Introducing the Baseball Nerd

Phoenix, Arizona

GREAT TRUTH

Do not be overwhelmed by the 15 homers propelled yesterday in Surprise by the Angels and Royals, nor any other offense you see in the Arizona boxscores. An unrelenting 20 MPH wind blew across the fields of the Cactus League. Cars wobbled on highways, at least one canopy was toppled at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, and Randy Wolf pounded the Rangers for two long hits, including a two-run double.

ON THE OTHER HAND

It’s not like the Dodgers managed to turn the wind off as Wolf shut down a Texas lineup that included Josh Hamilton on two hits over six (six strikeouts). The positioning of the otherwise splendid new park the Blue share with the White Sox appears to have been done in the dark. The sun will not let up on the batters; the batters’ eye in centerfield is about half standard size, and the Dodgers’ bullpen is uncovered and does not see shade until nearly sunset. The players have less of a chance of being grilled than do Dodger Dogs.

MISLEADING HEADLINE OF THE DAY: MARTINEZ REJOINS DODGERS

That’d be Ramon Martinez, who celebrated his 41st birthday yesterday by sitting in the dugout of the team for which he won 123 games in the eleven seasons ending in 1998. The former 20-game winner – who set the land-speed record for going from being “The Martinez,” to “He’s Pedro’s Brother” – looked not much heavier than the 165 at which he pitched for the Dodgers’ last champions. He knew nothing of his brother’s chances, silently underscoring the mumbles of the spring: that Pedro’s WBC performance did not resonate, and with his killer fastball down to 90, is unlikely to find a home this year – or at least not a prominent one.

UNLIKELIEST SIGHTING

The skinny blond guy in the Rangers’ uniform staying low-key in the tunnel between the clubhouses and the field was not a minor leaguer summoned to take the road trip in hopes of a late-game at bat. It was actor Owen Wilson, getting into what is apparently his next character – that of pitcher – in his next film, opposite Reese Witherspoon. Coincidentally, Ms. Witherspoon was on The Tonight Show last Wednesday with your faithful Nerd, and offered viewers a bewildering variety of jokes based on the German words “Ausfahrt” and “Einfahrt.”

NERD THRILL

Like the relaxed pace and increased interaction of Spring Training wasn’t thrill enough. This is the start of my 43rd year as a fan, my 43rd year attending games, and my 43rd year of keeping score. On Saturday in Phoenix, I witnessed, for the first time, a triple play. First and second, Oakland’s Bobby Crosby with a solid one-hopper to Ryan Rohlinger of the Giants. Rohlinger unsuccessfully tried to tag elusive Oakland runner Matt Carson, fired to Matt Downs at second for one out, who relayed to Scott McClain at first for another. That’s when it became evident Carson had been called out for leaving the baseline. A double play is, of course, scored by writing the position numbers (5-4-3) and circling them. A triple play requires two circles. Making my first “second circle” was the thrill of the spring

88 comments

  1. ztaknek

    Keith,

    Now this is good news!!! Will you be posting your “Worst Person in the MLB” as part of your blog??

    My 12-year old son and I have blogs focusing on the Orioles and baseball in general. We are also Sunday season ticket holders who get completely disgusted by the Yankees and Red Sox fans taking over Camden Yards.

    I welcome you to read our blogs, especially my son’s (http://upin36011cc.mlblogs.com/) who is an aspiring sports journalist. He does the morning news at his school on Tuesday mornings and has a “What to Watch For” sports report on Wednesday mornings. I’m sure that he would appreciate and welcome any advice or comments!

    My blog is still in the initial stages and right now I’m trying to provide details of visits that I made to MLB and a few minor league ballparks. I welcome your comments and observations as I provide more updates.

    Play Ball!!

    Ken

    http://brooksrobinsonrules.mlblogs.com/

  2. cornvader

    Wow! This d-bag went 5 paragraphs without mentioning he went to Cornell. What a coup for MLB.com to get KO’s elucidative insights. The Fabulous Sports Babe wasn’t available?

