There’s always something to root for

Back in more temperate climes (the thermometer will be near 90 tomorrow in Northern Virginia) we are rooting for one thing, now that the Capitals are out of the playoffs, the Wizards drifted away weeks ago, and the Nats can’t even win in their sorry excuse for a division.

Bucks vs. Warriors NBA Finals.

Seriously, this is the new Celtics-Lakers.

My students–who could not point to Milwaukee on a map–are in love with the Bucks.

When I was a kid it was I want to be like Mike.

Now it’s I want to be like Giannis.

I kind of do too.

Report from the road

Snow.

Yeah. Legit snowstorms at the end of April. This is why I don’t live in Binghamton anymore, despite the draw of minor league baseball.

I’m happy to say the grounds crew at NYSEG Stadium was able to clear away enough of the white stuff to play a game on Saturday (actually two shortened ones). My son and I sat in the stands with about 26 other folks foolish enough to watch baseball in winter. The Rumble Ponies split the twin bill with the Portland Sea Dogs, both games ending 1-0. (The Ponies managed a total of one run on eight hits in three games against the Dogs.)

Sunday’s game?

Snowed out.

#binghamton

#classicbinghamton

Binghamton bound

I’m spending the next couple days back in the home country. Or, as it is commonly known… Ice Planet Binghamton.

Yup, get out the snowpants and the winter coats, it’s late April in upstate New York.

Assuming I don’t freeze I’ll be back to civilization Monday.

The Kid on Netflix

There’s a newish program available on Netflix from American Masters, subject one Theodore Samuel Williams. You know him as Ted. The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.

Basically the hour-long show is a Ken Burns documentary minus everything that isn’t about Ted Williams.

Oh, I’m not knocking it–I think it’s great.

As a matter of fact I’m waiting for the Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Koufax versions as we speak.

This article I actually read

My “local” paper yesterday did me the favor of putting together my summer reading list. The Washington Post printed a baseball-themed book review section, highlighting a dozen or so 2019 releases. Nice.

The book I look forward to reading most is called Chumps to Champs, an examination of the New York Yankees, the team that sucked in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s (when I fell in love with the team), then became perennial contenders. My students are always stunned to hear that the Yankees used to be terrible.

Maybe now they’ll believe me.

Like it’s 1999

Inspired by a certain Mr. Woods, I swung a golf club for the first time in about two years yesterday. Yeah, it wasn’t the Masters, only my local driving range, but still… it felt good. Every shot I hit: perfect. False confidence? Perhaps. But it did remind me of a television commercial from about 20 years ago.

I’m Tiger Woods. 

This one really was unlike any other

The first 14 times I saw Tiger Woods win a major championship I always knew there’s be another one. The first 13 times it happened pretty quickly. But in the years and surgeries and off-the-course problems Tiger has had since his last major win (the 2008 U.S. Open), it became more and more unreasonable to think that it could ever happen again.

Oh, it would be glorious if it ever did happened again though. But it could never happen, right?

Enter Sunday at the 2019 Masters, and one of the greatest sports moments any of us has ever witnessed.

Yeah, that was Tiger Woods, age 43, more than twice as old as he was when he won his first Masters at the age of 21. That was 1997, and I was a freshman in high school, totally obsessed with the game of golf after seeing Tiger’s victory at the 1996 U.S. Amateur and subsequent ascent through the pro ranks. Here was this guy, barely older than I was, barely bigger than I was, beating grown men at a grown man’s game. The grown men didn’t necessarily like the upstart back then. Now the old men dig him because, well, he’s one of the old men. So am I, I guess.

Tiger Woods got me interested in golf when I was 14 years old. I think he’s making it happen all over again. Funny how Tiger and I still aren’t that different. He’s still just a little bit older than I am, and he has kids and a bad hairline just like me. True he does have 15 more major championships that I do (and a few more million dollars), but the first person he wants to hug after he finishes a round of golf is his son.

Me too.

Thanks, Tiger, for making me feel young again. (Or maybe making me feel old.) Thanks for getting me interested in the game, thanks for the past 23 years, and thanks for the thrill of seeing a win.

I know there’ll be another one.

I think I could handle this

Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis is mired in possibly the worst slump in major league baseball history. Going back to last year, Davis is hitless in his last 53 at bats and 61 plate appearances. This is apparently an all-time record for a non-pitcher.

(Side note: Davis makes about $23 million a year.)

I’d like to think this is a record that personally I could break. Come on, MLB, just give me a chance!

I’d even do it for less money.