The Dangers Of Poetry

On July 17, I wrote you a poem.

I hadn’t written poetry since, oh, since Junior High. It wasn’t very good poetry, but the words rhymed, so I’m not sure why you expected anything better out of me. The words rhymed. It was a poem.

On July 17, I wrote you a poem and six hours later I was sick.

Sick, for real, with a 101 fever and chills and visions of this finally being the end and well, I had a good run. (I occasionally overreact in cases of high fever. High fever panic commences for me at about 98.9.)

The New York Times, 4/6/1925

On April 5, 1925, Babe Ruth collapsed with a fever, infection, and an abscess in his gut. But, not before hitting two home runs in a spring training game. He’d been running a temp through spring training and didn’t rejoin the Yankees for eight weeks.

I am here today, recovered after 16 days with an obnoxious summer virus, to tell you five truths about illness.

One. Babe Ruth clearly was much tougher than me.

Continue reading

Messin’ With Texas

It was a long shot. You know, asking Texas teams to knock the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals out of the post season. Knock them out for no good reason, except, really, for spite.

Spitefulness is not an attractive character trait. I know this, so you can stop with the nose-crinkling.

As an Orioles fan, I can’t root for the Royals who soundly steamrolled the O’s in last year’s ALCS and I can’t root for the Blue Jays because … if for no other reason than their fans always seem to be throwing their beer around and I can’t like an untidy country.

stop throwing things

Even the players begged fans to stop throwing beer. And, they’re a team that likes throwing bats and stuff.

I had hopes for those pesky Houston Astros. I really thought they could squeeze past the Royals.

But, they let me down.

The Texas Rangers over the Blue Jays? Hey, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. But, a girl can dream.

Now, I realize, you just can’t count on Texas.

It is a very big state with, apparently, nothing to show for it.

If you ask the Googler “What is Texas famous for?”, it will tell you … The Alamo, a battle that didn’t go particularly well for the Texans. So really, even Texas can’t come up with anything.

Look, I was only asking a couple of Texas teams to win a couple ball games. And, the Texans let me down. Just like the Alamo.

Now I’m stuck rooting for the National League, and for heaven’s sake, they let their pitchers bat! What is wrong with those people?

I know some of you hipsters are saying, “Hey, what about Janis Joplin?” Texas was horrible to Janis. They can’t be taking credit for her after they bullied her in high school. (For those who will argue for Buddy Holly … yes, you’ve got a point. But, I’m not letting your thoughtfulness mess up this post.)

I can come up with only three good things to ever come out of the state.

1) Texas Toast.

First off, my local grocery has an entire freezer case – the whole thing! – dedicated to Texas toast.

Texas Toast

Imagine that! Those Texas geniuses have saved us the trouble of buttering our own toast! They just freeze the toast with the butter right on it. It’s amazing.

I was feeling kinda bad about trash-talking the state when they’ve gone to all the trouble to freeze toast with the butter already on it.

Then I discovered this. (And, you Texas Toast fans could have told me this and saved me all this trouble.)  It’s not even toast! You still have to take your frozen butter-bread and toast the thing yourself. Which just goes to prove my point. You can’t count on Texas for anything.

New York Texas Toast

Look! Even the Texas Toast is rooting for the Mets!

So, we’re left with …

2) Chris Davis, (born in Longview and now lives in Arlington, Texas).

The (still, for the time-being) Orioles’ Chris Davis hit 47 homeruns this season. That’s more than anyone else.

crush

© The Baseball Bloggess

47 homers. This is one of them.

It wasn’t enough to get the Orioles to the post-season, but it was enough to help give the O’s a solid break-even .500 season, which, when you set the bar very low, isn’t so bad.

Davis is now a free agent, and most baseball smarties believe he will flee Baltimore for the bright lights of a multi-year, multi-million-million-million-dollar payday. Can’t blame him. But, if he does, he’s coming off this list … tossed right beside the unreliable Astros, Rangers, and those boxes of Texas “toast.”

