September 29, 2022

Walter Mitty On the Mound

September 23, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

In many MLB cities, these are good days for attending games if your team is hopelessly out of the pennant race. Out of the pennant race?  Yep, that’s right. Tickets are easy to procure, there’s more room to spread out around your seats, the post-game traffic is less, and the lines at the concession stands […]

An Open Letter to Rob Manfred

August 30, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Mr. Manfred: I’m sure you are gratified by the decision of the erstwhile Cleveland Indians to rebrand themselves the Cleveland Guardians. At the same time, I’m sure you are disappointed that the Atlanta Braves stood pat, so the winds of change are batting .500. The focus on Native American nicknames, however, has deflected a […]

Manny Mota Mojo

August 20, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I’ve amassed a large collection of autographed baseball cards (around 3,000) over the years, but my policy has generally been to avoid paying for autographs and catch the players at the ballpark, on the practice fields at spring training, or at off-season fan fests, winter warm-ups, caravans, or whatever they call them. Recently, however, I […]

First Dibs . . . Second Thoughts?

August 7, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

First-round draft picks always attract attention. There are 30 of them in the amateur draft every year, and the deck gets reshuffled annually. Great expectations abound, and being a first-round draft pick can be a burden. The same is true of expansion drafts. Every expansion team gets a first-round pick who attracts a lot of […]

Weekending With Weirdos

July 9, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Even if you’ve never been to Austin, Texas, you have likely heard the phrase “Keep Austin Weird.” If you haven’t actually heard anyone say it, you might have seen it on a bumper sticker, coffee mug, T-shirt, or some other trinket. Austin has long had a reputation for attracting genuinely creative folks (especially musicians) as […]

SNAFU and FUBAR: A Comedy of Errors

July 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

I’m sure I’m not the only baseball fan whose eyes have glazed over while contemplating the welter of statistics out there. Every time I encounter some new statistic, my usual reaction is “arrrghhhh, just what we need, another statistic and another acronym.” Now, however, I have had a change of heart. Why? Because I thought […]

Making a Federal Case Out of Cooperstown

June 26, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

The Federal League expired more than a century ago and lasted but two seasons (1914 and 1915), so its legacy is minimal. The eight franchises are little noted nor long remembered, though savvy fans may be aware that Wrigley Field, originally known as Weeghman Park (named after team owner Charles Weeghman), was built for the […]

A Grey Area of Professional Baseball

June 22, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

If you get a paycheck for performing a task, by definition you have lost your amateur status. Congratulations, you are a professional. But that status is not necessarily desirable. It’s no secret that MLB players are high-status and minor league players less so. Minor league ball encompasses different strata of status. Some minor leagues rank […]

Win, Lose…or Draw? Romancing the No-Decision

April 22, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Hall of Fame worthiness is a subjective if not downright arbitrary judgment. Why is this so-and-so in the Hall when that so-and-so isn’t? You probably have your favorite oversight, I have mine: namely, Tommy John. Now you might think I’m referring to his 288 victories or his eponymous status regarding Tommy John surgery (for the […]

The Little Giant’s Biggest Achievement

February 28, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Mel Ott requires no introduction to crossword puzzle aficionados thanks to such clues as “Hall of Famer Mel _ _ _” or “NY Giants slugger Mel _ _ _” or “Baseball’s ‘Master Melvin’ _ _ _.”  Puzzle designers love prominent people with three-letter surnames. Muhammad Ali and Umberto Eco, among others, are neck and neck […]