There’s no sweeter phrase than “Play ball!” at this time of the year. For the frozen folks of the Wolverine State and elsewhere in the Rust Belt, the start of spring training games in Arizona and Florida this week means warm weather is a mere two or three months away.

But the past off-season brought the unsettling news that the geniuses of Major League Baseball are willing to tinker with how extra-inning games are played. Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, has okayed a plan to let the lowest minor leagues automatically put a man on second base at the start of the 10th inning and thereafter.

Backers of the idea say it’s to shorten games so the teams’ benches and pitching staffs don’t get depleted in a marathon outing.

“It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch,” explained Torre, a former All-Star player and Yankees manager.

Well, I got news for you, Joe. It’s a lot more common for non-pitchers to take the mound in the eighth inning of a 16-3 blowout than in extra innings. Only a few games a year turn into death marches of 15 innings and more, and most bullpens can handle them pretty easily.

The idea of putting a guy on second to open extra innings originated in international baseball competition a few years ago. To which I say: So what? The next thing you know, some Supreme Court justices are going to cite international law in their decisions. (Yeah, some do that now. But not the good justices.)

Anyway, it’s time to stop babying the overpaid ballplayers. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, not one of the Ten Commandments read, “Thou shalt not let a starter pitch more than seven innings.” And a decent middle reliever should be able to be effective for two or three innings. Limiting a strong, young pitcher to a single inning is counterproductive if he’s getting batters out.

It wasn’t uncommon for pitchers to throw extra-inning complete games in the deadball era, but great pitchers could gut it out in modern times, too.

In a classic match-up of two future Hall of Famers, Juan Marichal of the Giant’s and the Braves’ Warren Spahn pitched scoreless ball before Willie Mays belted a one-out homer in the bottom of  the 16th inning on July 2, 1963.

Spahn blamed his 1-0 loss on a screwball that “didn’t break worth a damn.” What nobody pointed to was his age. He was only 42 and still had more innings in him.

Tonight is game seven of the World Series and unless this game sets speed records I’m not going to see or hear the end of it.

This has been a great series and I suspect this last game will be no different.  As a Red Sox fan I’m cheering for the indians on the principle that

  • They are the AL champions
  • I like Terry Francona
  • I want the team that eliminated us to win on the theory that I’d rather have lost to the champ than the also ran

But the reality is that we have absolutely no idea what will happen.  There is no other sport where the better team has a better chance to lose (Consider, the 1962 Mets, the worst team of all time still won 40 games, one out of every 4.)

The only thing we know for sure is either Cleveland will end its 68 years of futility or the Cubs will end the 108 year history of theirs.  That’s the good news.

The bad news is the baseball season ends today and we’ll have to go without for the next 4 months.

Either way it goes the end result will be excellent for baseball.

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger outside of Wrigley Field
Blogger outside of Wrigley Field

By John Ruberry

“Bias has always been a factor in journalism. It’s nearly impossible to remove. Humans have their thoughts, and keeping them out of your work is difficult. But 2016 saw the remaining veneer of credibility, thin as it was, stripped away and set on fire.” Derek Hunter, Townhall, October 23, 2016.

“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” Albert Camus.

Both men are right.

I’ve known for many years that the mainstream media, consisting mostly of leftists, is biased, but I’ve also long suspected that these leftists have been colluding with the Democrats. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know that to be true.

The 2016 World Series, an intriguing matchup between the Chicago Cubs–of whom Hillary Clinton used to be a fan of–and the Cleveland Indians, begins Tuesday.

Which got me thinking: What if the self-righteous media guardians, umpires you might say, were in charge of baseball’s fall classic?

When the Chicago Clintons come to bat, their batters will earn a walk after three balls, Cleveland, Donald Trump’s team, will need five balls to gain a base on balls, and they’ll strike out after two strikes.