  3. rockymountainway

    Ah, Mr. Olbermann welcome to the blogs and I hope you enjoy it here. It’s a pretty entertaining community to say the least. Lots of great fans here. Since you are blogging now, I may have to hit you up to be on the Timeout at the Plate series I do on here since I just started the “Pro-edition”. Hell, I’ll just extend the offer now. Have your people call my people or just hit reply on the email! Actually, I don’t have people (other than H&R Block) so just hit reply if you wanna do this.
    Tom
    http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

  4. cornvader

    Keith, for the record, did you wait for Tim Russert’s corpse to reach room temperature before you started campaigning for his job?

    Why are you subjecting mlb.com to your self-indulgent prattle anyway? Isn’t there a bovine management blog out there more worthy of your abilities and education?

  5. pagevalnat

    And somehow, the lyrics to “Garden Party” seem SO apropos…given the haters ALREADY attacking your first MLBlog. You know the line(s):
    “You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself”.
    (Now watch, THIS’LL be the #1 story tonight on “Countdown”. Mark my words.)
    Anyway, there is a point made on here. If you DO decide on a “Worst MLB Person in the World” segment here, does Peter Angelos get the “lifetime achievement” award (ala O’Reilly)??
    Gary
    Nasty Nats Live Here (and Everywhere)
    http://go-nasty-nats.mlblogs.com
    http://twitter.com/go_nasty_nats

  6. horshamscouse

    Can’t get MSNBC down here so it’s good to get a chance to read your stuff here on the Dark Side. I hope it’ll be a regular stop on my daily trawl.
    Welcome, Keith.

  7. pagevalnat

    Holy Christ, and I thought I was SAFE from all the vitriol from the nutjobs (when I got kicked off FanNation). Now these fricking trolls want to bust YOUR balls already, Keith??
    Guess we’re BOTH doing a good job of pissing off the religious numbnuts, by giving people the TRUTH!!! LMAO
    Gary
    Nasty Nats Live Here (and Everywhere)
    http://go-nasty-nats.mlblogs.com
    http://twitter.com/go_nasty_nats
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-d.c.-sports-nut-blab-a-thon

  8. charenton

    Keith is the man. After years and years of nothing but right wing hate on network TV – along came KO – the first person to dare to speak truth to power on network TV since Walter Cronkite in the 1960s. Good luck disproving anything that he has said in his program:the best you High School dropout wingnut types can come up with are clichd ad hominem attacks and that’s as far as you’ll be able to get !
    —–
    Politics and Baseball ! All we’re missing is John Coltrane and Charlie Parker for the ultimate American cultural experience !
    ———-
    Now, it’s time to play ball !

  9. cornvader

    Charenton, I realize you’re probably a simple, marginally-educated fella who just wants his beer and sports to be happy, so I’ll forgive your idiocy.
    The problem with having this insecure, walking mid-life crisis blog about baseball is that he’s established himself as a frothing, unstable political activist. He has too much baggage and is viscerally repugnant (that means yucky, Cherenton) to too many people to establish credibility as a baseball blogger.
    Here’s a link that will tell you all you need to know about this ******:
    OLBERMANN’S PLASTIC IVY

  10. gellmana@gmail.com

    Keith, good to see you are blogging about baseball finally, I know you are pretty passionate.

    Be sure to come check us sports card bloggers out too, we are finally making some headway with the hobbuy big wigs like Upper Deck.

    Gellman
    Sports Cards Uncensored

  11. redbirdchatter

    Excellent! I, too, call myself a baseball nerd because I enjoy keeping score. I understand the thrill of that second circle and look forward to scoring my own triple-play someday. I can only hope I score it in favor of the Cardinals and not the team they are playing, or it will be a bittersweet moment. Welcome to mlblogs!
    -Kathy
    http://redbirdchatter.mlblogs.com

  12. dsticker

    Oh *********. This is the worst news I’ve heard in a long, long time. I hate your voice, I hate your opinions, I hate your face, and most of all: I hate YOU.

    I always thought being a propagandist was a difficult job. I wonder if Goebbels had a lot of free time too.

  13. w8godot@sbcglobal.net

    Always good to see what you have to say and I have enjoyed just about everything you’ve done… well, except there was that Beulah Land thing on channel 5…

  14. george@drydiggins.com

    “Sports are a means for people to put their political viewpoints aside. I can’t believe people would be disgruntled to have Keith join MLBlogs.”
    Ayup. If you want to burnish your nitwit credentials, you can’t do much better than to bring your political spew to an MLB conversation.

    “You sir are a charlatan and a disgrace to the forum that we call MLBlogs.
    But aside from that welcome.”
    No worse than the welcome you’d get at
    http://www.dodgerblues.com/

  15. historymike

    Welcome to you, Mr. Olbermann. We are all here because we love baseball, and it’s too bad that some commenters have to introduce their politics. I’m a liberal politically but a conservative on baseball, still fighting the DH. What matters is the game, and it’s great to have another blogger making us think.

  16. jarchive

    Hello Keith! It’s great to have another roto/fantasy baseball fan involved in the community. You are one of the media pioneers, imo, never afraid to mention your fantasy players on the air. I for one will focus on your contributions to the baseball world and not let my opinions “on your other job” affect me one way or another as I read your posts. Welcome to MLBlogs!

    -Johnny Archive
    http://johnnyarchive.mlblogs.com/

  17. kwnoe66@yahoo.com

    Most happy to have you both here and on Countdown, sir. And given some of the expected comments, welcome Jesse Watters 😉

  18. palinurus10@aol.com

    Cornvader is right. Olberman is a disgrace — boring, uninteresting, unoriginal, illogical, biased, intentionally unfair (ie, intellectually dishonest), meanspirited. Why in the world would MLB want such a man flakking for it? What makes the suits think that a guy whose career consists of making forced “jokes” and reading off a teleprompter what other people wrote will understand and interestingly comment on the grace and beauty of a sport like baseball? Why bring a political shill into baseball talk? What qualifies him? MLB — cut your losses and dump this pretender now.

  19. bluestarscott@aol.com

    Greetings Keith! I grew up in L.A., and we are about the same age. My first year of fully following baseball was 1963 when The Dodgers swept the Yankees, so I was hooked early on. As a young man, I was very impressed with a certain L.A. sportscaster. Yes, you! I have always enjoyed your wit & intelligence. I am happy to see that you are making time for this blog, and I’ve enjoyed your initial comments. After so many years of reporting on the insanity of the world, perhaps you can find more joy when reflecting upon the Baseball world. I believe that it was the great Thomas Boswell who wrote “The closest thing to human perfection is 90 feet between the bases”.

  20. dsticker

    charenton, I’m surprised you were able to post at all. Shouldn’t you be wearing a tinfoil hat cowering in fear of Cheney’s assassin squads?
    The day Olbermann can talk about a football game without injecting a Palin joke is the day his idiot fans can demand these comments not contain politics. This guy is spitting lies right in your face and you love him for it. There’s something wrong with that.

  21. charenton

    I love it how the wingnuts love to throw stones from their glass houses. Fear? Isn’t that a patented Chaney? product? As President Obama’s role model once said: “The only thing to fear is ?”.
    Fear is on the way out :Happy days are here again?

    I’m not afraid of anything ! It’s you and your wormface and his scare mongering. Bring it on! I’d love to have the opportunity to kick your brownshirt *** !

    Rather than your idiotic ad hominem attacks, I’m waiting for one of you illiterates to disprove anything that Keith has said on his show (i.e. that means saying a bit more substantive than he’s “boring and uninteresting?”) > that means something specific. As much as I know that it makes you pee in your pants, I also know that you CAN’T do it?

    No one wants to admit it, but BHO wouldn’t have been elected without Keith changing a bit of the slant of rightwing biased network news coverage.

    I’m waiting for your facts(but I’m NOT holding my breath?).

    (Actually I’m just laughing at your sorry face. You’re history, mate.)

    Go Dodgers
    (and Tampa Bay!)

    P.S.

    KO writes all his special commentaries himself? no ghost writers?

  22. olympictrees@aol.com

    I’m curious what you think of Stephen Strasburg?

    Sounds like he could be some serious talent.

  23. giantsteps

    I’d totally forgotten that I’d created an account over here!

    Looking forward to trying to follow along…sometimes it’s hard to get into football mode in the middle of the run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs but I’ll give it a valiant try.

  24. rvnelly@gmail.com

    I’m shocked you have time to blog on MLB! I thought you spent every waking moment performing oral sex on Barack Obama.

  25. paulbsonm@yahoo.com

    Hey, great to have your thoughts on the Dodgers; please use your considerable journalistic skills to determine how they could have given up half a pitching staff in a single off-season.
    Manny will put some butts in seats, but Da Bums are going to lose a lot of 7-5 games this year.

  26. sn@mailinator.com

    Welcome to the world-o-blogs Keith! I?ve got my Fantasy Baseball draft this weekend (yep, nothing like waiting til the last minute) and I?m so freakin excited for the season to start already! Hey do most of you Fantasy Baseball guys do your drafts online or @ like a bar or something? Mine is @ a bar near my place this weekend. I ask because I saw this interesting contest they?re having @ CBSSports.com. Looks pretty cool?you can win a big trip to South Florida to host your Fantasy Baseball Draft. Here?s a link in case anyone?s interested: http://www.cbssports.com/contests/trivia/5637

  27. sn@mailinator.com

    Welcome to the World-O-Blogs, Keith! I?ve got my Fantasy Baseball draft this weekend and I?m so freakin excited for the season to start already! Hey do most of you Fantasy Baseball guys do your drafts online or @ like a bar or something? Mine is @ a bar near my place this weekend. I ask because I saw this interesting contest they?re having @ CBSSports.com. Looks pretty cool?you can win a big trip to South Florida to host your Fantasy Baseball Draft. Here?s a link in case anyone?s interested: http://www.cbssports.com/contests/trivia/5637

  28. Casey

    The fact that you have a baseball blog made me make one of my own! Thanks for the inspration!

    Cheers,
    ~Casey

  29. hbremmer@sbcglobal.net

    Hi!
    Cardinals fan here! Chris Carpenter appears to have regained his form while Ludwick seems to have lost his and El Hombre keeps on trucking.

  30. diego@02116.net

    This is great. It was also great to see you talk on Rachel’s show. 9:01 p.m. makes sense. However we get your baseball lens is superb. Thanks, Keith. Diego

  31. diego@02116.net

    This is great. It was also great to see you talk on Rachel’s show. 9:01 p.m. makes sense. However we get your baseball lens is superb. Thanks, Keith. Diego

  32. diego@02116.net

    This is great. It was also great to see you talk on Rachel’s show. 9:01 p.m. makes sense. However we get your baseball lens is superb. Thanks, Keith. Diego

  33. diego@02116.net

    This is great. It was also great to see you talk on Rachel’s show. 9:01 p.m. makes sense. However we get your baseball lens is superb. Thanks, Keith. Diego

  34. diego@02116.net

    This is great. It was also great to see you talk on Rachel’s show. 9:01 p.m. makes sense. However we get your baseball lens is superb. Thanks, Keith. Diego

  35. stirnatty

    I look forward to reading your blog, Keith! I am a die hard Cubs Fan and I hope you go easy on my cubbies, but I suspect you will not.

    I am also a big fan of your show, and I promise to continue watching Countdown, even if (when) you unleash your verbal attacks on the Chicago cubs!

    Stirnatty

  36. lfreels@bellsouth.net

    Hi Keith!
    What a treat to not only have you at night but now to be able to read you anytime at all. We’re transplanted New Yorkers living in Florida who LOVE the first place Marlins…please keep an eye on them!

    We’ll be reading! Your Mom would be so proud!

    Love,
    Linda and Michael

  37. dryessis@dryessis.com

    Hello Keith

    Great site. I don’t know how I missed your start since I listen to you most nights on countdown. Your talk with Rachel last night introduced me to this site and I hope you will continue the interviews with her.

    Have you ever considered looking into the training that goes on in MLB? you would fit right in with the great job that you do on countdown. Baseball ranks close to the bottom when it comes to using practical, scientifically determined practices. In other words they are still in the dark ages when it come to development of the talent available in the US.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  38. newfrickinshow@yahoo.com

    I have an MLB rules question and since I heard Keith Olbermann has a baseball blog, considering the baseball know-it-all he is, this seemed like a good reliable place to go. I watching a Twins-Blue Jays game, and was just wondering if a baserunner could tag up on a fly out in foul territory. A little debate between me and my uncle decided to have me ask someone and then I found out on Countdown about Baseball nerd. Seemed like a good place to go. Anyone know the answer?

  39. stinsonjw@aol.com

    Countdown and now THIS – keep up the good work, “Saving our Democracy” as Dan Patrick likes to say on his podcast. Enjoyed your special comment on Marie tremendously . .

  40. vinfiniti@yahoo.com

    i like how some of these people are not able to seperate your sports views form your msnbc show,..but then leave a link to their blog or hate.site,.(shameless) i guess most would say – jocks dont have it in ’em to be passionate about something other than sport,…

    i bet a thousand dollars that if billo saw you on the street he would turn and burn,.thus giving him some new found passion for track and field,. hee

  41. thebootlegger@comcast.net

    Keith, first I am a huge fan of yours fromback in the old ESPN days. Second, I was wondering if there was a site that showcases your awesome card collection. I’m sure it would be amazing to see. Anyway, best of luck to you and thanks for this blog.

  42. nezzz

    RE: Today?s Baseball Announcers: the Good, the Silly and the Buffoonery

    Since we are now in post season Baseball, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the current state of Baseball announcing (at this glorious time of year). For the record, I grew up in the Tri-State NY Metropolitan area. I watched Yankees games and Met games, on either WPIX (Channel 11) or WOR (Channel 9) and listened as ?old school? guys called the games; men such as Ralph Kiner, Lindsey Nelson, Bill White and Phil ?The Scooter? Rizzuto (in spite of Rizzuto evacuating the Broadcast booth in late innings in order to beat the west-bound Jersey traffic on the GW and Bill White teasing him about on air?he was still a good Announcer!). These guys were skillful Baseball Announcers. They called Baseball games with great flair, great knowledge, good humility and with an understanding that sometimes, you should just shut up on air! Today?s Baseball (or Football) Announcers don?t know when to be quiet sometime or just plain shut up and let the game ?speak for itself?– as if several moments of on air silence during a broadcast is too terrible for the Networks to imagine. One of the sublime beauties of listening/watching Baseball on TV at home, is the majesty of having it on in the background as you putz about the house or yard while doing things, but this unending, inane, and pointless chattering (by today?s Announcers) is roughly akin to the mind numbing aggravation of having a crazy neighbor or ex-wife drop by your house or Condo (unannounced) and you can?t get them to leave!

    The worst (and silliest) of the modern Announcing breed might very well be Joe Buck and Tim Mc Carver; I cringed when these two call a game. When this happens, I mute the sound of the game and turn on a smooth Jazz station to accompany my viewing of the game. Their combined garrulousness–particularly Tim Mc Carver?s ad nauseam (and over explaining) dissection of the most routine and obvious of plays–coupled with the corny and silly buffoonery of Joe Buck (who once asked, for example, former Yankee skipper Joe Torre during an ?in game? interview to rub the bald head of former Yankee Coach Don Zimmer for good luck, fortunately Torre wisely declined the silly request from the camera hogging Buck) drive me to the mute button every time. Additionally, Buck is no better, in my mind (or ear) at broadcasting NFL games. In all honesty, Joe Buck should listen to tapes of his departed Father, Jack Buck, calling a St. Louis (Football) Cardinals game; he could learn a lot. Today?s Announcers should simply call the game with an economy of words and more importantly, tell us (the viewing Public watching a game) what we do not see (on the screen) about a particular Baseball or Football play! Now that would be something worth listening too–true insight. Finally, I watched a fair amount of night Baseball games this summer with the MLB package I bought and I noticed that some other Announcers such as Kenny Singleton, Dave Cone and Jim Palmer call a game with a minimum of words and tomfoolery.

    And while we are talking about broadcasting silliness, could we also do away with the inane Football (during the game) sideline update statements by the female (or male) bimbo-like Announcers; these interruptions add nothing to the enjoyment (or understanding) of the game but rather serve as some silly sort of ?face time device? for the Announcers. Cutting away to the Cheerleaders on the sidelines would be a better (and more enjoyable) use of the sideline on-air camera time.

    John Howard Nesbitt, MBA

    Jacksonville, FL &
    Chicago, ILL

  43. nezzz

    Keith, for a Cornell grad, you are pretty good. Keep it up. Sorry about your Mom passing some months ago. I lov your political show,–keep giving hell!
    Nezzz, Amherst College

  44. steevesna@msn.com

    Major League Baseball lost a big fan over this idiot. Me. Of course Keith and his fans are probably happy that a “Religious Whack Job” like me is no longer sullying their sport by buying MLB products and merchandise. I don’t support bigotry, religious, ethnic, political, etc. It’s not that K. Olbermann is a liberal, there are many of them in baseball, it’s that he is a religious bigot who dislikes Christians. I’m a Christian first, that means I tolerate others, but I really dislike people who proclaim that their Political views are “tolerant,” while constantly being intolerant of people whose faith they disagree with.

    Nathan A Steeves

  45. geraldderec@gmail.com

    hey Keith, its great to see a pundit make such better use of their mouthpieces in a realm which is much more favorable to speakerboxes, the sports world! (NO health insurance debates going on here!)

  46. sidkof@gmail.com

    Nice. It made me think of NERD batter. As with the hitters usually want to see a rake, perhaps can not be an inverse NERD pitching there. Or is that actually the ruin hitter NERD? Is it better to see the Yankees, for example, ranging from the hapless Orioles? To see their powerful bats nerdiness match the Rays pitching staff?

    I guess that answered my question. You do not really need NERD hitter, because fighting good pitching is what makes good games, and what makes raking late entry worth watching. Maybe I should have some element of skill in the opposition hitting pitcher NERD, a bit of interest in the park, and call it good. recados para orkut

  47. browncarol66@yahoo.com

    Keith, first I am a huge fan of yours fromback in the old ESPN days. Second, Orkut Scraps
    I was wondering if there was a site that showcases your awesome card collection. I’m sure it would be amazing to see. Anyway, best of luck to you and thanks for this blog.

  48. joshuaeai@yahoo.com

    Keith, for the record, did you wait for Tim Russert’s corpse to reach room temperature before you Tech Articls
    started campaigning for his job?

    Why are you subjecting mlb.com to your self-indulgent prattle anyway? Isn’t there a bovine management blog out there more worthy of your abilities and education?

  49. actonies@yahoo.com

    Keith, President Obama is a admitted White Sox fan, is it possible some of the stimulus NewsMoments package money can be used to bring in some big-time free agents to the South Side of Chicago?

  50. barbaraioa@yahoo.com

    Welcome aboard, Keith! I look forward to your insights into the game. Thanks for all your News360
    excellent, perceptive political commentary–very vital in the extended period of various crises we’ve faced.
    Jason from The Heartla

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  52. khamis119@gmail.com

    Keith, President Obama is a admitted White Sox fan, is it possible some of the stimulus packageWorld News money can be used to bring in some big-time free agents to the South Side of Chicago?

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