Baseball is a different game in 2022 as compared to 1972 – – just to pick a time in the past. Here is something that happened yesterday which caused a minor dithering in the baseball cosmos:
- Clayton Kershaw threw a perfect game through 7 innings consuming only 80 pitches striking out 13 batters in the process.
- The Dodgers led the Twins 7-0 at that point.
- Kershaw was taken out of the game. The Dodgers managed to “hold on” and win the game 7-0.
That simply would not have happened in 1972. There is a piece of baseball lore wherein Bob Gibson – a pitcher around the time of 1972 – was having a rough day and his catcher, Tim McCarver, went to the mound to talk to Gibson. At that point Gibson supposedly told his teammate and long-term catcher to “Get the [bleep] off my mound!” Imagine a time travel machine wherein it was Gibson who had that perfect game going after 7 innings with only 80 pitches was in the dugout and receiving the information that he would not be taking the [bleeping] mound at the start of the 8th inning. My vision of the Dodgers’ dugout under such circumstances would be one of mayhem.
By the same token, the Dodgers’ manager – or any other manager in 1972 – would never have thought of pulling a pitcher who had a perfect game cooking after 7 innings. In all of MLB since 1900, there have only been 21 perfect games thrown which averages out to about one every 6 years; in fact, there was a 34-year period where no one tossed a perfect game. No manager in 1972 would have done what Dave Roberts did yesterday – – and yet, that is the prevailing thinking in baseball today.
In NFL news yesterday, the Las Vegas Raiders committed themselves to Derek Carr as their QB for the next several years at least. Carr signed a 3-year contract extension worth $121.5M saying that he was happy to make it “team friendly” so that the Raiders could keep other key players necessary to maintain competitiveness in the AFC West. Carr’s present contract has 1 year left so Raider fans should not be speculating about “who will be the Raiders’ QB” for the next several years.
I would not try to make the case that Carr is the best QB in the NFL; in fact, he is not even the best QB in the AFC West. But he does not get sufficient recognition for his talents.
- Since taking over the QB job for the Raiders in 2014, the Raiders have played 129 regular season games. Derek Carr has started 127 of those games.
- Carr has averaged 250 yards per game over his career; his TD/INT ratio is 2.25; and he has been selected for the Pro Bowl 3 times.
There is another QB-related story cooking in the NFL. Baker Mayfield told the host of the Ya Neva Know podcast that he feels “100% disrespected” by the Browns. Mayfield played last year with a torn labrum in his left shoulder; he did not have a good year and the Browns missed the playoffs. Mayfield underwent surgery immediately after the season and he says that he was told that the team was committed to him returning and being the starting QB for the Browns. Then, the Browns went out and traded to acquire Deshaun Watson…
Here is my view of the situation in Cleveland:
- Watson – once he shakes off the rust from a year on the shelf – is a better QB that Mayfield. The Browns upgraded – – if all you consider is the physical skills of the two players.
- The Browns spent a ton of draft capital to get Watson – then gave him a monster contract that is fully guaranteed – and it would make sense for the Browns to try to get some of that draft capital back by trading Mayfield.
- Mayfield’s comments on that podcast do not enhance his value on the trade market even a little bit. If the Browns’ braintrust had a master plan in place to get some value for Mayfield as part of the move to acquire Watson as their QB, I think that master plan just hit an iceberg and is taking on water.
Meanwhile over in the NBA, the speculation about who will be the new Lakers’ coach has come up to a simmer already. I do not care to comment on the half-dozen names that have already been thrown out as potential candidates, but I do have two observations:
- For the Lakers to get themselves a coach who is already under contract with an NBA team – – Nick Nurse and/or Quin Snyder for example – – they will need to trade for him. The Lakers have no draft picks in 2022 and only a second round pick in 2023; that is not exactly a big enticement for the team that has a desirable coach already under contract. Moreover, the Lakers’ roster does not have a surfeit of desirable players who might be offered to “sweeten the pot”.
- Comments in the last couple of days by Russell Westbrook were not constructive. In essence, he said that under the team direction fostered by Frank Vogel, he had to sacrifice some of his game in order to play to the system. Were it not for the fact that his preferred style of play is not going to complement the styles of his other star-power teammates, one might see that as a commitment to make things a lot better next season. However,…
Finally, today is my long-suffering wife’s birthday. I will close today with a quip by American humorist, James Thurber, that will give you an idea of how things are in our household:
“I hate women because they always know where things are.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………