Results tagged ‘ Batting Stance Guy ’
Last night’s game was the most important game of the series thus far. A win would allow you the privelege of being able to lose the next game and still be in the running for the World Series title. While a loss would mean having to face the near impossible task of winning two games in a row. The pressure was on.
The Cardinals and Rangers both had their Aces on the mound. Christopher John Carpenter for the Cardinals, and Christopher John Wilson for the Rangers. Notice similarities in their names? Interesting isn’t it. (From now on I’ll refer to them as Chris and C.J. I just wanted to point out their same names.) Anyway, they both have had success as well as failure in the past. It all came down to this game. They had to be on their game.
The first runs of the game were scored by the Cardinals in the top of the second inning. The first run coming from an RBI single by Yadier Molina, and the second coming off a ground out by Lance Berkman. The Cardinals had a quick 2-0 lead.
Moving onto the bottom of the third. An absolute BOMB by Mitch Moreland put the Rangers on the board. When I say BOMB, I mean BOMB. The home run soared into the upper deck of the outfield, traveling an estimated 446 feet. It was the longest home run in the World Series since records began being kept back in 2006.
The next Rangers run came in the bottom of the sixth inning. A home run by Adrian Beltre tied things up for the Rangers. The amazing thing about this home run, is that he hit it on one knee. Or at least ended his swing on one knee.
Let me change gears for a moment, as I want to talk a little bit about the Texas Legends race that took place during the middle of the sixth inning. The legends race is run by people who dress up as legends from Texas’s history. The race is done every Rangers game, but last night wasn’t a normal race. Last night’s race saw MLB Network analysts dressing up as the characters for the race. Kevin Millar as Davy Crockett, Harold Reynolds as Sam Houston, Sean Casey as Jim Bowie and Mitch Williams as Nolan Ryan. You had to figure that Keving Millar, who said that he was “going to win”, on yesterday’s episode of ’Intentional Talk’, was going to do whatever it took to increase his chances of winning. Even if it meant cheating. Whatever Millar did, he must of done it without standing out too much, as he won last night’s race by a good 15 feet. Harold Reynold’s, Sean Casey, and Mitch Williams, finishing in that order, felt that Millar did in fact cheat. Below is a video I found on Youtube. Watch it, and you tell me:
Did Millar cheat? Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment in the comments section below.
Getting back to the game, it appeared as if it would go into extra innings, with the score still tied, 2-2, going into the bottom of the eighth. But Mike Napoli couldn’t let that happen, as he drove in two runs on a line drive single to center. Napoli came through again for the Rangers, and the fans let him know it with the continuous chanting of, “NA-PO-LI. NA-PO-LI. NA-PO-LI……” It went on, and on, and on. It had to be a good feeling for Napoli, who’s now, in my opinion, a great candidite for MVP. He’s come through for the Rangers the entire series. He deserves it more than anyone else.
Neftali Feliz was brought in to close things out in the top of the ninth inning. He imediately plunked Allen Craig, sending him to first base with Albert Pujols coming to the plate. Then things got weird as signals became crossed. Allen Craig says that he saw the hit and run sign from the third base coach, while Albert Pujols says he put the sign on. Whoever it was, it didn’t work, as Albert Pujols failed to make contact, and Craig was easily thrown out by Napoli at second. A strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play. Just like that, there were two outs. Neftali Feliz made quick work of the next batter, Lance Berkman, striking him out to end the game.
The Rangers win the game 4-2. They now lead the series 3 games to 2. Unless the rally squirrel makes an appearance in St. Louis, I’d say the Cardinals chances of winning the World Series down 3-2, are slim to none. But stranger things have happened. That’s the great thing about baseball. You can be down, but you’re never out. There’s always that chance that the unbelievable can happen. You never know.
Remember my Q and A blog entry with the ‘Batting Stance Guy’? Well, he was up to his old tricks of imitating MLB players batting stances last night in the Rangers Clubhouse. Check out his hilarious imitation of Adrian Beltre’s one knee home run:
The guy’s great.
Please vote in the poll below:
1. Briefly describe yourself, and what you do, to those who may not know.
I possess the least marketable skill in America of imitating most every baseball hitter in the past 30 years.
2. When did the idea/desire to imitate MLB players batting stances come about?
As young as I can remember. I went for Halloween in 1980 as Pete Rose. I was 7. I grew up going to Oakland A’s games when they featured lineups of Rickey Henderson, Carney Lansford, Dave Kingman, Joe Morgan, Mickey Tettleton and Tony Phillips. All zany stances in my book.
3. Why take the time to memorize and imitate players batting stances at all?
Good question, Matt. I didn’t set out to memorize them. For some reason my brain captures the stuff I love. And I love baseball. Only way to explain it is there are a lot of song lyrics we all know that we never decided to memorize.
4. How many total batting stances can you imitate?
I’ve been asked this before, especially when Sony Playstation had me do the motion-capture for MLB The Show. I’ve never counted. I don’t have a list, but probably most starters since 1979. Could be 500? Could be 1,000? Honestly don’t know. A dozen times a MLB team has invited me into the middle of the team stretching circle. The players will call out names and have me clown each player. I’ve received requests of players I’ve never considered imitating….so the list is probably long if I actually had one.
5. Which players batting stance is your favorite to imitate?
My favorite is whichever one makes people laugh. MLB players laugh hardest for Kevin Youkilis and Hunter Pence. Fans love Derek Jeter and Rickey Henderson. I love three that most people don’t request: Ben Oglivie, Moises Alou and Gary Matthews Sr, “The Sarge.”
David Letterman. My brain could understand meeting a few players and coaches but when The Late Show wanted me on as a guest..that was out of the blue.
7. Talk a little about your book ‘Batting Stance Guy: A Love Letter To Baseball’.
It is a love letter to baseball framed around the greatest 50 stances of my lifetime. It’s more a journey through my life of loving baseball and getting rejected by girls than it is about how much Gary Sheffield wiggles his bat. There is first hand account from every stadium and funny art work. I’m really proud of it. Even received letters about it from Ken Burns, George Will and three supreme court justices.
8. How did you narrow the vast number of batting stances down to 50 for the book?
Scribner (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) had an idea of a fun paperback book about that size so 50 seemed like a good round number. But it did mean Matt Diaz and Carl Crawford just missed the cut.
9. How long can you see yourself imitating batting stances of MLB players?
To be honest, I had no reason to think it would last more than that first year these video entered the world (2008). Teams kept having me out, and players like it and are familiar with the videos. Now MLB Network is having me do SNL Digital Short-ish spoof segments for Intentional Talk. However, mostly imitating announcers and players talking, not their swings. The whole thing has been the most fun I’ve ever enjoyed around baseball. In fact, the last locker room I was in, the players called “Let us hear Tim Kurkjian discussing Darwin Barney.” That was a first.
What a country.
Big thanks to Gar Ryness, the ‘Batting Stance Guy’, for answering my questions.
Be sure to visit his website: battingstanceguy.com
Also, follow him on twitter: @BattingStanceG