View Count: 84 |  Publish Date: October 20, 2013
Baseball and hot dogs - a perfect combination

Dont cry to me about baseballs hot-dog problem.
Sure, Yasiel Puig is a hard guy to like, especially if youre a Giants fan. His hot-dogging, preening and pimping (admiring hits) reeks of self-absorbed immaturity, but at least hes not purposely boring, like several hundred players I could name.
The debates over baseball decorum set off a flashback to two hot dogs who helped me fall in love with the sport when I was a kid - Dick Stuart and Vic Power, both first basemen.
Stuart was nicknamed Dr. Strangeglove for his horrid fielding, but he could hit. In 1956, in Class A ball in Lincoln, Neb., Stuart hit 66 home runs.
The next year he was promoted to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and reported to the Hollywood Stars toting a suitcase with a huge 66 painted on the side. He signed autographs Dick Stuart 66, dotting the i with a star.
To this impressionable kid just discovering the game, that was stupendously cool.
Power was the definitive baseball hot dog of the 50s and 60s. He was Puerto Rican, and in 53 Power and catcher Elston Howard were ticketed to break the Yankees color barrier. Instead, Howard got the call alone. In racially sensitive times, the Yankees feared Power didnt fit their dignified image. He blew kisses to fans, dated white women (also other colors), was a flashy dresser and had some lip.
One spring training, a coffee-shop waitress told Power, We dont serve Negroes here. Power said, Thats OK, I dont eat Negroes.
Instead of promoting Power to the bigs, the Yankees traded him.
There wasnt much baseball on TV in those days, but I read about Power being widely criticized and resented for his showboat fielding. He broke baseballs sacred two-hands commandment by catching everything one-handed. Power made those catches with a sweeping ole! flourish. God help us.
Side note: Power won seven consecutive Gold Gloves.
Another side note: Powers one-handed style revolutionized first-base play.
This kid was too naive to realize that flair, style, fun and living large were to be condemned as violations of baseball etiquette. Maybe Ill learn some day.
Knuckleheads of the Week: BCS commissioners
Theyve selected a committee to choose the four teams to compete in the 2014 seasons college football playoffs.
Condoleezza Rice? Archie Manning? Tyrone Willingham? Is this a playoff selection committee or a season of Dancing With the Stars?
Willingham? To paraphrase Bob Gibson, the only thing he knows about college football is that he cant coach it.
Manning? Why? And isnt he busy protecting the Manning brand?
Rice? No problem that shes a woman. Its a problem that shes nothing more than a knowledgeable fan. Also, back when Rice was helping make even more important decisions, at least half the country graded her decision-making F-minus.Deep thoughts, cheap shots & bon mots
-- You folks who did the wave at last Sundays 49ers game as an opposing player was treated on the field for a serious injury, be informed: We have your names and are keeping tabs. When you become seriously ill or badly injured, a group of us will come to your hospital room, have ourselves a wild kegger and use your IV bag as a pinata.
-- Anquan Boldin was dead on when he called the NFL leaders hypocrites for preaching safety while sending players into Thursday night games with too little recovery time. What Boldin is missing: Part of his salary comes from those non-Sunday bonus games. If he and other players are serious, they will petition their union leaders to negotiate with owners to dump Thursday games, and the players will agree to share the pay cut.
-- Speaking of hot dogs: Reggie Jackson has a new autobiography out, Becoming Mr. October, and you might be thinking, Really? Does every New Yorker automatically churn out an autobiography every 10 years? But I started reading it, and its pretty good. History is often more interesting after a few decades of reflection.
-- Whats faster than Usain Bolt? Bolts stock, falling, after verification of reports that the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission shut down drug testing for the five months leading up to the London Olympics. Guilty: Jamaica, for not protecting its own athletes and the countrys sprint reputation. Guiltier: the IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency, for letting it happen.
-- How could this testing lapse occur in the biggest showcase sport of the Olympics? As Deep Throat once said, Follow the money.
-- Classic Twitter battle between N.Y. Giants teammates David Wilson and Rueben Randle! Wilson: and Eli has Rueben wide open ... (crowd sighs) Awww, he couldnt hall it in. Another drop for randle. ... Randle: get off twitter and get in your play book u bum
-- Fortunately for the Giants, no petty social-media squabbling is going to throw this juggernaut off-stride.
-- Totally agree with Bruce Jenkins take on why the NFL will never go mainstream in Europe and Asia. An additional reason: The rest of the world isnt as overfed as we are in the USA. Hello! No linemen.
-- That said, English fans will appreciate the opportunities for tea breaks during NFL change-of-possession timeouts.
-- Bob Melvin makes a logical defense for not bunting against the Tigers and gimpy third-sacker Miguel Cabrera. But 57 whiffs in 44 innings? Sometimes you have to resort to the strategy of ABK - anything but strikeout.
-- Maybe more bunting practice next spring? Just in case Verlander and the boys loom again next October?
Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. E-mail: Twitter: @scottostler

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Time: 4:12  |  News Code: 334241  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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