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Tiebreaker Presence/Baseball Sinks Lower

The seemingly so important National League “2” seed (on paper it is, as it is a “chit” for a 2 of 3 series bye and home advantage vs a non Dodgers opponent in the also not necessary, $$, 28th year best of 5 “quarters”/division series–this opposed to having to play a 2 of 3 and then if surviving, meet the Dodgers, sans home advantage) could be decided and already is greatly affected by the fact a tiebreaker (based on regular season head to head play and favoring the Mets vs the Braves) is the method the “2,” will be determined if NY and ATL finish with the same 162 game(s) record.

If you do not see the absurdity/sell out to TV/the many many playoff games, then I will …….

Baseball, it did not help you, Aaron Judge can hit 80 home runs and you can put every team in the playoffs and you will never have what you had with real pennant races.

By the way with a week to go, only one ‘offs spot, albeit in a 3 team battle for 2 spots is open, so again your selling out the fans who recall ’51, ’62, ’67, and ’78 among so many others, did not get you what you want. Your LCS/semi in one league will not be telecast over the air.

Judge, who hit #61 last night to pass Babe and tie Roger, I predict, will hit #62 on Saturday October 1, 2022. Roger hit #61 to pass Babe on Sunday October 1, 1961. Babe hit #60 to pass Babe on Friday September 30, 1927.

 

Hank Greenberg 1946.jpg

The great Hank Greenberg, pictured above, bid to break Mr. Ruth’s record and ended the 1938 season with 58 home runs. 

Hank and Jimmie Foxx, another great, are tied for the most A.L. homers in a season by a non Yankees player. 

 

 

“Our Man in Santiago” Is Superb

“Our Man in Santiago,” written by Mark Wilding and playing at AMT Theater (354 West 45th Street) is a superb work.

It made me laugh out loud, which is not an easy thing to accomplish.

Directed by Charlie Mount and with a great cast of 5 characters, the play is set in Santiago, Chile in 1973. The true story involving duly elected Salvador Allende is the backround and believe me, pathos and real life questions certainly manifest. See for yourself, but see this superb production.

The cast members are Prisciliana Esparolini, Nick McDow Musleh, George Tovar and as R.M. (Richard) Nixon and Henry Kissinger respectively, Steve Nevil and Michael Van Duzer. 

Again this involves a heavy duty topic and having amassed much introspection on all it entails but more because this production was superb, I was drawn to happy thoughts and the appreciation of having been fortunate to see “Our Man in Santiago.”

I close citing parts involving two of the CIA agents as well as “Nixon” and “Kissinger” that hysterically and brilliantly weaves Coke (the soft drink), Pepsi and say intrigue. It was fantastic!!

 

 

 

“2 Year” Title Game(s) Notes

Today there are rematches from the last three AFC Title games in years ending with a two.

Thirty years ago, the Buffalo Bills went to Miami and defeated the Dolphins to win their third straight AFC crown.

Today also in Miami, the two (2-0) teams clash.

Twenty years ago, in “2” year, 2002, the then Oakland Raiders, now the Las Vegas Raiders, won a home title tilt from the Tennessee Titans. Today in Tennessee, the two (0-2) teams meet.

Finally 10 years ago, the Baltimore Ravens sojourned to New England and upset the Patriots in the 2012 AFC title tilt. Today also in New England, in the Pats’ home opener, the teams, each with (1-1) records clash.

Who but me would disseminate this?!

The May 14th Note

12 ‘offs teams, expanded and sold out/no playoff games for tied ‘offs spots 2022 baseball, I think has there 6, one eighth “div” winners, 5 almost certain and only the Mets /Braves still unsettled (even there the Mets up one and a half with the tiebreaker are huge favorites).

There will be details and notes but today a quick foray back to Sunday May 14th’s, 5 years apart in 1967 and 1972.

In ’67 the great Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run in a game vs the Baltimore Orioles.

5 years later on another Sunday May 14th, another great (sorry New York Giants Preservation Society members who call Willie, a player I truly love, the greatest of all–that goes to Babe Ruth and also Dave McNally and Jim Mason hit more World Series HR’s than the great Willie) Willie Mays in his first game as a New York Mets player, hit a home run.

The 5 div winners in order of record are the Dodgers, Astros, Yankees, Cardinals and Guardians nee Indians. The Mets/Braves winner will be the N.L. 2 seed.

Remembering The Great Maury Wills

It happens seemingly every day, some coincidence, a confluence of events and sadly amidst many and 4 days shy of 60 years since he broke Ty Cobb’s 47 year old record of 96 stolen bases in a season, the great player, Maury Wills, shamefully not in the Hall of Fame while on this deteriorating earth, died at age 89.

I guess you know a player (Aaron Judge) has become the third American League player, all playing for the New York Yankees, to hit as many as 60 home runs in a season and it probably deserves at least some of the hype (Jane Krakowski cited Judge in a recent Town Hall number) that has manifested.

That takes me back to September 23, 1962 when the great broadcaster Bob Murphy cited Maury breaking Ty’s record was as great as Roger Maris breaking Babe Ruth’s hallowed one season home run mark the year before.

Wills played on 3 L.A. Dodgers’ title teams, sparking them upon “call up” in 1959 and as a superb regular shortstop in both 1963 and 1966.

In the ’65 World Series in no game did a team with the lead after a full inning, lose a game. Maury helped, “keyed?” and certainly started the Dodgers on the way to the all important lead, (remember L.A. had brilliant pitching with Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale in those games. Claude Osteen had turned the World Series around with a shutout win in #3) in both games 4 and 5.

Speaking of Sandy Koufax and this is sharper focus as I watched “The U.S. and the Holocaust” last night, he and Maury read each other’s hate mail, applying humor to a sad, horrible reality regarding prejudice in this world and in the land of the ….. as Sandy is Jewish and Maury’s skin was darker than white.

Maury had impact and you could not write the history of baseball in his era without citing him. That is not true regarding Jim Kaat and even Pedro “Tony” Oliva, each of whom unlike Maury, made the watered down “Hall” while alive, something Mr. Wills will never gain.

Oh let me go see another middle of the game gambling ad sanctioned and encouraged by baseball while they still deny Pete Rose entry into the aforementioned “shrine” in Cooperstown, New York.

Finally putting some of the vitriol aside, Maury was an integral part of baseball glory and led the way for Lou Brock, Tim Raines, all-time stolen base king, Rickey Henderson and Maury contemporary, Luis Aparicio, as he put the stolen base back in baseball.

 

 

Las Vegas WNBA Team Comes Up “Aces” and Title Winners

Yesterday, in the third of the four WNBA title round tilts that “played” opposite big time pro football, the Las Vegas Aces secured their first WNBA crown in this their/the league’s 26th season, winning (77-71) as bet from pick to one plus points) favorites.

The game 4 win gave the Aces a (3-1) final round series win.

Chelsea Gray was named series MVP and led with 20 points in the clinching game. I note the Aces’ player, Kelsey Plum and their first year coach Becky Hammon, the latter pictured in a previous WNBA post here.

 

 

Yankees/O’s– May 1967

The game has 3 Robinsons, all of whom players or in one case a coach on 2 title teams. Frank and Brooks Robinson had led the Orioles to the ’66 A.L. Pennant and then superb O’s pitching yielded O’s (all I have for breakfast is O’s cereal) as in shutouts vs the Dodgers to sweep the World Series. The other Robinson is the Yankees Bill Robinson, 13 years later a title winning player with the Pirates and 19 years later the ’86 title winning Mets’ first base coach. Frank and Brooks won it all one more time, that with the ’70 Orioles.

Baltimore is off slow in ’67, that Sunday the Red Sox are leading the league leading Detroit Tigers in a game in which Carl Yastrzemski, Rico Petrocelli and Dick McAuliffe all hit home runs. On another ’67 Sunday back when baseball was real, those 3 names/players would echo loud as did others as an epic one half/had to finish first pennant race concluded.

Two of the greatest fielders ever to play the still great game of baseball, Brooks Robinson and a just starting Mark Belanger (another great, the O’s regular shortstop, Luis Aparichio is injured) make early inning errors.

The Yankees score 3 runs in the bottom of the first, Steve Whitaker delivering the big hit. Bill Robinson makes the inning’s last out then Frank Robinson singles to start the Orioles second and one batter later, Brooks Robinson walks.

Operative number Three years later, Horace Clarke of the Yankees broke up 3 no-hitters in the ninth inning. In a Jim Palmer one hitter in ’67, I believe two days earlier, Clarke got the game’s only hit.

If you can tell me something pretty historic about this game and one also played in new York exactly 5 years later, please comment. I will post on that within days.

Pitt/Cincy Notes

During the 1970’s the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates combined to win 12 “one quarter/legitimate” division titles.

They met in the NLCS 4 times and one team or the other qualified for the NLCS every year from (1970-1976).

Neither will make the 12 team, 6 in each league, tournament this season.

This past week after the Pittsburgh Steelers won at the Cincinnati Bengals in yet another Eagle/Steelers tilt

(alas once the Eagles and Steelers combined to be the Steagles and once Pittsburgh affiliated Ray Scott gave us clear, concise great broadcasting that now non existent).

A day later the Pirates began a series also in “Cincy,” in which the Pirates swept 4 games.

Not While In The Field!

Thoughts of 1972 and paraphrasing the then U.S. President (Richard Nixon), let me make “clear” that even before Roberto Clemente died as a true hero on 1972’s last day, I truly loved him. (Michael Santasieri trekking here to “manage” him, that great “Strato” 2 column, Bobby’s incredible ’71 World Series performance among myriad reasons I did so).

As the sad 50 year anniversary of his death draws inexorably closer, I will have perspective on it here. If there is one thing I think I have, and know I strive to achieve, it is perspective.

Thus, let me say that the telecast last night, yielding a player (Lindor) talking to the broadcast team while in the field, during a pretty important game is a new low.

I can hear Vince Lombardi yelling from above, but alas, it is for naught. The copy cat producers and a society that continues to “high school” it, regarding women and their looks, does leads to the new low that Fox Sports transmitted and allowed last night.

Carlos Alcaraz Won The U.S. Open

Carlos Alcaraz, only 19 years old became the youngest player since Pete Sampras in 1990, to win the U.S. Open when he defeated Casper Ruud in 4 sets, two days back.

Alcaraz had won three consecutive, grueling 5 set matches before prevailing in 4 sets in the final.

He is now the youngest ever number one ranked player in men’s tennis history.