SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Time Is Mean to the All-Time Greats

Example Number Infinity -- Watching Usain Bolt pull up in the 4x100 meter relay in the World Championships on what was his final anchor leg for Jamaica.  The sports gods just are not kind to all but those who are in or near their prime. 


Jim Brown walked away at the top of his game.  So did Barry Sanders.  Sandy Koufax did too.


Bolt was close to his prime, and he deserved better. 

Chase Utley's Ejection the Other Night

Was a head scratcher, wasn't it?  It appeared that he asked the second base umpire to move out of his line of sight.  Next think you know, the umpire ejected the 38 year-old veteran and one of the most respected players in the game. 


Yes, I really want to see umpires eject one of the all-time greats.  Okay, don't get on me about the fact that Utley is not a Hall of Famer (I would argue that he is a borderline one; sadly, injuries derailed more opportunities for a WAR number that would have put him in).  But to eject anyone for that request?  Was there anything more to it than that?  Or did the umpire have a bet with a friend that he could get on Sports Center if he ejected a famous player on a pretext?  As for the latter, I doubt that came close to happening.  Simplest solution is that the arbiter just had a bad night.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Random Question

Do you remember where you were when Steve Pearce hit two walk-off grand slams in the same week?


Bonus questions:


What team does Steve Pearce play for?


What position does he play?


And, if you consider yourself to be a good baseball fan and don't know about what Pearce accomplished or who he is, console yourself because you are not alone.  Many who had savant-like knowledge decades ago have succumbed to a few basic principles -- 1) so much is written down and available by the few clicks of a smart phone, why memorize it and 2) so much information is going through your head -- precisely because that information is available -- that you don't begin to know facts that you would have thought were foundational decades ago.  Ergo. . . why you might be drawing a blank on Steve Pearce. 


But congratulations should go to Pearce nonetheless -- what he did was quite an accomplishment.


For whatever team he plays for and at whatever position he plays.

Brief Book Review

Buy Baseball America's recently released "Hall of Fame Almanac."  Great 1-page entries for every member of the Hall of Fame. 


The book I would like to see written is a comparison of those who made the Hall of Fame to those whose stats as measured by modern metrics would not have warranted inclusion and those whose stats would have warranted inclusion.  For example, Rabbit Maranville is by no stretch a Hall of Famer, nor are the several members of the Giants and Cardinals who played in the thirties who made the Hall of Fame because their teammates were on the Veterans' Committee.  Or, to paraphrase from Baseball Prospectus, there is a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Very Good.