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

There was another miscommunication between the Phillies and Pat Neshek

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Back in June 2017, then-manager of the Phillies Pete Mackanin and reliever Pat Neshek had some miscommunication. In a series against the Cardinals, Neshek worked a five-pitch eighth inning and it was believed he would come back out for the ninth inning, but he never did. Mackanin said Neshek said he didn’t want to pitch another inning. Neshek said he was never asked. There was also some miscommunication the game prior. Neshek thought he had the day off; Mackanin said Neshek said he wasn’t available to pitch.

Mackanin is no longer the Phillies’ manager, but the miscommunication between Neshek and the team apparently persist. Neshek was notably absent during the Phillies’ hard-fought 5-4 win over the Cubs on Monday night. The game featured a struggling Seranthony Domínguez pitching two innings, yielding three crucial runs in his second inning of work.

Manager Gabe Kapler called the bullpen and instructed Neshek to begin warming up to prepare to face Albert Almora, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kapler rang the bullpen after Domínguez walked Jason Heyward, who batted ahead of Almora. Neshek wasn’t warmed up yet. Domínguez was able to retire Almora on a sacrifice bunt, which was reviewed and gave Neshek some extra time to get ready. He was ready for the next batter, Daniel Descalso, but at this point Kapler no longer wanted to bring Neshek into the game. Descalso lined a triple to left-center field, scoring two runs and came home himself when shortstop Jean Segura‘s throw caromed off of his foot out of play.

Recounting the situation, Neshek said, “I got on the mound and threw two pitches. [Kapler] said, ‘Is he ready?’ And I said, ‘No. I’m not ready yet. I’ve thrown two pitches.” Neshek was asked how long it takes him to get ready. The veteran said, “A minute. Not 20 seconds. I’m, like, the best in the league at getting ready. My whole career has been coming in like that.”

The Phillies were able to eke out a 5-4 win. Had they lost the game, Kapler and Neshek would likely have been under the microscope for the awkward situation leading to a crushing defeat. Kapler drew plenty of criticism over his bullpen management last year in his rookie managerial season. That included bringing in lefty reliever Hoby Milner into a game in which he hadn’t yet warmed up.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the manager who struggled with bullpen management last year nearly mucked up a win last night, and maybe it’s just a coincidence that a reliever who’s had prior issues with communication had another communication mix-up. Maybe it’s not. It’s worth noting that the Phillies needed three innings from the bullpen to protect a 2-1 lead over the Cubs on Tuesday. Kapler called on rookie Edgar Garcia for two outs, lefty José Álvarez for four, and then brought in Juan Nicasio to close things out in the ninth. No Neshek, even as Nicasio got into trouble. Nicasio would surrender the tying and go-ahead runs, resulting in a deflating 3-2 loss.