Today is Memorial Day, our national holiday for those men and women who gave their lives fighting to protect their country. So spend a moment of time today and say thanks as you give deference to the people that paid the ultimate price so that we could have the freedoms we have today.
So what else am I thankful for on this National Holiday? Here are some thoughts.
* I’m thankful for Tim Lincecum. I’m telling you, if you have never seen that man pitch do yourself a favor and get out to the ballpark. You ain’t seen nothing like it and you’ll always regret it if you aren’t able to one day tell your grandkids “I saw The Freak one day…”
* I’m thankful for what might turn out to be one of the best matchups of the entire season today. Lincecum faces Ubaldo Jimenez today in San Francisco. It should be sunny and about 65 degrees at first pitch. If you love pitching there is nowhere on earth you would be better off being today.
* I’m thankful for guys like Jose Bautista coming out of flipping nowhere to impress – it gives me something to write about. Think of it Bautista, who leads baseball with 16 homers, has already tied his career-high even though the Jays still have 110 games left to play. Over the last four years he’s only averaged 125 games played.
* I’m thankful for red wine. I seem to do my best “work” when I’ve had a bottle or two of Pinot Noir. Note I said bottle not glass.
* I’m thankful for the Tampa Bay Rays leading baseball with a 34-17 record. Well, it’s not so much I’m really in their corner as it is that I just hate the Yankees and want someone to put a beating on them (the Yanks are 3.5 games). Why do I hate the Evil Empire? This one fact should illustrate. The Ray’s starting pitching staff is making just over $8 million this season. The Yankees have four pitchers on their staff who make more than that by themselves.
* I’m thankful that I’m not a fan of the Orioles. I mean 15-36 guys? They are on pace for about 48 victories and 114 loses. Atrocious.
* I’m thankful for my friends and family always being there for me. OK, got a little nostalgic with this one.
* I’m thankful for Livan Hernandez who is proving, once again, that scientific analysis can sometimes fail us when analyzing players. I mean a 2.15 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP over 10 starts? After all, when I guy is “reportedly” 35 years old, hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.83 or a WHIP below 1.50 in four years of course its makes sense that he would he would emerge as one of the top-10 hurlers in the NL through a third of the season.
* I’m thankful for Joe Mauer. I love the guy. The splendid swing, the calm demeanor, the unassuming superstar everyone can cheer for. I’m also hopeful that you all listened to me when I said there was zero chance he would hit 30 homers this year. Did you listen or did you buy the unfair hype?
* I’m thankful for Vladimir Guerrero proving, once again, that he is one of the better hitters of our generation. Vlad the Impaler is hitting .332 with 12 homers a 44 RBI on the year, and he has been stupendous in May hitting .330 with 10 homers and 31 RBI in just 27 games. Yeah, guess he isn’t washed up now is he? Oh, and speaking of washed up, you did notice that David Ortiz is hitting .363 with 10 homers, 27 RBI and a 1.211 OPS in 23 games in May right?
* I’m thankful for the Internet. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had at your disposal the newspaper and 20 stations on television – how did people do it in the past?
Fanball GM Ryan Houston posted this quote today, and I thought it would be a perfect way to end this piece.
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
By Ray Flowers