December 31, 2010
The more I think about it, the more similarities I see between Big League Stew's third year of existence and that Phillies fan who was tasered on the field last spring.
Like Steve Consalvi's mad dash across Citizens Bank Park in early May, our run through 2010 was hectic, electric, frantic, controversial, ill-planned, viewed and laughed at by the masses, despised by the authorities and ultimately very shameful for our parents watching at home.
At the same time, we both took great joy in putting ourselves out there in hopes of bringing a little notoriety to our names and a lot of colorful entertainment into your baseball-centered lives. Baseball is all about fun and if we were to name a BLS person of the year, Consalvi would be a candidate because of his outlaw spirit. Long may you run, Steve-O.
Moving on, can 2010 really be over already? Like the two seasons before it, we had a blast bringing you some of the best and most interesting things in baseball and we're looking forward to doing the same during a great 2011. As is our custom, we've put together a post containing just a few of our favorite posts from the year past and we encourage you to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with us after the jump.
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BLS story of the year: Giants snap SF slump, wins city's first Series title
After experiencing "The Year of the Pitcher," it made sense that "The Team of the Pitcher" would walk away with The Commissioner's Trophy. After middling their way through the first half of the season, the arm-heavy San Francisco Giants came together for a memorable run and the city's first World Series title since the team moved west in 1958.
The Giants unseated the Philadelphia Phillies atop the National League and took down the Texas Rangers — a great story in their own right — in five games to win the World Series. In doing so, they proved themselves as one of the most fun and blogworthy teams in history, featuring a counterculture hero ace with a propensity for F-bombs, a certifiable closer, a rally-thong wearing castoff at first, a rodeo clown in the outfield, superstar rookies and 43,000 sing-along staging fans. It was a memorable year by the Bay and one that San Franciscans will always remember.
Other posts we'll remember: Phillies fans invade Washington on opening day ... Phillies fan pukes on 11-year-old ... Politicians honor Bobby "Cocks" ... Theo Epstein wears disguise to Pearl Jam show ... Strasburg strikes out 14 in big league debut ... Lady Gaga flips the bird at Citi Field ... Young Mark Teixeira and Kurt Cobain ... Coghlan hurts knee in cream pie attack ... Miguel Batista sends Miss Iowa flowers ... A-Rod swats No. 600 ... Houston's "Foul Ball Couple" gets 15 minutes ... K-Rod attacks in-law ... An unauthorized look into baseball's books ... Pujols and La Russa get chummy with Glenn Beck ... Aroldis throws 105 ... Derek Jeter, master thespian ... Bing Crosby's wine cellar produces vintage Series film ... Doctober! ... Josh Hamilton's ginger ale shower ... TBS video camera: BUSTED ... Cliff Lee's cowboy boots ... Cliff Lee's coffee ... Miller and Morgan move on ... Big League Stew's "Lineup For Today"
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BLS video of the year: Mascot mishap in minors
Eight months later and this ill-fated dugout moonwalk by "Archie" of the Triple-A Reno Aces still makes me laugh out loud. (And I can feel OK about doing so, since the only thing he bruised in his fall was his ego.)
Honorable mentions: Autograph collector gets angry with Gary Carter ... Big Mac dodges hometown media in StL ... Wiffle Ball '79 ... Evan Longoria's New Era cap commercial debuts on BLS ... Security shrugs as O's fan runs amok ... Japan's Spider-Man catches ... Mets' hiring video ... Matt Diaz trips marauding Phillies fan ... "Right over there, there's some people smoking weed!" ... Felix Pie goes berserk
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BLS song of the year: "Nos Amours in My Heart"
Some fan-made songs on YouTube have great lyrics and music. Some fan-made songs have great video and clips. Annakin Slayd's nostalgic tribute to his beloved Montreal Expos had both. Even if you were never a big fan of Nos Amours, you'll get goosebumps once Dave Van Horne starts namechecking the most memorable players in franchise history.
Honorable mentions: Giants fan rewrites "Don't Stop Believing" ... Bleacher Creatures put end to homophobic parody ... D'Backs holiday lip dub ... 1990 Pirates + giant mullet ... "Please Don't Call Them Twinkies" ... Creed's terrible Marlins tune
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BLS podcast moment of the year: David Wells calls Joe Torre a coward
Jay Busbee and I were wrapping up an otherwise-routine playoff preview segment with David Wells when the bombastic pitcher decided to use his forum of "Why Is This News?" to blast his old skipper. His resulting rant made headlines across the country.
"I had [Yankees pitching coach] Mel Stottlemyre come up to me in '97 and tell me they were going to sit me out in the first round against Cleveland," Wells told us. "I said, 'If you're going to sit me out the first round, you might as well just send me home.' That pissed me off because I won like 15, 16 games for them. [...] That's pretty degrading when you have your manager tell your pitching coach to tell you, 'Hey, you're going to sit out,' rather than telling you himself. That's what Joe Torre is to me, a coward.
"I don't like him at all. As a manager, I think he's terrible. He wasn't a fair manager. He didn't treat people the same. He definitely didn't treat me the same. [...] If he tells you anything else, he's a liar."
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Best of Answer Man
Dave Brown runs down his favorite Q&A moments here.
