The Double Curse of '86
- Many sports fans remember the game 6 error
(youtube) of Bill Buckner
that cost the Red Sox the championship
But a supposed new discovery
seems to show that that the Sox were saddled with not one curse
- but two
. It could be real or just a new angle for the 20th anniversary
. (previously on metafilter)
"[A]n online application that allows you to view any Major League Baseball season, split by league or division (even wild card races), as an animated, date-by-date race between the various teams you choose."
Bottom half of the final inning, Red Sox batting, Yankees ahead by a run. Runner on third and 2 outs. Up at bat is the Red Sox's star hitter, followed by the weakest hitter in the lineup. Do you pitch to the star, or intentionally walk him? The choice is obvious in the majors, but not so much in the PONY leagues
. Or is it
? Complicating matters - the weak hitter
is a cancer survivor with ongoing health issues. Not surprisingly, there's been a story in the local weekly
. Then it got picked up by a major local paper
, a radio station
, and now Sports Illustrated
. A lot of attention for a kid who was last in the paper 6 months ago when he got his Make-A-Wish granted
We all have to go sometime.
Frank Russo has an obsession, dead ballplayers. Some died in accidents
, some were murdered
, some couldn't take it anymore
, and some were cursed
. They were all human. (via HNT)
is the knowledge of Life and everything pertaining thereto." The collected works
of Alfred Lawson
- professional baseball player
, aviation pioneer
, and philosopher
- are available to all. [more inside]
Just when you thought we'd run out of things to sue over.
A man who was denied a red nylon tote bag
during a Mother's Day promotion
at an Angels baseball game has filed a sex and age discrimination lawsuit against the team.
Pat Venditte is an ambidextrous pitcher.
He's not quite in the Big Leagues, but pitching with both arms
is extremely rare. The last time it happened in the Majors was 1995
. Before that it was 1893
Bored researchers conduct unappetizing study
from a small sample that wasn't collected with even an allegation of neutrality. The conclusion? Winners
sometimes use more drugs
than their opponents. Did William Sessions
and McGruff the Crime Dog
lie to us? And is the Boston Globe even trying anymore?
It should have been an easy out...
"If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words. But more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game Six of the 1986 World Series."
At the bottom of the 10th inning in Shay Stadium, with the Red Sox one out away from winning the World Series, the scoreboard flashed, "Congratulations Red Sox, 1986 World Series Champions!" Moments later, the Sox' Bill Buckner would let the ball go between his legs
, allowing the Mets to win 6-5 and tie the series. Tonight, hours away from opening day at Fenway Park in Boston, take a moment to relive one of the most painful experiences in Sox history, Bucker and all
, completely reenacted with Nintendo's old RBI Baseball
In their book The Secret of the Miracle Pitch
, Japanese researchers using supercomputers modeled a potentially unhittable breaking pitch called the "Gyroball"
. Baseball has been simmering with debate
over whether anyone
can actually throw it
. Seekers of the elusive pitch claim that Japanese superstar
and MVP of the 2006 World Baseball Classic
Daisuke Matsuzaka throws one, and cite this high-speed video (YouTube)
as an example. Another video exists, of high school ace Joey Niezer purported throwing it
. If it actually exists, the Gyroball would be the first new pitch developed in almost 40 years.
Japan beat Cuba 10-6 to win the first World Baseball Classic
. The team was coached by Sadaharu Oh
, one of the great stars of the Japanese leagues (868 home runs to boot), and featured the talents of a few Japanese players who have made the jump to American ball--Ichiro Suzuki
and Akinori Otsuka
. Is the World Series now an outdated misnomer
has an excerpt from the upcoming book Game of Shadows
. The book claims to have detailed evidence of heavy drug use by Barry Bonds. Tom Verducci of SI (who has a Hall of Fame vote) has suggested this will keep him out of the Hall and is damning as the Dowd Report
, which lead to a lifetime ban for Pete Rose. Would this provide any kind of closure to the steroid era? If Bonds does not sue, is that as good as an admission? And although his motives can be considered dubious, did Jose Canseco end up becoming a savior of baseball?
