And what a brilliant Friday it will be! I have two weeks left of this term (finals included), and I have to say I’m just about ready to not be at school for a while. I’m usually good for it until about the last 3-4 weeks of the term, and then my interest takes a detour straight into the ground. I’ve done well enough this term, however, managing not to break my record of getting a grade below 90%, so I feel OK about letting things coast a bit at the tail end. I’m just really glad today is the end of the week.
I was listening to Mike and Mike in the Morning today, and Mike Golic was talking about Barry Zito’s intentional drilling of Prince Fielder at a Spring Training game yesterday, retaliation for a bit of an “over celebrated” walkoff homer during last year’s run for the Wild Card. Golic’s assessment was that Zito was being a whiner (my word, not his) for meting out punishment for the Fielder move, which happened at the end of the game and didn’t involve Fielder admiring his dinger, but only celebrating with his teammates. His main argument seemed to center around football players who are allowed a little bit of joy in the end zone after a big play. While I think that any comparison of the two games is absolutely ludicrous, it did start me thinking about both sides of the coin.
Boiled down to the game’s essence, baseball is mano y mano, pitcher vs. batter. Football is, frankly, a bunch of guys vs. a bunch of guys. Sure there is room for clotheslining someone if you think they’ve committed some egregious sin to show you up during the game, but there is so much more a one-on-one duel in baseball…let me put it this way – if some football player runs a pass and scores, he ran it because he got past all the guys on the other team, and his teammates were helping him do that. When a hitter knocks one over the wall, it’s just the hitter, and he did that against just the pitcher. It is quite obvious to the 30,000+ people in the stands who screwed up and who took advantage of that mistake. After over 100 years of game history, it’s expected that the pitcher hangs his head and curses, and that the batter acts like he’s been there before. But Fielder didn’t look longingly at his hit, nor did he point at or in any way acknowledge the pitcher who threw it. He simply took his lap, and came back and jumped around with his teammates…
You know who else did that last year?
Ichiro Suzuki. Don’t tell me the groin chop with all the guys at the plate after his walkoff against Mariano Rivera has been forgotten already (it was even on the Christmas card I received from the ticket office), because I’m willing to bet that it’s still fresh in Rivera’s mind. That was Ichiro doing exactly the same thing that Prince Fielder did. We play the Yankees ten times this year. Ten opportunities for them to pull a Zito. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but it will be interesting to see what happens. The Giants had all offseason to stew over the Fielder issue. The Yankees have had all offseason tempered by a World Series win, but it’s my understanding that baseball players’ memories are very long. Obviously, I’d like them to be adults about it and understand that we were just having fun…but so were the Brewers. Watch out, Ichi…
Anyway, on to some photos before I have to wash this dye out of my hair…
Taken during the Yankees series last year. I don’t know who this guy was, but it was undoubtedly the classiest player jersey I’d ever seen for an opposing team. I get so tired of seeing everything sprayed with Jeter’s name, so this was a nice change. I applaud the wearer (even though he had no idea I was taking a photo of his back), good form!
Ichiro doing what Ichiro does, around his little right field square. I’d think this was an odd picture except that it’s such a common sight. Come to think of it, you really don’t see that many players taking as much care and time during the game to keep themselves stretched out as Ichiro does. Sure, a guy might reach down and touch a toe once in a while or something, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you could set a watch by Ichi’s game routine.
Mark Lowe taking some time to warmup mid-way into a game. I’m so glad he’s sticking around for another year. He used to scare me something fierce, but has since turned into a bright spot in the game, and we’re better for it. Plus, he helps John Wetteland rock the weird, and I can dig it.
Happy Friday, everyone!