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Ummmmm Jeff Lynne with The Move had many great moments, the ELO years had some high spots and a lot of drek.
Russell, I buy most of your argument. But there are some teams that are much better suited to winning a division championship rather than a world series. I'm thinking of good hitting teams that feast on mediocre pitching, but kinda get stopped by good playoff pitching where the 11th and 12th guys on a staff are not exposed. Specifically, this would be the Yankees of recent vintages - this year it might be the Angels.
It has amazed me how many people read Moneyball and thought it was all about OBP.
My favorite between innings show was at the San Antonio Missions game 20-something years ago. Henry the Floppy Taco circled the bases with a kid from the crowd chasing, who promptly tackled Henry.
In the insurance world, we call this behavior "getting religion." After a driver has a DWI and the driver's insurance rates skyrocket, the driver minds his p's and q's and pays more and has significantly better driving habits (so no drinking and driving). Driver finds religion, insurer pockets profits. Similar with doctors who have bad habits. The doc has an incident, pays beaucoup bucks for insurance for a couple of years, does real well, goes back to the standard market. My company (who loves to insure these troubled physicians) has made money and wishes the doc well in the return to a standard insurer.
Another example of life imitates baseball.
I was a wee lad of 8 or 9 when the Yankees traded Hank Bauer, Norm Siebern et al for Roger Maris. Luckily for me, we moved to Connecticut for the 1961 season and I got to watch every game of the M&M boys season. Any wonder I'm a lifelong baseball and Yankee fan.
Who from Stars Hollow will produce a ballplayer??? Taylor? Kirk?? Maybe Luke. Regardless, you still have Mo Vaughan and Carlton Fisk as genuine New Englander stars.
No clue on how many pitches either guy threw, but both pitchers went the full way in the 1-1 26 inning game between the Dodgers and Braves in (I think) 1920. Joe Oeschger and Leon Cadore, if memory serves. Which took about 4 hours.
Currently, most rosters have five starters and seven guys in the bullpen. How disruptive would it be to have four full time starters, two tandem starters and six guys in the bullpen, especially when a tandem guy could once in a while act like a long man out of the bullpen.
Seems like the tandem approach should work. You would need a strong manager / GM to implement it, since it's not the way we've always done it.
Hal Chase was on the original ballot! If there were a vote for the one man who should not be in the HOF, Chase should win in a landslide. And today's sportswriters wring their hands over players who risked life and health to play better.
Jeez, I miss Goldman's articles. BP should really consider having someone write with a sense of history.
Congrats to Brad Ausmus. Good to see another New Havener following in the footsteps of George Weiss.
Numerologist Note: Jason Heyward was born on August 9, 1989, aka 8-9-89
John "Clams" Castino
The other night, the Upton brothers had an outfield collision. The catch was made, they both tumbled to the ground, the inning was over. As they were walking off, BJ punched Jason, playfully, of course.
For the rest of the readers with enquiring minds, the other Granite Staters are Chris Carpenter, Sam Fuld, and Brian Wilson. For the truly inquisitive, Carlton Fisk was born in Vermont.
Not quite sure relevant this is, but Everybody Loves Raymond's brother Robert had a dog named Shamsky. Somebody on the show was a big Mets fan.
I'm guessing you had the "cut the cord" comment written the moment you saw that name on the transaction list.
i'm still laughing about the hobo collarbone
Maury - you missed a fairly significant descriptor of Mr. Loria's infamous partner....David Samson is not only president, he's also Loria's son-in-law. Those two desreve each other.
Wonderful article. I miss the history articles on BP.
Growing up, I always thought the ballplayers were better in the 20's and 30's because they had such glittering numbers. I wonder if all those high BA's had something to do with the over-representation in the Hall. I had an excuse - I was 11 years old.
Nice article....So is Tony LaRussa the heir to John McGraw?? As in "keep it close and I'll find a way for us to win" style of managing.
Terrific article. Thanks
What really ticks me off about the Marlins and Loria is thinking about some of the great sell-offs from history. Which are the 1913-14 A's and the 1931-32 A's. The first one was in reaction to increasing player salaries from the upstart Federal League. Mr. Mack probably could have waited it out. The second one, not so much as the Depression had another 8-10 years to go. But Mr. Mack did not have zillions coming in from TV revenue sharing and I believe his only income came from team ownership.
Messrs. Loria & Samson - you have earned every bit of scorn. How can anyone remain a Marlins fan???
I was vaguely aware of the 1960 Series, but by 1961 was already hooked, both by baseball and the Yankees. The '61 Yanks were the best team to start with, let me tell you. The Yankees were heavy favorites for the Series and won the first game, I'm guessing behind Whitey Ford who was still working on his scoreless inning streak. The Reds shocked the Yankees in game 2. I think it was 6-1 or 6-2. I remember reading Yogi's line that the Yankees "nonchalanted" it in that game.
I also enjoyed the '79 We Are Family Pirates. I remember seeing Omar Moreno's wife on TV all the time, screeching "Omar!"
Big spending has never bought championships. What it is supposed to buy is the ability to contend, which does happen for the most part.
Rather than quoting the guy from AC/DC, I'll steal the line that I must have heard 14 zillion times:
Money talks, Nobody walks
(Denizens, the men's clothier...Route 17 Union New Jersey who sponsored the overnight on WABC in my formative years)
Which of the following are not like the others?
