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Thursday, July 23, 2020

OPENING DAY

We post every opening day for baseball, but there has never been one like this. 
With apologies to the Grateful Dead, what a long strange trip this is going to be. 

There is no good in what will be happening on the diamond,  other than men will be pitching a small cylindrical object that other men using a different and longer cylindrical object will try and hit. 

Let's deal with the bad. 
First and foremost, NO SPITTING ALLOWED. Playing baseball without expectorating is like Barbecuing broccoli. Every year in the minors some raw boned rookie from Oklahoma with a large chaw of tobacco stuck in his cheek swats the ball a country mile and people start dreaming about the next Mickey Mantle. Spitting is endemic to baseball. You cheat by throwing the spitball. Players chew sunflower seeds by the gazillion and spit out the seeds. Players spit chaw and they spit when they chew gum. Mark us down as a solid "NO" with the ban on spitting. 

No high-fiving.  What are the players going to do after a dinger? Fold hands and say "Namaste"? Count us out. 

No fans. There is nothing like home town fans. Standing and cheering as one  as Doc Gooden or Nolan Ryan or Bob Gibson or J.R. Richard is on the mound. The count is 3-2 and everyone knows some serious heat is coming for the third strike. Or how about this: Two on, two out, bottom of the ninth, home team down by two, winning run in the form of Dave Kingman walks to the plate. Kingman did one of two things: He struck out a lot, and when he made contact, he sent it out of the park. Fans are on their feet screaming so loud the pitcher walks off the mound, takes off his cap, and mops his head and walks a quick circle. The fans in return, scream even louder.  
A few years ago in an NL playoff game the home team fans so rattled the opposing pitcher, he balked in a run. Fans matter. Baseball is fans. No fans.....no baseball. No baseball the way it was meant to be played- on a warm summer day, with the bleachers full of fans drinking cold beer or cokes  and cracking open salted peanuts. 

We know change is inevitable. We know the dastardly Covid-19 has inexorably altered our way of life. We know this is only temporary. That a sixty game season is sacrilege- nothing more than a cup of coffee over a 162 game season when the averages (the all important averages and stats that we live for) take hold over the long haul. Lowest ERA in a season? Don't know. But we will never forget Bob Gibson's was 1.12 in 68 or that Kofax was the NL leader in lowest ERA for five straight years from 62-66- something that will never be repeated. DiMaggio had a 56 game hitting streak. Great hitters come and go, but no one has been able to hit safely in 63 straight games for well over 50 years. 

Hack Wilson had 161 RBIs for the Cubs in 31. That's the record that has stood for 89 years. It will last a 100 years - mark our words. Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx and Alex Rodriguez had 13 straight seasons with more than 100 RBIs. By comparison, the incomparable Babe Ruth had only eight straight seasons with 100 or more RBIs. 

We could go on and on. But we will end with this. 
Who gets the honor, in this strange year,  of throwing the opening pitch for the first game to open the 2020 Baseball season? Who else could it be but Dr. Anthony Fauci, in the Washington Nationals game today. 

But of course it was Fauci. Who else could it be? 
Let's play two. Enjoy the season. Better times are ahead. 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...


Please Governor:

APPOINT JUDGE LISA WALSH to the 3d DCA.

Brilliant, experienced, great temperament, NOT an activist jurist, incredible ethics and integrity, a leader of lawyers and judges ... and is so well respected and admired.

Don’t appoint some judge who joined a right wing group just to get an appointment. Do the Bar proud and make an appointment with true merit.

Anonymous said...

Every duke and earl and peer is here.
Everyone who should be here is here.
What a smashing, positively dashing spectacle The Ascot opening day!

Anonymous said...

DiMaggio hitting streak lasted 56 games and not 62.

Anonymous said...

Re: Bob Gibson. There is one word that should have been put on his HOF plaque. FEAR. He was old school all the way. Crown the plate? Expect the next pitch to be a fastball two inches away from your belt buckle. Hank Aaron told a rookie on the Braves that if you ever hit a home run off of him, don't run too fast around the bases because the next time you face him, your life will be in danger. But on the other hand, don't run too slow because he doesn't like that either. Knowing that, I think most rookies would rather take a third strike and go sit down. And speaking of old school, have they banned grabbing your crotch?

Gary H. Bass, Attorney at Law said...

Hack Wilson had 191 rbi in 1930. Gherig had 185 a couple years later, but no one has been close in the past 50. BTW, Hack was listed at 5'6", but was really 5'5".

Anonymous said...

too late 9:28, but you are 100% correct. It should have been Judge Walsh.

Anonymous said...

Dimaggio's streak was 56 games.

Rumpole said...

As they say in the Bronx outside of Yankee Stadium, what's yer pernt?

Anonymous said...

If the streak had been 63, Marilyn would never have divorced him.

Anonymous said...

Why put talented lawyers with experience on the bench? After having appointed a Graduate of a offshore college, and a law degree from the worst law school in the Country (maybe Cooney is tied) the governor appoints a lawyer who has never tried a case to a jury and little, if any litigation experience and less than 10 years of practice to the Supreme Court. His appointments of inexperienced Areces and the Assistant City attorney who had no experience as first chair and was with the City for a very short time and was sanctioned twice for his conduct in trials to the bench shows he is in for political reasons, not quality.

Anonymous said...

Koufax, not Kofax

Anonymous said...

Joe DiMaggio had a 62 game hitting streak with the SF Seals of the Pacific Coast League before he played in NY. As for MM divorcing him, the reason has always been a mystery.

Anonymous said...

4:15 a.m., is it true the persistent rumor that all the parties at the Ascot opening day were catered by the European venue of The REN and that a great time was had by all feasting on the world-class specialties of The REN as well as drinking top-tier liquors to their hearts' content?

Anonymous said...

Please take a refresher course in geometry. You said "a small cylindrical object" instead of "a small spherical object".