Here at BallNine life is not just about yelling from Twitter rooftops. Trying to find solutions to problems is part of the game here.
The latest injury news from the Yankees is disturbing on several fronts. One thing is certain, the Yankees can’t blame Matt Krause for this one. Krause was the Yankees Director of Strength and Conditioning that was let go by the team in December and replaced by Eric Cressey with the title Director of Player Health and Performance.Read more.
Baseball is all about second chances and comebacks. First chances, too.
It can work that way for baseball songs as well. In 1981, New York City singer/songwriter Stan Satlin wrote Baseball (America’s National Pastime) a joyful, innocent tune.
This song is the musical version of Moonlight Graham, who never got a major league at-bat.Read more.
Good times are ahead. Remember that.
There was no National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer and that is a shame. We all realize how special those moments are now that they have been taken away from us this year: weddings, celebrations, reunions and the like. In the future, we will note how truly glorious the good times will be when those days return.Read more.
Goose Gossage earned his way to the Hall of Fame, pitching 22 years in the majors, piling up 310 saves, a 3.01 ERA, 124 wins and 1,502 strikeouts. Over a 10-year stretch from 1975-85 the big right-hander collected 254 saves with a 2.41 ERA while striking out 1,058 batters and won a World Series with the Yankees in 1978.
In that World Series against the Dodgers, Gossage pitched six innings, allowed one hit and did not give up a run.Read more.
We’re the same age, me and Wiffle Ball.
In 1953 David N. Mullany created the magic plastic ball with eight perforated oblong holes so his son could play baseball in the backyard. The game really hasn’t changed that much in 67 years.
The yellow plastic bat came around a few years later, a package deal, batter up!Read more.
Move over Tom Terrific. Make room for Super Jake.
The best pitcher in Mets history remains Hall of Famer Tom Seaver because of his 311 wins, 198 as a Met. Jake deGrom has 66 wins total, so for all of deGrom’s greatness he will never be in the same win total ballpark as Seaver.Read more.
Put them in the damn postseason already. This 60-game sprint is made for the Yankees. They have the power, the pitching and the will. This year… they have it all.
Even if the Yankees somehow get off to a mediocre start, they have the perfect schedule to succeed when it really counts with 20 of their last 23 games coming against teams that are destined to struggle.
Everything is coming up Pinstripes.Read more.
Major league managers listen up. This is your last chance. This is it.
The 60-game season that is about to hatch is your last chance to prove your real worth. You can’t continue to be puppets. Front office power-brokers have taken everything away from you. Your ability to make the lineup. Your in-game decision-making. Your individuality. Your gut instincts.
Your managerial dignity.Read more.
Elvis was the King. So was Eddie Feigner.
Who is Eddie Feigner?
Feigner (pronounced FAY-ner) was the star of the King and His Court, the greatest fast-pitch softball pitcher to ever roam the earth. During his barnstorming career as the King, a road trip that began in 1946, Feigner, according to his meticulous records won 9,743 games, struck out 141,517 batters, fired 930 no-hitters and pitched 238 perfect games.Read more.
Sometimes the magic is right in front of us for Pete’s sake.
Open your eyes, baseball fans. Players too. For all the negativity surrounding America’s Pastime, with the daily dose of Covid talk, there is something really special that can be tapped into this crazy season. The world will get an unvarnished, up close look at the happiest player in the game, a modern-day player who is a cross between Ernie Banks (“Let’s play two!”) and Mark (The Bird) Fidrych.
Love of the game and just enough quirkiness sets him apart from other players. And with no fans in the stands and many mics pointed in the players direction and with no outside noise, we should get some really interesting insights and comments.Read more.
Born on the 4th of July.
That is a special day to celebrate a birthday. It is my birthday. John Sterling’s birthday, too. The Yankees’ legendary broadcaster and I always wish each other a happy birthday whenever we are together at a ballgame on the 4th of July.
If I happened to be at a Mets game, John and his radio partner Suzyn Waldman would give me a shoutout on WFAN.
This year, of course, is different.
There will be no major league games on July 4th and for the first time in 38 years. Sterling, who broadcast Braves games before joining the Yankees in 1989, will not be broadcasting on the 4th because of Covid-19.