Kirby Puckett has died
at the age of 44 after suffering a stroke.
, 94, was a star player
for the Kansas City Monarchs, of the
The Negro Leagues
, the first black coach hired by
Major League Baseball
, one of the founders and current Board Chairman of
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
, a scout, who signed such stars as
his last chance to enter baseball's
Hall of Fame
this week. Considered by many to be the unofficial " Ambassador of Baseball", Buck was most diplomatic in his response, saying:
"Shed no tears for Buck," he says. "No, no. Ol' God's been good to me. You can see that, don't you? If I'm a Hall of Famer for you, that's all I need. Just keep loving ol' Buck."
" You think about this,' he said. "Here I am, the grandson of a slave. And here the whole world was excited about whether I was going into the Hall of Fame or not. We've come a long ways. Before, we never even thought about anything like that. America, you've really grown and you're still growing."
is outraged...I am just sad.
By now, we know the story: first the U.S. Treasury department wouldn't
let Cuba participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic
, only to change their mind
later. Whether to play ball with Cuba or not has been debated since at least 1975, when then-commissioner of baseball Bowie Kuhn contacted Henry Kissinger about plans to arrange a game between U.S. and Cuban teams, prompting this now-declassified exchange (made available through George Washington University's National Security Archive.)
Indeed, sport and politics are often intertwined in the Case of Contemporary Cuban Baseball
Beyond the Playing Field:
Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate. (more inside)
"One could go on, and one will -- praising (...)
the National Center for Jewish Film for releasing all four of Edgar Ulmer's Yiddish films in restored editions. But the DVD player is beckoning, and I think it is time for me to get back to the couch".
The National Center for Jewish Film
(NCJF) is a unique nonprofit motion picture archive, distributor and resource center housing the largest, most comprehensive collection of Jewish-theme film and video in the world. In their archives you can discover the works of Leo Fuchs, the "Yiddish Fred Astaire
", restored gems (scroll down)
like "Motl the Operator
" and re-releases
like "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
". (More on Greenberg
, the Jewish kid who challenged Babe Ruth
’s homerun record here
, more on the NCJF inside).
88 years in the making.
The Chicago White Sox have swept the series.
"It isn't easy to be smart about baseball if you didn't grow up with the game, but Farish asked decent enough questions. It was the answers that came hard.
We must have resembled three mathematicians so lost in their highly refined work that they haven't noticed how quaint and opaque the terminology is, how double-meaning'd. We argued the language
and tried to unravel it
for the outsider."
Rafael Palmeiro suspended for steroid use by Major League Baseball
The first big name MLB player to be suspended for violating the leagues steriod policy testified to Congress about use of the drug in baseball after being named a user in Jose Canseco's book. "Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Rafael Palmeiro and I am a professional baseball player. I'll be brief in my remarks today. Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids. Period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never. The reference to me in Mr. Canseco's book is absolutely false. I am against the use of steroids. I don't think athletes should use steroids and I don't think our kids should use them. That point of view is one, unfortunately, that is not shared by our former colleague, Jose Canseco. Mr. Canseco is an unashamed advocate for increased steroid use by all athletes."
The Washington Nationals
were one of the biggest surprises
of the first half of the 2005 baseball season. On July 3, the team formerly known as the Expos
had a 50-31 record.
Everybody in DC was feeling good, especially the Republicans. Not only did Washington have a baseball team for the first time in decades, but that surprisingly good baseball team also featured a home uniform
that had a red cap with a "w" on the front. As a result, some Republicans eagerly adopted
the cap as a symbol of their party and their president.
The second half of the Nationals' season has mirrored Bush's second term, however. Just like Bush has made missteps on Social Security and lost the battle to make his judicial nominees filibuster-proof, the second half of the Nationals season has been filled with miscues, too. After this afternoon's loss to the Braves
, the Nationals have a 5-16 record over the past three weeks. Does this spell bad news for John Roberts?
Searching for Bartman.
A sports reporter’s account of his efforts to land an interview with “the most reclusive man in sports,” Steve Bartman
. Bartman is the baseball fan blamed by many Chicago Cubs fans for preventing the Cubs from reaching the World Series in 2003 when he arguably interfered with a catch
at a key point in the game. He received massive attention
after the incident, but never spoke to the media about it, except he released a short statement
the day after the game.
Republicans are threatening
to revoke Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption. Not because of the steroid scandals
, or the numerous abuses of the monopoly to shakedown cities
for publicly financed stadiums.
No, the GOP is attacking baseball because George Soros
, a liberal, might buy a team and he would be a "polarizing figure."
Oh yeah, Fred Malek
, a non-polarizing, competing bidder is a GOP fundraiser and a aide who compiled a list of members of the "Jewish Cabal" at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Nixon.
This injection of politics into baseball seems eerily familiar
How to pitch a no-hitter while on acid.
Lessons from the career of baseball legend Dock Ellis.
(As any Mets geek might say when talking to Mike & the Mad Dog: First time [MeFi] poster, long time reader)
Underestimating the Fog...No, not crochety ol' McNamara's
take on the situation in Iraq
. Rather, it's an astonishing (if only partial) recanting [.pdf]
by the patron saint of statheads
, and rotogeeks
everywhere, Bill James
. Like his namesake, James is a radical empiricist
, the Jedi master who defined sabermetrics
(his coinage) as "the search for objective knowledge
Over the past several decades, James' influence has been enormous. After Michael Lewis
famously detailed the saber-success of Billy Beane's Oakland A's, Sabermetric-leaning analysts have made their way into the scouting ranks and GM's offices of a growing number of major league ballclubs
. From the halls of academia [.pdf]
and Cable personalities
, even the NFL
are on board!
MLB's All Porn Mustache Team
Cue: Funky bassline and Wa-Wa guitar.
Is it just me or does Jeff Kent's 'stache (bottom of the page in the honorable mentions section) look like more peach fuzz than manly man style?
Who did they miss?
probably shouldn't have been a professional athlete. Born without a right hand
, he defied the odds and grew up to be a major league pitcher. In 1991 he won 18 games for the Angels while posting a 2.89 ERA, in 1992 he pitched a no-hitter against Cleveland, and in 23 career at-bats, he amazingly got two hits
(while playing for the Brewers). But Abbott (now a motivational speaker
) wasn't the first handicapped professional baseball player. Pete Gray
lost his entire right arm in a childhood truck accident and, due to the shortage of major league players during WWII, became an outfielder with the St. Louis Browns. His fielding, naturally, was unorthodox: After catching a fly ball, Gray would tuck his thinly padded glove under his stump, roll the ball across his chest, and throw, all in one fluid motion.
But if those guys don't impress you, then what about Bert Shepard
, who had his right leg amputated after his fighter plane crashed in Germany? The gutsy left-hander from Dana, Indiana taught himself to walk and then to pitch with an artificial leg -- all within the confines of a POW camp in Germany. The length of his major league career consisted of pitching five innings in one game for the Washington Senators
. Then of course there was Lou Brissie
, the only survivor of his WWII infantry unit, which was wiped out in battle. An exploding shell shattered Brissie's left leg, causing him to wear a brace during his pitching career. The 6'4" southpaw
went 16-11 in 1949 for the Athletics and helped himself by batting .267. So...who's your favorite handicapped ballplayer? Eddie Gaedel
Well today is the opening day of one of the most popular baseball leagues
in the county. A big part of the league is the The Goldklang Group,
(which is partly owned by Bill Murrary.) The president and owner of the Saints
is marketing genius Mike Veeck,
son of the late Bill Veeck.
Smell the hotdogs and taste the beer but not in that order. (More peanuts and Crackerjacks await inside)
Hoodies, Baseball Caps and Ganja, Oh My
Fresh from his accountability moment
, Tony Blair is tackling some of the thorniest issues facing British society
: criminalising "hoodies"
and baseball caps while keeping marijuana decriminalised (despite a "get tough" pre-election stance
). In the midst of a moral panic
, Blair recently came out in support of moves to ban the wearing of hooded leisure tops
in public, especially when coupled with the nefariously potent symbol of evil
: the baseball cap. Meanwhile, the committe whose recommendation resulted in the Commons reclassification of cannabis
in Britain to a Class C drug (a misdemeanour equivalent to possessing a prescription medication without a valid prescription) says it sees no reason to reverse its decision
, even as Olympians are tarred and feathered
. Meanwhile, sales of verboten hoodies can only increase
, while cannabis becomes distinctly less cool
Joe Valentine has Two Mommies
--..."It's no different than having a mother and father," he said. "These are the two women who raised me, and they are wonderful people. It's just not a big deal to me. Why should it be?"
In an enlightened world, it shouldn't. But major league baseball is to enlightenment what Pauly Shore is to career longevity. ...
Meet the Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher
--"...a baseball player who was raised by two wonderful, loving mothers. How can anyone criticize that?"
Down doesn't mean out.
There were great expectations
for Bill Pulsipher
, and then a great crash. After leaving baseball to mow lawns, he's worked his way back
-- becoming perhaps the only ballplayer to talk about the stigma attached Anxiety and Depression. He has returned
as a loogy
with last year's NL champs the Cards. But how will he do this year
So, should he give back the ball or not?
Of course, I say "give back" as if the Red Sox owned it in the first place, which they didn't. So is it up to Major League Baseball?
Bonds said he unknowingly used steroids
Following up on yesterday's article on Giambi's grand jury testimony,
the SF Chronicle reports that Bonds admitted using steroids, but didn't know what they were at the time
Gary Sheffield said something very similar
in October, and was not penalized by baseball
, nor by public opinion
. Meanwhile, the Yankees are reportedly trying to void Giambi's contract
. What will the fallout be from the Bonds story?
Yankee Star Admits Steroid Use.
Jason Giambi finally came clean. Will this lead to the confession of other baseball players? Barry Bonds - the heat is on. Or are you in "the clear"?
To Whom It May Concern
: This letter is to be considered an authorization to condantiques, a seller on Ebay, to offer on auction, for the Feinstein Foundation, the 1919 Original Ruth contract to the highest bidder which exceeds the reserve. All proceeds of this sale will go to charity.
Hey, no crying in baseball!
Who would you like the Red Sox to win it for? A Sox fanboard thread
dedicates the hoped-for, possibly imminent World Series championship to loved ones living and dead. NSFW, if your employer frowns on tears streaming down your cheeks.
The Unsettling Origins of the "Curse of the Bambino."
As of this writing, the Boston Red Sox seem to have a good chance of breaking their 86-year championship drought, popularly attributed to a curse
brought upon the Sox in 1920 when then-owner Harry Frazee
sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. But as Glenn Stout writes
, popular wisdom (as usual) has it wrong. A fascinating article on how misplaced anti-Semitism, Henry Ford, and an influential sportswriter in thrall to baseball's controlling interests gave birth to one of the best-known pieces of baseball mythology. [via the SDMB]
Red Sox "Nation"
After the Boston police take full responsibility for the killing of a student
at the ALCS celebrations on Wedensday night/Thrusday morning, the Mayor takes aim at thugs
and threatens bans on alcohol sales, bars showing the series in the city, and expulsion of students. The city wants more police presence at the World Series. Many news reports refer to mayhem and riots, but "video footage from the scene showed large crowds but no sign of rioting."
the face of the new Sox?
Underdog to NY Yankees --> "Who's YOUR Daddy
The Montreal Expos are moving.
Writer Jonah Keri says goodbye
. Though questions remain about whether the deal will be done (Injunctions have been filed
, and a RICO lawsuit
still looms), it appears that the cronies will again have their way
Heckling? Good Natured Fun or Verbal Abuse
The recent assault of a fan by Texas Rangers' reliever Frank Francisco with a folding chair is inexcusable, there's no doubt about that. But what about the fans who literally spend every moment at the park needling, heckling and verbally abusing the players?
There's a difference between ribbing the opposing team and calling an athlete a fat f***. Where does the line get drawn and why is any heckling permitted anymore?