Outfield Defense!

Carlos Ruiz’s sinking liner meets Brad Hawpe’s ole’ play and the Phillies extend a 1-0 lead over the Rockies in the fifth. An inning later, Carlos Gonzalez plays pin ball with his own body, and Ryan Howard’s screamer to left – and then Utley sticks Dexter Fowler against the centerfield fence like a butterfly stuck in a collection. I know the wind was in the 40’s – my home in New York was creaking the Pequod going after Moby-Dick. 

But in the post-season, the two biggest changes are: A) the evaporation of mediocre pitching, and B) if your outfield defense is mediocre, it will be writ large against the sky before the 27th out is completed.
Looking ahead: if you watch Cole Hamels pitch against the Rockies today will you, like me, be unable to get out of your head his new commercial, and that almost munchkin-like question to the fan who comes to the mound: “Who are yoooooo?”
One other note: I commend Joe Girardi for trying something to make A.J. Burnett into a winner Friday night, even if it is the silliness that is the personal catcher. It may or may not work, but it shows the kind of imagination and flexibility that are usually the only traits a skipper can bring that might really impact the outcome of a game.


  1. olympictrees@aol.com

    You have such a way with words. Earlier this evening, your sincerity and compassion had me in tears – I watched your show twice last night, and will watch it again soon. It was so good I kept two copies of it, so I wouldn’t have to worry in case I lost one of them.

    Now you have me laughing out loud with your descriptions.

    Sometimes people say “it’s just words” but words are all we have, and you use them beautifully.

    Thank you.

  2. unpaka27@yahoo.com

    I’ll get this off my chest quickly: CURSE YOU, PHILLIES! OK, I’m all right now. 🙂

    On a serious note, I saw your Special Comment. Thank you (and thank your dad) for sharing such a personal ordeal with us, to illustrate the horrors of our current medical care industry. So many people in your position would simply go through that ordeal, confident in the knowledge that you can afford the best medical care for your father, and leave it at that. It takes a truly empathetic person to see beyond his own situation, and truly grasp what other people are going through.

    Something else that really says it all are the stories we hear every so often, about former sports stars not being able to afford their own health care.

    Getting back on-topic, I’m surprised you’ve been able to blog here at all, considering how busy you’ve been, helping to take care of your father. As always, my family and I offer our continued best wishes to both of you.

  3. gutsnick

    I’ve been a faithful, every day viewer of Countdown for years. I grew up in the 1970s, yet I spent a good amount of my time listening to Bob and Ray. I’ve been a huge baseball fan since the exact moment Cleon Jones caught Davey Johnson’s fly ball and took a brief bow in 1969. All of these things have brought great joy and matchless entertainment to my life, so I feel it is only fair that I recommend something to you which might affect you in some similar way.
    If you’ve never read David James Duncan’s 1992 novel “The Brothers K,” I strongly suggest you give it a look. It’s an extraordinary, entertaining, epic story about a family that touches on politics, religion, Viet Nam and other topics. But it’s mainly about baseball. It’s a book you’ll never forget.


    Best wishes to you and your Dad and the rest of your family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s