Blame The Hat

Hate to see pitchers show up their fielders, even on a dumb play. But even in that context, more power to John Lackey. If he’d gone over and thrown either Erick Aybar or Chone Figgins to the ground after their collective moronity in the bottom of the first in the Bronx, I wouldn’t have made a citizen’s arrest.

What Lackey might have done is to check just how thick the hood is, that Aybar is wearing under his hat and over his noggin. I’m not kidding around here; last year a college classmate of mine who happens to be the wife of the owner of the Rays gave me one of the Elmer Fudd Earflap Hats that Tampa Bay and the Phillies wore in the Series, and the first thing I noticed about them was how thoroughly they muffled sound and create an audio disconnect for the wearer. Not quite to the degree earphones or earplugs might, but significantly – and I think it’s safe to assume that the taut headgear Aybar was wearing as he stared at Figgins and they let Hideki Matsui’s pop-up drop between them had the same effect.
It isn’t just a question of volume being reduced, but of the creation of the same fishbowl sense you get when you’re really stuffed up, or if you were to climb in the old “Cone Of Silence” from Get Smart. Your head feels like it’s in a cocoon, and you thus feel very detached from what’s going on around you – and sometimes you adjust accordingly. This is not to excuse Aybar but he might have assumed he just couldn’t hear Figgins calling for the Matsui pop.
As to Figgins, I have no clue. Maybe his ears had frozen off.
Blogging time has been limited here of late but I’ll point out two truths about the Championship Series before they get too far along to make any stupid predictions worthwhile: I still don’t like the idea of starting Sabathia in Game Four (or if the weather is utterly uncooperative, maybe Game Three) but I think the Yankees are the better of these two teams. And as to the Phillies, I’ll point out here the dumbest reason of all time to pick the Dodgers.
In my lifetime, the Phillies have made the World Series on three occasions: 1980, 1993, and 2008. I, meantime, have only traveled to Philadelphia to see a Phillies game in person in three years: 1980 (as a fan, and photographer), 1993 (to do play-by-play for ESPN), and 2008 (as a fan).
I did not go to a Phillies’ home game this season. I was kinda surprised they didn’t send me a bus ticket or something.


  1. 1948braves

    Any thoughts on taking Pedro out of the game, anyone? I didn’t see the game, but looking @ his numbers just now, it looks like he pitched a fantastic game. 1-0, Phillies in the lead, when he left the game.

    It must have been a heart wrenching loss for Phillies fans.

    “I can see how Sandy Koufax won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.” – Yogi Berra


    “Citizen’s arrest”, you say? Does this mean you were at that game on a damp, chilly day, when you had a cold/flu? I know the series is exciting, but do take care of yourself, first. 🙂

    Regarding the miscommunication, perhaps players need to use hand signals in situations where it’s hard to hear a teammate’s voice?

    Loved the “Get Smart” Cone of Silence reference, BTW. That show will always be a classic.

    As for the Phillies/Dodgers series, I don’t mind if those coincidences are a dumb reason to pick the Dodgers. I’ll take anything that even remotely resembles a reason for Philadelphia losing. LOL!

    Incidentally, if they do ultimately lose this year, could you continue to avoid Phillies home games in future seasons? 😀

    On a more serious note, feel better soon!


    It’s funny how all these “fundamentally sound” teams like the Twins and the Angels suddenly get the jitters when they have to play the Yankees, the most fundamentally solid team in baseball.


    Was it A-Rod round third on that play? Maybe he pulled another one of his “Ha” moments like he did in Toronto a few years ago.
    Not only did Lackey show up Ayaba, but Scioscia gave him an earful in the dugout.


    Believe me, I love the fact you’re picking the Dodgers over the Phillies, but you seem to have forgotten 1983 (perhaps you were not actually alive in ’83, and are now a zombie?). The Orioles and a young Cal Ripken, Jr. defeated the Phils in the Fall Classic that year.


    In fact, further research has shown that the team Philadelphia defeated 3-1 in the NLCS to reach the 1983 World Series, was in fact, the Los Angeles Dodgers. So the Dodgers are trying to get payback not only for last year but for 26 years ago too!

  7. historymike

    Keith’s comments about Lackey reminded me of a story about the Yankees. David Wells was pitching when Derek Jeter, then still a youngster, made an error, and Wells glared at him and threw his hands up in the air. When the inning was over and Wells got back to the dugout, Joe Torre grabbed him, pulled him into the runway, and told him that he had never seen Jeter do that when Wells threw a bad pitch, nor had he seen opposing players do that when Jeter had gotten a big hit or made a big catch to save Wells. Wells got the message and apologized to Jeter.

    As to how and when the Phillies win, if their legendary announcing team had found out, the crew would have been Harry the K, Whitey, and KO! But as a Dodger fan, I’ll just say, thanks, Keith, for not going to a game this year. We need all the help we can get.

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