No. 1 draft picks are not all they’re cracked up to be. Who will be the next Harold Baines — or the next big-league bust?
If there is a face of Major League Baseball in the ’70s, the player that represents the best and worst of the game, it’s the mercurial Doc Ellis. Author of a no-hitter and a sub .500 pitcher in one-third of his seasons, Ellis was his own worst enemy.
There was not a lot of homegrown talent on those 1976-78 Yankees pennant winners — unless you consider Cleveland a minor-league affiliate. (Four former Indians were key players during the Yankees’ run.) This is how the ’76 Yankees were built …
Yes, Pete broke the rules. Yes, Pete lied. And lied some more. Yes, Pete did everything he was accused of — and probably more. But we’re talking Charlie Hustle’s résumé for getting into the Hall of Fame — not getting into heaven.
There have been some great nicknames in baseball, but “Le Grand Orange” is my favorite. Rusty Staub is the epitome of what coulda been — both for the player and the Houston Astros, who traded Staub for what amounted to a lot of nothing.
Opening Day 2017 brings to mind seasons of yesteryear — including 30 years ago, when the lovable, laughable Cubs’ Andre Dawson was tabbed N.L. MVP, the first to play for a last-place team.