Baseball Toaster The Juice Blog
Monthly archives: June 2007


Who Do You Give Your Loyalty: The Team or Its Players?
2007-06-30 23:01
by Scott Long

As I've mentioned here before, I didn't start rooting for the White Sox until I fell in love with a girl in college who was a big fan of the Pale Hose. Before this point I had been a die-hard Tigers fan, but I became intoxicated in my love for the girl (who is my wife), plus I developed a man-crush on a young hitter at the time, Frank Thomas.

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Please Explain: Larry King
2007-06-28 22:33
by Scott Long

I've been writing these Please Explain pieces for awhile and it dawned on me when I was doing research for today's topic that my concept could be compared to Jumping the Shark. So let me explain what makes them different. The definition of Jump the Shark is the following.

It's a defining moment when you know that your television program has reached its peak. That instant when you know from now on, it's all downhill.

The closest I've come to merging the two concepts is Larry King. During the 1980's, King hosted a great late-night radio show syndicated by Mutual broadcasting across the country. Just like the CNN television show that followed, King interviewed the major figures in the news. From politicians to those in the entertainment world, his radio and television show were the one place where thoughtful interviews would consistently happen on a nightly basis.

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When Baseball Season Ends in June
2007-06-26 07:21
by Scott Long

Yankee fans that check in here can take quit reading, as this piece doesn't relate to you. As a White Sox fan, I've been spoiled over the past couple of decades. Since 1990, the Sox have won at least 80 games every year, except for 1994 and 1995 (both strike-shortened) and 1999. It seems like new territory here, because I can't remember a year where the team wasn't still fighting it out for the divisional race in September.

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Is Dennis Miller America's Top Douchebag?
2007-06-18 22:43
by Scott Long

Here is my favorite brush with greatness story. During my first year of doing standup comedy, a friend of mine was booked to open for Dennis Miller. My friend knew what a huge fan I was of Miller, so he asked if I wanted to go to the show with him. My friend added that he would introduce me to him after the show. Now I'm not the type generally to get starstruck, but this was one of the 10 people I most would have wanted to meet on the planet, so I gladly took the invitation.

After the show ended, I went back to the dressing room. Since it was a theatre show, it was a good sized room, with about 10 people mulling around in it. Papa John's pizza boxes were on one table and Dennis was sitting at the other table. A few radio contest winners for the show were in line to get an autograph from Miller. I stepped behind them at the end of the line. I'm not an autograph guy, but I did want to mention to Miller how much I admired his work.

So the last person in front of me is done. I step up to Dennis. Without even looking up he says "Do you have something you want me to sign?"

I offered up, "I just wanted to tell you how much I love your act. I'm a young comic and you, Carlin, Kinison, and Bill Hicks are the reason I wanted to be a comic."

Without skipping a beat, he offers a quick, "OK", then lifts his head up looking completely past me and yells over "hey, save me some of that fuckin' pizza."

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PECOTA Was Very Right and Very Wrong about the 2007 White Sox
2007-06-16 22:50
by Scott Long

For the past few years I've been hammering Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA system, in regards to how off it's been about the Chicago White Sox. 2007 is shaping up like the overall record PECOTA predicted could be pretty close. I was much more optimistic in my thinking and while it still is pretty early in the season, it would appear like I'm going to have to eat some crow on the White Sox. (Most of my other predictions are looking pretty good, though.)

Nate Silver wrote an interesting piece a couple of days back, discussing how the White Sox in 2008 could bounce back, if they make a few key acquisitions. As bad as the offense has been, it's the bullpen that has the White Sox below .500, so I'm doubtful that keeping the status quo there will work in some type of 2008 overall team resurgence.

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Schizo Scott on Last Comic Standing and More
2007-06-15 21:06
by Scott Long

It's that time of the year when people ask me questions about my profession, since Last Comic Standing is making its annual summer appearance. Last year I made it to the finals of the Chicago competition. Overall, I consider my whole LCS experience as a positive one. Here are a few more thoughts of mine about the show.

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Please Explain: The NBA
2007-06-13 22:54
by Scott Long

Despite the topic seeming a bit too obvious for me to want to tackle, I just can’t ignore the NBA. A little background check on me would enable you to discover that professional basketball used to be my favorite sport. During the 1980’s, the NBA was the most exciting, well-played team sport in the world. While the Lakers and Celtics were dynasties, there were other great teams, as well. The 76ers during the early 80’s were the most exciting team I’ve ever seen, while the Pistons of the late 80’s were the toughest. To give you an idea of how good the top teams were in the league during this decade, the Milwaukee Bucks won the Central Division every season between 1980 and 1987, but not once played in the Finals.

