Talkin’ Sports: MLB All-Star Game…2017! * UPDATED *

It is the mid-season break for Major League Baseball! The Home Run Derby was yesterday, with New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge taking home the coveted trophy. This dynamite young athlete slammed nearly four miles worth of home runs, according to this article from MLB.com:

All rise. Again, again and again. Aaron Judge lived up to the hype of his remarkable rookie campaign by slamming nearly four miles of home runs on Monday evening at Marlins Park, including four drives of more than 500 feet, crowning the Yankees’ slugger as the newest champion of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

Judge overcame 22 first-round blasts from Justin Bour of the Marlins and a dozen long balls from the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in the second. Judge slammed 11 homers in the finals to defeat Miguel Sano of the Twins, finishing with 1:53 still on the clock. “I had no pressure going into it. I’m a rookie,” Judge said. “This is my first time doing it. For me, I’ve got no expectations. I’m just going to go in there and have some fun and see what we can do tonight. It was a blast. I enjoyed every minute of it — watching the other guys swing, coming here early and talking to the media. Everything about today was fantastic.”

An anticipated matchup between Judge and hometown hero Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins never materialized, as last year’s champion was knocked out in the first round by Gary Sanchez, 17-16.

Some years I’m able to catch the home-run-hitting action; this year I wasn’t able to, and it appears that I missed one hell of a slugfest! Still, I won’t miss out on the All-Star Game, where players in the American League face off against players from the National League. Only two of my Seattle Mariners made the cut this year – Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz – and they are more than deserving of the honour! Injuries to most of the starting pitchers and at least three crucial players on the Mariners lineup hit them hard this season. I can only imagine where they’d be in the standings right now if those injuries hadn’t crippled them. As it is right now, they need to fight just to get back in the wild-card race and be spoilers for other teams, at the very least!

I’ll update this post after the game, with the final score and any highlights of note. I’m rooting for the American League, of course!

😎

*** UPDATED 2105 PDT ***

What a game! I’m thrilled to report that the American League won the Midsummer Classic by a score of 2 – 1 in 10 innings, with most of the game being an epic pitching battle. That’s what happens when the best of the best face off!

I’m even more thrilled to report that the game-winning home run was hit by none other than Robinson Cano, proudly representing my Seattle Mariners and the rest of the American League! Because of that epic blast of the bat, he took home the Most Valuable Player Award, opting for the 2017 Corvette when presented with the choice between a sports car or a pickup truck.

One other noteworthy play, out of many in the game, was a fantastic catch by outfielder Justin Upton of the Detroit Tigers, helping the AL hold onto the lead given by Cano.

Another excellent, well-played game is in the books – on to the second half of the season!

😎

Talkin’ Baseball: Jackie Robinson Day 2017!!!

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Major League Baseball’s colour barrier being shattered by the late, great Jackie Robinson! From MLB.com:

Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, and special activities planned for this Jackie Robinson Day will include the unveiling of the Hall of Famer’s statue at Dodger Stadium, the introduction of a “Trailblazer Series” for girls, the annual donning of No. 42 by all active players and a lot of buzz about the upcoming Jackie Robinson Museum.

In what promises to be an emotional ceremony before the Dodgers’ 9:15 p.m. ET home game against Arizona, Robinson’s 94-year-old wife Rachel and their children Sharon and David will be on hand for the unveiling of a statue depicting Jackie in his rookie season of 1947, sliding into home plate in his signature style. Dodgers owner Magic Johnson, Dodgers President Stan Kasten, and legends Frank Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe and Vin Scully will among participants in that invitation-only dedication a few hours before the game. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a replica Jackie Robinson statue, with seats available at dodgers.com/tickets.

As has been tradition each year since 2009, MLB will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing the now-retired No. 42 during all Saturday games. One jersey will be signed by each member of every club and auctioned live on Saturday at MLB.com/42jersey, with proceeds benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation.”

