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Found 7 results

  1. By now the scope and breadth of what the Houston Astros were doing from 2017-2019 is well-documented. I'm sure we'll hear more in the coming months about exactly what the Red Sox were up to in 2018 as well, I don't get the sense that story has been fully told. With as much attention as this has received I think from punishment standpoint the participants involved have gotten off fairly easy. Yes, three different MLB Managers lost their jobs, as well as front office positions in Houston. There was a $5M fine for the Astros (the most that MLB was self-authorized to assess) and a loss of international pool picks (the latter stings far more than the former, the fine is chump change). Players not materially affected will carry the stigma of this, and the evidence is clear that basically the entire line up is implicated in one way or another. Who else gets the feeling that the MLB head office is jumping with joy that they may get away with this being sum total of the fallout?!? Here is a World Series champion caught red-handed not two weeks after the Series! Nobody questions that they cheated and gained a not-negligible advantage! Yet they've been able to deftly shift the discussion away from "So, should the Astros 2017 Championship be revoked?". There is SO MUCH going on here, and it's hard to even pin down my thoughts on what MLB should have done. Taking away a World Series trophy is a very big step, and in many senses there is absolutely no walking that back when this happens again (yes, something similar will happen again). The best MLB can hope for is to take very big steps against individual actors and hope the baseball-watching public sees justice. In the eyes of The Game those players are disposable. "But sign stealing is as old as baseball itself!", they say, and that is undoubtedly true. Technology has changed the way baseball fundamentally operates, so that fact that it's also being used to change the way teams cheat isn't surprisingly, but it's made it easier to catch those who are cheating, too! I've only scratched the surface here, this topic has tentacles that reach in a dozen different directions.
  2. The Dodgers got Mookie Betts, the best outfielder in baseball not named Trout or Bellinger. They also get David Price for half price. They send a pitcher who is unhappy and won't go to the bullpen and a player with questionable injury history in Verdugo. What a deal.
  3. Ted Williams is the only person who can claim - along with Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb - to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. Here are some statistics which are so mind-boggling that they simply do not compute: * Williams had a lifetime batting average of .344 - the highest of any player with more than 302 home runs. * Williams had 521 home runs. * Williams missed 3 seasons in the prime of his career due to WWII. The three years before, he batted .344, .406 and .356; the three years after, he batted .342, .343, and .369. * Missing those 3 seasons cost him at least 100 home runs - he would have hit 625 for his career. * Even more remarkable than the above? His *career* on-base percentage was .482. That is not a misprint. * Perhaps even *more* remarkable? Not once did he ever have 200 hits in a season. See for yourselves. How can that be? I guess it's because he walked so much (he had 20-12 vision). There are *three people* on that list of *525-different 200-hit seasons* named Williams, none of which is Ted. * If Williams had played 20 years earlier, I might be able to comprehend these numbers, but he was a *generation* after the big-numbers hitters of the 1920s. * His batting average, his home runs, and his walks - in my mind - make him a perfectly legitimate choice for the moniker: Greatest Hitter of All-Time.
  4. I post this not because I like David Ortiz (I am, after all, a Yankees fan) but for a number of reasons both positive and negative. On the positive side, and setting aside my Yankee fandom, he is an icon for the Red Sox. He is a beloved character in Boston and was a member of three world championships ... after 86 years without a championship in Fenway Park. And there have only been four players to play on three world championships and hit 500 HRs, with Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and Reggie Jackson preceding him. On the negative side, he has an association with PEDs. Of course, there is no "proof" per se, but his best friend on the Red Sox during those championship years was Manny Ramirez, who was caught and suspended multiple times for PEDs use. A few others of those Red Sox players during that period of time were also suspected of PEDs use, and Big Papi (or "Big Sloppy" to Yankees fans) was at least gulty by association. Besides, how did he lose that hole in his swing that he had when he was David Arias of the Twins? (But my primary gripe about any and all of this is simply that the 500 HR Club is not what it once was. When I was growing up, it was the absolute power hitter mark of excellence, the line of demarcation between the very good and the great. Now, it has been removed from that status by the stench of PEDs use. And that is a shame, pure and simple.) Anyway, from a Yankees fan, here is a tip of the cap to Ortiz, for his accomplishments, for what he means to his fan base, and for his eventual enshrinement in baseball's Hall of Fame.
  5. Cal Yastrzemski, affectionately (and practically) known as "Yaz" by his fans, was an incredibly durable 18-time All-Star for the Boston Red Sox. Although he played some of his later career at 1st Base and Designated Hitter, he was primarily known as a Left Fielder. Yaz was the first player with both 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. His longevity made him not only a beloved fixture in Boston, but also earned him second place all-time in MLB Games Played, and third place all-time for MLB At-Bats. He is the all-time Red Sox leader in career RBIs, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, and games played, and is third only to Ted Williams and David Ortiz in home runs. What a career this man had, especially in 1967 when he won both the AL Triple Crown and MVP Award. Here is an ESPN "SportsCentury" documentary (a wonderful biography series which ran from 1999-2007) about Carl Yastrzemski, who seems to be unjustifiably fading (along with other great outfielders such as Al Kaline, Tony Oliva, etc.) in the minds of young baseball fans:
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