Recent Comments by languagehat

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I don't seem to have commented here since 2003 (and yet Sportsfilter remembered my login!), but I had to drop by to say that in over half a century of watching baseball that was the wildest inning I've ever seen. I admit, through gritted teeth, that the umps made the correct ruling, but I'm sure glad the Blue Jays won.

posted by languagehat at 08:27 PM on October 14, 2015

I'm a Mets fan and a Redskins fan. Pity me.

posted by languagehat at 03:59 PM on November 06, 2003

The Yankees lose! The-e-e-e-e Yankees lose!

I was watching the Series to see the Yankees lose. I never get tired of seeing the Yankees lose. If the Yankees break the all-time single-season losing record next season, I'll be disappointed about the 41 games they won. Ah, sweet music! You and me both, brother.

posted by languagehat at 04:02 PM on October 28, 2003

The Yankees lose! The-e-e-e-e Yankees lose!

Yes!! And Beckett gave one of the best performances I've seen in a long time. First complete-game Series-ending win since Jack Morris in '91 (for my nostalgically beloved Twins). I wish it had been the Mets, but I'm just glad somebody beat the damn Yankees.

posted by languagehat at 10:13 PM on October 25, 2003

The wild-card Marlins moved one win away

Marlins win! Marlins win!

posted by languagehat at 10:06 PM on October 25, 2003

Do we do professional athletes any favors...

we prop up our celebrities only to smash them down we hold athletes to higher standards then we hold ourselves I don't think expecting athletes not to rape women is "holding athletes to higher standards then we hold ourselves." If a jury eventually decides that he did rape her (and none of us has any idea whether he did), he'll go to jail (I hope) for rape, and that will have nothing to do with celebrity culture or "smashing down" our idols. The massive publicity is another matter, of course, but let's not confuse the flashbulbs with what they're illuminating.

posted by languagehat at 01:32 PM on July 22, 2003

9/10, baby! *high-fives grum@work* I guessed on a couple and missed the "wasted 30 years of his life" quote.

posted by languagehat at 08:14 AM on July 04, 2003

Lies, damn lies, and baseball.

Yeah, sorry about that, I was too indignant to post clearly. What I meant was the increased interest among that tiny segment of people who care about baseball history prior to their own early memories. There's no particular reason anyone here should be aware of 19th-century baseball at all, let alone the World Series of the 1880s, so I should have spelled that out. But the fact is that in the last 15-20 years there's been a lot of research on it (mainly thanks to the good folks at SABR), and as I said there's been an entire book on the earlier Series, so it's unconscionable that somebody would be able to write and publish a book in 2003 that completely ignores it. The average reader won't notice or care, but come on, if somebody wrote a book about the Model T called "The First Auto," don't you think somewhere along the way someone would have said "Uh, you know, there were cars before that"? [/rant]

posted by languagehat at 08:05 AM on July 04, 2003

Lies, damn lies, and baseball.

From the Lansche book:

Finally, Macmillan's claim that the 1903 games were the first to be called the World Series is nothing but semantics. The New York Clipper called the 1884 Series the "United States Championship", The Sporting News called the Providence Greys the "champions of the world" and referred to the Series itself as "the world's championship"; the Boston Journal, another impartial observer, called the series the "championship of the country". The New York Clipper referred to the 1885 St. Louis Browns as the "world's champions" and Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide 1886 called the series "the United States championship". The Reach Baseball Guide called the 1886 games "The Great World's Series" the first such use of the modern phrase I was able to locate in an objective source.... By 1887, there wasn't a newspaper in the country that didn't use the phrase "world's championship", and by 1886, The Sporting News was, for the first time, referring to the games as "The World's Series".
Long live the nineteenth century!

posted by languagehat at 04:11 PM on July 02, 2003

The 19 Commandments of Baseball

Brilliant stuff. The overuse of sac bunts and lefty-righty switches has driven me nuts for years. Thanks, grum. I'm going to keep reading this guy.

posted by languagehat at 09:49 PM on April 02, 2003

Give Bill Buckner a break!

... doe-eyed closer Calvin Schiraldi I love it! (But then I'm a Mets fan, so I can read about all this in equanimity.)

posted by languagehat at 03:22 PM on October 17, 2002

Why College Football stinks.

