Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-5-5

5/5/2006
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Top of the 1st
NAMES I LIKE
I enjoy names. I really like the name Billy-Ball and like Bill Chuck a lot as well. When I was on the radio in college and amongst my friends, I was Billchuck, one word. Kind of like the Everett AquaSox, also one word.

There are annoying problems with my Bill Chuck name; one is whenever I introduce myself to someone it’s just a matter of time before they start referring to me as “Chuck” as if my first name is Chuck or perhaps they think my first name is Bill, but I prefer to be called Chuck. This is also related to the “Oh, you have two first names” comment that I have heard only a millions. How do I respond to that?

Then there is the “Chuck? That is an unusual name, what did you shorten that from?” I usually respond in the same fashion that my Dad did, “Who would shorten their name to `Chuck?'”

I still prefer that query than “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck? A question that leaves me simply speechless with a patient smile on my face till my cohort gets that out of his system (the use of “his” is intentional; women don’t seem to do that).

Then there are those who like to play with my name “Chilly Buck” or “William Charles” I look at those people like the old Rob Schneider “Making copies” characters who had all sorts of pet names for people in the office (i.e. “Ran-dyyy! The Rand-man! Randatollah!”).

I can participate in all these plays on my name up to a point – when other people engage in rhyming games, Bill Chuck has to stay on the sidelines. Try it and you’ll see pretty early in the alphabet why that is the case.

I don’t particularly care for my given name of William. Sounds like British royalty. I am far from British royalty. But there a number of names I do like for the way they sound. I always thought it would be fun to change my name to Desmond Tutu Chuck or Darryl Strawberry Chuck or Mookie Chuck or Mookie Darryl Strawberry Desmond Tutu Chuck.

Here are some names that I like. I have randomly gone through boxscores and chosen some names and have added what they make me think of. Please feel free to add to the list (bill@billy-ball.com):

Casey Kotchman – Angels – DJ on “The Simpsons”?
Chase Utley – Phils – “C’mon boy, chase him. You can catch him.”
Choo Freeman -Colorado Rockies – Gum endorser
Chris Bootcheck – Angels – Private in the Army?
Curtis Granderson – Tigers -Quinton McCracken’s co-star
Derrick Turnbow – Brewers – Indian chief
Doug Mientkiewicz – Royals – “Spell that please?” “D-O-U-G”
Edgar Renteria – Braves – For those of you can’t afford to buy your own eria
Edgardo Alfonzo – Angels – I love saying it, makes me feel like Antonio Banderas
Howie Kendrick – How can you not like someone named “Howie?”
J.J. Putz – Mariners – The opposite of Kevin Mench
Jhonny Peralta – Indians – Dyslexic who wrote “Annie Get Your Nug”
Joaquin Benoit – Rangers – Bonjour, Monsieur Benoit, comment allez vous?
Jordan Tata – Tigers – I love all the Tatas
Julian Tavarez – Red Sox – “More than a Woman”
Kevin Mench – Rangers – Wise beyond his years
Kirk Saarloos – A’s – A Scrabble player’s dream
LaTroy Hawkins – Orioles – Soul singer?
Lyle Overbay – Toronto – eBay spin-off
Pablo Ozuna – White Sox – famed Mexican bandito?
Placido Polanco – Tigers – Famous tenor
Prince Fielder – Brewers – We are in the presence of royalty
Quinton McCracken -Cincinnati Reds – British actor?
Reggie Abercrombie – Marlins – Good friends with Chatsworth Osborne, Jr.
Rheal Cormier – Phils – No imhitations
Scott Dohmann – Homer Simpson’s nickname
Sendy Rleal – Orioles – Mr. Typo
So Taguchi – Cards – Full name, So What’s new With You? Taguchi
Yuniesky Betancourt – Mariners – “I’ll take `Spelling’ for $10,000, Alex.”

Bottom of the 1st
WIN “GAME OF SHADOWS”
“Game of Shadows”, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams is the report of the most important story in sports in recent memory. I have a pristine, steroids-free copy of the book that I want one of my readers to have.

Here’s all you have to do – write 73 words, no more – no less, about Barry. Send it to bill@billy-ball.com and the best written will be the winner.

We have a number of excellent attempts thus far, so please get your 73 words in soon.

Top of the 2nd
TOWERING INFERNO
Thanks to one of the great Billy-Ball-Buddies Adam Villone I got to go to Fenway last night and because Josh Towers was pitching for the Jays, it wasn’t much of a game. However, the weather was perfecto and the evening’s chatter was terrific (thanks also, in part, to Billy-Ball-Buddy, Shilo who just absolutely floors me with his devotion to the game, who is sitting right in front of us).

