Who Is Tommy Buzanis?

April 30, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

You've heard his name bantered about on this site like a pinata at a child's birthday party. He is the stuff of urban legend. His name? Tommy Buzanis. Questions of his authenticity abound, as do questions of his sexuality.

"Who is Tommy Buznanis?" you ask. "And more importantly why the hell should I care?"

All valid questions. I'm here to provide some answers.

Tommy Buzanis is a sometime contributor to the Saloon, but lets be honest with each other, he doesn't have time for this shit. He's the one on the right in the photo over there, looking drunk, tan and happy. Tommy, you son-of-a-bitch. Tommy lives an active social life and is constantly on the road, with limited access to a computer. When he is online, he is more than likely using a dial-up connection, trading stocks or looking up local escort services in whatever town he happens to be passing through. So although Tommy remains at best, as elusive as the Tibetan Yeti, and at worst, milk carton material, we do know a few things about him. Random tidbits, yes, but enough for us to gather a composite of who he is and what his motives are.
  • Tommy Buzanis eats steak whenever humanly possible. If your restaurant does not serve steak, Tommy will get up and leave, rudely and abruptly, often times taking the basket of free bread with him out of pure spite.

  • Tommy Buzanis owns a boat. The boat is named the 'Orifice Penetrator', which is, I mean, that is disgusting. Vintage Buzanis though. Vintage Buzanis. Tommy has no idea how to actually work the boat, thus it remains docked and available for subleasing.

  • Tommy Buzanis claims that his name is an anagram for 'fun'. He clearly has no idea what an anagram is.

  • Tommy Buzanis is not much of a fighter, but he does like to talk a lot of shit. Far be it from him to not make an inappropriate sexual comment towards your wife either. And if he can get you drunk enough to pass out before him, don't think he won't try to sleep with her.

  • For God's sakes, don't leave your young children alone with him, especially near a pool. Tommy Buzanis cannot be held responsible for the actions of your kids.

  • Tommy Buzanis has a tan 365 days out of the year. He scoffs at the notion of skin cancer and calls it part of the 'crazy liberal agenda'.

  • Tommy Buzanis always pays with cash.

  • Thought Buzanis sightings are rare, but if you camp outside of a Tommy Bahamas long enough, you're likely to see him show up.

  • Like a bird, Tommy migrates south for the winter. Every January look for him in Florida, swindling rich widows out of their life savings.

  • Tommy's iPod playlist includes: Jimmy Buffett, REO Speedwagon, Seger, 80's era Rod Stewart, Marley (if he's really shitfaced), Don Johnson and somewhat surprisingly, he claims that Clay Aiken is the perfect aphrodisiac.

  • He is often times found on a beach, but make no mistake, Tommy Buzanis cannot swim.

  • Tommy Buzanis finds wearing shirts to be an unnecessary nuisance that if at all possible, should be avoided. If one must wear a shirt, it should be loose fitting with loud colors that announce your presence.

  • His favorite supermodel is Christie Brinkley.

  • On more than one occasion, Tommy Buzanis has loudly proclaimed that he is buying the whole bar a round of shots and then ended up leaving without paying the tab.

  • If your opinion differs from his, Tommy Buzanis doesn't have time for you.

  • Tommy Buzanis likes to speak in cliches.

  • He will often times greet you with a 'playful' punch on the shoulder, but you secretly think to yourself, 'Christ that hurt'. You grimace but smile, not wanting to seem like a pussy. You will soon conclude that Tommy Buzanis is unusually strong.

  • Tommy Buzanis will often times interrupt other people's conversations just so he can do his DeNiro impression.

  • Tommy Buzanis has seen Wall Street unironically over 100 times. He also loves Fatal Attraction so one could surmise that he's a big Michael Douglas guy.

  • He has been married three times, but all of his ex-wives are, in his words, 'spiteful whores'. He proposed to all three wives on a jumbotron.

I could go on, but you get the point. That's enough for now. I don't have time for this shit.

Artists rendering of Tommy Buzanis, circa 1992.

Gracies and Neifis: Week Four

April 30, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

It's days like this, that I'm quite content with my 5 minute commute to work. There are unconfirmed reports that a man was fleeing the crash. Witnesses described him as an extremely tan, stocky, shirtless gentleman, who appeared to be holding a glass of Bacardi and cola. We can only surmise that Buzanis was riding shotgun in that truck, as he's well-known for his penchant for hitchhiking.

First off, my apologies for not bringing you a Week 3 G&N. As I mentioned before, I was exiled to Sioux City for most of the week and couldn't get to it. And from all the emails I got, it seems everyone is clamoring for it..... OK so it's not so much clamoring as it is a dull roar. Oh who am I kidding, most of you probably don't even remember the first two installments of this feature let alone know that we even have an email address.

Week Four (4/23 - 4/29)

THE GRACIES - The cream of the crop this past week

Magglio Ordonez (Det - OF)
- Magglio's big week included a three day tear where he went 9 for 11 with 6 runs and 7 RBI.

Jimmy Rollins (Phi - SS) - It's only been a month, but to see Rollins with more homers than steals is a bit of surprise. Jimmy added three more to his NL leading nine.

Alex Gonzalez (Cin - SS) - For those that are still confused, this is not the Alex Gonzalez that helped us lose the 2003 pennant. This is the one that played for the team that beat us. Apparently Kip Wells was serving up grapefruit to the Reds on Tuesday, as Alex took him yard two different times. In retrospect, Alex has hit 14 homers in that last two seasons combined.

Chase Utley (Phi - 2B) - 12 for 27, 2 homers, 10 RBI. Chase is doing exactly what every fantasy manager that drafted him in the first round was hoping for.

Vernon Wells (Tor - OF) - Like Maggs, Vernon had a nice three-game tear, going 9 for 12 with 8 runs and 3 steals. Wells finished the week with his AVG .055 higher than at the start.

John Maine (NYM - SP) - The Mets rotation, save for Mike Pelfrey, has been fairly reliable this season, and John Maine has been a bright spot. Maine allowed just one run and struck out 13 in two starts this last week, finishing the month with a stellar 4-0 record and 1.35 ERA.

Dan Haren (Oak - SP) - Thank God this guy isn't with St. Louis any more. With Harden still battling injury, Haren has taken a firm hold as Oakland's staff ace. Haren struck out 12 and walked just one this week, winning two starts against Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

Jarrod Washburn (Sea - SP) - Once upon a time, Jarrod was an effective starter for the Angels, winning 18 games in 2002. Now he seems to be finding new life in Seattle. Washburn picked up his first win of the season on Wednesday, throwing a complete game shutout against the A's.

THE NEIFIS - Desperately in need of a Slumpbuster

Bill Hall (Mil - CF) - It was a rough week in Chicago and Houston. Hall only managed 2 hits in 22 at bats and struck out 10 times.

Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD - 3B) - 2 for 22 this week to drop his season AVG to .119. Yeesh, even Sean Burroughs wasn't this bad. Sadly Geoff Blum or Oscar Robles would hardly be considered an improvement.

Freddy Sanchez (Pit - 2B) - A 1 for 19 week to drop his AVG to .206. Just what you expect from the reigning batting champ.

Eric Byrnes (Ari - OF) - Eric was a Gracie in week one, but now finds himself on the other end of the spectrum. Eric struggled against the Padres and Giants, managing only 1 hit in 17 at bats.

Jay Gibbons (Bal - OF) - Nevermind the lack of hitting from Jay (1 for 16 this week). I'm just amazed the son of a bitch hasn't landed on the DL yet.

Bob Wickman (Atl - RP) - Honestly, I'm gonna be hard-pressed to ever give a closer a Gracie. But in classic "point and laugh" fashion, I'll make them a Neifi. Wickman blew two saves this week and nearly lost the game for Atlanta on Friday before they yanked him. I guess that's why they went out and got Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano.

Trevor Hoffman (SD - RP) - To be fair, he did convert 2 saves this past week (Only 13 away from 500). Unfortunately for 'the Hoff', he got rocked two different times between them, blowing a save against the D-Backs as well as the Dodgers.

Kip Wells (StL - SP) - As mentioned earlier, he gave up not one, but two homers to Alex Gonzalez. If that's not worthy of a Neifi I don't know what is.


April 29, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

All rivalries asides, our condolences go out to Cardinals and the family of Josh Hancock.

That may be the first classy thing I've ever written, so enjoy this rare moment of sincerity. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. And for the one time in my life, I won't be sad if the Cardinals win on Monday.

TMS All-90's Team: Second Base

April 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

After the mild huge success of the All-80's Team, we're back to look at the players from a decade later. Oh the '90's. What a strange new world it was. Baseball cards were becoming glossy and overpriced. A strike cancels the 1994 World Series (Sorry Montreal!). And of course who can forget the homers, homers, homers?! One issue I noticed with the All-80's Team is that there was very little argument in the polls. So to make it more interesting and spark a little more debate, I've decided to combine both leagues instead of doing separate NL and AL features. This will also keep it from dragging on well into August. As always be sure and vote for your choice in the poll in the left sidebar.

In what could be considered a not-so-surprising upset, Mark Grace won the All-90's first basemen poll. Apparently no one likes Mo Vaughn either. Next up is second base. There's a handful of guys here that warrant some strong arguments. The rise of Robbie Alomar and Craig Biggio, Ryno's final years, and a pre-yips Chuck Knoblauch should make this an interesting poll.


Roberto Alomar
San Diego Padres (1990), Toronto Blue Jays (1991-95), Baltimore Orioles (1996-98), Cleveland Indians (1999)

All-Star: 1990-99
Awards: 1992 ALCS MVP, 1998 ASG MVP
Gold Gloves: 1991-96, 1998, 1999
Silver Sluggers: 1992, 1996, 1999
Postseason: 1991 ALCS, 1992 WS, 1993 WS, 1996 ALCS, 1997 ALCS, 1999 ALDS
League Leader: 1999 Runs

Notes: His accomplishments in the 90's are tough to beat. 8 Gold Gloves, 10 All-Stars, and participating in 6 of the 9 postseasons during the decade. Alomar will likely be a first ballot hall of famer when the time comes.

Carlos Baerga
Cleveland Indians (1990-96, 1999), New York Mets (1996-98), San Diego Padres (1999)

All-Star: 1992, 1993, 1995
Silver Sluggers: 1993, 1994
Postseason: 1995 WS

Notes: While he sort of tailed off later in the 90's once he wound up in New York, it's tough to talk about the best offensive second basemen of the decade without mentioning Baerga. Carlos had 4 straight seasons where he hit above .300. At the end of the decade, he disappeared for a couple years before reemerging as a solid backup for teams such as Boston and Arizona.

Craig Biggio
Houston Astros (1990-99)

All-Star: 1991, 1992, 1994-98
Gold Gloves: 1994-97
Silver Sluggers: 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998
Postseason: 1997 NLDS, 1998 NLDS, 1999 NLDS
League Leader: Runs (1995, 97), Doubles (1994, 98, 99), Stolen Bases (1994), Hit By Pitch (1995-97)

Notes: Look, I hate the Astros more than anyone, but even I can respect Craig Biggio. The guy managed to go from being a catcher, to a second basemen and then eventually a center fielder. Not to mention his chase for the all-time HBP record is much more entertaining to me than Bonds' homer run chase. In 1997 Craig was beaned 34 times. The third most for any player in the modern era.

Delino DeShields
Montreal Expos (1990-93), Los Angeles Dodgers (1994-96), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-98), Baltimore Orioles (1999)

Postseason: 1995 NLDS, 1996 NLDS
League Leader: 1997 Triples

Notes: DeShields is certainly lacking the accolades compared to some of his other counterparts on this list. Nonetheless Delino was one of the speedier guys in the league, going 9 straight seasons with 27 or more stolen bases.

Jeff Kent
Toronto Blue Jays (1992), New York Mets (1992-96), Cleveland Indians (1996), San Francisco Giants (1997-99)

All-Star: 1999
Silver Sluggers: 1995
Postseason: 1996 ALDS, 1997 ALDS

Notes: Jeff makes the list for his strong offensive performances late in the 90's with San Francisco. But he's probably better suited for the All-00's team which we'll get to sometime in 2010. In 1996 he was traded from the Mets to the Indians for Carlos Baerga. While Kent failed to provide any real spark for Cleveland, that trade seems to mark the point where Kent's career would eventually take off, and Baerga's would decline.

Chuck Knoblauch
Minnesota Twins (1991-97), New York Yankees (1998-99)

Awards: 1991 AL Rookie of the Year
All-Star: 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997
Silver Sluggers: 1995, 1997
Postseason: 1991 WS, 1998 WS, 1999 WS
League Leader: 1994 Doubles, 1996 Triples

Notes: Most now remember Knoblauch for developing an unrecoverable case of the yips late in his career with New York. Despite that, Chuck was one of the better defensive second basemen during the course of the 90's.

Ryne Sandberg
Chicago Cubs (1990-94, 1996-97)

Nickname: Ryno
All-Star: 1990-93
Gold Gloves: 1990, 1991
Silver Sluggers: 1990-92
League Leader: 1990 Runs & Home Runs

Notes: Ryno's career was beginning to decline once the 90's rolled around but not before he had a monster season in 1990 which saw him hit 40 home runs. In 1994 Sandberg struggled mightily and decided to call it quits. He returned in 1996 for two more seasons before hanging it up for good in 1997. Sandberg hit 277 homers as a second basemen, which was the all-time record at the time of his retirement. Jeff Kent would later surpass him.

Robby Thompson
San Francisco Giants (1990-96)

All-Star: 1993
Gold Gloves: 1993
Silver Sluggers: 1993

Notes: What can I say? Second base is a thin position as far as finding 8 decent players. When you have one good season like Robby did in '93, you're likely to make the list.

Be sure and vote for your choice of second baseman for the TMS All-90's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.

TMS Turns One

April 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

"Caught the game in Los Angeles where Rafael Furcal maimed Derrek Lee. Thunder Matt entered the game late, I think he ended up with two at-bats. I tried numerous times to get a "THUNDER MATT" chant going, but the LA crowd wasn't having it. That's OK though, cause they all left in the 7th inning."
And with that horribly brief post from Brant Brown on 4/26/06, the cyber-revolution known as Thunder Matt's Saloon began, and the web has never been the same.

So what do we do to honor that day? We all take the day off and fail to write a single thing. Personally I blame Buzanis. To me, he's become the reason for all of society's ills.

Anyway, hooray to us. With folks starting their own sports blog every minute or so, and with most giving up on it after about a month, I'm happy to see us still trucking along, and actually developing a small readership other than our immediate family and friends. Thanks to you guys for taking time out of your busy day and giving our site a read, even if it could possibly make you dumber after reading it.

All-90's 2B to be up later today. I was in Sioux City all week for a conference so I haven't had time to do it sooner. I had never been to Sioux City before. When I wasn't busy at workshops and conference sessions, I was taking in all the great sites and landmarks SC has to offer. OK that's a lie. When I wasn't busy with the conference, I was busy boozing it up and counting the minutes before I could get the hell out of that God forsaken town. The only positive I can say is thank God for the 4th Street Bar & Grill, which had the MLB package on DirecTV. So I was able to catch both disappointing losses on Monday and Tuesday while drinking them out of PBR.

Jesus Take the Wheel

April 25, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

I love the fact that the Cubs fans I work on this blog with are so jaded, the fact that Mark Prior is done for the year isn't even newsworthy.

In other "news", Eric Gagne is also injured. I'm reasonably sure his transformation from junkballing 5th starter to dominant closer was a product of steroids though. What's Prior's excuse? Is he really Elijah Price?

If You're Not First You're Last

April 24, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Everything was perfect about Sunday's game against the Cards. The weather screamed 'love me!', the Old Style was flat and lukewarm and Cardinals fans broke out their best pleated shorts and fresh Tevas just for the occasion.

We started off the festivities at Merkle's, an 'Iowa bar' occupying the former Billy Goat Tavern. Just a solid bar. Maybe it was Hawkeye memorabilia that made it feel homey or my better than average buffalo chicken sandwich. Or perhaps it's the fact that it's namesake is Fred Merkle. This is what I recall of Fred Merkle. I owned an old VHS tape called 'Not So Great Moments in Sports.' This tape was narrated by Tim McCarver. Yep, that Tim McCarver. I recall a clearly intoxicated McCarver recanting the story of Fred Merkle, who played on some team in the early 1900's (I don't remember which team, but that's neither here nor there. Hell, Wikipedia it if you really need to know). Anyway, Merkle made crucial error in a World Series game that cost his team the game. That error became known as 'Merkle's Boner'. Hearing Tim McCarver repeatedly utter the words 'Merkle's Boner' makes me giggle like a fat child at a Hostess factory. In fact, my brother I and were giggling like small children recounting this story to our wives, who failed to see as much humor in the story. Oh Merkles. Oh Boners.

After some overpriced barley and hops at Merkles, we headed to the stadium. Section 134, Row 1, seats 1-4. Not too shabby at all. The Cubs were actually scoring runs. The sun was hot. My face was turning as red as Albert Pujols shoes. When Barret homered to put the Cubs up 4-2 I clapped so hard my hands physically stung and I had to tell myself to 'take it easy'. Even when we fell down 7-4 I had hope. I turned to my brother and said, 'We're down 7-4, but I'm not worried. I have faith. Is that so wrong?' To which my brother responded, 'Well, you are drunk.' Well said. Then A-Ram hits a three run homer. Vindication! Why does A-Ram always seem to run so slow? I think his 'sprint' speed is actually the exact same as his 'home run trot'.

Watching Felix Pie run the bases and patrol the outfield, I will say this. The man is a beast. He will go out to hunt and bring his family back a mastodon that will feed them for months. I'm pushing all my chips to the middle of the table on this kid. All in. This guy should never set foot in Des Moines again.

Thunder Matt got a AB a pinch hitter, but before a proper 'Thunder Matt' chant could get started he had lined out to shortstop, much to the chagrin of everyone in the crowd who was wearing red, which was clearly a tip of the cap to our red headed namesake. Shit Thunder. You may just bought yourself a weeks worth of bench time. On a positive note, The Riot was raking as usual. He's like the white Ryan Freel. Wait, my sources have just confirmed that Ryan Freel is in fact white as well. So be it. Maybe Chone Figgins is the black Ryan Theriot. Wrap your mind around that!

Anyway, all hope was effectively dashed when Poopholes (snickering) hit a home run in the 10th that still hasn't landed. With the extended bleachers it takes quite the shot to actually hit it out of the park. Albert hit his far enough to land on the CTA tracks. No worries though, as the CTA Red Line was already backed up anyway, so the ball posed no real threat. The Cubs snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, losing 10-7.

On a side note, two t-shirts have really worn out their welcome. 'Cardinals Take in the Pujols' and the one with Barrett punching Pierzynski that says 'Who Says the Cubs Can't Hit?' C'mon! Just lame and old. There should be one year limit on shirts of this type. I'm all for timely, off-color commentaries, but let's keep it current people. A little creativity please. Maybe something about LaRussa's DUI? But I've always been a bit off an asshole, so I digress.

I suppose this is why people continue to come to Wrigley and continue to support the Cubs every year, even when they stink. Cause even when they lose it's still a helluva time. As long as the sun is out and you drink enough warm Old Style.

*Attached are some photos I took with my fancy new Canon and it's Zoom feature (it's like it's from the future!) Generally, being from Wicker Park, I'm far too cool to take pictures of the field and what not, but this is a blog and what is a blog without pretty pictures? Words. Word.

Consider Your Cherry Popped

April 23, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Brant Brown

We have a Rocky Cherry sighting! Wade Miller has gone on the DL (thank Christ) and Rocky Cherry has been called up for his cup of coffee. I haven't been this pumped up and sexually aroused by a Cub pitcher since I caught my first glimpse of a shirtless Kyle Farnsworth. Hopefully Cherry has as good of a right hook at Kyle did. I'll go on the record and proclaim Cherry as the boost the Cubs need. The bullpen is in a sorry state and something needs to be done about it. Oh yeah, and Mark Prior is going under the knife Tuesday. Who's Mark Prior you ask? Some guy. Just some guy.

Dreaming of Shawn Estes

April 21, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Sunday marks my first Cubs-Cards game in person since the (cliche alert!) 'magical' season of 2003, when the Cubs took 4 of 5 from the Redturds at Wrigley in what can surely be seen as Dusty Baker's crowning achievement.

I attended the last game of that series, and out of all the pitchers I could get to see pitch, it's none other than the multi-talented swinger Shawn Estes. The atmosphere was electric. Your whole body tingled and you often got the unprecedented urge to punch a Cardinal fan in the cock. In fact, I almost witnessed such a fight, with a 5'6" Cardinal fan picking a fight (or maybe it was the other way around) with a 6'5" Cubs fan who looked like a white Sinbad. Cubs win 7-6 and if for only a day, all is right with the world. Even Jesus himself gave that game a 'slow clap' at the end.

Sunday is supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees. Wade Miller, a modern day Shawn Estes if there was one, will be on the mound. Lou Piniella should be in a foul mood. Tommy Buzanis has confirmed his presence. It will be, for lack of a better word once again, 'magical'. Updates to follow on what looks to be a hungover Monday.

TMS All-90's Team: First Base

April 19, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

After the mild huge success of the All-80's Team, we're back to look at the players from a decade later. Oh the '90's. What a strange new world it was. Baseball cards were becoming glossy and overpriced. A strike cancels the 1994 World Series (Sorry Montreal!). And of course who can forget the homers, homers, homers?! One issue I noticed with the All-80's Team is that there was very little argument in the polls. So to make it more interesting and spark a little more debate, I've decided to combine both leagues instead of doing separate NL and AL features. This will also keep it from dragging on well into August. As always be sure and vote for your choice in the poll in the left sidebar.

It was a neck and neck battle, but in the end, Ivan Rodriguez was declared the All-90's catcher. Now we move on to a much more debatable position, first base. I had decided at the start of this, I would keep each position to no more than 8 candidates (except for starting pitcher of course). Only problem was, there were too many good players to consider for first base. So in this case, I have expanded it to 10. Apologies to Will Clark and John Olerud who just missed the cut.


Jeff Bagwell
Houston Astros (1990-99)

All-Star: 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999
Awards: 1991 NL ROY, 1994 NL MVP
Gold Gloves: 1994
Silver Sluggers: 1994, 1997, 1999
Postseason: 1997 NLDS, 1998 NLDS, 1999 NLDS
League Leader: 1994 SLG, Runs, RBI, 1996 Doubles, 1999 Runs

Notes: In 1990, the Boston Red Sox traded a spry young kid named Jeff to the Astros for Larry Andersen. While Larry pitched OK for Boston during their ill-fated playoff run, the folks in Houston were laughing all the way to the bank as they now had their first baseman for the rest of the decade. To be fair to Boston they did already have a 1B that was drafted the same year as Bags. A portly fellow that we'll get to in a little bit. Bagwell won the MVP in the strike-shortened '94 season, hitting 39 home runs and 116 RBI in only 400 at bats.

Cecil Fielder
Detroit Tigers (1990-96), New York Yankees (1996-97), Anaheim Angels (1998), Cleveland Indians (1998)

Nickname: Big Daddy
All-Star: 1990, 1991, 1993
Silver Sluggers: 1990, 91
Postseason: 1996 WS, 1997 ALDS
League Leader: 1990 SLG, HR, RBI, 1991 HR, RBI, 1992 RBI

Notes: I remember when Cecil hit 51 homers, it seemed like such a tremendout feat to me as a kid. Keep in mind the last time someone had hit 50 was by George Foster before I was born. Big Daddy had some monster slugging seasons in the early 90's, leading the AL in RBI three years in a row from 1990-92.

Andres Galarraga
Montreal Expos (1990-91), St. Louis Cardinals (1992), Colorado Rockies (1993-97), Atlanta Braves (1998)

Nickname: Big Cat
All-Star: 1993, 1997, 1998
Gold Gloves: 1990
Silver Sluggers: 1990, 1991
Postseason: 1995 NLDS, 1998 NLDS
League Leader: 1993 AVG, 1996 HR, RBI, 1997 RBI

Notes: I'm not denying that Big Cat wasn't a great hitter, but he is easily one of the best case studies for the "Coors Factor" than any. A guy that never hit 30 home runs in his career shows up in Denver at 32 years old and proceeds to rattle off 4 straight seasons of 30+ homers with the Rockies. One thing that helps his case is that he hit 44 homers with the Braves in 1998 before missing the 1999 season due to cancer.

Mark Grace
Chicago Cubs (1990-99)

Nickname: Amazing Grace
All-Star: 1993, 1995, 1997
Gold Gloves: 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996
Postseason: 1998 NLDS
League Leader: 1995 Doubles

Notes: What can be said about Grace that we haven't said already? A Wrigley fixture at first base for the entire decade. If you want to read more, check out an old column we wrote at Goatriders on why his number should be retired.

Eric Karros
Los Angeles Dodgers (1991-99)

Awards: 1992 NL ROY
Silver Sluggers: 1995
Postseason: 1995 ALDS, 1996 ALDS

Notes: I drew the ire of the Governor when I first mentioned leaving Karros off. Karros was solid hitter for the Dodgers throughout the 90's. The Dodgers would later trade him to the Cubs along with Mark Grudzielanek, for Todd Hundley, Chad Hermansen and sack of baseballs.

Fred McGriff
Toronto Blue Jays (1990), San Diego Padres (1991-93), Atlanta Braves (1993-97), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-99)

Nickname: Crime Dog
Awards: 1994 ASG MVP
All-Star: 1992, 1994-96
Silver Sluggers: 1992, 1993
Postseason: 1995 NLCS
League Leader: 1992 HR

Notes: This is the instructional video that gets results!

Mark McGwire
Oakland Athletics (1990-97), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-99)

Nickname: Big Mac
All-Star: 1990-92, 1995-99
Gold Gloves: 1990
Silver Sluggers: 1992, 1996, 1998
Postseason: 1990 WS, 1992 ALCS
League Leader: 1990 BB, 1992 SLG, 1996 OBP, SLG, HR, 1998 OBP, SLG, HR, BB, 1999 HR, RBI

Notes: Say what you want. Most folks have made up their mind one way or another regarding McGwire's legacy. But if we're going to have an All-90's team, it would be foolish to not include him. Juiced or not, his HR chase in 1998 was one of the most-watched baseball moments of the decade, and you, me, and everyone else, happily went along for the ride.

Rafael Palmeiro
Texas Rangers (1990-93, 1999), Baltimore Orioles (1994-98)

All-Star: 1991, 1998, 1999
Gold Gloves: 1997-99
Silver Sluggers: 1998, 1999
Postseason: 1996 ALCS, 1997 ALCS, 1999 ALDS
League Leader: 1990 Hits, 1991 Doubles, 1993 Runs

Notes: Check out the old card of Raffy. Despite his meteoric fall from respectability, I do give Palmeiro credit for being one of the very few guys keeping the 80's mustache alive throughout the 90's. While others were working on their Jason Priestley sideburns, or Scott Ian goatees, Raffy was still looking like runner-up in a Magnum P.I. look-a-like contest.

Frank Thomas
Chicago White Sox (1990-99)

Nickname: The Big Hurt
Awards: 1993 AL MVP, 1994 AL MVP
All-Star: 1993-97
Silver Sluggers: 1991, 1993, 1994
Postseason: 1993 ALCS
League Leader: OBP (1991, 92, 93, 97), SLG (1994), Runs (1994), Doubles (1992), BB (1991, 92, 94, 95), RBI (1995)

Notes: Thomas was one of the most dominate hitters of the decade. The Big Hurt put up 8 consecutive seasons of 100+ RBI and 20+ HR. Thomas is also the last player to win back to back AL MVP awards.

Mo Vaughn
Boston Red Sox (1991-98), Anaheim Angels (1999)

Nickname: Hit Dog
Awards: 1995 AL MVP
All-Star: 1995, 1996, 1998
Silver Sluggers: 1995
Postseason: 1995 ALDS, 1998 ALDS
League Leader: 1995 RBI

Notes: The only guy that could make Cecil Fielder seem skinny, Vaughn spent most of the 90's crushing the ball in Fenway. Despite being a huge fan favorite in Boston, his relationship with management and some of the local media was rather acrimonious, and after the 1998 season, Mo bolted for Anaheim.

Be sure and vote for your choice of first baseman for the TMS All-90's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.

As if you haven't seen this...

April 19, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

So the Cubs blow a nice comeback, the Bulls blow the second playoff seed and Mark Buehrle throws a no-hitter. And now the photo function isn't working on this blogger thing. Hell, I've got nothing. Life is spiraling downward and we're out of coffee.

Oh wait, there's this.

This Ain't a Scene, Its a God Damn Arms Race

April 18, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear a guy was injured. L.A. has put Jason Schmidt on the DL with shoulder problems. Why am I happy? Because that explains why he's sucked so hard early in the season and can't throw faster than 85 mph. Get healthy quick you bastard.

In the meantime, the race is on to see who fills his spot in the rotation. Fortunately, the Dodgers are overflowing with pitching, so its not a worry:

Mark Hendrickson - aka Lurch - He stunk up the place in the rotation last year, but has looked solid in relief. Lets hope he stays there.

Chad Billingsley - He looked impressive in 16 starts last year, and only narrowly lost the 5th spot to Brett Tomko who had an impressive Spring. He's my pick, since he'll inevitably return to the role of starter when Tomko falls apart again.

Hong Chih Kuo - Ready to come off the DL for similar reasons as Schmidt, long reliever Kuo also seems to be a candidate. I'd rather not chance that three-time surgically repaired elbow though.

Eric Stults - So so guy currently rotting in AAA. Not a real option in my opinion. He hasn't done anything worth noting since playing Rocky Dennis in Mask.

D. J. Houlton - Crappy journeyman holdover from the Tracyball era. He actually had the balls to tell the Las Vegas paper recently that he felt his 6-9 record with an ERA over five in 2005 should have earned him a chance to pitch in the bigs again last year. What a douchebag.

To close, I hope you all enjoy that picture of a levitating Rafael Furcal setting up to shit on Eric Byrnes' head as much as I do.

Time for some Pie

April 18, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

While yesterday's 14 inning marathon wound being ultimately disappointing at the end, there was one bright spot. Felix Pie made his long-awaited big league debut yesterday. While only going 1 for 6, Pie did knock in the game-tying run with a double in the 5th. Even more impressive was his play in the field. It's refreshing to see a Cubs outfielder that is better than average on defense for a change.

If you haven't seen a replay of his game-saving throw to home, you really need to check it out (click the video link on that page). This is what a real center fielder looks like.

Realm of Red: Redhead of the Week

April 17, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Each Halley's Comet or so, I will profile various redheads who paved the way for our own Thunder Matt. These men and women opened doors (often times kicking them in due to their fiery tempers) that would have otherwise kept Thunder Matt toiling in Independent Baseball leagues, shagging fly balls in Newark and frequenting seedy hotels. We tip our Cubs hats to these fair-skinned pioneers.

Today's Redhead: Dude. Shawn White. Duh.

(Shaking fist) Get off my lawn Shawn White!

Shawn White is a snowboarder and a skateboarder. He does nothing if not perpetuate the stereotype of Southern California youth that we've all come to abhor. Thanks Shawn White. Thanks MTV.

Shawn White was born in 1986. He's not even old enough to drink. When I was in the movie theatre, watching Gremlins and making farting noises with my armpits, Shawn White probably wasn't even a fetus yet. Yet Shawn White has made more money than I will probably make in my entire life. (That's right kids. Blogging, along with crime, doesn't pay.)

He is known for his shock of bright red hair and has been dubbed in more hip circles than mine as the 'Flying Tomato'. Doesn't really have the ring of 'Thunder Matt' and seems a bit too obvious, but I digress. Word is (and by 'word', I mean according to Wikipedia) that he has grown tired of this nickname. Really Shawn? I've grown tired of my own lack of physical prowess and inability to hold down a steady job. But guess what? That's life. Deal with it Shawn. Or should I say, Flying Tomato? (Biting finger and looking over shoulder seductively)

Shawn is the only person that I, and most people over the age of 25, can name that has ever participated in the X Games. Shawn White 'does the Dew'. Much like NASCAR, people watch Shawn White in the secret hope that he biffs it really bad. Not enough for him to get seriously hurt, just enough to get a good chuckle out of it. Assuming I were to watch the X Games. Given free choice, that is not likely to happen.

He also apparently won a medal in the halfpipe in the Olympics. I'm sure his mother, if not his country, is proud. He has also been in two movies which no one has seen. The White Album, soiling the Beatles legacy, and First Descent, easily one of the most annoying movies of all time which proves once and for all that slow motion is a dead artform.

Right now you can find Shawn at the mall wearing a trucker hat. He's nonchalantly skateboarding in the parking lot, smoking, making fun of crippled people and wearing his shorts dangerously low. It's doubtful that he has showered in the past 3 days and more likely that he will spend the better portion of the night playing Xbox 360 (playing 'himself' in a game!), smoking pot, eating Cheetos and texting some girl who is not his girlfriend.

Thinking With Our Boners

April 17, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Under immense pressure from the other bartenders, I've been asked to add a link to Alyssa Milano's blog. Here you go.

Also since we're thinking with our boners, here's some more links.


OK, so obviously I don't see eye to eye with my colleagues on this. I see her blog as nothing more than a shameless plug for her new MLB clothing line. Then the Governor pointed out the last paragraph I wrote in a post the other day. Well played Gov, well played. Then there's the possible threat of the Alyssa Milano Curse striking TMS. If you start to notice us not posting as often or the quality of our posts lacking, then we'll know that the curse is very real.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? Our posts have never been high quality, and who cares about her blog.... she's frickin' hot.

Told You So

April 17, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

There's that 12 run April outburst I just spoke of. A sage and a poet I am.

Alfie pulls up gimpy with a bad hammy. Doesn't look too bad. Day to day. Should be back in no time. You know, Kerry Wood, circa 1998.

Murton in RF with 2 hits and getting off the schnide with his first two RBI's of the year? A modern day Chico Walker. The thunder is beginning to rumble...

Theriot and Murton are the new Lennon and McCartney. Ok, that might be stretching it. Nelson maybe?

Gracies and Neifis: Week Two

April 16, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

Two weeks down and twenty-somethingorother to go. Before we delve into this week's list of brilliance and inferiority, I wanted to comment real quick on yesterday's game. If Kyle Lohse only played the Cubs, he'd be a front-runner for the Cy Young Award easily. Also Ted Lilly looks to be the winner of the Kerry Wood Memorial "No Run Support" Award, as his excellent outing was squandered. Tonight they face Clay Hensley and the Padres. Hensley has only faced the Cubs once ever, and pitched a 2-hit complete game shutout. We'll see if the bats can heat up.

Week One (4/9 - 4/15)

THE GRACIES - The cream of the crop this past week

Ian Kinsler (Tex - 2B)
- While most of the Texas offense has been quiet so far, Kinsler has made quite a roar. Ian hit .476 this week with 4 home runs and 8 RBI.

Rickie Weeks (Mil - 2B) - Rickie bounced back from a rough first week nicely, hitting .389 with 8 runs, 2 triples and 2 home runs.

Aaron Hill (Tor - 2B) - What the hell? Apparently it's second basemen week. Hill teed off on the Tigers and Royals all week, going 12 for 26 with 5 doubles.

Adrian Beltre (Sea - 3B) - Beltre was well on his way to being a Neifi this week. Then he went 4 for 8 on Saturday and Sunday against Texas, hitting 2 homers with 7 RBI and 5 runs. Those two games bumped his OPS from .427 to .814. We'll be looking for Adrian in the Neifi list next week.

Alex Rios (Tor - OF) - Alex had his 11 game hitting streak snapped yesterday against Detroit. Rios went 10 for 29 on the week with 2 homers and 7 RBI, including a game-winning hit in the 10th inning of Friday's game against the Tigers.

C.C. Sabathia (Cle - SP) - Who would win in a cage match, Sabathia or Carlos Zambrano? While we may never know the answer, we do know that C.C. has looked much better on the mound so far this season. Sabathia picked up two wins this past week against the White Sox and Angels, striking out 17 over 15 innings.

Tim Hudson (Atl - SP) - Hudson has been impressive so far this season. Tim picked up two wins this week, allowing only 1 run over 14 innings.

Felix Hernandez (Sea - SP) - King Felix is starting to earn that nickname finally. This week he stunned the Red Sox in Fenway, throwing a one-hit complete game shutout.

THE NEIFIS - Desperately in need of a Slumpbuster

Elijah Dukes (TB - CF) - Dukes went 1 for 17 this week, topped off with his 0-4, 4 strikeout performance yesterday against Minnesota. Neifi would be proud.

Ryan Shealy (KC - 1B) - Shealy went 1 for 17 as well, but unlike Dukes, Ryan actually drew a walk.

Mark Teahen (KC - OF) - Mark's 2 for 4 game yesterday snapped a week-long hitless streak. Alas, we couldn't annoint him our first 0-fer of the season. That accolade instead goes to....

Edwin Encarnacion (Cin - 3B) - 0 for 19. That's what you look for in your cleanup batter. He's since been bumped to sixth in the order.

Joe Crede (ChW - 3B) - Despite a 3 for 4 game on Friday against Cleveland, Joe went 4 for 23 on the week with 7 strikeouts. A frustrated Crede was booted from yesterday's game after arguing balls and strikes.

Mariano Rivera (NYY - RP) - Rivera hadn't allowed a run since August 27, 2006. Then he gives up a three-run homer to the Player to be Named Later? Mo, you're starting to look mortal.

Zach Duke (Pit - SP) - What the hell happened to this kid? Two years ago he looked like a promising young ace. Now he's getting rocked on a consistent basis. Duke gave up 7 runs over 2 innings, against the Giants of all teams.

Mark Redman (Atl - SP) - 2.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 2 BB. Those kind of stats might get you an All-Star bid in Kansas City, but in Atlanta it'll get you the backside of Bobby Cox's hand!

Baby It's Cold Outside

April 16, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Lets face it. It doesn't matter who fills out the lineup card, or more importantly, who is listed on the lineup card. Fact of the matter is, year in and year out, the Chicago Cubs cannot hit in the springtime.

No matter who we trot out there, in April and most of May (depending on how long the cold snap lasts) it just doesn't matter. They hit for shit. We could resurrect the 1927 Yankees and put them in Cubs uniforms to the same effect. A prolonged, two month slump. Sure, every once in a while the team will doggedly try to obliterate this theory by putting a 12 spot on the board, skewing the results of my extremely informal study, but they will then inevitably follow up the aforementioned 12 run outburst with a 10 game stretch where they fail to score 12 runs total.

Sure, it's cold out, but it's cold out for the other team too. Shit, you know. And no, I don't have fancy stats to give this theory any credence. Who am I, Bill James? Lets be honest, if I can't find it on Wikipedia I'm just going to make stuff up or go off of gut instinct. To quote Tommy Buzanis, "I don't have time for this shit."

Some may call the silent bats part of a curse. I just call it a rite of spring.
Luckily the NL Central is eminently winnable. If we can hang around .500 long enough for our bats to come around and Ted 'Machine Gun' Lilly and 12 year-old baby faced phenom Rich Hill can keep on banishing the ghosts of Prior and Wood, we should be ok.

Delusional optimism. Yet another rite of spring in Cubs Nation.

War Criminal: Shia LaBeouf

April 15, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Just who the hell are you and why is the media talking about you like we should care?

The first I had heard of you was when they announced you were hosting Saturday Night Live. Apparently you're in this uncredited remake of Rear Window - I hope the Hitchcock estate is suing these bastards for everything they've got. This was pretty much enough for me to conclude you are a douchebag and just another young actor who will probably die of a speed overdose outside of a Hollywood nightclub before the end of the decade.

Then you tread on sacred ground...

I guess Friday was a slow news day because this was actually a news headline I saw: LaBeouf to star in new `Indiana Jones' film. It was bad enough when you were just the latest "next big thing" doomed to fizzle out, but now you've sullied the reputation of the Indiana Jones series. Between you and a 65 year old Harrison Ford, my hopes for this movie are fading fast.

Some other reasons you've made the War Criminal list:

In spite of being Jewish, your first name is "Shia" - are you jewish or muslim? Make up your mind. I'm reasonably sure you can't be both.

Your father was a circus mime and rodeo clown who let you smoke pot when you were ten.

Your mother was a ballerina.

I'm pretty sure your last name means "The Beef" in French.

Your illustrious filmography includes Constantine, Dumb and Dumberer, Charlies Angels: Full Throttle, and I, Robot.

You enjoy The Shins & Jack Johnson.

Your fans are so hardcore, they haven't updated this site since 2003.

You're younger than me.

Thats all, happy Jackie Robinson Day everyone.

A Tale of Two Ballgames

April 13, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

How fitting this game happened on Friday the 13th. What looked to be an easy cruise to victory after four solid innings, highlighted by a double and homer from Chaz Zambrano, everything went to crap in the 5th. After giving up 4 runs and plunking Edwin Encarnacion, ol' Chaz was pulled for Will Ohman (or should it be Omen?), who with the bases loaded proceeded to walk the tying run in, as well as the go-ahead run. Oh, and do I mention what number Ohman currently wears?

Then in comes Michael Wuertz and mows down three straight batters to get them out of the mess. Does Wuertz have a nickname yet? If not, I'd like to suggest "The Wolf" or "Winston Wuertz", because as he showed today, he 'solves problems'.

With the Reds now up 6-5, the Cubs bullpen did a great job of shutting Cincy down for the rest of the game, but unfortunately it was all for naught.

I was just watching the post-game and I think we can safely say that Uncle Lou has his first real outburst. "I'm starting to see how this club is losing ball games," said Lou, showing obvious frustration after Zambrano's fifth meltdown, blowing a 5-0 lead.

I wouldn't say it was a total meltdown as he answered a handful of questions fairly calmly, but he was clearly irked by one of the reporters as every angry response seemed to be directed at the same guy asking Lou what he thought should be done to correct the problem.

No Thunder Matt, but Corny Floyd hit well today so I can't really bitch too much. Also The Riot looked great hitting in the 2 hole, filling in for ARam-Ram.

In other news, I just got my new Thunder Matt baseball shirt in the mail today. If you were looking to maybe buy one of the TMS baseball shirts, then now is the time to do it. Right now Spreadshirt is offering a discount on them. If you enter the coupon code "Fastball" you will receive the discount. I think it's good until the end of the month, so if you buy now, after shipping & handling it comes out to a little over $20.

A Thunder Matt Movie Minute

April 12, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

Grindhouse: An uneven but entertaining 3 hour opus to blood, guts, fast women and fast cars. The first half, Rodriguez's 'Planet Terror' is a hyper-active zombie film and is pretty much what you would expect from a film with a heroine that sports a machine gun for a leg. The film is scratched up (purposely) to the point of distraction and the one liners are cheesy, but if you only see one gross-out zombie film starring Sayid from Lost that features melting penises, this should be the one.

Tarantino's contribution, 'Death Proof', is a complete 180 in tone and pace. It is basically Kurt Russell (who is brilliant as Stuntman Mike) murdering women with his 'death proof' car. Sounds like the plot to every Disney film you've ever seen huh? Of course, being a Tarantino film, we are subjected to a 45 minute stretch of the women 'bantering' aimlessly about pop culture (sounds like some of my posts, eh?). This would be fine if the characters doing the talking were interesting or had something interesting to say. This is not the case. But make sure you take your extended bathroom break towards the beginning of the gabfest, because QT makes up for all the jibber jabber with one of the coolest car chase scenes ever put to film, finishing with a crowd pleasing climax.

Overall it is worth seeing, especially for the fake trailers that play (The fake trailer for 'Thanksgiving' is particularly classic) but this one may be better served on DVD, where you can watch each film separately, Mystery Science Theatre style.
Thunder Matt Rating: 3 Thunderbolts out of 5

Blades of Glory: Will Ferrell has never met a script for a sports comedy he didn't like. You could certainly do worse than this sometimes inspired Jon Heder vehicle. Jon Heder huh? Isn't every character he plays basically a variation of Napolean Dynamite? Yes. Yes they are. Some very funny sight gags and good supporting turns by Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and Jenna Fischer. Really your enjoyment of the film depends on if you find the standard issue Will Ferrell 'pompous ass' character funny or not. If the mere thought of him playing a sex-addicted, alcoholic ex-figure skater makes you giggle, you'll like the movie. If instead, the mere thought of this movie has you waxing poetic about the merits of a Annie Hall...well then you should probably watch Annie Hall. As sports comedies go, this one is far more believable and almost as funny as Rocky V.
Thunder Matt Rating: 3 Thunderbolts out of 5

Reign Over Me: Another 3 star review. This is much better than some of Sandler's other dramatic turns like the woeful Punch Drunk Love and mediocre Spanglish. Reign is a bit scatterbrained, but ultimately a very watchable film, thanks to the always great Don Cheadle. A stellar soundtrack and some surprisingly funny moments given the subject matter. Adam Sandler's Dylan-esque hairdo and an out-of-place and painfully awkward courtroom scene towards the end probably kept me from giving this 3.5 stars.
Thunder Matt Rating: 3 Thunderbolts out of 5

TMS All-90's Team: Catcher

April 11, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

After the mild huge success of the All-80's Team, we're back to look at the players from a decade later. Oh the '90's. What a strange new world it was. Baseball cards were becoming glossy and overpriced. A strike cancels the 1994 World Series (Sorry Montreal!). And of course who can forget the homers, homers, homers?! One issue I noticed with the All-80's Team is that there was very little argument in the polls. So to make it more interesting and spark a little more debate, I've decided to combine both leagues instead of doing separate NL and AL features. This will also keep it from dragging on well into August. As always be sure and vote for your choice in the poll in the left sidebar. So to kick things off, in what will likely become a battle of Pudge versus Piazza, here is the All-90's MLB catchers.


Sandy Alomar Jr.
Cleveland Indians (1990-99)

All-Star: 1990-92, 1996-98
Awards: 1990 AL Rookie of the Year, 1997 ASG MVP
Gold Gloves: 1990
Postseason: 1995 WS, 1996 ALDS, 1997 WS, 1998 ALCS, 1999 ALDS

Notes: The 1990's marked a rebirth for the Cleveland Indians. After being a doormat in the American League for much of the prior decade, they were now perennial favorites. One of the integral parts of the Indians success was Sandy Alomar. The 1990 Rookie of the Year was a solid defensive catcher with a decent bat. Nagging injuries hampered Alomar's overall potential.

Darren Daulton
Philadelphia Phillies (1990-97), Florida Marlins (1997)

Nickname: Dutch
All-Star: 1992, 1993, 1995
Silver Sluggers: 1992
Postseason: 1993 WS, 1997 WS
League Leader: RBI (1992)

Notes: Never mind the guy nowadays that has appeared to have gone off the deep end. I prefer to remember the All-Star catcher who played for one of the most entertaining teams of the decade, and had a smokin' hot wife. In 1992 he led the National League in RBI, which is pretty damn impressive for a catcher.

Charles Johnson
Florida Marlins (1994-98), Los Angeles Dodgers (1998), Baltimore Orioles (1999)

All-Star: 1997
Gold Gloves: 1995-98
Postseason: 1997 WS

Notes: The first amateur draft pick ever for the Florida Marlins, Johnson broke out with the team in the mid-90's providing a great glove behind the plate and some decent pop on offense. Johnson's 4 Gold Gloves were the most by any National League catcher in the 90's.

Mike Piazza
Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-98), Florida Marlins (1998), New York Mets (1998-99)

Awards: 1993 NL Rookie of the Year, 1996 ASG MVP
All-Star: 1993-99
Silver Sluggers: 1993-99
Postseason: 1995 NLDS, 1998 NLDS, 1999 NLDS

Notes: Love him, hate him, question his sexuality, you can't deny that Piazza was one of, if not the best hitting catchers of all-time. I have nothing else to say about him so here's a link to him getting nailed in the head by a fastball.

Ivan Rodriguez
Texas Rangers (1991-99)

Nickname: Pudge
All-Star: 1992-99
Awards: 1999 AL MVP
Gold Gloves: 1992-99
Silver Sluggers: 1994-99
Postseason: 1996 ALDS, 1998 ALDS, 1999 ALDS

Notes: While he didn't post as big of offensive numbers as Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez was a great hitting catcher and an even greater defensive one. The 1999 AL MVP will be a surefire first ballot hall of famer when all is said and done.

Benito Santiago
San Diego Padres (1990-92), Florida Marlins (1993-94), Cincinnati Reds (1995), Philadelphia Phillies (1996), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-98), Chicago Cubs (1999)

All-Star: 1990-92
Gold Gloves: 1990
Silver Sluggers: 1990, 1991
Postseason: 1995 NLCS

Notes: One of what will be a handful of guys that also appeared on the All-80's ballot, Benito had some good seasons with San Diego before bouncing around 5 more teams during the decade. In 1996, Santiago hit a career high 30 home runs with the Phillies.

Mike Stanley
Texas Rangers (1990-91), New York Yankees (1992-95, 1997), Boston Red Sox (1996-99), Toronto Blue Jays (1998)

All-Star: 1995
Silver Sluggers: 1993
Postseason: 1995 ALDS, 1997 ALDS, 1998 ALDS, 1999 ALCS

Notes: Bouncing around the AL East throughout the 90's, Stanley emerged as a decent slugging catcher. Later on in his career he became primarily a 1B and DH. His name is also a firsty firsty.

Mickey Tettleton
Baltimore Orioles (1990), Detroit Tigers (1991-94), Texas Rangers (1995-97)

All-Star: 1994
Silver Sluggers: 1991, 1992
Postseason: 1996 ALDS
League Leader: 1992 BB

Notes: Tettleton was a classic low average, high power slugger in the mold of Dave Kingman and Rob Deer, except with a much better K-BB rate. Mickey claimed that the source of his power came from eating Froot Loops. Fast forward a decade later and childhood obesity is running rampant. Coincidence?

Be sure and vote for your choice of catcher for the TMS All-90's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.