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.
Dave Kingman led the league in home runs two times, he had 20-plus homers in 12 seasons, and 30-plus in seven. It could be argued that Kingman was made for the DH role and had found his groove in 1984-86 with the A’s. But there’s always a backstory …
Thirteen times he hit 30 or more home runs in a season. He was a three-time MVP and an all-star in 12 seasons. So how does The Sporting News’ player of the decade for the 1980s not make a list of the 10 best players of the ’80s?
Who was the best player of the 1970s? By the numbers, Joe Morgan was the most fierce WARrior in the 1970s. I disagree. So if not Joe Morgan as the best player in the ’70s, then who? My choice is …
Let’s dig in for a throwback to the simpler times of the national pastime. A celebration of high stirrups. A festival of Willie (Wilson), Mickey (Rivers), and the Duke (John Wathan). A remembrance of when baseball was more than ‘roids, relief specialists, and Range Factor.
ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 entry, Believeland, may have been cathartic for many Cleveland sports fans, but for others it rekindled memories of the lost-more-often-than-not Indians of the 1970s.
Since 2007, when Nick Saban arrived at Alabama (that’s the year against which all SEC football programs are measured — no?), Georgia is 84-34. With the third-best winning percentage in the SEC since 2007, the numbers were stacked against Mark Richt. … But should Bulldog Nation have been more careful for what it wished?