Monday Mailbag – Featuring I Love Yu, Man

Last week was the start of interleague play, and interleague play really isn’t very entertaining. No one really cares that the Miami Marlins are playing the Cleveland Indians, so please excuse me for not paying much attention to baseball last week. Also, my fantasy team has been sucking and that makes me not want to watch baseball. Or maybe I’m just cranky because Keenan put Icy Hot in my jock strap. But I’m obligated to do a mailbag and it’s Monday, so I should probably get to it. With Keenan’s “help” of course. As always, these are real questions from fake readers.

Q: Keenan, I see that you traded Jered Weaver in your fantasy league. Did you finally take someone’s advice and sell high? – Joel N.

Keenan: Joel, I refuse to give you any credit for my Weaver trade. I’m still convinced he’s one of the better fantasy pitchers out there, but I couldn’t resist the chance to get Darvish, if for no other reason than to create this:

Q: I’m in need of a first baseman in my fantasy league, any suggestions? – Lance Berkman

Joel: Funny you should ask. I just finished reading Kevin Goldstein’s piece on Matt Adams, the recently called up prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals. I know nothing about him, but apparently he went to Slippery Rock University. And I’m not convinced that’s a real school, but I like the name.

Keenan: I’ve been to that part of PA, and I have to admit that I was disappointed in the amount of slippery. The rocks were fairly smooth, at best.

Q: Bees? – Gob B.

Keenan: Beads?

Joel: No, bees. In Colorado. Trust me, it was more exciting than actually watching the the Rockies, who are just terrible at baseball. Which is strange, because that’s their job. I mean really, how hard can it bee? Zzzzzzz…

Q: Really? You guys aren’t going to say anything about Adam Jones? Do you hate the Orioles or something? – Cal R.

Joel: Well since Josh Hamilton decided to take the week off, I guess Adam Jones is the Outside is Overatted Weekly Stud of the Week by default. Because home runs.

Keenan: Actually, it should be the Orioles fans. They went a whole week without running half-naked onto the field.

Q: What are your thoughts about interleague play? – Bud S.

Joel: Well, I already mentioned this above, but interleague play does have some benefits. Like Bartolo Colon attempting to hit a baseball. But mostly it’s boring. So boring that the Giants were forced to show Brian Wilson playing with two Brian Wilsons.

Brian Wilson enjoys playing with himself.

Keenan: Call me old-fashioned but I don’t even think different leagues should be sharing the same drinking fountain, much less playing games together.

And now I’ve filled my “jokes that were in poor taste” quota for the day.

Q: Is Will Rhymes one of them there faintin’ goats? – Jeb C.

Keenan:

Would he, could he take first base?

Would he, could he fall on his face?

He would not, could not keep his feet.

He would not, could not stay off his seat.

He did not like that Morales pitch,

Will Rhymes just fainted like a bitch.

Word.

Joel: *drops mic*

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

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Monday Mailbag – Featuring Matt Moore’s Giant Tongue

It’s Monday and we’re posting a mailbag. The last two mailbags came on Fridays. There are two reasons this mailbag is late. First, I like alliterations. Second, we are lazy. But consider this a permanent move because I do like the sound of “Mailbag Mondays.” It rolls nicely off the tongue. Let’s save Friday for stir-fry. Is this enough of an intro? Let’s just move on to the questions. As always, these are real questions from fake readers.

Q: Hey Keenan, thanks for the advice on Weaver.  Jerk. – Lance B.

Keenan: Keep calm and Weaver on.  He’ll be fine.  I do have a theory, though.  There have been 2 no-hitters (one a perfect game) this year, by Philip Humber and Jered Weaver respectively.  Both followed their pitching masterpieces by doing the Top 10 List on Letterman (I know Weaver had one start in between his no-no and Letterman, but roll with me here).  Both pitchers were absolutely destroyed in the next game.  I’m calling it right now, there’s a Letterman curse.  Other than Paul Shaffer.

Joel: Should have sold high. But if you need another pitcher, check out Scott Diamond…

This meme is still funny, right?

Q: Have you seen the headlines for the game recaps on MLB.com? – Joey F.

