So on Independence Day Mrs. Marathon Pundit drove south to the Peach State to make up, in a very small way, for the tens-of-millions of dollars shipped off by Manfred to Colorado. There were some diversions. We spent the night of July 4th in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is just north of the Georgia state line. We did some sighteeing there the next day, including time on Lookout Mountain, where a pivotal battle of the Civil War Siege of Chattanooga occurred in late 1863. But the lion’s share of that day was spent on the site of the Battle of Chickamauga a few miles south in Georgia. The two battles are often presented as one, or part of a campaign, which is why the these two locations comprise the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Of our Civil War battles only Gettysburg, fought two months earlier in Pennsylvania, had more casualties than Chickamauga. Unlike Gettysburg, Chickamauga was a Confederate victory. After being routed in Georgia the Union army retreated to Chattanooga. The northern commanding general, William Rosecrans, was relieved of his duties and replaced by Ulysses S. Grant. His breaking of the siege set the stage for the army led by his close friend, General William Tecumseh Sherman, to capture the strategic city of Atlanta the next year. Sherman’s March to the Sea, where Union forces split the Confederacy a second time, ended with the capture of Savannah late in 1864.
We eventually made it to Savannah too.
Mrs. Marathon Pundit was stupefied by the sprawling expanse of the Chickamauga Battlefield and the hundreds of monuments there. Her hometown of Sece, Latvia, was the site of a World War I battle. With the exception of a German military cemetery, there are no commemorations of that battle there. C’mon Sece, at least erect an historical marker in town about the battle.
We wandered for the next two days in the luscious Blue Ridge Mountains, mostly hiking, in these state parks: Fort Mountain, Black Rock Mountain, Smithgall Woods, Unicoi, and Tallulah Gorge. The latter is where much of the classic but disturbing film Deliverance was filmed. Around the time that movie was shot Karl Wallenda crossed the gorge on a high-wire. In fact, the Great Wallenda accomplished that feat 51 years ago today. Our first night in the mountains we spent in Helen, Georgia. Its buildings are in a Bavarian style and it’s filled with German restaurants. While it only has about 500 residents, Helen is Georgia’s third-most visited town. And I encountered mobs of Floridians there.
People often wonder where Florida residents go on vacation–after all the Sunshine State is of course one of America’s most popular vacation destinations. In the summer many Floridians head to the slightly cooler climes of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Yes, Tropical Storm Elsa, which passed through coastal Georgia after pummelling Florida during our trip, might have chased some people up north, but not all of them.
After a couple of days in South Carolina–at Abbeville, Beaufort, and Hunting Island State Park, with a quick return to Georgia for a walking tour of Augusta and lunch with a high school friend in nearby Evans, we spent our last two days in Georgia in historic Savannah, an even better walking city than Augusta. Our own March to the Sea was over. Then it was time to drive home.
On our way back, the day of the Home Run Derby of the MLB All-Star Game, we planned to visit Stone Mountain Park, site of “the Mount Rushmore of the South,” the largest bas-relief in the world, which is comprised of carvings of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. But the weather that day was horrible–heavy rain–so we kept driving, straight through, back to Illinois. Stacey Abrams, the defeated Democratic candidate for Georgia governor in 2018, favors removal of the mountain carvings.
Stone Mountain Park is the most-visited attraction in the Peach State.
Abrams gave tacit support to a boycott of Georgia because of the voting reform bills, but she stealthily edited her USA Today op-ed call for one, but her disingenous act was later exposed.
Abrams all but said to stay away from Georgia.
So we visited. And and Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I had a wonderful time.
In 1960, shortly before I was born, my father briefly worked for the Quaker Oats Company. Sixty years ago many large companies and corporations had ethnic identities. For instance the first episode of Mad Men, coincidentally set in 1960, contains a plotline centered around the decision of a Jewish business owner to change advertising agencies and hire one that wasn’t “Jewish.”
Big firms also had politial identities.
Quaker Oats was a Republican company. R. Douglas Stuart was the longtime CEO of the company when my dad worked there. In Stuart’s Wikipedia entry, and that of his son, it’s stated that they were “active in the Republican Party.” The younger Stuart also served as CEO of Quaker Oats.
My dad was hired by the Chicago-based company as a junior executive, an in-house farm club concept from that era.
It was a great time to be an Irish Catholic Democrat in 1960 and my dad was able to proudly check all three boxes. John F. Kennedy, who potrayed himself as a devout Catholic, was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Unlike the doomed Al Smith, the first Catholic nominee for president of a major party, Kennedy’s chances for moving into the White House looked promising. But JFK’s Republican opponent, Richard M. Nixon, was the slight favorite early in the campaign. Kennedy, people like my father reasoned, needed every bit of assistance to nudge him over the goal line. So my dad placed a Kennedy poster in the front window of our Chicago bungalow and he wore a Kennedy campaign button everywhere he went.
