Ralph Houk was an American hero

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When Ralph Houk died last week I and just about every other person who wrote something about him made mention of the fact that he was a decorated veteran of World War II.  I had no idea just how amazing his war record was, however, having only read a few things here or there making reference to it.

There’s a story in the New York Times today examining his exploits, and man alive, Houk was something else.  From his citation when he won the Silver Star:

“Deliberately exposing himself to the withering fire, although the fire
was so intense that his clothes were torn by enemy machine-gun bullets,
he calmly moved from one position to another, directing his men. As
enemy tanks continued to advance, realizing that his guns were
ineffective against them, he secured a tank destroyer from an adjacent
unit, and personally directing its fire, he forced the enemy to withdraw
from the area. Through his gallant leadership, he was directly
responsible for repelling the enemy attack.”

And that’s just some of it. Read the whole thing. It’s not your average war story.

I’ve always been mildly annoyed when athletes use the “going into battle” metaphors, but I can’t imagine what true war heroes like Ralph Houk thought when they heard it.

Shelby Miller likely to make season debut on Monday

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The Diamondbacks announced that the club optioned starter Matt Koch to Triple-A Reno after Tuesday night’s game. According to Nick Piecoro of Azcentral Sports, Shelby Miller will likely be activated from the 60-day disabled list to start against the Marlins on Monday.

Miller, 27, has been out since late April of 2017 after undergoing and rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander has had a rough time since coming to the Diamondbacks in a trade with the Braves, starting 24 games since the beginning of the 2016 season with a 5.78 ERA and a 90/54 K/BB ratio in 123 innings.

That trade, consummated on December 9, 2015, is certainly one the D-Backs would like to take back. They received Miller and Gabe Speier from the Braves and gave up Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson, and Aaron Blair.

Koch, 27, made 12 starts and one relief appearance this season, compiling a 4.40 ERA with a 38/17 K/BB ratio in 71 2/3 innings.