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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Page 2 Knows What's Up

"The Braves clinch the National League East with a win over the Phillies, setting off a wild celebration in their locker room. Disaster strikes, though, when shortstop Rafael Furcal, a little tipsy from the champagne, runs over John Smoltz with a bullpen car and knocks him out of the playoffs."


Friday, March 25, 2005

Can be used as currency!

Ever heard the expression, “I’d trade him for a bucket of baseballs?” No? I have. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Rickey Henderson was actually traded for a bucket of baseballs a few years ago. At the time, he was playing for the Independent League Newark Bears and the Dodgers decided they wanted him for the stretch fun. Emphasis on “run.” (Ha! See what I did there with the punning? Woo boy, such comedic genius you did not know to expect from this blog!). Anyway, apparently there’s some super secret rule that mandates that if a major league team wants a player from an independent league team, no compensation need be offered. But oftentimes, as a show of good faith, the big league club tosses a little something the indie club’s way. In Henderson’s case I’m pretty sure the Bears asked for and received a bucket of baseballs from the Dodgers. I’d look up the exact details but frankly Googling “Rickey Henderson traded for baseballs” gives you way, way, way too many sites.

This brings me, in a very roundabout way, to my point. If teams had bullpen cars, they could be used as currency in minor trades. The Red Sox just shipped outfielder Adam Hyzdu (Hyzzzddduuuuuuu?) to San Diego for pitcher Blaine Neal (bastards). Now, the Padres already have Brian Giles, Freddy Guzman, Ryan Klesko, Xavier Nady, Mark Sweeney and Dave Roberts (WHEELS!), plus a few minor leaguers to patrol the grass at Petco. I’m not sure they needed another one. That seems like a surplus of outfielders and there’s sure to be some bottlenecking. Perhaps they were looking to simply unload a pitcher without getting someone in return that would potentially take up a roster spot. Enter the bullpen car (cue trumpets). Reasons why this would work:

  • It’s better than cash because it’s already of practical use.
  • It’s mutually beneficial to everyone on the pitching staff in that it does not favor right-handers more than left-handers.
  • It makes the kids happy.
  • The receiving team can cut down on those freak, turf related injuries sustained by players from walking in from the bullpen on Astro-turf. (Maybe that’s only in football. Either way).
  • The team that gives up the bullpen car doesn’t lose a player that some people (*waves hand*) have come to love.
  • Said bullpen car can be used to carry all those buckets of baseballs.
  • And dude, bullpen car.

The St. Louis Cardinals are already advocating trading Rick Ankiel for “a bullpen car and a bag of balls.” Seems a bit greedy to me but the principle is sound.

I really think this has promise. This could work. This is sound reasoning. Now, who has Selig’s number?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

So I'm reading Foul Ball, and wouldn't you know...

Fifth inning and we're down 3-2. Bases loaded, nobody out. I'm warmed up. I get the signal. I climb into the golfcart that will take me to the mound. Yankee Stadium, and my heart is thumping under my warm-up jacket. It feels like a World Series. As the cart rolls along the clay track in left field I hear the fans saying, "Hey, that looks like Bouton." "Yeah, it is Bouton." My public.

Bouton, Jim. Ball Four. Orig. © 1970 Wiley Publishing Inc., New York, NY. Page 216-217.

Lovely little cameo, I think.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A Message from a Relief Pitcher

Dear Bullpen Car Girls,

I really admire the work y'all are doing. I was talking with an old reliever a couple months ago and he was telling me how he beat the crap out of some smug jerk back in the day during one of them old donnybrooks. It was a great story, but it made me a little sad.

Y'see, every time there's a fight, us relievers end up looking like tools. We run out across the field--and let's face it, we're not very speedy--and by the time we get to home plate, the fight's over and we've done nothing.

I'm a shitkicker, girls. And just for once, I'd like to get up in some bitchass punk's grille and let him know it. The bullpen car would help me get to the fight faster, and us relievers would finally get some credit for being badasses. Because that's what I am. I smoke my own meats, y'know.

So thanks for all your hard work. And is any of you free tonight?

Off like a prom dress,
An anonymous reliever

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It's Working!

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According to this, our efforts are working. (At least, I assume it's our efforts that are having an effect and not just some big, corporate, money-grubbing scheme. Nope, all us.)

From the site:

Thanks to Global Electric Motorcar (GEM) company and Park Jeep, the Minnesota Twins and their lovable mascot, TC Bear, have a new zero emissions, 4 passenger GEM car as their bullpen car. TC Bear will bring relief pitchers into the game via this vehicle. Special modifications were made by Park Jeep to accommodate TC.

Way to go, Twinkies!


Monday, March 21, 2005

Return of the Bullpen Car Limerick

There once was a lazy reliever
Whom walking put into a fever.
If we bring back the car
He won't have to go far,
And his coaches can all take a breather.

I don't know about you kids, but I've never seen a more compelling and well-worded argument for bringing back the bullpen car.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Charge of The Bullpen Car Brigade

(With apologies to Alfred Tennyson)

Ninety feet, ninety feet
ninety feet onward
Onto the Field of Play
Drove the Sox Bullpen
"Forward the Bullpen Cars,
Warm up the arms!" He said
On to the field of play
Drove the Sox Bullpen.

"Forward the Left Hander!"
Embree went out there, though
They know he pitched
Two innings the game before then
Theirs not to make reply
Theirs not to reason why
Their but to pitch and die
Onto the field of Play
Rode the Sox Bullpen.

Slugger to the right of them
Slugger to the left of them
Bunter in front of them
Bloop hits, pinch-running men
Batted at wih foul and grounder
Silently pitching, not to flounder
Onto to the field of Play,
Ino Yankee Stadium
Rode the Sox Bullpen

When will their ERA fade?
Oh, the great saves they made
Closers and Setup Men
Remember the holds they made
Those longmen and LOOGYS brave
Noble Sox Bullpen!

This is what happens when you procrastinate.

Quick and nasty, but I figure I may as well post it, right?

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This is why we can never, ever let Kevin Millar get his hands on the bullpen car once our glorious crusade reaches its ultimate, fruitful conclusion.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Is that a challenge?

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Come on, girls, let's prove 'em wrong!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Economics of The Bullpen Car

I do agree with Sam that there should be some kind of bullpen car revenue-sharing. But I think we should go further.
A bullpen car cap.
But also, a bullpen car floor, financially. So Vince Naimoli couldn't be a cheapskate about it.
I mean, the appearance of the major leagues is at stake. Imagine if the Yankees came out with ( as someone suggested on the SG Message Board) a bullpen Hummer, because that's what they do, and all Tampa Bay had was a golf cart, covered in a blanket, with stitches drawn on with magic marker? And there would be one kinda flat tire, and it would be veering around, and everyone would boo. And then Lou Piniella would storm out.

This isn't some trivial thing like player contracts we're talking about. This is the bullpen car.

You can't have Scott Boras representing Joe Bullpencarguy, and telling Kansas City that JB will only build and drive their bullpen car if he gets a suite for road games, and then threatening that he's got an offer from the Rangers which includes a road suite and a no-trade, driving KC out of the running. So KC has to go draft a bullpencar guy out of Cal Tech. He's got good building skills, but no control, and he runs over Nelson De la Rosa during an interleague game.

See why we need the Bullpen Car cap?

I assume you kids saw this,

but Joy of Sox suggests we 'print up tshirts with that logo'. Heh. Should I whip up a tshirt logo? The one up there isn't exactly sized for it.

More pertinently, would the universal use of the bullpen car positively influence certain pitchers more than others? I mean, other than the sheer joy to be had from utilizing such a vehicle, what about relievers like Jim Mecir, he of the surgically-corrected clubfeet and permanent limp? OK, so there's pretty much only one Jim Mecir, but still, you see the point here. What about a notoriously overweight and lazy pitcher, your basic David Wells or Franklyn German body type? Might they perform differently if they had the luxury of a snazzy baseball-shaped car in which to frolic?

Also to consider-- would bullpen cars be standardized across teams and leagues? Would everyone have the same car, decorated differently, or would teams make the cars on their own?

I forsee complex conflicts of interest: for instance, in Detroit the various automotive companies would compete to create a spectacular bullpen car, with Ford eventually winning out because Ford owns Detroit (you think I kid. I do not kid). But then the Tigers' owner, Mike Illitch, who also owns Little Ceasers, would insist that the bullpen car feature a giant bust of the distinctive Little Ceasers mascot on the roof. The public complains that there isn't enough bling on the car, and the rims aren't spinning authoritatively enough. The Motown, Garage Rock, and Techno factions begin to war over who gets to dominate the bullpen car sound system. Chaos and anarchy ensues. Detroit burns. Again.

Friends, you and I know the benefits of the bullpen car. But is the league ready for it? After all, with great comedic potential comes great responsibility.

Also, what about dirt-poor teams like the Royals or, I don't know, the A's? Does the league enact some new sort of revenue sharing to ensure that these teams are not stuck driving bullpen cars built by Saturn?

Bullpen Bumper Cars

What if these were shaped like baseballs?
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You tell me that's not the greatest idea in the history of ever. Or better yet, forget those tired sausage races in Milwaukee. Bullpen car races! It's genius, I tell you, genius!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Publicist's Dream

Trust me, you want this man, driving this.

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I think that speaks for itself.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Pitchers on Wheels

Can you imagine how much more fun it would be if this

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was shaped like a baseball?

pic from redsox.com

But a fantastic dream...

The following is a likely scenario that would happen if a bullpen car was brought back to Fenway Park:

Amy: THE BULLPEN CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kristen: We so need one of those bullpen cars again. There would be no end to the hilarity. Millar can be the bullpen car driver. Or they can carry an extra roster spot for the bullpen car driver. Tell me you would not tune in specifically to see Youks driving that thing out to the bullpen and returning with Foulke riding shotgun.

Amy: It is SHAPED like a baseball. That is too damn wonderful. OH OH OH OH! BEST IDEA EVER, KRISTEN!!!! And David Wells could take it from the mound to the dugout when he pitches.

Kristen: Is that far enough to require a breathalyzer test?

Amy: Oh, he'd have to be driven. You never let Wells touch the steering wheel of the bullpen car.

Kristen: But you just know that one day in like, mid June or something, Wells would get hammered before a game, lock Youks in the manager's office and steal the bullpen car keys. They'd annouce the starting lineup and everyone would be all, 'Where's Wells?" and then the garage door opens and the bullpen car comes out with Wells behind the wheel, weaving all over the field and doing donuts in center with Youks chasing him. He'd run the car into the third base bag and stall it. And then a teeny, little airbag would explode and knock Wells out. It'd be awesome.

Amy: We have to bring back the bullpen car.

Kristen: Somehow Millar is involved in this too. I think he probably pantses Youks and pushes him into Terry's office. And Manny is totally standing on the base line and clapping like a little kid while he watches this happen. Varitek is watching it all disapprovingly.

Amy: Because he's given orders to his teammates. And they aren't listening!!!!

Kristen: Yes, and he's the captain, dammit. You have to listen to the captain. Edgah is slowly backing into the dugout, afraid of being run over.

Amy: Edgar and Bellhorn are in the clubhouse, not talking, waiting for it to end so they can play.

Kristen: I think they're eating jellybeans. And Nixon is stalking around looking for someone to fight. And since it's technically a DWI, Schilling runs out to the bullpen car and attempts to put Wells under citizen's arrest.

Amy: And Bill Mueller is rushing about trying to find Matt Clement's inhaler, because you KNOW he's next.

Kristen: And his epi-pen. Mantei is just shaking his head, trying to figure out how long before he can don a toga and start doing kegstands, because he looks like that guy.

Amy: Orsillo has to sit on Remdawg to keep him from leaving the booth.

Kristen: Theo rushes the field, trying to restore order, yelling, "I'll void your contracts! I'll void your contracts!" but Millar catches up to him and pantses him on the pitchers' mound.

Holly: So, who TP's the foul poles?

Kristen: Johnny Damon, but he slips and knocks himself unconscious. All of this would happen if we just brought back the bullpen car. I see no reason why this shouldn't happen.

You can't honestly tell me that you don't want to see that happen.

Bullpen Car Hall of Fame, Charter Member

While Sam is making the logo, I must honor one of the most well known bullpen cars in baseball, real or fictional:

Chief Wahoo Bullpen Car, of the Cleveland Indians. Make that the fictional Cleveland Indians, of the movie Major League.

Though not well known in the mainstream, CW is one of the most instrumental bullpen cars in movie history.

When catcher Jake Taylor spotted his love interest Lynn in the stands during a late season game, he knew he had to go after her. Yet his own car was in the far parking lot, and he knew he had to go after her immediately.

So who stepped up to the plate? That's right, Chief Wahoo. He sacrificed his own rest and relaxation, and drove all the way to the Cleveland Suburbs, so that Jake could go off and find his lady love. That love eventually meant he had the courage to lay down the bunt that scored Willie Mays Hays, beating the Yankees and sending the Indians to the ALCS.

And all because of Chief Wahoo.

So do not mock the wonder that is the bullpen car, lest you find yourself in a similarly tough spot. The bullpen car might be your romantic savior some day.

I don't know about you kids, but I'm inspired.

There once was a car like a ball
That really was rather quite small.
Don't let Millar steer it,
Or we'd all have to fear it.
I'm sure he'd drive right at a wall.

Logo to come soon.


This blog is devoted to Major League Baseball bringing back the joy that is the bullpen car. We will outline very practical ideas as to why this should happen, and pictures.