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    Yeah, it would go better if they could just get West Ham's stores and staff to sell MLB stuff for three days, but I guess that's not cost-effective for one side or the other.

    You can always just go to shop.mlb.com and get the same stuff with less hassle. Or visit Cooperstown.

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      The Angels have announced that pitcher Tyler Skaggs passed away today. He was 27 years old.

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        How was mobile/internet reception by the way? I find it pretty terrible at Wembley, so using the MLB app as a scorecard (or for commentary if using a VPN) wouldn't be viable if it's the same.

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          Originally posted by Incandenza View Post
          The Angels have announced that pitcher Tyler Skaggs passed away today. He was 27 years old.
          Ugh. I can’t imagine...

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            He went to Santa Monica High School, where his mom was the softball coach. I'm assuming there are still plenty of people at the school and around town that know his family. Just awful news.

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              Originally posted by Ginger Yellow View Post
              How was mobile/internet reception by the way? I find it pretty terrible at Wembley, so using the MLB app as a scorecard (or for commentary if using a VPN) wouldn't be viable if it's the same.
              A bit off and on but I managed to keep up with the cricket via the BBC text commentary.

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                Not sure how many times this has happened before, but the Dodgers won last night after five straight walks from the Diamondbacks.

                Down by a run, and down to their last strike with the bases empty in the ninth inning against a closer in Arizona’s Greg Holland who walked three batters all of June, nothing could’ve foretold the uncanny manner in which the Dodgers would find a way to win by walk-off at Dodger Stadium for the fourth straight time.

                From an 0–2 count to taking his base, a walk to Chris Taylor left possibilities. Another walk, this one to Russell Martin, provided hope. A walk to Alex Verdugo brought a sellout crowd to its feet. A fourth straight walk, this one to Matt Beaty, tied the game and forced Holland out.

                “We put on a clinic there in the ninth inning,” said manager Dave Roberts. “Our guys really just not blinking and just waiting for their pitch, not getting it and keeping the line moving.”

                In stepped Cody Bellinger — who also happened to be the last Dodger player to record a walk-off walk for the Dodgers on July 8, 2017. A pitching change couldn’t help Arizona escape its fate, as the lefty T.J. McFarland got ahead in a 1–2 count, which became a 2–2 count, which became a 3–2 count, which turned into a fifth straight two-out walk and a 5–4 Dodger win Tuesday night.
                What a painful way to lose a game.

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                  The Angels rising star Tommy La Stella broke his leg by having a foul ball bounce off the dirt and smacking into his leg. You could immediately tell that it was a bad injury. I remember that happening to another player some years back.

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                    Dammit.

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                      That Home Run Derby was insane.

                      Vladito's epic round against Joc Pederson just took too much out of him.

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                        Jim Bouton - RIP

                        A true rebel - Ball Four was a very provocative book at the time, certainly when I read it in middle school in the 70s.

                        https://www.si.com/mlb/2019/07/10/ji...kees-ball-four

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                          Dodgers at the Red Sox is streaming on Facebook.

                          Seems like quite a lot of blue LA caps and shirts in the crowd, one section is almost entirely folks in Dodgers gear. That's a helluva away trip so I presume this is a west coast diaspora getting a chance to see their team. Is there any residual New York affinity for the Dodgers.

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                            I don't know the way the MLB app works outside the US but if you are in the US and sign up for a free account, all games are free today. Maybe it will be that way all week, since DirecTV is in the midst of a free run (I think 3-5 days). I'm bouncing between the Dodgers and Yankees games but mostly sticking with Dodgers since it's a more interesting game.

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                              Is there any residual New York affinity for the Dodgers.
                              There were a significant number of Dodger fans who stuck with the team after they moved, but their children almost all became Mets fans, especially after the 1969 title. Dodger games in New York in the mid 60s would have at least half the crowd supporting the visitors, but that was a thing of the past by the mid 70s. There will always be Dodger fans in attendance, but that is now because of the diaspora (and the large number of people who move between LA and NYC) rather than Brooklyn tradition.

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                                Yeah, this is definitely a mixture of transplants and people on vacation. The kids are out of school and going to a historic ballpark is a nice vacation and something that a lot of people do for interleague play. The last time I was at Fenway Park, a rather disturbing 10 years ago now, there were more A’s fans in the building then a lot of home games at the Coliseum. I had a few awkward conversations with them, they were somewhat amused by an excited San Franciscan in a Red Sox hat wanting to talk to them, but I came straight from the UK and hadn’t been home yet, so I saw my people...

                                There are almost certainly still some Dodger fans in Brooklyn, there certainly are Giants fans if you’ve seen a group photo of the NY Giants Historical Society. But not a lot. You do still see Brooklyn Dodger hats around fairly regularly, less so for the Giants (many of them are worn by Bay Area transplants, melding where they’re from with where they are).

                                To add to Ursus’ point about attendance, before 1969 the best attended games of any Met season, almost without exception, were Giants, Dodgers, Bat Day, Cap Day.

                                Which makes sense, the Mets were terrible and not in a fun way either. What the eulogising of Seaver a few months ago pointed out is how depressed the franchise was when he arrived, because it felt like the 100 loss seasons would never end.

                                After 1969, it became more about who the Mets were playing, although the Giants and Dodgers still drew very well. The advent of division play probably helped too, the Giants and Dodgers came to Shea only 12 times a year combined rather than 18.

                                The Dodgers were good so it probably didn’t matter where they came from, they’d have drawn, but the Giants usually drew better than their mediocre records deserved so I have to think that’s residual affection from their time in NY.

