August 2007

Extra Innings: 08/27/07

Marz’s Thoughts: Congratulations to Carlos Pena on his 30th home run, he has to be the lead candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. Also, Kelvim Escobar is having a CY Young type season. A lot of people on the east coast don’t get a chance to see him pitch because he plays in Anaheim. Arizona wins another one-run game, they are now 24-9 since July 21st. It is amazing how they have been outscored all season long and still hold the lead in the NL West. But how about the Brewers, who are now 5-14 since August 5th after losing on Sunday.
P.S. – So long Toronto…it was nice eliminating you today, but my ears are still ringing from the sound effects!

Chris’ Thoughts: Vinny is way to big time to be filling out a blog like this, so I decided to do it today. What is up with Bob Wickman? He always seemed like a great teammate everywhere he went. Went about his business, didn’t cause any problems and was successful. There has to be more to the story in Atlanta than what we are hearing.
P.S. – Doesn’t it seem like the Astros are one of the classiest organizations around. Nice job by retiring Jeff Bagwell’s number this past weekend.

Extra Innings: 08/24/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Of all the weekend series, none has more importance to each team playing in it than the Yankees and Tigers. New York just lost 2 of 3 to LAA and Detroit lost 2 of 3 to Cleveland. Both of these teams are vying for playoff positions and each of them need to distance themselves from other teams in the American League. In the beginning of the season, both of these teams were supposed to be the two best teams in the American League. Now they are fighting for their playoff lives.
P.S. – If you give your pitcher an advatage – it is NOT cheating! haha

Cuch’s thoughts:  Plans for a BASEBALL Weekend like none other before. I have beat myself up enough this summer and need to rest. I plan on having a couch filled weekend with lots of baseball and lots of pizza perhaps. Maybe i will invite Johnny Marz over to hang out, but only on the condition that he doesn’t wear his 1983 Phillies replica jersey!
P.S. – Sorry Canada…but on Monday we will add the Toronto Blue Jays to the Leading Off Elimination Pool

Extra Innings: 08/23/07

Marz’s thoughts:  If I were on a reality show like the Real World with a bunch of people, i would be the peacemaker where i would break up fights and get in the middle of everyone.
P.S. – Oh yeah, and i would be the guy trying to get with the hot girl!

Cuch’s thoughts:  All but 2 games on the schedule today have playoff implications. Oak and TB and WSH and Hou. That is a testiment to the playoff system and parity that no one seems to think exists. It is almost September and by my count, we have 18 of 30 teams still alive for a playoff spot.
P.S. – Watch tomorrow on the show as we add the Toronto Blue Jays officially to the Leading Off Elimination Pool

Extra Innings: 08/22/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Carlos Beltran had 5 RBI’s in the Mets win yesterday single handedly keeping his team in the game and giving them a chance to win. Since coming off the DL, he has been sensational. He is the Alex Rodriguez of the New York Mets. He has to be perfect to justify his huge contract. I think Carlos Beltran is a phenominal athlete and player and deserves more respect from the fans.
P.S. – In repsonse to Bruce in Garden City,KS – It won’t be the Chinese Empire – it will be the Italian Empire that will rule the world and I will be King! Oh yeah and Vinny will be the Court Jester!

Cuch’s thoughts:  So the fan who caught ball #756 is putting it up for auction. What i find ironic is that he didn’t plan the trip out. He stopped there on his way to Australia and bought a last minute ticket. He isn’t even a Giants or Bonds fan though he does respect him. He claims to have not wanted to sell it but "simple math" made his decision easy. I can understand this claim. I feel like i would want to be the good person and give the ball to Barry or savor the rich baseball tradition but with the money available it is very understandable that you just CAN NOT let it go without selling it to the highest bidder.
P.S. – But I don’t wanna be the Court Jester!

Extra Innings: 08/21/07

Marz’s thoughts:  We didn’t get the chance to talk about the Seattle Mariners today and Raul Ibanez. Raul has 9 homeruns this month and has been carrying this team. He has not been getting the recognition he deserves because he is playing in Seattle. Also, John McLaren has done an outstanding job managing this team. People are waiting for this team to falter but I think they are going to take it down to the wire with the Yankees.
P.S. – I never thought Chris the Producer could look any uglier but he did when his face was stretched out going skydiving.

Cuch’s thoughts:  Congrats to Jeff Cirillo who appeared for an inning in the D-Backs loss to Milwaukee last night. It was 9-0 and Cirillo came on to save the pen. He walked two but did strike out 1 (Craig Counsell) getting out of the frame. We don’t see position players pitching often and it is obvious why but it is fun to see the reactions of guys who go down on strikes to them or get a big hit especially if they are friends.
P.S. – I still think Craig Monroe is the big name out there to add but Jeff Conine is in a close 2nd. Just this weekend I was wondering what the Mets would do to address their depth and Conine is a good step.

Extra Innings: 08/20/07

Marz’s thoughts:  John Smoltz set the all-time Braves record for strikeouts passing the old franchise record set by Phil Niekro. I believe he would also be in the mix for 300 career wins with Maddux and Glavine if he didn’t move to the bullpen for the good of the team. He still was able to be an effective closer and then for the good of the team moved back to the rotation. He is a class act and future Hall of Famer.
P.S. – The show ended 10 minutes ago and I have already sent EJ the Engineer 17 text messages. He hasn’t repsonded yet. Are you busy working? Where are you EJ?

Cuch’s thoughts:  Jermaine Dye is on the verge of signing a 2 year 22 million dollar extension with the Chicago White Sox. He went from the trade block to extension just like that. It makes sense anyways condsidering how much he spoke highly of the team and what it was like when he won there in 2005. Dye fits with the team and they are a few moves away from respectability once more anyways, so if he is comfortable, there is no reason to change things up.
P.S. – Tomorrow we will "Astrotravel" to the future to learn which NL East SS we would like on our squad!

Extra Innings: 08/17/07

Marz’s thoughts:  There are some great matchups this weekend and none takes the cake more than Cubs-Cards. The fact that St. Louis had crept back into the race is what is making this intriguing. The Cubs just signed Carlos Zambrano to an extension and that adds a spark to that club. I am looking forward to this series and expect it to be hard fought. It will probably end in a split after the wrap around series is done which means that the Reds-Brewers will have quite an impact on how the NL Central race looks heading into next week!
P.S. – Can’t wait to Astrotravel on Monday and hopefully Chris doesn’t fall too far without pulling the chord!

Cuch’s thoughts:  I echo John’s statements on Chris! Also, Astrotravel will be fun – here is a sneak peak for Monday – the following cities will be on our radar as we will fill out the All-Star future dates…
KC, OAK, ARI, MIN, NYM, SD, CIN, PHI, NYY, WSH
P.S. – Cameron Maybin was called up to the Tigers. I spoke to him at FanFest in 2005 when he was drafted. He was a great kid then and I hear he remains the same. He has excelled in the minors and can fly as well as hit the ball a mile. I expect him to hold a spot in the Tiger OF for years to come once he settles.

Extra Innings: 08/16/07

Marz’s thoughts:  We have the Michael Vick situation in football…we have the Tim Donaghy situation in basketball…we have the gambling ring in hockey and now we have the Jose Offerman situation where he attacks the catcher and pitcher with a bat. When is it going to stop in the world of sports? Is our society getting to a point where self gratification is worth more than anything else? Whatever happened to sportsmanship?
P.S. – Man i wish the Phillies would have gotten Joel Piniero…then we could be printing out playoff tickets! haha

Cuch’s thoughts:  The Cardinals are tied for 4th in the NL in hitting this year with a .273 average. The pitching though is quite the opposite with only Houston, Pittsburgh, Florida and Cincinnati owning worse ERA’s this year. The true running fast team could be in Toronto where the Jays own the best ERA by FAR over the last month at just 2.83. If there is a team that is set to make a run, it is Toronto!
P.S. – Bonds hit HR #759 last night. Can he reach 800 himself if he comes back next year? Nah – still too far away, but a final number of 785 is not out of the question!

Extra Innings: 08/15/07

Marz’s thoughts:  Just a heads up. There is an outside chance I will not be on the show tomorrow. I am assuming that I will return on time but tonight I plan to "Astrotravel". A couple of places I plan to hit are the 1986 World Series where I will catch the ball for Bill Buckner…the 1993 World Series where I will kick Mitch Williams in his butt as he is delivering the pitch…and finally I will visit the Playboy Mansion on my way home.
P.S. – I hope that Vinny "Astrotravels" tomorrow to Niemann & Marcus to get himself some stylish shirts.

Cuch’s thoughts:  What could the Dodgers do to fix things up? They have been in an offensive funk for a while now. Outside of a James Loney 2-run homer in the 9th inning of a 2-1 win in St. Louis, LA has had little reason to cheer. Over the last 30 days the team average and run production is among the worst in Major League Baseball. They are a veteran team with little current production from Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez and now news of a DL stint by Nomar Garciaparra. What the Dodgers need is an emerging young talent to energize the team. The Yankees are a veteran team that was energized by Shelly Duncan and Joba Chamberlain. The Dodgers need the same to bring the game back to when it was just fun for them!
P.S. – Just click here – what in the world is this story about? HAHA  Jose Offerman goes batty

Extra Innings: 08/14/07

Marz & Cuch’s thoughts:  Our best wishes go out to the friends and family of Phil Rizzuto who passed away today at the age of 89. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1994 and was one of the most colorful broadcasters around.
John: As a former player, you immediately think back to all the times when you were around older players in the clubhouse and during Spring Training and you watch as they share stories, act young again and seem like they could go out on the field if you gave them the ok. Phil Rizzuto fits right into the mold!
Vin: Like many little kids growing up on Long Island in New York, I remember many days listening to Phil Rizzuto call games on the TV and between his stories…his love of the game and his genuine personality – as a former player certainly he wasn’t as polished but he was my version of Vin Scully and Ernie Harwell and Jack Buck.

P.S. – Here are the list of teams that are in the Leading Off Elimination Pool (Once you get in the pool, there is no going out)

Orioles, Devil Rays, White Sox, Royals, A’s, Rangers, Marlins, Nationals, Astros, Reds, Pirates and Giants