June 19, 2013
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Friday, September 04, 2009
In honor of Labor Day, here's the best bastardization of baseball stats in the service of a pro-union message I've read since breakfast. "So we'll march day and night, by the left field light tower; they have the brats, but we have the power . . ." Or something.
With that out of the way, between a pressing bit of legal work and the desire to get a jump on a three-day weekend, I'm going to have to call it a day. As usual, there are some posts over at NBC for your consideration (Griffey! The San Jose A's! Papelbon! Trey Hillman!). Sorry, no Yankees-Red Sox red meat for the NBC masses today. They're probably all shouted out for a couple of days anyway.
If you're travelling this weekend, be safe. Come to think of it, be safe even if you're not travelling. Even drinking at home can be dangerous. Just ask William Holden.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
This is about the worst news I could have woken up to this morning:
Ernie Harwell, the treasured voice of the Tigers for all those years, has incurable bile duct cancer. In comments to the Detroit Free Press on Thursday, he said he won't undergo surgery.
I know he's 91 so it's not like this is some gobsmacking tragedy, but I can't overstate how important Ernie Harwell has been to my life.
I was a nervous kid, afraid of the dark and afraid of going to sleep myself. My parents let me turn on the radio at night as I went to bed and the talk, rather than the music, made me feel better. The voice that gave me the most comfort was Ernie Harwell's voice on WJR, which I latched onto before I even truly realized it was describing a baseball game.
Ernie put me to sleep most spring and summer nights for several years, teaching me about baseball in the process. He also taught me that I could enjoy it just as much if I could not actually see it, which I can't help but think is the reason why I enjoy writing up the "And That Happened" recaps every day. I don't see hardly any of the games I describe, but just because I don't see them doesn't mean that there isn't a story to be told. Information and flavor to be teased out.
Maybe you always have a thing for your first love, but I think I'm being objective when I say that I have never encountered a better baseball broadcaster than Ernie Harwell. How lucky that I had him putting me to sleep when I was four years old as opposed to someone else. Would I have even been a baseball fan if it was John Sterling's voice on the radio? Given that I was first tuning in for the delivery and not the product itself, I kinda doubt it.
Ernie had his fastball until the end. FOX brought him out during the 2006 ALDS between the Tigers and Yankees and let him do an inning or two. He stepped in as if it was still his full time job, and didn't miss a beat. I recall that whoever FOX kept in the booth with him -- I want to say McCarver, but it could have been Zelasko or someone -- wanted to talk to him about his history and other such fluff, condescending to him, really, the way people often do to the elderly. Ernie seemed annoyed and deflected the person's attempts to wallow in nostalgia, obviously wanting to keep the focus on the game. Where it should be. And he did. And it was wonderful.
Baseball will never see his like again.
Phillies 2, Giants 1: Fast Eddie beats Vincent. Or if you prefer, Jheri Curl beats Mullet. OK, fine, so Lincecum's isn't really a mullet. Maybe if it was he wouldn't have given up that double to Ryan Howard. Or did you not think of that?
White Sox 5, Cubs 0: Nothing like interleague play in September! The Cubs struck out 9 times against six hits. I'm assuming that at this point Lou is marking off the days until October 4th on his calendar with little X's.
Marlins 8, Braves 3: This clubhouse disarray business seems to be working well for the Marlins: Hanley Ramirez gets a key pinch-hit single, Dan Uggla doesn't accost his team's best player. Hell, it's paradise. The real key to this game, though, was Kris Medlen: middle reliever. Though as Mac notes, this one is probably on Bobby for going to him on three straight nights.
Yankees 10, Blue Jays 5: When a team can throw a poo-poo platter consisting of Gaudin, Aceves, Robertson, Bruney, Marte at you and still cruise, you have to start thinking "team of destiny." Posada: 4-5, 2B, HR, 4 RBI. Somebody wake me when New York loses, because this is getting monotonous.
Red Sox 6, Rays 3: This is not the same David Price the Red Sox remember from last year's playoffs (5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). Not the same Rays either. They're basically over for the year, but they'll be back.
Mets 8, Rockies 3: Wright went 3-for-4 in his second start since coming off the 15-day disabled list. More importantly, he ditched the big ass helmet. "It's just not comfortable," Wright said of the new helmet that will be required in the minors next season. "The last thing I need to worry about in the box is to try to shove it on my head. I will stay with the one I used today." I'm sure the fact that everyone told him that he looked like a total tool in it had nothing to do with it.
Tigers 4, Indians 3: Magglio Ordonez batted twice after entering the game as a pinch hitter, so we can assume that either (a) the Tigers have decided that they're going to let him trigger his option; or (b) a guy with a lead pipe is going to be waiting for him in the St. Pete Marriott sometime this weekend.
Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: Smoltz wasn't battered or anything, but he did lose, proving that, at least for one afternoon, the NL isn't the equivalent of the old American Association. Casey McGehee hit a two run homer, and drove in nine of the Brewers' 13 runs in the series.
Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2: Thanks to Jon Garland (two earned runs on five hits over seven) and Ron Belliard (2-3, 3 RBII) Ned Colletti probably went to bed feeling pretty proud of himself.
Mariners 7, Athletics 4: Two run homers from Bill Hall, Franklin Gutierrez and Kenji Johjima power the M's. Game story: "The Mariners were to take public transportation on the BART train to and from the games for the rest of the series with the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland closed for work all weekend." There aren't any hotels in Oakland? What's wrong with this place?