Monday, March 06, 2006

My Life is Baseball (Or Baseball is My Life)

Last I checked this blog was supposed to be more of a daily updated thing. Unfortunately I'm a rebel who doesn't play by the rules. I'm way too cool to get on the computer to update my blog.

Where as I wish that was true it's not. The reasons I haven't posted are simple.

  1. Work-All week at work was a pain in the ass cuz we had inventory today, and had to spend the last week preparing for it.
  2. MLB 06 The Show-This game has consumed me. If I'm not at work odds are you can find me in my Lazy Boy playing this game.

Seriously, it's kind of lame but I know a lot of you know what I'm goin through. When you buy a new video, and it's good it consumes a lot of your free time. You get kind of addicted to it. MLB 06 The Show is one of those games. I think there are other factors though. The biggest being that I don't play many video games any more. This was the first new game I bought in around 8 months. It's also the first time I even used my PS2 in about 5 months. The game is just amazing though.

It's baseball if you didn't already know, but there's a game mode that's completely sucked me in. It's the career mode where you create yourself and start a baseball career. You then go to Spring Training with a team and try to make the squad. My career was with the Pittsburgh Pirates as I tried to become a Major League catcher. I chose the Pirates randomly (I closed my eyes and pushed the button. When I took my finger off and opened my eyes it was on the Pirates. Destiny.) to simulate a "draft" type deal. I went to spring training with them and absolutely sucked. I think I hit like .221 and even though they signed me they sent me to their AAA minor league team, the Indianapolis Indians.

Now the best feature this game has for its addictive nature is the option to "fast forward" through games. You can just play your at bats if you like, which is what I do. It makes things go a lot quicker and keeps my attention better. As a result I can play the game for an hour and get through like 20 games.

Now while playing you get Training Points based on your performance and use those to boost your skills. So in a whole season at AAA Indianapolis I hit .365 with 18 HR's and 72 RBI. As soon as the International League (The minor league I was in. I love the fact this game has minor leagues.) season ended the Pirates called me up to the majors. So I played the last few weeks of the Major League season with Pittsburgh. My first game actually was at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. I went 0-3 with a walk in my debut. Anyway in the 3 weeks of Major League play i hit .314 with 0 HR's and 5 RBI.

The next season I was with the Pirates the whole season. My created player was only 19 years old at the time, but it didn't stop me from posting some very reasonable numbers. In a 162 game season I played 112 games batting .303 with 5 HR's and 59 RBI. Not the greatest numbers, but consider the fact I spent the entire season hitting in the 8th spot of the order and they look better. I was also pretty clutch hitting .369 with runners in scoring position. Now you would think that a season like that would lead to a spot on the Pirates. Not so.

I started the third year of my career the same place I started it. In Indianapolis. I spent a whole season in the Majors, and hit over .300, but I wasn't good enough for a 5th place team. So I went to the minors and in 19 games batted .534 with 5 HR's and 24 RBI.

I was quickly called back up to the Pirates. I've played like 5 games since returning to Pittsburgh and am hitting .250 with 0 HR and 2 RBI.

I know this is all VERY interesting to you, so I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress.

In other news I'm very sad to hear that one of my heroes growing up has suffered a stroke. Kirby Puckett, the Hall of Fame center fielder for the Minnesota Twins, had a stroke Sunday morning. He was one of my favorite players growing up. In fact while playing in Little League on the Twins an Uncle of mine (since divorced my Aunt, so no longer my Uncle!) started calling me Kirby, and did for about 10 years. Puckett also played baseball at Triton Community College in River Grove, which is where I went to school for a few years. Between the glaucoma that robbed him of the end of his career and this, Kirby is really getting the shafted. He was a great player, and is a great person and I hope he recovers. He was supposed to be getting married in the upcoming months, but now who knows.

Get Better Kirby.

Good lord my life is dominated by all things baseball right now isn't it? Need further proof? Ok. I finished reading Ball Four last week. What a terrific book. Any baseball fan has to read it. It's extremely funny, and is just a great read. Since I finished it though I've started yet another book. It's called The Glory of Their Times-The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence S. Ritter. It's a collection of a bunch of first hand narratives by baseball players from the very early era. 1890's through 1930's. I'm only about 60 pages into it, but so far I'm enjoying it. It's so weird listening to Rube Marquard describing his journey to the majors, and life once he got there, and then comparing it to the players now. Just little things like being called up from the minors to the majors, and not being able to go cuz you can't afford the train ticket, and the team won't buy you one. These days teams have hired people to wipe the player's ass for him, back then teams wouldn't even pay you to help them. I'm lookin forward to reading the rest of it.

Also last week I was reminded of a story by Kevin. He told me while we were all watching Silvio and his band Carrion Rogue play. We started talking about one time while we lived in Champaign, and we got into a fight with an entire fraternity. Well not really. Kevin, me and others were at a party, while Marty and Neil Bhandari went to this frat party with some girls they knew. Well we left our party to go get them and go somewhere, where I don't remember. Anyway Marty and Neil had gotten into some troubles with members of the frat. So being a bunch of drunk college guys we had to fight. Or at least try to. So we're all out on the front lawn of this frat house, like in West Side Story. On one side you had my friends and I, on the other side a frat (I can't remember which frat, just that we started calling it Hate-a Hate-a Hippie). Well Kevin was busy doin the big brother thing and trying to stop Marty(and pry all of us really) from getting killed. That's when he told me about something I didn't remember.

"I was physically carrying Marty away from that frat house, when, walking by your friendly conversation with one of the couple dozen frat boys, I hear, "If any of my friends here is so much as touched by any of you frat boys, I will kill YOU first." I was really torn at that moment between feelings along the lines of 'why are my brothers and friends all bent on getting beat by an entire frat tonight' and 'that might be the best pre-fight line I've ever heard in real life- even though we're about to get our asses kicked.' Of course we didn't get our asses kicked, so the line really was just awesome."

I don't remember saying it, but I don't remember a lot of things I did in Champaign. I do feel like a bad ass now though, and really, that's the only reason I even included it in this entry. Just to make sure you all know not to mess with me. Cuz I will kill you.

Keepin It Real Since 1980,

Tom

1 comment:

knighty said...

If you like baseball check out this site from when I was in HS. We went to ALOT of minor league games.

Http://fesh.freehomepage.com