CHICAGO, IL – Bend over, here it comes again. This past week West Coast Craig and Lori Levine mentioned the spat between Viacom and DirecTv, which until Friday resulted in a blackout of a bunch of channels. As the dust clears after this dispute, I don’t really care to know about the details. Courtesy of Viacom, every other Joe Sixpack and I will be assuming the position somewhere down the line for the obligatory price hike. Indeed, it was A Week Of Cheese: with Cable Companies, Josh Thole, Vin Scully & The Hanson Brothers all on my radar…
DirecTv throws its customers a bone every year with a free week preview promoting the half season price on MLB’s Extra Innings. Taking advantage of some late night West Coast baseball action made me jealous of Californians for once and it had zero to do with seeing the game. Switching back and forth between Padres and Dodgers telecasts meant listening to versatile, old time professionals Dick Enberg and Vin Scully calling the play-by-play of NL West division foes. Enberg shared the booth with two lesser-knowns, making the choice of Scully a correct decision. A one-man telecast can only be done by a man with no equal like the Washington Heights-born and Bronx-raised Scully. Every sentence is a picture of on-field action and filler is informative and unbiased. Since JoePa stained his reputation in the Sandusky scandal, the only idyllic sports individual I can think of off the top of my head is Vin Scully.
A member of hockey’s first family joined the Bruins organization. My beloved Boston Bruins signed a 6’4”, 230 pound center iceman from Pennsylvania who at his size fits the role of “putting on the foil”, if not by birth. I’m not talking about another Sutter breaking an NHL roster. The name is Christian Hanson. Yep, son of former WHA and NHL player, Dave—more famed as one-third of The Hanson Brothers who need no background information on MTM. Old Tyme hockey indeed and I’ll be updating the kid’s progress from time to time.
What’s in a name? In less than a one-week span Josh Thole has proven, in two one-run games, adept at putting the ole in his surname. Not a great Spanish matador but the New York Mets starting catcher is in need of a lesson in blocking the dish. As a former catcher I know a thing or twelve about the position. The plate is a catcher’s property and easier to protect by making matters personal as runners head down the third base line; you have to nullify them by being a human blockade. Instead of awaiting throws on the foul territory side of the baseline, positioning on the infield’s grass lip and further up the line allow a better chance of cutting the runner down. Against the Braves, Thole attempted an unsuccessful slap tag because of poor positioning and Friday night by just not wanting to sacrifice his body as another runner scored. In one-run games these small things add up to big losses when contending for that second wild card spot.
West Coast Craig, tomorrow.