During the seventh inning of a Cardinals-Giants game on Monday, a fan was arrested for shining a laser beam at Giants’ pitcher, Shane Loux . I was watching the game on the tube and the announcers talked about the delay, but no one really knew what was going on, and eventually the game resumed. As it turns out, the fan was a 17-year-old teenager who was with some friends in an expensive private suite along the first base line and maybe thought he was just having a little fun.
“Craig Calcaterra’s Cat?”
My story’s not about the 17-year-old mis-guided laser-pointing fan. It’s about a follow-up blog written by Craig Calcaterra on NBC’s HardBall. The post shows a supposedly comical picture of a cat wanting to catch that “red dot”. In the article Calcaterra says he sure hopes it’s not illegal to use those things or else he’ll have way less fun with his cat, making light of what could have been a really serious situation.
My immediate concern was for the pitcher ~ that he could be blinded by the laser and throw a wild pitch, injuring the batter, catcher or umpire. When you consider the speed of some of those pitches, upwards to 100 mph, you have a potentially deady combination. And that can be true even with perfect conditions, which doesn’t include having a laser flashed in your eye.
But according to a Cardinals’ security spokesman there are other situations that need to be considered. With laser-pointing, there is no way to distinguish a prank from a gunman aiming a laser-equipped firearm. Joe Walsh, Director of Cardinals’ Security puts it this way, “… when you go into what’s been going on in the country right now, it’s totally irresponsible to pretend you’ve got laser sights on somebody”.
The details of the incident are linked here, in a well-written article for the Post-Dispatch by Christine Byers of STL Today.com, and no matter how you want to spin the story, it’s no laughing matter.
I sure don’t want Calcaterra to miss out on any fun with his cat, but hope he has the common sense to leave those things at home when he ventures out to the ballpark and other public places.
Oh okay, maybe the opinion isn’t exactly unbiased, but there are reasons. Back in August, 2010 I wrote a blog titled “Gimme a Break. Is this Baseball Season or Not?” about football taking the sports pages hostage every year two months before baseball season ended.
The blog included a delightful George Carlin video which I’ll repeat here, because it’s good enough to show again in case you missed it.
The reason I’m bringing this up again is Jim Caple, Sr Writer for ESPN.Com wrote a great article yesterday about”why baseball is better than football“. Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports Online recommended it, saying it explains why, quote “baseball beats the crap out of football”, unquote.
Anyhow take a look at Caple’s article, linked above, and see what you think. It’s not that we die-hard baseball fans need reminding, it’s just always nice to see that others agree with our unbiased opinions, don’t you think?
I read and review hundreds of sports reports and baseball blogs every month and once in a while a story resonates with me so much I’m compelled to share it. Today has one of those stories and it’s about those pesky locker room interviews after the game where microphones are shoved in the players faces and reporters are yelling … what, I don’t know, because I can never hear the question … and the players are trying to be calm and cool, giving respectable answers that will satisfy the coaches, management and rest of the team.
I’ve rarely heard a question asked that I thought was important or even remotely entertaining. “How did you feel, what did you think” ….. adds nothing to the insight of the game. I’d like to know what it was the umpire said to you that made you laugh out loud after a play, or what it was you yelled at the pitcher after being nailed by a pitch for the second time this game. Craig Calcaterra at NBC Sports had some insight into this very thing in his blog this morning and almost as fun as the article are the comments that readers shared. Here’s the article:
“Over at the Wall Street Journal today Craig Wolff writes about something I’ve been thinking about for a long time: what purpose, exactly, does it serve to have reporters in the locker room before and after games? Read the thinking-it-through parts of it all, which are good, but here’s the central question I think:
In the end, no matter what becomes of this American tradition, it’s probably time to start asking if all this standing around amounts to loitering and is worth the strain it puts on the relationship between press and players. It’s not clear that either side derives much from the transaction.
It used to be that the teams needed the local paper for publicity and stuff. That’s way less necessary now than it used to be, and in fact, the situation has reversed, with papers needing the team way more for circulation purposes. But are the postgame quotes all that useful to the reader? Wouldn’t the reporter’s face time be better spent trying to talk to athletes about more in-depth matters in feature stories? Shouldn’t their gameday focus be more on the game itself, with their own analysis and insight — which in the case of most reporters is considerable because they’ve seen a lot of baseball — rather than transcribing the cliches?
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is quoted in the article talking about how being in the locker room, despite the bad, empty quotes, is important for maintaining relationships, the sorts of which no doubt would lead to better feature stories like I’d like to see. I get that. It just seems to me that there’s gotta be a better way.”
I wrote a post last June entitled “Umpire ~ Toughest Job in Baseball“. It was about the call Jim Joyce made on an Armando Galarraga throw to first that cost the pitcher the “perfect game”. So when I read Craig Calcaterra’s headlines today I thought of the many games Joyce has called in the past year where Galarraga has played and the games went without a hitch ~ smooth as silk.
Today is the first anniversary of that infamous call and I have to say this made for a great headline! It seems that the umpire and pitcher have entered a business venture and co-authored a book together. The name of the book is “Nobody’s Perfect” . It was published last month and is available on Amazon
Some of the comments on Calcaterra’s blog this morning were pretty entertaining. One mentioned an extreme dislike for a few of MLB’s umpires and suggested letting every owner and GM in the game co-author a book and have their least favorite umpires write a chapter on the nuances of umpiring, country music, dieting, whatever, thereby eliminating them from umpiring “any” game. After watching two really, really bad calls last night during the Cardinals-Giants game I understand what they’re saying. Probably not a really good idea, but I get it. Unfortunately the calls were made by two different umps so the blogger’s rationale isn’t very sound. Eventually there wouldn’t be anyone left to call the games!
Hmm…. you just know a movie about the two is in the works. Wonder who’ll play Armando? Better yet! Who in the world could possibly play Jim Joyce? I can see it now; “And the award for best actor goes to ……… Jim Joyce for playing ………. “Jim Joyce”!
All in fun. It’s great to see a friendly and working relationship between these two special men, and I hope the entire baseball community will embrace this as well.
"I was the worst hitter ever. I never even broke a bat until last year when I was backing out of the garage." Lefty Gomez, Yankees pitcher.
Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. ~George F. Will.
"Does Pete Rose hustle? Before the All Star game he came into the clubhouse and took off his shoes and they ran another mile without him." Hank Aaron.
More Baseball Quotes!
“You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” - Jim Bouton
"I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice." - Casey Stengel
"This isn't a job. This is a privilege, that's what this is!" - Mike Krukow, TV Commentator, on being at the ballpark each day.
"I've found that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats." -Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner.
"Derek Jeter's accomplishment puts Pete Rose's hits record in perspective. 3,000 hits is phenomenal. 4,000? Freakish!" - Anthony Castrovince via Twitter
"The best possible thing in baseball is winning the World Series. The second best thing is losing the World Series." - Tommy Lasorda
"You teach me baseball and I’ll teach you relativity.... You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball." - Albert Einstein
"Baseball is a game of race, creed, and color. The race is to first base. The creed is the rules of the game. The color? Well, the home team wears white uniforms, and the visiting team wears gray."
GARLICFRIESANDBASEBALL is written by a long-time fan who simply loves the game. I write my own articles (hence the grammar and occasional misspellings). If I include an article from another source, credit is given to that source and will include links when appropriate. The opinions are my own.