Friday, November 16, 2001

It breaks your heart

The late A. Bartlett Giamatti, a former commissioner of MLB and professor of classics at Yale, wrote regarding baseball: "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart."

The past couple of days, baseball has really broken my heart, but I'm not sure it's the kind of heartbreak Giamatti had in mind. What's got me really down is the whole racism thing that is polluting baseball now as much as it ever did.

Whether Dave Stewart was the victim of racism by not getting the GM job in Toronto or not, the fact is that racism is does exist in MLB. It just has to. How else can you explain that there have only have been 3 African-American GMs in the history of the game?

Then, if that isn't bad enough, you've got guys like Carl Everett who attempt to play the race card to cover up for his actions that are ignoble and deplorable no matter what color your skin. And you've got GMs like Duquette who go out of their way to act as apologists for the behavior.

I can deal with the Red Sox losing. I can deal with Game 6, 1986. But the kind of crap I'm seeing in the game of baseball these days makes me wonder why I'm still a fan. We seem to be moving backwards rather than forward (and I'm not even talking the problems between players and owners).

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Nomo san

Evidently there is some optimism on the possibility of resigning Hideo Nomo.

''Hideo was very comfortable playing there,'' Nomura said. ''He loves his teammates and had a very good time there in Boston. He thinks if everything is put together and people come back from injuries, they'll have a good chance next year'' (Edes and Hohler, The Boston Globe).

Man, it seems like a lifetime ago that Nomo through that no hitter against Baltimore last April. Although he wasn't too terrific in the 2nd half the '01 season (5-6, 5.34), I'd personally really like to see him wearing Red Sox uniform at the start of 2002. And I'm not referring just to his pitching ability but to the intangible cool factor of having a funky throwing Japanese guy on your team. Win or lose, Nomo never fails to put a smile on my face when I see him on the mound.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001


Well, you know in baseball they say it ain't over 'til it's over, and I'm finding that, yeah, it's over. I don't have a scrap of Red Sox news to write about this morning.

But check this out from the police blotter of the local paper in Corpus Christi:

Police blotter: 11/12/01
1400 Peabody Avenue: A 19-year-old woman told police that someone spread beans all over her pickup, broke the windshield and flattened the tires.

Beans? Someone spread beans all over her pickup? I wonder if they were refritos or if they were borracho or maybe charro beans? Either way, it's a pretty innovative form of retribution. Yeah, the flat tires and broken windshield is a cliche, totally unimaginative. But the beans? Now that is creative.

Having lived in Corpus Chrisiti, Texas from 1993-1999, I can tell you it's a place unlike any other. When I lived there, I used to get the paper just to read the blotter (this was before they went online with things) and even now the blotter continues to be a source of amusement and inspiration for me. Ah, humanity ...

Monday, November 12, 2001

Hot Stove Amusement

Not much on the news front. Mark McGuire is retiring. Whoop-tee-doo. Sorry, I've never been much of a McGuire fan. Yeah, the chase to '61 with Sosa and all that was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing McGuire hit those heroic moonshots in the homer derby at the Fenway All Star game in '99. But I won't notice his retirement.

Meanwhile, if you need a diversion as the days grow colder and you fancy yourself a baseball historian, this SimSeries from MLB is something you'll want to check out. According to MLB:

  • The field includes at least one team from each Major League Baseball club, plus the '44 Browns, '24 Senators, and the 2001 Yankees and Diamondbacks.
  • Players fill out brackets trying to pick as many winners as possible. The player with the most points wins.

I'll probably fill out the brackets just for amusement, since there isn't much else going on involving baseball except the thoroughly depressing contraction debate; however, I don't stand much chance of picking too many winners except my pure random luck. My knowledge of baseball history gets pretty weak once I step out of the insular world of Red Sox yore.