Tag Archives: SBM Exclusive

Obscure Spotlight: Deivi Cruz

Obscure Athletes

deivicruz Deivi (Day-Vee) Cruz is one of those oft-forgotten Steroid Era singles hitters. I have a feeling that if Cruz played today, he would be much less obscure than he was during his Major League playing days, which lasted from 1997-2005. He was last seen suiting up for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League in 2006.

Cruz was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Giants in 1993. He was selected by the Dodgers in the Minor League Draft in 1996, and was immediately flipped to the Tigers later that day, December 9. For some reason, Detroit was the only team that wanted Cruz, and it was for the Tigers that Cruz debuted in 1997.

That year Cruz sprung onto the scene, appearing in 154 games for the Tigers in his rookie season. He played both shortstop and second base, two positions between which he flipped throughout…

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SBM Exclusive: Sports Doppelgangers, Volume 62 – Explaining the Indiana Pacers

Throughout the length and breadth of this NBA season, all we heard about was this vaunted race between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers for the coveted #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  For 62 games, the Pacers looked like a championship team waiting to happen. The Pacers were 18-2 in their first 20 games, which included wins over play-off teams such as the Chicago, bulls, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, and the West’s #1 seed, the San Antonio Spurs. The Circle City Five reached the 62-game mark sporting a  46-16 mark, which was good to keep them 3 games ahead of the Heat.

But then the wheels came off. Over the last 20 games of the regular season, the Pacers limped to a 10-10 mark, including a 36-point ass-hammering by the Spurs, and a 20-point manhandling at the hands of the very same Atlanta Hawks who look to be taking command of their first-round series with Indiana.

So, what the hell happened? You can get as many different answers to that question as people you ask.  So, I’ve taken it upon myself to offer something you won’t get anywhere else on the web: A Doppelganger-based explanation as to what is wrong with the Indiana Pacers.

1) Luis has been a “Firework”

lius scola russell brand

While there are several theories as to who isn’t performing, you can’t apply any of them to Luis Scola. Unfortunately, you can’t say the same for his doppelganger, Russell Brand. That’s because nobody has given a shit about Brand since he stopped sticking his “firework” into Katy Perry.

2) The Disappearance of “P-Mac” George

paul george tracy mcgrady

I’m not sure why it took until now for me to realize the resemblance between the Pacers’ Paul George and Tracy McGrady, unless it because George lately has been playing like T-Mac, and not the NBA All-Star McGrady was in days gone by. Paul George has been basketball playing more like today’s T-Mac, who is now pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League.

3) The Island of Dr. Hibbert

roy hibbert dr hibbert

Say what you will, but at some point in the last month, Roy Hibbert went from a potential All-Star center to the chuckling Cosby-esque Dr. Julius Hibbert from The Simpsons, except the doctor never got stuffed twice in one game by Kyle fucking Korver.

4) You Can’t Spell “DissaPPointment” without “P”

pacers purdue piratesFace it, the letter “P” doesn’t bode well for championship hopes. The last time the Pacers won a league title was in 1973 when they topped the now-defunct American Basketball Association. 60 miles to the northwest of Indianapolis lies Purdue University, which despite having won more B1G Ten titles than any other school has yet to win a national championship. Then there’s the Pittsburgh Pirates, who since their last World Series win 35 years ago have only managed four first-round play-off losses.

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Obscure Spotlight: Vincent Brisby

Obscure Athletes

brisby Vincent “Ultimate” Brisby was one of the pre-eminent figures of the Patriots teams I grew up watching, which threw the ball around the sandlot before all the cool kids were doing it. These Parcells-led, Bledsoe-quarterbacked teams, however, were always in the hunt for greatness but never broke through to win it all.

Parcells’ first draft at the helm of New England was in 1993, and he picked Bledsoe with the first overall selection. The Pats had three second-rounders, and with the 56th pick, the last of the second round, they went with Brisby. A Houston native, Vincent went to UL-Monroe (then known as Northeast Louisiana), where he stood out, though the school was small and relatively unsuccessful.

Brisby’s best seasons came in 1994-95, his second and third seasons in the league, respectively. In 1995 he started all 16 games for the Patriots, catching 66 passes for 974 yards, along with…

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Obscure Spotlight: Mark Redman

Obscure Athletes

markredman In July of 2006, one of the hottest debates in baseball focused on the perennially last-place Kansas City Royals. The team was back in the cellar, and with the All-Star break approaching, the question became: Do we REALLY need every team represented on the damn All-Star team? Who could possibly go to PNC Park to rep the Royals?

Usually, even bad teams have SOMEBODY who can be reasonably considered an All-Star. Not the ’06 Royals. Instead they sent Mr. Mark Redman, a lefty pitcher who, with a 6-4 record at the Break, was the only Royals starter with a winning record. Just how bad of an All Star was Redman? The cursory numbers don’t do justice to the horrifying nature of this man being an All Star.  At the ’06 break, Redman had a 5.27 ERA, and a perfectly bad 32-32 BB/SO ratio. Opposing batters had a .354 on-base percentage…

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Rants From the Palouse: My Mariners Home Opener Streak Ends at 22

The Seattle Mariners are my hometown baseball team, they have been since the day I was born and they will continue to be until the day I die. No matter how many 101-loss heartbreaking seasons the M’s put me through, no matter how many times some no body pitcher throws a perfect game against it, this franchise will always be my hometown team. That’s just how it is when you grow up with a father who’s first baseball games were with a franchise that only existed for one year.

I wish I could tell you I remember my first baseball game, but I can’t…because I was merely four months old at the time. It was the Mariners’ home opener that year (April 16, 1993) — that season was also the second time in franchise history that the team finished with a .500 record — and I went to the next 22 home openers; without missing a beat, despite the fact that I go to school 300+ miles east of Seattle.

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The Worst Teams Of All Time Part 46. The 1988 Baltimore Orioles

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This series of articles will celebrate (or laugh at) some of the worst professional sports teams of all time. I will focus on teams within my lifetime so expect the worst from the 1970s to present day.

Baltimore Orioles

In blackjack, 21 is a good number. If somehow, you are dealt an ace and a face card or a ten, you win! Plain and simple. If you’re dealt a 21 in Las Vegas, you’ll hit the jackpot. But in 1988, 21 was a bad number for the Baltimore Orioles.

This SI cover says it all. This SI cover says it all.

To start the 1988 season, the Orioles lost 21 consecutive games. In other words, the Orioles needed 22 games before finally recording their first win of the season. It went downhill early and it never went uphill for the rest of the year.

The warning signs were there at the close of the 1987 season, where the…

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Obscure Spotlight: Robert Person

Obscure Athletes

robertperson Pitcher Robert Person had a MONSTER game at the plate once. On June 2, 2002, playing for the Phillies, he had a 2-home run, 7 RBI game, including a grand slam. Amazingly, he would have hit two grand slams that day, and collected 11 RBI if the wind at Veterans Stadium had been  a little different. Person’s improbable outing came in his first start after missing a month with an elbow injury.

Despite his home run-hitting prowess, Person was an average MLB pitcher, who could have been excellent if not for a series of nagging injuries. He was born in Lowell, MA, and drafted out of the University of Arkansas by the Indians in 1989. He was picked by the Marlins in the 1992 Expansion Draft, but didn’t make his debut until 1995 for the Mets.

As a Met, Person only played parts of two seasons, before New York traded…

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