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Yankees' boss The Boss ... Tigers voice Ernie Harwell ... Pitcher Jose Lima ... "A League of Her Own" inspiration, Dottie Kamenshek ... Mike Cuellar, '69 Cy Young winner ... Rockies team president Keli McGregor ... HOF pitcher Robin Roberts ... The Voice of God ... Manager Ralph Houk ... Giants star Bobby Thomson ... Yanks superfan Freddy "Sez" ... Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson ... Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus ... Cubs legend Ron Santo ... Rapid Robert
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BLS touching story of the year: John McDonald homers in first at-bat since dad's death
Two days after burying his father, McDonald returned to his Toronto Blue Jays team and paid the best on-field tribute he could to the man who raised him. McDonald's two-run blast in the ninth inning — only the 13th homer of his career — caused a lot of warm feelings in the dugout ("I almost cried myself," said Cito Gaston) and across the Internet.
But through it all, the Jays' utility man was in touch with the sad reality of his big moment in the sun. Asked what was going through his head as he rounded the bases at Rogers Centre, this is how McDonald responded:
"Probably the fact that I couldn't call my dad after the game to tell him."
Honorable mentions: Bryan Bullington picks up first victory after eight years ... Logan Morrison & Dad ... Giants pause celebration to salute Bobby Cox ... Rangers fan hands Buster his first Series homer ... Brian Wilson's "most special signal"
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BLS opinion piece of the year: Why Selig shouldn't overrule Jim Joyce
Throwing the rulebook out the window is a slippery slope and it opens the door on a potential Pandora's box of sticky situations. Does Selig really want to be in a position this fall where an umpire blows a call that costs a team a World Series game and then its fanbase wonder why the rules can't also be bent for them? And how about the countless other blown calls in the past that could have used his ivory tower reviewing? There's no way that Selig can say "just this once" while looking the other way on the rules that govern his game. It'd be a poorly conceived mistake of 2002 All-Star Game proportions.
Honorable mentions: It's time to move the Negro Leagues museum ... Baseball and Jeopardy ... Why Frank Thomas will be a first-ballot HOFer ... Why relegation wouldn't work for baseball ... Inconsiderate idiots attend ballgames ... Ryan Howard's contract: What was the rush? ... Bud Selig deserving of statue ... Why Pedro should be hired for TV work ... Could they have made the Steinbrenner memorial any bigger? ... Cubs' hypocritical turn on "Undercover Boss" ... Baseball's dumb playoff expansion idea ... The Jeter circus was unnecessary ... Did the Phillies really need to sign Cliff Lee?
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Screen cap of the year: Nolan Ryan face
Calmer than you are, dude.
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Best beard obituary video of the year: Jayson Werth's
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BLS guest spot of the year: Jason Turbow's 10 unwritten rules you might not know
The mound flap between Dallas Braden and A-Rod created a lot of interest in baseball's so-called "unwritten rules" and we were fortunate enough to have the topic's leading expert stop by with a guest piece on 10 lesser-known pieces of the code.
3. When hit by a pitch, don't rub the mark.
This one is all about intimidation or lack thereof. It's a hitter's way of telling the pitcher that his best shot — intentional or otherwise — didn't hurt. Pete Rose made a point of sprinting to first base after being hit, to ensure that he stripped all satisfaction from the pitcher.
"It's a macho thing, like a fighter who gets clocked in the mouth and shakes his head like it didn't hurt him," said Rich Donnelly. "But believe me, it hurts."
Honorable mentions: Old Hoss Radbourn reviews a book about Old Hoss Radbourn ... 29 Dear John letters ... And one Everlasting Love letter ... Five things you missed at Rosenblatt ... Wrigley Field's peanut-free day ... Blue Jays fan comes to term with Roy Halladay's playoff no-no ... Jay Busbee on Bobby Cox
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BLS listicle of the year: 27 thoughts and factoids from Roy Halladay's perfect game
15. Zoo With Roy: "I'm a grown, fairly educated man with a family, a house, an SUV and a white collar job. I have an MBA. So why am I spending my time writing (and illustrating, gracefully) a web page about eating cotton candy with Roy Halladay(notes) while we admire hippos and red pandas? After last night, I no longer need justification. There is no such thing as perfection in this life, but perhaps one of sport's greatest merits is that it allows us moments to believe in its attainability."
Honorable mentions: Five films that MLB productions still wants ... 25 reasons to go see an out-of-contention baseball team ... 10 most memorable moments of the 2010 postseason ... Ranking the 100+ million free-agent contracts
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BLS photoshop of the year: L'il Bruce Bochy
Because why should L'il Ronnie Washington have all the fun?
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BLS Fashion Ump post of the year: Crazy hat lady takes over World Series
Honorable mentions: President Obama still reps White Sox at Nats Opening Day ... Jayson Werth's beard ... Worst uniforms of the '90s ... Brewers fans build fashionable digs ... Gang members opt for Dodgers and Reds gear ... Brandon Phillips' purple whip ... Baltimore goes all orange ... Manny leaves wigs behind in L.A. ... Travis Snider homers while wearing fake mustache ... Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza wear blue bracelets for little boy ... Lincecum and Rosenthal resurrect the bow tie
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BLS separated at birth post of the year: Jake Peavy and Jeremy Renner