PRODcast 139′s Old School Player of the Week: Don Stanhouse
Don Stanhouse was a pitcher in the bigs for 10 years with the Rangers, Expos, Orioles, Dodgers, and then the Orioles again. He bounced back and forth between the pen and the starting rotation, and was not particularly good at either, as he finished his career with a 38-54 record, 64 saves, an ERA of 3.84, and a WHIP of 1.528. Somehow this Ronald McDonald lookin’ dingus “excelled” as a closer, and was named an All-Star in 1979. He earned the name “Fullpack” from manager Earl Weaver, because he had a habit of walking batters, and a chain-smoking Weaver would apparently smash an entire pack of heaters during one of his appearances. Earl was also quoted as saying Stanhouse was an asshole who ruined his health. Harsh, but fair.
Much more important than his on-field exploits is his ridiculous ginger afro and pushbroom stache that make him look like a cross between pre-manscaping Carrot Top and David Crosby.
I wouldn’t normally say “Go to Hartford!” I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with Hartford, but just as I don’t often tell people to go to, I dunno, Poughkeepsie or Toledo (sorry to anyone from those two towns I’ve never been to), Hartford is just kind of there.
But I went to Hartford the other day for the Yard Goats and now everything has changed. Now Hartford is a destination you should head off to for one of the most gorgeous Minor League ballparks I’ve ever seen. I mean, there are legit second decks. I obviously have only seen a small percentage of Minor League stadiums, but I don’t think I could tell you of a single other one with a second deck.
There’s a home run device that, because the stadium is owned by Dunkin’ Donuts, is a coffee cup that RELEASES THE STEAM.
Oh, yeah, and there are actual, live goats in the petting zoo. So, scrap those summer plans of going to Disney or Europe or the Pacific Coast Highway. Go to Hartford.
Anyway, here are a few things I wrote this week that you should read:
Willians Astudillo is unlike any other player in baseball. Namely, because he’s built like a backyard shed and he never strikes out. How’s he doing it? Click and read for all that and more in this week’s IN SHORT ORDER.
Bartolo Colon has given up home runs to 301 different players. He’s only the second pitcher to ever pull that off. While it seems like a record you wouldn’t want, it’s actually a testament to how good he’s been for so long. Here are 10 homer-rific facts about his milestone.
Who are the big league stars that absolutely dominate their fellow All-Stars? Click and find out. (What? You think I’d give away that premium #content without a click?)
PRODcast 138′s Old School Player of the Week: Biff Pocoroba
Biff Benedict Pocoroba spent his entire underwhelming 10-year career as a Barve, and hit .257, mashed 21 taters, had an OPS+ of 86, and was worth -0.6 WAR. He made the NL All-Star Team in 1978 despite hitting .242. He was added to the squad because he was Phil Neikro’s personal catcher and nobody else wanted to catch that goofball’s junk. He was kind of like an optimized Jeff Mathis … a bad baseball player who carved a little niche for himself by being fun to pitch to I guess.
At his peak, Biff looked like a young James Franco with a creepstache, dabbled in some 60-grade dadhat, and looked mostly confused in every baseball card he took a photo for. There’s also a little Randolph Mantooth in there, but that is a reference that will be lost on 98% of our youthful and vigorous listening audience.
In retirement, he opened Sausage World, a specialty meat establishment in Lilburn, Georgia, which is definitely the name of a porn.
Apologies if I seem baseball-distant this week, but I’ve got a terrible illness. I’ve caught World Cup fever and it’s affecting my bones, my blood, my brain, and my heart. And sure, while it’s given me a physically need to have strong opinions about things like Panama’s center back pairings or the tactical acumen of France manager Didier Deschamps, it’s also a disease I welcome with all my heart.
Because the competition is amazing. Sure, in part because sports are fun and seeing these amazingly high stakes from 8 am until 4 pm every day is great, but that’s such a small part. It’s really because of the glory of international competition – whether it’s the World Cup, the World Baseball Classic, the Olympics, or even 12 dudes stuck in the international terminal of LAX at 4 am.
Here’s a time when we can put aside our differences, our politics, the terrible things done in the name of things we believe or not believe in. When you cheer for your team, you cheer for the people of your country, for the physical beauty of the land, for that one amazing dish that your parents made for you growing up. And while you scream and chant and needle the opposition’s fans for 90 minutes, when it’s over, you go and grab a beer and some food together.
And even if the USMNT aren’t there, there are 32 other countries on display because of a silly ball getting kicked and chased around. And that’s fun. And I can’t help loving every damn minute of this tournament.
Anyway, if you’re wondering what the deal is with that long preamble, well, it’s because I wrote a lot of baseball World Cup content.
Here’s the MLB Starting XI. If you’re wondering why Aaron Judge is up top it’s because I’m a dumb man that loves target men in the box. At least, that’s what the internet thinks (though I definitely am).
PRODcast 137′s Old School Player of the Week: Mike Cubbage
Mike Cubbage was a serial killer-ass lookin’ switch hitting utility infielder who played in parts of eight seasons for the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and New York Mets. He was much less bad than the disasters we usually feature in this segment, but he was also not good, as he was worth 6.4 WAR and hit .258 w/ 34 dingers, and an OPS+ of 94. What *was* bad was his whole get up, from the dadhat to the mom hair, to the dadglasses, to his waxlike and expressionless face, to his midcalf pants, to his wack ass golf shoes. There’s a lot going on here … and all of it is wrong. There’s also a little “John Denver goes to fantasy baseball camp” going on.