The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Pete Rose’

The elephant in the elephant room

Posted by keithosaunders on July 16, 2016

As we close in on the Republican convention, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the clown car, let’s take a moment to reflect.

That’s enough.

What upsets me the most about the Trump phenomenon is the way the media covers it.  To be more specific, what the media doesn’t say about him – that he is an incurious megalomaniac that is as qualified to be president as Pete Rose is to direct a remake of Citizen Kane.

It drives me crazy when pundits break down Trump’s foreign policy or analyze his position on supply side economics.  Folks, there is an elephant in the room here: The candidate is a moron.  What’s more he is a self-serving, narcissistic moron.

The lifer Republicans know this and they are mortified, but what can they do but fall on their swords and back this shell of a human being?  It’s the media that is doing a shameful job.  I realize that ratings are up and it’s in the networks and news industry’s interest to ride the cash cow, but is there one iota of integrity left in the business?

For now let’s pull up a chair and enjoy watching the Republicans twist in the wind as they struggle to feign enthusiasm for the potential buffoon-in-chief.  Bring it on!

 

Artist’s rendering of the Republican Partyone cran

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The day that Dock Ellis beaned everybody

Posted by keithosaunders on April 15, 2016

Dock Ellis, who spent the better part of his career pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is mostly famous for having claimed to have pitched a no hitter while on acid.  He managed, however,  to compile some impressive stats in his 12 year major league career.  His lifetime ERA is 3.46, he has a record of 138-119 including 71 complete games and 14 shut outs.

A couple of days ago I read an article in Deadspin about Ellis that knocked me out.  I’ll summarize, but you really should check this out, if for no other reason than to see how differently the game was played 35-40 years ago.

According to Ellis the only team that intimidated the Pirates was the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds and Pirates had been alternating appearing in the World Series — the Pirates in 1969 and ’71, and the Reds in 1970, and ’72 – and the two had been meeting in the playoffs almost every year.

By 1974 Ellis had had enough and he decided that the next time he faced the Reds he was going to bean every batter.  Every batter!   On May 1st Ellis faced the Reds for the first time that season and he proceeded to make good on his threat.

He considered not hitting Pete Rose because he knew Roses would shake it off like it was nothing and charge towards first base like a bull. ( Rose was also a personnel friend) He thought better of it and hit him anyway.  He proceeded to hit Joe Morgan in the kidneys.  Then he beaned Dan Driessen.  He tried to hit Tony Perez but Perez was already backing up.  So he threw behind him, but Perez stepped forward, eventually walking.  He tried to hit Johnny Bench but once the count got to 2-0 manager, Danny Murtaugh, came out of the dugout and pulled him.  Ellis said that “[Murtaugh] looked at me hard.”  All I could think of was Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm when he stares down an adversary to detect if he is lying.

For those of us used to observing today’s pinkies-up style of baseball, in which the catchers are no longer allowed to block the plate, and pitchers are not allowed to complete potential no-hitters for fear of exceeding the magical number of 100, this is outrageous stuff.  The fact that Ellis was not ejected after hitting the third batter, and had to be pulled by his manager, is shocking!

I’m not advocating violence.  Obviously Ellis was a free spirit and his behavior was out of line to say the least.  But for crying out loud, is there a middle ground?!  Is baseball better off in this sanitized homogenized age?  Allow me to offer a response:

NO.

dockellis

 

 

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A bush league of his own

Posted by keithosaunders on June 7, 2011

Tom Hanks said it best:  There’s no crying in baseball.  Tell that to Brian Sabean, GM of the San Francisco Giants.  In the wake of losing his All Star catcher, Buster Posey, due to a collision at home plate with the Marlin’s Scott Cousins, Sabean has lobbied for rules changes, and threatened retaliation.  

The play came in the 12th inning of a 6-6 tie.  Emilio Bonifacio hit a shallow fly ball which was caught for the second out.  Cousins tagged from third, while Posey stood directly in front of the plate, waiting for the throw from right fielder, Nate Schierholtz.  Cousins lowered his shoulder and barreled into Posey at full speed as Posey failed to field the throw.  It was a brutal, yet clean hit.

