Thursday, July 15, 2010

Abby Road Pics

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Pictures From London

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friendly Merger

Pesky's Pole has moved. I recently agreed to join up with the outstanding baseball bloggers at Only Baseball Matters. I am really excited about this opportunity to be part of a baseball blogging community. You can read my Pesky's Pole posts at OBM. And while you are there, make sure to visit some of the other co-bloggers dugouts.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Baseball and Law: Twin Sons of Different Mothers?

The late Bart Giamatti, a professor of comparative literature, President of Yale University, and Commissioner of Baseball, was a great writer who sometimes wrote about baseball. One of his best baseball essays, Baseball and the American Character, contains an analysis of how baseball and the law share much in common. Since I teach and write about law, and watch and write about baseball, I find this passage particularly interesting. So, here is an excerpt from Giamatti's great essay (oh, by the way,did I mention that Giamatti was a Red Sox fan?):

"Law, defined as a complex of formal rules, agreed-upon boundaries, authoritative arbiters, custom, and a system of symmetrical opportunities and demands, is enshrined in baseball. Indeed, the layout of the field shows baseball's essential passion for and reliance on precise proportions and clearly defined limits, all the better to give shape to energy and an arena for expression. The pitcher's rubber, 24 inches by 6 inches, is on a 15-inch mound in the middle of an 18-foot circle; the rubber is 60 feet 6 inches from home plate; the four base paths are 90 feet long; the distance from first base to third, and home plate to second base, is 127 feet 3 3/8 inches;
the pitcher's rubber is the center of a circle, described by the arc of the grass behind the infield from foul line to foul line, whose radius is 95 feet; from home plate to backstop, and swinging in an arc, is 60 feet. On this square tipped like a diamond containing circles and contained in circles, built on multiples of 3, 9 players play 9 innings, with 3 outs to a side, each out possibly composed of 3 strikes. Four balls, four bases break (or is it underscore?), the game's reliance on 'threes' to distribute an odd equality, all the numerology and symmetry tending to configure a game unbounded by that which bounds most sports, and adjudicates in many, time.

The game comes from an America where the availability of sun defined the time for work or play--nothing else. Virtually all our other sports reflect the time clock, either in their formal structure or their definition of a winner. Baseball views time as if it were an endlessly available resource; it may put a premium on speed, of throw or foot, but it is unhurried. Time, like the water and forests, like the land itself, is supposedly ever available.

The point is, symmetrical surfaces, deep arithmetical patterns, and a vast, stable body of rules designed to ensure competitive balance in the game, show forth a country devoted to equality of treatment and opportunity; a country whose deepest dream is of a divinely proportioned and peopled (the 'threes' come from somewhere) green garden enclosure; above all, a country whose basic assertion is that law, in all its agreed-upon forms and manifestations, shall govern--not nature inexorable, for all she is respected, and not humankind's whims, for all that the game belongs to the people....

[T]he umpire in baseball has unique stature among sport's arbiters. Spectator and fan alike may, perhaps at times must, object to his judgment, his interpretation, his grasp of precedent, procedure, and relevant doctrine. Such dissent is encouraged, is valuable, and rarely, if ever, is successful. As instant replay shows, very rarely should it be. The umpire is untouchable (there is a law protecting his person) and infallible. He is the much maligned, indispensable, faceless figure of Judgment, in touch with all the codes, the lore, with nature's vagaries, for he decides when she has won. He is the Constitution and Court before your eyes, and he may be the most durable figure in the game for he, alone, never sits, never rests. He has no side, save his obligation to dispense justice speedily."

This essay, along with several others, can be found in a great little book called A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti. A great read for the summer which lies just ahead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Game of Week

Live game blogging.

Sox lead 1-0 after 3.

Schill looks good. Good velocity. Good command. Good results so far.

Ortiz Sac fly rbi.

I love the "Widescreen Wednesdays" letterbox picture on NESN.


Sixth Inning Yanks 5 Sox 2

Schill ran out of gas. Giambi and Williams took him deep.

Let's get those runs back!


Eighth Inning--Still 5-2

Great sign in the bleachers:

"Joe, We need runs. Bring in Rivera."


Be careful what you wish for.... Yanks win 5-2. Their bullpen was great. Sturtze, Flash, and Rivera shut us down. Rivera gets the save.

Schill's outing was still a good one. He was dominant early, but then ran out of gas. He'll be better for longer next time out of the gate.

Bill Pulsipher on Good Drugs and Baseball

The Sports Law Blog has an interesting post on former Red Sox pitcher Bill Pulsipher who "talks to Alan Schwartz of Baseball America about how medications have helped him overcome clilnical depression and bring him back to the big leagues."

Pulsipher, by the way, has just been placed on the DL by the Cardinals with a strained hammy. The Transaction Guy asks a good question: "Seriously, is there a less busy job in sports than third lefty in the bullpen? Maybe third quarterback, but at least he usually runs the scout team in practice."

Baseball Crank on BK

Here: "I like Byung-Hyun Kim and all, but the guys has a 6.30 career ERA at Coors Field, mostly compiled in his Arizona heyday. In other words, even if he gets his act back together, don't expect this to end well."

Signing BK to a 2-year deal, after his melt-down in 2003, will probably always be Theo's biggest baseball blunder as a GM. I like BK, and I wish him well. I just don't understand what happened to his stuff. If his problem is bruised confidence, it doesn't sound like pitching in Coors will give his fragile psyche the boost it needs.

