A stellar hall of fame class

Featured image The baseball Hall of Fame has selected three new members: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. They will join three managers selected late last year: Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and Tony LaRussa. Maddux is one of the ten best pitchers of all-time. Four times, he was the National League ERA leader. Six times, he posted an ERA of under 2.50. In 1994 (the strike year) and 1995, his record »

You can’t go home again

Featured image In April 1960, the Detroit Tigers traded Harvey Kuenn to the Cleveland Indians for Rocky Colavito. It was a blockbuster deal involving the reigning American League batting champion (Kuenn) and the reigning American League home run king (Colavito). The Indians soon developed a case of buyer’s remorse. Colavito proved to be (and already had been) a much more valuable player than Kuenn. He had also been a fan favorite in »

This month in baseball history — Tigers deal Bunning to Phillies

Featured image I missed the anniversary date (December 5), but 50 years ago this month, the Detroit Tigers dealt Jim Bunning (future Hall of Famer and future U.S. Senator) to the Philadelphia Phillies. Already a five-time All Star, Bunning had won 110 games for the Tigers in seven full years as a starting pitcher. In his four seasons with the Phillies, Bunning would win 71 games. In exchange for Bunning (age 32), »

Cobb, Kaline, and Cabrera — an all-time Tigers team

Featured image We complete our selection of all-time squads for this year’s Championship Series teams with the Detroit Tigers. We have already selected squads for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals. The Tigers won the AL pennant in 1907-09, but failed to win the World Series during that stretch. Since then, they have won back-to-back pennants only once (1934-35) under player-manager Mickey Cochrane. This year they are »

Dizzy, Ducky, The Man, and The Wizard — an all-time Cardinals team

Featured image The St. Louis Cardinals have won more championships (11) than any baseball franchise other than the New York Yankees. And their fans are among the best, if not the best, in the sport. In addition to an abundance of talent, the Cardinals have been blessed with quality managers. Five of them have guided the team to multiple World Series. They are: Gabby Street, Billy Southworth, Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, and »

The Splinter, Yaz, and Big Papi — an all-time Red Sox team

Featured image Boston’s American League franchise played in baseball’s first World Series (as the Boston Americans). In total, the franchise has played in 11 Fall Classics, winning seven. It has won two of the last nine World Series played. Red Sox fans have also experienced plenty of disappointment along the way. But the club’s history does not come close to justifying the self-pity many of its followers display. Red Sox fans have »

Jackie, Sandy, and the Duke — an all-time Dodgers team

Featured image The baseball playoffs are down to a final four: the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Detroit Tigers. These are four of the sport’s most venerable franchises. So why not pick all-time teams (25 players and a manager) for each of them? Doing so is a highly subjective exercise, of course. The biggest problem is comparing players who played well for a team for many years »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On October 6, 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees. It was the first time in their illustrious history that the Yankees had been swept in the World Series in four games. The New York Giants beat them in the 1922 Series 4 games to 0, but there was also a tie game called off due to darkness after 10 innings. We have »

This day in baseball history

Featured image In the old days, before wild card teams, wild card games, and games to play into the wild card game, the World Series almost always featured two excellent teams. This didn’t always produce an excellent World Series, of course, which was unfortunate because until the very late 1960s there was no other post-season baseball. But at least the World Champion was almost always an excellent team, as opposed, say, to »

This day in baseball history — Denny McLain’s debut

Featured image On September 21, 1962, Denny McLain pitched his first major league game, a complete game 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox, the team that originally signed him. The White Sox let McLain go after only half a season in the minor leagues. He had pitched well that season, but had already showed signs of being “trouble,” having gone AWOL a few times. Whether for that reason or based on »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On September 18, 1963, the St. Louis Cardinals played a must-win game at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a three-game series. At the start of the series, the Cards trailed the Dodgers by just one game, having won 19 of their last 20 contests. But the Dodgers won the first two games, limiting the Cards to one run and seven hits. In the previous 20 »

Yesterday in baseball history

Featured image Yesterday we selected as one of our Power Line Picks a Weekly Standard article in which Lee Smith argued that Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons may be the best defensive player at his position in baseball history. Smith is one of my favorite analysts of the Middle East, but I had no idea he’s the expert on baseball that his piece about Simmons revealed. Smith’s piece was not only well-argued, »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On September 17, 1963, the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their NL lead over the second place St. Louis Cardinals to three games, as Sandy Koufax shut out the Cards 4-0. Koufax ran his record to 24-5 and lowered his ERA to 1.87. Koufax’s four-hitter was a model of efficiency, very unlike the performances that had characterized his early career. He struck out only four and didn’t walk anyone. The only »

This day in baseball history

Featured image Until early September, it didn’t appear that the 1963 baseball season would offer fans a pennant race. The New York Yankees had the AL crown wrapped up before September. Going into the final week of August, they led second place Minnesota by 11.5 games. On today’s date, September 16, they were 14 games ahead of second place Chicago. The Los Angeles Dodgers also looked secure at the beginning of September, »

A Reminder That Not All Athletes Are Jerks

Featured image The Minnesota Twins traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates today, for more or less nothing. The move was not a surprise. Morneau was in the last year of his contract, the Twins are going nowhere in 2013, and there has been a lot of speculation about his future. Morneau is a first baseman from Canada who debuted with the Twins in 2003. He is a four-time all star and »

Out at third

Featured image Our Minnesota Twins are a bad team mired in a miserable season, but rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks put on a tutorial for Carly Rae Jepsen in the first game of the three-game series that the Twins played against the Yankees in New York just before the All-Star break. On Friday night, Hicks made an incredibly athletic throw from deep center field to nail Vernon Wells at third base on »

Breaking News: Barack Obama Is NOT the World’s Worst Pitcher!

Featured image Barack Obama has thrown out several first pitches, all of which have been more or less embarrassing. Like this one: Despite Obama’s lame efforts, it is now clear that he is NOT the worst pitcher in the world. That honor goes to Carly Rae Jepsen, a singer who made it big with “Call Me Maybe.” Here she is throwing out the first pitch at Tropicana Field prior to the Astros-Rays »