Putting the knock on pitching changes

The overriding picture in my head from this year’s postseason is of Jim Leyland, hunched in his Tigers jacket in his last days as a manager, wearily walking his 68-year-old body out to a mound in Detroit or Oakland or Boston. He takes the ball from a pitcher a third his age and gives the […]

About Andy Pafko, from one fan

We often speak of “baseball immortals,” but of course they aren’t. Former major league players are mortal, just like the rest of us. When we read that one has died, we may say to ourselves, “Oh, I remember him,” perhaps picturing a baseball card we had as a kid. Sometimes, for some reason, we identify […]

Don’t villify the writers

It is an article of faith in the online baseball community that Barry Bonds, etc., got jobbed in this year’s Hall of Fame voting. Just look at the numbers, says the sabermetric orthodoxy. And understandably so. Looking at numbers is what sabermetricians do. But these are not the people who vote on Hall of Fame […]

The injury all-stars

A year ago, looking at the carnage of the first month of the baseball season, I suggested to my colleagues here at The Hardball Times that there sure were a lot of star players injured, and that one of our writers should do an article about how unusual it was. Several told me cool my […]

Super at the right time

The message may be: Never give up. Or perhaps it’s: We live in an age where mediocrity is good enough. Over the past year in sports: {exp:list_maker}The New York Giants won the Super Bowl after barely making the playoffs with a 9-7 regular-season record. Alabama won the college football championship, such as it is, after […]

Shortstops, GMs and the Cubs

Last week, Theo Epstein took over running the Cubs and Roy Smalley Jr. died. That got me thinking about Wid Matthews and Starlin Castro. Perhaps I should explain. I have spent my entire baseball consciousness following the Cubs, and they have spent that entire time without a championship. That hardly makes me unique among the […]

The worst Cubs team ever?

Cubs fans of long standing have come to expect two kinds of teams: Disappointing and just plain bad. This year’s team, of which little was expected and less has been delivered, fits without question in the latter category. But how bad? This bad: At its current pace, you can make a case that the 2011 […]

The real invention of baseball

Dave Studeman’s scholarly review on this page of John Thorn’s scholarly book on the origins of baseball can be topped only by Bob Newhart’s classic revelation of the game’s roots. Listen and laugh.

Bob Feller, Cliff Lee and their pals

The Phillies’ signing of Cliff Lee has produced “greatest rotation ever” conversations, mostly using the 1990s Braves starters as a yardstick. But we’re reminded today, with the death of Bob Feller, to dig a few decades more deeply. In 1954, Hall of Famer-to-be Feller was the No. 5 starter for a Cleveland Indians team that […]

Willie and Buster

Willie Mays came up to the Giants on May 25, 1951. He led the team to the National League pennant that year. Buster Posey came up the the Giants (after a sip of coffee in 2009) on May 29, 2010. He led the team to the National League pennant this year. In 1951, Mays had […]

Update: ‘Who will win’ contest

A month ago, we challenged readers to predict the eight major league teams that would make the postseason. Most of the races seemed easy to call at that point. But… Nearly everyone got the American League right, but the NL’s wild finish tripped up most contestants. Just four people—about 10 percent of the entrants—were able […]

Know your no-nos

So that’s five individual no-hitters this season, not counting the one that wasn’t. That’s no record, but still remarkable. Add in Armando Galarraga‘s no-no-no, and the half dozen in the first four months of 2010 matches the high for any of the past 50 seasons. This is the seventh season in the past half century […]

Sellers: Don’t get nothing for something

Ty Wigginton will never get more ink. It’s the season for trade rumors, for evaluating the value of rent-a-players to teams that fancy themselves contenders, for sorting out the buyers from the can’t-decides from the sellers. Often, it’s the time of year when fans of teams in the last category watch their teams peddle their […]

More old Red Sox: Ted Williams talks

Or rather, talked, for 25 minutes, to longtime Boston sportscaster Bob Lobel in the empty Fenway Park stands on a sunny September day in 1997. For reasons not explained, Lobel put the tape of the interview away for 13 years. Now, a year or so after he lost his anchor job, eight years after Williams’ […]