August 03, 2006

Sounds Uncomfortable

The news broke out of Colorado earlier this week: Brewers' infielder Jeff Cirillo has soggy balls.

No, wait...that's not quite right: Jeff Cirillo is complaining of soggy balls.

Actually, he's complaining about soggy balls, but they're not his -- they're the baseballs that have been sitting in the humidor at Coors Field.

To quickly debrief anyone who hasn't been following this story, baseballs have a tendency to dry out in the thin Colorado air (and thus travel unnaturally far when hit), so the Rockies have taken to storing baseballs in a humidor to balance out that dryness. (Sounds like it could be the name of a dry skin lotion: Humidor -- to balance out the dryness in your life.)

Earlier this week Cirillo, who once played in Colorado, did a bit of investigative journalism and took a ball that was brought from Milwaukee and compared it to the one that had been in the humidor. His finding: Your balls get way too soggy in Colorado. (Rumors that people's balls have been getting very soggy in the recent New York heat wave could not be confirmed.)

The complaint that Cirillo is essentially making is that the humidor has swung the balance too far in one direction -- whereas there was far too much offense in Colorado before, now there's not enough. Having not handled one of the aforementioned soggy balls (and hoping never to do so), this sounds like it could be a classic case of the placebo effect -- people know that the humidor is in use and as a result, pitchers are approaching Coors Field with a newfound confidence. And with that confidence comes better pitching in the thin Denver air.

Obviously the humidor must have some physical effect on the flight of the ball, but you have to think that if the balls were really as dramatically soggy as Cirillo claims, we'd have heard many others complaining before him.

Because if we can all agree on one thing, it's that in baseball or everyday life, soggy balls are more or less intolerable.

  • No word on what adverse effects it may have had on his testicles, but Dale Davis had a tussle with Miami police Tuesday morning that ended when an officer blasted him with a Taser gun. For those not in the know, a Taser is an electric blasto type gun (yes, that's the official nomenclature) that pretty much will render a victim useless if not making him altogether mess his pants. At any rate, it doesn't sound like fun. But The OCC would just like to go on record as saying that there is no shame in what happened to Dale Davis on Tuesday. In fact, he should stand proud -- if it takes a Taser shot to bring you down, you know you're a true stallion. Because let's face it, most of us would cower down and start whimpering if an officer of the law simply talked to us in a stern and accusatory tone. I don't think we'd ever come close to making it to Taser phase. As a side note, Dale Davis' agent is named Chubby Wells. Is this Bonzi Wells' extremely talented but woefully overweight older brother who has the skills to play in the NBA but can't stop eating Malomars long enough to get in shape? Probably not.
  • In baseball news, there were reports this week that Cuban national team star Yulieski Gourriel had defected while playing a tournament in Columbia, with speculation that he planned to come play in the Major Leagues (read: for the Yankees). But apparently those reports were completely untrue, and Yulieski is back in Cuba, claiming to be as happy as ever. As he told, "My commitment is to my family, which has guided me since I was little, and the revolution, which has guaranteed me everything I've needed to become a ballplayer." The revolution...whoa. That's intense. Does anyone else think he was most likely reading that statement in a dimly-lit room with his hands tied behind his back while a Taser gun was being held to his chest? If The OCC ever mentions a revolution of any kind, you have every right to assume he's been kidnapped and/or brainwashed. (In the event of a kidnapping, please send help immediately.)


Anonymous Aimee Berg said...

Proof that something strange is going on in Colorado -- the Rockies have allowed the fewest runs in the NL this year (as of 8/5).

Their team ERA is lower at home (4.03) than on the road (4.28).

Meanwhile, they have hit more homers on the road (55) than at home (44). That's pretty astonishing. And they have the second-fewest homers of any team in the NL (only the Dodgers have fewer).

And former New Haven Raven Todd Helton, who averages about 33 homers a year and has notoriously feasted at Coors, is on pace for 19 -- one year after hitting a career-low 20.

(It also should be noted that the Rockies' lineup pretty much sucks.)

Where have you gone, Dante Bichette? If you ever want to have fun remembering the '90s, check out Bichette's seasons for Colorado in '95 and '96.

8:42 PM, August 05, 2006  

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