Wednesday, May 16, 2007


(Note: As usual I'm having a hell of a time navigating through all of this entry stuff which is all in Thai that I don't understand. That's why I can't post the picture I had set up of this essay. maybe later.)

(PICTURE: JOE TORRE. One of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard: A ball player went out on a blind date. He was trying to explain that his date wasn’t very good looking. His friend asks, “What did she look like?” The first guy replies, “Picture Joe Torre in a dress.”)

I’ve got to write something positive so here goes. Everything in the world fits into two categories: Things that piss me off and things that don’t piss me off yet. This is some stuff from the latter.

Rudy La Russo, the long time manager of the Cardinals, for instance. Some years ago half his team went down with injuries. So what does he say about it? He says, ‘This is a great opportunity to see what the players look like that we’ve got coming up,” or words to that effect. Now that’s a guy with character.

Then there’s Joe Torre, the Yankee manager. This is a guy who is admired by almost everyone who’s come in contact with him. People say he’s a poor handler of pitchers, especially relief pitchers, but look how long his pitcher’s careers last. If he’s so hard on pitchers, how come so many are still around?

Mike Scioscia, the manager of the Angels, may not have a clue about on base percentage or the value of a stolen base but he may be the best handler of pitchers around.

And then there’s Billy Beane, the Oakland General Manager. Who could help rooting for him? The way he rebuilt his outfield after injuries took most of them is incredible. He deserves Executive of the Year based on that alone. The wild thing is, he may have improved it. But whether or not, that was amazing. I’m glad he’s a part owner of the team so no one will grab him away. (After I wrote this, Oakland had to play Scutaro, a weak hitting infielder, in right field because 4 outfielders are sitting out with some sort of injuries in addition to all the others on the disabled list.)

Of course Bill James will never piss me off even when I think he’s wrong. I wonder if they’ll ever have a sabrematician section in baseball’s hall of fame. They should have and of course the first enshrined will be Bill James.

And speaking of the Hall of Fame, Lefty O’Doul should be in there. Not because he was one of the premier hitters in the National League from ’28 to ’34, winning two batting titles, but because he was the guy who introduced baseball to Japan.

This is just the baseball section of things that don’t piss me off yet.



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