Including at Quaker Oats.
But my dad was a probationary hire–there was a three month period before a final decision was made on whether he would stay on. He didn’t make it–he was told at the end of those three months that he “wasn’t a fit for the Quaker Oats culture.”
Years later, after my father’s passing, I met a woman who worked closely with my father at Quaker Oats there and she confimed this story as it had exactly been told to me. She added that my dad was “a real blast” and a “breath of fresh air at that stuffy place.”
Later in the 1960s attitudes changed. Major corporations became less ethnic. One large company after another stopped being WASP, Jewish, or Catholic. The hiring doors for all positions were opened to minorities. And of course those were all good things. Politics was de-emphasized in the business world too.
But politics didn’t vanish from corporate America. Another legacy from the 1960s is that big corporations began envisioning themselves as being responsible for more than providing products and services and making money, explaining in annual reports and countless press releases that they had a “responsibility to the community” and the like. And over time, colleges and universities, even their business schools, drifted even further to the left. So did the political leanings of their graduates. A decade or so ago poltics made a roaring comeback in the boardroom and elsewhere in corporate America.
When there is a political controversy–such as the hasty anger about the new Georgia voting laws–which most people who hate them only do so because they saw Twitter comments or headlines on their smart phones that claim that Georgia has returned to the Jim Crow era–CEOs naturally, such as Delta Airlines’ CEO Ed Bastian, fall in line and echo the opinion of the left. Oh, the fear of a left-wing boycott is part of their rationale too. Coca-Cola, aka Woka-Cola, which went full-woke earlier this year, has also declared its opposition to the Georgia election law. And not just them.
Corporate politicking needs to end because it is an accessory to the dangerous dividing of America. The last time I bought airline tickets I needed to get someplace–and get flown home. That’s it. I don’t need the airline’s politics, I have my own already, thank you. The same goes if I need a beverage or anything else. Ed Bastian and Coca-Cola’s CEO James Quincey need to shut up and stick to keeping flights somewhat on time and ensuring beverages are tasty and safe. They need to avoid subjects they know little about.
The majority of Americans, when they learn more about the Georgia bill, will likely see these reforms as reasonable. For instance already most states have voter ID laws, including Biden’s home state of Delaware. And signature verification as the sole tool to determine if a ballot mailed in was completed by that voter, isn’t a strong enough security measure, at least I think so.
Elections need to be free and fair.
Did Quincey and Bastian cave to the left on Georgia only because they read an MSNBC or Daily Beast headline?
I am also compelled to address the bad decision by Major League Baseball to move the 2021 All-Star Game, and the MLB Draft, out of Atlanta. Two days prior, while being interviewed by woke ESPN, President Joe Biden said he supported taking away that game from the Braves. MLB needs to stay out of politics too. Had MLB done a bit of research on the subject it would have learned that the woke Washington Post rated a key Biden claim about the law with Four Pinocchios.
My message to corporate America: Keep out of politics and stick to your products and services. It’s good for your business and best for America. And it’s great for your employees.
Oh, my dad learned his lesson. He never wore a political campaign button again. He enjoyed a happy and properous career at other places. After Chappaquidick my father was done with the Kennedy family. After Jimmy Carter’s election he was done with the Democrats.
Quaker Oats was acquired by Pepsico, Coca-Cola’s rival, in 2001.
My workweek for my day (well evening) job is Sunday to Thursday and as my wife had already left for work and I hadn’t had a chance to go shopping I stopped by a local restaurant (not a chain) around 2:30 PM to have a bite before I went in.
Even though I don’t listen to the woke sports (or Bidenball as I call it) anymore I still tend to listen to sports talk radio on the way into work and just change the station if a game is on.
I turned on the 1st station 93.7 and the Red Sox were in the 4th inning so I switched to the 2nd station. On the 2nd station the Celtics 76ers playoff game was on and although the Celtics had a chance to clinch with a win I turned the radio off rather than listen. Just then I pulled into the Restaurant parking lot.
There are seven large screen TV’s in the place and on game days they are invariably on sports. On a day with Both the Redsox and Celtics on you would normally see 3 TV on the Celtics and 3 on the Redsox with one on either ESPN or Golf. As the Redsox are horrible this year and the Celtics games were playoff games I expected to see a 3-2 ratio with one TV for Golf & ESPN or maybe even 4-1.
When I sat down I was shocked to see that all seven TV’S were showing golf!
Remember there was a Celtics PLAYOFF game in progressand not a single set was tuned to it.
‘More importantly it is my experience at this place that if a patron wants a TV on a sport that isn’t on, the staff invariably will put one set on the desired channel/ They’ve done it for me for Red Sox games in years gone by.
But apparently not a single person in the place, and there were more than a few, asked to see the struggling Redsox, nor did a request to watch the Celtics play the Sixers reach the staff’s ears. As I ate my meal I watched as every single set remained on PGA golf until the time I left.
Now you might argue that this is only one bar/restaurant in a blue city in a blue county of one blue state and that’s true. You might say this is completely anecdotal and doesn’t mean it’s a trend and you might be right about that as well..
But I have a feeling that this scene is being repeated in hundreds of restaurants and bars all over the nation and that the various sports league will not realize the extent to which they have chased away their fan bases until it comes time to negotiate TV contracts.
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.
The left keeps insisting that we have to be hiring based on race in everything from police to orchestras so they “better reflect the communities they serve”.
What if we did this to the NBA & NFL or even MLB?
Think about that for a second.
The reason why breaking the color line in baseball was wrong wasn’t because a “black” men per se were being excluded from the game, it was because baseball players who were as good or better than the current players on the field were excluded that’s a big deal in baseball as Buck O’Neil the great Negro league player and manager put it:
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?
By an odd coincidence as the final teams in the league integrated and the white population of the league dropped to 82% in 1961 expansion in MLB took place with two teams added in 1961 and 1962 meaning there were 100 new major league jobs to the system and in 1968 when the white population of the league was down to 73% expansion happened again and another 4 teams (and 100 jobs) were created. (Note non-black “latinos” were not excluded from the majors but at 0.7% of the league the year Jackie Robinson debuted they constituted a nominal figure of about 4 players over a 16 team league)
Around this time Football began to overtake baseball in popularity and accordingly the best black athletes began migrating to that sport and as Basketball increased in popularity again black athletes moved in that direction in a big way.
In the NBA for 2017 the figures are similar with a slightly smaller white population (20%) a slightly larger Latino population about 5% and over 70% of the league consisting of black players.
Oddly I don’t hear anyone arguing that since the black population is about 12% that whites are unfairly underrepresented in the NBA or the NFL. We don’t see people insisting that that cause for this discrepancy is “systematic racism” Yet the same people who scream that because the number of black coaches is closer to the actual black population of this country as opposed to the percentage of blacks in the league don’t find it odd that those same coaches and the front offices seem to be signing black players way out of disproportion to white ones.
The simple fact is this. We have, thanks to the efforts of actual civil rights leaders (as opposed to the demagogues of today) reached a point where the primary question as to the signing of a defensive back or a wide receiver or a quarterback or a center in the NBA or a center fielder is the skill set of said player rather than their race (and occasionally the price see Cam Newton NE Patriots).
This is as it should be.
So when the racial demagogues start demanding quotas in all kinds of fields tell them you’ll consider it as soon as those same demographic quotas are applied to the high paying jobs in the NFL/NBA & MLB
Two closing thoughts:
As of 2016 the Demographics of MLB are 63.7% White, 27.4 % “Latino” 6.7% black (lowest since 1957) and 2.1% Asian. However I suspect this reflects black athletes gravitating more toward the NBA & NFL. I don’t know why black players are less interested in MLB as it’s a much better game and I would further submit and suggest that with guaranteed money, longer careers and less prospect of serious injury it’s a better choice and smarter choices for the best athletes out there. Plus you don’t have to play in the rain or freezing conditions but it’s not my call.
I haven’t included the NHL in these figures because while the NHL integrated in 1958 with Willie O’Ree joining the Boston Bruins (Ironically the Bruins integrated before the Red Sox) and while we’ve seen black superstars (HOF goalie Grant Fuhr who played from 1981-2000 comes instantly to mind) there just doesn’t seem to be the same interest in the game among the black athletes or the black community which more than anything else is the reason for the 90% white demographic of the league.
The latest of a weekly series on the teams in my Online (or in person) Dynasty baseball simulation leagues I run. All are leagues are currently full but if you have an interest in joining the expanded futility league next season or want to be in the waiting list for the great teams league leave a message in comments.
This week we visit the Dynasty All Pathetic 100 loss league consisting only of teams that lost 100 games in a season. As of today most teams have 10 or less games for their season. All starts are current as of 9:30 PM EST Saturday
1973 Chicago White Sox 1st place
When we last left the 1970 White Sox Tampa Bay was nipping at their heels and how it would end was anyone’s guess. Today barring a historic last minute collapse the White Sox look poised to lock up the AL East. 9 1/2 games up with 11 to play.
Heroes: Bill Melton (.268 35 HR 124 RBI ) and Ed Herrmann(..291 37 HR 103 RBI) are contending for the RBI & HR lead respectively. Meanwhile Tommy John Quest for 20 wins might come up short, but he’s continues to lead the league in innings and remains in the top five in ERA, wins, K’s and avg against.
Zeros: When last time we looked Sid O’Brien was hitting a bit better than Bobby Knoop and still is .221 to .219 but also like last time his fielding numbers .927 at 3rd and .947 at 2nd aren’t up to grade. If you want to point to a reason why Chicago might clinch this week starter Barry Moore isn’t one of them at 5-9 with a team worst 6.28 ERA over 25 starts.
Wild Cards: The White Sox are the only team in the AL with an ERA under 4 (3.98) and the biggest part of that is the Solid Defense up the middle provided by Luis Aparicioat short, Bobby Knoop at second base and Ken Berry in Center Field.
Coming Attractions: Chicago only needs two wins to clinch but the schedule won’t help much as they play their final three game home series against the west leading 2008 Seattle Mariners and then finish the season on the road visiting the red hot 1973 Texas Rangers 3 three then head for Tampa Bay for a pair against the 2nd Place 2002 Devil Rays before finishing the regular season in Kansas City with three against the 2005 Royals.
Injury Report: The team is all present and accounted for although pitcher Bart Johnson is a tad overworked. However Manager Ingemi has noted that he will be pitching John on three days rest in order to give him the three starts needed for a chance at 20 wins (currently at 17) that might be a risky move with the playoffs coming up.
2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2nd 67-76 10 GB Tragic number 2
Despite some of the biggest producers in the league Tampa Bay finds itself on the cusp of elimination with 11 games to go. Can their big bats pull off a final miracle to give them that chance?
Heroes: The one two punch of Aubrey Huff who leads the majors in Batting, Slugging, OPS and Hits while leading the AL in OBP and HR & RBI’s is complemented by Randy Wynn who leads the majors in runs while settling for 2nd in the AL in batting, Triples, OPS 3rd in Doubles, 4th in hits and 5th in OPS.
Zeros: Unfortunately while Huff and Wynn taketh , pitchers like starters Joe Kennedy (6-12 5.00 ERA .299 Avg against, Tanyon Sturtze (9-9 5.15 ERA 3.03 avg against ) givith away with a lot of help from the bullpen members like Wilson Alverez (5-7 6.96 ERA 1 sv 4 bs ) givith away.
Wild Card: While I specified Alversz under zeros due to the worst ERA on the team the closing staff in general like Steve Kent (3 saves 5 blown) Victor Zambrano (4 saves 4 blown) and particularly Estiban Yan (23 saves 10 blown) contributed to the Rays having the most blown saves in the AL
Coming Attractions: Tampa is the only other AL east team with meaningful games reaming concluding their final road trip with three in Baltimore to face the 2018 Orioles and 3 more in Kansas City vs the 2005 Royals. Then it’s back home to finish the season with a pair against the 1970 White Sox and 3 vs the 1973 Texas Rangers.
Injuries: If Tampa is Eliminated this week it won’t be due to injuries as all are healthy and ready to play
2018 Baltimore Orioles 59-84 3rd 18 GB
In theory the O’s have a shot to catch Tampa Bay to finish 2nd but their main concerning is keeping that half game lead over Detroit to keep from finishing in the basement and trying to miss the 90 loss mark.
Heroes: Johnathan Villar has been a bright spot on the O’s leading the league in SB with a chance to catch Huff for the Runs lead while 3rd in the league in walks and top ten in OBP, OPS & hits. When they managed to get a late lead closer Mychal Glvens has done the job leading the league with 28 saves while blowing only 4
Zeros: Starters David Hess (7.46 ERA .310 avg against) and Bundy Dillan (6-15) 6.34 ERA .311 avg against have a lot to do with where the Orioles are but according to manager Keith D the range or lack there of of outfielders Trey Mancini, Danny Valencia and occasional lapses by Adam Jones when he plays right have a lot to do with the team’s 5.83 ERA.
Wild Cards:Manny Machado came back to the O’s late in the season but he has made an impact hitting .344 and driving 20 in 22 games. Would a full season have done the trick?
Coming attractions: Baltimore will have a lot to do with how things end with 9 games at home first with a chance to eliminate the 2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays 3 then 3 vs 1982 Minnesota Twins also dodging elimination then finishing their home season with a pair vs the West leading 2008 Seattle Mariners fighting to keep their lead before traveling to Detroit to take on the 2003 Tigers in three games to decide who will take up the division’s rear.
Injuries: If Baltimore had made it to the playoffs there was a chance that infielder Tim Beckham might have played again this season but as it is Baltimore will have to play spoiler without him.
2003 Detroit Tigers 59-85 4th place 18 1/2 GB
The Tigers are playing for pride and thanks to a late Mets surge prevent themselves from finishing with the worst record in the majors. Can they pass the Orioles to finish 3rd or will they become a byword for futility?
Heroes: Dimitri Young remains one of the most dangerous hitters in the league currently top in in six different offensive categories and in striking distance in batting slugging and OPS. Alex Sanchez 13 Triples leads the league and his .322 avg is good enough for 8th with a chance to go higher.
Zeros: Mike Maroth leads the American league with 18 losses which is not a surprise given his .312 avg against and 6.41 ERA, but Nate Comejo’s 6.53 ERA & .347 avg is worse despite his 11-13 record but even though Gary Knotts 6.18 & .305 avg against his better than both his 3-11 record is a lowlight for the team.
Wild Card: Despite playing in home run friendly Detroit for half their games the Tigers are Dead last in the AL in homers with only 120 so far this season. Meanwhile their team ERA 5.15 is only outdone by the O’s in futility.
Coming Attractions: Detroit will have a lot to do with how the West is won welcoming the 1973 Texas Rangers and the 2008 Seattle Mariners for 3 each at home before their final brief two game road trip to Minnesota vs the 1982 Twins become coming home to face the 2018 Orioles to decide who is the worst team of them all.
Injuries: Everyone is healthy but given their record not sure if that’s good or bad.
National League East
2009 Washington Nationals 96-50 1st Clinched
The Washington Nationals have had the best record in the majors and the only question left is will they get to the 100 win mark. They are the prohibitive favorite for the World Series but in the playoffs anything can happen.
Heroes:Adam Dunn, josh Willingham, Nyler Morgan Christan Guzman & Willie Harris are all leading or in the top 3 of every offensive category except doubles n the mound closer Mike MacDougal has a 1.98 ERA & leads the league in saves (28) only blowing 5.
Zeros:Livan Hernandez has managed to go 5-8 win 30 starts on a 96 win team. I suspect his 6.52 ERA and .323 avg against has something to do with this. Another weak link is reliever Ron Villone who despite his 6-4 record has blown 4 of 6 games with a 5.30 ERA in 65 games.
Wild Cards: How good is this team? Catcher Will Nieves is about the only member of the team not producing big his .258 avg is the team low with only 1 homer and his 49 RBI is the lowest almond any player with more than 200 ab.
Coming attractions: the quest for 100 wins goes on at home with 3 vs the 1998 Florida Marlins and 2 vs the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates before finishing the regular season in NYC with 3 vs the 1967 Mets
Injury Report: Wil Nieves will miss game one vs the Marlins and Austin Kearns will not be available until the playoffs but the question is will the Nats sit key starters vs letting them compete for batting and slugging titles?
1998 Florida Marlins 80-66 2nd place 16 GB Eliminated
In any other division the Marlins would either be leading or in the thick of things but thanks to the domination of the Nationals they will have to wait for expansion next year for a chance at a playoff spot.
Heroes: Edger Renteria is tied for the league lead in runs (115) & 3rd in SB. CLIFF FLOYD is 3rd in the league in RBI’s (116) & hits (179) and top 10 in batting slugging and OPS and doubles.. One the Mound Livan Hernandez is third in ERA (3.02) and 4th in wins, (14) K’s (170) and inning pitched (217 2/3). In the Pen Matt Mantei is not only 15 of 17 in save chances but 9-4 with a 2.28 ERA out of the pen.
Zeros: If you want to point fingers at how Florida ended up eliminated. Simply look at Andy Larkin (0-8 in 30 games 17 starts ERA 7.13 avg .321) and Ryan Dempster (0-6 10 starts 12.16 ERA .420 avg against. If even five of those 14 losses had been wins. Florida would not be eliminated yet.
Wild Card: Florida as a team is only 1 game over .500 in nine inning games but once you get into extras they are 16-3 the best record by far in the majors and that’s after going 2-3 in their last five games in extra.
Coming Attractions: Florida is playing for pride and stats these days with 3 at Washington vs the 2009 Nationals followed by a quick 2 game final homestand vs the 1967 Mets before heading back on the road Pittsburgh to end their season vs the 2010 Pirates.
Injury Report: Veteran Catcher Gregg Zaun will miss the 1st two against the Nats but will be back to finish the season.
2010 Pittsburgh Pirates 73-73 3rd place 23 GB Eliminated
The Pirates can claim a moral victory. For a ling time they had the worst record in the league and fought back to .500 with 8 games to play. If they were in the west they would only be a game out. Can they finish with a record that would have won the west?
Heroes:Aramas Ramirez is leading the league in RBI’s s (179) and top 10 in batting slugging and OPS and doubles.. Brian Giles is hitt .324 (3rd) with an OBP .435 (2nd) OBS of 1.004 (2nd) slugging .569 (2nd) third in runs (113) triples (11) and walks (105) On the mound Dave Williams 2.80 is currently 2nd s (170) as is his WHIP of 1.01.
Zeros:Mike Fetters leads the NL in blown saves with 8 a 40% failure rate. but with an 8.49 ERA that’s to be expected. At the plate Jack Wilson’s triple crown numbers of .218 3HR 39 RBI’s isn’t scaring anybody.
Wild Cards: Pittsburgh offense is driven by the HR their 148 is third in the majors , their .250 team batting avg is however also 3rd worst in the majors.
Coming Attractions: Pittsburgh’s quest for an over .500 record continues in NY with three vs the 1967 Mets then heads for DC for a pair against the 2009 Nationals before they head home to finish vs the 1998 Florida Marlins.
Injury Report: Armando Rios and Mike Lincoln are both out for the year. Damaso Marte will miss the series vs the Mets but Keith Osik will be available by game 3.
1967 New York Mets 58-88 38 GB Eliminated.
For a good chunk of the season there was a real question if the Mets would loos 100 but now they have an outside chance of NOT finishing with the worst record in the majors? Can they pull one final rabbit out of the hat?
Heroes While :Tommy Davis at 179 hits (2nd) and a .320 avg (4th) and 8th in SB is worth a mention The fact that Tom Seaver has won 20 games for the team with the worst record is the majors (tied for 1st with Randy Johnson is astounding. Seaver is 7th in ERA 2nd in Strikeouts (213) 8th in innings, and 1st in fewest HR per 9 innings (0.49) the ONLY non relief category that anyone is beating Johnson in. If it wasn’t for Randy he would be a shoo in for the NL Cy Young.
Zeros: How poor have Jerry Grote and Jerry Bucheck hit? Tom Seaver has a better avg than both. But if you want to choose a zero Well there’s Don Cardwell (5-14) Jack Fisher (3-20) leading the league in losses and Dennis Bennett (5-11) and of course Ron Taylor with 4 saves in 11 chances.
Wild card: How critical is Seaver? The Mets 4.51 ERA is 7th in the 16 team major leagues. remove Seaver and it becomes 4.80 which would be 11th. But when you hit only 67 home runs last in the majors not to mention last in the majors in doubles hits and RBI’s and last in the NL in walks those 20 wins look even more miraclious.
Coming Attractions: The Mets have three at home vs the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates before jetting to Florida for their final away series vs the 1998 Marlins before ending the season vs the 2009 Washington Nationals. Can Seaver finish ahead of Johnson in wins?
Injury Report: The entire team is healthy for those final eight games?
On Today’s Podcast we talk about Bernie Dropping out, my post yesterday about the sudden Trust the left has is POTUS and their game of “Heads I win tales you lose” on the CoronaVirus, Plus MLB idea to re-open
Watch Live here:
Yes I know I’m a few minutes late, my Midnight Dynasty Tournament ran late VERY late.
With Democrat debates, Presidential rallies and impeachment going on, not to mention the turmoil in Iran I’ve decided it’s time for this blog to get back to a subject that really matters.
It’s been a busy week for MLB as the league has assessed still penalties on both AJ Hinch and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow resulting in not only the Astros throwing them under the bus but in the Boston Red Sox deciding to part ways with World Series winning manager Alex Cora after only two years for his part before MLB even went after him.
Now I don’t have a problem with these penalties in principle as I’m a bit of a rules lawyer, if the rules say something they should be enforced ( I still think calling George Brett out in the pine tar game was the right call) but i’m also of the opinion that the rules on sign stealing are pretty stupid.
Sign stealing has been a part of the game since the day signs were and has been practiced with varying success by every team and the idea that sign stealing done one way (with no electronic help) is legal but sign stealing WITH electronic help is not frankly isn’t practical in a world of iPhones, I watches, instant replay and challenges.
So I propose a simple solution that will not only solve this dilemma but will do something that major league baseball is desperate to achieve, speed up the game.
