By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave while wondering when the Olympics is going to add speed texting as an event and please don’t tell me they already have.
—I nearly did a back flip in my backyard when I saw Atlanta manager Brian Snitker remove superstar Ronald Acuna Jr., from a game after Acuna stood at home plate admiring a ball he thought was a home run.
The ball smacked the wall and stayed in play. Acuna had a single instead of a stand-up double. Then he was thrown out trying to steal second.
Snitker removed him from the game and said afer the game, “The name on the front is more important than the name on the back.” That alone should put Snitker in the race for manager of the year. Wish more managers would do it.
—Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich is going so bad he can’t even get hit by a pitch.
And I just wonder if Sparky Anderson was flipping in his grave when TV cameras caught Dietrich, Yasiel Puig and Michael Lorenzen pumping iron in the dugout before a game.
What do they call those weights? Dumb bells? Or is that what they call those players?
—Calling all English teachers. If you teach nothing else, please emphasize to your students the differences between their, there and they’re, And also teach them the difference between your and you’re. While you’re (not your) at it, make sure they put have or has in front of seen and that they don’t put have or has in front saw.
—Can we change another baseball rule and make home runs count for only a half-a-run and all the runners on base in front of a home run count for half-a-run? Home runs are easier to hit these days than doubles. If a player doesn’t hit 25 home runs this year he probably is a pitcher.
The Washington Nationals recently hit eight home runs in one game. Eight. Are you kidding me? When a Nationals player homers, broadcaster Bob Carpenter always says, “See you later.” That’s what a lot of baseball fans are saying these days, bored out of their minds with the daily home run derbies.
On the flip side, the gosh-awful Detroit Tigers struck out 24 times in a 13-inning 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay. That’s almost two strikeouts every inning. As they say these days, home run or strikeout.
—Joe Taylor was a power-hitting outfielder who once tore up the Class AAA Pacific Coast League with several teams. He played 33 games for the 1957 Cincinnati Reds and hit .262. In 119 games with Cincinnati, the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore he hit nine homers and batted .249.
His problem was not the curveball or change-up, it was alcohol. Taylor’s problem was drinking. One scouting report: “Joe is a low-ball hitter and a highball drinker.”
—Why can’t women put down the toilet seat without making a federal case out of it after we men leave it up?
—Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway? Why is it a foul pole when the ball is fair if it hits it? Shouldn’t it be a fair pole? Same thing with the foul line. If the ball hits on the line it is fair. Shouldn’t it be a fair line?
—I root against the New York Yankees and root for their manager, Aaron Boone. How is that possible?
—How many ways can you say home run? Tater, round-tripper, Johnson, four-ply wallop, go yard, dinger, circuit clout, four-bagger, jack, big fly, long ball, gopher, go bridge.
—Some imaginative and humorous nicknames for minor league baseball teams: Akron RubberDucks, Hartford Yard Goats, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Savannah Sand Gnats, Omaha Storm Chasers, Toledo Mud Hens, Kannapolis Intimidators, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Lansing Lugnuts. Montgomery Biscuits, Vermont Lake Monsters, Auburn Doubledays, Quad Cities River Bandits, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Altoona Curve, Albuquerque Isotopes.
— How long would you make it on Naked and Afraid? I’d make it until they told me to drop my undershorts.
—Best all-time baseball movies: Field of Dreams, Eight Men out, Bull Durham, Major League, The Natural, 61, A League of Their Own, The Rookie, Bingo Long & The Traveling All-Stars.
—Worst all-time baseball movies: The Babe Ruth Story, Major League: Back to the Minors, Bad News Bears Go to Japan, The Slugger’s Wife, Fever Pitch, Summer Catch, Mr. 3,000, The Scout.