Video Of The Week: The Walkoff Homer

I apologize if you came here looking for the business/tech section and landed on the sports section. But that’s how its going to be today.

I grew up an army brat moving every year. I was a baseball fan and my teams were the A’s and the Pirates, the two most colorful teams in baseball in the 70s. When we arrived in NYC in 1983, I had two choices, the Mets and the Yankees. There was no way I was going to be a Yankees fan, so the Mets were the default choice but not one I was excited about.

A year later in the summer of 1984, I arrived back in NYC from a business trip on a steamy July night, just like this week has been, and got in a taxi at LaGuardia. Back then the taxis did not have AC so we drove into Manhattan with the windows down and the breeze in our faces. The taxi driver had the Mets game crackling on the radio, the best way to consume baseball in my opinion. The Mets had their young rookie pitcher Dwight Gooden on the mound and it was late in the game and he was striking out everyone. It was mesmerizing to listen to this kid strike out batter after batter. I got home, turned on the game in our apartment, watched the end of it, and have been a dedicated Met fan ever since.

The early years of my Met-fandom were easy. The 80s were a great time to be a Met fan. The rest of my time in NYC no so much.

But this year has been different. The Mets have pitching, lots of it. And so I’ve been watching more closely all summer long.

Last night, after dinner and after our guests retired for the night, Josh and I turned on the Mets Nationals game. Matt Harvey was in fine form and, as usual, the Mets were not hitting. Harvey stayed in an inning too long, lost the lead, and the game went into extra innings. Finally, in the 12th inning, Wilmer Flores hit this walk off homer and the Mets are now two games out of first place with Yoenis Cespedes on a plane to NYC. I think we’ll be watching a lot of Mets games the rest of this season.


Comments (Archived):

  1. gregorylent

    that was sweet, thanks

  2. Tom Labus

    Those early radio giuys weren’t even at the games and they mafe you feel you were right in the game

    1. pointsnfigures

      the best. love listening to the game on the radio and puttering around. Pat Hughes is a pretty good baseball announcer for the Cubs. I miss Harry Caray, Jack Brickhouse and Vince Lloyd.

  3. awaldstein

    My uncle drove a milk truck in the Bronx and lived near the Yankee Stadium. My early youth was sitting in the bleachers and listening to the games on the radio.Honestly, that magic, be it the force of youthful memories or the realities of the sport has never quite come back.Nothing quite like the magic of a connection to a sports hero (mine was Mickey Mantle) as it touches you at a young age.

    1. Mac

      Arnold, I understand that magic. Bobby Richardson lives close by. I get to briefly visit with him at the gas station, grocery store and a local diner. He couldn’t be a nicer person. Each encounter triggers those special memories

    2. Eric Satz

      Just sent you an email.

    3. Elia Freedman

      Ah, the joys of being raised a Yankees fan. I’m jealous. Instead, it was Cleveland for me, raised by a die hard Indians and Browns fan. It has been so disappointing. (Except a few years in the late 80s and mid 90s.)

      1. Richard

        What ARod and TEX are doing this year is nothing short of the unimaginable.Spotting winners early (where have we seen this before on this blog) VC is in some ways much like being a GM.

        1. BillMcNeely

          Got to see both the other night at The Ball Park in Arlington

          1. Richard

            Both former Rangers!

        2. Elia Freedman

          Except i can’t imagine a VC betting on this Yankee team. On paper they are horrible. If they played anywhere else they’d be 20 games under .500. But there is some magic in Yankee stadium.

          1. Richard

            Shows you how patient you need to be coming back from injuires (tex wrist)(arod hips). VCs should get to know founders injuries.

          2. Elia Freedman

            I like that. I’ve definitely got some scars.

    4. JLM

      .There will never be another Mickey Mantle. No 7 was the best ever.I got to know him a little. His granddaughter and My Perfect Daughter were campmates at Camp Longhorn for a few years.I got this playing golf when I landed closer to a par three than he did. I was not playing with him but I was playing with Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson. [Shameless, name dropping, jock sniffer alert.]Baseball is THE American past time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        Interesting, noting the wide range of values for signed Mickey Mantle baseballs on ebay:

      2. awaldstein

        You know I agree.Back before we collected baseball cards as an asset, I had these cards (from memory) clothes pinned to the spokes of my bike as a kid!MickyElston HowardTony KubekWhite FordAl DowningJoe PepitoneClete Boyeroh and Roger MarisDamn! Those were heroes!

