A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hunter Pence

For the 3 people in the world who read Ulysses and actually liked it (the ones that declared it was the best book of the 20th century), today is Bloomsday, the day when the main character met his wife. I got part way through the 2nd chapter before I saw a reference to the characters having sex in the first chapter. When I reflected on the knowledge that I didn't catch that while it was happening, I put the book away knowing I'd miss everything else in Joyce's stream of consciousness technique as well. There was another time that I felt like I should try it again - another Bloomsday, but... that didn't happen either. That said, it's not that I don't get deep literature - I did a lot of Faulkner (smartly enough, I did it with notes), but yeah... now, I just prefer baseball, outdoorsy travel, and American history. Currently, I'm still trying to make it through the Curt Flood book and a book on the Negro Leagues as well as a survival book I started a while ago as well. We never do have enough time to do the things that we want to do, but there is always time for baseball.
With this site being about baseball, let's see what's going on in the world of baseball news...
The Rangers are whining about the Yankees stealing signs. For the record, we think that even though it's the Yankees who are still baseball's version of the worst toilet in Scotland, there is still a sense of win at all costs. In NASCAR, they say that if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying. We'd also like to think that if you aren't trying to rip off Kyle Busch's ears or deck him solidly, you aren't trying, but we'll take live with whatever form of winning the game of baseball that you present. Besides, how much cheating can it be if you're smart enough to figure it out? Like counting cards in Vegas, if a person has the brains to calculate what is being done, then I'm all for it. If they need binoculars and some crazy dude in the stands wiring back coded info, then that's something altogether different. If a person knows how to play the percentages of what's left versus what's dealt, then he or she should be allowed to rake up the pot. Why handicap intelligent people?
And for those people intelligent enough to get it and figure it out and be one step ahead of the curve, there is the biggest success story on the Houston Astros: Hunter Pence.
OK, so he's not pretty to look at, but at least he's not the dreaded version of Edinson Volquez. And that said, whoever the gal is with him... she looks decent. All the same, Mr. Pence is fresh off a 23-game hitting streak in complete obscurity. Who knew until it was over?
And just like Joe Dimaggio, as soon as it ended, he started a new one, which is already 2 games strong, but still... in those 2 games he is 5 for 10 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base. And so his ticket will be punched to the desert unless aliens abduct him because someone has to go to the All Star Game for Houston (even if they're mathematically eliminated from playoff contention already). And who knows, maybe he'll leave Texas for brighter pastures come trade deadline time, too. I'm sure the Yankees will give 26 cents on the dollar for him (you didn't think we'd spend this whole blog being nice to the Yankees, did you?).
All in all, he would be batting .326 with 9 home runs and 51 RBIs. His strikeouts are a little lofty at 62 for his 19 base on balls, but .326 is still a nice number - especially when he's hotter than Hell right now.
And while the focus on the streak has left him a singles hitter, he gets on nicely and is raising his average to new heights, which is what the good things in baseball are all about - even if nobody else takes the time to discover them.

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