Baseball

Baseball likely to proceed with a severely truncated season

Featured image We are probably going to have a major league baseball season this year, or at least something that resembles one. However, the players and the owners have not been able to agree on the terms and conditions of the season. Under a prior agreement, the owners have the right to implement a season without a new agreement, and have decided to do so. They must still agree on health protocols, »

On monuments and the baseball Hall of Fame

Featured image I’m fine with removing statues of Confederate leaders and generals, and their predecessors whose arguments paved the way for secession, provided the removal is the result of a lawful decision rather than the action of a mob. These statues were erected because the community, or at least its leaders, considered the men in question to have done worthwhile things and to have influenced history (or tried to) in a positive »

MLB players hold bad hand, but that doesn’t mean they will fold [UPDATED]

Featured image The MLB players union continues to insist that its members won’t return unless they are paid their prorated salaries — in other words, half their salary for playing half of the 162 games. They take this position even though the owners won’t make anywhere near half their normal revenue because they will receive no money from fans who would have attended the games. In a normal year, that money probably »

Sports leagues moving towards reopening, except for baseball

Featured image Yesterday, the National Hockey League presented to the public its plan, approved by the players, for completing the season. The NHL intends to go straight to a 24 team playoff to be held in two venues (not selected yet). It’s not certain that the NHL will be able to pull this off, but at least it has a plan in place. The National Basketball Association wants to complete its season »

Blake Snell: I “gotta get my money”

Featured image Blake Snell, age 27, pitches for Tampa Bay. He won the American League Cy Young award in 2018. In his other three big seasons, he’s been mediocre. Snell grabbed headlines by saying he won’t play in 2020 if doing so entails taking a pay cut. He explained: Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is »

Squabbling threatens reopening of MLB and the EPL

Featured image The German Bundesliga, one of the world’s greatest sports league, will resume playing soccer this weekend. The games will take place behind closed doors. The English Premier League, an even greater sports league, has been cleared by the government to resume in early June, assuming certain conditions are met. But the matches will have to be played not only behind closed doors, but at neutral venues. Unfortunately, EPL clubs can’t »

Notable baseball lineups from the dead-ball era

Featured image In two earlier posts, I identified some of baseball’s all-time great baseball lineups. However, I have not yet considered the dead-ball era, which I define as the period from 1900 (when the American League was founded) until 1921, when run totals started soaring and guys other than Babe Ruth started hitting 20 home runs or more in a season. In this post, I identify three notable lineups from the dead-ball »

Great baseball lineups, Part Two

Featured image In this post, I identified five great baseball lineups from the period before 1961. Now, I want to recognize some of the great lineups from 1961 until the present. In 1972 [correction, 1973], the American League brought the “designated hitter” into being. The National League still hasn’t, a good decision in my view. With the designated hitter, American League lineups naturally became more productive, as a rule, than their National »

When will baseball return?

Featured image We took up this question during our most recent Power Line program for subscribers. I estimated that it will take three weeks of training for players to prepare for a season. I thought it might be possible to complete spring training by around the end of spring. In that event, the regular season could commence at the end of June. Spring training and beginning of the regular season would have »

Great baseball lineups, Part One

Featured image For my amusement, I’ve been trying to identify great all-time baseball lineups. I thought some readers might be interested in my findings. I’m going to begin with five great lineups from what I call the first half of modern baseball — the period from the formation of the American League at the beginning of the last century until the 1961 expansion. Only readers in the their mid-70s or older might »

Remembering Al Kaline

Featured image On April 6, Al Kaline died at the age of 85. A member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, Kaline played with the Detroit Tigers for 22 years, his entire playing career. Known as Mr. Tiger (though Billy Martin called him Mr. Perfection), he is surely Detroit’s most beloved baseball player. Kaline made the All-Star team 15 times, batting .324 against the National League. He won the Gold Glove as the »

This day in baseball history, Opening Day 1970

Featured image The 1970 baseball season opened on Monday, April 6, and Tuesday April 7. On the 6th, Washington and Cincinnati held their traditional league openers. The rest of baseball followed on the 7th. Teams normally send out their best pitcher on Opening Day. 1970 was no exception. The following Hall of Famers pitched their team’s opener: Ferguson Jenkins (Cubs), Phil Niekro (Braves), Gaylord Perry (Giants), Bob Gibson (Cardinals), and Tom Seaver »

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 »