By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after a day in the backyard playing cornhole. . .and I’m pretty certain I saw cameras from ESPN.
—Lexington lamp guru David Shannon pointed out that former Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Rob Murphy celebrated his 60th birthday this week.
Murphy made his Major League debut with the Reds on September 13, 1985 and gave up a 400-foot home run to the first hitter he faced, Mike Marshall of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Undaunted, he returned in his next outing with two shutout innings. He soon became manager Pete Rose’s favorite relief pitcher, for two reasons. Not only was Murphy very good, he was a race horse maven who gave Rose betting tips and owned a thoroughbred named Rosin Bag.
My favorite story about Murphy was the day, as a gag, he slipped on a pair of his wife’s black bikini panties and wore them under his uniform.
He pitched a couple of perfect innings that day, so being superstitious, as are most baseball players, he wore them the rest of the year — all 87 games in which he appeared in 1987.
—A guy enters a bar with a dog and says, “If my dog talks, can I drink on the house?”
Bartender says, “Sure, let’s hear him?”
The guys asks the dog what is on top of a house and the dogs goes, “Roof.” The guys says asks who is the greatest baseball player of all-time and the dog goes, “Ruth.”
The bartender throws them out and when they hit the street the dog says, “Should I have said DiMaggio?”
OK, I’ll try to keep my day job.
—Hall of Famer Chipper Jones won’t be invited to many major league players golf outings after what he said last week. It was about MLB players whining about taking pay cuts if/when baseball resurfaces.
“The 30 million people in America that are out of work right now don’t want to hear about millionaire baseball players bitching because they are only going to get 25 or 30 percent of their salary this year. They don’t want to hear that.”
Words to live by, Chipper. Wonder if you would have said the same thing if you were still playing?
—QUOTE: From Hall of Famer Chipper Jones about a team trying to lure him out of retirement: “While I am flattered about talk of enticing me out of retirement, I’m happy with life as a bad golfer.” (Did he watch Tom Brady imitate a golf hacker on TV? Well, you can’t deflate a golf ball.)
—Another fabulous quote about Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, The King of Control, contributed by William Rabe IV: “I asked Greg Maddux to paint my house, but all he did was paint the corners.”
—Former Reds pitcher Dan Straily is pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization for the Lotte Giants. They are playing with no fans, so what did Straily hear? Something players will hear if/when MLB returns in front of empty seats.
“My shortstop dove for a ball. And he missed it by, like, an inch. Like, it was an incredible effort. When he hit the ground, I heard the air leave his lungs. And we talked about that in the dugout because I’ve never once in my life heard that.”
—This year marked the first time since 1880 that there was not at least one major league baseball game on Memorial Day.
They are saying that if/when baseball resumes this year, the season may last until November, meaning MLB could play its first-ever game on Thanksgiving Day.
That would be apropos in Cincinnati, where the Reds have served up turkeys for several seasons.
—Watched Brad Keslowski win NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and wondered: How boring is it to make about 1,600 left turns without once turning right? A turn signal is not needed on those cars. And wouldn’t it be nice if we could stop and fuel our cars in less than 10 seconds?
—QUOTE from former NASCAR driver/broadcaster Darrell Waltrip: “Boogity, boogity, boogity.” That goes with what former University of Dayton football coach Mike Kelly turned UD football broadcaster says after the Flyers make a great play: “Hot diggity dog.”
—Watched four horse races at Gulfsteam Park Monday. Former WING talk show host Mark Schlemmer and I have a daily ‘competition’ with the ponies, no cash involved.
I make most of my picks based on names. I picked Blue, Blue Ice in one race because it reminded me of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He won.
I picked Gibberish in another because it reminded me of my writing. He won.
We won’t talk about the other two races, although one of them stopped at the top of the stretch to take a stretch and a nap.
QUOTE: From former Dayton Gems hockey coach and former NHL coach Tom McVie after a tough loss: “I slept like a baby. Every two hours I woke up and cried.”
—DEPARTMENT OF Useless (But Fun) Information: Did you know that of the 50 states, 14 do not contain the letter ‘A?’
The culprits: Vermont, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Missouri, Wyoming, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin.
Big deal. None contains the letters ‘Q’ Feel better now?