2020 Proto-season: Articles, retrospectives and other Baseball Content While We Wait

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
12,457
Pittsburgh, PA
Sam Miller of ESPN today put out a fantastic article on the wildest baseball stories each of the 30 teams has been involved with (excepting the Astros, meant as a comparison of all the others to the Astros...)


They start strong and just keep it up for a goodly long while. Doc Ellis's LSD-fueled no hitter. Ted Turner pulling a Bobby V-in-disguise act. A one-armed man legitimately able to play big-league ball. Sign-stealing by every ingenious idea under the sun up to and including the mascot. And of course, Wade Boggs' airplane beers. It's something you should read at the end of your night, to clear your head of any of the world's troubles. I'm not sure I've read a baseball story this entertaining since the day a plague of locusts descended on Joba Chamberlain.
 
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The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
13,505
Great article, thanks.

From the first entry about the Phillies, I already knew about this, the first time a team got caught using technology to relay stolen signs:
The Phillies were crushing the Reds one day when Cincinnati catcher Tommy Corcoran zeroed in on Philadelphia third-base coach Pearce Chiles, who kept planting his foot in a very precise spot before each pitch. Corcoran suddenly "let out a loud yell, ran across the third base line, and began frantically kicking the ground around the area, using his spikes and hands to remove large clods of dirt," Paul Dickson writes in "The Hidden Language Of Baseball." "Fans thought he had gone mad." But Corcoran discovered "a small wooden box containing an electric buzzer with wires attached."
But had no idea of this:
That was just one outrageous moment that this outrageous incident unleashed. Shortly after, the Phillies pretended to repeat the scheme, just to humiliate the Reds, who charged the spot and started digging.

And then they went to Brooklyn and tried to re-create the scheme from an apartment window using binoculars (to see) and a folded newspaper (to signal). Meanwhile, the Reds went to Pittsburgh, where they sniffed around until they found the Pirates using a similar system, with the Pirates' signaler turning a rod installed on a fence, like clock hands.
 

Laser Show

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SoSH Member
Nov 7, 2008
4,928
For any Jon Bois fans out there, he & SB Nation is currently putting out a 6 video oral history of the Seattle Mariners and it is fantastic. 3 parts published so far (spoilered below); they've covered everything thru the 1995 season. I had no idea the Mariners were likely leaving Seattle before that playoff victory.

Trailer:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX5JHMTHF3Q


 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
12,457
Pittsburgh, PA
ESPN's MLB writers come up with and then try to settle debates for each of the 30 teams, each with some historical flavor to them.

At the risk of click-baiting, I thought Passan's answer to his Boston prompt was bullshit. Williams was injured right before the '46 WS. That was the only chance he got, and god knows he more than earned getting more, they just didn't come. That'd be like saying neither Barry Bonds nor Willie Mays should represent the Giants on the SF Sports Mount Rushmore because Madison Bumgarner won more titles.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
12,457
Pittsburgh, PA
Well I know where @Old Fart Tree is gonna have his next Bros Weekend:


They gotta figure out how to up the capacity to 20 or so, so you can at least have a full-sided game on the field.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
12,457
Pittsburgh, PA
Noah Syndergaard tries to back out of a 2020 manhattan lease (months ago); landlord sues him to collect the full amount. Then leaks story to the media, Syndergaard flames him on twitter, all ending in a "see you in court, pal".


Kinda idly curious, if we have anyone here familiar with residential L/T issues in NYC (@OilCanShotTupac ?), how that might shake out. I know in some jurisdictions there are good-guy provisions that basically let you yield a place in good faith, surrender the keys and security deposit, and if there's no damage you can walk away without (generally) liability. Quick googling suggests that they might argue over the "warrant of habitability" given current restrictions on movement and being in public, which might affect move-ins. And there are good-faith requirements of the landlord such that he has to try and re-rent it, right?
 

Twilight

lurker
Nov 17, 2006
52
Well I know where @Old Fart Tree is gonna have his next Bros Weekend:


They gotta figure out how to up the capacity to 20 or so, so you can at least have a full-sided game on the field.
Can't stay overnight, but Hadlock can be rented for games--at least if you're part of an official league. Not sure they'd do it for just anyone off the street.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
40,388
Interesting story on the hazing of Gregg Jefferies


All these years later, Gregg Jefferies’ tormentors are apologetic. Time not only heals wounds but changes acceptable traits. How silly it all seems now to care about how someone handled his bats or trained.

“He was revolutionary in what he did,” Ron Darling says now, with Jefferies three decades removed from a Mets tenure that began with such promise and devolved into poison. “The archaic, Neanderthal part of baseball was not ready to accept that. A lot of animosity from that Mets team came from players not willing to grow and change. … He was not allowed to thrive in the way he should have. In retrospect it is a black mark on the team.”
 

Rough Carrigan

reasons within Reason
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Not sure where else to put this. I thought this was a fascinating youtube clip. Christian Yelich talks about how, when he was with the Marlins, Barry Bonds had him do a completely counter-intuitive hitting drill that Yelich now thinks is great. Try to hit the ball directly down onto the plate.
See what you think.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgj66qwaw9w
 

h8mfy

lurker
Jul 15, 2005
292
Orange County, CA
Here's one from The New Yorker that looks at how baseball players became celebrities, which might also fit in the Media thread:

The rise of sports as big business and the handling of athletes as human capital are often dated to 1960, the year Mark McCormack founded the International Management Group, with Arnold Palmer as his first client. McCormack saw that in sports, as in Hollywood, it’s the stars that sell the product, and he turned athletic success and good publicity into dollars. Thanks to television, the number of available dollars for the clients of sports agents mushroomed.

But the possibilities had been glimpsed and the opportunities realized almost forty years earlier, by a man named Christy Walsh. Walsh was born in St. Louis in 1891, and went to college in Los Angeles. He bounced around a little—worked as a sports cartoonist and a ghostwriter—but it was his background in advertising and publicity for automobile companies that prepared him to become the first sports agent in the modern mold. He wasn’t just a promoter or a handler but someone who took charge of an athlete’s complete on-field and off-field package, who controlled the publicity as well as the contracts. He signed his first client in 1921. And that client turned out to be the greatest sports figure of his day, or possibly, with the exception of Muhammad Ali, of any day: Babe Ruth. Ruth didn’t just do what every ballplayer did but better. On the field and off, he was in a class by himself.
The piece compares Ruth to Gehrig and the different challenges of marketing each. Full article is here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/01/how-baseball-players-became-celebrities