Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Dumb Decade: 2003: Diaper Dandies

Time Magazine recently announced that this decade was the Worst.Decade.Ever. Who cares right? How was 2000-2009 for baseball? Actually it was possibly the worst decade ever for baseball too: steroids, ties in all-star games, Yankees book-ending championships, etc. Welcome to 2003.

January 7 - Gary Carter and Eddie Murray are elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Carter then offered to manage the Hall-of-Fame team.
January 11- Tsuyoshi Shinjo signs with the Mets, and apparently agrees to not be as fun as he was and again would later be in Japan.
January 22 - After having been released by the Minnesota Twins at the close of the 2002 season, David Ortiz signs with the Boston Red Sox. And with a BALCO representative.

February- Tom Glavine reports to Mets spring training. He fails to mention that he cried to Braves GM John Schuerholz the previous winter wishing he stayed on the Braves.

March 14- "Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beers, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball" by David Wells and the person who actually wrote the thing, is released. Wells would later claim he didn't remember writing some of the more controversial parts of the tome that beings with: "Saturday night, 7:15 P.M. My frosted pink lipstick is lavered on thick." Scholars finally got their answer to the question "If Charles Bukowski played Baseball and was a terrible writer, what would a book of his be like?"
March 31 - In the first-ever game at Great American Ballpark the Reds get their asses kicked by the Pirates 10-1. Ken Griffey Jr. gets the first hit ever in the new digs. "I love the grass surface," Griffey didn't say but should have. "I'll never get hurt on this!" Meanwhile, at Art Howe and Tom Glavine's Met premieres, Glavine is absolutely terrible as the Cubs destroy the Mets 15-2. This is one of the two times I've ever left a game early. It was fucking March and I was sitting in the last row in the Upper Deck. Naturally, I ended up being sick for a week. Go back to Atlanta Tom.

April 3- At 27 years, 249 days of age, Alex Rodriguez becomes the youngest player in major league history to hit 300 home runs and cheat while doing it.
April 4 - Sammy Sosa hits his 500th career home run, becoming only the 18th player in major league history to hit 500 or more home runs, as well as the first Hispanic to do so. While cheating.
April 27 - Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a no-hitter, striking out ten while walking three. How random are the pitchers that throw no-nos?

May 5 - Matt Stairs' home run is estimated at 461 feet, making it the longest home run in the history of Minute Maid Park. Hey what happened to Enron Field? Anyone?
May 10- "Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game" is released. It exclusively listens to bands from Brooklyn or Portland that will never be more than slightly above average.
May 11 - Rafael Palmeiro hits his 500th career home run off Cleveland Indians pitcher David Elder, becoming only the 19th player in major league history to reach the 500 mark, and the second hispanic to do so, behind whatshisname.
May 23 - Jeremi González earns his first major league victory in nearly five years as the Devil Rays I guess cheated to somehow win a game. González wins for the first time since June 28, 1998, while with the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately for Jeremi this isn't the last time he appears on this decade list.
May 28 - Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield hit homers in the bottom of the first inning, as the Braves become only the second team in big league history to begin a game with three consecutive home runs. On a related note, drug testing kind of sort of is beginning by then.

June 3 - Sammy Sosa is ejected from a game against Tampa Bay for using a corked bat, as if you need help beating the Devil Rays. Sosa never really recovered from this.
June 11 - The Houston Astros set a major league record for combined pitchers in a no-hitter with six, against the New York Yankees. Brian was at this game. The bastard.
June 13 - New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens becomes the 21st pitcher in major league history to win 300 games and only the 3rd pitcher to record 4,000 career strikeouts while being a total jerk. And cheating. On his wife. And cheating. At Baseball.
June 18- Larry Doby, the first African-American to play in the American League, dies.
June 27- The Boston Red Sox scored a record-setting 10 runs in the first inning against the Florida Marlins before recording an out. Why yes, Carl Pavano WAS one of the Marlin pitchers involved, how did you guess? The Red Sox scored 14 runs in the first inning which tied the American League record, while Johnny Damon tied the modern-day record for hits in an inning with three. But has he seen a cast member of Who's the Boss? naked? Who's the real winner here, hmm?

