Category Archives: A4 Uncategorized

Bruce Bochy: one of the best managers in baseball history?

Bruce Bochy, Manager 2010 World Series Champions

Bruce Bochy, Manager 2010 World Series Champions

Something that’s stuck in my craw these past few years is not the fact that Bruce Bochy didn’t win Manager of the Year in 2010 and again in 2012, but that he wasn’t even runner-up. In 2010 he received ONE 1st place vote. And this was after putting together and working with the band of misfits later to be known as the 2010 World Series Champions.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t give much credibility to the members of the Baseball Writers Association who vote on the annual award. West Coast teams are rarely seriously considered by the BBWA for such awards since, the reasoning goes, their games are played after those who vote have gone nighty-night, the games being played late on the East Coast and all. And this isn’t just for the Manager’s award but for the others as well. The 2010 award did go to the San Diego Manager though, and that’s about as West Coast as you can go. But generally it hasn’t been so.

This article just might make a difference, at least it’s a start.

Sick of the Giants and the Cardinals in the NLCS? Tough. They deserve to be there and we’d better get used to it.

Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow has a degenerative muscle disease

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.

Clown shoes in Chicago: the Cubs grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field

Ronni’s Comment: Yesterday during the Cubs -Giants game there was a torrential downpour. I mean the kind that monsoons are made of. It lasted probably 15-20 minutes. But when the grounds crew tried to put the tarp on the field it turned into a nightmare for the guys pulling the tarp for sure, but also for the Giants fans and, in particular, for Mike Krukow, commentator for the Giants

I’m not sure I agree with the official ruling, but Mike Krukow commented several times during the rain delay stating in his words to the effect that the field crew “intentionally” screwed up the laying of the tarp. That it was totally intentional. That it wouldn’t have happened if the Cubs had been behind.

And I say shame on you Mike Krukow. You know better. Just because the Giants have won a few championships doesn’t give us the right to belittle others. We (the Giants) have been playing pretty lousy lately but that’s not a reason to take it out on the grounds crews or the umpires.

I’ve heard other commentators say similar things when I’ve had to listen to them from the opponent’s perspective and I’ve always been glad we were blessed with our own special Kruk & Kuip. They are a class act, top of the game, and they know everything! So I’m hoping this was just a bad day for Mike and I’m hoping he’s hoping it doesn’t happen again. But that’s just me hoping.

I can’t wait to hear what they have to say tonight, about last night, and praying it doesn’t rain again!

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

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?

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 my response to the TAKEOUT SLIDES ruling that has been approved by Major League Baseball and is a repost of a blog I wrote on February 23, 2012.

The basic premise of this ruling has always been in effect ~ they just weren’t using it. I’m disappointed MLB didn’t take it further and impose more severe personal penalties on the player such as automatic ejection from the game. The NFL and NBA have this built into some of their penalties and it certainly hasn’t hurt the game.

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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

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.

“The Schedule Makers”

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

David Ortiz gets World Series MVP honors

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!

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

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 …..