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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Morosi: Fans go too far with Cano reaction

Umm, genius, it might work fine with David Wright, but what are you gonna do when the team’s only representative is an Elvis Andrus type, or a pitcher?

Royals fans were upset [AL Home Run Derby captain Robinson] Cano didn’t pick Billy Butler, the lone Kansas City All-Star, for the four-man American League derby team. They booed lustily when Cano was interviewed on the giant center-field scoreboard during batting practice… the boos grew louder — exponentially so — when Cano stepped to the plate for his first round. (And he was competing for the home team in this instance.) Earsplitting cheers followed each out for Cano — and my, how he made outs. Cano failed to hit a home run, going 0 for 10, and the people loved it. When Cano sauntered toward the dugout, the fans offered a rousing ovation more commonly associated with postseason walk-offs.

Of note, this wasn’t the first time an All-Star crowd booed the home league’s derby captain. It happened in Phoenix last year, when Diamondbacks fans jeered Prince Fielder for his failure to select hometown favorite Justin Upton…

Major League Baseball must institute a rule change whereby one player from the host team is obligated to appear, just to avoid this sort of nonsense in future years. One way to do that, while stimulating interest in the derby, would be to stipulate that a player from the host team is the captain. So, for example, David Wright would be the NL captain at Citi Field next year.

I’m not going to say the behavior of Royals fans was classless. That is too strong a word. However, it was needlessly tart and probably unwise.

Kansas City and the Royals have been wonderful All-Star Game hosts, with their Midwestern charm on full display. The week has been a terrific showcase for the city, which hadn’t hosted an MLB jewel event — All-Star Game or postseason series — in 27 years. It’s Kansas City’s chance to re-establish itself as a vibrant baseball city, a trial run for the October baseball that (we are told) could return as early as 2013.

So it was foolish for Royals fans to let any negativity seep into Kauffman Stadium — even if it was directed at a member of the loathed Yankees. A more discerning group of fans would realize the marketing power that accompanies an All-Star Game. Presumably, the Royals will want to compete for top-tier free agents as the team moves closer to legitimate contention. Why risk leaving a bad impression with any of the would-be free agents in attendance?

I’m not naïve enough to think that the response of fans to one player during a home run derby will be enough to sway a free agent’s decision. With very few exceptions, players sign with teams that offer the most money. But Royals fans who truly care about the team’s future shouldn’t have done anything that would make one player turn to another and say, “Man, what’s the deal with this?”

Opportunities for Kansas City to self-market to the larger baseball public — players, league and union executives, media — have been sparse over the past three decades. On Monday, an excessive display took a little luster away from what has been, and still is, a sensational week for the city.

The District Attorney Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:18 AM | 66 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game, home run derby, robinson cano, royals

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   1. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4178042)
Only baseball would need to be told "Hey, if there is a deserving home town player for this stupid little exhibition, pick him".
   2. Shock Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4178044)
It took some time to even figure out why they were booing. Talk about a local controversy.
   3. Tuque Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4178045)
This kind of cracks me up. I wish I hadn't forgotten the Home Run Derby was today.

Hopefully this will at least become an unwritten rule or tradition or something. In fact I think I'd prefer that to it being mandated by the Selig.
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4178048)
That was the best moment of the derby.
   5. esseff Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4178050)
Umm, genius, it might work fine with David Wright, but what are you gonna do when the team’s only representative is an Elvis Andrus type, or a pitcher?


Use a non-All-Star?
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4178052)
Booing a Yankee, for any reason, is never "going too far."
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4178053)
I think a better question is why they're having "captains" make the decisions on who to invite in the first place and why are these specific players made captains in the first place? Cano is a pretty odd choice considering that he has never even hit 30 HR in a season and while he is likely to eclipse that this year he still has a bunch of guys in front of him on the leaderboard.
   8. SuperGrover Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4178054)
If anyone screams home run power, it's Billy Butler!

Seriously, this is effing stupid. It's already ridiculous that someone like Billy Butler gets in the AS game; this just makes the fans look foolish.

MLB AS game; soon to be as irrelevant as the NFL Pro Bowl!
   9. SuperGrover Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:09 AM (#4178056)
I think a better question is why they're having "captains" make the decisions on who to invite in the first place and why are these specific players made captains in the first place? Cano is a pretty odd choice considering that he has never even hit 30 HR in a season and while he is likely to eclipse that this year he still has a bunch of guys in front of him on the leaderboard.


It's because he won it last season.
   10. mex4173 Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4178058)
Why would it leave a bad impression on potential free agents? In effect the fans are expressing loyalty to their player(s). Will it be needlessly tart and unwise when Billy Butler gets a bigger cheer tomorrow than Dan Uggla?
   11. MM1f Posted: July 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM (#4178068)
Seriously, this is effing stupid. It's already ridiculous that someone like Billy Butler gets in the AS game


Why is it ridiculous for Billy Butler to make an all-star game?

He is on a 30 HR pace this year and over the last 4 years he has averaged .301/.369/.476, good for a 129 OPS+. That ain't a Hall of Famer, but it is certainly good enough to make an all-star game. Oh, and he basically never misses a game.
   12. bjhanke Posted: July 10, 2012 at 04:56 AM (#4178070)
The version of this story that appeared in the STL newspaper adds a detail that, if true, makes the booing much less offensive. The version we got is that Cano, in blunt language, had promised the KC fans that he would use a Royal on the derby team. Then he didn't do it. That does make a difference. It's not a good idea, if you're a public figure, to promise something to any audience and then not follow through. What I do not know is whether the added STL detail is true. If not, then the essay is pretty much dead on. But if Cano did make a promise to the KC fans, then the essay is off-target. Which it is, I don't know. I never heard Cano promise anything, but then, I don't watch many Yankee games or much ESPN. - Brock Hanke
   13. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: July 10, 2012 at 05:58 AM (#4178077)
We need a Congressional committee to investigate this matter!
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 10, 2012 at 06:55 AM (#4178086)
Want to solve the problem? Have a rule that whatever team hosts next year's All Star Game must acquire Vicente Padilla. Then, mandate Padilla pitch in next year's Home Run Derby.
   15. Lassus Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:02 AM (#4178088)
If you find this kind of booing more terrible than booing a player for being terrible then you are a terrible human who deserves to be booed.

I'm serious.
   16. Dan Hirsch Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:10 AM (#4178092)
I think the reason behind having captains is that a player is more likely to turn down an invite from Selig/MLB than he would if he were invited by Kemp/Cano. I'm all for this if it is the case, so we don't have someone like Brandon Inge in the derby.

I also agree that KC vs Cano was the most entertaining part of the derby.
   17. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4178094)
If you find this kind of booing more terrible than booing a player for being terrible then you are a terrible human who deserves to be booed.
I find booing a player who is terrible to be terrible and what's more I find it more terrible than you find it, therefore you are terrible.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Lassus, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
   18. Lassus Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:24 AM (#4178095)
   19. I Am Not a Number Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4178101)
the boos grew louder — exponentially so

When people say exponentially, they almost never mean exponentially.
   20. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: July 10, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4178113)
Booing a Yankee, for any reason, is never "going too far."

True that, my brother.
   21. Repoz Posted: July 10, 2012 at 08:43 AM (#4178119)
I wonder if every single time Billy (OPS+121) Butler comes to the plate, KC announcers say "He's one of the best hitters in baseball...if not the best"...like they do with Robbie (OPS+121) Cano.
   22. SandyRiver Posted: July 10, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4178125)
It's because he won it last season.

Bigger question might be why Cano was picked for 2011. He'd never hit 30, and though he was hot that April, his May-June total was only 6 dingers. Papi must've known something, as his team annihilated the NL 76-19.
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 10, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4178127)
Is this the first year of this "captains choose the team" thing?

I suppose it's part of the "This Time It Counts" campaign. This time the Home Run Derby actually has an impact on the players' interpersonal dynamics!
   24. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: July 10, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4178130)
When people say exponentially, they almost never mean exponentially.


