Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

What pols can learn from Vin Scully

Posted by Richard on April 4, 2011

Tony Lee thinks Republican presidential candidates can become much more effective communicators by studying Dodgers' play-by-play announcer Vin Scully:

At the start of the baseball season, hope also springs eternal for the field of potential GOP presidential candidates who are gearing up to launch their presidential bids in the spring.  But like Scully’s epic "day to day" quip, the GOP has turned into a day-to-day party and it is an image these presidential aspirants must work to change.  Republicans have too often been reactionary—and thus held captive to events—instead of being forward-thinking and proactive.  The GOP has lately been a party of nearsighted tactics devoid of any overarching strategy.  But in the immediate, the GOP and its representatives have simply just forgotten how to speak effectively and compellingly to Americans.  As the presidential sweepstakes kick off, all potential candidates would do themselves a big favor if they listened to nine innings of Vin Scully.

Lee describes five lessons to be learned from Scully. It's pretty good advice for the GOP's chronically inept communicators (which is most of them). Read the whole thing.

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Too cold for baseball

Posted by Richard on October 10, 2009

Tonight's Rockies-Phillies playoff game has been postponed because of weather:

Game Three of the 2009 National League Division Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Colorado has been postponed due to inclement weather, and has been rescheduled for Sunday at 8:07 p.m. mountain time.

Game Four has been moved to Monday. Those fans with tickets for Game Three will now be able to use them only for Sunday's game at 8:07 p.m. mountain time.

Those fans with tickets for Game Four will be able to use them for Monday's game.

The problem isn't precip — we have light snow falling right now, but it should end by early afternoon. The problem is the cold. The low this morning was 17° F., shattering the old record low of 25° set in 1905. At 10 AM, it's all the way up to 19°, and windy enough to make it feel considerably colder.

I doubt we'll even come close to the record low high for the date of 34°, and we'll have record cold again tonight. When the gloves feel like cinder blocks, it's not exactly baseball weather.

Global warming is like the police — it's never around when you really need it.

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Good news, bad news

Posted by Richard on October 29, 2007

First, the good news: Football fans attending the Broncos-Packers game Monday night at Mile High won't face the traffic nightmare that had been predicted for downtown Denver.

Now, the bad news: The hoped-for traffic nightmare isn't going to materialize because 50,000 fewer people will be heading for downtown Monday evening. There won't be a Game 5 of the World Series. The Red Sox swept the Rockies.

Bummer. But a great year for the Rockies nonetheless. They won the pennant in near-miraculous fashion, at one point just one strike from elimination. They can be proud of how far they came this year, and they're a young team.

The storybook ending will just have to wait. 

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Vols come back, Rockies don’t

Posted by Richard on October 28, 2007

I admit it — I gave up on the Rockies trailing 6-0 and switched to the Tennessee – South Carolina game. I'm glad I did. The Vols led 21-0 at halftime, but completely collapsed in the second half, giving up 24 unanswered points. Trailing by 3 with a minute and change to play, they sucked it up, got within field goal range (barely), and freshman kicker Dan Lincoln tied the game from 48 yards out. In overtime, they scored another field goal from 27, and then held the Gamecocks. The 40-yard field goal to tie was wide, and the Vols had a critical win to keep their conference hopes alive.

Back to the Rockies. It looked hopeful when they made it 6-5, but once again the pitching just wasn't up to the job. Seeing the hand writing on the wall, I started drinking heavily in the 8th. Rum and Fresca, my low-cal fave.

Sox win 10-5, take 3-0 lead. Details are in your morning paper. Bummer. Time for a nightcap. Or two. Buffalo Trace, a damn fine bourbon:

Light bronze in color with streaks of gold, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bears a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Its taste is pleasantly sweet and contains notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak and leather. The long and dry finish has significant depth. When enjoyed with water, flavors of toffee, dark fruit and anise are revealed.

How 'bout them Vols?

UPDATE: Line of the night, from a hometown fan at a local watering hole: "Even if they [Rockies] lose, we still get to live here, and they have to live in Boston." I'll drink to that. 

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Game 1 of the World Series

Posted by Richard on October 25, 2007

No, I don't want to talk about it.

Hey, did you see CSI: New York tonight? That was an interesting cyberworld story. A contract killer murdered a girl who was popular in Second Life in order to assume her online identity, and then used it to lure the congressman she was hired to kill. Pretty entertaining.

And the ending wasn't a blowout. 

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Hurdle delivers smackdown

Posted by Richard on October 24, 2007

For the umpteenth time in the past week, some brain-dead schlub of a sports reporter today asked Rockies manager Clint Hurdle to speculate about how harmful the team's eight-day layoff before the World Series was. This time, Hurdle had the perfect response: "We will not apologize for winning quickly."

Pow! 

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Rockies win the pennant!

Posted by Richard on October 16, 2007

Watching the Rockies take a 6-1 lead into the 8th, I was wondering: if I'd offered to bet two years ago, or last year, when they were tied for last in the NL West — or, heck, earlier this season after their 1-9 road trip — that the Rockies would go to the World Series before the end of the decade, what kind of odds would I have gotten? Pretty long, I suspect.

Well, they're going! The team that was one strike from elimination won the pennant. The D-backs made it exciting, scoring 3 runs in the 8th. With two outs and a runner on third, Clint Hurdle pulled Fuentes and told closer Manny Corpas "Tonight, you've got to get us four outs instead of three." 

Corpas delivered. It ended 6-4, appropriately with a great throw to first by Tulowitzki.

The superlatives just keep piling up for this young team. 21 of 22. Seven straight playoff wins. Best team fielding percentage in the history of Major League Baseball. What's most noteworthy to manager Clint Hurdle? He couldn't say enough about the character of his players.

Congrats on a great season to the very young Diamondbacks (who last year were tied for last with the Rockies). They fought hard to come back in the 8th and 9th, making for an exciting finish and showing a lot of character themselves.

But Todd Helton had the line of the night: "We're not done yet." 

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Get the brooms ready

Posted by Richard on October 15, 2007

It was a cold, wet night in Denver, but the Rockies remained red hot. They just won their sixth straight playoff game 4-1, their 20th win in 21 games. In the first three games against the Dbacks, they've given up only four runs. They're one win away from a second sweep and the World Series. Wow.

Tonight's interesting baseball fact: the last team to win 19 of 20 after September 1 was the 1977 Royals, and Rockies manager Clint Hurdle played on that team. 

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#19

Posted by Richard on October 13, 2007

Win #19 in the last 20! The Rockies beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 in the 11th, becoming the first team in 31 years to start the post-season with five straight wins. The Dbacks walked in the winning run.

The Rockies take a 2-0 lead back to Coors Field Sunday night. Keep those brooms handy, Rockies fans!

And if you're going to the game Sunday, take a sweater and a jacket. The temp may be in the 30s, and rain is possible. The Broncos have a bye week (and will be trying to figure out why they can't do anything right), so this town will definitely be Rockies crazy.

Rocktober rolls on! Unbe-frickin-lievable. 

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Rocktober rolls on

Posted by Richard on October 12, 2007

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 1. At Phoenix. Against the D-Backs' best pitcher. Win #18 in the last 19 games. Is this team hot, or what? Three more wins to the World Series, baby!

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Clean sweep!

Posted by Richard on October 7, 2007

The Rockies swept the Phillies! The Rockies swept the Phillies! The Rockies swept the Phillies!

Yeah, I'm a bit excited (and just a bit inebriated). Like I said the other day, I'm not a huge baseball fan. But I admire the hell out of this team and its achievements in the past month. Tonight's 2-1 win (the winning run came from 3 singles in the 8th after 2 outs) was the 17th in the last 18 games. Incredible. Look out, D-Backs, Rocktober rolls on!

It's been a great sports Saturday, IMHO. This afternoon, Tennessee shocked #12 Georgia 35-14 in a game not as close as the score would suggest. It looks like the Vols finally found a defense, and their running game looked great.

This evening, I kept flipping back and forth between the Rockies game and the LSU-Florida football game, which was a thriller. Florida's Tebow is something else, making the previously awesome LSU defense look merely mortal. But after trailing all game, LSU scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:09 remaining, and their defense held. We Tennessee fans appreciate the big favor, Tigers!

Sunday, we'll see if the Broncos can find a defense. And the ability to finish drives. Sigh.

UPDATE (Sunday): Defense sucked worse than ever, offense sucked as well, and I turned the slaughter off early. Zombyboy has the details and thoughtful analysis. 

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The team that won’t quit

Posted by Richard on October 2, 2007

I'm not a real big baseball fan. When you grow up with not much hand-eye coordination and a poor memory for names and numbers, baseball just doesn't have that much appeal. I've been to a few games at Coors Field and enjoyed them thoroughly, and I watch it on TV occasionally, but I don't closely follow it or keep track of players, stats, and all that.

But I am a big fan of grit, determination, character, courage, and heart — and boy, do these Colorado Rockies have all of that! Tied for a wildcard spot, they played a 163rd game tonight against the Padres. A local sportscaster just said it may be one of the best baseball games ever. I don't know about that, but it was a monumental battle, back and forth through 13 innings. Trailing by 2 runs in the bottom of the 13th, facing the best closer in the game, the Rockies rallied and won:

DENVER (AP) – Matt Holliday raced home on Jamey Carroll's shallow fly ball, capping a stunning, three-run rally in the 13th inning leading the Colorado Rockies into the playoffs.

The run came against Trevor Hoffman and the San Diego Padres for a 9-8 win Monday night and the right to go to the NL wild card.

After Scott Hairston's two-run homer put the Padres ahead in the top of the 13th, Colorado came back against baseball's career saves leader.

The Rockies won the longest one-game tiebreaker in major league history, and advanced to play Philadelphia in the first round.

That's victory number 14 out of the last 15 games. 14 out of 15. Every one of them necessary to make it to the playoffs. Talk about peaking at the right time! Talk about never say die! Go, Rockies!

Baseball in October is a beautiful thing. 🙂  

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