Happy 4th of July
to all! Seems like the perfect day
to enjoy freedom, hot dogs, fireworks and baseball. As this blog is titled “The Best of 162,” I find it
necessary to reverse my position for today and share what I believe to be
“The Worst of 162”: Those hideous
red “stars and stripes” caps that all the players are wearing this weekend.
These probably aren’t so bad
if worn with matching colors, but they clash with the majority of teams’
uniforms. We’ve had the Mariners
vs. Red Sox series on TV at my house for much of this weekend, and the red,
white, and blue looks so terrible with the blue and green that I almost want to
look away. Just look at those pictures of the Marlins’ Dan Uggla and the Mariners’ Mark Lowe. Ridiculous. If it’s a team like the
Cardinals or the Angels, it probably isn’t too bad, but I can’t get over it. I’m all for being patriotic, but
perhaps a nice American flag patch on the sleeve could suffice.
But while those caps
symbolize the worst of baseball this weekend, I do know someone who symbolizes the
best: Albert Pujols, of course. Even though I just spent a bunch of time talking about him in my last post, he is worthy of more praise. Albert hit his fourth grand slam of the season last night! He was named the National League player
of the month for the second time this season! Do you think it would be a wise idea to blow some of my birthday money on a Pujols shrine for my room?
Last but not least, today
marks the 70th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in
baseball history. I don’t really
get too emotional over things, but Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech gets me
every time. On July 4, 2009,
Gehrig delivered his famous speech in between games of a doubleheader at Yankee
Stadium. There have been hundreds
of inspiring stories or touching memories over the years in baseball, but to
me, Lou Gehrig’s speech is the best. Do you have a similar memory that reminds you of the “best” of baseball?
We really have been given a
lot to live for. Enjoy the 4th!
fact: I share a birthday with the Sony Walkman. Who knew? It
was introduced today in 1979.
Today begins my last year of teenager-ness. And while I share a birthday with some pretty famous people
(Princess Diana, Carl Lewis, Dan Aykroyd, Missy Elliott, Pamela Anderson), I
really wish I shared a birthday with this guy:
try not to talk about Albert Pujols too much, but I could easily use up most of
my blog posts analyzing and discussing his greatness. I will spare you that, but I do want to congratulate Albert
on becoming the first player in Major League history to have 9 straight
30-homer seasons to begin his career.
Wow. If you could see a picture
of me right now, my mouth would be hanging open in awe. Thanks to SportsCenter’s twitter feed
for providing me with that bit of information.
big news item: the Pittsburgh Pirates’ trades. The Pirates sent outfielder Nyjer Morgan and LHP Sean
Burnett to the Nationals and received outfielder Lastings Milledge and RHP Joel
Hanrahan from the Nats. They also
sent Eric Hinske to the Yankees in exchange for Class A players Casey Ericson
and Eric Fryer. It always hurts to
see favorite players traded away, but this Pittsburgh scenario really seems to
have upset people, specifically Pittsburgh fans. Everyone was shocked when Nate McLouth was traded to the
Braves in early June. Now, the
Pirates just seem to be unloading more players as part of a massive rebuilding
I ask: what makes a trade a “good” trade?
I may not be a front office expert, but when a rising Pirates star like
Andrew McCutchen says the trades made him want to cry, shouldn’t that raise a
red flag? At what point do front
office execs sacrifice some talent in the future in order to maintain morale
and talent on the field right now?
With players like McCutchen and longtime Pirate Jack Wilson questioning
the deals, can the Pirates really afford their rebuild?
do you think there will be any other notable trades in the next few weeks? The trade deadline is now just a month
away, so I’m interested to see what teams make deals and what teams stay put.
disclaimer: Just because it’s my birthday does not mean you have to say happy
birthday to me. I forgot to put my
own mother’s birthday card in the mail on time this year, so I deserve nothing.
In the last 24 hours, some good news, bad
news, and funny news have come my way.
We’ll start with the bad:
Grady Sizemore is injured! This is a tragedy. While I am not the Grady Sizemore fan
that Melissa of “Life and Indians Baseball Through the Eyes of a Clemson Girl” is, I am still disappointed to hear about
it because in exactly two weeks, I will be attending an Indians game. (More on that tomorrow…) Naturally, I consider Sizemore to be
the star of the Indians team, so I’m a bit disappointed that he likely won’t be
in the line-up.
And now for the funny:
I’m all about having a good laugh, so when
I saw this video clip I was pretty excited. It’s a collection of some of the worst first pitches thrown
in recent years. The one thrown by
the Cinncinnati mayor is just terrible (At the time that it happened, PTI’s
Tony Kornheiser jokingly said, “That is a disgrace to his family.”) but the
rest are pretty bad, too.
And one more:
Read this quick little blog post from the
New York Times’ “Bats” baseball blog and it will make you feel better about being a mere mortal in comparison to baseball greats like Albert Pujols. Apparently, Albert and a reporter got a little tied up after a
press conference and nearly sent Pujols to the DL. Pujols’ response to the reporter at the time: “You all
right? I didn’t want you to get
And the really, really good news:
Ichiro has a fantastic hitting streak going. 24 games and counting; we’ll see how he fares against the Orioles tonight.
Also, there are only 10 days, 17 hours, 36 minutes, and 55 seconds left until summer vacation. Not that I’m counting or anything.
Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I plan on
revealing the details of my baseball adventure.
boy. It’s been one whole week
since I last posted, and I am ashamed.
I could elaborate on some fairly legitimate excuses: beautiful weather,
research paper, Accounting midterm…but since my life is far less interesting
than baseball, I will get to the real stuff.
off: Marlins and Mariners still in
first place! WOW. I’m afraid to be excited about it,
because I’m sure it won’t last long, but for the fans of both of these teams, I
hope they keep doing well.
Probably wouldn’t make for the most exciting World Series in the world,
but I love the idea of being within driving distance of the Fall Classic.
I’ve been perusing an Accounting book for the last few days, so I haven’t been
too up-to-date with every MLB happening, but I decided that I might start a
weekly “feature.” Today, while
listening to the Cardinals-Mets game, Albert Pujols had a nice hit, and I
realized that he seems to have a hit every
time I see him play. Pujols is not
only an amazing player, but he is a genuinely great guy. So, while that was probably one of the
most cliché sentences ever, I want to dedicate a little bit of space this week
to Albert Pujols and his greatness. Pujols never compromises; he works hard
for baseball, his family, and his beliefs. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated last month, and
this quote especially stood out to me:
“There is something more important to me–my relationship
with Jesus Christ and caring about others. More than this baseball. This
baseball is nothing to me.”
It’s incredible to me that Albert
Pujols, arguably the best player in the game, approaches the game with that
attitude; he understands its place in the grand scheme of life. I’d been chewing on that quote, so I thought
I’d give a little attention to it and to Pujols here today. Since athletes seem to get a bad rap a
lot of the time, I want to take some time to acknowledge those players who play
for something greater than themselves.
Any ideas for future players to mention? And also, since I’d like to do something like this every week, any ideas for what I should call it? The only title I could think of was “Baseball’s Good Guys,” but I find that to be sort of on the cheesy side.
about all I’ve got for now. It’s
good to be back in the baseball world.