Monthly Archives: June 2016

Eye on the ball: Kershaw’s back

What was my comment weeks ago?

That Koufax threw with his back, that he flexed it more than just about anyone else ever in the game’s history…. And that Kershaw throws exactly like Koufax did.

Kershaw’s got a disc that’s barking at him.

Clayton Kershaw will go on the disabled list with a back injury


In which my instinct was right: minor league pay and dumb (D) rep Bustos

Explicitly exempting minor league ballplayers from minimum wage and timecard rules is not harmonious with being a Democrat.

I don’t know how it is a Democrat gets (initially) tripped up over this and takes the side of management over labor.

Outrage du jour: Loretta Lynch should be fired, and would be….

…were Democrats not bestowed with this presumption of good intentions that rationalizes their  corruption.

Understand… WJC and Lynch may very well have talked nothing but grandchildren….  But WJC has no interest in Lynch beyond the email investigation, right, as she’s ostensibly not sleeping with him or making 6 figure donations to the Clinton foundation.  So WJC has no reason to meet her besides the email investigation.  Such that he does, yeah sure, they can talk cordially about grandchildren, but its still really all about WJC demonstrating his omnipresence to Lynch.

Professional judgment would dictate not taking the meeting.  And ya know, they probably did talk about the investigation, let’s not be childish / obtuse here.

This is a legit complaint for Republicans, a proper outcome would be that got fired, and this is irrespective to the merits of the underlying email investigation.

There’s a real mystery here….

On how they got a Democrat to sponsor this bill, which is to exempt minor leaguers from minimum wage protections.  The Democrat sponsor is Cheri Bustos of Illinois.

I mean, Democrats aren’t supposed to be for exploitation of the worker…. Which is what the minor league pay scale is.  $1200 a month for 5 months of work… that’s exploitation.  The teams can afford to pay more, and ought to obligated to as a function of the hours these guys put in.

Word police:  “loop hole”  Bustos, the Illinois Democrat, has a douche-speak statement that characterizes the minor leaguers pay demands as a function of a ‘loophole’ that can be closed.

Uh, that’s not a loophole.  Woman must be stupid, profoundly.

This talk of Brexit is making me get my English on

I’m vaguely English.  My Great Grandfather was born in 1900 or so, he was from Bournemouth.  His family ran a brickyard, so it was not an abject Dickensian life with them working their own concern.  But he did not get along with his father, so he swapped for a kid’s papers to America, this other kid going because he was an orphan or disadvantaged or something.  So my g-grandfather left on this White Star lines ticket… no older than 13… that was kind of Dickensian.  Came to St. Paul, worked on I think the NP, or one of the Hill railroads anyway, which is the explanation for so many of my forebears being in these parts. Married into the German-Irish in St. Paul as a young man.  Died in 1989, well into my life.  Kind of a tuffy fella I’m to understand, but he was sweet to the grandkids and great-grandkids.  His working class English accent was so thick as to be nearly incomprehensible, might as well have been Chinese.

Anyway, everyone chooses an English soccer team to be a fan of right.  I’ll take AFC Bournemouth.  The hard part will I think be finding a stream cast to watch them play on.

Zoned out

It used to be that a significant portion of American men carried the latent psychological trauma of a specific little league baseball experience, that of being the kid on the team who struck out all the time.

I incurred that, I probably struck out 95% of my plate appearances between 8th and 10th grade.  Being ‘that’ player can either make you hate the game or it can cultivate a certain obstinacy.

I didn’t play 11th or 12th grade ball in HS.  I don’t know that I would have got cut trying out, but I didn’t want to be ‘that’ player, so I didn’t go out.

Still, about that time as a teenager I started taking a couple thousand swings a summer just playing street ball.  I had something of a hitting game by the time I was 20.  When I was a useful outfielder in amateur ball in the 1990’s, I’d have seasons where I struck out say twice in 60-70 plate appearances.

Such that I had a mastery of something…it was kind of a short, low power stroke where you don’t lift your front leg and then plant it as a part of timing… just see ball and put the bat on it.  I hit lots of flares over the infield this way, that was my thing.

Fast forward…. I go into old guy ball this summer having not played in 5 years.  I got all these articulated wisdoms collected in my head about the swing, cuz ESPN and internet.  I think I am going to have this nice rhythmic leg lift and plant, and it’s going to work cuz timing…. Then when games come, I’m completely helpless.  Went 0/16 to start with 8 strikeouts in 4 games.  Two weekends ago this guy struck me out 4 times, and I had hit a home run off him in 2003.  He ain’t throwing harder now…  I’m missing pitches down the middle where I absolutely think I’ve got them and then they go into the catcher’s mitt.

Went to the cage during the week.  Not that I was looking for the ‘old’ swing, because I hadn’t really reflected on what the old swing was.  But you go in there on the ‘fast’ machine at 45 or 50 ft or whatever it is, you got to get short to the ball.  I got short and went ‘Hey!  That’s what that was like…’

Anyway, this game yesterday….  1st AB, went to a 3-2 count and I hit a fastball that dribbled to third, 5-3 play, easy infield out.

2nd AB….  This guy’s game was a fastball slider combo, and he rilly rilly was in love with his slider.  Pitcher’s count, it was going to be a slider.  I had fouled an FB straight back and took one called, we were at 2-2.  This next pitch was as I say, destined to be a little nickel slider, and I’d like to say that piece of foresight was useful to me.  But thing is not trying to do that elaborate step and rotate, the door of the subconscious was open.  Zoned out, had some guitar riff in my head, and just put the barrel of the bat on baseball without conscious thought even as it had a little ripple on it.  Flare… soft liner into shallow center field.

Boy, that’s a trip when you zone out.  I had said, I wanted to play old guy ball if all it meant was I got a vigorous throwing session once a week.  I hadn’t occurred to me the door to the zone would still be open.