I thought I should
get out a final 2015 Bullpen to touch on a couple of
matters, and to allow everyone to take one last look at
Screech’s annoying Bucky Dent masthead before B.T. picks the
new photo(s) for the 2016 version of our website home page.
Thanks again to
B.T. for the fantastic cap on the 2015 Campaign on December 5.
Between watching the Husker basketball game from the ArtFX
luxury box at Pinnacle Bank Arena to our tour of the Ploughshare
Brewery to our 17-course feast at MōMō’s, it was a Hot Stove
League celebration event to remember. Throw in the magnificent
pieces of victory apparel (tee shirt, polo, hoodie and
cat-burglar stocking cap) and I think that we can pretty much
all agree that B.T. should win this league in perpetuity. If
B.T. is able to draft Trout, Harper, Goldschmidt, Cabrera,
Donaldson, Kershaw, Scherzer and Greinke in the first eight
rounds next year, we will know that the fix is in.
A DAY/AND NIGHT
B.T. studies the
race form before
Tricko, I do think the Hawkeyes
will beat Michigan
State, and by
at least three
The HSL boys laugh
another Possum DL
bubble: (Hmm. I wonder
if that dude over
there is going to finish
his pitcher of
beer and French dip sandwich?)
after our tour guide finally
tells Big Johnny
to pipe down.
waits for his
two gallon mug to
Mouse feigns sleep
rather than to have
to eat his marrow
or listen to another
Screech tale of
The sign says it
Mouse and Screech
try to count how many
years it has been
since the Tigers were competitive.
As the boys flash
their gang symbols, Itchie
starts tipping to
the left on his way down to the floor.
The term “motley
crew” doesn’t even begin
to describe this
collection of misfits.
BOOK REPORT I
finished reading George Will’s tip of the hat to Wrigley Field
for its 100-year anniversary, entitled A Nice Little Place on
the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred.
Only 194 pages in
length, this is a quick, easy and worthwhile read for any
baseball fan. A couple of my favorite excerpts:
It is somehow
fitting that the Phillies’ manager in 1979 was Danny Ozark, who
was given to mind-bending thoughts such as, “Even Napoleon had
his Watergate” and “Contrary to popular belief, I have always
had a wonderful repertoire with my players.” He was not talking
about the 23-22 game, but he could have been when he said, “It
is beyond my apprehension.” He once remarked of baseball, “Half
this game is 90 percent mental.”
The venue is more
important in baseball than in any other sport, for two reasons.
The first is that baseball, with nine defensive players thinly
dispersed across an eye-pleasing swath of green grass and
reddish-tan manicured dirt, is best seen in person rather than
on television. . . . Second, because baseball is a game of
discrete episodes rather than of flow, like basketball or soccer
or hockey, baseball allows contemplation and conversation and a
general awareness of where you are. Or at least it allows it
when baseball owners do not take leave of their senses and try
to replicate, with loud music, the excruciating experience of
being in an NBA arena. The NBA experience—strobe lights,
lasers, smoke, and cacophonous music—is like being held prisoner
in a Wurlitzer jukebox. . . .
William Zinsser, a
gifted writer of short essays, is a New Yorker who gloomily
anticipated the coming of the new Yankee Stadium and the Mets’
new Citi Field because he assumed that they would “feature the
latest advances in audio-visual assault.” He said he had quit
going to Mets games when the din made it impossible for him to
talk with whomever he was with. Baseball, he wrote, has its
distinctive sounds but it is also “a game of silences. Every
half inning it invites its parishioners to meditate on what they
have just seen and to recall other players they once saw play.”
BOOK REPORT II
An even better
read, for my money, is the 2014 offering by the prolific John
Feinstein, author of A Season on the Brink, A Good
Walk Spoiled, and many other well-regarded books on sports.
His latest publication, Where Nobody Knows Your Name,
chronicles life in
the minor leagues (primarily Triple A) of several players,
managers, an umpire, and even a broadcaster, all of whom are
trying to either make it to the major leagues or, once there, to
stay in the major leagues.
Some of the
players and other characters included in this tour de force
about life in the high minors are:
I know that we
discussed this important date on the Hot Stove League calendar
at our dinner at MōMō’s, but I do not remember if a consensus
was reached. With Opening Day officially being on Monday,
April 4, 2016, and one or more games slated to take place on the
day before, is it our consensus that we should have our Draft
on Saturday, April 2, or do we want to back it up a week
to Saturday, March 26? Please weigh in on this on the
Message Board if you have strong feelings one way or the other,
or if you have an irreconcilable conflict on one of these
dates. To be crystal clear, I suggest that we plan on Draft
Day being on April 2 unless there is a groundswell of
For our 2016 Trip
to PNC in Pittsburgh, let me float the following weekends past
you on the 2016 Pirates schedule:
June 24-26 vs.
July 8-10 vs. Cubs
July 22-24 vs.
August 5-7 vs.
August 19-21 vs.
September 2-4 vs.
September 9-11 vs.
Take a look at
your calendars and let me know about preferences, conflicts,
TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
To close out
another outstanding year of Hot Stove League competition, the
entire staff of From the Bullpen wish you and yours a
very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!