It used to be a badge of honor to have served in the Armed Forces and even stars like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio did their time. Does it bother you at all that this new crop of ballplayers has never served and probably never will?
While serving in our nation’s armed forces may still be seen as a badge of honor for Americans, it does not bother me one bit that modern day baseballers don’t take part. I haven’t ever taken part either, so why would it bother me that they don’t?
I am a big believer in sticking with what you’re good at. If you happen to be really good at throwing 90 mph splitters to Big Leaguers, then please, focus on throwing 90 mph splitters to Big Leaguers. If you’re really good at leading groups of armed men through hostile urban environments, then please, focus on leading groups of armed men through hostile urban environments.
In my opinion, one of the greatest tragedies in baseball history is missing out on the golden years of baseball production from the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Bob Feller and many more. Think of how much better their already herculean numbers would be had they not taken a break to join the military ranks!
Look, I’m no dummy. I understand that their collective decision to leave baseball for the armed forces came at a poignant time in history — a time when the entire future of the planet rested on defeating the Axis Powers. It was either defeat evil incarnate (y’know, the guys killing innocent people en masse) or succumb to the insanity of megalomaniac, intolerant tyrants.
It was also a time before the internet, before instant access, when no one could see what was behind the curtain. Looking back, one could even say the US Government used such high profile athletes as pawns to get more everyday joes to enlist. Heck, if Teddy Ballgame is serving, then so should I!
But those days are no more. It’s hard to keep any sort of secret and when the wars we are fighting are against invisible enemies in caves we can’t see and in countries rich with oil where we probably shouldn’t be anyway, then it’s pretty hard to convince somebody he should give up his talent, his career, his life.
As far as I know, our military isn’t hurting for more participation. With smart bombs and drones and missiles more accurate than a Greg Maddux two-seam fastball, not to mention the bazillions of taxpayer dollars regulated for military spending, I think it’s best that our Matt Hollidays and Matt Kemps keep their bodies where they belong: in the outfield.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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The playoff races are all but decided at this point. Baseball fans are settling in for a postseason with many of the usual suspects. There aren’t a whole lot of surprises at this point and there isn’t much reason to get angry…..or is there?
If you have become complacent due to the lack of baseball excitement in your life, boy, do I have something for you. Some dude has been using Ted Williams’ frozen head for batting practice. Seriously, man. Ted Williams. I mean, the guy might have been a bit of a kook but still, that’s no reason to be batting around his frozen head with a monkey wrench. That’s like using Warren G. Harding’s petrified liver as a hockey puck. It just isn’t done.
In a few days we can go back to worrying about playoff baseball but, for the time being, maybe you should use this downtime to write your congressman. Unless it’s Jim Bunning. If his senate career is any indication, he probably would have thrown at Williams’ head. Monkey wrench, baseball. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
The events of the past couple weeks have obviously left me thinking quite a bit about the idea of mortality. Not my own, of course, as I don’t ever plan on dying. But rather the idea of mortality in a philosophical sense. There are so many different ways that one can shuffle off this mortal coil and it’s a topic we’re so obsessed with but, at the same time, we know next to nothing about it.
Some people make a grand exit, whether it be Reagan’s processional farewell, Michael’s tear-strewn send-off or Ted Williams’ bizarre, cryogenically frozen head. And some people just sneak away. Maybe there’s a small obituary, maybe even a large one if they were well-known, but the exit itself is quiet and unassuming.
However, sometimes the end is simultaneously quick and disturbingly bizarre. A case in point is Vincent Smith, Jr. and his recent cocoa related misadventures. I mean, we expect strange things out of New Jersey but dying in a vat of chocolate?
So, as we head into the All-Star break and you start to realize that your team is either on life support or has already been declared DOA (I’m looking at you, Nats’ fans), remember that it could be worse. At least they didn’t die in a huge vat of chocolate.
Matt Wieters just turned water into wine! Not only that, I heard that when Matt Wieters wouldn’t come to the mountain, the mountain came to him! And all that happened right before he attained nirvana to become the Buddha! If Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Ted Williams’ frozen head got together and had a baby, it would be Matt Wieters.
There’s just one small problem with all this hoopla. Matt Wieters plays for the Baltimore Orioles so no one really cares. In fact, despite the disparity of their records, I still firmly believe that there is only one team near the Chesapeake Bay that actually matters. And that team, my friends, is the Washington Senators. I mean Nationals.
The Nationals evoke a Hobbesian system at its finest. Their chances of winning, similar to how Hobbes described life, are typically “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” And if only the Nats didn’t make it so easy, we’d probably just leave them to their inauspicious demise. However, when you do this:
-Teddy picture via Deadspin
This is to you and you only, Mr. Krause: You’re absolutely nuts. You’re absolutely nuts, and you’re absolutely wrong. You’re absolutely nuts, you’re absolutely wrong and your most recent post is absolutely embarrassing.
