Monthly Archives: October 2011

A British Take on NLDS Game 5.

British Fife and Drum

I know, you probably think I’m being a little giddy, perhaps dwelling too much on the last Cardinal/Phillies game.   But I just couldn’t resist the urge to share this post.  For one thing it references a previous post with an outlandish video spoof “Too Much Money Ball” .  It includes a 7th Inning stretch video “Take Me out to the Ballgame – Old Skool” as only a Brit could do.

Written by Steve Busfield for “The Guardian” in the U.K.,  this gives a good argument that the British are not totally limited to knowledge of soccer and cricket.  Here are some excerpts from the post: 

Money ball Yankees Style:

“My hilarious colleague David Lengel, who was on live blogging duty last night, is now live tweeting this game to me. This is his description of Molina’s appearance in the top of the 4th:

‘God strolls to the plate.   Oh, God gets a base hit.  Surprise.  God steals a base.  God is let down by his people.   This happens.’

Did you see the squirrel interrupt play in game four? (“like a tiny streaker in a fur coat,”

Seventh inning stretch: Take Me Out To The Ballgame: old skool:

Proper.

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“Those Classy Cardinals” …. On and Off the Field.

St. Louis Cardinals

I’m kinda sorta breaking with my tradition of not writing about post season play until we get to the pennant winners.  But not really, since this concerns a story written after last nights game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. It was written by Les Carpenter for Yahoo Sports  (I’m assuming Les is in no way related to Cardinal pitcher, Chris Carpenter).  This is a human interest story about sportsmanship, team spirit and the camaraderie of the players.   Here’s an excerpt from the story:

“The National League Division Series had been decided, the mighty Philadelphia Phillies dispatched like a playoff pretender, and the St. Louis Cardinals raced into their clubhouse and tore into the three giant blue tubs of Champagne. Then they stood in a half circle near the door to the tiny room, late Friday night, shook the bottles, held the corks and …

They waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Five minutes passed, then seven, eight, then 10 and still they would not celebrate. Here was a baseball team, just after the most improbable of playoff victories, and its players were standing awkwardly as if this was a junior high mixer at the VFW Hall. But the national television people had grabbed their pitcher, Chris Carpenter, the one who stifled the Phillies on three hits in nine innings, the one who sent them to the Milwaukee Brewers with a 1-0 victory, and that meant he wasn’t in the room with them.

Carpenter was still on the field doing interviews. Given the way he pulled them through this night, making the postseason last another week longer, they couldn’t pop the cork on anything until he arrived. So with no Carpenter, there was no party. They would wait.

Finally someone spotted him. He was walking up the tunnel from the dugout. Someone waved to the others and they huddled in position near the clubhouse entrance. And as he turned the corner into the room they pounced. Bottles flashed. Liquid poured. And Chris Carpenter could do little else but hunch his shoulders as they doused him with Champagne, screaming for the joy of a playoff win they never could have imagined a month earlier.”

Last April I wrote about the San Francisco Giants Home Opener against the St Louis Cardinals.  The post wasn’t about the game so much as it was about the reputation and tradition of  “those classy” Cardinals.  They’d just been selected as having the best and most knowledgeable of all fans in Major League Baseball.  

After reading this article I think it’s safe to say “Those Classy Cardinals” doesn’t just relate to the St. Louis fans.   It’s pretty safe to say that scene in the locker room represents a pretty darn classy group of baseball players and teammates also.   Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals both on and off the field.

“See Ball. Hit Ball.” You Kidding Me?

Oakland A's Gio Gonzalez

There was a seminar held at Harvard University recently that included an in-depth discussion on sabermetrics, scouting and the science of baseball.   Michael Richmond, from the Physics Department at Rochester Institute of Technology, was one of the speakers and something he said has changed my mind forever about that super hero of a man (or not) standing alone on a regular basis in the batter’s box.   Here’s what he said:

“The average fastball travels at 2,200 rpm, as opposed to 1,300 for a curve-ball or change-up.  And the only way the player can tell which pitch it is and how much it will move is an immediate judgment call.

The batter has to see the difference and say, ‘Oh, that’s a change-up’.  I find it amazing the batters can pick up the difference in spin when they only have five or six revolutions before they have to make that decision.”

Whoa!  I promise to never criticize another batter’s wild and crazy swing at a pitch unless, of course, he chooses not to swing.   And not even then, because based on what Richmond says, you almost have to make up your mind during the wind-up whether you’re going to swing or not.  Who knew?  I’m still having trouble wrapping my little mind around sabermetrics and now I find the ABC’s of baseball, you know,  the “see ball, hit ball, run theory” is a bunch of hooey folks. Probably most of you already know this stuff, but I’m just saying there’s a reason baseball fans are the most knowledgeable and opinionated of all sports fans.  They have to be.  Who can possibly know all this stuff?  Who even wants to know it all?

The batter and the hitter.  Not necessarily the same and there’s a reason for that!  Baseball ~ don’t you just love it?

Here’s a link to the article written by Spencer Fordin.  It’s  worth the time. “Harvard Hosts in-depth Baseball Seminar.”