The On Deck Circle

Baseball History, Commentary and Analysis

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

A Cloud Hangs Over Red Sox Nation

William Miller:

One helluva read. Baseball writing, or any other kind of writing, doesn’t get much better than this.

Originally posted on On Sports and Life:

Few big cities are home to sports fans more passionate than those in Boston, and at least in recent years scarcely any other metropolis has fielded a set of teams that have given their fans more reason to cheer. Since 2001 the Patriots have won three Super Bowls. The Celtics won their league-leading 17th NBA championship in 2008. The Bruins ended a nearly four decade long drought with a Stanley Cup title three seasons ago, and were back in the Finals last spring. Then there are the Red Sox, who under the ownership of John Henry have become one of the Great Game’s elite franchises, winning three World Series trophies in the last decade.

The success of the Sox has brought joy to fans of long-standing, who suffered through their portion of the 86 years between one title in 1918 and the first of the recent string in 2004; and…

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Do You Enjoy Baseball as Much as You Used to?

William Miller:

Let Arne know what you think.

Originally posted on Misc. Baseball:

This question is aimed at people who started following major league baseball before the late ‘90s, that is, before the Internet became a big deal, before every game of a season was televised, and before the home run boom really got going. Was MLB more enjoyable in the earlier years? If it was, did that result from you being younger, or from changes in MLB and how it’s presented by legacy media and on the Web?

I think if you remain a baseball fan after the transition from adolescence to adulthood, you inevitably realize that many, maybe most of the players in MLB have few exceptional qualities beyond their ability to play baseball. Certainly they are not, in any moral sense, better than the ordinary human being. This produces a more skeptical attitude toward MLB: the raw emotional attachment to teams and players goes away, and so you enjoy the…

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but we need our monster

William Miller:

Some damn fine writing by Steve, once again.

Originally posted on broken bats baseball:

His needs were the same; food, shelter, and a sense of belonging. Only the means to get them had changed; from a luxury vagabond lifestyle of servants and leer jets, 7 star hotels, paparazzi lights to fishing for crunchy bugs in back alleys to liven up his sewer soup.

He was unaware of the great fall he had endured and in many ways, nothing had really changed for Spuds Dembrooke. He was still self-absorbed, still hated, and still hoping to piss people off. It was his way of receiving affection and love. The packed stadiums of hysterical boos had turned to itinerants with blades, oily puddles behind saloons, but the emotion sounded the same to Spuds. He worked the crowd.

He once had it all; was a hero to everyone. He defied specialization as the first pitcher since Babe Ruth to also bat clean up. He enjoyed no rest days between starts, playing 

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if heaven and hell is everywhere, baseball diamonds too

William Miller:

Still more great writing by Steven.

Originally posted on broken bats baseball:

I’m never good with remembering specific dates except the birthdays of family, friends and a few baseball players, maybe none more shazbah-ding! than Henry Aaron’s being February 5th and Babe Ruth’s a day later. But there is one date; November 22, 1963 that fascinates me in a baseball and death sort of way.

Aldous Huxley and John F. Kennedy both passed away that day; the President in full extroverted glory and Huxley flat on his bed, unable to speak, inching closer and closer, but still scribbling a note to his wife Laura; “LSD 100 mm intramuscular” and so she obliged his request and that’s how the writer and essayist drifted into golden sleep. (from This Timeless Moment by Laura Huxley)

C.S. Lewis also died that day and so did many nameless others, but there is no reverse astrology in terms of the day someone dies and how it impacts their life and for…

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Slim Love ~ A Valentine’s Tale

William Miller:

Here’s an interesting post that deserves more attention.

Originally posted on Baseball, Yoga, Life ... (and me):

Slim Love was a pitcher.

(I’m not clever enough to make this up. This story is true.)

slim love photo

public domain image.

This is Slim.

Slim wasn’t his given name, of course.

His birth name, given in 1890, was Edward.

But, baseball is the land of a thousand nicknames. And, while “Slim” isn’t the best of them, it certainly isn’t the worst, and it’s appropriate enough if you’re a lanky, stringbeany, beanpoley, 6 foot 7 kind of fella.

In 1913, as a member of the Senators, The Washington Post called Love the “elongated twirler” with a “bucolic disposition and odd appearance.”

