Monday Mailbag – Featuring Kawasaki’s Dancing Skills

I almost didn’t get to be a part of this week’s mailbag, due to suspension and Joel being a jerk. See, even though I don’t get paid to do this and writing goes against my whole philosophy of “if something is hard to do, it isn’t worth doing”, week after week Joel expects results and a certain level of professionalism on my part. Week after week I let him down, but apparently a dress-code violation was just too much. Rather than wearing my company mandated writing tuxedo, I chose to wear a pair of sweats and a TMNT t-shirt. Oops. Luckily for you, the reader, Joel just gave me a stern talking to this time, with a warning that if it happens again I’ll be forced to write a piece about how his fantasy team is so much better than mine. Won’t happen again, boss, I swear. Anyway, as always, these are real questions from fake readers. 

Q: What is it like to be a bench player on a team that has one of the worst records in baseball about halfway through the season? – Andruw J.

Joel: I don’t know why you are asking us this. Unless there is something I don’t know about Keenan, neither of us played baseball professionally. But I would imagine that being on the bench on a terrible team would be pretty depressing. Unless you are Munenori Kawasaki and can dance your pain away.

Kawasaki. Professional Dancer.

Keenan: My experience with actually playing organized sports has been limited to 3rd string middle linebacker in Jr. High football and batting 8th (it was the 2nd clean-up spot in the batting order according to my coach) on my little league team. But both of those teams were championship caliber, so I guess I can’t sympathize. My advice to Andruw J. is this – collect your paycheck and shut up.

Q: I am outrage! We need to replace the umpires with video replay! Right? – Every Cleveland fan

Joel: Hello outrage. That’s hardly a question and I’m assuming you’re referring to the Dewayne Wise magic trick? Naturally, that play sparked the weekly debate about instituting replay for all the plays. I don’t agree. We should be applauding Wise. He sold the catch and showed so much confidence that the umpire didn’t even check his glove for the ball. It clearly was not the right call, but it’s one game out of 162. I find it hilarious that Wise fooled the umpire. Why can’t we just ridicule the umpire for completely failing at his job?

Keenan: I disagree. Bring on the replay. Every close play at the plate, every “did he or didn’t he” catch, every “wtf” ball/strike call, replay them all. So what if it makes the game longer…people watching at home probably only have the game on in the background anyway, and the people at the stadium are only there as an excuse to get drunk. I guess my point is: baseball is boring to watch anyway, it might as well be boring AND properly officiated.

Q: What are your thoughts on Martin Perez’s call up for the Rangers? – Nolan R.

Joel: Perez was once a top prospect with a high ceiling. Then he reached Triple-A and didn’t do much. The Rangers called him up anyway and he made his debut against the Tigers and promptly got run over by Prince Fielder. Baseball, more exciting than football!

Welcome to the big leagues Martin Perez.

Keenan: If being semi-sexually-assaulted by Prince Fielder is some sort of initiation into the big leagues, then I suppose I should thank my little league coach for that whole 2nd clean-up spot thing.

Q: Wait, so are those headlines you post each week real? – Michael G.

Joel: Yes sir! And we’ve got some good ones this week. A bit dirty actually…

3. Firing blanks: Bumgarner makes history

2. Astros do some Wells drilling

1. Giants get case of Latos intolerance

Keenan: I know you were all hoping for more awesome Photoshops this week, but stop being greedy. Also, do you really want to see a poorly manipulated picture of Matt Latos with vicious diarrhea, or Wells getting drilled? Ew.

Q: Did you see that Mike Trout catch? – Jered W.

Joel: Yes, and good timing. Keenan is letting me select the weekly Outside is Overrated Stud of the Week for this week. Week. Since my man-crush on Mike Trout can be classified as raging, he’s my selection. Trout Trout Trout Trout. Trout Trout.

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TroutTroutTroutWeaverhattip

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Monday Mailbag – Featuring Stephen Strasburg Calling Me… Maybe

We had some great clown questions last week, but unfortunately there is no theme for this week. There was potential for chicken-themed questions in honor of Frank Francisco calling the Yankees chickens, but that was too much work. So instead of some rambling introduction, let’s get straight to the questions, .gifs, and Photoshops. As always, these are real questions from fake readers.

Q: Isn’t the Joel Peralta suspension a bit excessive? – Brett L. and Delmon Y.

Joel: Yes. An eight-game suspension for having “a significant amount” of pine tar in your glove seems like it’s a few games too long. My reaction was similar to the face Jemile Weeks makes in the batters box.

Jemile Weeks is very surprised.

