By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave and I don’t have to watch the movie ‘Groundhog Day.’ I’m living it, like everybody else.
—Say what you want negatively about the cheating Houston Disastros, it is deserved. But say nothing but positive things about Houston pitcher Joe Smith and his wife.
Smith, a former Wright State University pitcher, and his wife, TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce, deserve a million pats on the back.
The couple is providing meals for hospital workers. They recently purchased 300 meals from restaurants and sent them to a hospital in Lorain. And they have done it more than once for other hospital workers.
Smith met his wife when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and she worked for a Cleveland TV station. She is from Vermilion, Ohio, not far from Lorain.
Maybe some ice cream company should give Smith a life-time supply of its product. When Smith pitched for the New York Mets, he stopped on his way to the park for ice cream.
He did well that night, so he stopped before every game at a famous ice cream joint. Yes, baseball players are superstitious.
You can be certain the flavor wasn’t chokeberry. And no doubt he would donate the ice cream.
—QUOTE: From author and marathon runner Don Kardong: “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” (We have ice cream, so I guess things aren’t as dismal as it seems.)
—The saying is, “Walk a mile in my shoes,” but for Joey Votto it is, “Walk 18 miles in my shoes.” This is from good buddy Mark Schlemmer. He points out that Votto has walked 1,046 times. He walked 90 feet on each walk and that’s 17.83 miles.
That’s a long way, but since the Coronavirus hit I’ve walked my dogs, Paige and Quinn, farther than that last week.
—QUOTE: From former Cardinals third baseman turned broadcaster Mike Shannon: “Don Drysdale considers an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch.” (During his 14-year career, Drysdale hit 154 batters, thus saving 462 pitches.)
—From popular Northeastern Ohio TV talk show host Les Levine (More Sports and Les Levine): “How come if you go the whole nine yards you still have to punt on fourth down?”
—Former Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston (30 TD passes, 30 interceptions last season) said it is an honor to be replaced by the greatest quarterback of all-time.
When did Tampa Bay sign Johnny Unitas?
—Antonio Brown says he would like to return to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s like saying, “Hey, I burned all your bridges, now I’d like to help you rebuild them.” Or maybe it is like Gen. George Armstrong Custer saying, “Hey, can I have a do-over at Little Big Horn?”
—Sad news out of Texas. Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton was indicted on a felony assault charge after allegedly attacking his 14-year-old daughter.
She reportedly made a comment that enraged him and he hit her in the chest with a thrown full water bottle, yanked a chair out from under her, then beat her on the back and legs while pinning her on a bed. He faces a possible 10-year prison sentence.
Hamilton was a No. 1 draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays (Devil Rays at the time) but was plagued by drug addiction. The Reds took a chance on him and signed him in the Rule 5 draft.
He was a model citizen with the Reds and a productive player but was traded to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volques and Danny Ray Herrera.
Hamilton had one relapse with the Rangers in 2015 and after that season he was out of baseball.
Hamilton was a great story, a man given a second chance and making the most of it. But now. . .he has gone from a feel good story to a feel sorry for his family story.
—Speaking of Danny Ray Herrera, Ken Griffey Jr. had one of the great all-time lines. Herrera is listed at 5-foot-6, but was more like 5-foo-4.
The day he was traded to the Reds was one day after the running of the Preakness Stakes horse race. When Herrera walked into the Reds clubhouse after the trade, carrying a big bag, Griffey said, “Hey, didn’t I just see you on a horse in the Preakness? Is that your saddle in that bag?”
—QUOTE: From French artist Edgar Degas: “I feel as a horse must feel when the beautiful cup is given to the jockey.”
—Former Reds outfielder Curtis Goodwin played winter ball in the Dominican Republic one year and purchased a new TV for his room.
He didn’t bring it back to the U.S. and when somebody asked him why, he said, “Because it only speaks English.”
Goodwin was with the Reds in 1997 and not happy with his playing time. He barged into manager Jack McKeon’s office, demanding more time.
McKeon said, “I promise that you’ll be starting in the next couple of days.” Two days later Goodwin was starting. . .in the minor leagues.
Stay home, wash your hands and watch every episode of Ozark.