May 23, 2013
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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Jon Weisman transcribes a Red Barber television interview from 1982 during which he describes how Vin Scully got his start:
I was out at the end of the football season, doing a California-Stanford football game. And at halftime, the engineer handed me a note and said, "Ernie Harwell has joined Russ Hodges at the Polo Grounds." So, flying back to New York, I kept thinking, "Well, who are we gonna get? Who are we gonna get for the third man?" Then I said, "That red-headed fella that went up to Boston did a good job," so I sent for him, and talked to him for a little bit. And I said, "Would you be interested?"
There's much more to it, so do click through and read it all.
(thanks to YankeeFanLen for the heads up)
Nothing makes baseball better than gambling!
The final spot for the National League All-Star roster is up for grabs, and the governors of Hawaii andPennsylvania have made a friendly wager to rally online voting support for Phillies' outfielder Shane Victorino, also known as the Flyin' Hawaiian. Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell agreed to the stakes earlier today. To win, one state must vote for Victorino more than the other. Voting for the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote takes place until Thursday, July 9 at 4:00 p.m. (EDT) on http://www.mlb.com or http://www.phillies.com.
The stakes: If Pennsylvania wins, Lingle sends eight cases of pineapples to Rendell. If Hawaii wins, Rendell sends Lingle eight cases of cheesesteaks.
Given that Pennsylvania has almost exactly ten times the population of Hawaii, I hope Lingle got odds. Of course, since cheesesteaks are about ten times better than pineapples, maybe those are the odds.
Yesterday, in light of the imminent Cubs' sale, I called for a makeover of Wrigley Field. Today there's some talk about it:
On the table is a $250 million makeover timed to celebrate the ballpark's 100th anniversary and update the shrine of Major League Baseball to last for another century -- and possibly host the 2014 All-Star Game.
None of this is new, but now that there is about to be new ownership it's a bit less of a pipe dream than it was when it was first proposed. But maybe just a bit less, as the article suggests that the Ricketseseses may not want to spend the necessary dough to make it happen. At least not yet. Which is understandable.
Understandable, anyway, until the next owners' meeting, when the new Cubs bosses get a load of John Henry and the gang from Boston lighting cigars with 1934 Gold Certificates while dining on panda steaks, all thanks to their FenwayBucks.
UPDATE: OK, it's not just the Ricketesesess. Marc Utay has a term sheet (or whatever) too, and both bids are being submitted to the bankruptcy court. Someone please wake me when all of this businessy stuff is over and we talk about putting a jumbotron in centerfield and replacing the ivy with CVS ads and stuff.
UPDATE II: Or maybe Utay isn't involved.
At least one major media outlet does this every summer, but it's always fun. Today it's the Sporting News' turn. They break up 1 (Fenway), 2 (PNC), 3 (Wrigley), 4 (Camden Yards); and 5 (AT&T) into separate pages and then lump 6-30 together. There isn't a lot of analysis here -- I think some editor just decided that lists were good things because dorks like me link to them -- but there are worse ways to spend the doldrums of your afternoon.
Comments? Apart from the unfortunate use of Nyjer Morgan to pose for a picture in and extol the virtues of PNC Park ("I walk to PNC Park every day . . .It's definitely great playing for a club that has had so many great players in the past . . . How can that not inspire a player?") there is little to take issue with here. Given the sameness of most of the newer parks, most of the distinctions to be made are minor ones. I mean sure, you could spend five hours arguing how there is no WAY that the Ballpark at Arlington should be ranked seven slots behind Progressive Field in Cleveland, but there are probably 329 better things you could do with that time. All of these newish parks pretty much have some bricks, some faux-timey flourishes and a lot of convenience, but with a couple of exceptions, they're all the same. And even those exceptions -- San Francisco and Pittsburgh -- are more functions of setting than the parks themselves.
The only real beef I have here is that I think Dodger Stadium is ranked too low at number nine.
You know you're not livin' right when your own brother sues you:
Former professional baseball player Lenny "Nails" Dykstra refused to pay his brother a 10 percent stake in car wash partnerships that the outfielder sold for more than $50 million, Kevin Dykstra claims in Superior Court.
I don't remember Kevin Dykstra ever actually making the Majors as an umpire, so I Googled him and all I could find were references to him as a minor league ump. Found this, though. Kevin's comments after Len Dykstra's DUI accident back in 1991:
"It's probably the worst I've ever seen him," Kevin, a 23-year-old minor league umpire, said from his home in Florida. "He's my favorite player, my hero. And I always thought, just like him, that nothing could happen to him. When I first saw him, I couldn't believe it. He was in so much pain."
Revenge is a dish best served cold, Kevin. You called your big brother "soft" eighteen years ago. You thought he wasn't paying attention, but now you know he was. I hope that comment was worth it to you, dear brother, for now it has cost you millions!! Bwahahahahah!!!
So bad that folks are actively wondering whether it would have been a good thing for the Mets to have signed Manny Ramirez last winter:
So before you stand up and boo Manny tonight, Mets fans, think twice. Remember how badly you wanted Manny during the off-season, and ask yourself this question: Would we take him right now, even with those PED scarlet letters painted all over his chest?
