Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Ethier, Comparing the Streak to the 1978 Rose Record
Getting back into the swing of things. It's tough, but life goes on and I can't be in this mode of grief forever. I know my dad would want me to continue on stronger, so I'm back. As I return home today and try to catch up to the world and of Dodger baseball, there are a few things that catch my attention.
First, with Andre Ethier creeping up on Willie Davis’ team record for hits in consecutive games, it brings me back to the memories of what a great player Willie was in his prime. He was a gazelle on the base paths and in the field. I remember him making a spectacular catch in the early 70's that I didn't see with my own eyes but only those eyes in my head because the play was described by Vin Scully. He ranked it as the third greatest catch he had ever seen. He said catches ranked 1 and 2 were made by the Sey Hey Kid.
Ethier's hitting streak is quite a story, and I'm sorry that the 3-Dog isn't here to witness it. I wonder how long his luck will continue as defenders fail to come up with the great defensive plays against him. In every great hitting streak, you need your share of luck to keep it going, and it looks like Ethier has already had some. I’m not saying this to downplay his accomplishments thus far. To the contrary, Andre is absolutely clutch and both he and Kemp have carried the club thus far, but it made me wonder about other famous streaks and how they were compared to Ethier’s.
After reviewing Pete Rose's 44 game hit streak in 1978, I’m not that impressed. We all know what Pete was, a singles hitter, so it’s no surprise that his record was made up of a bunch of singles. Over Rose’s 44 games, 53 of his 66 hits where singles, the remaining 13 hits were all doubles. So far in Ethier’s modest 28 game streak, he has surpassed Rose’s extra base hits with 4 homers and 10 doubles.
Second, the national media is downplaying Ethier’s accomplishment thus far. Roberto Baly at Vin Scully is my Homeboy Chronicles this fact.
Sports Illustrated and ESPN both downplay Ethier’s accomplishment which is ridiculous. It looks to me that their opinions have been jilted by the two infield hits by Ethier in the last two games. Both were legitimate hits, by the way. Overlooked by these reporters is the fact that Ethier has had ten multi-hit games during the streak, three of which were games when he collected three hits. Are we looking at the East Coast bias raising its ugly head again?
Third, I was on a plane while Frank McCourt was being interviewed on the radio and was fielding phone calls from fans. The comments I have read on blogs seem to insinuate that he really took it on the chin. Now comes acknowledgement that he has admitted that he will be insolvent by July if a TV deal with Fox does not come to fruition. This simply means that Bud Selig holds the cards and can force McCourt out of ownership in a matter of two months. I can't imagine all of this playing out without McCourt going the litigious route again.
Last personal comment.
It has been an extremely emotional week as my family and I met in Southern Utah for the funeral and burial of my father. During that time I have been soberly reminded that sports is really the "toy department" of life and is simply for our entertainment. It wasn't that I didn't know that already, but I probably needed a reminder if it. The funeral was the most touching and loving service I have ever attended as all seven children of my father spoke. It was a worthy representation of his fine life. We laid him to rest at a private cemetery in the Southern Utah town of New Harmony, at the foot of Zion National Park. A more beautiful setting I could not imagine. My sister took these photos at the graveside service. They couldn't be more perfect.