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By Landon Evanson
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March 30, 2015 at 9:28 am ET
B&C Review — Billy Martin: Baseball’s Flawed Genius

Martin coverGrowing up, Billy Martin had a simple directive beaten into his head by his mother, “Don’t take shit from nobody.” That mantra set in motion a life both on and off the diamond which was fraught with success and disappointment, and chronicled with perfect pitch by Bill Pennington, a man who covered Martin as a Yankees beat writer for Bergen County’s The Record in the mid-to-late eighties.

Baseball fans recall Martin’s World Series heroics as a scrappy second baseman, managerial brilliance and failures and of course the fights at the Copacabana not to mention with Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner. However, there was so much more that drove Martin to incredible highs and lows, not only on the grand stage of our national pastime ...

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By Duke Jackson
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March 30, 2015 at 6:29 am ET
Eff You Winter, Its Time for Baseball: Your 2015 NL Preview

This winter sucked and I don’t even live in Boston. Every year the baseball off-season gets shorter and shorter, yet every winter feels more like an eternity. The last few weeks before Opening Day move at a snail’s pace while Mother Nature plays unusually cruel jokes with the weather. I hate it. Even this off-season, with all the trades, free agency signings, Buster Blogs, Lando interviews, and KLAW chats, I still couldn’t wait for Opening Day. Alas, we made it. The shittiest part of the year is over. Prepare yourself for six months of warm weather, less clothes, more BBQ, and tons of baseball. I can’t wait.

San-Francisco-Giants-World-Series-Celebration-Pictures-2014The theme for this year’s preview is “ceiling.” Organizations seeking to remain ...

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By Landon Evanson
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March 27, 2015 at 10:04 am ET
‘Stachtastic: A B&C interview with Carl Pavano

PavanoNot only did Carl Pavano help the Marlins win it all in 2003, he bounced back from a horrid few years in the Bronx to become one of the most reliable starters in the Twins rotation.

Along the way he started the final game under the Teflon Confines, threw the first pitch Target Field witnessed and rocked one of the most epic ‘staches in major league history along the way.

On Thursday morning, Pavano spoke with Bugs & Cranks about that championship for the Fish, the pressure of the stage that is the Big Apple, Game 163 in 2009, Ron Gardenhire and his perception of the Twins moving into 2015 and beyond.

To you, the loyal and learned B&C reader, ...

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By Elisabeth Galina
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March 26, 2015 at 3:00 pm ET
Mo’ne, Joey, Professional Sports and Name-calling

You hate women. We hate women. Men hate women. Women hate women. That seems to be the message society is sending out. You’re not worth it if you weren’t born with a certain appendage.

We live in a pink-for-girls and blue-for-boys world. From a young age it’s dresses for her and pants for him. From toys to sports, girls and boys are kept separate because it’s easier for us. Jane, you get a Barbie. John, you get a GI Joe. It’s not until later on in life that women are allowed to break the rules and wear blue. And even then, it’s treated like a circus sideshow. Mone+Davis+No+Ne+Davis+Taney+Dragons

When Manon Rhéame became the first and only woman to play in the ...

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By Seth Tearz
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March 26, 2015 at 10:00 am ET
Guys, I’m Worried About Brett Gardner

Some of the New York Yankees made a video with MLB.com based on a scene from everyone’s favorite The Sandlot. The internet loves it. I think it’s a horrible video with zero entertainment value. I don’t like the Yankees, but I don’t hate them as much as a lot of others (I reserve that hatred for the Red Sox and Dustin Pedroia), so this isn’t coming from a biased place. But just because they recreated a scene from a beloved movie doesn’t make it awesome. I’d have more respect if they just used GoPro cameras or a cell phone instead of a professional video crew.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is Brett ...

