Even the ’27 Yankees Got Swept

May 23, 2017

“The Midnight Special is now departing from Boston for St. Louis at 6:55 PM, Sunday. Estimated Time of Arrival in St. Louis is 10:55 AM Monday. ALL ABOARD!”

 

This is major league baseball. The rules of the long season apply. And that means any kind of streaky win/loss pattern is possible – including ones in which better teams get swept by lesser light clubs, etc.

When the Astros returned from this last short roaring success trip to New York and Tampa Bay, they came home with a 6-1 mark and an MLB-best 29-12 record to show for it. Of course, that rush of momentum quickly got stalled by the visiting Cleveland Indians, who out-pitched, out-hit, out-played, and out-lucked our Houston Home Boys for a three-game series sweep.

Don’t feel so bad, Astros! Even the ’27 New York Yankees (110-44) got swept – and, like the 2017 Astros just experienced, it too came at the hands of the 1927 version of those still rascally and warpathing 2017 Cleveland Indians.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/schedule.php?y=1927&t=NYA

The ’27 Indians sweep of the ’27 Yankees occurred in 3 single games played in Cleveland on 3 contiguous days, August 20-22, 1927. The Yankees also had lost their last game in Chicago to the White Sox on the previous day, August 19th. And, remember, this was 1927. The Yankees had to take a long train ride from Chicago to Cleveland right after the game in order to get there in time to start a new series on the road the next afternoon. Plus, it was late August. All teams were tired, but Cleveland had played at home against the A’s on August 19th and had the chance to sleep in their own beds that night that the Yankees were riding the rails to get there on time for the following day’s series opener.

Oh, yeah. The Yankees ended their Cleveland sweep loss series by traveling to Detroit for a sweep of their own – followed by another sweep at St. Louis over the Browns. The ’27 Yankees never got too far away from their Murderers’ Row identity.

Earlier in the season, the Yankees did not come close to what first looks like a 3-game sweep loss on the linked chart. In a series at Yankee Stadium, which started with 3 games played from June 25-26, the Yankees lost all three – the first 2 being a doubleheader played on June 25 and the third being the first game of a double-header, played on June 26. (Keep reading the list.) The Yankees then snapped and won the 2nd game of the DH on June 26 and two single games against the A’s that followed on June 27 and June 28. It was along six game stand that the two teams split at 3-3 – and almost certainly was one of those long series that got built into a travel schedule that had to rely upon rail travel as both an economy and time management factor.

If you read much baseball history about that era, you already are aware of the many times that clubs from the east arrived in St. Louis just in time to dress on the train and go straight to Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis for games against the Browns and Cardinals.

At least, the night train riders of big league baseball in the 1920s didn’t have to lose sleep over concern for any bombs exploding in the dark space above the clickety-clack while they rested.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

A Closer Look at the Save Rule in Sunday’s Game

May 22, 2017

Zach McAllister didn’t even get credit Sunday for saving the Astros from the fire works expense of a victory celebration.

 

The Rules Scoring Supposition for Save Awards

Under certain defined conditions, relief pitchers may earn a Save (Sv) credit for coming into a game and protecting a lead that is never yielded prior to the recording of the last out in the game.

These three conditions are all based upon the premise that the qualifying pitcher never yields the lead, even to a tie score status, and that he qualifies for the Sv award as follows:

(1) The pitcher enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or,

(2) The pitcher enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck; or,

(3) The pitcher pitches for at least three innings.

Affirmation for the Save Rules Correctness from the Box Score of the 5/21/17 Cleveland@Houston Game Linked Below:

https://www.mlb.com/gameday/indians-vs-astros/2017/05/21/490751?partnerId=LR_box#game_tab=box,game_state=final,game=490751

Our Conclusion

It is our conclusion that the official scorer acted correctly in awarding no Sv to Indians relief pitcher Zach McAllister. He entered the game and pitched the 9th and final inning, but the score was 8-3, Cleveland, when his work started and 0nly 8-6, Cleveland, when the game ended. McAllister had yielded 3 earned runs on two home runs in the 9th, but he did not qualify for a Sv credit by any of the three conditions that are currently in place.

