Tag Archives: GARLIC FRIES

The Umpire…….toughest job in baseball!

“I couldn’t see well enough to play when I was a boy, so they gave me a special job – they made me an umpire.”  President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

As a player I probably would have said the toughest position in baseball is catcher.  I wasn’t particularly afraid of the ball, but when you’ve been beaned a couple times and missed a ball that was impossible to catch anyhow and the other team scores, you realize even when things are going right, they can still go really, really wrong.    But looking at this as a spectator the toughest job has to be, without a doubt, the lowly umpire.   My first exposure to this was at age 10 watching my dad at at my brother’s games giving the ump the going-over, beer in hand, standing up yelling obscenities and setting a stellar example for a couple of kids learning by example.  Totally mortifying!   So years later when I became the parent in the stands cheering my heart out in support of my little darlings at T-Ball I was very cognizant of these memories.   Imagine my shock and humiliation when I was thrown out of a T-Ball  game for, you guessed it, yelling at the umpire!  The embarrassment is still with me.

So all of these memories came flooding back as I watched last night’s replay of the Cleveland/Detroit infamous tag at first.  The missed call denied the young pitcher the rarest of rare “perfect game”.   This mornings sports headlines would have been all about Ken Griffey Jr’s retirement had this incident not occurred.  Well maybe not.  A perfect game for sure demands a certain amount of headlines.  But no matter.   History has been made and it won’t be changed.   I feel for the Tiger fans.  And I hope the Commissioner’s going to step in and make things right.  And he should.  It’s the right thing to do.   But please, please don’t bring in the instant replay.   For crying out loud this is baseball!    What really strikes me about this scenario is the candid manner in which the umpire immediately spoke up about the matter on seeing the replay.  But then, what else could he have done?    (Now’s the time we probably should give this guy a name.  He has, after all been a major league umpire for 22 years without any, well, almost any, controversy).

But I don’t want to talk about the umpire, or the kid who threw the unrealized perfect game. or instant replay.   This story’s about the DETROIT TIGER FANS.  What would  baseball, or any sport for that matter, be without the fans?    Today when the same players, same umpire(s) and the same fans sat for another round of Cleveland/Detroit baseball,  the umpire Jim Joyce was introduced among a smattering of boos, it’s expected, always happens, not a surprise.  But what was a surprise was the standing ovation and cheers that went up for this guy.  I’m emotional just writing about it.  And so was he.  He had to wear sunglasses to hide the tears for a press conference later.   I’ll bet Jim Joyce didn’t get two hours sleep last night.  As much as we love to razz the umps, they have the reputation of being the most honest trustworthy bunch of guys (a little nearsighted at times) but never ever do we believe they make a bad call “on purpose”.  And for all those split second “how did they do it?” johnny-on-the spot calls, they get no special recognition.  It’s their job and they love it and they do it better than anyone.    Detroit Tiger fans know this.   They know the umpire has the toughest job in baseball so they cut him a little slack and on they go to the next game.    That’s what’s so great about baseball.   The Detroit Tiger fans.  A real Class Act…….representing the best of baseball.

….The toughest call an Umpire has to make…. It’s having to throw a guy out of the game after you blew the hell out of the play.”  American League Umpire Bill Kinnamon.

 

Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards & Crabcakes!

One of my favorite ballparks is Oriole Park at Camden Yards.   When I first saw it back in 2004 I felt like I’d been there before, which of course I hadn’t.   Maybe it just reminded me of pictures of grand old stadiums with the brick facades, with it’s  brick B & O Warehouse as a partial border.  It’s Oriole Park located on a river that empties into the Chesapeake Bay and is only a few minutes walk to the Inner Harbor shops & restaurants.  The playing field sits 16 feet below street level.   Its a grand stadium and the food is terrific so I’m told.   

My determination to dine on Maryland Crabcakes took me to Phillips Seafood restaurant at the Inner Harbor, about 12 minute walk from Camden Yards.   I really wanted to try the Crabcake sandwich at the ballpark but  it was raining (the game was eventually rained out) and I wasn’t quite ready to settle into the ballpark, so I ventured toward the harbor and landed at Phillips.  It was a great choice and  I was not disappointed!   Shirley Phillips, co-founder of the restaurant shares her award winning recipe below.   Costco has lump crab meat in 1# containers that works great with this recipe!

SHIRLEY PHILLIPS CRABCAKES

8oz. Phillips Crab Meat
½ tsp. Seafood Seasoning
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
½ tsp. lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. mustard
1 ½ tsp. melted butter
½ tsp. parsley flakes
¼ c. breadcrumbs

Preparation Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for crab meat. Gently fold in the crab meat, being careful not to break up the lumps.  Shape into cakes.  Pan fry or bake at 375°F degrees for 12-15 minutes or until evenly brown on each side and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

GRAB YOUR MITT AND TURN UP THE VOLUME…..!!

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILFWDwVJQxs&feature=related

Centerfield by John C. Fogerty (1985)
Centerfield
Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin’ it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don’t say “it ain’t so”, you know the time is now.Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.Yeah! I got it, I got it!Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all – a moment in the sun;
(pop) It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.Oh, put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.Yeah!
Centerfield

Video Courtesy of BoofMcBoofy

It was 1958 when I first met Willie Mays …..

