Category Archives: baseball

Friday Funny November 4, 2016 Heading Home

baseball

Happy Friday!  If you are a Cubs fan, it has been a great week for you as “the curse” has finally been put to rest.  As the glory of the 2016 World Series fades, I wanted to leave you with some baseball thoughts to keep you warm through the coming cold winter months.  Spring training is less than four months away!

Enjoy!

You can describe baseball in one word: ‘Youneverknow.’- Joaquin Andujar

The baseball mania has run its course. It has no future as a professional endeavor. — Cincinnati Gazette editorial, 1879

The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.
– Casey Stengel

There comes a time in every man’s life and I’ve had many of them. – Casey Stengel

See that fella over there? He’s 20 years old. In 10 years, he’s got a chance to be a star. Now that fella over there, he’s 20 years old, too. In 10 years he’s got a chance to be 30.
– Casey Stengel

I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the plate where I belonged, and that the only thing I knew about pitching was that I couldn’t hit it. – Tim McCarver

I have only one superstition. I touch all the bases when I hit a home run.
– Babe Ruth

I’ve had pretty good success with Stan by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third. – Carl Erskine, on how to pitch to Stan Musial: 

I got my faults but living in the past is not one of them … there’s no future in it. – Sparky Anderson

Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.
– Bill Veeck

Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many players on the field? – Jim Bouton

There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball … unfortunately, neither of them works. – Charlie Lau

The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait for it to stop rolling and then pick it up. – Bob Uecker

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. – Yogi Berra

Thought for the Week

I’ve seen the future, and it’s much like the present, only longer.
– Dan Quizzenberry

History On Deck

baseball

We are on the verge of history.  Within the next few weeks, we will witness something that has not happened in over fifty years (the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series) or something that has not happened in over 100 years (the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series).  Either way, it will be a memorable and historical World Series.  Yet, baseball is not what it was one hundred years ago of what it was even fifty years ago.   While Baseball has been called America’s pastime, it appears that baseball is past its prime.  The juggernaut known as the NFL is the king of the ratings and the dollars these days. It has been said that Baseball is too slow, its games to long, there are too many games a week and too many weeks in a season.  Football is in, have a party on Sunday and watch the game.

A number of years ago comedian George Carlin developed a routine that involved drawing comparisons between football and baseball.  Among his observations was that baseball is played on a diamond while football was played on a gridiron, in a stadium.  He noted that football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness while baseball has the sacrifice.  He noted that the objectives were different in football the object is for the quarterback to march his troops into enemy territory, using an aerial assault and ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line while in baseball the object is to arrive safely at home.  He also noted that baseball begins n the spring, the season of new life while football begins in the fall, when everything’s dying.  Mr. Carlin made an impressive argument for the superiority of football to be THE game for America. 

However, George Carlin is not the only one to write about baseball.  The late Baseball Commission A. Bartlett Giamatti also noted that baseball begins in the spring – he wrote that baseball breaks your heart by design.  “The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”  

Mr Giamatti also pondered the point at which a runner begins and ends his journey.  He wondered why wasn’t it fourth base? Why was it home?  And perhaps therein lies the real magic and meaning of the game called baseball.  Mr. Giamatti who had served as a professor of English Renaissance literature and as the President of Yale University noted that “home is an English word virtually impossible to translate into other tongues. No translation catches the associations, the mixture of memory and longing, the sense of security and autonomy, the accessibility, the aroma of inclusiveness, the freedom from wariness, that cling to the word home, that are absent from ‘house’ or even ‘my house.’ Home is a concept, not a place, a state of mind where self-definition starts; it is origins. A mix of time and place and smell and weather wherein one first realizes that one is an original — perhaps like others, especially those one loves, but discreet, distinct, not to be copied. Home is where one first learned to be separate, and it remains in the mind as the place where reunion, if it were ever to occur, would happen.”

In football a team marches down the field, as a unit, in conquest.  In baseball a batter starts a solitary journey at home and hopes that, with the aid of his teammates each facing his own obstacles alone, he will return home again and join his teammates.  This is the American dream –  not to make it all alone, but to survive in the face of individual trials and thrive with the aid of others.

Political commentator George Will is an avid baseball fan and has written a few books on baseball.  He has noted that “baseball is what we were, football is what we have become.”  This appears to be all too true.  Mr. Will has also commented that “football combines the two worst aspects of American life:  violence punctuated by committee meetings.”

One of my favorite baseball movies is “Field of Dreams.”   When I think of the essence of baseball, I think about the scene towards the end of the movie when the character Terrence Mann convinces Ray that people will come.  He says, “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steam rollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Perhaps all of us, as we get older, begin to long for yesterday when things were different and more familiar.  Lately and particularly during this 2016 political campaign, I prefer to be reminded of what was once good and could be again, I prefer what we were to what we have become.

Friday Funny September 9, 2016 Are You Ready for Some Football?

football

Happy Friday!  Summer is over, school is back in session and professional football is back for another season.  So, let’s kick off this Friday with some football jokes.

Enjoy!

Two football fans were talking as they approached the stadium before the game…

First fan:”I wish I’d brought the piano to the stadium.”

Second fan: “That’s ridiculous, why would you bring a piano to the football game?”

First fan: “Well, that is where I left the tickets.”

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Three Browns fans were talking about the sad state of their team. 

The first fan lamented… “I blame the owner; if we could sign better players, we’d be a great team.”

The second fan lamented… “I blame the players; if they made more effort, I’m sure we would score more points.”

The third fan lamented… “I blame my parents; if I had been born someplace else, I’d be rooting for a decent team.”

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The Eagles are having a meeting on the eve of a game with the Browns. The coach says, “Look guys, I know the Browns are terrible, but we have to play them or else we get in trouble with the NFL.”

The quarterback chimes in, “I’ve got an idea why don’t you guys all just sleep in, stay at the hotel and relax and let me play them on my own?  They’re such a bad team it shouldn’t be a problem.”

  “Brilliant Idea!” the coach says. “Let’s do that!”

On the day of the game, the team relaxes by the pool, and the coach decides to check the score. He turns on the television and the announcer says: “It’s the Eagles 7 and the Browns 0 at the end of the 1st quarter.”   The whole team cheers.

About 4:00 the coach decides to check the final score.  The announcer comes on again.   “I can’t believe this but the Browns scored on the final play of the fourth quarter and converted the two points to win 8 to 7!” “What in the world went wrong?!” screams the coach.

He quickly jumps into a cab to the stadium. He rushes in to find the QB sitting in the dressing room with his head in his hands.   “Well, what happened?” asks the coach.   The QB shakes his head. “I had it all under control,” he says.  “Everything was going according to plan, but then I got hurt in the second quarter and had to come out of the game….”

Thought for the Week

Speed, strength, and the inability to register pain immediately.  ~Reggie Williams, when asked his greatest strengths as a football player

http://www.quotegarden.com

 

How Many Firsts Can There Be?

gabpron-047

If you arrive early to a baseball game, you will probably see a ceremonial first pitch.  This is a longstanding ritual of baseball where a guest of honor throws a ball to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game.  The guest might be a local or national politician, a distinguished military veteran, a widely or not-so-wildly known celebrity, or someone representing the business that paid for that night’s promotional item. 

The ceremonial first pitch is, I imagine, a big thrill for the person who get to throw it and gives those in attendance something to watch for a moment while waiting for the game to begin.  I have no problem with the ceremonial first pitch, it is a nice tradition that belongs to baseball.  However, many games I have gone to do not only have a ceremonial first pitch, they have multiple ceremonial first pitches.

By definition, how can there be more than one ceremonial first pitch?  Wouldn’t that make it a ceremonial first pitch, a ceremonial second pitch, a ceremonial third pitch, etc? I imagine they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings by having them throw out a ceremonial pitch that is not “first.”

Fortunately I have a solution.  There is usually about thirty minutes or more between the time the visiting team finishes batting practice and the time the game begins.  There are usually a number of fans that have nothing to do during this time, so why not entertain the fans with some sort of competition between those who will be throwing out ceremonial pitches to determine the order that the pitches are given.  This would provide a degree of pride and meaning to the ceremonial first pitch.   There are many possibilities:  the prospective pitches could have a race around the bases to find out who is fastest.  There could be a sunflower seed spitting contest judging distance and accuracy.  Maybe a sliding contest with the fans judging style points.  Perhaps contests of who could eat the most hot dog, who could throw a bag of peanuts, who could stuff the most snow cones in their shirt, just let one’s imagination run wild.  It would fill in that time between batting practice and the start of the game and the person who threw out the first ceremonial pitch would be proud of his or her accomplishment. 

Friday Funny May 27, 2016 Sad Times in Cincinnati

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Happy Friday!  Hope you have a great weekend as we greet the unofficial start of summer.  Take some time to pause and ponder the purpose and meaning of Memorial Day.  

The baseball season is in full swing, but alas, it is not all joy in Mudville or Cincinnati.  So my advice is to find some humor in it, there is a lot of season left.

Enjoy!

One morning in elementary school, the students were going to a geography class. The teacher wanted to show the students where cities and states are.

The teacher asks the class, “Does anyone know where Los Angeles is?” Billy raises up his hand and says, “It is in California!”. The teacher replies, “Very good, Billy!, now can anyone tell me where Houston is?”

Suzy raises her hand and says, “That’s in Texas!” The teacher again says, “Very good.”

Trying to confuse the children, she now asks, “Where’s Cincinnati?” Tommy raises his hand and says, “Oh! Pick me!!!, I know?” The teacher says, “OK, Tommy where is Cincinnati?”

Tommy replies, “Last place.”

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I heard that the US Post Office was going to issue stamps with pictures of Reds relief pitchers on them, but they decided not to sell them because people could not figure out which side to spit on. 

What’s the difference between a Reds relief pitcher and a professional bowler?  A professional bowler knows how to throw a strike. 

What’s the difference between the Reds and dirt? Not much, they can both be easily swept.

The other day was take your daughter to work day. The Reds players had a great time and played a little scrimmage against their daughters, unfortunately they lost, 8-2.

What does Cincinnati Reds Manager Bryan Price have in common with Alex Trebek? Both of their jobs are in Jeopardy. 

I was going to buy my grandson a Cincinnati Reds jersey, but then a noticed the tag that warned that it was a choking hazard. 

Thinking about the Reds relief pitchers this year:

  • I doubt they could save a Word file.
  • Not sure they could hold a lead for a dog.
  • I’ve seen more heat in an EZ-bake oven.
  • I’ve seen better pitchers at a Tupperware party.
  • I’ve seen better pitchers in Kool-Aid commercials.
  • I’ve seen better arms on a box of baking soda.
  • I’ve seen better arms on the Venus de Milo.
  • They remind me of Pac-man…walka, walka, walka, walka.
  • They could not pitch biscuits to a hungry dog.

Thought for the Week

“A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown
divided into nine innings.” ~ Robert Earl Wilson

Before the Bad News Bears There Was the Shiloh Ft. McKinley McDonalds Little League Team.

MCD Baseball

In 1976, the movie, “The Bad News Bears” was released.  It was the story about an aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor league baseball player who coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.  About five years prior to that I was on a team that may not have been a bunch of misfits, and did not play ultra-competitive baseball, but I know we did not win many games.  Perhaps someone saw us play and decided to make a movie about it?

I think that I along with Eric Bissonette, John Sharp, Tom Foster, Chris Abston, Jeff Anon, Rickey Dietz, John Genovesi, and the rest knew a little about how to play baseball and Mr. Sharp, our coach, definitely knew how to play baseball.  However, as they say, our knowledge did not quite carry over into proper execution and the result was that we just did not win many games.  If my memory is correct I think we won two games while losing fourteen that year.

