Henry Aaron died last weekend. I went to his page at Baseball-Reference.com looking for some interesting stat about his career other than the fact that he broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record and would up hitting 755 home runs in his career. Here are just a couple of things I found there:
- From 1955 to 1975, Henry Aaron was voted onto the All-Star team 21 consecutive times.
- He received votes for MVP in 19 consecutive seasons but only won the MVP Award 1 time.
- He is the all-time MLB leader in RBIs (2297) and in Total Bases (6856).
One other “interesting” thing about Aaron is that his Topps Baseball Card for 1957 shows him in a left-handed batting stance. Really?
Rest in peace, Henry Aaron…
Dwight Perry paid tribute to Aaron in the Seattle Times yesterday:
“And a tip of the baseball cap to Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, who passed away at age 86 on Friday and whose average output in 21 seasons as a Brave — .310 average, 35 homers, 105 RBI — would be the envy of 99.9% of big-league hitters.
“’Throwing a fastball by Henry Aaron,’ opposing pitcher Curt Simmons once famously said, ‘is like trying to sneak the sun past a rooster.’”
Jared Porter was fired as Mets GM after ESPN revealed that he had sexually harassed a reporter in Chicago several years ago and even sent her a picture of “himself”. Porter was a scout for the Cubs at the time so there would seem to be some responsibility on that organization to find out how and why that sort of thing happened to the degree that it did. The woman reporter was sufficiently upset at the incident(s) that she left the country and left the sports writing business. Even if you are inclined to think that she overreacted to the situation, you have to recognize that what happened there had to be most unpleasant for her.
Porter had only recently been hired by the Mets for their GM position; he was in the job for about 5 weeks when this story broke. On one hand, you have to give the Mets’ organization credit for acting swiftly and decisively in this matter – – whether you agree that the punishment is appropriate for the crime or not. On the other hand, you must wonder about the background investigation and the vetting processes used by the Mets when they hire executives.
In much more positive news regarding MLB, the Toronto Blue Jays signed free agent outfielder George Springer to a 6-year contract worth $150M. Springer will be 31 years old at the end of this season, so the duration of this contract is not outrageous. Over his 7-year career, he has been an All-Star 3 times; his career batting average is .270 and his career OPS is .852; he has played all three outfield positions over his career with the Astros. The Blue Jays, the Rays and the Yankees ought to make the AL East an interesting division to watch in 2021.
Moving on … Greg Cote had a tidbit in the Miami Herald a while back; I made a note of it on my clipboard and then proceeded to forget it was there and did not notice it until this morning.
“Johnny Manziel is coming out of retirement to play in something called the Fan Controlled Football league. The FCF is to debut with four teams in February. Over/under on the startup league folding: June 1.”
Obviously, the question here is what makes the FCF different from the myriad other Spring Football leagues that have sprung up and then disappeared. The league website offers a few clues:
- Teams are co-owned by groups that are not traditional team owners. Richard Sherman is a co-owner of a team; Austin Ekeler is a co-owner; Trevor May is a co-owner; Marshawn Lynch is somehow involved with a team named the Beasts.
- Fans can be involved with drafting players each week – – so I presume the teams are fluid.
- I am not quite sure what all this means, but this comes directly from the league website: “The games will stream on Twitch with fully-integrated play calling. You’re in the feed with the owners, (sic) They have advice, but you vote on the calls. Select the best play and it’s relayed right to the QB. Top fans on leaderboard have the most voting power.”
Games will be played in Infinite Energy Arena – in suburban Atlanta; that tells me this league will resemble Arena Football more than say XFL football. The games will be 7-on-7 and somehow the fans will call the plays. The games are billed as a “fusion” of sports, fantasy sports and video games. I will not pretend to understand enough about this new league to make a cogent comment on it, please go here to get a far more detailed explanation of what the league is about and perhaps you will understand many of the terms used here better than I do. For example, I have no idea what “stream on Twitch with fully-integrated play calling” could possibly mean.
Finally, the FCF is clearly an organization filled with optimistic vision. My father used explain optimism like this:
“You can complain that rose bushes have thorns or you can enjoy the roses between those thorns; it’s up to you.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………