By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from the Man Cave, hiding from the coronavirus behind a lit Monte Cristo White Label Churchill. With no sports I talked to my wife and discovered she doesn’t like cigar smoke. Who knew?
—With the toilet paper shortage, thanks to near riots in Costco, Los Angeles journalist Mike Downey suggests a solution. Downey says we should use Houston Astros 2017 World Series championship t-shirts.
Even that won’t wipe away the stain the Astros put on baseball.
—ESPN, searching mightily to fill air time, took us to some brief snippets of an Australian cricket match, played in a stadium empty of fans. As the host said, “The only thing I know about cricket is Jiminy.”
QUOTE: From comedian Robin Williams: “Cricket is baseball on valium.”
—Doctors say we shouldn’t’ shake hands. How about high fives? Did you know that former Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker and Glen Burke came up with the first high five when both played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977.
—QUOTE: From singer/songwriter Chris Martin (Cry, Cry, Cry, sung by Coldplay): “I could be walking down the street one minute and get a handshake and get spat on the next. I’m never sure whether to wear gloves or a helmet.”
—As of the weekend, many horse tracks were still operating, without fans, and are shown on TVG network (332 on Spectrum). And you can set up an account and wager via laptop or computer.
For fun Friday, I watched 28 races at five different tracks and bet a $2 three-horse exacta box ($12 a race) on every race. . .with Monopoly money, not real money. That’s $336 invested. In the long run, I lost $29 because I hit on 11 races.
Hey, it’s great entertainment from a La-Z-Boy in front of the TV.
QUOTE: From former Irish jockey Tony McCoy (no relation, I think): “You don’t have to be Einstein to see that horse racing is dangerous. Those two ambulances driving behind you aren’t there for the scenery.”
—Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty, one of the most talented writers in the business, wants to replay the 1975 World Series on an old card game called Strat-O-Matic. But he can’t find the team cards for the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox.
Unfortunately, the cards are out of print and Paul put out a plea on Facebook that he would like to borrow or buy the cards from anybody who has them.
Be careful, Paul, the Red Sox might win this time. A lot of fans still believe Boston won the World Series on Carlton Fisk’s game-winning 11th inning home run. That was in Game Six. The Reds won Game Seven and the Series.
—QUOTE: From sports author Tucker Elliot (Cincinnati Reds IQ): “It is much easier to remember the heroics of Tony Perez, Pete Rose and Joe Morgan than it is to recall who set the table for Rose during Game Seven of the 1975 World Series vs. Boston. The Red Sox led 3-2 in the seventh when Ken Griffey drew a pass (walk). Not nearly as memorable as the home run Perez hit off Bill Lee to make it 3-2, not nearly as memorable as the hit by Rose to tie the game, and surely not as memorable as the hit Joe Morgan got to win it in the ninth. But it’s a shame people forget that Griffey stole second base with two out to get into scoring position (for Rose’s game-tying hit in the seventh).”
Griffey also walked in the ninth and was sacrificed to second, setting up Morgan’s game-winning hit.
Believe me, Griffey hasn’t forgotten. Just ask him about the two most important walks of his illustrious career.
—Before any NFL team signs 43-year-old free agent quarterback Tom Brady, be aware that he has two demands: He wants control over the makeup of the roster and he wants to be part of all the play-calling.
Next thing you know he will want to design the team’s uniforms, choose the Gatorade flavor and decide how much air goes into the footballs. Oh, I forgot. He already did the air-in-the-footballs gig, a little affair called Deflategate.
Wondere if Brady lowers the air pressure in his car’s tires before the drives to games.
—With spring training shut down, Cincinnati Reds pitcher/outfielder Michael Lorenzen is taking his always positive approach.
“It’s just my approach to life,” he said. “We’re going to go through stuff. There is always going to be different perspectives that you can choose to look at and chose to go about your business in that way or you can let it bring you down. I’m not going to let it bring me down.”
With those muscles that pop out of Lorenzen’s jersey sleeves, it would take Arnold Schwarzenegger to bring Lorenzen down. And it might take two out three falls.
—Fortunately, some professional athletes have compassion. What a superb gesture that several NBA players are donating $100,000 each to give to arena workers who won’t be paid after the NBA shut down operations. My close friend and driver, Ray Snedegar, has a son who works security for the Golden State Warriors and hopefully he gets to share some of that cash.
—Don’t forget to wash your hands Often. Mine already are chapped.