Baseball Toaster The Griddle
Monthly archives: June 2005


What's Up, Doc?
2005-06-20 09:43
by Alex Belth

I found a nice, long article about Dock Ellis over at Balls Out: How to throw a no-hitter on acid, and other lessons from the career of baseball legend Dock Ellis," by Keven McAlester is a highly entertaining read. Oh, and if you ever get the chance, "In the Country of Baseball," which was written by Donald Hall offers a good look at Ellis' career. One of my favorite bits had to do with Ellis going after the Big Red Machine.

In spring training 1974, Dock Ellis, felt that his Pittsburgh Pirates had begun to lose some of their aggressiveness.

"'You are scared of Cincinnati.' That's what I told my teammates. 'Every time we play Cincinnati, the hitters are on their ass.'"

Continue reading...

Dem Dirty Bums
2005-06-20 05:32
by Alex Belth

I really feel that "Bull Durham" and "The Bad News Bears" are the only two baseball movies worth remembering. Others are have their moments, but these are the only two that really hold up for me. Brian Gunn recently pointed me to a fine critical appreciation of "The Bad News Bears" by Charles Taylor over at Slate. With a remake hitting theaters next month, what better time to take stock in the original.

Taylor writes:

The integrity of the movie lies in refusing to make the Bears cuddly or lovable. Their crudest member, a towheaded misanthrope named Tanner (Chris Barnes), sums up his teammates as "Jews, spics, niggers, pansies, and a booger-eating moron." Ritchie resists the temptation to depict the kids' foul mouths, questionable personal grooming habits, and all-around crumminess as cute precociousness. He isn't afraid to be both appalled and amused by them. "The Bad News Bears" offers a brief glimpse of a moment like the pre-code early '30s when movies had no use for moralism. The sawed-off badass (Jackie Earle Haley) who becomes the Bears' star slugger smokes his way through the movie; Buttermaker slips the kids beers after they play a particularly good game.

...What keeps "The Bad News Bears" from falling into the post-Watergate hopelessness that dogged movies of the time is that [director Michael] Ritchie's is a cheerful cynicism. For Ritchie, boosterism and patriotism are just more havens for petty corruption and hypocrisy. And while it's in no way a subtle movie, watching it today, you're struck by how a movie this relaxed in its approach could be such a crowd-pleaser.

If you like em lewd and crude, how can you possibly resist "Slapshot" for kids?

The Greatest?
2005-06-16 05:35
by Alex Belth

Bill James once labled Rickey Henderson as the most underappreciated great player of his time. A few days ago, Joe Sheehan wrote that "Frank Robinson is one of the most underrated managers in history, a guy who has consistently posted records above his team's talent--the anti-Baker, if you will." The same day I was reading through Sports Illustrated's new collection of "Great Baseball Writing" and stumbled across a piece on Roberto Clemente. It must have been written in the late sixties. The writer mentioned that Clemente was very good but not yet in the Mays-Mantle-Aaron class. My first thought was, "What about Frank Robinson?" So let me put it out there: Is Frank Robinson the most underappreciated great baseball figure since World War II, or what?

Hair on the chinny-chin chin
2005-06-09 12:15
by Alex Ciepley

I'm a fan of facial hair. More specifically, I like a good goatee. I sport one myself, and tend to find myself inexplicably drawn to the online dating profiles of dudes with the face rug.

But not all goatees are created equally.

Baseball seems to be a breeding ground for inappropriate hairdos, beards, and mustaches, but it also provides ample examples of the good, bad, and ugly when it comes to the art of goateeing.

For example...

The Jeff Bagwell

Bagwell has an interesting take on the goatee: he swings between no mustache to a slight one, but compensates with a huge bushel of hair below his mouth.

What does Jeff Bagwell's face really look like? I have no idea. All we see is hair, hair, hair. He's a Wookie who sticks his ass out before bombing home runs.

The Matt Clement

This is the Bagwell approach taken to an extreme. A real ugly extreme. Is it really any surprise that Clement was always unlucky in the win column while with the Cubs? He'd tried to actualize the Billy Goat curse by morphing himself into the damning creature.

