Thursday, October 6, 2016

For One Night Only, pt. 2: Madison Bumgarner, Conor Gillaspie, and the Inevitability of Fate

If there is one constant in baseball during the life of this website, its that Madison Bumgarner becomes a different species in the postseason. While of course his stoicism and frightening resolve are on display from April through September, October flips some kind of switch in the man they call Young Hickory. The Mets, fresh off of a National League Championship season, were only able to muster enough wins to host the NL Wild Card Game against San Francisco. The thing about Bumgarner is, you'll never outright beat the man. You can hope to outlast him. To do that, New York offered up their own super-human, Noah Syndergaard. What came next was a gem for both sides, but as things go with the Giants- the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

For One Night Only, pt. 1: Bautista, Trumbo, Encarnacion, and the Sound and the Fury

Get three of the game's premier power hitters in the same ballpark. Put the season on the line. The result kinda writes itself. For two teams that relied so heavily on their bullpens and home runs, the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays were only able to utilize half of that equation. The way it would end is the only way it could- with a ball landing in the stands.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Voice of Generations: Vincent Edward Scully Walks Away

This was never going to be easy. Nothing in baseball ever is. Most baseball fans have lived their whole lives with Vin Scully in the booth, calling games with his timeless wit and ceaseless pool of anecdotes and musings. There will never be another broadcaster to grasp the consciousness of baseball so wholly and yet be so grateful for having been given the opportunity. He leaves behind a legacy of what baseball is to so many of us- a diversion from the more calculated and firm things of life. He is, and always will be, the voice of baseball.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

In The Hour of Eden: Gary Sanchez and the Revival of the New York Yankees

When Gary Sanchez hit his eleventh career home run, he had done it faster than any player in baseball history. It's strange how a total of such little significance can seem so great, despite its irrelevance. Sure, it's great for Sanchez, who has quickly gone from Minor Leaguer to back page headline. Like Trevor Story in the earliest parts of the season, Sanchez has emerged as yet another young power talent capable of stripping ages-old records to dust.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

From the Box Seats: The Only Rule is It Has to Work

From the Box Seats is a series in which I read baseball books and then write about them. This is the first such entry, but I plan on releasing a new book review every month.

The Only Rule is It Has to Work
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
2016 - 343 Pages

If there is a bright center to the baseball universe, the independent leagues are on a planet that is farthest from. Much like Luke Skywalker’s hopeless, derelict planet in Star Wars, the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball is a castoff and swept-aside league consisting of four teams in and around the greater Bay Area of Northern California. The fledgling league began play in 2013, when it included two teams located in Hawaii. Much like other indie ball leagues, it exists financially on the atmosphere of family-friendly entertainment. This includes, but is not limited to many of the gimmicks that line the foul lines of affiliated clubs, without the financial backing of a parent organization.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Master At Arms: Maxwell Scherzer and the Brass Ring of Pitching Immortality

As recent as two years ago, Max Scherzer had never completed a game. I was at his first- a game my father and I attended on the south side of Chicago back in June of 2014. In the time since that milestone that night, the Cy Young winning, Missouri native has thrown two no-hitters, one for each eye color I suppose. Both no-nos came after the Detroit Tigers lost Scherzer to free agency and the Washington Nationals. On Wednesday night, Scherzer and the Tigers met as foes for the first time since his departure from the Motor City. Max did not toss a no-hitter. He never came close, but some might say what he did was much more impressive.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

You Could Write A Novel: Trevor Story and the Fairytale Beginnings of a Myth

For many players, their first at bat in the Major Leagues is a moment to treasure. Often times it ends with a groundout or pop fly, typically due to understandable jitters. Starting the first game of the season tends to mean facing the opposing team's ace. So when Trevor Story stepped in against the pitching scientist Zack Greinke in his career debut on April 4th, most conventional wisdom would tilt favor toward the man on the mound. Baseball, however, has no sound conventional wisdom. So Story stepped into the box and took a pitch. On the next offering from Arizona's new, expensive ace, he swung.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Small Clap of Thunder: Opening Day and the Everlasting Lore of the Game of Baseball

There is a unique affection for things that have come and passed. It flows with the tide of the seasons. Moments are romanticized to forget the misery within the ceaseless heat of August and overwhelming darkness of December. So goes the realm of baseball. Each year I pontificate baseball as something grander than just a game. The desire to sublimate it as a metaphor for the heartache and resiliency of the human spirit is easy, given the long process from spring training to the World Series. There are peaks and valleys to a season, complete with all of the stages of grief tagging along to help a fan through a star player injury or the agonizing tension of the trade deadline. So when a new season begins, even the most meager of fan bases hold out some faith that the great ball of fate may roll their way. It is the perseverance of our hearts that leads us to believe in something that may undoubtedly hurt.

Chase Down the Rising Sun: Shohei Ohtani Faces the Hype

Twenty-three year old Shohei Ohtani took the mound for the first time in a Major League stadium on Sunday. His slender, six-foot-four frame ...