Game of stats---
I love the minutia of baseball—the daily rush of numbers that somehow provides a better context to follow the night’s action with. For instance: Detroit’s Justin Verlander is 12-1 in his last 13 starts against the White Sox after starting his career 2-9 against them.
Yankee’s pitcher C.C. Sabathia has won 13 straight regular season starts against the Royals, while Kansas City pitcher James Shields has lost six straight in the Bronx. By the way, both of those streaks were ended in New York last night.
My favorite though: Mike Trout of the Angels is the first player in Major League Baseball history with at least 15 home runs, 5 triples, 25 doubles and 20 stolen bases before the All-Star break. You can find this kind of stuff on baseball every day.
Can it really be thirty years?
You know you’re getting old when you can remember the ‘pine tar game’ like it was yesterday, then you realize that yesterday was thirty years ago. That’s when former Royals great George Brett had a homerun taken away from him in a game against the Yankees because he had too much pine tar up the barrel of his bat. He talked about the incident at a press conference yesterday in New York, almost lamenting the lingering memory of that moment. Remember, we’re talking about a Hall of Fame talent, who flirted with hitting .400 one season and what do most people remember about Brett? Pine tar.
He hears about it: “Pretty much every time I play golf. They always want to check my clubs for pine tar.” It’s interesting, the things that people remember.
Goose comes clean---
Hall of Famer Goose Gossage was the guy who gave up that homer to Brett, talking to him recently he says that the Yankees had been waiting for the opportune moment to use the rule against Brett.
He claims that they’d almost called it on him in an earlier game in Kansas City and gives third baseman Graig Nettles most of the credit for knowing the rule, instead of manager Billy Martin who got the credit for the move at the time.
ESPN the magazine is out with it’s now yearly ‘bodies edition’. I can’t help but think that this is nothing more than their version of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, although ESPN uses only athletes cleverly and discretely shot in the nude.
As is the case with SI there’s no journalistic ground being broken here, just a pandering to the voyeur in us all.
Gregg Marshall is replacing a coach on his staff for the fourth straight year, which is something you learn to deal with when you win more than 100 games during that stretch. The top Shocker has a great reputation as a guy who hires recruiters and he seems to have added another in Steve Forbes.
The new Shocker assistant is the latest in a line of guys who can really shake the bushes, particularly at the Junior College level. The addition of Forbes, who was a head coach at Barton County, along with Chris Jans and Greg Heier gives Marshall the best staff that he’s had at Wichita State and that’s saying something because he’s had some really good ones.