Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2008-10-25 12:01
by Cliff Corcoran

Untitled All of the baseball cards that I use to illustrate my posts are from my personal collection, which includes every regular-issue Topps set dating back to 1979. The first complete set I ever owned was the 1987 set. It remains one of may favorites both because of its nostalgic significance to me, and because of its appealing design and fine photography. With the recent quasi-retirements of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds (the latter of whom was pictured on the first card in the first pack of 1987 Topps cards I ever bought, his .223 average prompting me to think he was some skinny slap-hitting nothing), the last remaining active player who had a card in the 1987 set is Jamie Moyer (Moyer's then-teammate Greg Maddux is the only other active player from the 1986 season, but his first Topps card was a 1987 traded card). I had written Moyer off as a scrub in the early '90s. He was released by the Rangers after the 1990 season and spent most of the 1991 and all of the '92 seasons in the minors, and I figured he was just another anonymous face on a baseball card that I'd never see again.

Instead, Moyer quickly resurrected his career with the Orioles and, after a quick layover in Boston, emerged as an unconventional star with the Mariners just before the turn of the century. Last October, I found myself at his locker in Citizens Bank Park, interviewing him about Coors Field in anticipation of his Game 3 NLDS start, and now, 21 years after I pulled his rookie card out of a pack I bought on a trip to the mall with my mom, he's starting his first World Series game at the age of 45, and I'm writing about how he could cost the team he grew up rooting for a chance at its second championship, for I guess we've both come a long way.

Incidentally, the sight of Moyer in a Cubs cap on this card reminds me of the ex-Cub factor, a theory which was popularized in the 1980s stating that the winner of a playoff series could be determined by finding out which team had fewer former Cubs on its roster. The 2001 Diamondbacks (and the 2003 Cubs, who actually won a playoff series themselves) blew a hole in the theory, but for yucks, Phillies Moyer, Matt Stairs, and Scott Eyre outnumber the Rays' lone ex-Cub, Cliff Floyd, three to one.

Finally, here's the factoid from the back of the pictured card: "Jamie pitched 3 consecutive No-Hitters at Souderton Area High Scool, Souderton, Pa. in 1980." Yes, 1980.

Comments (125)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-10-25 13:16:05
1.   Mattpat11
I'm still holding out hope that the Phillies can achieve the honor of losing a World Series to every AL East team.
2008-10-25 16:11:20
2.   thelarmis
game won't start til at least 9.5 (read: 9:30)

Jazz Tokyo, JL and others - i'm still on this crazy Blue Note binge. went to another coupla stores today and bought more RVG titles. sifted thru some jazz vinyl, as well. i saw MJQ have an old John Lewis tune entitled "Baseball" - i'm not sure if that was mentioned on a somewhat recent thread where Cliff was mentioning Rock 'n Roll and baseball tunes, etc...


2008-10-25 19:05:28
3.   thelarmis
game on! good for jamie moyer. i'm rooting for him tonight.
2008-10-25 19:11:28
4.   thelarmis
jamie moyer's old
carlos pena two out walk
i love baseball lots
2008-10-25 19:13:37
5.   thelarmis
4 rays up 3 out
no ones at the banter now
2008-10-25 19:15:34
6.   OldYanksFan
Gotta wonder how many more years Moose might have if he was motivated to play. Moose has much better stuff the Moyer.
2008-10-25 19:35:26
7.   Cliff Corcoran
6 What changed for Moose was that he started pitching inside, which is what Tom Glavine did in 2004. There were diminishing returns for Glavine, who missed most of this year due to injury, but it probably bought him four more years and got him to 300. The same could happen for Moose if he wanted to come back.
2008-10-25 19:36:46
8.   Cliff Corcoran
Man, if you guys read my SI thing, these last two half innings fit the pattern. Phillies strand runners, Rays get fewer runners, but get them home.
2008-10-25 19:45:17
9.   thelarmis
had to make beer run
pennsylvania takes the lead
phillies and penn state
2008-10-25 19:45:36
10.   Just fair
Man, if this inning happens vs. the Yanks it's a 3 run bomb.
Good thing for the Rays they had those 2 slick defensive plays.
2008-10-25 19:48:23
11.   thelarmis
hey, moose bats lefty! c'mon back mikey moose. 300 wins are within your reach. so is 3,000 k's and 4,000 innings, not that the latter is some major milestone, or anything...

