Posts Tagged ‘Voodoo Sabermetrics’

We have our first appearance of Voodoo Sabermetrics over at Babes Love Baseball. It’s in good hands, let me tell you. Our first victim is Miguel Tejada.

Also going very strong right now is my collaboration with Brian from One More Dying Quail – we talk minor league baseball at Bus Leagues Baseball right here on WordPress.


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voodoosabermetricsbanner1.PNGVoodoo Sabermetrics reminds us that our love for the team includes our love of individual players. We usually have a favorite superstar hitter or pitcher or both. But what about those guys that you just… like (or hate)? Maybe someone who pinch hits or steals a base now and then. Maybe an aging vet who is like an extra coach in the dugout. Rather than judge everyone by their stats, we’re going to use unique categories and scoring methods to check out baseball’s characters.

Our High Voodoo Council are:

Jack Cobra from The Cobra Brigade Neighbor Quotient and Scrappiness
Texas Gal from Ladies… Hottness and Behavior
The Goldfish Cowboy and eDayStat from A Pudge is a Sandwich Clutchness
Adam from Bugs & Cranks Atomic Number and Exposure
Sooze from Babes Love Baseball Jollyness
TC from Mr. Thursday’s Curious Mechanism Appearance and Quotability
Extra P. from The Extrapolater Name Quality (including nicknames)

This day had to come. How could we call ourselves professionals (OK, really dedicated amateurs) if we didn’t talk about this guy, now that he’s on the doorstep of baseball’s most hallowed record? It had to be done. TC, ever the contrarian, seems to actually like him. But what I’ve done to Texas Gal is borderline criminal. We pushed her out of the car for Cole Hamels, and then ushered her back aboard for this guy. To quote Joseph Welch from the Army-McCarthy hearings: “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”.

Well, I guess I don’t. See what he’s done to American society?

Meet Barry *shudder* Bonds

bondsdurface.jpgName: Barry Lamar Bonds. With the middle name included, it kind of sucks, but when I was a kid, I kind of liked hearing “Barry Bonds”. It had a nice alliteration to it, especially when he and Bobby Bonilla were teammates. Back then, he still wasn’t likeable, but he hadn’t tipped the scale over to “flaming asshole” just yet.

Barry doesn’t really have a nickname, in my opinion. Sports nicknames are usually bestowed via clubhouse cameraderie, or public admiration, and Barry has intentionally and firmly closed himself off from both sources of appreciation. We hear derisive references like “BALCO Barry”, “Barroid”, and “Big Head”, but none of those will appear on his Cooperstown plaque, assuming he ever gets one. My current favorite is Sooze’s sobriquet for the man – Barry Lamar Cheaterface.

I guess I have to give him credit for the alliteration, but that’s it.

2 out of 10.


adam_godson.jpgAtomic Number: Barry’s atomic number is 5, which if you’re scoring at home, used to be the number for Boron. Now it just called Barroid, which is coincidentally a metalloid that expands over time when bonded with cream (Cr) and clear (Cl). It’s highly reactive, especially to media criticism, and is generally seem as a combustible substance.

300_barroid.jpgIn its most elemental form, Barriod begins small, quick and dangerous. Combined with Jealousy (Je), Barriod is strongly attracted to Cr and Cl, which causes dramatic physical changes most notably the growth of the cranium and feet. Oh, and your balls shrivel up like raisins.


I had never heard of this guy, but that’s because I only know about baseball through video games. The Giants have had some really awesome hitters like John Dowd, Wes Mailman, Joe Young, Dean Gibeau, and Reggie Stocker, but no Barry Bonds. Plus, those guys looked nothing like him.

Besides, Barry is waaaaay bigger than the players’ association , so why would he need to be involved in a half-ass operation like that? How could you capture all of his awesomeness on one baseball card or in one video game, or in any other officially licensed deal? Just not possible. Thankfully, though, he’ll finally get some exposure now that he’s stopped hiding from ESPN and they’ll cover every single at-bat until he either hits three home runs or his face caves in and he decides to host a late night horror show.

Bonds may have been related to some other major leaguers, but I knew him as Bobby Bonds, Jr.’s brother. I was fortunate enough to see BBJ play for the Waterloo (IA) Diamonds growing up and he’s still the only guy I’ve personally witnessed striking out 5 times in a game. A low A-ball game. And he was in his mid- 20s. Now he’s a forklift driver, which hopefully he’s better at. But back to BBJ’s brother.

Apparently it’s in vogue to write books about how Barry Bonds isn’t a very nice guy. Well that doesn’t seem very sporting, does it, kettle? For anyone that watched ESPN from say, 2001-2003, you might remember you couldn’t turn it on without some talking head giving Bonds a verbal BJ. But Bonds’ real exposure didn’t come until the steroids scandal began to unfold. People needed a villain, and no one filled that role better than Barry. Let’s just hope that Barry doesn’t follow his mistress into the realm of actual exposure.


Neighbor Quotient: I firmly believe that living next to ‘The Left Fielder from San Francisco’ would be very similar to living next to a Meth dealer. You know that he’s doing something illegal next door, but it’s being done in his basement so it will be hard to prove. Every time you talk to him he has the ‘crazy look’ in his eye, which makes you stop from confronting him. Still, you want to kick the living shit out of him every single day, especially since there are little kids around the neighborhood…..-4390 out of 10

Scrappiness: If ‘The Left Fielder from San Francisco’ died tomorrow I have to believe my life would change very little. Because his Father was MLB player, I have to believe he rarely had to work to hard to get ahead in life. While he somehow found a way to cheat his way into the record books, I still don’t consider that scrappy. In my opinion, the only time he’s been close to being scrappy in the last decade is when he was in that dugout altercation with Jeff Kent a few years back…..-86390 out of 10


texasgal-96.jpgHOTTNESS: n/a

Try as we might, all attempts to contact Texas Gal resulted in dead ends. Then we received the following teletype transmission in the wee hours of the morning (yes, I labor over my telegraph device long into the night, monitoring the status of the system of tubes.  Isn’t technology wonderful?), marked as originating in “Crazytown”:



mrthursday-96.jpgMy numerical scores will correlate to the alcohol contents of various beers. In case you care, here’s the scoring system.

Quotability. Barry comes off like an asshole, like a snake oil salesman, like a shyster, and and like an intelligent, genuine, charming guy, all at the same time. Barry does say what he thinks, though, at any moment. And his thoughts have been twisted and complex enough to warrant a lot of interest over the years. Willie Mays probably gets talked about a lot more now than he did a few years ago because of Barry’s frequent adulation for his godfather. Frank Robinson, too. And all that stuff is great. But I want to concentrate on one, oft overlooked Barry-quote: ” Thursday morning I went to see Star Wars Episode III and I have to say that I really enjoyed the movie.” Now, I saw Episode III in the theaters, twice. But I’m what you’d call a “fanboy” and I’m compulsively obliged to see Star Wars movies. But Episode III features the following lines:

Padme: Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo, so long ago when there was nothing but our love.
Anakin: Love won’t save you, Padme! Only my new powers can do that!
Obi-Wan (to Anakin): Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

I find the third one there especially funny. I mean, Star Wars Episode III is one of the most enjoyably terrible movies in recent cinema. And Barry likes it? Well, that’s okay by me. Barry, have yourself a Victory V-12.

