Friday, January 30, 2009

Ask BoL-- a Primer

*Milton Bradley, circa 2001.

dear BoL -
i am concerned for myself. i feel so empty inside. last winter, i spent the days longingly staring out the window, hoping for the faintest glimmer of spring. maybe a robin scratching around after april showers for a worm? a little daffodil bulb peeking into the morning light? the transformation of brown depressing lawns into vibrant green up shoots? all of these are telltale signs of a baseball season on the horizon. last year i looked at schedules, thought about tickets, considered spring training. every day i scoured web sites for the latest in hot stove reports. looked at projections. but this year - i feel nothing. could it be that after all these years i have finally give the cubs all i had and realized there was no return on investment? i mean, seriously. people say "jake peavy," and i say, "meh." people say, "milton bradley," and i say, "fine." i feel like i've just woken up with a husband of 50 years and realized that i'm out of love with him. and if it's so easy to fall out of love, did i ever truly love him in the first place?
how can i spark the romance again?

Lost in Greensboro

Dearest Lost,
Consider the dust on the mantle. It's arrival at that destination took millions of years to process, incredible amounts of luck to arrive at that surface and only seconds to eliminate. The commonality of dust, of course is a given, but ponder: individual flakes of your skin-- overworked and overwrought-- escaped your body's complex system of checks and balances to gather in small clumps level with your eye. The difference between flaking off in the cold, sliding off with a glove, wiping off on a napkin after a lukewarm egg-and-cheese biscuit (enjoyed at your desk during work hours) or even being blown off by a mock kiss being blown to a friend and landing in this specific spot on said mantle is the difference between love and indifference. It takes but one solid moment-- a moment of combined luck and fatalism-- to begin a process thousands of years in the making. The dust landed there-- your dead skin-- by chance, yes, but it still landed.

In 2003 the speck of dust was Aaron Boone. In 2004, it was Dave Roberts. Two insignificant specks that forever changed the way I view baseball. They landed on the right mantle at the perfect time and clumped enough for me to see them. That's it. Whatever skill was necessary came down to some other event causing a cataclysm-- Pedro left in too long, Bill Mueller fighting off the best closer in history, etc. Baseball is the ultimate cause-and-effect scenario. You will be affected as I was, as we all shall be.

The crack of the bat may not stir you, but the manic drive of spring shall awaken you at some point. I promise.

Yours in Waiting,

Hey reader(s)-- send your letters to BoL! He'll respond, no foolin'! And it will be mock-poetic and pointless just like this one! Just write to for a response.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Credit to Burton at omgtru. He is all that is man.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Little Davey Eckstein tours Petco Park

[David Eckstein arrives at Petco Park and is met by a member of the Padres' PR team]

PR: How are you, Mr. Eckstein? [extends hand] I'm Nathan. Nice to meet you.

DE: [gazes skyward, shakes hand] Nice ... to ... meet you, too. Wow, you're huge!

PR: I'm 5'9". So, you ready to do this?

DE: You betcha! I have my notebook ready and everything! So tell me, exactly what kind of topsoil is used on the infield? Is it a mix of desert sand, red clay and ground-up black granite?

PR: [confused] Well, I actually don't know that. You'd have to talk to Brian, our groundskeeper.

DE: Can do! What's his phone number, home address, email address, Facebook handle, favorite food, mother's maiden name, and one true love?

PR: [even more confused] I ... you know, I'll get you his number, or a card, or something later. [looks around for help] Hey, second base is looking good. Think you're ready to make the switch from shortstop?

DE: Oh, indubitably! I've been training non-stop for three straight months! As a matter of fact, I'm contracting my ab muscles off and on as we speak! You don't get to be 2006 World Series MVP on talent alone, I tell you what!

PR: Then do you mind if I ask what your hat means?

DE: [takes hat off, looks at it, puts it back on at adorably cute upwards-and-slightly-to-the-side angle] Oh, that just means saying NO! to settling for second-best! Always shoot for #1, that's what my pops always says! Hey, what's that?

PR: Oh, that's the Western Metal Supply Company building. It's a landmark here in downtown San Diego, and instead of demolishing it to make way for the new park, the architects decided to incorporate it into the design, and utilized the corner as the left-field foul pole. It's very unique.

DE: Wow! That's stupendous! When was it built?

PR: 1910, I believe.

DE: Neat-o! Does the brick facade have a standard structure bearing of 2,300 lbs. per sq. inch?

PR: [scratches his head, checks his watch] You know, I'll have to get back to you on that. Well, that's about it. Anything else?

DE: Actually, yes, Nathan! Would you be so kind as to distribute this for me? [pulls sheet of paper out of notebook]

PR: Sure. What is it?

DE: It's a list of all the terms or words usually attributed to players like me! It's basically just a footnote to all the marketing and research people in the organization, as well as the sportswriters, but hey - every little bit helps!

PR: [reads list] "Scrappy. Tough. Feisty. Gamer. Fundamentals. Persistent. Dirt Dog. Heart. Hustle. Plucky. Over-achiever. Blue-collar. Gutsy. Energetic. Catalyst. Old-school." Hmmm. [folds up paper, puts it in his pocket] Sure, David.

DE: Thanks! [takes a deep breath] Man-oh-man, I can't wait to hit here. Look how close those fences are!

PR: Actually, the ball doesn't travel well here at all. You've played here before, so you probably know that this is one of, if not the worst hitting parks in the majors. It's probably not going to be a boon to your .361 career slugging percentage.

DE: [bows head] Yeah, you're right. [whips head up, smiling] But look at all that room in the gaps for bloopers!

Sunday, January 18, 2009




Thursday, January 08, 2009

One of these things is not like the others...

"Hey, Chris, can you look as black as possible? Yeah, pucker those lips. Stare through us."

[Whispering, to assistant] "Still looks like Ethan Hawke with cancer, though."