This Week in Milford

July 13, 2017

There’s No Veering in Baseball!


Well that whole journalism thing was awkward, wasn’t it?  Made me feel stupid for thinking there might be some point to it.  Let’s get back to what this strip does best: putting Milford’s girls in the orbit of Milford’s boys. After all, boys won’t watch girls play unless they’re interested in one of the players but girls will watch the boys play just because, amirite?

So to wrap the spring* plot up we’re gonna see if Ryan has indeed practiced his anger management after he gets another bad call from a crappy Valley ump and his teammates flub away a lead on him.  Marty’s mom has told him to take out the trash, so he quickly makes the Mudlarks a Fielding Three and rolls a 14 for the Tilden batter.  As with most Gil Thorp arcs, all of this would come off as a lot less contrived if the plot had been better paced. Then again, the phrase “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is probably wasted on someone who holds track and field in such contempt.

*Feels funny calling it that in the middle of July, doesn’t it?



  1. Finally, today we return to exciting sports action!

    Well, in panel 1 there’s the typical Milford “crowd” (<10 people) sitting pensively. In panel 2 we have a player jogging. Panel 3 features the announcer describing a decisive play THAT WE NEVER GET TO SEE.

    Yep, that's "action," Gil Thorp style.

    Comment by John S. Walters — July 13, 2017 @ 7:00 am

  2. I was going to bring up how Steve Luhm got the boys basketball team to start going to the Lady ‘Lark’s games back in 2005… but that happened entirely because he was dating Hadley V. Baxendale.

    Dang, this plot has dragged on so long I find Marty’s wooden crate to be a welcome sight.

    Comment by billytheskink — July 13, 2017 @ 7:35 am

  3. teenchy, I have been following GT for eons and I knew when I saw a buzzword such as “should” in P2, that disaster was forthcoming. And the grounds crew must have adjusted the field from 30-60-90 to a flat rate of 45 degrees in preparation for Tilden which, I’m assuming has just as much trouble negotiating cans of corn and Texas Leaguers as our beloved Mudlarks who demonstrate that a simple call-off can prove treacherous at such an angle.
    Marty Moon’s predictable exploding eye ball in P3 says it all. BTW, where in the H-E-double hockey sticks is Marty Moon broadcasting? He looks like he’s in Hooverville. Is he taking a dump in an outhouse somewhere? He has more to think about than a botched play in the outfield.

    Comment by T. Drew Hardin — July 13, 2017 @ 7:52 am

  4. Oh no, Ron Hall!

    I wonder how Tina Aagard’s rehab is going.

    Comment by nedryerson — July 13, 2017 @ 8:02 am

  5. Nice APBA reference!

    Comment by Ol'Froth — July 13, 2017 @ 10:22 am

  6. T Drew has an eye for geometry. Since the ball was hit to right center and the fielder is running to his left, he must be the center fielder, but the way the fence recedes makes clear he’s in left.

    Call-off errors… The ’62 Mets made them all the time. Richie Ashburn kept colliding with the shortstop, Elio Chacon, in short center. So he learned to call Chacon off in Spanish. The first time he tried it, Chacon stopped instantly and Ashburn settled under the ball, only to be flattened by the left fielder, Frank Thomas.

    Comment by vaganova — July 13, 2017 @ 12:26 pm

  7. I have been told but cannot prove that that was the event which caused the manager, Casey Stengel, to wail “Can’t anybody here play this game?”

    Comment by vaganova — July 13, 2017 @ 12:38 pm

  8. Vaganova’s anecdote is where the band “Yo La Tengo” got its name.

    Comment by John S. Walters — July 13, 2017 @ 12:47 pm

  9. vaganova@6: You’re referring to the incident from which Yo La Tengo drew its name? edit: John S. – jinx!

    Comment by teenchy — July 13, 2017 @ 12:47 pm

  10. Exactly. Ashburn, who later made the Hall of Fame, had been an All-Star center fielder for the Phillies. The Mets got him in the expansion draft, and he spent the season watching the lovably inept Mets make one unclassifiable play after another. He kept his composure all season and according to his teammates, never said anything critical or complaining. You have to be of a certain age (I’ll be 70 next month) to remember the ’62 Mets in detail, but they were a national treasure, committing “Now I’ve Seen Everything” plays on a daily basis.

    Comment by vaganova — July 13, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

  11. ….and “Can’t anybody here play this game?” was the name of Jimmy Breslin’s great book about the ’62 Mets.

    It’s possible (but impossible for me to remember now) that I might have read a copy of that book that was once owned by Red Barber. Barber donated a ton of his books to the University of Florida library. (He started his broadcasting career there). When I was in school, I used to spend hours looking through the library stacks at those old baseball books. At that time, Bob Edward’s of NPR’s Morning Edition would do weekly phone interviews with Red Barber and I tried to never miss those.

    Roger Angell’s collected New Yorker pieces were also instrumental in bringing baseball in the 60s to life for me.

    Comment by nedryerson — July 13, 2017 @ 1:41 pm

  12. I remember those NPR interviews with Red Barber– they were wonderful. Barber, Angell, and Jimmy Breslin were three key figures in New York baseball journalism– all wonderfully clear and vivid writers and speakers. And yes, Breslin did appropriate Casey’s rhetorical question as the title for one of his books. Baseball is about continuity, which is probably why we remember the times of change– my brother never got over the Braves leaving Boston, nor I the Giants and Dodgers deserting New York for California. “Los Angeles Dodgers” still sounds absurd to me.

    Comment by vaganova — July 13, 2017 @ 2:21 pm

  13. For a time while I was living inside the Beltway, I worked in an office near Marymount University. One of the principals and I listened to the Old Redhead and Colonel Bob on Morning Edition Friday mornings as we hoped in vain that one of the NL expansion franchises (that ultimately became the Rockies and Marlins) would be awarded to Washington.

    Somebody’s gain is often somebody else’s loss and vice versa. My wife’s grandparents never got over the Braves leaving Milwaukee. The Texas Rangers shall be ever cursed in my heart. I was deliriously happy when the Expos moved to Washington but I listened to enough Francophone AM radio broadcasts at night to think that the majors are a bit less rich without a presence in Montreal.

    Comment by teenchy — July 13, 2017 @ 7:43 pm

  14. Thanks, vaganova. You da man. I hope I’m living up to my end of the bargain when I promised I’d(pardon the pun) rake the field dimensions through the coals. Not that I needed much incentive(ha). Treading down the same x- and y-axes that Rene Descartes once frequented via the Milford Ball Park and, like Newton, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants(ha ha).

    Time for one more. In P1, I noticed that, when Roger Dean isn’t designing album covers for Yes(“Yessongs” and “Fragile” come to mind), he is plying his craft to the skyline. Amazing how he can get Casper & friends to kibbutz the same game as our fans in the stands. He could use the extra income.

    Comment by T. Drew Hardin — July 13, 2017 @ 9:31 pm

  15. T Drew, those Mfnrd cloud formations always remind me of low budget fifties westerns, for which they’d stop the cameras way down for night scenes, but you could tell it was actually daytime because of the towering cumulus clouds.

    Comment by vaganova — July 14, 2017 @ 7:11 am

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