Baseball: Past, Present, And Past

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In today’s baseball update, well, you know the drill by now. There is talk of a theoretical season to be played in unknown locations consisting of an unknowable amount of games to determine something, something, as long as the powers that be can make it profitable. If not, us fans are on our own. On the bright side, maybe, it’s actually looking more likely that something will happen, although I’m not sure I’ll approve of the product they are about to feed us.

“Into the Great Wide Open.”

I have not been on the front lines as I usually am, so I don’t claim privileged information, or even the latest for that matter. I’ve heard rumors of a three-division re-alignment, focused on geographic configurations to reduce travel. These imaginary divisions would eliminate leagues, and I assume adopt the DH and all the other evils that threaten to destroy the game as we know it. I’ve heard suggestions that, hey, while we’re here playing psuedo baseball, we may as well institute the pitch clocks, robo-umps, runners on 2B to begin extra innings, and every other idea that’s been floated to market this boring game to the new generation with the attention span of a tweet.

Heck, we’ve missed the cold spring months, break out the cheerleaders dancing on the dugouts. Anything to distract from the mundane product on the field. And, I almost forgot, play ball!

I’ve seen a lot of this thinking recently, and like I’ve always done in times of anxiety and depression, I turn to real baseball. The future may be uncertain, but unlike any other sport, we have a past. A long and storied and cherished history, something we can hold on to. It’s my comfort zone, my childhood blankie.

I was up this morning and clicked on one of my favorite “This Day In Baseball History” sites, and what is normally a 5-minute browse became a 3-hour tour (a 3-hour tour…). May 1 in baseball history astounded me, and I ate it up and took notes. If you don’t mind me completely nerding out and exposing my utter weakness and star-struckedness when ogling the legends and legendary moments of the game we hold so dear, I’d like to share my morning interwebs rabbit-hole. May I?

A WHOLE LOTTA OF “FIRSTS”

What first caught my attention was the amount of “firsts” that either involved an iconic name or an influential moment that helped shape the game we all love. Some of the greatest players of all time had debuts in one form or another, and there were other moments that shaped the game in ways that diminished its true value and robbed us of the clean competitiveness it should have become.

  • On this day in 1901, Herm McFarland of the White Sox hit the 1st grand slam in American League history, in a 19-9 blowout of (at least that day) hapless Detroit. The Tigers committed 12 errors on the day, 10 of which occurred on the infield. I hesitated to call them hapless, but they were certainly Javy-less.
  • A rotund young man playing RF for the Yankees hit his 50th career HR in the fabled Polo Grounds in 1920. While usually not a moment to be marked in the long history of baseball, it is notable because it is the 1st HR as a Yankee to come off the bat of newly-acquired Babe Ruth. The opponents that day? His old teammates, the Boston Red Sox.
  • (Authors note: One of my personal favorites.) A 17 year-old boy named Jimmie Foxx is summoned from the Philadelphia A’s bench to pinch-hit in his MLB debut in 1925. “The Beast” delivers a single in his 1st AB, on his way to a career .325 average with enough power and production to put him in the conversation of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time.
  • (Author’s note: Another one of my personal favorites) The legendary Satchel Paige took the mound for his 1st professional game in 1926. He tossed a complete-game shutout for the Chattanooga Black Lookouts of the Negro Southern League. Oh my, what could have been…
  • (Author’s note: I should just quit doing these at this point) In 1951, a young Mickey Mantle stepped into the batter’s box at Comiskey Park and blasted the 1st of 536 HR’s in his HOF career. As I’ve stated before, I love Ruth and Williams, Aaron and Mays, but I believe The Mick is the greatest pure talent baseball has ever seen. If not for alcoholism and an unfortunately-placed sprinkler-head divot, he would have proven it.

To finish the “firsts”, as much as I fancy myself fairly well-versed in baseball doings, I’ll admit I didn’t know this, and it’s significant. There’s some tickle of familiarity in the back of my brain, but I couldn’t have told you this before I read it this morning:

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  • On this day in 1884, a Toledo Blue Stockings C by the name of Moses Fleetwood Walker became the 1st “openly” black player to appear in a MLB game. William Edward White is credited as being the first player with African heritage to play in MLB, when he played one game for the Providence Grays in 1879, but he passed himself off as a white man. Moses, whose brother Weldy was briefly his teammate on that same squad, played only that 1884 season at the MLB level, and was the last black player before Jackie Robinson historically and heroically re-integrated baseball in 1947.

AND THE REST…

Beyond the “firsts”, there were many other baseball moments that struck me on this May 1st. Some I watched live (on TV), one I have securely indexed in the baseball encyclopedia in my brain, and one that gave me goose bumps that had absolutely nothing to do with baseball.

