Guest post: Joe Tetreault's 164 lines about 82 All-Stars

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Remember our Home Run Derby contest? Well, the winner was Joe Tetreault, HBT reader, Business of Sports Network Managing Editor, and notorious man-about-town. As we said before, the winner got a guest post, and Joe wrote a doozy. Specifically, he has put together something that old people like me and/or New Wave fans will appreciate: a takeoff of The Nails’ “88 lines about 44 women.”  Except instead of lyrics about freaky and interesting women, he made it about ballplayers. Oh, and he nearly doubled the length, too.

I appreciate the effort involved here, even if I’d rather hear about Tanya Turkish’s leather biker boots and Judy from O-HI-O. Still, it beat out the second place guy who was going to do a send-up of Jim Carroll’s “People who Died” starting with Thurman Munson. Yikes!

Take it away, Joe!
——————————————————————–
It’s true Evan Longoria,
Gives all the Rays euphoria
Josh Johnson is making his case
At the head of the Cy Young chase.
Hanley Ramirez has the tools,
Makes all the pitchers look like fools
Struggling hitters, take my advice,
Don’t go oh-two on David Price

Make sure you watch Jose Reyes.
One pause and he’s off to the races.
You know CC Sabathia
Would win twenty for Carpathia.
Though lacking last year’s power,
Still, all is well played Joe Mauer.
Yes, sir, Yovani Gallardo
Is a pitching Leonardo.

Mighty mite Dustin Pedroia,
He’s a real baseball destroyer.
Bulldog Tim Hudson pounds the zone.
Opposing hitters he does own.
New York Mets fans take much delight
In walk off hits from David Wright.
A breakout season is not news.
Success is a journey, Phil Hughes.

So many Phillie wins are powered
By the bat of Ryan Howard
Boston hopes that for Clay Buchholz
Being the best tops all his goals
They all fear Miguel Cabrera
Most lethal bat on all Terra
Chris Carpenter is the Cards’ ace;
Sets down foes; puts the in their place.

Look out, Ichiro Suzuki,
Stealing bases makes pitchers kooky.
Teammates call Roy Halladay “Doc”;
Facing him, hitters get brain lock.
When pitchers face Martin Prado,
They’re next incommunicado.
The most sought after, you’ll agree,
Is the exceptional Cliff Lee

Albert Pujols‘ skill with the bat
Sends subpar pitchers to the mat.
When Joakim Soria throws well,
Opponents’ chances’re shot to hell.
Robinson Cano, you’d agree,
Has been the Yankees’ MVP
Pittsburgh sent Matt Capps far away
Washington’s glad to have him play.

What a hero, Derek Jeter
Yankees know he’s a world beater.
Retires the side Adam Wainwright
Up to nine times in the same night.
Adrian Gonzalez crushes;
Leaves spectators in awed hushes.
Good results for Jered Weaver
A real over-achiever.

A meatball thrown to Ryan Braun
Inevitably will be gone.
For the years of Andy Pettitte
All New York is now indebted.
All hail, Vladimir Guerrero,
Belts longballs like shooting arrows.
Ask not for whom Heath Bell doth toll,
In the Pad’s pen, he’s in control.

Josh Hamilton wows the home crowd
As he boosts pitchers’ runs allowed.
Tim Lincecum is the San Fran freak.
Dig in, but your outlook is bleak.
The Brewers learned with Corey Hart
Platooning him was not so smart.
He’s so good that fans wish daily,
Geren could pitch Andrew Bailey

Andre Ethier‘s walk off knocks
Are measured not in feet but blocks.
Achieve success, Trevor Cahill,
Whatever the role you may fill.
All Tampa hopes that Carl Crawford
Will accept what the Rays offered.
Billy Wagner has a grand plan
Set to the tune “Enter Sandman”.

Victor Martinez and his swing
Are feared summer, fall, and spring
Jonathan Broxton chucks high cheese;
With the results fans are most pleased.
Try as you might, hard as you can
You just can’t stop Brian McCann
Look out for Neftali Feliz.
Soon he’ll make his starting reprise.

Sure, Joey Votto leads the Reds;
It’s his power the pitcher dreads.
Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona
An excellent mound persona.
He suffered a hitting disease
Better now is David Ortiz
Setting new expectations is
Thy name, Ubaldo Jimenez.

Brandon Phillips, don’t say maybe!
Always go first to third, baby!
Just look at Justin Verlander
Conquers more than Alexander.
When pitchers face Justin Morneau,
All their efforts are but for woe.
Brian Wilson‘s stuff’s terrific,
To hitters it’s just horrific.

Possessing both power and speed
Ian Kinsler‘s set to succeed.
Elvis Andrus and his slick glove,
With all the skills to rise above.
Alex Rodriguez gave a shout
He’s nearing his 600th clout.
Adrian Beltre flashes leather;
His stick’s surprised altogether.

Few hitters can bear the brunt more
Than the Angels’ Torii Hunter.
Nick Swisher, Kenny’s after thought,
Now look what Nick hath wrought.
The Blue Jays tried last year to sell,
but are glad they have Vernon Wells
On first, fleet of foot Michael Bourn
Makes all pitchers and catchers mourn.

Jon Lester overcame great odds-
Now the scourge of Yankee gods.
See, Mariano Rivera
Best reliever of the era.
Rafael Soriano knows
Every win he’ll get to close.
Jose Valverde made his case
Just by keeping runners off base.

Chase Utley anchors the Phillies
Few weaknesses, like Achilles.
Rafael Furcal sparks LA
To opposing pitchers’ dismay.
Troy Tulowitzki sets the pace,
Keeping the Rockies in the race.
Rejuvenated Scott Rolen
Blasts a long ball, then he’s stollin’.

The Cubs’ show, starring Marlon Byrd,
He has been their only good word.
What a talent, Jason Heyward!
From this path, he won’t go wayward.
Matt Holliday took to the Cards,
Blasting balls out of NL yards.
Chris Young, blessed with speed and power,
Stands tall, Zona’s man of the hour.

Trying to sneak one past John Buck,
You’ll quickly find you’re out of luck.
Paul Konerko has called his shot.
Blasting baseballs onto your yacht.
Versatile with a power bat
Ty Wigginton is where it’s at.
Jose Bautista like home runs.
Mid-Year, he’s already hit tons.

Yadier Molina guns down
Even baserunners well renown.
Injuries slowed Hong-Chih Kuo,
On the hill outs are status quo.
Evan Meek‘s the apparent heir
To Pittsburgh’s bullpen closing chair.
The Colossus of Arthur Rhodes
Confidence in batters erodes.

Matt Thornton is on in relief.
His numbers are beyond belief.
Omar Infante, how ’bout this
The last All-Star will end my list.

164 lines about 82 All Stars

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.