Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gillick's Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech brings water to the eyes of many

Roberto Alomar, left, Bert Blyleven, center, and Pat Gillick in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Saturday, July 23, 2011.
Image courtesy The Toronto Star (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

I just watched Pat Gillick's Hall of Fame acceptance speech at Cooperstown.

His eyes were watering and so were mine and many others.

 It wasn't a hokey speech, it wasn't a particularly great speech - as a coarse required highschool speech it would have been good enough. But it did not lecture, it did not preach, it was just the man's story, a story he hoped, it seemed to me, might be of benefit to some others as well. But, though his halting delivery, as he simply touched on everyone who had been a part of his baseball life, I began to glean a genuineness.

All the Hall of Famers gathered there on the stage seemed to be listening intently though the 12 minute speech that didn't seem to last that long - as was the crowd fanned out on the lawn. I think we all learned some life lessons from a man with some wisdom to offer.

He spoke of himself in the plural 'we', but not in the way that some people with giant ego's do - he was always referring to his wife, who was amongst the audience and near tears herself. And he spoke of his daughter and son-in-law and grandson - also there, and in that stone face you see right before a body bursts into tears.

He said he hoped that baseball would always more be about the people than about the money that's around  the game - and he said, that he thought it always would be.

To have heard Pat Gillick give this speech was a blessing.

He must be a quite man. I never heard him speak so many words before. Even through all those heady, winning years he was here in Toronto working for the Jays.

Congratulations Pat Gillick.

May you have many, many more good years ahead.

And Thank you.

Pat Gillick's Hall of Fame Induction Speech isn't up as of this time, but it will be soon at MLB Video - click on "Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Speeches" tab below the fold on the left side of the page. 
(MLB Advanced Media might want to give that tab an address of it's own - ?)


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Notes from a scorecard: Phillies vs Jays - Game 3

Cliff Lee gives up run early, ends scoreless streak - then get shelled late as Jays bats explode

Below are my notes from today's Live Internet Scorecard Blog of the Phillies, Jays game at Toronto, featuring Cliff Lee in his bid to go 4 consecutive games without surrendering a run.

See the complete game Scorecard, "Scorecard: July 3, 2011 Phillies at Blue Jays - Game 3 of 3".

Plus, my new video at Youtube: "The sound of Encarnacion's HR: For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Lee"
(embed is here too, below the fold)

Game Notes:

Philadelphia Phillies (53-31)
Manager: Charlie Manuel


Toronto Blue Jays (40-44)
Manager: John Farrell

Game 3 of 3

First pitch: 1:07 PM EST

Starting Pitchers:
Philadelphia - Cliff Lee
Toronto - Jo-Jo Reyes

Home - Ed Hickox
First Base - Ed Rapuano
Second Base - Brian Onora
Third Base - Alfonso Marquez

Sunny - clear blue sky :)
Temp: 28°C | 88°F
Wind:NW at 23 kph | 15 mph
(left field line out to right field corner)


Bottom of 3

Lead-off hitter R Davis hits 3BH8(9) 8-6-5 safe. FAN590 Radio Play by Play co-host Alan Ashby mentions the no-hit 5 seconds before the pitch --- then WHAM! And the next batter (John McDonald) ruins the no run streak with a 6-3 ground out that scores the triple.

Bottom of the 8th

We've all heard the expression,

'You could tell it was a home run by the sound of the bat."

Well, I'd always thought I knew what that meant, in fact I was sure I'd heard it before - several times, but until I heard the sound of Edwin Encarnacion's bat hitting the ball squarely for the third HR of the 8th inning I hadn't heard that most distinctive of sounds. Clear like the ring of a bell, it had a tone I've never heard before - like an exceptionally load, snap of the fingers.

I was busy at the keyboard and I didn't even look up, I just typed in 'HR' in the little box... .

Here's an edit I made of the beautiful sounding thwack.
(Link to the original MLB video page is below.)

MLB has the video up of Encarnacion's hit, "Encarnacion's two-run homer":

Post Game

Now I'm not saying any of the following is well thought out - but two things:

1. Eric Thames
2. Rajia Davis

Eric Thames is looking very comfortable in a major league uniform, and hitting the ball more often now with what looks like great authority --- well, it changes everything. Eric Thames is a young man who looks and carries himself a lot older than he is, without this new metric piling all kinds of expectation on him, what about this line-up?

