December 11, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
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THT's latest e-bookThird Base: The Crossroads is THT's new e-book, available for $3.99 from the Kindle store. The good news is that anyone can read a Kindle book, even on a PC. So enjoy the best from THT in a new format.
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Nationals make great deal for Fister (2)
Transaction Analysis Lightning Round: Pierzynski, Nathan, Ellsbury, and more (1)
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Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Mets 5, Phillies 2: I had been agitating for Jonathan Papelbon to pitch more. Specifically in tie games. Well, he did here and gave up a game-losing three-run homer to Jordany Valdespin. I suppose we'll let Cholly run the team from here on out.
Marlins 4, Astros 0: Carlos Zambrano with the three-hit shutout pushes his ERA to 1.98 on the year. Guy can still pitch a little.
Reds 6, Brewers 1: Since when does Bronson Arroyo strike out nine guys in six and two thirds?
Indians 8, White Sox 6; Indians 3, White Sox 2: I'm beginning to think that, perfecto notwithstanding, Phil Humber is not all that good (2.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). The second game ended in a bunch of rain. Which you play through when you're already making up a rainout in a double header.
Angels 8, Twins 3: Alas, Jered Weaver did not pull a Johnny Vander Meer. But he could've. It's the Twins we're talking about here. He settled for one run on three hits in six innings, bringing his record to 5-0.
Cubs 5, Braves 1: Bryan LaHair, Ian Stewart and Geovany Soto all homered off Braves pitching. Jeff Samardzija allowed only one homer, to Jason Heyward and was otherwise solid. BTW: Samardzija hit Heyward with a pitch in the seventh. If that was intentional retaliation for the Heyward homer, it was bad, bad, bad. Then Eric O'Flaherty hit David Dejesus. If that was intentional it was bad, bad, bad too. There: happy that I don't simply think that Cole Hamels was in the wrong because he plays for the Phillies?
Red Sox 11, Royals 5: The Sox snap a five game losing streak behind two Will Middlebrooks home runs. Which is exactly how everyone imagined slumps would be busted in Boston this year.
Rangers 14, Orioles 3: Way to make me look bad with all of that "the O's are getting great pitching" on the HBT Extra that will air later this morning but which was taped yesterday. Brandon Snyder homered and had six RBI.
Dodgers 9, Giants 1: Ted Lilly allowed one run on four hits and struck out six to run his record to 4-0. L.A. scored five off the Giants pen in the eighth. I'd call the Giants pen a hot mess, but I don't want to insult hot messes.
Mariners 3, Tigers 2: The wheels done fell off in the ninth for Detroit as Octavio Dotel -- filling in for the unavailable Jose Valverde -- blew a 2-0 lead, wasting a great Doug Fister start. Dotel was all over the place, walking the first two hitters he faced, then throwing a wild pitch. Then a passed ball -- which could have been ruled a wild pitch -- scored a run. Then a double scored another. After Dotel was yanked a bunt and then a sac fly ended it.
Padres 3, Rockies 2: Yonder Alonso drove in two and Edinson Volquez got his first win. Let's just give Cincinnati this victory, OK? The Padres can have the Mat Latos win from Sunday.
Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 6: Lance Lynn wins again after shutting out the D-backs for five. If the season ended now he's the NL Cy Young Award winner, right? God, I hope the season doesn't end now. I like baseball.
10,000 days ago, the Cincinnati Reds got a new owner: Marge Schott. Her reign would prove to be one of the most controversial in the annals of recent American sports ownership.
As to the controversies around Schott (oh, wear to begin). Let’s start with the obvious ones. She owned a Nazi armband and once told reporters that Hitler was good in the beginning (he built the roads, don’t you know). An employee said she called the team’s best black players “million dollar niggers” and that the front office had an unwritten policy against hiring blacks. As controversies around her biases swirled, Scott told reporters she didn’t understand why people found the term “Jap” offensive. At least one employee contended she made anti-Semitic remarks.
There was a good deal of bigotry in the above listed accusations, obviously, and also a good deal of cluelessness. She doesn’t even think Jap is offensive? She thinks Hitler was good in the beginning? (Short version to anyone unaware—no, he wasn’t. His goal from day one was to create a new racial utopia and conquer other places). Not only was it like Schott was walking out of the 1950s—or 1920s—into the 1990s and not being aware that things had changed, it’s like she walked out of a bad stereotype of bygone times.
This was true in other ways as well. Schott reportedly said she didn’t want any players who wore earrings because “Only fruits wear earrings.” She announced in midseason that the Reds wouldn’t bring back manager Davey Johnson regardless of how well the team did. One background reason for this was because she didn’t approve of his co-habitation with a woman he wasn’t married to.
Schott was odd in other ways. A Sports Illustrated article noted that in the car dealerships she owned (and that she inherited after he husband had died), Schott would engage in various sorts of frankly ridiculous and pointless cost-saving measures. The one that stuck with me is that if she saw a computer terminal turned on at an unoccupied desk, she’d walk up to it and turn it off. She was the one paying the electricity bill, and she didn’t want to waste any. Really? That’s pretty damn pennywise and pound-foolish.
Similarly, she didn’t like hiring baseball scouts because all they are paid to do is watch baseball games. More famously, she complained about having to pay players when they were on the DL, even team stars and World Series heroes. Eric Davis was openly irked at her callous treatment of him after getting injured while helping the Reds claim the 1990 world title.
Schott also made beloved dog, Schottzie, the team mascot. She always loved animals, but at one point some of the team’s publications featured virtually nothing but photos of the dog, and almost none of the players or even team legend Pete Rose. The mascot had become prominent to the point of parody and embarrassment for the Reds. She let the dog have free reign in Riverfront Stadium. It even pooped on the field.
What’s interesting, is that Schott was initially a fairly popular owner. She’d make herself publicly visible during games and talk to fans. She kept the concessions prices low, and even kept the seat prices as low as she could. She always loved children and throughout her entire adult life was very active in charity foundations for children.
Mainly, I see a large streak of provincialism here; a streak many others share but those who are so provincial rarely have as much public stature of money that Schott had. Or if they are, they’re not so vocal about it.
It’s like she developed a sense of how the world should be at an early age and then just spent her entire life locked into it. She never noticed the world was changing or thought to reexamine whether any of her beliefs were wrong. Thus she thought you shouldn’t hire blacks, but should be as nice as you can to kids. Jews aren’t trustworthy, but a ballpark hot dog should only cost $1. There’s something funny about guys wearing earrings but it’s perfectly natural to let your dog poop on the lawn – even if the lawn is center field.
I also remember a group of sportswriters (actually, it was the late, great Sportswriters on TV show – saying that they felt more than a few other sports owners had similar social views as Schott, but they didn’t publicize it.
For better and for worse, the above era began 10,000 days ago when Marge Schott became majority owner of the Reds.
Aside from that, many other events celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” today. Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you prefer to skim the lists.
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