Vince DiMaggio, 1938 (134)
Jim Lemon, 1956 (138)
Jake Wood, 1961 (141)
Harmon Killebrew, 1962 (142)
Dave Nicholson, 1963 (175)
Bobby Bonds, 1969 (187)
Adam Dunn, 2004 (195)
Ryan Howard, 2007 (199)
Mark Reynolds, 2008 (204)
Mark Reynolds, 2009 (223)
If memory serves, Jake Wood won Rookie of the Year in 1961 as a second baseman for the Tigers. I had no idea he set the alltime strikeout record that year.
always good to see a josh lyman quote
Surprised nobody picked the Leo Durocher suspension for hanging out with George Raft
Nice article. I've often wondered about my baseball obsession - it's been around since I was about 11 and I became AARP eligible several years ago.
You hinted at something I've kinda realized over the years. We baseball fans relate to baseball in many different ways. Said differently, baseball is the proverbial big tent, that acomodates fans whose interest can be in all sorts of directions. I tend toward the historical, the numbers, the trivial. But I can relate to the guy who wants to talk about a swing or a windup, or uniform colors, whatever.
BP feeds me on various levels. Keep up the good work.
For all you numerologists, Heyward was born on 8-9-89
So many things have changed about baseball since the good old days (emphasis on old). Connie Mack strived to come in second - it helps attendance but he wouldn't have to pay through the nose for championship players.
I read a story that during the Eisenhower years, the Orioles visited the White House and VP Nixon recognized the backup catcher and chatted him up. RIP Dick Nixon.
great neil young song, by the way. on the American Stars and Bars album, circa 1977. One of his last top shelf albums.
I have the Bill James HBA next to the bed. I probably pick it up 3-4 times a week. Every week. A classic.
Spoonerism: A spoonerism is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched.
Chuckie Fick was born for this role.
I gotta think there's some karma involved here. Hiring Bobby V over the new GM's objections has to play into this as well. A pre-season salary dump. The Saturday loss - simply amazing.
How about Mel Stottlemyre or Al Downing?? Whitey Ford for that matter.
I find it interesting that you ripped the late Maury Allen for his physical looks. You should have ripped him for his awful writing.
Shame on me though, shouldn't speak ill of the dead.
How in the world could you ever refer to the Yankees' rotation as thin??? It may not have been very good, but with both CC and Colon, it was definitely not thin.
jorge - terrific player, he shares his birthday (august 17) with my daughter, good guy, good Yankee. hall of famer?? not so much.
I like to dump on A-Rod as much as the next guy, even more than most. He typifies a Mr. 8-3 as much as any hitter (good for a home run when the game is over, one way or the other) and please don't confuse this argument with facts. And sure, I do think he was a goat for the Yankees' loss, but gee whiz, all the historical goats actually did something wrong, where A-Rod simply was a stiff.
Steven, you did miss one of the other great goats - a pretty good ballplayer - Babe Ruth. With two outs in the ninth of the seventh game of the 1926 Series, Ruth took off for second and was thrown out.
How can anyone not like an article that discusses perfect numbers??? FYI, the first one is 6.
Fine, James Loney is a borderline stiff. Much more impotantly, what is going on in Smallville??? Last I knew, Superboy was still all-powerful, Clark had no shot with Lana, and Mr. Mxyzptlk could always be counted on for hijinks. Please don't tell me to invest in some new comics - I fell off the wagon over the price hike from 12 to 15 cents.
Fast and Furious: Lefty Grove
Gee whiz. This is a lot of ado about nothing so much. If you couldn't figure out to stop reading within 10 seconds...Some free advice - if this was too tasteless for you, please do not look for Zap Comix from the 60's.
Andy Pettitte was a terrific pitcher for some very good teams. And my wife would always comment on how handsome he is. Pettitte also stands out with his PED confession. All that said, though, he is not a HOF-er.
Any comparison to Whitey Ford should show Ford well on top. Whitey did not have the career numbers that others had because Casey Stengel pitched him less often and usually matched him up against the stronger clubs, not the weak sisters. If I had to find a Yankee comp, I'd think about Red Ruffing who is in the Hall, but whose numbers were seriously helped by playing on the great Yankee teams of the 30's.
Appreciate the work on Billy and George. As a forever Yankee fan, I went back and forth between blind allegiance and embarrasment over both. Billy's great skill was as the turn-around specialist, but had the staying power of the glue on a post-it note. Much as it pains me, thumbs up on GMS, down on Billy.
I went to the source, the lyric sheet off the vinyl (OK, that gives away my age). The verse in question is:
Well I spent some time in the Mudville Nine
Watchin' it from the bench
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Case struck out
So Say Hey Willie tell the Cobb
And Joe DiMaggio
Don't say it ain't so
You know the time is now
I think you've nailed it as well as possible. As we all know, though, beyond Halladay and Santana and Sabathia, most of these guys don't fit nicely into the decade of the 00's. Lincecum, assuming he stays at this level, belongs, but more likely to the 10's. It's like 60's music, which started with the Beatles and lasted until the dreaded disco era.
I've always wondered why Allie Reynolds and/or Vic Raschi are not in this conversation.
For those of us who crave more baseball history (and I expect there ain't a lot of us), YCLIU is terrific, especially on a cold day in January.
October 30 has three HOF-ers
1B Bill Terry HOF 3 A/S
2B Marco Scutaro
3B Jim Ray Hart 1 A/S
SS Jason Bartlett 1 A/S
OF Danny Tartabull 1 A/S
Ed Delahanty HOF plus one of the great deaths in MLB
C Dave Valle
P Leon Day HOF - is he the most obscure HOF-er??
Jim Perry 3 A/S
Scott Garrelts 1 A/S
Bench Joe Adcock
Mgr Bobby Bragan or Bill Terry
Post game entertainment: