Monday, July 12, 2010

Yaz At Bat

It's the Monday of the All-Star break. There are only two days in the year when there is no game action in any of the professional sports and this is one of them.

Except on the Cape
I'm on vacation on the Cape, and as I do every year I've caught a couple of Cape League games. At Red Wilson Field in Yarmouth the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox host the Cotuit Kettleers. Up to bat steps the Cotuit right fielder, #18, one Michael Yastrzemski. My daughter Kara says something about the coincidence of seeing a name like that in a ball game. I responded that it wasn't any coincidence. Michael Yastrzemski goes to Vanderbilt and comes from North Andover, MA. This is probably the grandson of Yaz. A woman in front of me hears this and confirms it.

The MLB strike
When you mention "the baseball strike" people usually think of the one that canceled the 1994 World Series. But the strike before that, in 1981, cut a big hole in the middle of the season. During that strike I went to a Cape League game in Harwich. The Y-D Red Sox were playing the Harwich Mariners, and one of the players on the Red Sox was Michael Yastrzemski, who is the father of the Michael Yastrzemski I just saw playing for Cotuit and the son of Carl Yastrzemski, who was still an active player with the Boston Red Sox. Carl, who had free time because of the strike, was at the game in Harwich and saw his son Mike hit a home run.

Flash forward 29 years
So here I am watching a third generation of Yaz at bat. He's a lefty, by the way, batting .211 with no homers and 2 RBI's. I'm guessing that his pro baseball career will be more like his father's than his grandfather's, but it's interesting to watch him at bat.

Other noteable names
Playing first base for Cotuit is Caleb Bushyhead. Seriously. I tried to peer into the dugout to see what he looked like when he took off his helmet, but couldn't get a good look. Maybe if he makes it to the majors and plays for the Rockies he can take a pickoff throw from their star pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez, who's starting for the NL in the All-Star game ("Ubaldo throws over to Bushyhead, but the runner is back safe"). On the Red Sox we have Matt Hamlet, who goes to BC and comes from a little town in Virginia. Never mind about BC, think about the little town part. The shortstop is Joe Panik (OMG! Don't tell me he's up again! What are we gonna do???) Also Matt Rush, who's trying to get into a fraternity at Oral Roberts, and always swings at the first pitch. They've got a big kid named Poppe. 6'6", 220. The closer for Yarmouth-Dennis is appropriately named Michael Goodnight. He's lights-out.

There's a guy named Scott Snodgress from Stanford. I wondered if he might be related (great-great-great-nephew or something) to the player on the New York Giants who dropped a fly ball in Game 7 of the 1912 World Series, allowing the Red Sox to win the Series. But that guy was Snodgrass, not Snodgress. There's a guy named Jordan Leyland who I thought might be related to Detroit Tigers' manager Jim Leyland. I Googled it and saw a headline that said, "Tigers draft Jim Leyland's son." But it's not Jordan, it's Patrick.

So enjoy the shot of Yaz at bat in 2010. Do you think he has a similar stance?

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