What brought this request to mind was the comment I heard Astros TV voice Todd Kalas make after Alex Bregman hit the second of two consecutive home runs off McAllister. “It is now a save situation with the tying run on deck,” Kalas noted, with no further reference. And we don’t mean to take it out on Todd Kalas. We probably would have made the same kind of mistake many times over in the bright sunshine of his big league audience world – and maybe over the same rule.

In fact, what really sent me running to Google the save award rules noted above was my own state of uncertainty about them. I first thought, “maybe Todd’s right. Maybe some pitchers are getting saves awarded for games that did slap them back into their fields of eligibility by big scores that slipped the margins of victory down to close scores in the late goings.

I was all so ready to tear into the rules makers for leaving another hole in the boat of pitching credit stats when I looked more closely today – and I now think I saw a place where the rules writers got it right.

Unless a pitcher has been in the game for three innings, he can’t shave a bunch of runs off a big lead in order to qualify for a save. The credit is tied to both what a pitcher does – and how long he’s been in the game. And any “closer” today is still worth his salt in save credits if he can come into a game in the 9th with a one-run lead and hold it for a victory.

It also makes me wonder. – Are there some official scorekeepers out there who might have given McAllister a save today for what he did in the 9th at Minute Maid Park?

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Who Are These Guys, Sundance?

May 20, 2017

Butch: “Who are those guys that are coming after us so hard, Sundance?”
Sundance: “I’m afraid we both know who they are, Butch. Looks like we got to show ’em they got the wrong mountain this year!”

 

We know damn well who they are. – They are those hard-riding devil dogs from the north plains that stand between Houston and Oklahoma, the hot-dam, shoot-em-up, take-no prisoners Texas Rangers – the ones with that wild-eyed trail boss manager who looks like he wants to start a fight with our A.J. Hinch every time he steps onto the same turf he’s forced to share with our noble leader.

Who are these guys, anyway, we ask again. – Like we already said. We already know damn well who they are and we know too, as Astros fans, that they aren’t up to “no good.”

Let’s take a record look at the situation – from how things look this morning – to how things looked ten games ago.

AL WEST STANDINGS (Morning of Saturday, May 20, 2017)

AL WEST W L PCT. GB LAST 10
ASTROS 29 13 .690   8-2
RANGERS 23 20 .535 6.5 10-0
ANGELS 22 22 .500 8.0 6-4
MARINERS 20 23 .465 9.5 4-6
ATHLETICS 19 23 .452 10.0 4-6

And here’s the way things stood in the AL West, only ten games earlier in the records of each club:

AL WEST STANDINGS (Ten Games Earlier, Around May 10, 2017)

AL WEST W L PCT. GB
ASTROS 21 11 .656  
MARINERS 16 17 .485 5.5
ANGELS 16 18 .471 6.0
ATHLETICS 15 17 .469 6.0
RANGERS 13 20 .394 8.5

Lost in our local euphoria over how well the Astros have been playing – and they’ve been great – the Rangers have been winning even more often over the same period:

  • The Rangers’ perfect 10-0 win streak has allowed them to be the only AL West club to actually gain on the first place Astros during this period;
  • The Rangers have gone from 5th and last place to the 2nd spot in the division during their streak, picking up 2 full games on the high-flying Astros during their own hot short run;
  • And look out. – The long summer season of baseball is descending upon us and it looks like 2017 is going to be an exciting, quite contested, and most bumpy ride.
  • The Astros’ opening series loss to Cleveland last night was both a sobering reminder of the tender spots in our starting rotation and a reminder of an ancient baseball adage that says good pitching stops good hitting. The Cleveland starter and his relief crew were outstanding.
  • Better luck today in our Saturday day game.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Beltran Climbing the Most Doubles List

May 19, 2017

“It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish!”
~ ancient wisdom

 

As the Astros Hit Bakery continues to souffle their win and hit totals through the early 2017 season, returning hero Carlos Beltran also continues to egg on up his career ladder for doubles, as well.

On the heels of the just completed club win tear through the Bronx and South Beach, Carlos comes home now with 545 career doubles, good enough for 31st place on the Top 40 Contender list – and placing Beltran 1 double ahead of Derek Jeter in 32nd place – and only 2 doubles behind Manny Ramirez for the # 30 spot. As you examine the other “nearbys”, you will find that Beltran has a number of famous retired names just ahead of him that he should catch on the list of “further ups” this season, if providence and fate allow him to play the full season at his current rate.

