This classic baseball routine by the comedy team Bud Abbot and Lou Costello from their 1945 movie, “The Naughty Nineties” was also a regular part of their stage routine. Appropriately the team they’re talking about is from St. Louis. And, Abbott is the skinny guy.
Oct 20 2012
“Who’s on First”
Oct 20 2012
2012 NL Championship Series- Giants at Cardinals, Game 5
So the Yankees are done and the Grrrs wait until Wednesday to travel. My Dad the Tigers fan shakes his head and says that it’s all well and good except that the Senior League is going to crush the upstart Juniors because they suck this season. I agree but contend it’s for not-so-subtle structural reasons I’ll elaborate for you later, suffice it to say I strongly suspect I’ve been written out of the will. My pinstriped Mom mimes in that charades way that she’s never talking to me again and she wants my ceremonial ‘The Next’ Lorelai ableskiver pan back because I’m a disgrace to the Gilmore name. Baseball fever. Catch it.
I imagine that my Left Coast readers will feel the same way after I sadly inform them the Giants have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.
Now personally I have no horse in this race except for my always inappropriate (raw dripping animal skin, it’s the new black) but funny to me Rally Squirrel video.
It’s not so much that they’re losing games, it’s that their offense is getting shut down by Cardinals pitching where Cardinals offense is just beating up their pitchers and that’s not going to change. If Wainwright (Wainwright!) can put them away with Beltran benched (and I’ll admit straight up that Lincecum is an interesting story but a problematic pitcher) what the heck are they going to do tonight when they send Zito (15 – 8, 4.15 ERA) up against Lynn (18 – 7, 3.78 ERA)? Put up the same 5 relievers (Kontos, Mijares, Mota, Affeldt, and Lopez) who allowed 4 runs after Lincecum sat? That’s still a 4 – 2 Cardinals victory.
The good news is if they win tonight the Giants go back to AT&T Park and they’ll have Vogelsong and Cain facing Carpenter and Lohse. Hypothetically in their favor for Game 6, not so much for Game 7. You have to feel the Cards will be looking to close out so things don’t get that far. They could use the rest to set up their rotation (which is otherwise pretty screwed) and I could sure use it to get ready for the World Series.
Not that my material will improve. Like Slushy Dogs it will never get any better.
Senior League Games are carried on Faux.
Oct 07 2012
America’s Cup 2012: San Francisco Regatta
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest trophy dating back to 1851:
In 1851 a radical looking schooner ghosted out of the afternoon mist and swiftly sailed past the Royal Yacht stationed in the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of England, on an afternoon when Queen Victoria was watching a sailing race.
As the schooner, named America, passed the Royal Yacht in first position, and saluted by dipping its ensign three times, Queen Victoria asked one of her attendants to tell her who was in second place. ”Your Majesty, there is no second,” came the reply. That phrase, just four words, is still the best description of the America’s Cup, and how it represents the singular pursuit of excellence. [..]
Thus was born the America’s Cup, named after the winning schooner America, as opposed to the country.
The America’s Cup is without a doubt the most difficult trophy in sport to win. In the more than 150 years since that first race off England, only four nations have won what is often called the “oldest trophy in international sport.” For some perspective, consider that there had been nine contests for the America’s Cup before the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.
Gone now are the stately yachts, replace by carbon fiber catamarans that cruise the race course at speeds exceeding 30 knots, unimagined in 1851.
The race format has been changed to three different stages:
Today’s race in San Francisco is the final of the regatta that began on October 2nd. Saturday’s race was a hair raising event that saw one of these giant catamarans capsize, righted by the crew and going on to win.
Oracle Team USA Spithill took a lot of speed into the first mark when both bows went into the water. The boat stopped and nose dived into the San Francisco Bay. All crew were safe. The Oracle Team USA’s support team quickly pulled the boat back up and got it back ready to race.
‘We broke most of the frames in the top of the wing, so we’ll repair them tonight,’ Spithill said. ‘But, that’s the beauty of these boats – they’re very, very strong. You can continue racing even if you do have broken frames.’
The final is being broadcast live on NBC but if you don’t have TV, you can watch it here at Stars Hollow, Live;
The full replays of this week’s regatta can be viewed here.
Aug 04 2012
Overcoming The Odds
Age, heart conditions, and traumatic events were no deterrents to achieving their goals of reaching this Summer’s Olympics games in London and for some it has earned them gold.
Swimmer Dana Vollmer overcame a heart condition to win Olympic Gold and set a couple of world records
At the age of 15, already an elite swimmer, Ms. Vollmer, from Granbury, Tex., was taken to a local doctor after experiencing dizzy spells while training. Doctors discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat and set up a procedure to correct it. But they then discovered she had a genetic cardiac electrical disorder called long QT syndrome, which could lead at any moment to sudden cardiac arrest.
The diagnosis was sobering. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, each year about 2,000 people under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, most because of long QT syndrome and other electrical and structural defects in the heart. While sudden cardiac arrest can strike those who are sedentary, the risk is up to three times as great in competitive athletes.
Such diagnoses have derailed the ambitions of many young athletes. But Ms. Vollmer and her family decided against what may have been a career-ending decision to implant a defibrillator in her heart, and instead chose – with the approval of her doctors – to allow her to continue training as long as an external defibrillator was always within reach.
In 2004 in Athens at the age of 16, Dana won her first Olympic gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay event. Dana didn’t qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing but has since returned, renewed and refreshed overcoming her physical problems and the psychological effects that were holding her back. Monday night, she not only won the gold in the 100 meter butterfly, she did it in won in 55.98 seconds, breaking the world record. Then on Wednesday night at the Olympic Aquatic Centre, Dana Vollmer swam the second leg of the 4×200 freestyle relay, along with Missy Franklin, Shannon Vreeland, and Allison Schmitt on the last leg, the U. S. swim team won the Olympic gold medal and setting an Olympic record. The U. S. women’s team hadn’t won a swimming relay eight years at the Olympics.
Overcoming the psychological trauma of being sexual assaulted by her coach when she was 13 years old, Kayla Harrison won the first gold medal in judo for the United States.
In November 2007, a man pleaded guilty in a federal court in Dayton, Ohio, to illicit sexual conduct involving a 13-year-old girl. He was a judo coach, and the girl was a student he had trained closely and brought to international tournaments. Her name was given in court papers simply as “K.H.” or “the victim.” [..]
Harrison is simply the best on the team. It helps that she is also good-natured. And that she has a story she is not afraid to tell, a story that is jarring even for a sports press that can be nearly unhinged in its pursuit of the next inspirational tale.
The questions she fielded at the end of her match, about what she was thinking on the podium, about what the medal means to her, about how this compares to her own struggles, could be wince-inducing in their coy inquiries into such a painful topic.
But she answered them all with the same composure she had just used against her opponents on the mat.
“It’s no secret,” she began, after a long pause, when a reporter asked her to name the worst moment she had to face in her career, “that I was sexually abused by my former coach. And that was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome.”
Harrison has told her story before, first to USA Today only days after the indictment of Jerry Sandusky came down and the front pages were full of news about Penn State, sexual abuse and coaches who exploit their authority.
She said she felt it necessary to speak out so that others in her position could take heart.
Kayla is not a “victim”, she is a hero and a champion.
And for us for us seniors, who think that our time is over to be Olympic competitors there is Equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan the London Olympics oldest athlete:
The crowd did not go wild for Hiroshi Hoketsu of Japan as he rode Whisper out on to the sand of the Greenwich Park equestrian arena at one o’clock on Thursday afternoon. It wasn’t a question of bad manners; more a question of consideration.
A stadium-sized roar to acknowledge the arrival of the Games’ oldest competitor – a ramrod-straight and dapper man of 71 – would have frightened the mare and probably embarrassed her rider.
Hoketsu, after all, had not travelled from his home in Germany to fly the flag for older athletes, nor had he come to court the sympathy vote.
He had come to London, as he went to his first games in Tokyo in 1964, and to Beijing four years ago, to compete and, hopefully, to win.
And beneath a bright sky that turned Whisper’s brown coat a dark gold, that is what he tried his best to do. [..]
His white-gloved hands keeping her on a tight rein, Whisper executed a neat diagonal cross of the arena before pausing and reversing neatly to one corner. Seven minutes later, after she had appeared to jog on the spot, skip and goose-step her way around the arena, Whisper came to a stop in front of the judges. As the first drops of rain began to fall from a greying sky, the crowd burst into applause and Hoketsu raised his hat in acknowledgement.
And with that, the oldest Olympian rode out of the arena, to finish 17th out of 24.
When he was asked about his performance and if he would compete in Rio in four years, he blamed any errors on himself and said that competing was in doubt because of his partner Whisper’s age. He also lamented how the Olympics have changed since he started competing 48 years ago:
“The Olympic Games itself has changed a little bit,” he said. “At that time, participation was of more importance to everybody. But now I think medals are much more important, not only for athletes but also even for politics.“
We salute all the champions at the Olympics.
Aug 03 2012
Olympic Firsts for a Determined Champion
On Thursday night a diminutive 16 year old took the gold medal in Individual Gymnastics and accomplished something unique, not once but twice with the same performance. Gabrielle Christina Victoria “Gabby” Douglas, a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics teama member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team, became first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She did it with support and encouragement from her family in Virginia Beach and her adopted family in Des Moines, Iowa where she trained under Liang Chow, the former coach of 2008 Summer Olympics gold medal-winner Shawn Johnson.
She’s not done yet. Gabby is scheduled to compete in the finals of uneven bars on August 6 and balance beam on August 7.
Fly, Gabby, fly.
Apr 09 2011
The Week in Editorial Cartoons – The New Wisconsin Workers Anthem
Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma
Jul 09 2010
You may think I’m sports obsessed, but I look at it as a cultural metaphor.
We should never forget the Blues v. Greens. Losing Theodora was the real end of the Roman Empire.
This guy can command an hour of primetime.
The thing about professional athletes is that they get eyeballs and eyeballs are money. And as rich as you think these communistic unionists are, they don’t overcharge quite as much as the banksters.
My anarcho-syndicalist side says the players should own the teams and collectively self organize and what else are you going to call the Heat next year under guru Pat Riley?
The best team money can buy? They have salary caps, why do you think the Knicks suck (other than they just do)?
Drew Carey says goodbye to Cleveland for a chance to do really good improv with his buddies? What could be a more all-American success story? You might even say goal directed- a ring for the thing (do you have Prince Albert in a can?)
Jul 04 2010
The World Cup: A Brief, Gringo’s Guide to Futbol
Most of the planet has been tuned in to the World Cup since June 11, 2010, and will continue to watch and argue about it until the last whistle is blown on July 11. It’s expected that the audience for the final game will draw a tenth of the people on the planet. An audience of about 600 million people. It doesn’t matter very much to these people that their own countries didn’t qualify, or got eliminated. No. They’re watching, glued to the Tube, because that game is the World Game. And they love it. And they know great Futbol when they see it.
Unfortunately, in the US relatively few people care about futbol. Or soccer as most call it. They don’t reflect on the fact that the barefoot kids kicking a ball made of duct tape and rags in a vacant lot in Port au Prince or Kabul or in a favela in Rio are playing the same game that well scrubbed kids wearing uniforms and $100 shoes are trying to play in this country. So they don’t reflect on how democratic the game is. How anybody can play. And does. And how all you need is some ground and something to make a ball with. Shoes are optional. Goal posts are optional. Uniforms, optional. Only getting the ball into a goal counts.