Time for me to move on …

I’m honored to be the first "fan" blog here on mlb.com, and I hoped I’ve entertained you over these past two years.

An opportunity has come up for me to join a great group of baseball bloggers at a site called Baseball Toaster.
As they succinctly state: "Baseball Toaster is a collection of blogs by a group of friends who love baseball and enjoy writing about it."

Their roster of bloggers includes authors/columnists like Alex Belth, Cliff Corcoran, Jon Weisman, Bob Timmermann, Mark T.R. Donohue, Josh Wilker, Philip Michaels, Ken Arneson, Scott Long and Phil Bencomo.

I’m specifically joining a blog called Humbug Journal, which is run by Ken Arneson and features quirky, atypical analysis and evaluation of the game.  There might be poetry, there might be a Jeopardy-inspired quiz, there might be "useless information-type" posts … you never know what Ken, or I, or "Emma Nickel" will be posting.

I invite to you take a peek at the entire Toaster line-up, and drop in at the Humbug!

Now, I won’t be totally giving up my blog here … but I’ll probably post here when the subject matter may not be quite right for Humbug.  (And of course, I’ll want to drop in an say "hi" to Cyn, Kellia, Zack and my other blogger buddies from time to time).

I want to publicly thanks Mark Newman for his support of DAFH, and his yeoman work with the blogs in general.  Bravo sir!

See you all in cyberspace!

Gashouse Gorillas of Division III?

Newbury College and Bridgewater State got together for a Division III baseball game this past Monday at Bridgewater’s home field.

The two teams combined for 58 runs.

The home team scored 57 of those runs.

http://www.bridgew.edu/athletics/DIRECT/Stats/baseball2007_stats/bscbb14.htm

Yes, just your old-fashioned 57-1 thumping.

Bridgewater scored at least 8 runs in each of its first five times at-bat.

Three different Bridgewater players drove in at least 7 runs.

During one four-inning stretch, Bridgewater sent 64 men to the plate, and 52 reached base.

Bridgewater was the recipient of 20 walks and 4 HBPs.

Newbury had eight men reach base during the game … Bridgewater had one inning in which fewer than eight reached base.

ERAs for the Newbury pitchers:

Anthony DiClemente 0.0 IP (7 batters faced), 7  ER, ERA: Infinity
William Maddock 1.0 IP, 5 ER, ERA: 45.00
Jamison Torres 2.0 IP, 19 ER, ERA: 85.50
Homas Mathew 2.0 IP, 11  ER, ERA: 49.50
Brian Fish 1.0  IP, 2  ER, ERA: 18.00

Attendance was listed at 50 … they each received the gift of a run named after them. :-)

(My thanks to buddy Richard Senzel for the heads-up on this one)

Now THIS is baseba … uh .. football weather …

Fulljgetty73394643gs004_seattle_marin_4_"Honey … these tickets are for the Browns and Seahawks … 6 months from now."

“Honey I blew up our catcher …”

Mauer keeps growing, and growing …. 

"Joe Mauer is getting a little old for a growth spurt.

But the Twins catcher, who was 6-4 last season, has pushed past 6-5 and is approaching 6-6.

The
team lists him at 6-5 in the media guide, but Mauer acknowledged that
he is actually 6-6 "wearing shoes."I’ve been growing ever since last
year," he said Wednesday. "I don’t want to get too big, or I might have
to move [positions]."

========================================

$5 says its a spiked Gatorade growth hormone plot by Ozzie Guillen, so that the Twins have to move Mauer from behind the plate, where he has the most offensive value.

Fast start for Mets’ pitchers

With their 10-0 drubbing of the Cards last night, the Mets finished a 20-2 season-opening sweep of the defending WS champs.

That got me thinking … is this the BEST 3-game season-opening start (in terms of allowing zero or one run) for a pitching staff in history?

Well,  these Mets are close, but you wouldn’t believe who bested them most recently …

I present the …. 1969 San Diego Padres

Yes …. the same Padres team that finished 52-110 actually started out the season by pitching their way past the Astros (a team that would finish 81-81) by scores of 2-0, 2-0 and 2-1.

Those Pods then immediately lost their next six, hung around .500 for a few weeks (15-18 on May 12), then proceeded to lose 92 of their remaining 129 games.

