This Week in Milford

May 4, 2017

Aw, Bucket! Let’s Regroup

Filed under: actual action, baseball, Gil Thorp, The Bucket — teenchy @ 6:55 am


The sign says what Van Auken thinks. Oh wait – maybe it’s for The Bucket. This is a Milford home game (and a G-rated comic strip) after all.

So has C.B. Bucknor finally been assigned to games on his umpiring level?  To be fair I can see how the pitch may not have actually been a strike.  Granger’s white catcher’s mitt makes for a difficult target. (C’mon, color monkeys, if you’re gonna color the gloves, color ’em all!)  The batter, the catcher, the ball, and the base line all seem to be drawn in different planes and our POV doesn’t give us any clue as to where the corner actually is.

Artwork aside, suffice it to say that many umps would toss a pitcher after making a pissy expression like ‘Cane did.  Case in point (one of many):

Maybe Van Auken gets off with a warning this time, but I guarantee that by game’s end he’ll have acted pissy again and gotten ejected. In the Thorpiverse, that leads to an immediate benching for the next game by Gil – a game in which, inevitably, the Mudlarks will lose because of the benched player being unavailable.  Gil will probably make Bader or Pelwecki pitch in relief and get shelled, then lay a guilt trip on Van Auken.

All this could be avoided if Granger calls Ken Brown over from first for a conference. The three of them could discuss finding another family to break up and the lousy strike zone would be forgotten.



  1. That’s almost a Rex Morgan-level pissyface. Umpires shouldn’t have to put up with that.

    Comment by billytheskink — May 4, 2017 @ 7:23 am

  2. Dewayne Staats and Todd “Son of Harry” Kalas on the call….(Todd was filling in there as analyst, he got a full time play-by-play job on Astros TV this year.) Sorry, that’s my team and its glorious plastic grass. Couldn’t help commenting on the clip.

    Do high school players get away with reactions like this? I should think not.

    Comment by nedryerson — May 4, 2017 @ 8:20 am

  3. teenchy is right about the impossibility of telling where the strike zone is– all I can say is that the pitch doesn’t appear close to a corner. But the field markings are again confusing– the batter’s box appears either to be rotated 90 degrees or to be a multiple of the size of a regulation box. And others are right about Van Auken “showing up” the umpire. Few high school umpires (or coaches) would tolerate such an obvious dissing.

    Comment by vaganova's batboy — May 4, 2017 @ 12:18 pm

  4. Am I reading the video wrong, or is the Tampa pitcher wearing a cap marked “TB” as in “Tampa Bay?” This may be generational, but to me that does not connote “Tampa Bay” but “tuberculosis.”

    Poor Tampa. Originally they took a name which sounds weird in English: TAM pa bay DE vil rays. In metrical terms that’s “dactylic,” which sounds fine in classical Greek, but it’s never sounded right in English. Let me suggest that on the model of the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Pistons, they call themselves the Tampa Cigar Rollers. MLB has been marginal in Florida all along and I will be curious to see if it survives the inevitable admission of a Havana team to the bigs.

    Comment by vaganova's batboy — May 4, 2017 @ 2:52 pm

  5. All red uniforms? Have I not been paying attention enough to notice that they wear all red? Or maybe I’m used to black & white. Cane will surely suggest to the catcher to “let one go” and nail the ump right in the throat. Just Cane being Cane.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — May 4, 2017 @ 5:18 pm

  6. Wow, are you correct about the different-world planes of panel 1.
    Painting the corner? From this angle, it looks more like both the ball and the catcher’s mitt are headed straight for the batter’s Nutboys.

    Comment by Moon Mullins — May 4, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

  7. vaganova’s batboy, I wish I had answers. I will say that what throws lots of people is that the sports franchises in this “market” all use the Tampa Bay designation as a tool to attempt to include a wider geographical area than just the city of Tampa. It gets more convoluted with the Devil Rays, which are now just the Rays, play in a stadium in St Petersburg, which is not Tampa, but still in the “Tampa Bay Area” (or market, as everything in life is market-based these days). So you get the bemused media types who show up to cover baseball and say, why are the Tampa Bay Rays not in Tampa?? Well, why are the New York Giants in New Jersey? Why isn’t it the Auburn Hills Pistons or whatever? I gets even more deep because the Rays owners have been wanting to get out of the dump of a stadium they play in forever and get a new ballpark. Many think it should be in Tampa proper, but many don’t want to get taxed out the wazoo for a stadium that will be just as empty as the current one. (See Miami Marlins, who fleeced the city of Miami for a new stadium for a team that doesn’t draw.) I could go on and on, but I’ve already bored myself.

    By the way, my favorite classical Greek scholar is Ed Sanders.

    Comment by nedryerson — May 5, 2017 @ 9:33 am

  8. P2: “Yeah, ya know, I’m not sayin’ that C. B. Bucknor is a bad umpire but I understand a wing of the Ophthalmology Department at Duke University is being named after him.
    And this Glad bag in my right hand? I use that when I shag balls for Coach T. I used to use it when I sent an umpire up the river from a bad call.”
    And who’s lining the fields like in P1? Jackson Pollock? I swear, the grounds crew must be using the paint-by-numbers methodology when they’re workin’ the ball diamond.
    I’m tellin ya’, I don’t get no respect.”

    Comment by T. Drew Hardin — May 5, 2017 @ 12:15 pm

  9. Ned, Tampa is not the only place that produces the kind of head scratchers we’re discussing. Remember “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?” Tampa is just more fun to pick on, especially when I get to write the most non-euphonius team name of all time, the former Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    Comment by vaganova's heckler — May 5, 2017 @ 12:33 pm

  10. Sorry, “euphonious.” Typos-R-Us. But “Euphonius” does sound like a minor character from The Satyricon, now that I think about it.

    Comment by vaganova's heckler — May 5, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

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