In the park this week

Well,  as I type this, I’m watching my last pre season baseball, as today is the last of those, before the proper event gets under way on Thursday. Yes, as 2 of the ‘big US sports’ head down towards the playoffs, baseball is just about to get going again for real. Well, as real as it can get when you consider that at least 30% of the teams in the leagues wont be trying too hard to win this year. Even among them, some will still be trying less than others! Thankfully there are at least a few teams who will be trying to win a few games, and to make the play offs at least. The amusing thing is, that even if I wasnt on sickness absence at present, I would have been able to see some of opening night, as it will be on Thursday. So in truth, especially given I have to be up on Friday morning, for blood tests, to try and work out what is wrong is my mind, and body, I’ll probably only see as much as I would have done anyway.

Luckily for me, one of the teams I will get to see on Thursday, will be the Dodgers, though for the first time in forever, it wont be Clayton Kershaw pitching on opening day, first time since 2010. Yes, he’s injured, I know the feeling, lol!

Something unique is happening this year, not that I will be there, but there will be proper games in London, between Boston, and the New York Yankees during the season. In truth, because of course at present I have no idea if I will be allowed to fly the Atlantic this year, I dont know if I’m going to see a game, other than on TV. Hey, its possible I could get to the US, and still not see a live game in a stadium this year. Thankfully, ESPN UK, and some matinee games will head my way at least. And then of course, in November, just as basketball, and ice hockey are getting under way, we’ll find out who are world champions for 2019. Yes, world champions. Yes, only teams from 2 countries can win it, and the sole Canadian team are among those not trying ‘too hard’ this year! Ah well, god bless America, and all that.

One trend in baseball in recent times is less balls hit low, or on the ground, and far more hit high into the air. So, a Phil Collins song seems apt…

 

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Should have stayed home yesterday?

Well, if I mention this is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, and the video relates to the climax of said event, you might have worked out what it is already?

No, I’m not going to bore you, or otherwise by going through the events of that fateful day, I could only copy large chunks of Wikipedia and the like if I did that anyway. So yes, if you want that, go visit Wikipedia. What I’m going to tell you is a side story to the event, which I only know about thanks to ESPN.

In those days, when the college football regular season ended, that was pretty much it, get on with the awards, and wait for the next season. There were a few bowls of history, like the Rose Bowl, but nothing like the 39 we are having this year! Part of that was down to the fact that whereas now, a team from California can get to the East Coast in a few hours, back then you were talking several days, by train!

So, in those days, the selection of, and awarding of the Heisman Trophy, to the best player of the year wasnt some massively hyped TV event, because most people didnt have TV! So, by the beginning of December 1941, it was already announced that the winner of said award was Bruce Smith, a running back from Minnesota. Therefore on the 5th December 1941, he set out for New York, to receive the award, 2 days later. He had his acceptance speech prepared before he reached New York, on the morning of the 7th December, when he heard the news about Pearl Harbour, and the inevitability that the US was going to war with Japan.

So basically, the speech got a total rewrite, and was squeezed into a radio presentation on the 9th December, shortly before Roosevelt made it official, that America was now at war with Japan. The rest, as they say, for the next 4 years or so, is written in history. Bruce Smith clearly was one of the fortunate ones who survived the war, given that the short documentary included his 2 sons. Sadly, many millions didnt, on all sides.

Of course, this war ended with a first. Not necessarily a good first, but a first, all the same. Yes, thats right, the 2 nuclear warheads dropped on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, that finally forced Japan into surrender.

Smith finally did get to play in the NFL after the war, for Green Bay, and the Los Angeles Rams, but much of his career was lost to the war. Also sadly, he didnt have a long life, dying at the age of 47 from cancer, in the days long before all the modern treatments for that ghastly disease.

So yes, on this day, let us remember all those brave people that died at Pearl Harbour on that fateful day, in the war that followed, but lets also remember the guy whose life was changed while travelling on a train.

OK, the video is the one I hope you’ve worked out. A live version from 2016, rather than the regular video, which I’ve probably used before

The morning sun is shining?

Like a baseball, probably not? But fine, I’ve killed the most famous baseball song to death over the years, so lets try something a bit different for the song. Interestingly enough, I found a ‘live’ version of this, but not from either of the writer’s groups! So yes, a group out of left field for you tonight.

The season actually started yesterday, as many wise people might have noted, and yes, I managed to see a couple of games over here on TV yesterday morning before bedtime. Unfortunately, the Dodgers game was after midnight over here, even if it was a late afternoon game in California, so missed that one. Unlike many from last year, a real pitchers game, which unfortunately the Dodgers lost 1-0. Yeah, one of the games was 14-7, seriously!

