With Baseball Fever steadily growing, a day off, and The Wife out of town, I have spent much (most) of today watching Baseball by Ken Burns. The documentary is, of course, full of interesting anecdotes. I’ve decided to share two of my favorites.
First, is the story of those who faced Walter Johnson. Johnson was a pitcher that threw so hard that one batter remarked "You can’t hit what you can’t see." The story I like is about one batter that whiffed badly at two straight pitches. He then turned and began walking toward the dugout. The umpire called to him, saying "You still have one more strike." The batter responded, "I know. And you can have it, because it certainly won’t do me any good."
The second story, I think, is my favorite. George Stallings was the manager of the 1914 Boston Braves. He brought them back from last place in July to win the World Series. Years later, as he lay dying of heart disease, a doctor (according to legend) asked him how he had developed a bad heart. Stallings replied "Bases on balls, Doc. Bases on balls." Man…there sure are days when I would believe such a diagnosis.
Today was NOT one of those days, however. Kei Igawa threw 65 pitches in 5 innings, giving up just 2 hits in a scoreless outing. He walked 3 and struck out three. For Igawa, this start was huge. As murmurs were starting of Jeff Karstens being able to move in and possibly take the 5th rotation slot, Igawa came up huge. This came just one day after Karstens had a rough outing (4 runs in 4 1/3). I like Jeff Karstens. I was impressed with what we saw from him late last season. Karstens, I think, is ready to break out. But at the same time, I want Kei Igawa to succeed. He doesn’t have to be Cy Young, but I’d like him to win maybe 12 games or so. I’m rooting for him. And Karstens has time…he can swoop in with his cadre of pitching prospects over the next year or two and make this staff unbeatable. I’m looking forward to it.
One thing I wasn’t happy to see was Pettitte’s back problems. It seems like it’s ot bad, they’re just being overly cautious. But we’ve seen what nagging back problems can do over the last couple of years. Let’s hope this isn’t the start of something like that for Andy.
Finally, I must comment on Goatface NappyHair’s foray into being an eBay salesman. For maybe the first time ever I am amused by something Manny Ramirez has done. Don’t get me wrong: it doesn’t make me hate the man any less. But this is kind of funny. The funniest thing is his reason for selling his $4000 grill: "I never have the time to use it because I am always on the road." What was he thinking in the first place? "Hey, this will be great for all my Memorial Day and Fourth of July get togethers with the team….Oh, wait…" Tossing in an autographed baseball is a nice touch. But charging $70 for shipping? Seriously. I would think he can cover it. Also, I love that he started his note with "Hi, I’m Manny Ramirez." Like he’s doing a radio commercial for a car dealership. Here’s my main question: What makes a grill worth $4000 to begin with? I hope it can parallel park itself.