This man has always been an admirable individual, displaying the attributes of courage, strength, dedication, selflessness, and humility. According to his official website, he was born to a family of sharecroppers in 1919. His mother single-handedly raised him and his four other siblings. They were a close-knit family, united against the prejudice and hatred they faced from their neighbours as they were the only Black family on the block in the area in which they lived:

Growing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie’s army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.

In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation’s preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.”

There will be many events at baseball parks across the USA commemorating this historic day. On Thursday, 13 April, the Seattle Mariners unveiled a statue celebrating our own hometown hero, Ken Griffey Jr. A little-known fact: Ken Griffey Jr. was a prime motivator behind getting all players in the MLB to wear Jackie Robinson’s number, 42, on Jackie Robinson Day. From the Seattle Mariners website:

Ken Griffey Jr. takes immense pride in the fact his retired No. 24 hangs alongside Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in center field at Safeco Field. He relishes his role in getting every Major League player and coach to wear No. 42 now every year on Jackie Robinson Day.
So yes, as MLB celebrates another Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday, Griffey fully appreciates his latest link to baseball’s African-American pioneer as part of the intricate detail of the new statue of his likeness that was unveiled Thursday at the front gate to Safeco Field.

Sculptor Lou Cella included a Jackie Robinson patch on the right sleeve of the seven-foot bronze statue, much to Griffey’s approval. “Like I tell everybody, if it wasn’t for him, when’s the next time somebody would have played?” Griffey said. “For him to sacrifice pretty much his life and go through the trials and tribulations that he had to go through [is greatly appreciated].” Griffey’s home in Orlando is 35 minutes from Sanford, Fla., where Robinson lived during his first Spring Training in 1946 with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ Triple-A farm club, in a time of considerable racial tension…Griffey was the first player to wear Robinson’s No. 42 as a tribute on Jackie Robinson Day, having the Mariners flip-flop his normal 24 to 42 on the 50th anniversary of the day Robinson broke into the big leagues on April 15, 1997.

Ten years later, when Griffey was with the Reds, he called then-Commissioner Bud Selig to ask if he could again wear No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of Robinson’s historic day since MLB had by then retired the number throughout baseball.

Selig not only granted his approval, he liked the idea so much that the process began where now everyone wears 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.”

Here’s to Jackie Robinson on his day in history. His contributions were many, and should not be diminished.

Monday Musings: Seattle Mariners Home Opener!

It’s pouring down rain right now, with bursts of hail here and there. The weather perfectly matches my feelings over the dismal start that my Seattle Mariners have had so far this season! They trail the American League West with a 1 – 6 record, a .143 percentage rating, and four games out of first place.

I’m certain that the roof at Safeco Field will be firmly shut for the first home game, where the Mariners will face the Houston Astros for the second time in a week. The home-field advantage will be nice, but the bats definitely need to continue the momentum that exploded for a brief, shining moment in yesterday’s exciting, but depressing game against the LA Angels. Pitching went into the dirt after Hisashi Iwakuma left the game after seven innings, and the solid 9 – 3 lead vanished in puff of smoke in the ninth inning.

The promise shown during Spring Training has gone back into hibernation, at least for the time being. Hopefully the guys shake off last week’s losses and start turning things around – starting today!

The weather has me thinking about my favourite rain-related songs, so here are three to set Monday’s mood…enjoy!

Soggy Saturday!

It is sprinkling lightly outside right now, but has been raining since late afternoon. There was a brief respite from the precipitation yesterday – the sun was actually out in the morning! Shocking to see at the height of the “rainy season,” but certainly welcome. Temperatures here have only varied by five degrees between the daytime and nighttime hours since the end of October; that finally changes this week when the lows get down to all of 45F, while the highs stay in the mid-50s. Hopefully it will cool down enough to kill the algae that have stalled the crabbing season!

I’m missing out on delicious Dungeness, which I usually consume while watching football games – and having a nice dish of fresh, steamed crab would have made the Huskies win during yesterday’s Apple Cup that much sweeter! The “big Dawgs” destroyed the mangy Cougars 45 – 17, and I was pleased to see it happen. I always support my purple and gold! At least my football teams are doing well; the Huskies won handily, and the Seahawks have made a good, strong showing so far – I’m hoping that they keep up what they’re doing! Some trades made this week by the Mariners have me shaking my head in disbelief yet again, so MLB’s Spring Training will be something that I watch a little closer than usual – I want to see if those trades were well-made, or if the manager is just throwing darts at trade options and hoping for a hat-trick! So many players who have been traded out end up on teams that win the World Series, while the Ms still struggle to grab that golden ring! Now that the Cubs finally ended their drought, will it be 50 years before the Ms do anything worthwhile? Time will tell…

I’m behind on my NaNoWriMo word-count, but not feeling bad over it. Remember when I said that the local utility district did well with clearing out dead trees and branches before the storms hit? Well, that was true – there have been no power outages related to the weather, at least here…but, there was an outage yesterday that was solely caused by some moron in a pickup truck taking out a power-pole. The idiot must have been “pulling an Anthony,” since he missed a turn in the road that is easy to navigate if you’re actually paying attention to said road, and the road wasn’t wet. The accident happened around 2 p.m., but the power was taken off at 5:15 p.m. for the repairs to be made. I’d say that the power was out for a good 12 hours, so that cut into my writing time considerably! Typing by the light of a candle or kerosene-burning hurricane lantern is doable, but the smoke from the candles and lantern build up after a while. So, it was the perfect time to cuddle, snuggle, and spoon, and then catch up on sleep that has been lost since starting this NaNo challenge! My brain on overdrive causes horrible insomnia and makes me grouchy; combine that with being around family after the election and before the holidays, well…suffice to say, it isn’t a recipe for positivity! So, the blogging award that I was going to post will be deferred until I complete the NaNo challenge. I’m still prioritizing, but the likelihood of getting to that 50K word-count in four days is pretty slim. Good thing I didn’t bother buying any of the merchandise declaring myself a “NaNo Winner!” At the very least, I can give myself an “A” for effort and following the “honor system” of the challenge. I read the rules and stuck to them, and didn’t ask a soul for assistance. I think that’s pretty damned good, right there!

Time for some weekend music…enjoy!

Congratulations, Cubbies!!!

Way to go, Chicago…you did it! What a World Series this turned out to be: history-making plays on both sides; amazing comebacks and phenomenal athleticism made these seven games complete nail-biters, from start to finish. Amazing! If you don’t like baseball, then you won’t understand. Those who do, well…you know what I’m talking about!

Final score: Chicago 8, Cleveland 7. There was a short rain delay, and the game went into “extra frames” – 10 innings total were played.

What a game, what a game…and Cleveland took it to the wire. They didn’t give up – it just didn’t go their way. They should still feel proud, no matter what. They’re champions in my book, too!

The whole series was fantastic – now, the season is over. Looking forward to next year…spring training in April will be here before we know it!

😎

YouTube Gaming Sessions

I’m done writing for the day, and Game Six of the MLB World Series is on, so it’s time for me to get some dinner made and relax for the rest of the evening. If anyone is interested, here are my top three favourite gaming sessions that I have uploaded on YouTube. I’ll get some more up at a later date, as well as some more recent screen-shots…but, not until December, most likely!

Oh, feel free to enjoy the meme at the end of this post. Tell me…which type of gamer do you think that I am? Those who have been paying attention will figure it out fairly quickly, ROFL!

XD

Weekend Fun – 30 October 2016

Samhain draws near…can you feel it in the air? I certainly can! It’s a good thing.

Time to talk sports for a bit: Game 5 of the MLB 2016 World Series is today, and will be played in Cleveland Chicago. The Cleveland Indians lead the series 3 – 1 right now. Both teams have been phenomenal so far, but Cleveland has been dominant. If they win today, it will be their first championship won since 1948 – so, the hunger is real! Fans of “the Cubbies” certainly looked glum after last night’s 7 – 2 loss, and I definitely feel their pain…I’ve had that expression multiple times when watching my Seattle Mariners!

