Tag:Hal McCoy
Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:37 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 11:58 pm
 

Reds look to get back on track Thursday

CINCINNATI -- Hoo boy, tough night for the Reds on Wednesday as the Dodgers rolled 6-2 to snatch first place from San Diego in the NL West.

Not only was it their third consecutive loss and their fourth in five games as they battle St. Louis in the NL Central, but. ...

Cincinnati rookie Mike Leake (five earned runs and nine hits in six innings) was tagged with the first loss of his major-league career. He made history by becoming the first Reds rookie pitcher to ever go undefeated through his first 12 starts, then the Dodgers' Andre Ethier made history by blasting a hanging curveball for a three-run homer in the sixth to mortally wound Leake.

Then, in the bottom of the sixth with Los Angeles leading 5-0, two on and none out, Scott Rolen and manager Dusty Baker were both ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt when Rolen lost it after being called out on strikes.

It was only the third ejection of Rolen's 14-year career and, as he explained, "I thought it was a big at-bat, a game-changing at-bat, possibly."

Rolen joked that, after Tuesday's marathon game that featured a 2 1/2-hour rain delay and didn't wrap up until 1 a.m., he and Wendelstedt were asking each other whether they got enough sleep and then the umpire said, "Why don't you go up and sit in the cold tub and get ready for Thursday's game."

"That was it," Rolen said with a wry smile. "I'm not sure what it looked like."

The ejections were one sure signal that summer is heating up. The surprising Reds are keeping a close eye on the Cardinals, but they've also hit a rough patch that is testing them.

"We knew we'd go through periods like this," Baker said afterward. "We've got to keep fighting. It's a long season, and it's not going to be up all the time. There's a long way to go, and there are going to be good times, and there are going to be great times."

There also will be rough times and, as Baker said, "That's why you want to be as many games over .500 as you can, so when you hit one of these streaks ... you want a cushion."

The Reds have one more game against the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon before heading west to play Seattle and Oakland.

And it is not lost on them that these same Dodgers swept the Cardinals just one week ago in Los Angeles.

Likes: Love that Great American Ballpark sits right on the Ohio River. Very cool to look out beyond the right-field bleachers and see the river flowing. ... Nice billboard featuring Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy and his "The Real McCoy" blog for his old newspaper, the Dayton Daily News, while driving into town the other day. Even better to see my old friend in person these last two nights. ... Had a chance to catch the Bruce Springsteen exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before leaving Cleveland earlier this week. Great display, including a phenomenal amount of hand-written lyrics and some iconic clothes, including the threads that Bruce wore on the cover of both Born in the USA and The River. The red cap from his back pocket on Born in the USA is almost comically plain, and worn. ... Johnny Cash's tour bus, also on display at the Rock Hall.

Dislikes: Nobody's thrilled with rain delays, and Tuesday night's was a doozy. The Reds and Dodgers waited two-and-a-half hours before resuming play midway through the game after 11 p.m. The game didn't end until 1 a.m. But you know what? The thunderstorm was worth it. Man did it pour. And the lightening show was spectacular.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Got kind of tired packing and unpacking
"Town to town, and up and down the dial
"Maybe you and me were never meant to be
"But baby think of me once in awhile
"I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati"

-- Hugh Wilson, Theme to 'WKRP in Cincinnati'

Posted on: August 7, 2009 1:36 am
Edited on: August 7, 2009 1:47 am
 

They've got the Mets pinned down

Over in one corner of the New York Mets' clubhouse Thursday afternoon, a laptop computer sat on a chair. Apparently abandoned in the middle of a war video game, a robotic voice emanating from the tiny speakers kept repeating, "They've got me pinned down here! They've got me pinned down here!"

It could have served as the motto for the 2009 Mets, who opened a seven-game trip to San Diego and Arizona five games under .500 (51-56) and 10 games behind first-place Philadelphia.

Still wiping the red from their faces over the fiasco in which Tony Bernazard, the angry and vicious little assistant general manager, was fired and GM Omar Minaya lashed out at a reporter, the beleaguered Mets currently are dizzy from the spin of their injury merry-go-round.

Let's see, if today is Thursday, then. ...

Pitcher Jonathon Niese must be out for the season (complete tear of the right upper hamstring from the bone).

Shortstop Jose Reyes is expected to be out for the season (with what the club is calling "significant" scar tissue and inflammation behind the right knee).

Reliever Bobby Parnell will be moved into the rotation for a spot start Saturday night in San Diego.

And Mike Pelfrey (home with wife Angela as the couple was expecting its first baby on Thursday) will be pushed back to Monday's start against Arizona.

"It's half my day," manager Jerry Manuel says of his time spent talking with trainers and analyzing who's available and who isn't.

*******

A couple of other Mets observations:

-- Even if Philadelphia (61-45) plays .500 ball the rest of the way and the other two teams ahead of them -- Atlanta and Florida -- play sub-.500 ball, the Mets (51-57) must go 39-15 the rest of the way to win the division. That's playing at a .722 clip. The Mets have never scored that high of a winning percentage. Their best came in their 1986 World Series championship season, when they compiled a .667 winning percentage during the regular season.

-- Oliver Perez now has his hair pushed up into a Mohawk, much like last October's Tampa Bay Rays. Oliver Perez should forget his hair and put that effort into his pitching. The Man Who Can't Control His Mechanics currently is averaging nearly the same number of walks per inning (0.96) than St. Louis' Joel Pineiro is walks per nine innings (1.0).

