Friday, May 14, 2010

Carlos Emerging?

Game 35: Durham Bulls 6, Toledo Mud Hens 1
Season: 21-14
Home Stand: 4-4
Streak: W1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

I think we’ve given plenty of hints here that, in spite of a couple of decent starts, we were skeptical about Mr. Hernandez’s prospects this year. Last night, however, was one heck of a pitching performance. Very efficient at only 82 pitches in 7 innings, no earned runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, one heck of a job. Things are looking up in the starting pitching category. Couple of good quotes from Hernandez in the Herald-Sun and Indy Week links.

The Johnsons, Dan and Elliot, are worth comments. Dan almost hit for the cycle, with a home run, single, and double in his first three at bats — although there was considerable speculation on just how Dan would make it to third base for a triple. Maybe the ball gets into the right field corner and hides itself for a few seconds. Elliot got a RBI, but was snakebit in the field, making two errors. Not like him. Hope he gets over it.

Time to comment on what appears to be the sheer strength of catcher Alvin Colina. He’s got a serious arm. Don’t think I’d want to be the pitcher taking his throws back to the mound. And when he gets a hit, the bat just cracks. A line-drive hitter, his hits get over the wall from time to time, but mostly, as yesterday, they reach the wall as doubles, seven so far this year. Really like the combination of Colina and Lobaton. Not sure that I’m looking forward to Jaso’s return.

That was a really scary moment in the 4th, wasn’t it? Toledo catcher Max St Pierre let fly with a bullet throw on an Elliot Johnson steal attempt, and hit his pitcher, the unfortunate Lauren Gagnier, in the head. To be honest, I didn’t see it, I was watching Elliot dash for second base. What I did hear was the radio report by Neal Solondz, who apparently was looking at a TV replay. Fortunately, he was able to walk off, but we got no further reports on Gagnier’s condition. For trivia buffs, this was the first Triple A start this season for both catcher and pitcher, the first Triple A start ever for Gagnier.

Hank Blalock, subject to more speculation here, here, and here, went 0 for 4.

Warning: The following material suitable for adults only!

We need to follow up on the deep philosophical implications of our inquiries last night. Is Wool E. Bull real? Is he even a he? Is Wool E. simply a product of our collective imaginations, our psyches? Is he an Archetype? Or, is he just a guy in a suit?

In a related question we note Syd’s comment on yesterday’s post:
I don't like how the Blue Monster didn't step in and back up his teammate after his incident. This is how dissension filters into a clubhouse
We agree. We should have pointed that out yesterday. Where was the Blue Monster?

We (that is, our group behind first base) watched Wool E.’s entrance and noticed that he didn’t do a cartwheel. We further noticed that when he passed the Mud Hens dugout things were quiet (too bad — the last opportunity of the year). We were also carefully inspecting everyone in Bull employee shirts and earpieces moving around the stands last night.

We noted one wearing a knee brace. So, what else could I do but sidle up to the guy and ask, “Hi. How are you doing? How’s the knee?” He said, “It’s OK.” Then he looked at me, “You must be a season ticket holder.” I said that I was and that we had been looking for somebody who looked like they worked for the Bulls and was wearing a knee brace. But when I asked him if he was Wool E., he shook his head and pointed at Wool E. Bull out on the field.

So there you have it. Who is Wool E. Bull? Is he a suit or a man? Or even a man? Is Wool E. Bull just an Idea dancing out under the lights?

Who said baseball is boring. Great, even profound, concepts are there for the pondering on summer nights.


  1. I think the phrasing of the question is important. "Are you Wool E. Bull?" is very different than "Were you Wool E. Bull?"

    My strangest Wool E. Bull (the E stands for Education, you know) interaction was in the playoffs last year when he spend a couple of games sitting next to me (he decided it was his "lucky seat" which he went so far as to label with a sign) and pretty much the entire time refused to let me put down my beer. Every time I tried to put it down he would physically grab my arm and put it back on the beer and a couple of times even tried to force the drink to my face.

  2. p.s. I think the Indy link above is wrong.

  3. Ah, but can anyone "be" Wool E. Bull?

    Thanks for the link tip. Fixed.

  4. That Wool-E last night was either sedated or someone very new on the job

    The best moment came though when he was shooting
    t-shirts through the Hot Dog gun and managed to shoot one clear out of the stadium to a stunned
    crowd of t-shirt

    That was scary when the pitcher got bean
    For a while there his one leg was twitching as he lay flat on the ground, I was relieved to see him stand up

  5. Ah Wool E. ... My best interaction was last year at the playoffs. We were sitting behind home plate and it was nearly base-race time. So Wool E. sat in front of us waiting. First off, he's hard to see around. But second, I started asking him if he'd ever win one aside from on his birthday. But since my wife is an NC State grad, I made the comment that he can only beat Mr. and Ms. Wolf. To which Wool E. nodded.

    However, being a Maryland grad, I had a Maryland shirt on at the time, and Wool E. started to get on me about slow turtles. It was all very surreal.

  6. You are correct Wool E. Bull is the gentleman who was walking around the park last night in the knee brace. The person who plays the Blue Monster is a woman and she did her best to fill Wool E.'s shoes last night.

  7. Awww! I don't know if I should be pleased that Wool E. Bull's OK (I am). Or if I can handle the really creepy thought that the Blue Monster was inhabiting Wool E. Bull (we're crossing into "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" territory here). Or if we should just celebrate the "idea" of Wool E. Bull. In any case, thanks to anonymous for letting us know that we were right. Our best to both Wool E. Bull and the Blue Monster. Look forward to seeing them back in form next week.

  8. BTW...have to wonder if this is related to not backing up Wool E. After all, where was Lucky during all of that?

    Lucky the Wonder Dog retires

    The Durham Bulls today announced long time team mascot Lucky the Wonder Dog is retiring after more than seven years serving the team. The Bulls will say goodbye to Lucky during a post-game ceremony on Saturday, May 22nd following the Bulls game against Pawtucket.

  9. More than that, Lucky was setting a very poor example for Lucky Jr, who will be apparently following in his footsteps.

  10. Footsteps???
    Oops. I meant paws, of course.