  • May 1, 1991 was a busy day for baseball historians. Rickey Henderson surpassed Lou Brock (pardon me while I grab a beer to dampen my memories) on the all-time SB list, swiping 3B for the 939th theft of his career. Ever humble, Rickey launched into one on the great(est) on-field speeches of all-time, and I’m still quite surprised the monologue wasn’t “Rickey is the…”

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  • Also in 1991, the ageless Nolan Ryan (another of the author’s, ah, forget it!) tossed his 7th(!) career no-no while striking out 16 Blue Jays. I’ll never forget watching that game while studying for my Commercial Appraisal final exam the next day in my run-down trailer, and getting a dang “B” on that exam. I was crushed, but I rationalized that the “Ryan Express” did distract me from my studies.

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  • Way-back history: On this date in 1920 (the same day The Babe hit his 1st HR as a Yankee) the longest game in MLB history, by innings, took place at Braves Field in Boston. The 26-inning marathon between the Brooklyn Robins and the Boston Braves ended in a 1-1 tie, called due to darkness, and as some suggest, umpire fatigue. Amazingly, both Brooklyn P Leon Cadore and Boston P Joe Oeschger went the distance, 26 IP apiece. Legend has it that Dusty Baker actually managed both teams, but in my quarantined state, I have not been able to confirm this information. Also in this game, Braves 3B Charlie Pick sets a MLB record by going 0-11 in a single game. I’ve heard of golden, even platinum, sombreros, but this is so unbelievable and other-worldly I have to call this the “tin-foil” sombrero.
  • And finally, on nationally-broadcast Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN in 2011, Phillies and Mets players became confused on the field as the sold-out crowd spontaneously began chanting “USA! USA!”. Players began taking time, checking coach’s signs, and generally not knowing the news that was spreading throughout the fans in the stadium and America. I also recall watching this game, and the live announcement from the POTUS that soon followed. One thing I didn’t recall, until watching the video, was that these chants began in inning number 9, with the score tied 1-1.

That was my morning. How was yours?

 

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  • Sorry, I had some technical difficulties embedding video to accentuate that text. The on-field speech by a completely modest Rickey Henderson is an all-time classic:

    https://youtu.be/lssLGZH9fQM

    Meanwhile, another day at the office for the "Ryan Express":

    https://youtu.be/L9m_Kk4kzAY

    And the day we killed that sick so-and-so:

    https://youtu.be/IvpBivJBK7o

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    Thank you BP for showing me a site I never knew existed--This day in Baseball. How did I not know about it?
    My only quarrel with you is characterizing Babe Ruth as "rotund" in 1920. I've seen pictures of him, and although his face is fairly round his body looks thinnish, not the Babe we came to love later in the 20's.
    You mentioned some great names--Rickey Henderson and Nolan Ryan in particular. People list some records that will never be broken.
    Well, Nolan's 7 no-hitters is pretty much out of reach and Rickey's stolen base record of 1406 is safe too. Even those 2 pitchers who each went 26 innings--we'll never see that again.
    Cy Young's winning 511 games, Nolan's SO record are impossible to reach, but 56 game hitting streak, I can see it. Hack Wilson's 191, with today's jacked ball, is conceivable, but almost all the pitching records, complete games, shut outs, are out of reach.
    Thanks for writing something today, and a very interesting something too. I'll be visiting that site everyday too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, I added rotund just to make it look like I know how to write. Most fans remember him that way, and have seen the grainy video footage of him launching HR's and jogging the bases with his short little strides. But he was obviously an incredibly gifted athlete, and am still in awe that he was able to do what he did with what appeared to be a less-than-ideal physique.

    Many of those pitching records won't even be approached, simply because the game has changed. Players don't pitch complete games every other day the way they used to.

    There are a number of good historical sites. Baseball Almanac is one of my favorites, and I think Nationalpastime.com is where I began my rabbit-hole yesterday. You can search history, and add any date you wish.

  • As always, Barley, thanks for that interesting and fun read.

    I have done my share of ranting about the authenticity of baseball and the dh, but it feels like a losing battle. A change is gonna come, I fear. I term AL baseball as my second favorite sport. Maybe now, with this pandemic, it is as good a time as any to implement the inevitable. Realignment and synchronizing the two leagues. It's going to happen eventually anyway. We old guys might as well bite the bullet now. I miss old Wyigley, but the modernised park s fun too.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thanks, 44. I've accepted that a universal DH is inevitable. It seems as though the other major sports have trended towards tweaking their games to promote offense, and baseball is no different. I've watched games over the years with friends who claim to be "big fans" of a certain team, and they literally go make a sandwich, use the restroom, do household chores, etc. when "their" team is not at-bat. The game doesn't interest them, only watching their team blast HR's.