And Baltimore Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day agrees that this suspension is just ridiculous:

Keenan: I think they should have investigated the situation a little more before handing down the sentence. Perhaps Peralta was just keeping a tasty snack of delicious, delicious pine tar in his glove. Mmmmmmm…pine tar…

Q: I can’t think of a clever way to ask about the best MLB.com headlines… so, yeah. – Keenan H.

Joel: Well Keenan, I’m glad you brought them up! Here are my favorites from the past week with Photoshops, from you:

3. If you need a win, call me, maybe

We are pretending that we didn’t know “call me, maybe” was a reference to this abomination. Although, that song does nicely sum up my feelings about Strasburg. Before he came into my life, I missed him so, so bad.

2. Indians call a Cab, take ride into first place

1. MmmBop: Braves’ pop backs Hanson

MmmBop indeed.

The best part of the Hanson pun is that they’ve already used it.

Keenan: I couldn’t come up with a Photoshop for #2 that wasn’t terribly stupid or horribly racist.

Q: Why are all Yankees’ fans idiots? – Jason H.

Joel: Before I upset the majority of the baseball fan population, not all Yankees’ fans are idiots. Just 99% of them. Included in that 99% are these fans:

Typical Yankees’ fans.

There are so many great things about this .gif. Of course you noticed the overly excited fan with the quintuple fist pump in a game where, after that home run, the Yankees are down 6-3. You also noticed overly excited fan’s lady friend give him a hearty slap on the back, followed by a jumping, half-hug before sealing the deal by pointing at and heckling Jason Heyward, all while holding her beer. But did you notice the sleeveless fan slide over a few seats to give the wall a few good smacks and throw some air punches while shouting at Heyward? Or what about the backwards hat kid in the oversized, unbuttoned Yankee’s jersey with no shirt underneath? He succumbs to peer pressure with a soft punch of his glove and then a weak wall slap. He is truly a young Yankee fan in training. While all this craziness happens in the stands, Heyward simply walks away laughing. Best. .GIF. Ever.

Keenan: I reflected on this question for quite a while, and came to this conclusion: asking why all Yankees fans are idiots is like asking why they cast Guy Pierce as an old man with a terrible makeup job in Prometheus, instead of just casting an actual old man. Or asking why someone would watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory and think to themselves “I rather like this”. Or asking why my wife cries herself to sleep every night. These are all questions with no answers, and really not worth dwelling on. Yankees fans are idiots, and we just need to accept this as the truth and move on.

Q: Something something Stud of the Week something. – Some Guy

Keenan: My choice for our Outside is Overrated Weekly Stud of the Week is Will Middlebrooks. Numbers wise, in the last 7 days he’s second to only Mike Trout on the ESPN fantasy player rater. But, more importantly, he went up against Kevin Youkilis in a winner-take-all, Thunderdome-esque battle for everyday 3rd base rights, and emerged the victor. At least that’s how I like to imagine it going down. Oh man, why didn’t I photoshop that?

Joel: But does Middlebrooks have an awesome Trout hat?

Remember, we’d love to answer real questions if you would actually send them to outsideisoverrated@gmail.com.

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Monday Mailbag – Featuring Clown Questions… Bro?

We had a tough decision to make about this week’s mailbag. We knew we wanted it to revolve around this, but what direction should we take? Originally, I wanted to write a bunch of questions that a bro might ask a clown. But writing from the perspective of a bro proved too difficult for me, no matter how hard I popped my collar, and the only questions I could think to ask a clown were “are you going to molest me?” and “will you please not molest me?” Neither of those are remotely appropriate for a sports blog. Instead, we decided to field questions from actual (fake) baseball loving clowns. Who are also terrifying, because screw clowns. Bro.

Seriously though, what’s up with the infield fly rule?

Q: We all know that the umpires clowned the Mets, right? – Krusty

Joel: Look, when Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, we didn’t give him credit. Because he didn’t actually throw a no-hitter. To be fair, I would like to congratulate R.A. Dickey for throwing the first no-hitter in Mets history. It’s quite the accomplishment and something he should be proud of. It’s a story he can tell his grandchildren… actually, his grandchildren were probably watching. Because R.A. Dickey is old.

Q: Did you ever track down that funny guy writing those ridiculous puns for MLB.com? – Pickles

Joel: No. But he or she is still at it and making this world a better place. Here are the best from this week:

3. Cards two bats better than Dunn

2. Lump of Cole good for a win

1. Snap it to the Twins, Jim: Blast backs Blanton

Seriously, there is always a clear winner each week and nothing beats “Snap it to the Twins, Jim.” What does that even mean?!?