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Even Steve Perry Has Stopped Believin' in the White Sox
2007-06-08 23:50
by Scott Long

In another example of how fast a baseball team can fall-apart, the White Sox and Astros are facing each other in inner-league play this weekend. These 2 squads have went from playing each other in the 2005 World Series to appearing like Central division also-rans.

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2007-06-06 22:53
by Scott Long

(Below is an essay I wrote in 2001.)

So I'm riffing through my mail the other day when I come to the Valpak coupons envelope. All the usual suspects were there. Hair salons, deck builders, tanning salons, and fast-food advertisements filling the blue envelope. One of the flyers did catch my eye, though, as it advertised a church. What a great concept. The House of the Holy as Junk Mail! See the Lord's work, right next to the coupons for Little Caesars. Pizza, Pizza. Jesus, Jesus. (Authors Note: This joke worked back in 2002.)

I guess the church industry is like any other business, as you have to keep them coming through the doors. It just seems like some things are sacred and having religious institutions being promoted next to home siding companies is something that strikes me as a bit odd. I guess there is a lot of competition in the God biz, so you have to reach them anyway you can. I just wonder what is next?

(Church salesman trying to close the deal.)

Let's cut to the chase. What do I need to do today to get you to join this church? Now before you answer, let me mention that at our house of worship, we have communion every week, not just once a month. During the communion we offer a choice of a merlot or a chablis. Who says just because it signifies the blood of Christ that it can't be delicious? During the body of Christ part, we serve Chicken in a Biscuit, instead of the flavorless wafers that many of our competitors offer. We are non-denominational, so we deliver a customized service. For example, if you are Catholic, we have a Priest on staff. Between the hours of 4 to 6 pm on Fridays, Father Murphy offers 2-for-1 absolution of sins. We call this God's Happy Hour. It's very popular with the busy Christian.

Specific to the flyer I received in the mail, the church promised a more contemporary way of worshipping Christ. Considering that it had been over 20 years since I had set foot in one, I thought a more modern approach to Christianity sounded worth checking out. Add to this that it was less than a mile away and I figured I could give it a chance. Let me add that this was no small sacrifice, as the Sunday I chose was the start of the NFL season. I have spent most of my life following the mantra that Steve Martin offered in one of his monologues which was "I believe in going to church every Sunday, unless there is a game on."

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Please Explain: Dr Pepper and his twin, Mr Pibb
2007-06-04 08:29
by Scott Long

Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too? Nope. One of the bigger mysteries to me is why so many cans of Dr Pepper are sold. I can understand drinking it occasionally, but how it's the 6th biggest selling soft drink in the US is beyond me.

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Freaky Stat of the Year?
2007-06-03 20:12
by Scott Long

If you are curious why the White Sox have lost 7 of their last 8 games, this might be part of the problem. Until A.J. Pierzynski doubled in the 9th innning today, Chicago hitters had went 61 straight at bats without getting a hit against their oppositions bullpen. This is not a misprint. Let me repeat. 61 official at bats without reaching base against a reliever. Let me repeat. This is not a misprint.

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Best Pitching Match-up of the Week: Halladay versus Buerhle
2007-06-01 12:32
by Scott Long

Two of the best pitchers over the past 5 seasons met up Thursday night. In a game that took only 1:50, Roy Halladay threw 7 shutout innings to beat the White Sox, 2-0. Mark Buerhle got the loss, despite throwing a 2-hit complete game, as both hits off him were homeruns. Between the 2 starting pitchers, the overall line shows 16 IP, 8 hits, 2 ER, 13 K, and NO WALKS.

Their overall career stats are very similar. Halladay won his 100th game last night, denying Buerhle from winning his 100th game. Halladay career ERA is 3.63 and WHIP is 1.23. Buerhle career ERA is 3.83 and WHIP is 1.25.

During a conversation with Will Carroll, we were trying to figure out what Mark Buerhle will make on the open market. It will depend much on what Buerhle wants to do, as he has made it no secret he wants to play for his boyhood favorite Cardinals. While few doubt he will give St. Louis a hometown discount, it is questionable how much the Cardinals have in the budget to sign him. Ken Rosenthal discussed his impending free agency, after Buerhle had thrown his no-hitter in April.

Considering the current market for starting pitching, an innings eater like Buerhle will make around $15 million per year. Buerhle is the closest thing to Tom Glavine in an under 30 year-old pitcher. His durability gives him the right to ask for a 6 year deal. I don't see the White Sox offering longer than 4, so expect Buerhle to be on the open market.


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