I frequently do not set an alarm clock because I have my nocturnal leg cramps. Every night, my calf muscles in a painful fashion and I awaken. I have been suffering from this since I was in my teens. I am used to this. Tonight was a good one. Both at the same time. My calves are still hurting. My cat, Crush, is happy. Momma is awake. I once saw a woman suffer one of these on a walking tour of bungalows in St. Petersburg. Immediately, I sat her down, removed her shoe, and pressed on the ball of her foot. Instant relief. She said, how did you know? I laughed. Years of experience. I should be sleeping right now, but the pain is keeping me awake still so instead of just thinking about pain, I’d rather go to my happy place. By the time this finds you, it will be daylight. But for me, let’s talk about baseball in the still of the night.
I put on the Phillies – Nationals game this afternoon because I noticed on my MLB.tv app that it was 0 – 0 late in the game, and that always catches my eye. The announcers said the wind was blowing in, and damp weather was making the balls stagnate. This is strange information–my team plays in a climate controlled 72 degree tumules. This does not compute. Can someone explain? Ah, Harper hit ball deep. Ball stay. Bad ball. Got it.
I know the game is in DC (another time, I will write an ode to DC, but I haven’t been to your ballpark–YET), but I want to talk about Philadelphia for a bit. I have always had a complicated relationship with the City of Brotherly Love. A love-hate thing. I loved to hate the Phillies as a kid, since I was a Mets fan. As an adult, I have been to Citizens Bank Park. It is a beautiful stadium with sunsets that will take your breath away. The only criticism, and this is me completely nitpicking and it did not take away from my wonderful experience–the Jumbotron did not display WHIP, K/9 for the pitcher and .OPS or .SLG for the batter. I am used to that information on the Jumbotron at the Trop. They auto-update it continuously. But this was in 2013, the Ruben Amaro years. Heaven knows, Amaro did not even use that information himself. Why would he put it on the Jumbotron? Perhaps this has been rectified. I found the phans phriendly and EVERYONE could dance. I went to three games, a significant sample size, and yes, everyone can dance. I am a dancer, I know dance. What is in the water in Philly? Every single person they put on the Jumbotron could get down with their bad self. Kids, adults, elderly, white, black. Forget the water, I think it’s in the blood. O’Jays, Boys II Men, G. Love & Special Sauce (Oh, my god, I LOVE THEM), Patti LaBelle, Hall & Oates, Modern Baseball, Burn Witch Burn… I have always been fond of Philadelphia. The history oozes from this city like honey from a hive, and I love history. I remember walking around this city as a child and being amazed by the architecture. The Liberty Bell. Benjamin Franklin, saucy minx and Renaissance Man, made this place his home. I like him a lot. I also love the spunk of its people, and its greasy, delicious cheesesteaks. I am a healthy eater, I exercise, but damn. I am human. I can make a pretty good cheesesteak and will destroy one, maybe two. I’m not supposed to admit any of this. New Yorker, here. Mets fan. I even love your best athlete ever, who is actually fictional: Rocky. 😉 You broke my heart in 2008, and I still haven’t gotten over it–a joke about the World Series in Silver Linings Playbook actually made me visibly wince last winter (excellent movie, by the way about mental health, which we frequently discuss here)–but that’s baseball. It is designed to break your heart, apologies to Giamatti.
Doin’ a little east coast swing
Yes, you get a bad rap for being stupid fans sometimes. Every city has its fair share of dumb-asses. My fan base is too small to have many but we have ours too. Last year, I shut up an idiot Rays fan who was sitting next to me. He was yelling at Chris Davis of the Orioles. “Steroids! Steroids!” I am sure Davis could hear him. We were pretty close, about 25 rows behind home plate and he was loud. Finally, I turned and said to him. “It wasn’t steroids. It was Adderall. He has ADD and he didn’t get his exemption.” I was dressed in full Rays gear. “What are you, an Orioles fan?” He asked sarcastically. I said to him, “Obviously not. But if you are going to heckle him, at least do it correctly.” He shut up the rest of the game. See? We all have our fair share of special people.
Back to the Phillies. The game remained scoreless into the 9th. I will describe the scene of the accident. Felipe Rivero is pitching for the Nationals, and he gave up a hit to Herrera with no outs. Why is Papelbon not on the mound? Theoretically your best guy? I dunno. Dusty gonna Dusty. Next up, Freddy Galvis, and he doubles. Herrera is now on third. Runners in scoring position with no outs. This is getting dangerous. Rivero intentionally walks Franco. Ruf is announced the pinch hitter for Ryan Howard. Papelbon replaces Rivero on the hill. Paps strikes out Ruf swinging. 1 out. Cameron Rupp then doubles to Bryce Harper. Two runs score, Franco now stands on 3rd. Cesar Hernandez pops out. 2 out. Lough then singles on a ball deflected by Paps, Franco scores. 3-0 Phillies is your final score.
The Phillies have really good pitching, you guys, and if they make some moves to bolster their hitting, they could actually make the National League East a little more interesting this year than people thought it was going to be. They are currently 12-10 on the season with a run differential of -19. Their pitchers need run support. It’s early in the season. Get those pitchers some bats, and let’s make it a fun season.
