Field of Absurdity

Script outline for new B-movie:

A baseball movie

A small market team in a major market that started out as the worst history in the history of baseball and plays in the same market as the evil empire that has dominated the sport through the decades has finally started the journey to respectability. A team whose front office has been dysfunctional to the point of comical. Whose ownership was challenged by being a part of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history and during the recovery doesn’t see the irony of putting an Amway storefront in their new stadium. A stadium that doesn’t honor its own 50 year history but rather honors a former team from the same league that abandoned their fan base, sneaking out under the cover of the night, moving the team across the country. Excitement is starting to build in the long-suffering fan base.

Baseball team built around pitching needs offensive help at the trading deadline.

Team’s GM works trade of player that fans wish wasn’t their shortstop and injured pitching prospect recovering from Tommy John surgery for team’s former player who went on to become a star for another team.

Shortstop hears about trade in the middle of the game and cries on the field (cameo by Tom Hanks – “There’s no crying in baseball”).

Injured pitcher calls GM and tells him that he doesn’t want to be traded but wants to be a part of the team’s return to respectability.

Deal falls through due to health concerns about “star” player and deal is cancelled.

Team makes a different deal acquiring a bat for a couple of minor league players.

Flash forward: team in pennant race with 5 game lead in September.

“Star” player that the team was going to trade for is hitting .213 with 2 homeruns and 10 RBIs for his new team.

Shortstop becomes fan favorite, getting standing ovations at home and on the road, and ratchets up his offense getting many game winning hits to keep bolster playoff chase.

Newly acquired player produces a .295 batting average, 11 homeruns, and 28 RBIs helping turn the team’s offense from the worst in the NL to the best since the trade.

Pitching Diva who returned from Tommy John surgery, who still thinks that he’s the ace of the team, announces at the beginning of September that he’s shutting himself down in 14 innings. This is the same Diva pitcher than exuded machismo and talked all season about pitching in October. He balked about starting the season later or using a 6 man rotation to conserve innings. He didn’t think that the team could reach the post-season and he needed to make sure that he got his 180 innings this season – he couldn’t afford the chance of leaving innings on the table.

“I know from having 178 [innings] the year before I took off, I think the whole idea was not to exceed too much more than that,” Harvey said.

“As far as worrying about that in April, I think I was more worried about getting to this point and having a full season. I couldn’t be happier with how the season has gone, that means I’m healthy throughout the whole year and pitched pretty much every time I’ve had the opportunity.”

Diva pitcher becomes pariah and quickly makes the transition from hero to villain.

Still working on the ending, but here’s a couple of thoughts:

Sometimes the best trades are those that aren’t made. Two talented players that want to be with the team are still there – one contributing already and the other insurance that will permit the Diva to be shown the door for another piece to the puzzle.

The premise of the story is so unbelievable that it is difficult to imagine exactly what the ending will be.

Doc Adams Day 2015

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The 18th Annual Old Time Base Ball Festival was held this past weekend (August 1-2, 2015)  at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. It was a great event as ballists and cranks alike enjoyed the beautiful weather and entertaining games. A highlight of the weekend was the announcement that the Festival would be renamed in honor of Doc Adams. Marjorie Adams was on hand to receive a plaque commemorating the event and shared her knowledge of her great-grandfather’s accomplishments and contributions to the game.

Click here to see some photos from the event.

Business Trip to Louisville, KY

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It’s been a while since I was last in Louisville. This time my timing was a little better and I was able to take in a Louisville Bats game at Louisville Slugger Field.

However, being a business trip, I was unable to visit the Louisville Slugger Museum while it was open. I was able to check out The NCAA Louisville Cardinals’ Jim Patterson Stadium from the outside as well as the former site of Parkway Field.

A Visit to Pittsfield

20150718_153930For years, as we’ve traveled back and forth to Cooperstown, I’ve seen the exit sign for Pittsfield and every time tell Cathy that we need to go to see Historic Wahconah Park home now to the Pittsfield Suns of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England. This July we decided to plan a trip specifically to see a game there.

To make a day of it, we stopped at the Edith Wharton house and Arrowhead, Herman Melville’s home. To our surprise, there was a baseball exhibit at Arrowhead! Yous can’t make this stuff up.

We stopped by Wahconah early to scout out the area. We surveyed the stadium and took some photos (thanks Mike McGuire). We also learned that it was going to be a doubleheader starting an hour earlier than we had planned on. Great luck and the opportunity to see some bonus baseball.

It was still early so we went to downtown Pittsfield and found another surprise. A large baseball and plaque dedicated to a 1791 ByLaw prohibiting base ball playing within 80 yards of the newly built meeting house.

After that find, we returned to Wahconah ready to finally experience a game there. Even though the 1st game was a one-sided affair, the ambiance of a stadium that exudes history made it a great experience. We found the stadium personnel to be among the friendliest we’ve come across. Being old school, I really appreciate the spoken part of the game (miss you Bob Murphy and Bob Sheppard) and this stadium also boasts one of the more memorable public address announcers we have heard in our travels, Mike McGuire.

Oh, by the way, the second game was rained out.

We had a great time and would recommend that all real baseball fans, take a pilgrimage up to Wahconah and enjoy a game at this wonderful historical venue. We waited way too long to do so and are already trying to plan a return visit. Check out our baseball stops below.

Arrowhead (Baseball Exhibit)

Site of 1st Base Ball ByLaw

Wahconah Park

Yankee/Red Sox Game

20150711_215038Another, “it’s about time”. Being as fanatical baseball fan as I am, it’s hard to believe that I never attended one of the greatest rivalry games. I just had the opportunity to do so at Fenway Park with my son Danny. The good news was that the Red Sox beat the Yankees (although they lost the series).

We had seats in straight away centerfield. Talking to a co-worker, I explained that I had almost caught (dropped it) a Bryce Harper homerun while sitting in the Bermuda Triangle. I said with my luck, if I catch one, it’ll be an A-Rod homerun. Well, I did, but it was only a batting practice homerun.

We also got to check out some of the local establishments.

Jerry Remy’s Restaurant

The Baseball Tavern

Who’s On First?

Yankees/Red Sox Game

 

The Stratford Brakettes

20150712_9_33Well growing up in Fairfield, CT, it’s hard to believe that I never attended a Brakettes game until this year. I must admit I regret never having a game, especially during the Joan Joyce era, Right in my backyard, but I was focused solely on baseball. However, I am glad that I have now been able to check this off my bucket list attending a game at:

Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field.

Marjorie Adams’ 1st Major League Game

20150614_0076Cathy and I had the distinct pleasure of attending A Mets/Braves game at Citi Field with our friend Marjorie Adams. It was a special day as it was Marjorie’s (the great-granddaughter of baseball founding father, Doc Adams) 1st ever Major League Game. If the Mets only knew who was in attendance. We even had a chat with Braves’ broadcasters Joe Simpson and Chip Caray after the game, with Marjorie spreading the word about Doc’s accomplishments and contributions.

20150614_0098Marjorie’s 1st MLB Game

Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams for the Hall of Fame

Hi Baseball fans!

Help put Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Time is running short. I’d like to ask you to take a few minutes to support a petition that will hopefully lead to the recognition of Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams as a pioneer of the game of baseball through enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s about time that baseball honored those that helped develop and nurture the game rather than perpetuate myths and half truths.

Please take a few minutes and find out more about Doc and “sign” the petition. Please feel free to share it with your friends and family.

Thanks for your time and support.

https://www.change.org/petitions/base-ball-writers-association-of-america-s-historical-overview-committee-recognize-daniel-lucius-doc-adams-as-a-pioneer-of-our-national-pastime

For more see “Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams – Long Overlooked Baseball Pioneer” on MLBReports.com.

Visit my Doc Adams page on my website.

All-star, R.A. Dickey Too Good To Start

Well, the fiasco known as the Baseball Major League All-star game has reached a new low. The best pitcher in the National League (if not all of baseball) in the 1st half of the 2012 season will not be starting the All-star game. Why, you might ask? Because the misguided, legend in his own mind ex-manager leading the National League squad, decided that the major league catcher who was selected the starter, is incapable of catching a knuckleballer. He and MLB has turned their back on what is one of the great feel good stories of this season and more (I sense a movie here).

Tony LaRussa (who still thinks that he invented the game) made the incomprehensible decision to start Matt Cain (W/L: 9-3, ERA: 2.62, K: 118, BB: 24, WHIP:0.96) over R.A. Dickey (W/L: 12-1, ERA: 2.40, K: 123, BB: 26, WHIP: 0.93) because Buster Posey can’t catch a knuckleball. Tony didn’t want to risk pass balls since the game is important – it is for home field advantage in the World Series after all.

Give me a break. The best pitcher can’t start because the starting catcher is incapable of catching a knuckleball? Journeymen catchers can catch a knuckleball, right, Bob Uecker?  Maybe the catcher shouldn’t be starting. Oh, but wait, he has to since he was elected by the fans so he has to start. So “winning” matters in the selection of the starting pitcher, but not the position players.

I won’t go off on a rant on that again but if it was so important, the best players should be selected, not voted on in a popularity contest (re: David Wright [gold glover], Avg: .351, HR: 11, RBI: 59, Runs: 56, SB: 9 vs. Pablo Sandoval,Avg: .307, HR: 8, RBI: 30, Runs: 30, SB:0).

Between the advent of inter-league play (hate it), television exposure, players attitudes towards the game, and the misguided attempt to make it relevant by awarding the winning league with home field advantage in the World Series, it has outlived its time and I won’t be watching.

And Tony, you can crawl off back into retirement. Baseball’s doing just fine without you.