Since the baseball season will be over soon, it’s time for football! My Seattle Seahawks take on the New Orleans Saints today – I get a double dose of sports, LOL! I like the Saints and usually root for them, but the Seahawks are my home team, so…sorry, Saints! Gotta support my home team, win or lose.

Time to get some stew started, then I’ll do some computer gaming before (and possibly during) the football and baseball games – time for a completely relaxed, lazy day! I’m even going to live-stream my gaming sessions, which you can find by clicking on this link right here. You can also find it in my ‘Multimedia Links’ page on my blog, if you’re inclined to look at some of my other content. The sessions will be occurring on and off throughout the day, so be patient if I’m taking a short break…at least I have a decent picture displayed when I’m offline! There is also a Samhain / Hallowe’en theme going on in-game, so I hope that you enjoy it when you see what it is…

If you get bored while waiting for the gaming to begin, check out these sports-related videos! Just a bit of silliness and music to amuse and entertain. With that, I’m off – have a great day, all!

Tuesday Tidbits… *UPDATED*

Just a few things rattling around in my brain this morning:

1. I’m glad that the World Series is finally here! My Mariners didn’t make the cut, yet again, but I still root for the American League team in the Series, just like I do during the All-Star Game – so, my money is on Cleveland…or, it would be if I bet on sporting events, LOL

2. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner…I’m going to do a gaming fan-fiction novel. I will do my best not to mention the names of lands or cities, so as to avoid any copyright infringement on / from the creators of The Elder Scrolls – I want no trouble in paying tribute to my favourite MMORPG!

3. I just heard of the deaths of Bobby Vee, 60s singer, and Pete Burns, lead singer of the 80s group Dead or Alive. Here are the articles about their passings, from the BBC:

Bobby Vee: 30 April 1943 – 24 October 2016

Bobby Vee, best known for hits including Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby and The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, has died at the age of 73.

Vee released more than 25 albums during his career, retiring in 2011 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Vee’s son Jeff Velline said the singer died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday.

It was “the end of a long hard road”, Mr Velline said.

He described his father as “a person who brought joy all over the world”, adding: “That was his job.”

Vee’s big break came about in 1959 at the age of 15 when he filled in for Buddy Holly after the singer’s death in a plane crash.

Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were also killed in the accident in Iowa, along with the pilot, Roger Peterson.

A call went out for local acts to replace Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Vee and his band, which had only formed two weeks previously, volunteered.”

Peter Jozzeppi “Pete” Burns: 5 August 1959 – 23 October 2016

Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns has died aged 57 after suffering a cardiac arrest, his management has said.

A statement on Twitter said it was with “greatest sadness” that it had to break the news that Burns died suddenly on Sunday.

Burns had a hit with You Spin Me Round in 1985 and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.

The management statement said: “All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star.”

It continued: “He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories he has left us with.”

Burns appeared on reality television shows Celebrity Wife Swap and The Body Shocking Show in recent years.

Politician George Galloway, who was on Celebrity Big Brother with Burns, tweeted: “Sad to hear of the demise of Pete Burns. He was a cross between Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker. You don’t get more brilliant than that. RIP”.”

I’m probably one of few people who thinks that he looked much better before all of the surgery…just my opinion.

Anyway, as a tribute to those two, here are their number-one songs, respectively.

* UPDATED PORTION *

4. I will be getting a brand-new computer before the end of the month – hopefully by the end of the week, if things go well! Turns out that the computer techs are completely baffled as to what is afflicting my computer, and seem to be just throwing darts at a diagram of same and just pulling things out of their respective arseholes! The new, supposed reason given for the troubles is the LAN / WAN card. Um, if there was an issue with the Ethernet cable then I wouldn’t be able to get online at all, no? I don’t use the WAN and have it disabled, so that only the hard-wired, LAN is used…so, I’m just laughing to myself at this point. Getting annoyed now solves nothing – and hey! I’ll actually get the computer I want, finally! Only a cool $810 for a very nice machine. It’s my Samhain gift, I’d say…

5. Last but not least, I got my ballot in the mail – so I’m voting today! I decided to list, below, the presidential / vice-presidential candidates as they appear on my ballot. I chose to list them alphabetically by party.

