Monday, July 10, 2006
  Blogging the Home Run Derby, Round One
(or at least as much of it as I can stomach...)

Welcome to the 2nd Annual TLBR Home Run Derby Blog.

Basically, it'll just be me mocking the HRD in Steel City while sitting on my couch in MKE. (with no pants on. )

Two loyal readers are in the house at PNC, no doubt enjoying a icey IC lights, and some of the best of what Primanti Bros. has to offer. I'll attempt to get in touch with them - ON THE SCENE - in order to legitimize this inane banter I'm about to provide.

So enjoy. Here goes.

6:26 p.m. CT - Harold Reynolds interviews AL manager Ozzie Guillen, talking about his starting lineup. I dunno if you were like me, but I was honestly waiting for him to forget some of the guys he started, and referring to leadoff hitter Ichiro as "that speedy little Jap from Seattle."

6:28 p.m. - HR (that's Harold Reynolds, not home run) interviewing the baddest mama-jama on the planet, David Ortiz.

In regards to his bling and other things, David gets a little Dominican Sartre on our asses: "You know how we do it."

Rhetorical? Si. Existential? Perhaps. Accurate? Damn skippy.

6:31 p.m. - What will viewers of the Home Run Derby know more about by the end of the show: Chris Berman's vocal range -or- the prostate and older men having to "go a lot."

6:34 p.m. - Open call here...we're less than 30 minutes before the start of the derby. How long will it take for Berman to shriek "That one's going to *insert Pennsylvania town/city*!" The odds on the first town/city namedrop:

Altoona 3-2
Allentown 3-1
Harrisburg (it is the capital) 5-1
Scranton 6-1
Wilkes-Barre 10-1
Philadelphia 12-1 (too obvious)

6:36 p.m. - ESPN, dutifully bound by journalistic standards, are discussing steroids and their effect on home run hitting.

Dutifully broach the topic...for 45 seconds. Thanks guys.

(p.s. - you know MLB uses baseballs that are stitched tighter, right? Right?)

6:39 p.m. - Should I start counting the amount of times we see the Trey Wingo-Mobile ESPN commercials? Because there's one.

6:41 p.m. - Forget the Torii Hunter quote about Twins C Joe Mauer getting "man muscles," give him an brown, curly-haired afro, give him a tennis racket, and he's bizaroo Pete Sampras.

6:43 p.m. - Outside of the world of home run hitting, comes this quick hitter from the capital of God's Country - Providence, R.I.

Police chase a suspect up a tree in Providence
A high-speed police chase from Providence to Cranston began at 1:23 a.m. today with a report to police of shots being fired from a white vehicle on Sumter Street.

And it ended shortly before 2 a.m. with police “coaxing” the driver out of a tree in Providence.
According to the Providence police incident report Michael Collins, 26, demolished a recycling bin, drove into the backyard of 7 Gordon St. in Cranston and then jumped out of his car with a second man.

Passenger Adika Manigo, 27, was nabbed immediately, the police said.

(here comes the money shot)

Collins, also known by the nickname “Crime,” was discovered a bit later in the “top branches of a nearby tree,” the police said.

***A criminal with a nickname "Crime." Kinda like a hooker with the nickname "STD."

Ok, back to baseball.

6:48 p.m. - ESPN's list of greatest home runs. It was terrific...even brought me to tears on occasion. Here they are.

