NEW YORK, NY – As Grote2DMax pointed out yesterday, there’s plenty going on in sports these days. But today I’m going to shy away from this week’s limitless supply of popular topics – The Unbeatable Knicks, Tiger at The Masters, Anything About the Yankees – to instead focus on New York’s new Jeremy Lin and a fish tale. Let’s get to it.
Mets Buck. You had to read that twice, didn’t you? Yeah, that’s a “B” rather than the usual “S.” For those of you haven’t been following the New York Metropolitans all that closely, the stars of the team thus far in this young season are pitcher Matt Harvey and new catcher John Buck. Everyone remembers Harvey from his impressive call-up performance late last year, but Buck was just a throw-in in the R.A. Dickey-to-Toronto deal. A deal I freely admit to having trashed. Anyway, going into the season Mr. Buck was viewed as nothing more than a Crash Davis-like placeholder, a veteran presence keeping the catching position warm until hot prospect Travis d’Arnaud is ready to take it. But a funny thing happened during this first week of baseball; the guy who no one really paid any attention to is hitting the cover off the ball. Going into last night’s game, Buck had 9 hits in 24 at-bats including 3 home runs and 12 RBI (he hit another last night off an otherwise superb Cliff Lee). By comparison, in his last two seasons with the Mets, catcher Josh Thole had four home runs and 61 RBI in 661 at-bats. In short, if his season ended tomorrow (and let’s not even entertain such thoughts) Buck would have already been an upgrade over a full season of Thole. Because this probably can’t last forever, I want to celebrate this guy right now. He’s currently skyrocketing up my list of Favorite Bucks, past such names as Buck Martinez, Buck Rodgers, Pearl Buck, Buck Owens, and Buck Showalter, while falling just shy of Uncle Buck, but there’s still time. Of course, the cellar of that category will always be occupied by Joe Buck. In any event, best of luck to new Mets cult hero John Buck.
Go Fish. Apropos of nothing, my kid’s been begging to get a pet, any kind of pet, really. But I’ve been a bit standoffish. I still like the idea that we can pick up and blow town whenever we need without having to worry about securing someone to take care of a critter. But last Tuesday I relented… sorta. I took Li’l Angry to Ye Olde Local Depressing Pet Shoppe to see if we could find something a tad low maintenance. She finally settled on a small tropical fish. This all seemed simple enough until I realized that she really loved her new aquatic friend and I am now obsessed with keeping our scaly addition alive. As its consecutive-day breathing streak goes into its second week, my thoughts drift to sports teams named after sea creatures and how well they fared. Right off the bat, the Miami Dolphins won a couple of Super Bowls and the then Florida Marlins won as many World Series. Not bad. But after that it get’s a bit dicey. Tampa Bay Rays are much improved but no hardware to show for it. San Jose Sharks? Nope. NBA? Nada. Though there was that Fish that Saved Pittsburgh. Even if we count the Hartford Whalers, they didn’t win anything and are no more. Do the Pittsburgh Penguins count? I suppose there could be worse areas to go looking for a team name than the briny deep. The Minnesota Wild comes to mind… as do The Orlando Magic. Anyway, back here at home, I’m having my own little contest to see who lives longer, our fish or Fish from Barney Miller. To be honest, I’m pulling for both of them.
OK, that’s all for today. Tune in tomorrow for Cam James who, like fish and house-guests, stinks after three days.