Friday, April 18, 2008

The Nightcap

Tonight's nightcap is dedicated to Padres play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian, who called six hours of a 22 inning baseball game that had me searching through the garage for my beat up copy of W.P. Kinsella's The Iowa Baseball Confederacy.

The biggest advantage to watching a 22 inning game at home rather than in person: At Petco park, beer (and reportedly food too) sales were cut off after the 7th inning. At home, the only concern was cycling new bottles into the fridge to get cold in case the game went into record territory. (Although my beer labels don't turn blue at a certain temperature, so how could I possibly know when my beer is cold?)

A few stats from the 2-1 game: 658 pitches were thrown. The two teams combined to go 25 for 147, for a .170 batting average. There were only three extra base hits in the game. The teams combined to strike out 37 times. Three players for the Rockies had 10 plate appearances. There were three "seventh inning" stretches. Most amazing of all, both Yorvit Torrealba and Josh Bard caught the entire 22 innings for their respetive teams. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they'll get tomorrow off.

Quote from Matt Vasgersian somewhere around the 20th inning: "This game is becoming the poster child for bringing the DH into the National League...and lowering the pitcher's mound...and bringing in the fences."

It was also the poster game for how overrated "Wins" are as a stat for evaluating pitchers. Jake Peavy pitched 8 innings of shutout ball, striking out 11; and Rockies starter Jeff Francis pitched 7 innings of shutout ball, striking out 7. But as far as wins go, their performances were identical to Boof Bonser, who gave up 6 earned runs in 4 innings.

This game also proved that ESPNews really is still going live in the middle of the night. I'd assumed that they just replayed the same 30 minute segment until dawn, but sure enough at 4:32 am EST, ESPNews broke in with highlights to show the Rockies winning the game. And here I thought Carmelo Anthony was the only one in the sports world rambling incoherently at 4 am.

I don't know if this made the highlight shows or not, but around the 19th inning, Jake Peavy brought a taxidermied ram's head into the dugout. I really wish the Padres had won so that the "rally cadaver" could have been a running theme throughout the season.

In other baseball news, it turns out that the reason Miguel Tejada admitted to his team that he was actually 33 years old is because he was confronted with his Dominican Republic birth certificate by an ESPN interviewer during a taping of E:60. You figure ESPN will only get one opportunity to sandbag an athlete in such a way before other players get leery of interviewing for the show. It's just too bad that this is the revelation they chose to run with. A Dominican player lied about his age? Really? That's astonishing.

In the world of football, it looks like Los Angeles is making another serious run at getting a stadium built in the area- but first they need to get an existing NFL team to committ to abandoning their city and moving to LA. Ideally, Jacksonville would be that team, as one of their marquee players is former UCLA Bruin, Maurice Jones-Drew, and they are coached by former USC Trojan and Rose Bowl MVP Jack Del Rio, so there'd be instant player recognition in the area. Developer Edward Roski Jr. says he could have the stadium completed by 2011. Of course the proposed site is roughly 10 miles from a giant hole in the earth in Irwindale where people believed a stadium was going to be built for the Raiders; so buyer beware.

If Roski's dream is to come true, the new stadium will look like this:

What is that? A stadium for ants? How can we expect to bring a football team into LA if they can't even fit inside the building? The stadium has to be at least three times bigger than that!

For some reason, an espn reporter felt compelled to catch up with former NFL flop, Michael Westbrook. During his interview, he revealed that after his infamous assault on teammate Stephen Davis, he stayed in hiding for three years. Not because he was embarrased by his actions, but rather because he had heard rumors that people believed him to be gay. (Well in college, he was Kordell Stewart's favorite "receiver.") Personally, I didn't think Westbrook was gay after his encounter with Davis. However, I wouldn't fault people for questioning his sexuality when his career ended and he decided to dedicate himself to MMA. That's mixed martial arts for the acronym challenged- the sport that combines the overt homoeroticism of shirtless men grinding together on the floor with the tension and drama of prison rape.



At Fri Apr 18, 05:52:00 AM PDT , Blogger FFJewbacca said...

Maybe the same guy that built the Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can't Read Good built LA's new stadium too.


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