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Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Stigmata of Schilling?

What space cadet would say something like that about Schilling's bloody sock? Well, how about "Spaceman" Bill Lee? See his interview with the Boston Phoenix, talking about his upcoming book "Have Glove, Will Travel: Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond," due March 2.
_features/this_just_in/documents/04495125.asp

IL Season Preview

Nice season and team-by-tem preview of the AAA International League at Our Sports Central:

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3129660

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Wo lai! Chinese Baseball on the Rise

Another interesting look at the Chinese national baseball team now in the U.S., from of the Associated Press and Chicago Sports.


http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/international/cs-0502200014feb20,1,2678879.story?coll=cs-international-print&ctrack=1&cset=true

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Fenway, 1914 W.S., and 100,000 See Telling's Strollers vs. Hanna's Cleaners

The Library of Congress has some great photos (many are high resolution JPEGs) and book prints available on its online site. Here's two interesting ones:
- World's Series, Braves 5 - Athletics 4, 12 innings, Fenway Park, Oct. 12, 1914
http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/pan/6a29000/6a29700/6a29764r.jpg
- "Amateur championship game, Telling's Strollers vs. Hanna's Cleaners, Brookside Stadium--Sept. 20, 1914, attendance 100,000." (Cleveland, really about 85,000)
http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/pan/6a29000/6a29400/6a29473r.jpg

Sunday Spring Training Buffet

- Position players report tomorrow. Yeah! Are you looking forward to watching Renteria at short as much as I am? Maybe a pro like Renteria can figure out where to aim his throws to first so Kevin Millar can catch them more often.
- Check out Kevin Thomas' piece on Maine baseball fans...."A World Series title in 2004 is no guarantee for a championship in 2005, according to a survey of Red Sox fans in Maine."
http://sports.mainetoday.com/pro/redsox/050220thomas.shtml
- Bruce Hurst teaches pitching to players with a big "C" on their jersey - and it doesn't stand for Cincinnati.
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/sport/archives/2005/02/20/2003223915

- Bud Selig can try to stay quiet, but MLB's silence in the face of the Canseco 's revelations about steroids is positively defeaning; in addition to learning now that the FBI told MLB all about this mess aproximately a decade ago. Moron League Bud. Hey Bud - How ya gonna handle the PR aspects of the upcoming Bonds-Aaron HR title chase? Proclaim to everybody - including to No. 44 - that Bonds is the greatest ever? Moron. [Next career stop for Bud: NHL Commissioner.]
- Red Sox-Yankees Trash talking players? It is great......and just proves that the Yankees really were paying attention last fall and that there is more to the Red Sox playing 19 games per season (plus post season) against the Pinstripers than the "they are just another team listed on the schedule."
- Red Sox ring ceremony scheduling? Well, as much as Boston fans want to rub the Yankees nose it it (fully understandable BTW), remember this: unless we are planning to win all the titles from here on out, just consider the inevitable prospect of Sox players having to stand in Yankee Stadium on some future opening day while the W.S. Champion Yankees are awarded their rings. If you can live with that, then go ahead and rub their noses in it. Besides, the Bucky Dent First Ball event during the ALCS Game 7 wasn't exactly a high-water class mark for the Bronx Bombers organization.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Jet Planes and Air Currents, or B.S.?

From today's Detroit Free Press:
Carl Yastrzemski, asked what fellow Red Sox great Ted Williams taught him about hitting: "Nothing. He was too complicated. He was talking about jet planes and air currents under the ball. He was always saying he could see the seams of the ball. I told him he was full of it."

http://www.freep.com/sports/othersports/list17e_20050217.htm

I'm Disoriented.......How About You?

Yes, Sox pitchers and catchers reported today. But things are out of whack somehow. For example:
- David Wells is wearing a Red Sox jersey
- Pedro Martinez is NOT wearing a Red Sox jersey and showed up for spring training early.......
- no sportswriter in the Globe opened the season with a column about "The Curse."
- No major free agents are unsigned.......
- and the Boston Red Sox are, well, the defending World Series Champions. (has a nice ring to it, don't you think?)...the defending World Series Champions.
- The Yankees are trying to figure out how to stop the Red Sox (not the reverse!)
- are we in the Twilight Zone? If so, let's stay here.

P.S.
Spring has such a sweet smell, doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Worcester Gets Rich

The new Can-Am League Worcester (Name to be Named later) franchise has reeled in two former Fenway citizens as manager and pitching coach: Rich Gedman, Manager and Bobby Ojeda, pitching coach - according to Lenny Megliola in the MetroWest Daily News and a news release on the Can-Am site.
The team is making a smart move here, getting known and respected Red Sox players with local ties to headline their entry into this market. Nice way to get a good head start on your PR effort, and start generating some fan interest immediately in the fledgling franchise.
Good luck to Rich and Bobby. Now, we need a name for the franchise, which we hope will be revealed soon.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/sportsColumnists/view.bg?articleid=90782

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hey Bud! Wake Up and Smell the Stench

Jay Mariotti, columnist for the Chicago Sun Times has a good piece today on the latest abdication of leadership and responsibility by Bud Selig. (and you were surprised!)
Bud, a few things about the steroid issue:
1. It is not going away, no matter how hard you try to hold your nose and ignore it.
2. The approaching Barry Bonds*/Hank Aaron record issue is only going to make the problem worse, day-by-day. This is a tremendous lost opportunity for the game: instead of a record-breaking celebration and renewal of the game's greatest achievements, Bonds' chase will only highlight the scandal and the game's inability to clean its own house.
3. When faced with a similar issue that went to the heart of the integrity of the game, Bart Giamatti (as Mountain Landis before him) did the tough - but right - thing and banned Rose for life. He knew the integrity of the game was paramount in the eyes of the unique fan base attracted by baseball. Bart was right - Rose did bet on baseball though he strenuously denied it for decades. How about Bonds, et al. - denials in full?