The Sox won 7-4 and the game was only that close because after Matt Clement threw very effectively holding the Toronto hitting machine to just two hits and one run over 6 innings unfortunately throwing 105 in that span. So the Sox went to their bullpen. Keith Foulke pitched one inning giving up one hit before Francona turned the game over to the Ambiguously Effective Duo of Rudy Seanez and Julian Tavarez.

Seanez pitched one ineffective inning giving up two runs and then Tavarez gave up a run and had a runner on base in 1/3 of inning forcing Francona to go to his closer Little Papi. Papelbon scared the bejeezus out of everyone when he needed a visit from the trainer after catching his spike on the pitching rubber with one strike to go, but he stayed in and got Vernon Wells on a comebacker to earn his 11th save in 11 chances.

How bad is Josh Towers? He began the night with some staggering numbers: 0-5 with a 10.45 ERA. Opposing batters were hitting .388 off him with a .450 on-base percentage and .643 slugging percentage. The Sox, who have played Toronto eight times, are 3-0 in games started by Towers and 0-5 against the rest of Toronto’s staff.

Towers is now 0-6 on the season with a 10.59 ERA and of the 250 starting pitchers in MLB he is ranked #250. Jays manager John Gibbons said. “You feel for him. You love everything about the way the guy goes about his business. He’s just in a rut. He’s had no breather. I’ll tell you one thing: he won’t quit.” Perhaps Towers should be fired.

Top of the 3rd
RANGERS STREAKING
Kevin Millwood pitched a four-hitter for Texas’ first complete game this season, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Mench homered and the Rangers won their sixth straight with an 8-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. He threw one complete game last year with Cleveland on Aug. 27 at Toronto. The Rangers hadn’t had a complete game since May 14, 2005.

Rangers starters haven’t lost in the last 17 games, going 7-0. Baltimore has lost nine of 12.

Top of the 4th
THE BRAVES HAVE THEIR PHIL
Ryan Howard drove in three runs with a solo homer and two sacrifice flies, helping the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-3 for their fifth straight victory. The Phillies evened their record (14-14) for the first time this season. Atlanta has lost seven of its last 10 games. Braves shortstop Edgar Renteria singled to extend his hitting streak to 20 games, counting a hit in the final game last season.

“We’re just not doing the little things,” Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. He apparently regards winning as a little thing.

Top of the 5th
DIAMONDBACKS STREAKING
Juan Cruz pitched five scoreless innings as the Diamondbacks defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-0 for their fifth straight victory. The Diamondbacks, who started the streak in fourth, climbed into a tie with Colorado atop the NL West. Both teams have records of 16-13.

Top of the 6th
CONTRERAS STREAKING
Jose Contreras won his 13th straight decision dating to last season and Jim Thome hit a three-run homer to lead the Chicago White Sox past the Seattle Mariners, 4-1. Contreras (5-0) improved to 16-2 since the All-Star break last year. The first-place White Sox swept the two-game series and won their 10th consecutive home game, tying a franchise record. They have won 19 of 23 overall, becoming the first team in the majors to reach 20 wins.

Contreras is only the third pitcher in the last 50 years to open a season with five consecutive wins after finishing the previous season with at least eight in a row. The others: Roger Clemens (1998-99) and Tom Seaver (1969-70).

Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 5/4/2006
This Hall of fame birthday boy was a member of the Chippewa tribe and a graduate of the Carlisle Indian School.
RICH BEEN FED

BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA – 5/4/2006
Who is the all-time Cleveland Indian saves leader?
Send your answers to Bill@billy-ball.com

Bottom of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM ANSWER – 5/4/06
R.I.P. to this former reliever, major league umpire and college basketball referee.
BULK KNELL I – BILL KUNKEL

BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA-ANSWER – 5/4/06
Who was the first Yankee captain after Lou Gehrig?
Thurman Munson

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
On this date in 1975, Oakland released pinch runner Herb Washington. Washington played in 105 major league games without batting, pitching, or fielding. He stole 31 bases and scored 33 runs.

Top of the 9th
THANKS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Your support through email feedback is always appreciated. I wouldn’t mind if you encouraged a few more people to join our community; it’s always fun we have new ideas and opinions.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Bottom of the 9th
VISIT-BILLY-BALL-WORLD
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Have a great day!

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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports, espn.com, sportsline.com, mlb.com and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.