The media umpires, when the Clintons are in trouble, will take out their smartphones during the games and pass on actionable advice to their manager, who will quickly reply and request more pointers. Player after player for the Trumps will be ejected because the umpires will reveal decades-old sexual assault allegations just as the Cleveland team takes the field. Another Cleveland Trumps player will be ejected because he may not have paid federal income taxes. The umpires will claim it was only just then that they learned about about this tax issue.

Meanwhile charges that the Clintons are taking large cash payments from outsiders that could destroy the integrity of Major League Baseball are for the most part ignored–and not acted upon. And even though the umpires know that the Clintons destroyed evidence of their improprieties, they’ll deem it “old news.” The umpires will overlook the lies from the Clintons about their crimes.

When the fans in the ballpark complain, they’ll be rudely dismissed by the umpires as morons who don’t know how the contest is played.

But the truth is the public knows all too well that the game is rigged.

As Walter Cronkrite used to end his CBS Evening News broadcast, “That’s the way it is.”

And the way it is stinks. We need a new media.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Short of a World Series where Big Papi wins it with a come from behind walk off HR in his last major league appearance, the matchup of the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs is one that a Baseball fan like me dreams of. The Two ultimate long waiting underdogs, facing off in the world series with one of them guaranteed to end their streak of suffering.

The Question becomes, who is the true underdog who should be rooted for?

Let’s consider Cleveland: It has been 20 years since the Indians won the pennant and 68 years since the Indians won the world series. To put that in perspective the last time Cleveland won a world series:

  • Harry Truman was president
  • The Korean War had yet to start.
  • The State of Israel was five months old
  • ABC & CBS had just begun TV broadcasts the Ed Sullivan, CBS Evening News and Candid Camera had debuted (I Love Lucy was still 3 years away)
  • Key Largo and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart were hits. Alfred Hitchcock was making his first movie in color (Rope), Zip a Dee doo Da would win the Oscar for best song and Edmund Gwenn would take home best supporting actor for his role as Santa Claus in Miracle on 48th street.
  • Alaska and Hawaii were still 11 years away from becoming US states

In terms of Baseball Ted Williams (AL) and Stan Musial (NL) were the league batting leaders Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner tied for the NL HR lead while Joe Dimaggio led the AL and Dimaggio & Musial led their respective leagues in RBI’s. On the Mound Cleveland boasted Bob Feller who led the league in strikeouts, with teammate Bob Lemon right behind them and the ERA leader Gene Bearden who Led the AL in ERA. Bearden and Lemon would both win 20 games that year while Feller would have to settle for 19.

That Indians Roster also included Larry Doby the 1st Black player in the American League in his first full season and a rookie by the name of Satchel Page who had dominated the Negro Leagues for 20 years before putting up a 5-1 record with an ERA of 1.31 against a bunch of players young enough to be his sons.

Amazingly one member of this team is still alive 95 year old first baseman Eddie Robinson who batted .254 with 16 HR and 83 RBI that season and would scatter six singles for a .300 avg in the world series. He is likely to get more attention in the next week than he’s had in years.

As far as Titles Go LeBron James may have brought the NBA titles to Cleveland but before that you have to go to Jim Brown and the days before the Superbowl to see Cleveland win titles.

So Cleveland is definitely overdue and  in any other year Cleveland would be the clear sentimental favorite.

Except this year they are playing the Chicago Cubs.

To take things backwards, in terms of titles the City of Chicago has done better than Cleveland.  The Chicago Blackhawks have taken three Stanley Cups in the last 10 years and you only have to go back to the Reagan Administration to find the Chicago Bears last title when they Crushed the Patriots in the days before Tom Brady.  Even in baseball The White Sox broke their title deficit just a year after the Red Sox in 2005.

And of course if you’re an NBA fan there was this fellow named of Michael Jordan who before he started a career selling men’s underwear brought six titles to the Bulls in the 90’s.

