The Internet sportsbooks have posted the Over/Under lines for total wins by MLB teams for the 2013 season. The Astros number is 59.5; the Twins and the Marlins are at 64.5. All other teams are somewhere between 70 and 90 wins. Before you marvel at how much worse than the rest of MLB folks think the Astros are, consider some of these futility milestones from the past:
In the Mets’ inaugural season of 1962 – that was the team of “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry and Clarence “Choo-Choo” Coleman – the team won a total of 40 games and lost 120. Probably more out of boredom than mercy, two rainouts were never made up that year.
More recently in 2003, the Detroit Tigers finished with a 43-119 record. That was Alan Trammel’s first year at the helm of the franchise.
And of course, there is the example of the infamous Cleveland Spiders in 1899. Somehow, that team managed to amass a record of 20-134 for a full baseball season.
If you believe the oddsmakers, the Astros, Twins and Marlins will be “less than competitive” and “pretty bad” in 2013. Nevertheless, they should not make it to the category of “epically awful”…
As baseball season approaches, stories are beginning to emerge about the culinary delights – and culinary atrocities – that will appear in various ballparks around the country. Forgetting for the moment any of the concoctions that might show up in minor league parks, consider these three items that you can sample in MLB parks:
In Philly, you can order The Schmitter. This is a sandwich made with grilled steak, salami, cheese, onions and a “special sauce”. Obviously, the sandwich name has ties to Mike Schmidt, the Phillies’ Hall of Fame third baseman of the past. However, don’t you think someone might have come up with a more appetizing name for the sandwich? Do you really want to order a sandwich named “The Schmitter” knowing that it has “special sauce”?
In Oakland, you can order a chicken parmesan hot dog. Seriously…
In Texas, to “honor” pitcher Yu Darvish, you can have a YuDog. This will only be available on days when Darvish is pitching and it consists of a hot dog wrapped in fried wonton and then covered with beef teriyaki, wasabi mayonnaise, seaweed and sesame seeds. I know that every time I think of food in Arlington Texas, I immediately think of a dish that has seaweed in it/on it…
When the Olympics decided to remove wrestling from the Games as of 2020, I wrote that the decision to keep things like rhythmic gymnastics made the removal of wrestling as a sport all the worse. I got an e-mail from a former colleague with the following observation:
“…rhythmic gymnastics is simply a subset of gymnastics and that is how it got in the Olympics to begin with. The same goes for two of the other sports you hate, synchronized swimming and synchronized diving. They are subsets of [other Olympic events].
“With that logic, the IOC will soon be in a position to drive you to distraction. Golf will become an Olympic sport in 2016. So, that might open the door to Putt-Putt Golf as an Olympic sport by 2024. I can’t wait to hear your commentary on that decision.”
There just is not very much that the IOC might choose to do that would shock me anymore. Sure, add miniature golf to the Games. I cannot wait for the controversy to erupt alleging that the Netherlands’ miniature golf team has an inherent advantage because they are much more familiar with windmills than the other teams…
After MLB added no one to its Hall of Fame in this year’s voting, the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame were announced. Here is the list sorted by players and coaches:
Tom Heinsohn (already in the HoF as a player)
No one jumps off that list and screams “obvious choice” to me. I do not know enough about Sylvia Hatchell to comment and I do not know much about what Dawn Staley has done since her collegiate career; therefore, I have no position regarding these candidates. Of the coaches, I would vote for Rick Pitino but not the others. With regard to the players I would vote for Gary Payton and might consider voting for Spencer Haywood and/or Bernard King. My current inclination is that Haywood and King were both “Very Good” but not good enough to be “Great”. And that is about it…
Finally, sometimes the sports world and the “real world” intersect in mysterious ways. First, consider this comment from Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict:
“By the way, my Vatican insiders tell me they aren’t surprised Benedict became the first Pope since the Middle Ages to retire. Word is he had this uncontrollable urge to spend more time with Urban Meyer’s family.”
Now, add to that the recent “meeting” between Dennis Rodman and North Korean honcho, Kim Jong Eun and Rodman’s hopefully fleeting moment in the world of diplomacy. Consider this note from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald about Rodman:
“Dennis Rodman has written a new children’s book, Dennis the Wild Bull. Sure, because who better to write a kids’ book than a man ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………