Posted on: September 21, 2011 6:04 pm
I wrote a 9/11 rembrance column on President Bush's first pitch at the World Series, and then you wrote. And you wrote. And you were so touching, I wanted to share some of your thoughts. So if you don't mind, I'm going to roll the tape here, stand aside and skip my usual replies. ...
Re.: Bush walked out alone -- with a whole country beside him
The article you wrote on President Bush's first pitch after 9/11 was phenomenal. You powerfully evoked all of the emotions I felt that night watching him tell our country and our enemy that we can handle any pressure or obstacle. Thanks for that.
FROM: Robert B.
You captured the moment. I'm a 64-year-old, life-time Red Sox fan who was proud to be an American that night ... and every day since!
FROM: Brian S.
Bush walked out alone -- awesome article, simply awesome. Nice work.
FROM: Ruth L.
FROM: Kevin F.
I loved your article about President George W. Bush's first pitch before Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. The perfect strike symbolism didn't escape me at the time and it resonates 10 years later. Thank you for reminding me what a moving and inspiring moment it was. And Jeter is one funny you-know-what.
FROM: Steve O.
I have tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat.
Based on how Obama threw the pitch at the All-Star Game (in St. Louis in 2009), let's be glad he wasn't out there trying to throw the ball.
FROM: Neal J.
As we look back, we see that Bush had one singular response to the horrific attack, to start a meaningless war and to pitch a baseball. He and his pals are laughing all the way to the bank.
FROM: Joe L.
Thanks for such a well-delivered, poignant article. It is a good brick in the wall of remembrance. Evil can take away a lot what is precious, including the lives of the innocent, but it cannot touch our freedom. Thank God for all the strong and the brave who still stand up for it.
FROM: Mark H.
It moved me to tears thinking back about that night. In some ways, I wish we could go back to that feeling where we were a true United States.
Damn right it was a strike. Thank you for this article. It reminded me how important it was to do what he did. We forget how he helped bring unity as a leader. No matter what anyone says, we had never been through a moment like that before Pearl Harbor, then 9/11. Nobody can talk about how it was to be in that position but him.
FROM: Ian M.
An absolutely awesome column. That pitch for me ranks one step higher than Kirk Gibson's HR in the 1988 World Series. A single first pitch that gave the nation a sense of strength and unity. Unbelievable!
The best article I've read on this, or any other, site. Beautifully written, Mr. Miller.
Likes: Where the Yankees stand on things was exhibited again when Derek Jeter said after the team clinched a playoff spot in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday that there would be no celebrating. To the Yankees, it's about the AL East title -- and the World Series. ... Oakland giving manager Bob Melvin a three-year contract. He'll help the Athletics. ... Looking forward to seeing Moneyball. I'm sure I'll have some issues with it, but my I hear its very well done and the writing is snappy -- which is no surprise, with Aaron Sorkin writing the script. ... If you're on I-94 driving between Chicago and Milwaukee, pull off the freeway for lunch at the Mars Cheese Castle. Great cheese, lots of free samples, terrific deli and, hey ... bottom line is, you can tell everyone you've been to the Mars Cheese Castle. ... Both Gino's East and Giordano's deep dish pizza in Chicago. ... Bob Seger on iTunes. ... Glad to see Hawaii Five-O back for a new season. Fun show. ... Here We Rest, the disc from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit that was released in the spring, is fantastic. You should check it out.
Dislikes: That is one ugly new logo for the Florida Marlins. ... The massive conference re-alignment/expansion scramble. All of these colleges should be ashamed of themselves, throwing traditional rivalries away like used napkins to flee for big paydays. ... Rough start for the Falcons of Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central. They're 1-2 so far, with, hopefully, a win on deck against Milan this week.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"I've been stuck here in this town, if you call it that, a year or two
"I never do what I'm supposed to do. I don't even need a name anymore,
"No one calls it out, kind of vanishes away
"No one gives a damn about the things I give a damn about
"The liberties that we can't do without seem to disappear like ghost in the air
"We don't even care, Until it vanishes away"
-- Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Alabama Pines
Posted on: May 8, 2009 1:05 am
Arizona can fire Bob Melvin on Thursday and name Connie Mack manager on Friday, but unless the Diamondbacks start hitting more than .225 as a team, and unless they jack up their humiliating .297 on-base percentage, it's not going to matter.
As it is, the Diamondbacks will name as Melvin's replacement A.J. Hinch, according to reports on various Phoenix media outlets late Thursday night. Hinch, who was the Diamondbacks' highly regarded farm director, has no managerial experience. Good luck with that.
It's panic time in the desert, where that great wave of kids who landed in the National League Championship Series in 2007 and followed that up with a terrific 20-8 mark last April has flatlined ever since.
The Diamondbacks' batting average is 31 points below the NL average of .256.
Their on-base percentage is 40 points below the NL average of .337.
Both figures are easily the worst in the majors.
Not surprisingly, hitting coach Rick Schu was gassed as well. And pitching coach Bryan Price, a Melvin loyalist, resigned.
"We know something has to be done because we've been grossly underperforming for five-plus months," Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall told Phoenix radio station KTAR Thursday morning before the team's 4-3, 10-inning loss in San Diego. "And it's not fair to the fans, it's not fair to the organization, it's not fair to the young players performing below this team at Triple-A and Double-A that are ready for their opportunity."
Some of those young players may be on the next shipment into Chase Field at the present rate.
Present top candidate to be replaced: Scuffling center fielder Chris Young, who is batting .177 with just two homers in 105 plate appearances. This is a guy who slammed 32 homers two years ago and 22 last year.
He ain't alone in the struggling department.
Strikeout machine Mark Reynolds has whiffed 36 times in 102 at-bats.
Posted on: September 7, 2008 9:55 pm
LOS ANGELES -- It was a reeling Arizona team that headed for San Francisco late Sunday night, and nobody is reeling more than ace right-hander Brandon Webb.
If he doesn't pitch like a No. 1, the Diamondbacks will not win. Period.
And not only is he not pitching like a No. 1, over his past three starts he hasn't even pitched like a No. 5.
He's been scorched for 22 hits and 21 runs (19 earned) over his past three starts, covering 13 2/3 innings. He's been so bad that there's speculation on whether or not he's hurt -- something to which he and the Diamondbacks say, not a chance.
One scout I spoke with Sunday -- a guy who has seen Webb multiple times this year, including Saturday's disastrous, six-walk outing -- agreed with Arizona.
"His velocity is the same, and his stuff is the same, as it has been all year," the scout said. "I don't think he's hurt. I just think he's not getting the ball where he needs to get it."
Webb has complained that he's fighting his arm slot, that he can't find it. Often, that can be a sign of injury -- the pitcher raising or lowering his arm slot to compensate for pain.
But again, everybody around the Diamondbacks says no.
Manager Bob Melvin says that the only thing for he and pitching coach Bryan Price to do is to simply continue to work.
"You have to try and combat things when they haven't gone right for you," Melvin said.
"I would hope that's not the case," Melvin says. "Typically, when you have good pitchers out there, it's easier to play."
At the worst time possible, the Diamondbacks are finding it really difficult to play.
And as good as the first-place Dodgers are going now, it could only get better for them. Pitcher Brad Penny (right shoulder), closer Takashi Saito (right elbow) and shortstop Rafael Furcal (back) all are close to being healthy enough to re-join the team.
The Dodgers aren't expecting any of the three to return to form. Penny may pitch out of the bullpen and Saito won't immediately return as closer, for example. And it's unrealistic to anticipate Furcal returning to the everyday lineup after missing much of the summer.
But at the very least, in this month of expanded rosters, they'll give manager Joe Torre depth.
Posted on: March 15, 2008 7:19 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2008 11:42 pm
TEMPE, Ariz. -- So you follow every single move your favorite team makes, and you've tracked so many rumors involving moves your club eventually didn't make that you need a stronger glasses prescription each year.
You wonder where that middle-of-the-order bat will come from, how your team will beef up its bullpen and when maybe it'll add to its rotation depth.
Now for this breaking news flash: Ya know, not every player bothers paying close attention to what his team is doing all winter.
As the Angels' high-powered winter rolled along -- they traded Orlando Cabrera for pitcher Jon Garland, signed Torii Hunter as a free agent, and spent weeks trying to trade for Florida's Miguel Cabrera -- Weaver remained blissfully ignorant.
"I don't pay attention to anything anybody does in the winter," Weaver said. "I just found out Nick Swisher was with the White Sox when we played them the other day. I was out with a buddy over the winter when somebody test messaged him that we signed Torii Hunter.
"That's how I found out we got him."
Hey, nothin' wrong with separating your work from the rest of your life, right? It's healthy. You don't obsess over the office when you're on vacation, do you?
Likes: Padres 3, Dodgers 3 in China. As one press box wag cracked, the Chinese already were going to have a difficult enough time deciphering this wacky American game without having to have ties explained to them. ... Using the phrase "press box wag." You just don't hear that often enough anymore. ... Randy Johnson still pitching. ... Arizona manager Bob Melvin's reply when I blanked for a second and called him "Doug" Saturday morning. Not to be confused with Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin, of course. I apologized and he said, "That's OK, Jim." Touche. ... Wall-to-wall college hoops for the next few weeks. ... How about the ending of the Minnesota-Indiana game in the Big 10 tournament? What a shot. ... Coffee Plantation on Mill St. in the Arizona State area. ... The thin crust pizza at Oregano's, followed by the pizza cookie. Only time I ever eat dessert after eating pizza. And I woke up the next morning not wanting to eat anything. ... The tortilla encrusted Mahi at Richardson's Cuisine of the Southwest. Hoo boy, is that place good.
Dislikes: Sunday's weather report. Keep reading.
Sunblock day? Not so much. Cloudy off and on, even a little on the cool side. It's supposed to drop down into the 50s for a high Sunday in the desert, which is a load of hooey. I mean, come on, we're entering the final two weeks of the spring. People are shoveling snow in much of the country, and it'll disillusion you if it turns cold down here, won't it?
Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:
"Your Mama's yappin' in the back seat
-- Bruce Springsteen, Sherry Darlin'