Friday, October 14, 2005

Baseball! I love this game!

With both my local teams out of the play-offs, I've found another team to root for. I usually do so by counting up the ex-Giants and A's on the remaining play-off teams.

Let's see: the Chi-Sox have ex-A Jermaine Dye and ex-Giants Dustin Hermanson and AJ However-you-spell-his-name (he was a Giant for only a year--and any guy who angrily knees the trainer in the groin isn't really a Giant, in my book).

The California Angels of Anaheim (or the Los Angeles Let's Leave Early & Beat the Traffic Angels, as we refer to them up here) have nary an ex-Giant or Athletic (even Jason Christiansen isn't on the roster).

The Houston Astros, sort of the feel-good story of the post-season (especially cool fan to give the home run balls to Cooperstown), have just Jose Vizcaino, a back-up with the Giants and now a back-up with the Astros....

Then there's the St Louis Cardinals----

Busch Stadium, about to be torn down with their new park opening next season, is the site of my only hit in a major league park (maybe a story for another day. I take requests). With former Athletics Jason Isringhausen, Mark Mulder and John Mabry, along with ex-Gigantes Reggie Sanders and Julian Tavarez, the Cards are the easy winners in the "root for the former home-boys' race".

Plus, the Cardinals are led by Tony LaRussa, the only guy in the post-season this year to have ever spent any money in Flying Colors Comics!

Oh, and a couple more things:
• Tony is a cool guy who does a lot of good work with his Animal Rescue Foundation (there are lots of humans who need rescuing, too, by the way).

• Tony and I have a "several degrees of separation" story, too. It turns out---and I only learned it straight from Tony when he visited Flying Colors after the '98 season--- that my great uncle Joe Bowman (former major league pitcher from '32-'45) signed Tony to his first pro contract.

My great Uncle Joe was Charlie Finley's super-scout for the Kansas City/ Oakland A's when he recognized the talent of Tony La Russa as a ballplayer in the Tampa, Florida area. I'd like to say Uncle Joe saw Tony's Hall-of-Fame level managerial potential, too, but that'd be stretching it.

So I'm rooting for the Cards this post-season. But as soon as the Series is over, I'll be back to being a total die-hard for my Bay Area teams.

FlyCo Joe
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