Friday, June 27, 2008

And That Happened

This installment is a little SABR-centric, but that's to be expected.

Indians 4, Giants 1: I left the hotel with a group of SABR folks at around a quarter after five, with the notion of getting some dinner and then catching this game. We got the dinner part in: beer and sandwiches at a serviceable pub near the stadium. As we were eating, dark clouds rolled into downtown Cleveland. We started to calculate the odds of a game happening -- or at least starting in a timely manner -- and came out on the pessimistic side. Some of our group had tickets already and decided to solider on into the ballpark and wait it out. I and a couple of others didn't yet and decided that waiting for the rain to pass didn't sound all that appealing, especially since (1) I'd end up eating the cost of the tickets if the game got rained out; (2) I have tickets for tonight's game already; and (3) I was dead tired anyway and the thought of crawling into bed early actually sounded pretty appealing.

There's also the possibility -- and I shudder to even think it -- that after a day of baseball seminars, baseball exhibits, and casual baseball talk with other baseball fanatics, I was suffering from baseball overload. I think the good night's sleep made that go away, though, because this morning I feel refreshed and ready for a full day geeking out. As it stands, all I missed was Cliff Lee thoroughly dominating the Giants (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 11K), and it's not like seeing the Giants dominated isn't going to happen again this year.

White Sox 2, Dodgers 0: Can somebody please tell me why Russell Martin has been starting at third base? And speaking of the Dodgers, I remember one other silly thing from yesterday's broadcasters' panel. I can't remember which one it was, but either Russ Schneider or Tom Hamilton, in talking about how the game has changed over the years, cited all of the new stadiums that have come online. Expounding on the point he said (and I'm paraphrasing only slightly) "everyone used to talk about how Dodger Stadium was so special because it was one of the few places that was baseball-only. But I was in Dodger Stadium recently, and you know what? It's a dump. There's nothing special about it other than the fact that Sandy Koufax and Steve Garvey and those guys played there."

Hey, I like the new ballparks as much as the next guy, but that's simply an insane thing to say.

Twins 4, Padres 3: Aaron Gleeman is here in Cleveland. I should totally follow him around and ask him what he thought of the Twins game last night and pass his observations off as my own because the Twins seem to be the one team for which I just can't get it up to make insightful comments. I probably know their roster and system less than any other team's. On any given day I can probably tell you who won what game last night and why with the exception of the Twins games, which just seem to slide right out of my brain the second after I write the recap. I've tried hard to figure out why I can't get into the Twins, and the only thing I can come up with is the dome, and that's really no explanation at all. So yeah, the Twins won, swept the Padres, and now go on to Milwaukee in what looks like will be a pretty awesome series. That is, if I can bring myself to care and force myself to remember.

Tigers 3, Cardinals 2: The only thing less exciting than a bases-loaded walk to win a game: watching a game-winning bases loaded walk in cartoon form via on somebody's laptop in the Gold Room at the SABR convention. And before you ask, no, the "Gold Room" does not involve strippers in any way.

A's 5, Phillies 0: Rich Harden was something to behold: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 11K, and a big F-You to the cruel fates which have sidetracked his career to injury so many times. If you're an Oakland fan you need to be knocking on wood around now, but Harden has reported for duty for nine straight starts. Philly? If they keep losing they're going to help land Jerry Manuel a permanent job.

Rays 6, Marlins 1: Matt Garza throws a one-hitter and doesn't fight with his catcher. Probably helped that it was a different catcher. I wonder if he was doing those over-exaggerated Nuke LaLoosh nods before each pitch to show that, yes, he intended to throw the pitch that was called rather than shake everything off.

Orioles 11, Cubs 4: You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. Aubrey Huff? 4-5 with three doubles and two RBI.

Blue Jays 7, Reds 1: I suppose it was too much to expect Edinson Volquez to dominate forever, but getting lit up for seven runs in four and a third was a bit extreme regression-wise. I'm going to see the Reds tomorrow night here in Cleveland, and despite the fact that both the Reds and the Indians are sucking eggs, I'm looking forward to it because I'll get to see Darryl Thompson -- who I'm kinda high on -- and C.C. Sabathia. -- who I've always wanted to see in person.

