Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oversized Yadier Molina Jerseys & the Fall of Cracker Jack Prizes

ANAHEIM - It's amazing that the 81st All-Star Game at Angels Stadium will largely be remembered for a force out at second base. Trailing 3-1 and facing LA closer Jonathan Broxton in the bottom of the ninth, the American League got a lead off single from David Ortiz. After Adrian Beltre struck out on a 98-M.P.H. fastball, John Buck blooped what looked to be a single to right field. Unfortunately for the AL, Ortiz was caught in no-man's land and is also the second-slowest mammal on the face of the earth after my sister's cat Willy.

Right fielder Marlon Byrd flipped to Rafael Furcal at short and in 24 hours the home run derby champ had become the running to second base runner-up.

Pops Derwood (Cubs fan) after Byrd's assist: "He should get the MVP for that."

After I calmed PD down, we watched Ian Kinsler fly out to center on one pitch and the NL had its first win since 1996. Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, who got the only huge hit of the night, a three-run double in the seventh off Matt Thornton that turned out to be the difference in a 3-1 win, picked up MVP honors.

The year of the missed pitch by two feet

As it has most of the 2010 season, pitching dominated the mid-summer classic. Not only were guys like Price, Broxton and Justin Verlander consistently tossing in the mid-to-high-90s, but world-class hitters were missing pitches by a foot. Sometimes multiple feet. There were 18 strike outs in the game, 10 by AL hurlers (and three straight from Crazy Jose Valverde in the ninth), eight from the senior circuit, and there was a lot of bad contact.

FOX showed a graphic during the middle innings: Fastest Pitches of Game. Price led the way with a 100 M.P.H heater, while Verlander and Marlins' ace Josh Johnson each topped out at a pathetic 99. That means if MLB built a super player with the discarded parts of that trio, he'd be Price Verljohnson and he'd throw 298 M.P.H.

First Chun Chen, now you guys?

Chen used a red catcher's mitt in Sunday's Futures Game, and now this: NL teammates David Wright and Brian Wilson each wore orange spikes Tuesday. Of course, Wright went 2-for-2 and Wilson pitched a perfect eighth, so maybe I'm the only one that doesn't think two major league baseball players should've borrowed their shoes from the Parkview High School (GA) fast pitch softball team.

Early Christmas gift ideas for Pops Derwood


Pops Derwood: "I think I want a Yadier Molina jersey."


PD: "Everyone should have one of those. XXL."

D: "You want an over sized Yadier Molina jersey?"

PD: "....nah."

Buy me some peanuts and a perforated image of George Washington?

Like Steve Trout after 46 1/3 innings with the 1987 Yankees, Cracker Jack may be done.

The ballpark favorite is quickly becoming an afterthought among the nation's young baseball fans with Dippin Dots and cigarettes all the rage nowadays. Even more alarming are the prizes. Cracker Jack used to give away whistles and miniature comic books. PD got a bag (not a box) at the game and his prize was a small booklet talking about George Washington and a perforated picture of Washington as a young man with a chance to fold the edges to reveal him as an adult!

What kid at a summer baseball game would want to do the exact same thing he just did for six months in school?

A kid called No One, that's what kid.

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