3) Doak Dozier (Ft. Worth).

Doak Dozier is a freshman outfielder at the University of Virginia. With only a few “fall ball” exhibitions under his belt this month, I can’t tell you much about his abilities. But, scouts think he’s got potential.

He has, they say, “outstanding hitting ability. … Always hits.”

“[H]ighly athletic … with a pretty swing and tools to burn.”

Doak Dozier Foul Swing

© The Baseball Bloggess

Nice swing. 

At Arlington Heights High School, he was a baseball star, All-State, and named a “Perfect Game” All-American. Here’s what they were saying during this year’s draft.

I just think he has one of the best names in baseball.

Doak.

(Not as good as Mookie, of course, but better than Hunter Pence.)

That’s really all it takes to make this list today.

In case you think I haven’t done my research, trust me. I now know that silicone breast implants, Fritos, and Dell computers all come from Texas. (I’m writing this on a Dell. Which makes me think I’m really sticking it to ‘em.)

So, you can’t count on Texas. Except for Chris Davis (as an Oriole, but not playing for anyone else), Doak Dozier, maybe, I really don’t know, but he has a nice name, and Buddy Holly. But, that’s it.

Oh, and those bats in Austin. They’re awesome.

 

#700

On May 13, 1876, the New York Mutuals turned the first known triple play.  It was, we believe, a 4-3-4 play. Yup, nutty people kept track of stuff like that, even back in 1876.

They don’t happen much. The Society for American Baseball Research has tallied just 699 major league triple plays since that first one.

Last night, #700.

Because, I’m told, no one watches Houston Astros games, #700 might have gone unnoticed.

altuve triple play

It’s a mighty pretty “around the horn” 5-4-3 triple play. It’s worth watching simply to see the magnificent Jose Altuve turning that play on second. Watch here.

The Astros went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers 3-2. It was the Astros first triple play since 2004.

The Pittsburgh Pirates also turned a triple play this season. On May 9, their triple play was the first 4-5-4 triple play in baseball history. Watch here.

While triple plays are rare, there have been only two seasons since 1876 that had no triple plays at all – 1961 and 1974. (If you think I went through all 700 triple plays one by one to find that single fact for you, you are correct.)

And, your Sunday bonus … the hidden ball trick!

In the semifinals of the Colorado Class 2A High School Baseball Championship on Saturday, the Rye High Thunderbolts executed a perfect hidden ball trick to end the game.

hidden ball rye  high

With two outs and the tying run on second in the ninth, the Thunderbolts pitcher fakes a high pick-off throw to second. The second baseman and outfield further the grift by pretending to hustle after the “errant throw.” The runner on second takes the bait and takes off. The pitcher runs over and tags him out with the ball still in his glove. Game over. Watch here.

“We weren’t real sure if it was going to work,” according to Rye Coach Stacey Graham. “We practice it quite a bit and we ran it one time successfully, and it worked again. It’s a tough play to do and the guys executed it real well.”

Rye High, a tiny school with just 225 students, won the game 9-8 and went on to win the state championship later that afternoon.

Fauxetry In Motion

“To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” ~ Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion

Friday, I wrote about poetry, and the poetry of a perfect play in baseball … a motion that is beautiful and effortless and just-so.

But, for every bit of perfect poetry, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

Mustn’t there?

Fauxetry.

And so, to even things up this week, there was this.

brewers rockies

Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies. Saturday, June 21, 2014

Of course, players somewhere will try to straddle the line between poetry and fauxetry.

If you put your team in throwback 1970s-era Houston Astros jerseys, don’t be surprised when this happens.

astros

Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays. Saturday, June 21, 2014

Poetry? Fauxetry?

You decide.

No, wait. I’ll decide. My blog, my decision.

Houston Astros wearing hideous, yet strangely kind of cool 1970s jerseys grooving in the dugout?

Even AL batting leader Jose Altuve (.336) can’t not dance as he walks by.

The baseball “law of motion” is this:

If it makes you dance … Poetry.