Category Archives: A4 Uncategorized

Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow has a degenerative muscle disease

garlicfriesandbaseball:

Mike Krukow, on the left, and Duane Kuiper

Mike Krukow, on the left, and Duane Kuiper

This is sad news. I’ve been following baseball forever but I’ve learned more about the game from listening to Mike Krukow, the Giants color analyst, than from any other source. Mike has such a quick wit about him with his nightly “grab some pine meat!” and pitch-by-pitch comments. So much so it’s necessitated an actual “Kructionary” website. See Baseball Almanac‘s take on Kruk and his illuminary sayings.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

The diagnosis is not new — he was first diagnosed eight years ago — but Giants broadcaster and former big league pitcher Mike Krukow has publicly revealed that he has a non-fatal degenerative muscle disease. From the Chronicle:

Krukow, 62, has kept his condition a secret, but now he’s ready to reveal that he’s suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called inclusion-body myosotis. IBM causes progressive weakness in the muscles of the wrist and fingers, the front of the thigh, and the muscles that lift the front of the foot. There’s no cure and no solid theory for what causes it.

It has caused him to fall down and he now wears braces on his legs for support. He may need a walker or a scooter eventually.

The key takeaway here, and maybe a big part of why Krukow is now going public, is that he was in denial about…

View original 62 more words

Must-click link: Australian writer’s first MLB encounter

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB’s Note: This Aussie writer compares baseball to cricket and, of course, to rounders. But his take on it, complete with photo’s, is wonderful if you’re a true baseball fan. Well, even if you aren’t! “Tis lovely, eh?

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Simon Crerar, an Australian-born staff writer at BuzzFeed, put together this comical rundown of his first experience with Major League Baseball, which just officially opened its 2014 season with a two-game series between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Crerar mostly points out oddities that we’ve come to accept as very normal, very necessary parts of the game.

Some highlights from Crerar’s writeup …

  • “Instead of a big oval with all the action taking place in the centre, baseball is played on a weird diamond, with all the action taking place in one corner.”
  • “Everyone wears pyjamas. Fancy pyjamas, but still PJs.”
  • “Half the time the players don’t seem to know what’s happening and the coach has to explain the rules.”
  • “Incidentally, these guys wear GREAT leather belts.”
  • “The balls are either super cheap or the MLB is super rich. Balls go into the crowd non-stop and…

View original 21 more words

Seduced by that Pesky Cell Phone

I’m remembering a game I went to this past season.  During the entire game a  fan  sitting in front of me had his cell phone in hand, either  as an extension of his ear or taking pictures with it.  When it was attached to his ear he was talking, loudly at times, and listening the rest of the time.   It seemed odd since the game was at AT&T Park and it can get really loud and I kept wondering how he was able to hear anything on the little contraption.

I’m not a huge cell phone fan.  I don’t even know my number.  My husband bought me one as a nice gesture, but against my objections, and I think I’ve used it maybe five or six times in the past seven years.  His idea was I could use it for roadside emergencies or keeping in touch, just in case.  You know, the usual stuff.

AT&T Park.  Cameraman and his Cell Phone.

AT&T Park. Cameraman and his Cell Phone.

But I’m looking around the ballpark and cell phones were everywhere.  Lots of picture-taking and flashes going off,  mostly just fans walking around, or in their seats, didn’t matter, attached to their trusty cell phones.   You see the same scenario everywhere, it’s epidemic.  The phone companies must be making millions.  You see them at the grocery stores, hospitals, theaters, schools, churches, airports, on the bus, at the restaurants.  And they’re at my office.

This used to irritate the heck out of me.  But this year has been an eye-opening experience and I’ll never look at cell phones the same way again.  You see, I’m a tax preparer and I have 100 days to get those pesky taxes worked up, prepared, completed and out the door until next year when it starts all over again.   In the past, the number one thing clients would forget when they showed up for their appointment was their W2.  It’s the truth.   But not anymore.  Just last week a client took out his cell phone, called his employer, and the W2 almost instantly appeared via fax.

And it’s been happening a lot lately.  Need  Grandma’s social security number?  No problem.  Forgot the  interest from the bank, car tags, tuition and/or scholarships received?  No problem.  Just dial it up on the handy-dandy little thing.

But here’s the really great part.  Last week a woman came in with her little two-year old who was acting like two-year old’s are supposed to act; I mean all over the place, up and down like a yo-yo, until…….until mom put her cell phone in the little boys hand.  It was like magic!   It worked better than Prozac or a tranquilizer or binky or something. The little fellow poked his app (I think that’s what they’re called) and was tuned in for the rest of the interview.

I’m not saying that sedating a kid with a cell phone is necessarily a good thing, but if you’re a tax preparer in the middle of tax season and you’re trying like the devil to get through an interview, it is truly a miraculous thing.

Revisiting the Posey Play ~ OR ~ Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone!

Here it is again for the 1,000th time. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

This is a repost of a blog I wrote on February 23, 2012.  It’s in response to the little nasties that are surfacing blaming Buster Posey for the new rule changes involving direct hits on the catcher at the plate.   Class act that he is, Buster’s remaining mum on the subject.  But I’m not.  So for those who haven’t been on planet earth for the past two years, once again, here’s the photo that negates the “blocking the plate” theory.   So please, put a sock in it.

_______________________________________________________

The only reason I’m bringing this up again is because Calcaterra over at Hardball Talk said Posey was told to “stop” blocking the plate.   This implies that Posey “was” blocking the plate, which he was not as the photo above clearly shows.  The runner intentionally left the baseline with a spectacular charge  aimed directly towards the catcher with no intention of getting to the home plate.  The runner, Scott Cousins,  said later his intention was to dislodge the ball~ which he could not, because Buster never had it.

But here’s what’s really amazing about this photo.   Notice the umpire.  No one  had a better birds-eye view than this umpire, standing steadfast and staring intently at the play as it was happening and boom!  Crash!  Bam! Slam!   The play’s over and the umpire calls the runner safe, run counts,  and the catcher is lying mortally wounded* (defined below) on the field.  What the heck was he thinking?  The umpire I mean.

Somehow it seems reasonable that MLB Rule 7.08 (b) could be construed to somehow apply in this situation.  A good attorney could probably make it work.  I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire has total charge of the game.   And in this case I  think he let this one get by.  Too bad.  Would have been a real feather in his cap if he’d stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) took a stand and said something like “No more! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch”.   Like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.

Who knows?  An umpire taking a stand.  Might have changed the game forever.  He has the authority to do that you know. Baseball needs a little cleaning up.   It’s not just bulldozing the catcher at the plate that can get really nasty, but what about all those pitches thrown at the batter’s head, back, arm, foot, leg in retaliation for some stupid reason (there are hundreds of them) that everyone knows about, including the umpires.  They all know what’s going on.  It’s extremely rare that a pitcher gets thrown out of a game for hitting or trying to hit a batter, even though it happens regularly.  And if a pitcher does happen to be ejected for intentionally hitting a batter the minimum fine is a whopping $200! (MLB Rule 8.02)  Can you believe it?  Who makes these rules.  I mean a batter could get killed, and has, from one of those bean balls.

“The Scales of Justice”

Here in the land of fruits and nuts according to Wikipedia, “on April 6, 2006, in a case arising from a game involving community college baseball teams, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California assume the risk of being hit by baseballs even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury.” So I guess the message is  if you’ve got the moxie to do it, do it in California.

You might notice I’ve not once tried to blame any of  this on Scott Cousins (see my June 4, 2011 post).  Scott was doing what he was trained to do which is to do everything he can to win. And he did.

“I’m thinking, I’m thinking”

No, this is something that falls on the  Major League Umpires Association.  They’re the only ones who can get this violent aspect of the game  under control and they don’t need any rule changes to do it.   If they’d start bouncing players out of the game when they resort to these retaliatory pitches and the unnecessary violence at the plate and elsewhere, the players would get the message and it would stop.  The question is, will they?  The answer is,  probably not.  They’d have to move  a tad out of their comfort zone and who the heck wants to do that?

* Mortally Wounded Defined:   A mortal wound is a very severe and serious injury (almost always a form of penetration or laceration) whether accidental or inflicted intentionally…

Protective caps for pitchers approved

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Note: It’s going to be interesting to see how many of the pitchers will be wearing the new caps. They don’t look much different so it won’t be noticeable, and, since statistics show that most of the serious head injuries result from a hit below the cap line, it might take awhile for this to catch on. But at least it’s a start.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

ESPN’s William Weinbaum reports that MLB has approved protective caps for pitchers the first time. Use is optional, and caps will be made available for all pitchers beginning next month in spring training. We first heard word that this was coming from Brandon McCarthy, himself a victim of a vicious comebacker a couple of years ago. Some details:

The company says the caps are a little over half-an-inch thicker in the front and an inch thicker on the sides — near the temples — than standard caps, and afford protection for frontal impact locations against line drives of up to 90 mph and for side impact locations at up to 85 mph.

