A few years ago, after sketching the Hall of Fame cases for one year’s ballot, my comments on Edgar Martinez prompted a reply from one of his more die-hard fans. The gentleman suggested Martinez was not just a throwback player but a notch above several modern-era players, one of whom was Chipper Jones.
A certain Yale University professor of Renaissance literature turned Yale president had no such ambition when he was a boy in New England. “I wanted more than anything,” baseball’s eventual commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti once said, “to be Bobby Doerr.”
When Giamatti became president of the National League, before his sadly short-lived commissionership, he met the former Red Sox second baseman and told him, shamelessly, that he admired him more than any baseball player he ever saw growing up.
“I have dreamed about owning a A5 since I retired!” Roy Halladay exclaimed on his Twitter account, after purchasing the Icon single-engine, two-seat monoplane in October. “Real life is better then my dreams!!” How could the former pitching great know bettering his dream would end up taking his life at 40?
However Alex Cora fares as the Red Sox’s new manager, in one way Red Sox Nation can say thank you to Manny Ramirez for at least half the likelihood that Cora got the job in the first place. Try to stop laughing.
After the Indians signed Cora as a free agent for 2005, the more than useful utility infielder was dealt to the Red Sox almost a month before the 2005 non-waiver trade deadline.
Opt-out clauses in player contracts often bewilder fans and sometimes wreak havoc, as did Alex Rodriguez when he exercised his during the 2007 World Series. Now they could wreak either benefit or havoc when players don’t exercise them. Consider these who’ve decided to stay put rather than opt out:
* Masahiro Tanaka—The Yankees right hander could have opted out of the final three years of his deal. Instead, he chose not to exercise the option. That takes a top of the line starting pitcher off the winter market. It also gives the Yankees a kind of hometown discount since Tanaka could have commanded more on the open market than the $67 million he’s due on the final three years.
It’s bad enough that the goat business isn’t really going out of business in sports. Now the goat has to apologise on broadcast camera?
A TMZ reporter caught up with Yu Darvish this weekend. With camera. Asking Darvish how he was feeling, two or three days after the Astros made an inning-and-two-thirds pinata out of him for the second time in two World Series starts.
The World Series is all over except for the Astros’ victory parade today. The hot stove is at 375 degrees and climbing, little by little. And anyone who isn’t thinking about what’s going to go into the oven either a) wants to be surprised come spring training (which is a mere 102 days away, thank God); or, b) is a baseball fan for the postseason alone.
For real baseball fans, however, be not surprised . . .
Give Yu Darvish credit. He owned this one and didn’t flinch. He went out to start Game Seven of the World Series, got torn apart in an inning and two thirds, and felt even worse for letting down the team he appreciated for giving him another postseason shot in the first place.
Especially because his previous Series start, in Game Three, went the same way, only with one less run against him.
When you’re a 56-year-old baseball team blasted inside out in grief for your hurricane-battered home city, and you feel there’s too little you can do to remove your city’s suffering, there’s really only one thing you can do. You can go out and play baseball and give your city a lift that can’t be paid for.
The good news: This World Series gets to a Game Seven, after all, for the second straight season and the third in four seasons. Depending on your point of view, the bad news: As this Series has gone, Game Six was just a little too full of something resembling normalcy.
With this Series mostly playing like The Twilight Monty Elsewhere, there was just something wrong with getting a mere Mike & Molly Tuesday night. Game Six was pleasant. Amusing. Sometimes revealing. That about exhausts it.