This Week in Milford

May 14, 2022

It takes two to lie: one to lie and the other to grow his sideburns.

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get today’s post up, but I’ve been at an absolute loss as to how to spin it. This has surely got to be the tipping point for this strip, right?

There are no adults coaching the Milford High baseball team, are there? There are just male chaperones who just sit back and let the kids do whatever they want, up to and including not practicing? You notice we almost never see practices at Milford except as they’re ending, when the players are standing around listening to to adults or going over to watch their opposite-sex counterparts play a game? I’d bet Whigrub have no clue what goes on in a practice.

This is just beyond the realm of stupid. This is so asinine it makes me not want to nitpick the usual lack of attention to detail, like the uncolored lights on the school bus or the long day’s journey into night from Valley Tech to Milford. I will nitpick this: there is no way you can wear a cap backwards sitting in a car seat with headrests without knocking the cap off of your head.

Have at it, gentle readers. The more I look at today’s strip, the more it makes my head hurt.

May 13, 2022

More blind advice

Filed under: ?, baseball, Milford Idiots, Milford Weirdos — robmize2013 @ 8:34 pm

Well we got through another game with One- Eyed Jack fumbling around with balls hit to him; we have a new hero in Andy Morrison, whose name is so common I didnt bother googling him. Suffice to say he’s not Jim’s son. Although he could have been. (You figure he was born around 2005, Jim would have been 62 that year and Mick Jagger was 74 when he had his last kid 4 years ago. So its…possible…)

These guys wearing jeans — most baseball players wear athletic pants to their games. If not their uniforms. Im sure I saw our high school team on the road more then once and they wore their uniforms to the games. Damn it, they didnt retreat to a locker room after the game— they went from the bus to the dugout and back. Its not football. Baseball uniforms are very normal attire for a day. Whats with all the changing clothes anyway for a baseball game?? Where are all the uniforms? In their dinky backpacks?

And P3 we have One- Eyed Jack hoping Gil doesnt make him work on something in practice THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN WORKING ON SINCE FREAKIN DAY ONE OF SPRING PRACTICE FOR AT LEAST A HALF HOUR EACH DAY. That way Gil could have figured out this dope cant see a drop of bird shit on home plate until he slips on it.

And of course Stat Boy has another brilliant idea to delay the inevitable reveal of OEJ’s vision problem. We’ll get a glimpse (no pun intended) of that tomorrow.

By then everyones uniform will have shrunk 2 sizes on the bus ride home.

April 29, 2022

Singing the blues

Bad enough that we have a blind pitcher nobody knows about. Now we have another guy who can see just fine bitching about the umps calls. Nomar is blaming the ump for his pitiful performance. Wah wah wah. What a bunch of freakin losers on this team. Of course Chief One Eye didnt notice and has to be warned on the bus postgame about it, so he can bitch about calls when its his turn to draw Blue Narrow behind the plate. Nothing like team camaraderie the wrong way. Didnt Atherton have the same ump? Hey we scored 5 runs.

That bus must be as narrow as Blues’ strike zone with only one ass to a seat.

This team is so mentally weak I have no idea how they survive the season anywhere near the playoffs unless Gil has a meeting to address the whole thing. But we havent seen Gil lately.

April 23, 2022

Blind mans bluff

A quick review of the weeks strips ( I was out in Tucson all week on a golf /swimming / sightseeing / spring break vacation) and its astonishing how Gregg Hamm is getting through life the way he is.

I had terrible eyesight as a kid too, and wound up getting Lasik in 2001 with corrrection to 20/30 thats now about 20/40. But I merely had astigmatism, and it seems Gregg here is basically half blind even WITH glasses. One of the many things I learned out in the valley of the sun was that bats arent blind– they actually see very well, and also listen to vibrations in the air to detect predators.

As I said before, I cant imagine how Gregg is a pitcher even with a catcher who knows him, as part of the duty of pitching is defending your own position, and hey, if a rocket comes back at him, how can he see it fast enough? Ok, maybe it doesnt matter how well you see sometimes; as we’ve all seen pitchers knocked down by batted balls. But he has many other things to do besides pitch every 4 days in spring. You need your eyes 365 days a year.

No idea what the hell that is on P1, (just figured it out, I thought it was something they had at the field to make noise, and the girl was the DJ)

Then there’s P3. A pink clad pitcher, throwing to a pink clad batter, with a red clad catcher, and there’s Gregg standing right behind the batter thinking about his fastball that may come right back at him in a millisecond. I need help here– and just getting back home I’m not ready to think that much. Have at it gang!

April 20, 2022

Nothing Here Is Really Surprising, Is it?

When son of teenchy was young I, like most parents of young children, read bedtime stories to him. As SoT got older, the bedtime stories got more age-appropriate as well. We went through a phase where we read the books of Kate DiCamillo. Kate DiCamillo has written some outstanding children’s lit, beginning with Because of Winn-Dixie; two of her books won Newberrys (The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.) Kate DiCamillo has a distressing trope of giving her characters peculiar names (e.g., Despereaux Tilling, Edward Tulane, Peter Augustus Duchene, Louisiana Elefante) and referring to those characters only by their full names.

The last DiCamillo book we read was Flora & Ulysses. The title characters are a 10-year-old girl who looks like Terry Gross and a squirrel who becomes possessed of writing ability after being sucked into a vacuum cleaner. One of the supporting character in F&Y was William Spiver, an 11-year-old boy who is only ever referred to by his full name, William Spiver. Never William, or Willie, or Bill, or Billy, but always William Spiver. William Spiver suffers from hysterical blindness due to some never quite specified family trauma. When it comes to names, Wilson Henry is this season’s William Spiver. When it comes to visual acuity, Gregg Hamm is this season’s William Spiver.

More exposition piling on: Hamm has had problems with his eyesight for years, and has never done anything about it. Hamm is also not From Milford, so Milford’s shallow gene pool cannot be blamed for his vision (some other genetic cause or parental neglect) or credited for his talent (as Milford never grows its own).

The solution to Hamm’s problem can be found today in that other, slightly more realistic, sports comic, Tank McNamara.

April 16, 2022

The Mudlarks’ second baseman develops wacky signals, a breakdown

Hey kids! Didja ever wonder whatever happened to Jaxxxon Kiser? Well wonder no more! He grew up and changed his name to Eli “Scooter” Borden. Just look at him – the same monster paws, the same glazed-over stare at no one and nothing in particular – no way they’re not out of the same gene pool.

Anyhoo this little trivia buff has obviously burned a lot of brain cells coming up with this scheme that he’s only gonna use with this one pitcher, that’s gonna require the catcher to buy in and, oh yeah, that the coaches are gonna go along with too. Think Scooter and the Hammer are gonna let Gilberto and El Kaz in on this ploy? How many games into the season before Milford’s opponents pick up on it? It might work in a non-conference game against one of those school’s Neal’s buddies went to, but it won’t take long for, say, Goshen to pick up on Borden’s chatter and start banging on trash cans.

Smirky Charis does nothing to dispel the notion that she’s definitely not with Scooter because of his mouth.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Back to bed.

April 15, 2022

Brief insanity

Filed under: ?, baseball, Milford Idiots, shadow figures — robmize2013 @ 5:23 pm

The cart is falling off the tracks and it didnt take long either. Seems we just kicked off a new storyline and already we have complete nonsense in how to handle a simple problem.

I figured Scooter was gonna read the signals and then relay them to his semi-blind pitcher. Yeah that’ll work. Theyre now so moronic that we bloggers have em figured out 9 ways to Sunday.

Storytime– back in 1969 the Cubs were playing in Philadelphia still hanging on to 1st place late in the season. As the story goes, the Cub reliever brought into the game had been talking to Ron Santo the 3B some time ago about if there was a man on 3rd, Santo would give a private signal and they would pick the man off. Only problem was, Santo didnt remember the conversation, and when he yelled the very word that was to trigger the throw, he wasnt on the base, and the pitcher threw the ball into the outfield, resulting in the game winning run scoring. I dont have all the details, but thats the gist of it.

So thats what could happen when you try this kind of crap, instead of doing the simple thing and getting better glasses for the pitcher. Jesus, these guys would put rocks to shame theyre so dumb.

April 13, 2022

Gregg Hamm, The Next Ryne Duren. Or Steve Dalkowski. Or Something.

Good grief, how many times is Gil gonna name-check people? Eventually, this strip will just consist of Gil spouting random names. Rubin, if you’re reading this, please know that you can just name check your friends (or pull names from LinkedIn) only so much. It’s as though the story takes a backseat to the shout-outs.

Now on to the story. Gregg’s problem seems to be a non-problem IMO. He wears glasses but can’t see the catcher’s digits? Get a new prescription, dumb-ass. Problem solved. Maybe if he hadn’t dyed his blond hair lavender, he could scrape up enough money for a cheap pair of specs. Wonder if Pranit Rock can lend him some of his gambling winnings?

The two most infamous fireballers with bad eyesight and worse control are called out in the post title. They’re both a little before my time but their stories are legend. Ryne Duren struggled in the minors until he was converted into a relief pitcher. He then went on to have a fitful career with the Kansas City A’s, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Reds and expansion Senators. Struggling with alcoholism and the death of his infant child, Duren attempted suicide in Washington and was talked down from the ledge by Nats manager Gil Hodges. He was released soon after. After the breakup of his marriage and another suicide attempt, Duren eventually became an addiction counselor and managed to have a productive life after baseball.

Steve Dalkowski‘s story is even sadder. He spent many years in the Orioles’ farm system, never quite getting his act together to get called up to the show. While managing Dalko at AA Elmira, Earl Weaver determined that he was possessed of less than average intelligence. Weaver made it really simple for Dalko, telling him to either throw fastballs down the middle or sliders. Dalkowski’s stats improved but an injury in spring training 1963 effectively ended his career. His post-baseball life was even worse than Duren’s: his alcoholism led to his divorce and, eventually, alcohol-induced dementia. Sadly, he died from complications from COVID-19 almost two years ago to the day, when the virus was ripping through nursing homes in Connecticut.

Not all bespectacled pitchers are doomed to a horrible fate (WARNING: teenchy name drop imminent). Because of my location and my circle of friends, I got to know Walt Masterson fairly well in the final decade of his life. Walt was a workhorse, mostly for the original AL Nats from just before WWII into the early fifties but also for the Red Sox and Tigers. Walt’s glasses weren’t Coke bottle thick but they were tinted due to his extreme sensitivity to light. After his baseball career, Walt was a pitching coach for the Rangers and head coach at George Mason. He was instrumental in the founding of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and in getting the player pension program off the ground before passing at age 87.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Gil needs to treat Gregg a bit like Earl treated Dalko. Put a little sense in his head and send him to an optometrist. Maybe Rubin can name drop one in an upcoming strip.

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