Make all forms of sign stealing legal
Raise the mound back to the 1968 level
Getting rid of all restriction on sign stealing will have a liberating effect on all these teams that are doing their best to steal signs (and let’s not pretend they aren’t) by bringing this strategy out in the open you make it a more interesting part of the game and force a pitcher, catcher and coach to be more creative in their pitch calling.
Now you might argue that this will give an even greater advantage to batters in an age of lousy pitching and you’d be right, and that’s why it’s so necessary to add the second part of the equation to the plan, raising the pitchers mound.
Baseball’s panic move to lower the mound after the year of the pitcher (1968) was an action borne out of fear and did nothing to prevent the decline of the games popularity in relation to football, what it instead did was make offense easier at a time when you were increasing the number of pitchers in the game by 20% meaning that pitchers who would not have made a major league roster five years ago were not only pitching to the likes of Carl Yastrzemski , Hank Aaron Harmon Killebrew and Pete Rose but were doing it from a smaller mound.
50 years later we have smaller parks but 6 more teams meaning that there are 60 more pitchers who would not have been considered major league quality now pitching in those parks. It’s time to give the pitchers back an edge. Sure you might have a couple of Bob Gibsons emerge with microscopic ERA’s Max Scherzer instantly comes to mind but you would also give those other guys who frankly aren’t worth stealing signs against an actual shot at getting people out and speeding up the game.
Since the lack of a clock is a defining part of baseball the only way to make the game faster is to make outs easier. Raising the mound will do and doing so in conjunction with allowing all forms of sign stealing, including electronic ones will do so without overcompensating in favor of the pitcher.
Max Scherzer gave up 4 hits over nine innnings and scored a run as King Ragnar’s Vikings outlasted Washington 3-1.
With the excepton of Anthony Rendon (2-4 2 2b) Scherzer (W 3-1) kept Washington batters off ballance and even when they managed a bit of a rally such as in the 6th when Trevor Story doubled with two outs and Josh Reddick walked he was able to bear down and end the inning without damage.
His counterpart Sean Newcomb (L 0-2) for a time managed to do the same, pitching out of a man on 2nd no out situation in the 1st, a bases loaded two out jam in the 2nd and another bases loaded jam in the 4th until he finally cracked in the fifth. Juan Segura and Kentel Marte walked to start the inning and Eduardo Escobar singled to left scoring Segura for a 1-0 game. Wilson Ramon singled to right loading the bases and after Ramon Laureano K’d Elias Diaz hit a ball back to the mound that Newcomb was able to stop but couldn’t make a play on. That single socred Marte and made it 2-0 befor Newcomb retired Rizzo and Scherzer to stop the bleeding.
Those two would be all Max would need as he killed another potential rally with a pickoff of Billy Hamilton after a leadoff walk in the 7th and by the time Washington finally got on a board with a solo Shot by Josh Reddick to start the 9th the Vikings had already added a run off of reliever Brad Hand on a two out Whit Merrified double scoring Scherzer making it too little much too late.
Notes: Scherzer walked twice along with a hit raising his batting avg to .300 this season. Bobby Poyner came out of the game after 2/3 of an inning of perfect relief complaining about arm soreness and was subsequently sent to the minors. The Vikings went 4-15 with runners in scoring position while Washington went 0-6. It will be Noah Syndergaard (0-2) vs Carlos Martinez (1-0) for Washington to finish.
Rivertown 6 LA 2
Rivertown struck for 3 in the 1st and Chris Sale struck out 10 in 9 innings as Rivertown defeated LA 6-2.
Clayton Kershaw (L 1-3) troubles began right away with a leadoff double to Lorenzo Cain followed by a one out walk to Paul Goldschmidt. After Nelson Cruz forced Goldschmidt Marcell Ozuna fly to left carried just far enough to clear the fence and Rivertown was up 3-0.
LA got one back of Christ Sale (W 3-1) David Freese singled and Kike Hernandez was grazed by a sale fastball. With one out Matt Kemp delived a single to left scoring Freese and sending Hernandez to 2nd. It looked like a big inning was brewing but Max Muncy’s liner was right at Ozuna and Chris Taylor’s fly to left was just a few feet short of the wall so the game remained 3-1.
In the 3rd Rivertown struck again. Goldschmidt walked again and this time Cruz drove a ball to left center scoring him all the way from 1st. After a pair of gournd outs Yadier Molina doubled almost to the same spot scoring Cruz from 3rd easily and Rivertown was up 5-1.
Kiki Hernandez struck back at once in the bottom taking Sale deep to left center to make it 5-2 but that would be as close as they would get as LA would only manage two hits and one walk for the rest of the game off Sale whose fastball and changeup baffled LA’s bats to the point where Matt Carpenter’s 6th inning single scoring Lorenzo Cain who doubled with two outs off Ross Stripling was just window dressing.