Keenan: I was going to do a photoshop for number 1, but I’m lazy and searching through pictures of Randy Savage made me sad. RIP Macho Man.

Q: Which team clowned around the most this week? – Bozo

Joel: Initially, I would have said the Braves. But I can’t confirm this as I never actually watched a Braves game because who would really want to do that anyway? The #Barves fans can’t even get their hashtags right.* But no, the Rockies clowned around more than any other team when Miguel Cabrera rounded the bases on a ball he didn’t even hit out of the infield. You’d expect this from Billy Hamilton, but not Miggy.

The Rockies help Cabrera circle the bases.

*Apparently, I managed to offend our one reader last week because I said something bad about the Braves and he is a Braves fan. I felt I was left with two choices. I could apologize, or continue picking on the Barves for no reason. And, well…

Keenan: I don’t have an answer to the question, but I feel like I should stand up for the Braves. I think they’re doing a stand-up job of increasing racial tolerance by bringing attention to the plight of the Native American. Also, Chipper Jones’ very public battle with herpes was inspiring. After an hour of searching, this is the best pic I could find. Although, I did run across “Did Chipper Jones Text Dong Shots to Kelly Kapowski?” as a Google search result…

Q: Do you know what it’s like to have a no-hitter from Santana, a one-hitter from Dickey and a perfect game from Matt Cain in the past month on your fantasy team? It’s pretty awesome. – Matt L.

Joel: Shut up, Matt. No one wants to hear about your fantasy team. And until your stupid question, Matt Cain was going to be our Weekly Outside is Overrated Stud of the Week. But since you had to get all cocky and since this is a clown themed mailbag, I’m giving it to Aubrey Huff for spraining his knee while jumping out of the dugout to celebrate Matt Cain’s perfect game. So there.

Keenan: Matt, do you know what it’s like to be in first place in our fantasy league? No? Weird.

Remember, we’d love to answer real questions if you would actually send them to outsideisoverrated@gmail.com.

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Monday Mailbag – Featuring Chap-man, Tatman, and the Big Cheese

Normally I start off the mailbag with an intro. But I feel lazy today and writing an intro is just a bit too much work. Plus, you’re really only here for the .gifs and Photoshops. So in lieu of an intro, here is Mat Latos after he unsuccessfully blew a bubble:

Mat Latos doesn’t know how to chew gum.

As always, these are real questions from fake readers.

Q: What’s wrong with Adrian Gonzalez? – Bobby V.

Joel: This is a good question. Adrian Gonzalez’s struggles got lost in Albert Pujols’ slow start. But Gonzalez has not been good this year and is on pace to hit about 14 home runs. Not only that, but Gonzalez has walked fewer times (16) than Pujols (20) as well. I don’t know if this is an “Oh crap, he just doesn’t have it anymore” thing like Lincecum or a temporary ailment like Chris Perez’s stomach (warning: that link is to a .gif of Perez puking on the field. You’ve been warned, unless you clicked the link before reading this warning.) Regardless, Adrian Gonzalez isn’t playing like Adrian Gonzalez.

Q: What was the most impressive pitching performance of the week? – Kevin M.

Keenan: I guess you could go with the Mariners no-hitting the Dodgers, but it took them 6 different pitchers. That’s almost as bad as needing 2 writers to write a mailbag once a week, (even if it does turn out awesome). My vote goes to Dickey vs. Wang, because tee-hee.

Q: Are the Royals the most racist team in baseball? – Ty C.

Joel: It’s tough to be more racist than the Cleveland Indians just because of their name. Or the Altanta Braves for the same reason and they also had John Rocker. But after Saturday, the Royals definitely made a run at being the most racist team thanks to Humberto Quintero. To be fair, Bruce Chen wasn’t offended, so I’ll stick with Rocker’s Braves.

Q: Okay, I have to ask… any good puns this week? – Ryan R.

Joel: MLB.com always delivers. Always. Here are my three favorites, with Keenan’s Photoshop interpretations:

3. The big cheese: Colby’s five hits pace Blue Jays

Hey, I didn’t write the pun.

2. Bucs prove Aroldis is still a Chap-man

Unfortunately, you can barely see the monocle.

1. Tatman rescues D-backs from dark night vs. A’s

“When Oakland is in ashes you have my permission to die.”

According to Google, Tatman has been used as a nickname for Ryan Roberts. But still, this headline is so terrible. So terrible that I want to find whoever wrote this and shake his or her hand. Well done.

