Category Archives: Baseball

I like baseball

South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMiaggio

South Pacific has one of my favorite character names ever: Stewpot


The “singing voice” of Stewpot in the 1958 movie version of South Pacific was performed by one of my favorite voice actors – Thurl Ravenscroft. Besides having an amazing name himself, Thurl was also the original voice of Tony the Tiger AND sang (uncredited) “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.

South Pacific arose from the James Michener book: Tales of the South Pacific which gets run through the golden wheelhouse of classic Rodgers and Hammerstein. Further mixing the pot, here’s a video of Mandy Patinkin singing a medley of careful songs:

Walter Winchell, contrary to my initial belief, did not found a donut dynasty. He was a self professed “son of a bitch” and effectively serves as cautionary tale for the likes of Perez Hilton. There’s a whole pile of media, ethics, and basic human decency deficiencies in his story. Anyone who thinks that media people and politicians are worse now then they’ve ever been should be directed to read his Wikipedia page. One of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time is that his daughter was the only person at his funeral.

Joe DiMaggio was one of the greatest baseball players ever. Mr. Coffee pitchman, one of Marilyn Monroe’s husbands. And, unfortunately he played for the New York Yankees.

Here’s a interesting historical fact about his parents. According to the Wikipedia page: “Giuseppe and Rosalia DiMaggio were among the thousands of German, Japanese and Italian immigrants classified as “enemy aliens” by the government after Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan. They carried photo ID booklets at all times, and were not allowed to travel outside a five-mile radius from their home without a permit. Giuseppe was barred from the San Francisco Bay, where he had fished for decades, and his boat was seized.” Way to go America!

Should they stay or should they go?

The Wichita Wranglers have a snowball's chance in Wichita of existing next season.  Springdale Arkansas has approved funding for a new stadium.  The team owners (Mork and Mindy Rich) are "on vacation" at a posh resort with their craniums crammed in the beach.

The sports broadcasters and writers in Wichita have covered all the points:

  • Attendance is down
  • The Wranglers are a AA affiliate for a Major League team that wouldn't beat most AAA teams
  • WSU has a better stadium, team, program, bigger fan base, and a coach who can't find somewhere else to go
  • Wichita can't keep professional sports teams

Frankly, I don't care about the Wranglers.  If they can find a better deal somewhere else, they should take it.  And, as a tax paying resident of Wichita and Sedgwick County, I don't think the interested municipalities should extend considerations to keep the team here.

There will be a team playing in Lawrence Dumont when the Wranglers leave (independent leagues I'm looking at you).  And the ticket-buying public won't care if the baseball on the field seems to be of "lesser" quality.  An IL team will work harder to get people in the stands and have an entertaining product on the field.

I'm more concerned with National Baseball Congress Tournament.  The NBC tourney is baseball in the purest form and needs to be kept in Wichita.

Nice game

HHH Metrodome Roof

On my trip to Minnesota this past weekend, I was fortunate to see a Twins game in the HHH Metrodome.  It was my father's idea and we had a great time.

The visiting Brewers had no chance against the red hot Twins.  Francisco Liriano struck out 12 in 8 full innings of a three-hit shutout.  A beautiful pitching performance.  I hope that the Twins can hang onto Liriano.  He's only 22 and shows tremendous poise and concentration. The long term tandem of Liriano and Santana would keep the Twins at the top of the pitching ranks.

Twins Beat Brewers

The Twins also played solid fundamental baseball and gave Liriano an 8 spot of run support.  By the time Morneau hit his solo home run the Twins had the game well in hand.  They are a good team.  They play largely independent of a reliance on home runs and support a solid pitching rotation with good defense.

An 11 game win streak got snapped by the bottom-dwelling Royals last night.  And, the Tigers and White Sox keep winning at about the same pace.  I would have never thought that the AL Central would be the strongest division this year. 

Go Threshers!

A good buddy of mine is getting married soon.  We both attended Bethel College – The Home of the Threshers.  We also share an affinity towards baseball.

Tom now works for a major media outlet in the Tampa Bay area.  Because the Devil Rays are almost as awful as his native Royals, Tom searched elsewhere for quality baseball entertainment.

He found the minor league team in Clearwater.  Quite appropriately named – The Threshers.

He also scored some  boss Thresher gear and was cool enough to share:

Clearwater Threshers

Thanks Tom!  And best wishes to you and Amy!