Article:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay14.html

Who's Edo Vanni? The Johnny Pesky of Seattle, That's Who.

Interesting article by the Seattle Times' Larry Stone about 87 year old Edo Vanni, longtime Seattle baseball fixture, sage, player, and manager - when the Red Sox' AAA team was based there. A lifetime of baseball experience in this man, from cleaning spikes for DiMaggio, overseeing a young Dick Radatz, and ultimately as GM for the Seattle PCL franchise. Nice piece to sit back and have a cup of coffee with..............

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2002178773_edovanni13.html

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Fans Like Wade Miller Signing; Not Boomer

We've been running a "Best Off-Season Acquisition" poll for a while now and the results are a bit surprising (for me anyway).
By a commanding 48% of the votes, Zeitgeist readers think pitcher Wade Miller was Theo's best free agent signing, follwed by Edgar Renteria (29%), and Matts Clement and Mantei at 10% each.
Who's left out of this picture? "Boomer" David Wells - a bonafide MLB starter, though long-in-the-tooth at 42, possibly with a bad back, and bursting at the seams in some places; Wells earned only 3% of the votes.
I think locals are selling Boomer short. He started 31 games last season, went 12-8 with a 3.73 ERA, pitched 195 innings, and had a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (101:20). Boomer also had five scoreless starts and did not issue a walk in 18 of the 31 starts.
I think, if healthy, Boomer may make a bigger impact on the '05 Red Sox than any other off-season move.
Besides, wouldn't it be fun to start Boomer in the ALCS at Yankee Stadium against the Yanks? He'd probably drill Jeter in the ear.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The "Babe Ruth" of Baseball Autograph Collecting Dies

Do you know who Ralph Winnie is (or was)?
If you collect baseball autographs or are interested in that hobby, you should.
Winnie, who died this past week, estimated that there were 15,000 major-league players from 1871 to 1998, and he collected more than 11,000 of their autographs.
According to the Seattle Times story by Susan Gilmore, "When Hall of Fame outfielder Hack Wilson died penniless, Mr. Winnie sent money to his family to help pay for the funeral and the family sent him an autograph of the baseball star."
As far as we know, Winnie achieved this greatness without using steroids as well.
Much more @:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002178471_winnie12m.html

On the same topic: do you like PBS'
"Antiques Roadshow?" Here is an interesting story of one collector owning a souvenir record book and official score book from a 1919 World Series game at Comiskey Park.
http://www.jg-tc.com/articles/2005/02/11/news/news002.txt

Friday, February 11, 2005

Navigators Clear the Air on Baseball in Norwich

Keith Hallal, General Manager of the AA Eastern League Norwich Navigators has issued an open letter to fans and the public regarding the financial history of the club, Dodd Stadium, and the outlook for the team staying in Connecticut. Interesting reading..... ever been to Norwich? You should go starting April 14th.

http://www.gators.com/uploads/dear_editor.htm

Here's a Stick Big Enough to Fix the Steroid Issue

The most intelligent analysis I've seen recently on a possible solution to the steroid mess in baseball comes not from a sports-oriented publication but from CNN-Money magazine. In a terrific piece by Chris Isidore, a CNN/Money senior writer, we learn that the steroid cloud has effectively killed the endorsement gravy train for baseball stars the past winter.
Players, - and agents - are losing significant "revenue streams," because of the scandal, and are likely the real reason the MLBPA agreed to make any changes in the testing policy. Another year of no endorsement dollars could force even Barry Bonds to the altar of truth.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/10/commentary/column_sportsbiz/sportsbiz/index.htm

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Windy City Struggles, Like BeanTown, with Journalistic Standards in Sports

Very nice piece today By Greg Couch in the Chicago Sun-Times on the truth-in-reporting conflict when you are employed - indirectly sometimes - by the team you are covering. Sean McDonough had this problem at NESN it is believed; Jerry Remy's devoted fan base somewhat insulates him from these pressures when he decides to inject a pointed comment. The Sun-Times piece is about broadcaster Steve Stone, and you know it has a ring of truth to it since it reveals, er, that Wendell Kim is a "shaky coach."
Now Steve, be careful about criticizing Nomah...................

http://www.suntimes.com/output/couch/cst-spt-greg10.html

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Wasted Canseco Lays Waste to MLB

The dominant theme for MLB in '05, after a great '04 season, may unfortunately be the Steroid issue in all its ugliness. The NY Daily News previews some of the garbage leaking out of the bottom of the bag from Jose Canseco's new "tell all," book.
Hey, Jose - sit down and shut up.
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/story/278257p-238313c.html