Q: When did Alfonso Soriano become a homerun machine? – Matt L.

Keenan: The minute I made fun of my buddy Matt for rostering him on his fantasy team. I guess by default his newfound power makes him our Outside is Overrated Weekly Stud of the Week, but seriously, Alfonso Soriano?

Joel: Wait, we still can’t give the Outside is Overrated Weekly Stud of the Week to Justin Smoak? I’m pretty sure he pitched during that no-hitter. Everyone else on the Mariners did.

That’s it for this week. Remember to email us your questions at outsideisoverrated@gmail.com.

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Monday Mailbag – Featuring Prince Fielder in a Suitcase

Like most weeks of the season, this last week in baseball was a strange one. This is a good thing, because it gives us something to write about. For instance, the Mariners beat the Rangers 21-8. You read that right, one of the worst offenses in baseball put up a football score on possibly the best team in the game. If you can figure out how that happened, then maybe you can explain how Fernando Rodney is good this year, or why Joel is convinced Justin Smoak is worth rostering. Keep reading for more bizarre baseball shenanigans. And as always, these are real questions from fake readers.

Q: Did you have a favorite defensive play this week?

Joel: Why yes I did. It was Michael Saunders attempting to catch a baseball with his face.

Saunders attempts to catch the ball with his face.

Keeanan: Something clever involving the word faceball, because it rhymes with baseball…meh, forget it. Next question.

Q: You haven’t written about the MLB.com game recap headlines lately, any good puns?

Joel: Always, here are my three favorites:

3. Leake clogs up Astros’ offense

First of all, shutting down the Astros’ offense isn’t anything to get excited about. Second, their pun doesn’t make any sense. I’m no plumber, but how does a leak clog something.

2. Rays tag O’s Chen to back peerless Price

Did they really reference Peerless Price, the former Buffalo Bills wide receiver?

1. MMM bop! Cards hit high notes against Hanson

I don’t even…

Q: Does Jonathan Lucroy win the award for strangest injury of the year?

Joel: It’s still early, but he’s clearly the favorite. If you didn’t hear, Lucroy’s wife dropped a suitcase on his hand and broke it. Clearly, it contained something very heavy. Which leads us to an obvious question. What was in that suitcase? While you might just assume it was full of beer because Lucroy plays for the Brewers, I think we need to dig a little deeper for the answer. The Brewers haven’t been very good this year and are struggling a bit on offense. My guess is that Lucroy, with the help of his wife, drugged and kidnapped Prince Fielder and stuffed him into a very, very large suitcase to transport him back to Milwaukee to help the team. Lucroy’s wife tried to lift the suitcase but wasn’t prepared for the nearly 300 pounds of Prince Fielder and dropped it. Lucroy tried to grab it, but couldn’t hold the weight and it broke his hand.

Even Keenan couldn’t Photoshop Prince Fielder into a suitcase. So here is a picture of him being fat.

Keenan: I have a theory as well, and it involves math, so if you don’t like reading that kind of stuff, skip to the next paragraph. I don’t know how big Lucroy’s suitcase was, but after exhaustive research (I Googled “large suitcase”) a reasonably large suitcase could be approximately 29” x 18” x 12”. Some quick calculations tell us that’s a volume of about 3.625 cubic feet. You can fit 7.48 gallons of water into one cubic foot, which means Lucroy’s suitcase could potentially have held 27ish gallons. Now, say that instead of water, we were talking about clean urine for Ryan Braun. Urine weighs between 8.362 and 8.579 pounds per gallon, which means the suitcase might have weighed 226.7 to 236.5 lbs. Not quite Prince Fielder heavy, but definitely enough to break a man’s hand.

TLDR – Thank you, Jonathan Lucroy. Your giant suitcase full of piss is really helping my fantasy team.

Q: How is it that Justin Verlander can struggle in two straight starts, but Johan Santana can throw consecutive shutouts, one of them a no-hitter*?

Keenan: Baseball players serve crueler gods than you and I. However, seeing as it was the first no-hitter* in Mets history, Johan Santana* is our Outside is Overrated weekly stud of the week*.

Joel: I know we’ve given the award to Santana, I want to nominate Justin Smoak as honorable mention because he’s started hitting well and I’ve fallen for him again. I know what you’re thinking and I don’t care. I love him.

That’s it for this week. Remember to email us your questions at outsideisoverrated@gmail.com.

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Monday Mailbag – Featuring Derrick Salberg?

