Before there can be any links, we must acknowledge Jackie Robinson and what he’s meant to this country. If baseball has done anything great it has been to help spearhead the Civil Rights Movement through Jackie Robinson.
Today is the day baseball honors him. Every player will wear a Dodger blue 42. But as a group, we should be eternally grateful.
The MLB regular season is a week old as I type this. Due to the lockout, this season is rather unique. Players should be wrapping up a regular Spring Training routine about now but instead are playing in real games.
Offense is down as a result. Down so much that 14 of the 15 games last Saturday hit the under according to Vegas. One gambler had a 14 leg parlay of unders and turned $50 into a cool quarter million.
So it is no surprise that one of the key takeaways from the Angels opening homestand is that the big bats have yet to get going. I’d be willing to bet Ohtani, Trout, and Rendon don’t continue hitting this poorly for an entire season.
Those guys aren’t the only ones. Fangraphs pegs Jo Adell as a breakout candidate with the bat. And their past history is pretty good.
The picture of Trout on the top of their bust candidates article game me a mild heart attack until I read the piece and saw he’s not listed.
Baseball is a fraternity and the friendships forged go far beyond jerseys, standings, and the sport. Miami Marlins pitcher Anthony Bass and Shohei Ohtani were teammates in Japan and had a cool moment this week.
That term fraternity might not always be the case in baseball. We’ve seen two huge historic events this last week.
First Rachel Balkovec became the first woman to manage an affiliated minor league game. She’s now the first woman to win a game as a manager in an affiliated minor league game.
Then, on Tuesday night, Giants assistant Alyssa Nakken became the first woman in uniform on the field in an MLB game.
I’m looking forward to pointing to these women and others and telling my nieces if Rachel and Alyssa can do it, so can they.
In far less good news for women, Trevor Bauer still breathes. MLB is taking as long as the DA up in LA did in deciding what to do. At some point this will be resolved one way or the other. Then the Dodgers will be left with the Sophie’s Choice of trotting him out there or eating a huge contract.
I had the pleasure of watching Seiya Suzuki make his American debut during my Spring Training trip. He’s all I hoped he’d be and then some so far.
And who could’ve seen this coming? The Phillies, who signed defensive nightmares Nick Castellanos and Kyle Scwarber, might have a bad defense.
Getting back to what is really important in life…I’ve linked this before but it worth reading again or for the first time. Jackie and MLK were friends who inspired each other.
While history looks at Jackie’s MLB time, it is important to note he also broke color barriers in the minor leagues. Here’s an interesting piece on one such occasion.
I haven’t linked this before. This is Jackie just months before his death on the Dick Cavett show. Thoughtful, insightful, personable, and sadly still somewhat applicable to today.
One last note, anybody who has seen the film 42, which I highly recommend, will remember the harassment Jackie faced at the hands of Phillies manager Ben Chapman. It is fair for Chapman to go down in history for that. But it should also be noted Chapman changed his ways in later years.
Jackie often spoke of changing people’s perceptions and attitudes. I think it is fitting that one of Jackie’s biggest adversaries did just that; likely partially due to Jackie himself.