Joel: I noticed them this weekend and reading them has quickly become my favorite way to end the night. They are typically terrible and riddled with puns. In other words, my kind of humor. My favorite from the weekend came after Bud Norris shutout the Pirates. The headline? “This Bud’s for Hou: Norris blanks Bucs.” So forced, but so amazing.

Q: Joel, how are you so good looking? Where do you do your shopping? – Michael G.

Joel: I swear I didn’t make up this question. Thank you for your compliment Michael and in response to your first question, I’d say you would have to ask my mom. I got my good looks from her.* As for your second question, the clothes store.

*Hopefully that compliment makes up for not sending a card on Mother’s Day.

Keenan: Since this question wasn’t directed at me, I’m left to assume that Michael doesn’t think I’m attractive or a snappy dresser. And now I’m sad. Ugly, poorly dressed, and sad. Like Paul Shaffer.

Q: Matt Moore. What’s the deal? – Justin T.

Joel: Don’t get me started on Ma… oh it’s too late, you got me started. Matt Moore was supposed to be better than this. I know he’s a rookie, but I was expecting more “Steven Strasburg rookie season” than “just average pitcher rookie season.” His best game was a five inning, seven-strikeout performance against the Mariners where he still managed to give up a run on seven hits. Which really isn’t impressive considering Francisco Lirano could shutout the Mariners and he’s Francisco Lirano. The only thing that has impressed me about Matt Moore this year is his ability to scratch his chin with his tongue.

Matt Moore has an itch on his chin that only his tongue can reach.

Keenan: Joel, how much did you pay for him in the draft again? Am I even allowed to ask questions in the mailbag?

Q. Is Josh Hamilton human? – Chris K.

Keenan: Maybe?  But probably not.  I’m pretty sure he’s Asgardian.  Or maybe I just saw The Avengers, and it was really good, and I get confused sometimes.  Norse god or not, he’s our Outside Is Overrated Weekly Stud of the Week.

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

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Five Reasons Why Football Is Better Than Baseball

The other night, Joel admitted to me that he thought baseball was a better sport than football.  I didn’t hit him in the face like he deserved because he’s just too pretty.  Instead, I’ll present a well crafted argument to prove to him that he’s wrong.  I’ve chosen 5 categories in which to compare the two sports, and assigned them completely objective (or possibly random) scores in order to settle this days-old argument once and for all.

1. Videogames – Baseball has had some standout video game titles; RBI Baseball, Bases Loaded, Extra Innings…and probably a bunch of other stuff up until the recent MLB 12 The Show.  I love The Show, if only because last season I won the AL Cy Young, AL MVP, and the World Series.  It felt awesome, and I like feeling awesome.  However, I’m going to give this category to football. In spite of Madden.  That’s right, I said it. All of you fan boys can shut up; it isn’t that great a game anymore.  Sure it sells tons of copies, but so do Adele albums.  Let’s be honest, the game hasn’t been innovative in years, except in the area of giving linebackers god-like vertical leaps and the ability to intercept any Eli Manning pass that isn’t thrown more  than 30 yards down the field.  And I miss 2K.  So there’s that.

So why does football win?

‘Nuff said.

Score: 6 points for football, only because LT blocked the PAT.

2. Watching On TV – Do I even need to write anything here?  If I only had two channels to choose from – one showing baseball and the other being the Oprah Winfrey Network – I’d probably just go outside.  And I HATE outside.  I guess baseball on TV can get interesting when Jose Valverde is on the verge of blowing yet another one of Justin Verlander’s starts, but outside of the 9th inning and an occasional homerun, I just don’t find it very captivating.  Football at least has the potential to always be exciting.  Especially if you’re the kind of guy that enjoys watching the Giants come from behind to beat the Cowboys in week 14, then beat them again in week 17 to knock them out of playoff contention.  Suck it, Romo.  Wait, what was I…oh yeah, football is more fun to watch.  Like, by a lot.

Score: A narrow 3 point victory for the Gia…errr…football.

