Reports of this column’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Crawling slowly out of the abyss, it sees the end of the regular season coming ever closer. It looks up. Dedraggled, but very much alive. It raises one hand and asks, “Baseball. I am sorry I have neglected you. Truly sorry. But please help me. What fun stuff have you for me this week?” Baseball looks this column straight in the eye and carefully presents it with the following gifts. This column looks back, happy, contented, relieved and extremely grateful.
Philadelphia saw the debut of ‘Red Man’. Red Man, a fan in a red suit, took to the field, but was quickly thwarted by Atlanta Braves’ outfielder Matt Diaz. Diaz said of the incident, “I saw this idiot coming right at me, I figured he’d be better off getting tripped than Tased.” Which is probably fair enough, considering this is Philly we’re talking about. Poor Red Man. I think it is back to drawing-board for you, you little oddity.
Tampa Bay Rays’ Manager seems to be one of the most level-headed in the game. But even he makes mistakes. However, he has gone up in my estimation even more, as he actually admits to them, even when they are as embarrassing as sending in the wrong reliever. “Everything was going pretty quickly and I did not express myself properly,’’ Maddon said. “I screwed up.” Oh for such honesty amongst other sporting managers…
Flip Flop Fly Ball is always good value, and this week is no exception, as creator Craig Robinson looks at the age of the Yankees roster compared to his age, year on year. As we get older, surely one real signifier of time passing is seeing more and more sportsmen younger than yourself. And as time goes on, you realise that Major League call-up is getting less and less likely. This graphic is a great illustration of that.
Here at Out of Left Field, we do enjoy a good strange injury. While not perhaps one for the ages, Russell Branyon’s pizza parlour injury ain’t half bad: “On the off day last week, I took my family to a pizza parlor. They had plastic chairs, and after we’d eaten, my little guy had kicked one of his flip flops off. I was sitting on the edge of the chair, leaning down to pick it up, and the chair slid out from under me on the cement floor. I landed right on my tail bone.” Ouch. Not enough pizza involved though, for my liking. Russell, you must try harder, in the wacky injury stakes.
The Baseball Project are a great band who write great songs about baseball. As you’d expect. And they’ve enlisted Craig Finn of the Hold Steady to record an anthem for the Minnesota Twins. I seem to remember the Pernice Brothers doing something similar for the Red Sox a few years back. Baseball does get the coolest music. Bring on the indie rock!
Talking of the Boston Red Sox, I’m pleased they are marking Mike Lowell’s retirement in style with a Thanks, Mike Night. Something about titling it so simply and humanly really appealed to me. Well, I am a soppy old sentimental guy at heart. And Lowell was in my first ever fantasy team, so I’ll always have a soft spot. Thanks, Mike!
The Cleveland Indians will be fighting the cold climate this winter with a winter theme park money-making scheme. Who knows, perhaps they’ll prove more adept at ice-skating and snow-tubing than baseball? ZING!
And on that note, I bid you adieu, as this column slinks back into the abyss…until next time.