Dan Haren. Born September 17, 1980. Was involved in the trade that sent Mark Mulder to the Cardinals. (He, Daric Barton and Kiko Calero were sent to the Oakland A's.) Then the A's let him get away and he signed with Arizona.
On September 16,2008, a day before his 28th birthday, he pitched a complete game shutout against the orange and black uniformed 0n-lookers. You always had the feeling there was plenty of game left as nearly each and every San Francisco Giants stepped into the batter's box with the idea of taking one, even if it was right down the middle.
It didn't bother the Giants that the D'backs took the exact opposite approach, following Adam Dunn's lead from the night before. He saw Brad Hennessey's first pitch and smacked it into the seats for a game winning home run.
Dan Haren, looking a lot like Neil Young, with his scruffy appearance and jersey not buttoned properly (nor were a couple of other D'backs, as if they planned it that way) and facing a team that just let him do what he wanted with the most fitting Neil Young lyrics reverberating throughout the B.O.B (Bank One Ballpark)... as sung by none other than the home plate umpire Nelson? He was lighting a match after every inning, as if he was demanding an encore. If Danny Haren and the D'Backs did their part, the ump most assuredly would do his!
I caught you knockin' at my cellar door,
I love you baby, can I have some more...
Then, what seemed like all of a sudden, the Giants were running out of outs.
I've seen the needle and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie's like a setting sun
and the final out was made. D'backs: 2 Giants:0.
On a personal note: I'm in the final round of my fantasy league. It's me against a team called the Pinstripes. And his logo is a picture of the shrine of Hall of Famers, out beyond the centerfield wall at Yankee Stadium.
I've played this guy 3 times this year, during the regular season and he's won all 3, although the last time, a few weeks ago, I lost by 2 points!
I went into last night's contest tied at 27.
Then the Giants layed an egg against Dan Haren, one of his long list of stellar pitchers. (He has Tim Lincecum, by golly!)
So I'm down 99-59 and need my pitchers to strap it on and at least get the Win. I don't expect them to pitch a complete game shutout, as Haren did, but I expect respectability and a win.
What is happening reminds me of a song by Neil Young. It's, to my interpretation, filled with euphemisms and the title is most definitely how I felt before going to the Land of Nod, last night.
If I could hold on
to just one thought
for long enough to know
Why my mind is moving so fast
And the conversation is slow.
I have seen you in the movies
And in those magazines at night
I saw you on the barstool
when You held that glass so tight.
And I saw you in my nightmares
But I'll see you in my dreams
And I might live a thousand years
Before I know what that means.
Once there was a friend of mine
Who died a thousand deaths
His life was filled with parasites
And countless idle threats.
He trusted in a woman
And on her he made his bets
Once there was a friend of mine
Who died a thousand deaths.
(thanks to Baseball-Reference and Neil Young. Because "bad" luck has to be a figment of the imagination or we might just realize someday, we have no chance.)