Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Striking Out

TigerBlog remembers a dinner he went to when the men's lacrosse team traveled to Costa Rica back in 2012.

It was just for the coaching staff and other non-players in the travel party, and it was at a restaurant that was either really close or really far from the hotel, depending on whether or not you were walking through an alley to get to it.

On the way there, in the daylight, cutting through the alley seemed easy enough. On the way back? It was night by then, and as the group took two steps or so down the path of the completely darkened alley, they heard a most disconcerting sound of growling dogs.

You could almost picture them just from the growling. They had to be big and vicious, right? Bravely the group started down the path, only to hear the growling get louder and louder.

Yeah. So instead of continuing, the group paused, looked at each other and basically turned and ran back to the main road. From there, instead of about 100 yards to the hotel, it was more than a mile to walk all the way around.

As TB thought about the most scared his ever been, the anticipation of being mauled by Costa Rican dogs was pretty far up there. Until he drove a car in England.

This is his last story about his recent trip. He promises.

As you know, cars in England have the steering wheel on the right side and drive on the left side. Everything becomes the opposite of what it is in the United States. If you've never driven a car like that, it takes awhile to acclimate to everything, including, for instance, which way you have to look before you merge, especially on right turns.

The other tough part is the fact that your eye's perspective needs to change. You're no longer keeping yourself on the left side of the lane when you drive; you need to be on the right side. TB smacked into the curb a few times before he got that down.

And that's it about England.

TigerBlog did something yesterday that he hasn't done all year prior. He looked at the Major League Baseball standings.

He had no idea that the Mets were making a postseason run, but there they were, just two games out of the last wild card spot. He knew the Yankees were having a big year, and it got him hoping that it would end up with a Mets-Yankees World Series, just because of Princeton men's soccer coach Jim Barlow (huge Mets fan) and Princeton head football coach Bob Surace (huge Yankees fan).

The best races by far are in the National League, where 10 teams have a legitimate shot at the postseason. In the American League, it's really only a six-team race - maybe seven, but that's only because the Red Sox are hard to count out - even before September rolls around.

Another reason to root for the Yankees besides Bob Surace is that two Princeton alums are part of the team.

David Hale, who is coming off a back injury this week, has pitched in 19 games so far this season, wall in relief, with a 3-0 record and two saves, along with a 2.89 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 22 strikeouts and six walks in 37 innings. 

Those are pretty solid numbers.

The other is Mike Ford, who at one point was the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year. Perhaps that came up in the discussion the other night when the Yankees were on the wrong end of a massive blowout against Cleveland, because into the game came Ford. To pitch.

It's always fun when a position player gets a chance to pitch. Yes, Ford gave up five runs in two innings, but he served the main function, which was allowing the pitching staff not to have to throw those two innings.

He also recorded a strikeout, which is something he'll always be able to say. He struck out someone in a Major League game.

That gave Princeton 23 strikeouts for the Yankees this year. 

As for his normal spot, Ford has four home runs in 81 at-bats, which translates to 30 in 500 at-bats. Yes, Ford has struck out 17 times in those 81 at-bats, but in Major League Baseball today, it's more about hitting the ball over the fence than anything else.

Anyway, it got TB to wondering how many position players this year - or in the last 10 - have hit at least one home run and gotten at least one strikeout.

It can't be many.

No comments: