I spent yesterday afternoon at Camden Yards in Baltimore with my long-suffering wife and two friends taking in the Cubs/Orioles game. The Cubs won handily 8-0 and Cubs’ newly acquired starter, Jose Quintana pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball allowing only 3 hits. But I am not here to do a game recap…
The Orioles are in a tailspin. After starting out the season hotter than a barbecue grill, the O’s have fallen to 42-49 and are 9 games out of first place in the AL East. Remember, this team was in the playoffs last year. The problem with the Orioles is their starting pitching – notwithstanding their being shut out with only 3 hits yesterday. Here are the 5 starters in the O’s rotation with their ERAs to date in 2017:
- Dylan Bundy: ERA = 4.33
- Kevin Gausman: ERA = 6.39
- Ubaldo Jimenez: ERA = 7.01
- Wade Miley: ERA = 5.41
- Chris Tillman: ERA = 7.90
The 1927 Yankees would have had difficulty winning with that kind of pitching…
There was one other thing from the game yesterday that was comment-worthy. As we were leaving the park to go and find our car – seemingly parked just south of the Canadian border – I saw a concessionaire sign that offered organic all-natural hot dogs. It did not say they were all beef or chicken dogs; it said they were organic all-natural so I guess that means any or all typical barnyard denizens could be part of the filling inside that casing. Here is the thing:
- If you are fussy enough about what you east to seek out and buy organic and all-natural hot dogs, you probably have not thought about which anatomical organs and tissues get ground into the interior meat-like substance that is the hot dog. In addition to various other parts of the animal, let me just say that the first organ one encounters in a trip through the alimentary canal is ground into the mix; and so is the final organ one would encounter as you exited that alimentary canal. “Organic” and “All-natural” seem to me not to be important in that context.
While on the subject of stadium culinary offerings, the Cincinnati Reds seemingly have taken this to a different plane of existence. They have created a culinary monstrosity and turned it into a fan challenge. Here is the deal:
- The sandwich in question consists of one pound of bacon with lettuce, tomato and mayo served with chips and potato salad. Right there, you have cardiologist’s nightmare…
- Here is the challenge. If you can eat FOUR of those sandwiches in one inning (the time it takes for six outs to occur), you win the following “prizes”. The cost of the sandwiches is zero; and you get a commemorative tee-shirt.
- There is no indication that EMTs will be on the scene from the outset…
In other baseball news, the Red Sox designated Pablo Sandoval for assignment; once he clears waivers, he will be a free agent; it would appear that his playing days are over. In a way, I am sad to see that; when Sandoval first came up with the Giants, he was fun to watch. He played the game well despite his girth and he played it with an enthusiasm that was fun to see. When he hit free agency, he was a hot commodity and the Red Sox signed him up for $94M; if my calculations are correct, the Sox still owe him $50M on that contract so his demotion or the termination of his MLB career is not going to leave him destitute.
Sandoval signed with the Red Sox after the 2014 season but injuries have only allowed him to play in 161 games in the 2.5 seasons since then. Compounding his injuries are “weight issues”; Sandoval never had a typical physique for a player at the MLB level, but earlier in his career his weight did not prevent him from making the NL All-Star team. During his tenure with the Red Sox, he hit an anemic .237 and posted a modest OPS of .646.
One other baseball note. As I was grazing through the cable channels, I arrived in the middle of a segment featuring Tim Kurkjian and heard him say – this is a paraphrase not a quote:
- During the final 35 games of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, he did not strike out once.
Since the source here is Tim Kurkjian, I believe there is no need to think of verifying that assertion and I have not done so. I assume that the preceding discussion had to do with the prevalence of strikeouts in the modern game. In any event, the idea of a player – particularly a power hitter – going 35 consecutive games without striking out is an alien concept in 2017.
Last week, I mentioned that this time of the year is a wasteland in sports news. Last weekend, Greg Cote had a comment along that line in his column in the Miami Herald:
“Slow time in sports” defined: Arguing whether Kevin Durant was really mad at that Peyton Manning joke on the ESPYs.”
Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Two women in San Francisco attacked a 64-year old man with pepper spray and stole his bag of laxatives.
“Undercover police immediately staked out the local hot-dog eating contests.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports ………