Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Thoughts, Small Ball ... and Clint Hurdle for Manager of the Year?

With gratitude and never forgetting: Every one with a name; from a family.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. 

Last night vs. the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park, the Pirates had 30 at-bats and scored three runs.

During those 30 at-bats, the Bucs struck out seven times but scratched out: 
  • Six hits (all singles) 
  • Eight walks (two intentional)
  • Three stolen bases (two by Andrew McCutchen, one by Neil Walker), 
  • Two sacrifice flies, and 
  • Two hit batsmen (Jose Tabata and, the game-winner, rookie newcomer Matt Hague in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded).

Small ball. Epitomized. Walks, singles, stolen bases, sacrifice flies, solid defense, opportunistic baserunning, hit batsmen.  Base-to-base, station-to-station baseball.  Not many runs, but somehow, with consistently good pitching, somehow, the Pirates carry a 22-24 record into today's game vs. the woeful Cubs, who are 15-31 with an 11-game losing streak.

Clint Hurdle for Manager of the Year?  On the eve of Memorial Day, it's early, but if the vote were held today, he deserves to be in the conversation.

We'll see a Sunday lineup today -- hold your breath -- but with another win this afternoon, the Pirates could sweep the holiday weekend's three-game series with the Cubs -- and the two teams will have another 13 games this season.

Then, it's the Reds in town tomorrow afternoon for a Memorial Day game.  Hopefully, you get the day off work, just as national holidays are intended, or at least were intended in concept.  

In any case, let's remember what this particular holiday is all about.  Take a moment to reflect upon the fallen dead who perished in service, in uniform, mostly in war, for the United States of America.  

Originally known as Decoration Day, Monday's holiday should be a day for refection, even if only for a few moments.  The people buried in those graves across the nation and around the world -- they are why we have this holiday for picnics, cook-outs, fireworks, discount sales, parades and, yes, afternoon ballgames in the sun.  
Enjoy all the holiday has to offer, but take a moment to offer thanks, too.

Memorial Day Links