Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-9-25

9/25/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Top of the 1st
HAZING THOSE ROOKIES
There is a baseball tradition for everything. One that I particularly love is the traditional hazing of the rookies where upon leaving on the last road trip of the season, rookies are dressed in various outfits. I prefer this to the tradition in the NFL where rookies are left holding the gun following an armed robbery.

The rookies on the Rockies (say that five times fast) were required to carry stuffed animals on their final road trip to California.

The Baltimore Orioles dressed rookies Fernando Cabrera in a gorilla suit, Jeremy Guthrie as a female nurse and Kurt Birkins as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Of course, they were on their way to New York and nobody there batted an eye.

The Mariner rookies Brandon Morrow wore a Scooby-Doo outfit, Sean Green as a baby in a pink jumpsuit, accessorized with rattle. “Not too bad,” he observed. “This is normal home wear.” There was Ryan Rowland-Smith as a cowboy, Jeff Clement in an “I Dream of Jeannie” getup, Rob Johnson in a go-go outfit, Sean White as Buzz Lightyear, and, perhaps most comical, Wladimir Balentien as Bozo, complete with giant red clown shoes (but that didn’t stop Balentien from donning his Bluetooth cellphone device as he left for the team bus).

The Devil Rays dressed their rookies in Hooters attire.

Because the Dodgers didn’t do it last year they had both their the first- and second-year players dressed as monk, samurai, pirate, Disney princess, popeye, robin hood, nacho libre, native american, prince, disco king, clown, and Tarzan, before they boarded a plane to San Francisco on Sept. 6. Once again I doubt the folks in the city by the Bay were fazed.

The Boston rookies were memorable as they made their way through customs on their final road trip to Toronto. There was Daisuke Matsuzaka dressed in a Teletubby outfit (his translator wore one too), Clay Buchholz was a female pirate (Arrgh!), Jacoby Ellsbury was Little Red Riding Hood and Brandon Moss was Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” complete with pony tail wig and Toto in a basket.

Yesterday the Yankees took the Wizard of Oz theme to the next level.

Joba Chamberlain who has shown great courage thus far yesterday raised his oversized paws, shook his shaggy brown mane and let out a feeble roar. Looking and acting every bit the Cowardly Lion, the 22-year old reliever playfully challenged Jason Giambi and Mike Mussina as he said, “Put ’em up! Put ’em up!”

I was a little put off by rookie Ian Kennedy’s comment after stepping into the sparkling ruby red slippers as Dorothy, “I’d rather be here dressing up than anywhere else.” Do you think that means that ordinarily he dresses up like this somewhere else?

Phil Hughes wore shiny silver pants as the Tin Man. Shelley Duncan put on sunglasses to complement his Scarecrow get-up. Tyler Clippard flapped around with Kei Igawa as flying monkeys. Edwar Ramirez eventually fit into that little Wicked Witch of the West dress. Chase Wright was dressed as the Good Witch complete with a long pink dress, a blonde wig tattoo on his left shoulder, he was definitely Glinda. There was Mayor Munchkin, a couple of Lollypop Kids and palace guards with spears, too.

Most everyone except the Wizard, but you don’t see much of Mr. Steinbrenner these days.

Top of the 2nd
POST HASTE
As we hurry to the end of the season, we rush to judgment:

American League
East W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak
x-Boston 92 64 .590 — 47-28 45-36 42-30 Lost 1
NY Yankees 90 66 .577 2 52-29 38-37 35-31 Lost 1
Toronto 79 77 .506 13 47-31 32-46 32-34 Won 1
Baltimore 67 89 .429 25 33-42 34-47 32-34 Won 1
Tampa Bay 64 92 .410 28 36-42 28-50 27-39 Won 1
Central W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak
y-Cleveland 92 63 .594 — 51-29 41-34 46-23 Won 1
Detroit 85 72 .541 8 43-36 42-36 33-34 Lost 1
Minnesota 77 79 .494 15 1/2 41-40 36-39 28-42 Won 2
Chicago WSox 68 88 .436 24 1/2 34-41 34-47 35-31 Lost 1
Kansas City 67 89 .429 25 1/2 34-44 33-45 27-39 Lost 2
West W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak
y-LA Angels 92 65 .586 — 54-27 38-38 30-22 Lost 1
Seattle 83 72 .535 8 44-31 39-41 28-26 Lost 1
Oakland 75 82 .478 17 39-39 36-43 23-31 Lost 1
Texas 73 84 .465 19 45-34 28-50 25-27 Won 2
y= clinched division title
x= clinched playoff berth
2007 National League Standings
East W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak
NY Mets 87 69 .558 — 40-35 47-34 34-33 Lost 1
Philadelphia 85 71 .545 2 43-32 42-39 38-28 Lost 1
Atlanta 82 74 .526 5 44-37 38-37 38-31 Won 2
Washington 70 87 .446 17 1/2 40-41 30-46 29-38 Won 2
Florida 66 90 .423 21 33-45 33-45 30-39 Lost 3

Central W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak
Chicago Cubs 83 73 .532 — 44-37 39-36 43-33 Won 4
Milwaukee 80 76 .513 3 48-27 32-49 42-35 Won 1
St. Louis 73 83 .468 10 43-38 30-45 39-36 Lost 1
Cincinnati 71 85 .455 12 38-37 33-48 35-38 Lost 2
Houston 68 88 .436 15 40-38 28-50 32-44 Lost 2
Pittsburgh 66 90 .423 17 35-40 31-50 36-41 Lost 9

West W L PCT GB Home Away DIV Streak
Arizona 88 68 .564 — 50-31 38-37 35-34 Lost 1
San Diego 85 71 .545 3 47-34 38-37 38-32 Lost 4
Colorado 84 72 .538 4 48-30 36-42 37-29 Won 8
Los Angeles 80 76 .513 8 41-34 39-42 32-34 Won 1
San Francisco 70 87 .446 18 1/2 39-40 31-47 27-40 Won 3

y = clinched division title
x = clinched playoff berth

Largest Deficits Made Up To Win Division, Since 1969
GB
’78 Yankees 14
’95 Mariners 13
’06 Twins 12