Today, just calling him tall would do.

To be 6’7” is to be pretty tall, but not as tall as Jon Rauch (6’11”) or Randy Johnson (6’10”).

But, to be 6’7” in 1913 is to be the tallest man in the major leagues.

slim love

public domain image.

Slim Love. All 6’7″ of…

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running from the shackles

William Miller:

No one else I know of writes quite like this.

Originally posted on broken bats baseball:

Even test tubes collect dust. All break through gadgets enjoy a “gotta have it” craze. The once prized luxury items then transform into necessity followed by mass production and junkyard bouquet.

“And that’s alright,” says little Hupskin Harold. “Because the days of slim pickings are no fun at all.” Harold was the son of a farmer, worked sunrise to sundown, but when Daddy was cleaning out the pig pen, Harold blatzventured where daddy always said “Off Limits.”

It was a crate full of beakers; each one with a label Harold never knew. One said Tarahumara and another said Lumberjack. Harold took a third beaker; an empty one and mixed the two liquids together. There were burps and bubbles and all kinds of smoke billows. Hupskin Harold never told a soul. He hid the new beaker behind the horse stable, far away from the pig pen and daddy, slipped it…

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and it’s still a game

William Miller:

Fantastic post by Steven Myers.

Originally posted on broken bats baseball:

andreltonAndrelton Simmons ranges to his right, bows on one knee, backhands a sharp grounder, and from a squatting position throws an off-balance 98 mph strike to Freddie Freeman at first base. Simmons is 24-years young and plays shortstop for the Atlanta Braves.

It’s easy to imagine him flashing that same grace one hundred years ago as he does today. Memories and  imagination are very kind. They provide instant access.

A common complaint about today’s game is that it takes too long to complete one. In the 1940′s, games finished in just under two hours. By the 60′s that number ballooned to 2:38 and today it’s closer to three hours. There are some good suggestions of how to shorten games, but the only one I can digest is minimizing advertisements between innings.

I enjoy manager’s changing pitchers and batters working a count, fouling off pitches and demonstrating discipline. I cherish the…

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Murphy And The Mets Hope To Move Past The Santa Jinx

William Miller:

Another excellent post by Mike Cornelius, a very fine writer.

Originally posted on On Sports and Life:

Say this much for Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, he is willing to tempt fate. For the second time in three years Murphy donned the familiar red suit and white beard to play the part of Santa Claus at the team’s annual Christmas party at Citi Field. With an assist from pitcher Zack Wheeler in the role of an elf, Murphy spent part of Tuesday handing out presents to a long line of children from the neighborhoods around the Mets home in Queens.

In recent years participation in the Mets yuletide tradition has been followed by misfortune of some kind with sufficient regularity to make lesser men think twice before volunteering for Santa duty. It began in 2004 when popular right fielder Mike Cameron played Santa. The following August Cameron’s season, and ultimately his time with the Mets, ended in a gruesome collision in the outfield with Carlos Beltran. That…

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Down By The Boardwalk, Dreaming Of The Show

William Miller:

This is some serious writing, my friends. Enjoy.

Originally posted on On Sports and Life:

Four different subway lines make the transit from Midtown Manhattan to the southernmost reaches of neighboring Brooklyn. But if one is going all the way to the end of the line it matters little what letter is on the side of the train one boards. All four make local stops in Brooklyn, so in every case it’s a long trip.

On this early evening the Q Train emerges from below ground just in time to make the slow climb up onto the Manhattan Bridge for the trip over the East River. Yellow cabs share the crossing to the left, while out the window to the right the older and more famous Brooklyn Bridge sits in the middle distance. Descending off the river crossing the train returns to subterranean depths for its first two stops, the second of which is beneath the Barclays Center. The great rust-colored arena, current home of…

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In Which The Kitten Pitches Into The Thirteenth

William Miller:

W.K. is always worth a read. This baseball-related poem of his is no exception. I hope you enjoy it.

Originally posted on W.k. kortas--mediocre means "better than some".:

If you saw his picture after that, you saw the smile;

Not of a man basking in the joy of over a decade in The Show,

No well-earned satisfaction of having reached the top of his ten-inch mountain.

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