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Full Count: Takeaways from Week 2 of the MLB Season

 

1. Christian Yelich Is A Man Of The People

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A Wisconsin family held up a sign asking Christian Yelich to hit a home run so that their father would buy them a puppy. Yelich obliged by firing 3 home runs into Lake Michigan (which I assume at this point has been fully replaced with Miller Light) giving the family what they came for. But he was not done yet, he then brought the family into the Brewer’s locker room and gave them a puppy who they named Yeli.

Also, by taking the Cardinals behind the woodshed for 3 homers, he only needs a few more to tie the single-season record for home runs hit against the Cardinals (A weird stat I know, but impressive nonetheless). The reigning MVP is on his way to having an incredibly strong 2019 season.

2.Chris Davis Is Back, Baby

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Crush’s legendary, historical, comical, and kind of relatable hitless streak finally came to an end this week after 54 ABs. He got his first hit when he roped a 2 RBI single against the Red Sox. He followed that up by hitting a 2-run homer to the dismay of everyone who was hoping that the Red Sox would be a decent team this year. I have no idea how the Red Sox became the team that everybody, including Davis, can take deep but it gives me no joy. The Orioles playing better than the Red Sox makes me about as happy as a turtle who just found out the other turtle he has been trying to mate with for the past 4 and a half hours is just a suspiciously turtle-shaped rock.

3.Blake Snell Is An Idiot

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In a stroke of genius Tampa Bay Ace and 2018 Cy Young award winner broke his toe trying to nudge a statue in his house. If there is anything to be learned from this incident is that you should aspire to never put stone objects in your house. When you start going down the road of putting anything granite in your house, other than countertops, you’re on a one-way track to becoming a person who has a bookcase full of geodes. I don’t know how it happens and I don’t think they do either, one day you’re installing a granite centerpiece for your living room and the next you’re polishing a geode coffee table to balance your chakras. Also, Blake Snell looks like he sells fake molly to college freshman on spring break in Miami.

4.The Mariners Continue to Hit Dingers

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Seattle has been raking more than a landscaper in October. More than a British politician in the 17th century.  More than a 9-year-old who is being punished by an overbearing father after the kid came home with a C+ on his report card. Any way you slice it the Mariners have been on a tear hitting a home run in 18 straight games and aren’t showing any signs of stopping. They have been playing great ball this year and should have a strong fight with the Astros for control of the AL West. Don’t be too surprised if you see them in the postseason this year.

Full Count: 5 Takeaways from Week 1 of the MLB Season

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1.The Red Sox stink.

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They stink out loud. They stink like month old whole milk. They stink more than a northern Atlantic scrod that’s been baking on the hull of a fishing boat for a month.

After being the best team in baseball last year the Sox have tumbled out of the gate big time. They lost to a man named Wade LeBlanc, who is not a pivotal member of the French Bourgeoisie but a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Rick Porcello threw a water cooler in frustration only nine games into the season.

Things are not going well. But, the Sox are opening at home tomorrow against Blue Jays so maybe they’ll be able to regain their ability to play baseball after they get presented their rings at Fenway and remember that they know how to win baseball games.

2. Cody Bellinger is the best hitter in baseball

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He is leading the MLB in Home Runs and RBIs and leading the NL in batting average. He is slashing .455/.489/1.023. He has a hit in all 10 games this season and 6 multi-hit games. He has caught fire like Paradise, California and isn’t showing any signs of stopping. He is mashing home runs this year, don’t be surprised if he not only gets into the derby but leads the entire league. He is my early dark horse(?) MVP candidate.

3. Chris Davis is the worst hitter, possibly ever.

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He has not gotten a hit in his last 47 ABs, which has broken the major league record for consecutive at-bats without a hit previously set by Eugenio Velez in 2011. He has a $161 million dollar contract and cannot hit the ball. Simply can’t do it, at this point it is like he’s converting to Buddhism and taking a vow of strikeouts. The Orioles aren’t expecting to really make any noise this year so it may not matter much, but Davis may become the biggest bust of a contract in recent memory.

4. Mike Trout is still very good at baseball.

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It is April 8th and Trout already has a WAR of 1.2. The Angels have played 6% of their games this year. If he keeps up this pace (which he very much might do, he is Mike Trout) then he will finish this season with roughly 10 WAR. At this point in his career, he has 64.2 WAR which means he’ll pass the likes of Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn, and Frank Thomas. This would be in his 10th season of baseball, the four I just mentioned all played a minimum of 19 years in the MLB. Mike Trout is just too god damn good at baseball and he has no intention of stopping.

5.Yasiel Puig Will Absolutely Fight About It.

After the Reds Derek Dietrich crushed a baseball across state lines and stopped to admire his work from his spot in the batters box and Pirates pitcher Chris Archer didn’t take too kindly to it.

Archer threw behind Dietrich the next time he came to the plate, which is the baseball equivalent of UFC fighters throwing cans of Monster at other men dressed only in a spandex bathing suit. Puig had Reds players hanging from his legs trying to stop him from knocking Chris Archer’s head into low earth orbit. Tucker Barnhardt was dragged like 4-year-old who doesn’t want to leave a birthday party with a bouncy castle.

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Hump Day Deep Dive #1-Old Hoss Radbourn

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This is a weekly blog that will take a look at figures in sports that deserves a deeper dive.

We think of ace pitchers in the modern MLB mowing down teams at an unfathomable pace, racking up stats and outdoing their predecessors. We lose sight of those who are truly giants of the sport. Among those, the best single-season campaign put together by a pitcher, the immortal Old Hoss Radbourn.

Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn in 1884 had a season that will never be matched. He started and completed a staggering 73 games that season and finished with an unimaginable total of 678.2 innings pitched and 2,672 batters faced. For those 678.2 innings pitched he finished with a 1.38 ERA, which would have him finished first in the 2018 season. Think about that statement, in a total of almost 680 innings pitched, he had a better ERA than a pitcher who threw in 41 fewer games and 461 fewer innings in 2018.

All these stats need to be put into context for the time period to make any kind of argument, right?

Radbourn pitched in the early days of the MLB, just 15 years after its formation he was dominating batters with ease. Now, does it reflect the rest of the league that Radbourn had a 41-year-old First Baseman on his team? Maybe, but that just shows Radbourn’s dominance, being able to overcome the obstacle of a 41-year-old first baseman trying to stretch for an out. Tom Brady can barely run 3 yards before falling to the ground in a crumpled heap, and 41-year-old Joe Start hit .276 before penicillin was invented. And, if the Yankees count their 47 rings from the 1920s, we can count Old Hoss tossing an ungodly amount of innings in 1884.

Radbourn started as a boy throwing rocks against a barn door to strengthen his arm, before graduating to semi-pro ball in Bloomington, Illinois. After a series of stints in Peoria, Buffalo, and the Northwest League (The first minor league outside of the east coast) his friend Bill Hunter impersonated Radbourn and agreed to a contract with the Providence Grays.

This is where the 5’8, 168 lb giant of a man that was Old Hoss Radbourn completed his Mona Lisa. His first 3 years in Providence were a buildup to something great. He slowly increased his pitching starts, starting at 36 starts in his first year to 68 just 2 years later. Radbourn was able to throw a spitball without the spit, the mythical rising fastball, and a changeup that many considered blasphemy. All before people knew that bread could be sold pre-sliced.

Now, for the storied 1884 season. It started with Radbourn being suspended for fighting fellow pitcher Charlie Sweeney after he accused Radbourn of throwing a game. It then turned itself around when just a week later Sweeney was pitching a 6-2 gem while hammered drunk, and he was ejected from the park for being as belligerent as a frat brother on dollar Vodka Red Bull night. Because of this, Radbourn volunteered himself to start every game that season so that the team would never have to forfeit. This guy put the team on his back long before Greg Jennings caught that game winning 99-yard touchdown with a broken leg.

That is how Radbourn got to the point where he was starting every single game for the Grays, and how he got to the point where he pitched 3 complete games in the world series, allowing only 3 runs and winning the pennant for Providence. This is also how he became a member of the first MLB Hall of Fame Class of 1939.

After he retired, Radbourn lived a simple life. He opened a saloon and billiards room like every man did in the 1800s. He was also a hunter, who got Dick Cheney’d by his friend on a hunting trip, losing vision in his left eye and suffering from partial paralysis. This caused Radbourn to live much like myself, a recluse who tended to sit in the back room of his apartment and drink away his sorrows because he did not like the way he looked.

The man how was once the talk of the town now was dying of both tuberculosis and syphilis at the same time and would succumb to those illnesses, among others, in 1897. The man who could throw a curveball before cars could turn would forever be remembered as the owner of the best pitching season and nickname in MLB history.

And a final note, how did he get the name “Old Hoss”? Well, he got it because he loved the game so much and was as dedicated to it as an old man is to receiving letters from Publisher’s Clearing House.

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RIP, Sweet Prince