8 i have been reading your SI columns, but more skimming than reading thoroughly. i'm glad your excellent writing and analysis is being picked up by some mainstream outlets. you should be a major force in MLB, as far as i'm concerned! : )

2008-10-25 19:59:02
12.   thelarmis
wow, nice play by navarro. perfect throw. nailed j-roll...
2008-10-25 19:59:53
13.   Cliff Corcoran
11 Thanks, man. I wasn't fishing for a compliment, but I'll take it.

Navarro threw out 38% of baserunners this year. It hurts to see him in the World Series with another team. The first Randy Johnson trade was a disaster.

2008-10-25 20:00:25
14.   Cliff Corcoran
12 Jimmy got Ray Rolled.
2008-10-25 20:02:16
15.   Cliff Corcoran
Man these guys can play some D, aye? That's why they win, the stats back it up.
2008-10-25 20:02:46
16.   OldYanksFan
Should the Yankees sign this guy?
2008-10-25 20:06:28
17.   thelarmis
wow, my nitanny lions just won at ohio state for the first time in THIRTY years! we're still undefeated.

We Are...PENN STATE!!!

happy for JoePa : )

2008-10-25 20:08:23
18.   Cliff Corcoran
16 If he can get pitches two feet high and outside called strikes, sure. Otherwise, they already have Kei Igawa to throw those pitches.
2008-10-25 20:22:28
19.   Just fair
Was Buck seriously going on and on about how exciting tomorrow's football games are going to be? Howz about tonight's game. Effin' douche!
2008-10-25 20:25:00
20.   thelarmis
19 that and the show 24. he hates baseball.
2008-10-25 20:31:12
21.   thelarmis
jason bartlett, jimmy rollins is not.
2008-10-25 20:33:04
22.   thelarmis
this game is much more enjoyable on mute with the sounds of horace silver on the stereo : )
2008-10-25 20:37:37
23.   Cliff Corcoran
21 Ah, he's pretty good. Just a bad play.

Rays gotta get that run back, they're getting a bit too close to Madson/Lidge.

2008-10-25 20:37:48
24.   thelarmis
71 pitches thru 5 for moyer. he sure is gettin' it done so far tonight. he got 4 outs that inning. rollins havin' a rough game/series/postseason. i wonder if he booted that ball, thinkin' about the caught stealing. he easily would've made it to 3rd on werth's bloop hit and probably scored last frame...
2008-10-25 20:39:59
25.   thelarmis
23 oh, i know. and i like j-roll. i loved that he and granderson did the 20x4 club last year. i think he's just pressing and was probably still upset about the caught stealing. he does have 2 hits tonight...

i'm totally cool w/ the Phils winning tonight. and the whole Serious.

hey, while it's kinda dead here - you still dabbling in playing some music, cliff? hope so!

2008-10-25 20:43:44
26.   thelarmis
carlos ruiz is having himself a nice series. cliff - you had a wonderful point about him basically averaging out from poor series to hot series in your SI column...

i really don't care for pitchers hitting...

2008-10-25 20:47:22
27.   Cliff Corcoran
Alright, I know he's gotta promote it, but damn, Joe, shut the hell up about the football, okay? I mean, I'm a football fan, too, but I know that they play the games on Sunday, I don't need a long rambling reminder during the freaking World Series.
2008-10-25 20:48:56
28.   Cliff Corcoran
25 Outside of noodling around in the basement, no, not really, sadly. It's one of those things that, now I wonder how I ever had the time.
2008-10-25 20:52:28
29.   thelarmis
27 the mute button is your friend!

28 i hear ya, man. you have a drumkit in the basement?

