My title today is a tribute to Yogi Berra who unfortunately passed this week at the age of 90. What a storied baseball career that guy had. He was voted MVP of the American League three times (and came in the top 4 four other times), made 18 All-Star teams in 19 seasons of playing, was a World Series champion 10 times (most all-time), and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. And with all those accolades, he was just a down-to-earth kind of guy. Buster Posey had the privilege of meeting him in 2012 at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. Here’s some video of their meeting. Buster posted on Instagram about Yogi’s passing, saying, “Had the pleasure to meet Yogi Berra one time. Easy to see why he was such a beloved person. A genuinely kind and happy person that will be missed. But a wonderful life that impacted so many.” He’ll definitely never be forgotten.
Yogi’s words inspired me this week regarding the fate of my boys. It ain’t over till it’s over. That about sums it up. It ain’t over. The magic number (or as Greg Papa calls it the “tragic number”) stands at 2 right now. The fact that there’s still a magic number to keep track of means we’re not out of it yet. Just remember that. And there’s still some fight in this team. And if we aren’t eliminated tomorrow, we take on the Dodgers 4 times, and you all know how my boys rise to the occasion when they’re pitted against those guys. It ain’t over till it’s over. Thanks for the inspiration, Yogi.
Did you watch today’s game? The Hudson/Zito tribute game? I was so excited that these two guys were to be honored during this game, but I have to say the outcome as far as they were concerned got me super emotional. I’m sure that wasn’t how any one dreamed it would turn out. I almost started tearing up when they showed Tim in the dugout after he came out of the game. He had never walked in two runs ever in his career. He couldn’t even last as long as Barry did. But that’s what happens when you expect too much of guys that are at the end of fantastic careers. Still love them both and I’m still happy that they were honored. And especially proud of my boy Buster when he tipped his cap to Barry when he went out to hit against him. That’s class right there. I loved the beginning montage that Comcast showed of the two of them. Lots to be proud of.
Thankfully, someone took our minds off of all this: Jarrett Parker. WOW! Three homeruns in a single game, including a tie-breaking grand slam in the eighth. Boch said that was the best offensive game he had ever seen in person. And the kid’s hit a total of 6 homeruns since he came up on September 11th, 5 of those within the last 3 days! He had a rough time of it when he first came up in June, going 1 for 9 with 5 strikeouts. Guess he figured something out! My siblings and I were privileged to see the guy hit a grand slam at Spring Training two years ago. As I recall, everyone in that park (especially the coaching staff) took note as he hit the ball over the center field wall in Scottsdale stadium. That’s no ordinary wall – it’s 430 feet from home plate and 30 feet high! Gotta have some wicked power to do that!
Today’s game combined with the season winding down got me to thinking about next season and the potential makeup of the team (apparently Ginny was thinking the same thing – smart minds think alike!). I have to say I am feeling good about things, especially the kids. I think if they can get at least one big name starting pitcher, we’ll be OK. The kids are alright – Duffy, Panik (a healthy one), Williamson (who I really think will get better as he gets used to being in the bigs), Parker, Osich, Strickland, Heston (with some rest). I like it. I think we’ll be good.
I saw a post earlier today on Facebook about all the guys that are currently injured. I hate to be a whiner and blame our plight on injuries, but the numbers truly are staggering. Here’s the summary: Four guys are still on the DL from concussions (Adrianza, Aoki, Belt, Blanco), Timmy’s recovering from left hip surgery, Panik has lower back inflammation, two have left oblique strains (Pence and Perez), Sanchez has a left ankle sprain, Scutaro has back issues, and Susac had wrist surgery. None of these guys is expected to return before the end of the season. I can’t remember it ever being this bad. And lots of the guys listed are key players.
My boys gave me more reasons to love them with their own special tributes to Tim Hudson this week. Earlier this week, the entire team dressed in white polo shirts (Huddy’s usual travel attire) and bald caps to pay homage to him. Here’s a photo of some of them. Then today, Javi had ordered #17 black Hudson T-shirts for all the team members and clubhouse staff to wear. Check it out. I bet he really loved that. My boys rock!
I’m posting the next video because I missed watching this game live and I laugh out loud every time I watch it. I couldn’t believe it when I heard about it. It’s the staredown between umpire Joe West and Madison Bumgarner on Thursday night during the Padres game. Here’s the video. Guess Madison was pretty ticked about some of West’s pitch calls, but he kept his cool so he wouldn’t get kicked out of the game. I love how Buster keeps looking back and forth between the two of them! That is the longest staredown EVER! What a crackup! And what an immature umpire that guy is! The show’s not about you, Umpire Guy! You go, Madison!
More randomness: Noticed today that Brett Lawrie of the A’s uses “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen as his walk-up music. Would love to know the story behind that. If anyone knows, please share. Fascinating.
I did a spit count during the Hudson/Zito tribute game today. Guess guys don’t spit any less when they’re honoring their teammates. On the contrary! Sheesh! Here you go:
- Parker 5 (hitting homeruns makes you salivate I guess)
- Byrd 4
- Hudson 4 (so does being honored)
- Duffy 3
- Brown 3
- Hall 2
- Reyes 2 (seeds)
- Pagan 2
- Posey 1
- Righetti 1
- Meulens 1
- Wotus 1
- Osich 1
- Bochy 1
- Vogt 34 (way to ruin the moment, dude!)
- Brooks 3
- Canha 2
- Sogard 2
- Otero 2
- Lawrie 1
- Zito 1
- Crisp 1
Game Spit Master General = Vogt at 34
Giants Game Spit Master General = Parker at 5
That’s a total of 77 spits during a 3 hour and 30 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 2.7 minutes.
Unbelievably Stephen Vogt of the A’s didn’t set the season record with his antics today, but he is an interesting spitting specimen. He is one of a select few catchers that has the ability to spit through his catcher’s mask. He is interesting in that the majority of his spits were through his mask, unlike previous catchers who have this ability. And the spits that came through the mask were amazing sprays of saliva. I wouldn’t be surprised if spray made its way onto some of the batters. So disgusting. I would hate to have to clean that thing after he’s used it – I wonder if that job falls to the clubhouse manager. Poor soul. On a positive note, this was the first spit count I did where my boy Mac Williamson played, and he didn’t spit once. Keeping my fingers crossed that at least I have one non-spitter in the future since all the other kids got caught today.
One more game against the A’s with Chris Heston at the helm, then a 4 game series against the Dodgers. It ain’t over (especially since I just found out that the Dodgers lost again today – HA HA!). The boys just need to listen to those inspiring words chanted by Jarrett Parker as he left the field after his third homerun of the game: “LET’S GO!” Indeed. Until next time, GO GIANTS! KEEP ON FIGHTING!