So I’m sure all of you sports fans out there have been hearing about the bullpen-gate situation in the World Series game a few nights ago. For any who don’t know, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa went out to make a pitching change and the guy who came to the mound wasn’t the pitcher he was expecting. Many have asked how such a thing could happen. Well, friends, I had the same thing happen to me in an American Legion game many moons ago. I don’t remember the exact year, but I think it was 2005 or 2006. I was 3rd base coach and assistant head coach for Post 147 at the time. The head coach had to miss a game so on this particular night I was running the show. We were playing at Beaufort and we had a pretty good lead. Well, as can happen… before you could spit Beaufort had scored a couple of runs and had guys on base. The thing about coaching at this level is that it isn’t uncommon to have your better pitchers playing in the field on nights when they aren’t pitching. The guy who I planned to bring into relief was playing right field that night. Since I wasn’t expecting to use him until a little later in the game, I hadn’t asked him if he was ready. We did have a young pitcher on the bench (Cook… his Uncle played at USC and is in the Charleston Baseball HOF), so I told him to go get loose. We were in the 1st base dugout and the bullpen was behind the left field wall (across the field for those of you not familiar with the layout of a field). I then sent my assistant coach out to the mound to buy us some time. We were able to get the next batter out, but then Beaufort got a couple more hits. Because of the situation (and who we had coming up in the top of the next inning), I really wanted to bring our right fielder in to pitch. So as I went out to the mound I had my assistant go down the right field line to ask the right fielder if he was ready to pitch. I got the ok sign from the assistant and signaled to him to send the right fielder to the mound. At that moment I turned back around and saw not the starting pitcher (who had already gone to get his other glove so he could go out to right field), but the pitcher I had sent to the bullpen. The following is an excerpt of the conversation we had (I assume it’s a lot like the conversation La Russa had with his pitcher).
Me: “Cookie!? What the hell are you doing out here?”
Cook: “I’m here to pitch, coach!”
Me: “I’m not bringing you in to pitch”.
Cook: “So do I have to go back to the dugout?”
Me: “Yes you have to go back to the dugout”.
Cook (with a goofy little grin on his face): “Are you sure you don’t want me to pitch?”
Me: “Cookie, get the F*#@ off the mound!”
Cook: “Ok, coach. I’m ready if you need me!”
Thank God, the guy I brought in to pitch got us out of the inning and we ended up winning the game. At the time I thought that kind of thing could only happen in American Legion… I’m happy to find out that it could also happen to a hall of fame manager.
I forgot to post this picture from the other night. I would like to tell you things turned out well for Daniel after this picture was taken… I would like to tell you that, but…
The I’m just sayin... Football Predictions
James Island vs. Stratford – With everyone healthy I might pick JI, but as it is now I have to pick Stratford to win this game.
Summerville vs. Beaufort – I’m picking Summerville to win this game.
Ashley Ridge at Goose Creek – I pick Goose Creek to win this game.
Dorman at Byrnes – Hmmm… both of these teams have had some success in recent years and have sent some good players to the college ranks. The game is at Byrnes so I should probably pick them, but what the heck… I’m picking Dorman to win this game.
#14South Carolina at Tennessee – 7:15pm (ESPN2) – I know the Revolutionary War Heroes are without Lattimore… but they’ve got other running backs on scholarship. They might not be as good… but they’re still good. This game is at Tennessee which makes me a little nervous, but I’m still picking USC to win this game. I hope Danny and Cory have a safe trip up to the game… good luck getting “Rocky Top” out of your head after the game.
#6Clemson at Georgia Tech – 8:00pm (ABC) - 8-0… but to get to 9-0 these Tigers are going to have to earn it. Will Taj and Company be able to score against Tech’s 3-4 defense? Will the Tigers defense be able to contain the ramblin’ wreck of Georgia Tech’s option attack? I don’t know the answers to these questions… but I can’t wait to find out. I’m going to pick Clemson to win this game. Above all else, I hope Brent and Herbie are calling this game. They are my favorite announcing duo right now.
Navy at Notre Dame – 3:30pm (NBC) – I really want Navy to win this game… but I have no reason to pick them. No reason, that is, except for the fact that I just can’t pick Notre Dame to win. I can’t do it… I just can’t. I’m picking Navy to win this game.
CSU at Gardner-Webb – 1:30pm – I’m picking Gardner-Webb to win this game.
Wyoming at San Diego State – 8:00pm MT (The Mtn, HD) – I’m picking Wyoming to win this game.
Appalachian State vs. Georgia Southern – 3:00pm – I’m picking Appalachian State to win this game.
Pittsburgh vs. New England – 4:15pm (CBS) – It’s hard to pick against New England, but it’s even harder to pick against the Steelers at home. I’m picking Pittsburgh to win this game.
Miami at New York Giants – 1:00pm (CBS) – I’m picking NY to win this game.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
First Lieutenant Joseph Cecil (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 7, 1906 at Bud-Dajo, Jolo, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:
While at the head of the column about to assault the first cotta under a superior fire at short range personally carried to a sheltered position a wounded man and the body of one who was killed beside him.
Apprentice First Class Leonard Chadwick (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 11, 1898 while on board the USS Marblehead. His citation reads:
On board the U.S.S. Marblehead during the operation of cutting the cable leading from Cienfuegos, Cuba, 11 May 1898. Facing the heavy fire of the enemy, Chadwick set an example of extraordinary bravery and coolness throughout this period.
Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:
Daring heroism and great tenacity in holding his position on the Little Round Top against repeated assaults, and carrying the advance position on the Great Round Top.
Wrapping up 2017-18
3 weeks ago