Taylor Swift Takes a Picture with the Son of Toth

Confession:   I can’t name a single Taylor Swift song.

I knew who she was (the country singer who always looks like she’s about to sneeze) before Kanye West humiliated the poor girl before a national television audience. Kanye’s act that night, though earning him Presidential scorn, catapulted the man into “legend” status, particularly among the Swift Haters. Predictably his showmanship went viral, see here.

Well now, potentially, it is the affable Ms. Swift who might be in some hot water:

Taylor Swift in racism row after posing with fan wearing swastika daubed on shirt

And because we’re not exempt here at Last Row from succumbing to the occasional viral campaign (it is flu season), like a Yankee batter facing Cliff Lee, I just couldn’t lay off:

Taylor Swift

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Philly Fan, Chris Rock has a Question for You…

As most of us know, the Philadelphia Phillies just won their first World Series (since 1980, boo-hoo) and Philly Nation was indubitably psyched, as they should be.  The city, naturally, threw the team a parade to celebrate the championship.  Here is a shot from said parade:

Photo by Clem Murray / Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News Staff Photographer

Take a look at the sign on the right, “We Won”.  To paraphrase Chris Rock, Philly fan, what did you win?

Philly Fan takes Bottle to the Head

While I understand the euphoria that follows when one’s team wins a championship, I cannot understand the bacchanalian revelry that erupts after such a win.

Back in 1999 when I was at Texas and the Longhorns upset #3 Nebraska in Austin (see game-winning catch below), fellow students took to the streets, climbed on buses, got electrocuted in campus fountains and charmined trees throughout campus. We all got a little crazy but no one was hurt.

This year, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series (props to former Astro Brad Lidge) and their fans, notorious for crazy behavior, took to the streets in celebration. Thankfully no cars were barbecued, no one lost their life but thanks to YouTube we were given a special glimpse into some specifics.

Take this guy who takes a well-thrown bottle to the head at around the 7-second mark:

Hope it was worth it…

The Boston Red Sox, “World Champions of the World!”

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Ho-hum, so another big payroll MLB team cruises to yet another World Series title. After winning 2 World Series in 4 years, I don’t think the Sox can be classified under the “lovable loser” category in sports taxonomy. The Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, and Houston Astros still qualify though.

Truth be told, I became a quasi-Red Sox fan prior to the ’86 World Series. That year in the NLCS, the New York Mets had broken the hearts of every Houston Astros fan (including myself) and so it became somewhat natural for me to root for their World Series opponent, the Boston Red Sox.

Rooting for the Sox was made easier by the collection of characters on the Mets. It’s not hard to root against a team with the likes of Strawberry, Gooden, Mitchell, and Backman. They also had a guy who is impossible to retire and thus a thorn on the opposing team’s side, for the ’86 Mets that was Ray Knight. Understand that this type of guy is a must on a team which the opposing fans find easy to dislike (Think Pyerzynski, Eckstein, Lemke, etc) but the home fans absolutely adore.

Since then, they’ve kind of been my favorite AL team, especially after the Yankees became the “evil empire”.

I felt Red Sox nation’s pain when that dribbler went between Buckner’s legs, when Grady Little listened to Pedro over common sense, and when Boone rocked a Wakefield dead duck special over the wall.  I “rejoiced” when they swept Houston’s nemesis the St. Louis Cardinals in ’04.

But can us non-Red Sox fans still root for them and above the Yankees, a team whose “evil empire” formula the Red Sox have adopted and probably perfected?

Not after winning their second title in 4 years and having the second highest payroll in MLB and thus in my view, shedding their lovable loser label.

However they’re still 20 or so world titles from catching Steinbrenner’s Yankees, so I guess this Astros fan’s AL rallying cry is still “Go Red Sox!”

Guys with “Funny” Names Shine during Baseball Playoffs

Cabrera, Gagne (Greg not Eric), Garko, Hrbek, Leius, Lemke,  Leyritz, Orozco, Pagliarulo, Pierzynski, Podsednik, Rijo, Sojo, Vizcaino.  What do these last names have in common?

They belong to guys who for some reason or another pick the playoffs to shine brightest.

I know this list dates me for I don’t remember very little of postseasons prior to the 1984 Series between the Tigers and Padres.  You might notice that the above names represent an even later cross section (late 80s to mid 90s) of postseason lore.

Who can forget Kent Hrbek’s submission hold on Ron Gant in Game 2 of the ’91 Series?  And unknown Scott Leius’ shot off Cy Young winner Tom Glavine in that same game?

Or even Pierzynski’s pesky and alltogether annoying in-game awareness in the 2005 postseason?

What of Scott Podsednik’s (0 HR during the season) game-winning blast off Houston’s Brad Lidge in the 2005 Series?

What about the original “funny name” guy, Bill Mazeroski?  He seemed to have started the trend of “funny name” guys who shine in the postseason.

Does the rarity of a surname grant these guys postseason prowess?

Who knows but just take a look at A-Rod whose last name is embarrassingly common yet he seems to flame out during the playoffs, coincidence or psychic phenomenon?

Anyone else notice this trend?