Who Let the Dogs Out?

The Arizona Diamondbacks started a three game series against the San Francisco Giants last night. Between now and the end of the season the Diamondbacks will play the Giants six times all of them in San Francisco. The match-ups don’t favor Arizona. They are scheduled to face San Francisco’s top three pitchers. Given that the Diamondbacks have not been lighting up the base paths with their hitting during this road trip, I was not too confident that they would be victorious. Livan Hernandez made his third start for the Diamondbacks which meant that the bullpen should have had a short night without much excitement.

For most of the game it remained close. The first run came on a bomb by Barry Bonds when he hit is 725 home run into McCovey Cove. I always find it amazing how quickly those fans can navigate their kayaks and small boats to recover the ball from the water. It always reminds me of when the Giants were first building that park. American comedian Don Novello who is probably best known as Father Guido Sarducci on Saturday Night Live had an idea that he should develop a pack of Portuguese Water Dogs whose responsibility would be to retrieve the balls from the bay. This of course was before Barry began to get close to Hank Aaron’s record making every ball an investment for sale on eBay. The team of dogs was to be called the Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps or BARK for short. There would be a six-member dog team that would be called upon whenever someone hit a home run into the water. The team included Justy, Lyla, Quarry, Rio, Rita, and Surfer. These dogs were part of Pets in Need whose mission is to rescue dogs that can be adopted by loving families.

The BARK members performed in 2001 but subsequently nothing was heard from them. Perhaps they were indicted as part of the BARKO investigation when the dogs returned in 2002 much larger than the previous year and their muscles were much more defined than just running after Frisbees at the park. There have long been rumors that Rio’s collar no longer fit as his head and neck had grown. He would also go into rages when someone touched his Kibbles and Bits.

There is no truth to the speculation that Greg Anderson who was once Barry Bonds personal trainer worked with Rio. Some have said that ever since Rio began using the fur cream to repel the San Francisco bay water he has not been the same. He wasn’t able to get to the balls as easily as he had the previous season and Rio continually would have to rest at day games that followed a night game. Gary Sheffield complained that Rio was always hanging out at Barry’s house and that he kept eating off his plate when Sheff wasn’t looking (we’re talking about Rio here not Barry). The last known contact with Rio he had moved from the National League to Cleveland so he could finish out his career as a designated diver. He would go to the edge of the water down from Cleveland Browns Stadium then a younger and more athletic dog would actually jump into the water to retrieve the ball. After his playing days Rio plans to join the Dawg Pound and possibly open up a memorabilia store with a childhood friend Fido Hoskins that he knew as a pup.

One note from last night’s game. Shawn Green was not in the starting line-up. He was replaced by Carlos Quentin in right field. In the seventh inning Quentin faced Noah Lowry and was hit in the toe by a pitch marking the fourth time (July 30 – Chad Qualls, Aug 7 – Jason Schmidt, Aug 19 – Jon Adkins, and Aug 22 – Noah Lowry) he has been hit in 28 games in the Major Leagues and 36 times in 2006 between Tucson and Arizona.

1 Comment

  1. Can you add hit by a pitch tracker for Carlos Quentin on nowhitting.com

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