Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pretty In Pink

If you were around in the 80’s then you have to admit that the lead singer of the Psychedelic Furs, Richard Butler, had one of the best voices in Rock ‘n Roll … at least until Eddie Vedder came along.

So what is the connection to baseball?

Well, I like typing Psychedelic Furs – it makes me giggle – one of their best known songs is "Pretty In Pink" which inspired the John Hughes film by the same name (Harry Dean Stanton is the best part of an otherwise so-so movie). The photo gallery is full of pictures of Ranger minor leaguers wearing pink uniform tops to support women’s charities.

May 3rd – Midland @ Frisco: I went to Frisco expecting to see Michael Ballard pitch, instead we got a Kason Gabbard’s rehab start. When I read the next day on MLB.com that the rehab start had gone really well – I thought – was I watching the same game?

Granted, Gabbard breezed through the first 3 innings – but then again he was facing Oakland’s AA team. But he struggled with his control in the 4th – giving up a hit and 3 walks (walking in a run) – coincidentally it was the second time through the Rockhounds batting order and they weren’t swinging at the same pitches they did in the first three innings. I’d have called that start – inconsistent.

Ben Harrison and Chris Davis both hit HR’s. The game went into extra innings, the Riders won one of the oddest plays I’ve seen in a while: with one out and the bases loaded in the 10th Steve Murphy hit an IF squibber that the first baseman couldn’t handle – Thomas Berkey scored from 3rd – game over the Riders win.

Speaking of Steve Murphy he is pictured above in his pink uniform top – this was the Riders “Paint The Park Pink” weekend sponsored by the Mary Kay Corporation with proceeds going to the Mary Kay charity that works with victims of domestic abuse. More pictures from the game at this link.

May 11 – Fresno @ OKC: It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in OKC – no sign of the stormy weather that moved through the state the previous night. Doug Mathis was the scheduled starting pitcher, however, I found out when I arrived at Bricktown Ballpark that he’d been called up to the major league team. In his spot we were going to watch AJ Murray, sporting a new full beard, on the mound. Marlon Byrd was rehabbing and playing LF.

The RedHawks were wearing pink uniform tops in honor of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Fighting Breast Cancer. They conducted an auction during the game for the uniform tops and the OKC players presented the tops to the winners after the game - the proceeds of the auction going to the Komen foundation. Click here to see more pictures of the boys in there groovy pink uniform tops.

The good news first: Marlon Byrd on a rehab assignment looked fine in OF – no lingering knee problems and just as fine at the plate going 3 for 4. Nate Gold, who has struggled early this season, was a perfect 4 for 4 with 2 RBI’s. OF Jason Ellison is as much fun to watch as his counterpart in the majors (Brandon Boggs), and it was good too see Taylor Teagarden crouching behind the dish, getting a hit and a walk. Plus you gotta love Ryan Roberts – the only professional baseball player whose walk up music is Celtic reel.

Now for the bad news: the game was a disaster for OKC’s pitchers. AJ Murray gave up 10 hits in 5 innings (and 5 runs) Bill White recorded 1 out and then couldn’t get anyone else out giving up 5 more runs on 4 hits and 1 walk in just 1/3rd of an inning. Kameron Loe and Yuki Maeda pitched much better than their lines in the box score. Both pitchers gave up runs that should have been unearned due to atrocious fielding by John Mayberry Jr.

In the 6th Fresno’s Clay Timpner hit a fly ball to RF – it’s debatable if Junior could have caught the ball. What is not up for debate is the absolute lack of hustle Mayberry showed going after the ball when it fell to the ground. He jogged – no maybe a better description is walked after the ball – while Timpner ran to 3rd . Meanwhile one of the RedHawks IF visibly gestured his frustration to pitcher Loe and I whole heartedly agreed with him.

In the 8th with Maeda pitching Mayberry again missed a fly ball that fell in maybe 2 or 3 feet front of him. Instead of moving (one foot in front of the other) in front to catch the ball he just stood in place and tried to reach out to catch the ball – it fell to the ground and so did Junior – and a run scored. Extremely frustrating to watch. Many in the crowd were … um…. very vocal with their thoughts on the play. I was shocked reading the box score the next day – all the runs were earned, no errors charged to Mayberry.

Finally: Why was I in Oklahoma City on Mother’s Day ?

I’ll have you know Baseball Mom sent me to OKC with a big hug for Ol’ Number 25 on the RedHawks – which I gladly delivered. Besides, New Mexico Bean, Mrs. Schmenge, and I (along with special guest Aunt Cath-eye) had already celebrated Mother’s Day on Saturday night with Baseball Mom at a terrific dinner at Ruffino’s in Fort Worth – lots of good food, wine and laughter made it a perfect Mother’s Day Eve.

Back with the regular blog nonsense on Thursday.

Have to say it: sorry major leaguers – pink bats are a cop out. Real men, like the Riders and RedHawks, wear pink uniform tops look and “pretty” good doing it. Thank you guys -- Marla Hooch

1 comment:

Micah said...

I LOVE seeing the minor leaguers in pink. It's such a great thing baseball does. I'm actually trying to convince our high school football team to wear pink socks for one home game to promote awareness of breast cancer. I think I've almost got them :)

Glad you are getting up to OKC, I know you were worried about how many of their games you would get to. I plan to try and see them Memorial Day weekend when they're in DSM. The real bummer is that it doesn't look like I'll get to any Rangers games this year. And I had planned on eight to 11. Stupid gas prices.

Anyhow, good to see you blogging again. Hope all is well :)