Notes: Dodger Ace Clayton Kershaw’s 5 earned runs in 3 innings raised his ERA to 6.64. The team has a winning record in games he hasn’t started. Ozuna’s homer was his 1st of the season. Dodger Reliver Stripling came to the plate for the 1st time this season and singled off Sale Lorenzo Cain went 4-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. The Dodgers will throw Walker Buehler (0-1) in the finale He will face Aaron Nola (2-0 )
Juneau 8 NY 1
Mookie Betts hit two home runs and Miles Mikolas went all the way as Juneau crushed the NY Yankees 8-1 for their fifth straight win.
Luis Severino (L 1-2) Got deep in a hole three batters in. Andrew Benintendi led off the game with a triple Andrelton Simmons singled to drive him in and Mookie Betts hit the 1st fastball he saw 478 feet to right center and the score was 3-0
The Yankees couldn’t answer till the 4th Gleyber Torres singled to start things off and was erased on a force play on Aarond Judge. Didi Gregorius singled to right and Judge raced to 3rd ahead of the thow allowing Gregorius to reach 2nd and giving the Yanks two men in scoring position with only one out and the tying run at the plate. Alas for the Yanks while Giancarlo Stanton’s grounder to short scored Judge, Miles Mikolas (W 1-2) struck out Neil Walker to keep the lead 3-1.
It didn’t stay that way long, Benintendi walked to start the fifth, Simmons singled and Mookie Betts Doubled to left scoring Benintendi and getting Simmons to 3rd with nobody out but Shohei Ohtani fly to center turned into a double play when Brett Gardner’s bullet to the plate beat Simmons keeping the score 4-1.
This was Boston’s big chance and it looked like they would take advantage of it. With one out in the bottom of the fifth Austin Romine doubled and Greg Bird singled to right sending him to 3rd. Once again the tying run was at the plate with only one out and once again Mikolas came through k’ing Aaron Hicks and coaxing a force out from Torres to end the inning.
They might have come back but with Matt Chapman on 3rd (single) and Harrison Bader on 2nd (walk) and two outs their defense failed him. Torrez booted a grounder that Benintendi hit off Zach Britton scoring Chapman and sending Baider to 3rd and Britton and Romine allowed a passed ball scoring Bader making it six to one.
At that point it didn’t matter Mikolas would retire the last 12 in a row so solo shots by Betts and Othani were just afterthoughts.
Notes: In addition to his solo shot Ohtani stole his 1st base after a walk in the 7th. Yankees relieveers Dellin Betances (Ohtani) and Zach Britton (Betts) both gave up solo shots for their only earned run Betances ERA went up to 0.66 but Britton’s DROPPED to 16.20 Benintendi and Betts combined for 4 hits 4 runs 4 RBI’s 2 walks 2 homers and a double. The series ends tomorrow with David Price (1-0) against J.A. Happ (0-1)
Texas 5 Boston 4 (10 innings)
Michael Brantly hit an extra inning homer and Keone Kella pitched two scoreless innings for the win as Texas won for the 3rd time in four extra inning games with a 5-4 victory against Boston.
The Thunder stuck in the 1st off of Justin Verlander who after striking out the 1st two batters gave up a single to Mike Trout, a double to Freddie Freeman which scored Trout and a Triple to Javier Baez scoring Freeman to make it 2-0.
In the 2nd Boston came back Alex Bregman singled. Corey Kluber retired the next two the 2nd on a fielder’s choice that replaced Bregman with Ronald Acuna Jr. for J.T. Realmuto who took a ball over the green monster to tie things up.
In the 3rd the Thunder hit Verlander again, Trout walked with one out and with two outs Javier Baez doubled him in and Francisco Lindor followed with a Triple and it was 4-2 while in the bottom of the inning Christian Yelich hit a solo shot to center and the lead was 4-3.
There it stayed until the eighth when again with two out Alex Bregman hit a shot out to center off of Raisel Iglesias tying things up at 4 and taking Verlander off the hook. Verlander retired the 1st two in the 9th before giving way to Brandon Morrow L (1-1) who would retire the final man in the innings before giving up that shot in the 10th.
Notes: Keone Kela (W 1-1) retired all six men he faced for the win. Verlander struck out 15 fifteen texas batters in his no decision. 8 of the games nine runs were scored with two outs. This was Texas’s 4th extra inning game this season. Texas has played as many extra inning games as any other two teams in the league combined this season. It will be the battle of the even records in the finale as 1-1 Zach Grenkie of Texas faces the 1-1 Blake Snell.