Rest In Peace, Orlando Cepeda

Orlando Cepeda died while these rants were on hiatus; he was 86 years old.  Cepeda is deservedly in the Baseball Hall of Fame; he was an outstanding player.  At times his talents were overlooked to a degree because he was on the same Giants’ team as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal.  Cepeda made the All-Star team 11 times in his 17-year career; he was also the Rookie of the Year in 1958 and won the NL MVP Award in 1967.

Rest in peace, Orlando Cepeda.

Sticking with baseball for a moment, the time is fast approaching when MLB will stage this year’s All-Star Game; and traditionally, that event is considered to be the “halfway mark” in the current season even though the math would say that teams have all gone just a smidgen beyond the true halfway point,  So, when I look at the standings this morning here is what I see:

  • AL East:  The O’s lead the Yankees by 3 games and the Red Sox by 7.5 games.  I expected the O’s and the Yankees to battle it out for that Division Crown back in April but did not think the Red Sox would be anywhere near a mention in early-July.  Yet, here we are…
  • AL Central:  The Guardians lead the Twins by 6 games and the Guardians have the best record in the AL as of now.  Cleveland is doing it with pitching and defense; they have allowed the fewest runs in the AL to date.
  • AL West:  The Mariners lead the Astros by 2 games and the Rangers by 6 games.  None of these teams are “lighting it up” this year; the Mariners are only 6 games over .500 and the Rangers are 6 games below .500 today.
  • NL East:  The Phillies lead the Braves by 8 games and sport the best record in MLB as of today.
  • NL Central:  The Brewers lead the Cardinals by 5 games.  The Cards are interesting today because they are 5 games over .500 and yet their run differential is minus-39.
  • NL West:  The Dodgers lead the Padres by 7.5 games and the D-Backs by 9.5 games.  It appears that the Dodgers can win this Division on cruise control for the rest of the season.

Looking at the “less-successful-teams” to date, the team that stands out is the Chicago White Sox.  Yes, the Marlins, the Rockies and the A’s are pretty miserable too, but the White Sox are well in command for the “race-to-the-bottom” in 2024.  Consider:

  • The White Sox have the worst record in MLB at 26-66.  That record projects to a final season record of 46-116.
  • The White Sox have scored the fewest runs in MLB (295) in 92 games or 3.2 runs per game.  By contrast, the Yankees and O’s are averaging just over 5 runs per game.
  • The White Sox team OPS is .634 through 92 games.  Only the Marlins (at .632) have a lower OPS as of this morning.
  • The White Sox pitching staff is no bargain either.  The team’s ERA is 4.57 which ranks 27th in MLB’s 30 teams.

Moving on …  I was not happy to read that Dick Vitale is battling cancer yet again and will undergo surgery to remove a tumor from his neck.  Vitale is 85 years old and has undergone treatments/tests for lymphoma since 2021.  He also had cancer of his vocal cords which required radiation therapy in 2023.  Long-term readers here know that I prefer to take Dick Vitale in small doses; at the same time, I do not wish cancer on anyone above the level set by Jeffrey Dahmer.

Get well, Dickie V …

Switching gears …  Joey Chestnut was not part of the Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest last week because Chestnut signed a deal to endorse hot dogs made by Impossible Foods – – the folks who make “fake meat”.  [For the record, I have eaten an Impossible Burger once and will not do so ever again.]  I doubt that Chestnut eats hot dogs for their umami, so life goes on.  But wait, Joey Chestnut has not “retired” from competitive eating – or professional gluttony if you prefer.

  • Joey Chestnut signed a deal with Netflix.  He and former Nathans’ Hot Dog eating champion, Takeru Kobayashi, will stage their own hot-dog showdown streaming live on Netflix on September 2nd.
  • I do not subscribe to Netflix.  I will not be tempted in the least to subscribe in September so that I might witness this “showdown”.  To each his own…

Finally, these words from Oscar Wilde:

“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.”

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



3 thoughts on “Rest In Peace, Orlando Cepeda”

  1. I tried to figure out where Cepeda, Mays, and McCovey batted in the SF Giants lineup, but I came up with zilch.

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