Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pic(s) of the Week

Home plate umpire Gary Darling
wipes his face during the first game
of Monday's doubleheader.
Roy Halladay pitching (and suffering)
in Chicago on Monday: A face
of misery.
If you were in Minnesota this past week, you know it was hot, muggy, oppressive.

Such things aren't unheard of here, but it's been a while since it's been this bad in the Gopher State. I've been around enough to figure that those conditions are a bit more common in places like Baltimore, St. Louis and Cincinnati — and I've never been in Florida or Atlanta or Houston in the summer.

Still, as I read about how the Twins coped with the conditions, about their cool pools and IVs — and took note of Cleveland's Michael Brantley missing the Tuesday and Wednesday games because of heat illness, and (not in Minnesota) of Roy Halladay leaving a start in the fifth inning with heat illness — I again marvel at the toughness of previous generations.

I mean, Dizzy Dean didn't have cool pools, IVs or air conditioning in the clubhouse (or even in the hotels). He pitched in heavy flannel uniforms. He didn't have electrolyte-laden drinks in the dugout; heck, in that era, it was thought that water was bad for an athlete in competition, that it led to cramping. Double-headers were routine, and every game was played in the daytime.

Makes me wonder how it is that nobody died playing baseball in St. Louis.

And then, too, consider, the umpires. The players get to retreat to the shade of the dugout, even the AC of the clubhouse. The umps have to stand out there and bake.

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