Letting It Fly
Well, graduation week was crazy and all-consuming, and so I’m backed up on about 5 million thoughts. So let me offer a few of those here.
First pitch madness!
All my life, I have stuck my tongue out while playing sports. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until someone takes a photo of me playing tennis or shooting a basketball or, in this case, throwing out the first pitch at the Charlotte Knights game. Then, I see the photo, and I think: “Wow, I’m an incredible dweeb.”
As a reminder, I threw out the first pitch on Sunday because the Knights were having a Joe-Nanza celebration of people named Joe (sponsored by the grill company Oklahoma Joe’s), and apparently, Joe Montana, Joe Mantegna, and Joe Exotic were not available.
This was my first first-pitch, and I took the advice of various friends — don’t go all the way to the rubber, make sure you get a feel of the baseball before you throw, keep your eye on the target, put some extra loft on the ball to make sure that it gets there and don’t overthrow.
I’d say the pitch was 86% successful. It was over the plate, and I think I had pretty good loft on it, as you can tell from the photo. Unfortunately, it had a little late sink and caught dirt just behind the plate. It was probably a decent 0-2 pitch, you know, to get the batter to chase — or, anyway, as decent as a 27-mph pitch can be.
What was good about the whole experience, I’d say, was that it got me throwing the ball around again. I’d missed doing that. I’m getting a new glove and will be looking to throw the ball around with some friends …
In fact, well, I’ll let you in on a little idea that we’re trying to cook up. I don’t have an exact date or actual details, but maybe you’ll want in on this. Sometime in mid-September, as part of the WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL tour*, we are talking about having a Why We Love Baseball Day at Truist Field here in Charlotte.
The idea is to have everybody come out to this beautiful ballpark in downtown Charlotte with baseball gloves, we’ll play some catch in the outfield, maybe they’ll show some baseball stuff on the scoreboard, maybe we can get a special guest star or two, I’ll talk about the book and sign away, maybe we’ll eat some baseball food, etc. It’s all possible now, and I’m not entirely sure how it will work, but there seems to be some real excitement about it. I’ll keep you updated … I will say that if you do want to be a part of it, even tentatively, it would be helpful to say so in the comments so I can see what we’re dealing with here.
*We’re going to start announcing some tour dates in the next couple of weeks, I think.
Anyway, thanks to the Charlotte Knights and my friend Tommy Viola for the first pitch invitation. I don’t think I embarrassed myself. But that tongue …
White Sox and Tigers and errs, oh my!
On Sunday, the White Sox beat Detroit 6-2 when Jake Burger hit a walk-off grand slam. It was the first grand slam of Burger’s career. That wasn’t even close to the oddest ending in this series, though.
No, on Saturday, the game went into extra innings tied at 1-1. Both runs had scored on wild pitches. I’m not even sure we should allow the White Sox and Tigers to play each other.
Yoan Moncada was the zombie runner starting at second base.
He went to third on Romy Gonzalez’s sacrifice bunt.
He stayed at third for Yasmani Grandal’s groundout to second.
Then pitcher José Cisnero intentionally walked Gavin Sheets and hit Jake Burger with a pitch to load the bases.
And then came the big finish.