Can I Connect Any 2 MLB Players From History?

As you may know, I possess a bizarre amount of useless baseball history knowledge. Ever since receiving a gigantic Encyclopedia of Baseball for my 10th birthday in 1992, I have been memorizing statistics, records, and standings. I always want someone to try quizzing me but to no avail. So today, I will quiz myself.

Baseball-Reference.com has a frivolous feature called Oracle of Baseball where you enter any two player names ever and it will connect a chain of common teammates. Today, I will attempt to wow you with my baseball knowledge.

I am choosing two players completely at random and will try to talk my way through connecting the two, before checking my answer online.

Marlon Byrd, current Phillies outfielder
&
Kevin Tapani, former Twins pitcher from early 90s

Let’s see…

Tapani pitched with the Twins through about 1995 when he was teammates with a very young Eddie Guardado.

Guardado came back to the Twins in 2008 when he was teammates with Justin Morneau.

Morneau and Byrd played together in Pittsburgh last season.

I think that’s accurate.

According to baseball-reference.com, yes, my way is accurate.

But there is a much shorter connection…

Wow, they were both teammates with the ageless wonder, LaTroy Hawkins! Tapani on the ’95 Twins, Byrd on the ’13 Mets.

How about another one? Glad you asked!

I’ll try 80s power-hitter Ben Oglivie and current White Sox lefty Chris Sale.

Oglivie was with the ’82 Brewers, where he was teammates with Paul Molitor. Molitor played on the ’97 Twins with Brad Radke, who was on the ’06 Twins with Jesse Crain. Crain was teammates with Sale in Chicago.

…And, the results?

Wow, I was damn close! Oglivie played with Paul Molitor, who I am surprised to learn played with AJ Pierzynski on the ’98 Twins, who was Sale’s catcher in Chicago as recently as 2011.

Got any more for me? Think I can be stumped?

5 Things From Tuesday/Wednesday

1. So did I call it or what… the Callaway softball team lost in humiliating fashion in our first game Tuesday night, 17-9. Now, we’ve lost by much worse scores before. But the team we played was playing the second game of a double-header and had lost the first game 30-5. They had 3 women on the team and a guy over 55. We had 12 guys in our 30s. Basically it just comes down to the fact that our team can’t catch the ball. Fly balls fall in, grounders roll past, no communication on pop-ups. Really funny stuff, actually. The team we played had a whole bleacher full of redneck toothless hicks jeering us the whole game too. I was walking around the stands to go coach first base one inning and some goon stood up and yelled “Hey boy! You walkin’ the wrong way, motherf**ker! Losers’ bench is that-a-way! Haw-haw-haw, snort, haw-haw!” which prompted the whole clan to guffaw and laugh along. Oh well. I went 2-for-3 with a couple singles at the plate and fielded a pretty decent first base in the loss.

2. Prior to the game, Minnesota friend Dan Jaker was in town for business and we got together for a couple drinks after work Tuesday at Easy Tiger. Afterwards, we were wandering the streets looking for further entertainment when we stopped in an Irish pub with a band playing. Soon we realized this was no ordinary band. It was legend of rock Bonnie Raitt! … Kinda… Jaker posted the photo to Facebook and told the world we had wandered into an unadvertised Bonnie Raitt concert. While I cannot confirm with certainty that it wasn’t her… it wasn’t her, unless she was going under the stage name of something totally different. But it got a lot of likes on Facebook, and isn’t that the greatest gift of all?

3. Tonight was company happy hour at The Hideout… finally, a happy hour in my neighborhood that was inconvenient for the rest of the team! When I first moved to Austin in 2011 and was living with Mark Addison, The Hideout was within short walking distance and I spent many nights after work socializing there, or at now-closed Weirdo’s. The place still has some of the best burgers in town and the same staff and the same regulars. Unlike my old days at Tiny Boards, hanging out with co-workers after work is something I enjoy and look forward to.

4. You can call me many bad things… bad employee, bad swimmer, bad cook.  But you can’t call me bad dog owner. Knowing the poor pooch would be stuck at home for many hours today in a small crate and in dire need of exercise, I made a 30-mile round trip home over break where I took the dog on a 2.17-mile run, showered, and raced back to the office in just over an hour. That’s how much I care about that beagle’s well-being.

5. And of course, the thing on all our minds… Lauren at 27 weeks. My female co-workers have been upset with my lack of updates on baby stuff on a day-to-day basis. Every day it’s the same old “well, just looking into daycares and pediatricians and buying furniture.” Well there you go, a true photo update. It’s really happening.

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5 Things From Monday

1. Woops. I forgot to post something yesterday and thus ends the streak. Lauren and I finally did our due diligence on checking out daycares. To just type in “daycare” on Google Maps brings up like 12 places in Austin, which is ridiculous given there are 900,000+ people here. But Lauren found a good reference on a state webpage that listed everything and then it was overwhelming how many places there are to choose from. So that’s how we spent our evening. Now we just need to go visit some of them and see if they are death traps or nice.

2. A retired Indian neighbor with a cane walks by our house every evening, and the last couple days he’s stopped by to visit and is always full of useful advice. I was trying to fix the irrigation and turn off the water at the source, and showed him the valve I couldn’t get to turn off. He told me the valve, despite being labeled “Irrigation Control Valve”, was actually for the sewer. I went along with it, humoring the guy, but then he told me he had worked 30+ years for the city in the water department, so I suddenly perked up and took note. He said there must be an irrigation control box somewhere, and started tapping his cane around in the grass until he uncovered two plastic covers that I had never seen before, as they were buried under the thick St. Augustine grass. Wow, helpful dude!

3. Minnesota bud Dan Jaker is in town for business. We had planned to paint the town a reddish color last night but Jaker was all wiped out from his big day of work. We’ll try to do something fun tonight.

4. Speaking of tonight, the Callaway softball league is back and I’ve agreed to play in the first two games before birthing classes begin. I am sure our team will be beyond horrible, as we’ve once again been placed in an advanced league. Nothing like going in knowing you’re going to get mercy-ruled before the season even starts, but that’s the way it’s always gone! Teams I play for are always horrible and teams I play against are always amazing… in every sport I’ve participated in since college pretty much.

5. Random photo of the day… Since softball starts tonight, here’s an action shot of me pretending to pitch before a DSU intramural game in 2002. Photo credit: Chris Ahrendt.

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5 Things From Sunday

1. Yesterday Lauren and I finally signed up for pool passes at our neighborhood association pool, and today I tested the waters for the first time by swimming 10 laps. The nice thing about the pool is there are always three open lanes for lap swimming and kids aren’t allowed. So no matter how packed it is, those lanes are almost always clear. And I’m sick and tired of running for exercise, so I intend to go to the pool very often this summer.

The pool was absolutely swarmed with kids on a sunny 89-degree Sunday afternoon. I counted at least five separate kids birthday parties going on. And then this old dude comes in wearing what looked like a bulletproof vest with a bunch of tiny pockets and wires coming out of them! He sat down and looked around and took off his vest, then jumped in the pool with all his clothes on. I was just sure he was about to detonate some sort of bomb, but it never went off thankfully. Just some sick weirdo.

2. Beginning in June, we’ve got birthing classes on Tuesdays after work. They go until 9:00, so I don’t know what we’ll do with Mr. Friendly, a.k.a. Baxter. I can’t very well leave him in a crate for 16 consecutive hours, and I won’t have time to come home after work and drop him somewhere. I guess he’ll just have to come along. Hopefully the hospital allows beagles.

3. The dining table project is complete with the purchase of three purple chairs yesterday at IKEA, which I assembled this morning. Homemade table, homemade bench, 3 IKEA chairs. That’s a fine looking spot to eat a meal.

Look how you can set things on the table! Like my billfold and a red notebook. Works as expected.

Look how you can set things on the table! Like my billfold and a red notebook. Works as expected.

4. We’re tossing around the idea of going to an Astros game soon. One last little weekend getaway before things get too crazy. Upcoming Saturday day games vs. the Orioles and Rays jump out as possibilities.

5. Random throwback photo of the Glanzer children all gussied up for Easter Sunday. If I had to guess, I’d say this was 1994.96

5 Things From Today

Here are five things/thoughts from today. Not really a Top 5 list or anything. Just five things.

1. We went to IKEA in the morning and bought a crib, baby dresser, and dining chairs. I swear, every time we get back from IKEA and I spend hours assembling things and then tossing away giant cardboard boxes, I think to myself “well at least this is the last time for a while.” And then we inevitably end up right back at IKEA within 40-50 days with 3 or 4 more things to assemble. I have lost count but I know we have something from IKEA in every room of the house. We’re putting some Swedish kids through college I’m sure, except they get free post-secondary education there so I guess we’re just putting it towards their retirement funds or something.

2. Brian Mego stopped over this afternoon with his fancy expandable, bendable ladder and we climbed on the roof to clean out some really high gutters. The slope of the roof was much scarier than it appeared from the ground, and I clung onto the gutters for dear life. Plus it was mid-afternoon in Texas and the shingles were scorching hot. But, the job got mostly done and hopefully we won’t have such damaging issues next time we incur a flash flood.

3. The Twins beat the Mariners to move a game over .500, and Brian Dozier, the man who called me on the phone in February during TwinsFest, slugged his 11th home run already this season. In order for the Twins to match my pre-season prediction of 57-105, the team would have to go 36-85 the rest of the way.

4. After catching up on True Detective, Eastbound & Down, and Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO, I’m now trying to plow through season 2 of Flight of the Conchords. It’s kinda like Two Broke Girls because the two guys are really, really broke, except unlike that crappy show, Conchords is really good. Bret buys a cup for $2.79 and it drains their bank account and the guys are forced to sell their guitars and start playing shows without instruments, and then take up prostitution. Utter hilarity.

5. Lauren told me that decorating the nursery will kinda be my thing. I’ve got some big ideas, and naturally I’m thinking baseball or beagle themed. Kyla Scott pointed out a wonderful beagle mobile we are dying to get.

First Ever Blog Post Unearthed

There had been some widespread belief that my first ever blog post was this one, dated November 12, 2003. But I had forgotten about my old Geocities website from 2001. This post about heading off to DSU clearly trumps the 2003 post as oldest on record.

On September 1 I can start moving in to my dorm at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota.  I’m rooming with Brandon Hanson, a longtime classmate from Vienna.

I am majoring in Web Development / Multimedia.  I want to eventually end up in the film industry somewhere, in some aspect.  I’d like to do anything from edit film to write scripts to actually acting.  So, I am also taking an acting class in the first semester.  

Other classes I have to take are Composition I, Intermediate Algebra, Visual Design, and Intro to Computers.  Algebra will be a problem, as I haven’t taken any math classes since my sophomore year.

Well I’ll let you know my dorm phone number and address once I find that stuff out.

Wow. Powerful stuff. Clearly I did not wind up working in the film industry or writing scripts. Nope, I am producing golf e-mails. Oh innocent young Ryan with your pocket full of dreams, where did the time go?

Working From The House

This morning when I woke up, I was the only member of the family not currently vomiting. Poor wife and poor hound! I went to work in the morning, but decided it was best to work from home in the afternoon to keep an eye on things at the house. Lauren went in to work in the afternoon, and Baxter’s cough and insane amount of vomiting thankfully dissipated as the day went on. I was able to get just as much work done from home as I would have at the office, despite not having a mouse and the trackpad not clicking. Thank the good folks at Apple for keyboard shortcuts!

There’s not much new to report from Babyland. There are plans to go buy a crib and dresser soon and start making some sense of the nursery. We’ve got more daycares to visit and we’ll continue to look at some new cars that will be safer than a 1994 Chevrolet Silverado for transporting the tiny tot.

And now we’re relaxing watching a random baseball game as Lauren fights another fraudulent charge on her American Express card. I think I’ll go scrub the bathtub because it is in dire need of scrubbing.