…. Baseball has always been “my sport” …. It’s the one at which I was less un-skilled as a youth and my choice for general spectatoring. Yes, I do love my Fall Color & Pageantry gridfests but for this American my favorite past time is still Baseball. So, who are all these fuzzy-cheeked whozits playing in October? ….. and BobLee has a Butch & Jimma Update if anyone is interested.
Of all the sports I’ve watched over multi-decades in multi-venues, THE GAME that I remember most vividly is the 1960 World Series 7th Game – Yankees v Pirates in Forbes Field. To most folks its “the Mazeroski walk-off homer game”. To fans of Bobby Richardson it’s Bobby’s MVP Series. But to an impressionable kid who stayed home sick that day it was …. Virdon’s routine grounder hitting a pebble and hitting Kubek in the throat …. It was Rocky Nelson’s stab of a line-drive and almost doubling up The Mick …. Hal Smith’s homer in the 8th …. And Yogi playing Left and watching Maz’s homer off Ralph Terry clear the wall.
I literally watched EVERY pitch of that game. “Double Dozen” #24 – Dick Groat was my favorite player for reasons totally unrelated to his alma mater. A year later I actually met Vernon Law who was the ace of that Pirate staff. ElRoy Face with his forkball was the “closer” but they had not invented that term then.
For all its modifications and not so subtle changes, I still prefer Baseball. I was always a fan of Charlie Finley’s A’s. Traditionalist that I am, I nevertheless did love those A’s unis …. and, of course, “Catfish” because he was a hommie from Hertford.
So now its 2008 and I MIGHT be able to name 5, maybe 6, of the total players on the four remaining teams. OK, even Joe Madden can only name two “Rays” but he is the manager. Whats with his glasses?
A World Series with Joe Madden and Charlie Manuel as opposing skippers !!! Somewhere Casey Stengal and Walter Alston are hitting themselves with fungo bats at the thought of it. Did “Joe” and “Charlie” win some Fan Fantasy contest by collecting MayPo labels?
Was Joe Madden ever at Elmira in the NYP League? Was Charlie Manuel a teammate of Joltin’ Joe and Dom with the San Francisco Seals?
92% of these players don’t look old enough to drive much less hit a line drive. My truck is older than RedSox pitcher John Lester.
There are more Japanese in these dugouts than there were on Mount Suribachi.
The Rays’ star player is one “n” away from being a Desperate Housewife ….. Evan Longoria – Eva Longoria.
Are the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard the last remaining “Negroes” in Major League Baseball? There are more Japanese in MLB than Negroes ??? That woulda won you a bar bet ten years ago I bet.
Does Jason Veritek give Dice-K his signs in Japanese finger signals?
Are the Rays uniforms about as drab as they can be? Special Olympics Slow-pitch teams have better unis.
Chase Utley and Jacoby Ellsbury are my favorite names. What’s with all these “Chase’s”? 20-25 years ago who decided to name every 3rd baby boy “Chase”?
Which brings us of course to THE PANTS. I saw this coming 5-6 years ago. The demise of the visible stirrup sock was a sad day for baseball. Jim Thome you are my hero. I have discussed this with three of the greatest baseball minds of the 20th century – Clyde King, George Whitfield and John Rudisell. They all agree that taking the stirrup sock out of baseball was probably in its own way worse than having James Bond report to a female “M”. In a sane world neither would happen.
There was an art to putting on a baseball uniform when there were stirrup socks to contend with. …. Put on the sanitary hose (I don’t know why they were called “sanitary socks”. They just were) then pull on the stirrup socks …. Then pull up your knickers and fold the legs down over themselves. Then roll the sanis and the stirrups a few rolls into the pants legs. Then pull the knickers up. Do it any other way and the socks will droop by the 4th inning.
As noted above, I was modestly talented on the field …. but as Alexander Julian is my witness, I knew how to look spiffy in a baseball uniform. Plus, I could hit a mean fungo too. Not as good as Jimmy Reese but few if any could. Every player on Sparky Anderson’s Big Red Machine knew how to do it. I doubt 10% of current “big leaguers” can do it.
When those long “softball pants” came in vogue I cringed but accepted them reluctantly. As long as they were double knit and somewhat form fitting they looked like “a uniform”. Now the players look like a bunch of old men playing bocci ball in Salerno. Thank you CC Sabathia for introducing the “floppy sloppy” look.
It looks like Chase The Phillie will play The Desperate HouseRay in the finals. Joe Who vs Charlie Huh. Whatever happened to Gino Cimoli?
I heard an interview with Jimma Sexton this week about Butch and upcoming jobs. Jimma says Butch will NOT go to Knoxville but it has nothing to do with pine trees, Charles Kuralt or those twelve faculty squirrels who signed the We Love Bill Ayers Petition. Butch won’t go because “he doesn’t believe he can win at UT”. The Big Four of the SEC are Florida, Georgia, Alabama and LSU. As long as those programs are strong, they will dominate the league year in – year out.
Tennessee does not have a recruiting advantage beyond 150 miles of Knoxville. Butch would rather take his chances with the wannabees in the ACC than the SEC juggernauts. That’s today …. $4-5,000,000 in December could change that.
Clemson obviously is “doing a Bunting” by canning Tommy mid-season but other than Lane Kiffin there are no available names “out there” now. “Tommy Tubbs” and Phfat Phil are projected to be however. Vandy’s Bobby Johnson will be high on Clem’s list.
Jimma also laughed that Butch finds some of the “way things are around Chapel Hill” to be sorta silly in regards to big time college football. Jimma wishes their were “more Bubbas” in the UNC fan base. YIKES!
Who managed those Pirates in 1960?
On to Hoo-ville. We will rendezvous with Phineus Teague and his VCU cronies and “Robert The Hoo Buddy” in Space 13.
Like Paxutawny Phil in February, it’s Election Time and Ol’ Dean E. Smith pops up as is his custom. Like me, Deano wears his overt partisanship on his sleeve. I’m fine with Dean publicly supporting any candidate he chooses. My position on this is what it has always been. Dean “gets away with it” because he is aligned with the radical loons that dominate Chapel Hill and UNC. If Dean, or Roy or Butch or Anson or Sylvia were overtly Conservative they would be villified and scorned and their social and professional lives adversley effected. ….. I know several high ranking UNC staffers who share my politics. if I outed them even here they would suffer consequences. ….. The radical Left that dominates UNC is not only hypocritical relative to “free speech” they are overtly “mean”. ….. but ol’ Dean is their buddy.
Big Doins in The Low Country on Saturday ….. David “Goal Line” Bomar and Miss Brooke McCauley are pledging their troths. Two fine young people from two legendary Tar Heel families marrying up. BobLee Approves!