2008-10-25 20:54:37
30.   Cliff Corcoran
B.J.'s gotta be stealing here. Run on those slow pitches and Ruiz's average-to-sub-average arm.
2008-10-25 20:56:36
31.   Cliff Corcoran
29 Yeah, my former drummers'. He lives in a condo apartment. I've had it for . . . heck might be close to two years now. Also a couple guitars (but I need to fix or replace one of my three crappy amps), and an assemblage of toy instruments (Casio keyboard, harmonicas, toy drum pad/sound effects/random noisemakers).
2008-10-25 20:57:01
32.   thelarmis
30 moyer channeling his best pettitte/langston/rogers...
2008-10-25 20:59:28
33.   Cliff Corcoran
Ha! Safe on the pickoff! Too slow, old man!
2008-10-25 21:00:35
34.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh man! Longoria hit that a mile and the wind killed it. Oh that hurts.
2008-10-25 21:01:19
35.   Cliff Corcoran
I'm thinking "is it fair?" Never considered "is it out?"
2008-10-25 21:01:26
36.   thelarmis
31 your basement sounds like heaven! : ) esp. the "random noisemakers" part. there'll be a 6-minute piece on my somewhat-soon-to-be-released solo percussion cd that is chock full o' "random noisemkaers"!

wow, upton steals successfully even on the throw over. that kid has mad skillz.

whew! longoria flies out to the warning track. that was close. moyer at 86 pitches. i say send him out for the 7th to face crawford, but have the pen ready for backup...

2008-10-25 21:03:50
37.   underdog
I thought that ball was hit out of the stadium. How did it become an out? Crazy.
2008-10-25 21:04:27
38.   thelarmis
jamie moyer = gene simmons. yikes! : ~
2008-10-25 21:05:44
39.   Cliff Corcoran
36 Well, like I say, I need a viable amp and the noisemakers are actually just toys . . .

Oh, that's a back breaker for the Rays. They don't get the two-run jack and the Utley hits one to pad the lead? Game over.

2008-10-25 21:06:27
40.   Cliff Corcoran
38 Nice emoticon! Moyer's younger than Simmons. By a lot.
2008-10-25 21:07:07
41.   thelarmis
utley crushed it. 3-1 phils. i think it was cliff - perhaps in an SI preview? - that pointed out that whilst The Bank is a bandbox, it was only the 11th best park for homers, so not even in the top 3rd. not quite the homer haven we might think? then again, didn't the phils lead all NL teams this season w/ homers at home? ah, i'll shut up now. wish buck/tim would do the same...

37 what's up, man? up from your nap?! ; )

2008-10-25 21:08:04
42.   Cliff Corcoran
Of the 8 Phillies runs in this series, 6 have come on homers.
2008-10-25 21:08:13
43.   thelarmis
shit, i actually called howard going deep, but didn't type it! no, really, i did!!!
2008-10-25 21:08:23
44.   Cliff Corcoran
Make that 7 of 9. Like I said, game over.
2008-10-25 21:08:36
45.   thelarmis
42 how many of those solo shots?
2008-10-25 21:08:59
46.   Just fair
Atta Boy, Chase. That was a shot.
2008-10-25 21:09:47
47.   Cliff Corcoran
41 'tweren't me
2008-10-25 21:10:25
48.   thelarmis
40 oh yeah, definitely younger than Chaim Werz, or whatever his real last name is. simmons, actually was a substitute teacher at my high school waaaay back in the day. his sister was a teacher, methinks. my brother is a fan and knows all that minutiae way better than me...
2008-10-25 21:11:32
49.   Cliff Corcoran
45 Correction. Six of nine (I forgot one run scored on a Rays error). Five homers, all but Utley's in Game 1 solo homers.
2008-10-25 21:13:23
50.   Cliff Corcoran
48 Weiz I think. I read his bio, it's about 200 pages and he wrote it without a ghostwriter. It's written so simply you can practically read it in a couple of hours. Not that you'd really want to.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-10-25 21:14:58
51.   Cliff Corcoran
Also, FOX needs to cut it out with the Rocky theme. They ever heard of Philly Soul? Or, hell, "Philadelphia Freedom"?
2008-10-25 21:15:29
52.   thelarmis
47 i read sooo much damn baseball, who can remember where i saw it...! : ~

46 chase is a monster. hope cano is watching...

is that it for garza? 102 pitches. he could come back out, but who knows. i still think moyer should definitely start this inning and face crawford. if he gets him out, go batter to batter. he's been baffling the rays and if they go straight to the pen, tampa might feast on some fastballs, instead of meatballs...

2008-10-25 21:17:36
53.   Cliff Corcoran
Nice play by Moyer, Crawford was out. Now, can Carl steal to capitalize on the ump's mistake?
2008-10-25 21:18:08
54.   thelarmis
50 weiz, yes, you are absolutely right! yeah, i don't need to read his bio, but apparently he's a smart guy - we know he's an amazing businessman! - and his kids are smart and well-spoken, too. then again, so are Lemmy's kids and grandchildren...

51 how 'bout some "Philly" Joe Jones?!?! : )

2008-10-25 21:19:41
55.   thelarmis
WOW, what a play by old man moyer! he was completely out. i'm glad moyer is still in. i hope it doesn't haunt him. he deserves a DP right here. i wonder if the ump will look at a replay after the game and make an apology to moyer at the park tomorrow. do things like that actually happen? i'm thinking they do, esp. in the World Serious and with a vet like Moyer...
2008-10-25 21:21:01
56.   thelarmis
man, howard made a nice barehanded snare on that play, as well. it was a solid catch and he was clearly out. terrible call.
2008-10-25 21:22:36
57.   Cliff Corcoran
55 Yes, they do. Remember that near-balk in Game 1? FOX did a good job there playing the audio from the miced ump as he said "I'll look at it" to Joe Maddon.

Wacky hop on that double. They need a hit, not a productive out here, get both these runs in.

2008-10-25 21:22:40
58.   thelarmis
oh, bollocks. that's just not cool. how come the home plate ump doesn't run up the line on that bunt and turn the call around. should've been a conference, at least. i really want moyer to get the win...
2008-10-25 21:23:17
59.   Cliff Corcoran
I don't like Gross hitting here. I'd actually go Cliff Lee.
2008-10-25 21:23:34
60.   Cliff Corcoran
59 er, Cliff Floyd (too many Cliffs!)
2008-10-25 21:24:27
61.   Cliff Corcoran
Big play by Howard.
2008-10-25 21:24:55
62.   thelarmis
whoa, another nice play by howard. thome sure as shit wouldn't have made that ; )

that's it for moyer. good job, guy! i hope you get the W, you deserve it...

2008-10-25 21:25:49
63.   Cliff Corcoran
You have to feel good for Moyer here. That's a dream come true for him to pitch like that for the Phils in the Series.
2008-10-25 21:27:32
64.   thelarmis
56 see the 2nd part of 26

60 remember when Bobby Valentine kept calling him Clifford during the A-S Game? i think it might have been '01. there was some kind of controversy between the two of them not getting along...

2008-10-25 21:28:30
65.   Cliff Corcoran
Back within a jack. Good game. That Longoria fly out still hurts, though.
2008-10-25 21:28:54
66.   thelarmis
ugh, buck. ERA is not the best measuring tool for a reliever. this is a wonderful time to talk about inherited runners, or something. maybe not WXRL, but something productive...

1-run game. madson/lidge await the 8th/9th...

2008-10-25 21:30:54
67.   thelarmis
63 i hope he wins. he didn't deserve that bad call to start the inning.

65 i was glad for the philly-tampa match-up, coz i thought there'd be really good baseball games being played. 3 games in and i'm not disappointed...

2008-10-25 21:31:25
68.   Cliff Corcoran
66 WXRL is aiming a little high. More importantly, Durbin's ERA over the last couple months (or whatever) was over 5.00.
2008-10-25 21:33:14
69.   thelarmis
68 aim high, shoot low! a YES song title : )

if tampa ties it here or wins, i'll be seething over that crawford call at 1B...

2008-10-25 21:42:09
70.   thelarmis
now pinch hitting...brett favre!
2008-10-25 21:47:34
71.   Cliff Corcoran
Anyone else notice how Jenkins has been excessively celebratory during this Phillies run? I mean, the guy barely plays. I realize he's a veteran who's never been in the postseason before, but he's barely holding on to his roster spot.
2008-10-25 21:51:41
72.   thelarmis
71 i haven't. i need to pay more attention. i had the game on mute and was typing out some new poetry and listening to horace silver.

man, 1B ump coulda had some karmic realignment with that call right there...

2008-10-25 21:56:13
73.   thelarmis
upton simply glides. super talented kid.
2008-10-25 21:57:44
74.   thelarmis
holy crap. there goes the win for moyer. upton pulling an A-rod circa Twins LDS 2003. if tampa wins tonight, that's the Series. i think phils are gonna pull this out though. poor moyer...
2008-10-25 21:59:18
75.   Cliff Corcoran
74 Nice reference! I think if the Phils win tonight, that's the series, but if the Rays win it's still being contested.

Helluva game.

2008-10-25 22:06:26
76.   Cliff Corcoran
Fuggin' Bradford. He's all Jeff Nelson: either he's unhittable or can't throw a strike.
2008-10-25 22:06:35
77.   thelarmis
really? you think Blanton takes the Andy S. game tomorrow?!

nice leadoff walk for werth. 4 pitches. he's a 20-20 guy. how's howell at holding runners? good thing Balk-A-Day Bob isn't behind the plate! ; )

i don't see this inning ending well for tampa...

2008-10-25 22:08:04
78.   thelarmis
76 at least he doesn't have nelson's hitler mustache or giambi's porn stache of doom anymore. i couldn't stomach looking at that cat! his gamecast photo still has that awful stache though. : /
2008-10-25 22:10:17
79.   thelarmis
i wish mccarver would pull a rizzuto and leave now to avoid traffic. i'd be even more thankful if he'd take buck with him...
2008-10-25 22:14:25
80.   Cliff Corcoran
Werth was safe, but that was a sick throw from Navarro
2008-10-25 22:14:35
81.   thelarmis
from Bob T at the griddle on upton's 3 SB's:

This is just the fifth time a player has stolen three bases in a World Series game. Lou Brock did it twice, Willie Davis once, and Honus Wagner the other time.

ooh, i knew werth would go. i hope the Phils pull this out! i'm pretty positive i'm in the minority 'round here - minus Mike C - but i'm stickin' to my guns.

2008-10-25 22:15:54
82.   thelarmis
wow, what a pitch. then again, if he didn't swing, that pitch woulda sucked! ; )
2008-10-25 22:15:59
83.   Cliff Corcoran
77 Even if the Rays win tomorrow, if the Phils win tonight, Hamels can tie it back up in Game 5. If the Rays lose tonight and something goes wrong tomorrow (which is a toss up to me) then Hamels pitches to win it.
2008-10-25 22:17:19
84.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh man! Huge blunder by Werth!
2008-10-25 22:17:20
85.   Just fair
Nice baserunning, Meat. Ugh.
2008-10-25 22:17:30
86.   thelarmis
wow. tampa is fundamentally sound beyond belief. that's definitely a momentum shift. howard needs to park another one in the seats...
2008-10-25 22:18:31
87.   thelarmis
utley and werth will not sleep tonight, if they lose...
2008-10-25 22:20:29
88.   Cliff Corcoran
Great curve for the K from Howell. Ninth inning . . .
2008-10-25 22:20:30
89.   thelarmis
does lidge pitch the 9th? tie game at home, should mean "yes". we shall see...
2008-10-25 22:21:44
90.   Just fair
The Rays are a run away destiny train if they touch up Lidge in the 9th.
The ol' knee buckler got the best of Howard.
2008-10-25 22:22:00
91.   Cliff Corcoran
86 When bad hitters behind bad pitchers play great defense and are fundamentally sound, it don't mean much, but when a talented team of quality hitters with a good young pitching staff plays great defense with good fundamentals, they're hard to beat. The Rays, of course, are the latter.
2008-10-25 22:23:16
92.   OldYanksFan
Outstanding pick off. He got me too. Did you notice Bartlett move off the bag and then get quickly back for the throw? Great play.
2008-10-25 22:24:03
93.   Just fair
90 Lidge has got to be in to pitch first, Dummy.
2008-10-25 22:24:27
94.   thelarmis
good call, he totally went. home plate umpire shoulda had that w/ no assistance needed...
2008-10-25 22:26:07
95.   thelarmis
93 i forgot about romero, too. he's looking sharp, thus far...
2008-10-25 22:29:39
96.   Cliff Corcoran
Easy to say now, but it makes sense to stretch out the guy already in the game against the bottom of the order. But once it rolls over, they have to go Lidge, for two if necessary.
2008-10-25 22:30:24
97.   Cliff Corcoran
the only advantage to that for the Rays is they can get another inning from Howell
2008-10-25 22:30:40
98.   thelarmis
feliz = phillies. he'll get the game winning hit...
2008-10-25 22:32:12
99.   thelarmis
97 and here's howell for the 9th...
2008-10-25 22:34:42
100.   thelarmis
ominous start to the 9th for the rays. lefty hits the righty in the thigh, behind in the count. fiery aussie to the mound...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-10-25 22:35:09
101.   Cliff Corcoran
Well, so much for that idea. Balfour better have it tonight.
2008-10-25 22:35:49
102.   thelarmis
i'd really rather not see a sac bunt to have a slow runner at 2nd w/ 1 out and feliz at the plate...
2008-10-25 22:39:07
103.   Just fair
Hey, the Rays ARE mortal.
2008-10-25 22:39:41
104.   thelarmis
holy shit! you gotta love baseball. tampa playing such sound defense and BOOM! wild pitch on a bunt attempt, throw into CF, man on 3rd, no out...
2008-10-25 22:39:42
105.   OldYanksFan
Don't know how the batter got out of the way of that pitch.
2008-10-25 22:40:01
106.   Cliff Corcoran
Awful. Navarro's been making great throws all night and a good one gets Bruntlett there.
2008-10-25 22:40:47
107.   Cliff Corcoran
104 My fault. I jinxed them. Damnit. This game is over. They're not getting out of this.
2008-10-25 22:41:22
108.   Just fair
104 thelarmis = bronx playoff banter. He will predict the end of the game. : )
2008-10-25 22:42:19
109.   thelarmis
i'm surprised wheeler's not even throwing. maybe even price...