On the other hand, in case you thought emphasizing the lower goatee was unseemly, there is a historical figure that easily proves that too-much-bottom-hair is still infinitely more appealing than the inverse...

The Goose Gossage

So it's not really a goatee. But it's not really a mustache, either, trickling down (way too) far beyond the lower lips. It's heinous. And a good reminder that the '70s really weren't all that cool.

There are, of course, more conventional goatees, which are evenly distributed, if in varying degrees of fullness.

The Ken Caminiti

Poor Caminiti lived large, and this was true even of his facial hair. He was big, brawny, and hairy, and his goatee was a jungle. This is appealing to many people. If not to fans of the Cubs, then certainly to fans of the Bears.

The Brad Ausmus

It worked for George Clooney on ER, and enabled George Michael to score with lots of hot chicks... oh... wait...

The stubbletee is an obvious attempt to up your sex appeal. It can certainly work the trick, but only up to a point. Lemme tell ya, no one likes to make out with stubble.

The Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee is perfect. He is perfect at hitting home runs, perfect at scooping up wide throws to first, and perfect when it comes to grooming his goatee. Not too long, not too stubbly, well-defined edges. Derrek Lee is perfect.

There are plenty of additional examples of goatee accoutrement throughout baseball--The Eric "Devil's Apprentice" Gagne, The Joe "Goatee Interrupted" Nathan, The Ryan "Soul Patch" Church--but those listed above are a good enough start.

As for me and my facial trimmings...

I'm stuck in a desert somewhere between The Derrek Lee and The Ken Caminiti. I'm too lazyboned to keep up the Lee stylings, but not quite butch enough to pull off the Caminiti. I suppose, though, I can take some small comfort in knowing I'll never be caught in the never-neverland of The Matt Clement. I'm not that hung up on the Billy Goat curse.

Toaster Draft Chat
2005-06-06 22:22
by Ken Arneson

I thought I'd put up a blog entry to discuss the draft as it happens. I'll be following it all day long, so I'll try to fill in the first 200 picks as they are made below, as quickly as I can.

I made a prospect list cobbled together from a mixture of various sources. The rankings in parentheses are mine, and are intended just as a guide to help follow the draft as it goes along, not as a judgment.

Show/Hide Round 1
1. Diamondbacks  Justin Upton, SS, HS, VA (1)
2. Royals        Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska (2)
3. Mariners      Jeff Clement, C, USC (9)
4. Nationals     Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Virginia (4)
5. Brewers       Ryan Braun, 3B, Miami (12)
6. Blue Jays     Ricky Romero, LHP, Cal St-Fullerton (7)
7. Rockies       Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Long Beach St (3)
8. Devil Rays    Wade Townsend, RHP, no school (13)
9. Mets          Mike Pelfrey, RHP, Wichita St (8)
10. Tigers       Cameron Maybin, OF, HS, NC (5)
11. Pirates      Andrew McCutchen, OF, HS, FL (11)
12. Reds         Jay Bruce, OF, HS, TX (16)
13. Orioles      Brandon Snyder, C, HS, VA (32)
14. Indians      Trevor Crowe, OF, Arizona (23)
15. White Sox    Lance Broadway, RHP, TCU (38)
16. Marlins      Chris Volstad, RHP, HS, FL (17)
17. Yankees      C.J. Henry, SS, HS, OK (18)
18. Padres       Cesar Carrillo, RHP, Miami (15)
19. Rangers      John Mayberry, RF, Stanford (36)
20. Cubs         Mark Pawalek, LHP, HS, UT (14)
21. Athletics    Cliff Pennington, SS, Texas A&M (24)
22. Marlins      Aaron Thompson, LHP, HS, TX (51)
23. Red Sox      Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Oregon St (20)
24. Astros       Brian Bogusevic, LHP, Tulane (19)
25. Twins        Matt Garza, RHP, Fresno St (52)
26. Red Sox      Craig Hansen, RHP, St. John's (10)
27. Braves       Joey Devine, RHP, NC St (31)
28. Cardinals    Colby Rasmus, OF, HS, AL (27)
29. Marlins      Jacob Marceaux, RHP, McNeese St. (39)
30. Cardinals    Tyler Greene, SS, Georgia Tech (35)
Show/Hide Round 1 Supplemental
31. Diamondbacks  Matt Torra, RHP, Massachusetts (22)
32. Rockies       Chaz Roe, RHP, HS, KY (33)
33. Indians       John Drennen, OF, HS, CA (25)
34. Marlins       Ryan Tucker, RHP, HS, CA (83)
35. Padres        Cesar Ramos, LHP, Long Beach St (21)
36. Athletics     Travis Buck, OF/3B, Arizona St (45)
37. Angels        Trevor Bell, RHP, HS, CA (58)
38. Astros        Eli Iorg, OF, Tennessee (61)
39. Twins         Henry Sanchez, 1B, HS, CA (40)
40. Dodgers       Luke Hochevar, RHP, Tennessee (6)
41. Braves        Beau Jones, LHP, HS, LA (169)
42. Red Sox       Clay Buchholz, RHP, JC, TX (43)
43. Cardinals     Mark McCormick, RHP, Baylor (26)
44. Marlins       Sean West, LHP, HS, LA (50)
45. Red Sox       Jed Lowrie, 2B, Stanford (30)
46. Cardinals     Tyler Herron, RHP, HS, FL (47)
47. Red Sox       Michael Bowden, RHP, HS, IL (29)
48. Orioles       Garrett Olson, LHP, Cal Poly (70)
Show/Hide Round 2
49. Diamondbacks  Matt Green, RHP, Louisiana-Monroe (77)
50. Royals        Jeff Bianchi, SS, HS, PA (130)
51. Dodgers       Ivan DeJesus, SS, Puerto Rico (107)
52. Rockies       Daniel Carte, OF, Winthrop (42)
53. Athletics     Craig Italiano, RHP, HS, TX (48)
54. Twins         Paul Kelly, SS, HS, TX (69)
55. Rockies       Zach Simons, RHP, JC, ID (116)
56. Devil Rays    Chris Mason, RHP, UNC Greensboro (71)
57. Red Sox       Jonathan Egan, C, HS, GA (102)
58. Angels        Ryan Mount, SS, HS, CA (62)
59. Pirates       William Corley, OF, Mississippi St (201)
60. Reds          Travis Wood, LHP, HS, AR (120)
61. Orioles       Nolan Reimold, OF, Bowling Green (167)
62. Indians       Stephen Head, 1B, Mississippi (44)
63. Yankees       J. Brent Cox, RHP, Texas (46)
64. Marlins       Kris Harvey, OF/RHP, Clemson (76)
65. Phillies      Mike Costanzo, 3B, Coastal Carolina (88)
66. Padres        Chase Headley, 3B, Tennessee (89)
67. Rangers       John Whittleman, 3B, HS, TX (190)
68. Cubs          Donald Veal, LHP, JC, AZ (74)
69. Athletics     Jared Lansford, RHP, HS, CA (165)
70. Cardinals     Josh Wilson, RHP, HS, TX (125)
71. Angels        P.J. Phillips, SS, HS, GA (49)
72. Astros        Ralph Henriquez, C, HS, FL (--)
73. Twins         Kevin Slowey, RHP, Winthrop (79)
74. Dodgers       Josh Wall, RHP, HS, LA (55)
75. Braves        Yuneil Escobar, SS, Cuba (96)
76. Padres        Nick Hundley, C, Arizona (66)
77. Braves        Jeff Lyman, RHP, HS, CA (73)
78. Cardinals     Nick Webber, RHP, Central Missouri St. (81)
Show/Hide Round 2 Supplemental
79. Marlins       Brett Hayes, C/OF, Nevada (57)
80. Twins         Drew Thompson, SS, HS, FL (60)
Show/Hide Round 3
81. Diamondbacks  Jason Neighborgall, RHP, Georgia Tech (98)
82. Royals        Chris Nicoll, RHP, UC Irvine (111)
83. Diamondbacks  Micah Owings, RHP, Tulane (95)
84. Twins         Brian Duensing, LHP, Nebraska-Lincoln (--)
85. Brewers       William Inman, RHP, HS, VA
86. Blue Jays     Brian Pettway, 1B, Mississippi (90)
87. Rockies       Kyle Hancock, RHP, HS, TX (160)
88. Devil Rays    Bryan Morris, RHP, HS, TN (41)
89. Astros        Tommy Manzella, SS, Tulane (119)
90. Tigers        Chris Robinson, C, Illinois (140)
91. Pirates       James Boone, CF, Missouri-Columbia (--)
92. Reds          Zach Ward, RHP, Gardner-Webb (94)
93. Orioles       Brandon Erbe, RHP, HS, MD (175)
94. Indians       Nick Weglarz, 1B, HS, ON (91)
95. White Sox     Richard Brooks, RHP, East Carolina (--)
96. Marlins       Matt Goyen, LHP, Georgia College (108)
97. Phillies      Matt Maloney, LHP, Mississippi (109)
98. Padres        Josh Geer, RHP, Rice (110)
99. Rangers       Taylor Teagarden, C, Texas (28)
100. Cubs         Mark Holliman, RHP, Mississippi (159)
101. Athletics    Vince Mazzaro, RHP, HS, NJ (155)
102. Indians      Jensen Lewis, RHP, Vanderbilt (103)
103. Angels       Sean O'Sullivan, RHP, HS, CA (53)
104. Astros       Josh Lindblom, RHP, HS, IN (68)
105. Twins        Ryan Mullins, LHP, Vanderbilt (86)
106. Dodgers      Sergio Pedroza, LF, Cal St Fullerton (--)
107. Braves       Jordan Schafer, CF, HS, FL (177)
108. Cubs         Mike Billek, RHP, Central Florida (126)
109. Yankees      Brett Gardner, OF, Charleston (197)
110. Cardinals    Daryl Jones, OF, HS, TX (161)
Show/Hide Round 4
111. Diamondbacks  Mark Romanczuk, LHP, Stanford (--)
112. Royals        Joseph Dickerson, CF, HS (--)
113. Mariners      Justin Thomas, LHP, Youngstown St
114. Nationals     Justin Maxwell, OF, Maryland (72)
115. Brewers       Matthew Gamel, 3B, JC (--)
116. Blue Jays     Ryan Patterson, OF, LSU (168)
117. Rockies       Brandon Durden, LHP, Georgia College (101)
118. Devil Rays    Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, HS, IA (65)
119. Mets          Hector Pellot, 2B, HS, PR (--)
120. Tigers        Kevin Whelan, RHP, Texas A&M (85)
121. Pirates       Brent Lillibridge, SS, Washington (84)
122. Reds          Sam Lecure, RHP, no school (--)
123. Orioles       Kieron Pope, OF, HS, GA (170)
124. Indians       Jordan Brown, 1B, Arizona (144)
125. White Sox     Chris Getz, 2B, Michigan (157)
126. Marlins       Gabriel Sanchez, C, Miami (--)
127. Phillies      Mike Durant, 3B, HS, CA (135)
128. Padres        Michael Baxter, LF, Vanderbilt (--)
129. Rangers       Shane Funk, RHP, HS, FL (--)
130. Cubs          Dylan Johnston, SS, HS, AZ (--)
131. Athletics     James Shull, RHP, Cal Poly SLO (--)
132. Giants        Ben Copeland, OF, Pittsburgh (121)
133. Angels        Brian Matusz, LHP, HS, AZ (64)
134. Astros        Josh Flores, JC, (--)
135. Twins         Michael Moore, C, East Tennessee St (--)
136. Dodgers       Josh Bell, 3B, HS, FL (97)
137. Braves        Mike Broadway, RHP, HS, IL (129)
138. Red Sox       William Blue, RHP, HS (--)
139. Yankees       Lance Pendleton, RHP/OF, Rice (142)
140. Cardinals     Brian Anderson, C, HS, CA (--)
Show/Hide Round 5
141. Diamondbacks  Christopher Rahl, RF, William & Mary (--)
142. Royals        Sean Hayes, SS, Franklin Pierce (--)
143. Mariners      Stephen Kahn, RHP, Loyola Marymount (127)
144. Nationals     Ryan DeLaughter, OF, HS, TX (193)
145. Brewers       Kevin Roberts, RHP, Houston (152)
146. Blue Jays     Jonathan Fowler, LHP, Mississippi (--)
147. Rockies       Josh Sullivan, RHP, Auburn (128)
148. Devil Rays    Michael McCormick, 3B, HS, OR (--)
149. Mets          Drew Butera, C, Central Florida (137)
150. Tigers        Jeff Larish, 1B/OF, Arizona St (114)
151. Pirates       Jeffrey Sues, RHP, Vanderbilt (--)
152. Reds          James Avery, RHP, Niagara (139)
153. Orioles       Reid Hamblet, RHP, Biola (198)
154. Indians       Kevin Dixon, RHP, Minnesota St-Mankato (--)
155. White Sox     Ryan Rote, RHP, Vanderbilt (--)
156. Marlins       Kyle Winters, RHP, HS, CO (213)
157. Phillies      Brett Harker, RHP, Charleston (--)
158. Padres        Seth Johnston, 2B/SS, Texas (63)
159. Rangers       Michael Kirkman, RHP, HS, FL (158)
160. Cubs          Scott Taylor, RHP, HS, VA (--)
161. Athletics     Scott Deal, RHP, HS, WA (--)
162. Giants        Daniel Griffin, RHP, Niagara (--)
163. Angels        Tommy Mendoza, RHP, HS, FL (172)
164. Astros        Wilson Hart, 3B, USC (--)
165. Twins         Steven Tolleson, SS, South Carolina (166)
166. Dodgers       John Meloan, RHP, Arizona (146)
167. Braves        William Startup, RHP, Georgia (--)
168. Red Sox       Reid Engel, OF, HS, CO (--)
169. Yankees       Zachary Kroenke, RHP, Nebraska-Lincoln (--)
170. Cardinals     Mitch Boggs, RHP, Georgia (138)
Show/Hide Round 6
171. Diamondbacks  Greg Smith, LHP, Louisiana St (184)
172. Royals        Ryan DiPietro, E Connecticut St (--)
173. Mariners      Michael Lynn, RHP, HS, IN (205)
174. Nationals     Marco Estrada, RHP, Long Beach St (--)
175. Brewers       Steven Hammonds, LHP, Long Beach St (--)
176. Blue Jays     Josh Bell, C, Auburn (100)
177. Rockies       Corey Wimberly, 2B, Alcorn St (--)
178. Devil Rays    Greg Reinhard, RHP, Wisconsin-Whitewater (--)
179. Mets          Greg Cain, CF, HS, CA  (--)
180. Tigers        Clete Thomas, OF, Auburn (92)
181. Pirates       Cameron Blair, 2B, Texas Tech (183)
182. Reds          Jeffrey Stevens, RHP, Loyola-Marymount (--)
183. Orioles       William Owen, RHP, Belmont  (--)
184. Indians       Joseph Ness, RHP, Ball St (--)
185. White Sox     Aaron Cunningham, LF, JC, WA  (203)
186. Marlins       James Guerrero, SS, San Diego St
187. Phillies      Justin Blaine, LHP, San Diego (178)
188. Padres        Neil Jamison, RHP, Long Beach St (211)
189. Rangers       German Duran, 2B, Weatherford (--)
190. Cubs          Kyle Reynolds, SS, Baylor (--)
191. Athletics     Justin Sellers, SS, HS, CA (200)
192. Giants        Kyle Cuthbertson, JC, CA (--)
193. Angels        Jeremy Moore, LF, HS (--)
194. Astros        Brandon Barnes, LF, JC, CA (--)
195. Twins         John Wilson, RF, HS, TX (--)
196. Dodgers       Brent Leach, LHP, Brent St (--)
197. Braves        Tyler Bullock, RHP, Baylor (--)
198. Red Sox       Jeffrey Corsaletti, CF, Florida (--)
199. Yankees       Douglas Fister, RHP, Fresno St (--)
200. Cardinals     Wilfredo Pujols, RF, HS, MO (--)


