Yakkin' About Baseball

The View Through The Nolan Ryan Jowl-Cam

David Roth: Before this World Series is over, I really hope we can find out what Tony La Russa could've said over the phone to Derek Lilliquist that would've sounded like "Marc Zep-chinski." There is really nothing that sounds like that, except maybe for some long-simmered Ukrainian hoof-and-potato stew

David Raposa: Wait, he was asking for Rzep and got Lynn? I'm not sure there are enough wine coolers west of the Mississippi for TLR to plausibly mush-mouth "Jason Motte" into "Lance Lynn."

David Roth: I think he wanted Motte to pitch to Napoli? Or I'm assuming as much, because you'd have to be a fraudulent Seagrams-7-cured Just For Men box-model [...]


At Least Rudy Giuliani Is Unhappy

David Roth: Well, how do you like that? A guy who looks like a flamboyant, bespectacled version of Grimace doing the Humpty Dance at Yankee Stadium.

David Raposa: You shouldn't talk about David Wells like that. He's worked really hard to beat the gout.

David Roth: You can tell by how shiny he is in the TBS studios. He looks good. He looks less like a week-old, goateed gnocchi than he used to.

David Roth: I'm still baffled by pretty much everything that has happened. When the Diamondbacks played the Mets earlier this year, they seriously looked like a Western European World Baseball Classic entry. One where all [...]


Gain Weight The Andruw Jones Way

David Raposa: So did you see my public plea to read Frank Deford's abominable plan to destroy baseball?

David Roth: I feel for him. I like Frank Deford as an idea, and sometimes as a writer. I will always ride for an old sportswriter who rocks elbow-patch blazers and acts like someone who rocks elbow-patch blazers. There will not be more like him. It's not like Gregg Doyel is ever going to lose the TapouT tees and Thousand Island-magnet facial hairs and somehow age into class. So it's a drag to see Old Frank trolling.

David Raposa: Even with the well-maintained moustache, pomade, and monogrammed cigarette case, he's [...]


The Michael Kay Diet

David Roth: I was trying to explain why having Keith Hernandez sit in the seats at Not-Shea Stadium to announce yesterday's Mets game was such a good idea to my wife. I embarrassed myself.

David Roth: I was saying something along the lines of, "So Keith's, like, haggling with the hot dog vendor, whose name is Orlando, because Keith says hot dogs were $5 last week and now they're $5.50. And then he asked for extra mustard, which he kept calling 'moo-tard' after that." And I felt like Ralph Kiner never feels when he's telling a 15-minute story about Daffy Dean's favorite sandwiches: like I needed to pick up [...]


Jim Leyland Wants To Know Your Intentions

David Roth: Sorry to be late. But I wanted to watch the end of the Mets game, and K-Rod's post-save Jesus-Thank has gotten so elaborate and time-consuming. The game ended almost 10 minutes ago.

David Raposa: Yeah, I turned the channel after he brought out the crown of sunflower seeds.

David Roth: Any savior worth worshipping would've appreciated it, though. The God I believe in really would appreciate Rodriguez laying out the money to hire the Blue Angels for that flyover.

David Raposa: It's too bad there aren't more Scientologists in MLB. I'd love to see the tats and semaphore they'd employ to give L. Ron some love.

David [...]


Ask Your Doctor About Benzinger's Disease

David Raposa: Hey, here's an MLB reality-show pitch: "BEST SHAPE OF YOUR LIFE." You get your Cabreras and your Jobas together at some exotic locale during the off-season, put them through their paces, get a Jillian Michaels knock-off to rip them a new one every time they smuggle in some Archway molasses cookies, etc.

David Roth: Hosted by Rich Garces and Summer Sanders.

David Roth: "They all eat hot dogs like Tic Tacs, but only one of these contestants will be able to report to Spring Training and say… 'I'm in the best shape of my life.'"

David Raposa: CASH MONEY.

David Roth: License up those fake [...]


The Esteban German Algorithm

David Roth: Did you hear that "Let's Go Motte!" chants the Cardinals fans were doing in Game 1? Where do they come up with this stuff?

David Raposa: The Best Fans In Baseball continue to surprise and amaze with their improvisational alacrity. You cannot stop The Best Fans In Baseball. You can only hope to distract them with around-the-clock nonsense about how trading an up-and-coming center fielder for a fourth starter and some back-end bullpen arms is A Good Thing.

David Roth: I don't know that much about St. Louis. I know Fernando Vina was in a Nelly video and that they have tasty Italian-style sandwiches and that they've [...]


Don't Leave Dan Plesac Hanging!

When the full, all-outtakes-taken-in version of Yakkin' About Baseball is released as a three-VHS set around Christmas (by Vestron Video: check for it!), much will be revealed. How much like a S.E. Hinton novel David Roth found this year's Royals to be; how much David Raposa keeps steering things back towards the "fact" that the United Nations/Trilateral Commission "set Ugueth Urbina up" for a crime he didn't commit. But if there is only one lesson to be learned from it, it is that it is very difficult to stay on topic or make jokes—or, at the very least, not type in capital letters all the time—during an Internet-style chat [...]


Randy Wolf’s Most Adequate Moments

David Roth: Good news! I’ve secured a licensing deal for Carlos Zambrano RageBeast 27-Hour Energy Drink. Two flavors, for now: Lemon-Lime and Blind Fury. I’m still trying to figure out the ingredients, though. Any thoughts?

David Raposa: Stage blood. Preferably from a summer stock production of Oedipus.

David Roth: And hot dog water is a must. Because you need the nitrates and sodium and ambient protein. So corn syrup, food coloring… PCP?

David Raposa: Ground-up liver of Michael Barrett.


