Never Give Up Hope

I was re-reading Ben Hunt’s superb series Things Fall Apart in the midst of research for my own c

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  1. Wow, I’ll be sure to tell my dad about that Rush Limbaugh nugget; he was a huge Brett fan. Welcome aboard David!

  2. David, I really like this new angle - ancient literature, movie quotes, and philosophic remnants are wonderful but good ol’ Americana fills a need - especially when it’s real and back in my day. Good on ya, mate, keep ‘em comin’.

  3. Avatar for dsalem dsalem says:

    Thanks, Jason. Like your dad, I’ve always admired Brett’s athletic abilities (but not necessarily his politics), not only on the diamond but elsewhere. Several months before the Pine Tar Incident, I was in line outside a sports bar in downtown Chicago watching through the window as a manifestly gifted athlete made something like 15 straight one-handed “swishes” at the indoor basketball hoop situated on the indoor side of the window. When the shooter finally missed, gave up the privilege of getting-another-shot-if-you-make-one, and turned around, laughing and taking high fives from bar patrons waiting for their own turns to shoot, I was pleased but not truly surprised to see that the one-handed wonder was George Brett — in Chicago to pocket some dough as a spokesman for a sporting goods company exhibiting at the same trade show I was attending that week. Like just about everyone who’s ever played in the big leagues, Brett was and is a superb athlete. I could cite numerous other examples of MLB players who’ve excelled at sports other than baseball, especially those entailing precise repetitive motions after carefully executed moments of relative stasis, e.g., Hall of Famer and ace golfer Mike Schmidt, future Hall of Famer and ace bowler Mookie Betts, etc., etc. In a long form note for ET that’ll appear in due course, I’ll tell a true tale about a fun encounter that my own dad and I had with Schmidt on the golf course some years ago, while Schmidt was honing his game in hopes of making the senior PGA tour.

  4. Avatar for dsalem dsalem says:

    Thanks. Will do, enthusiastically and happily.

  5. “As became clear…final half-inning.” 80+ words!! Time for relief ;()

  6. Avatar for dsalem dsalem says:

    Point well taken, gratefully and smilingly. That said, I presume in crafting certain unusually (if not overly) long sentences that many readers will have endured even more tortuous baseball-related experiences, like the one suffered by fans attending the Giants-Angels game last April 22nd. That game featured the longest at-bat in MLB recorded history: Brandon’s Belt’s 21-pitch, 13-minute tussle with Angels pitcher Jaime Barria. Sadly for Belt, his record-setting at-bat ended in an out — a fly ball caught by an Angels outfielder.

  7. Cheers! Bull pen relief is a winning strategy, too !

  8. Looking forward to it!

  9. David, setting aside silly things such as “rules” and whatnot, and focusing on the “spirit” of the game, in the case of Altuve/Betts, why should the benefit of the doubt be given to the fielder versus the batter? The former needed to make an exceptional play on a ball that the latter objectionably hit out of the park. The call, very clearly, should have been given to the batter and upon review a “lack of evidence” should have justified the call on the field. When, in fact, the reverse happened. It was plain as day that the call on the field couldn’t be overturned, it just seems like the benefit of the doubt should have been given to the batter and not the fielder. I suspect our widening gyre will prevent us seeing eye to eye on this but I know you know in your heart that I’m right.

    Cc: Ben and Rusty

  10. Avatar for dsalem dsalem says:

    James: Thanks for your thoughts here. While agreeing that we’ll have to agree to disagree, agreeably, on whether fans interfered with Betts, I’ll offer here something that space limitations prevented me from including in “Never Give Up Hope”: in baseball as in society more generally, I think the rules and interpretations of same should do all they can to promote the behaviors we most want to have fans and citizens more generally exhibit. By my lights, baseball wants and indeed needs for fans fortunate enough to have front row seats to do all they can to “stand back” when their failure to do so could prevent on-field athletes from doing their best. Altuve had a chance to do his best at the plate in Game 4, and performed admirably, no doubt about that. Alas, Betts was deprived of the chance of doing his very best. The rules of baseball and interpretations of same fall short when they encourage or even tolerate such deprivation, IMHO, with emphasis on the “H”. Thanks again for weighing in. Humbly and respectfully, David

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