World Series 2020 schedule

Welp, the 2020 World Series matchup is set: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays. I honestly don’t have a dog in this fight, but the way the ALCS and the NLCS both played out, this should be a very entertaining World Series. Here is the tentative schedule for this year’s matchup:

Tuesday, Oct. 20
• World Series Game 1, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Wednesday, Oct. 21
• World Series Game 2, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Thursday, Oct. 22
OFF-DAY

Friday, Oct. 23
• World Series Game 3, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Saturday, Oct. 24
• World Series Game 4, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Oct. 25
• World Series Game 5, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Monday, Oct. 26
OFF-DAY

Tuesday, Oct. 27
• World Series Game 6, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Wednesday, Oct. 28
• World Series, Game 7, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

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RIP Joe Morgan

Legendary second baseman Joe Morgan played Major League Baseball for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Oakland Athletics from 1963 to 1984. Over the course of his career, Morgan won two World Series championships with the Reds in 1975 and 1976 and was also named the National League MVP in each of those years. Morgan was also a ten-time All-Star, a five-time Gold Glove winner, and won the Silver Slugger award in 1982. Morgan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, and he has also been inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and the Astros Hall of Fame.

Joe Morgan died on October 11, 2020 in Danville, California at the age of 77.

Rest in peace.

Morgan Joe CR73-587_HS_NBLMcWilliams

Joe Morgan, 1973 (Baseball Hall of Fame)


RIP Whitey Ford

Edward Charles Ford, better known as “Whitey,” was born October 21, 1928 in Manhattan. Ford spent his entire 16-year career with the Yankees, beginning in 1950 and playing until he retired after the 1967 season. He appeared in 498 career games, compiling 236 wins and a 2.75 ERA. Ford won the 1961 Cy Young Award, was named to 10 All-Star Games, and was a member of six World Series-winning teams. He also won two ERA titles and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1950 behind Boston Red Sox first baseman Walt Dropo. Ford was selected into the Hall of Fame in his second year on the ballot, in 1974, receiving 77.8 percent of the vote. The Yankees retired his No. 16 jersey that same year.

Whitey Ford passed away a couple days ago, October 8, 2020 on Long Island.

Rest in peace.

Whitey Ford in 2010 (Wikipedia)


RIP Bob Gibson

I just heard about the passing of Bob Gibson, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals for seventeen seasons. Over the course of that career, Gibson collected 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 ERA. He was also a nine-time All-Star, won two World Series championships, and he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 NL MVP.

Bob Gibson was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. The Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975 and inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.

Gibson died in Omaha, Nebraska on October 2, 2020 from pancreatic cancer.

Rest in peace.

45.bob-gibson

Sports Illustrated


2020 Postseason schedule

In case you missed it, Major League Baseball announced the tentative 2020 postseason schedule yesterday. I confess, I never expected that baseball would make it this far in the midst of the pandemic, and yet, here we are. This unusual year just keeps getting more interesting.

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Infographic: 14 Things You Didn’t Know About the World Series

I can’t seem to trace the origins of this infographic, but I found it an interesting one.  For true baseball fans not all of these items are unknowns, and the graphic was obviously created prior to the 2016 season, given the bit of trivia about the Cubs.  The detail about Don Larsen smoking in the dugout during his World Series perfect game was new to me, however, and it appears this tidbit is pretty accurate.

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“From Nails to Thumbtacks,” The Baseball Project

Here’s a good Baseball Project tune to start your Tuesday.  This song is all about the rise and fall of Lenny Dykstra, who was considered to be one of the heroes of the 1986 World Series, but has since fallen into so much legal and financial trouble that earlier this year, a court in New York ruled that he is “libel-proof,” meaning his behavior and character are so awful even false statements cannot harm his reputation.


Baseball is coming back

Players, owners, teams, the league… all the moving parts of the MLB universe have finally come together, and we are, at last, going to see some baseball for the 2020 season!

Major League Baseball is having a second Spring Training (or should we call it “Summer Training” at this point?) to begin in about a week’s time, on July 1st.  Then, we will be looking at a 60-game regular season, to be played over the course of about 66 days, from about July 23rd or 24th until September 27th.  The postseason will begin on September 29th, with the World Series to begin on October 20th, and a potential Game 7 to be played on October 28th.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, access to games is going to be limited, of course.  No fans in the stands is going to seem a bit weird, but so long as we can watch games from the comfort of our living rooms, that seems like a minor concession at this point.  There will be a regimen of temperature checks and symptom checks, as well routine tests for the virus, not just among players, but also coaches, trainers, staff, etc.  Players who are high-risk or who have family members at high risk have the option to opt out for the season and still get paid.  Media interactions with the teams, meanwhile, will all take place through Zoom, in order to adhere to social distancing recommendations.

On the field, spitting will be banned, which makes perfect sense given the nature of how the virus spreads.  Non-playing players in the dugout will be required to wear masks.  Pitchers will bring their own rosin bags and will even be permitted to carry a wet rag in their back pocket so they won’t need to lick their fingers (does anyone else sniff a potential for some doctoring on this one?).  Social distancing, in general, remains strongly encouraged.

How well will this all work?  Obviously, it’s difficult to tell until things really get underway.  The potential for a widespread outbreak remains very real — just look at what happened among the Phillies last week — and for all we know, the season might end abruptly after the first thirty days.

Information about this new development is still coming, even as I write this.  This strange, strange season just keeps getting stranger, and while I’m happy that we’re going to see some ballgames, half of me is intensely curious about how long it’s really going to last.

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“Ode to the Mets,” The Strokes

I was a big fan of The Strokes through my time in college and grad school, but I haven’t paid much attention to them in recent years.  So my thanks goes out to Jackie, a.k.a. The Baseball Bloggess, for sharing this gem with me!

The lyrics of this song look back at the band’s career and their history in New York City, where they grew up together. The title of the song, of course, references the New York Mets, whom lead singer Julian Casablancas calls the team of his youth. Casablancas wrote the song after the Mets lost Game 7 of the 2016 NL Wild Card to the San Francisco Giants — a loss that exacerbated the frustrations of fans of a team that has not won a World Series since 1986. The band views the name as symbolic, with the Mets representing something that you set your heart on, but that continues to disappoint.


This day in baseball: Connie Mack passes

The legendary Connie Mack died on February 8, 1956 at the age of 93.  Mack had fallen and suffered a hip fracture a few months previously in October 1955, undergoing surgery on October 5 and missing the World Series that week for the first time ever.  He remained wheelchair-bound from that point on.  Officially, it was announced that Connie Mack died of “old age and complications from his hip surgery.”

connie mack

National Baseball Hall of Fame Library/Major League Baseball/Getty Images