"Holy Toledo!"

July 13, 2011

The “Christian Curse”, Roger Clemens, & All-Star Notes:

Filed under: Baseball, NFL, Oakland A's — Bill @ 1:37 pm

All-Star Game Notes:
I liked this quote from Mike Greenberg: “All-Star Game of uninjured available players who feel like playing”

Then there is Willie Mays: “I was honored to be chosen 24 times and I played 24 times. It’s not jury duty!”

The players owe it to the fans & the game to play in the All-Star Game no matter how tired they are or how much they miss their family. Some day when they look back on their career these players may wish they had chosen differently.

-One player who would not have missed his opportunity is the Giants Ryan Vogelsong. After being the last cut out of Spring Training his path to the majors was because of an injury to Barry Zito. Back in April the odds of him making the All-Star team were staggering, but her persevered and look at him now. A great baseball story that also teaches us a lesson in life.

-For those of us who are hat & uniform junkies this was like a parade on Christmas. I love seeing all the different uniforms & the colors, not to mention the cool new patches just for this special occasion. “Uni’s” these days have gone back to the classic look, thank goodness no more god-awful Astros wild colors, White Sox lapels, or Padres baby-poop yellow. For the most part the uniforms were looking good last night. Not a fan of the script on the front of the Arizona uniform that reads “D-backs.

Interesting the number of hats being worn with the black bill. It looked kind of goofy on some hats (the A’s, Cubs, & Dodgers for example) and yet it looked fine with other teams (D-backs, Nationals, & Reds). Yes of course it’s all about merchandising but if your into hats like me then you find it all very interesting.

-How horrible is Joe Buck? He’s not a good announcer in addition to being an pompous arrogant gasbag. He’s no Jack. With all the good announcers baseball has to choose from why pick him?

-This year’s video intro piece was nice, narrated by Brad Pitt, star of the soon to be released movie Moneyball. Those video vignettes done for the All-Star game with clips of the old players often accompanied by baseball poems are always fun.

-When was the last time the Pirates had 3 All-Stars? Didn’t have time to look it up but I would guess the Bonds-Drabek-Van Slyke era. Good for Pittsburgh. Equally interesting was that there were more Detroit Tigers than Yankees & the Seattle Mariners had just as many All-Stars as the Yanks.

-Did you hear about the moron who almost fell over the railing trying to catch a baseball during the Home Run Derby? Fortunately his brother & a friend grabbed him saving him from a potentially deadly fall. This occurred on the same day of the funeral of the firefighter from Texas who was killed after falling over the railing. OK fans it’s just a baseball. Let’s see life vs. a baseball? Hmmm…. Might we end up needing nets or huge railings to obstruct our view in order to save people from hurting themselves? I hope not.

-Call me old school if you wish but a pool at a ballpark? Really? What’s next carnival rides, fortune tellers, or how about a movie theater for those who can’t find enough entertainment at a ballpark?

-For me because of my visual impairment I listen to many more games than I watch. The All-Star game is a great opportunity to see up-close the rising young stars of the game that I simply haven’t watched play very often. It was nice to see Hunter Pence along with this dramatically improved HR machine from Toronto Jose Bautista. Rickie Weeks is an exciting player to watch, and anytime you get to see Troy Tulowitzski or Miguel Cabrera it’s a good baseball day. Andre Ethier is a clutch hitter, wish the A’s never would have traded him.

All in all a nice night at the ballpark…

Dick Williams Dies
Richard Hirschfield Williams, Hall of Fame manager won 1571 regular season games plus 26 more in the postseason. He managed for the Red Sox, A’s Angels, Expos, Padres, & Mariners for a total of 21 seasons. During that time he won 2 World Series titles & 4 pennants with 3 different teams. Many forget he almost won a 5th pennant while managing the Expos in 1981 but lost in a heartbreaking series to the Dodgers. In 2008 he was elected into the Hall of Fame. Sad news in hearing of his death. He was my first manager or coach to take one of my teams to a title. Thanks for the memories Dick, rest in peace.

“The Christian Curse?”
Life has been a whirlwind for 23 yr. old Christian Lopez since he caught Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit last Saturday. Unlike other fans who have retrieved significant baseballs in recent past Lopez immediately offered the ball back to Jeter. As a reward for his kindness the Yankees have showed Lopez with autographed baseballs & bats, jerseys, & provided him with a luxury suite for the rest of this season (including postseason). That’s the good news.

The bad news is that now the IRS has told Lopez that they want approx. $13,000 in taxes for “the gift” he is considered to have received from the Yankees. Today I heard someone say that if the Yankees don’t take care of Lopez’s tax bill then they should be wary of starting a new curse that could rank right up there with the curse of The Babe. I’m not one to throw around curse talk but I will say that for the sake of Yankee karma the organization should do as Christian Lopez did for them, do the right thing.

*Update: Never one to shy away from a media opportunity the Miller Brewing Co. has stated that they will pay Lopez’s tax bill. Wouldn’t that also be considered a gift? It never ends…

Clemens Trial Gets Underway
It will be like watching a train wreck. The trial of Roger “the Rocket” Clemens is bound to provide some interesting & colorful moments, perhaps much more if Roger takes the stand. Given his past performance I find it unlikely he dons his witness cap. From what I’ve read the proof of his steroid use seems undeniable but as the saying goes “this is why they play the game”. Roger isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer so expect the unexpected. What do you get when you combine steroids, a low IQ, and a Texas-sized ego? A Rocket Man.

NFL Lockout Close To End?
It would appear. Sources say a deal is imminent and that the owners hope to ratify the final agreement at their owners meeting on July 21st. Let’s hope so, I need some football.


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