June 19th, 2013

Today's slate.

The Big Hurst - Chris Sale

skoormit - Kris Medlen

La Osa Rosa - Madison Bumgarner

skoormit: Score one last night for announcers calling it as they see it.
(pitcher entering windup)
COLOR GUY: "...if he hangs one up on the inside part--"
(at same time, pitcher hangs one up on the inside part. batter hits it a long way.)
PLAY BY PLAY GUY: "Goldy drives it to center field...that's a home run!"
La Osa Rosa: We could all pick different Chris’s today! Chris Tillman, Chris Capuano, Chris Sale. Kris Medlen counts too, I think. But actually, I think I’m going to pick Madison Bumgarner. I can’t believe that I’m doing this well at this game! Forget all your fancy statistic-y math charts to determine who’s best. You guys should be picking based on interesting names and cute faces!
The Big Hurst:  That clip of the announcers getting it right is great.  Thanks!  "Pitchers make mistakes."  I had the opposite eye-roll of an experience with the WFAN announcers yesterday during the Mets game and Harvey's near-gem.  As soon as there was the "flip to nobody", one announcer started a little speech about completely deferring to the official scorer and how nobody should question the decision to award a hit on the play.  Yeah, don't question authority.  Obey.  Submit.  More horrible life-lessons from the sports establishment.  Meanwhile, OMG, OH MY GOD, I'm going to pick ChRiS SaLe because he's a "Chris" and wouldn't it be, like, awesome, if we all picked Chris's today?  And he's tall.  And cute.  And is a bit Randy Johnson.  Randy Johnson.  Heeheehee.  Ermahgerd I love this game so much it's so fun you guys.  ("No, that is not belief.  That is desperation.")
The Big Hurst: I'm listening to Charley Steiner call the Dodgers/Yankees interleague game on KLAC.  I'm a Vin Scully fan and I'm a Charley Steiner fan.  I think they said it's the first time these two teams have played since 1981.  Steiner also brought up an interesting point, that he's got a long-held theory that Mickey Mantle was the first big made-for-television baseball star.  The context of this observation was a good bit of fawning between the broadcasters about how awe-inspiring and amazing it is being at the Yankee stadium.  And some big-eyed, obligatory yarning about how the Yankees occupy some sort of special place in baseball.  I disagree.  And I'd hypothesize that there's a very wide and significant generational gap on this issue.  Steiner was born in 1949 and I'd say that's pretty typical of the BBWAA and other mainstream baseball media and establishment figures.  Mickey Mantle's prime years were something like 1952-64 - right in Steiner's formative years.  During this broadcast, Steiner observed that baseball media coverage back then was wildly different and people only had access to certain games.  But probably more Yankee games than any other team, because Mantle's Yankees were in the World Series just about every year.  So I'm just figuring out that there's an entire generation of baby boomer-ish baseball writers - currently monopolizing the field - who were raised on a kind of Disney princess view about the magic of Yankee pinstripes.  For contrast, I was born in 1976 and grew up in baseball-bereft Alabama.  My early baseball education came from (1) rebellion against our local, casual, and fairweather Atlanta Braves fans, (2) the good ol' days of Sportscenter highlights from around the whole league, and (3) getting pulled into fantasy baseball.  As a result, I have very little loyalty to any particular team or to baseball's tradition of tradition.  I have to say, listening to old men gush about the damn Yankees makes me dislike these things even more.  I'd like to add some counterpoint to this discussion and suggest that this attitude about Yankee magic touches on almost everything that I find objectionable and wrong with baseball.  It's outdated and genuinely offensive.  I reject any premise that the Yankees are special.  It feels almost shocking and iconoclastic to suggest that New York City isn't special either.  I'm tired of this presumption of entitlement.  When these guys talk like this, I feel excluded, and I can't identify with them.  My hunch is that most people my age and younger share this view.  Just like in the non-baseball world, when this older generation starts to ebb out, and the next generation starts to flow in, I think the resulting tide of change may be swift, dynamic, and powerful.


The Big Hurst: Apparently, (from YCPB) Medlen stole a base yesterday.  Which is pretty cool.  How many pitcher stolen bases are there in a season?
La Osa Rosa: You know, stealing bases doesn't get you points.


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