Somehow I doubt the Mets will resemble those Pods at the end of this season.

EI back on cable!!!!!

NY Times article on the cable deal for EI

"Cable subscribers will once again be able to watch out-of-market
Major League Baseball games, ending their fears that the Extra Innings
package would become the exclusive domain of DirecTV for the next seven
years.

M.L.B. and InDemand — a
consortium that is owned by the cable operators Comcast, Time Warner
and Cox — agreed last night to restore Extra Innings swiftly to their
systems as a free preview through sometime next week, after which it
will cost a discounted $159 for a short period.

The
crucial part of the negotiations for baseball was InDemand’s agreement
to carry the MLB Channel, which is to make its debut in 2009.

Between the deals made with DirecTV and InDemand, baseball said the
channel will have 40 million subscribers when it starts. “We believe we
have a compelling product that our fans are passionate about,” Brosnan
said.

Robert D. Jacobson, InDemand’s president, said: “We’re
very comfortable with the deal. We feel we were treated very fairly
related to DirecTV.”

The InDemand partnership received an equity
stake of a little below 20 percent in the MLB Channel, which is about
equal to DirecTV’s.

M.L.B. will receive an average of $100
million a year through 2013 for the Extra Innings rights from DirecTV
and cable operators. The size of their yearly payments will be reduced
if Dish negotiates its own deal.

Baseball will benefit further
from its majority share of the estimated $120 million in annual gross
subscriber fees that the channel will generate."

=======================================

So …. is everyone happy?
1) MLB got a boatload of added revenue
2) MLB got its Baseball Channel on cable starting in ’09
3) Cable-based fans got EI back

I’m still not happy with MLB’s heavy-handedness of this whole event, but I’m thrilled to be able to watch out-of-market games when I want to on cable.

MLB.TVs’ “Breakout” commercial break

OK … I gotta give some props to MLB.TV.

This season, their between innings commercial break screen features a baseball floating around the screen.  When it reaches the edge of the screen, you hear a little Pong-like "blip" and then it floats to another corner, or towards the middle, where there is a MLB.TV "bumper".  If it heads towards the bottom of the screen, a "commercial break in progress" "paddle" slides over to keep the ball floating around the screen.

Its MLB.TV "Breakout" …. its cute and clever.

(amended …. it IS cute and clever … but it DOES get a bit tiresome after a few innings)

Bud Selig … baseball’s Monty Burns?

Commissioner Bud Selig is VERY well-compensated for … ummm … whatever it is he does …

Selig made $14.5 million last year

"Baseball commissioner Bud Selig earned as much last year as some
of the league’s top players.

Selig received $14.5 million in the 12 months ending Oct. 31, according to
Major League Baseball’s tax return, which was obtained by the Sports Business
Journal.

The publication, citing unidentified sources, said Selig received a $6
million base salary, an equal amount in a bonus and the remainder in expenses
and personal fees."

===============================

Well …. I guess he DID have a better than Carl Pavano …

Opening night rockers (not John)

The Cardinals show they know how to open the season right …. I think …

Is the "Speedwagon" being led by Budweiser Clydesdales?

"The Budweiser Clydesdales will open the pre-game ceremonies promptly
at 6 p.m., taking the field in a tradition that makes Opening Day in
St. Louis unlike any other in Major League Baseball…."

The national anthem will be sung by classic rockers REO
Speedwagon…"

===========================================

REO Speedwagon is actually a very appropriate choice, given their baseball-tinged lyrics …

They had a song lyric for the Pirates pitchers:
"I just can’t fight this fielding anymore …"

They had a song lyric for the hitters who could only handle dead red fastballs:
"Roll with the change-ups …"

And then there was the one for a particular Devils Rays (and former Cub) pitcher:
"I’m gonna keep on lovin’ Ryu …"

“Your attention … ladies and gentlemen …. pinch-hitting for Swindal …. “

Steve Swindal may NOT be the next top dog of the Yankees after all

" … Jennifer, filed for divorce from her husband, Steve Swindal, in the
family law division of Hillsborough County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
Swindal was arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the
influence, and the divorce would end any chance he had of succeeding
Steinbrenner in running the Yankees, as Steinbrenner had said he would do in June 2005."

=================================

So who should be next in line for the job? 

My vote?   Waylon Smithers

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