- Ted Williams' HR in his last AB.
- Roger Maris' 61st.
- McGwire's 62nd.
- Bonds' 71st.
- Hank Aaron's 715th.
- Bonds' 715th.
- Hank Aaron's 755th.
- The Ken Griffey's go back-to-back.
- Brett's pine tar HR.
- Jimmy Wynn hitting a freeway.
- Reggie Jackson's bomb off the roof of Tiger Stadium.
- Cecil Fielder's bomb out of Tiger Stadium.
- Cal Ripken's HR in the passing Gehrig game.
- Bucky Shampooing Dent.
- Bobby Thomson's Shot hear round the world
- Chambliss 1976 AL pennant clincher.
- Ozzie Smith's HR, prompting the Jack Buck "Go Crazy Folks" call.
- Hendu. 1986. ALCS. Game 5. Yep, I'm welling up.
- Aaron Shampooing Boone.
- Papi. 2004 ALCS. Game 5. I'm farklempt.
- Jim Edmonds in the NLDS in 2004.
- Chris Burke's 18th inning shot for the Astros.
- Pujols in game 5
- Fisk. 1975. Game 6. Awesome.
- Reggie Jackson's 3rd HR of October or something. Whatever.
- Gibson's gimpy HR shot prompting the Jack Buck call "5-to-4, I don't believe what I just saw."
- Kirby Puckett forcing game 7.
- Jeter off BK Kim. In 2001. Whatever.
- Podsednik's WS walk-off last year.
- Joe Carter's WS walk-off in 1992.
- Mazeroski WS walk-off in 1960.

6:59 p.m. ESPN folks making predictions. Kruk - going with Glaus. Philips going with Ryan Howard. Ravech taking Big Papi.

TLBR is going with ... Miguel Tejada. He's won it before. He knows how to pace himself and then dial it up in the second round.

ESPN has the band Big and Rich saving a horse, riding a cowboy, and coming to your city... Um, that's a football song...right? WTF?

Well, at least they have one more song than Hank Williams III.

If you want a little bang in your ying-yang...come along.

7:05 p.m. - Berman in the introduction of the participants: "Are you ready for some long ball?"
Ok, we get it. ESPN has Monday Night Football. Stop with the synergy.

And stop with the Big's Papi. Or poppy. Pronounced with the umpty.

7:08 p.m. - If there's a God and he's male, Erin Andrews is on the field.

Wearing something tight.

7:11 p.m. - HR's from the first round carry over. Hmm. Interesting. That might change a few people's strategery.

Geez, maybe that changes my pick...nah, I'm still going with Tejada.

7:13 p.m. It's not E-Andy as the sideline's Bonnie Belichick, er, Al Bernstein, er, Bonnie Bernstein.

7:17 p.m. - The first three straight pitches were inside, around his chin. Who knew Tejada asked Julian Tavarez to pitch to him?

7:21 p.m. - Miguel Tejada doing a great job in the Line Drive Basehit Derby. But so far, he sucks at the Home Run Derby. Three HR. So much for my pick.

7:25 p.m. - Red Vines + Sierra Mist Free = crazy delicious.

7:26 p.m. - So far, during the Derby, the ESPNSPC (ESPN Shameless Plug Count) reads as follows: ESPN 360 Sports Video Deficiency (2), ESPY's (1), Mobile ESPN (1).

7:29 p.m. - Lance Berkman having only slightly a better stretch than Trot Nixon did yesterday (oh-fer-eight in the 19 inning contest vs. the White Sox). He and Tejada are now tied at...drum roll...three taters.

7:34 p.m. - Miguel Cabrera up next. ESPN having both broadcast teams: Berman and HR on the field and Ravech, Joe Shampooing Morgan, and Kruk in centerfield. So it's not just Berman yelling and screaming. Much more enjoyable.

7:36 p.m. - Bonnie Belichick, er, Bernstein (I need to stop doing that) interviewing Pudge Rodriguez while Cabrera is at the plate. What does that mean? Cabrera's Q-rating sucks.

7:38 p.m. - Q Rating bad. HR count good. His, ahem, four HR just passed Tejada/Berkman.

7:40 p.m. - Seven HR for Cabrera. I'm sorry, make that eight. Best sign of the night so far: "Hit it Here, I Chug a Beer." I hope he takes up a collection. They're eight bucks.

7:41 p.m. - Nine jacks. Solid showing for the kid from the Mahlins. He also hit a home run with the Century 21 gold ball...the count is now up to $42,000.00. Or roughly 1/4 of the Marlins' 2006 payroll.

7:44 p.m. - The "The World Has Changed" commercial by Chevy is Super Bowl good.

7:45 p.m. - There's Trey Wingo for ESPN Mobile! Updated ESPNSPC count: ESPN 360 (2), ESPN Mobile (2), ESPY's (1)

7:47 p.m. - Here comes Troy Glaus. Another high Q rating...we ought to see Kruk trying to outeat Kobayashi in a Primanti Bros. contest.

