LOS ANGELES, CA – If your power is back on to read this, you guys made it through okay. And because you’ve been flooded with Irene news, I’ll bring you to sunny and hot Los Angeles, where it’s not a good time for facial hair, but I’m growing a playoff beard because it’s crunch time for my baseball season. I’m not sure what the appeal is with this thing, unless the idea is that any nerves are overpowered by the maddening itchiness of your face. So, indulge me as I scratch my cheeks and try to eek out some commentary on the weekend in baseball.
“I’m 41 years old and playing ball, I’m always good.” said our pitcher before the game, “I plan on playing another twenty years.”
Speaking of old guys, how good is it to be Jim Thome right now? The guy could win a straw poll anywhere in the country. Who else could leave a team for a division rival mid-playoff push, and be so loved that his old team still gives away a wind-up doll of him to the fans the next day? Tribe fans who burned his bobble head doll back in 2002 now happily cheer when he goes yard in his first game back with his old team. The guy did absolutely nothing when the Dodgers rented him a couple of years ago, but they still love him here, too.
Not so loveable, Buck Showalter was the architect of two franchises that held off on winning it all until after he left. Joe Torre was one thing, but Bob Brenley?! You might not blame him then, for being increasingly cantankerous. When he was still with the Yankees I remember him complaining about Ken Griffey Jr. taking BP with his hat on backwards….he was too young for the Mr. Wilson Act then, and it’s only gotten more curmudgeonly since. He blasted Derek Jeter for his I-got-hit act last year, as though Jeter was OJ trying to fit into those gloves. Yesterday he went out of his way to call the Yankees insensitive for wanting to keep their options open about a make-up date, even before the suggested date was turned down (it hasn’t been). Meanwhile, the Yankees have to play more games than there are days left in the season, so yes, pity them… A.J. Burnett has to pitch again. Look for the Orioles to win the World Series in a couple of years, right after old man Buck is sent back home to yell at the neighborhood kids for stepping in his zucchini patch.
From the old we go to the young, as the California kids took back the Little League World Series title from the sabers of Japan in yet another tight game. These “kids” are bigger than some of the guys on my old guy team, and they throw just as hard. It’s surprising they aren’t growing playoff beards themselves (maybe they should stop drinking organic milk). As for my beard, as sophisticated as it makes me look, it didn’t help too much for us today…but we’re still mathematically alive, so I guess it stays.
Grote2DMax, always in playoff form, tomorrow.