I had a nice “Glory Days” moment this week, playing third base in my work softball league and going 3-4 with 5 RBI. I made all of the plays that I should make with the glove and almost pulled off a couple that I shouldn’t have.
But the real fun came in the final frame. Batting at the top of the inning, our team was down by one run, 7-6. A lead-off hit. Then a double. Then another hit. And another. Tie game with the bases loaded and I was coming to the plate. There were no outs and it was all I could do to stop thinking, “Don’t make the first one.” The pitcher lobbed the ball, I swung and watched the ball sailing over the centerfielder’s head. Too many seconds later, I was standing on third base and we had a 10-7 lead. We tacked on 4 more for a 14-7 lead before heading to the bottom of the inning.
Two quick outs, then a couple of hits and suddenly the opposing team was looking a little more lively. Their next batter swung – a pop-up…right to me. I hate pop-ups, I have a horrible time judging the ball on it’s way up and I’ve let too many fall just over my head in my lifetime. But I had a bead on this one, settling underneath and pushing down the doubt that I had misread the trajectory of the ball and that little voice saying, “It’s the last out, don’t drop it.” A little Soriano-esque hop, then the ball hit my glove and stuck right in the pocket. Game over.
- Though the Saints are my team, the Ravens are the wife’s, and I’ve grown rather fond of them. They’re basically the Saints of the AFC for me. So over the years I’ve done a lot of rooting for Ray Rice, but that’s something that is going to be a lot more difficult this year. I have zero tolerance for violence against women, so I was rather surprised and shocked when we learned yesterday that Rice was only suspended for the first two games of the season. I get that he’s done everything right since being caught, gone through a program, and seems genuinely contrite. Good for him, but, you know, he better be. Being sorry after the fact only proves he’s not a complete psychopath. As a football fan, I thought 4-6 games would have been a reasonable suspension and would have been happy with 8. As the father of a little girl…like I said, it’s going to be really hard to root for Ray Rice this year.
- The Cubs made lots of moves with their highly touted prospects this week, with Arismendy Alcantara (officially) and Kyle Hendricks (who picked up his first MLB win with a 7 inning gem on Tuesday) staying in the big leagues for the rest of the year, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora moving up a level and Mike Olt moving down.
- Nice interview here with Jorge Soler. For a guy who had the notorious bat waving incident last year, it’s striking what a personable, happy guy he seems to be – I love how his face lights up when asked about signing autographs for the kids. Not to mention the highlights shown in this clip. I can help but think about when he’s in the Cubs lineup, surrounded by Rizzo and Castro and Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. Oh man, that gives me the vapors…
- In a bit of bittersweet news, Darwin Barney was DFA’d to make room for the return of Emilio (Freakin’) Bonifacio from the DL. I really liked rooting for Barney and hope – like many – that he gets picked up by another team. He is still an outstanding defensive player and maybe a change of scenery can put a little juice back in his bat.
- Of course, none of this is enough to make many Cubs “fans” (and, trust me, those are the most sarcastic of air quotes) happy. Cubs Insider has a great look at what could have happened if the anti-rebuild/win-now crowd had their way. It isn’t pretty.
- This years first round pick, Kyle Schwarber, has been mashing the ball ever since he signed his contract. Most expect him to move to the outfield full-time in order to fast track his bat to the majors. But, apparently, his catching skills have been better than advertised and the Cubs might have a decision to make on his final position. If he does stick at catcher, with that bat, the phrase “embarrassment of riches” will be heard often.
- This week saw the 45th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, one of the greatest achievements of modern times.
- I don’t usually link directly to Cracked.com (why would I, you should be reading it for your daily dose of mirth anyway), but when I saw this article with astronaut Chris Hadfield, I had no choice.
- I accidentally found The Best Page in the Universe.
- Then I found Margaret and Helen. Margaret and Helen are great.
- Every now and then I get an email or see something on Twitter about writing for Bleacher Report and wonder if it wouldn’t be worth it. I’m glad I never follow through, because it seems like it isn’t.
- After a busy week last week, the Wizards news settled down, with the only new item being the return of Kevin Seraphin, who signed his qualifying offer and will now be a free agent after the upcoming season. I had high hopes, like many, a couple of years ago for the big Frenchy, but I’m starting to think his best role would be as a scorer on a bad team (AKA Al Jefferson Lite). The Wizards of Awes wonders if the Wizards have too many (!!!) big men. I suspect these things will have a way of working themselves out.
- I’ve linked to stories about this before, but this is a great read about friend of the family, Andrew Boston, the coach of the first ever Ugandan national lacrosse team.
- There’s been lots of serious stuff in the news lately, primarily about Gaza and Ukraine. Whenever there’s lots of serious stuff in the news, the crackpots come out in full force.
- The new movie Lucy is based on the old myth that we only use 10% of our brains, which is rubbish. It makes me roll my eyes to think that people will see this movie and believe that nonsense is true. Then again, ScarJo…
- The WHO wants to legalize sex and drugs. No word yet of their stance on rock ‘n roll.
- Here’s a little nightmare fuel: Tyrannosaurs may have hunted in packs. Could you imagine the fights for pecking order in that flock?
- Zen Pencils is all about love this week.
- This XKCD is sublime.
- Andrew W.K. is on to something…
- I don’t think Rob Ryan is ever leaving New Orleans.
- NFL training camps (finally) kicked off this week. One of the few roster questions surrounding the Saints is at center. Who Dat Dish shines their spotlight on the likely (hopefully) starter, Tim Lelito. Next week, when camps are really underway, I’ll have lots more Saints links.
- Isaac Asimov was a very smart man. And, possibly, from the future.
- Trivial facts are at the heart of who I am (I was the kid who read all of the cards in the Trivial Pursuit box when I was 8), so I was happy to find this site. Unfortunately, I think I’ve already read all of their trivia.
- I had completely forgotten that the Grateful Dead had a lyricist, Robert Hunter. This is a neat interview with him. And a great inspiration for the Song of the Week.