With no baseball on last night I ended up watching some cable show in which “Rowdy” Roddy Piper brought some woman claiming to be a spiritual medium into his Oregon home to tell him what all of the ghosts were trying to say to him. He’s haunted by Adrian Adonis, mostly. Not making that up.
Apart from the fact that this alleged medium’s allegedly spiritual communications all conveyed information which was available on Piper’s Wikipedia page, it was pretty riveting stuff. The only downside: Piper didn’t go along with it for 55 minutes of the show only to end it with a massive heel-turn, smashing the medium’s head while barking “just when they think they got the answers, I CHANGE THE QUESTIONS!”
What I’m saying is, it was sad that the ravages of time, age, injury, illness and possibly substance abuse have dulled Hot Rod’s once incredibly sharp edge. There’s no way Piper circa 1985 woulda sat there for that. He would have chewed his gum, kicked the medium out of his house and talked to the ghost of the late great Adrian Adonis himself. They would’ve had a grand time, actually, then they would have gone and kicked Ricky Steamboat in the nards and smashed fruit into Jimmy Snuka’s head or something.
But even though Piper has reduced himself to playing along with third rate hucksters, it’s not as bad as the pro-wrestlers who are now associating themselves with something worse: Jeff Loria. Maury Brown reports that the Miami Marlins are hosting a Legends of Professional Wrestling night on August 24:
You won’t get The Rock or Hulk Hogan, but former WWE/WCW Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg will throw out the first pitch, wrestlers will sign autographs during the game and then post-game there will be three to four wrestling matches inside the ring on the West Plaza of Marlins Park.
Big names include. Goldberg, Brett Hart, Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, Koko B. Ware. Go read Maury’s post for the rest. Fifteen in all.
Biggest shocker: there are still 15 wrestling legends who have not yet died.
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.