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when are we going to see the next .400 hitter?

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 [Continue reading]

GomerPyle color 1500

if gomer pyle can forgive lance armstrong, so can we

I DON’T HAVE MUCH 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, Marvin Miller, and other in­sider ac­counts con­cen­trating on the pol­i­tics and re­al­i­ties of the game in­stead of the romance. [Continue reading]

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recalling ken griffey jr’s purity

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (Au­gust 9, 2013, page C1) is a piece by Bob Finnegan ti­tled “2 great tal­ents, only 1 happy ending.” Finnegan cov­ered the Mariners for the paper from 1982 until 2006. Here he re­calls his vote for Ken Griffey Jr as the Amer­ican League MVP in 1996, the year that Alex Ro­driguez won instead

I am not going to quote the whole of Mr. [Continue reading]

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all-star chase utley to stay in philadelphia through 2015

IN AN EARLIER ESSAY 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.” [Continue reading]