Baseball, bands and a lot of other fun stuff
Not so much but I figure after Billy and David meet today we might have something to chat about tomorrow.
Hey, looks like we might have some pennant races – well, wild card races and I guess that’s the same – and that has to make the final few days of the baseball season a little worthwhile.
You’ve got the Rays and Angels just two and a half back of the Red Sox and I can just imagine the angst around Boston these days.
There is nothing – nothing – like the emotion of Red Sox fans, who have been bitterly disappointed before and they’ll be walking the banks of the Charles like zombies if this team blows this one.
Having at one time been one of them – I still remember George Scott striking out nearly every at-bat one September and could not look the man in the eye if I saw him today – I can only assure you there will be gnashing of teeth like you never saw.
And the fact they play the Yankees this weekend?
Here’s the thing, though.
What do the Yankees do? Rest guys? Alter the rotation so they’re ready for the playoffs next weekend?
New York finishes, if I’m not mistaken, with Boston and then Tampa Bay and can have a huge impact on what happens in that race.
If I’m them, and I respect the game, I have to use all my regulars on their regular days. That means if guys like Jeter and Rodriguez and Cano and Granderson would normally only have one day off each in a six-day span, that’s what they have to get between now and next Wednesday when the season’s over.
The pitching rotation has to remain the same – although the back end of the Yankee staff is in such shambles that probably doesn’t matter – and Girardi has to use his bullpen like he’d use it in June or July or August.
I think it was Cito Gaston one time who told us – with the Jays out of a race but playing contenders – that the thing to do to treat the game and the race and your opponent with respect is to use your regular lineup in games against teams with something to play for and experiment with kids in games that really don’t matter.
It’s why John Farrell has to keep running out Bautista and Lind, Encarnacion and Thames and the usual suspects today and through the weekend in Tampa and let kids like Loewen and Cooper and whoever get at-bats and playing time next week in Chicago.
Action: REM calls it quits.
Reaction: Any band that can write lyrics for a single song that includes references to Andy Kaufmann, Freddy Blassie, Mott The Hoople and Elvis is all right with me.
And it involves REM.
One of the cooler things we can sometimes do in our interminable, daily wait on the concourse of the Air Canada Centre while practice drones on is catch a sound check or a warm up for whatever band is playing that night.
Doesn’t happen very often – usually we just stand in the corridor looking over the seating arrangements for that night – but I do remember catching an REM sound check with the band one day that was outstanding.
Second best, or probably tied for first?
Andrea Bocelli, who was doing music for some figure skating show or something.
Action: Leaves cut 23 players.
Reaction: How utterly stupid is pucks training camp.
Why bring ‘em in. Wastes their time, your time, everyone’s time. You want to have a look at them? Run some other camp for minor league lifers or juniors or whatever.
You can’t tell me – well, you can tell me, but I won’t believe it – that anyone gained anything from a camp that began with 70-something players and then was whittle down by 23 inside of a week.
It’s why I think training camps are generally a waste; I know you need bodies but that’s crazily excessive. If the HOTH bring in 18 or 19, that’s about three too many; 70 strikes me as silly.
Oh yeah, one other Celeb Shows At The ACC thing:
Never are we bothered, really, by them setting up or getting ready for one show.
And there’ve been lots.
The most inconvenient thing we’ve had to do came one morning when we showed up about 11 for practice and had to pass through a metal detector at the security desk.
Now, this was at least eight hours before the show and it struck us as rather odd that the promoters would insist on this intrusion.
After all, we figured if they were doing that, there’d be Grunt Sniffing Dogs all over the place and we’d never be able to stow away or stash any explosives or anything untoward.
Man, sucks about Brett Lawrie, aka Hobbs, doesn’t it?
Busts up a finger taking early ground balls and is done for the season?
Not sure there’s been an athlete to take Toronto fans by storm like he did since that Carter fellow a decade ago.
Hobbs plays hard, he plays well, he’s tough and treats the game the same every day.
It’s really too bad the fans didn’t have a chance to really say goodbye. I presume he’ll duck his head out of the dugout after tonight’s game and give a little wave – I presume the 12,000 or so fans who’ll be there will demand it – but still seems like a disappointing send off.
This has been a pretty crazy summer for me in a lot of ways; the highlight was the grand slam he hit that night.
You folks didn’t do too well yesterday, I expect better today.