Monday, June 12, 2006

Summertime and the living is easy

Right. At least I'm hoping so. Stomach problems seem to be mostly behind me, which is good. Seawolves have a five game homestand stand coming up. Weather seems to be shaping up. Supposed to maybe hit 80 degrees this weekend. Lake Erie water temp is listed at 63.

I don't know how often I'll be visiting Ralph's Place over the summer. If last week was any indication, not much, but maybe more. We'll see I guess. This is still a pretty new venture, and I'm trying to figure some things out. I've started some sort of book/extended essay/modern novella type of work. Here's an excerpt:

"My son, who is 7 just asked me, 'How about home runs did Tino Martinez hit?' Tino Martinez was a great fielding, solid hitting first basemen that the Yankees picked up in the mid-1990s, before they made their run of four World Series titles in the Joe Torre/Derek Jeter era. My son remembers him from last year, when he returned to the Yankees after being let go a couple years earlier in favor of slugging Jason Giambi. Giambi contracted some sort of rare stomach parasitic disorder while in Japan, after having to stop taking the steroids he’d used for several years prior and appeared a shell of his former self early last season. So, Martinez was brought back to fill in. Martinez, because of age I assume, not steroids, was also a bit of a shell, although he did go on one torrid streak, hitting like seven home runs in seven games early in the season, that keyed some big wins. By the time my son picked up on him toward the playoffs, however, Giambi had miraculously returned, working with hitting coach and former batting champ Don Mattingly to reassemble his stroke and eventually wound up being the 2006 A.L. Comeback Player of the Year award. So, Martinez had been relegated to coming off the bench.

The cool thing about my son’s question is that I can now go online, to a wonderful Web site, www.baseball-reference.com and view Tino Martinez’s career stats. It used to be you had to buy this expensive big book called the Baseball Encylopedia to look up every player’s statistics in the history of baseball. I remember my friend Red had a copy, and I spent more than a couple of afternoons at his house thumbing through the thing. You could really get lost in it, looking up stuff like Smokey Joe Wood's 1921 pitching numbers.

baseball-reference.com is the same type of thing. And because it’s online and has all sort of hyperlinks embedded in it, you can very easily jump from one area to another. I called my son into my office to answer his question about Tino, which was 330-something, and we started jumping around to figure out things like exactly how many World Series did the Torre led Yankees win? It was four in five years, including three in a row from 1998-2001. Then we jumped to the career of his favorite hitter Gary Sheffield and went over his year-by-year home run stats and the awards he has won. Then, we jumped to Texas first baseman Mark Texiera. Baseball stats have a very soothing effect from some reason. They’re just numbers but they say so much about the game."

Well, that's it for now. Yes, aside from Presque Isle and the Seawovles, I'll leave you with two of my other favorite things to do in the summer. Both have to do with music:
1. The Mayville Bluegrass Festival is this weekend. This thing rocks. It is in a great location and really brings in some top notch nationally renowned bluegrass acts. It gets a bit pricey, but you have an ear from some good bluegrass, I'm sure it's a bargain.
2. Erie's own Eight Great Tuesdays is a wonderful series of concerts. It doesn't start until July 11, of course, sometimes the summer weather doesn't really kick in until that time around here either.

Both event I just mentioned are great family affairs, although, Eight Great Tuesdays is probably even better for the family because it's free.


Cheers.

Ralph

1 comment:

DocTorDee said...

I look forward to your first book, Ralph. I'm sure it will be about baseball...

DDDDD