Snacking About Baseball: Foodstuffs Of The Major League Parks

David Raposa is off this week, but Yakkin' About Baseball will return in its usual format next Friday. In the meantime, I’m offering an exclusive (if admittedly a bit self-promoting) look at a pet project of mine that's snowballed into something of an obsession. For the past seven years, I've been working on a still-untitled book project that has entailed visiting—and eating at—every Major League ballpark. The idea was to provide an overview of the concessions (culinary, ethical, otherwise) of Our American Pastime, but it has become something else entirely.

What was originally intended as a mass-market coffee table book has become something much more ambitious—a cross between a [...]


That’s So Taguchi

David Roth: Did you just see the ad for the prescription trigylceride medication with the line "side effects include burping?" Oh no, you didn't, it was on the Mets game. You're not watching the Mets game. You are so smart.

David Raposa: I thought gas was a natural Mets by-product

David Roth: Side effects of watching the Mets include sob-burping (or sobburping) as well as misery-bloat, teary eyes, perineal fenestration and perforated headaches.

David Raposa: Goddamn that Carlos Beltran.

David Roth: He's only 65 to 70 percent as ridiculously over-blamed as he used to be.

David Raposa: He should try to hit more five-run homers. Do you [...]


Playing Sega Genesis With Manny Ramirez

David Roth: David Raposa, I think you pissed off Tony La Russa. He gets asked these sad I-am-really-on-deadline-right-now questions every day as part of his job. Shouldn't he know how to answer these questions a little less… ulcerously?

David Raposa: Well, David Roth, I have to say that is some weaksauce ranting. He didn't even mention Kurt Bevacqua. Granted, beat reporters are stuck asking that sort of "well duh" nonsense in order to file copy. But he's just trying to rally the troops. Even the ones he can’t remember by name. "You think those Mendoza Lining clowns I field every day to hit behind the pitcher can't [...]


As American As Xbox and Fried Chicken

David Roth: Read any good overhyped pseudo-exposes this week?

David Raposa: God, after that Globe "exclusive," I don't know if I can take any more hard truths. BASEBALL PLAYERS DRINK BEER AND PARTAKE OF UNHEALTHY FOODSTUFFS. MIDDLE-AGED MAN WITH KNEE PROBLEMS TAKES PAIN MEDICATION. SUBPAR EFFORTS FROM HITTERS AND PITCHERS LEADS TO LOSSES. (I am actually yelling those as I type.)

David Roth: I know, I can hear you. I think John Lackey eating a lot of Popeye's is sort of the opposite of "scoop." The tales of same are well-sourced and all that, but I already knew as much. Dude looks like a peevish curly-fry, so I could [...]


A.J. Pierzynski's Mid-Coital Yawp

David Roth: Do you think VH1 is ready for "Baseball Wives" as a spinoff of "Basketball Wives"?

David Raposa: Do you think Jerry Seinfeld asked the world if it was ready for "The Marriage Ref"?

David Roth: He only asks rhetorical questions, but you're right. I am picturing the same level of heated incoherence and wine-faced ill will as "Basketball Wives," definitely the same turn-back-the-clock-on-gender-perceptions vibe. But everyone wears eye-black in the opening credits and it is set in Boston. And the cast is someone who divorced Bill Mueller back in 2003, Curt Schilling's wife, a kind of trampy lady who says she dated Mark Bellhorn, and a diva [...]


Bronx Bombers, Defective Robots

David Roth: I've been on vacation in a place without TV and alarmingly rich in Phillies fans. But I wanted to clear something up with you in re: Yadier Molina's Crazy Eyes Killer routine with that ump.

David Raposa: Thank you for reminding me to witness that bit of TV history (before MLB brings the Sledge-O-Matic down on YouTubers). What is your question, esteemed colleague?

David Roth: Do you think that, since he got that neck tattoo, Yadier feels like he needs to act tough? Like step out of Bengie's shadow, not be known as The Molina Who Can't Eat All That Many Pancakes?

David Raposa: I thought [...]


The Pynchonian Bullpen

David Roth: Hello! I am watching the suddenly unstoppable Mets offense bludgeon the Tigers bullpen.

David Raposa: I saw! It looked like every button Leyland tried to push turned out to be either the dashboard lighter or the ejector seat.

David Roth: I don't even know how to act when the Mets are playing like this. It's not helping the unreality factor that everyone in the Tigers pen has a name out of a Pynchon novel. Charles Furbush and Al Albuquerque, debating quantum physics in a punny way or whatever.

David Roth: Also for some reason, every Tigers game I watch features really audible hecklers. Some guy just gave [...]


Luke Scott's 'American History K'

David Raposa: Here is some high-quality fantasy baseball analysis: "[Joey Votto's .476 OBP is] 50 points higher than the on-base percentage he posted a year ago but he has increased that mark each of his first four seasons in the majors so he should be able to keep up this pace."

David Roth: That sentence is a joy to read. I'm so glad Rotoworld has Michael Ondaatje writing for them now.

David Raposa: How would you rejigger those bon mots, Mr. Professional Writer, Sir? "Hey, so this guy is getting on base like Barry Bonds, but he should be able to continue that ridiculous pace, so you can [...]


The Animal Collective Of The AL East

Baseball: it is slow, and sometimes you see sexagenarians, who are not necessarily in shape, walking around in pinstriped uniforms otherwise worn by guys several decades younger. It is drowsy and arcane and there are bro-tats and shark's tooth necklaces and action-less stretches that stretch towards the 45-minute mark. It is during one of these stretches—dudes just kind of milling around, a concerned and mustachioed old grump trotting arthritically towards the mound, the broadcasters maybe a bit tipsy or maybe not—that you should probably imagine the maunderings to follow occurring. Pretend we're some place that smells like hot dogs and old, soft, translucently fried things. It'll make it seem [...]