By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave wondering why MLB can’t finish the 2021 season before releasing its 2022 schedule? I mean, I can’t wait to see who the Cleveland – – – – dians play on June 14, 2022.
—Now that the baseball trade dust — more like a trade cyclone — is still settling, what happened?
Well, all 30 major league teams made at least one trade. In all, there were 56 trades and 149 players traded uniforms. Incredibly, 10 players who appeared in this year’s All-Star game were dealt.
It is time to ban baseball trades during the season. No trades from Opening Day until the end of the season.
Trades should only be made in the off-season. From Opening Day until season’s end a team must play with what it constructed during the off-season.
Fans deserve it, especially fans of losing teams and small market teams.
If I’m a Chicago Cubs or a Washington Nationals or a Pittsburgh Pirates season ticket holder, I demand my money back. It is early August and the Cubs and Nationals completely gutted their roster of its best players. And the already awful Pirates traded away six of their best.
The Cubs dumped Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Ian Happ and others, practically the entire starting lineup.
The Nats traded Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Brad Hand and Daniel Hudson, the meat and potatoes of their roster.
And of course they all went to big market teams, further upsetting what little competitive balance there is in baseball.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates played a seven-game series against the Triple-A Louisville Bats, I’d take the Bats in four.
It’s time for baseball to stop permitting the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. It is pretty disturbing when six teams try to win and 24 teams are constantly ‘rebuilding.’
—QUOTE: Graig Nettles talking about Sparky Lyle winning the Cy Young Award and then being traded: “From Cy Young to sayonara in one year.”
—When he was with the Reds, closer Raisel Iglesias was a thrill a minute and most fans wanted him ridden out of town on a wild horse.
He is gone and the Reds bullpen is still knee deep is mediocrity. And Iglesias? Oh, yeah. He has 24 saves for the Los Angeles Angels this year.
His 24th save came this week against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium.
The other Iglesias who played for the Reds and now works for the Angels, shortstop Jose Iglesias, hit a home run in that game and his single in the 10th inning started the winning rally in a 3-2 victory.
I’ll still take Kyle Farmer at shortstop. The Reds grudgingly gave him the position only because Eugenio Suarez failed there. Farmer has been a hit machine and he and Jonathan India turn double plays at warp speed.
And the Dodgers? They are pretty good, right? No, they are real good, the best scads of money can buy. Then how in the name of any ghost runner can they be 1-and-12 in extra inning games this year?
—I once shook hands with James Rodney Richard and it felt as if my hand was enveloped in a steam shove bucket.
The man had massive hands. Much was made of the fact that Johnny Bench could hold seven baseballs in one hand. J.R. could hold eight.
But he only needed one in his hand to thoroughly intimidate hitters as he stood 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds on the mound. His fastball whistled ‘The Orange Blossom Special’ as it whizzed past.
His turn in the Houston Astros rotation induced a slew of one day “I have a migraine and can’t play today” decisions.
Richard, known as The Gentle Giant, passed away this week, his career cut short when a blood clot in his neck induced a stroke while he played catch on the sidelines.
—QUOTE: From Pittsburgh slugger Willie Stargell on hitting against Sandy Koufax: “Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork.” (And trying to hit J.R. Richard was like trying to eat soup with a knife.)
—There is one player I would pay my meal money to watch play. . .but I’m not sure whether I want to watch him hit or pitch.
Actually, both. So I’d pick a day when he pitches because when he does the Los Angeles Angels also let him hit.
As a hitter, Ohtani has a baseball-leading 37 home runs, 87 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases. As a pitcher, for a bad team, he is 6-and-1 with a 2.93 earned run average and 106 strikeouts in 86 innings.
There is a rumor he also flies the team charter and distills sake for the entire team.
—QUOTE: From Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora of Shohei Ohtani: “We should make a new award for Ohtani. This is something MLB hasn’t seen since Babe Ruth. He’s not the best hitter. He’s not the best pitcher. But he’s the best player.” (It is a shock that the Angels didn’t trade Ohtani to Boston for Newberry Street, the U.S.S. Constitution, the Freedom Trail, the Old North Church and a statue to be named later.)
—Radio and TV always is looking for the next Vin Scully or Al Michaels, right?
Keith Read, who once shared the broadcast booth with Tom Nichols of the Dayton Dragons, is in his third season as the play-by-play guy for the minor league Brooklyn Cyclones.
Read began his career broadcasting UD women’s basketball and volleyball. His alma mater? The University of Dayton.
—QUOTE: From former Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark on outfielder Jay Johnstone: “What makes Jay unusual is that he thinks he’s normal and everybody else is nuts.”
Ozark again: “ Even Napoleon had his Watergate.” (That’s right, Danny, and Richard Nixon had his Waterloo.)
—Is it my imagination or does the Dayton Daily News publish a story on the Ohio State football team 365 days a year? Marcus Hartman — his name sounds like a throwback fullback — slickly gives you every tick, nick and kick out of the Buckeye compound.