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Found 74 results

  1. I'm always amazed how people double (or triple or quadruple in this case) down on these kinds of comments. "Canseco Loses Analyst Job after Tweets about Sexual Assault He Says Were a Joke" by Pete Blackburn on cbssports.com
  2. Some people might not know that the Washington Senators of Walter Johnson fame were a different franchise than the lovable losers we had playing here during the 1960s - the original team (which played 1901-1960) became the Minnesota Twins, while this franchise (1961-1971) became the Texas Rangers (*). These Senators' highlights were Frank Howard, and Ted Williams - who managed them to a winning season in 1969 (unless you want to include Ed "Big Stick" Brinkman, for whom Mark Belanger was grateful (*)). Here's Richard Nixon throwing out the opening day ball in 1969, with Teddy Ballgame also in the picture (the Yankee is Ralph Houk; behind him stands the owner, Bob Short, who outbid Bob Hope (!) for ownership of the team): <--- See the guy taking a picture at the top-center? He could have featured prominently in this photo; now, he's forever anonymous. Season 3, Episode 8 of "Dragnet" (which aired on Nov 14, 1968), had this sequence when the President (who was actually Lyndon Johnson at the time of airing) came to visit Los Angeles - Gannon and Friday are addressing the press corps: (*) Actually, they weren't the original Washington Senators: Believe it or not, there were two other Washington Senators teams (making a total of four) that played around the fin de siècle, but weren't in the Major Leagues. (**) It should be noted that Brinkman, whose *best* batting average from 1961 through 1968 was an abysmal .224, worked on his hitting with Williams in 1969: That year, he batted a relatively amazing .266. Remarkably, he played on the same high school team as Pete Rose, and Brinkman was considered the better prospect by a fair margin. I still remember this baseball card:
  3. Considering their relative lack of big-name talent over the decades, the Astros have one of the most interesting *team* histories in all of baseball: * From 1888-1961, the only professional baseball in Houston was the Minor League Houston Buffaloes - a (mostlly) Texas League team affiliated (mostly) with the St. Louis Cardinals * They began their life as the Houston Colt .45s (after a "neam the team" contest - the Colt .45 was "the gun that won the West"). Their National League counterparts were the expansion New York Mets, and the two teams alternated draft picks from unprotected players from other Major League teams. * Several Houston Buffaloes personnel were allowed to continue working for the Astros, and some of the players made the team as well. * The Colt .45s played in the temporary Colt Stadium - very impressive for a structure meant to last three years. * In 1963, they picked up Rusty Staub and Joe Morgan. Incidentally, Staub is a known connoisseur of fine wine. * In 1965, they became the Astros (Houston being the "space capital" of the U.S.), and began playing in the "8th wonder of the world," the Astrodome. * There's plenty more about their history on Wikipedia - it's an interesting read if you're a baseball fan.
  4. That would have been great IMHO. A Nationals/Orioles rivalry would get exciting and heated. (I frankly like both teams.) The owners have to already hate one another as they have been fighting on how to divide up the TV market for years. (two guys that will litigate this thing to death). I'm sure there is still a core resentment in Baltimore towards Washington. Would have been a fiery rivalry.
  5. Larry Doby was the first player ever to go straight from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues, coming to the Cleveland Indians, just three months after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Cleveland owner Bill Veeck was considered just as progressive as Brooklyn owner Branch Rickey. Manager Lou Boudreau introduced Doby, one-by-one to the Indians' players ("This is Bob Lemon," and Lemon put his hand out to shake Doby's) - this was done with each member of the team, and everyone shook Doby's hand. Everyone, that is, but three people - Veeck got rid of those three players at his first possible opportunity. In only his second season in the majors, Doby would go on to help the Indians win the 1948 World Series - the Indians have not won a World Series since then.
  6. As a prerequisite to this thread, please read the first post in The World Series thread. I would recommend not reading any further until you do. --- Assuming you've read that post, I'd now like to make a case for the *wrong* Second Baseman having been given the 1960 World Series MVP Award. The award was given to Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees. The MVP Award didn't exist until 1955, and every year before 1960, it had been given to a pitcher; this was the first year (and the only year in history) it would go to a second baseman - the question is: *Which* second baseman? There is no doubt that Richardson had a tremendous World Series, batting .367, with 12 RBIs and a Grand Slam in the seven-game series. However, Richardson is the only player from a losing team ever to win the award, and I would argue that he was only the *second*-most-valuable second baseman playing in this series: Bill Mazeroski deserved the award. Mazeroski wasn't some little-known player like Rick Dempsey (in 1983) who had a fantastic World Series (no disrespect meant towards Dempsey, who was a better-than-average major leaguer); no, Mazeroski was a 10-time all-star (in 7 different seasons), an 8-time Gold Glove winner, and is in the Hall of Fame, primarily for his defense. All baseball fans know about "the most famous home run ever hit" - along with the 1993 shot by Joe Carter, the only walk-off home run ever to end an entire *season* (and still the only one in Game 7), giving the Pirates their first World Series championship since 1925! But what the average fan doesn't know is that Mazeroski batted .320 that series, and in Game 1, hit *another* game-winning home run: This one wasn't a walk-off home run; in fact, it happened in the 4th inning, but it provided the winning run in the game - that makes 2-out-of-4 games that Mazeroski won for the Pirates with home runs. The three games the Yankees won were blow-outs, by scores of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0. They didn't *need* Richardson's RBIs; the Pirates, on the other hand, couldn't have won the series without Mazeroski - their four wins happened by scores of 6-4, 3-2, 5-2, and in the deciding game, 10-9: Both of Mazeroski's homers were indispensable, and Pittsburgh would have lost without them. I guess the New York publicity machine won the award for Richardson, but the real MVP of the 1960 World Series was Bill Mazeroski. If there's any doubt remaining, Richardson's OPS was 1.054 for the series; Mazeroski's was .960 - yes, Richardson's was stronger, but it wasn't *that* much stronger (Mazeroski got hits in 6 out of the 7 games). More importantly: Richardson committed errors in each of the first two games; Mazeroski didn't commit an error the entire series.
  7. People don't remember how great Don Mattingly was for awhile - I was actually going to make an investment, and buy about 50 of his rookie cards (I am glad I didn't make that mistake, since the baseball card market completely collapsed). Without looking at any statistics, I have a vague recollection of him having a ton of RBIs, and I remember a good friend of mine commenting on how he always led the league in doubles, too. What happened to him? I guess I could read his Wikipedia entry, but he seemed like a sure-fire Hall of Fame player, and then ... fizzle. I did see that he had *six* Grand Slams in one season (1987), and took note that Willie Randolph was on first base every single time. --- ETA - I couldn't help but see some statistics as I was tagging this post, and he has a .307 career batting average - why isn't he in the Hall? I see that the Yankees won the World Series the year before his rookie season, and the year after he retired, but never during his career - is this why?
  8. "Dodgers Continue To Rack up Accomplishments, Including Owning the Best 50-Game Stretch in 100 Years" by Gabriel Baumgaetner on si.com
  9. In our Sports Forum, we have a thread on your rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson. I've followed Watson carefully for the past four years, and have watched every single moment, of every single game, that he has played for the past two years. If you're concerned that Watson can't be an "NFL-style," pocket quarterback, well, I think that's a legitimate concern, but I also think that Watson - even though he can scamper - has a pocket-quarterback mentality in his head. The scrambling quarterback works best in college; the pocket passer works best in the NFL, and I honestly believe that Watson has the tools and the discipline to be both. Here in Washington, DC, we suffered through the agony of watching Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman Trophy for Baylor, and for whom the Washington Redskins gave up a *fortune*. RGIII was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and *deserved* it, producing one of the greatest seasons in NFL history by a rookie quarterback. However, RGIII was never taught to be a pocket passer, and the Redskins allowed him to be a sitting duck for the NFL's monster linebackers, who used him as a tackling dummy. The Redskins didn't take him out when he became visibly injured (it was very, very hard to watch), and just like that, RGIII's career was over (or, at least, it's probably over). Don't think for a moment that Deshaun Watson isn't acutely aware of the sad tale of RGIII. All he needs is to be taught how to transition from college to the NFL, and you just may have yourself an All-Pro-caliber QB for the next decade. I'm going to be pulling for the Texans, and for the great Deshaun Watson - I only hope that he has someone down there who can teach him properly; otherwise, all bets are off. One thing you shouldn't worry about is all these articles about Watson's interceptions. The articles fed off themselves; I actually *watched* every play Watson made for the past two seasons, and he threw a total of about five lousy interceptions; the rest of them came with a large dose of sheer bad luck, irrelevant situations (an 80-yard, Hail Mary with 2-seconds left in the half, for example) or missed patterns by his receivers - the interception tally wouldn't worry me in the least. You've got yourself a champion on your hands, and at least one person up here in Washington, DC who will be pulling for him. Cheers, Rocks