It was 1958 and Pan Am introduced the first 707 trans Atlantic jet service,  President Eisenhower sent 5,000 Marines to Lebanon,  The United States launched its first satellite  and the New York Giants moved to San Francisco.    The latter is important because if they had stayed in New York, chances are good I never would have seen a Professional Baseball Game.  And I  never would have met Willie Mays.  At least not when I was 15, when it really counted!  

Dad and mom took me and my cousin, Denny, to watch  the San Francisco Giants play at Seal Stadium on August 31, 1958.  I can remember everything.  The stadium probably wasn’t very big but to me it was the biggest stadium ever

Seals Stadium

 built.  And the crowd was probably pretty small by today’s standards, maybe 10,ooo, but to me it was huge, with the  best, loudest and wildest bunch of fans ever gathered for a sports event.  I was overjoyed with the thought of it all!  I’d spent the entire summer scoring every broadcast game, play by play, glued to the radio and occasionally the tv.  If there was a game that day, I had my home-made scorecard ready complete with line-ups, pencils sharpened and ready to go, and carefully recorded every play.  When dad walked through the door at night I went over the game with him,  play by play, every detail recorded precisely as it happened.

But this day I didn’t have my home-made scorecard and pencils.  No, today, I was a spectator at a Giants and Dodger game and boy was I proud to be there!    The one thing I remember most about that game was when Willie Mays hit his home run.  There were a couple home runs hit that day, but the only one I remember was Willie’s.  When Willie hit his

Willie Mays

home run and he  threw the bat down,  and he began his trip  around the bases, it was an incredible sight to see.  He had the longest legs I had ever seen, and they stretched out, straight out, with every step, and I swear it only took him  12 steps to get around the bases.   I kept telling my dad, “did you see that,  did you see that?”  We (Denny and I) were jumping up and down .   I’ve seen pictures of Willie Mays running the bases since then and it doesn’t seem like anything spectacular, but back on August 31, 1958, it was truly a spectacular thing.    

After the game, when the players left the ballpark, I leaned over the railing and yelled at Willie  and he looked at me and I did catch his eye for a split second (a very split second), and that was when I first met Willie Mays, at least in my mind, for a split second,  even though I’m sure  he would never remember this.  To a 15 year old kid back in 1958 , it was the making of a memory of a lifetime.  And that’s the way I’ll always remember it.  Me and Willie Mays, together at Seals Stadium, in downtown San Francisco, on August 31, 1958.

Today in Baseball History……Ted Williams

  • May 16th.  1954 – Ted Williams returns to action after breaking his collarbone in spring training and goes 8-for-9 with two home runs and seven RBI in a doubleheader against the Tigers. Williams has three hits in game one, a 7-6 loss. He goes five-for-five in the nightcap, including two home runs, but Boston loses 9-8 in 14 innings.  

Today I planned on blogging about my first major league baseball game , but when I read this staggering ditty about Ted Williams I had to share it with you.  Think about this.  Ted Williams breaks his collarbone in spring training.  That means by May 16 , his first game back, his recovery couldn’t have been more than 3 months max.  Everything written about him tells us he was one of the cockiest, most self-confident, hardest working gamers of all time.   He played 21 years in MLB with 5 years absence as a Marine Corps Pilot and retired on 9/28/1960 after hitting a home run in his final at bat. 

Ted Williams Career Statistics

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
2,292 7,706 1,798 2,654 525 71 521 1,839 24 17 2,019 709 .344 .482 .634

 .344 Lifetime Batting Average.    Are you kidding me?  And look at the other Stats!   I guess that just about says it all.   (Does anyone know what “CS 17” means?  It’s making me nuts…….)

Gilroy Garlic Fries! Ummm…ummm Good!

Recipes: Garlic French Fries

(OFFICIAL FOOD OF THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS – or at least it should be!)

Ingredients:

  •  Oil for frying (peanut or canola)
  •  4 Russet potatoes or 12 oz bag of frozen pre cut fries
  • (I prefer frozen – save yourself some time)
  •  1/2 cup fresh minced garlic
  •  1/4 cup kosher salt
  •  1 Tbsp black pepper
  •  1 Tbsp dried Chives
  •  2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions:

Cut the washed potatoes into 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch thick strips (if using a French mandolin set it to its thickest setting). Heat the oil in a cast iron pot or any heavy duty pot to 360 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan then add the minced garlic for 30 seconds. Remove from pan and add to a mixing bowl with the salt, pepper, and chives. Mix well.

The potatoes must be fried three times for best results. In batches, if necessary, place the raw fries into the oil for 90 seconds. Remove and let drain. Drop fries again for another 90 seconds. Remove and let drain. Drop fries in again this time for 60 seconds or until crisp and golden brown.While the fries are still warm toss them with the garlic mixture.   Note:  Adjust the amount of garlic mixture to your taste as the garlic and salt mixture is strong.  Also, it’s important to use Kosher salt instead of regular table salt in this recipe as it will be a much lighter flavor.

GFBB WARNING!!   If you  try to drink a soda (Pepsi/Coke),  Beer’s Okay – before popping a fry in your mouth, they’ll taste like medicine…..the bad kind!)  Who knew?  First time I did this I took them back to the vendor – thought they were rancid.  He clued me in:))