OBSERVATIONS: Throwing 103 Is Nice, But Just Be Careful

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, giddy after getting off the scales and discovering after eating two of Nadine’s out of this world shrimp fajitas I’ve lost close to 50 pounds and I’m down to take-a-punch weight.

—103 AND SKIDOO: The cheers from downtown Dayton could be heard on runway 24R at the Dayton International Airport.

Dayton Dragons pitcher Luis Mey threw two pitches at 103 miles an hour, breaking Hunter Greene’s Day Air Ballpark record of 102.

Worth a roar? You bet. Highly entertaining.

But. . .

Mey was pitching the sixth inning and his high velocity needed air traffic control. He was all over the place. His second 103 mph pitch was ball four. He had filled the bases with three walks and the last 103er was his last. He was removed.

When Greene threw the 102 miles an hour pitch, it was his last of the season. He underwent Tommy John surgery.

So this is a double warning to young Mr. Mey. Find your command and control, even if that means dropping to 98 or 99 miles an hour. And remember, Tommy John surgery is always only one pitch away when one throws with violence.

—FROM THE ROSE GARDEN: During a recent visit to Cincinnati, Pete Rose was asked who was the best player he ever played with. His answer was a stunner. . .but Rose always says stunning things.

“I played on the same team with Hall of Famers at every position,” he said. So who was the best? Johnny Bench? Tony Perez? Joe Morgan? Mike Schmidt?

Nope. None of the above. He picked my all-time favorite, Eric Davis.

“The guy I played with with the most talent was, seriously, Eric Davis,” he said. “He had so much talent. . .and I played with Bench, Morgaan, Perez, (Willie) Mays, (Henry) Aaron, (Mike) Schmidt,
Andre Dawson. . .I played with 12 Hall of Famers.

“But Eric Davis was the type of kid who could hit you 40 homers and steal 80 bases,” Rose added. “That’s a pretty good combination (Ya think?) He didn’t play like the greatest player, but he had the greatest talent ever. I loved Eric Davis.”

And the more I see of Ellly De La Cruz the more I see of Eric Davis. . .and that’s me talking, not Pete.

—YOU COMPLETE ME: Boston’s Tanner Houck and Philadelphia’s Ranger Suarez both pitched complete-game shutouts this week and MLB-TV’s commentators acted as if both discovered a cure for cancer.

Well, of course, it is rare in today’s game and for a pitcher to throw a complete game they have to throw a shutout or pitch a no-hitter. And some pitchers are removed while working on a no-hitter because of a pitch count.

Complete games used to be commonplace. Warren Spahn had 382 career CGs, Robin Roberts 305, Gaylord Perry 303, Early Wynn 280, Bob Feller 278, Bob Gibson 255 and Tom Seaver 231.

That’s when baseball was baseball and not what they call baseball today, which is really analyticsball.

—LOVABLE LOSERS: Now that the Chicago Cubs have been relevant over the last decade, George Castle’s book, ‘Baseball and the Media,’ offers a reminder of how awful the Cubby Bears once were.

From 1947 through 2003, the Cubs played under .500 41 times. . .and for the mathematically challenged, that’s 41 times in 56 years.

And here’s another one closer to home from Rick Vaughn’s book, ‘Tampa Spring Training Tales.’ The first seven years the Cincinnati Reds trained in Tampa in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they had seven straight losing seaasons and averaged 92 losses a year.

—FALSE OPTIMISM: Baseball’s long, long seaason has a way of making adjustments and exposing false periods of success.

There was excitement about the quick starts by the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. But the Tigers quickly lost eight of 11 and the Pirates lost seen of 11.

On the other hand, the New York Mets started 0—5, but recently swept the Pirates and are now 10-8.

All this is called small sample size.

—A CASH DECISION: It was reported that within 15 minutes of the Univerity of Dayton’s (formerly), Koby Brea’s name appearing in the transfer portal, he received calls from 15 schools.

And USA Today listed five schools where he could end up: St. John’s (Yikes), UConn (The rich get richer), Arkansas, Kentucky (Oh, no) and Xavier (No, no, no).

It is sad for UD as college basketball turns professional and it is a better deal for players than even baseball. A player can transfer from one school to another every year, a new version of, “Follow the money.”

And that is what Brea is doing and nobody should blame him.

—THAT’S EQUALITY?: There is no doubt women’s sports has come a long way, baby, thanks mostly to Billie Jean King. But not far enough.

The rookie contract Caitlin Clark signed with the
WNBA’s Indiana Fever is disgraceful: $338,000 for three years. What was it rookie Victor Wembanyama signed for? Oh, yeah. . .$55 million for four years.

There is no question that Clark will draw more attention to the WNBA than Wemby is worth to the NBA.

But don’t worry about Clark standing in line at a food pantry. Nike is poised to sign her to an eight-figure deal (That’s more than $10 million) and come out with her own signature shoes.

Ah, so that’s how Clark could show up at her press conference wearing $17,000 worth of Prada products.

—MOVIE MAGIC: Best lines from baseball movies:

^^^”Are you crying? There’s no crying in baseball.” (A League of Their Own.)

^^^”Juuuuust a bit outside.” (Major League.)

^^^”The one constant through the years in America, Ray, has been baseball.” (Field of Dreams.)

^^^”You’re killing me, Smalls” (The Sandlot.)

^^^”God, I love baseball” (The Natural.)

^^^”Give ‘im the heater, Ricky (Major League.)

^^^”Pick me out a winner, Bobby.” (The Natural).

^^^”How can you not be romantic about baseball? (Moneyball.)

^^^”There are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches on a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance.” (Bull Durham.)

^^^”Do you know what we get to do today, Brooks? We get to play baseball.” (The Rookie.)

—PLAYLIST NO. 45: With this edition, the playlist has reached more than 475 songs. . .and here are more:

The Mighty Quinn (Manfred Mann), All By Myself (Eric Carmen), Take On Me (Abba), Silence Is Golden (Tremoloes), Still (Commodores), Save The Lasts Dance For Me (The Drifters), It’s Now Or Never (Elvis Presley).

Up Around The Bend (Credence Clearwater Revival), I Think I Love You (Partridge Family), Remember When (Alan Jackson), The Flame (Cheap Trick), When I See You Smile (Bad English), One More Try (George Michael), Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi), I Go Crazy (Paul Davis)

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