justgary's profile

Name: Gary
Location: Pensacola, Fl
ZIP: 32514
Member since: January 23, 2002
Last visit: October 05, 2022
Status: editor

justgary has posted 458 links and 3,498 comments to SportsFilter and 13 links and 380 comments to the Locker Room and 4 columns.

Sports Bio

Number 8...just like yaz. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. Its been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But, baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and could be again. Terence Mann

Recent Links

Beware the $100 Million MLB Man: If there’s any enduring lesson from Pujols’s increasingly scary-looking contract, it’s that teams would do well to build farm systems so flush with talent that those teams don’t need to even consider breaking the bank for aging stars who’ll likely disappoint.

posted by justgary to baseball at 08:55 AM on June 16, 2013 - 0 comments

The Evolution of World Series Celebrations: After the final strikeout of the 1950 World Series, the Yankees immediately run off the field; the catcher initially goes toward the dugout, then veers slightly toward the pitcher, who runs right past him into the dugout. The rest of the team, along with some non-uniformed humans, follow them toward the dugout. Players navigate past assorted ragamuffins and besuited gentlemen to reach the dugout. "We won, now get me into this doggone dugout!" they all shout excitedly.

posted by justgary to baseball at 01:29 AM on March 15, 2013 - 3 comments

Giants Sweep Tigers to Win World Series: Marco Scutaro knocked in the winning run with two outs in the 10th giving the Giants a 4-3 win and their second championship in three years. Pablo Sandoval was voted World Series MVP.

posted by justgary to baseball at 02:22 AM on October 29, 2012 - 14 comments

With small ball, Giants win 2-0 for 2-0 WS lead: And everything seems to be going their way.

posted by justgary to baseball at 10:50 AM on October 26, 2012 - 1 comment

Giants Reach World Series: The San Francisco Giants, once down 3 games to 1 to the St. Louis Cardinals, take decided game 7 to win the National League pennant. They face the Detroit Tigers in game one of the World Series Wednesday night.

posted by justgary to baseball at 07:49 AM on October 23, 2012 - 1 comment

Recent Comments

The sanctimonious baseball purists want to elevate Aaron Judge. Don’t let them.

Aaron Judge's 62nd Home Run And MAGA's Rejection Of Reality

posted by justgary at 09:41 PM on October 05, 2022

Bill Buckner, All-Star slugger best known for his '86 World Series error, is dead at 69

What I didn't like was during the 2004 Series, the Sox were clearly dominating and they put Mientkiewicz in at first base as a late inning replacement. The announcers said something like: "That's mainly for defensive purposes. They're leaving nothing to chance. They remember what happened before." Whoever said that can go to hell. posted by beaverboard

The story was that McNamara left Buckner at first instead of putting in Stapleton for defensive purposes, as he had often done during the season, so he could be on field for the celebration. Not sure if that was ever confirmed or denied, and I did read where Buckner claimed the only time Stapleton came in to replace him was when he was hurting.

Regardless, he should have been taken out. And that was the manager's fault, not Buckner's. Buckner went through hell with the media, but I don't see anything wrong or untrue with what the announcer said.

Joe Posnanski:

Then, I also think that Billy Buck's legacy should have nothing to do with an awkward ground ball that slipped through his legs when he shouldn't have even been out there, when his manager dozed rather than replace him with a younger man, when his teammates floundered and gave the Mets a chance to win a game they'd already lost.

That Posnanski piece is the best write-up I've read on Buckner's passing, showing what qualities made Buckner unique while also completely ignoring the false claims the Red Sox fan base took years to forgive him.

It's cool Buckner got some big celebratory moments in Boston in recent years, such as tossing out a first pitch the season after a Series win. Part of me still hates the "Boston forgives Buckner" idea, though. The question I cared about was whether he forgave Boston. posted by rcade

100% this. If anyone needed to forgive anyone else in this situation, it's Buckner forgiving Boston sports fans posted by NoMich

None of this is true.

Joy of Sox

Red Sox fans did not wait 21 years to forgive Buckner. They gave him a huge ovation during a public rally for the team in Boston on October 29 ,1986, two days after the team lost the World Series.

