Fu Fu Fu Fu-Lin Kuo

dharti-sheran-di-1973--645-75

pyromania

gremlin

On display at the entrance to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa rest three of The Boss’s most cherished personal belongings:  a poster from the film Dharti Sheran Di, an absolutely bitchin’ 1974 AMC Gremlin, and a copy of Def Leppard’s Pyromania on high-quality audio cassette.  It should come as no surprise, then, that the Tampa Yankees master of baseball ceremonies chose a selection from that titanic arena-rock masterwork to announce each plate appearance of Taiwanese infielder Fu-Lin Kuo.

“Which song?” you wonder? 

“Foolin’, ” of course. 

So, let us proceed with the homophony in this, the BBB’s first installment of Great Moments in Minor League Walk-up Music:

 

The BBB audio visual department would like you to take note of the fact this video contains a Def Leppard font, and that such a thing exists, for free, on the internet.

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Yao-Lin Wang Dominates America!

Hello readers.  We’re back with another regularly-scheduled occasional post.  This time we bring you video from last night’s matchup between the Daytona Cubs and Tampa Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The BBB scouting department, which employs zero actual scouts, recently invested in the 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.  This $32.95 purchase ushers in a new day for the BBB.  No longer will we sit in confused ignorance as nameless minor league jerseys perform athletic feats before us.  Now we have backstories, scouting reports, draft and contract details for the top thirty prospects in each MLB organization.  It is really quite nice to read a quick summary of a player as he approaches the plate, then see those descriptions come alive before you during the at-bat.  Does the batter have a long swing, quick hands, trouble with breaking pitches, or above-average gap power?  It’s pretty neat to learn these things then be able to see them for yourself during the plate appearance.    This does become problematic however, when you’re trying to read and watch the game at the same time.  Frequently, there is the urge to press pause on some non-existent life remote.

Moving on to things we can control, let’s proceed to the video.  This game had several highly-ranked prospects.  Javier Baez is the no. 1ranked prospect in the Cubs organization.  The Yankees had their no. 1-, 3-, and 7-ranked prospects on display in Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, and Angelo Gumbs, respectively.  Interestingly, each of these top Yankee prospects went down on strikes to Taiwanese RHP Yao-Lin Wang.   Wang boasts a 9.68 K/9 across 183 minor league innings, dating back to 2010.  He’s not listed in the Prospect Handbook but it was fun to watch nonetheless as he pitched four innings, striking out five batters, and only gave up one hit and a walk.

This video also features #3-ranked Yankees prospect, catcher Garry Sanchez.

Additionally, the videos sparked some interest from a Taiwanese baseball site, mlbtw.net.  The BBB received a secret back channel communication from the proprietor of that fine internet outpost requesting permission to share the videos with the glorious people of Taiwan.  Rejoice, Taiwan, for on this day your right-handed hero dominates America!  We welcome the Taiwanese people and their virtuous women to the BBB.  Please join us for some freshly-squeezed American baseball and orange juice.

A Perfect Moment at the Ballpark

I can’t imagine how many dutiful repetitions it takes to hone a major league baseball swing, from little league to high school, maybe college, and then up through the minors.  Repetition upon repetition upon endless repetition, batting and cracking and whiffing through puffy blisters and the deflated pride baseball brings to those who play.  Over and over again, and then some more, sculpting the muscular contractions and synaptic pulses required for reproducible perfection.

Thirty-six different men, some of whom are paid exorbitantly for doing so, stepped into the batter’s box on Wednesday March 7th, 2012 at Steinbrenner Field.  Not one of them achieved quite the moment of perfection achieved in section 204 when a small human being wearing a baseball cap sat on the shoulders of a large human being, also wearing a baseball cap, at a game of spring training baseball.

father and son

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Make Some Noise

The philosopher George Berkeley stated, “to be is to be perceived”.  The familiar thought experiment is as follows:  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Similarly, if a baseball bat cracks at Steinbrenner Field and few people hear it, does the sound even matter?

A while back I captured some video at a meagerly attended Tampa Yankees high-A minor league game.  Described dramatically, the score was all knotted up tightly at 2 in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, given the near complete lack of spectators, I could more accurately describe the score as loosely bound by a ball of kitten’s yarn.  The scoreboard operator, despite peering out onto this windswept nullscape, was dutiful and steadfast in his resolve.  He would not sway from the appointed task: rally the home crowd to victory.

As the poignant refrain of Tinie Tempah implores and echoes throughout the latticework of Steinbrenner Field:

One day I had a dream I tried to chase it

But I wasn’t going nowhere, running man!

I knew that maybe someday I would understand

Trying change a tenner to a hundred grand

Everyone’s a kid that no-one cares about

You just gotta keep screaming until they hear you out

Indeed, Tinie, indeed.  “You just gotta keep screaming until they hear you out.”  As true of minor league baseball as it is of initial forays into the blogosphere.  “I’m on my way…”

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