Baseball teams come to be defined by their players as much as the successes or failures they have with their win/loss records. In particular, the Boston Red Sox have a rich tradition of players who have left indelible marks on the franchise and its fans. One player who is surely in that category is Troy O’Leary, who came to Boston under humble circumstances, but left as a tremendous success. (more…)
Baseball in just about any context is a good thing. During the regular season, the attention of fans is typically riveted to the on-field action, but there are many fascinating nuggets of baseball awesomeness hidden all over in the form of its history. You just have to know where to look to find them. To help you on your way to discovering some of the delights from baseball’s past, I have dug up some items that should both engross and entertain.
Baseball is a game that can be enjoyed as much in the moment as it can be in projecting its future and discovering its past. Without further ado, let’s see how well I can do at putting the historian in “Baseball Historian.” (more…)
Cheating has a long and interesting history in baseball. From sharpened cleats, corked bats, banned substances and doctored pitches, players and teams are seemingly always in search of an edge. As former Chicago Cubs’ first baseman Mark Grace once famously said, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”
That being said, there can be a fine line between what is cheating and what is simply gaining an edge. When something questionable is identified, there is typically a race to classify it as legitimate or cheating. Hardly a year passes without at least one instance of a player being caught or being accused of nefarious actions. This year is no exception. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Atlanta Braves, Bob Lemon, Boston Red Sox, Chris Carpenter, Clay Buchholz, David Price, Dirk Hayhurst, Jack Morris, Mark Grace, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Tim Hudson, Wally Backman | Leave a Comment »
The Boston Red Sox have some of the better-known pitching prospects in baseball with Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and Matt Barnes all leading most peoples’ lists. It turns out that they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Boston’s farm system, as there are a number of other promising young arms being developed, including last year’s fifth-round draft choice, Mike Augliera.
The 22-year-old right-hander attended Old Bridge High School in New Jersey. He later became a college star at Binghamton University, where he is the all-time leader in wins (23) and innings (298.1). As a senior, he led the NCAA with an 83/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio, showing his excellent control. (more…)
The length of a baseball team’s disabled list can have such a strong impact on the outcome of their season. Injuries not only deprive teams of talented players, but alter the chemistry that was so carefully constructed during the offseason and spring training.
The ability of backup players, minor league prospects and the length of time needed for the injured to come back healthy can all determine whether or not a season will be derailed. Just a month into the 2013 season, a number of major league teams have felt the pinch of losing players to the DL. The scrambling has already begun for some to overcome a fractured roster. (more…)
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Alex Rodriguez, Anibal Sanchez, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Detroit Tigers, Hanley Ramirez, Jason Kipnis, Justin Verlander, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark Teixeira, Max Scherzer, New York Yankees | Leave a Comment »
When star outfielder Josh Hamilton left the Texas Rangers to sign with the divisional rival Los Angeles Angels this past offseason, it was believed the team would struggle to find his replacement. After all, the former MVP has 162 game averages of .320 with 35 home runs and 120 RBI during his career.
Other sports like football and basketball may have infringed on the popularity of baseball over the years, but make no mistake about it, the game is still America’s National Pastime. Baseball personifies Amercianism and is often seen as an example of what is right and good in the country. While that may be a Pollyanna way of viewing the sport, it is a unifying force in society that cannot be claimed in the same way by the NFL, NBA or NHL.
Any baseball game can provide people with a positive reminder of what it is to be an American, or how much the game can infiltrate everyday life. However, there are also those special moments that spring up out of nowhere that leaves little doubt about the influence of baseball on our culture. Some of those moments showed up this week… (more…)
Baseball is so much more than the action on the field and in the box scores. Untold numbers of people have used the game to help shape who they are, and connect them with their ethnicities and national identities on whole new levels. Larry Ruttman’s American Jews & America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball (University of Nebraska Press) narrows that impact down to the influence the national pastime has had on American Jews, and visa-versa.
Ruttman, a longtime lawyer, who found his authorial voice in retirement, has combined an extensive collection of interviews with his own research to demonstrate the ongoing Judaic-baseball relationship. At 510 pages, he has attempted to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of telling the most complete story possible.
Having previously taught a college course on the art of interviewing, Ruttman puts his experience to use in conducting dozens of interviews with a variety of subjects who speak about their experiences with Judaism, baseball, and how the two have intertwined. (more…)
The 2013 baseball season has gotten off to a rollicking start. From Yu Darvish’s near-perfect game to the exciting emergence of young players like New York Mets’ pitcher Matt Harvey, there has been a lot of good stuff for fans to digest. For all the fun baseball provides, the game also sometimes has a darker side. This week seemed to have ongoing negativity popping up around baseball. Hopefully these moments represent the worst the season will experience and fans can get back to enjoying some great action. (more…)
Not surprisingly, the first week of the 2013 major league season got off to a roaring start, teasing fans with the promise of the exciting action to come. Players and teams are already making their marks, indicating that they are forces to be reckoned with. Conversely, there are others also off to alarming starts. What it all means for fans is an overload of story lines and exciting game action that will run its course over the next six months. Some of the most interesting stories from last week include: (more…)