Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Brian McCann

A September ’13 Catchall Post

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Folks, I’m in one of those places right now where I have a lot to talk about and very, very little time to do it in.  So let’s get started.

First off, Carlos Gomez was suspended yesterday and fined for one game due to his part in the bench-clearing incident in Atlanta.  Brian McCann, who to all intents and purposes precipitated that incident more than anyone else, did not get suspended, but did get fined.  Freddie Freeman got fined, too . . . still not sure what Freeman did that was so egregious . . . and Reed Johnson, the guy who actually threw two haymakers at Gomez before ducking down behind much more brawny fellow players to avoid retribution, also got a one-game suspension and a fine.

I think the suspensions for Gomez and Johnson were fair.  I think McCann not getting suspended, not to mention failing to get thrown out for blocking the plate and refusing Gomez to even touch home plate after hitting a booming home run, was utterly ludicrous.  McCann was the instigator there as much as Gomez or Braves pitcher Paul Maholm (who’d thrown at Gomez back in June, thus creating bad blood), and all he gets is a piddly fine?

What’s up with that?

Next, I wanted to update you all about what’s going on with Michael’s two “Joey Maverick” stories.  The files mostly tested out well after being converted, but there were a few minor bobbles.  Because of that, I’m going to take the opportunity to go over them one last time as I found a few minor issues after the file was sent off (why, oh why, does it always seem to happen that way?) before my good friend ends up reformatting the files for me to get the extraneous code out.

The reason the formatting is so important is because these files are over ten years old.  (At least, parts of them are.)  Michael and I used to use Word Perfect exclusively; I still like it better than just about any word processing program I’ve found, but these days I mostly use Word 2002 or, if pressed, Word 2010, because everyone has these programs and they’re the easiest for other writers and editors to deal with.

Anyway, because these files are older, there are artifacts in them that are not compatible with newer software.  Thus when converted into an e-book, odd things can happen.  As I try to present myself as a professional no matter what — even though I’ve been sick often this year, even though I’m not well known — I want to put out files that are as close to clean as possible.  Partly because that’s what I demand as a reader and partly because that’s what I demand from myself, but mostly because they are Michael’s stories and I want to do right by them.

Speaking of illnesses, I’ve been fighting a bronchial infection, again, for the past ten days or so.  I can think again, my chest is no longer really tight, and I feel much better than I did.  But because of this, I haven’t been able to play in the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Community Band since the second week of rehearsals for the first concert, and I’m still not really up to playing.  It’s very difficult to be in this position, but I have to think long-term, both about my music and about my overall health.

A quick update regarding the status of my book, ELFY . . . I’m working on the final edit, and have an editor working with me who I trust.  I may start writing quick blogs as to what my progress is with regards to going over it one, final time, as that has seemed to help a number of my fellow writers (most particularly the excellent Katharine Eliska Kimbriel).  So my health has slowed the progress there, significantly, but it hasn’t completely stopped it — and if I can just shake off the last of this nasty bronchial stuff soon, I should be able to get it done within another few weeks to a month.  (Sooner is better than later, obviously, and you wouldn’t believe the pressure I’m putting on myself to get this done, even though I know that this sort of pressure is counterproductive at best.  I just want ELFY out so people can read it, that’s all . . . just have to do what’s required and believe it’ll get done.  I’m way too close to the goal to quit now.)

As far as the writing and editing goes, I have talked much about what I can’t do this past year.  I haven’t talked much about what I can do.  I am a good editor, an excellent proofreader, I can handle conceptual editing just fine and can still bring something to the table if someone wants to work with me no matter what my health is like.  And I can write . . . I’ve kept up this blog now for over three years, I’ve done many, many book reviews both at Shiny Book Review (SBR) and at Amazon, and I’ve actually sold a science fiction story this year to HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD.

Mind you, I’ve also been turned down by the Writers of the Future contest (again), so it’s not all a bed full of roses, but I’m trying my best and have made some slow progress.

And any progress beats none . . . right?

Anyway, over the next week, I will have a guest blog by fellow author and book reviewer Jason Cordova, and I hope to have an end of the year summation about the Brewers 2013 season.  So please, do stay tuned for that . . . and thanks for bearing with me during one of the most fractious, difficult years of my life.

Milwaukee Brewers Win Wild One in Atlanta

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Only the 2013 Milwaukee Brewers could start a game with a bench-clearing brawl after, of all things, a home run — but end up with a 4-0 shutout over the Atlanta Braves behind the golden arm of starting pitcher Kyle Lohse.

The Brewers started out Wednesday night with a home run in the first inning by CF Carlos Gomez. However, Gomez didn’t actually end up touching home plate due to Braves C Brian McCann standing in the middle of the baseline — in effect, impeding Gomez’s progress toward home plate.  Words were exchanged, the benches cleared, and after that somehow McCann stayed in the game but Gomez and Braves 1B Freddie Freeman both ended up ejected.

Why Freeman was ejected rather than McCann remains a mystery, especially as Freeman didn’t really do anything.  Reed Johnson came off the bench and threw two haymakers at Gomez, at least one of which actually connected, but Johnson wasn’t thrown out, either.

Anyway, as odd as that start was, none of it mattered once Lohse took the mound in the bottom of the first.  Lohse was fully in control of the game, threw only 89 pitches, and gave up only two hits in completely shutting down the Braves.  The 4-0 win brought Lohse’s season to a close; he finished with a 11-10 mark and a 3.35 ERA.

As a Brewers fan, watching Gomez hit a home run, then get thrown out, then have the umpires figure out whether or not Gomez should get credit for a HR or a triple as Gomez did not touch home plate (eventually, they gave Gomez the HR, probably because of being impeded by McCann) . . . all of that was quite wearying. The last thing I was expecting was for Lohse to come out and pitch his best game of the year after all that drama.

Yet Lohse did exactly that.  Which is why this particular win was one of the wildest ones of the season — yet also one of the most satisfying.

Personally, I’m glad that Lohse was still with the Brewers to pitch in this game. Lohse was a hot commodity at the trade deadline, precisely because he’s a solid pro with a good playoff record.  When he wasn’t traded — probably due to his three-year contract — I breathed a sigh of relief.

Tonight, Lohse proved, as if he needed to, that he’s still a big money pitcher.  But he also showed heart.  He was not fazed by what happened in the first inning.  He just went out, did his job, and shut down the Braves.

Every Brewers fan should tip his or her cap to Lohse tonight, precisely for reminding us all what the game is all about.  And reminding us that with just a few different breaks (Corey Hart not needing a second knee surgery, for example, or Ryan Braun not being suspended for 65 games), maybe the Brewers could’ve been a contender after all.

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm