Posted at 12:54 PM on April 22, 2005
by Bob Collins
So it's come to this, has it? Major League Baseball is now the WNBA, where the All Star game seems to occur just a few weeks after opening night.
This year, thanks to a big wad of cash from Ameriquest Mortgage Company, Major League Baseball is starting balloting early. How early? A week and a half into the season early.
This makes sense from a marketing standpoint, of course, because it's not the All Star Game anymore. It's the Ameriquest Mortgage All Star Game. And you've got to get the ads in rotation more to get, well, more cash.
I may submit a ballot (or 25) today. I've got to get Terry Tiffee on the squad.
* * *
The Twins move on to a series with Detroit. I've grown accustomed to making fun of the Tigers over the last few years but I thought they looked like a halfway-decent team in some of the games I watched on the Dish package up until their series with the ChiSox. Mag Ordonez is out with an injury so the primary threat is Pudge Rodriguez.
Mike Maroth goes for the Tigers tonight. Maroth earned my never-ending respect a few years ago when he willingly took the ball and went to the mound when his total losses for the year stood at 19. The Tigers management told him he didn't have to pitch, but he did and, sure as a player would rather play ball than watch someone give birth, lost number 20. And then for extra effect, he went out and lost number 21 too.
Posted at 6:57 PM on April 22, 2005
by Josh Lee
When Ivan Rodriguez reported to spring training this year, he weighed in at a mere 193 pounds. Since then, he's lost even more weight, and is now down to a willowy 185, 30 pounds below his weight from last season. There was some cooing over his new, slender figure from some quarters, and some clucking about post-steroid shrinkage from others, but not enough people have addressed one of the burning questions of this young season: what do we call Rodriguez now that "Pudge" is clearly a misnomer?
"Pudge" is one of the great baseball nicknames of this generation. It lacks the intimidation factor of "Big Hurt" or "Rocket," but in just about every other way, it's a perfect moniker. It's funny, yet affectionate; simple, yet unique. It's more than just a shorthand for use in sports ticker headlines; like the most successful nicks, it replaces the player's real name in the minds of the fans. There are oodles of Rodriguezes in the big leagues, but there's only one "Pudge." That's why his most common alternate nickname, "I-Rod," is so lame. We've already got an "A-Rod" and a "K-Rod;" doesn't Ivan deserve a more original moniker for his post-Pudge era? For now, I'm just going to call him "Twiggy," but someone out there must be able to think of something better.
(Speaking of great names, Detroit's starting center fielder is Exavier Prente "Nook" Logan. Wow.)