Sabean, in a subsequent radio interview on KNBR, called the hit malicious saying, “If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy.”  He left little doubt that the Giants are planning on seeking revenge on Cousins.

Cousins, for his part, felt terrible about the injury.  Immediately after the collision you can see him standing over Posey, clearly concerned and shaken up by the incident.  He has called Posey several times to apologize.

What would Sabean and Posey have had Cousins do?  If he slides and is out, Cousins would be branded as soft.  He is probably the 25th man on the Marlins roster — he can’t afford to play it safe. 

Not only that, several baseball people have stated that Posey used poor technique while blocking the plate.  Here’s Johnny Bench:

 When I heard about the injury, I was anxious to see how this happened. Buster put himself in such a bad position. First of all, my catchers don’t sit in front of home plate. They stand away from home plate and work back to the plate. But we (catchers) are just fair game. You’ve got a guy running around third base at 210 to 220 pounds with 3 percent body fat and with sprinter’s speed. I teach my kids to stay away from the plate when you don’t have the ball so the runner actually sees home plate and his thought is, slide. But Buster is laying in front of home plate, and it’s like having a disabled car in the middle of a four-lane highway. You’re just going to get smacked. Show them the plate. You can always catch the ball and step, or step and catch the ball, as long as you’ve got the runner on the ground. And if you have the runner on the ground, there’s less chance of any severe collision.

The idea that baseball should change its rules over this incident is insane.  I’ve been watching the game for over 40 years, and in that span I can only think of one catcher whose career ended due to a home plate collision — Ray Fosse.  That was a real travesty, however, as he was bowled over by Pete Rose in the 1970 All Star game. 

So calm down and leave the rules alone. 

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At last…the MLB playoffs!

Posted by keithosaunders on October 6, 2010

As we turn the page on another disappointing Mets season it’s time to focus on the playoffs.  The divisional series I’m most intrigued by is Phillies vs Reds — two classic teams which date back to before the turn of the 19th century. 

The Reds won the Black Sox Series of 1919 — there probably should be an asterisk after that one – and they appeared in back to back Series in 1939 and ’40, winning in 7 games against the Tigers in 1940.  They then endured a 21 year Series drought before losing to the Yankees in 5 games in 1961.  They lost to the Orioles in 1970 and the As in ’72, but by 1975 the Big Red Machine was in full bloom and they won a classic 7 game Series against the Boston Redsox.  Next year they would go on to sweep the Yankees.  Throw in a sweep of the steroidally-infused Oakland As of 1990 and you are up to date with Reds Series history.

It’s a much simpler endeavor to chronicle the Philadelphia Phillies World Series appearances.  In fact, until I was 20 years of age they had yet to win one.  They first appeared in the Series in 1915, losing to the Redsox in 5 games.  If you had been born in November of that year you would have had to wait until your 35th birthday to see them play post-season ball.  That’s 1950, for those of you scoring at home, when the team known as the Whiz kids finally returned to the Series.  They were the youngest National League champs in history with an average age of 26.  Youth was not served, however, as they were swept by the Yankees, who were in the midst of winning 5 consecutive championships.

In the 70s the Phillies got good again.  (note:  I am magnanimously skipping over the great pennant race collapse of 1964.)  With a nucleus of Mike Schmidt, Bake McBride, Larry Bowa, Steve Carlton, and Tug McGraw they appeared in 3 straight playoffs — from 1976 to ’78 — losing all of them.  Just when it appeared they would never get over the hump, they beat the Houston Astros in the 1980 NLCS, a series in which 4 out of the 5 games went to extra innings!  The Phillies would go on to win their first World Series ever, beating the Kansas City Royals in 6 games.

In 1983 the Phillies lost to the Orioles in 5 games, and in 1993 their Lenny Dykstra/John Kruk/Mitch Williams version lost to the Toronto Bluejays in 6 games.  (I’ll thank you not to mention Joe Carter)  That takes us into the current millennium in which the Phillies won their second Series, a 5 gamer against the upstart Tampa Bay Rays.  Throw in last year’s loss to the Yankees in 6 games and you are up to date.

Now let the games begin!

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