The wonder of the game!

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The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:45 pm

Was in hysterics last night as I watched Benji Molina, on NESN, chugg[and that is the only way to describe his running] around the bases as he tried to get his triple for his historic cycle[ which included a grand slam] as a catcher. You thought he was going to die for lack of steam as he motored[if you can call his running style that]. Now he is in the company of Jimmy Fox going back to the 1930s. Beautiful irony is he is now out of the line up today with a tightness in his upper thigh!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:17 pm

Christopher Sjoholm wrote:Was in hysterics last night as I watched Benji Molina, on NESN, chugg[and that is the only way to describe his running] around the bases as he tried to get his triple for his historic cycle[ which included a grand slam] as a catcher. You thought he was going to die for lack of steam as he motored[if you can call his running style that]. Now he is in the company of Jimmy Fox going back to the 1930s. Beautiful irony is he is now out of the line up today with a tightness in his upper thigh!


Haha that was a funny moment.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:08 pm

Very excited at the legitimate prospect of a real Triple Crown winner in the National League this year- Albert Pujols. Leads in Home Runs, RBIs and is only 4 points behind for batting average as of this afternoon. I can hope.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:43 am

Albert hit his 400th Home Run last night- still in the lead for the Triple Crown and now the youngest player ever to reach the 400 mark and not a hint of steroids- Congratulations!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:01 am

Sickened at the news today that Stephen Strasburg will likely require "Tommy John" surgery for a significantly torn tendon in his arm- yet another phenom in a career ending situation-how precarious.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:02 am

Two things have recently left their mark on me-one because of the rareness of the feat and the other because of the sheer beauty that has emanated from it for the past 50 years.

This week saw Ichiro compile 200 hits in a year for the 10th straight year. No one has done that in baseball history and I marvel at the feat. In the very same game for the opposing team Jose Bautista hit his major league leading 50th Home Run[he now has 52 for the year]. All without the aid of steroids. Poetically, Bautista's home run was the sole run of the game and the game winner.

The other thing of beauty is the reminder today in the Sunday Times Sport section of the 50th anniversary of John Updike's glorious essay on the last game played by Ted Williams, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu" in a special addition in the Library of America series. If you have not read this piece, you have missed out on the best essay and piece of writing about baseball I have ever read. His descriptions of Fenway and the action that day are breathtaking. I have felt so fortunate that two of my daughters have lived within blocks of the stadium over the past six years allowing me numerous opportunities to reacquaint myself with the park. My one daughter even going so far as to procure tickets for games and dutifully sit in the stands with me even though she cares little for baseball because she knows what this place means to her old father.

Charles McGrath, in the Times, points out what has made this piece so memorable. The fact that the 'essay is never precious or self-consciously literary". As Roger Angell writes "'Hub Fans' most of all supplied him with a tone: colloquial, attentive, unashamed of feeling or of striving for an elegant turn of phrase. It seems obvious now, but Updike was one of the first to show that you don't have to write down about sports or empurple them, either". You come away from this piece with a renewed admiration for the keen metaphorical eyesight of Updike, his uncanny ability to observe and describe.

I also learned something new regarding this piece- that instead of attending the game Updike was originally heading to an adulterous assignation on Beacon Hill[ how Updikian can you get?] but when the woman was not at home he decided to attend the game. I am glad he did. If you have never read this essay you should; if you have, it should be revisited. As Williams in his final at bat in his career capped it with a home run Updike, in his first and only piece about Baseball, hit it 'out of the park' as McGrath says and then figuratively retired, too.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:40 pm

Sat in the living room last night transfixed by the surgical precision with which Halladay treated the Red's batters. I can watch him pitch any time; he is that masterful. The spirit of Maddox lives on the field in him. One need not throw it the fastest; just know where to place it, vary the speed and the trajectory and have command of all of your pitches at any time. He is special and now has two no hitters in the same season and has thrown one in his very first post season appearance. What a treat!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:09 pm

It just gets better as Lincecum throws a two hitter striking out 14 in his post season debut- am hunkered down ready to see what Oswalt can do as he just gives off a lead off home run.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:19 am

I, for one, do not want to hear anymore how AROD stinks when it counts the most. Last night should dispel any such thoughts. The two run scoring single in the eighth inning capped by his then scoring the go ahead and winning run deftly puts an end to such thoughts for me. Woe to the Rangers as they cannot seem to break that Yankee strangle hold on them in the post season.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:15 pm

Out pitched, out hit, out played- both the Yankees and the Phillies are gone- welcome the Giants and the Rangers should be fun but I will be listening on the radio as Fox and Cablevision continue to feud.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:34 am

Have to listen to the games on the radio[corporate greed-you know one of those 'Ransom" themes and a bad pun as I am being held ransom over it] but that can be a good thing because it draws me back to my childhood and the transistor radio tucked under my pillow. That said will root hard for the Giants and their first series championship since 1954. That is an impressive pitching staff- lead the majors in ERA this past season. And where did that impressive hitting come from? 2 down and 2 more to go. Cannot get enough of that ballpark out there as well, though I currently cannot see it.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:50 pm

Just as inexplicably as it was removed from my cable programing it is now back- at least I am guaranteed 2 more games. Let's go Giants!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:38 pm

One more to go- could be tonight. Last night was gorgeous with that three hit shutout- have to love that battery- Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey-great baseball names for starters!
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:24 pm

Most pleased with the final results and yet another solid pitching performance from that staff- all under 27 and with a battery mate who is 23- should be a force for the next decade. Hats off to the Giants.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:11 pm

Saddened by the news earlier today that Sparky Anderson has been committed to Hospice care for severe dementia. One of my favorite baseball people growing into adulthood. Still have fond memories of bumping into him during a meeting break while attending a function at the New York Hilton while we both taking advantage of a coffee break table- the Tigers must have been in town that week. He could not have been kinder and more engaging with a fan as we talked baseball for fifteen minutes.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Nov 04, 2010 4:10 pm

Just a day after reading Sparky was placed in Hospice care for his dementia I now see that he has passed on. Two are gone from my childhood now with their connection to Detroit- Ernie and now Sparky. Very sad day for me.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby so lacklustre » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:58 am

Had 16/1 on the Giants mid-season
Only £5 ew
but that is £120
I heart the Giants
signed with love and vicious kisses

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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:45 pm

Wonderful to see the unanimous recognition for Roy Halladay as he won the National League 2010 CY Young award for pitching- now having one from both leagues. Recap- 1 perfect game, a no-hitter in the post season, 21-10 won lost record, 2.44 era, 9 complete games, 4 shutouts, 250 2/3 innings pitched, faced 993 hitters and walked only 30 with the last pitcher in baseball doing that being Grover Cleveland Alexander back in 1923. What a set of accomplishments for the best pitcher in current baseball.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:49 pm

Now for the Junior circuit- Felix Hernandez - maybe only 13-12 won/lost but a major league leading era of 2.27, 249 2/3 innings pitched with 232 strikeouts and he allowed fewer than 7 hits per nine innings pitched and held his opponents to a .212 batting average against him. Just did not get the run support when he pitched. Have no problem with him winning.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:11 am

Heartfelt 90th birthday wishes for Stan Musial. Long one of my favorite ballplayers for his skill, grace, and sense of real sportsmanship. Enjoy your Presidential Medal Of Freedom- you sincerely deserve it.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:39 pm

Saddened to read this weekend of the passing of Cub mainstay Ron Santo. I am old enough to remember him as a player watching him play third base with great energy and brio. A solid player for many years and then in retirement a voice for the Cubs and a tremendous booster along with Ernie Banks, both in the broadcast booth and within the city of Chicago. I still love the story of his hairpiece catching fire during a broadcast. A real "Cubbie" has passed on.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:40 pm

Of late it seems to be just one death after another as the old guard moves on- today the very sad news of the passing of Bob Feller at the age of 92. "Rapid Robert" played at a time when I was not conscious of him but from a very early age as my interest in baseball grew stories of his exploits always enthralled me. He is an immortal and somebody my dad always said I should have seen in his prime. His mastery of pitching beyond just throwing at a high velocity was a marvel. I will always remember that film of his fastball being pitted against a speeding motorcycle- you know who wins. You can now step back into that Iowa farm field, Bob. You earned it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3SkFFltRjo
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:53 am

I suppose it was inevitable, not in that one's career will come to an end, but in the way that it did. Coming off one 50 game suspension for using steroids a few years back, you had to guess Manny Ramirez would be just goofy enough to think he could get away with illegal usage if he were to do it again. Well sure enough he has tested positive once more and has now ignominiously 'retired' rather than face another suspension, this time of 100 games, and perhaps, more importantly the multitude of questions he would be barraged with by reporters, the jeers of fans and the incredulous looks on teammates faces were he to remain in Tampa Bay.

It is 'Manny World' after all and I suppose this is to be expected. Such a sad way to end what up to a few years ago was a glorious, if not distinctively 'wacky', career. Once a sure lock for the Hall of Fame, as arguably the purist right handed hitter of the modern era, he will now more than likely be remembered as a flake stupid enough to think he could get away with flaunting baseball's rules. I would much more have preferred to remember his easy, vibrant swing as it passed through the strike zone, and even outside of the zone, because he was one of the deadliest bad ball hitters I ever watched, and the subsequent, a good deal of the time, flight of the ball to some end of the ballpark. To watch him in the field as he stumbled and bumbled his way towards balls was an adventure. One dimensional in his skills, he made each at bat something to watch. Now it seems all those hits, rbi's and adventures in the field were just a joke; sadly, I suspect they were to Manny, as well.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:46 pm

It may be only one tenth into the current season but I marvel at the return to form of Alex Rodriguez. Leading baseball in slugging percentage, hitting the ball with authority and fielding his position like a youngster, I can only marvel at his continued skill level. And I do not want to hear any steroid cynicism about him- he did this before them and he is doing it after them. He is healthy and thriving. Could be looking at a fourth MVP.
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Re: The wonder of the game!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:25 pm

My beloved Sox are now just 1 game under .500 after that horrific start. And who would have thought that Dice-K would deliver two back to back 1 hitters. Now go into Baltimore and take care of business and head home this weekend to move above .500! Little steps.
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