Baseball injuries should mean never having to say you’re sorry

Buchholz, who's apologised for something that should require no apology.

Buchholz, who’s apologised for something that should require no apology.

Clay Buchholz, Phillies pitcher, recuperating from surgery to repair a small tear in his flexor pronator mass, showed up at Citizens Bank Park Wednesday to see the Phillies tangle with the Marlins. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, a sober reporter, reported Buchholz apologised to general manager Matt Klentak “and others.”

Apologised, mind you.

Another sober reporter, NBC’s Bill Baer, says Buchholz was out of line. Not in the way you usually think when you see that phrase. “It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job,” Baer writes.

Dave Henderson, RIP: Big smile, big hits, big man

Dave Henderson (right, next to Calvin Schiraldi) after he helped bludgeon a 1986 pennant away from the Angels.

Dave Henderson (right, next to Calvin Schiraldi) after he helped bludgeon a 1986 pennant away from the Angels.

It’s a longtime baseball cliche that little men come up big in the clutch when you least expect it. The complementary cliche is the one about big men who aren’t as big as they look until you least expect it or you liberate them from an impossible world.

A neglected golden anniversary: the punch that flattened Bo Belinsky

Bo Belinsky, the devilish Angel . . .

Bo Belinsky, the devilish Angel . . .

No, I didn’t think the 25th anniversary of Pete Rose’s banishment from baseball could possibly go unnoticed, unremarked, and unanalysed, either. The notices, remarks, and analyses seem infinite even a day after the actual anniversary.

Some of them are interesting, some of them are boilerplate, and now and then you bump into one that scores the way Rose once scored runs: unequivocal, a shade on the merciless side, a shade on the side of straining to understand, but unapologetic about the proper conclusion that, for all the time that’s passed, Rose hasn’t exactly earned reinstatement to baseball.

Rarities? Great Players, Becoming Great Managers

Most baseball analysts blurt out observations that beg for further examination here and there. Ken Rosenthal, the Fox Sports writer and commentator, and one of the best analysts of the breed, is one of them. Here he is, musing about Don Mattingly’s growth as a manager in light of having had “three strikes” against him when he took the command post for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year: He had never managed in the majors or minors. He had to exert greater authority over players who knew him only as a coach. And he had been a great player — a drawback, seeing as how great players rarely make great managers. 

Pick Allen for the Hall?

There are those who continue to press a Hall of Fame case for Dick Allen, too. To many, it’s as off-the-wall as it comes, considering the trajectory of his career knitted to the controversies that bristled around the uncommonly talented third/first baseman.

Statistically, Allen belongs. There’s no question about it. It only began with his rookie season; he wasn’t just the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1964, he may have posted one of the ten greatest rookie seasons of all time. In fact, Allen’s rookie season does compare rather well to Joe DiMaggio’s.

A Devilish Angel

Fifty years ago, a rakish, flaky, and talented lefthanded pitcher, who thought he’d reached his final end in the Baltimore Orioles organisation, sat at his parents’ home in Trenton, New Jersey. He’d just returned from pitching winter ball in Venezuela, helping lead his team to the playoffs. Now, he pondered a meager, minimum-salary contract offer from the Los Angeles Angels, who’d plucked him from the Baltimore Orioles organisation in a minor league draft the previous November.

Maybe We Get Our Goats at Last

Now, this is more like it.

Less than a full day after the Texas Rangers lost a World Series they came to within a strike of winning twice in two innings, Nelson Cruz–who promised to sign autographs at a Mesquite, Texas sporting goods establishment after the Series, no matter whether the Rangers won or lost–was slightly stunned to see four hundred people show up, none of whom had murder in their hearts.

“I was shocked to see all the people. It made me feel happy and it made the pain go away quickly,” the right fielder told reporters. “It definitely shows how good they are as fans. They support us all year. They’re behind us whatever happens.”