By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave killing time while waiting to kill more time watching one of those convoluted softball doubleheaders:
—Some of my favorite all-time quotes from baseball players, some X-rated:
From Jeff Kent when a reporter stopped in front of his locker and said, “Hi, I’m (so-and-so) from the Associated Press. Said Kent, “Oh, great. This must be my lucking f——— day.”
From Reds third baseman Gene Freese after the Reds lost the 1961 World Series to the New York Yankees: “Screw the Yankees, screw New York and screw Babe Ruth.”
From former Reds pitcher Dave Burba after a bad game: “I would have been better off today sweeping a closet with a broom.”
From former Reds outfielder Kevin Mitchell, meeting pitcher Larry Luebbers for the first time on the night Luebbers was to pitch. “What’s your name, Larry Luger? If you have me chasing balls all over the outfield I’ll be coming after you with a Luger.”
From Reds second baseman Bret Boone commenting on the size of catcher Joe Oliver’s head: “Which would you rather have, a million dollars or Joe Oliver’s head full of nickels?”
From former Reds pitcher Tim Birtsas when asked if he was excited about pitching against the Cleveland Indians in the Ohio Cup? “The Ohio Cup? What’s that, a boat race?”
From Pete Rose on pitcher Don Gullett: “He can throw his fastball through a car wash and not get it wet.”
—From former Reds manager Jack McKeon when a reporter asked about his strategy for an upcoming game: “Strategy? This ain’t football. I can’t draw up new plays.”
—Montreal outfielder Ken Singleton before playing a game against the Reds in 1973: “A man once told me to walk with the Lord. I’d rather walk with the bases loaded.”
—From a writer observing that former Reds owner Marge Schott liked her vodka: “To Marge, it is always the bottom of the fifth.” (OK, that one was uttered by me.)
—This one was floating on Facebook last week. Pete Rose collected 210 hits in 1975, but didn’t have a stolen base (one attempt).
But Johnny Bench stole 11 that year, 11 for 11. Go figure.
Rose stole 198 bases over his 24-year career, but was caught 149 times. Bench? During his 17-year career he stole 68 and was nabbed 43 times.
—QUOTE: From movie star/producer Woody Allen: “When I played softball, I’d steal second base, feel guilty, and go back.” (The last time Pete Rose felt guilty was when. . .oh, never mind.)
—Was it deja vu or what? Turned on the MLB highlights this week and the first person highlighted was former Reds infielder Josh VanMeter hitting a run-scoring double off the center field wall for the Diamondbacks.
That was followed by former Reds outfielder Phillip Ervin hitting a run-scoring double for the Mariners, followed by Ervin making a diving catch in right field.
Then it was former Reds infielder Derek Dietrich driving in a run for the Rangers.
Next was former Reds pitcher Jared Hughes pitching for the Mets, but it wasn’t so good. He issued a bases loaded walk and a three-run double for the Mets.
They should have entitled that segment: ‘What Ex-Reds Are Doing These Days.’
—QUOTE: From first baseman Steve Lyons after he was traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox after five years with the Chisox: “I have found that every five years a man has to change his Sox.” (And is a trade from the Cardinals to the Orioles one for the birds?)
—For some strange reason, even with no fans in the stands, the Arizona Diamondbacks unveiled a new mascot. It’s a guy (or a woman) dressed in a rat suit.
Is that apropos for the hapless Diamondbacks, or what? The favorite phrase of their fans is, “Oh, rats.”
—QUOTE: From a newspaper after Dayton-native and running back Javon Ringer had a big day for Michigan State: “Michigan State already has one of the coolest mascots in college football, but if Sparty ever needs a day off, Javon Ringer could do the job. After all, he already does just about everything else for MSU.” (Brutus Buckeye feels neglected.)
—The Big 12, scrambling for opponents during the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled three Sun Belt Conference opponents last Saturday.
Oh, woe, is the Big 12. They lost all three. It was Coastal Carolina 38, Kansas 23; Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 31, No. 23-ranked Iowa State 14; Arkansas State 35, Kansas State 32.
Hey, if you take the AK off Arkansas State, what do you get? You get Kansas State. And K-State feels as if they were on the wrong end of an AK-47.
—Inquisitive people want to know. . .well, Nadine wants to know: “What does the ‘J’ stand for in Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose?
As a public service the answer is: The creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle is Jay Ward and the ‘J’ is for Jay. However, Boris Badenov does not have a middle initial or name.