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By Keith Good
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March 25, 2015 at 6:00 am ET
The 104-Game Baseball Season

104-game-scheduleBaseball is no longer America’s Pastime. Attendance is down. TV viewership is plummeting. The Houston Astros infamously pulled a 0.0 share in their own market last season. The 2014 World Series averaged an abysmal 13.8 million viewers[1]. Compounding matters, the median age of a MLB viewer is trending upwards—currently around 54 years old—oldest among America’s “Big 4” sports.

Seeing trouble on the horizon, Baseball implemented rules changes for 2015 designed to quicken baseball’s opioid-laconic pace. Despite what David Ortiz may say it’s a welcome change. If I wanted to see some dude habitually adjust his junk, I’d watch the transients outside the Public Library at closing time. Nomar Garciparra’s incessant twitching almost put me off the game...

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By Scott Fendley
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March 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm ET
The Perfect Spring

 

This here is Grady Wood. He’s no prospect, not really. Good minor league pitchers, but not a prospect.grady wood

He’ll be 25 in May. He was a 10th round draft pick from Division 2 Western Oregon (same conference as the school I work at, BTW). He spent the entire season in 2014 as a relief pitcher at High Desert, and somehow escaped with a 3.29 ERA there. He’s an organization player, a roster filler for the minors and someone that gets yanked from minor league camp over to the big league diamond on occasion to be sure if the worst happens the regulars don’t get overextended while getting their work in.

He could have a big league career, because pitchers ...

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By Keith Good
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March 18, 2015 at 10:44 pm ET
Bracketology: Ranking Peter Gammons’ Top Butt-Tweets

Three things bloom this time every year: daffodils, spring training, and chalk talk. Every burned-out scribe and blogger trots out a bracket-themed themed column ranking the obtuse and esoteric. The top 64 Friends Episodes. The top 64 N64 games. The Top 64 Top 64 Brackets. We at Bugs & Cranks aim for a higher level of discourse…but sometimes the story is too good.

At 11:18 am on March 18th, Peter Gammons tweeted the following gem:

What we have here is the daffodil pushing through warming earth. It’s the signal that Spring, and with it baseball, is nigh: a shiny, new Peter Gammons butt-tweet. And since ’tis ...

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By Keith Good
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March 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm ET
8 Tons of Mr. Redlegs
Roughly the same size as Pete Rose's head

Roughly the same size as Pete Rose’s head

Baseball fans, design nerds and soup fetishists, rejoice! Engineers competing in Cincinnati’s Canstruction charity competition erected a gorgeous Mr. Redlegs using only cans of tomato sauce, salsa and chocolate pudding mix. The sculpture uses over 16,000 cans of food and weighs somewhere in the range of 6-8 tons.

And what would you get, combining chocolate with tomato sauce and salsa spices? Cincinnati Chili, of course. If the engineers had only used spaghetti in the design, we could have had a proper Mr. Redlegs three-way.

Another Canstruction team, keeping with the baseball theme, built Cincy’s Great American Ballpark out of canned goods.

GreatAmericanBallparkCans

…Rounding Third and Heading for Homefries.

The Mr. Redlegs “Strike Out ...

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By Elisabeth Galina
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March 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm ET
The One Where Chandler has a Blue Jays Hat in his Cubicle

If you’re like me, you’ve been in Friends-on-Netflix k-hole since January 1st. You’ve ignored your boyfriend who only wants to cuddle. You’ve disregarded phone calls from your real friends because they’re not going to offer any hot takes about the whole Ross and Rachel thing. THEY WERE ON A BREAK! Chandler Blue Jays hat

Anyway, by giving the old Central Perk crew a good re-watch, I’ve noticed certain things. When Lisa Kudrow is trying to stifle a laugh, she makes a face. David Schwimmer becomes increasingly attractive as the seasons progress. PIVOT! Joey is really dumb. Rachel’s youngest sister is played by Reese Witherspoon before she really became Reese “Do you know who I am?!?” Witherspoon. And finally, Monica and Richard shouldn’t ...

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