2010 Season

Edition No. 7

February 24, 2010








Thanks to B.T., I am offering up a short From the Bullpen for your mid-week viewing pleasure.  Thanks to B.T., because, while this Winter From Hell had me so despondent earlier today I was thinking more about throwing myself in front of a giant snowplow than dictating an FTB; but after talking with Happy’s grandson (B.T.) about our upcoming Hot Stove League season, my spirits are as high as a kite and I was inspired to pick up my dictaphone and pass along a few thoughts for the week.  Or as B.T. (the Master of Mixed Metaphor) put it, let me run a few things up the old flagpole and see if any of them can fly. 


First of all, I share with you here another great chapter by Thomas Boswell from Cracking the Show, entitled “Reasons to Believe.”  In this, he helps to explain how the Baltimore Orioles went from their 1988 record of 54-107 (a mere 34-1/2 games off of the pace of the Boston Red Sox, and 22-1/2 games behind the next-worst AL East team, the Cleveland Indians), in the season in which they began by losing their first 21 games; to a record in 1989 of 87-75, in which they narrowly lost out to the Toronto Blue Jays and missed the playoffs by a mere 2 games.  As he points out, only two teams in history have ever improved by more than the Orioles’ 32-1/2 games—the 1903 Giants and the 1946 Red Sox.  As Boswell keenly observed, the Red Sox should have been expected to improve dramatically, as they got Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio, together with six or their seven best pitchers, back from World War II.  As the article indicates, the real reason for the Orioles’ dramatic improvement was a bit of addition by subtraction, and the benefits of good team chemistry. 


Anyway, enjoy the article. 


I thought that I would be done by now with my new book about pitching legend Chief Bender (Itchie’s namesake), and that I would be able to report to all of you on it.  However, I’m only about two-thirds of the way through my current bedside baseball book, so I will save my comments for another issue. 


I will leave you with a good quote and a great story.  As was told to all of us who attended the recent DRI medical professional seminar in Scottsdale (hey, I didn’t just golf), one of the most quoted quotes from famed courtroom lawyer Clarence Darrow was:


The only real lawyers are trial lawyers,

and trial lawyers try cases to juries.


How could anyone argue with this?  Just kidding, but I love the quote.


And now the story.  My good friend Joe Grant recently told this story about his recently deceased (at age 89) father (The Honorable John Grant, who was a trial judge in Douglas County for many years and then appointed to the Nebraska Supreme Court, where he served with distinction for many years) at his wake at St. Roberts a couple of weeks ago.  Apparently, Judge Grant was hearing a very contentious divorce case many years ago involving a very affluent but childless couple, who were arguing over each stick of furniture and every item of personal property.  Disgusted with the whole ordeal, Jack Grant reportedly stopped the proceedings and announced to the spoiled couple (with great disgust) that, “All I ever got from my Old Man was my last name and a terrible thirst for whiskey!” 


Loved it. 


Enjoy the rest of your week, and start getting ready for the 2010 Draft, my amigos.