Since I began this blog more than five years ago, I've gotten to write for and manage maybe the most substantial Cleveland Indians fan site on the internet, and to accept an award honoring Let' Go Tribe as Cleveland's best sports website. My name has appeared in Sports Illustrated and a number of newspapers, including the New York Times, and has been mentioned on Baseball Tonight and during a couple of MLB broadcasts. Probably none of that would have happened if while perusing the sports section on the morning of Monday, June 8, I hadn't decided to have a third bowl of cereal. During my first and second bowls, I'd been reading coverage of the previous day's NBA Finals game, in which the Bulls had obliterated the Jazz 96-54 (still the most lopsided Finals game in history), but by the third bowl of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch I had turned to the baseball page. My Indians had beaten the Reds 6-1, led by a strong outing from Dave Burba, who also became the first Tribe pitcher to hit a home run since before the designated hitter was introduced in 1973. I was checking other box scores when I saw that Greg Maddux had shut out the Orioles and thrown only 99 pitches.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Friday, June 30, 2017
- Charles Morse
I don't know if Alex Rodriguez owns a plane or not, but he certainly could, having earned more than $400 million as a ballplayer, plus whatever endorsement money he collected over the years. He debuted at a very young age, was great almost immediately, and looked likely to challenge many of the most storied records in the game. What a weird, pathetic path his career eventually wandered though. I spent years strongly disliking him, rooting against him and the teams he played for, but by the end he'd been vilified beyond any reasonable measure, and if he weren't categorically disqualified from pity, I think I'd have felt sorry for Alex Rodriguez.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
After graduating from college, I returned home for a few months until I could figure out the next step. Around the time I moved back in, a pair of cardinals built their nest in a bush in our backyard. Soon there was a pair of speckled eggs. Before long they hatched, and over the next couple weeks the babies went from hatchlings to fledglings. On Father's Day the two of them ventured from the nest for the first time, hopping around in the yard as their parents kept a watchful eye and did whatever it is birds might do to help their young. Dad and I stayed at a distance and watched as they flapped and flailed around on the ground, slowly showing signs of figuring out how to use their wings. In the middle of the afternoon a squirrel killed one of them. The mother and father moved closer to their surviving chick, the better to prevent a similar fate from befalling it. Dad and I got closer too, and a couple hours later we celebrated in the fading daylight when that little bird took proper flight.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
If you've read much of my writing, you're likely aware that when I was a kid, baseball cards were a huge deal to me, really taking off when Topps released its classic 1987 set, the one with the wood paneling trim. I say they were a huge deal when I was a kid, but it's not as though I ever entirely let them go. Last summer in fact, I spent hours over the course of my weeks off from teaching loosely organizing the thousands and thousands of cards I had in a couple of large cardboard boxes in the basement. First I sorted them by sport (because I had a few football and basketball cards as well, along with some Star Wars and Marvel superhero cards too. Then I sorted the baseball cards by brand. There were Donruss and Fleer, Bowman and Score, Upper Deck and O-Pee-Chee. By far the largest pile was the Topps one though. My first love, and always to remain my greatest. And because of that, when I came upon something new today, I beamed with excitement the way I would have when I pulled a Kirby Puckett or a Bo Jackson from a pack as a kid.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Friday, March 31, 2017
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Larry Jones Jr.'s father was a baseball coach, and when the boy took to baseball at a young age, his family saw it as a sign that he was a "chip off the old block," which is why they began to call him Chipper. Two players still to come in this countdown are the sons of former Major League players, and a number of others on the list had a father or other close family member who played college or semi-pro ball. I wonder how much more likely a child is to become a great player if they grow up with someone who was a great player. And whatever the difference is, how much of it is the actual genes, how much of it is having someone in your life who can teach you the skills, how much of it is the connections that family member may have, and how much of it is having someone who's trying to bend your life in that particular direction?
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Did Jeff Bagwell have too little power, or too much? Some believe his numbers just weren't impressive enough; he hit "only" 449 home runs, leaving him a couple solid seasons short of 500, which itself isn't even an automatic ticket to Cooperstown anymore. Not enough power for a first baseman. Others believe his prodigious blasts mean he must have been on steroids. Too much power, very suspicious. There's nothing that really links Bagwell to any banned substance; his name wasn't on any of the lists of reported users that have been released over the years. He was strong though, which is all it takes for some to think you were up to no good. His numbers weren't good enough! On the other hand... He must have been cheating! Bagwell has been stuck between a rock and a hard place; I can't think of another player whose status has been hit so hard by both sides. I don't know how to convince anyone who thinks Bagwell was cheating, except to say you could think that of anyone. As for the people who don't think Bagwell's numbers were quite good. Look again, and maybe look just a little closer.