Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

Bad Parenting: Why the All Star Game is Not Chuck-E-Cheese

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity, Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on July 20, 2010

I don’t generally think of myself as a superior parent [Believing you are usually means you aren’t]. But in certain situations, like All-Star Weekend, it is hard not to look at some parents and their children with a quizzical, WTF look. Events like this can bring out the worst in some kids and their parents1 [Though they can also bring out some of the best of us as well2].

Remember moms and dads, kids are a reflection of you and how you raised them. Thus, the way they interact and treat others in public will give us a better indication of who you are and the lessons you have taught them. If your kids suck, you suck.

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Steven Strasburg: Holy Fastball Batman, You Got Struck the ‘F’ Out!

Posted in Jock Dork: It's Who I Am by Wingnut on June 9, 2010

Every so often an athlete comes along that this Jock Dork can get excited about. Last night was one of those nights.

Now being an elitist sports fan, I can appreciate the intricacies of two teams/players locked in combat, each trying to outduel the other, with each mistake a potential disaster. It is a chess with a baseball, football, or golf club. It is almost sports at its finest. Almost…

More than a great game, I love, even lust after, absolute dominance. There is just something awe-inspiring about someone who is just that much better than his peers, demonstrating it with a masterful display of “I OWN the other guy!”

Last night, a 21-year old kid, called by some the most-hyped draft pick in baseball history, took the mound for the first time in “The Show.” Everyone knew this kid had all the tools to be a great player someday, but many wondered if, at 21, he had the poise to handle the pressure of being in front of 40,000 people and a national television audience. [At 21, I didn’t know my head from my own ass and could barely balance drinking with college. 21 = Hot Mess (FYI, I probably still don’t)]

So, as the umpire yelled, “Play Ball”. Eyes were glued to see what this kid would do. After the first pitch, we all knew. Yes, this kid is special.

Stephen Strasburg began mowing down major league players with his 100-MPH fastball, 91-MPH change up and 80-MPH breaking ball. These guys, being paid millions of dollars because they are that good, looked like a bunch of paralyzed little leaguers.

The true test of character came after one of the Pirates hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. [No matter good a pitcher is, these are professional hitters and they can HIT] Would this rattle him, as it should the typical 21-year old [remember = hot mess]? No. Instead, he did what all great players do after making a mistake…he got focused.

After that, each successive batter was stepping into a batter’s box made of quicksand, waiting for their inevitable fate. The final seven batters Strasburg faced didn’t even sniff a hit, didn’t even sniff contact. All seven went down on strikes.

Seven innings later, this 21-year old phenom had struck out 14 batters, one shy of the major league record for a pitching debut [Shared by Karl Spooner and J.R. Richard. Both of them, it took nine innings to do what this kid had almost done in seven].

This kid is the real deal. My dad got the game on DVR and I may sit and watch it again with him. That is how impressive it was…rewatching a baseball game.

And, the Washington Nationals may have more phenomenal talent on the way, as they drafted Bryce Harper [Funny ESPN column], a 17-year old catcher from Las Vegas who may hit the ball farther than any other person on the planet.

I never thought I’d say this…I may be looking forward to catching a Nats game or two. [Strasburg’s probable next starts]

Thanks you Stephen Strasburg. I can’t wait to watch your next redonkulous performance.