October 10, 2015

Pre-Integration Era Committee Releases 2016 Candidates For Baseball Hall of Fame: Sorry, There’s No Room in the Inn

October 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

First, let me state categorically that I love the Baseball Hall of Fame; love the history, love the tree-lined streets of Cooperstown in the summer, love the beauty of Lake Otsego, love everything about the place. Most of all, I love the reverence of the hall of plaques, appropriately presided over by life-size statues of […]

Posnanski Plays Race Card in His Criticism of Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pre-Integration Committee

October 9, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

I have a daily Google Alert setup to receive emails on the phrase “hall of fame.” I get all kinds of hits. There are articles on the National Toy Hall of Fame, National Bobblehead Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, college and high school hall of fames as well as the major […]

2015 Dodgers – Mets Series a Unique No-Hitter Matchup

October 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A friend recenty noted to me that the Mets are in the post-season this year, but had the embarrassment of having two no-hitters tossed against them this year. He wondered if there had ever been a similar team before? So I did a little research, and I think I’ve found that there have been only […]

DC Post Mortem

October 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Managers come and managers go; it is in the nature of the game. Still, the summary execution of the entire Washington Nationals coaching staff could not be viewed as a triumph of any kind. It was a sad business. There were many fine men involved in the dismissals, the most egregious of which is Randy […]

Astros Hang On to Wild Card After Faltering in September

October 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After an absence of nine years, the Houston Astros are back in the post-season playoffs as the second wild card in the American League.  The Astros spent 139 days on top of the AL West division in the first five months of the season but they were unable to carry it through into September where […]

Traveling to a Boston Red Sox Game: A Running Diary

October 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Last weekend I traveled with some friends down to a Boston Red Sox game (playing the Baltimore Orioles) for the first time in years. It remains such a unique experience for an out-of-towner like me that I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on this particular trip. Coming from northern Vermont like us, it […]

Hardball Retrospective – General Manager Scorecard

September 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Ty Cobb is listed on the Tigers roster for the duration of his career while the Mets declare Tom Seaver and the Pirates claim Barry Bonds. I calculated revised standings […]

Negro Leagues DB Update: 1937 Negro National League

September 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Today we’re used to complaining that too much of the sports news takes place off the field of play—strikes, business deals, scandals, crimes. We may not realize it, but this is nothing new. The story of the 1937 Negro National League, the newest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, is a prime example.  The […]

Boston Red Sox Pitching Prospect Jake Drehoff Talks About His Baseball Career

September 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Although the Boston Red Sox have played better of late they are still likely to finish the year with a losing record—a far cry from the expectations many had for them when the 2015 season started. Among the many things that didn’t go as planned were relatively lackluster results from the pitching staff. However, there […]

Reflections on Bud Selig, Competitive Balance, and How to Build the Best 21st Century Baseball Team

September 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Listening to Bud Selig is difficult and my heart goes out to the University of Wisconsin students who take his Baseball History class at Madison. Selig spoke last night on a program sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum Associates and organized by former Washington Senators and Redskins Announcer, Phil Hochberg. Listening to Selig was like watching […]

Remembering Merkle

September 25, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

From the New York Times, March 3, 1956: Fred Merkle, 67, Ball Player, Dies. Giants’ First Baseman’s ‘Boner’ in Failing to Touch 2d Led to Loss of ’08 Pennant. Now, that’s a pretty heavy charge to lay on anyone, that they single-handedly cost their team a championship. (And I don’t have to explain, do I, […]

Yogi Berra’s Feud With George Steinbrenner

September 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Following Yogi Berra’s death, here is a short look at his estrangement from the Yankees, due to how Steinbrenner fired Yogi as Yankees manager early in the 1985 season, and his reconciliation with Steinbrenner in 1999. Yogi may have been lovable and a great quote, but his general image belied a fierceness that both led […]

A Southbound Team on a Northbound Track

September 23, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

Fall is in the air and football is upon us, meaning for the hard-core Southern boy, baseball is on the wane and we are ready to put the Braves behind us, and the Braves have helped in this effort by performing in the shabbiest of fashion. It bids evil for a team near the bottom […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1909 Season Replay

September 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Ty Cobb is listed on the Tigers roster for the duration of his career while the Red Sox claim Tris Speaker and the Senators declare Walter Johnson. I […]

Lucky Me: A Review

September 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball has a unique power that can suck people into a longtime-obsession—both for fans and those involved directly with the professional game. It’s a bug that when caught often becomes chronic. This is exemplified by Eddie Robinson’s Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball (With C. Paul Rogers III; 2011; University of Nebraska Press), which […]

60 Years Ago (1955): Indians in Weak Command

September 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Indians swept the Senators in a doubleheader on September 13, 1955, they took a two-game lead in the American League over the Yankees. With their record now at 90-55, they had played 145 games and had just 9 to go. The Yankees had 11 games remaining. The two teams would face off no […]

Chatting with Former Kansas City Royals Outfielder Pat Sheridan

September 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After years of futility, the Kansas City Royals have been one of the best teams in baseball over the past couple of seasons. It has been their first extended stretch as contenders since the 1980s, when they fielded some of the most exciting teams of the era. An important cog to some of those squads […]

The 2016 Washington Nationals Makeover Should Start Immediately

September 9, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

The Washington Nationals 2015 season ended last night and they missed the playoffs by what ole Diz would call a “country mile.” Many if not all DC sports pundits will continue to harp on the mistakes made by Matt Williams, but whether Williams returns or not, there is a dysfunction in DC that runs far […]