But for the Cubs forget finding a living player (let alone a person alive) from their last world series championship in 1908, there isn’t a living member of the last pennant winner left,  as Lennie Merullo died last year at the age of 98.  In fact I’d wager you’d have a hard time finding a living child of a member of the 1908 Cubs

That Cubs Roster is full of Hall of Fame Players from Joe Tinker to Johnny Evers to Frank Chance at the plate but like the 48 Indians their bats didn’t lead the league,  Honus Wagner would just miss the  NL Triple Crown leading the lead in batting ( .354) and RBI’s (109) while coming in 2nd in the majors in Home runs with a massive 10 just behind Tim Jordan who would lead the league with 12.  In the AL Ty Cobb would do the same leading the league in batting ( .324) and RBI’s (108) but falling three HR behind teammate Sam Crawford who would lead the league with …7!

On  the Mound 3 finger Brown would have been the best pitcher in the league had it not been for some fellow name Christy Mathewson.  Brown would be 2nd in wins (29 vs 37) Shutouts (9 vs 11) fewest walks per 9 innings (1.412 vs 0.968) WL percentage (.763 vs .771) and ERA (1.47 vs 1.43) only in hits per 9 innings ( 6.167 vs 6.474) and Saves (both with 5) would Brown be the equal or better than Christy, but in the end his team would edge out Mathewson’s Giants and  Wagner’s Pirates by a single game to make it to the fifth world Series ever played.

 

But think about it 1908  back then

  • Teddy Roosevelt was still in the White House and not on Mount Rushmore
  • World War one was a full 6 years away
  • Milton Berle who would become the 1st TV star the year Cleveland would win the Series was BORN
  • The Biggest name in Film was DW Griffith
  • Thomas Edison was still involved in filmmaking
  • We were still fighting in the Philippines
  • The first radio broadcast of any type was 2 years old and the first US Broadcast License was a year away
  • The keel of the RMS Titanic was still a year away from being laid down
  • The Airplane was 5 years old
  • Most of Europe was still ruled by Kings
  • New Mexico and Arizona were still 4 years away from statehood and Oklahoma was a state less than a year

So to put it simply, if you judge things by baseball alone you might cheer for the Cubs as they have a huge title deficit, but if you judge by titles overall you have to cheer for Cleveland since, Lebron James notwithstanding their city championships have been few and far between.

But given their respective Crime rates both cities could use something to get their minds off their problem.

Well David Ortiz has taken his last plate appearance in the major leagues thanks to the Red Sox failure to generate offense, the excellence of Cleveland’s defense and the inferiority of Red Sox pitching suggesting once again that without pitching and defense, even a David Ortiz is not enough to guarantee a team a world series.

I say his last plate appearance rather than his last at bats because neither of his two final plate appearances credited him with an at bat. He had a sacrifice fly which drove in a run on third and a walk to finish his Red Sox career.

I’d like to talk about the latter.

There were many moving tributes to David Ortiz during the year and after last night’s game many more but the final tribute to him came during the bottom of the 8th inning.

Ortiz came up as the tying run with a man on first. This was a critical moment in the game, a moment where if the Red Sox had managed to tie the game all bets were off. Terry Francona, the manager of Cleveland well knew that giving this Red Sox team a lifeline by a win might turn into disaster and David Ortiz was the man to create this disaster.

So with the game on the line what did Cleveland do? Intentionally walk him? They could not, because with first base full that would imply fear and the best way inspire confidence in an opponent in baseball is to imply fear.

No what happened is Cleveland’s pitcher threw four pitches, and not a single one was in a spot where David Ortiz could hit it. Even though walking Ortiz put the dangerous Hanley Ramirez at the plate who could easily give the Sox the lead with one swing (and managed to drive in one run with a single) it didn’t matter. The game was on the line and the Cleveland Indians had no intention of letting the best clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox franchise, the hitter that carried the Red Sox fan base to one that expects success from one that anticipates failure on his own shoulders. The man who got the crowd into the game with a wave of his hands.

