I’m thankful that I’m able to attend these types of things.
I do almost all of the dumb things other baseball fans do.
I pout, I swear, I complain about the ump’s strike zone, I turn off the TV when my team falls behind in the second inning.
One thing I hardly ever do, though, is complain about the manager’s decisions. That sets me apart from about 96 percent of baseball fans.
I just feel like Don Mattingly (or any manager) really has very little influence on the outcome of a game. The players are responsible for about 99.9 percent of what happens.
Moreover, every major-league manager possesses virtually the same amount of knowledge and information. Mattingly knows as much as Mike Matheny knows as much as Joe Maddon. There’s a reason they are big-league managers. And they sure as heck know a lot more about the game than I do. So criticizing the manager is a road I just don’t travel very often.
The only thing that bugs me about Mattingly is his love affair with bunting. But even that doesn’t bother me very much.
Talent and execution by the players is what wins games. Not the manager.
My writing muse seems to have left me hanging the last few days. So how about a picture of the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time?
Maisa and I watched a documentary about Sandy last night before bed. Goodness, he was an incredible pitcher.
Willie Mays, probably one of the five best players ever, was interviewed on the program and said there were times he felt like he had no chance against Koufax.
Willie Stargell, one of the most feared power hitters in baseball history, said hitting against Koufax was like drinking coffee with a fork.
Ernie Banks, the great Cubs shortstop who won back-to-back MVP awards, said he “never saw everything come together for an athlete like it did for Koufax.” Banks said there was a game in which he struck out three times against Sandy — on nine pitches.
Mickey Mantle, a Hall of Famer and Triple Crown winner, struck out on Koufax’s physics-defying curveball in the 1963 World Series, then turned to catcher John Roseboro and said, “Now how the hell am I supposed to hit that sh**?”
And my favorite quote from Roseboro: “Catching Koufax, it was like having the feeling of ‘Yeah, we’re gonna kick someone’s a** today.’ “
Maisa’s reading log from school had two columns: “Read by parent” and “Read by child.”
Maisa can read by herself, so I told her to sit down and read some books and we’d record them in the log.
But she insisted that I sit by her. “YOU HAVE TO SIT NEXT TO ME OR IT DOESN’T COUNT.”
I assured her that it was fine that I wasn’t sitting next to her.
Five minutes later: “YOU HAVE TO SIT NEXT TO ME OR IT DOESN’T COUNT.”
I finally figured it out. Maisa thought “Read by child” meant “You must be by the child when she is reading.“
Little rascal. She’s too smart for her own good.