Our thoughts are with Trevor, aka Dude & Replacement Matt, who underwent surgery for a brain tumor yesterday.
PRATTSVILLE, NY – September 11th and 12th will forever mark a brace of anniversaries of the utmost importance for your humbly. The former represents a tragically sad day in USA history; one in which families were forever ravaged simply because they were going about their respective weekday morning routines. The latter represents the day (five years ago) Mrs. Short Matt officially bought-in and voluntarily decided to go on a Cyclone-esque roller-coaster ride through Mattville and beyond with me, knowing that only Sisyphus could empathize with her regarding that unrelenting challenge. So here she is, but feet away as I type away, perfectly content in the no-frills “kitchenette suite” at the Black Bear Lodge, not having any real interest in today’s topics. And that’s okay. After 5 years of “I gotta write a column because…” she’s earned the right to be indifferent. But that’s where indifference ends and fanaticism takes over. With that, today’s topics are: Covid-29 ERAs, Sasquatch Sports Stars, Lord Stanley’s Islanders
With starters and bullpens “coughing up” double-digit runs at an alarming rate, including the 18 the Mets covidly extracted from the Buffalo Blue Jays last night, one thing is for certain in this chaotically crammed #MLB season: daily double-headers & a dearth of quality arms are the death of ERAs. And much of it is because of the cause and effect of the Coronavirus. Good golly, consider some of the ugly numbers put up this week.
–League-Wide *.611 ERA for the week. That number stands for itself. Yikes.
–29 Braves touched home plate. That’s a pretty good input for a 5-game week of 9-inning games. Wait… What? That was one just one game?! Holy Hit Parade, Batman! That’s just one game! That many tomahawk chops will, ironically, hurt some arms.
–18 Runs for deGrom: You know Jacob deGrom must think he’s delirious with fever this morning. He’s got to be wondering if last night was some hallucination. “I pitched against the Blue Jays in Buffalo? We scored 18 runs? Alonso went 0-5 in that?! No worries, Shake -n- Jake. It happened. At least you’re not catching that Covid-19 ERA thingy. Your .167 ERA says your symptom-free.
Sasquatch Sports Stars
Prattsville is as rural as it gets in the Catskills. The Black Bear Lodge is on 23A, along the Schoharie Creek, which is basically a river. Hunter is only 8 miles away, so you might be inclined to think there’d be more here, but thankfully/refreshingly, there isn’t. For us Midtown Manhattanites, though, the sounds can be soothing and frightening. The roar or the Schoharie’s rapids is one of the most calming sounds you’ll ever hear BUT the Bigfoot-like howls/groans that scared us awake from a sound sleep at 3:27AM were enough to make that Sasquatch show almost believable. You know, the one with the Ben Whitney and Cam James types in the middle of Yellow Knife with their night-vision goggles and walkies, convincing each other (after a few bowls) they just heard/saw a “Squatch.” But that got me thinking. What Sports Star would I use to fool these Yeti yodelers in wee hours of the morning? Here’s two:
–Justin Turner: He’s not tall enough but he’s got the hair and flair to sucker in Ben-Cam.
–Bill Walton: The Portland version would be the best choice. Facial hair? Check. Size? Check. Gangly gait? Check.
Lord Stanley’s Islanders
I am not an Islanders fan. While my dislike for them doesn’t reach the level of contempt I have for the Stankees, it is pretty close. It’s in the category of the Cowboys and Braves. Yet, this gritty, resilient and well-coached group of hockey players is tough to wish hamstring strains upon. Last night was a perfect example. The Long Islanders had every reason to fold vs Tampa Bay after blowing a 2-goal lead. They choked twice in the previous round, and many a team would have been cooked after those collapses. But these guys didn’t. They prevailed. Last night, in a tense, must-win situation, they prevailed yet again. The Lightning, meanwhile, may regret letting the Fish Sticks off the hook. Can Lord Stanley’s Cup be theirs? Maybe. And that’s impressive. Damn you, Islanders. Hopefully, Ulf Nilsson is reading this and cursing the very mention of your names!
Come back for a man still not fully contemplating the Boston Bruins golfing some place, Cheesy Bruin.
P.s… Happy Anniversary, Baby. Love you.