Show/Hide Still on the board after six rounds
Justin Bristow, SS, HS, VA (34)
Jordan Danks, OF, HS, TX (37)
David Adams, 3B/SS, HS, FL (54)
Vance Worley, RHP, HS, CA (56)
Cody Satterwhite, RHP, HS, MS (59)
Reese Havens, SS, HS, SC (67)
Justin Smoak, 1B, HS, SC (75)
Zach Putnam, 3B, HS, MI (78)
Tim Lincecum, RHP, Washington (80)
Robert Ray, RHP, Texas A&M (82)
Kenny Maiques, RHP, JC, CA (87)
Jeremy Bleich, LHP, HS, LA (93)
Pedro Alvarez, 3B, HS, NY (99)
Diallo Fon, OF, HS, CA (104)
David Cooper, OF, HS, CA (105)
David Duncan, LHP, HS, OH (106)
Josh Zeid, RHP, HS, CT (112)
Buster Posey, RHP, HS, GA (113)
Kyle Russell, OF, HS, TX (115)
Austin Jackson, OF, HS, TX (117)
Miers Quigley, LHP, HS, GA (118)
Alan Horne, RHP, Florida (122)
Wade Miley, LHP, HS, LA (123)
Mike Bell, 3B, CC, TX (124)
Brett Jacobson, RHP, HS, AZ (131)
DeSean Jackson, OF, HS, CA (132)
Tyson Ross, RHP, HS, CA (133)
Jarred Bogany, OF, HS, TX (134)
Jeremy Slayden, OF, Georgia Tech (136)
Brett Wallace, 3B, HS, CA (141)
Andrew Lopez, OF, HS, CA (143)
Iain Sebastian, RHP, HS, GA (145)
Anthony Varvaro, RHP, St. John's (147)
Ike Davis, 1B, HS, AZ (148)
Danny Powers, RHP, Central Missouri St. (149)
Evan Frederickson, LHP, HS, VA (150)
Bryant Beaver, RHP, JC, OK (151)
Carlos Hereaud, SS, HS, TX (153)
Chris Dominguez, 3B, HS, FL (154)
Mike Colla, RHP, HS, CA (156)
Deunte Heath, RHP, JC, GA (162)
Dexter Carter, RHP, HS, NC (163)
David Huff, LHP, JC, CA (164)
Michael Campbell, OF, South Carolina (171)
Michael Nix, RHP, Auburn (173)
Brian Needham, RHP, HS, TX (174)
Matt Nevarez, RHP, HS, CA (176)
Charlie Cutler, C, HS, CA (179)
Elliot Jones, 2B, Vanderbilt (180)
Brent Milleville, C, HS, KS (181)
Milton Loo, 3B, CC, HI (182)
Paul Phillips, RHP, Oakland (185)
Daniel McCutchen, RHP, Oklahoma (186)
Brian Hernandez, C, Vanderbilt (187)
Aaron Weatherford, RHP, HS, AL (188)
Shooter Hunt, RHP, HS, NJ (189)
Yahmed Yema, OF, Florida Int'l (191)
Mark Wagner, C, UC Irvine (192)
Brad Barragar, RHP, JC, CA (194)
Daniel Hudson, RHP, HS, VA (195)
Karl Amonite, 1B, Auburn (196)
Jake Rasner, RHP, HS, NV (199)
Jason Ogata, SS, HS, OR (202)
Allen Langdon, OF, HS, ID (203)
Trevor Holder, RHP, HS, AL (204)
Jim Brauer, RHP, Michigan (206)
Brandon James, RHP, HS, PA (208)
Francisco Figueroa, OF, Miami (209)
Jemile Weeks, SS, HS, FL (210)
David DiNatale, OF, HS, FL (212)
Tim Murphy, LHP, HS, CA (214)
Steven Pearce, 1B, South Carolina (215)


The pace picked up in the sixth round, and I can't keep up anymore. So you'll have to go to for the rest of the picks.

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