That literally makes my blood boil with rage.
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4178133)
Is there a single living person who actually cares about the Home Run Derby?
   26. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4178135)
Kansas City and the Royals have been wonderful All-Star Game hosts, with their Midwestern charm on full display.


Heh. "Midwestern charm." Funny.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4178140)
Is there a single living person who actually cares about the Home Run Derby?


Yes. I watched it last night, and in spite of Chris Berman, it was fun.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4178155)
I guess when it is classy to boo is in the appendix of the Unwritten Rules of Baseball.

Presumably, the Royals will want to compete for top-tier free agents as the team moves closer to legitimate contention.


HAHAHAHA. You realize who our owner is, right?

But Royals fans who truly care about the team’s future shouldn’t have done anything that would make one player turn to another and say, “Man, what’s the deal with this?”


Yea, what's the deal with these fans supporting their own player and booing opposing players? What an awful playing environment! I hope this doesn't hurt us like it hurt Phoenix when they booed Prince Fielder! Players are already expressing their outrage over the KC fans.


And by the way, Cano’s AL team won in a landslide.


Well burn. Because that is what people are dying to see in the home run derby - who wins, the American League or the National League.

But if Cano did make a promise to the KC fans, then the essay is off-target. Which it is, I don't know. I never heard Cano promise anything, but then, I don't watch many Yankee games or much ESPN.


Cano promising to pick a Royals player.

The weird thing is, a KC reporter asked him about this yesterday and he just didn't really have an answer why he didn't pick one. I guess he just plum forgot he made that promise. Sounds like he had never met Billy Butler, where he either knew or knew someone that knew the other guys on the HR Derby Team.
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4178175)
Is this the first year of this "captains choose the team" thing?


It goes back to at least when Prince Fielder picked his clearly undeserving teammate Rickie Weeks.
   30. villageidiom Posted: July 10, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4178183)
Major League Baseball must institute a rule change whereby one player from the host team is obligated to appear, just to avoid this sort of nonsense in future years.
No. They need to tell team captains, "You don't have to do anything special to please the fans in the host city. But definitely don't do anything to piss them off. Remember Cano? He promised the folks in KC he'd choose a Royal hitter for the derby if one were selected for the all-star game, and then he reneged on that promise."
Bigger question might be why Cano was picked for 2011. He'd never hit 30, and though he was hot that April, his May-June total was only 6 dingers. Papi must've known something, as his team annihilated the NL 76-19.
He'd picked Cano because he'd known of Cano's batting practice HR prowess. He picked Adrian Gonzalez for the same reason.
I also agree that KC vs Cano was the most entertaining part of the derby.
Agreed. George Brett was probably the second most entertaining part. Third most entertaining was Trumbo. Trumbo knows baseball.
   31. Shredder Posted: July 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4178190)
I like the idea of captains, but instead of choosing a hitter to be a captain, which then forces him into the competition, choose pitchers to be captains, and let them select the hitters. For example, if Jered Weaver were a captain, he could have really gotten a ton of insight from Ervin Santana and Dan Haren (36 HR allowed between them) on who to pick for this year.

As it turned out, Cano actually did a really good job picking the team. And even under the old system, he probably still would have been in the competition since he won last year. But he did have the winner, the runner up, and the guy who arguably hit the most impressive bombs of the evening. And really, going 0-10 was just about the best thing he could have done for the fans last night anyway.

   32. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4178270)
"Losers boo winner." Wotta scoop!
   33. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4178273)
Cano being a winner is entirely due to luck on his part, not any of his skills.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4178319)
Not all players can handle the intense fan and media scrutiny of Kansas City. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Cano is probably better off sticking to sleepy towns like New York.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4178328)
I thought that it was the highlight of the night.
   36. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4178349)
That does make a difference.


Yeah, agreed. Changes it from classless to merely catty. At the same time, it's dumb to expect the home team to have a certified spot on a 4 man HR Derby team.

I thought that it was the highlight of the night.


No way, the highlight of the night was a tie between George Brett being awesome and Mark Trumbo's bomb that landed on the roof of the stadium and missed literally going out of the park by about 5 feet.

