Friday, May 13, 2011

Bobby Richardson Looks Back to '62

In the Sporting News issue dated 4/11/11, there was an I Remember piece with Bobby Richardson being the focal point.

Giant fans since the opening of Candlestick Park know Richardson as the second baseman who was in the right spot at the worst time for a Willie McCovey line drive. With runners on second and third base and 2 outs, the McCovey liner was how Game 7 of the 1962 World Series ended. Yankees win!

Richardson and Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek (who worked for NBC on the Game of the Week) had been roommates for Richardson's entire career. According to Richardson, Kubek was trying to lighten him up a little bit as he said, "I sure hope McCovey doesn't hit the ball to you." Puzzled, Richardson asked, "Why?"  Kubek's response was, "You've already made one error this series- I'd hate to see you blow it now."

Richardson admits that's what he was thinking about when he went back to his position between the first-baseman and shortstop.  McCovey proceeded to hit a ball foul, out of the park. Upon seeing that prodigious shot, Richardson noticed that McCovey was out in front.  So the wise second-baseman moved over toward first base. Reflecting back to that moment Richardson said, 'McCovey has always said he thought I was playing out of position.'  But those of us who saw the play, either live or out of the archives can see that Bobby Richardson was in the right position to field that scorching line drive.

Over the years Bobby Richardson had not seen Willie McCovey. Some forty-five years had passed until Richardson was invited out to San Francisco, by the Giants, to see the Yankees play the Giants in an interleague game.  When Richardson saw McCovey, McCovey's first comment to Bobby Richardson was, "I bet your hand is still hurting."

(thanks to the Sporting News for that good sportsmanship memory)

Kevin J. Marquez

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wine Sippers vs. Beer Guzzlers

In an article on May 6, 2011, by Pamela S. Busch, of the San Francisco Examiner, she enlightened me some about AT&T's concessions stands and the types of wines that are sold. And although she mentions the prices are reasonable I suggest you would have a much better time at the Giants' games if you had the type of bank account Gilligan's Island occupants, Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III, possessed.

Chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon are fan favorites.  For the same amount of money you can drink Brassfield pino grigio- a crisp white vino from the vineyards of Lake County, are ideal for day games.

Madigan cabernet sauvignon and White Rock's second label red pour for a reasonable $40.

The California Wine Bar (at the View Level) carries a slightly different range of local wines.  Rosenblum zinfandel XXXII and Acacia chardonnay at $9.75 for a 7 oz. plastic glass.

The Crazy Crab and its next-door neighbor, the Chowder House offer the Saint Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux from the Languedoc region of France.  Touted as France's oldest sparkling wine.  One of a few imports served at AT&T Park.  Price is $16.  People buy this because it is a treat for the lips, palate and tongue.  Not quite moonlight and canoes but you're heading in the right direction!

Near Section 230, you can buy Vinum Cellars chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon that are within reason price wise.

Ms. Busch made the wines seem mouthwatering and worth checking out. Personally, I don't embibe in the grape as much as I heartily swig a frosty brew. I thank her for the education and impromptu wine list she provided for Giant fans who like sipping wine over guzzling beer.

(Thanks to Pamela S. Busch for the insights on where to buy wine at the Giants game.)

Kevin J. Marquez

Monday, May 2, 2011

Darren Ford Fast

In the May 1, 2011 game at Washington, DC, Darren Ford came in to run for the recently walked Buster Posey.

Immediately all eyes focused on this extraordinary runner as he danced off first base. Time and time again the pitcher threw over to first base, once almost tossing the ball over the first baseman's head. Then with batter Pat Burrell struggling to make contact (as if he couldn't see the ball) Ford decided to take off for second base.

The perennial gold-glover, catcher Ivan Rodriguez, received the pitcher's toss and immediately got up and threw to second base.  And as well as "Pudge" receives the ball he gets rid of it even faster.  His ball was right on the bag and therefore the runner (Darren Ford) was called out.

But was he out?  Just because the ball arrived where it did doesn't mean the runner was out.  The fielder must tag the runner.  Upon further review, the runner was tagged above the belt. And the tag itself wasn't made by the fielder.  He merely dropped the glove into an area he figured the runner would slide into. Only Ford didn't exactly slide in that direction.

Now, the second base umpire, looked long and waited before calling the runner OUT but he wasn't paying attention to the runner as much as where the ball was in proximity of the runner and base.  In other words, the umpire actually took his eyes off the runner and fielder and figured because the ball was caught where it was that the runner had to meet it before touching the bag.

Darren Ford was not tagged out until after he reached second base and yet the umpire assumed because the ball arrived where it arrived and that the ball got there at just about the same time as the runner that it stood to reason that the runner would be out.  Only sometimes things don 't happen as expected, now do they, Mr. Ump?

Bad call ump.  But worse than that is how umpires are approaching runners of extraordinary ability.  The umps are not watching the fielder catch the ball and then apply the tag to the runner.  They are giving the benefit of the doubt to the catcher if the ball arrives in a particular location in a relatively timely manner at a good place.
Tagging the runner has now become optional.  Now aint that a kick in the head?

Kevin J. Marquez