May 18, 2013
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Friday, December 05, 2008
It's official. Or at least it will be on Monday.
Maddux is my favorite baseball player of all time. Despite this, I have only seen him pitch in person one time. This is a near-contemporaneous account of that one time I saw him, related in an email to my buddy Ethan in the still-drunk hours following the game:
I was almost too old for heroes when Maddux came up. I'm definitely too old for heroes now. He will be the last.
It's been over a month since I predicted that they'd be all the rage this winter, and now finally they're available:
Next weekend, fans will finally be able to buy Phillies ear-flap caps, like the one Jimmy Rollins wore during the victorious World Series homestand in late October. At first, however, they'll only be sold at the team's Majestic Clubhouse store at Citizens Bank Park . . . Other retailers won't get the caps until March, according to New Era, the exclusive provider of caps for Major-League Baseball.
Um, yeah. Because those things are gonna just fly off the shelves just as the weather starts to warm up. Still: most cool, in my opinion. I dig these hats.
Note: if they come in either Tigers or Braves (all-navy only, please) I wear a 7-3/4. Christmas is just around the corner, you know.
Forgive me for yet another non-baseball thing, but Virginia Postrel has an excellent post noting how journalists seem to be really getting off on "Depression Porn":
The Boston Globe's Drake Bennett asked a bunch of people, including me, what a 21st-century Depression might look like. The results sounded pretty damned good to some people--a sure sign of an affluent society, or at least affluent commentators.
I'm glad I'm not imagining that a lot of folks seem almost excited about crappy economic times. It's almost as if surging unemployment, deflation, and allied nastiness is just another retro craze.
(link via Sullivan)
A couple of weeks ago I went on a bit about the Pirates releasing former first rounder John Van Benschoten. Today Van Benschoten has a new job:
Right-hander John Van Benschoten, who was taken by the Pirates with the eighth overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, has signed a Minor League deal with the [White] Sox, sources told MLB.com on Friday. Van Benschoten reportedly will be invited to the Sox big league Spring Training camp in Glendale, Ariz.
Expectations of success: approaching nothin', but as I explained in the previous post, I've always felt like this kid was done a disservice by the Pirates, so I'll be rooting for him to make something out of his career.
A local news station is reporting that the Rocky Mountain News is likely to shut down soon:
The Rocky, Colorado's oldest newspaper, was put up for sale on Thursday after owner E.W. Scripps Co. said it lost about $11 million on the operation in the first nine months of the year.
It's rough out there for the newspapers.
*UPDATE: Eagle-eyed reader (and English grad student) Sara K points out that the correct spelling of the word in this instance is "whither." Unless, of course, I was intending to make a clever pun in which I used the idea of withering fruit or something to comment upon the shrinking newspaper industry and, perhaps, Tracy Ringolsby's age. Let's go with the pun thing because that makes me sound smarter. Yep, intended the pun the whole time!
The MLB Network has built itself a stadium:
Dubbed Studio 42 — after Jackie Robinson's number — the MLB Network will convert what used to be MSNBC's main set in Secaucus, N.J., into a sort of ballpark. Its infield is only half regulation size. But, says Tony Petitti, president of the MLB Network, which launches New Year's Day, it will have a "portable pitching mound" so analysts such as ex-pitcher Al Leiter can fire full-strength fastballs. Assuming there'd be somebody to catch.
There's a pic in the article.
I guess that's kind of cool, but if they're going to use it like studio shows typically use field mockups, I hope they do something about the dress code for on-air talent. It's bad enough when a retired athlete tries to reenact the motions of active players for TV, but it's even worse when they do it wearing a suit jacket.
Jason at IIATMS lists a number of reasons why anxious Yankee watchers should just calm the heck down about the lack of progress on the Sabathia-to-New York front. Perhaps the best one:
The Yanks are not the destination they were in 2000, 2001, 2002, when they were making regular World Series appearances. The team is getting old. The beat writers are incessantly negative towards everyone but Mo and Jeter. Ownership is erratic, and that might be a very kind term to call Hank and Hal. And they play in the AL East, home of the reigning AL Champs and the 2007 World Series Champs. It's rough out there.
It's been a long time since the "the Yankees can just buy whatever they want" meme has held true. What's more, I think the Yankees know that. If they didn't, I don't think they come out of the gate with the offer they did.
CC may yet wind up with the Yankees, but the notion that it's a no-brainer is a mistaken one. For my part, I still would like to see him in San Francisco.
The prosecutors in the Barry Bonds case have now officially dropped a handful of charges:
Federal prosecutors dropped four counts of lying to a grand jury against Barry Bonds, leaving him to face trial next year on 10 counts of making false statements plus an additional obstruction of justice charge.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there is nothing really game-changing about this from a legal perspective. That said, there are still several questions and answers that form the basis of the perjury charges that I believe to be vague and ambiguous. I've seen juries acquit defendants on stronger records and convict them on weaker ones, so I can't really say with any certainty how this will all play out. If you put a gun to my head I'd say that Barry has a decent shot of getting off, but you know what they say about opinions.
For my hyper-detailed breakdown of the Bonds grand jury testimony at issue in the trial, go here. The charges have changed since I wrote that, but the underlying facts are still the same.
Writing about the Cardboard Gods is all fun and games . . . until you're threatened by Don Stanhouse!
(link via BTF)
Things to chew on as you try to remember how much sleep you used to get before you had kids: