski in Oakland). The brutal schedule that they have facing them the rest of the year because of the early season freeze-outs, will tax them their pitching staff even more. On paper they are the best team, but the Indians are playing an uphill schedule the rest of the year and unless they can find a competent closer, they are on shaky ground.

The Twins have really been scuffling around the past month, as allowing Sidney Ponson take the mound for 7 games potentially cost them a couple of wins they are going to need at the end of the year. While they have some great young arms in the minors, there is no one to plug in who will provide an automatic win, like Liriano did in 2006. The best the Twins will see out of Ramon Ortiz and Carlos Silva was what they have so far accomplished. SWOBODA sees them at the end of the season with an ERA more than a run higher than where they are at, currently. The Twins is the best in baseball, but unless Joe Mauer comes back and duplicates what he did in 2006, I think they will struggle to win 90.

Something strange is going on in Chicago, as US Cellular Field has been playing like PETCO. In the first 15 home games, there have been a total of only 111 runs scored. With Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik out of the lineup, the leading hitter for the White Sox has been Darin Erstad batting a robust .250. Take a look at three of their top hitters OPS plummet, with last season in parenthesis.

  • Paul Konerko OPS .626 (.932
  • Jermaine Dye OPS .656 (.1006)
  • Joe Crede OPS .552 (.882)

It is amazing that the White Sox could be the worst hitting team in baseball and still have a winning record. What in the name of PECOTA could be happening? The starting pitching has been sensational. Garland, Buerhle, Contreas, and Vasquez seem to provide a quality start almost every time they hit the mound. (The 4 of them have an ERA between 3.44 and 3.86.) Fifth starter John Danks seems to be Rangers GM Jon Daniels latest trading blunder, as he has a higher ceiling than Brandon McCarthy, who is poorly-equipped to deal with homer happy parks like US Cellular or Ameriquest Field.

No change here from the Juice Blog pre-season preview.

  1. White Sox
  2. Indians
  3. Tigers
  4. Twins

I think the top 3 will win close to 90, with the Twins trailing behind by a few games. The amount of close games will favor the best pitching staff, which I give the advantage to the White Sox. SWOBODA sees at least one more Tiger pitcher going down to injury, which they can't afford after losing Rogers and Zamaya. The wild card in the whole battle will be if the Indians can find a real closer.




George Carlin turns 70 Today
2007-05-12 14:41
by Scott Long

When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.

On this date in 1937, George Carlin was born in New York City. My thought on birthdays has always been there are about 15 interesting ones. I don't think adults should get too excited about the whole birthday concept. I really doubt someone as cynical as Carlin has a big party to celebrate adding another digit to his age. (Revised from earlier post.)

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The Most Cliched Rock Song of All-Time
2007-05-10 00:04
by Scott Long

It's confession time. As someone who reviews a lot of music here, I should mention that lyrics often take a backseat to the rest of the components of the song I'm listening to. Like most, I live a busy life and it takes a lot of extra work to absorb a Dylan-like piece of poetry. Most of the time what I want most from music is the mysterious thing that happens when a voice melds itself to instrument


Just to demonstrate how much I'm in it for the hook, there are times when Arena Rock is my choice. If you are unaware of what Arena Rock is, it is a type of music that ruled album-oriented radio (AOR) stations during the 70's and 80's. Bands like Journey, Boston, Foreigner, Styx, REO, etc. were the kings of Arena Rock, filling music venues across the country.

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Tough Kids, Sissy Kids, Even Kids with Chicken Pox...Love Steroids
2007-05-06 21:34
by Scott Long

When my partner was still here at the juiceblog, I tried to stay away from writing about alleged steroid users. Since Will was the biggest expert on the subject, me weighing in on steroids would have been like me going to this site to break down hairy homos. It was not difficult for me to ignore the steroid topic, since I have never felt too strongly against someone using them. Athletes are always looking for an edge. Considering there was no test for performance enhancing drugs, I had a pretty libertairian view on the subject. There was always one guy, though, that seemed more obvious than anyone to be a PED user.

Now if you think I'm talking about Barry Bonds, I'm not. Since most of the collective baseball world has focused their spite on him, I've never wanted to join that lynch mob. Yeah, I will buy that Bonds would never have broken Hank Aaron record without PED's. This still doesn't mean he wouldn't have ended up one of the greatest players of all-time. Who knows if Aaron ever breaks Ruth's homerun number or if Pete Rose knocks Cobb from the all-time hit king mantle, without popping greenies like they were Spree? As usual, put me in the cynic category.

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Best of Alt. Country, Americana, or Whatever You Like to Call It
2007-05-03 22:23
by Scott Long

For quite awhile now, I've been planning on doing my best of lists for different genres of music. Since I try to be as complete as I can, it takes me double digit hours to get it done. This has caused me to put it off. Well, finally I've finished my first one.

I chose as my first style to cover, as I figured being a more select genre, it would take less time. I was wrong. For my lists, I'm only making eligible what is in my MP.3 player. Since I'm a bit of a completist when it comes to collecting music I like, this covers a wide selection. Don't worry about me leaving too many deserving artists out.

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Please Explain: Bon Jovi
2007-05-02 22:07
by Scott Long

With American Idol having a Bon Jovi night this week, I thought it was a good time to explore the band's career. I've always tried to not be an elitist about music here, as I realize that people have all kinds of genres that they want to listen to. If it was 1990, I wouldn't be using the band as a Please Explain topic, as Bon Jovi was the quintessential American pop metal band of the 1980's.

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The Saga of Jon Stewart's Baseball Sitcom
2007-05-01 20:50
by Scott Long

I recently became aware of a sitcom produced by Jon Stewart that was turned down this year by Comedy Central. The show was titled "Three Strikes" and the pilot was put up on YouTube by the show's creators, Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, after they were told that the Comedy Central had red-lighted it.

Sitcom pilots are the hardest thing to write, as trying to explain a whole group of new characters to the audience, while trying to be funny at the same time is next to impossible. Considering this, I think "3 Strikes" is pretty funny. I mean any show that casts the brilliant Phil Hendrie as a bible-thumping, independent baseball league owner, has got me interested from the beginning. Check the episode out yourself, but I think "3 Strikes" is definitely more consistent than your typical Reno 911 and as I said, this was just the pilot.

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