A recent ESPN article titled Chicks Dig the Ground Ball, featured on the ESPN Mag cover, Brandon McCarthy and his wife, Amanda McCarthy. Thanks to the magazine, it’s come to my attention that the Oakland A’s are stacked with talent. Maybe not so much when it comes to on the field athletes, but definitely when it comes to their rather attractive wives. I know, I know, every team has hot players’ wives. I chose to focus on the A’s for no other reason than I haven’t written about them much lately.
My favorite couple is Eric Sogard, ASU and his wife, Kaycee Sogard, Phoenix. Any chance I get to rep ASU you know I’m going to do it. Especially with as crappy as they have been in every single sport lately. Anyhow, Kaycee Sogard and AMC are friends, it’s kind of fun to follow them on twitter. You know, just to see how the others live.
I used to hate on Manny Ramirez a lot. I mean, let’s face it, he’s done tons of dumb shit. Why else would he get the moniker Manny Being Manny? Now, I feel kind of bad for the guy. I wish him success with the A’s and it would be cool if he and Yoenis Cespedes could somehow recreate that BashBoy Magic ala the late 80’s. One thing Manny definitely did right? Choosing his baby’s momma.
While we’re on the subject of player’s wives and having absolutely nothing to do with the Oakland A’s, let’s play a little word association. What comes to mind when I say, “Casey Daigle.” Some of you may know where I’m going with this. Congratulations. Wait for it. Others likely say, “Who?”. Some may know him as a former major league pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks, although I use the term pitcher loosely. He was more of a guy who pretended to act as a pitcher and gave up a lot of runs to the opposition. He could have used some tips from his wife, ex Arizona Wildcat (meow) and USA softball superstar, Jennie Finch.
Oh and sticking with the having nothing to do with the Oakland A’s theme, but plenty to do with WestSide Culture and Jennie Finch. Some of you know about my new found obsession in Kate Upton. My only question is, why, for the love of baseball gods, did the photographers at the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix only get this one picture of K-Up and JFinch together? Really? That opportunity and you get one photo. Well, at least Erin Andrews made it in there too. (As a side note, if anyone knows who the 4th girl is in the photo, let me know in the comments below. In my dreams, I like to pretend its Zoe Saldana of Avatar and Colombiana lore.
(Credit where credit is due): Juliana Ramirez photos courtesy of : Flickr Manny Ramirez 24
I don’t know what this post will have to do with Samurai Swords, yet I assure you I will try to work it in at some point. I mean, duh, they’re cool as shit. And Japanese and that’s where the Oakland A’s play today and tonight. Japan. It’s 9:04pm on the West Coast and they are in the 3rd inning of a 2nd game, currently losing 7-0 to the Hanshin Tigers, the same team who beat the Seattle Mariners yesterday.
Earlier today the A’s defeated the Yomiuri Giants. The Giants and the Tigers, two classic names for some Japanese baseball teams. They could have at least went with the Samurai Swords. See, told you I’d get it in there. And it’s 9:12pm. Didn’t even take me 8 minutes. 8 minutes seems like a lot of time to write a paragraph. I must not be very good at this writing thing. Why am I telling you my thoughts? Damn. And normally I’m so much more confident than this. I wonder if the Japanese fans have seen Moneyball with Brad Pitt? How would Moneyball translate in Japanese? I bet it’s Yenball. Who do you think would win this fight: Yenball or samaurai sword?
Kurt Suzuki for the A’s, can I get a home run, playa? In Japan. Way to get it done against the home county. Yes, I know he’s from Hawaii. But his name is Kurt Kiyoshi Suzuki, I’m assuming he’s got Japanese ancestors somewhere in the family line. Maybe not. Either way.
Now, I know Ichiro Suzuki is from Japan. And he went 1/4 against his native land. Really Ich, that’s the best you can do? The fans were there to see you.
Ooh, upon (not to be mistaken for Ippon) researching Samurai swords, I came across this little slice of info for you. The katana (刀) is one of the traditional Japanese swords (日本刀 nihonto) worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan, also commonly referred to as a “samurai sword”. That is taken right from Wikipedia, so if it’s incorrect, blame them.
As a side note, remember Kitana from Mortal Kombat? Man, she was a hottie. Not that I’m into judging how attractive computer generated females may or may not be. I’m just saying, if I was into that kind of thing, I might find her attractive. In that kick my ass, stilleto boot, fan with razor sharp blades, kind of way.
You know what I’m talking about.
I’ve heard Sir Albert really likes it when you call him El Hombre. I look forward to when he plays on the road and fans bust out large El Hombre signs. Actually that will probably just make him mad, something you definitely don’t want to do when he’s playing your team.
Mr. Pujols played his first Cactus League Spring Training game today and went 2/3 in the process. He had a double and RBI. The other Angels newcomer, CJ Wilson pitched 2 scoreless innings against the Oakland A’s.
Manny Ramirez still does not have a hit this spring and is 0/5 as an A. Josh Reddick and Brandon Allen continue to tear the cover off the ball. Yoenis Cespedes has not played yet, but is getting closer. Excited to see what he does. There could be something to this A’s squad. Plus, if they are terrible, there’s always my boy, Run BMC and his girl, Amanda McCarthy.