                                This fades further about 10 years later, possibly because the players who played with Mays or Koufax or whoever were themselves retired, and at that point it becomes impossible to discern any difference in appeal between the Giants and Dodgers and any other NL club.

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                                  We definitely needed a weekend like that.

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                                    Indeed we did.

                                    Highly satisfying start to the second half.

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                                      I notice Cal mentioned it above, but we probably should talk about Ball Four a bit more. Maybe in the Books section.

                                      It's the greatest sports book ever, IMHO, and probably sport's single greatest -- and possibly singular -- contribution to the American literary canon. I don't know what influence it had outside North America*, although I strongly suspect Eamon Dunphy's Only A Game? was influenced by it on some level (perhaps an editor suggesting the format to Dunphy or something like that). Probably every remotely honest player's diary is rooted in Ball Four, although Ball Four has its own debt to Jim Brosnan's The Long Season.

                                      Among all the plaudits it gets for being funny as hell, for pulling back the veil on how baseball players really act, for the pathos generated by Bouton's decline and fall from Yankee World Series hero to struggling knuckleballer, it has two qualities that have gone underdiscussed. One not so surprising, one very surprising.

                                      1) The Seattle Pilots were the most disastrous franchise in North American major league sports history. Not for reasons entirely of their own doing (Stuart Symington seems to deserve a fair bit of the blame), but a Major League Baseball team going bankrupt in a totally inadequate stadium with no alternatives after just one season is a remarkable example of ineptitude. Bouton chronicles this season.

                                      2) Ball Four strikes me as being as good as anything else in illustrating the yawning chasm in values between the wartime generation and the Baby Boomers. OK, Bouton was a little old to be a Baby Boomer, he was born in 1939, but he was clearly leaning that way culturally. In some ways echoing the disparity in values between Boomers and Millennials today, the War Generation just didn't get people like Bouton. Seemed almost to go out of their way not to get why they were scrawling peace signs on their helmets in Vietnam, why they listened to rock music, why they were smoking dope, why they seemed contemptuous of authority, a good secure job, and 2.5 kids in their suburban detached bungalow. The reason the book was successful wasn't just that it was funny and described Mickey Mantle shooting beaver, it's that it resonated with a generation in a way few things could: even famous baseball players feel like us.


                                      * There's no doubt it influenced Dryden's The Game, the greatest book ever on hockey and a far more important work than it's given credit for on 1970s Québec.

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                                        Originally posted by Greenlander View Post
                                        Dodgers at the Red Sox is streaming on Facebook.

                                        Seems like quite a lot of blue LA caps and shirts in the crowd, one section is almost entirely folks in Dodgers gear. That's a helluva away trip so I presume this is a west coast diaspora getting a chance to see their team. Is there any residual New York affinity for the Dodgers.
                                        Originally posted by Flynnie View Post
                                        Yeah, this is definitely a mixture of transplants and people on vacation. The kids are out of school and going to a historic ballpark is a nice vacation and something that a lot of people do for interleague play.
                                        No, it was an organized travelling fan group, Pantone 294. They do organized away trips, most often to San Francisco, but they'll do a few big east coast trips each year. Playing the Red Sox was obviously a big draw, so more interest than usual, but I'd say that at least 50% of people there made the trip from LA. Helps that the next stop on the Dodgers' road trip was in Philadelphia, so a lot of people making a week out of it. They had a huge section in the outfield in Philly last night. They did a large takeover in Yankee Stadium two years ago. It's one of the closest things we have in the US to a European-style organized away supporters group.

                                        https://pantone294.com/pages/about

                                        They got to see the team put on a show last night in the 16-2 rout of the Phillies. Each starting position player in the lineup had at least 1 hit, 1 run, and 1 RBI. They're 15 games on top of the NL West. I'll be supremely disappointed if we can't get the World Series this year, but I'm enjoying all of these games as much as I can. I don't think I've ever seen a Dodgers team this good before.

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                                          Great post, Flynnie

                                          Spot on

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                                            Although CLR James may have something to say on "greatest sports book ever", I am definitely going to have to read Ball Four now.

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                                              They are profoundly different books, but each is incredibly revealing of the sport as experienced by those who play it at the highest level.

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                                                Beyond A Boundary may have slipped one’s mind. That said, Ball Four is right up there.

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                                                  Flynnie, great post!

                                                  As a kid I read dozens of sports books of the "Strange but true hockey stories," "Great Sluggers in Baseball," "Star Receivers of the NFL," variety -- all positive, zero warts. Ball Four sure mauled that perception of athlete as elevated saint.

                                                  It is the mid-70s and my dad has the paperback of Ball Four. I started reading it at night and just loved it. As a 12/13 yr. old I was probably most enthralled w/ Bouton's Joe Schultz's stories. I'd never read a book about a guy whose favorite expressions were "fuckshit," "shitfuck," and "Let"s pound some Budweiser. I truly appreciated the book more w/ a re-read years later. It was very risky and gutsy to get it published AND think he could continue playing MLB.

                                                  Re: the Seattle Pilots, the first baseball cards I bought were the 1970 Topps. This was the series after the first year of the Padres, Expos, Royals and Pilots expansion teams. The Pilots fascinated me as they did not exist for the 1970 season (my dad probably tried to explain to me how they went bust and moved to Milwaukee). The Pilots demise always fascinated me and I eventually collected all the '70s Pilots as well as the entire series. Reading Ball Four led to look at my Don Mincher, Steve Hovely, Fred Talbot and Tommy Harper cards much differently.

                                                  I also remember watching his comeback game for the Braves on WTBS. Seemed he started well for a few innings and eventually got drilled. Kudos for Ted Turner to give him a shot.
                                                  Last edited by Cal Alamein; 16-07-2019, 20:03.

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