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Saturday Morning Breakfast & Baseball: #CrankyBryz, Oblivious Harper, Ichiro Magic, and More

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I just fueled up with some Honey Bunches of Oats, showed with that and my chronically sore lower back that I'm a 40-year old man trapped in a 23-year old body. But now I'm going to jump ahead another 20 years and start off today's B&B with a "Get off my porch" rant. This has to do with Melky Cabrera taking himself out of the race for the NL batting title this year. If you don't want to be turned off by this rant, you should consider scrolling down to the first bullet point where the fun stuff begins.

For those saying it wouldn't be fair for him to win the batting race... IT'S NOT AN AWARD. All Melky would receive is recognition for being the best hitting player in terms of batting average in the NL for a single season, and his name on this Wikipedia list of batting champions. I challenge you to name the batting champions from each league from the past 3 years. Unless you're my buddy Craig Nordquist who now works for MLB Network, you probably can't. Look, it's something that looks good in the moment, but years from now we probably won't remember unless we look it up.

As far as I can tell, PEDs only help with endurance and recovery, not with hand-eye coordination. Plus, what about Ryan Zimmerman and his cortisone shot? He was hitting .218 on June 24, received a cortisone shot in his balky shoulder, and has hit .332 from then to Wednesday. That, by the literal definition is a PED, but we ignore it because somehow cortisone is different. By the way, the first line of cortisone's Wikipedia entry states, "Cortisone is a steroid hormone." (Redacted) (Redacted) (Redacted). Oh, but that's Wikipedia. Here's two more which call cortisone a steroid in its first 5 words.

What Melky did: Bad. What Ryan did: Good. #CrankyBryz

PS: Past batting champions from last 3 years are Miguel Cabrera, Josh Hamilton, and Joe Mauer for the AL, and Jose Reyes, Carlos Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez for the NL. Only one I could have named was Mauer, since 2009 was his MVP season.

Now that I've ruined your Twinkie Town buzz for today, let's move on to the lighter things in our baseball lives.

  • Whenever I play softball, I don't really pay much attention to the score or the inning. As I joke with other people, I just keep going out to the field until someone tells me to stop. That's what I thought of when I heard this quote from Bryce Harper on the night the Nationals clinched a playoff spot for the first time since they moved to Washington from Montreal.

"Everyone started going crazy and I looked at the fireworks and said ‘I guess we just did something.’ Someone handed me a playoff hat and a playoff shirt and I said ‘I guess we are going to the playoffs.’"

Apparently he doesn't pay attention to the standings, but I suppose when you're the best team in baseball and you're not going through a late-season slide, you don't need to worry about those other teams behind you.

  • I have an uncle with Downs Syndrome, so this gesture was really touching for me. 29-year old Teddy Kremer has Downs Syndrome and is a huge Cincinnati Reds fan. His parents attended a fundraiser which also included Reds COO Phil Castellini, and one of the things in the silent auction was a night as a Reds batboy. Now, Teddy was outside of the 15-19 age range, but his family ended up with the highest bid and Castellini allowed Teddy to join the Reds for their August 17th game. If there's any link you click in this B&B post today, it should be this one, as everyone with the Reds welcomed Teddy with open arms, from Castellini to equipment manager Rick Stowe to manager Dusty Baker to Reds players Todd Frazier, Brandon Phillips, and Mike Leake.
  • We consider Ichiro Suzuki to be a wizard with the bat (apparently earning the nickname "Wizard", which I've never heard before), and his latest bit of magic was hitting an infield single into pitcher Jarrod Parker's jersey. Now, the announcers said that Parker's best chance was probably to step on 1st base before Ichiro could get there, but is there really any pitcher that could beat Ichiro to the bag, even with 30 foot head start?
  • Curses, you Midwest bias! Wait, what? Well, with the 2013 schedules being released, we can see how much travel every AL team will have to do next year, and it just so happens that the Midwest teams don't have too many miles to traverse. The White Sox have the least traveling to do with about 22,500 miles, while the Mariners have more than twice as many with almost 53,000 miles. If you follow the NHL, this has been a recent complaint as they are separated in East and West Conferences, and the East teams always have easier road trips as they only have to go to Philadelphia, New York, and D.C., whereas the West teams might make a Los Angeles - Vancouver road trip. Oh, and if you're curious, the Twins have the 6th fewest miles out of the 15 AL teams, but they do rank last in the Central next year. Perhaps that will be a recipient of blame if the Twins finish lower than 3rd next year...

The Twins have a 3:05 pm game today against the Tigers. I promise no more #CrankyBryz rants for the remainder of the day.