‘Stache and Stanley: An Unfocused Look at the Past Week in the World

"I'm 9 and a half, thank you very much."

It’s Friday. You know the drill.

I have breaking news.

Panhandling is now officially illegal in St. Petersburg, Fla. Sorry, but I wasn’t going to spend my Thursday night sitting through a five-hour city council hearing and then not share that fun fact with you.

But enough about my uninspired reporting. Let’s do this.

I know that it has been beat to death worse than Apollo Creed, but there’s really no way to lead off this Week in Review without talking about the imperfect perfection of Armando Galarraga.

For those who don’t watch sports but choose to read our fair site anyways, I’ll introduce the story. Armando Galarraga is a pitcher (the guy who throws the ball to the catcher) for the Tigers (a team that represents a third-world country). He was one out away from a perfect game (a game in which you allow no hits, no walks and Manny Ramirez isn’t playing left field for you), when a bad call was made at first base.

Gold Glove

Jason Donald (guy who plays sports in Cleveland but isn’t named LeBron) of the Indians was out (not safe) on a maybe-but-maybe-not close play at first, but the umpire (guy who managers like to yell at) ruled him safe, crushing the perfect game.

[End of remedial baseball storytelling]

The first base umpire is of course now known by name, a feat that only Joe West and Angelo Hernandez strive for. His name is Jim Joyce, and he has a freaking awesome mustache. Unfortunately, Joyce was cut zero slack due to his superb facial hair and was immediately torn to pieces by Jim Leyland, fans and a possibly intoxicated Miguel Cabrera.

In fact, he was torn to pieces by everyone, except Armando Galarraga. Galarraga took the entire thing in one of the most professional manners that you will ever see in sports.

His calm reaction, along with Joyce’s humble way of admitting his error, completely changed the complexion of this seemingly worst-case scenario. How many times have you seen an umpire make a bad call and then come out of it resembling a superior individual? Uh, never. But that is exactly what happened Wednesday night.

As tough as it would seem to have a perfect game taken away from you, it was not Galarraga who was truly hurt by what happened, it was Joyce. Joyce was emotional, apologetic and downright likeable.

NFL  referee Jerry Markbreit was booed in Tampa his entire career for numerous incidents. NHL referee Kerry Fraser was hated in Calgary throughout his entire tenure with the league.

But on Thursday night, just one night after ruining perfection, Joyce was greeted with an ovation from the fans as he took the field. Class is contagious.

One thing that Galarraga’s imperfect perfect game helped us learn is that Robbie Hilson’s beloved CNBC should never, under any circumstance, attempt to cover a sports story.

Exhibit A

Sticking with baseball (and possibly panhandling), white trash superstar Bryce Harper was ejected from what might be his last collegiate game ever for arguing an outside strike by slinging a little dirt on the home plate umpire. Harper, the 17-year-old community college all-star who’s resume is highlighted by a home run derby, will likely be drafted in the upcoming MLB first-year player draft.

My advanced apologies to Jim Joyce.

Pat Daneker, pitching coach of the Staten Island Yankees, reportedly lost his $10,000 World Series ring and his team-issued cell phone after a long evening in Tampa that ended with two mini-skirt clad women at a Holiday Inn Express.

Pimpin' ain't easy.

Daneker is no drunken ladies man, but he did stay at a… Oh, nevermind. The only question better than where did this stuff go is why in the hell does Daneker have a World Series ring?

Dario Franchitti won the Indy 500 on Sunday which I’m sure excited someone. Anyone? No? Moving on.

Apparently the NBA Finals started last night. I’m not sure what happened, I was too busy reading Jim Nantz’ latest bestseller, “150,000 [Possibly Made-up] Stories That No One Cares About Except Me.” Great read, I highly recommend it.

Tonight does bring us Game 4 of a Stanley Cup Finals that has so far been pretty damn great. This truly has all the makings of an electric series. The season-long elite Chicago Blackhawks against the surprising Philadelphia Flyers. Sign me up.

Now the problem is that tonight’s game is on Versus, a channel that still isn’t quite sure if it wants to bill the NHL over bull riding just yet. It is well worth it to search for Versus in order to find tonight’s game though. It is probably somewhere in between your local news station’s 24-hour weather channel and the Soap Opera Network.

Decisions, Decisions

England’s World Cup Coach, Fabio Capello has announced that there will be a “moratorium on his players having physical relations with anyone” during this year’s big tournament. I’m pretty sure that translates to “zero sex” in American.

Now there are two sides to this.

Capello could be doing this to avoid a 2006-esque showing when the Brits failed to make it past the quarterfinals. Apparently reports say that the 2006 England team had a close resemblance to Guns N’ Roses.

Bad excuse to include picture of favorite soccer player.

Or as a native Italian, Capello could be trying to channel all possible groupies to his own room. Because if there’s one thing Italians do well, it’s the creepy yet somehow successful pick-up. Silly wankers. Score one for Italy.

AND NOW…(drum roll)  

WHY I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK: The Never-Ending Saga  

In no specific order, and with no real explanation, this is my weekly look at some of the things that kept me distracted while I was trying to write.  

Uh, World Cup.

Walk-off home runs, best served with a brawl.

Weekend.

-Bryan

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