'I have a dream' line-up

1. C Patterson LF
2. R Davis CF
3. E Thames RF
4. J Bautista 3B
5. A Lind 1B
6. J Arencibia C
7. E Encarnacion DH
8. A Hill 2B
9. J McDonald SS

Rajia Davis' play today, hitting the ball away, plus a fine at-bat in the 8th, shows he wants to hit higher in the order and 'Rickey Henderson' this League - and by the looks of it he could - he stole with impunity on the Phillies battery today.

Putting him 2nd gives him the opportunity to get some at bats in lad-off type situations and moving Jose Bautista down to the 4 spot, and Thames up to the 3 spot takes the pressure off the top of the order and adds to the possibility of a big inning, and more team RBIs.

Line ups and pitching totals from ESPN - Box Score.

* * *

Cliff Lee's magnificent no-run streak destroyed:

DATE    OPP.     RESULT   IP   H  R ER HR BB SO   Dec.    ERA
Jul 3   @ TOR    L (7-4)  7.1 10  7  6  3  0  9   L(9-6)  2.92
Jun 28  vs BOS   W (5-0)  9.0  2  0  0  0  2  5   W(9-5)  2.66
Jun 22  @ STL    W (4-0)  9.0  6  0  0  0  1  3   W(8-5)  2.87
Jun 16  vs FLA   W (3-0)  9.0  2  0  0  0  2  4   W(7-5)  3.12

Stats from ESPN: Cliff Lee - Game by Game


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Notes from a scorecard: Phillies - Jays, game 2 - Farrell tries to rally dejected bunch with Umpire abuse - Halladay wins with average stuff

Below are my notes from today's Live Internet Scorecard Blog of the Phillies Jays game at Toronto featuring Roy Halladay in his first start at Rogers Centre since the trade.

See the complete game scorecard at the Blogger BaseballScorecard:

Scorecard: July 2, 2011 Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays - Game 2 of 3

From Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Philadelphia Phillies (52-31)
Manager: Charlie Manuel


Toronto Blue Jays (40-43)
Manager: John Farrell

Game 2 of 3

First pitch: 1:07 PM EST

Starting Pitchers:
Philadelphia Phillies - Roy Halladay
Toronto Blue Jays - Carlos Villanueva

Home - Alfonso Marquez
First Base - Ed Hickox
Second Base - Ed Rapuano
Third Base - Brian Onora

Sunny - haze
Temp: 24°C | 75°F
Wind:Southerly at 10 kph | 6 mph
(home plate out to right centre field)


Rauch ejected in the ninth, he seems to respond to a comment by HP Umpire Alfonso Marquez, arguing the last ball on Howard (Halladay got the same call earlier, which you could see Roy wasn't happy with either - but same call same place).

Rauch is already ejected

Manager John Farrell is trying to save him a suspension

 6' 10", 290 lb. Rauch gets away!!

The 'monster' emerges...


Then Farrell tackles his relief ace and JP Arencibia tries to help

Marquez is overly aggressive in an argument with Farrell after the Rauch ejection - while Shawn Camp is coming in - and bumps Farrell, but that was after he'd already ejected Farrell. Farrell is obviously arguing ball and strikes as he's drawing a line in the dirt beside the plate while he yells at the besieged Ump.. I think Jerry Howarth is right on as he points out Farrells theatrics are about trying to find some team élan as this team seems to be in a funk.

John Ferrall shows Alfonso Marquez where the strike zone is...

..and HP Umpire Alfonso Marquez tosses him

Now I'll tell you what I really think...

It seems of late that everything that can go wrong, is going wrong - the usually solid defensive play of John McDonald for example - who yesterday let two nuclear-hot shots go between his legs - on balls hit right at him. Not to pick on the usually perfect infielder; yesterday's horrible path to the ball by Juan Rivera in LF in the 8th looked like grade school defence - and lost the game - and on a pop play on the left field line behind third yesterday had Baustista 'not hearing' Patterson yelling on a ball that dropped for a base hit and allowed runners to advance that later scored. I've been that player who 'didn't hear the call of another fielder' and to me it looked like vanity on Bautistas part - but then he's just back at third so you have to forgive him that one. Anyways, so the team restarts the season in the second half - goes back to the spring training defensive positions and the whole thing seems to be breaking down.

The Blue Jays are 4 games under .500 after this NL swing - and home cooking hasn't helped - they're now 4-1 after the long road trip on which they produced a 5-5 record. One more game against this juggernaut Phillie franchise and then it's off to face the Run Scoring Beast and the Green Monster - heaven help John Farrell and his of late keystone-cop defence.

Attendance: 43,078!

Line ups and pitching totals from ESPN - Box Score.

Farrell/Rauch image from MLB video, "Rauch, Farrell get tossed" 07/02/11 02:36