July 1- Roberto Alomar is traded by the Mets with cash to the White Sox for Edwin Almonte, Royce Ring, and Andrew Salvo. This occurs after Alomar and Roger Cedeno get into a fight in the dugout, supposedly because they were debating on which one of them was better looking. Don't remember if Alomar spit on Cedeno or not. Probably.
July 15 - The American League wins the All-Star Game. This will happen a lot, I'm telling you. Garret Anderson is named the MVP, coming just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Anderson by the way has 35 triples in his career, which is 35 more than I thought.
July 27 - Bob Hope dies at the age of 100. He was part-owner of the Cleveland Indians in the 1950s. He is best known for his unrelenting sarcastic rages towards the most talented College Football players.

August 10 - Atlanta Braves SS Rafael Furcal becomes the twelfth player to turn an unassisted triple play. How old is he anyway?
August 23 - Ron Guidry has his number 49 retired by the New York Yankees. So they still have numbers left to retire? Weird. Meanwhile, Bobby Bonds dies at 57.

September 5 - The Detroit Tigers' Mike Maroth becomes the first major league pitcher in 23 years to lose 20 games in a season. To let him get that chance seems incredibly cruel; but then again I'm not from Detroit. Perhaps that's just how they do things up there.
September 10 - Tony La Russa becomes the eighth manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins. He celebrates with a few drinks and a drive around town.
September 17 - Todd Walker's ninth-inning double is the Red Sox's 608th extra base hit of the season, breaking the major league record set by the 1996 Seattle Mariners.
September 20 - Unlike this season when the Expos play 25% of their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the players vote to play their entire 2004 home schedule in Montreal. On the field, Marcus Giles hits a home run off Brad Penny's 3-2 pitch, as the Atlanta Braves tie the NL record by having six players hit at least 20 home runs in a season. Man, curtain. Curtain, man.
September 22 - The Detroit Tigers set an AL record with their 118th loss, falling 12-6 to the Kansas City Royals. The Philadelphia Athletics (36-117) had held the record. Sadly they do not break the all-time record of most losses in a season, set by the Mets. (They even lose at losing, those Tigers.) Meanwhile, Second baseman Alfonso Soriano breaks a major league season record by hitting his 13th leadoff home run of the year. The Yankees are really lucky to have such a young talent.
September 25 - Carlos Delgado becomes the fifteenth player in Major League history to hit four home runs, including his 300th career home run, in one game. Thanks again Tampa!
September 28 - The Atlanta Braves defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-2, in the last game played at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium. After the game Phillies officials admit that the turf is actually concrete painted green.

October 9- The Mets lose Marco Scutaro to the A's via waivers. I cannot be consoled.
October 14 - In Game 6 of the NLCS, with the Chicago Cubs just five outs away from eliminating the Florida Marlins, the Steve Bartman thing occurs. Funnily enough, this allowed Luis Castillo of all people to continue batting. The Cubs then proceed to fall apart and lose the next two games.
October 16 - In Game 7 of the ALCS, Aaron Boone's walkoff home run off Tim Wakefield in the 11th inning sends the Yankees to the World Series.. Boston blew a three-run 8th inning lead when Grady Little kept ace Pedro Martínez in the game for too long and cost him his job. On an episode of Lost that aired a year and a half later, a character named "Aaron" is born while one named "Boone" dies. Considering there are references to the Red Sox "never winning the World Series" on the show as well, this is probably not a coincidence and is just damn cool.
October 25 - In Game 6 of the World Series, Marlins ace Josh Beckett, on three days' rest, pitches a 2–0, five-hit shutout over the Yankees, to give the Florida Marlins their second championship in 11 seasons. Beckett receives Series MVP honors. Behold the Fish Dynasty.

November 22 - 46–year old relief pitcher Jesse Orosco agrees to a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would retire before the start of the 2004 season. Jamie Moyer simply shrugged, then iced his shoulders.
November 27- Brian Epstein joins the Schillings for Thanksgiving dinner. The Schilling children secretly wonder at the dinner table if he's their long lost only slightly older brother.
November 28 - The Red Sox send Michael Goss, Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge de la Rosa to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Curt Schilling. Considering their recent acquisition of Jesse Orosco, the Diamondbacks are immediately considered 1:1 odds on favorites to win the World Series.

December- Aaron Boone is minding his own business, playing some pickup basketball, enjoying life.


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