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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

MLB Stands up to Cancer

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431566056For Game 4 of the World Series yesterday, MLB continued their partnership with Stand up to Cancer. Everyone in the crowd was given a card on the way in to the ballpark with the sentence ‘I stand up for…’, with a space to fill in the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer. To start with, the organisers didn’t want to intrude on the player’s preparations for the game, but apparently when the players heard about it they wanted to get involved too, so when the time came for everyone to hold up their cards, the two dugouts were lined with players holding up their own card and showing support along with the 51,539 people standing in the crowd.

400_20111023231949148_600_400They say that everyone nowadays knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and it is really heart warming to see that as well as raising money for finding a cure, we can honour those that have been lost and support those that are still fighting, and those that have fought successfully and made it out the other side.

scanned097I lost my Grandad to cancer while I was still at school, and it was tough.  Hospices like Wheatfields Hospice (who cared for my Grandad) do fantastic work, but I am looking forward to the day when we can find a cure for this horrible disease. The worst part was knowing that there was nothing that could be done, but we can keep hope in the work that these fantastic organisations carry out that the future will be brighter.

431564980For more information about Stand up to Cancer and the amazing work that they do, visit the SU2C website.

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Now Reading: David Wells – Perfect I’m Not

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The autobiography of Joe Torre that I just read was fantastic! I was quite lucky that I had a train journey to London and back on Friday, so I read the entire book in one day. The first part of the book was about his life – his upbringing and the start of his career (his playing days). I didn’t know too much about him before I started reading, but I was interested to learn he had quite a tough childhood, that he almost didn’t get to play baseball, and that he had an older brother (Frank), who was also a baseball player.

The second part of the book was about his managing career. I had only associated him with the Yankees, so it was quite surprising that he managed for a long time before the Yankees (and not very successfully either). The Yankees must have been the right fit for him, as the last part of the book was an in depth description of the 1996 World Series. It was fascinating to get inside the mind of a manager as he makes all the decisions, like when to take a player out of the game, and when to let them try and rescue themselves. It was highlighted because Joe Torre was previously a national league manager, and gave us descriptions of that mindset.

I’ve definitely got a different opinion of Joe Torre (and to some extent the Yankees), after reading this book, and it will definitely be one I read again.

The next book is another of the baseball books I just bought from Amazon. I didn’t realise that Amazon had some ‘Preferred Partners’. Basically this means that you buy a used book from another company, but it gets dispatched by Amazon, from the Amazon warehouse, and is still eligible for free shipping. It means you can gets books for ¬£1-2 instead of ¬£7-15. The condition is stated up front, and was pretty accurate when the books came. I’m the kind of person that likes to enjoy reading (as you may have noticed), so I don’t worry about keeping books in immaculate condition anyway.

I’ve heard some stories about David Wells, so I’m interested to see if his reputation is true!

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Decade of the Pitcher?

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Congratulations to Justin Verlander on his no-hitter tonight, a fantastic game! I tuned in during the eighth inning, when he was still on track for a perfect game. That was broken up by a walk, but a no-hitter is a fantastic achievement! The excitement in the ballpark was amazing, but I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like for the players. I’m sure Verlander was about 50/50 excitement and nervousness. I’m equally sure he’s enjoying the celebrations now!

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I was watching the Brewers/Cardinals game tonight. Yovani Gallardo was coming close to a no-hitter too, but not quite close enough. He gave up a hit in the 8th, and by that time, his pitch count was getting quite high, so there was not much chance of him coming out for the complete game either.

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It’s been a week of strong pitching performances, and the trend in general seems to be leaning away from power hitting and back towards the pitcher. First of all there was Liriano’s no-hitter. I don’t really want to dwell on that because it was against my White Sox, so we’ll move on quickly. There was also Cliff Lee’s game with 16 strike outs. Unfortunately, he still took the loss in that game, which just goes to show that no matter how good you are as a pitcher, you need the offense behind you to back you up (just ask Danks, Buerhle, Floyd, Jackson or Humber).

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I much prefer to watch a good pitchers duel rather than seeing home run after home run. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fireworks, but I prefer the continuing anticipation of a good pitching battle than the momentary excitement of a big hit.

Saying that, the story of Andre Ethier’s hitting streak is keeping my interest. Currently at 30 games, he is only one game away from tying the Dodgers record, and more than half way to Joe DiMaggio. Still a long way to go though!

The White Sox are on a west coast trip at the moment, meaning they don’t play until 2am UK time, so I won’t get to watch the game. I’ll just leave this out there: wouldn’t it be nice for Floyd to get the second no-hitter of the night?

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Scratch that – I’d just like the Sox to win, please. Pretty please?