Baseball, retribution, and a disdain for the heat – Beside the Point

The summer is flyin’ by. It’s flyin’ by so fast I’m three hours late with my submission this week.

We’ve had too much heat and too much rain. Great for the corn, not for the physiologically challenged. Or those who like a couple beers on a warm day.

As I get toward the top of “the hill”, the heat seems to be bugging me a bit more than in the past. I played in a sluggish golf event last week and actually had a thought of stepping off the last two holes because of the heat.

Now it was 112 out there, but my focus was shot and anyone who’s golfed with me knows I need all the focus I can get. It’s too much fun to get serious and my game shows it. But I can hit that one good shot every now and then. All worth it.

But the heat seems to be taking the fun out of my summer. My baseball tickets are in the shade when I go to Great American Ballpark to watch Joey Vott-OHHHH!

I’m going again for my birthday next week. My wife offered to take me there for a couple days. We used my credit card…?

Oh, and a big shout out to Ron Walker and the boys team on another great season. That program, like most others at FMHS, is on the rise. The softball team is full of talented underclassmen and Jared Rehm has them dialed in, as well.

But I’m a little miffed at the not-so-Big Red Machine.

I’m disappointed that retribution wasn’t exacted to get the cocky Javy Baez, who was talking trash to Reds’ relief pitcher Amir Garrett even before he got into the box on Monday night. (Many people suspected this was coming in my Beside the Point – Well…YEAH!)

Baez then hit a walk-off pinch hit game winner and pretended to either row or sweep with his bat walking down the line chirping again at Garrett who had thoughts of a meeting of the minds. Baez slammed his bat down, not in Garrett’s direction per se, but not…not in his direction either, and then needed three teammates to escort and encourage him the rest of the way to first.

Baez sat the next two games with a sore heel. He legit seems to be hobbled, but he should’ve taken one off the butt. What’s happened to baseball? Votto, who hit six homers in the series, points to the name on his jersey after a homer, and the announcers can’t let it go. Yet Baez’ antics are swept under the carpet. Man I hate the heat.

The Cubs fans out there enjoyed the moment. I actually enjoyed the moment, too. Baez is a real talent. Probably the quickest tag ever in history. The best feet, hands, arm and pure athleticism in the majors, and I love the color he brings to the game.

Still think he shoulda been plunked – and then let him and whomever go at it hockey style until they get in the clinch, and then break it up. Hopefully that’s Garrett throwing. I think Garrett can throw hands, too, and Baez would have his work cut out for him. The Pirates know first hand….YouTube it.

But that’s just the heat getting to me. I’m a baseball purist. My best day at a ball field would be a perfect game, if not that, a no-hitter. I watched Roger Clemens go 8 innings of no-hit ball at GABP and then for some reason, no one ever clarified, pulled himself from the game.

The heat got to me that game as well.

The summer is one of my favorite seasons. It’s like my 3rd or 4th favorite of all the seasons. My conservative friends, and yes, I have a lot of them, say climate change is a figment of a collective imagination. But I’m melting here dammit.

My doctor said I should start with four glasses of water when I’m going outside because your body doesn’t have a chance to keep up with the dehydration of the fireball in the sky. I thought about bargaining with her – two Modelos and two waters? But I had mentioned to her that I wasn’t feeling too well after 10 holes that day and she was in no mood to play around.

She checked all the blood cell numbers and A1C and all that. It’s all good. The roadwork, reduced beef intake, and extra rabbit food are having good results. The half bottle of Jameson’s I drank with Noah Jenkins in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago…not so much.

When are we going to get to that blue light they just wave over you that makes that reverberation noise that Bones used to wave over Captain Kirk? I don’t mind getting blood drawn. I’ve got good veins, but the damn heat makes ’em shrink and roll.

Anyway, I’m gonna start with more water, Dr. Huber. And cut down on the Modelos – and focus more on my driver – and not hate Javy Baez – he’s hard to hate.

My wife said I’ve been grumpy, but I blame the heat.

She said, “you’re inside in the air!”- well, that’s Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is editor and co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at

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