Thursday, August 1, 2013

News and notes for week 18

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Off days aren’t just for baseball teams. I’m finally getting caught up on some serious sleep.

Winning five of eleven games on this annual dreaded West Coast road trip isn’t bad. I’d like to see next season’s West Coast swing scheduled in April.

Best wishes to the pride of Beauty, Ky., Ethan Osborne, who pitches for the Paintsville KY Junior League All-Stars. Ethan and his teammates will be representing Kentucky this weekend in the Junior League regional tournament in Fort Wayne, Ind. Winner goes to the Junior League World Series in Taylor Michigan beginning on August 11.

Useless Trivia; Angaleena Presley, of the country music group “Pistol Annies” is from Beauty, Ky.

Rumor has it that baseball legend Stan Musial once played a game at Beauty, Ky. as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals Class D team in Williamson W.V. I have been unable to confirm this but it may be true due to the Coalfield League’s huge popularity in the mining towns which dotted Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia prior to World War II. Coal companies were notorious for hiring good baseball players for their company teams, giving the players/employees cushy office jobs. Since rules weren’t as strict in those days, it wasn’t uncommon for a minor league team like Williamson to play exhibition games against coal company teams.

Harry Perkowski, former Cincinnati Reds pitcher from the 1950’s, recalled that he made $100 per month playing Major League baseball and, at that time, the mines paid better.

Speaking of the Appalachia’s, former Major League player and manager Howard “Doc” Edwards is from Red Jacket, West Virginia, which is about ten miles south of Williamson W.V. Edwards played for four teams from 1962 to 1970. Edwards managed the Cleveland Indians from 1987 to 1989.

It’s bad enough to lose one game on a walk-off home run, but two in a row?

The last time the Reds lost consecutive games on walk-off homers was July 8 and 9, 2010 at Philadelphia. Monday’s loss via walk-off home run was the third time closer Aroldis Chapman served up a game winning homer, twice in 2013.

Cincinnati scored five runs on ten hits in Thursday night’s win at Los Angeles. The next three games the Reds scored only two runs on eleven hits.

Talk about ironic; the St. Louis Cardinals suffer through a seven game losing streak the same time the Reds endure a five game losing streak.

Remember the date, Friday September 6, that’s when the Dodgers come to Great American Ball Park to begin a three game series. It’ll be very interesting when Yasiel Puig comes to bat for the first time how the Reds will pitch to him after his Bush, no, Little League celebration during his walk-off home run on Sunday.

I was expecting the Los Angeles players to kneel and lay down palm branches when Puig rounded third. I guess Puig riding a donkey around the bases may have been too Hollywood.

More on Yasiel Puig; I know he’s just a kid and there’s a lot of things he needs to learn. I remember a story former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Bob Trumpy told of his first touchdown in the N.F.L. Trumpy said he went into an end zone celebration and was expecting his coach, Paul Brown, to congratulate him upon returning to the sideline. Coach Brown told his tempestuous rookie “Son, act like you’ve been there before!”

For what it’s worth; I think Yasiel Puig is for real.

George Grande’s interview of Los Angeles broadcasting legend Vin Scully on Sunday was classic. His stories of the Reds/Dodgers rivalry of the 1970’s were priceless.

From 1970 to 1981 the Reds/Dodgers rivalry was every bit as intense as the Yankees/Red Sox.

On Sunday the New York Yankees started some kid at shortstop named Derek Jeter. Isn’t it a bit early for September call-ups?

I wouldn’t say he was excited, but I believe Yankees play by play announcer John Sterling needed a change of underwear after Jeter’s first inning home run.

What David Ortiz did to that dugout phone this past Saturday is what I would like to do every time a telemarketer calls. And I’m on the Federal Do-Not-Call list.

July 29th was a sad day for baseball with former Major League pitcher Frank Castillo and former Major League first baseman George Scott passing away. Mr. Castillo pitched for six teams during his thirteen year career. Mr. Scott played for the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees over fourteen seasons. Mr. Scott wore an unusual necklace consisting of a bone like substance. When asked by a reporter what the necklace was made of Mr. Scott replied “Second baseman’s teeth!”

Did any of you even think the Reds were going to make a deal at the trade deadline?

I was hoping St. Louis would beat Pittsburgh on Thursday night, just to draw the Reds closer to first place, but what the Cardinals did to the Pirates was an absolute massacre.

I was wondering if Homer Bailey was ever going to win another game this season.

Have a blessed week. GO REDS!

Dan Howard

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