Edition No. 14
May 17, 2017
CHIEFS GO ON SCALPING RAMPAGE, MAKE
LITTLE BIG HORN LOOK LIKE A MINOR DUSTUP
The story for Week 6 is that the once wampumless Chiefs have left behind their trail of tears and savaged and scalped their way into 2nd place, a mere 2.5 points behind the league-leading Cubs. With a blistering 609.7 points for the week, the proud warrior nation known as the Chiefs has made Little Big Horn look like a trifling misunderstanding, and B.T.’s war whoops can now be heard from miles away as he has a panicky Shamu looking back over his shoulder for fiery arrows aimed at his ample target area. Who would have thought this possible back in Week 2, when the Chiefs were in 12th place and just a smidge out of the basement; or after 3 weeks of play, when the Chiefs were in 9th place and almost 300 points off the pace; or after the 4th week, when the Chiefs were still in 9th place and almost 330 points back; or even after 5 weeks, when the Chiefs were still in 9th place and more than 250 points back.
If anyone can remember a bigger week than this, you will have to post it on the Message Board, because I don’t.
At the other end of the spectrum, the luckless Monarchs--they of the My Best Five Pitchers Are All On The DL variety--could only muster up a paltry 315.3 points for the week, or about half those scored by Screech’s now least-favorite brother-in-law. Never before have we seen so many of an HSL team’s top pitchers be ailing all at once. If only Screech can ever get his boys healthy, the Monarchs may make a serious run for 12th place.
The Tribe also had a significantly subpar Week 6, able to notch a total of only 326.2 points and falling to 4th place in the standings. It may not be the Year of Bob after all.
WEEK 6 STANDINGS
WEEK 6 POINT TOTALS
TOP 25 PITCHERS
TOP 25 HITTERS
** In spite of the fact that they are wobbling and dropping like a North Korean missile, the Tribe still have four pitchers in the Top 25 with Dylan Bundy, Carlos Carrasco, Mike Leake, and James Paxton, and three hitters in the Top 25 with Mark Reynolds, Marcell Ozuna and Eugenio Suárez. This tells us that depth may be a bit of a problem for the Tribe.
** There are two teams that have only two players in the composite Top 25 Pitchers and Hitters through 6 weeks, the Chiefs (Bryce Harper and Lance McCullers) and the Monarchs (Paul Goldschmidt and Eric Thames). However, the Chiefs are in 2nd place, only 2.5 points out of 1st, while the Monarchs are in dead last, 277.3 points out of 12th. Go figure.
WHO’S HOT - PITCHERS - LAST 7 DAYS
WHO’S NOT - PITCHERS - LAST 7 DAYS
** The Wahoos have the three hottest pitchers for Week 6 with Alex Wood, Max Scherzer and Carlos Martinez. Similarly, the Redbirds have three of the top pitchers for the week with Marcus Stroman, Charlie Morton and Chris Sale, and the Chiefs have the trifecta of Matt Moore, Jose Berrios and Lance McCullers. Surprisingly, the Bombers had the most hot pitchers for the week with Chris Archer, A.J. Griffin, Adam Wainwright and Antonio Senzatela, despite having a team total that was only good for 9th best for the week.
** The Senators had three of the least hot pitchers for the week for Jerad Eichhoff and Jordan Zimmerman, both at minus 6, and the putrid Matt Harvey with minus 3. I want to say “never ever” so badly I can taste it.
WHO’S HOT - HITTERS
WHO’S NOT - HITTERS
** It is no surprise that the Redbirds had the second highest team point total for Week 6 with 544.5, as there are four Crimson Chirpers on the Who’s Hot-Hitters list for the week, with Michael Conforto, Corey Dickerson, Jose Batiste and Justin Bour. Second best are the Chiefs with Carlos Correa, Yasmani Grandal and Bryce Harper, and the Blues with Salvador Perez, Brandon Drury, and Eric Hosmer.
PAST TRIPS REMEMBERED:
COORS FIELD 1995
This week we will take a look back at the 1995 Trip, when a large HSL contingency (9--all but PAwesome) made the Trip west to Denver and Coors Field, wherein we witnessed a 3-game series between the Rockies and the visiting Expos, featuring the hardest-working player in baseball, Moises Alou. The Trip also involved the first stay for many HSL members at the legendary but spartan Eagle’s Nest, and a memorable (for most--Itchie’s rum-soaked mind is a blank) golf outing at the Evergreen public links.
Rather than try to recreate from memory the highlights of that year’s Trip, I will simply repeat here what was said back in Edition No. 13 of the From the Bullpen from July 11, 1995:
The feature of the '95 Trip, of course, was seeing the powerful Rockies pound those scratching, clawing, never-say-die Expos in three straight matches at Coors Field. On Friday night we saw (as well as you can see with thick beer goggles) the Rockies crank out a 12-5 victory, featuring back-to-back-to-back home runs by Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga and Vinny Castilla; and a second shot by Vinny that cleared all of the seats in left field. For Saturday night's game, we may have had the best seats in the house for a riveting 8-3 Rockies victory, underscored by another two-tater night by Vinny Castilla (U-belly always said he was going to be great). And finally, on Sunday we witnessed yet another home run derby contest by the Rockies, as they used four solo shots to spank the Expos for the fourth time in the four-game series, with a final tally of 4-1. Great stadium, good baseball.
Believe it or not, this was the 11th consecutive HSL Trip, and McBlunder, Shamu* and Skipper have proudly attended each year's junket. Kudos, Brothers. How about a short recap for old times' sake:
1985 Kansas City
1986 Kansas City
1987 Kansas City
1991 Chicago (Comiskey Park)
1993 Anaheim/San Diego/L.A.
Eleven years, fourteen cities, fifteen ballparks. Wow!
As usual, the '95 Trip was chocked full of good times and great memories. If I might be so presumptuous as to recount a few of the '95 Trip highlights for you, it would go something like this:
- That death-defying (but soon to be routine) trek up the face of Mount Everest to reach Eagle's Nest.
- Ahhhhhh! Eagle's Nest.
- The feverish pace at which Itchie and Tony (Possum's Trip representative) pursued their goal of abject intoxication during Friday's golf outing at Evergreen.
- U-belly's refusal to produce a score-card from the Evergreen Golf Course, or to provide even a ballpark estimate of his score (was he concerned about exceeding Itchie's infamous 134 at Firethorn?).
- Watching Itchie try to keep a straight face as he contended (pretended?) that he scored an eagle at Evergreen to earn a skin.
- Watching the gritty determination of "One-Way" Tony as he tried without measurable success to will himself back to relative sobriety.
- Chef Larry's 6 a.m. breakfast extravaganza.
- The look of sheer terror on Squatting Bear (Shamu*) as he experienced the top of Bear Mountain.
- Seeing John VanderWal break the Rockies single-season pinch-hit record (16) with a mammoth blast to right field.
- Those oh-so-tasty (and plentiful) honeywheat beers at the Denver Chophouse.
- The remarkable view from Section 311 at Coors Field, a full story above the right field foul pole.
- Shamu's* unselfish and laudable gesture of offering up his box seat next to Itchie and Tony for the final half-inning of Saturday night's game.
- Slo-Pay's cause of action against the Bucksnort Inn for permanent gastrointestinal impairment.
- All ten occupants of the Eagle's Nest sawing logs like a timber mill, but each individual denying the personal habit of snoring.
- The ranch hand Sunday morning breakfast at C.C. Waters, and their subsequent filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy after Shamu's* interpretation of the "All You Can Eat" breakfast special.
- Blocking out the sun at the game with Big Guy's top-of-the-line sunglasses (how did I get in the bottom of the baby pool?)
- Hangin' with the funky locals at Little Bear.
- B.T.'s "in your face" retort to the mad-at-the-world hippie hacker at Evergreen (nice swing!).
- Big Guy's obvious pleasure watching newly-acquired Moises Alou hustle and scrap like he was trying to make the cut.
- Not hearing U-belly shout "I love my life!" anymore.
- Our 12-hour yak ride to Cleveland (oops, wrong year).
- Playing golf (you could call it that) with Giopetto (Tony) and his prevaricating puppet (Pinocchio f/k/a Itchie) at the scenic but impossible mountain course known as Eagle's Nest.
- Pinocchio's 32-inch drive on hole #15, followed by a straight-sideways shot into the deep forest (just how did he make bogey on that hole?).
- Skipper's winning score of 81 at Evergreen (hey, it was a highlight for me -- and yes, we bumped a few of them up).
- Tony's suicidal drive from Denver to Silverthorn (we only had to use three of the runaway truck ramps).
- Mountain air.
- Icy-brisk mountain showers.
- That view from B.T.'s deck.
- Coors Field. Ahhh!
All in all, an enjoyable and memorable trip. Many thanks to B.T. for his always meticulous planning of the Trip and the use of Eagle's Nest as our base of operations.
I was even able to track down a few memorable photographs from that awesome adventure of the HSL brotherhood:
Ah, Eagle’s Nest. Heaven on Earth.
Oddibe Young Again
The HSL Death Van--and how will they turn this around?
How do we know Big Johnny is unloading a load of bullshit?
His lips are moving.
Breakfast of Champions, or hair growth tonic in a can?
“Sweet Dreams, Roomie”
Thought bubble: Am I a stud, or what?
Coors Field 1996
At the recommendation of my son, Will, I recently purchased and read the 2015 biography of Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance, subtitled “Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.” Whether you’ve heard of Elon Musk or not, you should read this book, if you want to see where the future of space travel and the automobile are heading.
Musk is an absolutely brilliant young (45 years old) South African native who left home at age 17 when he got bored with school and life in South Africa, and moved to Canada without a place to stay or a job prospect in hand. He thought he had an uncle who lived there who might put him up for a while, but he learned after arrival that his uncle had moved to Minneapolis. He was able to find a second cousin to bunk up with for a spell, but essentially this is a self-made man who has made himself rich and famous by dint of his own hard work, creativity and imagination. And brains.
Here are some of Musk’s credentials: He is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; founder and CEO of Neuralink; co-founder and former chairman of SolarCity; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal. According to Wikipedia, as of May 2017, he has an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion, making him the 80th-wealthiest person in the world. In December 2016, he was ranked #21 on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful People.
Because this book is on the best seller list, you can pick it up at the airport or at your local bookstore. Or, I am happy to loan you my copy.
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That’s all, folks. See you next issue.