Friday, September 19, 2008


Let Dodger-Hating Weekend Commence

When I was in Little League I was probably the worst outfielder imaginable. Back in those days the coaches would hide their worst fielders in right field because there were so few left-handed hitters, but I could probably do more damage to my team fumbling what little fly balls came to me out there than I could by playing some infield position. I mean, I was atrocious. I was always reasonably quick and athletic, but I just couldn't read fly balls to save my life and had a habit of simply falling down when chasing balls hit over my head. My specialty was turning routine singles into inside-the-park home runs for the other team because I wouldn't get in front of the ball when it was hit to me. Yeah, I was just miserable.

Anyway, one of the first things a coach will hammer into you when you're an outfielder is to never, ever, break in on a fly ball hit in your direction. Always take your first step back, because if the ball is hit over your head, your momentum is taking you back already, and if the ball is hit in front of you, you still have time to recover and go in for the catch. If you step in and the ball is hit over your head, you're fucked because you have less time to recover and by the time you've reversed directions the ball is already rolling to the warning track. Needless to say, I never did put that advice into practice when I was playing.

Unfortunately, neither did Eugenio Velez last night. His mishandling of Juston Upton's liner to left field last night allowed two runs to score and prevented Tim Lincecum from getting his 18th win. Maybe Velez has a future as a utility player or something but I think it's probably safe to say that the Eugenio Experiment can be brought to a close. When a major league player's fielding ability resembles me stumbling around in the field when I was ten, it's probably best to cut bait and look elsewhere.

The silver lining to the whole series loss in Arizona is that the Diamondbacks didn't lose any ground in their (most likely fruitless) pursuit of the Dodgers for the NL West. Now the Giants enter a stretch where they'll play the Dodgers six more times in the next week, and damned if they won't play the spoilers. They were in this situation in 2006 and completely fell on their faces. This time, though, the ghosts of '82 will be set free, and hopefully we won't have to sit through an October of Dodger Blue.

--TGIF vid. This video has been circulating this past week, and is repulsive yet absolutely hysterical. The best part is the sheer enthusiasm with which he tells his story.

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