Archive for January, 2012

Morning News: A Prince, A “Real Man”, and Avoiding Arbitration

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Big News: The Prince has left the Central. He has reportedly agreed to a 9-year deal worth $214 million with Detroit. Because they need to make room for Prince, Miguel Cabrera is being moved somewhere else. Maybe Miguel should be moved to the opposite side of the field to balance the scales; together, Cabrera and Fielder weigh over 500 pounds. The clubhouse may have a larger buffet on game days to accommodate both appetites.

Prince will be playing in his father’s shadow at Comerica Park. Cecil Fielder played for 7 years in Detroit.

The Central has rid itself of the King and the Prince. This will be an interesting season.

Avoiding Arbitration: Tim Lincecum has managed to avoid arbitration with Giants. The two-time Cy Young winner and the club have verbally reached an agreement for a 2-year, 40.5 million dollar contract. That is a freakishly large sum of money for the little man. He’ll be a free agent again in 2013.

All-Star Game: Tony LaRussa (everybody’s favorite manager, right) is ending his baseball career where he began it – in Kansas City. He is the official manage the National League All Stars on July 10th. He’ll be only the second retired manager to manage an All Star Game, following the lead of John McGraw. Despite people’s general dislike for the man, he managed some pretty good ball teams in his 33 years as big league manager, winning 6 World Series titles. I wonder what he’ll do if the NL loses…

Brian Urlacher is a “Real Man”: Brian Urlacher is such a tough guy that he lies to the training staff about having concussion-like symptoms on the field. “… If I have a concussion these days, I’m going to say something happened to my toe or knee just to get my bearings for a few plays.” He just can’t bear to stay off the field and lose an opportunity to pummel a quarterback or smother a running back with his stellar defense. “We want to be on the field as much as we can be. If we can be out there, it may be stupid, it may be dumb, call me dumb and stupid then, because I want to be on the football field.” In order to stay on the field, he also gets pain relieving shots when he’s feeling old and rickety. At least he’s earning pay and playing like he means it. Maybe some other players should take notes from him (hint hint, Cutler).

Classic Rock Song of The Day:

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Morning News: Afternoon Edition, Part Deux

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Strike One:  The Dodgers are a step closer to being sold–or at least a half step.  Monday was the deadline for submitting bids on the team, but as this article points out, they’re still accepting bids.  So far, prospective owners include Joe Torre, Magic Johnson, Mark Cuban, the family of Roy Disney, and former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, and bunch of other businessmen and hedge fund managers with less name-recognition.  Now begins the slow process of vetting those bidders for MLB approval.  Selection of the winning bid is scheduled for April 1st, and the sale is to be completed by April 30th.

Strike Two:  Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas sat out the team’s visit to the White House Monday, and his absence has caused some controversy, at least with ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald.  Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski was much less worked up about Thomas’ decision, which he points out is in keeping with Thomas’ conservative political beliefs.  Thomas explained his decision in a statement on his Facebook page.  And just for fun, here’s my favorite moment from last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Foul Tip:  New Jersey governor Chris Christie said Monday that the friendly wagers politicians make over playoff games between their home teams are “really stupid.”  Indeed.

Strike Three:  It appears Peyton Manning knows he’s on his way out of Indianapolis.  At least he doesn’t sound optimistic that he’s going to stay through all the coaching and front office upheaval.  If he’s right, the story of the offseason will be the competition for his services.

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Useless Trivia: Cubs Hitting Streaks

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Today’s useless trivia revolves around hitting streaks. Since 1989, the first year I really followed the Cubs as an 11 year old, there have been 10 Cubs to amass a hitting streak of more than 15 games. Can you name them?


Jerome Walton

Derrek Lee

Alfonso Soriano

Mark Grace

Aramis Ramirez

Sammy Sosa

Rondell White

Ryne Sandberg

Marlon Byrd

Jose Vizcaino

View the streaks

No need to post your guesses in the comments since the answer is in the post, but I would like to know how many you guessed before looking at the answer.

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Morning News: Afternoon Edition

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Strike One:  Joe Paterno passed away over the weekend.  The final year of his coaching career saw him achieve the highest highs, becoming the winningest Division 1 coach in history, and sink to the lowest lows, as the Jerry Sandusky scandal engulfed the entire football program and led to Paterno’s eventual ouster–all in the space of a few short weeks.  While his on-the-field legacy is secure in most eyes, it remains to be seen if or how the forthcoming Sandusky trial further tarnishes the longtime coach’s personal legacy.  For some people his death may come as a relief, as he won’t face further humiliation and shame over his relationship with Sandusky.  For others–and especially Sandusky’s victims–his passing means they’ll never get answers to their questions concerning Paterno’s role in the apparent coverup.  His funeral is set for Wednesday.

Foul Tip Ball One:  The day before Paterno died, a Penn State student-run new organization called Onward State erroneously tweeted news of Paterno’s death.  The story was picked up by several national news outlets before it was recanted, and the editor of Onward State resigned over the mistake.  Less than a day later, Paterno was dead–for real this time.  I wonder if the editor regrets his knee-jerk resignation now?

Strike Two:  Are you ready for a rematch?  By now you know that the Patriots and Giants both won yesterday, and are now on a two-week, hype-loaded collision course for Super Bowl XLVI (46–I had to look it up).  Do you expect a dominant performance from Brady, Gronkowski, and Hernandez, or some more late-game heroics from Eli and the Giants defense?  Here’s John Clayton’s early breakdown of the game.  And in case you missed them, here are the highlights from yesterday’s Ravens-Patriots and Giants-49ers games.

Foul Tip:  Steven Tyler was asked to sing the National Anthem before the Ravens-Patriots game yesterday, apparently by someone who had never heard Steven Tyler sing before.  Here’s the video, along with some links to other famous train wreck versions.  Tyler’s version was not what you’d call good, but it could have been a lot worse.  Or funnier.

Strike Three:  Don’t shed any missed-it-by-that-much tears for longtime Ravens linebacker and human wrecking ball Ray Lewis–he’s not retiring yet.  However, another fixture of an East Coast powerhouse has decided to hang it up.  Jorge Posada plans to retire tomorrow as a Yankee, rather than continue his career somewhere else.

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Who Am I?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Who Am I? is a feature here at VFTB designed to give some of the focus back to those who make the site a success: YOU! We’ll tell you a bit about one of our regular commenters and you guess who it is. We’ll be back later in the day with the answer.

(Would you like to be included? Let me know at … the more the merrier!)

Who Am I?

  • Though I was born in Ohio, I was raised in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago. I now reside in Iowa. I’ve been to Wrigley Field many times and if the Cubs move out I am a fan no more.
  • I believe my love of the Cubs is a genetic disorder I inherited from my father. I’ve never played organized ball but I’m heavily involved with local Little League and USSSA teams. My favorite teams are whichever my kids are on!
  • I thought Hendry was a mediocre GM and don’t have an opinion about Theo yet.
  • I found VFTB through the ESPN link. I return because of the members and articles. I lurked a little bit but it’s not in my nature to bite my tongue for long.
  • When Norm and Jedi go to town I sit back and enjoy the show!
  • If I was to dine with Seymour I’d order seafood because my wife doesn’t like it and hence won’t cook it!
  • Last year I won the Dunn vs. Pena bet I offered to everyone! Muhahahahahaha!

Who Am I?

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