OBSERVATIONS: Baseball is truly a ‘Family Affair’

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, wondering if the Cincinnati Reds can find six more like Nick Castellanos.

—Baseball is, indeed, a— Family Affair, like the old TV show, although I doubt that ‘Jody’ ever played baseball.

Start with the Bells — Gus Bell, Buddy Bell, Mike Bell and David Bell. Mix in Ray Boone, Bob Boone, Aaron Boone and Bret Boone. Add Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr.

Now, it’s Fernando Tatis and Fernando Tatis Jr. Daddy Tatis hit two grand slam home runs off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park, both in the same inning in Dodger Stadium.

Fast forward exactly 22 years to the day and Tatis Jr. hit two home runs off Clayton Kershaw, also in Dodger Stadium.

—FUN FACT: Both Chan Ho Park and three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw wore uniform No. 22 for the Dodgers. And the Tatis family certainly has their number.

And there is also the Weathers guys, David Weathers, who pitched some for the Reds, and his son, Ryan Weathers.

Young Ryan, a 21-year-old left-hander, owns the Dodgers. He has faced them five times, three time in relief and twice as a starter, and given up one run in 15 1/3 innings. In his last start this week, he pitched five scoreless innings against LA, giving up one hit.

When Ryan faces them, the Dodgers can expect stormy weather(s). In fact, his father’s nickname was ‘Stormy.’

—Every baseball fan remember Joe DiMaggio and his brother, Dom DiMaggio. Joe played 13 years for the New York Yankees and Dom played 11 years with the Boston Red Sox.

Not many, though, remember the third DiMaggio brother, Vince. He played 10 years in the majors, but not with just one team like Joe and Dom. Vince played for the Boston Braves, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the New York Giants.

Vince’s problem was contact, the lack thereof. He was a strikeout artist. He whiffed 134 times for the 1937 Braves and 126 times for the 1943 Pirates.

While Vince was stirring up breezes, brother Joe struck out only 13 times in 622 plate appearances in 1941. nd he never fanned more than 39 times in any season. Dom never struck out more than 68 times during his career. And he wore glasses.

FUN FACT: While Joe DiMaggio hit in 56 straight games in 1941 and Ted Williams batted .406 in 1941, Jeff Heath of the Cleveland Indians had 24 homers, 20 triples and 31 doubles that year, the first American League hitter to go above 20 in each category in one season.

—Speaking of strikeouts, the worst thing Eugenio Suarez could have done is say he was going to hit 50 home runs this year. He is trying to hit every pitch into the next state.

Instead, he is in the state of comatose. He has struck out 32 times in his first 70 at bats and hit .157. He has ended more rallies than the riot police.

Word out of the Reds Goodyear training camp: Hunter Greene is perfecting a breaking pitch to go with his fastball, thrown with the speed of sound and the speed of light. He has hit 105 miles an hour. Is he a right-handed Aroldis Chapman? That, of course, means the Reds will trade him.

Let’s see. Who did the Reds get for Chapman? Eric Jagielo, Caleb Cotham, Rookie Davis, Tony Randa. Try as I might, I can’t find any of those four on the Reds’ 40p=-man roster.

—Curt Casali (remember him?) caught his fifth straight shutout Thursday for the San Francisco Giants. Five straight whitewashes.

Casali, a back-up catcher for the Cincinnati Reds last year, is now Buster Posey’s caddy and he was a former high school quarterback who appreciates offensive linemen.

After guiding Giants pitchers to a fifth straight shutout with him behind the plate, Casali said, “Catchers are kind of like offensive linemen in baseball. Me and Buster have worked really, really hard behind the scenes. It feels like, finally, it comes to the forefront. I’m pretty proud. Obviously l’m not the one throwing the pitches.” (Casali was deemed expendable by the Reds so they could keep No. 1 draft pick Tyler Stephenson.)

—Casey Stengel managed the 1962 expansion New York Mets, a team of misfits that finished 40-120. In a fantastic book by former baseball writer Fred Lieb, ‘Baseball As I Have Known It,’ Casey is quote as saying, “Sometimes when I go back in my mind to our play of 1962, I just got to wonder how we got to win 40 games.”

—Let me toss a change of pace, although not even close to Luis Castillo’s. I’ve been listing what I consider bad commercials. How about a couple of good ones in a sea of dumb ones.

While I despise most Geico commercials, the one with the dancing family chanting,”Scoop, there it is,” and ends with the guy saying, “Sprinkles,” makes me laugh every time.

And how about Amanda and Marty Brennaman in the Laura’s Lean commercials. It is always great to see Marty. And to my knowledge, Amanda is the only person on God’s great creation to get the last word in on Marty.

3 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: Baseball is truly a ‘Family Affair’”

  1. The chapter on the Pirates’ Waner brothers is definitely worth the read in “Glory of Their Times”. Except for amazing quirk of fate they never would’ve been on anyone’s radar.

  2. Curt Casali – Five shut out pitchers were:
    Johnny Cueto
    Anthony Desclafani
    Alex Wood
    Kevin Glauman

    Aaron Sanchez
    Any of those names sound familiar to Reds fans ?

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