· For the second year in a row, I watched the Sacramento Rivercats win the Triple-A Championship, a degree of sustained excellence that we can only dream of seeing replicated on the Big League level. Clearly there is something to be learned here. But what? Dare we go to the extreme? Am I advocating changing the team’s name to the Oakland Rivercats? . . . Maybe.
· It is officially too late for me to add anything significant about the mustache thing (despite roughly 90% of my notes from the game containing either the word “mustache” or “awesome”). I will say this, however: Danny Putnam grows one seriously weak sauce mustache. It’s like .01Eckersley. If you think there’s no connection between his girly stache and his going 0 for 3 on the night, then you, my friend, are kidding yourself.
· I too thoroughly enjoyed the repeated commercials from the tourism boards of minor league towns. (My personal favorite: “Lots to see. Even more to do. Toledo!” despite no visual evidence whatsoever that there is anything in Toledo to either see or do.) I do question the commercial value of the ads, however: are there really that many devoted Triple-A fans watching the championship game whose vacation choices will be influenced by the presence of another Triple A team in some backwater town? Norfolk thinks so.
· Speaking of commercials, there is a new #1 on my list of “People Whose Pride in their Accomplishments Seems Somewhat Disproportionate to their Actual Accomplishments” (formerly #1: Francisco Rodriguez):The Batavia Muckdogs. According to their commercial, I can buy official Muckdog merchandise, engage in Muckdog-sponsored marketing, or even license my youth baseball team with the official Muckdog name and logo. Their commercial indicates no uncertainty whatsoever that I would want to do any or all of these thing. And maybe I do. So what am I saying? Am I advocating changing the team’s name to the Oakland Muckdogs? . . . Maybe.
· Wait a minute . . . Sacramento leads the Minor Leagues in attendance??!! How did . . . I mean . . . what could . . . seriously, what the crap?!
· According to the announcers, the Scranton Yankees won their league in a deciding game in which Phillip Hughes outdueled Bartolo Colon. He didn’t specify where this game took place, but I think it’s safe to assume that it was in Hell.
· I am now ready to declare Casey Rogowski my favorite ever career minor leaguer. 6’3”, 230, former heavyweight wrestler, looks like The Undertaker with the name of a Pennsylvania steelworker AND, in last night’s game, executed the most awkwardly bumbling stolen base of all time. It was like watching Frank Thomas collide with Erubiel Durazo. So what am I saying? Am I advocating changing the team’s case to the Oakland Rogowskis? . . . Maybe.
· Let me say right now that I am in love with Henry Rodriguez – 94 to 99 MPH fastball with about as much control as a deflating balloon. I’ve waited YEARS to get a guy like this.
· For the record, “The Oakland Rogowskis” is a much, much better team name than “The Silicon Valley Athletics of Fremont.” Take note, Mr. Wolff.
· In non-baseball news, Marvel Comics is televising commercials featuring Skrulls! This may be my inner nerd talking, but I would like to take this moment to declare, without hyperbole, that that commercial was the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.
· And then, at life’s most dizzying nadir, with the sun blacked out and the night refusing to yield its icy grip, just as it seemed all hope was lost, I saw Carlos Gonzalez drench his manager in Gatorade. I smiled to myself. “He’s happy,” I thought. “He’s really, really happy.”
· But not as happy as Buck.