Also, Adam Dunn ht 81 home runs. One of them did anyway. There were 25 of them. There were also 25 Bartolo Colons, Dee Gordons, and Koji Ueharas. They all played against each other in a four team league.
Confused? You won’t be, after reading Patrick Dubuque’s description of his Clone Baseball League:
Thus I began this mad, stupid experiment. The premise is simple: using everyone’s favorite realistic baseball simulation, Out of the Park 2015, I created teams of baseball players by cloning a single player until they filled the active roster, and set them against each other in 162 games of gory combat. The results exceeded my wildest expectations.
The four teams in the CBL (Clone Baseball League) are:
• The Adam Dunns
• The Dee Gordons
• The Bartolo Colons
• The Koji Ueharas
The results are even crazier than the premise. Let’s just say that Dee Gordon — one of them; I forget which — has a serious grievance with his team and its medical staff.
I love this stuff. Jon Bois of SB Nation did this with football last year in his “Breaking Madden” series. I used to do rudimentary versions of this with weird baseball simulators from the 1980s and 1990s (I was a big Lance Hafner fan). It’s fun to play God. And often hilarious.
Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.
While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.
Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”
He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”
Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.
According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”
Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.