  10. Couldn't you say, though, that unlike hitting - and to a lesser degree, pitching - defense is more of a "lone-wolf skill" that can show up each year? All three skills are, of course, but hitting is *so* fickle that anyone might emerge and have a career year (or conversely, go into a two-month slump). The same holds true with pitching, albeit to a lesser degree: You're up against a different batter each time - plus, there are a myriad of pitching injuries. The ability to field and throw a ball doesn't change as much, because it's less dependent on opposing players, and more dependent on skills that you've acquired over time. I'm not saying this quite right, because obviously, hitting and pitching are acquired "over time" also - what I'm really trying to say is that fielding and throwing are more independent of your opponents, and may lend themselves more towards multiple awards in a row, because you're not thinking about Randy Johnson pitching behind your head, Kirby Puckett up with the bases loaded, etc. I'd make a comparison with Pete Maravich dribbling a basketball - he was possibly the best ball-handler and dribbler every single year he was in the NBA (of course, they don't give awards for dribbling a basketball). I may be wrong (I actually just now thought of this), but it seems like fielding and throwing are more independent of other people's intervention than hitting and pitching. Note also: The judges consist exclusively of managers and coaches; not sportswriters, and as of 2013, a Sabermetrics component accounts for 25% of the tally as well. (*) MC Horoscope: Note the third paragraph of that article, which supports what you say about "lazy voters." --- The Gold Glove Award should be named after Brooks Robinson, who won 16 of them in a row. Robinson just turned 80 years old this month - sigh, I wish they'd do it now. Until there is adequate video to show people how great Brooks Robinson was, day-after-day, year-after-year, all people will have is largely anecdotal evidence - I have not once, for example, seen video of him fielding a bunt, which he did in many games (remember, scoring was *much* lower before 1968, and teams bunted a lot - pitchers bunted all the time), and the way he charged, made a barehanded pickup (sometimes supported by his glove), and threw at 4'o'clock, all in one motion, was pure poetry. "Grounders to shortstop" were often intercepted by Robinson, who cut to his left, and fielded the ball perhaps ten feet in front of where Mark Belanger would have, which also gave Robinson momentum towards first base when he threw - he did this *all the time*. People who watched Brooks Robinson play are now at least in their 50s, and will eventually no longer be around - I'm going to do my part to make sure people in the future remember just how amazing a defensive player he was: He was so good that he changed the strategies of opposing teams. Truth be told, I'm just as amazed at some of the things Andrelton Simmons does (Manny Machado also), but it's called the Cy Young Award; not the Greg Maddux Award - plus, all games were played on natural grass which made it more difficult.
  11. Who has a better career W-L record, Mike Mussina, or Tom Seaver? <--- These are links to their stats. Surprise! Every pitcher who has over 100 more victories than losses is in the Hall of Fame ... except for Mike Mussina. I know, I know: "Most overrated statistic there is." I don't buy it. Expect Moose to be inducted this decade, preferably with an Orioles' cap. We miss you, Mike. Even here in Northern Virginia, we miss you. New York is a bigger audience, but between Baltimore and Atlanta, you were *it*.
  12. Jayson Werth, organic farmer (article from The Washington Post sports bog) Don, you might want to move this somewhere else, but it's a fascinating article.
  13. "The New Testament: An Oral History of Mike Trout's Greatest Moments To Date" by Ben Reiter on si.com
  14. I wanted to get a quick thread going about the great Orlando Cepeda, mainly because of one interesting fact: On Apr 15, 1958, Cepeda hit the first-ever major league home run on the West Coast. --- In 1993, the "Ted Williams Card Company" put out a set of 160 cards, which I was just given as a gift. My favorite thing about this set is that each card features a player - not necessarily a "great" player, but one who most baseball fans have heard of - and on the back, there are comments by Williams about that player which often feature one very interesting, unusual statistic (refer to Cepeda's 1958 home run). Pulling another card out at random, I pulled out Matty Alou, and the statistic says, "his 231-hit outburst in '69 ranks 28th all-time, and was the most since Ducky Medwick's 237-hit campaign in 1937." (Williams is obviously referring to the National League here, as Kirby Puckett put up 234 in 1988.) Really interesting things like that which you'd have to hunt for with a microscope on a stat sheet - I think it's awesome.
