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Baseball things

Monday 3/30/20

The other night I watched some of Games 5 and 6 of the 1986 NLCS. They were on TV. I have them on DVD somewhere, but they were on TV. The 1986 postseason was really the best postseason thus far, some epic theater. That Mets team was stacked, and yet, only one player goes to the Hall of Fame. Their best player was Gary Carter. One of the best ever teams had Gary Carter as their best player. Interesting. I don't know why it took him so long to get into the Hall of Fame. Led the league in RBI once, which catchers almost never do. But what stood out most was the pace. Baseball was so much more of a sport, with flow, alacrity, back then. Now it doesn't look sport-like at all. Feels so much more sedentary, un-athletic. Keith Jackson did the play-by-play. He actually did a lot of non-football stuff. He was good. You'd have thought baseball was his thing.

Game 5 of the ALCS is on now. The Red Sox were constantly behind and up against it in those final two games at Fenway. Every play was a high-leverage play. Later, I will write a book on comebacks and the psychology of comebacks. The Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl aired the other day. The Patriots were done so much so late, but there's a truism to be had there--you have more time than you think. I view me entire career, at this juncture, of the largest comeback attempt ever. I'm down God knows how much in the third, every time I step on the ice they ref calls two penalties, they are on the take, it's 5-on-3 after 5-on-3, but I am still playing, and when I win, it's going to be that much more glorious and feel that much more glorious.

A couple interesting baseball tidbits. Jimmie Foxx, while with the Sox in 1939--Ted Williams' rookie year--pitched an inning. First time he pitched in his career. You see it in a blowout, a position player will occasionally get a chance to mop up. I assume that is what happened with Foxx, though I didn't look up the box score. But consider this. In 1935, during his age thirty-seven--and final--season, Jimmie Foxx is on a historically bad Philadelphia Phillies team that will go 46-108. The Phillies decide to have Foxx pitch. He gets into 9 games, pitches 22 innings, starts 2 games--what the hell!--and racks up a 1.59 ERA. He goes 1-0. Keep in mind, this is a war year, but it's still crazy.

I wanted to see if anyone had ever lead the league in what I consider--and I think it's a judicious consideration--of all the major offensive categories. Going left to right on baseball-reference. Those categories being: Runs, Hits, Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, RBI, SB, BB, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, Total Bases. I figured there was only one person who might have done this, and that was Ty Cobb. And he very nearly did--with 1 more walk in 1915, he would have done it. Babe Ruth is the best baseball player ever, Ted Williams the best hitter, but Cobb is so close to Ruth and he did it without pitching. Ruth is ahead on account of having excelled as a pitcher as well. Now, the Woke might say--well, the Woke don't know anything about sports usually--that Cobb was a racist. Not true. Al Stump wrote a biography of Cobb and to sell that biography he invented virtually everything in it. Including that Cobb was a racist. I always thought this was strange, because you'd see photos of Cobb with black ballplayers, and white ballplayers who were, by all reports, good dudes. This was long after he retired, and everyone would have this big smile on their faces like they couldn't wait to see Cobb. You know who was a horrible racist? Enos "Country" Slaughter, who starred on the 1946 Cardinals team that beat the Red Sox in Ted Williams' lone World Series appearance. The only other guy who had an outside chance at this was Willie Mays. You might not think Cobb was a power hitter--and obviously a high average guy--but he was indeed that during the Dead Ball era. Won a Triple Crown, too.


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