Time Travel – Not Really
That’s the thing about, time. There is no going back. Maybe thats why we are fascinated with the age old speculation of what life would be like if we had the ability to travel back and forth in time at will. I’m pretty sure that things would not be the same.
Time On Your Side
The passage of time though, allows us to look back at what was seen and unseen, told and untold, and heard and unheard with the perspective of hindsight. Now of course looking back six months is going to give us a different frame of reference from what we might see six or sixty years further out.
Lots Of Events
More events take place and are known about every year than the year before. There are more people, communication is instantaneous, if not substantive, and a guy can be in his parents penthouse, speaking via webcam to a guy in his parents’ basement 5,000 miles away at little to no cost. There’s a lot of damn foolishness and jack-assery in the public view as a result. And rather than bringing clarity, it oftentimes confuses, diffuses, and distorts. A lot of it is trite, petty, has no redeeming social value, and appeals to the lowest common denominator.
Brilliance and Conscientiousness Occasionally
Should we be concerned; maybe. Alarmed; not really. I think thats just normal human behavior, and we’ve made it this far, and there are more of us now than at any time in our evolution. The flip side of all of this is that along with millions of foolish and random thoughts circling the globe, there are thousands of conscientious, thoughtful men and women on the web sharing their talents and gifts in real-time. I would like to think I fit somewhere in between occasionally. Thats for the folks who take the time to spend it reading what I have to say.
Its customary for people who write walls and walls of text to put together some sort of a year-end ribbon on their intellectual gifts to humanity, such as they are. And I’ll guess I’ll allow myself the dubious pleasure of doing the same thing. Like you and everybody else, I just want to be heard even if its only for a few seconds. If even one person is encouraged to open their mind, change their mind, or reinforce an existing set of principals and values, then I can believe that I have made some sort of contribution to the public discourse, no matter how small.
I wonder what Joe DiMaggio would have thought about all of this. Probably nothing. There was no internet.
The Game Begins Again
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. 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. And so goes the opening lines of Paul Giamatti’s father’s, epic essay; "The Green Fields of The Mind". And for 52 years the San Francisco Giants broke a lot of hearts.
For Remember – Saving Darwin
The film is 3 minutes long. It starts by asking a question that seems to get asked whenever life seems to be all too much. What do people live for? "For Missing Someone?" "For Keep Living?" "For Live Longer?" -"Or For Leaving?" Jim Morehead, that young gent standing in front of his P-40 - "L’Ace"" (a plane the Secretary of War referred to as a piece of junk) in the Southwestern Pacific in 1942 was 24 years old when this picture was taken. He is an extraordinary man, though he won’t say that.
A Kids Game
When I was kid growing up in San Francisco, amongst other things, E the Elder, had a collection of ink drawings he drew to chronicle his experience as a bomber pilot during the second world war. His drawings were different than the typical diary or memoir in that they were funny drawings about an unfunny time. And if you knew him, you would understand why. But like the personal mementos of many others from that time, his drawings were lost.
Bill James – Being Smarter
I don’t like spending too much time with people who are far smarter than me. I don’t mean just a little bit smarter Or a moderate amount. I mean way far more much much smarter. I mean by tons, miles, acres, blocks and any way you choose to measure. Why? For the same reason I don’t like stuffed grouse, frog legs, or birds nest soup. I don’t have to have a reason. I can have a porterhouse steak and a bowl of chili instead. Its personal. Not business.
Mays – May 6, 1931.
Today 80 years ago, Willie Mays was born. Fifty-three years ago today, I was sulking after watching the Giants lose to the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-10 along with 5505 other people including my dad the day before at Seals Stadium.
Out Of The Ashes – NCAA Version
Maybe it was the pre-season coaches poll where they were picked to finish fifth in their own conference after a losing 2010 season in which the end could not come soon enough. Or maybe it was losing three games in one day to a perennial bottom-feeder that had hired away a couple of long time assistant coaches.
Giant Fans – Fortunate Children
One of MLBs 6-8 centerpiece franchises the Los Angeles Dodgers turns out to be a Delaware Corporation. Not bad. Just strange. Which is what the Dodgers have become ever since Frank and Jamie McCourt rode into town in a highly leveraged limousine.
Enough Of The Bullying
Update June 24, 2011: The federal government since Bonds was indicted has us in three wars in countries most Americans can’t find on a map. Judges in California are mandating early release of prisoners due to "over-crowding". Law Enforcement is in the process of kicking gangbangers under GPS surveillance loose due to "budget" issues. Yet the multi-million dollar, human resource-intensive prosecution of Barry Bonds continues as John Perricone points out.
Ryan Vogelsong – Lazarus Man
This is Ryan Vogelsong’s rookie card. He was 22 years old. This is his 12th season since his debut with the Giants. It is his first All-Star team. He has put together a remarkable first half of the season, by anybody’s standards. There is nothing in his career to indicate anything like this.
Why No Negro League Uniforms In Kansas City Affects Us All.
But you think that getting humiliated in print once would be enough. Apparently not. Joe Posnanski writes here about it in a post entitled "Blunder From the Past" and it begs the question on why stuff like this happens. And I have my own ideas on why idiocy reigns supreme at times like this. Because Bud Selig allows it.
Celebrating Bud, Derek, And Fox Sports – Well, Maybe Not.
Baseball news centers around the All Star Game this time every year, and every year there is some trivial or not-so-trivial event or non-event that becomes the center of media attention. This year it was Derek Jeter and "will he or won’t he show up for the All Star Game" in view of his 3000-hit milestone. To be honest, I’m glad he wasn’t around. Fox Sports is insufferable, even when there really is something newsworthy. Like Bud Selig canceling the ’94 World Series.
Barry Zito – Circa 2011
Update: July 17 As my good friend and high-tech consigliare texted me at about 7:30 last night – "The Barry we all know and love is back!" We were in the middle of dinner and Saturday night is Lady E’s night (well every night actually) to play program director on the new 100,000:1 Contrast Ratio, Star Trek-Millennium Falcon, Flat Screen, so we were not witness to Zito’s PETCO carpet bombing. Mychael Urban said it was the bad location of the fastball, not anything else.
Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose
I must be losing it; scribbling about a television series that I haven’t watched with any regularity since the first season, some five years ago. I wasn’t quite sure what the fascination was. Just like millions of others my age, I’d been to high school, played some ball, goofed off, chased girls, and graduated about the time Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys were releasing their third album. Nothing special about that.
My thoughts. The game has reverted back to the young man’s game in toto it seems. Whereas six years ago, (an MLB generation) in 2005, guys in their mid to late 30s could still pound the ball like Rocky Balboa on a side of beef, changes in strike zones, the ball, and dope testing seem to have turned back these older guys like Huff, Rowand, Zito, Tejada, Cabrera, Burrell and even Torres.
The average baseball career is 6 years; a generation if you will. 2011 marks the end of the generation from 2006 to 2011. Those 24 players were all signed as free agents or traded for by the Giants to be starters and impact players starting in 2005. Each of them was paid $ Millions to do so. Other than Bonds, can you find a player there who was not over-the-hill and/or beat-up when the Giants signed/re-signed them? And I’m not even including the mystery signings of "Marquee Pitchers" Barry Zito, Matt Morris, Brett Tomko, and Armando Benitez
Where Have You Gone Joe?
I wrote this up last year and never really proof-read it. Its been updated, but is basically the same. This was the first post about how Joe came about.
The Ugliness That Is Budness
That’s Jose Reyes. He’s the Mets shortstop. On top of his head is a special hat that the New York Mets had made up to honor their friends and neighbors who died a long stones-throw from their new stadium, exactly 10 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.
Home At Last - For The Last Time This Year
In about 3 hours, the best story of many years will be in the books. Ryan Vogelsong will have pitched his last game of the 2011 season. As an All-Star. As one of the ones that kept hopes alive during the dread days of the seasons back half.
Curt Flood - His Number Deserves To Be Retired
Steve Berthiaume posted a picture from inside the new Busch Stadium last night. Displayed jerseys of players whose numbers have been retired by the St. Louis Cardinals. Red Schoendiest, Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Bruce Sutter, Lou Brock, Gussie Busch. And no Curt Flood. I started grinding on this again, so I just needed to get this off my chest because of the unfairness of it all. I don’t even know if what follows makes any sense, really.
Mischief, Mayhem, Murder – PSU Football
For those of you who think the Penn State/Child Rape scandal is a recent development brought about by Jo Pa’s encroaching age and isolation from reality lets take a look back to see if that computes with the past. For instance this Sports Illustrated piece from 30 years ago, Paterno’s 14th as Head Coach. In the Summer of 1979 former player Todd Hedne was arrested on a series of rape charges. Good kid gone bad? Nine years later Todd Hedne was convicted on two counts of murder. He is currently serving two life sentences in New York State and was denied parole in 2009.
Steve Palermo vs Joe Paterno – The Difference
"Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer." Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, April 18, 1942. His words the day he gave America heart by leading a doomed and desperate mission of B25s against Tokyo. Jimmy Doolittle was a genuine hero in World War II. Last summer Joe Posnanski talked abut his memories while he was in Kansas City. One of them was about another hero, Steve Palermo, though he is not yet in American History books. I am going to reprint Joe Posnanski’s little story here, because it is poignant and appropriate.
Emperor Norton Sabean – Previously Owned Centerfielders
This is a Brian Sabean Analytical Calculator. If you think it resembles a 1980s era artifact sold in novelty shops under the aegis of "Bullshit Grinder" you would not be wrong. For those of us who pay attention to such things and are contrarian in nature, especially when digesting the pieties of the one-percenters who run professional baseball teams, we have a tendency to engage in the making of presto logs from man-cave furniture.
San Francisco Baseball Associates
A little while ago, (Nov 16 to be exact) I scribbled a little something about our guy, Brian and his predilection for trying to corner the global market on centerfielders. Like most of my stuff, its different and more amateurish than what you’re used to reading from the usual suspects who cover the Giants for a paycheck.
December Football – It Matters Again.
BMW – Before Montana & Walsh Years ago, the 49ers were the personal speed bags of the Los Angeles Rams. They played in Kezar in those days. Right outside the stadium off Stanyan Street was Park Police Station. And the emergency hospital. Both were put under extreme duress on those Sundays when busloads of drunken Ram fans would fill the West End zone