Rest In Peace, Roger Angell

Roger Angell passed away at the ripe old age of 101 over the weekend.  Young baseball fans of today probably think of Ken Burns as the “poet laureate of baseball”; they only think that because they did not grow up reading Roger Angell.  The world of reading and writing is significantly diminished today.

“Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time.  You remain forever young.”  [Roger Angell]

Rest in peace, Roger Angell…

Last week, I mentioned here that the Canadian Football League and its players’ union had reached an agreement for a new CBA – – or whatever such things are called in Canada – – and that I had been educated by Gregg Drinnan on some of the issues and resolutions contained in that agreement.  If you want to know more about those issues/resolutions, here is a link to Professor Drinnan’s blog, Taking Note where you can find them.  When you go there, scroll down to the blog entry from May 19 under the headline:

  • “CFL players back to practice fields as strike ends…”

The Sacramento Kings went looking for a new coach after the team failed to reach the NBA playoffs for the 16th consecutive season.  In those 16 seasons, the Kings have employed 11 coaches/interim coaches.  Let’s just say that the franchise has not been a model of stability and leave it at that.  Mike Brown got the job in Sacramento this time around and some commentators noted that Brown will bring championship rings with him to the Kings’ locker room.  While that is true, it is equally true that Mike Brown will not be bringing a players of the caliber of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson with him to the Kings’ locker room.

I think the current situation in Sacramento is accurately and concisely captured by this item from Dwight Perry’s column, Sideline Chatter in the Seattle Times:

“Nuggets backup center DeMarcus Cousins, to, sizing up the Sacramento Kings: ‘They sucked before I got there. They sucked when I was there. They sucked after I left.’”

Those words bring back to me high school memories of reading/translating Caesar’s Gallic Wars in Latin II – – “Veni, vidi, vici…”

Bud Grant is in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and in the Pro Football Hall of Fame; he played in the NBA and in the CFL and in the NFL.  He coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 10 seasons making it to the Grey Cup Game 6 times and winning the Grey Cup 4 times.  He coached the Minnesota Vikings for 18 seasons making it to the playoffs in 12 of those seasons.  He is alive and kicking at age 95 and recently suggested a couple of rule changes he would like to see in the NFL.  One of those suggestions resonated with me; in fact, I think it is such a good idea that I wish I could say that I came up with it.

Grant’s premise is that when a trailing team Is out of timeouts at the end of the game and the team in possession is simply kneeling out the clock, the game is no longer interesting to the fans.  He is absolutely correct in that starting point and he said that he voiced that opinion while he was coaching in the league.  The response always was that nothing could be done about it because the fundamental timing rules of the game dictated that some games would end that way.  Well, he has a suggestion now for a minor tweak in the rules for the final minutes of an NFL game:

  • The team on offense must make one yard or the clock stops.

In support of this tweaking of the rules, Grant says:

“Things can happen when trying to make a yard. You can get stuffed; you can fumble; you can get a penalty… Most of all, you keep the fans interested.”

Put that rule in effect for the final 3 minutes of an NFL game.  It is simple, straightforward and it will surely provide more drama that watching a QB kneel down several times.

I read a note sometime last week that the overall MLB batting average for the month of April was .231 and that was the lowest “April Batting Average” ever.  Time out…  When MLB added the “Universal DH”, I was told that was going to make for more action and offense.  Have I been sold a bill of goods on that?

The Tennessee Titans play in Nissan Stadium and there seems to be a consensus building that the facility is outdated and something has to be done.  [Aside:  I have never been to Nissan Stadium but if it is only “as bad as” the Commanders’ stadium in Landover, MD, then the facility should be demolished and erased from the national landscape.]  I read that a recent estimate of the cost to upgrade/renovate/modernize the stadium was $1.8B.  Say what?

I am never in favor of taxpayers building facilities for billionaire team owners, but I recognize the reality that the taxpayers in Tennessee – – and more specifically Nashville, TN – –  are going to pony up at least some of the costs to upgrade this facility.  After all, the stadium is owned and operated by the local government there.  However, I do have a serious suggestion for the city fathers there:

  • You should at least “kick the tires” to find out the cost for building a new stadium from the ground up.  I must think that you could build a new one for something close to the cost estimate of $1.8B for merely a renovation.

Finally, let me close today with another observation from Roger Angell:

“The best defense against partisanship is expertise.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “Rest In Peace, Roger Angell”

    1. TenaciousP:

      If Oakland were willing to build a stadium, the Raiders would still be in town…

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