All Stardust Memories
Hey, consecutive weeks with three-day undefeated stretches! Do you think…never mind.
Ever been to an all-star game? I’ve been to two which ties with holes-in-one on my personal list of something-you-don’t-see-every-day experiences.
I went with some pals to the 1983 game at Comiskey Park where Fred Lynn hit the first [and still the only?] grand slam in AS history off of Atlee Hammaker. What I remember more than that is drinking across the street at a joint called McCuddy’s [I think] that was presided over by an old matriarch proprietress who regaled us with stories about Ruth dashing over for a cold one between innings when the Yankees were in town. Speaking of the Bambino, the other highlight of that trip was another old gal, the Babe’s sister, who was in attendance and whose autograph I got on a game program which I cannot locate now. I don’t remember her name but I remember that she noted herself as “Babe Ruth’s sister” in a parenthetical p.s. to her signature.
I also went to the 2001 affair at Safeco Field in Seattle courtesy of tickets arranged by an MLB ump who used to work part-time at a pub I owned while he was in college at Iowa State. That game fell on the golden birthday of the son who is the eldest of our three kids. You might remember it as one where Cal Ripken was named the MVP for swatting a homer after being waved over from 3rd base to shortstop in the top of the first by A-Rod; a gesture in deference to the last year of Ripken’s illustrious career. Later in the game Tommy Lasorda was knocked on his ass in the 3rd base coaching box by a splintered bat as I recall.
My fondest all-star memories have nothing to do with games actually attended. I remember being at a friend’s house during a tremendous thunderstorm when Cub Jim Hickman lashed the single that lit the fuse on Pete Rose’s game-winning, career-ending charge into and through Ray Fosse in 1971.
I vaguely remember the years during my little league days when two all-star games were played per summer; the golden era of Mays, Aaron, Mantle, Clemente, Koufax and Marichal. That’s why the 1983 game at Comiskey marked the 50th anniversary of the first all-star game but was the 54th one played.
By the way, the reason that 2001 game fell on my son’s golden birthday is because his mother went into labor about the time Andre Dawson went deep on Roger Clemens in Toronto at the 1991 game. That was on July 9. By the time the kid was born it was the wee hours of July 10 which also happens to be Dawson’s birthday.
They’ve awarded the 2012 game to Kansas City, an easy trip from Des Moines. The date has again been set for July 10, the day Dawson will turn 58 and you-know-who turns 21.
So there you have my contribution to the passing of the break…
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.