The Giants. And welcome Paul.

Well, I guess it’s all over and settled for 2014. Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on their championship. They are a heckuva team and they have perhaps the second best ballpark in the majors. I only managed to catch one game, or most of one NY Giants pennantgame. I met Ghost at a St. Paul bar to watch the game and toss back a few tots. The bar was a serious disappointment. Bad call on my part. We went to the Bulldog. Most of the TVs had something called “hockey” on. There were 3 TVs that had the game on. None of the TVs had sound on; instead some barely audible unrecognizable music was playing, because everyone comes there for the music? And then the Trivia game started. So, yes, mistakes were made.

Fortunately it was a 10-0 game, so there wasn’t a lot of need for sound on the TV. Plus the beer was good. And I hadn’t seen Ghost for a few weeks. So it was good. We watched some baseball and caught up.

I had been rooting for the Giants all the way, but at about game six I thought, hey, Royals! No one was expecting this! And they weren’t the Red Sox or the Yankees! Go Royals! But in game 7 I was going for the Giants, I’ve always liked the Giants, since Willie Mays and Willie McCovey and Chris Speier and Juan Marichal and… Bobby Thompson? Almost. So I’m happy with the series. Seven games. Giants win. No Red Sox nation. No Yankees. All is good.

And then there’s the Twins, who limped their way to another totally forgettable season. Ron Gardenhire gone, the Twins searched high and low for a new manager. No stone unturned. They looked everywhere. They talked to everybody. They talked to managers of cricket clubs in the UK and India. They googled “Good Young Baseball Managers +Winner.” They used Bing. They LinkedIn. They networked, asking other owners, hey, you know any good managers looking for work? They put ads on Craigslist. They ran a Kickstarter campaign: Help Us Find a Manager for Our Small Market Team.

No Stone UnTurned.

Everywhere.

And, of course, there he was, hiding in plain sight.

Hey! Hey! What about Paul Molitor?Paul-Molitor coach b

Yeah! Molitor! Why didn’t I think of that? Call him up!

Twins manager? I have no opinion. Molitor will be fine, if the Twins get better pitching. And I believe the Twins will get better pitching.

(There is no basis in reality for that belief. It’s rather like religion.)

The Twins will get better pitching in 2015, and some of their vaunted, near legendary, prospects will show up in the majors next season.

This I Believe.

Good luck Paul!

 

10-10-64

Jim Bouton battles Curt Simmons in the Series.

bouton - first pitch game 3 - 1964 world series b

The game goes 1-1 through 8 innings, and then Mickey Mantle homers in the bottom of the 9th, and the Yankees win, 2-1.

Which just reminds me that, back in the old days, we’d be seeing an Angels-Nationals Series. Those were the clubs that came through the “pre-season” with the best records, the Angels, 98-64, the Nationals 96-66. Sure the playoffs have some exciting ball, how could you not love that? But a part of me that thinks the old way was better, you play the whole season to find out who’s the best in each league, and then the best two teams play for the championship. Case closed.

Well, we won’t see that again. It will probably go the other direction, another level of playoffs.

Anyway, good game, bulldog.

The End of the Gardy Era

Well, the Twins fired Ron Gardenhire today, after 13 year of good and diligent service. It kind of brings me down.

Gardy caught a lot of flack, but I always liked him. He always seemed to be a straight-talking kind of guy, who had a good perspective on the game. And I appreciated his perspective. Even today, from what I heard on the radio, it was rather a mutual “parting of ways,” and I heard Gardy say that it was time for these players to hear somebody else. Probably, after four bad years, Gardy saw this coming; I don’t think you can say that he played a major role in the four bad years, not with the players he had to work with. But he was a part of the mess, and part of the manager’s job is to get fired.

Todd Tichenor, Ron Gardenhire

That, and to get tossed out of games every once in a while.

Good job, Gardy. I will miss you next season, and I hope you find another job managing. Your a guy that respects the game, and you deserve a good team and a world series.

out in left field there can be too much time to think

left fielder b gs b fr - mtpmcg714 sm - 5460It gets quiet out in left field, sometimes. Perhaps a bit lonely, even with all those people. You’re out their by yourself. Another inning, another patch of grass, another pitch in an endless series of innings, grassy patches, pitches. What’s been gained, over all those innings? What’s it all mean?

What’s it all for?