The weekly post of extra pictures. And, this week, there’s a special video at the bottom! Begin scrolling!
Baseball that doesn’t include Auburn, here’s Samford’s Phillip Ervin, who’s going to be one of those guy you hear about in the future. He’s a talented ballplayer.
Samford senior Tommy Corbin hit .294 this season, scoring 43 runs and collecting 33 RBIs.
And now, because they are wildly popular — which is to say they were once popular, which is to say that someone asked about them one time a few years ago — here are several fan shots from this weekend’s baseball when Arkansas visited Auburn:
Three of the best words ever: Barbecue House breakfast.
We had dinner at Mellow Mushroom the other night with a friend. I learned a great way to get the waitress to come over double quick is to take a picture of something. She’d visited twice before I was able to compose this the way I liked:
A lady that The Yankee swims with makes jelly from grapes that she grows. And she was nice enough to send us some. It was just about the best jelly ever. So I began to wonder: is there an etiquette for returning mason jars? The Yankee said that sounded like a Southern thing. (It does, doesn’t it?) I asked my mother and we decided there wasn’t a rule about this sort of thing. But! My mother had a great idea, fill the jar with candies and return it. So that’s the new rule:
So we took the cat for a drive. She always looks to the right when she’s behind the wheel. We’re still working on looking to the left.
The last baseball game of the season, and some nice photographs to celebrate it. Trey Cochrane-Gill pitched five and two-thirds innings in middle-relief for Auburn. He allowed six hits and chalked up five strikeouts against four runs:
Arkansas’ Brett McAfee homered in the third. Here’s a three-photo spread of his play at the plate in the fifth inning, when he tripled and then raced home on a squeeze play:
Cochran-Gill fielded the bunt and threw it home to Blake Austin:
And Austin looked up to the umpire who, finally, made a correct call. McAfee was out:
Brandon Moore was the second of seven Arkansas pitchers they trotted out today. He’s trying to catch Ryan Tella leaning, but that wasn’t going to happen:
In the bottom of the fifth Tella walked and then stole second. A single to left by Austin sent Tella to third. Mitchell Self was up to bat and he laid down the bunt of the day. Tella scored from third on the throw home, which was an error. Austin moved to second and then third on the error. Self got caught in a run down off first base. He held Arkansas’ attention long enough to let Austin score. It was a complete little league play by then, but Self, who started this with the bunt, found himself standing on second when it was done.
That was the start of a huge inning, where Auburn scored eight runs on six hits. Self singled later in the same inning. He got caught in his second rundown of the inning, but he managed to drive in another run doing it. N for the senior, Mitchell, on senior day. He’s had just 26 at-bats all season before cracking the starting lineup because of an injury. He finished the weekend 5-for-9 at the plate.
Here’s Tella scoring from third on the bad throw that was the beginning of Self’s first big play. Arkansas’ Jake Wise could only stand and watch. See the ball?
On the strength of that eight-run fifth inning, the second eight-run inning Auburn has recently had and one of the more exciting innings we’ve seen this season, the Tigers won the regular season finale 11-6, taking the series from the 11th ranked Razorbacks. The bats have come alive for Auburn at the right time, as they’ve won eight of their last 11 games overall and will face Alabama in the first round of the SEC baseball tournament in Hoover next week. Arkansas is the three seed in the tournament. Alabama is slotted at seven, Auburn enters at 10. Here’s the bracket.
Here’s the video, including the big fifth inning rally:
One of the more knowledgable people in our section — as opposed to the guy last night that called every ground ball a “can of corn” and his date who thought the umpires should reverse their hand signals for out and safe — said this evening that whomever scored a run would win. And he was right.
Game two of the last series of the season was a fine one. Auburn put Mike O’Neal on the mound. Check out this delivery:
Have you ever seen a pitcher get that low to the ground with an overhand delivery? I’ve seen submariners with scrapped up knuckles, but this is a different thing. That’s long been O’Neal’s style, though, and I’m sure that’s what stymied Florida through nine innings last weekend in the most heart-breaking loss of the season.
But O’Neal shook it off, took the ball and delivered again. Seriously, though, the guy is down if he played college football:
O’Neal allowed four hits and one run through seven innings and 100 pitches. The junior has had some hard luck lately, with a record now sitting at 8-4, but he’s got a great command of the mound.
Tonight he just happened to be facing the guy who perhaps a first-round pitcher:
Seriously, between Arkansas’ Ryne Stanek and two LSU, we’ve watched a major league pitching corps this year. Anyway, Stanek scattered six hits and four walks in seven and two-thirds innings and was never not in control of the game. Just a rock steady performance as Arkansas defeated Auburn 1-0. The guy in our section was right.
Here are the highlights, including a 98 mile per hour fastball from Stanek. He was throwing into the mid-90s in the sixth inning:
Auburn did, by virtue of other teams’ play, manage to secure their 10th seed in next week’s SEC baseball tournament. Now they have to go out and beat Arkansas tomorrow to end the season on a high note.
Things to read and watch: This video is described as “A crowd-funded video trailer boosting America’s future in space” which is in the trailer package of the new Star Trek movie. It was shot in Huntsville, which is reason enough to watch it I guess. I share it because it looks pretty awesome, and someone booked Optimus Prime to do the v/o.
Murder rates? Early data suggests way down. How far down? Century-record lows. There’s an interesting hypothesis:
Analytically speaking, murder is an especially interesting crime because we have pretty good homicide statistics going all the way back to 1900. Most other crimes have only been tracked since about 1960. And if you look at the murder rate in the chart below (the red line), you see that it follows an odd double-hump pattern: rising in the first third of the century, reaching a peak around 1930; then declining until about 1960; then rising again, reaching a second peak around 1990. It’s been dropping ever since then.
This is the exact same pattern we see in lead ingestion among small children, offset by 21 years (the black line). Lead exposure rises in the late 1800s, during the heyday of lead paint, reaching a peak around 1910; then declines through World War II; and then begins rising again during our postwar love affair with big cars that burned high-octane leaded gasoline. Lead finally enters its final decline in the mid-70s when we begin the switch to unleaded gasoline.
This is powerful evidence in favor of the theory that lead exposure in childhood produces higher rates of violent crime in adulthood.
Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. …
If you’ve been glossing over the IRS hearings, that’s a good place to start.
Meanwhile, also in Washington, D.C. …
My second-favorite part of that Eric Holder press conference, after when he ignored a reporter’s question of about if the attorney general can see how the media “would find this troubling” was that claim about national security. That, with the actual timeline in place, stood up to scrutiny for several full minutes:
(I)t seems fairly clear that the claim that this leak was among the most damaging in American history simply doesn’t add up. If that’s the case, then why would the CIA have told the AP that the national security concerns it had previously expressed were “no longer an issue?”
All of this took about six seconds to become political. There was probably never a time when we seized on things purely in the pursuit of good governance, but I wish that time were now.
Finally, I’ve probably talked about helmets and bicycle crashes enough here in the past year. The farther removed from all of the events of last summer the more convinced I am about how lucky I was, head trauma-wise, and how bad that hospital was, head trauma-wise. (Here’s my helmet after the crash. The sum total of my head exam was telling a triage nurse I was cognitively fine. That’s it. Frightening. I have some generally spotty recollections of things between the trauma and the surgery and the recovery. It is disconcerting, to say the least, to hear about things I don’t remember, or read things I have no recollection of writing after the fact. And my old helmet, by definition, more or less completely did its job.) Anyway, this is one more story worth reading, and probably Bicycling’s best piece in some time:
If you crash and hit your head, there are two types of impacts. One is known as linear acceleration. That’s the impact of skull meeting pavement. Today’s helmets do an excellent job of preventing catastrophic injury and death by attenuating that blow.
The second type is known as rotational acceleration. This is where things get tricky. Even if the skull isn’t damaged, it still stops short. That causes the brain to rotate—the technical term is inertial spin—which creates shear strain. Imagine a plate of fruit gelatin being jarred so hard that little cuts open throughout the jiggly mass. That strain can damage the axons that carry information between neurons.
There are other factors involved, but research has consistently pointed to rotational acceleration as the biggest single factor in a concussion’s severity. The CPSC helmet benchmark is based solely on linear acceleration. There’s never been a standards test, required or voluntary, for rotational acceleration.
A report last year by the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport summed up the state of the art in a sentence: “Little has changed in helmet-safety design during the past 30 years.”