    As for experimenting with some of the other rule changes, why not? This won't really mean anything, so we might as well work out some bugs regarding a pitch clock or replay challenge tweaks.
    I don't know there would be time to fully implement automated ball/strike calls, but if they're going to do this partial season that doesn't mean anything, might as well get something of value out of it.

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    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I agree. Look at hockey. Overtime used to be a full team vs the other team, but I have to say that I love the 3 on 3 matchups. Even the 3 division proposal sounds good to see the Cubs, Sox and Cardinals in the same division. I'm not sure about starting extra innings with a man at 2nd base, but who knows?
    Let's just get through this without to much more loss of life and difficulty.
    Go Sports, but safely.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I prefer no DH. I never liked the idea of a baseball player not playing defense. It is part of the game being able to excel at both offense and defense. If you no longer can play in the field it is time to hang it up.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Agreed. That's another reason I'm so opposed to players who mainly DH'ed being elected to the HOF. I'm a small-Hall guy at heart, but I just think that players chosen to be included among the best baseball players of all time should be able to, I don't know, play baseball?

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I love defense. I'm completely offended by the DH, but no sense in beating a dead horse. I sucked at D. When I played my coach would ask to take off the boxing gloves. It's why I ended up a catcher. He said 'just keep the ball in front of you'. Actually, I kind of sucked at offense too, against a good pitcher.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I was the opposite as a player. I'm a little guy, a slap hitter, and always played middle infield. Baserunning was my favorite part of playing, nothing else came close. I guess that's why those facets of the game have always been my focus as a fan.

    Full-time DH's in the HOF bug me. I understand hitting is a part of the game and an official position in that other league, and the offensive numbers some have put up make them worthy of consideration. I wonder, though, how much those numbers may have suffered if they had to play defense. How many AB's would have been lost if they were pulled for defensive replacements in tight games? Or, as is often the case in the postseason or interleague games with no DH option, used solely as a pinch-hitter? Platooned for the same reason?That would certainly diminish the counting stats that were accumulated over a career. And don't even get me started on how much of a negative hit the terrible defense would have had on the perception (and analytical assessment) of their true value as a baseball player.

    Billy Hamilton would be a first-ballot HOF'er if all he had to do was play CF and run the bases.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Yep, I liked running the bases as well. I love watching Javy and KB run the bases. I enjoy watching good hitters (Aramis was my favorite), but nothing tops the amazing defense of middle infielders. In a way the DH is an insult.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    And I agree that a DH should at least play part time at a position to be in the Hall.

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    The HOF prioritizes offense to defense. We can argue about the DH but that's all offense. To me, defense is as important. Why isn't Omar Vizquel in the HOF? He was one of the best SS in ML history; 11 GG and also 404 SB (another aspect of the game not appreciated.)
    Paul Blair, a CF for Baltimore had 8 GG and a 4 time WS champion.
    Yadier Molina has 9 GG. These players have dominated their positions and should have more consideration.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Boy Howdy! I think Omar and Yadi get in. Too late for Blair.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Numbers are important when evaluating players for potential HOF enshrinement, and the offensive numbers for position players ring the loudest. I think some of it is laziness, or unfamiliarity, among the voters. I've said a thousand times the only numbers that truly matter in baseball are the ones under the "R" column at the end of a game. The goal is to win the game. So many aspects and nuances of great players are overlooked because "chicks dig the long ball".

    Omar Vizquel should be in. He is one of the greatest shortstops of all time. As much as Cubs fans may disagree, Yadi deserves it too. The way he captained good teams all those years is impressive. There is no way numbers or analytical evaluation can quantify the number of W's he was worth to his team. We may hate him as a DirtyBird, but I'd love to have him on my side.

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    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    He's like Dennis Rodman. We hated him as a Piston, but loved him as a Bull. btw, I hope everyone is watching The Last Dance. It's one of the finest documentaries I've ever seen.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I chose not to watch it because I'm not sure that I trust espn biases. I am also pretty down on the NBA these days. I've been to one Bulls game since Jordan retired and took an hour to play the last two minutes. The game seemed to have the feel of being predetermined. Terrible calls with the opposing teams superstar getting the game winning basket. I felt used.

