The BP team gives the players, current or former, that they'd like to see run for office
1) Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey was not a secular saint. He was a baseball man, and there was an element of self-interest in everything he did. “The farm system, which I have been given credit for developing,” Rickey said, “originated from a perfectly selfish motive: saving money.” Even breaking the color line wasn’t totally selfless. “The greatest untapped reservoir of raw material in the history of the game is the black race,” he said. “The Negroes will make us winners for years to come. And for that, I will happily bear being called a bleeding heart and a do-gooder and all that humanitarian rot.” Yet, you can also accuse Abraham Lincoln of being half-assed about emancipation. Even though their motives were not spotlessly clean, even if the results were imperfect, at least they moved in the direction of justice, which, as the Constitution says, is the whole point—to arrive at “a more perfect union.”
Ideology is not very useful; real world problems require nuanced solutions rather than predetermined responses. At the nadir of the Great Depression, presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt said, “The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” We don’t have much of that attitude these days, just gridlock based on putting faction above statesmanship and the thin slogans that pass for political philosophy. Give me the cigar-chomping, bowtie-wearing pragmatist who, seeing an opportunity to simultaneously right a wrong and exploit an opportunity, would swear “Judas Priest!” and go about the necessary business of thinking outside of the boundaries set by his supposed peers. And if he wanted to make Leo Durocher his running mate, well, even Ike had Nixon. —Steven Goldman
Steven follows up his Delmon Young column with some responses to reader mail.
Monday's installment on Delmon Young and the history of umpire abuse and intimidation garnered quite a few responses and comments. Here we present a sampling, including a couple of additions to the list of examples of physical confrontations between players and umpires.
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Baseball says goodbye to Kirby Puckett, David Wells doesn't think much of Bud Selig, Carl Everett sounds off about his former team, and Tony Womack feels slighted.
"This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere. Eloise and I loved Kirby deeply. Kirby's impact on the Twins organization, State of Minnesota and Upper Midwest is significant and goes well beyond his role in helping the Twins win two World Championships. A tremendous teammate, Kirby will always be remembered for his never-ending hustle, infectious personality, trademark smile and commitment to the community. There will never be another 'Puck'." --Twins owner Carl Pohlad, on former Twin Kirby Puckett's passing away on Monday (MLB.com)
The Orioles re-sign Rafael Palmeiro for some odd reason. Mike Lowell's staying with the Marlins. The Expos toss Rocky Biddle overboard a year too late, thanks to new GM Jim Bowden. The Yankees exercise fiscal restraint. These and other happenings in today's Transaction Analysis.
The Braves get Marcus Giles back, and not a moment too soon. The O's, meanwhile, get Melvin Mora back, in their grasp for third place. The White Sox re-aquire Carl Everett. The Reds get one step closer to giving Brandon Claussen a shot in the rotation. Justin Morneau gets another chance to take Doug Mientkiewicz's job. Mike Mussina hits the DL for the Yanks, causing them to rely on the stylings of Alex Graman. And the Mariners continue to execute Operation Clean Sweep. All this and much more news from around the league in your Wednesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
The White Sox begin the summer trading season with a bang; the Reds make a great acquisition in D'Angelo Jimenez; Josh Beckett is unleashed from the DL in Florida; and the Royals take a flyer on a man named Gookie (remember him?). All this and much more news from around the league in your Wednesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
Kenny Williams' trades for Roberto Alomar and Carl Everett enhance an improving resume, while D'Angelo Jimenez is becoming the new Bruce Chen. Joe Sheehan takes a look at the White Sox moves in Prospectus Today.
Nevertheless, the Tuesday trades that added Alomar and Everett to the fold are two of the best moves of Kenny Williams' tenure as White Sox GM. He addressed the team's biggest need--left-handed hitting--at a reasonable talent cost and did so in a way that didn't commit the Sox to the players beyond this season. Alomar was essentially had for Royce Ring a first-round pick in 2002 who has the "closer" label and good stuff, but little else going for him. Everett's price is as yet unknown--three prospects--but according to initial reports, it looks like the White Sox won't be giving up prime talent such as Joe Borchard, Jon Rauch or Kris Honel. (For a team seeking arms, the Rangers would do well to come away with Neal Cotts, a left-hander with 96 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings at Double-A Birmingham, though Cotts may also be off limits.)
Certainty changes everything. Baseball's exciting, if for no other reason, because the Devil Rays--an abjectly bad franchise--can beat the Yankees every couple of times they meet. Unlike in football, the outcome of a single contest between a defending champion and a perennial cellar-dweller is relatively uncertain, thus every game has the ability to provide a legitimate sense of drama. It's the lack of certainty that makes it the greatest sport in the world.
Certainty changes everything. Baseball's exciting, if for no other reason, because the Devil Rays--an abjectly bad franchise--can beat the Yankees every couple of times they meet. Unlike in football, the outcome of a single contest between a defending champion and a perennial cellar-dweller is relatively uncertain, thus every game has the ability to provide a legitimate sense of drama. It's the lack of certainty that makes it the greatest sport in the world. On that note, however, watching the A's rack up wins as the Mariners continue to struggle has begun to make me numb. Every game, the A's are victorious. They're not playing out of their minds--or like they're in another league--they're just winning every single game they play, and it's scary. Intellectually I know that there's luck, chance, and the simple fact that teams go on tears once in a while, but in my gut I know that the A's are going to win tonight, simply because they're taking the field.
Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.