By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave. bleary-eyed from watching the Cincinnati Reds on the west coast, only to be awakened every morning at 7 a.m. by my Havanese, The Mighty Quinn, who must have a Mickey Mouse watch somewhere on his paw.
—Nobody appreciates a pitcher more than another pitcher. And the appreciation for veteran Cincinnati Reds pitcher Wiley Wade Miley was rampant Monday night as they watched him from the chicken coop bullpen in San Francisco’s Oracle Park.
Miley, whose fastball would barely get a speeding ticket on the interstate, held the Giants to no runs and two hits over six innings. In his previous start, he held the Pittsburgh Pirates to no runs and two hits over five innings.
He is as precise with his pitches as an English teacher is with conjunctions and prepositions.
Lucas Sims, who came in with two outs in the ninth and struck out Evan Longoria for his first career save, watched Miley intently from his ground hog bullpen seat.
“They angle of this bullpen, you get to see the movement of the pitches real well,” said Sims. “At one point we all found the best angle and we were all huddled up watching him go to work, watching him move the ball up and down, back and forth.He is incredible and fun to watch.”
Tejay Antone watched Miley for five innings, then took his place and pitched 3 2/3 innings of runless, hitless work.
“I love it when Wade pitches,” he said. “You know he is going to carve you up. He is different from what you are used to seeing. It’s cool to watch somebody like that pitch, with all the years he has pitched and all the success he’s had. I follow along with the game and watch him with the different sequencing with the hitters. I love his tempo. He’s a quick worker and I try to do that as well.”
Said Miley of Antone’s follow-up work, “The opposing hitters must feel like Tejay is throwing 115 (miles an hour) after I’m flipping 86 up there. Then he comes in throwing 98.”
—One never tires of finding nuggets achieved by pitcher Greg Maddux. This one is astounding, considering how tough it is to win the road.
From the end of 1994 until the middle of 1996, Maddux was 18-0 on the road. Over 154 2/3 innngs he gave up 17 earned runs, a 0.99 earned run average.
—QUOTE: From Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, upon hearing that Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez were making more money than him: “Oh, poor me. I guess I’ll have to go out and find a second job.”
—Did you happen to see the replay of Philadelphia’s Alex Bohn sliding home against the Atlanta Braves? Apparently, the replay officials in New York were taking a coffee break when they were supposed to watch.
Bohn was called safe when every TV camera angle clearly showed his foot never touched home plate on his slide. They sent it to New York review and the crew of Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles and Andre Bocelli confirmed the safe call.
And that run gave the Phillies a 7-6 victory. Makes one wonder, again, why they bother with replay/review?
Los Angels Angels outfielder Mike Trout, arguably MLB’s best player, tweeted two words about the call and the review: “So bad.”
—San Diego pitcher and Versailles native Craig Stammen, who pitched at the University of Dayton, is a man ready for anything, a handyman deluxe.
Normally, Stammen is a late-inning guy, mostly set-up. But on Sunday, Padres starter Adrian Morejon was injured in the first inning. Stammen was summoned and responded with 3 1/3 scoreless, one-hit, one-walk innings and received the victory.
That was almost as much fun for him as watching his wife, Audrey, sink a 153-yard hole-in-one in Hawaii on their honeymoon a few years ago. Stammen, who has played golf since he was 8, hasn’t had an ace. And Audrey patted him on the back and said, “Don’t worry, you’ll get one one of these days.” Ouch.
Stammen knows his turf is on a mound, not on a tee box. Since 2017, he has appeared in 55 high-leverage situations. Only Cory Knebel with 59 has more.
—Ed Delahanty was a slugger during the deadball era, when baseballs were little more than stuffed socks. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics in the late 1800s. In 1897 he became only the second major leaguer in history to hit four home runs in one game. . .and, no, I didn’t cover that game.
Delahanty, though, came to a tragic end in 1903, a year after he won the American League batting title. He was on a New York Central train when he became inebriated and belligerent. The conductor eventually threw him off the train at Fort Erie, on the Canadian side of the border.
He was last seen crossing the Peace Bridge into the United States and disappeared. His body was later fished out of the Niagara River. It was never determined whether he jumped, was pushed or just staggered over a railing.
—Walked in on what was supposed to be a super-secret highly private meeting and they were aghast to see me. How did I know about the meeting? It is amazing what your wife can find while surfing the internet.
Amazon has a name for the truck that delivers Nadine’s orders. . .the Amadine..
Do they still surf the internet or is it called something else these days? I can’t keep up with the vernacular of the computer age.
—Just once before I depart this baseball-shaped planet I would like to write one final story on an old Underwood/Olivetti portable typewriter. That is what I used in the 1970s and 1980s before laptops were born.
Do they still make 8 1/2 by 11 copy paper?
—From Lee Corso: “You know the only person who wants to be 80 years old? The one who is 79.” (I feel that one Lee, but now I want to be 81.)