3. Watching In Real Life – This one is tough for me, because I’ve only ever been to one NFL game, and a handful of MLB games, and it seems that every experience of actually getting out to a stadium and being part of the crowd is exciting in its own way.  So I guess I’m going to have to judge this on my single best going-to-a-game experience.  That would be the Cardinals vs. Cowboys game I went to in…’96?  ’97?  I can’t remember.  Anyway, Sun Devil Stadium was full of 90% Cowboys fans, and the place ran out of beer shortly after halftime, resulting in a bunch of pissed off mostly drunk Texans, and an actual fistfight breaking out two rows behind me when the Cardinals actually won. *

In other words, the exact opposite of this.

*I hope my wife doesn’t read this, because I probably really should have said my best experience was taking my two boys to their first Mariners game.  But c’mon…drunken Texans fistfighting! It was sweet!

Score: -$21 for baseball, which is what I paid for 2 orders of garlic fries and a Pepsi at Tuesday’s Mariners game.

4. Fantasy – Ever since my first year of fantasy football (where I won the championship) my teams have been just terrible.  Who would’ve thought that drafting pretty much the whole NY Giants team last year would be a bad idea?  I’ve had far better luck with baseball, coming in 2nd last year and having a pretty commanding hold on 1st for the majority of this year.  I mean, I’ve got Cabrera, Braun, Verlander, and Weaver…c’mon.  Personal successes and failures aside, fantasy baseball is just more engaging.  With football, I only get one agonizing day a week to watch my players underperform.  With baseball, it’s every day.  In fairness, if my baseball team decides to tank this year, this answer is subject to change.

Score:  7.5 points for baseball.  Coincidentally, that is also my lead over Joel in our fantasy league.  Weird.

5. Injuries – Football injuries are the best injuries in sports, hands down.  For example:

Baseball injuries are lame.  Seriously, Mike Moustakas just missed a game due to “general soreness”.  Pitchers get Tommy John surgery, which sounds like a made-up thing to me.  Sometimes a guy gets hit in the head with a fastball, but not often enough to feed my blood lust.  Hahaha, jokes…

Here’s the thing.  I don’t wish for people to get hurt.  I don’t watch games specifically to see broken bones and concussions.  But it’s kind of like if Rosie O’Donnell were to make a sex tape.  I don’t want to see Rosie O’Donnell having sex, in fact the idea is horrifying, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to watch it.

Score:  When Rosie O’Donnell is involved, everyone loses.

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Friday Mailbag – Featuring the Happiest Player in Baseball

Thanks to all those who read last week’s mailbag and emailed in their own questions – all zero of you. Since you, and yes I mean you, have no questions for us, we are forced to actually be somewhat creative.  Once again, these are all real questions from fake readers.

Q: Why did the Tigers designate Brad Eldred for assignment? He was hitting pretty well in Triple-A. – Howie D.

Joel: He was hitting really well in Triple-A. But when he got called up, the Tigers saw the faces he made while batting and realized those numbers were all luck. Eldred looks totally confused up there. Nine games of that face was plenty.

He doesn’t even know where he is.

Q: Should I trade Jered Weaver?  I mean, he’ll never be worth more than he is right now…right? – AJ M.

Keenan:  What?  Sorry, I spaced out for a minute there looking at a picture of him without a hat on.  I always assumed he had a mullet for some reason.

No, don’t trade Weaver.  Grab onto his golden locks and never ever, ever let go.  At least not until after next week.  He’s facing the Twins again, who you might remember from such games as “We Got No-Hit by Jered Weaver: Part 1.” It’s not impossible to think that we’re in for a sequel.

Also, never mind what Joel is about to tell you.

Joel: You should definitely sell high. Weaver is notorious for slowing down in the second half.

Q: Did you see Brandon Allen showing off his gymnast skills in left field? – Brian L.

Nailed it.

Joel: I gave him a 9. Pretty impressive work.

Keenan: A 9? What is this, Dancing with the Stars?  That’s a 7.5 at best.

Q: What’s up with Edwin Encarnacion and Bryan LaHair? Will they keep this up? – Nick C.

Joel: Absolutely. I expect LaHair to finish the year hitting around .400 with 45 home runs and saving a million kittens from a burning building. You realize how ridiculous that question was, right? Of course they won’t keep it up. But maybe they’re better than we thought. Especially Encarnacion. I’m not convinced that he didn’t pull a Space Jam and steal Jose Bautista’s talent.

