Saturday, June 20, 2009

This is one bullpen that absolutely blows (saves).

Just how many 7 run leads can one team blow in one season?

Greg Aquino boasts a WHIP of 1.75.

Kerry Wood (sulking above) blew his third save of the season and has a dominant 4.81 ERA.
(Editor note: I should update this to reflect Wood's fourth blown save - two in two days - and a new ERA of 5.47 after an outstanding line of 1/3 of an inning, 3 hits, 2 ER, and 1 wild pitch after Saturday's latest bullpen blowfest.)

Luis Vizcaino has walked more batters than has pitched innings.

Jensen Lewis is giving up a home run every 12.75 batters.

Joe Smith's ERA just crossed 6.

And perhaps the greatest gem of all is Rafael Perez as in 18 and 2/3 of an inning he has allowed 32 hits! The WHIP is over 2.4 and the ERA zoomed by 11!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where are they now? Sandlot style.

Inspired by a recent ABC Family showing of The Sandlot, I thought it would be fun to take a look at what became of the child actors that made up one of my favorite baseball movies growing up. And from what I saw of the airing, it's still a fun show. And it will be, for-ev-er!

1.) Scotty Smalls

The lead character who totally rocked a huge fishing hat, had zero baseball skills, and developed into the coolest kid in the neighborhood was played by Tom Guiry. Guiry continues acting having earned roles in The Black Donnellys, Kings, CSI Miami, and the vastly underrated U-571. I personally don't remember him in any of these. As such I remember him still as the little kid and have a hard time with the fact that he fathered a child at the age of eighteen.

2.) Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez

The skilled back yarder was pretty much the equivalent of a lifetime AAA player who made one good play in one game. I mean who wouldn't order a steal of home with the game on the line? Nonetheless, the actor was Mike Vitar who ceased acting four years after the Sandlot. He went on to appear in The Mighty Ducks 2 and 3 as well as a couple of cameos on NYPD Blue and Chicago Hope. The older, grown up Benny Rodriguez was played by Mike Vitar's older brother Pablo P. Vitar who did this movie and literally nothing else before passing in 2008. At least he got to steal home!

3.) Hamilton "Ham" Porter

The slick hitting catcher catapulted his childhood fame into a list of impressive Hollywood credentials. Patrick Renna bounced around TV for awhile getting in an episode of Home Improvement, ER and one of my personal all time favorite series Boy Meets World. Other highlights include X-Files, National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze, and Boston Legal.

4.) Michael "Squints" Palledorous

Chauncey Leopardi was one of the few child actors who had a few appearances under his belt before The Sandlot came around. Back before he was faking death for some sweet tongue action with the cute lifeguard, Leopardi made an appearance in Father of the Bride as well as L.A. Law. His two most notable resume builders since The Sandlot are nine episodes of Freaks and Geeks and five episodes of Gilmore Girls.

5.) Alan "Yeah Yeah" McClennan

Yeah Yeah is also known as Marty York. Marty did what all child actors did at the time and appeared on Boy Meets World but also added a Saved By the Bell appearance, too. He hasn't acted since 1997 but did recently make some low wave TMZ headlines by getting arrested for domestic battery in an incident with his on again off again girlfriend.

6.) Kenny DeNunez

Kenny was the pitcher for the sandlot duo, and was another Sandlot-er who had some success before the movie. Brandon Quintin Adams did some work with Michael Jackson for Moonwalker. He teamed up with Benny and became two sport superstars leading the Mighty Ducks to great local and international fame in the Mighty Duck movies. And yes you can check off a Boy Meets World appearance too. IMDB still calls him active in the movie business but doesn't have a credit since 2005.

7.) Bertram Grover Weeks

Grant Gelt
played Bertram, the glasses wearing background player who had a relatively quiet role in this character heavy hit. Grant went on to do the popular thing, Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World. His character in The Sandlot was teased to have gotten a little too involved in the 60s and no one ever heard from him again. He's done but one credited piece since 1995, and it appears that Grant disappeared much like Bertram (he's even barely visible on the movie poster cover).

8.) Wendy the Lifeguard

This dreamboat's other name is Marley Shelton. Shelton starred in such films as Pleasantville, Never Been Kissed, The Bachelor, and W. Shelton was scheduled to play Annabeth Schott in the West Wing but the role was moved on to Kristin Chenoweth for who knows why. Also, Shelton was #98 on Stuff's Magazine's Sexiest Women in the World. Squints thought the rating was low.

9.) Scotty's dad Bill

Dennis Leary has done lots since playing the tepid step-father with an affinity for the New York Yankees. He's played Tommy Gavin in 62 epsidoes of Rescue Me and is the voice of Diego in the upcoming Ice Age 3 mega-super-uber-huge blockbuster. Among others, credits include Loaded Weapon 1, Wag the Dog, A Bug's Life, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Recount. Interestingly enough, Leary is the cousin of new Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien and turned down the part Mark Wahlberg had in Oscar winning The Departed.

10.) Scotty's Mom

Karen Allen has a great many credits to her name my favorite of which is Marion Ravenwood of Indiana Jones fame. She also did Animal House, Scrooged, and The Perfect Storm among others. And yet her character had no name other than "Scotty's Mom" for The Sandlot.

11.) Mr. Mertle

James Earl Jones was the blind baseball talent that took care of the monster beast Hercules. Jones never amounted to anything after this movie and no one has ever heard of him. (171 credits).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How do unearned runs work?

Last evening, I had the honor and privilege of watching the 2009 Cleveland Indians in person for the first and probably last time this season. They visited the Metrodome with their irritatingly underachieving roster, and promptly added another player to the DL two batters into the game. A couple runners left on base in clutch situations and poor defense made for a one run loss that should have been a victory.

It was this poor defense that raises the inquiry in this post's subject line. For David Huff, the Cleveland starter, had a monstrous ERA (above 10) that I was hoping would improve for the young man as he had one of those one bad outings that distorts stats for a good month or so without revealing the progress he had made. In the Twins' half of the third, the Tribe's defense was particularly poor, leading to an error, and leading me to believe that Huff's ERA would go unblemished. Upon reading the box score once I got home, I see that he was charged for all the runs during his appearance. Is this a whoops by the official scorer or do I not understand how unearned runs work? I suppose I always thought that once an error occurred, all runs there following were unearned. Is this not the case? Someone smarter than me care to balance the intelligence?

Order of events:

With two outs, Alexi Casilla doubles.
Denard Span follows with an RBI single (1 ER)
Huff then uses a beautiful pick off move to confuse Span who breaks for second.
First baseman Martinez airs it out, missing the shortstop entirely and allowing Span to move all the way to third.
Joe Mauer, who hits everything, singled home Span (2 ER)

Now I first contest that Span should be credited with a stolen base when the pick off attempt clearly had him out. But my bigger contention is that with 2 outs, a throwing error extends the inning and the following run is earned. How does this work?

On the plus side, in my all Cleveland attire, I was only dropped with one f bomb at the Dome, a far cry from the countless instances of harassment when I wore Browns attire to a Metrodome contest. Baseball fans are in fact classier than football fans.