  15. As an unrelated side note, you may notice that all three players have Latino names, and in fact, all three are Cuban in ethnicity, with only Martinez having been born in America to a Cuban-American father and a Spanish-American mother. I have a personal interest in Latino baseball players, especially the pioneers, and I notice these things - I suspect very few people can name the first Latino major-leaguer (it was Lou Castro, who, despite his last name, ironically *wasn't* Cuban; he was born in Medellín, Colombia, and made his debut with the American League-champion 1902 Philadelphia Athletics). I suspect if you asked the average person to guess which year the first Latino man played in the Major Leagues, they'd guess something much more recent than 1902. Incidentally, I wrote my freshman English term paper arguing that Japanese home-run king, Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants, could have been a star in the major leagues - this is well before any Japanese player had ever excelled in the majors, although Masanori Murakami from Yamanashi, Japan, played for the 1964 San Francisco Giants - the title of the paper, which was admittedly a piece of shit, was "Oh, Yes!" ... there was almost no data then, and only a couple of articles had been written about the subject (there were card catalogs and microfiche; not computers), and I could only find *one article* that supported my hypothesis that a great Japanese player such as Oh could succeed in the major leagues - not bad insight for an 18-year-old kid, huh? Frank Deford is a very well-known sports writer now, but give him credit: He was the *only person* to have the guts to write an article such as this at such an early date: Aug 15, 1977 - "Move Over for Oh-San" by Frank Deford on si.com
  16. Happy Super Bowl Sunday, folks, I think this is one of the most interesting, and certainly one of the most "quick-thinking" defensive plays I've ever seen. Here's the setup: The Yankees' Orlando Hernandez ("El Duque") is pitching to the Mets' Rey Ordóñez. Ordóñez hits a very routine grounder back to the pitcher's mound, but the ball gets stuck inside of Hernandez's mitt - he can't pull it out - and Hernandez has about 1-2 seconds to decide what to do. Does he keep trying to pull the ball out, or ... ? Given the high-risk nature of what Hernandez did, I don't know if it was the correct thing to do, but once he made his decision (and I emphasize, he had perhaps one second to make it), both he and the first baseman, Tino Martinez, displayed extraordinary moments of athleticism, calm-under-pressure, and hand-eye coordination. Jun 6, 1999 - "Sports of the Times; A Play Maybe Nobody Had Ever Seen Before" by Dave Anderson on nytimes.com
  17. One thing I don't understand is how Willie Mays, and *especially* Hank Aaron, aren't more famous than they are. Yes, race probably has something to do with it, but why? Jackie Robinson is mentioned with the same reverence as Martin Luther King, Jr., but why not Willie Mays, and *most certainly* why not Hank Aaron? Let's celebrate these two giants *now*, while they're alive. Greats like Frank Robinson, Roberto Clemente, and Ernie Banks are maybe a small step down from The Big Three (Aaron, Mays, Mantle), and I hate to think that Mickey Mantle is such a legend because he's white, and I choose (probably incorrectly) to believe it's because he played center-field for the Yankees. Hank Aaron should be as famous as Muhammad Ali. Good God, the man broke *Babe Ruth's* home run record - that's like Jesus Christ walking in your front door.
  18. It about kills me to put this video up here, but the one person in the world I'll do it for is the great Roberto Clemente, killed in an airplane crash while making a humanitarian visit to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He was 38 years old, and was still arguably the best right fielder in baseball at the time - it's hard to believe he was a year *older* than Frank Robinson, a pretty darned good right fielder himself, and whom you can see scoring the winning run here, the game before, off a Brooks Robinson sacrifice "fly" (if you want to call that a fly). This video is Clemente's second World Series championship, and his interview begins just after 2:06:30 (I have it set to this). Shortly after one year later, he was gone - I cannot believe I'm about to say this, but I'm glad for both him, and his mom and dad, that he won this World Series. Other than perhaps Jackie Robinson, can you name a greater human being who ever put on a mitt?
  19. There was never any doubt. Nope, No sir. Never. None. Aug 28, 2008 - "1908: The Year the Airplane Went Public" by Tom D Crouch on airspacemag.com Apr 28, 2016 - "World's Fastest Jet MIG-3 Intercepts U.S. Spy Plane near Russia's Far East" on rt.com
  20. I was just looking at the fascinating spreadsheet Pat linked to, and noticed something incredible: before the Nationals' unique 3-3-5 triple play on Saturday, it caught my eye that the Chicago White Sox had executed 3 out of the last 4 triple plays in the major leagues. A quick sideways glance revealed that all 3 had come within a period of 2.5 months (Apr 22 - Jul 8, 2016), and then I wondered, "What if?" Another sideways glance told me that José Abreu, the White Sox 1st Baseman, was involved in all 3 triple plays. That's 3 triple plays for 1 player over the span of 2.5 months. Remarkable! Searching on Google, there was press about the White Sox, but even going into the articles and looking, I don't see anything special written about Abreu - surely *he* must have noticed and said something to the press, but I don't see anything. I'm friends with one of the founders of Elias Sports Bureau, and I'm going to alert him to this to see what he has to say.
  21. I went to see the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Exhibition today, and stumbled upon a must for any sports fans at the National Portrait Gallery: "One Life: Babe Ruth" - a one-room exhibit featuring Babe Ruth from his days as a pitcher in the teens, up to his Farewell Address on Apr 27, 1947 at Yankee Stadium. Unless you're a Bambino fanatic, there will be things in this room that you've never before seen, including a 1930 cardboard box which was the package for a pair of Babe Ruth-brand underwear. I've seen many, many pictures of Ruth on the internet, but there's something about seeing them in person, some blown up to very large size, that makes the entire experience different. One takeaway for me was just how slender Ruth was during his Red Sox days - he always had a huge head, but it's almost as if Ruth was the first-ever bobble-head doll, for real. These don't have anything to do with the exhibition, but here are some other interesting webpages featuring photos of the Sultan of Swat: Jun 29, 2012 - "An American Icon: Extremely Rare Colour Photos of Babe Ruth Show the Bronx Bomber in a New Light" on dailymail.co.uk Jan 6, 2014 - "Babe Ruth: Color Photos of an Ailing Legend" by Ben Cosgrove on time.com Jul 11, 2014 - "Rare Photos of Babe Ruth" on si.com The exhibit is on the east (7th Street) side of the museum, on the first floor - unless you're a diehard fan, "One Life: Babe Ruth" isn't worth a special trip, but it's required viewing if you're already at the gallery.
  22. Ha! I used to do this with the Orioles when Jon Miller was calling the games on the radio! Has there ever been a smoother announcer than Miller? I cannot believe Peter Angelos saw fit to get rid of this *Giant* of an announcer, pun intended, because I hope Angelos has suffered from his idiotic decision to release Miller, but Wangelos is so clueless that he probably doesn't even know Miller's in San Francisco now. I just got my blood boiling thinking about that poison dwarf. When you hate a sports owner more than I hate Dan Snyder, that's saying something, but I hate Angelos more than I hate any sports owner, even Marge Schott (who was just a stupid racist) or George Steinbrenner (who was just Donald Trump's identical twin). There I go, violating my own rules about personal insults. I'll change the wording of this to something more appropriate. Damn it.
  23. Jim Palmer was mentioned in a NYTImes article the other day. He is 70 and covers the Orioles for MASN. Once though he was the Orioles best pitcher and is in the Hall of Fame. Some of his accomplishments: Won 186 games in the 70's, most games of any pitcher in the 1970's. 8 seasons of 20 wins or more 3 Cy Young awards 268 wins, all with the Orioles and other assorted accomplishments. Palmer was also well known for his many arguments with his manager, Earl Weaver. If you don't know about Palmer from his present or his past ball playing accomplishments he was also a national advertising model for jockey underwear!!!! It is also argued that Palmer could be the most overrated pitcher in history. The Orioles teams he pitched for probably had the greatest defense in all of baseball history, starring Brooks Robinson at 3rd, Mark Belanger at SS, and Paul Blair in Center Field. Maybe. I still enjoyed watching the O's in those days and Palmer's high kick pitching motion.
  24. And after this game, Stephen Strasburg is now 6-0. "Washington Nationals 6-4 Over Miami Marlins: Stephen Strasburg Improves To (6-0) With The Win" by Patrick Reddington on federalbaseball.com About Strasburg's contract, I just found this: "Stephen Strasburg's $175 Million Contract is Mostly Smoke and Mirrors and is a Brilliant Ploy by Super Agent Scott Boras" by Cork Gaines on businessinsider.com (Here's the thread on Scott Boras.)
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