By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave with my ears still ringing from the shriek Nadine let go when Quinn brought her a present, a dead field mouse.
These are the days in baseball when most pitchers are removed from games on or near 100 pitches as managers and player agents fear the pitcher’s arm might fall off.
Yeah, year, it’s a computer thing.
Complete games are as rare as sacrifice bunts, hit-and-runs and stolen bases.
So on that note, have you ever heard of Dutch Levsen? Me neither. But on August 28, 1926 Levsen pitched both ends of a doubleheader for the Cleveland Indians against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Amazingly he pitched two complete games (nine innings, not seven) and won both games, 6-1 and 5-1. And he didn’t strike out a single batter.
He gave up four hits in each game, walked one in the first game and two in the second. He gave up one extra base hit, a double in the second game.
The first game lasted 1:29 and the second game lasted 1:40. These days, it takes longer to play one game.
Levsen was 16-and-13 that season. But for his six seasons pitching for the Tribe, he never won more than three games the other five years. His career record was 21-and-26.
QUOTE: From Cleveland Indians player/manager Tris Speaker to pitcher Dutch Levsen after he pitched the first game: “Pitch the second game, Dutch, and I’ll buy you the best hat in town.” (Based on what Levsen did, Speaker should have bought him a 1926 Duesenberg convertible.)
—Does Barry Larkin need money or are all those awards and memorabilia cluttering his house?
Whatever it is, Larkin is putting a lot of his baseball stuff up for auction and if you want any of it be prepared to empty your bank account.
Examples with estimated prices:
1990 World Series Presentational Trophy, $20,000; Four Silver Slugger awards, $7,500 to $15,000 each; Two Gold Glove awards, $15,000 to $20,000 each; 2002-03 Kobe Bryant autographed Los Angeles Lakers jersey, $5,000 to $10,000; 2009 Derek Jeter World Baseball Classic autographed jersey, $10,000 to $20,000.
Taking the high end on each item, if you want them all write a check for $120,000. Hey, Barry, the check is in the mail.
—QUOTE: From Scottish comedian Lemmy: “Am I going to get my warts removed? I might, but I’m certainly not going to auction them on the internet.” (Those aren’t warts Larkin is removing, although it he had any he probably could sell them.)
—Reds outfielder Jesse Winker hates it when people stick an ‘l’ in his last name and call him Jesse Winkler.
Once heard him say, “Im not Henry Winkler (The Fonz), I’m Jesse Winker.” And he says in high school alone he heard his name pronounced Winkler “about a thousand times.”
So it is great fun when Winker faces Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Dan Winkler. It has happened four times so far and Winker is 0 for 4 with a strikeout against Winkler.
—QUOTE: From somebody named Ritta Papadopoulos: “I don’t trust a winker.” (She meant somebody who closes one eye at you, not Jesse Winker. But there are several MLB pitchers who don’t trust Winker.)
—Great line from my good friend Mark Schlemmer: “You can’t spell Wade Miley without IL.” That came after the Reds left handed pitcher was placed on the injured list (IL) for the second time this season. Miley and Nick Senzel are compatriots in misery as nearly full-time occupants of the athletic trainer’s room.
Are former Reds manager Dave Miley and Wade Miley related? No.
When Dave Miley managed the Reds, one of his favorite sayings was, “What can I do? I’m only one man.” The front office ‘requested’ that he not say it, so he stopped.
—QUOTE: From Wade Miley after a camera caught him flipping the bird at Paul Goldschmidt: “‘The bird thing was all in fun toward Goldy. He is so damn good I just shot him the bird. I apologize to anybody who saw that other than Goldy.”
—Manny Ramirez is back with the Sox. No, not the Boston Red Sox, the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League.
Ramirez, 48, signed a one-year contract by Blue Sox owner Adam Dobbs, who said, “As a life-long Boston Red Sox fan, this is a dream come true.”
Just hope, Mr. Dobbs, that it doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Ramirez last played professionally in Japan in 2017 and also played in China after he abruptly retired from MLB in April of 2011 when he was suspended 100 games for testing positive for a performance enhancement drug.
—QUOTE: From Manny Ramirez after he hit a walk-off home run for the Red Sox in the post-season: “I haven’t been right all year. I guess, you know, when you don’t feel good and you still get hits, that’s when know you are a bad man.”