Professional Sports Teams on visiting the White House …..

“Why would any team go to the White House?”   Or more specifically, “Why would any team in any sport go to the White House to see any president, ever?”

These are a few of the questions posed by Sportswriter Mark Purdy in today’s Santa Cruz Sentinel.  It would be laughable if it weren’t so infuriating.  He’s specifically referring to the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. They supposedly voted unanimously last week to refuse an invitation to visit the White House, which was fake news because as of today they haven’t even been invited.  Steph Curry, Andre Igoudala and Coach Kerr have all expressed negative feelings about President Trump.

Two years ago when the Warriors won the NBA Championship they busted their tails to make it to the White House to visit Barack Obama.  Thrill of a lifetime I think they put it. Steph Curry has publicly stated that Obama is one of his biggest hero’s of all time, but of course Obama’s a big basketball fan so I’m sure that’s what all the gushing was about.

Barack Obama’s no longer in the White House, the thrill is gone and the current President is chopped liver.  So now no team in any sport should ever visit the White House again, ever.  Funny how that works.

I’m personally hoping President Trump extends an invitation to Lou-Seal instead of the Warriors and that he does it via a Tweet.

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Blame it on the Catcher!

Baseball nation is going nuts today over the brawl at the Giants and Nats game.  Actually the disagreement was between Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland after Harper was hit by a pitch thrown by Strickland.  To be perfectly honest here, Bryce Harper has never been one of my favorite ball players.  In fact,  I don’t like much about the guy.  He’s an arrogant hot head that gives baseball a bad name.  Has anyone ever seen the guy crack even the smallest bit of a smile?  Didn’t think so.  But in fairness it sure looked like Strickland threw that pitch with intent to nail him, which I’m pretty sure he did.

But my words here are about the tweets, blogs and overall bad press Buster Posey is getting from his actions behind the plate.  I mean, he didn’t make any effort to step out from behind the plate to help his poor defenseless pitcher who found himself in a real bind as Harper went charging at him like a bull in a china closet.  The ESPN announcers kept bellowing about the fact that the Giants Catcher, Posey, did nothing to help his pitcher out ~ they’d just never seen anything like it, a catcher who didn’t jump in and join the fiasco.

Some thoughts about this, besides the fact Posey’s a leader so probably doesn’t feel a need to jump in the middle of the dogpile:

  1. Anyone who knows anything about baseball will remember the tragic injury Posey suffered a few years back that almost ended his playing career.  He was in rehab for a year trying to scratch and crawl his way back to the game to overcome the injuries he sustained from that incident.  I’m sure he’s been warned not to do anything stupid that might cause a relapse.  Just saying …….
  2. Looking at the play after the fact, it sure looks like Buster was calling for a fastball right down the middle of the plate.  And if a professional pitcher can’t throw one he’s in the wrong business, unless, of course, he was trying to throw the exact pitch he threw.  A little inside you say?  No kidding.
  3. Knowing the history of these two, Harper and Strickland, it’s possible there was a talk in the Giants locker room before the game that no retaliation pitches were to be thrown.  If that’s the case, Buster could easily been thinking, you want it?  You got it.
  4. This retaliation thing is rampant in the Majors.  Don’t believe me?  Just listen to Mike Krukow explain it during some of his color commentating.  It’s a thing to be proud of, according to Mike.  And no respectable pitcher would let an infraction go by without retaliating.

I mean, come on. Harper gets two home runs off Strickland two years ago and this is “pay back”?  Give me a break. Not wise since they’ll probably both get fined and worse, suspended, causing problems not just for themselves, but for the rest of the team.

And tomorrow it’s likely the players will be warned ~ no inside pitches, and/or no hit by a pitch from either side or the pitcher gets ejected.  What pitcher needs to play with that kind of pressure on him?  So even if he accidentally hits a batter, the pitcher gets ejected and the batter takes the base.

Get your smarts in order pitchers.   This is old school stupid stuff and has no place in today’s game.  In my humble opinion, of course.

What Does Canadian Hockey have to do with Baseball?

Not a lot, and I have no idea why this video turned me into a blubbering idiot.  Maybe it’s the fallout of the Giants/Dodgers game tonight, but for whatever reason, hats off to those 18,000 Canadians who sang their hearts out for our National Anthem.  Here take a listen and see what you think …… Courtesy of You Tube Videos.

The First Baseman’s Stretch…….

This has been happening a lot lately.  Almost every game in fact.  The announcer bellows what a fantastic throw the shortstop has made to 1st base to throw someone out.  And it’s usually true.  They have.  And it doesn’t have to be the shortstop.  Could be the 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman catcher.  You get the picture.

But the third time it happened tonight in the Giants vs Padres game I was compelled to grab my camera and take a snapshot of the TV screen.  It was important to me to validate what a fantastic job the 1st Baseman does in catching (more like salvaging) a ball that, without his outstanding athletic ability, would have ended up in the dugout or worse.

 

I call it the First Baseman’s Stretch.  And if you’ll watch for it, you’ll be surprised how often it happens. That’s probably why it’s a really good idea to get a 6’5″, left-handed guy to handle that base.   Even while doing the splits this guy needs the wingspan of a 747 for the reach to make the play.

I just wish the commentators would be more aware of giving credit to the player that’s miraculously avoiding a pulled groin every time he stretches to make that catch while at the same time keeping at least one of his toes on that first base bag.

Above, Michael Morse makes it look easy ….. kinda …..  sort of.

 

 

 

 

Question for You Boche!

Why in the world was Michael Morse warming the bench in the 9th inning Thursday night?  Or in the 10th inning?  We’re getting used to it really, because there’s always some silly reason you know?  Like the DL injuries up the kazoo, just having an off-night, they outplayed us, outpitched us or we just plain stunk up the place.

But Thursday night was different.  Michael Morse was a Giant again, something I’ve been waiting for since the day he left.  So when he suited up at Spring Training this year there was hope.  Hope there wouldn’t be another really, really lousy year like last year.  Because now we really didn’t care if we had a really bad bullpen.  We had a power hitter.  Again.

So the line-up is announced on Opening Day and guess what?  Michael Morse isn’t in it. And it’s okay.  We’re getting used to it, remember?  But Wednesday night was different because he was back wearing a Giants uniform.  Ahhh, still hope.  And he didn’t let us down.

So Thursday night I would have been really anxious with the score tied  bottom of the 9th, but I knew Morse was in the wings and at least this time we had a chance.  It would be okay.  And we waited and waited and …… still waiting.

So I’m wondering why Michael Morse wasn’t called off the bench in the 9th inning. And I’ll bet there are thousands of other fans wondering the same thing.   No big deal. Just curious, that’s all.

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS CHICAGO CUBS ~ 2016 WORLD CHAMPIONS!!

The “Supposed” Agony of Defeat

Let’s face it.  How many of us really believed the Giants were going to make it to the 2016 Playoffs?  You’d have to be the eternal optimist to even suspect there might be a chance after the disastrous play the last half of the season.  I mean, really, the team went 0 for 60 in games where they were behind in the 8th inning. That must be an all-time record.   Sure, there were some bright spots and there’s always hope in baseball, but really?

bochy-citifieldWe know how to win.  And this was our time, being an even year and all.  The year started out with a bang and we had the rest of the baseball world believing it too, with our best record in major league baseball at the All Star Break.   So when the bottom fell out in the 5th game of the NLDS we were in shock and disbelief and we were angry.  My anger was directed toward our dear quiet, unassuming Manager, Bruce Bochy.  The team played their hearts out that last game.  Matt Moore’s pitching was incredible throughout, but was pulled at the top of the 9th to make way for our not so incredible bullpen, at which time I left the room and started cleaning up the kitchen.  I knew it was over.  We all knew it was over.  What was he thinking?

In retrospect, in my heart I  don’t think the 3 time World Champion San Francisco Giants really deserved to be there. And I don’t think they thought so either.  Okay.  I said it.  But that’s how I felt.  When you compare it to the Chicago Cubs season, the Cubs belonged there.  They deserved to win. And they did win, fair and square.  Did Moore have another 10-12 pitches left in him?   Probably.  But we’ll never know and it doesn’t really matter.  It pains me to say it, but the best team DID win and good for them.

I love my Giants.  Always have.  Always will.  Ann Killion wrote this in her SF Chronicle post today:  “Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard said on social media: ‘Baseball has a way of ripping your heart out, stabbing it, putting it back in your chest and then healing itself just in time for spring training.”

epic-fail-baseball-failMy point is this.  The Giants had a real weakness in the bullpen this year.  It was apparent in 60 of 60 games.  It won’t happen again.  They have an amazing staff that will build on this and they’ll be back.  Not all of them, of course, but enough that another world champion team will emerge again.

And when it does, and if we lose then, we’ll really know the true agony of defeat. Because in this defeat, we should have felt honored just to be sitting at the table. Personally, I can hardly wait for the NLCS to begin tomorrow with the Chicago Cubs against ….. wait for it …….a worthy opponent, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

My bet is on the Chicago Cubs who have the best record in Major League Baseball this year.  But like Syndergaaard said ……baseball has a way of ripping your heart out ……..

Good luck to the Cubs and Dodgers.  It’s gonna be a great series!