Sunday, July 15, 2012


## Somehow, the Yanks won another game yesterday, behind the soft tosses of Freddie Garcia. He got a swinging strike on a 69-MPH curve that had everybody shaking their heads. He reminds me of a Yankee pitcher from the early 60's,  Bud Daley. Bud was left-handed - out of necessity, because his right arm was deformed as the result of a birth defect. He was listed as 6 ft 1in, but somebody was being generous. I don't believe they made 'platform spikes' back then. Bud threw a variety of slow curves, sliders, change-ups, etc., the epitome of the "junk ball" pitchers. A reporter once remarked, "I think I could hit him with my typewriter finger." Maybe he could,  but major league hitters never figured him out. Now we have Freddie, who finds ways of getting hitters out that Abner Doubleday did not have in mind when he thought up the game.
But we'll take it.

## If a hitter goes two for four with a double, steals a base. scores a run and plays well in the field, would you guess that he's your clean-up hitter? Okay, he really hit third yesterday, but that's a minor detail. That's what the Yankees have hitting in the middle of a powerful lineup. A-Rod continues to put up big numbers - in batting practice, but once they play the National Anthem, he turns into a lead-off hitter.  He can still hit the ball a mile, once he actually hits it. Time after time, I see him foul off good pitches and then lunge after bad pitches and slap a grounder to the shortstop. Yet the Yankees still win. They win with home runs, good pitching an a shut-down bullpen. And not with a home run hitting third baseman.
But, we'll take it.

## The Phillies, we were told again yesterday, were still preparing what is being called, a 'massive' contract for Cole Hamels.  We all know is there's going to be a lot of zeros involved, but I get a feeling the contract is also going to be presented with flowers, trumpets and dancing girls. I think Hamels will be interested in just the zeros.

## Here's a little trivia question, compliments of Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post.  Who was the last switch-hitter to win the American League MVP award?  I'll post the answer in the next post.

## If you didn't own one of those electric football games back in the 50's, this next piece may bore you. I did, so I enjoyed this tidbit from Phil Mushnick:
"As Friday’s Times reported, Norman Sas, inventor of the Tudor tabletop electronic football game, died late last month, at 87.
In 1963, I had one of those games. It kinda worked. Kinda. Nah, it never worked. Still, I spent many winter hours at it, forcing it to work, at least in my mind.
I made it the Giants vs. the Packers, applied the correct jersey numbers to the metal-based plastic players.
I ran the Giants out of a two-back formation, lined them up as Allie Sherman would.  It probably took 10 minutes to set up all 22 “players” after every “play.”  Then you would turn on the switch and the players would vibrate in all directions, some would just immediately topple over, but some actually would block straight ahead all the way to the end zone — even if they were on defense.
I used to “fix” games so that No. 16, Frank Gifford, would “catch” a pass in the flat then “run” for a touchdown. But there was something that caused No. 16, once it reached the 10-yard line, to turn and “run” in the opposite direction. Didn’t matter. I would set it all up again, this time a long pass, No. 14, Y.A. Tittle, to No. 85, Del Shofner, who would “catch” the felt football I inserted under his arm, then fall over and spin in a circle, like Curly in “The Three Stooges.”
Thanks, Mr. Sas. It sure beat homework."

When Bob Matthews retired, I thought I lost a writer I could criticize (in a joking manner, of course), but never fear, Leo Roth is here. He is one of the sports columnist for the Roch. D & C. Today, he wrote a long column about ESPN, The Magazine, and it's "Body Issue." This where athletes pose naked in action photos of their particular sport (Don't worry - no naughty parts are shown). Leo column dealt only with the appearance of local soccer star, Abby Wambach.  His rather lengthy article asked all the expected questions - Did she do right? What was she thinking? What did she say about it? What do her friends and family think? How will she handle the questions from the young fans about the pictures? So what was Roth's position? We still don't know. Leo answered none of the excellent questions he posed, never taking any kind of stand. the one question he did try to answer was the last one about the young fans reaction. His response: "I'm sure she'll have an intelligent answer."  Come on, Leo. Right or wrong (tho' mostly wrong), Bob Matthews always picked a side.

"A volley by Andy Murray during the Wimbledon semifinal hit Joe Wilfried Tsonga square in the gonads. It almost ended the set."  -- RJ Currie
"Larry Bird, via Twitter, on Kobe Bryant's claims that this year's U.S. Olympic basketballers could beat the legendary 1992 Dream Team: "They probably could. I haven't played in 20 years, and we're all old now."   From Dwight Perry's column
"Roger Federer beat Andy Murray for his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title. He has done better on grass than Willie Nelson."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"Clippers forward Blake Griffin is out of the Olympics after tearing the meniscus in his left knee during a Team USA scrimmage, reportedly during a back-door cut — over the back door of a Kia."  -- Dwight Perry
"So Prince Fielder won the Home Run Derby and Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run triple that broke open the All-Star game in the first. Not a good week in sports for Weight Watchers."  -- Janice Hough
"The inventor of the tabletop electric football game has died at age 87. Because of electric football, I never left the basement for three years in the 1970s. His coffin will be placed on a gurney and moved via electronic vibrations across the chapel floor."  -- Brad Dickson


No comments: