It was just announced that the Veterans Committee elected NO ONE. Candidates included good [but not truly great] players Gil Hodges, Ron Santo, Jim Kaat, Joe Torre and Tony Oliva [who was a ‘hitting machine’]. Oliva’s carreer was cut short by injuries, as was Orlando Cepeda’s. If Cepeda is in the Hall, why not Oliva, you ask? Two wrongs don’t make a right, I retort.
I do believe that umpire Doug Harvey, arguably the most respected arbitrator of his or any other time, should have gotten the nod. Same for Marvin Miller, union exec. Like it or not [and I don’t], he changed the face of the game more than anyone else in my lifetime.
My good friend Billy Boy pointed out to me that next weekend we’ll have the dulcet sounds of baseball. Temperature aside [I live in California], it’s been a long cold winter without. The teams I favor play elsewhere and although the Internet now gives me access, I’ll [for the most part] tune into the Giants. Not for the freak show that is Bonds, but instead to enjoy Jon Miller. He is unquestionably the best ever. As you may or may not know, I grew up in New York. There was the Ol’ Red Head [Barber] from the “Catbird Seat,” Vin Scully, Melvin Allen [Israel] and Russ Hodges cried “bye bye baby.” When I arrived in California, Russ and Lon Simmons were waiting for me. Later Bill King and his “holy Toledo” rang out. Nirvana.
Unbelievably, Miller tops them all.
I subscribe to and post on a New York Mets website entitled Amazin’ Avenue. This morning I ranted in a negative way about Orlando Hernandez’s sore shoulder and MLB’s decision to manufacture game caps made out of 100% acrylic. A very nice person posted in response, reminding me that it’s only February and that although the players will wear these plastic lids, I can [and will] continue to buy and wear caps of natural fibers. I thanked him [or her] for putting things in perspective.
All things considered, life is damn good. I hereby pledge to keep working on keeping things in PERSPECTIVE. I like that word.
… the A.P. reports, just announced plans to say adios amigos and amigas in Iraq. About freakin’ time, old chap.
…none of my boyhood heroes died this week [for a change]. Pitchers and catchers have reported. In a few days, major league spring training will be in full swing. The ‘lovely and provocative one’ and I have been blissfully enjoying domesticity and spring-like weather in Alameda. This morning I read the results of my Fantasy Baseball draft. Names such as Alphonso Soriano, Delmon Young, Brian Roberts, Daniel Cabrera, Miggy Tejada, Vernan Wells, Ian Snell, Tom Glavine, Jered Weaver, Mariano Rivera and J.J. Putz [the best name in baseball] grace the roster of the California Sea Otter, my entry.
For those and a myriad of other reasons [not the least of which is Phillip’s newly found maturity], I’m a happy guy.
Here’s a link to a post on my favorite NY Mets Web site. My response? You can find it on that site, but for your easy reading…
… didn’t expect Pedro back in 2007 before or after these reported allegations came to light? Would Omar and the “higher [on what?] ups” allow that sort of thing? Ask Manny Mota’s kid.
As usual, here we are rooting for the laundry. Sucks.
Just as the proverbial ink was drying on my hour old post, it has been reported that Kris Benson [he of the “controversial wife”], Orioles pitcher, will miss the season with a partially torn rotator cuff.
As some of you know, I’ve always had a problem devoting full allegiance to any team in the American League [translation: I’m a wishy-washy s.o.b.]. Of late, I’ve tried like hell to root for the Sox of Red and it’s just not working.
Maybe the recent passing of Pat Dobson, an acquaintance of mine from my days working for Topps, Steve Barber and Hank Bauer [manager of the ’66 champs who beat the hated Dodgers in the “Woild Serious” to quote Rose Niss, a wonderful grandmother and a non-baseball fan] is the reason. Maybe it’s super-O’s fan Andrew Dosa’s influence. Whatever the reason, I find myself caring about the Boids. I’m not exactly jumping on any bandwagon. They’ve been down so long that down seems up to them.
Once again, Tyko going with his heart.
…report tomorrow for the Yankees and Nationals. Thursday the Yahoo Fantasy League arrives. The baseball magazines have hit the news stands. The New York Mets and the Sea Otters [my entry] will once again consume my thinking. Will Pedro be back by the AllStar Game? Who will be the best ‘sleeper pick’ in the draft? [Last year Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins led me to a third place finish.] It may be 18 degrees in Fargo and Buffalo, but sweet spring has arrived. For a while, no news will be good news. Tales of sprains, muscle pulls, broken knees, Tommy John surgery, failed comebacks, and holdouts will fill our morning fishwraps. Exhibition games start March 1st.
As the boys from Liverpool once sung, “…here comes the sun.”
It was never my intent to use this blog to write obituaries. That said, once again, here goes.
Hank Bauer lived to be 84. We should all be so lucky. He was a war hero and more often than not the leadoff hitter for the mighty Yankees of the 50s… Early on, he platooned with Gene Woodling, a hitting machine. Both men hated the role. Late in his career he was traded for Roger Maris [and Joe DeMaestri]. He went on to manage the As for Charlie Finley [assuring himself a place in heaven] and, later, the Orioles. He led them to their first World Series victory in 1966.
He was “Charlie Hustle” before Pete Rose.
I can still hear the voice of public address announcer Bob Sheppard. “Leading off for the Yankees, playing right field, number 9, Hank Bauer, number 9.”
…catchers report in nine days.
The Mets have invited Chan Ho Park. The rotation seems to be filling out. If they can hang in there until the All Star break and Pedro returns to form for the Mets, this can be the year.
Come to think of it, if Santa comes down the chimney all the kids will be happy.“If” is the biggest two letter word in the dictionary.