BRONX, NY – This is my last post before Christmas, and if Management thinks I’m posting ON Christmas (as I’m slated to) they can suck a bag of… er… candy canes. Still there’s plenty to talk about right now, starting with Penny Marshall’s passing yesterday at the age of 75.
“Goodbye, Laverne.” Penny Marshall is perhaps best remembered for directing the hit baseball movie A League of Their Own, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen from beginning to end. Still, I’ve caught enough of it over the years to appreciate the work. And any film featuring David Lander (aka Squiggy) as a baseball announcer is gonna be a-ok by me. Well before that, the Bronx-born Marshall starred as Laverne DeFazio on the hit ABC Sitcom Laverne & Shirley. But I still remember her best as the secretary for another great sport, Oscar Madison, on The Odd Couple. Her droning nasal deadpan, and unforgettable laugh, as Myrna Turner will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Ms. Marshall.
Will Any More Starting Pitchers Make the Hall of Fame? Sticking with baseball, the other day I was wondering whether the days of seeing starting pitchers get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame are gone for good. Now that even the best pitchers barely make it past the 7th inning, and God-awful situational bullpen pitching reigns supreme, it’s hard to imagine the game’s most stellar starters getting within spitting distance of the Hall. So are there any guys they should let in now, that didn’t make the magic 300 win plateau? Probably. Clemens has 354 wins and is still waiting. But he can wait until we hang a vacant sign on the planet, as far as I’m concerned. No one currently active seems like a threat, though Big Sexy Bartolo Colon (247 wins) and CC Sabathia (246) should almost get their own special wing for big-appetite hurlers who also ate a lot of innings and stuck around long enough to rack up a bunch of wins. Verlander is at 204, but at age 35, he’s probably thinking about retiring to a life of making many babies with Kate Upton. So, back to the inactive list. How about Tommy John? At 288 wins (46 shutouts!) and a career 3.34 era, isn’t that good enough? He even has a surgery named after him, fer crissakes. Until TJ gets in, there will be no talk of Mike Mussina, and there is no one else remotely on the horizon.
Of Bryce and Men. I’m jumping head first into the prediction mosh pit and saying that I think the Yankees will sign Bryce Harper over Christmas break. (see Buddy Diaz’s piece) The player and the timing is just the type of dramatic move the Bombers live for. it makes too much sense for them to pass. Though his average kinda went in the crapper last year, it should correct itself in the Bronx as all of those lazy fly balls he hit last year go sailing out of their Little League Whore Emporium. Philly was the other potential landing spot, and they also offer an inviting short porch in right, but you gotta think that Bryce is angling for New York, the numbers and the stage. Stay tuned, I suppose.
OK, that’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle and his Amazing Technicolor Hot Take Coat.