Look high enough on the list, of course, and the #5 man on the all times MLB doubles list needs no further introduction or explanation.

Doubles
All Time Leaders
‘Top 40 Leaders’Courtesy Baseball Almanac.com
Tris Speaker 792 1
Pete Rose 746 2
Stan Musial 725 3
Ty Cobb 724 4
Craig Biggio 668 5
George Brett 665 6
Nap Lajoie 657 7
Carl Yastrzemski 646 8
Honus Wagner 640 9
David Ortiz 632 10
Hank Aaron 624 11
Albert Pujols 607 12
Paul Molitor 605 13
Paul Waner 605
Cal Ripken, Jr. 603 15
Barry Bonds 601 16
Luis Gonzalez 596 17
Todd Helton 592 18
Adrian Beltre 591 19
Rafael Palmeiro 585 20
Robin Yount 583 21
Wade Boggs 578 22
Bobby Abreu 574 23
Charlie Gehringer 574
Ivan Rodriguez 572 25
Jeff Kent 560 26
Eddie Murray 560
Chipper Jones 549 28
Alex Rodriguez 548 29
Manny Ramirez 547 30
Carlos Beltran 545 31
Derek Jeter 544 32
Tony Gwynn 543 33
Harry Heilmann 542 34
Rogers Hornsby 541 35
Joe Medwick 540 36
Dave Winfield 540
Al Simmons 539 38
Lou Gehrig 534 39
Al Oliver 529 40

Go Get the Tribe tonight, Astros! We need to keep the good times rolling, especially, now that the Rangers have figured out they are going to have to win a lot games this year too. A 9th win in a row for the Rangers last night has allowed them to move from last to 2nd place in the AL West – where they now “rest” only 7.5 games back of the fiery Astros going into today’s Friday action.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

A 1965 Contribution from Astros Daily

May 19, 2017

 

Excerpt
Victoria Advocate
May 20, 1965

 

Thanks to Pecan Park Eagle contributor Darrell Pittman, here’s a timely piece from Bob Hulsey’s “1965 Day by Day” column @ http://astrosdaily.com/1965/1965.html#0521:

May 21:

San Francisco (18-16) at Houston (17-19)
The Astrodome

The John Kibler controversy reaches a new level when Bob Aspromonte is ejected after disputing a “safe” call by Kibler at third base in the sixth inning. Aspro thought he had the tag on Jim Davenport and exploded when Kibler ruled otherwise. With Luman Harris already suspended, it was up to other Astros to calm down their third-sacker. Bill Giles, the Astros’ publicity director and scoreboard operator, flashes “KIBLER DID IT AGAIN” on the big board as fans voice their displeasure.

The game itself wasn’t in doubt by this time. The Giants tee off on Don Nottebart and lead, 7-0, by the time of Aspromonte’s eruption on their way to an 8-1 decision. Willie McCovey leads the charge with three hits, including a homer and four RBIs. Davenport and Matty Alou also swat three hits apiece. Things are going so well for the Giants that pitcher Ron Herbel gets the first hit of his big league career, snapping an oh-for-55 streak, on a roller through a drawn-in infield. John Bateman‘s solo shot in the eighth is the only relief for the home crowd.

May 22:

San Francisco (19-16) at Houston (17-20)
The Astrodome

At last, America gets to watch a game inside the new Astrodome. ABC televises the day game of a day-night twinbill against the Giants with Chris Schenkel and Leo Durocher supplying the commentary. If they tuned in on time, they got to see Willie Mays smash a mammoth two-run homer in the first off Bob Bruce. Jesus Alou, Tom Haller and Hal Lanier smack four hits apiece in a 10-1 rout. Juan Marichal spins a complete-game six-hitter. Dating back to the previous September, San Francisco has won ten straight over Houston.

