Friday, October 26, 2007

Old guys rule!

Mocked by my little sister for the growing length of these posts, I'm going to try to keep this short. Nothing worse than a long-winded morning news meeting when you just want to speed through tomorrow's budget and get back to your desk. So fine. There's all kinds of great stuff that'll just have to wait, like an interesting cancer-related post, some trenchant local political analysis, fascinating online news comparisons, some music reviews and other stuff. Another time.

Plus I've got other crap to do today. I have to go for my weekly alcohol draw (blood, I mean), then I'm gonna go play cards all day before meeting Michelle at the Showbox tonight for the launch party of her new SPI website (you'll have to wait to hear more about that too).

So let's get right to the day's big topic: baseball.

Always root for the crafty veteran. That's one of my sports-fan rules, so I was pleased to see the Red Sox take a 2 games to 0 lead in the World Series last night behind the superb pitching, again, of 40-year-old (41, in three weeks) Curt Schilling.

I like Schilling. He's one of the all-time great big-game pitchers. But what I find most impressive is that he's continued to thrive while completely changing his game at his advanced age (for a ballplayer). He used to be a power pitcher, a young stud who blew batters away with an unhittable fastball and a nasty stare. But since blowing out his ankle a few years ago -- and famously pitching the Red Sox into the World Series past the Yankees in the dramatic "bloody sock game" -- Schilling taught himself to get hitters out by changing speeds and precisely locating his pitches. He reinvented himself as a smart old guy. What a metaphor!

Last night, he had it all working before turning a lead over to the excellent Boston bullpen in the sixth inning, and the Sox beat Colorado 2-1. Great game.

Says the Red Sox manager, Terry Francona, quoted in the Boston Globe: "It's a good feeling when he pitches. Whatever the situation, you know he's going to be prepared for it."

True dat.

You could wander all over the Internet reading the baseball coverage. My favorite World Series entry today, though, isn't in the sports pages but in an economics column, the New York Times' excellent Freakonomics blog. The blog, written primarily by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner to promote and expand on their book of the same name, "explores the hidden side of everything." It's such a great blog that I'm going to read the book.

This post, written last week before the Series began, is a fascinating backgrounder on how some enterprising retailers tried to capitalize on interest in their home teams by promising customers a full refund on big-ticket items like furniture if the teams, including the Red Sox, won the World Series. How could they afford such a promotion? Check it out. Pretty good.

No game today. It's a travel day before the Series resumes tomorrow in Denver. I don't think the Sox will sweep four games in a row. Dice-K doesn't impress me as a clutch pitcher, for one thing (too young, probably). And the Rockies are a too good-hitting team to go down so quietly, despite what they've shown already. Says here Tulowitzki, Helton, Hawpe and Matsui will heat up.

Look for Boston's ace Josh Beckett either to close out the Series in Game 5 on Monday or, better yet, send it back to Fenway for a Game 6 starring Schilling on Wednesday. That would rock.

Maybe my Old Guys Rule t-shirt from Kaye's awesome eBay collection will arrive in time for the game.

Well, crap, I guess that wasn't such a short news meeting after all. Sorry about that, Mich. Coulda been worse.

Back to work, everyone. I'll be out "on assignment." Don't wait up.


mich said...

I read every word, and I'm keeping this on my screen in hopes I can steal away more time later to explore your links. I love "wasting" time with you, in spite of my recent jab. Good luck at the table today!

Mark said...

Thanks Shorty. You made my day.

Rita said...

Can't wait for all those things comming up 'another time'.

Have a great day - mama needs a new dress.

Janice said...

Shilling is an icon and so are the Sox, I've got to root against them. Time for some new guys. Plus, I really wish he would shave on game day. It bugs me that he's such a slob. On the other hand, the Sox bullpen rally section has been fun to watch. More than anything I want a 6 or 7 game series.

fluffy said...

u write good

Mark said...

Janice, I totally appreciate your baseball knowledge; thanks for commenting!