Thursday, February 26, 2009

Player Profile #6 Mike Lattig

I started to get optimistic about a game this week, but Jebus Chrispo, it looks like more rain, so we are stuck with looking out the window, and hoping for a end to the deluge.

This profile will be the first, ughhh, errr, aghhhh, proud Dodger fan of the bunch. Believe me, there are others, and they will all get their turn, but this is the first. Actually, as much as I bleed black and orange, I really don’t hate the Dodgers very much. I dislike Los Angeles, but you can’t blame the Dodgers for that, blame Walter O’Malley.
In fact I feel downright bad for Dodger fans that come to the Giants games, because they are just there to root for their squad and enjoy a game like the rest of us. The fact that they get accosted, screamed at, spit upon and shanked in parking lots is really beyond the pale as far as sports goes. It’s a game, people. But somewhere along the way, it was decided that pride in your team could extend beyond cheering for your own squad, and more into downgrading the other. The real saps are us fans, feeling like we have some vested interest in a bunch of guys playing the same game that we do, knowing full well our “favorite players” would probably push us out into traffic if we got in their way to the VIP club…

And to pick actual fights over a sports team is just lame, be it baseball or curling. In Europe, they separate soccer fans in stadiums (damn commie sport) to keep the riots down, and they are supposed to be more civilized than us. Go figure.

Anyway, Mike Lattig, he’s a Dodger fan, and a smart one. He is always up to date on how the Giants are going to shit the bed this year, and most of the time he’s right (he said teeth gnashing, just ONCE, PLEASE LORD, LET THEM WIN JUST ONCE!!!!).

But enough about that, Mike is probably the best natural hitter we have, as I have said in previous entries. He can place the ball pretty much where he wants to, and the fact that he is left-handed makes it all the more tricky to play him, knowing that if you play the pull, he can hit it just as hard to left. Once, at the neo-turf Silver Terrace field, I was playing third base, and pretty far of the line, and Mike hit one down the 3rd base line, intentionally. I wish I could do that. I wish I could have a clue of whether I was gonna make contact, much less the direction of the ball.

Mike is another all around player as well, he pitches, I learned how to throw a different breaking ball from him, he scoops it all up around 1st, and can move quick, when he needs to. He also is one of the few who wears shorts consistently, which means you have an advantage if you can get him into a sliding situation. But usually doubles to the gap aren’t sliding situations. I think Mike carries a solid .700 average, but since no one really keeps track, all those records will fade into the ether (a sigh of relief from us pitchers.)

I also like that Mike is a competitor, which in small doses, make our game lively. And he pushes us to make the game more than a bunch of jag offs on a field in polyester pants. We need that sometimes, and Mike understands the measures of a little friendly competition. He’s a grounded guy to boot, and he laughs at some of my jokes, so you can’t argue with that.

Classy, that’s the word. A man that knows how a Manhattan should taste, and I am not just saying that because he and Jen came to the Elks lodge to see the band once (although you should all know that I keep a mental list of who has and hasn’t….)

So when it comes down to it, who cares which team you follow, as long as you know how play the game right.

Pray for sun and wind, March here we come!

S. Paige


Unfortunately, the post scripts have become the place where Pete gets mentioned, but here are two videos shot by Bob at our last game, Pete striking out, Jimmy flying out, and Mitch grounding out. If you look carefully, you will see what appears to be a hippopotamus on 2nd base. But at least the hippo got a hit….


unmusical said...

As a catcher, Mike is one of the most difficult to call pitches against. He's great at having the fastballs timed AND has the ability to sit on the curve balls.

Duane said...

Great post! I want to see more videos posted (I guess I could film some also.

Anyways this nice weather the last 2 days has me itching to play ball. Too bad it is supposed to be storming on Sunday.....

unmusical said...

Being a Dodger fan is a fine quality.