patbaseball

There’s No Crying In Baseball!

Baseball is sport.  Sport is competition.  Sport is strategy.

Colby Lewis hates strategy, and thereby hates sport:

In the eyes of Colby Lewis, Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus sure could use a lesson in baseball etiquette.

The Rangers starting pitcher exchanged words with Rasmus during the fifth inning of Texas’ 4-1 loss Saturday. Lewis was irked when Rasmus laid down a two-out bunt single with the Blue Jays up 2-0 and the Rangers playing the shift.

“I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis said, according to MLB.com. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.”

Lewis, who fell to 6-7 with the loss, felt Rasmus’ bunt was a selfish act.

Managers are instituting more defensive shifts this year to stop the opposing team’s hitters from getting on base.  A defensive shift is where the third baseman plays shortstop, the shortstop moves to the right field side of second base side, and the second baseman plays in short right field.  This takes away most hitting lanes for a left-handed batter prone to pull the ball towards right field.

So, teams are instituting the defensive shift at a greater rate this season in order to achieve a competitive edge.  That’s fine.  That’s what sport is all about.  You try to take away your opponent’s strength by using strategy.

Colby Lewis and other pitchers are benefiting mightily thanks to the defensive shift.  Colby Lewis is now upset that Rasmus took advantage of the situation given to him by bunting the ball for a base hit.  He’s mad Rasmus hit the ball to the part of the field that had been vacated thanks to the dreaded shift.

Rasmus used strategy to get a competitive edge!

If I were a manager, and opposing teams instituted a defensive shift against one of my players, I’d tell my player to bunt, bunt again, bunt some more, and bunt even more!  If teams are giving up the third base line, then there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with a batter taking advantage of that glaring weakness.

Colby Lewis says it’s poor sportsmanship to bunt to beat the shift, but isn’t the shift itself an example of poor sportsmanship?  How about this: Let’s ban the shift!  Every team will have to play straight up, and it will once again be a battle between pitcher and batter.

May the best man win!

Then, we’ll have no more crying from players like Colby Lewis.

Until then, I implore all batters facing defensive shifts to…BUNT!!!

Read Eric Holden’s argument on why the defensive shift should be banned.

pat@wsgw.com

How I’ll Always Remember James Garner

James Garner was one of those actors who commanded the screen, be it in movies or television.  As numerous obits have noted, Garner became a household name thanks to successful TV shows like The Rockford Files and Maverick.  He also had some fantastic and memorable movie roles, such as his supporting role in Marlon Brando’s 1957 film, Sayonara, and his Academy Award nominating role in Murphy’s Romance.

JamesGarnerBut for me, I’ll always remember Garner as the hilarious sheriff in Support Your Local Sheriff (1969).  It was a brilliantly written comic-Western, and wonderfully acted as illustrated by the following scene featuring Garner and the indelible Bruce Dern.

R.I.P. James Garner.

Monday Music Minute–R.E.M.

Let’s get the week started with a Hilary Farrell “Monday Music Minute.”

REMDuring our Sunday First Day show on WSGW, Hilary wanted to honor the 45th anniversary of the Moon Landing by playing R.E.M.’s 1992 classic, “Man on the Moon,” from the Automatic For The People (Dr. Heather’s favorite R.E.M. album, incidentally).  So, that made your song a good pick, Hilary.

Click the link to hear Hilary intro the song from our show, and then I’ve provided the song in its entirety at the end of this post.

Enjoy!

Monday Music Minute with WSGW’s Hilary Farrell:  R.E.M.’s “Man On the Moon.”

Wednesday Indie Music Day–Phox

Phox have gotten my attention of late, and it’s easy to understand why.

PhoxThe pride of Baraboo, Wisconsin is quickly receiving recognition and praise from artists and critics, thanks to songs like the one I featured on last Sunday’s First Day with Pat Johnston & Hilary Farrell on WSGW.

“Slow Motion” is delight with a mix of pop sensibility with a variety of instruments leading the way at various stages of the song.  But it’s Monica Martin’s serene voice that ties it all together.

To pick up their self-titled debut album, visit Phox’s website and Facebook page.

Enjoy!

Choosing Fear Over Logic & Reason

The chance of bringing poor and tired Central American children to Vassar has created this:

VASSARImmigration

More than 50 people from across Michigan turned out to protest the possibility that a Vassar facility could house Central American children and teens who have fled into the country.

The group, led by Michiganders for Immigration Control and Enforcement organizer Tamyra Murray, marched a little more than a mile, from Vassar City Hall to Wolverine Human Services‘ Pioneer Work and Learn Center.

Some carried AR-15 rifles and handguns, while others carried Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, American flags and Rochester resident Jeff McQueen’s “second American revolution” flags, designed from Betsy Ross’ flag with a Roman Numeral II in the middle.

Guns?

Why the guns?  We’re talking about children, not The Terminator.

It’s simply remarkable how some use fear over logic and reason on trying to deal with this crisis.  That’s how it’s always been, I suppose.

I mean, people like Murray shout ludicrous assertions like, these kids are really secret terrorists, or gang members, or future drug lords without actually citing any freakin’ facts!

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot.  Murray has some extremely reliable sources, as Lindsay Knake from The Saginaw News reports:

Murray said she has connections and friends along the Mexican border who are providing her with information on the situation.

Who are these “connections?”  How did these “connections” come about this information about these kids and their real plans to run ObamaLand!

And Murray shared another thing we should fear about these kids: disease.

It’s possible some of them might be carrying…something.  If so, then that’s why we should treat them for their illnesses.  Still, it’s rich to hear the very same people who say government has no right to force their kids to get vaccination shots complain about possible diseases these kids might carry.  They didn’t seem to care that refusing to get their kids vaccinated not only harmed them, but also to the rest of the kids in their community!

Right, American diseases are better than foreign ones.  I hear ya.

Some conspiracies are real, like, for example, how the U.S. trade policies may have purposely destroyed the very region where these kids derive.  Some conspiracies are fake, like, for example, this one.

The notion that President Obama secretly wanted thousands of kids to rush to the U.S. to help build a Democratic Party majority is insane!  Instead of reading up on the facts as to why the kids are desperately seeking asylum in the U.S., opponents are choosing to use hyperbole and guns.

President Obama has unveiled a plan to deal with this current crisis, only to be stymied by the conservative wing of Congress.  You see, Americans aren’t pleased with how Obama is handling the crisis, and Republicans are happy to block anything he proposes if it means lowering his poll numbers.

On the flip side, Americans are even less happy with Republicans on this issue, and a majority support the President’s proposal to help alleviate the crisis.

I suppose Americans see Obama actually proposing…something…while his opponents use fear.

Fear is an invaluable tool to have at one’s disposal during an election cycle.  Fear won many electoral races during the Cold War and War On Terror time periods.  Fear is emotional, and doesn’t require logic and reason.

But as Captain Janeway says in an episode of Star Trek Voyager:

“Like all fear, you eventually vanish.”

Here’s hoping in the long run the logical and reasonable wing of not only the Great Lakes Bay Region, but also of the nation, prevail.

pat@wsgw.com

NOTE: Click here to listen to my interview with Tamyra Murray of MICE from last Sunday’s First Day show on WSGW.