February 20, 2006

Maybe, but in this case, he knows he overdid it, and I trust he's learned his lesson.

posted by chicobangs at 12:34 AM on February 20

Well corrected, dudes. Noticed we are nearly up to 10,000? And a goodly proportion of the new members seem to be contributing constructively.

posted by owlhouse at 12:46 AM on February 20

Considering the boom, things are better than I'd feared, it's true. Maybe that skill-testing question thing is weeding out the more idiotic, um, idiots after all, eh? Now, who wants to do some bong hits?

posted by chicobangs at 12:52 AM on February 20

Love to, chico, but I'm currently in a place where that would give me 20 years in the slammer, and it's impossible even to get a drink.

posted by owlhouse at 01:44 AM on February 20

Yes. A thousand times yes.

posted by yerfatma at 06:15 AM on February 20

yes to the limit, or yes to the bong hits? I'm so confused.

posted by Amateur at 08:03 AM on February 20

sorry guys, like i said i just learned to cut and paste and felt like these topics would garner some good conversation. i'm putting myself on posting probation for five months. i'm heading out to mexico next sunday and just trying to satisfy my spofi jones before i head to the land of dial-up internet cafes. i'll stay on the sidelines for the rest of the week. in my opinion, it's not like I posted some irrelevant topics. good workers, athletes, etc. learn from their mistakes and take constructive criticism well and I have done that.

posted by erkno11 at 08:11 AM on February 20

i'm heading out to mexico next sunday and just trying to satisfy my spofi jones before i head to the land of dial-up internet cafes. Actually, if you could post some good stuff about Mexican sports while you are there (baseball or whatever), I think we'd all be happy with that.

posted by grum@work at 08:15 AM on February 20

i feel like i've been called into the principal's office. i've got my hands on the desk, standing in a prone position, waiting for my licks.

posted by erkno11 at 08:20 AM on February 20

I don't feel like your posts in particular are what we're talking about, erkno11. It's more the overwhelming number of posts, especially those currently under discussion in a recent thread or that are just links to a Yahoo or ESPN story.

posted by yerfatma at 08:37 AM on February 20

Amateur, "yes" to the limit, "a thousand times yes" to the bong hits. Did you know hemp was the official fabric of the Polk Administration?

posted by yerfatma at 08:38 AM on February 20

Damn, that is some inspirational commenting, and I wish I had grabbed that TROLLBOY user name. I would have gone for BIGTROLLBOY, myself, but what the hell. I think he should maybe get some professional help, though. He's obviously got a multiple-personality thing going there.

posted by Amateur at 08:53 AM on February 20

if it generates buzz and conversation, why does it matter what site a posts originate from. i know the r. williams post has gotten a little out of hand now, but is has generated activity. would it have made it any different if I would have pulled it from the KDVR Denver site, the original source who broke the story. my first post, about MLB power rankings, was a little shaky. It was tough to read and really brought nothing thought-provoking to the site. However, it did generate buzz and got people talking baseball on one of the first days of P's and C's reporting to spring training. A day, for those who are true baseball fans, that is one of the most anticipated and exciting days of the year . In fact, grum my number crunching should impress you, my four posts have averaged 33 comments and rising.

posted by erkno11 at 08:53 AM on February 20

OK, buzz and conversation. The new Prime Directive of SportsFilter...... In fact, grum my number crunching should impress you, my four posts have averaged 33 comments and rising. Yea, Numbers..... Gotta have Numbers... I could threw out all kinds of troll bate posts and generate some huge numbers.... I hope that's not what this sight is all about......

posted by skydivedad at 09:19 AM on February 20

In my opinion, the only thing objectionable was the two FPPs on essentially the same topic. The Williams story is a different topic and somebody was going to post it. What's the difference if it's erkno or somebody else? Also, to put the 'Yahoo or ESPN story' bit in context, about 14% of links on the front page are to espn.go.com, and another 5% are to yahoo.com -- the most popular two sources. The most popular 15 sources account for about 50% of the links on the front page. These numbers are still a bit rough -- I have been noodling about with the database and will have more on this after the Olympics are over.

posted by Amateur at 09:20 AM on February 20

Barry Bonds really brings out the best of Sportsfilter.

posted by qbert72 at 10:03 AM on February 20

Ooh! Ooh! Can we do Roger Clemens next?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:06 AM on February 20

skydivedad, what is the Prime Directive of Sportsfilter and what is this site about? somebody fill me in, please. A good link is sports-related and encourages discussion among the community. SportsFilter is not a place to ask a question or merely state an opinion. Links should be about something new related to sports—such as a breaking news story, an interesting commentary, or a noteworthy sports site. contrary to what you may think, i have read the guidelines. the numbers comment was a little poke at grum, whose work I happen to enjoy a lot.

posted by erkno11 at 10:07 AM on February 20

A good link is sports-related and encourages discussion among the community. Should that be changed to say: "...encourages discussion and/or debate..." or "...encourages discussion (not debate)..."

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:14 AM on February 20

Ooh! Ooh! Can we do Roger Clemens next? How about a Red Sox/Yankees ANYTHING? Let's do one of those. Team building, brain stimulating activities right there.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:20 AM on February 20

erkno11 I happen to think you've been a positive contributor to this community (glad your here)and I particularly think your FPP on the Baseball Power Rating brought out some great positive comments. Generating buzz is not the same as encouraging discussion however. Posting to generate buzz usually involves pandering to the lowest base human emotions and is readily available on countless other websites. That said, I like grums idea of a Post from you in the sunny land of Mexico. Enjoy your vacation.

posted by skydivedad at 10:20 AM on February 20

is this a troll bait post Bears Fan wears love for team on his back : This is just way to creepy. Tattoos! posted by skydivedad to Football at 4:25 PM CST (19 comments total) --Nice work terrapin. My next one is going to be of a symbol that reminds me of skydivedad.posted by skydivemom at 7:02 PM CST on January 13 >--what? a bag of cheese-doodles and a case of Bass Pale Ale :) posted by skydivedad at 7:23 PM CST on January 13 --No - a sex machine! Hmmmm.....maybe I should do mine on my birthday too. No can't, it's in the summer and I swim way too much in a chlorine pool. I don't know for sure but I don't think that is good for new ink. Maybe I will just get Johnny Damon's or Carlos Zambrano's signature put on my butt. Better not skydivedad is already jealous of those two enough. posted by skydivemom at 7:25 PM CST on January 13 ok, i'm sorry. i've brought nothing good to the table here. i have love for everyone. my gloves are off, truce

posted by erkno11 at 10:23 AM on February 20

erkno11, I believe that's just some in-thread flirtation. Someone, and I no longer know who, is going to get spanked.

posted by chicobangs at 10:27 AM on February 20

skydivedad, i too, enjoy your contributions to the community. no hard feelings, i couldn't help myself on that last post. i couldn't pass it up....i probably wouldn't have posted this if i would have seen your rebuttal before i pressed the post button. when you're scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page you can't see the previous post my apologies, i'm a lover not a fighter. unfortunately, no vacation. must go to mexico for five months to "work". hopefully an employer here in the states will pick me up and i won't be there for long.

posted by erkno11 at 10:29 AM on February 20

Posting to generate buzz usually involves pandering to the lowest base human emotions and is readily available on countless other websites. aren't those previous comments readily available on other webites. seriously, that's it. i'm done.

posted by erkno11 at 10:34 AM on February 20

No problem erkno.... 5 Months gives you plenty of time to put a column or 2 together on the State of Sport in Sunny Mexico, anything on the upcoming World Cup would be extemely well recieved. Looking forward to it. For what it's worth I've made a few post here that were out of bounds and the community for the most part has been more then gracious in giving me a break. Peace

posted by skydivedad at 10:38 AM on February 20

Hey, eric, good luck. Seriously. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who'll be pulling for you to get some kind of gig back in the States.

posted by chicobangs at 10:40 AM on February 20

yeah eric, good luck. and if you can, keep us posted on how you're doing down there.

posted by goddam at 10:47 AM on February 20

chico, goddam, and everyone else thanks for the support. it's been a rough offseason for me. 20 combined wins between mexico and the d.r. and still can't find work over here. the next person that says all a left-hander needs is a pulse to pitch in the big leagues, i'm gonna punch in the mouth. chico, just found out the other night you're a songwriter. that's cool. i kind of feel i can relate with you because your level of success depends on what so called "experts" in your field think of your work, even though they sometimes don't know shit. (is that a correct assumption) that's how i feel right now. i feel like some of my best days on the mound are ahead of me and here I am toiling in the friggin mexican league again. i've finally come to realize i have a horseshit agent and he, not me, is the one putting my name out there to all the teams. the guy was great when things were going well and horseshit when i have needed him the most. the guy's got me by the balls. however, i've decided to put the fate of my career in my own hands. as soon as he emails every farm director and gm's email address, office phone number, and cell # his ass in on the curb and i'm going to do it myself. too bad it took me about two months too long to realize that he's not doing crap for me. he's completely taken the fun, and the passion for the game that kept me going and made me feel like I am one of the luckiest persons on the earth to get to be able to do what I do for a living i've completely ruined this thread today, and I apologize. it just felt good to get that off my chest. now i'm going to go throw a bullpen and try to throw the ball straight through the gosh-darned catcher.

posted by erkno11 at 11:23 AM on February 20

Lot's of love for erkno. I just got a warm feeling. Can I get some love too? Then it would be a warm fuzzy feeling. You know goddam, I am also from the land of traffic circles and jughandles.

posted by njsk8r20 at 11:23 AM on February 20

Good luck, Eric!

posted by rcade at 11:25 AM on February 20

No, it's cool, and I'm flattered you think I know what you're going through. I think I sort of do. Email me anytime if you feel like venting.

posted by chicobangs at 11:31 AM on February 20

http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/knotter01.shtml good luck eric.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:36 AM on February 20

You know goddam, I am also from the land of traffic circles and jughandles. so, what, you want some love cause you're from jersey? you're a jets fan dude, i can't go there.

