MLB

BLACK JACK: Washburn is a true battler

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foxsports admin

 
   
 
"Black Jack" McDowell was called one of baseball's last true mavericks. The former Cy Young-winner-turned-rock musician now brings his idiosyncratic perspective to FOXSports.com where he'll share his weekly spin on baseball, music and anything else that's on his (or your) mind. There are always good stories in baseball year to year. This year I pick the . During spring training I told quite a few people to watch these guys: "Great team, young pitching. If the young hurlers came of age, watch out! " Well, here we are... and here they are.

With leading the charge, and the bullpen quietly being one of the best in baseball (it's amazing what postseason hype, or lack of it, does for an image), these guys are poised to turn some postseason heads.

And while I'm on the subject of Washburn, I'm enjoying his opponents' postgame comments after he pitches. It has a ring of familiarity to me. Quotes like "he just battles" and "he makes pitches when he has to." There's almost tones of disbelief rather than respect! I'm certain that the opposing pitchers are more uncomfortable drawing Washburn than the hitters are facing him. Stuff is stuff but battling WINS! When guys go back to the dugout after a warning track fly ball that they "just missed," and look forward to their next at-bat because they are gonna "get him next time," time seems to pass quickly! Next thing you know, it's two at-bats later and another "comfortable" 0-for-4 has happened. They can't figure out how it happens because you're not throwing 97mph and you're not "nasty!" I always preached that to win as a starter, you only had to be better than the other pitcher THAT DAY! At 42-23 for his career, it appears Jarrod gets it.

and 600

That's pretty cool ... and we get to see it. Just another "all-time" baseball great I can tell my grandkids I faced. In college also! Arizona State vs. Stanford. Let me see ... two games in college and three spring training games. Barry homered off of me in each and every one of them! I wonder if he knows this as well as I do? I also struck him out at least once in every game. He definitely won that matchup!

On the turntable

A good friend of mine, Troy Michael, from Champaign, Ill. celebrates the one-year anniversary of his Innocent Words magazine on Dec. 1. It is an independent arts and entertainment quarterly FREE 'zine that has a strong focus on both local and national independent music. Part of the celebration is a compilation CD that all fans of good music should check out. As of Aug. 1st the songs come from (in Troy's words):


ABSINTHE BLIND - one of the best local bands in the Urbana-Champaign area
ALLETTE BROOKS - Indie folk singer from California
BURDEN BROTHERS - Diverse duo featuring Todd Lewis from the TOADIES and Taz Bentley from Reverend Horton Heat...on Last Beat Records
EVERBODY UH-OH - Chicago alternative band on Arborvitae Records
G.LEE & JET BLONDE - Magnificent indie singer-songwriter from Champaign
STONE GOSSARD - (need I say more?) guitarist from Pearl Jam and Brad
KNIEVEL - Indie band from Aussie land...In Music We Trust Records
MAROONS - Portland band with members of Pavement's Stephen Malkmus' solo backing band, The Jicks...also on In Music We Trust Records
PINKSTON - Former rubberbullet singer, Beth Clardy Lewis' new band on Last Beat Records
REGARDING ANGELS - Champaign's answer to Dave Matthews and Pink Floyd
ROBYNN RAGLAND - Talented and Sexy St. Louis singer-songwriter
SATIIVA - Sublime and Black Sabbath's love child!
STICKFIGURE - Featuring my friend, former baseball player Jack McDowell, the coolest dad I know!
TIME SPENT DRIVING - Session Records indie rock band from California
VICE DOLLS - Champaign hardcore band w/ BIG BALLS
LORENZO GOETZ - Self proclaimed "Mutt Rock" touching all genres of music ever known
EVA HUNTER -Champaign singer-songwriter in the country-pop vein

Portions of the sales of the CD and coinciding party/auction will benefit Riley's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis for art supplies. Troy received a kidney transplant at that hospital at age 14 and music helped bring him through! Check out www.innocentwords.com or e-mail troy at
InnocentWords10@aol.com

Note to all GMs

Before you make a trade or a free agent signing, talk to your players. You may have the best scouts in the world but the players know the CHARACTER of the other players ... i.e, what kind of a teammate they'll be and what they are like when the game is on the line. Easier to talk to a few guys downstairs than regret it later.

Strike?

Lots of folks ask me (as if I know) but my guess is that the season will not be stopped with a strike. There is not the same "edge" on the talks this year as there has been in the past. The players already have agreed to a heavy luxury tax. And let's not forget the drug testing! The issue of the day! Let's make sure we test for steroids like the other sports do. Hey it cleaned up the NFL right? None of those guys do 'roids because they might get caught in a test! My condolences to those few who fall in the name of cleaning up the sport.

Stickfigure on the road

Check out www.stickfigure.com for tour information ... we are going out for three weeks starting on Aug. 25th in Nashville... e-mail me at the site and make sure you're on the e-mail list for upcoming shows!!
Tagged: Angels, Giants

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