On Notes from a Baseball Pundit

I have a very good friend that I have to thank for giving me material on this blog. He’s the type that talks with so much confidence, instead of facts, that he can be convincing – thus I most commonly refer to him as the baseball pundit or the political pundit. The purpose of this post is to share with readers some of his baseball proclamations in recent years.

  • I (the Baseball Pundit) am not a homer.
  • Ken Griffey Jr does not deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
  • The 1995 Indians are the greatest team of all time – better than the Big Red Machine and the 1927 Yankees.
  • Omar Vizquel will hit 40 home runs in one season before he retires.
  • Casey Blake is the best right fielder in the American League – better than Vlad Guerrero.
  • Ronnie Belliard is the best second baseman since Roberto Alomar.
  • Ken Griffey Jr is the worst conditioned athlete not only in baseball – but in all sports.
  • The Reds only signed Aroldis Chapman for publicity, thus will bring him up to sell tickets.

He proclaims a lineup with at least six homerun hitters who strike out a lot would win the division. Let’s see … the Arizona Diamondbacks are the one of the top HR teams in the NL and lead MLB (by far) in strikeouts. The last I checked, the D-Backs have the second worst record in the NL.

How’s my friend, the Baseball Pundit, doing?

Cincinnati Reds – NL Central Champions

In early August the Cardinals sweep the Reds in Cincinnati to take a one game lead. Although there were 41 games to go, many were discounting the Reds chances. After that series, the Reds won seven in a row, thus starting to distance themselves from the Cardinals.

I’ve only been up for 90 minutes this morning, yet I heard and seen the game-winning, title-clinching home run by Jay Bruce at least 10 times … and probably many more before the day is done. For this life-long Reds fan, what a special moment.

It’s been a long 15 years since the last playoff appearance, especially when most of the teams weren’t contenders – so today is special!

Image property of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

PS: This video with the radio call by Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman wasn’t available this morning. Enjoy this memorable moment in Reds history.

On Some Random Tidbits

With the recent passing of my father, a simple “Thank You” to all who thought about our family.

My father was a WW II veteran, thus had taps played at the cemetery. I heard that some military services use an electronic bugle for taps. Our trumpet player (who I’ve known since my high school days) said, “The enemy didn’t use fake bullets, so these guys don’t deserve a fake bugle.”

My dad was in WW II at age 18. Given the fact that he was 84 tells us that there aren’t many WW II veterans left. If any reader wants to make a worthwhile donation, donate to Honor Flight, a nonprofit group that takes WW II veterans to DC to see their memorial. Here’s the website, plus see the video at the end of this post.

Attending the Bearcat game against Oklahoma was a good distraction for me. Amazingly, UC not only stayed in the game, they had a chance to win late in the game. At least they made progress, but I surely hope that don’t stumble against local rival Miami Redhawks in two weeks.

Reading about the passing of NFL star George Blanda brought back memories. He signed with the Bears in 1949, yet I recall him as a QB (Houston Oilers) in the early 1960s and his 1970 season (Oakland Raiders) that had unbelievable moments. Rest in peace to the NFL’s Grand Old Man.

I hope to get back on the writing saddle soon!

Honor Flight Video

On a Different Monday

Things happen in life causing us to change our daily routine. Sometimes these events are life altering, while other times they serve as a detour. Late Sunday morning my father passed away, so I won’t be posting this week as I attend to related family responsibilities.

Everyone handles death differently. As I write this on Sunday evening, my faith belief system gives me peace and trusting that heaven is a better place. I also believe he was ready. At 84, he outlived many of his friends, and is now with my mother (who passed away in 1987). Knowing my dad become comfortable in his faith during the past 23 years, I’m confident that he’s happier than ever.

Dad was very proud of his past. Born in St. Louis, he moved to Ohio at 16, yet remained to close contact with his St. Louis friends. He fought in WW II, and remained in contact with his military friends. He returned to the Army in 1950, and remained in contact with his fellow soldiers. I knew he has left us a large address book of people to contact. As a business owner in a small town, he knew many people – and upon retirement, he visited many in nursing homes and hospitals.

He has always been proud of our Italian heritage. His parents came to the U.S. from Italy in 1919. He even met my mother in Italy during his second military tour of duty. Our rural area had a pocket of Italians, and yes, he knew them all.

Although he couldn’t play for some time, Dad also loved his accordion. So, with this post, here’s to you Dad – for what you gave me – and for what you gave others.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 69

On the Surging Tea Party
Since the Tea Party is making a splash, here are a some brief comments
– Reasons they can win in November:

  • Many 2008 first-time voters won’t vote
  • Tea Party enthusiasts will vote
  • Electorate is not happy

- Reasons they cannot win in November

  • Failure to capture independent moderates
  • Frequent open mouth, insert foot tendencies
  • They don’t represent mainstream America

Here’s a good analysis by columnist David Broder.

On the Bush Tax Cuts
Here are four points to remember about the debate:

  • Democrats don’t understand spending cuts
  • Republicans don’t understand less revenue
  • Neither prefer policy over politics
  • Both parties place a low priority on this country’s needs

On Tired of Political Ads
I’m already overloaded with political ads as we have key races for governor, senator, and one key House race – plus a senate race in Kentucky that will involve a lot of spending. Talk about a sheer fire way to turn off voters!

On Newt the Hoot
The more former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks, the more his credibility tumbles. Kathleen Parker has an excellent explanation of his latest gaff.

On Misplaced Priorities
I have frequently expressed that our elected officials favor party-first politics instead of good policy for the country. I equally blame and criticize Democrats and Republicans because their actions demonstrate my point. Here’s a David Ignatius column supporting my point.

More on the NYC Mosque

On a few Sports Shorts

  • The season is early but is there a more exciting player in college football than Michigan QB Denard Robinson?
  • The football UC Bearcats have lost their mojo. Guess I’ll see my first loss as a season ticket holder (my 4th year) next weekend.
  • As the Cardinals continue to slide, I hope the Reds take the bull by the horns and close out the deal by winning.
  • Bengals will be 0-2 by late afternoon this Sunday.
  • An NFL lockout is a possibility. Here’s a good analysis by blogger Mo Morrissey.

Cheers to a good weekend!