well if dobbs is up for feliz, my 98 is outta the window.

106 you're right, bruntlett had a late jump.

maddon doing his "unconventional" thing again...

2008-10-25 22:44:21
110.   thelarmis
108 i already failed! see 98 . : ~

i will say that Charlie, no...Von...Hayes will catch the last out of this Series at one of the corner infield postions! ; )

2008-10-25 22:45:33
111.   thelarmis
bases juiced. balfour still in. count even at 1. ruiz has been hot at the plate and needs to make up for his poor throw at upton to 3rd...
2008-10-25 22:45:59
112.   thelarmis
can tampa insert Aaron Cook in the game?! ; )
2008-10-25 22:46:12
113.   Just fair
Bal four. That name kills me. Like a goalie named
Fifehole or SwisCheeze.
2008-10-25 22:47:54
114.   Cliff Corcoran
would it have gone foul?
2008-10-25 22:48:20
115.   thelarmis
wow, and that's the ending of this game. maybe eva shoulda let it roll foul? terrible toss home. announcers sound like they're sleeping.
2008-10-25 22:48:50
116.   Cliff Corcoran
impossible to tell
2008-10-25 22:48:52
117.   Just fair
110 Ha. I couldn't keep straight my Feliz's and Ruiz's.
This seems to have 7 games written on it.
2008-10-25 22:49:17
118.   thelarmis
113 emma wrote about that! and kevin slowey, amongst others...

114 i think so, man, i think so...

2008-10-25 22:50:10
119.   OldYanksFan
The last hop was heading into foul territory
2008-10-25 22:50:57
120.   thelarmis
119 i think it was, too...
2008-10-25 22:52:11
121.   thelarmis
moyer = player of the game! it ain't a "W," but it's a nice touch. good for him.
2008-10-25 22:54:22
122.   thelarmis
alright gang, thanks for havin' me! i'm gonna head up the street to my watering hole for last call. see youze guyz tomorrow night for the end of Game 4, after my gig...
2008-10-25 23:01:44
123.   Cliff Corcoran
Rays are in trouble for no good reason. This series has been so good, I really want it to go seven.

Now to write up tomorrow's preview . . .

2008-10-26 01:06:11
124.   thelarmis
123 lookin' forward to reading it! i'll do my best to read the entire thing this time, instead of skimming...

rays will probably win tomorrow and even it up. King Cole will win Game 5. it'll be interesting back at The Trop and everything will probably hinge on Hamels and a Game 7. great Serious!!!

2008-10-26 01:20:43
125.   thelarmis
"I think it exceeded every expectation or thought or dream," Moyer said.

i wish he got the win...

looking forward to Game 4! ooh, i don't think hamels will be available for a Game 7...

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