By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, still hobbling and still in pain with back issues, but thankful my typing fingers still work.
—So on the 95th day of baseball negotiations, this is what we get?
The latest garbage coming from the negotiations is that MLB proposed a ‘shot clock’ for pitchers: 14 seconds with nobody on base and 19 seconds with men on base.
And the players union agreed for its implementation in 2023.
The players also agreed to ban the shift and permit MLB to use larger bases.
Now those were issues we were all holding our breath about, right? And it only took 95 days.
Yes, the shift stinks, especially when you see San Diego third baseman Manny Machado playing a deep right field chasing down a fly ball in the right field corner. Here’s a novel idea. . .try hitting the ball the opposite way. Try bunting. Fortunately, MLB’s idea of robo-umps won’t be implemented during the 2022 season (if there is one) or the 2023 season.
The clock? Games last season averaged 3:10. They believe a clock might reduce time of games to 2:55. Whoopie do.
Didn’t baseball put in a clock that gave pitchers two minutes to warm-up between innings? It was never enforced. I used to sit in the press box watching the clock go down to 0:00 and then seeing the pitcher take two more warm-ups.
And then there was the rule that hitters could not leave the dirt area around the batter’s box between innings. Never enforced, totally ignored.
All together now: “Hey,, Manfred, leave the game alone.”
—QUOTE: From President George W. Bush, former owner of the Texas Rangers, just before the players went on strike in 1994: “The baseball owners and the baseball players must understand that if there is a work stoppage, a lot of fans are going to be furious, and I’m one of them.” (Wonder how he feels now?)
—From my great friend Mark Schlemmer: “MLB stands for Manfred Losing Baseball.”
—This is from a column in 1990 by my sports writing hero, Jim Murray. He was writing about baseball’s first commissioner, Judge Kennesaw Landis. But it could have been about current commissioner Rob Manfred, former lawyer and business executive.
“Nobody knows whether Kennesaw Mountain Landis (Rob Manfred) loved baseball. Could he have named the starting lineup of the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics, complete with batting averages, strikeouts per inning and walks per game?
“Would he know how Pie Traynor got his nickname? Did he collect player cards as a kid? Did he even keep score at games? Did he think of a double play a 6-4-3? Was he even up on the infield fly rule? Did he know the third baseman was Harry Steinfeldt on the Tinkers to Evers to Chance double play combination?
Somebody should administer that kind of quiz to Manfred. Wonder if he would pass?
—There is one place that baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is officially persona non grata. The Kalamazoo Grizzlies of the Northwoods summer collegiate league has issued a lifetime ban on Manfred ever setting foot on Homer Styker Field.
The ban was tweeted by the team and said it did it, “Because Manfred is ruining baseball.” (Let’s hear it for the Kalamazoo Grizzlies.)
—With all the talk during MLB’ lockout over money figures like $700,000 and $220 million, how about some talk about $55 and $75?
That is the pay high school umpires in parts of Ohio are paid these days for working a varsity game. And they are not paid travel expenses or meal money. An umpire’s mask costs $75 and a chest protector also is around $75.
This was pointed out by Ohio prep umpire Mike Brown in a BallNine column by Kevin Kernan. Brown, who wrote a book entitled ‘The Umpires Bunkhouse,’ works Central Ohio for $55 a game and Southwestern Ohio ump are paid $75.
Brown said Ohio pays the lowest fees in the country and cited New York ($130 game), West Virginia and Louisiana ($90) a game as States Fair to Umpires.
Yes, $55 and $75 seems a bit low to umpire a game, unless your name is Angel Hernandez.
—QUOTE: From former American League umpire Nestor Chylak: “The way I see it, an umpire must be perfect on the first day of the season and then get better every day.”
—They no longer compete of the basketball floor, but the University of Dayton and Wright State University baseball teams get down and dirty on the diamond every year.
The teams play Tuesday at WSU’s Ron Nischwitz Stadium at 3 p.m. Andrew Casey, a son to former Cincinnati Reds first baseman Sean Casey, is a red-shirt freshman first baseman/outfielder for UD.
Also on the Flyers is Marcos Pujols, a senior from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but he is not related to MLB superstar Albert Pujols, even though Albert also is from Santo Domingo. Marcos is a senior first baseman/third baseman.
—QUOTE: From former Kansas City closer Dan Quisenberry on the best thing about baseball: “There is no homework.’ (Not true when it comes to WSU and UD. Homework better get done or there will be no home runs on the field.)
—Wonder if the Russians planted the hashish oil in Brittney Griner’s luggage? They’ve done it before and have done it many times.
Griner, a former Baylor University star and WNBA Phoenix Mercury star, spends the winter playing basketball in Russia for UMME Ekateringburg. She has done it since 2014 and never been stopped before.
Suddenly, with the U.S. and Russia at each other’s throats, the Russkies pick on a very tall, dark-skinned American sports star at airport security. She has been incarcerated for three weeks and faces up to 20 years in prison. If that happens, you can classify her as a POW casualty.
Griner led Baylor to a 40-0 season in 2012 and the NCAA championship. She is the only female player NCAA in history with 2,000 points and 500 blocked shots. She led the Mercury to the WNBA title in 2014. While playing at Houston’s Nimitz High School, she once blocked 25 shots in one game and had 52 dunks in one 32-game season.
—QUOTE from Brittney Griner: “I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every time I say it, I feel so much better.”
—SWIPED FROM FACEBOOK: “I’m so happy. Our loan was approved and we’re closing today on a full tank of gas.”