Sunday, March 28, 2010

9 Authors - 12 Baseball Questions

The Line Up
1 Change Up Baseball Poems by Fehler SS
2. Keeping Score by Park 1st
3 Mudville by Scaletta 2nd
4 Brooklyn Nine by Gratz CF
5 Prince of Fenway Park by Baggott RF
6 Six Innings by Preller 3rd
7 Comeback Season by Smith LF
8 Painting the Black by Deuker C
9 The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Cochrane - P

In case you missed it the beginning questions 1-3 questions 4-6

7. Ryan Walsh has fond memories of going to home games at Wrigley Field with her dad. Do you prefer to go to home or away games?

Smith - Home games, absolutely. There are plenty of reasons why Cubs fans are unlucky, but we’re incredibly lucky in at least one very important way: we’ve got Wrigley Field. And there’s nothing quite like it. From the old-fashioned scoreboard to the ivy on the back wall to the bleachers, and of course, the atmosphere of the place itself, there’s nowhere I’d rather spend a summer afternoon.

Deuker - Away games for sure. It's great to see how other fans behave. I remember hearing, at a Philly game, the guy next to me say: "Mike Schmidt was a bum. He hit 500 home runs, and not one of them mattered."

Cochrane - I am especially fond of hitting the road to see a game. Every summer for more than 20 years, I’ve gone on a baseball trip with my best friend from Minnesota—we watch a game or two in a new stadium, explore the city, and catch up on each other’s lives. I have a favorite Wrigley memory too: my younger son always loved the Cubs and Sammy Sosa, so I got tickets for a game on his 10th birthday: July 1, 2004. We drove all night from Buffalo after a little league game,and communed with the Bleacher Bums. Henry wore his birthday gift—a Sosa jersey. During batting practice Matt Clement threw a ball in the stands, which I caught somehow. And in the 10th inning, Sammy Sosa hit a walk-off home run over the left field bleachers. Really—you can look it up. I decided that no matter what else happens to Henry, after that afternoon, he’s had a happy childhood.

Fehler - Home games are more fun because of the connection with the crowd.

Park - I like both home and away games. Home for obvious reasons; away, because I love seeing different stadiums, and it's sometimes fun to be on the wrong side of the cheering

Scaletta - My favorite games have been at spring training. Both home and away.

Gratz - I do enjoy home games when I'm a fan, because you can find lots of friends in the stands who agree that the umpire needs to be run out of town. There's a particular pleasure in wearing your colors to an away game though. It's like you have a target on your back. But there's perhaps nothing sweeter than being an away team fan when your team wins away. Everybody else around you is pouting, and you get to walk out all smug and victorious.

Baggott - Home games. I’m a family person and get no thrill from wagging my love for my team in someone else’s face. Besides, I’ve absorbed my husband’s ties. He feels like he grew up in Fenway Park. It’s like visiting relatives, the family homestead.

Preller - Home, definitely. When that home stadium rocks – when something truly great happens (1 in 20 games), it’s an exhilarating feeling. Again: could be the Knicks in Madison Square Garden; doesn't have to be baseball. I have a good friend who lives four hours away, we rarely see each other. So each year we pick a date to go see the Mets play at a new ballpark. We’ve done weekends in Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. We’re dreaming of L.A.!

8. Away from the game for a few years, Ryan Ward, quickly takes to his new position, catcher. Who is your favorite Molina brother?*

Deuker - My favorite Molina brother is Bengie, naturally, since I grew up living and dying with every game the San Francisco Giants played. But the catcher that really sticks in my mind is the long-time Los Angeles Dodger, Johnny Roseboro. As a Giants fan, I naturally hated the Dodgers. It's just in our DNA. The rivalry in my childhood days was heated--some might say over-heated. Mays, McCovey, Marichal vs. Koufax, Drysdale, etc. If Mays hit a home run off Drysdale, McCovey knew to expect a little chin music. He didn't dig in. Rhubarbs were common. During one infamous Sunday sell-out game at Candlestick, Juan Marichal came to the plate to face Sandy Koufax. After a pitch, Roseboro's throw back to Koufax ticked Marichal's ear (or so Marichal claimed afterward). Marichal turned around and attacked Roseboro, repeatedly hitting him in the head with his bat. Years later Marichal retired and in due course became eligible for the Hall of Fame. The "Roseboro incident," however, kept many writers from voting for him. One year went by; then another. It looked as if Juan Marichal, the Dominican Dandy with the high leg kick, might never get in. And then . . . Johnny Roseboro spoke up for him, saying that one incident should not keep Marichal out of the Hall, and that he (Roseboro) had accepted Marichal's apology. Juan Marichal was subsequently elected to the Hall of Fame and I became -- unbelievably -- a great admirer of a Dodger.

