history lesson du jour
from peter golenbock's the spirit of saint louis: a history of the st louis cardinals and browns
Charlie Comiskey, the manager and first baseman for the Saint Louis Brown Stockings, was a mild-mannered, cerebral man off the field, but on the field, he could act like a common thug. He played the game with a controlled aggression designed to ground the opposition into dust. His focus was on victory, and he never permitted anyone to lose sight of the fact that he was there for one reason only: to win. Said Comiskey: "First place is the only subject of conversation."
Comiskey would bait umpires and argue every call that went the other way. He fought as hard as he could on every play and expected his players to act the same way. He was indomitable. Comiskey explained his philosophy about fighting for victory years later: "I have fought every point because, through bitter experience, I learned early that one lost decision sometimes may mean the loss of the pennant. It is the small things in life which count; it is the inconsequential leak that empties the biggest reservoir."
Comiskey encouraged his players to try to intimidate the opposition any way they could. He was a nineteenth century role model for Leo Durocher and Billy Martin. He encouraged his players to knock over an opponent in the field or on the basepaths, and if you didn't like it, that was just too bad. On the base paths, Comiskey was a terror. In one game against Cincinnati, Comiskey threw himself into second baseman John "Bid" McPhee, causing him to throw wild to first, enabling the winning run to score. Ty Cobb, who came into the game twenty years later with a similar nasty disposition, had nothing on Comiskey.
His players followed his example. The next day Curt Welch did the same thing, throwing himself at McPhee "as if hurled from a catapult." Said Welch, "Well, we're playing ball to win."
On defense Comiskey would stand in the path of base runners who were rounding first and heading for second. If the base runner wasn't looking, a hip check would send him sprawling into the dirt. If the opposing player rose to object, Comiskey looked to start a fight. Under Comiskey, the Browns quickly gained a reputation around the league for their "bad boy" attitude. In the press, they were referred to as "demons" and "Von der Ahe's hoodlums."
The Browns' Curt Welch, illiterate and vulgar, was an umpire baiter who was especially despised by opponents for deliberately trying to injure them. In June of 1887, the Philadephia A's pressed formal charges against Welch for trying to injure pitcher Gus Weyhing as the pitcher ran the bases. Six days later in Baltimore, Welch caused a riot when he smashed into second baseman Bill Greenwood on a steal attempt. Welch was arrested and Von der Ahe had to pay $200 to post bond.
Charlie Comiskey's hard-nosed, trash-talking teammates followed his lead. The mouthpiece of the Browns was third baseman Arlie Latham. Before Latham, players didn't talk it up. There was no "Hey, batter, batter," no encouragement shouted by teammates to the pitcher or batter, certainly none of the endless bench jockeying that became Latham's trademark. The chatter on Little League diamonds across America is the direct descendant of Latham's philosophy of making as much noise as possible.
... it was Latham's mouth that made him famous and drove the opposition wild. He would begin chattering on the first pitch and continue his running commentary on the opposition's sins and weaknesses until they wanted to skull him with their baseball bats. His bench jockeying was so inflammatory that it invited commentay in rival newspapers.
During the 1886 World Series, the writer for the Chicago Inter-Ocean wrote the following: "One feature of the St. Louis game might be eliminated with success, and that is the disgusting mouthings of the clown Latham. There was a universal sentiment of disgust expressed by the [Chicago] crowd that left the ball park at the end of the game at this hoodlum's obscene talk on the ball field. One well known merchant remarked that he never would attend another game that Latham played in. The roughest element that ever attends a ball game in this city could not condone the offense of such a player as Latham. Pres. Spalding should insist upon his being silenced, such coarse mouthings may pass in St. Louis, but will not be tolerated in Chicago."
Shortstop Bill Gleason was another St. Louis player who bullied the opposition. In the field, Gleason intimidated opposing players by deliberately slamming his knee or hip into base runners as they advanced from second to third. As base coaches, Gleason and Comiskey were reviled for their "offensive coaching" and use of "vile language." The two in tandem so infuriated opponents with their obscenities that team owners called for the pair to be fined and/or suspended. At the end of the 1886 season, the American Association passed a rule to establish coaching boxes in an effort to contain Gleason and Comiskey. The coaching boxes became an institution in the game, and they still exist today.
James Hart (manager of Louisville in 1885): "The chalk lines which enclose the coaching boxes were added to the field diagram after Charles Comiskey had demonstrated their necessity. Comiskey and Bill Gleason used to plant themselves on each side of the visiting catcher and comment on his breeding, personal habits, skill as a receiver, or rather lack of it, until the unlucky backstop was unable to tell whether one or half a dozen balls were coming his way. Not infrequently the umpire came in for a few remarks.
'He's a sweet bird, isn't he, Bill?' Comiskey would chirp.
'Never heard of him before, did you Commy?' would be the direct reply of Gleason.
'The cat must have brought him in and put him in the keeping of the umpire or how else could he last more than an inning?' and so on until the end of the chapter.
This solicitous attention did not add to the efficiency of the backstop, so for the sake of not unduly increasing the population of insane asylums or encouraging justifiable homicide, the coacher's box was invented. This helped out the catcher, but the pitcher and the other players on the opposing team were still at the mercy of Comiskey, and I know of no man who had a sharper tongue, who was in command of more biting sarcasm, or who was quicker at repartee."
Labels: team a-rod, yanquis
get over it ny post, they all do it and you know it
my only issue is why with someone who looks EXACTLY like your wife? ZZZZZZZZ.
qotd pt 2
hibbert: is that jason giambi or carl crawford?
flash: speed kills, kenny!
Labels: quote of, things that are funny
" This Yankee team is as disappointing as any inconsistent guy I've ever dated. Multiplied by 25." - bischer
a few things
1. is this a dig at "you're with me, leather?"
2. nevermind that they, oh, donated a million dollars to the school and are playing an exhibition game there next spring. why mention minor details like that?
i'm a bored child.
[temporarily edited out to add to picture]
4. paul o'neill + michael kay = pure comedy.
Labels: sox, yanquis
dear joe west
thanks for be so incompetent, as you say
Labels: %#^%*$, fuck you people, yanquis
clearly the bullpen is slacking in another area
from cj wilson's blog
bullpen turtle: a turtle drawn from a vertical view in the dirt of the bullpen mound. the two main variations of the turtle are the RAIN turtle and the RALLY turtle. The rain turtle is invoked when a rainout is possible. We pour water on the turtle and hope that it brings the rain onto the field, leaving the team with a great chance at a shortened victory(boston 06, 5inning game). The Rally turtle is used when a runs have been scarce, and spitting or pouring water on the turtle brings it happy feelings which in turn bring us scoreboard status.
get on that, pr0FF3ss0r_F4rnsw0rth
Labels: other teams
to go or not to go
from the trenton thunder newsletter:
The Thunder have made several arrangements in anticipation of the standing room only crowd expected for Roger Clemens' potential start for the Thunder on Wednesday, May 23. This includes the gates at Waterfront Park opening early and a parking advisory. Please read below for more information.
Roger Clemens will start for the Tampa Yankees (Class A) tonight, and if things go well, it is expected that he will be named the starting pitcher for the Thunder on May 23, weather permitting.
Labels: actual rocket, baby bombers, yanquis
"i find it offensive. au naturale, baby -- that's how i like em. swing low, sweet chariots." - my personal hero creed bratton
on boob enhancement
also - did jan's
crazed "IS IT BECAUSE OF THESE?" remind anyone of kitty sanchez's
"SAY GOODBYE TO THESE!"? just a little? no? okay.
eta another qotd, this time from the writers liveblog
during last night's show.
paul lieberstein on the lack of toby: "This is Paul. Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of Toby. He seems weird, and weak, and why doesn't he just punch Michael or something. Pathetic. I mean, I get it, he's hot, but... I need more than that."
Labels: quote of, teh office, things i watch that i love, things that are funny
at least he admitted it
The Yankees lost a game tonight, not solely but in part because of a blown umpiring call at second base. Pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist stole second base in the eighth and scored the tying run, but umpire Jerry Davis admitted after the game that he got it wrong. Bloomquist was tagged out at second by Robinson Cano, which should have been the third out of the inning.
"I didn't just miss the call, I kicked the [bleep] out of it," Davis told a pool reporter after the game. [courant yankees blog]
unlike some people
from joel sherman's
blog last friday:
Count me as someone who is taking a break from the Phil Hughes hype train. I have seen all the numbers and I have heard all the glowing reports, but you know what I haven’t seen yet: Phil Hughes pitch well.
Not in spring training this year and not on Thursday night in his major league debut against the Blue Jays. He is just 20 and this was his first game, so I recognize we are far, far away from any kind of ultimate judgment on if Hughes is special or not. But, please, watching the YES broadcast on Thursday made me feel like I was at one of those Little League ceremonies where every kid gets a trophy. Short of Hughes falling on the mound and begging for his mommy, it seemed that YES had preordained that Hughes was going to have a positive game regardless of the result, kind of like all of those Monday Night Football games when Brett Favre is the pre-programmed hero right through his fourth interception.
the rest is even cuter! oddly, he doesn't seem to have addressed the issue again. gosh, i wonder why.
Labels: pocket rocket, stfu
from the nervous giddy high of a no hitter to THAT particular kick in the head. oy.
Labels: %#^%*$, baby bombers, pocket rocket, yanquis