Happy San Fermin, everyone. When you get done having fun, read some of this stuff:
And just remember: It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night is another thing.
Headline: "St. Louis is perfect host for All-Star Game"
This is on MLB.com, of course, so it's not like it was gonna say "St. Louis: frankly, we coulda done a bit better."
Lots of great "St. Louis fans are the best in baseball" porn in that article if you're into that sort of thing.
Phillies 22, Reds 1. I'm not sure what's more impressive: the Phillies' offensive outburst, or that it was all said and done in 2:53. The only downside of this for Philadelphia is that it will skew Cole Hamels' run support numbers, thereby making his season look a little worse than it actually is. I'm guessing he'll take the win, however.
Athletics 6, Red Sox 0: Because Smoltz got beat and Nomar returned and this is the Red Sox and they're the most important thing in the world and everything, all of the stories this morning will likely focus on those things instead of the fact that 21 year-old Brett Anderson completely and utterly shut down one of the best offenses in baseball in what, by game score anyway, was the third best start by any pitcher in baseball this year (CG SHO 2 H, 9K).
Mariners 5, Orioles 0: Jarrod Washburn (CG SHO, 1 H 3K, 0 BB) was nearly as good as Anderson. Actually, by most measures we'd say he was better because a one-hitter > than a two hitter. Game score gives him a slight, slight deduction, however, because he didn't strike as many guys out. Which suggests to me that the game score stat is boring and fascist.
Cubs 4, Braves 2: Steve Phillips, sometime around the fourth inning or so: "You know, there's been a lot of talk around Atlanta about getting rid of Bobby Cox and getting someone with more fire." OK, I've heard enough idiotic sports radio in my time to know that, yes, there is probably someone in Atlanta saying that. Phillips' job, however, should be to do more than parrot crazy talk. No one I know of with a functioning brain stem is seriously talking about firing Bobby Cox, and even if they are, it's not to get someone "with more fire." I'm convinced that Phillips was just at a loss of something to say as the camera panned over to Cox, and started spewing things, attributing it to others so that it had a whiff of legitimacy to cover for the whiff of the place whence he pulled it. Nice save by Hershiser, however: a few seconds later, talking about Chipper Jones, Orel suggested making Chipper player-manager in the event Cox does step down for some reason. There are probably 57 things wrong with that, but I love the idea on a gut level. I think Jones is the oldest and grumpiest 37 year-old on the planet, which makes him just right to be a Major League manager. Kind of a Bobby Cox mini-me. In fact, I can totally picture that and now that the idea is in my head, I'm kind of wishing for it.
Royals 4, Tigers 3: Willie Bloomquist drove in three runs on a homer in the sixth inning and a two-run triple in the eighth. Bloomquist -- a thirtysomething utility guy -- must have felt pressured to perform given today's trade for Ryan Freel -- another thirtysomething utility guy.
Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6: Joe Girardi was ejected and Derek Jeter had to be restrained after Jetes was called out on a steal attempt at third despite the fact that he clearly reached around Scott Rolen's tag and grabbed the bag. Jeter: "I was told by the umpire that I didn't have to be tagged to be out." Crew Chief John Hirschbeck: "It would make his actions seem appropriate if that's what he was told. It used to be if the ball beat you, you were out, but it isn't that way anymore. It's not a reason to call someone out. You have to make a good tag." If what Jeter says is true, and third base umpire Marty Foster told Jeter that he was out because the ball beat him, Foster should clearly be suspended or demoted or even fired, shouldn't he? Isn't that proof positive that there's a guy out there calling his own game instead of enforcing the actual rules? In other news, why on Earth was Jeter stealing third with nobody out in the first inning of a 0-0 game with Swisher, Teixeira and Rodriguez coming to bat? Update: great minds think alike.
Astros 4, Pirates 1: Mike Hampton (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) broke into the bigs the same year the Pirates' current streak of losing seasons began. Other things that happened in 1993: Clinton began his first term, "Jurassic Park" ruled the box office, I turned 20, and "The Bridges of Madison County" made anyone with taste want to barf their guts out. None of this has anything to do with Mike Hampton, but he gets so much crap for being fragile, that I thought I'd write something that makes him seem steady and venerable and everything.
Rockies 1, Nationals 0: See, here's what happened: Jason Marquis (8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER) was tired of hearing you complain about him being selected to the All-Star Game and wanted to shut your know-it-all ass up. Got anything else to say, wise guy?
Angels 9, Rangers 4: Round 1 goes to the Angels, as Kevin Millwood gets beat up by the middle of LAA's order. Millwood didn't strike anyone out over five innings and, it would seem, his luck simply ran out.
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 5: Upton works a walk and steals second ahead of a Mark Reynolds' All-Star snub defying single to win it in the ninth. The Dbacks have won three in a row for the first time since the end of May.
Giants 5, Marlins 4: Pablo Sandoval likewise mocks your All-Star snub by hitting a grand slam to provide what proved to be the winning runs.