In the poem, The Night Before Christmas, the narrator intends to take a long winter’s nap but those plans went far astray with the arrival of Saint Nicholas. I sort of had that happen to me last night. I sat down in front of my TV with a nice glass of red wine to watch Game One of the World Series. I anticipated watching a nail-biting pitchers’ duel where any misplaced pitch in the strike zone might have decided the outcome. Those plans went far astray when Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum were both jerked around like a joystick on a Pac Man game. In addition, the combined total of 6 errors made by both teams did not help achieve my anticipated observation of a pitchers’ duel. The combined line score for the game:
19 runs – - 25 hits – - 6 errors – - 5 walks
I think it is interesting that the Texas Rangers basically clubbed their way to the World Series. In beating the Yankees for example, the Rangers were hardly subtle; it was not unusual for them to have 6 or more runs across the plate in a game. The reason that is interesting to me is that back in the Spring, some folks were worried that the Rangers had lost their highly regarded hitting coach, Rudy Jaramillo. The Chicago Cubs made him an economic offer he could not refuse and one that the Rangers were in no position to match under previous ownership, so Jaramillo packed his bags and took his talents to Wrigley Field – - where something strange happened.
The Cubs’ hitters really did not get any better this year than they were last year. The Cubs struggled to score runs just about all season long. Meanwhile back on the ranch in Texas, the Rangers scored more runs in 2010 than they did in 2009 and they entered the World Series comfortably ensconced as the highest scoring team in the post-season.
A cynic might say this indicates that the value of hitting coaches at the major-league level is over-stated in most cases. However, Cubs’ fans know what this really indicates:
It is yet another manifestation of the Curse o’the Cubs.
According to an AP story earlier this week, lawyers for Rae Carruth are about to go to a Federal Appeals Court seeking to overturn his conviction for conspiring to kill his pregnant girlfriend, Cherika Adams more than 10 years ago. According to this report, Carruth’s lawyers contend that various statements made by Ms. Adams to paramedics and other medical personnel as they worked to save her baby (the baby survived) and Ms. Adams life (she did not) ought not to have been used at trial because the defense had no opportunity to cross examine Ms. Adams on those statements.
I am not a lawyer, but if the Federal Appeals judges buy that argument, I hope all of them get a raging case of rectal poison ivy that lasts about 6 months. The reason she was not available for cross-examination was that she was dead. If this argument prevails, that would negate every deathbed statement unless the defense attorneys were right there with a court recorder and someone to swear in the soon-to-be-deceased.
This appeal raises another interesting question in my mind. Rae Carruth was convicted of conspiring to murder Ms. Adams in 2001. During the nine years that elapsed, is this the first time the defense lawyers realized that they never got to cross-examine her to impeach her testimony? If that is the case, I sure hope they have an explanation for the judges as to what took them so long.
Finally, let me close with three items from Greg Cote’s column last Sunday in the Miami Herald, which relate to peripheral NFL happenings:
“Dolphins consultant Bill Parcells vacated his office at the team’s Davie HQ. What that means is, instead of not talking to the media from his office, he now will be not talking to the media from elsewhere.”
“The Terrell Owens/ Chad Ochocinco reality series, The T.Ocho Show, drew a 0.1 rating last week. What that means is, two guys were watching, but one switched to an infomercial.”
“Parting thought: Reviews have not been good for the new Broadway play Lombardi, about the life of the former Packers coach. Which must give great pause indeed to the producers bankrolling the planned musical, Wade Phillips.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…