Sunday, November 15, 2015


Baron and I were making the rounds of the neighborhood when we spied a pair of eagles on top a transmission line pole. "Spied" is probably not the right word, as we heard them first. It looked like one was a mature adult and the other an adult, but maybe just beyond the juvenile stage. Let's call him the "teenager." They were chattering away, and then flew from pole to pole, doing some preening, resting and maybe discussing their trip.

Teenager: "I don't wanna go on migration, just because that's what we've always done."

Mom: "Trust me, we need to do it for lots of reasons, principal among them our food supply."

Teenager: "But I just want my safe space. I don't want to hear about going hungry, I've never wanted for anything before, let's just stay here. No threats to hear or see; nothing I don't want to see or hear."

Mom: (Unlike, apparently, the current crop of mothers!) "Get off your perch and fly. I'm not going to starve, I'm going to migrate. You are coming with me."

Teenager: "Whine."

I'm not an expert on Eagle-ese, but that is what I think they were saying. She should have guided the teenager to Yale or Missouri, they would take him in and let him know that the world is not a dangerous place, if you whine you get anything you want and you CAN BE Peter Pan.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Matt said today that this run by the Royals is one of the best sports experiences he has had. I concur. After all we have been through.

What a ride. The only thing that could possibly compare for me was the 1995 Huskers National Championship capped with the decimation of #2 Florida in the Fiesta Bowl by a score of 62-24...and it wasn't that close.

We endured Tony and his Nosotros Creamos, but Latin pride could only go so far. We endured a couple of decades without a decent second baseman, and depended on a journeyman Chinese pitcher from Panama who was probably eligible to be the fifth starter on most staffs. Our season tickets were in the days of 95-100 losses each season, but even then it was a good day at the park.

Dayton Moore looks like a genius now with the Zach Greinke trade that brought Cain and Escobar. The acquisition of Cueto is golden, despite most of us crossing our fingers to see which one of him would show up.

We can almost forgive Jose Guillen. I said "almost." We can overlook some of Ned's bizarre moves when we look at what I consider to be the pivotal play of the entire playoffs--the hit and run with Morales in the Astros game after the pop up dropped in the short outfield. (Nobody talks about that, so don't worry if you don't remember).

Hosmer's sprint to home will be the play that is replayed. It was so typical of the team and what was so fun to watch. Aggressive, gutsy and in Hosmer's own words as he took the first three steps, "This might not be a good idea." But they were prepared for just such a play by the coaches who said, "Make Duda and d'Arnaud throw." It's hard to win a World Series when you haven't thrown out a runner since September 8.

Right now, I miss baseball. I miss getting up in the morning and checking the box score. It is now on the computer, but it is like I used to do in the Kansas City Star. And before that, in the Sioux City Journal. For years, driving through South Dakota of a summer evening, coming home after some event or sales call, listening to Denny Matthews and Fred White on KSCJ. Yep, it goes back a ways.

Matt also said that the Iowa football season is just "icing on the cake." I wouldn't go that far, but let him revel in a good run by his alma mater as Nebraska sloshes around in the bottom world.

Baseball encourages hope. Every team is going to win it all when they are in Arizona. Baseball embraces nostalgia, too, and we will remember this time. This warm, colorful autumn of 2015.


Daughter-in-law Amy is a football fan, and she had to call me to tell me that one of the announcers (aka, Mr. Knucklehead) on College Game Day made the pronouncement of the week--"Ya know, Iowa is going to have to outscore Indiana to win this game."

REALLY? They must have changed the rules.

Amy had to call and tell me because she when you hear something like that, you have to tell somebody. She said that ranks up there with the other quote she heard from one of these geniuses: "Auburn doesn't need a turnover right here." Again, slap my head!

It is a good Saturday in the autumn, and I think ESPN may have missed a few that deserved it when they laid off all those people the other day.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Just read comments on a web page. Yes, I know I'm supposed to be in a 12-Step Program that will lead me to the righteousness of ignoring comments on a web page, but I fell off that wagon...again.

The web page was about baseball, SB Nation, Royals Review, and it was about (surprise, surprise) Hosmer's decision to head for home with two outs and behind by one run in the fifth game of the World Series.

Initial comment: there were no references to politics or religion. That is a huge step up for the typical comment page. Main point: the writing was pretty darn good. I would recommend it just to read informed prose that pretty much stayed on the subject. No name-calling. Here is the url for anyone interested:

Surprise bonus: the tag lines were awesome! This from a fan of baseball and tag lines. Here are a few:

EWE! WHAT IS THAT SMELL?? POOSTAKAS YOU! AGAIN?" -Aristotle (OK, so I don't quite understand that one)


At long last, I trust the process. (You have to appreciate that Dayton Moore, the general manager, has been saying "the process," repeatedly, for years. Did I mention "repeatedly?")

Time's yours. (I should read that one more often.)

As Mick Jagger once indicated, I am unable to obtain any measure of satisfaction. (Love it.)


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. -- Yogi Berra


Monday, November 2, 2015


That charge to the plate may, again, bring up the debate about sending Gordon from third in the seventh game of the 2014 World Series against the Giants. We all remember Perez struck out to end that threat and end the game giving the Giants the crown.

Most of us agree that sending Gordon would have been an almost certain out at home, and "almost" is generous as in my opinion, we are talking 99 out of 100. The throw from the cutoff man (Brandon Crawford, the shortstop?) to home was pretty routine for a player accustomed to long throws.

The Mets' first baseman, Lucas Duda, did not get a starting position because of his throwing ability. Result: E-3 in last night's game. Terrific play on the part of Hosmer, and my guess is that the third-base coach, Mike Jirschele, had prepared the team for just this kind of situation like he did when Cain scored from first in an earlier game.

My vote for two most significant plays in the Post Season for the Royals are both base running:

1.  Hosmer's dash for home.

2.  The hit and run with Morales hitting in game 2 of the ALCS, right after the pop fly dropped. Toronto is up 3-1 with no outs. On the play, Cain scores to make it 3-2, but without the hit and run, it is a sure double play and the rally would have stopped, the game is still in doubt with Toronto ahead...different outcome all together, perhaps.

The Mets have to cure a couple of fundamental problems before they try this again:

1.  They have to get a catcher who can at least slow down the running game. I think I heard that the last time the Mets threw out a runner was September 8.

2.  Defense. Granderson is likely the only real candidate for the Mets as Cespedes, who won a gold glove nomination with his play in Detroit, played poorly in the World Series.