ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN SPRING TRAINING just outside the Mets’ camp in Port St Lucie, Florida, Major League Baseball commissioner Bob Manfred and God are out for a walk. It’s the commissioner’s first real talk with The Almighty, and he has three questions—one about the possibility of another .400 hitter!—that he's anxious to ask. Needless to say, he allows God to dominate the conversation. They chat about a variety of topics, and Manfred is surprised to hear how interested The Almighty is about handcrafts and the success of Etsy. When he feels the time is right to change… Continue Reading when are we going to see the next .400 hitter?
I don’t have a lot to say about the world of sports these days. I used to be a BIG major league baseball fan—I still have enough books to fill a good-sized shelf. And I mean the real baseball books: Bill James and other sabermetrics writers; Marvin Miller and other insider accounts concentrating on the politics and realities of the game instead of the romance; books on the economics of the game (most of which lead me to conclude that the MLB owners are a hundred year old argument against almost any form of unregulated capitalism); yada yada yoda yoda.… Continue Reading if gomer pyle can forgive lance armstrong, so can we
I GREW UP HEARING THE REFRAIN "Baseball and Ballantine" sung on endless commercials while watching Phillies games on television in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the early '60s. Ballantine was a local beer and sponsor of the broadcast of the games, and what goes better together than beer and baseball? Well, howzabout LSD and baseball? And rather than answer that question, take a few minutes out of your day and watch this brief, entertaining, enlightening video about just that topic . . . The animated piece above about Dock Ellis's no-hitter was brought to my attention by my friend John Styklunas. Dock Ellis's Long Strange… Continue Reading dock ellis and the psychedelic no-no (or ellis in wonderland)
From today's Seattle Times (August 9, 2013, page C1) is a piece by Bob Finnegan titled “2 great talents, only 1 happy ending.” (Oddly, on the Times' own website, the title has been changed to “Recalling Ken Griffey Jr.'s purity, A-Rod's insincerity.”) Finnegan covered the Mariners for the paper from 1982 until 2006. Here re recalls his vote for Junior as the AL MVP in 1996, the year that Rodriguez won his first MVP Award. I am not going to quote the whole of Mr. Finnegan's opinion piece, just this part: "I voted for Griffey as American League MVP that year over Rodriguez,… Continue Reading recalling ken griffey jr's purity
In an earlier article on this site (“I definitely didn't come here for this” posted on August 1, 2013), I stated that “If I were the general manager of a baseball team, I would have a plaque on the wall of my offices at work and at home that featured Branch Rickey's famous statement: It is better to trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.” For the tender-hearted, that may sound ruthless. It's intended to be ruthless. It's also damn good baseball reasoning—if the state and welfare of the team is paramount. Which is… Continue Reading all-star chase utley to stay in philadelphia through 2015
I picked up The Seattle Times off the front door porch at 5:30 this morning and went right to the sports section to check up on the Phillies and the Mariners. Seems the two teams had the same story: winning until they brought in the relief hurler. Here's Felix Hernandez's stats for yesterday's game for the Mariners: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 R. Brilliant! So, why did the manager take Felix out and replace him with anyone? Here's Cole Hamels' stats for yesterday's game for the Phillies: 8 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 R. Even more brilliant!… Continue Reading no relief in sight for closeritis epidemic among managers!
Two years ago, Jonathan Papelbon signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies that provides him with $50 million for four years of pitching less than 70 innings per season. He apparently signed with the Phillies with the assumption that the team could win—would win. Alas, the ace-reliever finds himself on a foundering team that may sink even deeper than the worst pre-season prognostications. When asked about his team's performance so far, he quipped, "I definitely did not come here for this." When queried on the fightless Phils ability to get on the right track, Papelbon responded, "It's going to take, in… Continue Reading "I definitely did not come here for this"