Category Archives: MLB
The flowers and trees are blooming, the weather is slowly getting warmer and for me that means only one thing..Let the games begin, it’s Baseball Season! Although there will only be one game today, BoSox vs Yank$, it is the beginning of my favorite time of the year.. Baseball is possibly the only thing that keeps me from going postal and/or stroking out with regard to politics and how the Congress critters and the Obama administration are running our country.
My favorite talking head, Keith Olbermann, is also a lover of all things baseball as well. He even has a blog on MLB.com that he calls Baseball Nerd. It warms the cockles of my little black heart to know that the man who epitomizes leftwing values loves the sport of baseball as much, if not more, than I do.
The sport of baseball has a wonderful way of crossing political party lines. Even the asshat George Will worships baseball. I am fairly certain that the only thing Will and I have in common is our love of the sport. Will is fond of saying he only writes about politics to support his baseball habit.
Today George has an article up at WaPo that isn’t about politics..it’s about baseball. I know for a fact that I could sit and talk for hours and hours with George Will as long as the subject was baseball. The sport is a great equalizer and when I was a young hothead, the only time my father and I could stand each other was when we were watching, listening or talking about baseball. My fathers favorite word to describe me back then was…Commie. We had screaming matches about politics that would drive everyone else from the room. Our discussion’s would end with my father screaming that I was a commie-pinko and I would respond in kind.
But when the subject was baseball, we would be good to each other. Even when we loved different teams, we never got ugly or foul-mouthed towards each other. The best memories of my childhood are of my father and I listening to his beloved Dodgers on the radio and talking baseball.
As an adult I hate the Dodgers, being a Padres fan and all. The Ball n’ Chain is a lifelong Dodger fan as well. Both of us have waited for this day all winter. We both participate in Fantasy Baseball leagues and I love that my spouse comes to me for advice on players to draft…it means I know more than he does about our national pastime.
Keith and George however, know far more than I regarding the history of baseball. So that means I read their baseball columns religiously.
Speakiing of religion..Yes, I do worship at the Church of MLB. It’s the only church I know where people who vehemently disagree can still be friends and lovers. And that is a wonderful thing indeed.
So I gotta cut this short as it’s time for church. 😉
Rickey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend. Before you non-sports people click off, read a little of the man that always talked in the third person about himself and loves the game so much, he was playing for a funky little non-MLB sanctioned team as recently as two years ago when most players are retired and golfing with friends.
Rickey is baseball’s all time base stealer. He grew up on the poor side of Oakland. He was born on Christmas Day in 1958. He played twice for my beloved Padres, but that isn’t why I adore Henderson. I love him because he loves the game of baseball as much or more than I do. It’s not the money, its the game for Rickey. From the U-T writeup on his wonderful, moving, made-me-cry-like-a-baby, HOF speech:
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Giving credit where it’s overdue and probably unprecedented, Rickey Henderson entered the Hall of Fame by paying tribute to glazed doughnuts and hot chocolate, to 25-cent incentive bonuses and to the donkey Charlie Finley made an Oakland mascot.
And somehow, strangely enough, it all worked.
Baseball’s supreme speed demon, the game’s “most misunderstood player” in the estimation of former teammate Dave Stewart, consciously slowed his runaway tongue yesterday to deliver a curious, clever and surprisingly crafted induction speech.
No misprint. No kidding. Yes, that Rickey Henderson.
Only a few days after comparing speechmaking to “putting a tie too tight around my neck,” Henderson took his place at the lectern before thousands of spectators and 49 returning Hall of Famers and steadfastly refused to choke.
His free-form 14-minute address recounted how a youth coach had convinced him to get out of bed to play baseball by appearing at his door with doughnuts and hot chocolate; how a high school counselor had bribed him to stick with the sport; and how Reggie Jackson had haughtily withheld his autograph when Henderson was a young fan growing up in Oakland.
Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the timing, but a lot of the people who were there were howling.
His speech made me laugh and it made me cry. Rickey is the kind of person that few take the time to understand. He is an African-American that talks too fast, and like I said..always referred to himself in the third person. People who didn’t ‘get’ Rickey called him egotistical and self-promoting.
Yeah, he was a little self-promoting, but I don’t care…he was never really appreciated for what he could do on a baseball field, how patient he was in the batter’s box. His deft skill at stealing a base off any pitcher he faced. From the UT article again:
Sometimes accused of selfishness and habitually guilty of self-indulgent showmanship during his playing career, Henderson approached his induction speech with the same care he showed in studying pitchers’ pickoff moves. He rehearsed, revised and refined his address during two weeks as a celebrity student in the speech classes of Earl Robinson at Oakland’s Laney College.
He was determined to make a statement that would not become garbled by Rickeyspeak. He showed, by words and deeds, how deeply he cares and how profoundly he wants to please.
No ballplayer has been better at irritating opposing teams and their fans. With his stylized snap-catches and his choreographed walk/home run trots, Henderson’s conduct seemed calculated to infuriate; so much so that even his teammates advised him to throttle back a bit.
But Henderson always saw himself as a performer, not just an athlete. Excesses aside, he was electric. He was so gifted a running back, Stewart said, that Henderson might have been inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame had he picked that career path.
The dominant dream of Henderson’s youth was to play for the Oakland Raiders, but he took heed of his mother’s fear of injury and the financial inducements of Mrs. Tommie Wilkerson, a counselor at Oakland Technical High School who was determined that her school have enough players to field a team.
“She would pay me a quarter every time I would get a hit, when I would score or stole a base,” Henderson said. “After my first 10 games, I had 30 hits, 25 runs scored and 33 steals. Not bad money for a kid.”
Later, in a post-induction press conference, Henderson said the payments lasted about two years. Good thing, too. Had Mrs. Wilkerson been obligated to honor the same terms throughout Henderson’s major-league career, she would have owed him $1,689 for his 3,055 hits, 2,295 runs scored and 1,406 stolen bases.
“When you think of me,” Rickey Henderson said, “I would like you to remember that kid from the inner city that played the game with all of his heart and never took the game for granted.
“My journey as a player is complete,” he said. “I am now in the class of the greatest players of all time. And at this moment, I am very, very humble.”
And he was humble Sunday, at exactly the right time in his career. Bless you Rickey, you gave me wonderful memories of baseball games past, of afternoons spent watching and waiting for you to steal that base and fluster the shit out of whatever opposing pitcher was on the mound.
I remember vividly hollering with my friends as you came to bat, Ricky Gets On!!!! And seeing you wink and nod at us before you stepped into the batter’s box.. knowing full well that you would find a way to get on base and then… steal one.
Rickey played for the Padres at the end of his professional career. No other team would give him a chance to set that all-time steals record.
I am forever grateful to the Padres for that.
Today is opening day for professional Baseball. It warms the cockles of my lil black heart. I now have the ability to escape politics when I am ready to tear out my hair in large patches, much to the consternation of the Ball n’ Chain™.
I know that lots and lots of libruls don’t like professional sports.
Too fucking bad, you have no clue as to what your missing. Sports are a way to experience all the emotions we have, but we are not part of the game..so nothing is on the line for the fan. Yet tomorrow is another day, new games are played and hope once again emerges on the horizon.
Of course if you happen to be a fan of one of the really stinky, lousy teams..you are pretty much depressed during the entire season. I know this feeling well as I am a loyal fan of The Padres since…hell, I dunno when. As a former resident of Beantown, actually having lived in the Fenway (the neighborhood, not the ballpark), I root for the Red Sawx too.
Going to the game vs watching it on the boob tube are vastly different experiences and offer different pluses and minuses. The first one, attending a game, costs major bucks to these days, while the second one affords us the option of turning off the channel when the game is out of reach for the home team. But I love going to a game, I wish I lived closer to Hell-A only because I wouldn’t mind watching the Ball n’ Chain’s™ favorite team, Los Dodgers, up close and personal once in a while. But the telly is fine..and with that, m’dear reader..
I bid you adieu as the first pitch has been thrown and thank dog it isn’t George Bush doing it again.
Graphic by Hamblin-Original seats in Fenway Park.
As a lifelong Padre fan, I am very familiar with the nimrod known as Matt Vasgersian. I really am not a fan of his as far as his skills at calling a baseball game….but he is ok on the new MLB Network. Bet the sponsors just love him after his ‘wtf is that’ moment yesterday:
Congrats Matty, you were the first jock on the network to blow it.
I love baseball and have since I was a young girl. I had the displeasure today of watching Alex Rodriguez’s presser. Christ what a lying sack of bat guano. He left more holes in his ’story’ than he answered for starters. Add to that, his teammates were all lined up in the front row.
Why were they there? Support I am sure, but why in the blue hell were they supporting him? Arod is a wealthy man, the highest paid in the game of professional baseball, he doesn’t need or deserve their support. From Deadspin:
So, New York Yankee players, line up behind a man who cheated; who lied; who shamed the game. Line up behind someone who has shown you and your profession no respect.
At some point, clean ballplayers must take action. No more support for disgraced teammates; no more “We just need to move past this” BS monologues; no more calls for fresh starts and short memories.
No, somebody like Jeter or Johnny Damon or Mark Teixeira needs to make clear that steroids are a disgrace, and those who use are damnations to the game.
It’s time to stop supporting Alex Rodriguez-and start supporting baseball.
I am tired of these overpaid bastards giving us a shallow apology and asking us all to move on and leave them be. They are cheaters of the worst kind in sports.
They are dumb as a fucking rock, not to mention self-serving as hell. They willingly ingested drugs which could ultimately kill or maim them. He was injected twice a month for three years yet he never thought about the consequences? If nothing else it shrinks their balls, causes hair loss and I am sure that’s a big deal to a self-absorbed sumbitch like Bonds or Arod.
So that makes Arod and his teammates fucking morons too. No one ever said you had to be a rocket scientist to play baseball….but I would think common sense was expected of men readily given millions of dollars a year to play a child’s game.