Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

Goodbye, Harmon

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 19, 2011

Yes, this is really what he looked like in his prime.

So many people have already said so many things so much better than I ever could about the Pride of Payette, Idaho, Harmon Killebrew, that I figured I’d let the picture of his statue speak for itself.

This is the man who was the first — and one of only four men — to hit a ball out over the left-field roof of the old Tigers stadium. This is the man who had eight 40-home-run seasons during the height of the pitcher’s renaissance of the 1950s and ’60s. This is the man who the pitchers of that era (such as Tommy John) feared as they feared no other.

And all without steroids.

But, as good as he was a player — and he was good enough to make the Hall of Fame — he was an even better human being.

Goodbye, Harmon. And thanks.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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Chalk Up Another One For Mass Transit

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 21, 2010

Why did Cliff Lee sign with the Phillies instead of staying with Texas?

The trains:

Kristen Lee wanted her husband to return to the Phillies because of “how easy it is to get from point A to point B” in Philadelphia, she was quoted as saying by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Phillies play three miles from City Hall. The stadium is a $1.85 ride from downtown on the Broad Street Line, plus a three-block walk.

Arlington has a train from Dallas and Fort Worth. Barely.

The Trinity Railway Express skirts the north edge of Arlington and stops six miles from the stadium.

So everybody drives. And waits in traffic.

“Even in Dallas,” Kristen Lee was quoted, “[from] where we were staying, it was hard to get to the ballpark.”

There you go.

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Avert Your Eyes, Wege

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 18, 2010

I have long held that Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire is the best manager in baseball. Now here’s ESPN writer Rob Neyer directing my attention to a really good defense of Gardy by Joe Posnanski:

I go through all that to show you that this year — for the first time in a very long time, I think — the Twins put some financial backing behind their efforts to win. They have a new stadium now, so I’m sure that helped. They also have perhaps the single most valuable property in baseball in Joe Mauer, and they re-signed him. For the first time in my mind they gave Gardy a team that is NOT small market, a team that has been given the balance sheet talent to win games and playoff series. Of the American League playoff teams only the Yankees (or, in a miracle finish, the Red Sox) have a higher payroll than Minnesota.

So this year’s different. Only then, it wasn’t so different. During spring training Nathan was lost for the season. How valuable is a closer? It’s a topic we’ve discussed here more than once … and I don’t know if we came to a consensus. But it’s fair to say that $11.25 million of that payroll was worthless for 2010, and a lot of people around the game thought that Nathan’s injury could be a death blow to the Twins chances.

And as if to prove the point, the Twins were a blah 45-42 on July 10. And it was right around then (July 7 to be precise) that they lost Justin Morneau, who had a strong argument as American League MVP when he suffered a concussion. He has not played a single game since then.

And where are the Twins right now? Exactly: First place, the American League Central is all sewn up, the Twins are only a half game behind Tampa Bay for the best record in all of baseball. They are 43-16 since hitting that low point — staggeringly awesome baseball. Gardenhire is about to take the Twins to the playoffs for the sixth time.

And, no, I don’t know if the Twins will do any better this time around — the Twins under Gardy have lost their last nine playoff games and have only won one playoff series — but on paper, to me, they at least seem in better playoff shape. They have the ace — Francisco Liriano has pitched as well this year as any pitcher in the league. They get on-base (second in OBP) and are fourth in the league in runs. Their bullpen, even without Nathan and with a couple of closers through the season, has been strong. We’ll see.

But I guess my point remains … I think Ron Gardenhire is the best manager in baseball. I think that not based on what we see but what we can’t see. I base this not on what I think a manager should do but on success. I base this not on individual moves but on the basis that the Twins are there on top one more time.


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Move The Game

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 9, 2010

Passing this on courtesy of a friend of mine who is affiliated with most if not all of the groups listed herein:

Local Activists, Civil Rights Groups to Protest MLB Owner’s Meeting

WHAT: Press conference and rally outside of Day 1 of the quarterly Major League Baseball Owners’ Meeting, demanding that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona

WHEN: Wednesday, August 11- Press conference – 5:00 p.m.
Rally – 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Graves 601 Hotel
601 North 1st Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

WHO: Carlos Roa, Move the Game campaign manager for
Niger Arevalo, campaign organizer, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action committee (MIRAc);

Endorsed by: MIRAc, BAM!, Centro Campesino, SEIU Local 26, and

About Carlos Roa: As an undocumented student at Miami Dade College, Roa gained national attention for immigration reform as a participant in the Trail of Dreams, a four month-long journey to from Miami to Washington, DC – on foot. He is with managing the campaign.

Partial injunction of SB 1070 does nothing to deter national campaign to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Unwavering from their demand that Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona, community groups and social activists in Minneapolis are set to rally and protest outside of the quarterly MLB Owners’ Meeting on Wednesday, August 11 at 5:30pm. This despite the partial injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton last week, blocking only certain provisions of the anti-immigrant and racial profiling law – SB 1070 – hours before it went into effect.

The rally and protest are part of the national campaign – a coalition of organizations led by and–which has coordinated several rallies, protests and other events across the country in reaction to Arizona’s passage of SB 1070. Members of the campaign believe that Judge Bolton’s partial injunction was not a victory in itself, but rather one of many steps in the right direction, and will continue to pressure Commissioner Selig until the game is moved to a different state.

“Regardless of Judge Bolton’s decision last week, the fact remains that parts of SB 1070 are still in effect and will now serve as a constant reminder of how racially insensitive the people of Arizona can be,” said Carlos Roa, campaign manager for “Commissioner Selig and Major League Baseball need to understand that we will not stop our campaign until he moves the game from the state that allowed such blatant racial profiling to even be considered.” has already gathered and attempted to deliver more than 110,000 petitions to Commissioner Selig, signed by community members asking him to move the location of the 2011 All-Star Game.

Despite claiming that the MLB is a social institution, Commissioner Selig has refused to take a stand on SB 1070. When members attempted to present Commissioner Selig with the petitions in Anaheim in July, they were refused by MLB staff and security. Members of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action committee (MIRAc) and Boycott Arizona – Minnesota (BAM!) will attempt to deliver the petitions to the MLB team owners in attendance.

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