This year, my plan, given I’m only going to make 1 trip to the US (unless someone else pays for my stay, or I win a contest or something, neither of which is ever likely to happen), and things work out that way, I’m planning to sneak in 2 games during my stay in Seattle in May. I’m pretty sure that given my health, sitting in a baseball stadium during the afternoon after arrival might be about all my back is good for! After that, Mariners are away for a few days, but then come back for the following weekend, so I’ll plan to go on either the Friday, or Saturday evening. Probably the Saturday, as the recovery time I’ll need will ensure I have no crazy ideas of trying to go very far from the hotel on the Sunday, after packing to go home, as I dont fly back until the afternoon. But at the same time, Friday might work better, as at least it would then allow me on the Saturday to look back one last time at Seattle before leaving, whereas late at night, I wouldnt see much?

Will that be it for a city I love? Not sure? If my back is up to my post retirement plan to visit Alaska, then I will probably be back in 2024, as its an ideal place to split the journey for me. But in truth, given the state of my back, I’m less sure I’ll be up to that trip by the month, but we will see. But yes, I’ll probably look back as if it is, just in case.

It will be a nice way to round the circle at least, as the first baseball park I saw on a solo trip to the US was Seattle. Strictly, back in 1987, I saw Fenway Park from a considerable distance, but that was it. Funny thing is, I’ve been to Seattle a couple more times since, but once was out of season (I did a stadium tour instead), and the second time, the only day they were at home on the stay was the Sunday. The plan was to go, but then my flight was delayed by 9 hours to Chicago, so spent Saturday night there, only arrived in Seattle at lunchtime on Sunday, and yes, it was an afternoon game! So, I plan to get it done this time, twice over, lol!

I will see more from here during the summer, for sure, mainly matinee games due to the time difference, but there will be a few of them, for sure. And of course, there may be some live games on ESPN (assuming the hotel has it?) while in the US too.

And yes, fine, I’m sure that in about 7 months time, I’ll be looking at the climax of the season, and hopefully Dodgers will go one better this time around!

Video time. Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel), and Bruce Woodley (Seekers) wrote this song, but as I say, I cant find a live performance by either on You Tube. But seemingly, the group that first brought it to fame were a 2 hit wonder called the Cyrkle. However, dont feel sorry for the guys, apparently they went on to write numerous famous ad jingles from the 60’s and 70’s!

Not all UFO’s fly!

99 times out of 100, when anyone mentions a UFO, everyone thinks of those cute craft that aliens visit our planets in, while doing a fly by. But what do you know, I’ve found a UFO that doesnt fly, it floats! For more details, see the article

http://www.disclose.tv/news/you_can_travel_the_world_via_the_ocean_in_this_floating_ufo_home/130457

Yes, I think its fair to say, this is based on the classic UFO look, and fine, I love it. Yes, as you can guess from a few photos I’ve posted of late, I prefer the flying kind, but yes, as somewhere to live for a short time, this would be fun! No, I’m pretty sure I have as much chance of getting in one of these, as I have of getting into one of the space craft kind!

But, yes, I can think of more than a few places in the world, where living in that would be absolutely amazing. It says you can travel the world in it, though I cant see anywhere saying what the top speed is, but I doubt its very fast. But if you were in it, on the Great Barrier Reef, for example, you’d want to travel pretty slowly, I guess?

Yes, I wouldnt mind wearing an alien suit while in it, or maybe a Creature from the Black Lagoon suit would be more apt, I must admit, but just being me, might be fun.

Right, the video. I have no idea how this song ever became a one hit wonder in the seventies, but it did. It hasnt aged well, so maybe its best to pass it by, but it was about as apt a song as I could think of, for this

Oh, and lastly, for those who wondered if I would do it, yes, I have. Applied speculatively to ESPN re a certain baseball role, that is. If anyone wants to tell the Careers dept at ESPN how good a presenter I would make, feel free to do so!

Not driving in my car

Yes, I’m a non driver. Yes, I tried to learn a few times when young, it wasnt good. Lets say it was akin to Jean Harlow’s singing talents, and leave it at that. Yes, seriously that bad. Though to be fair, that was in the days when all cars over here had a manual gearbox. If I’d been in the US, or had a car over here with an automatic gearbox, well, who knows? But it wasnt the case, and I’m not trying again now!

To be fair, most of the jobs I see advertised that are suitable for me, are pretty much city based. I have had a few, where I have missed out on applying for jobs, where the location isnt suitable for a non driver, but there hasnt been many. Yes, one or two I would have liked to have had a go at, but not many. I’ve even considered those, if the bus service was decent, but generally these remoter points, have a bus service to match, not a great one!

Yes, today I saw one, on one of my job seeking emails, for a Customer Service agent, based in Huddersfield. Perfect, I thought, and then I clicked on the link. You had to be a driver, because you might have to go to their other offices, aargh! Still, never mind, I guess I’ll have to get by, all the same. To tell the truth, this looks more like my type of vehicle, and would have no issue with traffic hold ups, for sure!

flying saucer

Yes, sadly, I very much doubt it ever got beyond concept lol!

Oh, and while I’m talking job opportunities, it seems one occurred today that would be perfect for me. Baseball analyst, and commentator, at ESPN. Yes, Curt Schilling got relieved of his duties for some transphobic comments he made. Now, talk about my dream job…and given you’re either in the studios, or flying to a big city? If anyone knows who I send my details to, let me know. Why not, they’re an inclusive employer, so whats wrong with a woman presenting baseball analysis? 😉

Right, the video. Something I dont do, and now am never likely to do.

This could be a case of Dodgers, and Scully

Yes, fine, there’s a reason for the blog title, a slight tweak on a song lyric.

As I write this, I’m listening to the dulcet tones of Vin Scully, commentating on the opening home game of the Dodgers season. Ironically, this is almost certainly because I am in the UK, and ESPN UK are taking the coverage from TWC Cable, a privilege that far too many in LA cant do, because of the financial demands said cable company makes on other broadcasters in the area, to take their coverage. I know there has been efforts to get this sorted out this year, for a major reason, but I have no idea how successful that has been.

Yes, this marks the start of Vin Scully’s last season doing the commentaries for the Dodgers games, sad news. Fine, he’s been doing it for nearly 70 years, first in Brooklyn, then of course, for most of those years, in Los Angeles. To say he is probably the most legendary baseball commentary man, would be putting it mildly! Oh, and how many people in their late 80’s could be as sharp, and informative as him?

Irony is, I saw the Dodgers live a few times last season, but the only times I heard Vin, I was in the UK. I was either at the game, or it was the playoffs, and you got the national coverage, and besides, as I was in Hollywood, I probably couldnt have got the pictures of TWC, and the voice of Scully, for reasons mentioned above.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say a bad word about Mr Scully. Mind, I have only listened to him for the last few years of his long career, but even so…I doubt they have!

In truth, short of a miracle, I’m never going to meet the legend, but hopefully over the course of this season, as well as tonight, I’ll hear him a few times more. Yes, fine, in an ideal world, I’d get back to Hollywood this year, go to a Dodgers game, and meet him. Yes, reality, none of that is going to happen without a miracle at present!

But fine, for the next couple of hours or so, before bed, I’m going to enjoy listening to him.

Oh, the video. Well, it mentions Scully, though not the one I’m listening to, tonight.

There is one more retirement this year I want to mention, David Ortiz, in Boston. Yes, fine, same issues with seeing him live this year, I guess?

Edited to add 2 things. Firstly the road leading up to Dodgers Stadium has now been renamed. Yes, you guessed it, Vin Scully Avenue!

Secondly, tonight, one of those pure Scully moments. One of the Arizona players is named Socrates, so we got one of those special stories, about the Ancient Greek of the same name, while he was batting. Heaven!

Back to live baseball again!

I’ll be honest, I cant remember the last time I saw live baseball, from here in the UK. It would be somewhere in the mid, to end of September range, but exactly when, no idea! On the other hand, when did I last see live baseball, thats easy! Game 1, World Series, will never forget that, especially as the Royals won both that, and the World Series. But yes, thats right, I didnt see it in the UK. I got to see it in my sweet little rented apartment in Hollywood! Hey, because of my location, the game started late in the afternoon, the beauty of being on the West Coast, of course. I was able to watch it all, and still get to bed at a decent hour, given I had to be up early to fly back to the UK, the next morning.

And yes, for the first time since that memorable day, I’m watching live baseball. Fine, its pre season, so fairly meaningless, and its not Kansas, or the Dodgers, but its live baseball, late in the afternoon my time. Boston, and St Louis, if you must know, care of ESPN, the UK version over here, at least.

But yes, I’m 4 hours ahead of East Coast time, instead of 3 hours behind. Yes, I know, its normally 5, but we dont go forward over here till next weekend, unlike you American folks!

I hope I can get to some genuinely live baseball again this year, though at present, I have no idea how thats going to happen. Lottery win, maybe, but seriously? And, where that might be? Yes, a return to Dodgers stadium would be heaven, but practically…hmm? Yes, Dodgers are my National League team, fine? 😉

Otherwise, I’ll have to settle for a few matinee games, on TV, care of ESPN UK, over here. But I hope I can do more, I really do. Anyone want a ‘kept woman’ in Hollywood, lol? No, thought not!

So, to the video. I want to go back to live baseball, ideally in a stadium, and I’d love to go back to Hollywood, and live, ideally for more than 4 glorious weeks, but anyway…So fine, this song seems pretty apt!