The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Punto’

Cards v Rangers getting great ratings in the East Bay

Posted by keithosaunders on October 22, 2011

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but my son and I are tuning in.[Maxwell Smart voice]  And…loving it! 

Game two was actually tied 1-1 for a few minutes in the ninth inning.  I almost got my wish of a long extra inning game — Nick Punto was even in the lineup.  For those of you who didn’t read my prediction a few posts back, I’m waiting for LaRussa to burn through his entire staff during a long extra inning game.  He actually was down to his last position player last night.  He even took Yadier Molina out for a pinch runner.  What a tool.

Finally, on Thursday night, LaRussa’s over-managing caught up with him.  He has his fireballing closer — Jason Motte — on in the 9th throwing seeds and he takes him out for Arthur Rhodes, an aging, journeyman contact pitcher.  You’d think he would have at least gone to Octavio Dotel at that point, but he didn’t, and two sac flies later the Rangers were up for good, 2-1.

Ron Washington is not much better, he’s just more likable.  How the hell do you remove Colby Lewis from that game.  I’m sure his pitch count was well below 100, and even if it wasn’t, Lewis has shown himself to be a big game pitcher.  I would rather have him out there than Alexi Ogando, who is rapidly turning into this year’s version of Byung-Hyun Kim.

My fear is that since LaRussa and Washington have, for the most part, gotten away with their revolving door style of pitcher management, that other major league managers will begin to copy their style next season pushing the average time of game to four hours. 

But enough nitpicking.  This has been an incredible start to the Series and I could not be enjoying it more.  Well…I guess I could if the Mets were up 2-0. 

What happened?  I was delusional.  Now where was I?  Oh yeah…there has been great pitching, stellar defense, and some clutch base stealing as well.  All of this may yet take away some of the sting of having to suffer through Buck and McCarver.

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Speed

Posted by keithosaunders on October 16, 2011

I played an early morning gig the other day — like 8AM early.  How strange to wake up for a gig to find that it was still pitch black outside, not to mention leaving the gig in broad daylight — it’s the reverse of how it usually works. 

The gig was for a non-profit corporation that had a breakfast affair and wanted music.  As usual the band was talking sports before the gig.  With the playoffs ongoing, baseball was the subject of the day.   The drummer asked if we remembered that the AL had a designated runner for two years.  The sax player and I knew that this wasn’t the case — that it was an innovation that Charlie Finley, the A’s owner, wanted to implement.

A little while later the  drummer emailed this info:

1974. Herb Washington of the Oakland Athletics is known as the only “Designated Runner” in Baseball history. As a world class sprinter who broke various sprinting records while in College at Michigan State University he caught the attention of Oakland’s free spirited owner Charlie Finley. He was able to convince Washington to take the role of Designated Runner even though he had no Baseball prior experience. He spent the entire 1974 season and 1 month of the 1975 season with the A’s where he had zero at-bats or time playing the field in the 105 games he appeared in. With that said, Washington still accomplished to steal 31 bases, score 33 runs, and win a World Series ring in his short career. After being released by the A’s he remained in professional sports for 2 additional years as a competitive sprinter in Track & Field. 

Funny thing, though.  Later that night I was playing a gig with a bass player who is an avid sports fan and who has lived in the Bay Area for over 30 years.  He remembered Washington and he told me that, in fact, he was a terrible base runner.  He got picked off many times, got terrible leads, and made a myriad of mistakes on the bases.

Kind of funny, but it brings out the point that there actually is a skill to running, and that it is not merely speed that steals bases.  It serves to illustrate how great players like Lou Brock, Tim Raines, and of course, Rickey Henderson were.

One of the things I love about living in the Bay Area, after having been in New York for so long, is hearing the inside dope about the players and teams of yesteryear.  Even though a hard-core sports fan like myself is aware of those teams and players, there is nothing like getting the first-hand, inside dope.  I eat that stuff up!

Too bad the Tigers couldn’t pull out the ALCS.  Now we’ll have to suffer through another Series of Bush sitting next to jowly Nolan Ryan.  In the end the Tigers were a little too beat up, didn’t have the arms, and suffered from way too much Nelson Cruz.  

I’m still hopeful that Milwaukee can pull it out at home, but I am steeling myself for another Series of delicate-genuis LaRussa, with his revolving door of pitchers.  How does he get away with it?  I only hope we see a 16 inning game with LaRussa forced to pitch Nick Punto when he runs out of relievers.

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