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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The University of Utah baseball team is going to host something next month called "An Evening with Harmon Killebrew."
I love me some Killebrew, but I have this feeling that an evening with him involves a bland meat dinner of some sort, followed by eleven pages of the "Saturday Evening Post" in an armchair, followed by an extended nap in said armchair, followed by turning in to bed at around, oh, 8:45, wearing a full sleeping gown and nightcap.
And it's probably worse since he quit playing.
That's how I read this anyway.
Driving around town this morning I heard a report on NPR about George Bush's new digs in Dallas. Sounds like a nice modest 8,000 square foot cottage (and indeed, someone in the report referred to it as "not a really huge home"). He used to own the Rangers, of course, and it turns out that his property abuts current Rangers' owner Tom Hicks' property, so those two will probably have a lot to talk about.
No word on whether Elwood Quesada, James Johnson, James Lemon, Bob Short, Brad Corbett, and Eddie Chiles will be buried nearby. Well, maybe not Corbett. I think he's still alive, so burying him would be rather cruel.
Henderson and Rice were on Letterman last night, but Dave's Freddie Patek story (first video through the link) was absolutely hilarious.
Via BTF comes a story from WEEI about JS that is a lot of BS:
The Sox’ contingent didn’t know what to expect in the 50-pitch side session, perhaps just a stream of straight balls and a subsequent physical examination. But, with his agents also looking on, Smoltz first threw a few 40-yard passes and then picked up a slew of worn baseballs he said “had a mind of their own”.
It's not BS because it didn't happen. In fact, I'm sure that it did. Why am I sure? Because Smoltz is basically superhuman and I have no doubt that he could break off 12-6 curveballs and fire fastballs with outrageous action if he were a double amputee.
But that's the problem. Basically every single time Smoltz had to shut it down with Atlanta it was the same thing: outrageously good pitching -- snapping slider, exploding fastball, knee-buckling splitter -- followed by a DL stint because it just hurt so damn much for him to do it. This is to say that unlike so many hurlers, Smoltz's injuries were not presaged by fat pitches up in the zone and serial shellackings. Smoltz is part machine. He is able to work through pain and keep his mechanics flawless. If he can't, he is able to adjust his delivery so lessen the pain and remain effective.
But only to a point. Eventually the pain becomes too great -- pain that most pitchers never experience because they aren't tough enough to pitch hurt as long as Smoltz can -- and he has to shut it down. When Smoltz is hurt, no one knows it until he tells someone, and while I don't intend to impugn his integrity or anything, I'm sure he wouldn't tell anyone on the Red Sox that he was hurting in a tryout situation like the one described in the article.
Because I love the guy, I hope he is lights out for the Red Sox. Because I have seen him so much, however, I would not at all be surprised to see him throw 8 shutout innings with 16 strikeouts in his first game and then be shut down for the rest of the year immediately thereafter.
Keith Law makes the Hall of Fame case for Tim Raines, and as is usually the case, he is as comprehensive as all get-out about it:
So Raines was perhaps the best base stealer in the game's history, the second-best leadoff hitter, one of the best hitters at reaching base (the most important thing a hitter can do, after all) and a good defensive player. One common excuse for omitting Raines from Hall ballots is his admitted cocaine use in the 1980s, including his infamous confession to sliding headfirst to avoid breaking the vials of snow in his back pocket. Raines was clean for the majority of his career and became known both as someone who talked about his recovery from addiction and just generally a good character guy, yet voters are still bringing up the drug use from the first two or three years of his career.
Hint: the insidiousness is not Raines' longtime affiliation with Québécois separatism.
I won't shed tears if and when Rogers Clemens gets indicted, but a reader over at Talking Points Memo has a pretty good point:
Doesn't it seem a little odd that when you have a ball player (Roger Clemens) who lies to Congress about steroid use in baseball, the U.S. Attorney for DC convenes a grand jury to consider a perjury indictment, but when an official of the Justice Department (Bradley Schlozman) lies to Congress about trying to politicize the civil service within DOJ, the U.S. Attorney fo DC passes on further investigation or prosecution? Which really seems like the more significant problem for the country?
This isn't a partisan point inasmuch as I'm sure I could easily find an example of a lying Democratic official if I had the time to look. It's a Washington point. In Washington, it seems, there is a certain flavor of lying that is tolerated (i.e. lying by people who work in Washington), and a certain kind that is not (lying by anyone else).
It probably comes down to motive identification. If you're a congressman and a guy from some government agency lies to you, you probably appreciate why he's lying. He's got a boss he's protecting, maybe, or he is trying to prevent embarrassing political fallout, the type of which you understand. Heck, you may have had a job a lot like his before you got elected and were forced to lie in much the same way! When some ballplayer comes in and lies to you, however, he's an interloper in the ways of Washington and his lying technique is far less polished, and maybe even a little insulting to your craft. Release the hounds.
None of this is to say that Clemens shouldn't be prosecuted. It's just that maybe more people should be as well.
(thanks to Ethan Stock for the link)
Some stuff to read while wondering if your plans would have been more successful if only you had kept things simple:
This may be a loss of a day around these parts, as my morning is filled with silly, unproductive things like job interviews. My afternoon may get wrecked by some non-bloggy things too, so I'm not seeing a post-filled Wednesday. Sorry about that, but life does interrupt once in a while, ya know?