Who Dat?

Back in the 80s, long before the X-Games existed, Tom Haig traveled the world as an extreme athlete. He visited more than 50 countries as an international high diver, doing multiple somersault tricks from over 90 feet.

That life came crashing down one Sunday morning in 1996. While training on his mountain bike, he smashed into the grill of a truck and became paralyzed from the waist down. But less than a year later he completed a 100-mile ride on a hand-cycle and traveled by himself to Europe and the Middle East.

Since then he has continued to travel the world as a consultant, writer and video producer. He spent six months launching a Tibetan radio station in the Himalayas and shot documentary shorts on disability in Bangladesh, France, Albania, Ghana and most recently Nepal.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Can a Bruthuh Buy a Hit!

Not even six months ago the idea that the Tampa Bay metro cluster would be doing back flips over their first ever World Series victory would have been laughable. But when David Price, Tampa Bay’s latest volunteer in their ever changing bullpen rotation, struck out NL MVP Ryan Howard in the top of the 9th, the Bay went crazy. Crazy with their historic victory, but also crazy with relief as the Rays dodged an unprecedented impotency streak of one of baseball’s most potent lineups. Howard managed to collect a few hits, but ’08 MVP Jimmy Rollins went for an O-fer as did Chase Utley, the best hitting second baseman in the bigs. But Howards two hits didn’t knock in any runs as the Phillies have gone a WS record 1 for 28 with RISP.

‘Big Game’ James Shields (OK, the only ‘Big Game James’ is Showtime’s James Worthy) managed to leave the game in the middle of the 6th with a lead, spreading out seven hits but giving up no runs to the historically inept Phillies. His Ray teammates did exactly what they were unable to do the night before and manufacture runs. Four of the Tampa Bay runs came not on timely hitting, but outs with RISP. Philly starter Brett Myers gave up three walks and was hurt by all of them.

But as odd as Philly’s untimely hitting was, it wasn’t the strangest part of the game. For the second night in a row 17-year Major League umpire Kerwin Danley, blew easy calls. Danley who missed a critical balk call in the Rays 3-2 loss on Wednesday night, pre-maturely rung up Tampa’s Rocco Baldelli on a check swing, before letting Baldelli or catcher Carlos Reliz appeal the call. Danley was embarrassingly overturned by 1st base umpire Fieldin Culbreth much to the dismay of Philly manager Jerry Manuel. Three innings later, Danley again blew an easy call when Tampa Bay reliever Dan Wheeler hit Rollin’s jersey with a tight fastball. Rollins should have been on first, but instead popped out. While none of Danley’s gafs appear to be game changers, they have all been potentially critical. In a sport where most officials can count the number of bad calls they make every season on one hand, the three in two nights is suspect – especially because of their basic nature. No one is accusing Danley of being on the take; you just wonder if his head is all the way in the game…

The series moves to Philly Saturday where sports most caustic fan base will have a shot at their city’s first title since Doctor J’s sixers won the NBA crown in ’83. Game 3 starters are Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza at 11-9, against the oldest player in the Bigs, Philly’s geriatric, yet effective starter, 16-7 Jamie Moyer.

No comments:

Post a Comment