While browsing YouTube looking for links for this week’s mailbag I was kindly reminded that today is Memorial Day. The reminder came in the form of “The Ultimate Memorial Day BBQ Plan,” a top video recipe for bacon wrapped corn on the cob. And that was depressing. But only because bacon wrapped corn on the cob sounds like the most delicious thing ever and it will make me fat. And when I’m fat, I’ll officially have no chance of playing professional baseball. But then I realized it’s baseball, where Bartolo Colon is considered an athlete, and I was happy again. So here is this week’s mailbag, with real questions from fake readers.

Q: Is Tony Campana Superman? – Bruce W.

Joel: Yes. Yes he is.

Tony Campana is an anagram for Clark Kent.

Keenan: If he is, he’s totally wasting his powers. He should really be spinning the world backwards to turn back time and not end up on the Cubs somehow. Or using his x-ray vision on the ladies. Heh. Regardless, he’d still get his ass kicked by Michael Phelps.

Q: What was your favorite defensive play of the week? – Derrick S.

Joel: Alex Gordon’s catch against the Orioles on Saturday. There is so much that made the catch awesome. Before I break it down, take a look at the .gif:

Jarrod Dyson gets paid for this.

First of all, Gordon is fine. No injury there. But how awesome was that catch? He catches it, and then has a teammate take out his legs. Then, his teammate, Jarrod Dyson, has the tenacity to run over and take the ball from Gordon’s glove to get it back into the infield. Unknown to Dyson, there were two outs prior to the catch. So that was pretty much pointless. But that isn’t even the best part. Just check out Gordon’s face during the catch:

A rare moment when Alex Gordon is not smiling.

Keenan: I hope that someone, somewhere, has Jarrod Dyson’s dental records on file. Just saying.

Q: How about Vanderbilt with the triple steal? – Some guy that plays for Vanderbilt

Keenan: Shut up, don’t care. Derrick Salberg.

Joel: What is this? Amateur hour? No, Salberg’s catch was nice, but he was playing in a little league park. This week’s Outside is Overrated Weekly Stud of the Week is clearly Albert Pujols, and not just because he’s finally come alive for my fantasy team. It’s because home runs, dude.

Q: The Dickey train continues. – Matt L.

Keenan: Sure, the Dickey train seems like a good idea at the time and is fun while it lasts, but I assure you it will be a short trip ultimately resulting in disappointment and regret.

Joel: Speaking of R.A. Dickey, he used the opening song for Game of Thrones as his walkup music on yesterday. Which is pretty awesome because that’s the greatest TV show opening ever.

If you have any questions, send them to outsideisoverrated@gmail.com. Please.

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Jobs for Figgins

Writing about Chone Figgins’ poor play is old-hat. But I’ve never said, nor written, the phrase old-hat, so I was excited about this opportunity. Figgins is back on the mind of Mariners fans due to the fact that he is still on the team. Which really defies logic.

Now that Miguel Olivo is healthy, it’s time for him to return to the lineup. Yes, another questionable decision, but a discussion for another time. However, recalling Olivo means someone on the major league roster needs to go. Fans were hoping this would be the day the Mariners cut Chone Figgins. But instead, the Mariners sent Casper Wells to Triple-A. In the past two weeks, Wells has appeared in 10 of the Mariners 13 games. Figgins has appeared in two.

If Figgins is not going to play, then why keep him on the roster? Which is really the point of this article. Here are the only reasons I could come up with for why the Mariners would be keeping Figgins on the roster.

1. Confidence builder

The Mariners have a lot of young pitchers in their system. As an introduction to the majors, the Mariners can have these youngsters pitch a simulated game against Figgins. They’ll strike him out 27 times and it will build their confidence. Which is good for young pitchers. Unfortunately, it still won’t prepare them for the majors.

2. Leadoff hitter

Haha just kidding. That didn’t work.

“I’m not a pure hitter. My style leading off? To make you work. To be a pain in the butt for the opposing pitcher from the first pitch of the game on. I’m not a pure hitter, but I’ll give you hell every at-bat.” – Chone Figgins

3. Finder of things

Due to his short stature, Figgins is probably really good at finding things that are below the eye level of normal baseball players. He could just hang out in the dugout and find things that other players have left under the bench.

4. A distraction

The Mariners could be keeping Figgins around just to distract fans from everything else wrong with the team. For example, Miguel Olivo will probably become the everyday catcher again. With Figgins gone, fans might start to realize that there is a lot wrong with this team.

5. King Felix’s transportation

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. With Figgins’ well-known resemblance to a donkey, I can think of no better way for Felix to take the mound each inning.

 

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