Archive for June, 2010

Your Vote Counts!

June 26, 2010

I always told myself that, told others that and actually believed it.  Not to get too dramatic, but I having more and more trouble every day trying to remember why I voted for the President.  I mean, shit like this is getting really aggravating, but no longer surprising, which may be even worse.

Has it really become too much to ask that we don’t imprison innocent people illegally forever?  Seriously?  Besides the fact that he, you know, campaigned on the promise.

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“Hey, Dad, Would You Like To Have A Catch?”

June 20, 2010

So says Kevin Costner’s character when he “meets” his father at the end of Field of Dreams, the chick flick for men.  From my own experience — though I know it’s also more or less shared by so many others — the connection between baseball and memories of my father is as strong a bond as I have from my youth.  It’s foremost in my mind on this Father’s Day.

Playing catch in the backyard.  Check.

Going to the local sporting goods store to get my first glove and bat.  Check.

Watching him play on Sunday mornings in the local softball league and shagging flies during BP.  Check.

Letting me stay up past my bedtime to watch Roger chase 61 in ’61.  Check.

Taking me to Yankee Stadium for the first time, seeing the most enormous and greenest field I had ever seen — and The Mick roaming center field.  Check.

Those images are seared into my memory forever.  But the real value of our baseball connection really came later in life.  During his last 15-20 years, when there was so little we agreed on and so few topics we could even discuss in a civil manner, there was always baseball and the Yankees.

We fought so bitterly about Nixon, Vietnam, Reagan, etc., but there was always baseball and the Yankees.  A man who grew up with DiMaggio, Reynolds, Henrich, and moved on to Berra, Mantle and Ford, was just as excited about Nettles and Chambliss, Randolph and Mattingly, Gator and Goose.

Over the past 15 years or so, I know how much he would have loved this current group.   He liked the lunch pail guys; hated Reggie, never big on Winfield.  He would have hated A-Rod.  But Jeter, Andy, Mo?  He’d love them.  I’m sure his favorites, however, would have been O’Neill and Tino.  No doubt.  They’re his kind of guys.

Anyway, I’m just so thankful we had baseball and the Yankees.

Happy Father’s Day.

Apology For An Apology

June 18, 2010

We’re really, really sorry and ashamed BP.  Sorry Mr. Hayward, our water messed up your oil, never happen again.

So, a Republican Congressman from Texas makes a fool of himself over oil.  Color me shocked.

Cultural Tradition

June 15, 2010

Nothing’s wrong with your TV.  That sound you hear while watching the World Cup — you know, that sound of sticking your head in a beehive?  That’s the South African cultural tradition of the vuvuzela.  A long, proud tradition that goes all the way back to the ’90s.  No, not the 1890s, the 1990s!  Wow, some long tradition, eh?

First, remember South Africa thought apartheid was a proud cultural tradition.  So there’s that.

Second, is it me or does vuvuzela sound like a term women use when talking to each other about their privates?  “He only wants me for my vuvuzela.”

OK, maybe it’s me.  I love the games, but that sound is driving me nuts.

Tick, Tick, Tick…

June 10, 2010

24 hours until kickoff of the world’s greatest sporting event.  48 hours until the US-England re-fight the Revolution.  Yeah, I know, nobody gives a shit…other than the billions of people outside the US.  Here are two of the coolest promotional things I’ve seen connected with World Cup 2010:

A one-sheet to benefit UNICEF with the entire schedule.

And, ESPN’s ad agency created iconic posters for all 32 teams.  Way cool.

For you novices, Spain is the best team and favored to win; best other teams are the usual suspects from Europe and South America (i.e., Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, England, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil).

The US team, which is somewhere between the 12th and 15th best team in the world, is the only team to beat Spain in the past four years.  To meet expectations, they need to advance out of group play into the Round of 16.  To exceed them, they’d have to win that first knock-out game and get to quarterfinals as they did in 2002. 

Play on!

Let It Be

June 5, 2010

Quick recap.  In a week when the former President glibly admits to, and practically brags about, committing war crimes (I hope the folks at The Hague were taking notes) and Israeli commandos shoot an American citizen in the head — four times at close range — at least someone is outraged:  House Minority Leader John Boehner (you know, that creepy guy from Ohio with the perpetual yellow tan?).

Boehner is demanding an apology from…Sir Paul McCartney!   That’s right, McCartney gets an award from the White House and makes a harmless, softball joke about Bush (“it’s great to have a President who knows what a library is”)  and Boehner demands an apology.  Just the latest effort from the right-wing’s  professional outrage machine.  Not about the Torture President.  Not about murdered Americans.  Paul frickin McCartney.  Think Boehner knows more people actually like Sir Paul? 

Must add an RIP to the legendary John Wooden.   Favorite Woodenism:  Never  mistake activity for achievement.   

Bad Times Are Coming…

June 4, 2010

Seriously, I know it’s a dry heat, but just when did Arizona become Mississippi?  

No, this is NOT a story from The Onion.

Please Make It Stop

June 3, 2010

This is just all too predictable.   Something happens in sports that transcends the sport pages and pundits, politicians and other idiots who wouldn’t know  a baseball if it hit them in the head feel a need to get involved.

The ump missed the call, simple as that.  Happens all the time.  Ask Don Denkinger (1985 World Series) and Rich Garcia (Jeter homer in 1996 Playoffs).  Joyce and Galarraga have both handled this with remarkable class and grace; no one feels worse about this than Joyce, who happens to be an excellent umpire.  They made their peace with it this afternoon in a rather touching moment at home plate before today’s game.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Galarraga gets more notoriety than if he actually pitched a perfect game.  These two will be going to dinners and signing autographs together long after they’ve both retired.  They are now inextricably linked in baseball lore.

Everyone else, from the Governor of Michigan to the Commissioner:  STFU.