Tag Archives: Mike Matheny

This Blogger’s Choice ~ BBA 2013 Post Season Awards.

Voicing an Opinion!

Voicing an Opinion!

It’s time, once again, for the annual Baseball Blogger’s Awards, sponsored by the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance.  I usually manage to vote for a few in sync with my fellow bloggers and this year will be no exception, I’m sure.

For no particular reason other than these are  guys that I like and have pretty good stats to boot, and probably because they’ve had the most  game-day exposure on network television, I submit the following National League (because I’m supposed to) choices:

1.  CONNIE MACK AWARD  (Top Manager).  For the life of me I still can’t figure out why Bruce Bochy hasn’t won this award or really even been nominated  for 2010 or 2012 when he so ably brought his team to the World Championship both years.   I mean he by-passed GO and  lead those Giants  straight to the top.  Oops, sorry, got carried away because now it’s 2013, and my choice for Top Manager is Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals.

2.  WILLIE MAYS AWARD  (Top Rookie).  Yasiel Puig.  And not just for  his amazing stats, especially that first week, but I have to consider his entertainment value.  He was benched a few times due to his behavior on the field, but you have to attribute most of his training, or lack thereof, to being raised on Cuba baseball.   When I watch him play I’m not sure what training he’s had because he appears to just have incredible raw talent that needs to be cultivated and refined.  I’m sure it will come.   In the meantime, he’s just a lot of fun to watch.

3.  GOOSE GOSSAGE AWARD (Top Reliever).  I had to look over everyone’s stats for comparison and it looks like there is none, or, at least, very little.  It will be interesting to see if Brian Wilson contributes as a Reliever next year or makes the cut as a starter, but, in the meantime, Craig Kimbrel for those reasons just listed.

4.  WALTER JOHNSON AWARD  (Top Pitcher).  And the winner is, has been and probably will be again in the future, Clayton Kershaw.  I love watching this guy pitch and he rarely disappoints.  My favorite pitcher is Madison Bumgarner because of his calm, cool and collected demeanor, (at least on the mound!) much the same as Kershaw.  My guess is he’ll end up third to Kershaw’s 1st place in the Cy Young vote. 

5.  STAN MUSIAL AWARD  (Top Player).  And the winner is ……once again, Clayton Kershaw.  I love this guy!  Based my vote on gut feeling and sentiment and lots of stats.

I know, not a lot of depth, statistics and comparisons here folks.  Much like my blogs.  Strictly from a fan’s viewpoint with the usual prejudices and sentiments.

2010 World Champions vs 2011 World Champions!

SF Giants vs. St Louis Cardinals
“Opening Day April, 2011”

On April 9, 2011, I wrote a blog titled “Those Classy Cardinals”.  It was opening day, the first league game after the Giants won the World Series, and they were hosting the St. Louis Cardinals.  It was a great game and the blog got a record number of views and comments.  It was one of my favorites.    Here’s a link to that post “Those Classy Cardinals”.

And then again, on November 14, 2011, I published a blog about the young, new Cardinals Manager, Mike Matheny, who had left baseball some five years earlier as a promising catcher with the SF Giants after sustaining a series of concussions.  He’d just been named as General Manager of the St Louis Cardinals and he was my new hero.  Here’s a link to that post “Mike Matheny ~ Leading by Example.”

“2011 Opening Day in San Francisco”

So there’s just a little bit of irony here as I’m settling in to watch the first game of the race for the 2012 National League Pennant between the SF Giants and the St Louis Cardinals.  Who knew?  I’ve been anxiously awaiting this series which I projected without a doubt would be  between Cincinnati and Washington. But the  Giants and Cards have this way of sneaking in and surprising everyone and now they’re the contenders. 

“Calm & Cool as a Cucumber”

But, seriously folks, there’s no dilemma here.    My home team is the San Francisco Giants (I’m a huge fan), and I really love those Cardinals.  And like many true blue baseball fans,  I just love to see a really great game no matter who wins and I think I’ve recovered enough after the 2010 World Series to be able to handle this ~ calm and cool as a cucumber.

But I’m not sure.  I’ll let you know when it’s over. 

A Light in the Eyes of a Giant ~ No Laughing Matter.

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.

Mike Matheny ~ Leading by Example

Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the  only way to teach. ~ Albert Einstein.”

Last week the sports world was shaken by an announcement about illegal, immoral, unethical, sickening and a zillion other adjectives you could use to describe activities  that have been allowed to exist while the powers-that-be looked the other way.  And then yesterday another college has come forth with a similar situation.  We’ll just have to wait and see how many more are involved.

Mike Matheny as the Giants Catcher

So last night as I was getting ready to shut down for the evening I caught a headline that had crept into my blogosphere:  “Mike Matheny to Become New Cardinals Manager.”  Did I read this right?  How can this be?  I was thinking about the popular catcher the Giants signed to a three-year contract back in 2004.  In his first season with the Giants, Matheny won not only a Gold Glove Award but also the coveted Willie Mac Award given for spirit and leadership.   But the next year was not so kind to Mike as a series of foul balls pummeled his catcher’s mask resulting in a serious concussion that eventually ended his playing career.   I’d heard he went back to St. Louis where he’d played previously and was hired as a consultant or adviser or something. Continue reading