I was going to write how the Marlins also have a chance to make this division interesting but when I went to click on the Marlins, I saw some terrible, stunning news. I had been watching the Dodgers game because Maeda – Fernandez–of course I want to watch some of that. I have a flight today though, so I didn’t watch the whole thing. I saw Dee Gordon though. He played. Then I see awful news: suspension, 80 games, PEDS, exogenous testoterone and clostebol. Instead of talking about what the Marlins just did in Los Angeles–the swept the Dodgers in LA for the first time in their history, that is amazing! The story is going to be about Dee Gordon and his selfishness. I love Dee Gordon, but this is a stupid thing to do. Players of his caliber, at his age? Doing that? I just want to smack him silly. What was he thinking? He doesn’t need that shit. That shit is for the guy who is barely going to make the majors. Old guys losing testosterone like a pasta drainer drains water. Those are the players who might need the extra little boost that PEDs provide. They DO make you stronger and faster. Whether it translates into improved baseball performance? Is anyone here an ASA member? I don’t want to pay $46 for 24 hours of this, although it looks very interesting: The Natural: The Effects of Steroids on Offensive Performance in Baseball.
That that that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger. Work it, harder better faster stronger.
The Marlins won. 5-3. Maeda prior to tonight had only given up 1 run in 4 starts. He said he was super excited to meet Ichiro, his childhood idol. He said he had Ichiro’s poster up on the wall when he was growing up. How cool is that? I would be super excited to meet Ichiro too though, kinda as excited as Ichiro was to meet President Obama.
I would also be excited to meet Ichiro because this is his favorite American expression:
Ichiro is also a man of fine tastes. He despises Cleveland, just like me. It sucks. Ichiro on Cleveland:
“To tell the truth, I’m not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I’m excited going to Cleveland, I’d punch myself in the face, because I’m lying.”
Ichiro and I would totally be pals. I’d teach him dirty American phrases and we would curse out Cleveland together.
Listen to the maestro:
Maeda did have the upper hand, but Ichiro is not ICHIRO. The cowboy is riding off into the sunset soon, another victim of time. It would have been fun to see them face off, both at their prime. Where did I leave that phone booth? I will let Old Gator handle things from the Feesh point of view. I hate to see what the Strange Attractor looks like today.
Another pitcher off his A-game was Jake Arrieta. He only pitched 5 innings and gave up a whole run. I know!!! My math may be off, but that’s like 100% more runs than the last time he pitched, and he didn’t even get a quality start. He gave up 3 whole hits! Also walked 4, struck out 6? A K/BB ratio of 6:4? I don’t know guys, but this is looking pretty bad. I think it’s all down hill from here and you should trade him to the Rays. Trade high while he still has a little value. We can fix him. Our pitching coach, Jim Hickey, he’s really good. He’ll straighten him out.
Another close one–the Orioles defeated the White Sox, 10-2. I guess the Orioles just needed to get back to their friendly confines. Or, just get the hell away from Rays pitching. Baby boy Manuel Arturo Machado with 5 RBIs y un grande salami. See, @professormaddog31, now THIS is a good night for your fantasy team. 😉
For my Dominican boy via Miami boy, si, el si tiene el tumbao. I’ll save you the trouble. Urban Dictionary has a decent definition for once: An African Caribbean word which means “an indescribable African sexiness or swing.” The boy has swag.
Nunca pierdo el control… dos idiomas es valor. Echale azucar y melao… (I never lose control; two languages are valuable. Mix in sugar and honey…)
Anibal Sanchez walked seven yet still managed to win the game, defeating Oakland 7-3. That’s no way to go through life, son. Better tighten that up. Striking out 9, good. Walk 7, ooof. Oakland, you got seven free passes, and 3 runs? Okay. Let’s see what happened here. I didn’t see the game but on paper. Sounds like some missed opportunities. Detroit does look re-energized feasting on Chris Bassett pitching but A’s definitely had a lot of opportunities.
Ask yourself this question. Do you want to score runs? You’ve got the brawn (Vogt). You’ve got the brains (Beane). Oh, there are lots of opportunities. If there aren’t, you can make them. Think about it seriously, you know it makes sense. (Apologies, Pet Shop Boys)
The Braves win! The Braves win! The Braves win! No home runs! But that is okay! They won! They avoided being swept by the Red Sox, 3-0. Buccholz is 0-3 on the season. I’m good with that. Anyone else good with that?
Even with the win, this is a summary of the Braves season so far:
Joe West was right. You need a new catcher. I like A.J. He’s a very good analyst. Smart, funny, insightful. Time to hang up the tools of ignorance.
Arizona defeats the Cardinals 3-0 on the strength of De La Rosa’s 10 K pitching performance, splitting the series with them.
I am going to try to sleep a little more before work. It’s just the night in my veins.
So, what did I miss? Oh, my boy Trevor’s game was PPD. One less chance at history.
I am going out of town this weekend, so I won’t be doing recaps until Monday. Try not to miss me. 😉 I’ll be back. (Say it in your best Ah-nold voice.)