Tag Archives: Cody Ross

There are no Constants in Baseball ~ It’s a Fickle Game

Ichiro’s been on my mind today.  I don’t even have to use his last name.  Everyone knows who he is.   It’s not really a surprise he’s leaving.  He’s been with the Mariners for a long time and we knew he was  destined for other things in the near future.  But I never thought in a million years he’d end up a Yankee.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s just something so unsacred about the  idea of it all.

Back in 1962,  I was given an assignment in my business college marketing class to interview someone in business and to make a proposal or suggestion to them on how they could improve their business.   Most of my classmates chose their dad or another family member to interview.  I chose to interview the General Manager of the Portland Beavers, an AAA-Affiliate of the Kansas City Athletics.   I was 18 at the time.

I was obsessed with this project and spent a lot of time on it and the fact that I’d actually gotten the interview was more than my young years could fathom.   I knew before I made the trip to the ballpark what my proposal to the GM was going to be.   Attendance at the ballpark had been very low the past year and I thought it would be a great idea to have the organization offer a “Ladies Night” once a week,  with free admission to all the ladies.  I thought there was a good possibility it might not only get the wives there with their husbands but possibly the entire family, thereby increasing concessions also.

When the day arrived for my meeting with the GM I was really excited, not only about the interview but also of  maneuvering my way through Multnomah Stadium to the Administration Offices by myself,  with my very own written proposal in hand.   The manager was very cordial and listened with intent to my proposal and thanked me for my interest.   When the interview was over, it lasted about an hour, he gave me  complimentary game tickets  and invited me to keep in touch.  It was a wonderful day.  I got an “A” in Marketing that year.

A few weeks later, complimentary tickets in hand,  I invited some friends to attend a game with me and, honestly,  I felt like I owned the place.  I felt like a VIP and the experience is just as vivid today as it was 50 years ago.  The Portland Beavers maintained nearly a 103 year presence in that city but on September 6, 2010, they played their last game at the hometown park.  The city was making room for the Portland Timbers, an MLS  Soccer team.  Portland no longer has a baseball team.  The Beavers continue today in Tucson, Arizona, as a Triple-A affiliate with the San Diego Padres.

The point I’m trying to make is that baseball’s a fickle game.  There’s no constants  in baseball.  The managers change, the players change and sometimes even the hometown locale changes.    Usually we adapt, but  it isn’t easy. To tell you the truth I still miss Cody Ross.  He was with the Giants for such a short time, but while he was here his presence was huge.

Ichiro Suzuki

And for sure the Mariner fans are going to miss Ichiro.  You could sit in the nosebleed section of the bleachers in right field and, without hearing the announcer,  know it was Ichiro at the plate.   He had this way of holding his bat, butt handle  straight up as if he was holding a rifle with a precision periscope on it, sizing up where he was going to slam the ball with the next pitch.

Ichiro’s an artist.  And I’m going to miss him too.  Does this mean I’ll have to start watching the Yankees again?  If last night’s Mariner-Yankee game  is any indication, it could happen.  Baseball’s a fickle game you know.

Advertisements

Pitcher Makes Unassisted Triple Play! ~ Whodathunkit?

Well, okay.  Maybe it’s  not your ordinary triple play in the true sense of the word but you gotta admit it’s pretty darn unusual!  “Triple ka-thud” as Krukow puts it.

Cody Ross of the San Francisco Giants gets hit with a pitch thrown by Clayton Mortensen of the Rockies, and the ball pinballs off Ross’s arm, catcher Jose Morales’ helmet, and umpire Tim Tschida’s face mask. From the Giants-Rockies game May 16th, 2011.  SF Giants announcers Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper on the broadcast.   YouTube Uploaded by “hat301” on May 17, 2011.

Roy Oswalt ……. Luck of the Irish (Scots?)

Oh no!   Not Roy Oswalt!  This video just shows how close these guys are to disaster with every pitch!   This is scary stuff!   As you’re probably aware, Roy’s one of the Phab Four for the Phillies this year and expectations are high for them and also for the Phillies.    Back in the old days,  dad always said a pitcher was supposed to be ready to field after the delivery.  Get yourself  right back in position with your mitt in front of  you to protect from this very thing.   But back in the 40’s and 50’s, I doubt very much the pitchers were throwing with the same intensity and velocity they are today.   Who has time to do that; get back into position I mean?  Baseball’s changed.   They may have thrown just as fast back then, but the players now are huge in comparison and my thought is their reflexes are not as fast as the smaller pitchers.  I don’t know, I’m just saying, there’s a reason those old fashioned rules don’t seem to apply anymore.  Pitchers now aren’t expected to play the entire nine innings like they routinely did back in the old days.   They give it their best shot, and a reliever comes in to continue where the starter left off.   And then in comes the closer!   So I doubt very much dad’s thinking would apply now.   

Last reports are that Oswalt is doing well,  and except for the baseball-sized welt on the back of his neck he should be able to start the regular season as scheduled.   He’s lucky.   His teammate Chase utley is facing surgery after his bout this spring with tendinitis in his knee, and most likely will miss a good part of the season, after missing a majority of 2010.  Heartbreaking for the players and heartbreaking for the fans. 

Spring training!   A must for getting back into shape and letting the players gel with each other.  But what a price to pay for these guys!    The Giants closer, Brian Wilson, suffered a strained oblique muscle, and is looking at possibly sitting out just the first couple of regular season games, if he’s lucky.   It could be much more and Cody Ross caught what appeared to be a routine fly ball yesterday, only to limp off the field with a calf strain.   A visit to an MRI center resulted in a walking “boot” and crutches for Ross.  It’s anyone’s guess how long he’ll be out.  Here’s a list of a few other incidents this spring:

  • St Louis Cardinals starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright had Tommy John surgery last week and will most likely miss the entire 2012 season.
  • Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher, Shaun Marcum, suffered a “tight shoulder” after his last outing.  Whether he’ll be sidelined for the beginning of the season is questionable. 
  • Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher, Zach Greinke, broke a rib in a “basketball game” and remains on the disabled list this spring training.  (Okay, okay, probably not entirely related to spring training!)
  • Los Angeles Angels First Baseman Kendry Morales was sidelined with a broken foot for the majority of 2010, and spring training hasn’t been able to help Morales get back on “foot” still.   Looks like more rehab time for him before he’s back in the regular season.
  • Yankees lead-off hitter, Brett Gardner, is back in the line-up after suffering a bruised shin during spring training.

The list goes on and on.  But wait!   Believe it or not, there’s actually some good news for the rest of us.   The 2012 Regular Baseball Season begins next week!   So it’s time to clean up the barbecue, get out those scorecards, stock up on popcorn and hotdogs, and get out the gear.   Makes me all emotional just thinking about it.  

And cross your fingers for all those guys on the disabled list so they’ll be able to join us soon.   Let’s face it.  It’s just not the same playing a game with one or more of your guys sitting on the bench with a disability!   Too bad we can’t just go from post season to regular season and skip the Spring Training!    Save us all some headaches!

TEXAS CAIN-SAW MASSACRE ~ GAME 2.

Geez, I know, it’s a really bad title, but it is almost Halloween.  I thought about “Giants Smoke Rangers“, but with all the San Francisco pot stories and ballot measures promoting the stuff right now, I didn’t like that one either, so here it is ~ SF Giants 9, Texas Rangers -0-.    First, let me say, this was a really close game.  Close until the 8th inning and then the bottom fell out of the saddle for the  Texas Rangers.  Up until that time it was a knuckle-grinder and anything could have happened with just one pitch and one hit.  As Aubrey Huff said after the game, the score was really  technically 2-0, and I agree.   It was a wild and crazy 8th inning.  Every game in the post season the

Matt Cain

Giants have managed to come up with a different hero, so there’s not one really spectacular player that stands out about this team.  It’s been like that all year.  This time it was  Matt Cain, record breaking, torture-ending, masterful Matt Cain.  And it was also Edgar Renteria.   Edgar Renteria?  Who’s Edgar Reneria.   See what I mean?  No one’s ever heard of the guy, just like you’ve never heard of   Cody Ross or Juan Uribe or Tim Lincecum.   (Well, maybe Lincecum since he’s a two time Cy Young Award Winner!)   I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this game because, to tell you the truth, in spite of my euphoria for the Giants, I felt bad for the Texas Rangers.  I felt especially bad for Derek Holland,  the young pitcher they brought  in in the 8th Inning, who allowed 3 runs and 3 walks before they finally took him out.  I ‘m still

Edgar Renteria

pondering why Manager Ron Washington left him in so long.  Bochy would have had him out after the first run.  The fact is they’re a much better team than what they showed last night and everyone knows it.  We’ve all been there with really bad games you just want to forget and get past and move on to the next.   But as the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton explained after the game, “Obviously they (Giants)  have the momentum right now, but it sort of felt that way even before the first game started”.   Next game will be at the Texas Rangers table with fan support behind them and I’m thinking it’s gonna be one of those low scoring, close games again.  That’s what the SF Giants are used to.   And besides, Halloween’will be here and gone soon and things can get back to normal.

(Note about Matt Cain.   After last night’s game, Andrew Baggarly, who’s a beat writer with the SJ Mercury News, said he asked Matt why he hadn’t tipped his cap to the crowd and their wild standing ovation for him, and Matt said “Can’t do it with a runner on base.  Just didn’t seem right.”   He had just issued a one out walk and there was still work to be done.  And that’s why he’s so admired and respected by his teammates and the  Giants fans.    Matt Cain, a real team player with a lot of integrity.  Does your heart good doesn’t it?  Just another example of a real class act!  GFBB)

Making the Error that Loses the Game……Oh Really?

Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo

Update April 20, 2013.  This was the headline written by Alex Pavlovic, Bay Area News Group,  after the Giants 4-3  loss to the Cubs last week-end.

 “ROMO’S BLOWN SAVE DOOMS SF”

  And right next to the ridiculous headline is a photo of Giants center fielder Angel Pagan missing Starlin Castro’s “game-winning double “.   I wrote a blog September 1, 2010 that talks about this notion of one bad play losing the game.  It just don’t work that way folks.  Take a look and see what you think. 

________________________________________________________

“Making the Error that Loses the Game” Original Post 9/1/10 By: Garlic Fries and Baseball”

I’m thinking of  Cody Ross in the SF Giants loss to Colorado on Monday.  You can place blame and point a finger to a specific play and/or player in any game, especially if it’s in the last couple innings.  But think about it.    What about that last swing in a strikeout that should have been a hit in any inning (this applies to both teams).  Or how about all the runners left on base, in any inning?   What if?   If only!   Take a look at one of the innings in this game.  I chose the 2nd inning but it could have been any.  Colorado Top of 2nd Jonathan Sanchez pitching for San Francisco COL SFO M Mora grounded out to shortstop. T Helton walked.R Spilborghs grounded into double play, third to second to first, T Helton out at second. 0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors  San Francisco – Bottom of 2nd Jorge De La Rosa pitching for Colorado COL SFO C Ross struck out swinging. P Sandoval singled to left. J Uribe grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first, P Sandoval out at second. 0 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors 

“Before he was a Giant!”

  So let’s assume Helton hit a home run instead of walked. Then Cody’s “error” in the 9th doesn’t have the significance it would have had if the game hadn’t been tied. Or suppose Uribe, instead of hitting into a double play, slammed that hit right between 3rd base and the SS and now they have a runner on 1st and 2nd and Sanchez gets to bat and hits a line drive single. This brings the guy on 2nd home and bingo!  That error out in right field in the top of the 9th isn’t quite so significant either.   MLB.com has some great shots of the game and also the play by play if you’re interested.  What’s important to note here is the only error in the 9th inning is given to Sanchez on his throw to 3rd and not to Ross on the flyball to right field that caught some miracle of flight after a broken bat went sailing along with the hit. I woke up thinking about all this as I reflected on the unusually low attendance of 31,000 fans at the game yesterday, the night after the Cody Ross incident. Giants fans are not known to be fair weather fans so it caught my attention. But I’ll bet you odds there will be another big crowd tonight at AT&T Park, because even after the incredibly disappointing loss to Arizona on Monday, the SF Giants won and the San Diego Padres lost last night! Hope is alive and the fans will return again and again to watch their beloved Giants and all it will take is one great play from Cody Ross (Sanchez already provided his) and all is forgiven and forgotten. It’s kinda like hitting a 150 yard drive off the 1st tee at Pasatiempo. Nothing else really matters the rest of the day.   It only takes one play folks……and that’s what’s so great about baseball!   Don’t you just love it? “

GFBB Note:  Cody Ross went on to be instrumental in post season play and the Giants World Series win in 2010.  Just goes to show you …..