    I was a huge Jordan/Bulls fan and it sounds as if The Last Dance was pretty well done. I've followed the reviews and I think that I'll give it a look the second time around.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I don't think you'll be disappointed. The film crews had unlimited access too. Let me know.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I agree it is a good series. If you were a fan during the run it will bring back good memories.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I see that ESPN announced a similar documentary following the McGwire/Sosa 1998 HR saga to air on June 14th. I'm sure I'll watch for nostalgia's sake, but I've made my feelings known on that subject quite clearly. I enjoyed that race, any baseball fan who says they didn't is probably lying, but I felt dirty at the time. I knew it was a farce.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I want to watch it to see if John Stockton gives a non-cliche' answer to a question.
    If he does, it'll be the first time!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Paul Blair, probably the best there ever was at playing shallow and going back on balls. A ball almost never landed between Blair and the center field fence.

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    Right now the Kerry Wood game is on the MLB network. It goes until
    5pm CDT.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The most dominant game ever pitched, bar none. I watched that masterpiece in awe.

    For those who like metrics, it still holds the highest Game Score (105) and Game Score 2.0 (112) of any 9-inning game dealt in MLB history. Anyone who says that wasn't the most dominant game in history hasn't watched it.

    And the hit (?) from Ricky Gutierrez off of Kevin Orie's glove is as weak as they get.

    Happy Anniversary on the greatest game ever pitched, Kerry Wood!

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    I forgot that he hit Craig Biggio in the elbow. It was great to watch.
    Another great see is a movie made in 1987 called Long Gone. It stars William Peterson and Virginia Madsen. Just look it up on YuTube. If anyone has the time do yourself a favor and watch it.

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    I wrote this before but it didn't appear so I'll try again. One of my favorite baseball movies, Long Gone, made in 1987 and stars William Peterson and Virginia Madsen (among others) can now be seen on YouTube or just google Long Gone. It really is enjoyable.

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    the administrator keeps looking at my comments.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I found them. I had forgotten about Wood hitting Biggio as well, though it's not surprising. For as great as Wood's performance was he struggled at times with his command and was the beneficiary of a few generous ball/strike calls. "Effectively wild", I suppose.

    I recall some comments from Biggio after the game in the clubhouse. He just seemed unimpressed, and asked the media not to proclaim this young rookie the greatest ever after one decent game. He talked of the Astros lineup having a bad day, rather than Wood throwing a masterful game. I'm sure it was said in competitive frustration, but it just seemed petty and disrespectful to me, and always stuck in my head.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    thanks for releasing my comment BP. I'd love to have a radar gun on Woody that day, and also if there was a way to follow that curve ball to show how much it changed from his hand to where it was caught.
    I loved watching him pitch, and really with Wood and Prior I thought we had the beginning of 10 years of pitching excellence.

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    50 years ago today the basket was installed in Wrigley Field. I love that basket; I don't want any fans interfering with play.
    And, in memory of Little Richard, one of the foundations of Rock and Roll.

    Advisory - the following lyrics contain explicit language:

    Wop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bom-bom
    Tutti Frutti, aw rutti
    Tutti Frutti, aw rutti
    Tutti Frutti, aw rutti
    Tutti Frutti, aw rutti
    Tutti Frutti, aw rutti
    Awop-bop-a-loo-mop alop bom bom

    You just can't write lyrics like that and sing them like that anymore.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Hearing about the passing of Little Richard was a blow. What a legend. I don't even want to think about my life without the artists and art form he so inspired. He is Mount Rushmore of Rock and Roll material.

    I don't know if you were being sarcastic with that advisory, but the original lyrics to that song were very explicit, too much so, and needed to be changed before being released on a major label. He was Rock and Roll before there was Rock and Roll, probably because he dang near invented Rock and Roll. What an icon.

    "Well, I saw Uncle John with long tall Sally.
    He saw Aunt Mary comin' and he ducked back in the alley oh baby.
    Yeah baby, woo baby
    Havin' me some fun tonight, yeah, ow".

    RIP Richard Wayne Penniman, forever immortalized as "Little Richard", and self-proclaimed "Queen of Rock and Roll"

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I wasn't being sarcastic, but hearing those lyrics just rock when Little Richard sings them. I'll have to look for the original ones, but as a young man (born in 1950) he was getting more and more popular as I started listening to music, and then in the early 60's he was it.
    You are right about him being on the Mount Rushmore of R & R. Who else is on there?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I know those lyrics, and that amazes me even more that he was able to rise through that era and that atmosphere with his "demons" (his words).

    Mount Rushmore of Rock and Roll is so subjective. It shouldn't be "my favorites are...". I'd easily go 30 deep, but that would take away the hard decisions of nailing it down to four, wouldn't it?

