Friday, September 28, 2012

Baseball Card Friday: Bo Porter: the Astros new manager

Baseball Card Friday: Bo Porter 2001 

I dug around my cards last night and found a Bo Porter card.   This is from 2001 and he was playing with the Texas Rangers. 

The more I learn about Bo Porter, the more excited I am about him managing the Houston Astros.  He's 40 which is youngish for a manager, but he's got a ton of rookies on his squad so to them he must seem like an old man.  Even if it doesn't work out in Houston, he'll learn a ton about being a manager which will help him down the road.  

Here's some fun facts about Bo Porter:

Bo Porter hit 2 home runs during his major league career.  One was off Mark Mulder, the other Tony Fiore.   

Bo Porter was named after the character Bo from the Dukes of Hazard.  His parents were being ironic.   He also has a brother named Luke and a sister named Boss Hog.
Bo Porter was a 2-sport athlete for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, who's mascot is Herky the Hawk.

Bo Porter has never entered a pie eating contest.
Bo Porter played in the majors for 3 teams.  The A's, Rangers, Cubs.
Bo Porter was the Vice President of his high school student council and when President Debbie Lassen had an operation to get her tonsils out, Bo was sworn in while she was under anesthesia.
Bo Porter earned All-Big 10 honors in both baseball and football as senior and was named defensive MVP of football team as senior.

I declare today Bo Porter day!!!  Go out there and go one more mile today.  For Bo Porter.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Astros name a new Manager. Who is Bo Porter?

Bo Porter? No, Andy Devine

Who is Bo Porter?

Let’s talk about the Astros new manager Bo Porter.  Great name, don’t know that much about him.
His name sounds like an old cowboy character actor who starred in western serials on TV in the 1950’s.  But I don't think that's the guy the Astros named as their new manager.

Bo Porter?  Wasn’t the Nick Nolte’s character in Rich Man – Poor Man?
Here's our Bo Porter

Astros New Manager Bo Porter

When they named Kirk Gibson interim manager for the Diamondbacks, Mr. Gibson named Bo Porter the bench coach.  If he's good enough for Kirk Gibson, that gives me some confidence.  Presently, Mr. Porter is the third base coach for the Washington Nationals.

The only thing I know about Bo Porter happened this year, when Cubs manager Dale Sveum was pissing and moaning from the dugout at Mr. Porter, who was coaching third, because he felt like the Washington Nationals were piling on by swinging at a 3-0 pitch.  Finally, Bo Porter went over and told him to knock it off.  I love it.
Here's a transcript I discovered of the conversation that took place that day...

Dale Sveum:  Come on.  You guys are winning by 5, give us a break.
Bo Porter: Sit your monkey ass down and shut up before I come down there and start cleaning clocks.
Dale Sveum: The point I was trying to make is that this is a gentleman's game and you fellas aren't being very gentlemanly. 
Bo Porter: Last warning, shut your pie hole or I will force a goat to have sex with you and curse you guys for another 100 years.
Dale Sveum: Why, I never.
Bo Porter: I bet you haven't.
Third Base Umpire: Oh snap!
The Astros need a tough manager and Bo Porter looks like he could do the job.  I like the idea of Bo Porter, I hope it works out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Extra Wild Card Spot - Fact and Fiction

Extra Wild Card Spot - Fact and Fiction

Fact:  It did not make the race for this year's post season race more exciting.  I don't know if you remember last year, but it came down to the last game for 4 different teams last year.  I predict the Wild Card spot will be settled before then and teams will be resting guys for their one game playoff.

Fact: One game playoff gives an advantage to the teams who won their division.  I like that idea in principal, but what about a team that wins their division with less wins then the wild card team?   Why should the division winner get a break if they have less wins?  That doesn't seem fair.

Fact: It allows two cities to enjoy the post season, which I think is cool, and it's not like Basketball where over half the teams get in.

Fiction: The loser of the Wild Card elimination game will be forced to strip naked and prance around the bases to the song Alley Cat.  I'm not sure when I started this rumor but that's all it was, a rumor.   

Fact: All that said, I like the extra wild card team set up.  I hope it works but right now, the only exciting race is the American League Central where the Tigers are tied with the White Sox with nine games left to play.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Baseball Card Theater: Celebrity Team

New York Yankee Billy Crystal

Baseball Card Theater - Celebrity Team

I don't know if you know it but Billy Crystal batted for the Yankees during a game.  Just ask him and he'll tell you about it.  You don't even have to ask him, just stand around him for about 10 minutes it will come up.  Today we look at other famous people who played baseball.  Check it out.  Have a great Tuesday and proclaim your rarity!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sad day in Mudville : Chris Stufflestreet RIP

Chris Stufflestreet

Card Collector Chris Stufflestreet passed away.

Never met the man, but exchanged a few e-mails with him.  He ran a blog about the 1973 Topps baseball cards and was half way through the entire set.  Always had good facts about the cards and interesting stories about the players.  He featured my video Not Cliff Johnson on his other blog Vintage Sportscards.  His blog inspired me to start Purpose Pitch.

He will be missed.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baseball Card Friday: Bud Selig

Baseball Card Friday:  Bud Selig.  Jewish Major Leaguers - 2010 Card # 43

This is from a set that Topps did in 2010 featuring all the Jewish major leaguers.  I wish they would do a cards for all the different Latino players so I could figure out which guy was from which island but I guess I'll have to wait for the All-World Baseball Classic to find that out.

But back to today's card featuring Bud Selig.  He introduced Wild Cards to the playoffs, interleague play and railroaded the Astros into the American League.
 I'm pissed about my team being forced into the American League but I worry I project myself as some type of baseball nut-job.  I love baseball, the Astros are my team and I’ve never been a big fan of the DH rule, but at the end of the day it’s just entertainment.  A game.  That's all.  I’ve lived 47 years and all the things I’ve experienced, like the death of my brother and the birth of my daughter, has helped me gain perspective on what matters most in life.
That said, I hope Bud Selig gets raped by a monkey with AIDS. 
Here’s how you do it.  First get a monkey with AIDS.  It's definitely a buyers market.  I would think people would want to get rid of them.  Then we get Bud’s travel itinerary and rent the hotel room across from him.
We’ll sneak the monkey in the room, strap him to a chair and show him National Geographic films of monkey’s having sex.   We tie his hands so he can’t relieve himself.  (Note: The monkey should be dosed with Viagra and Ritalin.  We want him aroused and focused. )
            My brother, wearing a fake moustache, waits in the lobby for Mr. Selig.  He’ll ride up the elevator and once outside the room, Pat socks Bud in the gut, drags him into the room.
Pat throws Bud down on the floor and douses him with a bottle of ape pheromones.  Pat then joins me in the safety of a shark cage as I release the monkey. Then we laugh and watch the monkey go to brown-town on the guy who forced the Astros into the American League.  We’ll film the whole thing and show it opening day 2013 at Minute Maid Field.
            But that probably won’t happen.  Bummer.   But if Bud Selig did get raped by a monkey with AIDS I would say that book The Secret really works.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Who wants to go to the Post Season?

Stomper the A's mascot

Who wants to go to the post season?

Well, it looks like the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A's, New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves.  These teams have been playing good ball and making things happen to get victories.  I love how these guys are finding ways to win.

Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and the Reds are playing good to and seem ready for the play-offs.

White Sox continues to grind it out.  They aren't doing anything spectacular, they're just keeping steady as Detroit implodes.

Looks like St. Louis are willing to go if no one else wants it.

Who wants to relax in October after a long season?

The Pittsburgh Pirates quit in late July last year, and in late August this season.  If the trend continues they will be in the playoffs in 2014 and lose in the first round.  My heart wanted them to do it this year but it ain't going to happen.

Detroit Tigers seem like they need a break and it looks like they're going to get one.  Look like Scherzer might have a dead arm.  This is another team I wanted to make it so I could see Verlander and Cabrera in playoff situation.

Who waited to long to make post season reservations?

Los Angeles waited to long.  Both the Angels and the Dodgers.  Too few games and it will take a miracle to make it.  Both teams spent a ton of dough and thought the playoffs were a no-brainer.   Both teams and should be in the playoffs in 2014.  But then again, I thought that this year.

The Brewers - They are red hot and I would love to see them get one game away and then crumble the last weekend.  Hate the Brewers because of Bud Selig and those asswipes should be moving to the American League.

Phillies and Diamondbacks should have started this push earlier.  And Philly lost 3 of 4 to the Astros.  You almost have to put them in the 'want to relax" category.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can You Get A New Team?

The Astros from the early 1970's

Is it Possible to get a New Team?

If there’s a time for me to get off the Astros train it would be this year.  They just lost their 100th game and they’re moving to the American League.  I grew up in the N.L. and I think I can quit them.  Honestly, I hate the DH and I hear they’re going to change uniform colors.  I think I need a new team in the N.L.

But then that leaves, who is my new team?  I could half-ass it and like the AL Astros in the same way I like the Houston Texans after the Oilers left.  Never did like the Titans. 

Almost all the N.L. teams have some stink on them from my time as an Astros fan.  I like the Dodgers, I go to games out here all the time.  They're going to be good the next couple of years so it would be fun in the short run, but it doesn't feel right to be a Dodger fan.  Especially after Bill Doran got screwed for the All-Star team in 86 by Tommy Lasorda.

Maybe I could be a Pirate or a Reds fan.  They were good in the 70's and those are my first memories of baseball and I love Roberto Clemente and Johnny Bench, Pete Rose and Joe Morgan.

Maybe I could be a Washington Nationals fan.  The Expos were crummy and I never had a problem with them and it looks like the Nationals might be good for a while.  I like Bryce Harper's attitude, Strasburg and Gio Gonzales.   

Or if they ruined all of baseball and make both leagues have the DH I could still be a die hard Astros fan.  

Who am I kidding, I'll probably bite the pillow and follow the Astros as they are jammed into the American League.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Baseball Card Theater: Who's that in my Card 3



Who's that in my cover photo.  Johnny Bench you have Boog Powell on your magazine shot.
And now we present the third installment of the Who's that in you card?  If you haven't seen Who's that in your card number 1 or number 2 you should check it out.  Have a great Tuesday and go the extra mile.


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Astros are spoilers??? Oh yeah, and I'm not Jewish

Bad Photo Shop of my head on Dick Farrell's body
First sorry for the late post but I thought I got New Years Day off, but then my parents called and it turns out I'm not Jewish.  Same thing happened on the Chinese New Year.  I'm not Chinese, either. 

Astros take 3 of 4 from the Phillies and 2 of 3 from the Reds

Check out the Astros playing spoilers.  I love it.  Taking some games from contenders.  But here's the deal.  The Astros have 6 games against the Cardinals and that's the team you have to beat.  They've been our rivals for the last 10 years.  I like the Reds and was actually bummed they lost 2 of 3 but no it's time to man up.  You have 99 bottles of defeat on the wall.  You only have to win 6 more games and this season will not be in vain.  Also Houston has 3 games left with the Brewers.  Beat the crap out of Bud Selig's boys.  Now you have to win 9 games. 

New Baseball Card Theater tomorrow.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baseball Card Friday: Boog Powell and Johnny Bench in the same card?

BASEBALL CARD FRIDAY: 1970 - Most Valuable Player 
In 1975 Topps celebrating 25 years put out cards with MVP from each year and this card features two of my favorite players.  Boog Powell and Johnny Bench. 
I loved that they featured 25 years of MVP's and 1968 is the other year I dig because it features 2 pitchers.  Bob Gibson and Denny McClaine.  A jail-bird and a bad ass. 

These guys were so great they lowered the mound the next year. 


In the American League I think you have to give it to Mike Trout.  He's made such an impact with his offense as well as his glove and the guy didn't even start the season in the majors.

In the National League some people are talking Ryan Braun if the Brewers make it or Andrew McCutchen if the Pirates make it.  Buster Posey is another name being mentioned.  All those people are wrong.  The N.L. MVP winner is Mike Trout.  He's that good.  I don't know if I mentioned it but he didn't even start the season in the majors.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Manny Machado - Who knew?

Who is Manny Machado?

He's a 20 year old man brought up a month ago and is a big reason the Orioles are in first.  Last night in the top of the 9th he made a great play at 3rd and picked off Rich Thompson and then scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning.

Today in an afternoon game he had the walk off hit in the 14th to beat the Rays.

Every day it seems to be another guy stepping up to help Baltimore.  I love it.  That's baseball.  That's chemistry.

Buck Showalter is a leader.  A guy you want to play for.
No one thought they'd make the playoffs.  But here they, with a 1/2 game lead waiting to see if Boston can beat the Yankees tonight.
Still got a lot of baseball left but my heart is pulling for the O's to go all the way.  Would love to see a replay of the Pirates - Orioles in the World Series but I fear the Pirates are done.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Autumn Wind is Like A Pirate

The Autumn Wind is Like a Pirate

I will paraphrase John Facenda, the voice of NFL Films and the poem The Autumn Wind Is Like A Pirate,

The Autumn Wind is a Pirate.
Blustering out to Sea.
They're starting to Implode, Under the Load
And will watch the playoffs on TV

I wish it wasn't true but it looks like the Pirates are just drifting out to sea.  I picked them to go to the playoffs and now they're making me look like an A-hole.  Thanks a lot, Pittsburgh.  In the future, know that I don't need help looking like an A-hole.  I really was hoping they could make it to the post season but it doesn't look good.  To give you how bad the situation has gotten in the last 10 games they have a 2-8 record.  The Astros are 5-5 for their last 10.

 Come on, Pirates.  Get it together!  You're 2 and half games back.  You can do this. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Baseball Card Theater Weird Cards

 It's Tuesday, which means a new Baseball Card Theater: Weird Cards

Today we check out some weird cards that came in baseball card packs.  This card from 1971 and it shows the Cy Young award.  What a corny looking plaque.   They should update the design.  Wait a minute - I just remembered that weird statue of an amoeba they have in the new Miami stadium.  You know what, never mind.  Keep the corny plaque.  Anyway,  here's a collection of some unusual 'baseball' cards I have in my collection. 

An added treat, listen for Fred Armisen doing George Carlin from a SNL sketch I wrote called "Charades". 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mark Reynolds - 10 Games of Power

Mark Reynolds

10 Games of Power

I know "10 Games of Power" sounds like a new set of motivational tapes from Tony Robbins but I'm talking about Baltimore 1st baseman Mark Reynolds.  In his last 10 games Mr. Reynolds has 9 home runs.  If my math is correct, that comes out to almost a home run a game.  That's hard.

No one thought the Orioles had a shot at the post season this year, but they are in the Wild Card lead and just a game back of the division lead after a weekend series with the Yankees.  For the last week and a half, Mark Reynolds put the team on his back and it was amazing to watch.

With Baltimore outfielder Nick Markakis breaking his hand last night, the Orioles have a steep road ahead of them, but if Mr. Reynolds can keep his 'one-homer a game' thing going, I think they'll be fine. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Baseball Card Friday: Rick Wise, Padres 1982

Baseball Card Friday:  Rick Wise  1982

Very boring design on cards this year but I love this card because even though he's a pitcher it shows my man Rick Wise wearing a batting helmet.  Rick Wise always prided himself on his hitting and was no fan of the DH rule.
"The designated hitter rule is like letting someone else take Wilt Chamberlain's free throws." - Rick Wise

Rick Wise is a good man.  When we were in high school, my brother Pat talked to Mr. Wise during a game at the Dome and told him we were cousins of his former teammate Cardinals 3rd baseman Mike Shannon.  Rick Wise set us up with tickets for the rest of the series.  He mailed us a bunch of autographs too.  Rick Wise is a good man.  

Fun Facts about Rick Wise

His nickname is the Owl

Rick Wise pitched a no-hitter and hit two home runs in the same game.

I know a guy who worked with Rick Wise when he was a pitching coach in the minors.  Anytime he would see Rick at a bar, Mr. Wise would say "Are you standing around or buying a round?"

It maybe Sept. 7th on your calender, but I declare today  RICK WISE DAY!!!!!!!!!

Have a good weekend and count your blessings. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The N.L. Wild Card Fight

The Battle is On For The 2 Wild Card Spots

It looks like the Nationals, the Reds are set to win their divisions and with S.F. Giants pitchers they'll beat back the Dodgers, so who gets the 2 Wild Card spots.

4 Teams Enter - 2 Teams Leave

It's a 4 team race with Atlanta and St. Louis in the wild card lead but Pittsburgh and the Dodgers are just a game and a half back.  Lets see who is going to the playoffs.


With their decent pitching and it being Chipper Jones' last year to play, it should be enough to get Atlanta into the playoffs.  It might take them till the last weekend series to do it but take all of your gold, sell it for cash and place it on the Braves to make the post-season.  I'm so confident, I think you would be wise to get some type of bank loan and bet it on Chipper and the boys.


They got a whole lot of talent after the trade deadline and this week they've been able to pull out a couple games in their final at bat.   The Dodgers will be tough to handle in a one game series especially with Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp.  Lucky for Atlanta the Dodgers aren't going to go to the post season.  I like the Dodgers too.  I just don't think it will happen.


A bunch of rag-tag cast offs and young talent have kept the Pirates in the hunt all season long.    They folded last year, but this season they're not going away.   My heart wants the Pirates to win because it's been so long since they've been in the hunt.  So I'll go with my heart and say the Pirates are getting the other wild card seat.  That leaves us with...


My heart doesn't like the Cardinals.   My nose still smells the stink of Tony LaRussa on the team.   No post season for St. Louis.  Sorry.   Who am I kidding?  They always find a way to get it down.  The Pirates are going to fold and I'll be bummed.

There you have it.  My N.L. Wild Card picks.  I would like a 10% cut of all your winnings.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Yankees are Done

The Yankees are Done

They had a 10 game lead in June and now they're tied with the Baltimore Orioles for first.  
The Yankees are done... messing around.  C'mon, we're talking the New York Yankees.  They've lost a couple key guys and continue to move forward.  I guarantee the veterans will put it together and make the playoffs.  Derek Jeter can will them there.  Take all the money you have on you and drive to the nearest Indian Casino and lay it all on the Yankees getting into the playoffs.  (You should call ahead and make sure they have a Sportsbook.)

Now who else is going...

Which Pony Do You Put Your Money On?

It's the beginning of Sept and time to figure out who has enough to get into the post season.
Let's take a look at the standings.

The leader in the West is the Texas Rangers with a 4 game lead over Oakland, in the Central the White Sox have a one game lead over the Tigers.   In the American League East there's a tie between the Orioles and the Yankees with Tampa Bay Rays just a game and a half back.

If the season ended today Oakland and either Baltimore or New York have the wild card spot as of Sept. 5.    Detroit, Tampa and the Angels are all within 2 games of the Wild Card spot.

But the season doesn't end for another month.  So who beside the Yankees are going to the post season.

The West


Yes they're going.  Going all the way this year.  For their sake I hope so, I think this is there last shot before the Angels have there 4 year run at the top.


I want to say yes.  They're a scrappy team and everything seems to be clicking for them.  They have a magic about them that can get them to the post season.  But I don't bet on magic.  They ain't going.


 I want to say no.  But Kendra Morales is on fire, Albert Pulous is being Albert Pulous again, you got Trumbo with his big bat.  When Tori Hunter and Veron Wells are your weak outfielders, you're doing great.  And finally we get to Mike Trout.  Man, that guy is good.  He can do anything and with this line up and only 2 games back you have to think they'll make the playoffs.  You have to think that, I don't, because they ain't going.

The Central


Only one team is going from the Central and I have to say it's the Tigers.  They have the best hitter in Miguel Cabrera and best pitcher in Justin Verlander.  But I got to be honest, my gut is telling me the White Sox are going to pull it off.  Love me some Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko but Chris Sale and the rest of the pitching kind of makes my stomach hurt.  My head tells me the Tigers so I'll go with them, but my gut says don't bet against the White Sox.

The East


The Rays have an amazing pitching staff and an extra spark since the return of Evan Longoria.  But the Orioles have a red-hot Mark Reynolds and mean ol' Buck Showalter.  If you play for the O's, I bet you're always on your toes because you don't want the old guy harping at you.  Buck Showalter will make it happen and Baltimore will be back in the playoffs for the first time in 39 years.  I don't know how long it's been, but it's been awhile.

There you have my pics.  Tomorrow I look at the NL wild card race.   So withdrawl a bunch of money for your return trip to the River Boat casino.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Baseball Card Theater: Topps 1981

Baseball Card Theater: 1981 Topps

The year was 1981.  Baseball had a strike mid-season.  The All-Star game was held in August.  The Astros lost in some weird, split season play-off and Topps cranked these out.  Overall it was a pretty crappy year to be a baseball fan.  That said...  check out my cards from 1981.