Cubs

Grown man tackles kid going for ball

Posted by Paul Caputo on September 12, 2013
Baseball, Pirates / 1 Comment

Can we all agree that this Pirates fan is the worst person in the world? This is from tonight’s Cubs-Pirates game in Pittsburgh.

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Football Season: Realistic Expectations

Posted by Phil Broder on August 16, 2013
Detroit, Football, Lions / 2 Comments

The Philadelphia Eagles won last night, a fact trumpeted out on my local TV news this morning. Who cares that it’s only preseason, that the Birds haven’t picked a starting QB yet, that one of their starting receivers is already out for the season, or that it’s only preseason. Did I mention that it’s only preseason? For Eagles fans, last night’s victory was simply proof that their boys in green are destined to win the Super Bowl.

I live in South Jersey, in what is generally considered Eagles territory, and let me tell you, I am fed up with Eagles fans. They consider it their god-given right to play in the Super Bowl every year. Anything less would be a colossal disappointment. Merely winning the division is a huge let-down. Well listen, all you spoiled Birds lovers, perhaps you should look to my hometown, Detroit, to understand how cruel football season can be.

Lions3Football season in Motown is widely accepted to be those couple weeks in October when the Tigers have made the final out of baseball season and the Red Wings haven’t yet dropped the puck on hockey season. Because nobody in Detroit dreams of a Super Bowl win. We know that it won’t ever happen. Or at least not until the Cubs win a World Series. Heck, just getting to the Super Bowl would be a life-altering experience for most Detroiters. But we’re pragmatic. We don’t expect that.
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30 Stadiums in 30 Days: It Can Be Done

Posted by Paul Caputo on May 28, 2013
Baseball, Fandom / 5 Comments

road_trip

It’s every baseball fan’s dream: the ultimate baseball road trip—30 Major League Baseball games in 30 days in 30 different stadiums—plus one extra minor league game we’ll squeeze in one evening in Brooklyn after we take in an afternoon Yankees game. I should be clear here that this road trip is hypothetical. It is physically possible to do, but if I actually tried to do it, I would end up divorced, broke, and unemployed. But make no mistake: It could be done, and it could be done this season.

Here’s how it breaks down: There are hypothetically four of us in a hypothetical 1999 Oldsmobile Bravada, so we can hypothetically rotate drivers and sleep in the car on the road in shifts as needed. Hypothetically. We are counting on four-hour games, and basing driving times and distances on information from Google Maps. On most nights, we’ll stay in hotels, but there are occasions when we’ll have to drive through the night, in some cases with very little margin for error. Let me be clear: WE WILL DO THIS FOR THE CAUSE.

If everything goes to plan, from August 12 to September 10, we will see one game per day (plus that one Brooklyn Cyclones game), we will drive 13,575 miles in 208 hours, and we won’t miss a single pitch. Here’s how it will go (driving distances and times to each stadium are in parentheses):

August 12 - Indians at Twins, 7:10
We start in Minneapolis, clean shaven and everyone smiling and laughing. The car does not yet smell like Tony Siragusa’s laundry hamper. Everything is good.

August 13 – Pirates at Cardinals, 7:15
(561 miles, 8:41)
We stay in a hotel and leave mid-morning to get to St. Louis in time for first pitch. Still fired up. A 30-day diet of encased meat and helmet sundaes still seems awesome.

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2013 MLB Division Predictions: AL West

Posted by Paul Caputo on March 26, 2013
Baseball / No Comments

We’ll be previewing all six Major League Baseball divisions over the next three days, even the one with the Astros in it. Let’s start with the American League West.

angels_logoLast year, the upstart Athletics overtook the opposite-of-upstart Texas Rangers to claim the AL West title in the final days of the season. This is because the Rangers are still in the early stages of what I predicted back in 2011 will be a decade-long hangover from the way they let the 2011 World Series slip out of their grasp.

The AL West features one more team this year than it has in the past, but that team is the Astros, so never mind. This year, the official BTBNL prediction is that the AL West will go to the Angels (“LA’s Other Team!”). Here’s the full prediction for the division.

Angels
Albert Pujols is the new A-Rod, and not in a good way, but the rest of the division is fatally flawed, so the Angels will win the division title they’ve been trying to buy for the last few years. Their win total is up from last year because they get to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 97-65
Last Year: 89-73

Rangers
The curse of Nelson Cruz missing that fly ball in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series continues. They’ll have a 10-game lead in September and choke it away. Their win total is up from last year because they get to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 95-67
Last Year: 93-69

A’s
The dream is over. Back to reality. Brad Pitt will star in the movie about last season’s dramatic division win, but the movie about this year’s team is going to be all Louis CK and Danny Devito. Their win total is down from last year in spite of getting to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 85-77
Last Year: 94-68

Mariners
Honestly, we thought the Mariners had moved to Oklahoma. Was that their basketball team? I dunno. Anyway, their win total is up from last year because they get to play the Astros 19 times.

2013 Prediction: 81-81
Last Year: 75-87

Astros
Bad news for the Astros: They don’t get to play any games against the Astros. They’ll win three games, all in a series sweep against the Cubs. Otherwise, it will not be a fun season in Houston.

2013 Prediction: 3-159
Last Year: 55-107

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The Houston Astros in 2013: Let’s Look at the Bright Side

Posted by Paul Caputo on March 04, 2013
Astros, Baseball, Logos / No Comments

Astros-Uniforms

Okay, let’s be honest, things are not looking good for the Houston Astros this season. Free agent signings Erik Bedard and Carlos Pena are probably not the missing ingredients for a team that lost 107 games last season and finished 33 games out of first place in a terrible division. Most of the predictions I’m seeing have the Astros performing even worse in 2013, when they take their tiny payroll to the much more competitive American League West. The Sports Jerk Network has them going 52-110 this season, while Bleacher Report predicts a 51-111 season, and my own yet-to-be-released season preview has them winning only three games in 2013, all against the Cubs.

So let’s look on the bright side: The Houston Astros are a single move away from a championship in 2013—a move to the Pacific Coast League.* But since they’re moving to the American League instead, at least they won’t have to worry about practicing bunting during Spring Training. And also since they’re moving to the American League, rookie manager Bo Porter won’t have to worry about, well, anything after handing in the lineup card. And since they’re moving from a central division to the west, Houston will be closer to the Pacific Ocean and therefore a much more attractive city to visit. (We’re consulting with our top scientists to make sure this is actually how this works.) And since their payroll is among the lowest in baseball (possibly the lowest, but I’m not getting paid to look this stuff up), maybe they won’t charge too much for parking. Bright side!

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