Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Baseball and 4th of July

I had the great pleasure of attending a semi-pro baseball game her in Bellingham, WA today. It was great. The sun was out and the hotdogs were bad and the local team won.

Today being Independence Day I felt particularly patriotic to be at a baseball game. A few years ago I was at a game where Bob Feller was giving autographs. It was a pretty lengthy line, but he was patient, always willing to pose for a picture. The only time he stopped until the line was empty was during the playing of the national anthem. He stood, removed his hat and stood at attention.

For those of you too young to remember, Feller threw 3 no hitters. The reason I'm remembering him on Independence day is that he served 4 years in the Navy during WWII. Unlike many of the MLB players who ended up playing on barnstorming teams that entertained troops, Feller was a gunner on a navy ship and received four battle stars.

The picture above is of my wife Lorna, Bob Feller and me, taken about 15 years ago. In these days were baseball players are called "heroes" when they're really little more than public idols, Bob Feller stands well above most players and is a true hero.

I had an "aha" moment when I realized that the leather lunged fan that yells loudest at the umpire, knows the least about baseball. I'm thinking of making it a corollary to my "whoever argues loudest and most aggressively in an argument or debate it most likely to be be wrong.

I took a bath on my baseball picks yesterday. 1 and 4. Only the Astros came through for me. That makes me 20 and 20 for the year and in a tie with the dreaded coin.

No picks for today, the coin refuses to work holidays.

Happy Independence Day. Happy Baseball.

Have a nice, good day and let's play ball!

Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3 picks.

On vacation recently in Oklahoma City, I had the opportunity to visit Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse Located at #7 Mickey Mantle Dr. across from the Brickyard Baseball Park.

The food there is excellent. I had tournedos with bernaise sauce done medium rare and found with pleasure that they steak was extremely tender, genuinely able to be cut with a fork and the bernaise was very nice, but a little less strong than I'm used to. I also had a mushroom risotto that was excellent. It had been finished with cream and with the fresh parmesan, was very reminiscient of a light alfredo sauce.

Yesterday I went 2 and 3.

Y-T-D percentage is now 52% and 19 and 16. I'm still beating the dreaded coin, but the day's young.

Today's picks:

White Sox over Orioles
Yankees over Indians
Mets over Pirates
Redsox over Devil Rays
Astros over Cubs.

Have a nice, good day and let's play ball!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cardinals Haiku-Dizzy Dean

I found a cute haiku about the the Cardinals.


I found myself wondering if the Dizzying referred to Dizzy Dean, the great St. Louis pitcher. He's before my time as a player, but I loved him as a national tv broadcaster in the early to mid-sixties with P.W. Reese.

"That's a blue darter!"

Have a nice, good day and let's play ball!

July 2 Picks

Yesterday I went 2 and 3. My y-t-d totals are 17 and 13 for 56%. I'm still ahead of the coin, but I'm no longer leaving the coin in the dust, so I apologize to the dreaded, fickle disk.

One of my wins yesterday was CWS over the Cubbies. I was routing all the way and excited to see the Cubs be ahead with two out and nobody on. Dempsey could have been a hero instead of a goat, but his failure to to close out against pinch hitter Gload after having a 1-2 count and failing to field a ground, he walked Dye on five pitches and served up a hanging slider to Pierzynski that ended up on Sheffield avenue.

You should have heard Ron Santos. As soon as Dempsey missed the grounder, he began to sense the beginning of the end. "I don't like feeling like this," he said while Dempster was walking Dye. Ron is a very good color man and I love listening to his comments during the games, but this one was hard to take. That's baseball.

On the local level, the Mariners are sitting alone in second place. I still expect them to collapse, but will be glad to be wrong.

Today's picks:

Tigers over Pirates
Cardinals over Royals
Oakland over Arizona
Rangers over the Astros
Mariners over Rockies
Detroit may be the best team in baseball right now. They certainly have one of the premier managers.

I've got to keep picking the Cardinals and picking against the Royals. There's something wrong with the baseball karma in Missouri, but it's got to straighten out soon.

Zito will not let Oakland be swept by the lowly D-backs.

Tough call with Rangers over Astros, but the AL has been cleaning the NL's clock.

Tough call for the Mariners, too. Washburn hasn't panned out, but he seems to be hot and cold. Last time he was cold.

Have a nice, good day and let's play ball!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mickey Mantle IV and today's picks

On Friday, I picked 4 of 5 correctly giving me a y-t-d of 15 and 10 for a percentage of 60, so I'm slowly climbing my way up the ladder after the disastrous 1 and 4 day earlier this week. I'm leaving the dreaded fickle coin in the dust.

The game I got wrong was due to the Royals beating the Cards in the tenth inning.

Today's picks:

  • White Sox over Cubs. I hate to pick against both Maddux and the Cubs, but it's mostly for sentimental reasons. The Cubs seem to be finding ways to lose and their offense has been mediorcre on their good days.
  • Yankees over the Mets. Randy seems to be working his way back to his winning ways. This is a bit of a sentimental pick too. I watched him pitch for years when he was in Seattle and still remember how overpowering he can be. I hate to see Alex at third.
  • Cards over the Royals. For much the same reasons as yesterday. The Cardinals have gone 1 and 9 in the last ten. That can't last. Neither can the Royals', clearly an inferior team, 7 and 3 in the last ten.
  • Orioles over the Braves. Partly a hunch and partly because I can seen Russ Ortiz pitching very well against his old team. I was lucky enough to see Russ in his first professional season here in Bellingham when he was the closer for the Bellingham Giants. You could tell from his first appearance that he would make it into the majors if he didn't get hurt.
  • Brewers over the Twins. Based purely on the starting pitching.

Have a nice good day and let's play ball!