Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Fielding Machine

In the 1940s, Paul Bowa played in the St. Louis Cardinals organization for the Sacramento Solons in the Pacific Coast League. One evening Bowa was at bat when a screaming fastball veered inside, smashing Bowa in the skull. He dropped … Continue reading

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The Halo Effect

Bill James, the “Sultan of Stats,” once wrote that Roberto Clemente, “rated by consensus as the 13th greatest player of all time, has, I think, benefited from a halo effect because of his heroic death.” (James rates Clemente 74th.) Roy … Continue reading

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The Fabulous Five

In a previous post (“The Triumvirate,” June 25, 2016) I wrote about my choices for the three greatest ballplayers in history. Now, I turn to pitchers—-the greatest five-man fantasy rotation of all time.  Some may argue with the choices. For example, … Continue reading

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Trumpenstein

In 1952 the United States loaned two billion dollars to France, mired in a war against the Vietnamese, who sought their independence.  Despite the loan, the French eventually lost.  But the loan meant more than money; it was the first … Continue reading

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Rule 5 and Other Baseball Terms

Recently I stopped for a red light on a busy street in Portland.  In front of me an SUV sported a vanity license plate:  RULE 5.  Now there’s a ball fan, I thought, who knows the game and isn’t averse … Continue reading

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2017 Hall of Fame Vote

I would vote for only two players on the 2017 ballot:  Mike Mussina and Vladimir Guerrero, a first timer on the ballot this year.  They’re similar players:  Neither logged an absolutely off-the-chart season, but both had long careers of sustained … Continue reading

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11-8-16: The Election of Illusions

No one understands the human heart at all who does not recognize how vast is its capacity for illusions, even when these are contrary to its interests, or how often it loves the very thing that is obviously harmful to … Continue reading

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