2010 Season

Edition No. 25

July 22, 2010







As we move into the autumn of our baseball season, Possum’s team continues to separate itself from the rest of the pack, and nothing short of a complete collapse will prevent the Wahoos from claiming another crown for Possum’s mantel. 


There is a sharp drop-off from the Wahoos to the next four teams in the standings, the Cubs, Chiefs, Highlanders and Monarchs, and then another steep precipice  to the next level, and then six teams bunched together at the bottom.  A lot of potential sewer dwellers in the pack.  Here are the standings through July 21, 2010:








West Des Moines Cubs




Lincoln Chiefs




Omaha Highlanders




Millard Monarchs




Omaha Bronx Bombers




Itch's Bitches








Malden Missiles




Lincoln Tribe




Kansas City Blues




Lincoln Bears




Omaha Senators



Only because Tirebiter had apparently shirked his guest article duties did I step in to try to fill the void for this week.  Actually, Jim Ed was supposed to post his Crimson Chirper last week, but after much whining and begging he was given a brief extension until Monday of this week, but the slacker produced nothing for posting until yesterday and has been under deep cover this week.  Strike one was Tirebiter failing to show up in person on Draft Day this year, forcing us to view his ugly mug via Skype technology.  This is strike two.  Enough said.





It boggles the mind how much press has been devoted to George Steinbrenner’s passing last week, and more than that, how many glowing tributes have been showered upon him by so many people who once loathed him.  Steinbrenner was almost universally hated and ridiculed by Yankee fans and foes alike in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, and it was only after the Yankees started winning again in the late ’90s that some people actually began praising Steinbrenner for restoring order to the Big Leagues.  However, even then I don’t recall anyone saying they actually liked the guy.  Yet we have the disingenuous mortician, who poses as the ML Commissioner, saying that he and Steinbrenner were “great friends” for more than four decades.  I say bullshit.  Nobody stuck in Selig and the other owners’ craw more than George Steinbrenner, who always bullied and bluffed and threatened his way to getting what he wanted. 


Having read a couple of books about him, there is no doubt that Steinbrenner was a very complicated person, with good and bad attributes, and almost everyone concedes that he was generous to the poor and disenfranchised without trying to make a big deal out of it.  Okay, so give the devil his due.  But did anybody actually like the man?  Until last week and all of the quotes from every nook and cranny of the sports world, I had not thought so.  I guess nobody wants to speak ill of the dead, which is okay, but disingenuous. 


What I will say about George Steinbrenner is that he was a fascinating persona who generated a great deal of talk around the water cooler in his heyday, and about whom are some of my favorite quotes.  Moreover, George himself had a few memorable quotes in his time, and so I will share with you all a few here: 




I am dead set against free agency.  It can ruin baseball.


I will never have a heart attack.  I give them.


I wouldn’t sell the Yankees for anything.  Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa.  You don’t sell it. 




There’s nothing more limited than being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner. 

   ~ John McMullen, who sold his Yankee stock to buy the Houston Astros in 1979.


They deserve each other.  One’s a born liar and the other’s convicted

    ~ Billy Martin about Reggie Jackson and Steinbrenner[1]


When I was a little boy, I wanted to join the circus and I wanted to play professional baseball.  With the Yankees, I get to do both. 

   ~ Graig Nettles. 




Never known for his outstanding foot speed, Cal Ripken stole a total of only 36 bases in his major league career, for an average of about 1 every 83 games.  However, how many of you knew that the very first base that he purloined in the bigs was home plate?  That’s what I thought.  You heard it here first. 

















Went to see the USA Collegiate All Stars take on the Japanese team last night at Rosenblatt.  The USA won 4-1.  A few observations about the differences between the players on these teams: 




The Japanese hitters almost all lift their front leg and take a step toward the mound or first base when they are swinging, like Ichiro, apparently using this technique to try to generate more power (it didn’t work last night) to make up for their diminutive stature;




The players from the Land of the Rising Sun are definitely small in comparison to the doughboys from America, probably giving away 4 inches and 30 pounds on average per man——no wonder they don’t play American football in Japan;




The Japanese outfielders all play extremely shallow, and are all quite adept at going back on balls hit over their heads;




The Japanese pitchers look like they all must have learned their techniques from Luis Tiant, as they all turn their heads nearly backwards before making their delivery, apparently in an effort to generate more speed;




The most noteworthy of the Japanese players were the first basemen, who shouted out something in Japanese with every pitch and every play, and who obviously was their team “sparkplug”; and the right fielder, who has an absolute hose for a right arm, and who threw a couple of balls on a string to home plate, one to gun a would-be scorer, and the other a narrow miss. 


Not to pile on, but has anyone seen a recent picture of Mel Gibson?  The guy is 54 or 55 years old but could pass for 70, and not a good-looking 70. 




How did this guy go from being one of the handsomest stars in Hollywood in his 30s (think:  The Patriot, and other movies from that era)




to one of the scariest and most unsightly human beings of his generation?  If this is what excessive alcohol intake does to a person after his liver shuts down, I can’t imagine what our Brother Itchie is going to look like in another three to five years.  As for the ranting, well, Itchie’s got a ways to go before he will catch Mel, but he’s working on it. 





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Okay, that’s it for now, boys.  Hope you have enjoyed the light reading from yours truly in place of the absentee Crimson Chirper






[1] Billy Martin, who was quite a colorful character himself, had insisted that New York’s mercurial star Reggie Jackson be suspended for insubordination after repeatedly ignoring Martin’s on-field directions.  Steinbrenner reluctantly agreed, but limited that suspension to only five games.  The Yankees went 5-0 during Jackson’s suspension. Prior to his return, Jackson told reporters that he had done nothing wrong.  When Martin learned of these comments, he fumed to reporters, ripping both Jackson and his benefactor Steinbrenner.  Referring to what he considered Jackson’s selfish delusion and Steinbrenner’s guilty plea on two charges of illegal campaign contributions to the 1972 presidential campaign of Richard Nixon, Martin said: “The two of them deserve each other.  One’s a born liar and the other’s convicted.”  Within hours, Martin was no longer the manager of the Yankees, though he would return within a year.  The reigning two-time World Series champion Yankees then suffered through an 18-year drought without a title.