The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Sharks’

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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What’s the deal with hockey?

Posted by keithosaunders on May 28, 2011

Watching a hockey game is like sitting in on a meeting of a secret society that you are not a member of.  You can decipher the gist of what is going on, but you have no idea how the details work, or how they are implemented.

Every few years I’ll go on a playoff hockey watching jag.  This has been one of those years.  I watched a lot of our local San Jose Sharks, who went deep into the playoffs, but were eliminated earlier this week by the Vancouver Canucks.

First of all, let me say that hockey is an amazing sport to watch.  How these guys are able to make pin point passes on skates at break neck speed while being pursued by 250 pound gorillas is beyond me.  And they still have time to fight!

Hockey is a non-linear sport.  Viewing it on television, you never know who is on the rink at any given time.  Think about it — they’re constantly changing lines.  You are at the mercy of the announcers to let know who is on the rink.  In baseball there’s a set lineup — you know where everyone is at every moment of the game.  Sure, in football and basketball there are in-game substitutions, but they occur during breaks in the action.  Hockey players are change on the fly.

How do they know when to change?  The announcers won’t tell me.  They must know — half of them are former players.  I think they don’t want us non-hockey people to be in their exclusive club. 

You have the three-man lines, as wellas the two defencemen.  Do the defencemen work in tandem as pairs, or are they separate entities?  Do they see more ice time than the forwards?  How do they know when to get off the ice? 

These are mere quibbles.  Hockey is a great sport, albeit a perplexing one.  And they have one of the great traditions in sport, in which the players line up after the conclusion of a playoff series and shake hands.  I watched the victorious Boston Bruins shake hands with the Tampa Lightning after tonight’s game 7.  The players appeared to have genuine affection and respect for one another.   Good job out of them.

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April 10th, 1984-August 7th, 2010

Posted by keithosaunders on August 8, 2010

Keitho has left the building.  On Saturday, after a week of heartfelt goodbyes, going away parties, and more tears than a Terms of Endearment 30th year anniversary revival, we have left New York City.  I was glad that my last memory was of the Northern Blvd Best Buy — it will lessen the nostalgia.  Around 2:30 PM we crossed the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey thus concluding my life in New York City.

I remember my first night in New York some 26 years ago.  I stayed with my cousin who had an apartment at the Esplinade Hotel on West End Ave and 74th st.  It was a cold, rainy night, and I was holed up in his bedroom.  He was working late so I was by myself, or so I thought. 

 I had this clock radio that a neighbor had given me as a going away present.  It still works — we keep it in our upstate house.  I turned the radio on and tuned to a Rangers-Islanders playoff game.  Not that I gave a rats ass about hockey in those days, but I was so excited to be in New York that I would have listened to Ed Koch reciting the Gettysburg Address had it been on.  (I should note that these days I have a much greater appreciation of hockey and intend to root on my San Jose Sharks….doesn anyone even know the way to San Jose?)

So I’m listening to this game and it’s the second overtime.  All of a sudden the Islanders scored to win the game and  I heard this blood curdling scream emanating from the adjacent bedroom.  I can’t begin to describe the agony and utter despair that was contained in that five second outburst, but suffice it to say that I had never heard anything like it.  It was like a dying wildebeest going though heroin withdrawal while giving birth to twins.

I smiled and thought, “Now, I’m in New York!”

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