Q: What is Alex Gordon so happy about?  Doesn’t he realize he’s on the Royals? – Kevin R.

Keenan: Great question.  I’ve never seen the guy without a smile on his face, and I can only think of a few possible explanations.  One – he’s fulfilled his boyhood dream of becoming a major league baseball star and is perfectly content with his life.  Two – his baseball career is all part of a needlessly convoluted plot to kill the Batman.  Three – if you ever met Alex Gordon and he wasn’t smiling, you would probably die wondering where your shrieking ended and his began.

Happy Alex Gordon is happy.

Q: Ryan Braun alone did better than my whole fantasy team last Monday. – Caleb (a real comment from a real person)

Joel: Yes. Ryan Braun is our Stud of the Week. Hitting three home runs in one game at Petco Park is no easy feat. Even for someone on steroids.*

Keenan:  *Allegedly.

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

RIP MCA

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Jeremy Guthrie and the Unfortunate Side Effects of Exercising

A few days ago, I read an interesting story about a baseball player. The baseball player was Jeremy Guthrie, a pitcher for the Colorado Rockies. The interesting story was that he rides a bicycle. Well, it’s not interesting that he rides a bicycle, but it’s interesting that he injured himself while riding a bicycle. Apparently, Guthrie is quite the bicycle enthusiast and is known for 30-mile rides around the Denver area.

30 mile bike ride along Cherry Creek today. Must say I saw a lot of beautiful areas of Denver. Time to rest, buenas noches. #LiveStrong

— Jeremy Guthrie (@JGuthrie46) April 27, 2012

What I don’t understand is why a baseball player would be riding a bicycle 30-miles. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Guthrie is making $8.2 million from the Rockies this year. Obviously he can afford a car, so why ride a bicycle?

It can’t be because he wants to stay in shape. He’s a baseball player. The coolest thing about baseball is that a 300-pound Jonathan Broxton is considered an athlete. Or that last year, C.C. Sabathia decided he needed to trim down to 290-pounds and did so by “not eating Cap’n Crunch every day.” C.C. Sabathia, a professional athlete, used to eat a box of Cap’n Crunch every day. A whole box. The Yankees are paying him $23 million this year. Prince Fielder, standing at 5’11 and weighing in at 275-pounds, makes $24 million a year from the Tigers. Interestingly, Fielder could actually eat a whole tiger.

Unfortunately for C.C., vertical stripes aren’t slimming.

With guys like Sabathia, Fielder, Bartolo Colon, Carlos Lee, and Pablo Sandoval all having successful careers while weighing over 265-pounds, Jeremy Guthrie has no excuse for endangering himself by riding a bike. Fielder has played in at least 157 games in each of the last six seasons. It’s baseball, Jeremy. So grab a box of Cap’n Crunch, sit back, and heal your shoulder. And next time you need to go somewhere, get in the car and remember that you’re a baseball player, not a cyclist.

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First Ever Mailbag!

Welcome to the first ever Outside is Overrated Mailbag. I’ve always wanted to do a mailbag because responding to other people’s questions is a lot easier than coming up with my own material. Unfortunately, none of you ever email me, so I’m forced to answer real questions from fake readers. Oh yeah, my friend Keenan is going to be helping out too. You might remember him from the three posts he wrote over a year ago.

Q: Keenan, where have you been?  We’ve missed your quick wit and deftly written prose. – Everyone

Keenan: I was attempting to pull off a Salinger and retire at the top of my game; write something mind-blowing and then fade into night, never to be heard from again.  Or, in sports terms, more Barry Sanders than Emmitt Smith.  What I failed to take into account was that this blog doesn’t quite generate the same income as 65 million copies of Catcher In the Rye, so I’m back.*

*I wanted to link to Lonely Island’s “We’re Back” but Joel wouldn’t let me because his grandma reads this.

