Monday, April 28, 2008

God, I Love Baseball

As I mentioned last week, I'm collecting your observations of the little things that happen during the course of a game. The flavor. The fluff. The stuff that makes you say "God, I love baseball." Some that have trickled in thus far:

Ron Rollins watching the second game of the Indians-Royals doubleheader on Thursday night: "The announcers mentioned this about Cliff Lee: When he comes out to do his warm-ups before an inning, he does a mock pitch to 2nd base before he starts. Sets up and goes through the motion of throwing a pitch to the base. Splitorff thought it was because the mound is steeper in the back and he reminds him to stand up straighter."

RoyceTheHack, watching the Astros-Padres from last Tuesday: "It is the 'Stros five-run, eighth inning. After Tejada raps his big double, the camera pans the stands and who do I see in the left field boxes of The Juice Box but my very own brother - standing in wild jubilation and whooping it up with his buddies. They kept the camera on them for three or four seconds, so we (my daughter and I...), knew it was him. I called him a few minutes later and when he answered he said, "I can't hear you, I'm at the game!!....".

Cooker, watching the Red Sox-Angels last Tuesday night: "Gary Matthews Jr at the plate, and as the crowd quiets down you can hear a fan very clearly yell 'Gary, you are KILLING my fantasy team!' Classic."

Jeff: Yankees-Blue Jays on Opening Night in Yankee Stadium, Roy Halladay was pitching in the 6th inning with a 2-1 lead. Melky Cabrera comes up and hits a pop fly home run, maybe a foot and a half over the 314 foot short porch in right to tie the game. When the camera goes to Halladay for the reaction shot, you can clearly lip-read him say "fucking ballpark."

Jeremy Toren, watching the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader between the Orioles and the White Sox: "Brian Anderson hit a long fly ball to center field, and Adam Jones, running hard from the first moment, managed to jump and catch it just before crashing into the fence. The quirky thing was that replays showed Jones BLOWING A BUBBLE just before jumping to make the grab. It was the very picture of nonchalance on a play that was anything but."

And while this doesn't technically count -- I'm looking for in-game wonderfulness here -- I can't let John Smoltz's comments from the Dan Patrick Show last week go unnoticed. Courtesy of an anonymous poster, Smoltzie had this to say about his good friend and former teammate Greg Maddux:
1. In spring training they drive rentals and Maddux would follow him around and rear end him at all the stop signs until his bumper fell off;

2. Maddux would get in Smoltz's rental car and spit tobacco juice all over and leave booggers all over;

3. Maddux likes to leave big loogies on the ceiling around the clubhouse in the hopes that they'd drip on pedestrians;

4. Maddux would just make crap up in the dugout. He'd say, "Any fly ball that hangs for 6 seconds has to be caught" and then everyone would start counting seconds and arguing about it.

As Tim Keown wrote of Maddux, Throws right, bats right, farts left.

Yep, that's my favorite player!

Keep the emails coming. Like I said, this won't be a regular feature, but I will collect them whenever I get critical mass in my inbox.


dubbschism said...

Feedback: this is awesome, please keep it a semi-regular feature.

Comment: years ago I read something about how smart Maddux was (is) as a baseball player. I forget where or what I was reading but it mentioned that he got mad at his teammates after a batter reached base on a bloop hit. Maddux was mad because he thought the ball should have been caught because it was in the air for 3 or 4 seconds (or some predetermined number of seconds, I don't think it was as high as 6). I also don't think he was making this up. Dude knows what he's talking about.

Anonymous said...


Loved the info on Maddux/Smoltz.

With that money, i would absolutely do that.