Elsewhere in WC Baseball (that’s West Coast abbreviated), the Mariners played my now hometown San Diego Padres. Carlos Quentin got his first Spring Training action this year with a 2/2, double, single, walk appearance. Just missed a home run and triple for the rich man’s cycle. I don’t know what that means, but I think it involved the walk part of the cycle. Speaking of rich men (that doesn’t sound good coming from me), the newest Millionaire, Cameron Maybin did not play today. I’d take the day off too if I just received $25M. Good signing for Los Friars and my man, JB.
I love me some Andy Van Slyke. This whole post has some rather gay overtones to it. Not sure what that’s all about. Anyway, the AVS produced a very talented ball player in Scott Van Slyke. That dude can flat out mash a baseball. I hope he makes the big league squad. He’ll be fun to watch. Van Slyke, the younger one, had a two run HR for the Dodgers today to help his case.
Los Giants are under the lights tonight in Scottsdale or as I like to call it, the mean streets of Scottsdale or just plain Scottsdiggity. Interesting the two places I’ve lived in my life both have SD. Lots of initials and abbreviations today, too. Not sure. Maybe it has to do with the Mayan calendar. WSC out.
The Arizona Diamondbacks played two games on Saturday to start their Cactus League season. One of the match-ups paired two of baseball’s best young pitching prospects head to head. Trevor Bauer-outage went against opposing starter, Drew Pomeranz for the Colorado Rockies. Both pitchers went 2 innings each and recorded two strikeouts. Bauer did not give up a walk or a hit. Legit stuff. Ace in the making. Glad he’s a D’Back.
I’ve been saying for weeks now, screaming actually, to anyone who will listen that Drew Pomeranz is going to be a stud and that the rest of the Rockies are a) old, b) almost fossil like and c) will struggle on offense. It’s only one game and it is Spring, but the Rockpile started with an ominous sign. They had their starting lineup, sans Helton, and totaled one run on four hits. I fully expect some backlash from the Rockies fans on this. It seems if I sneeze the wrong way, the Rox fans let me know all about it.
Elsewhere, a quick recap of two days in the Cactus League. Justin Upton is ready to start the regular season. Chris Young, ready for the regular season. Tim Lincecum, Jemile Weeks, Brandon Belt, regular season. Manny Ramirez? Not ready for the regular season. Prospect wise, Jesus Montero looks like the real deal in Seattle with a HR in his Cactus League debut. Jarrod Parker pitched 2 innings, striking out 4 and giving up no runs. Michael Choice in Oakland and Nolan Arenado are hitless, but it is very early. Like day one.
So keep checking back. WestSide Culture is your source for all things C-League and we’ll tell it like it is. Like the Rockies will be lucky to win 70 games this year.
My countdown calendar tracks how many days til the regular season begins and we are at less than 30!
The regular season kicks off in Japan with the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. Sure, there will be a host of Spring Training and exhibition games played after their battle and before the April 4th U.S. Opening Day, but the games still count. So mark your calendars for March 28th, make reservations at your favorite sushi place, order a Kirin and watch some baseball. Ichiro in his home country taking on Manny, Yoenis and the A’s. It’s going to be fun! Ippon!
As a side note, please be careful when referring to these games. You don’t want to pull an ESPN Jeremy Lin or a Ben and Jerry’s. Fortune cookie say, “Caution.”
I am excited about both the NL West and AL West this season. Additions like Albert Pujols, Yoenis Cespedes, Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera, Carlos Quentin, Yu Darvish and many others, brings an increased focus to West Coast baseball. Plus there are some incredible prospects in both these divisions. Guys like Yonder Alonso (Padres), Jesus Montero (Mariners), Mike Trout (Angels), Jarrod Parker (A’s), Michael Choice (A’s), Jurickson Profar (Rangers), Trevor Bauer (D’Backs), Tyler Skaggs (D’Backs) and Nolan Arenado (Rockies) are all future big league All-Stars.
There is no doubt the top two teams in the AL West, Rangers and Angels, are going to dominate the headlines, but don’t count out the Oakland A’s. They have made some very interesting moves this off-season and refuse to just give up. While I don’t think they can win the division, I do think they will finish above .500, leaving the Mariners destined for last.
The NL West, like just about every year, is just going to beat up on each other, until one team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, pulls away from the pack. The Giants, Dodgers, Padres and Rockies have each improved, but I still believe AZ has the best team.
The East Coast seems to get 99% of the baseball coverage, with the Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Braves and Rays leading the way. That’s fine. I understand how major markets and advertising dollars work (I majored in Marketing). I have however, started to see a shift this year. It appears as though MLB.com, ESPN.com, Yahoo, etc have taken notice that there is some seriously good baseball about to be played on the West Coast. I’m seeing a lot of Angels, A’s, Rockies, Rangers, D’Backs, Dodgers and Giants headlines leading the homepages of the previously mentioned sites.
About time. Last time the West Coast got this much love, NWA ran the streets of Los Angeles. Now, it’s the Angels. Although technically they are in Anaheim.