Friday, August 13, 2010

Operation Bum

That Derek Bell hit .173 with the Pirates in 2001 is enough to qualify him as a bona-fide Burgh Bum. Yet his failure to flirt with the Mendoza Line is not what leads many to consider him a Bum. (Editor's note: the Mendoza Line is baseball's ultimate mark of mediocrity. The Mendoza line for batting average is generally set at .200, and named after longtime joke Major Leaguer and former Pirate Mario Mendoza, who frequently hit below the mark. Future Bum of the day? Stay tuned.)

All told, by the time he arrived in Pittsburgh, Bell had carved himself out a career as a solid big-league outfielder. He was, however, becoming closer and closer to reaping his AARP benefits, like many Bucco free-agents in the 2000's. He had won a World Series with Toronto in 1992, when Canada's Team defeated the heavily-mulleted Philadelphia Phillies. Bell went on to play for San Diego, Houston, and the Mets before arriving in Pittsburgh. In Houston, he was the lesser known of the "Killer B's" along with Jeff "Buff" Bagwell and Craig Biggio. Bell hit and fielded well, but did offer the occasional glimpse into his impending fall from grace. Case in point, he decided to choose the comeback game of Houston skipper Larry Dierker to air his displeasure with playing time. Dierker, who'd made a courageous recovery from a heart-attack in the dugout, was welcomed back by this mustached malcontent pissing and moaning about hitting sixth.

Bell came to Pittsburgh essentially because no one else wanted him, a fact he promptly validated with his paltry batting average in '01. Problem was, in Bell's eyes, a veteran--even one who hit .173--shouldn't have to compete for his job in Spring Training. What Bell told reporters that spring would become his legacy:

"Nobody told me I was in competition. If there is competition, somebody better let me know. If there is competition, they better eliminate me out of the race and go ahead and do what they're going to do with me. I ain't never hit in spring training and I never will. If it ain't settled with me out there, then they can trade me. I ain't going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is [a competition], then I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown.' Tell them exactly what I said. I haven't competed for a job since 1991."

Operation Shutdown remains in effect to this day. Bell bailed from Spring Training shortly after, earning his release, and has been out of baseball ever since. He was last sighted in 2008 when he was arrested on possession and paraphernalia charges. In 2006, he was also arrested after police found crack cocaine and a warm crack pipe in his car during a routine traffic stop. He couldn't sniff the Mendoza Line, but boy can he sniff the white line. Hoooooooo.

Bell akso bears an uncanny resemblance "Super Troopers" character Arcot Ramathorn, ironically a law enforcement figure (above left).

FACT: Bell pitched an inning of mop-up duty as a Met in 2000, where he lit up the radar guns with pitches that mostly failed to top 50 MPH. We've seen harder throws in the carnival games at Kennywood. The Pirates ended up paying him $4.5 million to NOT play for them. The Super Genius himself, Mark Madden summarized the incident saying, "Derek Bell becomes the ultimate Pirate: Lives on a boat and steals money." What a bum.

The Best Damn Sports Show Period even made fun of the bum!(6:50 mark)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kris Beech

Aside from everyone’s favorite tinted-visored turncoat Marian Hossa, perhaps no former Penguin in recent memory is as loathed as one Kris Beech. Already under enough pressure having joined the Pens as the centerpiece in the Jaromir Jagr trade, former GM Craig Patrick essentially gave Beech the kiss of death when he anointed him the second-coming of St. Ron Francis. The big centerman from Salmon Arm, British Columbia put up a respectable 25 points in a 2001-02 season that saw him play 79 games with the NHL Penguins. Those modest numbers would turn out to be a career year for the former top-10 draft pick, who spent the next several seasons shuttling back and forth between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Steel City. Beech’s reputation as a moping enigma would grow during those years. In this picture, you can see Lloyd Christmas, I mean Kris Beech getting as close as he ever would to the Stanley Cup.

Like fellow featured bum Shane Endicott, Beech can be spotted in all his unspectacular glory in the NHL Network series “Chasing the Dream,” easily located on Youtube. Portrayed as a talented minor leaguer who struggles to put it together, Beech is most famous in the series for playing a lot of video games, and dressing like a bit of a gangster, wearing rap star-like gold chains and Air Jordan paraphernalia. Ladies, if you've ever fantasized about Beech in a hospital gown, you're in luck, as one episode the cameras follow him to get an MRI. Speaking of ladies, Beech became the envy of all straight males in the Pittsburgh metro area when it was revealed he and former KDKA anchor Sonni Abatta (pictured, left) were an item. Pittsburghers, male and female alike, wondered aloud why, of all the talented hockey players to come through the city, Sonni chose Kris Beech. We may never know. In this photo, Beech looks like the spawn of Bono and Sinead O'Connor, and apparently has re-used his hospital gown for an outing with Sonni.

