The Way of Baseball, by Shawn Green

Shawn Green Way of Baseball

The philosophies of Stoicism and Zen Buddhism have piqued my interest lately, so when I discovered that Shawn Green had a book about his experiences with Zen while playing baseball, I had to check it out. The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness At 95 MPH is a hell of a catchy title, and in this short tome, Green talks about his experiences with finding Zen and stillness throughout his major league career.

Green mentions that he had had some previous interest in Eastern philosophies, but it was during his struggles at the plate early in his career in Toronto that he discovered how it could be applied in baseball. Green talks about hitting off the tee, repeatedly over weeks and weeks until it became a form of meditation. Hence forth, tee hitting became a staple in Green’s career.

When Green made the move from Toronto to the bigger stage in Los Angeles, he lost his hold on the stillness he had found with the Blue Jays. With a big contract and big expectations, Green found himself ruled by ego, pressuring himself to hit home runs, rather than just letting them happen. Consequently, his first year in LA turned out to be a disastrous season, and Green talks about the work it took to let go of the ego and return to stillness.

It’s a fascinating book, overall. If you’re familiar with the fundamentals of Zen, you won’t learn anything new about the philosophy in this book. It is interesting, however, to see those ideas applied to baseball. The book is short and a fairly easy read, too. If this kind of thing interests you, this one’s worth reading.

Quote of the day

The best possible thing in baseball is winning the World Series. The second-best thing is losing the World Series.

~Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda with the Kansas City Athletics, 1956 (public domain)

Updated Division Series schedule

Due to inclement weather, Game 2 of the Yankees-Guardians series was postponed from yesterday to today. Aside from that, the remain games of the Division Series now have start times! Here is how the updated schedule is looking — all times Eastern.

Friday, October 14th
Game 2: Guardians vs. Yankees, 1:07 p.m., TBS
Game 3: Braves vs. Phillies, 4:37 p.m., FS1
Game 3: Dodgers vs. Padres, 8:37 p.m., FS1

Saturday, October 15th
Game 4: Braves vs. Phillies, 2:07 p.m., FS1
Game 4: Dodgers vs. Padres, 9:37 p.m., FS1
Game 3: Yankees vs. Guardians, 7:37 p.m., TBS
Game 3: Astros vs. Mariners, 4:07 p.m., TBS

Sunday, October 16th
Game 4: Yankees vs. Guardians (if necessary), 7:07 p.m., TBS
Game 4: Astros vs. Mariners 4 (if necessary), 3:07 p.m., TBS
Game 5: Braves vs. Phillies (if necessary), 4:37 p.m., FS1
Game 5: Dodgers vs. Padres (if necessary), 9:07 p.m., FS1

Monday, October 17th
Game 5: Yankees vs. Guardians (if necessary), 7:37 p.m., TBS
Game 5: Astros vs. Mariners (if necessary), 5:07 p.m., TNT

2022 MLB Division Series

The Wild Card round is now over, and it is on to the American League and National League Division Series. Congrats to the Phillies, Padres, Mariners, and Guardians on advancing! Here are how the schedules for the ALDS and NLDS are looking thus far. Unfortunately, times have only been set for Games 1 and 2 in the series. All times are Eastern.

Tuesday, October 11th
Game 1: Braves vs. Phillies, 1:07 p.m., Fox
Game 1: Astros vs. Mariners, 3:05 p.m., TBS
Game 1: Yankees vs. Guardians, 6:38 p.m., TBS
Game 1: Dodgers vs. Padres 9:37 p.m., FS1

Wednesday, October 12th
Game 2: Braves vs. Phillies, 4:35 p.m., Fox
Game 2: Dodgers vs. Padres, 8:37 p.m., FS1

Thursday, October 13th
Game 2: Astros vs. Mariners, 3:37 p.m., TBS
Game 2: Yankees vs. Guardians, 7:37 p.m., TBS

Friday, October 14th
Game 3: Braves vs. Phillies, TBD, FS1
Game 3: Dodgers vs. Padres, TBD, FS1

Saturday, October 15th
Game 4: Braves vs. Phillies (if necessary), TBD, FS1
Game 4: Dodgers vs. Padres (if necessary), TBD, FS1
Game 3: Yankees vs. Guardians, TBD, TBS
Game 3: Astros vs. Mariners, TBD, TBS

Sunday, October 16th
Game 4: Yankees vs. Guardians (if necessary), TBD, TBS
Game 4: Astros vs. Mariners 4 (if necessary), TBD, TBS
Game 5: Braves vs. Phillies (if necessary), TBD, FS1
Game 5: Dodgers vs. Padres (if necessary), TBD, FS1

Monday, October 17th
Game 5: Yankees vs. Guardians (if necessary), TBD, TBS
Game 5: Astros vs. Mariners (if necessary), TBD, TBS

Edwin Jackson

Edwin Jackson, April 2010 (Steven Groves / Wikimedia Commons)

Pitcher Edwin Jackson was born on September 9, 1983 in Neu Ulm, Germany while his father, Edwin Jackson Sr., was serving in the United States Army there. He has the distinction of having played for more major league teams than any other player in Major League Baseball history. Over the course of a career that spanned sixteen years, Jackson played for fourteen MLB teams:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (2003–2005)
  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays (2006–2008)
  • Detroit Tigers (2009, 2019)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (2010)
  • Chicago White Sox (2010–2011)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (2011)
  • Washington Nationals (2012, 2017)
  • Chicago Cubs (2013–2015)
  • Atlanta Braves (2015)
  • Miami Marlins (2016)
  • San Diego Padres (2016)
  • Baltimore Orioles (2017)
  • Oakland Athletics (2018)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (2019)

Jackson was named to the American League All-Star team in 2009. On June 25, 2010, as a Diamondback, he threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jackson was also a member of the 2011 World Series champion Cardinals, though he lost the only game he appeared in. Jackson’s last MLB appearance took place on September 28, 2019 with the Detroit Tigers.

In 2021, Jackson was named to the roster of the United States national baseball team, which qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The team went on to win silver, falling to Japan in the gold-medal game.

On September 10, 2022, Edwin Jackson announced his retirement from baseball.

Edwin Jackson, 2021 (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Robert Jordan/Released)

RIP Maury Wills

Maury Wills
Maury Wills, 1960 (University of Southern California Libraries / California Historical Society / Release under the CC BY Attribution license —

Maurice Morning Wills was born October 2, 1932 in Washington, D.C. He began playing semi-professional baseball at the age of 14 and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, upon graduating from high school. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers, now in Los Angeles, in 1959 and spent most of his career with L.A. He was a member of the Dodgers team that won the World Series in 1959, 1963, and 1965.

Wills was named the National League MVP in 1962, stealing a record 104 bases to break the previous modern era mark of 96 set by Ty Cobb. He was named to seven All-Star teams and was the first MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1962. Wills also won Gold Gloves at shortstop in 1961 and 1962. Over the course of his fourteen-year career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples, 586 stolen bases, and 552 bases on balls in 1,942 games.

Wills was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, serving as a representative of the Dodgers Legend Bureau, from 2009 until his death. Maury Wills died on September 19, 2022, at the age of 89.

RIP Vin Scully

Vincent Edward Scully was born on November 29, 1927 in the Bronx, New York, growing up in Manhattan. He fell in love with baseball when, at the age of eight, he saw the results of the second game of the 1936 World Series at a laundromat and felt a pang of sympathy for the badly defeated New York Giants.

Scully was best known for calling games for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning in 1950 and ending in 2016. His 67-year run calling games constituted the longest tenure of any broadcaster with a single team in professional sports history, and he was second only to Tommy Lasorda in terms of the number of years associated with the Dodgers organization in any capacity. Scully was known for his distinctive voice, his descriptive style, and his signature introduction to Dodgers games: “It’s time for Dodger baseball! Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon (or evening) to you, wherever you may be.”

He is considered by many to be the greatest baseball broadcaster of all time, with his final game being broadcast from San Francisco’s AT&T Park on October 2, 2016. His many awards and achievements include being awarded the Ford C. Frick Award (1982), the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award (2014), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016). Scully even has a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

Vin Scully passed away August 2, 2022 at the age of 94.

Vin Scully, March 2008 (Craig Y. Fujii/Wikimedia Commons)

R.I.P. Jim “Mudcat” Grant

James Timothy “Mudcat” Grant was born on August 13, 1935 in Lacoochee, Florida. He was one of seven children of James Sr. and Viola Grant.

Grant was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians prior to the 1954 season. After four seasons in the minor leagues, from 1954 to 1957, he made his MLB debut on April 17, 1958, at the age of 22, winning a complete game against the Kansas City Athletics. In June 1964, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins, then in 1965, he went 21–7 for the Twins, helping to lead the team to the 1965 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, the Twins lost the series in seven games.

During the 1965 season, Grant became the first black pitcher in the American League to win 20 games, leading the American League in victories with a 21-7 record, also posting a 3.30 ERA in 270 1/3 innings, and starting 39 games. He started three World Series games, winning two. In Game 6 at Metropolitan Stadium, he gave up only one run in a complete game, and even hit a three-run homer en route to a 5-1 victory.

Grant pitched for seven teams during his 14-year big league career and was with the Twins for four of those seasons. Over the course of that career, he had a 145–119 record in 571 games, while starting in 293 of them and throwing 89 complete games. His resumé also includes 18 shutouts, 53 saves, with 2,442 innings pitched on a 3.63 ERA.

Grant was named to the All-Star team in 1963 and 1965. He received his catfish-inspired nickname when a minor league teammate thought he was from Mississippi.

Mudcat Grant died on June 12, 2021 at the age of 85.

Rest in peace.

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