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Posts Tagged ‘Major League Baseball’

The Quote Master

The Quote Master

Source: CBS News: Baseball Great Yogi Berra Dead 90: An icon of Sports and Quotes

I think it would be fairly easy just to write a piece about Yogi Berra featuring a lot of his great one-liners. But we’re talking about one of the top 3-5 catchers in the history of Major League Baseball. And yes he was a great comedian, but how many catchers do you know of that were great behind the plate who also have a career 285 bating average with 358 home runs and 1430 RBI. At least statistically we’re talking about a better hitting catcher than Johnny Bench who is still the best all around catcher of all-time. Yogi is at least the best all around catcher pre-Johnny Bench who came up with the Cincinnati Reds in 1967.

As far as his humor I love people who put things in a very direct way telling it exactly how it is and using humor with it. Especially when they’re not making fun of someone, or some group of people. Who can say ironic things and stuff that they know can’t be true, but do it so well and intentionally that you have to laugh at it. Like the Yogi line about baseball being 90% half mental. Well anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics knows that can’t be true. But he was so clever about how he said that, that you had to laugh at that. Or saying obvious things, but doing it with perfect timing that again you have to laugh. “When you come to a fork in road, take it.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.” Which of course sounds like Captain Obvious under attack and everyone must duck, or get hit in the head with useless information that they’ve known since they were born. But if you’re not someone who tends to be very good about knowing your surroundings and tend to miss things that are right in front of you, that little piece of obvious information can help you. And tell you to pay attention so you don’t miss what is going on right in front of you.

“It aint over till it’s over.” Good message for players who are down a lot in a game, but still have time to turn it around. And instead of thinking, “damn we suck! We’re not only going to get blown out, but we might not bother to score!” You would have Yogi saying something like, “relax, I know its 6-0, but its only the 3rd inning. Besides I got a guy in there who can actually pitch now. So just relax and play the game right and we’ll get back in it.” Telling his players there’s a reason why a World Series is seven games and games themselves are nine innings, because you don’t win those things early on.

Yogi Berra, again one of the top 3-5 catchers of all-time, but similar to Billy Martin and Phil Rizzuto if he wasn’t playing and managing baseball, he could have been a great comedian and talk show host as well. Because of his ability to put things exactly as they are with a little touch of great wit. Which is what great one-liners are. The ability to use common sense to make fun of life and even people in life. The ability to state the obvious without someone saying,”no shit Einstein! You got any other brand new discoveries you would like to share with us?” And because of that and I think especially the humor he’s going to be missed for a long time.

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Tom SeaverSource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

To me at least, Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton are the two best starting pitchers of the Baby Boom era. Pitchers who came up in the 1960s and 70s and pitched into the 1980s or so. To me they are the two best pitchers post Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson, from the generation before them. The only other pitcher I would consider with Seaver and Carlton, would be Jim Palmer. And not, not because I’m an Orioles fan, but he had the career, numbers, big games, everything else that puts him in the same class. Tom Seaver earned all of his victories, pitching for some mediocre New York Mets teams in the late 1960s and 1970s and some Cincinnati Reds teams that were in decline post Big Red Machine of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Not sure there was a better big game pitcher than Seaver of this era.

Classic MLB 11: MLB 1985-Chicago White Sox @ New York Yankees: Tom Seaver Goes For 300th

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Detroit Tiger Stadium
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

I think this Orioles-Tigers games is a classic game, because 1992 was a very important year for both the Orioles and Tigers. The Orioles emerged again as AL East contenders, but the Tigers took a step back, as the Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers emerged in the American League. And even the Cleveland Indians started to finally improve and even to paraphrase Harry Doyle in the movie Major League, the Indians threatened to climb out of the cellar. Meaning last place in the division. So this Tigers series was important for the Orioles, because the Tigers one of the teams that were basically hammering the Orioles at least since the late 1980s. And the Orioles had something to prove here. Were they good enough to beat a traditional contender in the AL East. And they certainly were in 1992.

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Oriole Magic Returns

Oriole Magic Returns

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

This was certainly one of the highlights of the 1989 Orioles season, that again had their been a wildcard back then, the Orioles make the AL Playoffs with 89 wins, but that is a different story. The 1989 Orioles are what a good team looks like. Not a great team, not a talented team, but what a team looks like. How good a team can be when it has a lot of good players and is deep. As well as lets say average players who have big years and big moments for them. The 89 Orioles were a pitching and defense first team, that would score enough and score when they needed in order to win. Their pitching wasn’t very good in this game, so their offense backed them up and scored enough runs to win and bailout the Orioles pitching in this game.
BASH 953-HTS: MLB 1989-07-15-89-Anaheim Angels @ Baltimore Orioles: 9th Inning

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

Basically just the intros of the Philadelphia Philles and the Orioles for game 1 of the 1983 World Series. With a little commentary from Al Michaels, Howard Cosell, and Earl Weaver. A brief interview of Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken and didn’t get enough of it to figure out what they were talking about, other than Cosell trying to figure out how Cal Jr felt playing for Earl Weaver with the Orioles. And The Earl talking about the fact that the Orioles lost their DH Ken Singleton. Because back then unfortunately what MLB did for the World Series, was to rotate the hitting pitcher and the designated hitter each year. One year the DH would play in every game. The next year, there would be no DH and the pitcher would hit every game. Which was unfair and gave the National League champion a big advantage during the World Series.

Outdoor Insane Asylum

Outdoor Insane Asylum

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This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

What makes the 1983 World Series different from the 1979 World Series that the Orioles had a 3-1 series lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979, as opposed to the Phillies in 83, is the Orioles pitching and their hitting. The Phillies other than the really the first game of this series, were pretty much shut down offensively in this series. Including getting shut out in-game 5 to clinch the Series for the Orioles. Unlike game 5, 6 and seven in the 79 World Series against the Pirates, the Orioles got all the pitching, key runs and key hits in-game 5 of the 83 Series and for most this World Series as well.

The Phillies had a very solid lineup in 83, but you shut down 3B Mike Schmidt and you could pretty much shut down the Phillies lineup. Then throw in the fact that Joe Morgan their leadoff hitter was forty-years old, Pete Rose is forty-two and their 1B Tony Perez is thirty-nine years old and all of these players being great at one point, but were all at the end of their careers against the Orioles in this series. As well as the Phillies not having the pitching that the Pirates did in 79. Everything was set up for the Orioles to win the 83 World Series. The only question was, would they come through or not.
1983 Orioles

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Baltimore Memorial Stadium
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress

The story of this Tigers-Orioles game, even though it is a very small part of the Orioles 1991 season with this being their last game at Baltimore Memorial Stadium, but this game pretty much summarized their season. You would think that the Orioles management would’ve put more into trying to make sure that they had a competitive team in 91, considering this was their last season at Memorial. And they tried to do that with the Glen Davis trade, but they were horrible in 91. Very little pitching, at least consistent pitching either starters or in the bullpen. And not a lot of offense in their lineup to go with Cal Ripken.

The Orioles lost this game I believe 8-1 to the Tigers, who had a pretty good lineup that year. But the real story of this game was that it was the end of a great era not just for Orioles baseball with all the success the Oriole had at Memorial, but the end of a great era for Major League Baseball as well. Just too bad that the Orioles, especially for their fans, that after winning their last MLB World Series in 1983, they five of their last eight seasons at Memorial, were losing seasons. Including losing 108 in 88 and two 95 lost seasons in 87 and 91. But the Orioles of the 60s, 70s and 80s were one of the best franchises in MLB and all of that home success came at Memorial.

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