Monthly Archives: June 2011

Mad Bum and Glory ….. Pretty Cool!

Madison Bumgarner, the ultimate Pitcher!

Remember that old  “thrill of victory,  agony of defeat” thing?  It was an ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” theme  back in the 60’s and it’s been going through my head as I’m writing about Madison Bumgarner’s performance tonight.  Last Tuesday, for those of you who’ve been in solitary confinement or otherwise unable to know what’s going on in the baseball world this past week,   Madison Bumgarner broke some records.  Well not actually broke them, but matched those that

Discussing the Cy Young?

hadn’t been touched since the early 1900’s.  It was the most unbelievable first inning I’ve ever watched in baseball….any baseball, including T-ball and Little League.  The Bum lasted exactly 1/3 inning in which time he  allowed nine hits and eight runs, and recorded only one out in the first third of the first inning.  It was an inter-league game between the Giants and Minnesota Twins.  I could hardly breathe watching Bumgarner leave the game and head towards the dugout to sit and watch the remaining 8 2/3 innings in shame and embarrassment.  After the game he somehow managed to hold his head high, speak  intelligently with reporters and answer each question thoughtfully, speaking softly in a monotone, and promised to learn from his mistakes and do penance and say one our father and three hail mary’s.   I really felt for this kid and all day I was going through some sort of anxiety wondering how he, and I, would make it through tonight’s game after the first “ball” was called, probably on the first pitch.  

So tonight when the 5:05 game between the Giants and the Cleveland Indians started right on time, on ESPN, in front of the entire world to see,  Madison Bumgarner threw his first pitch.  And then another, and another.  And he proceeded throwing precision pitches culminating with 11 strike-outs through the seventh inning!   OMG!  It’s what we  live for in baseball…..our local hero just did the impossible and the crowd’s giving him a standing ovation and I’m giving him hoots and  hollers jumping around the living room telly.   

Just another usual ordinary game for the Giants, ending with a final score 3-1.  Same old stuff.  But as far as the SF Giants 21 year old pitcher Madison Bumgarner goes?   He’s back!   Mad Bum and all his glory and I’m back there to watch him do it all over again.  Tuesday – total disgrace; Sunday – en route to the Cy Young!   Don’t you just love it?  Baseball, I mean.  Pretty darn cool.

 

One Son’s Baseball Story …

Here’s another Father’s Day post I felt compelled to share.  It’s written by Stephen Jordan,  Managing Editor of Pastime Post, and was a recent winner in a contest sponsored by Bernadette Pasley, Lady at the Bat.   But this one comes with a warning “Grab a Kleenex”!

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“My father was not around much when I was a child, sadly enough. Over the years, our constant connection though was always through sports. We could always talk long-distance on the phone, always being physically separated by countless states, about baseball and football. It was the sturdy cement foundation of all of our conversations, and it was the glue that held our relationship together, no matter how strained it truly might have been. 

I will always recall one story more than others: upon reflection it seems to capture a special magic I shared with my two brothers and our father. It was the summer of 2007. 

It was not a perfect relationship that we all shared with Dad. As a kid, personally I had wished Dad could attend some of my baseball games, y’know in Little League and in High School. That never happened. Dad was an alcoholic troubled by his demons. Nonetheless, I do know, however, in my heart and mind how much he loved all of us kids, and the special place he always had in his heart for us kids, and sports. 

Me and my family would always listen with great interest to my youngest brother Scottie, whenever he would share with us his rare and wild sports predictions (only when the spirit struck him so; he would never predict anything unless he “had that feeling”). His curious, unprovoked predictions historically had always turned out to be spot-on correct. So, when he spoke about his premonitions, we all listened. 

My Dad started referring to Scottie as “the Guru” during Barry Bonds homerun race to catch Hank Aaron’s mark of 755 homers. (None of us were every Bonds fans for sure, but we were all sports history buffs, and we did fully realize the magnitude of that moment and the importance of that baseball record.) Scottie scratched his head and threw out a prediction that Bonds would hit homerun number 754 on July 27, 2007. He “felt it.” My Dad laughed and expressed his skepticism. Bonds prior homerun, number 753 was hit nine days earlier.

On the night of July 27, 2007 though, sure enough, Bonds hit homerun number 754, as was predicted by the Guru. Dad seemed to become more interested in Scottie’s predictions. He demanded that Scottie predict when the next Bonds homerun was going to happen. After a little bit of thought, Scottie informed Dad that Bonds would tie Aaron at 755 on August 4, 2007. When making his predictions, he would never say “I believe that . . .” and then state his prediction. Instead, he would always say, “X will happen, on Y date,” as though it were previously written in the stars, or the bible or something. 

True to form, Bonds slugged 755 on August 4, 2007. The prediction came true, again. Dad simply could not believe it! He shouted to his boys, “Wholly Sh–! My boy’s a f—in’ psychic!” “When is Bonds going to pass Aaron?,” Dad asked of the Guru. Scottie scratched his head, then looked up at the sky. “Tuesday.” “Tuesday, August 7th, he’ll get homerun number 756!” My Dad replied, “You’re damn straight I’ll be staying up for that one. No more falling asleep for me on that night. I have to watch history in the making!” Dad was so excited on the phone, stating how it was going to be so great to see. “You can predict it all Scottie! “Bet everything,” Dad had said. “Bet the farm on this!”

Sadly, on the morning of August 7th, me and my siblings received a phone call from the complex Dad was living at in Atlanta, Georgia. The kids all learned that Dad had died that morning. He had lived to only 62 years of age. 

As that painful day slogged along, and the reality of our father’s death slowly settled into our collective minds, me and my family all wondered if that night Bonds would actually hit that 756th homerun. And, as if this were written by some twisted Hollywood scribbler, Bonds indeed hit that record-breaking homerun, on August 7, 2007–the same day my father died, the same day Scottie had predicted the record would be made.
We had sports. We had baseball. It kept us away from all of life’s unpleasantries. We shared that final moment without Dad with us, but he sure was in our hearts that night and thereafter. We cried when it had happened. I can only hope he watched the feat from his eternal seat within the clouds. 

We still love you Dad. We miss you. Happy Father’s Day to you.”

Baseball Then and Now ~ Happy Father’s Day!

Uploaded to Youtube by  on May 19, 2011

Wow! Amazing Catch will Surprise Even You!

Take a look.  This post doesn’t need an explanation.  We’ve got to get out to these Minor League ballgames more often folks!  And the catch is made by, of all things, a ball “babe”!  I’m told this is a Gatorade commercial that aired over a year ago, but I’m sure I would have remembered it.  But no matter.  They might want to consider her for the next Spiderman sequel.  Just saying …..

Evan Longoria? Calm, Cool and Collected.

Well from all accounts, this is not a staged video.  This is Evan Longoria being, well, Evan Longoria.  And who said he’s only around for his good looks?  Some kind of cool huh?

Locker Room Interviews ….. a Waste of Time?

I read and review hundreds of sports reports and baseball blogs every month and once in a while a story resonates with me so much I’m compelled to share it.    Today has one of those stories and it’s about those pesky locker room interviews after the game where microphones are shoved in the players faces and reporters are yelling … what, I don’t know, because I can never hear the question … and the players are trying to be calm and cool, giving respectable answers that will satisfy the coaches, management and rest of the team.  

I’ve rarely heard a question asked that I thought was important or even remotely entertaining. “How did you feel, what did you think” ….. adds nothing to the insight of the game.  I’d like to know what it was the umpire said to you that made you laugh out loud after a play, or what it was you yelled at the pitcher after being nailed by a pitch for the second time this game.  Craig Calcaterra at NBC Sports had some insight into this very thing in his blog this morning and almost as fun as the article are the comments that readers shared.   Here’s the article: 

Over at the Wall Street Journal today Craig Wolff writes about something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: what purpose, exactly, does it serve to have reporters in the locker room before and after games? Read the thinking-it-through parts of it all, which are good, but here’s the central question I think:

In the end, no matter what becomes of this American tradition, it’s probably time to start asking if all this standing around amounts to loitering and is worth the strain it puts on the relationship between press and players. It’s not clear that either side derives much from the transaction.

It used to be that the teams needed the local paper for publicity and stuff. That’s way less necessary now than it used to be, and in fact, the situation has reversed, with papers needing the team way more for circulation purposes.  But are the postgame quotes all that useful to the reader?  Wouldn’t the reporter’s face time be better spent trying to talk to athletes about more in-depth matters in feature stories?  Shouldn’t their gameday focus be more on the game itself, with their own analysis and insight — which in the case of most reporters is considerable because they’ve seen a lot of baseball — rather than transcribing the cliches?

Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is quoted in the article talking about how being in the locker room, despite the bad, empty quotes, is important for maintaining relationships, the sorts of which no doubt would lead to better feature stories like I’d like to see.  I get that.  It just seems to me that there’s gotta be a better way.”

 

“We have a Winner” !

Yesterday, June 8, while I was in San Francisco attending a great SF Giants and Washington Nationals ball game our very special blog received it’s 20,000th “view”.   My husband, Robert, drew the winner and the winner’s been notified by email.  (I don’t know who it is because we only have subscribers listed by their email address).   Once I receive a response I’ll post the results! 

Thanks to everyone who subscribed during this special promotion and, of course, to those of you who are already subscribers.  GFBB just had its first birthday in May and we’re really pleased at the reception we’ve received from all of you and also from the baseball public in general.  We had a jolly good time with our little promotion and will do it again when we hit another milestone!

Happy baseball season.  Hope to see you at the ballpark!