Cano being a winner is entirely due to luck on his part, not any of his skills.


Dude had 32 HR when he won. 12 in the final round. That second total ties the most ever hit in the finals. Unless you're referring to something else, he won the HR Derby with skill.
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4178354)
Yeah, agreed. Changes it from classless to merely catty.


When is booing not being catty?
   38. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4178371)
I guess when it is classy to boo is in the appendix of the Unwritten Rules of Baseball.
It is almost without exception never "classy" to boo. When it is or isn't appropriate is a matter of debate, but classy ain't got nothing to do with it.
   39. Mike Webber Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4178373)
It was a lot of fun booing Cano last night. I wish you could have seen the laughter and smiles of the people in my section. It was just funny, and when he kept just barely missing getting the ball out it just got more hilarious.
   40. Mike Webber Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4178379)
Oh, and I lost a buck, because I was betting a dollar per home run difference, and I had Cano and my friend had Kemp. I won four on Joey Bats against Beltran, lost two bucks on the kids hitting homers while ESPN was at commercial. I also won a buck at 12 to 1 on Fielder in the final - after he put up his total.
   41. Mike Webber Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4178390)
If you click on the link, and look at the picture, notice how happy those people are. Those people aren't angry, they are having a good time. The caption says "Fans cheer as Robinson Cano is shut out in the All-Star Home Run Derby. "
   42. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4178400)
When people say exponentially, they almost never mean exponentially.

That literally makes my blood boil with rage.


I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!
   43. Bob Tufts Posted: July 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4178403)
Was Ron Burgundy there to remind the people to "stay classy, Kansas City"?

   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4178417)
Dude had 32 HR when he won. 12 in the final round. That second total ties the most ever hit in the finals. Unless you're referring to something else, he won the HR Derby with skill.

I was referring to something else, Yankee Redneck specifically.
   45. Bob Tufts Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4178423)
"Kansas City fans really seem to care - about what I have no idea."
   46. rconn23 Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4178424)
"Cano being a winner is entirely due to luck on his part, not any of his skills."


What? As referenced above, he put on an absolute laser show last year. As for "skills", he's also one of the best players in baseball.

So, there's that.
   47. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4178427)
Cano should have chosen Steve Balboni.
   48. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 10, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4178485)

I wonder if every single time Billy (OPS+121) Butler comes to the plate, KC announcers say "He's one of the best hitters in baseball...if not the best"...like they do with Robbie (OPS+121) Cano.



This is kind of dumb:

Last three years, Cano: 141, 132, 151.
Butler: 134, 125, 131.

Butler is very very good, and it's close, but there's a difference.
   49. Bob Tufts Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4178520)
When did they change the name of the event to "The OPS+ Contest"?
   50. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 10, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4178542)
When did they change the name of the event to "The OPS+ Contest"?
Should have been obvious from the new tagline:

This Time It Counts 2 Things that Shouldn't Really be Added Together and Are Then Adjusted According to Park and League Factors.
   51. Loren F. Posted: July 10, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4178662)
When they change it to the dWAR Derby, this place is just going to explode.
   52. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 10, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4179030)
Cano being a winner is entirely due to luck on his part, not any of his skills.


That's loser talk.
   53. SuperGrover Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4179833)
Why is it ridiculous for Billy Butler to make an all-star game?

He is on a 30 HR pace this year and over the last 4 years he has averaged .301/.369/.476, good for a 129 OPS+. That ain't a Hall of Famer, but it is certainly good enough to make an all-star game. Oh, and he basically never misses a game.


He's also a DH, making his OPS+ not nearly as impressive. Butler is a fine player and may continue to grow into a true All-star, but he isn't making this game without the team requirement. The fact that Butler made it and Pujols did not is a joke.

Not that it matters to anyone. Like I said, the MLB AS game is as irrelevant as any other these days.

   54. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:43 AM (#4179841)
Last three years, Cano: 141, 132, 151.
Butler: 134, 125, 131.

Butler is very very good, and it's close, but there's a difference.


Cano is so good! I love him.
   55. MM1f Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4179843)
The fact that Butler made it and Pujols did not is a joke.


Butler has a better batting average, OBP, slugging, and OPS+ than Pujols, and he has more home runs. Pujols is a good first baseman and Butler is a DH, but minor defensive differences have never been a consideration when selecting guys for all-star games.
   56. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: July 11, 2012 at 08:04 AM (#4179875)
Having the game in KC was kinda stupid in the first place. Attendance is terrible, and has been for 20 years. Putting the ASG there is bad business.

Apparently, the KC fans gave Cano's family a hard time, too. There are jerks everywhere but at least the jerks elsewhere come out in big numbers to support their teams.
   57. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4179906)

Having the game in KC was kinda stupid in the first place. Attendance is terrible, and has been for 20 years. Putting the ASG there is bad business.


I don't know if you've noticed, but the team has kinda stunk for twenty years. Would you pay to see those teams?

They actually smashed attendance records for the Futures Game/Celeb Game, and sold out the HR Derby and ASG too. They had a record turnout for the 5k and the Fanfest had terrific attendance all weekend. It makes a lot of sense too because there isn't a lot else going on in KC. We tend to make a big deal about things like this.

Apparently, the KC fans gave Cano's family a hard time, too. There are jerks everywhere but at least the jerks elsewhere come out in big numbers to support their teams.


From what I heard it was a couple of people in the bathroom. It is stupid if true, but I'm sure we're not the only fanbase to have a couple bad apples give a player's family a hard time.

Go sell your bitter somewhere else.
   58. NJ in DC Posted: July 11, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4179910)
I wonder if every single time Billy (OPS+121) Butler comes to the plate, KC announcers say "He's one of the best hitters in baseball...if not the best"...like they do with Robbie (OPS+121) Cano.

This is really silly. Taking a cursory glance at projections, there's 4 guys you can say are CLEARLY better hitters than Cano: Votto, Bautista, Cabrera, and Braun. I think that's sufficient to consider him one of the best hitters in baseball. YMMV.
   59. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: July 11, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4180391)
I don't know if you've noticed, but the team has kinda stunk for twenty years. Would you pay to see those teams?
I would pay to see other teams that visit my hometown park. I would also pay to see my team because I enjoy baseball and watching players develop.

Speaking of player development, the Royals, like other teams, seem to have a relative inability to develop black ballplayers? Is Tom Gordon the last black prospect to come up and succeed in MLB? He came up 24 years ago. I must be missing someone.
   60. SoSH U at work Posted: July 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4180405)
Is Tom Gordon the last black prospect to come up and succeed in MLB? He came up 24 years ago. I must be missing someone.


Brian McRae was two years later, for what it's worth.

One of the Royals' problems has been an inability to develop anyone who succeeded in MLB, hue be damned. Since Gordon, the list of truly successful KC products isn't a long one - Damon, Sweeney, Beltran, a few pitchers and a few of the kids there now.
   61. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4180433)
Speaking of player development, the Royals, like other teams, seem to have a relative inability to develop black ballplayers?


Yes.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: July 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4180440)
Ken Harvey made the All-Star team!
   63. Shredder Posted: July 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4180447)
Is Tom Gordon the last black prospect to come up and succeed in MLB? He came up 24 years ago. I must be missing someone.
Jermaine Dye? I guess he was "developed" by the Braves, but he was in the majors as a Royal by 23.
   64. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4180496)
Managers may lean toward selecting only pitchers from the host team in the future if they don't have an elected starter/reserve, just to avoid this type of situation. Not a huge deal either way.
   65. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 11, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4180528)

Managers may lean toward selecting only pitchers from the host team in the future if they don't have an elected starter/reserve, just to avoid this type of situation. Not a huge deal either way.


Unless the home run derby captain happens to be on the same team as the manager, I doubt they'll care that much. And, as far as I know, there's no rule the derby participant must be on the All-Star team.
   66. nick swisher hygiene Posted: July 11, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4180557)
58--yeah, 97% of what Repoz posts about the Yankees is 100% horseshit, but he's such a beloved figure that nobody ever calls him on it......

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