Baseball

Baseball is no morality play, and certainly not a woke-left one

Featured image The Washington Post keeps getting worse, and that’s true of all its main sections including the sports pages. The reason for the deterioration of the sports pages is the same as the reason for the rest of paper’s descent — the leftism of its reporters and columnists. The Post’s sports columnists are relentlessly woke. Their work is long on scolding and short on insight. Naturally, the sports reporters have less »

Georgia Gets the Last Laugh

Featured image Of all the despicable acts of woke capitalism, Major League Baseball’s yanking the All-Star Game out of Atlanta might be the worst. MLB sided with the Democratic Party in a purely partisan dispute, cluelessly disparaging Georgia’s election reform legislation without ever saying what was wrong with it. MLB’s partisanship cost Atlanta businesses a considerable amount of money, but Atlanta and the state of Georgia are getting the last laugh. The »

This day in baseball history: Pirates prevail in Game Seven

Featured image The 1971 Baltimore Orioles had four ace starting pitchers — Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, and Pat Dobson, 20-game-winners all. The Pittsburgh Pirates had two — Dock Ellis and Steve Blass, and only one after Ellis’ bad elbow flared up in Game One of the World Series. But in a winner-take-all game, one ace was usually all a team needed back when ace starters typically turned in at least »

This day in baseball history: F. Robinson and Clemente shine in classic

Featured image Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were the dominant baseball players of the 1960s. They overshadowed other stars of that era, including Frank Robinson and Roberto Clemente. Robinson came out of the shadows with his Triple Crown season in 1966. Clemente didn’t get his due until the 1971 World Series. It was only then that America got to see the full range of his talents. Curt Gowdy, NBC’s lead announcer in »

This day in baseball history: The first World Series night game

Featured image The Baltimore Orioles jumped out to a two games to none lead over Pittsburgh in the 1971 World Series. In Game Three, Pittsburgh, finally playing at home, got back in the argument with a 5-1 victory. Steve Blass went all the way to best Mike Cuellar. He allowed only three hits and two walks. Pittsburgh took charge of the game in the seventh inning with three runs. Roberto Clemente reached »

This day in baseball history: Baltimore takes command

Featured image After sweeping the Oakland A’s in the 1971 ALCS, the Baltimore Orioles were favorites in the World Series. The Birds were the defending champions. They had won 101 regular season games, losing only 57. In the past three seasons, they were winners of 318 regular season games. Since falling unexpectedly to the New York Mets in 1969, their post-season record was 10-1. The Pittsburgh Pirates stood between the O’s and »

This day in baseball history: The 1971 ALCS

Featured image 1971 was the third year of expanded, four-team MLB playoffs. The American matchup between the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A’s was the first league championship series that offered a match-up of two great teams. The Orioles were the defending champions of baseball and winners of two consecutive American League pennants. Their ALCS record was 6-0. They had won 101 games during the 1971 regular season. The A’s, also winners of »

This day in baseball history: A long good-bye

Featured image By September 30, 1971, Washington had hosted American League baseball for 71 full years, the entire existence of the “junior circuit.” But that day would mark the end. The American League’s last game in the nation’s capital was played on this day in baseball history. Bob Short, a Democrat politician from Minnesota, owned the Washington Senators. During the 1971 season, he gained permission to move the team to the Dallas-Fort »

Experiment confirms that baseball needs a pitch clock

Featured image For years, I’ve argued that major league baseball desperately needs a pitch clock. Everyone seems to agree that baseball’s painfully slow pace of play is a huge problem. Yet, MLB hasn’t implemented the one measure that would speed play up — a limit on how long pitchers can hold the ball without putting it in play. Watching dozens of old games on MLB-TV during the pandemic, I noticed that pitchers »

This day in baseball history: J.R. Richard debuts

Featured image 1971 was the year of Vida Blue. The 22 year-old lefty won 24 games and captured the American League Cy Young and MVP awards. But another African-American pitcher from Louisiana also made a splash in 1971. 21 year-old James Rodney Richard debuted in the majors on September 5. Blue threw extremely hard, but Richard’s heater was next-level. Only Nolan Ryan, his future teammate, was in the same class. Johnny Bench »

This day in baseball history: The Vida Blue-Sonny Siebert rematch

Featured image In late May 1971, Sonny Siebert and the Boston Red Sox defeated Vida Blue and the Oakland A’s at Fenway Park. John and I attended the game. Blue’s loss was his first in almost two months. It took his record for the season to 10-2 and Siebert’s to 9-0. Siebert and Blue faced each other again on August 11, 1971 at Fenway. Much had changed in the intervening two and »

Trey Mancini hits one for Mo

Featured image As a kid I used to read stories about how Babe Ruth (or was it Ted Williams, maybe both) visited a terminally ill child, promised to hit a home run in his honor in the next game, and delivered. Were these stories true? I don’t know, but I enjoyed them. Something close to this scenario occurred in Baltimore last night. Trey Mancini plays first base for the Orioles. He’s the »

The F.P. Santangelo saga

Featured image F.P. Santangelo is a former major league baseball player who does the color commentary on television broadcasts of Washington Nationals games. He’s not my cup of tea, but no one can question his knowledge of, and passion for, the game. He’s also very popular with the fan base, including women, as far as I can tell. During the Nats’ championship season, several women who had been casual fans, told me »

The fun never stops at ESPN

Featured image Stephen A. Smith is a controversialist for ESPN. He shouts out his takes on sports-related issues, for which, reportedly, he is paid around $12 million a year. Nice work if you can get it. Smith came under fire for opining that Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese pitching, slugging, and baserunning sensation, will have trouble being the face of baseball because he doesn’t speak English. Smith said: I don’t think it helps »

This day in baseball history: An all-star game to remember

Featured image The 1971 all-star game, played in Detroit 50 years ago today, is memorable for at least three reasons. The first is all those home runs — six of them, the most memorable of which by were Reggie Jackson and Roberto Clemente. The second is that the American League won — its first all-star victory since 1962. The third is all of the top-tier Hall of Famers who participated. 1971 was »

This day in baseball history

Featured image In this series, I’ve been retracing Vida Blue’s historic 1971 season. In the last post about it, I covered a late May game at Fenway Park that John and I attended in which Blue picked up his second loss of the season following an amazing ten game winning streak. After that setback, Blue started another streak. He won his next six starts before losing against Minnesota on June 29. In »

An all-star game worth boycotting [With Comment by John]

Featured image Major League Baseball is heading into the all-star break. Next week, it will hold its home run derby on Monday and the all-star game on Tuesday. Both events, and various others, will be held in Denver, Colorado, not Atlanta, Georgia as originally scheduled. MLB pulled the game from Atlanta because the Georgia legislature passed election integrity reforms that Democrats don’t like and contend are racist. MLB thus inserted itself into »