Addendum to Quotability: Since the writing of the above section, Barry Bonds referred to Bob Costas–an arrogant “announcer” who stopped announcing non-Olympic sporting events a decade ago–as a “little midget man” who doesn’t know anything about baseball. This comes on the heels of an episode of Costas show, Costas Now, in which Bonds was lambasted. As the expression goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, and though Costas is not my enemy, exactly, “He who hates what I hate, can have an extra Voodoo Sabermetrics beer on me”. Way to go, Barry.

bondspirates.jpgAppearance. The easy thing to talk about, regarding the appearance of Barry Bonds, is merely how he was so much cooler as a Pirate, with a moustache, than as a Giant, with a bloated, hairless dome. In the 1980 and most of the 1990s, Barry had a lean athletic look, an earring dangling off one lobe, and a strong, neat, moustache responsible for hitting doubles all over the place. Yeah, Little Barry was a sweet looking human.

But I’d rather talk about Big Barry. I’d like to tell you, briefly, my favorite Barry Bonds moment, ever. No, it’s not when he dressed up as Paula Abdul.

In the fall of 2002, I was a freshman in college. My hall–all dudes–was conveniently obsessed with baseball, and so we gathered in our RA’s room to watch most of the playoff games. My roommate–a diehard (and somehow lovable) Red Sox fan–was so overjoyed when the Angels defeated the Yankees, he ran through our small campus in a Speedo and giant rainbow, afro-wig, screaming. Such was his enthusiasm, that the rest of the hall, with no particular rooting interest, developed a minor fandom for the Anaheim Angels, in particular, their wild-eyed closer, Troy Percival. Troy, of course, was never clean-shaven, his clothes hung loosely from his frame, his hat was muffed and hung off his head. He was a relic. But, he also threw 95mph, and the Twins couldn’t touch him in the ALCS.

So, we come to the World Series, Game 2, after the Giant took the first game. The Angels held a two run lead going into the ninth, and Barry is scheduled to hit 3rd. Percival, looking hungover on the mound, induces a couple of sissy flyouts, and so, with no one one, two outs, and a two run lead, Barry Bonds stepped to the plate. Barry looked enormous. He hit 73 home runs the year before. In 2002, more than half his hits were for extra bases, even though Barry couldn’t run. Everything, for a moment that didn’t really matter, stopped.

He was the single most intimating presence I have ever seen in any sport. Pedro Martinez in the late 1990s, when people were lucky just to make contact wasn’t like this. Tiger Woods, a stroke back of the leader on a Sunday during a major, wasn’t like this. Ray Lewis, having been charged with murder, was like that while staring down a QB before the snap. Maybe, maybe, Michael Jordan, with the game on the line, seemed so imposing. But basketball isn’t such a game of moments. There are so many pauses when all the air gets sucked from an outdoor structure just because a guy who was better at his job than all the other guys who ever held his job before. Some idiot in the room, who probably blogs about athletes and offers them beers based on their appearance, remarked, “Troy’s got Barry here.” Naturally, just moments later, Barry hit a home run so far he was rounding second base when it landed.

Barry, you’re not a handsome man, and I imagine 12 years ago, you’d score much higher on the Hotness scale than you do now, but, in appearance, there’s been no one quite as imposing, terrifying, or memorable as you. A Utopias, for you. Enjoy it.




The attitude of Barry Bonds is a complex issue. There’s a formula which has to be precisely followed in order to induce any signs of jolliness in Barry, which include but are not limited to: smiling, chuckling and/or joking around.

First, Barry has to be on his home field. Second, there must be no sign of the media, hot dog vendors or rain. Third, you must never mention steroids, Hank Aaron or Jeff Kent.

All in all, Bonds is one of the most-unjolly players in the game. Actually, he was voted the unfriendliest by players in a SI.com poll this past May. Shocking, I know! I’ll give Barry a Walter Matthau as Coach Buttermaker on the jollity scale. And that’s me being generous.




eDayStat: I don’t think any conversation on Bonds should begin without mentioning his most significant trait. The man’s middle name is Lamar.

TheGoldfishCowboy: Well you know I have a fondness for Lamars. Lamar Alexander was a former president at the University of Tennessee.

eDay: I wouldn’t even let Bonds be president of GNC. But I’ll let that one hang. What we’re here to talk about is BB’s clutchness.

whosonfirst.jpgTGC: That reminds me of a time when I was having my clutch repaired and Bonds had blown a tranny. But that’s probably a story for a different time and place. The people really want to know about Bond’s baseball clutchness.

eDay: The only thing clutch about Bonds is what he does to those man-boobs he’s developed from years of needle abuse.

TGC: I don’t really mind the steroid abuse, but the guy is just a dick.

eDay: No actually Richard Bonds is a boxer from Ripley, Tennessee. But in my opinion clutch ratings are a comparitive study. You can compare to the best, but I’d like to compare Bonds to A-Rod because everyone sees him as a horrific clutch player.

TGC: I know I definately think Bonds is a bigger dick than A-Rod.

eDay: Point taken, but A-Rod always gets hammered because of his playoff results. Bonds hits .245 in the playoffs and only .194 in 13 All-Star appearances. A-Rod hits .280 in the playoffs and a shade over .290 in the mid-season classic. Both players have been in the playoffs and All-Star game enough to make those numbers statistically significant.

TGC: How could you even measure how clutch Bonds is when he’s played on a 75 win team most of his career?

eDay: Agreed, in 22 seasons he’s only been to the playoffs 7 times. A-rod has been in the playoffs 6 times in 14 seasons. He’s also hit over .300 4 times in a plaoff series. That’s something Bonds only did once. TGC, what do you think?

TGC: What was that? I wasn’t paying attention.

(editor’s note: for more great sports banter, tune in to the Super Monday podcast every Monday night at 9pm ET.  You can also hear archived casts, including the Extrapolater guest shot from last week.)


Ordinarily, I (Extra P.) write the postscript, or “coda”, if you will, for each Voodoo Sabermetrics. But during our email exchanges about Mr. Bonds, TC came up with a spectacular conspiracy theory that I believe trumps anything I could have written. Take it away, TC:

Has anyone else noticed that, cranially speaking, Billy Joel and Barry Bonds have aged very similarly?


I mean, is Billy on steroids? Or is Barry on softrock? The progression is uncannily similar. You can even find pictures from their middle stages of cranium enlargement with Billy circa ‘Storm Front’ and Barry right when he was making the move from Pittsburgh to San Francisco.

Oddly, entertainment value runs a similar course. Figure, years 1 through 6 for both included some impressive stuff, but not overwhelming adoration. Years 7 through 16 brought on possible Hall of Fame comparisons (Gold Gloves and homers for Barry, Gold Albums and Grammys for Billy).

16 through the present brought on immense entertainment through new means for both guys. Barry started walking 200 times a year and hitting millions of home runs while being booed everywhere he went. Billy drank enough to trash his voice, and toured so he could pay his drunk driving fines. Great stuff.

Great Stuff indeed! Thanks to everyone for helping kick a man while he’s undeservedly on top of the world!


Read past issues of Voodoo Sabermetrics here.

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Had a great, great time with the podcast crew from A Pudge is a Sandwich and their show Super Monday.

Hear the podcast here:

Go to Super Monday presented by APIAS.net
Super Monday presented by APIAS.net

We probably talked for 20 minutes and still didn’t cover half of what we wanted to. It’s a great show, and I highly encourage you to listen weekly.

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voodoosabermetricsbanner1.PNGVoodoo Sabermetrics reminds us that our love for the team includes our love of individual players. We usually have a favorite superstar hitter or pitcher or both. But what about those guys that you just… like? Maybe someone who pinch hits or steals a base now and then. Maybe an aging vet who is like an extra coach in the dugout. Rather than judge everyone by their stats, we’re going to use unique categories and scoring methods to check out baseball’s characters.

Our High Voodoo Council are:

Jack Cobra from The Cobra Brigade Neighbor Quotient and Scrappiness
Clare from Ladies… Hottness and Behavior
Gary GNU from GNUru Fantasy Baseball Clutchness
T.J. from Gheorghe: The Blog Atomic Number and Exposure
Sooze from Babes Love Baseball Jollyness
TC from Mr. Thursday’s Curious Mechanism Appearance and Quotability
Extra P. from The Extrapolater Name Quality (including nicknames)

This week’s target has that elusive quality that is usually reserved for movie stars – women want to be with him, and men want to be him. He is undoubtedly the ace of the Philadelphia staff, and has been variously described as “wicked”, “awesome”, and “bendy”, mostly here.

The only previous Voodoo Sabermetrics target I ever recall getting these kinds of positive across-the-board marks is Roger Clemens. And a lot of that was very grudgingly given – we just couldn’t deny that the dude had a long history of awesome to fall back on, even though only Texas Gal actually likes the guy. In this fella’s case, he ranked very well in both athletic prowess and likability. So, without qualms, I give to you:

Cole Hamels.

colepitch.jpgName: Colbert Richard Hamels. I hope his parents started calling him “Cole” right away, because that is a mouthful.

“Cole” is a nickname in the truest sense of the word. His ungainly first name has been “nicked” to shorten it. I like the name Cole, so that’s a point in his favor. Paired with his last name, Hamels, it has a nice rhythm to it, and it also allows Sooze to write me emails with the subject line Hole Camels. And then there was “Stop! Hamels Time…” Can’t beat that with a stick.

Colbert was dealt a difficult hand, but made gravy out of it, with a neat, unique name. I still hope he earns some kind of colorful moniker from his Philly Phans, but he’s not doing too badly for a guy who’s only been in the league for a couple of seasons. 8 out of 10.


tjgheorghe.jpgAtomic Number (or Chemistry, if you prefer)
Hmmm, let’s go with Polonium, Atomic Number 84. Yeah, that seems like a good choice (by the way, I just looked at a Periodic Table for the first time in 12 years…truly exciting stuff). Polonium is apparently hot enough scientists have pondered using it to heat spacecrafts. It’s powerful (and deadly enough) Russian dissidents have been silenced by it (Alexander Litvinenko). Sounds like Cole Hamels to me.

Charlie Manuel is praying Hamels is hot enough and powerful enough to support a rotation in shambles (just look at the starters in the Phils/Mets series this weekend). Hamels is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He’s currently 2nd in the NL in Ks (116), 3rd in Wins (9…first to 9 wins actually) and CGs (2) and 9th in IP (111.2). In April, he struck out 15 Reds in a complete game five-hitter. He had a perfect game through seven in May against the Brewers, and ended up striking out 11. Yes, the kid’s smoking…

and yes, it does need to be addressed, the female population seems to find him smoking hot. On that front, it seems young Mr. Hamels is so hot the ladies at “The Ladies…” can’t even decide who gets to bed him first. I believe Clare has first dibs on Cole, but it’s hard to tell (I have a strange feeling Clare might expound on this today).

Not an issue for this kid at all. Apparently, since Hamels was called up, he has had numerous fan clubs in the stands, going by various names, including “The Cole Patrol”, “The Cole Mine” and “The Cole Train” (hell, it’s Philly, these could be the same clowns each game and they just can’t decide on a consistent name). Even more importantly, Cole Hamels has joined Chuck Norris and Tim Tebow (and I’m sure many more) as objects of over-the-top internet affections via the “fun fact” website. I’ll leave you with just a few of my favorite Cole Hamels Facts:

* When Cole Hamels is on the mound digging in his glove, he is really just text messaging Tony Danza.
* Cole Hamels knocked down the Berlin Wall. With a change-up.
* Cole Hamels once saddled Jesus Christ with the dreaded “Golden Sombrero.” He came within one strike of doing the same to God.
* Cole Hamels isn’t left-handed, he’s bored.


Neighbor Quotient: Playboy model wife, check. Likes to drink, check. Willing to give me free tickets, check. Left handed, check. When you add these up, Cole Hamels is a top notch neighbor. Although he has had some issues with fighting when he drinks, I believe with rough-houser Gavin Floyd out of town, Hamels will be able to behave well enough to be my neighbor. 10 out of 10.

Scrappiness: Hamels is left handed, so already the world is working against him. On top of that, he was born with an added toe on his right foot and his diet consists of mac & cheese with Miller High Life and green peppers. The rumor is that while on the road, Hamels likes to walk through the city and challenge homeless men to fistfights, but only after allowing the homeless men to use a shiv as a weapon. If it is a homeless woman, she gets to use a lawnmower blade, much like in the movie, “Sling Blade” mmmm…hmmm…Hamels scores a cool 14 out of 6.


claresquare.jpgWhen Extra P. said earlier in the season that he’d be covering my boyfriend Cole Hamels for a future Voodoo Sabermetrics, I promptly slipped a mickey into Texas Gal’s tumbler of Maker’s and shoved her out of her seat at the VS Round Table.

Hottness: 101.3 degrees
Cole has a shaggy surf-punk mop of chestnut hair that the ladies (“the ladies” = me) just want to run their fingers through, dark blue eyes and a dazzling smile. I subtract a few tenths of a degree for the Little Lord Fauntleroy look he’s sporting of late, though. At 6’4″, with big, broad shoulders and a lanky, wiry build, in Bizarro Sports World, we’d only be talking about Cole once every four years: during the men’s 200m butterfly event at the Summer Olympics.

cole061207.jpgThough he looks delicious in his red and white pinstripes, when kicking around the idea of watching him do his thing in much, much less clothing, I get the vapors. Alas, this is the closest I’ll get. He’s hot stuff on the mound, too: He can overpower you with his lively fastball, or make your knees buckle with a changeup. He can work you either way. That’s hot.

Behavior: Yellow alert
Can you believe the polite, humble 23-year-old who talks about what a nerd and klutz he was as a kid, who has stars in his eyes at the prospect of going to the All-Star Game, and who keeps strawberry-peppermint lotion for troubled skin in his locker is the same guy who missed most of a season in the minor leagues for breaking his pitching hand in a bar fight? Even though he got married in the off season, he might still be at his naughty ways. (The On the DL ladies seem to think he is.) Let’s not forget that he married a woman who got naked on a reality show for peanut butter, so the wild streak is probably still there.


mrthursday-96.jpgMy numerical scores will correlate to the alcohol contents of various beers. In case you care, here’s the scoring system.

Disclaimer: I am a horrible, diehard Phillies fan. I am obsessive. I am also left-handed, and have an extra special interest in southpaw pitchers. I cannot explain this, but it has led me to unnatural enjoyment of such major league stalwarts as Terry Mulholland, Dan Plesac, and, yes, Rheal Cormier. For the record, I have never trusted Billy Wagner. This all said, though, I adore Cole Hamels. He is my favorite Phillie pitcher since, um, ever. I like him even more than I liked Schilling in 1993, and Cole hasn’t even taken us to the playoffs yet. So, let’s just assume Cole is the first double Utopias winner, and I have also promised him both Clare and Texas Gal for whatever physical needs he might have. In fact, I’m willing to, uh, bend over and get dirty, if that’s what he wants, too*.

*This joke unauthorized by the KSK Gay Mafia.

Appearance. Long and tall and lanky, and with gumby-like flexibility, it would seem. The long hair, and cool demeanor display his San Diego-an (San Diegan? San DieGON.) upbringing. Cole, here is a giant bottle of Utopias.

Quotability. Cole is a funny guy, but a giving guy also. Like this quote (#105):

In the beginning, Cole created the heaven and the earth.

And the Philadelphia was without form, and void; and the NL East was upon the face of the Phillies. And the Spirit of Cole moved upon the face of the Philadelphia.

And Cole said, “Let there be light”, and there was light.

And Cole saw the light, that it was good; and Cole divided the light from the NL East.

And Cole called the light Philadelphia, and the darkness he called New York.

And Cole said, “Let there be a World Series in the midst of the NL East, and let it divide the Philadelphia from the NL East.”

And Cole made two great pitches; the greater pitch to rule the New York, and the lesser pitch to rule the Atlanta; he made stars, also.

And to rule over the NL East and over the National League, and to divide the Phillies from the National Leage, and Cole saw that it was good.

And Cole blessed them, saying, “Be a dynasty, and win many World Series, and fill the NL East with sadness, and let the Philadelphians multiply and multiply… on Broad Street.”

And on the last day, Cole Hamels refused to rest, pitching another 2 hit shutout, just for the hell of it.

In Cole Hamels we trust. A bottle of anything you like, sir!


sooze3.jpgCole Hamels seems like a pretty jolly guy. He has that hair that kinda looks like wings… what do they call that, hockey hair? Sadly, it doesn’t quite qualify as a mullet.

I’ll give him a Eugene Levy on the Jollity Scale, simply for the fact that he’s got enough jolliness in one of his eyebrows to cheer up all of Phillies Nation.




colebendy.jpgCole Hamels is to the Philliadelphia Phillies what Chuck Norris is to the martial arts movie industry- part badass and part the brunt of many jokes. Hamels even has a fansite, Cole Hamels Facts, that mimics the internet phenomenon, Chuck Norris Facts. Since his debut in 2006, the young left-hander has become revered among baseball fans for his promising talent, legendary bar-fights, and his Playboy Playmate wife, Heidi Strobel.

Although Colbert Hamels has yet to complete a full major league season, Hamels’ impressive stuff has led him to a 18-11 record and 256 strikeouts in just 239 innings. If Mr. Hamels can stay healthy, he will certainly go down as of one of the greatest folk heroes in Phillies history.

GNUru Clutchness Factor: 8 out 10 Roundhouse Kicks


We like him, we really like him! I mean, he’s got the whole cross-platform marketability thing going for him. Guys like it that he’s an aggressive ace who once punched some dude out, and ladies like it that he’s a dreamy, down-to-earth guy who once punched some dude out. He can go from smoky to good-ol’-boy in ten seconds flat:


Cole Hamels is clearly good for what ails the hardened, embittered City of Brotherly Love and Cheesesteaks. If the Phillies can keep him around and not blow his arm out, maybe everyone will start feeling a little more charitable and Santa won’t have to fear for his life this Christmas.

Help us, Cole Hamels. You’re our only hope!


Read past issues of Voodoo Sabermetrics here.

Read Full Post »

voodoosabermetricsbanner1.PNGVoodoo Sabermetrics reminds us that our love for the team includes our love of individual players. We usually have a favorite superstar hitter or pitcher or both. But what about those guys that you just… like? Maybe someone who pinch hits or steals a base now and then. Maybe an aging vet who is like an extra coach in the dugout. Rather than judge everyone by their stats, we’re going to use unique categories and scoring methods to check out baseball’s characters.

Our High Voodoo Council are:

Jack Cobra from The Cobra Brigade Neighbor Quotient and Scrappiness
Sarah from Strike Zones & End Zones Hottness and Behavior
Sunil from Hurricanes Are For Drinking Atomic Mass and Exposure
T.J. from Gheorghe: The Blog Clutchness
Sooze from Babes Love Baseball Jollyness
TC from Mr. Thursday’s Curious Mechanism Appearance and Quotability
Extra P. from The Extrapolater Name Quality (including nicknames)

The only introduction our next target needs is this image:

That’s right, baby, it’s Dmitri Young time!

Name: His full name is Dmitri Dell Young, so I’m immediately giving his parents credit for foreshadowing, since they named his younger brother Delmon. That little hint of what’s to come in the middle name region is nomenclature genius.

When it comes to nicknames, Dmitri might have one of the best of all time. “The Big D” is pretty predictable, but when some wag laid “D’Meat Hook” on our Pillsbury Dough Boy, a legend was born. If you read to the end of this piece, you’ll see that a popular sports site has been having fun with Dmitri by creating a unique online presence for him as well.

I give Dmitri Dell “D’MeatHook” Young 8 out of 10 for name quality.


sunil.jpgAtomic Number: 234.43, the number of Soul Glo. Just let your soul glow.

Exposure: Sure not as much as it should be. I remember when Dmitri Young first came up to the majors, he was supposed to be the future of the Cardinals organization. Instead, he’s bounced around from team-to-team, without any real successful seasons. [facetious] Maybe his younger brother will learn from his example, stay out of trouble, and will dominate the game on the field for the next decade, while avoiding Dmitri’s negative pub. [/facetious]


Neighbor Quotient: Can you name one good team that Young has produced on that has done well? I can’t. Even though he was on the Tigers last season, he didn’t play that much before being let go. By being let go I mean that Jim Leyland kicked him out of there as fast as he cold. Young is one of those players who will always play on a poor team but never will start for a good team. Therefore, I don’t want him in my neighborhood because it might have the same effect. He might be a decent neighbor in a bad neighborhood, but put him in a good neighborhood and he might bring us all down. 2 out of 10.

Scrappiness: It’s hard to be scrappy when you were the 4th pick in the 1991 Draft. The type of players who define scrappy are those guys who have grinded and hustled their way into the big leagues on marginal talent and getting the most out of their ability. With his mediocre career it seems that Young never fulfilled his potential and thus, can not be scrappy. 0 out of 10.


Hotness: 1

I’ll admit, trying to find any redeeming qualities to give Dmitri Young any hotness score was a struggle. Between the Krusty the Clown hairstyle, highly neglected mid-section, and often scraggly facial hair, the prognosis is not good. Even his original fan site hasn’t been updated since 2004! Sometimes one can be “hot by association”, so I took into account his teammates such as Ryan Church (yum) and Felipe Lopez (hello). And looks don’t count for everything, but looking into his personal history definitely did not help his case (see behavior below). And then I looked at his hair again, which almost sealed the deal. I did, however, find a picture of him holding his son who is absolutely adorable. That’s got to count for something, no?

Behavior: High Risk

Between pleading guilty in domestic violence charges, yapping his mouth about his former team and teammates, and standing in the baseline to give baserunners concussions, Young is definitely one to be on alert for. His lack of self control and disregard for authority make him a baseball version of Terrell Owens. Factors that kept him from being rated a severe risk? His admittance of a drug and alcohol problem which he continues to seek treatment for. Also, I don’t think he’s smart enough for any pre-meditated acts of malice. He’s just
naturally a jack ass.


mrthursday-96.jpgMy numerical scores will correlate to the alcohol contents of various beers. In case you care, here’s the scoring system.

Appearance. Behold the many faces of DMitHook! DaMeatHook? Whatever. Dmitri came into the league with St. Louis, but really started making a name for himself as a Red in 1998. This overweight outfielder (who, remarkably, was an above average corner outfielder for a number of years) looked remarkably fierce with his varying degrees of bearded-ness and hair length.

When Dmitri was traded to the Tigers after the 2001 season, he started to let himself go. The hair started reaching out, leaving his hat to sit on the heavy, wild Afro, instead of on his head. At times, the hair gets braided, and, working in conjunction with Young’s once overboard drinking habits, DmitHook looked like the man you hope doesn’t have to shower at the same time you do in prison. When the ‘fro is out, though, Dmitri is such a friendly looking guy that a few years back Boys and Girls Club had Dmitri teaching little leaguers how to rob home runs, which seemed odd because, well, I’m not sure this big-haired gentlemen has any experience in such a thing. Oh, Dmitri has himself at least one tattoo, also. After struggling with alcoholism, he found help with Alcoholics Anonymous, and wears a tattoo of their logo on his wrist, as both a reminder of his commitment to sobriety, and a thank-you for what the organization did for him. I like that.

Whether wild and fun, or scary prison rapist, either way, Dmitri, have yourself a Stone Russian Imperial Stout.

Quotability. There doesn’t appear much said by Dmitri, of note or otherwise. He talked trash to a professional wrestler (Edge). He has offered heartfelt apologies and insights about alcoholism (and, it would seem by his current health and ball clobbering, he’s sticking to the program). While Young isn’t overly quotable, he’s spent his career in St. Louis, Detroit, and Cincinnati–not exactly media hubs. While he’s in the bright lights of the nation’s capital now, he’s playing for the cellar dwelling Nationals, so the national press isn’t exactly lurking around his clubhouse. Dmitri’s only a little crazy, and he’s got a certain kind of honesty, I think. While it’s nothing special, it’s fine by me. Have yourself an Aldaris Porteris, Dmitri.



Dmitri Young’s mom was so stoned when she named him, she forgot the other I in his name. Which is cool, cause he smokes himself so jolly that he forgets how to spell it, anyway.

Between the Oscar Gamble fro and several postitive tests for the lazy lettuce, Dmitri gets a generous “Don’t Worry Be Happy” Bumper Sticker on the jollity scale. That’s just how Da Meat Hook rolls.

Gheorghe was recently asked by Eric of The Extrapolater if he could pinch-hit for regular columnist Gary GNU on Voodoo Sabermetrics. G:TB was happy to oblige, as we can only post so many YouTube clips and pictures of washed-up midgets throwing (I use that term loosely) baseballs. This week’s VS victim – Dmitri Young of the hometown Washington Nationals. I was asked to talk about Dmitri’s “clutchness” (someone check with Colbert to see if that’s a word)…well, even though I’ve seen Da Meat Hook play several times this year, I decided we needed to recruit an expert for this discussion. So who did we bring in? Dmitri’s mild-mannered younger brother Delmon, of course. We caught up with Delmon at the nearby Chuck E. Cheese’s, in between rounds of his court appointed Whac-A-Mole therapy session. Dmitri’s “clutchness”, as told to us by his crazy younger brother:

“First of all, what kind of scale are you using, because I’ve got to tell you, Dmitri DOES NOT like scales (laughs heartily to himself). No seriously, are we talking about stats here? Look at the trifling 24-35 team he plays for, and look at the clutch line he’s putting up (now, we all know I’m 100 times better than him, so even I am impressed with this):

.319, 5 HR, 28 RBI, .401 OBP, .494 SLG

Just think where the Nationals would be WITHOUT Dmitri. And all this after a 2006 that would make Tom Sizemore blush: an assault charge, treatment for alcoholism and depression, a divorce AND hospitalization for diabetes. Hell, the Tigers rubbed salt in the wound by cutting his ass a month before they played in the World Series.

His play on the field not clutch enough for you? How about this – my bro appeared at WWE’s 2005 Survivor Series and laid the smackdown on that punk Edge and his skanky sidekick Lita. Dmitri wasn’t going to stand for some fake-ass wrestler mocking his team.

Soooo, if you forced me to create a clutchness scale, I would say Dmitri is a 8 out of 10 (with me of course being a 10)…but you’re not going to make me actually create a scale, right? Good, because some punk just cut me in line for Skee-Ball, and I need to go pull an ‘Elijah’ on his ass.”

Thanks, TJ. I am still in awe of your meeting with the legendary Gheorghe himself.


Dmitri is the kind of guy this feature was made for. He’s never really been the megastar many hoped he would be, but he’s just about as entertaining as they get. He’s fat, he’s a bit nutty, he has that great Forrest Whittaker sleepy smile thing going on. He has charisma, and I would definitely sit down at the table with him and TC and have a Russian Imperial or a Aldaris Porteris, or two.

But my absolute favorite thing about Dmitri is the way he lends himself so readily to the MLB chat room at The Dugout. His encounters, both criminal and romantic, with Lady Cop, are a saga I follow like a soap opera. Check DaMeatTree out, starting here. Then you can catch up with Dmitri’s other exploits by reading the posts as indexed by player name. NSFW, though, because your boss hates it when you sit at your desk laughing your ass off.

Boom, bitch!


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voodoosabermetricsbanner1.PNGVoodoo Sabermetrics reminds us that our love for the team includes our love of individual players. We usually have a favorite superstar hitter or pitcher or both. But what about those guys that you just… like? Maybe someone who pinch hits or steals a base now and then. Maybe an aging vet who is like an extra coach in the dugout. Rather than judge everyone by their stats, we’re going to use unique categories and scoring methods to check out baseball’s characters.

Our High Voodoo Council are:

Jack Cobra from The Cobra Brigade Neighbor Quotient and Scrappiness
Texas Gal from Ladies… Hottness and Behavior
Sunil from Hurricanes Are For Drinking Atomic Mass and Exposure
Jon Pyle from Pyle of List Clutchness
Sooze from Babes Love Baseball Jollyness
TC from Mr. Thursday’s Curious Mechanism Appearance and Quotability
Extra P. from The Extrapolater Name Quality (including nicknames)

We decided to write about our next victim when we thought he was just on steroids. Halfway through our torturous and meticulously researched process, we discovered that perhaps he liked ye olde greenies as well. Add to that that he is the only person to even tangentially apologize or take responsibility for the drug problem in MLB, and he’s a pretty interesting cat.

Meet Jason Giambi


Name: Jason Giambi. Jason…. Giambi. I got nuthin’. Except for that ancient dude who killed the Cyclops captured the Golden Fleece, guys named Jason are not usually that rough n’ ready. And yet Giambi has a real ring of organized crime, or better yet New York City politics about it. The problem is, the given name and surname don’t work together too well. And don’t even get me started on Jeremy.

Then there’s the nickname – “The Giambino”. Bad, bad choice, though it was levied upon him by a broadcaster. Since the rallying cry of the anti-steroids movement is “The Bambino did it on hot dogs and beer!”, this is what we call an ironic choice of nickname (look it up, Alanis). And not in a good way.

I cannot, in good conscience, award Jason “The Giambino” Giambi any points for name quality.


sunil.jpgAtomic Number: I remember hearing stories about the Oakland A’s clubhouse back when Jason Giambi played there. The accounts all portrayed them as a fraternity, like the Deltas. I always thought that Giambi would be their Bluto. Except instead of booze, HGH was Giambi’s performance enhancer. Giambi’s stint with the Yankees, then, is a bit like Bluto goes to Corporate America, where his hard-partying, boozing, roid-shoting-ways are no longer acceptable.

biggiambi.jpgTo make matters worse, Giambi keeps apologizing for using steroids, which only serves to rile up a media that is foaming at their collective mouths with self-righteousness. Look, we all know Giambi used steroids. We also know that probably (conservatively) three hundred other players used them. Let’s try to see Giambi’s awkward attempts at making things right as a positive, as opposed to the alternatives, deceit (Rafael Palmeiro), self-aggrandizement (Jose Canseco), or blubbering (Mark McGwire). All of this has nothing to do with clubhouse chemistry (does it ever?), so lets just agree that Giambi’s atomic number is MVIV, a form of Roman alphanumeric code that may be translated to read “toga.”

Exposure: Remember the deoderant commercial that Giambi inked right when he moved to New York, how he ended it by flexing in front of the camera? Yeah, that wasn’t such a good idea. Giambi’s level of exposure is five out of ten. He’s a big name within the game, but the superficial sports fan has no idea who he is, and without any endorsements, they never will.


jackcobra1.jpgNeighbor Quotient: After reading about Giambi the last week or so I figure he’d be the type of neighbor who would steal my morning paper for two years and then apologize for it as he was selling his house. Thanks buddy. On top of that, he’d probably steal my wireless internet, somehow piggyback off my cable tv and probably hit on my teenage daughter (if I had one, I’m only 28) while I was on travel for work. I would probably send him a Christmas card, yet never get one in return. My wife (I’m not married, I’m only 28) would probably make him some cookies on a very nice Christmas platter, only to never have it returned. My 10 yr old son (I don’t have kids, I’m only 28) would probably offer to cut his grass for $10 and Giambi more than likely wouldn’t pay up. Giambi as a neighbor would suck. -1000 out of 10.

Scrappiness: Let’s see, he had to cheat in order to make millions of dollars and is now hoping the fans feel sorry for him? On top of that, he’s a horrible fielder, he strikes out too much and his brother cost the A’s a trip to the World Series. He runs about as fast as a refrigerator, throws like Barney Rubble and watching him try to field a ground ball is like watching a pig on ice. He’s the DH now, so he sits in the dugout for 97% of the game trying to figure out where he’s going to drink at after the game. Giambi disrespected the game by cheating and by adding that on top of all of his other crapburger characteristics it gives him a -964 out of 10 on the scrappiness scale.

Thanks, Extra P. I feel better now.


texasgal-96.jpgHottness: 1
Giambi, more than any other player, personifies the Yankees for me- in all his juiced up, greasy, tattooed, asshole, pug-nosed glory. His thuggy visage was made for wearing those Yankees pinstripes. He is not hot. He is so far from being in the realm of hot, he can’t even see the glimmer of hottness in the distance. Giambi would be a shoo-in on all All-Ugly Team for the MLB. However, he is more palatable than Boomer Wells- though only slightly- so he gets the minimum hottness level of 1.

Behavior: Orange (High) on the Terror Alert Scale
So there’s the assholish attitude. The boozing and womanizing. And, of course, the ‘roids. But the biggest danger Giambi poses isn’t what he does- it’s what he SAYS. Dude cannot keep his trap shut. But at least he admits (sort of) that he’s screwed up… so at least there’s that. In the wake of the MLB’s gag order, Jason gets a solid orange on the Terror Alert Scale- with the possibility of moving to red-alert level on a moment’s notice.


mrthursday-96.jpgMy numerical scores will correlate to the alcohol contents of various beers. In case you care, here’s the scoring system.

Appearance. We should probably just start calling this section “Moustache?” Jason Giambi, once upon a time, looked like a cheesy biker guy, displaying baseball’s ubiquitous goatee, as well as some [sarcasm] totally rad [/sarcasm] tribal tattoos on his left shoulder. I mean, look at him in this picture. Look at him. You can just tell he’s saying to some puny, 8 year old, “Make that out to whom, motherfucker?!” The kid then micturates himself, because Jason Giambi is a scary fucking Bronson-esque kind of dude.

giambistache.jpgOf course, then The Great Giambino scored himself a mighty contract playing ball-whacker for the navy pinstripes. No more small town baseball for Oakland, no sir. Big city means big bucks, and big bucks mean Giambi had to shave his stupid goatee. While I applaud the removal of the goatee, a naked-faced Giambi looks like a goddamned naked mole rat. Yikes. There was hope for Giambi last year, though. In an effort to be more like beloved Yankee Donnie Baseball, this ugly fellow grew himself a moustache. Look at this moustache! It is power! It is the balls! Behold, it bristles in the wind as Bull Giambi scores.

Jason Giambi, I demand the regrowth of your once-proud glorystache. Grow it, and I offer you the Sam Adam’s Utopias. Grow it not, and I give you nothing, you disgusting bastard. Nothing at all.

Quotability. Is this category not why the Voodoo Council chooses the Giambinator for our considerable and varied wraths and kindnesses? Anyway, Giambi went off last week about how Major League Baseball should have apologized a long time ago, admitted their mistake, and tried to move forward openly, blah blah blah. Giambi is one slick-shit. He’s now apologized at least twice for doing steroids, without actually ever saying that he did steroids.

His most recent apology may have been more layered–that is, even more slick–than initially supposed, as there’s a rumor going ’round that Giambi failed a drug test for greenies last year. Peter Gammons says Giambi didn’t, and I’m inclined, generally, to always trust Gammons, even if he isn’t quite the dominating presence he once was. Regardless, amphetimines or not, Jason Giambi is an insurmountably humongous douche.

In the end, Giambi has a huge yap that blows hard as the wind. Of course, with all this jibber-jabber, he never, ever, says anything funny, or particularly memorable, unless you’re a big fan of ambiguous, shadowy, backdoor mea culpas. “Jason…” (breaks bottle of Guiness Kaliber over table, holds sharp, shattered bottle remnants toward Giambi), “you get off my property right now, fuck you very much.”



Jason Giambi can get pretty jolly, especially in the past year. Allegedly. However, considering his BALCO testimony, public apologies and semi-mean bat, I’m going to be forced to give the Giambino a Mark McGwire on the jollity scale: he’s festive when he’s not in major league trouble.


Speaking of Clutchness, I’m calling in a pinch hitter for today’s clutch measurement. Jon Pyle has volunteered to play hero or goat in the 9th inning today, as Gary GNU is being devoured by cicadas or something like that (I think that’s what the email said):

jonpyle-96.jpgHello! My name is Jon Pyle, you may remember me from such blogs as Pyle of List! I’ll be your guide today through the wonderful world of Clutch. Gary GNU is so clutch that he’s out living it, not stuck behind some desk writing about it like you or me.

Clutchability Factors:

There is no scientific evidence that steroids or HGH can enhance someone’s ability to deliver when it matters. But, there’s also no evidence against it either. Touche! As C+C Music Factory would say: things that make you go “hmmmmmm”.

Body of Work (The SportsCenter Factor)
If you ran a highlight package of Giambi clutch moments it would be roughly 30 seconds long and not include the playoffs. You would need their best anchors and catchphrases to even make this one watchable. (My most recent favorite SC baseball catchphrase: “I got 99 problems but this pitch ain’t one.”) But he would have some of the sweetest walks in the business.

The Time Machine Test AKA What if?
If his brother Jeremy Giambi slides against the Yankees in the 2001 playoffs we might be having a different discussion. Maybe Oakland advances and even wins a World Series that year, giving Giambi a ring and a heralded playoff resume. Pretty freakin’ clutch. But, then we would be deprived of Jeter’s flip. And I don’t want to live in a world without that play. We’d probably be speaking Dutch by now if it never happened.

Do you remember when the biggest controversy for Giambi was about whether or not he would have to get rid of his trademark sideburns? I’d bet he’d like those days back. It’s a fact that sideburns increase one’s propensity to be clutch, so shaving them off to adhere to a facial hair policy was a bad move. Plus he lost the boozing party boy mystique in the process. Double bad move.

Final Clutchability Rating: “Ay!”
Using the Arthur Fonzerelli Scale of Clutch, he’s on the first level. This means he could never start a jukebox by punching it and probably wouldn’t make it with either of the Tuscadero sisters. For those unfamiliar with the Arthur Fonzerelli Scale of Clutch it goes from “Ay!” to “Ayyyyy!”


Jason Giambi’s wikipedia page has one of the top unintentional comedy lines of all time:

When Giambi entered the league he came under the wing of Mark McGwire, whom he credits for greatly improving his career.

Hey, I’m sure that’s true, but we here at Voodoo Sabermetrics aren’t here to talk about the past.

Maybe Giambi is not completely to blame for his role at the center of the steroids scandal. Can you really blame a kid, coming up on the mean streets of West Covina, for taking any advantage he can to get out? Walk a mile in another man’s size XXL warmup jacket before you judge him, OK?

I really get the sense that this would have all gone so much better for Jason if he had just stayed in Cali playing “crazy biker dude”.


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voodoosabermetricsbanner1.PNGVoodoo Sabermetrics reminds us that our love for the team includes our love of individual players. We usually have a favorite superstar hitter or pitcher or both. But what about those guys that you just… like? Maybe someone who pinch hits or steals a base now and then. Maybe an aging vet who is like an extra coach in the dugout. Rather than judge everyone by their stats, we’re going to use unique categories and scoring methods to check out baseball’s characters.

Our High Voodoo Council are:

Jack Cobra from The Cobra Brigade Neighbor Quotient and Scrappiness
Texas Gal from Ladies… Hottness and Behavior
Sunil from Hurricanes Are For Drinking Atomic Mass and Exposure
Gary Gnu from The GNUru Fantasy Sports Clutchness
Sooze from Babes Love Baseball Jollyness
TC from Mr. Thursday’s Curious Mechanism Appearance and Quotability
Extra P. from The Extrapolater Name Quality (including nicknames)


This falls under the heading of “equal time”. And, oh yeah, “hitwhoring”. Actually, I promised Texas Gal that as soon as her favorite Longhorn signed with a team, we’d profile him, and that day has predictably come. As much as this guy is unlikeable, he is also thrilling to watch for exactly the same reason. His personality and his ability are inseparable, in my opinion. So he doesn’t want to travel with the team, so what? That just means more honey-roasted peanuts and hot towels in first class for Robinson Cano, am I right?

Meet Roger Clemens

Name: He’s Roger to us, but to his parents, he was William Roger Clemens. Roger’s dad hit the low road while he was in the cradle, but Roger had a strong male role model in his mother’s second husband, Woody Booher. Sadly, Woody passed when Roger was nine, so Clemens had to essentially make a name for himself. He made a damn good one, because nobody personifies the nickname “Rocket” like W. Roger does. I seriously get the shakes if I try to imagine myself in the batter’s box with him squinting at me. His name really means something.

William Roger “Rocket” Clemens (Booher): 10 out of 10.


sunil.jpgAtomic Number: If a starting pitcher joins a team, but only shows up on the days that he pitches, is he a distraction? It’s a bit like the tree falling in the forest, I suppose, existing mostly in the eye of the beholder, and serving to clear the mind. With a mind this clear, one would think that I would be able to answer this very easily, but it’s kind of challenging. Here goes….

pecanpie.jpgOn any other team, in any other city, I would say that Clemens’ shenanigans would have a negative effect on clubhouse chemistry. On the New York Yankees, who face the unholy alliance of New York Media members, it’s just another day. But let’s revisit this if Roger starts out 0-5, with a 5.66 ERA; then people are gonna start grumbling. His Atomic Number is 4.5223, the Atomic number of Goode Company Barbecue Sauce, Roger’s REAL family in Houston (How’s THAT for some sweet copy?).

Exposure: This just in: Roger Clemens just finished a plate of Pad Thai. Details on the consistency of his BM during the next Sportscenter. Seriously, though, Roger Clemens is one of the most over-exposed athletes, playing in one of the most over-exposing cities in the world.

Roger reminds me a bit of Madonna. Both have been around forever (I can’t remember a time without either); both have extended their careers through reinventions (Roger went from Boston, to Toronto, to New York, etc; Madonna went from S&M Goddess, to Evita, to MaMOMMA, etc); both still have their fastball (they play this Madonna music video at my gym … she’s still got it.); both have homoerotic relationships with members of the same sex (Andy Pettite for Roger – I’M JUST SAYING, Britney and Christina for Madonna); both have turned to performance enhancers (HGH, Botox, probably for both); really, I could go on all day. The point is, both have the media eating out of the palms of their hands, and both score a 10 out of 10 on the exposure scale.


jackcobra1.jpgNeighbor Quotient: There are a few things that Roger has going for him in this department; 1) He has a hot wife, 2) He likes to golf, 3) He drinks from time to time. Those are all good things because I’m cool with all of that.

clemenswife.jpgHe also has some things that are not going for him 1)Roid rage where he flips out and starts throwing tree branches around like he did to Mike Piazza’s bat, 2) He’s extremely intense so I could never invite him over to play cards, 3) There was a time when he had blonde tips…I’m not cool with that. So, write these down, average them out, roll the dice and you get a 7 out of 10.

Scrappiness: While Clemens has more God given talent than most people, he still works out harder than nearly everyone. Clemens is infamous for his ridiculous workout routines and whether or not they are because of steroids…..he still gets major kudos. He also never shies away from taking away the inside corner from hitters or doing what it takes to win the game. Even after all of his years of throwing ‘high and tight’, Clemens still grabbed a bat and was a halfway decent hitter in the National League. All of this means he rates at a 9 out of 10 on the scrappiness scale.


texasgal-96.jpgHottness: Immeasurable

clemens83.jpgThere is one baseball player in all the land who I am incapable of judging on face value, whose hottness is not measured by his physical being, but by his supernatural qualities and preternatural abilities. That man is Roger Clemens. There is one simple reason for that: he is perfect. Yeah, you heard me right- the Rocket is gloriously, wonderously, infallibly HOT. That sexy scowl-snarl of his- I can’t get enough. The burnt orange halo that surrounds him (thanks for giving my University a National Championship, Rog!) cannot be penetrated.

OW! Sooze- quit pelting me with baseballs! You’re not gonna make me change my mind!


Roger is an asshole of the first order, and mega intense at all times. He will buzz your head without thinking twice- hell, he buzzed his own son’s cranium after Koby hit a homer off him in the minors. He gets mad and stomps around on the mound. He screams and yells. He’s an attention whore and wants to be the prettiest princess at the ball. There will be hell to pay if everyone does not jump to fulfill his every wish and command. That’s kind of awesome. Mostly because in spite of his massive ego, his teammates adore him- and not just his best bud Andy, but pretty much anyone he’s ever played with. He’s crazy like a fox. Batten down the hatches when Hurricane Rocket is in town, because there’s no telling what might happen.


mrthursday-96.jpgMy numerical scores will correlate to the alcohol contents of various beers. In case you care, here’s the scoring system.

Appearance. The Rocket stands six feet, four inches tall, and, at the shoulders, is two feet, eleven inches broad. This is a stocky man. He’s got beady little eyes, and a constant need to shave. As a younger man, he was a skinny guy with a round, almost chubby face. Now, as an older fella, he’s got a bit of a gut, and a well defined face.

Quotability. Roger’s known for being a little fiesty on the mound, but dull as hell in front of the microphone. The past few years, he’s been working the whole “will he retire? or won’t he?” Most people are finding it as annoying as anything in sports–right up there with Brett Favre’s retirement waverings. Personally, I like the idea of Best Pitcher Ever as Mercenary For Hire. While I could do without all the theatrics–the nonsense of the percentages, especially–I can’t help but enjoy the entire production.

Rocket, I’m mostly ambivalent toward you, even though I love watching you pitch. And since everyone else hates you, I’m bumping my score just a tad for ya. Have yourself a Victory V-12, on me.


suzyheadshot-1.jpgThe Rocket’s jollity level depends greatly on the media. It fluctuates from Satan to Santa – relative to how many cameras are within a 24-ft radius of him. It seems that when the focus was on whether he would make his glorious return to baseball, his jolliness was abundant, punching reporters jokingly in the arm. On the other end, when questions arose about the strange family clause in his contract, his jolliness plummeted to the depths of hell. He’s tricky, so I’ll give him a whirling dervish on the jolly scale.


Whirling dervish: (n.) A person whose behavior resembles a rapid, spinning object. These actions are often spastic fidgeting and incessant babbling. The actions of the whirling dervish are irritating and annoying, often exhausting other people in the immediate vicinity.

There is apparently an alarming shortage of Biologists in the Chicagoland area, and Gary GNU has been called into action to fill in for some of them, so he’s unable to cover the clutchness angle this week.

Great, there goes any semblance of credibility this feature ever had.

I, Extra P., will make a clutch apperance for him this week (nice seque, eh?), but I hate looking at the numbers, so I’m going to the photographic evidence. Roger’s clutchness is indicated quite clearly in the number and variety of items he has clutched in his decades of service to MLB. For instance:

(I made these triptychs waaay too large, so ye’ll just have to click on ’em.)

Hell, this buckaroo is clutching a lot of stuff! It’s practically a full-time job! No wonder he doesn’t have much time for traveling. I give him a full 10 out of 10 on the Extra P. clutchmeter.


Usually I wrap this up with a pithy comment or two about what we learned about our voodoo victim for the week, but there is nothing to learn about ol’ Rog.  What you see is what you get, and he’s been around long enough for you to have formed your own opinion about him long ago.  The only thing I’m going to say is, Google has almost zero images of Rocket in a Toronto uniform – I find that odd.  Has Bill Simmons had them all destroyed? Or has Rocket had them all destroyed?  Things that make you go “hmmmm”.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to take some time off to spend more time with my family.   Unless someone’s got a spare few million laying around.


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