GFBB Note: If ever a losing team was in need of a scapegoat, the SF Giants would surely be in the race. I mean, there’s really no reasoning why pretty much the same guys on last year’s World Series Championship team, and are the starters for this year’s team, are ending up with such disastrous results. Thankfully the head honcho’s in the Giants organization are not prone to reacting to such drivel and have managed to maintain a period of status quo. So be it. We’ll see what the trade deadline will bring, but no matter what happens, I don’t see management firing just for the sake of firing. Hang in there fellows, and that goes for all the MLB teams that are struggling this season. At least that’s one fan’s opinion.
As it does predictably and constantly, the daily drip-drip-drama of baseball has given us another ethics quandary to ponder, arising in the context of the sport but with far more significant applications. The issue: is it ethical for an organization to deal with a crisis by firing someone for symbolic value, rather than for cause?
I have written about this traditional phenomenon in baseball before, but the current example is far less defensible on either tactical or public relations grounds. Last season, the Washington Nationals accumulated the best record in the sport, and though they flopped in the play-offs, were almost unanimously expected to be strong pennant contenders in 2013 by baseball prognosticators and more importantly, their fans. So far, at least, those expectations have been dashed. The season is almost two-thirds done, and the Nationals have been uninspiring at best. They have won fewer games than they have…
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What the heck’s going on anyway? I tend to agree with Calcaterra’s viewpoint that possibly it’s just the anti-establishment getting their two cents in. Whatever it is, it’s not about baseball and it’s sure not about hero’s. Because, boy oh boy, if we ever needed one, hero I mean, we could sure use one about now. At least that’s my two cents worth.
I don’t know if this a function of an angry populace thumbing its nose at the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and it’s “get rid of Braun” jag or simply a matter of hardcore gangster types having a new anti-hero to celebrate, but it’s interesting:
Wait, no one reads newspapers anymore and Ryan Braun wouldn’t be gangster even if put a hit out on that urine collector. So never mind.
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I’m trying to record the Boston Pops Annual 4th of July Spectacular today, only to find out they won’t be televising it this year. Every time they hit that big crescendo and the gigantic flag unfurls to the wild applause of the audience, my emotions take over. It gets me every time.
So this is my contribution to those who have made this a tradition in their family for years but won’t be able to watch it today. It’s one of the items left on my bucket list ~ to watch a live Boston Red Sox and SF Giants day game on the 4th of July followed by a trip to the Boston Pops “live” 4th of July Spectacular, if it’s still around I mean. I wonder who makes the decision to cancel such a wonderful televised event and interfere with family traditions?
Oh well, I’ll try again next year. Happy 4th of July everyone!
Pitching Duel of the Century
“50 YEARS AGO TODAY: 42-year-old Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves and 25-year-old Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants hooked up in a 16-inning duel ended only when Willie Mays homered leading off the last inning. Both pitchers went all the way. Jim Kaplan wrote a great book on the event: “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched.” Courtesy of Dan Schlossberg, Facebook”
Nothing like promoting one of my favorite books to get me back in the blogosphere. I’ve been adrift for nearly a month now and missed it terribly, but had to take a minute to comment on two of my favorite baseball heroes and one of the many special moments in baseball history.
I was one year out of high school when I witnessed this game (via the sports section unfortunately and not in person) but I remember the stats well. The book takes a few chapters to get into the game, dwelling on the individual pitchers, Marichal and Spahn, instead. But Kaplan’s insight is purposeful and steady and I found myself grasping each page instead of skipping directly to the game which is what I intended to do when I cuddled up to spend the entire day recapturing the memories of the game.
My enthrallment with Juan Marichal began a few years ago when I watched an in-depth interview Bob Costas had with him. He’s really a very humble man and the honesty he portrayed when talking about the awful incident when he lost his temper and went after an opposing player, with a bat no less, that put the fellow in the hospital was painful to listen to. But I didn’t doubt his sincerity when he spoke about it saying it was the one regret he had during his baseball career. And it didn’t surprise me that the two of them ended up being good friends in the end.
As usual, I won’t go into details about the book or the game since there’s huge amounts of readily available data written about both. I just wanted to take some time to comment on the game and also to thank you for the kind notes I’ve received as I’ve been on a mini-vacation from blogging this past month.
It’s nearly time for the All Star break when baseball starts to take shape for the rest of the season, and when, hopefully, the Giants (and others, of course) start getting their act together . When you look at the Divisions, it’s amazing to see that the Dodgers are only 3 1/2 games behind in the NL West, but are in the cellar, with the Giants 3 games behind and only 1/2 game ahead of the Dodgers.
So it’s going to be an interesting and fun rest of the year for all of us baseball fans. Will there be a sequel to this greatest game? Maybe. I’m sure the thrill of victory and agony of defeat had its origins in baseball so why should we possibly expect anything less?