Who’s On Base?: The True Baseball Fan

Updated: October 28, 2008

Pedro Martinez & Nomar Garciaparra back in action for the Bosox’s…Yankee’s BEWARE!

Pedro NomarGLEN BURNIE, MARYLAND — In a league that consists of 30 teams, about 32 players per team, and 162 games per year, it’s only normal that a season will be filled with its share of ups and downs. To the average person, a baseball game can seem slow and boring, with little excitement, but to a baseball fanatic, the game is stressful, intense and full of action. Baseball is a neurotic game that is played in terms of inches and feet. It is a battle among three men, with two of the men working together to try to outsmart the other in order to win the battle and, eventually, the war.

Well, in 2001, there have been 1,668 games so far and during that time there were numerous battles resulting in victories and losses for both sides. But is the glory and excitement of baseball really found between the pitcher and the catcher? Actually, no. The majority of the people in the stands (notice I didn’t say fans) are there to see runs scored and, more importantly, to see the ball travel over the fences as home runs.

Throughout history, the home run has been the most exciting everyday play in baseball. The only other play that may have more intensity is the triple play, but that might happen twice in a season — if we are lucky. And it was just our luck on Monday, August 6th. The Texas Rangers turned what was only the 4th triple play in team history as they lost to the Boston Red Sox, 10-7. Also, in the same game, Scott Hatteberg, who hit into the triple play, became the first player in league history to hit a grand slam, the biggest play in baseball, and a triple play in the same game.

But, the biggest news of the week also comes from the Boston Red Sox. They received a true blessing in the form of Nomar Garciaparra. Nomar wasted no time making his presence known because, on his first day back, he went 2-4 with a game-tying home run and a single to win the game for the Sox. Since returning to the Red Sox after his stint on the DL, Nomar is hitting .423 with 11 home runs and six RBI’s.

On Monday, Boston had more good news when Boston’s star pitcher, Pedro Martinez, pitched in the bullpen and threw 30 pitches with no pain. Boston is hoping Pedro will be ready to return to the rotation by September 1st.

More history was made on Sunday evening as the Mariners and the Indians played the Sunday night game on ESPN, although, history was not made until the 11th inning. It was then that the Indians completed the largest comeback in over 75 years, as they rallied from 12 runs down in the 7th inning.

The Mariners are the best story in the game right now as they sit 50 games above .500 (81-31). So, when a team beats them, it is already an accomplishment of its own, but an opposing team coming from 12 runs down to beat them is absolutely remarkable. The Indians sit just one game behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central and two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the Wild Card race.

In the National League, the biggest news is still the home run race between Bonds and Gonzo. The race is heating up as Bonds is leading the majors with 48 home runs, while Gonzo is stuck on 43. Soon, the questions will begin to heat up and the stress will begin to build for Barry, and then it will also be interesting to see how the other players will react. When McGuire hit 70 home runs, it was pretty obvious that the last few home runs were off of pitches that were a little less than major league. Will the same happen for Bonds if he is close going into the last weekend of the season? I think not. But it will be interesting to see how the situation is handled.

Barry BondsBarry Bonds In the dirty south, the Atlanta Braves’ ace, Greg Maddux, broke the league record for innings pitched without allowing a walk. Maddux has now pitched 70 1/3 innings without a walk. Maddux broke an NL record of 68 innings that was set in 1913 by Christy Matthewson and then matched by Randy Jones in 1976. The MLB record is 84 1/3 innings, pitched by Bill Fischer in 1962.

Edited by Pam Gare