7:51 p.m. - Glaus has one. Thanks to him, Tejada and Berkman can't take their spikes off...yet....

7:54 p.m. - Paul LoDuca, the NY Mets catcher, is pitching to David Wright , the NY Mets 3B. One unnamed Met made the comment, "if he wanted to hit HR, why didn't he ask Jose Lima?" So cold. But so right.

7:56 p.m. - David Wright just powering pitches out, with some very easy swings. Six HR to just three outs so far.

7:59 p.m. - David Wright is dreamy. He's a player and he crushes a lot. And I bet he doesn't have trouble talking to girls in bars.

But he might need someone to tell him to stop screaming "SHIT!" into the ESPN microphones. 16 waybacks for D-Wright.

8:00 p.m. - Sewickley, PA was the first Pennsylvania town exclaimed by Chris Berman on a deep HR. McKeesport up next.

Tejada...Altoona...boy, I'm hot tonight...Mr. Havercamp...over here Mr. Havercamp...

8:05 p.m. - Three-way tie on the ESPNSPC...ESPY's with their second spot of the night...BUT WAIT! ESPN 360 jumps back into the top spot! ESPN 360 (3), ESPY's/Mobile ESPN (2).

8:07 p.m. - Is that Denis Leary doing the voiceover for the Big Papi Boys & Girls Club commercial?

8:08 p.m. - Outside the baseball world: I don't care if Keira Knightly is anorexic. I really don't.

8:11 p.m. - And more outside the baseball girlfriend lounging on my couch in one of my finest pinpoint buttondowns.

(not really.)

8:12 p.m. - AJ Pierzynski on with ESPN, drops Chris Rose's name on the broadcast. Yeah, that's the guy from Fox's "Best Damned Sports Show." What has me thinking he just won a $100 bet or a steak dinner for that one.

8:13 p.m. - Berman gives Upper St. Clair some love. AJ continues to interrupt and add nothing to the telecast with Erie. Berman is annoyed and, gulp, I agree with him.

Can he just STFU? I mean really...can't we have Michael Barrett punch him in the shampooing mouth again? Besides, AJP needs a smack for the shove he gave Alex Gonzalez in extra innings of yesterday's game, which prevented an inning-ending DP and allowed the tying runto score in the 12th.

I'd rather have Joe Morgan discuss sabremetrics than listen to AJ Pierzynski.

8:14 p.m. - Jermaine Dye hit seven by the way.

8:17 p.m. - Big Papi's up. And it goes splash. And splash. And almost splash.

Everyone's picking him, but methinks he's tired.

8:22 p.m. - And then bounce, splash. Tejada and Berkman can take their spikes off now. Papi's got four.

Bounce, bounce splash. Five.

8:23 p.m. - Ortiz hits his first HR that stays in the park. #6.

"That sounded like the F-16's that buzzed us at the beginning of the night." - Karl Ravech, referring to the dead-centerfield bounce-splasher for HR #7.

Splash. #8. Bounce, splash. #9. Line drive shot to right, #10. And Big Papi advances.

Methinks I suck at predictions.

8:27 p.m. - Outside the baseball world: Adam Carolla jumps ahead a few spots on my list, after hanging up on Ann ("aunt-with-a-C") Coulter.

On a sorta-related note to Ms. Coulter, this is an actual movie.

8:33 p.m. - Ryan Howard up next. #2 bounced off the ESPN set in right-center.

Papi doing an interview and the "Manny question" comes up. He mentions Manuel's right knee pain. That's what my two Dominican brothers do...they got each other's back.

Howard got his 7th, forcing at least a tie with Dye. Tie dye, get it?

8:39 p.m. - Four HR with the Century 21 gold ball give Howard 8 HR and a spot in the next round. Jermaine Dye gets to take his spikes off.

Good. Shampooer. Still mad at him for yesterday.

8:41 p.m. - Mobile ESPN ties ESPN 360 with 3.

The second round is set: Papi, Howard, Wright, Cabrera.
Tejada....Nice Pick Genius!
Go punch yourself in the face.
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