Baseball

This day in baseball history — The Cuban Cowboy returns to the Senators

Featured image On March 30, 1970, the Washington Senators signed Pedro Ramos. He had been released by Cincinnati the previous fall. For Ramos, it marked a return to the city where he started his major league career in 1955. The city, but not the team. The original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season. Ramos went with them. He pitched for the Twins in 1961 — in fact, he pitched »

Remembering Mark Fidrych

Featured image Last night, the MLB Network presented a one-hour program about the career of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. Then, it showed the entirety of a game he pitched against the New York Yankees on June 26, 1976 — a complete game 5-1 win. For those who missed the Mark Fidrych experience, here’s some background. Fidrych debuted as a 21 year old rookie for the Detroit Tigers in 1976. He made the »

Did the Astros cheat in 2019?

Featured image In the first inning of Game One the 2019 World Series, played in Houston, the Astros jumped on Max Scherzer for two runs, the only ones they scored off of Max in five innings. The big blow was a two-out double by Yulieski Gurriel that, if memory serves, was nearly a home run. If I recall correctly, Scherzer said in a post-game interview that the Astros seemed to know what »

Jeter and Walker elected to Hall of Fame, Schilling isn’t

Featured image The MLB Hall of Fame today announced this year’s inductees. The players elected are Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, and Ted Simmons. Jeter and Walker made it the traditional way, by a vote of the writers within ten years of the player’s retirement. Simmons made it by the vote of something called the Modern Baseball Era Committee. Its purpose is to elect deserving players overlooked by the writers during the ten »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 154: Henry Olsen with the Inside Baseball on Politics and . . . Baseball

Featured image This week I catch up with Henry Olsen to go through the inside baseball of the unfolding Democratic presidential primary season, but also the inside baseball about . . . baseball! Did you know that the Houston Astros colluded with the Russians and Ukrainians to steal the 2017 World Series! So runs the allegation, with hearings no doubt to follow. In any case, I actually stumped Henry by recalling the »

Nats visit White House, Kurt Suzuki wears MAGA hat

Featured image The Washington Nationals visited the White House today, as President Trump honored the team for winning the World Series. Not all of the Nats participated. As I noted here, Sean Doolittle announced early on that he would not attend. Anthony Rendon, Victor Robles, Michael A. Taylor, Joe Ross, Javy Guerra, and Wander Suero all were absent, as well. Guerra said he couldn’t come because he and his fiancee are preparing »

Dave Martinez, a contrarian view

Featured image It’s difficult to say anything about the world champion Washington Nationals that hasn’t already been said. But I have at least one unique take on the Nats: Their manager, Dave Martinez, is getting way too much praise. Rumor has it that Martinez is a strong candidate for National League Manager of the Year. This would be an odd honor for a manager whose team barely made the Wild Card game »

Nary a man is now alive. . .

Featured image When the Washington Nationals made it to the World Series, I wrote that hardly a man is now alive who remembers the last time a Washington baseball team got that far. The year was 1933. Now, the Nationals have won the World Series. I suspect that nary a man is now alive who remembers the last time Washington experienced ultimate success in the sport. The year was 1924. Like this »

The booing of the president, a postscript

Featured image In this post, I discussed the booing of President Trump during Sunday’s World Series game which I attended. Trump wasn’t just booed. Some in the crowd chanted “lock him up.” (I didn’t include this outrage in my eyewitness account because the folks near me didn’t indulge in it.) Some on the left have criticized the chanting, though not the booing. However, many defend both. Perhaps the most bizarre defense comes »

D.C. crowd manifests hatred of Trump at World Series game

Featured image Last night, I attended Game Five of the World Series. This was the first World Series game I’ve had the privilege of attending since 1979. (If there is such a thing as white privilege, this may be it; other than ushers, there were no African-Americans as far as my eyes could see from my seat.) The game was lopsided almost from the start, and not in Washington’s favor. Nonetheless, I »

Hardly a man is now alive. . .

Featured image who remembers the last time a Washington baseball team played in the World Series. It was in 1933, 86 years ago. The next time is tonight. During 33 of those years, we didn’t even have a baseball team in Washington. That makes the dry spell a little less remarkable, though perhaps even more painful. But even a 53 year dry spell is massive (longer than the one experienced by the »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part Four

Featured image The Baltimore Orioles were down three games to one to the New York Mets entering Game Five of the 1969 World Series. The Orioles thus needed to win three straight games. The previous year, the Detroit Tigers had overcome a three games to one deficit against the St. Louis Cardinals. However, that was only the third time in the history of the World Series this had been accomplished. The Orioles »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part Three

Featured image With the 1969 World Series tied at one game for the Baltimore Orioles and one game for the New York Mets, the Series moved to New York City. The pitching matchup was Jim Palmer vs. Gary Gentry. It favored Baltimore. Palmer, who came into prominence by outpitching Sandy Koufax in Game Two of the 1966 Series, had fought off serious injury to become one the best pitchers in baseball. His »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part Two

Featured image The heavily favored Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Mets in Game One of the 1969 World Series. Game Two seemed like a must-win affair for the Mets. They sent Jerry Koosman to the mound to face Dave McNally. These were two of the very best left-handed pitchers in baseball at the time. Koosman was a farm boy from Minnesota. He hadn’t played high school baseball because his high school »

This month in baseball history: The 1969 World Series, Part One

Featured image When the New York Mets finished off the Atlanta Braves to win the National League pennant in 1969, utility player Rod Gaspar declared that the Mets would win the World Series in four straight. Shortly thereafter, when the Baltimore Orioles finished off the Minnesota Twins to advance to the World Series, Frank Robinson declared, “bring on Ron [sic] Gaspar.” Robinson’s confidence seemed justified. The Orioles had won 109 regular season »

This day in baseball history: Orioles defeat Twins in first ALCS

Featured image The first ever ALCS, played in 1969, pitted the Baltimore Orioles against the Minnesota Twins. The 1969 Orioles were an insanely talented team. They won 109 games during the regular season and outscored their opponents by 262 runs. Few teams in modern baseball history have had better years than that. The Twins weren’t nearly as good. They were no slouches, though. The Twins tallied 97 regular season wins, outscoring the »

This day in baseball history: The first league championship series

Featured image In 1969, both of baseball’s two leagues split into two divisions. The division winners in the respective leagues were to face off in league championship series, with the winners moving on to the World Series. On October 4, the first game of both series were played. In the basement of one of Dartmouth’s dorms, I watched the NLCS game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. I think »