On October 30, 1986, the Associated Press reported that "hundreds of thousands of fans ... offered prolonged cheers for first baseman Bill Buckner".

Peter Gammons wrote in Sports Illustrated (November 10, 1986)

The Hub Hails Its Hobbling Hero

He awakened on the morning after the morning after, knowing that he had two more rivers to cross. First, there was a parade in downtown Boston. ... As he started to get out of bed, he heard some mention of the Mets' parade on the radio. "More than two and a half million people honored the world champions yesterday in New York," said the announcer, "and the parade finished with the Mets' team bus going through Bill Buckner's legs."

"Here I just experienced the best year of my life with a team, and I feel rotten," Bill Buckner said to his wife, Jody, as they drove down Route 93 toward Boston last Wednesday morning. "This whole city hates me. Is this what I'm going to be remembered for? Is this what I've killed myself for all these years? Is a whole season ruined because of a bad hop? I've got to go through the humiliation of this parade, partly because I know I don't deserve it. Oh well, there'll only be two or three players and about 50 people who'll show up to boo us." ...

It was a crystal-clear autumn morning ... when the truck neared Copley Square, he saw that the street was lined with faces and banners as far as he could see. Buckner had asked not to speak at the rally at City Hall Plaza, and so he stood at the end of the stage. But when he heard the ringing one-minute ovation that followed his name, Buckner stepped forward and thanked the crowd.

"That was the most incredible experience of my career," he said to Jody ...

Joy of Sox

I have memories of Bill Buckner receiving a standing ovation from Red Sox fans at Fenway Park on Opening Day in 1987. Yet no sportswriter mentioned that in his or her coverage of yesterday's events.

there's some revisionist history going on with Buckner, that people around here never really hated him, and that, um, hello, he came back to play for the Red Sox in 1990 and got a standing ovation then.

Art Martone mentioned 1990's return -- "when the fans gave him an ovation similar to today's" -- but many writers didn't even bother mentioning that event.

So we have an ovation for Buckner at the rally 2 days after the World Series, during the opening game of the 1987 season, and during the first game of 1990 when Buckner returned to the Red Sox for his last year. Three times in the 3 years after his error.

And we haven't even gotten to 2004 and 2008.

Take it from Buckner himself:

(and notice the headline:"Bill Buckner, Red Sox Scapegoat Later Embraced By Fans, Dies)

"I really had to forgive, not the fans of Boston, per se, but I would have to say in my heart I had to forgive the media. For what they put me and my family through. So, you know, I've done that and I'm over that."

It was the media that was merciless to Buckner. Dan Shaughnessy made a living discussing Buckner's error, only to now claim the fans were unfair to him. Another reporter called Buckner's wife after Donnie Moore killed himself after a blown save to ask if Buckner had every contemplated suicide after his error.

And yet almost every article written by the media upon Buckner's death, even though he publicly blamed the media for his treatment, focused on the falsehood that the fans treated Buckner terribly. Think about that for a second.

Yes, some fans were cruel. I've heard the talk radio comments at the time, and I know the story of his kid being told by a classmate that he had to quit baseball because of the error. Kids can be cruel. But that would have happened at the fringe of any fan base as big as the Red Sox.

But the idea that the base of Red Sox fans forgave him only when they won in 2004 is not based in any kind of reality. It's simply not true. Again, to quote Buckner after a Red Sox rally 2 days after his error:

"That was the most incredible experience of my career."

But Boston fans being cruel until finally forgiving Buckner in 2004 makes a much better story than the truth, that the vast majority of Red Sox fans never held the error against Buckner, and were smart enough to know that error was the least of that innings problems.

Not that the truth will change anything. The story and lie is too big and the false narrative too ingrained to ever be corrected. If fans alive during his career believe a false narrative, those who were not and only know of his career through a false history shaped by the media don't stand a chance.

posted by justgary at 04:55 PM on May 29, 2019

The Single Worst Recorded Umpire Call in Organized Baseball History

Sorry Grum. Accidentally deleted your comment. Hopefully rcade can bring it back.

posted by justgary at 12:22 PM on July 20, 2018

Vin Scully recites the speech about baseball from "Field of Dreams".


posted by justgary at 01:02 PM on May 29, 2016

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

But he just has never invoked the "don't let him have the ball or we're done" fear that opponents had when facing Montana.

I think one reason people may feel that way about Montana is the last drive against dallas in 'I'm too lazy to look up the year'. One game that is so storied it pushes him into rarified air, but probably creates a bias among quite a few fans.

posted by justgary at 09:04 PM on February 03, 2015

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

Surely if Trout or Harper played for the Yankees or the Red Sox he'd be real famous instead of baseball famous.

Sounds like a plan.

posted by justgary at 10:44 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

Also, I wonder how Trout or Harper would fare if they played for the Yankees. Definitely would help any player become more recognizable.

posted by justgary at 04:45 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

Harper is a great comparison to Trout. He seems to enjoy attention, and has had some commercial success, and is even a similar styled player, but he hasn't lived up to expectations lately.

Give Harper Trout's stats and you might have something. I have no doubt there's less MLB player posters on kids walls than the NBA or NFL. Not sure how to fix that.

posted by justgary at 04:43 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

You'd recognize Trout if he was treated like Reggie Jackson was in the '70s, with commercials and TV guest appearances and candy bars and the like. Everyone recognizes the top NFL and NBA stars.

I don't think it's really a fair comparison, though. Reggie was a personality. Does Trout want to go that route? Maybe those opportunities aren't there, and that does say something. I don't know. Was Jackson that recognizable and famous after 4 years? He wasn't a Yankee until his 11 year in the league.

But I'd recognize plenty of other baseball players. And there are plenty of football players that I wouldn't recognize in street clothes. Basketball players are different (extreme height, fewer players, lot of face time).

And I agree, baseball could become hockey. I just don't find the Trout example convincing. I'd recognize Josh Hamilton, Pujols, but Trout just seems pretty nondescript.

posted by justgary at 04:14 PM on August 31, 2014

New Yorker: The Twilight of Baseball

The Trout angle seems really weak. I watch quite a few Angel games, and I watch Trout highlights often. I recognize him when he comes up to bat. I recognize him in his uniform.

But if he walked into a bar I doubt very seriously I'd recognize him. And that proves... really not much.

The 'baseball isn't our national pastime' story has been going on for years. No, it will probably never be as popular as the NFL unless the NFL folds, but I have confidence it'll be just fine unless those in charge fuck it up, which could happen.

In general, I agree with Howard. Choices are everywhere. The world is far different than when baseball was our pastime.

posted by justgary at 08:45 AM on August 31, 2014

Red Sox owner Tom Werner has become a dark horse candidate to be baseball's next commissioner

Werner's ideas of making the Red Sox a prime sports attraction have little to do with making the team better.

86 years without a World Series victory, then 3 in 10 years. The Red Sox have, more than any time in recent history, been spectacularly 'better'. There's really no argument to the contrary. And to be a 'prime sports attraction', you must also win. To claim he's trying to do one without the other simply defies logic.

Rather, his ideas are all about "game presentation", the myth of Fenway Park's historical value

I completely understand and even sympathize with those that believe Fenway should be torn down and a new state of the art park with leg room and home plate facing seats be built, but to many, Fenway does have 'historical value'. There's nothing mythic about it. It's not like everyone hated Fenway and then Werner convinced them otherwise.

"and selling the idea of coming to Fenway as an "in thing" to the pink hat group."

I think the whole 'pink hats' things has been over done and for the most part is silly, but I've learned not to argue about it. But if anyone in charge of an MLB team is not marketing to every type of fan, including those that might not live for baseball, in a world with so many entertainment choices, they are not doing their job (and shouldn't be considered for commissioner).

2013 was supposed to be a year during which the young talent developed in the minors while a few established stars (Pedroia, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Lester) gave the team enough cachet to keep the turnstiles moving. Somehow, the rest of the roster had career years, the AL East was weak, and the accident happened.

I've heard this a lot recently, that somehow the Red Sox got lucky. If you condemn ownership when they lose, you've got to give them credit when their choices work.

The AL East was weak? Still had to make it through the rest of the playoffs and World Series. And a good team takes advantage of a week division.

the rest of the roster had career years

Here's the 2013 Red Sox lineup. Saltalamacchia had a good year. I guess you could call it career. He also wasn't the starting catcher by the time the World Series was over. Napoli career year? Nope. Pedroia? Nope. Drew? Middlebrooks? Gomes? Ellsbury? Victorino? Nope. Ortiz had a great year, but not career.

Pitching? No starting pitcher had a career year except Buchholz, who also missed much of the season. Uehara had a career year as a closer. They deserve credit for picking him up (the Red Sox 3rd closer after the first two were injured for the year).

The 2013 Red Sox team was deep, and talented up and down the lineup. The could beat you several ways. But they weren't a team of career years by any stretch. Lucky? Of course luck played a part. As it does to any team that wins the World Series.

During the off-season, the decision was made to try to go "on the cheap" for 2014.

Who should they have given big contracts to?

Rather than keep Ellsbury, albeit at a high price, they let him go

A smart move in my eyes, and one I still support. Put Ellsbury's current stats in this lineup and the Red Sox are still going nowhere.

Lester was offered an insult for a contract, the ensuing negotiations were a sham, and Lester was traded. They got a good piece for him in Cespedes, but how long will he be kept?

I don't know that it was the insult you believe it was, but regardless, power is in short supply. I don't really have a problem with this trade, but even if it was a mistake, way too early to point at it as a mistake by the front office.

Nelson Cruz was available at a good price

34. Don't give sluggers half way to 40 big contracts unless you're David Ortiz.

but Grady Sizemore was on the bargain rack. The results are obvious.

Yeah, didn't work out. Didn't lose much either though. Besides, if we're going to blame the front office when low risk deals don't work, we need to give them credit when they do, as they did multiple times in 2013.

I honestly have no idea of Tom Werner will make a good commissioner or not, and if I'm coming off as a huge fan of his, I'm not. But I fail to see how anything he did with the Red Sox would point to no, and Selig has set the bar so low I can only see him being an improvement.

There's a segment of Red Sox fans that are nostalgic for the days Fenway was filled with die hard fans and empty seats and a lot of 'get 'em next year'. I'm not one of those fans. The last 10 years has been pretty awesome, and for whatever hand Werner had during that time, I'm thankful.

The biggest mistake by the current front office was the Carl Crawford contract (which I approved of when it happened -- what do I know), which they thankfully solved by finding a sucker to take him off their hands.

posted by justgary at 11:37 PM on August 11, 2014

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The problem I have specifically is that someone is letting her throw a curve ball at age 13. That's how you mess up an elbow/arm at that age.

I heard this growing up from about 8 until 13 (when my pitching career ended), and once I was older I realized the weekend coaches that preached this knew very little about baseball. It was just something repeated and accepted because it was so often repeated and accepted, similar to the using only 10 percent of your brain myth.

It seems even when studies don't support the results we have a hard time believing it might not be true:

Like a pitcher and a catcher disagreeing on pitch selection, the opposing sides in the debate could not be more closely allied. Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon to many athletes, is a founder of the American Sports Medicine Institute and has written with Fleisig some of the studies that have failed to prove that curveballs are hazardous to young arms. It has not stopped Andrews from challenging the results.

And I'm not saying curveballs can't be dangerous. But I'm betting that arm fatigue, especially on young arms, is much more dangerous than pitch selection (and maybe even more so when throwing curveballs).

posted by justgary at 07:31 PM on August 11, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Daniel Bard released by Texas Rangers

Ahh, so he was. One pretty dominant season. Kind of unbelievable how badly things fell apart.

posted by justgary at 07:04 PM on July 30, 2014

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Daniel Bard, now in low minors, is still having extreme control problems

18 batters faced

nine walks

seven hit batters

two outs (one strikeout, one ground out back to the pitcher)

175.50 ERA and 13.43 WHIP

Over a month old link, but yeah, "problems" might not be the right word.

posted by justgary at 04:58 PM on July 30, 2014

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The Red Sox just need to sign Johnny Damon:

Johnny Damon: 'Ready' for comeback

"When you feel you can still outhit at least half the league and you don't get that call, it's rough," Damon told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday.

posted by justgary at 05:48 PM on July 08, 2014