There’s a new line of underwear out there called Tommy John. Unfortunately for baseball fans, it isn’t the creation of the former pitcher, which is kind of a shame. There go your opportunities for beefing up John’s Hall of Fame case by observing, “Jim Palmer only posed in his underwear; Tommy John up and created his.”
Shooting or brushing back the messenger is two things. One is bad form. The second is that, until or unless the message is demonstrably libelous or slanderous, it rarely works to the shooter’s advantage. It doesn’t keep people from trying. And it doesn’t keep those folks from looking foolish. (Donaldus Minimus, call your office. You too, Hilarious Rodent Clinton.)
Thirty years ago, LaMarr Hoyt—in the Padres’ silks, following a winter 1984-85 trade that made a White Sox of Ozzie Guillen—became the almost unlikely All-Star Game MVP. A month and a half later, what began as a tiny shoulder twinge had exploded into something making it difficult if not impossible to pitch.
And thus the beginning of the end for a pitcher who’d recently ruled the American League, winning its 1983 Cy Young Award and leading the league in wins in back to back seasons, and who’d become infamous soon enough for a series of drug issues that we know now to have been tied directly to what ended his career somewhat prematurely.
No, silly, the son of the Hall of Fame outfielder did not shoot across the field with nothing on but the stadium public address system. But Earl Averill, Jr.—an outfielder-catcher who died 13 May at 83 in Tacoma, Washington—accomplished something in 1962 that neither his father nor any Hall of Famer managed to do.
This weekend began with the publication of a remarkable interview Minnie Minoso gave to ESPN’s Christina Kahrl, in which he admitted his disappointment that the Golden Era Committee didn’t elect him or any of its other candidates to the Hall of Fame in December.
“Don’t tell me that maybe I’ll get in after I pass away,” Minoso told Kahrl. “I don’t want it to happen after I pass. I want it while I’m here, because I want to enjoy it.” Two days after that interview appeared, Minoso died at 90, apparently due to issues with his heart. The physical organ, that is. When it came to heart as in heart, there were few endowed better.
Gil Hodges is getting another crack at the Hall of Fame. So are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant, and Maury Wills. So is Bob Howsam, who built the Big Red Machine. Thank the Golden Era Committee, one of the three committees mandated to replace the former Veterans Committee to review the Hall of Fame credentials of those who didn’t quite make the Baseball Writers Association of America cuts in the past.
Let’s see. A harmless Milwaukee Brewers fan disgusted over Ryan Braun shows up at Miller Park last Wednesday. She shows her contempt for Braun’s duplicitous behaviour by wearing a T-shirt replica of Braun’s uniform jersey—with “F” and “D” replacing “B” and “N” in Braun’s name above the familiar number 8. And Miller Park security offers a choice between turning the shirt inside-out or leaving the ballpark.
That’s one less top arm on the market and one marquee third baseman extended a year at least. Jake Peavy has signed a three-year, $29 million extension with the Chicago White Sox, while David Wright’s $16 million 2013 option was picked up by the New York Mets, both moves coming Tuesday.
For Peavy and the White Sox it’s what both sides hope will equal building further on 2012, during which the White Sox looked like they might win the American League Central until the up-and-down Detroit Tigers took advantage of a late-stretch White Sox fade.
. . . because Neftali Feliz—out since May with a right elbow tear following an impressive beginning to his life as a starter—will need Tommy John surgery to repair it and is expected to be away from the team until the middle of 2013.
The Texas Rangers had already lost Colby Lewis for the season to surgery for a torn elbow flexor tendon, which made it an urgency to chase and land Dempster before the non-waiver trade deadline. Now they lose Feliz, who looked as though he were coming along well in three rehab starts at Round Rock (AAA) until elbow discomfort scratched him from a fourth start Sunday.
Whatever speculation there might have been (there was some) about whom the San Diego Padres might have thought about moving, there’s one candidate off the streets now: ESPN reports the Padres have signed closer Huston Street to a two-year extension, worth $14 million, including a 2015 team option that could make the deal worth $21 million to the righthanded All-Star, who’s 2-0 with an 0.91 ERA and all seventeen of his save opportunities converted through this writing.
For Street it seems almost like calling it home at last.