Little Me had never been on a plane, and certainly never out of New England, but it was too late: I was going all the way with this history-changing business. Of course I couldn’t exactly tell little Carlton that I was really him, and when he asked why we looked so much the same I just said I was his distant Uncle Buzz, knowing he wouldn’t be called that for another four years or so. He wouldn’t say a word about who left him at Fenway Park, so I took him back to Oklahoma City on another plane, only to find Dr. Sheila just about waiting with state police. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: June 2010
Middle of June. Wheat and chaff being separated. Boston leaps ahead of Minnesota in the bombarding department, but as usual, the teams with the best pitching have bubbled upward. Look for some fun news soon about the ’77 All-Star Game, with many of the folks below involved.
1.098 Carew, MIN
1.067 Gamble, CHX
1.014 Hisle, MIN
1.001 Brett, KC
0.981 Thornton, CLE
0.954 Yaz, BOS
0.949 Rice, BOS
0.935 Jackson, NYY
0.930 Hargrove, TEX
0.921 Bostock, MIN
.436-Carew, MIN, .353-Bostock, MIN, .349-Hisle, MIN,
.355-Brett, KC, .341-Gamble, CHX, .336-Yaz, BOS
18-Harrah, TEX, 16-Evans, BOS, 14-Thornton, CLE,
14-Netlles, NYY, 14-Yaz, BOS, 13-Gamble, CHX
52-Yaz, BOS, 51-Rice, BOS, 51-Hisle, MIN,
50-Harrah, TEX, 44-Bostock, MIN, 42-Thornton, CLE
8-Piniella, NYY, 7-Cowens, KC, 7-Murray, BAL,
7-Hisle, MIN, 6-Yaz, BOS
54-Hargrove, TEX, 38-Thornton, CLE, 38-Carbo, BOS,
36-Carew, MIN, 33-Evans, BOS
9-3, Palmer, BAL, 7-2 Perry, TEX 7-2 Gullett, NYY,
7-3 Figueroa, NYY, 7-3 Colborn, KC, 7-3 Kravec, CHX
2.39 Leonard, KC, 2.76 Splittorff, KC, 3.13 Blyleven, TEX
9-Campbell, BOS, 7-Littell, K.C., 6-LaGrow, CHX, 6-Lyle, NYY
97-Guidry, NY, 89-Perry, TEX, 68-Blyleven, TEX
79-Leonard, KC, 79-Eckersley, CLE
1.175 Smith, L.A.
1.071 Parker, PIT
1.001 McBride, PHL
0.992 Bench, CIN
0.976 Luzinski, PHL
0.974 Foster, CIN
0.966 Morgan, CIN
0.965 Carter, MON
0.964 Simmons, STL
0.962 Templeton, STL
.398-Templeton, STL, .389-Parker, PIT, .374-McBride, PHL, .352-Simmons, STL, .342-Hernandez, STL, .340-Smith, L.A, .324-Oliver, PIT
22-Bench, CIN, 19-Foster, CIN, 16-Carter, MON
14-Valentine, MON, 14-Smith, L.A., 13-Murcer, CHC, 13-Cey, L.A.
58-Foster, CIN, 54-Bench, CIN, 53-Watson, HOU, 49-Robinson, PIT,
48-Murcer, CHC, 48-Parker, PIT, 48-Valentine, MON, 46-Garvey, L.A.
7-Watson, HOU, 7-Foster, CIN, 6-Rose, CIN,
6-Templeton, STL, 6-Carter, MON
45-Smith- L.A. 37-Lopes, L.A., 33-Rose, CIN,
33-Schmidt, PHL, 35-Morgan, CIN, 32-Cey, L.A.
9-3 Candelaria, PIT, 8-1 Seaver, CIN, 8-2 Lonborg, PHL,
7-3 Richard, HOU, 7-3 Sutton, L.A., 6-0 Gossage, PIT
1.89-Richard, HOU, 2.01-Candelaria, PIT,
2.31-Forsch, STL, 2.50-Brown, MON
9-Sambito, HOU, 8-Sutter, CHC, 7-Gossage, PIT
77-Carlton, PHL, 72-Rogers, MON, 65-Seaver, CIN,
65-Resuchel, CHC, 65-Richard, HOU
So me and Dr. Sheila finally get to Oklahoma City where Lester’s Mom lives, track down the beauty parlor where she works and find out she’s on a long lunch break. Great. We decide to sit around and wait, and I’m leafing through a stack of Ms. Magazines when I realize it’s June 12th–the day my five-year-old self is due to be found at Fenway Park! Damn…
I can’t imagine Sheila is going to want to leave this Lester goose chase for one of mine, so while she’s in the rest room I leave her a note, saying I’ll meet her back here in 24 hours. Grab a whole wad of cash out of her purse and run out to hail a cab to the airport. Continue reading
Last week, while attending part of a week-long convention for a nationwide Strat-O-Matic draft league, I had the good fortune to spend an evening with Jason of the Eutaw Street Hooligans, our esteemed Funky Orioles managers. In the sparsely populated but suffocating Camden Yards steam bath, Jason, a Baltimore commercials producer, gave me a nickel tour of the deep right field Hooligans roost—where they’re usually in a heckling frame of mind—then unveiled his new T-shirt design celebrating the seemingly never-ending despair of Baltimore baseball fans. Being an equal-opportunity site plugger, I hope you’ll give their smart, classically irreverent blog a look-see. These days, the Hooligans need something more than the 1977 Ken Singleton to cheer them up.
For a more detailed elaboration on the Camden Yards Experience, check out my new article at Seamheads.
Had to drive Cooper all the way up to a vet I know in Corsicana because he got stung by a yellowjacket and his paw swelled up like a water balloon. Don’t ya hate that?
The good news is that between the long haul and the time I spent waiting for Cooper to get his shots, I got to listen to the whole four-hour Rangers game in Boston. I don’t know what the hell happened to my boys. Seems like a week ago we were two or so games out, but that was before them New Englanders ate their atomic beans. Anyway, you know I wouldn’t be filling you in like this unless the game was more than special. Continue reading
CLEVELAND—So I’ve been hiding out deep in Ohio, digging on the cheesy shags, sideburns and slacks every guy seems to have around here, when I’m suddenly itching to see another ball game. Here’s my choice: the no-doubt Plummerless Reds against the last-place Cubs, or the Indians home against the K.C. Royals, who’ve beaten them all five times this year. Riverfront seems like the best ticket, until I check the pitching matchups in the Beacon-Journal and see Dennis Eckersley’s going for the Tribe. Needless to say, this hot-blooded lady has made her decision. Continue reading
I would have been just fine living in our old storm cellar out here in Iowa, but the Cards were opening a four-game series in Pittsburgh, and I needed to listen, so when Cal finished his two days of fixing the tractor I came up, made myself a giant roast beef sandwich and got Dad’s old Panasonic radio tuned in to KMOX St. Louis. Some days—matter of fact most of them—I don’t have a clue which of my teams to root for, but the second I hear old Jack Buck things get rather clear in a hurry.
Game of the Day
It’s been amazing how St. Louis has come on, 25-13 since the beginning of May, especially with mostly ineffective starting pitching outside of Forsch. Bob is going today against tough Jerry Reuss, but the Pirates come to play in the 1st when Stennett and Oliver lead with singles, Parker plates one run with a force, Stargell walks, Robinson and Ott single and it’s 3-0 in a jiffy. Continue reading
I’ve always said there’s two easy rules to make any man-woman relationship work: He lets her freak out once in a while, and she lets him watch the game. Of course, my wife walked out on me years back because I watched too many games so maybe I’m not one to talk, but there’s no harm in starting over with Sheila, right? I know she’s just my doctor and we haven’t even sniffed at anything romantic, but if I’m going to be driving around the country with her all damn season we might as well learn how to get along.
So her opening freak-out was today, somewhere between Iowa and Oklahoma, when she dug into her purse for a pen and saw that her expensive Papermate ballpoint had for some reason turned into a 19-cent Bic. Next came her small jar of skin moisturizer, which had been magically replaced with a tube of frosted lipstick. She looked at me in shock and dumped the entire purse contents in her lap. Continue reading
HARLEM—Friendly Fred back with ya, after hitchin’ about 17 rides from Ohio to the Big Wormy Apple. Thought my grandma would freak when she saw me show up on her stoop all growed up, but her mind was gone like I remembered, and she thought I was her cousin George from Atlanta so I played along. She put me up on her couch, said she’d feed me soup for as long as I can stand it. That’s good news, because the Yanks still got this home stand to finish out and I’d like to catch me most every game even if I’m stuck out in the bleachers. Continue reading
Last Thursday I had the good fortune to meet and hang out with Josh Wilker, Cardboard Gods author and resident Funky Red Sox skipper, who did a fun reading for an audience of knitting old ladies and baseball eccentrics like myself at the South Pasadena Library. Afterwards at a local BBQ spot, joined by his lovely wife Abby and two gentlemen from the Baseball Reliquary (which sponsored the event), we chewed the fat on baseball, the Internet, Vermont and the merits of batting Bernie Carbo leadoff against right-handers. Josh was as friendly, witty, and unassuming as he is in his pages, and if you haven’t read his moving and hysterical baseball-card memoir yet, you’re missing out.
I’d also like to give a hearty third base coaching shout to Scott Simkus, our Funky Cubs manager, who with Gary Ashwill has just launched the Outsider Baseball Bulletin, a wonderful weekly e-zine devoted to baseball history. Filled with impeccably-researched stats, essays, and humor, it’s well worth the modest subscription fee.
Also, while we’re plugging e-zines, you may want to subscribe to The Sheehan Newsletter, Funky Yankee manager Joe Sheehan’s regular stat ruminations on the current baseball world. Joe is so good that when he left Baseball Prospectus recently I cancelled my premium subscription.
Feel like another funky thang? Okay, how about Wezen-Ball’s original and awesome Tater Trot Tracker, our Dodger manager Larry Granillo’s stopwatching of every MLB homer trot. Sports Illustrated has already mentioned it, while ballplayers and broadcasters have brought up top slowpoke David Ortiz a number of times. Cool beans, Lar!
Last but far from least, Funky Expos commander Jonah Keri has a book coming out next spring on the new success of the Tampa Rays, but we’ll grease his wheels at a later date. —J.P.