September 26, 2023

Cheap and Ugly in the Capitol

September 16, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

  Upon Googling: “Cheapest Baseball Owners,” the first article led with the following description: “cheap, greedy, tight-fisted, miserly, penurious. A discussion of the penny-pinching figures who historically have ruled the game of baseball includes Charlie Comiskey—of Black Sox fame, Harry Frazee—who sold off Babe Ruth, and Calvin Griffith, who infamously told a crowd in the […]

Steve Stone’s Dream-Like 25-7 Season

August 11, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Baltimore Orioles signed Steve Stone, 31, as a free agent in November 1978, they expected he would be the No. 5 starter in a four-man rotation that consisted of Jim Palmer, Mike Flanagan, Scott McGregor and Dennis Martinez. The 5-foot-10 right-hander had compiled an unimpressive 78-79 career record after nine seasons with the […]

Weird, Weirder, Weirdest

August 6, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The independent minor leagues are not as independent as they used to be.  A number of them (namely, the Atlantic League, the Pioneer League, the American Association, and the Frontier League) are listed as Major League “Partner” leagues.  According to MLB, “These leagues will collaborate with MLB on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities […]

When Cash Was King of Comedy

July 15, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Nolan Ryan debuted with the Mets in 1966 but he didn’t make a name for himself till he was traded to the Angels after the 1971 season.  He pitched his first no-hitter on May 15, 1973 against the Royals.  Two months later, he followed up with another one against Detroit.  It was not quite as […]

Oh, Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz

July 1, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

For many years the gold standard of baseball writing was Roger Angell. Simple prose and honest story-telling, he left indelible images about a minor league pitcher who could not quit the game, begging his wife for just one last season of traveling small town America in search of some lost chalice. But my favorite was […]

Users, Cheaters, Six-Time Losers, and the Search for Dignity

June 25, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

(Author’s Note: This story is the sequel to “Hank Aaron and Bob Dylan: Searchin’ High, Searchin’ Low For Dignity,” posted 4/16/23) In the spring of 2005, Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts held a fundraiser in a posh Buckhead home, not far from the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. Since the Center for Puppetry Arts was an advertising […]

Williams Failed to Work His Magic with Rick Reichardt

June 4, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: Rick Reichardt is one of 16 players featured in Barry Sparks’ book, The Search for the Next Mickey Mantle: From Tom Tresh to Bryce Harper, published by Sunbury Press. Rick Reichardt was coming off a disappointing 1969 season. The 6-3, 210-pound outfielder for the California Angels batted .254 with 13 homers and 68 […]

Hank Aaron And Bob Dylan: Searchin’ High, Searchin’ Low For Dignity

May 26, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed Dignity never been photographed Or so Bob Dylan says in “Dignity,” a song he wrote in 1988 after learning of the death of basketball great Pete Maravich. Dylan has a point. Dignity isn’t an item or commodity that can be replicated and mass-produced. It’s a quality […]

A Salute to the Senior Class

April 25, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

I recently came across an article about Art Schallock, the oldest MLB veteran still living.  Art debuted in 1951 with the Yankees and just turned 99 years old.  Perhaps a rousing rendition of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” should accompany “Happy Birthday.” MLB has not had a centenarian alumnus since Eddie Robinson died […]

Cleveland’s Brookside Park: Not a Mistake and Not on the Lake

April 18, 2023 by · 1 Comment 

An old saying pertaining to Detroit is, “It’s like Cleveland without the glitter.” When it comes to economy of language, this quote is a gem, as it puts down two Rust Belt cities in one six-word sentence. For the purpose of this essay, however, let’s park Detroit and take Cleveland out for a spin. In […]

Retro World Baseball Classic, Revisited

April 1, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The World Baseball Classic features ballplayers from various geographical regions competing in a tournament which culminates in bragging rights for the winning team and the country that they represent. I devised a slight twist on this theme back in 2017 to retroactively create a computer-based simulation of the best baseball players in the World based […]

Out Of The Park 24 Available Now!

March 26, 2023 by · 1 Comment 

NEW FOR THIS SEASON Huge visual improvements! Get deeper into the action with new 3D animations and visual improvements that bring the game to life! A new audience model will react to the action on the field, while new fielding, pitching, running, and batting animations make OOTP 24 the smoothest and most visually pleasing version […]

Making Singles Sexy

February 27, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you know who led the majors in singles in 2022?  If so, go to the head of the class: you are the ultimate stat geek. If not, don’t feel bad. The one-base hit is the least sexy safety. Just check the stat sheets. Go to the Baseball Reference web site and dial up the […]

Shedding Light on a Sunshine State Curse

January 16, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

The phrase “pitchers and catchers report” resounds throughout the land in the middle of February. All well and good, particularly if you live in Arizona or Florida, but if you are a college baseball fan, the simultaneous opening of the Division I season may be more meaningful. Some of the less heralded divisions start playing […]

From Chumps to Champs: Book Review

January 2, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

From 1989-1992, the New York Yankees compiled their worst 4-year record (288-357) since 1913. Yet, they won the 1996 World Series and won 4 of 5 World Series from 1996-2000. From 1996 to 2012, the club played in every post-season but one. Author Bill Pennington explains how the Yankees made the dramatic transformation in Chumps […]

When Jay Buhner Almost Became an Oriole

December 26, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

If not for Seattle Mariners teammate Ken Griffey, Jr., Jay Buhner might have become an Oriole following the 1994 season. Buhner, a 6-foot-3 outfielder, was known for his power, defensive skills and strong throwing arm.  From 1991 to 1993, he averaged 25 homers and 85 RBI. In the strike-shortened 1994 season, he slugged 21 homers […]

Live Man Walking

December 17, 2022 by · 2 Comments 

Some years ago, I was watching a Mets/Orioles spring training game in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As is often the case, I got into a conversation with a fan sitting next to me. He was an older gentleman, and since old-timers have a longer involvement with fandom, they are usually much better conversationalists than younger fans. […]

Seamheads Ballparks Database Updated, Includes 2022 Stats!

November 26, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

We are proud to announce another new update of our MLB Ballparks Database, created by co-founder Kevin Johnson. The database includes data through the 2022 season; three-year park factor LH/RH splits dating back to 1905; and every no-hitter from 1875-present. The following is what you’ll find: Descriptive data that includes location, date of […]

Dealing With a Decade Of Depression

November 21, 2022 by · 1 Comment 

Given the economic storm warnings that have been posted of late, I can’t help but wonder how they will affect the Good Ship Major League Baseball. It’s not as though we haven’t had economic ups and downs before, but now, depending on your financial guru, we are on the verge of…a cyclical downturn, Great Depression […]

The Curse of Rocky Colavito 2.0

November 13, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Make a list of the all-time strangest – not necessarily the worst – trades and Frank “Trader” Lane’s 1960 deal involving Rocky Colavito and Harvey Kuenn will probably be on that list. At the time Rocky and Harvey were as intertwined in the sports pages as Rocky and Bullwinkle were on the tube. Colavito, age […]

The Shemp Syndrome

November 5, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Relativity doesn’t begin and end with Einstein. I don’t think he was a baseball fan anyway. Also, I don’t think he was a movie fan, but if he was, I suspect he was not a Three Stooges fan. He probably never heard of Curly, Larry, or Moe, much less Shemp. But Shemp is all about […]

Positively POTUS

October 29, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

A few years ago, the Rangers had a minor leaguer called Benjamin Harrison. I saw him play a few games at Double-A Frisco (Texas League) and was rooting for him to make it to the Show. Since President Benjamin Harrison was the first President to attend a major league game (on June 6, 1892), it […]

Sam Bowens: Detoured on the Road to Stardom

October 18, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

In 1964, Brooks Robinson (.317, 28 HRs, 118 RBI) was voted American League Most Valuable Player and Boog Powell blasted 39 home runs. But the Oriole who captured the attention of teenage baseball fans in my neighborhood was 22-year-old rookie outfielder Sam Bowens. The 6-1, 200-pounder clubbed 22 home runs, tallied 71 RBI and batted […]

Walter Mitty On the Mound

September 23, 2022 by · 1 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 […]

Aaron Judge in a Nationals Uniform?

August 3, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

No, I did not predict Josh Bell going to San Diego, but who did? In my defense, just about everything else about the generational trade of Juan Soto yesterday, went down remarkably close to my crystal ball projections on July 22.  One has to give DC General Manager Mike Rizzo credit for getting C.J. Abrams […]

Juan Soto Should Not Be Playing in DC in August

July 22, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday on Sports, Max Goodman proposed the following trade: Gleyber Torres, Nestor Cortes, Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, and Ken Waldichuk for Juan Soto. Granted this is not Brian Cashman speaking on the phone to Mike Rizzo, who controls Juan Soto’s fate leading up to the August 2 deadline as much as anyone. But then […]

Weekending With Weirdos

July 9, 2022 by · 2 Comments 

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 […]

Deconstructing the Juan Soto Horizon

June 6, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Driving up to Baltimore yesterday morning I enjoyed listening to Jim Duquette opine on Juan Soto, Joe Girardi and a host of other baseball issues that dominated the day. The consensus about whether or not Soto gets traded is now one of those vastly complex scattergrams, a worm hole in which one could get lost […]

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 […]

Tommy Davis Was “A Magician With The Bat”

April 9, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver called Tommy Davis “a magician with the bat.” In 1973, former Orioles third baseman and 10-time All-Star George Kell said, “Tommy is one of the game’s few remaining pure natural hitters.” Kell admired Davis’ ability to hit to all fields, torment both lefties and righties and adjust to situations. The […]

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