(NOTE: There is also a write-in option at the end of each list of candidates for public office: federal, state, county, and judicial offices.)

Constitution Party: Darrell L. Castle / Scott N. Bradley

Democratic Party: Hillary Clinton / Tim Kaine

Green Party: Jill Stein / Ajamu Baraka

Libertarian Party: Gary Johnson / Bill Weld

Republican Party: Donald J. Trump / Michael R. Pence

Socialism & Liberation Party: Gloria Estela La Riva / Eugene Puryear

Socialist Workers Party: Alyson Kennedy / Osborne Hart

Those are who Washingtonians get to choose for this General Election of 2016. If you think that there is only a two-party system in this country, then you are woefully uninformed on the subject of politics in this country. That’s simply my not-so-humble opinion on the matter, so no need to get your knickers in a knot!

😎

Sunday Songs: Stalker Edition!

For some reason, the song “Hard Habit to Break” by Chicago was running through my mind when I woke up this morning. It made me think of people who simply can’t let go of other people when a relationship, of any sort, ends – which made me think of stalkers, psychos, and people who have the “if I can’t have you, then NOBODY CAN” creepazoid mentality. It could be due to watching the grand movie Ladyhawke yesterday, before watching the Seattle Mariners crush the Milwaukie Brewers 8 – 2! Hoping for a sweet sweep today…anyway, enjoy my top three “Songs for Stalkers!”

Jackie Robinson Day…2016!!!

Happy Friday – and, happy Jackie Robinson Day to all of the baseball fans in the blog-o-sphere! Here’s a little bit of history about this day, from MLB.com:

“Today marks the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, and once again, MLB and each of its 30 clubs are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the Hall of Famer’s legacy.

On Jackie Robinson Day, all players and on-field personnel across the league will don No. 42 jerseys, as they have done each April 15 since 2009. The number is otherwise retired throughout baseball in honor of the former Dodgers great, who signed his first professional contract with the organization — then in Brooklyn — in 1945. Two years later, on April 15, he started for the Dodgers against the Boston Braves at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, batting second and playing first base. That was the start of a highly productive 10-year career for Robinson, who was already 28 when he broke the color barrier. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1947, the NL Most Valuable Player Award winner and batting champion two years later, and he made six All-Star teams while posting a career average of .311.

Robinson, who died in 1972, also will be honored by MLB with an increased financial commitment to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, as well as special on-field, pregame ceremonies in each ballpark hosting a game today. That includes at Dodger Stadium, where Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the wife and daughter of Jackie, will be guests for the game against the Giants, along with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and Dodgers special advisor Don Newcombe, who played with Jackie in Brooklyn. They will watch Dave Roberts, the first minority manager in Dodgers history, guide his club against San Francisco. “I think I’m going to make a conscious effort tomorrow to really understand and take in the scope and magnitude,” Roberts said Thursday. “It’s a big deal. Jackie’s obviously impacted me and many others, so I want to take some extra time to reflect for sure.” For the players on the field, wearing No. 42 is a valued opportunity to show their appreciation for the doors Robinson opened for future generations.”

Jackie Robinson isn’t the only gentleman who had to deal with the ills of segregation and discrimination during the integration of professional sports in this country, but he is the most well-known in the sport of baseball. Professional sports in this country didn’t even integrate at the same time – for that matter, each sport had various teams which were far slower to do so than others. Such is the history of this country: the legacy permeates every aspect of American life. The things that Jackie Robinson addressed and fought against are still prevalent today. Racism didn’t end with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, any more than slavery did. Jackie Robinson’s legacy is phenomenal and can be seen on every baseball diamond across this country…and, indeed, around the world. Kudos to you, Jackie – you are in the pantheon of the great ones.

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