Justin Case for July 11, 2011
If you caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit ball what would you do with it?
23-year-old Christian Lopez gave the ball back to Jeter and the Yankees. The Yankees, in turn, gave Lopez prime seat season tickets for the rest of the year plus signed balls, bats and jerseys. The Yankees got lucky because it happened at home and a Yankee fan caught it. If say, a Phillies or Reds or Pirates or Red Sox fan caught it, he may not have turned it over so easily. Money would, could have been the overriding thought for the fan looking to cash in on his luck or will to grab the ball with several others bearing over him trying to do the same thing.
What would I have done? I'm a baseball fan and appreciative to the game's longstanding history so I would have given the ball back to Jeter. However, I would have gone for experiences. In turn I would have asked the Yankees for an all-expenses paid trip to the All Star Game for the next...five years or at least until my Reds finally get an All Star Game. I'd also ask for an all-expenses paid trip to the the Baseball Hall of Fame. For some reason I still haven't been there.
Did you watch the US-Brazil women's World Cup? Yes it's women and I know it's not as captivating as men's sports but it was thrilling to watch. (Disclaimer: womens sports get bashed sometimes and it's not deserving but keep in mind women get excited and fill out brackets for the MEN'S ncaa basketball tournament. Most women have no clue what teams play in the women's ncaa basketball tournament). Anyway, the U.S. was down 2-1, playing with 10 players to Brazil's 11 and the U.S. came back to tie it with an amazing goal in the final minute of extra time. The Americans then won 5-3 in penalty kicks, advancing to the semis against france. Sweden and Japan play in the other semi?
I had the privilege to interview Bobby Cox Sunday. I didn't know a ton about him before and had never met him before but for the 9 minutes that I spoke with him he's a top notch guy. It was if he wouldn't have mattered if I interviewed him for an hour. He was very friendly, well-spoken and open to talk about anything baseball. He was at the helm of the Braves from 1990-2010 and since he only won 1 world series title he doesn't get the credit he deserves. (The Braves won it in 95 against the Indians and lost to the twins in 91, the blue jays in 92, the yankees in 96 and 99.) During the 90s they dominated the NL and they did it with scouting and player development. They occassionally picked up a free agent or made a trade at the July deadline but overall they did it within the organization.
For more on Cox and my interview with him you can watch the whole thing here.
FYI - if you ever go to an Orioles game, check out Pickles behind the left-center field wall across the street.
That's all for now. Rock it out.