Monday, March 31, 2008

Tom Gordon's Shiny New 135.01 ERA

Some of us spent the final day of March so wrapped up in that kinda-cool chicks b-ball scoring demo staged by Stanford's Candice Wiggins (daughter of the former MLB'er) and Maryland's Kristi Tolliver (daughter of the former NBA ref) that we forgot all about the Phillies' season opener. ///// Yup ... some of us Phillie Phan diehards (ret.) in the La-Z-Boy Sector of America couldn't remember who the Phillies opened against, not to mention the date or time of the first pitch. ///// Maybe we're still hurtin' from the Colorado playoff series. ////// Anyway, Wiggins finished with 41 points and Tolliver racked up 35 and, since neither looks like a complete beast, it's safe to say that this was an attractive playoff basketball game. ///// What's a little strange is that of the all-time Top 6 individual scoring performances in the ladies' version of the playoffs (50 pts. by Drake's Lorri Bauman against Maryland in 1982 ... 47 by Texas Tech's Sheryl Swoopes vs. Ohio State in 1993 ... 44 by Wiggins vs. UTEP last week ... 43 by Clemson's Barbara Kennedy vs. Penn State in 1982 ... 41 by Wiggins tonight ... and 41 by Southwest Missouri State's Jackie Stiles vs. Duke in 2001), we've seen half of 'em. ////// Swoopes simply shredded the Buckeyes in that '93 title game ... and Stiles was oodles of fun for SMSU (now known simply as "Missouri State -- Alma Mater of Ryan Howard") during those '01 playoffs when Miss Jackie was dubbed "Pistol With A Ponytail." ///// Nobody's sure what ever happened to Lorri Bauman or Barbara Kennedy -- stars of the '82 playoffs -- but, it doesn't really matter much because the two seasons which followed '82, somebody named Cheryl Miller put chicks hoops on the map (maybe because some of us had the privilege of watching her play once when she visited that rickety SJSU gym on the corner of Fourth & San Carlos where we and some of our SJSU chums and rivals played a lot of hoops ... before Cheryl came along and made slightly more baskets than we ever did on those unforgiving rims). //// All of this gal-hoop talk, however, isn't doin' a damn thing to improve the 135.01 ERA which Tom Gordon now has -- this, after he came into today's game with the score tied, 6-6, in the top of the 9th and promptly allowed 5 runs in one-third of an IP. ///// If only Flash had recorded another out, his ERA would be 67.50 -- and, next week, when he's workin' hard to get it to triple digits (down from quintuple digits), we'd say that his ERA was "manageable." ///// Of course, if he could've surrendered those five runs and stuck around to record the final out of the inning, his ERA would be 45.00 -- and that would be on par with today's theme of "40" (Wiggins, Swoopes, Stiles). //// Kinda reminds ya of what Stan Ridgway sang about back in '86: "Along the way he wondered / If he left behind a clue / The front page of the paper / Dated 1992 / He remembered when he used to be / The chairman of the board / But that was when the world was young / And long before the war / And everybody wants another piece of pie today, he said ..." //// Words to live by. //// Because, near The Cit, today was a dreary, damp and chilly day ... the final day of March, 2008 ... not the sunny, bright, hopeful final day of September, 2007. /////// Kinda like that song from Stan Ridgway when he sang about, "Lofty possibilities / You never had a doubt / We always screamed from the bleachers / When you'd always strike out / Now you're way out in front / And you look glory-bound / You're just a little too smart / For a big, dumb town ..."

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