    Little Richard is there, though there are others with greater and lesser fanfare of his time and genre that should also make the cut. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, etc. They are the crowd that transformed traditional Mississippi Delta Blues into what we now know as Rock and Roll. They are the pioneers. In respect of the current news, I'll put the face at Little Richard, with the knowledge that he didn't do it alone.

    Bob Dylan is a legend. In all honesty, I don't consider him a great influencer of Rock and Roll per se, but of songwriting. He was the one who began injecting poetry and social awareness in place of the popular "Awop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bam-boom" refrains of the time. I've always said that Rock and Roll is nothing but poetry set to music. That's what it became, because of Dylan.

    I'd have to include some representation from the British Invasion, and that would have to be the Beatles. In just a few years, they nearly single-handedly transformed popular music from bubblegum "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to "A Day in the Life". See how that marries the influences of Little Richard and Bob Dylan? You can pick one face off of the Beatles, either John or Paul, and if you choose Paul, you're incorrect.

    One spot left, and this is where subjectivity (and personal preference) comes into play. My favorite band is Black Sabbath. I'm fully aware they are not the finest musical technicians or eloquent lyricists of all time, but what they did was original and raw, unheard of at the time. They put to tune the angst and repression of an angry youth, and brought edge to harmony. That's the Rock and Roll spirit, and changed the course of popular musical composition.

    So, if I had to:

    Little Richard (with the huge * that there were others) for pioneering.

    Bob Dylan for lyrics and social awareness.

    John Lennon (and mates) for cultural significance and popular integration of different genres.

    Ozzy Osborne for the attitude and raw power that intrigues so many attracted to Rock and Roll in the first place.

  • fb_avatar

    That's a really hard one. What is Rock and Roll and can an influence be so great 30 years after it started?
    Little Richard
    Elvis for his popularizing R&R around the world.
    I love Dylan and he started in folk and then wrote brilliant songs as you well know and became more political as he progressed.
    The Beatles, esp Lennon and McCartney.
    I have to say that I don't know much about heavy metal so I can't address that.

  • Here is the cold hard truth about the corona virus. We can't stop it from killing vulnerable folks like me right now. We have no vaccine. Maybe some day in a year, 5years, or ,then again, maybe never. There are things one can do. We can wash hands frequently, social distancing , and other precautions recommended, but we have to go to work, or most will not have a livelihood to live in. If the young and healthy cower in their homes it's over. There will be a new normal for a time, but all jobs are essential. Baseball too!

  • I'm glad you mention all jobs are essential.
    When government can deem your job as non essential there is a big problem. Every job helps pay your bills, puts food on your table, provides shelter, etc.
    Time to reopen safely

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    That's it. Food, water, and shelter are the essentials, and the freedom to procure them for yourself and your family is what this country was founded upon. As is the danger of failure if you are unable to due to a lack of skill or general competence. The decision of the individual is a cornerstone of our nation. That includes looking out for your neighbor and building sustainable communities.

    There are too many entities using the current crisis as a leverage point, and that unfortunately includes baseball. The negotiation process between owners and the player's union to salvage even a partial 2020 season has gone public, which is never good. The powerful members of the ruling class are having a buffet of excesses at the expense of us peons, which isn't the way America is supposed to work.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    The consequences of staying locked down can be just as deadly as the virus

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    I am retired, but am also a photographer. I'm also almost 70 but am in good shape, but I don't know when I'll feel comfortable enough to shoot someone, even shooting outside. With no treatment and no cure we all have to be very careful. How is baseball going to open up and not have players, coaches, club house workers, etc test positive, at least someone will. What then, does everything shut down?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I don't think that baseball shuts for a case or two, but those who test positive would, of course, isolate. As the country opens embers similar to the food processors will metastasis and they will be dealt with as needed. A national spike might shut things back down. We will see.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Gyms, bars and big crowds could be problematic.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    Have you seen the pictures of the beaches and parks and restaurants where they have opened? People are shoulder to shoulder without wearing masks. Just wait for about 2 weeks and see the numbers spike. I can't blame people for wanting to get out, but wearing a mask is not to much to ask. It protects all of us--wearing a mask protects you from me and vice versa. It's one thing if when someone catches a disease and you can go to a doctor and get medicine or even get a vaccine, but with no cure or help catching it is, to use your word 44, problematic.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yes it is, but if the economy tanks, this country will blow! When regular people lose everything they have, they get desperate and all bets are off. Stock up on ammo, Johnathan.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You are over stating the value of a mask, It is more important to social distance and wash your hands.
    The pictures of the beaches were taken from an angle they made it look like it was over crowded. The lifeguards and police all said people respected the social distancing guidelines.
    States have opened up and there has not been a spike

  • In reply to 44slug:

    They will be open when the meet the guidelines laid out. I believe they are in phase 3

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Agree Wait, I was pointed out the worst case scenario. I'm not sure anyone knows exactly how this is going to look going forward, but we all should realize that it won't be pretty. If one lives in a gated community and can sit in front of their 25k freezer eating speciality ice cream you are probably going to be safer. I'm not knocking the rich if earned. but most have to work to live. Specializing and exercising in the open air seems pretty safe with a little common sense.

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    Jonathan : We had better pray that there is no spikes and 2nd wave . Remember the 1918 Swine Flu Pandemic, very much like this one , first wave , then the 2nd one killed 675,000 Americans at a time our country was 1/3 the population it is now. It almost wiped out the entire population of the city of Philadelphia . or is History Fake news now ?

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    In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    I know. The states opening up and the beaches being crowded--the spike won't happen now but wait for about 2 weeks and then we'll see. I truly hope that the curve continues downward but when the weather gets nice people want to get out. I don't live in a gated community (and who are those people kidding about being safe, if someone wants to get in, they'll get in.) I live in a suburb so I can walk outside and not feel confined, but people living in small apartments with children and no where to go, I can understand it. All I'm saying is that wear a mask (for my protection) and wash your hands. I don't have wipes, but wash a lot, and it's pretty easy to get used to washing 20 secs.
    Be safe everyone.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    True enough. All have a personal responsibility to keep the virus in check. Stilll, life has never been risk free and freedom has always required responsible citizens. Governors and mayors ate not dictators or legislators.

  • Being outside and on the beach you are 20 times less likely to catch the virus than staying confined in your house.

    I wear a mask when shopping for groceries or going to Target.

    I watched Dr Fauci say how little protection a mask gives 6 weeks ago and now he wants everyone wearing a mask.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Criticizing Fauci huh. Your watching too much of your leaders fav news channel. Just take your shot of Clorox and get some rest.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    No politics pal. Number one rule of this website.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Old 7, you crack me up. I can tell, your a ‘foxy’ guy.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Says the dope who can’t follow one simple rule. Simpleton.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I'm not criticizing Fauci - just stating a fact

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    The mask doesn't protect you much at all. What it does do, and this has been Fauci's take all along, It keeps you from spreading the virus. Coughs and sneezes are contained. So if everyone wears one, it protects you.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    My wife made a Cub themed mask for me. I'm actually at the stage of life where I look better with it. Some might argue that, that was always the case.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    NYTimes article today about how just talking can produce droplets that linger in the air up to 14 minutes.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Nytimes has as much credibility as mad magazine. As a matter of fact, it is a rag!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Your a real Archie Bunker aren’t ya, lol.
    A genuine MAGA man, you are, ol7.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Hilirious my comment gets under your skin. Fragile much? Go to your screaming room dope!

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    C'mon, man. The reply button expired on this thread, so this is addressed to everyone. This is a baseball site. We are currently discussing other topics because they are having a direct impact on baseball. Please honor the tradition of respect and civility we have always afforded each other on this site, and refrain from purely political statements.

    Thank you.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    What is your point?
    Provide a link and highlight what you think is relevant

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    NYTimes is behind a firewall but here is the link.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/14/health/coronavirus-infections.html

    I'm sorry if you found my post political. I felt the issue of wearing masks relevant to baseball and public health in general. Wasn't meant as a put down.

  • Here is the good news y'all. Baseball is coming back. It looks like mlb is putting together a pretty good little season. There is nothing America cannot do when we put our heads together. However this virus turns, flattened, spiked,or fading. getting baseball back will help. This is a terrific phase 3 occurrence. Nothing like a World Series championship to ease the despair. Go Cubs!

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    Some baseball news. Yesterday was the anniversary of Ernie hitting his 500th HR and today Mickey Mantle hit his 500th. Two of my favorite players but I was (and still am) a huge Mantle fan. Even with his injuries he was a great, great player. Think Mike Trout good with both power and speed and defense with a great hitter’s eye too.

  • Just heard some players want full pay of their salaries for an 82 game regular schedule.
    I am not in favor or agreement in that ....at all!

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Again, I'll admit I'm not as currently up to date as usual, but from what I understand, the players aren't fighting for "full" salary. The negotiations now are centered around prorated salaries (half a season = half pay), and ownership is fighting the MLBPA over that, since no fans will equal lower revenues. It's a complex issue, one that we're not fully privy to.

    In this instance, I side with the players. Full prorated pay. If they play 80 games, then full salary divided by 162 X 80. The loss of revenue is an inherent risk of ownership. They reap the rewards and shoulder the risk. I've ran businesses my whole life. Employees and vendors get paid, period. Their job is not dependent upon revenue, they did their job and they get paid. If I screw up or something unforseen arises, that's on me, not them.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    If pro rated then I’m good with that.....I’d even be willing to let them have a full year of service time but Snell rubbed me wrong.....sounded awfully entitled and out of touch....

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    Blake Snell wants all his pay, not prorated. He says the risk doesn't match the reward for playing for half his pay--which is about $3.5M.
    What about the risk meat workers or restaurant servers are taking and taking for a lot less than millions of $. If it's that risky then don't play, I can understand that. I hope most players don't feel like that.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    If teams can't field thier best players, play with those who will give their best.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    MLB needs baseball. Prima donnas need not apply. They usually don't show up when he game is on the line anyway. Sports has he enough divas.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    have enough divas.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Exactly Jonathan

  • Sorry about those disjointed comments late last night. I was a little angry. Blake needs to rethink his take on this pandemic shortened season. Many fans are losing everything and he won't play unless he gets all his millions. When his team takes the field, Snell should be there doing his best.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Snell had a decent point of argument, but he's such a spoiled brat that he blew it. His tone and delivery was so out of touch he missed his target badly. He used the health risk sympathy card as a crutch, and then shot himself in the foot.

    I'd love to see baseball as much as all of you, and I think something will happen. But make no mistake, this isn't about some heroic effort by baseball to bring hope and happiness to a suffering nation. It's all about $ and who gets what. Until that is decided, we won't be saying "Play Ball!".

    And just a friendly reminder: Don't believe everything you read in the news. Nearly all of this coverage of the negotiation process is agenda-driven, and there is so much more behind the scenes that is really dictating what will happen. This has always been true, but this current crisis has brought out the "steroid era" of media manipulation.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    Well, baseball would sure be doing their sport a positive if they can salvage their season. A fight over money just looks greedy in some really tough times. All need to think big picture.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agree 100%. This is a unique opportunity for baseball to pick up some new fans, something they claim to prioritize.

    I just find it humourous that folks think they're going to do it for the good of the country. They won't, until they figure out how to cash in.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    New fans will put money in the bank over time.

  • In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I'd do it for the country. I think Riz would. Javy would probably play for minimum wage ans find a second job to feed the family.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Schwarbs could work the night shift at the firehouse occasionally.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree with the thoughts on Rizzo, Javy, and Schwarber. I think many would, but they are bound within the constraints of the player's union.

    If you know anything about Schwarber and his off-field life, you know he would single-handedly eliminate this virus if he could. Dude's a warrior.

  • So grateful cubs didn’t sign Bryce Harper

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    I didn't think they were even considering him. A 300+ million contract will cause budget problems for any team. Hopefully we can sign one of our own superstars, Bryant/Baez/Schwarber. I don't think we can get them all. I would be happy with one.

  • In reply to John57:

    I don't think so either. That was media hype. Looks to me Javy is the only one they are trying hard to extend.

  • In reply to John57:

    That too but I was referring more to his and Nolan arrenado backing up Blake snell. Poor Blake trying to get by on 7 mil/year or whatever he makes. I hope he gets Latrell sprewelled. As terry boers used to say”what an asshat”.

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    If Blake Snell pitched as well as he talked there’s no way he wins the Cy Young Award.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    :).

    I've had a couple blowups during my years here. The biggest was my breaking news that Tampa had finally offered Snell in a package for Javy, or vice-versa, back in 2015. I'm glad that didn't happen.

  • However you fall on the subject, wash your hands often, cover your face and keep your families safe. My business is conventions and corporate meetings. The outlook is not promising for a quick return to business as usual. I am ready to get back to work. I like to work. When not on the road, I’m in the office at 5. But like the rest of you, I’m a long time Cubs fan that knows his Cubs’ history. I remember being told many times how the first Cubs game was 2 months before Little Bighorn. While I’m ready to go, I’m not interested in being General Custer. I’d like to know what is over hill before I cannot turn back. Again, wash your hands, cover your face and avoid high risk areas. Protect yourself and families. We can rebuild the economy.

  • This is a good take. Thank you.

    It's all about personal responsibility. We are Americans, and we have freedom no other nation has. Our open society leaves us vulnerable to communicable diseases and terrorist attacks, but that's the cost of freedom. Assess your own risk, and conduct yourself accordingly.

    There will always be ignorant, uninformed people. That's another cost of freedom.