There may never be an improved government standard for bicycle helmets. Experts may never come to a consensus on a standard for testing the forces most closely associated with concussions. But one test can be administered now: the market test. After all, new technology costs more. “Adding that upcharge to a $50 helmet,” Scott Sports designer John Thompson told me, “is a harder sell.”
This is the bike-helmet industry’s air-bag moment. The new rotation-dampening systems may not be perfect, but they are the biggest step forward in decades. The choices cyclists make with their money matter. You can pretend to protect your brain, or you can spend more money and get closer to actually doing it.
The science isn’t settled by a longshot, the industry is filled with legal frights and there are all kind of marketing concerns. But there’s also plenty to consider in that full piece, which is worth a cyclist’s time.
We were talking about grandparents. I’ve had the great fortune to know many ancestors, some of them for a wonderful and long time. (Ten or eleven, if you’ll let me count step-grandparents, who always manage to dote on you just like a regular grandchild, anyway.)
I have prominent memories, for example, of a great-great-grandmother. I could not remember when she died, so I had to look that up. I was in the ninth grade or so. She’d lived for 93 years, a simple, country life, but she’d seen planes, cars, penicillin, the nuclear age, space flight, hippies and the entire run of MacGyver.
She was a little woman, always wore her bun in her hair. We were always probably too loud for her. But she gave you a kiss and a half a stick of Wrigley’s Doublemint every time you saw her.
In re-discovering her obituary I found a link to someone’s genealogy research. I had great luck going back in time through her husband’s family tree — most of the success coming from the men, as they are typically better documented beyond a certain point. I found the names of people who died before the family cemetery was built. These people have a long history in the area, which helps explain why they are one of the four or five family names you always hear in that county.
I found a man named Peter who served in the 2nd Regiment of the West Tennessee Militia. I found a mention that suggests he might have bene in the middle of Andrew Jackson’s lines at the battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
Peter had sandy colored hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion. The Census noted he could read, though his wife couldn’t. He was a Tennessee boy, but moved, with his brother, to Alabama soon after that opened that section of land was opened up to white settlers. Purely a guess, but I’m guessing this was in the 18-teens, likely just before statehood. So that family has been in the area a good long while. (That’s four two-brothers stories I’ve heard of in that county. How everything isn’t named Romulus and Remus is beyond me.)
Peter came from a big family. His father, Layton, married twice. He had 24 children, his last when he was 63. Somewhere, how he found the time I don’t know, Layton moved his family into Tennessee from Virginia soon after the Revolutionary War. But Layton’s parents were from New Jersey, back when it was still new, and spent some time in West Virginia before moving into Virginia to avoid the Indian Wars. And right in here, somewhere in the middle of the 18th century, is when the spelling of their family name changed.
One more generation puts you in New York — in Amersfort, NY (modern Long Island or
Brooklyn, NY). That makes my grandfather 10th generation American, a farmer like much of his family before him, and descended down one branch of his family line from Netherlands.
If all of that is correct. I did read it on the Internet. But it is easy to be amazed at how many people you’ve never heard of, supposedly in your family, doing genealogy research when you skim those sites.
On the other side of the family tree I found some Dutch roots last year, through a hit off a digitized 1946 newspaper. The Alabama Courier (established in 1892 and merged with the Limestone Democrat in 1969 to publish the News Courier) copy yielded two new surnames and the obit of a great-great grandfather, a WWI veteran. He was survived by his wife and four children, including my great-grandmother.
Some of that genealogical work was done by a nice lady whom I emailed, but have never met, who is apparently a fourth or eighth cousin.
Makes you wonder what a real family reunion would look like.
At the ballpark tonight Conner Kendrick pitched seven and one-third innings, allowing only four hits while striking out eight, which ties a personal best. When he left the game Auburn had a 2-0 lead over the 11th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks:
Kendrick’s night ended so that Terrance Dedrick could take the mound. Dedrick, as a junior, has become the stopped that Auburn has been searching for over much of the last decade. He’s 4-2 this year and came in tonight with nine saves.
And he’s usually doing something amazing, ballet moves at first, over the shoulder catches behind the mound, or just striking people out the old fashioned way. Tonight he forced a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and give Auburn a key late-season win over Arkansas, 4-2.
The first conference shutout since 2011. Now they just need two more wins to end the season.