Learning about amnesia from Mariano Rivera

From Hubpages:

A short memory is essential for staying sane. That’s what also helps Mariano Rivera (although his leg injury has him out of action for the year) keep mowing ’em down in his 40s.


“If you’ve got depression, your brain will continually yak yak yak at you, mixing part truth and full lie to remind you of what a complete ne’er-do-well you really are. Kind of like a nagging spouse, except you can’t divorce your brain.”

Check it out.



Would you like a wedgie with that?

Not sure which is worse here … Phils’ first baseman Ryan Howard pulls up lame while running the bases, and while being helped off the field gets the mother of all wedgies.

Howard’s being helped off the field here by a trainer and Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel (right) during the first inning of Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Seems he jammed his ankle and messed up his elbow on the play, but X rays were negative.

He’ll be all right, once he dislodges his underdrawers.

Footnote: The play where Howard was hurt was shown by video at a Met’s game in New York’s Citi Field, and according to sports blogger Jonathan Sacks, the Mets’ fans cheered. I could make comments about New York fans and sports rivalries, but that’s a rant for another day.

H/T: The Huffington Post


Alvin Greene becomes fodder for Riverdogs promotion

U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene suggested raising money with an Alvin Greene action figure, and now it looks like he’s gonna get it.
The Charleston Riverdogs, the local minor-league baseball team owned by Mike Veeck and Bill Murray, is making use of this. Greene will be immortalized in an action figure to be given away this weekend. Well, kinda sorta.
It turns out the action figure will be about something else, and his face will be available to put onto the toy. It seems that some weird artist wanted to create a male Statue of Liberty (don’t even ask) statue to go up in Charleston Harbor, and that was laughed out of existence. However, the Riverdogs put together a mini “Mr. Liberty” statue as a ballpark promotion.
From what I get, you can then take your Mr. Liberty to an “economic stimulus” station set up in the stadium concourse, where they’ll slap an Alvin Greene face on Mr. Liberty.
Greene, the unknown untested unvetted candidate who somehow got the Democratic nomination for Senate from South Carolina, blurted the action-figure idea out as one of his ideas to raise revenue:

“Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an Army uniform, Air Force uniform and me in my suit.”

And that was in one of his more lucid moments.
I love it.
Here’s the story, from the Post and Courier:

Mr. Liberty, Alvin Greene, part of RiverDogs action figure promotion: “Mr. Liberty, Alvin Greene, part of RiverDogs action figure promotion
CHARLESTON – The RiverDogs are going green: Alvin Greene that is.”

Gotta hand it to the Riverdogs management. They know how to promote. Or wouldn’t you say that about any team that deliberately set a sports record for lowest attendance (zero, as part of Nobody Night where the team played the first five innings in a locked-down stadium). Some years ago they planned Vasectomy Night for Father’s Day some years ago, and this was considered so over the top that the promotion was … say it with me … aborted.
And Greene? He says he doesn’t mind the promotion. “As long as it looks good and is in good nature, I’m OK.”
The Riverdogs are not done with Greene either. They’re planning another promotion down the pike, “Greene Family Reunion” T-shirts similar to the one the candidate was wearing the day after his primary win.
For those who are in the area, the Mr. Lady Liberty/Alvin Greene giveaway is Saturday, July 17.

40 years ago: Reflections on a no-hitter

I hate these reminders of how old I really am, especially when I’m still trying to convince myself I’m still 22.

But some random Internet surfing reminded me that July 3 was the 40th anniversary of the greatest baseball game I’ve ever seen, when Angels pitcher Clyde Wright threw a no-hitter at the Oakland A’s.

I was 12 then, and I grew up in a family of incurable Angels fans. We went to a few games every year, and we were at Anaheim Stadium, third base side in the terrace level on that July evening. My family accounted for four of the 12,131 butts in the seats that night.

OK, as I get older my memory tends to fire more at random, but it seems we were at the ballpark a lot when historic things happened. My grandmother (who was even more incurable than the rest of us) took my brother and me to an afternoon doubleheader the previous year (again the Angels were playing the A’s), and when the announcement came that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin safely landed on the Moon, play stopped on the field and we got all misty. But I digress.

The left-handed Wright came off a miserable 1969 (one win, eight losses. But he was pitching like a monster in 1970. Won 22 games that year; only Nolan Ryan was able to match him four years later. Made the All-Star team, during the time the American League was always getting slaughtered — Wright was the losing pitcher in that midsummer game.

And that no-no. It was right around the sixth inning when I noticed those zeroes on the board. And of course, there’s this old superstition that no one on the bench talks about a no-hitter when it’s in progress. Out of respect, neither did we.

After his great season, Wright wasn’t quite the same. It turned out he had some problems, something about a well-fought bottle. It was years later when I saw a film clip of him finishing his no-hitter, and it was used as a lead-in to a commercial for an alcohol-and-drug rehab hospital. But after his career in the bigs was over, he spent some time in Japan. From Baseball Reference:

In the sixth inning of a 1-1 game early in his first season in Japan, Wright was removed after the first two batters reached. Manager Shigeo Nagashima yanked Wright, who refused to give over the baseball, then charged off the mound and fired the ball into the dugout. After leaving the field, Wright tore off his uniform and threw it into the bathtub and kicked over a garbage can. Wright was nicknamed “Crazy Righto”, a name that stuck throughout his time in Japan. Fans and sportswriters called for Wright’s release but Nagashima stood by his pitcher …

1970 was a strange year for no-hitters. Less than a month before Wright’s, Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates threw one at the San Diego Padres. His control was way off; he walked eight batters that day. He later said he was in mid-LSD trip during that game (which probably explains why his fastball had a tail).

Wright’s boy, Jaret, was a pitching phenom for the Cleveland Indians in 1997, coming out of nowhere to win a bunch of games for them. He started Game 7 of the World Series that year, as a 21-year-old rookie. Arm trouble, though, curtailed his career.

The Angels’ leadoff hitter in Clyde’s no-hitter was Sandy Alomar, who himself had two sons in the bigs (Sandy Jr. and Roberto). The Angels had some real characters in the lineup that day: Alex Johnson, who had a good bat and serious issues. Jim Fregosi, who later managed the Angels. And noted prankster Jay Johnstone, the man our household referred to as “Ol’ DM” for “dirty-mouth.” Seems one of us noticed Johnstone had trouble getting through a sentence without uttering a profanity. Being earthy folks, we thought it was funny.

I might as well forget about claiming I had a deprived childhood. How many kids got to see a no-hitter?



The box score, from retrosheet.org

What’s Wright doing now?

Gamecocks take College World Series title

How ’bout those Gamecocks!

BELIEVE IT – The Gamecocks win:

BELIEVE IT - The Gamecocks win

OMAHA, Neb. – You can breathe again, South Carolina. Your Gamecocks are coming home. And they’re bringing the national championship trophy with them. (from the Post & Courier)

Barnburner of a game. Tied 1-1 in the 11th inning, UCLA’s closer Dan Klein pitching. Klein pitched well; four K’s in three-plus innings — a long stretch for a closer. But that one hit, well … that one hit was by infielder-outfielder Whit Merrifield, who sprung Scott Wingo for the winning run.

For the record, although I’ve come to like the Gamecocks over the years, they’re not exactly the team I grew up on. Shoot, in Southern California UCLA and the other USC were it. USC had Rod Dedeaux coaching them forever, and he had players like Ron Fairly, Don Buford, Tom Seaver, Dave Kingman, Roy Smalley, Fred Lynn, Mark McGwire, and Randy Johnson. And yeah, Cal State Fullerton always had some great teams. But UCLA? Basketball was their game, not baseball.

Good game. And closing out a great season for the ‘Cocks.



Arizona belongs to who?

This comes from commentator Neal Boortz:

OBAMA’S OPEN BORDERS: “Just to remind you — Barack Obama hasn’t done one thing since Arizona’s new law to solve the problem of Arizona’s open border with Mexico. He hasn’t done anything since he was elected. He won’t do anything this week. He won’t do anything next week. Truth is, Obama doesn’t want to close the border. The criminal alien invaders will keep pouring in. Remember … a Pew Research poll showed that 58% of Mexicans believe that Arizona belongs to Mexico anyway. Just keeping you up to speed. How’s that hopey-changy thingy working out for you?”

I wonder how many think California belongs to Mexico?

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is now the largest city to boycott the State of Arizona, and there’s pressure on Major League Baseball to boycott next year’s All-Star Game, which will be in Phoenix. The latter, by the way, sure reminds me of the NFL putting the squeeze play on the state over the Martin Luther King holiday back in the 1990s. 

These boycotts generate a bunch of noise, but in reality don’t work all that well. The NAACP has been boycotting South Carolina over the Confederate Flag issue, and it hasn’t exactly kept people away. If it did work, then how about boycotting Los Angeles for being led by a bunch of politically-correct pansies?