Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Random Wednesday

Ken Caminiti died on Monday. The first time I met Ken was when he was a fresh-faced, clean shaven ballplayer just starting his career with the Astros. Houston had just moved to Kissimmee, FL for spring training and my roommate, who pitched with their Single A affiliate, took me to practice one day. Upon meeting Ken, I couldn’t believe how accessible he was. We talked briefly and became friends. Cami was one of those ballplayers that you could see was destined for greatness. Not only was he a great ballplayer, he was my friend. We spent many an evening at Coach’s Corner in Kissimmee knocking back pitchers of Budweiser. Even though he looked scary, Ken was cordial, down-to-earth and very humble. Cami was a good man with a heart of gold. After Cami was traded, which is something he never wanted, we lost touch as San Diego’s spring training camp is in Arizona. Cami’s demons finally got the best of him. Despite his demons, he was a good man. Cami, 41 is much too young. You will be missed and I’m sorry we lost touch.

Red Sox-Yanks. Does it get any better than this? No, it simply does not. Growing up spending my summers on Cape Cod made me a Red Sox fan. The history between these two teams runs deep and intense. Last night’s tilt was no exception. In my opinion, the game came down to two pitches. Both were issued to Gary Sheffield. The first one was in the first inning. Shef had two strikes on him, Schil delivered a near perfect pitch that was called a ball. Shef hit the next pitch into left field for a single. If that pitch is called a strike, inning’s over, no damage done. The ump blew the call (was he counting the bribe money in his head, which caused him to NOT see the little white ball enter the catcher's glove INSIDE the strike zone? Hey, only he knows) and it cost the Sox dearly. The second one was in the 8th inning, same situation, two strikes, two outs (how many zeros was that again?). Timlin this time makes an absolutely perfect pitch, again it’s called a ball. Shef hits the next pitch into left for a single. That led to the two out, two run double over the head of a loafing Manny Ramirez (did Jeter slip a qualude in Manny's fitness water?) to make the score 10-7, a nearly insurmountable lead against Mariano Rivera (did someone say BBQ?). If the ump makes the right call in either situation, it’s a different ball game. He didn’t, so game 1 goes to the Yankees. My Sox hat ended up across the room when Mueller hit into the double play to end the game. Tonight, I will undoubtedly torture myself again because I have to tape the game as I won’t be home. I just wish I could somehow cut out Tim McCarver’s portion of the broadcast. He is absolutely maddening to listen to. He was practically ready to blow Rivera right there on the pitchers mound when he came into the game. Some of the adjectives he used were "incredible, unstoppable, unflappable, historical and sexy as hell." Ok, maybe I made that last one up, but geez Tim, couldn't you just give him a hand job before the game and call it even? On another note, I think a Red Sox fan should market a shirt that says, "Hey Mariano, barbecue at your house after the season?" Yes, I know it’s cruel, heartless and classless, but this is the YANKEES-RED SOX series. Pedro’s up tonight and you know the "Who’s your daddy" chants will last from the time he’s warming up before the game until he goes to sleep afterwards.

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