Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Et Tu, Kansas City?
2008-08-16 00:59
by Emma Span

It's been a weird season; I've only recently begun to adjust to the fact that the Devil Rays are 10 games ahead of the Yankees in mid-August. But I thought if there was one thing we could count on in this life, it was Kansas City sucking worse than New York... they're not trying to take that from us, too, are they?

The Royals beat the Yankees 4-3 Friday night in a game I would've called a heartbreaker if everyone's heart hadn't already been broken a week or two ago. I missed staring at Michael Phelps' torso for this? Gil Meche pitched pretty well, but not so well that he would necessarily have won if the Yankee offense wasn't still acting like RBIs cause gonorrhea.


Andy Pettitte wasn't at his best but minimized the damage: seven innings, three runs, it could easily have been worse. Meanwhile the Yankees stranded 11 men and, during the game's first three innings, went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Still, the game was tied at three in the ninth inning when... wait for it... Mariano Rivera threw a wild pitch that allowed the Royals to score what would prove to be the winning run. Rivera blowing games with wild pitches -- I had to pause the Tivo and check to make sure the universe hadn't just collapsed on itself. If that's not a sign that this just ain't their year, I don't know what is.


Because we're now at the point of the season where you have to take your entertainment where you can, I'm absolutely thrilled that Cody Ransom has been called up, one of my favorite names of the spring. I actually actively avoided reading about him in Cliff's farm report and elsewhere, because I want him to remain, in my mind, just the fastest gun on the cattle ranch. I'm trying not to get too good a look at him on TV, either, since it'll just spoil the image. Cody Ransom, if it isn't already, needs to be the name of a tough, reluctantly violent man of few words with a mysterious past who brings harsh justice to a wild border town in an old school western. Or I can see "Cody Ransom" as a full-on John Wayne* in Rio Bravo type; Don Zimmer would be the old coot sidekick – the Walter Brenner role – and Sidney Ponson can play the once-great drunkard pal. "A game-legged old man and a drunk," the Kansas City pitcher will say, "That's all you got?" And Cody Ransom will stare him down and reply, "That's WHAT I got."

…What? We've gotta make our own fun these days.


*Wayne has played characters with names including, but not limited to, John T. Chance, Chance Buckman, Rooster Cogburn, Lon McQ, George Washington McClintock, Cord McNally, Taw Jackson, Cole Thornton, Matt Masters, Ranger Captain Jake Cutters, Nathan Cutting Brittles, Joe January, Quirt Evans, Rusty Thomas, Rusty Ryan, Wedge Donovan, Duke Fergus, Duke Hudkins, and Stony Brooke. Has any actor ever had a better body or character names? I don't think so.

2008-08-16 06:36:48
1.   Cliff Corcoran
That wild pitch was just the second Rivera has thrown since 2002. What's the opposite of a team of destiny?
2008-08-16 07:03:58
2.   unmoderated
make our own fun, indeed.
2008-08-16 07:07:37
3.   JL25and3
2 That's Walter Brennan. He played such roles as Lanky Smith, Elmer Spicer, Newt Holley, Ote O'Leary, Capp Ricks, Ezra Peavey, Mr. Ossian Popham, Pastor Rosier Pile, Cornelius Burden, Eben Folger, Swan Bostrom, Rimrock Thomas, Orrin C. Questin, Cody Guilford, Old Atrocity, Pop Gruber, Brimstone "Pop" Courteen, "Doc" Butcher Ephrim, "Preacher" Hawker, "Skinny" Rawlins, "Hunk" Marriner, Chuckawalla, Featherhead and Billy Martin.

Granted, he had a couple of advantages. He got to play the colorful sidekick/old coot most of the time, and he's got well over 200 credits. Still, I think they just knew how to do names back then.

2008-08-16 07:10:46
4.   JL25and3
And speaking of great names, Emma, I've been thinking about your family recently. Emma Span is a good name, but your cousin Denard Span really hit the jackpot.
2008-08-16 07:16:10
5.   Chucksax
Why is Justin Christian still on this team? It seems that every time he's called upon to pinch run (which seems to be his only role with the team), he gets thrown out or picked off or trips. If he can't even pinch run without getting picked off, why bother keeping him on the team?
2008-08-16 07:16:50
6.   yankee23
1 According to the thesaurus, the antonyms are: choice; free will; volition.

Kind of hard to argue with that, actually.

2008-08-16 07:29:45
7.   tommyl
1 My new idea is to begin searching for the One Ring of Power. Sure its evil and all, but I heard it makes your players hit with runners in scoring position. Anyone seen it?

Other than that, I'm out of good ideas to save this season.

2008-08-16 07:30:36
8.   tommyl
Oh and to make last night suck even more, Cole decided to go to UCLA. Who needs an 18 year old with a 100mph fastball and a command? We don't!
2008-08-16 07:38:38
9.   weeping for brunnhilde
1 See? That explains why I literally could not believe my eyes.

The image of Mo bolting to cover the plate like that just looked like something out of Bunuel or Dali.


2008-08-16 07:40:04
10.   ChrisS
1 Oh, the team is still destined. Destined to be mediocre.

6 Christian has entered the game as a pinch-runner 6 times. Of those six times, he has four SBs, one CS, one pick off, and scored two runs. He has roughly the same SB% as Johnny Damon. He's a 28 year old 5th OFer that can play all three positions (and he has). He does exactly what he's expected to do.

2008-08-16 07:41:09
11.   rbj
1 I think this is the anti-1998 team. If luck evens out over a season and over the years then this is payback for a season where everything clicked.

And I gave up the game to watch Phelps. Still not sure how he won that race.

2008-08-16 11:15:35
12.   Emma Span
3 Oh, sorry, you're right of course -- just a typo. But man, those names... I'm ashamed for not seeing it myself. How do you beat Ossian Popham or Orrin C. Question?

My cousin Denard would never have overlooked those, but then, he's clearly the success of the family.

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