Tuesday Talk: Jackie, Snow, and Ueck
Snow in Wisconsin, your thoughts?
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler: It just figures, after winter was so wicked for week after week, that there was one more snowstorm left up its sleeve. What people might not understand about baseball players is this: Yes, a rainout every now and then, especially during a long stretch of games, is good for a player to relax, recharge, and convalesce. But baseball players are in it to play. Batters need to hit, pitchers need to throw. Days without baseball get everyone antsy. This team isn’t ready to spend days away from the field yet, especially not after a slow start that has left everyone (except maybe Kendall Graveman) knowing there’s so much more they can do than they’ve shown so far.
Trey Wilson: Seriously ... I thought we were done with all of this snow nonsense. But this is my first trip to Wisconsin, and I've been told I should've almost been expecting it. It's a rude interruption to a baseball season that had just started flowing along. But in an attempt to make the most of it, I was able to travel a couple hours south last night and catch my first game at Miller Park. Great ballpark. I highly recommend it to everyone. Enough of this snow and cold. Bring on some warm weather and let's play ball.
Trey's Challenge Question: What are your favorite rainout (or snowout) pastimes?
Trey: If there's baseball around, find it (see above). Otherwise, movies and naps are great for passing the time.
Jesse: I'm a rainy day movie-watcher. Get me together with friends, pop some popcorn, cue up a great comedy, and I'll forget all about the weather.
Jesse’s Challenge Question: Today is Jackie Robinson Day. Whether through what you’ve read, what you’ve experienced, or simply the movie 42, what are your thoughts on today for baseball?
Jesse: I grew up in a neighborhood that still participated in desegregating busing, and so what Jackie Robinson (and Branch Rickey, for that matter) represents is very close to my heart. If Jackie had been any less in any way – in his character, in his strength, in his game-changing ability – it would have been so much harder to break baseball’s color line… and it was plenty hard enough as it was! But he succeeded against overwhelming pressure and life-threatening opposition, and baseball became so much better for it. In the immediately ensuing years, youngsters Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Ernie Banks were signed to contracts by the Giants, Braves, and Cubs respectively and became, I’d argue, the best players in the history of those storied franchises. Robinson’s success opened a door, too, for Roberto Clemente, signed originally by the Dodgers and snatched up by the Pirates, and Clemente’s success keyed a growing scouting interest in Latin America. Today, the obstacle to a player’s journey to the Major Leagues is not his skin color or his background, but merely the extent of his talent. 70 years ago, that would have been a shocking thing to say.
Trey: I think Jesse nailed it. How much different would not only baseball be, but our country today without Jackie Robinson breaking through with the Dodgers? Growing up with a diverse group of teammates and opponents on the field was something we had no second thoughts about when I was a kid, so it's great to see the progress made over a couple generations.
Road Restaurant Review: The Machine Shed
Just around the corner from the Microtel Inn & Suites, with the Cracker Barrel down-home country feel. The serving staff wears overalls to add to the atmosphere. Jesse had pancakes and eggs, Trey had bacon and sausage. Solid breakfast place, with tiny mason jars for glasses. Bon appetit!