The cap weighs seven ounces more than normal caps which, themselves, only weigh three or four ounces.

I’m all for added protection. But there is one pretty interesting fact here that I didn’t know before:

Four of the…

View original 194 more words

“The Schedule Makers”

garlicfriesandbaseball:

Wow! What an amazing story. I’ll add more to this later, just couldn’t wait to get it to you ~

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

A computer does the MLB schedule now. Until 2005, however, a husband-wife couple did it. By hand. And, apart from being impossibly cute, they are apparently brilliant.

Grantland’s 30 for 30 series meets Henry and Holly Stephenson in this 12 minute short. And it’s brilliant too. And funny. And toward the end, kind of sad.

Just a wonderful mini-documentary. Check it out.

View original

David Ortiz gets World Series MVP honors

garlicfriesandbaseball:

Not quite as an exciting game as games 3 and 4, but Boston left no doubt as to who the 2013 World Champions are and should be. And from the beginning, Papi came through with flying colors to be the MVP. Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, 2013 World Champions!

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

[nbcsports_video src=http://player.theplatform.com/p/BxmELC/nbcmarketplace/embed/select/zx39fDbAZLc5?form=html width=620 height=475]

It wasn’t exactly a shocker, but after batting .688 with two homers, David Ortiz was named World Series MVP following Boston’s Game 6 victory over the Cardinals.

Ortiz tied World Series and postseason records with four walks and three intentional walks in the Game 6 victory. He came around to score after two of them. He struck out in his lone official at-bat, dropping his average from .733 to .688.

Ortiz also earlier tied Billy Hatcher’s World Series record (1990 Reds) by reaching base in nine straight plate appearances between Games 3, 4 and 5. He hit both of his homers and drove in five of his six runs in Games 1 and 2.

To say Ortiz was Boston’s leading hitter would be one of the great understatements of our time. The batting averages of the nine Red Sox to play tonight:

.250 (Jacoby Ellsbury)

View original 77 more words

Those Pesky Cardinal Fans ~ Doing it again!

So I’m watching the game tonight and out of the blue comes a huge “BOOOOO” from the stadium.   The crowd evidently didn’t agree with the umpire’s call of a strike against one of their own.  Then the little black box appears on the lower right side of the telly screen and sure enough ….. that ball was a smidgen outside of that little black box, meaning, of course, it was definitely a ball and not a strike.   Now how in the world did they know that?  I mean those “boos” came instantly, no chance to second guess, just johnny-on-the-spot.  The umpire was standing right there at the plate, and the crowd of some 40,00 was, shall we say, somewhere out in left field and they knew it was a bad call.

Cardinal Fans Most Knowledgeable

Cardinal Fans Most Knowledgeable

I remember posting back in 2011 about those Classy Cardinal Fans and how they’re not only the best fans in Major League Baseball, but also the most polite and the most “knowledgeable”.  They won some sort of award for this as I recall.  But, really, this humongous outpouring of boo’s tonight was instantaneous and it was the only time all night they booed.   I don’t get it.

So when I log into WordPress to post this little ditty, the very first blog I see is none other than Craig Calcaterra on Hardball Talk, talking about this very thing ~ the Cardinal fans I mean.  Take a look at what he says about it here and you’ll see what I mean.

Obstruction Call Tonight

Obstruction Call Tonight

And if you weren’t fortunate enough to watch the entire game (it was a  good one!) take a look at  Hardball Talk’s piece on the obstruction call that ended the game.   You’ll be hearing lots more about this one. Wow!  Whatta great  game.  Doesn’t get much better than this!   Can’t wait for game time tomorrow!

A-Rod’s lawsuit: dropping bombs, but maybe he has a grander tactical plan

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Comment: Gee whiz ~ so much good info out there this morning. If you get a chance to read this article about Alex Rodriquez’s lawsuit, please do. It will be worth your time. Of particular interest is Calcaterra’s take on the possible reason A-Rod is REALLY filing the lawsuit and it involves the players union and arbitration. The article gives us a link to the actual lawsuit in its entirety and if you download it to your Kindle it will help you kill time as you’re sitting in traffic or waiting at the doctor’s office. Just saying …..

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

[nbcsports_video src=http://vplayer.nbcsports.com/p/BxmELC/nbcsportsembed/embed/select/bojt1OkPKU5t service=rsn_iframe width=590 height=362]

I finally finished reading A-Rod’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball.  If you haven’t read it, go here. It may be one of those most over-the-top, Earth-scorching lawsuits I’ve ever seen. Certainly in a sports context.

It’s Alex Rodriguez attempting to put Bud Selig and Major League Baseball on trial for Collusion against free agents in the 80s, the Steroids Era — which A-Rod claims was largely authored by Bud Selig — and generally for trying to destroy Rodriguez’s career, reputation and earning potential. It did so, he claims, by paying off witnesses, leaking the details of the Biogenesis investigation to the media and singling him out as the target of a vendetta. The complaint reads like acid in places, is hilarious in others and basically attempts to put baseball on trial for everything bad it has done since Selig has been around.

But…

View original 925 more words

Remember when Yasiel Puig was gonna cost the Dodgers a playoff game with his recklessness?

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Comment: Loved this post by Craig Calcaterra. I was one of those naysayers, but he hit the nail on the head. I think Puig’s going to be one of those love em or hate em guys. And right now I’m sorta loving him. After that great base running performance last night I kept waiting for him to do something stupid, like sticking his tongue out at the opposing bench, but he refrained and I’m glad. Hang in there Dodger fans. Only a month or so to go!

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Last night, Yasiel Puig’s smart, heads-up base running got the Dodgers a run. His arm in right — and the manner in which he kinda deked Even Gattis as to whether he was gonna catch a ball and then throw — ended the Braves second inning when he doubled Gattis off first. It was quite a playoff debut for the Dodgers rookie.

Which makes it a perfect time to go down the memory hole. Specifically, back to August, when Yasiel Puig was supposed to be unsafe at any speed and was going to cost the Dodgers playoff games with his lack of discipline and unprofessionalism. First, Bill Plaschke:

Puig’s antics are the sort that will cost a team in a close game in October. For every playoff game that Puig wins with his bold arm or crazy legs, he could cost them two.

Then Jon Morosi:

View original 438 more words

Woo Hoo! Hunter Pence Gets his Multi-Year Contract!

This is huge!   Breaking news for sure, and it follows the day his teammates voted him winner of this year’s Willie Mac Award.

Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants: Five Year, $90 Million Extension on his Contract, that’s what they’re saying.

Oops!  He's all ours now!

Oops! He’s all ours now!

I remember vividly last year when Hunter Pence signed with the Giants and flew into SFO to play in that night’s game.  However, the flight was delayed and Pence arrived about 30 minutes after the game ended.  But thanks to our loyal Comcast the cameras were on him as he arrived through the gate enroute to the clubhouse, duffel bag thrown over his shoulders, with our loyal “gonna be” fans waving and asking for autographs.

They obviously knew more about Hunter  than I did.  I mean, who was this guy?  I liked his persona  immediately as he dropped everything to sign autographs, shake hands, and basically just endear himself to the fans.   And this was late, like 11:30 PM, most of the park lights had been shut down, and you know he must have been tired.  I mean it was 2:30 AM Philly time.

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

So that’s my first exposure to Hunter Pence and it’s been all uphill since as we remember  his rousing speech to the troops to keep going last year.  This was the speech that got them to and through the playoffs for a chance to win the World Series, and win the World Series they did.

And 2013 has been another great year.  Well, not such a great year according to the standings, but who cares about that?   Our team has character, charisma, compatability, and the loyalty of 41,000 fans on any given day.

baseball heart imageSo welcome to five more years in San Francisco Hunter Pence!  We, the best fans in Major League Baseball “softly” love you (sorry Buster)  and open our hearts to you as you’ve opened yours to us.

The absurdity that is MLB’s tiebreaker system

garlicfriesandbaseball:

GFBB Note: This is a rule that hardly anyone knows about, unannounced officially by MLB. It gives added strength to a team’s Intraleague record. So it stands to reason we’ll be seeing a lot more of intraleague play in the coming years. Not that that’s a bad thing, but in my opinion it takes away from the importance of Division play, i.e. why even have it? Division play I mean.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser runs down the mess that is MLB tiebreaker system as it relates to the A’s and Red Sox possibly tying for the AL’s best record. It includes a change that was never announced by the league because, well, MLB has never wanted to bore us with the details.

So, in short, the tiebreaker goes like this:

1. Head-to-head record
2. Intradivisional record
3. Intraleague record (the new, previously unannounced one)
4. Second-half intradivisional record

I guess the addition of No. 3 is an improvement on falling back to what was the old No. 3. It’s No. 2 that’s stupid, though. Basically, it gives the team in the easier division an extra advantage after it already had the huge advantage of playing in the easier division.

In fact, the No. 2 tiebreaker should be the exact opposite: extradivisional record. The team that played in the…

View original 34 more words