Giants’ Hunter Pence crushes Royals at Home

giants-royalsKansas City hosted the San Francisco Giants in game one of the 2014 World Series last night. It didn’t take long for the Giants to dominate with an early 3-0 lead thanks to a deep center two-run dinger by Hunter Pence. The Royals struggled to take control defensively digging four arms deep into their bullpen. Seeing extra innings was common in the division series, but it only took nine to put KC out of their misery. Hopefully the Royals can mount a comeback in game two.

King for a Day

mooseRight now I can’t think of another team that deserves to be in the postseason more than the Kansas City Royals. During Tuesday night’s wild card game, I tuned in at the end of six innings to see them trailing Oakland by four runs. I felt they had blown their chance and wrote them off before going to bed. The next morning I got the full game summary from my wife and son, because they stayed up to watch all twelve innings of an incredible game. Well, last night they pulled some more of that extra inning baseball magic against the Angels. Mike Moustakas’s homer in the 11th clinched a win for the Royals in game one of the AL Division Series.

Farewell Cruise

October means fall and postseason baseball. Although New York never had a shot at the pennant this season, one of their greatest players retired this week after twenty years as a Yankee. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I did happen to catch his last home game at bat and all I can say is ‘poetic’. I never did cheer for the Yanks, but after this week, it’s hard not to be a fan of Derek Jeter.

jeter_2

Red Sox top Mariners

Our first day in Seattle we took the Link to downtown. After spending the better part of the morning exploring the many wonders of Pike’s Public Market (fish throwing, anyone?) and forcing the boys to endure the hardy sea harbor smells, we hit the stadium district and about a million fan stores looking at licensed sports merchandise. There, our youngest fell in love with a variety of plush long arm monkeys sporting apparel from every Seattle area team. He insisted that this would be his most prized souvenir. We managed to talk him out of the ridiculous looking animals only to repeat the process upon entering the next sports store when he’d spy another display of them.

The evening ended in probably one of our most memorable evenings while in the Emerald City… the boys’ first major league baseball game. We enjoyed picture-perfect weather at the impressive Safeco field and a great game. It was fun to see the Red Sox take on the home team and squeak out a victory. Not even ‘Ichiro the Hero’ with his goofy stance (albeit effective for his solid hits) would be enough this night. Our oldest, decked out in his Red Sox shirt and cap was cheering loudly for Boston. Our youngest… well, he was simply looking a bit confused in his Ichiro t-shirt and Red Sox hat but was having a good time being a baseball fan.

Baseball

There may still be snow hiding in the northern recesses of my yard, but the season of America’s game is officially upon our household. My oldest is starting his sixth season and has, for the first time, tryouts for the 10 year-old Bismarck All Stars traveling team this Saturday. I know he ranks baseball as his second favorite sport next to football, but lately he’s been all about (ironically enough) his third-ranked sport – basketball. I just thought with tryouts this weekend he would be more inclined to condition himself and get reacquainted with the game of baseball.

I’m not the type of parent that will ever coerce my kids to participate in a sport if their heart isn’t in it, but I spent a fair amount of time gently encouraging him to reconsider my offer to work with him a bit before tryouts. Apparently shooting buckets with his buddies was more of a priority. Hopefully he won’t have a reason to regret that decision come Saturday.

Admittedly, the evening wasn’t an entire loss. I did have the opportunity to work with my youngest on the more fundamental aspects of catching a baseball – like actually getting the ball to touch his glove. It’s sometimes painful to have to ‘start over’ with the basics with son #2, but in a lot of ways I’m fortunate that I have the opportunity to do it all again.

McJuicer

Mark McGwire confessed to using steroids during his major league career yesterday. Yes, I know. It comes as a huge shock to everyone, I’m sure. What a fool I was for thinking it was common for all MLB players to be built like the Hulk instead of regular men like Maris. What really breaks my bat is how he told Costas that he still could have broken the record of 61 home runs without using steroids or human growth hormone. If that’s true then why didn’t he? Probably because the rest of baseball is just as juiced. What concerns me is the message it sends to young athletes that aspire to be professionals someday.