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I'd really like to hear the author's explanation.
I was at this game: http://articles.latimes.com/2002/aug/27/sports/sp-dodgers27
when Alex Cora was diving into 2nd base when his head collided with Tony Womack's knee and he was knocked unconscious. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen on a baseball field. It was absolutely surreal when they opened the center field wall at Dodger Stadium and drove an ambulance onto the field. The stadium was completely silent.
I agree with the arbitrator's decision in this case. That said, I don't agree with your supposition that "If everything had proceeded as it was supposed to, the public would be none the wiser."
If everything had proceeded as it was supposed to, Braun might very well be serving a 50 game suspension, because, you know, he might have actually been using Performance Enhancing Drugs.
It is 100% true that the courier blew it, and Braun's attorneys made the right argument. But that doesn't mean that Braun didn't actually have a dirty sample. Because a courier didn't do his job, we'll just never know. The arbitrator's decision is the right one, as we absolutely have to adhere to a system that is designed to protect us.
I don't think you can blame the general public, though, for making the cynical assumption that Braun was probably guilty. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single case where a dirty test result turned out to be proven wrong. And this one was not proven wrong, it proven to be inconclusive due to its integrity having been compromised.
Alexander Cartwright was a fireman. He is famous and beloved in Hawaii for bringing baseball to the islands and for serving as fire chief of Honolulu for years.
Dodgerblues.com has a "Dodger Look-alikes" feature. Some of them are pretty good:
Bill Russell and John Denver
Otis Nixon and Skeletor
Paul LoDuca and Eddie Munster
Mike Scioscia and Napoleon Bonaparte
Marquis Grissom and Emmitt Smith
I think that Latin American players did not use at a higher rate, I believe they were just more likely to be caught. Maybe due to lesser quality drugs or something to do with testing and the language barrier - or maybe, enter sinister conspiracy theory music here - maybe MLB disproportionately tested Latin players.
Isn't it much more likely that Derek Jeter used PEDs? He was teammates with some of the most notorious PED users of the era. Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, David Justice, Kevin Brown, Chuck Knoblauch, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and even Jose Canseco himself.
When you say you expect readers would think Edgar Martinez would be more likely to have taken PEDs, do you mean because he has a higher career slugging percentage? Because as far as I can tell that is your bit of evidence. Or is it because he's from Puerto Rico and a high percentage of those that have been caught using PEDs are of latin origin? Notice I didn't say a high percentage of those that used, I said a high percentage of those who have been caught.
Left field Cards: http://www.leftfieldcards.com/
It's a set of baseball cards highlighting bizarre injuries. I found it hilarious.
I like the Phillies rotation comparison. I was thinking Lincecum because of the pot smoking. I imagine Janice to be a toker when the camera's not rolling.
You know, I saw the premise of this article and thought - wezen-ball's stretching a little on this one, but the execution was perfect. Brian Wilson as Fozzie Bear (Wocka wocka wocka!) and A-Rod as Miss Piggy was spot on. I'll never think of either of them the same again.
I was thinking Tim Lincecum for Janice.
I wonder how far away the mound would have to be from home plate. Wouldn't a pitcher be able to throw super-fast, given the lightness of the ball and the lack of air resistance? Would we see a 200-mph fastball from Ardolis Chapman?
Are they really going to be the Miami Marlins? How did I miss that announcement?
That play-by-play resignation is frickin' awesome.
Great list. I wish Brian Downing and Pedro Guerrero were both better remembered. And though they were stars, it looks like history is going to forget Shawn Green, Juan Gonzalez and Albert Belle pretty quickly, too, and I think that is a travesty.
Also, there are older guys that I've played in strat-o-matic that were awesome, that I might never have known much about except through the game. Kenny Williams of the Browns (who may have been a star in his era, I don't know) is one. I know Ted Kluszewski was a known and feared hitter in his day, but I had no idea how good he really was until I played his 1955 card in strat.
You're a goddamn genius, Larry Granillo.
In the late-80's Topps also reported the previous season's (and career) GWRBI, which was impressive to me as a 12 year-old, but seems about as useful as "Productive Outs" or something ridiculous like that today.
Hey - you should be lobbying for TTA (Tater Trot Average)!
Paraphrasing an interesting anecdote that Vin Scully told on Jackie Robinson day last year (or was it the year before?):
Heading into Cincinnati, the Dodgers had received a serious threat that Jackie would be shot by a sniper while on the field of play were he to be in the lineup. It was a serious enough threat that armed police were all around the stadium and the Dodger team was understandably anxious before the game. The mood was dour and tense. Pee Wee Reese spoke up just before gametime:
"I got an idea," Reese said. "Why don't we all wear number 42, that way they won't know which guy to shoot?"
That broke the tension and the game went on without incident. Of course, none of the Dodgers, Pee Wee or Jackie included, could have ever envisioned a day where every player on every team wore #42 in Jackie's honor.
I agree with you wholeheartedly, Larry.
I went to a Seattle Sounders soccer game a couple weeks ago with my family (wife and two kids - ages 3 and 2). The rows in front of ours decided to stand for the entire game, which I agree is appropriate at any sporting event. Unfortunately for the kids, it meant they couldn't see any of the action and they quickly lost interest.
However, I didn't begrudge the spectators in front of us the act of standing in support of the Sounders. Good for them! If you go to a game to support your team, you're genuinely excited and supportive, and in your enthusiasm you can't stay in your seat, I think that's awesome.
There's an old Saturday Night Live Skit from the Carvey-Myers era (did a quick internet search, but couldn't find it) where a couple in their 30's goes to a Van Morrison concert and the young woman sitting right in front of them stands and dances through the whole thing. It's a funny example of this exact issue.
Loved this article. This is poetry. Nice work, Larry.
Snyder is starting the season on the DL. Doumit will start and Jaramillo will backup until Snyder is ready to go.
The 2012 Brewers projections will be just as volatile as the 2011 Brewers, only minus at least 4 or 5 wins on the upside (assuming Fielder leaves). The Reds look like a team on the rise. I'd say you're definitely all in this year.
Did you consider Negro Leaguers? When Babe Ruth died in 1948, I think there is a debate to be made for Oscar Charleston over Ty Cobb. And there is certainly a case that Satchel Paige was the greatest living (retired) ballplayer once he hung up the spikes in 1965, until his death in 1982. Undoubtedly, he was the greatest living pitcher in that era.
Thank you for this excellent article. In your response to Nailfan's question about baseball moisture acclimating to ambient conditions, you discuss the possibility of baseballs losing moisture when coming out of the humidor in Colorado, but what would happen to baseballs kept in humidors in MLB parks where typical humidity is greater than 50%? Intuitively, it seems like a baseball would pick up moisture from humid air much faster than it would lose moisture to dry air.
Wishful thinking, I guess.
The Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitchers and could use a power-hitting first baseman. I hear the Cards have a first-baseman in his walk year. Why not get something of value for him? Please tell me if this sounds ridiculous, but how about Ted Lilly and Dee Gordon for Pujols?
It should be noted, too, that this article is part of BP's free content.
Great article. If I had to place a bet on any major leaguer to hit those marks again I'd wager on Matt Kemp. Fast, strong, aggressive on the bases. His batting average was problematic last year, but if he puts it all together in 2011...
We Dodgers fans can only hope.