  • I'm reading that some of the big names would choose not to play. I'm in favor of orgs going without them. It's not going to be a real season anyway, but it would still be a fun and competitive one. Fans will discover some new stars. Failure to produce a half season would be a huge mistake. Some who sit it out might loose their spot to a Lou Gerhig breakout.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Not to mention, one could still get the virus or injure themselves training.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It will be a real season and winning the World Series will count the same as any other year.
    If the Cubs won the WS you wouldn't consider it real?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Poor choice of a word on my part. Atypical would be be better. I absolutely will consider the WS real no matter who wins.

  • ARod had a rational view on the season. Basically, he just pointed out that these are just not normal times. There are no profits to share. Without fans orgs will loose millions. Owners and players have to put the game first for now, and for its future. Nobody asked for this, but here we are.

  • Are the owners and players union in a standoff? Is time getting short to salvage a 2020 season. How many fans will not return, ever?

  • They still have a couple weeks to negotiate a deal.
    I really believe they will start the season July 4th.
    They will start the years with no fans. As it gets safer to gather in large crowds fans will return.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Hope so, a fight between millionaires would not be viewed favorably in this climate.

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    12 years ago today Jon Lester threw a no-hitter in Fenway Park. Some good memories on a dreary day.

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    A little off topic but I'm writing to BP, and others hopefully too.
    If you go to Google.com a doodle and today is israel Kamakawiwo'ole's birthday and you can see a doodle of him singing. He is one of my favorites.
    Maybe a Cubs fan, to tie it in to Cubs Den.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I had never heard of him, but I have now. Thanks, Jonathan. Beautiful voice, and a calming aura. I listened to his biggest hit "Over the Rainbow", and really dug his cover of "Take Me Home Country Road". The latter especially had a Bob Marley vibe, with hints of being a Jimmy Buffet figure of the Pacific Islands.

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    In reply to Mike Pilbean:

    I'm glad I could introduce someone new to you. Over the rainbow is one of my favorite all time songs. As big as he was his voice was as light as the feather in Forrest Gump. One of Hawaii's all time treasures. I play him sometimes as I walk and get lost in his songs.

  • Everyday, that the orgs and players fail to reach an agreement for the 2020 season, fans will walk away from the game. If has nothing to do with what is fair, what is safe, or who is right. Most fans think players are overpaid and spoiled anyway. Baseball will take a hit that will take years to come back from, if ever. Paying fans will leave in droves. Baseball is entertainment, but not essential. Folks will fine other ways to pass the time. The choice for owners and players is 'don't pay me now or don't pay me ever'.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    As I understand it, “Spring Training” wouldn’t begin until June 1, so there is no need to come to an agreement now.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    The sooner the agreement the better it looks to fans, and the more convenient for the orgs/players.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Negotiations need a deadline. They will get a deal done and we will get to watch baseball.
    In the meantime I don't want to hear the 2 sides complaining how they are going to divide up millions

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    44 ; I'am 85 years old and been a die hard Cub Fan my whole life . pitched my high school team to Illinois State Baseball Champions . in other words loved the game for 75+ years . If they bring it back with DH , Robo Umps , timed plays like football , etc . It will be hard to keep my interest . it won't be baseball that I love Ron

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    Agree, but it looks like that's what will happen. Serenity prayer. Robo Umps should smooth out the advantage for superstar pitcher and batter calls. Framing will become obsolete. There is too much down time between pitches.

  • In reply to Ronald Dietzler:

    Preach on, Mr. Dietzler! As I wrote, I agree with these concerns. What compounds the whole situation is the fact that this aberration of a season will effect next year as well, which happens to be the last of the current CBA. There will be many people in positions of power seeking to take advantage of the current crisis to leverage future negotiations. We see it everywhere.

    I'm on board with Jon Lester. Let's play ball this season no matter what it takes, but these concessions need to be temporary.

    I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the loyal readers we have here (myself very much included). These are tough times, and content is low. As I've stated before, it's hard to get enthused to write about baseball when there is no baseball. Other sites do, and please continue following them as that is their livelihood. Cubs Den has always been a free labor of passion among the writers and valued community. I'm heartened to see us still commenting on a piece I wrote nearly a month ago. This is community, and I think that is important. Thank you.

    I'm working on a new article, and hope to have it up in a day or two. Unfortunately, it's short on details and positive news because, well, I ain't going to make up what's not there. We're all in this boat together. I will try to take a longer view of the current situation as it pertains to our Cubs, and unfortunately it isn't pretty.

    Thanks again for keeping me company, and trying to retain some semblance of normalcy.

    "We were the first band to vomit in the bar.
    And find the distance to the stage too far.
    Meanwhile it's getting late at ten o'clock.
    Rock is dead they say...
    Long live rock."

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    I would like to remember and honor all those Cubs Den Denizens who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country, and all of you who served and put on the uniform. You are not forgotten.

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