The wonder of the game!

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby redsfan720 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:03 pm

I'm reserving judgment on this whole Braun thing. He (and anyone that tests positive) deserves the benefit of the doubt, a luxury that a few renegades took away from anyone else that may make a mistake.

I work as a sportswriter covering college sports, and an athlete I covered tested positive for a banned substance and was deemed ineligible for his entire senior year. It was an over-the-counter dietary aid that a school trainer initially approved, he took it once in the middle of the offseason, and the trainer came back and said, "No, you can't take this." And I can say with 100 percent certainty that this is the most intelligent, most upstanding athlete I've ever been around. And the kid lost his senior season.

Fortunately for him, the stigma of being a PED user hasn't followed him around professionally.

So when all of that stuff happened, I learned it was best to reserve judgment on matters like this (even though he wasn't a baseball player). Would I be surprised if Braun was using something with malicious intent to enhance his body outside of the rules? No, but that's just because I wouldn't be surprised if any player tested positive just because of the stakes at hand.

But all of the reports around the details of the test have been murky and filled with anonymous sources (which says either nobody is authorized to speak on the matter or nobody feels confident enough in the data collected, and truth be told it's probably a combination of the two). And even then, it seems each report has an equally credible (this is a relative term) report that contradicts it.

All that said, and for purely selfish reasons, I wish more of the Brewers' games in the upcoming season against my beloved Reds fell during Braun's 50-game suspension. Only three are.

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:07 pm

I, like you, want to suspend any judgement until it is fully resolved. He is one of those younger stars for whom I have high expectations. My sadness stems from the fact that not a single player charged by Major League Baseball since testing began has been able to successfully overthrow their test findings. That will be a harsh stigma to have hang over one's remaining playing career if this is true. It has me feeling very discouraged.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:00 pm

Nice to see the announcement today of the addition of Barry Larkin in the class of 2012 for the Hall of Fame- very much merited. An all around effective shortstop in his prime and a personal favorite for me. Good choice!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:54 pm

Read with sadness earlier this evening of the passing of Gary Carter. Not a Met or Expo fan but he will always be remembered by me as the one who sparked the late inning heroics against my team , the Sox, in the 1986 World Series, when he hit that first two out single in the bottom of the 10th, down 5 to 3 with no one on base, and was then followed by singles from Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight and then crossing the plate with his hands clapping he signaled to Mookie Wilson and we all know what happened next. He previously had hit the game tying sacrifice fly in the 8th inning of that game. If I remember he hit a total of 9 RBIs in that series - few have done that.

Will always remember his rigid batting stance, curly hair erupting from under the batting helmet and his sheer infectious love of the game.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby redsfan720 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:26 am

We lost a good one today.

Funny you mention his sheer infectious love of the game. MLB.com posted this clip today of Carter's last at bat. Among other great details—Harry Caray's perfect call, the fact that the ball sailed just over the glove of one Andre Dawson, that it was a go-ahead hit—his reaction is that of pure bliss, and it might be the most joyful I've ever seen a baseball player on the diamond. Unfiltered exuberance. Good luck holding it in, baseball fans.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20086255&source=MLB&gid=1992_09_27_chnmlb_monmlb_1

I got my love of the game in part from a close family friend who made his living as a major leaguer for a while in the '70s and '80s. Today I recalled a conversation I had with him when Andre Dawson was enshrined in Cooperstown. We somehow got on the topic of Gary Carter, and he told me Carter was the nicest person he ever met in baseball.

May he rest in peace. I'll be wearing my Expos hat tomorrow.

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:09 am

If Ryan Braun was looking for absolution in contesting his 50 game ban, the overruling of the suspension by the arbitration panel I think fails to give it to him. His suspension is lifted but only on a technicality. This decision will still leave room for some doubt. First player, though, to have one of these suspensions lifted. That is something but it definitely fails to lift the veil of suspicion that will continue to hang around him. That is an ugly limbo.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:36 am

Nice to see the dignified and classy way Jason Varitek was allowed to retire by the 'Sox'. A personal favorite for me in the way he handled himself, his teammates, his pitching staff and his opponents. Caught 4 no hitters, as well. How many can claim that? Classy and direct to the end when asked how he would react when he first walked into the old ballpark as a retired player, he stated, bluntly, "I already did". I will miss that practicality.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed May 09, 2012 5:20 pm

18 total bases, 8 rbi's, 4 homers and 1 double, only the 16th player in Baseball history to do that in one night- that is frequently a months worth or longer of production for the average player. That Josh Hamilton did it in one night is just further evidence that he is a 'special' player. Yes he is!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun May 27, 2012 7:51 am

Found this piece from today's NY Times Sports Section by Bob Ojeda quietly affecting in it's bittersweet remembrance of a career and of a player's passion for the game and the physical pain he had to endure early on to participate in his 'favorite game'. That in the end he would do it all over again- just with a right arm- is most telling- as he states "I never iced it once'.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/sport ... ref=sports
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:11 am

This article from yesterday's Sports section of the Times goes a long way toward patiently and intelligently explaining for a novice like myself why Nadal is so dominant on this surface, in particular I loved how ultimately it comes down to the great 'strength' between his ears. Looking forward to tomorrow's live broadcast of the final.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/08/sport ... afaelnadal
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:37 am

Perhaps not the knock down drag out match I so anticipated but I will still look forward to watching on DVR later today. Sadly Djokovic has some reason to protest as he clearly was gaining momentum in that aborted third set. But equally, not a true test of Nadal's abilities on that surface under optimal conditions. He was right to be upset that the match was allowed to proceed in the third- should have been postponed at the start of the rain given what was at stake for both players.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:37 am

Enjoyed this piece from yesterday's NY Times Sports section. An in depth look at the position of catcher and the sheer skill required to play the position and the mental and physical toll a player encounters while playing. It focuses on Russell Martin, the catcher for the NY Yankees. Well written and original. This new approach they are taking in featuring detailed pieces on the aspect of a game is most welcome.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/sport ... wanted=all
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:37 am

Enjoyed this piece from yesterday's NY Times Sports section. An in depth look at the position of catcher and the sheer skill required to play the position and the mental and physical toll a player encounters while playing. It focuses on Russell Martin, the catcher for the NY Yankees. Well written and original. This new approach they are taking in featuring detailed pieces on the aspect of a game is most welcome.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/sport ... wanted=all
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:01 pm

Excited to see Roger back in the Wimbeldon Finals again. He will be going for his 7th Championship there and his 17th major championship overall. He is now 8-0 in semi-finals at Wimbeldon. Could soon be #1 again for a record tying moment with Sampras at 286 weeks. His only loss in a Final came in 2008 to Nadal when he lost the fifth set of the Championship 9-7. A lot to play for and I could not be happier were he to win on Sunday. Even if Andy Murray should be his opponent and he somehow manages to get the 'first Englishman to win' bogeyman off his back. Very much looking forward to this final.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:35 pm

This men's final was special to watch. Fantastic at 30 for Roger to win his 17th Major and 7th Wimbledon championship. Tremendous tennis in the later portion of that fourth set. I could close my eyes and also imagine it was 8 or so years ago and he was in his prime. Looking forward now to Flushing Meadow in late August.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:56 am

News just now of the passing of Earl Weaver- god I loved it when he would turn his hat around and come storming out of the dugout to argue a call with an umpire. One could dispute his baseball strategies like waiting for the big three run home run instead of manufacturing a run but one cannot argue with his results- those were some tremendous baseball teams he had with the Orioles in the mid sixties to the early seventies. May he rest in peace.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 8874,d.dmQ
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:30 pm

RIP Stan the Man Musial. One of the all time greats, if not THE all-time great . . . . in the top 5 anyway, and the greatest player to ever wear the birds on bat forever and always. A true national hero.

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:39 am

Emotional Toothpaste wrote:RIP Stan the Man Musial. One of the all time greats, if not THE all-time great . . . . in the top 5 anyway, and the greatest player to ever wear the birds on bat forever and always. A true national hero.

Most definitely- a real pro. Always thought it was neat how he went out the same year as Ted Williams. In his own way extremely helpful in integrating baseball. And a fearsome hitter. Sad how his lack of 'sizzle' caused him to fade from the public memory except for out in the mid west. He justly deserves the send off St Louis will give him. The player most feared by my grandfather who was a devout Cub fan. :(
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:43 pm

The reports today of Alex Rodriguez being highly linked to the investigation of a Miami Medical Clinic and the usage and distribution of PED should not shock me. What it has done is greatly saddened me. That a player such as ARod with what would surely have gone down as one of the game's most storied careers is caught up in such a scandal should not be. The story is still developing but I cannot shake the feeling that his career and his current achievements will come crashing down. This from a player so conscious of his image. I am beginning to think he will never get an entry pass into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The only word that comes to mind is mendacity and maybe monumental hubris. :oops:
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:01 pm

No surprise with A-rod. Wouldn't surprise me if his slump late last year was because he went off the PED's.

If you got 20 minutes to burn . . . do yourself a favor and watch this very stirring eulogy given by Bob Costas at Stan the Man's funeral this past saturday. Lots of great stories about Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, racism back in the day and of course the great human being that was Stan Musial.

http://fox2now.com/2013/01/26/bob-costa ... or-musial/

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:46 pm

Thank you so much for sharing that. I could not keep a dry eye as I watched and listened to Costas. The anecdotes are poignant and they so help to amplify a great and decent man. I was too young to see him play and he has existed in my conscience as a player/legend of quality who rarely got his due. Costas puts that to route. That Mantle in his late night confession admitted Musial was the better player, that Cobb, that old crank, called him the only player nearest to perfection that he ever saw, that Hank Aaron wanted to be him- but mostly that he kept a solitary tribute at Mantle's funeral away from the VIP section speaks volumes for the man and the player that he was. The people in the St Louis area were blessed with this man's presence. He was special.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:19 am

Very early in a career-a lot can happen- but Matt Harvey the new pitching phenom of the NY Mets has my attention. Last night against another phenom- Steven Strasburg, he more than held his own. He was dominating against a team that arguably is one of the best in Baseball today. Harvey's mastery of the strike zone is impressive. He can spot his pitches at will. I watched the entire performance last night in awe.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/20/sport ... ref=sports
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:28 am

Wonderful piece in yesterday's NY Times Sports section about that little slice of heaven that is Fenway Park:

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013/0 ... tml?src=me
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Boy With A Problem » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:11 am

RIP George "The Boomer" Scott

Thank you for the taters
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:36 am

Boy With A Problem wrote:RIP George "The Boomer" Scott

Thank you for the taters


Sad news indeed-http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=george%20scott%20baseball%20player&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQqQIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2013%2F07%2F30%2Fsports%2Fbaseball%2Fgeorge-scott-slugger-who-boomed-taters-in-fenway-dies-at-69.html&ei=2c73UZD6G6v64AO-3YC4CA&usg=AFQjCNGnQm43EvOW9qJKlssYaeCosArphQ

and a pretty darn good fielder in his day- if he had been out on the field that evening in '86 I do not think the ball would have dribbled between his legs.....
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'


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