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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’

Home of the Brave?

May 27, 2022 By Gabe Kapler
The day 19 children and 2 teachers were murdered, we held a moment of silence at sporting events around the country, then we played the national anthem, and we went on with our lives.
Players, staff and fans stood for the moment of silence, grieving the lives lost, and then we (myself included) continued to stand, proudly proclaiming ourselves the land of the free and the home of the brave.  We didn’t stop to reflect on whether we are actually free and brave after this horrific event, we just stood at attention.
When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t.  I don’t believe it is representing us well right now.
This particular time, an 18 year old walked into a store, bought multiple assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, walked into a school with an armed resource officer and its own police district and was able to murder children for nearly an hour.  Parents begged and pleaded with police officers to do something, police officers who had weapons and who receive nearly 40% of the city’s funding, as their children were being murdered.
We elect our politicians to represent our interests.  Immediately following this shooting, we were told we needed locked doors and armed teachers.  We were given thoughts and prayers.  We were told it could have been worse, and we just need love.
But we weren’t given bravery, and we aren’t free.  The police on the scene put a mother in handcuffs as she begged them to go in and save her children.  They blocked parents trying to organize to charge in to stop the shooter, including a father who learned his daughter was murdered while he argued with the cops.  We aren’t free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom to go to school without needing bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills.
I’m often struck before our games by the lack of delivery of the promise of what our national anthem represents.  We stand in honor of a country where we elect representatives to serve us, to thoughtfully consider and enact legislation that protects the interests of all the people in this country and to move this country forward towards the vision of the “shining city on the hill.”  But instead, we thoughtlessly link our moment of silence and grief with the equally thoughtless display of celebration for a country that refuses to take up the concept of controlling the sale of weapons used nearly exclusively for the mass slaughter of human beings.  We have our moment (over and over), and then we move on without demanding real change from the people we empower to make these changes.  We stand, we bow our heads, and the people in power leave on recess, celebrating their own patriotism at every turn.
Every time I place my hand over my heart and remove my hat, I’m participating in a self congratulatory glorification of the ONLY country where these mass shootings take place.  On Wednesday, I walked out onto the field, I listened to the announcement as we honored the victims in Uvalde.  I bowed my head.  I stood for the national anthem.  Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars.
My brain said drop to a knee;  my body didn’t listen.  I wanted to walk back inside;  instead I froze.  I felt like a coward.  I didn’t want to call attention to myself.  I didn’t want to take away from the victims or their families.  There was a baseball game, a rock band, the lights, the pageantry.  I knew that thousands of people were using this game to escape the horrors of the world for just a little bit.  I knew that thousands more wouldn’t understand the gesture and would take it as an offense to the military, to veterans, to themselves.
But I am not okay with the state of this country.  I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity.  I wish that I could have demonstrated what I learned from my dad, that when you’re dissatisfied with your country, you let it be known through protest.  The home of the brave should encourage this.
    —    Gabe Kapler
Manager, San Francisco Giants (baseball team)
Mr. Kapler’s personal blog can be found at:  Kaplifestyle – A Lifestyle and Fitness site by Gabe Kapler
The specific post can be found at:  Home of the Brave? (kaplifestyle.com)
[Disclaimer:  The above post has been copied from the original site without permission or prior approval.  I make no claim of ownership – implied or actual.  I read the original blog post multiple times to try to extract the hi-lights for a “fair-use” review / quote.  I lacked the skill (or heart) to do this, so I am reprinting the author’s post in its entirety.  If Mr. Kapler feels I have misused his intellectual property and asks me to remove or modify this post, I will do so.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2021 Make A Difference
What’s That Sound?
2020 Promise Her In Music
2019 But I’m Well Past 100 By Now
2018 Learn
Land Of The Free, Because Of The Brave
4 Appearances In A Row, 4 Wins To Go
2017 And Yet I’m Still Having Fun
2016 I See Coincidence Everywhere
CA3: Civil War
2015 I Resemble That Remark… (5!)
2014 The Writer’s Dilemma
2013 Just Paying The Rent
2012 Remembering…
2011 A Little Farther

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Image of Willie McCovey

“Stretch”

Two days ago, on Halloween, the world lost one of the true gentlemen of sports history:  Willie Lee McCovey.  Nicknamed “Mac”, “Big Mac”, and (my personal favorite) “Stretch”, McCovey was a first baseman who defined the position for me as a child.  He played for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball for 19 of his 22 seasons in the majors.
My earliest memory of ANY sports event was attending a baseball game as a youth at Candlestick Park and seeing McCovey, Willie Mays, and Juan Marichal in person.  My mom and I sat high in the upper deck, underneath the shell which used to line the stadium.  I don’t recall if the Giants won the game or much else about the game except – Marichal’s high-kick pitching delivery style, Mays hit a home run and “Stretch” made a terrific catch at first base.  It wasn’t a high catch (as shown in the image above).  It was low, near the ground and McCovey had to practically do the splits to make the catch.
It seems “funny” to think of this, but imagine you are Willie Mays – arguably the greatest baseball player of all time and in the top five career home run hitters in history and you bat third in the order because the guy (Willie McCovey) batting fourth, behind you, has more power…
None of the above speaks to the true greatness of the man, himself.  It is better to think of Willie McCovey this way:  his last active year was 1980.  That same year, the Giants retired his jersey number (44) and began awarding “The Willie Mac Award” which is given to the team’s most inspirational player that year, as voted on by the team’s players, coaches, training staff, and (just recently included) fans.  Finally, in 1986, in his first year of eligibility, Willie McCovey was voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
R.I.P “Stretch”.  And thanks for the childhood memories…
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On This Day In:
2017 Dodgers Choke Away World Series
Firing Director Comey = Obstruction
2016 Why Do Republicans Always Seem To Be Angry?
2015 All Things Being Equal
2014 Fearful Light
2013 Unexpectedly Knowledgeable
2012 Seems Obvious
2011 See The Specialist

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The San Francisco Giants stormed to a Game 5 victory winning 5 runs to 0 on the complete game shutout pitched by their ace Madison Bumgarner!  In a golden age for Giants baseball, which seems to be hosting a handful of potential hall-of-famers – MadBum is emerging as one of the strongest of all.  Across three World Series (2010, 2012, and now 2014), Bumgarner has now won four games in four opportunities with a combined score of 1 run allowed in all four games!  He now has the lowest runs allowed average (career) in World Series history for pitchers who’ve thrown more than 20 innings.
But now the Giants face a tough test of going into Kansas City having to win one of the last two games.  The odds are in their (the Giants) favor.  Historically, the winner of Game 5 goes on to win the Series 68% of the time (.683), but it would have been so much more satisfying to have swept the Royals at home in S.F.  Still, the main thing is to keep the pressure on and try to take Game 6.  We don’t want a let down to give the Royals (and their fans) hope for a Game 7.
So now it’s time for the team to get a good night’s sleep and board a long flight to K.C. tomorrow for the Tuesday Game 6…   (And for those of you who’ve lost track:  my prediction was Giants win Series 4 Games to 2.)   Go Giants!!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Hard To Deserve
2012 Cloudy Between Games
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2011 One, Two, Three – Blink

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Well, it looks like we’re in for one heck of a World Series!!  In what can only be politely called a “collapse” by their bullpen, the Giants gave up five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to the Royals and Kansas City never looked back rolling to a 7 to 2 victory.
The Royals pitching, particularly the bullpen, looks formidable with everyone throwing heat in the 95+ mph range and off-speed in the low 90’s.  By comparison, low 90’s are what the Giants were throwing as their top end pitches.
The disappointment of the game was a squandered first inning, lead off home run by Gregor Blanco.  It was a thing of beauty.  We touched the Royal’s starting pitcher (Yordano Ventura) just as frequently as they got to our starter, but in the end, Ventrua outlasted Jake Peavy and the K.C. bullpen was “all that and a bag of chips”.   Real deal…
So, the Giants leave for home with doubts and the Royals leave for San Francisco with hope.  There is a saying in sports that you can’t have a great Series until both teams have lost a game at home.  Now we find out if the Royals can turn the 2014 Series into a great Series.  The next three games are in S.F.  I’m still predicting a 6 game, 4 to 2 victory by the Giants.
But it’s back to being interesting…
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
By the way, this post is my 1,901th post – not counting pages.  What a long, strange trip it’s been…  I’m looking forward to 2,000.  🙂
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On This Day In:
2013 Complacent Reality
2012 Two-minute Sex
Just Staring, Why?
2011 A World Of Difference

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The San Francisco Giants closed out the National League Championship Series (NLCS) by 4 wins to 1 with a 6 to 3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on a three run, walk-off home run!!  Wow!!
2014 National League Championship Cap

2014 National League Championship Cap

2014 NLCS S.F. Giants T-Shirt

2014 NLCS S.F. Giants T-Shirt

Unbelievable!  The Giants start the World Series on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals.  Format:  2-3-2;  with the first two played in Kansas City by virtue of the American League victory in the All-Star Game earlier this year.  If we manage to steal one of the games back there – watch out!!
I predict this will be our fourth playoff series where we are the underdogs.  We’ve beaten the favored Pittsburgh Pirates. We’ve beaten the heavily favored Washington Nationals.  And now, we’ve beaten the slightly favored St. Louis Cardinals.  Based on the head to head competition this year, where the Royals swept the Giants in three games in K.C. back in August, a realistic person would have to give the Royals a definite edge.  They are a very good team which seems to be peaking at just the right time.  We seem to be a team which gets by on mostly smoke and mirrors.  Their strengths (power, speed at base running / stealing, and a lock down bullpen) all play to our weaknesses.  But, I still like our chances.  Once we bring them back to our ball park, their pitchers will have to hit.  They won’t be used to it and we’ll be able to claw our way back into the series.  I’m predicting a six game, 4-2 World Series win by the boys in Orange & Black.  Go Giants!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Walking The Walk
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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