-- Perez's number of walks has exceeded his number of innings pitched in six of his 10 starts this season. he can make it seven of 11 on Friday night in San Diego.

-- New York starters rank 12th among the league's 16 rotations with a 4.65 ERA. With large contributions from Perez, nobody in the NL has issued more walks than the Mets' starters (264).

-- The Mets already have roughly $90 million committed for 2010 to just seven players: Carlos Beltran ($20 million), Johan Santana ($21 million), Oliver Perez ($12 million), Frankie Rodriguez ($11 million), David Wright ($10.25 million), Jose Reyes ($9 million) and Luis Castillo ($6.25 million)

Likes: New Padre Clayton Richard learned one key thing from his old White Sox teammate Mark Buehrle: Get the ball, throw the ball. He's a fast worker, which the fielders playing behind him love. I never will understand why more pitchers don't figure that out. ... If this is the secret to longevity, sign me up for some: Around 4 p.m. Thursday, three hours before he was scheduled to pitch for the Mets, a clubhouse guy delivered a hefty cheeseburger to Livan Hernandez, straight from the visiting clubhouse kitchen.

Dislikes: It's a sad, sad day when the Dayton Daily News decides to stop covering the Cincinnati Reds and the legendary Hal McCoy is, in his words, "put out to pasture." Hal has been covering the Reds since the Big Red Machine days of the 1970s and knows more about baseball than most of us ever will. He's pure class, always has been, and he's had a wonderful run. He says he's finished after this year, and I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss seeing him in press boxes around the league. Godspeed, good buddy. ... If you want to know more about Hal, here you go, a column from July, 2006, on the eve of his induction into the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I got some groceries, some peanut butter
"To last a couple of days
"But I ain't got no speakers
"Ain't got no headphones
"Ain't got no records to play"

-- Talking Heads, Life During Wartime

Posted on: March 27, 2009 7:20 pm
 

Get well soon, Aaron Boone

 I don't know if the day will come when we'll again see infielder Aaron Boone in a Houston uniform -- or any other big league uniform, for that matter.

But I'm really looking forward to the day when we again see Boone around a major-league park. Because I'm sure we will, and with the terrific news this week that he's made it through open-heart surgery at Stanford University and is doing well, it will only be a matter of time.

Few folks in the game are as classy as Boone. We worked together two falls ago, doing post-game World Series video analysis during the Boston-Colorado sweep, and as I knew it would be, it was a pleasure. He was effort-less and charming, as always. He was interested in the entire process, and willing to do whatever was asked.

And when I blew the opening of the very first video we did by introducing him as "former infielder Aaron Boone", not only was he not insulted, but he about choked on his gum. He thought it was too funny. And, of course, he didn't let me forget it.

It always has taken a lot to penetrate Boone's cool.

And cool has always emanated from one of baseball's good guys.

This is a guy who was on top of the world after pushing the Yankees into the World Series with his ALCS-winning home run against Boston in Game 7 in 2003.

And a guy who then ripped up his knee playing basketball that winter and told the Yankees exactly what had happened, costing himself millions. And the Yankees, suddenly in need of a third baseman, later that winter traded for a fella named ... Rodriguez. Alex.

But Boone's best humanitarian moment by far came when Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy, who had covered the Cincinnati Reds for four decades for the Dayton Daily News, suffered a degenerative eye condition that resulted in him being legally blind.

McCoy determined to continue working, but became despondent that spring when he was in the clubhouse and realized he couldn't see well enough to pick out players who literally weren't standing in front of him.

Boone noticed something amiss with McCoy and approached him. Hal said he thought he was going to quit. Boone then delivered an impassioned pep talk, telling McCoy that the players would help him, that he was too good to leave and that Boone didn't ever want to hear McCoy using the word "quit" again.

Six years later, McCoy is still covering the Reds.

Six years from now, Booney, we'd better see you back in the game, too.

Get well soon, pal..

----

Aside to the gentleman who left the comment under my blog the other day: The late George Kell and Ernie Harwell did work together on Tigers television and radio broadcasts between 1960 and 1963. Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to comment.

Likes: New Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu has the best posture of any manager I've ever seen. He cuts a trim figure, anyway, but he stands as straight as a piece of plywood while working the fields during drills. ... Chris Getz winning the White Sox's second base job. ... The San Diego Padres in the process of being sold. ... Yours truly nailing 15 of the Sweet 16 teams on his brackets. Figures, this is the year I'm not in a pool where I can win money. ... A Three Stooges movie is enticing enough, but Sean Penn as one of the stars? Now this I've got to see. ... Danica McKellar, even if she just did get married earlier this month. The only other girl I've had a crush on since meeting my wife. How could you not if you watched The Wonder Years? Ah, Winnie Cooper. What a fabulous, fabulous show.

Dislikes: Man, was it windy here Thursday night. Not just windy, but howling, gale-force, devil winds. The internet in my hotel was out by 8 p.m. I called downstairs and the guy just basically said, "Forget it. It's out. Too windy, mon." ... Aw, did you see where Dan Seals, the Dan part of England Dan and John Ford Coley, passed away? You couldn't avoid I'd Really Love to See You Tonight if you heard any radio at all in the late 1970s. How many times was that the background music for dates?

Sunblock Day? Barely. That wind brought a chill to the desert. Sunny day, but very cool. Good blue jeans weather. Forget shorts.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I won't ask for promises
"So you won't have to lie
"We've both played this game before
"Say I love you then say goodbye"

-- England Dan and John Ford Coley, I'd Really Love to See You Tonight

 

 

 
 
 
 
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