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Not soon enough, baseball begins

Ah, Opening Day in baseball. It’s coming this weekend.

All that “hope springs eternal” stuff is on the mark if you’re baseball fans. The new season is a clean slate for “gamers” like:

• Bill Rohrbaugh’s Los Angeles Dodgers

• Vera Cole’s Cleveland Indians

• Dave Alden’s Colorado Rockies

• Dan (Grover) Overton’s Detroit Tigers

• Maggie Ashley’s Atlanta Braves

• Jerry Iekel’s Boston Red Sox

• Jim Wilson’s, Cincinnati Reds

And my Texas Rangers.

 

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Fearless prediction for 2014 World Series: Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

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Since Opening Day (Mar. 30-31) of Major League Baseball is just around the corner, and the recent news of how plumbing has been destroyed in spring training clubhouses, the Notebook’s reminded of a story from a few years ago from Sports Illustrated. The story, “This Leak in Baseball,” illustrates, tongue-in-cheek, how major leaguers, when frustrated or angry, seem to take out their emotions on bathroom plumbing. Tsk, tsk. To wit:

• In 1919, low water pressure causes problems in the Chicago White Sox locker room. (The infamous Black Sox.) A ragamuffin newsboy spots star outfielder Joe Jackson and says, “Say it ain’t low, Joe?”

• 1938: There’s only one urinal working in the Ebbets Field clubhouse. Gripes Leo Durocher, “Nice guys finish last.”

• 1960: A broken water sink faucet bedevils the Cubs’ dugout. An excited Ernie Banks shouts, “Let’s spray two!”

• 1978: A Yankees star loses temper over slow drain, then apologizes. Admits Reggie Jackson, “I’m the boor who slurred the sink.”

• 1998: Accused of clogging a St. Louis Cardinals’ toilet, a defensive Mark McGwire says, “I’m not here to talk about what’s passed.”

 

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Quotable

 

• “There are three secrets to managing. The first secret is to have patience. The second is to be patient. And the third most important secret is patience.”

— Chuck Tanner, former major league manager, 1928-2011

• “Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire’s eye or on the ball.”

— Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times columnist, 1919-1998

• “One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while, you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.”

— Nolan Ryan, Hall of Famer pitcher, all-time strikeout leader

• “Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.”

— George Will, author/columnist/Cubs fan

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