Still, I had the opportunity to play baseball that year and the next (I think we doubled our wins the next year and won four while losing twelve).  I learned a very valuable lesson those two years that I have used every year since then.  I learned how to lose.  Have you noticed that, in our society today, we do not talk much about losing?  Everybody loves a winner, right? Yet, that is one of the beautiful things about baseball, everybody loses and even the best team can expect to lose one-quarter to one-third of its games.  So, if you play baseball very long, you better learn how to lose.  I had the opportunity to learn a LOT those two years.

Let me make this clear, I do not like to lose, never have and never will.  But we are told from childhood that “you can’t win them all.”  So, therefore one can expect to lose at least once in a while. 

Mr. Sharp knew baseball and I do not think Mr. Sharp enjoyed losing, but it was evident that he enjoyed teaching us kids, not only about baseball but about life.  I still hate to lose, but these days I don’t sulk off on a solitary walk home to blame my Mother for  my losses.  However as a view the world around me, it appears that learning how to lose is a lesson that many folks, young and old, would benefit from learning today.

Just a few weeks ago Mr. Sharp passed away.  He touched many lives and left us all better for it.  There may not be baseball in heaven, but if there is, I have a feeling Mr. Sharp has season tickets to watch the Angels play.

Friday Funny March 4, 2016 Spring Training for Hecklers

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Happy Friday!  We have turned the calendar to March and that means that Spring is getting close.  A sure sign of hope is that baseball’s spring training is under way in Florida and Arizona.   Spring training is important for the players and fans alike.  A good fan needs to be ready for the season to begin.  I am here to help in your preparation.  This week we will begin with a repertoire to direct towards umpires and pitchers.  So just take a few minutes each morning to practice these in the mirror and you’ll be in great shape by opening day.

Enjoy!  

FOR UMPIRES 

You couldn’t call a cab!

You drop more calls than Sprint!

You Couldn’t call hogs!

You couldn’t see the plate if your dinner was on it!

You make more bad calls than a telemarketer!

Hey ump is this your cell phone?  It has three missed calls on it!

I’ve seen better calls at a square dance! 

C’mon, even Stevie Wonder could see that one!

It sure sounded like a strike!

I’ve seen potatoes with better eyes!

Lenscrafter called…they’ll be ready in 30 min.

For a guy that only works 3 hours a day, you’re doing a pretty lousy job!

You call a worse game than an NFL Ref!

FOR PITCHERS 

I’ve seen better arms on the Venus de Milo!

I’ve seen better arms on a beanbag chair!

I’ve seen a better arm on a box of baking soda!

 I’ve seen better sliders at White Castle!

I’ve seen better pitchers in Kool-Aid Commercials.

I’ve seen better pitchers at a Tupperware party!

I’ve seen more heat in an EZ-bake oven!

I’ve seen more heat in a toaster!

I’ve seen better pitching in T-ball!

I’ve seen better windups on a toy!

You couldn’t save a Word file!

You couldn’t hold a lead for your dog!

You couldn’t throw rice at a wedding!

You couldn’t pitch hot biscuits to a hungry dog!

You couldn’t find a plate in a kitchen!

Bob Dylan’s got better pitch control than you!

Save us some time and just throw the ball into the gap!

Feel free to mix in a strike every once in the while!

That ball was so far outside it had a hat and coat on!

The way that ball was dancing, you know it wasn’t Southern Baptist!

FOR SPECIFIC PLAYERS

To Jason Bourgeois –  Up with the proletariat, down with the Bourgeois!

To Dan Ugla – Your Ugla and your mother dresses you funny!

Thought for the Week

“Correct thinkers think that ‘baseball trivia’ is an oxymoron: nothing about baseball is trivial.” ~ George Will