August Astros Report and Personal Note

September 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Some of you may be wondering why you didn’t receive my monthly report on the Astros for  August.  Nobody did.  On Saturday. August 29, I suffered a fall at home that resulted in a fracture in one of the bones that is part of the hip bone structure.  I was taken to the hospital and […]

Say What You Will About Shoeless Joe, But These Things Ain’t So

September 4, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

News arrived this week that Major League Baseball has once again turned down an appeal to reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson. This continues a tradition going back to 1951 when Happy Chandler failed to respond to a resolution by the South Carolina Legislature. Apparently it is the policy of baseball commissioners to never reverse mandates made […]

Chemistry 101: Why an Extremely Talented Twins Team Failed to Win the 1967 Pennant

August 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Team chemistry is one of those nebulous terms often tossed about by sportswriters. Like industrial chemistry, when it’s good, often no one notices, but when it’s bad, it leads to a huge pile of foul-smelling toxic waste. Regarding this topic, I decided to discuss one of the mysteries of my youth: why didn’t the powerful […]

Touring The Bases With…Mark Armour and Dan Levitt

August 28, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Mark L. Armour is the author of Joe Cronin: A Life in Baseball, the editor of The Great Eight: The 1975 Cincinnati Reds, and a coeditor of Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, all available from the University of Nebraska Press. Winner of the 2015 Bob Davids Award from the Society of […]

Mashi: A Review

August 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Although baseball is the American Pastime it truly is an international game. In recent years, the major leagues have seen players coming from an increasding variety of countries, with Japan being among the most prominent. For that reason it‘s surprising how relatively unknown Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese big leaguer, is to modern fans. Fortunately, […]

Armbrister-Fisk and a Tale of Two Collisions

August 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

On October 14, 1975 two collisions occurred that held interest for the people of New England. One would be of such gravity and magnitude that it would continue to be discussed with great emotion 40 years later and the three participants would forever be linked. The other one involved the leader of the free world. […]

Hardball Retrospective – 1908 Season Replay

August 19, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Johnny Evers is listed on the Cubs roster for the duration of his career while the Giants claim Hooks Wiltse and the Cardinals declare “Turkey” Mike Donlin. I […]

All That Money and Talent and They Are Still the “Natinals”

August 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In a bar in Hanover, New Hamspire I was watching a Red Sox-Yankees game in July 2004 with those fans of the former who quickly despaired as their team fell behind for the thousandth time to the Derek Jeter-Bernie Williams Yankees who had been to the World Series five of the preceding six seasons. And […]

Matt Williams: Thumbs Up or Down?

August 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

As of this writing Bryan Price is still managing the 49-62 Cincinnati Reds after making a fool of himself earlier this season, so the bar for manager retention is set rather low these days. But the Washington, DC hounds demand more and they are nipping at the heels of Nationals manager Matt Williams, wondering what […]

60 Years Ago (1955)–The Scooter’s Comeback

August 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Casey taketh away and Casey giveth back. On August 10, 1955, Stengel wrote Phil Rizzuto back into the Yankees’ line-up as the starting shortstop in the midst of a tight four-team race. It was 111 games down and 43 to go for the third-place Yankees who were one game behind the White Sox, half-a-game behind the Indians, and […]

“Lazzari’s Sports Roundup”—What’s in a Name: II

August 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

*Don “Stan the Man Unusual” Stanhouse: Used mostly as a reliever in the 70’s and 80’s with four different teams. Was an All-Star in ’79 while with the AL-champ O’s and picked up 64 saves in his career. Was VERY flaky–hence the nickname (did pre-game wacky antics to entertain fans, clubhouse pranks, etc.) Also had […]

“Lazzari’s Sports Roundup” – – – – What’s in a Name?

August 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems like baseball nicknames are becoming extinct. Sure, names like “The Panda” and “King Felix” are currently recognizable, but clever monikers just aren’t as prevalent–or as FUN–as they once were. I thought I’d recall some of the more memorable ones I’ve come across since I started following baseball: *Jim “Catfish” Hunter: A Hall of […]

The Trade Deadline Eruption Will Breed a Flowering Free Agent Circus

August 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The trade deadline that passed last Friday afternoon precipitated more activity than has been seen in Major League baseball in quite a few years. And yet the eruption of talented players changing teams last week is merely a foreshadowing of the more remarkable Vesuvius of activity that will begin as soon as the last pitch […]

Billy Pierce

August 3, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

Billy Pierce passed away on Friday. One of baseball’s premier pitchers in the 1950s, the southpaw Pierce, along with his teammate Minnie Minoso, was among those players from major league baseball’s “golden era” being considered for Cooperstown immortality last year by the Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee. Neither player, nor anyone else on the list […]

Astros Sweep Angels to Regain First Place

August 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After losing six straight games prior to the All-Star break, the Astros surprising reign of 84 straight days on top of the AL Western Division came to an end.  The offense disappeared during the losing stretch but it reappeared after the break and the team kept pace with the Angels for the next nine days […]

Pedro Martinez: Celebrating His Legendary Stint with the Boston Red Sox

August 2, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Last weekend, former right-handed pitcher Pedro Martinez (along with Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio) was part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s most recent induction class. Although he pitched for five teams during his illustrious 18-year major league career, he is best known for the seven seasons he spent with the Boston […]

Off the Beaten Basepaths #8: League Stadium in Huntingburg, Indiana

August 1, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

One of the most enjoyable stops on a recent baseball sojourn to the Midwest was visiting League Stadium in Huntingburg, Indiana, home of the Dubois County Bombers of the Ohio Valley League, which is a summer collegiate circuit. League Stadium was also home to the movie version of the Rockford Peaches when Columbia Pictures filmed […]

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