Beech, pictured left with fellow joke/metrosexual dresser Brooks Laich, continued to cement his legacy as a bust while floating around the minors with various teams throughout the early and mid-2000’s until 2007-08 when Pens GM Ray Shero, in perhaps his only lapse of judgment ever, saw the need to pluck the underachieving slug off waivers to bolster the team’s roster. Beech played five games that season, registering only two penalty minutes (probably on a lazy, half-assed hook or hold). Thanks to either a miracle, possession of incriminating photos of Michel Therrien, or the desparate pleas of a certain KDKA personality, he was invited to camp the following season, where he was booed off the ice after getting ejected from the Pens first preseason game. Shortly after, he refused an assignment to the AHL, and was granted his outright release. He now plays for HV71 in the Swedish league, where he somehow probably finds a way to bang the hot local news anchor and likely eats a lot of meatballs with lingonberry sauce.

FACT: Beech’s NHL totals are/were 25 goals, 42 assists for 67 points, plus 113 penalty minutes in 198 games. He was picked 7th overall by the Capitals in the 1999 NHL draft, which is largely considered to be the worst draft of all time. Therefore, Kris Beech is among the best of the worst. In all his time in Pittsburgh, Beech tallied a massive 27 points, while making $2,635,000. He was paid $97,592 per point with the Pens. What a bum.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Daily Bum: Shane Endicott

If you want an automatic facepalm from a Penguins fan, casually work the name “Shane Endicott” into your next conversation. The name is sure to dredge up bad memories of days when the Igloo was only sold out on bobblehead nights and the prospect of moving to Kansas City haunted our dreams.

After he put up respectable numbers in juniors for the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Pens made Endicott their second round draft pick in 2000. Though they hoped the lanky center could become a power forward, he would ultimately join such illustrious names as Brian Gaffaney, Pavel Skrbek, and Ondrej Nemec as another one of the Pens many forgettable second-round picks. Beloved in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by the men for his play on the ice and by the women for his surfer-boy persona and shaggy hair, Endicott had looks more fitting for “The O.C.” and a stoner-like personality more apropos for “Pineapple Express.” While in Wilkes-Barre, he roomed with the ever-popular and equally hilarious/clueless Colby Armstrong. Their early-twenties exploits are forever chronicled in the NHL Network series “Chasing The Dream” where their filthy living quarters would have made a South Oakland slumlord blush.

Endicott saw the proverbial cup-o’-coffee with Pittsburgh in his rookie season, notching an assist in four games in 2001-02. Endicott would spend most of the next four seasons in the minors where he was the model of consistency, amassing exactly 39 points in three consecutive seasons. His big break with the Pens came in 2005-06 where he saw action in 41 games, racking up a goal and an assist to go with 43 penalty minutes. Other than being a poster child for uninspired and lackadaisical play, Endicott is probably best known for having the guts to challenge the shining pillar of leadership, heart and all that is man, Mike Richards, to a fight in a Wachovia Center crapfest that season (pictured above). Though he came up short, we Pens fans admire the fact that he probably called Captain Courage some pejorative terms and may have landed a punch or two on that doucher’s smarmy mug. Shane is an avid guitarist and BMX biker, and we wonder how famous he may have become had he joined a band like Yellowcard or starred in the X-Games. After his release from the Pens, Endicott bounced around the AHL before landing in Japan with the Oji Paper Eagles of the Asian League where we’re sure he’s doing a hell of a job.

FACT: Despite being a semi-intimidating physical presence at 6’4” 200 lbs, Endicott’s career fight card reads zero wins, one loss by TKO, and four draws over nine seasons of junior and pro hockey. What a bum.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Steroid Bum

Josias Manzanillo pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2000-2002. Most fans will remember him for his colorful pitching style, and unique actions he displayed before he took the mound. As a relief pitcher, he would run out from the bull pen faster than normal. Then, we he reached the mound, he would turn around, kneel down, say a prayer, and start banging himself in the side of the head with his own hand. He claimed that this kept him in control and pumped him up to face the big league batters. Apparantly, he didn't hit himself hard enough. Because he sucked.

The 6'0', 190 lb ass from the Dominican Republic made his debut with the Red Sox in 1991. He is the 17th of 18 children. In 1997, Manzaníllo suffered a hilarious grueling injury while pitching for the Seattle Mariners. Not wearing a cup, he took a Manny Ramirez line drive to the nuts that led to an operation to remove one of his testicles. Maybe this was part of the reason why he was so bad with the Pirates. In 1999, the New York Mets granted him free agency and the almighty Pirates signed him. In 2000, he was 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA. In 2001, he was 3-2 with a 3.39 ERA. Not too bad right? Right. But 2002 is the reason why this little foreign man in the bum of the day.

In his last year with Pittsburgh, he was 0-0 with a 7.62 ERA. 11 earned runs in 13 innings. What a pitcher. After 13 ridicilous appearances, the Pirates released him in August of that season. Cincinatti decided to give him a shot. He was worse. 9 appearances, 0-2 record, 12.66 ERA. 15 total earned runs (7 came off of home runs) in 10.2 innings! He finished his career in Florida where he went 3-3 with a 6.12 ERA.

Actual story: When I was a little kid, my parents took my brother and I to a Pirates game and we sat very close to the Pirates bullpen. Manzaníllo was standing there and my dad asked him if he would autograph the ball I had. He said "yeah, after the game". After the game was over (we lost), my dad went to give him the ball and a pen. He said, "Sorry, I can't".

What do you mean you can't?

He made about $550,000 per year with the Bucs. Roughly $1,650,000 over three seasons. Using an extensive trigonometric function, I calculated that Josias made $26,190 for every earned run he gave up.

One morning about three years ago, I woke up to watch Sportscenter. This news brought a smile to my face. On December 13, 2007 Manzaníllo was one of many athletes mentioned in the detailed Mitchell Report that listed the ball players that had used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. In this report, former major league clubhouse attendant, Kirk Radomski claimed that Manzaníllo was the only player he ever witnessed taking steroids. Ramdomski dealt steroids and HGH to tens if not hundreds of major league baseball players. And the only one he actually saw doing it was this joke. Who takes steroids, has one nut, and still sucks? Oh yeah, thanks for the autograph.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slash: Steeler Bum

Kordell Stewart was drafted in the 2nd round (60th overall) by the Steelers in the 1995 NFL Draft. Although he was a 1-time Pro Bowler, and led the team to the AFC Championship in `97, nearly 96.7% of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan area consider this man a bum. Here's why..

To begin, he was just a terrible QB. He ran the ball more than he did throw it and every time he threw it, it was always to anybody that wasn't wearing Steelers' colors. Some would argue, he did get the Steelers back to the AFC Championship in 2001 before losing to a team that was cheating the whole game. I believe he would have been a good wide receiver or punter. But he chose a different position. Some remember him as the man who paved the way for mobile run and gun type quarterbacks like Mike Vick and Vince Young. I remember him blowing every opportunity he had with us in any playoff environment, and I remember him throwing 72 interceptions.

Then there was a rumor that spilled out that he was possibly homosexual. He denied these reports.. but what was that white thing on his face? After these rumors started spreading around, his play went completely downhill and he even publicly blamed his poor play on it. Sensitive bum. He remained our starting QB up until the 20002 season. but after throwing an interception into double coverage in the end zone at home against the Cleveland Browns in the third game of the season, he was replaced by increasingly popular backup Tommy Maddox (future bum of the day), and Stewart was released at the end of the season.

The following season, Stewart signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears and was named the starter. After several poor performances, he was replaced by rookie Rex Grossman and released again at the end of the season. Stewart signed with the Ravens in 2004 to play a backup role to Kyle Boller (who?) but did not throw a pass the entire season. However, he was unexpectedly successful as an emergency replacement for punter Dave Zastudil (who?), being named NFL Special Teams Player of the Week for his punting performance. What an honor. He retired with a measly career QB rating of 70.7.

After he left the NFL, Stewart made guest appearances on the TV shows Deal or No Deal and Pros vs. Joes. It was later confirmed that he only appeared on these shows because he was in a bit of debt at the time.

But wait! On April 29, 2008, on a radio interview, Stewart expressed interest in returning to the NFL. Also, on ESPN2's First Take reported that Kordell is not officially retired and has been working out at his home, to attempt a comeback next pre-season. (LOL)

Kordell is currently married, and has a 5-year-old son named Syre. Nice name choice. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Big Thrashers fan. He made $16,110,260 total with Pittsburgh. $223,753 per interception thrown.

Some say that many Pittsburgh fans over hyped Kordell because of a single college football play he made. Most say that he was a nice guy. And he was. But so was Konstantin Kolstov. And he'll be appearing on The Bum Blog sooner than later too. Hooooooo.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What a kicker ;)

First off, the referee who called the pass interference penalty on Anthony Madison, negating his interception and allowing Arizona to kick a field goal to tie Thursday's preseason game with no time left in the first half is a complete bum (you'd think when the Arizona receiver hooks our CB's arm, it would be called offensive pass interference, but apparently this referee missed that lesson in referee school.) The real bum of the day is former Steeler kicker Kris Brown.

Brown was drafted in the 7th round of the 1999 draft by the Steelers. Brown saw action in his rookie year and was successful at Three Rivers Stadium. When the Steelers moved to Heinz Field in 2001, Brown showed his bum side. The moment that sticks in my mind is a game against the NY Jets when Brown missed two field goals and an extra point. Fans did what you do to bums, they booed Kris Brown the next time he came on the field to attempt a field goal.

Another future bum of the day, Kordell Stewart, who is/was familiar to boos, stood on the sidelines and waved a towel to try to encourage fans to cheer for Brown instead of boo him. Both bums were eventually booed out of Pittsburgh. Brown also had a field goal blocked by the New England Patriots in the 2001 AFC Championship game that was run back for a touchdown (we lost that game by a touchdown...go figure.) Brown asked for free agency, was granted it, and signed with the Houston Texans in their expansion year of 2002.

Kris Brown made $900,020 as a Steeler, compiling 23 missed field goals (80 FGM-103 FGA). What a bum!

Fact: Kris Brown made $39,131 per field goal missed as a Steeler.

*ATTENTION: Our site will be holding a tournament in the near future, in order to name all-time bums in four separate categories (Penguins, Steelers, Pirates, and miscellaneous).

Once again, if you would like to nominate bums for the brackets, please leave a comment.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I have nothing to say.