Wait… They Make Lego Baseball Players?

When I was a kid I obsessed over Star Wars, Batman, Lego and baseball.
My brother and I played all 4 constantly, but there wasn’t any cross over.

Chewbacca never showed up in Gotham City. There was no Lego baseball stadium.

And we had space advantures in Lego, but they were always the cool Lego spacemen with the helmet, airtank and the spaceship zooming around the moon logo on their chest and spaceships.

We played with them whenever we weren’t also playing Star Wars, Batman or baseball.

There was an order to the universe.

Well this Christmas something changed in the fabric of the universe.

A friend of the family gave my boys these Lego figures of baseball players.

Specifically Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. They came with a Red Sox cap, the correct facial hair, a bat and also a glove. (Very interesting to see Big Papi with a glove.)

But consider the fact that there is Lego Batman now… and Lego Star Wars is everywhere, I wonder if I would have been able to deal with all of this childhood fun overlapping.

Oh who am I kidding? It would have been awesome.

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A-Rod runs to Germany to hide from Father Time

I have no clue what Kobe Bryant suggested to Alex Rodriguez. I hope it wasn’t marital advice. But the two least favorite players for Boston Sports Fans met and evidently talked about going to Germany to get some sort of blood work done that sounds strange at best and fishy at worst.

Is it legal?

It is a red flag that he can’t find someone in America to do it?
Yeah. Sort of.

But there are two things that A-Rod can’t prevent no matter how many procedures he has had and how many timezones he crosses:

Age and a lack of steroids.

He’s on the wrong side of 35.
Back before the days of Performance Enhancing Drugs, that was right around the time that sluggers fell apart.

Jimmie Foxx was washed up by 35.
Frank Robinson was on the decline by then.
Dave Winfield had one more great season after 35, then fought constant injuries.
Eddie Murray was still effective, but his best years were well behind him.
Al Kaline was on his last legs.
Jim Rice was winding down.
Hank Greenberg had his last great season at age 35. He was out of baseball at 37.
Willie Mays never hit 30 homers after age 35 and was never again an MVP candidate.

Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth continued to put up amazing numbers after 35.
They were both pretty good.
And they were the exceptions.

A-Rod is no longer juicing. According to A-Rod his juicing days ended when he left Texas. He took them in Texas because of the pressure. And then he stopped (because Heaven knows there is no pressure in playing in New York.)

He was caught in 2009 and turned his year around by leading the Yankees to the World Championship… an act that bought A-Rod about 3 minutes of good will from Yankees fans. Since winning the MVP (his 3rd) in 2007, his OPS has dropped every season, his home run totals have dropped almost every year (he hit 30 in both 2009 and 2010) and he hasn’t been able to avoid injuries.

A drop in power and inability to recover suddenly happening in the past few years, ESPECIALLY after the positive test was revealed? Are you SURE you stopped when your days in Texas ended?

His 1.067 OPS in 158 games in 2007 has turned into an .823 OPS in 99 games last year.
And he will be a year older.
With six years left to play in his megacontract that is set to pay him $29 million in 2012, $28 million in 2013, $25 million in 2014, $21 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and a mere $20 million in 2017.

He’ll be 41 years old in 2017.
His body is breaking down to the point where he is doing experimental blood work in Germany to get him in playing shape at age 36!

How is this going to get BETTER over the next six years?
Yeah the Yankees have tons of money, but enough to pay a player in 6 years like a superstar even though those years seem behind him NOW?

If 2009 is already a hazy memory for Yankee fans NOW, how distant will it seem in 2017?

Good luck in Germany, A-Rod.
You better hope they found the fountain of youth there… and you had also better hope the fountain of youth isn’t on the list of banned substances.

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No Washington pitcher has ever clinched a post season series

Anyone who reads this blog knows I have a mild obsession with pitchers who throw the last out of a playoff series and get mobbed by their teammates on the mound.

I’ve written about it many times including this gem.

And I’m working on a blog series on that topic. I already posted one about the Red Sox.

So going through the other teams I realized that baseball fans of the city of Washington D.C. have never experienced the site of a pitcher throwing his hands in the air and being mobbed at the end of a post season series.

Never once.

Not a World Series, LCS or Division Series.

Every other big league city has had that experience at least once. Even the two places where big league baseball doesn’t exist anymore had that moment. Johnny Podres was in the middle of a mob for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Steve Rogers clinched a series for the Montreal Expos.

But three different franchises have played in Washington DC in the 20th and 21st centuries. One became the Twins. One became the Rangers. One used to be the Expos.

And in all of those years and teams they have combined for one post season series win. The 1924 World Series. But that one ended with a walk off hit: Earl McNeely’s bad hop single that scored Muddy Ruel in the bottom of the 12th in Game 7.

Walter Johnson was the winning pitcher but the celebration was at the plate.

So take note Washington pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Clippard or Drew Storen. If you get to play October and you find yourself on the mound with a chance to win a series, you’ll be giving Washington fans a sight that they have NEVER seen.

Unless of course you consider most Washington fans were Baltimore fans and they saw a lot of post season celebrations. But that’s quibbling.

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