It's been weeks since I heaved any you-know-what Bud Selig's way. I'm sorry. Won't let it happen again.
Lots of media guys have their targets, old grudges they return to again and again for a laugh, for comfort, or whatever it is they get out of it. TJ Simers has Kevin Brown and FP Santangelo, Jim Rome constantly refers to "that piece of crap Eric Gagne," and Mike Downey railed on Kirk Gibson all the time for no good reason.
Maybe I'm not in a league with those guys (OK, so I'm in a league with TJ Simers), but for me, it's good ole Bud, any ole time, whenever the blank I feel like it. It's my column, I work cheap, I'll do what I want.
Bud Selig canceled the 1994 World Series, and if I have anything to say about it, he'll be remembered for that one accomplishment, always. All-freaking-ways. 1994 is his legacy. The thing with Pete Rose and Jim Gray and the century's so-called greatest was lame too, but nothing like 1994.
Remember 1994, when announcements would eminate "from the commissioner's office," as if a bunch of furniture and a copy machine were churning out press releases, all by their lonesome? Selig speaks for that furniture now, and about as well, but he's got a pretty good rap, if you buy into it. Don't.
He's always talking about a "wonderful renaissance" going on in baseball, taking credit for it. It's renaissance this, renaissance that, here a ren, there a ren, everywhere a ren-ren.
First of all, there's no renaissance in baseball. Second, if there were, we wouldn't have Selig to thank for it. Third, Bud Selig is to be referred to, forever and always, in this column and wherever else anyone sees fit, as "Ren Man." Bud Selig is the Ren Man. He's an excellent driver. And Valenzuela pitches on Wednesday...
Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield will be in the Hall soon, as they should, in their first year of eligibility. I was worried a little about Kirby, but glad the writers didn't penalize him for his shortened career. There's also a weird trend lately, which makes guys with really long careers suspect. Winfield fell into that category.
The proponents of the theory say something like this: "Sure he had 3000 hits (or 300 wins, take your pick). He played twenty-three years." Like longevity is a bad thing. Carlton Fisk and Nolan Ryan went through it, but got in anyway. Sutton and Niekro really did. Jenkins too, although they said it was something else. Bert Blyleven is on that bubble now, and might never get in...
Bob Vila is a five-tool player...
Interleague play is toast, don't you think? It just doesn't matter anymore...
I still say the Dodgers should sign Will Clark. Somebody should...
As sick as I am of the Atlanta Braves, and as much as I hold out hope each season, that this is finally the year they miss the playoffs, I'm grateful they landed Greg Maddux when they did. It's a good thing for baseball that he's there, that he's played with great teams for so much of his career. We've been treated to Greg Maddux, winning Greg Maddux, when it very easily could have been another way. Imagine history with Maddux as a lifetime Cub, and a record book full of
Speaking of which, on a recent visit to my folks' house, I missed having the Encyclopedia at arm's length. I wish they'd put one in every room. Hotels should too, right there in the nightstand drawer...
So Randy Johnson gets his piece of the strikeout record, sans the asterisk. That's cool, I suppose. It wouldn't have bothered me the other way, and I'm not one of those guys who thinks Harvey Haddix pitched a perfect game either. There were baserunners in the game, a ball landed safely in the game, and runs charged to the guy. A great game, obviously, historic yes, but perfect, no.
On the other hand, David Palmer pitched a five-inning, rain-shortened perfect game, which he completed and won, and yet he has an asterisk next to his name in the record book.
The guy who really, really got ripped is Andy Hawkins, who pitched a losing no-hitter for the New York Yankees, but didn't face batters in the bottom of the ninth because he was on the road, and for those of you keeping score, home teams bat eight times when winning. It's a complete game, which he got credit for, there were no hits by the opposing team, and because his team messed up on one play, it's not a no-hitter. You wanna talk asterisks, splain that one Lucy...
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