August | 2010 | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Articles from August 2010

Is That Carlos Quentin in the State Farm Insurance Commericals?

We all have seen the All-State Insurance commercials with Dennis Haysbert, or as most of America knows him, President David Palmer from the television show, “24.”  Perhaps it’s just my baseball fanaticism that takes over, but when somebody condescendingly points out that he is the same guy from “24,” I can’t help but want to correct them with, “You mean that’s Pedro Cerrano from Major League.”  Since the All-State commercials first aired, I have found myself laughing at each one, unable to resist the urge of imagining Haysbert delivering each line in the stern, Pedro Cerrano voice.

Over the past couple months I have experienced a similar television phenomena with a particular series of State Farm Insurance commercials.  No, I’m not talking about the one where a group of college friends magically summon a State-Farm agent, a sandwich, their hot neighbor and a hot tub- in that order nonetheless.  I’m talking about the ones featuring that way-too-nice of a guy who bounces in and out of people’s conversations, while offering cliché pieces of advice and promoting State Farm Insurance… or as I like to call them,

“The Carlos Quentin Commercials.”


Sign Him Up: Astros, Phillies Fans Impressive on Foul Balls (Video)

Ever since I was a little kid, I have always reserved the hope that I might be lucky enough to catch a foul ball, perhaps even a yard ball, at a MLB game.  There is always that moment right as I get to my seats and check out the view where I evaluate how probable catching a foul ball will be.  Although I have come extremely close on a few occasions, and even caught a few batting practice home runs, I am yet to leave a professional baseball game with a foul ball.  When that glorious day finally comes, I want to have done it the right way- it must be a barehanded, challenging catch.

Whenever I see a fan snag a foul ball with a glove, I cannot help but think that they cheated and are therefore unworthy of my praise.  The well-timed, barehanded catches have always been the most impressive; they are the ones that receive an ovation from an entire seating level, cause the announcers to take notice, and ultimately secure a shout-out on MLB Tonight and Quick Pitch.


Exploring the Brandon Phillips, Yadier Molina “Shin-Guard-Tapping” Incident

Shortly after the bench-clearing brawl between the Reds and Cardinals, I received an email from a good friend and former teammate, asking about one of baseballs many, under-appreciated nuances.  Since it is a discussion that delves into the mentality surrounding the brawl, as well as a discussion about the overall makeup of professional baseball players, I felt that it would be appropriate to post it in it’s entirety on The Golden Sombrero.


So this is a few days after the Cards/Reds brawl, so I won’t even ask if you saw it, since I know you did.  But I was wondering if you knew anything about the shin-guard-tapping-as-a-sign-of-friendship thing that got pissed off Yadi?  I had never heard of that before and was wondering if you knew about it/encountered it anywhere.  I’m going to start looking for it…when I get the rare chance to see a game.

Keep on keepin’ on,




A batter tapping the catcher’s shin guards as he strolls up the plate is a subtle term of endearment within the game, much like when a first basemen chats it up or pats an opposing hitter on the butt after a base hit.  A similar type of courtesy can be observed when a catcher hands the batter his bat after running out a foul ball, when the batter picks up a catcher’s mask for him after an admirable foul ball attempt, and when a hitter picks up the ball at his feet after the catcher wears a foul tip.


LaRoche, Hawpe Clear Waivers – Are White Sox Interested?

On Wednesday, left-handed power hitters Adam LaRoche and Brad Hawpe cleared waivers and it appears that they will be traded in the coming days.  Although neither the Arizona Diamondbacks nor Colorado Rockies seem close to a deal involving either player, there are several organizations that will undoubtedly express interest.

The fact that LaRoche was placed on waivers should come as no surprise as the Diamondbacks openly expressed his availability, as well as anybody not named Reynolds or Upton, during July’s trading frenzy.  Prior to the 2010 season, the Diamondbacks signed LaRoche to one year, $4.5 million contract that has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011, and would increase to a $9.5 mutual option if he is traded.  The Diamondbacks also have the ability to buy out LaRoche’s contract for $1.5 million.


Saying Goodbye to Bobby Thomson, the Man Who Hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”

Former Major Leaguer Bobby Thomson passed away Monday at the age of 86, but his 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” will undoubtedly live on as long as the game of baseball is played. Thomson’s walk-off homerun, which sent the New York Giants to the World Series over their bitter cross-town rival Brooklyn Dodgers, capped an improbable comeback that saw the Giants 13 ½ games back of the Dodgers on August 11 and going 37-7 down the stretch to force the three game playoff. This playoff was eventually, and so famously, decided by Thomson’s left-field wall-scraper that barely escaped the confines of the Polo Grounds.

Thomson’s homerun, labeled the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” because of the large number of American troops listening to the game from Korea on Armed Forces radio broadcast, has been etched into national lore for reasons much bigger than the smash itself. Thanks to the exuberant commentary of radio broadcaster Russ Hodges alone, as a young sports fan growing up I was captivated by the play even with zero understanding of its context or importance, other than the obvious fact that the Giants had made the World Series. This happened half a century before I ever saw it and I didn’t know any of the incredible back story, but even still I could certainly have told you about the time “THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!”

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