2014 Season Edition No. 3 April 10, 2014
In light of Itchie’s irresponsible failure to provide a guest newsletter this week, to help pick up the pieces for this flawed, pitiable locust shell of a man, I offer the following.
STANDINGS THROUGH 10 DAYS OF PLAY
Through games of last night, April 9, the Hot Stove League standings look like this:
Although it is early, early, early, this season already has the feel of a hotly-contested race for the title. Perhaps this is because my team, the Senators, are only 139.2 points back and in 8th place, whereas I usually start the season in the cellar and then work my way down from there.
This is how close it is through ten days: There are only 139.5 points separating the top team, the Wahoos, from the 9th place team, the Bums. Last night, the top-scoring team for the night, the Chiefs, scored 132.4 points. The lowest-scoring team for April 9, the Bums, scored 1.2 points. The margin between the top-scoring Chiefs and the bottom-scoring Bums was 131.2 points, or roughly the same amount of points separating the 1st place team from the 9th place team. Now that’s close.
The Bears at 453.7 points total and 330.1 points behind 1st, now that’s not so close. Rough start for the Grizzlies.
TOP TEN HITTERS
The top ten hitters through ten days of competition are as follows:
I’m not sure any of us would have guessed that the Angel (Pagan) of Death, or Brandon Belt, or Charlie “He’s So Black, Mon” or Emilio Bonifacio would be in the Top Ten at anything at any point of their careers.
TOP TEN PITCHERS
Can you even believe that there is a four-way tie for 1st? What are the odds of that? And while we are at it, what are the odds that my three pitchers in the Top Ten, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle and Scott Feldman, will be in the Top 200 pitchers by the end of this season? Exactly. Infinitesimal.
Whether you are in 1st place or last place, I think that we can all agree, it’s great to have baseball once again. Keep up the good work, my brothers.
Joe and Will and I had a great experience at Petco Park for Opening Day on Sunday, March 30, 2014. There were thousands of vocal, visiting Dodgers fans at the ballpark, and it is quite clear that Padres fans do not like Dodgers fans. For a minute, I felt that I was at a Yankees-Red Sox game, so virulent was the colloquy between the competing fans.
Anyway, it looked like the Dodgers were going to sneak out of town with a 1-0 victory until Mattingly marched out The Beard in the bottom of the 8th, hoping to close it out for starter Hyun Jin Rhu after seven scoreless innings. The first batter faced by The Beard, Seth Smith, immediately whistled a towering drive into the right-field seats for a game-tying home run. The ball sailed an estimated 360 feet.
Next, Wilson walked pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal, who advanced to 2nd when The Beard could not handle Everth Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt and made an errant throw. Grandal then stole 3rd and Cabrera took 2nd on catcher indifference before the heavy-hitting Chris Denorfia (he of Denorfiagate) hit a bouncer up the middle to plate both baserunners.
Not sure what happened first, The Beard’s slump-shouldered departure from the Padres-Dodgers game, or his removal from Itchie’s team roster.
In any event, after the Padres took the 3-1 lead, the Friars brought in closer Houston Street in the top of the 9th to close out the Dodgers and seal the 3-1 win.
Another great Opening Day trip with my boys, our 12th in a row.
BEAUTY AND BEAST TO WED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE
As you know from the Message Board, while in New York City the weekend before last, Michele and I became engaged to be married, but only after several potent libations at the notable Silverleaf Tavern, and following a stirring a capella rendition of “Michelle, Ma Belle.” No, not by Sir Paul McCartney—he was busy that night. And no, not by me, I can’t carry a tune. But that’s a story for another day.
In any event, although my people are talking with her people to sort out all of the details, assuming we have a deal in place, we are tentatively planning a private wedding ceremony on December 31 (or perhaps on January 1, depending on my accountant’s tax opinion), to be followed by a New Year’s Eve party/reception that evening. While the venue for this celebration is yet to be decided, we have secured the services of one of our favorite Omaha-area bands, “Finest Hour,” to help us celebrate. I hope that you will all block this on your calendar and plan to attend. It should be a ripping good time.
Thanks to all of you who have passed along your congratulations and other comments. I do feel truly blessed to be marrying this beautiful lady and person.
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Okay, enough of the mushy stuff already. Back to baseball. Looking forward to all of your guest articles as the season moves along.
And, oh, you owe me this one, Itchie.