Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Your Typical Year End Post

Happy New Year everyone. Since it is the last day of 2010, it seems obligatory to write one of those recaps of 2010. The Fan has already mentioned that it seems a challenge simply to remember the events that happened yesterday. So how can you remember the moments of 2010? Sure, the Fan could cheat and find someone else's time line, but we'll leave the plagiarism to ESPN. Oops. Sorry. That was low. The guy did apologize. Not wanting to risk another scandal, this Fan will rely on his shoddy memory and warped sense of what was important to recap 2010 in Fan style.

The things the Fan can remember about 2010 are:

  • The Texas Rangers ending a long strangle hold the Angels held on the American League West. From Josh Hamilton's MVP season through the ownership issues and finally, the addition of Cliff Lee and a series win over the Yankees, it was exciting to see a new team crowned in a division.
  • The rebuilding of Dusty Baker's managerial image as the Reds surprisingly won the NL Central. Joey Votto won the MVP but there was a large cast of characters nobody expected to excel enough to win a division. The pitching was just good enough, but not good enough for the playoffs. Still, it was a fun ride for 2010 in Cincinnati.
  • The hex someone put on the Boston Red Sox. Despite a heroic effort from their manager and a very good season for David Ortiz, the Red Sox stayed relevant up until two weeks were left in the season even though a bunch of their stars were injured for good chunks of the season.
  • The collapse of the St. Louis Cardinals. They swept a series from the Reds to regain the top spot and everyone thought they would then go on to win the division again. Then they folded faster than a sheet in a hotel laundry room. Carpenter faded during the stretch, King Albert was only Duke-like and their centerfielder became an outcast.
  • The agony of watching Jeter strike out or ground out weakly in just about every big moment of the season. It was painful.
  • Mark McGwire returning to baseball. He fessed up so that he could rejoin the game he loves. That's a good story, not a bad one. McGwire's healing magic won't be forgotten despite the PED haze that followed.
  • The White Sox having such a weird season. They started poorly and looked like a complete mishmash of square players in round holes. Then they got hot and caught the Twins. Then they sunk like a Mafia hit. Ozzie and Kenny feuded. Yet both survived. What a soap opera!
  • The Astros and their never-say-die team. They cronked the first two months so much that their two star players wanted out and got their wish. Then the team took off. It was a fun box score season for them in the second half. Now if the moralists could get off of Bagwell so he could rightfully take his place in the HOF...
  • Watching David Price while on vacation in Florida. That guy is so cool. He's fun in the dugout when not pitching and masterful when he is.
  • Enjoying the Bay Rays' broadcasts while in North Palm Beach. They do have one of the best television crews in baseball.
  • Not enjoying the Marlins' broadcasts while in North Palm Beach. They have one of the worst television crews in baseball.
  • Watching Andy Pettitte pitch before he hurt his leg. He was dominant and this Fan will never forget that stare over his globe. Come on, Andy...one more season?
  • The enjoyment brought by watching Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson play the field and run the bases. Truly special.
  • Watching the Braves overachieve knowing how hard the team was trying for Bobby Cox.
  • Hearing about the find of the 1960 World Series game. How cool is that?
  • Learning how to use baseball-reference.com's play index. How cool is THAT?
  • Reading Buster Olney every day. Love him or hate him, he is the only big time writer that nearly writes every day and on weekends. God bless his fortitude.
  • All those no-hitters and perfect games. All topped, of course, by the perfect game that wasn't and the nice story of Tim Joyce and Galarraga.
  • The San Diego Padres. They almost pulled it off. Every week we expected them to fold. They didn't until the last week of the season. Well done!
  • Still in awe on how the Giants became World Champs without an offense.
  • The big seasons for old men like Jim Thome, Mariano Rivera and Omar Vizquel.
  • The thrill ride of the Fighting Showalters the last third of the season.
  • Bautista's mammoth homers and fantastic season. Shush you conspiracy theorists and simply enjoy it for what it was. This Fan hopes he repeats it.
  • Following Josh Borenstein's Jewish ball players everyday. The Fan still maintains that we Sicilians are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. But more likely, it is because of Josh that these guys are now must sees in the boxscores each day.
  • Reading the Satchel Paige book. What a great read. A book should make you long to have actually seen a player play and that book succeeded.
  • Learning more about Bob Feller and coming to appreciate him. The Fan spent a lot of life thinking he was a jerk like Jack Dempsey.
  • Watching Roy Halladay dominate the National League. The guy is a man's man. Or is that a Fan's man?
  • The pure joy of watching Stephen Strasburg pitch his first big league game. What a thrill! The dismay at him getting hurt.
  • Watching Ubaldo Jiminez pitch and the agony of watching the Rockies squander every change to get him to 20 wins.
  • All those strikeouts in the All Star game. If you love pitching, that was a treat.

Those are just a few of the joys and agonies of 2010 the Fan can remember. On the personal side:

  • This is the Fan's 760th post of the year or an average of 2.08 a day for the year. Judging by word count, that's close to 1,140,000 words or almost six million taps on the keyboard. Some was very good. Some was schlock. But it was all enjoyable.
  • The Fan didn't miss a single day since before the season started.
  • The Fan's son moved to Florida. Will never forget the tears that day, but the Fan is so proud that he is on his own and making his way in the world in a new place. And somewhat jealous of his new digs...
  • The Fan's publishing business survived another year. This was perhaps the hardest and perhaps now that this year was survived, the new Alexander of the publishing world can finally fight his way out of Greece.
  • The Fan's daughter started high school. How did that happen? She is beautiful and a wonderful girl.
  • The Fan joined the Baseball Bloggers Association (BBA) and Yardbarker. Both associations have been wonderful and there is much hope for this blog in the coming year.

Happy New Year!

3 comments:

Navin said...

You're a blogging machine.

Happy New Year, and all the best in 2011.

Francisco Serrano said...

HNY Fan from Venezuela.
Enjoy reading your posts for a second season in a row.

Good for us we have winter ball, would be cool if you could experience Baseball in Venezuela. Our final series is starting next week. "Los Leones del Caracas" are doing good. I´m 37 years old and let me mentioned some of the names to play with the team during my "active" years: Galarraga, Abreu, Vizquel, Karros (fluke), Carlos Hernandez (Dodgers, C), Alex Gonzalez (SS, Cin?) and some others a little better that didnt make it.

Bottom line 15 season tickets are here if some day you wish to visit.

Take care and keep it up.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

@Navin: Same to you my blogging brother from a different mother.

@ Francisco Serrano. Muy gracias! I have since learned that you are the president of the FVB down there? How cool is that? Thank you for following my blog and you are a blessed man for playing baseball with all those greats.