The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Papelbon’

Papelbon, Harper, and a sport without a soul

Posted by keithosaunders on September 28, 2015

There’s something wrong with baseball these days but it’s difficult to put one’s finger on the reason.  It’s as if the force is out of alignment. Oh wait a second, it just came to me –  the players are a bunch of jerks!

Let’s see if we can sort this out.  Manny Machado showboats after hitting a homerun.  Two innings later Jonathan Papelbon retaliates the old school way, the biblical way, by plunking Machado with a high and tight fastball.

Harper, jerk that he is, throws Pap under the bus telling the press that it was uncalled for and that the upshot would be that he (Harper) would surely be beaned in the next game.  He described Pap’s bean ball as “pretty tired.”

Flash forward a day or so and Harper does not run out a fly ball during a key at bat. Papelbon, Mr tough love, can then be seen screaming at Harper as he returns to the dugout.  Heated words are exchanged between the two ‘gladiators.’ before a fight breaks out in which Pap chokes Harper.  Stay classy, Jonathan.

Papelbon, in his bungling way has pulled off a coup once thought impossible – he’s made Harper appear sympathetic.  Yes, I agree with the old school credo that bean balls have their place, but you don’t show up your team’s future MVP on national television.  Take that shit to the locker room!  Furthermore not running out a fly ball isn’t the end of the world, particularly when the emotion that led to it came out of frustration, not ennui.

All of this is mere window dressing, however.  A kind of sorbet before the real baseball drama begins:  The playoffs!  This year featuring a certain team from Flushing known as THE NEW YORK METS!

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That just happened

Posted by keithosaunders on September 29, 2011

Wow.  Just wow.  What an amazing night of baseball.  I barely, and I mean barely, was able to see a good portion of it.

Here on the west coast the sporting night begins early — at 4PM — and since I had a rehearsal at precisely that time, I turned to my old friend the DVR.  I set it to record both the Redsox/Orioles game, and the Braves/Phillies game.  I knew I couldn’t watch them both, but my thinking was that if the Sox game was a blowout I would switch to the Braves game, insuring the greatest possible bang for my figurative buck.

The thing about taping baseball is that the games almost always exceed their allotted scheduling.  This means that you must tape the next few scheduled events or risk missing the end of the game.  I had to do this for both games and since they were both on ESPN (one was on the deuce) I realized that there were potential late game pitfalls.  Both stations run similar post game programming so it was going to be tricky discerning which station had which game once the initial three-hour block expired. 

Between the rehearsal, making dinner, and walking the dog I didn’t get to the baseball until 8:30 Pacific time.  I decided to watch the Redsox game since I was in the mood for tragedy.  For a while it looked like I had made the right choice.  It was a close, tense affair, and by the 7th inning Boston was clinging to a 3-2 lead.

Then…a rain delay.  This was the first inkling that this was not going to be an entirely smooth evening.  How was I going to find the proper event stored for completing the game?  Would I have enough recorded events to see the ending?      

No matter — I switched to the Braves game.  I knew that it was 3-2 Braves late.  It was a simple matter of forwarding the event to the 2.20 mark, which was where I had left off in the Boston game.

I picked it up in the top of the 8th inning in time to see the Braves reliever, Jonny Venters. work out of a jam.  They failed to score in their half of the inning and in the 9th they brought on their closer, Craig Kimbrel, who promptly blew the save.  And at that moment the recording lapsed.

I went to my stored recordings and tried the first one I saw only to find weight lifting.  I tried another and saw it was the Braves, but…it was the 12th inning.  Somehow I had skipped over the intervening innings.  Of course I was miffed, but at least I might get to see the ending.  Jayson Heyward led off the inning with a double and was sacrificed to third, but the Braves could not get him home. 

The tape ran out again so I went to the next event.  It was the Redsox and Orioles in the bottom of the 9th with two outs!  (somehow I skipped the Braves  and managed to miss the ending of that one)  The Orioles were down to their last strike when Nolan Reimold smashed a ground rule double off of Jonathan Papelbon tying the game.  Robert Andino followed suit with a single that Carl Crawford could only trap.  Game over! 

But this was not all.  The Tampa Rays had dug themselves out of a 7-0 hole to tie the Yankees.  They were playing in the 12th inning, and after the Sox game ESPN promptly switched over.  Evan Longoria was at the plate and he hit a line drive home run that barely cleared the left field wall.  The Rays had  come back from the dead to take the wildcard!

Part of me had been hoping for some Thursday baseball, but I was happy with the two teams that won, and glad that I managed to see a large portion of the action.  The best part is that these pair of choking teams — the Braves and Redsox — have eclipsed the Mets debacle of 2007.  Happy days are here again!

And now onto hockey.  What’s this you say?  Playoffs?  No, I’m afraid that for me the enjoyable portion of the season has come to its conclusion.  Nothing remains but another Yankee post season.  I have a sinking feeling that they’re about to embark on a run that will end in Joe Girardi changing his uniform number yet again.  

Now where did I put that Sharks schedule? 

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