If you get the chance, you should stop in and check out the new header. It’s nothing super fancy, but I created it myself, and it’s not too shabby.
I think about the cosmic snowball theory. A few million years from now the sun will burn out and lose its gravitational pull. The earth will turn into a giant snowball and be hurled through space. When that happens it won’t matter if I get this guy out.
Leave it to Calvin to skip the sugarcoating.
Because where would a lot of our favorite ballplayers be today without their moms?
I think I was in high school the first time I read Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (I’ve been reading Stephen King since I was fourteen — don’t judge). So this recent foray through the book was actually a re-read. I am always astonished at the details I had forgotten about whenever I read a book for the second (or third… or fourth…) time. In this case, I was pleased to discover that this book is even better than I remembered it.
The novel tells of the adventures of Trisha McFarland, who gets lost in the New England woods after leaving the path while hiking with her mother and brother. All she really wanted was a bit of respite from her family’s squabbling, but instead finds herself unable to find her way back to the path and travels deeper and deeper into the woods. With her, all she has are a bottle of water, two Twinkies, a hard-boiled egg, a tuna sandwich, a bottle of Surge (can we make Surge mainstream again?), a poncho, a Game Boy, and a Walkman.
Trisha is a huge Boston Red Sox fan, and she is especially a fan of pitcher Tom Gordon, who was the Sox’s closer at the time the novel was written. Each night, as she journeys through the woods, she places the ear buds of her Walkman in her ears and listens to Red Sox games. During the day, she attempts to ration her meager supplies, and once they run out, she survives on berries and creek water.
Eventually, however, the stress of her situation causes Trisha to start hallucinating. Among her hallucinations, she imagines Tom Gordon is traveling with her, and they have conversations along the way about the secrets of closing. Her baseball knowledge is quite impressive for a nine-year-old girl, and the advice that her hallucinatory Gordon gives her helps Trisha to survive her ordeal.
I won’t go into detail on how the book ends, though I will say that this novel serves as another depiction of how much of a baseball fan Stephen King really is. Oh yes, there is also a bear involved, but I won’t give away anything beyond that. You’ll just have to read the book yourself — I promise it’s worth it.
Sure I played, did you think I was born at the age of 70 sitting in a dugout trying to manage guys like you?
~Casey Stengel, talking to Mickey Mantle
Here’s a graphic that takes a crack at ranking the fans of the various MLB fans. I suppose it’s not a surprise to see the fans of teams like the Red Sox and the Cubs on this list — for the most part, the list seems largely accurate. I do wonder, however, about the inclusion of ranking Dining Out and Entertainment. Sure, they’re related to baseball in some ways, but there are so many ways to dine out besides grabbing a dog at the ballpark. Perhaps the idea is to show that some fans have other priorities besides spending money on their teams.
I’m not sure where this poem originated, but I really like it. Even as I grew up, there always seemed to be a parent at every level of play who was just determined to take the fun out of the game. It makes me wonder how many potential Major Leaguers gave up the game early due to incidents like this.
He stands at the plate
with his heart beating fast.
The bases are loaded
the dye has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him
he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment
would bring the boys home.
The ball nears the plate
he swings hard but misses.
There’s a groan from the crowd,
with some boo’s and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries out,
“Strike out the bum!”
Tears fill the boy’s eyes,
the game’s no longer fun.
Parents and spectators
with faces of stone;
Remember, he’s just a boy
who’s standing alone.
Please open your heart
and give him a break.
For it’s moments like this,
a great man you can make.
So keep this in mind,
if you hear someone forget.
He’s just a small boy
and not a man yet.
Pitchers, like poets, are born not made.