Q: Tim Lincecum is killing my fantasy baseball team and I’m freaking out! – Jim

Joel: Dude, just chill. And that’s not a question, man. But sure, his fastball isn’t as smoking as it once was, and Lincecum is taking more hits than you’d like, but it’s Tim Lincecum. We’ve seen this before. While his fastball is iffy this year, he’s still had some batters looking dazed and confused with his changeup. If you’ve got him in fantasy, don’t think you can sell high. Just ride this one out. Head to Taco Bell at 2am and just relax, you might even run into him there.

Keenan: I think Joel used up all the good stoner references, so I’ll give you a half-baked photoshop instead.  And no, I’m not proud of that joke.

"Out of control hilarious!" - Some Newspaper

Q: Am I a genius for picking up Jose Altuve for $1 as the 254th pick of my fantasy draft? – Ned

Keenan: Absolutely.  Probably ruggedly handsome as well.  Funny story: I created a pitcher in my own likeness on MLB 12 The Show, and the first time I faced Altuve I hit him in the knee with a 101 mph fastball. I guess that isn’t really very funny.  The point is, fantasy owners should probably have an open spot on the DL anytime Altuve faces the Rays and a 19 year old redheaded pitcher with black thick rimmed glasses and a well groomed beard.

Q: Justin Smoak hit a three-run home run right after you broke up with him, how does that make you feel? – Brian

Joel: Shut up.

Q: No really, are you falling back in love with Smoak after that performance? – Brian

Joel: I’m trying to resist. He’s just trying to make me jealous. Wait, you can’t respond to my answers, this is supposed to be a mailbag.

Q: Still, you have to love the timing. – Brian

Joel: Justin, I miss you.

Keenan: Don’t do it, Joel.  This is the baseball equivalent of Smoak sleeping with your best friend just to make you jealous.  Not that I would know anything about that.  I totally haven’t slept with many of your ex-girlfriends.

Q: Justin Verlander. – Bryce

Keenan: Indeed.

Fun Fact: If you took all of Verlander's arm hair and laid each strand end to end, it would wrap around Bartolo Colon twice.

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

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Dear Justin

Justin, I want you to know that it’s not you, it’s me.

Whenever people say, “it’s not you, it’s me” they’re really saying that it is you. And in this case, it actually is you. Sorry for lying to you at the beginning. When I heard that you were on the bench again tonight, I knew we were through. I saw you limping to first and holding your hamstring last week. Is that why you’re on the bench for your second straight game tonight? I wish you would just be honest with me. I think it’s best if we start seeing other people.

We just moved too quickly. And I’ll admit that’s as much my fault as it is yours. I saw this hot prospect in the Rangers system with a cool last name and huge power potential and my interest was piqued. When I heard you were traded to the Mariners, I fell in love. But I didn’t really know you. I fell in love with who you could be, not who you are.

Don’t think that I didn’t enjoy our time together, because I did. You gave me the greatest fantasy baseball team name ever (the Smoak Monsters), and I’ll always remember you when I go to set my lineup. It’s just that you can no longer be part of that lineup. I need to do what’s best for my fantasy team.

In happier times.

We got off to a rough start this year. The Mariners commercials are the one thing I can count on being good every year. But your commercial was just terrible. You punched a tree. I think you may need anger management classes.

And when you were away in Japan to start the season, it was just awkward. I know that I said I watched your games live, but I didn’t. I DVR’d them. I’m so sorry.

This was supposed to be your breakout year. I made excuses for your performance last season and told myself that you would take that step forward, that everything would be better. But it’s not better. It’s worse. I almost bought your jersey, but I just couldn’t do it. Which is probably for the best, because I’d have to return it to you now.

Don’t take this as a “goodbye.” Maybe it’s more of a “see you later.” There is always a chance we could get back together. But there are things that both of us need to work on first. For example, you can’t hit breaking balls. And maybe I just need to accept you for who you are, a .250 hitter that will only hit 15 to 20 home runs. But at this point in my life, I’m looking for something more. I know it shouldn’t matter to me, but I’m shallow. I love home runs. Completely unrelated, what can you tell me about Jesus Montero?

I’m sorry it has to end this way. Just know that I still hope you’re career goes the way we always dreamed it would. I just can’t be as invested anymore.

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