Tagged: Tampa Bay Rays

Garza and Gammons

One
month down, everybody.  Lots of
different stories, players, and teams have emerged since Opening Day; the one
that stands out in my mind is still Nick Adenhart’s tragic death, and I hope we
can all continue to honor his memory throughout the season. 

 

However…there are a few more recent stories that I’ve found interesting:

 

Matt
Garza was amazing last night.  Even
though I didn’t have the game on TV, I saw highlights, and was amazed to see
him throw a perfect game through seven innings against Boston.  Of course, it won’t show up in the record books because he
didn’t go all nine, but that is still something to be proud of.  And even though Garza was incredible, I
was kind of happy to see that Jacoby Ellsbury was the one who ruined it for
him. 

 

The
best baseball-related commercial I have seen so far this season is this one for
Baseball Tonight, which features
Peter Gammons:



 

Gammons
is obviously a respected baseball journalist and veteran in the field, and this
commercial made me laugh because it made him the baseball equivalent to Chuck
Norris.  I don’t get the change to watch Baseball Tonight very often, but when I do, I love his insight.  Except for maybe the sweet
parking skills, I would not be surprised if all of this were true.  Maybe.

 

And
on top of all of this, it’s Friday. 
This weekend I’ll probably have my eyes on the Twins/Royals series
because Joe Mauer has returned.  Also, I’ll be watching the Mariners because I’d like to see if
they can remain in first place longer than one month and they’re playing a
division rival.  Granted, it’s the
last-place A’s, but I’m looking forward to it.  What weekend game(s) will you be watching? 

They’re Only Human

Thanks
to everyone on your feedback about how to respond to people who don’t like
baseball.  I’m obviously not the
only one who has run into some of those people over the last few years, and I
loved hearing everyone’s thoughts on how to respond!  As baseball was being compared to sports like football and
basketball in many different respects, I started to think about the “human”
side of the sport.  Baseball gives a
close look into the eyes and minds of the players.  There’s a lot of time when baseball players aren’t moving; there
are plenty of chances for close-ups, where you can see emotions clearly
displayed.

pitcher on mound.png


To
me, this really makes the sport come alive and is just another reason to love
baseball.  Players are still
people, and you can just as easily see them running to catch a pop-up as
drinking some Gatorade in the dugout. 
They usually have a “game face” on when they’re talking to reporters
after the game, but there are plenty of opportunities to see them outside of a
competition setting.  I think that,
when you see their personality off the field, you get a taste of who they
really are; what type of person they are, what they believe in, what they
think.  Even though a baseball player
is typically defined by his on-field achievements, we ultimately look up to
them because of their character. 

 

About
five or six years ago, my family was vacationing in Florida and we went to a
Rays game.  They were playing the
Pittsburgh Pirates, and Jeff Suppan was pitching for the Pirates at the
time.  Two of Suppan’s nieces were
the same ages as my sister and I and were in our respective classes at
school.  We got down close to the
field and asked someone from the Pirates if we could talk to him.  We didn’t really expect anything, but
he came over to us and we told him about being in class with his nieces.  He stayed at chatted with us for a few
minutes, and those moments will always stand out to me as showing off what is
so great about baseball.  He didn’t
have to come over and talk to us, but he did, and he was kind, generous, and
conversational.  This will always
be a special moment for me, and I’d love to know if anyone has had similar
experiences with any particular player.

 

There
are always players like Manny and A-Rod who command attention wherever they
go.  But the superstars aren’t the
only ones with personality.  What
about a player, aside from his athletic talent, really sets him apart?  Are there any players that jump out to
you as being especially charismatic or endearing to the fans?

Bloody Socks and The Best Game

As
far as “the greatest game ever played” in each respective sport, there is
sometimes consensus and sometimes debate. 
Football has the 1958 NFL Championship Game that pitted the Baltimore
Colts against the New York Giants and was the first football game ever to go
into sudden-death overtime. 
Baseball has…the “bloody sock” game?

 

The
“Bloody Sock Game,” Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS in which Curt Shilling played with
torn tendons in his ankle, has been all over the news today following Curt
Schilling’s retirement announcement. 
I remember watching it four years ago and thinking it was pretty
cool.  But, how long do you think
it will live on in baseball lore?

 

With
162 games every season, there are a lot to choose from.  It might be easier to identify the
“greatest series ever played.”  They
may have had some especially unique quality; they weren’t necessarily the best
game all-around.

 

There
are a few games that stand out to me. 
It wasn’t one of the greatest games ever played in the history of
baseball, but Game 5 of the 2008 World Series was definitely exciting; rain
poured on the field in Philadelphia and made it basically unplayable.  The perseverance of the players,
continuing to give it their all amid terrible conditions, and the heated debate
about whether or not the game should have been suspended combined to make it an
intriguing game for me. 

 

Also,
the game in which Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run will always be
one of my favorites.  That’s
probably cliché, but he played outside a steroid shadow and advanced the cause
of African-Americans in the game. 
If only for the perseverance displayed by Schilling, the “bloody sock
game” also deserves a little attention in my book.

 

Those
are just a couple of examples.  While
the “Greatest Game Ever Played” has been solidified in football, baseball’s is
still up for debate.  What do you think?  Do you think there is
one game or series that can be labeled as the best?  Or, do you have one game that you found especially interesting,
exciting, or intriguing?  On the
flip side, do you think there is a “worst game” ever played?  I can think of a few, one in particular
dealing with a certain headphone-wearing Cubs fan…but I’ll leave it at
that.  I’m too busy watching this great WBC final to write anything else!