Baseball

Fathers and sons

Featured image Which father-son pitching major league duo holds the record for most combined wins? I believe the answer is Mel and Todd Stottlemyre with 302, followed by Dizzy and Steve Trout with 258. Which combo holds the record for most wins plus saves? The answer is still the Stottlemyres with 304, I think. For second place, though, the answer changes. It’s Dick “Turk” Farrell and Richard Dotson with 300. But Farrell »

On being run out of town, Part Two

Featured image Last week, I described how, 50 years ago, Philadelphia Phillies fans basically ran the team’s star player, Dick Allen, out of town. Today, I’ll discuss how the great Tom Seaver, who died last week, was run out of New York. Mets fans adored Seaver. They didn’t run him out town. A sportswriter did. Seaver was the best pitcher of the 1970s. For my money, he’s one of the ten best »

On being run out of town, Part One

Featured image Two baseball stars of the 1960s and 1970s are in the news this week. First the good news. Dick Allen was honored by the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, the sad news. Tom Seaver passed away. There’s a common thread between these two legends. Both were run out of the town where they made their names, albeit under very different circumstances. This post is about Allen’s woes in Philadelphia. This weekend, I’ll »

This day in baseball history: The NL East race tightens

Featured image 1970 was not a great year for baseball races. The Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles were the two best teams that year and both locked up their races by late August. In the AL West, the California Angels were still within striking distance of the first place Minnesota Twins. But the Twins were a much better team than the Angels (the Oakland As were better, too, but out of »

Baseball needs a pitch clock

Featured image MLB’s short season is approaching its midpoint. The play is sloppy, the injuries are manifold, and the teams won’t play enough games to determine a true champion. On the other hand, there’s a good chance that, against what seemed to be the odds, baseball will complete its season. In doing so, it will entertain fans (albeit remotely) and demonstrate the “can do” spirit of which Americans have always been proud. »

Two cheers for Major League Baseball

Featured image Throughout the first half of this year, Major League Baseball kept shooting itself in the foot. The owners and the players’ union couldn’t agree on the terms and conditions for starting the season. In the end, the season to be played is too short (60 games) to be considered truly legitimate. When the season finally began, one team (Miami) had to shut down immediately due to an outbreak of the »

When Baseball Knew Better

Featured image My friend Clark Griffith was involved for many years in major league baseball. His family owned the Washington Senators, then the Minnesota Twins, for close to a century. Clark at one time more or less ran the Twins, and he played a major role in marketing Major League Baseball as well. Some say that the concept of standardizing team logos and making money by putting them on hats, shirts and »

Baseball season already in jeopardy [UPDATED throughout the day]

Featured image Major league baseball commenced its season just four days ago. Most teams started a day later. Now, the season is in jeopardy. The Miami Marlins’ home game against the Baltimore Orioles, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed because eight players and two coaches very recently tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. This brings the number of positive tests for the team to at least 14. Tonight’s game between the New »

Smiles all around

Featured image Last night, I watched an exhibition game between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. This was the first “live” baseball game I’ve seen since March. What a pleasure! Okay, the 60 game MLB season is a farce; next year’s season is already in jeopardy because of labor strife; and the owners and players behave like greedy bastards. None of this diminished from the joy of watching players experiencing the »

Wuhan coronavirus infections in the NBA and MLB

Featured image NBA players, a poorly educated group of mostly 20-somethings, plan to wear “social justice” messages on their jerseys when play resumes at the end of the month. Inasmuch as they wish to instruct us on public policy, it might be fair to ask how well these guys have done in protecting themselves and, by extension those close to them, from the coronavirus. The answer is they haven’t done well. According »

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 »