Astros 7, Rangers 2: Wandy Rodriguez (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 9K) picked up the Rangers by the neck, threw them down to the ground, and jumped on them. This, by the way, was the only one of the nine games played last night in which the NL team won.

Yankees vs. Pirates: Postponed. This game will remain frozen in time and space until July 10th, when it will be resumed. This is going to work a tremendous hardship on Pittsburgh until then seeing as though I'm pretty sure Jason Bay is required by the rules to remain in the box to finish his at-bat until then.


Jacob said...

Nice Groucho reference.
I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing.

Anonymous said...

What's the Groucho reference? I hope it has something to do with the Huff comment because that was easily the cheesiest thing I've ever read on this blog (no the blog although I'm hurt to discoverthat you have a thing against my Twins)!


David said...

As I Twins fan, I'm feeling hurt. And betrayed.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Anon -- the Groucho reference is indeed the Huff thing. It's from Duck Soup, which is pretty much the best comedy of all time. The full quote:

"Well, that covers a lot of ground. Say, you cover a lot of ground yourself. You better beat it - I hear they're going to tear you down and put up an office building where you're standing. You can leave in a taxi. If you can't get a taxi, you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can leave in a minute and a huff. You know, you haven't stopped talking since I came here? You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle."

I've mentioned my Twins thing here before, maybe in the uniforms piece I ran during the offseason. I don't truly hate them, and certainly there is no one on their roster now who I even have a minor dislike. And I try to be fair with them. I just don't know them and have a hard time knowing them, so my comments about their games are always met with dread by me when I'm trying to write them and never end up being very good.

David said...

Still reeling over here.

What can we Twins fans do to help you "get to know 'em" (marketing phrase from a couple of years ago)?

Craig Calcaterra said...

I dunno, David. I'll try to work on it though. We're never too old for self-improvment.

Anonymous said...


Of course that pounding emanating from over the horizon is all 9.5M Bay Area residents knocking on wood simulataneously, just as you suggested we do, in a Guinness Book worthy effort to keep Harden healthy a little longer.

Like the "big" earthquake that must surely come someday, his injury is inevitable. Only the timing is unknown.

Until then, those aren't drums you hear at the A's games, it's the steady, chant-like beating of man on wood.

Anonymous said...

But you even live in an AL Central town, sort of. How can you not know the Twins? By the way, don't you have MLB Extra Innings?


Craig Calcaterra said...

Maybe I'm underselling the dome factor. I really have a hard time watching a game being broadcast from a dome, so I sorta avoid half of the Indians-Twins games.

And no, I don't have extra innings. I suppose that's like the cobbler admitting that his children have no shoes, but I simply can't justify it. My recaps are almost done exclusively from box scores and game stories.

But don't get me wrong: I am not totally ignorant of the Twins. I probably know them better than your average non-Twins baseball fan does simply because I'm thinking about them for at least a little bit every day. It's simply a relative thing in that I know other teams better.

I'll try to improve on them. I'm not proud of my blind spots.

Puck said...

FYI: The Yanks-Pirates game will NOT be resumed. It will be replayed fro, the start, just like any other rainout in which five innings are not played.


David said...

Why can't it be one of the 16 NL teams that don't even count that you don't know much about?

Craig Calcaterra said...

Puck: Sorry for the sloppiness. The line for refunds forms on the left.

David: I'm an NL guy anymore, but now that you mention it, I am having a hard time wondering why I pay as close attention to the Pirates and Nats as I do.

David said...

Yes! To hell with the Bucs and Nats! Get Freddy Sanchez out of your head and replace him with Alexi Casilla.

10 in a row for the Twins tonight -- Joe Mauer with a homer in the bottom of the eighth for the go-ahead run.

Luke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke said...

Craig, I think your statement of ", the "Gold Room" does not involve strippers in any way" is about the most obvious statement of the year.

You're at a SABR convention, there's obviously not going to be strippers