Monday, July 25, 2011
How Come I Never Had the "Cool" Teachers?
When I was in elementary school, the World Series was a day game affair. It wasn’t until 1971-or 1972 that MLB embraced prime time television hours for the fall classic. If I remember correctly, Charlie Finley had something to do with that. Finley was a real jerk when it came to dealing with people in general, and an eccentric one at that, but one thing he knew how to do was make money. His prime time post season idea was pure genious from a money making standpoint. But that’s another topic altogether. In my early childhood years, the World Series games would start at 1:00 pm, that would be Eastern time, meaning that they would be played while we were in class at 10:00 am on the west coast.
Some of us would sneak in transistor radios with the wired earpiece. I had this “Snoopy” radio, you know, the Peanuts character, that was a little to bulky for concealment purposes, but with the earpiece, attempts could be made to hear the game. Additionally, there were other friends that brought in the much smaller, portable radios and we’d flash hand signs indicating to each other the score of games because for the life of me I can’t figure out how I was always assigned to the class of the non-cool teacher. The one that didn’t give a rip about the game.
Then there was Mr. Salas’ class.
Mr. Salas was the coolest teacher on campus. He coached all the after school teams. That would be flag football and basketball. He was a sports guy and during recess, if he was out there, you could talk sports with him all day. In summer school, (something that my mother made us all attend), his classes were the best. They would cover interesting topics like oceanography and sports/recreational activities. His classes always had lots of field trips and he seemed to show a movie in there everyday. I even remember him once during summer school showing us a World Series highlights film from years past.
Go figure that I never was lucky enough to have him assigned to me as a teacher. I always got a female teacher that would discourage our sports fanaticism. One even gave me detention once, making me write the interlocking LA on the chalk board 1000 times. As if that was a punishment. She is responsible for my perfect interlocking LA that I can draw blindfolded to perfection to this day. (This was the result of having an argument with an Angels fan in class. He had to write the interlocking CA on the board 1000 times. Which in the end, I get the last laugh at because the CA logo is a useless obsolete insignia that serves no purpose today whatsoever. HA!).
So on one glorious October morning after the morning recess, we lined up to enter our 4th grade classes, our concealed radios stuffed down our shirts or in our jacket pockets to attempt to take in the World Series game. We look over at Mr. Salas’ class line and lo and behold, what is Salas doing? He’s rolling out a television on the audio visual cart. We knew what that meant. They were gonna watch the game in Room 12 (Salas’ class).
You talk about envy. We were going to be doing math and social studies and they were going to watch three hours of Cincinnati/Baltimore in the 1970 World Series.
When lunch time rolled around and the guys from Salas’ class didn’t appear for our lunch hour football or basketball game, we knew what that meant. Salas was allowing them to eat their lunch in the class room and to continue watching the game. I hated the guys in Room 12.
Javy Guerra continues to impress. The young rookie has ice water in his veins as he closes out his 7th consecutive save without a blown one to his credit. Now with an ERA under 2.00, Guerra may be the most pleasant surprise of the 2011 season. The 25 year old out of Denton, Texas has burst on to the scene and embraced the closer role, something that many seasoned veterans are unable to do.
The last three outs are always the toughest and Guerra doesn’t seem to be fazed by the pressure which is a unique feature for a rookie. Perhaps that is because he hasn’t really faced extreme pressure with the club being out of the pennant race. Frankly I think this is excellent training ground for the young right hander. He’s facing Major league level competition, in the closers role without the nerves that would escalate in do or die situations of a pennant race. It might be in Mattingly’s best interest to see how some other youngsters will handle these types of situations as well.
Well, it looks like Steve Dilbeck beat me to it on the Javy Guerra front. Take a look at the L.A. Times Blog today that addresses Guerra’s emergence as the Dodger closer.
As the trade deadline creeps within 6 days, who gets moved? Kuroda? Miles? Carroll? Furcal? Where are the Dodgers greatest needs? Will Kuroda land them a decent prospect or two? It is a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers won’t be buyers. Let’s hope that Colletti is able to pull the trigger on a deal or two that lands a future impact player, as he did in the Bradley/Perez-Ethier deal in his first month on the job.