posted by goddam at 11:41 AM on February 20

you're a jets fan dude, i can't go there. I love this place. Eric, best of luck, and remember that anything that happens down there would make a kick-ass column here. Feel free to email me if your limited internet access finds you in need of an editor/ghostwriter.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:04 PM on February 20

here are a couple of things i remember from last year that might make a good colummn 1. a guy had sex on the bus during a game 2. guys puffing cigarettes in the dugout 3. dogs urinating on the field and chickens roaming in the outfield during a spring training game 4. guys injecting 'roids in the team hotel 5. guys taking so many 'greenies' that their eyes are about to pop out of their heads and are constantly dry-heaving 6. spring training games on dirt fields with no mounds and actual pitching rubbers 7. my manager squeezing with two outs 8. orders from team not to leave the hotel while playing in tijuana. 9. 13 dollars a day meal money also, this year they are implementing drug testing there, it will be interesting to see some of my teammates when I get to spring and to watch the overall power numbers this year

posted by erkno11 at 12:24 PM on February 20

you're a jets fan dude, i can't go there. Serves me right for fishing for a compliment. I'll never try that again.

posted by njsk8r20 at 12:24 PM on February 20

You must give props to a guy drafted in the 24th round who even sniffed the Show. Good luck down there!

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:31 PM on February 20

I'm getting a tattoo of erkno11 on my back; in Mexico. (was that an acceptable summation of this thread thus far?) erkno11: That list is a great start for a column. Now flesh out into a narrative and you will rule.

posted by NoMich at 12:41 PM on February 20

7. my manager squeezing with two outs Next year's Ozzie Guillen.

posted by yerfatma at 12:54 PM on February 20

Why go all the way to Mexico? Surely they have tattoo parlours in Raleigh.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:55 PM on February 20

No "parlours" here in Raleigh. Just "parlours." tee hee

posted by NoMich at 01:09 PM on February 20

Zut alors! Piégé comme un beignet de pomme!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:32 PM on February 20

Dude, are you speaking Freedom?

posted by NoMich at 01:38 PM on February 20

Don't sound like it. Sounds like city folk talk.

posted by yerfatma at 02:22 PM on February 20

Dr JohnEvans' identity revealed: Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com

posted by jerseygirl at 02:33 PM on February 20

I think that you should take everything I say into account that I am a roids freak.

posted by skydivemom at 02:36 PM on February 20

How about a Red Sox/Yankees ANYTHING? Let's do one of those. Team building, brain stimulating activities right there. posted by jerseygirl at 10:20 AM CST on February 20 Damn, she's good. erkno, best of luck, and don't drink the water. Just drink tequila all the time, and everything'll be fine. Either that, or you'll end up dead or in Mexican prison. Anyway, good luck.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:29 PM on February 20

back in the day, (i'm happily married now, to a girl from mexico i met while playing in el paso) tequila consumption + eric= possibly waking up next to someone so ugly you wish you could gnaw your arm off

posted by erkno11 at 03:51 PM on February 20

Good Luck erkno! Don't spend too much money at the donkey shows.

posted by jojomfd1 at 03:52 PM on February 20

Don't feel bad erkno, Jack Daniels does the same thing to me. And as long as you are not a jerk like a guy went to school with, I wish you good luck too.

posted by njsk8r20 at 04:00 PM on February 20

here are a couple of things i remember from last year that might make a good colummn I think a column is missing the big payday from this material. If you have any writing skill you ought to mash that together into a novel and become the bastard love child of Dick Francis and Elmore Leonard.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:11 PM on February 20

... and Ron Shelton!

posted by chicobangs at 04:52 PM on February 20

...and Jim Bouton!

posted by NoMich at 05:04 PM on February 20

Good luck and hit one outta the park for me, Eric! /twinkle in eye, <sniff>

posted by gspm at 05:53 PM on February 20

had to google d. francis and elmore leonard to find out who they were. i like those kind of books so i will pick some up on the way out. i'm a stuart woods and robert b. parker kind of guy. i like books I can hammer out on one bus ride or a couple of afternoons in a hotel room.very easy reading. i actually met ron shelton in mexico last year. he was researching for a movie about an ex all-star pitcher whose contract is sold to a mexican league team. kind of bull durhamish. i love the guys' sports movies. bull durham, tin cup, white men can't jump all excellent movies in my opinion. very interesting guy also. he said the movie will start being produced in a couple of years. i would never go jim bouton and sell out a teammate. I kind of sold curt schilling out in my very first post and still feel bad about it. even though i can't stand the guy. it's just not right. i've got plenty of good stories but I would never use someone's name anymore.

posted by erkno11 at 06:48 PM on February 20

No Jim Bouton, hey? Well in that case, change my answer to: ...and George Plimpton!

posted by NoMich at 07:03 PM on February 20

I kind of sold curt schilling out in my very first post Oh snap! I remember that post. /searches Here it is! And holy crap! SpoFi sponsors your page! Or have I been about two steps behind the whole time?

posted by grum@work at 08:22 PM on February 20

Fuck Elmore Leonard. Pussy. James Ellroy.

posted by owlhouse at 08:41 PM on February 20

You met Ron Mexico in Shelton last year???? What was he like?

posted by smithers at 09:44 PM on February 20

Just keep your head down in Matamoros, and your curve lower still. Good luck from one who called the outside corner really generously...

posted by elovrich at 10:51 PM on February 20

if i met ron mexico I would tell him he ruined my fantasy football team for two years. ron shelton, on the other hand, was very, very, hollywood cool. we met in one of the owner's boxes during a game I wasn't pitching. we talked for the whole game and he never came across a big-time or arrogant. he was genuinely interested in what i was saying. he was very casual. blue jeans, courdoroy sport coat, cigar chomping, with the pretty young assistant at his side taking notes for him. elov, i read your profile earlier in the year and hoped you were an umpire that gave the corners. nowadays, it seems to me the strikezone is shrinking. i'd rather someone take an inch off the outside corner and give the inside corner correctly. i love to freeze guys inside with two strikes but have a hard time getting those pitches. mind if I call you "blue" (jk)

posted by erkno11 at 07:51 AM on February 21

nowadays, it seems to me the strikezone is shrinking. i'd rather someone take an inch off the outside corner and give the inside corner correctly. So true

posted by tron7 at 08:21 AM on February 21

erkno11 The skydivefamily wishes you a very short stay in Sunny Mexico and a rapid reunion with Mrs. erkno11. Good Luck........

posted by skydivedad at 08:52 AM on February 21

Fuck Elmore Leonard. Pussy. James Ellroy. Seconded.

posted by yerfatma at 09:08 AM on February 21

I was that umpire, erk. I shoulda stayed in the business. The joke used to be that if I was behind the plate, you could count on a two-hour game. As a former catcher and slap hitter, I firmly believe a good pitcher gets: * the plate * the black * the area that appears black outside the plate when I take my specs off * the bottom of the knees * the highest point of the top of the letters on the jersey Hope you find a couple like me down there.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:29 AM on February 21

* the highest point of the top of the letters on the jersey I was with you till this one.

posted by tron7 at 10:30 AM on February 21

fraze, between your quality hilarious videos on blog, your excellent writing on the site, and your liberal interpretation of the strike zone i'm liking you more and more each day. any ump that calls the bottom of the knees is a friend of mine. as far as the umps down there, they wouldn't raise the fist for strike 3. hence only 60-something K's in 140+ innings. that's pretty horsecrap whatever league you're in. hopefully i can improve on that this year. i've never been a K pitcher but realize that if i'm going to return to the states i need to improve on that number. especially in this day farm directors and gm's who are like grum. they make an assumption based on a spreadsheet printout more than they do off a visual scouting report.

posted by erkno11 at 10:34 AM on February 21

How are you trying to get more Ks? New pitch, different approach? That would make for a kick-ass article.

posted by yerfatma at 11:18 AM on February 21

Throwing harder? Pitch selection? Getting frazer as your personal ump?

posted by tron7 at 12:29 PM on February 21

My Keys to Improving My Strikeout Numbers 1. Ditch the philosophy of trying to get an out on 3 pitches or less. 2. Work Deeper into the count-works with number 1 3. Improve breaking ball- I feel I turned the corner on that this winter in the Dominican. I morphed both my slider and curve one pitch, a slurve perhaps. I now use the same grip and have the ability to change speeds with it. I can throw it anywhere from 72-82 miles an hour 4. Take advantage of weaker hitters. When I was in AAA I always tried to punch out the pitcher. This is a great way to increase totals 5. Study stats more and identify free-swingers. Look for uys with high strikeout and low walk totals and target them. 6. Try turning over the change-up a little bit. I throw it without pronating my wrist and therefore it doesn't move and generate swings and misses as much as I would like. I've also been working on that this winter. 1 and 2 are going to be the hardest. I've always tried to get quick outs and ground balls. I don't want to get away from my game that has worked for me in the past. I'm sure when I get out there on the mound I am not going to consciencely try to strike out more guys, I just hope it happens. Also, Puebla, the home city I play in is above 7,000 feet elevation. The breaking ball tends to flatten out there. It is worse than Colorado Springs. I went to Colorado in the big leagues but never pitched there. As far as velocity, I don't think that is going to change now. 87-91 with a 2 and 4-seam fastball. Hit 94 on the FoxSportsNet gun against the Marlins, got on-tape proof of that. My wife's at work, the daughter is in school, I have no life here in Dallas, keep bringing the questions. I love talking baseball.

posted by erkno11 at 12:50 PM on February 21

As a stats-freak, I appreciate why you're pursuing a higher K/9 ratio, but are you concerned that 1+2 (but not 3, ha, math humor!) will either get you away from what got you this far or hurt your IP (I don't know if you're a starter or reliever)? Regarding #5, are you just looking for free swingers or do you have "area" information available to you (I don't know what to call it: basically that hot-cold matrix Fox throws up for batters during games).

posted by yerfatma at 01:10 PM on February 21

yes, i am concerned about getting away from the things that has worked for me. In reality, how well have they worked. I am 31 years old and the window of opportunity is closing fast. This will be my last year if I have to continue to go back to Mexico to play. The separation is too hard on me and my family to max out at about 60 g's a year. However, that's not bad for 5 months work. I can make another 20 grand or so in winterball, also. I didn't start pitching to be a Mexican League All-Star. Therefore, i'm going to put everything out on the table this year and bust ass to get an opportunity to get to the big leagues or an opportunity to pitch overseas (i pitched in Japan in 2000) There is hope, I have an out clause in my contract that I can leave whenever I want without an organization compensating my team in Mexico. And Oscar Robles' contract was purchased from Mexico City last year and he went straight to the bigs. As far as #5. No video scouting in Mexico. I will watch hitters myself in the dugout and just check the basic stat sheets that they post up in the dugout. As far as relying on the pitching coach there, the guy is not the sharpest.

posted by erkno11 at 01:23 PM on February 21

You know what I'm envisioning here when Erk gets back to the Show? A SpoFi-wide network of scouts for him as he heads into each city. Let's say he lands in the AL. Erk leaves tickets at the gate for me in Toronto. I come in early and discuss Jays hitter tendencies with him to give him the skinny -- you know, Vernon's chasing the high heat, bust Rios inside of late, Hinske sucks. Of course, I'm sure I wouldn't know shit compared to the advance scouting staffs ... but if I'm wrong, Erk just busts me in the grill and I'm out of the loop. On preview: is there a website that shows the rosters and stats for the guys in your league, Erk?

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:25 PM on February 21

This is turning into an amazing thread. Thanks guys. Erk: what do you think of pitch counts? Is there a certain number that you consider to be some sort of comfort zone? What has been your favorite league to play in? Outside MLB, of course. Have you ever played for any teams that has taken you to Durham, NC to play against the Bulls?

posted by NoMich at 01:38 PM on February 21

MILB.com has now partnered with the Mexican League. just go to the top of the page and enter my name (Eric Knott)in the player search. My team name is the Pericos de Puebla. Probably the Puebla Parrots on the english side of the site. I would love that if I ever got to Toronto. One of my old roomies, Scott Downs, is now with the Jays. I haven't talked to him in awhile but i'm sure I could get in touch with him and get him to leave periodic tickets. Also, the Nats visit Toronto June 27-29. I'm 100% percent sure my best friend in baseball, John Patterson, would be happy to leave tickets for some of you guys. I don't know what happened to Hinske, maybe the fat contract early in his career. When I faced him in AAA he was a tough ass out. I loved playing in Canada. I played rookie ball in Lethbridge, AAA in Edmonton, and some big league time in Montreal. I love the people there and have nothing but fond memories from all 3 stops. No better street the St. Catherine's in montreal for some good times.

posted by erkno11 at 01:40 PM on February 21

I come in early and discuss Jays hitter tendencies with him to give him the skinny Me on David Ortiz: "He has a real hard time with batting practice-speed fastballs in his wheelhouse. Manny Ramirez too. Weird, huh?"

posted by yerfatma at 01:42 PM on February 21

I like pitch counts. There is a certain level, different for every guy, that a pitcher begins to deteriorate. I would say mine is around 110. The pacific coast league has some great cities and great ballparks. It's a pretty crappy pitchers league though. Favorite cities Portland- beautiful city, beautiful ballpark. Just watch out for the Heroin addicts all over the downtown area. Edmonton-another beauty of a city. reminds of a European city. although i've never been to Europe. Memphis-best ballpark in the minors. Hotel was two blocks from Beale Street Las Vegas-obvious reasons. the visiting team hotel is the Golden Nugget. San Antonio- you have to hit the ball twice to get it out of that yard. The Riverwalk is also nice. Cancun-stayed right on the beach. the worst part of the day was leaving for the ballpark I've played in the Pioneer, California, Texas, and Pacific Coast leagues. Besides Memphis and Nashville never played anywhere east of the Mississippi. Cape Cod League-beautiful area. my first taste of big-time baseball David Ortiz- I own David Ortiz. 0 for 3 with a punchout against me this winter in the Dominican

posted by erkno11 at 01:49 PM on February 21

What pitches do you all throw erk? And you say you morphed your slider curve into a slurve. Why exactly?

posted by tron7 at 01:53 PM on February 21

Worst cities Butte, Montana-ugliest city in America Visalia, Calif.-a dump Midland, Texas- you could stand at home plate and piss over the wall Little Rock, Ark- worst hotel. be careful leaving at night. Tijuana and Mexico City- NEVER leave the hotel by yourself after dark

posted by erkno11 at 01:53 PM on February 21

For comps, I would be more than happy to scout out the concession stands while wfrazerjr does the lineup. erkno, this is fascinating. SportsFilter's first collective locker room interview! I think this deserves a Sidelines mention... Pantheon? On preview: I saw a lot of Scott Downs last year when he was in the rotation. Man, that guy could turn it on.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:54 PM on February 21

with the breaking ball- I felt if I kept the same grip and simplified it a little bit, it would help me improve my worst pitches. I think it did help we'll see this summer.

posted by erkno11 at 01:55 PM on February 21

if you ever see Downsie, go say hi. he is one of the nicest and easy going guys i've ever met. Just a downright good person.

posted by erkno11 at 01:56 PM on February 21

David Ortiz- I own David Ortiz. 0 for 3 with a punchout against me this winter in the Dominican think maybe you could get in touch with ron guidry and share some insight.

posted by goddam at 01:57 PM on February 21

SportsFilter: you could stand at home plate and piss over the wall.

posted by NoMich at 01:57 PM on February 21

my repertoire FB 2 and 4 seamer 87-91. I work the two-seamer down and away to righties and try to bore it on the hands vs. lefties CH-79-80 I would like to bring those velocities down a little bit Breaking ball- I'll just call it that now. One grip, changes speeds and arm angle a little bit with it. I love throwing a backdoor breaking ball to right handers. I'll throw the harder one under the hands to righties and away from lefties

posted by erkno11 at 02:00 PM on February 21

goddam or maddog's a women. god damn, who knew?

posted by erkno11 at 02:01 PM on February 21

woman, sorry

posted by erkno11 at 02:01 PM on February 21

if you ever see Downsie, go say hi. he is one of the nicest and easy going guys i've ever met. If I do, I will.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:12 PM on February 21

erkno Outside of Baseball what's your favorite sport to watch? To participate in? Do you have any children? What MLB player has inspired you the most? My 17yr old nephew is a lefty pitcher, HS Senior who is getting offers from schools, he just came back from a visit to Eastern Michigan this weekend, What would you tell a very young lefty with huge aspirations?

posted by skydivedad at 02:17 PM on February 21

What would you tell a very young lefty with huge aspirations? Put a lid on your coffee.

posted by tron7 at 02:29 PM on February 21

i'm starting to get into this hockey thing now. I went to my first NHL games this winter. Dallas-Phx, Dal-Detroit. The Detroit game went to a shootout. I learned more about the game seeing two in person than I could pick up watching 50 games on tv. I religiously follow the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To play, I have a basketball hoop in the driveway and am money from anywhere on my driveway. I like to golf, but I liked it better when I could golf for free back home in Florida. It's just too expensive of a hobby right now. Growing up I was a huge Sandberg, Dawson, Grace fan. In fact, when I made my big league debut for Arizona, Grace is standing on the mound when I get called in from the 'pen and says "here you go kid, this is what you've been waiting for all your life, have fun." i still get chills thinking about it. I had a frickin poster of him on my wall growing up and there he was on the same field as me. All big league players inspired me when I was a kid. But the Cubs rocked. I couldn't wait to come home from school and watch them on WGN. It sounds like your nephew is on the right track. I was undrafted out of high school and didn't really blossom physically until I got to college. I would tell him to always remember it's a game and to have fun. Work hard, and try to be a better baseball player in person than one on a video game. it seems to me now some kids would rather be good at playstation than be good on the field. I have a 3 1/2 year old cutie of a daughter, Isabella

posted by erkno11 at 02:29 PM on February 21

yes, and watch out for assholes that think just because they are better and make more money than you they have the right to spit in your coffee

posted by erkno11 at 02:30 PM on February 21

and watch out for the guy who thinks just because he's pretty good at throwing a baseball he has the right to throw his opinion about everything out there to anyone with a microphone or pen and notebook in his face

posted by erkno11 at 02:33 PM on February 21

Growing up I was a huge Sandberg, Dawson, Grace fan. In fact, when I made my big league debut for Arizona, Grace is standing on the mound when I get called in from the 'pen and says "here you go kid, this is what you've been waiting for all your life, have fun." i still get chills thinking about it. Dude, I just got chills reading that. Wow, Mark Grace, that's so fucking cool. He's my all time favorite Cubbie. Damn, that's great stuff. /geeked out fan boy

posted by NoMich at 02:41 PM on February 21

erkno you'd look great in Cubbie Blue!... Mark Grace is all class........... skydivefamily huge Cubs Fans. Have you ever played in Wrigley?

posted by skydivedad at 02:49 PM on February 21

Mark Grace- the all-time best teammate ever. period. didn't care if you were a rookie or a vet, treated everyone the same. old school baseball player, no weight training, no batting glove,s smoked cigs. He was pulled straight out of the old-school. In LA, he invited me and a couple of other guys to his suite just to hang out, drink beer, and shoot the bull. stayed there until about 4 am soaking everything in. at the end of the night, he calls up room service and orders two gallons of milk, a bunch of ice cream, and one of everything on the desert cart. classic.

posted by erkno11 at 02:51 PM on February 21

never made it there, played pretty much everywhere in the NL except for the NL central clubs, excluding Houston. didn't make it to shea either my grandmother could pass on with a smile on her face if I ever put on the Cubbie blue.

posted by erkno11 at 02:54 PM on February 21

runner-up for best teammate ever. Mike Morgan, the Mo-Man favorite Mike Morgan quote- "as long as the stock market is up and the slider is down, the mo-man and his family are going to be alright."

posted by erkno11 at 02:59 PM on February 21

goddam or maddog's a women. god damn, who knew? yeah, i get that a lot around here. so, who wants to pitch in to get erkno his very own spofi baseball tee so he can represent down in mexico?

posted by goddam at 03:02 PM on February 21

i would love one, would buy it myself. but i don't think it would make it here before I leave this weekend

posted by erkno11 at 03:06 PM on February 21

goddam, were you as crazy as the soccer and softball players i went to college with? those girls knew how to party. wait, i know the answer to that question, i could tell from your interview

posted by erkno11 at 03:08 PM on February 21

erkno - Very much want to add my props and good will to ya. Hell - I even saw you pitch on TV in '03 while you were with the Expos. Right now I am sending you all of my baseball ability, arm velocity and the complete array of my knowledge on hitters tendencies and weaknessness telepathically so to aid you in your quest to return to the show. Sadly - none of that will help you even remotely (if it ever gets to you - which has never worked before. Once, I telepathically offered Tomas Kaberle my slapshot once and he gave up a short-handed breakaway soon thereafter - so, I'm more choosy now). But eat all the 'good will' you can.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:17 PM on February 21

appreciate the support, mr. mcsmokey. if i put together a list of my favorite spofi members you would be in there. you were one of the 100 viewers that used to watch expo baseball back in the day? probably my most memorable 'spos moment was almost get killed by a gary sheffield line drive in montreal. to this day, i still can't get my wedding ring on my finger. i put my hand up at the last moment to keep it out of my grill. the ball ricocheted to o. cabrera who threw home to m. barrett, who gator armed the attempt to catch it and the runner scored. if that run doesn't score, my ERA for that year stays in the 4's and who knows what happens after that. bastards, they sent me down on Aug. 30th, the day before the rosters expanded. they sent me down for some stiff named Chad Cordero

posted by erkno11 at 03:27 PM on February 21

goddam, were you as crazy as the soccer and softball players i went to college with? probably not. i'm thinking things are tamer at D-3 schools. about the craziest it got when i was there was taking an underage recruit to a strip club in Canada. besides that, we just drank and smoked a lot.

posted by goddam at 03:30 PM on February 21

You were a battery mate with Michael Barrett? Love that guy. Seems like a real class act and a real improving cather. Hope you get to play with him again soon. Sorry he didn't make the play for you.

posted by skydivedad at 03:38 PM on February 21

you were one of the 100 viewers that used to watch expo baseball back in the day? Oh come on, we were always a couple thousands in the stands... If I recall correctly, I saw at least 10 games at Stade Olympique in 2003. I may have seen you play in person, but I can't recall it precisely now. I'm so old. Thanks for all the insight, Erik. What does the crowd look like in the Mexican League? How many people show up for a game? What's the atmosphere?

posted by qbert72 at 07:16 PM on February 21

This might be one of the better threads we've had.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:28 PM on February 21

Certainly one of the more interesting given how it started. Too bad people would give it a pass if they didn't care for the topic and have ignored the ongoing flurry of comments.

posted by gspm at 08:19 PM on February 21

actually, when I was in Montreal the crowds were really good. That place could get really loud with only 10 or 12 thousand people in the stands. Gary Carter day was huge. The crowds were into it then because we were fighting for the wild card. in fact, the day I was sent down we swept the phillies and tied for the lead in the wild-card standings. I can remember watching Larry Bowa on the other side blowing his lid as we swept them four straight. however, as I went to the minors, they went on a big road trip to fla. and puerto rico and lost nine straight and screwed their wild-card chances. Karma! Mexican league crowds, like the Major Leagues, depend on where you were playing. We averaged 6 or 7 grand a night with a pretty vibrant atmosphere. Cheerleaders, mascots, mariachi bands, it had a little bit of everything. Tijuana had the best support, probably averaging 10 or 12 a night. They jammed music between almost every pitch and it was more festive than anywhere else. A big difference between there (Japan, also) and the states is that they sold hard liquor at the games. The Mexican fans would get trashed and were not afraid to hurl insults. They would throw stuff at our mascot even. The most festive atmosphere I have ever played in is down in winterball in the Dominican. 25-thousand plus on the weekends, elaborate fireworks, shakira look-alike dancers that strutted their stuff on top of the dugouts between every innings. Way cool, better than any major league atmosphere that I played in.

posted by erkno11 at 08:32 PM on February 21

I'm casting a vote for one of the top ten threads EVAR. And erkno - I fucking REMEMBER that AB with Sheffield. Not sure what that says about me, but it does indicate that my short term memory isn't that bad indicate that my short term memory isn't that bad. Though I do recall thinking that Sheffield fucked up the new guy. You are now officially one of MY favorite posters on SpoFi, too. (Oh geez, I'm gushing aren't I?)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:47 PM on February 21

the one thing that stands out about that play was the sound of the ball coming toward me. it's hard to describe, but it had a kind of heavy sound to it, like the ball weighed 20 pounds or something. I know it was hit back a lot harder than it came in. that and the lortabs the doc gave me to ease the pain. I had weird ass dreams for two or three nights in a row.

posted by erkno11 at 09:14 PM on February 21

You've gotta get called to an MLB game this season, Eric. There will be a mad scramble to add you in the fantasy league. By the way, my nose was broken on a line drive right back at me in a sandlot game. I never even saw it coming. I threw the ball, saw him swing, then saw a bunch of people looking down at me. Unfortunately, my nose had to be re-broken twice to get it straight. Now the girls say my face has "character," so at least something good came of it... Best of luck down south!

