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Tim McCarver: Baseball Savant

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  He’d call it before you saw it Tim McCarver was a baseball savant. Whether you liked the way he called a game, or didn’t, he knew his shit. There was no better proof than what happened during the 2001 World Series. McCarver’s analysis when he described what might happen actually did seconds later. Tim McCarver was a baseball lifer. He had seen everything that could happen on a diamond. McCarver was the catcher on the Stl Cardinals when Bob Gibson had his best years. Gibson arguably had the best season a pitcher could have in 1967. 22 wins and a 1.12 ERA with 268 strikeouts. He won the NL Cy Young award for best pitcher and the NL MVP. Pitchers rarely win both. Tim McCarver was his personal catcher, calling all the pitches. McCarver caught Gibson’s Game One start of the 1968 World Series when Bullet Bob struck out 17 on the way to a victory. McCarver had a way with pitchers that had a mean streak. Gibson was as mercurial as a bad tempered thoroughbred horse. He also knew Steve Carlton

NASCAR at the LA Coliseum?

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An oval novelty The old Roman Colosseum had chariot races and now this newer coliseum will have our version. The Los Angeles Coliseum has been around for almost one hundred years. They have staged many events there. Spectacles of all sorts, including the spectators making spectacles of themselves spectacularly. The Rams once were primary residents. The Raiders planted their flag on its field. Their fans have rumbled there. USC football calls it home. There have been 2 Olympics put on. The Los Angeles Dodgers called it home before they built their stadium in Chavez Ravine. It has hosted concerts and events of all types over the years. But the idea of stock cars roaring around a small oval track is a real head scratcher. How fast are they going to go? Faster than on the 405, that’s for sure, but for racing fans, it might seem like a lazy Sunday drive with the family. Bootleggers found NASCAR after prohibition. Junior Johnson tearing up the woods of Carolina, this ain’t. It’ll be like war

Feng Shui Before It Was Cool

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 How unbeknownst to the family, a distant relative with OCD became a legend. While having a rare dinner with family members recently, we began talking about our maternal great-grandmother. She was quite opinionated and, with a fair amount of prodding, could get hysterically funny. She would verbally lambaste us whenever she felt we were being rude or overtly obnoxious. It was all in jest and when the good natured ribbing finished, we’d all be in maniacal fits of laughter. Granny was also the family historian. She had tales that were passed down through generations and we were all amazed by her almost total recall. Her memory was astounding as she could remember small and even trivial details. One cousin of mine wrote down Granny’s stories and, if there was enough detail, she could confirm many of them.  For instance, an uncle of ours knew the Wright Brothers. Another cousin served as a messenger under General Pershing in WWI. One family member attended one of Buddy Holly’s last concert

The WWI Soccer Truce

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  IN 1914, A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE TOOK PLACE A story about how the spirit of fellowship could momentarily disrupt the cause that soldiers swear an oath to uphold A British soldier peeked up over the trench at the German trench opposite him and saw a string of lights. He asked another soldier what it was about. As they looked closer, they saw they strung the lights through Christmas trees the German soldiers put up along the trench line. The Germans began singing Christmas songs and, after a few, the British also started singing, but not as well, the Brit noted, as the Germans. Soon, the soldiers waved white flags, emerged from their posts, and walked out into no-man’s-land to greet them. This was the first Christmas of the brutal war. It littered the area between the two armies with the dead. It was the bloodiest fighting of the young war and had reached a stalemate. The soldiers had dug in. What had begun with a feeling of hope and confidence had given way to disillusionment and despair.

Pug

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Pursuing the life of a pug. A boxer. The smell of sweat and deprivation matched the humidity and heat from the lights. There had to be a better way of making a living. That time has passed. Once the taste was acquired, it was all over. I could smell the leather before it hit me. The twist of the hide tore at the flesh, leaving it raw only to be hit again. My arms ache after weeks of repetition and work. The effort that lasted until there was nothing left, only to push it further. The dull feeling of energy quickly dissipating made the body wish it had not consumed so much fast food hidden against orders. The time that should’ve been used to do more roadwork, as the endurance and lung capacity are now being felt at maximum capacity.  A flash of bright light makes me realize I need to bob and weave and move my head as another flash, while I think, tells me to hurry. My calves scream, but my thighs and back are moving perfectly in unison.  A spray of blood surprises me but then makes me

We Live Like Kings

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A few days ago, I was on Facebook, and someone posted a photograph of their family. The picture was of their grandparents and their children before they left for California during the Great Depression. The kids were grinning and having a good time posing for the picture. The adults looked weathered and grim-faced. They were obviously apprehensive about the journey. The family’s move to California was arduous, but turned out well. They grew and thrived. Living through those times made people stronger. It gave them a sense of character and responsibility, mostly. Being forward-thinking helped make society improve. For the last 90 years, our civilization has progressed at a rate unseen in human history. We have gone from a millennium where horses were the primary source of power to where we are today with a multitude of power sources. What seemed unfathomable to the family in the photograph is now commonplace. For example, we have taken it for granted that we now have medicines that can w

An Entity and Emily Doliva

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It is early evening. The rush hour traffic echoed from downtown into Emily Doliva’s neighborhood. Cars whooshed through the rainy streets. Their headlights reflected in the open water pooling up on empty sidewalks.  Emily stopped by the market on her way home from her job as a foreclosure administrator and picked up items needed to prepare dinner.  She knows for sure that her boyfriend Kevin will like this one. He says he likes her cooking, but she is sure he only tells her that to appease her. Emily pulls up to the walk-up she has rented for the past two years. She notices the same white cat she sees every day, dashing for cover behind the garbage cans. “I forgot to take the trash out again.” She thinks to herself. Her job has her stressed. Emily Doliva was a mortgage broker until the economy fell apart. She got laid off, but has now found a position cleaning up the mess that, in her own small way, she helped create.  “I hate carrying trash down two flights of stairs; maybe I can get