UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, setting records for most water and lemonade consumed in an eight-hour period.
—When this happened, the Washington Wild Things baseball team posted on Twitter: ‘THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!
Former Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips now 39, hit a home run this week for the Baseball Brilliance Sox against the Steel City Slammin’ Sammies in Washington Wild Things Park.
Phillips was batting third as a designated hitter for the BB Sox, who are playing as part of Joe Torre’s Black Sox Pro Baseball tour. The Wild Things, normally a franchise in the the independent Frontier League with the Florence Y’alls, are competing in a four-team league with the BB Sox, the Sammies and the Road Warriors.
Phillips remains on my Stand-Up Guys list, right at the top, for what he did with me. Before playing the St. Louis Cardinal in a 2012 series, he told me, “I can’t stand those whiney little bitches.”
I wrote it and expected Phillips to say the next day, “I was misquoted,” or, “I never said that.”
Instead he smiled at me and said, “Nice story.” Then he told other writers, “Those comments I made yesterday, those are my comments. I said those things and I really mean what I said.”
Then that night a brawl broke out after Phillips tapped catcher Yadier Molina on the shin guards. Molina whipped off his mask and got in Brandon’s face. A shoving match began, igniting a brawl during which pitcher Johnny Cueto spiked Jason LaRue in the chest.
A few years later I wrote something that Phillips didn’t like and he wouldn’t speak to me from then until he left the Reds.
And that, too, was not a joke.
QUOTE: From former Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips during a post-game interview: “This interview will not continue until one s.o.b. leaves the group and he knows who he is.” (I slinked away.)
—Tommy John won 124 games before he blew out his elbow, which in those days meant no more baseball, time to golf, fish, hunt and play with the kids.
But a surgeon named Dr. Frank Jobe tried something radical. He took ligaments out of John’s right arm and implanted them in John’s left arm, his pitching arm.
It was so successful that seemingly dozens of pitchers have the surgery every season and it is called ‘Tommy John’ surgery.
John won 164 more games after the surgery and Pete Rose once said, “I knew Tommy John had to have a new arm, but did they have to give him Sandy Koufax’s?”
—QUOTE: From pitcher Bob Gibson when catcher Tim McCarver trotted to the mound for a conference: “What are you doing out here? The only thing you know about pitching is that you can’t hit it.”
—From Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel baseball writer and good buddy Tom Haudricourt. He asked Brewer first baseman Logan Morrison what it would be like playing with no fans in the stands this season.
Said Morrison, with a glint in his eye, “For me, it is not going to be that difficult. I played for the Rays and the Marlins.”
There was a day last season when the Tampa Rays and Miami Marlins played on the same day and drew 12,653 fans. . .combined.
—It looks as if Wright State University product Joe Smith won’t be pitching for the Houston Astros this abbreviated season.
The Astros placed Smith on the Restricted List because Smith has not yet reported to the team’s Summer Camp.
Smith said he has not reported because of health and safety issues related to his family. He has not officially opted out, but probably will.
If so, he will avoid all the venom and vitriol the Astros are expected to receive due to their sign-stealing scandal.
But MLB has decreed there will be no beanball pitches or fights during this pandemic season.
We shall see about that.
–QUOTE: From former catcher/broadcaster Tim McCarver: “Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always pitches when the other team doesn’t score runs.”
—The Pioneer Football League, of which the University of Dayton is a charter member, has not made a determination about the upcoming season. The league is considering several options and one is to play its schedule next spring.
UD already has had its first two scheduled games canceled — at Southeast Missouri and at Georgetown in Washington, D.C.
The University of San Diego, a PFL powerhouse, is uncertain about its season. If it is played, coach Dale Lindsey plans to coach even though he is 77, the oldest head football coach in college football.
He said the team will follow all safety protocols and he plans to wear a scarf, shield and gloves.
“We’re going to do whatever we can to keep the kids and coaches healthy,” he said. “I love football, but I don’t think it is worth dying for.”
—Everybody in Dayton already knew this, but it was chest-pumping time to hear CBS analyst and former Ohio State star Clark Kellogg say this:
“The three places you must watch college basketball before you die are Kansas’s Allen Fieldhouse, Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium and Dayton’s UD Arena.
Number Three? Flyer Faithful say it is Number One.