In the untelevised nightcap, the Astros squeak out a 3-2 victory. Mays spanks another two-run first-inning homer, his 17th long ball of the season. Houston responds with a run-scoring double by Walt Bond. Joe Gaines belts a home run, pinch-hitting for starter Turk Farrell in the seventh. Houston takes the lead in the eighth when Rusty Staub singles off Masanori Murakami, moves up on a walk to John Bateman and scores on a pinch-hit single by player-coach Nellie Fox. Hal Woodeshick holds on for his second win of the year. Almost 66,000 cross the turnstiles during the doubleheader.

May 23:

San Francisco (20-17) at Houston (18-21)
The Astrodome

Ken Johnson, the only person ever to pitch a complete no-hit major league game and lose that game, gets another bit of bad luck when Jim Ray Hart hits a fly ball to center with two on and two out in the first inning. Jim Wynn loses track of the ball amongst the roof panels and can’t locate it until it falls harmlessly behind him. By the time the ball is thrown back in, Hart has a three-run inside-the-park homer which he scores standing up. That’s the difference in a 5-2 Astro defeat with Houston’s only runs coming on an eighth-inning single by Walt Bond, plating Al Spangler and Joe Morgan.

Johnson is pulled in the fourth inning after allowing all five runs and informed he has been traded to the Braves for outfielder Lee Maye. The lefthanded-hitting Maye led the league in doubles the previous year with 44. For Johnson, it’s a new beginning after coming from the Reds in the 1961 expansion draft. In a separate deal, the Braves also acquired outfielder Jim Beauchamp for a player to be named later. Beauchamp had hit .189 in part-time duty and was in an oh-for-12 slump.

Wynn is asked to field flies after the game along with Rusty Staub and Nellie Fox. The decision is made to add a darker layer of paint to the roof panels around home plate.

____________________

Thank you, Darrell Pittman, Bob Hulsey, and Astros Daily for being the best always active source on Houston Baseball History in the digital world. Here at The Pecan Park Eagle, we always are honored to share whatever you make further available to the fans through us. Keep up the good work. And we shall always try to do the same. – Regards, Bill McCurdy, The Pecan Park Eagle.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Lagniappe Thursday, 5/18/2017

May 18, 2017

“No, sir! I ain’t never met the feller, but I’d shore be delighted as all git-out to claim him as one of my own!”

A Requiem of Relativity: The faster the motion of an object accelerates toward the speed of light, the more time slows down.

If that axiom proves true for the Houston Astros throughout the 2017 MLB season, the more the chances increase that our current roster of players will feel younger after the last game of the season than they did on Opening Day. Of course, that measure would require them to actually exceed the speed of light during the season and send the hands of time into a reversal pattern that, so far, has not been demonstrated anywhere as possible or widely perceived by most physicists as credibly doable.

“Who Are Those Guys, Anyway?”

Famous question exchanged between “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in the movie of the same name when the pair of escaping outlaws look back to see a torch-bearing posse following them up a steep mountain trail at the very moment they are about to celebrate their ability to pull away from the pack. – Don’t pull out the champagne too soon, Mr. Hinch. The Texas Rangers may be 8 games behind the 1st place Astros this morning, but they also have moved from last into a 2nd place tie with the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West by winning their last 8 games in a row.

Baseball Is Still the Greatest Thinking Game One Could Ever Hope to Watch

Baseball isn’t chess, but it is the only athletic version of chess that attracts fans who like to watch the thinking that affects the unfolding of what happens on the field. Deeply serious fans keep score and other charts as though they were scouts, looking at pitcher-batter results, situational field decision-making, the way managers use or over-use certain players, especially pitchers, and, of course, the various ways in which some managers use or avoid variation in their style of decision-making for the sake of a possible advantage over an unsuspecting foe. i.e., One theoretical example: If the old long ball bomber Orioles manager Earl Weaver ever used Boog Powell to hit and run as the batter in the 9th inning of a tie game, that would’ve surprised some folks – starting with Boog Powell.

Baseball Fandom Is Changing, But So Is Everything Else

Everything changes. Anything organic that isn’t changing in life – is decomposing in death. Today’s younger fans still include a fair share of the thinking/analytical types, but most are now coming to MLB games to see baseball as another social media attraction – and that’s becoming, understandably, a fact not lost upon MLB club owners. I cannot personally think of another MLB venue that supports the shift as well as Minute Maid Park does – nor is there an organization that caters to meeting the social media indulgence needs of the fans any better these days than the Houston Astros.

