May 2009

Walking the walk-off

Off the top of my head …

OK – when did big-league ball turn into the NBA? All these walk-offs … nowadays, you can get there in the top of the ninth and not miss a thing. …
Alex Rodriguez: Heaven knows people have already taken great liberties with his nickname, so how about another to reflect the lineup protection he has given awakening Mark Teixeira? The A-Rodfather. …
Pudge fudge: So Ivan Rodriguez clocked career homer No. 300 on Sunday, May 17? Maybe. Come July 9, the Astros will conclude the game with the Nationals that was suspended in the 11th inning on May 5.
And here’s the kicker, as reminded by the vigilant Bill Chuck — statistics from the completion of that game will still be dated May 5, meaning that as far as the historical record goes, Pudge could wind up hitting No. 300 months after No. 301, and so on. …
Paul DePodesta: The former Oakland assistant GM will be portrayed by a comedian (Demetri Martin) in the upcoming film treatment of “Moneyball.” Those who recall DePodesta’s turn as Dodgers GM consider that perfect casting. …
“Industry”: Hate that reference to baseball. Cringe every time it violates my ears. Webster defines it as “economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories.” Some players arrive raw, I can see that. But where are the factories? Knock it off. …
Yankee Stadium: In explaining the policy of making the Legends Suite area off-limits to batting practice watchers, club COO Lonn Trost mounted an appropriate defense.

Said Trost, “If you purchase a suite, do you want somebody in your suite? If you purchase a home, do you want somebody in your home?”

No and no. Besides, they cost about the same. The median price of a single-family house in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2009 was $169,000 — which breaks down to $2,086 per of the 81-game home schedule, a good approximation of the discounted price of the $2,620 seats. …

Barack Obama: Let’s hope he remains a White Sox fan and doesn’t switch his allegiance to the Nationals, else he might pass a federal law reducing the length of an official game to six innings.

If games ended after six, the 11-25 Nats would be 19-17 and in the thick of the NL East race. Someone bolt the doors to that bullpen. …

Sorry, I’ve reached the bottom of my head …

Curtis: You got company

They called Curtis Granderson’s game-saving bringing-it-back theft of Grady Sizemore’s ninth-inning “homer” on Friday night a “once in a lifetime catch.”

Oops. They must’ve meant “once every three days catch.” Torii Hunter’s robbery of Miguel Oliva today was carbon-copy. The only thing that made it seem less athletic was Torii getting to the wall earlier and being in position for his leap.

Otherwise, same deal: Ninth inning, one-run game, one broken heart.

Here’s a tip: Don’t have a cow

Off the top of my head … 

Unlike Alex Rodriguez, I’ve never been accused of pitch-tipping. However, there was that one summer in the country when we did a lot of cow-tipping. … 
Ironic, isn’t it? One minute, we learn that the staff of a well-known restaurant chain hated A-Rod because he didn’t tip, the next we’re told he tipped on the field. Maybe the guy just gets confused occasionally and doesn’t know where he is. … 
tipthewaiterdanreynoldsxp5.jpg
Headline: “Nats see light at end of tunnel.” Well, I hope they can get off the tracks before the train gets too close. … 
I recently speculated on mlb.com that Randy Johnson, who regrets not being able to close his 300-win deal while pitching for his hometown Diamondbacks, may yet get the opportunity to post the milestone “W” in Phoenix. The Giants will return to Chase Field on June 9 and Johnson — currently sitting on 297 — could come home at 299.
Well, you can probably scratch that scenario. Following that June 9-11 series, the Giants will return to AT&T Park, to host the neighboring A’s in an Interleague series, no less. Bruce Bochy would be certain to manipulate his rotation so the Big Unit can go for magic number at home. …
Gotta admit, am a bit confused why Adam Dunn’s oops “Natinals” game jersey would fetch $8,000 at auction. If misspelled words have become so pricey, most email writers and blog authors would be filthy rich. Dan Quayle’s memoirs would bring more than a Picasso. …
Mariners fans sent one of those recordable get-well cards to the Seattle reliever disabled the other day with biceps tendinitis: “… Soon enough, the call will go out To … Morrow. …”
When Adrian Beltre was going through free agency a few years ago, agent Scott Boras’ legendary dossier compared him to Mike Schmidt, Rodriguez and other all-time third base greats. Now, he is already comparing high school pitcher — and top draft pick-in-waiting — Stephen Strasburg to the fictional Sidd Finch.
Any truth to the rumor Scott cut his representation teeth as a theatrical agent who pushed Gary Coleman as “the next Sidney Poitier”? … 
Sorry, I reached the bottom of my head. Later … 
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