As I said there were many tributes to Ortiz this year and he likely at least one the Hall of Fame in five years and a shot at the MVP this year, but for my money the greatest tribute to Ortiz this year was the fact that at age 40, the Cleveland Indians decided that with game 3 on the line of a series they were already up 2-0 in David Ortiz would not get a pitch to hit.

I suspect the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were very grateful for that decision.

So David Ortiz has played his last regular season game and ended said regular season career with a weak ground out to the pitcher.

While his finish was not spectacular let’s consider David Ortiz’s 2016 stats

Ortiz led the league in doubles with 48 (and that’s on two bad legs)
He led he league in RBI’s with 127
He led the league in extra base hits with 87 (finishing 8th all time btw)
He led the league with a .620 Slugging percentage (Ironically the only time he has led in this category in his career
He led the league with a 1.021 OPS (on base plus slugging)
He Led the league with 15 intentional walks

He finished 6th in Batting with a .315 avg
He finished 3rd in On Base percentage with .401
He finished 7th in total bases with 333
He finished 8th in Home runs with 38
He finished 8th in walks with 80
He finished 5th in runs created with 130
He finished 2nd in offensive win percentage at .756
He finished 5th in sacrifice flies with 7

and in more esoteric stats

He finished 2nd in adjusted OPS
He finished 2nd in adjusted batting runs
He finished 2nd in adjusted batting wins
He finished 5th in at bats per HR ratio
He finished 2nd in base outs runs added
He finished 3rd in win probability added
He finished 4th in situational wins added

And on the minus side was 4th in hitting into double plays with 22

For any normal player such a season would be considered spectacular.

For a 40 year old player with bad legs an feet in his final major league season that is spectacular.

No major league player in a career not ended by suspension (Joe Jackson) sudden death (Roberto Clemente) or Serious injury / disease (Sandy Koufax) has ever had a year like this to finish a career and of course there is still the playoffs to come.

I have no idea how the Red Sox or Ortiz will do in the playoffs, but even if the Tribe sweeps us in 3 and Ortiz goes 0-12 consier this.

While Curt Schilling deserves a fair share of the 2004 credit David Ortiz is the man who converted the Red Sox franchise and fans from a group of people waiting to see what would go wrong, to a franchise that believes it can win in any given year. He is a player that transformed fandom in this region.

I don’t expect to see another like him in my lifetime.

As a general rule there are few people who make it to their 40’s in Baseball.  Usually if you are still playing you are a hall of famer making your final rounds and hitting your final milestones such as Ichrio who picked up his 3000th major league hit while batting .292 in part time play for the 3rd place Miami Marlins.

Occasionally you get a hall of famer going out with a bang like David Ortiz who in his 20th and final major league season is leading the league in doubles, slugging, intentional walks (and double plays) and putting up triple crown number .320 (4th) 31HR (10th) 107 RBI (3rd) for a team tied for 1st place with 27 games to go.

And then there is Bartolo Colon

Colon is a year older than Ichrio and three years older than Ortiz and while a good pitcher over his career (230-161) 4.04 era and 2343 strikeouts would not be on anyone’s short list for the hall of fame.

But that being if there is one pitcher who has been invaluable to a team it’s been he.

On a team that’s in the playoff hunt 2nd place in their division and tied for the final wild card spot he has been the steady hand.  He’s gone 12-7 with a 3.35 ER in 27 starts and one relief app, leading the team in starts, 2nd in innings pitched (158.2) winning percentage and batters faced (660).

As the NY daily news put it 

Colon, a Dominican native who is the Mets’ oldest player, has ironically remained the healthiest piece of the pitching rotation in his Queens tenure, often serving as the linchpin of an injury-ridden, albeit younger staff. Colon re-signed with the Mets for one season after the team’s World Series run, and said he’s willing to fill any role the Mets need.

And he’s not only done it occasionally with style:

But has managed to set of all things a Major League record at the plate:

The first home run of Colon’s career came at 42 years, 349 days. Colon is the oldest player to hit his first career homer. He unseated Randy Johnson (40 years, 9 days), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Colon labeled the moment the biggest of his career.

his his first career home run at age 42

Bobby Mueller put it best

Bartolo Colon is aging well, perhaps not like a fine wine, but maybe a good whiskey. He’s been just as good this year as he was the last two years. He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys, but he walks very few, and isn’t killed by home runs. He doesn’t seem ready to hang up his spikes anytime soon and has acknowledged he would like to come back for the 2017 season. His contract is up at the end of the year, so he’ll be a free agent.

I don’t know how many years Colon has left. He would need five 15 win seasons to get to 300 meaning he would have to pitch two years Beyond Ryan’s age, but either way if the Mets make it to the post season and back to the world series this year a lot of the credit will go to Colon and the 7.2 million that the Mets spent on him will turn out to be the best investment they made all year.

Ruberry Black Sox
Ruberry in June with man in 1919 White Sox uniform

By John Ruberry

As this decade winds down you can look for many 100th anniversary articles. They’ll be a huge uptick of them next year to mark the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, followed by more on the armistice that concluded “the war to end all wars” in 1918. The execution of the czar and his family, as well as the fall of the Houses of Hohenzollern and Habsburg also occurred that year, events all directly related to World War I.

In 2019 baseball fans will mark 100 years since the Black Sox Scandal, when eight Chicago White Sox players conspired with gamblers to throw, that is, purposely lose the 1919 World Series.

“It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people — with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Nick Carraway remarked about the scandal in The Great Gatsby.

That one man, although given a fictionalized name in Gatbsy, was Arnold Rothstein, the mastermind of the scandal, although one of the few things that historians agree upon is that its genesis came from Charles “Chick” Gandil, the first baseman for the 1919 South Siders.

What does the First World War have to do with Major League Baseball’s most notorious scandal. Plenty. In his book The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, Charles Fountain looks back at “the war to end all wars” and goes back much further.

Comiskey statue, US Cellular Field
Comiskey statue, US
Cellular Field

The most famous member of the Black Sox of course was the illiterate–but, as Fountain explains, in no way dumb, left fielder Shoeless Joe Jackson. During the Great War Jackson was one of the baseball players who avoided military service by joining a defense industry factory baseball team where he made perhaps the same, if not more money than he did playing for owner Charles Comiskey’s White Sox. In recreating the setting of early 20th-century baseball, Fountain, a Northeastern University journalism professor, shows that there was plenty of money “out there” for players, as a third circuit, the Federal League, proved in 1914 and 1915 by luring players from the established National and American leagues with more lucrative contracts.

Another way to collect extra cash was to throw games, and Fountain spends an entire chapter on the now largely forgotten Hal Chase, a talented first baseman who was the first homegrown star of the New York Yankees, whom he dubs “the Prince of Fixers.”

There was more gambling cash involved in baseball than ever during World War I, as President Woodrow Wilson’s “work or fight” labor policy inadvertently led to the closing of most horse racing tracks for the duration of the conflict. Money for wagering wasn’t just going to idly sit in gamblers’ wallets until the war ended. While some minor baseball leagues suspended play during the war, the big leagues, despite shortened seasons in 1918 and 1919, were still in business. And so were the gamblers. The war, and Wilson, upset the economic balance of the underworld.

After the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, or after the South Siders lost it, and despite an investigation by Comiskey that seemed to suggest some White Sox players weren’t playing, as how it was said back then, on-the-square, it would take an unrelated gambling incident for the scandal to break wide open in the final week of the 1920 season, as the White Sox were in a heated pennant race that they would lose to the Cleveland Indians. The fixers almost got away with it. As the eight Black Sox players were exposed, Fountain details the playing out of a longstanding feud between Comiskey and American League president Ban Johnson, one that nearly put the junior circuit out of business with the creation of a new 12-team National League. Of course the two-league majors survived, ruled by a man seemingly removed from the Old Testament, federal Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

As White Sox left the ranks of baseball’s elite in 1920, modern baseball, the post-dead ball era, began. No one knew it at the time, but the Golden Age of Sports, led by the New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth, had also arrived. Comiskey, who died in 1931, never put another contending team on the field, and the White Sox wouldn’t return to the Fall Classic until 1959–and the South Siders wouldn’t win it all until 2005. But the owner nicknamed “the Old Roman” was still able to cash in on the rollicking Roaring Twenties party; Comiskey Park was expanded in 1927, largely because of Ruth’s transformation of baseball.

Comiskey is treated somewhat sympathetically here, as someone who is more frugal than stingy.

Fountain’s effort succeeds not only as a baseball book but as an historical work. Which means you don’t have to be a fan of the national pastime to enjoy it.

John Ruberry, a lifelong White Sox fan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Intern: Wonderful thing, pain. Without pain, no race could survive.
4th Doctor: I’m well aware of that.
Intern: Autonomic defence mechanism.

Doctor Who, The Hand of Fear 1976

Although the Red Sox have been on a rough patch lately there has been one constant factor this season.  David Ortiz is the reason they are in the race for the pennant.

Ortiz is 40 years old yet his numbers this season have been phenomenal:

He currently leads the league in doubles, slugging percentage, Extra base hits, total bases and intentional walks.

He also leads the league in some less known stats such as: adjusted batting runs, adjusted batting wins, OPS, OPS+slug, base out runs added, situational wins added,

And he is in the top 10 in all of these following categories

Batting avg 3rd
Home Runs 6th
RBI’s 2nd
On base percentage 2nd
Runs Created 2nd
Times on base 7th
At Bats per HR 3rd
Wins above replacement 10th
Offensive wins above replacement 3rd

This would be quite an accomplishment for a player in his prime, for a 40 year old player in what should be his final season, that’s ungodly.

Additionally he is being well compensated for these achievements. This year he is making $16,000,000 and while he has announced his retirement the team has a $10,000,000 option for next year if he was to change his mind.

That being the case an observer might think that postponing retirement for another year or two might be a wise decision after all he continues to be a productive player and baring injury it is highly likely that he will suddenly become a mediocre player in the next year or two.

Furthermore there is that $10,000,000 option. Even if he is hired by the Red Sox as a permanent batting instructor, by MLB in whatever capacity they choose, hired by ESPN or MLB network as an analyst and get endorsements high and low he will likely never see any like that kind of money ever again in his life.

But for all those numbers, including the dollar signs some things are just more important

“Big Papi” arrives at the stadium before any other player to start the long process of preparing for a game, particularly when it comes to his feet. He said he feels pain in his feet every day, and they are the main reason he guarantees he will never change his mind and come back for another season.

“Everything hurts,” he said. “It even hurts to think. Last time I reached second after a double, I almost called for a timeout so they would get me out of the game. I can barely run because my feet hurt so much. I am in severe pain.

“One often tries to live in the moment, and even when your body is saying no, you say yes, even when your body says not to. Only mental strength convinces you that you can continue. Mental strength tells you that you can keep at it. But the body is a machine; it will give out and will send you a bill.”

 

And David Ortiz is wise enough to know that no amount of cheers, honors or money will pay that bill for him and is acting accordingly.

That’s  an important lesson and I suspect more than one older pro athlete is nodding their head wishing that at the end of their career they were wise enough to do the same.

Dr Ray Stantz: Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect results.

Ghostbusters 1984

Governor William J. Le Petomane:   We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!  [pointing] I didn’t get a “harrumph” out of that guy!

Hedley Lamarr: Give the Governor harrumph!

Politician: Harrumph!

Governor William J. Le Petomane: You watch your ass.

Blazing Saddles 1974

In Yesterday’s piece Cause and Effect 1/2:   The Broken Clock at the NY Times …  I pointed to the comments section of the piece noting that the arguments against including conservatives in faculty would be familiar to any segregationist of the first half of the 20th century.  (Thus the Richard Russell quote above).  I also suggested that the NYT piece that I was quoting was not so much a warning about effect of the creation of a liberal echo chamber at universities by banning conservative thought but was an effect in itself brought about by a different cause.

What is that cause that has had the effect of the NYT suggesting that the university no longer become a bastion of segregation based on political opinion?  The ongoing education apocalypse  that has the potential to sweep away thousands of well paying jobs that are filled almost exclusively by liberals who would otherwise be almost unemployable.

I think the best way to illustrate this my point is to cite an expert on cause and effect and segregated employment the late Negro Leagues player Buck O’Neil.

O’Neill became nationally known because of Ken Burns Epic saga “Baseball” and one of the things he understood was that the effort to keep blacks out of the major leagues was not so much a question of superiority but a question of economics:

I could understand Cobb. Ty Cobb had what the black ballplayer had. The black ballplayer had to get out of the cotton field. He had to get out of the celery fields, and this was a vehicle to get him out. This was the same thing with Cobb. Cobb had to get out of Georgia. He had to fight his way out and this was why he had this great competitive spirit. And so what he’s saying against blacks was the same thing that I think every poor white man had against blacks. Because we were competition to him. We weren’t competition to the affluent, to the educated. No. But the other man… we were competition to him.

It must be remembered that it’s wasn’t like today where being the 25th man on a major league roster meant you were making six figures or being the 10th pitcher on a staff can make you a millionaire.  Until the 80’s most players worked in the off season and even you were a big star like Cobb and didn’t invest your money wisely as Cobb did (he bought plenty of stock in Coca Cola) you might be back in the coal mines or fields before you can say “waver wire.”  Those baseball roster spots were valuable and meant everything for a person who might otherwise face a life of manual labor.  O’Neil again:

For Jackie to play in the major leagues, that meant that one white boy wasn’t going to play. We had played against these fellas and they knew that we could play. And they knew if we were allowed to play, a lot of them wouldn’t play. See?

16 teams, 25 roster spots that’s 400 jobs, if 20% of those jobs went to black players that meant 80 white players would be back working real jobs, and that not even counting all those roster spots in the minor league that while not well paying were better than being a common laborer.

By an odd coincidence within three years of the Boston Red Sox becoming the last team to integrate (1959) the major leagues expanded twice after being static since 1900.  Suddenly there were 100 new major league roster spots to be filled and several hundred new minor league jobs available.

And that brings us back to the education apocalypse.

This has not been a good time for higher education you have students in safe and wealthy environments whining, outrageous claims about sexual assault that by comparison make Chicago & Detroit seem safe.  Activists making asses of themselves before the cameras, colleges claiming that it’s legit to hate white people protests all forming a backlash that is already causing layoffs 

And that’s even before we get to unsustainable student debt being built to obtain useless majors whose only possible application is in higher education itself.

Put simply, there are already a myriad of good reasons why even the liberal 50% of parents might look at the university system and decide it is bad investment for their kids.  If the conservative 50% of the potential customer pool of those institutions  decide to give higher ed a miss or restrict their choices to the few colleges where conservatives are not considered pariahs by their very existence the gravy train will end.

And if that means tolerating a few more conservatives professors and speakers on campus to keep the money coming until the current crop retires, well it’s better than risking the lot.

 

I submit and suggest that If we didn’t see the backlash against places like Mizzou which puts in danger the jobs of a profession which employs liberals at a 90%+ rate, we don’t see this type of piece in the New York Times.

This liberal soul searching is all about protecting  professors from gender studies to sociology who from a private sector that expects results and preserving their phony baloney jobs.

Harrumph! Harrumph!

**************************

It’s been a tough year for datipjar

I’d like to think we do good work here If you’d like to help us keep up the pace please consider hitting DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

Please consider Subscribing. We are currently 116.3 subscribers at $10 a month to make our goal every day without further solicitation but the numbers are even more interesting:

If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

Plus of course all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level