        1. JLM

          .Roger Maris & Ted Williams.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. Richard

        Know where the “K” came from? Clutch, power ….?

        1. JLM

          .No, do tell?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Richard

            First score keeper used the last letter of the the word to keep track of strike outs, British used the term struck.

      4. Richard

        What made mick, the mick?

        1. JLM

          .Natural switch hitter, fast as Hell (still the fastest in majors from left hand hitting to first base), power, heart. And lucky #7.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. Keenan

          I dunno about best ever JLM. Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose, sit the top of that list. It’s too bad we had the steroid era, because there were some amazing talent that is now tainted. But, alas I know you’re old school and biased. I mean shoot, you got to meet the man.

    5. JLM

      .I think I got quite a few autographed baseballs from the Mick.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        Of interest, aviation wise, death of Lewis Katz last year (I haven’t read it yet):…(Katz was a “big mahoff” in the local community here and quite generous ..)

        1. JLM

          .Failure to disable the gust lock, simple checklist item. No reason for this kind of tragedy. The pre-startup checklist and the pre-takeoff checklist both would have had that item on it and the simple manipulation of the yoke — forward and back — would have revealed this.What an unnecessary tragedy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            Is it possible that the more experience you have and the more familiar you are with something that it is more likely to make a mistake like that? (A beginner would not make that mistake if there is such a thing in a Gulfstream at least…)One thing that I learned from using power tools (and power machinery) is that you have to stop yourself and literally talk to yourself [1] and say “I am using a circular saw. A circular saw is dangerous. I need to be careful and pay attention to what I am doing”.When I was in high school and did photography I had to cut mats for the photos. I used an “exacto knife”. I wasn’t paying attention one time and was rushing and cut off the tip of a finger (which they were able to sew back on luckily). I made that mistake because I was on “autopilot” and didn’t stop to think about what I was doing. It was actually a good mistake to make in that it taught me a lesson. However I still tend to work quickly and would be prone to doing the same type of thing because I am impatient. It’s helpful to be this way with some things but not with other things.There is an interesting phenomena that I noticed with big machinery vs. small machinery. Small machinery (say a small printing press) you can just walk up to and start to operate without going through a “startup checklist”. So the operators tend to get sloppy and make mistakes. The big machinery is much to complex, there is a checklist and procedure and time before you hit “start”. So they have to be more careful simply because they can’t “wing it”.This happens with cars, right? Someone can pull out of their driveway and hit a pedestrian right after getting into a car there is no startup procedure they are on subconscious “autopilot”. They fail to look in the rear and bang. Things like that don’t happen with planes on anything but an outlier basis. For one thing nobody (other than in the movies) hops into a plane and just takes off.At the risk of pissing off the pilot if I was a billionaire and had a Gulfstream my fantasy is that I’d spend extra money to make sure that at least preventable mistakes like that didn’t happen. Ditto for medical procedures.[1] Not drooling of course…

          2. JLM

            .No question that familiarity breeds contempt. It is literally a killer.I taught explosives and demolitions when I was in the Army and the number one problem was complacency.I literally used to keep every blasting machine handle in my pocket even when in the field. I never served anywhere where some dipshit didn’t manage to blow friendlies up. Not so much in training but in the real thing.I cannot tell you the shit I caught from the senior sergeants. One time they went to the battalion Sgt Major to complain about me. I had a perfect safety record and every other company in the battalion had killed at least one man through a safety breach.The Sgt Major sent them packing which was unusual because Sgts Major hate company grade officers. Later, he took me aside and said I was doing the right thing. The only time in the history of the world a Sgt Major ever said anything nice to a Captain.I used to have a policy of demoting anyone who ever had a safety transgression with explosives or mines. I demoted a few sergeants for inadequate supervision.Pilots are very bad about adhering to their checklists when they are flying a lot and it all becomes instinctive. You have to run the checklists but more importantly, you have to actually check the things off.It is a deadly accident.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. LE

            I cannot tell you the shit I caught from the senior sergeants. One time they went to the battalion Sgt Major to complain about me.Why did they complain if you kept blasting machine handles in your pocket? [1] (I don’t understand..)[1] Sorry for the joke but can’t help saying “unless the other hand was making a peace sign..”…

          4. JLM

            .They complained I was disrespecting them as the blasting machines were squad equipment and an E-6 runs a squad and an E-7 runs a platoon. The company First Sgt is an E-8 and the Sgt Mjr is an E-9.I was the guy who had to write the letters home when someone got killed.I would let them set up the explosives including the blasting caps. I would require them to “short” the electrical connections by putting a wire — a shunt — across the wires connected to the blasting machine.Only when I had inspected the wiring and had signaled “fire in the hole” would I give them the blasting machine handle — which was normally secured to the blasting machine itself by a chain to keep it from getting lost. Then, they removed the shunt and cranked the blasting machine.I saw so many accidents on demolitions and mine removal to last a lifetime and to fill a cemetery. Every one avoidable.When removing minefields, I would never rely on the sweepers. I made my men get down on their bellies and probe with bayonets and then follow up with minesweepers.I used to get right down there with them. One unit I had, which removed thousands of mines, was doing it in the snow and mud.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. LE

            Wow these are things that we never knew happened (I was young but don’t remember Cronkite saying much about that type of accident occurring..)I like the safety check and not relying on the sweepers.I have mentioned that as a kid I was scalded when my mom put the hot water vaporizer on a small folding table with the cord stretched in a way such that I jumped over the cord and hot water fell on me. (At the goading of my younger sister..) Three days in the hospital. As such I have always been the type to proactively think of things that could be dangerous in advance.What is the saying “not on my watch”…

          6. JLM

            .The snow and mud mine removal was in the ROK in the early 1970s. There were literally thousands of mines — with particularly hastily made and shitty maps — which had to be removed and, sometimes, replaced.The unit next to mine had a huge accident and lost about ten men. There is nothing worse than seeing limbs flying through the air.I hated removing mines but I liked the danger and I liked to explode them in place using C4. I liked screwing with explosives. Some weeks I would blow through several tons of C4.One time, when the ground was frozen, I set off some anti-tank mines (65-85 lbs of explosive in them) and the frozen ground shook hard enough to set off about a hundred acres of mines simultaneously.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. PhilipSugar

            Of everything I learned flying, checklists were the most important.I boat. I cannot tell you the number of absolute stupid stuff I have seen boating and SCUBA diving because people are familiar and forget a stupid easy item that comes back to literally kill you.

          8. LE

            I had a college friend once jump or fall (don’t remember was the 90’s) off my boat as it was right next to the dock. So we have a guy bobbing in the water in between a floating dock [1] and a boat next to open water with plenty of boat traffic.He was fucking laughing as if it was funny. Luckily we got him out before the boat slammed into him and the concrete dock.Before I had my own boat my ex father in law took us out on his boat. He got stuck and asked me to get out and push the boat off the sand dune. I had no shoes on and cut my foot on some rusty shit. That night at dinner some med student doing a rotation at the local ER took a look and said “you’ll live” as if it was no big deal. (She was dealing with gun shots wounds at AC Medical Center I guess.It got infected so by the time I got to my doctor he said “wow if we don’t put you on antibiotics right away you are going to the hospital and will need an IV.”. Point being the med student was so dazzled by “real” injuries as well as lack of experience she didn’t think this mattered.My wife works a great deal with ER docs and is always telling me the moronic things they do and how little they know. People don’t realize that they consult with another doc (like my wife) prior to doing anything of any consequence.[1] First thing I learned in boating was “fixed or floating dock, if you have kids a floating dock is better ….”.

          9. PhilipSugar

            Just got back from boating……people do not realize…..not a quarter as dangerous as flying but four times more dangerous than driving.

          10. PhilipSugar

            For our first child we went to Penn. My wife worked there and we had the Presidential Suite (not that great because of PennStar Helicopter)They let her go 43hrs and her heart stopped twice on the table.For the second (stunned she wanted that) we went to Christiana. We had a doctor that had done over 5,000 C-sections. Yup you read that right. They call him “Jose the knife”He had printed checklists on that giant post it paper you use for presentations. For instance he had an extra one if you wanted that to be your last child. He made one nurse literally use a marker and check off each line item. He started to explain to me as some people think that means he doesn’t know what he is doing. I told him, I am a pilot I know exactly how well you know what to do.21 minutes start to finish. The only part that caused me any angst (I had 43hrs at Penn) was when he was showing two interns that they brought in with my permission where the baby was. He was pointing with a scalpel at her stomach saying head, feet, head feet we couldn’t see it. Then in one quick stroke he showed us he was right.

          11. PhilipSugar

            He literally had a section for every single piece of stuff that came off the cart. Every sponge, scalpel, etc. If it came of you wrote it down, when it came back you crossed it off.He was as cool as a cucumber.He squeezed my wife in after vacation before his rounds. She gave him a gift and asked him if was relaxed. He said no, diving in Cozumel with four kids was not relaxing, but this was. The CD Player was not working and he got another, he says he always likes women to listen to their favorite songs while they deliver. After he was done he told the charge nurse not to tell people where he was as he needed to go get a Starbucks before his rounds.I asked her if he was always this loose, and she said earlier in the week their was an emergency where a child was breech and you could see the feet, they called him in to do the C-section.She said he told the mother sometimes babies need a little massage before they are delivered and spun the baby and managed to deliver it without a C-section.

          12. LE

            Great story and I just found the doc and looks like the reviews he has are impressive. (Initials “JSP”)

          13. PhilipSugar

            That is him and we transferred somebody from MN, he did not realize his wife was pregnant. Now he is impossible to get but he did us a big favor and took her as a patient.

          14. PhilipSugar

            I knew the pilots….I am absolutely gobsmacked they did pre flight checks 18 of 175 times. The one quote sums it up: “You have a religion that says if I want to live, I’m going to run the checklist.”

    6. BillMcNeely

      My Dad was a potential pick in the 1970 draft with the Yankees ( First Base) until he decided a 6 foot white guy from a NAIA school was going to play in the NBA/ABA like his high school teammates who went to the big NCAA schools.What could have been!

  4. kirklove

    I loved when Richie Ashburn (RIP) used to called the Phillies game on the radio. There would be minutes of silence sometimes. He would just let you listen to the game. It was beautiful.PS: F the Mets πŸ˜‰

    1. Salt Shaker

      For the record, Richie Ashburn was an original Met. However, like many great players acquired by the Mets (Willie Mays, Duke Snider, etc.), sadly well passed their prime.

      1. kirklove

        Yup. From Wikipedia ;)Ashburn was drafted by the expansion New York Mets for the 1962 season. He had a good year offensively, batting .306, and was the team’s first-ever All-Star Game representative. It was, however, a frustrating year for the polished professional, who had begun his career with a winner and found himself playing for the losingest team in modern baseball history (with a record of 40–120). He retired at the end of the season.

    2. fredwilson

      Same to Phils πŸ˜‰

  5. JaredMermey

    That kid deserved it.Sometimes we forget these guys are human. For Flores to hit the GW HR two nights after an honest emotional display is a very beautiful thing.

  6. JaredMermey

    Howie Rose is a delight to listen to. You can visualize the action from his words.As a Yankees fan, I am incredibly jealous of the Mets broadcasting teams both on radio and TV.

  7. Rob Underwood

    My eight year old son Toshi and I have been watching every Mets game this week, even the afternoon games on replay. We can’t get enough. We were already Flores fans from his other walk-offs this year. He love him now and couldn’t be more happy for him.

  8. sigmaalgebra

    I don’t know baseball. As a teenager, I tried a little: One day I thought I’d practice hitting, toss a baseball into the air and hit it with a bat, have the ball hit the brick wall of our house (not a good idea for the wall), get the ball as it bounced back, and try again.So, about 20 minutes later I was tired, had tossed the ball into the air many times, each time I missed hitting the ball had to bend to pick it up wherever it landed, and, net, had yet to hit the ball even once.I lowered my goal to try to have the bat contact the ball at all, just as a way to get started, and couldn’t do that, either.Good news: Created no loose bricks in the wall!Bummer.I never even learned the rules of baseball. E.g., if I’m on first base, the batter hits the ball and gets thrown out at first, can I still be on first? I don’t know.IIRC, there is the American League and the National League, and I’ve heard of a few of the teams, but I couldn’t tell you the league of even a single team. I don’t know anything about baseball!A few months ago bought the DVD of and watched carefully the movie Moneyball — wondered a little about its use of statistics and maybe simulation (say, as in evaluating card counting rules for casino Blackjack) and learned a little about baseball — only a tiny amount.One lesson: It’s a really goofy game, as the movie said, romantic.And as in the movie, there’s a lot about the game that’s just “medieval”, e.g., gut feelings that become traditions and accepted wisdom, decisions made for totally goofy, irrational reasons, etc. Gads.Fred’s video clip is like that: Apparently the guy was about to be traded but, in apparently the second half of the 12th inning with the score tied, hit the ball into the stands for a home run, won the game, got mobbed by the rest of his team, and became a hero.The announcer got so excited, I guess that’s part of the job, that, as the ball went over the fence, there were a few words I can’t understand — he’s excited about something, likely saying that the ball is “out’a here” or some such.I still don’t understand baseball. Goofy game. It looks like mostly a baseball game is really boring but at any moment nearly anything can, and occasionally does, happen. Goofy game.Maybe on any day the worst team in baseball has at least a 49% chance of beating the best team in baseball. Goofy game.

    1. LE

      gut feelings that become traditions and accepted wisdom, decisions made for totally goofy, irrational reasons, etc. Gads.I know nothing about baseball either (or any other sport) but I have thought about that superstition thing that they have going on.Here is how I would explain it, my theory anyway, and why it may actually be a real benefit. Anyone who knows more please share your thoughts. Not something I read anywhere by the way.The “lucky bat” (or whatever is the irrationality) acts as somewhat of a calming agent that allows the player to not be as concerned regarding the outcome as they would be without the luck agent.Lack of the luck agent works in the opposite direction consequently and makes a player more likely to “choke” by increasing nervousness and interfering with the minds ability to control the muscles in a subconscious manner.So lack of luck agent gives greater control to the conscious when the control should be in the hands of the subconscious. Increase in confidence gives more auto reactions and better accuracy.You know in basketball they have these free throws where someone stands on a line and attempts to sink a basket. This would seem to be infinitely more simple than sinking a basket while moving and being in different parts of the court. Yet basketball players do miss that shot (no idea of how often). Reason is (my theory at least) is that they have conscious control vs. subconscious control. I tested this concept out with my stepson who would inevitably miss when I was standing and he was trying to sink baskets (on let’s say the backyard net). I told him the idea was only to get 1 out of 5 baskets not five out of five. His basket sinking immediately improved when he knew he didn’t have to get all of them in. (One of the various manipulations that I have done with kids from time to time).

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Yup, that’s one of the things wrong with school: They don’t teach things like your above two posts! A good, first place to teach that would be lit class: Toss out each of your points and have the students write essays and/or give a show and tell on why the point was/was not good. A second place to teach that would be in Humans 101, being a renamed practical Psychology 101. For at least a week divide the classes by gender and to the boys teach Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys. If I taught that class, it would be so politically incorrect the School Board would string me up by my thumbs in the rafters of the gym, that is, after using a rusty knife to change my gender.Good observations.Of course, the best I can do on such things is just to draw from E. Fromm, The Art of Loving: So, to keep from feeling alone there are only four effective approaches — love of spouse, love of God, membership in a group, and the one not recommended, drugs, alcohol, and orgies.So, my guess is that teen boys want membership in a group. E.g., supposedly one of the keys to military training is that the boys are really eager to be accepted into the group and, to this end, will put up with a lot and try really hard.Otherwise, the group is often other boys interested in sports. So, next door to me on the north side is a family with two teenage boys. The boys don’t mow the grass — the parents have pros for that. Instead the boys practice basketball, a lot of the time.Yesterday a crew came out with a lot of equipment including a Bobcat, picked up all the 3″ thick asphalt from the driveway, and put down new asphalt. Maybe the reason was just so that the boys could have a better surface for basketball. The south side? Same thing — for boys and B-ball, not for the asphalt.So, four boys, and they put in a lot of time on basketball. Why? Membership?For me, basketball is discouraging: The good players are good beyond all belief and very likely much better than I can appreciate. The game is so fast that watching it I really can’t tell what the strategies, tactics, plays, etc. are.One of the most famous and challenging pieces for violin is the Bach Chaconne. I got far enough in violin and the Chaconne (really like music — it’s partly a math thing) to be able to critique even the best performances. I can read the math of some chaired professors of computer science and laugh outrageously as how bad some of their math is. But B-ball? I don’t have a clue what’s going on.Supposedly the NBA has really good videos of the games, mostly for the coaches. To get me to watch the NBA games, show the game videos in high definition and slow motion with expert commentary; then I might get some understanding of the game. As it is, I don’t even know who’s playing guard, point guard, forward, power forward, center, etc. I’m not sure what a give and go or a pick and roll are.Maybe some of the NBA playoff games are on DVD. In that case, I could stop the play, step forward or backward one frame at a time, and begin to see what the heck was really going on. Maybe I should do that.I liked the game of the first US Olympic Dream Team against China: Got to see parts, and ones simple enough even for me to understand, of the game would never see with two nearly equally matched teams.E.g., the US had just scored, and China was taking the ball to their end of the court. Apparently two US players had communicated with a fast hand signal or some such so that as the Chinese player with the ball just crossed the mid court line to his end of the court, a US player ran at him, instantly, effortlessly stole the ball, did an overhand baseball pass to the other US player, still deep in the US end of the court, who, with great show, did a slam dunk.”China, want to try that again?” The Chinese coach was astounded, put his hands on his head, was even pleased at the lesson in B-ball 101 from the master class he was watching. I can believe that the US players had had that little play perfected since grade school.Then Bob Costas interrupted and said that they were going to cut away from the US-China game but would return if “anything was happening” or some such. So, drama-Costas wanted a cliff hanger, a “they came ready to play with their game faces on and will win if they possibly can” or some such. Costas wanted drama. I just wanted to understand more about B-ball.

    2. LE

      Let me further simplify the “love” that some people have of sports and what draws people to it. You can reduce it down to many basic human behavioral principles. Listed below in the order that I thought of them.1. Intermittent reinforcement <— Super important and at the core.2. Something to bond over with others and share in common.3. With respect to #2 “bonding” there are no class oreducational barriers. Fred, an MIT and Wharton grad can enjoy discussing the game with the window washer. He would alsoenjoy explaining discussing with an idiot such as you or me as well. People like to talk. Talking feels good.4. Observation and commentary on sports (relates to #2) is analog not digital. Therefore many people can be “right” most things discussed are a matter of opinion not fact. 5. With respect to #4 most people tend to obsess over a recentgame hence memory doesn’t give you a great advantage. And someof the things that happen are downright “Kennedy killed” or “9/11” andare quite memorable regardless of intelligence and therefore the smarteror more educated guy doesn’t necessarily have an advantage.6. Monday morning quarterbacking (relates to “analog” concept).7. Casino effect lot’s of color and excitement especially with watching on TV with HD.8. Brainwashed into liking at an early age by friends, family and so on. [1]9. Claque effect [2] <— People get sucked into what others find exciting.This is all off the top I am sure I am forgetting other points.[1] Seriously you think religion makes more sense than sports???[2]

      1. Richard

        None of the above for me.It all stems from youth sports.

        1. LE

          That’s #8.

          1. Richard

            Playing tennis as a youth is being brainwashed? There wasn’t a single kid in my neighborhood that played tennis. Enjoying playing sports is being a kid. What kind of childhood did you have?

  9. William Mougayar

    You and Gary V. Gary V is the ultimate Mets fan. His passion is so contagious.The Toronto Blue Jays are doing well too @ 53-51. Their win yesterday vs. KC Royals energized the whole city.

    1. Brandon G. Donnelly

      Yes! Go jays!As a lifelong jays fan, this is THE walk-off homer for me πŸ™‚ I get chills when I watch it.

      1. kirklove

        Worst. Moment. Ever. #Wildthing

        1. Brandon G. Donnelly

          when i moved to philadelphia in 2006 and told people i was from toronto, this moment came up all the time at the bar.

    2. PhilipSugar

      I have a hard time seeing the Blue Jays doing well as an Orioles fan.However we can have in common our second most favorite team: Anybody that is playing the Yankees.

      1. Brandon G. Donnelly


    3. Richard

      There is an amazing story for the Toronto blue jays this year, if it weren’t for the mark tiexera having one of the best years I’ve ever witnessed, the club would be right there competing for the division tittle.

      1. Brandon G. Donnelly

        great momentum right now. only 3.5 games back.

    4. LE

      His passion is so contagious.I kind of have figured out that a large part of the love of sports for many if not most people comes at an early age when a person is infected with that love from their dad, older brother, relatives or their group of friends.When I was a kid one of my classmate’s fathers was involved with the Flyers during the time period when they won the Stanley Cup. To me I thought ice hockey was as important of a sport as the other three and not even sure how long it took until I figured out that it was a distant 4th in the love chain.

      1. William Mougayar

        For sure it starts somewhere early and it marks you for the rest of your life. If something marks you early in life, it’s like a tattoo you wear in your mind.

    5. JamesHRH

      Jays deadline deals are surprising – in a good way.Exciting summer ahead!

      1. Brandon G. Donnelly

        very exciting and the city is pumped.

  10. Brandon G. Donnelly

    I also feel kind of guilty when I deviate from the core focus of my blog.

  11. Eric Satz

    My dad grew up a brooklyn dodgers fan and followed them to LA. So i became a dodgers fan too, from miami. Kirk Gibson v Eckersley. 1988 World Series. Maybe best situational walk-off ever:

    1. Richard

      What was even more amazing about that HR is that it was Orel Hirshiser we took Gibson into the tunnel to hit off a tea minutes before knowing he would pinch hit ang it was Orel who literally single handedly pitched the Dodgers through the playoffs and World Series.

  12. Salt Shaker

    There’s a “Ya Gotta Believe” feeling in the air w/ the Mets this week. A few years back, I played softball w/ Tug (RIP). He was pitching in a just-for-fun slow pitch game. When I was at bat I yelled out, “come on Tug, give me something to hit.” Tug replied, “I’ll give you something to hit,” and then fired, not underhand, but an overhand blazing knee high fastball right on the outside corner. Practically took the catcher’s hand off. Whoosh! Strike 1.It looks like Sandy knows what he’s doing. I think the Wilmer incident will also help bond this team. The 7 train will rock again this summer! (Up yours John Rocker.)

  13. Cookie Marenco

    Excellent blog, Fred. Loved it. I’ve been an SF Giants fan since I was a kid, so you can imagine I’m feeling pretty good right now. πŸ™‚ Now, I don’t watch for the wins as much as for Bruce Bochy’s strategy. It’s not about winning every day, but the long term view.How he handles personalities, deals with press, combines data with humanity, fills weak spots, makes changes and keeps a team spirit through ups and downs is amazing. He never lets the ‘noise’ distract him. I take those lessons to my startup. When in doubt, I’ll ask myself… what would Bochy do?And Kruk, Kuip, John and Dave are the best announcers in baseball. πŸ™‚

  14. Salt Shaker

    Been a Mets fan my whole life. (Jets fan too; yes, some would def call me a masochist).My grandparents lived in Flushing and pops was a diehard. Took me to many, many games. Was hooked ever since. Cut school on opening day several times. Loved listening to Ralph, Lindsey and Bob. Years later, as an adult, I hung w/ Seaver, worked with Hernandez, and dined w/ Koosman (who was drunk as a skunk, btw).Rooting for the Yankees is just too damn easy. Being a Mets fan helps build character and perseverance. (Heck, I’m gonna add it to my CV.)

  15. johnmccarthy

    Lifelong Yankee fan, hoping for another Subway Series….Ya Gotta Believe…..

  16. Richard

    Flores not only hit the homerun (his first in several months) he also drove in both RBIs for the mets as well as pulling off a defensive gem.This game will be the one that millions of New Yorkers will remember as the start of something very special.Baseball delivers more unique events than any other sport.

  17. Jeff Jones

    Listening to the great Harry Kalas call Phils games was the essence of summer. ‘Swing…and a long drive…this ball is outta here! Home run Chase Utley!’ And on the topic of hall of fame announcers, anyone who’s a baseball fan owes it to themselves to listen to Vin Scully call a Dodgers game. He’s been calling games for 66 seasons since the Brooklyn Dodgers days and is an absolute living legend.

    1. Richard

      John Miller of the Giants is pretty darn good as well. MLB should let fans vote for the broadcast team for the all star games.

      1. Jeff Jones

        I thought John Miller was great on Sunday night baseball so will have to listen to him call a Giants game. Interesting fact on Kalas – he didn’t get a chance to call the 1980 World Series win by the Phillies since local markets were required to broadcast the national CBS feed so 2008 was his only winning WS call.

  18. george

    Great backstory on Wilmer Flores: been with the Mets since age 16, almost traded before the deadline, his sincere passion for the Mets and his emotions running high in this game.I’m not a Mets fan but I truly respect loyal players and great fans who display their love and support for their Team.Worthy non-tech/business post…

    1. Richard

      I played a lot of amateur ball, there are a lot of lessons of baseball that cross over to startup life.

      1. JaredMermey

        Goes for all sports, especially team games.

        1. Richard

          Pace is the same!

  19. LE

    Question to the sports folks out there. How much more enjoyable has watching sports become as a result of high definition and the greatly enhanced productions values over the 70’s or even 80’s? As someone who doesn’t watch sports, even I have to admit that it’s a bit infectious when I catch a glimpse of a game (as in the posted clip) from time to time. It almost reminds me of big mega production movies with no plots that you watch just for the sizzle and how well made they are.

    1. Richard

      Truth is that a good radio/web broadcast of a baseball game is almost perfection by itself.

      1. LE

        I think that relates to the “fantasy concept” whereby thoughts of sex are quite often better than actual sex. Most likely needed for mankind to develop given limited food supply or other constraints. My theory being (masturbation) that it prevented humans from duplicating to many times as they could just fantasize instead of having actual sex. Also it is helpful in keeping the “plumbing working” for when it was actually needed. I’m serious about all of this.

        1. Richard

          you undeniably ruined the moment πŸ™‚

        2. sigmaalgebra

          And your explanation of academics is similar, intellectual self-abuse to stay sharp when the real work arrives?

      2. JLM

        .With a hot dog.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Yes, baseball looks like a big marketing effort by the combined trade associations for hot dogs, popcorn, beer, and soft drinks!

  20. Richard

    Fred, Tech Touches Everything! The Dodgers are having Baseball’s first tech accelerator this fall. Bleachers is an an app that ushers in a new type of Interactive Broadcast for (young) fans at the game The secret sauce is in the Broadcast control panel.

  21. BillMcNeely

    Loved the different calls of the play.I was in Jersey in the early 80s and used to remember on Sunday’s that one of the papers would put cartoon posters of the NY Met players.

  22. Rick Mason

    Fred just remember that Cespedes is a rental, the Tigers have every intention of signing him when the year is over. My favorite baseball memory is of the Tiger’s announcer Ernie Harwell who was as much a part of Michigan summers as well the lakes. How many baseball announcers have had a Broadway play about them? Only Ernie.

    1. Steve Lincoln

      Maybe so on Cespedes. But, the Red Sox likely thought the same thing about Jon Lester when they “rented” him to Oakland second half of last year. Now he plays for the Cubs.

  23. Steve Lincoln

    Late at night, late ’60s, listening to the transistor radio under my pillow to the Red Sox playing a game on the West Coast.Summer afternoon, racing on our bikes to the corner grocery to spend our nickels on packs of baseball cards, hoping to get our favorite players.Playing endless games of “pitcher’s hand” on the neighborhood playground field, because we could only round up 7-8 kids to play a game.What could be better?

  24. Dana Hoffer

    A’s and Pirates… that works for me. Anytime Fred. One of my favorite flights was talking A’s baseball with a stranger wearing an A’s cap. Rudi, Tenace, Campeneris (sp) and on and on and on. Stargell and the Family… So much fun. Thanks.

  25. daryn

    I was never a big Mets fan, but 1986 was the stuff of legends and I can probably still name half of that team’s lineup.

  26. pointsnfigures

    Sweet. I grew up a Cubs fan. The Mets broke my heart in 1969. Finally, finally the Cubs look like they might be building a team that can last. Any day at Wrigley is special. If anyone can get tickets on August 19, I can almost guarantee the pre-game festivities will be memorable. Trouble for the Cubs is they have the Cardinals in their division. They still have a shot at the Wild Card this year though-and then anything can happen. Wasn’t it a Cubs World Championship in 2015 according to the movie Back to the Future?I remember those Oakland teams in the 70s. They could hit and pitch. Mayes, Bando, Rudi, Campy, Fingers, Catfish, Blue Moon and the rest. The Pirates of that era were pretty tough too with the Candy Man and Willie Stargell.

  27. Semil Shah

    This post reminded me of my youth, playing baseball all summer in the tri-state area as a kid, we’d play all day in 90 degree heat, go home, and crowd into the one room that had an in-wall air conditioner, and we’d watch the Mets and Yankees play. Baseball, all day long, all night.

  28. matthughes

    “There was no way I was going to be a Yankees fan…”I don’t even know where to begin with this comment. :)Very cool moment for the Metsies. They could make a playoff run, no doubt. Would love to see another Subway Series.

  29. Keenan

    I remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with when the ball went under Bill Buckner’s legs. I was only 18 years old. That’s all I think about when I think of the Mets. With that said, I don’t hate the Mets like I hate the Yankess. Go Sox!!! πŸ˜‰

  30. LE

    Pretty cool. I guessed that by that you meant “Fred normally ‘phones it in’ on Saturdays”. From the definition that I just found for “punt” that might have been what you meant, no?A punt happens on the offensive team’s fourth down, when they don’t think they’ll be able to either score or earn a first down on their last remaining try. Rather than chance turning the ball over to the other team so close to their own goal, they elect to use their last down to punt the ball away, thus securing worse field position for their opponents, but sacrificing their final attempt to gain ground themselves. To punt, the offensive team hikes the ball to the kicker, who drops it and kicks it towards the other end of the field. Ideally, the punt is both long enough to give the opponents bad field position, but also high enough to give his own team time to run down to that end to tackle the man who received the ball.