I have given you a pass on the dumb things that have come out of your posts before — sometimes I merely chided you and sometimes I partook in a bit of playful teasing; but like Hillary and her ill-timed reference to Bobby Kennedy’s June primary assassination, this time, you have gone too far, Al.
And you must suffer the consequences.
When asked if hitting .400 was an unreachable goal, you responded with such infantile and insane statements like:
“…the answer is yes, hitting .400 is an unreachable goal today. There
is so much that goes into just simply getting a hit, a guy who can hit
.300 or better is a catch. I mean, first of all you have to make
contact with balls that are coming at crazy speeds and crazy angles and
then you have to put it into a place where a fielder is not. In the
game today, managers and players alike do their homework and
positioning makes it that much harder to get a decent hit.”
REBUTTAL: You answered the question. I’ll give you that. But your reasoning is reminiscent of George W. in that it’s straight out of Crazytown. ‘Crazy speeds and crazy angles‘? Seriously? The game of baseball (especially this aspect) has changed very little in the last 100 years, Al. ‘You have to put it into a place where a fielder is not‘? Again, since the inception of baseball this has always been the case. Do you even watch baseball? Do you know how it’s played? Have you ever played yourself?
“But the fact of the matter is that the level of competition day in and
day out in the Majors is much greater than it was back when Ted
Williams was scattering the ball all over the field. Besides, he also
froze his head so he can try to come back one day. Only someone who’s
that kind of crazy has a chance at .400.”
REBUTTAL: Really? So you’re saying that when Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941 — when there were just 16 teams in all of Major League Baseball — that the level of competition was less than it is now in 2008? You are aware that there are 30 teams in Major League Baseball now, right? You are aware that nowadays, guys like Geoff Jenkins and Sean Casey and Boof Bonser make it to the majors where as in 1941, they’d be lucky to catch the game on the radio while working at the local laundromat, right? And I’m quite sure that Rogers Hornsby and Ty Cobb didn’t have their heads frozen or anything like that, yet they managed to hit .400 and guess what: they’re Hall of Famers too!
“…the more important matter is what does it matter if someone hits .400?”
REBUTTAL: It matters, Mr. Krause, for the same reason that it matters if someone hits over 60 homers, or hits safely in 56 consecutive games, or gets over 200 hits in a season or steals 100 bases. It matters because it’s really friggin’ hard to do, man! Come on! Get a grip! We’re talking about hitting .400 here, not hitting for a cycle or some arbitrary numbers-related coincidence. Only 33 players in the history of MLB have ever hit over .400 for a season! And no one — I said NO ONE — has done it since 1941! Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby, George Sisler, Joe Jackson… I’d say those names are pretty synonymous with baseball greatness. Again, do you even watch baseball, Allen?
In conclusion, you wrote this:
“No, I don’t think .400 is an achievable goal but I also don’t think
it’s all that important. And that’s all I have to say about that.”
Fine. You’re definitely entitled to your opinion — as wrong as they often are — that it is ultimately an unachievable goal. Who knows, you might even be right. It still seems that the 56 game hitting streak is unrepeatable, so maybe hitting .400 is too. But to say that it is unimportant is absolute blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege. It is disrespectful of the greatest game on earth and the good people (me) who follow it to the nerdiest degree.
Hitting .400 is certainly important, Al.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Chipper Jones has been spraying the ball all season and his batting average shows it. Is hitting over .400 for the year an unreachable goal in today’s game?
First of all let me say, ha ha ha ha. You said spray. But now that I’ve got that out of the way I’ll try to get to the more serious business of answering your question.
And the answer is yes, hitting .400 is an unreachable goal today. There is so much that goes into just simply getting a hit, a guy who can hit .300 or better is a catch. I mean, first of all you have to make contact with balls that are coming at crazy speeds and crazy angles and then you have to put it into a place where a fielder is not. In the game today, managers and players alike do their homework and positioning makes it that much harder to get a decent hit.
Every few years this question flares up again when someone has a career season. Larry Walker in the 90’s made a brief run at .400 and now here comes Chipper. But the fact of the matter is that the level of competition day in and day out in the Majors is much greater than it was back when Ted Williams was scattering the ball all over the field. Besides, he also froze his head so he can try to come back one day. Only someone who’s that kind of crazy has a chance at .400.
However, the more important matter is what does it matter if someone hits .400? Does that number show how valuable they were to their team? What if someone on the Giants hit .400 but, because they never had anyone on base and no one decent coming up to bat after them, the team still lost most of their games and that player rarely crossed the plate? Would anyone really care? It would be a nice statistic but a players’ value to their team cannot be summed up in ratio of the number of times they get on base to the number of official at-bats they have taken. I’ll take the league leader in OBP over the batting champion any day of the week.
So, I guess my final answer to your question comes in two parts. No, I don’t think .400 is an achievable goal but I also don’t think it’s all that important. And that’s all I have to say about that.