It will not be long though before John is back in the booth at Yankee Stadium; for both the home and road games. Sterling told BallNine that is the hope right now when the Yankees open up. Do the home games in the booth at Yankee Stadium and also the road games from there as well — those road games will be broadcast off a monitor.Read more.
New York Knights manager Pop Fisher said these memorable words to coach Red Blow when Roy Hobbs showed up out of nowhere to proclaim he was the new right fielder, the Natural.
“Red, I should’ve been a farmer.’’
Turk Wendell, who always follows his own path, is putting Pop’s words to good use well after pitching 11 years in the major leagues, including five seasons with the Mets.
Turk is a farmer. And is thrilled to live the life of a farmer.
This October marks the 20th anniversary of the Subway World Series, Mets vs Yankees. The Yankees beat the Mets in five games, but it was a lot closer than that. The Mets four losses came by a total of five runs.
The Mets won 94 games that season to earn the NL Wild Card. The Yankees won 87 games as they went on to win their third straight World Series. The Mets stormed past Barry Bonds’ Giants in four games in the NLDS, Bonds batted .176 with no home runs, and swamped the Cardinals in five games in the NLCS.
Wendell was a big reason the Mets made it to the World Series, coming on in relief in 77 regular season games and six more in the postseason.
His dreams were realized by pitching in the major leagues.
Now he is working on new dreams, getting his hands in the dirt on his farm in Adel, Iowa, located 30 miles west of Des Moines, along the North Raccoon River. Sounds like the perfect place for Turk to find a home after living the ranch life in Colorado for years.Read more.
Will you care?
Major League Baseball made it pretty clear over the last few months that fans are last on the list of priorities, so you are going to have to get over it, if you can.
What is this 2020 version of baseball going to look like?
The biggest thing working in MLB’s favor is that the Boys of Covid Summer will have a totally different look after the two warring sides finally sent their lawyers to a back room and brought out the bats, gloves and baseballs.
Leave the sunflower seeds. Take the hand sanitizer.
America’s Game is a sideshow this year. How is this version of baseball going to play out? There will be a curiosity factor for sure. If people watched Cornhole on TV, they will watch this version of speed-dating baseball.
Summer camp reopens in ballparks on July 1. Games are scheduled to begin three weeks later in a comet-like 60-game season.
Let’s hope the season doesn’t get called on account of Covid.
There will be no fans in the stands, a much different atmosphere where foul balls will clang around empty seats. The umpires strike and ball calls will be heard clearly as will any other loud discussions. Twitter sensation Jomboy is sure to have a field day.
Fans will be curious so they will watch… at first. But will they stay? Will they invest their time, their baseball souls to this game or is it a case of ownership and players finally going too far, pushing the fans away with their selfish antics over gobs of money.Read more.
Lowering the bar never works.
For any baseball fan, those three words are trouble. If your team does it that means expectations have dropped. That means trouble.
When the entire sport of baseball does it that’s even worse. Trouble for the sport.
That is where we are today in baseball, a much shorter season and a much longer postseason with 16 teams, all in pursuit of extra postseason dollars. Add Covid-19 to the mix and you have created one of the worst times in baseball history. Combine that with the current labor fight and more dark clouds on the horizon with another financial battle just around the corner. This is only a warmup.
Who knows what is going to happen with the Covid-19 situation. There may not be a baseball season at all in 2020. There may not be an NFL season or an NBA season.
Not watering down the product, though, is in MLB’s control and baseball continues to botch this attempted comeback on several fronts, alienating even more fans.Read more.
His eyes looked to the baseball heavens as Luis Tiant turned his back on the hitter to deliver a pitch that could dart from any arm angle.
As a hitter, you are looking to find the ball as quickly as possible; it is unnerving to see the pitcher’s number - and not the baseball - in your line of sight. Deception was one of Tiant’s greatest weapons. It’s as if an octopus were pitching. In today’s world of cookie-cutter power deliveries there is no one like El Tiante and the tornado he was on the mound - and baseball is much poorer for it.
At the age of 79, Tiant - beloved in Boston - is still looking upward, thanking God where his baseball life has taken him. “I fulfilled my dreams,’’ Tiant told BallNine. “God made it happen for me.’’Read more.