Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why I Love Baseball, Reason #957: Daniel Nava.

The story will be told everywhere, so I'll only briefly recap it: cut from his college team, undrafted, played independent ball, then was signed by the Sox in 2008. He started with Lancaster (High A) and worked his way up to the Pawsox this season.

He was called up to Boston and played his first game today at age 27. The first pitch he saw from the Phillies Joe Blanton was deposited into the Red Sox bullpen for a grand slam home run.

It's such a great story. Daniel Nava was told over and over that he wasn't good enough, and kept on proving people wrong. Then, in his first time on the ultimate stage, he gets the biggest possible hit.

Who says dreams don't come true? Many times, they do if you work hard enough and refuse to quit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Once again, I have been delinquent in my blogging, so here are 10 quick thoughts:
  • What is it with all the no-hitters this year? Ublado Jimenez had a no-no, perfect games by Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay, and the Imperfect Perfect Game by Armando Gallaraga. And it's only the middle of June.
  • Has there ever been a more classy, sportsman-like reaction by a player getting screwed by a bad call than Gallaraga? Jim Joyce cost him a perfect game, and he said "Nobody's perfect." Just amazingly cool.
  • Jeremy Roenick may never appear as an NHL analyst again (except in Chicago). Did you see him get all teary when the Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup? Here's the clip. The best part is Mike Milbury's reaction.

  • To be honest, though, I wasn't even aware hockey was still going on until I heard someone mention on the radio that game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals was last night. It seems like the Bruins blew that 3-0 lead about six months ago.
  • When people talk about how quickly kids grow up, they aren't just spouting a cliche. I am truly amazed that J. is done with Little League and R. is going to middle school next year.
  • If Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo have a good game at the same time, the Celtics might beat the Lakers by 40.
  • Got a trailer hitch put on the minivan so that we can attach our bike rack and bring our bikes to Vermont this summer. Really looking forward to a couple of family rides while we're there.
  • Stephen Strasburg's first start for the Nationals lived up to the hype. 7 innings, 14 K's, including the last 7 in a row. Yes, it was the Pirates, but it was still pretty amazing. The thing that I found most impressive while watching on MLB Network was how effortless it seemed to be for him to throw a 99 MPH fastball on the black at the knees. If he stays healthy, Strasburg could be one of the great superstars in the game for the next 15 years or so. If he doesn't, he could be Kerry Wood.
  • I admit it. I'm a total Gleek.
  • I really don't need to see another Grown Ups movie promo during the NBA Finals.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I haven't done much blogging recently, so here are a few catch-up items.
  • I said at the beginning of the Red Sox 13 game stretch against the Tigers, Yankees, Twins, Phillies and Rays that we would know a lot more about this team at the end of it. After a slow start, losing 3-of-5 in Detroit and the Bronx, the Sox swept the Twins at Fenway, then took 2 of 3 from the Philles and swept 3 from the Rays to go 9-4 in what is probably their toughest stretch of games of the year. The Sox also made up some ground and are now only five games out of first and 2.5 behind the Yankees for second. Of course, they then only split a weekend series with the Royals at Fenway, but they are certainly a much better position than they were a few weeks ago.
  • J. and some of his friends on our street went up to the school a couple of times over the weekend to play baseball on one of the fields. In this day and age where so many kids are over-scheduled and spend what little free time they do have in front of a computer or TV screen, I was thrilled to see this.
  • The Rockies Ublado Jimenez may be baseball's best kept secret. After yesterday's shutout win over Tim Lincecum and the Giants, Jimenez is 10-1 with a 0.78 ERA. Despite that, when I mentioned yesterday's game to a co-worker I would consider a casual baseball fan, he had no idea who I was talking about. Make sure you watch him pitch the next time you have a chance - his starts are must-see TV.
  • Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!

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