‘86 Baseball Prank Almost Spelled MLBer’s Demise

The best MLB pitcher (and biggest goofball) not in the baseball Hall of Fame, Bert Blyleven, spins some anecdotal gold at NBCSports.com about his favorite baseball pranks of all-time.

Mickey Hatcher and his huge glove

(Mickey Hatcher’s Deadliest Catch)

My favorite from the piece involves current Angels coach and former longtime MLB player Mickey Hatcher (who else?):

I remember one incident in particular at spring training in Orlando in 1986. It was St. Patrick’s Day and Mickey went into the maintenance room next to the dugout and found some green paint that was being used on the outfield walls.

He decided to cover himself in that paint. He painted his face green, his arms green, everything that showed under his uniform was green.

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Bert Blyleven’s Dinner Plans Not Very Appetizing

Normally he just drops f-bombs on live television, but Minnesota Twins analyst Bert Blyleven’s going to embarrass himself in a different fashion on a live broadcast tonight at the Metrodome.

Bert Blyleven

(Can’t he just bring this shirt back and wear it on the air instead?)

Blyleven, whose father died of Parkinson’s Disease a few years back, is going to be indulging in a feast of sorts on the air to benefit the Parkinson Associaton of Minnesota. And what he’ll be eating is usually something that even the people on Survivor would look at and go “nah, I’m good, I’ll just eat this chunk of wood instead.”

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Speed Read: Dominican Dream Done In by Dutch

The Netherlands’ World Baseball Classic team showed just how awesome colonialism was with their second victory over the Dominican Republic yesterday, 2-1 in 11 innings. This unlikely series of events pushes the Netherlands team into the second round and eliminates the Dominican squad.

Netherlands World Baseball Classic

The Netherlands team’s combination of Arubans, Netherlands Antilles residents, and the occasional Dutch person bested the Dominicanos behind the power of their pitching in both games, no doubt buoyed by pitching coach Bert Blyleven.

If Blyleven can turn Sidney Ponson into a nominal pitcher again, he should launch past potential MLB pitching coach jobs and apply for beatification.

(We kid.  While the WBC is a watering hole for semi-famous former ballplayers, it’s not exactly a test of coaching mettle. Also, 24 walks in 29 innings isn’t worth bragging about. Small sample size, thy name is “first-round WBC exit for the DR”.)

Jay Cutler Broncos

Apparently, Jay Cutler doesn’t picture himself as chattel. He leans into the mirror and he sees a diabetic, perhaps. He probably sees a Pro Bowl quarterback. However, he just can’t see the piece o’meat others do.

Therefore, the healing process after his near-trade (okay, his far-trade) from the Broncos to Tampa (or Kansas City or what not) hasn’t gone smoothly. In fact, it’s more of a scab-picking competition between Broncos management and Cutler’s people. An attempt at a long-distance group hug fell apart yesterday and both sides are the worse for wear for it.

We just finished listening to Bill Simmons’ latest podcast with Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and, yes, he’s brilliant. However, he kept referring to his players as “assets” he needed to accumulate to gather different assets down the line.

This is all fine and true, but you don’t engender loyalty when you refer to your employees with the same terminology as you’d use to describe your real estate holdings.

So yes, it’s a big bad business and Cutler knew what he was in for when he signed up to be a professional ballplayer, but he doesn’t have to like it. Also, if he has the leverage, he doesn’t have to put up with it.

And hey… if the Broncos don’t need a 25-year-old quarterback that has proved more than competent for the job, maybe they can’t value their assets or their people as well as they could.

Tony Zendejas Los Angeles Rams

Former NFL placekicker Tony Zendejas found himself acquitted of rape charges by a Pomona jury yesterday. (The rather painful details have been covered here previously;  those sensitive to discussion of “anal tears” are encouraged to pass on the link.)

Club Zendejas

At least he can safely return to Party Time, Zendejas Time!!!!! now.

And now the proverbial hail of bullets while wrestling an injured lunatic ninja kangaroo in your living room

Ben Woodside of North Dakota State

Hulk Hogan shopping at Wal-Mart

Who are you rooting for in the WBC now?

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Blog-A-Rhythm: Bert Blyleven Loves To Pass Gas

• AARON GLEEMAN (by way of BIG LEAGUE STEW) gets wind of a vintage photo featuring Bert Blyleven letting out his secret joy:

Bert Blyleven loves to fart

Maybe Bert should get together with C.C. Sabathia.

• IPIKO via BOBCATS BASELINE drives up pics of the coolest car in Charlotte - a Bobcats-inspired Crown Victoria.

• CBS 4 in Denver finds Barack Obama taking on the press - in a game of pickup basketball.

• WITH LEATHER is getting sleeeeeepy, as a shotputter hopes to finally get gold through hypnosis.

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