Sunday April 03, 2016
Lancelot Links: Opening Day Edition
- The Kansas City Royals are champions of the world, and Joe Posnanski wonders what lessons can be gleaned from their surprising rise to the top. They're good lessons, by the way, and not limited to baseball.
- The New York Times has taken a photo of Mets fans in utter misery as the Royals' Eric Hosmer slides in with the tying run in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series, and interviewed the heartbroken. So, so worth it.
- The Royals had an insane postseason but let's not forget the 53-minute 7th inning of Game 5 of the ALDS between the Blue Jays and Rangers.
- Nor the epic article by Posnanski and Michael Schur about the 53-minute 7th inning of Game 5 of the ALDS between the Blue Jays and Rangers.
- This spring, Posnanski continues to talk about the bat flip for the ages, as well as Bryce Harper's recent comments about how baseball should be more fun, and more demonstrative (but presumably with less neck-choking). A lot of the old guard, like Goose Gossage and Mike Schmidt, disagree with Harper but Posnanski doesn't. And he finds an old guarder who agrees with him: “Our time was our time; it's their time now.”
- Tyler Kepner has a Times piece on the “Endangered Species of Baseball,” which I thought might be: 1) young fans, or 2) African-American centerfielders, but is actually single-season stats players don't touch anymore. Recent ones: 75 stolen bases, 250 IP, 100 relief innings, 20 sac bunts. But what's 40/40 doing here? That was always an outlier—and most likely a PED outlier. Plus Cubs championship? If you're doing recent phenomena, why not a Yankees championship? Just one title since 2000. In Yankees history, that's a drought.
- How about some spring training action? Here, the Twins' Byron Buxton flashes some midseason form in center.
- Speaking of: Via Classic Twins blog, I came across this 22-minute doc on the 1970 Minnesota Twins, which is really the team that introduced me to baseball. It's my team: Killebrew, Oliva, Carew, Tovar, Cardenas; Blyleven, Perry, Tiant. I feel such a nostalgic pull seeing this. It's also, admittedly, pretty dull, in the PR spirit of the times, with an odd mid-60s soundtrack (think “Austin Powers”). Sponsored by Midwest Federal!
- A short oral history of how Dan Okrent and Lee Eisenberg discovered Bill James. Let me know when the longer version comes out.
- These days, it seems, Bill James has too much time on his hands. It's portrait of a stats guy doodling.
- Pinstripe Alley, a Yankees blog via Sports Nation, wonders why Hal Steinbrenner is pushing a revisionist history of his father that any fan worth his $15 beer knows is BS.
- More good news from Yankeeland: Hal is also pushing to reduce payroll for the Yanks.
- Who's going to win it all this year? Posnanski is one of many suggesting the 108-year dry spell of the Chicago Cubs is about to end.
- Finally, Josh Wilker, writer, father, “Bad News Bears in Breaking Training” apologist, has a sliver of time on his hands between his day job and parenting, so he writes about an old Ray Fosse baseball card and the possiblilty of boundless skies. And what could be more Opening Day than boundless skies?