I didn't think it was that bad either. I can enjoy college football, but the fact is, college players aren't as accomplished as professionals (and how could they be?). Nothing wrong with that, and conditions are similar in the baseball minor leagues -- but the difference is that nobody takes the minors seriously, or cares when some prospect drops an easy fly or throws a ball over the first baseman's head. College football is taken so seriously it's scary. I had a great time watching football at my alma mater, Occidental, because our team was lousy (the only team we could beat was Cal Tech, which was even worse, though they had great cheers) and nobody cared about football anyway (it was Vietnam time), so you could sit with a few other onlookers and enjoy the game in peace and comfort. I shudder to think what it's like being crammed into the stands at, say, Ohio State. But that's just me.

posted by languagehat at 03:19 PM on October 17, 2002

This is a sport that I would love to know the orgin of.

Well, according to one doubtless dubious account: "The origin of the competition is based in Finnish history. A 19th century notorious character, Rankainen the Robber imposed strong physical standards on men he considered for his band. To qualify, the men had to complete a difficult course with a heavy sack on their backs. It was also not uncommon for men to steal women from neighboring villages."

posted by languagehat at 03:11 PM on October 17, 2002

The Helmet Project

Great stuff. I'm not much of a football fan either, but to the extent I am, I'm a Redskins fan (just as I was a Senators fan back in the day), and I'd totally forgotten those yellow "Vince Lombardi" helmets!

posted by languagehat at 01:02 PM on October 16, 2002

Who do I cheer for?

I laugh through the pain. Go Halos!

posted by languagehat at 04:09 PM on October 15, 2002

Bobby V out as Mets manager.

I'd vote for Buck Showalter (who sounds like he might be interested) or Tom Kelly.

posted by languagehat at 08:52 AM on October 03, 2002

Bobby V out as Mets manager.

What makes you think Molitor would be a good manager? And for the Mets in particular?

posted by languagehat at 03:29 PM on October 01, 2002

"Underachieving in the postseason is...what makes them the Braves, kind of like how that hoochie-coochie thing is what makes Charo Charo,"

I desperately want the Angels to beat the Yanks. After that, I don't care. Goddam Mets.

posted by languagehat at 03:18 PM on October 01, 2002

MLB Firings Begin.

I still don't understand why Davey Johnson was let go, or why he has such trouble getting jobs. He has one of the best winning percentages ever. I know he puts some people off, but can you really argue with that kind of success?

posted by languagehat at 08:42 AM on October 01, 2002

MLB Firings Begin.

djacobs: You're absolutely right, but we both know it's not going to happen that way. As the NY Press says in this week's "Best of Manhattan" issue:

It looks like Bobby Valentine has to go. Weve grown to like him, and its a shame that he has to be sacrificed, but blood must be shed and Bobby V. is looking more and more like the lamb led to slaughter. The good news is that, whatever happens from here on into the offseason, 2003 has to be better than 2002.

posted by languagehat at 04:00 PM on September 30, 2002

Barry Bonds has tied the NL mark

I don't know how "djacobs" became "??t" and I'm not sure I want to know.

posted by languagehat at 03:40 PM on September 26, 2002

Barry Bonds has tied the NL mark

Huh? Sure it was a different league back then, and even the best of the teams of the WWI era probably would have a hard time beating one of today's major league teams (Tampa Bay excluded; I'm taking "A/AA" as pardonable exaggeration) -- but that has nothing to do with the point, which is that Ruth was probably the best left-handed pitcher of his era as well as the best hitter, and he thus set a standard of double-barrelled greatness that will almost certainly never be matched. Today, pitchers can't hit and hitters can't pitch, end of story. Jeff: Of course you can compare players across generations; not only is it half the fun of baseball, but Bill James has devoted his entire career to it; check out his Historical Baseball Abstract for endless fun (review here).

posted by languagehat at 03:39 PM on September 26, 2002

Meanwhile, the US wins it all

I'm glad Russia gave them a game, and glad they won. Samsonov: Huh?

posted by languagehat at 12:54 PM on September 26, 2002

Barry Bonds has tied the NL mark

It's too bad that a combination of Bonds's personality and the hardened prejudices of many reporters is keeping him from the recognition that should be his. Sure, people notice him -- hard to miss the homer record -- but I think in a few decades they'll look back at the sports coverage of his career and shake their heads: "Didn't those people know what they were seeing?" Of course, Grum's right about Ruth -- you should never say "never," but I have a hard time believing anyone will ever again be in serious contention for both best (lefthanded) pitcher and best hitter, and until that day comes, Ruth is #1, no two ways about it.

posted by languagehat at 12:52 PM on September 26, 2002

With their victory last night, the 3rd game of a 3 game sweep,

I just joined so I could tell y'all that there are 6 of us. Misery loves company.

posted by languagehat at 04:16 PM on September 23, 2002