Getting It Off My Chest Volume 1: Things That Turn Me Into Grumpy Cat


Many people write for different reasons. Some because they think they are good and want the whole world to see it. Some think they know everything and can’t resist the temptation to attempt to convince everyone of it. Some write because they are full of venom and love to spew it all over the page. Others observe the world through those proverbial “rosy-colored” glasses and write while they are farting rainbows.

I don’t actually line up with any of those conventions. The number one reason I write is because it is therapeutic, at least it is to me. If I see a wrong, I may try to right it through the written page. The satisfaction I gain from that is chicken noodle soup for my soul.

Let’s look at some things that irk me to my foundation.

One of my biggest peeves is to hear an announcer refer to a players weight, ERA or batting average as “a buck something”, assuming of course it falls under 2 and above 1. I tell you I could scream, I do scream at the TV. Can’t you just hear them now, “Here comes Joe Blow, he is having a tough start this spring, hitting a buck eighty-nine?” Please, dear God, muzzle everyone who tries to say that.

Another one is a person referring to a current player as “a future Hall of Famer”. With the selection process the way it is now, you cannot assume that anyone will ever get in there. A guy may be a couple of seasons into his career, live Evan Longoria, they start right up, “Future Hall of Famer”. Anything could happen between then and the perhaps untimely end of his career.

I bet they said that about Herb Score. He was Rookie of the Year in 1955 with the Indians and led the American League in strikeouts his first two years. He won 20 in 1956 making him a 36-game winner in only his sophomore season. I bet you a hundred bucks someone called him a future Hall of Famer. How were they suppose to know that Gil McDougal would figuratively knock his eye out with a line drive the next year? Things happen.

I hate it every fall at the beginning of post-season, some numb-nuts announcer rolls the footage of the ball going through the wicket on poor old Bill Buckner. Get over it!

I hope I never have to watch the footage of Kirk Gibson‘s home run with the infamous chant of the great Jack Buck, “I can’t believe what I just saw.” I can, let us move on. The “chain saw” arm work is what really gets me going.

The shot that was heard around the world is another teeth gnasher. I have seen it probably 50 times and become more irritated with it each time. “The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant.” I had to sit through it a couple of times on Sunday when I took the family to see Parental Guidance with Billy Crystal. Excellent movie.

If, to be statistically accurate, we must take into consideration each ball park, why do they allow them to be different shapes and sizes. Shouldn’t they all be about 340’ down the line and 410″ in center? If they made them all the same they wouldn’t have to argue about how Todd Helton, Dante Bichette, Larry Walker, et al are not that good, because of where they flourished.

I wax sentimental sometimes about old Crosley Field and the terrace in the outfield. If you think that terrace was something, you need to look at a photo of Sulphur Dell, the home of the now defunct Nashville Vols minor league squad. Now that is a terrace.

It irritates me when people call the Angels “the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.” They have been the Los Angeles Angels to me since they were formed in 1961 playing in old Wrigley Field in LA, where the Home Run Derby was shot in the sixties. If they would move to Burbank they would still be the Los Angeles Angels.

With the technology of the day, who needs umpires? They should be relegated to officials to keep the game progressing. All calls should be made by automated drones. Seriously.

People who are hard core Sabrmetricians kind of get under my skin. I have tried to keep up and understand the newer metrics, but I can’t seem to do it. When WAR tells me that Bobby Grich was better than Manny Ramirez, Barry Larkin, Tony Gwynne and Ryne Sandberg, it loses credibility with me very fast.

I have confessed to being Old School, so I appreciate any latitude you could lend me, but I would like someone, a reader, fan, mathematician or Bill James himself to tutor me on the finer things of baseball statistics. If a man gets four hits in 12 at bats, I realize quickly that he is batting .333. I do agree that OBP trumps batting average. Doesn’t matter how you get on base, so long as you are there. I can compute ERA and all the other apparently rudimentary statistics. It is when you throw in made-up stuff or hypothesis that you make my eyes roll back in my head. If someone would like to contact me and show me the way, I would be most appreciative.

I don’t like it that the All-Star game has to have a representative from each team. That is no good. Back in 1965, John O’Donoghue of the KC Athletics was chosen as a representative for that team. At the break he had a record of 4-12 with an ERA of 4.08. That is not good, do you hear me? Besides what does that say about the other A’s?

Pitch count. That is another problem area for my head to wrap around. I have been the victim of a cerebrovascular accident some eight years ago. That is a stroke if you haven’t tried to google it yet. It didn’t kill me, though at times, I wish it had. Anyway, the pitch count is a contrived number that wasn’t around in the days prior to at least the 1980s, probably longer. Pitching coaches worry about that all the time. Why do they allow their man to throw eight warm-up tosses per inning? That comes to 72 for a nine inning game and most are allowed to only throw 100 during the game. Go figure.

I am getting grumpy so it is time to call a truce with my keyboard. I know I have enjoyed writing this article more than you have reading it. That is what therapy is all about my good friends.

Ahhh, feelin’ better already.