Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It Wasn't New But It Was Still Exciting

No hitters are nothing new, especially in this case. The Boston Red Sox' Jon Lester threw a no-hitter yesterday against the Kansas City Royals. It was a new experience for Lester, but the Red Sox also hold the last no-hitter in the Major Leagues (Clay Buchholz, September 1st, 2007) and Jason Varitek became the first catcher to ever catch four no-hitters. It's a great story for Lester who recovered from non-Hodgkins lymphoma to get back to the Major Leagues last season. Stories like Lester's are inspirational by nature, but that's not what I want to talk about. I was able to watch the last inning of the game, and then caught the highlights on SportsCenter later on. During the highlights SportsCenter gave way to the Red Sox radio announcers Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien and, after hearing the call, I got chills. This just made me realize how special a moment like this is, and why I love baseball so much. It's a great story for someone who is by all accounts a great kid, and I'll leave you with some quotes by his coach Terry Francona, fellow cancer survivor/teammate Mike Lowell, and Catcher Jason Varitek.

Francona: "This probably isn't fair to say, but I feel like... my son threw a no-hitter... It's probably selfish on my part to even say something like that. But I think it's obvious how we feel about this kid."

"He's not just a good kid because he threw a no-hitter," Francona said. "He's a good kid because he's a good kid."

Lowell: “I think people will now remember what he did tonight on the mound as something special, instead of he’s a young kid who had cancer...”

Varitek: "You see how he has grown in strength (from his illness), as a human being not just a baseball player. That brings him from a young man to an adult. Things have not been easy for him. Just let him enjoy the moment."

Couldn't agree more with Varitek, and I hope Lester was able to enjoy the moment to it's fullest. I'm just glad I was able to witness such an event.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Something New and Exciting

Just read the first few posts of Paul DePodesta's (former Dodgers GM, and current Padres assistant GM) new blog. This is the first I've seen of an executive, a former GM no less, of a baseball franchise opening up the doors by blogging. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised as DePodesta was part of the "Moneyball" revolution, and is obviously open to new ideas. I think this is a great idea because it not only allows baseball freaks like me to get a little more involved, but is also a great marketing ploy. He will respond to commenters when possible, and this is a yet another forum for Padres management to reach and communicate with their fans which is yet another sign of a well run franchise.

This leads me to wonder if DePodesta will get another GM opportunity in the future as his biggest failure in Los Angeles was his lack of communication with the media, fans and members of the front office. If he is able to successfully communicate with the fans in a forum like this, perhaps it will be a first step towards him becoming a GM once again. As a Dodgers fan I routinely harangued DePodesta for some of the moves he made, and looking back I feel foolish for being so quick to judge. Many of his moves are part of what has made this current Dodgers team so potent, and I sincerely hope he gets the opportunity to become a GM again, if he so chooses. He is obviously an innovative mind and it could be very exciting to see what he could do given more than 2 years on the job. Here's to creativity in baseball...not something we see every day.

You can find it here: http://itmightbedangerous.blogspot.com/