Cape Gazette
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People In Sports

Don’t throw Uncle Charlie over the fat part of the plate

By Dave Frederick | Apr 17, 2012
Photo by: Dave Frederick Tony Garcia out sprints his wife Andrea to the finish chute

Wild in the strike zone - Cliff Lee was pitching for the Phillies last week, and announcer Chris Wheeler wouldn’t back off his newfound cleverness, saying “Lee gets in trouble when he’s wild in the strike zone.” I get it, you want to nibble at the corners and not throw an “Uncle Charlie” over the fat part of the plate. Later, Gary Mathews was in the booth and as Hunter Pence stood at the plate with the bases loaded with a full count and two outs the Sarge said, “Pence wants to be careful in this situation he doesn’t swing at a pitch he can’t hit.” Actually he didn’t, taking the walk to force in a run, but if you were a Little League dad and your son was batting cleanup with the sacks full, you want him to swing to get his hacks; there is no glory in the RBI walk, you could do it on a walker.

Hard Rock mayhem - The Flyers and Penguins opening series in the Stanley Cup playoffs is total insanity on ice. Every April I watch Stanley Cup playoff action, then swing to the NBA “back it down stand around” lack of action during the two intermissions, and it looks like those players are walking around in buckets of cement. Hockey players want that trophy more than anything in their sports life; it is actually important to them. The Flyers have been awesome, up 3-0, but it can all change with a center ice collision. I had to laugh with all the charging and high sticking and drop-the-gloves fighting that the NHL has a rule, “no hair pulling.”

Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame - I was standing in the Bristol ballroom of Kings Caterers April 12 along with 400 friends and families of the 14 inductees in the Bucks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. My brother Tom was going in for football and basketball. It was fun as people from my sports youth past came up and began saying nice things to me. One of the organizers shook my hand and said, “You were one of the toughest, most pushing runners ever in the Philadelphia Catholic League, and we are all very proud of the career you had as a fullback at Army.” I nodded and said, "That’s nice, but I’m not Charlie Jarvis; he’s over there talking to his Army teammate Gary Steele who’s being inducted here tonight. I’m just a Delaware guy with a weenie camera in my pocket.”

Mr. Go Glass - A high school team loses some games and I start to see the cracks in the windshield as losses begin to cobweb and all kinds of flaws of talent and character start to become evident. And it can all happen in an instant like a pebble thrown by a truck tire at 80 miles an hour into your windshield and you scream ouch because your car can’t talk. The remedy is winning; it starts to make the world in front of you look a whole lot better. “Just go out there and have fun, but if you lose, you better not let me catch you laughing.”

Ain’t no joke - I’m not a marriage counselor, but I’m thinking rocking the Great Santini card on your younger wife during a Sunday morning 5K when you decide to “leave her” and sprint to the finish chute with a big smile on your face is counterproductive to harmonious relations, but all couples have their own way of sorting things out. Yet there was Tony Garcia, 41, at Sunday’s Seashore Classic 5K at Irish Eyes in Lewes kicking it in ahead of his wife Andrea Garcia, 34, beating her by 3 seconds that he will never get back.

Snippets - Ten games into the season with the Baltimore Orioles Double A affiliate Bowie Baysox, Tyler Townsend is batting .297 with 4 home runs. Battling averages change a lot early in the season because of the limited number of at bats. Cape track has a big challenge at Caesar Rodney this Tuesday, running against the host Riders and the Dover Senators. And don’t forget, the Penn Relays is always the last weekend in April. The Cape Crusaders basketball program had a pair of tournament wins last weekend from the fourth-grade team and the 10th-grade team. Expanded results will be posted online when they become available. I myself am an expanded result and I’m OK with it.

Go on now, git!

Big Tom Frederick -Bishop Egan High, Penn State and Detroit Lions using his cane as a pointer says " I don't know why I'm the only one of all these athletes who looks like he used to be a player." (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
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