Josh Hamilton will try again back in Texas.
I’m sure a team has handled something worse than the Angels have handled Josh Hamilton’s relapse, but it’s not coming to mind at the moment.
Hamilton, a recovering drug addict with the unusual skill of being able to hit a baseball into the middle of the Pacific Ocean, has been traded from the Angels back to the Texas Rangers for basically nothing. The Angels will pay for the honor of not having to deal with him, in the apparent hope that he completely falls apart as a human being and becomes a destructive force on his new team.
If that seems a little cold, it should. Like most sports teams, the Angels talk a big game about how their organization is a family, but like few teams, they turned their back on an adopted family member quickly and brutally.
Moving on, to another day.
I keep a Pedro Martinez figure on my desk, depicting his days with the New York Mets, walking off a mound with his gloved left hand and his right index finger pointed to the same spot in the sky where his head has tilted. It’s impossible to say whether he’s stepping away from a win or a loss, if it’s tied or if he’s just given up a three-run homer and is being lifted for a lefty.
I have other figures around me — my girlfriend calls them “your little people” — of varying shapes and sizes. Late 1980s Starting Lineup renditions of Mike Greenwell and Wade Boggs anchor the two external harddrives I keep, with a miniature Ichiro atop them. Cam Neely and Tim Thomas represent different and concurrent eras of Boston Bruins history. Two Red Sox figures, of Jason Varitek and Pedro Martinez, are here, too, but they’re usually obscured by my laptop screen.
I found Pedro, circa 2005, online for $4 a few years ago, and I keep him in a key spot, not far from my right hand and usually just behind where I’ll rest a glass. Pedro was among my favorite athletes ever, because he was the single most brilliant force on a baseball diamond I’ve ever seen, for sure. But also because that otherworldly talent abandoned him midway through his career, yet he didn’t fold or succumb to time immediately. He kept pitching, and he was good much more often than he was bad. And because he’s painted in his Mets uniform, it’s a reminder that he had an interesting life and career after he won a World Series and left Boston. Continue reading
David Price has been an ace from the beginning.
Settling in for last night’s tie-breaker between the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers, I think I was running on inertia. This was an important game, the extra game tagged on to the regular season to see which of these two teams would advance to the other one-game playoff to see who had the right to enter the actual playoffs.
There’s a fatigue with all this, and early in the game, I wasn’t feeling too excited. David Price was on the mound for the Rays, Martin Perez for Texas, and neither seemed to really have it early on. But that changed, and as the game went on, Price got better. He found his command, he kept the Rangers off-balanced and, 118 pitches later, he got Nelson Cruz to ground out for the last out of the game. Texas goes home for the winter, and the Rays play on. Continue reading
Beyond being tall and left-handed, there is little similarity between Andrew Miller and Chris Sale. Obviously. But this was a diagram born out of an inside joke and the frustration of watching a classically ineffective lefty warming up for my favorite team.
As Cee Angi so eloquently explained in The Platoon Advantage yesterday, she sympathized with my plight in having to watch Miller pitch, and countered that she was taking the opposite experience, watching Chris Sale pitch for the Chicago White Sox at whatever they’re calling Comiskey Park these days.
So, of course, that led to this Venn diagram, comparing the two when there is no comparison. But I’d like to explain why, exactly, Miller gets under my skin as much as he does. Continue reading
It’s late for most folks who work a normal shift. It’s especially late for someone like me, who typically gets up around 6:15 a.m. every morning before walking downtown to work. And typically, I would be in bed by now.
But typically, one of the more exciting World Series games in baseball history isn’t taking place, and as much as I wanted to be asleep by 10:30 or so tonight, it didn’t happen. Continue reading