Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Before yesterday, the last time TigerBlog had texted Patrick McCarthy was back on Feb. 15, when TB was in his car and Patrick was broadcasting the Princeton-Brown men's basketball game.

Princeton won 73-54, by the way. That was the game where Ethan Wright went for 21 points on 9 for 10 shooting, including 3 for 4 from three-point range. Richmond Aririguzoh and Jaelin Llewellyn had 15 each.

Anyway, it was sometime in the first half of that game. TB was listening, and he texted Patrick (when TB was at a red light) some updates of other Princeton games that day, including the two lacrosse season openers, so Patrick could get them on the air.

This is the way the conversation went:

TB: "Listening, so you need to bring your A game."
Patrick: "Oh boy. That's a lot of pressure."
TB: "Doing well so far."

Then a few moments later:

TB: "Heading into the supermarket. You can relax for a few minutes."

Of course, Patrick wasn't going to relax. Even in his mid-20s, he's already quite the pro.

And, as TB said yesterday, Patrick is a Winnipeg Jets fan. He's the only Winnipeg Jets fan he knows, and Winnipeg is 1,658 miles away from Princeton. Actually, though, it's only 1,643 miles from Patrick's house, so there is that.

Patrick's response was that as he became a hockey fan in high school, his high school baseball coach was a big Flyers fan. He didn't want to root for the Flyers, or the Rangers or Devils, so he chose the Jets.

"I decided sine they were a new team, no one could call me a front-runner and figured they'd be good eventually," he said. "Plus the fan base is so passionate. I know to TSN 1290 in Winnipeg on game days."

So there you have it.

TigerBlog mentioned yesterday why it is that people root for certain teams. Sometimes the answer is just something random like Patrick and his beloved Winnipeg Jets.

Most of the time it's driven by geography. The Princeton area is about halfway between New York and Philadelphia, so there is always a good divide between fans of both cities around here.

There are teams that are very polarizing, such as the Yankees and Cowboys. People either love them or hate them.

As for TB, he is rooting for Princeton alum Mike Ford, so if that means hoping the Yankees do well, so be it. Of course, he's also rooting for the Phillies, because Patrick's father Tom, a former Princeton football and basketball radio voice, is the Phillies' TV play-by-play man.

The Major League Baseball season hasn't started yet, but it's almost here. TB knows that Tom has been thrilled to be back at empty Citizens Bank Park, which is where he'll be doing all of the Phils' games, home or away. 

The Phils were playing an exhibition game at Yankee Stadium Monday night and were one out away from a win when Ford absolutely crushed a home run to right. The word that the Yes Network used on Twitter to describe it was "Obliterated."
TB isn't sure why they didn't play extra innings, but the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Ford is the only player ever to win the Ivy League Player of the Year Award and Pitcher of the Year Award. He is at the absolute right ballpark for him, as a lefthanded hitter with considerable power.

In his rookie season a year ago, Ford went from an emergency call-up during an injury deluge to a consistent, and clutch, power hitter. He finished the year with 12 home runs in 143 at-bats, and it seems like he could have a much bigger role with the team moving forward.

This is what manager Aaron Boone said to the New York Post about Ford:
“I think some people miss how good of an offensive player he is. He controls the zone and has power. I think he is a really good middle of the order major league hitter. That is how I view him, I think he is that good. For us it is a left-handed look, obviously. We are right-handed heavy. He is going to see some time because he is a lefty bat that can split up our righties a little bit.’’

As long as he is, TB can root for the Yankees.

Even if Ford ends up elsewhere, maybe TB will continue to root for the Yankees anyway. You know, because of how much Princeton head football coach Bob Surace loves them.

It seems to be as good a reason as any to root for a team, right?

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