Cochrane - I love all the Molina brothers! I do have a special affection for Bengie, the first to enter my consciousness, but I also like to imagine there’s a fourth obscure one, like Zeppo Marx—wouldn’t that be a good premise for a novel, the Last of the Molinas?

Fehler - Yadier is my favorite because he was the catcher on my fantasy team last year.

Park - Yadier, because he has the coolest name.

Scaletta - I never thought too much about the issue, but I like how those guys play. They are catchers' catchers, all three of them. Tough at the plate, willing to take a hit, and quick on the pickoffs. Any team is lucky to have a Molina behind the plate, if they can't get a Mauer.

Gratz - Bengie. If I were still playing fantasy baseball, he's the one I would choose first. Good power numbers for a catcher, with an average that won't hurt you. Also: who wouldn't like a player whose nickname is "Big Money"?

Baggott - Benji. Not because of anything he did. I just loved that movie Benji when I was a kid.

Preller - They are brothers? I thought the same guy kept getting traded.

Smith - Probably Jose, because he once played for the Cubs. I always joke that I’m not really a baseball fan as much as a Cubs fan, so my knowledge of players outside the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field is pretty much limited to ex-Cubs.

9. Molly’s the only girl on her baseaball team. She’s a pitcher with a wicked knuckleball. It’s a trick pitch that if thrown well will keep hitters confused and the score low. Do you prefer pitching duels or high scoring games?

Cochrane - I am in the minority here, I suspect, but I love watching good pitchers. In thepast few seasons, I’ve developed an appreciation for smart and strategicpitchers, the ones who really know how to change speed and work the corners. I love wily old guys like Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer, maybe because I aspire to be a wily old guy. Their kind of pitching seems so much like writing.

Fehler - Both. When my team's ace is pitching, I prefer a pitching duel because I know I have an edge. When the other team jumps off to an early lead, I want a high scoring game; I know I'll have a chance. All things equal, I'd pick the pitcher's duel, where one small decision or mistake can make the difference: a bunt, stolen base, playing the infield back instead of in, going from first to third on a one out single, etc.

Park- I love them both. But of course if you're an American League fan, you might not be familiar with a pitching duel, so let me explain... (Just kidding, but I remain rabidly anti-DH.)

Scaletta - Pitching duels all the way. An ugly high scoring game can be entertaining, but the ones you remember are the 1-0 ten inning games, like game 7 of the 1991 World Series.

Gratz - Pitching duels, I think. The games move quickly, and every little hit and run really matters. Slugfests are lots of fun, no doubt, but I do love a chess match of a game brought on by a pitching duel. I've see a few no-hitters on television, and I think they're riveting.

Baggott - I like a game that has at least one high moment in it. Many times, a game will have a home run or a two-run scoring double here and there, but there’s no real pressure moment. It doesn’t matter to me what the score ends up being, so long as there is a unique moment of drama.

Preller - Pitching duels

Smith - I think pitching duels are a lot of fun. High scoring games are great too, of course, but there’s a certain tension that comes along with a good pitching battle, the way everyone sort of holds their breath to see what will happen. That’s pretty hard to beat.

Deuker - Here's the perfect game. After six innings, a 2-2 tie. Then, in the bottom of the 8th, a big hit with two outs for a 4-3 lead. Closer comes in, gives up a double. Runner moves to third on an out. Pop-up, strike out. Two hours and twenty minutes. A beer, a hot dog, some peanuts.

* There are currently three Molina catchers in the majors. Bengi, Jose and Yadier. All are allstars.

1 comment:

MissA said...

Smith is an author after my own heart. I completely agreed with her on the Molinas question when she says she's more of a Cubs fan than a baseball fan. I'm more of a Cubs/Yankees fan, than a baseball fan.

Wrigley Field is amazing, but so expensive! I've been to one Cubs game in Chicago. I definitely prefer home games, but when tickets are so expensive, I have to settle for away games (we've seen them play in Atlanta and California and I've been to more White Sox games than I care to remember). There's something to be said for feeling triumphant that your team won at an away game and everyone else is crestfallen (I wouldn't rub it in, but I would smile with satisfaction if they had been obnoxious).

There's nothing like a pitching duel. So intense! Of course, I love watching Mariano Rivera go out and clean up the game :)