I still miss Tal’s Hill, but my appreciation for what the Astros have done in center field is growing – not for my needs, but for the needs of younger, wired, and socially mobile fans. The MMP fans of 2017 now have a greater range of continuous choice all around the first entry-level concourse of the ballpark from which to watch the game in mobile, free-standing positions. They are wired – and their physical ability to move around MMP – complements the established wired need for “surfing the net.” It allows the younger fans to physically “Google-simulate” how the game looks from a 360 degree range of perspective on the ground floor. – Now, if only something could be done about the highway robbery price of parking near MMP, going to a game more often could be an even more attractive choice for all of us going downtown on game day. Is there any wonder what “dynamic pricing” (i.e., “price gouging”) will do to the going rates for parking this coming weekend for the upcoming Cleveland Indians in town series?

Another Way To Build Memories for a Hall-of-Fame in the Making Career

How about becoming one of the few players to ever collect 2 doubles and 2 triples in the same game? If you don’t know who we are talking about, you obviously are not paying close enough attention to the daily game action of our Houston Astros.

A Playful Look at Certain Astros for Their Player Traits

What Astro sometimes looks at a pop fly or soft toss as though he was seeing one for the first time in his life?

Based on his baseball team service, what Astro would you call upon to fix anything that was broken in your own house?

What Astro pitcher throws too many pitches that end up as the principal ingredient of a Star Wars missile bomb launch?

Has anybody else thought they might like to see the results of a “twins-separated-at-birth” test done on Brian McCann and Evan Gaddis?

If you have one of those jobs from which you never get a day off, wouldn’t you rather have someone like A.J. Hinch as a boss?

If they ever do a remake of the old Beverly Hillbillies TV series, which Astro player would be a great casting for Jethro Clampett, the wired and woolly son? Hint: It helps that he also played college baseball at Arkansas.

Which Astro player also seems to be a natural for the Travolta role in a remake of “Saturday Night Fever”?

Nuf Sed. Have a great Thursday.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Astros Almost Blacked Out on Out-of-Town Cable

May 17, 2017

What’s wrong with this picture? – In most State of Texas cable TV homes, you almost have as much chance of seeing the Pecan Park Eagles as you do the Houston Astros.

Recent column comments by Greg Lucas, Wayne Roberts of Austin, and Tom Hunter of Denver underscore an unresolved media problem that only hurts all the more as the 2017 Astros continue to reveal themselves as probably the best team in baseball. Their comments certainly underscore the frustration I’ve heard from my younger brother, John McCurdy, of Beeville, Texas, 50 miles north of Corpus Christi. Down there, like most other places outside of Houston, cable subscribers cannot get regular daily coverage of Astros games. You have to get the less available Direct TV satellite coverage to get our standard ROOTS coverage of the Astros or simply settle for the Rangers-biased cable deal they offer in the hinterlands. That means you get to watch the Astros only when they appear on the Rangers cable TV schedule.

How stupid is that? More importantly, look at the lost opportunity here. While the Astros continue to build what well may turn out to be the greatest club in their history, the opportunity is lost for building and attracting fans from areas that used to love Houston. – The State of Texas doesn’t get to watch. They get to watch the hapless, bungling Texas Rangers.

Here’s the comment by Greg Lucas on the “An Artful Homage to Larry Dierker” piece on May 12, 2017:

“Bill, this is a great piece, but the most striking and significant point is how the Astros STILL don’t get the coverage over TV in the regions they used to be common (in the Fox Sports days.) That has allowed the Rangers to dominate access for baseball fans in the region. The ill-fated Comcast “experiment” continues to haunt the Astros. Out of sight, out of mind is an old phrase that obviously continues to still plague the Astros.”

Here’s the comment by Wayne Roberts on the “Sunday Night’s Jeter Game was ‘2’ Much” article today, March 15, 2017:

“…. If you really want to barf out, try getting Astros coverage in Austin. The media bias to all things Dallas which has existed for decades is at an all time high. Local TV outlets report the Rangers scores but not the Astros. The Austin American Statesboy only recently added summaries of the Astros since they took their commanding lead in the AL West. We get Astros box scores for about 1 in 5 games. No real televised games (only Root which has a small area of the Central Texas market). Today it was about how hot the Strangers are and ignored the fact that they’ve done nothing to catch the Astros in games behind. And don’t even ask about the Cowboys vs the Texans’ coverage. All this when there are tens of thousands more ex-Houstonians in Central Texas than ex-Metroplexers.”

Here’s the comment by Tom Hunter on the “Sunday Night’s Jeter Game was ‘2’ Much” article today, March 15, 2017:

“When we moved to Austin (from Pearland) in 1963, there was only one television station (excluding the UT channel), KTBC, which was owned by Lady Bird. KTBC determined what you watched from the three major networks at any given hour. You had no choice. It was quite a shock from living in Pearland, where you could select from CBS, NBC, ABC, and KUHT in Houston. I missed watching the World Series for the first time that year.”

Bottom Line: What, if anything,  can the Astros do to correct this sorry situation? Whether the club is the target of this harm to their live media game coverage – or whether they simply are the “friendly fire” victims of some hard playing media politics among major corporate entities in the lucrative broadcasting arena, something needs to be done. Old fans and potential Astros fans away from Houston are mostly missing the biggest potential party in our Houston club’s history. Right now, for example, the Astros lead the Marlins, 11-2, in the bottom of the 8th. Dallas Keuchel is on the brink of going 7-0 on the season. And the Astros have a good clean shot at going 28-12 on the season as we now play into the 9th.

Isn’t it time that this missing coverage mess did something other than arouse a few disgruntled groans of “that’s cable TV politics for you”?

And is there anything we Astros fans/home viewers can do to help put the squeeze on those corporate forces who want to keep things just as they are?

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Baseball Reliquary Deserves Our Support

May 16, 2017

We’ve never had the privilege of meeting Terry Cannon personally, but we can tell you this much from the stuff that drifts into our electronic grasp, vis-a-vis the Internet – we love what he’s doing out there as Executive Directory of The Baseball Reliquary in Pasadena, California. Everything that comes our way from the “BR” is almost certain evidence that our cultural commitment to the research, respect and preservation of every nook and cranny of baseball history thrives like a DNA craving for our united awareness and support of these efforts.

This latest notification by link further fleshes out plans for the Induction of Vin Scully, Bob Uecker, and Charlie Brown into the BR Shrine of Eternals on July 16, 2017 notes that the Induction event shall also include three other major activities:

The Hilda Award
Art by Ben Sakoguchi

Cam Perron with 104-year-old former Negro Leaguer Bill Stewart, the oldest known living professional baseball player.

I. The Hilda Award, named affectionately for Hilda Chester, the one-time famous cowbell ringing Brooklyn Dodger fan, will be awarded to young Tulane graduate Cam Perron for his tireless record-building work on collecting and articulating the history of the Negro Leagues, a commitment he continues to this day. Appropriately, the award is known as The Hilda Award to another selected fan, in this case to Cam Perron, for everything the young has contributed in past, present, and ongoing ways to this important effort.

2017 Tony Salin Memorial Award Recipient: Dr. Richard Santillan
Art by Ben Sakoguchi

Dr. Santillan’s latest published contribution.

II. The Tony Salin Memorial Award. Noted baseball literacy figure Tony Salin passed away in 2001, but during his lifetime, he was noted, particularly among family members as others in the greater LA area as Mr. Baseball. Recipient Dr. Richard Santillan has a life history of service to the accurate and complete memory of Latinos and their contributions to the cultures and histories of baseball and the USA.

Baseball Reliquary Speaker Dave Mesrey on the front steps of his boyhood home on Detroit’s east side.

Dave Mesrey is an honored photojournalist and one the those was saved Navin Field in Detroit. – “Today, Mesrey is hard at work with the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, helping to restore an old Negro Leagues ballpark near Detroit. When he’s not roaming the streets of Detroit cutting grass and picking up trash, Mesrey can be found at the local horse track huddled over a battered laptop writing bad poems about rusty flagpoles.” – Terry Cannon

III. Dave Mesrey, Principal Speaker, July 16, 2017.  Who among us would not want to hear Dave Mesrey speak in Pasadena, California this coming July 16, 2017?

If you would like to be there – or find out how you can do more to join and support The Baseball Reliquary effort, please contact Terry Cannon and go from there. It could be the most rewarding baseball connection you make in your baseball life. Here’s the Baseball Reliquary link for further information:

http://www.baseballreliquary.org/

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Sunday Night’s Jeter Game was “2” much

May 15, 2017

Derek Jeter
Yankee Stadium
May 14, 2017

How many times do we need the reminder: “It ain’t over til it’s over?”

Apparently, we need it as often as we need to see it. And sometimes, we need to get it the hard way, with the co0kie of great expectations crumbling away in our hands as the bluebird of joyous victory flies away.

For the Houston Astros, it almost happened again last night.

To all of you who sometimes join me in a bad case of Superstition Mountain rub-a-dub-dub-magical-thinking elixir *, we apologize for beginning the premature celebration of the Astros’ “2-much” Derek Jeter Day “whack-em-back-with-the same-energy-flow-Jack” at Yankee Stadium last night. I could feel it coming throughout the pre-game “number two” retirement ceremony. Did you also feel the energy signs building in favor of an Astros spoiler-win on this very special Yankees night? Let’s go over the signs that struck home here. You may have picked up these and some other signals that we missed. Or maybe you just eased back, took a big sloshing slug of Superstition Mountain and let all this stuff kick in to your brain on its own.

Early Clues

  1. First of all, Jeter arrives in time for an around the field cart ride with his “2-sweet sister”, his “2-cute nephew (all dressed up as Jeter in a Yankee uniform and wearing the number “2” – and with his “2-beautiful” and “2-pregnant” bride/wife sitting strongly and quietly by his side. – How can you retire “# 2” when you’ve obviously been busy making a new version of yourself that is soon going to get here and grow up screaming “too” much in your ear, “C’mon, Daddy! Lets’ play catch! I want to be as “2-much” like you as I can be!”
  2. “Two” of Jeter’s former Yankee teammates, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, are now playing ball for tonight’s Yankee foes, the Houston Astros, and behind their “too much” congratulatory smiles, and Beltran’s actual participation in the pre-game “too fuzzy-wuzzy” part of the ceremony, the boys are there tonight to help their new team cause you to remember the actual game with “too” much of a lemon-twist to it.
  3. This is “2” much! The game starts – and the first “2” Astros hitters, George Springer and Josh Reddick, both homer! That’s a “2-0” Astros lead – on the game played just after the completion of the Jeter # 2 number retirement ceremony at Yankee Stadium on May 14, 2017. And it only took “2” batters and “2” home runs to get there. But that wasn’t enough show for the early game contra-luck flow for Jeter fans. Before the top of the first inning is done, Astros rookie Alex Bregman, who wears # 2 in peer aspirant honor of Jeter, blasts a Grand Slam home rum to left to make is 6-o, Astros – and the Yankees haven’t even batted yet. Bregman even points to the number “2” on his jersey as he floats back to the Astros dugout – floating on a smile, a moon beam, and the memory of a moment in his life that he probably shall remember forever above all others in his career. “2” bad for Jeter. Too wonderful for Bregman.
  4. By the time Jeter reaches the ESPN box to discuss his special day with the broadcast crew in the top of the 2nd, it’s still 6-0, but he gets there in time to see George Springer bash his “2nd” homer of the game in his “2nd” time up. He is reminded of Springer’s accomplishment by the ESPN crew. “That’s unfortunate to see,” says the disappointed, but always reasonably voiced man they called “The Captain.”

Biting the Bullet

Yesterday, the Yankees had a chance in the bottom of 9th to tie up the game in the bottom of the 9th, now trailing only by 10-7 with “2” outs and “2” men on base. All they needed was a 3-run homer to break the spell of a 2-dominated digital play game. Fortunately for the ‘Stros, we dodged the bullet. Pitcher Ken Giles got the last man out on a tapper back to the mound, and we all avoided an horrendous magical meltdown of moods in the Bayou City.

Thank you, baseball gods of mercy, for being way “2” kind to us Astros fans this time, but we will take all of that speed bump warning you allowed us – this time, at least – to get off with a “warning ticket” for being caught speeding with legitimate, but mildly arrogant great expectations expressed before our ball club quietly did what they needed to do to get the whole “2-BIG-W” stuffed in the bag with no chance of escape.

As fans, all we have to do next time is be patient, stay humble, and let our Astros play the game, one punch out – or fielded out – at a time – and watch this great team grow through the summer and into the fall. These guys are good. World Series good. It’s just too early in the season to know whom the club may have to replace due to some unexpected serious injury or production failure that we can’t even know about this early in the schedule.

  • Footnote from asterisk in Paragraph 4, Line 1: The publisher, director, and principal writer of the The Pecan Park Eagle has not consumed any alcohol since his younger salad days, but when it comes to baseball, especially when it comes to his eternal hopes for the Houston Astros, he has been known to buy into an illusion every now then. That being said, he now contends that 2017 is for real and that this year’s club is the verisimilitude of what a building World Series contender appears to be by the middle of May.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Retired NYY Uniform Numbers Adds “2”

May 15, 2017

Derek Jeter No. 2 Retirement Ceremony
Mother’s Day, May 14, 2017
Yankee Stadium
Photo by Associated Press

Well, Derek Jeter’s Number 2 just got retired this Mother’s Day 2017, exhausting the last of the New York Yankee single digit options for further use by any other present or future club players. Sooner, rather than later too, the New York Yankees also are likely to become the first MLB club to have retired all two-digit uniform numbers, as well, throwing the door open to three-digit layer identities as the new cool brand for all future marketing – at least – until those options get used up too.

Here’s what the Yankees have done, so far:

# Player Date/Year Retired
1 Billy Martin August 10th, 1986
2 Derek Jeter May 14, 2017
3 Babe Ruth June 13th, 1948
4 Lou Gehrig July 4th, 1939**
5 Joe DiMaggio April 18th, 1952
6 Joe Torre August 23, 2014
7 Mickey Mantle June 8th, 1969
8 Yogi Berra July 22nd, 1972
8 Bill Dickey July 22nd, 1972
9 Roger Maris July 22nd, 1984*
10 Phil Rizzuto August 4th, 1985
15 Thurman Munson September 20th, 1980
16 Whitey Ford August 3rd, 1974
20 Jorge Posada August 22nd, 2015
23 Don Mattingly August 31st, 1997
32 Elston Howard July 22nd, 1984*
37 Casey Stengel August 8th, 1970
42 Mariano Rivera September 22, 2013
44 Reggie Jackson August 14th, 1993
46 Andy Pettitte August 23rd, 2015
49 Ron Guidry August 23rd, 2003
51 Bernie Williams May 24th, 2015

Who knows? Maybe the Yankees will someday sign a franchise great whose name just happens to be “James Bond.” In case anyone still remembers Agent 007 by that time, he will have a great three-digit number waiting for him, will he not? At any rate, a franchise really needs to be a World Series winner over time to garner widespread respect for retiring numbers outside the city a club represents. And the Yankees have done that better than any club. Ever. Or forever. However you choose to slice it.

If the entire modern history of World Series Baseball could be symbolized as one Kentucky Derby field race, the Yankees are still the only horse that made the stretch run – and, way back there, we can see the horse and jockey decked in red, just taking aim at the far turn. Those Cardinals never give up. Everybody else is pretty much lost in the blur of the far-back-there pack. Retire all the numbers you want from use by the jocks and horses of those rare to never showed entrants. Nobody out-of-town is going to notice or remember much about them anyway – at least, until the franchise mass moves forcefully and sustainably to pass on mediocrity and settle for nothing less than victory.

Speaking of same, it’s going to the bottom of the 5th in Game Two – Astros leading the Yankees 9-0, as we write. – Keep it up. Astros! You guys are playing as though you all hope to have your uniform numbers retired and placed on display with our other Houston great ones. – Keep it up and we fans will back up that idea all the way. You guys are making Astros baseball into something that could become the hottest sports ticket that ever hit this town. And we are just waiting for the football/basketball people to figure that out in time to bandwagon their ways over to Minute Maid Park and the ROOTS Channel for the rest of this story.

____________________


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle