Month: August 2006
Mystery Photo #1
by Score Bard
2006-08-04 11:27

On a recent travel adventure, I happened to wander into a “Recycle Store”, a business which tries to take one person’s junk and turn into someone else’s treasure.

This store happened to have a huge barrelful of old, discarded slides and photo negatives. Turns out that most of these discarded pictures were of sporting events. Probably 95% of them were pictures of NCAA and NFL football games, but there were some baseball pictures in the pile, too.

So I gathered up as many baseball pictures as I could find, and bought a couple handfuls of the old photos.

None of these photos were marked in any way, so there’s the game: let’s try to identify who the people are in the photos, and figure out where and when the photo was taken.

Ready? Here’s picture #1:

Click on the image for a larger view.

by Ken Arneson
2006-08-03 15:31

I really enjoyed the A’s-Angels series, the last two games especially. Every game was well-pitched, and each game was decided by a few key plays. Make the play: you win, don’t you lose. There were only 14 runs scored in the series, and three of them were scored by runners from second base on balls that didn’t ever leave the infield. Isn’t baseball fun when the deciding runs are scored by aggressive baserunning and their defensive responses? Homers, shmomers. On Tuesday, there were three close plays at the plate. All three plays went the Angels’ way, and they won the game. On Wednesday, the A’s made the plays; the Angels made the mistakes, and the A’s got the win.

The tone of these games felt different from recent A’s games. Instead of games where the A’s were bumblin’ and stumblin’ their way into first place, the games felt sorta pennant-racy. There was an urgency to them, as if the games mattered or something. Good stuff.

* * *

Of course, all that good feelings might be squashed if the test results come back and we find out that Bobby Crosby has a stress fracture in his back, or that Jay Payton has a broken hand, and their seasons are done. That’s what happened last year…everything was hunky dory until Crosby and Rich Harden went down, and then pfffffffffffft–all the air left the balloon. To have that happen two years in a row–Fate can be so cruel sometimes.

Philip Michaels Joins Catfish Stew
by Ken Arneson
2006-08-03 15:13

With the demands on my time growing more and more each day, it has become harder and harder for me to keep this blog going by myself. So I asked my fellow Alamedan Philip Michaels of Idiots Write About Sports to join me here on Catfish Stew, and he graciously accepted.

Expect Philip to start adding his humorous rantings here any time now. He’s one of the few writers I know who can regularly make me laugh out loud, and think to myself, “I wish I had written that.” Not to put any pressure on the poor fellow, but I’m confident that as he switches teams, Philip won’t go all Keith Ginter or Antonio Perez on us, he’ll keep putting up the good numbers, and Catfish Stew will be better than ever.

Pointing Bullets At July
by Ken Arneson
2006-08-01 9:15

Some things on my mind:

  • On Sunday, my daughter had her 6th birthday party. It was a warm day, so we had the Slip ‘n Slide out on the backyard lawn, and the kids partied in their swimsuits. I had the TV on in the living room just inside the door, so the A’s fans in attendance could keep an eye on the developments in the A’s game from time to time.

    When Huston Street showed that he was human enough to be unable to pitch two innings after being used three out of the previous four games, and coughed up three runs in the ninth, I figured it was time to move on to more pleasant things, and bring out the cake and ice cream.

    This is how I experienced the bottom of the ninth:

    “…Happy Birthday to you!”

    Puff! Clap, clap, clap…

    (Voice heard coming from doorway to living room) “Wooohooo!”

    Me: “What happened?”

    “Milton Bradley just hit a three-run homer!”

  • Last night’s A’s-Angels games lacked such dramatics, but the pitching duel between Ervin Santana and Dan Haren was thoroughly enjoyable. I love those kind of low-scoring, tense ballgames.

    The A’s and Angels play a lot of those types of games against each other. I suppose that’s because both teams have good pitching, and neither team can hit very much. But still, it’s becoming a very fun rivalry to watch.

  • I have a hard time believing the rumors that the Angels actually offered Santana in their attempts to trade for Miguel Tejada and/or Alfonso Soriano. If the Angels actually did offer him up, and the Orioles and Nationals both turned them down, that just goes down as another example of the sad shortage of brainpower in and around the District of Columbia. I’d be more than happy to have that guy out of the A’s division.

    But from what I understand, Santana was asked for, not offered. There’s no shortage of brainpower in Anaheim.

  • So neither the A’s nor the Angels did anything this trading season. That’s OK. Between the callups and people coming off the DL, both teams have plenty of opportunities for improvement from sources within.

    And then there’s Bobby Crosby and Mark Ellis. Imagine what would happen if either of those guys actually stopped looking like the second coming of Rob Picciolo at the plate, and started hitting like, oh, I dunno, Bobby Crosby or Mark Ellis (any vintage but 2006).

  • I can stop dreaming about Lastings Milledge now, and start dreaming about the three first round draft picks the A’s will have next June, when Zito departs.

    Meanwhile, I think I’ll focus my minor league mancrush energies on 18-year-old Matthew Sulentic.

  • In July, the A’s played 3 games against teams currently under .500. They went 14-13 for the month.

    In July, the Angels played 18 games against teams currently under .500. They went 19-7 for the month.

  • In August, the A’s will play 8 games against teams currently under over .500. In September/October: 13.

    The Angels will play 13 such games in August. September/October: 16.

  • Some Yankee fans working at ESPN:

    I was watching SportsCenter last night, when the phone rang for my wife, so I put the TV on mute. My TV automatically switches to closed captioning when you mute it, so I started reading the highlights of the Red Sox comeback against the Indians last night.

    When the highlights of David Ortiz hitting his three-run walkoff homer was shown, the closed captions actually said this:


  • I can now confirm, for I have verified the data with my own two eyes: Bob Timmermann is tall.
  • Bob emailed me yesterday and said that Billy Beane was recently spotted at a corporate retreat at Pebble Beach with Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Rupert Murdoch, and U2.

    So that’s why the A’s did nothing at the trading deadline: Beane kept hearing voices nearby that kept telling him, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”.

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