Schill Pitches Tonight Without Bloody Sock

Curt Schilling, the man who was Roy Hobbs come-to-life in last year's ALCS and WS, makes his first start of the 2005 season tonight against the Fallen Evil Empire. He will do so without a bloody sock, and with a surgically repaired ankle. This is the Game of the Week in Red Sox Nation, indeed it's the Game of the Week in Baseball Nation. Here is how the Boston papers are covering this game:

1. Gordon Edes on

"He will not ride into Fenway Park in a chariot, Ben-Hur-style, or drop from the sky in a helicopter, or leap from a wheelchair onto the mound, both socks drenched in blood.

Just the fact that Curt Schilling is back, making his first start for the Red Sox since he graduated from mortal to mythical last October, should be drama enough. That Schilling's start tonight will come against the Yankees, whose winter he ruined even though he was pitching on just one good ankle, makes it that much more compelling."

2. Jeff Horrigan of the

"Fenway fans haven't seen Curt Schilling on the mound since Oct. 24, when he had blood seeping through his sock as he gritted through six dominating innings in a 6-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of the World Series.

Schilling, who had a dislocated tendon in his right ankle that required major surgery two weeks later, made himself a guinea pig for a novel medical procedure in order to make the start, and his effort immediately went down in the annals as one of the most heroic efforts in Boston sports history."

If you aren't looking forward to this April Sox-Yanks contest, you need to check your pulse. April baseball doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Derek Lowe Says Goodbye has a nice article on DLowe's return to Fenway to get his ring and say goodbye. The fans gave him a lot of love. He deserved it.

I think the change of scenery will work wonders on D's confidence on the mound. There was never any question about his stuff or his health. This is the one free agent that we may regret letting get away.

Boomer's Ring

You gotta see this picture of the "ring" the Sox awarded David Wells yesterday. Its from the Boston Dirt Dogs. Heh.

Game of the Week

Yesterday's home opener was the ceremony of the week! Of the Century!

But the game of the week is Wednesday's game aginst NY, because Curt Schilling will be making his first start since the ankle surgery. Jaret Wright will go for the Yanks.

Schil is a big game pitcher, one of the best ever when it counts. And this is a big game for him. All games against NYY are big, but this one is even bigger because of the surgery.

I look for 7 strong innings from Schilling; but remember, this is his first start and his command won't be perfect.

It's on NESN at 7 PM EST.

Lords of the Rings

Yesterday's home opener was one for the ages. In today's Globe, Dan Shaughnessy has a great column about what yesterday's pre-game ring ceremony meant to Red Sox Nation. Here are some money excerpts:

"[I]t was the pregame festivities that connected generations of New Englanders, moved grown men to tears (I saw one in the press box), and created a memory guaranteed to be shared whenever two or more Sox fans gather to reminisce about the glory days of 2004.

In a 45-minute ceremony -- lengthy, but not nearly long enough to offset the 86 years and one million-96 tears that advanced the hard-earned World Series win, the Sox paid tribute to Fenway favorites past and present, handed out the rings, and raised the championship banner in center field for the first time since 1919."

"No matter what age you are, there was a former Boston player to remind you of an earlier time when the Sox entertained, but couldn't win a championship. Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr (the 87-year-old Hall of Famer flew overnight to make the ceremony), Frank Malzone, Jim Lonborg, Jim Rice, and Oil Can Boyd touched different generations of fans in different ways. Collectively, they encapsuled 70 years of living Red Sox history."

As I watched, so many memories of growing up loving baseball--Red Sox baseball--went through my mind. Here are a few:

1. I remembered another opening day--about 40 years ago--when I got busted by my 7th grade teacher for listening to the radio broadcast of the game during classtime. I borrowed my Dad's little "transistor radio," stuck it down my pants and ran the little earplug speaker up through my shirt.

2. I remembered writing letters to Pinky Higgins in the early 60s containing advice on starting lineups and other strategy. He never wrote back. But he did give Russ Nixon a few more starts behind the plate.

3. I remembered the time Frank Malzone threw a ball to a little kid (me), back when throwing balls into the stands was against the rules.

4. I remembered Tony C, the teenager every boy in New England wanted to be. And I remembered the day Tony C was beaned, the day the music died.

5. I remembered 1967 and 1975, the seasons that made me a Red Sox fan for life.

6. I remembered Yaz, and the Hawk, and the Monster, and Oil Can, and the Spaceman, and Stonefingers, and Tomato Face, and El Tiante, and El Guapo, and Pudge, and Dauber. [Where was Dauber yesterday? He should have been there to represent the regular guy who plugs away and finally makes it to the show.]

7. I remembered my Dad, and my Uncle Earl, and Araujo, and Mikey Maurer, and so many others who didn't live to see the Sox win it all.

As Dan Shaughnessy said: "Baseball. The best game. The New England game..the thing that brought so many people together in yesterday's celebration for the ages."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Opening Day: Red Sox Fans Are The Best

I watched the Opening Day ceremonies on NESN today, and it was wonderful.

It was great to see Yaz, Freddie Lynn, El Tiante, and, of course, Johnny Pesky among others. But the highlight for me was the introduction of the visiting team, the Fallen Evil Empire.

The fans booed everyone on the Yankees--even the batboys--with two exceptions. They gave Joe Torre a nice round of applause. They know a great manager when they see one. And they gave a load, roaring ovation to Mariano Rivera. Why Rivera, you ask? Becasue he has become an imbedded Red Sock in the Yankee bullpen. He has blown his last 4 save opportunities against the Red Sox (two in the ALCS and the first two chances this year). Rivera cracked up at the ovation, because he appreciated the knowledge and wit of Red Sox Nation.

Of course, Rivera is still great, and I always hate it when he walks in from the bullpen with a lead and a chance to close us out. But it is good to realize that the Sox may be inside his head a little;confidence is critical for a closer.

How Winning Changes Everything

The Boston Herald has a very interesting story for the home opener on how things have changed for the Red Sox following last season's historic victories in the ALCS and the World Series.

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