Election Night in New York 2016

Four years ago, in the wake of a national election, I wrote an opinion piece for the now defunct The Cauldron titled With All Due Respect, Nick Saban and Ernie Johnson Just Don’t Get It.

Iconic head coach Saban, a leader of men, caught my ire because he insisted voting wasn’t important to him, and even if it was, gosh darn it, he just wasn’t smart enough to know who to vote for:

“Well, to be honest with you, I didn’t even know yesterday was Election Day. So, it was so important to me, that I didn’t even know it…

For Cincinnati Bengals fans, this is the end of the road

Photo: Richard Fitch

Some fans just don’t see it. If only they’d look to the corner of the home end zone, they’d surely catch a glimpse of Rod Serling standing there, still as Carson Palmer in the pocket, pointing to the signpost up ahead, the one telling them the Cincinnati Bengals are as dead as the proverbial doornail. Not just for this season, but for …

There is no completing that sentence because there is no longer any future for the woe begotten franchise that calls the drab and featureless Paul Brown Stadium home. …

I love pro football. I have as far back as I can remember. My first sports hero was Roman Gabriel. You probably don’t remember Gabriel because the rings of your personal tree don’t run as deep and aged as mine, so indulge me while I introduce you to him through the eyes of a thirteen-year old boy.

He was, to put it simply, a god in shoulder pads. He was tall. He was strong. He was Hollywood handsome. He had a cannon for an appendage, an arm that led a mighty Southern California team full of talent. He was the…

He’s simply the 2017 NL MVP

Richard Fitch

Once again, we ponder that most timeless of philosophical postseason baseball questions, the one that hangs in the air like an ill-conceived slider thrown in the ninth at its most inauspicious moment:

“If an MVP season occurs on the banks of the Ohio River and enough Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters refuse to acknowledge it, did it make a sound?”

Trumpeted across the interwebs and maybe even the New York Times, came the stunning news:

“The Great Analytics War ended at 48 minutes after midnight on November 3, 2016. The terms were unconditional surrender…. The victors were Theo Epstein, the analytics movement, and the game of baseball.”

Verily, a great battle was surely won. But, the war? I’m not so sure. I’ll await the announcement of the 2017…

I’ve done the math for you because that’s just the kind of guy I am.

That’s us, the percentage of baseball fans homeless; at low ebb. Our teams eliminated, we’re left foraging for humble considerations, something — anything — to cheer for. There is no “root root root for the home team.” Home team is gone until spring training beckons. We need a rooting interest.

But, who?

Even as I live in New York, I cannot bring myself to pull for the Yankees — Baseball’s Wall Street. Everything about the franchise is an overstuffed turducken of greatness and grandiosity, best…

The coach stood at the podium, the klieg lights warmer, if not brighter, than they had ever felt up to this point in his career. The bad news was out there and he was here to address it head on. But he — being a master at message and manipulation — was sure he could look out at this sea of media faces, small-town and skeptical, and sway them with the sheer force of his New York personality. He had been here so many times before:

We will win, and we will win right away.”

And with that, the Rick…

Great expectations, everybody’s watching you

Just a smidge over 30 years ago, on June 2, 1987, baseball in the Pacific Northwest hit the mother lode. When the roulette wheel ball dropped and settled into the pocket marked “Seattle,” the rest of baseball turned Mariner green with envy. You didn’t have to be Nostradamus to see that Ken Griffey, Jr. was going to be a generational talent. It was merely a question of how long the incubation period would be before he came roaring out of the egg. Two days removed from the ’87 draft, Junior graduated from Moeller High School in Cincinnati. …

Third base belongs to Eugenio Suarez. For now.

Richard Fitch

Hey, Cincinnati. You know full well who’s on first. We’ll see this Fall how many of Baseball’s MVP voters know, but for now, we’re all pretty much on common ground here. We get to watch the jaw-dropping excellence day-in and day-out. It’s the kind of excellence that harkens back to the days of The Mick and The Splendid Splinter. So, you could excuse us if we’re feeling all Tokki, too. And if you don’t relate, you’re probably whiling away your recreational hours up on the hill at Nippert Stadium watching a good game of kickball anyway.

Due south at The…

And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot
To mark the full-fraught man and best endued
With some suspicion. I will weep for thee,
For this revolt of thine methinks is like
Another fall of man. — Henry V

Richard Fitch

Gone now is all semblance of the Rose of my youth. All that remains are the thorns, a winter forest of thorns rending its inhabitants and all memory to tatters, taken now to the wind.

In one breath, the act is unspeakably muted in disbelief — in the next, it wails in full horror at the indecency of it…

Lost among extraordinary offensive numbers is a renewed commitment to defense and another mountain climbed

Richard Fitch

When we last left our hero, he had reached to summit after a long and steep climb up the face of baseball’s current run prevention machine, an edifice defined these days by unholy velocity and baseballs that seem to ride the edge of a sixty foot, six inch event horizon before laughably slipping off the edge as they approach home plate. After a replacement level start to his 2016 season, there he was on August 13, 2016, back on top of the baseball world, sporting a very excellent slash line of .303/.429/.514.

But no one stays at the top for…

Richard Fitch

Father. Iowa born, Kentucky raised, NYC finished. I write about baseball. I wonder what Willie Shakespeare would have written had he met Willie Mays.

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