posted by dusted at 09:35 PM on February 21

the sheffield line-drive wasn't even the worse. I had taken a shutout into the 8th inning in a game in AA. I threw a 2-0 fastball to a guy named mario encarnacion. he smoked it off my neck. i was sem-conscious when the trainer came out to help me. I tried to be tough and walk off the field under my own power but jelly-legged it halfway to the clubhouse. i remember sitting in the clubhouse with brad penny, john patterson, and nick bierbrodt laughing at me. they said i was talking complete nonsense after that. i went to the hospital, x-rays were negative, and made my next start. if it would have hit me in my jaw or collarbone I would have been done for the season. I still flinch sometimes when the ball is fouled off or I don't see the ball of the bat the worse part was the pen blew the game and I ended up with a ND

posted by erkno11 at 10:30 PM on February 21

You said you're 31 - has your eyesight stayed good? I just turned 30 and I think I'm going to need glasses or contacts for the first time. I imagine in your line of work it's a huge deal, and not just for seeing the ball off the bat. Do a lot of guys get Lasik surgery?

posted by dusted at 10:38 PM on February 21

dusted, breathtaking scenery there on your blog. if I wasn't afraid of wiping out on a motorcycle I would love to do one of those trips. i used to love driving from florida to arizona for spring training. once i got past san antonio, it was a beautiful drive to tucson. gave me plenty of time to get my mind right for the upcoming season. then coming home, it was great to unwind on the drive home. my eyesight has always sucked. i wear contacts and have since high school. i'm a little skeptical to get lasik right now. i've played with some guys that have problems with seeing 'halos' around the outfield lights. my contacts are fine but I sometimes have problems with them in dry climates. riding a motorcycle without eye protection would be really tough alot of the really good hitters i know see better than 20/20. i would give almost anything to have perfect eyesight. my contacts don't even correct it to 20/20

posted by erkno11 at 10:48 PM on February 21

where in soCal do you live? i played A ball in Victorville and, even though it wasn't the nicest place, I enjoyed it out there alot. those joshua trees reminded of where i lived.

posted by erkno11 at 10:51 PM on February 21

erkno, I meant to post this earlier, but have you checked out Nike's MaxSight lenses? ... via Wired:

The lenses come in amber for sports like baseball and tennis where the wearer must separate fast moving objects from the background, and grey-green for sports like golf, where the background environment is what’s visually important. Both colors filter out a significant amount of overall light, but they also sharpen and improve contrast, so they have a brightening effect, says Alan Reichow, who invented the lenses and is a sports vision consultant for Nike. The amber lenses also turn the wearer's eye's an unsettling shade of red. But when Nike asked players if they'd like to create a version that created less of an evil eye, the answer was an overwhelming "no." "They felt it gave them a more intimidating look," Reichow said, "and thus an edge over the competition." The lenses make objects appear sharper by eliminating 90 percent of blue light -- the primary component in "visual noise." Then, in a process Nike calls "light architecture," MaxSight manipulates the brightness and hue of the remaining light transmitted through the lens. The result is improvement of visual acuity. The seams on baseballs are sharper, images in shadows are more clear, and every blade of grass has definition.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:26 AM on February 22

i was a gunea pig for that product. I actually participated in a study for Nike in '01 or '02, can't remember exactly. they came to tucson during spring training and examined us and fitted us with poor eyesight with these lenses. i thought they were great. i preferred the yellower tinted lenses. the amber ones were a little freaky looking and a little dark, but very effective. when our AAA team went to portland, me and the other 'subjects' were taken to nike town for testing. it was pretty cool. the gave me so many pair that I still have four or five of each shade. all of your descriptions of the effects are true. it is truly an amazing product and I am glad I participated in the program.

posted by erkno11 at 08:14 AM on February 22

Gary Carter day was huge. Hey, I was there. We were around 25 000, if I recall correctly. For people my age, Gary Carter is the quintessential Expo, although he played with a boatload of very good players at the beginning of the 80s. A shame he had to go to NY to win the World Series. (Damn you, Rick Monday.) Carter was especially appreciated becaused he reached out to the French-speaking fans. He even did some endorsements in French back then ("L'autobeaucoup, c'est beaucoup d'auto"). Stade Olympique is an awful ballpark, but it had some side benefits. There was so much echo that a couple dozen dedicated bums could raise a ruckus by themselves. Me and my friends were the left field bleachers bums. Yes, that was not Vladimir's side. We were hellbent on being "different", even though we all loved Vlad. The closest we got to him was when Wilton flipped us a ball between innings. Oh, the excitement. Damn, I miss baseball. As you said, as long as the Expos were somewhat in the running, they could draw reasonable crowds (5 digits). But interest waned really quickly as soon as they had a dry spell. That's Montreal fans for you. We have no patience, and only care for winners.

posted by qbert72 at 09:33 AM on February 22

when I made my big league debut for Arizona Do you know Overbay and Chad Moeller? Lyle won the hearts of all Brewers fans the last two seasons, and I really hope he does well in Toronto (I think he'll benefit some from the smaller park). Chad gets some gripes from the fans because he's light with the bat, but he's great behind the plate. Reading your perspective is very enlightening, and I wish you the best of luck in Mexico. Hopefully Doug Melvin gets a good look at you - Mike Maddux is working wonders with pitchers in Milwaukee, and I'd love to have you throwing for the Brew Crew. almost get killed by a gary sheffield line drive goddamn sheffield.

posted by rocketman at 09:45 AM on February 22

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.