Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Reading Time, Five Minutes

In Baseball, Basketball, Football on February 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Crim Del Harris’s weekend update of the week’s top sports stories. 

Jeff Goldblum has a great line in the 1984 film The Big Chill that all bloggers should take to heart. Talking about his dead-end job at People, Goldblum’s “Michael” discusses the magazine’s one editorial rule: “You can’t write anything longer than the average person can read during the average crap.” It’s with that sentiment in mind that CDH debuts an irregularly recurring feature — Reading Time, Five Minutes. Borrowed from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bernie Miklasz, RTFM will give you a run down of the big stories in sports, with some witty comments and a funny Vine, or something. We haven’t quite figured it out yet. Anyway, let’s begin!

Earlier this week Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced the league’s actions to protect pitchers from line drives. Beginning in spring training later this month, pitchers will have the option of wearing a cap with extra padding around the cranium to protect against head trauma and brain injury. While the league’s effort to protect players is admirable, these caps look…pretty terrible. [Cue Great Gazoo joke.] Read the rest of this entry »

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Wacha Flocka Flamethrower

In Baseball on October 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

The St. Louis Cardinals have been powered by rookies for most of the season. But in their biggest game of the season, one rookie kept his team alive — and flirted with history.

As I write this, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are preparing to square off in Game 5 of the 2013 National League Division Series. The winning team will go on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The losing team gets to watch the NLCS on television.

The Cardinals’ season could end tonight, and if it does, it will have ended at the hands of a talented young team that deserves to win. The thing is, it just as easily could have ended Monday afternoon. And the fact that their season will go on for at least one more game is due to the performance of Michael Wacha. Read the rest of this entry »

A (not at all conflicted) rebirth – The Golden State Warriors

In Basketball on January 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

“I’ve got a feeling, this year’s for me and you/So Happy Christmas/I love you baby/I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true” – The Pogues, Fairytale of New York

If the hopeful romanticism of that line sweeps you off your feet, it’s important to remember that the song’s setting is a New York City drunk tank, and that the protagonist also directs the phrase “You’re an old slut on junk” to his love interest shortly thereafter.

In that spirit of tempered optimism — WARRIORS!

It’s a new year, and the Golden State Warriors have a legitimate shot at reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

That was the year, as you may or may not know, that a Jason Richardson/Baron Davis-led”We Believe” team stunned the first seed Mavericks in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. It was also the year Davis posterized Andrei Kirilenko in the second round — perhaps the greatest single moment in Warriors history since Rick Barry rocked a neckerchief* and won a championship.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Resurgence of Mark McGwire

In Baseball on November 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

After boosting the St. Louis Cardinals’s offensive production, Mark McGwire hopes to work the same magic with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is from the Twilight Zone: McGwire, Dodgers appear to be a match. It’s all eerily familiar. After a brief stint with the St. Louis Cardinals, Mark McGwire is headed back to the Golden State. The Los Angeles Dodgers need a power boost, and McGwire wants to be closer to his family in California. What year is this, 2001?

Mark McGwire is, indeed, on the move. But he won’t be part of a lineup featuring Shawn Green, Paul Lo Duca and Marquis Grissom. He will be joining the Dodgers as hitting coach for 2013 after coaching in St. Louis for three seasons. A more fashionable way to say it would be “taking his talents to Chavez Ravine.” And yes, “talents” is the proper word. For all the steroid controversy and questionable career statistics, Mark McGwire is one of the best hitting coaches in Major League Baseball. Read the rest of this entry »

Zeroes

In Baseball, Long form on August 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

He had to change his name. There couldn’t be two Johan Santanas pitching in the American league. He was Johan Santana, a rookie pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. The one who played for the Minnesota Twins was a Cy Young award winner, and maybe the best pitcher in baseball. (Guess who got to keep the name?) But the Angels roster still needed a name for RHP 54. “I just came up with Ervin. Ervin Santana, that sounds good.”

It didn’t really hit him until the sixth inning. Maybe the seventh, but definitely not before the sixth. In the sixth, he had retired Kipnis, Kearns and Carrera on nine pitches. It was a good inning, and he’d looked strong striking out Izturis, but hitters were always toughest the third time through the batting order.

The first two times through the order, you could catch guys off guard, especially if they hadn’t seen your stuff in a while. But by the third time, they’d seen enough pitches to adjust their timing.

Brantley, Cabrera and Hafner were due up in the seventh, and that’s what convinced him. Nine pitches for three outs, and Hafner had looked at three strikes to end the inning. The sixth could have been a few lucky pitches. The seventh was artistry.

It always seems like no-hitters are spoiled late in the game. The pitcher becomes aware of what he’s chasing and starts to think. The thinking becomes hesitance, and the hesitance becomes a bloop single to center field. Read the rest of this entry »

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