Blog

Ed Ryan entered the baseball blogosphere baggage in hand – emotional baggage. As a retired Marine, he endured the psychological effects from service in Operation: Desert Storm. After returning home to New Jersey he started a career in law enforcement and more stress: September 11.

“For about a year we were going to funerals back to back to back, that was numbing,” said Ryan. “I was fried. I needed an outlet a healthy one not drinking, drugs or women.”

He needed a distraction.

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Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

This whole thing about McGwire simply permits sportswriters to imagine themselves to be Woodward and Bernstein, people who see themselves as guardians of a sacred portal, the last best hope for truth and justice and its all hogwash and baloney. – John Thorn, baseball historian

On November 26, 1961 the rules committee for Major League Baseball voted 8 to 1 against legalizing the spitball. Four months later, Gaylord Perry the most-celebrated of all spitball pitchers made his major league debut.

Irony? Coincidence? Foreshadowing?

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Since last week’s announcement of the National (San Francisco Giant ace Tim Lincecum, 15-game winner) and American League (Kansas City Royal pitcher Zack Grienke, 16-game winner) Cy Young Award winners, a bubbling debate has begun over the value of a “win” placed on a pitcher’s statistical line.

Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski to suggested, “the win is dead … why would anyone count on something as vague and misleading as wins?”

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Potential. That’s the word that may eventually haunt Lastings Milledge most. Not now. No, he is still only 24 years old, and has the time and, er, potential to silence his naysayers.

Potential has two definitions in sports: one, for a prospect, rookie or young professional like Milledge, potential is a hopeful, optimistic word. The second definition is reserved for mostly former first-round draft picks, ballplayers well into their thirties, lingering on a bench in Peoria, Syracuse or Las Vegas, hoping for one last opportunity. The latter is an ugly word, often shadowed by a question mark.

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