Thursday, April 19, 2007

As if There Weren't Enough Reasons to be Into Alyssa Milano

OK, that's a bit disingenuous of me. Despite the fact that she hit puberty on national television about five weeks before I did, I'm no Alyssa Milano fan. Sure, she's pretty but it's not like she has ever cracked my top 5 list or anything.

But maybe I need to reassess because it turns out that she has a baseball blog. Buxom celebrity who likes baseball? Hmmm. Bears further analysis.

Since it's hosted by there is an inevitable Pravdaesque element to it all. Indeed, based on the first post's clumsy attempt to link the early season snow-outs in Cleveland to the new baseball clothing line she is shilling for the MLB store, it appears to be a thinly-veiled commercial effort as a opposed to a legitimate baseball blog, and it's quite possible that the endeavor will last only as long as sales of "New York Mets Women's Criss-Cross White Tank Tops" hold up.

But I could be wrong, because she appears to be actually writing it herself and genuinely seems to know and care a hell of a lot about baseball. Dating every number 2 starter in the league will help you acquire that knowledge, but still, let's give her just due.

Accused of being a shameless shill in the comments to her first post, she has vowed to make it her "mission" to keep going and "convert the doubters." I'm the last person who can complain about someone not updating their blog, so I suppose I'll take her at face value. She's only three posts in so far, but it doesn't seem too early to give her a good fisking. Let's take a gander:
Honestly, this is what I love about baseball. It’s just like life. The ride. The journey. Every year when the season starts, I think I have a pretty good idea of how the season is going to go. Oh, I think I’m such an expert -- I read every magazine, I read everyday (OK, maybe four or five times a day), I watch the Spring Training games. And yet despite all the preparation, I realize I simply have no idea what twists or turns the season will take. As much as I try to peer into the future, the future is unpredictable. A ball bounces under a player’s legs, and the Red Sox lose their lead and the World Series. A fan interferes with a ball, and the Cubs lose their lead, and the playoff series. A-Rod finally silences the boo’s and steps up to the plate. That’s baseball. In life, we have our own rhythms, our own ups and downs, our own teammates, and all we can do is hold on and prepare for the challenges along the journey.

Yes, much of this is cliche -- and kind of meaningless in that not knowing what's going to happen next pretty much describes everything in life -- but if you didn't know any better, I bet I could convince you that it was something Bob Costas once said after taking some cold medicine. Shameless plug for notwithstanding, it seems heartfelt.

Alyssa gets downright fiesty in her next post. Challenged by commenters as being a shill, she lays out her baseball bonafides:

  • I never leave a game early.

This is saying something for a Dodgers fan. +1 for Alyssa.

  • I love nachos with just cheese and guacamole even though it makes my ankles swell (but I will occasionally partake in a Dodger tofu dog, which if chased by a diet soda gives me the burps for days).

Alyssa: your value proposition is being the object of male fantasy. I love the fact that you eat nachos at the game, but your target fan base doesn't want to think of your swollen ankles and gas. -2, but that's more for eating tofu dogs at a ballgame than the bloaty gas.

  • I cried the first time I saw a fan wearing TOUCH [her clothing line] in the stands that wasn’t my mother.

Not the best point to bring up when you're trying to refute charges of being a shill, but I'll give it a pass for now.

  • I participate in the wave whenever possible.


  • I am often the one that starts the chant that eventually makes it to your section.


  • I have a recurring dream that I am a pitcher but have the yips.

+3 for knowing of the phenomenon, but a provisional -2 for not calling it Steve Blass Disease.

  • My favorite present day Dodger is Russell Martin

Good choice! Solid young up-and-comer that I'm guessing most Dodger fans wouldn't name and most casual baseball fans couldn't name. +5.

  • My favorite all time player is Roberto Clemente (because of his righteous humanitarian work).

On the one hand this sounds like something either her handlers or the MLB people wanted her to say for image purposes (see also her cliched and sanctimonious references to Jackie Robinson, The Toyota Prius, and her charity work). Besides, no true Dodger fan who grew up in the 70s could name a Pirate as their favorite all time player, could they? On the other hand, old Arriba died helping earthquake victims a week or two after she was born, so maybe she does feel some cosmic love for him.

  • I hate when the count is 0-2 and the pitcher throws that ball low and away (the batter knows just as well as we do that it’s coming so why not throw it in the zone for the love of God).

Um, because you want the batter to chase some slop? I think what's really going on here evidences frustration at ex-boyfriends like Barry Zito and Carl Pavano rather than an actual baseball beef. I can see Alyssa sitting in the stands, watching her man pitch, but also watching the clock and worrying that all that nibbling on the outside corner is going to make them late for their late reservation at Docle or something. Have another tofu dog, honey, and let the man paint the corners.

There's a lot more worth commenting on, but I'll stop, because I think she has established that she is an actual baseball fan and not some clueless, froofy starlet simply using baseball to make a quick buck.

For now, Ms. Milano, I am a fan. Keep up the unexpectedly adequate work.