By Hal McCoy
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave on a sad day because I just finished Joe Posnanski’s 800-page, 300,000-word book, ‘The Baseball 100.’ I wish he had written 800 more pages and 300,000 more words.
—David Bell, David Ross, Dave Martinez and Dave Roberts are happy today they aren’t named Joe.
The two MLB managers named Joe, both of whom have World Series championships, are out of work.
Joe Girardi won four World Series rings with the New York Yankees, but he couldn’t turn it around in Philadelphia and the Phillies fired him.
Joe Maddon won the World Series in 2016 with the Chicago Cubs, but couldn’t win with the Los Angeles Angels and was fired.
The Angels lost 12 straight games when Maddon was told to turn in his office keys. And how do you lose 12 in a row with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in your lineup?
Girardi, by the way, took one interview with the Cincinnati Reds. But when he was told the team would not pursue big ticket free agents and he would have to listen to the analytics people hunkered down behind computers, Girardi bailed for the airport, never to return for a second interview.
Maddon wrote the foreword for a book entitled, ‘Always An Angel.’ Well, not always.
—If the New York Yankees win the World Series, they should stage a parade around Market Square in Pittsburgh.
Three of their best pitchers started their careers as Pirates. As of Tuesday, Gerrit Cole was 5-1 with a 2.78 earned run average, Jonathan Taillon was 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA and Clay Holmes was 4-0 with a 0.34 ERA.
—An impossible trivia question posed by author/friend Scott Russell (Kilgore Trout?):
What do current MLB players Cedric Mullins (Baltimore), Michael Chavis (Pittsburgh), Tommy Edman (St. Louis) and Nico Hoerner (Chicago Cubs) have in common, something no other players have done this season?
Answer: They are the only four players this year, as of Sunday, to get a hit off Milwaukee closer Josh Hader.
Hader is having a season for the ages. He has faced 64 batters and only those four have hits. He is 18 for 18 in saves and his earned run average is 0.00. Actually, he hasn’t give up a run since July of last season.
Of the 64 batters who trembled in the batter’s box, 28 have struck out.
His nickname is Haderade, but with his glove-seeking fastball his nickname should be Gasade.
—There is always something new and bizarre in baseball and this one is stunning.
The Class AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos won five games of a six-game series from the Biloxi Shuckers. Four of the wins were walk-offs, including the last three in a row.
And the last one was one you would never believe if you saw it in a movie. Pensacola won when Biloxi pitcher Harold Chirino hit four straight batters with pitches, the last one forcing in the winning run, 7-6.
Ah shucks, it was a bruising victory.
—Former Cincinnati Reds first baseman/hitting coach Ted Kluszewski was told that he was supremely charismatic and Big Klu said, “I’m not sure what the hell charisma is, but I get the feeling it’s Willie Mays.” (Say, Hey. Willie Mays had charisma you could catch in a basket.)
—Say what you wish about Dayton-born Roger Clemens — and most have a lot to say about the crusty and controversial pitcher.
Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards, and we’ll leave discussion on his use of PEDs for another time. He could have won two more.
In 1990, he finished second to Oakland’s Bob Welch. Clemens was 21-6 with a 1.93 earned run average with four shutouts and 209 strikeouts for an 88-74 Red Sox team. Welch was 27-7 with a 2.95 ERA for a 103-59 Oakland team.
Voters tend to lean toward wins which is why Clemens didn’t win the 2005 award while pitching for Houston. He was 13-8 with a 1.87 ERA and lost to St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter, who was 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA.
—QUOTE: From sportswriter Sean McAdam describing what it was like for Red Sox fans to watch Roger Clemens pitch for the Yankees after he left the Red Sox: “It has been said before, but it is true for Red Sox fans. . .watching Roger Clemens pitch for the Yankees is like watching your ex-wife marry your mortal enemy and living happily ever after.”
—With all the absurd and obscure rules commissioner Rob Manfraud has implemented, some of them hide under the turf.
Such was the case last week. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t know the rule, I didn’t know the rule and judging by the way the umpires huddled up, they didn’t know the rule for sure, either.
The Dodgers were down five runs to the Mets in the ninth inning. Roberts wanted to preserve his bullpen, so he sent a position player to the mound to finish the game.
Whoops. Turns out the rule says a team has to be behind by six or more runs before a position player can be used.
Question: Since when is a five-run deficit too steep to overcome? Hasn’t Roberts seen the Reds’ bullpen? And isn’t his offense considered one of the best in baseball?
My all-time Bill/Billy/Willie MLB team:
LHP: Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee.
RHP: Bill Monbouquette.
Closer – Billy Wagner.
Catcher – Bill Dickey/Bill Freehan.
First Base – Willie McCovey/Bill Buckner.
Second Base – Billy Martin.
Shortstop – Bill Russell.
Third base – Bill Madlock.
Outflied – Billy WillIiams, Wee Willie Keeler.
Outfield -Willie Mays
Outfield – Willie Stargell.